September 14th, 2020 at 12:44pm CST by Zachary Links
As expected, Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin has been diagnosed with an ACL tear (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). On the plus side, the MRI showed a “clean tear” for the 26-year-old with no other major issues in his right knee.
The Cowboys re-upped Jarwin on a three-year, $24.25MM extension back in March so he won’t have to worry about marketing himself to teams after a lost season. In 2019, Jarwin reeled in 31 catches for 365 yards (both career highs) and three touchdowns. Between ’18 and ’19, Jarwin has totaled 58 receptions for 678 receiving yards and six scores.
With Jason Witten out of the picture, the Cowboys are left thin at the position. Blake Bell, a blocking tight end who signed a cheap deal back in March, and 2018 fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz are the next two guys up. Neither has topped 186 yards in their respective pro careers.
It stands to reason that the Cowboys will explore some of the available out-of-house options that remain on the market. Delanie Walker, a 36-year-old vet with ample experience, headlines the current crop of free agent TEs. Other available notables include Charles Clay and Clive Walford.
September 13th, 2020 at 9:59pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
There have already been a few season-ending injuries on this first Sunday of NFL football, and now it looks like we’ve got another one. The Cowboys fear tight end Blake Jarwin has a torn ACL, a source told Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).
Teams’ field tests for ACL injuries are extremely accurate, so if that’s the initial impression then it’s almost certainly the case. Jarwin was the subject of seemingly endless hype this offseason, as the team envisioned a breakout year for him on the heels of Jason Witten‘s departure.
He signed a three-year extension worth $24.25MM back in March, and ended up making it just one game into that pact before likely being lost for the year. An undrafted success story in 2017, Jarwin had 365 yards and three touchdowns on 31 catches last year.
With Witten now in Las Vegas and Jarwin on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the Cowboys are now suddenly thin at tight end. Blake Bell, a blocking tight end who signed a cheap deal back in March, and 2018 fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz are the next two guys up. Neither has topped 186 yards in their respective pro careers. It’s a tough blow for an offense that was widely expected to be one of the best in the league.
Deals are coming in quickly, so we’ve compiled some important contract details below:
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers: two years. Deal is worth $25MM, and could be worth up to $26MM ($12.5MM/season, up to $1MM in incentives). Via The Athletic’s Greg Auman on Twitter.
DE Stephen Weatherly, Panthers: two years, $12.5MM. Deal includes $6.25MM guaranteed, $4MM signing bonus. Annual per-game active roster bonus up to $100K, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
DE ArikArmstead, 49ers: five-year, $85MM extension. Includes voidable sixth year, allowing team to lower cap number. $6MM cap number in first year, $12.5MM in second year, $20MM+ in 2022 through 2024. All via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter.
QB NateSudfeld, Eagles: re-signed. One-year, $2MM deal, including $500K guaranteed. Another $1MM in incentives. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
TE BlakeJarwin, Cowboys: three years, $24.25MM. Includes $4MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $2.25MM (2020), $3.5MM (2021), $4.5MM (2022), $5.5MM (2023). From 2021 through 2023, there are active roster bonuses totaling $750K and escalators maxing out at $750K per season. Via ESPN’s Todd Archer on Twitter.
Jarwin was an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State in 2017 who earned his way onto the Cowboys practice squad, before a mid-season promotion brought him to the 53-man roster. While he only appeared in one game (and recorded no statistics) as a rookie, over the past two seasons, Jarwin has made 58 receptions for 678 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns.
The return of Jason Witten last season likely cut into what would have been an even larger role for Jarwin last season in Dallas. Still just 26, the Cowboys clearly have high hopes for him to develop in a frontline contributor as his new deal pays him in line with a mid-tier starter.
The Cowboys are not eager to see Blake Jarwin get away via restricted free agency and will take some precautions to ensure the fourth-year tight end stays in Dallas next season.
Jarwin is expected to receive a second-round RFA tender, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. The Cowboys also met with Jarwin’s agent at the Combine and discussed an extension.
A UDFA find in 2017, Jarwin has 58 receptions for 672 yards over the past two seasons. He operated behind Jason Witten in 2019, but Mike McCarthy may have bigger plans for the young target. This also represents the latest sign Witten will need to relocate to play a 17th season.
On a second-round tender, Jarwin would be in line to earn approximately $3.3MM next season. That would be a substantial raise from the league minimum, which he made for three seasons. Witten has said he is not planning another retirement just yet and would be prepared to leave Dallas if necessary. The sight of the future Hall of Fame tight end in another uniform appears imminent.
Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play in today’s divisional playoff game against the Colts, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The wideout was listed as questionable with a foot injury.
The 25-year-old had only appeared in a single game since injuring his foot in Week 9, but he was able to practice throughout the week. When healthy, Watkins has managed to play a relatively big role in the Chiefs offense. In 10 games (nine starts) this season, the receiver had hauled in 40 receptions for 519 yards and three touchdowns.
Let’s take a look at some more injury notes from around the NFL…
While Watkins is set to play today, it sounds like one of his teammates will not. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Chiefs safety Eric Berry isn’t likely to play today against the Colts. The veteran has been dealing with injuries throughout the season, with a heel ailment being his latest issue. After playing in only one regular season game in 2017, the 30-year-old has been limited to only a pair of games in 2018, compiling 11 tackles. If there’s any silver lining, the Chiefs were reportedly preparing for Berry to miss today’s contest, as they adjusted their defensive packages to not include the veteran (via NFL.com’s Adam Maya).
The Cowboys are “cautiously optimistic” that both wideout Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin will be ready to play in tonight’s playoff matchup against the Rams, tweets Rapoport. Neither player practiced this week, and they’re both listed as questionable. However, Schefter tweets that the plan is for “both to work out pregame and both be active.” Beasley, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, had one of his best offensive seasons in 2017, compiling 65 catches for 672 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jarwin emerged late in the season, including a Week 17 contest where he had seven receptions for 119 yards and three scores.
We heard last night that Colts receiver Ryan Grant and defensive end Tyquan Lewis will not suit up for today’s matchup against the Chiefs.
The Cowboys boast more defensive line depth than they have in the recent past, and they are expecting to have one of their starters back in time for the regular season. Executive VP Stephen Jones expects Maliek Collins to be ready to go by Week 1. Jones indicated during a Saturday radio interview with 105.3 KRLD-FM (via the Dallas Morning News) that Collins, who suffered another foot injury this offseason but was activated from the PUP list last week, may well be on a pitch count upon returning. He may no longer be a starter, however, with Tyrone Crawford having moved to defensive tackle. Crawford and Antwaun Woods are currently Dallas’ inside starters. Collins has started 30 of the 32 games he’s played since arriving as a third-round pick, so this would create some depth — something Jones said isn’t as prevalent at defensive tackle as it is at end — inside.
Here’s the latest out of Dallas:
Stephen Jones dismissed the prospect of Byron Jones returning to safety due to the team’s situation there. Byron Jones is now a cornerback, with new secondary coach Kris Richard preferring taller corners who can press, and Stephen Jones has praised the development the former first-round safety’s made at his new position.
Kavon Frazier is now working as Dallas’ starting strong safety, replacing the injured Xavier Woods for the time being, and that’s resulted in Jeff Heath moving to free safety, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Cowboys do not view the recently signed Jeron Johnson as a starter but instead more of a depth piece behind the current first-stringers. Watkins writes the Cowboys discussed George Iloka, who opted for the Vikings on a league-minimum agreement, but liked Johnson because of his positional flexibility. Stephen Jones hinted at (Twitter link, via the Morning News’ Jon Machota) another safety potentially being added after preseason cuts commence.
While the Cowboys discussed Earl Thomas with the Seahawks, they did not replace Jason Witten with a high- or medium-profile player. Geoff Swaim, a 2015 seventh-round pick with nine career catches, will replace the future Hall of Famer in the starting lineup, per Watkins, who adds 2017 UDFA Blake Jarwin is the No. 2 tight end. Rico Gathers may not have a way onto the roster, with Watkins expecting Dallas to carry three tight ends. The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round, and he almost certainly will be the No. 3 player here.
Stephen Jones dropped an interesting hint about what the Cowboys may be planning with their reconfigured wide receiver corps. The team may choose to carry more than six at this spot. “Traditionally we’ve kept five or six receivers. But if I’m a betting man, I think that ends up being more than five or six,” Jones said (Twitter link, via Machota) of how the Cowboys plan to handle their Week 1 roster. Watkins views Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams and third-round rookie Michael Gallup as locks. UFA addition Deonte Thompson and second-year man Noah Brown are currently dealing with injuries, but it doesn’t look like they’re out of the running as a result.
The Redskinsplaced linebacker Mason Foster on the injured reserve yesterday, and the veteran certainly isn’t happy with the move. In a series of tweets earlier this morning, Foster noted that he had been “done dirty” by the organization.
“All I know is [former GM] Scot [McCloughan] wouldn’t have done me like that,” Foster wrote (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I have played 3 weeks with a completely torn labrum. Lay everything on the line for someone just to have that same person slap you in the face. Business is business tho right. They don’t care about us.”
As the writer notes, Foster is set to be a free agent following the season, and it sounds like the veteran could be looking for a new home. In five games this season, the former third-rounder compiled 31 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one interception.
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…
The Cowboyspromoted tight end Blake Jarwinfrom the practice squad earlier this week. ESPN.com’s Todd Archer writes that part of the organization’s motivation for making the move had to do with the interest Jarwin was garnering from around the NFL, particularly from the Eagles.
The Eagles may be in the hunt for some offensive line help, but Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com warns (via Twitter) that the team might not want to acquire an expensive player. After all, the writer believes the team is focused on rolling their current cap space over to the offseason, and trading for a pricey lineman could compromise that future financial flexibility.
Dan Bailey may be out for a while. Cowboys Director of Player Personnel StephenJones told Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram that the veteran kicker is expected to miss at least four games (Twitter link). The 29-year-old was perfect on field goal and extra point attempts this season.