Eric Rowe

Dolphins, Eric Rowe Agree To Extension

The Dolphins’ extension talks with Eric Rowe look to have transpired quickly. The parties agreed on a three-year, $18MM deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Miami’s latest in-season re-up will commit $7MM in guaranteed money to the veteran defensive back. Rowe initially signed with the Dolphins this offseason, and the ex-Patriot will stick around into the 2020s.

An 11-game starter at cornerback and safety this season, Rowe joins Allen Hurns as first-year Dolphins given extensions since the season’s outset. A former second-round Eagles pick, Rowe played for Dolphins HC Brian Flores with the Patriots and followed him to Miami on a one-year, $3.75MM deal. He will bypass a 2020 free agency stay to be part of the Dolphins’ unique rebuild.

Rowe’s 720 snaps already through three quarters of the regular season already represent a single-season high. The Dolphins removed every other recognizable talent from their secondary, trading Minkah Fitzpatrick and placing Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on IR.

Though Pro Football Focus has not graded Rowe well as a safety, the 27-year-old defender has made a career-high 59 tackles. Having moved to safety midseason, Rowe looks like a future starter for the Dolphins at this spot. With Jones not expected back, Rowe and McCain may form the Fins’ 2020 back-line tandem.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, Eric Rowe Discussing Extension

Perhaps the only recognizable name in the Dolphins’ current secondary to most, Eric Rowe is finishing out a one-year contract. But the Dolphins would like him to return.

The former New England cornerback is discussing an extension to stay in Miami, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Rowe signed a one-year, $3.5MM deal to join former Patriots assistant Brian Flores‘ first Dolphins team. And he’s been a key part of the secondary, one that has seen most of its notable talent either traded or land on IR.

Rowe has played both corner and safety this season, moving to the back line midway through the year. Pro Football Focus categorizes Rowe as a safety but has graded him as one of the league’s worst this season. After part-time roles in Philadelphia and New England, Rowe has played 95% of Miami’s snaps this season. The Dolphins traded Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers and placed both Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on IR last week.

The Eagles traded Rowe to the Patriots after his first season. The 2015 second-round pick started two playoff games for the Pats, including Super Bowl LII against his former team, and was a seven-game starter during their 2016 championship season.

The Pats let Rowe walk in free agency this year, but the Dolphins look to view him as part of their rebuild. Despite the Dolphins’ 2019 veteran purge, they have extended Jakeem Grant, Allen Hurns and Jesse Davis over the past three-plus months. The team is projected to hold north of $100MM in 2020 cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Smith, James, Wake

The latest details on deals from around the NFL:

Dolphins To Sign CB Eric Rowe

The Dolphins have agreed to sign cornerback Eric Rowe, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’ll be a one-year deal with a maximum value of $4.5MM, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter) adds, but his $500K signing bonus represents his only guarantee. In essence, Rowe will have to secure his roster spot in order to realize any significant cash from the deal.

[RELATED: Former Dolphins DE Cameron Wake Signs With Titans]

Rowe, a former second-round pick of the Eagles, battled a groin injury throughout the season. Finally, in late October, the Pats were forced to place him on IR. Heading into March, the Patriots were expected to let him walk, and they’ll now see him twice in 2019, provided that he’s healthy and on the field.

Over the last three years with New England, Rowe has missed 27 possible regular season games. However, he offers promise and he could be in line for a larger role now that he is reunited with former Patriots defensive guru and new Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Ultimately, however, there is a ceiling. Rowe figures to battle for a supporting role at cornerback behind Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Patriots Notes: Kraft, Flowers, Tate

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely not face many legal repercussions from his prostitution charges, according to a Florida criminal defense attorney (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Kraft will probably be required to pay a several hundred dollar fine and attend counseling of some sort, at which point the charges may be dropped.

But the consequences from an NFL standpoint are likely to be much more severe. Volin believes commissioner Roger Goodell should “come down hard on Kraft” and impose at least a six-game suspension and a hefty fine (the maximum fine is $500K). Kraft is obviously one of the most prominent and powerful owners in the league, but he may be relieved of some of his duties (he is a part of five major ownership committees). He was supposed to guide the league through a potential 2021 lockout and lead negotiations with television networks when those contracts expire in 2022, but that is all in question now.

Volin still believes Kraft will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his induction will now be delayed, and the 77-year-old may not be around to enjoy his enshrinement when it does happen (Volin says Kraft was likely to get the HOF nod in a year or two). And, while Kraft will almost certainly not be forced to sell the club or hand it off to his son, Jonathan, this incident will be a permanent blot on his reputation.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few on-field notes from Foxborough:

  • Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers will be a hot commodity if he hits the open market, but Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says locking him up to a long-term deal is high on New England’s list of priorities. The Pats are unlikely to use the franchise tag on Flowers, and they are unlikely to keep him if it takes an Olivier Vernon-esque deal to do so (five years, $85MM). However, McBride believes Flowers will ultimately return to New England on a multi-year contract, even if he tests the free agent market first.
  • In the same piece linked above, McBride looks at the other Patriots eligible for free agency and their chances of returning to the club. For instance, he believes specialists Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen will certainly be back, while Eric Rowe and Danny Shelton are more likely to find homes elsewhere.
  • Assuming the Patriots don’t trade out of the first round, Doug Kyed of NESN.com sees tight ends Noah Fant (Iowa) and Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama) and DB Taylor Rapp (Washington) as potential fits.
  • Golden Tate would be a good fit in the Patriots’ offense, but Kyed does not believe the Pats will be willing to meet Tate’s asking price.
  • Brothers Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty have announced that they will continue their careers in 2019 after some retirement speculation prior to the Super Bowl. Devin is still under contract with the Patriots, but Jason is eligible for free agency.

Patriots Place CB Eric Rowe On IR

The Patriots are down a cornerback. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that New England has placed Eric Rowe on the injured reserve. The 26-year-old has been battling a groin injury throughout the season.

It’s a tough break for the impending free agent. The 2015 second-round was seemingly coming into his own this season, as he had compiled 10 tackles and one pass defended in four games (two starts). While he didn’t play enough snaps to earn a spot on Pro Football Focus‘ cornerback rankings, his score would have placed him right in the middle of the list.

The move leaves the Patriots relatively thin at cornerback for the time being. Starters Jason McCourty and Stephon Gilmore are both healthy, but the team is rostering three inexperienced cornerbacks behind the duo: Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, and Keion Crossen.

Fortunately for the Patriots, they’ll soon be receiving some reinforcement. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss points out (via Twitter), rookie Duke Dawson is eligible to come off the injured reserve next week. Assuming the 2018 second-rounder is healthy, he could soon find himself as the team’s top reserve cornerback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Kraft, McClellin, Rowe

Back in January, an explosive piece from ESPN.com detailed a major rift within the Patriots organization. Since that time, there have been continued whispers about the tension in Foxborough, particularly between head coach Bill Belichick and franchise quarterback Tom Brady. Owner Robert Kraft has continually denied those rumors, and he did that once again on Friday. Appearing on CNBC, Kraft attributed the reports to “envy and jealousy.”

“We’ve been together 19 years, which is unheard of for a head coach, a quarterback and an ownership group,” Kraft said (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “Thankfully, we have had a lot of success and whenever that happens you become a target. We understand that and there is always tensions and issues and different things you’ve got to deal with. That is part of the privilege of owning a team and being successful. I have a little saying that envy and jealously are incurable diseases. You’d rather be a recipient than a donor. That is what is going on now.”

A new book by ESPN’s Ian O’Connor has renewed interest in the dynamic between Belichick and Brady. In “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,”O’Connor reports that Brady would “divorce” Belichick if he could, but feared alienating New England fans after the Patriots traded backup (and possible successor) Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers last season.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of New England…

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that retired Patriots linebacker Shea McClellin filed for Injury Protection last night, which entitles him “to 50 percent of the base salary he was supposed to make this year.” Therefore, the team ended up losing another $1.075MM worth of cap space, dropping them down to $1.17MM of room. As Volin observes, it’s an interesting predicament for the Patriots, who haven’t been so close to the cap in at least a half decade. The team doesn’t have a whole lot of high-priced players, leading the reporter to wonder whether the issue is by design or due to “poor cap management.”
  • Eric Rowe returned to practice yesterday, but Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal points out that the cornerback was limited after having missed the past two sessions. It’s still no guarantee that the 25-year-old will end up playing this weekend, and he’s currently listed as questionable (along with 10 other teammates, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, safety Patrick Chung, and defensive end Trey Flowers).
  • Despite adding Josh Gordon to the mix, the Patriots are still eyeing some reinforcement as wide receiver. Over the past week, the team has auditioned three wideouts: Breshad Perriman, Jeremy Kerley, and Dontrelle Inman.

Extra Points: Davis, Vea, Pats, Lamp, Colts

Prior to Vontae Davis‘ now-infamous halftime retirement, the 10-year NFL veteran cornerback told Bills defensive backs coach John Butler, “I’m done” while he was in uniform late in the first half. This one-sided conversation, per Davis (via The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth), occurred in the final minute of the half. Lafayette Pitts replaced Davis in the game and ended up having to play a larger role after halftime once Davis did not return for the second half.

I didn’t expect them to understand,” Davis said, via Foxworth, of his teammates’ reaction to his abrupt NFL exit. “That moment was shocking to me as well. … My intention was not to hurt my teammates. In that moment, my intuition was telling me I don’t belong on that field anymore.”

The Bills received a roster exemption after the 30-year-old defender’s retirement, and they placed Davis on the reserve/left squad list, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. While Davis sounds about as far away from a player who’d attempt a comeback, his placement on this list would not allow it — with the Bills or another team — this season.

Shifting back to some active NFLers, here’s what’s new going into Week 3:

  • Jack Conklin‘s 2018 debut is unlikely to take place Sunday, Titans insider Paul Kuharsky tweets. In the final part of his recovery process from a torn ACL sustained in January, Conklin appears likelier to suit up in Week 4 against the Eagles than Sunday against the Jaguars. The Titans didn’t have Conklin nor Taylor Lewan in Week 2, but Tennessee’s left tackle has been cleared to return from a concussion he sustained in the season opener. Swing tackle Dennis Kelly, however, remains out. An illness forced Kelly to be hospitalized before last weekend’s game.
  • Another AFC South tackle won’t play Sunday, but Anthony Castonzo‘s second hamstring setback in as many months has not caused the Colts to consider placing him on IR. Indianapolis’ left tackle remains week-to-week in his recovery, Frank Reich said (via the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer, on Twitter). Were Castonzo to land on IR, he would not be able to return for eight weeks.
  • Three Patriots deemed unlikely to play will, in fact, sit out New England’s Week 3 game in Detroit. The Patriots announced Trey Flowers, Patrick Chung and Eric Rowe are out against the Lions. The team did not declare Marcus Cannon or Josh Gordon out. Cannon returned to practice this week and made progress, pointing to the right tackle’s return.
  • Vita Vea‘s calf strain will delay his debut for another week. The Buccaneers‘ first-round pick is out for Monday night’s Steelers game, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Vea did practice on Saturday, doing so for the first time in a month, so the defensive tackle’s NFL debut appears imminent.
  • The Chargers continue to bring Forrest Lamp along slowly. The 2017 second-round pick has not yet debuted, and Anthony Lynn said (via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times) Lamp isn’t ready for action yet. “It’s just that Forrest was an athletic guard,” Lynn said. “He moved a lot and we pulled him in space. He doesn’t feel that speed yet. He feels like he’s a step behind.” Lamp tore an ACL a few days into his rookie training camp and underwent an arthroscopic procedure in May. The Bolts are already down Joe Barksdale for another week. They’ve been playing guard-tackle Michael Schofield in Lamp’s spot, and Sam Tevi started in Barksdale’s right tackle position last week in Buffalo.

East Rumors: McCloughan, Giants, Rowe

Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan filed a grievance against Washington for the balance of his contract, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, and in-house litigation is moving forward. The Redskins refused to pay McCloughan after firing him, alleging that they had cause for doing so (which is believed to be McCloughan’s struggles with alcoholism). McCloughan’s contract requires him to file a grievance with the league rather than file suit in an independent court, which is standard among contracts for front-office employees and coaches, who are not represented by a union.

Now let’s take a look at more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • James Kratch of NJ.com believes Giants O-lineman Justin Pugh will be looking for $11MM annually when he hits free agency after the season, with around $30MM guaranteed. Kratch adds that Big Blue will be interested in re-signing Orleans Darkwa, who is also a free agent at the end of the year, though the club will not break the bank for him.
  • Giants head coach Ben McAdoo might have ceded play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, but as Howie Kussoy of the New York Post rights, McAdoo retains “veto power” if he does not approve of a play that Sullivan calls.
  • Eagles CB Ronald Darby practiced this past week for the first time since the ugly ankle injury that he sustained in Week 1, and while his absence as not hurt Philadelphia yet, the team needs him back on the field. As Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, there is no exact timetable for Darby’s return to game action, but it should only be a matter of time at this point (though he is not expected to play tomorrow night against Washington).
  • Patriots CB Eric Rowe is set to miss tonight’s game against Atlanta with a groin injury, meaning he will have played less than 21.6 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com points out, If Rowe plays in more than 50 percent of New England’s defensive snaps this season, the team will send a 2018 third-round draft choice to the Eagles to complete the trade that sent Rowe to the Pats. However, if he plays in fewer than 50 percent of the snaps, New England will send a fourth-rounder to Philadelphia, so it is looking increasingly likely that it will be a fourth-round pick heading the Eagles’ way in 2018.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, McCown, Cutler

The Patriots will be without two of their top cover men against the Jets. A late addition to the Pats’ injury report, Stephon Gilmore is out for Sunday’s game with a concussion. Gilmore was not listed on New England’s injury report prior to Saturday, but Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter) the cornerback had experienced headaches since the Buccaneers game nine days ago. Eric Rowe is out with a groin injury, leaving the Patriots shorthanded on the outside. Gilmore’s concussion setback comes after he was a game-time decision to face the Bucs due to an ankle injury. Rowe hasn’t practiced since aggravating a groin problem in Week 4. New England did not sign anyone before Saturday afternoon’s deadline, so the team will not make a practice squad promotion for depth purposes as a result of these injuries.

Here’s more from New England and other AFC East headquarters prior to Week 6 Sunday.

  • Alan Branch, though, did make the trip with the Patriots to New York after being left off the travel roster for his team’s Week 5 tilt in Tampa, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports. Branch played in New England’s first four games after being re-signed this offseason. His season’s traversing a pattern Jabaal Sheard‘s did last year. After being left off the travel list for a midseason road trip, Sheard returned a week later and finished last season with 15 regular-season games played. Branch signed a two-year deal worth up to $12MM, so another healthy scratch would certainly be strange.
  • When the Jets were surveying the quarterback market, they became the latest team to turn to Josh McCown‘s five-game audition with the 2013 Bears as evidence of proficiency. New OC John Morton observed McCown’s work during that stretch — one that booked him the starting gig with the 2014 Bucs and probably played a key role in coaxing the Browns to sign him a year later — and tailored Gang Green’s offense around what McCown did well that season, Bob Glauber of Newsday notes. McCown has the Jets at a surprising 3-2, with the three wins exceeding his total with the Bucs and Browns combined. The 38-year-old quarterback is completing 71 percent of his passes in Morton’s offense.
  • That said, the Jets aren’t expected to let this season distract them from plans to acquire a long-term quarterback in 2018, Rich Cimini notes (on Twitter). In comparing this to the 2016 situation that saw the Jets re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the offseason and then watching him regress last season, Cimini does not see the Jets turning to McCown again after this bridge season.
  • Despite some outside outcries for the Dolphins to bench Jay Cutler, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald doesn’t get the feeling Dolphins players are ready to see the recently acquired veteran demoted just yet. In attempting 26 passes against the Titans, Cutler completed just 12 for 92 yards. The Dolphins plan to stick with Cutler throughout the season, although that plan could certainly be revised down the road if this offense regresses further.