Alshon Jeffery

Extra Points: Raiders, Steelers, Jeffery

The city of Oakland is attempting a last-ditch effort to keep the Raiders in advance of what promises to be a seminal vote Monday at the owners’ meetings. But this latest $1.3 billion proposal may not be enough to stop the owners from green-lighting a Las Vegas move. Oakland’s updated pitch “did not move the chains forward” with the NFL, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports (on Twitter). The league is reviewing the proposal, but Bonsignore adds (Twitter link) the core issues at the root of the NFL’s reluctance regarding this project are not resolved. Bonsignore does not estimate the project can move forward (Twitter link) as presently constructed, setting the stage for a possible third Raiders relocation. This belief would stand to continue the league’s pessimism on the Oakland front.

Here’s the latest from Oakland and the rest of the NFL.

  • The Fortress Investment Group’s involvement in this project may not be a plus investment for the Raiders, who would “have to be in desperate straits” to sign up for an arrangement in which the team wouldn’t have much stake in its own stadium, Stanford economics professor Roger Noll said, via J.K. Dineen of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Even if Las Vegas doesn’t work out, the Raiders could get a better deal in San Diego or St. Louis,” Noll said. “There has never been a major league sports team that has had a deal like this where a third party is the main financier of the stadium and the main beneficiary of the revenue it generates.” The project would in large part be financed by a Fortress loan of $600MM, along with another $500MM loan backed by seat licensing fees, Dineen reports.
  • Dont’a Hightower agreed to take less money from the Patriots than he would have gotten from the Jets as a UFA, but the Steelers also offered the linebacker a better deal, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Pittsburgh offered the sixth-year linebacker a deal that would have paid him more then $9MM per year. He signed to stay with the Patriots for $8.7MM AAV. However, both the Steelers and Jets were concerned with Hightower’s health. This led to the Jets pulling their offer after Hightower’s physical. La Canfora adds the Jets and Steelers felt they were being used as leverage during this process.
  • Mark Sanchez‘s one-year Bears deal is worth $2MM, with $1MM guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports (on Twitter). The journeyman backup can earn another $2MM in incentives.
  • A thorough piece on Adam Schefter — by’s Tim Rohan — revealed a phone conversation ESPN’s chief NFL reporter had with Alshon Jeffery during the first day of free agency. Rohan reports Jeffery called Schefter asking him how much money the other UFA wide receivers were going to sign for. “It’s all about the guarantee, Alshon,” Schefter said, per Rohan, who noted players sometimes call the longtime NFL reporter with similar queries. “It’s all about the guarantee … Your average per year could be $100 million. It doesn’t matter. If they’re going to guarantee you the majority of the contract, that’s what you want.” Jeffery, who signed with the Eagles, does not remember the events unfolding like this. “I NEVER sought advice from media before I decided to sign my contract with the Eagles,” Jeffery tweeted. The wideout who is attempting to shake off an injury- and suspension-marred past two years signed with Philadelphia for one year and $9.5MM ($8.75MM guaranteed).

Alshon Jeffery’s Deal Worth $9.5MM

Following reports that wideout Alshon Jeffery had signed with the Eagles, we heard that the receiver had signed a one-year deal worth $14MM. Well, we’re now learning that that’s the contract’s peak value.

Alshon Jeffery (vertical)ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets that Jeffery will actually be making $9.5MM on his next contract, and the deal can max out at $14MM. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds (via Twitter) that the receiver has a $1MM base salary (guaranteed) and a $7.75MM signing bonus. There’s also a $750K workout bonus and up to $4.5MM in incentive bonuses.

Jeffery was hampered by injures and a suspension over the past two seasons, but he’s still one of the most dynamic wideouts in the NFL. In 2013, Jeffery caught 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven touchdown, and he followed that up with a campaign where he hauled in 85 catches for 1,133 yards and ten scores.

We learned yesterday that the veteran didn’t even consider the Bears, his former team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Lang, Jones, Jeffery, Cyprien

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Free agent guard T.J. Lang will not be visiting the Broncos following the team’s signing of lineman Ronald Leary, tweets Mike Kliss of 9News. The second-best free agent interior lineman still has plenty of suitors, as he’s set to meet with the Lions and Seahawks. The Packers, his former team, also have interest.
  • Had the Cardinals not extended Chandler Jones, the pass rusher would have eaten up over $14MM of spending space as their franchise player in 2017. He’ll instead take up around $10MM of cap room in 2017, tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
  • Alshon Jeffery‘s one-year, $14MM deal with the Eagles is the largest non-franchise tag one-year pact in NFL history, according to the NFL Media Research Group (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of Jeffery’s pact eclipsed Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s one-year, $12MM deal with the Jets.
  • The Jaguars didn’t make a contract offer to strong safety Jonathan Cyprien, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. After spending four seasons in Jacksonville, the 26-year-old joined the Titans on a four-year, $25MM contract.
  • The Rams‘ release of defensive end Eugene Sims came with a failed physical designation, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets. The 31-year-old was let go by the team early this morning.
  • Akeem Spence said the Buccaneers expressed interest in bringing him back next season, but the defensive tackle needs a “fresh start,” tweets ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Spence ultimately inked a three-year, $10.5MM deal with the Lions.
  • Rudy Ford ran a 4.25 at today’s Auburn Pro Day, tweets agent Blake Baratz. The safety was told earlier this week that he wasn’t healthy enough to participate at the combine. Baratz declares Ford “the most underrated prospect in the draft.”

A.J. Bouye, Alshon Jeffery Didn’t Consider Signing With Bears

The Bears will emerge from the opening of free agency having added Mike Glennon, Dion Sims, Markus Wheaton and Will Demps, but Thursday didn’t go according to plan for the franchise, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

A.J. Bouye (vertical)

Chicago attempted to use its boatload of cap space to sign more established players, including top cornerback Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but the team swung and missed on all counts. While the Bears looked like the favorites to ink Gilmore as recently as Tuesday, he instead joined the Patriots on a mega-deal. Meanwhile, prior to landing his own enormous payday with the Jaguars, Bouye didn’t even give the Bears serious consideration, a source told Biggs.

Like Bouye, Jeffery had no interest in signing with the Bears, multiple sources informed Biggs. He ultimately took a one-year, $14MM offer from the Eagles to leave Chicago, where he spent the first five seasons of his career and emerged as one of the NFL’s top pass catchers.

Should the Bears could continue scouring the open market for potential solutions at either position, some appealing options remain in a dwindling class of free agents. Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamara and Morris Claiborne are among the league’s still-unsigned corners, while Terrelle Pryor is the best wideout without a contract. It’s unclear, though, whether the Bears are interested in any of those players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Romo, Baker, Jeffery, Eagles

Tony Romo was “never being waived” by the Cowboys, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). We presume the source means “cut” rather than “waived” since vested veterans cannot be waived in the offseason. Word on Wednesday was that the Cowboys would release Romo, allowing him to sign with another club. Then, on Thursday, it was reported that the Cowboys were expecting to trade the quarterback to the Broncos or Texans. For now, things remain in a holding pattern for Romo.

Here’s more from around the league on Day 1 of official free agency.

  • The Redskins did not end up making an offer to Chris Baker, who agreed to a deal with the Buccaneers, Dianna Russini of tweets. Baker joined DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as higher-end free agents who left Washington this week.
  • Alshon Jeffery looks to be a believer in Carson Wentz. The sixth-year wideout turned out a turned down a multiyear deal with greater security from the Vikings to sign with the Eagles, Ian Rapoport tweets.
  • Torrey Smith‘s Eagles deal is for one year and $5MM, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports (on Twitter), adding that the contract contains two option years. Both option years are worth $5MM apiece. Smith will collect a $500K bonus from what will be his third NFL employer.
  • Chance Warmack signed with the Eagles for one year and $1.51MM, per Pelissero (on Twitter). This looks like a value-re-establishing season for the former Titans first-rounder, who will receive a $500K signing bonus.
  • The SeahawksLuke Joeckel deal is for one year and up to $8MM, Mike Garafolo of tweets. The guaranteed money here isn’t known yet, but Joeckel could do well for himself after seeing seeing the Jaguars pass on his 2017 option in 2016 and then going on IR.
  • New Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall said four teams were on his top tier in terms of giving him the best chance to win: the Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Seahawks, per Art Stapleton of The Record (on Twitter). Marshall has never made the playoffs in 11 seasons. The Giants made their first playoff berth in five years in 2016.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

Eagles Sign Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles are signing Alshon Jeffery, according to’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The deal will be for one-year and $14MM, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).Alshon Jeffery (Vertical)

The former Bears star is coming off of a so-so year that included a four-game ban for performance-enhancing drugs, but he’s still a major talent and a proven performer. In 2013, Jeffery flashed his full potential when he caught 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns. In the following season, he had 85 catches for 1,133 yards and ten scores. Injuries slowed him in 2015 and he struggled in the Bears’ sluggish offense last season, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that he can rebound in the right system.

Jeffery, 27, has been linked to the Eagles for some time, as Philadelphia was known to be targeting more weapons for quarterback Carson Wentz. Having already signed Torrey Smith, the Eagles have now added Jeffery, the top wide receiver on the market and the No. 2 free agent overall. They’ll get Jeffery at a one-year cost of $14MM, roughly $3MM less than what Jeffery would have earned on a second franchise tag in Chicago

The Titans, 49ers, and Vikings were all thought to be interested in securing Jeffery. Terrelle Pryor is now the best free agent receiver on the board, along with the likes of Terrance Williams, Markus Wheaton, and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Interested In Alshon Jeffery

Time to add another team to the Alshon Jeffery sweepstakes. Ian Rapoport of reports (via Twitter) that the Vikings have “entered the fold” for the talented wideout. The reporter notes that the receivers is currently in talks with the Colts, Bears, and Eagles. We’ve heard these names thrown around previously.

Alshon Jeffery (vertical)A suspension and poor quarterback play led to one of the least productive seasons in 2016 for Jeffery, as the wideout hauled in a career-low 52 receptions for 821 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, the 27-year-old would still be an intriguing option for Sam Bradford and the Vikings offense. The team’s receiver depth chart is currently headlined by Stefon Diggs and Jarius Wright, followed by Laquon Treadwell and Isaac Fruechte.

Restricted free agent Adam Thielen led all Vikings receivers last season with 967 receiving yards. Diggs finished the campaign with a team-leading 84 receptions, while tight end Kyle Rudolph caught seven touchdowns.

We listed Jeffery as the best free agent wideout, and Zach Links projected that the receiver would earn the second-highest contract among all free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Alshon Jeffery Leaning Toward Signing With Eagles

Alshon Jeffery is leaning toward choosing the Eagles when free agency starts, Josina Anderson of tweets. At last check, both the Colts and Eagles were making “strong pushes” to sign the wide receiver. Now, he could be Philly bound, leaving the Colts and Bears to look elsewhere.

The Eagles found a deep threat receiver on Thursday morning when they agreed to sign Torrey Smith. After that, we got word that they were easing up on their pursuit of a Brandin Cooks trade. Ultimately, a Cooks trade would have cost the Eagles a boatload of draft compensation on top of having to work out a new deal with Cooks at some point in the next two years. If they can sign Jeffery and Smith, they will have given two serious weapons to Carson Wentz without hurting their draft situation.

Remaining in these wideout pursuits despite having one of the worst cap situations in the league, the Eagles would be in a better place offensively by signing Jeffery. With the Bears in 2013 and ’14, the big target surpassed 1,100 yards — going for 1,421 in a Pro Bowl ’13 slate — before injuries and a suspension limited him the past two seasons.

Jeffery rated as PFR’s No. 2 overall free agent. The Eagles showed interest in DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Kenny Stills and Kenny Britt. By adding Smith and Jeffery, they could possibly put Jordan Matthews in the slot full-time and have a layered passing attack, one that also includes Zach Ertz.

Latest On Alshon Jeffery

While the Bears are still discussing a possible re-up with Alshon Jeffery‘s representatives, the market’s top wide receiver is drawing aggressive interest from elsewhere. Both the Colts and Eagles are making “strong pushes” to add the sixth-year wideout, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Rapoport notes (on Twitter) Jeffery continues to discuss a deal to stay in Chicago but is weighing multiple other offers.

The Eagles have been connected to just about every marquee receiver on the market but have watched DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Kenny Stills and Kenny Britt agree to sign with other teams. A Jeffery addition would salvage what’s been a wideout-geared offseason for the Eagles thus far.

Indianapolis has more than $47MM in cap space, much more than Philadelphia, but doesn’t have as big of a need at wideout. T.Y. Hilton profiles as a different type of receiver than does Jeffery, but he still led the league in receiving in 2016. The Colts also employ solid No. 2 man Donte Moncrief and drafted Phillip Dorsett in the first round two years ago.

Some trepidation from teams regarding Jeffery’s availability history may be affecting his market, and Jeffery’s best two seasons came in 2013 and ’14 as a No. 2 wideout. But the previously franchise-tagged target figures to cash in, probably for more than $10MM per year based on this layered interest. The Bears, though, would be hit hard if Jeffery left, considering Kevin White has not proven to be reliable. The former first-round pick has missed almost every game during the first two years of his career.

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents

It’s free agency week! This year, thanks to the salary cap increase, the dollars will be flying and players will make more than you ever could have expected. Our lists for offense and defense rank free agents based on overall ability, but our Top 50 ranks players based on earning power. Here, you’ll get a good sense of what the market will be like this week and who the big fish are.

The league’s “legal tampering” window will open on Tuesday at 11:00am CT. Technically, teams and players aren’t permitted to finalize agreements on contracts during that legal tampering window, but that’s often treated as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. We will almost certainly see handshake agreements go down on Tuesday and Wednesday before they become official on Thursday, the technical beginning of free agency.

Our list of 2017’s top 50 free agents doesn’t include restricted free agents, or franchise tagged players, since they’re effectively restricted free agents as well.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive right in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2017, along with a few predictions on how much they might earn and what teams could be in the mix to sign them:

1. A.J. Bouye, CB (Texans): Bouye is an overnight sensation, going from unknown to elite talent in the blink of an eye. No one knows exactly what to make of Bouye, but his upside is too much for teams to pass up. The Texans declined to use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old (26 in August), but they’re still hoping to get a deal done this week. The Jets are said to have interest, but it’s not clear if they’ll have the room to get something done. Cornerback-needy teams like the Panthers, Saints, Jaguars, Titans, Bears, and Eagles can be expected to at least kick the tires on this year’s top player in the secondary. Could something like Janoris Jenkins‘ five year, $62.5MM contract ($28.8MM fully guaranteed) from last year be within reach? Jenkins had a longer history of success than Bouye, but consider these facts: Bouye nearly two years younger than Jenkins was at time of signing and the salary cap has risen by about $12MM.
Signed with Jaguars for five years, $67.5MM.A.J. Bouye (vertical)

2. Alshon Jeffery, WR (Bears): He was hurt for most of 2015 and he slumped along with the entire Bears offense in 2016, but his natural ability is still evident and he is a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. At one point, it seemed like Jeffery could wind up as the league’s highest-paid wide receiver. That won’t be the case, but he will likely get more cash than any other wide receiver in this year’s class. The Eagles and Titans have been hot on his tail for some time now. The 49ers could also get involved and a return to the Bears cannot be ruled out either. Ultimately, Jeffery should wind up fetching at least $10MM per year and perhaps as much as $12MM per year on his next deal.
Signed with Eagles for one year, $9.5MM.

3. Kenny Stills, WR (Dolphins): Jeffery isn’t the only wide receiver who could fetch $12MM per year. Stills isn’t necessarily the best wide receiver on his own team, but he is just on the cusp of his 25th birthday and his ability to stretch the field is tantalizing. It doesn’t sound like the Dolphins are ready to be the highest bidder for his services and it’s not hard to imagine a team like the Eagles landing him. Naturally, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the potential suitors for Jeffery and Stills: the Eagles, Titans, Bears, and 49ers will probably come calling. The Rams may not have enough room to squeeze in Stills, but they could certainly use a playmaker like him if they do not re-sign Kenny Britt. Stills reportedly likes the West Coast (who doesn’t?) so the Niners and Rams could have a leg up on the others if the bidding is close.
Re-signed with Dolphins for four years, $32MM.

4. Dont’a Hightower, LB (Patriots): The market is capped for non-rush linebackers, but Hightower is pretty much the best at what he does and is also lauded for his intangibles. The Patriots have always embraced the “next man up” philosophy, so it is possible they will allow him to go elsewhere. The Dolphins have been frequently connected to Hightower, but that might be too ambitious for a team that has multiple major needs to address. The Colts might also make sense, but the price might be too rich for their blood. A Patriots return appears to be the most likely outcome, but anything is possible.
Re-signed with Patriots for four years, $35.5MM. 

5. Kevin Zeitler, G (Bengals): Zeitler has age on his side and he’s one of the safest free agents in the top ten after three consecutive years of dominance. Interior offensive linemen don’t get as much love as their counterparts on the outside, but they are still incredibly vital and Zeitler’s next contract will reflect that. If he doesn’t circle back to the Bengals, the Jaguars, Cardinals, Packers, and Seahawks all make varying degrees of sense for Zeitler. From a football standpoint, you can add the Jets to that group too, but I’m not sure they can meet a ~$12MM/year asking price.
Signed with Browns for five years, $60MM.

6. Logan Ryan, CB (Patriots): There are bigger names available at the cornerback position, but Ryan slots ahead of many of them after a career year. It also doesn’t hurt that this fresh-faced Super Bowl champ only just turned 26 in February. If the Patriots don’t tie him down, Ryan’s earning power could conceivably vault him past Trumaine Johnson in terms of guaranteed cash. The Jaguars and Titans would be wise to zero in on Ryan if they can’t land Bouye and it’s possible that some of their evaluators might even prefer Ryan over the Houston standout. Ryan’s next deal will probably pay him eight figures per year and it should be a lengthy pact.
Signed with Titans for three years, $30MM.

7. Terrelle Pryor, WR (Browns): There is strong mutual interest in a new deal between Pryor and the Browns. Still, the Browns passed on the opportunity to franchise tag the Ohio State product and he now appears poised to test the open market. With pretty much just one year to show, how will Pryor fare in free agency? His next deal should pay him at least $10MM/year and he could get up to $12MM/year. In addition to the Browns, the usual suspects for this year’s high-end WRs will explore signing Pryor (say it with me): Eagles, Titans, and 49ers. There’s conflicting word about whether the Steelers will get involved. The Giants are known to have interest, but I don’t think they’ll be splurging on free agents like they did one year ago.
Signed with Redskins for one year, $6MM.

8 .Ricky Wagner, OT (Ravens): There’s already talk of Wagner fetching around $10MM/year and it’s not like this year’s free agent market is flush with young, quality tackles. When you also consider the lack of quality tackles in the draft, it’s apparent that Wagner is about to get PAID, in all caps.Believe it or not, $10MM/year might be his floor. When all is said and done, he’ll be the league’s biggest earner at right tackle. The Bears are particularly interested in Wagner, so he could go from the AFC North to the NFC North this week.
Signed with Lions for five years, $47.5MM.

Calais Campbell (vertical)9. Calais Campbell, DL (Cardinals): Campbell was supposed to be an afterthought in Arizona after the addition of Chandler Jones. Perhaps motivated by a perceived slight, Campbell turned in a stellar year. Now, the Cardinals would very much like to keep him, but they can only go so far as they back up the Brinks truck for Jones and look into retaining other key free agents. If Jones does not agree to a cap-smoothing long-term deal between now and March 9th, the odds of Campbell leaving increase. The Jaguars are said to be a leading contender for Campbell while the Titans, Broncos, Colts, and Bears could also use a force like him. His age (31 in September) gives him a bit of a ceiling in terms of overall compensation, but he should still do nicely this month.
Signed with Jaguars for four years, $60MM.

10. Stephon Gilmore, CB (Bills): In terms of pure talent, Gilmore might be the best cornerback available. Trouble is, no one knows what to make of him after a down 2016. Some have openly theorized that Gilmore was playing it safe to avoid injury in his pivotal contract year. It’s also possible that Buffalo’s injuries in the front seven put undue stress on the secondary. The Bears are reportedly high on Gilmore and he may represent a cheaper option than Bouye or Ryan. A Bills return would also make sense here.
Signed with Patriots for five years, $65MM.

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