Free agent offensive tackle Branden Albert is still in the Seattle area after working out for the Seahawks on Monday, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Albert, 32, had reportedly been set to meet with the Giants at some point this week, but as of last night, he hadn’t yet left for New York. Whether that means he’s close to a contract with the Seahawks is unclear, but Albert would almost certainly be an improvement over Seattle blindside protector Rees Odhiambo, who currently ranks as the worst tackle in the league, per Pro Football Focus. The Giants, too, could use help along the offensive line, as Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart have posted below-average results through five games. Albert, of course, had an eventful offseason that included a “retirement” after being traded from the Dolphins to the Jaguars.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- The Vikings should offer an extension to backup quarterback Case Keenum, opines Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Keenum has been called on to appear in four games (three starts) in relief of Sam Bradford, who is still dealing with knee complications. He’s performed well, completing 64.5% of his passes for four touchdowns and zero interceptions, but his contract — like those of Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater — expires after the 2017 season. An extension would allow Minnesota to lock in a quality reserve for another year or two, while giving Keenum more cash and the possibility of competing for a starting job in 2018. Bradford has already been ruled out for Sunday’s contest against the Packers, so Keenum will earn a fourth start.
- Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will require a four-month recovery period after undergoing surgery on a torn bicep Thursday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). As had already been reported, Ngata won’t be able to return to the Lions this season, but that injury timeline means he should be fully healthy by the time free agency opens in 2018. Ngata isn’t under contract for next year, and the soon-to-be 34-year-old interior defender has flirted with retirement in the past. It’s unclear whether he intends to continue his career for another season.
- Given his lengthy injury history, it would be “shocking” to see Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert garner a long-term contract like Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, or Jordan Reed, all of whom earn more than $8.5MM annually, opines Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Eifert, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, has only appeared in 39 games over four-plus seasons in the NFL. While his talent is immense (13 touchdowns in 2015), Eifert simply can’t stay on the field, a fact which makes the franchise tag — at a cost north of $10MM — an unlikely option for Cincinnati in 2018. Instead, a one-year, “prove-it” deal for the 27-year-old pass-catcher could conceivably make more sense for both sides.
- The Patriots currently have three rookies on the various NFL reserve lists, but only one will be able to return in 2017, as Doug Kyed of NESN tweets. Offensive lineman Andrew Jelks, an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt who is currently on the non-football injury list, can come back under PUP rules, meaning he must miss six weeks of the season. After that, New England has a five-week window during which it can activate Jelks. Tackle Antonio Garcia, a third-rounder from Troy who’s on the non-football illness list, and defensive lineman Keionta Davis, a UDFA on non-football injury, aren’t eligible to return this season, per Kyed.