Bashaud Breeland

Extra Points: Packers, Martin, Draft, Raiders

Bashaud Breeland‘s workout parade concluded in Green Bay, but his Packers contract is nearly its expiration. The veteran cornerback would re-enter the market in a better position, doing so a year after a golf cart-related injury harpooned his value. But Breeland, who said many teams would not medically clear him after his foot injury, would be interested if the Packers approached him about staying before he hit the market. Although, he said the Packers have not discussed an extension with him yet.

If I have the opportunity, I would,” Breeland said, via Ryan Wood of Packersnews.com, of a possible extension or offseason Packers re-signing. “At this point in time, the Green Bay Packers have first dibs because I’m here. They can make it happen at any moment.”

The Packers are not known as extravagant spenders but are keen on locking up their own talent. Breeland has only played in four Packers games, but on Sunday, the former Redskins starter recovered a fumble and returned an interception for a score. Both Tramon Williams and Davon House‘s contacts expire at season’s end as well, but the Packers still have recent high draft picks Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson and Kevin King locked up long-term. Next year’s cornerback market may include the likes of Darqueze Dennard, Ronald Darby, Bradley Roby and Bryce Callahan while also housing veterans Morris Claiborne, Kareem Jackson and Brent Grimes.

Here is the latest from around the league as Week 14 winds down.

  • Zack Martin re-aggravated his MCL sprain during the fourth quarter of the Cowboys‘ overtime win over the Eagles on Sunday, and Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes the All-Pro guard will likely be limited in practice this week. Martin has never missed a start in his five-year career, but MCL sprains are often multi-week injuries. The possibility Martin misses multiple games in order to right himself for an expected playoff game is on the table, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. If Martin does sit against the Colts, Connor Williams would start at right guard, per Archer.
  • So far, the prevailing word surrounding possible top-five pick Justin Herbert is another year in Eugene, Ore. But longtime evaluator Gil Brandt, now with NFL.com, tweets he would make substantial bet that the Oregon quarterback declares for the 2019 draft and becomes a top-five selection. Teams like the Giants, Jaguars and Buccaneers would likely be interested if Herbert left early.
  • Texas Tech wide receiver Antoine Wesley will depart school early. Responsible for 1,410 yards this season — third-most in Red Raiders history behind Michael Crabtree and Keke Coutee — Wesley announced Monday (on Twitter) he will leave Lubbock and head to the NFL.
  • Scot McCloughan could be a name to watch in the Raiders‘ GM or de facto GM search, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The former Redskins and 49ers GM interviewed with the Raiders for a position under Reggie McKenzie after the 2014 season, but Tafur notes McCloughan wanted personnel control. He then took Washington’s GM job before an ugly divorce. Jon Gruden and McCloughan’s tenures in Green Bay briefly overlapped in the mid-1990s, and Tafur notes McCloughan got along well with Jay Gruden in Washington.
  • The Broncos worked out 15 players on Monday. Defensive linemen Winston Craig, Jon Cunningham, Marcus Hardison and Christian Lacouture took part in the group audition, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Defensive backs Jude Adjei-Barimah, Sojourn Shelton and Henre’ Toliver joined linebacker Greer Martini in working out in Denver, per Klis.

Injury Notes: Gronk, Mack, Pack, Eagles

A third Rob Gronkowski injury absence appears to be in the cards. The Patriots will not deploy their All-Pro tight end to play Sunday against the Titans, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. While Gronkowski is traveling with the team to Nashville, per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter), he’s expected to be held out. Gronk missed games against the Bears and Packers but played in Buffalo on the Monday night in between those tilts. He’s been dealing with back and ankle trouble. While the Patriots have been able to win without their top pass-catcher, these repeated absences are obviously a concern for the future Hall of Famer’s availability for New England’s stretch run and potentially his post-2018 NFL future. It’s likely the Pats are attempting to rest Gronk now to hopefully see him healthy for key late-season games and the playoffs, but that can’t be considered a lock given his extensive injury history. Gronkowski hitting his incentive targets may now be unrealistic as well.

Here’s the latest from the Week 10 injury front.

  • Better news for the Bears. They’re in line to have both Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson back on Sunday when they face the Lions, per the Associated Press. Mack is no longer on the injury report after missing the past two Chicago games because of an ankle malady. His defensive player of the year chances took a hit because of this hiatus and Aaron Donald continuing another all-world season but Mack figures to still be in the running and can help a team attempting reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
  • The Lions‘ Robinson coverage options will be limited. Darius Slay is out for Week 10, joining guard T.J. Lang in that regard. Slay’s played in each of Detroit’s previous eight games and hasn’t missed time since 2016 but is battling a knee injury. A neck ailment will sideline Lang, who also missed time because of a concussion this season.
  • A tough injury night against the Patriots will have after-effects for the Packers. Kevin King will not play Sunday against the Dolphins because of a hamstring injury. Bashaud Breeland, whom ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky notes appeared to impress the Packers in his Green Bay debut, figures to see more time.
  • Both Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills are going to miss Sunday night’s Eagles-Cowboys game, but Corey Graham will return after missing four games, per Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). After claiming Cre’Von LeBlanc off waivers earlier this week, surely due to injuries affecting the aforementioned duo, the Eagles have seven corners on their roster.
  • Taco Charlton and Connor Williams aren’t playing for the Cowboys on Sunday. Xavier Su’a-Filo appears to be the choice to replace Williams at left guard for Dallas, per executive VP Stephen Jones (Twitter link). A full-time Texans starter the past two seasons, Su’a-Filo has not played this season. Williams is down with a knee injury.

North Notes: Tate, Packers, Browns, Burns

The Lions are only one game out of the NFC North lead, but they nonetheless made the decision to trade their most productive wide receiver since Calvin Johnson to the Eagles. Golden Tate is now in Philadelphia, and some Lions staffers are “very surprised” about that transaction, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. This led Breer to wonder if there was a conflict between Tate and the Lions, and a team source informed him that wasn’t the case. Instead, the Eagles’ offer of a third-round pick for a player who was likely on his way out after 2018 was too good to pass up. Tate would have netted the Lions a compensatory pick had he left in free agency, but that selection would’ve come in the 2020 draft. Now, Detroit has an additional Day 2 pick in 2019. Tate’s departure, though, makes any Lions playoff hopes less likely.

Several of the North divisions’ teams made moves before the trade deadline. Here’s more fallout from some others, along with the latest from some other North franchises:

  • Ty Montgomery‘s fumble on Sunday in Los Angeles didn’t just prompt non-essential Packers to anonymously gripe about the mistake. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes respected veterans called out the since-traded running back/return man. That, coupled with Montgomery not accepting full responsibility for his mistake and publicly expressing trust issues with teammates, signaled the Packers had to move on from the former third-round pick, per Silverstein. Montgomery stands to finish out his contract year with the Ravens.
  • The Packers were not happy about the way Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s 2017 season ended, with Silverstein writing Green Bay brass believed the 2014 first-round pick avoided tackles in the season finale against the Lions. This helped influence the Packers’ decision to not enter contract talks with Clinton-Dix prior to the 2018 season. While this tactic isn’t uncommon for the Packers, who let established starters Randall Cobb, Bryan Bulaga, Sam Shields and others play out their contract years before re-signing them, it led Clinton-Dix to believe he wasn’t going to be back next season. Hence, the trade to Washington. GM Brian Gutekunst, however, said (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) these trades weren’t meant as a message for the locker room.
  • As far as replacing Clinton-Dix, the Packers have some interesting options. One NFC scout told Silverstein their best choice might be to move recently added cornerback Bashaud Breeland to safety and play him in tandem with Jermaine Whitehead. Kentrell Brice served as Clinton-Dix’s safety running mate this season. A four-year Redskins starter, Breeland has not played a snap for the Packers yet. Another option, as Demovsky details, would be to play 2017 second-rounder Josh Jones. He’s worked as a special-teamer thus far. Tramon Williams could be an option as well, so Green Bay is not lacking in possible solutions.
  • The Browns named former Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley as their running backs coach today. This is interesting on multiple levels. The 29-year-old now-coach’s highest level of experience came as a San Diego State graduate assistant. Lindley, though, played under new Browns OC Freddie Kitchens with the Cardinals when Kitchens was their QBs coach.
  • Artie Burns did not play a snap in the Steelers‘ win over the Browns on Sunday. Mike Tomlin said he benched the former first-round cornerback because he was late for a walkthrough, but Burns said Wednesday (via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) he was back with the starters at practice. Coty Sensabaugh started in place of Burns in Week 8.

NFC Rumors: P. Peterson, Winston, Peters

We heard last week that the Cardinals were at least willing to listen to trade offers for Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and while GM Steve Keim later threw cold water on those rumors, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Arizona is not only looking to deal Bucannon and Reddick, but that the team is also open to parting with star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mike Jurecki of the team’s official website tweets that there is zero chance that the Cardinals move Peterson, but even if that’s the case, it seems apparent that the rebuilding Cards will be busy as we approach the October 30 trade deadline.

Now let’s take a look at a few more items out of the NFC:

  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Jameis Winston‘s job with the Buccaneers is pretty secure for the time being, but the rest of the season will be critical in determining Winston’s long-term future with the club. He is under club control through 2019 under the fifth-year option, but that option would cost the Bucs $20.9MM and is guaranteed for injury only, so if Winston performs poorly but remains healthy, Tampa Bay could conceivably cut ties after the 2018 season.
  • La Canfora reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to hire Falcons team president Rich McKay in recent years to oversee the league’s football operations, a department that has come under fire for its handling of Bountygate, Deflategate, and other scandals. However, the compensation committee, which has been trying to cut spending, would not authorize the creation of an expensive executive position like that, and there is nothing to indicate that anything will change in that regard, even if McKay were open to such a post (which he apparently was).
  • Eagles LT Jason Peters suffered a torn biceps against the Giants on Thursday night, but Rapoport tweets that Peters is expected to return and play this season and could miss just a game or two. While Peters has not been performing to his usual standards in 2018, this is still obviously great news for Philadelphia.
  • Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and cornerback Josh Norman have discussed the halftime incident that garnered some media attention earlier this week and have put the matter behind them, per Rapoport (video link). Rapoport says that Gruden stepped to the front of the locker room to address the team at halftime of Monday’s loss to the Saints, and Norman had his headphones on — as he always does at halftime — and had his back to Gruden, so did not know that the head coach had begun talking. Gruden took exception to what he perceived as a lack of attention and yanked the headphones of off Norman’s head, which obviously made Norman upset. Norman walked away from Gruden and was therefore benched to start the second half, but it does not sound as if this issue will be a lingering problem for the two men moving forward.
  • The Packers, at 2-2-1, are clearly not performing as well as they would like, and Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com has a couple of suggestions as to how Green Bay might shake things up. Dougherty believes the team should consider making a change at safety, either by giving Jermaine Whitehead a shot at starting or moving Bashaud Breeland into the rotation (when healthy), and he also believes Robert Tonyan should get more snaps at tight end.

NFC Notes: Panthers, Seahawks, Packers

Eric Reid‘s one-year deal with the Panthers has a base value of $1MM, but he can earn an additional $900K via other means, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Reid could collect the extra cash via playtime incentives, Pro Bowl incentives, or per-game roster bonuses. Carolina needed extra defensive backs after recently losing Da’Norris Searcy, and Reid should immediately step into the club’s starting lineup opposite Mike Adams. Reid, of course, has protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, but that issue reportedly didn’t come up during his meeting with the Panthers.

Here’s more on Reid and the rest of the NFC:

  • The 49ers reportedly offered Reid a contract before he signed with the Panthers, and they weren’t the only NFC West club to do so. The Seahawks also discussed a deal with Reid, per Jim Trotter of NFL.com (Twitter link), and were the first team to offer Reid a pact. Seattle negotiated with Reid while fellow safety Earl Thomas was holding out, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports (via Twitter) the offer was pulled after Thomas reported. Per Condotta, Seattle and Reid couldn’t agree on a salary.
  • Doug Baldwin returned to Seahawks practice on Wednesday for the first time since going down with an MCL injury in the club’s Week 1 game, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Baldwin hasn’t yet been given clearance to play in Week 4, he says he’s “chomping at the bit” to return to action, tweets Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR. Baldwin’s return would be an obvious boon to a Seattle offense that has given more snaps to Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown.
  • Buccaneers safety Chris Conte was the victim of a vicious stiff arm from Steelers tight end Vance McDonald on Monday night, but the veteran defensive back was actually playing through a torn PCL, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Conte was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, but given that his recovery timeline is just six weeks, it’s conceivable he could return later this season. Tampa Bay will rely on fourth-round rookie Jordan Whitehead at safety for the time being.
  • Cornerback Bashaud Breeland originally inked a three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers this offseason, but after a freak injury resulted in a failed physical, the veteran defensive back was forced to take quite a pay cut on his one-year deal with the Packers. Breeland signed a minimum salary benefit pact, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes, so he’ll collect a base salary of $790K plus a $90K bonus. However, under the rules of the MSB, Breeland will only count against Green Bay’s salary cap at the rate of a second-year player ($630K).

Packers To Sign CB Bashaud Breeland

Bashaud Breeland‘s eventful stay in free agency appears to be over. The Packers’ cornerback troubles will lead them to sign Breeland, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets.

Green Bay placed Davon House on IR earlier this afternoon and was without Kevin King in its Week 3 loss in Washington, and the Packers will bring in the Redskins’ former No. 2 corner to help. The Packers on Tuesday worked out Breeland, David Amerson and fellow corner Arrion Springs, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets.

Nearly a third of the league secured visits from Breeland, who took part in meetings in all four American time zones by attending summits with the Colts, Cardinals, Raiders, Chiefs, Ravens, Browns, Patriots, Dolphins and Buccaneers. Breeland met with the Colts twice.

A nixed Panthers deal set Breeland on his complicated course during the offseason. A foot injury suffered in March led to Breeland’s $8MM-AAV Carolina contract being nullified. It’s highly unlikely his Packers deal is in that neighborhood. Breeland, though, was one of the top cornerbacks available when free agency began. He agreed to the Panthers deal quickly before the subsequent injury changed his offseason trajectory.

Breeland will join a corner corps flush with young talent. The 2014 fourth-round pick will now be a part of a group housing a 2017 second-rounder in King, a 2018 first-rounder in Jaire Alexander and 2018 second-rounder Josh Jackson. Tramon Williams rounds out the Green Bay group.

Breeland was a full-time starter with the Redskins, lining up with Washington’s first-string defense in 58 of the 60 regular-season games he played during his four-year stay in the nation’s capital. He will now begin his age-26 season, likely with an intent to impress for another run at free agency in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Meet With CB Bashaud Breeland

The Buccaneers met with free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland this week, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Tampa Bay was torched by Drew Breees, Michael Thomas, and the rest of the Saints’ passing attack on Sunday, so the club is looking for all the help it can get. The Bucs, already short on cornerback talent with veteran Brent Grimes inactive, saw Vernon Hargreaves go down with injury in Week 1, leaving rookie Carlton Davis as the club’s top pass defender.

Breeland, 26, hasn’t been wanting for interest this offseason, as he’s either met with or been linked to the Raiders, Ravens, Browns, Colts, Chiefs, and Jets. However, no club has yet to sign Breeland, and while injury issues are surely playing a part in most teams’ decision not to ink the veteran defensive back, the Ravens — for one — believe he’s asking for too much money.

Breeland was originally a fourth-round Redskins pick in 2014 draft. A Clemson product, Breeland has been a starter from day one, totaling eight interceptions in 58 starts during his four-year career. Last season, Pro Football Focus ranked Breeland as the No. 50 cornerback among 121 qualifiers.

Breeland, of course, agreed to a three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers earlier this year, but that contract was voided after he failed a physical. A foot injury that was subsequently infected is reportedly the root cause of Breeland’s health question marks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Unlikely To Sign CB Bashaud Breeland

The Dolphins are unlikely to sign free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland after meeting with him last week, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Miami is searching for a starting corner to play opposite Xavien Howard, but it doesn’t appear as though Breeland is healthy enough to play immediately, per Salguero. Breeland, of course, agreed to a three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers earlier this year, but that contract was voided after he failed a physical. A foot injury that was subsequently infected is reportedly the root cause of Breeland’s health question marks.

Breeland, 26, hasn’t been wanting for interest this offseason, as he’s either met with or been linked to the Raiders, Ravens, Browns, Colts, Chiefs, and Jets. However, no club has yet to sign Breeland, and while injury issues are surely playing a part in most teams’ decision not to ink the veteran defensive back, the Ravens — for one — believe he’s asking for too much money.

For now, the Dolphins are hoping one of Tony Lippett, Cordrea Tankersley, or Torry McTyer proves capable of playing alongside Howard as a starter. Aside from Breeland, other available corners include Adam Jones, Jeremy Lane, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kayvon Webster, and Orlando Scandrick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bashaud Breeland To Visit Dolphins

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland‘s tour of NFL cities continues. Breeland will visit the Dolphins on Sunday, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link). 

Breeland is one of the biggest names left on the free agent market, and has taken a number of visits recently. He recently worked out for the Patriots, and has also visited the Chiefs, Ravens, Browns and Colts. He’s left all those visits without contracts, and it’s unclear what has been delaying his signing. It’s possible he’s holding out for bigger money.

Breeland initially signed a three-year $24MM deal with the Panthers earlier this offseason, but it was voided due to a foot injury that was discovered. He spent the first four years of his career with the Redskins after Washington took him in the fourth round back in 2014.

The Dolphins have a wide open competition to be the starting cornerback opposite Xavien Howard, so Breeland could be a nice fit. As things currently stand, Torry McTyerCordrea Tankersley, and Tony Lippett are battling for the other starting spot. None of them have a ton of starting experience, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Breeland finally finds a home in Miami.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Carroo, Ravens, Pats

The Dolphins‘ interest in adding cornerback help led them to consider supplemental prospect Sam Beal, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. However, Miami didn’t hold Beal in as high regard as did the Giants, who sacrificed a third-round pick in order to land the Western Michigan product. Beal, of course, suffered a season-ending injury upon landing in New York, but he could have provided depth to a Dolphins defensive back depth chart currently led by Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, and Bobby McCain. Given that Miami is still searching for cornerback reinforcements, Jackson speculates the club could be interested in a trade in the coming weeks, but notes the Dolphins are loathe to sacrifice high draft picks.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • More from Jackson, who adds that former third-round pick Leonte Carroo is not a lock to make the Dolphins‘ roster, especially given the team’s other options at wide receiver. Miami gave up a haul of draft picks for the right to select Carroo in the 2016, but he’s managed only 10 receptions and 98 yards over two seasons. The Dolphins now have the option to deploy DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, and Albert Wilson, so Carroo — who Jackson notes hasn’t always been in the best shape and has trouble separating from opposing corners — could be a roster casualty. For what it’s worth, Caroo was also considered to be on the Dolphins’ roster bubble in 2017.
  • While the Ravensrecent meeting with free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland “went well,” the ex-Redskins defensive back is apparently looking for a larger contract than Baltimore is comfortable with, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Breeland, whose three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers was voided this spring after he failed a physical, has drawn the interest of the Patriots, Jets, Raiders, Chiefs, Browns, and Colts. Clearly, something is preventing clubs from pulling the lever on Breeland, and financial demands or health concerns are both viable options. Baltimore, notably, seemingly has plenty of corner depth with Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett, and others in tow.
  • After being waived earlier this week, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is an unlikely candidate to return to the Patriots, according to Doug Kyed of NESN. Mitchell, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, has struggled with injuries for much of the past two seasons, and Kyed indicates New England was simply tired of waiting for Mitchell to get healthy. The 25-year-old Mitchell passed through waivers unclaimed after being cut, so it’s clear the rest of the NFL is weary of Mitchell’s health issues, as well.