Britton Colquitt

Contract Details: Gholston, Colquitt, Doyle, Davis

Updates on the contracts signed over the past couple of days, mostly via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle…

  • Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston‘s contract includes $13.5MM in guaranteed money, as well as a guaranteed base salary of $3MM for the 2017 season (via Twitter). The 25-year-old’s $6.5MM 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2017 league year.
  • Defensive tackle Khyri Thornton‘s deal with the Lions is worth $3.3MM with a $325K bonus (Twitter). Thornton will make $700K in 2017, followed by a $1.325MM salary in 2018. He can earn another $12.5K via annual per game active roster bonus, as well as $225K via a weight bonus.
  • Punter Britton Colquitt‘s new deal with the Browns is worth $11.2MM and $4.5MM guaranteed (via Twitter). The former fourth-rounder will earn $1.65MM in 2017, followed by salaries of $2.55MM (2018), $2.7MM (2019), and $2.8M (2020).
  • Colts tight end Jack Doyle will earn $18.9MM on his next contract (via Twitter). Doyle will earn a guaranteed $1MM next season, followed by a $3.5MM salary in 2018 (guaranteed fifth day of league year) and $5.15MM salary in 2019. The tight end will also earn a $6.5MM roster bonus on March 10th.
  • Fullback James Develin earned a $2.45MM contract from the Patriots along with a $300K signing bonus, reports Wilson (Twitter). Develin will earn $800K each year, with a guaranteed $200K base salary for 2017. He can earn another $12.5K via a per-game active annual roster bonus.
  • ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets that tight end Vernon Davis will receive $15MM ($7.5MM guaranteed) from the Redskins. The veteran will make $6MM in the first year of the three-year deal.
  • Punter Shane Lechler‘s new deal with the Texans is for one-year and $2MM ($1MM guaranteed), reports Caplan (via Twitter).

Browns Sign P Britton Colquitt To Extension

The Browns are giving punter Britton Colquitt a four-year extension, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (on Twitter). Colquitt was slated to become a free agent on March 9. The new deal could keep him in Cleveland through the 2020 season.

Colquitt has not missed a regular season game since breaking into the league in 2010 with the Broncos. After several years with Denver, he signed a free agent pact with the Browns last offseason. Unfortunately, he was used quite a bit in 2016 as the Cleveland offense sputtered. Colquitt averaged 45.3 yards per punt last season, besting his average of the previous three seasons.

The Browns recently re-upped fellow special teamer Charley Hughlett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive 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 defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Browns Sign Britton Colquitt

MONDAY, 8:25am: Colquitt’s one-year deal with the Browns is worth $1.7MM, tweets Mike Klis of 9News in Denver.

SATURDAY, 5:54pm: The Browns announced that they’ve waived Palardy to make room for Colquitt.

10:12am: It didn’t take long for punter Britton Colquitt to find a new team. Days after being cut by the Broncos, the 31-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Browns, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). As our own Zach Links noted, as a vested veteran, Colquitt wasn’t subject to waivers.

Britton Colquitt (Featured)Colquitt is only the latest punter to join Cleveland this offseason. After trading away punter Andy Lee for another punter in Kasey Redfern, the Browns also brought in Michael Palardy. Considering Colquitt’s track record, the team will presumably be going with the 31-year-old. The veteran has averaged 45.2-yards-per-punt during his career, and he’s placed at least 20 punts per season within the 20-yard-line.

Colquitt, who was the Broncos longest-tenured player, was replaced by rookie Riley Dixon in Denver. At the time of his release, his agent said the veteran was willing to take a $1MM pay cut on his $3.25MM salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Cut Britton Colquitt, Others

Another member of the Broncos’ Super Bowl winning team has left Denver. Punter Britton Colquitt was among the players released today, according to a team announcement. As a vested veteran, Colquitt is free to sign with any club and is not subject to waivers. Rookie Riley Dixon now figures to be the Broncos’ punter in 2016.

Colquitt has been with the Broncos since late in the 2009 season and was the Broncos’ longest-tenured player. Now, 2010 first-round pick Demaryius Thomas stands as the longest-tenured player in Denver. Colquitt’s agent tells Mike Klis of 9NEWS (on Twitter) that he was willing to take a $1MM cut from his $3.25MM salary. Last year, he accepted a pay cut from $3MM to $1.6MM.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Broncos were gauging trade interest in Colquitt. Apparently, Denver could not find any takers. The Vikings, Cardinals, and Bears are among the teams that could show some interest in the punter now that he is available.

The Broncos also waived offensive tackle Kyle Roberts and wide receiver Bralon Addison. Tight end Garrett Graham has been placed on season-ending IR.

Broncos Shopping Britton Colquitt

6:39pm: The Broncos are now gauging trade interest in Colquitt, according to Klis, who lists the Vikings, Cardinals, Panthers, and Bears as plausible suitors for Colquitt.

5:56pm: The Broncos have asked punter Britton Colquitt to accept a pay cut, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Vic Lombardi of Altitude Sports (Twitter link) was the first to report that Denver was discussing a restructure with Colquitt.Britton Colquitt (Featured)

[RELATED — Gary Kubiak: Experience will have “zero” impact on Broncos’ QB competition]

Colquitt, 31, is scheduled to earn a $3.75MM base salary, and will count $4MM against the Broncos’ salary cap. If Colquitt refuses a pay decrease and is released, Denver would take on $750K in dead money on its 2016 cap. For what it’s worth, Colquitt told Lombardi (Twitter link) that expects the Broncos to cut either him or sixth-round rookie Riley Dixon today or tomorrow, as Colquitt doesn’t think the club would carry two punters into the final preseason game.

Colquitt didn’t play in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Rams, as the Broncos told him before the contest that Dixon would handle punt and holding duties. “Usually they tell you a little sooner but I knew all week that could be a possibility,’’ Colquitt told Mike Klis of 9NEWS. “I’ve only punted six times (in the first two preseason games), he had only punted five times. You can’t take a chance on somebody if you haven’t seen him punt. I had a feeling that would probably happen, which is fine.’’

After accepting a pay cut prior to last season and lowering his base salary by about $1.4MM, Colquitt proceeded to appear in all 16 games, averaging 39.7 net yards per punt, good for only 20th in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Goff, Rams, Hardy, Cowboys

We’re only a few days into rookie minicamp, but it sounds like Jared Goff might be setting himself up for the Rams‘ starting job already.

He’s doing a great job picking up our offense,” coach Jeff Fisher told the team’s website. “We’ve given him a lot more information than we did at the private workout and then that we did here at our meeting, and he’s handled it without any problem. And that’s the impressive thing…I passed him last night walking to the room and he was leaving the meeting room at 10 o’clock. He’s that kind of guy. He’ll spend the time. It’s important to him.”

Here’s more from the NFC:

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Spiller, Scherff, Lanning, Giants

C.J. Spiller became the latest key performer to have an injury end his preseason and potentially put the start of his regular season in doubt.

The Saints‘ presumed passing-down back underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday but is expected to make his Saints debut in Week 1, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, on Twitter.

Spiller, who did not play in the Saints’ initial preseason game, joins Zach Ertz, Julius Thomas and Jonathan Cyprien among the contingent that’s seen injuries make August a rehabilitation month.

Here are a few other items from around the league, beginning in Washington.

  • No. 5 overall pick Brandon Scherff may no longer play a position worthy of that kind of draft expense, with Washington coach Jay Gruden noting the Iowa product’s future will be at guard, per the Washington Post’s Mike Jones (on Twitter). Scherff’s currently slotted at right guard on Washington’s depth chart to accommodate 2014 third-rounder Morgan Moses, who sits atop the right tackle pecking order despite starting just one game last year. Gruden told media, including Jones (Twitter link), Scherff’s permanent move inside is due to Moses’ progression, not the decorated rookie’s inability to stick at right tackle.
  • Jones also points out Zach Miller isn’t a realistic option for Washington’s tight end crisis, with the former Raiders and Seahawks starter still not fully recovered from the ankle injury that ended his 2014 season (Twitter link).
  • Tom Coughlin confirmed Mykkele Thompson‘s Achilles’ tendon tear and noted higher-profile Giants rookie safety Landon Collins has a sprained MCL, per NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan. Collins is expected back by Week 1 but will probably miss most of the preseason, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Vacchiano, on Twitter, also offers that Collins being back for the start of the Giants’ season isn’t a lock, with the recovery time for MCL sprains being 2-6 weeks.
  • Vying for the Broncos‘ kicker job after each had it for parts of last season, Brandon McManus and Connor Barth combined to go 5-for-5 in field goals Friday night, but Mike Klis of 9News notes that the Denver kicking competition now includes Spencer Lanning, should the team opt to go with one kicker and Lanning as a punter/kickoff specialist. The Browns’ punter before June’s Andy Lee trade, Lanning also poses a threat to longtime punter Britton Colquitt, who seemed safe after agreeing to reduce his salary by $1.4MM earlier this month.
  • Fifth-year outside linebacker Gabe Miller will work out for the Browns, tweets Adam Caplan of NFL.com. A fifth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2011, Miller’s only played in seven games in four years, each coming last season with Washington.

Broncos, Britton Colquitt Rework Deal

The Broncos and Britton Colquitt have agreed to rework their deal for the upcoming season, according to Jeff Legwold and Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Colquitt had a 3.75MM cap figure and his salary will now be closer to $1.6MM, Legwold tweets.

Until the pay cut was agreed to, Colquitt had the ninth-highest salary cap figure on the Broncos for this season. The reworked contract, Yates tweets, will give Denver an additional $1.4MM in cap space. Colquitt, 30, has appeared in every regular season game for the Broncos over the last five seasons.

Cap Work Remaining For Broncos

Until rosters are cut down to 53 players, teams are required to be under the $133MM salary cap with their top 51 salaries. In the wake of an aggressive offseason which included signing big-ticket free agents Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos’ top 51 costs $132MM, meaning John Elway and Co. have some bookkeeping to do between now and the end of training camp, explains ESPN’s Jeff Legwold.

Key points:

  • The team is trying to lock up free agents-to-be Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas long-term.
  • Including rollover, the team has about $4.6MM of workable cap space.
  • “Quarterback Peyton Manning has the team’s highest cap figure, at $17.5 million and the Broncos have the biggest cap gap of any position between starter and backup with No. 2 Brock Osweiler, still on his rookie deal, coming in at $959,094 against the cap.”
  • The team has seven tight ends on the roster, five of which — including Thomas, Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen — are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in 2015.
  • “Dead money” hits include Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($2.1MM), Chris Kuper ($1.83MM) and Willis McGahee ($500k).
  • Terrance Knighton‘s representatives were seeking a renegotiation of his contract which calls for him to make $2.75MM in 2014 before the big defensive lineman hits free agency, but the team did not acquiesce.
  • Kicker Matt Prater and punter Britton Colquitt will cost a combined $7.4MM against the cap this season.