Devin Funchess

Colts To Place Devin Funchess On IR

From a clavicle perspective, Sunday was a rough day for multiple key players. The Colts will place Devin Funchess on IR because of a broken clavicle, Frank Reich said.

Like the maladies Nick Foles and Tyreek Hill suffered, Funchess’ will likely not end his season. Reich added (via The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, on Twitter) the Colts do not view Funchess’ setback as one that will limit his 2019 season to one game. Funchess will miss at least the next seven, however. The former Panthers wideout has already undergone surgery.

This will almost certainly mean Funchess’ 2019 earnings will be capped at $10MM. The Colts gave the former Panthers auxiliary weapon $10MM guaranteed, but included an additional $3MM in incentives. Funchess will be out until at least Week 10.

The Colts were set to use Funchess as part of their revamped cast of T.Y. Hilton sidekicks. More work will now be left to Deon Cain, who missed all of 2018, and Parris Campbell, who dealt with an injury during camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Devin Funchess Has Broken Collarbone

Somehow we have yet another big name with a serious clavicle injury. Nick Foles and Tyreek Hill will both miss time with clavicle injuries, and Colts receiver Devin Funchess will be joining them.

Funchess broke his collarbone during Sunday’ loss to the Chargers, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). In a follow-up tweet, Pelissero reports that Funchess will get a second opinion, but as of right now surgery seems likely. It’s unclear at this time exactly how long he’ll be out, but obviously he’s going to miss some regular season action. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have a timetable. Funchess is in his first year with Indy after signing a one-year deal back in March.

The Colts gave Funchess $10MM in base money with another $3MM available in incentives, and they were hoping he could establish himself as the clear number two receiver they’d been missing behind T.Y. Hilton. The former Panthers second-round pick had three catches for 32 yards in his Colts debut before going down.

Funchess was up and down during his time with Carolina, although he was always clearly high on talent. His injury is the latest blow to a Colts offense that has had to deal with the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck. With Funchess on the shelf, the team will likely count on Deon Cain for a bigger role. Cain had 35 yards in the opener, the second-most on the team behind Hilton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Hill, Funchess, Ravens, Jets

In May, Roger Goodell said the NFL would not interfere with the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Tyreek Hill investigation, indicating the league would interview the Chiefs wide receiver “whenever we have permission to.” It is unclear if the Kansas DCF’s investigation has concluded, but if it has not, the news about NFL investigators meeting with Hill represents a reversal and, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, perhaps an acknowledgement by the league something needs to transpire on this front by the time the Chiefs report to training camp July 23. While the investigation is likely covering the bruises and welts that appeared on the body of Hill’s 3-year-old son, Florio notes Hill’s history of violence, and the comment his fiance needing to worry about more possible violence, will almost certainly result in a Hill suspension. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was suspended four games in 2018 for threatening and the mother of his child and “engaging in emotional abuse.” With audio evidence having surfaced in this case, and Hill not being punished for his admitted 2014 violence against Crystal Espinal, that would seem to be the baseline for his potential punishment.

Here is the latest out of the AFC:

  • John Harbaugh has committed to Patrick Onwuasor returning as a starting linebacker for a revamped Ravens defense, but the 12th-year HC has not made a decision on C.J. Mosley‘s successor. While former UDFA Chris Board has impressed, Harbaugh indicated a committee is the likely post-Mosley plan. Harbaugh said (via Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com) Board will probably join 2018 fourth-rounder Kenny Young and hybrid safety Anthony Levine alongside Onwuasor in sub-packages. Young led the trio with 381 linebacker snaps last season; Board played just 21.
  • Onwuasor may be the best bet for the young defender who signs a Ravens extension, per Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic (subscription required). With emerging sack artist Matt Judon perhaps in line to continue a trend of edge rushers pricing themselves out of Baltimore and nose tackle Michael Pierce coming to Ravens minicamp at least 25 pounds overweight, in Zreibec’s view, the Ravens preventing their top inside linebacker from following Mosley out of Maryland seems logical. A former UDFA, Onwuasor has started 26 games. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 linebacker last season.
  • Devin Funchess has put together an inconsistent career thus far and went through most of the Colts‘ offseason program without working with Andrew Luck, who was sidelined with a strained calf. But Frank Reich said (via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan) he is “very encouraged” by Funchess’ route-running, for a player his size, and his overall progress in his system. Reich lobbied early for Funchess in March, and the former Panthers target will almost certainly play a big role for the Colts this season.
  • Another AFC free agent signing, Brian Poole, looks aimed toward a big role in his first AFC season. The Jets have used the former Falcons slot cornerback both inside and outside this offseason, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. Gang Green did not bring in a proven outside starter opposite Trumaine Johnson, and Morris Claiborne remains a free agent. While another corner will have to step up to join the duo in nickel sets, Poole appears set for a steady gig in New York.

AFC Notes: Colts, Funchess, Mathis, Texans, Mills, Bills, Ravens

The Colts made it very clear they were looking for a number two receiver this offseason. Ever since the season ended with a loss to the Chiefs in the second round of the playoffs, the front office and coaching staff had emphasized the need for a consistent second option behind T.Y. Hilton. The Colts mostly rotated lesser-known role players like Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers as their number two last season, and needed to upgrade. When free agency opened they went out and got their guy, signing Devin Funchess to a one-year deal worth up to $13MM.

Speaking to the media from the owners meetings this week, Colts coach Frank Reich revealed he banged the table for Funchess. When GM Chris Ballard first approached Reich about signing Funchess, Reich said he was immediately all-in, according to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star. “I was like, ‘Please, let’s get this guy.’ That was the guy we really wanted to get,” Reich explained. Funchess was up and down during his time with the Panthers, but has always been high on talent. Funchess will provide the Colts’ receiving corp with the big bodied receiver they were lacking opposite the smaller Hilton, and will be a nice weapon for Andrew Luck in 2019. The Colts are clearly confident in his ability to improve his consistency, and Reich seems genuinely excited about the addition.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Speaking of the Colts, Indianapolis is making a notable change to their coaching staff. Robert Mathis will no longer be a full-time coach, according to Keefer. The Colts’ legend had served as an assistant coach helping out with the team’s pass-rushers the past two seasons. Mathis will now transition into a role as a consultant, giving him more time to develop his private training business. Mathis spent 14 years in the NFL, all with the Colts, and racked up 123 sacks. He’s also the league’s all-time leader in forced fumbles.
  • The Texans recently signed Matt Kalil, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily done adding offensive tackles. The team hosted former Bills tackle Jordan Mills on a visit before signing Kalil, but they’re apparently still interested in adding Mills, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle. Wilson writes that Houston has “remained in contact with Mills” and that he’s “still a candidate to potentially join the team.” Offensive line was the team’s main weakness last year, and it looks like they’re trying to add as many pieces as possible. Mills started all 16 games for Buffalo in each of the last three seasons, but graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 70th-best tackle last season.
  • The Bills and Ravens are two teams that could desperately use receiver help, that much isn’t really a secret. Both teams have young quarterbacks in Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, and they both need to upgrade their receiving corp. They’re both likely to draft a wideout early next month, and they’re each showing interest in one of the top receivers available in the upcoming draft. Buffalo and Baltimore will both meet with Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf ahead of the draft, James Palmer of NFL Network hears (Twitter link). Metcalf blew up the combine with freakish athletic testing, and should go sometime in the first round.

Contract Details: Funchess, LaCosse, Golden

Some assorted contract notes from around the NFL:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Colts): One year, $10MM. $7MM guaranteed via roster bonus. $3MM base salary. $3MM in incentives for receptions, receiving yards, TDs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro. Twitter link via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star.
  • Tyrann Mathieu, S (Chiefs): Three years, $42MM. $26.8MM guaranteed, $14.8MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $850K (2019), $1.15MM (2020), $14.5MM (2021, nonguaranteed). Details via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • K.J. Wright, LB (Seahawks): Two years, up to $15MM (original story). $8MM in 2019, including $5MM signing bonus, $1.5MM base salary, $1.5MM roster bonus. Second year isn’t guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Brady Henderson.
  • Matt LaCosse, TE (Patriots): Two years, $2MM, $500K guaranteed for 2019 (original story). Base salaries: $700K (2019), $1MM (2020). $300K signing bonus, $25K per-game bonus. $500K in playing time/receptions incentives. Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate.
  • Markus Golden, LB (Giants): One year. Worth up to $4.75MM, $2.225MM guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
  • Cameron Fleming, OT (Cowboys): Two years, $8.5MM. 2019: $1MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus, $2.25MM cap number. $300K for 60-percent playing time, $600K for 70-percent. Twitter link via ESPN’s Todd Archer.
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Patriots): One year, $25K guaranteed. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Colts To Sign WR Devin Funchess

Devin Funchess is heading to Indy. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the free agent wideout will sign a one-year deal with the Colts. The deal is worth $13MM ($10MM plus another $3MM in incentives), according to veteran NFL reports Chris Mortensen (via Twitter).

The 24-year-old has yet to fully put it together through his first four years in the NFL. With Kelvin Benjamin out of the picture, Funchess seemed to be taking a step forward in 2017, as he finished the campaign with 63 receptions for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.

However, the wideout took a step back in 2018, compiling only 44 receptions for 549 yards and four scores in 14 games (12 starts). His downtick in product could be partly attributed to quarterback Cam Newton‘s injury. Funchess’s production also took a dip after he returned from a back injury.

He should certainly have a chance to revitalize his career playing alongside Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. With T.Y. Hilton requiring attention from the opponent’s top cornerback, Funchess should have a chance to build off his 2017 numbers. At the very least, he’ll provide Luck with a big target alongside Hilton, Zach Pascal, and tight ends Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Ron Rivera, Marty Hurney, Panthers’ Vets

Last week, we heard that Panthers head coach Ron Rivera would likely remain with the team in 2019, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirm as much. Both reporters believe there could be changes made to Rivera’s coaching staff, however, and Rapoport expects such changes would be made primarily on the defensive side of the ball. Having Rivera take over defensive play-calling duties earlier this season has already paid dividends, but Rapoport suggests that the team could look to reunite with former DC Steve Wilks if Wilks is fired by the Cardinals (as is expected).

In any event, JLC says that Rivera and new owner David Tepper will have a candid conversation after the season, and if Rivera balks at Tepper’s demand for changes to the composition of Rivera’s staff, then the situation could deteriorate. But for the moment, it appears as if Rivera will be back for his ninth year at the helm, though he will have at least a few different subordinates. Rapoport says that GM Marty Hurney is likely safe as well. David Newton of ESPN.com spoke to Tepper today, but Tepper declined to comment on Rivera’s status.

Meanwhile, as Joe Person of The Athletic writes, the Panthers are expected to bid adieu to at least a couple franchise icons. Julius Peppers is expected to retire, and Thomas Davis has indicated he would like to be back with the club, but his contract is up at the end of the year and there is no guarantee he will be back. Of course, Ryan Kalil announced back in January that this season would be his last, and he has not given any indication that he has changed his mind. While Greg Olsen expects to return in 2019, and though the team is exploring a new deal with safety Eric Reid, there will be significant turnover to a roster that has been one of the league’s oldest over the past several seasons. Person offers his take on what the Panthers should do with their top ten players on expiring contracts.

It has become clear to most everyone, including Person and Newton, that Devin Funchess will not be back with the club in 2019. Funchess is inactive for today’s finale, and his playing time had already decreased significantly in the second half of the season.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Elliott, Panthers, Funchess, Jets, Offensive Line

The Cowboys are riding high off their recent three game winning streak, but they’ll have to get serious soon. While head coach Jason Garret’s future with the team has been discussed endlessly, they have some personnel decisions to make that have flown mostly under the radar. The Cowboys have a bunch of young players, and will need to make some tough decisions soon, writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

The Cowboys have a bunch of players who will need to either be extended or let go in the near future, including Dak Prescott, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Ezekiel Elliott. All three will be looking for a ton of guaranteed money, and they might not be able to keep everybody. While owner Jerry Jones has said repeatedly the team plans on extending Prescott, Florio notes that Jones hasn’t “said much if anything about Elliott getting a new deal.” Florio writes that “it’s possible that the Cowboys won’t ever make a major financial commitment to Elliott”, and points to how they handled the DeMarco Murray situation a few years ago as evidence they might not value running backs that highly. It hasn’t been talked about much, but it’s a very interesting perspective and it definitely seems possible Elliott doesn’t get locked up longterm in Dallas.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Panthers receiver Devin Funchess is set to be a free agent after this season, and it’s up in the air about what type of contract he might land. Former NFL agent and current CBS Sports Analyst Joel Corry thinks Funchess will get somewhere between what Marqise Lee and Stefon Diggs got on the open market, according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. Corry thinks Funchess is a “1.5” type of receiver, better than a number two receiver, but not quite good enough to be a top option. Funchess’ free agency will be one of the most interesting in a pretty weak free agent class.
  • The Jets’ offensive line could end up looking a lot different next year. In order to free up salary cap space, it’s possible the Jets cut all three of Kelvin Beachum, Spencer Long and Brian Winters, according to Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com. The Jets already have a lot of salary cap space, but Stypulkoski thinks all three aren’t worth their salaries next year, and that the Jets will be looking to totally revamp their offensive line and better set up Sam Darnold for the future.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets are discussing an extension with receiver Quincy Enunwa.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/16

Thursday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Panthers placed wide receiver Devin Funchess on injured reserve and promoted wideout Damiere Byrd from their practice squad, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Funchess has a knee issue that won’t require surgery, but it will cut his second NFL season a bit short. With just 23 catches on 58 targets, the 2015 second-round pick from Michigan had an unspectacular year, but he did average 16.1 yards per reception and add four touchdowns.
  • The Cowboys cut receiver Vince Mayle, who went without a catch for the second year in a row. Most of Mayle’s work (94 of 130 snaps) came on special teams.

Panthers Sign Devin Funchess

The Panthers have signed second-round wide receiver Devin Funchess to his rookie contract, the team announced on Monday in a press release. The move ensures that all five of Carolina’s draft picks are now locked up.

Funchess, who played his college ball at Michigan, will be in line for a four-year worth about $5.521MM, including a signing bonus of about $2.275MM and a cap hit of just over $1MM for 2015. While it’s not clear yet if he’ll immediately earn a spot in the starting lineup, Funchess and 2014 first-rounder Kelvin Benjamin figure to head Cam Newton‘s new-look receiving corps in Carolina.

The Rams originally held the 41st overall pick, which was ultimately used by the Panthers on Funchess. St. Louis reportedly received plenty of action on the selection, getting trade inquiries from five or six teams in the moments leading up to the pick before ultimately deciding to accept Carolina’s offer.