Brooks Reed

Falcons Restructure Brooks Reed’s Deal

The Falcons have created $1.5MM in cap room toward next season by restructuring the contract of defensive end Brooks Reed, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Reed’s cap hit next season will be reduced from $5.44MM to $3.94MM. 

It had been reported last week that Reed agreed to restructure his deal with the Falcons. He was ranked as the No. 31 edge rusher in the NFL last season, in Pro Football Focus’ view.

Reed was set to enter the fourth year of a five-year, $22MM deal. The Falcons could use some breathing room in regards to available cap space. Entering Tuesday, they were No. 28 in the NFL, with $13.21MM in available space.

The Falcons’ secondary is mostly under contract for next year but a couple key players from their front seven are due to hit free agency, including Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Adrian Clayborn. The team also placed a second-round tender on safety Ricardo Allen on Monday.

Reed, 31, appeared in all 16 games last season — starting 14 — and racked up four sacks, which were the most since his rookie season with the Texans in 2011. Reed started in front of Clayborn last season, and the Falcons also have 2017 first-round pick Takkarist McKinley (six sacks in 2017) waiting in the wings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons’ Brooks Reed Restructures Deal

Falcons defensive end Brooks Reed has agreed to a restructuring of his contract that will keep him in Atlanta, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Originally, he was slated to carry a $5.4M cap hit, but he’ll now count for less. The exact cap number is not yet known. 

Reed, 31, signed on with the Falcons before the 2015 season on a five-year, $22.5MM deal with nearly $7MM guaranteed at signing. He’s had a bit of an up-and-down tenure in Atlanta, but last year was his best campaign in a Falcons uniform. Reed appeared in every game and started all but two of them as he tallied 39 tackles and four sacks. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus ranked Reed as the No. 31 edge defender in the NFL last season with a career best 82.4 mark.

Still, the Falcons are in the bottom ten of the league in cap space, so they were not necessarily in a position to keep Reed at his original number. Now, Reed’s spot on the team is likely secure.

The Falcons still have some work to do on the defensive line, as PFR’s Dallas Robinson recently detailed. That’s partially due to the impending free agency of defensive tackle Dontari Poe, who is unlikely to return.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: Ingram, Reed, Allen

It’s a big week in the NFC South, where the Buccaneers will try to continue pushing for a playoff spot against the Saints, while the Falcons will look to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season. Earlier today, we asked you whether Carolina will finish the season with a 16-0 record. Now, we’re checking in on some more NFC South notes. Let’s dive in…

  • Saints running back Mark Ingram is battling a serious shoulder injury, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network, who tweets that it could be a season-ender. Ingram is undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury, tweets Ed Werder of ESPN.com.
  • After signing a five-year, $22.5MM contract that featured $9MM in guaranteed money, linebacker Brooks Reed hasn’t been able to make a major impact for the Falcons this season, and he knows it, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “All I can say is I’m working to be a better football player,” Reed said. “It’s going to take just a lot of hard at work. All I can say is that I’m working at it and it’s going to come. I promise that.”
  • Panthers defensive end Jared Allen remains under contract for next season, but he may have to undergo back surgery in the offseason, and says he’s taking every year as it comes, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). While Allen may very well continue his playing career in 2016, there’s not much chance he’ll do so on his current deal, which calls for a non-guaranteed $8.5MM salary next year.

Falcons Keep Brooks Reed On Active Roster

MONDAY, 8:52am: The Falcons have elected not to place Reed on IR with the designation to return after all, according to McClure (Twitter link). The move suggests that the team is confident the linebacker’s recovery time will be shorter than the eight weeks he would’ve been sidelined had he landed on IR-DTR.

SUNDAY, 3:34pm: The Falcons will place linebacker Brooks Reed on injured reserve with a designation to return, sources tell Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Reed won’t be eligible to practice for six weeks, and can’t return to game action until Atlanta’s ninth game.

Reed, 28, underwent groin surgery last week to repair an injury that he suffered in August during training camp. His recovery time was listed as six weeks, so by going on IR-DTR, he’ll get the time he needs plus a few extra weeks to heal. Per McClure, veteran Kroy Biermann is expected to replace Reed in the team’s base defense.

The Falcons signed Reed, who had spent the entirety of his career with the Texans, to a four-year, $22MM deal during the offseason. He was one of several additions, including Adrian Clayborn, Justin Durant, and draft picks Vic Beasley and Jalen Collins, that was expected to turn around Atlanta’s defense under new head coach Dan Quinn.

Extra Points: Hardy, Asamoah, Falcons

Greg Hardy is waiting for a final recommendation from the NFL Players Association before deciding on whether to make a legal challenge on his four-game suspension, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Even if he does, Florio writes that it’s hard to see the Cowboys star getting that four-game ban cut down based on the timing of everything. If Hardy files something now, he won’t get a final ruling before Monday, September 21st. There’s also the possibility of a PR backlash against Hardy, who has already had his suspension stemming from domestic violence reduced significantly.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Falcons guard Jon Asamoah wasn’t seen with the team tonight during its preseason game and that led some, including ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure (on Twitter) to speculate that he could be involved in a trade. However, the Falcons quickly took to Twitter to declare that Asamoah is not being traded. StillChris Chester has taken the spot of the former third-round draft choice and it’s conceivable that he might not survive the cutdown to a 53-man roster. Prior to the 2014 season, Asamoah inked a five-year, $22.5MM deal including $8MM guaranteed with Atlanta. After the game, coach Dan Quinn told reporters, including McClure (link), that Asamoah and Jake Matthews were excused from the game with injuries.
  • The Falcons announced linebacker Brooks Reed underwent groin surgery, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Rapoport hears that Reed will be out for six weeks and that is a tough blow for the Falcons’ front seven.
  • Bills coach Rex Ryan is less-than-pleased with kicker Dan Carpenter. “I’m tired of seeing us miss a field goal. We’ll certainly be looking. Nobody earns this job by default,” Ryan said, according to Joe Buscaglia of WKBW (on Twitter). If the Bills cut Carpenter, they would save $1.3MM this season and $1.75MM next season.
  • The Vikings have added a veteran lineman after final cuts the last two years and Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (on Twitter) would not be surprised at all to see them do the same thing again this year.

Contract Details: Culliver, Browner, Cameron

Here are some key contract details for a few notable new pacts agreed to and/or signed over the last few days:

NFC deals:

  • Chris Culliver, CB (Washington): Four years, $32MM base value. $16MM fully guranteed. $5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Brooks Reed, LB (Falcons): Five years, $22.5MM base value. $6.9MM fully guaranteed. $4.7MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Brandon Browner, CB (Saints): Three years, $15MM base value. $7.75MM fully guaranteed. $3.9MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ryan Mathews, RB (Eagles): Three years, $11MM base value. $5MM guaranteed. $3MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Terrance Knighton, DT (Washington): One year, $4MM. $2MM signing bonus (link via Troy Renck of the Denver Post).

AFC deals:

Falcons To Sign Reed, Durant

The Falcons have added a pair of linebackers, signing Brooks Reed and Justin Durant to deals, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Reed’s contract will be worth $22MM over five years. Details of Durant’s deal have not yet been released.

Reed spent the first four years of his career in Houston, where he started 52 of a possible 60 games and racked up 14.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated him the 26th-best 3-4 OLB in the NFL out of 46 qualifiers last season.

In signing with the Falcons, Durant joins his fourth team in what will be his ninth year. He spent 2014 with the Cowboys and missed 10 games with a torn bicep, amassing 49 tackles in six contests. Durant finished 17th out of 40 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus’ 4-3 OLB rankings. The Cowboys “hoped” to retain the 29-year-old, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News

Both Reed and Durant are expected to beef up a Falcons defense that finished dead last in yardage allowed and 27th in points surrendered last season. They’ll also help fill the void of ex-Falcon Sean Weatherspoon, who agreed to a deal with the Cardinals.

Brooks Reed Leaning Towards Falcons?

TUESDAY, 7:23am: According to McClure (via Twitter), it’s no longer a sure thing that Reed is leaning toward the Falcons. It’ll ultimately come down to money, says McClure.

MONDAY, 10:56pm: Reed has narrowed his decision to two teams, with one of them presumably being the Falcons, tweets Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

12:05pm: The Cardinals, Jets, Raiders, and Bears are also expressing interest in Reed, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets.

11:51am: Linebacker Brooks Reed is leaning toward signing with the Falcons when free agency opens on Tuesday, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Last week, Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com reported that Reed was unlikely to return to Houston this offseason. In fact, as of a few days ago, Houston had yet to engage with Reed’s agent.

Reed, 28, appeared in all 16 games for Houston last season and made 13 starts. In total, he recorded 41 tackles, four passes defended, and three sacks as the team’s SAM linebacker. The advanced metrics placed Reed as an above average outside linebacker, ranking him as the 26th best OLB in a 3-4 scheme out of 46 players who qualified, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). That’s a big improvement from 2013 when PFF gave Reed an overall grade of -17.7, placing him as the second-worst qualified outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

The former second round pick burst onto the scene with 6.0 sacks as a rookie in 2011, but he has yet to replicate that kind of production.

Vikings Notes: Murray, Peterson, McCourty

The latest on the Vikings..

  • If the Cowboys let DeMarco Murray walk, Adrian Peterson would be interested in going there, provided that Dallas would guarantee at least $25MM on a deal that amounts to a three-year pact, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets. Robinson adds (link) that if the Cowboys won’t pay Murray $8MM per year and guarantee $25MM+, they’re unlikely to deal for Peterson and do the same thing.
  • The Vikings were in on Devin McCourty until the bidding reached $7MM per year, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets. That could be an indication of how far they’re willing to go on free agent safeties.
  • The Vikings have also inquired about linebacker Brooks Reed, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Cardinals, Jets, Raiders, and Bears are interested in Reed but he’s reportedly leaning towards signing with the Falcons.
  • You can count the Vikings among the teams that are interested in cornerback Davon House, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune tweets.
  • The Vikings will likely host cornerback Brice McCain for a visit, Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Vikings have inquired on free agent linebacker Andrew Gachkar and may bring him in for a visit later in the week, Wolfson tweets.
  • The Vikings have checked on guys like Bradley Fletcher and Sterling Moore, but everything is still preliminary with both, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets.

Texans Rumors: Jackson, Newton, Reed

Here’s the latest out of Houston late on the Friday night before free agency gets underway:

  • According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), it appears likely that Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson will reach the free agent market, where he’ll be among the more coveted defensive players available.
  • Several Texans beat writers, however, report that the team is still in negotiations with Jackson, and Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets that the two sides are hopeful about getting a deal done at some point this weekend.
  • Per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle and Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com (Twitter link), offensive tackle Derek Newton also continued to discuss a new deal with the Texans on Friday, and hopes to re-sign. According to Ganguli, it’s “very possible” that both Jackson and Newton remain with the team.
  • Outside linebacker Brooks Reed will hit the free agent market and isn’t expected to re-sign with the Texans, says Smith. Ganguli points out (via Twitter) that while the Texans have been engaged in talks with a few of their free-agents-to-be, including Jackson and Newton, they haven’t negotiated with Reed’s agent at this point.