Brandon Brooks

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Restructures Deal

For the second time in five months, Eagles guard Brandon Brooks has amended his contract, as ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. This time around, the offensive lineman has reworked his deal to accommodate teammate Nick Foles.

The revision to Brooks’ deal will create $6.37MM in cap space by converting his base salary into bonuses. The adjustment drops his cap number to $4.768MM in 2018, allowing the Eagles to give Foles a raise this season, plus extra incentives.

If [you’re] wondering about the restructure, I get $4MM now [and] $4MM by Sept. 1 with a couple hundred thousand over the season,” Brooks tweeted. “The reason I did it was because the [expletive] SUPER BOWL MVP DESERVED MORE MONEY. Love you bro.”

Brooks, 29 in August, earned his first career Pro Bowl selection last year. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 ranked guard in the entire NFL in 2017, behind only Zack Martin of the Cowboys, David DeCastro of the Steelers. and Andrew Norwell of the Jaguars (formerly of the Panthers).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Create Additional Cap Space

The Eagles converted $745,588 of guard Brandon Brooks‘ remaining base salary to a signing bonus and dropped his base salary rate to the league minimum ($775K), according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The move creates $559K in cap space for Philadelphia. Brandon Brooks (vertical)

The Eagles badly needed the wiggle room. Currently, the Eagles are in the bottom five league-wide in cap space and they’ll have to make moves in order to get under the cap this offseason.

The good news for the Eagles, financially, is that the majority of their starters are signed through at least next season. Some hard choices will have to be made as they look to strengthen their reserves, but the Eagles should be able to carry over most of their roster into 2018. Considering that they’re 12-2 with a very real chance at winning it all, that’s a good thing. Their top internal free agents include running back LeGarrette Blount, linebacker Nigel Bradham, defensive tackle Beau Allen, and tight end Trey Burton.

Brooks, 28, earned his first career Pro Bowl selection this week. He stands as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 ranked guard in the entire NFL this year, behind only David DeCastro of the Steelers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Notable 2018 Pro Bowl Incentives/Escalators

The NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters earlier tonight, and aside from determining which players will spend a week in Orlando early next year, the rosters also dictate several important bonuses and/or contract escalators for individual players. Former NFL agent and current CBSSports.com contributor Joel Corry has rounded up the notable incentives earned tonight, and we’ll pass those along below. As Corry notes (Twitter link), only first ballot Pro Bowlers who actually participate in the game (unless injured or playing in the Super Bowl) are in bonuses, which are typically paid out by the end of March.

Here are the notable Pro Bowl bonuses and escalators that were preliminarily netted this evening (all links to Corry’s Twitter):

Bonuses

  • Ravens S Eric Weddle, $1MM; requires Baltimore in playoffs (link): Still playing like one of the league’s best coverage safeties at the age of 32, Weddle needs the Ravens to land one of the AFC Wild Card slots in order to earn his incentive. Baltimore appears to on course to do just that, as FiveThirtyEight gives the club an 87% of earning a postseason berth. That playoff appearance will be largely due to the Ravens’ defense, which ranks second only to Jacksonville in DVOA.
  • Bills S Micah Hyde, $400K (link): Sean McDermott can coach defensive backs. After spending years finding gems at safety for the Eagles and Panthers, the Bills head coach has helped Hyde transform into a top-notch DB. Hyde, who inked a five-year, $30.5MM contract with Buffalo in the spring, ranked a respectable 53rd in Pro Football Focus‘ safety grades a year ago. This season? He’s ninth.
  • Raiders G Kelechi Osemele, $300K (link): Under general manager Reggie McKenzie, the Raiders have employed what is often referred to as an “all cash” salary cap management system, wherein prorated signing bonuses are rarely used while base salary guarantees, roster bonuses, and — as evidenced by the number of Oakland players on this list — incentive clauses are heavily employed. Osemele, the league’s highest-paid interior offensive lineman, is signed through 2020 with cap charges north of $10MM in each season.
  • Rams K Greg Zuerlein, $250K (link): While the Los Angeles offense garners the most headlines, the club’s special teams unit has maintained its dominance under coordinator John Fassel, who briefly took over as the Rams’ interim head coach in 2016. Fassel, Zuerlein, & Co. have managed a No. 2 ranking in special teams DVOA, while Zuerlein himself has been worth 15.1 points of field position (second in the NFL).
  • Raiders T Donald Penn, $200K (link): Penn’s summer holdout lead to extra guarantees in the future, but didn’t end with a change to his 2017 salary, meaning this bonus part of his original deal. The 34-year-old Penn is currently on injured reserve, and will miss his first game since 2007 on Sunday. Still, his renegotiated contract now contains a $3MM guarantee for 2018, meaning he’s likely part of the Raiders’ plans.
  • Patriots ST Matthew Slater, $150K (link): Slater has now earned a Pro Bowl berth in every season since 2011. At some point, it’s fair to wonder if Slater is skating by on reputation, as he played only a quarter of the Patriots’ special teams snaps this year. Slater missed more special teams tackles than he made prior to his 2016 berth, tweets Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus.
  • Raiders C Rodney Hudson, $100K (link): For all of Oakland’s problems this season, the Raiders have continued to boast some of the NFL’s best pass-blocking offensive lineman. Hudson is the best pass-blocking center in the league by a wide margin, meaning he’s eminently affordable at $8.9MM annually.

Escalators

  • Lions CB Darius Slay, $550K base salary increase in 2018 (link): As Corry reports, Slay had three ways to earn this heft escalator — post five or more interceptions (he sits at seven), play on 80% or more of Detroit’s defensive snaps (he’s at 97.6%), or earn a Pro Bowl berth. Slay managed all three in what has become the best season of an increasingly impressive five-year career.
  • Eagles T Lane Johnson, $250K base salary increase each season from 2018-21 (link): Depending on Jason Peters‘ health and the Eagles’ plans, Johnson could very well be playing left tackle as soon as 2018. Even with his base salary set to increase, Johnson won’t have a cap charge north of $13.5MM over the life of his contract.
  • Eagles G Brandon Brooks, $250K base salary increase each season from 2018-20 (link): General manager Howie Roseman zeroed in on Brooks at the outset of the 2016 free agent period, and the 28-year-old has quickly proved to be one of the best free agent signings in recent memory. Brooks will earn an $8.5MM base salary — the largest during his five-year deal — in 2018.
  • Eagles TE Zach Ertz, $250K base salary increase from 2019-21 (link): Per Corry, Ertz also picked up a $100K bonus for 2017. Ertz has already set a career-high in touchdowns (eight) and has a shot to set new marks in receptions and yards even though he missed two games with injury. A former second-round pick, Ertz ranks among the top-five tight ends in catches, yards, and scores.

NFC Notes: Cards, Rams, Eagles, 49ers, Giants

There were no arguments from any of the Cardinals’ hierarchy regarding the decision to release wide receiver Michael Floyd on Wednesday, owner Michael Bidwill told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. “Yes, across the board,” Bidwill said on whether cutting Floyd on the heels of his second DUI arrest was a consensus choice. In summing up Floyd’s nearly five-year tenure with the Cardinals, Bidwill said, “He was a 2012 first-round draft choice for us, a person we thought would eventually take Larry Fitzgerald‘s position and be the No. 1 receiver for the future. Deeply disappointing that we moved on and he didn’t work out as a person we had a lot of faith in.”

More from the NFC:

  • Indications are that the Rams would like to retain general manager Les Snead, but that could depend on whom the team hires as its next head coach, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. Snead is helping chief operating officer Kevin Demoff in the Rams’ search for a successor to the fired Jeff Fisher, though Demoff didn’t give the GM a public vote of confidence Monday. “It would be a mistake right now to say we’re satisfied with where we’re at on a personnel side and to ensure that Les would be back,” declared Demoff. “I think Les would be the first person to stand up here and say the same thing.”
  • Eagles guard Brandon Brooks had a brief hospital stay in late November and has missed two of the team’s past three games because of a stomach illness. It turns out Brooks’ physical issues stem from anxiety, he announced Wednesday (via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer). “What I mean by anxiety condition is not nervousness or fear of the game,” Brooks explained. “I have an obsession with the game. It’s an unhealthy obsession right now. I’m working with team doctors to get everything straightened out and get the help I need.” Brooks is now taking medication and seeking professional help to curb his anxiety. Fortunately, the 27-year-old doesn’t expect the condition to affect his ability to continue in the NFL. “It’s nothing I’m ashamed of,” said Brooks. “I’ll get the help that I need, and life will go on. I’ll be fine. Career will be fine. I am concerned about it, obviously, but I’m not ‘woe is me’ at this point.”
  • The 49ers put in a waiver claim on running back Darius Jackson, a league source tells Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Unfortunately for the Niners, the Browns had top priority on the waiver wire and nabbed him instead.
  • The Giants worked out running backs Russell Hansbrough, Brandon Brown-Dukes and Julian Howsare on Wednesday, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Hansbrough ended up joining their practice squad.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Packers, Redskins, Vikings, Giants

When asked by reporters today whether Clay Matthews Jr.’s shoulder injury is more concerning that Aaron Rodgers‘ hamstring ailment, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy responded with a simple answer: “Yes.” According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, McCarthy said the club will wait for further results on Matthews’ issue before speculating as to his status for Sunday’s game against the Texans, but Green Bay can ill afford to lose any more linebackers. Starters Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez, plus reserve Kyler Fackrell, were all inactive last night, meaning the Packers are heavily leaning on Matthews’ ability play inside and outside ‘backer.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Kirk Cousins could be playing himself into the $24MM per year range as he continues to rack up yards and touchdowns for the Redskins, said former agent Joel Corry on 106.7 The Fan today (Twitter link via Grant Paulsen). Cousins, who topped the inaugural edition of PFR’s 2017 Free Agent Power Rankings, is reportedly asking for $23.94MM — the amount he’d get under the ’17 franchise tag — annually. Conflicting reports have emerged as to whether Washington would be willing to franchise Cousins again next season.
  • Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was spotted doing some light running today, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link). It was reported last week that Peterson was likely to run around this time. This could be a good sign for Peterson, who is pushing to return from IR in December.
  • 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries played well in his first attempt at left tackle on Sunday, and his solid showing gives the Cardinals options going forward, writes Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Not only could Humphries continue to play on the blindside in 2016, with Jared Veldheer moving to right tackle, but he could allow Arizona to move on from Veldheer in years to come if the club needs to create cap space.
  • The Giants need to extend defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul before he hits free agency, argues Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Now more than a year removed from a fireworks accident, JPP has returned to his old form and could look to score on the open market next spring. New York, of course, has already invested heavily in its front four by handing large contracts to Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is also headed for free agency.
  • The Eagles announced that right guard Brandon Brooks has been released from the hospital. Brooks was placed in the hospital before last night’s game against the Packers and ended up missing the contest with a mystery ailment. As such, his availability for Week 13 against Cincinnati is unclear.

Brandon Brooks Hospitalized, To Miss Game

Brandon Brooks has enjoyed a bounce-back season for the Eagles, but the guard won’t have a chance to play in a nationally televised spot for his team tonight.

The mammoth lineman was hospitalized with an illness earlier today and will be out, leaving Philadelphia shorthanded up front.

Rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 overall guard, Brooks has been one of the team’s best players this season after signing a lucrative free agent deal to come over from the Texans. The 343-pound right guard started all 10 of the Eagles’ games this season and has suited up for at least 14 contests during his time as a starter, which has consisted of the past three campaigns.

Philadelphia is already down Lane Johnson and replacement Halapoulivaati Vaitai, so the Eagles will go with a makeshift offensive line against the Packers. Stefen Wisniewski will start at left guard, Isaac Seumalo will go to right guard, per Tim McManus of ESPN.com (on Twitter) and Allen Barbre will play right tackle for Philly tonight.

Josh Andrews will be active for the first time this season, serving as the backup guard, with Matt Tobin suiting up as the backup tackle after being a healthy scratch last week, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

The Eagles are already without starting running back Ryan Mathews, so this rearranged blocking quintet will likely make ground advancement more difficult on the fourth-place team fighting to remain in the wild-card race.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Contract Details: Vernon, Jenkins, Mack

Here are some of the latest details on many recent agreed-upon and signed contracts from out of the NFC (all links via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post unless otherwise indicated)…

NFC East:

  • Olivier Vernon, DE (Giants): Five years, $85MM. $52.5MM guaranteed. $20MM signing bonus. $7MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2016 league year (Twitter links).
  • Janoris Jenkins, CB (Giants): Five years, $62.5MM. $28.8MM guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $1.4MM base salary in 2016 (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Brooks, G (Eagles): Five years, $40MM. $21MM guaranteed. $11MM signing bonus. $1MM base salary in 2016 and $5MM base salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Chase Daniel, QB (Eagles): Three years, $21MM base value. $36MM max value. $3MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due on March 14. $3MM base escalators in 2017 and 2018 (Twitter link).
  • Colt McCoy, QB (Washington): Three years, $9MM base value. Third year can be voided based on playing time. $1.8MM signing bonus. $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Ron Brooks, CB (Eagles): Three years, $5.5MM. $1.55MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC South:

NFC North:

  • Marvin Jones, WR (Lions): Five years, $40MM. $20MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Alex Boone, G (Vikings): Four years, $26.8MM. $10MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Danny Trevathan, LB (Bears): Four years, $24.5MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter link).
  • Michael Griffin, S (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $250K signing bonus. $500K of $1.65MM base salary guaranteed. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter links).
  • Tavon Wilson, S (Lions): Two years, $2.2MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $500K in annual playing-time incentives (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Mark Barron, OLB (Rams): Five years, $45MM. $20MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • William Hayes, DE (Rams): Three years, $17.5MM. $10MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus due on March 13 (Twitter link).
  • Tyvon Branch, S (Cardinals): Two years, $8MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1.75MM roster bonus in 2016, $1MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Tim Barnes, C (Rams): Two years, $5.6MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.25MM roster bonus due in four days. $750K roster bonus due on third day of 2017 league year guaranteed for injury, skill; becomes fully guaranteed if on roster June 17. Up to $1MM in annual playing-time incentives. $250K annual Pro Bowl incentive (all Twitter links).
  • Brian Quick, WR (Rams): One year, $1.75MM. $1.5MM guaranteed ($1.25MM bas salary, $250K roster bonus due on March 15). $2MM stats incentive (Twitter link).

Eagles Sign Brandon Brooks

5:48pm: The Eagles have officially announced their deal with Brooks (via Twitter).

2:33pm: The Eagles are set to sign guard Brandon Brooks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’ll be a five-year, $40MM deal. "<strong

Earlier this week, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report indicated that Brooks could be in line for a deal in the range of $8MM per season and that’s exactly what he appears to have gotten. Brooks’ representatives were reportedly in touch with the Texans since the Combine but the two sides could not work out a deal to keep the guard in Houston. Brooks rated as Pro Football Focus’ 37th-ranked guard in 2015, and he got a sizable payday despite joining a crowded guard class fronted by Kelechi Osemele.

According to the advanced metrics, Brooks struggled as a run-blocker in 2015, but his pass-blocking was excellent, ranking among the league’s top 10 guards. In past seasons, Brooks has been more consistent in both aspects of his game, which helped lead to his hefty deal with Philly.

Brooks was PFR’s No. 7 ranked available interior offensive lineman, putting him behind Osemele, Alex Mack, Jeff Allen, Richie Incognito, Alex Boone, and Evan Mathis. That designation put Brooks ahead of notable names such as Ramon Foster, Stefen Wisniewski, Ben Jones, Jahri Evans, Manny Ramirez, Geoff Schwartz, Mike Harris, and J.R. Sweezy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Rumors: Osweiler, Vernon, Miller

The Texans are expected to make a competitive offer to Brock Osweiler in both guaranteed money and per-year average salary, an NFL source tells Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Recently, the Broncos reportedly upped their offer to Osweiler, submitting one that’s worth more than $45MM over three years. From the sound of it, Houston might be ready to top that. A source tells Robinson that a $15-$16MM per year average for Osweiler will be a legitimate number for his market (link).

Here are the latest free agency rumors:

  • We can expect the market for Olivier Vernon to include the Giants, Raiders, Jaguars, Browns, and Titans, Robinson tweets. Vernon was hit with the transition tag by the Dolphins earlier this month and he currently stands to earn $12.734MM on a one-year contract in 2016. However, if he signs an offer sheet that the Dolphins decline to match, they will lose him for nothing as they did with Charles Clay one year ago.
  • Dolphins running back Lamar Miller will hit the open market when free agency opens, a source close to the player tells Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Miller, 24, ran for 872 yards off of 184 carries with eight touchdowns in 2015. Miller is hoping to land a deal similar to DeMarco Murray‘s pact, but Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears his market is in the $4-5MM range rather than $8MM.
  • Doug Martin‘s market includes at least six teams, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • The Ravens are bracing for Kelechi Osemele to leave, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. Florio adds that while it has been speculated that the offensive lineman could get $11MM/year on the open market, some think the number will be closer to $9MM.
  • Chris Long‘s first visit will be to Washington tomorrow, Trey Wingo of ESPN.com tweets.
  • There’s mutual interest between Washington and cornerback Will Blackmon about a return in 2016, Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Mid-Atlantic tweets.
  • Texans free agent guard Brandon Brooks could be in line for a deal in the range of $8MM per season, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears. He adds that multiple teams are interested.

FA Rumors: Osweiler, Okung, M. Williams

The big news of the day, of course, was the report that Peyton Manning will officially announce his retirement tomorrow. However, offseason business in the NFL waits for no man, and to that end, here are some notes regarding some of this year’s biggest free agents:

  • After Manning’s decision, and with free agency set to officially open on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Broncos‘ negotiations with Brock Osweiler will really begin to ramp up.
  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Osweiler may indeed re-sign with the Broncos, but that is far from a certainty at this point. As Schefter observes, other quarterback-needy clubs could make it difficult for Denver to retain the fifth-year signal-caller.
  • Even though the Seahawks are interested in retaining him, LT Russell Okung is intent on hitting the free agent market, per Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • Rapoport tweets that Mario Williams stayed the night in Miami after visiting the Dolphins, and while Williams has other visits lined up, Rapoport says that Miami could keep him from taking those visits.
  • Panthers GM Dave Gettleman does not spend big in free agency, but if he makes an exception this offseason, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer identifies Eric Weddle and Bruce Irvin as two players that would make a great deal of sense for Carolina.
  • Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets that the Texans will be active in exploring the top of the free agent running back market after parting ways with Arian Foster. Wilson names Chris Ivory, Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, and Matt Forte as possibilities for Houston.
  • The Eagles will certainly invest free agent dollars and draft picks in their offensive line this offseason, and Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer names Jeff Allen and Brandon Brooks as realistic targets for the club.
  • Free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin, unsurprisingly, wants to continue his career with a title contender, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (via Twitter).