Bryce Callahan

AFC Rumors: Adams, Manning, Broncos

Jets safety Jamal Adams has submitted a trade request and may well have issues with Adam Gase — months after voicing frustration with GM Joe Douglas listening to offers at last year’s trade deadline. However, Jets DC Gregg Williams came to the All-Pro’s defense Thursday.

He has to handle his contract,” Williams said, via the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta. “He’ll do all that kind of stuff. … I’m hoping everything goes well. I love coaching him. And I got his back.

“… I think the world of him. I’ve had a chance to coach a lot of really good players. Some that are already in the Hall of Fame. And many others that are going to go in the Hall of Fame. And he’s going to have a legitimate chance staying healthy to be one of those guys later on that we’ll all talk about.”

The second-year Jets defensive boss added that he wants Adams to “feel good about being here.” Given the events of the past eight months, that will take some doing. Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Were the Jets to trade Adams, they do have rookie third-rounder Ashtyn Davis as a candidate to replace him alongside contract-year starter Marcus Maye, Connor Hughes of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Jets were also interested in Tony Jefferson before he signed with the Ravens in 2017 and a month before they drafted Adams. Jefferson is back in free agency after Baltimore released him earlier this year. Eric Reid also remains unsigned, providing some options if the Jets seriously entertain trading their top player.
  • Bryce Callahan‘s injury altered the Broncos‘ cornerback plans last season, forcing slot dynamo Chris Harris to play almost exclusively on the outside. Callahan has recovered from his latest bout of foot trouble, and the Broncos are hoping to play him in the slot, per The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala. Denver still appears thin at corner, but Jhabvala adds the team hopes third-round rookie Michael Ojemudia can seize the outside corner job opposite A.J. Bouye. That may be difficult, however, with Vic Fangio using a complex scheme and the Broncos having seen multiple third-round corners (Brendan Langley and Isaac Yiadom) struggle in recent years.
  • Peyton Manning has said years ago he was close to signing with the Titans, but the Broncos won out for the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Discussing the fallout from Manning’s 2012 free agency, ex-Titans exec Mike Reinfeldt said the acclaimed passer’s timetable affected the Titans’ plans. “The only thing I wished had happened was that Peyton could have made the decision earlier,” Reinfeldt said, via The Athletic’s Mike Sando. “But I don’t know that he was in position to do so because of his health. … There is no magic way to build a team, but what you can’t do is get caught in between one plan and the other plan. That is what happened to us.” The Titans earmarking Manning money during the first week of free agency, and then waiting on the ex-Colt’s decision, caused them to miss out on pursuits of Mario Williams and Pro Bowl guards Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs, with Sando adding each was a target of then-GM Ruston Webster. Tennessee finished 6-10 in 2012 and would not post a winning season again until 2016.

Broncos DC: Bryce Callahan At Full Speed

Bryce Callahan has not played in a game since early December 2018. The Broncos cornerback is tentatively on track to finally return to action, however.

Second-year Denver defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said Callahan is working at full speed after missing his first Broncos season with more foot trouble, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter). Callahan endured multiple setbacks last year, dealing with the foot problem that ended his Bears run late in the 2018 season.

This would be big news for a Broncos team that has fully moved on from its accomplished No Fly Zone secondaries. Denver allowed All-Decade corner Chris Harris to walk in free agency and will count on Callahan and trade acquisition A.J. Bouye to lead their new-look group at the position.

The Broncos signed Callahan to a three-year, $21MM deal in March 2019. He aggravated the foot he broke in his final days with the Bears at multiple junctures last year, however, going down in training camp and then experiencing more pain after practicing on it last November. The Broncos placed him on IR shortly after the latter aggravation, and he underwent a second foot surgery. Callahan’s absence limited the team in coverage last season.

Prior to his foot trouble, the former UDFA became one of the league’s better slot corners while working under Donnatel and Vic Fangio in Chicago. Although the Broncos traded for Bouye, the rest of their corner group remains uncertain. They used a third-round pick on Iowa corner Michael Ojemudia, but the team has seen multiple third-round corners — Brendan Langley (2017) and Isaac Yiadom (’18) — fail to impress as pros. Callahan, now 28, enduring another setback would likely force the team to survey the cornerback market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos, Bryce Callahan Agree To Restructure

The Broncos and cornerback Bryce Callahan have agreed to a paycut/restructure, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (via Twitter). Callahan is now scheduled to earn $5MM in 2020 and can earn another $2MM in playing time incentives. The move will free up $1.8MM in cap space for 2020.

Denver signed Callahan last March with the hope that his strong play as a slot CB with the Bears would carry over to Mile High. But Callahan suffered a broken foot towards the end of his tenure in Chicago, and he re-aggravated the injury during his first training camp with the Broncos. He ultimately underwent stem cell treatment on the foot and missed the entire 2019 campaign.

Still, the Broncos will likely be relying on Callahan to start in 2020. The club traded for A.J. Bouye earlier this month but saw Chris Harris depart in free agency, so Callahan will be a key part of a remade secondary. Denver is also reportedly interested in adding another CB via free agency or the draft.

In other Broncos news, Troy Renck of Denver7 reports that the team has shown no interest in retaining free agent DE Derek Wolfe, who is still in search of a new team.

Broncos Place Bryce Callahan On IR

It’s now official. The Broncos placed cornerback Bryce Callahan on IR, per a press release from the team. To take his place on the roster, the club will activate wide receiver Tim Patrick from IR. 

The Broncos gave Callahan a three-year, $21MM deal with $10MM guaranteed. The former Bears slot standout, unfortunately, has yet to play a down in Denver. This comes after last season’s letdown – he ended the 2018 campaign on Chicago’s IR with a broken foot. This year, he aggravated that injury in training camp.

Callahan was one of three high-profile Broncos free agent additions, joining Kareem Jackson and Ja’Wuan James. While Jackson has delivered in his first full season as a safety, James has missed most of this season. Two out of three ain’t bad, but one out of three is….pretty bad.

The Broncos are 3-6 with nearly no chance of seeing the playoffs this year. On the plus side – they managed to beat the Browns in their last time out and they’ll be ticketed for a high first-round draft pick, provided that they don’t mess things up by winning too much the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Expected To Place Callahan On IR

Bryce Callahan‘s foot injury has kept him off the field throughout this season, and the cornerback’s Broncos debut is now expected to be tabled until 2020. Vic Fangio said Callahan is likely to go on IR, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (on Twitter).

Fangio said Monday that Callahan was expected to make an attempt to practice this week. That occurred, but Callahan’s injured foot was sore afterward. While the free agent addition may be healthy enough to return at some point this season, upcoming activations of Drew Lock and wide receiver Tim Patrick will force the Broncos to remove two players from their active roster.

The Broncos gave Callahan a three-year, $21MM deal with $10MM guaranteed. The former Bears slot standout ended last season on IR with a fractured foot, and he aggravated that injury in training camp. Callahan was one of three high-profile Broncos free agent additions, joining Kareem Jackson and Ja’Wuan James. While Jackson has delivered in his first full season as a safety, James has missed most of this season.

Callahan is the top Broncos corner under contract next season, with four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris set to test free agency. While Harris has not ruled out a return to Denver, and support exists in the building for another re-up, Callahan’s situation could make this a major offseason need.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Drew Lock To Practice This Week

Although Drew Lock has been eligible to return to practice for weeks, that has yet to occur. The process of bringing Lock into the starting lineup, however, will begin on Tuesday.

Lock is expected to practice Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This will begin the rookie’s return from IR. The Broncos are already planning to bring wide receiver Tim Patrick off IR. Lock coming back would fill both of Denver’s slots. However, Vic Fangio said it’s not certain Lock will play this season, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). Lock has been sidelined since August with a thumb injury.

Of course, with the Broncos 3-6 and having backup Brandon Allen as their starter now points to a Lock audition coming soon. The tentative plan was for the second-round pick to start the final two Broncos games. While Fangio said Allen’s play will determine Lock’s activation, it would stand to reason the Broncos would give Lock as much time as possible in order for the franchise to gauge its recent QB investment before next year’s draft.

Lock can return to game action at any point, as it’s been more than eight weeks since his initial IR placement. But if he returns to practice Tuesday, the Broncos will have three weeks to activate him. Additionally, Fangio said Bryce Callahan would try to practice Tuesday. The team has also yet to decide if Patrick will be activated this season, Twitter links via Klis and Jhabvala.

Denver going with a Lock-Patrick IR-return combo would mean Jake Butt and Theo Riddick will miss the season. Callahan remains on the active roster and can make his Broncos debut at any point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Johnson

The Bryce Callahan situation is moving closer toward the Broncos not seeing him on the field this season. After a report surfaced indicating the offseason signing now may miss the season, Vic Fangio said (via the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran, on Twitter) seeing Callahan on the field this year has become a 50-50 proposition. Fangio said earlier this week he was hopeful his former Bears pupil would suit up in 2019. The Broncos signed both Callahan and Kareem Jackson to patch up their secondary, but the former continues to struggle to shake off the foot trouble that ended his 2018 season early. With contract-year standout Chris Harris still a trade candidate, though a player that may end up staying, the Broncos’ long-term cornerback situation is in as bleak of a place since before the franchise’s 2004 Champ Bailey acquisition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions, shifting first to another key Broncos signing:

  • Denver’s Ja’Wuan James investment has gone almost as poorly as its Callahan addition. James suffered an injury in the first quarter of the Broncos’ Week 1 game and has missed every snap since. However, the well-paid right tackle is expected to start this week, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. James is believed to be set to play in a part-time capacity, with a three-tackle rotation between he, Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson in the cards. Wilkinson has started the past six Broncos games at right tackle.
  • In addition to Patrick Mahomes‘ Week 8 absence, the Chiefs will be without Frank Clark. The team declared its top defensive end out with a neck injury. Chris Jones, Kendall Fuller and Eric Fisher will miss another game as well. Clark broke out for a dominant performance against Bolles in Kansas City’s Week 7 win, but the offseason acquisition will have to wait until at least Week 9 to build on that performance.
  • However, the Chiefs will have Sammy Watkins back. The oft-injured wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5, but ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher notes he will play against the Packers. In Year 2 of a $16MM-AAV deal, Watkins has not caught a pass since Week 4.
  • David Johnson enters this week’s Cardinals game in the same place he did the past two games: as a game-time decision. Kliff Kingsbury said (via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban, on Twitter) the former All-Pro back does not need practice to suit up for a game, but with Chase Edmonds playing well in relief, this shapes up as a true game-time call. Johnson suited up for Week 7 but spent most of his afternoon on the sideline. Both Christian Kirk and Jordan Hicks are game-day calls as well.

AFC Notes: Dareus, Broncos, Green, Chiefs, Darnold

Marcell Dareus will undergo surgery today to repair a core muscle injury, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The defensive lineman is expected to miss 4-6 weeks for Jaguars.

Here’s more around the AFC:

  • Broncos coach Vic Fangio said it was “possible” that CB Bryce Callahan will miss the rest of the season, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets. Callaham underwent stem cell treatment on his foot last month and the original projection was 4-to-6 weeks.
  • A.J. Green did not practice today for the Bengals and isn’t expected to play against the Rams in London, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. LT Cordy Glenn will also not play in the contest.
  • DE Frank Clark (neck), DT Chris Jones (groin), LB Darron Lee (illness) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) all missed practice for the Chiefs today, Herbie Teope of Kansas City.com tweets. Patrick Mahomes is practicing again for the second-straight day.
  • Sam Darnold was limited in practice today, Brian Costello of the New York Post relays (Twitter link). Darnold was a non-participant for the Jets on Wednesday because of a toe ailment.

Latest On Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan

The Broncos have already verified their status as trade deadline sellers by moving wideout Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers, but another veteran member of Denver’s roster may not be going anywhere. While the Broncos “almost” found a trade partner for cornerback Chris Harris, the club now believes it will not be dealing the star defensive back, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Harris himself tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he “doubts” he’ll be traded.

Harris has been primarily linked to the Eagles thus far. After failing to acquire Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars despite offering a first- and second-round pick, Philadelphia reportedly turned its attention to Harris. The Texans, too, have apparently inquired on Harris, but haven’t been amenable to meeting Denver’s asking price.

Cornernback trades have been abundant in recent weeks, setting a market for a potential Harris deal. Ramsey eventually went to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth-round selection, and Los Angeles quickly traded one if its defensive backs — the mercurial Marcus Peters — to the Ravens for a fifth-rounder plus linebacker Kenny Young. The Texans joined the fray earlier this week, shipping a third-round choice to the Raiders in exchange for Gareon Conley.

While Harris’ status is up in the air, we do have more clarity on fellow Broncos corner Bryce Callahan. A free agent addition this offseason, Callahan hasn’t played a single game for Denver after sustaining a foot injury over the summer. Originally slated to miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery in late September, Callahan has since undergone stem cell treatment and may not return during the 2019 campaign, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs

Now that he’s back with the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon will instantly vault to the top of the club’s depth chart. “He’s our starter. No doubt,” said head coach Anthony Lynn, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. “He was our starter for a reason… as soon as Melvin’s ready, he’ll go back. He’ll go back to number one.” Lynn also said backups Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will continue to get work, but Gordon will become the No. 1 back. Meanwhile, Los Angeles received a roster exemption for Gordon, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Gordon’s exemption ends on October 7, so the Chargers don’t technically have to activate him for either Week 4 or 5.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • The Chargers placed left tackle Russell Okung on the non-football injury list prior to the beginning of the regular season, meaning he has to miss at least the first six weeks of the campaign. Lynn says Okung, who is dealing with a pulmonary embolism, could potentially return by Week 7 or 8, but that timeline is unclear, as Albert Breer of The MMQB.com writes. Amid the uncertainty, Trent Scott has taken over as LA’s starter on Philip Rivers‘ blindside, but he’s graded out as a bottom-10 tackle league-wide, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James is expected to miss two-to-four more weeks while dealing with a knee injury, while cornerback Bryce Callahan is out four-to-six more weeks after undergoing a procedure on his foot, according to Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Meanwhile, defensive back Kareem Jackson is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars because of a foot issue, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. As a result, Denver could potentially be without its top three free agent signings for its Week 4 contest.
  • Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is eligible for an extension at season’s end, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this year that the Chiefs signal-caller is likely to land a deal worth more than $200MM. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examines what’s changed in the months since while looking at just how soon Kansas City could give Mahomes a fresh pact.