Coty Sensabaugh

North Notes: Tate, Packers, Browns, Burns

The Lions are only one game out of the NFC North lead, but they nonetheless made the decision to trade their most productive wide receiver since Calvin Johnson to the Eagles. Golden Tate is now in Philadelphia, and some Lions staffers are “very surprised” about that transaction, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. This led Breer to wonder if there was a conflict between Tate and the Lions, and a team source informed him that wasn’t the case. Instead, the Eagles’ offer of a third-round pick for a player who was likely on his way out after 2018 was too good to pass up. Tate would have netted the Lions a compensatory pick had he left in free agency, but that selection would’ve come in the 2020 draft. Now, Detroit has an additional Day 2 pick in 2019. Tate’s departure, though, makes any Lions playoff hopes less likely.

Several of the North divisions’ teams made moves before the trade deadline. Here’s more fallout from some others, along with the latest from some other North franchises:

  • Ty Montgomery‘s fumble on Sunday in Los Angeles didn’t just prompt non-essential Packers to anonymously gripe about the mistake. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes respected veterans called out the since-traded running back/return man. That, coupled with Montgomery not accepting full responsibility for his mistake and publicly expressing trust issues with teammates, signaled the Packers had to move on from the former third-round pick, per Silverstein. Montgomery stands to finish out his contract year with the Ravens.
  • The Packers were not happy about the way Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s 2017 season ended, with Silverstein writing Green Bay brass believed the 2014 first-round pick avoided tackles in the season finale against the Lions. This helped influence the Packers’ decision to not enter contract talks with Clinton-Dix prior to the 2018 season. While this tactic isn’t uncommon for the Packers, who let established starters Randall Cobb, Bryan Bulaga, Sam Shields and others play out their contract years before re-signing them, it led Clinton-Dix to believe he wasn’t going to be back next season. Hence, the trade to Washington. GM Brian Gutekunst, however, said (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) these trades weren’t meant as a message for the locker room.
  • As far as replacing Clinton-Dix, the Packers have some interesting options. One NFC scout told Silverstein their best choice might be to move recently added cornerback Bashaud Breeland to safety and play him in tandem with Jermaine Whitehead. Kentrell Brice served as Clinton-Dix’s safety running mate this season. A four-year Redskins starter, Breeland has not played a snap for the Packers yet. Another option, as Demovsky details, would be to play 2017 second-rounder Josh Jones. He’s worked as a special-teamer thus far. Tramon Williams could be an option as well, so Green Bay is not lacking in possible solutions.
  • The Browns named former Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley as their running backs coach today. This is interesting on multiple levels. The 29-year-old now-coach’s highest level of experience came as a San Diego State graduate assistant. Lindley, though, played under new Browns OC Freddie Kitchens with the Cardinals when Kitchens was their QBs coach.
  • Artie Burns did not play a snap in the Steelers‘ win over the Browns on Sunday. Mike Tomlin said he benched the former first-round cornerback because he was late for a walkthrough, but Burns said Wednesday (via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) he was back with the starters at practice. Coty Sensabaugh started in place of Burns in Week 8.

Contract Details: Folk, Hawley, Sensabaugh

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Steelers Sign CB Coty Sensabaugh

The Steelers have signed cornerback Coty Sensabaugh to a two-year deal, the team announced. He’ll likely compete for nickel corner job. Coty Sensabaugh (vertical)

The Steelers hosted Sensabaugh on a visit on Monday and it didn’t take long for the two sides to come to an agreement. The incumbent Giants had interest in retaining him, but they’ll have to find cornerback support elsewhere.

The Steelers now have five corners on the roster: William Gay, Artie Burns, Senquez Golson, Al-Hajj Shabazz, and Sensabaugh. We’re a long way away from September, of course, and his spot on the roster is not a certainty. It’s not immediately clear whether Sensabaugh has guaranteed money included in his deal.

Last year, Sensabaugh appeared in 13 games for the Rams and Giants and Pro Football Focus gave him an abysmal score for that limited sample. Then again, he’s only one year removed from signing a lucrative multi-season deal with the Rams. He could prove to be a valuable supporting piece for the Steelers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Hosting CB Coty Sensabaugh

UPDATE – Steelers Sign Sensabaugh

The Steelers are hosting cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on a visit today, Mark Kaboly of DKPittsburghSports.com tweets. Meanwhile, the Giants also have interest in retaining him, according to Dan Duggan of NJ.comCoty Sensabaugh (vertical)

[RELATED: Steelers To Sign RB Knile Davis]

Sensabaugh, 28, joined the Rams last offseason on a three-year, $14.5MM deal. Unfortunately, they dropped him just three games into the season, bringing him to the Giants. All in all, he had 24 tackles in 13 games for the two teams. Pro Football Focus gave him a poor 48.4 overall score, his third consecutive year with a poor showing. The Steelers presently have four corners on the roster: William Gay, Artie Burns, Senquez Golson, and Al-Hajj Shabazz.

Sensabaugh, Leon Hall, and Trevin Wade are all free agents and the Giants still need to add cornerback depth behind Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Not In Running For Adrian Peterson?

The Giants have been heavily connected to Adrian Peterson ever since his option was officially declined by the Vikings. It turns out, they might not be a player for No. 28. The Giants aren’t in the running for Peterson, according to multiple sources who spoke with Jordan Raanan of ESPN.comAdrian Peterson

Last year, the Giants went on a free agent spending spree that saw them add three high-priced players to the defense. This time around, it could be a much quieter March. In addition to Peterson being unlikely, Raanan hears the Giants are not expected to go after a high-end left tackle, guard, middle linebacker, or wide receiver. All of those positions are needs for the G-Men, but they won’t be satisfied with the best players at each spot.

This spring might not be as exciting as the last one, but the Giants are still willing to loosen up the purse strings to lock down their own top free agents. They are working hard to re-sign defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and to extend Jason Pierre-Paul after his franchise tag. There have also “been talks” about new deals for free agents like linebacker Keenan Robinson, guard John Jerry, backup quarterback Josh Johnson, and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, Raanan writes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Sign Coty Sensabaugh

With injuries in the secondary, the Giants are bringing in reinforcements. Cornerback Coty Sensabaugh has agreed to a one-year deal with Big Blue, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). To make room, the Giants will waive cornerback Michael Hunter (Twitter link via Art Stapleton of The Record). Coty Sensabaugh (vertical)

Top Giants cornerbacks Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are both dealing with groin injuries. Apple lasted only seven plays before exiting the game early. Rodgers-Cromartie played through the injury, but he was clearly hampered by it as the Giants lost 23-17. As of this writing, it is not clear whether they will be ready to go on Sunday when the Giants take on the Ravens.

Sensabaugh joined the Rams this offseason on a three-year, $14.5MM deal. However, he was cut by Los Angeles after appearing in just three games. A fourth-round Titans pick in 2012, Sensabaugh worked his way into Tennessee’s starting lineup in 2015. He started 15 games last season and apparently showed the Rams enough to warrant a sizable free agent deal. Needless to say, Les Snead & Co. would like to have a do-over on that deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Cut Coty Sensabaugh

Barely a month into his first Rams season, Coty Sensabaugh will head back to unaffiliated status within the NFL. The Rams cut the recently signed cornerback to make room for the signing of defensive lineman Morgan Fox off their practice squad, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com tweets.

Sensabaugh started in two games for Los Angeles this season and played in three, doing so after signing a three-year deal to come over from Tennessee in the offseason.

Signed for $14.5MM across that span, Sensabaugh will earn $4.5MM for his time with the Rams this season, $1MM via fully guaranteed base salary and $3.5MM via roster bonus, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). He will also collected a $1MM roster bonus next March, per Caplan (on Twitter). The 27-year-old corner was playing on a $4.85MM cap number this season for the Rams.

A fourth-round Titans pick in 2012, Sensabaugh worked his way into Tennessee’s starting lineup in 2015. He started 15 games last season to command the middling sum in free agency. He made 58 tackles, two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown last season. This year with the Rams, he became a healthy scratch by Week 4, playing behind E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner.

Jeff Fisher attributed Sensabaugh’s healthy-scratch designation to the team needing more linemen available, and Fox will further that notion. Robert Quinn, William Hayes and Michael Brockers sat out practice Friday and are questionable for Week 5.

Fox joined the Rams as a UDFA out of Division II Colorado State-Pueblo this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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).

Rams To Sign Coty Sensabaugh

The Rams will sign cornerback Coty Sensabaugh to a three-year deal, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Sensabaugh’s deal could be worth up to $19MM, per Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The deal carries a base value of $15MM, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). Coty Sensabaugh (vertical)

Sensabaugh, 27, started 15 games for the Titans last year. Now, he joins a Rams cornerback group which features Trumaine Johnson and E.J. Gaines. Of course, the Rams’ secondary is slated to look different from last season, mainly thanks to the departure of former top corner Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins inked a five-year deal with the Giants, expected to be worth $62.5MM.

In 2015, Sensabaugh recorded 58 total tackles with 8 passes defended. He also hauled in two interceptions and scored one defensive touchdown.

Sensabaugh was not ranked amongst our top 15 free agent cornerbacks for this offseason, but he did earn honorable mention. Our Top 15 cornerback list, in order, was comprised of Jenkins, Sean SmithPrince AmukamaraCasey HaywardAdam JonesBrandon BoykinJeremy LaneLeon HallPatrick RobinsonNolan CarrollJosh RobinsonJerraud PowersAntonio CromartieShareece Wright, and William Gay. Others receiving honorable mention included Sterling Moore, Charles Tillman, Kyle Wilson, and Terence Newman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2015 Proven Performance Escalator Raises

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time in said snaps for the duration of his first three years in the league. If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s restricted free agent qualifying offer — that figure was $1.431MM last year, and will inflate commensurate with the salary cap increase. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their 2015 salary rise due to the PPE, courtesy of Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap.

Bengals: George Iloka, S; Mohamed Sanu, WR

Bills: Nigel Bradham, LB

Broncos: Malik Jackson, DL; Danny Trevathan, LB;

Browns: Billy Winn, DL

Cardinals: Bobby Massie, T

Chargers: Johnnie Troutman, G

Colts: Dwayne Allen, TE; T.Y. Hilton, WR

Dolphins: Lamar Miller, RB; Olivier Vernon, DE

Eagles: Brandon Boykin, CB; Nick Foles; QB

Falcons: Lamar Holmes, T

Jets: Demario Davis, LB; Antonio Allen, DB

Packers: Mike Daniels, DL

Panthers: Josh Norman, CB

Patriots: Alfonzo Dennard, CB

Raiders: Miles Burris, LB

Rams: Chris Givens, WR; Trumaine Johnson, CB

Ravens: Gino Gradkowski, C

Saints: Akiem Hicks, DT; Corey White, CB

Seahawks: J.R. Sweezy, G; Russell Wilson, QB

Steelers: Kelvin Beachum, T

Texans: Brandon Brooks, G; Jared Crick, DL; Ben Jones, G

Titans: Coty Sensabaugh, CB

Vikings: Robert Blanton, S: Rhett Ellison, TE; Josh Robinson, CB; Jarius Wright, WR

Washington: Alfred Morris, RB