Adam Humphries

Contract Details: Joyner, Titans, Rams, Hart

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts from around the NFL. Twitter links courtesy of Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, unless otherwise noted.

Titans To Sign Adam Humphries

The Titans have agreed to terms with receiver Adam Humphries, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). The receiver market is moving quickly, with Humphries being the latest wideout to sign.

Humphries isn’t a household name, but we’ve been hearing for a while now he was about to get paid big-time. All the reporting has been that Humphries was seeking around $10MM annually, and he came pretty close. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets that the deal is worth $36MM over four years. The Titans weren’t alone in bidding for Humphries’ services, as they faced stiff competition from the Patriots, a source told Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Russini writes that the Titans were in a bidding war “all day” with the Patriots before they eventually landed him.

In fact, Doug Kyed of NESN.com tweets that the Patriots upped their offer even after Humphries agreed to sign with Tennessee, and that the offer included a higher average annual value and more guaranteed money than Humphries will get from the Titans. However, Humphries never wavered in his decision to head to Nashville.

The slot receiver has been buried behind a ton of talented skill position players in Tampa Bay, but has shown plenty of flashes the past few years.He had the best year of his career last season, catching 76 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns. The move makes a lot of sense for the Titans, who have been starved for receiver help. Tennessee has Corey Davis, but not much of note behind him in their receiving corp.

Humphries will be a huge asset for Marcus Mariota, and as Pelissero notes in his tweet, Humphries was one of the best receivers in the league on third down last year. The Clemson product went undrafted in 2015, but quickly proved all the evaluators wrong. He should have a chance to surpass his 816 yards from last year with a larger target-share in Tennessee.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets, 49ers Interested In Kwon Alexander

The Jets and 49ers are interested in Buccaneers free agent linebacker Kwon Alexander, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter) hears. Stroud also hears that Alexander is seeking a deal that would pay him between $10-$12MM. 

Alexander’s 2018 season ended in October after he suffered a torn ACL. Prior to the injury, the linebacker was discussing an extension with the Bucs, though they were unwilling to break the $10MM/year mark for him.

A fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft, Alexander has started 46 games over three-plus years with the Buccaneers. Last season, he posted 38 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one sack while grading as the No. 53 linebacker at the time of his injury, per Pro Football Focus. In 2017, Alexander earned his first career Pro Bowl selection and graded out as PFF’s No. 37 off-ball ‘backer. In 2016, he registered an eye-popping 145 stops.

The Niners are also expected to pursue C.J. Mosley (Ravens) and Anthony Barr (Vikings), according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, so the linebacker position is high on their agenda.

Given the interest in Alexander, the Bucs are bracing to lose him, Stroud hears. And, on Monday morning, Alexander texted a group of his teammates telling them he’s going to miss them, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Buccaneers are in a similar boat with wide receiver Adam Humphries, says Stroud, since Humphries is expected to garner offers of $9MM-$10MM on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Cardinals, Mosley, Vikings

The Buccaneers have an interesting offseason ahead of them. They have a lot of holes to fill on the roster as Bruce Arians takes over as coach, but not much cap space to work with. In a recent piece, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com previewed their offseason. Overall, Laine isn’t too bullish on their ability to add many big names. The Bucs have been linked to some high-end free agents like Le’Veon Bell, but Laine cautions they’d need to make a bunch of moves to make his potential salary fit. One of their own, receiver Adam Humphries, is set to be a free agent, and Humphries will reportedly be a hot commodity. Sources told Laine that Humphries is seeking a deal worth $8MM annually, which is actually slightly less than the $10MM we heard he was looking for yesterday. 

Either way, it sounds like Humphries might get priced out of the Buccaneers‘ range. Laine also reports no decision has been made yet on fellow receiver DeSean Jackson as he heads into the final year of his contract, but writes that “lack of cap space may force their hand” into releasing or trading him. In her piece Laine also throws out some names who could be cut to create cap space, like ” defensive end William Gholston ($3.75 million against the cap in 2019), defensive tackle Beau Allen ($5 million), defensive tackle Mitch Unrein ($3.75 million).”

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Falcons made major shakeups to their coaching staff after their disappointing 2018 season. All three coordinators were let go, and now Atlanta is making another coaching change. The Falcons have hired Jess Simpson to be their new defensive line coach, as current defensive line coach Bryant Young is stepping down, according to Will McFadden of the team’s official website. Simpson comes to the Falcons from the University of Miami, where he served as defensive line coach. In 2017 he was a defensive assistant on the Falcons’ staff, so there’s some familiarity here.
  • We heard yesterday that some Ravens players thought C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs could re-team in Arizona, and now there’s more smoke to that fire. The “Cardinals are expected to make a big push” for Mosley if the Ravens don’t lock him up before free agency starts, sources told Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Mosley to the desert seems to be picking up some steam, and it makes sense. Mosley is still only 26, and would be a very nice pickup for this rebuilding Cardinals team.
  • Vikings running back Roc Thomas was arrested and charged with felony drug possession, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Thomas was arrested in January after “police found 143.28 grams of marijuana” in his apartment. Thomas is due back in court on March 18th. Thomas was a rookie undrafted free agent last year, and made Minnesota’s initial 53-man roster after an impressive preseason. He was cut midway through the season and re-signed to the practice squad, and signed a reserve/futures contract at the end of the year. He’s likely to face discipline from the league when this all gets sorted out.

La Canfora’s Latest: Mathieu, Ravens, Bucs

While the Texans are attempting to retain Tyrann Mathieu, both the Ravens and Buccaneers have “serious interest” in the veteran defensive back, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Baltimore just released fellow safety Eric Weddle on Tuesday, while Tampa Bay has been in need of secondary help for years. Mathieu inked a one-year, $7MM deal with Houston last year, but he’s expected to receive a significant raise on his next contract. Per La Canfora, Mathieu should be able to collect $24MM over the first two years of a new deal.

Here’s more from JLC:

  • Overall, the safety market is not expected to be as depressed as it was a year ago, when Mathieu, Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, Tre Boston, and others were forced to settle for one-year pacts. Earl Thomas will set the market and is asking for $13MM annually, per La Canfora. Meanwhile, former Giants safety Landon Collins — now on the market after New York declined to franchise him — will likely come in below Thomas, and Bears defender Adrian Amos is searching for $9-10MM per year.
  • While there aren’t any clear-cut, No. 1 wideouts available this offseason, slot receivers are aplenty, and they should get paid, says JLC. Golden Tate is looking for $13MM per season, while Adam Humphries may be targeting $10MM annually and has already been deemed too expensive to return to the Buccaneers. Cole Beasley could also get $10MM per year, while John Brown wants $8-9MM per season.
  • Offensive tackle Daryl Williams is expected to reach the open market, and La Canfora reports Williams’ price has already “soared” above where the Panthers are comfortable paying. Both the Bills and Giants are expected to target Williams, and both connections make sense. Buffalo employs former Carolina staffer Brandon Beane as its general manager, while ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman is in charge in New York.
  • The Raiders have already been mentioned as a potential suitor for Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams, and the Colts could also join the fray, per La Canfora. Williams is expected to earn more than $12MM per year on his new deal.

Top FA Slot WRs Seeking $10-14MM Per Year

The top of the free agent slot-receiver crop is expected to be seeking between $10-14MM a year according to league sources, Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor tweets

That includes names like Golden Tate, who tallied 74 catches for 794 yards in 2018, and Adam Humphries, who enjoyed a breakout campaign 76 grabs for 816 yards with the Buccaneers.

It shouldn’t be too surprising those pass catchers will be looking to command that money. The prevalence and importance of the slot receiver is at an all-time high and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon.

Will they reach that mark?

Jarvis Landry set the high-water mark in the 2018 offseason, commanding a five-year, $75MM deal with the Browns. He, however, was coming off three consecutive Pro Bowl campaigns in which he logged at least 90 receptions each season. He also embraced a larger role on the boundary in his first season with the Browns.

While Tate is likely to set the bar this season, he will be 31 when the season kicks off in September. His previous deal also only paid him an average of $6.2MM a season. Humphries, on the other hand, will be 26 in 2019 and will be looking to sign his first big contract in the NFL. Though they will both outdo Tate’s previous contract, in average annual value, it remains to be seen if they could challenge that of Landry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bucs, Smith, Jets, Sanders

More buzz points to the Buccaneers keeping Donovan Smith. After a report indicated the Bucs were not likely to let Smith walk in free agency, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times follows that up by noting the team will, in fact, use its franchise tag to keep the left tackle — barring a pre-free agency deal coming to fruition. The Bucs will talk with Smith’s representatives at the Combine. While the team is up against the salary cap and changed coaches, Stroud adds the Bucs are eager to see how Smith progresses under new offensive line coach Joe Gilbert and new run game coordinator Harold Goodwin. Tampa Bay already has three offensive linemen signed to veteran-starter-level contracts — Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson. But shedding Dotson’s deal in advance of the right tackle’s age-34 season would free up nearly $5MM. A 10-year Buccaneer, Dotson has one season left on his deal. It stands to cost more than $14MM for the Bucs to tag Smith.

With the Combine approaching, here is the latest from around the league:

  • A Smith tag would make it less likely Adam Humphries returns. Although the Bucs are high on their slot receiver, Stroud notes he was eyeing an $8MM-AAV pact prior to his career-best 2018 season. With receiver not a particularly strong position this year — though, some key names will be available — Humphries can probably command a deal worth more than the Bucs ($15MM-plus in cap space) can afford.
  • Needs exist across the Jets‘ roster, but they are expected to target a pass rusher with their No. 3 overall pick, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. However, the top two teams in this draft — the Cardinals and 49ers — are candidates to select edge defenders ahead of the Jets. The Cards have been connected to trade-down scenarios, and Costello adds the Jets would love to move back to collect more picks as well. New York traded three second-round picks — two last year, one this year — to move into position to nab Sam Darnold. The Jets’ second 2019 pick comes at No. 68 overall.
  • Gang Green could use skill-position help, and the team is expected to pursue a slot receiver, Costello notes. From Wes Welker to Jarvis Landry, Adam Gase‘s offenses have worked best when a high-end slot player has been present. Humphries, Golden Tate, Jamison Crowder, Randall Cobb and Cole Beasley are the top slot talents available in free agency.
  • Should the Broncos decline Emmanuel Sanders‘ option, they would save $10.2MM. However, the injured wide receiver was by far their best aerial threat last year. Releasing Sanders would leave Denver thin at wideout, which would not make much sense after the team traded for Joe Flacco. The Broncos will probably pick up Sanders’ option, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry and OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald predict (subscription required). Both analysts write that even if Sanders starts the season on the PUP list, he would be worth keeping. One year and nearly $13MM remain on Sanders’ deal. He recently said he would reject a pay cut, though the Broncos haven’t made that request. He tore an Achilles’ tendon in December, so training camp would be the earliest the soon-to-be 32-year-old receiver could return.

Extra Points: Free Agency, Williams, Humphries, Lions

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of free agency, and the market is starting to heat up. Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network were recently discussing the wide receiver market, and both think that Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams is in for a big payday (Twitter link). Pelissero points out that “four NFL players since 2015 have averaged over 16 yards on 150+ catches: DeSean Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, Rob Gronkowski“, and Williams.

Williams has been quietly producing for the Chargers the past few years, but has mostly been hidden behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. It doesn’t sound like Los Angeles is looking to commit major resources to their third receiver, so it seems probable that he walks next month. Both Garafolo and Pelissero seem to think he could wind up as some new team’s number one wideout. A former undrafted free agent from Western Oregon, Williams had 653 yards and five touchdowns last year.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • In a separate video posted to Twitter, Garafolo and Pelissero broke down this year’s class of free agent slot receivers. Notably, Garafolo thinks Buccaneers receiver Adam Humphries is an under-the-radar player who could “cash in” on the open market. Like Williams, Humphries has proven to be a player very capable of producing, but has been buried on a Tampa Bay roster stacked at the skill positions.
  • The Lions released safety Glover Quin last week, and his run with Detroit apparently ended much sooner. Quin revealed in a recent podcast interview that he had actually asked the team to release him last offseason, shortly after the team hired Matt Patricia to be their coach, according to Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press. The Lions obviously declined, and kept Quin for this past season before cutting ties. Quin is 33 now and his play has been declining the past few years, but he’s still a serviceable player and should have no problem finding a new home.
  • In case you missed it, the Steelers’ GM confirmed that three teams had reached out to inquire about an Antonio Brown trade.

 

Buccaneers Want To Retain WR Adam Humphries

The Buccaneers are focused on retaining one of their top wideouts. General manager Jason Licht told Greg Auman of The Athletic that Tampa Bay is “going to do everything [they] can to get Adam Humphries back in the mix” (Twitter link).

As Auman notes, the team previously tried to extend the impending free agent. However, Humphries decided to bet on himself, and it ultimately worked out in the 25-year-old’s favor. Humphries had his best professional season in 2018, finishing with 76 receptions, 816 yards, and five touchdowns. This performance earned him the 30th-best score among 122 eligible wideouts, per Pro Football Focus.

A former undrafted free agent out of Clemson, Humphries has spent his entire four-year career in Tampa Bay. He’s finished with at least 600 receiving yards in each of the past three years, and he’s also spent plenty of time on special teams. Humphries finished the 2018 season with 21 punt returns for 139 yards.

The organization is hoping Humphries will be back in Tampa Bay in 2019, but it sounds like one of his fellow wideouts probably won’t be sticking around. Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson has expressed a preference to move on from the Buccaneers this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Falcons, Buccaneers, Morgan

The Falcons will be looking for a new kicker for temporary purposes. Matt Bryant will miss Atlanta’s Week 7 Monday night game, Dan Quinn said. The longtime Falcons kicker is dealing with a strained hamstring, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, who adds Giorgio Tavecchio is among the names the Falcons are considering as a replacement. Tavecchio was briefly affiliated with the Falcons earlier this year, but Bryant’s kicked in all six Falcon games in his 10th season with the franchise. He hasn’t missed a game since he was limited to 11 appearances in 2015. Tavecchio will be among “a number of kickers” considered during the lead-up to the Falcons’ home Monday-nighter against the Giants.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions, continuing on the Atlanta injury front:

  • Another week of recovery will likely be required for Devonta Freeman, per McClure. The Falcons’ starting running back is has dealt with knee and foot trouble and now has a groin issue to overcome. Atlanta’s gotten by with Tevin Coleman and newcomer Ito Smith in the backfield.
  • Ali Marpet became the latest Buccaneers starter to sign a lucrative extension, joining Mike Evans and Cameron Brate in doing so this year. More re-ups could be on track. Kwon Alexander and the Bucs are still talking an extension, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. While Stroud writes it’s uncertain if the Bucs want to pay Alexander like a top-tier linebacker — they have Lavonte David on the books at $10MM per year — he’s on the radar. As is fourth-year left tackle Donovan Smith, who’s in a contract year. Despite rarely being viewed as a productive player by Pro Football Focus, Smith is well thought of among Bucs brass, per Stroud. Adam Humphries is another player the Bucs would like to retain, though they have a crowded receiver room. Chris Godwin‘s emerged as Tampa Bay’s No. 3 man and may be Evans’ top complement if DeSean Jackson ($10MM non-guaranteed salary in 2019) isn’t back next year. Humphries’ contract expires after this season.
  • Derrick Morgan will miss a few weeks because of a shoulder injury, Mike Vrabel said. A ninth-year player who dealt with a knee injury during the preseason, Morgan has played in all six Titans games this year and has only missed more than two games in a season once in the past eight years. Harold Landry will likely start opposite Brian Orakpo in the meantime.
  • Stationed on the Texans‘ PUP list, D’Onta Foreman can return to practice this week but probably won’t, per Bill O’Brien (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, on Twitter). Foreman’s been out since late last season because of an Achilles’ tendon tear.
  • Braden Smith appears to have solidified himself as the Colts‘ right tackle. Indianapolis went through several players in hopes of identifying a candidate, but Frank Reich said Monday (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells, on Twitter) this job will be Smith’s to lose. Smith’s started three games for the Colts this season.
  • Former Lions, Patriots and Bengals linebacker Marquis Flowers worked out for the Texans on Monday, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com tweets. The Lions cut Flowers last week. He played in 16 games for the Bengals in 2015 and ’16 and suited up for all 19 of the Patriots’ games last year.