Don Muhlbach

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/15/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • After originally non-tendering him as a restricted free agent, the Packers have re-signed linebacker Jordan Tripp, reports Aaron Nagler of PackersNews.com (Twitter link). Green Bay picked up Tripp, 25, last December after he was waived by Seattle, and he ultimately appeared in the final two games of the season for the club. The lowest restricted free agent tender is worth $1.797MM, so Tripp presumably re-signed for a figure cheaper than that total.
  • The Packers have also re-signed exclusive rights free agent fullback Joe Kerridge, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Kerridge, 24, appeared in eight games last season, but was most a special teams player, as he only rushed a single time.
  • The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach, the club announced today. It’s a one-year deal, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Muhlbach has been Detroit since 2004, and is No. 25 among active players in career appearances (196). The Lions used a sixth-round pick on fellow long snapper Jimmy Landes in the 2016 draft, and now that he’s recovered from shoulder surgery, Landes figures to compete with Muhlbach for the job, per Birkett. Detroit ranked sixth in special teams DVOA last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/3/17

Friday’s minor moves…

  • The Steelers placed an original round tender on restricted free agent cornerback Ross Cockrell, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). A fourth-round pick of the Bills in 2014, Cockrell has started the last two years for Pittsburgh and is now free negotiate with other teams. However, the Steelers reserve the right to match any offer. Cockrell is slated to play 2017 on the low tender, which should be worth roughly $1.8MM.
  • The Packers are bringing back punter Jake Schum, an exclusive rights free agent (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). He will take his physical and sign next week.
  • The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach to a one-year deal, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The Vikings will retain exclusive rights free agent tackle Jeremiah Sirles for $690K, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

Lions Cut Several Players

The Lions are inching closer to the 75-man limit in advance of the Tuesday deadline. On Monday, the Lions announced that the following players have been dropped:

The Lions have also placed rookie long snapper Jimmy Landes on injured reserve. That means Don Muhlbach will likely continue to serve as the Lions’ long snapper.

Earlier today, the Lions also released offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, meaning that they have shed ten players from the roster today. With today’s transactions, the Lions roster currently stands at 78 players.

Extra Points: Bradford, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Lions

Given quarterback Sam Bradford‘s unhappiness in Philadelphia, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examined the seemingly far-fetched possibility of the 28-year-old retiring – at least temporarily. Bradford would have to surrender the $11MM signing bonus he received from the Eagles earlier this offseason if he were to walk away, but he would offset that loss somewhat by avoiding any fines or forfeitures that would accompany a potential holdout.

The appeal of retiring from Bradford’s point of view is that he could wait for another team’s starting quarterback to suffer an injury, whether it be this year or in 2017, thus leading that club to approach the Eagles about a trade. It would be similar to the situation Carson Palmer found himself in five years ago as a disgruntled member of the Bengals. Early in the 2011 season, the Raiders lost starter Jason Campbell to an injury and then made a trade with the Bengals to bring Palmer out of his short-lived retirement.

Most teams’ starting quarterback situations are set right now, and the Eagles haven’t shown a willingness to move Bradford in the wake of trading up to No. 2 in the draft for Carson Wentz and signing Chase Daniel, so Florio opines that retirement could be his most sensible option.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • There was potential for a New York-New York trade in the first round of last week’s draft, according to the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers, who reports that the Jets offered their first- (20th overall) and second-rounders to the Giants for No. 10. The Jets had their sights set on Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, but the Giants didn’t want to move down and risk losing out on Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. Had the Giants accepted the Jets’ offer, they would have either taken TCU wideout Josh Doctson or the best cornerback available (likely Houston’s William Jackson III) at No. 20, per Myers. Doctson ultimately went 22nd to Washington and Jackson landed with the Bengals two picks later. Meanwhile, instead of nabbing Tunsil, the Jets kept their top two picks and used them on Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
  • The Falcons are currently mulling whether to sign free agent cornerback Leon Hall, who visited them this week, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Hall would add depth to a Falcons defensive backfield in need of it, especially given the four-game suspension the league handed Jalen Collins, as McClure writes. The ex-Michigan standout’s entire NFL career has thus far been spent in Cincinnati, where he totaled 26 interceptions from 2007-15, though it doesn’t appear he’ll return to the Bengals. Aside from the Falcons, Hall has also visited the Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys this offseason, but his age (31) and injury history (he has torn both Achilles) are seemingly working against him in landing a contract.
  • With the draft in the books, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com took a look at six Lions veterans whose jobs could now be in jeopardy. Meinke points to quarterback Dan Orlovsky, center Travis Swanson, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive tackle Gabe Wright and long snapper Don Muhlbach as players who aren’t locks to remain in the Motor City.

NFC Contract Details: Ayers, Shelby, Perry

Here are a few of the latest contract details from around the NFC on recently agreed-upon and signed deals. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

NFC South:

  • Robert Ayers, DE (Buccaneers): Three years, $19.5MM. $10.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM roster bonus due on March 16. $2MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2018 league year. $550K annually in sacks incentives (Twitter links).
  • Derrick Shelby, DE (Falcons): Four years, $18MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. Annual $1MM base escalator from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Matt Schaub, QB (Falcons): One year, $1.75MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $1MM in playing-time and 53-man roster incentives (Twitter link).

NFC East:

  • Tress Way, P (Washington): Five years, $7.8MM. $2.35MM guaranteed. $1.25MM signing bonus. Up to $400K in annual escalators from 2017 to 2020 (Twitter link via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post).
  • Nigel Bradham, LB (Eagles): Two years, $7MM. $4.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $500K base escalator for 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Kyle WIlber, LB (Cowboys): Two years, $3.25MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1MM playing-time incentive (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Washington): One year, minimum salary benefit. $35K signing bonus. $45K bonus for being on 53-man roster for first game (Twitter link).

NFC North:

  • Nick Perry, OLB (Packers): One year, $5MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2.3MM base salary. Up to $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. $200K workout bonus. Up to $250K in incentives (Twitter links via Wilson and Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • Marcus Sherels, CB (Vikings): Two years, $4MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due on March 16. $100K in annual punt return average incentives. $50K annual Pro Bowl incentive (Twitter links).
  • Rafael Bush, S (Lions): One year, $2.4MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Up to $900K in playing-time bonuses (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Don Muhlbach, LS (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Jermaine Gresham, TE (Cardinals): One year, $3.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $500K in per-game active roster bonuses. $500K in incentives for stats, playing time (Twitter link).

Lions Retain Crezdon Butler, Don Muhlbach

The Lions opted to keep reserve cornerback Crezdon Butler and long snapper Don Muhlbach, according to the team’s website. Contract terms were not disclosed.

Butler’s ventured to several NFL destinations since arriving in the NFL as a Steelers fifth-rounder in 2010. The 29-year-old corner served as secondary depth for Detroit, which lost now-retired Rashean Mathis, for the season. He’s played for eight teams and suited up in 45 games, making three starts — all for the Buccaneers in 2014.

Butler spent training camp with the Lions in 2015 before rejoining the team midseason after spending time with the Seahawks.

Muhlbach has been the Lions’ specialty snapper since 2004. Only the seventh player to play in 180 games for the Lions, Muhlbach is the team’s longest-tenured player by a wide margin now that Calvin Johnson announced his retirement.

Minor Moves: Ravens, Lions

There has certainly been no shortage of notable transactions around the NFL today, primarily in the form of cap-clearing cuts. But while those moves dominate the headlines, we also don’t want to led a handful of under-the-radar transactions go unnoticed. Here are Friday’s minor moves, with any additional updates added to the top of the page throughout the evening:

  • The Ravens have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with veteran defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). A part-time player for Baltimore last season before being sidelined by an ankle injury, Bilukidi played just 47 defensive snaps after being claimed off waivers from Cincinnati, but the Ravens liked what they saw enough to lock up the 25-year-old for a couple more years. He had been eligible for restricted free agency.
  • Longtime Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach will return to Detroit for the 2015 season, the team announced today in a press release. Muhlbach, a Pro Bowler in 2012, has spent his entire career with the Lions, playing 164 regular season contests for the franchise since 2004. Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter), Muhlbach’s new deal is one-year, minimum salary benefit contract, with an $80K signing bonus.
  • Former Eagles edge defender Phillip Hunt, who last played a regular season NFL game in 2012, is signing with the Lions, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Earlier in his playing career, Hunt was a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, leading the CFL with 16 sacks in 2010.

Extra Points: Colts, Rams, Lowery, Lions

While Colts GM Ryan Grigson didn’t reveal anything too significant during his conversation with reporters this week at the combine in Indianapolis, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star came away with the sense that the team would make “consequential moves” in free agency next month. With possible at holes at safety, running back, and perhaps wide receiver, as well as a need for pass rushers, the Colts are armed with plenty of cap room and have the ability to make impact additions.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link), word from the combine has the Rams preparing to target linebackers early in the draft. All three of St. Louis’ regular linebackers in 2014 received negative grades, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
  • There have been no contract discussions between the Falcons and safety Dwight Lowery yet, tweets Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Lowery is eligible for unrestricted free agency next month.
  • Speaking to Tori Petry of DetroitLions.com (video link), Lions GM Martin Mayhew singled out quarterback Dan Orlovsky and long snapper Don Muhlbach as two under-the-radar potential free agents that the team is optimistic about re-signing.
  • Former Browns and Eagles executive Joe Banner cautions fans not to think that every team is having the same Marcus Mariota vs. Jameis Winston debate that the media is having. According to Banner (via Twitter), many clubs already have Mariota “clearly” at the top of their quarterback rankings.
  • Former first-round quarterback Brady Quinn, who was in camp with the Dolphins in 2014, is planning to give it one last shot in the NFL this year in the hopes of landing a regular season roster spot, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Lions Re-Sign Don Muhlbach

The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach to a one-year contract, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter). It’s a minimum salary contract that includes a $65K signing bonus, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. That means Muhlbach will earn $1.02MM, though his cap hit will only be $635K.

Muhlbach, 32, has been with the Lions since the team signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2004, playing nearly every game for the team since 2005 and even earning a Pro Bowl berth as a special teams player a year ago. According to Twentyman, special teams coordinator John Bonamego refers to the veteran long snapper as a “calming influence” on young players like punter Sam Martin.