Cameron Wake

Broncos Reached Out To Cameron Wake, Couldn’t Agree On Deal

The Broncos continue to seek replacements for Von Miller. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the organization recently reached out to free agent pass rusher Cameron Wake. However, the two sides were unable to agree on a contract.

Earlier this week, Denver lost Miller to an ankle injury that will likely sideline him for the entire season. While there’s *some* optimism that the veteran linebacker could return towards the end of the campaign, that hasn’t stopped the front office from approaching free agent pass rushers. We heard the other day that the Broncos inquired on veteran edge rusher Clay Matthews. The team was informed that Matthews is “not going to play,” but agent Ryan Williams later clarified that he was “unable to come to an agreement with Denver,” and his client “remains open to playing in the NFL in 2020, provided it’s the right opportunity for him and his family”

So, the Broncos apparently turned their focus to Wake, who earned five Pro Bowl nods during his 10 seasons with the Dolphins. The veteran spent the 2019 season with the Titans, compiling four tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 11 quarterback hits in nine games. When the 38-year-old was cut by Tennessee back in March, he indicated that he wanted to play during the 2020 campaign.

Denver’s offer to Wake was well off its Matthews proposal, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Broncos also pursued Aldon Smith before the Cowboys signed him; Klis adds the team has not contacted Terrell Suggs or Ziggy Ansah about a deal.

Assuming the Broncos don’t end up signing a linebacker who can play this weekend, the team will enter the season with some question marks at linebacker. Former first-rounder Bradley Chubb has been working his way back from a torn ACL, and the team is otherwise relying on the likes of Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, Malik Reed, Jeremiah Attaochu, and Mark Barron.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top Edge Rushers Still Available

Putting pressure on the opposing quarterback is critical to a team’s success in today’s NFL, and there are a number of players still languishing on the free agent market who are capable of doing just that. While the pandemic has understandably made teams leery of authorizing big-money contracts, some of the available talent can be had for a fairly minimal commitment, and it would not be surprising to see them come off the board as we get closer (hopefully) to training camp.

So let’s take a look at the best of the unsigned pass rushers.

  1. Jadeveon Clowney: Not many players have been in the news more than Clowney this offseason. By now, everyone knows that Clowney was seeking a multi-year deal with an AAV of at least $20MM when free agency opened, but he has had to modify his demands in a big way. The Browns are believed to have two offers on the table: a one-year pact worth $15MM, and a multi-year contract worth around $12MM/year. Cleveland does not seem to be high on Clowney’s list of preferred destinations, but the club does have the makings of a postseason contender. It will be interesting to see if another team tries to top the Browns’ proposals to land a potentially game-changing talent.
  2. Everson Griffen: Back in May, Griffen was rated as our No. 3 best available free agent, and he would be the No. 2 talent on that list today now that Cam Newton has signed with the Patriots. Shortly after the list was published, we heard that the Cardinals may be interested, but nothing has transpired on the Griffen front in the last six weeks. The 32-year-old showed that he still has plenty left in the tank after registering eight sacks in 2019, and the fact that he is still unsigned may indicate that his contract demands are too high right now.
  3. Ezekiel Ansah: The Seahawks paired Clowney with Ansah in 2019 with the hopes of creating a true two-headed pass-rushing monster. That did not exactly work out as planned, as Clowney managed just three sacks and Ansah posted 2.5 while playing in 11 games. Ansah just couldn’t regain the form that he displayed during his best years with the Lions, and it certainly seems as if he does not have another double-digit sack campaign in him. Still, he is another year removed from the shoulder injury that marred his 2018 season and delayed his 2019 debut, so he will surely get a chance to be a part of someone’s pass rush rotation in 2020.
  4. Michael Bennett: Bennett wants to play in 2020, but thus far, it doesn’t sound as if there has been much interest in his services. The three-time Pro Bowler enjoyed a nine-sack effort with the Eagles in 2018, but he was traded to the Patriots in March 2019 and clashed with New England brass. In October, the Pats shipped him to the Cowboys, for whom he posted four sacks in nine games. In total, he collected 6.5 sacks last year while playing fewer snaps than he is accustomed to. He may very well start to attract more interest once camp gets underway.
  5. Markus Golden: No one other than the incumbent Giants has expressed interest in Golden since free agency began, and it seems like the 29-year-old will be back with Big Blue in 2020. The Giants put the rarely-used UFA tender on him, which means that he will only be eligible to play for New York if he does not sign another offer prior to the start of training camp (presently scheduled for July 28). Though Golden posted 10 sacks in 2019, he did so off of just 26 pressures, which teams likely see as an unsustainable conversion rate. The UFA tender would pay Golden $4.125MM this season.
  6. Jabaal Sheard: Sheard has never quite lived up to his potential as a game-changing pass rusher, and the 8.5 sacks he totaled in his rookie season in 2011 remain a career high. But he has averaged over five sacks per season over the course of a mostly-durable nine-year career, and he still looks the part of a starting DE. Fresh off a reasonably productive three-year stint with the Colts, Sheard has not yet been connected to any club this offseason.
  7. Clay Matthews: Matthews opened the 2019 campaign with his hair on fire, posting six sacks in the first five games of the season. It appeared that the two-year, $16.75MM contract the Rams gave to the longtime Packer in March 2019 was going to pay off in a big way, but Matthews suffered a broken jaw in October that derailed his season. He picked up two more sacks the rest of the way, and LA cut ties with him earlier this year. There have been no public reports of interest in the 34-year-old, but he could be a valuable veteran presence if deployed in the right way.
  8. Vinny Curry: Curry has always been a situational pass rusher. Even when he started all 16 regular-season games for the Eagles in 2017, he played in just over half of the club’s defensive snaps. His one year in Tampa Bay in 2018 was not a smashing success, but he returned to Philadelphia in 2019 to reprise his role as a player who can come in on passing downs and who represents a legitimate threat to get to the quarterback. The Jets were said to be interested in him in March, and Gang Green could still use pass rushing help, but the two sides have not yet come together on an agreement.
  9. Terrell Suggs: Suggs’ career accomplishments stand head and shoulders above those of most everyone else on this list. The former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and seven-time Pro Bowler has 139 career sacks to his credit, but he finally started to slow down in 2018, his final year in Baltimore, and he looked the part of an aging defender during his 13-game stint with the Cardinals in 2019. Arizona cut him late last season and he was scooped up by the Chiefs, which allowed him to collect his second Super Bowl ring. It’s unclear if T-Sizzle has any interest in continuing his playing career, but he has nothing left to prove.
  10. Cameron Wake: Another player that would be higher on this list if not for his age, Wake was released by the Titans in March. The 38-year-old has said he wants to keep playing, but after a terrific run with the Dolphins from 2009-18, Wake’s one year with Tennessee did not go according to plan. He registered just two sacks in nine games and missed the final stretch of the season with a back injury. He might well be healthy now, but we are unaware of any teams with interest at this point.

Titans Release Cameron Wake

The Titans have released outside linebacker Cameron Wake, per a club announcement. In the same press release, the Titans also made official the release of running back Dion Lewis

Wake, who turned 38 in January, has previously said that he plans to continue playing in 2020.

I don’t have any plans of giving it up,” Wake said late last year. “As long as there is a mutual desire from myself and the organization obviously as well, I’d look forward (to playing here again). It is not even a ‘like’ it here – I love it here. In the past I knew of guys who had passed through this organization, and now having come here myself, it’s an understatement to say how much I enjoy it. I’ve kind of had the appetizer version of what it is.”

This place checks all the boxes for me,” Wake continued. “I am blessed to have been given the opportunity and I appreciate every minute of it. And I look forward to whatever the future brings.”

Last year, Wake missed the final stretch of the season with a back injury. Many expected the Titans to drop him this offseason, a move that saves the club $5.6MM against the cap. Combined with the Lewis release, the Titans have saved $9.6MM in total.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cameron Wake Wants To Return To Titans

Things didn’t go Cameron Wake’s way this year, but the 37-year-old isn’t thinking about retirement. This week, the linebacker said that he intends to play in 2020 and hopes to do so with the Titans. 

I don’t have any plans of giving it up,” Wake said (via Jim Wyatt of the team website). “As long as there is a mutual desire from myself and the organization obviously as well, I’d look forward (to playing here again). It is not even a ‘like’ it here – I love it here. In the past I knew of guys who had passed through this organization, and now having come here myself, it’s an understatement to say how much I enjoy it. I’ve kind of had the appetizer version of what it is.”

This place checks all the boxes for me,” Wake continued. “I am blessed to have been given the opportunity and I appreciate every minute of it. And I look forward to whatever the future brings.”

Wake’s season ended in late November when a back injury landed him on IR. Even though he only got to notch 2.5 sacks across nine games, he wants to come back for more and add to his career total of 100.5.

Obviously being injured sucks,” Wake said. “It is tough because you want to be out there. Obviously, injuries are a factor in every single game you watch, and you are rolling the dice every time you do out there. I kind of got the short end of the stick this time unfortunately. Fortunately, I didn’t get injured in a way where I need to go have surgery or crutches or a cast, things that make you less able to do the normal things. So I want to help the other guys any way I can, and the type of injury I had allows for that. And I want to help any way I can.”

Wake, who made his NFL debut in 2009 after several years on the fringes of pro football, will turn 38 in January.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Place Cameron Wake On IR

The Titans will have to play without one of their key pass rushers the rest of the way. They placed Cameron Wake on IR Tuesday. Wake signed with the Titans this offseason, but an injury will shelve the 37-year-old standout.

Wake registered 2.5 sacks this season, but each of those came in the Titans’ Week 1 win over the Browns. He signed a three-year, $23MM deal with the Titans in March. The team has not disclosed the nature of the injury.

The former Dolphins sack artist has certainly not made the same kind of impact with the Titans, having made just four tackles this season. Still, those 2.5 sacks in Cleveland moved him past 100 for his career. Sitting on 100.5, Wake is tied for 31st all time. Although the four-time Pro Bowler has been used in a situational capacity, with second-year edge player Harold Landry serving as Tennessee’s top sack threat, Wake did play a season-high 37 snaps against Jacksonville.

This will also mark just the second time in Wake’s 11-year NFL career he will have missed more than two games in a season. Other than going on Miami’s IR list midway through the 2015 season, Wake has been one of the NFL’s most durable players.

Tennessee promoted outside linebacker Derick Roberson and cornerback Kareem Orr from its practice squad, while also placing defensive back Chris Milton on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Smith, James, Wake

The latest details on deals from around the NFL:

Titans To Sign Cameron Wake

Cameron Wake is finally changing teams. The longtime Dolphins sack artist has a deal in place with the Titans, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Wake will sign a three-year, $23MM deal to help anchor Tennessee’s pass rush. We learned last week that Wake would not be re-signing with the Dolphins, the only team he has ever known, and he predictably had multiple clubs interested in his services.

Wake posted just six sacks last season after back-to-back double-digit campaigns, and he is 37. But he still offers plenty of ability, even if Tennessee may need to limit his snap count to keep him fresh. Pro Football Focus was especially bullish on his 2018 performance, ranking him as the 16th-best edge defender out of 113 eligible players.

Plus, he is a capable edge setter against the run, so it’s not as though the Titans will be forced to deploy him only in passing situations. The five-time Pro Bowler, who has one First Team All-Pro bid to his credit, also has a reputation as a sure tackler, making him a pretty complete all-around player.

However, he has just one career playoff appearance in his 10 years in the league, so one would think he could have chosen a club that profiled as a more legitimate contender. The Titans narrowly missed the playoffs last season, but they do not look like an outfit that is especially well-equipped to make a deep postseason run at the moment.

Wake has 98 sacks in his career, good for 33rd all-time, and he could climb into the top-25 with a quality season in Nashville.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Unlikely To Re-Sign Cameron Wake

It sounds like Cameron Wake will be playing for a new team in 2019. The Dolphins have not made an effort to re-sign the impending free agent defensive end, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald

[RELATED: Dolphins Shopping Robert Quinn]

Wake, meanwhile, has already received interest from multiple teams, so the veteran figures to stick around for an eleventh pro season. The 37-year-old hasn’t earned a Pro Bowl nod since 2016, but he’s still playing at a fairly high level. Last year, Wake recorded six sacks and 36 total tackles across 14 games.

Back in December, Wake expressed a desire to remain in Miami, but also made it clear that he was willing to continue with another club.

“Another jersey?” Wake said. “Ideally, no. But I mean, again, if option number one is not in my favor and they don’t want me but I can still play and I can still provide and still enjoy it whatever needs to happen. If it makes sense then I’ll do it. If it doesn’t then I won’t.”

So far, the Dolphins are the only NFL team that Wake has ever known. He has 98 career sacks to his credit, but only one career playoff appearance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cameron Wake Wants To Re-Sign With Dolphins

Cameron Wake has spent the majority of his professional career with the Dolphins, and the impending free agent told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post that he’s hoping to stick around Miami. However, Wake also cautioned that he wouldn’t be afraid to sign elsewhere.

“Another jersey?” Wake said. “Ideally, no. But I mean, again, if option number one is not in my favor and they don’t want me but I can still play and I can still provide and still enjoy it whatever needs to happen. If it makes sense then I’ll do it. If it doesn’t then I won’t.”

We heard earlier this month that the Dolphins wanted to extend their veteran defensive end last offseason, but nothing ever materialized. That sentiment probably hasn’t changed, as Wake has plenty productive in 2018. While Miami initially intended to limit the 36-year-old’s snaps, Wake has still been plenty productive, compiling 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in 12 games. Pro Football Focus also ranks Wake 15th among 106 eligible edge defenders.

After going undrafted out of Penn State in 2005, Wake briefly caught on with the Giants before landing in the Canadian Football League. He earned a roster spot with the Dolphins in 2009, and he’s proceeded to play the past 10 seasons in Miami. Wake has earned five Pro Bowl selections, one First-Team All-Pro nod, and three Second-Team All-Pro selections during his career, and his 96.5 sacks rank second in franchise history (behind Jason Taylor).

Wake also acknowledged that he’s considered retirement, but his production in 2018 makes him think he could still be productive in 2019.

“You think about it all the time,” Wake said. “That’s the unfortunate part of the game. Whether it be physical or mental, it’s tough. It’s a tough gig. But at the end of the day, today, I still feel good, and I still feel like I can help. Will that be the case in April? I’d like to think so.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: McCoy, Bills, Wake, Pats

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the odds of the Bills trading any veterans — like RB LeSean McCoy, whose name has recently surfaced in trade rumors — are very slim. La Canfora writes that it would take a “bounty” to pry McCoy or Jerry Hughes away from Buffalo, as the team considers both players, who are both signed beyond this season to club-friendly deals, to be vital veteran components of its rebuild. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com agrees, saying it could take as much as a second-round draft pick to land McCoy.

Now let’s round up a few more notes from the AFC East, starting with more from Orchard Park:

  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Rapoport tweets that the Bills have no intention of playing newly-acquired signal-caller Derek Anderson, barring injury. Anderson is with the club to tutor rookie QB Josh Allen, not to take any of his playing time.
  • From the “something to keep an eye on” department, Jenna Cottrell of 13 WHAM tweets that Allen asked wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin if he wanted to work on routes during pregame warm-ups today, and Benjamin told him no. The Bills acquired Benjamin at the trade deadline last year but have not gotten much production out of him, and he does not appear especially motivated to perform well in his platform year.
  • Dolphins DE Cameron Wake recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery but could be back as soon as next week, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Normally such a procedure would require a four-week recovery period, but Wake is such a quick healer that he may make it back in a fraction of that time.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes that Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty is on pace to recoup the money that he lost when he agreed to a pay cut before the regular season. New England gave him the opportunity to make up the difference via incentives, and McCourty is well on his way to hitting those incentives. The same cannot be said for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, however.
  • Reiss also notes that Kenjon Barner, who has been shuttled on and off of the Patriots‘ roster several times since September 12, may have a little more job security right now. Barner’s former club, the Eagles, are very much in need of RB help, and the Pats know that if they cut Barner again, they may not get him back.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets that Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who is dealing with a serious illness, is on the sidelines for the team’s game against the Colts today. It does not sound as if he has resumed his coordinator responsibilities yet, but it is a good sign nonetheless.