Cameron Wake

East Notes: Beal, Wake, Giants

Sam Beal is widely considered to be the best prospect in this year’s supplemental draft, and most NFL talent evaluators think he will fall somewhere in the first three rounds of the draft. A tall corner who has the fluidity and speed of a smaller DB, some believe Beal has first-round talent, so he has generated plenty of discussion since he declared for the supplemental draft last month. Gil Brandt of SiriusXM says the Bills, who have an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft, could be a fit for Beal (Twitter link). Meanwhile, John Keim of ESPN.com says the Redskins have interest in Beal as well as fellow supplemental draft prospects Adonis Alexander and Brandon Bryant, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the Patriots are unlikely to select one of those players even though they have the 2019 draft capital to do so.

Now let’s round up a few more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Reiss believes that the Patriots, who selected OL Isaiah Wynn with their No. 23 overall selection in this year’s draft, also considered Alabama WR Calvin Ridley in that spot. Although New England’s need for a quality offensive lineman may have swung the pendulum in Wynn’s favor, Reiss also believes the team is more comfortable projecting an offensive lineman to the NFL than a receiver, which made Wynn an easier choice.
  • Though he is 36 years old, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake is still a highly-productive pass rusher, having posted 10.5 sacks last season. Despite that, and despite the fact that he is entering a contract year, Wake has no issues with the team’s decision to use a rotation that it hopes will keep him fresh in 2018. Per Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, Wake said, “I want to do whatever is going to help the entirety of the team, the entirety of the defense. So, if it means me being a third-down guy, let’s do it. If it means I have to start and play every down, I’ll take that role on, too.”
  • Matt Lombardo of NJ.com does not think the Giants will be players in the supplemental draft, and he says that, while UDFA wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo has looked good in spring practices, even a strong training camp and preseason will likely only get him another chance on Big Blue’s taxi squad, where he finished the 2017 campaign. Of course, a good showing could get the former Maryland and Syracuse product a shot on a different club.
  • Many expected Chad Wheeler to push Ereck Flowers for the Giants‘ starting right tackle job this year, but as Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes, Flowers has gotten all of the first-team reps at RT thus far. Dunleavy says Wheeler’s job as the team’s swing tackle is safe, but barring injury, it looks like Flowers will be the right tackle in 2018. However, Flowers is entering a contract year, so Wheeler may get a chance to start in 2019 if he performs well in the swing tackle role.
  • Earlier today, we heard that Redskins HC Jay Gruden may be looking for a new job in 2019 if his club turns in another so-so performance in 2018.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets

If Tom Brady continues his run of success in his age-39 campaign, the Patriots will likely be forced to use the franchise tag on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. New England would probably deploy the tag with the intention trading Garoppolo, but dealing away the talented reserve signal-caller would depend on a number of factors, per Reiss. Aside from Brady’s excellent play and his intention to play for several more seasons, the Patriots would need to feel secure with current third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. The 23-year-old Brissett posted a record of 1-1 last season while completing 28 of 46 passes for more than 300 yards, and while he didn’t throw any touchdowns, he did score on the ground.

Let’s take a look at more from the AFC East:

  • Given that he was coming off an Achilles injury, the Dolphins attempted to limit defensive end Cameron Wake‘s snaps at the beginning of the 2016 season, but head coach Adam Gase now admits that strategy was an oversight. “I made a mistake. I should have been playing him more early,” Gase tells Adam Walker of ESPN.com. “We were trying to think long term. … We thought we were being smart and it backfired on us. What we should have done was just let him play.” Wake, 35, ended up playing on roughly half of Miami’s snaps, compiling 11.5 sacks and grading as the league’s No. 10 edge defender, according to Pro Football Focus. In February, Wake agreed to an extension that will keep him with the Dolphins through 2018.
  • Although the Patriots handed him a $100K base salary guarantee and a $15K signing bonus, Harvey Langi might have trouble earning a spot on New England’s roster given the club’s depth at linebacker, as Phil Perry of CSNNE.com details in his latest Patriots roster projection. Langi was a highly-touted undrafted free agent out of BYU, but New England’s recent addition of veteran David Harris could throw his status into flux. The Pats could attempt to pass him through waivers to the practice squad, but another team could be ready to pounce with a claim.
  • The Jets have promoted director of pro personnel Matt Bazirgan to college scouting director, sources tell Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. He replaces Rex Hogan, who left New York last month to become the Colts’ co-director of player personnel. Bazirgan had been working as Gang Green’s pro personnel director since 2015, and had worked as an area scout prior to that. A Jets staffer since 2004, Bazirgan has worked under four different New York general managers.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Browns, Raiders, Fins

Broncos general manager John Elway issued an update Wednesday regarding the status of impending free agent linebacker DeMarcus Ware, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “I haven’t talked to DeMarcus,” Elway said “He’s been around, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down with DeMarcus, so as we get through this and get back to Denver, I’m sure I’ll sit down with DeMarcus and we’ll talk about it.”

On the other hand, rookie head coach Vance Joseph has talked to the future Hall of Fame pass rusher “four or five” times over the past couple months. The soon-to-be 35-year-old Ware has made it no secret that he’d like to return to Denver for a fourth season, but his previous employer, the Cowboys, could pursue him if he reaches free agency. Between Dallas and Denver, Ware has amassed 138.5 sacks in 12 years. Four of those sacks came last season for Ware, who appeared in a career-low 10 games on account of back and forearm injuries.

Elway, meanwhile, could become a free agent executive after next season. It doesn’t look as if that will happen, however, as contract extension talks between Elway and the Broncos “going fine,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said (via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post). “I don’t anticipate any problems,” he added. The 56-year-old Elway has been resoundingly successful as an executive, having helped the Broncos to a 67-29 record, five playoff berths, two AFC championships and a Super Bowl in six seasons in their front office.

More from three other AFC cities:

  • Speaking to reporters in January, Browns head coach Hue Jackson didn’t dismiss the possibility of trading the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. GM Sashi Brown backed up Jackson on Wednesday, saying (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com): “We’re going to responsibly listen to any opportunities that are out there. I think we have to do that. It’s not a design of ours. We would have to wait and see what might come, and what player might be available there as we get through this process.”
  • Looking to keep the Raiders in Oakland, the Ronnie Lott-led Fortress Investment Group has submitted a formal stadium plan to the NFL within the past 10 days, reports the Associated Press. However, it’s “not moving the needle much,” according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. Even after losing financial backing from businessman Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs, the Raiders are eyeing Las Vegas relocation, though two owners told Cole they’re concerned with the amount of debt the franchise would take on in such a scenario (Twitter links).
  • Despite suffering what could have been a career-threatening neck injury last year, Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi expects to be ready for next season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Cutting Misi would save the Dolphins $4.2MM against just $578K in dead money in 2017, but they haven’t ruled out retaining him, notes Jackson.
  • Jackson also has further details on defensive end Cameron Wake‘s two-year, $19MM contract with the Dolphins. Wake will get a renegotiated signing bonus of $1MM in 2017 and a $125K workout bonus in each season.

Dolphins Extend Cameron Wake

Cameron Wake returned from injury last season and again made a significant impact on the Dolphins’ pass rush, and the team rewarded the veteran defensive end for it. The Dolphins and Wake agreed on an extension that will keep him in Miami through the 2018 season, the team announced (on Twitter).

Wake signed an extension last year to push his contract through the ’17 slate, but he now has two years remaining on his Dolphins pact. His latest Miami re-up will be for two years and $19MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding that $11MM guaranteed will be coming Wake’s way.

The 35-year-old edge rusher was scheduled to make $6.875MM in 2017 base salary and take up $7.6MM of the Dolphins’ cap. Wake turned 35 in January, so he will be set for his age-36 season with the Fins as a result of this new arrangement. The dominant pass-rusher bounced back from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon to record 11.5 sacks last season and make his fifth Pro Bowl. This marked his fourth double-digit sack slate.

Miami extended Wake in May of 2016 for $14.125MM, pushing his deal through this coming season. But the parties will continue their relationship, with the 2018 season standing to represent Wake’s 10th in south Florida. The Dolphins cut Mario Williams earlier this week and also have Andre Branch looming as a UFA. But they continue to value Wake despite his advancing age. Wake rewarded them for such faith last season, and the team clearly views him as an integral cog going forward.

 

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Interested In Richardson, Wake?

Could the Cowboys reach into the AFC East to bolster their defensive line? Dallas has shown interest in Dolphins defensive end/linebacker Cameron Wake, according to sources who spoke with SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the Jets have reached out to the Cowboys to gauge their interest in Sheldon Richardson, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweetsSheldon Richardson (vertical)

As outlined in our 2016 NFL Trade Deadline Primer, the Jets have fielded calls of trade interest in Richardson. However, their asking price might be too high, especially considering Richardson’s behavioral issues in recent years. Interestingly, Archer’s report indicates that it is the Jets who initiated contact with the Cowboys, which could be a sign that they are warming up to the idea of trading the defensive end. Richardson would be a huge acquisition for Dallas, but they would also have to weigh their willingness to give him a long-term deal beyond 2017.

Wake has spent his entire NFL career with the Dolphins and, therefore, has never been to the playoffs. Still, he says that he won’t request a trade. At 3-4, it seems possible that Miami could move the 34-year-old, whether he wants to leave or not. The seven-year veteran made only seven appearances last season due to a torn ACL. So far this year, he has eight tackles and three sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins’ Cameron Wake Won’t Request Trade

Cameron Wake has spent his entire NFL career, which started in 2009, with the Dolphins. Unfortunately, the Dolphins haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2008 season. As the 1-4 Dolphins get set to take on the Steelers on Sunday, it doesn’t look like they’ll be snapping their playoff drought this year either. Still, Wake says that he won’t ask for a trade, as Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. Cameron Wake

It’s not a ‘which one’s more important,’” Wake said when asked about whether he wanted to win or spend the rest of his career with the Fins. “I just want to win. Obviously, I’m here in Miami and I’ll be here as long as they have me, and I’ll do everything I can to make sure Miami’s a winner. I’m not concerned with going anywhere else, doing anything else.”

Wake inked a two-year extension with Miami in May but the team can get out from under much of that obligation by trading him before the Nov. 1 trade deadline. The 34-year-old doesn’t have a say whether that happens, of course, but he’s not pushing for it to happen.

The seven-year veteran made only seven appearances last season due to a torn ACL. So far this year, he has four tackles and one sack.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Johnson, Wentz, Dolphins

Lane Johnson became embroiled in a debate with the NFLPA regarding the nature of the 10-game suspension he faces. But the Eagles‘ fourth-year right tackle expects that ban to stick regardless, Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com reports, and be out until November.

The recently extended lineman, who previously tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2014, claimed he was taking an amino acid he purchased online and the app the NFLPA provides for players to gauge whether or not a supplement will result in a positive drug test informed him he was in the clear. Standing to see the guarantees in his $56MM+ contract void if he’s suspended for a second time, Johnson asserted the NFLPA isn’t fully behind its constituents regarding this issue.

I want that to be clear that the NFLPA does not stand up for players. They don’t check the supplements,” said Johnson, who added the Eagles probably wouldn’t test the supplement if he brought it to them for financial reasons. “They give us an app, and then when you call them and ask them if you test positive for something they approve, it doesn’t matter.”

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah denied Johnson was approved to take the supplement. The Aegis Shield app, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk points out, isn’t a surefire safety precaution due to supplements at times containing substances not included on the product’s label.

We always stand up for the rights of our players,” Atallah said in a statement. “Mr. Johnson’s statements are factually inaccurate and we have been in touch with both Lane and his agent, who now understand the facts. The NFLPA does not approve any supplements or substances.”

The Eagles appear set to lose their right tackle for much of 2016 while also could be without their rookie quarterback until the regular season starts.

  • Carson Wentz suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs during Philadelphia’s preseason opener and could miss the rest of the preseason, Zach Berman of Philly.com reports. The No. 2 overall pick sustained the injury on the second-to-last play of his debut outing, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (on Twitter).
  • Dolphins coaches have viewed Dallas Thomas‘ training camp work as superior to Laremy Tunsil‘s, hence the veteran receiving the call to start on Friday night in the team’s preseason opener, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. A fourth-year Fins guard, Thomas started every game last season. But Jackson writes the Dolphins shouldn’t be withholding first-team reps from Tunsil since he’s likely going to get the call there once the regular season begins.
  • Miami’s brass told free agents they intended to use Cameron Wake as a pass-rush specialist this season, Jackson reports. Despite signing the 34-year-old defensive end to an extension, Wake could be set for an off-the-bench role. Dolphins staffer Nat Moore expects Jason Jones to start alongside Mario Williams. Wake is coming off a torn Achilles that resulted in him playing just seven games in 2015, the first season of Wake’s NFL career featuring fewer than 14 appearances. Wake’s started 85 of the 100 Dolphins contests he’s suited up for, including every such appearance since 2012.
  • Check out the details of Tyrod Taylor‘s complex extension with the Bills.
  • Patriots president Jonathan Kraft provided some detailed reasoning for why the team traded Chandler Jones.

AFC Notes: Fitzpatrick, Conklin, Wake, Texans

Several Jets players – two current and one former – have weighed in on the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation this week, including wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes, Decker continues to believe Fitzpatrick is the right man for the starting job in New York, suggesting that Gang Green is “a team that’s ready to win now,” and one that requires a “veteran presence” at the QB position.

Marshall, on the other hand, sounds more willing to accept the possibility that Fitzpatrick may not be back, telling Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that the Jets would survive with Bryce Petty or Geno Smith at QB: “Just seeing Bryce and Geno grow so much the last year is really encouraging, and I’m just proud of those guys. We’ll be OK.”

Meanwhile, former Jets linebacker Bart Scott has been less tactful about his opinion on the matter, as Brian Costello of the New York Post details. During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Scott said that Fitzpatrick isn’t worth the money he’s seeking, suggesting he’s more of “a bridge guy,” who would be a backup for “20 teams in the league.”

As we wait to see whether the Fitzpatrick situation reaches a resolution in the near future, let’s round up some other Wednesday morning notes from around the AFC…

  • While new Titans general manager Jon Robinson may get his team’s draft class secured in a more timely manner than the team has done in the past, Tennessee’s negotiations with first-round tackle Jack Conklin are worth watching, writes Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. In recent years, the Titans have pushed for offset language to be included in their first-rounders’ rookie contracts, and there are indications that trend will continue, according to McCormick.
  • Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake took a pay cut from $8.4MM to $7.125MM for 2016, but can make up the difference if he reaches certain sack incentives, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links). For 2017, Wake has another $7MM due, including $3MM fully guaranteed — he can also earn an extra $2MM in ’17 if he racks up 15 sacks this season, per Pelissero.
  • Peter King of TheMMQB.com takes a look at the Texans‘ approach to free agency and the draft within the last couple months, writing that the team has made it a priority to add speed to its offense. In King’s view, Houston’s offense rivals Jacksonville’s defense when it comes to teams that underwent the most significant changes on one side of the ball.

Dolphins Sign Cameron Wake To Extension

The Dolphins have signed veteran defensive end Cameron Wake to a two-year extension, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets that the deal is worth $15MM over two years, with $10MM in fully guaranteed money.

Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald tweets that Wake was due $8.3MM in 2016, so the 34-year-old ultimately got an extra $1.7MM with the extension. Meanwhile, his expected $9.8MM cap figure should decrease.

The extension is somewhat surprising considering Wake’s age and injury history. The seven-year veteran made only seven appearances last season due to a torn ACL, but Salguero believes the extension is an indication by the organization that Wake is fully recovered. Furthermore, Schefter tweeted that the Dolphins wanted to pay Wake “for what he’s done and will do.”

The team tried to address Wake’s contract in February to no avail, but the sides reconvened for a more successful post-draft result. Wake was previously set to enter the final season of a four-year, $33.2MM accord. After restructuring Ndamukong Suh‘s massive cap hit down to $12.6MM, Miami entered Saturday with more than $18.6MM in cap space. A sizable portion of that will go to its veteran-stacked defensive front.

While decreasing Wake’s ’16 cap hit was probably part of the reason for Miami’s decision, it may ensure one of the franchise’s best signings will finish his career in South Florida. A former UDFA, Wake is coming off a season derailed after seven games by a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Yet, the former CFL import still registered seven sacks. He’ll team with fellow veteran Mario Williams on the edge for the Dolphins, who have secured a pair of aging-but-effective pass-rushers for the next two seasons.

A four-time Pro Bowler who earned first-team All-Pro recognition in 2012, Wake did not suit up in an NFL game until 2009 and didn’t become a full-time starter until a year later at age 28. And although he’s coming off one of the more severe injuries with which football is associated, the former Penn State product played in at least 15 regular-season games from 2010-14. Vance Joseph said earlier today he expects Wake to be ready for Week 1 despite suffering the injury in late October of last year.

Now that Miami is without Olivier Vernon, whose transition tag the team rescinded to pave a path for a massive Giants-commissioned raise for the former second-round pick, Wake will again serve as a vital component for the Fins’ pass rush. He’s registered double-digit sacks three times — compared to Vernon doing so once — and enters his eighth season with 70 for his NFL career. That total trails only Jason Taylor (139.5) in Dolphins history.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images

East Notes: Jets, Fins, Jones, Cowboys, Cousins

Until Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets can come to terms, Geno Smith is the most experienced quarterback on the roster. But Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News doesn’t view Mike Maccagnan‘s repeated endorsements of the underwhelming 2013 second-rounder as comments to be taken at face value.

While the Jets and Fitzpatrick play hardball, other executives around the league are wondering what exactly the team is planning at quarterback. Should Fitzpatrick sign to play a second season in New York, Maccagnan has tossed around the idea of carrying four quarterbacks, with Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty residing in the developmental wing of the meeting room.

The Jets as an organization have discussed using the 2000 Patriots as a model for the four-QB setup. The Pats that year housed starter Drew Bledsoe, veteran backup John Friesz and developmental prospects Tom Brady and Michael Bishop. Hackenberg or Petty would theoretically be cast as Brady in the Jets’ scenario.

One NFL executive told Mehta the Jets considering carrying four passers “doesn’t make sense.” Smith and Petty would seemingly be jostling for a roster spot if the Jets were planning to employ the usual three. Mehta writes the Patriots’ thinking in 2000 was an aberration and merely hanging onto an extra signal-caller one season — at the expense of a key backup elsewhere — doesn’t equate to a franchise passer emerging from the group.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions on rookie minicamp Saturday.

  • New Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph guesses Cameron Wake will be ready to play come Week 1, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Wake is recovering from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and entering his age-34 season. The four-time Pro Bowler registered seven sacks in seven games last season before going down with the Achilles injury in October.
  • Identifying second-rounder Xavien Howard as a “six-foot guy with 5-10 corner movement skills,” Joseph said the rookie corner will vie for a Dolphins starting job with Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett, per Salguero.
  • Rex Ryan categorized Cardale Jones as a player with “a long way to go,” per an Associated Press report. “He’s got the physical gifts you look for, there’s no question about that,” Ryan said of the former Ohio State starter. “But you also notice that he’s just going through everything like, it’s spinning right now. He’s throwing behind guys. He doesn’t know where he’s going right now with it.” The Bills have Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel venturing into their contract seasons in 2016, leaving the franchise’s future unsettled. Jones was considered a potential first-round pick thanks to the tools he showed as a sophomore in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but being benched as a junior damaged his stock and relegated him into the fourth round.
  • The Cowboys are relocating Keith Smith and Rod Smith to fullback from their respective linebacker and running back positions to provide the them a better chance at making the 53-man roster, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Dallas’ fullback from 2013-15, Tyler Clutts remains a free agent. Keith Smith has played in 15 games the past two seasons as mostly a special teams cog, and Rod Smith joined the Cowboys last season after the Seahawks cut him.
  • Washington may be somewhat reluctant to invest long-term, franchise quarterback-level money in Kirk Cousins after he’d shown to be a proficient passer in just one season. But given the team’s recent deals for 2015 breakout players Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com notes Cousins’ career arc doesn’t differentiate itself much from the now-extremely well-compensated cornerback and tight end. Cousins is currently attached to the $19.953MM non-exclusive franchise tag, which he’s signed.