Dontari Poe

NFC Notes: Cowboys, 49ers, Bucs, Panthers

The Cowboys don’t intend to fire head coach Jason Garrett during the season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t part ways with their head coach after the campaign is concluded, especially if Dallas doesn’t earn a postseason berth (something the team has a 26% chance to do, per FiveThirtyEight.com). Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has already been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Cowboys if Garrett is shown the door, but owner Jerry Jones, predictably, isn’t tipping his hand on any possible contenders for the head coaching job. “That would be total drawing it out of the air,” Jones said of Riley, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “Totally speculation.” Riley has also been mentioned as a target for the Browns, especially given that he coached Baker Mayfield with the Sooners.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Given how Nick Mullens has played through two starts, he’ll remain the 49ers‘ starting quarterback on an open-ended basis, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, including Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Mullens, who started in place on an injured C.J. Beathard in Week 9, completed 73% of his passes and tossed three touchdowns in his first career NFL action. While he came back to Earth a bit in Week 10 (250 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions), he still nearly led San Francisco to a victory over the Giants on Monday night. In the midst of what’s become a lost season, the 49ers might be well-served to get a full look at Mullens, who went undrafted out of Southern Mississippi in 2017.
  • Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David is likely to miss time with a sprained MCL, sources tell Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. While David has yet to be officially ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Giants, the nature of his injury usually dictates a two-to-four weeks absence, per Laine, meaning David could conceivably be sidelined through mid-December. Tampa Bay can ill afford another injury at the linebacker position, as the club has already placed starter Kwon Alexander and reserve Jack Cichy on injured reserve, while 2017 draft choice Kendell Beckwith is still on the non-football injury list.
  • Panthers defensive tackle Dontari Poe collected a $125K bonus today by weighing in at less than 330 pounds, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Poe inked a three-year, $28MM contract with Carolina this offseason, and the deal provides the opportunity for the interior defender to collect up to $500K per season via weight bonuses. The former Chief and Falcon is playing far fewer snaps in 2018 than he has in years prior — whereas he typically played in 75%+ of his team’s snaps from 2012-16, he’s now sitting at the 50% mark with Carolina.

NFC Contract Details: Cousins, Bradford, Poe

Here are figures on some of the recent contracts signed around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise.

Panthers To Sign Dontari Poe

The Panthers are signing defensive tackle Dontari Poe, according to Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post (on Twitter). It’s a three-year deal worth between $9MM and $10MM per year, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Martin specifies (via Twitter) this is a three-year, $27MM agreement.

Poe takes over for defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who departed in free agency to sign with the Bills. He’ll be joined by Kawann Short in the middle with Julius Peppers and Mario Addison on the bookends, so Carolina will continue to have a fearsome front four.

After agreeing to a one-year deal with the Falcons several days into the 2017 free agency period, Poe drew more definitive interest this year. An endurance machine for a defensive tackle, Poe returned to his durable ways by playing in all 18 Falcons games last season. During the regular season, the three-down tackle logged 880 snaps — third-most among pure DTs last year. The two-time Pro Bowler, who ranked as PFR’s No. 4 free agent still on the board, will be set for his age-28 season.

Poe spent last season with the Falcons, though he was not expected to return due to his expected market. Indeed, he has secured a bump in average annual value, but this time over a longer span.

The former Chiefs first-round pick had to settle for a one-year deal last year because he was coming off one of his worst seasons. Poe underwent back surgery in in 2015 and in his final two Chiefs years wasn’t quite as dominant as his 2013-14 versions, when he combined for 10.5 sacks and looked on track to a top-market extension. The Chiefs, however, did not keep him. But Poe rebuilt his value in Atlanta, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 35 interior defender last season.

He’ll join Short and form what figures to be a difficult interior tandem for offensive lines to handle come September.

[RELATED: Panthers Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

The Top 25 Remaining NFL Free Agents

Many of this year’s top free agents came off of the board during the legal tampering period, including Kirk Cousins, Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, and Allen Robinson. Still plenty of the names from our list of the Top 50 Free Agents remain, including some new additions. Here’s a rundown of the players to keep an eye on as free agency officially begins, ranked roughly by their expected contract value:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT (Dolphins): The Dolphins bailed on Suh’s mega contract midway through, freeing him up to sign another high-priced contract. He won’t get anything close to a six-year, $114MM deal this time around, but he should settle in at an AAV that keeps him among the best compensated players at his position. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked Suh fifth among 122 interior defenders. 

2. Tyrann Mathieu, S (Cardinals): The Cardinals worked feverishly to hammer out a new contract with the Honey Badger, but the two sides could not come to terms on a deal to lessen his 2018 cap hit. He has been released, allowing him to hit free agency as the best safety available. The Jets are not believed to be interested, despite his connection with head coach Todd Bowles. The other tenant of the Meadowlands, however, could have interest thanks to the presence of former Arizona DC James Bettcher.

3. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson may have lost some luster following the trade that sent him from the Jets to the Seahawks, but he among the best defensive tackles currently available. With plenty of cap space remaining, Richardson should find a lucrative deal, though it probably won’t come from Seattle. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will fetch about $9MM/year.

4. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe missed out on a big payday last year when teams shied away from him due to lingering back issues. After turning in his second consecutive 16-game season, things could be different this time. For the record – Poe has missed only two regular season games over the course of his career, so he boasts a better attendance record than a lot of other veterans on this list. He’s unlikely to circle back to Atlanta.

5. Josh Sitton, G (Bears): With Andrew Norwell off of the board, Sitton stands as the best guard on the market. He’s missed six games over the last two years, but he has four Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. He’s set to meet with the Dolphins.

6. A.J. McCarron, QB (Bengals): It’s difficult to peg McCarron’s value heading into free agency. Outside of some quality starts in 2015, there isn’t much film out there on McCarron, despite that fact that he has spent four years in the NFL. Hue Jackson was itching to reunite with McCarron, but the Browns no longer seem a likely destination for him after the acquisition of Tyrod Taylor. It’s also hard to see him landing with the QB-needy Jets after they re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater. McCarron will find a home, but it may not be as a starter. [UPDATE: McCarron has signed with the Bills]

7. E.J. Gaines, CB (Bills): Injuries in the fall limited Gaines to just 11 games last season, but he proved to be a quality return for the Bills in the Watkins trade, in addition to the second-round pick that came with him. Gaines graded out as the No. 13 cornerback in the league last year, per PFF, and he just turned 26 in February. Gaines missed all of ’15 due to injury and didn’t look all that sharp in ’16, but timing is everything in free agency. You can expect multiple teams to call on him and the Texans could still have interest, even after inking Aaron Colvin.

8. Eric Reid, S (49ers): Reid is just 26 and is undoubtedly a starting quality safety. He has both youth and versatility on his side, but it’s possible that his anthem protest participation could hurt him when it comes to some suitors. Injuries over the last two seasons will hurt his market as well.

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PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents For 2018 1.0

There will be tons of free agents available in March, but only a some of them can be real difference makers for your favorite team. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve assembled our early list of the Top 50 NFL Free Agents for 2018.

Our early version of the NFL’s top 50 free agents may include players who will be re-signed between now and March 14. When we update this list next week, a few of the big names will be spoken for while new high-profile names will join the fray as veterans become cap casualties.

Recently, we broke down the top free agents by position on both offense and defense, but our rankings below may not have each player listed in the same order. Those position lists took the short-term value of a player into account more heavily, meaning many players in their 30s received prominent placement. Our overall top 50 list favors longer-term value, and is more about forecasting which players will be in highest demand when it comes to years and dollars.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2018:

1. Kirk Cousins, QB (Redskins): At long last, Kirk Cousins is headed towards unrestricted free agency. You may or may not regard Cousins as a star, but he is the best quarterback in recent history to reach the open market and QB-needy teams will be rolling out the red carpet for him. The Jets, Vikings, Broncos, and Cardinals have been named as the top suitors for his services, but the NFL is full of surprises this time of year and we would not be surprised to see other teams get involved. The cash-flush Browns are reportedly keen on signing a lower-cost vet and drafting a QB early, but who’s to say they won’t change course and get in on the Cousins sweepstakes? The Bills, Giants, Dolphins, Bucs, and Colts could also consider kicking the tires here, but there are obstacles in that bunch ranging from established starters already in place (Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Andrew Luck) to financial constraints. No matter where he goes, it’s almost certain that Cousins will become the league’s highest-paid player of all-time. That is, until another top-tier QB signs a contract extension soon after.

2. Drew Brees (Saints): There are multiple possibilities for Cousins but it’s hard to see a scenario in which Brees actually leaves the Saints. Brees has already said that he does not plan on testing free agency, so he’ll likely put pen to paper before things begin on March 14. As far as we can tell, the only way Brees will think about leaving is if he is lowballed to an extreme degree by the Saints, but that seems improbable based on his history with the team

3. Case Keenum (Vikings): One year ago, no one ever would have expected Keenum to be one of 2018’s most sought-after free agents. The Vikings signed the former Rams signal caller to a one-year, $2MM deal in March with the idea that he would back up Sam Bradford and, eventually slide down to third on the depth chart when/if Teddy Bridgewater returned to full health. When Bradford went down in September, Keenum exceeded all expectations and put together the best season of his career. The 30-year-old graded out as Pro Football Focus’ ninth-ranked QB in 2017, putting him above the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor. With Keenum at the helm, the Vikings earned a first-round bye and beat the Saints in a playoff thriller before succumbing to the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Of course, after four seasons of mediocrity, teams are wondering whether this was an aberration or a real sign of things to come. Teams know that Keenum is not a lock, but he’s also the best Plan B for any team that loses out on Cousins or doesn’t have the means to sign him.

4. Andrew Norwell, G (Panthers): There was a time when tackles were the only offensive linemen to really cash in on the open market. That’s no longer the case, as evidenced by the contracts of Kevin Zeitler (five years, $60MM) and Kelechi Osemele (five years, $58.5MM). Osemele inked his free agent deal with the Raiders in 2016 and Zeitler signed his in the 2017 offseason. Given the cap increase and the natural progression of the market, Norwell figures to reset the market for interior linemen. Keenum figures to gross no less than $20MM/year on his next contract, so he’s slotted behind him, but an average annual value of $13-14MM is not out of the question for the former undrafted free agent.

5. Nate Solder, OT (Patriots): Solder isn’t coming off of his best season and he might be the least sexy name in the top ten. Still, there’s a dearth of tackles league-wide and Solder has been among the league’s best at his position for quite some time. The Patriots are bracing for Solder to leave as they fear he’ll garner offers of $12MM/year. No other tackle in this year’s free agent crop is even close to him in terms of ability, so we’re also buying into the hype. Injuries contributed to Solder’s up-and-down season, particularly early on, so teams will take that into account when evaluating him.

6. Allen Robinson, WR (Jaguars): The Jaguars opted against using the franchise tag on Robinson, which is understandable since they have limited cap space. Robinson missed almost all of 2017 with an ACL tear, but his 2015 season (and even his so-so 2016 campaign) gives teams reason to believe that he can be a quality WR1. Robinson is one of only two such players on the unrestricted market, so expect him to get paid. Robinson probably couldn’t do worse than Kenny Britt‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Browns from last season (and he should do a whole lot better), but if he is underwhelmed by the multi-year offers he receives, he could always go the Alshon Jeffery route. Jeffery inked a one-year, $9.5MM prove-it deal with the Eagles and that turned out to be a smashing success for both parties. Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year, $52MM extension in December, so Robinson’s camp will surely be open to a pillow contract if necessary. 

7. Sammy Watkins, WR (Rams): Some may view Robinson and Watkins as 1A and 1B in this year’s wide receiver class, particularly since Robinson missed all of 2017 and Watkins, despite his own injury history, played in all but one of the Rams’ games. Unfortunately, Watkins did not have the platform year he was hoping for as he caught just 39 passes for 593 yards. If we strike Robinson’s lost year and Watkins’ down year from the record, the breakdown favors the Jags receiver – Robinson averaged 77 receptions for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns per 16 games in that set versus Watkins’ 66 grabs for 1,063 yards and seven scores. These two should come pretty close in average annual value, but we give the edge to Robinson.

8. Trumaine Johnson, CB (Rams): Players often bemoan the franchise tag, but Johnson can’t really complain after receiving two consecutive tags from the Rams and earning more than $30MM between 2016 and 2017. The Rams, rightfully, did not consider a third consecutive tag for Johnson at a cost of ~$20MM and they already have his replacement in Marcus Peters. That’s one suitor down, but plenty of other teams will be eager to speak with Johnson, who profiles as the best cornerback in a deep class.

9. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson gave the Jets lots of headaches, but he also gave them high-end production. He didn’t quite match that production in Seattle, but Richardson is positioned for a massive payday anyway since impactful defensive linemen are at a premium. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will garner about $9MM/year, but I would say that is his floor. The top-end of free agency rarely yields team-friendly deals, so Richardson could easily creep into eight figures in AAV, particularly since he does not turn 28 until November.

10. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe thought he was in for a monster contract last offseason, but concerns about his lingering back issues forced him to take a one-year, $8MM deal with Atlanta. Teams may still worry about his back being a ticking time bomb, but perhaps they’ll view him in a different light now that he has played back-to-back 16 game seasons and has only missed two regular season contests over the course of his career.

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Top 2018 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense on Monday, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2018:

Edge defender:

  1. Julius Peppers
  2. William Hayes
  3. Trent Murphy
  4. Pernell McPhee
  5. Aaron Lynch
  6. Alex Okafor
  7. Adrian Clayborn
  8. Kony Ealy
  9. Connor Barwin
  10. Jeremiah Attaochu
  11. Junior Galette
  12. Derrick Shelby
  13. Barkevious Mingo
  14. Kareem Martin
  15. Erik Walden

As a positional group, pass rushers comprise interesting market on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not often that a list of best available players is topped by a 38-year-old, but Peppers is the top free agent edge defender after the Cowboys and Lions deployed the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah, respectively. As with quarterbacks, NFL clubs are extremely reluctant to allow pass rushers to hit the open market, so top-tier options are rarely ever truly “available.” Peppers, for his part, hasn’t even declared whether he’ll return in 2018, but indications are that he’ll suit up for a 17th campaign after posting 11 sacks last year.

Alongside Peppers, other veterans populate the edge market, and while William Hayes may not be a household name, he’ll be a contributor for whichever team signs him. A stout run defender, Hayes is also capable of generating pressure despite managing only one sack in 2017. The Dolphins used Hayes on only 271 defensive snaps a season ago, and have since replaced him by acquiring fellow defensive end Robert Quinn from the Rams. Now that he’s entering his age-33 season, Hayes should come cheap, but will almost assuredly outplay his contract.

Nearly every other available pass rusher has some sort of flaw which will likely limit his market next week. Trent Murphy is only 27 years old and put up nine sacks in 2016, but he missed the entirety of the 2017 campaign with injury. Pernell McPhee, Alex Okafor, Junior Galette, and Derrick Shelby have also been plagued by health questions in recent seasons. And Adrian Clayborn famously registered the majority of his 2017 sacks (and 20% of his career sack total) in one game against overwhelmed Cowboys backup Chaz Green.

The two names that I keep coming back to are Aaron Lynch (49ers) and Jeremiah Attaochu (Chargers). Yes, Lynch has been suspended for substance abuse, struggled with his weight, and was reportedly in danger of being waived prior to last season. He’s also extremely young (he won’t turn 25 years old until Thursday) and ranked fifth in the league with 34 pass pressures as recently as 2015. Attaochu, a 25-year-old former second-round pick, also has youth on his side, and while he hasn’t quite flashed as much as Lynch, he’s also been buried on LA’s depth chart for much of his career.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Sheldon Richardson
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Muhammad Wilkerson
  4. Star Lotulelei
  5. DaQuan Jones
  6. Beau Allen
  7. Denico Autry
  8. Justin Ellis
  9. Tom Johnson
  10. Bennie Logan
  11. Chris Baker
  12. Kyle Williams
  13. Dominique Easley
  14. Haloti Ngata
  15. Jay Bromley

Interior rushers are getting more respect in today’s NFL, but that still hasn’t translated to them being paid on the level of edge defenders — the 2018 franchise tag for defensive tackles, for example, is roughly $3MM cheaper than the tender for edge rushers. While the 2018 crop of interior defenders boasts some impressive top-end talent, none of the available players figure to earn a double-digit annual salary. Sheldon Richardson may have the best chance to do so, but Seattle determined he wasn’t worth a one-year cost of $13.939MM, so is any other club going to pay him $10MM per year? I’d guess he comes in closer to $9MM annually, which would still place him among the 25 highest-paid defensive tackles.

Dontari Poe will be an intriguing free agent case after setting for a one-year deal last offseason, but the most interesting battle among defensive tackles will take place Star Lotulelei and Muhammad Wilkerson, and I’m curious to see which player earns more on the open market. Both are former first-round picks, and it’s difficult to argue Wilkerson hasn’t been the more productive player — or, at least, reached higher highs — than Lotulelei. Wilkerson also won’t affect his next team’s compensatory pick formula given that he was released, but his off-field issues, which include a reported lack of effort and problems with coaches, could limit his appeal.

While Beau Allen and Denico Autry are potentially candidates to be overpaid based on their youth, there are bargains to be had at defensive tackle. Tom Johnson is 33 but he’s offered consistent pressure from the interior for years — his last contract was for three years and $7MM, so he shouldn’t cost much this time around. Haloti Ngata was injured in 2017 but plans to continue his career, and he can still stop the run. And Dominique Easley was outstanding as a 3-4 end in 2016 before missing last season with a torn ACL, meaning the former first-round pick could be a value play for any number of teams.Read more

Free Agency Notes: Jets, Colts, Lewis, Burton

Here’s a look at the latest free agency buzz:

  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears the Jets and Colts are “possible destinations” for Patriots free agent running back Dion Lewis. The language in Fowler’s report is admittedly soft, but free agents are technically forbidden from talking to rival teams during this time, so this may be a wink-wink acknowledgement that both teams have engaged in some secretive discussions prior to the legal tampering period on March 12. Recently, Mike Florio of PFT indicated that the Texans, 49ers, and Raiders were also potential destinations for the 27-year-old (28 in September).
  • No surprise here, but free agent tight end Trey Burton is a popular man. With the Eagles unlikely to retain him, 16 clubs have already checked in on his status this week, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).
  • Some executives who spoke with Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com indicated that Dontari Poe could be a fit for the Buccaneers. Poe, who did well on his one-year platform deal with the Falcons, may also fit the Redskins, Broncos, and Colts, per JLC.
  • More from JLC, who cautions of a potential bidding war between the Bears and Chiefs over backup quarterback Chase Daniel. The Saints would like to retain the veteran, but they might not be able to afford him with a big money extension on the horizon for Drew Brees. The Bears and Chiefs both make sense for Daniel given the ties he has to both coaching staffs.

Falcons Unlikely To Re-Sign Dontari Poe

After one year in Atlanta, it sounds like Dontari Poe will be moving on. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff told reporters on Wednesday that the two-time Pro Bowler is unlikely to be re-signed. Dontari Poe (Vertical)

Did a heck of a job for us this year,” Dimitroff said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure). “We really liked his impact for us — especially in the run game — understanding that it may be a one-year deal. We’re in a spot right now where there’s a very good chance that he’s going to go to free agency and land a very lucrative deal. So we appreciate what he has done with us.”

Poe joined the Falcons on a one-year, $8MM contract last season when the market did not yield the kind of big money long-term offers that he expected. Poe did well in that platform year as he registered 39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and graded out as the No. 35 interior defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. Those aren’t superstar numbers, but the big knock against Poe last year was that his lingering back issues might slow him down. Now that he has missed only two games over the course of his six-year career – and none over the last two years – teams may be willing to make a lengthier commitment to him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Pryor, Eagles, Ward, Trubisky

Terrelle Pryor already confessed his camp might have misjudged the market when he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Redskins. The wideout’s back in a contract year but said Wednesday other teams presented multiyear offers.

A lot of teams … I got four or five offers from four or five teams for four or five-year deals for a lot of money, but it wasn’t where I thought I needed to be,” Pryor said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “At the end of the day, I wanted to really show I can do it, dominate at it again, and really just set myself up to have a home for four or five years, that way I can sign somewhere for four or five years instead of always moving around.”

Evidently hoping this one-year agreement can be a pathway to more lucrative long-term proposals, the 28-year-old Pryor also revealed he was negotiating with the Eagles prior to his Redskins pact. Pryor said he “believed” the Eagles were one of the teams pursuing him before something “in house” changed. This could allude to Alshon Jeffery signing a one-year deal on the same day Pryor agreed to his Washington contract. The Eagles were connected to just about every UFA wideout of note this offseason, and Pryor’s comments back up a March report of five teams being interested in signing him.

Here’s the latest from the NFC as 15 of its teams make preparations for their Week 1 games.

  • The one NFC franchise that won’t play this weekend has a new safety that now has an extra week to acclimate to Mike Smith‘s system, and details of T.J. Ward‘s contract continue to emerge. Ward will earn $3MM guaranteed on his one-year deal with the Buccaneers, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. The veteran safety’s contract has a base value of $3.875MM, and offers the chance for an extra $1MM via incentives. Ward, of course, signed with Tampa Bay less than 24 hours after being released by Denver, a move that led the Buccaneers to trade fellow defensive back J.J. Wilcox to the Steelers.
  • While this is not exactly a surprise, Mitch Trubisky will ascend to second on the Bears‘ depth chart for Chicago’s Week 1 tilt. The rookie quarterback usurped Mark Sanchez and will back up Mike Glennon on Sunday, John Fox said (via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, on Twitter). Of this rookie class, only DeShone Kizer will receive an opening day start. Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, C.J. Beathard and Nathan Peterman join Trubisky in being second-stringers entering their first NFL seasons.
  • Dontari Poe‘s latest weight check-in, which is today, will secure the Falcons defensive tackle $125K, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Poe earned the $125K by coming in under 330 pounds in late July. The pre-regular-season weight ceiling remains the same.
  • No offset language existed in Alex Boone‘s Vikings contract, Joel Corry of CBS Sports notes (on Twitter), so Minnesota will be stuck with $3.5MM in dead money on this year’s cap. Terms of Boone’s Cardinals deal are not yet disclosed, but it won’t go toward helping the Vikings offset dead money remaining on the four-year, $26.8MM contract they authorized for Boone last year.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this report.

Falcons Rumors: Freeman, Ryan, Poe

The latest from Atlanta:

  • Devonta Freeman‘s agent left town after meeting with Falcons brass over the past couple days, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the team isn’t putting a deadline on a deal. The Falcons had hoped to hammer something out by the time training camp started, but it sounds like completing an extension will take longer than anticipated. Recently, Le’Veon Bell rejected the Steelers’ offer of a five-year deal with a $12MM average annual value, $30MM in the first two years of the deal, and $42MM over the first three seasons. Freeman’s camp may be using the framework of that proposal as a baseline for talks.
  • There have yet to be substantive talks between the Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan, Pelissero tweets. The Falcons will likely wait until after the season to talk contract with Matty Ice, Pelissero adds. Ryan is signed through 2018 and is slated to carry cap charges in excess of $21MM in each of the next two seasons. The league’s reigning MVP is probably willing to wait for Matthew Stafford to sign a big money extension of his own with the Lions before getting serious about next deal.
  • Falcons nose tackle Dontari Poe weighed in below 330 pounds today, giving the free agent addition his $125K make-weight bonus, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Many expected Poe to sign a lucrative multi-year deal, but he wound up settling for a one-year deal as teams felt unsure about his conditioning.