Darius Philon

Raiders To Sign Darius Philon

Las Vegas continues to add depth to their defensive line, and their latest signing is an interesting one. The Raiders have agreed to terms on a deal with Darius Philon, the team announced on Twitter.

This one came a bit out of left field, because Philon hasn’t suited up since the 2018 season. He was originally drafted by the Chargers in 2015, and spent the next four years with the team. He flashed plenty of potential during his last couple seasons there, and started 13 games in 2018. He had 33 tackles, seven for a loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble that year.

That earned him a two-year, $10MM deal from the Cardinals in 2019, but he never played a down for the team. That’s because he was arrested that August for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and cut shortly thereafter. We haven’t heard much from him since then, as he didn’t play that season or in 2020.

He’s apparently ready to make a comeback now, and is still only 27. Presumably signed very cheaply, he could be a decent low-risk flyer for a Raiders team in need of help along the defensive front.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Cut Darius Philon Following Arrest

On Friday, defensive lineman Darius Philon was arrested and charged with aggravated with a deadly weapon from an incident in May. On Saturday, the team made the decision to cut Philon, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes

Philon allegedly pointed a gun and threatened to shoot a woman outside of a strip club on May 17th. The police report says the player pointed the gun at the victim, who was with another female, twice before she returned to the club, asking at one point “which one of you wants a bullet?” Philon drove away following the incident. On Friday, he was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and on Saturday he posted a $5,000 bond and was released.

The Cardinals signed the defensive end to a two-year deal in March worth $10MM and had slated him to fill a big role with the team in 2019. With Philon no longer in the picture, third-round pick Zach Allen is now expected to take over as a starter in Arizona.

A sixth-round selection in 2015, Philon played four seasons with the Chargers before signing with the Cardinals in 2019. The defensive lineman has appeared in 54 career games (19 starts) with 80 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Cardinals DL Darius Philon Arrested

Cardinals defensive lineman Darius Philon was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an incident in May, according to a report on TMZ.com (and passed along by Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). The 25-year-old was taken to Maricopa County Jail this morning.

Philon allegedly pointed a gun and threatened to shoot a woman outside of a strip club on May 17th. The police report says the player pointed the gun at the victim, who was with another female, twice before she returned to the club, asking at one point “which one of you wants a bullet?” Philon drove away following the incident.

After playing four years for the Chargers organization, Philon joined the Cardinals on a two-year, $10MM ($5MM guaranteed). The defensive lineman has appeared in 54 career games (19 starts) with 80 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Gates, Matthews, Raiders, Cards

While the Chargers have a lesser need at the tight end position than they did when they brought Antonio Gates back for a 16th season, a 17th Gates campaign with the Bolts remains on the radar. But the team has the future Hall of Famer on the back-burner for the time being. Budgetary issues represent the Chargers’ near-future concerns, with Anthony Lynn saying (via Pro Football Talk) Tuesday the team informed Gates it may be a bit before a decision is reached on whether or not to bring him back. Tom Telesco sounded optimistic about a Gates return in January. Hunter Henry stands to be healthy for training camp, and Virgil Green remains on the roster. The Chargers had this duo healthy during free agency last year and bid farewell to Gates. Henry’s injury brought the parties back together, with Gates making $2.5MM. It will be interesting to see if the Bolts have all three on their roster this season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • With Isaiah Crowell set to visit the Raiders on Thursday, the futures of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin may soon become even more uncertain. However, Jon Gruden said (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, subscription required) the door remains open on Lynch. Martin, however, may see Crowell — if Gruden gets his wish and he signs — push him aside. Martin’s asking price may have been too high, per Tafur (on Twitter). The Raiders had wanted to re-sign Martin, but not much has transpired on this front since free agency opened. Martin bounced back after consecutive seasons of 2.9 yards per carry, averaging 4.2 per tote and being the Raiders’ primary rusher following Lynch’s injury.
  • Clay Matthews received a decent mid-level deal to sign with the Rams, with Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) the veteran outside linebacker’s contract is for two years and $12.75MM. Of that total, $6.5MM is guaranteed. Matthews’ deal can max out at $16.75MM. Matthews made more than $10MM in base salary in each of the past two seasons.
  • The NFL has intervened on the Broncos‘ ownership situation. Roger Goodell said 49ers GM Carmen Policy is serving as the arbitrator for the dispute between the Broncos’ Pat Bowlen Trust members and the owner’s two oldest daughters — Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). This process began a few weeks ago. Both Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer have filed a motion to dismiss the arbitration, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). This is Policy’s first time serving as an NFL arbitrator. The Bowlen Trust members are seeking the arbitrator to determine who will take over as the next Broncos owner, among other points (per Jhabvala). Brittany Bowlen has long been viewed as the Trust’s preferred candidate, and the 29-year-old is expected to return to the Broncos this year.
  • A defensive tackle in the Chargers’ 4-3 defense the past two seasons, Darius Philon will return to a role as a 3-4 defensive end with his new team. The Cardinals are planning to use Philon as an end, Kliff Kingsbury said (via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss, on Twitter).
  • C.J. Prosise saw another injury cost him time last season, and Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) Tuesday the fourth-year running back underwent abdominal surgery recently. The Seahawks lost Mike Davis but still have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Carroll remains hopeful Prosise can contribute, but the former third-round pick has gained just 129 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Cardinals To Sign DT Darius Philon

The Cardinals are signing former Chargers defensive tackle Darius Philon to a two-year, $10MM deal (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Philon will receive $5MM fully guaranteed and can earn a maximum of $12MM through incentives. 

Philon, 25, has appeared in 54 career games since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2015. Over the last two years, he’s taken a big step forward in his career. In 2017, he notched a career high 4.5 sacks, playing mostly as a reserve. Last year, he started in 13 of his 16 games and notched four sacks plus 33 tackles overall.

The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus indicate that 2018 was Philon’s best season yet. He could have an opportunity to build on that as a key contributor in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Put Brandon Flowers, Corey Liuget On IR

A season that’s going to send the Chargers to their first top-10 draft pick since 2004 won’t feature Brandon Flowers or Corey Liuget for the home stretch, with the team opting to place both defensive starters on injured reserve, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter).

San Diego activated rookie defensive lineman Darius Philon from IR-DTR in one of its two corresponding moves.

The team also promoted quarterback Brad Sorensen off the practice squad as an insurance policy against Philip Rivers‘ illness, one that’s not expected to force him to miss Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Gehlken reports.

Both Flowers and Liuget signed lucrative contracts with the Chargers prior to this season.

A fifth-year veteran who signed a five-year, $51.25MM extension, Liuget struggled with a foot injury. Flowers, who joined the Chargers last season as a free agent, left last week’s game against the Broncos with a knee malady.

Liuget totaled 60 straight starts before missing Week 9 against the Bears before resuming his role as a starting end in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme. He notched three sacks and led Chargers defensive linemen with 35 tackles but rated as Pro Football Focus’ 76th-best interior defensive lineman.

Also mirroring the Chargers’ freefall, Flowers did not live up to the form he displayed when he relocated from Kansas City on a one-year deal last season. PFF ranked him as its fifth-worst regular cornerback. The 11th-highest-paid corner in the league after signing a four-year deal in March that pays him $9MM+ AAV, Flowers is under contract through the 2018 season.

The Chargers placed Philon, a sixth-round pick this year, on IR-DTR after Week 5. The rookie figures to get a long look after missing so much time and Liuget’s sudden shelving further thinning out an injury-plagued team.

San Diego’s already lost Keenan Allen and experienced rampant offensive line issues in its woeful season. These latest moves will increase the Chargers’ chances of procuring a potential top-5 pick. They’d pick at No. 3 in the first round if the season ended today.


Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/15

Here are Saturday’s minor moves from around the NFL. We’ll keep the list updated throughout the day…

  • The Raiders added wide receiver and kick returner Walt Powell to their 53-man roster and signed strong safety Keenan Lambert to their practice squad, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). A Cardinals sixth-round pick in 2014, Powell played in 14 games for the Jets as a rookie. Oakland waived Lambert, who began the year in training camp with the Seahawks, two days ago, and the defender cleared waivers to enable a practice squad signing.
  • The Chargers placed rookie sixth-round pick Darius Philon on IR-DTR and promoted guard/tackle Michael Ola from their practice squad, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). With the Bolts still struggling with offensive line injuries, a need for Ola emerged. A former UDFA, Ola started 12 games with the Bears in 2014. Philon, a defensive end who’s been backing up Kendall Reyes, been active in each of the Chargers’ five contests thus far this season but now will miss most of the regular season’s remainder with a hip malady. Week 14 represents Philon’s earliest return date.
  • The Titans signed Justin Staples to their active roster and placed Deiontrez Mount on IR, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). Mount, a rookie sixth-round defensive end, suffered a torn ACL. A third-year linebacker, Staples played six games with the Titans in 2014 after entering the league as a UDFA.
  • Hard Knocks fan favorite cornerback Charles James received notice of being cut by the Ravens, with the team signing running back Terrance Magee, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). The Ravens placed Lorenzo Taliaferro on IR this week, creating a spot for Magee. Zreibec also notes (on Twitter) this may be a depth move to protect the team in case Justin Forsett, who is questionable for Sunday’s game against the 49ers with an ankle ailment, doesn’t play this week. A rookie undrafted free agent out of LSU, Magee signed with the Ravens initially in May. Prior to being waived by the Texans in September, James played in 13 games with the Giants in 2013.
  • The Broncos have promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The team also released tight end Richard Gordon, who was just added to the roster earlier this week.

Earlier updates:

  • The Colts have released kick returner Marcus Thigpen and called up linebacker Amarlo Herrera to take his roster spot, reports Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). With Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving both struggling with injuries, the Colts were clearly looking for some reinforcement on defense. Thigpen previously saw time with the Bills this season, returning 12 combined punts and kickoffs.
  • The Bears have signed nose tackle Bruce Gaston from the Packers practice squad, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. The second-year player had made a pair of appearances with Green Bay this season. He’s expected to provide the Bears with some depth on the defensive line, where Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton and Jeremiah Ratliff are all banged up.

Chargers Sign Four Draft Picks

With just five picks this year, the Chargers had one of 2015’s smallest draft classes, and the team nearly locked up all its draftees in one fell swoop today. According to the club’s official website, the Chargers have signed four rookies, including second-round linebacker Denzel Perryman.

In addition to inking Perryman to his rookie contract, the team also made things official with third-round cornerback Craig Mager, fifth-round outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel, and sixth-round defensive lineman Darius Philon. First-round running back Melvin Gordon, this year’s 15th overall selection, is the only San Diego draftee who has yet to put pen to paper.

As Over The Cap’s data shows, the cap numbers for the Chargers’ four signed picks will range from about $465K to $870K. Of the four players, Perryman will pull in the largest signing bonus, at about $1.734MM. Mager’s bonus will be worth approximately $662K, while Emanuel’s will come in at about $219K, and Philon will get about $121K.

For a complete breakdown of which draft picks have and haven’t signed their rookie contracts, be sure to check out our tracker.

Chargers GM On Gurley, Gordon, Collins

Some draft prognosticators had the Rams selecting Todd Gurley at No. 10, but Chargers GM Tom Telesco wasn’t expecting him to be the pick. Telesco told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (audio link) that he thought St. Louis was set at the position with incumbent Tre Mason in the backfield. It turns out that the Gurley selection altered the Bolts’ draft plans at the last minute and forced them to make a move. Here’s more from Telesco’s chat with Marvez…

  • Telesco explained that after Gurley came off the board at No. 10, he started making calls to other teams. He didn’t expect the University of Georgia star to be available at No. 17, but he did feel compelled to move up in the draft to get a running back after he was taken. The Chargers, of course, moved from No. 17 to No. 15 in order to draft Melvin Gordon.
  • The GM said that the Chargers have kept in touch with La’el Collins‘ agent and they continue to “compile information” on his off-field situation. A number of teams are getting background information on the LSU tackle and individual players are working hard to recruit him.
  • Sixth-round pick Darius Philon could see action as an inside pass rusher in nickel packages, Telesco said. He also said that the team will find a role for inside linebacker Denzel Perryman, whom they drafted in the second round.