Adam Humphries

Titans To Release WR Adam Humphries

After two seasons, the Titans will move on from Adam Humphries. Tennessee will release its slot receiver, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The Titans will save $4.75MM by making this move. Signing with the Titans after four seasons with the Buccaneers, Humphries ended up being a non-factor with his new team. The Titans will add some funds during an offseason that features Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith as free agents-to-be.

Coming off an 800-yard season with the 2018 Bucs, Humphries did not top 400 in either of his two Titans seasons. Tennessee leaned on wideouts Davis and A.J. Brown, while keeping its run-oriented offense in place. Humphries battled injuries in both his Titans seasons. His first Tennessee slate involved a late-season ankle injury; his second was capped at seven games.

A concussion ended Humphries’ 2020 season, marking obvious concern about the former UDFA’s NFL future. However, he could receive interest from teams that were in on him in 2019. The Titans outbid the Patriots for the slot target, signing him to a four-year deal worth $36MM. Releasing Humphries will also tag the Titans with $5MM in dead money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Place Adam Humphries On IR

Adam Humphries is hitting the shelf again. The Titans’ slot receiver will be put back on injured reserve which will sideline him for at least the next three weeks, the team announced Tuesday.

This IR placement is apparently related to ongoing concussion issues he has dealt with, which is never a good sign. Humphries played a big role early in the season, with at least four catches and 41 yards in each of his first four games. Humphries missed around a month with a concussion before returning this past week against the Browns. Considering he was immediately placed back on IR for the same issue, it’s a scary situation.

Obviously, the most important thing is Humphries’ brain health. If everything goes as smoothly as we’d all hope, the earliest he could return would be for Tennessee’s Week 17 game and then potentially the playoffs. The Titans inked the slot receiver to a four-year, $36MM deal in March of 2019.

His first year with the team was a bit of a disappointment, as he finished with only 374 yards in 12 games. That came on the heels of his breakout 2018 season with the Bucs, when he racked up 816 yards and five touchdowns. He looked well on his way to a much better second year in Tennessee before these issues unfortunately derailed it.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

New England Patriots

  • Signed off Jaguars’ practice squad: DL Carl Davis

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

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.