Crockett Gillmore

Crockett Gillmore Had Offseason Surgery

Free agent tight end-turned-offensive lineman Crockett Gillmore is not only attempting to work through a position switch, but recovering from offseason surgery, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports. Gillmore, who underwent an August procedure to repair a torn MCL, also had another knee operation done at some point earlier this year.

Gillmore, 26, spent the first four years of his career as a tight end for the Ravens, but multiple injuries repeatedly kept him off the field. After posting a career-best season in 2015 (33 receptions, 412 yards, four touchdowns), Gillmore managed only seven games in 2016 before going down with the aforementioned MCL injury.

As Zrebiec has indicated at various points this offseason, Baltimore still has interest in re-signing Gillmore, who has been on the open market since March. The Ravens are largely set across their offensive line after re-signing James Hurst and using a third-round pick on Orlando Brown, but the club could still have room for Gillmore as a reserve. Baltimore, theoretically, should have the most recent and accurate information regarding Gillmore’s health.

Whether any other team will be willing to consider Gillmore is unclear. Clearly, his injury history will limit his overall market and earning capacity, at least in the near term. But Gillmore’s positional change is the more intriguing matter at hand, and just how many clubs are open to signing him as an offensive lineman is an open question.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Lions, Ebron, Ravens, Bailey

The Lions met with tight end Eric Ebron on Thursday to discuss his future, Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Team officials let him know that they are are open to dealing him and didn’t not guarantee that he’ll be back with the team for 2018.

Ebron, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has had an up-and-down career in Detroit. On the plus side, he had less issues with dropped passes in 2017 than in years past.

There’s reason to believe that Ebron, who doesn’t turn 25 until April, can grow from here. Over the last two seasons, he has averaged 57 catches for 642 yards and it’s possible that a change of scenery can help him reach the next level.

Here’s more from around the NFL on a busy Friday:

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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AFC Notes: Dolphins, Bortles, Ravens, Chiefs

The Dolphins are “strongly” considering releasing offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James instead of paying his $9.341MM base salary in 2018, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. James, a former first-round pick, is under contract next season thanks to his fifth-year option, but given that his salary is non-guaranteed, Miami can get out of the deal with no penalty. While the Dolphins could speculatively be interested in retaining James at a reduced price, the 25-year-old has little incentive to accept a pay cut, as he’d immediately become one of the best tackles on the open market if he were to be released. Indeed, the top end of an extremely weak free agent tackle class includes Nate Solder, Justin Pugh, Cameron Fleming, and Chris Hubbard, so James would surely draw interest.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Blake Bortles‘ new three-year deal with the Jaguars contains offset language, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Jacksonville inked Bortles to a $54MM extension over the weekend that includes a partially guaranteed ($6.5MM of $16MM) base salary in 2019. If the former first-round pick flops during the upcoming campaign, the Jaguars could release him next spring and still create $4.5MM worth of cap space. That figure could be even greater thanks to offset language, however, as the Jaguars would be off the hook for whatever salary Bortles hypothetically earns with his next club.
  • The Ravens and tight end-turned-offensive lineman Crockett Gillmore have mutual interest in new contract, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Reports last week indicated Gillmore would transition to offensive line, and he’s apparently begun the change by packing on “considerable bulk” to aid the move. Baltimore, understandably, wants a “better gauge” of Gillmore’s physical condition, not solely due to his upcoming position switch, but because he missed the entire 2017 with a knee injury. Gillmore, 26, was always considered an outstanding blocking tight end while playing in the 250-pound range.
  • Cornerback David Amerson inked a one-year deal with the Chiefs earlier this month, and while Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star previously reported the pact has a base value of $2.25MM, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link) has now provided the contract’s specifics. Amerson, 26, receives a $500K signing bonus, a $1MM base salary, $625K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $125K workout bonus. The deal also contains unknown incentives which, as Paylor indicated, could bring the total value of the agreement to $6MM.
  • In desperate need of offensive line depth, the Bengals recently signed ex-Giants tackle Bobby Hart, but his contract details show that he’s not a lock for Cincinnati’s roster, as Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (Facebook link). Hart got a $50K signing bonus and will collect another $200K bonus if he’s on the Bengals’ Week 1 roster. All told, Hart will be an easy cut for Cincinnati if he doesn’t prove his worth during the summer.

Ravens’ Crockett Gillmore Moving To OL

Pending free agent Crockett Gillmore could be changing teams in 2018. He could also wind up changing positions. The tight end is looking to transition to the offensive line, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Crockett Gillmore (vertical)

Gillmore is training with former NFL player LeCharles Bentley, who runs an academy for offensive linemen. Gillmore has long talked about wanting to transition to the O-Line, according to Zrebiec, and has added “considerable bulk” in order to make the move.

Gillmore, 27 in November, had 33 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. Unfortunately, injuries have hampered him ever since. In 2016, he appeared in only seven games thanks to back and knee issues. Then, last year, a July knee injury cost him all of 2017.

It’s not immediately clear how the position change will impact his status with the Ravens. Gillmore is slated to hit the open market on March 14, the first day of free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Waive TE Crockett Gillmore

The Ravens announced that tight end Crockett Gillmore has been waived to make room for the newly signed Austin Howard. Gillmore, of course, is out for the year after suffering a knee injury in July. Crockett Gillmore (vertical)

[RELATED: Ravens Sign OT Austin Howard]

Gillmore, 25, had 33 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. Unfortunately, injuries have hampered him ever since. In 2016, he appeared in only seven games thanks to back and knee issues. Now, he’ll have to wait until 2018 to see the field again.

By exposing Gillmore to waivers, the Ravens run the risk of another team swooping in on him and planting him on the roster. If Gillmore clears waivers – probably the most likely scenario given his current status – then he will revert to the team’s injured reserve. From there, the Ravens can either park him on IR or release him with an injury settlement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Crockett Gillmore Done For Season

Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore had surgery on his MCL and is likely going to miss the season, the team announced. Gillmore’s recovery timetable is five months, meaning that he cannot realistically think about getting back on the field until 2018. Crockett Gillmore (vertical)

[RELATED: Ravens No Longer Considering RG3?]

The Ravens were hoping that Gillmore would only need a “trim” to his meniscus rather than a full repair. A trim could have allowed Gillmore to return mid-season, but the severity of his tear left him with only one option.

The Ravens signed former Giants tight end Larry Donnell earlier this week, giving them a bit of extra padding at tight end. So far this offseason, the position has been ravaged by injuries and other events. Dennis Pitta was cut after suffering a likely career-ending injury and Darren Waller is suspended for the full season. Maxx Williams and Ben Watson, meanwhile, are recovering from injuries of their own.

Gillmore, 25, had 33 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. Last year, back and knee injuries limited him to just seven games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Crockett Gillmore To Undergo Knee Surgery

Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore will undergo meniscus surgery on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Baltimore will be able to further assess Gillmore’s condition once the operation is complete, per Rapoport.Crockett Gillmore (Vertical)

Meniscus injuries typically require one of two treatments: either a trim, or a full repair. A trim will typically allow a player to return much more quickly following the surgery. A full repair, meanwhile, is better for the long-term health of the player’s knee, but often requires a season-long absence. Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon, for example, recently underwent a repair, meaning he’ll miss the 2017 campaign.

Baltimore’s tight end depth has already been reduced this offseason, as Dennis Pitta was released after suffering a possibly career-ending injury, while Darren Waller is suspended for the entire season. Maxx Williams and Ben Watson, meanwhile, are recovering from injuries, leading the Ravens to sign veteran tight end Larry Donnell earlier today.

Gillmore, 25, was last productive during the 2015 season, when he posted 33 receptions for 412 yards and four touchdowns. In 2016, Gillmore appeared in only seven games, while dealing with back and knee injuries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Crockett Gillmore, Maurice Canady Sustain Knee Injuries

The Ravens cannot catch a break. Joe Flacco has a back injury that the team is currently downplaying but that could threaten the 2017 season, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Second-year RB Kenneth Dixon, who is probably the most talented back on the club, will miss the entire year with a torn meniscus; second-year slot corner Tavon Young, who had an excellent rookie campaign, suffered a season-ending ACL tear; longtime tight end Dennis Pitta is no longer on the club after sustaining yet another hip injury; tight end Darren Waller managed to get himself suspended for a year; and offensive linemen John Urschel surprisingly announced his retirement several days ago.

Jun 14, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore (80) runs after the catch during the first day of minicamp sessions at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Now, tight end Crockett Gillmore — who has the most intriguing blend of athleticism, receiving ability, and blocking ability of the tight ends still on the roster — has sustained a potentially serious knee injury, as has second-year corner Maurice Canady. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, both players suffered those injuries during Friday’s practice. Canady, whom the Ravens selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft, was terrific in spring practices and figured to get the first opportunity to replace Young. Gillmore has shown the ability to be a No. 1 tight end when on the field, but he cannot seem to stay out of the training room.

The Ravens have yet to comment on either injury, and it remains to be seen if they will need to scour the free agent market for replacements (the team did sign Brandon Boykin following the Young injury, but the hope was that Canady could capably fill the slot corner role). If necessary, Baltimore could finally turn its attention to Gary Barnidge, who is easily the best tight end still on the market, and it could look to players like Brandon Flowers and Tramon Williams to fill in at corner.

In the meantime, the Ravens will just have to pray they don’t lose a potential starter every time they practice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: McCullers, Ravens, Jets

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Saturday morning…

  • Steelers defensive tackle Dan McCullers has only compiled 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks since being selected in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. As Chris Adamski of TribLive.com writes, the 24-year-old isn’t guaranteed a roster spot, and his coaches seemingly echoed that sentiment. “Dan McCullers, he’s got to grow up,” said defensive line coach John Mitchell. “It’s time to make a move right now. This is going to be his fourth year. And usually in this league, after about four years, you have got to make a move. Or, either, you move somewhere else.” An injury to starter Javon Hargrave opened up first-team reps, but McCullers was reportedly passed in favor of L.T. Walton.
  • Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun believes there are several Ravens players who have to prove themselves this season if they want to stick around the NFL. The writer specifically points to a pair of fourth-year players, wideout Michael Campanaro and tight end Crockett Gillmore. Preston doesn’t believe the players need to become “superstars,” but they need to at least prove that they can contribute in some capacity.
  • It has already been an offseason of changes for the Jets, who let go of veterans like Brandon Marshall, Eric DeckerDarrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris. Darryl Slater of NJ.com takes a look at seven current Jets who could be released or traded over the next 12 months, including cornerback Buster Skrine, defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, offensive guard James Carpenter, running backs Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, and defensive tackle Steve McLendon.
  • Ben Swanson of DenverBroncos.com caught up with Vance Joseph to learn more about the new Broncos‘ head coach, including his hobbies and favorite foods. Notably, when asked which of his former players would make the best NFL head coach, Joseph pointed to Lions (and former Texans) safety Glover Quin.