- Tyler Eifert, TE (Jaguars): Two years. Worth $9.5MM, including $3.25MM guaranteed. $2.25MM signing bonus. $1.25MM per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2020). Up to $1M per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2021, if options is exercised).
- Sheldon Day, DT (Colts): Signed. One-year, $1.75M deal, including $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus, $1MM salary (of which $500K is guaranteed). Up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses.
- Andrew Billings, DT (Browns): One year, $3.5MM. Fully guaranteed deal. Includes $2MM signing bonus.
- Anthony Levine, S (Ravens): Signed. One-year, $1.812MM deal, including $350K guaranteed. $137.6K signing bonus, $1.675MM salary (of which $212.5K is guaranteed).
- Chris Moore, WR (Ravens): Re-signed. One-year, $1.672MM deal, including $275K guaranteed. $137.5K signing bonus, $1.535MM salary (of which $137.5K is guaranteed).
- Nick Dzubnar, LB (Titans): Signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.
Here are today’s minor moves:
- Signed: LB LaRoy Reynolds
- Re-signed: WR Chris Moore
- Signed: WR Mike Thomas
- Signed: LB DeMarquis Gates (XFL)
New York Giants
- Signed: DB Dravon Askew-Henry (XFL)
New York Jets
- Re-signed: DB Bennett Jackson
Before the Texans dealt DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, the Patriots pursued the All-Pro wideout. So did the Eagles, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com said during an interview with Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic (Twitter link). The Eagles passed on going deep into talks, however, which makes sense given their commitments to Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Hopkins also wants a new deal in the $20MM-per-year range, in which Amari Cooper (zero All-Pro honors). The Eagles’ view of the much-hyped 2020 wide receiver class affected a potential Hopkins pursuit, Tim McManus of ESPN.com adds.
This impacted the Texans’ trade, with Albert Breer of SI.com adding that Hopkins wanted a raise instead of an extension. He is under contract through 2022 — on a $16.2MM-per-year deal that has dropped from first to eighth among wide receivers. Hopkins had also become a bit of a locker room issue in Houston, per Breer, who adds that the Texans may have been reluctant to reward the 27-year-old star because of the message it would have sent. This process came as a bit of a surprise to the Cardinals, whom Breer notes did not engage in Hopkins discussions with the Texans at the Combine.
Here is the latest from the wideout front, moving first to last week’s other big trade:
- Months before the Bills pulled the trigger on a Stefon Diggs trade, they were interested in doing so before last year’s deadline. The Bills called the Vikings on several occasions about Diggs’ availability last year, Breer reports, but Minnesota insisted on keeping him. The Bills reached out about an hour after an ominous Diggs tweet that emerged shortly after the Hopkins trade, Breer adds. Last year, the Vikings wanted either two first-rounders or first- and second-round picks for Diggs, but Breer notes they loosened their asking price when the Bills called last week. Although the Vikings mentioned the 2013 Percy Harvin trade — in which the Seahawks dealt first-, third- and seventh-rounders for the then-standout wideout — as a starting point, they ended up accepting a first-rounder and no Day 2 picks for Diggs.
- The Raiders are likely to use Nelson Agholor as their punt returner, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). While Agholor has only returned three punts in five NFL seasons, he was an accomplished return man at USC. He totaled four punt-return touchdowns between his sophomore and junior years with the Trojans. The Raiders traded for Trevor Davis to return punts last year but waived him later in 2019.
- Chris Moore‘s Ravens contract expired last week, but the team remains interested in keeping him. The Ravens have engaged in talks about re-signing the free agent wide receiver, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets. Although Moore is not a big factor in Baltimore’s passing game, he is valued as a special-teamer. A new deal would likely cost close to the league minimum.
Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce is doubtful to play in Monday Night’s game against the Rams with an ankle injury, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Peirce started Baltimore’s first nine games before going down. Veteran Domato Peko Sr. will replace Peirce in the lineup.
Also via Zrebiec, wide receiver Chris Moore, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, and offensive guard Ben Powers all remain questionable with injuries of their own. Stanley, who is dealing with an ankle issue of his own, is the only starter of the three, but he would be a substantial loss as the team’s starting right tackle. Moore has started one game this season and played sparingly, while Powers has yet to take the field.
Here’s more Saturday notes on the injury front around the NFL:
- Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson was added to the injury report as questionable with a shoulder injury, according to a team press release. The eight overall pick in this year’s draft practiced all week without any reported issues so the news comes as a surprise. Hockenson has split time at tight end this year with Jesse James, but represents a far superior pass-catching option for quarterback Jeff Driskel. Hockenson has made 26 receptions and recorded 349 yards, while James has only caught 8 of 15 targets and gained 64 yards.
- The Broncos signed cornerback Cyrus Jones last week and he was a healthy scratch against the Vikings. Even if the team wanted to activate him tomorrow, though, Jones has been ruled out with an illness, according to Aric DiLalla of Broncos.com. Jones was a second-round selection by the Patriots in 2016, but was released by New England earlier this season. He then jumped between the Ravens and Patriots practice squads before signing in Denver.
An Anthony Castonzo stay on the PUP list due to a midsummer hamstring tweak was among the Colts‘ late-offseason concerns, but that won’t end up taking place. The Colts did not end up placing their top left tackle on the PUP list, per Mike Chappell of CBS 4 (Twitter link). However, Chappell notes (via Twitter) Indianapolis did follow through with placing safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers on the PUP. Both were expected to land there, with Hooker (torn ACL, MCL in October) being a bit further away from a return.
Here’s the latest from the AFC on the final offseason Sunday for most teams.
- August extensions have been one of the Steelers‘ traditions over the years, and an unlikely candidate for a significant pay bump’s emerged. Chris Boswell joined the Steelers midway through the 2015 season, but his production last year (35-for-38 on field goals, four game-winning makes en route to the Pro Bowl) and contract-year status make him a prime preseason-extension candidate, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. The Steelers applied a second-round RFA tender (2.9MM) to Boswell this year, and Rutter believes it will take a guarantee in the $9MM-plus range to keep Boswell in Pittsburgh. Only two kickers — Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker — received eight-figure guarantees, with the Bears’ Cody Parkey guarantee sitting in third.
- Despite a light investment at linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier, don’t automatically look for the Steelers to deploy Terrell Edmunds as a hybrid safety just yet, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Kaboly expects the first-round pick to play in the William Gay role as a dime contributor as a rookie, with UFA linebacker add Jon Bostic or second-year man Tyler Matakevich replacing Shazier.
- In what is Breshad Perriman‘s last chance to make an impact with the Ravens, he may be on the outside looking in to make the team, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. In addition to being behind new additions Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, Zreibec notes the 2015 first-round pick is “certainly” trailing Chris Moore and Tim White as well. (Moore is a career backup, and White is a former UDFA who has yet to play in an NFL game.) Considering rookies Jaleel Scott (Round 4) and Jordan Lasley (Round 5) also may be ahead of Perriman, this is a bind for the one-time highly regarded prospect. Ravens officials, however, wonder how much different the Central Florida product’s career would be had he been able to be on the field during the team’s past training camps rather than missing most of those sessions due to injuries, per Zreibec. Perriman looked on the verge of a promising season after shining in the 2017 offseason program, but a hamstring tear put the kibosh on those hopes. Baltimore picked up an option bonus of $649K earlier this week, but that will merely buy the fourth-year pass-catcher this preseason to try and make one final impression.
- Phillip Lindsay now serves as a wild card in the Broncos‘ running back room. The Colorado product who blazed to a 4.39-second 40-yard dash clocking at his pro day received interest from several other teams before opting to stay in Denver, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Denver native’s $15K signing bonus marked the third-highest in John Elway‘s eight-year tenure at the helm. Klis writes Vance Joseph plans to evaluate the 5-foot-7 speedster for a Darren Sproles-type role as a third-down back and return man. The Broncos have struggled on returns since parting ways with Trindon Holliday after the 2013 season. Primary 2017 return man Isaiah McKenzie fumbled six times as a rookie. The Broncos added two rookies — third-rounder Royce Freeman and seventh-rounder David Williams — to a backfield mix that includes veterans Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson.
Both of the Browns‘ first-round picks have endured a fair amount of scrutiny, with Baker Mayfield making a borderline-unthinkable rise during the pre-draft process and Bradley Chubb remaining on the board after No. 4. The Browns’ issues in coverage last season prompted the Denzel Ward pick. So did a belief third-year edge defender Emmanuel Ogbah can be a quality Myles Garrett sidekick. DC Gregg Williams is seeing Ogbah, a 2016 second-rounder who suffered a broken foot last season, validate the Browns’ thought process thus far this offseason.
“I’m so excited to see how well (Ogbah’s) doing out here this year,” Williams said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “He’s night and day more relaxed and doing things more instinctively, not overthinking and not as afraid to make a mistake as he was last year because we moved him into a new position. Knock on wood, staying healthy, he’s going to really stand out this year.”
Here’s the latest from Cleveland and other AFC North cities.
- A new addition to the Browns’ defensive end room expected to be a member of Cleveland’s defensive end rotation behind Garrett and Ogbah, UFA signee Chris Smith will likely be used as an interior pass rusher. “He can play inside; he can play outside; he brings a lot of energy to the room,” Browns defensive line coach Clyde Simmons said, via Cabot. “He’s got a high motor and I think it’s going to be great competition.” Smith joins third-round pick Chad Thomas and previous Browns draftees Carl Nassib and Nate Orchard. Though, Smith is pretty much a roster lock since he signed a three-year, $14MM contract that would cost the Browns to shed this year. So, Nassib and Orchard could be vying for one spot.
- Other than Ryan Shazier, the Steelers have not possessed an open-and-shut case for exercising a fifth-year option in a while. They passed on Jarvis Jones‘ and picked up Bud Dupree‘s, doing so despite the 2015 first-rounder’s inconsistency. However, with Artie Burns‘ decision coming up in May, Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sees another difficult call coming. Burns has not established himself as a surefire member of the Steelers’ core but is expected to be a starter again opposite Joe Haden. This season figures to be pivotal for the Miami product’s future.
- The Ravens are moving Vince Mayle from tight end to wide receiver, Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun notes. This comes as Baltimore’s wideout room looks more crowded with possible roster cogs than it did last season. With Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown borderline locks for the 53-man unit, the Ravens will have some choices to make at preseason’s end. A 2015 Browns pick, Mayle played in 16 games with the 2017 Ravens. Third-year backup Chris Moore may not see much receiver time, per Lee, who adds fourth- and fifth-round rookies Jaleel Scott (New Mexico State) and Jordan Lasley (UCLA) aren’t locks to make the roster. Though, the Ravens will surely give them every opportunity to do so and it’s a fairly safe bet the rookies will be on the Week 1 roster. The Ravens’ wideouts averaged a league-low 8.9 yards per catch last season.
Mike Zimmer shed some light on Teddy Bridgewater‘s progress recently, revealing (via Jay Glazer of Fox Sports; Twitter link) there is a “possibility” the fourth-year quarterback returns for the Vikings this season. Zimmer reiterates Bridgewater has not been able to practice yet, further pointing to an uncertain future for the former starting quarterback.
CBA language is murky regarding what could happen if Bridgewater begins the season the Reserve/PUP list, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noting this, as written, would cause the passer’s contract to toll and keep him on the Vikings in 2018 as part of his rookie deal. While this subject has been broached a few times this offseason, Florio adds that this contract rule as applied would suggest Bridgewater would need to miss the entire season for his deal to be carried over onto Minnesota’s 2018 books. So, the former Louisville star returning from the PUP list this season could be pivotal for his career, even if Sam Bradford has a firm grip on the starting job.
This could be a drawn-out process for Bridgewater and the Vikings without a near-future resolution, but it’s definitely a worthwhile subplot to their season. Here’s the latest in relevant North-divisions subplots.
- Several backups complemented Antonio Brown for the Steelers in the AFC championship game last season as injuries and unavailability mounted, and they’re almost all on the roster bubble now. Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey are not locks to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Coates, Heyward-Bey, Justin Hunter, Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers are fighting for the final two spots — behind Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster, per Fittipaldo. The Steelers started Ayers, Hamilton and Heyward-Bey at least once apiece in their three-game playoff sojourn last season, but now that they are deeper, won’t need some of these players to return. Coates not being given a third year would be notable for the 2015 third-round pick, who’s been inconsistent, but the remainder of these players mostly saw action due to higher-level performers’ unavailability in 2016.
- The Ravens aren’t as deep as their rivals at wideout, and injuries have limited the competition behind locks Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun writes. Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore and Chris Matthews and rookie UDFA Quincy Adeboyejo lead the competition for the final spots, per Zreibec. This would stand to put Griff Whalen and Keenan Reynolds on the outside looking in. Zreibec calls the recently re-signed Campanaro close to a roster lock but assigns slipping stock to Moore. Adeboyejo may see a knee injury dash his hopes at making the team.
- Bengals DC Paul Guenther discussed the prospect of acquiring defensive end Chris Smith with player personnel director Duke Tobin, expressing support for a move that eventually came April 11 via trade from the Jaguars, Paul Dehner Jr. of cincinnati.com reports. Smith participated in only 311 defensive plays in three Jacksonville seasons, and did not suit up in 10 games last season, but looks to have made a good case for more playing time in Cincinnati, Dehner Jr. writes.
- Kyle Long not set to play in the Bears‘ third preseason game — and likely not Chicago’s fourth exhibition tilt — makes the guard’s Week 1 status uncertain, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. The Bears are being cautious with their top guard after he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in November 2016.
Like a number of other teams around the league, the Ravens made an effort to get plenty of contracts done before their rookie minicamp got underway, securing seven of their 11 draftees, and adding another 11 undrafted free agents to their roster.
The Ravens confirmed today that they’ve signed fifth-round defensive end Matt Judon, whose agreement was reported earlier this week, and announced that they’ve locked up six other draft picks, writes Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. Sixth overall pick Ronnie Stanley remains unsigned, as do Bronson Kaufusi, Tavon Young, and Keenan Reynolds. However, the following Baltimore draftees are now under contract, having signed their four-year rookie deals:
- 2-42: Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB (Boise State)
- 4-107: Chris Moore, WR (Cincinnati)
- 4-130: Alex Lewis, T (Nebraska)
- 4-132: Willie Henry, DT (Michigan)
- 4-134: Kenneth Dixon, RB (Louisiana Tech)
- 5-146: Matt Judon, DE (Grand Valley State) (previously reported)
- 6-209: Maurice Canady, CB (Virginia)
In a separate press release on their website, the Ravens also listed their 11-man UDFA class, complete with a scouting report for each player. Here are Baltimore’s UDFA additions:
- G Jarell Broxton (Baylor) ($10K signing bonus, per Aaron Wilson)
- DT Trevon Coley (Florida Atlantic)
- OL Anthony Fabiano (Harvard) ($10K bonus, per Wilson)
- LB Cavellis Luckett (Middle Tennessee State) ($2.5K bonus, per Wilson)
- K Wil Lutz (Georgia State)
- T Stephane Nembot (Colorado)
- LB Victor Ochi (Stony Brook)
- LB Mario Ojemudia (Michigan)
- LB Patrick Onwuasor (Portland State)
- DT Michael Pierce (Samford)
- C Matt Skura (Duke) ($7.5K bonus, per Wilson)
USC safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens says he has six visits lined up and another eight potentially on the horizon as well, Mike Florio of PFT writes. In addition to the previously reported teams with interest, Cravens says he will visit the the Lions, Raiders, and Dolphins.
Here are the latest draft rumors:
- Maryland outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue said he has visits scheduled with the Jaguars, Eagles, Titans, and Jets, according to Daniel Gallen of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (on Twitter) adds that the Bills and Browns both met with him today.
- Boise State lineman Rees Odhiambo will meet with the 49ers, Saints, and Buccaneers in the next couple of weeks, agent Ron Slavin tells Jay Tust of KTVB (on Twitter).
- Ohio State safety Vonn Bell has (or has had) meetings, workouts and/or visits with the Jets, Patriots, Panthers, and Giants, Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports tweets.
- South Carolina offensive lineman Brandon Shell says he has individual workouts coming up with the Panthers, Ravens, and 49ers, David Caraviello of the Post And Courier tweets.
- Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that he has probably heard the most from the Bears, Falcons, Saints, and Dolphins. He also confirmed personal workouts with the Bears, Colts, Ravens, Jaguars, Vikings, Rams, and the Bills.
- Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd confirmed that he has had workouts with the Cowboys, Patriots, Chargers, and Rams (Twitter link via SiriusXM). He’ll also have formal visits with the Panthers and Cowboys next week.
- Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Moore has visits/workouts scheduled with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Texans, Eagles, and Bengals, Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 tweets.
- Defensive line coaches from the Eagles, Titans, Steelers, and Bengals put Javon Hargrave through a workout which lasted almost 45 minutes, according to Tony Pauline for Walter Football.
- The Cardinals are bringing in linebacker Victor Ochi for an official visit, Pauline writes.