Brock Osweiler

Ryan Tannehill To Miss Week 6 With Shoulder Injury

The Dolphins will be without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill today, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The embattled Brock Osweiler will get the nod in Tannehill’s absence.

As Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes, Tannehill, who sustained an injury to his throwing shoulder during Miami’s Week 3 win over the Raiders, was listed on the injury report during the run up to the team’s Week 4 game against the Patriots, but he was a full participant in practice every day that week, and he was not listed on the injury report at all before last week’s game against the Bengals.

However, Tannehill’s name did pop up on the injury report this past Wednesday, and even though he fully participated in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, the shoulder injury has reportedly worsened. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, and his status for Week 7 is currently unclear.

The Dolphins, after starting the season 3-0, are now 3-2 and will face the daunting Bears’ defense this afternoon. Head coach Adam Gase expressed a great deal of faith in Osweiler and fellow backup David Fales before the start of the season, and that faith will be put to the test today.

During the team’s two-game losing streak, Tannehill, perhaps as a result of his shoulder injury — which has been diagnosed as a sprained AC joint, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald — has played poorly. He had three turnovers in the second half of last week’s 27-17 loss to the Bengals, with two of them returned for scores. On the year, he has completed 85 of 129 passes for 972 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions

As Jackson points out, this will be Tannehill’s 20th missed game over the past two-and-a-half seasons after not missing a single game during his first four years in the league. Assuming he is able to suit up next week, he will have 10 games to salvage his Dolphins career and justify his $18.7MM salary and $26.6MM cap hit for 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Cannon, Coleman

The Dolphins currently have three quarterbacks on the roster, and it looks like it will stay that way. Per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said he anticipates keeping three signal-callers all year, although he would not say whether David Fales or Brock Osweiler would serve as Ryan Tannehill‘s primary backup. Beasley suggests the No. 2 QB could change depending on the week (Twitter links).

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • The Dolphins cut former third-round pick Leonte Carroo yesterday, but Beasley tweets that Carroo could find himself on the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers. Although Carroo has disappointed in the pros thus far, other teams with a need at wide receiver may be willing to give him a shot.
  • Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon, who missed the entire preseason with a leg injury, is expected to be cleared to play in Week 1, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. As Howe details, Cannon’s availability could have an impact on other members of the team’s roster (Twitter link).
  • The Bills cut Corey Coleman yesterday, less than one month after trading a non-conditional draft pick for him and assuming his guaranteed base salaries in each of the next years. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes that Buffalo did not like Coleman’s attitude from the time he arrived, and the former first-rounder is also still dealing with tightness in his hamstrings. It is telling that the Bills would let Coleman go despite the team’s obvious need for receiving talent.
  • The Jets made a strong offer for Khalil Mack, but that offer did not include two first-round picks, which helped convince the Raiders to ship Mack to Chicago.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Bridgewater, Patriots, Dolphins

Here are some assorted notes from around the AFC as we wrap up the weekend…

  • The Broncos will have two major roster questions to answer prior to Saturday’s roster cut-down deadline, opines Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. First, the team has to figure out what to do with injured safety Su’a Cravens. The defensive back hasn’t practice since early August due to knee soreness, and he hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since late 2016. O’Halloran wonders if the team will have the roster space or patience to stash Cravens again. Meanwhile, the team will also have to decide on quarterback Paxton Lynch, who was recently demoted for Chad Kelly. The writer wonders whether the Broncos would rather keep the former first-rounder, replace him with a veteran backup, or roll with two quarterbacks for the start of the season.
  • Unless they receive an offer they can’t refuse, ESPN’s Rich Cimini believes the Jets should hold on to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The team should be focused on maintaining their depth, and the writer believes the signal-caller has more value to the team as a backup than a trade chip. If the Jets accept an offer that doesn’t include a third-rounder or better, Cimini believes it’d be a mistake. The writer also looks at several former Jets draft picks who are on the roster bubble, including linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, wide receivers Charone Peake and Chad Hansen, and cornerback Juston Burris.
  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss can’t envision the Patriots adding wideout Dez Bryant. While the team could certainly use some reinforcement at the position (especially following Eric Decker‘s decision to retire), the writer question whether Bryant would be able to fit into the culture or system. If the team did want to add another wideout to their roster, Reiss believes that free agent (and former Patriot) Brandon LaFell would be a more logical target. Even in that case, the writer can’t see the team making a move unless there’s an injury at the position.
  • While the pairing of David Fales and Brock Osweiler may be relatively underwhelming, Dolphins coach Adam Gase isn’t expecting to add another backup quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill. While the coach would like to see some improvement from his co-second-stringers, he’s not concerned about their lackluster preseasons. “I think there’s room for improvement for sure,” Gase said (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com), “but it’s hard to put it all on them when you get the ball and you’re not expecting it or we’re not blocking the guys. That’s why it’s hard to evaluate quarterbacks sometimes in preseason games and you have to use all your practice time and what you know about guys’ history, and that’s what makes it tough to evaluate them sometimes.”

Dolphins Rumors: Fales, Osweiler, DBs, LBs

David Fales completed just 1 of 6 passes in the Dolphins’ second preseason game, and although Brock Osweiler is the bigger name, the team’s internal preference is believed to be for the incumbent to back up Ryan Tannehill, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. As for Bryce Petty, he’s still behind both aforementioned backups, Jackson adds. Osweiler signed for the league minimum, making the Dolphins’ 2018 quarterback depth chart much cheaper than last year’s setup of Tannehill, Jay Cutler and Matt Moore — which represented more than $30MM against the 2017 team’s cap. A former sixth-round Bears pick in 2014, Fales has 48 career pass attempts — 43 of those coming last season with Miami.

Here’s the latest out of south Florida.

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick is primarily working as a slot defender for the Dolphins, Roy Cummings of FloridaFootballInsiders.com passes along. The first-round pick out of Alabama was billed as a versatile performer entering the draft, with safety or cornerback potential. It looks like, for now, the Dolphins are taking advantage of that. Previous slot bastion Bobby McCain has moved to the outside, and that looks to have been done to give Fitzpatrick a role. Prior to the move, the Dolphins didn’t have a place for Fitzpatrick, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. Fitzpatrick, though, also played sparingly as a pure safety in Miami’s initial two preseason games.
  • Mike Hull may begin the season on IR, Jackson notes. The Dolphins would carry their fourth-year veteran linebacker onto the 53-man roster before placing him on IR, which would allow him to return during the season once he recovers from the sprained MCL he sustained earlier this month. Hull started three games last season. Raekwon McMillan is Miami’s middle linebacker starter.
  • Second-year UDFA Chase Allen looks to have a job as a Dolphins backup linebacker, but former Saints first-round pick Stephone Anthony may not. Jackson writes the 2015 first-rounder’s put together a poor preseason that has him on the bubble. Anthony played in eight Dolphins games upon being traded to Miami last year. He played 130 defensive snaps but did not stand out. However, with Hull out, the Dolphins need bodies to fill out their linebacking corps. UFA addition Terence Garvin isn’t a lock to survive cutdown weekend, either, Jackson adds.

Latest On Dolphins’ QB Situation

After plenty of offseason speculation as to whether the Dolphins would at least begin preparing to move on from Ryan Tannehill, it is clear that Tannehill will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2018. Who his backup will be, however, is more uncertain.

Over the past several months, Miami re-signed David Fales, signed Brock Osweiler, and claimed Bryce Petty off waivers, and per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Fales has performed much better than his competitors in spring practices. Fales served as the team’s No. 3 signal-caller for much of last season and played most of the meaningless season finale, which easily represented his most significant NFL experience (before that, he had attempted a grand total of five passes since being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2014 draft).

Despite his lack of seasoning, Fales does have a history with head coach Adam Gase — who was Chicago’s offensive coordinator in 2015 — and the Dolphins liked how he performed in the 2017 finale, when he completed 29 of 43 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown, with his one interception created by a receiver’s mistake. Indeed, Jackson says that when Gase perused the free agent crop of QBs this offseason, he did not see one that he considered better than Fales.

Fales has justified his coach’s faith in him this spring, as he has looked decisive and accurate when making all types of throws. Osweiler, meanwhile, has struggled, and Petty has been inconsistent at best.

However, Gase is not yet willing to name Fales the No. 2 QB just yet. He said, “Right now, I don’t want to go into that because I don’t have a great answer. I want to see guys playing in preseason games, how training camp goes.” Certainly, training camp and the preseason will serve as a much better indicator than OTAs and minicamp, but right now, the Dolphins’ backup QB job looks like it’s Fales’ to lose.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Garcia, Jets, Osweiler, Bills

Last offseason, Patriots third-round offensive lineman Antonio Garcia was expected to play a role for the 2017 squad. A year later, the Troy product is rostered by one of New England’s division rivals, the Jets.

Garcia ended up missing his entire rookie campaign after blood clots were found in his lungs. The Patriots ultimately cut the lineman earlier this offseason, and he quickly caught on with the New York, where he’s been taking backup left tackle snaps during OTAs. The 24-year-old denied reports claiming he had lost nearly 40 pounds, and he didn’t sound particularly surprised by the Patriots’ decision to let him go.

“I just wasn’t cleared medically in New England. So, it is what it is,” Garcia told Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News. “I think they knew I was a good player.”

After learning of his diagnosis shortly before training camp was set to begin, Garcia admitted that the entire ordeal caught him off guard.

“It was definitely unexpected,” Garcia said. “It’s never happened ever in my life. How did I react to it? I was caught off-guard. But I had no choice but to accept it and try to improve every day.”

Let’s take a look at other notes out of the AFC East…

  • As Brock Osweiler competes with David Fales and Bryce Petty to be the Dolphins backup quarterback, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the veteran needs to improve his accuracy if he has any hope of making the team. However, while Osweiler doesn’t seem to be the favorite for the gig, it sounds like he has the support of the coaching staff. “What Brock has is unbelievable command of the offense,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “He was in it. He got to learn from the best in the game — No. 18 [Peyton Manning] — and when you watch his huddle etiquette, his line of scrimmage procedure etiquette, he does an outstanding job there.”
  • Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News wonders if wideout Brandon Reilly could end up making the Bills. The former undrafted free agent spent most of the 2017 season on Buffalo’s practice squad, but a shallow receiver depth chart means he could earn a promotion in 2018. Skurski notes that Kelvin Benjamin is really the only wideout with a guaranteed roster spot, although he assumes Zay Jones and Jeremy Kerley will make the team. Otherwise, Reilly could realistically beat out any of the other receivers sitting on the roster.
  • Rumors were flying around Twitter and New England yesterday regarding a potential Rob Gronkowski trade. Those rumblings ultimately proved to be unfounded, with one Patriots reporter saying there was “zero truth” to any of the reports.

Contract Details: Gore, Osweiler, Waddle

Some details on recent free agent deals:

  • Brock Osweiler, QB (Dolphins): One year, $880K ($790K base salary + $90K signing bonus). $630K guaranteed (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9 News Denver).
  • Frank Gore, RB (Dolphins): One year, $1.105MM. $90K signing bonus (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, OT (Patriots): One year, $1.5MM. Includes $800K base salary, $200K signing bonus, $50K workout bonus and $450K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of ESPN).
  • Tom Johnson, DT (Seahawks): One year, $2.1MM. Includes $950K base salary, $900K signing bonus, $250K in per-game active roster bonuses (Link Via Brady Henderson of ESPN).
  • Shamar Stephen, DT (Seahawks): One year, $2.1MM. Includes $800K base salary, $1MM signing bonus and $300K in per-game active roster bonuses (Link Via Brady Henderson of ESPN).

Dolphins To Sign QB Brock Osweiler

The Dolphins have reached an agreement with quarterback Brock Osweiler, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal, tweets Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Osweiler’s new deal will reunite him with Adam Gase, who worked with Osweiler as Denver’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2012-14. In Miami, Osweiler will take the place on longtime backup Matt Moore, who was never expected to re-sign with the Dolphins. Other quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster include starter Ryan Tannehill, David Fales, and Brandon Doughty.

The 27-year-old Osweiler didn’t get a chance to start for the Broncos until after Gase had left the building, and the former second-round pick’s greatest NFL success came in a 2015 campaign where he started seven games for the eventual Super Bowl champions. It’s been a whirlwind for Osweiler since that time: he inked an ill-fated deal with the Texans, was dealt to the Browns, and spent the 2017 season back in Denver.

While the top tier of free agent quarterbacks came off the board fairly quickly, there are still a number of backup types available. Aside from Stanton, the list of No. 2 passers on the market includes Moore, Blaine GabbertDerek Anderson, Drew Stanton, and Geno Smith.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Meet With QB Brock Osweiler

We have a Brock Osweiler sighting. The quarterback will meet with the Dolphins on Thursday, according to SiriusXM’s Craig Mish (Twitter link). The news has been confirmed by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Osweiler’s trip to Miami marks his first free agent visit of the offseason. One has to imagine that his history with coach Adam Gase is playing a role here as the two worked together in Denver.

We ranked Osweiler as one of the 15 best quarterbacks available in free agency this year, but that was due mostly to his solid showing with the Broncos in 2015 when he filled in for Peyton Manning. His monster free agent deal with the Texans in the following year was a bust and he did very little in his four starts with the Broncos last season.

The Dolphins re-signed David Fales to serve as one backup to Ryan Tannehill, but neither he nor Brandon Doughty is assured a spot on the final roster. Osweiler could serve as the No. 2 QB on the depth chart, though he’d have to battle it out with Matt Moore if he is re-signed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, 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. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they 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 are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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