Cassius Marsh

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Cardinals To Sign Cassius Marsh

The Seahawks signed DE Cassius Marsh in April with the idea that he could bolster the team’s pass rush, but he became expendable after Seattle traded for Jadeveon Clowney. Now, Marsh will join the third NFC West team of his career, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Marsh is set to sign with the Cardinals (Twitter link).

Marsh, 27, had 5.5 sacks and 14 QB hits for the 49ers last year. The former fourth-round pick of the Seahawks will join a pass rushing rotation that also includes Terrell Suggs and Chandler Jones.

The Cardinals didn’t do much right last year, but they did compile 49 sacks, and Marsh will serve as a worthwhile complement to the front seven.

Seahawks Get Down To 53 Players

The Seahawks have made their roster cuts. Perhaps most notably, they cut quarterback Geno Smith. Since they already waived Paxton Lynch last night and also waived J.T. Barrett, they currently have no passers on the roster behind Russell Wilson. It’s possible the team is just maneuvering the roster and planning on re-signing Smith. If not, they’ll be adding a veteran in the coming days.

The Seahawks had a crowded running backs room, and J.D. McKissic and Bo Scarbrough ended up as the odd-men out. A lot of people were expecting Jaron Brown to start the year as the team’s number two receiver while D.K. Metcalf recovers from his knee injury, but he didn’t even end up making the initial 53. Brown was set to make $2.75MM, so maybe he’ll be brought back after the regular season starts when his contract won’t be guaranteed.

Here’s the full list of moves:

Released:

FB Nick Bellore

WR Jaron Brown

QB Geno Smith

CB Jamar Taylor

Waived:

QB J.T. Barrett

 RB J.D. McKissic

RB Bo Scarbrough

CB Simeon Thomas

RB Xavier Turner

Waived/injured:

CB Jeremy Boykins

G Phil Haynes

Injured reserve:

Seahawks Sign Cassius Marsh

Cassius Marsh is heading back to the team that drafted him. On Thursday, Marsh agreed to a one-year deal with the Seahawks, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com writes. 

Marsh was displaced in March when the 49ers acquired Dee Ford. By cutting the left outside linebacker, the Niners saved $4.7MM against the cap with just $900K left over in dead money.

Marsh, who turns 27 in July, will help to fill one of the Seahawks’ biggest needs. Last year, Marsh amassed 5.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 11.5 across 68 games. He also saw action on roughly 50% of the 49ers’ special teams plays a year ago, and has nearly reached the 80% ST threshold in prior seasons.

Marsh was unhappy during his nine-game stint with the Patriots and didn’t win much with the Niners last year, but he now has an opportunity to thrive opposite of Frank Clark.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Hosted Cassius Marsh

The Raiders hosted free agent defensive end Cassius Marsh earlier this week, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Marsh was released by the 49ers last week after spending parts of two seasons in the Bay Area. San Francisco originally claimed Marsh off waivers in November 2017 and signed him to an extension the following April. The Niners had just exercised Marsh’s option for the 2018 season earlier this month, but the club didn’t have a need for him after acquiring fellow defensive end Dee Ford from the Chiefs.

Now entering his age-27 campaign, Marsh played a career-high 550 defensive snaps in 2018, racking up 38 tackles (seven for loss) and 5.5 sacks in the process. He also saw action on roughly 50% of the 49ers’ special teams plays a year ago, and has nearly reached the 80% ST threshold in prior seasons.

Special teams would likely be an area of focus for Marsh if he signs with Oakland (especially after the team ranked just 22nd in Football Outsiders ST ratings), but the Raiders need help on the edge, too. Oakland posted only 13 sacks in 2018, the fewest of any team in more than a decade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Release DE Cassius Marsh

Cassius Marsh‘s 1 1/2-season run with the 49ers appears to be over. The team will release the five-year defensive end, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. Marsh confirmed he is on the way out (via Twitter).

This comes after Marsh’s 5.5 sacks were second on the team last season (and first among 49er edge rushers). The 49ers, though, added a higher-profile defensive end this week in Dee Ford. That move likely prompted the team to move on from Marsh — a player the 49ers extended barely a year ago.

Marsh, who had one season and a $3.8MM salary left on that contract, joined the 49ers via November 2017 waiver claim. He finished his 49er tenure with 7.5 sacks in 22 games.

In addition to Ford, San Francisco has been closely linked to adding yet another pass rusher with its upcoming No. 2 overall pick. The 49ers still have Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas in the fold — each first-round picks since 2015 — but still need help on the edge. With this draft featuring one of the better defensive line classes in memory, and a potential Kyler Murray No. 1 overall pick in line to push Nick Bosa off the top spot, the 49ers are expected to add a younger player to complement Ford next month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Exercise Options On Juszczyk, Watson

The 49ers decided to get a good deal of their housekeeping done on Thursday. Per a team announcement, the club has made the following transactions:

Tendered:

Exercised 2019 Options:

Declined 2019 option

For the most part, these were no-brainer calls for SF. Mostert, Lee, and Mabin will all return on cheap one-year deals that require little in the way of actual commitments. Juszczyk, signed to a four-year, $21MM deal in 2017, is regarded as one of the very best fullbacks in the NFL and graded out as the second-best in the league last year, per Pro Football Focus. who rejoiced when he was cut by the Pats and claimed by the Niners in 2017, tallied a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2018.

East Notes: Pats, Marsh, Fins, Carroo, Eagles

Former Patriots defensive end Cassius Marsh recently trashed the legendary “Patriot way,” saying the Patriots’ uptight nature didn’t allow him to have any fun and that his time in New England almost caused him to walk away from the game.

Now a member of the 49ers, Marsh provided details on his experience with the Patriots in an interview with Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Marsh revealed that he “wanted to get waived” and facilitated a meeting with Bill Belichick with that goal in mind. He said the Patriots misused him, asking him to do things he had never done before, saying they had him “covering running backs and receivers and basically almost never rushing the passer” which is what he was used to.

Marsh ultimately got what he wanted, and was claimed off waivers by the 49ers. He’ll be playing on the opposite side of the country now for a team with a much different culture. It’s very rare for a player to openly criticize Belichick and the Patriots like this, and whatever you think of Marsh’s comments, it’s refreshing to see a player speak this honestly.

Here are more notes from the league’s eastern divisions:

  • Dolphins receiver Leonte Carroo will undergo “minor knee surgery” according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Salguero adds that Carroo is expected to miss the rest of OTAs and minicamp, but should be back on the field by the time training camp starts in July. Carroo was a third-round pick in 2016, but has done little his first two years in the league. Dolphins beat reporters have already predicted he won’t make the team this year without a strong offseason, and this injury definitely doesn’t help his chances of making the team’s 53-man roster.
  • Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is always active in the trade market during the summer months, and The Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski expects that to continue this year. Kempski speculates that several players could be on the move, including cornerback Ronald Darby. Kempski notes that Darby is heading into the final year of his contract, whereas all the Eagles’ other corners are locked up for multiple years. Kempski speculates that the Eagles may let Darby walk in free agency anyway, so they might try to trade him now and get something for him, perhaps a third-round pick.
  • In case you missed it, Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is still going through the reinstatement process. Read all the latest here.

49ers Notes: Garoppolo, CBs, Marsh, Brown

Jimmy Garoppolo‘s five-year, $137MM 49ers deal will pay out $86.4MM in its first three seasons, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Facebook link). This landmark agreement contains $74.1MM in injury guarantees and comes with a $28MM guaranteed roster bonus and $7MM signing bonus. Garoppolo’s 2018 base salary of $6.2MM is fully guaranteed as well. He will collect $42.6MM in the first year of the deal, Schefter reports. Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets Garoppolo will account for a $37MM cap figure this season. The 49ers entered the negotiations with more than $100MM in projected cap space.

Of Garoppolo’s $17.2MM 2019 base, $7.5MM of that is guaranteed at signing. Overall, $48.7MM of this deal is fully guaranteed at signing, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Despite the full contract being for a record amount, the agreement falls short of the $60MM in full guarantees Matthew Stafford received last year. Garoppolo’s two-year earnings will come in at $61.2MM, which Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com categorizes (Twitter link) as the true guarantee. This is $10MM more than the 26-year-old quarterback would have received had he been franchise-tagged two straight times as Kirk Cousins was, with these negotiations surely taking this into consideration.

Garoppolo’s 2020 base comes in at $23.8MM — $15.7MM of which is guaranteed for injury. The former second-round pick’s $24.1MM and $24.2MM base salaries for 2021 and 2022 are not guaranteed, Schefter reports. The escape hatch in this deal appears to exist after its third season. A Year 4 stipulation of an NFC championship game appearance, or if Garoppolo is named first- or second-team All-Pro, produces a $7.5MM injury guarantee, however. This deal’s fourth season also contains a no-trade clause, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets.

Now that the 49ers have their top offseason priority out of the way, here is the latest out of the Bay Area:

  • As for the contract defensive end Cassius Marsh signed, his extension is a two-year deal worth $7.7MM, Yates reports (on Twitter). The deal includes $3.1MM fully guaranteed, per Yates. Including incentives and escalators, the pact has a maximum value of $12.7MM. That’s a surprisingly large deal for Marsh, who was released midway through the 2017 season by New England.
  • The 49ers are expected to target cornerback help in free agency, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports. Considering San Francisco is still expected to have more than $60MM in cap space after the Garoppolo deal, the team could afford to pursue top-market solutions here. Trumaine Johnson, Kyle Fuller, Malcolm Butler look to as of now represent the top tier of targets. And with the 49ers still expected to possess more cap space than most teams even after authorizing the richest extension in NFL history, they should be in a commanding position to outflank opposition on the market.
  • Right tackle Trent Brown‘s now extension-eligible, being a fourth-year player, but Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com doesn’t see the 49ers pursuing a re-up this offseason. Maiocco notes the 49ers now have enough questions about Brown’s future they may hold off on extension talks that were once expected to commence. Brown, whom Maiocco reports underwent shoulder surgery this offseason and still faces a lengthy rehab process, hitting the 2019 market would likely induce a bidding war. John Lynch previously said he expects Brown to be a cornerstone player, which would indicate he’ll be on the team beyond his contract year. But it appears the 49ers are in a wait-and-see pattern regarding their right-edge protector at present.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

49ers, Cassius Marsh Agree To Extension

The 49ers announced that defensive end Cassius Marsh has signed a two-year extension with the team. Financial terms of the deal are not yet known. Cassius Marsh (vertical)

Marsh, 26 in July, was initially set for free agent in March. Instead, he’s under contract with San Francisco through the 2019 campaign.

Marsh was traded from the Seahawks to the Patriots last September in exchange for a fifth- and seventh-round pick. He went on to play in nine games for the Pats (one start), compiling 19 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. As time wore on, however, he fell out of the rotation and was released in November. The Niners claimed him off waivers and gave him an opportunity to play. Marsh tallied ten tackles and two sacks in six games with SF.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.