PFR Originals: 6/16/19 – 6/23/19

The original content and analysis produced by the PFR staff during the past week:

  • PFR’s ‘This Date in Transactions History’ series saw five more chapters added.
    • Ben Levine took a look at the Patriots’ signing of David Harris. Harris was a ten-year veteran of the Jets who had spent his entire career in New York, so his decision to go to their AFC East rival was a big deal. Harris ended up only spending one year with New England before retiring.
    • Sam Robinson discussed the Dolphins extending Sam Madison, which at the time was the largest contract in team history. Overall the contract worked out pretty well for both sides, as Madison kept up his stellar play. Eventually the Dolphins cut him after the 2005 season, and Madison went on to win Super Bowl XLII with the Giants.
    • Zach Links reflected on the Bengals cutting Terrelle Pryor back in 2015. At the time Pryor was still a quarterback, and his release from Cincinnati would end up greatly altering his career path. Pryor had previously insisted he wouldn’t play any other position, but after the Bengals cut him he changed his mind. He agreed to line up at receiver, and ended up having a breakout 1,007 yard 2016 season.
    • Zach also took a look at the Panthers’ unwise decision to extend offensive tackle Michael Oher in 2016. They signed Oher to a three-year deal with $21.6MM in new money, but Oher never played a snap under the new contract. Oher missed most of the 2016 due to concussion issues, and then was released with a failed physical designation following a few bizarre offseason incidents.
    • Sam broke down the extension Robert Mathis got from the Colts in 2006. Mathis had only started one game his first three years in the league, but had shown a ton of promise coming off the bench. Indianapolis showed a lot of confidence in him, making him one of the league’s highest-paid pass-rushers despite his inexperience. The move paid off, as Mathis would go on to play another 11 years with the team and rack up a franchise-record 123 sacks.
  • As part of our offseason glossary refreshers, Zach broke down what each of the following terms entail. The glossary terms explain specific rules relating to free agency, trades, or other aspects of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • Zach also took a look at two potential release candidates this summer
    • Kenneth Dixon. Dixon looked like the Ravens’ running back of the future for a while, but now finds himself squarely on the roster bubble. He’s put up pretty good numbers when on the field, but he’s been plagued by injuries and was also slapped with a four-game suspension for PEDs. The Ravens signed Mark Ingram this offseason, making Dixon expendable, and it appears as of right now that he’s on the outside looking in.
    • Tavon Austin. When the Cowboys traded for Austin during the draft last year, they initially insisted they had big plans for him. But a groin injury ended up limiting Austin to just seven games, and Dallas barely used him even when he was on the field. Austin only has $500K guaranteed for this season, and the Cowboys now have Randall Cobb in the slot and rookie Tony Pollard as a returner/change of pace back behind Ezekiel Elliott. Austin is going to face an uphill battle to crack Dallas’ 53.
  • Zach looked at the quarterbacks with the biggest cap hits for 2019.
  • Zach broke down the remaining draft picks that have yet to sign their rookie deals, and as of June 19th there were only 16 picks left unsigned.
  • The Patriots have dominated the AFC for many years, and Sam asked readers in a poll who their biggest threat in the conference is in 2019. The Chiefs were the overwhelming winners, getting over 33 percent of the vote.
  • As part of our ‘Extension Candidate’ series, Zach examined where things stand between Julio Jones and the Falcons. Jones still has two years left on his deal, so it’ll be tricky. As Zach points out, former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry recently suggested adding on three new years with $60MM in new money. The two sides have been inching closer to a deal, and something should get done at some point.
  • Being an NFL head coach is one of the toughest jobs in all of sports, and inevitably some of the new head coaches hired this cycle won’t pan out. Last year, Steve Wilks was canned by the Cardinals after just one season. With that in mind, Zach asked readers in a poll which new head coach will have the least successful 2019 season. It was a close three-way race between Kliff Kingsbury with the Cardinals, Brian Flores with the Dolphins, and Zac Taylor with the Bengals, but Kingsbury ended up ‘winning’ with just over 24 percent of the vote.
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