Alec Ogletree

Jets Release LB Alec Ogletree

Alec Ogletree‘s atypical stay with the Jets may be at an end. The Jets announced they have released the veteran linebacker, doing so to make room for Le’Veon Bell‘s return and practice squad promotions.

The Jets could stash Ogletree back on their practice squad, which is how he originally caught on with Gang Green despite his seven seasons of experience as a starter. Ogletree does not have to go through waivers, with the trade deadline not yet here, so the former first-round pick is back in free agency.

A two-year Giants starter and five-year Rams first-stringer before heading to New York, Ogletree played in two Jets games. He made one start, upon being promoted from the Jets’ taxi squad in Week 2. After not playing in Week 3, the 29-year-old defender saw action in a reserve capacity last week. Ogletree played 56% of Gang Green’s snaps in both Week 2 and Week 4.

While Bell is officially back on the Jets’ active roster, the team also promoted quarterback Mike White, offensive lineman Jimmy Murray and cornerback Lamar Jackson. They also waived wide receiver Josh Malone.

With Sam Darnold out against the Cardinals, the Jets are starting Joe Flacco. They also have James Morgan on their active roster; White will make four QBs on the team’s 55-man Sunday roster. A former Cowboys fifth-round pick in 2018, White has not dressed for a game.

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Jets Promote Alec Ogletree To Active Roster

One of several high-profile veterans to agree to join a practice squad in this unusual NFL season, Alec Ogletree will be in a more familiar position Sunday.

The Jets are promoting the veteran linebacker to their active roster. Ogletree was a free agent for several months before agreeing to stay in New York on a Jets practice squad deal.

Ogletree started for two seasons with the Giants, with that tenure coming after a five-year Rams run. Although advanced metrics were not especially high on the veteran defender during his Giants stay, he intercepted five passes and returned two for scores in a productive 2018 season. The Giants, however, made Ogletree a cap casualty earlier this year and then devoted much of those funds to paying Blake Martinez.

Avery Williamson is questionable to play against the 49ers on Sunday, and the Jets are without C.J. Mosley because of his opt-out decision. Ogletree, still just 28, has made 93 starts. Should he not start for the Jets on Sunday, it will mark his first time as a game-day backup since going in the 2013 first round. Ogletree played for current Jets DC Gregg Williams during the latter’s final three Rams seasons (2014-16).

The Jets also promoted running back Josh Adams and wide receiver Josh Malone to their active roster, using the 2020 practice squad elevation option for the two skill-position players. Gang Green has run into extensive injury trouble at wideout and placed Le’Veon Bell on IR this week.

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Jets Sign Alec Ogletree To Practice Squad

The Jets have signed former Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree to the practice squad, per a club announcement. He’ll be joined by wide receiver Jaleel Scott, a former fourth-round pick of the Ravens.

[RELATED: Le’Veon Bell Addresses Rumored Issues With Adam Gase]

The Giants dropped Ogletree in February to save roughly $8MM against the cap. Just a couple of years ago, GM Dave Gettleman acquired him and the remainder of his four-year, $42MM extension from the Rams. The traditional stats have portrayed Ogletree as a consistently productive player – he has several 100+ tackle seasons to his credit, plus 12 interceptions and four pick-sixes for his career. The advanced metrics haven’t lined up, however, and Ogletree didn’t produce for the G-Men. Instead, they shed his salary and replaced him with newcomer Blake Martinez.

Now with the other tenants of the Meadowlands, Ogletree will be at the ready as an emergency call-up. The Jets project to start the year with Neville Hewitt and Avery Williamson as their starting inside linebackers with support from Harvey Langi and Blake Cashman.

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Bears Work Out LB Alec Ogletree

After more than six months in free agency, Alec Ogletree has resurfaced on the NFL radar. The Bears brought in the former Rams first-round pick for a Friday workout, per Albert Breer of SI.com (on Twitter).

The Giants made Ogletree a cap casualty in February. This marks the first Ogletree news since then. The 29-year-old linebacker started 26 games for the Giants over the past two seasons, but the team dropped him before signing Blake Martinez to a lucrative deal.

Ogletree was largely unable to live up to his four-year, $42MM Rams extension in New York, but he did produce in 2018. The former No. 30 overall pick intercepted five passes and notched two defensive touchdowns in his first Giants season. He has started at least 15 games in a season four times (all with the Rams) and has four defensive TDs and 12 forced fumbles on his resume as well.

In Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, the Bears have two clear starters at linebacker. Behind them, however, Chicago’s roster houses 2018 fourth-round pick Joel Iyiegbuniwe and two recent UDFAs. Despite suiting up for 31 career games, Iyiegbuniwe has played just 26 defensive snaps. Both Smith and Trevathan have battled injuries in recent years, and the Bears lost longtime backup/spot starter Nick Kwiatkoski in free agency.

Giants Release Alec Ogletree, Kareem Martin

The Giants have released linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, per a club announcement. By cutting the two veterans, the Giants will save roughly $10MM against the 2020 salary cap. 

The Giants acquired Ogletree via trade with the Rams in 2018. Despite his experience and soft hands (he has a dozen interceptions to his credit), the savings were too good to pass up. Ogletree appeared in 26 games for the G-Men in his two seasons and led the team with 173 stops in that span. He also set the franchise record for INTs by an LB in 2018 with five picks – two of which were brought back for touchdowns.

Martin joined the Giants on the same week as Ogletree. In his first campaign, Martin had perfect attendance with seven starts at linebacker and notched a career-high 48 tackles with 1.5 sacks. Last year, a Week 1 knee injury pretty much wiped out his season. He played in just five contests and logged a grand total of six tackles. He had one more year to go on his deal, but few expected him to see that final season.

By dropping Ogletree and Martin, the Giants will head into March with approximately $70MM in breathing room.

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Release Candidate: Alec Ogletree

Giants GM Dave Gettleman is entering a make-or-break offseason. While plenty of fans were clamoring for his ouster at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, team ownership elected to give him another shot to right the ship, but if Big Blue should disappoint again in 2020, Gettleman will almost certainly be gone.

So he needs to tread carefully when navigating free agency and the draft and in determining which players to jettison from the roster. LB Alec Ogletree, whom Gettleman acquired via trade with the Rams in 2018, presents an interesting case study in that regard.

Ogletree, a former first-round pick of the then-St. Louis Rams in 2013, has never been an advanced metrics darling. But he has been a full-time starter throughout his first seven years in the league, and he has even been something of a playmaker, accumulating 12 interceptions and four pick-sixes in his career. He typically plays all or almost all of his team’s defensive snaps, and in the years in which he has played a full 16-game slate, he has recorded well over 100 tackles.

On the other hand, the only Ogletree team that has qualified for the postseason was the 2017 Rams, so perhaps Ogletree’s playing time and the raw numbers that go along with that are attributable at least in part to the fact that he hasn’t played on particularly good clubs. He has never made the Pro Bowl and has not quite lived up to his status as a first-round pick, which suggests that the Giants could part ways with him this offseason and save $8.25MM against the cap in the process.

That savings must look tempting to Gettleman, but keeping the Georgia product also has its merits. Although the Giants do not lead the league in cap space, their $61MM of estimated room is nothing to sneeze at, so the financial benefits of releasing Ogletree are not as critical as they might otherwise be. And the team’s defense is young and will be learning a new scheme under DC Patrick Graham, so Ogletree’s experience and leadership could be a boon to Graham’s unit. Plus, Gettleman has never been one to put much stock in advanced metrics, so the fact that Ogletree doesn’t score highly in that department probably doesn’t bother him too much (though he did dangle Ogletree in trade talks in advance of the 2019 deadline).

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv recently suggested that a pay cut may be in the cards, and it’s easy to see why. Ogletree is certainly not worth the $10MM he is due to make in base salary in 2020, and he would not fetch that much on the open market. A reduction, though, may still pay him more than he would earn as a free agent, it would give him a shot at staying with the Giants in 2021 and earning the $9MM that he is due for that season, and the Giants would get a little more cap flexibility.

That sounds like a win-win for both sides, but if Ogletree doesn’t agree to a pay cut, either on principle or because he might want an opportunity to catch on with a team that gives him a better chance at a title, he could be playing elsewhere in 2020.

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East Notes: Rivers, Jets, Ogletree

The Patriots drafted edge rusher Derek Rivers in the third round of the 2017 draft, but the Youngstown State product has played in just six regular season games over his first three years in the pros. His entire rookie campaign was wiped out due to a torn ACL, he had a limited workload in 2018, and he sustained a knee injury during a preseason game in August that landed him on IR for all of 2019.

But as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, Rivers still features heavily in New England’s plans. Reiss says Rivers remains a constant presence at the team’s facility, and if the team cannot retain free agent Kyle Van Noy — which is quite possible, given the amount of cap space that will need to be devoted to the offensive side of the ball, including the quarterback position — Rivers will need to step up.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv takes a look at a few Jets who could be cap casualties this offseason. Most of them — like CB Trumaine Johnson, whom we recently discussed as a release candidate — are obvious choices, but players like Jonotthan Harrison and Avery Williamson are more difficult calls. Vacchiano believes the club would be wise to retain Harrison at least as a depth option, and he suggests Williamson could be back on a reworked contract.
  • In a separate piece, Vacchiano names a few players the Jets should target in free agency, assuming their current teams don’t retain them. Unsurprisingly, he believes Gang Green should target the top of the O-line (Brandon Scherff, Jack Conklin) and WR (Amari Cooper, Emmanuel Sanders) markets.
  • Vacchiano undergoes the same exercises for the Giants that he did for the Jets. For Big Blue, he names LB Alec Ogletree as the most likely player to be cut on his list of seven names, and he also believes Conklin would be a perfect fit for the G-Men.
  • Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic summarizes the changes to the coaching staff that the Eagles recently made official. We had previously passed along most of those names, though Kapadia’s list also includes Andrew Breiner (hired as pass game analyst) and Dino Vasso (promoted to assistant defensive coordinator). He also offers his take on the changes, including his observation that the offensive staff now includes coaches who have very different schematic backgrounds, which suggests that Philadelphia will try to incorporate a wide variety of looks in 2020.

Giants Shopping Janoris Jenkins, Alec Ogletree

The Giants might not be done dealing. Even after trading for Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the Giants are shopping cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebacker Alec Ogletree, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The Giants may also be open to trading tackle Nate Solder, RapSheet says, though we’ve heard conflicting word on that front over the last few days. 

Rumors have swirled about Jenkins’ status with the team for some time now and the club may finally be ready to part ways with him. For his part, Jackrabbit has been frustrated by the constant talk coupled with a lack of communication from the front office about his future. Through eight games, Jenkins has 35 total stops and an eye-popping four interceptions, showing that he’s still among the best corners in the NFL. Tomorrow, he’ll turn 31 years old, and he’ll be celebrating with a new group of friends if the Giants can find a suitable deal.

Ogletree, 28, entered the league as a first-round pick of the Rams. He didn’t impress in terms of the advanced metrics, but that wasn’t a turnoff for Dave Gettleman‘s front office. In March of 2018, they gave up some later-round draft capital to acquire Ogletree and his contract, which runs through 2021. Ogletree has started in all 19 of his games for the G-Men since then and has made some big plays, including five interceptions in 2018, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

The Browns could be one potential destination for Solder and many other contenders in need of tackles could also come calling. However, the Giants are reportedly nervous about switching up Daniel Jones‘ front line and may opt to keep him well protected for the rest of 2019.

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NFC Notes: Lions, Ngata, Giants

Here’s a quick look at the NFC:

  • Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata inked a one-year, $2.6MM fully guaranteed deal ($3MM maximum value) with the Eagles this week, but he had the same offer on the table from the Lions, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (video link). He chose the Eagles because he felt they were a better scheme fit for him. In Philadelphia’s two-gap system, Ngata is hoping to get back to his old form as he backs up Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan.
  • The Giants restructured linebacker Alec Ogletree‘s contract to prorate the $7MM roster bonus he was due over the remaining four years of his contract, a source tells Dan Duggan of The Athletic (on Twitter). His cap hit will be reduced from $10MM to $4.75MM in 2018, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter).
  • Bears tight end Dion Sims remained on the team’s roster today and now has $4MM of his $6MM base salary fully guaranteed for 2018, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter) notes.

Extra Points: Butler, Shead, Rams, Chiefs

It’s been a wild ride for the Seahawks defense the past week. After the team traded Michael Bennett to the Eagles and released Richard Sherman, it also decided to release cornerback DeShawn Shead.

This was noteworthy because the Seahawks told the player it would release him to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent despite the NFL saying his contract should toll for 2018.

Earlier today, Shead signed with the Lions but reportedly wanted a return to the Seahawks, the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta tweets. After Seattle honored its statement to make the cornerback a free agent, Shead wanted to give Seattle every chance to keep him, but the organization ultimately wouldn’t match the offer he received from the Lions.

Seattle now enters free agency without three of its top veterans and could be seeing the end of the Earl Thomas era, who has threatened to hold out if he doesn’t receive a new deal. The Seahawks could deal him this offseason and are reportedly looking for a first-round pick in return.

Needless to say, the Seahawks once-stingy defensive unit will look plenty different in 2018.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Rams general manager Les Snead said on Wednesday the team traded linebacker Alec Ogletree to accommodate the ensuing move for cornerback Aqib Talib, Alden Gonzalez tweets. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips prefers cornerbacks to linebackers in his scheme, and a big move had to be made to bring in the former Broncos corner, who will count $11 MM toward the cap.
  • Snead also said he sees ways the Rams can address run defense and the pass rush in free agency, Gonzalez tweets. Though he is weighing what will be available to fill those holes with rookies, he doesn’t want to just wait until the draft to fill obvious needs. The team received some insurance for its pass rush on Wednesday when it re-signed veteran linebacker Connor Barwin.
  • New Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler said he was worried his Super Bowl benching would hurt his value on the open market, USA Today’s Lindsay Jones tweets. Butler notoriously didn’t see the field against the Eagles in February when the Patriots allowed Nick Foles to shred their secondary. The 2015 Pro Bowl selection reached a deal with the Titans on Wednesday worth up to $61 MM over five years, with $30 MM of that being guaranteed.
  • Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said cornerback Marcus Peters‘ trade to the Rams had nothing to do with national anthem protests, Pro Football Talk passes along“This was a football decision. … This wasn’t just one game, wasn’t a month, this was three years of body of work, and we look for consistency. We felt that this was in the best interest of the team,” Veach said. 
  • Veach also touched on the Chiefs move for Sammy Watkins, saying the team pounced on the receiver in the first minute of free agency, the NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets. Veach said that if Watkins received a call before theirs, the other team would’ve had to call in 30 seconds before they did. The team was motivated to move on Watkins to add him to Tyreek Hill, giving strong-armed quarterback Patrick Mahomes a pair of dynamic, stretch-the-field receivers.