Chris Hairston (OL)

Contract Details: P. Robinson, Robertson, Cook

Listed below are some specific details on several of the latest contracts recently agreed upon or signed by NFL free agents. All links courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.


  • Patrick Robinson, CB (Colts): Three years, $14MM. $6MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2MM roster bonus due this Tuesday. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year — becomes fully guaranteed if on roster beyond this Friday (all Twitter links).
  • Chris Hairston, OL (Chargers): Two years, $2.9MM. $550K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Thompson, DT (Bengals): One year, $840K. $50K signing bonus. $30K workout bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Leonard Hankerson, WR (Bills): One year, minimum salary benefit. $40K workout bonus. $40K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).
  • Steven Johnson, LB (Steelers): One year, minimum salary benefit. $25K signing bonus. $55K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).


  • Craig Robertson, LB (Saints): Three years, $5MM. $1.965MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $250K roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $275K due on fifth day of 2018 league year. Up to $1.5MM in annual incentives (Twitter links).
  • Jared Cook, TE (Packers): One year, $2.75MM. Up to $900K in incentives for catches, TDs, and Pro Bowl (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Courtney Upshaw, OLB (Falcons): One year, $1.25MM. $390K signing bonus. $100K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $250K in incentives for playing time and playoffs (Twitter links).
  • Mike Morgan, LB (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Jamarca Sanford, S (Saints): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus. $130K of $885K salary is guaranteed (Twitter link).

Chargers, Chris Hairston Agree To Deal

The Chargers have agreed to bring back free agent offensive lineman Chris Hairston, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who reports that the two sides have struck a new two-year deal.Chris Hairston

Hairston, who turns 27 in April, was one of the few San Diego offensive linemen who didn’t miss time due to injuries during the 2015 season, despite getting pretty banged up over the course of the year. Originally expected to be the team’s swing tackle, Hairston ultimately played nearly 800 offensive snaps for the Chargers, seeing playing time at guard and tackle on both the left and right sides of the line.

Pro Football Focus, which grouped Hairston with the offensive tackles, ranked him 65th out of 77 qualified players at the position. Despite his unspectacular grades as a run- and pass-blocker, Hairston should be a valuable depth piece for the Chargers in 2016, given his versatility, though he’ll likely enter camp as a backup once again.

Hairston is the second offensive tackle to re-sign with the Chargers this month — starting tackle Joe Barksdale inked a new four-year contract with the club. The team has also re-signed backup quarterback Kellen Clemens and veteran tight end Antonio Gates, and added wide receiver Travis Benjamin to the offense.

On the other side of the ball, the Chargers have signed defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, safety Dwight Lowery, and cornerback Casey Hayward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Visits: McLendon, Coples, Hairston

Free agent nose tackle Steve McLendon is taking a visit today with the Jets, reports Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), citing agent Richard Kopelman of KLASS Sports. New York has a hole at the nose tackle position after Damon Harrison signed a five-year deal with the Giants, and while McLendon could be a nice fit, the Jets don’t have a ton of cap flexibility, so we’ll see if they can make something work.

The Steelers, meanwhile, still have interest in retaining McLendon, who has spent his entire six-year career in Pittsburgh. However, the veteran defensive lineman wants to test the market, tweets Jeremy Fowler of

Here’s more on free agents around the NFL:

  • The Rams are hosting Quinton Coples on a visit today, tweets Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). The Rams’ defensive line has been one of the NFL’s best for the last few years, but with Chris Long and Nick Fairley no longer under contract, the team could use some help up front to complement Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, and William Hayes.
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported over the weekend that offensive lineman Chris Hairston is scheduled to meet with the Steelers later in the week. However, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says (via Twitter) that the team doesn’t currently have a meeting set up with Hairston. It’s not clear whether the visit isn’t happening at all, or whether it still needs to be formally scheduled.
  • Free agent defensive tackle Brandon Thompson is visiting the Seahawks today, according to Jeremy Fowler of (via Twitter). Thompson has been a solid reserve for the Bengals so far in his career, but suffered a torn ACL in January, so he’s unlikely to be healthy for a few more months.

Sunday Roundup: Okung, Lions, RGIII

Let’s take a look at some notes from around the league as the second wave of free agency starts to heat up:

  • After meeting with Russell Okung today, the Steelers are scheduled to meet with free agent tackles Ryan Harris and Chris Hairston later this week, per a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter (we had already heard about the Harris meeting, but the Hairston visit is a new development). Pittsburgh has a void at left tackle that it is seeking to fill, as Kelvin Beachum, who missed most of the 2015 campaign with a torn ACL, looks ready to sign elsewhere.
  • The Lions have already had a visit with Okung, and while all reports seem to indicate that it was a positive meeting, Detroit remains in a holding pattern with the talented but oft-injured tackle. As Kyle Meinke of writes, Detroit may have no other choice but to make a big-time offer for Okung, despite the risks, as the offensive line is in serious need of an upgrade and Okung is far and away the best talent still on the market.
  • Darius Slay and Sam Martin are two members of the Lions‘ terrific 2013 draft class that could sign extensions with the club in the coming months, and as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes, Theo Riddick is also open to an extension that would keep him in Detroit for the foreseeable future. No contract talks have taken place yet, but Riddick, who led all running backs with 80 receptions in 2015, could have a bigger role in the running game in 2016, and he could get a nice payday as a result.
  • Birkett writes in a separate piece that new Lions GM Bob Quinn has done a nice job of patching holes on his team’s roster while steering clear of overpaying for mediocre talent, a common pitfall for first-time GMs. But Birkett also observes that the Lions are no better right now than they were last year, and Quinn will have to prove that his eye for young talent in the draft matches matches his prudence in free agency.
  • Former NFL agent Joel Corry does not believe that the Jets have serious interest in Robert Griffin III, and he believes the team’s “pursuit” of RGIII is simply a leverage play staged for Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s benefit. If the team were to sign Griffin, Corry believes it would be a modest, one-year pact worth between $4MM-$5MM (Twitter link).
  • Free agent safety Rashad Johnson was set to meet with the Titans on Friday, but per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, that visit has been pushed back to tomorrow (Twitter link).
  • The Raiders appear to be trending upwards, and they have suddenly transformed from a last resort to a desired destination, as Jerry McDonald of writes. Although the team lost out on Malik Jackson, who ultimately signed with the Jaguars, Oakland landed three major free agents–Kelechi Osemele, Bruce Irvin, and Sean Smith–just one year after being spurned by a number of its top free agent targets. As GM Reggie McKenzie said, “It’s good to see people call us and not always have to beg.” McDonald adds that McKenzie is not done spending–the team still has considerable cap space, after all–and the club’s free agent haul, combined with its talented young core, could propel the Raiders back to the playoffs in 2016.

Extra Points: Pats, Julio, Fluker, Cooper

The DeflateGate scandal reentered the news Thursday when Mark Baltz, the NFL’s head linesman from 1989-2013, voiced his suspicion regarding recently reinstated Patriots employee Jim McNally. In response, Jim Daopoulos – the league’s ex-supervisor of officials and one of Baltz’s former bosses – defended McNally.

“In all my years working with locker-room attendants, Jim McNally, without a doubt, is probably one of the most professional of all the locker-room attendants in the National Football League,” Daopoulos said, according to “And that can be attested by all the officials working in the National Football League.”

“I really don’t know what Mark’s agenda is right here,” Daopoulos added.

Other news from around the league:

  • Although Falcons star receiver Julio Jones has been limited this week with a hamstring injury, head coach Dan Quinn says there’s “zero” chance he’ll miss their game Sunday, per The Associated Press. Jones lit up the Eagles for nine catches, 141 yards and two touchdowns in Monday’s win. He’ll look to do something similar against the Giants this week.
  • Chargers guard D.J. Fluker was carted off the field with an ankle injury during the team’s Week 1 win over Detroit, and there was concern that he’d miss anywhere from four to six weeks. Instead, Fluker will only miss a couple weeks, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. In the meantime, Chris Hairston will take his spot as the starting right guard.
  • Raiders receiver Amari Cooper harbors no ill will toward Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, who avoided a suspension after ripping Cooper’s helmet off his head and slamming his head against the ground in Cincy’s win last week. “I didn’t want him to get suspended,” Cooper said, per Scott Bair of “He was just playing football and playing physical like you’re supposed to. I’m past all that now. I’m trying to focus on the Ravens.” (Twitter links: 1; 2).
  • Seahawks rookie defensive end Frank Clark is a situation player – for now, anyway – and using Richard Sherman in the slot enables the team to get its three best cornerbacks on the field, D-coordinator Kris Richard said (Twitter link via The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta).
  • The Colts’ decision to waive/injured running back Vick Ballard prior to Week 1 remains a curious one, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. They did it to open up a spot for inside linebacker Josh McNary, but they have a logjam of ILBs. On the other hand, they’re lacking at running back behind starter Frank Gore.

AFC Notes: S. Brown, Texans, Pats, Titans

Free agent safety Stevie Brown, who is said to be close to deciding on where to sign, visited the Texans yesterday, tweets Ian Rapoport of Houston already signed one free agent safety this offseason, adding Rahim Moore, so we’ll see if the club makes a play for Brown, who may prefer the Giants if everything is equal.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Georgia running back Todd Gurley is in New England today to meet with the Patriots, reports Field Yates of (via Twitter). Gurley is widely considered a strong bet to come off the board in the first round, so he may not last until the Pats’ pick at the very end of the first.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk doesn’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that the Titans would draft a wide receiver with the second overall pick next Thursday.
  • The Broncos are hosting Florida offensive lineman D.J. Humphries and Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips on pre-draft visits today, writes Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
  • Offensive lineman Chris Hairston got a $25K bonus on his new minimum salary deal with the Chargers, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • Taiwan Jones, who started his career with the Raiders as a running back before moving to cornerback in 2013, will return to running back this year, according to Oakland’s official site. Whether he’s listed on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, Jones contributes primarily as a special teamer.
  • Intriguing Hobart guard Ali Marpet is visiting the Browns today, per Jeremy Fowler of

Chargers To Sign Chris Hairston

4:05pm: Hairston’s deal with the Chargers is a one-year contract, reports Eric Williams of ESPN (via Twitter). Hairston will be able to earn up to $1.235MM in 2015.

2:29pm: The Chargers have signed Chris Hairston to add depth to their offensive line. Hairston announced the move on his Instagram account.

The team likely values his versatility, as Hairston played both guard and tackle for the Bills, and projects as a swing tackle in San Diego. He played for Chargers offensive line coach Joe D’Allesandris in Buffalo, notes Michael Gehlken of the U-T San Diego (via Twitter).

Gehlken expects Hairston to be the primary backup for multiple positions along the offensive line. Hairston hadn’t played significant snaps since 2012, but held his own when he was able to see the field for the Bills that year, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

West Notes: McDonald, Thomas, Mays

Multiple teams are interested in former 49ers starting defensive lineman Ray McDonald, according to’s Eric Branch. The 49ers released McDonald, who played eight seasons in San Francisco with the last four coming as a starter, last December after his arrest for suspicion of felony domestic violence.

The 30-year-old McDonald’s pursuit of a career elsewhere will probably have to wait until his case is resolved, agent Tom Condon told Branch.

In other news across the league’s Western divisions …

  • The latest surprising setback to the 49ers’ linebacking corps comes from an offseason injury, not retirement. Backup outside linebacker Chase Thomas showed up at Stanford’s pro day limping after tearing his ACL at an offseason workout at the university, Branch reports. The Stanford alum played five games with the 49ers last year, oscillating between the practice squad and the 53-man roster. According to Bay Area News Group’s Cam Inman, Thomas will be the ninth 49er forced to recover from an ACL tear this offseason, joining notable names NaVorro Bowman, who missed all of last season after suffering his tear in the 2013 NFC championship game, Darnell Dockett and running back Kendall Hunter.
  • Journeyman linebacker Joe Mays will visit the Chargers, Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez notes on Twitter. Mays spent the 2014 season in the Chiefs‘ 3-4 defense after previously suiting up for the Eagles and Broncos. The 5-foot-11 inside linebacker who’s three months away from 30 missed half of last year due to wrist surgery.
  • Former Bills starting tackle Chris Hairston is also visiting the Chargers today, ESPN’s John Keim said (via Twitter). A fourth-round pick in 2011, Hairston started 15 games his first two seasons and played in 16 last year as a reserve.

AFC Notes: Revis, Cole, Knighton, Bills

As the clock continues ticking toward the start of NFL free agency on March 10, a resolution between the Patriots and star cornerback Darrelle Revis draws nearer. Although Revis is signed through next season, his cap number is an unpalatable $25MM. Both that and Revis’ $20MM salary become guaranteed Tuesday if the Patriots don’t take action by then, which – worst-case scenario – would mean releasing the six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

The two sides are expected to engage in negotiations for a long-term contract before the deadline, but a source informed Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that those discussions haven’t yet begun. Revis and his camp will enter negotiations cognizant of what he’d receive as a free agent on the open market, Florio opined, also speculating that the 29-year-old might take less on a long-term deal to remain with the reigning Super Bowl champions. Per Florio, Revis “wouldn’t like it” if New England were to keep him in 2015 on his current contract, but he’d forgo a holdout, suit up for the Pats and become a free agent in 2016.

Elsewhere around the AFC. . .

  • Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reports that free agent pass rusher Trent Cole will visit with a pair of AFC teams in the coming days, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. On the heels of meeting with the Buccaneers on Friday, the 32-year-old will powwow with the Browns on Sunday and the Colts on Monday. The Eagles released Cole on Wednesday after he spent the first 10 years of his career with them. Cole finished 2014 with 6.5 sacks, giving him 85.5 for his career, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him a respectable 19th out of 46 qualifying 3-4 outside linebackers.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes there are “growing indications” that Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton will be in another uniform next season. The free agent-to-be could end up with a deal worth anywhere from $7MM to $10MM annually, per Renck, and that might be out of Denver’s price range. The six-year veteran was an integral part of a Broncos team that had the league’s second-best run defense in 2014, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Knighton 12th among 81 qualifying D-tackles last season.
  • In lesser news, ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweeted Friday that the Bills will not tender an offer to restricted free agent Chris Hairston. The four-year veteran offensive tackle dressed for all 16 Bills games last season and has 15 career starts, though none since 2012.

AFC East Notes: Bradham, McDaniels, Dolphins

As two teams from the AFC East – the Bills and the Jets – continue to hunt for a new head coach, let’s check in on a few unrelated items from out of the division….

  • The Bills are interested in extending the contract of linebacker Nigel Bradham, who is coming off a breakout season, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. Bradham, who established new career highs with 104 tackles, a pair of forced fumbles, and seven passes defended, is eligible for an extension on his rookie deal for the first time this offseason.
  • Asked in his weekly conference call about his discussions last week with the Falcons and 49ers for their head coaching vacancies, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said those meetings were “fine,” as Mike Reiss of details. “I just had an initial meeting with them and it hasn’t really gone any further in either direction,” McDaniels said. “So, again, I’m back to focusing on the next task at hand for us, which is the Ravens. I’m sure they’ll do what they need to do on their end. I’m sure those things will take care of themselves in the future.”
  • Because he spent the 2013 season on the reserve/non-football injury list, Bills offensive lineman Chris Hairston finishes his rookie contract this winter eligible for restricted free agency rather than unrestricted free agency, per Mike Rodak of (via Twitter). As Rodak points out, linebacker Kiko Alonso will be in the same situation a year from now.
  • Given the lack of star head coaches available this winter, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald can understand why Dolphins owner Stephen Ross elected to retain Joe Philbin for the 2015 season.