Duane Brown

Seahawks Notes: Thomas, Brown, Allen

Although Seahawks safety Earl Thomas today penned an essay in the Players’ Tribune regarding his ongoing holdout, the veteran’s piece hasn’t exactly changed the facts of the situation at hand, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Not only have no new negotiations taken place, but no club has sent a viable trade offer for Thomas. Thomas, of course, is seeking either a new contract or a trade, but the Seahawks don’t seem particularly inclined to work out a fresh contract. Trade talks, meanwhile, have mostly been centered around the Cowboys, but nothing has yet come to fruition. Thomas, 29, is entering the final year of his current contract, during which he’s scheduled to collect a base salary of $8.5MM.

Here’s more from Seattle:

  • As noted above, the Seahawks aren’t likely to renegotiate Thomas’ pact any time soon, and that’s in part due to team owner Paul Allen, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Allen “doesn’t get emotional or worried” about potential holdouts, per Florio, and that was evident during Seattle’s talks with safety Kam Chancellor in 2015. The Seahawks didn’t move an inch at that time, and Thomas’ holdout isn’t expected to result in a new deal this time around. Thomas, it seems, is willing to play hardball in order to land the contract he feels he deserves, but the Seahawks might be open to doing just the same.
  • More details are now available on left tackle Duane Brown‘s three-year extension with the Seahawks, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com reports the veteran offensive lineman received a signing bonus of $8MM and a full guarantee of $16MM. Brown only gets $1.75MM of his 2019 salary guaranteed for injury, but it becomes fully guaranteed after the Super Bowl, meaning Seattle will need to make a quick decision on Brown’s future. Even if the Seahawks do cut Brown next spring, they’d be forced to carry $7.75MM in dead cap.
  • In case you missed it, Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is dealing with a knee injury that could keep him sidelined for most of the preseason, although his availability for Week 1 of the regular season doesn’t seem to be in peril.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Thomas, 49ers

There’s still no end in sight to the Earl Thomas/Seahawks drama. Thomas continues to insist he won’t report without a new contract, and that without a new contract he wants to be traded. The Seahawks won’t budge on extending him, but also haven’t complied with his trade demands. The Cowboys have been a frequently mentioned potential destination for Thomas, a Texas native, and Brady Henderson and Todd Archer of ESPN.com, the site’s Seahawks and Cowboys reporters, respectively, took a look at what it would take to get Thomas to Dallas.

Henderson notes that the Seahawks have the money available to give Thomas a new deal if they really wanted to, they just don’t have any desire to pay him longterm top-safety market as he enters his age-29 season. Archer notes the Cowboys are even less restricted by the cap, and could give Thomas any deal they want comfortably. Henderson says the Seahawks “aren’t going to give Thomas away for nothing despite the perception that they have no other choice.” The Seahawks are clearly intent on getting top dollar for the All-Pro safety in any trade, and it’s unclear if the Cowboys will be willing to pay it.

Archer writes the Cowboys “aren’t going to overpay”, that they’ve “held firm in talks”, and that it’s “basically a staring contest” between the two sides now. The start of the season is right around the corner, and any potential trade would have to happen relatively soon for Thomas to be able to get up to speed with his new team. It will be fascinating to watch to see which side blinks first.

Here’s more from around the NFC West:

  • The details on Duane Brown‘s new extension from the Seahawks are in. He’ll get $14.5MM fully guaranteed this year, an increase of nearly $5MM from what he was scheduled to make, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). The team could get out from under his contract fairly easily if they want after this year, as Rapoport notes only $1.75MM is guaranteed for injury in 2019.
  • Speaking of staring contests, the Rams and Aaron Donald continue to have one of their own. Although the two sides reportedly remain intent on getting a deal done, Peter King of NBC Sports writes he thinks “this Aaron Donald holdout could last into September. Easily.” That’s the last thing in the world Rams fans want to hear, but it sounds like Donald again missing regular season time isn’t out of the question.
  • Joshua Garnett could be cut by the 49ers writes Cam Inman of the Mercury News. Garnett was a first round pick in 2016, but didn’t play great as a rookie and missed all of last year with a knee injury. It’s always shocking if a first round pick is cut this soon, but it sounds like it’s a real possibility for Garnett, as the new regime in San Francisco has no ties to him.

Seahawks, Duane Brown Agree To Extension

Duane Brown will enter the 2018 season with a new contract. In his first training camp with the Seahawks, the veteran left tackle’s agreed to terms on an extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Seattle has announced the extension.

The Seahawks and Brown have been working on this deal for weeks, per Rapoport. The soon-to-be 33-year-old blocker was going to play for $9.75MM this season but was set for a contract year. Despite his advancing age, the Seahawks are making a commitment to the tackle they acquired at the trade deadline last season.

It’s a three-year, $36.5MM re-up for Brown, Rapoport adds (via Twitter). This deal will keep Brown tied to the Seahawks through the 2021 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Brown will earn in excess of $14MM in 2018, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

After a stretch of committing scant resources to their offensive front, the Seahawks now have both Brown and Justin Britt signed long-term.

Brown staged a lengthy holdout into the regular season last year before the Texans shipped him to the Seahawks. He started nine games with Seattle upon arrival. The four-time Pro Bowler has started all 142 games for which he’s suited up in a 10-season career. Entering his 11th, he’s expected to anchor the Seahawks’ offensive line.

A lack of guarantees remaining on his Texans deal prompted Brown to hold out in 2017. He did not report to the Texans until late October of last year but was not holding out with his new team this offseason. Brown graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 27 tackle last season. He’s regarded as one of the best tackles of this era.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.