Demario Davis

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints’ COVID Surge

Yesterday, the Saints saw 9 players hit the reserve/COVID-19 list including quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian who were expected to handle the duties behind center for the rest of the year with Jameis Winston on IR with a torn ACL. In addition to those two, guard James Carpenter, linebacker Kaden Elliss, defensive back Jeff Heath, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, defensive tackle Christian Ringo, and tackle Jordan Mills all found themselves on the COVID list. Besides the quarterbacks and full-time starter Jenkins, the other six players have a combined 8 starts between them.

With three quarterbacks currently unavailable for Monday Night’s matchup with the Dolphins, the Saints are expected to start the rookie fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame, Ian Book. As we reported earlier this morning, New Orleans also made the move of signing Blake Bortles as a contingency plan behind Book.

Well, despite the addition, the Saints didn’t fair any better today, losing full-time starters Ryan Ramczyk at tackle and Demario Davis at linebacker to the reserve/COVID-19 list, as well as reserves running back Dwayne Washington and safety J.T. Gray.

With the losses, the Saints will continue to operate with a depleted roster, like every other NFL team this year. The Saints’ lineup now lacks the likes of regular starters like Winston, Hill, Jenkins, Ramczyk, Davis, kicker Wil Lutz, tackle Andrus Peat, tight end Adam Trautman, and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Although they look like a shell of the team they could be at full strength, the Saints, along with the rest of the NFL, will continue to work to make the most of a bad situation as they currently sit only two spots outside of the final Wild Card spot with a 7-7 record, losing the tiebreakers to current 7-seed Minnesota and 8-seed Philadelphia.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints Rework Contracts Of DE Cameron Jordan, LB Demario Davis

The Saints have been busy clearing cap space over the past few days, and they’ve once again restructured the contracts of veterans. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that defensive end Cameron Jordan and linebacker Demario Davis have both agreed to rework their contracts. These two moves will save the Saints more than $13MM in cap space.

Jordan was set to have a cap hit of $18.9MM in 2021, which would have been the highest on the team. The 31-year-old has spent his entire career in New Orleans, establishing himself as a consistent force on the defensive line. Remarkably, the former first-rounder hasn’t missed a regular season game since joining the organization, and he earned his fourth-straight Pro Bowl nod (sixth overall) in 2020 after finishing with 51 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. Jordan inked a three-year, $52.5MM deal with New Orleans back in 2019 that will keep him with the organization through the 2023 season.

Following a pair of stints with the Jets and a one-year cameo with the Browns, Davis joined the Saints back in 2018. He’s since established himself as one of the best linebackers in the game; after earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2019, the 32-year-old followed that up with a second-team nod in 2020. Davis ultimately finished this past season having compiled 119 tackles and four sacks. The veteran inked a three-year, $27MM deal with the Saints last September, and he was set to have a $10.8MM cap hit in 2021.

The Saints have made a handful of moves over the past week. The team reworked the contracts of defensive tackle David Onyemata and kicker Wil Lutz, and they released punter Thomas Morstead and tight end Josh Hill. Prior to today’s moves, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic estimated (on Twitter) that New Orleans had already opened more than $24MM in cap space with their various moves.

Saints Sign LB Demario Davis To Three-Year Extension

Alvin Kamara isn’t the only Saint with a big new deal. New Orleans has signed linebacker Demario Davis to a three-year extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. (FOX’s Erin Andrews was first to report the news).

Rapoport notes that the deal has a base value of $27MM, with $18.35MM of that being guaranteed. He’ll also have Pro Bowl incentives of $500K in each of the three seasons. Davis signed in New Orleans on a three-year, $24MM deal back in March of 2018, and had been scheduled to become a free agent after the year.

As Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets the Saints recently tweaked defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins’ deal to clear up $4MM in cap space, perhaps helping to facilitate this deal. A third-round pick of the Jets in 2012, Davis spent the first four years of his career in New York, then spent a year with the Browns, then went back to the Jets.

A first-team All-Pro selection last season, Davis has never missed a game in his eight-year career. In 16 starts last year he had 111 tackles, four sacks, an interception, and 12 passes defended. New Orleans’ defense looked pretty good against Tom Brady in Week 1, and Davis will be a big part of that unit moving forward.

This Date In Transactions History: Jets Reunite With Demario Davis

Three years ago today, the Jets swung a deal with the Browns to reunite with Demario Davis and move on from first-round draft bust Calvin Pryor all in one shot.

Davis didn’t see the field much in his 2012 rookie season with the Jets, but he cracked their starting lineup as an NFL sophomore and remained a Gang Green first-stringer through 2015. After that, he moved on to the Browns in free agency with a two-year, $8MM deal. As the Browns’ starting left inside linebacker, Davis racked up 99 tackles and two sacks, but then-Browns GM Sashi Brown seized an opportunity to trade a dependable veteran for a hard-hitting youngster who had yet to make his mark as a pro.

Calvin is a young, experienced safety that has upside,” Brown said. “We are pleased to be able to add him to our defensive back room and just like every player we acquire, we expect him to come in with a hard-working mindset ready to compete. DeMario is a guy that we developed the utmost respect for in his time with our team, not only as a professional but also as a person. We appreciate all he did for our organization in his time in Cleveland.”

Pryor, known as the “Louisville Slugger,” didn’t have a clear-cut role in the Jets’ secondary after they used their first two picks in the 2017 draft on Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. The Browns felt that Pryor could play behind their own rookie safety, Jabrill Peppers, and possibly find steady work in the rotation. Even though Pryor didn’t move the needle much as a pro, there was reason to believe – Pro Football Focus ranked him as a top 50 safety in his first two pro seasons and, even with his ’16 regression, he still ranked ahead of two safeties who were on the Browns’ roster at the time.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, Pryor did not pan out. The Louisville Slugger took a swing at teammate Ricardo Louis, prompting Hue Jackson to cut him before the season opener. Pryor moved on to the Jaguars, suffered an ankle injury in September, and got cut towards the end of the year. Pryor was on the workout circuit in 2018, but he never found his way back to the field.

Davis, meanwhile, exceeded all expectations. He started in all 16 of his games in 2017, per the usual, but delivered a team-high 97 solo tackles and a new career high of 5.0 sacks. And, get this – the Jets even got him to accept less than his scheduled ~$4MM salary for that year, making him an even better value. Fortunately, Davis got his payday the following year. Unfortunately for the Jets, it was with the Saints. After earning First-Team All-Pro honors in 2019, Davis is gearing up for his third season with New Orleans.

NFC Rumors: Johnson, Rodgers, Panthers

More details on David Johnson‘s Cardinals contract are emerging. In addition to the fourth-year running back seeing $24MM in full guarantees as part of his three-year, $39MM extension, Johnson will receive a $12MM signing bonus, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). His $5.7MM base salary in 2019 is fully guaranteed. The All-Pro’s 2020 base ($10.2MM) will have $5.1MM guaranteed fully at signing, per Graziano (on Twitter), but the other half of it is guaranteed for injury only. However, Johnson’s full 2020 salary becomes guaranteed if he’s on the Cardinals’ roster by March of 2019.

Each of Johnson’s next three seasons include $750K in per-game roster bonuses. As far as cap numbers go, Johnson now has a $5MM hit this season. The former third-round pick will count $9.45MM against Arizona’s 2019 cap, $13.95MM in 2020 and $11.7MM in 2021, Graziano reports (Twitter link).

Here’s the latest out of the NFC, shifting toward its most important player.

  • Aaron Rodgers missed Packers practice again on Thursday, but this wasn’t unexpected. However, Mike McCarthy said it’s no layup that his two-time MVP quarterback will play Sunday against the Vikings, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Rodgers and McCarthy said Wednesday he does not need to practice in order to start Sunday.
  • It keeps getting worse for the Panthers. After serious injuries hit Greg Olsen and Daryl Williams in Week 1, Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner is in concussion protocol, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. Both of Carolina’s starting tackles — Williams and Matt Kalil — are already on IR. Both can return after eight weeks, but at this point, it can’t be assumed both will be back. Carolina could lose a more important player to its cause. Only two players can be recalled from IR. Amini Silatolu filled in for Turner last season, but he may have to play right tackle Sunday. However, the Panthers added Chris Clark to potentially do that. In addition to Silatolu, Newton writes Tyler Larsen and rookie UDFA Brendan Mahon will have a chance to start in place of Turner — in the event he can’t go Sunday.
  • Demario Davis rated as a top-10 Pro Football Focus linebacker last year, doing so for his work as an inside linebacker. It was expected the high-priced free agent would man the middle for the Saints, but they’ve moved him to the weak side, NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein notes. Second-year man Alex Anzalone is now stationed as New Orleans’ middle ‘backer, but the team rotated he, Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein as Davis sidekicks in Week 1. Sean Payton said the team’s still determining how it will structure its linebacker usage. Davis played all 66 snaps in the Saints’ loss to the Buccaneers, while Anzalone led the others with 34. Klein functioned in Davis’ role in 2017, playing all of the Saints’ Week 1 snaps in his first game with the team.

Contract Details: Cousins, Graham, Davis

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts around the NFL:

  • Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): Three years, $84MM. Guaranteed salaries of $22.5MM, $27.5MM and $29.5MM. Guaranteed $500K workout bonuses each year. Up to $2MM in incentives per year. No-trade clause and a no-transition tag provision in 2021 (Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN).
  • Jimmy Graham, TE (Packers): Three years, $30MM. $11MM signing bonus, $300K per-game roster bonuses each year. $2MM base salary in 2018, $3.45MM in 2019 and $7.45MM in 2020. $5.67MM 2018 cap number. $5MM roster bonus due on third day of 2019 season (Twitter links via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein).
  • Demario Davis, LB (Saints): Three years, $24MM. $16MM guaranteed. $9.2MM signing bonus. Annual salaries of $850K, $5.95MM (guaranteed) and $7.35MM. (Twitter links via Graziano and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jeremy Hill, RB (Patriots): One year, $1.5MM. $150K signing bonus. $1M base salary. (via Pelissero, on Twitter, and ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss).
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Texans): One year, $1.25MM. $730K base salary, $200K signing bonus (via Wilson, on Twitter).

Extra Points: DRC, Redskins, Maxwell

Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie says he’s in no rush to make a decision in free agency. Right now, he’s hoping to make a decision “in April sometime” (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson).

Rodgers-Cromartie visited with the Redskins and had a meeting scheduled with the Saints, but it seems that New Orleans lost interest after signing fellow corner Patrick Robinson. The Redskins could still use an addition to their cornerback group, but it’s possible that their offer was not to DRC’s liking. Or, perhaps no offer was made.

Before he was released by the Giants, DRC reportedly agreed to play safety in 2018. That could be a solution for him if his market continues to stall.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • As teams try to hold onto their own players, two to watch: The Redskins are working to keep outside linebacker Junior Galette and the Seahawks are doing the same with cornerback Byron Maxwell, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). We had Galette ranked as a top-12 edge rusher heading into free agency. Maxwell did not make the top 15 at his position due to his decline in performance and the depth of this year’s CB crop.
  • Linebacker Demario Davis says the Jets didn’t make him an offer before he signed with the Saints. “The shocking thing was the Jets didn’t make me an offer, so that made my decision easy because all I had to do was look at the contenders,” Davis said (via Rod Walker of The Advocate). “It would have been something to weigh. The hardest decision isn’t where to go, but deciding if you want to go or stay. So I didn’t have to make that decision so that was the peaceful thing about it. I was able to just weight my options objectively.” Things worked out just fine for Davis as he signed a three-year, $24MM deal with New Orleans.
  • The Dolphins have been talking with agent Drew Rosenhaus about re-signing offensive tackle Sam Young, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald tweets. If retained, Young would return as Miami’s third offensive tackle.

The Top 25 Remaining NFL Free Agents

Many of this year’s top free agents came off of the board during the legal tampering period, including Kirk Cousins, Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, and Allen Robinson. Still plenty of the names from our list of the Top 50 Free Agents remain, including some new additions. Here’s a rundown of the players to keep an eye on as free agency officially begins, ranked roughly by their expected contract value:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT (Dolphins): The Dolphins bailed on Suh’s mega contract midway through, freeing him up to sign another high-priced contract. He won’t get anything close to a six-year, $114MM deal this time around, but he should settle in at an AAV that keeps him among the best compensated players at his position. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked Suh fifth among 122 interior defenders. 

2. Tyrann Mathieu, S (Cardinals): The Cardinals worked feverishly to hammer out a new contract with the Honey Badger, but the two sides could not come to terms on a deal to lessen his 2018 cap hit. He has been released, allowing him to hit free agency as the best safety available. The Jets are not believed to be interested, despite his connection with head coach Todd Bowles. The other tenant of the Meadowlands, however, could have interest thanks to the presence of former Arizona DC James Bettcher.

3. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson may have lost some luster following the trade that sent him from the Jets to the Seahawks, but he among the best defensive tackles currently available. With plenty of cap space remaining, Richardson should find a lucrative deal, though it probably won’t come from Seattle. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will fetch about $9MM/year.

4. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe missed out on a big payday last year when teams shied away from him due to lingering back issues. After turning in his second consecutive 16-game season, things could be different this time. For the record – Poe has missed only two regular season games over the course of his career, so he boasts a better attendance record than a lot of other veterans on this list. He’s unlikely to circle back to Atlanta.

5. Josh Sitton, G (Bears): With Andrew Norwell off of the board, Sitton stands as the best guard on the market. He’s missed six games over the last two years, but he has four Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. He’s set to meet with the Dolphins.

6. A.J. McCarron, QB (Bengals): It’s difficult to peg McCarron’s value heading into free agency. Outside of some quality starts in 2015, there isn’t much film out there on McCarron, despite that fact that he has spent four years in the NFL. Hue Jackson was itching to reunite with McCarron, but the Browns no longer seem a likely destination for him after the acquisition of Tyrod Taylor. It’s also hard to see him landing with the QB-needy Jets after they re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater. McCarron will find a home, but it may not be as a starter. [UPDATE: McCarron has signed with the Bills]

7. E.J. Gaines, CB (Bills): Injuries in the fall limited Gaines to just 11 games last season, but he proved to be a quality return for the Bills in the Watkins trade, in addition to the second-round pick that came with him. Gaines graded out as the No. 13 cornerback in the league last year, per PFF, and he just turned 26 in February. Gaines missed all of ’15 due to injury and didn’t look all that sharp in ’16, but timing is everything in free agency. You can expect multiple teams to call on him and the Texans could still have interest, even after inking Aaron Colvin.

8. Eric Reid, S (49ers): Reid is just 26 and is undoubtedly a starting quality safety. He has both youth and versatility on his side, but it’s possible that his anthem protest participation could hurt him when it comes to some suitors. Injuries over the last two seasons will hurt his market as well.

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