Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions:
Tendered at original-round level:
This weekend, the latest report pointing to Derek Carr‘s less-than-solid standing with the Raiders emerged, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Master Tefatsion (on Twitter), which indicated Oakland was shopping its starting quarterback. With a soft veteran quarterback market, perhaps helping the Jaguars on the Nick Foles front, that would make sense. However, the Raiders do not have a viable alternative to Carr, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes they are not believed to have strong interest in trading their five-year starter. Jon Gruden has offered effusive praise for Carr, and Florio adds — Gruden’s Kyler Murray interest notwithstanding — the Raider HC is still believed to be a big fan of the 27-year-old incumbent. He confirmed as much this week.
Here is the latest from the AFC West, shifting to another player recently mentioned in trade rumors:
- Travis Kelce will have some rehab to do this offseason. The Chiefs‘ All-Pro tight end underwent ankle surgery, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets, and may not be available for the team’s offseason program. Although Garafolo describes this as a cleanup procedure, the 29-year-old tight end will miss some of the Chiefs’ program. Kelce is, however, expected to be ready by training camp.
- A position distinction fight appears to be brewing in Kansas City. With the Chiefs all set to tag Dee Ford, the somewhat antiquated franchise tag designations are back in play. The team will likely push for the edge rusher to be classified as a linebacker, which comes with a $15.443MM price, rather than a defensive end ($17.128MM), Florio writes. Ford has played outside linebacker throughout his NFL career, but if he returns to the Chiefs in 2019, he will play defensive end in Steve Spagnuolo‘s 4-3 scheme. This happened with Terrell Suggs and the Ravens in 2008, in a process that ended with Suggs categorized as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end for a compromise, and may become an issue for the Texans and Jadeveon Clowney. However, the Chiefs transitioning to a new defense provides a bit of a new wrinkle. The Chiefs are planning to listen to offers for Ford.
- Matt Paradis will still reach free agency, but Mike Klis of 9News tweets the Broncos are not out of the running for their four-year center starter. The Broncos and Paradis’ camp had a productive meeting in Indianapolis, per Klis, but not enough to keep the snapper off the market. Denver’s line would lose a major piece, the last part of its Super Bowl 50 blocking quintet, if Paradis walks. Despite coming off a broken leg and being set to turn 30 in 2019, the former sixth-round pick’s previous consistency may well put him on a path to challenge Jason Kelce‘s new $11MM-AAV deal as the top center contract.
- With the low-end RFA tender having climbed to $2.025MM, the Broncos may be leaning toward non-tendering Pro Bowl long snapper Casey Kreiter. With the highest-paid deep snapper (the Chargers’ Jake McQuaide) averaging a $1.175MM-per-year salary, Klis tweets it would appear the Broncos will not tender Kreiter and instead try to work out a deal at a lower price. Long snappers generally have a set pay scale, with 17 of them making between $1MM and $1.175MM, so a member of this club getting nearly double that in a season would be noteworthy.
It appears the Broncos have found their long snapper to pair with newly-signed punter Marquette King, signing Casey Kreiter to an exclusive-rights tender, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. The team has yet to announce the deal.
The Broncos signed Kreiter prior to the 2016 season and he played in 10 games before being placed on injured reserve. He appeared in all 16 games last season for Denver.
The Cowboys originally signed Kreiter as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa in 2014. He competed in the Cowboys’ training camp in 2014 and ’15 but was unable to win the starting job either season.
Kreiter, 27, will provide a familiar face within the Broncos’ special teams unit that’s seen a shakeup this offseason. Kicker Brandon McManus is expected to return but the team added King at punter while letting Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer depart in free agency.
The Broncos currently don’t have another long snapper on their roster outside of Kreiter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day.
Tendered at second-round level:
- Falcons: G Ben Garland (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
- Jaguars: RB Corey Grant (via John Oehser of Jaguars.com, on Twitter)
- Redskins: T Ty Nsekhe (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, on Twitter)
- Titans: G Quinton Spain (Twitter link via Paul Kuharsky)
- Vikings: G/C Nick Easton (per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, on Twitter)
Tendered at original-round level:
- Bears: CB Bryce Callahan, WR Cameron Meredith, WR Josh Bellamy (via Rich Campbell and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, all Twitter links)
- Broncos: WR Bennie Fowler (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, on Twitter)
- Packers: P Jake Schum (per Rob Demovsky of ESPN)
- 49ers: RB Raheem Mostert (per Mostert’s agent, Brett Tessler, on Twitter)
- Broncos: LS Casey Kreiter, WR Jordan Taylor, LB Zaire Anderson, T Elijah Wilkinson, LB Jerrol Garcia-Williams, LB Joseph Jones (Jhabvala reports, Twitter links)
- Giants: G Jon Halapio (via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan, on Twitter)
- Jaguars: TE Ben Koyack, OL William Poehls (Twitter links, via Oehser)
- Packers: WR Michael Clark, OL Justin McCray, CB Donatello Brown (all Twitter links via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com and Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- Raiders: K Giorgio Tavecchio, LB Shilique Calhoun (Twitter links via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Josina Anderson of ESPN.com)
- Rams: RB Malcolm Brown, CB Troy Hill (per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com, on Twitter)
Here are today’s minor moves.
- The Titans have agreed to terms with cornerback Demontre Hurst, according to a team announcement. Hurst spent the past three seasons with Chicago, where he totaled 58 tackles and two interceptions. Hurst is the eighth player signed by the Titans since the opening of free agency.
- As expected, tight end Trey Burton signed his one-year RFA tender, per an announcement from the Eagles. It’s a one-year, $2.746MM contract.
- Three Broncos signed their ERFA tenders. Starting center Matt Paradis, reserve wide receiver Jordan Taylor and long snapper Casey Kreiter signed tenders and will make $615K in 2017, Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post reports. Denver extended ERFA tender offers to five other players — including outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett — but none of the remaining contingent has signed yet.
Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:
- Bengals — G T.J. Johnson (via Jim Owczarski of the Enquirer)
- Bills — C Ryan Groy (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com)
- Buccaneers — DE Jacquies Smith (via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times)
- Giants — DE Kerry Wynn (via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com)
- Patriots — T Cameron Fleming (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com)
- Rams — DT Dominique Easley (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com)
- Ravens – S Marqueston Huff (via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com); WR Michael Campanaro, T James Hurst, RB Terrance West (via Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun)
- Bills — DE IK Enemkpali, P Colton Schmidt
- Broncos — OL Sam Brenner (via Mike Klis of 9NEWS)
- Chargers — WR Jeremy Butler (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk)
- Seahawks — LB Brock Coyle, CB DeShawn Shead (via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com)
- Broncos — LB Zaire Anderson, OLB Shaquil Barrett, RB Kapri Bibbs, C James Ferentz, WR Bennie Fowler, LS Casey Kreiter, C Matt Paradis, WR Jordan Taylor (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post)
- Cardinals — QB Zac Dysert, DT Olsen Pierre, G/T John Wetzel (via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com)
- Jaguars — S Peyton Thompson (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union)
- Lions — DE Brandon Copeland (via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com)
- Packers — LB Joe Thomas (via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- Panthers — C Tyler Larsen, P Michael Palardy
- Patriots — CB Justin Coleman (via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald), TE Matt Lengel (via Kevin Duffy of MassLive)
- Saints — WR Brandon Coleman (via Nick Underhill of the Advocate)
The latest minor moves from around the NFL:
- The Broncos signed outside linebacker Vontarrius Dora to their active roster and placed long snapper Casey Kreiter on injured reserve Friday. Dora, an undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech, is now in position to make his professional debut after tallying 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks during his 31-game college career.
- Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael is headed to IR after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, head coach Dan Quinn announced Friday (via the Associated Press). Ishmael, who had been playing for weeks with the injury, totaled 421 snaps this year between defense and special teams. In 13 appearances (four starts), he racked up 29 tackles.
- Offensive tackle Chaz Green will undergo back surgery Friday and the Cowboys will place him on IR, as Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram writes. Green, a third-round pick in 2015, didn’t play as a rookie thanks to hip surgery. He appeared in four games this season and started two.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Here are Thursday’s minor moves from across the NFL:
- Falcons right tackle Ryan Schraeder has signed his restricted free agent tender, according to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. It’s a one-year pact that will pay him $2.553MM. Schraeder was one of the few RFAs who may have drawn interest from rival teams despite receiving a second-round tender, but it appears no clubs were willing to make a serious play for him.
- The Colts announced a series of roster moves today, officially confirming that they signed wide receivers Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms and waived guard Ben Heenan. Boyce and Tyms both have NFL experience in New England, while Heenan was a former CFL standout who has decided to retire (Twitter link via Sportscentre).
- About a month after cutting veteran long snapper Aaron Brewer, the Broncos have signed a potential replacement. Per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter links), Denver worked out Air Force Academy long snapper Harrison Elliott, who has another year of military commitment, but ultimately signed former Iowa long snapper Casey Kreiter.
- Ravens wide receiver Chris Matthews has signed his exclusive rights free agent tender, the club announced today (via Twitter). The signing ensures that Matthews remains under contract with Baltimore on a one-year, minimum salary deal.
- Safety Brandon King, a key special-teamer for the Patriots in 2015, has signed his ERFA tender to remain in New England, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
The Cowboys are on their way to a 75-man roster. As Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com tweets, Dallas has dropped five players:
- Phil Bates, WR
- Tom Hornsey, P
- Robert Steeples, CB
- Casey Kreiter, LS
- Carlif Taylor, DT
The Cowboys signed Bates less than two weeks ago. The 25-year-old (26 in September) was a longtime Seahawks practice squad player and also spent some time with the Browns. Seattle thought highly of Bates, making him one of just a few NFL taxi squad players to earn more than the minimum.