Packers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/22/24

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Waived-injured: WR Jared Wayne

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: WR Kevin Austin Jr.

New York Jets

Jordan Love Will Not Participate In Packers’ Training Camp Without Deal

Jordan Love and the Packers have yet to reach agreement on an extension. To little surprise, the ascending quarterback will not take part in training camp practices before a deal is in hand.

Love’s camp informed Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst on Sunday that he would not take the field until an extension agreement is reached (h/t Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal). Love will engage in a hold-in by attending camp and choosing not to take part in drills. The increasingly common strategy avoids fines being incurred, something which is the case for holdouts.

“I think so, but you never know,” Gutekunst said (via Wilde) when asked if a deal could be finalized in the near future. “We’re working really hard to get that done. It’s really important for us.”

Dianna Russini of The Athletic confirms both parties remain confident an agreement will be worked out shortly. Finances (as opposed to factors such as guarantees, term and cashflow) are believed to be the biggest remaining issue in this case as the Packers weigh the risks of a Love investment after less than one strong season of production against the cost of waiting for him to up his value further. When speaking publicly on Monday, Gutekunst noted (via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette) the cap implications of a mega-deal is the primary cause in the ongoing delay.

Teams with major QB commitments on the books are indeed forced to make a number of important decisions at other positions. The Packers will still have a cost-effective offense at the receiver and tight end positions given their recent draft additions even when Love (due $10.5MM in salary this year) signs his next pact, but remaining flexible beyond 2024 is a major consideration on the team’s part. Nevertheless, Gutekunst’s remarks point to Love being the next signal-caller to land a lucrative new deal.

The 2020 first-rounder has long been expected to land an AAV above $50MM despite only taking over as starter at the start of last season. His strong finish to the campaign has put him firmly in Green Bay’s long-term plans, and both team and player remained hopeful an agreement would be in place before today. That has not proven to be the case, but Love remaining sidelined for practices could provide further incentive to get a deal over the finish line.

Packers, DT Kenny Clark Agree On Extension

It’s been discussed as a possibility this offseason as both the Packers and defensive tackle Kenny Clark have been involved in “ongoing” talks towards a new agreement. Well, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the agreement was reached today with Clark signing a three-year, $64MM extension to remain in Green Bay.

Clark has been a longtime Packer, a staple on the team’s defensive front since being drafted out of UCLA in the first round in 2016. After a rotational role in his rookie season, Clark became a full-time starter in Year 2 and has held down the role for the remainder of his eight years in the NFL. With those eight seasons, Clark ranks in the top-10 in Packers history for tackles for loss (47) and quarterback hits (71) and top-20 for the franchise in sacks (34.0) and forced fumbles (7).

Back in 2020, Clark inked a four-year, $70MM extension, making 2024 a contract year for the 28-year-old. The contract made Clark the 12th-highest paid defensive player in the NFL at the time. This new deal puts Clark just outside the top-20 for highest paid defensive players but makes him the 10th-highest paid interior defender in average annual contract value.

Despite his advancing age, Clark more than deserves his new payday. While Pro Football Focus tends to be higher on the earlier years of Clark’s career, his play has aged like a fine wine. His most recent 2023 season saw him gain career highs in sacks (7.5), tackles for loss (9), and quarterback hits (16). Those peaks and three Pro Bowls in the last five years show that Clark isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially with his consistent health. Clark’s no ironman, but he’s only missed eight of 131 games in his career.

While not all the details are available on the new contract, Schefter tells us that Clark is set to receive $29MM, while Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the signing bonus on the new deal will be $17.5MM. With currently projecting the DT franchise tag value next offseason to be $22.1MM, the Packers avoid having to absorb that cap hit in 2025.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/21/24

Today’s minor transactions to wrap up this final weekend before training camps begin:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Latest On Negotiations Between Packers, Jordan Love

A trio of quarterbacks – Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love – are on track to see their respective teams’ training camps open without an extension in hand. In the latter case, a decision on Green Bay’s part may drive the next development on the negotiating front.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports in an update on where things currently stand between Love and the Packers that the ball is believed to be “in the team’s court.” Quarterback mega-deals take time to put together, and this case is a unique one given Love’s lack of playing time before 2023. His age (25) and play down the stretch and in the playoff last year has him in line for a contract near the top of the QB pecking order, though.

For much of the offseason, signs have pointed to Love joining the $50MM-per-year club. The 2020 first-rounder has a thinner resume than the other passers who occupy the top of the market, but he has received the backing of Green Bay’s front office regarding a long-term commitment. One year remains on Love’s pact, and he is due a base salary of $10.5MM in 2024 unless an agreement is worked out over the coming weeks.

Both team and player have expressed a desire to finalize an extension before training camp, a deadline which is fast approaching. Green Bay’s first practice is scheduled for Monday, and the lack of a deal could lead to Love attempting a hold-in (the approach by which players attend camp to avoid fines but do not participate). Florio notes that money – as opposed to structure – appears to be the primary “sticking point” with respect to negotiations.

Matters of length, guarantees and cashflow are key in any extensions, particularly QB contracts. Overall value is also a key element as it pertains to Love, though, given his inexperience prior to taking on the role of Aaron Rodgers‘ successor. Joe Burrow topped the market with an AAV of $55MM last offseason, a figure which Trevor Lawrence matched this spring.

Jared Goff, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts are attached to deals worth between $51MM and $53MM per year. It will be interesting to see if Love joins their company in the near future, something which could also be driven to an degree by developments on the Prescott and Tagovailoa fronts. Green Bay’s next move (and the impact it has on negotiations) will be worth watching closely.

Packers’ Javon Bullard In “Pole Position” For Starting Safety Job

The Packers completely overhauled their safety depth chart this offseason, parting ways with the three safeties that started the most games for them in 2023 – Darnell Savage, Jonathan Owens, and Rudy Ford – while giving Xavier McKinney the most lucrative contract of any safety on the free agent market (four years, $68MM). Green Bay also added Georgia product Javon Bullard in the second round of this year’s draft, and as Matt Schneidman of The Athletic writes, Bullard is in “pole position” to land a starting job alongside McKinney (subscription required).

This echoes a report from last month that suggested Bullard and fellow second-round rookie Edgerrin Cooper had performed well in spring practices and had put themselves firmly in the mix for first-team action. Cooper, the first middle linebacker taken in the 2023 draft, appears poised to start next to Quay Walker in the second level of the Packers’ defense.

The veteran safety market has started to move a bit in recent weeks, with the likes of John Johnson, Jamal Adams, and Eddie Jackson securing new deals. There are a number of notable names still available, Justin Simmons and Quandre Diggs among them (Ford also remains unsigned). It seems, however, that the Packers will evaluate their current crop of talent in training camp before making any outside additions.

Assuming no such additions are made, Bullard will have to fend off two other 2024 draftees: fourth-round choice Evan Williams and fifth-rounder Kitan Oladapo. Oladapo, who broke the big toe on his left foot at this year’s scouting combine, has been placed on the NFI list and has not taken part in any offseason workouts, so he will be starting from behind whenever he is medically cleared.

The team is also rostering Anthony Johnson Jr., a 2023 seventh-rounder. Johnson appeared in 12 games (four starts) in his rookie campaign, and he was on the field for over 300 defensive snaps. He did record an interception and three passes defensed, but he generally exhibited the growing pains expected of a Day 3 choice in his first NFL season, and Pro Football Focus considered him the fifth-worst safety in the league among 95 qualified players.

Bullard could also see action at nickel, thereby allowing DC Jeff Hafley the opportunity to mix and match his young crop of defensive backs. The group will be tasked with maintaining or improving upon the performance of their predecessors, as the Pack yielded the ninth-fewest passing yards per game in 2023.

NFL Workouts: Texans, Quarterman, Fromm

The Texans appear to be looking for another body in the running backs room. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, Houston hosted veteran rusher Deon Jackson and undrafted Ohio State rookie Miyan Williams for workouts today.

Jackson spent his first two seasons out of Duke with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. Due to injuries to Jonathan Taylor, Jackson saw extended time in two starts during his sophomore campaign. He recorded career highs in carries (68), yards (236), and touchdowns (1) that season. Last year, Jackson bounced around, playing games for the Colts, Browns, and Giants.

Williams played four seasons for the Buckeyes in five years with the team, spending most of his time as a backup. Injury trouble for TreVeyon Henderson in 2022 opened the door for Williams to have a breakout season, rushing for 825 yards at 6.4 yards per clip and scoring 14 touchdowns. In 2023, a healthy Henderson and an influx of new talent severely reduced Williams’ role.

With free agent addition Joe Mixon and third-year back Dameon Pierce in place atop the depth chart, Jackson and Williams are trying out for an opportunity to push Dare Ogunbowale and sixth-round rookie Jawhar Jordan for a backup job.

Here are a couple other workouts from around the league recently:

  • The Bears looked at some potential linebacker depth yesterday in Shaquille Quarterman, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. After four years with the Hurricanes, Quarterman returned to his hometown as a fourth-round pick for the Jaguars. While he never started a game over the course of his rookie deal in Duval, Quarterman became a core special teamer. He earned some defensive snaps in his second season with the team, totaling 30 tackles that year and, though his time was even more limited in 2022, he made the most of it, forcing a fumble on Derrick Henry in a division matchup. Chicago returns their top three linebackers, so Quarterman is likely looked at only as a potential depth addition.
  • The Packers worked out a notable name at quarterback today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, hosting former Georgia championship-winning passer Jake Fromm. Since being drafted by the Bills in the fifth round in 2020, Fromm has bounced from Buffalo to the Giants to the Commanders. His only playing time came in New York where he started two losing efforts, completing 45 percent of his passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Green Bay hopes to not need anyone behind Jordan Love, but perhaps they are seeking a bit more experience in a camp arm than the two draft picks from the last two years they currently roster.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/19/24

Here are Friday’s minor transactions:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

  • Placed on active/NFI list: LB Jontrey Hunter
  • Placed on active/PUP list: RB Terrell Jennings

Seattle Seahawks

Brooks’ appearance on this list doesn’t come as much of a shock. After suffering a torn ACL as a Longhorn last November, he is not going to be cleared for the start of camp, though he can be activated at any time. His injury is considered a “non-football injury” because it occurred before his NFL career began, otherwise he would’ve been on the PUP. Wonnum’s presence on the PUP was also not a surprise as he deals with complications from his offseason quadriceps surgery.

Everett’s appearance, on the other hand, is a bit of a surprise. To date, no injuries have been reported this offseason on the veteran tight end, leaving a bit of a mystery as to the cause of his unavailability.

Williams, who was placed on the NFI list yesterday, lasted one day before passing his physical and getting activated off the injured list. As can tend to be the case, some situations this early can be more precautionary than a tell of something more serious.

RB Kenyan Drake Retires

Kenyan Drake has decided to bring his NFL career to an end. The veteran running back confirmed in a conversation with NFL insider Josina Anderson on Friday that he is retiring.

“It felt like the right time,” the 30-year-old told Anderson. “I love the game, but I don’t love the business. I’m at peace with the decision. I’m healthy and ready to start the next chapter of my life.”

Drake entered the league as a Dolphins third-rounder, and over half of his regular season appearances (and his lone playoff one) came with Miami. He topped 1,000 scrimmage yards in 2018, and did so again the following year while splitting him time between the Dolphins and Cardinals. Drake’s best season came in 2020, his only full campaign in the desert.

That year, the Alabama alum rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns. That success earned him a two-year, $11MM Raiders deal, but his career consisted of a series of short-term gigs from that point onwards. Drake only spent one campaign in Vegas before bouncing around to several teams in search of an opportunity. He had a pair of Ravens stints with Colts and Browns deals mixed in between August 2022 and November of last year.

Drake’s final NFL contract came from the Packers in December, and he made a single appearance down the stretch. His remarks suggest he attempted to find a new deal this offseason (something which a number of veteran backs managed early in free agency), but instead of seeking out a training camp accord or waiting for an opportunity to open up during the fall, he will turn his attention to his post-playing days.

A veteran of 105 combined regular and postseason contests, Drake racked up 5,521 scrimmage yards and 41 touchdowns across his eight years in the league. He will depart the NFL with nearly $26MM in career earnings.

Davante Adams Notes: Packers Departure, Carr, Rodgers

Davante Adams has been at the center of trade speculation throughout the offseason, although he and his agents have attempted to shoot down further rumors on that front. More has nevertheless recently been learned about the All-Pro Raiders wideout, including his arrival in Vegas and his outlook on a hypothetical trade to a third career team.

During an appearance on Keyshawn Johnson’s All Facts No Brakes podcast, Adams touched on the lead-up to his Packers departure (video link). He said he approached Green Bay’s front office about working out an extension in the 2022 offseason as he was approaching his walk year. Uncertainty loomed over Aaron Rodgers‘ future with the franchise, but Adams was prepared to sign a long-term deal regardless.

The 31-year-old said he received an offer averaging $17MM per season – a figure notably below market value for the league’s top receivers, especially in the wake of the commitments made at the position over the past two seasons. Adams replied there was “nothing to talk about” after that point, and in March he was traded to the Raiders. That deal allowed him to reunite with former college teammate Derek Carr.

Adams confirmed during an episode of Netflix’s Receiver series (via Vic Tafur of The Athletic) Carr’s presence was a central element in his desire to play for the Raiders. Of course, the veteran passer only remained in Vegas for 2022 before being released and joining the Saints in free agency. Jimmy Garoppolo served as the Raiders’ starter last year before dealing with injuries and being benched – something Adams approved of and tied his future in the organization to.

Vegas decision-makers have repeatedly made it clear no Adams trade is being considered at this time, but Rodgers’ recent comment about anticipating a reunion has led to renewed questions. The former doubled down on his commitment to Vegas while also acknowledging a trade could send him out of Sin City. In the event that were to take place, Adams would welcome the opportunity to resume playing with Rodgers.

“I’m locked in with the Raiders, and I really feel good about this team, and as far as I know they feel good about me,” the six-time Pro Bowler told Shannon Sharpe on his Club Shay podcast (video link). “If that ever changes, if that got to a point where they weren’t feeling the same way, I ain’t done playing, so obviously we would figure out whatever we needed to figure out.”

Adams added, “if I’m gonna be reunited with anybody, it would be Aaron,” confirming he would be open to playing on the Jets in the future (while repeating that it is not a scenario he currently desires). Three years remain on Adams’ contract, but an adjustment will likely be needed after the 2024 campaign given his projected cap hits and the absence of guaranteed salaries in 2025 and ’26. Plenty could change by that point, but for now he is set to play a third Raiders campaign.