Ben Jacobs

South Notes: Flacco, Texans, Bucs, Panthers

In agreeing to trade for Joe Flacco, the Broncos made an early move to attempt to upgrade at quarterback. As bad as things have gone at quarterback for the Broncos over the past three years, the Jaguars have experienced more trouble. The Jags were mentioned as a Flacco suitor earlier this offseason, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets the team continued to have interest until the Broncos pulled the trigger. However, Denver’s offer of a fourth-round pick was the best proposal Baltimore received, La Canfora adds. This was the Broncos’ fourth-round pick (No. 106), not the selection they acquired from the Texans in exchange for Demaryius Thomas (No. 118).

Shifting to non-Flacco matters, here is the latest from the South divisions:

  • Thomas’ Texans tenure did not last long, with the team predictably balking on the former Pro Bowl wide receiver’s lofty 2019 salary. But with the Texans making the move to release the 31-year-old wideout while he is still recovering from a severe Achilles injury, Thomas is in line to receive injury protection, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Article 45 of the CBA stipulates Thomas would stand to receive $1.2MM from the Texans, reducing the franchise’s cap savings on this move from $14MM to $12.8MM. Nevertheless, Thomas’ salary coming off the Texans’ books increases their cap space to nearly $76MM.
  • Although Pro Football Focus had not viewed Donovan Smith as an upper-echelon tackle, the Buccaneersfront office has held him in higher regard. Even as the team shifts to Bruce Arians calling the shots on the sideline, keeping Smith off the market may still be on the table. Indications point to the Bucs placing the franchise tag on Smith if no deal can be reached before then, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The 2019 tag for offensive linemen is expected to come in at just more than $14MM. Were Smith to reach the market, he could command a lucrative deal. Although, with only three tackles making $14MM per year, it would be a stretch for the Bucs’ four-year left tackle starter to exceed that total — the annual offensive line sellers’ market notwithstanding.
  • Ben Jacobsearly-offseason release will not lead to the longtime special-teamer catching on elsewhere. The former Panthers linebacker will instead take a staff position with Carolina, the franchise announced. Jacobs is the Panthers’ new assistant special teams coach. Jacobs, 30, spent six years with the Panthers, serving as a core member of Carolina’s ST units for most of that time. He will work under fellow former Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn.
  • The Panthers will be the latest team to bring in a game management coach. Sam Mills III, son of the former Panthers and Saints linebacker, will begin working in this role, the team announced. A 15th-year Panthers staffer, Mills will retain his defensive line coach title while helping Ron Rivera on game days with replay challenges, clock management and other situational elements.

Panthers To Release LB Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs played on the past five Panthers teams, but the franchise will go in another direction. The Panthers plan to release the veteran linebacker, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The Panthers signed Jacobs to a two-year deal in 2017. He played out that contract and was set for free agency in March. But this move will give the longtime special-teamer a chance to sign with a team in advance of the higher-profile signing period.

A former UDFA out of Fresno State, Jacobs caught on with the Panthers in 2013 and spent time on their practice squad before rising to the active roster. He has played in 16 games in four of the past five seasons, suiting up for six playoff contests as well.

Carolina will be moving on from Thomas Davis as well, per Davis, so the team may need to address its linebacker depth this offseason. However, the team did draft Jermaine Carter and Andre Smith on Day 3 of the 2018 draft. That helps explain allowing Jacobs to seek opportunities elsewhere.

If Jacobs opts against catching on with another team, or is unable to do so, the Panthers may be eyeing him for a coaching role, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Re-Sign LB Ben Jacobs

The Panthers announced that they’ve re-signed linebacker Ben Jacobs, agreeing to a two-year deal that will keep Jacobs in Carolina through the 2018 campaign. Jacobs was set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.Ben Jacobs (Vertical)

[RELATED: Panthers Likely To Tag Kawann Short]

Jacobs, 28, played in only three games for the Panthers last season, as he’d been released with an injury settlement before the 2016 season got underway. Re-signed in December, Jacobs went on to see 78 snaps on special teams, an area where’s he contributed in prior seasons. A former undrafted free agent out of Fresno State, Jacobs has never started an NFL contest, but played in all 32 possible games with Carolina from 2014-15, seeing action on nearly three-quarters of the Panthers ST snaps during that period.

Given that he was scheduled to become a restricted free agent, Jacobs likely could have been retained through the tender system at a cost of less than $2MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/9/2016

Today’s minor moves:

  • Having already signaled that he would start this weekend, the Browns announced that they’ve officially activated quarterback Robert Griffin III from injured reserve and waived offensive lineman Matt McCants.
  • As expected, the Saints have officially placed tight end Josh Hill on injured reserve, according to Joel Erickson of the Advocate (Twitter link). The move will clear a roster spot for recently-signed linebacker Travis Feeney.
  • The Seahawks have waived linebacker Jordan Tripp from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Seattle had just placed Tripp, who appeared in seven games this year (one start), on IR last week to make room for fellow linebacker Mike Morgan.
  • The Panthers announced that they’ve signed linebacker Ben Jacobs, who takes the roster spot vacated by cornerback Robert McClain this morning. Jacobs, 28, has experience with Carolina, as he appeared in 32 games with the club over from 2014-15, acting as a special teamer.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/1/16

Tuesday is workout day in the NFL, and today was no different. Due to the sheer volume of today’s auditions, we’ll split up the reports by conference:

AFC

NFC

Panthers Bring Roster To 53

The Panthers have moved their roster all the way down to 53 by making several cuts, and the NFL announced that guard Chris Scott had been suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy.

Placed on IR:

Suspended:

  • G Chris Scott

Garrett, a wide receiver out of Tulsa, went undrafted, but he believes that he is the best at his position in the 2016 class.

I say that all the time,” Garrett told David Newton of ESPN.com earlier this year. “That’s just how I feel. I had the best numbers out of any of the receivers. My numbers don’t lie. “That’s why I felt like I was the best wide receiver.”

Last year, Garrett racked up a nation-leading 1,588 receiving yards off of 96 catches.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/2/16

Here are today’s minor moves:

  • The Browns have offered a tender to kick returner Raheem Mostert, per his agent Brent Tessler (Twitter link). Mostert, a running back by trade, doesn’t have an NFL carry to his name, but returned 12 kickoffs (25.8 yard average) for Cleveland last season.
  • The Cowboys have cut four players, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), who reports that the club has parted ways with offensive lineman Cody Clay, receiver Donte Foster, running back Michael Hill, and defensive end Efe Obeda. Of the group, Hill, with eight career games, has the most NFL experience.

Earlier updates:

  • The Panthers signed linebacker Ben Jacobs, according to the team’s website. An exclusive-rights free agent, the 27-year-old Jacobs spent the past three seasons with the Panthers, suiting up for all 16 games the last two years. The former UDFA out of Fresno State will be a restricted free agent after 2016.
  • The Dolphins signed wide receiver Christion Jones, per SportsTrust Advisors (on Twitter). A former Alabama product who’s yet to suit up in an NFL game, Jones initially caught on with Miami as a rookie last summer but exited via waived/injured designation just before the season began. Jones earned SEC special teams player of the year honors in 2013.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

  • The Packers have informed running back DuJuan Harris they will not extend him an exclusive rights tender, Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Ravens are expected to assign an exclusive-rights free agent tender to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Steelers have offered one-year deals to restricted free agents Antwon Blake, Will Johnson, and Robert Golden, Scott Brown of ESPN tweets. All three will get the lower tender, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals announced they’ve re-signed Alameda Ta’amu to a one-year contract, as Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports tweets. The Cards decided not to tender him but they have retained him at a lower salary.
  • The 49ers will restructure their deal with safety Craig Dahl, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). It’s now a one-year, $1.3MM deal with a $200K signing bonus, a $175K roster bonus, and a $50K workout bonus.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed defensive ends Larry English and Lawrence Sidbury, tight end Luke Stocker and linebacker Jason Williams.
  • The Ravens have assigned a $510K exclusive rights tender to offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Wilson (link) also hears that the Ravens have given wide receiver Kamar Aiken a $585K exclusive rights tender.
  • The Ravens gave cornerback Tramain Jacobs a $510K tender, per Wilson (link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Bills announced that they have extended the contract of kicker Jordan Gay, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter).
  • The Browns announced that they have tendered qualifying offers to four of their restricted free agents: free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive back Johnson Bademosi, defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and linebacker Craig Robertson, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. It’s a second-round tender for Robertson, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Gipson also gets the second-round tender, according to Ulrich (link).
  • The Ravens have sent a second-round restricted tender $2.356MM to Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers announced that they have agreed to terms with veteran tight end Matt Spaeth on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old appeared in 15 regular-season games in 2014 (eight starts) and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also started the Steelers’ playoff game against Baltimore.
  • The Buccaneers are not expected to tender an offer to fullback Jorvorskie Lane, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They could bring Lane, an ERFA, back on a different deal later, however. Lane had a tough year in 2014. He was hit with a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances in October and his season ended in November after he underwent surgery on his injured right leg.
  • The Broncos have placed the low-level contract tender on restricted free agent defensive back Tony Carter, extending him a one-year offer worth $1.542MM, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post. The move gives Denver the right to match any offer sheet Carter signs with another team, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), there may be strong outside interest.
  • The Cowboys have placed one-year tenders of $1.542MM each on restricted free agent punter Chris Jones and restricted free agent running back Lance Dunbar, sources tell Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. Dunbar is the Cowboys’ third running back and tendering him gives Dallas some insurance if DeMarco Murray signs with another team in free agency. He also gives them a reserve back in the event that they have to cut ties with Joseph Randle.
  • The Browns announced that they have re-signed offensive lineman Ryan Seymour. Seymour, 25, appeared in 11 games during the 2014 season, starting three at center. Nick McDonald was originally the team’s choice at center after Alex Mack went down with a broken leg, but Seymour eventually got his chance at the job.
  • The Panthers have re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Brenton Bersin to a one-year deal, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Bersin was an exclusive rights free agent.
  • The Panthers announced that they re-signed Fozzy Whittaker on a two-year deal, according to Person (on Twitter). The tailback had 32 carries for 145 yards last season and also contributed on kick returns. Linebacker Ben Jacobs and center Brian Folkerts got one-year deals to remain in Carolina (link). Tackle Kevin Hughes is the only Panthers ERFA who wasn’t tendered an offer (link).