Ben Garland

49ers To Re-Sign Ben Garland

The 49ers are set to re-sign Ben Garland, as Ian Rapoport of tweets. He’ll return on a one-year deal worth $2.25MM.

Garland joined the Niners last year after three seasons with the Falcons. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan overlapped with him in that first Atlanta season, making it a natural fit.

Garland entered the NFL as a defensive lineman but later found his footing as a protector. He’s never been a full-time starter, but he’s been well-regarded by coaches and advanced metrics alike for his work in recent years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Sign OL Ben Garland

The 49ers have signed veteran offensive lineman Ben Garland, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). The team later announced the deal, which will be a one-year pact. Garland will provide depth at both guard positions, and he could theoretically push starters Laken Tomlinson and Mike Person for playing time.

Garland spent the last three seasons with the Falcons, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was Atlanta’s OC in 2016, the first of those seasons. We heard back in February that the Falcons would not re-sign Garland.

Garland first entered the league as a defensive lineman, but he later transitioned to the O-Line. Last season, the Falcons retained him via the $2.9MM second-round tender for restricted free agents, but he was not in the club’s plans for the 2019 campaign.

He has never been a full-time starter, having started just seven games in his career (three in 2017 and four in 2018). But despite the limited action, Pro Football Focus’s advanced analytics were fond of his 2018 performance, rating him as an above-average guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Won’t Re-Sign OL Ben Garland

Offensive lineman Ben Garland won’t return to the Falcons in 2019, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Garland played in 14 games and made four starts at right guard for Atlanta last season. 

Garland first entered the league as a defensive lineman, but later transitioned to the O-Line. Last season, the Falcons retained him via the $2.9MM second-round tender for restricted free agents. This time around, they’re looking to revamp the offense line, and Garland is not in their plans.

The Falcons reached an extension with offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo on Tuesday, keeping him under club control through the 2021 season. Meanwhile, there will be more O-Line moves on the way. Ryan Schraeder, who lost his tackle job to Sambrailo down the stretch, could be on the outs despite having three years and $18.8MM left on his deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons G Ben Garland Signs RFA Tender

Falcons guard Ben Garland has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Garland will now be paid $2.914MM for the 2018 season.

Garland was one of 14 NFL restricted free agents to be tendered at the second-round level, and he’s the first to officially sign his tender. Atlanta also tendered safety Ricardo Allen at the second-round level, but he’s yet to sign his contract. There’s no rush for Allen or any restricted free agent to sign his tender, as RFAs have until April 20 to work out offer sheets with other clubs.

Adding another guard was a key offseason priority for the Falcons, but Garland isn’t likely to become a starter in 2018. Not only did the Falcons sign veteran guard Brandon Fusco to a three-year deal, but they restructured the contract of fellow interior lineman Andy Levitre, ensuring he’ll remain on Atlanta’s roster during the upcoming campaign.

Instead, Garland will once again serve as depth for the Falcons, acting as a reserve alongside Ty Sambrailo, Wes Schweitzer, Austin Pasztor, and Sean Harlow. Last season, the 29-year-old Garland appeared in all 16 games and made three starts, ultimately playing on roughly a third of Atlanta’s offensive snaps and a third of the club’s special teams snaps. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus graded Garland as the No. 50 guard among 77 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day.


Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:





OL Notes: Colts, Peters, Giants, Falcons

Jim Irsay is generally unafraid to make bold statements, and the longtime Colts owner made another recently by proclaiming the team’s embattled offensive line as “fixed.” Andrew Luck took the second-most hits of any quarterback last season at 128 despite missing a game due to a concussion. The team also allowed the fifth-most sacks with 46. Luck missed nine games in 2015 with a shoulder injury and absorbed plenty of hits before that season-ending malady. And the Colts did not make any big additions this offseason, former Titans starter Brian Schwenke‘s one-year deal notwithstanding.

Let me say this: The offensive line is fixed,” Irsay said, via Mike Wells of “I’m telling you guys, the offensive line is fixed. The reason I’ll tell you it’s fixed is because (former Colts offensive line coach) Howard Mudd told me it’s fixed. If Howard Mudd tells you it’s fixed, trust me, it’s fixed.”

The Colts do return an entrenched left side of the line in Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort and Ryan Kelly. Wells projects Joe Haeg to start at right guard and Le’Raven Clark to man right tackle. Irsay added the team may be ready to run more in 2017. Indianapolis did add fourth-round running back Marlon Mack and UFA Christine Michael to join Frank Gore. The Colts ranked 16th with 25.6 rushing attempts per game last season.

We’ve worked hard to bring in the right type of players (on the offensive line),” Irsay said. “We’re ready to run the football and protect Andrew.”

Here’s the latest news on some other offensive lines, moving first to the Eagles’.

  • Jason Peters did not attend the Eagles‘ OTA sessions but will be back for minicamp, Bob Ford of notes. Lane Johnson worked at left tackle in the 35-year-old’s stead. Peters will be back with the team despite the Eagles approaching him about a paycut in February and the sides not agreeing on one. Ford notes Johnson is expected to slide over to the left side after Peters’ Philadelphia tenure concludes.
  • The Giants‘ tackle situation is not as enviable, but a consensus appears to be forming. Big Blue seems to agree with the Chargers’ coaching staffs of the past two years. D.J. Fluker did not play right tackle during OTAs, Jordan Raanan of notes, focusing strictly on guard duty. Even after Bobby Hart was absent during the team’s final OTA sessions, sixth-round rookie Adam Bisnowaty took first-team reps instead of Fluker on the right edge, Raanan writes. Fluker played right tackle during his first two seasons in San Diego, but the Giants are going with Hart — a 2015 seventh-round pick — right now. This means Fluker may have a tougher time auditioning, barring injury, for a long-term contract with the Giants re-signing holdover right guard John Jerry. Fluker is signed to a one-year deal.
  • Ben Garland may be ready to stick on one side of the ball this season and will probably see time in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. Used on defense as well during the Falcons‘ NFC championship season, Garland will battle Wes Schweitzer for the right guard job vacated by Chris Chester, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Schweitzer was a sixth-round pick last year who did not suit up as a rookie. Ledbetter notes the 29-year-old Garland may have a slight upper hand going into minicamp. Garland’s previous opportunity to vie for a starting job ended quickly, with the 2015 Broncos bringing in Evan Mathis midway through training camp after Garland worked with Denver’s first-stringers at that camp’s outset. Garland, though, played in all 19 Falcons games last season after spending most of the ’15 season on Atlanta’s practice squad.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/17

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:






NFC South Notes: Bucs, Falcons, Panthers

The Buccaneers and impending free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson have discussed a potential return, but the 34-year-old could retire, writes Jenna Laine of “We did have conversations with Vincent,” general manager Jason Licht said Wednesday. “I have the utmost respect for him. Everybody in the organization does. In my mind, in head coach Dirk [Koetter’s] mind, in the owners’ minds, he’ll be a Buc for life. So whatever happens happens, but we’ll always want Vincent to be around the organization.”

Jackson has been with the Buccaneers since 2012, and he started 16 games in each of his first three seasons as a member of the club, but he has endured back-to-back knee injury-shortened campaigns. The six-time 1,000-yard man has combined for just 15 appearances since 2015.

Regardless of whether the Buccaneers re-sign Jackson, they’re going to target “playmakers” this offseason, Licht revealed. Entering free agency, only three teams have more cap space than the Bucs.

More from the NFC South:

  • Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and guard Ben Garland will be tendered as RFAs (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of He did not specify what level, however. Gabriel was the far bigger contributor of the two last year, when he averaged 16.5 yards per catch on 35 receptions and combined for seven touchdowns through the air and on the ground. Garland appeared in all 16 of the Falcons’ regular-season games, but he didn’t start any.
  • Dimitroff also announced that the Falcons will let defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux become an unrestricted free agent after 12 years together, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Conversely, the Falcons are trying to re-sign fullback Patrick DiMarco (Twitter link). Babineaux, 35, has totaled 185 appearances, 133 starts, 27 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in Atlanta, which selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft. He’s coming off the eighth 16-game season of his career, in which he picked up six starts and 22 tackles. DiMarco, a four-year Falcon, has three 16-appearance seasons in a row under his belt. He made eight starts in 2016.
  • Panthers GM Dave Gettleman told reporters on Wednesday that tackle Michael Oher is still in the league’s concussion protocol. This means the Panthers could be in the market for a starting left tackle. Oher has been dealing with a brain injury since September and only played in three games last year as a result. The eight-year veteran is under contract through 2019.
  • Reserve defensive end Darryl Tapp made it clear Wednesday that he wants to re-sign with the Saints, relays Josh Katzenstein of Tapp’s agent and the Saints have engaged in discussions about a new deal. The 32-year-old journeyman just finished his first season in New Orleans, where he started in two of 16 appearances.
  • As of last month, the Buccaneers hadn’t held contract talks with soon-to-be free agent running back Jacquizz Rodgers. However, the team would “love to have” him back, Licht stated (via Kevin Patra of Rodgers, 27, put up 560 yards on 129 rushes (4.3 per carry) and scored two touchdowns last season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Falcons Cut Hankerson, Place Moore On IR

3:54pm: The Falcons have made Hankerson’s release official, and have confirmed two more roster moves, announcing in a press release that they’ve moved safety William Moore to IR and promoted guard Ben Garland from the practice squad.

Moore, a former Pro Bowler, had been a starting safety for Atlanta once again this year, racking up 51 tackles and two interceptions in 11 games.

12:05pm: The Falcons are cutting wide receiver Leonard Hankerson from their injured reserve list, according to Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. The move will allow other teams to place a claim on Hankerson — if he clears waivers, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

Hankerson, who turns 27 next month, totaled 26 receptions for 327 yards and three touchdowns in his first season with the Falcons. He was placed on injured reserve earlier this month after aggravating a hamstring injury, and it seemed at the time that he had played his last game in Atlanta, since his contract was set to expire at season’s end.

The fact that the Falcons are releasing Hankerson from IR without an injury settlement suggests that he should be healthy going forward, so we could see him draw interest from a contending team short on wide receivers down the stretch.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/9/15

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: LB Jason Ankrah; LB Justin Staples (Twitter link via Terry McCormick)