North Rumors: Steelers, Vikings, Browns

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018 after suffering a devastating spinal injury in 2017, but he today reiterated his desire to resume his career at some point, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Meeting with the media for the first time since his injury, Shazier took an optimistic tone, but it’s unclear if he’ll ever realistically have the chance to step on the field as a player again. Pittsburgh has already placed him on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he’s now ineligible to play during the upcoming campaign. In something of a goodwill gesture, the Steelers also converted the majority of Shazier’s 2018 base salary into a signing bonus, allowing the former first-round pick to collect his entire paycheck immediately.

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

  • The Vikings have lost undrafted free agent edge rusher Hercules Mata’afa for the season after he suffered a torn ACL today, reports Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com (Twitter link). While he ultimately wasn’t selected in the draft, Mata’afa was labeled as a potential fifth-rounder by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, who lauded Mata’afa’s toughness and motor. Mata’afa, a Washington State product, would have had to make the Minnesota roster on special teams, but he’ll now have to wait until his second NFL season for another opportunity. He’ll be waived/injured and removed from the Vikings’ active roster, and then placed on injured reserve if he’s not claimed.
  • Mychal Kendricksone-year, $3.5MM deal with the Browns contains a $500K signing bonus and a $1.4MM base salary, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. As such, it appears Kendricks is due either a roster bonus or a significant total in per-game roster bonuses. Either way, his new pact doesn’t appear to guarantee him a roster spot in Cleveland, especially given the Browns’ depth at the position. Cleveland believes Kendricks can play all three linebacker positions, but the club already boasts Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, and Joe Schobert at the second level, meaning snaps could be sparse for Kendricks.
  • The NFL announced it has fined the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh, and docked the club its final two organized team activity sessions, following a “violation of offseason workout rules.” While the infraction is unclear, it’s possible — based both on Baltimore’s history and the club’s statement — that players were either asked to hit or practice for too long a duration, violating the collective bargaining agreement.
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6 comments on “North Rumors: Steelers, Vikings, Browns

  1. Grant Humphrey

    It wasn’t really a kind gesture, it was for the Steelers to help themselves out down the line. Because Shazier’s contract will now toll at a lower number than his $8 million dollar base salary, which he was originally scheduled to make. It may seem like a “kind gesture” but it helps the Steelers out when he may or may not be ready to play again.

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    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Also helps the NFL out on the whole, as they want to rid themselves of the heartless billionaires making money as their players’ bodies are destroyed and then thrown to the rubbish heap.

      But the Rooney family has a solid reputation as philanthropists. So, win-win-win.

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    • madmanTX

      Wrong. It is a kind gesture with no cap implications.

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    • Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

      Wrong Grant. Because Shazier was in the last year of his contract, it had absolutely zero cap implications. And because he was injured, his contract does not toll. Tolling only occurs when a player is suspended or does not show when healthy to do so.

      His cap number was the same before and after.

      I wish people would refrain from commenting when they don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

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      • deal1122

        Very well said. Morons like Grant need to read into these things before they go posting thinking they know what they’re talking about.

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