Given that the Saints first-round rookie Sheldon Rankins will be out for six-to-eight weeks after suffering a broken fibula, New Orleans could look to the free agent market to augment a defensive line interior that currently includes John Jenkins, Nick Fairley, C.J. Wilson, and Tyeler Davison. One potential replacement — Tony McDaniel — came off the board this weekend when he signed a deal with the Seahawks, but Cullen Jenkins, Henry Melton, C.J. Mosley, and Sammie Lee Hill are among the veteran options that could be on the Saints’ radar, as Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com suggests. One other candidate, from my vantage point, might be former Brown Randy Starks, whom Pro Football Focus assigned the highest grade among unsigned interior defenders.
Here’s more from the NFL’s South divisions:
- Colts linebacker Sio Moore has a “pretty significant” hamstring injury, according to head coach Chuck Pagano, the fourth-year pro figures to be sidelined for a meaningful amount of time, writes Kevin Bowen of Colts.com. As such, D’Qwell Jackson and Nate Irving will probably serve as Indy’s starting inside linebackers in the club’s 3-4 scheme. As Roster Resource shows, the Colts have several other options on their depth chart, including Josh McNary, Antonio Morrison, and Junior Sylvestre.
- As part of his three-year extension, Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson scored $4.25MM in full guarantees, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Another $4.25MM, presumably guaranteed for injury only, becomes fully guaranteed on March 13 of 2017. Dotson’s new pact has a total value of $16.5MM, and will keep the 30-year-old in Tampa through 2019.
- Titans offensive lineman Josue Matias will require season-ending knee surgery and will be placed on injured reserve, head coach Mike Mularkey told reporters (link via the Associated Press). Matias, a 2015 undrafted free agent who spent last year on Tennessee’s practice squad, is facing a six-month recovery.
- John Kuhn‘s one-year deal with the Saints is worth $985K with no signing bonus, Nick Underhill of the Advocate tweets. As such, the veteran fullback is eligible for the minimum salary benefit, meaning he’ll only count for $600K on New Orleans’ cap.