Darnell Dockett

Darnell Dockett To Retire As A Cardinal

1:55pm: Dockett will sign a one-day contract to retire as a Cardinal, according to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (Twitter link).

1:30pm: Former Cardinals and 49ers defensive lineman Darnell Dockett plans to announce his retirement on Monday, sources tell Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Dockett, 35, has not played in the NFL since the 2013 campaign.Darnell Dockett

[RELATED: Cardinals want to extend Calais Campbell]

Dockett spent ten seasons in the desert, starting 156 games for Arizona as an undersized defensive tackle while posting 40.5 sacks, good for seventh on the Cardinals’ all-time list. The former third-round pick registered a career-high nine takedowns during the 2007 season, one of three years he was selected to the Pro Bowl — Dockett was also named a second-team All Pro in 2009.

Among defensive lineman who played from 2004-2013, Docket ranks ninth in Pro Football Reference’s approximate value metric. He helped lead Arizona to two playoff berths, including the 2009 postseason when the club made a postseason run to the Super Bowl only to lose to the Steelers.

In the summer of 2014, Dockett tore his ACL during training camp and was forced to miss the entire regular season. The Cardinals released him in the spring of 2015, and Dockett signed with the division rival 49ers. He didn’t make the 53-man roster, however, and was cut that September.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Ball, Patriots, Giants, Savage

Vic Lombardi of CBS4 and Benjamin Allbright of AM1340 in Denver (Twitter links) have heard that the Cowboys and Broncos are discussing a potential trade involving running back Montee Ball, who has slipped down the depth chart in Denver. However, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link) cites a Cowboys source who says no trade talks are occurring, and Star-Telegram colleague Charean Williams tweets that Dallas would likely only be interested in Ball if he’s released.

The Cowboys have been adamant throughout the offseason that they likes their running backs, though acquiring Ball on the cheap seems more like a more realistic option for the team than signing a veteran free agent.

As we wait to see if anything materializes for the Cowboys, let’s round up some odds and ends from around the NFL…

  • As expected, the Patriots don’t intend to try to recoup the $1MM fine or the two draft picks they lost as a result of DeflateGate, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Team owner Robert Kraft made the decision months ago not to fight the penalties, and even after Tom Brady‘s win in court, it would be a major uphill battle, since teams aren’t protected by the same CBA rules as players.
  • The Giants will spend the next couple days looking for safeties, either via trades or waiver claims, according to Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That’s no surprise, considering the position looked a little thin even before the team lost several safeties to injuries.
  • The Texans got some good news on quarterback Tom Savage, who left Thursday’s game with a shoulder injury. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), Savage just sustained a severe sprain, and won’t require surgery. Houston’s third-string QB is expected to miss at least four to six weeks, and head coach Bill O’Brien indicated today that the club will consider signing another QB for the roster or practice squad (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Asked if the Cardinals have any interest in their former defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, who was released today by the 49ers, head coach Bruce Arians said his club isn’t interested “at this point,” per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link).
  • Former Bears long snapper Rick Lovato is trying out for the Dolphins, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).

49ers Release Darnell Dockett

After an offseason that saw many notable defensive players depart from San Francisco via free agency, retirement, or as a result of legal issues, another veteran defender is no longer a Niner. This time, however, it appears to have been the team’s decision. According to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter), the 49ers have released defensive lineman Darnell Dockett.

Dockett, 34, was sidelined for the entire 2014 campaign due to an ACL tear. In 2013, the former third-round pick started all 16 games for the Cards, logging 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks. However, Dockett’s cap number for 2015 was nearly $10MM, which forced the Cards to cut him earlier this year, at which point their NFC West rivals in San Francisco snatched up the three-time Pro Bowler.

In addition to recovering from that ACL tear, Dockett also battled a rib contusion during the preseason, and appears to have become expendable in San Francisco, where the Niners have Tank Carradine, Tony Jerod-Eddie and first-round draft pick Arik Armstead competing for playing time behind the starters.

A $2MM chunk of Dockett’s salary for 2015 was guaranteed, and he also earned a $500K workout bonus, to the 49ers will be on the hook for $2.5MM in dead money. However, by releasing him now, the team avoids paying him a $250K roster bonus, which he would have earned had he been on the Niners’ Week 1 roster.

With Dockett set to hit the open market again, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the Cardinals to see if his old team is interested in a reunion.

NFC Notes: Beauharnais, Dockett, Lions, Unger

With training camps going on throughout the NFL landscape, players are beginning to stand out and injuries are starting to shift depth charts already. Here are a few veterans who could be looking at new roles or new contracts as the season draws near:

  • The 49ers worked out linebacker Steve Beauharnais yesterday, per John Middlekauf of 95.7 The Game (via Twitter). Beauharnais was on Washington’s active roster last season after being selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.
  • Coming off a torn ACL, Darnell Dockett wasn’t seen much during the beginning of the 49ers training camp. Coach Jim Tomsula said that the reason he wasn’t in there was because he might not factor into the base defense early on with all the double teams he’ll be facing, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com“We’re not going to have him in there doing that,” Tomsula said. “I don’t want him in there. . . He’ll be doing more of the nickel stuff, the sub stuff. You’ll see that stuff.” That could mean more work for Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, and Glenn Dorsey.
  • In his latest mailbag, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com says the Lions could extend standout linebacker DeAndre Levy soon, and he adds that Ryan Broyles has a “decent chance” of making the team’s roster provided he can stay healthy.
  • James Ihedigbo, who skipped the Lions‘ early spring workouts due to frustration over his current deal, declined to talk about his contract on Sunday, simply saying that it is not time to negotiate once the season starts (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press).
  • Jimmy Graham was the biggest name traded this offseason, but it is easy to forget that Max Unger was moved in that deal as well. He is currently getting accustomed to being the starting center for the Saints, and readying himself for the season in New Orleans, writes Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com“Regardless of the reason I’m here, I’m being asked to do a job that I’ve been doing for a while,” said Unger. “I just get on the field and do it, keeping the things that I’ve been doing to get this point in my career.”

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Cards, Cowboys, Bucs

Although the 49ers had a hectic offseason highlighted by the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh and surprise retirements of Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Chris Borland and Anthony Davis, newcomer Darnell Dockett is unfazed by the team’s troubles. The longtime Cardinals defensive tackle signed with the 49ers before Willis, Smith, Borland and Davis retired, but he’s confident the club will overcome an adverse offseason and find itself in the thick of what should be a highly competitive NFC West race in 2015.

“I’ve been in the division for so long, everybody’s aiming for the top teams, so I was getting a lot of criticism and people saying, `Oh, man, why’d you go to San Fran?’ and `Why’d you do this, everybody’s jumping ship? You should have went to Seattle,’ Dockett, 34, told the Associated Press.

“I’ve been playing in this league for so long, it don’t matter the players that depart the team. It’s all about the chemistry and things you build in July and August. Everybody’s got to play the game on Sunday.”

Dockett, who missed the 2014 season with a knee injury, expects to be ready for training camp next month. The three-time Pro Bowler is also excited to play for new coach Jim Tomsula.

“I’ve had the utmost respect for Jim throughout my career. After every game we met on the 50-yard line and always talked football,” Dockett said.

In other NFC news. . .

  • Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington – whom the NFL suspended for four games in 2013 and all of 2014 because of multiple substance-abuse violations – is expected to miss time this year because of domestic-violence issues, but he told Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 that he’s “confident that something will work out.” Washington added that he’ll be ready for training camp in August.
  • The Cowboys elected early in the offseason to place the franchise tag on star receiver Dez Bryant and let reigning rushing champion DeMarco Murray become a free agent. Those decisions led to acrimony between the team and Bryant, who still hasn’t signed his one-year franchise tender and only has until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with Dallas, and Murray’s departure to NFC East rival Phildelphia. However, if given the chance to reverse course, tag Murray and let Bryant hit free agency, the Cowboys wouldn’t do it, according to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News.
  • The Buccaneers will try to make first overall pick Jameis Winston’s transition from Florida State to the pros as smooth as possible. One method they’re exploring includes using “virtual reality” technology to help the quarterback, writes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

NFC West Notes: Wilson, Dockett, Keenum

The best roster in football belongs to the Seahawks, according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus (Insider-only link via ESPN.com), who ranks Seattle No. 1 on his list all 32 NFL rosters. As Monson details, the offensive line is a weak area, with perhaps three starters who should be upgraded, but the team has several above-average offensive skill players, and one of the league’s best defenses. The Seahawks “aren’t going anywhere for a while” with the talent they have all over their roster, in Monson’s view. No other NFC West team places in the top half of PFF’s roster rankings, with the 49ers coming in 17th, the Rams 22nd, and the Cardinals 24th.

Here’s more from around the NFC West:

  • Former agent Joel Corry of CBSSports.com offers some specifics on what he thinks Russell Wilson‘s next contract should look like, suggesting a four-year, $89MM deal that includes $62.5MM in guaranteed money ($41MM+ fully guaranteed). After explaining why the structure of his proposed extension makes sense for Wilson and the Seahawks, Corry plays devil’s advocate and offers some reasons why it might not work.
  • The Seahawks should try to get a deal done as soon as possible with Wilson, even if it means making him the highest-paid player in the NFL, says Terry Blount of ESPN.com.
  • Despite a parade of departures via free agency and retirement since he joined the team, defensive lineman Darnell Dockett doesn’t regret his decision to sign with the 49ers this offseason, writes Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “My decision was easy. I wouldn’t change it,” Dockett said.
  • Case Keenum has shuffled back and forth between Houston and St. Louis in recent years, and is hoping his latest stint with the Rams is “a little more permanent,” as he tells Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Keenum and Austin Davis are competing for the No. 2 job behind Nick Foles, and the loser of that battle may not make the roster, since third-round rookie Sean Mannion is also in the mix.
  • Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders if the city of St. Louis could get another team if it loses the Rams, like Cleveland did with the Browns.

West Rumors: Cole, S. Johnson, Myers, Dockett

Since being released by the Eagles yesterday, Trent Cole has garnered a decent amount of free agent interest, as he was scheduled to meet with the Buccaneers today. Two more NFC teams could be interested in signing the 32-year-old edge rusher, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that both the 49ers and the Seahawks have inquired about Cole. As PFR’s Luke Adams notes in the link above, Cole is viewed as a better fit for a 4-3 defense (which both Tampa Bay and Seattle utilize). San Francisco, though, fields a 3-4 look, so it presumably believes Cole is still an option at outside linebacker.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from San Francisco and the rest of the West divisions…

  • With Jerome Simpson now in the fold, the 49ers might not have a role for fellow receiver Stevie Johnson. Indeed, Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 tweets that the 28-year-old Johnson is expected to be released in the coming days. With no remaining guarantees on the books, Johnson would leave no dead money on San Francisco’s cap, and his release would save the club more than $6MM.
  • Whereas Johnson hasn’t yet been released, former Texans center Chris Myers has already been handed his walking papers, officially being cut by Houston yesterday. But Myers could stay in the AFC, where the Raiders are set to lose free agent Stefen Wisniewski, as Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports (Twitter link) that Oakland does have interest in bringing in the 33-year-old Myers. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that he senses the Raiders will target Chiefs center Rodney Hudson, with Myers serving as backup option.
  • After being released by Arizona, defensive lineman Darnell Dockett signed with the 49ers earlier today, but he insists that staying with the Cardinals was initially possible. “I was willing to restructure my contract,” Dockett said on FOX Sports 910 (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com). “I was willing to take less money than what SF was offering.” Dockett ultimately inked a two-year, $7.5MM deal with San Francisco.

49ers Sign Darnell Dockett

9:13am: According to Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 in Arizona (via Twitter), Dockett gave the Cardinals the opportunity to match the 49ers’ offer before officially agreeing to terms with San Francisco.

8:47am: Veteran defensive lineman Darnell Dockett has made the move from one NFC West team to another, signing with the 49ers days after being released by the Cardinals. Agent Drew Rosenhaus broke the news on Twitter, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has since reported (via Twitter) that Dockett’s new deal with San Francisco is a two-year pact.

Dockett, who is entering his age-34 season, was sidelined for the entire 2014 campaign due to an ACL tear. In 2013, the former third-round pick started all 16 games for the Cards, logging 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks. However, Dockett’s cap number for 2015 was nearly $10MM, which forced the club to cut him.

According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Cards wanted Dockett back, and had a one-year offer on the table to the veteran earlier this week worth up to $4MM, with a a base value of $2.5MM. In fact, Dockett drew interest from the entire NFC West, though he didn’t visit the Rams or Seahawks. Ultimately, the Niners’ offer won out — Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, citing Rosenhaus, tweets that the two-year deal is worth $7.5MM, including $4MM in year one, with $2MM guaranteed.

For the 49ers, Dockett represents a nice addition for a defensive line that may need replenishing this offseason. The team’s two primary defensive ends in 2014, Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, may not return for the 2015 season. Smith is mulling retirement, while McDonald was cut in December due to poor off-field conduct. The Niners also pursued Ricky Jean-Francois last week before the former Colt landed in Washington.

NFC West Teams Vying For Darnell Dockett

Former Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett is expected to decide on his new team today, and his old team remains in the mix, along with the rest of that club’s division rivals. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that Dockett will likely decide between the Cardinals and 49ers, though the Rams and Seahawks are also interested in signing him.

Dockett, who is entering his age-34 season, was sidelined for the entire 2014 season due to an ACL tear. In 2013, the former third-round pick started all 16 games for the Cards, logging 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks. However, Dockett’s cap number for 2015 was nearly $10MM, which forced the club to cut him. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Cards had a one-year offer on the table to Dockett earlier this week worth up to $4MM, with a a base value of $2.5MM.

If Dockett lands with the 49ers, he’d be joining a team with a 3-4 defensive scheme similar to the one in Arizona, and would likely take over the defensive end role vacated by Ray McDonald, who was cut last season due to his off-field conduct. If the Rams or Seahawks emerge as a viable dark horse candidate and land Dockett, he’d have to make the adjustment to a 4-3 system. However, while the 33-year-old visited the 49ers this week, it doesn’t appear that he paid a visit to St. Louis or Seattle, so those clubs look like long shots at this point.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus had suggested on Monday that there was a strong market developing for his client, and that a decision was expected by week’s end.

FA Rumors: Orakpo, Worilds, Dockett, Murray

After franchising him last year, Washington won’t use a tag on edge defender Brian Orakpo this time around, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 Washington (via Twitter). However, Russini does add that the two sides are trying to work out a new agreement before next week’s free agent period.

Here are a few more updates on free agents and free-agents-to-be around the league:

  • Outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who received the transition tag last year from the Steelers, was the team’s only real candidate to be tagged this year, but Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the club will allow Worilds to reach the open market (Twitter link).
  • Defensive lineman Darnell Dockett has a visit scheduled with the 49ers tonight, reports Ed Werder of ESPN.com (via Twitter). We heard earlier today from agent Drew Rosenhaus that there’s a strong market for Dockett, who will likely have a new deal in place by the end of the week.
  • Werder also provides an update on Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, tweeting that the team intends to make a “respectable” offer to the NFL’s leading rusher. The Cowboys are hoping that Murray will give them a chance to match any offer he receives in free agency, but he’ll have no obligation to do so, and Dallas’ flexibility may be limited.
  • Former Eagles offensive lineman Todd Herremans, who is looking for a new NFL home, said today on PFT Live that he’d like to join a contender and win a Super Bowl ring before he retires (Twitter link).
  • In addition to his reported visit with the Lions, free agent defensive tackle Kendall Langford has “several” more meetings on his schedule, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.