Anthony Levine

AFC Notes: Hill, Funchess, Ravens, Jets

In May, Roger Goodell said the NFL would not interfere with the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Tyreek Hill investigation, indicating the league would interview the Chiefs wide receiver “whenever we have permission to.” It is unclear if the Kansas DCF’s investigation has concluded, but if it has not, the news about NFL investigators meeting with Hill represents a reversal and, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, perhaps an acknowledgement by the league something needs to transpire on this front by the time the Chiefs report to training camp July 23. While the investigation is likely covering the bruises and welts that appeared on the body of Hill’s 3-year-old son, Florio notes Hill’s history of violence, and the comment his fiance needing to worry about more possible violence, will almost certainly result in a Hill suspension. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was suspended four games in 2018 for threatening and the mother of his child and “engaging in emotional abuse.” With audio evidence having surfaced in this case, and Hill not being punished for his admitted 2014 violence against Crystal Espinal, that would seem to be the baseline for his potential punishment.

Here is the latest out of the AFC:

  • John Harbaugh has committed to Patrick Onwuasor returning as a starting linebacker for a revamped Ravens defense, but the 12th-year HC has not made a decision on C.J. Mosley‘s successor. While former UDFA Chris Board has impressed, Harbaugh indicated a committee is the likely post-Mosley plan. Harbaugh said (via Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com) Board will probably join 2018 fourth-rounder Kenny Young and hybrid safety Anthony Levine alongside Onwuasor in sub-packages. Young led the trio with 381 linebacker snaps last season; Board played just 21.
  • Onwuasor may be the best bet for the young defender who signs a Ravens extension, per Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic (subscription required). With emerging sack artist Matt Judon perhaps in line to continue a trend of edge rushers pricing themselves out of Baltimore and nose tackle Michael Pierce coming to Ravens minicamp at least 25 pounds overweight, in Zreibec’s view, the Ravens preventing their top inside linebacker from following Mosley out of Maryland seems logical. A former UDFA, Onwuasor has started 26 games. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 linebacker last season.
  • Devin Funchess has put together an inconsistent career thus far and went through most of the Colts‘ offseason program without working with Andrew Luck, who was sidelined with a strained calf. But Frank Reich said (via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan) he is “very encouraged” by Funchess’ route-running, for a player his size, and his overall progress in his system. Reich lobbied early for Funchess in March, and the former Panthers target will almost certainly play a big role for the Colts this season.
  • Another AFC free agent signing, Brian Poole, looks aimed toward a big role in his first AFC season. The Jets have used the former Falcons slot cornerback both inside and outside this offseason, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. Gang Green did not bring in a proven outside starter opposite Trumaine Johnson, and Morris Claiborne remains a free agent. While another corner will have to step up to join the duo in nickel sets, Poole appears set for a steady gig in New York.

Ravens Re-Sign Anthony Levine Sr.

The Ravens have re-signed special teams ace Anthony Levine Sr. to a three-year deal, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

The former undrafted free agent has turned into one of Baltimore’s most reliable special team players since joining the organization in 2012. The 29-year-old hasn’t missed a game over the past four seasons, and he has 66 career games under his belt. In 2016, he finished with 11 tackles and one pass defended.

The veteran has served mostly as a reserve safety during his tenure in Baltimore, but he also started three games at cornerback in 2014. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees even experimented with playing Levine at linebacker last preseason. Besides his special teams prowess, the team clearly values his versatility.

Levine will presumably continue in this role next season, serving as the primary backup to Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson.

Ravens Re-Sign Anthony Levine

THURSDAY, 9:57am: The Ravens have officially re-signed Levine, the team announced today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 5:21pm: Levine’s two-year deal is worth $2.4MM, including a $400K signing bonus and playing time incentives, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

1:41pm: The Ravens have re-signed Anthony Levine to a two-year deal, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). On Tuesday, Baltimore declined to tender an offer to the cornerback.

Levine, 28 at the end of March, appeared in all 16 games for the Ravens last season, recording 33 tackles and four pass deflections. Levine has spent the last three seasons of his career with Baltimore after playing his first season in Green Bay.

Tender Updates: Tuesday

Today’s tender decisions:

  • The Buccaneers have signed running back Bobby Rainey to a one-year tender worth $1.54MM, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. The Bucs will now have right of first refusal if another club offers Rainey a deal.
  • The Falcons chose not to tender an offer to restricted free agent Drew Davis, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reported. The wide receiver will now become an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Packers elected not to tender new contracts to wide receiver Jarrett Boykin or running back DuJuan Harris, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Ravens didn’t tender an offer to cornerback Anthony Levine, who already has other teams interested in his services. He still might end up back in Baltimore, per Wilson.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that the Patriots declined to make a qualifying offer to receiver Brian Tyms. He’s now a free agent. Further, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Pats also didn’t make an offer to Tyms’ fellow wideout Greg Orton.
  • In other Pats news, Volin reports that the team made qualifying offers to fullback James Develin, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga and linebacker James Morris. All three will return to New England.
  • The Texans tendered a contract to quarterback Case Keenum, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain.
  • The Vikings have opted to let go a pair of exclusive rights free agents, linebacker Dom DeCicco and offensive lineman Josh Samuda, per Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  • Safety Michael Thomas will return to the Dolphins after signing his ERFA tender, tweets James Walker of ESPN.com.
  • Green Bay issued an exclusive rights free agent tender to safety Chris Banjo, his agent tells Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
  • The Packers have issued an exclusive rights free agent tender to safety Chris Banjo, his agent tells Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
  • James Develin is returning to the Patriots after signing his exclusive rights tender, a source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tweets.
  • The Colts announced that exclusive rights free agent outside linebacker Cam Johnson has signed his tender. Johnson was first acquired by the Colts in a trade with the 49ers in September of 2013.
  • The Packers tendered RFA offensive lineman Don Barclay at the lowest level ($1.542MM), per agent Joe Linta (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • The Vikings tendered a contract offer to restricted free agent offensive tackle Mike Harris, but their other RFA-eligible player, linebacker Dom DeCicco, didn’t get a tender, tweets Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.

Earlier updates:

  • The Jaguars re-signed exclusive rights free agent tackle Austin Pasztor, tendering him a contract, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • The Dolphins tendered defensive end Derrick Shelby with the second-round tender of $2.35MM, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets. Shelby, 26, appeared in 15 games last season, recording 26 tackles and 3.0 sacks.
  • The Bengals (on Twitter) extended a tender offer to cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris. Lewis-Harris, an ERFA, has appeared in 12 games for Cincy over the last three years.
  • The Bengals will not extend a tender offer to defensive tackle Devon Still, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. However, the Bengals have offered Still a one-year deal and he’s mulling that over while also taking matters involving his family into account, Coley Harvey of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Packers have tendered safety Sean Richardson at the ROFR (right of first refusal rate) of one-year, $1.542MM, according to Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). That’s a sizable committment to Richardson, he adds.

North Rumors: Forsett, Bengals, Iupati, Ravens

The latest out of the NFL’s North divisions:

  • The Falcons, Washington, and the Colts are interested in Ravens free agent running back Justin Forsett, league sources tell Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome recently made it clear that he’d like to keep Forsett in Baltimore.
  • If the Buccaneers cut defensive end Michael Johnson, the Bengals are hoping to orchestrate a reunion with him, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter).
  • The Vikings never inquired on guard Mike Iupati, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets. The former 49ers standout is now reportedly headed to the Cardinals.
  • Instead of using a restricted tender on special-teams ace Anthony Levine, the Ravens would like to bring him back on a longer-term contract, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.

Minor Moves: Lions, Chiefs, Raiders, Colts

Our posts on minor transactions typically focus on smaller-name players and under-the-radar moves. There are plenty of those today, as players accept contract tenders and teams bolster their rosters with camp bodies in time for 2014’s offseason workouts. Let’s round up today’s transactions…

  • Defensive end George Johnson has signed with the Lions, according to agent Brian Levy of Goal Line Football (Twitter link). Johnson has spent time with the Vikings and Buccaneers since 2011, though his regular-season playing time has been extremely limited.

Earlier updates:

  • Free agent wide receiver Kyle Williams has re-signed with the Chiefs, as he announced today on Twitter. Williams, a former 49er, was claimed by Kansas City off waivers last fall, but tore his ACL in late November. He’ll likely continue to rehab and recover throughout the summer, so he’s not expected to have a major role for the Chiefs in 2014.
  • The Lions have added a pair of cornerbacks to their roster, signing Aaron Hester and Nate Ness, tweets Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. Hester was on the Broncos’ roster during the 2013 preseason, while Ness has bounced around among a handful of teams since going undrafted in 2009.
  • Raiders safety Brandian Ross and tackle Matt McCants have accepted and signed their exclusive rights free agent tenders from the club, the team announced via Twitter.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports a number of RFA and ERFA tender signings, via Twitter, as follows: Colts cornerback Josh Gordy has signed his $1.431MM tender; 49ers linebacker Michael Wilhoite has signed his ERFA tender; Giants center Dallas Reynolds has accepted his ERFA tender; and linebacker Adrian Hamilton and safety Anthony Levine have accepted their ERFA offers from the Ravens.

Contract Tenders: Dobbs, Lattimore, Bears

The 49ers are expected to extend the restricted free agent tender to defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs and extend a tender to exclusive rights free agent Michael Wilhoite, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. We’ll keep track of the latest contract tenders here..