Duane Brown

Reactions To Kam Chancellor’s Unofficial Retirement

Yesterday, longtime Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor announced that he’s stepping away from the NFL due to injury. The 30-year-old was once considered to be one of the top safeties in the entire game, joining Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman to form the Legion of Boom. The secondary helped lead the Seahawks to five straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship, with Chancellor earning four Pro Bowl nods along the way.

Their Super Bowl victory was four years ago, but the team is now rostering only six starters from the championship-winning squad (excluding Chancellor). As Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com points out, K.J. WrightBobby WagnerEarl Thomas and Byron Maxwell (who has since left the organization and returned) are the only starting defenders left on the team, while Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin are the lone offensive players.

Of course, Chancellor’s announcement does more than reduce the number of holdovers from that Super Bowl-winning team. Rather, the move has a major financial impact on the organization, which several reporters have detailed over the past 24 hours…

  • Former NFL agent Joel Corry expects Chancellor to ultimately land on the Physically Unable to Perform list (Twitter link). Officially retiring and letting the Seahawks get out of his $5.2MM injury guarantee in 2019 (his $6.8MM for 2018 has already been guaranteed) would be “an extremely generous gesture” by the defensive back, adds Corry.
  • The agent has more specific information on the financial implications of Chancellor’s unofficial retirement (via Twitter). The safety will count towards a $9.3MM cap charge in 2018 and a $10.2MM cap charge in 2019, and the team would have a $14.5MM and $5MM cap hit by cutting him now (the 2019 guarantee would “accelerate,” per Corry). This money is all part of the three-year, $36MM extension Chancellor signed during last year’s training camp.
  • Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times suggests that Chancellor and the Seahawks could eventually agree to a settlement, thus alleviating the organization of the financial burden. The writer also believes the organization will keep the retired safety on the roster for 2018 and see what happens next year, with the hope that Chancellor might be able to eventually pass a physical (thus letting the team out of the injury guarantee).
  • Condotta points out that the Seahawks are sitting with around $10.5MM in cap space at the moment, although they could open up some room by adjusting their current players’ contracts. The writer specifically focuses on left tackle Duane Brown, who is set to have a $9.75MM cap hit this season. On the flip side, Chancellor’s announcement shouldn’t do much to hurt the Seahawks next offseason, as the team is sitting with $54MM in available space, the third-highest mark in the NFL.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins

While the NFL and NFLPA haven’t shown any inclination to pursue a settlement in Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension case, Elliott and his attorneys have indeed been pushing for some sort of settlement, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. While it’s unclear how many banned games Elliott and his team have offered to the league, the NFL is not interested in any agreement. Elliott will play against the Chiefs this week after being granted an administrative stay, and could potentially be available for several months if he wins an injunction from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • While the Eagles didn’t acquire a left tackle in advance of last week’s trade deadline, they did engage in talks for both Cordy Glenn (Bills) and Duane Brown (Texans), according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (Twitter link). However, Philadelphia quickly realized no fit existed in regards to a possible Glenn deal, while the trade of Brown to Seattle — which netted the Texans second- and third-round picks — drove up the price for left tackles across the board, per La Canfora. The Eagles, who eventually picked up only running back Jay Ajayi before the deadline, were on the lookout for a blindside protector after losing stalwart Jason Peters for the season.
  • The Redskins worked out running backs Marcus Murphy, Dare Ogunbowale, Jhurell Pressley, Josh Rounds, and Trey Williams last week, per Howard Balzer of Sports on Earth (Twitter link). Of the group, Murphy is by far the most experienced, as he’s 16 games since entering the league in 2015. He’s mostly served as a return man (just two career touches on offense), and that’s likely the role he’d hold in Washington if signed.
  • Already fielding one of the league’s worst offensive lines, the Giants‘ front five was further weakened last week when center Weston Richburg was placed on injured reserve with a concussion. Richburg, 26, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the spring.

NFC Notes: Zeke, Beasley, Seahawks

It’s been a roller coaster news cycle regarding Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension since the regular season started. Now in another twist, it appears that if the second-year running back’s suspension is officially handed down in December, the league will force him to sit out through the playoffs, reports Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star Telegram (Twitter link). This news adds another aspect to the ongoing legal feud in that if the team felt that Elliott was going to eventually serve his suspension, wouldn’t they rather him take it now rather than wait till playoff time? It’s an interesting question, and while the 22 year-old has repeatedly stated his intention to fight the league, the issue will remain a cloud over Jerry Jones‘ organization for the rest of the year. Elliott will be allowed to suit up for this Sunday’s game after the United States Court of Appeals granted him a stay earlier in the day.

  • In other Cowboys news, another pivotal member of the offense is set to play in Week 9 as well. Wide receiver Cole Beasley cleared his final step of concussion protocol today after taking the week trying to recover from his head slamming to the ground in last Sunday’s game versus Washington, according to Brandon George of Dallas News. Beasley stated that he didn’t really suffer any concussion symptoms throughout the week, but was definitely feeling the effects of the contact during the game. “It wasn’t crazy,” Beasley said. “It was just kind of some dizziness when I hit the ground and it only lasted for a little while. I was able to pass most of the concussion test stuff, but some of the stuff we did it started making me kind of nauseous and made feel like I was going to throw up and they held me out.”
  • The Seahawks are in a tough spot with injuries heading into this week’s contest against Washington. Apart from Earl Thomas potentially missing a few games, the team also may be without defensive starters Sheldon Richardson (oblique) and Bobby Wagner (hamstring) with both players being officially listed as questionable, according to Brady Anderson of ESPN.com. Anderson does report that safety Kam Chancellor will play in Week 9 after dealing with an ankle injury throughout the week. However, losing these three key defensive starters would greatly hurt a Seattle team that is riding a ton of positive momentum after winning their last four games.
  • Anderson also passes along that Seattle’s newest trade acquisition, tackle Duane Brown, is adjusting to his new team’s offense well because of his experience with the Seahawks zone-blocking scheme, according to head coach Pete Carroll. “He’s done exceptionally well,” Carroll said. “Like we said earlier, the carry-over that he had from six years being in the same system has really ensured that he can make this transition as fast as you possibly could make it.” Brown figures to be a major upgrade at left tackle ahead of the team’s former starter on the blind side, Rees Odhiambo, who ranks as the worst qualified tackle in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.

Seahawks Acquire OT Duane Brown

The Seahawks have acquired offensive tackle Duane Brown from the Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Houston will receive cornerback Jeremy Lane, a 2018 fifth-round pick, and a 2019 second-round pick.Duane Brown (vertical)

Seattle had been considered an ideal landing spot for Brown in recent weeks, so while the deal doesn’t come as a complete surprise, the trade still represents a massive talent shift of talent from the Texans to the Seahawks. Acquiring an offensive lineman was perhaps the most obvious move Seattle general manager John Schneider could make before tomorrow’s deadline, as the Seahawks’ front five ranks in the bottom half of the league in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate.

Brown will take over at left tackle for Seattle, a position that’s been bereft of a solid starter for some time. Rees Odhiambo, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, had been serving as the Seahawks’ blindside protector following a season-ending injury to George Fant, but Odhiambo has graded as the NFL’s second-worst offensive tackle through eight weeks, per Pro Football Focus.

Brown, 32, should represent a massive upgrade over Odhiambo — the former first-round pick offers 133 starts worth of experience, and has consistently earned positive marks from PFF. He’s also been remarkably durable, with only 12 injury-related missed games over nine seasons in the NFL. And of course, Brown should be well-rested after missing the first seven weeks of the 2017 campaign in a contractual holdout.

That holdout was the primary driver behind Houston’s decision to trade Brown, as the Texans and general manager Rick Smith gave no indication they were willing to give Brown a new deal. Brown is due roughly $4.7MM for the rest of the season, and that will require cap space the Seahawks don’t currently possess (hence the inclusion of Lane). Brown is signed through the 2018 season with a cap charge of $9.75MM next year, though Seattle will presumably rework his contract.

Lane is earning a fully guaranteed $4MM base salary in 2017, so the Texans are now responsible for roughly $2MM for the remainder of the year. He’s also under contract through 2019 with base salaries of $6MM in each season. While acquiring Lane will help Seattle offset Brown’s salary, he’s also a much-needed piece for a beat up Houston secondary.Jeremy Lane

Although he had recently lost his starting role in Seattle, Lane has starting experience, including all 16 games in 2016. Lane, whom the Seahawks were shopping during the preseason, is probably best utilized as a slot corner, but he can also play outside. He’ll be valuable for the Texans in either role, as Houston is currently relying on two age-29+ corners in Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson (plus a recovering Kevin Johnson).

The Texans also picked up two draft picks in this trade, selections that will help them defray the cost of deals they’ve pulled off in the past year. Houston is already without its two top picks in 2018, having dealt them to Cleveland in order to move up for Deshaun Watson and rid itself of Brock Osweiler, respectively. While they won’t receive Seattle’s second-rounder until 2019, the Texans still managed to pick up draft assets while bringing in a possible starter in Lane.

On a macro level, the trade of Brown represents the first domino to fall in the offensive line trade market. The Eagles, who are now without veteran Jason Peters for the rest of season, were “monitoring” the Brown situation, and could now look elsewhere in their search for offensive line help, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Willing To Trade Jimmy Graham?

Texans LT Duane Brown is expected to suit up for Houston for the first time this season as the club takes on the Seahawks in Seattle today. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, though, today might be Brown’s last day in a Texans uniform.

Jimmy Graham

Per Rapoport (Twitter links), the Seahawks are continuing their attempts to acquire a veteran left tackle, and Seattle and Houston have engaged in talks involving Brown. Brown, of course, has held out all season to express his dissatisfaction over his current contract, and he has only reported to the team in order to accrue a year of service time; if he missed any more game action, he would not receive any credit for the 2017 season and would remain under club control for two more years instead of being eligible for free agency at the end of the 2018 campaign.

Seattle, though, is pretty strapped for cap space, and as Rapoport points out, if the Seahawks were to trade for a left tackle like Brown — they are also interested in the Bills’ Cordy Glenn and the Colts’ Anthony Castonzo — they would need to cut or trade other players to remain under the salary cap. One player who could be moved is TE Jimmy Graham, who is earning $7.9MM in base salary this year and who is counting for $10MM against the cap. Rapoport says Seattle would be willing to move Graham if such a move would allow them to acquire a left tackle.

However, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll strong denied that Graham would be available before Tuesday’s deadline, calling any reports to that effect “total bull—-“, as Michael Silver of NFL.com tweets. Similarly, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) has been told Seattle has no plans to trade Graham.

Graham, 30, is averaging a career-low 9.6 yards per catch through six games this season, which comes on the heels of an excellent 2016 season, his best in Seattle. The Seahawks continue to believe Graham is a critical part of the offense, but they feel acquiring a quality left tackle is more important.

For what it’s worth, Rapoport says it is unlikely that the Seahawks and Texans agree to a one-for-one swap involving Brown and Graham, but it could be a possibility (Twitter link). Houston, however, is probably more interested in acquiring draft capital than a 30-year-old tight end on an expiring contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Activate OT Duane Brown

After ending his holdout earlier this week, it looks like Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown will be in uniform this weekend. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the lineman will be activated for tomorrow’s game against the Seahawks. To make room on the roster, the team has waived offensive tackle Kendall Lamm (via Ian Rapoport on Twitter).

Duane Brown (vertical)The offensive tackle had been pushing for a new contract since July, and while initial reports indicated that he’d be back in time for the regular season, he didn’t report to the team until earlier this week. As our own Dallas Robinson explained, the offensive tackle’s decision doesn’t necessarily mean that either side has relented on contract talks. Rather, Brown needed eight games under his belt to earn credit for the 2017 campaign.

Chris Clark, who has been filling in at left tackle during Brown’s absence, will presumably lose his starting gig. Pro Football Focus ranked the 32-year-old 52nd among 71 eligible tackles, although the rest of the Texans offensive line has been more than serviceable this season. Clark is also set to miss several weeks with an injury, so it’s easy to assume that Brown will immediately slide into the starting role.

Earlier this week, we heard that the Texans would consider shopping Brown, who is signed through next season. The Seahawks were previously mentioned as a potential landing spot, and a trade would allow the organization to acquire some extra picks. However, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says Brown’s return isn’t an attempt by the organization to showcase his trade value. Rather, the team is counting on the veteran to protect breakout rookie Deshaun Watson for the rest of the season.

Lamm, a 2015 undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State, appeared in 35 games (eight starts) over his two-plus seasons with the organization.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans OT Duane Brown Ends Holdout

Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown has ended his holdout and reported to the club, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Duane Brown (vertical)

Brown, 32, hasn’t played a single game for Houston this season as he continues to push for a new contract. His decision to rejoin the Texans doesn’t necessarily mean the team’s front office has decided to cave on a new deal, and in fact there’s no indication that’s the case. Instead, Brown is likely reporting in order to gain credit for the 2017 season, as he needed to appear in eight games to do so.

Presuming that he’s ready to immediately step in at left tackle, Brown should provide a significant upgrade on the blindside. Houston has turned to Chris Clark (five starts) in Brown’s absence, but he’s offered a sub-par performance thus far, Pro Football Focus ranks Clark as just the No. 52 tackle among 71 qualifiers. While the Texans’ offensive line has played well in the run game, the unit is 31st in adjusted rack rate, according to Football Outsiders.

If the Texans are intent on not reaching a new deal with Brown, they could conceivably still trade him, something the club is reportedly open to doing. Cleveland currently owns Houston’s first- and second-round picks in 2018, so shipping Brown for draft capital could help the Texans recoup some of its lost assets. The Seahawks, notably, have been linked to a potential Brown acquisition.

But “barring the unforeseen,” Brown is set to play for the Texans, and not act as trade bait, tweets Rapoport. His return is coming at a fortuitous time, as Clark is now expected to miss a week or two after suffering a calf injury, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Open To Trading LT Duane Brown

The Texans are “willing to consider” trade offers for left tackle Duane Brown, who is currently engaged in a contractual holdout, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.Duane Brown (vertical)

Brown, who has missed the entirety of the 2017 season in search of a new deal, is reportedly an option for the offensive line-needy Seahawks, who have also been in negotiations with free agent tackle Branden Albert in recent weeks. Whether or not other clubs have been or will be in touch with Houston regarding Brown’s availability is unclear, but the Texans are open to recouping some of the 2018 draft pick capital they’ve already traded away (Cleveland owns Houston’s first- and second-round picks in next year’s draft).

Brown, who is due $9.65MM and $9.75MM over the next two respective campaigns, doesn’t seem any close to working out a new pact with the Texans. In late September, Florio reported there was “no end in sight” between Brown and Houston, while Florio indicated last week that nothing had changed between the two sides.

Houston has turned to Chris Clark (five starts) in the wake of Clark’s absence, but he’s offered a sub-par performance thus far, Pro Football Focus ranks Clark as just the No. 52 tackle among 71 qualifiers. While the Texans’ offensive line has played well in the run game, the unit is 31st in adjusted rack rate, according to Football Outsiders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Ngata, Seahawks

The Vikings are facing a quarterback crossroads, as are the quarterbacks themselves. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.comSam Bradford traveled to New York late this past week to begin Regenokine treatments in hopes of getting inflammation out of his ailing knee (the treatment involves drawing blood, spinning it down, and re-injecting it into the knee over the course of a few days). He is doing everything he can to ease the pain in his knee, but the fact that he missed three games due to the injury and then was pulled in the second quarter of last week’s contest is obviously not a good sign. In fact, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports said today that Bradford’s knee situation is worse than people know (Twitter link).

Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, will receive an important checkup tomorrow. He is eligible to begin practicing this week, and the physical will determine whether that is feasible. Sources close to Bridgewater say he is ready to go, and if he is, in fact, activated from the PUP list this season, Rapoport says his contract will not toll, which means he will be a free agent at the end of the season. If he is not activated, the contract will toll and he will remain under club control through 2018.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press says it is possible that DT Haloti Ngata, whose contract expires at the end of the year and who suffered a season-ending bicep injury last week, returns to the team in 2018. However, Birkett believes it is more likely that the longtime star retires.
  • The Seahawks are making a concerted effort to improve their O-line via trade, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says the team is focused on landing disgruntled Texans star Duane Brown. We heard last week that the Texans intend to retain Brown, but that could always change if Seattle’s offer is strong enough.
  • The 49ers released NaVorro Bowman earlier this week, and Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says the team will continue to look to trade and/or release some of its long-term veterans over the next couple of weeks as it embarks on a full-fledged youth movement.
  • The 49ers will carry $4.774MM of dead money on the books in 2018 following Bowman’s release, but they will save all $9.45MM of his 2018 pay, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • Rapoport believes the Saints may be in the trading mood after failing to trade for Bowman, and he says the team could consider trading LB Hau’oli Kikaha (Twitter link). Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune, however, suggests (via Twitter) that is not likely.

Texans Want To Keep LT Duane Brown

The Texans hope to retain left tackle Duane Brown — who is currently in the midst of a contractual holdout — and don’t intend to trade him, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, Houston could conceivably consider an “appropriate offer” for its starting blindside protector, per Florio.Duane Brown (vertical)

Brown needs to play in at least eight games this year in order to accrue credit for his 2017 season. However, Brown will likely need to report following Week 6 in order to be safe, as Florio outlines. The Texans are expected to be granted a roster exemption for Brown that could last as long as three weeks. If Houston’s front office holds out Brown for that maximum timeframe, Brown won’t be able to be present for his needed eight contests.

Brown, 32, has been pushing for a new deal since at least May, and didn’t participate in Houston’s minicamp, training camp, or preseason. The Texans don’t seem inclined to work out a fresh pact with Brown, while Brown himself has indicated that he will in fact play at some point in 2017. As of September, general manager Rick Smith and Brown’s representatives weren’t talking.

Houston has turned to Kendall Lamm (one start) and Chris Clark (four starts) in the wake of Clark’s absence, but both players have offered sub-par performances. Specifically, Pro Football Focus ranks Clark as the No. 55 tackle among 72 qualifiers. While the Texans’ offensive line has played well in the run game, the unit is 31st in adjusted rack rate, according to Football Outsiders.

Brown is currently signed through the 2018 season, and is due non-guaranteed base salaries of $9.65MM and $9.75MM over the next two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.