Eddie Jackson

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/10/21

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Waived: FB Mikey Daniel

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: G Anthony Coyle

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Bears Restructure Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Cody Whitehair Contracts

Residing over the cap entering the weekend, the Bears made a few moves to create more than $20MM in cap space and inch under the $182.5MM salary ceiling.

Chicago will restructure the contracts of Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson and Cody Whitehair, according to Adam Schefter, who adds these moves will create more than $23MM in cap space (Twitter link). The Bears previously had the NFL’s second-worst cap situation, residing nearly $20MM over the cap.

The Bears previously restructured Mack’s deal in 2019. He was due to count more than $26MM against Chicago’s 2021 cap. This marks the first restructure of Jackson’s five-year, $58.4MM deal. Ditto for Whitehair’s five-year, $51.3MM pact. The two combined to count just more than $20MM against Chicago’s cap this year.

The team still has work to do in the cap-space department, and the reshufflings will certainly be connected to a potential quarterback salary. In dire need at quarterback, the Bears are planning to pursue a Russell Wilson trade. Were the Bears to pull off a miraculous deal, they would need to account for by far the biggest contract in franchise history. Wilson’s $35MM-per-year accord runs through 2023.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Notes: Desai, Robinson, Massie, Skrine

Earlier this week, Sean Desai met with the media for the first time since being promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. While the 37-year-old will take over a defense that has ranked as a top-10 DVOA unit in each of the past three seasons, they’ve also seen some regression since peaking in 2018. However, Desai doesn’t believe the defensive needs a significant overhaul.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said (via the team’s website). “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis and they’re going to buy into the system and the whys and the hows of why we’re doing certain things. But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here.”

“There was some regression, and we’re going to overcome that,” Desai added. “But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and do that over a 16- to 20-week season.”

Some more notes out of Chicago…

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Bears are “prepared” to tag wideout Allen Robinson with the hope of eventually signing him to a long-term deal. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that it will be difficult to fit a franchised Robinson into a reduced 2021 cap, but the writer also admits that replacing Robinson would be a more daunting task.
  • Speaking of the cap, Biggs provided some cost-cutting options for the Bears. The team could move on from right tackle Bobby Massie, although that would open a spot on the offensive line. Cornerback Buster Skrine could also lose his roster spot, especially since he has a $500K roster bonus due in March. Finally, Biggs also whether the front office will be receptive to paying tight end Jimmy Graham $7MM this season.
  • As for restructured contracts, Biggs points to pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, and he notes that the team could also extend cornerback Kyle Fuller. Alternatively, the team could look to retain free agents like Cairo Santos and Cordarrelle Patterson on low-money pacts.
  • Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic passed along a few Bears players who have increased their 2021 salaries via proven performance escalators (Twitter links): defensive end Bilal Nichols (from $920K to $2.183MM) and guard James Daniels ($1.437MM to $2.183MM),. Their new salaries are contingent on the final 2021 cap number.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Diontae Spencer; Spencer tested positive for the coronavirus.

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Bears Place Eddie Jackson On Reserve/COVID-19 List

Reliant on their top-tier defense due largely to continued issues at quarterback, the Bears will be without one of that unit’s Pro Bowlers for the time being. Eddie Jackson landed on Chicago’s reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.

The fourth-year safety will be sidelined from practices until he submits two negative coronavirus tests. Several players have re-emerged to play in games after landing on the COVID list during the week, so Jackson — provided he is a close contact and has not tested positive for the virus — has a chance of being available against the Packers on Sunday night.

Jackson is the only player currently on the Bears’ virus list, though offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons spent time on it last week. Safety Deon Bush was on Chicago’s COVID list two weeks ago. Jackson has not missed a game yet this season and has not been sidelined for a contest since the 2018 season.

Once 5-1, the Bears have lost four straight games and are uncertain about who will start at quarterback Sunday. Chicago’s defense will enter the contest ranked third in DVOA; its offense sits 29th.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Sign Eddie Jackson To Extension

The Bears have locked down star safety Eddie Jackson for years to come. On Friday, his agents announced the signing of a four-year add-on worth $58.4MM.

The new deal includes $33MM in overall guarantees and $22MM fully guaranteed. The $14.6MM average annual value of the deal ranks as the highest of any safety in the NFL.

Jackson, 27, still had one year to go on his paltry four-year, $3.065MM rookie deal. But, after back-to-back Pro Bowl nods, the Bears didn’t want to wait until the asking price jumped even further.

The Bears were somewhat limited on cap space for 2020, but thanks to some help from Kyle Fuller, they were able to carve out enough room to extend Jackson through the 2024 campaign.

Jackson entered the league as a fourth-round pick of the Bears in 2017. Since then, he’s started in 100% of his games and solidified himself as one of the league’s premier safeties. Over the last three seasons, he’s notched ten interceptions and returned three of those picks for touchdowns.

The advanced metrics back up the traditional stats, too. In 2018, Jackson earned an eye-popping 93.2 score from Pro Football Focus, tying him for the highest grade ever given to a safety. He wasn’t quite as sharp in 2019, but the Bears believe that he’ll bounce back in 2020, along with the rest of the team’s high-priced defense.

Before Jackson’s deal, Titans safety Kevin Byard had the highest AAV at the position ($14.1MM) thanks to the five-year, $70.5MM extension he signed last summer. In terms of overall compensation, Redskins standout Landon Collins still reins supreme at safety with his six-year, $84MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Patriots, McDaniels, Bears

Predicting when the Patriots’ dynasty will end has become a seemingly annual exercise, but this year there seems to be some very real cracks in the foundation. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe has a new piece examining all the possible explanations for the Patriots’ uncharacteristic issues this year, and the whole thing is worth a read. He quotes many former coaches and adversaries like Rex Ryan, and notes that the consensus seems to be that the “Patriots may have overestimated how much” the trio of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman had left in the tank.

Gronkowski has struggled with injuries all season long and hasn’t looked like himself, and Brady’s numbers aren’t of the eye-popping variety we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Volin notes that the Patriots’ longtime “commandment” was to trade players before they got over the hill, but that the team opted not to deal Gronkowski after reportedly dangling him in trade talks this offseason. There’s still a couple of weeks plus the playoffs left, but it will be very interesting to see what type of changes come in New England this offseason if things don’t pick up.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of the Patriots, one change they might be facing is the potential departure of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels famously spurned the Colts at the last second this offseason, but is likely to be a hot head coaching candidate again this year. A league source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic that McDaniels will be heavily sought after on the interview circuit in part because there’s a “shortage of impressive coaching candidates.” Howe notes that the Patriots made McDaniels the league’s highest paid coordinator to help keep him, but that he “recently hired a new agent and will be interested in interview opportunities.” McDaniels has been linked heavily to the Packers’ opening in particular.
  • The Bears just wrapped up the NFC North last week, but they’ll be without a pair of key defensive players this week as they take on the 49ers while pursuing a first round bye. Safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Aaron Lynch have been ruled out for the game, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). Jackson has graded out as the top safety in the league according to Pro Football Focus, and his absence will be massive for the league’s best defense.
  • In case you missed it, Pat Bowlen’s wife is now weighing in on the ongoing legal saga surrounding ownership of the Broncos.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/15/17

Here are today’s draft pick signings, with teams continuing to work on their Day 3 additions.

  • The Bengals added five draft choices on Monday — including five of their final six picks in an 11-selection draft. Cincinnati reached agreements with fourth-round defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow (Michigan), fifth-round kicker Jake Elliott (Memphis), sixth-round linebacker Jordan Evans (Oklahoma), sixth-round safety Brandon Wilson (Houston) and seventh-round tight end Mason Schreck (Buffalo). This large draft contingent will bring about heavy roster competition, with 11 roster spots likely unavailable. Elliott was one of three kickers taken in the draft, but the other two came off the board in the seventh round. He and Randy Bullock figure to battle for a job.
  • Fourth-round safety Eddie Jackson signed his Bears deal. The Alabama product will step into a safety corps that includes recently signed Quintin Demps and two-year starter Adrian Amos.
  • Continuing the string of fourth-round signings, the Colts and tackle Zach Banner (USC) agreed to terms. Banner could provide depth or possibly compete for a starting spot on the right side of Indianapolis’ offensive line, which is less settled than the left side. The Colts did not use another pick on a blocker after having four offensive linemen from their 2016 draft class on the roster.

Draft Updates: Ramsey, Goff, Underclassmen

With five weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, not many teams are looking ahead to the draft yet, but the NCAA year is winding down and many underclassmen are determining whether or not to declare their intent to enter this year’s draft class. Here’s the latest on a few prospects:

  • Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey and his family have spent “meaningful time” vetting potential agents as he considers entering the draft, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. That’s no surprise, considering Ramsey is a potential top-10 pick.
  • A pair of receivers, Florida’s Demarcus Robinson and Pitt’s Tyler Boyd, are strongly considering entering the draft, according to Getlin (Twitter links). Getlin adds that one of Boyd’s family members has been looking into possible representation.
  • Sources close to Cal quarterback Jared Goff indicate that there’s a 99% chance he’ll enter the draft, and wide receiver Kenny Lawler is expected to declare as well, writes Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. Bengals receiver Marvin Jones has been a common point of comparison for Lawler, per Pauline.
  • Boise State edge defender Kamalei Correa, who has received second-day grades, has been interviewing agents and is very likely to enter the draft, says Pauline. Maryland defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson and San Diego State cornerback Damontae Kazee are also likely to enter the draft, according to Pauline.
  • Indiana guard Dan Feeney, Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Mississippi defensive back Tony Conner are waiting to hear back from the advisory committee before making a decision on the draft, per Pauline.
  • Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil, defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, and receiver Laquon Treadwell are all expected to enter the draft, says Pauline.
  • Other underclassmen considering making the jump to the NFL, according to Pauline:
    • Texas A&M defensive end Daeshon Hall
    • Alabama cornerback Eddie Jackson
    • Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons
    • Mississippi tight end Evan Engram