- Tyler Eifert, TE (Jaguars): Two years. Worth $9.5MM, including $3.25MM guaranteed. $2.25MM signing bonus. $1.25MM per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2020). Up to $1M per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2021, if options is exercised).
- Sheldon Day, DT (Colts): Signed. One-year, $1.75M deal, including $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus, $1MM salary (of which $500K is guaranteed). Up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses.
- Andrew Billings, DT (Browns): One year, $3.5MM. Fully guaranteed deal. Includes $2MM signing bonus.
- Anthony Levine, S (Ravens): Signed. One-year, $1.812MM deal, including $350K guaranteed. $137.6K signing bonus, $1.675MM salary (of which $212.5K is guaranteed).
- Chris Moore, WR (Ravens): Re-signed. One-year, $1.672MM deal, including $275K guaranteed. $137.5K signing bonus, $1.535MM salary (of which $137.5K is guaranteed).
- Nick Dzubnar, LB (Titans): Signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.
Billings will ink a one-year deal worth $3.5MM fully guaranteed. The structure could be indicative of the current climate and reflective of player concerns during this period of uncertainty. Either way, it’s a solid deal for both sides. The Browns get a former starter on the cheap who can push opposing lineman thanks to his 328-pound frame. Billings, meanwhile, has security and a chance to cash in if he performs.
Billings, 25, has appeared in 47 games with 37 starts for the Bengals over the last three years. He came into the league as a fourth-round pick in 2016, but saw his entire season wiped out by a knee injury.
The Bengals have released wide receiver Brandon Tate, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), and they’ve also waived fellow WR Mario Alford with an injury designation, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Additionally, Cincinnati has placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings on injured reserve and fellow DT Brandon Thompson on PUP. The club’s roster is now at 75.
Tate, 28, has been on Cincinnati’s roster since the 2011 season, but most of his contributions have come on special teams rather than on offense. He’s returned more than 350 kicks and punts during his time with the Bengals, averaging 9.6 yards per return on kickoffs and 24.6 yards on punts. Tate is highly-respected by the Cincinnati coaching staff and front office, and Rapoport notes that the club released him now so that he might be able to latch on with another club.
Alford, meanwhile, was thought to be contending for both returner jobs, but injuries have kept him off the field. The former sixth-round pick will revert to the Bengals’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers.
The Bengals also released kicker Jon Brown from the injured reserve list, presumably with an injury settlement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
TUESDAY, 7:09pm: Billings will in fact miss the entire 2016 season, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
MONDAY, 12:14pm: Bengals rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings underwent knee surgery today for a torn meniscus and is out indefinitely, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The injury could rule Billings out for the entire 2016 season.
As shown on Roster Resource, the Bengals were planning on using Billings as their primary backup at nose tackle behind Domata Peko. Former Raider Pat Sims now presumably moves up a spot on the depth chart and the team could also look out-of-house for defensive line help as defensive tackle Brandon Thompson recovers from his knee injury.
In July, scouting expert Dave-Te Thomas told PFR that Billings was poised to make a big impact for Cincinnati this season:
Lightning may have struck the Bengals twice at the nose guard position. Back in 2010, a stout interior defender was not regarded as highly by general managers as their scouts. As luck would have it, the Bengals took a chance in the fourth round that year and found Geno Atkins. Now, six years later, they might have found the player who could replace Peko at nose tackle, perhaps as early as next year. If Billings proves to be starter material in training camp, the front office might be comfortable with letting Peko go elsewhere after this season.
The Bengals haven’t had the best of luck with their 2016 rookie class. Earlier this month, first-round cornerback William Jackson III suffered a torn pectoral muscle that could cost him a big chunk of the season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Today’s minor moves:
- The Buccaneers have signed undrafted free agent Javien Elliott, formerly of Florida State, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Elliott accrued 37 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Seminoles last season.
- Offensive lineman Darius Johnson, whom the Lions cut on Tuesday, has cleared waivers, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Johnson signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent from Middle Tennessee State earlier this month.
- The Buccaneers have waived cornerback C.J. Wilson, according to Auman (Twitter link). Wilson missed all of last season after losing two fingers in a July 4 fireworks accident. Prior to that horrific accident, he appeared in a total of four games from 2013-14 – his first two seasons in the league. Wilson will continue his career in a vastly different climate, per Auman, who reports that he has signed with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
- Wide receiver Andre Debose, whom the Raiders waived/injured Tuesday, cleared waivers and has reverted to injured reserve, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
- The Titans have been awarded tight end Jerome Cunningham off waivers, reports Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. Cunningham, whom the Jets waived Tuesday, appeared in nine games last season and caught eight passes for 59 yards.
- The Broncos have an agreement with second-round defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, Mike Klis of 9NEWS tweets. As per his slot, Gotsis’ deal comes with a signing bonus of just over $1MM. Gotsis, a Georgia Tech product, is currently sidelined due to the torn ACL he suffered last year.
- The Bengals signed fourth-round defensive tackle Andrew Billings, as Wilson tweets. In related news, the team signed fullback Andrew Bonnet and waived-injured kicker Jonathan Brown.
- The Bears announced that they have signed linebacker Jarrett Grace, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame. To make room, fellow linebacker Danny Mason has been placed on waivers.
- The Falcons announced that they have waived offensive lineman Cody Elenz. Elenz was signed as a college free agent following the draft. Even after cutting Elenz, Atlanta has 15 offensive linemen on their 88-man roster.
- The Packers released guard/tackle Vince Kowalski, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.
Four-time Pro Bowl Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor hasn’t been shy about voicing his disenchantment with his current contract, going so far as to sit out all of last summer and then the first two games of the season in an effort to land a better one. Though that gambit backfired, he’s in no hurry to leave Seattle. Chancellor took to Instagram on Wednesday and posted a picture with the message: “I’m not going anywhere.” The 27-year-old also wrote, “Seattle is my Second home. I don’t plan on going anywhere unless some higher power places me elsewhere.” Chancellor has two years remaining on his deal.
More from around the NFL as we wrap up Wednesday…
- The right side of the Cardinals’ offensive line will consist of newly signed Evan Mathis (guard) and D.J. Humphries (tackle), while A.Q. Shipley is the current starter at center, according to general manager Steve Keim (Twitter link via Darren Urban of the team’s website).
- On the other side of the ball, newly acquired pass rusher Chandler Jones will shift from defensive end – where he played in New England – to outside linebacker for the Cardinals, per Keim. The deal to land Jones took about three days to execute, the GM added (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). It’s worth mentioning that defensive ends cost more to franchise tag than linebackers ($15.701MM to $14.129MM this year), which could impact Jones – who will be a free agent next offseason.
- Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple has lined up visits with more than 16 teams, including the Rams, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter).
- Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings has met with the Buccaneers, Steelers, 49ers and Lions, he told James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).
- Receiver/returner Jordan Norwood will join linebacker Courtney Upshaw in visiting the Jets on Thursday, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Norwood, 29, has played sporadically with three different teams since entering the league in 2009. He spent last season with the champion Broncos, amassing 22 receptions and 11 returns, and set the record for the longest Super Bowl punt return (61 yards).
A quick look at the latest college players who will head for the 2016 NFL Draft:
- Indiana defensive tackle Darius Latham has declared, according to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman (Twitter link).
- Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson will enter the draft, per Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link).
- UCLA running back Paul Perkins announced his draft intentions via Twitter.
- Fellow Baylor teammates expect defensive tackle Andrew Billings and cornerback Xavien Howard to depart school in favor of the draft, Pauline tweets.
- Marshall defensive back Corey Tindal also tweeted that he will enter the draft.
- San Diego State cornerback Damontae Kazee announced that he’s headed for the pros, Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes.
- San Jose State defensive back Cleveland Wallace III joined International Sports Agency (Twitter link).