Darian Thompson

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.

Contract Details: Bridgewater, Panthers, Vaitai, Lions, Byrd, Patriots, Brees, Saints

The latest notes on all of the contracts being handed out around the league:

  • QB Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers: signed. Bridgewater got a three-year deal worth $63MM and a whopping $40MM of that is guaranteed in the first two years, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. He got a $15MM signing bonus to take over for the start of the Matt Rhule era. Newton’s post has the full breakdown on how it’ll be paid out with various workout and roster bonuses.
  • OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Lions: signed. Vaitai’s five-year, $50MM contract includes $20MM guaranteed which will come in the first two years of the deal, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Radio tweets. Detroit can get out of the pact after that.
  • WR Damiere ByrdPatriots: signed. Byrd’s one-year deal can be worth up to $2.5MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network notes in a tweet.
  • QB Drew Brees, Saints: re-signed. Brees’ two-year, $50MM new deal with New Orleans includes a signing bonus of $23MM and a small base salary of only $2MM in year one, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That structure as well as two voidable years added on for 2022-2023 help keep his 2020 cap hit very low so the Saints can spend more as they gear up for one more Super Bowl with Brees under center.
  • LB Sean Lee, Cowboys: re-signed. Lee is back for one more ride on a one-year, $4.5MM deal with $2MM guaranteed. He actually could earn up to $6.5MM if he hits some playing time incentives, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, although he writes they’re “not-likely-to-be-earned.”
  • S Darian Thompson, Cowboys: re-signed. Thompson is getting a two-year deal worth $2.5MM, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. He’s getting a $200K signing bonus and can earn an extra $250K with playing time escalators.
  • WR Cody Core, Giants: re-signed. New York locked up the special teams ace who barely plays on offense, and he got paid handsomely. Core will be getting $4MM over a two-year deal, Wilson tweets. Only $1MM of it is guaranteed however.
  • S Jordan PoyerBills: extension. The full details are in on Poyer’s new pact. Poyer had two new years added on and will now make $22.7MM over the next three years with $13MM of that being guaranteed, Wilson tweets. He also got a $3MM signing bonus. In a separate tweet, Wilson notes that Poyer has an annual $500K interception incentive he can earn.

Cowboys Re-Sign Darian Thompson

The Cowboys have retained safety Darian Thompson, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. After losing safety Jeff Heath to the Raiders earlier today, the team has maintained some continuity at the position.

A third-round pick in the 2016 draft by the Giants, Thompson started all 16 games of his second professional season in New York, but mediocre play and an injury led to his release in just his third season. The Cowboys soon picked him up and he appeared in 10 games at the close of 2018, but failed to record any statistics.

In his first full season in Dallas, Thompson made 4 starts but appeared in the Cowboys defensive backfield in 15 games throughout the season. Thompson recorded 45 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1.5 sacks, and received the 61st highest grade for a safety of the 86 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/7/19

Today’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Cowboys Won’t Tender Darian Thompson

The Cowboys will not tender an offer to restricted free agent safety Darian Thompson, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (Twitter link). However, the Cowboys would like to bring him back at a lower rate.

[RELATED: Jerry Jones Says Cowboys Will Pursue Safeties]

This year, the low tender is expected to cost roughly $2.045MM, which is more than Dallas is willing to spend on a role player. However, they’ll meet with agent Ron Slavin at the combine in Indianapolis and see if they can work out a cheaper deal, presumably of the one-year variety.

Thomspon, a former third round pick of the Giants, joined the Cowboys off of the Cardinals’ practice squad. He was largely in a special teams role for Dallas, though he did start all 16 games for the G-Men in 2017.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/26/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cowboys Waive CB Darian Thompson

Darian Thompson‘s tenure with the Cowboys has come to an end… for the time being. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Dallas has waived the defensive back to make room for recently-promoted defensive tackle Christian Ringo. However, Rapoport notes that he expects Thompson to return to the organization if he clears waivers.

Thompson, a former third-rounder out of Boise State, had a breakout campaign with the Giants in 2017. He finished the season with 75 tackles, six passes defended, and one interception, although Pro Football Focus only rated him as the 66th-ranked safety in the NFL. The 25-year-old missed his entire rookie campaign with a Lisfranc injury, and he was slowed down by a hamstring injury through much of the 2018 preseason.

The Giants’ new regime decided to move on from Thompson in early September, and he was subsequently added to the Cardinals practice squad. He was signed to the Cowboys active roster in early October, but he couldn’t carve out a role in Dallas. He appeared in four games without compiling a single defensive stat.

With Jameill Showers on the injured reserve, the Cowboys now have three healthy safeties on their roster in Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath, and Kavon Frazier.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys To Sign Darian Thompson

The Cowboys are signing safety Darian Thompson off of the Cardinals’ practice squad, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Thompson was a third-round pick of the Giants in 2016, but he has yet to find his footing in the NFL. 

Thompson’s would-be rookie season was mostly lost to a Lisfranc injury suffered in training camp. He started in all 16 of his games in 2017, but a hamstring injury held him back in the summer. The Giants’ new regime didn’t feel that he was worth keeping and cut him with an injury designation on Sept. 1.

The move was a head-scratcher for some, but Thompson graded out as just the 66th-ranked safety in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. Thompson could not find a 53-man deal when he first hit the open market, but the Cowboys have a role in mind for him after plucking him from Arizona’s p-squad.

Thompson is a Boise State product and he’ll find plenty of fellow alums in Dallas. Cowboys stars Leighton Vander Esch, Tyrone Crawford, and Demarcus Lawrence all wore orange and blue before donning navy, silver, and white.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Practice Squad Updates: 10/2/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/1/18

Here are the latest practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson
  • Placed on practice squad injured-reserve: WR Jester Weah

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: DL Jonathan Wynn
  • Cut: LB Garret Dooley

New York Jets