DeMeco Ryans

West Notes: Sherman, Chiefs, Raiders, 49ers

The Seahawks dangled cornerback Richard Sherman in trade talks at this time a year ago, but given that he’s currently unable to pass a physical after undergoing another procedure on his torn Achilles, Sherman won’t be dealt any time soon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Injured players can’t be traded, and Sherman likely won’t be healthy until training camp. In 2017, Seattle ultimately dropped its asking price for Sherman to a first-round and a mid-round selection, but no deal was ever made. While Sherman may not hit the trade market any time soon, the Seahawks are reportedly shopping veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

  • The Chiefs will retain edge rusher Dee Ford on his 2018 fifth-year option, but given that he’s still recovering from a back injury, they likely didn’t have a choice, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury only, so Ford — like Blake Bortles in Jacksonville — would have earned his money whether he was on Kansas City’s roster or not, provided he couldn’t pass a physical before the new league year begins on March 14. Ford, 26, only managed to appear in six games last season, but he managed 10 sacks as recently as 2016. He’ll earn an $8.718MM base salary for the upcoming year.
  • Marshawn Lynch is not a lock to make the Raiders‘ 2018 roster, and for what it’s worth, the veteran running back reportedly became a “problem” for Oakland’s previous coaching staff in 2017, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Lynch, who got better from an on-field perspective as last season progressed, is scheduled to earn a $4MM base salary next year, and also has a $1MM roster bonus due by March 3, so the Raiders will likely decide on his future with the club by the weekend.
  • After blocking him from an interview with the Titans earlier this year, the 49ers have promoted DeMeco Ryans from defensive quality coach to inside linebackers coach, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Ryans, who enjoyed a decade-long playing career, is well-respected in NFL circles, and 49ers DC Robert Saleh recently claimed Ryans will someday become a head coach. Additionally, San Francisco announced that it has promoted Keena Turner to vice President and senior advisor to the general manager and promoted Ethan Waugh to college scouting director.

49ers Block Titans From DeMeco Ryans Interview

Early in his coaching career, DeMeco Ryans resides as a 49ers defensive quality control coach. But the team thinks highly of the former linebacker and did not want another franchise poaching him from the staff just yet.

The 49ers blocked the Titans from speaking with Ryans in an interview setting, Jason Wolf of The Tennesseean reports (on Twitter). Ryans and Mike Vrabel‘s time with the Texans did not overlap, with the linebacker having moved on to the Eagles by the time Vrabel got to Houston, but the new Titans coach wanted to meet with him nonetheless.

The 33-year-old assistant played in the NFL from 2006-15 and caught on with Robert Saleh‘s defensive staff. Despite Ryans being set for a low-level assistant job, Saleh gave a glowing assessment of the newcomer last year, helping to explain why San Francisco blocked his possible defection to Tennessee.

DeMeco is probably going to be a head coach one day,” Saleh said in April 2017, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “So, I’ll be asking him for a job I’m sure not long from now. He’s got that type of football I.Q. — that type of presence — and is as knowledgeable as it gets.”

Branch notes one of Ryans’ main responsibilities this season was working with first-rounder Reuben Foster, who made a strong impression as a rookie when healthy. It’s clear he’ll have a chance to learn more from Ryans in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Former LB DeMeco Ryans Joins 49ers Staff

Last summer, linebacker DeMeco Ryans pushed hard to continue his NFL career. Unfortunately, he was unable to find a landing spot in 2016. Now on the verge of his 33rd birthday, Ryans is apparently done playing. Ryans has signed on with the 49ers’ coaching staff as a defensive quality control coach, which signifies that he is officially retired. DeMeco Ryans

[RELATED: 49ers To Have Interest In Jacob Tamme?]

Ryans, released by the Eagles this time last year, spent four seasons in Philadelphia after playing for the Texans for his first six years in the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, Ryans had two strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down. In 2015, he recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.

When he was unable to find a gig last summer, Ryans indicated that he was comfortable with calling it quits. In July, Dallas Robinson of PFR proposed Ryans as a replacement for Rolando McClain, but Dallas went in a different direction. After a lack of real interest from around the league, Ryans will now begin the next chapter of his football life.

Latest On DeMeco Ryans

Free agent linebacker DeMeco Ryans has made it clear that he’d like to continue his career in 2016, but appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier today, the veteran defender also put forth a laundry list of requirements for any club that might express interest in him.DeMeco Ryans

“At the end of the day, I would definitely like to play for a team that’s a contender, a team that really has a shot, a team that has good leadership at the top, good quarterback, there’s a good nucleus and it’s a team I can just come in and add some veteran leadership to,” said Ryans, who would be entering his age-32 season.

Ryans, released by the Eagles earlier this year, spent the last four seasons in Philadelphia after playing for the Texans for his first six years in the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, Ryans had two strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down a little over the past two years. In 2015, he recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.

Ryans also said that he wouldn’t be picky about scheme, as he’s played in both 4-3 and 3-4 looks. But he also intimated that although a few teams have reached out to him over the past several months, he may not have a proposal thus far. “To me, there’s no interest until there’s an actual contract offer or something on the table,” Ryans said. “I haven’t had that yet.”

In June, Ryans sounded extremely comfortable with the idea that his career might be over. “Either way, I’m happy spending time with the family,” the veteran ‘backer said. “It’s just a blessing for me to be able to play 10 years in the NFL and have a great career. I have no regrets about it, so it’s great either way. If I could play again, that’ll be great. If not, that’s great as well.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

How The Cowboys Could Replace Rolando McClain

For the second consecutive season, Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain will serve a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. In 2015, Dallas only had to survive without McClain for a quarter of the season, but given that McClain is facing a 10-game ban for 2016, the Cowboys will need to more seriously consider how they’re going to make up for the loss of their middle linebacker.

We’ve examined how Dallas might go about finding a replacement for McClain, looking at players already on the Cowboys’ roster, free agents sitting on the open market, and veterans who could be on the roster bubble with their respective clubs. Let’s dive in…

Internal options:

The primary name being floated to replace McClain in the middle is third-year linebacker Anthony Hitchens, whom the Cowboys selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Thing is, Hitchens was already a starter — he played on the inside in Anthony Hitchens (Vertical)McClain’s absence last year, and then moved to the outside, ultimately seeing action on about half of Dallas’ defensive snaps. So if Hitchens is being counted on to man the middle full-time, including in sub packages, the Cowboys would need to find a replacement at strong-side linebacker, meaning Kyle Wilber and/or Andrew Gachkar could see meaningful snaps after spending most of their respective careers as special teams players.

[RELATED: Updated Dallas Cowboys depth chart]

Gachkar, meanwhile, is another option to fill in at middle linebacker, and he has experience at the position. If chosen, Gachkar would likely be a two-down player, as Pro Football Focus’ grades have shown him to be effective against the run but a liability in pass coverage. The 27-year-old has never been a major defensive contributor — he was forced to step into the starting lineup when the Chargers suffered a variety of injuries at the linebacker position in 2014, but even then, he only played on 36.5% of San Diego’s defensive snaps.

The “wild card” in this race is second-year player Mark Nzeocha, according to Bryan Broaddus of the Cowboys’ website. A seventh-round pick in last year’s draft, Nzeocha only appeared in two games during his rookie season, managing 14 snaps, all of which came on special teams. Extremely athletic, Nzeocha was all over the field at Wyoming, playing safety and all three linebacker positions. His learning curve might be steep, but he clearly has all the physical tools to play the position.

A source tells PFR that the Cowboys are, for the most part, satisfied with the current state of their linebacker room, and are looking forward to have their young players compete for playing time while McClain is suspended. Dallas, says the source, hasn’t shown a lot of interest in scouring the free agent market for substitutes, so one of Hitchens, Gachkar, or Nzeocha might be the favorite to earn significant snaps this fall.

Free agents:

Donald Butler — After selecting Denzel Perryman in 2015 and Joshua Perry in this year’s draft, the Chargers parted ways with Butler, who had spent the past five seasons with the club. At age-27, Butler is the youngest free agent option on this list, but he’s coming off the worst season of his career, having posted just 40 tackles during the 2016 campaign. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune accused Butler of “losing interest” after receiving a massive extension prior to the 2014 season, so perhaps some other clubs have made that same assessment.Justin Durant (vertical)

Justin Durant — Durant started 12 games for the Falcons last year, but prior to his time in Atlanta he spent two seasons with the Cowboys, so at the very least he’d offer some familiarity with Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli‘s playbook. Versatility is another point in Durant’s favor, as he played mostly inside linebacker with Atlanta and Detroit, roamed the middle during his Jacksonville tenure, and moved between both positions with the Cowboys.

A.J. Hawk — The Bengals signed Hawk to a two-year deal before the 2015 campaign, but despite injuries limiting fellow linebacker Vontaze Burfict to just 10 games, Hawk rarely saw the field, playing on roughly a quarter of Cincinnati’s defensive snaps. Hawk recently told Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer that although he’s aware a club might not express interest until late in camp (or perhaps after the season begins), he’s staying in shape in the hopes of receiving a phone call.

David Hawthorne — Like Durant, Hawthorne offers positional versatility, having seen action at both inside and outside linebacker. In 2015, Hawthorne was shifted to the weak side in favor of rookie Stephone Anthony, but was then benched, declared inactive, and ultimately released after an unproductive season. Still, he’s got 83 career starts under his belt, and would presumably feel comfortable in the middle of the Dallas defense.

Keep reading for more external options that could be on the Cowboys’ radar…

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Extra Points: Von, Ryans, D. Murray, Adams

Few in the NFL expect superstar linebacker Von Miller to sit out the season if he and the Broncos don’t resolve their contract dispute, writes Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, but Kiszla believes doing so in protest of the franchise tag could revolutionize the NFL. If Miller eschews the $14MM tag, skips the 2016 campaign and signs elsewhere next offseason with a team willing to treat him like a full partner – as LeBron James is with the Cleveland Cavaliers, notes Kiszla – it could have a significant impact on the league, the writer opines. However, given Miller’s love for Denver, Kiszla expects the Super Bowl 50 MVP and the franchise to ultimately reach a long-term accord by the July 15 deadline.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • DeMeco Ryans is hoping to play in 2016 but he also understands if that opportunity doesn’t come around. “Either way, I’m happy spending time with the family,” the former Texans and Eagles linebacker told Mark Inabinett of AL.com. “It’s just a blessing for me to be able to play 10 years in the NFL and have a great career. I have no regrets about it, so it’s great either way. If I could play again, that’ll be great. If not, that’s great as well.” Ryans, 31, spent the last four seasons with the Eagles after playing his first six in Houston. A two-time Pro Bowler with the Texans, Ryans had a pair of strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down from 2014-15. Ryans recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended last season.
  • This is usually the time on the calendar in which players who had poor years during the previous NFL season predict better things during the approaching campaign, so it’s no surprise that DeMarco Murray is excited about 2016. Murray’s situation is unique, however, as he went from AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year two seasons ago in Dallas to a free agent bust with the Eagles in 2015. Having once again switched uniforms, this time going from the Eagles to the Titans in a trade, the 28-year-old sees himself as a better fit in Mike Mularkey’s offense than he was in Chip Kelly’s. “It’s strictly downhill and that’s what I’ve been accustomed to my entire life,” Murray told Jim Rome on Wednesday (link via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). “Nothing against last year or what happened, it just didn’t work out, but I’m very excited about this upcoming season and looking forward to it.”
  • Former Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams is adjusting to life with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and while it’s not what he envisioned for himself, he says that he is focusing on being at his best north of the border, ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert writes. “I can tell you I am not worried about the NFL,” Adams said, “and they’re not worried about me. I’m not even starting here. I want to get bigger and faster and play here. If the NFL comes calling in five or 10 years or whatever, then maybe I might consider it. But as of right now. I’m fine.”

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

NFC East Notes: Bradford, Ryans, Washington, Donnell

The latest from the NFC East:

  • Having spoken this week at the combine about how they’d like to re-sign Sam Bradford, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and GM Howie Roseman met with the quarterback’s agent, Tom Condon, on Wednesday in Indianapolis, tweets Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Negotiations between the two sides are ongoing.
  • Agent Ben Dogra says the Eagles did not offer to keep DeMeco Ryans at a lower figure, per Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News (on Twitter). Dogra added that his client wants to continue his playing career after being cut by Philadelphia.
  • Washington team officials and agents for some of the club’s players will meet Friday to discuss contract restructurings, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Jones lists receiver Pierre Garcon ($10.2MM), defensive end Jason Hatcher ($8.7MM) and safety Dashon Goldson ($8MM) as players whose deals Washington could look to rework.
  • Giants general manager Jerry Reese updated the status of tight end Larry Donnell, whose season ended in December because of a neck injury. “We’re expecting him to be back, but necks can be tricky, so we’ll have to wait and see where that goes,” Reese said Thursday. “Hopefully he can get healthy and come back and continue his career.” Despite Reese’s guarded statement, Donnell’s neck injury isn’t a “career concern,” a source tells the New York Daily News’ Ebenezer Samuel.

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

Eagles Release DeMeco Ryans

The Eagles have released veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans, the team announced today (via Twitter). As a vested veteran, Ryans will immediately be eligible to sign with a new club, rather than having to wait to pass through waivers.DeMeco Ryans

[RELATED: Pro Football Rumors previews the Eagles’ offseason]

Ryans, 31, spent the last four seasons in Philadelphia after playing for the Texans for his first six years in the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, Ryans had two strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down a little over the past two years. In 2015, he recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.

With Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, and Kiko Alonso all in the mix at linebacker for the Eagles, Ryans had become more expendable as he entered the final year of his contract. By cutting him instead of allowing him to play out his deal, the Eagles create $3.5MM in cap savings, reducing his cap number from $4.5MM to $1MM.

Ryans’ base salary for 2016 would have become guaranteed on March 11th if he had remained on the roster. Instead, he’ll get a head-start on free agency, with an extra two weeks to talk to potential suitors and perhaps make a visit or two to interested clubs.

When PFR’s Connor Byrne previewed the Eagles’ offseason earlier this month, he identified Ryans as perhaps the team’s most likely cap casualty.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFLPA Revokes Certification Of Agent Ben Dogra

6:51pm: Dogra’s legal reps issued a statement to reporters in which he vowed to appeal the ruling (via Josina Anderson of ESPN.com on Twitter):

Ben Dogra adamantly denies engaging in any conduct that was not in the best interests of his clients or NFL players. Ben has always been a strong advocate for NFL Players and is thankful for the show of support from his clients and others in the industry during this process. Ben will appeal the unprecedented, proposed discipline to neutral arbitration as provided under the NFLPA Regulations and looks forward to finally having an opportunity to examine and challenge the claims against him. The proposed discipline will not occur during the appeal process. It is therefore important that clients, NFL players, NFL teams, and Certified Contract Advisors understand that the discipline does not limit or prohibit Ben from representing his clients during the appeal process.”

6:12pm: On Wednesday, the NFLPA announced that the union’s Committee on Agent Regulations and Discipline (CARD) unanimously voted to impose discipline on agent Ben Dogra for multiple policy violations. Based on verified information included in a thirty-eight (38) count disciplinary complaint, Dogra has had his certification revoked for a minimum of three years and a $200K fine. "<strong

Dogra has the right to appeal before an independent arbitrator, so he has a chance to overturn the union’s ruling and regain his license to represent players. The union’s statement did not get into specifics about Dogra’s alleged wrongdoing but one has to imagine that details will emerge soon.

As detailed by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal last year, Dogra had an impressive stable of NFL clients while with CAA Football. Dogra was fired by the firm in late 2014 and joined up with Relativity Football, taking a sizable list of high-end players with him. Notable names that stayed with Dogra include Adrian Peterson, Gerald McCoy, Robert Griffin III, DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams, and Sebastian Vollmer. Now, those players and others will have to find new representation if the sanctions against Dogra stick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Galette, Wayne, Brady, Ryans

There’s “a feeling” in Washington that the team will learn this week whether or not veteran pass rusher Junior Galette will face a suspension for any off-field incidents, writes John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington didn’t waste much time picking up Galette after he was released by the Saints, suggesting the front office wasn’t expecting a significant penalty. According to Keim, the club is hopeful that any Galette suspension would be for two games or less.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Josina Anderson of ESPN.com provides a couple specific figures on Reggie Wayne‘s new contract with the Patriots, tweeting that has a maximum value of $2.8MM and features a $450K signing bonus. According to Wayne, he fielded “a lot of serious calls from some good teams,” but decided New England was the best fit for him, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Attorneys for the NFL and NFLPA met yesterday for another settlement conference regarding Tom Brady‘s case, but – as expected – the session didn’t lead to an agreement, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. The next hearing in Judge Richard Berman’s court regarding the Patriots quarterback is scheduled for August 31.
  • Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links) wonders what the Mychal Kendricks extension means for Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans. As McLane explains, he heard earlier this year that Kendricks would likely only play one more season in Philadelphia, so the apparent change of heart from the team may be related to Ryans, who turned 31 last month.
  • E.J. Manuel acknowledged during training camp this year that he knows his days with the Bills may be numbered if he doesn’t play well. However, as Sal Capaccio of WGR550 details, Manuel says he loves playing in Buffalo: “I want to stay here.”