Germain Ifedi

NFC Notes: Slay, Hurts, Cowboys, Bears

The Eagles were eyeing Darius Slay for a long time. In March, they finally got him for the cost of a third-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a brand new three-year, $50MM deal. We heard all the way back in January that upgrading the secondary was a priority for Philly, and it looks like they could change their style of play a bit on defense. The Eagles traditionally play strictly zone under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, without a number one corner shadowing the opponent’s top receiver. Slay apparently wants to change that. “I love the challenge,” Slay said of shadowing during his introductory press call, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

I kind of ask for it a lot because the fact that I want the game on me, and I want to help win the game, and if the best route to go about it is me traveling with a guy, then I’ll do it,” he continued. “I’ve been doing it the past four or five years,” the former Lion explained, “and I’ve been very, very successful at it. If they need me to continue to do it, that’s what I’ll continue to do.” Most observers seemed to agree that the Mississippi State product’s play dropped off a little bit last season as he dealt with injury, but the Eagles’ new top corner rejected that assertion. “I had a great year, in my opinion,” Slay said of 2019. “I think I played freaking fantastic. … It was dang sure good enough to make a Pro Bowl third season in a row.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Cowboys are still waiting to close an extension with starting quarterback Dak Prescott, and while those negotiations continue they’re apparently taking a look at some of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. Dallas owner Jerry Jones conducted a video interview with Oklahoma passer Jalen Hurts, via a post on the team’s Instagram page. The Cowboys’ post offers a cool behind the scenes look at what the pre-draft process is looking like for teams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hurts is expected by many analysts to go off the board sometime in the second or third-round, which would be pretty early for the Cowboys to be taking a backup. If they do end up picking Hurts and still don’t have a deal done with Prescott, that would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows.
  • Yesterday we passed along word that the Bears were planning on using free agent acquisition Germain Ifedi at guard, and now we have the details on his contract. Ifedi got a $137.5K signing bonus and a $910K base salary on his one-year deal, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. We figured Ifedi didn’t get too much, but this is still pretty cheap for a 25-year-old with versatility who has started 60 games the past four seasons. A first-round pick of the Seahawks back in 2016, Ifedi became a full-time starter but always underwhelmed and never lived up to his draft status. He played both tackle and guard extensively for Seattle.
  • In case you missed it, the Seahawks may only be willing to pay between $13-15MM for Jadeveon Clowney.

NFC Notes: Foles, Trubisky, Bears, Ifedi, Lewis, Giants

We heard earlier today that the Bears were planning an open quarterback competition between Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, but that might not be entirely accurate. Both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy insisted during a teleconference with the media that it would be a fair battle and even that Trubisky would take the first snaps whenever they hit the field for their first practices, but Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune is skeptical.

Trubisky is the incumbent and is being treated as such for now, but Biggs thinks the team is just paying lip-service to the former number two overall pick. “Short of the 31-year-old falling on his face or being injured,” it’s Foles’ job to lose, Biggs writes. It makes sense why Pace doesn’t want to admit defeat with Trubisky, considering he traded up to draft him so early in 2017. Biggs writes that it’s the inverse of the situation the Bears had in 2017, when Mike Glennon was technically the starter but everyone knew Trubisky would be taking over sooner rather than later. As of right now, Foles looks like a heavy favorite to be under center Week 1.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Speaking of the Bears, one big move they made this offseason was signing offensive lineman Germain Ifedi away from the Seahawks. The 2016 first-round pick played both tackle and guard extensively during his time in Seattle, and Chicago is planning to play him in side at guard Pace said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Ifedi was a full-time starter the past few years with the Seahawks, but never lived up to his draft status.
  • Running back Dion Lewis agreed to sign with the Giants back on March 23rd, and now we’ve got the details. New York got a pretty good deal, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets that Lewis received a one-year deal worth $1.55MM with nothing guaranteed. New Giants coach Joe Judge was with Lewis during their time with the Patriots. Lewis turns 30 in September but doesn’t have too much tread on his tires since he’s never been a workhorse back. Lewis signed a four-year, $20MM deal with the Titans in 2018, but lasted only two years in Tennessee after Derrick Henry emerged as the undisputed featured back. He should backup Saquon Barkley in 2020.
  • In case you missed it the Lions are likely looking to trade down from the third overall pick, and they could have their eye on Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah.

Bears To Sign OL Germain Ifedi

The Bears and offensive lineman Germain Ifedi are in agreement on a one-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Financial details are not yet known, but it is likely not a high-dollar deal.

The Seahawks drafted Ifedi in the first round of the 2016 draft, and though he has been a full-time starter since his rookie campaign, he has never lived up to that billing. Seattle declined his fifth-year option last May, and his play did not improve enough to make the team regret that decision.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did express interest in bringing Ifedi back, but no reports of negotiations between the two sides ever surfaced. Instead, the Texas A&M product will attempt to rebuild his value with the Bears.

Rapoport says that the Bears — who have Bobby Massie penciled in at right tackle — could give Ifedi a shot at guard. He played guard in his rookie season in Seattle before kicking out to RT.

Chicago’s O-line was one of the worst in the league in 2019, but Ifedi represents the lone free agent addition the club has made to that unit thus far.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Hope To Keep O-Line In Tact

The Seahawks’ entire offensive line could wind up with a face lift in March. With several key linemen headed towards free agency, head coach Pete Carroll says he wants to keep the band together. 

[RELATED: Latest On Jadeveon Clowney]

I hope we can keep our guys connected here,” Carroll said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson). “I think the whole group, it could be a really solid group coming back. I’d like to see the guys that have played for us stay with us.

Carroll is aiming for continuity, because the unit “made good progress” in 2019. But, to keep the O-Line in tact, they’ll have to work out new deals with right tackle Germain Ifedi, left guard Mike Iupati, and backup left tackle George Fant, all of whom are set to be unrestricted free agents. Center Joey Hunt, meanwhile, will be a restricted free agent.

Seahawks coaches might have liked what they saw out of the offensive line, but the advanced metrics saw things differently. The Seahawks graded out 30th in pass blocking and 14th in run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus.

The individual rankings for the pending free agents weren’t so hot, either. Out of 214 qualified offensive linemen, PFF had Fant (No. 133), Iupati (No. 135), Ifedi (No. 150), and Hunt (No. 180) all positioned as below average players.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have bigger fish to fry with six other key players headed towards the open market, including defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and defensive tackle Jarran Reed. On the plus side, they have upwards of $58MM in projected cap space this offseason, giving them the most flexibility they’ve had in seven years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Interested In Long-Term Deal With Germain Ifedi

The Seahawks may have declined Germain Ifedi‘s fifth-year option earlier this week, but that doesn’t mean the organization is ready to move on from the lineman following the 2019 campaign. Head coach Pete Carroll told Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree that he’d still be interested in re-signing Ifedi to a long-term deal.

“Well, there’s a lot of factors,” Carroll said (via PFT’s Charean Williams). “We’re in the midst of trying to continue to fit the roster together and all that and the big demands, sometimes we can jump on it; sometimes we can’t. We love Germain. He’s grown with us. He’s become a solid football player and done a great job, started a ton of games for us and hanging in there and being tough about it. We’d love to have him. This is not an indication of anything. We like the guy and hope he’ll be with us for a long time.”

Had the Seahawks picked up the former first-rounder’s fifth-year option, Ifedi would have been due $10.35MM in 2020. Instead, the offensive lineman will now have an opportunity to test unrestricted free agency following the 2019 campaign.

Ifedi was the 31st overall pick of the 2016 draft, and he played 13 games (all starts) at right guard during his rookie campaign. He switched to right tackle for each of the last two years, and he started 31 of a possible 32 games regular season games during that span. However, his play has been underwhelming, and he barely graded out as an average tackle in 2018, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He may even end up losing his starting job this year, as former undrafted free agent George Fant may push him for playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Decline Germain Ifedi’s Fifth-Year Option

The Seahawks will decline the fifth-year option for 2016 first-rounder Germain Ifedi, per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (via Twitter). Ifedi will now be eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2019 season.

Ifedi was the 31st overall pick of the 2016 draft, and he played 13 games (all starts) at right guard during his rookie campaign. He kicked out to right tackle for each of the last two years, and he started 31 of a possible 32 games regular season games during that time.

But his play has not been particularly great, and he graded out as an average tackle in 2018, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He may even end up losing his starting job this year, as George Fant could push him for playing time.

On the other hand, Ifedi does represent a known commodity at a position that can be tricky to fill, so Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times suggests that the Seahawks could look to sign Ifedi to an extension that would allow them to carry the Texas A&M product at a lower cost than the $10.3MM 2020 option for tackles.

As our handy tracker shows, every team that is rostering a 2016 first-round pick has now made a decision on the fifth-year option for those players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Seahawks, Chiefs, Broncos

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider indicated Russell Wilson‘s four-year, $140MM extension won’t impact the status of franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Seattle had already accounted for a new Wilson deal when it decided to tag Clark at a one-year rate of $17.128MM. Schneider also admitted the Seahawks haven’t made a decision on offensive tackle Germain Ifedi‘s fifth-year option for 2020, and singled out linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive tackle Jarran Reed as extension candidates (Twitter links via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com and Condotta).

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Wilson received an NFL-record $65MM signing bonus as part of his new Seahawks contract, but he won’t actually collect all that money immediately. He’ll earn $30MM of the bonus this year with the rest deferred until 2020, per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter links), who notes this mechanism is common in most quarterback deals. The deferral won’t affect Wilson’s cap charges, as the $65MM will still be prorated over the next five seasons. Corry adds Wilson received better cash flows on his current extension than on his previous four-year, $87.6MM pact.
  • Authorities have recently removed Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill‘s three-year-old son from Hill and his fiancee’s custody, according to Laura Bauer, Brooke Pryor, and Steve Vockrodt of the Kansas City Star. Hill is under investigation for a pair of incidents involving child abuse, but still showed up for workouts earlier this week. The NFL is expected to allow the investigation to unfold before considering discipline for Hill.
  • Broncos free agent signee Kareem Jackson played safety at Denver’s minicamp this week, reports Mike Klis of 9News. Jackson, who can also play corner, spent time at both positions for the Texans in 2018 before inking a three-year, $33MM deal with the Broncos in March. “[T]here’s more to learn at safety than there is at corner,” said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. “He’s played much more corner in his career, so I wanted him to get more work in this camp – all of his work – at the safety position, to feel comfortable there.”

Seahawks OT George Fant Signs RFA Tender

Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, while defensive end Quinton Jefferson has signed his original round RFA tender, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.

A collegiate basketball player with only one year of NCAA football experience (which came as a tight end), Fant went undrafted in 2016 but still managed to start 10 games during his rookie campaign in Seattle. A torn ACL cost Fant the 2017 season, but he rebounded to appear in all 16 games and play 35% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in 2018.

Fant, who will now collect a $3.095MM base salary next year, graded out well in 2018, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as the No. 26 offensive tackle among 80 qualifiers. While he won’t be locked in as a starter heading into next season, Fant could compete with former fist-round pick Germain Ifedi for playing time at right tackle.

In addition to Fant and Jefferson, the Seahawks have also re-signed the following exclusive rights free agents:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

OL Notes: Seahawks, Joeckel, Eagles, Paradis

As teams get set for the start of offseason workouts, they are assembling their pre-draft offensive line depth charts. One such team with some fluidity: the Seahawks. They plan to make a move that ended up backfiring on the Jaguars in stationing Luke Joeckel at left tackle. While Pete Carroll acknowledges Joeckel could end up at left guard, the recently added blocker will begin his Seahawks tenure as a left tackle.

Luke is a guy who started at left tackle, was drafted at left tackle. I’m thinking of him as that, knowing he can play left guard,” Carroll said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. “He had a really good experience this year moving in, and he liked it and felt comfortable doing that. So my first thought is we head into it with he’s coming into it as a left tackle that can play left guard.”

Jacksonville shuttled Joeckel from left tackle to left guard before the 2016 season, but an injury limited him to only four games. The former No. 2 overall pick did not fare especially well at left tackle as a full-time starter from 2014-15; he began his Jags run as a right tackle while a rookie. The Seahawks signed Joeckel to a one-year deal for a fully guaranteed $7MM in an attempt to help what’s been a maligned offensive line over the past two seasons. Carroll plans, for now, to sit converted basketball player George Fant behind Joeckel. Fant started 10 games for the NFC West champions last season.

If George had to sit for a while, what could be better for him than sitting behind a guy who was a [No. 2] pick in the draft and knows how to play the position?” Carroll said. “If that happens, it would only enhance his future, and we have high expectations for him down the road — high expectations.”

Here’s more out of Seattle and the latest from other offensive fronts.

  • The Seahawks’ most recent first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, is expected to receive a long look at right tackle, per Kapadia. Ifedi started 13 games at right guard last season, but a chain reaction might relocate him. Should Joeckel move to left guard, 2016 left guard starter Mark Glowinski would shift to the right side and possibly bump Ifedi to right tackle. Ifedi primarily played right tackle at tackle-rich Texas A&M but slid inside during his debut NFL season. Seattle, of course, is no stranger to moving its linemen. Former second-round pick Justin Britt shifted from tackle to guard to center during his first three seasons in the league.
  • Isaac Seumalo started four games — at three different positions — for the Eagles last season, and it looks like Doug Pederson is eyeing more time for the second-year blocker. “He’s a guy that we want to get into the mix,” Pederson said, via Zach Berman of Philly.com. Berman adds Seumalo could wind up at center or guard long-term. The Eagles, though, are keeping left guard Allen Barbre and center Jason Kelce after being rumored to be set to unload both. Philadelphia also brought back center/guard Stefen Wisniewski, complicating Seumalo’s immediate path to playing time.
  • Matt Paradis underwent offseason surgery on both of his hips and has an uncertain timetable back to his spot on the Broncos‘ starting offensive front. The fourth-year center shed his crutches last month and is expected back. But Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post notes the hope now is Paradis won’t miss any regular-season action, meaning Paradis might not be a lock for training camp. The former sixth-round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 center and doing so on one of the league’s shakiest offensive lines. He’s played every Broncos snap over the past two seasons.

West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs, Hawks

The Broncos want to bring in a third quarterback, but that player is likely to be either a young veteran or a draft pick, head coach Vance Joseph tells Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Denver is apparently content to allow Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch battle it out for the starting QB job, meaning any new addition would be a third-stringer. Tony Romo, meanwhile, is looking like less of an option, as the Broncos are reportedly backing off their pursuit of the Cowboys signal-caller.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • After losing defensive tackle Stacy McGee in free agency, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie admits his team may bring in another piece up front, as Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Currently, Oakland boasts Khalil Mack, Jihad Ward, Dan Williams, Mario Edwards, restricted free agent Denico Autry, and others along the defensive line. Johnathan Hankins, Jared Odrick, and Vance Walker rank as PFR’s best remaining interior defenders.
  • The Chiefs‘ decision to decline their option on backup quarterback Nick Foles was purely cap-related, head coach Andy Reid tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Foles’ 2017 option was worth $6.75MM, an untenable figure for the Chiefs given that even now they only have $3MM in cap space. While Foles has since signed a two-year, $11MM with the Eagles, Kansas City currently has Tyler Bray behind starting quarterback Alex Smith.
  • Although Seahawks corner Pierre Desir had an opportunity to sign with the Lions last season, he opted to stick on Seattle’s practice squad and has since been re-signed on a futures deal, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (all Twitter links). Seahawks general manager John Schneider pointed to Desir, Neiko Thorpe, and Tampa Bay import Bradley McDougald as key depth pieces that can fill out the secondary.
  • Free agent signee Oday Aboushi will begin his Seahawks tenure at right guard, which means Seattle is set to try 2016 first-round pick Germain Ifedii at right tackle, tweets Condotta. Ifedi played tackle at Texas A&M, but shifted to right guard during his rookie campaign. The results were near disastrous, as Ifedi graded as the single worst guard in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.