Damarious Randall

North Notes: Vikes, Browns, Ravens, Sutton

At Vikings OTAs this week, they placed Mike Remmers back at right tackle, per Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Remmers finished last season playing guard, and the Vikings used a second-round pick on tackle Brian O’Neill out of Pittsburgh. Minnesota had UFA signee Tom Compton working as its first-string right guard during OTAs, per Rand. Compton has never been a full-time starter in his six-year career, coming closest with the 2014 Redskins, who used him as a nine-game starter. Last season, the Bears started Compton in five of the 11 games he played. Minnesota lost its most effective blocker, Joe Berger, to retirement and did not make any notable additions beyond Compton at the guard spot.

Here’s more from the north:

  • The Browns have made some adjustments to their front office and scouting department, and Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com expects that to continue. She targets the VP of player personnel decision as a possible turnover spot. Alonzo Highsmith, Ken Kovash and Andrew Berry currently reside in that role. John Dorsey just hired Highsmith, and Cabot reports Berry is safe from a change despite being an integral part of the previous regime. The Browns promoted Kovash shortly after the Sashi Brown regime took over in 2016 after he’d previously worked as the franchise’s director of football research.
  • Converted cornerback Damarious Randall will be the Browns’ starter at free safety this season, relocating Jabrill Peppers to strong safety, per Cabot. Gregg Williams‘ deep placement of Peppers, sometimes more than 25 yards off the ball, became a constant source of discussion and derision among Browns fans, and Peppers himself may be a bit tired of the jokes. But the Browns will now place him closer to the line of scrimmage, which is similar to the role he had at Michigan.
  • Optimism exists around Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, who saw a strong season end early in 2017 because of a torn Achilles, but Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun notes the veteran may not be ready for the start of training camp. The career-long Raven is going into his age-30 season.
  • Additional Ravens’ timelines are coming into focus as well. Defensive lineman Carl Davis, who started nine games last season, underwent surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder earlier this offseason, Zreibec reports. The former third-round pick is questionable to participate in minicamp. Offensive lineman Nico Siragusa also had an operation this offseason. The 2017 fourth-round pick missed all of last season because of ACL, MCL and PCL tears and required an additional knee surgery this year. Zreibec reports the goal for him is a training camp return. As for Alex Lewis, Baltimore’s projected guard starter opposite Marshal Yanda, he’s fully recovered from the shoulder injury that nixed all of his 2017 season, Zreibec notes.
  • The Steelers aren’t sure where to station Cameron Sutton. The 2017 third-round pick played 117 snaps as a rookie after an injury delayed his NFL debut. Pittsburgh may be planning to use him at outside or slot cornerback, or as a safety alongside Morgan Burnett, Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. But he notes that Artie Burns and Sean Davis will still have first crack at their respective jobs, outside cornerback and the non-Burnett safety starter, with the Steelers still hoping for the high draft picks’ upside to show. Mike Hilton remains the frontrunner to be the Steelers’ slot corner, where the former UDFA fared well in 2017.

Browns Exercise Damarious Randall’s Option

The Browns have exercised the fifth-year option for defensive back Damarious Randall, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Browns acquired Randall from the Packers via trade earlier this offseason. 

[RELATED: 2019 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

The fifth-year option is guaranteed for injury only, so the Browns will have the option to bail for any non-health reason. Assuming he remains with the club through 2019, Randall will earn $9.069MM, as shown on PFR’s fifth-year option tracker.

A first-round selection (No. 30 overall) in 2015, Randall appeared in 39 games with 30 starts for the Packers. In that time, he amassed ten interceptions, including four in 2017, one of which was taken to the house for a pick six.

Randall placed as the 81st ranked corner in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus, but GM John Dorsey isn’t overly concerned with analytics. This year, the Browns will convert Randall from cornerback to free safety as fellow newcomers T.J. Carrie and Denzel Ward start on the outside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Interested In Several Big-Name FAs

The Browns took on some more salary last week by adding Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, but the team is still loaded with cap space. And the John Dorsey-led operation plans to be active this week.

Nate Solder is on the Browns’ radar as a possible Joe Thomas replacement, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. While Thomas hasn’t announced his retirement, a decision on whether he will return in 2018 is expected soon.

Additionally, the trade for Damarious Randall won’t preclude Cleveland from seeking top-end cornerback talent. The Browns will pursue Bashaud Breeland, Cabot reports, and a Trumaine Johnson/Gregg Williams reunion could well be something the team considers.

The Browns are targeting big-name corners not just because they have a need for younger talent there but because they are going to play Randall as a free safety, per Cabot. Randall has not played safety yet in the NFL, but the Browns evidently view that as a worthwhile adjustment for their new defensive back.

Terrelle Pryor remains on the Browns’ radar, per Cabot. They’ve been linked to him this offseason and tried to reacquire him from the Redskins at the trade deadline last year. Hue Jackson remains a Pryor backer. Pryor’s market may not be what it was a year ago, however, after a rough season in Washington. Cabot adds that agent Drew Rosenhaus didn’t think it was wise for Pryor to be tied down at $8.5-$9.5MM per year. It would be incredibly surprising if Pryor signs for around that amount this year.

Cabot adds the Browns will likely go after Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins as well. Robinson is a top Browns target, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reaction To Browns Trades

In a span of less than two hours on Friday, the Browns completely retooled their offense and added a piece to their secondary by acquiring Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor and Damarious Randall from the Dolphins, Bills and Packers respectively.

The flurry of moves drastically improves the teams offense and provides a veteran stopgap quarterback — assuming no longterm deal is made — that can bridge to the signal-caller the team is presumably going to tab with one of its two first-round picks.

Leaving Cleveland was 2017 second-round pick DeShone Kizer, who was sent to Green Bay in the Randall deal. The teams also agreed to swap fourth- and fifth-round picks in the upcoming draft. For Landry, the Browns only parted with a 2018 fourth-round pick (No. 123) and 2019 seventh-round selection. In the Taylor deal, Cleveland sent one of its third-round picks (No. 65) in exchange for the turnover-averse passer.

These deals can not be officially completed until Wednesday, the first day of the 2018 season.

Here’s more on Cleveland’s busy day:

  • The Browns do not have a long-term deal in place for Landry at the moment but both sides are interested, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson tweets. Jackson also notes (Twitter link) that Landry likes the situation in Cleveland and is excited to work with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
  • Sticking with Landry, the Ravens, Titans and Jets were all involved in talks for the receiver late this week before the Browns landed him, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets. The Ravens were widely reported as suitors for the dynamic slot receiver, but both the Jets and Titans flew under the radar.
  • ESPN’s Pat McManamon believes the trade of Kizer and the acquisition of Taylor emphasizes the Browns believe in one of the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. He writes the plan is for Taylor to hold the spot in 2018 and let the drafted passer take the role in 2019.
  • Several other teams were interested in adding Taylor, including the Cardinals and Broncos, the Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci reports (Twitter link). Both teams were not willing to meet the Browns’ offer of a third-round pick. Kent Somers of AZ Central Sports, however, hears that the Cardinals were not involved in talks for the quarterback (Twitter link).
  • Heavily linked with Cleveland due to his ties with head coach Hue Jackson, A.J. McCarron will have to find a new suitor. ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link) noted the obvious candidates — Arizona, Denver and now Buffalo — as potential landing spots for the former Alabama signal-caller.

Browns Deal Kizer For Damarious Randall

In the deal that sent 2015 first-round cornerback Damarious Randall to the Browns, the Packers received in return quarterback DeShone Kizer, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweets

In addition to Randall and Kizer, the teams agreed to swap picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets.

A second-round selection in 2017, Kizer started 15 games with Browns as a rookie and did not win a game, posting just 11 touchdowns with a league-leading 22 interceptions. The writing appeared on the wall that the Notre Dame product was not in the Browns’ future plans after the team swung a deal for Tyrod Taylor on Friday. Just moments later, the team was able to find Kizer a new home in the Randall deal.

Boasting prototypical size and a cannon for an arm, Kizer entered the 2017 NFL Draft as a potential franchise signal-caller who could go in the first round. With the move to Green Bay, he will be able to learn the ropes from one of the best in the business in Aaron Rodgers while battling Brett Hundley, who has one year remaining on his rookie deal, for backup duties.

With the deal, the Packers cleared $1.4 MM in cap space. The Browns will have a fifth-year option on the cornerback they will have to declare by May 3, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein reports (Twitter link).

A first-round selection (No. 30 overall) in 2015, Randall has appeared in 39 games with 30 starts in Green Bay and has made 10 interceptions. In 2017, the cornerback registered four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown in 12 starts.

The trade can be made official as early as Wednesday.

[RELATED: Browns Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Trade For Packers CB Damarious Randall

Before the dust is settled from one deal, the Browns move on to the next. Just minutes after executing a trade for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the team was at it again by striking a deal for Packers cornerback Damarious Randall, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets.

Details of what the Browns were sending back to the Packers were not immediately available. With the deal, the Packers cleared $1.4 MM in cap space. The Browns will have a fifth-year option on the cornerback they will have to declare by May 3, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein reports (Twitter link).

A first-round selection (No. 30 overall) in 2015, Randall has appeared in 39 games with 30 starts in Green Bay and has made 10 interceptions. In 2017, the cornerback registered four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown in 12 starts.

CB Notes: Revis, Lane, Packers

Darrelle Revis does not want to retire despite turning in another disappointing season, albeit an abbreviated one. The 32-year-old cornerback played in six Chiefs games, counting Kansas City’s first-round defeat, and is signed through 2018. However, the Chiefs are fairly certain to move on from him — at least, at his current rate. Revis is due $10MM at the start of the 2018 league year.

The material I put on [film] from the little time I had, not going through training camp and being here for the installs, I was OK,” Revis said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “I wasn’t great or my best ever. No way. But at the same time, for what I came in here and was asked to do, for the most part I’m happy with it.”

Revis, whose play Chiefs DC Bob Sutton called “pretty remarkable” considering he joined the team in late November, said he wants to be with a team throughout the offseason in 2018. He will turn 33 before training camps begin. He did not rule out a return to the Chiefs.

You never know with these things,” Revis said. “This is my fourth team. Rosters always change. Even if we went the distance and won the Super Bowl, that team changes as well. I understand the situation.

… I just feel like if I had been here during those [offseason practices] and training camp practices I would have had more reps and been more comfortable. I still think I can contribute. I think a lot of people kind of criticized me because of how I played in the past but for the most part the role I played here was simply to contribute. The role coach gave me was to play nickel and that’s what I came to do.”

Here’s the latest from various cornerback situations around the league.

  • Seahawks corner Jeremy Lane ran into trouble early Monday morning when he was arrested for a DUI, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com reports. This arrest occurred on or near Mercer Island (near Seattle), per Henderson, who adds the cornerback was booked into jail at 5:30am PT. He was released on his own recognizance approximately four hours later. Henderson notes the Seahawks were already expected to move on from Lane after this season, one that saw him nearly traded to the Texans before a failed physical sent him back to Seattle. The 27-year-old defender is set to make $6MM in base salary in each of the next two seasons. It would cost the Seahawks $2.5MM in dead money to release Lane while providing nearly $5MM in cap savings.
  • Damarious Randall‘s offseason began with a hand surgery to correct a problem the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Michael Cohen reports (on Twitter) the Packers cornerback played through all season. Cohen called it a minor procedure, while ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports (on Twitter) that operation will sideline Randall for up to two months.
  • The twice-franchise-tagged Trumaine Johnson isn’t a lock to leave Los Angeles.

Latest On Packers’ Damarious Randall

An argument between Damarious Randall and a Packers coach led to the cornerback heading to the locker room during the second half of Green Bay’s win over Chicago on Thursday night, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Mike McCarthy (per ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) called it a “coach’s decision” to send Randall to the locker room during the Packers’ 35-14 win. McCarthy benched Randall to start the second half.

The dispute came with a Packers assistant and was about coverage responsibilities, Rapoport reports (video link).

Rapoport adds Randall left Lambeau Field after the dispute, but conflicting accounts exist regarding when the third-year defender left the stadium. Rapoport notes (via Twitter) Randall left after the game, but this incident was enough for he and McCarthy to discuss it in a private setting. McCarthy and Randall met Friday in his office to address the matter, per Rapoport (on Twitter). Internal discipline will be expected after the dispute, Demovsky notes.

While a suspension could be possible, the Packers do not appear to be looking to cut ties with their 2015 first-rounder. McCarthy said (via Demovsky) Randall will be with the team when it reconvenes for practice Tuesday.

Randall has started in each of the Packers’ four games this season but hasn’t been particularly effective. Pro Football Focus grades him as the No. 99 corner thus far. Randall started nine games in each of the past two seasons, but the Packers are now deeper at corner than they were last season. So options exist beyond Randall. This led to the team’s decision to waive Ladarius Gunter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Packers, Adams, Bears

Packers wideout Davante Adams was taken to the hospital on Thursday night following a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, but “everything is progressing well” for Adams, according to head coach Mike McCarthy“He’s already giving them a hard time at the hospital to get out of there so that’s a great sign,” McCarthy said, per Curtis Crabrtee of Pro Football Talk. Adams suffered a concussion but his MRI is “clean,” per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Trevathan, meanwhile, earned a 15-yard personal foul for the hit but wasn’t ejected from last night’s game. The play is under review by the NFL, however, and Trevathan could be subject to a suspension, tweets Rapoport.

Here’s more from the NFC North, with a focus on Thursday Night Football:

  • Starting running back Ty Montgomery left last night’s contest early after suffering broken ribs, and the Packers are also down their No. 2 runner in Jamaal Williams, who is believed to have sprained his knee on Thursday, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Williams will likely miss time, meaning Green Bay will now lean on rookies Aaron Jones and Devante Mays in the backfield. While the Packers could conceivably get by with Jones, Mays, and fullback Aaron Ripkowski, the club will almost certainly add another back. Green Bay doesn’t have a running back on its practice squad, so it could look to a free agent market that includes DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings, C.J. Spiller, and Ryan Mathews.
  • Bears quarterback Mike Glennon struggled on Thursday, tossing one touchdown against two interceptions while losing two fumbles, but head coach John Fox didn’t immediately commit to making a change under center, as Crabtree writes in a separate piece“We need to make a lot of changes,” Fox said. “We’ll evaluate everything. We’ve got a lot of work to do before we line up against Minnesota Monday night and we’re going to look at everything.” Chicago, of course, signed Glennon to a three-year, $45MM contract this offseason that contains $18.5MM guaranteed, but also moved up to the No. 2 overall pick to select UNC’s Mitch Trubisky. The Bears have an extended break before facing the Vikings on October 9.
  • After being benched at the start of the second half of last night’s contest, Packers cornerback Damarious Randall wasn’t on the sideline for the rest of the game and also wasn’t present in the post-game locker room, report Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Although McCarthy called the issue an “internal matter,” Demovsky speculates Randall could potentially be suspended or even waived. A second-round pick in 2015, Randall has thus far graded as a bottom-15 NFL cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Former Packers long snapper Brett Goode received a four-week injury settlement, while fullback Joe Kerridge got three weeks, according to veteran NFL reporter Bob McGinn (Twitter links). Both players must wait three weeks plus the length of their respective settlements before they’re eligible to re-sign with Green Bay.

Packers’ Damarious Randall To Have Surgery

Bad news for the Packers as cornerback Damarious Randall underwent surgery over the weekend to repair a groin injury, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. After going under the knife, Randall will be out for several weeks. Damarious Randall (vertical)

An exact timetable for his return is not yet known. However, the surgery is not expected to be season-ending for the 2015 first-round pick. Had they lost Randall for the year, the Packers would have been in some serious trouble. Already, they have been forced to place Sam Shields on IR with concussion symptoms while Quinten Rollins is dealing with a groin injury of his own (though, Rollins’ injury is believed to be less serious).

The injuries have left Green Bay with LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson as their top cornerbacks. With any luck, the Packers will get Rollins back in time for Sunday’s game against the Falcons, but it sounds like they’ll still need reinforcements at the position.

In other Packers injury news, safety Chris Banjo is headed to the IR with an undisclosed injury, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Banjo will be healthy in three or four weeks, but the team wanted to free up a roster spot so that they could properly address their issues at cornerback.

Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis is also headed to IR with a thigh contusion, as Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.