LeSean McCoy Accused Of Assaulting Police Officers

TUESDAY, 8:45am: ESPN’s Mike Rodak and Mark Schwarz have a few more details on the incident, reporting that arrest warrants are expected to be issued in the coming days. Rodak clarifies (via Twitter) that those warrants aren’t expected today, but could be issued later in the week.

MONDAY, 10:35am: The brawl didn’t involve any current members of the Eagles, sources tell Les Bowen of the Daily News (on Twitter).

10:17am: The police report indicates that former NFL running back Curtis Brinkley was also involved, per John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com.

10:05am: Apparently, the investigation goes beyond McCoy. Detectives are investigating four NFL players for their alleged involvement in the brawl, per Dave Schratwieser of FOX29 (on Twitter). Sources tell Schratwieser (via Twitter) that the list of injuries includes a fractured skull, broken ribs, and a broken nose. It’s not immediately clear whether both officers have suffered those same injuries or if that injury list is a mash-up of what happened to the two men.

The argument apparently started when bottles of champagne were delivered to police officers before the players (link).

9:53am: Bills running back LeSean McCoy is under investigation for allegedly assaulting two off-duty Philadelphia police officers, sources tell ABC6. The incident is said to have occured around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday in Philly. McCoy has not been arrested, however, and neither has his friend who was also said to be involved in the altercation. LeSean McCoy (featured)

McCoy played for the Eagles from 2009-14 before a blockbuster trade brought him to the Bills last year. McCoy, 28 in July, was held back by injuries in his first season with the Bills. The tailback ran for 895 yards off of 203 carries, good for 4.4 yards per contest. He also had three rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores. However, he missed one-quarter of the regular season, breaking his two season streak of playing in all 16 regular season games.

Although McCoy was not the electrifying playmaker in 2014 that he was in 2013, he still had a very productive season in terms of traditional stats for the Eagles, with 1,319 rushing yards and a 4.2 YPC average. The advanced metrics, meanwhile, showed a much sharper contrast between the two campaigns. That, in part, led to former coach Chip Kelly shipping him to Western New York for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

In 2013, McCoy was rated as the very best tailback in football according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), racking up a 27.3 overall rating which was more than 8 points higher than the runner-up, Jamaal Charles. In 2014, however, McCoy was near the bottom of all qualified tailbacks with a fairly terrible -9.3 grade thanks in large part to his poor showing in the passing game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles, Fletcher Cox Closing In On Extension

The Eagles have already locked up four players to contract extension since their season ended last month, but the team isn’t done yet, and the next deal will likely be the biggest yet. According to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, the Eagles and defensive lineman Fletcher Cox are getting close to an agreement that will lock up Cox for years to come.Fletcher Cox

[RELATED: Vinny Curry, Eagles agree to extension]

Cox, 25, had arguably the best season of his four-year career in 2015, setting a new career high with 9.5 sacks. He also racked up 71 tackles, three forced fumbles, and a pair of fumble recoveries. The performance earned Cox his first Pro Bowl nod, along with a top-10 spot on Pro Football Focus’ rankings of interior defenders — the Eagles standout placed ninth out of 123 qualified players.

As a first-round pick in 2012, Cox is currently under contract for one more season, with a fifth-year option for 2016 worth $7.799MM. However, if and when he and the Eagles get a new deal done, Cox will be in line for a sizable raise.

Citing two different people familiar with the extension negotiations, Shorr-Parks says that Cox could land a contract that features more than $50MM in guaranteed money, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if his average annual cap hit exceeds $15MM.

As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap tweets, Marcell Dareus‘ deal with the Bills will likely be a point of comparison in the Cox extension talks, and the Eagle could ultimately exceed that Dareus contract to become the second highest-paid defensive tackle in the league, behind Ndamukong Suh. Dareus’ contract with the Bills averages $15.85MM per year, with $60MM in total guarantees ($42.9MM fully guaranteed).

If the Eagles do lock up Cox in the coming days or weeks – which it appears they will, unless talks fall apart in the late stages – he would be the fifth player this offseason to get a long-term deal from the team. Philadelphia has also extended tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, defensive end Vinny Curry, and offensive tackle Lane Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Offseason Outlook: Jacksonville Jaguars

Pending free agents:

Top 15 cap hits for 2016:

  1. Jared Odrick, DE: $8,000,000
  2. Julius Thomas, TE: $7,300,000
  3. Luke Joeckel, T: $6,745,963
  4. Jermey Parnell, T: $6,500,000
  5. Davon House, CB: $6,000,000
  6. Blake Bortles, QB: $5,633,128
  7. Zane Beadles, G: $5,500,000
  8. Dante Fowler Jr., DE: $5,338,691
  9. Sen’Derrick Marks, DT: $4,675,000
  10. Paul Posluszny, LB: $4,604,166
  11. Chris Clemons, DE: $4,000,000
  12. Roy Miller, DT: $3,975,000
  13. Dan Skuta, ILB: $3,600,000
  14. Toby Gerhart, RB: $3,500,000
  15. Tyson Alualu, DL: $3,000,000

Notable coaching/front office changes:

Draft:

  • No. 5 overall pick
  • Acquired sixth-round pick from Steelers in deal for K Josh Scobee.

Other:

Overview:

During a season in which it seemed like no AFC South team wanted to win the division, the Jaguars hung around for most of the year — with three weeks left in the 2015 campaign, Jacksonville was 5-8, just a single game behind the 6-7 Texans and Colts. Houston won its final three contests, while the Jags lost their final three, so the final AFC South standings show 11 losses and another third-place finish for Jacksonville. However, the team took some promising steps forward.Blake Bortles

On the offensive side of the ball, 2014 first-rounder Blake Bortles showed that he may just be capable of being the Jaguars’ long-time answer at quarterback. In his sophomore year, Bortles racked up 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. Of course, he also led the NFL in interceptions and sacks, so it’s probably a little early to be penciling him into the Hall of Fame, but there’s some reason for optimism for the former third overall pick going forward.

While the Jaguars made strides on offense, the defense continued to struggle. 2015 first-rounder Dante Fowler Jr. didn’t play a single snap in the preseason or regular season during his rookie year, having torn his ACL on the first day of rookie minicamp. With Fowler on the way back, and the Jags expected to make additional moves this offseason to shore up the defense, head coach Gus Bradley earned another shot to turn around the club’s fortunes in 2016.

Although the Jags extended Bradley’s contract through 2017, that was mostly a ceremonial move, meant to avoid having him enter a lame-duck season. If he’s unable to get the team into playoff contention, or at least to .500, Caldwell likely won’t finish out that contract in ’17. So it’s a crucial offseason for general manager Dave Caldwell, who will also be on the hot seat if the Jaguars don’t make further progress on the field this fall.

Key Free Agents:

Fortunately for the Jaguars, none of the team’s key players are eligible for free agency. In fact, there are no free-agents-to-be that would leave the club with a huge hole if they departed this winter. Jacksonville heads into March with such a huge chunk of cap room that the team shouldn’t have a problem re-signing anyone it wants to though, even if it has to overpay by $1MM or $2MM to make it happen.

Veteran center Stefen Wisniewski is one player the Jaguars figure to explore bringing back if the price is right. Wisniewski was the full-time starting center in Jacksonville in 2015 and was adequate, particularly as a pass blocker. Considering Bortles has been sacked more than 100 times in his first two NFL seasons, the Jaguars ought to be aiming for more than “adequate” along the offensive line this offseason, but if the team can’t bring aboard an impact center, there’s nothing wrong with re-signing Wisniewski, who is at least familiar with the system now.

Marcedes Lewis took a pay cut last year to remain with the Jaguars, and even though he led the team’s tight ends in offensive snaps in 2015, his role in the offense continued to diminish. Despite not missing a game, Lewis grabbed just 16 balls for 226 yards and a touchdown, making it his least productive season since his rookie year. Unless the Jaguars highly value Lewis’ blocking abilities and he’s willing to further decrease his salary, the two sides could go their separate ways this offseason, with the Jags seeking out a blocking specialist to complement Julius Thomas.

Many teams wouldn’t consider a punter one of their top free agent priorities of the winter, but considering Jacksonville used a third-round pick on Bryan Anger back in 2012, the team will likely try to get him locked up to a new deal. Veteran quarterback Chad Henne could also be re-signed, if he’s comfortable continuing to back up Bortles. Assuming the Jaguars like the work Henne has done as a veteran mentor for Bortles in his first two years, they’ll probably be willing to continue paying him like one of the league’s top No. 2 QBs.

The Jaguars’ restricted free agents, Ryan Davis and Abry Jones, will likely continue to be part-time players on the defensive line, so assigning them low-end RFA tenders makes sense, especially since those salaries aren’t fully guaranteed.

Possible Cap Casualties:

As one of two NFL teams below the spending floor heading into the 2016 season, the Jaguars don’t really need to cut any players, particularly given their incredible amount of cap room.Toby Gerhart However, that doesn’t mean the team should simply hang onto well-compensated players who won’t necessarily earn those salaries.

Running back Toby Gerhart has carried the ball just 121 times since signing with the Jaguars as a free agent two years ago, and with T.J. Yeldon and Denard Robinson solidly in the mix, Gerhart likely won’t have much of a role going forward. The team could clear his entire $3.5MM cap charge from its books by cutting him this offseason.

On the defensive side of the ball, Chris Clemons and Dan Skuta are in a similar boat to Gerhart — neither player has any dead money left on his deal, so the Jaguars could create $4MM and $3.6MM in respective cap savings by releasing them. Clemons will turn 35 in October and wasn’t productive in 2015. His three sacks were his lowest total since he became a starter in 2010, and Pro Football Focus ranked him dead last among 110 qualified edge defenders.

As for Skuta, he was a little more effective, especially against the run, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Jaguars hang onto him, since $3.6MM isn’t an exorbitant cap hit, particularly for a team with so much flexibility. But he didn’t play a ton of snaps in his first year in Jacksonville, and if the club adds linebacker depth that further marginalizes Skuta, he could become a cap casualty.

Positions Of Need:

Bortles had plenty of weapons at his disposal in 2015, with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both racking up 1,000-yard seasons, while Thomas and Yeldon caught their share of balls as well. The club could use a blocking tight end, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a receiving back — Yeldon did well as a pass-catcher out of the backfield in his rookie season, but a dedicated third-down back capable of bailing out Bortles would be a nice addition. Lance Dunbar might be a good fit in free agency.

The majority of the Jaguars’ offensive upgrades should happen along the offensive line rather than at the skill positions. On paper, the offensive line doesn’t look bad. At tackle, Luke Joeckel was the second overall pick in the 2013 draft, and Jermey Parnell was a significant free agent investment a year ago. At guard, A.J. Cann was a day-two pick in 2015, and Zane Beadles was the team’s big free agent addition on the line two years ago. Wisniewski, who is facing free agency, was solid, if not spectacular, during his first season with the Jags.

Still, Beadles and Parnell haven’t played quite as well as the Jaguars were hoping for when they rewarded them with nice paydays. Joeckel, meanwhile, isn’t the kind of stalwart left tackle you’d expect to land with a top-two pick. Even if the Jags plan to keep their 2015 starters around, the club should look to bring in at least one or two more viable options to challenge those incumbent starters.

One option, with Wisniewski a few weeks away from reaching the open market, could be Browns center Alex Mack. Though he’s technically not a free agent yet, Mack can opt out of his contract, a fact that the Jaguars know very well — it was Jacksonville that included that opt-out clause in the offer sheet Mack signed with the club two years ago. If he opts out, Mack will be an unrestricted free agent, so the Browns won’t have the option of matching Jacksonville’s offer this time around.

Another potential target in free agency could be Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung. Before becoming the head coach in Jacksonville, Gus Bradley saw first-hand as an assistant in Seattle what Okung was capable of, and the veteran lineman – who is representing himself – appears interested in testing the open market, having emailed all 32 teams recently about his potential availability.

Although the Jaguars could look to shore up their offensive line, most of their work in free agency and the draft figures to focus on the defensive side of the ball. Fowler’s debut will help improve the pass rush, but that’s still an area the club should look to improve. One free agent that should be of particular interest to the Jags is Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin, who was a first-round pick in 2012, Bradley’s final year as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Irvin recorded eight sacks in his rookie year under Bradley, a number he hasn’t matched or exceeded since, and would be a nice fit in Jacksonville.

In the secondary, the Jaguars added Davon House a year ago, but still lack any real impact defensive backs, making the position group a top priority this winter. Armed with a ton of cap space and a pressing need in the secondary, the Jaguars can afford to be significant players on the top defensive backs available.

At cornerback, that means perhaps targeting players like Sean Smith and Janoris Jenkins, assuming Josh Norman is franchised or re-signed by the Panthers. If the Jags feel like going after another ex-Packer, Casey Hayward is another worthwhile option. At safety, Eric Weddle, Tashaun Gipson, Rodney McLeod, Walter Thurmond, and others might be among Jacksonville’s targets.

Considering the team potentially needs to add two or three starting defensive backs, it would make sense to use the fifth overall pick on cornerback Jalen Ramsey, if he’s available. ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both have Ramsey going to the Jags in their latest mock drafts, citing his athleticism and his ability to play either cornerback or safety as reasons why he’s worthy of being a top-five pick this spring. Heading into the 2016 season with Fowler rushing the passer and Ramsey roaming the secondary wouldn’t entirely fix Jacksonville’s defense, but it would be a great start.

Extension Candidates/Contract Issues:

While the Jaguars will have to spend some money within the next 12 months or so to reach the 89% floor for NFL teams, that doesn’t mean the team has to go crazy in free agency this year. Teams don’t have to reach that spending floor until March 2017, so extensions for players like Bortles and Robinson could factor into the equation. Of course, as members of the 2014 draft class, those players aren’t eligible for new contracts until next winter, so the Jags won’t be focusing on those extensions quite yet.Denard Robinson

The Jaguars’ 2013 draftees are eligible for extensions immediately, but that year’s draft class wasn’t exactly a strong one for the team. Joeckel probably hasn’t earned a big-money deal, and second-round safety Johnathan Cyprien ranked as Pro Football Focus’ second-worst safety out of 88 qualified players this past season. A mid-round pick like Denard Robinson could sign an extension this winter, but as a part-time running back, he’d be in line for a pretty modest second contract.

As for contracts that could be restructured, Zane Beadles‘ deal jumps out as an obvious candidate. His performance in his first two seasons in Jacksonville has been underwhelming, and now that he has no dead money left on his contract, the Jags have some leverage to ask him to take a pay cut in exchange for keeping his roster spot and getting some guaranteed money up front. If he refuses, the Jaguars have the cap flexibility to cut him and simply add guard to the list of positions they’ll be looking to upgrade in free agency.

The Jaguars’ huge amount of cap space and lack of immediate extension candidates really puts the team in a strong position heading into the 2016 offseason. Obviously, the club doesn’t want to hand out a bunch of extravagant contracts this winter and put itself in a position where it can’t afford to pay players like Bortles, Robinson, Hurns, and Fowler down the line. However, those players are still so far away from breaking the bank that the Jaguars can afford to roll the dice on several free agents this winter, structuring those contracts in such a way that by the time Bortles and others start getting expensive, this winter’s signees can be cut or restructured at a minimal cost, if necessary.

It’s what we saw the team do last year with players like House, Skuta, and Parnell, and while none of those players really had the sort of breakout season the Jags were hoping for, the team still has so much flexibility that it could try its luck on another round of potential impact players this year.

Overall Outlook:

The Jaguars haven’t made the postseason since 2007, and their 14 combined wins over the last four years were fewer than the 2015 Panthers put up in one year. Still, this looks like it could be a team on the rise. With Bortles continuing to develop, another top-five pick debuting along with Fowler this season, and a truckload of cap room for the Jags to make a splash or two in free agency, fans in Jacksonville can start to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. If they can make a few savvy moves this offseason, there’s no reason to think that the Jags can’t be a potential dark-horse playoff contender in 2016.

Information from Over The Cap was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Tannehill, Patriots, Kap

Ryan Tannehill asked former Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor for more audible latitude last season prior to Lazor’s dismissal, but the then-OC dismissed the notion, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

In Adam Gase, Tannehill will find a more innovative offensive coach, at least judging by his 2010s work in Denver and Chicago, but may not enjoy the kind of freedom he covets, Jackson notes. Gase’s work with Peyton Manning in 2013-14 notwithstanding, the Bears, per CSNChicago.com, were not an audible-heavy team under his direction last season, even as Jay Cutler progressed.

I’m going to speak for Ryan right now, which I typically don’t do,” Greg Jennings told Finsiders.com. “He wants some more freedom. … He’s been hand-held his entire career.”

Here’s the latest from the NFL’s Eastern divisions on Day 1 of the offseason.

  • Jennings is no lock to be employed by the Dolphins next season after he caught just 19 passes for 208 yards — both well below his previous career-low marks. The 32-year-old wideout’s entering the second season of a two-year, $8MM contract, and the Dolphins, per Pro Football Talk (via Jackson), haven’t told him he’ll be back. Jennings is due to occupy a $5.5MM cap number for the currently over-the-cap Fins, who can save $4MM by cutting the backup target. Jennings is currently Miami’s highest-paid receiver.
  • The Patriots are in discussions with retired coach Dante Scarnecchia about a return to the coaching staff to fix their ailing offensive line, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Scarnecchia retired after the 2013 season but he has remained around the Pats, particularly to help with evaluating offensive line prospects in the draft. One source told Reiss that it would be a surprise if the coach wasn’t back on the sidelines for the Pats in 2016. Scarnecchia had retired after 32 seasons in the NFL, 30 of which came in New England.
  • There has been a lot of debate as to whether the Jets should pursue 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and, over the weekend, Hall of Famer Joe Namath weighed in. “I think he should consider that a little more,” Namath told ESPN radio (via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News) when asked about Brandon Marshall‘s opposition to the idea. “I know that [Ryan] Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job this year. Whenever I’m asked to critique what I’ve seen and what I feel, I know that he would like to throw the ball more accurately given the chance. You need more than one quarterback on a team. If Kaepernick were available, I’d certainly consider bringing him in, yes.
  • During an appearance on the Fox News show Fox & Friends, Tom Coughlin reiterated he has no plans to retire, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “I’m not. … I don’t like that word, you know, the retired word,” Coughlin said. “I’m way too young for that, you know what I mean?” Coughlin will also discuss a potential advisory role with the Giants with John Mara soon, Rock reports. Coughlin’s coached in the NFL for 20 of the past 21 seasons, eight with the Jaguars before sitting out 2003.

Zach Links contributed to this report

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Broncos, Raiders

Dean Spanos and San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer were scheduled to meet today in Spanos’ home, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Acee also reports the Chargers hired Fred Maas as a special adviser to Spanos, with the new hire being brought on to help the Chargers and San Diego place a measure on the November ballot regarding public funding for a new Chargers stadium.

Spanos wanted Maas to serve as the city’s liaison for stadium negotiations in 2014. After Maas withdrew his name from consideration, the Chargers’ chairman perhaps not coincidentally, expressed doubt to sources of Acee about a Chargers stadium solution in San Diego.

Special counsel Mark Fabiani will remain a part of these talks, Acee reports.

Here’s the latest coming out of the AFC West, starting with the Super Bowl champions.

  • As father Bum Phillips would say, son Wade Phillips has finally “kicked down the door” with his Super Bowl win. The Broncos defensive coordinator helped to lead one of the league’s most fearsome defenses in 2015, but it’s a union that almost didn’t happen. Head coach Gary Kubiak‘s first choice for the job was actually Vance Joseph, formerly a Bengals assistant who recently left Cincinnati to become the Dolphins’ DC. In fact, John Clayton of ESPN.com hears there is a clause in Phillips’ current contract that could have made him a consultant if Joseph would have joined the team as coordinator in 2016.
  • Von Miller is expected to receive the franchise tag, and Broncos GM John Elway is confident the sides can work out an extension agreement, Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press reports. “You never know, but we don’t want him to [leave]. We want Von to stay in Denver and we’re going to do everything we can to work it out,” Elway told media, including Stapleton. Miller, who will be 27 before next season, could command a deal potentially well north of the six-year, $101MM pact Justin Houston signed with the Chiefs last season. Houston’s negotiations became contentious at times. Super Bowl 50’s MVP told media, including Stapleton, he expects “peaceful” talks with the Broncos.
  • Although Roger Goodell told media the league was working to help Oakland and San Diego find stadium solutions to remain in their markets, league executive VP Eric Grubman told the San Jose Mercury News (via Mark Purdy) he had not met with Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and doesn’t have plans to do so. Purdy took Goodell’s brevity regarding Oakland the commissioner does not hold the Raiders‘ current troubles in high regard. Mark Davis confirmed the Raiders are negotiating another one-year lease at O.co Coliseum, but the Raiders are a bit behind the Chargers at this point in terms of finding a long-term solution in their city.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Montee Ball Arrested

MONDAY, 5:56pm: Prosecutors charged Ball with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, according to Ed Treleven of Madison.com, and the former second-round pick will not face a felony charge.

But Ball, who was released from jail earlier today, also faces a misdemeanor battery charge, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County (Wis.) Circuit Court, for striking the woman on the face five days before this incident occurred.

The battery charge carries a nine-month maximum jail term, per Treleven, with the disorderly conduct charge carrying a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.

FRIDAY, 2:07pm: Former Broncos running back Montee Ball was arrested by police in Madison, Wisconsin early Friday morning after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend into a table at a hotel, according to Bill Novak of Madison.com. Novak writes that Ball was taken to the Dane County jail on a “tentative charge” of substantial battery.Montee Ball

“The woman told police she had a dispute with her boyfriend,” a police source told Novak. “She said he put his hands on her, picked her up and threw her.” The source added that Ball was “very cooperative” with police.

Ball, 25, had a solid rookie season for the Broncos in 2013 after being selected in the second round of the draft, running for 559 yards and four touchdowns. However, he took a step backward in 2014, and was waived by Denver prior to the 2015 regular season.

After working out for a handful of teams, Ball eventually signed in December with the Patriots’ practice squad to help provide depth for a New England team dealing with multiple backfield injuries. Even then though, Ball wasn’t promoted to the Pats’ active roster and wasn’t believed to be in great shape — Ed Werder of ESPN.com noted that the running back weighed about 205 pounds when he was drafted by the Broncos, and was in the 230s as a Patriot.

With Ball’s on-field potential seemingly on the decline, his off-field legal run-in figures to further decrease his odds of finding a spot on an active roster for 2016. Whether or not Ball is ultimately prosecuted for this incident, the NFL will conduct its own investigation, and could decide to suspend the running back for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/8/16

Here are today’s minor moves as the offseason officially begins.

  • The Saints waived wide receiver Seantavius Jones, according to Evan Woodberry of NOLA.com. Jones, 23, played in three games this season after arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2014. The Saints, who played UDFAs Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman consistently in 2015, have eight wideouts under contract.
  • New Orleans has signed cornerback Tony Carter, per Woodberry. The Saints initially signed the journeyman corner in December before waiving him later that month. A seven-year veteran, Carter also played in three games with the Colts in 2015 after the Broncos cut him before the season started. Set to enter his age-30 season, Carter’s played in 45 games and started two for the 2013 AFC champion Broncos.
  • The Bengals signed cornerback Chykie Brown and tackle Darryl Baldwin, the team announced on its Twitter account. Neither played in the league last season. A five-year veteran, Brown’s started six games since coming into the league as a fifth-round draft choice of the Ravens’ in 2011. Four of those starts came for the Giants in 2014. The Ravens cut Baldwin after one preseason game last year.

Browns Add Eight To Coaching Staff

The Browns continued to fill out their coaching staff Monday, with Hue Jackson announcing the hiring of eight coaches to work for him during his first season in Cleveland, according to a report on the team’s website.

All of which are position coaches or other assistants after the Browns announced more than two weeks ago the additions of Ray Horton, Pep Hamilton and several others.

Here’s the full list of coaches and their respective titles.

  • Rock Cartwright, offensive quality control
  • Louie Cioffi, defensive backs
  • Ken Delgado, assistant defensive line
  • Johnny Holland, inside linebackers
  • Cannon Matthews, assistant defensive backs
  • Robert Nunn, defensive line
  • Eric Sanders, defensive quality control
  • Ryan Slowik, outside linebackers

Cioffi served in the same position under Horton during his previous one-year stint as the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2013. Cioffi’s worked with Horton in 10 of his 21 seasons.

Nunn was the Giants’ defensive line coach from 2010-15, collecting a Super Bowl ring in guiding the NASCAR package-powered team to the 2011 championship.

Slowik served as the Jets’ defensive line coach last season.

Dolphins Waive OT Jason Fox

The Dolphins have waived tackle Jason Fox, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Fox was previously under contract for the 2016 season. Fox was due to earn $1.28MM in base salary in 2016, so Miami has now freed up significant funds that can be used elsewhere. Jason Fox (vertical)

The release will leave $138K in dead money on Miami’s 2016 cap and, in total, they will save $1.38MM in cap space with this move. Salguero notes that this is the first of many expected moves to free up cap space for the Dolphins this offseason.

The Dolphins are expected to make even more changes to their second unit on the offensive line. Salguero writes that the Dolphins will be on the hunt for a backup tackle this offseason and that search may include asking either Billy Turner or Dallas Thomas to work at right tackle. The Dolphins are dissatisfied with the play of their interior lineman as well, so they could make some moves at guard as well.

Fox, a University of Miami product, entered the league as a fourth-round pick of the Lions in 2010. Over the course of his six-year career, Fox has played 37 career games with 16 starts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Cut Jahri Evans, David Hawthorne

The Saints cut three players Monday, including All-Pro guard Jahri Evans and longtime linebacker David Hawthorne, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

New Orleans also waived veteran linebacker Ramon Humber.

Evans started 153 games for the Saints since 2006 and was a four-time first-team All-Pro. Hawthorne started the majority of the past four seasons after signing with New Orleans in 2012. Humber, a linebacker, had been with the team for six seasons and started 18 games with
the Saints since 2011.

The Saints entered the day with the worst salary cap situation in the NFL, being more than $9MM over the projected cap for 2016.

Evans had been set to carry an $8.2MM cap figure this season, the fourth-highest on the team, and was signed through the 2017 campaign. Per NOLA.com’s Katherine Terrell (on Twitter), Evans spoke with Sean Payton in December and was not expecting a release then.

The 32-year-old guard will still carry $5.1MM in dead money, saving the Saints $3.1MM on their 2016 cap sheet. Evans previously took a pay cut to remain with the team last year and made six straight Pro Bowls from 2009-14.

Reports from last April indicated that part of Evans’ 2016 salary was guaranteed, but Nick Underhill of The Advocate says (on Twitter) that guarantee wasn’t set to kick in until the third day of the new league year, which begins March 9.

Evans underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last season, limiting him to a career-low 11 games. The veteran lineman has started 16 games in eight of his 10 seasons and never operated in a reserve capacity since the Saints drafted him in the fourth round in 2006.

Signed through the 2016 season, Hawthorne will carry $2.26MM in dead money and bring $2.25MM in cap savings, according to Over The Cap. Hawthorne, 30, was set to occupy a $4.5MM cap number for the Saints this coming season.

The Saints’ longest-tenured defensive player, Humber served as a key special teams cog for the Saints after the team signed him during the 2010 season.

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images

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