Cameron Jordan

Saints, Cameron Jordan Agree To Extension

The Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan have agreed to terms on a brand new contract, according to Adam Shafter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The new pact will add three years to his existing deal, tying him to the team through the 2023 season. 

It’s a three-year, $52.5MM extension for Jordan, giving him five years and a maximum of $74.5MM left on his commitment to the team. With Jordan under contract through the 2023 season, the club can turn its attention to a new deal for wide receiver Michael Thomas and other pressing matters.

Jordan, 30 in July, had another outstanding year for the Saints as he notched 12 sacks and 49 tackles. He now has 71.5 sacks dating back to his rookie season in 2011, all with the Saints.

Last year, Jordan ranked as the fifth-best edge defender in the NFL, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus. PFF’s stats have bestowed elite grades on Jordan for each of the past three seasons with particularly strong marks for his run defense.

While the Saints D has had its ups and downs over the years, Jordan has been a consistent terror for opposing defenses. He has four Pro Bowl nods to his credit, notching at least ten sacks in each of those campaigns. He also earned his first career First-Team All-Pro selection in 2017 with a career high 13 sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Rework Contracts For Jordan, Morstead

The Saints have been busy in free agency within the last couple weeks, adding players like Craig Robertson, James Laurinaitis, and Nick Fairley to new contracts while also matching the Bears’ offer sheet for tight end Josh Hill. It wasn’t clear initially how the cap-strapped Saints were creating room for all their new contracts, but Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune has shed some light on the subject.Cameron Jordan

According to Woodbery, New Orleans has restructured the contracts for defensive end Cameron Jordan and punter Thomas Morstead to create a little cap space. Woodbery writes that the moves have pushed the Saints back up to $3.03MM in available cap space, after that figure had been reduced to $273K last week. Still, the new figure doesn’t include Fairley, so even if the team has room to squeeze in the defensive tackle’s new contract, additional restructures or releases will eventually be required.

For Jordan, it was the second time in two months that the Saints have tweaked his contract, giving him more money up front. In February, the team created $4.8MM in cap room by converting Jordan’s $6MM roster bonus into a signing bonus. Now the club has also converted most of his $3.5MM base salary into a signing bonus — by reducing his salary to $765K, the Saints create a $2.73MM bonus, which will be prorated over five years, opening up $2.184MM in cap space for 2016.

As for Morstead, he got a $2.1MM signing bonus, with his $3MM base salary reduced to $900K. That bonus prorates over three seasons, creating $1.4MM in cap savings for 2016. The veteran punter’s 2017 and 2018 cap numbers have increased to $4.7MM and $4.85MM respectively as a result of the restructure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cole’s Latest: Kaepernick, Jenkins, Wallace

A report earlier today indicated that the Texans are not expected to trade for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and Jason Cole of Bleaher Report (Twitter link) confirms that information, relaying that he was “told strongly” that Houston will not be dealing for Kaepernick. However, the Texans could have interest in Kaepernick if he is released by San Francisco.

Here’s more from Cole:

  • Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins has fired his agent, according to Cole (video link), after Jenkins found Los Angeles’ latest offer of five years and $45MM unacceptable. Jenkins must now wait five days to hire a new agent, during which point the Rams cannot negotiate with him. As Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News writes, Los Angeles can still the place the franchise/transition tag on Jenkins in advance of Tuesday’s deadline (though the latest reports have the Rams leaning towards using the tag on fellow corner Trumaine Johnson). Jenkins, per Cole, is expected to hire the Schwartz and Feinsod agency for representation.
  • Vikings GM Rick Spielman is set to meet with the agent for receiver Mike Wallace at the combine in the hopes of convincing Wallace to accept a paycut, Cole reports (video link). Wallace is scheduled to count $11.5MM against the cap in 2016, and Minnesota can clear out all that money by releasing him.
  • There is mutual interest between the Dolphins and free agent offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz “down the line,” tweets Cole. The Giants released Schwartz earlier this month, so he’s free to sign with any club immediately.
  • North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz drew rave reviews at the combine, according to Cole (video link), and while he looks like the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board in April’s draft, Cal’s Jared Goff is still in the running, as well.
  • Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan had offseason surgery on his lower back, per Cole (video link), but the operation was considered minor by both club and player. Jordan should be ready for New Orleans’ offseason program.

Saints, Cameron Jordan Restructure Deal

The Saints and Cameron Jordan have agreed to a re-worked contract, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Saints have now created $4.8MM in cap space by converting the defensive end’s $6MM roster bonus into a signing bonus. His cap number for 2016 is now $8MM. Cameron Jordan

[RELATED: Saints Want To Extend Drew Brees’ Contract]

Jordan signed a five year, $55MM contract extension with the Saints in June of 2015. In the three seasons prior to that deal, Jordan racked up 28 total sacks, including 12.5 in his Pro Bowl 2013 season. Interestingly, after recording a +35.3 grade as a pass rusher in ’13, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Jordan’s pass-rushing grade fell to -7.9 in 2014, as he totaled just 7.5 sacks. However, PFF considered the 25-year-old an above average defensive end against the run.

In 2015, Jordan proved that he’s worth the big bucks as he finished the year as PFF’s sixth-ranked DE with an overall grade of 90.1 (under the 1-100 evaluation scale; sub. req’d). On the year, Jordan recorded 10.0 sacks and 45 total tackles as he played in all 16 games. Since breaking into the league in 2011, Jordan has yet to miss a regular season contest.

Last week, the Saints also restructured the deal of linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, giving themselves more financial flexibility for the upcoming season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

 

Saints Restructure Dannell Ellerbe’s Contract

8:36am: According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Saints have made the following adjustments to Ellerbe’s contract for 2016:

  • Reduced base salary from $4.1MM to $1.7MM (fully guaranteed, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Reduced roster bonus from $1MM to $750K (guaranteed for skill and injury, per Wilson)
  • Reduced workout bonus from $100K to $50K
  • Added $700K in playing-time incentives

Taking into account Ellerbe’s $700K in prorated bonus money, it looks like New Orleans trimmed the linebacker’s cap hit for 2016 from $5.9MM to $3.2MM, as Wilson tweets. That number would increase if Ellerbe earns some of his incentives, but for now, it looks like those won’t count against the cap.

Ellerbe’s 2017 year will now feature the same contract terms as 2016, but that year could be voided if he plays 80% of the Saints’ defensive snaps this year, says Yates.

11:32am: The Saints won’t release linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, but have restructured his contract to reduce his 2016 cap hit, reports Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. The details of Ellerbe’s reworked deal aren’t yet known, but the veteran linebacker almost certainly agreed to a pay cut as part of the move.Dannell Ellerbe

[RELATED: Saints cut Jahri Evans, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber]

Ellerbe, who was acquired by New Orleans last March in the trade that sent Kenny Stills to the Dolphins, was limited to six games in his first season as a Saint due to nagging toe and hip injuries. The team apparently saw enough in those games to want him back for 2016, however, so Ellerbe didn’t meet the same fate as fellow linebackers David Hawthorne and Ramon Humber, who became cap casualties earlier this week.

Ellerbe had been set to count for $5.9MM against the cap in 2016, including a $4.1MM base salary. As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com details, that salary was initially guaranteed for injury only, but would have become fully guaranteed today if the Saints had kept the 30-year-old on their roster without adjusting his contract.

Here are a few more Saints-related notes for Wednesday:

  • Referring to the last time the Saints and Drew Brees negotiated a contract as a point of reference, Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune says the quarterback will be a tough adversary this offseason, if and when the club enters contract talks with him.
  • In a separate Times-Picayune piece, Woodbery explores what a new (and potentially final) contract for Brees might look like, writing that it’s “hard to imagine Brees’ camp seeking anything lower than $20MM a year.” The fact that the veteran QB currently counts for $30MM against the 2016 cap gives him leverage, since a 2017 franchise tag would be unpalatable for the Saints.
  • In a piece focusing on the three NFL teams with the worst salary cap situations, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com discusses the Saints, referring to Brees’ $30MM cap charge as “the elephant in the room.” Corry suggests New Orleans ought to restructure Cameron Jordan‘s contract, and adds that it may be time for the club to part ways with longtime Saints Marques Colston and Zach Strief.

NFC South Notes: Hicks, Saints, Jordan

This week, the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees agreed to a contract restructuring which gave the club a little bit more breathing room in 2015. New Orleans now has $2.6MM in additional cap room this season, but Brees’ cap hit for 2016 has been raised to an eye-popping $30MM, the highest in the NFL. Obviously, Brees is very unlikely to play out ’16 at that rate. The Saints will have to figure out a course of action with the veteran and that could mean an extension or a pay cut, but a trade or release might also be in play.

Here’s more out of the NFC South..

  • The Saints‘ trade of Akiem Hicks another blow to the team’s dismal scouting record, Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune writes. Hicks is the third draft pick the Saints have traded in the past seven months, joining former core players Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) and Kenny Stills (Dolphins). Hicks has been phased out of the Saints’ defensive plans and in a vacuum, the trade doesn’t come as a great shock. However, Duncan finds it disappointing that the Saints have traded a player who was slated to be a big part of the front seven last summer.
  • The New Orleans Police Department has closed its investigation into an incident at a night club involving Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan without bringing charges, as Matt Sledge of The Advocate writes. The local district attorney could still decide to take the case to a grand jury, however.
  • Running back Antone Smith, who reached an injury settlement with the Falcons at the final roster cutdown, has now been given the green light to resume football activities and sign with a team, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

NFC Notes: Eli, C. Jordan, Saints, Ellis

Reports this week have indicated that Eli Manning and the Giants are making progress toward a new contract extension, and it looks increasingly possible that a deal could be reached before New York’s Week 1 opener against the Cowboys. Adam Schefter of ESPN is the latest to express optimism, suggesting today on NFL Live that Manning will likely have an extension in place by Sunday that pays him north of $20MM annually (Twitter link).

As we wait to see whether the Giants and Manning can get something finalized this week, let’s round up a few more NFC items….

  • Not long after parting ways with their top pass rusher, Junior Galette, due to ongoing off-field incidents, the Saints are potentially dealing with another legal situation involving a key defensive player. As Mike Triplett of ESPN.com details, New Orleans police are investigating a nightclub altercation from his past weekend that allegedly involves Cameron Jordan. So far, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made, and Jordan’s attorneys call the allegations “ridiculous,” as Jonathan Bullington of the Times-Picayune writes. Still, it’s the last thing the Saints wanted to be dealing with as the regular season gets underway.
  • Former Jets and Giants defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis was in Carolina today to pay a visit to the Panthers, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Saints are bringing in former Dolphins guard Mike Liedtke for a look on Monday, per agent Brett Tessler (Twitter link). After being cut by Miami, Liedtke visited the Jets on Tuesday.
  • Addressing the Kam Chancellor holdout in Seattle, Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports notes (via Twitter) that it would send the wrong message for the Seahawks to meet Chancellor’s demands when Michael Bennett, who is also unhappy with his contract, was in attendance for the team’s entire training camp.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap and Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News weigh in with some thoughts on Jason Pierre-Paul‘s situation, with Vacchiano writing that the Giants can’t count on JPP being a real contributor this year.

NFC South Notes: Saints, Panthers, Falcons

A judge on Thursday ruled 87-year-old Saints owner Tom Benson mentally competent and fit to continue running his business empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s in the clear. Benson announced in January that he was cutting his daughter and her children out of Saints ownership and leaving the team to his wife of 10 years, which led to lawsuits in both Louisiana and Texas. Those lawsuits were filed by his daughter, Renee, and her children, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, who tried to prove that Benson was incapable of running his businesses. That failed, but his daughter and grandchildren might appeal, writes Andy Grimm of NOLA.com, and it could set off a years-long fight for ownership of both the Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

Here’s more on the Saints and two of their NFC South rivals:

  • Even though the Panthers signed quarterback Cam Newton to a mega-deal earlier this month, general manager Dave Gettleman told Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer that he doesn’t want the 26-year-old to change his dual-threat playing style to avoid potential injuries.  “He’s got to be Cam. You don’t hold back a thoroughbred, you don’t,” said Gettleman. Newton has established himself as an elite running QB during his four-year career, piling up over 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns.
  • One of Newton’s go-to targets, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, struggled with weight issues at Florida State and has tacked on some pounds this offseason after a stellar rookie year, but Gettleman isn’t concerned. “It really is much ado about nothing. Right now he’s only five pounds off his playing weight. That’s it,” Gettleman told Person.“He’s a few pounds over, that’s all. He’ll be fine.”
  • Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan‘s sack total dropped precipitously last year, going from 12.5 the previous year to 7.5 for a defense that had the third-fewest sacks in the NFC. Defensive line coach Bill Johnson believes Jordan is primed for a return to his 2013 form.“There’s two or three things that we’re going to go after and he’s made improvement on those things. At this time in the year you break down each guy individually and try to give him their needs and I think he accepted them well,” Johnson said, according to Andrew Lopez of NOLA.com. “He’s been consistent on the practice field. It’s a coaching eye. I’ve looked at him going on five years; I know what I’m seeing.”
  • Falcons coach Dan Quinn wouldn’t comment directly Thursday when asked about free agent offensive guard Evan Mathis, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter (via Twitter). The Falcons, like many other teams, are a potential fit for Mathis – a two-time Pro Bowler whom the Eagles released last week.

Contract Details: Jordan, Chester, Harris

A handful of salary and bonus details for recently-signed contracts have been reported so far today, so let’s round up the highlights. Deals whose details have been reported but aren’t noted here, such as Jerrell Powe‘s with Washington or Trindon Holliday‘s with the Raiders, are one-year, minimum salary pacts with no guaranteed money.

  • Cameron Jordan, DE (Saints): Six years, $61.969MM (five years, $55MM in new money). $16MM signing bonus. $6MM roster bonus on fifth day of 2016 league year. Salary cap figures of $4.169MM (2015), $12.8MM (2016), $10.3MM (2017), $12.5MM (2018), $12.3MM (2019), and $9.9MM (2020) (link via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
  • Chris Chester, G/C (Falcons): One year, $2.8MM. $550K signing bonus. $1.55MM base salary. $700K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).
  • Ryan Harris, T (Broncos): One year, $920K base value. $50K signing bonus. $870K base salary. Up to $500K in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Michael Buchanan, DE/OLB (Bills): Two years, $1.285MM. $25K roster bonus in 2016. No guaranteed money (Twitter link via Wilson).

NFC Notes: Newton, Jordan, Cards, Bears

Following up on the details we passed along earlier today on Cam Newton‘s and Cameron Jordan‘s new extensions, we have another pair of notes. Joel Corry of CBSSports.com clarifies (via Twitter) that while Newton’s $10MM option bonus isn’t technically guaranteed at the time of the signing, it’s practically guaranteed, since there’s essentially no chance the Panthers will cut the quarterback before picking it up. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Jordan received a significant signing bonus, worth $16MM, from the Saints.

Here are a few more items from across the NFC:

  • The Cardinals signed defensive lineman Frostee Rucker to a one-year extension earlier this week, and Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com identifies three more defensive players who could be next in line for new deals. Weinfuss’ list includes safety Rashad Johnson, defensive back Justin Bethel, and cornerback Jerraud Powers.
  • Asked about whether he expects Martellus Bennett to attend the Bears‘ June minicamp, head coach John Fox said he “can’t predict” the tight end’s intentions, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. Bennett, who wants a new contract, has been absent from the team’s OTAs.
  • Having signed a $40MM deal to remain with the Packers this offseason, wideout Randall Cobb vows the new contract won’t change his approach or create added pressure, per Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com.
  • According to an incident report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo admitted to kicking his girlfriend’s dog and considered fleeing the country after the animal’s death. The AJC’s Tyler Estep has the details.