Chris Conte

NFC Notes: Panthers, Seahawks, Packers

Eric Reid‘s one-year deal with the Panthers has a base value of $1MM, but he can earn an additional $900K via other means, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Reid could collect the extra cash via playtime incentives, Pro Bowl incentives, or per-game roster bonuses. Carolina needed extra defensive backs after recently losing Da’Norris Searcy, and Reid should immediately step into the club’s starting lineup opposite Mike Adams. Reid, of course, has protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, but that issue reportedly didn’t come up during his meeting with the Panthers.

Here’s more on Reid and the rest of the NFC:

  • The 49ers reportedly offered Reid a contract before he signed with the Panthers, and they weren’t the only NFC West club to do so. The Seahawks also discussed a deal with Reid, per Jim Trotter of NFL.com (Twitter link), and were the first team to offer Reid a pact. Seattle negotiated with Reid while fellow safety Earl Thomas was holding out, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports (via Twitter) the offer was pulled after Thomas reported. Per Condotta, Seattle and Reid couldn’t agree on a salary.
  • Doug Baldwin returned to Seahawks practice on Wednesday for the first time since going down with an MCL injury in the club’s Week 1 game, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Baldwin hasn’t yet been given clearance to play in Week 4, he says he’s “chomping at the bit” to return to action, tweets Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR. Baldwin’s return would be an obvious boon to a Seattle offense that has given more snaps to Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown.
  • Buccaneers safety Chris Conte was the victim of a vicious stiff arm from Steelers tight end Vance McDonald on Monday night, but the veteran defensive back was actually playing through a torn PCL, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Conte was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, but given that his recovery timeline is just six weeks, it’s conceivable he could return later this season. Tampa Bay will rely on fourth-round rookie Jordan Whitehead at safety for the time being.
  • Cornerback Bashaud Breeland originally inked a three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers this offseason, but after a freak injury resulted in a failed physical, the veteran defensive back was forced to take quite a pay cut on his one-year deal with the Packers. Breeland signed a minimum salary benefit pact, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes, so he’ll collect a base salary of $790K plus a $90K bonus. However, under the rules of the MSB, Breeland will only count against Green Bay’s salary cap at the rate of a second-year player ($630K).

Buccaneers Place Chris Conte On IR

The Buccaneers have placed strong safety Chris Conte on injured reserve. Conte was forced to exit Monday night’s game against the Steelers with a knee injury, and it wound up being a serious issue. 

Conte has been a starter for the bulk of his career and has been a fixture in the Bucs’ secondary for the last four seasons. Last year, he played in all 16 games last year, starting 14. He didn’t set the world on fire as he was ranked No. 57 at his position by PFF, but the Bucs saw him as a serviceable player and brought him back on a low-cost $2.375MM option.

Conte was posterized by Steelers tight end Vance McDonald on Monday night, but the brutal stiff arm proved to be the least of his problems. Meanwhile, the Bucs will have to draw from a reserve safety group that includes fourth-round rookie Jordan Whitehead and former UDFA Isaiah Johnson.

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Bucs Exercise Options For Dotson, Conte

The Buccaneers will pick up the one-year option for 2018 on the contracts for tackle Demar Dotson, safety Chris Conte, and defensive back Josh Robinson, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). 

Dotson played nearly every offensive snap (97.1%) for Tampa last year until he was placed on IR in late November. He had a tremendous year, grading out as the league’s No. 7 ranked tackle, per Pro Football Focus. A former undrafted free agent, Dotson has been with the Bucs since the 2009 season but didn’t become a starter until 2012. He has come on strong in recent years and he’s well worth the $4.6MM cap hit for Tampa Bay. The team also has him under control for 2019 when he is slated to carry a $4.85MM cap hit.

Conte played in all 16 games last year, starting 14. He didn’t set the world on fire as he was ranked No. 57 at his position by PFF, but his option also wasn’t pricey. The Bucs will pay $125K to keep him on board to go along with his $2.25MM base, giving him a total of $2.375MM for the coming year.

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Bucs To Meet With J.J. Wilcox

The Buccaneers have scheduled a visit with free agent safety J.J. Wilcox, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.J.J. Wilcox (Vertical)

Wilcox appeared in 13 games last year as the Cowboys’ third safety behind Church and Byron Jones, but given that Dallas is reportedly bracing to lose many of its internal free agents, Wilcox appeared to be a goner. But with Church out of the picture, the Cowboys may push harder to re-sign Wilcox, as the club might not be comfortable starting special-teamer Jeff Heath in the back end.

Safety is a definite need area for the Buccaneers. Chris Conte has been re-signed, but Bradley McDougald is a pending free agent. Keith Tandy figures to take at least one of Tampa Bay’s starting safety jobs after playing well down the stretch in 2016, but the club could use another defensive back. Wilcox ranks 12th on PFR’s list of free agent safeties.

Conte’s deal, meanwhile, is a two-year, $5MM pact with $2.5MM guaranteed, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The max value is $7MM.

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Buccaneers Re-Sign S Chris Conte

The Bucs are re-signing safety Chris Conte to new extension, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.Chris Conte (Vertical)

[I’m] Excited to be a part of what we’ve got building,” Conte told Auman.

Last year, Conte re-upped with the Bucs on a one-year, $3MM deal, his second consecutive one-year pact. This time around, he’ll get to take his coat off and stay a while.

In 2016, Conte had 64 total tackles and two interceptions. The advanced metrics weren’t crazy about him, however. He ranked as the No. 88 safety out of 89 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus. His career-low 42.0 overall score was weighed down by dreadful marks for run defense and by only slightly less dreadful marks for coverage and pass rush. In his previous two years with Tampa, he earned scores of 64.6 and 75.3.

Despite Conte’s re-signing, the Buccaneers are likely still in the market for safety help. Keith Tandy is projected to start at one spot after playing well down the stretch in 2016, but Tampa Bay needs to acquire another solid defensive back. They’ve been linked to free agent J.J. Wilcox, who reportedly has mutual interest in coming to town.

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Contract Details: Weddle, Sensabaugh, Hayward

Listed below are several of the latest contract details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless other indicated.

AFC:

  • Eric Weddle, S (Ravens): Four years, $26MM. $13MM guaranteed ($9MM fully guaranteed). $7MM signing bonus. $1MM roster bonus due on April 4. $4MM base salary guaranteed for injury at signing; becomes fully guaranteed if on the roster on the fifth day of the 2017 league year. $1MM annual Pro Bowl incentives from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Casey Hayward, CB (Chargers): Three years, $15.3MM. $6.8MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus. $3.3MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonuses due on third day of 2017, 2018 league years (Twitter links).
  • Chris Hogan, WR (Patriots): Three years, $12MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus paid on March 14. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Mackenzy Bernadeau, OL (Jaguars): Two years, $3MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K option bonus to be exercised 22 days before first day of 2017 league year (Twitter links).

NFC:

  • Coty Sensabaugh, CB (Rams): Three years, up to $19MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonus due third day of 2017 league year (becomes fully guaranteed this Friday). $1.5MM annually incentives for playing time, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and playoffs (all Twitter links).
  • J’Marcus Webb, G/T (Seahawks): Two years, $6MM. $2.45MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Zach Miller, TE (Bears): Two years, $5.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $500K roster bonus due on March 18. $500K in annual per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in annual incentives for playing time, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns (Twitter links).
  • Chris Conte, S (Buccaneers): One year, $3MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus due on March 17. Up to $1MM in incentives for playing time, stats, and playoffs (Twitter link).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): One year, $2MM. $500K roster bonus due on March 18 (Twitter link).
  • Sealver Siliga, DT (Seahawks): One year, $1.05MM. $200K signing bonus. $50K Week 1 active roster bonus. Up to $350K in incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Bradley Sowell, T (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Dan Orlovsky, QB (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $160K guaranteed. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Red Bryant, DL (Cardinals): One year, minimum salary benefit. $55K Week 1 roster bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).

Buccaneers, Chris Conte Agree To Terms

The Buccaneers have agreed to re-sign safety Chris Conte, according to Gil Arcia of TheBayCave.com (Twitter link). Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 and Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter links) have since confirmed the deal. It’ll be a one-year pact, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).Chris Conte (Vertical)

Conte, 27, joined Tampa Bay last offseason, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.5MM that reunited him with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Smith, of course, was fired earlier this year and replaced by offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, but Conte still has ties with the Buccaneers staff, as new Tampa secondary coach Jim Hoke coached Conte in Chicago.

In his first season with the Bucs, Conte started 13 games, and played the second-most snaps of any Tampa defensive back. He posted 59 tackles, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles, and graded as the No. 32 safety per Pro Football Focus before suffering a knee injury in Week 15 that ultimately landed him on injured reserve.

Conte earned an honorable mention on PFR’s list of the best free agent safeties.

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NFC FA Rumors: Vikings, Cowboys, Long, Conte

Andre Smith is expected to visit the Vikings on Sunday, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. The 38th-ranked player in PFR’s top 50 free agents list, Smith’s market has been slower to materialize than Mitchell Schwartz, the other top right tackle in this year’s class. The veteran right-edge player rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 58 tackle last season and doesn’t have much left tackle experience.

The Vikings restructured the recently injury-prone Phil Loadholt‘s contract earlier this week, seemingly clearing up some of their uncertainty up front. But Loadholt’s sustained two season-ending injuries over the past two seasons and has just one year left on his contract, so it makes sense that Minnesota would have interest in adding some insurance.

Here’s more on free agents from around the NFC:

  • Chris Long‘s previously-reported visit with the Cowboys is now expected to happen next week, writes David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. According to Moore, no firm date has been set yet, but Dallas has interest in the veteran defensive end.
  • It’s a three-team race for free agent safety Chris Conte, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network, who tweets that the Buccaneers, Saints, and Giants are in the hunt. Having played for the Bucs last season, it sounds like Conte is drawing interest from his former team even though Lovie Smith is no longer the head coach — the safety played under Smith in Chicago as well.
  • The Vikings aren’t looking to bring back linebacker Jason Trusnik, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (on Twitter). A 32-year-old edge player, Trusnik played in eight games for the Vikings last season and in order to continue his nine-year career, Trusnik, who started six games for the Dolphins in 2014, will have to search for a fifth NFL destination.
  • Linebacker Terence Garvin will visit Washington, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. The Steelers backup sat behind the myriad ex-first-rounders in Pittsburgh, starting one game in three seasons. Garvin totaled 21 special teams tackles during his time with the Steelers. Washington recently lost Keenan Robinson to the Giants, creating a need for additional cogs on its second level.
  • Previously reported to have visited Washington, Andre Branch has additional meetings lined up and won’t make his decision yet, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

FA Rumors: Nelson, Falcons, Giants, Conte

The latest free agent rumors as Wednesday draws closer:

  • The Falcons have expressed interest in Bengals safety Reggie Nelson, according to a source who spoke with Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Nelson hauled in a league-leading eight interceptions last season.
  • The Giants have expressed interest in Vikings free agent guard Mike Harris, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). Harris is currently mulling a two-year, $3.5MM offer from Minnesota.
  • Buccaneers safety Chris Conte is drawing interest from multiple teams, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Bucs want him back, but he’ll explore the market before making a commitment.
  • The Texans are holding discussions with cornerback A.J. Bouye about a potential new contract, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. The Texans can retain Bouye with a low tender of $1.671MM, but it sounds like they might work out a one-year deal at a lower rate instead. The 24-year-old entered the league in 2013 as a UDFA out of UCF.
  • Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) believes that free agent tight end Rob Housler will ultimately wind up back with the Bears.

Bucs Interested In Re-Signing Chris Conte

The Buccaneers will meet with the agent for upcoming free agent safety Chris Conte at the scouting combine this week, according to Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report. Conte will hit free agency on March 9 if no deal is reached.

[RELATED: PFR previews the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason]Chris Conte (Vertical)

Conte, who turns 27 years old on Tuesday, joined Tampa Bay last offseason, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.5MM that reunited him with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Smith, of course, was fired earlier this year and replaced by offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, but as Reynolds notes, Conte still has ties with the Buccaneers staff, as new Tampa secondary coach Jim Hoke coached Conte in Chicago.

In his first season with the Bucs, Conte started 13 games, and played the second-most snaps of any Tampa defensive back. He posted 59 tackles, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles, and graded as the No. 32 safety per Pro Football Focus before suffering a knee injury in Week 15 that ultimately landed him on injured reserve.

Like Conte, many of Tampa Bay’s free agents play on the defensive side of the ball, as corner Sterling Moore, as well as defensive tackles Henry Melton and Tony McDaniel, are also projected to reach free agency. The club’s most high-profile free agent-to-be, however, is running back Doug Martin, who is said to be discussing a new deal with the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said earlier this month that his team was wary of spending big in free agency. So perhaps re-signing a competent player like Conte — who is unlikely to cost all that much — would be one way for the Buccaneers to reduce their need to enter the free agent market.

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