Danny Woodhead

Ravens Place RB Danny Woodhead On IR

The Ravens have placed running back Danny Woodhead on injured reserve with a hamstring) injury. To take his place on the 53-man roster, the Ravens have promoted Jeremy Langford from the practice squad. Danny Woodhead (vertical)

The Ravens initially thought they would be without Woodhead for 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately, further tests showed that his condition was worse than initially thought. He’s now facing a 6-8 week timetable, meaning that the Ravens were essentially forced to clear out his roster spot. Per league rules, Woodhead can become one of two players to return from IR for the Ravens, but he’ll first have to sit out for a full eight weeks.

Woodhead joined the Ravens on a three-year, $8.8MM deal with $4.25MM guaranteed back in March. It was a surprisingly large investment considering Woodhead’s age, injury troubles in 2016, and how weak the RB market has been.

A former fourth-round pick, Langford rushed for 537 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie with the Bears. At one point it looked like his future was bright in Chicago, but he was displaced from the roster altogether in early September. The Bears cut Langford in favor of UDFA Taquan Mizzell, who ironically was released by the Ravens. In 2016, he had only 62 carries in 12 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Could Place Danny Woodhead On IR

Danny Woodhead‘s injury is worse than the Ravens initially thought. The latest diagnosis on his hamstring malady has left him with a 6-8 week timetable for recovery, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). That would make him a candidate for the injured reserve list. Danny Woodhead (vertical)

League rules dictate that two players can return from IR each season. The Ravens’ best bet might be to park Woodhead on IR for the next two months and promote former Bears standout Jeremy Langford or second-year pro Alex Collins from the practice squad.

Woodhead missed the majority of the 2016 season with the Chargers and the injury bug has apparently followed him to Baltimore. He is under contract with the Ravens through 2019 at a total of $8.8MM, but the Ravens could conceivably cut him before the start of next season, leaving just $1.5MM in dead money against the cap.

At minimum, Woodhead will miss games against the Browns, Jaguars, Steelers, Raiders, Bears, and Vikings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Danny Woodhead Expected To Miss 4-6 Weeks

Danny Woodhead‘s latest injury will be costly for his new team. The Ravens will be without their primary passing-down back for at least a month, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting (via Twitter) Woodhead could be out up to six weeks with a hamstring malady.

Rapoport adds (on Twitter) the Ravens have a roster decision to make, with this timetable making Woodhead an IR candidate. Only two running backs — Terrance West and Javorius Allen — reside on Baltimore’s active roster. The Ravens are carrying two practice squad backs, however, including former Bears starter Jeremy Langford.

Woodhead missed most of last season and played in only three games for the 2014 Chargers due to injury. The 32-year-old back signed a three-year, $8.8MM pact with the Ravens this offseason. Woodhead tore his ACL last season and suffered a broken leg in September 2014, marring his Chargers tenure.

In 2015, however, Woodhead totaled 1,091 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns to largely create his 2017 UFA market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Osweiler, Butler, Campbell

A Week 17 altercation with head coach Bill O’Brien fueled the Texans to move quarterback Brock Osweiler, writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Osweiler, who was traded in a cap-dump to the Browns last week, was inserted into that game against the Titans after starter Tom Savage went down with a concussion. Savage was ruled out for the game during half time, at which time Osweiler learned that he’d be playing the rest of the contest.

The now-traded quarterback “reacted negatively” to this news, according to Florio, claiming that the Texans were only playing him because O’Brien “needs him.” An argument ensued, and at one point, the coach apparently blocked Osweiler from exiting the office. The quarterback would subsequently say that he was “held hostage” during the confrontation. Previously, former NFL defensive back Bryant McFadden had said players and coaches had to hold O’Brien and Osweiler back.

With all the said, the Browns are now stuck with Osweiler, and the team is reportedly looking to move him. ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini believes the Jets are a team to watch when it comes to the embattled quarterback.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the AFC…

  • The Patriots and Malcolm Butler “have a difference of opinion” when it comes to the value of a potential contract extension for the cornerback, writes ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. Reports from last week indicated that the organization hadn’t reached out to Butler’s camp in a while.
  • The Ravens‘ decision to sign free agent running back Danny Woodhead to a three-year deal was not a response to Kenneth Dixon‘s four-game PED suspension, general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters, Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun. “We’ve known about Kenneth for a long time, but yes, we needed to add another element to our offense, and Danny brings that from the backfield, and we’re still working to try to do some other things at receiver and maybe offensive line,” Newsome said. “But yes, he still would have been a big part of our conversation. We still would have signed him.” Woodhead’s new deal is worth $8.8MM and contains $4.25MM guaranteed.
  • There was a bit of confusion following news that defensive lineman Calais Campbell had joined the Jaguars last week, as subsequent reports said the player was having a change of heart and considering the Broncos. However, Florio notes that there was no agreement in place with Jacksonville when these reports emerged. Ultimately, the player did ultimately join the organization on a four-year, $60MM.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Contract Details: Ravens, Zeitler, Guy

Let’s take a look at the details of some recently-signed free agent contracts:

  • Danny Woodhead, RB (Ravens): Three years, $8.8MM. $4.25MM guaranteed. $1.75MM cap number for 2017 (Twitter links via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun). As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com observes (via Twitter), that represents a sizeable investment for a running back in this market. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that Woodhead gets a $2.5MM signing bonus.
  • Tony Jefferson, S (Ravens): Four years, $34MM (max value of $37MM). $19MM guaranteed. $5.5MM cap number for 2017 (Twitter links via Zrebiec). La Canfora tweets that Jefferson gets a $10MM signing bonus.
  • Kevin Zeitler, G (Browns): Five years, $60MM. $31.5MM guaranteed ($6MM 2017 base salary fully guaranteed). $12MM signing bonus. Cash per year values of $18MM, $10MM, $10MM, $10MM, $12MM (Twitter links via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer).
  • Lawrence Guy, DL (Patriots): Four years, $19MM. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (via Twitter) reports that Guy receives a fully-guaranteed $4.9MM in 2017, but that the total base value of his contract is $13.4MM, with the chance to reach $19MM with $1.4MM playing-time incentives each year. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, Guy’s deal effectively amounts to a one-year pact, as the final three years of the contract are non-guaranteed. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets that Guy receives a $4MM signing bonus.
  • Marshall Newhouse, OT (Raiders): Two years, $3.5MM. Can earn an additional $1MM in playing-time bonuses (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com).

Ravens To Sign Danny Woodhead

The Ravens will sign running back Danny Woodhead, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, adding Woodhead is now fully healthy after suffering a torn ACL during the 2016 season. It’s a three-year deal for Woodhead, tweets Michael Gehlken.Danny Woodhead (vertical)

Woodhead, PFR’s No. 10 running back, was pursued by at least two other clubs in recent days, the Chargers and the Broncos. Despite spending the past four seasons with the Bolts, Woodhead is opting to head east for Baltimore. In sum, Woodhead’s decision may have simply come down to money, as freelance reporter Michael Gehlken reports (Twitter link) the Ravens “came strong” with an offer despite the interest from Los Angeles and Denver.

In Baltimore, Woodhead will join a backfield that ranked 21st in rushing DVOA and is currently manned by Terrance West (who received an original round RFA tender this week), Kenneth Dixon, Javorius Allen, and Lorenzo Taliaferro. If he is truly recovered, Woodhead looks like the easy favorite for third-down work in a Ravens offense that increasingly relied on the short passing attack in 2016.

Receiving prowess has always been Woodhead’s strong point, as the 32-year-old has managed more than 30 receptions four times, and twice gone over 75 catches. He’s been serviceable on the ground, as well, and could carve out a true rushing role in a Ravens offense that lacks a No. 1 RB threat. Injuries, however, have ruined two of Woodhead’s past four campaigns, as a broken fibula wiped out 2014 while the aforementioned ACL injury sidelined him last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Interested In Danny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead is far enough along in his ACL recovery that he’s already getting some bites in free agency, according to Alex Marvez of The Sporting News (on Twitter). The Broncos are among the clubs with interest. Danny Woodhead (vertical)

I ranked Woodhead, 32, as one of the ten best running backs available this month. Typically a pass-catching machine, Woodhead missed the majority of the 2016 season due to injury. In the year prior, Woodhead had a career-high 80 receptions for 755 yards and six touchdowns (also a career high).

Woodhead is no spring chicken, but he could be a valuable addition to another team’s backfield. The Broncos could slot him in behind projected starter C.J. Anderson. Devontae Booker, Juwan Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs (ERFA) are also on the RB depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

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

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT

Quarterback:

  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

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Bolts Trying To Keep Addae, Woodhead

The Chargers offered contracts to multiple in-house free agents before the combine, including safety Jahleel Addae, Bolts reporter Michael Gehlken tweets. Talks are ongoing between the Chargers and Addae, and the club is also attempting to re-sign running back Danny Woodhead, per Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.

Jahleel Addae (vertical)

Both Addae and Woodhead were among the cavalcade of Chargers who dealt with significant injuries in 2016. The 27-year-old Addae broke is collarbone in September and ended up appearing in only eight games – all of which were starts. Addae, who now has 48 appearances and 27 starts to his name, added 48 tackles and the first interception of his career last season. Teams covet the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder for his physicality, Gehlken notes.

Woodhead, 32, suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 and landed on season-ending injured reserve as a result. Previously, the pass-catching back appeared in all 16 games for the Chargers in 2015 and hauled in a tremendous 80 receptions for 755 yards and six touchdowns. He also pitched in 336 rushing yards and three more scores on 98 carries.

Zach Links contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

[UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST EDITION OF THE TOP 2017 NFL FREE AGENTS BY POSITION]

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, 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.

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 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Mike Glennon
  3. Nick Foles
  4. Brian Hoyer
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  6. Case Keenum
  7. Matt McGloin
  8. Mark Sanchez
  9. Geno Smith
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Josh McCown
  12. Christian Ponder
  13. Blaine Gabbert
  14. Matt Schaub
  15. Ryan Nassib

Honorable mention: Shaun Hill

As of this writing, Kirk Cousins is far and away the best potential free agent quarterback in this year’s crop. By the time March gets here, we’re fully expecting Cousins to be spoken for. Ultimately, the Redskins could franchise tag him, work out a long-term deal with him, or swing some type of trade that nets them a massive haul of talent and picks. That will leave a crop of retread quarterbacks that would probably best serve as transitional options for QB-needy teams. Kirk Cousins

Mike Glennon hasn’t done much in his 18 career starts, but talent evaluators are still in love with his size and potential. The 6’7″ quarterback will get more money this spring than you might expect, particularly since there are no surefire QBs in this year’s draft.

Teams looking for stopgap QBs will find a plethora of experienced, though perhaps uninspiring, signal callers. Nick Foles, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all have their best football behind them, but they could hold down the fort for a team in 2017 and maybe even find some success if the defense is strong enough. Of course, the ideal role for those guys would probably be as a backup to a better, younger quarterback.

Running back:

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Eddie Lacy
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Darren McFadden
  6. Jacquizz Rodgers
  7. Rashad Jennings
  8. Danny Woodhead
  9. Rex Burkhead
  10. Tim Hightower
  11. DeAngelo Williams
  12. Andre Ellington
  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Christine Michael
  15. Robert Turbin

Consider Le’Veon Bell‘s name written in Etch-A-Sketch, because he is very unlikely to get near the open market. That could leave Eddie Lacy as the best tailback available in March. Lacy has struggled with weight issues in recent years and he lost much of the 2016 season to injury. Still, he is a bruising back that could nicely complement a quicker ball carrier. Before he was shut down for the year, Lacy was averaging 5.07 yards per carry in five games for Green Bay.

LeGarrette Blount (vertical)In the last two years, LeGarrette Blount seems to have put his off-the-field troubles behind him. Whether that’s a sign of his maturity or a product of the Patriots’ culture remains to be seen. Teams can ignore his past indiscretions, but they will be wary of his age. Blount turns 31 in December.

Latavius Murray has shown glimpses of being a special running back, but he has been inconsistent and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average of the last two years isn’t overly impressive. Darren McFadden ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2015, but 2016 was pretty much a lost year for him. Jacquizz Rodgers seemed to break out last year, but he wound up succumbing to the same injury bug that took down a host of other Buccaneers running backs. Speaking of injuries, Rashad Jennings was initially brought to the Giants to be a workhorse back, but two of his three years in New York were marred by ailments. Everyone in this tier has the potential to make a difference, but none should be counted on as anyone’s main guy in 2017.

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