DeVante Parker

WR Notes: Godwin, Lions, Broncos, Bateman

A bevy of wide receiver news has surfaced Friday, with several key weapons either out or likely to be shelved for Week 2. Here is the latest from the wideout ranks:

  • The Buccaneers have given Chris Godwin a doubtful designation. The contract-year wide receiver displayed concussion-like symptoms Wednesday, after absorbing a late-game hit in last week’s loss to the Saints, and remains in Tampa Bay’s protocol. Godwin has missed just two career games.
  • For a second straight week, the Lions will be without Kenny Golladay. Joining Godwin as a contract-year standout on the verge of a big payday, Golladay will miss another game because of a hamstring malady.
  • The Broncos will have their first- and second-round picks together in game action this week, with K.J. Hamler set to join Jerry Jeudy. Vic Fangio said Hamler will play. The second-rounder sustained a hamstring injury during training camp. Denver may have to wait for any Jeudy-Hamler-Courtland Sutton formations, however, with the Broncos’ No. 1 target remaining questionable with a sprained AC joint.
  • During Week 1, DeVante Parker aggravated a hamstring issue he initially encountered during training camp. The Dolphins‘ No. 1 target is questionable to play Sunday.
  • The Texans worked out Devin Smith this week, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. The Cowboys cut Smith, a former Jets second-round pick, as they trimmed their roster to 53 players. Now 28, Smith has just 15 career receptions since being a coveted prospect in 2015.
  • An interesting situation has emerged at the University of Minnesota, one of several Big Ten teams who saw an impact talent opt out and declare for the 2021 draft. First-round wide receiver prospect Rashod Bateman opted out this summer, but the high-end target is angling to return now. Bateman is back on campus but has signed with an agent, per Yahoo’s Pete Thamel (on Twitter). Due to the unusual circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has created — particularly in the Big Ten, which announced an October restart this week — the Golden Gophers are attempting to secure a waiver from the NCAA to allow Bateman to play.

Dolphins Sign DeVante Parker To Extension

Months after DeVante Parker agreed to a through-2020 extension with the Dolphins, the breakout wideout is nearing another agreement.

The Dolphins and their top receiver are close on a deal that would keep Parker in Miami through 2023, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Louisville alum is set to sign the contract, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The team announced the agreement.

The deal will be worth more than $40MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (via Twitter), adding that the agreement is believed to be high on guarantees. That would seemingly be necessary in order to convince Parker not to bet on himself in 2021 free agency. This contract will include an $8MM signing bonus, and the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports (via Twitter) it will be worth up to $40MM. Both Parker’s 2020 and 2021 salaries will be fully guaranteed, which represents nice security for a former first-rounder who was heading toward bust status before this season.

Despite Parker’s underwhelming first four seasons, the Dolphins’ new power structure retained him through 2020 via a two-year, $10MM agreement. The 26-year-old wideout has far outperformed expectations this season, catching 55 passes for a career-high 882 yards and six touchdowns. He’s been perhaps the top bright spot on a rebuilding Dolphins team. This comes after years of the 2015 first-round pick being a trade candidate.

Although Miami jettisoned numerous veterans this year, the team has extended multiple veterans in-season. Allen Hurns and Eric Rowe signed extensions in recent weeks, though neither deal was in Parker’s price range. This pact would place Parker among the middle class at wide receiver. Twenty-four receivers earn at least $10MM annually, and the Dolphins will now employ one of them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Make-Or-Break Year: Dolphins WR DeVante Parker

Can a player be on the verge of a “make-or-break year” right after signing an extension with their team? In the case of Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker – yes. 

Parker is under contract with Miami through the 2020 season thanks to a new deal inked in March, but little is assured for the fifth-year pro. Initially, Parker was set to play out the 2019 season on his fifth-year option, which would have paid him $9.4MM. Instead, the Dolphins were poised to rip up that contract after another disappointing year, so they were able to leverage Parker into a lower-risk pact. Parker’s restructured deal guarantees him just $4.5MM in 2019 with a non-guaranteed $5MM in 2020.

In other words, the Dolphins stand to have a solid value in Parker if he is able to turn things around and live up to his billing as the No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Meanwhile, if he gets injured and/or underwhelms like he did in 2018, the Dolphins can walk and focus their resources elsewhere in 2020.

As the Dolphins enter a rebuilding season, they want to know what they have in Parker, a player who entered the league with tons of hype and wound up as the third WR selected in his draft class. The 26-year-old reportedly had a solid spring and new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may prove to be a better fit for his style than longtime starter Ryan Tannehill.

To date, Parker’s best season came in 2016, when he finished with 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll have to top that if he wants to continue to ply his craft in South Beach beyond this season.

If he falters, the Dolphins can decline his $5MM option for 2020 and walk away with no fiscal penalty.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, DeVante Parker Agree To Extension

The Dolphins have been quiet so far in free agency, but they’re on the verge of locking up one of their own. Miami is “closing in on” a two-year extension with receiver DeVante Parker, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

In a separate tweet, Pelissero reports the two-year deal will be worth up to $13MM including incentives. It’s been a tumultuous ride for Parker in Miami. A first round pick in 2015, he had been heading into the final year of his rookie deal after the Dolphins picked up his fifth-year option last year. He had been widely expected to be cut this offseason, so this is a bit of a surprise.

A new front office and coaching staff is in place in Miami, and they want to give Parker one more shot to get things figured out. Parker has always been high on talent, but has been plagued by injuries and inconsistent playing time. Notably, Parker was at the center of an incident last season where his agent publicly blasted then Dolphins coach Adam Gase.

Seemingly every year, Parker has been hyped as a breakout candidate during training camp, but it’s never materialized. The Louisville product reeled in 24 balls for 304 yards and one touchdown in 11 games last year. The 304 yards were by far the lowest of his career, and the year before he had 670. The old coaching staff never really seemed to believe in Parker, so it’s definitely possible he’ll fare better under new coach Brian Flores.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Likely To Cut Quinn, Parker

Major changes are coming in Miami. This offseason, the Dolphins are expected to cut defensive end Robert Quinn (saving $12.9MM against the cap), defensive end Andre Branch (saving $7MM, $2MM in dead money) and wide receiver DeVante Parker ($9.4MM savings), according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Naturally, the upheaval won’t stop there, but the Dolphins have some big decisions to make on significant contracts in the coming weeks and months. Ryan Tannehill is likely done in South Beach and players like defensive tackle Akeem Spence ($2.5MM cap savings) and guard Ted Larsen ($1.9MM) could also be dropped from the roster, Jackson hears.

And, if the Dolphins really want to turn over a new leaf, they may decide against retaining unrestricted free agents like Frank Gore and Cameron Wake and move on from receiver Danny Amendola, whose entire $6MM cap hit can be washed out. Jackson adds that the future of veterans like guard Josh Sitton and safety T.J. McDonald is also in question.

Quinn, 29 in May, came to Miami via a spring trade with the Rams. The former first-round pick notched 6.5 sacks and 38 tackles, but graded out as just the No. 42 ranked edge defender in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Branch, meanwhile, was one of the lowest-ranked DEs out of 108 qualified players.

Parker was once viewed as the team’s future at wide receiver, but injuries have hampered his progress over the last four years. This year, he managed just 24 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown in eleven games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tannehill, Parker, Bills, Ivory, Jets, Maccagnan, Bowles

The Dolphins will have a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason, including what to do with Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is set to have a cap hit of over $26MM in 2019, hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and hasn’t been great on the field even when he is. Deciding Tannehill’s fate “clearly tops” the list of Miami’s priorities for the offseason, according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, who writes “Tannehill would need to be exceptional when he returns from his shoulder injury” for the Dolphins to bring him back at that salary next year.

Tannehill missed the end of the 2016 season with a torn ACL, then missed all of the 2017 season when he re-tore the ACL. This year, Tannehill started the first five games, then went down with a mysterious shoulder injury. He’s been sidelined for four games, and it’s not clear when he’s coming back. It’s still very early, but at this point it would be a surprise if Tannehill is brought back at his current cap number. For what it’s worth, Beasley writes that the Dolphins like Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Speaking of decisions the Dolphins have to make, they’ll also have to decide the fate of receiver DeVante Parker and right tackle Ja’Wuan James this offseason, according to Beasley. Parker is owed $9.4MM next year, and Beasley writes that keeping him “seems unlikely now, but if he strings together several games like the one last Thursday in Houston (six catches, 134 yards), it becomes a strong consideration.” James will be a free agent after this season, and Beasley writes that “unless he’s great the final eight games, the Dolphins again figure to explore outside options” this March.
  • The Bills’ offense has already been an injured mess this year, and they got even more bad news today. Running back Chris Ivory “was taken to Erie County Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, for evaluations on his left shoulder”, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s unclear the exact nature of the injury, but it seems clear Ivory will miss some time, and he’s been playing a fairly big role in the offense lately.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan “was noticeably less effusive” when talking about Todd Bowles in his ‘state of the team’ press availability than he was in last year’s availability, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini thinks that Maccagnan “is safe, no matter what” and is trying to separate himself from Bowles and from the narrative that the two are joined at the hip, in case Bowles needs to be fired. Bowles is on a very hot seat, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a change is made soon with the Jets suffering another loss today.

Extra Points: Fins, Bengals, Pats, Redskins

The Dolphins are not inclined to trade wide receiver DeVante Parker unless they receive “serious, serious compensation,” tweets Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who adds Parker is now on a “better footing” in South Beach given the Dolphins’ rash of injuries at wideout. Miami had reportedly been seeking a third-round pick for Parker, whose agent recently lashed out at head coach Adam Gase, going as far as telling Gase to “make himself inactive” instead of altering Parker’s gameday status. Parker started Thursday night against the Texans after the Dolphins lost several pass-catchers, including Albert Wilson (who’s done for the year) and Kenny Stills (who could return in Week 9, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Bengals have lost a number of tight ends to injury, but they’re “not thrilled” with the idea of trading for a replacement, reports Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who adds Cincinnati believes it would be difficult for an acquisition to get “acclimated” to a new offense at midseason. Tyler Eifert, who has been affected by injuries for the majority of his career, broke his ankle earlier this season, while Tyler Kroft is currently dealing with a foot injury that has no return timetable. C.J. Uzomah is now the club’s starting tight end, with Matt Lengel and Jordan Franks in reserve. While a trade may be unlikely, Dehner did offer a number of candidates who could make sense, including Jared Cook (Raiders), Marcedes Lewis (Packers), and Charles Clay (Bills).
  • Former Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell underwent yet another surgery on his knee two days after New England released him, according to Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. The Pats cut Mitchell, a 2016 fourth-round pick, in August after failing to trade him. Injury issues have derailed the Georgia product’s career, as he missed the entire 2017 campaign and was unable to fully participate in practice this offseason after undergoing a minor procedure on his knee. After being waived, Mitchell filed a grievance against the Patriots, arguing that he should be paid his entire 2018 base salary ($640K). Per Duffy, Mitchell is still working out with the hope of returning to the NFL, although he has no timetable for recovery.
  • Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar is dealing with a nerve issue in his shin after taking a recent hit, as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes. “That’s something that’s going to take a little bit of time,” said Washington head coach Jay Gruden. “He’s going to try to run [Thursday], see [how] his leg feels and see if it can hold up or not. We’ll make a decision hopefully by Friday.” Dunbar, 26, is a full-time starter for the first time in his career, and he’s played more than 90% of the Redskins’ defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 32 corner among 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. If Dunbar can’t go against the Giants on Sunday, Greg Stroman would likely see more action against in the Redskins’ nickel package alongside Josh Norman and Fabian Moreau.
  • The 2018 offseason saw seven NFL clubs make a change at head coach, and a similar number of teams will likely be looking for new leaders next January. As front offices attempt to find the next Sean McVay, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero asked around the league to find out what young coaches could take over clubs next winter. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is a de facto defensive coordinator and has the respect of his locker room, per Pelissero, while Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard has helped Dallas’ secondary transform into a competent unit. Other assistants who could garner 2019 interest include Vikings OC John DeFilippo, Saints TEs coach Dan Campbell, and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley.

Latest On Dolphins, DeVante Parker

Over the weekend, DeVante Parker‘s agent lashed out at the Dolphins and accused coach Adam Gase of lying about his client’s health. Now, the wide receiver is distancing himself from his agent’s comments, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets

Parker claims that he did not know Jimmy Gould would make those remarks, which included accusations of “incompetence.” For his part, Parker says that he has a good relationship with Gase, and doesn’t believe that things will be awkward between them.

With the trade deadline roughly one week away, Parker will be a name to monitor. Before the Cowboys shipped a first-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper, they were reportedly “monitoring” the 25-year-old receiver. The Dolphins are said to be seeking for a third round pick to part with Parker, though Gould’s comments could compel the Fins to lower their asking price.

On the flipside, the Dolphins may have reason to keep Parker in the wake of injuries to Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills. It’s admittedly hard to see the Dolphins eagerly moving forward with Parker, but they might not have much of a choice if Stills and Wilson are in for extended absences.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On DeVante Parker, Dolphins

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding DeVante Parker recently. The former first round pick has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Dolphins’ coaching staff, leaving him with a reduced role for the very limited time that he’s been healthy. Naturally, his name has come up in trade rumors, as the fourth-year wideout still has a ton of talent.

Now there’s a lot of drama, as Parker’s agent is lashing out publicly at the team. Parker was inactive for the team’s game today, which Dolphins coach Adam Gase claimed was due to a nagging injury. Parkers agent insists that isn’t true, and that his client is fully healthy, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter links). It’s pretty shocking for an agent to criticize a coach this forcefully as Parker’s agent, Jimmy Gould, repeatedly called Gase a liar and incompetent in his statement. Jackson does tweet that Parker’s agent is not demanding a trade or his release at this time.

That being said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he isn’t a Dolphin for long. He’s been connected to a few receiver-needy teams recently, and there was a report earlier today that the Cowboys were “monitoring” Parker in their search for receiver help. Also earlier today, it was reported that the Dolphins were asking for a third round pick to part with the Louisville product.

Parker has always flashed a lot of promise, but has never been able to put it all together and his tenure in Miami has been a bit snake-bitten. He’s seemingly always hurt, and has never been able to consistently produce when on the field. The one thing that might make him stick with the Dolphins for now is that Miami suffered a pair of injuries to receivers today, with Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills both going down with injuries.

Trade Rumors: Raiders, Cooper, Cowboys, Broncos

The trade deadline is just nine days away, and earlier this morning, we learned that the Saints and Eagles could be two of the most aggressive teams as they seek to bolster their rosters for a potential championship run. Here are a few more notes from the trade market:

  • Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link), many Raiders players believe that head coach Jon Gruden is simply not happy with his collection of talent, and that there will be major roster turnover within the next several years. In fact, those players feel it will take up to two years for Gruden to assemble the type of roster he wants, and while rival GMs are not sure they can swing a deal with Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie alone, they believe they can make headway with Gruden. The Raiders are clearly in a state of upheaval right now, and the sense is that everyone on the team is available for the right price.
  • Raiders receiver Amari Cooper is clearly available via trade, and Rapoport says that the team has had the most significant discussions about Cooper with NFC East clubs, including the Cowboys. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms that Dallas is doing its due diligence on Cooper, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB thinks there would be teams willing to part with a second-round choice for him, though it does not seem likely that Oakland will get the first-rounder it is reportedly seeking. Breer reports that the team wants a third-round pick in exchange for safety Karl Joseph.
  • In addition to Cooper, the Cowboys are monitoring Dolphins WR DeVante Parker and Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Eagles have also spoken to Miami about Parker, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).
  • Teams are very much interested in Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Schefter writes that Denver is willing to part with Thomas, but not Sanders.
  • The Jaguars are not mulling a trade for a quarterback to challenge incumbent Blake Bortles, per Schefter. Despite another mediocre season from Bortles, the Jags “believe that the quarterback position is the least of their issues.”