September 21st, 2021 at 3:08pm CST by Sam Robinson
For the second time this month, the Titans are moving Bradley McDougald off their active roster. Tennessee released the veteran safety Tuesday, and it is not certain the team will bring him back this time.
McDougald started for the injured Amani Hooker in Week 2, playing 40 defensive snaps in the Titans’ overtime win over the Seahawks. Following that revenge game of sorts, the ex-Seattle starter is a free agent.
The Titans cut McDougald weeks ago but re-signed him to their practice squad before elevating him back to the active roster before Week 1. McDougald, 30, played 54% of Tennessee’s defensive snaps in Week 1, working as a backup. Despite Hooker residing on IR, McDougald is not presently in the picture with the 1-1 squad.
Included in last year’s Jamal Adams trade, McDougald has been a regular starter since 2015. He served as a primary Seahawks first-stringer from 2017-19 and spent last season as a Jets starter after being dealt to New York. An injury ended McDougald’s 2020 season midway through, however, and he spent months in free agency before the Titans added him.
September 11th, 2021 at 3:14pm CST by Sam Robinson
Like the Texans, the Titans will need their recently added practice squad kicker to contribute immediately. Tennessee placed Sam Ficken on IR on Saturday and promoted Michael Badgley.
The Titans signed Badgley to their practice squad Friday. The former Chargers specialist will suit up against the Cardinals in Week 1. Ficken will not be eligible to begin his season until Week 4. The Titans added their top kicker to their injury report Friday; a groin injury will sideline Ficken to start the year.
This move complicates the Titans’ kicker situation yet again. After a Ryan Succop injury led to a host of kickers suiting up for the Titans in 2019, leading to a historically bad 8-for-18 collective make rate, the Titans signed Stephen Gostkowski last year. The ex-Patriot made just 69% of his field goal tries. The Titans also added Randy Bullock, who worked out for the team Friday, to their practice squad. The Lions cut Bullock, a longtime Bengals kicker, last month.
Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out a younger competitor, Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. The Texans promoted recent P-squad addition Joey Slye to their active roster Saturday as well, with Ka’imi Fairbairn also on IR with a groin ailment. Badgley auditioned for the Texans, but they went with Slye.
Additionally, the Titans promoted Bradley McDougald and MyCole Pruitt to their active roster. Tennessee signed McDougald earlier this summer but demoted the veteran safety to its P-squad earlier this week. Pruitt is back with the Titans after the 49ers released him on cutdown day.
Bradley McDougald is back in free agency. Three weeks after signing the veteran safety, the Titans released him Tuesday. However, this essentially amounts to a demotion. The Titans are signing McDougald to their practice squad.
Since McDougald is a vested veteran, he does not have to pass through waivers to join Tennessee’s taxi squad. Salary guarantees may be a factor here. Teams can release vested vets now to avoid full-season guarantees, which take effect in Week 1, making it possible McDougald returns to the Titans’ active roster next week on a team-friendlier agreement.
The Titans signed McDougald to a one-year deal worth $1.1MM. That would have become guaranteed had McDougald been on Tennessee’s active roster in Week 1. The team has Dane Cruikshank and Matthias Farley in place as their backup safeties going into their season opener.
McDougald, 30, spent three seasons as a Seahawks starter before the team included him in 2020’s Jamal Adams trade. The Jets deployed McDougald as a starter during their 2-14 season but saw him go down midway through the year. The Jets let McDougald walk this year. The 49ers represented McDougald’s only non-Titans connection this offseason.
Tennessee also added offensive lineman Corey Levin and defensive back Chris Jones to its practice squad and dropped offensive lineman Derwin Gray from the 16-man unit.
While most teams were subtracting from their rosters today, the Titans were adding to theirs. The team signed three players today, including linebacker Nick Dzubnar (re-signed) and safeties Bradley McDougald and Clayton Geathers.
McDougald, a former undrafted free agent, started 70 games for the Buccaneers and Seahawks between 2015 and 2019. The veteran has seen time in 105 career games (82 starts), collecting 487 tackles, 10 interceptions, and 43 passes defended. He got into seven games for the Jets in 2020, finishing with 36 tackles, his lowest total since his rookie season. His 2020 campaign was cut short thanks to a shoulder injury.
Geathers had previously spent his entire career with the Colts, seeing time in 56 games. He started 22 games for Indy between 2018 and 2019, collecting 101 tackles and four passes defended. He sat out the 2020 campaign, and he found himself unsigned through most of this offseason.
Dzubnar spent the 2020 season in Tennessee, where he emerged as one of the team’s top special teams players, leading the Titans with 13 special teams tackles. He spent the first six years of his career with the Chargers, where he appeared in 65 games.
Clinton-Dix’s 2021 itinerary has included trips to Indianapolis, Charlotte, Houston and Las Vegas. Clinton-Dix, 28, has not played since the 2019 season, when he played out a one-year contract with the Bears. The Cowboys signed the ex-first-round pick in 2020, but he did not make their 53-man roster.
The Seahawks used McDougald as a three-season starter but included him in last year’s Jamal Adams trade. With the Jets, McDougald started seven games before an injury shut him down. This Bay Area trek marks the first news involving the 30-year-old safety this year.
Like Clinton-Dix, Geathers did not play in 2020. The former Colts second-round pick has not been connected to a team in a while, despite being a 34-game starter in Indianapolis. The 29-year-old defender will need to catch on with a team at some point soon in order to stay on the NFL radar. Sendejo played the 2020 season in Cleveland, working as a full-time starter for a Browns team that lost Grant Delpit in training camp. Sendejo is an 11-year veteran who will turn 34 next month.
San Francisco is set to redeploy Tartt and Jimmie Ward as its starting safeties. Tartt, however, is battling a toe injury Shanahan confirmed is not rapidly improving. The veteran starter has been dealing with this toe problem since November of last year, which certainly presents a problem for the 49ers. They signed Tony Jefferson earlier this summer, but he is dealing with an injury as well. It would seem likely at least one of the veterans at Tuesday’s workout will be called upon to stick around.
Some rare good news for the Jets. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Sam Darnold‘s precautionary MRI of his right shoulder only showed a “reaggravation.” The 23-year-old will attempt to work through the injury and won’t be sidelined.
Darnold initially suffered the shoulder injury during the Jets’ Week 4 loss to the Broncos, and that forced Joe Flacco into the lineup for Week 5. Darnold returned under center for the past two games, but he’s only completed 56.6-percent of his passes for 253 yards and two interceptions. Prior to the injury, Darnold completed 59.42-percent of his passes for 792 yards, three scores, and four interceptions.
Darnold has missed eight games through his three NFL seasons. If he’s forced to miss more time, the team could either turn to Flacco, third-stringer James Morgan, or practice squad signal-caller Mike White.
Some more notes out of the Big Apple:
Prior to the Jets loss to the Chiefs yesterday, ESPN’s Rich Cimini gave the “inside story” of why the organization passed on future MVP and champion Patrick Mahomes during the 2017 draft. There were a variety of reasons that went into the decision: the Jets had already invested in Josh McCown as their bridge quarterback, there was still some optimism that Christian Hackenberg could work out, former GM MikeMaccagnan already had his eye on the 2018 quarterbacks class (including Darnold), and the organization was much more infatuated with their eventual pick, safety Jamal Adams. Still, prior to the draft, Mahomes thought he could end up in New York. “I definitely thought there was interest there,” Mahomes said. “Whenever you go on those visits, you know they’re pretty interested in doing their due diligence. I definitely thought there was interest there.”
While we’ve heard a similar sentiment throughout the past few weeks, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reiterates that the Jets aren’t expected to fire head coach Adam Gase midseason. “They really don’t want to do it,” a source told Vacchiano. “They may have to, at some point. But they know a midseason coaching change doesn’t change their situation. I think they’re going to hold off as long as they can.” Vacchiano provided a variety of reasons why it makes sense for the Jets to hold on to Gase, including the fact that the head coach serves as a “lightning rod” while distracting from general manager JoeDouglas‘ shaky first season with the organization.
Safety Marcus Maye‘s rookie contract is set to come to an end, and Cimini believes he could be eyeing a contract that will pay him around $7MM per season. As a result, Cimini reports that rival teams believe the 27-year-old could be had as part of the team’s fire sale. The reporter had a similar sentiment about Bradley McDougald, although the impending free agent safety has since landed on IR.
In the same article, Cimini passes along an anecdote from 2018, when the Jets “boxed” out the QB-needy Bills by moving from No. 6 to No. 3 in a deal with the Colts. The move allowed the Jets to select Darnold, who was Buffalo’s top-rated QB. In fact, the Bills were so displeased with the deal, they refused to negotiate with Indy for the remainder of the draft. Buffalo ended up trading up from No. 11 to No. 7, and they proceeded to select Josh Allen.
The Jets have traded safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Seahawks sent a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, and safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets in exchange for Adams and a 2022 fourth-round choice.
Jets GM Joe Douglas has come under fire for his handling of Adams, but it’s hard to argue with the Jets’ return on the trade. It’s a stunning haul, considering how badly the Adams bridge had been burned.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have received one of the league’s most exciting young talents. Adams – who won’t turn 25 until October – has been a certified star since his rookie season and he’s been rock solid in coverage for the last two years. Between 2018 and 2019, only Vikings standout Anthony Harris graded out higher than Adams at safety, according to Pro Football Focus. Eddie Jackson (Bears) is No. 3 on the list, and he currently stands as the league’s top-paid safety. In 2019, Adams earned his first ever First-Team All-Pro nod while notching 75 tackles, seven passes defensed, 6.5 sacks, and a defensive touchdown.
It’s an immediate lift for the Seahawks and a future cornerstone for their secondary. Of course, they’ll have to iron out a new deal with Adams sooner rather than later. For now, Adams has two years of club control remaining on his deal. Beyond that, he’s seeking a deal that will position him as the league’s highest paid safety, meaning a floor of $15MM per year. Adams was also pushing the Jets for $20MM per season – putting him in defensive end territory – but that sticker price was probably exclusive to Gang Green. For the Seahawks, and other clubs that were on his wish list, the ask was believed to be a bit lower. Also, Adams is reportedly willing to wait until next year to start negotiations with the Seahawks.
The Cowboys, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers, and Buccaneers were also among Adams’ preferred destinations. It’s not clear whether those clubs made an aggressive play for Adams, however. Any of those teams would have loved to have him – especially the Texans, given their glaring need at the position – but the Jets’ asking price coupled with the expense of a new Adams deal cooled the interest of most clubs. For the Seahawks, it was well worth it.
While most teams have held off on making major moves this offseason, the NFC West has been a notable exception. Adams is the latest big-time trade acquisition in the division, following the 49ers’ move for Trent Williams and the Cardinals stunner of a deal for DeAndre Hopkins. The Rams, who have made a habit of splashy moves in their new L.A. digs, have not been quite as proactive.
One of the biggest stories of this NFL offseason has been the drama surrounding Todd Gurley‘s knee. Gurley clearly wasn’t right down the stretch last season, and C.J. Anderson ended up taking the bulk of the Rams’ running back snaps during their Super Bowl run. Gurley’s health has been clouded in secrecy, with conflicting reports emerging seemingly every week. We’ve heard everything from Gurley having arthritis in his knee and it being degenerative, to him being just fine. Gurley stayed away from the team’s OTAs so he wasn’t available to reporters, but he finally broke his silence this week at minicamp.
Gurley tried to quell any concern at his press conference, saying “I had bigger problems to worry about coming out of college. This is small,” per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Gurley is presumably referring to the ACL tear that he had coming out of Georgia. While it’s nice to hear that Gurley doesn’t sound too concerned, it doesn’t mean we should expect him to be a workhorse in 2019. The Rams raised a lot of eyebrows by drafting Memphis running back Darrell Henderson in the third round back in April, and it’s very likely they’ll take it easy with Gurley early on to keep him fresh for a playoff run.
Here’s more from the NFC West:
The 49ers have had one of the best kicking situations in the league the last couple of years, as Robbie Gould has been incredibly consistent. San Francisco is hoping for big things this season as Jimmy Garoppolo returns from his torn ACL, and Gould is a big part of their plans. Unfortunately the two sides are in a bit of a contract standoff, as Gould still hasn’t signed his franchise tag and is demanding a trade. Gould may wait until the last minute to show up, and that’s just fine with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. “If he doesn’t want to show up until Week 1, it is what it is,” Shanahan said on Tuesday, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. “I’ll take a very good kicker at any time, whether it’s Week 1 or on third down, just one play before we’re going to have to kick.” Gould is set to make $4.971MM under the tag in 2019, but is holding out for a longterm deal. Judging by Shanahan’s comments, it doesn’t sound like the 49ers are going to blink anytime soon.
Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald is recovering from a recent knee surgery, and now we have more details. McDougald revealed to reporters that he played with a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee from Week 8 on last year, and that he initially tried just rehabbing it before opting for surgery last month, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). McDougald also said “for sure” when asked if he’d be on the field at the start of training camp. McDougald, 28, started all 16 games for Seattle last year after being a part-time starter in 2017.