Eric Weddle

Notable 2018 Pro Bowl Incentives/Escalators

The NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl rosters earlier tonight, and aside from determining which players will spend a week in Orlando early next year, the rosters also dictate several important bonuses and/or contract escalators for individual players. Former NFL agent and current contributor Joel Corry has rounded up the notable incentives earned tonight, and we’ll pass those along below. As Corry notes (Twitter link), only first ballot Pro Bowlers who actually participate in the game (unless injured or playing in the Super Bowl) are in bonuses, which are typically paid out by the end of March.

Here are the notable Pro Bowl bonuses and escalators that were preliminarily netted this evening (all links to Corry’s Twitter):


  • Ravens S Eric Weddle, $1MM; requires Baltimore in playoffs (link): Still playing like one of the league’s best coverage safeties at the age of 32, Weddle needs the Ravens to land one of the AFC Wild Card slots in order to earn his incentive. Baltimore appears to on course to do just that, as FiveThirtyEight gives the club an 87% of earning a postseason berth. That playoff appearance will be largely due to the Ravens’ defense, which ranks second only to Jacksonville in DVOA.
  • Bills S Micah Hyde, $400K (link): Sean McDermott can coach defensive backs. After spending years finding gems at safety for the Eagles and Panthers, the Bills head coach has helped Hyde transform into a top-notch DB. Hyde, who inked a five-year, $30.5MM contract with Buffalo in the spring, ranked a respectable 53rd in Pro Football Focus‘ safety grades a year ago. This season? He’s ninth.
  • Raiders G Kelechi Osemele, $300K (link): Under general manager Reggie McKenzie, the Raiders have employed what is often referred to as an “all cash” salary cap management system, wherein prorated signing bonuses are rarely used while base salary guarantees, roster bonuses, and — as evidenced by the number of Oakland players on this list — incentive clauses are heavily employed. Osemele, the league’s highest-paid interior offensive lineman, is signed through 2020 with cap charges north of $10MM in each season.
  • Rams K Greg Zuerlein, $250K (link): While the Los Angeles offense garners the most headlines, the club’s special teams unit has maintained its dominance under coordinator John Fassel, who briefly took over as the Rams’ interim head coach in 2016. Fassel, Zuerlein, & Co. have managed a No. 2 ranking in special teams DVOA, while Zuerlein himself has been worth 15.1 points of field position (second in the NFL).
  • Raiders T Donald Penn, $200K (link): Penn’s summer holdout lead to extra guarantees in the future, but didn’t end with a change to his 2017 salary, meaning this bonus part of his original deal. The 34-year-old Penn is currently on injured reserve, and will miss his first game since 2007 on Sunday. Still, his renegotiated contract now contains a $3MM guarantee for 2018, meaning he’s likely part of the Raiders’ plans.
  • Patriots ST Matthew Slater, $150K (link): Slater has now earned a Pro Bowl berth in every season since 2011. At some point, it’s fair to wonder if Slater is skating by on reputation, as he played only a quarter of the Patriots’ special teams snaps this year. Slater missed more special teams tackles than he made prior to his 2016 berth, tweets Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus.
  • Raiders C Rodney Hudson, $100K (link): For all of Oakland’s problems this season, the Raiders have continued to boast some of the NFL’s best pass-blocking offensive lineman. Hudson is the best pass-blocking center in the league by a wide margin, meaning he’s eminently affordable at $8.9MM annually.


  • Lions CB Darius Slay, $550K base salary increase in 2018 (link): As Corry reports, Slay had three ways to earn this heft escalator — post five or more interceptions (he sits at seven), play on 80% or more of Detroit’s defensive snaps (he’s at 97.6%), or earn a Pro Bowl berth. Slay managed all three in what has become the best season of an increasingly impressive five-year career.
  • Eagles T Lane Johnson, $250K base salary increase each season from 2018-21 (link): Depending on Jason Peters‘ health and the Eagles’ plans, Johnson could very well be playing left tackle as soon as 2018. Even with his base salary set to increase, Johnson won’t have a cap charge north of $13.5MM over the life of his contract.
  • Eagles G Brandon Brooks, $250K base salary increase each season from 2018-20 (link): General manager Howie Roseman zeroed in on Brooks at the outset of the 2016 free agent period, and the 28-year-old has quickly proved to be one of the best free agent signings in recent memory. Brooks will earn an $8.5MM base salary — the largest during his five-year deal — in 2018.
  • Eagles TE Zach Ertz, $250K base salary increase from 2019-21 (link): Per Corry, Ertz also picked up a $100K bonus for 2017. Ertz has already set a career-high in touchdowns (eight) and has a shot to set new marks in receptions and yards even though he missed two games with injury. A former second-round pick, Ertz ranks among the top-five tight ends in catches, yards, and scores.

North Notes: Cutler, Bell, Lions, Ravens

The Bears spent the offseason making notable upgrades to their defense – adding edge rusher Leonard Floyd in the first round of the draft and, before that, free agents Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and Akiem Hicks – but it’s quarterback Jay Cutler who will determine how far the club goes this season, opines Eric Prisbell of USA Today.

With Adam Gase having left Chicago over the winter to become Miami’s head coach, Cutler will now work with his sixth different offensive coordinator since 2009. There’s familiarity in place, though, as successor Dowell Loggains was the Bears’ quarterbacks coach last season. Under Gase and Loggains, Cutler posted a career-best passer rating (92.2) in 2015 and threw seven fewer interceptions (11) than he did in 2014. He’s in position to succeed again with the healthy receiver duo of Alshon Jeffery and last year’s first-round pick, seventh overall selection Kevin White. Jeffrey sat out seven games with various ailments in 2015, and White lost the entire season because of a stress fracture in his left ankle. On the other hand, it remains to be seen how well second-year running back Jeremy Langford will replace dual-threat Matt Forte, who will no longer serve as Cutler’s security blanket after signing with the Jets in free agency.

Notes on three other clubs from the North divisions:

  • Interestingly, contract-year Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell revealed in his new rap song, “Focus,” that he wants $15MM per annum on his next deal, relays FOX Sports’ Rob Perez. The 24-year-old superstar is highly unlikely to receive that much, however, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Steelers will have a chance to quash Bell’s $15MM dream next offseason by giving him the franchise tag, which is worth $11.789MM for running backs this year. Bell could otherwise sign a contract that averages $15MM annually – but only artificially, notes Florio, who points out that the front end of the pact wouldn’t reach that total. For now, Bell is on track to play out 2016 on a sub-$1MM salary.
  • Given that second-year man Ameer Abdullah isn’t a traditional workhorse running back, the Lions will need someone to separate himself from the pack this summer and ultimately serve as a complement to Abdullah in 2016, writes Justin Rogers of Free agent pickup Stevan Ridley – a 1,200-yard rusher in 2012 – and NFL sophomore Zach Zenner are strong candidates, but Michigan native George Winn also has a chance to win the role, Rogers contends. The 210-pounder has spent time with six organizations since going undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2013, logging 19 appearances and 23 carries – all with the Lions. Detroit also has Theo Riddick as a backfield option, of course, but he’s a far bigger threat as a pass catcher than as a rusher.
  • Newly acquired Ravens safety Eric Weddle wore the headset in his helmet as a Charger and relayed each defensive play call to his teammates, but that won’t be the case in Baltimore, according to Garrett Downing of the club’s website. For the third straight year, the Ravens will stick with middle linebacker C.J. Mosley in that role. Weddle, for his part, is content deferring to Mosley. “It’s best to have it as the [middle linebacker], because they are in the front seven most of the time,” he told Downing.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Weddle

Safety Eric Weddle spurned other teams’ offers to sign a four-year, $26MM with the Ravens during the winter. One of the clubs that had interest in Weddle was the hated AFC North rival Steelers, and the three-time Pro Bowl defender revealed today that he and Ben Roethlisberger talked throughout the free agent process (via Jamison Hensley of “Hopefully I get a lot of wins and interceptions against him,” said Weddle. “And maybe sprinkle in a few touchdowns.”

More on the two standouts’ teams:

  • Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell shot down a Twitter rumor that he failed a drug test, telling reporters, including Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I haven’t missed any drug tests, failed any drug tests. I am fine.” Bell, of course, sat out three regular-season games in 2015 for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He also missed seven more contests because of a torn MCL. Bell passed along a positive update on his knee today, per Kaboly (Twitter links). Now entering a contract year, Bell – arguably the league’s premier RB – will try to bounce back from a tumultuous 2015.
  • Steelers guard David DeCastro says his reps have talked a “little bit” with the team about contract negotiations, Jeremy Fowler of writes. With one year left to go on his contract, DeCastro figures to be a priority for Pittsburgh to address, along with Bell.
  • Once looked at as a potential starter for the Ravens, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro finds himself in the same boat as Terrance West and Trent Richardson, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes. Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and fourth-round rookie Kenneth Dixon have their roster spots locked down, but Taliaferro, West, and Hall of Fame hopeful Richardson may be competing for just one spot. Taliaferro, 24, suffered a foot injury in October that wound up ending his season prematurely. In 2015, Taliaferro logged only 13 carries for 47 yards and one score. He also caught all five of his targets for a total of 29 yards.
  • Earlier this evening, we learned the Ravens are shopping left tackle Eugene Monroe. Further, they worked out fellow veteran O-lineman Todd Herremans.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

North Notes: Ravens, Lions, Browns, Vikings

The Ravens are relishing the presence of three-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle, whom they signed to a four-year, $26MM deal in March, as Clifton Brown of writes. “If he has anything to tell me I’m always listening,” said fellow safety Lardarius Webb. “He’s going to be big for this defense – for this team.” Webb added that Weddle is “being himself and were loving it,” also referring to the acquisition of the longtime Charger as a “great move.” Head coach John Harbaugh agrees, stating, “He fits in with how we do things around here perfectly. I give (general manager) Ozzie (Newsome) all the credit in the world. That was a great signing.”

More from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Still-unsigned linebacker Mike Neal visited the Lions in March, but they no longer have interest in the 28-year-old, reports Justin Rogers of As Rogers points out, the Lions picked up Wallace Gilberry in free agency and addressed both defensive end and outside linebacker via the draft, thereby lessening the need for Neal. The Lions are of course quite familiar with Neal, who has so far spent his entire career (2010-15) with the division-rival Packers. PFR’s Dallas Robinson rates Neal as the sixth-best defensive free agent remaining on the market.
  • Browns coach Hue Jackson says he’s not ready to name a starting quarterback coming out of OTAs, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer tweets. Signs are pointing toward Robert Griffin III, though, per Tony Grossi of Whether veteran Josh McCown makes the team will depend on how Griffin and third-round rookie Cody Kessler fare in the coming months, Grossi opines.
  • The Vikings haven’t ruled out adding another punter to compete with incumbent Jeff Locke, special teams coach Mike Priefer said Wednesday (link via Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune). Minnesota tried out a pair of rookie punters last month, and neither signed with the Vikings or any other team. That could change, however, according to Priefer. “We had two good, young rookie punters at minicamp who performed very, very well so we know those guys are out there if we need to go that route,” commented Priefer. As for Locke, 26, he’s entering a contract year after ranking dead last in yards per punt (41.6) and third from the bottom in net yardage (37.8) in 2015.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC East Notes: Robinson, Weddle, Giants

Here’s the latest from the NFC East as Week 2 of free agency concludes.

  • Patrick Robinson and Alfred Morris are scheduled to meet with Cowboys position coaches tonight and Monday after arriving in Dallas today. The former Chargers cornerback and Washington running back, however, spent time on the phone with Jason Garrett before he left for the NFL Owners’ Meetings in South Florida, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones told media, including David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “Jason’s spent some good time on the phone with them,” Jones said. “So have we. Obviously, we tried to get them in there before we left but in their particular cases it didn’t work out that way.”
  • Jones told media, including Moore, Eric Weddle was interested in joining the Cowboys, but the team wasn’t ready to go where the Ravens were financially to secure the 31-year-old safety’s services. Interested in coming to Dallas partially due to special teams coach Rich Bisaccia having been on the Chargers’ staff in 2011-12, Weddle ended up landing in Baltimore for four years and $26MM. Both Bisaccia and Garrett contacted Weddle during free agency, however, Moore reports.
  • John Mara and his top front office assistants thought the Giants had a realistic shot of signing two of the three high-priced players on Big Blue’s list of durable, in-their-prime free agents, Jordan Raanan of reports. The cap-rich Giants instead landed their preferred defensive trio of Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins in hopes of fixing their last-ranked defense. Mara did concede that troika proved to be pricier than anticipated. “The three guys were a little more expensive than I thought they were going to be, but they are all young, they are all healthy and they fulfill needs,” Mara told media, including Raanan. Jenkins has missed four games in four seasons, while Vernon suited up for every Dolphins contest since 2012. Harrison played and started in each Jets contest since 2013. The Giants were the most injured team in the NFL in each of the past three seasons, per Raanan.
  • After allocating more money to this year’s class of free agents than they did in the previous four seasons combined, the Giants expect to dial it back significantly next spring, Mara told media, including Raanan (Twitter link). “I certainly don’t see us being this aggressive next year,” Mara said.

Free Agent Rumors: Upshaw, Pats, CJ2K

Linebacker Courtney Upshaw remains on the open market here in mid-March, but his field of suitors could soon grow a little bit larger. A league source tells Mike Florio of PFT that the 49ers and Patriots could jump into the mix for the Ravens free agent linebacker. The former second-round pick, who is visiting with the Jets today,was an honorable mention on PFR’s Top 50 Free Agents list.

Here are the latest free agent rumors from around the league:

  •  The Dolphins announced that Chris Johnson has wrapped up his free agent visit. That announcement infers that there is no deal – at least, not yet – between CJ2K and Miami. Johnson is said to be deciding between the Dolphins and the incumbent Cardinals.
  • Before putting pen-to-paper with the Ravens, the Cowboys stood as the other finalist for Eric Weddle, Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report writes. The safety had a multitude of offers and before he was down to two clubs, Weddle weeded out proposals from teams that were not positioned to in 2016. One of those teams, according to agent David Canter, made Weddle the most lucrative offer of any suitor.
  • Former Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith is visiting the Buccaneers, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). The Ravens cut Smith earlier this month in order to save roughly $2.6MM against the 2016 cap. Smith, who joined the Ravens for the 2013 season after spending nine years in Jacksonville, hasn’t missed a game in his three years in Baltimore, starting the last 48 regular-season games for the club. In 2015, he racked up 121 tackles to go along with three sacks and an interception.

Ravens Sign Eric Weddle

WEDNESDAY, 11:54am: The Ravens have officially signed Weddle, according to the team’s Twitter account. Full details on the safety’s deal with the team can be found right here.

MONDAY, 12:32pm: Free agent safety Eric Weddle has made his decision, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who reports that Weddle will be signing with the Ravens. The veteran defensive back had reportedly received offers from four teams.

“I couldn’t be more excited and pumped to be apart of a championship organization who wanted me from day one,” Weddle told Acee via text message.

According to Adam Schefter of (Twitter link), Weddle’s new deal with Baltimore is worth $26MM over four years. Acee adds (via Twitter) that the deal includes $13MM in guarantees, and $9MM in year one. He also pegs the total value at $29MM, though that figure may include incentives.

Weddle, 31, spent the first nine years of his NFL career with the Chargers, who selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft. The ex-Utah standout appeared in 137 of a possible 144 regular-season games in San Diego, making 122 starts, piling up three Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro bids, and 19 interceptions.

Weddle’s tenure with the Chargers was capped off by what was perhaps his most unusual year since entering the league. After being told by the team that his contract wouldn’€™t be extended prior to the season, the three-time Pro Bowler reported to camp and played well during the season, logging 76 tackles and six passes defended in 13 games.

While the contract situation was one point of contention between the two sides, the year ended on an even more acrimonious note, with the Chargers reportedly informing Weddle late in the season that he was being fined $10K for remaining on the field during halftime of a game to watch his daughter perform in a dance ceremony. Weddle and agent David Canter initially declined to go public about the fine, but the agent opened up after the Chargers placed the safety on IR in Week 17, a move that was made against his wishes. Per Canter, the team also informed Weddle that there would be no room for him to travel on the team plane to the regular season finale in Denver.

With Weddle and the Chargers set to part ways, the Raiders, Steelers, and Cowboys had been among the other teams to express interest in the safety. But he’ll take his talents to Baltimore, where he figures to start alongside Will Hill at safety.

It’s not yet clear what this means for Lardarius Webb — the veteran cornerback had been prepared to make a full-time change to safety this year, but there may not be a starting spot available for him. Webb could return to cornerback, or act as a depth piece at safety, but his $9.5MM cap hit would make him an expensive backup. The futures of players like Kendrick Lewis and Matt Elam are also somewhat uncertain, with Weddle now in the mix.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Weddle, Sensabaugh, Hayward

Listed below are several of the latest contract details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless other indicated.


  • Eric Weddle, S (Ravens): Four years, $26MM. $13MM guaranteed ($9MM fully guaranteed). $7MM signing bonus. $1MM roster bonus due on April 4. $4MM base salary guaranteed for injury at signing; becomes fully guaranteed if on the roster on the fifth day of the 2017 league year. $1MM annual Pro Bowl incentives from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Casey Hayward, CB (Chargers): Three years, $15.3MM. $6.8MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus. $3.3MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonuses due on third day of 2017, 2018 league years (Twitter links).
  • Chris Hogan, WR (Patriots): Three years, $12MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus paid on March 14. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Mackenzy Bernadeau, OL (Jaguars): Two years, $3MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K option bonus to be exercised 22 days before first day of 2017 league year (Twitter links).


  • Coty Sensabaugh, CB (Rams): Three years, up to $19MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonus due third day of 2017 league year (becomes fully guaranteed this Friday). $1.5MM annually incentives for playing time, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and playoffs (all Twitter links).
  • J’Marcus Webb, G/T (Seahawks): Two years, $6MM. $2.45MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Zach Miller, TE (Bears): Two years, $5.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $500K roster bonus due on March 18. $500K in annual per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in annual incentives for playing time, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns (Twitter links).
  • Chris Conte, S (Buccaneers): One year, $3MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus due on March 17. Up to $1MM in incentives for playing time, stats, and playoffs (Twitter link).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): One year, $2MM. $500K roster bonus due on March 18 (Twitter link).
  • Sealver Siliga, DT (Seahawks): One year, $1.05MM. $200K signing bonus. $50K Week 1 active roster bonus. Up to $350K in incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Bradley Sowell, T (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Dan Orlovsky, QB (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $160K guaranteed. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Red Bryant, DL (Cardinals): One year, minimum salary benefit. $55K Week 1 roster bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).

Free Agency Rumors: D. Davis, Browns, Steelers

Free agent linebacker Demario Davis is in Cleveland visiting the Browns, according to Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin, who tweets that Davis has also drawn interest from other clubs. Davis, 27, has spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Jets, starting every game for the team since the start of the 2013 season.

Here are a few more free agency notes and rumors from around the NFL:

  • Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) hears from sources that safety Eric Weddle turned down larger offers from two other teams to join the Ravens. Cole adds that Baltimore assistant general manager Eric DeCosta spoke to Weddle and his representatives for 90 minutes on the phone, addressing questions and issues that the veteran free agent had about Baltimore and the Ravens.
  • The Steelers like nose tackle Steve McLendon and want to re-sign him, but they’re resistant to paying big money to a player who only sees the field for about 25-30% of the club’s defensive snaps, writes Jeremy Fowler of According to Fowler, Pittsburgh is willing to enhance Dan McCullers‘ role if the team loses McLendon, who recently paid a visit to the Jets.
  • Before he agreed to a new deal with the Vikings, cornerback Marcus Sherels received an offer from the Jets and was prepared to visit with the Panthers, tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Buccaneers also had interest in Sherels.

AFC FA Rumors: Weddle, Holmes, Fitzpatrick

The Steelers were among the teams rumored to be in the hunt for safety Eric Weddle, who ultimately agreed to join the division-rival Ravens, but Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link) hears that Pittsburgh didn’t make a formal contract offer to the safety. According to La Canfora, the Steelers stopped monitoring Weddle’s market over the weekend, shifting their focus to landing an offensive tackle.

Meanwhile, the Patriots were also a team frequently cited as a potential suitor for Weddle, but New England wasn’t one of the finalists for his services, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Schrager notes that Weddle and his agent spent a few hours this morning “going back and forth with two teams.” One of those clubs was the Ravens, but the identity of the second team remains unclear.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Raiders are making a push to bring back wide receiver Andre Holmes, tweets Bill Williamson of Fanrag Sports. Williamson cautions that nothing is done yet, and there’s no guarantee Holmes will return to Oakland, but the two sides appear headed toward a reunion for now.
  • While there’s a belief that the Jets will eventually increase their offer to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and find a middle ground, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if Fitzpatrick may not give them the opportunity, possibly having been insulted by a lowball offer. Of course, for that to happen, the free agent quarterback will need to find a suitable offer elsewhere.
  • According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (via Twitter), Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called Akiem Hicks last night in a last-ditch effort to keep him in New England. The defensive tackle ultimately signed with the Bears instead, and Howe suggests that the Pats’ offer was for more years, but at a lower annual salary.
  • Former Ravens safety and special-teamer Brynden Trawick, who was non-tendered by Baltimore, is paying a visit to the Bengals, tweets Joe Goodberry of
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald isn’t sure why the Dolphins are interested in veteran defensive end Chris Clemons.