Jameis Winston‘s season could be over. The Saints believe their quarterback has suffered a torn ACL, plus additional damage to the MCL (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).
“I think it’s significant. He felt something,” head coach Sean Payton said after the game (Twitter link). “I don’t want to say [what it might be] until I’ve had a chance to talk to the doctors.”
Winston’s leg twisted in the second quarter on a hit from linebacker Devin White. After the QB was carted off of the field, backup Trevor Siemian guided the Saints to a 36-27 win over the Buccaneers. Of course, much of the credit goes to the Saints D, which forced three turnovers from Tom Brady, including P.J. Williams‘ game-sealing pick six.
The Saints could stick with Siemian, depending on Taysom Hill‘s status. Hill has been out for the last few weeks with a concussion, so his availability for Week 9 against the Falcons is TBD.
Before his early exit, Winston completed six of his ten throws for 56 yards and one touchdown, plus four carries for 40 yards. His season will likely end with a 59% completion rate for 1,170 passing yards and 14 TDs against three interceptions.
Teams are exploring trades for Colts defensive lineman Kemoko Turay, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. The former second-rounder hasn’t quite lived up to his billing, but winning clubs would be happy to have him for the right price.
Speaking of price, any GM could easily squeeze Turay’s salary under the cap. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal with just $1.19MM in total base salary. His new club would only be on the hook for roughly half of that sum, making him an attractive depth rental.
Turay, 26, has struggled with injuries throughout his career. This year, he missed the season opener and returned for Weeks 2-5, only to wind up back on the sidelines. Fortunately for him and the Colts, he managed to retake the field today against the Titans. His sack just before the two-minute warning pinned Tennessee for a 3rd-and-19, helping to force the game into OT.
The trade deadline falls on Tuesday, 4pm ET/3pm CT. If the Colts are 3-5 at that point, one has to imagine that they’ll accept a Day 3 pick for Turay.
Broncos GM George Paton fielded calls on fellow defensive back Kyle Fuller last week and it sounds like Jackson is drawing more interest as the deadline draws near. Paton isn’t necessarily inclined to deal Jackson, according to RapSheet, but the right offer could pry him loose.
Paton declined Jackson’s option on March 15, making him a free agent. Then, they brought him back roughly one week later. Originally, he was set to play out the final season of his three-year, $33MM pact. Instead, they negotiated him down to a modest one-year, $5MM contract to save about $7.1MM in cap space. That means any team acquiring Jackson would only have to budget for a couple million dollars — not bad for a lifelong starter with 12 years of pro experience.
Entering today, Jackson has 43 tackles, one interception, and one sack through seven games. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus has assigned him an overall score of 61.5, good for 49th out of 80+ qualified safeties.
The Broncos are 3-4 heading into this afternoon’s game against the Washington Football Team. A loss would put them even deeper in the AFC West cellar and likely give them even more motivation to deal veterans like Jackson.
Despite Parker’s underwhelming first four seasons, the Dolphins re-upped him twice. First, they locked him up through 2020 via a two-year, $10MM agreement. Then, towards the end of 2019, they inked him to a three-year extension worth up to $40MM. The jury is still out on the latest contract.
In 2020, Parker registered just 12.6 yards per catch, a sharp drop from his 2019 watermark of 16.7 yards on average. Through the first seven weeks of this season, injuries limited Parker to just four games, 17 catches, and 242 yards. However, Parker returned with a vengeance against the Bills today — as of this writing, he’s leading all ‘Fins WRs with eight catches for 85 yards.
Despite the health issues, Parker profiles as an intriguing playmaker for contenders in need of a mid-season boost. He’s also relatively inexpensive, since he’d only be owed the prorated portion of his $7.75MM base salary in 2021.
Has it been four years already? On this date in 2017, the 49ers acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick.
The deal was a stunner on multiple levels, especially since New England hadn’t expressed in any interest in moving Garoppolo despite the presence of Tom Brady under center. Bill Belichick & Co. reportedly rejected multiple trade offers in exchange for Garoppolo before the draft, and instead dealt third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Colts before the season began.
Some believed that the Patriots would use the franchise tag on Garoppolo in the spring of ’18 before trying to trade him. Instead, they dealt Brady’s heir apparent just before the deadline in a deal that raised eyebrows for many. Some wondered whether the Patriots could have gotten more, or if Belichick had truly explored every possible trade partner for Garoppolo. The Browns, for example, were keenly interested in Jimmy G, but Belichick reportedly wasn’t interested in helping his former employer.
Garoppolo offered limited NFL experience outside of two starts for New England in 2016 while Brady was serving a four-game suspension. Garoppolo played well in his time on the field, but he was injured early in his second start, so the regular season film on him was extremely limited. Still, Kyle Shanahan saw a future franchise QB in the youngster, and ownership was willing to work with him on a pricey long-term extension before he could walk in free agency.
For the Patriots, the deal signaled confidence in Brady’s vow to play for several more seasons, despite the fact that he was already 40 years old. Brady made good on his promise, though he’s now defying Father Time in Tampa Bay. Signing a backup to a top-tier, multi-year contract was never a real option and a one-year, top 5 QB salary was certainly not the Patriots’ style. There was no circumstance in which Jimmy G could have held the clipboard for Brady for another three years, but it’s fair to second guess the Patriots’ timing. Had they traded Garoppolo prior to the 2017 NFL Draft — and considered all suitors equally — they could have scored a much larger haul.
Now, Garoppolo could be on the verge of being dealt again — either this week or in the spring. The 49ers clearly prefer the long-term upside of Trey Lance, but Garoppolo’s performance against the Bears today can only serve to boost his trade value.
Houston wide receiver Brandin Cooks is no stranger to trade rumors, having been dealt three times in his career. The 1-6 Texans are obvious trade deadline sellers, and Cooks — a high-end talent who is only under club control through the 2022 season — has naturally drawn interest from other clubs.
Those clubs may have been buoyed in their pursuit by the fact that Cooks took to Twitter to voice his displeasure when Houston traded good friend Mark Ingram earlier this week. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the Texans are unlikely to trade Cooks. Rookie GM Nick Caserio reportedly sees Cooks as a foundational talent that he can build around, and it sounds as if he would demand a hefty return if he were to trade his WR1.
Cooks’ $12.5MM base salary for 2022 is reasonable for a player of his caliber, which explains both why Caserio wants to keep him around and why he is piquing the interest of contending teams hoping to acquire him. Despite catching passes from struggling rookie Davis Mills for most of the year, Cooks has tallied 45 receptions for 502 yards and a score.
Speaking of King, the former First-Team All-Pro was scratched from today’s game against the Rams for disciplinary reasons, as Aaron Wilson of SportsTalk 790 tweets. King reportedly had an unexcused absence from a team activity, and like Cooks, he may be unhappy with the current state of the Texans. Unlike Cooks, he might get a chance to suit up for a contender this year.
The Browns, currently sitting at 4-3 and in third place in the AFC North, are not expected to swing a major deal in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadline, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Cabot does not anticipate the club acquiring a high-profile talent or trading one away.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham became the subject of trade speculation even before his first season in Cleveland was over, and those rumors have continued to crop up ever since. The Browns have done their best to quash all such rumblings, and Beckham will likely stay put at least through the end of the 2021 campaign. After all, he is dealing with a painful sprain in his right shoulder, and he is still owed $9MM over the rest of the season, so even if Cleveland were interesting in making a trade, there are obvious hurdles.
Plus, the Browns have every reason to keep Beckham around. Although he and QB Baker Mayfield have yet to develop a consistent rapport, OBJ continues to get open and remains an elite talent, so it would be surprising to see a Cleveland outfit that has postseason aspirations make that type of trade.
The same logic applies to tight ends David Njoku and Austin Hooper. Neither player has offered much production in 2021 — aside from a monster Week 5 game for Njoku that accounted for over half of his 2021 receiving yards and his only touchdown — but the hope is that the passing game will improve as the season goes on, just as it did last year. Njoku is playing on an expiring contract and requested a trade on several occasions last summer, but his most recent comments on the matter suggested that he would like to remain in Cleveland, and Cabot expects both him and Hooper to still be Browns once the deadline has passed.
Speaking of Mayfield, Cabot says the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft will likely require offseason surgery on his injured shoulder. His injury has complicated extension talks, and now, if an extension is reached, it probably won’t happen until after the season. Mayfield is under club control through 2022 via the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, which the Browns exercised earlier this year.
In related news, Cleveland does have starting RT Jack Conklin back in action for today’s critical matchup with the Steelers. Conklin had missed the prior two games with a knee injury.
Teams have called the Eagles to inquire about the possibility of trading for DT Fletcher Cox, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. Those clubs are attempting to acquire Cox for a mid- to late-round selection, but Rapoport says GM Howie Roseman would require a “high” pick to pull the trigger.
Philadelphia selected Cox, who will turn 31 in December, with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2012 draft. He is well-established as a franchise icon, having earned six consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2015-20, one First Team All-Pro selection (2018), and, of course, a Super Bowl ring. The club furnished him with a six-year, $103MM contract in 2016, but his best days seem to be behind him.
Cox is mired in something of a down year, and he has publicly complained about the scheme that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is running. With the 2-5 Eagles unlikely to make a postseason run in 2021, it stands to reason that Roseman would at least entertain calls from contenders looking to fill a hole on the interior of their defensive lines.
However, the Eagles did restructure Cox’s contract earlier this year, which could make him virtually untradeable. Although the restructure bought Philadelphia a fair amount of cap relief this season, it pushed a great deal of guaranteed money into future seasons, and a trade would leave a considerable dead cap charge on the Eagles’ books. And if Roseman is going to absorb that type of hit, he is only going to do it for a Day 2 selection, which other clubs might view as a prohibitive cost in light of Cox’s disappointing 2021 effort.
The Eagles might also consider trading DE Derek Barnett, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets. Barnett, a 2017 first-rounder, has yet to record a sack in 2021, but teams are always in search of edge help, and as Barnett is eligible for free agency this offseason, Roseman may be willing to swing a deal.
There are rumors that Urban Meyer could be a one-and-done head coach, if he even makes it to the end of his first season with the Jaguars. But Jacksonville owner Shad Khan — who publicly condemned his HC’s behavior after the team flight/bar room debacle a few weeks ago — has not lost faith in Meyer.
A source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com that Khan is “all in” on Meyer, and Khan himself has disputed the rumors of turmoil within his club’s locker room. Earlier this month, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reiterated his previous reports that Meyer has struggled to earn his players’ trust and respect, and he added that Meyer’s inability to make appropriate halftime adjustments, along with his overworking his team in practice, has led to second-half collapses in games.
La Canfora is not the only one who has detailed Meyer’s issues in adjusting to his first NFL gig. Khan, however, says perception does not match reality.
When speaking about the Jags’ gritty Week 6 victory over the Dolphins in London — a victory that snapped a 20-game losing streak — Khan said, “I couldn’t ask for anything more from the players. The cohesiveness and the strength to pull it out. This is where the impression from the outside is very different from the inside. … I mean, there are a lot of times and I’m not just talking about football, in business situations, what you read is so different from what the reality is and this was one of those cases. I wasn’t surprised, I believe in us.”
Khan went on to say that he “absolutely” has faith in Meyer. Of course, the Jaguars are still just 1-5 after their London victory, and it could take a few more wins and continued development from rookie QB Trevor Lawrence to convince Khan to keep Meyer around for 2022. For now, though, it seems the owner has moved past Meyer’s earlier transgressions and is committed to giving him every chance to succeed.
Jacksonville will try to make it two wins in a row when they take on the Seahawks in Seattle this afternoon.
Despite reports that the Dolphins and Texans have agreed to compensation in a prospective Deshaun Watson trade, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com says that, as of this morning, there is not much hope of a deal being completed prior to Tuesday’s deadline. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports HQ had reported earlier in the week that Houston was not feeling any pressure to swing a trade by the deadline and was content to wait until the offseason (video link).
Although Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants to see his team land Watson, he is said to want more clarity on the passer’s legal situation before green-lighting a trade. And, as Watson’s legal situation is rife with uncertainty at this point, Ross might not be comfortable in authorizing a deal that likely includes three first-round draft picks.
Schefter’s report also casts doubt on whether Miami and Houston are actually in agreement on the trade package. The ESPN scribe suggests that, in addition to all of the legal concerns, there are still lingering “compensation issues” that would need to be hammered out before a trade can be finalized. Indeed, GM Nick Casersio is unwilling to trade Watson for anything less than what he perceives to be maximum value. On the other hand, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that the Dolphins and Texans were close to a deal a few days ago, and that a trade was not consummated only because the ‘Fins want Watson to settle his legal matters first (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on Twitter).
Of course, Watson theoretically could settle the civil suits that 22 women have filed against him, but he can’t control whether criminal charges are filed. Glazer’s report, though, lends credence to the notion that a deal will not be consummated within the next two days.
Meanwhile, Texans owner Cal McNair wants to put the matter behind him and would like to see Watson traded by Tuesday. But Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says McNair has given Caserio full authority to handle the situation however he sees fit, and if that means retaining Watson through the deadline, then so be it.
We also have an interesting nugget to pass along with respect to the Panthers’ involvement in this process. Schefter confirms that Watson did not waive his no-trade clause for Carolina — or for any team other than Miami — which is at least one reason why the the Panthers are not pursuing Watson in advance of the deadline (though other reporters have said an offseason deal could still happen if Watson remains with the Texans). However, there was speculation that a deal that would send Watson to Carolina would see star RB Christian McCaffrey heading back to Houston as part of the return.
Joe Person of The Athletic says McCaffrey was never part of the trade talks (Twitter link), and Schefter adds that Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and head coach Matt Rhule actually called McCaffrey on Friday night to tell him as much.