Eddie Goldman

NFC Notes: Lynn, Lions, Goldman, Bears, Gardeck, Cardinals

The Lions got Jared Goff back in the blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade, but with all their newfound draft capital they very well may take another passer early. They’ve got the seventh overall pick in April, plus two future first-rounders from the Rams now. Even if they do draft a young quarterback, it sounds like new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn would prefer Goff to play initially. After acknowledging that if there were a dramatic difference in training camp he would have to play the better player to keep the locker room, Lynn explained his belief that a rookie quarterback should sit at first, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

“I’d love to see that rookie sit and watch for a little while. If he could watch for half the season or watch for the first year like Patrick Mahomes did (behind Alex Smith), I believe he can learn so much from the right veteran quarterback because a lot of rookies come into this league and they’re not ready,” the Lions’ new offensive play-caller said. “The speed of the game is twice as fast as it was in college and they don’t have success. And in today’s environment with social media things get out of whack and some of these guys lose their confidence and, hell, they never get it back. So if I can sit a rookie, I will. If I can.

Of course, Lynn was the head coach of the Chargers this past year when they initially started Tyrod Taylor over first-round pick Justin Herbert. An injury knocked out Taylor after only one game, and Herbert took the job and never looked back.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Many teams lost full-time starters due to COVID-19 opt outs for 2020, including the Bears with defensive tackle Eddie Goldman. Goldman started at least 15 games at nose tackle in each of the three previous seasons for Chicago before sitting out this past year. Fortunately for the Bears, new defensive coordinator Sean Desai said Monday that the team believes they’ll have him back in 2021, per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Due to the league’s opt-out rules, Goldman’s contract, which owes him $4.75MM next year, tolled to 2021 automatically.
  • Cardinals outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck had a breakout 2020 season when he recorded seven sacks, but unfortunately it ended in injury. He was placed on injured reserve with a couple of games left to go, but we didn’t know at the time how severe it was. In an Instagram post last month, Gardeck revealed it was a torn ACL that he suffered. An UDFA in 2018 out of D2 school Sioux Falls, he was just a special teamer his first two years. He still was only getting limited snaps this past year but made the most of them, racking up the seven sacks despite playing less than ten percent of the defensive snaps. He had three multi-sack games. Unfortunately due to how late his ACL tear came, he should be considered questionable for Week 1 right now.
  • In case you missed it, the 49ers are reportedly either going to take a ‘big swing’, or stick with Jimmy Garoppolo.

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Eddie Goldman Opts Out

Bears defensive tackle Eddie Goldman will opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 health concerns (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Goldman’s decision leaves the Bears with a major void to fill up front, with just over a month to go before the scheduled start of the season.

[RELATED: Patriots’ Hightower Opts Out Of 2020 Season]

Goldman was set to continue on the four-year, $42MM+ extension he signed in the fall of 2018. Now, his $4.75MM in guaranteed salary will toll into 2021 and his full contract will run through 2023.

Last year, Goldman suited up for 15 games, notching 29 tackles and a sack. As a big man in the middle, his true value isn’t really captured by the traditional stats. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus framed him as the 35th best interior defender in the league out of 118 qualified players, thanks in part to his work against the run. For Goldman, that was actually a down year, and he’s provided steady pressure against quarterbacks over the last two seasons.

The opt outs are piling up quickly, and there are surely more on the way. NFL players have until Friday to formally make the call.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Re-Sign Ben Braunecker

The Bears and tight end Ben Braunecker agreed to a two-year deal, according to a source who spoke with Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Bears did not tender Braunecker as a restricted free agent, but found a way to retain him nonetheless.

Meanwhile, the Bears carved out some additional cap space in advance of free agency, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman had a $3MM roster bonus coming to him, but the Bears have converted it into a signing bonus, giving them an extra $2.25MM in breathing room. Heading into Monday, the Bears had less than $20MM in cap room, putting them in the bottom third of the NFL. The Goldman adjustment won’t put them in the same league as cash-flush teams like the Jets, Colts, and Browns, but it will give them some extra flexibility.

Meanwhile, the Bears are reportedly discussing trades for Jordan Howard, which could give them some additional draft capital to work with.

Bears, NT Eddie Goldman Agree On Extension

Shortly after authorizing the richest defensive contract in NFL history, the Bears are locking down another key defender.

The Bears and nose tackle Eddie Goldman agreed on a four-year extension worth more than $42MM Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 24-year-old lineman will receive $25MM guaranteed as a result of this re-up, Rapoport reports.

A former second-round pick, Goldman was entering his contract year. Two days before the Bears begin their 2018 season, they now have another defensive lineman signed long-term. They took care of Akiem Hicks last year and now have four of their front-seven bastions signed to long-term deals, with Danny Trevathan and now Khalil Mack in the fold on veteran deals — one of which standing out a bit more than the other.

Goldman won’t be paid close to what Mack is, but the fourth-year starter is now one of the highest-paid nose tackles in the game.

Among pure 3-4 nose players, Goldman’s $10.5MM-AAV-plus agreement now is in line to sit second among this position. And among those extended long-term, Goldman’s deal now leads the pack. Ndamukong Suh is making $14MM this season, but the Rams gave him a one-year deal. Goldman’s now set to collect the most guaranteed money among nose tackles, his $25MM haul surpassing Damon Harrison‘s $20MM guarantee.

The Florida State alum started 15 games for Vic Fangio’s improved defense in 2017, bouncing back from a 2016 season-ending injury. He’ll join Hicks and Jonathan Bullard as first-unit linemen when the Bears face the Packers on Sunday night and will now do so knowing his long-term future will be in Chicago.

Bears Sign DT John Jenkins

Here today, gone tomorrow, and back again. That’s the story of the Bears and defensive tackle John Jenkins who was released on Saturday and re-signed on Monday. Jenkins takes the place of safety Deiondre’ Hall on the roster after he was placed on injured reserve. John Jenkins (vertical)

Jenkins, 28, first signed on with the Bears in March. He’ll help to provide depth behind starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman in Vic Fangio‘s 3-4 set. Jenkins bounced around in 2016 but he was a 12-game starter for New Orleans as recently as 2015.

The Bears also signed nine players to the practice squad:

Bears Place Eddie Goldman On IR

Eddie Goldman‘s offseason will start a couple of weeks early. The defensive tackle has been placed on injured reserve, becoming the 19th Bears player to hit IR this season. To take his spot on the roster, center/guard Cornelius Edison has been promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The Bears also activated linebacker Jerrell Freeman from the exempt list."<strong

This has been a trying year for Goldman. The injury bug first got him in September when a cursed 29-14 loss to the Eagles saw Goldman, quarterback Jay Cutler, and linebackers Lamarr Houston and Danny Trevathan exit with injuries.

All in all, Goldman appeared in only six games this season. He tallied 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Unsurprisingly, he did not have enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ positional rankings, but he did earn a solid 80.0 grade for his limited work. In a more complete sesaon, that would have placed him just outside of the top 25 at his position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Eddie Goldman Out Four Weeks

On the heels of an embarrassing loss to the Eagles on Monday, the hits keep coming for the 0-2 Bears. The latest blow: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman will miss at least four weeks with a high ankle sprain, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The Bears hope to have Goldman back for their Week 7 trip to Lambeau Field, Campbell adds.

Eddie Goldman (vertical)

Goldman joins quarterback Jay Cutler and two other defenders – linebackers Lamarr Houston and Danny Trevathan – as integral Bears who went down in the team’s 29-14 defeat. Cutler’s thumb injury doesn’t appear catastrophic, but Houston is done for the year with a torn ACL and Trevathan will miss time with his own thumb issue.

The Bears revamped their defense during the offseason and entered the year counting on significant production from Houston, Trevathan and Goldman. Of course, Chicago could still receive notable contributions from Trevathan, an ex-Bronco, and Goldman during truncated seasons.

Goldman joined the Bears last year as a second-round pick from Florida State and logged 12 starts in 15 appearances, totaling 22 tackles and an impressive 4.5 sacks along the way. His overall output also earned plaudits from Pro Football Focus. Goldman began 2016 with back-to-back starts and another half-sack. Third-year man Will Sutton is likely to take Goldman’s starting spot for the Bears, who will face the Cowboys, Lions, Colts and Jaguars over the next four weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Put Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Goldman On IR

The Bears have placed a pair of starting players on injured reserve, officially ruling them out for Week 17. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman have landed on IR, according to the team (Twitter link). To fill the openings on the 53-man roster, Chicago has signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs and Terry Williams.

Jeffery, in the final year of his rookie contract, was slowed by injuries, which prevented him from putting up the type of numbers he had in past seasons. After averaging about 87 receptions, 1,277 yards, and eight touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, the 25-year-old recorded just 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Of course, Jeffery’s numbers don’t look too bad when taking into account that he only played nine games this season for the Bears — he actually established a new career-high in yards per game (89.7). As he approaches possible free agency, the Bears will have a tough decision to make, as they consider whether to use the franchise tag on the standout receiver to keep him from hitting the open market.

As for Goldman, the rookie defender, selected in the second round of this year’s draft out of Florida, had a solid first season in Chicago, logging 22 tackles to go along with 4.5 sacks. His ankle injury isn’t expected to require surgery.

North Notes: Greenway, Lions, Browns

Veteran linebacker and two-time Pro Bowler Chad Greenway has spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Vikings, and he wants to return to the team for the 2016 season, according to Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune.

“I want to enjoy this moment, and enjoy the playoffs,” Greenway said. “To me, it rejuvenates you as an athlete and a person to go through this and have this in front of you. I’m probably going to play next year. To go through a year like we’ve gone through and to be part of this has been really fun.”

While Greenway sounds committed to continuing his playing career, he doesn’t want to play for a team besides Minnesota, so the Vikings would have to be willing to have him in 2016. The linebacker, who will turn 33 next month, is in the final year of a contract and is earning a $3.4MM salary to go along with a $5.575MM cap hit in 2015, so I suspect the Vikes would be on board with his return if they could reduce both of those numbers a little for next year.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s North divisions:

  • As the Lions search for a new general manager and possibly a new head coach as well, it’s crucial that those two figures share a philosophy and can co-exist without any friction, writes Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
  • It’s difficult to support the idea that the Browns should retain coach Mike Pettine for 2016, Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer writes.
  • Per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the Browns are the latest team to work out standout CFL wide receiver Eric Rogers, who is reportedly in the midst of visiting 14 NFL clubs.
  • Eddie Goldman‘s ankle injury figures to end his season, but it’s not expected to require surgery, and the arrow is pointing up for the Bears defensive tackle, as Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune outlines.