Chance Warmack

Colts’ Austin Howard, Eagles’ Chance Warmack Among OL On Trade Block?

Colts tackle Austin Howard, Eagles guard Chance Warmack, Bears center Hroniss Grasu, and Raiders tackle Jylan Ware are among the offensive linemen who could be made available via trade this weekend, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com.

Trade candidates are often simply players who will be released if no offer is made, and Howard is a clear case of that principle. The Colts already invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he’s not a lock to open as Indianapolis’ starting right tackle or even make the club’s 53-man roster. A veteran of 92 NFL games, Howard wasn’t medically cleared until late July and has struggled in camp and during the preseason.

Warmack, too, looks like a candidate for release, as he hasn’t been included on numerous Eagles roster projections. Philadelphia extended Warmack last September, adding an extra year (2018) to his contract while guaranteeing $500K of his $1MM base salary. A trade would be especially beneficial to the Eagles, then, as an acquiring team would take on that base salary guarantee. Philadelphia could use the cap space, as it ranks a bottom-five team in financial reserves.

Both Grasu and Ware are also on the roster bubble with their respective teams. Neither offers much experience: Grasu, a third-round pick in 2015, has been beset by injuries and appeared in just 14 games, while Ware, a 2017 seventh-rounder, has just one contest under his belt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, Giants

Su’a Cravens‘ decision to retire (and then reverse his course of action) stunned both the Redskins‘ front office and many of the club’s players, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), although Jones report that Cravens had discussed his intentions with some Washington coaches. Cravens, who’s now on the exempt/left squad list, took to Snapchat on Monday to express that while he doesn’t feel the need to “explain” his reasons for leaving the Redskins, he will attempt to be more open, as Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post writes. Walking away could cost Cravens more than $1MM, as Washington could force the second-year safety to pay back a portion of his signing bonus, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Offensive guard Chance Warmack‘s one-year extension with the Eagles has a base value of $2.5MM and can be worth as much as $5MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Given that Warmack, a former top-10 draft pick, is scheduled to earn roughly $1.3MM in 2017, his new deal could allow him to take a leap in terms of salary in 2018. Warmack isn’t projected to start for Philadelphia during the upcoming season, but he’ll be the club’s top backup guard behind Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo. Speculatively, the Eagles could view Warmack as a future starter if they part ways with Jason Kelce and shift Seumalo to center.
  • The Redskins put in a waiver claim for former Jaguars quarterback Brandon Allen but lost out to the Rams, who had the higher waiver priority, tweets Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. Allen, a sixth-round pick in 2016, would have become Washington’s third quarterback behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. Instead, the Redskins — who waived signal-caller Nate Sudfeld over the weekend — signed 2017 undrafted free agent Alek Torgersen to their practice squad.
  • Similarly, the Giants attempted to claim offensive tackle Zach Banner off waivers from the Colts, but lost out to the Browns, reports Dan Duggan of NJ.com (Twitter link). Currently, New York boasts Chad Wheeler and D.J. Fluker as tackle depth, while guard Justin Pugh can also move outside. Banner, who stands a gargantuan 6’9″, 350 pounds, was a fourth-round selection in this year’s draft.
  • After acquiring Ross Cockrell from the Steelers in exchange for a conditional 2018 pick over the weekend, the Giants have now reduced the cornerback’s pay from $1.797MM to $1.1MM, tweets cap guru Ian Whetstone. Cockrell will now earn a base salary of $1MM, while that extra $1MM is available via bonuses, per James Kratch of NJ.com. A restricted free agent during the spring, Cockrell was tendered at the original round level by Pittsburgh, but RFA salaries aren’t guaranteed. Cockrell is expected to serve as depth for a stacked New York secondary that includes Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Eagles Extend Chance Warmack

The Eagles signed Chance Warmack in March but have seen enough from the veteran lineman to extend the arrangement past 2017.

Warmack signed a one-year extension through 2018 on Saturday, the team announced. The fifth-year player figures to join Stefen Wisniewski as experienced depth on Philly’s front.

A former Titans first-round pick, Warmack signed a one-year, $1.51MM deal with the Eagles at free agency’s outset. He did so after suffering a hand injury that shelved him for all but two games in 2016. The former well-regarded Alabama prospect’s Eagles agreement profiled as a value-re-establishing pact, but it looks like both sides have enjoyed the arrangement they’ll see fit to continue it.

Although Isaac Seumalo may well open the season as the Eagles’ starting left guard, Warmack profiles as quality insurance and an option in case the second-year player falters. Warmack has started in each of the 48 games he’s played.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Romo, Baker, Jeffery, Eagles

Tony Romo was “never being waived” by the Cowboys, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). We presume the source means “cut” rather than “waived” since vested veterans cannot be waived in the offseason. Word on Wednesday was that the Cowboys would release Romo, allowing him to sign with another club. Then, on Thursday, it was reported that the Cowboys were expecting to trade the quarterback to the Broncos or Texans. For now, things remain in a holding pattern for Romo.

Here’s more from around the league on Day 1 of official free agency.

  • The Redskins did not end up making an offer to Chris Baker, who agreed to a deal with the Buccaneers, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets. Baker joined DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as higher-end free agents who left Washington this week.
  • Alshon Jeffery looks to be a believer in Carson Wentz. The sixth-year wideout turned out a turned down a multiyear deal with greater security from the Vikings to sign with the Eagles, Ian Rapoport tweets.
  • Torrey Smith‘s Eagles deal is for one year and $5MM, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports (on Twitter), adding that the contract contains two option years. Both option years are worth $5MM apiece. Smith will collect a $500K bonus from what will be his third NFL employer.
  • Chance Warmack signed with the Eagles for one year and $1.51MM, per Pelissero (on Twitter). This looks like a value-re-establishing season for the former Titans first-rounder, who will receive a $500K signing bonus.
  • The SeahawksLuke Joeckel deal is for one year and up to $8MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The guaranteed money here isn’t known yet, but Joeckel could do well for himself after seeing seeing the Jaguars pass on his 2017 option in 2016 and then going on IR.
  • New Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall said four teams were on his top tier in terms of giving him the best chance to win: the Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Seahawks, per Art Stapleton of The Record (on Twitter). Marshall has never made the playoffs in 11 seasons. The Giants made their first playoff berth in five years in 2016.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

Eagles To Sign G Chance Warmack

The Eagles have agreed to a one-year deal with guard Chance Warmack, Peter Schrager of FOX Sports tweets.

Chance WarmackThe former first-round pick has played the past four seasons with the Titans. After missing only two regular season games and starting 46 games over the first three years of his career, Warmack was limited to only two appearances in 2016. The lineman was ultimately forced to undergo surgery on an injured hand.

While Warmack didn’t earn high ranks from Pro Football Focus for his two games last season, his previous campaigns received some impressive grades. 2015 was a “down year” for the lineman based on the website’s metrics, but Warmack still would have ranked in the top-50 had that performance taken place in 2016.

Warmack will be joining a depth chart that already features guards Allen BarbreBrandon BrooksIsaac SeumaloMatt Tobin, and Josh Andrews.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT

Quarterback:

  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

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AFC South Rumors: Jaguars, Texans, Titans

Former Jaguars defensive lineman Jared Odrick has filed a $5.5MM grievance against the club as a result of Jacksonville voiding his guarantees while claiming Odrick didn’t undergo the proper treatment during rehab, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). Odrick was released by the Jaguars in late February after two seasons with the team. Per Pelissero, the issue of Jacksonville forcing players to complete rehab at the Jags’ facility has been resolved.

Here’s more from the AFC South:

  • Mutual interest exists between the Texans and free agent tight end Ryan Griffin, but no deal is imminent and Griffin is expected to use free agency to gauge his value, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. It’s unclear at present whether Griffin will be able to slide into the $4-5MM per year range, but other clubs are likely to be interested in the 27-year-old. In 2016, Griffin posted 50 receptions for 442 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games (two starts).
  • The Titans will let former first-round picks Kendall Wright and Chance Warmack walk in free agency, per Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Wright admitted earlier this year that he was ready to leave Tennessee, where he’s managed only 65 receptions over the past two years. On the other end of the spectrum, the Titans do want to retain veteran tight end Anthony Fasano, and “some level of conversation” is occurring between the two parties, according to Kuharsky.
  • In case you missed it, the Colts won’t be re-signing veteran safety Mike Adams, who’d spent the past three years in Indianapolis.

Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

[UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST EDITION OF THE TOP 2017 NFL FREE AGENTS BY POSITION]

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Mike Glennon
  3. Nick Foles
  4. Brian Hoyer
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  6. Case Keenum
  7. Matt McGloin
  8. Mark Sanchez
  9. Geno Smith
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Josh McCown
  12. Christian Ponder
  13. Blaine Gabbert
  14. Matt Schaub
  15. Ryan Nassib

Honorable mention: Shaun Hill

As of this writing, Kirk Cousins is far and away the best potential free agent quarterback in this year’s crop. By the time March gets here, we’re fully expecting Cousins to be spoken for. Ultimately, the Redskins could franchise tag him, work out a long-term deal with him, or swing some type of trade that nets them a massive haul of talent and picks. That will leave a crop of retread quarterbacks that would probably best serve as transitional options for QB-needy teams. Kirk Cousins

Mike Glennon hasn’t done much in his 18 career starts, but talent evaluators are still in love with his size and potential. The 6’7″ quarterback will get more money this spring than you might expect, particularly since there are no surefire QBs in this year’s draft.

Teams looking for stopgap QBs will find a plethora of experienced, though perhaps uninspiring, signal callers. Nick Foles, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all have their best football behind them, but they could hold down the fort for a team in 2017 and maybe even find some success if the defense is strong enough. Of course, the ideal role for those guys would probably be as a backup to a better, younger quarterback.

Running back:

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Eddie Lacy
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Darren McFadden
  6. Jacquizz Rodgers
  7. Rashad Jennings
  8. Danny Woodhead
  9. Rex Burkhead
  10. Tim Hightower
  11. DeAngelo Williams
  12. Andre Ellington
  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Christine Michael
  15. Robert Turbin

Consider Le’Veon Bell‘s name written in Etch-A-Sketch, because he is very unlikely to get near the open market. That could leave Eddie Lacy as the best tailback available in March. Lacy has struggled with weight issues in recent years and he lost much of the 2016 season to injury. Still, he is a bruising back that could nicely complement a quicker ball carrier. Before he was shut down for the year, Lacy was averaging 5.07 yards per carry in five games for Green Bay.

LeGarrette Blount (vertical)In the last two years, LeGarrette Blount seems to have put his off-the-field troubles behind him. Whether that’s a sign of his maturity or a product of the Patriots’ culture remains to be seen. Teams can ignore his past indiscretions, but they will be wary of his age. Blount turns 31 in December.

Latavius Murray has shown glimpses of being a special running back, but he has been inconsistent and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average of the last two years isn’t overly impressive. Darren McFadden ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2015, but 2016 was pretty much a lost year for him. Jacquizz Rodgers seemed to break out last year, but he wound up succumbing to the same injury bug that took down a host of other Buccaneers running backs. Speaking of injuries, Rashad Jennings was initially brought to the Giants to be a workhorse back, but two of his three years in New York were marred by ailments. Everyone in this tier has the potential to make a difference, but none should be counted on as anyone’s main guy in 2017.

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Titans Place G Chance Warmack On IR

The Titans announced that guard Chance Warmack is going on IR. Warmack will have surgery to repair his injured hand, though the team says that he could have played through the injury if he wanted to. Chance Warmack

Warmack could theoretically return in eight weeks, but coach Mike Mularkey indicated that this will be a season-ending procedure. Warmack is in a contract year and appears to be protecting his long-term value by having the surgery done now.

In May, the Titans declined to exercise Warmack’s 2017 option. Warmack, 25, has been the Titans’ full-time right guard since being selected 10th overall in the 2013 draft, starting 46 of a possible 48 games from 2013 through 2015. The Alabama alum was solid but not spectacular in that role, ranking 40th out of 81 qualified guards in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades.

Without Warmack, the Titans will turn to Josh Kline and Brian Schwenke at the right guard position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Decline Chance Warmack’s 2017 Option

The Titans will not exercise their fifth-year option on offensive lineman Chance Warmack‘s rookie contract, the team announced today (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com). The move will ensure that Warmack is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017, barring an extension with Tennessee.Chance Warmack

[RELATED: 2017 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

“We have decided to decline the fifth-year option for G Chance Warmack,” GM Jon Robinson said in a statement (Twitter link). “At this point and time for our football team, as we manage the roster and salary cap, we believe this is in the best interest of our team. We talked to Chance and his representation this morning to inform them of our decision. We expect Chance to play well for us this year; and we are not closing the door on his long-term future with our franchise.”

Warmack, 24, has been the Titans’ full-time right guard since being selected 10th overall in the 2013 draft, starting 46 of a possible 48 games over the last three seasons. The Alabama alum has been solid but not spectacular in that role, ranking 40th out of 81 qualified guards in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades.

Even if Warmack had played consistently well during his first three years, it would have been a tough pill to swallow for the Titans to exercise his fifth-year option. As a top-10 pick, Warmack would have been in line for a higher salary than players picked between 11th and 32nd. And because offensive linemen aren’t split up by position, his projected 2017 salary ($11.902MM) would have been the same as the salary for tackles like Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. Currently, only one guard – Kelechi Osemele – earns more than $8MM per year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.