Darrelle Revis

NFC Notes: Rams, Cowboys, Eagles, Vikes

The Rams had been holding off on extension talks with franchise-tagged cornerback Trumaine Johnson because they wanted to see how he fit in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme during their offseason program. Well, Johnson and Phillips are apparently a match, as head coach Sean McVay said Thursday (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com) that he “fits any system. You’re talking about a big corner who can run, he’s physical, he can tackle and he has great ball skills.” The Rams have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with Johnson, who’s currently scheduled to rake in $16.742MM this year. The same deadline doesn’t apply to superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald, as he’s still under control for two more years. The sides have discussed an extension, though, and McVay is “optimistic that something’s going to work out.”

More from the NFC:

  • One reason the Cowboys are uninterested in free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis is because they view him as a “progress-stopper,” according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. The Cowboys used three picks this year on corners, including Chidobe Awuzie in Round 2 and Jourdan Lewis in Round 3, and seem content to lean on a group that includes those youngsters, second-year man Anthony Brown (whom they’re bullish on, per Williams) and the established twosome of Orlando Scandrick and Nolan Carroll.
  • After playing just 27 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps in 2016, linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason. For now, Kendricks is still in Philadelphia, and if he remains an Eagle this year, his role is unlikely to change, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. The Eagles used their nickel package over 70 percent of the time last season, and they’ll probably rely on it heavily again; if so, Kendricks will continue to watch from the sideline as fellow linebackers Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham receive the majority of snaps. The 26-year-old Kendricks still has three years left on his contract, but releasing him would cost the Eagles $9.15MM in dead cap this summer. Barring a trade, then, he figures to spend the sixth year of his career with his only NFL employer to date.
  • Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is finally poised to put his nagging right eye issues behind him. “We’re just about out of the woods,” said Zimmer, who has undergone eight separate surgeries over the past year to repair a detached retina. A checkup on Wednesday revealed that “the retina is perfect, the pressure [in my eye] is great,” Zimmer informed reporters, including Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. The 61-year-old’s doctor told him he’d be “absolutely shocked if anything else happened in this eye.” Zimmer’s eye problems led to his absence from the Vikings’ Week 13 loss to Dallas last season and forced him to miss the first two weeks of organized team activities this spring.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, OBJ, Redskins

Earlier this week, Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant attempted to recruit free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis via Twitter. Subsequent reports indicated that the organization wasn’t pursuing the veteran, but head coach Jason Garrett was rather vague when addressing the rumors today.

“Yeah, I really don’t know the nature of that,” Garrett said (via Jon Machota of The Dallas News). “Obviously we have a lot of respect for Revis. He’s been a great player in this league for a long time.”

Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli deferred to the front office.

“I wouldn’t even speculate on anything like that,” he said. “That’s in the front office. They are the ones that decide those things.”

Predictably, Marinelli acknowledged that there could be a role for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

“Any great player you can,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where he’s at, what position.”

As we wait to see how this plays out, let’s take a look at other notes from the NFC East…

  • Odell Beckham Jr. grabbed headlines this month by staying away from the Giants during OTAs, but he says that he’s not fretting his contract situation. “I leave that in the hands of the man above,” Beckham said (according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post on Twitter). “When that time comes, that time comes. Right now is really not the time to discuss it. When it comes, it’ll come.”
  • Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is handling “personal issues” and isn’t expected to be present at mandatory minicamp, reports ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter). The former third-round pick, who also wasn’t present for OTAs, has played in 18 games over the past two seasons, compiling six tackles.
  • Redskins running back Matt Jones was absent during OTAs, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran was present for mandatory minicamp. Recent reports indicated that Jones wasn’t “a part of the team’s plans for 2017,” which echoed previous rumors that the team was shopping the 24-year-old. Jones appeared in seven games last season, running for 460 yards and three touchdowns on 99 carries.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

NFC Notes: Maclin, Revis, Newton

We learned earlier today that the Eagles, not the Bills, were the runners-up for Jeremy Maclin‘s services, which came as something of a surprise given last week’s report that Philadelphia did not have interest in reuniting with Maclin. Per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links), Eagles head coach Doug Pederson claims he was not being coy when he said the team was not considering Maclin, but that the Eagles did not reach out to Maclin until the weekend, when they contacted him to gauge interest. However, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets the Eagles never really got into a bidding war with the Ravens, who ultimately signed Maclin and who apparently gave him “solid money” to come to Baltimore.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Cowboys WR Dez Bryant tweeted free agent corner Darrelle Revis yesterday and told him to consider signing with the Cowboys, leading some to speculate that the club could be interested in relocating Revis Island to Texas, despite earlier reports to the contrary. Nonetheless, Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Star-Telegram, citing a team source, tweets that there is “nothing going on with Revis.”
  • We heard earlier today that Eddie Lacy passed his weigh-in with the Seahawks, which netted him a $55K bonus, but he was not the league’s biggest loser this week. As Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes, Cowboys offensive lineman Byron Bell picked up $150K by weighing in at less than 320 pounds on Monday, and he can earn another $300K if he meets his weight requirements at the start of training camp and the first week of the regular season. And, per ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter), if Falcons NT Dontari Poe weighs 340 pounds or less tomorrow, he earns $125K.
  • Panthers QB Cam Newton will not throw at this week’s minicamp, but the quarterback is still on schedule with his recovery and is expected to be ready for training camp, as Edward Lewis of NFL.com writes.
  • The Saints may be shopping Travaris Cadet, but Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune does not believe they can realistically expect to get any takers, so the team will probably be forced to release him.
  • We learned earlier tonight that Rams DT Aaron Donald could miss this week’s mandatory minicamp as he continues to push for a long-term deal.

East Notes: Revis, Jets, Giants

The Cowboys have a fair amount of cap space, but they are reportedly uninterested in adding Darrelle Revis to their defensive backfield. That doesn’t mean, however, that certain Dallas players don’t want to see Revis in silver-and-blue in the fall. Star wideout Dez Bryant tweeted Revis yesterday afternoon, saying, “Dallas?…I promise you are going to love what we got going on around here..your attitude fits our culture…waiting…..” While the Cowboys are doubtlessly pleased to see that Bryant is happy in Dallas, Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk confirms the earlier report that the team is unlikely to sign Revis. The Cowboys signed Nolan Carroll and drafted three corners this offseason, and they have chosen to build through the draft in recent years rather than sign expensive free agents.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com has a number of Jets-related notes this morning, and he observes that, outside of this year’s No. 6 overall selection, Jamal Adams, the player who has really stood out in the team’s OTAs is fellow rookie safety Marcus Maye. Maye, a second-round choice, impressed the organization with his ability to digest the defense and limit his mental mistakes on the practice field, leading New York to believe it could have an excellent safety tandem on its hands.
  • Cimini also believes that the Jets are making a mistake by parting ways with Eric Decker. He says young quarterbacks like Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty need a reliable wide receiver to help their development, and without Decker, New York really does not have such a player. Cimini also says that, if Jeremy Maclin signs somewhere other than Baltimore, the Jets’ leverage in Decker trade talks with the Ravens would of course increase, though he does not expect the Jets to get anything higher than a late-round draft choice for Decker regardless of what happens with Maclin.
  • Cimini also notes that there is “nothing cooking” on the Sheldon Richardson trade front, and that the Jets are prepared to go into the season with him and are hoping he can boost his value in advance of the trade deadline.
  • We have heard a lot about a potential long-term deal for Giants receiver Odell Beckham lately, but James Kratch of NJ.com, like many other writers, believes the most likely outcome is that OBJ plays out the 2017 season on his modest $1.8MM salary and that the two sides begin discussing a multi-year extension after the season.
  • In the same piece, Kratch says the Giants really like second-year kicker Aldrick Rosas, who has been exceedingly impressive in offseason practices, and that it is unlikely Big Blue adds a veteran kicker at this point.
  • Eagles rookie Nate Gerry‘s conversion to linebacker is going well, as Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. The Nebraska product has put on about 16 pounds over the past month in his effort to go from hard-hitting collegiate safety to professional linebacker, and he will have the opportunity to get significant playing time in an unsettled linebacker unit in Philadelphia.

Cowboys Not Interested In Darrelle Revis

The Cowboys are not interested in free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis, team sources tell Todd Archer of ESPN.com.Darrelle Revis (vertical)

[RELATED: 8 Fits For Darrelle Revis]

Dallas’ secondary depth was depleted during the free agent period, as cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, plus safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, all signed with other clubs. However, the Cowboys took steps to bolster their defensive backfield both in free agency — where they signed veteran Nolan Carroll — and the draft, where they selected Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Marquez White.

In addition to those four corners, Dallas will also return Anthony Brown and Orlando Scandrick, each of whom graded as top-50 CBs in 2016, per Pro Football Focus. Brown, a sixth-round pick last year, has proven to be a draft steal, while Scandrick figures to stick on the roster after the Cowboys denied they were shopping him.

Revis, meanwhile, had reportedly drawn the interest of two unidentified clubs earlier this month, but he still hasn’t landed a contract after being released by the Jets in March. Already earning $6MM from New York, the 31-year-old Revis will likely be forced to accept a cheap one-year pact if he wants to play in 2017. Last week, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reported some NFL executives simply don’t see a healthy market for the former All Pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 8 Fits For Free Agent CB Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis is in the clear from the NFL’s point of view, as the league doesn’t intend to punish him as a result of his alleged role in a dustup earlier this year (one that ended with no charges being filed). While two teams reportedly recently checked in on Revis, some club executives simply don’t see a healthy market for the former All Pro.Darrelle Revis

Revis, 31, ranks as PFR’s No. 1 free agent corner at the moment, and while he’s certainly not the shutdown corner he was in days gone by, Revis is still a viable starting option. He graded out as the league’s No. 64 corner in 2016, per Pro Football Focus, which would place him right at the tail end of acceptable play. However, one general manager recently told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News he wouldn’t go after the veteran cornerback even if he agreed to play “for free.”

Here’s a look at the top eight teams that could be interested in Revis:

Arizona Cardinals

Heading into the offseason, the Cardinals’ top need was arguably at cornerback, as the club doesn’t have a plethora of options to play opposite All Pro Patrick Peterson. Instead of targeting the position in either free agency or the draft, Arizona opted to stand pat, and will now enter the 2017 campaign with only Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Harlan Miller, and Eli Bouka behind Peterson. Bethel is a career special-teamer, Williams struggled in his brief time as a starter, and Miler and Bouke have limited — or in Bouka’s case, zero — experience. Revis would allow the Cardinals to bump Bethel back into a reserve role while giving Williams, who was selected in the third round only a year ago, time to develop.

Dallas Cowboys

The free agent period took a massive toll on the Cowboys’ secondary, as cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, plus safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, all signed elsewhere. Unlike the Cardinals, Dallas did take steps to make up for its losses, signing veteran Nolan Carroll to a cheap deal while drafting Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie and Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis on Day 2. Along with 2016 sixth-round steal Anthony Brown and stalwart Orlando Scandrick, the Cowboys probably have enough secondary depth to get by. But team owner Jerry Jones has shown a proclivity for adding high-profile names in the past, and Revis would certainly fit that bill (and the Cowboys could even give him a look at safety).

Detroit Lions

The Lions finished dead last in DVOA against the pass in 2016, despite the fact that their top two corners — Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson — ranked a respectable 17th and 37th among 111 qualified corners, per Pro Football Focus. Detroit’s lack of quality depth is a concern, however. Quandre Diggs is a slot option at best and didn’t play well last season, and while the Lions spent a second-round pick on Teez Tabor, the Florida product’s slow 40-yard dash times could make it difficult for him to succeed at the next level. Detroit general manager Bob Quinn worked in New England during Revis’ lone season with the Patriots, so he has familiarity with the veteran corner.

Indianapolis Colts

Like the Lions, the Colts ranked as a bottom-five DVOA club against the pass last year. Vontae Davis dealt with nagging injuries all season, and his health concerns likely contributed to his poor play (No. 98 CB per PFF). Quincy Wilson (Florida) was Indianapolis’ second-round pick, and will likely have to immediately step into the starting lineup, as the Colts simply don’t have any other contributors on the roster. Darius Butler is a slot corner who will likely play safety in big nickel sets, while Rashaan Melvin, Darryl Morris, and Chris Milton aren’t exactly inspiring. Revis would likely see a good deal of playing time if Indy inked him to a deal.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have seemingly been looking for quality corners since trading Davis to the Colts in 2012. Byron Maxwell, a trade acquisition himself, finally lived up to his $10MM+ salary, and Tony Lippett also played well as he continues his conversion from collegiate wideout to cornerback. Xavien Howard, a second-round selection a year ago, didn’t seen many snaps during his rookie campaign, but could certainly be counted on for a larger role in 2017, and Miami also used a third-round pick on Cordrea Tankersley this year. Revis would give the Fins another body at cornerback, and like the Cowboys, Miami would be another team that could give Revis a try at safety.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles’ starting corners are currently projected to be Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson, which is a clear indicator Philadelphia needs to bring in another defensive back. Yes, the Eagles used second- and third-round picks on cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, but Jones isn’t a lock to play this season following an Achilles tear, while Douglas could be need time to develop, according to PFF’s scouting report. Philadelphia uses a zone-based scheme, which is not Revis’ strength, but he’s an improvement over the likes of fellow veteran Ron Brooks.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Revis, a Pennsylvania native, told reporters earlier this year that playing for the Steelers would be a “dream come true”, and the club still has a need at corner even after using early-round picks on the secondary in recent years. Former second-round pick Senquez Golson hasn’t even seen the field thanks to injuries, while 32-year-old veteran William Gay could be possibly be converted to safety or even released. A homecoming for Revis and the Steelers would likely see him playing behind Ross Cockrell and Artie Burns.

Washington Redskins

Josh Norman, clearly, gives the Redskins a legitimate No. 1 corner, but the club doesn’t have many options after that. After a solid 2015 campaign, Bashaud Breelan struggled last year, while rookie Kendall Fuller also didn’t show much. Washington used a third-round pick on UCLA’s Fabian Moreau last month, but he’s recovering from a torn pectoral and might not see action for awhile. Revis could start immediately in the nation’s capital.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Market For CB Darrelle Revis?

Darrelle Revis will not face NFL punishment for the February fracas that got him in hot water, but it’s not a certainty that he’ll find work in 2017 either. Officials from four different teams indicated to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com that there isn’t any real demand for the cornerback’s services. Darrelle Revis (vertical)

[RELATED: NFL Will Not Punish Darrelle Revis]

He has lost a step with his age and some change-of-direction [ability] with his knee [surgery in 2012],” said one anonymous head coach. “I still believe he can do an adequate job at corner. I’m not sure if he has the range for free safety. He used to be a physical tackler, but with age that’s gotten worse, so playing strong safety is out of the question. Let him play corner with some protection and he’ll do fine.

After speaking with the head coach plus one team executive, one personnel director, and one scout, Cimini gets the sense that Revis’ significant decline in 2016 and concerns about his commitment have tanked his value. Revis reportedly wants upwards of $6MM to play for someone in 2017, but it doesn’t sound like anyone wants to come near that kind of money for him based on what Cimini is hearing.

His tape is so bad that it’s probably scaring a lot of teams away,” the scout said. “If he still thinks he’s a starter — and wants to be paid like a starter — that will be an issue.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Will Not Punish Darrelle Revis

The NFL will not discipline Darrelle Revis for his alleged role in a skirmish earlier this year, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. Revis was once facing felony assault charges, but a Pittsburgh judge dismissed those charges in March.Darrelle Revis (vertical)

[RELATED: Checking In On The CB Market]

Revis, 31, was arrested following a street fight in which two men were knocked out. Initially, he was looking at two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of robbery, one felony charge of conspiracy, and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats. Later, a childhood friend of Revis’ took responsibility for just about everything that took place and that exonerated the cornerback.

Recently we learned that two unidentified teams were interested in Revis, but neither club was willing to fork over more than the $6MM he’s slated to earn from the Jets. Because of the offset language in his deal, Revis would effectively be playing for free if he signs for less than that sum in 2017.

It still seems unlikely that a team will agree to sign Revis for upwards of $6MM, but he could see increased interest from clubs now that they know that he will be eligible to play in Week 1.

Over the weekend, PFR’s Rory Parks checked in on Revis and other big-name cornerbacks still on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Checking In On The Cornerback Market

As the league has grown increasingly pass-happy, and as the rules have evolved in a way that favors quarterbacks and wideouts, the importance of the cornerback position has never been higher. Over the course of the offseason, we ranked the best available free agents at each position, and five of our top ten corners remain unsigned. Of course, after the initial wave of free agency is over, teams generally turn their attention to the draft and will circle back to the free agent pool if necessary over the summer months.

Darrelle Revis

The group of cornerbacks still available is headlined by Darrelle Revis, whose performance fell off a cliff last season and who was released by the Jets earlier this year. Almost three weeks ago, we heard that two unidentified teams were interested in Revis, but neither club was willing to pay him more than the $6MM he’s earning from the Jets. Because Revis’ deal with New York contained offset language, if he signs for $6MM or less, his new club would essentially be getting his services for free, which certainly would not sit well with the prideful Revis. The two teams that expressed interest in Revis were not optimistic that they would sign him, but it’s difficult to imagine Revis sitting out 2017 entirely. He’s bound to get a job somewhere, and perhaps he will ultimately return to the Patriots, as was speculated back in March.

The next player on our list, Brandon Flowers, was let go by the Chargers several days before the start of free agency in a cost-cutting move. Flowers, 31, signed a four-year deal with the Bolts prior to the 2015 season, a deal that included $20.5MM in guaranteed money. That contract was a reward for his strong 2014 campaign in San Diego, when he collected 52 tackles, 10 passes defended, and three interceptions. He did not reach that level of play in the following two seasons, though he played in only six games last year due to a concussion. He has always been a fundamentally-sound corner, so even if he has lost a step or two, he could still be a useful part of someone’s DB rotation. The Steelers checked in on him soon after his release, and the two sides could reconvene in the coming months.

Like all of the players in this post, Alterraun Verner did not reach the end of his last contract before becoming a free agent. The Bucs released Verner in February, and immediately thereafter, Verner himself said that four or five teams had reached out to him. That may be true, but there have been no independent reports of interest in Verner since his release. The UCLA product has been quite durable during his seven-year career, but he saw his playing time wane dramatically over the past two seasons. He started just three games in 2016, tying a career low, and only appeared in 22.8% of Tampa Bay’s defensive plays. Still just 28, Verner will not command the same type of money he did when he inked a four-year, $25.5MM pact with the Bucs in 2014, but he never seemed to play to his potential in Tampa Bay, and it’s possible that a change of scenery could reinvigorate him.

Alterraun Verner (Vertical)

There have been no reports of interest in former Packer Sam Shields since he was released by Green Bay earlier this year. Sadly, Shields suffered his second concussion in a nine-month span during the Packers’ Week 1 contest in 2016, and he never made it back to the field last season. He is only 29 and is immensely talented, but it does not appear as if the league has much confidence in his ability to rebound from his concussion issues. He previously stated that he has no intention of retiring, so hopefully he can convince someone to take a chance on his upside, even if it’s on a one-year pact for the veteran minimum.

Tramon Williams is the oldest of this group of corners, and at age 34, it’s fair to wonder what he has left in the tank He played in only 12 games (seven starts) for the Browns last season, and he finished 2016 with 36 tackles, five passes defended, and one interception – his lowest totals since 2007. Plus, Pro Football Focus’ metrics graded him as just the 73rd-best corner out of 111 qualified players. He was very good for a very long time for the Packers, but while he may be able to hang on for another year or two, his playing career appears just about over.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Two Teams Interested In Darrelle Revis

Two unidentified clubs are interested in free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). However, neither team is willing to pay Revis more than the $6MM he’s earning from the Jets, per Cole. Because Revis’ deal with New York contained offset language, that means Revis would have to agree to play for no extra cash aside from what he’s already raking in from Gang Green.Darrelle Revis

It’s unclear if Revis would be willing to play for what would essentially be free, but neither club that’s expressed interest in Revis believes it will be able to lure Revis into signing a contract. Indeed, both clubs first simply want to see what kind of physical shape Revis is in, as well as determine if he’s motivated to play in 2017. Revis, 31, hasn’t drawn any concrete interest since being released by the Jets earlier this year, although he’s reportedly indicated it would be a “dream come true” to play for his hometown Steelers.

Revis, 31, ranks as PFR’s No. 1 free agent corner at the moment, and while he’s certainly not the shutdown corner he was in days gone by, Revis is still a viable starting option. He graded out as the league’s No. 64 corner in 2016, per Pro Football Focus, which would place him right at the tail end of acceptable play. However, one general manager recently told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News he wouldn’t go after the veteran cornerback even if he agreed to play “for free.”

Speculatively, clubs that could still use a cornerback following the completion of free agency and the draft include the Cardinals, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Texans, and Colts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.