Green Bay Packers Rumors & News

NFC Notes: RGIII, Packers, Saints

The Packers will have some work to do in the next couple of weeks as they look to reduce their current 88-man roster to 53. Even though they need to trim a third of their preseason roster, general manager Ted Thompson told Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com that he’ll still be eyeing the waiver wire prior to the regular season.

“We look, like everybody else,” Thompson said. “We do a lot of that work and we do it every week, so it’s non-stop because games are played on Monday and Thursday and Friday and Saturday, so it’s non-stop. We’re always trying to catch up.”

“It could be guys that you would potential consider trading for or putting in a claim for or that sort of thing. It runs the gamut because you’re kind of guessing what the home team, so to speak, wants to do with a player. The home team might love this player and you know you’re not going to get your hands on him, so you move on. At the same time, you find guys from time to time where the teams aren’t quite as attached to.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC…

  • Washington general manager Scot McCloughan is “determined to change [the] team culture,” reports ESPN.com’s Ed Werder (via Twitter). Those changes would include moving on from quarterback Robert Griffin III.
  • Kirk Cousins may not only be starting this evening’s preseason game for Washington, as ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini tweets that the plan is to have the former fourth-rounder start Week 1.
  • Evan Woodbury of NOLA.com writes that wideout Willie Snead‘s strong preseason has put the player in a position to make the Saints“I think he’s done well. He’s very competitive. He’s got some real good football instincts,” said coach Sean Payton. “He’s right there in the thick of it, competing for playing time, competing for a roster spot. He made a couple of plays tonight. He’s doing a good job.”
  • Drew Brees‘ role as the Saints number-one quarterback is obviously safe, and rookie Garrett Grayson seems to have a solid hold on the number-three spot. That leaves Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin competing for the backup spot, and Woodbury writes that McCown appears to be leading the competition.
  • Former Canisius power forward Chris Manhertz is trying to catch on with the Saints as a tight end, and Brett Martel of the Associated Press writes that the former Bills project is using Jimmy Graham (a former basketball player) as inspiration. “Absolutely,” Manhertz said. “It’s really amazing to see how smoothly (Graham) made the transition and where he’s at now, and playing at a high level.”

Community Tailgate: 8/27/15

We’re still a few weeks away from the start of regular-season battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. This summer, we launched a new series here at PFR 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 discussing defensive lineman Mike Daniels and his contract demands. The Packers want to lock Daniels up, but with the regular season just two weeks away, the two sides are “far apart” on extension negotiations. Set to earn a base salary of $1.542MM in 2015, Daniels is looking for a salary in the neighborhood of $10MM annually. The Packers, meanwhile, have made multiyear proposals averaging “several million less” per year.

At first glance, $10MM per season seems pretty steep for the former fourth round pick, who only has one season as a starter under his belt. However, Daniels’ camp seems to be inspired by recent deals for Corey Liuget and Cameron Heyward, who each cracked an AAV of $10MM on their recent pacts. On the other hand, the Packers have talked players like Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga into signing below-market deals to help keep their core in tact, and they could be putting pressure on Daniels to do the same.

Do you think Daniels deserves a deal in the vicinity of $10MM per year? What kind of contract do you think he’ll get? Let us know in the comments!

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/27/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Buccaneers announced (via Twitter) that they have waived kicker Brandon Bogotay, waived/injured linebacker Orie Lemon, and signed long snapper Brandon Hartson. The Bucs added a notable kicker in Connor Barth on Wednesday night.
  • The Patriots announced that they have released defensive lineman Antonio Johnson, tackle Mark Asper, and linebacker Cameron Gordon, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Patriots also waived/injured defensive end/tight end Jake Bequette, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Bequette was a third-round selection back in 2012.
  • The Eagles waived/injured linebacker Emmanuel Acho with a thumb injury that required surgery, according to a league source who spoke with Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Acho, 24, has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Eagles. He started two games in 2014 and played 23 percent of the defensive snaps.
  • The Packers signed former Lafayette wide receiver James Butler after a tryout, Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press Gazette tweets.

Letroy Guion Suspended Three Games

AUGUST 27: Guion has lost his appeal, meaning his suspension will remain at three games, the NFL announced today (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports).

JULY 23: The NFL has suspended Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion for the first three games of the regular season as a result of his offseason arrest, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. According to Demovsky, Guion is planning to appeal the penalty, with his agent and lawyers preparing his case after they were notified of the suspension earlier this week.

Guion, who turned 28 last month, was arrested in February when police found 357 grams of marijuana and an unloaded gun in his truck. The case was settled in March when Guion accepted a plea deal, at which point the Packers re-signed the veteran defensive lineman to a one-year, $2.75MM contract.

Green Bay had been bracing for a possible suspension for Guion, though the club hoped it would just be for a game or two, notes Demovsky. Assuming the league’s decision stands, the Packers will be without multiple defenders to start the season, since Datone Jones was also suspended for the first game of the regular season due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

In his first season with the Packers in 2014, Guion started all 16 regular season contests as the team’s nose tackle, establishing new career highs in tackles (41) and sacks (3.5).

Mike Daniels, Packers Far Apart On Contract

With defensive lineman Mike Daniels heading into a contract year, the Packers identified the fourth-year defender as a player they wanted to lock up to a new deal this offseason. However, with the regular season just two weeks away, Daniels and the Packers are “far apart” on extension negotiations, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Daniels, 26, became a starter on Green Bay’s defensive line last season for the first time, and responded with an excellent year, compiling 47 tackles and 5.5 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required), Daniels was the league’s eighth-best 3-4 defensive end, recording a grade of +18.8, which placed him right between Jurrell Casey and Haloti Ngata.

Set to earn a base salary of $1.542MM in 2015, Daniels is seeking a significant raise on any new deal. Per McGinn, the former fourth-round pick is looking for a salary in the neighborhood of $10MM annually, while the Packers have made multiyear proposals averaging “several million less” per year. With the two sides in disagreement over Daniels’ value, negotiations recently broke off, though they could resume at any time, since the Iowa product has indicated he doesn’t mind negotiating into the regular season, writes McGinn.

$10MM per year for an interior defensive lineman with just one season as a starter under his belt may seem excessive, but recent extensions for similar players suggest Daniels could make a case for such a salary. Corey Liuget and Cameron Heyward recently signed five-year extensions with the Chargers and Steelers respectively for annual salaries of $10.25MM+, and Daniels’ reps may point to those players as comparables.

On the other hand, the Packers could point to players like Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga, who have recently signed new below-market contracts to remain in Green Bay, and argue that to keep the team’s core intact, Daniels and other players may have to be willing to accept similar deals. If Daniels doesn’t see it that way, and the Packers are reluctant to increase their offer substantially, the team may have to decide in 2016 whether to franchise the defensive lineman or let him walk — and I expect the franchise tag would be a little too pricey for the team’s liking.

Still, there’s plenty of time before that point to agree to terms on an extension, so we’ll see if the two sides can bridge that gap in the coming weeks.

NFC Notes: JPP, Mathis, Wayne

According to three sources informed of his recovery, Jason Pierre Paul‘s rehab is “progressing very well,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes. However, it’s not clear if the Giants star will be in uniform Week 1 against the Cowboys. It’s also not clear when the Giants will get a chance to examine JPP’s hand to get a better read on his situation. Here’s more from the NFC..

  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter), that even though Evan Mathis‘ workout went well, there are “a lot of issues” preventing a deal from happening. The biggest roadblock, unsurprisingly, is Mathis’ asking price. Carroll indicated that the Seahawks can’t offer the guard the $5.5MM salary he earned last year with the Eagles. The Seahawks may have to wait and see if Mathis gets that kind of cash elsewhere. If he doesn’t, then he could bounce back to them, Condotta tweets.
  • Reggie Wayne considered waiting for the Packers, but the team did not confirm its interest before Wayne decided to sign with the Patriots, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Washington worked out fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez today, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The versatile Rodriguez spent time on Tampa’s practice squad last year and made five starts with the Bears in 2012.

AFC East Notes: Wayne, Dolphins, Patriots

Reggie Wayne should provide the Patriots with a new weapon on offense but cornerback Malcolm Butler says he’ll also provide the team with some intangible value, D.J. Bean of WEEI.com writes.

Just his knowledge of the game: knowing where to be, knowing where to line up, knowing how to release on the cornerbacks,” Butler said when asked what stood out. “Just all of the savvy things that veteran receivers know.”

Wayne’s production was up and down with the Colts ever since the team made the switch from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck. Now, the Patriots are hoping that he’ll click with Tom Brady. Here’s more from the AFC East..

  • Now that the Packers are down a receiver, James Walker of ESPN.com wonders aloud if the Dolphins could use wide receiver Rishard Matthews as trade bait. Miami currently has at least five capable receivers in Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills, first-round pick DeVante Parker, and Matthews, so they can afford to part with one. If the Dolphins can get a third- or fourth-round pick for Matthews, who is a former seventh-round pick in the final year of his contract, that would be a worthy trade, Walker writes.
  • Patriots rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts has a significant wrist injury that could threaten his season, according to Adam Caplan and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Pats selected the Marshall product in the seventh round of the 2015 draft.
  • Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald took a crack at projecting the Patriots’ 53-man roster. If Roberts’ wrist injury keeps him out for an extended period of time, Guregian writes that veteran Bradley Fletcher could have a greater chance of making the roster.

Hakeem Nicks, James Jones Drawing Interest

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), Hakeem Nicks, James Jones, Deonte Thompson, and Vincent Brown are among the wide receivers drawing interest around the NFL as potential release candidates, in that order. He adds that the Panthers, Ravens, Packers are a few of the teams considering adding wideouts as the season draws near.

The Panthers, of course, are in the market for a reliable target after Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending injury. The Ravens could also use a receiver with promising rookie Breshad Perriman currently sidelined. And the Packers are undoubtedly scouring the market for options now that Jordy Nelson is confirmed to be done for the 2015 season. While sources tell Cole that Nicks will generally get the most attention of this quartet, the Packers are more interested in Jones that the rest of the bunch, due in part to their familiarity with him.

Nicks, 27, first reached unrestricted free agency in March 2014, and signed a modest one-year contract with the Colts after spending the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Giants. While fellow 2009 first-round wideout Jeremy Maclin parlayed a one-year, prove-it deal in 2014 into a huge, long-term contract, Nicks was unable to do the same in Indianapolis. Currently, Nicks is on a one-year deal with the Titans that holds a modest guarantee and he could be days away from hitting the open market again.

Jones had 73 catches for 666 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Raiders in 2014. This offseason, the veteran hooked on with the Giants and it has been widely speculated that he could be released before the final rosters are set. His best individual output came in 2013, when he hauled in 64 passes for 784 yards and a career-best 14 TDs for the Packers.

 

Jordy Nelson Done For Season

5:35pm: Nelson’s MRI showed only an ACL tear and his other ligaments are in tact, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

4:14pm: The Packers announced that Jordy Nelson is done for the season with a “significant right knee injury.” The injury, according to reports on Sunday night, is a torn ACL.

The loss of Nelson, 30, constitutes a body blow to a Green Bay offense that ranked first in offensive DVOA last season. Nelson was a major part of that success, catching 98 passes for more than 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to being named a second-team All Pro. Coming off offseason hip surgery, Nelson was recovering nicely and fully participating during the preseason, so this latest injury is especially devastating.

Second-year pro Davante Adams is likely to move into the starting lineup opposite Randall Cobb, but it’s highly doubtful that he can replicate Nelson’s production. In 15 games last season, the 22-year-old Adams caught 38 balls for 446 yards and three scores, numbers that should significantly increase if he becomes a starter. Jeff Janis, Myles White, and rookie Ty Montgomery could also become candidates for increased playing time in Nelson’s absence.

If the Packers opt to bring in a free agent receiver, they could have their pick of several veteran options, including Donnie Avery, Robert Meachem, and Kevin Ogltree. One other option — former Colt Reggie Wayne — is now off the table following his agreement with the Patriots.

Nelson becomes the second No. 1 receiver to suffer an ACL injury in the past week, joining the Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin.

North Notes: Pouncey, Flacco, Guion, Lions

Injured Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is undergoing surgery on his fractured ankle today, tweets Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the exact timetable for Pouncey’s recovery still isn’t known, but the injury is unlikely to be season-ending. Based on what we’ve heard so far regarding the veteran center, he would appear to be a viable candidate for Pittsburgh’s IR-DTR slot this season.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • As Ashley Fox of ESPN details, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been keeping an eye on the megadeals signed by his fellow signal-callers, recognizing that Baltimore will almost certainly have to rework his contract in 2016, when his cap hit is set to jump to $28.55MM. Both Flacco and the team would like to see the former Super Bowl MVP become a “Raven for life.”
  • The appeal hearing for Letroy Guion‘s three-game suspension concluded on Monday, but there has been no ruling yet on whether that penalty will be reduced for the Packers defensive lineman, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • Demovsky also provided an update on former Packers receiver Kevin Dorsey, tweeting that the ex-Maryland wideout has retired. Green Bay used a seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft to nab Dorsey, but he only played in three games with the club.
  • After losing Ndamukong Suh in free agency this offseason, the Lions were happy to acquire Haloti Ngata to fill the newly-created void on their defensive line. However, the club still isn’t sure when Ngata will return from the hamstring injury that has plagued him throughout training camp, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.