Seahawks To Extend GM John Schneider

9:19pm: It’s a five-year extension for Schneider set to run through the 2021 season, FoxSports.com’s Jay Glazer reports (on Twitter).

8:59pm: The Seahawks and longtime GM John Schneider have reached an agreement on an extension that will make him one of the highest-paid GMs in the NFL, ESPN.com’s John Clayton reports.

The deal for the seventh-year Seattle GM, per Clayton, will approach $3.75MM per year, an amount which Baltimore’s Ozzie Newsome earns as the league’s best-compensated full-time GM. Schneider was set to be seeking a contract worth $4MM per season, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Schneider’s contract was set to expire after the 2016 season. Pete Carroll‘s deal expires after 2016 as well. However, this Schneider pact is expected to soon lead to a Carroll extension, Clayton reports.

This would avoid one of the league’s top head coaches going into a season in what would normally be categorized as lame-duck status. This, of course, would not describe the 64-year-old Carroll or the 45-year-old Schneider since they’ve collectively guided the 41-year-old franchise to its best-ever status within the NFL and have the Seahawks standing as one of the league’s premier organizations.

The team has qualified for the playoffs in five of the pair’s six years together, including each of the past four. Assembling a mostly homegrown group of talent during this decade, Seattle’s gone to two Super Bowls, winning one and coming closer than perhaps any big-game loser has to claiming another title a year later.

Schneider, who previously spent the 2000 season as the Seahawks’ director of player personnel before venturing elsewhere, has helped steer the Seahawks to four NFC West titles in his time in Washington. Under his regime, the Seahawks have been one of the league’s best at drafting talent and possibly the best reaching extensions with cornerstone players — including Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner.

They received the most productive years of Marshawn Lynch‘s career after trading for the then-maligned running back and recently hammered out an extension with former UDFA Doug Baldwin, the latest member of Seattle’s deep core now locked up long-term.

Schneider came to Seattle after spending most of the 2000s as a Packers executive, serving as Green Bay’s director of football operations in 2008-09.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Rumors: Bradford, Mathews, Peters

Sam Bradford will not be part of the 2017 Eagles, Les Bowen of Philly.com writes. The Eagles are leaning toward making Carson Wentz a game-day inactive to start the season, but the trade for the No. 2 overall pick points to him starting by ’17, Bowen notes. If the Eagles are unable to find a suitable trade partner for Bradford following the ’16 season, they’d incur $9.5MM in dead money as a result of the two-year, $36MM deal they signed the 28-year-old quarterback to in March.

Here’s more coming out of Philadelphia as the Eagles prepare for training camp.

  • Before his presumptive departure, though, Bradford will have more freedom at the line of scrimmage than he did under Chip Kelly, writes Philly.com’s Zach Berman. Despite the former No. 1 overall pick tasked with learning a new offense for the fifth time his career, the attack orchestrated by Doug Pederson and Frank Reich poses as similar to Pat Shurmur‘s system with the Rams in 2010. Bradford claimed offensive rookie of the year honors that season.
  • The Eagles will save $13MM if Bradford is released but $17MM if he is traded, Jimmy Kempski of Phillyvoice.com reports. The 2017 free agent market for quarterbacks currently includes Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins, but those two are almost certain to not be part of that contingent next March. That leaves the likes of Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert and Geno Smith as the potential top QBs on the market. So, Philadelphia should be able to fetch a decent trade for Bradford, who will turn 30 in November of 2017.
  • Much like Bradford doesn’t look to be back in Philly next season, Ryan Mathews resides in the same boat, Kempski writes. Characterizing the former first-round pick as a poor fit for Pederson’s offense — one that stands to feature running backs used through the air more often, as Jamaal Charles was under Pederson in Kansas City — Kempski notes the Eagles do not necessarily want Mathews around long-term but would be in trouble without him in 2016. The Eagles, who have Mathews under contract through next season, are projected to possess the least amount of cap room in the league in ’17 and ’18 as of now and can save $4MM by cutting the former Charger next year.
  • If Jason Peters or Jason Kelce don’t bounce back this season, they make for cap-casualty candidates in 2017, Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News writes. The latter is only in the second season of a six-year, $37.5MM contract, but that deal contains just $2.4MM in dead money beginning next season. Peters enters his eighth season with the Eagles and 13th in the NFL. The former All-Pro left tackle has three years remaining on his four-year, $38.3MM extension. That deal, though, houses just $2MM in dead money in ’17, when Peters will be 35.
  • The Eagles added quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson on Sunday to a quarterback stable that may be the deepest in the NFL.

Lions To Work Out Jimmy Clausen

Jimmy Clausen‘s Monday workout tour will venture west from Washington D.C., with the well-traveled backup set to audition for the Lions, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Similarly to his Redskins showcase, Clausen will throw to visiting wide receivers on Monday in Detroit, reports the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, who adds (Twitter link) the Lions are finalizing a list of pass-catchers who will participate in the workout.

The 28-year-old Clausen threw to free agent Marlon Brownamong others in a group that included soon-to-be Redskins signing Dez Stewart, in Washington. Lions GM Bob Quinn hasn’t made it a secret his team was looking to add prospective veteran help late in the offseason. The team has been linked to Anquan Boldin and had a visit scheduled with Arian Foster before the veteran running back signed with the Dolphins prior to heading to Detroit.

The Lions possess the seventh-most cap space in the NFL at $19.3MM and don’t have a particularly deep stable of passers behind Matthew Stafford, as Roster Resource shows. Longtime Lion Dan Orlovsky resides behind the starter, with sixth-round pick Jake Rudock joining the group as well.

A former second-round Panthers pick out of Notre Dame, Clausen went 1-9 as a starter in 2010 for the Panthers, and once the team drafted Cam Newton, the former highly regarded prospect’s place as a backup quarterback became entrenched. The Bears waived Clausen last November, and the quarterback-depleted Ravens claimed him. Clausen started three games last season for the Bears and Ravens, losing all three while completing 57% of his passes and throwing two touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Sign Vinnie Sunseri

The Patriots have added a bit of depth to their secondary, as they’ve agreed to sign former Saints defensive back Vinnie Sunseri, the club announced today. New England also confirmed the previously-reported signing of rookie free agent offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson.Vinnie Sunseri (Vertical)

[RELATED: New England Patriots depth chart]

Sunseri, 24, was a fifth-round pick out of Alabama in the 2014 draft, but he’s ended each of his first two NFL campaigns on the injured reserve list. As such, he doesn’t have much in the way of experience, as he has just nine career games under his belt (and all of that action came during his rookie season). Sunseri hasn’t been a defensive contributor — he’s seen only 11 defensive snaps in the NFL — but he did prove his worth on special teams, as he played on 37% of New Orleans’ ST snaps in 2014.

Special teams is the likely area of focus for Sunseri in New England, as well, as the club is well-stocked at the safety position, where Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards, and Nate Ebner make up the top of the depth chart. The Patriots are typically excellent on special teams, having ranked among the top-five in ST DVOA in every season since 2011. Sunseri worked out for the Pats back in May, so the club did get an up-close look at what he can do.

New England’s signing of Kerbyson had been reported on Friday. The former Tennessee Volunteer went undrafted earlier this year, but started all 13 games at left tackle during his senior season, during which he was named second-team All SEC.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

PFR Originals: 7/17/16 – 7/24/16

The original content and analysis produced by the PFR staff during the past week:

6 Key Stories: 7/17/16 – 7/24/16

The headlines from the past week at PFR:

The Dolphins land a running back. After striking out on C.J. Anderson, Chris Johnson, and others over the offseason, the Dolphins agreed to terms with former Texans running back Arian Foster, hammering out a one-year deal that contains $400K guaranteed and has a maximum value of $3.5MM. Foster, 29, had been linked to Miami for the past several months, butArian Foster (vertical) was also scheduled to visit the Lions last week had he not inked a contract with the Fins. In South Beach, Foster will compete for playing time with second-year pro Jay Ajayi, while Foster’s presence will likely mean less action for rookie Kenyan Drake and fellow backs Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas.

Suspensions affect contenders. After being suspended for the first two games of the 2015 campaign, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is now facing a four-game ban after missing several drug tests. The appeal process is ongoing, but Pittsburgh, which already lost wide receiver Martavis Bryant to a season-long suspension, is now set to be without another key offensive weapon. Bell, of course, is also recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. Another AFC contender will deal with a suspension, as Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones will be banned four games for violating the league’s PED policy.

The league’s best defender is hurting. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt recently underwent back surgery and is now facing an uncertain timeline for recovery. While initial reports suggested that Watt would certainly be ready for Houston’s opener, new information has indicated that Watt could miss as many as 10 weeks, which would not only but his availability for Week 1 in doubt, but could force him to miss as much as a month of regular season action.

Off-field issues in the news. Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon met with commissioner Roger Goodell last week regarding his reinstatement, and Goodell could make his decision any time after August 1. Reports have indicated that the summit was a good first step for Gordon, though it’s not a certainty that Cleveland will keep him on the roster even if he is Josh Gordonallowed to return to the NFL. Meanwhile, former Ravens running back Ray Rice has vowed to donate his entire salary to combat domestic violence if a club gives him a chance in 2016. Elsewhere, Cardinals safety Chris Clemons is facing possible legal trouble after an alleged assault, while Shawn Oakman, once thought to be a top NFL prospect, was indicted on sexual assault.

An NFL pariah garners interest. Defensive Greg Hardy hadn’t met with any club until this week, when the Jaguars worked him out but did not offer him a contract. Hardy’s history of domestic violence has made him a black sheep in league circles, with no team willing to deal with the public relations backlash that would come with signing him. Still, Hardy’s price figures to drop low enough that a club will eventually take the risk, and I identified eight clubs that could show interest earlier this summer.

Retirements galore. Two of the best defenders of the 2000s announced their retirements this week, as cornerback Charles Tillman and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett decided to hang up their cleats. “Peanut” Tillman made his name as an excellent cover corner who had a knack for forcing fumbles, while Dockett terrorized quarterbacks as an undersized defensive lineman. Both players appeared in one Super Bowl, Tillman with the Bears in 2007 and Dockett with the Cardinals in 2009. Meanwhile, offensive linemen Eugene Monroe and Nate Chandler continued the trend of under-30 players retiring, with Monroe specifically citing CTE concerns in his announcement.

Photos courtesy of Pro Football Rumors on Instagram and USA Today Sports Images.

Darnell Dockett To Retire As A Cardinal

1:55pm: Dockett will sign a one-day contract to retire as a Cardinal, according to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (Twitter link).

1:30pm: Former Cardinals and 49ers defensive lineman Darnell Dockett plans to announce his retirement on Monday, sources tell Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Dockett, 35, has not played in the NFL since the 2013 campaign.Darnell Dockett

[RELATED: Cardinals want to extend Calais Campbell]

Dockett spent ten seasons in the desert, starting 156 games for Arizona as an undersized defensive tackle while posting 40.5 sacks, good for seventh on the Cardinals’ all-time list. The former third-round pick registered a career-high nine takedowns during the 2007 season, one of three years he was selected to the Pro Bowl — Dockett was also named a second-team All Pro in 2009.

Among defensive lineman who played from 2004-2013, Docket ranks ninth in Pro Football Reference’s approximate value metric. He helped lead Arizona to two playoff berths, including the 2009 postseason when the club made a postseason run to the Super Bowl only to lose to the Steelers.

In the summer of 2014, Dockett tore his ACL during training camp and was forced to miss the entire regular season. The Cardinals released him in the spring of 2015, and Dockett signed with the division rival 49ers. He didn’t make the 53-man roster, however, and was cut that September.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Gabbert, Kuhn

Let’s round up some news from around the league on our last Sunday before full training camp practices begin:

  • Current Vikings guard Alex Boone spent the first seven seasons of his professional career with the 49ers before signing with Minnesota this offseason, and he tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Blaine Gabbert will beat out Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco’s starting quarterback job. Boone said, “To be honest I think that Blaine did a great job last year, and from what I know of Blaine, I think he’s probably gonna take the reins. I mean I think he’s a good guy, he knows what he’s doing out there, and he just has the support of the group so I think that’s one of the things to look forward to.” Boone’s comments, of course, are in keeping with recent reports from the Bay Area.
  • Longtime Packers fullback and current free agent John Kuhn told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on SiriusXM NFL Radio several days ago that he is still waiting for an NFL team (preferably the Packers) to give him a call. A full-length piece from SiriusXM staff provides more details of that conversation, in which Kuhn explains why he expects to continue playing in 2016. Kuhn believes the variety of sub-packages that defenses deploy in today’s game create a need for two-back sets, and he added, “If not this week, if not next week, sometime in August, somebody’s going to have a need for somebody who’s willing to come in, work hard, do some of the dirty work that not everybody does anymore.”
  • The Ravens put six players on the PUP list Saturday, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports, including big names Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith, Sr., Elvis Dumervil, and Breshad Perriman. All of those players, of course, can return to practice when activated, but they would have to miss at least the first six weeks of the season if they remain on the PUP list when Week 1 rolls around. Conspicuously absent from that list is Joe Flacco, who can participate in the first full-team training camp practice on Thursday.
  • Kyle Meinke of MLive.com says the Lions‘ hottest training camp battle could be at wide receiver, where a host of veterans and unproven youngsters will compete for playing time behind Marvin Jones and Golden Tate.
  • Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times tweets that the Buccaneers have 12 receivers currently on the roster, 10 of whom are 25 or younger. Of that group, Auman expects five to make the 53-man roster (or six if the group includes the return specialist). In a separate tweet, Auman indicates that the Bucs will also carry four tight ends.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/24/16

We will round up all of the day’s minor transactions right here:

  • The Eagles are expected to sign McLeod Bethel-Thompson, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter), thereby adding another QB to their training camp roster. Philadelphia cut Bethel-Thompson back in May, and he will almost assuredly not make the 53-man roster, as the club currently has Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, and 2016 first-round pick Carson Wentz atop its depth chart. As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk observes, the well-traveled UCLA and Sacramento State product has had three different stints with the 49ers, two with the Dolphins, two with the Vikings, and one with the Patriots, in addition to stops in the CFL and UFL.

Saints Notes: Brees, Benson, Lewis

We learned yesterday that Drew Brees and the Saints have not discussed a new contract in the last three months, and Brees is therefore still on track to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016 season (for which he currently carries a $30MM cap hit). Mike Triplett of ESPN.com believes both sides are being unduly stubborn, that they should be more eager to get something done, and that this past week–the last week before the start of training camp–would have been the perfect time for team and player to reach an accord assuring that Brees would remain in New Orleans for the rest of his career.

Of course, Triplett also maintains that Brees and the Saints could have tried harder to get this deal done prior to the start of free agency, when a reduction of Bress’ $30MM cap number would have been especially welcome. Brees has set the start of the regular season as his deadline for working out a new contract, and while Triplett understands the Saints’ hesitancy to hand out another mega-deal–after all, Brees is not getting any younger, and he has battled a series of nagging injuries in the past two years–he still thinks the future Hall-of-Famer is a safe bet to continue performing at a high level. Triplett does believe, however, that Brees should be willing to leave a little money on the table if that’s what it takes to get him a little extra security now and give the team a better chance to make one last championship run before he calls it a career.

Now let’s round up some more Saints-related news:

  • A federal judge has given Saints owner Tom Benson an additional 30 days to replace at least some of the team shares that he attempted to pull from his daughter and grandchildren with equitable assets, according to Greg LaRose of The Times-Picayune. Benson had agreed to enter into negotiations back in June, just three days before he was scheduled to go to trial with trustees who blocked his attempt to remove stock in the teams. Once that matter is resolved, the NFL will still need to approve the settlement regarding team ownership.
  • Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, who missed the majority of the 2015 season with a trio of injuries, says he will be ready for the regular-season opener, as Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune writes. His return will be a welcome one for the Saints, who will pair him with Delvin Breaux to form a fairly solid starting duo outside the hash marks.
  • One thing that would help the secondary, of course, is a better pass rush, and Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate explores some of the Saints’ options in that regard.

NFL News & NFL Rumors