Abry Jones

AFC Notes: Patriots, Texans, Steelers, Jags

The University of Alabama is hiring Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll as its new offensive coordinator, according to Chris Low of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Daboll, who has led offenses at the NFL level for the Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs, was first linked to the Crimson Tide earlier this week by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports. Former Texans play-caller George Godsey was also in consideration for the vacancy in Tuscaloosa, per Feldman.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Veteran safety Quintin Demps hasn’t engaged in contract negotiations with the Texans as of yet, and although the pending free agent would prefer to return to Houston in 2017, he’s not interested in offering the club any sort of hometown discount, Demps told SiriusXM NFL Radio today (Twitter links). Demps is entering his age-32 campaign, which could depress his value, but he’s started 26 games over the past two years and is coming off a season in which he graded as the league’s No. 12 safety, according to Pro Football Focus. After earning only $1.5MM in 2016, Demps should be in a for raise, but he’s not going to break the bank in a safety market that also includes Eric Berry, Tony Jefferson, and T.J. McDonald.
  • Tight end Ladarius Green is expected to be healthy enough to play in 2017, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert yesterday told reporters, including Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times (Twitter link). Green only appeared in six games during his first campaign with Pittsburgh, as concussion issues limited his ability to get on the field. Although he provided 16.9 yards per reception when he was on the field, Green could represent too large a risk for the Steelers to undertake, especially given that his post-June 1 release would clear $5MM in cap space.
  • Defensive tackle Abry Jones‘ four-year, $16MM deal with the Jaguars contains $6.5MM in guarantees, which are comprised of a $2.5MM 2017 base salary, a $1MM roster bonus due next March, and $3MM 2018 base salary, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Chad Henne‘s new one-year contract is worth $3.5MM, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), and contains a $500K signing bonus, a $750K roster bonus due on September 7, and $2.5MM available via incentives.
  • Steelers linebacker Steven Johnson‘s new deal is a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract that comes with $80K in guaranteed money, per Caplan (Twitter link). Under the terms of the MSB, Johnson will only count for $615K on Pittsburgh’s salary cap.

Jaguars To Re-Sign Abry Jones

The Jaguars are nearing agreement on a new deal with pending free agent defensive tackle Abry Jones, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. Jones’ contract will be a four-year, ~$16MM pact featuring $6.5MM in guarantees, reports Mike Kaye of First Coast News. Abry Jones (vertical)

Last year, Jones was a restricted free agent and Jacksonville retained him with the second round tender. Now slated for unrestricted free agency, Jacksonville was unwilling to let him test the open market.

In 2016, Jones saw more playing time than ever, appearing in 15 games with nine starts. His statline of 32 tackles and zero sacks might not have been an attention grabber, but he was an effective bully on the interior line which allowed Malik Jackson to shine. Last season, the advanced stats at Pro Football Focus placed Jones as a top 25 defensive tackle in the league.

In 2014 and 2015, Jones totalled 5.0 sacks as a reserve. The former UDFA won’t turn 26 until September.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars On Verge Of Signing Malik Jackson?

11:58am: Jackson is about to sign with the Jaguars, Mike Klis of KUSA writes. Jackson’s Broncos teammates have heard that the Jaguars are the clear frontrunners for his services, according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter).

11:31am: The Jaguars are making a very strong push for Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. La Canfora adds that Jackson could agree to sign with Jacksonville “well before” the start of the league year. "<strong

On Monday, we learned that the Jaguars, Bears and Raiders have “expressed serious interest” in signing the Broncos defensive lineman. Denver has offered Jackson anywhere from $11MM to $12MM per season but they’re apparently not the only club that’s willing to go to eight figures per season.

Jackson recorded a personal-best 45 tackles and five sacks during his third straight 16-game regular season in 2015-16, finishing 16th out of Pro Football Focus’ 123 qualifying interior defenders in overall performance (subscription required). PFR’s Luke Adams ranks Jackson the second-best free agent in this year’s class. As of this writing, the Jaguars have roughly $82MM in cap space, per Over The Cap.

In other news, Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones signed his one-year contract, as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. The restricted free agent will earn $2.553MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Extend Second-Round Tenders To Ryan Davis, Abry Jones

The Jaguars have extended a second-round tender offer to restricted free agent defensive end Ryan Davis, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). A report earlier this week had indicated that Davis would receive the low-end offer, but it appears the Jags went a little higher in an effort to keep the pass rusher.Ryan Davis

According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (via Twitter), the Jaguars also tendered contract offers to RFA defensive tackle Abry Jones and ERFA tight end Nic Jacobs. O’Halloran reports that Jones, like Davis, got a second-round tender.

Davis, who turned 27 last month, has appeared in 38 games over the last four years for Jacksonville, earning three accrued seasons during that stretch. He has never played more than a part-time role, but he has shown a knack for getting after the quarterback when he sees the field, recording 11 sacks and three forced fumbles in his NFL career. In 2015, Davis played 250 defensive snaps and picked up 3.5 sacks. He also received the top pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus out of any of the Jaguars’ edge defenders or interior linemen.

Jones, 24, was also a part-time player on Jacksonville’s defensive line, picking up 17 tackles, a pair of sacks, and a fumble recovery in 2015.

Since Jacksonville had been armed with more than $85MM in projected cap room after cutting Zane Beadles and Chris Clemons this week, it makes sense that the club would want to assign second-round tenders to their RFAs to avoid losing them. Teams aren’t likely to pursue Davis or Jones now that it would cost a second-round pick to sign either of them, and the tenders cost the Jaguars just $2.553MM apiece, an increase of less than $1MM over the low-end ($1.671MM) tender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/16

Let’s take a look at a New Year’s Day edition of the league’s latest minor moves:

  • The Rams have promoted receiver Nick Toon to their active roster, according to Woodbery (Twitter link), placing cornerback Eric Patterson on injured reserve to create a roster spot (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Toon, a former fourth-round pick, has 21 career receptions, all with the Saints.
  • The Jaguars also made a practice squad promotion, signing defensive tackle Richard Ash to the active roster while placing defensive end Abry Jones on injured reserve, tweets Wilson. Ash has spent the entire season on Jacksonville’s taxi squad.
  • The Chargers made a couple of procedural moves, per Wilson (Twitter link), who reports that San Diego has cut receiver Torrence Allen and guard Ben Beckwith from injured reserve.

Earlier updates:

  • The Saints have placed running back Kendall Hunter on injured reserve, head coach Sean Payton told reporters, including Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com (Twitter link). The 27-year-old former 49er, who has just one carry on the season, was apparently injured during practice this week.
  • The Colts have waived receiver Griff Whalen off injured reserve, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN. Whalen appeared in 14 games this season, catching 19 balls for 205 yards and one touchdown.