Braden Mann

NFL Draft Signings: 7/20/20

With training camps looming, teams are rushing to get picks signed. Here are the latest draft deals:

  • The Falcons signed third-round center Matt Hennessy. The No. 78 overall pick is set to develop behind Pro Bowler Alex Mack, whose contract expires after the 2020 season. Atlanta’s Hennessy pick caused Denver to change course, with the Broncos having a deal in place with the Jets to move up to No. 79 to draft the Temple blocker. But the Falcons struck one pick earlier, allocating another early-round resource to their offensive line after using two first-round picks on the group last year.
  • The Jets were busy Monday, signing three of their 2020 draftees. Third-round pass rusher Jabari Zuniga (Florida), fourth-round quarterback James Morgan (Florida International) and sixth-round punter Braden Mann (Texas A&M) are now under contract. Mann is on track to be Gang Green’s punter, while Zuniga may a rotational role from the outset. Despite an apparent need, the Jets were not especially aggressive in addressing their years-long edge-rushing issue this offseason. Morgan will be on track for the developmental route, with the Jets having signed Joe Flacco after the draft.
  • Two Cowboys picks agreed to terms as well. Fifth-round defensive end Bradlee Anae (Utah) and seventh-round quarterback Ben DiNucci are under contract. Both project as backups, with the latter — a former Pitt recruit who transferred to James Madison — joining Clayton Thorson as UDFA QBs behind Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton.

AFC East Notes: Lawson, Dolphins, Jets

Despite Shaq Lawson being in trade rumors for much of his tenure with the Bills, the current regime was interested in bringing him back. However, it does not appear Buffalo’s interest in retaining the former Doug Whaley first-round pick was extensive. The Bills were open to re-signing Lawson, but Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic notes such interest was contingent on Lawson returning at a certain price (subscription required). But once the Dolphins guaranteed two years of Lawson’s $10MM-AAV contract, the Bills let him walk. Buffalo signed both Mario Addison and versatile D-lineman Quinton Jefferson to cover for Lawson’s exit.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Shifting to Lawson’s new team, the Dolphins┬áreceived good news on the health statuses of two of their recent free agent additions. Emmanuel Ogbah said he has been cleared for football work for around a month but has yet to partake in workouts because of COVID-19 concerns, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets. Ogbah will receive a Chiefs Super Bowl ring, but the defensive end’s contributions ended midseason because of a torn pectoral muscle.
  • Jordan Howard also will be full-go when the Dolphins reconvene, Wolfe adds. After a strong start to his Eagles season, Howard suffered a shoulder injury that derailed his momentum. He played in just one game after Week 9 but did not log any carries. Howard was inactive for Philadelphia’s playoff game. The Dolphins gave him a two-year, $9.75MM contract.
  • Sam Martin ended up signing with the Broncos, but the Jets were interested in adding the former Lions punter, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. The Broncos gave Martin a three-year, $7.05MM deal; Mehta adds the Jets were not budgeting that much for their punter position. Martin’s $2.35MM salary ranks 15th among punters. The Jets have opted not to re-sign incumbent punter Lac Edwards, their four-year punter, and Mehta adds they have remained in contact with former Dolphins and Bills punter Matt Darr. Ian Berryman, a 2019 Steelers UDFA, is the only punter on the Jets’ roster. The team remains interested in another addition here. Bringing considerable punter news to the table, Mehta adds that the Jets are doing their homework on Texas A&M’s Braden Mann — the 2018 Ray Guy award winner.
  • While things could certainly change in the coming months, the Patriots appear set to make Jarrett Stidham the favorite to be their first non-Tom Brady Week 1 starter since 2001.