Genard Avery

Eagles To Restructure Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson Contracts

The Eagles recently created some much-needed cap space by handing a new deal to center Jason Kelce and restructuring the contract of cornerback Darius Slay. Of course, the club still has plenty of work to do to get under the reduced 2021 salary cap, so the expectation is that right tackle Lane Johnson and defensive end Brandon Graham will soon see their deals reworked as well.

In fact, Geoff Mosher of InsideTheBirds.com says that Johnson has already agreed to a restructure, though if that’s true, we don’t yet have any details. Mosher confirms that the Eagles will address Graham’s contract situation, and speculatively, that could mean an extension as opposed to a restructure.

As Mosher observes, these contractual machinations are nothing new for the Eagles, but the difference this year is that executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has been forced to rework the deals of players who are on the wrong side of 30 as opposed to younger talent. So if those players should experience a sudden decline or suffer a major injury, it will be more difficult for Philadelphia to get out from under their contracts (see, e.g., Alshon Jeffery). But most expect the salary cap to spike in 2022, and Roseman, like many execs around the league, is banking on that becoming a reality as they navigate this year’s cap crunch.

Johnson, who will turn 31 in May, just agreed to a restructure at the start of the 2020 campaign, and his cap number for 2021 sits just shy of $18MM. He played in just seven games last year due to a painful ankle injury, but he earned Pro Bowl bids in each of the prior three seasons. Graham, meanwhile, has played in at least 15 games in each of the past nine seasons, and he is coming off his first career Pro Bowl nomination. The soon-to-be 33-year-old edge defender also has a 2021 cap number just under $18MM.

Kelce’s new deal does indeed include dummy years, according to Mosher. That allows the Eagles to spread out his $9MM in guarantees, but player and team would need to agree to yet another restructure if Kelce — who has previously flirted with retirement — wants to return to the field in 2022.

In other Eagles news, the club is moving defensive end Genard Avery to linebacker, as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk passes along. Philadelphia acquired Avery in a trade with the Browns in October 2019, but the 2018 fifth-rounder has seen limited defensive reps over the past several seasons. At just 250 pounds, Avery may have been miscast as a DE, and he will have a chance to remake himself as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

He compiled 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a first-year pro in Cleveland in 2018 but totaled just 18 tackles and two sacks over the following two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/30/20

We’ll post all the minor moves from what has been a very busy Monday here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

 

Eagles Place LB Nathan Gerry On IR

Although the Eagles are nearly double-digit favorites against the Cowboys on Sunday night, they continue to absorb injury-related setbacks. Philly will be without its top tackler for at least three games.

The Eagles placed linebacker Nathan Gerry on IR Friday, while also moving rotational defensive end Genard Avery to the injured list.

An Achilles injury will sideline Gerry, who has a 12-tackle lead among Eagles this season. Gerry has 57 stops (four for loss) and one sack this season — his second as an Eagles starting linebacker. The former safety has dealt with this Achilles problem for a bit now, and the Eagles are hoping a three-week rest will have him fresher for the stretch run, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Eagles released Nigel Bradham this offseason and did not make notable linebacker investments. Among linebackers, Duke Riley‘s 28 tackles rank second on Philadelphia’s roster.

Philly will also be without Miles Sanders for a second straight week, while Alshon Jeffery‘s 2020 debut will not happen this week. Lane Johnson, however, will not miss any time with his knee injury. He is good to go, giving the Eagles two first-string offensive linemen against the Cowboys.

Eagles Acquire Genard Avery From Browns

The Eagles and Browns agreed on a pre-deadline deal, with second-year defensive end/linebacker Genard Avery set to head from Cleveland to Philadelphia. The Eagles announced the trade, which will send a 2021 fourth-round draft pick to the Browns.

Cleveland used a fifth-round pick in 2018 on Avery and gave him five starts last season. The Memphis product also spent time at linebacker during his Ohio stay, potentially providing the Eagles with some versatility. Avery played a more prominent role on the 2018 Browns, registering 4.5 sacks and 40 tackles. This season, he has one solo tackle and has played a combined five defensive snaps.

Avery has only been active in two Browns games this season. He played three snaps against the Patriots. Avery asked the Browns for a trade, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports, adding John Dorsey did not want to part with him so soon. This marks the second in-season trade of a Dorsey 2018 pick, with the Browns having sent second-rounder Austin Corbett to the Rams earlier this month.

Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat reside as the Eagles’ backup defensive ends, with Daeshon Hall and fourth-round rookie Shareef Miller residing on Philadelphia’s 53-man roster. Avery’s rookie deal runs through the 2021 season.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/14/18

Here are Monday’s draft pick agreements.

  • Two Chiefs Day 3 draftees agreed to terms on Monday. Kansas City signed Texas safety Armani Watts (Round 4, pick 124) and Tennessee lineman Kahlil McKenzie (Round 6, pick 198), Adam Teicher of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). The son of Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, Kahlil most recently played defensive tackle for the Volunteers. But the Chiefs are beginning his NFL career as a guard. Watts figures to push for a starting job for a Chiefs team that released Ron Parker.
  • The Bengals signed their final pick of the draft in Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate, whom Cincinnati selected in the seventh round (No. 253 overall).
  • Ohio’s other team signed a fifth-round pick Monday, with the Browns agreeing to terms with Memphis linebacker Genard Avery (Round 5, pick 150).
  • Jon Gruden‘s presumptive Marquette King replacement also signed today. Florida punter Johnny Townsend (Round 5, pick 173) signed his four-year Raiders deal.
  • The 49ers signed a fellow former Gator — No. 184 overall pick — in sixth-rounder Marcell Harris, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com tweets. San Francisco now has six of its nine selections under contract.