Eli Harold

NFL Workout Updates: 11/19/19

Today’s updates from the workout circuit:

Buffalo Bills 

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/28/19

Here are today’s workout updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

NFL Workout Notes: 10/8/19

Here are today’s workout updates. There are a number of notable names on this list, so pay attention!

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Eagles To Cut DE Eli Harold

Three weeks after acquiring Eli Harold from the Bills, the Eagles will not carry him through to their 53-man roster. The Eagles will release the veteran edge defender, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The team will also place tight end Richard Rodgers on IR and waive quarterback Cody Kessler. The Eagles only gave up undrafted rookie offensive tackle Ryan Bates for Harold, so it’s not like they had a particularly big investment in him. Harold was originally drafted by San Francisco in the third-round back in 2015, and spent last year with the Lions. He had four sacks with Detroit last year and the Eagles were looking for pass-rushing depth, but they apparently didn’t like what they saw from the 25-year-old. For his career, he has nine career sacks in 61 games and 25 starts

Kessler was drafted by the Browns in 2016, then traded to Jacksonville last offseason. He surprisingly ended up starting four games for the Jaguars last year, but he averaged a pitiful 5.4 yards per attempt. He was trying to make the team in Philly, but the Eagles luring Josh McCown out of retirement all but sealed his fate. Rodgers has made some noise in the past with Green Bay, but he’ll now miss the entire 2019 campaign with a foot injury.

Eagles Trade OT Ryan Bates To Bills For DE Eli Harold

We’ve got a minor trade on our hands. The Eagles are sending offensive tackle Ryan Bates to the Bills for defensive end Eli Harold, the team announced on Twitter

Bates is a rookie undrafted free agent who grew up in Philly and played his college ball at Penn State. Unfortunately, he won’t be making a regular season homecoming. It’s rare for rookie undrafted free agents to get traded, but the Bills apparently see something they like in Bates. Heading into last season, many analysts saw him as a draftable player.

The Eagles have a pretty deep group of tackles, so Bates was unlikely to make the team anyway. In return for letting him go, the Eagles will now get to take a look at some possible pass-rushing depth. Harold was originally drafted in the third round by the 49ers back in 2015, and was traded to the Lions just before the start of last season.

After spending last year in Detroit, he signed a one-year pact with Buffalo earlier this offseason. He started 24 games for the 49ers between 2016 and 2017, and he had four sacks in a rotational role with the Lions last year. All told, he has nine career sacks in 61 games and 25 starts. It’s unlikely he’ll make too big of an impact for Philly, and he’ll be battling for a roster spot these next few weeks.

 

AFC East Notes: Brady, Bosa, Bills, Dolphins

The Patriots began their their sixth offseason program as a defending Super Bowl champion team on Monday, but the player most associated with those titles was not with them. Tom Brady was not present when the Patriots opened their 2019 workouts, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This is not a surprise, with the 41-year-old quarterback’s plan of staying away until the Pats’ June minicamp again appearing to be in place. Brady set his schedule this way last year. However, Brady might have made one tweak to his offseason regimen. He may report to the Patriots a bit bigger than he did a year ago, with Rapoport adding the 20th-year veteran might be planning to put on some weight this offseason. Brady’s weight has rarely come up during his legendary run. The well-known fitness buff is listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, moving to some teams’ potential draft strategies:

  • If the Cardinals and 49ers pass on Nick Bosa, the Jets are going to take him, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News offers. If both Bosa and Josh Allen remained on the board at No. 3, Mehta writes the Jets will take the Ohio State product. Although the Jets have been linked to trade-down scenarios, entering the draft without a second-round pick, Bosa would be the kind of impact pass rusher the team may not be able to pass up. The Jets are not believed to have used one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Bosa, but it’s not like a team that tried to spend $15MM per year to convert an off-ball linebacker into a pass rusher would not have interest in a player viewed by many as the best prospect in the draft.
  • In going with Ryan Fitzpatrick and two backups (Jake Rudock and Luke Falk) who have combined to throw five NFL passes, the Dolphins probably have the thinnest quarterback depth chart in football. They plan to augment the group soon, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Miami is targeting a quarterback in this draft, but it’s not known if the team wants a first-round passer. The Dolphins have met with Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones. However, if the team most linked to a wait-until-2020 strategy regarding a starting quarterback passes on one in this draft, it is “definitely” eyeing one who could be a backup, Salguero adds. So, Miami could be a mid-round player for one of this draft’s second-tier passers.
  • Eli Harold will line up as a defensive end in Buffalo, Bills GM Brandon Beane said (Twitter link). Harold has worked as an outside linebacker in 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, doing so in San Francisco and Detroit, while also used on the line at times. The Bills have Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy aligned as their starting ends, with perpetual trade candidate Shaq Lawson residing there as well.

Bills Sign Eli Harold

The Bills have signed free agent pass rusher Eli Harold, according to a team announcement. Harold, 25, played last season for the Lions after being traded from the 49ers. 

Harold was utilized as an outside linebacker and a situational pass rusher with Detroit last year, but the Bills’ press release refers to him as a defensive end. At 6’3″, 243 pounds, Harold may not have ideal DE size, but he could be an option for the club’s No. 4 DE role.

Harold started for most of his final two seasons with the Niners, but spent the entire year as a reserve in Detroit. Still, Harold managed a career-high four sacks, including takedowns against Tom Brady in the club’s early-season upset over the Patriots.

Between now and September, Harold will push to make the roster as a supporting member behind bookends Jerry Hughes, Trent Murphy, and Shaq Lawson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bay Area Notes: Melifonwu, Mack, Harold

Obi Melifonwu did not do much to draw praise from Jon Gruden this offseason, and the new Raiders coach cut bait on Reggie McKenzie‘s 2017 second-round pick. The Combine phenom out of UConn struggled to recover from his 2017 hip injury this offseason, and he recently suffered a setback that Vic Tafur of The Athletic notes (subscription required) was related to his hip problem. Melifonwu recently went to see a specialist, and Tafur adds he hasn’t been at the Raiders’ facility in more than a week. If no team claims Melifonwu, officially waived with an injury designation, the Raiders will take a $1.73MM dead-money hit, Tafur tweets. If not, the 6-foot-4 defensive back revert to Oakland’s IR. That is, unless an injury settlement is reached. He adds that neither last year’s Raiders staff nor this year’s were convinced Melifonwu was fully committed to football, believing that was going to result in Gruden cutting ties with him. Melifonwu, though, received first-team reps earlier this month before that setback. Another team could take a chance on him because of the athleticism he showed during his pre-draft workouts.

Here’s the latest out of northern California.

  • Khalil Mack remains at odds with the Raiders, and SI.com’s Albert Breer does not expect this situation to be resolved by Week 1. Although the Raiders provided hard no’s to teams inquiring about the former defensive player of the year’s trade availability, Breer notes there’s still no progress between the team and Mack. Guarantee structure strikes Breer as an issue, with cash flow serving as a potential problem for the Raiders. Derek Carr‘s landmark extension was heavily backloaded toward the Las Vegas years. Perhaps Mark Davis is trying to do the same with Mack.
  • Eli Harold lined up with the 49ers‘ starters throughout the offseason, but the now-Lions linebacker didn’t stay on the field during nickel sets and wasn’t a quality special-teamer, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Kyle Shanahan and his staff realized Harold wasn’t going to make the team, Barrows notes. Traded for a conditional 2020 seventh-rounder, Harold started for most of the past two seasons. However, his departure leaves just 12 49ers left from the Trent Baalke years. Fellow 2015 draftee Mark Nzeocha took Harold’s place with the starters at San Francisco practice Thursday, Barrows notes. A former Cowboys seventh-round pick, Nzeocha played in 10 games for the 49ers last season but has yet to start an NFL contest.
  • One of the Baalke-era 49ers, though, returned to the team this week. The 49ers re-signed defensive lineman Chris Jones after Cedric Thornton decided to retire. Jones will see reps at both defensive tackle spots while spending time at San Francisco’s “big end” position as well, DC Robert Saleh said (via Barrows, on Twitter). Jones last played in 2016 for the 49ers, but he started all six contests in which he participated.

49ers Trade Eli Harold To Lions

The Lions have acquired outside linebacker Eli Harold from the 49ers, a source tells Kyle Meinke of MLive Media Group (on Twitter). San Francisco will receive a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick in the trade. 

Harold has to be on Lions’ roster for four weeks in order for the pick to be conveyed to the 49ers, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. So, if Harold doesn’t make the final cut on Sept 1 – or doesn’t last until the Lions’ Week 3 contest against the Patriots – the Niners will get nothing in return.

Harold, a third round pick in the 2015 draft, has played in all possible 48 games since entering the league. He started ten games last year and seemed to be in the mix for a starting job this year before the trade. Without Harold, Dekoda Watson is likely to start at outside linebacker in San Francisco with Pita Taumoepenu as his primary backup.

In Detroit, Harold will compete for an OLB job in support of presumptive starters Devon Kennard and Christian Jones. The Lions have yet to record a sack through two exhibition games, so they’re open to making changes in the front seven.

For some, Harold may be best known for his anthem protests, but he has been standing for the anthem so far in the preseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.