Desmond Bryant

Seahawks To Work Out Desmond Bryant

The Seahawks already employ some high-profile defensive linemen they’re attempting to study as potentially useful pieces, but they plan to work out another.

Desmond Bryant will trek to Seattle for an audition, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Bryant did not play last season after suffering an injury away from the Browns’ facility but served as a key player for both the Browns and Raiders during his seven active seasons.

Flush with younger and cheaper defensive end options, the Browns cut Bryant earlier this week.

Cleveland did not ask the 31-year-old defender to take a pay cut prior to the release; Bryant was set to make $4MM this season. He started for three seasons as part of the Browns’ 3-4 look, but a torn pectoral muscle last summer sidetracked his career.

The Seahawks signed 2013 first-round pick Dion Jordan earlier this year and claimed 2014 first-rounder Marcus Smith this summer. While Seattle has Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril entrenched as starters, its backup situation isn’t solidified, as Roster Resource showsFrank Clark operates as the team’s third end, but second-round rookie Malik McDowell is out indefinitely after being involved in an ATV accident.

Bryant has functioned as both an edge and interior defender. He last played in a 4-3 with the Raiders in 2012. Bryant registered a career-high six sacks with the 2015 Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Release DL Desmond Bryant

The Browns have released defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).Desmond Bryant (Vertical)

Bryant, 31, didn’t see the field in 2016 after suffering a torn pectoral during the summer. He’d been a decently productive player in the three prior campaigns, however, averaging 14 games and five sacks per year for the Cleveland. All told, Bryant — who began his career with Oakland — has appeared in 104 NFL contests and made 59 starts.

Bryant was midway through a five-year, $34MM deal with the Browns when he went down last July, and because the injury occurred while Bryant was working on his own (and not with the club), Cleveland placed him on the non-football injury list. Technically, the Browns weren’t required to pay Bryant for the 2016 season, and the two sides ultimately agreed to a salary reduction from $6MM to just $1.25MM.

This time around, Cleveland didn’t ask Bryant to take a pay cut before releasing him, tweets Florio. Bryant, who finally returned to the practice field in June, had been scheduled to count for $4MM on the Browns’ 2017 salary cap. By releasing Bryant, Cleveland will now save all but $1MM of that total.

With Bryant no longer on the roster, the Browns have several options to turn to along the defensive line. Danny Shelton is a starter at one spot on the interior, but players such as Trevon Coley, Jamie Meder, Xavier Cooper, or rookies Caleb Brantley and Larry Ogunjobi could now see increased playing time.

For his part, Bryant now becomes one of the more intriguing free agents on the defensive line market. Given that he can theoretically play either end or tackle, Bryant could interest a number of clubs and contribute in a variety of schemes. He joins a list of available defensive linemen that also includes Jared Odrick, Dan Williams, Tyson Jackson, and Sen’Derrick Marks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Sproles, Patriots, Browns, Snee

Darren Sproles may now be reconsidering retirement. The 13th-year passing-down back said in December that this season was likely going to be his last, but on Monday, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Eagles running back wasn’t quite ready to go that far. “We’re going to see,” Sproles said about retirement (via Zach Berman of Philly.com), adding “right after we make the playoffs, come back and ask me.” Sproles totaled the most carries of his career last year with 94, and he caught 52 passes. The 965 yards were the diminutive runner’s third-most in his career. Philadelphia drafted 2016 Division I-FBS rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round and signed LeGarrette Blount, but the team is likely to cut Ryan Mathews. Berman notes Sproles is still expected to play a big role for the Eagles this season, which is the last year of his contract.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Vance Walker is expected to be medically cleared by next week and ready for training camp after tearing an ACL during his most recent camp experience, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Walker remains a free agent, but a cleaner bill of health should bring back interest in the 30-year-old interior defender. His last healthy season involved a role as a rotational defensive end on 2015’s Super Bowl champion Broncos defense.
  • Former All-Pro guard Chris Snee will be working with his father-in-law again, with the Jaguars hiring the ex-Giants guard as an area scout, Neil Stratton of Inside the League reports (on Twitter). Snee was Tom Coughlin‘s first Giants draft pick that actually played for the team, with Philip Rivers being the then-coach’s first selection in New York, and the four-time Pro Bowler played 10 years with the Giants. The 35-year-old Snee’s been out of the league since 2014 but will work with the Jags, who hired Coughlin as their executive VP of football operations in January.
  • Desmond Bryant returned to the practice field for the Browns last week after missing the 2016 season with a torn pectoral muscle sustained away from the team’s facilities. Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes the veteran defensive lineman, who also played for Hue Jackson on the 2011 Raiders, will stay at defensive end in Gregg Williams‘ 4-3 after playing end in the Browns’ 3-4 looks previously. The 2017 Browns are in position to have Bryant and Myles Garrett at end, joining 2016 Day 2 picks Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib.
  • Stedman Bailey will undergo an upcoming procedure he believes can increase his chances of returning to football, the former wide receiver told TMZ. The website does not specify what type of procedure the former Rams wideout will undergo, but the 26-year-old Bailey said if it doctors tell him after it’s over that he shouldn’t play football again he will move on in a quest to return to the sport. Sustaining two gunshot wounds to the head in December of 2015 ended Bailey’s Rams run. Bailey returned to his alma mater, West Virginia, as a student assistant in 2016. The Rams officially waived Bailey in April.
  • Bill Belichick will have both of his sons coaching under him this season. The Patriots coach’s youngest son, Brian Belichick, is set to rise from scouting assistant to coaching assistant, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter). A 2016 college graduate, Brian Belichick will join older brother — the Patriots’ second-year safeties coach — on the sideline in an as-of-yet unspecified capacity.

Browns’ Desmond Bryant Accepts Pay Cut

Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant has agreed to take a pay cut for the 2016 season, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Bryant, who will miss the 2016 season with a torn pectoral muscle, will now earn $1.25MM instead of the $6MM he was slated to make. Desmond Bryant (vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Didn’t View Carson Wentz As Top 20 QB]

The Browns and Bryant have been negotiating his salary for more than a month. Since Bryant suffered his injury away from the Browns’ facility, the Browns were not obligated to pay him any of his would-be $6MM base salary since they placed him on the non-football injury list. However, Bryant was working out to stay in shape on his own time, which is expected of players in the offseason. If the Browns refused to pay him anything, there likely would have been in a messy battle with the NFLPA with far reaching implications for the whole league.

Bryant, 30, had been expected to start at defensive end. He is signed through the 2017 season, but the Browns can easily get out of his contract once he gets healthy. Bryant is due a $7MM base salary in 2017, and will only have $1MM remaining in signing bonus proration. Therefore, if Cleveland doesn’t think Bryant is going to be worth his salary next season, it can release Bryant and save $6MM against the salary cap.

Last season, Bryant appeared in 14 games and racked up 6.0 sacks with 33 total tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns, Desmond Bryant Discussing 2016 Payment

Desmond Bryant will miss the season due to the torn pectoral muscle he sustained while working out in between the Browns’ minicamp and training camp, but the team and the defensive end’s agent are discussing if he’ll be paid in 2016, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Since Bryant injured the muscle in New York and not at the Browns’ facility, the Browns do not have to pay him any of his would-be $6MM base salary for 2016 since they placed him on the non-football injury list. But this negotiation’s outcome could have a wide-ranging impact, Schefter adds, since Bryant was working out to stay in shape on his own time, as players are expected to.

Bryant confirmed, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, agent Drew Rosenhaus is meeting with the Browns about paying him a portion of his salary even though they do not have to do so. The 30-year-old defensive end could also be released, with the eight-year veteran telling Cabot the Browns “have a decision to make.”

Cabot notes Bryant parted ways with previous agent Andy Simms and hired Rosenhaus to handle this negotiation. Rosenhaus also represents Joe Haden and Josh Gordon, among other Browns.

A projected starter for a Cleveland team that will now rely on second- and third-round picks Emmanuel Ogbah (who is now working at defensive end and outside linebacker after previously focusing on the latter role) and Carl Nassib on the edge more, Bryant is due a $7MM base salary in 2017 as part of the five-year, $34MM deal he signed in 2013. Bryant led Cleveland with six sacks last season.

The rebuilding Browns would save $7MM by cutting him. If Bryant is not released, Cabot expects the Browns to ask him to take a pay cut in advance of the ’17 season since he’ll be 31 and coming off a severe injury.

The Browns, per Cabot, are “working through it” and attempting to find a resolution. If that ends in Bryant not being paid, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk would advise the Browns’ other players to avoid working out between the end of the ’17 offseason program and training camp, considering the optics of penalizing a player for doing so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Desmond Bryant To Miss 2016 Season

JULY 28th: The Browns officially announced that Bryant has been ruled out for the season. To fill his roster spot, Cleveland signed tight end David Reeves.

JULY 13th: The Browns announced that Bryant will be forced to miss the 2016 season due to his pectoral injury.

JULY 12th: The Browns appear to have lost one of their best defensive players for the duration of the 2016 season, as defensive lineman Desmond Bryant underwent surgery today to correct a torn pectoral muscle, according to Anthony Lima of CBS Cleveland/92.3 The Fan (Twitter link). Given that he’s facing a five-to-six month recovery, Bryant is likely to miss the entire 2016 campaign.Desmond Bryant (Vertical)

[RELATED: Reviewing the Cleveland Browns’ offseason]

Bryant, 30, had been expected to start at defensive end under new coordinator Ray Horton, but his absence will now open the door for younger players to see more snaps. Xavier Cooper, who appeared in 14 games last season but started none, is a candidate for an increased role, as are John Hughes and rookie pass-rusher Carl Nassib. The Browns had hoped that Nassib would add weight this summer in order to slide inside on passing downs, but with Bryant out of the picture, Nassib could see more snaps on the outside immediately.

Cleveland’s defense couldn’t afford any more losses, as the club had already ranked 29th in defensive DVOA in 2015 before losing starters Tashaun Gipson, Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby, and Craig Robertson over the past few months. Bryant, for his part, was likely the best player remaining on the defense outside of cornerback Joe Haden, as he led the Browns in sacks last season with six. Pro Football Focus assigned Bryant a middle-of-the-pack rank among interior defenders, though he did grade much better as a pass-rusher than against the run.

Bryant is signed through the 2017 season, but the Browns can easily get out of his contract once he gets healthy. Bryant is due a $7MM base salary in 2017, and will only have $1MM remaining in signing bonus proration. Therefore, if Cleveland doesn’t think Bryant is going to be worth his salary next season, it can release Bryant and save $6MM against the salary cap.

For a majority of clubs in the NFL, the loss of a starter would spur a search of veteran free agents still left on the board, but that isn’t a calculation for the Browns. In the midst of a full-scale rebuild, Cleveland has no incentive to replace Bryant with an experienced player, both because the club is better served letting its young options see more playing time, and because adding a veteran won’t help the club’s long-term development (even if it would make the team a bit better in the present).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Lions, Browns, Packers, Bears

The Lions finished 27th in rushing DVOA last season and still have uncertainty along their offensive line, meaning their running game is a question mark as the club heads into the 2016 campaign, writes Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Free agent Arian Foster was scheduled to work out for Detroit this week, but the team never got a chance to take a look at the veteran running back before he signed with the Dolphins. Ameer Abdullah and Stevan Ridley both are dealing with injury issues, while Zach Zenner doesn’t have much of a track record. Theo Riddick is probably the surest bet on the roster, but he’s been deployed primarily as a receiving back. Still, Rothstein doesn’t expect the Lions to add an outside option to the position group.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant was ruled out for the season after tearing a pectoral muscle last week, but the 30-year-old isn’t yet ruling himself done for the year. “Absolutely, I’m hopeful that I can (come back this season),” Bryant told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “The timetable for rehab is four-to-six months, so it’s possible. I’ll do everything I can to get back as soon as I can.” Clearly, Bryant is using the most optimistic timeline in his projection, and it’s ultimately up to the Cleveland front office whether or not it puts Bryant injured reserve. But given the new IR rules, the Browns could conceivably place Bryant on IR and decide to bring him back later in the season if he progresses well enough.
  • After posting his worst statistical season in some time, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hoping for a bounceback year, and he’s taken steps to move in that direction, as Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. Rodgers has lost weight, slimming down to 215 pounds, and also underwent surgery after Green Bay’s postseason run in order to clean up a knee injury. The former MVP produced a career-worst passer rating of 92.7 in 2016, but quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt is certain Rodgers will rebound. “Not up to his standards,” Van Pelt said of Rodgers’ campaign. “Obviously, we’ve targeted improvement areas, and he’s on board.”
  • Although he was absent from mandatory minicamp, Bears offensive lineman Ted Larsen is simply experiencing leg soreness and will be fine, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). There was some thought that Larsen may have been seriously injured given that Chicago signed fellow guard Amini Silatolu earlier today, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case. Larsen and Silatolu figure to compete for the top reserve role along the interior, backing up starters Kyle Long, Hroniss Grasu, and Cody Whitehair.
  • The Packers worked out former Texas A&M punter Taylor Symmank today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Symmank was apparently close to an agreement with the division rival Vikings earlier this year, but no word of an official signing was ever reported. Green Bay appears to be updating its specialist emergency list, as the club auditioned kicker Brent Wahle yesterday.

AFC Notes: Incognito, Manziel, Colts, Jags

Bills guard Richie Incognito, who signed a one-year deal worth just $900K in base salary last offseason, has a good chance of inking a lucrative contract in the coming months, The Buffalo News’ Tyler Dunne writes. Incognito missed last season because teams shied away from the 32-year-old after the Dolphins suspended him from October 2013 to February 2014 for bullying former teammate Jonathan Martin. However, he has bounced back this year and is in the middle of his best season. The former third-round pick rates second among guards by Pro Football Focus’ metrics – with only Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda outdoing him – and could make his second Pro Bowl, Dunne offers.

More from the AFC:

  • A predictable uproar emerged earlier this week when Mike Pettine refused to characterize Seattle’s Russell Wilson as a top-tier quarterback, but Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant concurs with his coach regarding Johnny Manziel‘s Wilson-esque potential, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “Johnny can definitely be that same triple threat guy. Russell is a smart quarterback, he can throw the ball and he can make plays with his feet, so a triple-threat quarterback is always going to be a problem,” Bryant told media, including Cabot. Cabot points out that Manziel, in addition to having an immense journey ahead to reach this plateau, ran considerably slower than Wilson at the Combine (4.68 seconds to Wilson’s 4.55).
  • The Colts cut linebacker Daniel Adongo on Thursday. Now the NFL says it’s investigating him under its personal conduct policy, according to The Associated Press. Police have twice been called to Adongo’s house since October – including last week – in response to possible domestic violence incidents, per the Indianapolis Star. However, no charges will be filed against Adongo and the case is closed, Hamilton County deputy prosecutor Amy Summerfield said in a statement.
  • The Jaguars were the first team to contact ex-Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall after he went undrafted this year, and the current cornerback didn’t wait to hear from another club before signing, Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union notes. Despite not playing corner since he was a freshman at Georgia, Marshall has factored in as a backup in Jacksonville while serving as a consistent special-teamer.

Connor Byrne contributed to this report.

Extra Points: Saints, Bears, Gore, Eagles

Earlier tonight, franchise player Jimmy Graham tweeted that he’s “shocked and disappointed” about everything that’s happened in New Orleans this offseason. Graham is likely referencing the Saints’ decisions to cut offensive weapons Lance Moore and Darren SprolesAccording to John Breech of CBSSports.com, there’s a chance the team could release running back Pierre Thomas as well. Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweeted that the decision to cut Moore and Sproles likely stemmed from the large cap numbers of Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Marques Colston, and Brodrick Bunkley.

Let’s look at some other news tidbits from this Friday evening…

  • Lance Briggs expressed similar frustrations to Graham with the Bears‘ front office on Friday, saying that if he ran the team, he would “trade all the draft picks and bring my brothers back.” Briggs was presumably referencing players like Charles Tillman, Devin Hester, and Brian Urlacher. While Urlacher retired after last season, the team seems ready to cut ties with Hester and Tillman. It is widely expected that the Bears will also part ways with Julius Peppers due to the eight-time Pro Bowler’s huge cap figure.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke has said that, considering Frank Gore “had a A++ season” in 2013, the team doesn’t feel it needs to restructure the five-time Pro Bowl running back’s contract this offseason, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).
  • Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks that the Eagles should pursue safety Malcolm Jenkins in free agency. McLane argues that the new free agent would be a better schematic fit for the Eagles than more prominent free agent safeties such as Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward. He thinks the Eagles could also pursue the Panthers’ Michael Mitchell and the Dolphins’ Chris Clemons, among others.
  • Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune (via Twitter) thinks that because of the departures of Sproles and Moore, the Saints will be looking for a return specialist this offseason. Duncan speculates that the team could address this void by targeting Devin Hester, New Orleans native Jacoby Jones, or perhaps even a prospect like LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham.
  • Desmond Bryant, defensive end for the Browns, says he’s been medically cleared to play after a health scare, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com and Bryant’s personal Twitter account.
  • Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group identifies six free agent offensive lineman that could interest the Browns, including San Diego’s Chad Rinehart and Kansas City’s Geoff Schwartz.
  • Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody, whose contract situation is currently up in the air, has signed with Authentic Athletix NFL agent Peter Schaffer, according to a tweet by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journalism. Cody had been previously represented by Athletes First.
  • Ben Tate told Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston that he can become an “elite” running back next season. Tate has not been shy about his plans to test free agency and finally step into a starting role on another team.
  • Darnell Dockett called free agent tackle Branden Albert his teammate in a tweet earlier today, according to Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride. While Albert’s response to the tweet, which was quickly deleted, deflected Dockett’s comments, it did not directly dispute the teammate comment.