Bradley Sowell

Contract Details: 3/25/18

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Bears Re-Sign Bradley Sowell

The Bears have re-signed Bradley Sowell, according to James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter). The offensive lineman will remain in Chicago on a new two-year deal rather than exploring free agency. 

Sowell, 29 in June, spent last year as a reserve for the Bears, seeing time at both left guard and right tackle. His 297 snaps were not enough to qualify for ranking, but in a larger sample, he would have graded out as one of the 20 worst guards in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus.

Terms of the deal are not yet known, but Sowell’s deal likely won’t be for much more than the veteran’s minimum.

Meanwhile, the Bears are reportedly hoping to land wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Sign OT Bradley Sowell

The Bears have agreed to sign tackle Bradley Sowell, as Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com tweets. Sowell spent the 2016 season with the Seahawks. Bradley Sowell (vertical)

Sowell appeared in ten games for Seattle last season and started in nine of those contests. A knee injury in October took a big chunk out of his season, but the good news is that he was able to avoid surgery.

The 27-year-old (28 in June) won’t be starting for Chicago, but he’ll have an opportunity to be one of the first tackles off of the bench if things go well this summer. After a season in which he graded out as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst qualified tackles, he’ll aim to get back on track in his new surroundings.

The Bears wound up with only five draft picks last week and their only addition to the offensive line came in the fifth round when they selected Jordan Morgan out of Kutztown. Sowell becomes the third outside addition to the offensive line this offseason, joining fellow free agent pickup Tom Compton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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NFC Notes: Kaep, Sowell, D. Young, Packers

Let’s take a look at a few notes from around the league as Easter Sunday comes to a close…

  • Colin Kaepernick‘s $11.9MM 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, but a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the 49ers might still be on the hook for that total even if they cut Kaepernick before April begins. Kaepernick’s base salary is currently guaranteed for injury only, and because he’s undergone three offseason surgeries, the NFLPA would argue that the San Francisco signal-caller is entitled to his pay even if he’s released. Of course, the 49ers have said they’ll keep Kaepernick on the roster if he’s not dealt, and a source tells Florio that that sentiment is not a facade.
  • Because Russell Okung looked destined to leave Seattle, the Seahawks appealed to free agent tackle Bradley Sowell because they offered the possibility of playing on the blind side, as Sowell explained to 710 ESPN“They showed a lot of interest. They called me right away,” Sowell said. “For a guy who hasn’t started a ton over the last couple of years, that’s a little bit rare to get that kind of interest quick. Usually a guy like me would have to wait a little longer, but they were really quick, so obviously they had done film study on me and stuff. They were really quick and called me, and when I got here, they basically kept making me an offer.”
  • Washington‘s offense will be phasing out fullbacks in favor of tight ends, said former Washington fullback Darrel Young, which is the key reason that he didn’t re-sign with the club, he told Alex Marvez on SiriusXM Radio (Twitter link).
  • The Packers and general manager Ted Thompson refuse to negotiate against themselves and are content with slow-playing free agency, a strategy that has worked well for them in the past, writes Weston Hodkiewicz of PackersNews.com.

Contract Details: Weddle, Sensabaugh, Hayward

Listed below are several of the latest contract details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless other indicated.

AFC:

  • Eric Weddle, S (Ravens): Four years, $26MM. $13MM guaranteed ($9MM fully guaranteed). $7MM signing bonus. $1MM roster bonus due on April 4. $4MM base salary guaranteed for injury at signing; becomes fully guaranteed if on the roster on the fifth day of the 2017 league year. $1MM annual Pro Bowl incentives from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Casey Hayward, CB (Chargers): Three years, $15.3MM. $6.8MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus. $3.3MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonuses due on third day of 2017, 2018 league years (Twitter links).
  • Chris Hogan, WR (Patriots): Three years, $12MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus paid on March 14. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Mackenzy Bernadeau, OL (Jaguars): Two years, $3MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K option bonus to be exercised 22 days before first day of 2017 league year (Twitter links).

NFC:

  • Coty Sensabaugh, CB (Rams): Three years, up to $19MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonus due third day of 2017 league year (becomes fully guaranteed this Friday). $1.5MM annually incentives for playing time, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and playoffs (all Twitter links).
  • J’Marcus Webb, G/T (Seahawks): Two years, $6MM. $2.45MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Zach Miller, TE (Bears): Two years, $5.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $500K roster bonus due on March 18. $500K in annual per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in annual incentives for playing time, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns (Twitter links).
  • Chris Conte, S (Buccaneers): One year, $3MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus due on March 17. Up to $1MM in incentives for playing time, stats, and playoffs (Twitter link).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): One year, $2MM. $500K roster bonus due on March 18 (Twitter link).
  • Sealver Siliga, DT (Seahawks): One year, $1.05MM. $200K signing bonus. $50K Week 1 active roster bonus. Up to $350K in incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Bradley Sowell, T (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Dan Orlovsky, QB (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $160K guaranteed. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Red Bryant, DL (Cardinals): One year, minimum salary benefit. $55K Week 1 roster bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).

Seahawks To Sign Bradley Sowell

The Seahawks have agreed to sign Bradley Sowell to a one-year, $1.5MM deal, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The offensive lineman was a free agent of the Seahawks.

It was reported late last week that Sowell would be visiting with Seattle. Apparently, the two sides hit it off as a deal has been struck. Sowell did not earn a place on Pro Football Rumors’ Top 15 list of free agent tackles for this offseason, nor did he make honorable mention. Still, Sowell is an experienced tackle who comes to the Seahawks on a reasonable contract.

Sowell, 27 in June, appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Cardinals from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, he spent his rookie season with the Colts. The 6’7, 316 pound lineman went undrafted out of Mississippi in 2012 and initially signed with the Bucs.

Free Agent Rumors: Jaguars, Wisniewski, Branch

The latest free agent rumors:

  • Jaguars GM David Caldwell says that he’s “not done” adding to the team’s offensive line (Twitter link via John Oehser of Jaguars.com). Caldwell went on to say that the door is not closed on Stefen Wisniewski either (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union).
  • Defensive lineman Andre Branch is on his way to visit Washington, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • The Titans have been talking with the reps for nose tackle Al Woods and are hoping to get something done, Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network tweets.
  • Free agent tackle Bradley Sowell has a visit scheduled with the Seahawks, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Before signing punter Brad Nortman, Caldwell says the Jaguars offered a new deal to incumbent Bryan Anger (Twitter link via O’Halloran).

NFC Mailbags: Cardinals, Bucs, Vikings, Saints

We checked out ESPN.com’s AFC mailbags earlier this morning. Let’s now shift focus to the NFC…

  • Josh Weinfuss believes Cardinals offensive lineman Ted Larsen, Earl Watford, Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie could be moved because of the depth at their positions.
  • The Buccaneers have been active in their spot atop the waiver wire, claiming Tim Wright and D.J. Swearinger. Pat Yasinskas says the team could make five or six more claims before the start of the season.
  • If running back Doug Martin has a big season, Yasinskas thinks there’s a good chance he’d re-sign with the Buccaneers.
  • 2018 is the earliest the Vikings would have to invest a longterm contract into a quarterback, writes Ben Goessling. That means that team shouldn’t have an issue signing their younger core players, including Harrison Smith, Matt Kalil and Xavier Rhodes. The one player that the writer could see the organization move on from is wideout Cordarrelle Patterson.
  • Mike Triplett says it’s “safe to assume” that Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can’t survive another bad season. If the defense continues to struggle, defensive assistant Dennis Allen could also receive part of the blame.

Cardinals Re-Sign Bradley Sowell

The Cardinals have locked up a reserve offensive lineman, keeping him off the free agent market, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team inked Bradley Sowell to a one-year deal. Sowell had been eligible for restricted free agency, so after playing out the 2015 season, he’ll have the chance to become an unrestricted free agent next year.

Sowell, 25, was forced into a starting role during the 2013 season, and struggled with the added responsibility, ranking as the worst qualified tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required). After the Cardinals signed Jared Veldheer in free agency last March, Sowell reverted a reserve role in 2014 — his offensive snap count dropped from 842 in ’13 to zero in ’14.

Taking into account Sowell’s struggles as a regular, and his lack of playing time in 2014, I would guess that the Cardinals signed the offensive lineman for less than the restricted free agent tender would have been worth. However, financial terms of the agreement aren’t yet known.

In addition to locking up Sowell for another season, the Cards also confirmed the signing of free agent cornerback Damond Smith, per Urban. That deal was previously reported.