Daren Bates

AFC Notes: Kelly, Colts, Titans, Bates, Broncos, Reed

Chad Kelly could be back on an NFL roster soon. The former Ole Miss standout passer and nephew of legendary Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has had a tumultuous road. He was kicked off the team at Clemson during his college days, and was arrested last season in a bizarre incident following Von Miller‘s Halloween party that caused the Broncos to release him. Last week we heard that he could be nearing a deal with the Colts, and we have a new development there.

Kelly hasn’t officially been signed yet, but he is attending the team’s rookie minicamp as a tryout player this week, per Mike Chappell of CBS4 (Twitter link). Kelly has struggled with injuries in addition to his off-field issues, but he managed to open the 2018 season as Case Keenum‘s backup. He played well in the preseason and had a ton of support from the team’s fanbase, and for a while it looked like he might’ve been on the verge of replacing Keenum before he was arrested. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Colts sign him as a developmental option considering current backup Jacoby Brissett is likely to pursue a starting job next offseason.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Speaking of off-field issues, Titans linebacker Daren Bates was recently charged with marijuana possession, per Terry McCormick of Titansinsider.com. The charge doesn’t sound too serious in McCormick’s recap, but he still could potentially face league discipline. Originally signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn back in 2013, Bates has been able to stick in the league thanks to his special teams prowess. Bates, who has been with the Titans since the 2017 season, played only 40 defensive snaps last year but he played 83 percent of the team’s special teams snaps. He’s heading into the final year of a three-year, $6MM deal.
  • Mike Klis of Denver9News “like(s) the chances” of undrafted pass-rusher Malik Reed to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster, he tweets. Klis is very plugged in with John Elway and Denver’s front office, so this is worth noting. The Broncos gave him a $15K signing bonus, so they definitely think highly of him. Reed was very productive in college, and he had 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks with Nevada last year. With Miller and Bradley Chubb, the Broncos already have a very solid pass-rushing nucleus.
  • In case you missed it, the Patriots signed ten undrafted free agents, and we broke down the class here.

Contract Details: Lacy, Vikings, Titans, Bears

The latest contract details from around the NFL:

  • ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link) offers further information on the weight-related incentives in Eddie Lacy‘s contract with the Seahawks: The running back can earn $55K in incentives for each month from May to December if he’s at or below the designated weight in his deal. Those weights are 255 pounds (May), 250 (June-August) and 245 (September-December). Lacy recently weighed in at 267 pounds during a free agent visit.
  • Running back Latavius Murray‘s three-year accord with the Vikings comes with a chance to earn $2.3MM in incentives for rushing yards (it’s unclear how many), escalators in 2018 ($2MM) and 2019 ($4MM) based on rushing yards, and an annual Pro Bowl incentive, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Defensive end/outside linebacker Datone Jones‘ one-year deal with the Vikings features a $1.6MM signing bonus and per-game roster bonuses of $31,250 each (up to $500K), a $150K workout bonus and $1.25MM in incentives for sacks and playing time, reports ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
  • Titans linebacker Daren Bates‘ three-year contract is worth $5.6MM and includes a $500K signing bonus, per ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky.
  • Offensive tackle Tom Compton‘s agreement with the Bears is a one-year, $1.85MM deal with $850K in guarantees and $400K in incentives, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Cornerback Johnthan Banks‘ one-year pact is worth $855K and features $200K in guarantees and an $80K signing bonus.

Titans Agree To Deals With Three

Looking to bolster their special teams unit, the Titans have made a trio of notable moves in that phase of the game. In addition to re-signing linebacker Nate Palmer, the club has agreed to deals with safety Brynden Trawick and another LB, Daren Bates (Twitter links via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN, Adam Caplan of ESPN and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports).

Trawick is now the highest-paid special teamer in the NFL, having landed a contract worth a max of $6.85MM over two years. The Titans will be the third team for the 27-year-old Trawick, who was with the Ravens from 2013-15 and the Raiders last season. Trawick saw action in 67.7 percent of the Raiders’ special teams plays.

Bates was teammates with Trawick last year in Oakland, where the former was involved in 83.9 percent of the club’s special teams plays. Bates, who spent 2013-15 with the Rams, will make $6MM on a three-year deal.

Palmer, meanwhile, was on the field for 60 percent of the Titans’ special teams snaps a year ago and is now set to remain with the club for the next two seasons. The 27-year-old was with Green Bay in the 2013 and ’15 campaigns.

Each of these moves should aid a Titans club whose ST unit finished a below-average 19th in DVOA last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/14/16

Today’s minor moves, signings, and other deals:

  • The Bears announced (on Twitter) that they have re-signed tight end Rob Housler to a one-year deal. The former Cardinals tight end had some productive years in Arizona in 2012 and 2013, but saw his role reduced in 2014 before leaving the team in free agency. In December 2015, he found his way to Chicago.
  • The Falcons signed Charles Godfrey, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The safety is slated to earn $965K between his $885K base salary and $80K signing bonus.
  • The Packers have signed defensive end Ray Drew, a street free agent from Georgia, a source tells ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. Drew spent time on the Browns practice squad last year as a rookie. He originally signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent.
  • The Raiders announced the signing of linebacker Daren Bates. Bates played in 44 games for the Rams over the last three seasons after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

RFA Tender Decisions: 3/9/16

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted free agents. We’ll round up those decisions here:

Tendered

Non-Tendered