Davante Adams

NFC Rumors: Saints, Slay, Adams, Eagles

Sean Payton did not name his Week 8 starting quarterback, indicating a decision on Drew Brees‘ Week 8 status will not come until at least Saturday. The Saints‘ starting quarterback has lobbied to play Sunday against the Cardinals and worked in three limited practices this week. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has fared well in his workout sessions available to the media this week, per The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, who would be surprised if Brees didn’t start this week (Twitter link). Brees has missed the past five Saints games with a thumb injury; Teddy Bridgewater has piloted the team to five wins in that span. New Orleans has a bye next week, so it still wouldn’t be too shocking if Brees was held out until Week 10.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Alvin Kamara worked in a limited capacity twice this week. Listed as questionable, the Saints running back may also see the team’s upcoming bye week affect his status. Kamara is battling an ankle injury, which sidelined him last week.
  • Lions players were not thrilled that the team traded away locker room favorite Quandre Diggs, and Darius Slay was especially vocal about his displeasure. Slay, whose contract expires after the 2020 season, has previously said that he wants to remain in Detroit long-term. However, his tone changed this week when asked about the subject. “Anybody can get traded. I personally wouldn’t care,” Slay said of the possibility of the team trading him (via Pro Football Talk).
  • The Lions’ Week 8 injury report indicates the world will have to wait for a Darius Slay-Darius Slayton matchup. Detroit’s top cornerback will miss the Lions-Giants game due to a hamstring injury. Slay has battled this issue since Week 3. Second-year UDFA Mike Ford started in Slay’s place against the Chiefs, the one game the Pro Bowler missed, and will likely do so against New York.
  • Davante Adams looks set to miss a fourth game due to the turf toe issue he’s encountered. The Packers declared their top wide receiver doubtful to face the Chiefs. Green Bay’s bye is not until Week 11. This continues to be a situation to monitor for one of the NFC favorites.
  • Recently released by the struggling Eagles, Orlando Scandrick believes he was scapegoated for the team’s woes, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays (Twitter link). “The problem in Philadelphia is much, much deeper than me,” Scandrick said. The Eagles have released the veteran cornerback twice this year.

Chris Crouse contributed to this report.

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

Packers WR Davante Adams To Miss Week 6

Davante Adams is set to miss his second-straight game. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that the star wideout will sit out Monday’s matchup against the Lions.

Adams originally suffered the injury during the Packers Week 4 loss to the Eagles, but it doesn’t sound like he’s very close to returning. We heard yesterday that while Adams is listed as day-to-day with the toe ailment, there’s no definitive timeline for his return. The receiver himself referred to it as a “major injury,” but he also noted that he won’t need surgery.

Following a 2018 campaign that saw him haul in 111 catches for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns, Adams was having another standout campaign through the first four weeks of this season. The 26-year-old had hauled in 25 receptions for 378 yards and zero scores before suffering his injury.

Fortunately for the Packers, the offense looked fine without Adams during their win last weekend over the Cowboys. While Aaron Jones probably won’t have another four-touchdown performance, Aaron Rodgers will still have plenty of players he can turn to, including Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison, and Jimmy Graham.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Packers’ Davante Adams

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams is listed as day-to-day, but his turf toe issue may require many, many days of recovery. When asked about his timetable for return, Adams didn’t have much in the way of definitive answers, as Jim Owczarski of the Journal Sentinel writes. 

“We’re just really trying to pace it at this point,” Adams said. “I can’t really tell you when I’m going to play. It doesn’t feel how I want it to feel at the moment, but we definitely have time, so we’ll just kind of play this thing (out), and I know Mr. (Matt) LaFleur will definitely be able to take care of any other questions regarding that.”

Adams called it a “major injury,” which raises major question marks about when he’ll be able to get back on the field for the Packers. On the plus side, he does not believe he’ll need surgery before the end of the season.

There’s things I can do, but we’ll keep a lot of that in house right now,” he said. “I can move around on it, but me moving around on it and feeling like it’s feeling better that day or not in pain just sitting there is a lot different than having to break tackles and cut and release and things like that.”

In 2018, Adams posted 111 catches and 1,386 yards. It was a major payoff for the Packers, who gambled by giving him nearly $15MM per year before he ever cracked four digits in receiving yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Davante Adams To Miss Week 5

The Packers will be without their No. 1 wide receiver on Sunday in Dallas. They’ve ruled out Davante Adams, who suffered a toe injury against the Eagles.

Adams did not practice this week. This will thrust Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison into roles as Aaron Rodgers‘ top targets against the Cowboys. Adams has occupied this role over the past two seasons, becoming one of the NFL’s best receivers in this span.

While the turf toe issue the sixth-year standout has encountered is not believed to be a long-term problem, it will give Green Bay one of its least experienced receiving corps of the Rodgers era for this particular game. The Packers let Randall Cobb defect to Dallas this offseason, leaving MVS and Allison as Adams’ top complements. They will now see greater responsibility in a pivotal NFC game.

Adams sits in the top five in receiving yards and touchdowns since the start of last season. The Packers gave him a $14.5MM-AAV deal late in the 2017, when he had yet to produce a 1,000-yard slate. Adams did so last season, getting to 1,386 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Davante Adams Avoids Serious Injury

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams says he suffered a turf toe injury during Thursday night’s loss to the Eagles, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.

Adams’ MRI, however, did not reveal significant damage to his injured foot, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Packers are set to exercise caution here, but it looks like they escaped a major setback. Green Bay’s No. 1 wideout may miss time, but it likely will not be a lengthy absence. 

Adams grabbed his right foot after being taken to the ground by defensive back Andrew Sendejo in the fourth quarter. The 13-yard catch proved to be costly – Adams later said that he didn’t even want to try putting his shoe on after the game.

The Packers didn’t win, but Adams had one heck of a game as he caught ten passes for 180 yards for a new career high. So far in 2019, the wide receiver has 25 grabs for 378 yards, putting him on pace for another strong season. If he misses significant time, he probably won’t get to flirt with 2018 watermark of 111 catches and 1,386 yards.

Adams, in theory, could just play through the pain – that’s what Julio Jones did throughout 2016 and 2017. The Packers now have the next nine days off, perhaps pointing to the sixth-year receiver making it back in time for a pivotal Week 5 clash against the Cowboys.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Notable 2019 Pro Bowl Incentives/Escalators

The NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters earlier on Wednesday, and aside from determining which players will spend a week in Orlando early next year, the rosters also dictate several important bonuses and/or contract escalators for individual players. Former NFL agent and current CBSSports.com contributor Joel Corry has rounded up the notable incentives earned, and we’ll pass those along below. As Corry notes (Twitter link), only first ballot Pro Bowlers who actually participate in the game (unless injured or playing in the Super Bowl) are in bonuses, which are typically paid out by the end of March.

Here are the notable Pro Bowl bonuses and escalators that were netted last evening (all links to Corry’s Twitter):

Bonuses

  • Ravens S Eric Weddle$1MM; requires Baltimore in playoffs (link): For the second consecutive season, Weddle’s bonus will ride on the ability of the Ravens to earn a postseason berth. Baltimore is one of several teams in the mix for the AFC’s No. 6 seed, but FiveThirtyEight gives the club only a 41% chance of actually making the playoffs. Weddle, who will be entering his age-34 campaign in 2019, could potentially retire or be released before next season starts.
  • Chargers C Mike Pouncey, $500K (link): Pouncey somewhat surprisingly earned a Pro Bowl nod alongside his brother, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. Mike Pouncey hasn’t been a terrible player by any means, but Raiders center Rodney Hudson has undoubtedly been better. Signed to a two-year contract this offeason, Pouncey is due a $6MM base salary and a $1.5MM roster bonus in 2019.
  • Vikings WR Adam Thielen, $500K (link): Thielen, notably, signed arguably the most team-friendly contract in the NFL in March 2017, a three-year deal that’s worth less than $20MM. By picking up a half-million dollar Pro Bowl bonus, Thielen will collect a bit more cash, but he’s still vastly underpaid. Second in the league in receptions, Thielen will count just $11.5MM total on the Vikings’ salary cap over the next two years.
  • Eagles TE Zach Ertz, $100K (link): Ertz will also see his base salaries increase by $250K in each of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 campaigns. He’s already surpassed career-highs in both receptions and yardage, and could top his career-high of eight touchdowns with a strong showing down the stretch.

Escalators

  • Chiefs T Eric Fisher, $500K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While Fisher hasn’t necessarily lived up to his status as a former No. 1 overall pick, he has played nearly every offensive snap for the Chiefs over the past six years while offering respectable play. He’s signed through 2021 as part of a four-year, $48MM extension he inked in 2016. Kansas City’s best tackle — Mitchell Schwartz, who mans the right side — has somehow been named second-team All-Pro for three consecutive years without ever being given a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Lions CB Darius Slay, $550K base salary increase in 2019 (link): Slay needed to reach two of three thresholds in order to earn his escalator. While he hasn’t yet met a five interception requirement, he was named to the Pro Bowl and has played on at least 80% of the Lions’ defensive snaps.
  • Packers WR Davante Adams, $250K base salary increase in 2019 (link): While he’s not quite at Thielen-level in terms of selling himself short, Adams arguably signed his extension with the Packers well before he needed to. Adams took a four-year, $58MM deal in December 2017, just months before he was scheduled to hit the open market. He’s vaunted to true No. 1 wideout status this year, but he’s just the NFL’s ninth-highest-paid wideout in terms of annual average.
  • Eagles G Brandon Brooks, $250K base salary increase in 2019-2020 (link): Brooks, 29, is quietly one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and Pro Football Focus currently grades him as the No. 5 guard in the league. He’s signed through the 2020 season, although his contract does contain two void years in 2021-22 that are in place only for salary cap purposes.

North Notes: Packers, Q. Diggs, Conner

We heard last month that the Packers would be going “back to Page 1” of their playbook, but as Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes, Green Bay is not going to be making any wholesale changes to its offense. In light of all of the new voices on the offensive side of the ball this year — Joe Philbin is back as OC, Frank Cignetti Jr. is in as quarterbacks coach, and there are several other staff changes besides — it made sense for all involved to thoroughly review the team’s play design and philosophy. But as Philbin said, “It’s been a process of refining, enhancing, tweaking, as opposed to, ‘Yeah we scrubbed it down.’ Yes, we went page by page. (But) we’re not starting from scratch here. These players in that locker room, they’ve done some great things.” 

Philbin, of course, is primarily referring to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers indicated that verbiage has changed — and Philbin acknowledged that such changes were made in order to streamline the playcalling — and that has created something of a learning curve. But passing game Jim Hostler said that the goal is for the offense to look the same as it always has with Rodgers under center, even if there are some refinements and enhancements here and there.

Now for more from the league’s north divisions:

  • Opposing defenses were already treating Packers WR Davante Adams as the team’s No. 1 wideout last season, so the departure of Jordy Nelson will not represent much of a change in that regard, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. But Green Bay has not (yet) signed a veteran wideout to replace Nelson, so Adams will need to take on a more active role in terms of leadership. The Packers drafted three receivers this year — one each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds — and return 24-year-old Geronimo Allison as the presumed No. 3 WR on the depth chart, so Adams is suddenly the second-oldest player in the wide receiver room. He was not present for the start of OTAs, which caused some concern in light of his concussion history, but neither player nor team seem concerned about his availability. Head coach Mike McCarthy simply said Adams is “battling a couple things,” presumably minor injuries.
  • Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com says Quandre Diggs has a real chance to permanently supplant Tavon Wilson as the Lions‘ starting strong safety in 2018. Diggs, a former sixth-round selection, played well in that role last season, and Rothstein suggests he may even be the favorite to start at this point. Miles Killebrew, a former fourth-round choice, appears to be on the outside looking in and may need to continue to stand out on special teams to retain his roster spot.
  • James Conner, a feel-good story and 2017 third-round choice, is featuring prominently in Steelers‘ OTAs due to Le’Veon Bell‘s continued absence, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Conner showed flashes in his rookie campaign, which ended with a Week 15 MCL tear, but if he can cement himself as the team’s No. 2 back behind Bell this season — and he will need to improve in pass protection in order to do so — that could be the first step towards a starting job in 2019, depending on Bell’s contract situation.
  • John Ross is once again a full participant in the Bengals‘ OTAs, as Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer observes. Although Ross dropped a few passes, he also made some difficult grabs and is seeing a lot of passes come his way. Tyler Eifert, meanwhile, is a limited participant, but having both players involved at the beginning of full team work is a beautiful thing for Cincinnati fans.
  • Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague.com (via Twitter) details a few more changes to the Browns‘ scouting department that were not covered several days ago.

Packers To Sign Davante Adams To Extension

The Packers are making it clear who their No. 1 receiver of the future will be, agreeing to an extension with Davante Adams, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

It’s a four-year deal, Schefter reports, and for money that will make him by far the Packers’ highest-paid wideout. Adams will soon be earning $14MM per year — $4MM more annually than Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb are making as a result of their Green Bay re-ups.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) Adams’ deal is worth $58MM over four years. He will receive an $18MM signing bonus and $32MM in the first two years of the deal — one that will tie him to the Packers through 2021. Schefter reports it’s four years and $58.75MM (Twitter link).

By doing this deal now, the Packers could prorate Adams’ signing bonus over a five-year period, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. Adams was set to be a UFA in 2018, and this takes another higher-end receiver off the market.

It also makes Adams one of the NFL’s highest-paid wideouts. Only four wideouts — Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Julio Jones — make more money per year than Adams will on his second contract.

The fourth-year target out of Fresno State has graduated to perhaps the Packers’ go-to skill player. During a full Aaron Rodgers season in 2016, Adams caught 75 passes for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns. This season, despite sustaining two concussions because of illegal hits, Adams is at 74/885/10 with Rodgers and Brett Hundley splitting time throwing to him. Adams has over 250 more yards than any other Green Bay pass-catcher and having just turned 25 is seven years younger than Nelson.

Both Nelson and Cobb are under contract for 2018, but each is attached to a $10MM salary. While the Packers could look to adjust these figures, they now have three wideouts attached to eight-figure-AAV deals. No other team matches that commitment.

For hardcore contract-minutia fans, Adams will be live-streaming his signing (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Bradford, Adams, Lions

Despite Sam Bradford having expected to have a good idea about his Monday-night playing status after the Vikings‘ Saturday practice, the quarterback is officially listed as questionable for Week 5. Considering the starting signal-caller was declared out during the past two work weeks for Minnesota’s Week 3 and Week 4 games, this is progress. But Mike Zimmer (via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, on Twitter) either doesn’t look to have seen much more from Bradford over the past two practices compared to Thursday’s, or he’s keeping encouraging news close to the vest. Although the coach said his preferred passer looks “good,” this is likely going to be a game-time decision — one that could end up with Case Keenum starting a fourth consecutive game.

Here’s the latest from the rest of the NFC North, continuing on the injury front in Green Bay.

  • Davante Adams has surmounted the concussion protocol and expects to suit up for the Packers against the Cowboys, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. This would come as a slight surprise given the severity of the hospitalization-forcing hit Adams absorbed the last time he was on a game field, but the fourth-year wide receiver did have an extra three days to go through the protocol. Demovsky heard Adams was cleared just before the team boarded the plane for Dallas, and Mike McCarthy said earlier this week he would have a good idea about Adams’ playing status by that time. Adams also suffered a concussion last season but was cleared without missing a game.
  • With each passing game, the chances are increasing the Lions will cut Eric Ebron rather than pay him the $8.25MM he’d be owed in 2018 via the fifth-year option, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes. Ebron has played in all four Detroit games but only has 11 catches for 87 yards. Meinke notes fourth-round rookie Michael Roberts could serve as a replacement at a fraction of the cost next season.
  • The Lions will want to hang onto Ziggy Ansah, but their top pass rusher’s age, recent injury history and sporadic production since 2016 — sacks in just three of the past 20 regular-season games — will make the 29-year-old defensive end a franchise tag candidate, Meinke writes. Meinke doesn’t envision, at least as of now, the Lions making a long-term commitment to Ansah based off this recent work sample. Nothing’s emerged on an extension front since March, when the Lions were planning a re-up. Questions about the Ghana native’s actual age surfaced earlier this year as well. Needless to say, the next three-plus months will be big for the 2014 first-round pick. It cost $16.9MM to franchise a defensive end this year, so that number could approach or surpass $18MM in 2018.
  • The Bears are likely to have a full-on skeleton crew at inside linebacker Monday night. With Nick Kwiatkoski doubtful to return from a pectoral injury sustained in Week 2, per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter), the Bears would be without their top three inside ‘backers. Danny Trevathan will serve his one-game suspension Monday night, and Jerrell Freeman (pec) is on IR. Christian Jones and a to-be-determined player will start there against the Vikings.