Dean Lowry

Packers, Dean Lowry Agree To Extension

The Packers have agreed to a contract extension with DE Dean Lowry, according to a team announcement. Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports that it will be a three-year, $20.325MM extension (Twitter link).

Lowry, a fourth-round pick out of Northwestern in 2016, was heading into the last year of his rookie deal and was scheduled to earn $2.025MM this year. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the $20.325MM (which includes a $6MM signing bonus) will be new money on top of that $2.025MM.

Lowry has quietly put together a very strong start to his professional career, and 2018 was his best season to date, as he recorded 57 tackles (seven for loss), three sacks, three passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two QB hits, and 14 QB pressures in 16 games (eight starts).

He is, at the very least, a solid piece of the club’s D-line, and now that he is in the fold for the foreseeable future, Green Bay may turn its attention to fellow DE Mike Daniels, who is also entering the last year of his current contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Draft Pick Signings: Eagles, Packers, Bears, Colts

Checking in on the latest rookie signings from around the NFL…

  • Two offensive linemen – third-rounder Isaac Seumalo and fifth-rounder Halapoulivaati Vaitai – have agreed to deals with the Eagles, the team tweeted. Seumalo went 79th in the draft after playing various positions, mostly center, along Oregon State’s O-line. Vaitai, the 164th pick, made 30 starts at tackle (primarily on the right side) during his TCU tenure.
  • The Colts have signed fourth-round linebacker Antonio Morrison, the 125th overall choice, according to a team press release. Morrison was a four-year starter at Florida.
  • Packers general manager Ted Thompson announced the signings of four draftees — fourth-rounders Blake Martinez (linebacker, Stanford) and Dean Lowry (defensive end, Northwestern), fifth-rounder Trevor Davis (receiver, California) and sixth-rounder Kyle Murphy (offensive tackle, Stanford). Those four were Green Bay’s final picks of this year’s draft. The team still has to lock up its top three selections, including first-round defensive lineman Kenny Clark.
  • The Bears inked fourth-round defensive back Deiondre’ Hall to a four-year deal worth $2.85MM, including a $510,982 signing bonus, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Hall, the 127th pick, piled up 13 interceptions during his four years at Northern Iowa.
  • The Vikings have signed fourth-round offensive lineman Willie Beavers and fifth-round linebacker Kentrell Brothers, per a team press release. Beavers was a stalwart at left tackle for Western Michigan before the Vikings grabbed him with the 121st choice, while Brothers – the 160th selection – was a prolific defensive playmaker at Missouri.
  • The Steelers announced the signing of sixth-round linebacker Travis Feeney, a former University of Washington standout and the 220th overall pick.

AFC Notes: Taylor, Bolts, Browns, Jags, Steelers

Agent Adisa Bakari, frustrated that the Bills haven’t extended one of his clients – quarterback Tyrod Taylor – propped up the signal-caller Thursday and took shots at other facets of the club (Twitter link). Bakari told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Bills missed the playoffs last season because of a poor showing by their defense and a lack of discipline, not Taylor – whose performance Bakari referred to as “exceptional.” Bakari isn’t wrong – the Bills had a below-average defense and led the league in penalties in 2015, and Taylor was terrific statistically during his 14-game debut as a starter – but Buffalo doesn’t seem convinced he’s its long-term solution. Taylor is entering a contract year and the Bills have explored several QB prospects as the draft nears, so his chances of staying in their uniform for the long haul don’t look great at the moment.

More from the AFC…

  • The Chargers, who are set to pick third in the draft, are showing strong interest in Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was among the team’s representatives at Lynch’s pro day earlier this week, and the 6-foot-7 passer will visit the Bolts on Saturday, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter).
  • The Browns are streamlining their personnel department under the team’s new decision-makers, and have parted ways with six scouts whose contracts were set to expire, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While the move itself isn’t unusual, especially after a front office shakeup, the timing – less than three weeks before the draft, rather than after it – is interesting.
  • The Jaguars announced today in a press release that veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis, who confirmed his retirement earlier this offseason, will sign a one-day contract next Wednesday to officially retire as a Jaguar. There has been no indication that the Lions have removed Mathis from their reserve/retired list yet, so they’ll have to formally cut him loose before he can sign his ceremonial deal with Jacksonville.
  • The Steelers visited with four defensive prospects Friday, hosting Javon Hargrave (DL, South Carolina State), Quinton Jefferson (DL, Maryland), Dean Lowry (DL, Northwestern) and Trae Elston (DB, Ole Miss), according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter).
  • Two draft hopefuls from Boise State – receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes and defensive lineman Armond Nance – will attend the Texans’ pro day on Saturday, their respective agents told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.