Brandon Mebane

Brandon Mebane Announces Retirement

Longtime Seahawks and Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane announced he will retire after 13 seasons.

The former Super Bowl starter called it quits via Facebook (Twitter link via SI.com’s Fernando Ramirez). This comes eight months after the Bolts released Mebane following a four-season stay.

Mebane, 35, enjoyed a lengthy career, coming into the league as a Seahawks third-round pick in 2007 and remaining a starter for almost all of the next 13 seasons. Mebane started 176 games in his career, with his most memorable stretch coming during the Seahawks’ 2010s ascent.

Drafted during Seattle’s Tim RuskellMike Holmgren regime, Mebane became an instant starter. He remained in that role through the 2015 season. During that time, the Seahawks made five postseason trips and won Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks became the first team in the post-merger era to rank first in scoring defense in four straight seasons, doing so from 2012-15. Mebane graded as one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen during Seattle’s 2013 Super Bowl-winning season, in the view of Pro Football Focus.

Mebane did not play in Super Bowl XLIX, with a hamstring tear sidelining him midway through the 2014 season, but landed a three-year, $13.5MM deal with the Chargers in 2016. He ended up agreeing to two Bolts deals, the second one in 2019, and working as a starter for four seasons. While Mebane largely functioned as a run-stopping interior defender, he recorded a career-high 5.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits in 2008. He notched a career-high 56 tackles for the 2012 Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bolts Cut Thomas Davis, Brandon Mebane

Shortly after opting to use their franchise tag on Hunter Henry and add an $11MM-plus cap figure to their payroll, the Chargers restored some of their cap space.

The Bolts released starting defenders Thomas Davis and Brandon Mebane. The two have a combined 28 seasons’ worth of NFL experience; each played key roles for the 2019 Chargers team. Together, these releases will create $9.5MM in cap space for the Bolts.

Davis signed with Los Angeles last year and was the team’s runaway tackles leader. Eight-plus years after his most recent ACL tear, the 36-year-old linebacker started all 16 games. Davis indicated he was prepared to retire after the 2018 season, but since it began with a suspension, he preferred to keep going.

Davis instead chose a two-year Chargers deal, but being set to turn 37 next week, retirement surely will be on the table for the Panthers’ all-time tackles leader.

Mebane spent four seasons with the Bolts, beginning his Charger run in San Diego and playing in L.A. for the past three years. The former Seahawk worked as a starting nose tackle during each season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

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

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/13/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Chargers Lose DL Brandon Mebane For Season

TODAY, 6:20pm: The Chargers have placed Mebane on the injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Eric Williams (via Twitter).

NOV. 14th, 2:03pm: Brandon Mebane tore his biceps and is out for the season, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Brandon Mebane (vertical)

Mebane signed with the Bolts in free agency this spring. Upon joining the team, he spoke glowingly of the defense and how excited he was to be a part of it.

I was telling guys, there’s more talent on this defense than in Seattle. If you look at the draft, you’ve got four first-round draft picks. You’ve got five second-round draft picks, all total on defense. In Seattle, we only had two first rounders and one second rounder. Everybody else was pretty much down in the draft or undrafted,” he said in May.

The longtime Seahawks defensive lineman spent his entire career in Seattle before joining San Diego this offseason. From 2007-2015, he missed only 13 games. Now, he’s pretty much going to miss the second half of the 2016 season.

Mebane earned an average rating from Pro Football Focus for his 2015 performance, placing him just inside the top-100 of the league’s interior defenders. This year, however, PFF has Mebane ranked as the 15th best interior defender in the NFL, ahead of notables such as Malik Jackson, Michael Brockers, Stephon Tuitt, Derek Wolfe, and Dominique Easley.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Luck, Mebane, Hayne

Jets receiver Eric Decker told SiriusXM NFL on Tuesday afternoon that, right now, the Jets “have to move on without” free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, as a guest on NFL Total Access on Tuesday evening, he expressed confidence that the Jets and Fitzpatrick will ultimately get a deal done, writes Dan Hanzus of NFL.com.

“Something is going to happen. It might be before training camp, the day or two before, but I believe that he’ll be back on the team come this fall,” Decker said, though he did acknowledge that the two sides “are so far off” from each other when it comes to the quarterback’s dollar value.

In other NFL news…

  • It looks as if Colts quarterback Andrew Luck‘s injury-plagued 2015 campaign is behind him. The four-year veteran is participating in Colts workouts with “no limitations,” he said Tuesday (via Mike Wells of ESPN.com). After appearing in all of the Colts’ games during his first three seasons, Luck missed nine contests last year with injuries to his kidney, ribs and shoulder, and experienced a precipitous statistical decline while on the field. Now, Luck “looks really good,” according to head coach Chuck Pagano. As of late April, the Colts were focusing on an extension for Luck, whose deal expires at the end of the upcoming season. It’s likely a new contract for the 26-year-old would make him one of the league’s highest-paid players.
  • Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who signed with the Bolts in free agency, spoke effusively about the team’s defensive personnel Monday (per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune). “I was telling guys, there’s more talent on this defense than in Seattle. If you look at the draft, you’ve got four first-round draft picks. You’ve got five second-round draft picks, all total on defense. In Seattle, we only had two first rounders and one second rounder. Everybody else was pretty much down in the draft or undrafted.” Mebane is quite familiar with the Seahawks’ defense, of course, having spent the first nine years of his career in Seattle. Regardless of draft pedigree, however, the Seahawks has been among the NFL’s defensive elite over the past several years, whereas the Chargers’ stop unit was toward the bottom of the league in all notable categories last season. With Mebane and third overall pick Joey Bosa now aboard, at least some improvement should be in order this year.
  • Chip Kelly understood Jarryd Hayne‘s decision to retire in light of a potential Olympic rugby opportunity, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. On the subject of Hayne, the NFL’s drug-testing protocol may keep him out of the Olympics despite American football having no presence in the Games. Prospective Olympic athletes must be in a World Anti-Doping Agency-compliant pool for at least six months, Jamie Marcuson of the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The NFL does not fall under the WADA umbrella, and former Australian Anti-Doping Agency chief Richard Ings told Marcuson that Hayne has “no chance” of playing for his native Fiji this August as a result. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if Hayne’s exit strategy stemmed instead from the fact he didn’t have much of a chance to make the 49ers‘ 53-man roster.
  • Titans safety Rashad Johnson told SiriusXM (Twitter link) that the Cardinals expressed some interest in having him back, but did not make an offer.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Contract Details: Osweiler, Ivory, Iloka

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Brandon Mebane, DT (Chargers): Three years, $13.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. $3MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jaye Howard, DT (Chiefs): Two years, $10MM. $8.26MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus. $3.27MM guaranteed at signing for injury. Pro Bowl escalator worth up to $2MM $12,500 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $200K in 2016. $15,625 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $250K in 2017 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Dwight Lowery, S (Chargers): Three years, $7.2MM. $1.5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Frank Zombo, LB (Chiefs): Three years, $3.6MM. $500K signing bonus. Roster bonus of $100K in 2016 and $150K the next two seasons (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Brock Osweiler, QB (Texans): Four years, $72MM. $37MM fully guaranteed in first two years – $21MM in 2016 ($12MM signing bonus, $5MM roster bonus, $4MM salary), $16MM in 2017. The remaining $35MM is non-guaranteed, including $18MM salary in 2018 and $13MM in 2019. Deal includes a $4MM roster bonus due March 2019 (all Twitter links courtesy of USA Today’s Tom Pelissero).
  • Chris Ivory, RB (Jaguars): Five years, $32MM. $10MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Jeff Allen, G (Texans): Four years, $28MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due this month. Annual per-game roster bonus worth $31,250 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Brad Nortman, P (Jaguars): Four years, $8.8MM. $1.65MM guaranteed. $650K roster bonus in 2016 (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

AFC East:

  • Richie Incognito, G (Bills): Three years, $15.75MM. $3.45MM signing bonus. $2MM base salary in 2016 is fully guaranteed. $100K workout bonuses in each season (link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Isa Abdul-Quddus, S (Dolphins): Three years, $12.75MM. $2.5MM signing bonus. $6MM in guarantees (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • James Develin, FB (Patriots): One year, $750K. $150K playing time incentives. $50K signing bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

Chargers Sign Brandon Mebane

8:47pm: Mebane’s three-year deal is worth $13.5MM, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).

4:37pm: The Chargers have beefed up their offense over the past two days, resigning lineman Joe Barksdale and tight end Antonio Gates while also adding wideout Travis Benjamin. Now they’re looking to add to their defense, as the team announced that they’ve signed nose tackle Brandon Mebane to a three-year deal.

The longtime Seahawks defensive lineman spent his entire-nine year career in Seattle. Since joining the organization as a third-round pick in 2007, Mebane missed only 13 total games. He made 15 starts this past season, finishing with 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Throughout his career, the 31-year-old has compiled 349 tackles and 15.5 sacks.

Mebane earned an average rating from Pro Football Focus for his 2015 performance, placing him just inside the top-100 of the league’s interior defenders. We had the veteran listed as the 11th-best free agent interior defensive lineman.

Free Agent Rumors: Browns, Harrison, Titans

The Browns have had a knack for stealing headlines in recent years, but that trend could come to a halt this offseason. New Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown is not looking to make a splash in free agency, various agents tell Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Browns already lost out on one significant free agent target today when Marvin Jones signed a lucrative deal with the Lions.

Here are the latest free agent rumors:

  • There’s nothing brewing right now between the Titans and free agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.
  • Safety Tashaun Gipson is a longshot for the Eagles but it’s not out of the question, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic (on Twitter) hears.
  • The Seahawks are working to bring back Brandon Mebane, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Rams are in good position to bring back linebacker/safety Mark Barron, a league source tells Vincent Bonsignore of the Daily News (on Twitter).
  • The Jets are sniffing around the free agent tackle market and that could spell the end of Breno Giacomini in New York, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.

FA Rumors: Broncos QBs, Snacks, 49ers, Hali, Mebane

A look at the latest rumors as we draw closer to free agency:

  • The quarterback-needy Texans are likely to go after Brock Osweiler if he doesn’t re-sign with the Broncos, per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link).
  • If Peyton Manning – whom Osweiler has backed up since entering the NFL in 2012 – returns for his age-40 season and the Broncos release him, the Texans and Rams could pursue the future Hall of Famer, writes Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Should Manning elect against retirement, Denver is expected to cut the two-time Super Bowl champion by March 8 and save $19MM on its cap. A good portion of that money would go to linebacker Von Miller, who is looking for a deal similar to what Miami gave defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh last winter (six years, $114MM, with $60MM in guarantees), reports Marvez.
  • It’ll take a “major reversal” for Jets defensive tackle Damon Harrison to not reach the open market, according to La Canfora (Twitter link). “Snacks” stated earlier this month that he and the Jets were making progress toward a deal, but that no longer appears to be the case. The 27-year-old was Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked interior defender against the run last season (subscription required).
  • Passing along what he heard at the scouting combine, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee lists several prospective free agents the 49ers are thought to be targeting. Guards Kelechi Osemele, Brandon Brooks, J.R. Sweezy, Richie Incognito and Ramon Foster; receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu; cornerbacks Sean Smith, Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins; and running back Doug Martin could all be on the club’s radar.
  • The Chiefs are working hard to retain linebacker Tamba Hali, whom they’ll meet with later this week, reports La Canfora (Twitter link). Hali has so far spent his entire career in Kansas City, which used a first-round pick on him in 2006. The 32-year-old has piled up 86 sacks (6.5 last season) while missing just four regular-season games in his decade-long career.
  • Speaking of players whose careers have been spent in one place, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane hopes to extend his nine-year tenure with the Seahawks. “I’d love to be back out there in Seattle, finish my career in Seattle,” the 2007 third-rounder told 710 ESPN. However, Mebane added that he’ll probably visit other teams. Mebane’s status is one of many issues PFR addressed in its offseason preview of the Seahawks on Sunday. Click here to read it.