Chris Thompson (RB)

Redskins Notes: Smith, Thompson

Linebacker Preston Smith is slated to be a free agent after the season, but the Redskins have yet to approach him about a new deal (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com). The Redskins have hammered out pre-season extensions with key players in the past such as Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, but Smith is still waiting on that call. For what it’s worth, Smith says he’s staying patient.

You play good; they’re going to pay good,” said Smith, who matched a career-high with eight sacks last season.

If Smith is not signed to a new deal and can offer a repeat performance, he could be in store for riches in March. For now, the former second-round pick is set to play out the final year of his contract as he earns a modest $1.2MM base salary.

Here’s more from D.C.:

  • Redskins running back Chris Thompson says he likely won’t be fully recovered from his broken fibula until November (Twitter link via Keim). Thompson has had a handful of surgeries in his career, but he says that this has been his most challenging recovery to date. Thompson suffered the broken leg last November, so he’s looking at a full year before being back to 100%. It’s a frustrating situation for Thompson, who was in the midst of a breakout campaign before being sidelined in 2017. Heading into Week 11, Thompson had posted 771 yards from scrimmage, a total that had already topped his previous career high, and was averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He was even more effective in the passing game, where he recorded 38 receptions for 494 yards.
  • Recently, the Redskins extended the contract of backup quarterback Colt McCoy.
  • On Wednesday, the Redskins added linebacker/defensive end Dadi Nicolas to the roster.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Barwin, Beckwith, Saints

Despite Jimmy Garoppolo entering his 49ers training camp, he’s not expected to receive an abnormal workload this preseason. Even though Kyle Shanahan has cited the time it takes for quarterbacks to become sufficiently assimilated in his system, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) backup C.J. Beathard is likely to receive most of the reps during preseason games. The 49ers figure to have an ulterior motive by doing this, with Barrows writing San Francisco will want to trade Beathard for draft compensation at some point before his rookie contract expires. They will be intent on showcasing the 2017 third-rounder as much as possible as a result. The Iowa product completed 54.9 percent of his passes, with four TDs and six INTs, as a rookie before Garoppolo supplanted him as the Niners’ starter.

It’s camp-reporting week. Here’s the NFC’s latest:

  • Connor Barwin will be counted on to be one of Olivier Vernon‘s sidekicks this season, but his Giants agreement is not merely a one-year pact. Barwin agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will be Barwin’s fourth NFL team, with the Giants following the Texans, Eagles and Rams. A Pro Bowler with the 2014 Eagles, Barwin’s done his best work in 3-4 defenses — which the Giants will now use. Both of Barwin’s double-digit sack seasons (2011 and 2014) came in this set.
  • Chris Thompson said Monday he will avoid the Redskins‘ PUP list. Washington’s passing-down back broke one of his fibulas in November but has worked his way back. He’s expected to remain the Redskins’ receiving back. “I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Thompson said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via PFT). “I will start practicing with the guys from Day 1 but just taking it slowly. The focus is to really be ready by that first regular-season game.”
  • Kendell Beckwith will not, however, avoid the Buccaneers‘ PUP (Twitter link, via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The young linebacker fractured an ankle in a car accident in April and underwent surgery. The immediate timetable tabbed Beckwith as unclear for Week 1, while a summer update indicated he might be ready in time for camp. Beckwith won’t meet that goal, it appears, but it’s not certain if he’s going to miss all of Tampa Bay’s camp.
  • Despite being a newcomer and coming off an ACL tear, Cameron Meredith looks like the frontrunner to claim the Saints‘ No. 2 wide receiver job, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com notes. Playing with quarterbacks who aren’t in Drew Brees‘ stratosphere, Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four TDs in 2016. Third-round rookie Tre’Quan Smith may also be a threat to diminish Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman‘s playing time as well, per Katzenstein, though it’s hard to envision Ginn (53 receptions, 787 receiving yards last season) being squeezed out of a significant role. He’s owed $4.5MM this season.

Redskins’ Chris Thompson Done For Season

Redskins running back Chris Thompson suffered a fractured fibula and will miss the remainder of the 2017 campaign, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Chris Thompson

Thompson, 27, had been in the midst of a breakout campaign in his fifth NFL season. Heading into Week 11, Thompson had posted 771 yards from scrimmage, a total that had already topped his previous career high. He’d averaged 4.6 yards per carry on the ground, but was even more effective in the passing game, where’d he posted 38 receptions for 494 yards. All told, Thompson had managed five total touchdowns.

A former fifth-round pick, Thompson agreed to a contract extension earlier this year. The new pact will keep Thompson in Washington through the 2019 season, and will pay him $7MM+ over the next two years. Next season, Thompson will earn nearly $2MM in base salary and count for roughly $3.25MM on the Redskins’ cap.

Thompson will become the second Redskins’ running back to be placed on injured reserve in recent weeks, joining former starter Rob Kelley. Head coach Jay Gruden & Co. will now continue to lean on fourth-round rookie Samaje Perine, who handled 23 carries in today’s loss to the Saints. Byron Marshall, signed off the Eagles’ practice squad last week, will also contribute, while Washington could also promote rookie LeShun Daniels from its practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign Chris Thompson To Extension

The Redskins have signed running back Chris Thompson to a two-year extension, a source tells Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post (on Twitter). Thompson is now under contract through the 2019 season. He’ll earn $6.5MM guaranteed over the course of the extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.Chris Thompson

The pass-catching specialist was a restricted free agent this year and the Redskins retained him via the second-round tender. He’ll earn $2.74MM for 2017 before the new deal kicks in.

The 2013 fifth-round pick has spent his entire four-year career with the Redskins. Last year he turned in what was arguably his most productive season with career-highs in carries (68), rushing yards (356), and rushing touchdowns (three). He continued to make his mark in the passing game as well, catching 49 passes for 349 yards and two TDs. Thompson’s 489 offensive snaps were the most of any Redskins running back.

Rob Kelley will be the Redskins’ primary back this year, but Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine also expected to see significant playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Re-Sign Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson will be returning to the Redskins next season. The team announced that the restricted free agent running back has signed a new contract, although terms of the deal were not reported.

Chris ThompsonThis isn’t particularly surprising, as the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with rival clubs was yesterday. Therefore, Thompson essentially had no other choice but to sign Washington’s tender. The Redskins applied a second-round tender to Thompson back in March, which was estimated to be worth $2.74MM.

The 2013 fifth-round pick has spent his entire four-year career with the Redskins. 2016 was arguably his most productive campaign, as he collected career-highs in attempts (68), rushing yards (356), and rushing touchdowns (three). The versatile weapons has also shown to be a threat in the passing game, as he hauled in 49 catches for 349 yards and two scores last season. Thompson ultimately finished the year with 489 offensive snaps, the most among Redskins running backs.

Besides being a threat in the running and receiving game, the Redskins have also used Thompson as a return man. The 26-year-old has returned 33 career punts and 28 career kickoffs.

Thompson will be re-joining a Redskins running back corps that features Rob KelleyKeith MarshallMatt Jones, and Mack Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Apply Second-Round Tender To Chris Thompson

The Redskins don’t want to chance letting another team pounce on their passing-down running back, placing a second-round RFA tender on Chris Thompson, John Keim of ESPN.com reports. Thompson will make $2.74MM as part of this transaction.

Thompson is a restricted free agent despite being drafted in 2013 because of service-time issues. His fifth year will become a contract year instead of the customary fourth season for most players selected in the second through seventh rounds of their respective drafts. Thompson teamed with Robert Kelley to form the Redskins’ backfield duo down the stretch.

A former Florida State ball-carrier, the 26-year-old Thompson established a new yards from scrimmage career high in 2016, gaining 705 yards. He scored five touchdowns — three on the ground, two receiving — and was a key performer on third downs. With Washington’s backfield corps still unsettled as far as the run-downs player, Thompson can be expected to reprise his role in 2017. The team extending this protective tender only reinforces his value to the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/17/16

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • Linebacker Terence Garvin took to Twitter to announce that he has signed with Washington. Up until this point, Garvin had spent his entire career with the Steelers. The former UDFA out of West Virginia has appeared in 43 regular-season games (one start) and amassed 21 special teams tackles since breaking into the league in 2012. Garvin also drew interest from the Titans after he was non-tendered by Pittsburgh. Washington has since confirmed the signing.
  • Washington announced that running back Chris Thompson has been re-signed as an exclusive rights free agent, Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Mid-Atlantic (on Twitter). Thompson, a running back known for his catching ability, appeared in 13 games last season, totaling 240 yards off of 35 receptions with two touchdowns. He also ran the ball 35 times for 216 yards, good for a 6.2 yards-per-carry average.
  • Falcons safety Ricardo Allen signed his exclusive rights tender, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Allen will now earn a $525K salary in 2016.

ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/4/16

Earlier today, we rounded up the latest decisions on restricted free agent tenders. Now, we’ll shift our focus to the day’s exclusive-rights free agent tenders, for players with fewer than three years of NFL experience. here’s the latest:

NFC Notes: Bucs, Brown, Washington

Linked heavily to Jameis Winston since locking up the No. 1 pick and recently reported to be undeterred by the quarterback’s latest legal issues, the Buccaneers may be backing off that stance slightly. There now could be two draft slots available for teams desperate for signal-calling help, reports Bob Glauber of Newsday.

Although the Bucs, who haven’t held the No. 1 draft choice since taking Vinny Testaverde at that position in 1987, are expected to take either Winston or Marcus Mariota, they are willing to listen to offers for the selection, sources told Glauber. The possibility of stockpiling picks and either selecting a second-tier quarterback later or further determining Mike Glennon‘s legitimacy are contingency plans.

The Browns and Chargers are the most likely teams to pull the trigger on a trade, reports Glauber, with the Jets and Eagles now backing off their pursuits due to Gang Green only possessing six selections and the Eagles unwilling to pay what it would cost to vault from No. 20 to a top-two slot. Glauber notes the Eagles are prepared to go into the season with Sam Bradford as their starter.

A team hasn’t traded a No. 1 pick during the draft since the Eli ManningPhilip Rivers exchange 11 years ago, and the Falcons trading up in 2001 representing the last time a franchise that didn’t finish with the worst record the previous season made the No. 1 overall selection.

Some other notes from around the NFC.

  • The Mariota-to-Philadelphia rumor has indeed lost steam, according to Dave Spadaro of PhiladelphiaEagles.com, with the prospect of the Eagles adding picks by trading down gaining it. The Eagles own seven picks as of now and traded out of their first-round window last year.
  • Despite being one of several teams in the late derby to add Stevie Brown, the Giants are still considered “one of the favorites” to re-sign him, reports Jordan Ranaan of NJ.com. The Giants’ offer, however, may not top the market that includes the Cowboys, Falcons, Titans and Raiders. But the 27-year-old former seventh-round pick would be a crucial land for Big Blue, as they are in need of two starting safeties. Little-known commodities Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor are their incumbents at strong safety, increasing the likelihood of a high draft choice coming to help the Giants on the back end. Although converted corners Chykie Brown, Bennett Jackson and Josh Gordy may provide competition at the free safety position, Brown would immediately surge to the top spot there if he re-signs, reports Ranaan.
  • Roy Helu‘s exit to Oakland leaves Washington without a proven backup to Alfred Morris. More importantly, Helu (47 receptions, 477 yards last season) was the team’s only proven third-down back. Chris Thompson is now the favorite to assume that role despite seeing backfield action in just two games in 2014, report Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. Tandler, however, adds that Washington’s coaching staff grew impatient with the 2013 fifth-rounder out of Florida State due to injury struggles and expects this position to be addressed in the draft. Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon, Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Missouri’s Marcus Murphy are among those who would fit here, reports El-Bashir, with Pierre Thomas and his 327 career catches still sitting in free agency.

Minor Moves: Thursday

As NFL teams around the league make minor tweaks to their 53-man rosters and practice squads, we’ll round up those transactions in this post, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Chargers signed cornerback Greg Ducre to the practice squad, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (via Twitter). Ducre, who gained a lot of fans within the Bolts organization during his time in camp, was waived by Washington just a few days ago. To make room, the Chargers waived former San Diego State University offensive lineman Bryce Quigley.
  • The Saints have filled the two openings on their practice squad, signing fullback Toben Opurum and wide receiver Willie Snead, per Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
  • After placing Morgan Moses on IR, as noted below, Washington promoted running back Chris Thompson to the active roster, then signed tackle Edawn Coughman to the practice squad (Twitter link). According to Zac Boyer of the Washington Times (via Twitter), the club had been telling Thompson for weeks that he’d be promoted by the end of the season.

Earlier updates:

  • The Bengals used the open spot on their practice squad to add another Geathers to the mix — defensive tackle Kwame Geathers joins the organization that also employs his brother Robert Geathers, the team announced today (Twitter link).
  • Washington head coach Jay Gruden told reporters today that rookie offensive lineman Morgan Moses is being placed on injured reserve due to a Lisfranc injury suffered in practice (Twitter link). So far, the club hasn’t added a player to its 53-man roster to take Moses’ spot.
  • The Seahawks have now officially signed defensive lineman David King, in a move reported yesterday, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta adds that the corresponding move sees the team release linebacker Allen Bradford.
  • The Saints have filled the lone opening on their 53-man roster by promoting receiver Seantavius Jones from their practice squad, a source told Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Advocate today. Adding a wideout to the roster makes sense, considering the open spot was created by the release of Joe Morgan.