Felix Jones

East Notes: Tannehill, Spikes, Cowboys, Pats

While Ryan Tannehill‘s new contract with the Dolphins includes $45MM in guaranteed money, only $21.5MM of that amount is fully guaranteed, and $11.5MM of that amount comes in the form of a signing bonus, says Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). As Corry notes, the deal allows the team to pick up more than $4.5MM of much-needed cap relief for the 2016 season. However, even after taking into account Tanehill’s extension, Miami still has more money committed to ’16 contracts than any other team in the NFL.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link) passes along a few details on Tannehill’s contract as well, reporting that the quarterback’s cap hits for 2015 and 2016 are just $4.873MM and $11.64MM respectively. The cap numbers for the last four years of the deal are in the neighborhood of $20MM.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Corry and Pelissero (Twitter links) also have the specifics on Brandon Spikes‘ one-year contract with the Patriots. The pact includes an $800K base salary, $200K in per-game roster bonuses, a $50K workout bonus, a $25K signing bonus, and a $25K Week 1 bonus, along with up to $900K in playing-time incentives. In total, the contract can be worth a max of $2MM.
  • We heard earlier this morning that Ben Tate is working out for the Cowboys, but he’s not the only player auditioning for the team today. Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com tweets that the Cowboys are working out a group of running backs and wideouts, while Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com (Twitter link) hears that Felix Jones is also a part of that group.
  • Several sources tell Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that, while the league will deny that any sort of agreement is in place, Robert Kraft‘s decision not to appeal the Patriots‘ DeflateGate penalties was a calculated business move, and those sources think it will have an impact on Tom Brady‘s appeal. One owner also tells Freeman that Roger Goodell had “strong support from many owners” regarding the discipline levied on the Pats, and Kraft almost certainly wouldn’t have won an appeal anyway.
  • The Giants confirmed today in a press release that tackle Will Beatty underwent surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and will be sidelined for five or six months. Here are more details on that story.

Free Agent Rumors: Gilchrist, Morgan, Robinson

Running backs Felix Jones, Michael Bush, and Mikel Leshoure are among the players scheduled to participate in the NFL’s veteran combine later this month, tweets Mark Maske of the Washington Post. The Arizona Republic has the full list of combine participants. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • The Jets are in contract talks with free agent safety Marcus Gilchrist, a source tells Darryl Slater of the Star-Ledger. Gilchrist arrived Tuesday for a free agency visit with the Jets that has continued into Wednesday, as scheduled. Gilchrist, 26, has spent his entire career with the Chargers, who drafted him in the second round in 2011.
  • The Titans remain in the mix to sign Derrick Morgan despite his free agent visits and apparent interest from the Cowboys, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets. They’re also still working to re-sign kicker Ryan Succop.
  • Free agent cornerback Patrick Robinson has received some interest from the Vikings, Dolphins, Saints, Steelers, and Panthers, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Vikings have touched base with free agent cornerback Tramon Williams, a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link) hears the same thing, but his source says it doesn’t sound “very serious.”
  • Linebacker Andrew Gachkar‘s anticipated visit to the Vikings is on hold as of right now due to what a source only will say is related to “some issues right now,” Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets.
  • New Jaguars defensive lineman Jared Odrick told reporters, including Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter links), that “tons of teams” went after him. The Colts and Chiefs, he said, were among the teams chasing him.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Bears, Rice, Sam, Rivers

Worried about potential unrest in Chicago? Brandon Marshall isn’t. “We’re great,” Marshall said of his relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler in an appearance on Showtime’s Inside The NFL (video link). Still, one has to wonder if the Bears offense can get back on the same page this season and make a run for the NFC North crown. More from around the NFL..

  • As expected, Ray Rice has filed a grievance against the Ravens, challenging the team’s decision to terminate his contract, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If Rice is successful in his grievances against both the Ravens and the NFL, he would be eligible to receive $3.52MM from Baltimore.
  • Michael Sam figures to find another NFL opportunity thanks to his motor, writes Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The linebacker was released from the Cowboys‘ taxi squad earlier today.
  • Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is on his way to joining the $20MM quarterback club, writes Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. Since the start of the 2013 season, Rivers has enjoyed a career revival and has arguably been the league’s second-best quarterback behind Peyton Manning.
  • A source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that RB Alex Green had a “good workout” with the Giants today, but the team isn’t signing him at this time. Big Blue won’t be inking Felix Jones to a contract either, but he’ll be on the team’s “short list” if and when a tailback is needed (link).
  • Former Giants center Jim Cordle worked out for the Titans recently, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Cordle suffered a partially torn patella but Caplan says he’s been healthy for a while.
  • With Derrick Coleman hurt, the Seahawks worked out veteran fullbacks Tony Fiammetta, Greg Jones, and Will Tukuafu, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.
  • The Titans got something for nothing when they sent Akeem Ayers and a seventh-round choice to the Patriots earlier today for a sixth-round pick, opines Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Ayers is in his contract year and wasn’t contributing much to the Titans. Of course, the Titans wish things worked out differently with their former second-round pick.
  • The NFL could wind up installing two personal conduct policies: one for players and one for all other NFL employees, including owners, writes Peter King of The MMQB. The policy for non-players could be hammered out by Thanksgiving and the players policy should be completed after that.

Giants Worked Out Felix Jones, 14 Others

4:31pm: The Giants worked out 15 players in total, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who provides the full list of participants. Here are the 11 new names:

12:00pm: After losing back-to-back divisional matchups against the NFC-leading Cowboys and Eagles, the Giants are entering their bye week, and are taking the opportunity to look at a handful of free agents. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link), running backs Felix Jones and Alex Green are working out for the team.

Green, a former third-round pick who started his career with the Packers, was cut by the Jets in August and has auditioned for the Lions and Panthers since then. As for Jones, there haven’t been many reports on the former Cowboy this year, which is somewhat surprising — while he didn’t do much in limited action for the Steelers last season, he had recorded over 100 carries in each of his previous four seasons in Dallas, and is still just 27 years old.

The fact that the Giants are working out running backs shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a sign that Rashad Jennings‘ recovery is moving slowly, or that the team is looking to add a player at the position. It’s more likely that New York is simply gauging the options in the market at several spots in case the club needs to dip into free agency later in the season.

In fact, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Terrelle Pryor is also visiting the club today, while Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post adds tight end Tony Moeaki to the list of players auditioning. The Giants’ workout group this work is expected to be large, as Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets, so several more participants will likely be reported soon.

NFC Links: Cowboys, 49ers, Suh, Cardinals, Redskins

Let’s see what’s happening around the NFC on this Sunday evening…

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged that the team nearly selected Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, tweets NFL.com’s Dan Hellie. The owner added that he will rethink the decision “for the rest of (his) career.” Jones did clarify that he ultimately made the correct pick in offensive tackle Zack Martin (again via a tweet from Hellie).
  • 49ers running back LaMichael James dislocated his elbow in practice and will miss a month, writes Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. With Kendall Hunter out for the season with a torn ACL, the team only has rookie Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton as backup options for Frank Gore.
  • With a depleted running back group, ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson can envision the 49ers placing Hunter on the IR and adding a free agent running back (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets out a list of possibilities: Willis McGahee, Felix Jones, Michael Bush, Kahlil Bell, Bernard Scott, LaRod Stephens-Howling and (in a separate tweet) fullback Brian Leonard.
  • Count Lions head coach Jim Caldwell among those who believe a contract extension will get done between the team and Ndamukong Suh“I’m always optimistic,” Caldwell said to ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein“I think you know me by now, and I think without question they are working at it, and I think something will be done at the appropriate time.”
  • The Cardinals used Robert Hughes as a fullback during practice, and ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss says the player is a “strong possibility” to be the team’s fourth running back.
  • The Redskins’ release of linebacker Brandon Jenkins should allow some younger players to shine, writes ESPN.com’s John Keim. “We like the play of the guys behind him,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “We thought the earlier we make that move to give Brandon a chance to go somewhere else would be beneficial to him.”

Cowboys Notes: Orton, Romo, Jones

The Kyle OrtonCowboys standoff continues, but Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News says that there’s nothing for fans to worry about. After all, if Tony Romo gets hurt for a significant amount of time, the team “is doomed” either way. That may sound relatively pessimistic, but the writer seems to be on to something.

Gosselin looked at the success of backup quarterbacks from around the league. In 2013, starters won about 54 percent of the time while the backups only won 35 percent of their starts. Since 2000, backups have won 41 percent of their games, but that number is a bit misleading because of two outliers (Tom Brady‘s 11-3 record in 2001 and Ben Roethlisberger‘s 13-0 record in 2004).

The Cowboys could hold on to the dependable Orton, but history doesn’t suggest success if he’s thrust into a starting role. Instead, the team will hope he retires. As Gosselin notes, Orton would have to repay the Cowboys $3MM of his $5MM signing bonus if he decides to hang up the cleats. If he is cut, the Cowboys are responsible for the entire bonus.

Let’s see what else is happening in the Cowboys organization…

  • In a likely effort to avoid a third back surgery, Tony Romo told David Moore of The Dallas Morning News that he has given up golf. Golf is more than a hobby to Romo – the quarterback has won a number of amateur tournaments and nearly qualified for the U.S. Open. However, Romo understands what he needs to do to stay healthy. It’s not just golf. It’s a way you live life,” he said. “I don’t think about it as [giving up] golf. It’s just life. You want to give yourself the best chance to succeed on the football field.”
  • Former Cowboys running back Felix Jones is still confident he’ll be in the NFL next season. The 27-year-old appeared in 16 games for the Steelers last season but only ran for 184 yards in a backup role. I know something is going to happen, I have a gut feeling,” Jones said, via Kieran Steckley of TulsaWorld.com. “I just have to stay prepared for it…I played the game for a few years. I kinda got the hang for what’s going on in the NFL at my position. I know I can teach younger guys. Obviously I still got some gas in my motor.”