Green Bay Packers Rumors & News

Andrew Quarless Arrested

4:42pm: An affidavit stated just before Quarless fired the shots, he and another man left their vehicle and approached the women, and witnesses heard the women yell for Quarless and his friend to leave them alone, per the Associated Press.

A tweet from Pro Football Talk questions if the Packers will cut the sixth-year tight end soon before they have to pay him not to show up by putting him on the Commissioner-Exempt list.

11:33am: Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested earlier this morning in Miami for discharging a firearm in public, according to Tim Elfrink of Miami New Times.

According to the report, the 26-year-old fired a pair of rounds following an argument with two women at a South Beach parking garage. When police pursued the vehicle he was riding in, Quarless tried to hide outside a restaurant and conceal his weapon in a potted plant.

As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com notes, the league’s new Personal Conduct Policy could result in paid leave (“pending the resolution of these charges and the imposition of league discipline”) and a subsequent unpaid suspension for Quarless.

The Penn State alum was drafted by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. In four seasons (he missed the 2012 season with a knee injury), Quarless has compiled 85 receptions for 909 yards few six touchdowns. In 2014, he set career highs in yards (323), touchdowns (three), and first downs (20).

The Packers haven’t had the easiest offseason, with Datone Jones getting a one-game suspension and Letroy Guion potentially facing discipline for an arrest earlier this year.

NFC Mailbags: Packers, Giants, Cowboys

It’s Saturday morning, and that means ESPN.com’s NFL writers are opening their mailbags and answering questions from readers. Let’s start with notes from the NFC, with a cameo from the Dallas Morning News’ Bob Sturm…

  • Quarterback Brett Hundley is a lock to make the Packers roster, says Rob Demovsky. At wideout, the writer believes Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis will make the team.
  • The Packers could opt to keep a pair of fullbacks (John Kuhn and Aaron Ripkowski) on their opening day roster, writes Demovsky. This would probably require the team to keep only two running backs, and the writer can’t imagine the Packers going into the year with only Eddie Lacy and James Starks. If there were to be a third running back, Demovsky believes the competition is between Rajion Neal and John Crockett, with Neal being the favorite.
  • If Giants rookie Ereck Flowers shows promise at left tackle, Dan Graziano says the team could move on from veteran Will Beatty following the season. Beatty, who is scheduled to make $6.675MM next season, is expected to be out until at least November.
  • The Cowboys must be careful when Terrance Williams becomes a free agent in an effort to not overpay what Sturm calls an “adequate” wideout in a mailbag.
  • Sturm also predicts the Cowboys will regress in the running game but won’t be set for a freefall without DeMarco Murray, with Tony Romo ready to assume more control of the offense. Sturm expects Joseph Randle to be the starter in what is expected to be a coalition approach to replacing the league’s rushing leader.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Datone Jones Suspended For One Game

SATURDAY, 9:12am: The suspension will cost Jones $122,765, according to ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio.

He’ll forfeit $65,088 in base salary (1/17th of $1.106 million) and he could lose another $57,677 in signing bonus money (1/17th of his $3.922 million signing bonus).

FRIDAY, 6:35pm: Jones’ suspension likely stems from a citation for marijuana possession, reports Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. The Green Bay defensive lineman was cited for possession the day after the Packers’ overtime loss in the NFC championship game. Jones paid $880 for his January citation in Green Bay, Wis.

This incident falls into the civil ordinance category, rather than a misdemeanor or criminal conviction, Wilde reports.

THURSDAY, 2:59pm: The NFL’s pre-holiday suspension announcements continue, as defensive end Datone Jones of the Packers is the latest to be penalized by the league. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter), Jones has been suspended for the first game of the 2015 season for a substance abuse violation.

Jones’ suspension is the third one announced today by the league, and it’s also the shortest of the three. Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain each received four-game bans earlier this afternoon for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Jones, a 2013 first rounder, suffered an ankle injury and didn’t get close to full health until the end of the year. In 2014, Jones played in 13 games and made 3 starts, racking up 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two pass deflections. Jones is signed through signed through 2016 and today’s news could complicate the Packers’ decision about whether or not to exercise his fifth-year option.

NFC Notes: Guion, 49ers, Panthers, Cowboys

Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion is already at risk of being suspended for an arrest earlier this year, and now he’s facing a civil suit over a 2013 altercation in which no criminal charges were filed, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Seth Katz tells Demovsky that the suit is of “suspect nature” and that there’s “no basis for it.” While the suit is unlikely to lead to any discipline from the NFL, it’s the latest issue Guion has had to face in what has been a tumultuous offseason for the veteran defensive lineman.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The 49ers, who selected 10 players in this year’s draft, have placed an emphasis on developing young players, which means some veterans may be in danger of losing their roster spots this fall. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com identifies three Niners – tight end Vance McDonald, safety Craig Dahl, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks – whose places on the 53-man roster may not be completely secure.
  • The Panthers didn’t make a huge splash in free agency or on the trade market in recent months, as the 2015 offseason was all about keeping the team’s core intact, writes Max Henson of Panthers.com. Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, and Thomas Davis have each inked new contracts with Carolina since the start of March.
  • Considering how tight NFL playoff races can be, suspensions to key defensive players like Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain may have a noticeable effect on the Cowboys‘ postseason chances, says Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. Earlier today, we asked whether McClain’s four-game ban would negatively impact the Cowboys more than Sheldon Richardson‘s and Antonio Gates‘ suspensions would impact the Jets and Chargers, respectively.

NFC Notes: Guion, Hardy, Panthers, 49ers

Letroy Guion was arrested in February when police found 357 grams of marijuana and an unloaded gun in his truck, and there’s a chance the incident will result in discipline from the NFL for the Packers defensive tackle. However, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com observes, despite the fact that Guion’s case was closed in March when he accepted a plea deal, the Packers have yet hear from the league one way or the other about a possible suspension.

As Guion and the Packers wait to hear whether he’ll be eligible to play all 16 games this season, let’s round up a few more items from around the NFC….

  • Five weeks after Greg Hardy‘s appeal, arbitrator Harold Henderson has yet to announce a ruling, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The CBA calls for a decision “as soon as practicable,” which gives arbitrators plenty of wiggle room. If Hardy’s 10-game suspension is ultimately upheld, the delay will give the Cowboys defensive end less time to challenge the ruling in court.
  • While Hardy awaits word on his appeal, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer examines how the Panthers plan to get after opposing quarterbacks now that Hardy is no longer on their roster.
  • In a piece for The Sporting News, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap takes a closer look at the salary cap situation for the 49ers, a team in transition. Meanwhile, on his own site, Fitzgerald identifies the three least team-friendly running back contracts in the NFL, writing that Jonathan Stewart‘s pact with the Panthers puts the other two to shame.

Extra Points: Gates, McClain, Supplemental Draft

A look at the latest from around the NFL, including notes relating to this afternoon’s rash of surprise suspensions..

  • The four suspensions handed down this afternoons are likely the final ones today before the holiday weekend, Albert Breer of NFL.com tweets. Of course, there could always be more suspensions lurking around the corner on Monday.
  • The cases of Antonio Gates, Datone Jones, Sheldon Richardson, and Rolando McClain have all gone past the appeals phase, so those penalties are final, Breer tweets.
  • Fifteen NFL teams were on hand for the Pro Day workout at West Georgia for Dalvon Stuckey and Darrius Caldwell, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets. Among the teams in attendance are the Cardinals, 49ers, Packers, Raiders, Titans, Jets, Dolphins, Lions, Seattle, Chargers, Falcons, Rams, Bucs, and Washington (link). Stuckey, a defensive tackle, signed with FSU but never played a snap for them. He wound up at West Georgia where he had 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles in 2014. Caldwell, who is entering the supplemental draft due to academic issues, was initially an Illinois recruit. He had an eye-popping 12 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss last season.

Largest 2015 Cap Hits By Team: NFC North

Between now and the start of NFL training camps, we’ll be taking a closer look at the top 2015 cap hits for teams around the league. We began our series last week by focusing on the NFC East and AFC East divisions, and today we’ll head up to the NFC North.

Listed below are the top 10 cap hits for the coming season for each of the four NFC North franchises, accompanied by some observations on the spending habits of those clubs. Let’s dive in….

Chicago Bears:

  1. Jay Cutler, QB: $16,500,000
  2. Jared Allen, DE/OLB: $12,500,000
  3. Matt Forte, RB: $9,200,000
  4. Jermon Bushrod, LT: $8,050,000
  5. Lamarr Houston, DE/OLB: $6,990,000
  6. Pernell McPhee, OLB: $6,675,000
  7. Martellus Bennett, TE: $6,125,000
  8. Brandon Marshall, WR: $5,625,000 (dead money)
  9. Eddie Royal, WR: $5,500,000
  10. Tim Jennings, CB: $5,250,000
    Total: $77,690,000

There are a couple missteps among the Bears’ top cap hits, but most of the players on this list are expected to be key contributors in the 2015 season, which is more than can be said for some teams. Still, it’s fair to wonder if the Bears would’ve made such big commitments to Allen and Houston if they knew they’d be bringing in a 3-4 defensive coordinator (Vic Fangio) this year — I’m guessing not.

The placement of two wideouts near the bottom of the Chicago top 10 is also worth noting. Marshall’s dead money charge couldn’t be avoided once the club decided to move on from him, but how effective will Royal be replacing Marshall’s production? His contract raised a few eyebrows around the league this offseason, as the Bears seem to be counting heavily on the veteran receiver recreating the rapport he had with Cutler back in Denver.

While offseason signees McPhee and Royal earn spots on this list, two players in the top 10 are seeking new contracts, as both Forte and Bennett skipped OTAs this spring. Bennett still has a couple years left on his deal, while Forte is entering a contract year.

Detroit Lions:

  1. Calvin Johnson, WR: $20,558,000
  2. Matthew Stafford, QB: $17,721,250
  3. Ndamukong Suh, DT: $9,737,500 (dead money)
  4. Haloti Ngata, DT: $8,500,000
  5. Stephen Tulloch, LB: $5,800,000
  6. Golden Tate, WR: $5,350,000
  7. Ezekiel Ansah, DE: $5,071,228
  8. DeAndre Levy, LB: $4,500,000
  9. Jason Jones, DE: $3,983,334
  10. Chris Houston, CB: $3,900,000 (dead money)
    Total: $85,121,312

No team we’ve examined so far has a combined top-10 cap number higher than the Lions’ $85MM+ figure. That amount is heavily impacted by the team’s “big three” of Johnson, Stafford, and Suh. Considering Suh counts for nearly $10MM against Detroit’s cap even now that he’s not on the team, it’s scary to think what his cap hit might have looked like in 2015 and future years if he had been re-signed.

Despite Suh’s departure, the Lions are still investing a significant chunk of cap space into their defensive line, with Ngata, Ansah, and Jones also in the top 10. With the Pro Bowler gone, it remains to be seen how productive that line can be going forward.

Given the two dead-money charges in Detroit’s top 10, along with the presence of multiple players coming back from injury-plagued 2014 campaigns, you could make the case that the Lions’ top 10 cap numbers are the worst of any in the NFC North — we’ll see if that catches up to the club this year on the heels of a successful 2014 season.

Green Bay Packers:

  1. Aaron Rodgers, QB: $18,250,000
  2. Clay Matthews, OLB: $12,700,000
  3. Julius Peppers, DE/OLB: $12,000,000
  4. Sam Shields, CB: $9,062,500
  5. Josh Sitton, G: $7,000,000
  6. T.J. Lang, G: $5,800,000
  7. Randall Cobb, WR: $5,350,000
  8. Morgan Burnett, S: $5,131,250
  9. Jordy Nelson, WR: $4,600,000
  10. Mike Neal, DL: $4,250,000
    Total: $84,143,750

The total cap cost of the Packers’ top 10 charges nearly equals that of the Lions, but Green Bay’s list is devoid of any dead money, and half of these players earned Pro Bowl spots last season. Two of those Pro Bowlers were Cobb and Nelson, whose cap hits will be on the rise after the 2015 season, with Cobb’s increasing to $12.75MM by 2017, while Nelson’s will be $11.55MM that same year.

Rodgers’ $18.25MM cap number represents the second-largest charge in the division for 2015, and bumps up Green Bay’s combined top-10 total, but the perennial MVP candidate is still a bargain at that price. There’s no doubt that any NFL team would rather carry Rodgers at $18.25MM than Stafford at $17.72MM or Cutler at $16.5MM.

A $12MM cap hit for a defensive player entering his age-35 season typically isn’t a great use of space, but Peppers was impressive in his first year in Green Bay, forcing six fumbles and returning two interceptions for touchdowns, in addition to recording seven sacks — he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ seventh-best 3-4 outside linebacker in 2014 (subscription required), so that cap number is manageable.

Minnesota Vikings:

  1. Adrian Peterson, RB: $15,400,000
  2. Mike Wallace, WR: $9,900,000
  3. Everson Griffen, DE: $8,200,000
  4. John Sullivan, C: $7,333,333
  5. Phil Loadholt, RT: $6,750,000
  6. Kyle Rudolph, TE: $6,440,625
  7. Matt Kalil, LT: $6,290,644
  8. Greg Jennings, WR: $6,000,000 (dead money)
  9. Brian Robison, DE: $5,650,000
  10. Chad Greenway, LB: $5,575,000
    Total: $77,539,602

The fact that Teddy Bridgewater is so inexpensive for the Vikings means they can allocate their cap room to other positions, and the team’s top-10 list is heavy on offensive skill players and offensive and defensive linemen. The list also features a mix of good and bad investments.

Among those bad investments: Jennings, who will count for $6MM in dead money against the club’s cap after being released earlier in the offseason. He and Wallace will combine for a cap number of nearly $16MM, which is way too much to pay for two veteran receivers whose best years may be behind them, particularly when one’s not even on the roster anymore. The Vikes will hope a change of scenery rejuvenates Wallace, but the former Steeler didn’t put up No. 1 receiver numbers in Miami.

Peterson is the most interesting case, sitting atop the Vikings’ top-10 list by a comfortable margin. The former MVP was still one of the league’s best running backs, if not the best, the last time we saw him on the field. But $15.4MM is a huge cap hit for any running back, and Peterson is 30 years old and coming off a lost season. It’s no wonder he wants to get a portion of his 2016 salary guaranteed — a down year could spell the end of Peterson’s time in Minnesota, given his pricey cap charge.

Information from Over the Cap was used in the creation of this post.

Extra Points: Tunsil, L.A., Jags, Sam

Here are some items from across the NFL lexicon on Saturday afternoon.

  • Oxford, Miss., police arrested potential top-5 2016 draftee Laremy Tunsil after the star Ole Miss offensive tackle punched his stepfather, reports ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy. The tackle, who as of now is projected by ESPN’s Todd McShay to go fourth next year, turned himself in. “We can confirm that Laremy Tunsil turned himself in and was arrested for a misdemeanor, domestic violence-simple assault,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement. “The incident occurred Thursday night and involves Laremy defending his mother against his stepfather.” A source close to the situation told McMurphy that Tunsil’s stepfather punched his mother and the Rebels junior retaliated.
  • After reports surfaced Friday that the now-well-traveled Michael Sam resurfaced with the Montreal Alouettes, the former Rams draft choice confirmed this today on his Twitter account. The defensive end missed two weeks of time with the CFL club that’s now 0-1.
  • In light of the scathing indictment of the Oakland stadium proposal our own Ben Levine relayed earlier today, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suspects this could further complicate matters in the Los Angeles-in-2016 derby.
  • Even after No. 3 overall selection Dante Fowler Jr.‘s ACL tear, four Jaguars rookies will see major time this season, writes Steven Ruiz of USA Today. T.J. Yeldon, A.J. Cann, James Sample and Michael Bennett, taken in the second, third, fourth and sixth rounds, respectively, are set for “significant” playing time this season. Bennett would look to compete for depth behind starters Sen’Derrick Marks and Jared Odrick, while Sample will tussle with Sergio Brown at free safety.
  • The Packers will begin ex-Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan on the inside in their 3-4 scheme, reports Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A fourth-round pick, Ryan played on the strong side for three seasons with the Wolverines, before moving to the middle as a senior.
  • Veteran Andre Fluellen has around a 30% chance of making the Bills‘ 53-man roster, opines ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. Although the Bills used a four-man line during minicamp, they are expected to use plenty of 3-4 concepts, where Fluellen would slot at end instead of the inside spot he played with the Lions.

NFL Quotes: Raiders, Pryor, Vikings, Packers

With OTAs finished, it’s been relatively slow in the NFL world (luckily we have the Tom Brady saga to distract us temporarily). Even with a lack of news, various beat reporters have still been able to come away with some excellent sound clips, and we’ve compiled those for you below…

Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave on team’s offense (via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com):

“We made some strides, but we have a long way to go. That’s probably the understatement of the year. … We have our moments, but we have to be much more consistent. I think we all recognize and acknowledge that. That will be our goal, of course, going up there to training camp so we can get good in a hurry.”

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on Terrelle Pryor‘s quest to become a wideout (via WHBC in Canton, Ohio; quote via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com):

“If anyone can, he can. He certainly has tremendous athletic ability and a passion to help wherever he can be helpful. So if anyone can do it, he can. And, he could be the bonus of, he can be the team’s third quarterback, and that way they only have to carry two, which gives you a chance to have one more good player on special teams or whatever else. So I think he could be a bonus.”

Vikings wideout Charles Johnson on his job security (via Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune):

“In this business, you’re never secure. You never want to lie down and say, ‘Hey, I made it.’ I’m always working, and we’re always working together. Nobody here has been handed anything, and we’re just ready to come out here and work and become the best players we can be.”

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari on his interactions with Aaron Rodgers (via Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin):

“I didn’t really talk to Aaron. I was like, ‘If he speaks to me, I’ll speak to him.’ If he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t want to go up to him unless he wanted to engage in a conversation.”

Community Tailgate: Best FA Besides Evan Mathis?

We’re still a few months away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. This month, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

Of course, while the debate may get spirited, we ask that it all stays respectful. If you need a reminder of our rules, please check out our commenting policy. Basically, we ask that you refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults, and attacks. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Pro Football Rumors. You are no longer required to be a registered user – simply put in your name, email address, and comment and submit.

Today, we’re asking PFR readers to weigh in on the top remaining free agents. Excluding talented players with legal troubles like linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive end Ray McDonald, former Eagles guard Evan Mathis is universally regarded as the best player without a deal at this time. Beyond Mathis, however, there’s hardly a clear cut silver medalist.

Over the weekend, PFR’s Dallas Robinson put together his list of the best available remaining free agents. After Mathis, he ranked tackle Jake Long No. 2, citing the former No. 1 overall pick’s talent level while also acknowledging his frustrating injury history. Tight end Jermaine Gresham, who underwent back surgery in March to repair a herniated disc, comes in at No. 3 thanks to his pass-catching ability and history of solid blocking. One-time fantasy darling James Jones is ranked fourth even though he has yet to put up the kind of numbers that he did with the Packers in 2012. Defensive end Dwight Freeney, 35, has remained productive despite his age and lack of sack totals, and was ranked No. 5. Safety Dawan Landry, guard Rob Sims, defensive lineman Red Bryant, center Chris Myers, and offensive lineman Anthony Collins rounded out the top ten. Honorable mention went to notables such as defensive end Osi Umenyiora, running back Pierre Thomas, safety Bernard Pollard, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and quarterback Michael Vick.

Long could definitely pay dividends for a team willing to roll the dice on a low-cost deal and one could hardly be slammed for considering him the most intriguing free agent after Mathis. After all, in 2013, Long graded out as the seventh-best tackle in the league with a strong 22.5 overall score, based on Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). However, he has torn his ACL in each of the past two seasons and in 2014, Pro Football Focus ranked him as just the No. 36 tackle out of 84 qualified players. Do you consider someone like Gresham, who was a focal point of the Bengals’ offense for multiple seasons, to be a better buy? Does that mantle belong to Freeney, who graded out as one of the best at his position in terms of pass-rush productivity? Or, would you cast your vote for someone else?

In the comment section below, let us know who you think is the second-best free agent on the board and why.