Domata Peko

Extra Points: Peko, Snacks, McKinley, Titans

The Cardinals officially signed Domata Peko today, and it sounds like head coach Kliff Kingsbury is excited to utilize the 15-year veteran.

“We’re excited about the signing,” said Kingsbury (via the team’s website). “VJ has some history there. I only just met him (Monday) but I have heard great things about his attitude, his energy. He’s a guy who has played at a high level in this league for a long time. We’ll see how he is this week and what he can handle, and we’re hopeful he can contribute at some point moving forward.”

The Cardinals will were to turn to the soon-to-be 36-year-old following a number of injuries on their defensive line; Corey Peters, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen, Leki Fotu, and Rashard Lawrence are all sitting on injured reserve. Peko looked like he had something left in the tank in 2019, as he compiled 14 tackles in seven games with the Ravens.

As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport passes along (via Twitter), Peko will earn $600K guaranteed for the regular season and has a chance to earn up to an additional $300K during the postseason.

More notes from around the NFL…

  • Prior to being signed to the Seahawks active roster, it sounds like defensive tackle Damon Harrison was generating some interest from around the league. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that both the Packers and Ravens tried to sign “Snacks.” Since Seattle could no longer elevate the veteran, they decided to protect him and offered a spot on their active roster. Harrison, a former All-Pro nose tackle, hooked on with Seattle’s practice squad in October. After taking some time to get back into playing shape, Snacks is ready to be a contributor on clear running downs.
  • The Raiders claimed defensive end Takkarist McKinley off waivers today, but they weren’t the only team to place a claim on the embattled lineman. Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Browns also made a claim on McKinley. Of course, considering the 25-year-old has failed a pair of physicals and been waived twice over the past few weeks, there’s a chance Cleveland could get another shot.
  • The Titans recently auditioned kicker Sam Sloman, per the league’s transaction wire. The rookie seventh-rounder began the season as the Rams starting kicker, connecting on eight of his 11 field goal attempts and 18 of his 21 extra point tries. However, the organization ultimately replaced him with veteran Kai Forbath, leading to the rookie’s release.

Cardinals, Domata Peko Agree To Terms

Domata Peko will be in line to play a 15th NFL season. The Cardinals hosted the defensive lineman on a visit this week and have come to terms on a deal, according to agent David Canter (on Twitter).

The longtime starter has begun going through COVID-19 protocols with the Cardinals and would be eligible to practice ahead of the team’s Week 12 game. Peko would represent a vital reinforcement for a Cardinals team that now has five defensive linemen on IR.

A starter for the Bengals and Broncos, Peko played eight games with the Ravens last season. The soon-to-be 36-year-old defender has made 189 NFL starts. Peko will reunite with Cardinals DC Vance Joseph, who was the Broncos’ head coach during each of the nose tackle’s two seasons in Denver. Joseph was also with the Bengals during part of Peko’s 11-year Cincinnati stay.

The Cards used Josh Mauro, UDFA Trevon Coley and Angelo Blackson as their starting defensive linemen against the Seahawks on Thursday. None of this trio worked as Week 1 starters for the team, which has Corey Peters, Jordan Phillips and Zach Allen on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Meet With Domata Peko

Free agent defensive tackle Domata Peko met with the Cardinals this week, per the league’s official workout sheet. Peko reportedly turned down several offers over the summer with a focus on finding the “right fit, city, and chance to win.” Now, he may find that opportunity with the 6-3 Cardinals as a fill-in for Corey Peters.

[RELATED: Cardinals’ Corey Peters Done For Year]

If signed, Peko would suit up for his 15th NFL season. The 35-year-old has 208 games of NFL experience to his credit and a reputation as a reliable run-stuffer. Even if he’s only asked to play on early, obvious run downs, he could be a key contributor for the Cardinals as they make their playoff push.

After 11 years with the Bengals, Peko spent 2017-18 with the Broncos before latching on with the Ravens last November. He appeared in seven games and made three starts for Baltimore in the regular season while racking up 14 tackles. Peko has been a rock throughout his career, missing only seven games since coming into the league as a 2006 fourth-round pick. Among pure defensive tackles, Peko’s 189 career starts rank the NFL’s all-time top ten.

After DeAndre Hopkins‘ unbelievable touchdown grab to beat the Bills, the Cardinals will look to keep the momentum going tonight against the Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Domata Peko Has Turned Down Offers

Free agent defensive tackle Domata Peko has turned down offers from several clubs, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds Peko is focused on locating the “right fit, city, and chance to win.”

Peliserro reported in late July that Peko was interested in continuing his career and had garnered interest from multiple teams. Entering what would be his 15th NFL season, Peko wants to remain in the NFL despite the current COVID-19 climate, and it appears he’ll have the chance to do so.

Now 35 years old, Peko has 208 games of NFL experience under his belt. Largely a run-stuffer, Peko could offer a veteran presence on many defensive lines even if he’s only asked to play on early, obvious run downs.

After 11 years with the Bengals, Peko spent 2017-18 with the Broncos before latching on with the Ravens last November. He appeared in seven games and made three starts for Baltimore in the regular season while racking up 14 tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Several Teams Interested In Domata Peko

Domata Peko may be on track for a 15th NFL season. Several teams are interested in the veteran defensive tackle, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The longtime Bengal and two-year Broncos run-stuffer certainly appears eager to play in this uncertain climate (Twitter link). The 35-year-old defender played in seven games for the Ravens last season, signing with Baltimore last November.

Peko has been a rock during his career, missing only seven games since coming into the league as a 2006 fourth-round pick. He was a full-time starter from 2007-18. Among pure defensive tackles, Peko’s 189 career starts rank eighth in NFL history. Ten more starts would move him into the top five on this list.

With the Ravens, Peko played 140 defensive snaps in his half-season of work but logged three starts despite the late arrival.

This news comes shortly after Peko’s cousin, Kyle Peko, opted out from the 2020 Broncos season. The Pekos were teammates in 2017. The elder Peko could well find a team soon, especially as the list of COVID-19-related opt-outs continues to expand.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Sign Justin Ellis, Domata Peko

The Ravens have signed veteran defensive tackle Justin Ellis, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Ellis was a regular member of the Raiders’ D-line since Oakland selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, and he even landed a three-year, $15MM contract with the Silver-and-Black in March 2018. But his 2018 season was marred by injury, and he was released with an injury settlement in October.

And while Baltimore scored its fifth straight win on Sunday, its defensive front was noticeably shaky, perhaps because starting DT Michael Pierce played just three snaps. Pierce exited the game against the Bengals with an ankle injury, and head coach John Harbaugh said that an MRI didn’t reveal any long-term concerns. But as Jeff Zrebic of The Athletic writes, Harbaugh was non-committal as to whether Pierce would be available for this Sunday’s crucial matchup with the Texans, instead calling Pierce’s status “day-to-day.”

In addition to Ellis, the Ravens are adding another free agent DT, Domata Peko, as Zrebiec tweets. The Ravens, who are intimately familiar with the long-time Bengal’s work, attempted to sign him earlier this season, but the two sides were unable to agree on terms at the time. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that Baltimore will pay Peko $1MM for the remainder of the season (Twitter link).

Neither Ellis nor Peko are likely to create much of a pass rush in the interior of the line — which Baltimore could really use — but like the Ravens’ earlier additions of linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort, both are experienced veterans who understand their assignments and who should, if nothing else, solidify the run defense. That will be essential given Pierce’s uncertain health and the fact that the Ravens are putting rookie DT Daylon Mack on injured reserve, per Zrebiec.

Baltimore, at 7-2 and in first place in AFC North, is doing everything it can to keep the second-place Steelers at bay while pushing for a postseason bye. Zrebiec says the club is expected to add rookie CB Iman Marshall to the active roster this week, and given that the Ravens’ kickoff and punt coverage teams have been uncharacteristically unsteady, Marshall may be asked to bolster those units.

In a corresponding move, the Ravens have waived return man Cyrus Jones, per Zrebiec. Jones muffed a punt in the team’s win over the Patriots in Week 9, and Baltimore signed De’Anthony Thomas shortly thereafter. Thomas operated as the kickoff and punt returner on Sunday and will presumably remain in that role moving forward.

The team also waived DE Ufomba Kamalu, per Zrebiec.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Njoku, Bengals

The Ravens‘ pattern of letting edge rushers walk in free agency included the departures of both Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith this year. Baltimore’s defense has allowed 500-plus yards the past two weeks. While the Ravens attempted to patch up their edge-rushing need with post-draft additions of Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray (since cut), they were on the lookout for higher-profile players earlier in free agency. In addition to their Ziggy Ansah and Gerald McCoy meetings, the Ravens expressed interest in Justin Houston and Clay Matthews, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Houston landed in Indianapolis, and Matthews has five sacks with the Rams (after a 3.5-sack 2018). The Ravens also made an offer to former Bengals and Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko this week, Zrebiec tweets. But it likely was not up to Peko’s liking, with the 13-year veteran still unsigned.

Baltimore also recognized this need early in the draft, with Zrebiec adding the team pursued several of the acclaimed first-round defensive linemen. But the ones the Ravens sought were evidently gone by the time they selected Marquise Brown.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Prior to the season’s outset, the Ravens discussed an extension with starting inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, according to Zrebiec. C.J. Mosley‘s former wing man, a third-year starter, has not played particularly well in his contract year. Onwuasor rates as a bottom-10 off-ball ‘backer, in the view of Pro Football Focus.
  • David Njoku expects to return from IR this season. The Browns tight end was dealing with a broken wrist and a concussion, but the third-year tight end is out of concussion protocol, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets. The Browns will be without Njoku for at least six more weeks.
  • Cordy Glenn has missed every Bengals game this season and remains in concussion protocol. Obviously, this is a concerning situation for the veteran tackle. But Zac Taylor does expect the second-year Bengal to play this season, with Geoff Hobson adding (via Twitter) Glenn was attending a doctor’s appointment today. Andre Smith has struggled replacing Glenn, who was moved back to tackle (from his short-term left guard post) because of Jonah Williams‘ offseason injury.
  • Down A.J. Green and John Ross, the Bengals are scrambling at wide receiver. They worked out free agent DaMarkus Lodge, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This marks the Bengals’ first receiver workout since Ross’ latest injury. He is expected to be out for a few games. Lodge is a rookie UDFA out of Ole Miss.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/1/19

Here’s a look at the latest workouts from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Read more

Broncos Plan To Move On From DT Domata Peko

The Broncos are unlikely to re-sign veteran defensive tackle Domata Peko, according to Mike Klis of 9News. Denver has told Peko and his camp that it won’t attempt to re-up the 34-year-old during the opening stages of the free agent period.

While Peko isn’t going to be priority for Denver, it does sound as though there’s a glimmer of hope that he could return to the Mile High City. If the Broncos aren’t able to find enough defensive linemen in free agency, they might be open to re-signing Peko at a later date, per Klis. That, of course, would depend on whether Peko himself was able to find a new team on the open market.

Peko is wrapping up a two-year, $7.5MM deal that he signed with the Broncos in 2017 after spending the first 11 years of his career with the Bengals. Over the past two seasons, Peko has only missed two games, racking up 44 tackles (eight for loss) during that time frame. In 2018, Pro Football Focus ranked Peko as the No. 39 interior defender among 112 qualifiers.

If Peko leaves, the Broncos’ remaining defensive lineman will include Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis, and DeMarcus Walker. Zach Kerr is an unrestricted free agent, while Shelby Harris is headed for restricted free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Rivers, Broncos, Rams

The Chargers have not made much of an effort to target Philip Rivers‘ heir apparent yet. Because the plan still appears to be a semi-long-term future with their current starter. Extension talks between the Bolts and their 37-year-old quarterback are set to commence. Rivers confirmed no such discussions have unfolded yet, but going through his 15th season did not change his mindset to avoid retirement for a while. The 2004 first-round pick gave the “year-by-year” answer during a radio interview with San Diego’s XTRA 1360 (via Pro Football Talk) before adding he believes he has a “handful” of seasons left. In the final year of his latest contract, Rivers is due an $11MM base salary and $5MM roster bonus in 2019. A $23MM cap charge is attached to this deal, and another re-up would bring that down. Los Angeles is projected to hold middle-of-the-pack cap space ($25MM-plus).

Here is the latest from the West divisions, moving to one of the Bolts’ top rivals:

  • Although Domata Peko‘s two seasons in Denver doubled as the Broncos‘ worst two-year stretch since the early 1970s, the veteran nose tackle rewarded the team’s modest investment. Again a free agent, Peko wants to continue his stay in Denver. “Of course I want to be back,” Peko said, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. “I love it here, love these guys, you don’t know what they’re going to decide. But I feel good, like I can play.” The Broncos saw more improvement from Shelby Harris, an RFA who could be in line for a hefty raise. Harris could slide in and become Denver’s new starting nose, but Peko, at 34, may not cost too much to retain as a part-time player. Pro Football Focus slotted the longtime Bengals nose man as this year’s No. 42 interior defender.
  • Conversely, the Broncos’ half-decade run with Bradley Roby is expected to end, per Legwold. Neither Roby nor 2015 first-rounder Shane Ray are expected back in Denver next season. The Broncos have a solid glut of impending UFAs, with Matt Paradis and Shaquil Barrett joining Peko, Roby and Ray. While the Broncos have Von Miller and Bradley Chubb residing as one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing duos, their formerly formidable cornerback corps will be incredibly thin without Roby. All-Pro Chris Harris is still under contract, but for just one more season.
  • One of the workout circuit’s most popular players, free agent punter Brock Miller received a look from another team recently. The Rams employ All-Pro punter Johnny Hekker, but with the Patriots featuring left-footed punter Ryan Allen, Los Angeles brought in the left-footed-punting Miller for a look, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Miller has received several workouts like this but been more than a de facto scout-teamer, being part of the Giants’ practice squad last month.