Bobby Massie

Broncos G Graham Glasgow Out For Season

The Broncos placed Graham Glasgow on IR on Tuesday. This represents an old-school IR designation, with Mike Klis of 9News noting the veteran guard will miss the rest of the season.

Glasgow suffered a broken leg against the Cowboys, ending his second year with the Broncos. Denver signed the former Detroit blocker to a four-year, $44MM deal in 2020. How Glasgow’s replacement fares may determine his future in Colorado.

Third-round pick Quinn Meinerz will take over at right guard for the Broncos, lining up opposite third-year left guard Dalton Risner. A Division III standout who impressed at the Senior Bowl, Meinerz will not be the lone backup on Denver’s offensive line to start in Week 10. The Broncos are likely to be without left tackle Garett Bolles (high ankle sprain) for a second straight week, per Vic Fangio, and Cameron Fleming is expected to start in place of right tackle Bobby Massie. Denver signed Massie and Fleming after Ja’Wuan James‘ offseason injury, and the former suffered knee and ankle injuries during the Broncos’ win in Dallas.

Additionally, Patrick Surtain II will miss time because of a knee sprain, Klis adds. The Broncos are already down slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, who is on IR, though the team held onto Kyle Fuller at last week’s trade deadline. Fuller and Ronald Darby are set to start at corner against the Eagles. Surtain is not on IR and could potentially return after the Broncos’ Week 11 bye.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Trim Roster To 53

The Broncos joined the fray Tuesday in moving their roster down to 53 players, after cutting ties with several players Monday. Here is how new GM George Paton constructed his initial 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

The Broncos are expected to bring back both Fleming and Stephen, Paton said (via Denver7’s Troy Renck, on Twitter), with running back Mike Boone and cornerback Michael Ojemudia bound for the regular-season IR list. Both backups are set to miss time to start the season, but the Broncos carried each onto the 53-man roster and will plan for their in-season returns.

Because Fleming and Stephen are vested veterans, they do not need to clear waivers in order to re-sign with the Broncos. Denver signed both Fleming and Stephen this offseason. While Fleming competed with fellow addition Bobby Massie, the latter won the Broncos’ right tackle job. Bassey and Dawson can return after six weeks, though the Broncos’ cornerback contingent is much deeper than last season — to the point the roster may not have room for both. Ojemudia would stand to be Denver’s No. 5 corner upon returning.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Jefferson, Broncos, Massie

During an appearance on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady discussed his reactions to a potential 2020 free agent suitor pulling out of the sweepstakes to stick with their incumbent signal-caller.

“There was a story, in free agency, one of the teams, they were interested and all of sudden they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said. “I was sitting there thinking, you’re stick with that [expletive]? Are you serious?

“When I look back I’m like, there’s no [expletive] way I would’ve went to that team. But they said they didn’t want me. I know what that means, I know what that feels like.”

There’s been plenty of speculation about the mystery team and quarterback that Brady was referring to, and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com cites multiple league sources who believe the future Hall of Famer was referring to the Raiders and Derek Carr. Las Vegas had been mentioned as a potential Brady suitor during the 2020 offseason, but the organization dropped out of the sweepstakes after balking at Brady’s long list of requests. As Florio notes, Brady had his chance at payback last season, when he tossed four touchdowns in a 45-20 Tampa Bay victory over Las Vegas.

Unless Brady unexpectedly reveals who he was talking about, we’ll never truly know if it was the Raiders. Plenty of other teams and quarterbacks have been mentioned, including the Bears/Mitch Trubisky and the Titans/Ryan Tannehill. The 49ers and former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo have been a popular suggestion, but considering Brady’s lifelong affinity for San Francisco (and his declaration that he was never going to sign with that team in the first place), we can probably cross them off the list.

Here’s more out of the AFC West…

  • Quinton Jefferson has played all over the defensive line during his five-year career, but despite the Raiders depth at defensive tackle, the team is still planning to play their free agent acquisition at his natural position. The 28-year-old will be teaming up with the Raiders main offseason acquisition, defensive tackle Yannick Ngakoue, and Jefferson is excited to form a two-headed monster with his good friend and former college teammate. “Yannick is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL right now and he brings that intensity,” Jefferson told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “He is going to bring some pressure and help relieve Maxx (Crosby), free Maxx up so that other teams can’t key on one guy. And then hopefully I can bring some interior pressure as well, so we should have a good mix out there. I am excited to see how that all comes together.”
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post explores several Broncos players who find themselves on the roster bubble prior to training camp and the preseason. Atop his list is defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, a 2020 third-round pick who was limited to only 110 defensive snaps as a rookie. O’Halloran notes that it’s troubling that the young defensive lineman wasn’t working with the starters during minicamp despite the absences of Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris. Offensive tackle Calvin Anderson, running back Royce Freeman, safety Trey Marshall, and linebacker Derrek Tuszka also earned spots on the list.
  • The Broncos brought in both Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to compete for the starting right tackle spot, and ESPN’s Jeff Legwold believes Massie will get the first shot at the gig. Massie certainly has the advantage when it comes to experience; the 31-year-old has started 110 of his 118 career games, including each of his eight games in 2020. Meanwhile, Fleming has mostly served as backup throughout his career (91 games, 42 starts), although he did start a career-high 16 games for the Giants last season.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Arnette, Sowers

After missing all of the 2020 season due to a torn ankle tendon, Von Miller has been on the field for the Broncos‘ OTA sessions this week. New Broncos GM George Paton went down to the wire on picking up the All-Pro pass rusher’s 2021 option but ended up doing so. Miller is going into a contract year, having played five seasons on the then-defender-record six-year, $114.1MM deal he inked in 2016. Uncertainty about his future notwithstanding, the 32-year-old linebacker would like to stay in Denver on another contract.

I always had an internal faith that I would be here. I said a long time ago that I want to be a Bronco for life. I always felt like that even though the business and all of this stuff,” Miller said, via DenverBroncos.com’s Aric DiLalla.

This will be a pivotal year for the Broncos’ all-time sack leader, considering a possible free agency bid looms in 2022. Miller has said he plans to play several more seasons. He and Bradley Chubb have not worked together for a lengthy stretch since 2018, but the duo will obviously be counted on to spearhead a talented defense. Here is more from Denver and the latest from the rest of the AFC West:

  • Chubb recently underwent an ankle procedure that is expected to sideline him until training camp. Vic Fangio said the team thought the injury, which shelved Chubb for last season’s final two games, would heal without surgery. The third-year Broncos HC also indicated bone spurs bothered Chubb, leading to the surgery, and that doctors believed Chubb would be sidelined until mid-August. Evidently, he is set to beat that timetable and return by the start of camp. The Broncos recently picked up the outside linebacker’s fifth-year option, locking him down through 2022.
  • Details on the Broncos’ Bobby Massie contract are in; the pact, per usual, is a bit team-friendlier than initially reported. The reported $4MM deal is actually a one-year, $2.5MM accord, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. The Broncos are guaranteeing the longtime Bears right tackle $1.58MM, Klis tweets, and the previously reported $4MM figure includes a $1.5MM incentive package. Massie and fellow May signing Cameron Fleming are set to compete for the right tackle job that became vacant after Ja’Wuan James‘ Achilles tear.
  • The Raiders might be considering shifting 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette from the outside to the slot, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Gus Bradley‘s staff watched Ohio State film in order to best position Arnette, who could shift inside if recent addition Casey Hayward commandeers a starting job outside. Injuries and COVID-19 limited Arnette to nine games as a rookie. Pro Football Focus graded him 116th out of 121 qualified corners last season.
  • Katie Sowers made history by coaching in Super Bowl LIV. After her four-year 49ers tenure ended, Sowers will join the other team that participated in that game. The Chiefs are adding Sowers to their staff, via the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Sowers confirmed the move (Instagram link). Sowers, 34, caught on with the 49ers via this program. Sowers went to college near Kansas City, receiving a master’s degree from Central Missouri.

Broncos, Bobby Massie Agree To Deal

Connected to several candidates to replace Ja’Wuan James at right tackle, the Broncos appear to have chosen a path here. They are signing Bobby Massie, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

One of several tackles to work out for the team this week, Massie agreed to a one-year deal worth $4MM. Massie’s time in Chicago overlapped with Vic Fangio‘s. The Broncos HC was with the Bears during three of Massie’s five seasons in the Windy City. The Bears parted ways with Massie in March, declining his 2021 option.

While this marks a big day for the Bears’ longtime tackle tandem, with Charles Leno signing with Washington, it provides the Broncos a veteran option at their second-most troublesome position. Brought in to stop a revolving door at right tackle in 2019, James missed most of that season and opted out in 2020. His Achilles tear is not certain to knock him out for all of 2021, but the Broncos placing him on the reserve/NFI list will prevent James from playing for them this season.

Massie, 32 in August, will be on track to be the ninth Week 1 Broncos right tackle starter in nine years. (The current list, for those curious: Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Ryan Harris, Donald Stephenson, Menelik Watson, Jared Veldheer, James and Elijah Wilkinson.) With James out of the picture, Wilkinson in Chicago and Massie on a one-year deal, this streak may well reach 10 in 2022. But Massie checks off a key need for the current Broncos, who have been linked to another longtime NFC North performer at quarterback.

Whether it’s Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater or Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Broncos had a major blocking vacancy. The James injury prompted them to bring in four tackles — Massie, Dennis Kelly, Jermaine Eluemunor and Cameron Fleming — for auditions. The Broncos also checked in on Leno, but he preferred to stay at left tackle and will do so in Washington. Denver added 2019 UDFA tackle Ryan Pope this week as well.

A former Cardinals fourth-round pick, Massie broke into Arizona’s starting lineup as a rookie. He served as the Cards’ primary right tackle in 2012, 2014 and ’15. The Bears signed Massie in 2016 and used him as a starter in 64 games. Pro Football Focus slotted Massie 36th among tackles last season. He graded just outside the top 30 in 2018 as well.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bobby Massie To Visit Broncos

The Broncos are doing their homework on free agent tackles. In addition to hosting Dennis Kelly, the Broncos are also set to meet with former Bears starter Bobby Massie (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler).

[RELATED: Broncos To Host OL Dennis Kelly]

Massie, a nine-year NFL veteran, was released by Bears earlier this year to save $5MM against the cap. Though he’s not be a world-beater, he is an experienced starter at a premium position. The Broncos could use someone like him after losing Ja’Wuan James to yet another injury.

Massie has had injury trouble of his own. Last year, his campaign was cut short at the midway point with a knee injury. In 2019, he was limited by an ankle issue. In total, he started in all 64 of his games for the Bears across the last five seasons. And, going back to his early years with the Cardinals, he has 118 games (110 starts) to his credit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Decline Bobby Massie’s Option?

The Bears are not likely to exercise the option on Bobby Massie’s contract, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). By letting the tackle walk, the Bears will save upwards of $5MM against the 2021 salary cap.

[RELATED: Bears Plan To Pursue Wilson Trade]

Massie may not be a world-beater, but he is an experienced starter at a premium position. Unfortunately, a knee injury cut his 2020 season at the midway point, and his 2019 was limited by an ankle issue.

Massie’s been with the Bears since signing a three-year deal with them in 2016. Before the 2019 season, he agreed to a four-year extension worth $8MM+ per year. The Bears could keep him through 2022, but they’d prefer to go younger, cheaper, and healthier at right tackle.

The salary cap figure is still TBD, but the Bears need to do some spring cleaning regardless of where the number stands. Even after dropping Massie, there will be more moves to come. And, if they make a play for Russell Wilson, they’ll have some especially difficult decisions to make.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Notes: Desai, Robinson, Massie, Skrine

Earlier this week, Sean Desai met with the media for the first time since being promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. While the 37-year-old will take over a defense that has ranked as a top-10 DVOA unit in each of the past three seasons, they’ve also seen some regression since peaking in 2018. However, Desai doesn’t believe the defensive needs a significant overhaul.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said (via the team’s website). “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis and they’re going to buy into the system and the whys and the hows of why we’re doing certain things. But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here.”

“There was some regression, and we’re going to overcome that,” Desai added. “But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and do that over a 16- to 20-week season.”

Some more notes out of Chicago…

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Bears are “prepared” to tag wideout Allen Robinson with the hope of eventually signing him to a long-term deal. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that it will be difficult to fit a franchised Robinson into a reduced 2021 cap, but the writer also admits that replacing Robinson would be a more daunting task.
  • Speaking of the cap, Biggs provided some cost-cutting options for the Bears. The team could move on from right tackle Bobby Massie, although that would open a spot on the offensive line. Cornerback Buster Skrine could also lose his roster spot, especially since he has a $500K roster bonus due in March. Finally, Biggs also whether the front office will be receptive to paying tight end Jimmy Graham $7MM this season.
  • As for restructured contracts, Biggs points to pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, and he notes that the team could also extend cornerback Kyle Fuller. Alternatively, the team could look to retain free agents like Cairo Santos and Cordarrelle Patterson on low-money pacts.
  • Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic passed along a few Bears players who have increased their 2021 salaries via proven performance escalators (Twitter links): defensive end Bilal Nichols (from $920K to $2.183MM) and guard James Daniels ($1.437MM to $2.183MM),. Their new salaries are contingent on the final 2021 cap number.

Tackle Notes: Saints, Bulaga, Bolles, Eagles

The Saints have encountered more offensive line injury trouble, and it comes at a bad time. Left tackle Terron Armstead is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The standout blocker will miss Thursday’s game against the Falcons, and while New Orleans’ subsequent mini-bye would give the seventh-year blocker a chance to return against the 49ers, these are usually multi-week injuries. With left guard Andrus Peat sidelined with a broken arm, the Saints may be missing the left side of their high-end offensive line when they face the 49ers’ dominant pass rush in Week 14. Journeyman Patrick Omameh, whom the Giants cut after his short run as one of their guard starters, replaced Armstead on Sunday.

A lot of news affecting tackles around the league has emerged. Here is the latest:

  • Bryan Bulaga‘s knee injury appears to be a minor issue. The Packers‘ longtime right tackle left Sunday night’s game in San Francisco, but Rapoport notes (via Twitter) he is believed to be battling an MCL sprain instead of ACL trouble. Bulaga will likely miss some time but looks to be able to return this season.
  • As an Eagles season with Super Bowl aspirations veers closer to one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent NFL history, Philadelphia at least will likely have its Pro Bowl right tackle back this week. Lane Johnson expects to be cleared from concussion protocol on Tuesday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson missed Sunday’s loss against the Seahawks.
  • Vic Fangio appears ready to either bench underwhelming left tackle Garett Bolles or minimize his playing time. The Broncos’ first-year coach said Monday he’s going to shake up left tackle, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This will be contingent on right tackle Ja’Wuan James‘ availability. Fangio said the seldom-seen free agent signing has been cleared from his latest injury, but it doesn’t look like James is a lock to return to action. He would likely play right tackle, with current right tackle Elijah Wilkinson shifting to the left side. If James returns, Bolles may be set for the first benching of his three-year career. The former first-round pick has not come especially close to living up to expectations, and the Broncos are unlikely to pick up his fifth-year option.
  • The Bears will be without their right tackle for a bit. Bobby Massie suffered a high ankle sprain against the Giants and will miss a few weeks, Rapoport tweets. This is Massie’s fourth season as Chicago’s starting right tackle; he re-signed this offseason on a four-year extension. Massie has only missed two games in his Bears tenure.
  • After their third straight 34-point game, the Jets are likely to have to again reconfigure their offensive line. Rookie right tackle Chuma Edoga suffered an MCL sprain, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). Adam Gase confirmed the 2019 draftee is dealing with an MCL issue and is week-to-week. The Jets have made numerous changes on their offensive front this season. Benched right tackle Brandon Shell, who came in for Kelvin Beachum after he suffered an ankle malady Sunday, may be called upon to re-enter the lineup. Beachum suffered a sprained ankle but may not miss any time.