D.J. Humphries

Cardinals To Exercise Fifth-Year Option on D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option in left tackle D.J. Humphries‘ contract, AZ Central’s Kent Somers writes

Taken with the 24th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Humphries will be owed $9.625MM in 2019 with Arizona exercising the option.

The move isn’t a surprising one, as the Cardinals have been impressed with Humphries’ progress at the position after picking it up in 2017. Though he shows solid potential, he has had trouble staying on the field.

He was inactive for every game as a rookie and began the following season at right tackle before moving to the opposite side of the line. After playing in 13 games in 2016, Humphries was limited to just five games in 2017 after suffering a knee injury against the 49ers in November.

He underwent surgery to repair a torn MCL and dislocated knee cap and expects to return to the field at the start of the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign QB Matt Barkley

With quarterback Drew Stanton suffering through a knee injury, the Cardinals have added some reinforcement at the position. The Cardinals announced this evening that they have signed quarterback Matt Barkley. The team has also promoted safety Harlan Miller from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team has placed safety Tyvon Branch, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries and tight end Ifeanyi Momah on injured reserve.

Matt Barkley (Vertical)We learned last week that Stanton had suffered a sprained knee during Thursday’s loss to the Seahawks, and there were reports that the team could turn to Barkley for a backup role. A former fourth-round pick, Barkley played in seven games (six starts) for the Bears last season, completing 59.7-percent of his passes for 1,611 yards, eight touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. The 27-year-old inked a two-year deal with the 49ers during the offseason, but he was released at the end of the preseason. Barkley also had a stint with Arizona between 2015 and 2016.

Assuming Stanton, who was filling in for the injured Carson Palmer, misses time, Blaine Gabbert will get the first shot at the starting gig. The 28-year-old appeared in six games (five starts) for the 49ers in 2016, completing 56.9-percent of his passes for 925 yards, five touchdowns, and six interceptions. He’s yet to appear in a game this season.

We learned earlier this week that Branch, Humphries, and Momah were likely to miss the rest of the season. Branch suffered a torn ACL during Thursday’s contest, and considering his impending free agency, his injury-filled tenure with the Cardinals could be over. Humphries dislocated his kneecap and suffered MCL damage on Thursday night, ending the third-year edge blocker’s season prematuraly. Momah, a former undrafted free agent out of Boston College, injured his knee against the Seahawks.

Miller, a 2016 sixth-round pick, started two games for Arizona as a rookie, compiling seven tackles and one interception. He was waived by the organization in early September but ultimately landed on the team’s taxi squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

D.J. Humphries Dislocates Kneecap

The Cardinals will be without their starting left tackle for the rest of the season after D.J. Humphries suffered a severe knee injury Thursday night.

Bruce Arians said Friday (via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, on Twitter) that Humphries did not tear his ACL but instead dislocated his kneecap. Humphries, who also has MCL damage, will miss the rest of Arizona’s season. Arians said Thursday night he thought Humphries tore his ACL. While he dodged that, an extensive rehab process will be in store for the third-year edge blocker.

Arizona will move Jared Veldheer back to left tackle, Kent Somers of AZCentral.com tweets. Veldheer and Humphries switched positions going into this season. Veldheer played left tackle throughout his career coming into this season. John Wetzel, who stepped in for Humphries at left tackle against the Seahawks, will move to the right side going forward.

Arians said Humphries faces a three-month recovery timetable but will be ready for OTAs, and the fifth-year Cardinals coach believes the new left tackle’s chronic MCL troubles can be fixed.

The Cardinals will soon have two of their starting offensive linemen on IR. Mike Iupati remains on the injured list due to an elbow ailment.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Chiefs, 49ers, Hoyer

Chiefs starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif exited Monday night’s game in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. Tests on Tuesday morning will determine the extent of the injury and the team is hopeful that it is an MCL injury and not an ACL tear, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.

The Chiefs and Duvernay-Tardif agreed to a five-year, $41.25MM extension in the offseason, making him one of the league’s highest-paid interior linemen. Losing him for a lengthy period of time would be a setback for KC.

Here’s more from the West divisions:

  • 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan says he not given any consideration to a quarterback change, as Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee writes. For now, the Niners are sticking with Brian Hoyer, but it sounds like Shanahan will not hesitate to yank him if he feels it would benefit the team. “I think he needs to play better,” Shanahan said of Hoyer. “And I think we can play better around him. … When you have the time and you have guys open, you need to hit them. I thought he struggled with that at times (Sunday). I know he can do better. But I also know when he did make throws, guys weren’t great at catching them for him, either.” If Hoyer gets the hook, rookie C.J. Beathard will get a chance to show what he can do.
  • The Rams will add Mike Thomas to the roster and go to seven wide receivers when he returns from suspension this week, coach Sean McVay said (Twitter link via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com). Thomas was hit with the ban in July for PED use.
  • Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries is still out with an MCL injury and coach Bruce Arians doesn’t expect to see him back until two weeks from now, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com tweets.

NFC Notes: Cousins, Foster, Scandrick, Cards

The Redskins are using the franchise tag arrangement with Kirk Cousins once again, and some more information about how the franchise planned its negotiations this past summer has emerged. Washington submitted the offer Bruce Allen referenced — a five-year proposal worth just less than $110MM, with $53MM fully guaranteed at signing — in May, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. But Rapoport adds the team did not do anything to sweeten its offer in the months that followed, leading to the stalemate dragging past July 17.

This lack of a notably different second offer came in spite of Allen meeting with Cousins’ agent in Chicago and the Redskins president meeting with Cousins and his father in a four-plus-hour summit Rapoport describes as friendly. Allen, per Rapoport, said he would make another proposal between then and the July 17 deadline. But it did not arrive, and the same offer ended up being a take-it-or-leave-it submission.

Washington cannot renegotiate with Cousins until after the season, when the price for a tag will skyrocket — up to approximately $34MM — and put the Redskins to a higher-stakes decision.

Here’s the latest from the NFC as the conference’s Week 1 slate winds down.

  • Orlando Scandrick broke his hand during the Cowboys‘ Sunday-night win over the Giants, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). However, the veteran slot cornerback underwent surgery on Monday and is adamant on playing in Week 2. Scandrick’s goal might have been a bit optimistic, though. The surgery was a success, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, but the Cowboys don’t sound like they’re counting on him next week. Week 3 looms as a target, Archer notes. Scandrick missed four games last season and struggled with foot trouble. He’s back in his primary role, though, and is a key cog on a Cowboys defense that lost multiple cornerback regulars in free agency.
  • While an official timetable for Reuben Foster‘s high-ankle sprain isn’t yet known, Kyle Shanahan is expecting the first-round pick to miss at least a month. The rookie 49ers coach said Monday, via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter), the four-to-six-week range would be the typical hiatus length. The 49ers are down to their third option at outside linebacker after Malcolm Smith tore a pectoral muscle and was lost for the season in training camp.
  • Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Monday morning that left tackle D.J. Humphries will miss a week or two with a sprained MCL. John Wetzel is expected to start in his absence. Humphries debuted on the left side on Sunday after he and Jared Veldheer switched positions in the offseason.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Cards’ D.J. Humphries Out A “Few” Weeks

Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries is believed to sprained his right knee during today’s contest against the Panthers, and will likely be sidelined for a “few” weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).D.J. Humphries (vertical)

Arizona moved Humphries, a former first-round pick, from right tackle to left tackle heading into the 2017 season, shifting veteran Jared Veldheer from the blindside to right tackle in the process. As such, the Cardinals could potentially place Veldheer back at left tackle while Humphries is out, but that’s not what the club did today.

John Wetzel, who started eight games for Arizona a season ago, replaced Humphries against Carolina on Sunday. In 67 offensive snaps, Wetzel earned a sub-par 35.4 graded from Pro Football Focus, which ranked Wetzel as the third-worst tackle among 39 Sunday participants.

Over the next four weeks, the Cardinals face the Colts, Cowboys, 49ers, and Eagles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Saints, Cards, Seahawks, Packers

With just one year and $3.5MM guaranteed on his Saints contract, Adrian Peterson is far removed from those lavish salaries he collected in his final years with the Vikings. However, the relocated running back can collect some additional cash via incentives — some of which being attached to reasonable figures. The future Hall of Fame back has $2.75MM in incentives tied to various milestones in each of the next two years, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. The 32-year-old running back can collect incentive cash by rushing for 750 yards, scoring at least six touchdowns, or the Saints making the playoffs. Volin doesn’t specify how much each milestone would pay out, but these aren’t outrageous numbers. Peterson scored at least 10 touchdowns in all eight of his seasons that didn’t involve a major September setback. However, with Mark Ingram in the picture, there won’t be as many TD opportunities. Ingram has scored 25 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

Additionally, Volin notes a $750K roster bonus will be tied to Peterson’s 2018 New Orleans employment. That’s rather light compared to the massive $18MM option that was tied to the 2017 season on Peterson’s Vikings contract. But a Saints return in what would be Peterson’s age-33 season in ’18 likely hinges on the running back’s health.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC.

  • The Cardinals are following through with their idea to flip their starting tackles. Jared Veldheer will move to right tackle, while third-year man D.J. Humphries‘ future will be on the left side. Veldheer initially voiced opposition to the move, one broached by OC Harold Goodwin, immediately after the 2016 season concluded, Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com notes. But the career left tackle is on board now. Humphries played left tackle at Florida and parlayed that performance into a first-round Cardinals draft selection in 2015.
  • Packers rookie linebacker Vince Biegel broke his foot, and the ensuing surgery leaves him questionable to be ready by the start of training camp, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky report. The intent of this operation, done last week, was to repair a Jones fracture that also plagued him last season at Wisconsin, Demovsky writes. The latest in a slew of mid-round Packers ‘backer picks, hasn’t had a smooth transition into the NFL. A hand injury briefly sidelined him at rookie camp last weekend.
  • Speaking of positioning, the Saints sound like they might be willing to try Stephone Anthony at middle linebacker again. The Saints moved their underwhelming 2015 first-rounder to the strong side last year, but new linebackers coach Mike Nolan said middle ‘backer suits Anthony best, Herbie Teope of NOLA.com notes. Anthony led the Saints in tackles as a rookie but was moved outside and then benched in 2016. And New Orleans added inside linebackers in Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein this offseason, complicating Anthony’s path back to playing time.
  • The Seahawks used a sixth-round pick on Cincinnati safety Mike Tyson, but those rooting for the menacingly named defender to double as a hard-hitting back-line option in the Legion of Boom may be disappointed. Tyson was practicing at cornerback during the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, according to Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. Although, the 6-foot-2 defensive back drew a Byron Maxwell comparison from Pete Carroll, so that’s a good start for a player who might be changing positions.
  • The Lions‘ second-round Teez Tabor investment came after GM Bob Quinn watched more film on the Florida corner than he has on any prospect during his 15-year evaluation career, Nate Atkins of MLive.com notes. The second-year Detroit GM estimated he watched about 14 Gators games with the primary purpose to see if Tabor played faster than his 4.62-second 40-yard dash clocking.

NFC Notes: Cousins, 49ers, Saints, Cardinals

If Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins becomes available either via the trade or free agency this offseason, the 49ers reportedly plan to pursue the 28-year-old. That would seemingly be a welcome development for Cousins, who praised the 49ers’ new leadership – rookie general manager John Lynch and soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan – on Thursday. Cousins told KNBR 680 (via CSN Bay Area) that Lynch is “smart guy” and a “class act,” adding, ” I think it was a good hire and credit the 49ers for going outside the box and doing something different, and not just getting stuck in a rut of the same old thing.” Shanahan is an “offensive genius,” according to Cousins, who played under the longtime coordinator in Washington from 2012-13. “I’ve always been a big fan of Kyle’s,” Cousins said. “I’ve always spoken very highly of him from the day I was picked. And he called me right after the draft and preached belief in me and encouragement … I loved his system right away and saw it successfuly run with Robert Griffin. I’ve seen it now run successfully with Matt Ryan.”

More from the NFC:

  • Colts COO Pete Ward stated last month that an “associate” of Saints head coach Sean Payton reached out to Indianapolis about its head coaching job, but Payton denied that Friday. Payton told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that his only “associate” is agent Don Yee, who didn’t call the Colts, and the coach added that he had never even previously heard of Ward. While there were reports earlier this winter that teams – including the Colts and Rams – could explore trading for Payton, the Saints never made him available, he informed Florio.
  • Payton’s boss, Saints owner Tom Benson, brought an end to a long battle Friday in settling an ownership dispute with his heirs centering on both New Orleans’ NFL franchise and the NBA’s Pelicans, details Greg LaRose of NOLA.com. If not for the settlement, the parties would have headed to trial Monday (the trial would not have impacted Benson’s control over the teams). Prior to Friday, Benson had been looking to remove ownership shares in the Saints and Pelicans from trust funds created for his daughter and grandson. The family had a falling out on account of Benson’s third wife, Gayle, whom he married in 2004 and who, in the heirs’ opinions, has too much control over Benson’s business affairs.
  • The Cardinals are planning to have left tackle Jared Veldheer and right tackle D.J. Humphries trade places in 2017, offensive coordinator/line coach Harold Goodwin revealed Thursday (via Darren Urban of the team’s website). “Jared is a team player, D.J. is a team player, so I’m sure we’re going to have a little coach-to-player conversation, but right now, throwing it out there of my own accord, I think D.J. at left and Jared at right and we’re rolling and kicking butt,” Goodwin said. Veldheer went on injured reserve in October with a partially torn triceps. That opened the door for Humphries to move back to the left side, where he spent his college career at Florida. Humphries was impressive enough there with the Gators to end up as a first-round pick in 2015, though he was inactive for his entire rookie season before beginning last year on the right side. In a combined 13 starts at the two positions, he graded as Pro Football Focus’ 42nd-best tackle among 78 qualifiers. Veldheer, meanwhile, was far better at the time of his injury (No. 18 out of 74), but that won’t stop the Cardinals from moving him off his typical position. The 2017 campaign will be the penultimate season of the five-year, $35MM deal Veldheer signed with the Cardinals in 2014.

Cardinals Notes: Humphries, Bethel, Bryant

Let’s take a look at the latest out of Arizona…

Extra Points: Chancellor, Cardinals, Draft, Jets

Four-time Pro Bowl Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor hasn’t been shy about voicing his disenchantment with his current contract, going so far as to sit out all of last summer and then the first two games of the season in an effort to land a better one. Though that gambit backfired, he’s in no hurry to leave Seattle. Chancellor took to Instagram on Wednesday and posted a picture with the message: “I’m not going anywhere.” The 27-year-old also wrote, “Seattle is my Second home. I don’t plan on going anywhere unless some higher power places me elsewhere.” Chancellor has two years remaining on his deal.

More from around the NFL as we wrap up Wednesday…

  • The right side of the Cardinals’ offensive line will consist of newly signed Evan Mathis (guard) and D.J. Humphries (tackle), while A.Q. Shipley is the current starter at center, according to general manager Steve Keim (Twitter link via Darren Urban of the team’s website).
  • On the other side of the ball, newly acquired pass rusher Chandler Jones will shift from defensive end – where he played in New England – to outside linebacker for the Cardinals, per Keim. The deal to land Jones took about three days to execute, the GM added (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). It’s worth mentioning that defensive ends cost more to franchise tag than linebackers ($15.701MM to $14.129MM this year), which could impact Jones – who will be a free agent next offseason.
  • Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple has lined up visits with more than 16 teams, including the Rams, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings has met with the Buccaneers, Steelers, 49ers and Lions, he told James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Receiver/returner Jordan Norwood will join linebacker Courtney Upshaw in visiting the Jets on Thursday, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Norwood, 29, has played sporadically with three different teams since entering the league in 2009. He spent last season with the champion Broncos, amassing 22 receptions and 11 returns, and set the record for the longest Super Bowl punt return (61 yards).