Packers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/17/24

Some roster movement today in minor transactions as several teams are starting to add players to early injured lists:

Chicago Bears

  • Placed on active/NFI list: T Kiran Amegadjie
  • Placed on active/PUP list: DT Jamree Kromah

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

There was good news on the Horton front back in May as it was announced that the Texans defender had completed his final treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. As a rookie out of TCU, Horton sat out the final seven games of the 2023 season on the non-football illness list. As he continues to work his way back to the field, it appears he’ll start the summer on the list, as well.

Thompson’s situation in Kansas City also received some good news of late. After suffering a seizure that caused him to go into cardiac arrest in early-June, the Chiefs defender continues to make progress towards a return. He’ll start the summer on the non-football injury list but will continue to work his way back as he continues with medical procedures, per Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

Largest 2024 Cap Hits: Defense

As veteran report dates for training camps near, NFL payrolls are largely set. Extension- and trade-related matters remain, but as far as high cap numbers go, the list will not change much between now and Week 1. After we ran down the top cap charges on the offensive side of the ball last week, here are the highest 2024 figures tied to defenders:

  1. Maxx Crosby, EDGE (Raiders): $30.48MM
  2. T.J. Watt, EDGE (Steelers): $30.42MM
  3. Kenny Clark, DL (Packers): $27.49MM
  4. Joey Bosa, EDGE (Chargers): $26.11MM
  5. Khalil Mack, EDGE (Chargers): $25.39MM
  6. Montez Sweat, EDGE (Bears): $25.09MM
  7. Harold Landry, EDGE (Titans): $23.8MM
  8. Jaire Alexander, CB (Packers): $23.49MM
  9. Marlon Humphrey, CB (Ravens): $22.88MM
  10. Tremaine Edmunds, LB (Bears): $22.44MM
  11. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $22.41MM
  12. Jeffery Simmons, DL (Titans): $21.65MM
  13. Daron Payne, DL (Commanders): $21.61MM
  14. Jonathan Allen, DL (Commanders): $21.44MM
  15. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S (Steelers): $21.36MM
  16. Vita Vea, DL (Buccaneers): $20.97MM
  17. DeMarcus Lawrence, EDGE (Cowboys): $20.46MM
  18. Quinnen Williams, DL (Jets): $20.4MM
  19. Grady Jarrett, DL (Falcons): $20.38MM
  20. Myles Garrett, EDGE (Browns): $20.17MM
  21. Trey Hendrickson, EDGE (Bengals): $20.17MM
  22. Derwin James, S (Chargers): $19.86MM
  23. Budda Baker, S (Cardinals): $19.03MM
  24. Charvarius Ward, CB (49ers): $18.4MM
  25. Marcus Williams, S (Ravens): $18.03MM

While a handful of quarterbacks are set to break the single-player record for cap hit — after this offseason’s $30.6MM cap spike — this year’s defensive hits do not check in on that level. Crosby and Watt are at $30MM, but those numbers do not match last year’s top defender cap hit — attached to then-Giants D-lineman Leonard Williams ($32.26MM). With Aaron Donald now in the dead money category following his retirement and Chris Jones extended, some new faces have climbed toward the top of this list.

The Raiders gave Crosby a $6MM 2024 pay bump to reward a former Day 3 pick who has unlocked another level while attached to an extension signed in 2022. Rather than greenlight a new deal for their top defender, the Raiders moved money around on his through-2026 extension to accommodate a rising market. This season now marks the highest cap hit on this Crosby contract.

Although the Chargers worked out pay-cut agreements with Bosa and Mack, both edge rushers are still among the most expensive — cap-wise — players in the league. The March reductions, however, moved Bosa’s cap number down from $36.6MM and lowered Mack’s from $38.5MM. With James tied to the second-highest 2024 safety figure, Jim Harbaugh‘s team — while clearing out costs on offense — remains among the top defensive spenders.

Two years remain on Watt’s deal, which has paid out its guaranteed money. With Nick Bosa having secured a defender-record extension and lower-production players — compared to Watt, at least — Brian Burns and Josh Allen surpassing the future Hall of Famer’s 2021 extension, a third Steelers-Watt agreement will likely be rumored soon. Heyward has expressed interest in a fourth Steelers contract, which would reduce his lofty cap figure, but the accomplished veteran has not heard much from the team’s side on this matter.

The Packers have begun talks with Clark on what would be a third extension. His current $17.5MM-per-year contract has fallen to 15th among active D-linemen. A new deal would update that figure for a reliable starter while reducing his 2024 cap hit. Despite rumors about the Pack separating from Alexander coming out in December, GM Brian Gutekunst shot down any such move associated with the league’s highest-paid corner.

Baker requested a trade last year, eyeing a deal closer to the James-Fitzpatrick level. The longtime Cardinal DB is in the final year of an extension agreed to back in 2020. Although the Cardinals are rebuilding, Baker has remained part of Jonathan Gannon‘s team. He expressed hope to stay in Arizona beyond 2024, and the Cardinals have the contract-year safety — the team’s longest-tenured starter, now that D.J. Humphries is off the roster — on the team going into his age-28 season.

RB AJ Dillon On Packers’ Roster Bubble

The Packers moved on from Aaron Jones this offseason, and the top of the team’s backfield depth chart will look different in 2024. Josh Jacobs will serve as Green Bay’s lead back after he took a four-year deal including $12.5MM guaranteed.

Jacobs will handle the bulk of early-down work on his new team, though the Packers are also interested in increasing his pass-catching responsibilities. The 2022 rushing champion figures to shoulder a heavy workload as a result, but the team added MarShawn Lloyd in the third round of this year’s draft. The USC alum could handle backup duties as a rookie, particularly if he impresses during training camp and the preseason A notable Lloyd usage rate is indeed a Packers goal, The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman confirms (subscription required).

Meanwhile, the coming weeks will play a key role in determining AJ Dillon‘s future in Green Bay. The former second-rounder faced questions about a potential free agent departure after his rookie contract expired, but he ended up re-signing in Green Bay. The Packers used the four-year qualifying offer to retain Dillion, who is due $2.74MM in 2024. That figure outpaces his cap charge ($1.29MM), but the 26-year-old does not figure to be a roster lock.

Dillon is aware he is entering camp on the roster bubble, Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes. The Boston College product is a candidate for the No. 3 spot, but the same is true of 2023 UDFA Emanuel Wilson. The latter recorded only 108 scrimmage yards as a rookie, though establishing himself as a special teams contributor could help his chances of surviving roster cutdowns. For Dillon, remaining in the fold would allow him to rebound from an underwhelming 2023 campaign.

Averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season, Dillon scored only two touchdowns. He 178 carries marked a similar workload to the two previous years, but a dip in usage should be expected if he locks down a roster spot for 2024. Dillon did not show much interest in finding a new team during free agency, a period in which several veteran backs managed to secure deals in short order. The Packers were active on that front with the Jacobs addition but it did not take long for Dillon to re-sign.

The latter produced 2,092 scrimmage yards and 14 total touchdowns between 2021-22, and returning to his previous form could help Dillon’s market value in 2025. For the time being, though, attention will be focused on his training camp and preseason performances.

Latest On Packers’ Offensive Line

The Packers are set to return four of five from their starting offensive line from last year. Only right guard Jon Runyan departed in free agency, signing with the Giants in the offseason. With that kind of returning experience, one might not expect many changes to occur, but that may not be the case in Green Bay this summer as the team has remained active in adding to the position group.

Taking a look at the returning four starters, we’ll start at center with Josh Myers. After missing most of his rookie season with a knee injury, Myers has bounced back reliably, starting all 17 games in each of the last two years. While the best ability is availability, Myers hasn’t shined during his rookie contract, never ranking higher than the 26th-best at his position, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Heading into a contract year, Myers will need to show he deserves a second contract in the NFL

Returning at left guard is Elgton Jenkins, who has impressed at times in recent years but had a bit of a down season in 2023. After Pro Bowl seasons in 2020 and 2021, Jenkins rankied just 28th out of 77 players at the position in 2023. PFF did grant him the league’s seventh-highest pass blocking grade last year, though, an area in which he routinely excels. He has had a little trouble staying on the field as of late, missing at least two games in each of the past three years, including nine missed games with a torn ACL in 2021.

At tackle, the team returns both starters in Rasheed Walker and Zach Tom. A seventh-round pick in 2022 out of Penn State, Walker took over the starting left tackle job for Yosh Nijman in place of an injured David Bakhtiari in Week 2 of last season and only gave the job up for a short, injured period. In his first season as a starter, Walker performed admirably during his 15 starts. A fourth-round pick in the same draft out of Wake Forest, Tom has been a pleasant surprise in Green Bay at right tackle. After stepping into a starting role for five games in his rookie season, Tom became a full-time starter last year and PFF rewarded his efforts by grading him as the 15th-best tackle in the NFL. His run blocking grade was the sixth-best in the league.

While Walker was an admirable replacement for Bakhtiari in a pinch, the Packers made two moves that indicate they may be entertaining an upgrade at the position, signing veteran free agent Andre Dillard and drafting Arizona offensive lineman Jordan Morgan in the first round of this year’s draft. A former first-round pick himself out of Washington State, Dillard failed to live up to his draft stock in four years between the Eagles and Titans. After only nine starts in three years in Philadelphia, Dillard started a career-high 10 games for Tennessee last year. Showing improvement in a new city last season, perhaps another change of scenery could benefit Dillard, but if he can’t unseat Walker, he at least serves as a valuable backup swing tackle with starting experience after the departure of Nijman in free agency.

Though Morgan played solely at left tackle in his career with the Wildcats, many saw him projecting better at guard during the pre-draft process. Green Bay saw what most others did and tried him out at every position except center during the spring, according to Packers editor Mike Spofford. Morgan could be battling for multiple starting jobs depending on what the team needs him to do. Obviously, with left tackle experience, Morgan could offer an improvement to what Walker provides as a starter, though the absence of Tom throughout organized team activities and minicamp due to a torn pectoral muscle could mean Morgan gets more reps on the right side. Tom is due back for training camp, though it’s unclear how healthy he’ll be.

Morgan could also be an option to replace Runyan at right guard, though he’ll be competing with yet another 2022 draft pick. Former third-rounder Sean Rhyan out of UCLA got a bit of action last year after seeing little utilization in his rookie season. Rhyan was essentially splitting time with Runyan at the end of last year, so while he has zero starts to his name, he does have first-team experience. In the case that neither player steps up, the team can fall back onto Royce Newman, who started as a rookie in 2021 before taking lesser roles the last two years.

What we’re seeing in Green Bay is a healthy situation. Plenty of experienced starters return in 2024 and a few candidates like Morgan, Dillard, and Rhyan provide potential improvements and strong competition to either replace Runyan or beat out a returning starter. Myers, perhaps a weak point on the line, should get one more opportunity to prove himself, as well. Offensive line coach Luke Butkus has a lot of strong options as the team nears a return for camp.

2024 Offseason In Review Series

As training camps near, the NFL offseason is winding down. Many unresolved matters remain — much of them pertaining to quarterbacks and wide receivers — but teams’ rosters are mostly set. Leading up to Week 1, PFR will continue to add to its annual Offseason In Review series. Here is where our latest offseason examinations stand so far:

AFC East

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West

NFC East

NFC North

NFC South

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West

Former Bucs DC Monte Kiffin Dies At 84

Monte Kiffin, who served as the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator for 13 seasons in the 1990s and 2000s, died Thursday. He was 84. An NFL assistant for nearly 30 years, Kiffin served as the driving force behind the Bucs’ dominant Super Bowl XXXVII-winning defense.

Tony Dungy brought Kiffin to Tampa upon being hired in 1996; the two had worked together in Minnesota previously. Kiffin stayed on beyond Dungy’s 2002 firing, remaining with the team under Jon Gruden and architecting one of the best defenses in NFL history. Featuring four Hall of Fame-bound defenders, the ’02 Bucs led the NFL in scoring and total defense and intercepted five passes in a Super Bowl rout of the Raiders.

Prior to unleashing the Tampa-2 defense he helped create, Kiffin had previously served as Vikings DC in 1991 and Saints DC four years later. Those were one-offs, however, with Dungy’s offer cutting the New Orleans stay short. Kiffin certainly played a significant role in Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Ronde Barber and John Lynch establishing Canton candidacies.

Monte Kiffin was a beloved and iconic member of the Buccaneers family, and our entire organization mourns his loss today,” the Bucs said in a statement. “As a coach, Monte was a true innovator who got the best out of his players and helped create one of the signature defenses of the early 2000s. His passionate and energetic leadership style resonated with all his players, and he was instrumental in our first Super Bowl win and the success of Hall of Famers such as Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Ronde Barber.”

Also an assistant with the Packers, Bills and Jets, Kiffin later served as the defensive coordinator for son Lane during the latter’s one-season stay as the Tennessee Volunteers’ head coach. Monte Kiffin followed his son to USC, a stint that helped reestablish the former Raiders HC in the college game, before returning to the NFL as Cowboys DC.

The Dallas 2013 stint also stopped after one season, with Dallas hiring Rod Marinelli as DC in 2014. Monte Kiffin stayed on for one more season as a Cowboys assistant, however, before a Jaguars stop. Kiffin’s final two coaching roles came under Lane at Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss. The Kiffin patriarch was a Rebels analyst as recently as last season.

The Bucs gig earned Kiffin a place in the franchise’s ring of honor. While the Bucs peaked in 2002, Dungy and Kiffin led the way in rebooting a moribund franchise in the late 1990s. The Bucs voyaged to the Super Bowl XXXIV precipice, intercepting Kurt Warner three times in an 11-6 defensive tussle. After two playoff losses in Philadelphia doomed top-10 defenses, the Bucs outscored their 2002 playoff opposition 116-37. Four of Tampa Bay’s postseason TDs came on pick-sixes, with three of those taking place in the team’s Super Bowl romp.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

The NFL’s general manager ranks featured some key shakeups this offseason. One of the longest-tenured pure GMs in the game, Tom Telesco, lost his Chargers seat 11 years in. The Raiders, however, gave Telesco a second chance. He now controls the Las Vegas roster. Only Telesco and the Jaguars’ Trent Baalke reside as second-chance GMs currently.

Two long-serving personnel bosses also exited this offseason. The Patriots’ decision to move on from 24-year HC Bill Belichick gave Jerod Mayo a head coaching opportunity but also resulted in Eliot Wolf belatedly rising to the top of the team’s front office hierarchy. A former Packers and Browns exec, Wolf held decision-making power through the draft and kept it on an official basis soon after. While John Schneider arrived in Seattle with Pete Carroll in 2010, the latter held final say. Following Carroll’s ouster after 14 seasons, Schneider has full control.

[RELATED: The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches]

The Commanders changed GMs this offseason, hiring ex-San Francisco staffer Adam Peters, but Martin Mayhew received merely a demotion. The three-year Washington GM, who worked alongside Peters with the 49ers, is now in place as a senior personnel exec advising Peters. Rather than look outside the organization, Panthers owner David Tepper replaced Scott Fitterer with Dan Morgan, who had previously worked as the team’s assistant GM.

Going into his 23rd season running the Saints, Mickey Loomis remains the NFL’s longest-serving pure GM. This will mark the veteran exec’s third season without Sean Payton. An eight-year gap now exists between Loomis and the NFL’s second-longest-tenured pure GM.

As the offseason winds down, here is how the league’s 32 GM jobs look:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  4. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  5. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010[3]; signed extension in 2022
  6. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2022
  7. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  8. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  9. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  10. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  11. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  12. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2024
  13. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018; agreed to extension in 2022
  14. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  15. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  16. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020: signed extension in 2024
  17. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  18. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  19. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021: agreed to extension in 2024
  20. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  21. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  22. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  23. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  24. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  25. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022
  26. Monti Ossenfort (Arizona Cardinals): January 16, 2023
  27. Ran Carthon (Tennessee Titans): January 17, 2023
  28. Adam Peters (Washington Commanders): January 12, 2024
  29. Dan Morgan (Carolina Panthers): January 22, 2024
  30. Tom Telesco (Las Vegas Raiders): January 23, 2024
  31. Joe Hortiz (Los Angeles Chargers): January 29, 2024
  32. Eliot Wolf (New England Patriots): May 11, 2024

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. The Eagles bumped Roseman from the top decision-making post in 2015, giving Chip Kelly personnel power. Roseman was reinstated upon Kelly’s December 2015 firing.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

Davante Adams Committed To Raiders, Discusses Aaron Rodgers Pairing

Things haven’t necessarily gone as planned for Davante Adams in Las Vegas. The wideout pushed his way out of Green Bay and landed with the Raiders and his college QB, Derek Carr. That QB/WR tandem only lasted one season, with the Josh McDanielsDave Ziegler regime shaking up the quarterback position ahead of the 2023 campaign.

[RELATED: Offseason In Review: Las Vegas Raiders]

Adams hinted at some frustration before the Raiders ditched that head coach/GM duo, but the receiver admitted that interim-turned-full-time head coach Antonio Pierce is a big reason why he’s content ahead of the 2024 season.

“I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I do now,” Adams said of Pierce’s promotion during an appearance on “Up & Adams Show with Kay Adams” (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). “That’s for sure. He’s the type of guy that I really enjoy speaking to, working with, so I basically tried to do everything that I could to make it to where the front office didn’t have any other choice.”

Pierce guided the Raiders to a 5-4 record after McDaniels was canned, a performance that helped earn him a promotion to the full-time gig. While there’s still uncertainty at the quarterback position, Adams is committed to the Raiders…and he’s denying inquiries from some of his former teammates. Specifically, Adams admitted that Aaron Rodgers has been “in that ear” since the quarterback moved to the Jets.

“It’s not as easy as — obviously we can get together and talk about the old times and potential of doing this and that, but like I said I’m a Raider, and he knows that,” Adams said. “Maybe in the next lifetime.”

Adams also said he’s heard from former teammate Josh Jacobs, who joined the wideout’s former squad in Green Bay this offseason.

“I told him you go ahead and hold it down,” Adams said. “I’m gonna hold it down over here. I don’t think I’ll be coming back over there. Never know what’s gonna happen. If they ship me off, there’s not much I can do about it, but I’m a Raider. So nobody got to worry about that.”

Despite the management changes, the Raiders quickly quieted trade chatter this offseason, with both Pierce and new GM Tom Telesco (along with owner Mark Davis) expressing interest in keeping Adams around long-term. The wideout is attached to massive $44MM cap hits in both 2025 and 2026, but the Raiders could get out of the deal next offseason with only a temporary dead cap hit of $15.7MM. While both sides are currently saying all the right things, Adams’ future in Las Vegas will still be worth watching over the next year.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

Following 2023’s five-team coaching carousel, this offseason featured a quarter of the jobs becoming available. One HC-needy team (New England) did not put its position on the market, promoting Jerod Mayo, but the rest did. The Patriots’ decision also produced the first shakeup among the league’s longest-tenured head coach list since 2013.

Since the Eagles fired Andy Reid, Bill Belichick‘s Patriots HC stint had run the longest. After a 4-13 season, the six-time Super Bowl-winning leader was moved out of the picture. No team hired Belichick, generating a wave of rumors, and only one (Atlanta) brought him in for an official interview. While Belichick should be expected to take at least one more run at a third-chance HC gig, Mike Tomlin rises into the top spot on this list.

Tomlin is going into his 18th season with the Steelers, and while he has surpassed Bill Cowher for longevity, the steady leader still has a ways to go to reach Chuck Noll‘s 23-season Pittsburgh benchmark. Tomlin, 52, enters the 2024 season 17-for-17 in non-losing seasons, separating himself from his predecessors in that regard.

Belichick’s ouster brought far more attention, but his Patriots predecessor also slid out of the HC ranks after a 14-year Seattle stay. Pete Carroll‘s third HC shot elevated the Seahawks to their franchise peak. No Hawks HC comes close to Carroll’s duration, and while the Super Bowl winner was interested in remaining a head coach, no team interviewed the 72-year-old sideline staple.

Belichick and Carroll’s exits leave only Tomlin, John Harbaugh and Reid as coaches who have been in place at least 10 years. With Mike Vrabel also booted this offseason, only eight HCs have held their current jobs since the 2010s. A few 2017 hires, however, stand out; Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Sean McDermott have now each signed multiple extensions. Now riding back-to-back Super Bowl wins, Reid joined Tomlin in signing an offseason extension.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2024 season:

  1. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2027
  2. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  3. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2029
  4. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  5. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2027
  6. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  8. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  9. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  10. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020; signed offseason extension
  11. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  12. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021; extended through 2027
  13. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  14. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  15. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  16. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  17. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  18. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  19. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  20. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  21. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  22. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  23. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  24. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023
  25. Jerod Mayo (New England Patriots): January 12, 2024
  26. Antonio Pierce (Las Vegas Raiders): January 19, 2024
  27. Brian Callahan (Tennessee Titans): January 22, 2024
  28. Jim Harbaugh (Los Angeles Chargers): January 24, 2024
  29. Dave Canales (Carolina Panthers): January 25, 2024
  30. Raheem Morris (Atlanta Falcons): January 25, 2024
  31. Mike Macdonald (Seattle Seahawks): January 31, 2024
  32. Dan Quinn (Washington Commanders): February 1, 2024

Latest On LB Blake Cashman’s Free Agency

The Texans’ success on defense in 2023 led to a few members of that unit securing lucrative deals on the open market this spring. In the case of linebacker Blake Cashman, several interested parties emerged before he chose his next destination.

The 28-year-old inked a three-year, $22.5MM contract with his hometown Vikings in March. Considering Cashman primarily on special teams for three of his five seasons to date, the pact represents a notable windfall. Houston was interested in keeping him in the fold for 2024 and beyond, but the team expected a strong market to exist once Cashman was known to be available.

Going further on that note, the former fifth-rounder indicated (via Andrew Krammer of Minneapolis Star Tribune) that the Broncos, Packers, Falcons and Steelers showed interest in addition to the Texans prior to his Vikings agreement. Cashman is a veteran of 21 starts, 13 of which came last season. During DeMeco Ryans‘ debut campaign as Houston’s head coach, he shattered his career high in tackles (106) while adding a pair of sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

That production – along with the terms of his contract, which includes $15MM in total guarantees – will lead to high expectations for Cashman. Minnesota made a notable investment in another ex-Texan (edge rusher Jonathan Greenard) this offseason, and both players will be counted on to handle a starter’s workload on defense. For Cashman, that would have been the case on any new team considering the contract he landed.

Denver lost Josey Jewell in free agency, creating a linebacker vacancy which was filled (at least in part) by the addition of Cody Barton. Green Bay released De’Vondre Campbell in a cost-shedding move, but no outside move was made to replace him before Edgerrin Cooper‘s selection in the second round of the draft. Atlanta was quiet on the linebacker front this offseason, waiting until Day 3 of the draft to make a move (JD Bertrand). Pittsburgh made by far the most lucrative LB investment of the group by inking Patrick Queen to a three-year, $41MM deal.

The decisions made by the other teams interested in Cashman is a simple ‘what if’ matter at this point, of course. Still, it is notable he managed to generate enough of a market to draw interest from several teams after his strong showing in 2023. Repeating that performance moving forward will prove Minnesota’s investment in him to be worthwhile.