Cameron Meredith

Details On Cameron Meredith’s Patriots Deal

On Tuesday, the Patriots agreed to sign wide receiver Cameron Meredith to a low-cost deal. Today, we learned the details of the pact, via Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Meredith’s deal is worth just $2.02MM over two years and includes no guaranteed money. The deal also includes injury waivers for both years. It’s a big step down from the two-year, $9.6MM deal he inked with the Saints as a restricted free agent just a couple of years ago.

On the plus side, the deal gives Meredith a chance to prove that he is healthy and can still play at a high level. Meanwhile, it’s a very low-risk deal for the Patriots that could pay major dividends.

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Extra Points: Thomas, Meredith, Buccaneers

Soon after Michael Thomas received his five-year, $100MM extension from the Saints, we heard that it wasn’t quite $100MM in reality. The base of the deal is $96.25MM, with incentives in the final couple of years that will be very hard to reach which could bump it up to $100MM. Now we have full details on the contract, courtesy of Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Florio has a year by year breakdown off all the incentives and bonuses Thomas will get. To reach the full value of $100MM, Thomas “needs to do each of the following in 2022 and 2023: Catch 100 passes, gain 1,400 yards, score 12 touchdowns, and get to the playoffs.”

Florio notes that the fully guaranteed portion of the deal is $35.64MM, “covering the first two years and a slice of 2021.” He seems to think the Saints aren’t actually tied to Thomas for too long if they don’t want to be, writing “the rolling guarantees give the Saints plenty of flexibility beyond 2020.” Thomas has put up absurd numbers in his first three years in the league, and he was the only consistent receiver New Orleans had for a lot of last season. Drew Brees was often throwing to a rotating cast of undrafted free agents and castoffs last year, so it’s safe to say they need Thomas.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Receiver Cameron Meredith landed on his feet as he signed with the Patriots earlier today, but he apparently isn’t fully healthy. New England placed him on the active/PUP list after inking him, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com. Meredith had a breakout 2016 campaign but then missed the entire 2017 season with a devastating knee injury and hasn’t been the same since. The Saints finally gave up on him and released him earlier this week after he was never able to fully recover during his time in New Orleans. Since it’s the active/PUP list and not the reserve/PUP list, Meredith could be activated at any time and resume practicing. He isn’t the only Patriots receiver that’s banged up, as the Pats are also waiting on Demaryius Thomas and Julian Edelman to heal up.
  • Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians promised to hire women when he got hired by Tampa Bay, and he followed through by bringing on two female assistant coaches back in March. He didn’t stop there, as the Bucs have also hired Carly Helfand as a scouting assistant, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Laine notes that she also worked for Penn and the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL. She was the only woman interviewed out of ten candidates, and Laine notes the Buccaneers were “very impressed” with her.
  • In case you missed it, we took a look at a few potential landing spots for Redskins left tackle Trent Williams.

Patriots To Sign Cameron Meredith

The Patriots are signing former Saints and Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). It’ll be a low-cost deal for New England, but one that could have tremendous upside. 

Meredith failed to meet his high expectations in New Orleans thanks to health issues, but he’s apparently healed up from the torn ACL and assorted problems suffered towards the end of his run in Chicago.

With the Saints, Meredith had just nine receptions on the year. But, in 2016, Meredith flashed major potential with 66 grabs for 888 yards and four scores in 14 games, only ten of which were starts.

The Patriots could use someone like Meredith as Julian Edelman deals with a thumb injury and Demaryius Thomas works his way back from the PUP list. Of course, Josh Gordon also remains suspended, leaving a need for talent in the WR group.

Besides those names, the Pats’ WR depth chart includes N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, Jakobi Meyers, Braxton Berrios, Dontrelle Inman, Damoun Patterson, Gunner Olszewski, and Ryan Davis.

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Patriots Meet With Cameron Meredith

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith is set to meet with the Patriots for the second time this week, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The free agent met with the Patriots a couple of days ago, soon after his release from the Saints. 

[RELATED: 4 Potential Landing Spots For Trent Williams]

Meredith failed to meet his high expectations in New Orleans thanks to health issues, but he’s apparently healed up from the torn ACL and assorted problems suffered towards the end of his run in Chicago.

With the Saints, Meredith had just nine receptions on the year. But, in 2016, Meredith flashed major potential with 66 grabs for 888 yards and four scores in 14 games, only ten of which were starts.

The Patriots could use someone like Meredith as Julian Edelman deals with a thumb injury and Demaryius Thomas works his way back from the PUP list. Of course, Josh Gordon also remains suspended, leaving a need for talent in the WR group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Release WR Cameron Meredith

The Saints released wide receiver Cameron Meredith, according to Herbie Teope of The Times-Picayune (on Twitter). The Saints receiver previously reduced his base salary from $3.4MM to $1.3MM, but it wasn’t enough to save his job. 

It’s been a tough couple of years for Meredith since his breakout 2016 season, when he racked up 888 yards in just 14 games with the Bears. Meredith was supposed to be Chicago’s top receiver in 2017, but he suffered a devastating injury in the preseason which included a torn ACL and additional damage to his knee. After missing the entire year, he signed a two-year offer sheet worth $9.6MM with the Saints as a restricted free agent.

He never really recovered while with the Saints, and he was placed on IR after just six games with last year due to issues with the same knee. He finished with only nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in his first (and only) season on the field in New Orleans.

Meredith has yet to participate in any offseason practices and had to undergo a knee scope earlier this year. Still, he’s only 26 and offers potential, so he should find his way back to the NFL once he’s healthy.

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Cameron Meredith Unlikely To Make Saints?

It looks like the pay cut Cameron Meredith took back in March might not be enough to save him. The Saints receiver reduced his base salary from $3.4MM to $1.3MM, but it seems like it won’t matter. 

Not only did Larry Holder of The Athletic leave him off his recent New Orleans roster projection, he also sounds very pessimistic about his chances of making the team. He writes that there “are probably receivers I’ve left off the roster right now that would have a better shot at sticking” than Meredith does. Harsh.

It’s been a tough couple of years for Meredith since his breakout 2016 season, when he racked up 888 yards in just 14 games with the Bears. Meredith was supposed to be Chicago’s top receiver in 2017, but he suffered a devastating injury in the preseason which included a torn ACL and additional damage to his knee. After missing the entire year, he signed a two-year offer sheet worth $9.6MM with the Saints as a restricted free agent.

He never really recovered from the 2017 injury, and he was placed on injured reserve after just six games with the Saints last year due to issues with the same knee. He finished with only nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in his first season in New Orleans. He had a scope on his knee after the season, and hasn’t participated in any practices this offseason. Even though he’s still only 26, his longterm health appears to be in question.

It’s a tough situation, and hopefully Meredith can get back on the field soon and make an impact. The former undrafted free agent from Illinois State is undeniably talented, and if he can prove he’s healthy then we haven’t heard the last of him. Holder also left Rishard Matthews, a recent veteran receiver signing, off his roster projection.

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Saints’ Cameron Meredith Takes Pay Cut

Saints wide receiver Cameron Meredith has agreed to a pay cut, reducing his base salary from $3.4MM to $1.3MM for 2019, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Meredith missed ten games due to a knee issue last season, so it was a logical move for both sides. 

With that, Meredith’s cap number will decrease from $6.45MM to $4.15M, creating additional cap room for New Orleans. This will, in part, help to offset the expense of adding tight end Jared Cook.

Meredith was not involved in the Saints’ offense outside of Weeks 3-5 last year, though he dressed in the weeks leading up to his injury. When he was on the field, Meredith had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in total.

Meredith, 27 in September, exploded in 2016 with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns. He was primed for an even bigger 2017 with the Bears, but a torn ACL and MCL in the preseason wiped out the entire year. The Saints still saw plenty of upside in Meredith, however, and inked him to a two-year offer sheet as a restricted free agent.

Drew Brees tends to spread the ball around, but Meredith will have an opportunity to assert himself in one of the league’s most potent offenses in 2019. If he can stay healthy and produce, he’ll have an opportunity to cash in next March as an unrestricted free agent.

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Saints’ Cameron Meredith Done For Year

Saints wide receiver Cameron Meredith will be placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The injury helps to explain the club’s signing of Dez Bryant, which will be formally completed on Thursday. 

Meredith is no stranger to the IR list after tearing his ACL and MCL before the 2017 season. This time around, the knee injury is not believed to be as serious, but it’s enough to rule him out for the year.

Meredith has not been involved in the Saints’ offense outside of Weeks 3-5, though he’s dressed for the last few weeks. When he was on the field, Meredith had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.

The 26-year-old’s injury opened the door for rookie Tre’Quan Smith, who has flashed some serious potential. Smith figures to play a big role on Sunday behind Michael Thomas since Bryant is not a lock to suit up against the Bengals, but the power balance may shift towards the veteran later in the year.

The Saints are left with four healthy wide receivers after losing Meredith and adding Bryant, so another signing is possible.

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NFC Notes: 49ers, Barwin, Beckwith, Saints

Despite Jimmy Garoppolo entering his 49ers training camp, he’s not expected to receive an abnormal workload this preseason. Even though Kyle Shanahan has cited the time it takes for quarterbacks to become sufficiently assimilated in his system, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) backup C.J. Beathard is likely to receive most of the reps during preseason games. The 49ers figure to have an ulterior motive by doing this, with Barrows writing San Francisco will want to trade Beathard for draft compensation at some point before his rookie contract expires. They will be intent on showcasing the 2017 third-rounder as much as possible as a result. The Iowa product completed 54.9 percent of his passes, with four TDs and six INTs, as a rookie before Garoppolo supplanted him as the Niners’ starter.

It’s camp-reporting week. Here’s the NFC’s latest:

  • Connor Barwin will be counted on to be one of Olivier Vernon‘s sidekicks this season, but his Giants agreement is not merely a one-year pact. Barwin agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will be Barwin’s fourth NFL team, with the Giants following the Texans, Eagles and Rams. A Pro Bowler with the 2014 Eagles, Barwin’s done his best work in 3-4 defenses — which the Giants will now use. Both of Barwin’s double-digit sack seasons (2011 and 2014) came in this set.
  • Chris Thompson said Monday he will avoid the Redskins‘ PUP list. Washington’s passing-down back broke one of his fibulas in November but has worked his way back. He’s expected to remain the Redskins’ receiving back. “I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Thompson said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via PFT). “I will start practicing with the guys from Day 1 but just taking it slowly. The focus is to really be ready by that first regular-season game.”
  • Kendell Beckwith will not, however, avoid the Buccaneers‘ PUP (Twitter link, via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The young linebacker fractured an ankle in a car accident in April and underwent surgery. The immediate timetable tabbed Beckwith as unclear for Week 1, while a summer update indicated he might be ready in time for camp. Beckwith won’t meet that goal, it appears, but it’s not certain if he’s going to miss all of Tampa Bay’s camp.
  • Despite being a newcomer and coming off an ACL tear, Cameron Meredith looks like the frontrunner to claim the Saints‘ No. 2 wide receiver job, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com notes. Playing with quarterbacks who aren’t in Drew Brees‘ stratosphere, Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four TDs in 2016. Third-round rookie Tre’Quan Smith may also be a threat to diminish Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman‘s playing time as well, per Katzenstein, though it’s hard to envision Ginn (53 receptions, 787 receiving yards last season) being squeezed out of a significant role. He’s owed $4.5MM this season.

Cameron Meredith Ahead Of Schedule

Cameron Meredith, who entered this offseason as a restricted free agent, provided a rather interesting case study. The Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State in 2015, and he showed enough during training camp and preseason that year to stick on Chicago’s roster. Although he recorded just 11 receptions in 2015, he exploded in 2016, posting 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns. His physical gifts were beginning to translate to on-field production, and he entered 2017 looking to cement himself as the Bears’ No. 1 WR and one of the better wideouts in the league.

Unfortunately, he tore his ACL and MCL last preseason, so he entered restricted free agency as a player with tantalizing athleticism and measurables (6-3, 207), but also a major medical red flag and a UDFA pedigree. Plus, his route running is not yet as refined as it needs to be for him to truly take the next step.

However, he drew significant interest from both the Saints and Ravens — he also visited with the Colts — before choosing to sign an offer sheet with New Orleans. The Bears were reportedly too wary of Meredith’s medicals to match the offer, so Meredith became a Saint, and the early returns are promising.

Head coach Sean Payton said Meredith is “way ahead of schedule” in his recovery (via Amos Morale III of the Times-Picayune). Although the 25-year-old receiver is not participating in team drills every day just yet. Payton said, “Just watching him move around and, you guys saw him, he’s way ahead of schedule. And certainly where our doctor our doctors had hoped and even better. So, he’s going to factor in this year. He’s a player that we’ve got a real clear vision for.”

Meredith could be a force in the slot in 2018, with Ted Ginn and Michael Thomas currently expected to operate outside the numbers. His contract with New Orleans is a two-year, $9.6MM pact, so he could also represent a major bargain for the Saints if he remains healthy.

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