Darryl Roberts

NFC North Notes: Lions, Harrison, Vikings

In February, the Lions released Damon Harrison with two years to go before his contract. Long before that, Harrison says he was looking for a way out of Detroit.

I came into [2019 training] camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison told Chris Long on a recent podcast (transcript via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

In fact, Snacks says he knew the Lions were a bad fit as soon as he came over via trade with the Giants. Harrison excelled as a run-stuffer for both New York teams, but he didn’t think that he could thrive in Matt Patricia‘s defense.

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there,” Harrison said. “So when I got the call..I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. [Lions GM] Bob Quinn was calling me and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

Now, Harrison is free to find the team that fits him best. Still on the market, Snacks will likely land a deal sometime after the draft.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings have no reason not to draft a quarterback with one of their five picks in the top 105, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com opines. And, if Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa somehow falls to them at No. 22 overall, she says it would be “unconscionable to pass on him.” The Vikings extended Kirk Cousins through the 2022 season and the rest of their moves indicate that they’re taking a longer view on things. With that in mind, she feels the Vikings should at least invest a Day 2 pick in the position.
  • Details are in on Darryl Roberts‘ new deal with the Lions. The ex-Jet CB will earn $2MM on his one-year pact, including a $1MM guarantee (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Before his release, he was set to earn $6MM from Gang Green.
  • Over the last couple of years, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress has popped in and out of retirement. But, this time around, the 63-year-old tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he’s retired for good. “People say, ‘Is he really retired? Is he really, really retired?’” Childress said. “Yeah. Last year was my last year. I just felt like it was time to move on. It’s about time. I put my toe in the water in retirement and pretty soon you’ve got to jump in. It’s more about spending time with my family and grandkids and that type of thing.”

Lions To Sign CB Darryl Roberts

The Lions and veteran cornerback Darryl Roberts are in agreement on a one-year contract, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Roberts was released by the Jets last week.

After trading Darius Slay to the Eagles, Detroit was in need of an experienced boundary corner. Although the club did sign Desmond Trufant, the second option on the depth chart before the Roberts signing was slot man Justin Coleman.

The Lions have been linked to Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah, one of the most talented defenders in this year’s draft, and adding Roberts will certainly not preclude Detroit from selecting Okudah, who is said to be very high on the team’s draft board. On the other hand, the Lions do have a number of holes to fill and they already own four of the first 85 picks in the draft, so they may now be more amenable to trading down from the No. 3 pick to further stock up on draft capital while still giving themselves the opportunity to draft a player like Derrick Brown.

Roberts, 29, is not one of the league’s best corners, but he does have 56 appearances and 26 career starts to his credit, including back-to-back 10-start seasons in 2018-19. The former seventh-round pick inked a three-year, $18MM deal with the Jets in March 2019, but he graded out as an average-at-best player, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. So the Jets’ new regime dropped him in order to save $6MM against the books.

In his four years of regular season action, Roberts has accumulated 172 tackles to go along with three interceptions and 27 passes defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Release CB Darryl Roberts, Won’t Sign S Marqui Christian

Today, 4:05pm: Christian won’t be joining the Jets after all. Brian Costello of the New York Post reports (via Twitter) that the Jets couldn’t agree to “final contract terms” with the free agent safety.

March 21st, 3:30pm: Both of the Jets’ 2019 Week 1 starting cornerbacks are now off the team. The Jets released four-year contributor Darryl Roberts on Saturday.

Roberts is gone despite signing a three-year, $18MM deal in 2019 to stay in New York. The Jets have changed GMs since and saved $6MM by making this move. Roberts would have been guaranteed $2MM of his 2020 salary on Sunday.

The Jets used Roberts on 713 defensive snaps last season — most among their corners — but the 29-year-old defender will need to find a new team to continue his career. Roberts graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 81 full-time corner last season — well behind some younger Jet contributors. While the Jets have not made splash moves at corner this offseason, they did re-sign slot man Brian Poole — PFF’s No. 9 corner in 2019 — and have Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet on the roster.

In addition to dropping Roberts, the Jets will bring in safety Marqui Christian. The former Rams safety and the Jets agreed on a one-year deal, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets.

Since going in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Christian played in 55 games — all with the Rams — and contributed as a reserve defender and on special teams. The Division II product made 36 tackles in each of the past two seasons. One of this year’s youngest UFAs, Christian will not turn 26 until October.

Vikings Interested In Darryl Roberts

The Vikings are on the lookout for cornerback help and former Jets CB Darryl Roberts is on their radar, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. Ditto for Kevin Peterson, who was recently non-tendered by the Cardinals, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP (on Twitter). 

Roberts, entering his fifth pro season, spent his entire career with the Jets up until his release last Saturday. The Vikings, who just watched Xavier Rhodes leave for the Colts, are among the teams with interest.

Roberts may not be a glamorous addition, but he would offer experience to the Vikes’ group. He’s got 56 appearances and 26 career starts to his credit, including 13 games and ten starts in 2019. He also had one of his best performances against the Vikings a couple years back – a career-high eleven tackles (with two tackles for a loss) in 2018.

The former seventh-round pick inked a three-year, $18MM deal with the Jets in March of last year. One year into it, the Jets’ new regime dropped him in order to save $6MM against the books.

This time around, Roberts figures to cost a bit less, and a one-year deal would probably make sense for both the player and the team that signs him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Practice Notes: Eagles, Jets, Cardinals

The Eagles got positive news on the injury front regarding three of their biggest weapons Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport. Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) are full participants in practice today and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder), while not yet back to practice, is “trending the right way.”

All three players missed Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, Jeffery and Howard have not played since November 3rd. Philadelphia’s offense has struggled mightily in recent weeks. Most of the blame has fallen on the shoulders of quarterback Carson Wentz, but it would surely help their signalcaller to have some more weapons.

Here’s some more notes on practice status around the league:

  • Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters he expects cornerback Darryl Roberts is expected to return after missing two games with a calf injury, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Right tackle Chuma Edoga will not practice today and left tackle Kelvin Beachum will be limited as well. The Jets are in the midst of a three-game win streak in hopes to rebound from what looked like a lost season.
  • While Cardinals offensive tackle Jordan Mills was designated for return from the injured reserve earlier today, cornerback Robert Alford, though, will not be joining his teammate, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Alford, a six-year veteran, fractured his tibia prior to the season and was placed on injured reserve with the possibility to return. However, per Urban, that possibility is no longer an option.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Contract Details: Thomas, Barr, Peterson

Some assorted contract details from the around the NFL:

Jets To Re-Sign CB Darryl Roberts

The Jets are set to re-sign cornerback Darryl Roberts, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News. Terms of the deal are not yet known.

New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is likely planning some big changes on defense, but Roberts apparently fits his vision Last year, Roberts made ten starts and played in 65% of the team’s defensive snaps. He also played a significant role on special teams. For his career, Roberts has made 16 starts.

In other Jets cornerback news, the club has opted against retaining Morris Claiborne.

Jets Unlikely To Re-Sign Morris Claiborne

The Jets do not expect to bring back free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Claiborne has spent the last two years with the Jets, but this appears to be the end of the line for the former first-round pick in New York.

Claiborne performed at a high level in 2016, his final year with the Cowboys, before injuries cut his season short. The Jets saw Claiborne as a potential value add and scooped him up on a one-year deal. Over the last two years, Claiborne has missed just two games combined, but he has been far from a shutdown corner.

Meanwhile, the Jets are hoping to re-sign cornerback Darryl Roberts before free agency opens on Wednesday. The two sides are working on a deal that would keep the versatile 28-year-old in the fold for at least one more season.

East Rumors: Williams, Patriots, JPP, Jets

Trent Williams has encountered a patella issue, one that caused him to briefly exit Monday night’s Redskins-Chiefs game. The Pro Bowl left tackle will not need surgery to correct the problem, but Williams is “week-to-week,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Washington has not ruled Williams out for its Week 6 game, per Rapoport. The eighth-year tackle underwent an MRI on Wednesday, and the exam ruled out a long-term injury. A near-future absence would obviously cause issues for the team. Swing tackle Ty Nsekhe is out after undergoing core muscle surgery, so the drop-off if Williams can’t go against the 49ers could be significant.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions, shifting to New England.

  • Rob Gronkowski extended his streak of seasons without 16-game participation to six by missing Thursday night’s Patriots-Buccaneers tilt with a thigh injury, but the Pats expect their all-world tight end back by Week 6, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The same goes for Rex Burkhead, per Schefter. Burkhead hasn’t played since Week 2, but the team is expecting its newly acquired dual-threat back to be available against the Jets next weekend.
  • Missing Thursday’s game will deprive Gronkowski of collecting the $10.75MM salary the Patriots set as his ceiling on the now-incentive-laden 2017 arrangement. By failing to play in 90 percent of the Pats’ snaps this season, Gronk is in danger of falling to the $8.75MM tier of his contract, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes (on Twitter). The 28-year-old tight end could still rise back to that top tier, but he’d have to earn first-team All-Pro honors. That’s obviously still in play for Gronkowski, a three-time All-Pro, but he will have to make it through most of the Pats’ remaining regular-season games to be strongly considered for such acclaim. He will need to play on 80 percent of New England’s snaps this season or total 1,000 receiving yards or 12 touchdowns to earn $8.75MM. The salary drops to $6.75MM if Gronkowski can’t meet one of those benchmarks.
  • A sprained shoulder has put Jason Pierre-Paul‘s Week 5 availability in question, but the Giants defensive end said this issue is not new for him. He intends to play against the Chargers, Howie Kussoy of the New York Post reports. JPP said he’s been dealing with shoulder problem for “a while.” Both Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon missed Thursday’s practice, and with Vernon leaving early with an ankle injury the past two weeks, Big Blue’s other starting defensive end is in danger of missing his first NFL game in a six-season career.
  • The Jets could be down nickel cornerback Juston Burris on Sunday after the No. 3 corner hurt his foot in practice, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. With fellow reserve corner Darryl Roberts unlikely to play in Cleveland, the Jets could be scrambling here if Burris can’t go. New York, though, still has veteran Marcus Williams in the event the younger talents can’t play behind Morris Claiborne or Buster Skrine. A former steady contributor on whom the Jets placed a second-round RFA tender, Williams has not played a defensive snap this season. Both Burris and Roberts have played 90.