Danny Woodhead

Ravens Activate RB Danny Woodhead

The NFL’s worst passing offense is about to get a much-needed boost. The Ravens announced (via Twitter) that they have activated running back Danny Woodhead from the injured reserve. The veteran will be eligible to play tomorrow against the Packers. To make room on the roster, the team waived tight end Gavin Escobar.

Danny Woodhead (vertical)After signing a three-year deal with the organization during the offseason, Woodhead was placed on the injured reserve in September after he struggled to recover from a hamstring injury. While running back Alex Collins and his 5.6-yards-per-carry have looked solid, the team is in dire need of some receiving help. The Ravens currently rank dead last in passing yards and 27th in passing touchdowns, leading to an underwhelming 4-5 record. The 32-year-old Woodhead should certainly help in that regard, as he’ll provide quarterback Joe Flacco with another dependable target.

While the veteran missed the majority of the 2014 and 2016 seasons, he showcased his talents in 2013 and 2015. During those two campaigns, Woodhead averaged 78 receptions for 680 yards and six touchdowns. It may take the running back several weeks to get back in the swing of things, but he’ll presumably replace Javorius Allen as the Ravens’ main pass-catching back. The 26-year-old has been solid this season, hauling in 39 receptions for 189 yards.

Escobar, a 2013 second-round pick, joined the Ravens in October after having spent his entire four-year career with Dallas (plus a brief stint with the Chiefs). The 26-year-old went on to play in a pair of games for Baltimore, although he didn’t compile a single stat. In 64 career games, Escobar has 30 receptions for 333 yards and eight touchdowns.

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Ravens’ Danny Woodhead To Come Off Of IR

Ravens running back Danny Woodhead has officially returned to practice, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The plan is for Woodhead to return from injured reserve. Danny Woodhead (vertical)

The Ravens parked Woodhead on IR in September when he was taking longer than expected to recover from a hamstring strain. With some extra time to recover, Woodhead should be able to give Baltimore’s running game a boost. As an added bonus, he’s entering the midway point of the season with fresh legs.

Woodhead signed with the Ravens on a three-year, $8.8MM deal with $4.25MM guaranteed back in March. It remains to be seen whether he can truly earn his salary given his age and injury troubles.

Woodhead missed most of last season and played in only three games for the 2014 Chargers due to injury. In 2015, however, Woodhead totaled 1,091 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns.

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Ravens Had Interest In Adrian Peterson

The Ravens had interest in trading for running back Adrian Peterson before the Saints dealt him to the Cardinals, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).Adrian Peterson (vertical)

New Orleans ultimately acquired a 2018 conditional sixth-round pick for Peterson, so it’s unclear if Baltimore simply didn’t want to meet that asking price, or if Peterson perhaps indicated he’d prefer to play for the Cardinals. Peterson claims he did not request a trade away from the Saints, but it’s entirely possible general manager Mickey Loomis & Co. allowed him some say on his destination.

Baltimore has dealt with a number of injuries at the running back position, as Kenneth Dixon and Danny Woodhead are both on injured reserve. While Woodhead is eligible to begin practicing again in late October, the Ravens don’t currently have a timeline for his return, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Dixon, meanwhile, will miss the entirety of the season, while Terrance West will be sidelined for a few weeks with a calf injury.

Javorius Allen and Alex Collins have handled the bulk of the Ravens’ carries in recent weeks, and figure to do so going forward. After missing out on Peterson, Baltimore re-signed veteran journeyman Bobby Rainey, who has already earned his paycheck in Week 6 by returning a kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown against the Bears.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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