Captain Munnerlyn

Contract Details: Munnerlyn, Dawson, McBride

Here are a few extra details on contracts that have been agreed to and signed in recent days:

  • Captain Munnerlyn‘s three-year contract with the Vikings, initially reported to be worth $14.25MM, is actually worth $11.25MM, but another $3.3MM can be added through escalators and incentives, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter). The deal includes $4.45MM guaranteed in guaranteed money, but Pelissero tweets that due to a small signing bonus, it could potentially just turn into a one-year contract if 2014 doesn’t go well.
  • According to Pelissero (via Twitter), the two-year contract Phil Dawson signed with the 49ers is worth a total of $6.134MM and came with a $2MM signing bonus.
  • The two-year deal Trumaine McBride inked with the Giants is worth $2.875MM, with a $100K signing bonus and $900K in roster bonuses, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Wilson (via Twitter) has Will Herring‘s one-year contract with the Cowboys as an $855K base salary plus a $65K signing bonus. That would seem to suggest it’s a minimum salary benefit deal, but Wilson says the total is $1.02MM, which indicates there’s another $100K in bonuses somewhere. Either way, $300K of the deal is guaranteed, says Wilson.
  • According to Wilson (via Twitter), Phil Costa‘s contract with the Colts features base salaries of $1.2MM (2014) and $1.5MM (2015), with no bonuses. $450K of Costa’s first-year salary is guaranteed.
  • Wilson adds (via Twitter) that Henry Hynoski‘s $1MM contract with the Giants includes a $250K signing bonus.
  • Although we heard yesterday that Chris Williams‘ contract with the Bills included a 2016 “trigger point,” when Williams was owed a significant roster bonus, the deal has been modified since being entered in the NFLPA system, says ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. Instead of having a $1.5MM signing bonus and $2.5MM roster bonus in ’16, the deal now features a $3.5MM signing bonus and $250K roster bonus.

Extra Points: Smith, Munnerlyn, Neal

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn told reporters, including Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter), that he wanted a three-year deal with the Vikings rather than four years so that he could get another contract before he turns 30. He added (link) that it was very tough for him to say goodbye to the Panthers, but Carolina couldn’t afford to give him the same contract. More from around the NFL..

  • Steve Smith‘s visit with the Ravens is going well so far, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Steelers were eyeing Mike Neal in free agency before he re-signed with Green Bay, tweets Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The linebacker got a two-year, $8MM deal from the Packers with a $2.5MM signing bonus.
  • Charlie Whitehurst had the same offer from the Chargers before he picked the Titans, tweets Paul Kuharsky of ESPN. The quarterback inked a two-year deal with a $4MM base with another $4MM in incentives and $2MM guaranteed.
  • New 49ers addition Jonathan Martin told reporters, including Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter), that he never considered retirement.
  • Former Bucs left tackle Donald Penn is flying to Oakland tonight to visit the Raiders, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Penn has been heavily linked to the Raiders since his release.
  • The 49ers don’t have much salary cap space and it’s hard to see them signing both a cornerback and a wide receiver, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
  • Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune (on Twitter) expects the market for Saints free agent center Brian de la Puente to heat up now that the first wave of free agency has come and gone.
  • Henry Melton‘s possible legal trouble won’t prevent the Bears from re-signing him, but they could use it as ammunition as they try to knock his price down, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.

Captain Munnerlyn Signs With Vikings

6:13pm: The Vikings announced on Twitter that the deal is now official.

5:36pm: Munnerlyn’s deal is worth $14.25MM over three years, with $7MM guaranteed, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

5:05pm: Captain Munnerlyn and the Vikings have to terms on a three-year contract agreement, reports Ian Rapaport of NFL.com (via Twitter). According to Rapaport, the deal could be worth as much a $15MM (via Twitter).

The former Panther had an excellent season for the division champions, after signing a one-year deal last offseason to stay with the team. He reportedly wanted to remain with the Panthers, but with their cap troubles he was able to secure more money with the Vikings, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

Munnerlyn, 26 in April, started all 16 games last season for Carolina, registering 52 tackles, one fumble recovery, two picks, and two defensive touchdowns.

FA Visits: Woodley, Munnerlyn, Browner

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen were out to dinner with edge defenders LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck Wednesday night with the Raiders, and things are moving in the right direction with both players, says Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Here’s more from around the NFL on free agent visits:

  • While it sounds as if Woodley’s meeting with the Raiders went well, the ex-Steeler is on his way to Tennessee to meet with the Titans today, tweets Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com.
  • Panthers free agent cornerback Captain Munnerlyn visited the Vikings last night and also has appointments planned with the Jets and Buccaneers, tweets Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
  • After reaching an agreement yesterday with ex-Buc Darrelle Revis, the Patriots will host another free agent cornerback for a visit today, according to Mark Ockerbloom of Fox 25 Boston, who tweets that Brandon Browner will meet with the team.
  • Defensive lineman Anthony Spencer is visiting the Redskins, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.
  • The Panthers brought free agent defensive back Roman Harper in for a visit, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Free agent linebacker Darryl Sharpton is meeting with the Titans today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Lions are hosting free agent safety James Ihedigbo for a visit, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who notes (via Twitter) that Ihedigbo has a history with new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Alterraun Verner Rumors: Monday

Both New York teams have been linked to free agent cornerback Alterraun Verner, with the latest reports suggesting that Verner is one of many defensive backs the Jets have inquired on, while the Giants may bow out of the Verner sweepstakes if it takes $10MM per year to land him. Here’s more on the free agent I ranked as the eighth-best in this year’s class:

  • Appearing on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, Verner made a number of interesting comments. Verner suggested he’d like to go to a team that he thinks can win, and that he might be more interested in being among a team’s highest-paid players at $6-7MM than earning $8-9MM and not being among the highest paid (all Twitter links). He added that he expects to make a decision fairly quickly (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • There’s still no movement between Verner and the Titans on a new deal, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, who says there are at least six teams in the mix for the cornerback (Twitter link).
  • Like Peter King, Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger hears it could take $10MM annually to sign Verner, and says that price is likely out of the Giants‘ range. As Raanan writes, the Giants have multiple holes to fill and will be reluctant to spend heavily on any one player.
  • Verner is one of the prospective free agents that the Steelers have expressed interest in, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. Given Pittsburgh’s cap situation and Verner’s rumored asking price, it’s hard to see how the team could afford to bring in the Titans cornerback, but he’s at least on the radar. According to Brown, the Steelers have also inquired on Captain Munnerlyn and Nolan Carroll.

AFC Rumors: Jets, Howard, Titans, Steelers

With Antonio Cromartie no longer in the mix in New York, the Jets have turned their attention to other notable free agent defensive backs. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported late last night that the Jets were eyeing safety T.J. Ward, and he hears today from a team source that the club has also inquired on several other DBs. According to Mehta (via Twitter), New York has “varying degrees of interest” in safety Chris Clemons and cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Captain Munnerlyn. Here are a few more Monday rumors relating to AFC teams:

  • The Jets continue to negotiate with Austin Howard, but other teams have expressed interest in the free agent tackle, tweets Brian Costello of the New York Post.
  • We heard earlier today that defensive lineman Antonio Smith has drawn interest from four teams, and Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean thinks the Titans are probably one of those clubs (Twitter link).
  • The Steelers are among the clubs to inquire on free agent cornerback Nolan Carroll, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link) hears that there’s only $5.255MM of guaranteed money in Red Bryant‘s four-year contract with the Jaguars, making it a fairly low-risk move for the club.
  • Long snapper Danny Aiken‘s new one-year deal with the Patriots includes a $55K signing bonus and $25K workout bonus on top of his minimum base salary, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter).

Redskins Inquiring On Defensive Backs

9:49am: The Redskins have also inquired on cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, according to Jones (via Twitter).

9:25am: The Redskins re-signed cornerback DeAngelo Hall last month, but still need to add more pieces to a secondary that was below average in 2013. With that need in mind, the team has expressed interest in prospective free agents Jairus Byrd and Corey Graham, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter links).

Byrd, considered the top safety available this offseason, has also reportedly received inquiries from the Rams and Dolphins, and is expected to draw interest from plenty of other clubs, including the Eagles and Browns. The Redskins’ talk with Byrd’s camp haven’t reached a serious point, according to Jones.

As for Graham, he had a positive grade in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics for cornerbacks (subscription required). However, having played primarily as a nickel back, he isn’t expected to command the lucrative long-term contracts that 2014′s top free agent corners will receive. One of those top corners, Aqib Talib, is considered a major target for the Redskins, so perhaps the club views Graham as a Plan B if Talib and other first-tier free agents sign elsewhere, or if they’re simply out of Washington’s price range.

NFC Notes: Saints, Packers, Delmas

One of the top priorities for the Saints this offseason (other than re-signing their superstar wide receiver tight end pass catcher) is retooling their secondary, writes Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. The team needs a legitimate number two cornerback to pair with Keenan Lewis, with Triplett suggesting the Panthers’ Captain Munnerlyn as a possibility, despite his desire to remain with Carolina.

  • Sources are saying that Packers general manager Ted Thompson will be active in free agency, looking to sign up to five players away from other teams, but Mike Vandermause of PackersNews.com isn’t buying it. The Packers have signed five unrestricted free agents in the last seven years and didn’t sign any three of the past four years. Only Jeff Saturday in 2012 became an every down starter, until he was benched towards the end of the season.
  • With Jermichael Finley‘s return unlikely, and Andrew Quarless hitting free agency, the Packers will have to explore other options at tight end, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwalkee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. If they are serious about free agency, Scott Chandler or Brandon Pettigrew could be fits, but a more likely scenario is that they would address the position in the draft, where tight end is thought to be a deep class.
  • The Falcons are looking to improve the safety position, and Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com believes the team could be interested in Louis Delmas who was recently released by the Lions. Delmas would be an improvement over the inconsistent Thomas DeCoud, and could make a nice pair with William Moore at the back of the secondary.
  • The Cardinals have a very good duo of wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, but last year they weren’t able to install their third receiver, Andre Roberts, into a big role in the offense. This could mean they will struggle to keep him in 2014, writes Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. He believes Roberts would have to take less money and a smaller role in order to stay.
  • Cardinals‘ cornerback Bryan McCann said that he wants to start in 2014. Although that is unlikely to happen in Arizona, he still would like to return to the Cardinals, writes Weinfuss. McCann has never started a game in his four year career, but could bring extra value due to his return skills.

Munnerlyn Wants To Stay With Panthers

Captain Munnerlyn is coming off his best season, and is looking to cash in with a long-term deal. He stated in a phone interview on Friday that he would like to remain with the Panthers, after the team finished 13-3 behind a greatly improved defense, writes Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

“I think I had one of my best years. And I think my market value will be a little bit better than last year,” Munnerlyn said. “I want to stay with the Carolina Panthers because that’s the team that drafted me. I love the organization, and I feel that’s the best team that fits me personality-wise. I love the coaching staff. I want to stay there.”

However, the Panthers have not begun talks with the free agent cornerback. The team is in a very tight cap situation going forward, and have many free agents at key spots, including star defensive end Greg Hardy and the rest of the team’s secondary.

“It’s been real quiet, which is shocking. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just waiting,” said Munnerlyn. “I guess they’re going to let everyone hit free agency.”

Munnerlyn is expected to be a priority for the team, with the Panthers scheduled to speak with his agent during the scouting combine next week. Despite the club’s cap situation, Munnerlyn is looking at a good raise compared to the $1.1MM deal he signed last offseason.

NFL Notes: Saints, Redskins, Vikings

Despite cutting ties with a handful of veterans earlier this offseason, the Saints hover just $3MM under the salary cap with free agent tight end Jimmy Graham‘s future still uncertain. Accordingly, Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune lists a handful of veterans who could be released in order to create more room (cap figure in parentheses): Brodrick Bunkley ($6.1MM), Lance Moore ($5.1MM), Pierre Thomas ($2.9MM), Darren Sproles ($4.25MM) and Patrick Robinson ($2.8MM).

In other NFC notes:

    • The Redskins “must devote a significant of attention and efforts to improving the offensive line,” says Mike Jones of the Washington Post. The coach and scheme will not change, and eight of the team’s top nine linemen are under contract, but personnel upgrades are needed. Aside from stalwart left tackle Trent Williams, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (who could be tried at center) seems like the only 2013 starter whose job is safe. Whether or not the team intends to release center Will Montgomery, right guard Chris Chester and/or right tackle Tyler Polumbus is uncertain, but any of the three could be replaced via free agency or draft.
    • Vikings new head coach Mike Zimmer plans to implement a more aggressive defensive scheme, meaning the team’s scouting staff will take a longer look at prospects whose skill sets might not have fit with Leslie Frazier’s more conservative cover-2 system, writes ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling.
    • Panthers free agent Captain Munnerlyn says his agent will meet with team officials at the Combine next week, according to Charlotte Observer beat reporter Joe Person (via Twitter).