Andrus Peat

NFC Rumors: Massie, Saints, Jernigan

On the surface, the Saints reluctantly enter their offseason without many avenues to improve their roster. They traded away their 2019 first-, third- and fourth-round picks and stand to hold less than $20MM in cap space. However, they may be open to another extension that knocks down Drew Brees‘ NFL-high $33.5MM cap figure. Another place the team could look to for potential cap savings is Andrus Peat‘s contract. The 2015 first-round pick has a $9.625MM fifth-year option salary, but with those deals guaranteed for injury only, The Athletic’s Larry Holder writes (subscription required) the guard is not a lock to return to New Orleans in 2019. Four of the Saints’ top six cap charges stand to go to offensive linemen, and Peat graded out as Pro Football Focus’ worst full-time guard this season. Peat broke his hand in December, but having played in both New Orleans’ playoff games, passing the fifth-year option physical before the new league year seems like a decent bet.

As its Super Bowl LIII representative prepares to trek to Atlanta, here is the latest from the NFC:

  • With Bobby Massie re-signing to stay in Chicago long-term, the Bears knocked out a key piece of their offseason task list. They now have three of their starting offensive linemen signed to veteran contracts. Massie will become one of the highest-paid right tackles in the game, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeting the 29-year-old blocker will earn more than $8MM annually. While guarantees and base salaries are not yet known, Massie will become the fifth right tackle to make $8MM-plus per year.
  • Shifting back to the Saints, they will lose a staffer to the college ranks. Offensive assistant Joe Brady will become LSU’s passing game coordinator, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. Brady spent two years with the Saints.
  • The Eagles signed Timmy Jernigan to a four-year, $48MM extension late in the 2017 season. But the reigning Super Bowl champs may be experiencing buyer’s remorse. Jernigan ($13MM cap hit in 2019) will not be back in Philly without a restructure, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles would have to eat a $6MM dead-money charge by releasing the defensive tackle but would gain $7MM in cap savings. This marks the NFL’s worst cap situation, with the Eagles more than $14MM over the projected salary ceiling.

NFC Notes: Peat, Cowboys, Eagles, Crowder

Andrus Peat committed four penalties during the Saints‘ divisional-round win over the Eagles, and part of the reason for his struggles surfaced. The veteran guard suffered a broken hand in Week 17, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein notes the Saints’ starting left guard broke his right hand. The injury during New Orleans’ meaningless regular-season finale led to Peat undergoing surgery during the bye week, Schefter adds. Against the Eagles, Peat played through “serious pain.” It is unclear if or how much Peat aggravated his injury on Sunday, and it’s not certain if he will be available to face the Rams. Though, Peat’s postgame comments do not point to him resting against Los Angeles. He played through ankle and quadriceps injuries this season and suffered a concussion. This was also the second straight year the Saints’ playoff opener has involved a Peat injury. The former first-round pick suffered a broken fibula during New Orleans’ wild card-round win last year and missed the Saints’ divisional game in Minnesota.

As the coaching carousel spins, here is the latest from the NFC’s non-coaching news cycle:

  • The Cowboys are among the league leaders in projected cap space, at $54MM-plus, but they are not expecting to be major players in free agency. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t play free agency at all; we just won’t be paying a high-profile free agent, more than likely,” VP Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan (via Jon Machota of the Dallas News on Twitter). “Never rule anything out all the way, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s going to be our strategy going into the offseason.” Dallas is likely saving money to pay its glut of extension-eligible young talents. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and Jaylon Smith are now all eligible for re-ups. With Dallas also making Zack Martin the richest guard in football last year, big outside investments may not be realistic this offseason.
  • Speaking of playing through injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery played through cracked ribs against the Saints, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. An MRI last week revealed the injury. Jeffery dropped a Nick Foles pass that ricocheted into Marshon Lattimore‘s arms. This setback likely will not be nearly as troublesome for Jeffery to surmount as the one he played through in 2017. Jeffery’s previous shoulder issue caused him to miss all of Philadelphia’s offseason program and sidelined him into the 2018 season.
  • While a scenario may exist involving the Eagles franchise-tagging Foles and attempting to trade him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link) expects the quarterback to hit the free agent market. Foles’ impending exit would further tether the Eagles to Carson Wentz, who has suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. But Wentz said Monday doctors have assured him this back injury is not expected to linger long-term.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Redskins do not want to let another of their mainstay wide receivers walk as a free agent. Washington allowed both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to depart in 2017, and while neither 30-something pass-catcher has matched his Washington work since, the Redskins have not been the same at wideout either. Jay Gruden said (via ESPN.com’s John Keim) the team wants to try to re-sign Jamison Crowder “for sure.” Crowder will not be looking at Jarvis Landry money but is a sneaky-interesting name that could be on the market. Although injuries plagued Crowder this season, limiting him to nine games (career-low 388 receiving yards), it will not be especially cheap for Washington to bring him back. “It’s a great time to be a slot receiver,” Crowder said, via Keim.

Saints Pick Up Andrus Peat’s Option

The Saints have officially exercised the 2019 fifth-year option on offensive lineman Andrus Peat, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Peat has become the first 2015 first round draft pick to formally have it picked up. 

The decision to pick up Peat’s contract for 2019 was something of a no brainer. After previous experiments with the former No. 13 overall pick at left tackle, he switched over to left guard over the past two years and performed well. Peat has 29 starts to his credit between 2016 and 2017.

Per the terms of the fifth-year option, Peat’s 2019 season will be guaranteed for injury only. Should his performance decline, the Saints can get out of the deal with no fiscal penalty.

For first-rounders picked outside the top 10, the option is determined by the determined by the average of the third through 25th top salaries at that position. In time, we’ll know Peat’s exact figure.

Peat finished the year on injured reserve after he suffered a broken ankle in the first round of the playoffs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Place Andrus Peat On IR

The Saints have placed left guard Andrus Peat on injured reserve. Peat will not be able to play in Sunday’s divisional round game against the Vikings or in the NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl, should the Saints make it. Andrus Peat (Vertical)

[RELATED: Mark Ingram Will Not Become A Free Agent This Offseason]

Peat suffered a broken fibula against the Panthers last weekend and had to be carted off of the field. Losing the third-year pro stings for New Orleans, particularly after losing Zach Strief early in the season. Senio Kelemete, who subbed in for Peat’s against Carolina, is expected to get the start.

Peat’s played both guard and tackle with the Saints since being taken No. 13 overall in 2015. Over the last two years, he has missed just two regular season games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints’ Andrus Peat Breaks Fibula

The Saints lost a key player to injury during their strong first-half performance against the Panthers, with Andrus Peat being carted off.

New Orleans’ left guard suffered a broken fibula, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The third-year talent will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine if there is ligament damage.

This represents another blow to a Saints offensive front that already lost Zach Strief early in the season and has seen Terron Armstead battle injuries as well. While New Orleans has received quality work from its offensive front, with first-round pick Ryan Ramczyk proving to be a quick study at right tackle, it will have to compensate for Peat now.

Peat’s played both guard and tackle with the Saints since being taken No. 13 overall in 2015 and played in 15 Saints games this season, missing one because of a groin injury. He started 15 games in 2016. Senio Kelemete took Peat’s place at left guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Burton, Foles, Saints, Floyd

Trey Burton has been a quality under-the-radar performer for the Eagles this season and he could find himself with a very robust market entering free agency this offseason, opines Mike Garafolo of NFL.com in a video on Twitter.

Burton, 26, has produced solid numbers as the backup to one of the best tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz. However, the former undrafted free agent has stepped up when Ertz has been banged up. Garafolo notes that Burton has caught three touchdown passes in the last two games, when Ertz has not been 100%.

Coming from the University of Florida, Burton didn’t really have a position entering the draft, but has seemingly found a role as a versatile tight end/receiver in the Philadelphia offensive scheme. The tight end market is not very deep either, with their being a noticeable dip after the likes of Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert. Given his recent play, you can expect Burton could be a name that gets more money than you may expect given his relative lack of a track record.

Let’s take a look at more notes throughout the NFC:

  • Nick Foles led the Eagles to victory over the Giants in his first start since Carson Wentz was lost for the season. It was an encouraging performance for the former third round pick, who pondered retirement just two years ago, reports Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. It was after the 2015 season when the quarterback really gave some thought to hanging it up. “Yes, I sat there and talked with my wife,” Foles said. “You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, ‘Hey what do we want to do?'” Nick Foles eventually decided to stay in the league and was a backup for a season in Kansas City before making his way to the Eagles this past offseason. Foles has a bit of a track record in the league and is looking to continue to build on his rebound story in the playoffs.
  • The Saints lost a few players to injury during their win over the Jets on Sunday afternoon. Guard Larry Warford and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui both were forced to leave the game with concussions, according to Joel Erickson of The New Orleans Advocate. Erickson adds that guard Andrus Peat was also active to start the contest, but was held out because of a groin injury. He was available in an emergency role, with backup guards Senio Kelemete and Josh LeRibeus taken the starting sports when both starting offensive lineman were unable to play. Hopefully all three players will recover fully for the team’s critical Week 16 affair against the Falcons. The game will have major implications to who ultimately will win the ultra-competitive NFC South.
  • Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd expressed that he is more at peace and hopes to be back in Minnesota next year, in a deep diving piece from Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “I would like to stay here, for sure,” Floyd said. “I love this place.” While the former Cardinals and Pats wideout has seemingly got his life together, it’s an uphill battle considering the quality depth of the position on the team, which includes Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell and Jarius Wright.

NFC Notes: Saints, Cards, Bears, Packers

With left tackle Terron Armstead is set to miss a portion of the 2017 season after undergoing labrum surgery, the Saints would prefer to place Ryan Ramczyk or Khalif Barnes on the blindside instead of shifting Andrus Peat from left guard, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Barnes is the far more experienced option, as the 35-year-old has appeared in 151 games (117) starts during 11-year NFL career. Ramczyk, on the other hand, was just selected with the final pick of the first round in the 2017 draft. Peat, meanwhile, played left tackle at Stanford and has split time between tackle and guard with New Orleans.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Although cornerback Brandon Flowers is scheduled to meet with the Cardinals on Wednesday, head coach Bruce Arians says the club isn’t necessarily looking at the veteran defender as a starting-caliber player, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. As such, Arizona’s interest in Flowers shouldn’t be viewed as a comment on Justin Bethel, who is currently projected to start opposite Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals recently lost two backup defensive backs — Jumal Rolle and Elie Bouka — to minor injuries, so a Flowers addition would be a solid depth addition as the team heads to training camp.
  • Bears defensive lineman Jaye Howard has hired David Canter as his new representation, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Howard signed a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum earlier this offseason, but the pact could be worth as much as $4MM through incentives. Given that he’s still relatively young (28) and has been productive in the past, Howard could be in line for a lengthier contract next spring if he plays well in 2017.
  • Entering his third season as the Bears‘ general manager, Ryan Pace is building the Chicago roster in the mold of the Saints, the club with which Pace spent most of his career prior to heading to the Windy City, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Pace and the rest of the Chicago front office is clearly hoping No. 2 overall selection Mitch Trubisky turns into the next Drew Brees, but other points of comparison are apt, as well. Second-round tight end Adam Shaheen could have the game-breaking ability of a Jimmy Graham, while fourth-round running back Tarik Cohen may prove to be a passing game weapon like Darren Sproles.
  • The Packers announced a series of personnel changes on Tuesday, with the most notable being college scout John Wojciechowski‘s promotion to director of pro personnel. Wojciechowski, who has also worked for the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Steelers, has been with Green Bay since 2012. The rest of the Packers’ front office changes, all of which include promotions or hirings in the scouting department, can be found at the link.

Extra Points: Bosa, 49ers, Tebow, McPhee

Joey Bosa‘s switch in lead agents helped end the stalemate between him and the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. Bosa’s camp shifted from Brian Ayrault to Todd France — each of whom work for CAA — after Ayrault rejected San Diego’s most recent offer. Because the club said it would only reduce its proposal from there, the agency decided to try a new strategy. “Good cop, bad cop,” one source told Gehlken.

Another key in ending the negotiations was the Chargers agreeing to language that would protect Bosa’s roster bonuses, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). The former Ohio State Buckeye will receive 85% of his signing bonus in 2016, and the rest in 2017, per Breer, which represents a compromise between the two sides.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The 49ers could choose to put quarterback Colin Kaepernick “on ice” in 2016 in order to ensure that his injury guarantees do not kick in, as Breer tweets. San Francisco would be employing a similar tactic used by the Redskins last year with Robert Griffin III. Kaepernick’s $11.9MM salary for the upcoming season is fully guaranteed, but a report this morning indicated that the club could still cut the sixth-year QB.
  • Roughly half of MLB will be represented at Tim Tebow‘s baseball workout tomorrow, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Prior to the start of the season, Tebow reportedly worked out for the Dodgers and the team showed some level of interest in him afterward. Of course, the former NFL quarterback faces an uphill climb as he hasn’t played baseball full-time since 2005.
  • The Bears face a decision on linebacker Pernell McPhee in the coming days, as Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes. McPhee, who is dealing with a knee injury, is currently on the active/PUP list, and if he doesn’t come off said list by Saturday, he’d be forced to miss the first six weeks of the season. Chicago isn’t saying much about McPhee’s recovery, but it doesn’t look like McPhee will be able to contribute by Week 1.
  • 2015 first-round pick Andrus Peat played primarily on the left side during his rookie year, so the Saints are now considering moving him from right guard to left guard, according to John DeShazier of the team’s website. If New Orleans does make the switch, veterans Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete would keep competing for the right guard spot.

NFC Notes: Chip, Payton, Caldwell, RGIII

Before joining the Eagles in 2013, Chip Kelly was one of college football’s premier head coaches. Kelly led Oregon to a 46-7 record and three top five finishes from 2009-12, but his reign in Philadelphia hasn’t gone as well – particularly since he took control of the roster last offseason. Thus, some are wondering whether he’ll return to the college ranks – specifically to USC, a high-profile program on the hunt for a new head coach. If you’re to believe Kelly, it’s not going to happen, and neither he nor his Eagles players are fazed by the speculation, writes Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We know that he’s fully invested in this program,” said tight end Zach Ertz. “He’s changed so much of the culture here; we know he wants to ride this thing out, and at the end of the day, hopefully, win a Super Bowl.”

Added Kelly, who denied having any contact with USC: “I know you have an obligation, and I understand that it’s going to happen (when) we’re not successful and we’re not winning – I came from college, (therefore) I’m going to go back to college. I hope someday to be like (Giants coach Tom) Coughlin and win enough games where I can stay around . . . without speculation.”
Here’s more from around the NFC:
  • Not surprisingly, the Saints’ unimpressive roster, less-than-ideal cap situation, and the appeal of some potentially vacant head coaching positions after this season could lead to Sean Payton‘s departure from New Orleans, per Albert Breer of NFL.com.
  • Although he helped lead the Lions to an 11-5 finish and a playoff berth last year, this season’s 0-5 start combined with the ownership structure in Detroit could spell bad news for head coach Jim Caldwell, according to Breer. William Clay Ford and William Clay Ford, Jr. were responsible for hiring Caldwell in 2014. The elder of the two has since passed away, and the younger has relinquished much of the control over the team to his mother, Martha. The fate of Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew lies in her hands, and she could elect to make a change.
  • Washington has no shortage of injuries as it prepares for its game against the Jets this weekend. That means third-string quarterback and 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III might dress for the first time this season, ESPN’s John Keim reports (via Twitter). Of course, with both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy ahead of Griffin on the depth chart, it’s highly unlikely he’ll see action.
  • Saints offensive tackle Andrus Peat suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in the team’s 31-21 win over Atlanta on Thursday, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Per Getlin, Peat won’t need surgery, but he’ll miss approximately four weeks. The rookie first-rounder has appeared in all six of the Saints’ games this year, starting three.

NFC Notes: JPP, Eagles, Saints

Giants coach Tom Coughlin revealed Saturday that he got in touch with injured defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and the two had a “good conversation.” Co-owner Steve Tisch hasn’t been able to get in contact with Pierre-Paul, however, and is irked that the 26-year-old hasn’t responded to his overtures.

“It’s been very frustrating,” Tisch told the team’s website, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I’ve reached out to Jason. I’ve not heard back from Jason. I’m not going to hold that against him. I understand his situation is difficult, complicated, and I’m sure very confusing to him personally.’’

Pierre-Paul, who led the Giants with 12.5 sacks last year, injured his hand in a fireworks accident in July and still hasn’t signed his $14.8MM franchise tender for 2015.

“My message to him is get better, we cheer for you,” said Tisch. “[Senior vice president of medical services] Ronnie [Barnes] and our doctors have access to the best doctors, if not in New York City and the country, possibly in the world. He should take advantage of that.

“Let us see you sooner than later. You’re not going to be judged, you’re going to be helped.”

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Eagles cornerback JaCorey Shepherd hurt his right knee Sunday and there’s concern it could be an ACL injury, reports Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. Shepherd, a sixth-round rookie who has been getting first-team nickel corner reps during training camp, will have an MRI on Monday.
  • Saints general manager Mickey Loomis told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the team focused on adding talent and, more importantly, leadership during the offseason. He noted that the defense was especially lacking in leadership. The defense lost talent but arguably improved in the leadership department last month when it released pass-rushing linebacker Junior Galette, whose on-field success (22 sacks from 2013-14) was overshadowed by poor behavior off the field.
  • In other Saints news, offensive lineman Andrus Peat, the 13th pick in this year’s draft, has impressed head coach Sean Payton with his ability to play both tackle and guard. “I do see him as a tackle and yet he’s athletic enough to play inside,” said Payton, Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com tweeted. “We’ll keep moving him around,” Payton added (Twitter link).