Dan Carpenter

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Jaguars To Work Out K Dan Carpenter

The Jaguars are bringing in free agent kicker Dan Carpenter to work out and potentially compete with incumbent Jason Myers, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Free agent kicker Patrick Murray, most recently of the Saints, is also working out for Jacksonville."<strong

[RELATED: Jaguars Unhappy With Blake Bortles; Open Up QB Competition]

Carpenter served as Buffalo’s kicker from 2013-16, but the Bills let him go in March rather than carry him at a $2.937MM cap number for 2017. In his first year with Buffalo, he nailed 92% of his field goal attempts. However, his numbers have been slipping in recent years. In 2015, he missed six of the recently-elongated extra points and bricked five more in 2016. Last year, Carpenter made only 76% of his field goal tries.

Over the last two years, Myers has made 82.8% of field goal attempts and 85.9% of his extra point tries. The Jaguars aren’t completely satisfied with the way he’s looked this summer, so they’ll evaluate Carpenter and potentially open up a kicking competition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These 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, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday 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. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These 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, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Bills Cut K Dan Carpenter, Others

The Bills announced that they have parted ways with a number of players, including kicker Dan Carpenter. Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, long snapper Garrison Sanborn, tight end Gerald Christian, and safety Phillip Thomas were also shown the door.

Buffalo’s kicker from 2013-16, Carpenter was slated to carry a $2.937MM cap number for 2017. In his first year with Buffalo, he nailed 92% of his field goal attempts. However, his numbers have been slipping in recent years. In 2015, he missed six of the recently-elongated extra points and bricked five more in 2016. Last year, Carpenter made only 76% of his field goal tries, so his release doesn’t come as a huge shock.

Collectively, these cuts will create $6.1MM in additional cap space for the Bills, inflating their total past $24MM.

Robey-Coleman served as a sporadic starter in Buffalo, breaking with the Bills’ first unit 15 times during his four seasons with the team. The 25-year-old former UDFA signed a two-year deal to stay in Buffalo in 2015, and this release could create a bit of a market for his services. He was set to make $2.1MM this season. Buffalo will save $1.65MM as a result of this release.

While profiling as a lower-tier player than Stephon Gilmore or Ronald Darby, Robey-Coleman graded out as the Bills’ best cornerback, per Pro Football Focus, in 2016. In 573 snaps, PFF slotted Buffalo’s slot man as its No. 33 overall corner. A former USC standout, Robey-Coleman intercepted two passes last season, forced a fumble and scored a defensive touchdown. As a result of this release, the Bills could well be without their Nos. 1 and 3 corners from 2016. Gilmore is expected to move on in free agency.

Sanborn spent eight seasons in Buffalo and was one of the team’s longest-tenured performers. The 31-year-old played his entire career up to this point with the Bills. Buffalo signed Reid Ferguson to a reserve/futures contract after the season, and it appears the team will go with a younger cog as its long snapper. He played in 128 straight games for the Bills dating back to the 2009 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Rework Dan Carpenter’s Contract

The Bills have made some minor changes to kicker Dan Carpenter‘s contract, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. The move creates a small amount of cap space and suggests that his place on the regular-season roster is not a lock.Dan Carpenter

According to Rodak, Carpenter’s pay has been reduced by $250K (from $2.025MM to $1.775MM), and a $250K roster bonus that was due this week is now contingent on him making the Week 1 53-man roster.

If he does make the roster, Carpenter will receive that $250K bonus and if he reaches certain performance incentives, he’ll also earn back his lost $250K in salary. However, if he struggles in camp and loses the starting job, the veteran kicker would lose out on that $500K, plus his remaining $1.775MM base salary, which is non-guaranteed.

The tweaks to Carpenter’s contract only free up another $250K in cap room for the Bills — that extra space likely won’t be put to use anytime soon, but it at least gives the club a little more breathing room. If Buffalo does decide to cut Carpenter before the season begins, it would create another $1.7MM+ in cap savings.

In 2015, Carpenter converted a respectable 23 of 27 field goals (85.2%), but struggled with the longer extra point, missing six of them over the course of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Notes: Carpenter, Gillislee, Harvin, Easley

Bills coach Rex Ryan indicated that he has some pause about keeping kicker Dan Carpenter for next season, although it would take a worthy replacement to push him off the roster, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Carpenter has now missed five extra points on the season.

After converting 91.7% of his field goals upon arriving in Buffalo in 2013, Carpenter signed a four-year extension in March 2014 that included $2.15MM in guaranteed money. The Bills can save $1.7625MM by cutting Carpenter after this season, including a $250K roster bonus that they can avoid paying if he’s released prior to the seventh day of the 2016 league year.

As Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News details, Ryan provided a few more noteworthy tidbits on the Bills this week, so let’s round them up…

  • Ryan expects running back Mike Gillislee to be a part of next year’s roster. “Without question, he’s a guy, him, Karlos [Williams], LeSean McCoy, we’re in good hands there” Ryan said. “Maybe we look to expand his role on special teams. Could be something we look into.”
  • Asked about Percy Harvin, Ryan said he has talked to the wide receiver once and texted with him a few times and “gets the sense” he wants to play. There were rumors earlier in the season that Harvin was contemplating retirement.
  • Wide receiver Marcus Easley was placed on injured reserve by the Bills this week, and it sounds like he’ll have a long road back to full health. Calling the knee injury a “major, major” one, Ryan explained that Easley dislocated his knee cap and broke his knee in three spots.

Bills Notes: Ryan, Carpenter, A. Williams

While Rex Ryan has always been very unlikely to be a one-and-done coach in Buffalo, there was talk around the league last week that Bills ownership was “none too pleased” with the team’s recent play, says Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. As such, the team’s Sunday win over Houston likely has Ryan breathing a little easier.

If the Bills miss the playoffs this year, I expect Ryan to get at least one more shot in 2016 at making the postseason. As Garafolo notes though, the team’s owners are in win-now mode, having OK’d big-money maneuvers such as the trade and extension for LeSean McCoy, as well as lucrative contracts for Charles Clay, Jerry Hughes, and Marcell Dareus, among others.

Here’s more out of Buffalo:

  • Kicker Dan Carpenter missed a field goal and an extra point during Sunday’s win over the Texans, and has now missed four of each for the season. However, his job isn’t in danger, according to Ryan, who declared that “we’re not getting rid of” Carpenter (link via Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News). “Moving that [extra point] back, there’s a lot of people who miss kicks,” Ryan said. “Look, we’ve got a veteran kicker. You guys know he can kick in the conditions, and not everybody can do that.”
  • Safety Aaron Williams, who is on injured reserve with the designation to return, has a 50/50 chance of returning to the field for the Bills this season, per Ryan (Twitter link via Skurski).
  • The injury sustained by cornerback Stephon Gilmore on Sunday isn’t expected to be a season-ender, according to Ryan (Twitter link via Skurski). There has yet to be an official diagnosis or recovery timeline announced for Gilmore.

AFC East Notes: Brady, Campbell, Wilkerson

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday he had no regrets about the way he acted throughout the Deflategate drama, as Christopher Price of WEEI.com writes. Goodell was complimentary of Brady but also made it clear that he was never interested in giving him special treatment.

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Tom. I know him personally,” Goodell said. “As I say, I admire him tremendously. He is a future Hall of Fame player. But our rules apply to everybody. They apply to every single player. And every single player expects those rules to apply to everybody. Every coach does, every fan does, every partner, every team does.

Here’s more from the AFC East..

  • It sounds like the Dolphins are going to give interim coach Dan Campbell a chance to win the permanent job in Miami, as Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. “That’s why we did this with 12 games left, not two,” a source told Werder. Presumably, the Dolphins will consider outside options at season’s end, but a strong finish for Campbell would give him a leg up on his competition.
  • New Bills kicker Billy Cundiff told reporters, including ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (on Twitter), “I’m here to kick off. Everything else is on a need-to-know basis.” Of course, after kicker Dan Carpenter missed a 30-yard try on Sunday, many are wondering if that plan might change.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson has been an “absolute beast” so far this season for the Jets, and Brian Costello of the New York Post suggests that the team has to find a way to lock up one of its best defensive players to a long-term deal.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Bills, Henery, Geno Smith

Here’s a quick look at the AFC..

  • Bills coach Rex Ryan has expressed frustration about kicker Dan Carpenter and it sounds like Buffalo is going to look into replacing him. The Bills auditioned both Billy Cundiff and Alex Henery on Monday, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Carpenter missed three field goals and one extra point in three preseason games.
  • Jets quarterback Geno Smith said that he will not press charges against IK Enemkpali, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. Smith also mentioned that the league is still looking into the incident and inferred that more details on the altercation will emerge, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Meanwhile, coach Todd Bowles says it still looks like Smith will miss about four games, Mehta tweets.
  • Former Eagles wide receiver Rasheed Bailey is scheduled to work out for the Jaguars this week, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.