D.J. Hayden

Four Jaguars Players Detained In London

Sunday, 9:42am: It appears that this situation will blow over. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Church was not actually arrested — Hayden, Wilson, and Harrison apparently were — but none of the four players were charged. London Police say the matter is “resolved.”

Rapoport says that the four men skipped out on a $64K bar tab, but that may have been due to a misunderstanding (video link). Apparently, expensive bottles of alcohol were being sent to their table, but they believed someone else was paying for them. They were therefore surprised when they were expected to pay.

In any event, it seems this incident will not have any impact on the team or the players moving forward.

Saturday, 9:15pm: The players arrested were Barry Church, D.J. Hayden, Jarrod Wilson, and Ronnie Harrison, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). All four players are defensive backs, which could explain why the team was so reluctant to name them in their statement.

Jacksonville is already shorthanded in the secondary and can’t afford to be without both Church and Harrison, so they will almost certainly still play. Church, a safety, plays nearly every down while Harrison, also a safety, has seen his snaps increase in recent weeks. Hayden was already unlikely to play with an injury, and Wilson is a lightly-used special-teamer.

Saturday, 9:05pm: Online reports from British tabloids began circulating that four Jaguars players had been arrested ahead of Jacksonville’s game in London, and now the team is confirming those reports, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The Jaguars released a very brief statement acknowledging what happened, which reads as follows: “We are aware that four of our players were detained over restitution of a bill. The matter is being resolved and the players are with the team. Any discipline will be handled internally.”

The statement is very light on details, and it hasn’t been reported yet which four players were detained. The original report from the British paper said the players were confronted by security at a nightclub and accused of trying to avoid paying their tab. While the team is clearly being intentionally vague, we should know more details soon. At this point, it’s unclear if the players will still play in the game against the Eagles tomorrow.

No matter what happens, it’s an awful look for a club that’s been in disarray for weeks now, with the news breaking 12 hours before they’re set to kick off. The locker room has reportedly turned toxic, with multiple shouting matches breaking out after their most recent loss. Blake Bortles was benched and is now on a very short leash, and this is the last thing the team needs.

The NFL has made expanding the game into the London market a major focal point in recent years, and the league office will likely be outraged at the optics. While the Jaguars have said any discipline will be internal, commissioner Roger Goodell may disagree.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Sign CB D.J. Hayden

The Jaguars have agreed to terms with cornerback D.J. Hayden, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). He’ll collect a three-year, $19MM deal which contains $9.5MM in guarantees and can max out at $21MM.

Jacksonville has invested heavily in its secondary over the past few years, and has added corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye through the draft and free agency, respectively. However, the Jaguars aren’t able to keep everyone in their defensive backfield, and Tuesday they lost slot cornerback Aaron Colvin to the division-rival Texans.

Colvin received $34MM over four years from Houston, so the Jaguars are saving quite a bit of cash and cap space by replacing him with Hayden. However, Jacksonville is also looking at a significant in talent, at least based on prior results. Although he’s a former No. 12 overall pick, Hayden has never lived up to the draft billing, and 2017 was no exception.

Hayden ranked as a the No. 96 cornerback among 121 qualifiers a season ago, per Pro Football Focus. Colvin, meanwhile, finished 47th in the same grades, so Jacksonville should expect a downgrade in its slot performance. Hayden will be flanked by All-Pro caliber outside corners in Ramsey and Bouye, so it’s possible he’ll show improvement, but he’ll need to exceed expectations to do so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars, CB D.J. Hayden In Talks

The Jaguars working on deal with cornerback D.J. Hayden, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). Hayden spent last season with the Lions.

Jacksonville has invested heavily in its secondary over the past few years, and has added corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye through the draft and free agency, respectively. However, the Jaguars aren’t able to keep everyone in their defensive backfield, and today they lost slot cornerback Aaron Colvin to the division-rival Texans.

Hayden, a former first-round pick, could take over Colvin’s old role if signed by the Jaguars. Hayden, 27, has never lived up to his draft billing, but it’s possible his performance could improve if he’s sandwiched by All-Pro corners on either side of him. That would entail a large step forward, however: Pro Football Focus graded Hayden as a bottom-30 corner among 121 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Hayden, Titans, Patriots, Mauti

Despite joining many of his high-first-round peers from 2013 in not living up to their draft statuses, D.J. Hayden signed a one-year, $3.75MM deal from the Lions. He will be looking to bounce back after four inconsistent seasons with the Raiders. His former GM agrees that Hayden needed to go elsewhere.

I think he probably made a good decision by getting away from Oakland,” Reggie McKenzie told the Detroit Free Press at the NFL owners meetings last week. “Fresh start.”

McKenzie considered making a push to re-sign the former No. 12 overall pick, and per the Free Press’ Dave Birkett, that might have happened if Hayden came at more of a discount. But the sixth-year Raiders GM concluded that if Hayden was going to reach his potential as an NFL corner he would have to leave Oakland. The injuries that dogged Hayden “killed his confidence,” per McKenzie. Hayden played in 16 games just once in his four Raider years, in 2015, and missed the final five games last season. The Lions are expected to give Hayden a quality opportunity to win their slot corner job alongside Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson.

All he lacked, and it’s hard coming from a near-death situation and being thrown right in and had a couple relapses because of the illness, but he was always playing behind the 8-ball from a physical standpoint,” McKenzie said. “So if he gets that behind him, his confidence will grow. He never, I think in his whole time in Oakland, the confidence for him to really thrive was not where it needed to be.”

Here’s more from around league.

  • The Titans may have a different view of Connecticut safety prospect Obi Melifonwu than some other teams. They worked out the UConn product today as a cornerback, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The organization reportedly likes the 6-foot-4, 224-pound player’s size and cover skills. Melifonwu also has a 4.40-second 40-yard dash clocking, which is good for a corner while being excellent for a safety. The ex-Huskies back-line defender being envisioned as a corner isn’t merely a Titans viewpoint, though, with around 40 percent of NFL teams categorizing the safety this way.
  • Adrian Peterson‘s Patriots visit strikes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk as a tactic aimed at getting LeGarrette Blount‘s attention. Noting New England’s secretive nature, this Monday summit being made public now and not after the fact leads Florio to believe this is a get-acquainted session at best. Florio writes this could be a method used at getting Blount to take what’s being offered instead of holding out for more money on the heels of an 18-touchdown season. Blount and the Patriots broke off talks last month.
  • Prior to actually participating in Wrestlemania 33, Rob Gronkowski said he would be ready to go by the time the Patriots’ offseason program begins later this month, In an interview with ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman (video link), Gronk said he feels good after his latest surgery and would be “ready to roll” when the team reconvenes on April 17. The soon-to-be 28-year-old tight end underwent back surgery in December.
  • Saints coach Sean Payton expects recovering linebacker Michael Mauti to be ready by the time training camp comes, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com reports. Stricken with an intestinal disease, the 27-year-old linebacker did not play in eight Saints games last season because of it. He remains a UFA, but the Saints have interest in retaining the backup defender. Mauti contemplated having a surgery to fix this years-long problem last spring but opted against since he was going into a contract year. Energy and weight loss led to the Saints placing Mauti on their NFI list in November, and he underwent surgery in December. The team still paid him his full $675K salary last season. Mauti told Katzenstein he wants to continue his career with the Saints.

Contract Details: Campbell, Demps, Wheaton

Let’s take a look the financial details of some recently-signed contracts:

  • Mike Adams, S (Panthers): Two years, $4.2MM. $1.15MM guaranteed. $650K signing bonus. $00K available annually via Pro Bowl and interception incentives (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Calais Campbell, DL (Jaguars): Four years, $60MM. $30MM guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus. Base salaries $9MM (guaranteed), $15MM (guaranteed), $12MM, $15MM. $3MM option bonus for 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Marcus Cooper, CB (Bears): Three years, $16MM. $8MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $1MM available annually in Pro Bowl and interception incentives (Twitter links via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune).
  • Quintin Demps, S (Bears): Three years, $13.5MM. $5MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ryan Griffin, TE (Texans): Three years, $9MM. $3.225MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout base de-escalator (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • D.J. Hayden, CB (Lions): One year, $3.75MM. $2.25MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $250K workout bonus. $1.5MM available via incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ted Larsen, OL (Dolphins): Three years, $5.65MM. $1.75MM guaranteed. $1.25MM signing bonus. $500K escalator in 2018. $1MM escalator in 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): Two years, $5M. $2MM guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due on eighth day of 2017 league year. $1.75MM team option in 2018. $750K available via incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cornelius Washington, DL (Lions): Two years, $5.825MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $1.5MM guaranteed (link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Markus Wheaton, WR (Bears): Two years, $11MM. $5MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Terrance Williams, WR (Cowboys): Four years, $17MM. $9.5MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. 2020 option season. Annual $200K workout base salary de-escalator (Twitter links via Wilson).

Lions To Sign CB D.J. Hayden

The Lions and cornerback D.J. Hayden agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth as much as $5.25MM, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). "<strong

Hayden, 27 in June, suffered a hamstring injury in November of last year, ending his season after just eleven games played. At the time of the injury, Hayden was ranked as No. 100 cornerback in the NFL out of 120 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus. He posted poor grades for both coverage and run defense, but he had a better-than-average pass rush grade in his 476 total snaps. Of course, PFF’s scores aren’t everything and Hayden does come with starting experience.

Hayden entered the league as the No. 12 overall pick in 2013. He has not lived up to his first-round billing and he has only one fully healthy season on his resume. Now, he’ll likely be the first cornerback off the bench in support of Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson.

In other Lions news, tight end Darren Fells is set to visit, two other teams have entered the mix to sign Andre Roberts, and T.J. Lang will make Detroit one of his first stops on his free agent tour. The Lions snagged a big fish when they signed tackle Ricky Wagner and they shed a big name when they dropped linebacker DeAndre Levy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Place D.J. Hayden On IR

SATURDAY, 3:47pm: Oakland made the move to place Hayden on IR, replacing the fourth-year corner on their active roster with defensive lineman Branden Jackson, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. A rookie UDFA from Texas Tech, Jackson has not played this season.

FRIDAY, 2:47pm: D.J. Hayden‘s season is over. The Raiders announced that they will place the cornerback on injured reserve. "<strong

Hayden suffered a hamstring injury during Sunday’s victory over the Panthers. Now, Oakland will move forward without its No. 3 cornerback. In his place, T.J. Carrie will probably see an increase in playing time.

With Sean Smith David Amerson, Dexter McDonald, and Antonio Hamilton already on the roster, the team may not need to add another cornerback. Amerson missed Week 12 with a knee injury, but he appears on track to play this weekend.

Hayden is currently ranked as the 100th best cornerback in the NFL out of 120 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus. He has poor grades for both coverage and run defense, but he has a better-than-average pass rush grade. He has been on the field for 476 snaps this year, which is significantly higher than Carrie’s total to date.

In May, the Raiders declined Hayden’s fifth-year option. Instead of earning $8.03MM in 2017, Hayden will be eligible for free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Won’t Exercise D.J. Hayden’s Option

The Raiders are not expected to use their fifth-year option for cornerback D.J. Hayden, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It was long anticipated that the Raiders would decline the option on Hayden’s 2017 season. "<strong

The Raiders probably didn’t have a hard time pondering Hayden’s $8.03MM option given his performance. However, with Hayden potentially not in the team’s plans beyond this season, it is a little surprising to see that GM Reggie McKenzie did not tap a corner in this year’s draft.

As of this writing, Hayden is likely slated to be the No. 4 cornerback on the Raiders’ depth chart in 2016. The Raiders group of corners also includes new addition Sean Smith, David Amerson, and Travis Carrie.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday Roundup: Kaep, Bradford, Washington

Afters weeks of anxious buildup, the 2016 NFL draft is now over, but we’ll still be discussing the fallout from the draft years down the line. Let’s take a look at some of that fallout right now, along with a couple of other notes:

  • The draft has come and gone, and Colin Kaepernick is still a 49er. As Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle writes, the 49ers‘ actions during the draft–i.e. waiting until the sixth round to pick up raw signal-caller Jeff Driskel, instead of drafting a more pro-ready prospect in the early rounds as many pundits anticipated–suggest that one of Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert will be the team’s starter in 2016. And, since Kaepernick’s most likely suitors drafted quarterbacks of their own, it looks like we can finally put the Kaepernick rumors on ice for a little while.
  • We learned last night that the Eagles have not had any contact with Sam Bradford since Bradford requested a trade, and head coach Doug Pederson–who is installing a new offense that projected backup quarterback Chase Daniel is very familiar with–admitted that Bradford is losing valuable time, as Kevin Patra of NFL.com writes. Philadelphia continues to insist that Bradford is the starter, but that could change if he misses significant offseason time. When Pederson was asked at what point Bradford loses the role of presumptive starter, Pederson said, “I think it depends on when he does come back and how fast we can catch him up and put him in that situation and see where he’s at, at that time.”
  • Washington was widely lauded for its selection of TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft, but, as anticipated, his arrival probably means the end of Andre Roberts‘ tenure in the nation’s capital, as Mike Jones of The Washington Post writes. Likewise, Jones writes that the addition of Virginia Tech corner Kendall Fuller could allow the team to release Chris Culliver, whose health status is still uncertain after his ACL surgery and who is due an $8MM salary–with a $9.25MM cap number–in 2016.
  • During his post-draft press conference Saturday night, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie declined to tip his hand as to whether the club will pick up D.J. Hayden‘s fifth-year option, but as Jimmy Durkin of The Bay Area News Group points out, the team will almost certainly decline the $8.03MM option, thereby allowing Hayden to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016 season. Durkin admits it was somewhat surprising that Oakland did not draft a corner over the past couple of days, as the Raiders are still thin at the position even after signing Sean Smith. The Raiders’ approach suggests that they expect Hayden to provide quality depth as a fourth corner, but he will have to prove himself in a big way in 2016 to remain with the club (and to remain in the league, for that matter).
  • Most GMs like to say that they do not reach for need during the draft and that they will select the best player available, regardless of position. As Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk writes, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman admitted last night that he adapted his strategy to make sure the team could adequately fill out its defensive back depth chart after the Josh Norman saga that ended when Norman signed with Washington. To that end, Carolina drafted three corners–James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, and Zack Sanchez–that looked like reaches to many fans. Gettleman insisted, though, that he did not reach, but he had to focus on corners to prevent a “position disaster.”
  • Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times expected the Buccaneers to draft one defensive end and one tackle, and while Tampa Bay did draft a DE (Noah Spence), the team did not grab a DT. As such, Auman expects the club to sign a DT before training camp opens (Twitter link).
  • Former Panthers offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila, whom Carolina selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft but who has yet to play a single professional snap due to various injuries, has been medically cleared to play and has several visits lined up, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

More Minor Moves: Saturday

Our first post featuring the minor moves of the day filled up pretty quickly, so here is a second place to see some of Saturday’s later day transactions. As always, if there are any more moves, this post will be updated at the top.