Haloti Ngata

Haloti Ngata Wants To Continue Playing

Haloti Ngata wants to continue his playing career, and he wants to continue it in Detroit, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. The soon-to-be 34-year-old defensive tackle has flirted with retirement in the past, and just a few months ago, Birkett himself said that he expected Ngata to call it a career this offseason.

Haloti Ngata (vertical)

And that may well have been the case if Ngata had not suffered a torn biceps that ended his 2017 campaign prematurely. In an interview with WXYT-FM, Ngata said, “I think if I finished the year healthy I would have been a little closer to probably retiring, but I want to finish the season so I think I want to keep on playing. And definitely I loved being able to be here and help Detroit have more dominance in this league. We’ve had winning seasons, I just want to continue to build this franchise and get it to where it can be a dominant franchise and a great team. So I definitely want to be here, I definitely want to keep on playing, but we’ll have to see once free agency hits.”

As Birkett observes, the Lions allowed just 74.6 yards rushing per game when Ngata was healthy, but after Ngata’s injury, the Lions allowed 129.7 yards rushing per game. Ngata noticed the drop-off and said that, had he been healthy, he may have been able to help push the Lions to the postseason.

Ngata will become an unrestricted free agent in March, and despite his advanced age, and the fact that he has not played a full season since 2011 due to suspension or injury, his pedigree and his 2017 performance will surely land him a job somewhere. He has not been the same player for Detroit that he was for Baltimore for nine seasons — which is to be expected — but he clearly has something left in the tank, and he does not want his career to end to an injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Hyde, Ngata, McAdoo, Bucs QBs

Despite the noise of a Carlos Hyde trade, Kyle Shanahan attempted to put an end to those rumors during a media session today. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee passes along that the first-year 49ers head coach said that the reports of a speculative trade involving the running back were “absolutely, absolutely 100 percent false.” The rumors started to pick up after San Francisco was making calls to teams about now-former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Despite the pushback, rookie Matt Breida has slowly started to cut into Hyde’s touches in recent weeks. The former Georgia Southern running back had his first double-digit carry game two weeks ago against the Colts, even though the rookie touched the ball just six times this past Sunday. Nevertheless, the 49ers are still winless through six weeks, which means that the trade winds will continue to swirl around the team with the deadline just a few weeks away.

  • Building off the news that Ben McAdoo gave up play calling to offenisve coordinator Mike Sullivan for their Sunday night contest against the Broncos, it is now known that neither owner John Mara nor Giants executive chairman Steve Tisch asked the head coach to give up the offensive playbook, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It would seem that McAdoo made this decision on his own with the results being positive thus far as the team shocked many by going into Denver and winning by double digits.
  • Now that Haloti Ngata is out for the season with a torn biceps, the question remains: Just how long will the 33-year-old continue to play in the NFL? The Lions defensive lineman told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he has not made any decision about the future yet. “We’ll have to see. To be determined,” Ngata told the pressThe veteran has not been the same player he was with the Ravens since he joined Detroit in 2015. Ngata did show signs of life this seasn, racking up two sacks in the team’s first five games, which matched the halfway mark of the number of QB takedowns he put up in the two seasons prior.
  • Although Jameis Winston left last Sunday’s game because of a shoulder injury, the Buccaneers still don’t expect to sign another QB for this week’s affair against the Bills, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Auman reports that Tampa Bay seems to be comfortable with Winston suiting up as an emergency backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick, if he can’t start. The move sounds a bit risky considering that the team still does not have a third-string QB with Ryan Griffin currently working to get off the IR. However, the news may be encouraging to some as it seems Winston has most likely avoided a long-term injury.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Ngata, Seahawks

The Vikings are facing a quarterback crossroads, as are the quarterbacks themselves. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.comSam Bradford traveled to New York late this past week to begin Regenokine treatments in hopes of getting inflammation out of his ailing knee (the treatment involves drawing blood, spinning it down, and re-injecting it into the knee over the course of a few days). He is doing everything he can to ease the pain in his knee, but the fact that he missed three games due to the injury and then was pulled in the second quarter of last week’s contest is obviously not a good sign. In fact, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports said today that Bradford’s knee situation is worse than people know (Twitter link).

Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, will receive an important checkup tomorrow. He is eligible to begin practicing this week, and the physical will determine whether that is feasible. Sources close to Bridgewater say he is ready to go, and if he is, in fact, activated from the PUP list this season, Rapoport says his contract will not toll, which means he will be a free agent at the end of the season. If he is not activated, the contract will toll and he will remain under club control through 2018.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press says it is possible that DT Haloti Ngata, whose contract expires at the end of the year and who suffered a season-ending bicep injury last week, returns to the team in 2018. However, Birkett believes it is more likely that the longtime star retires.
  • The Seahawks are making a concerted effort to improve their O-line via trade, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says the team is focused on landing disgruntled Texans star Duane Brown. We heard last week that the Texans intend to retain Brown, but that could always change if Seattle’s offer is strong enough.
  • The 49ers released NaVorro Bowman earlier this week, and Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says the team will continue to look to trade and/or release some of its long-term veterans over the next couple of weeks as it embarks on a full-fledged youth movement.
  • The 49ers will carry $4.774MM of dead money on the books in 2018 following Bowman’s release, but they will save all $9.45MM of his 2018 pay, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • Rapoport believes the Saints may be in the trading mood after failing to trade for Bowman, and he says the team could consider trading LB Hau’oli Kikaha (Twitter link). Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune, however, suggests (via Twitter) that is not likely.

Extra Points: Seahawks, Vikings, Lions, Pats

Free agent offensive tackle Branden Albert is still in the Seattle area after working out for the Seahawks on Monday, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Albert, 32, had reportedly been set to meet with the Giants at some point this week, but as of last night, he hadn’t yet left for New York. Whether that means he’s close to a contract with the Seahawks is unclear, but Albert would almost certainly be an improvement over Seattle blindside protector Rees Odhiambo, who currently ranks as the worst tackle in the league, per Pro Football Focus. The Giants, too, could use help along the offensive line, as Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart have posted below-average results through five games. Albert, of course, had an eventful offseason that included a “retirement” after being traded from the Dolphins to the Jaguars.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Vikings should offer an extension to backup quarterback Case Keenum, opines Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Keenum has been called on to appear in four games (three starts) in relief of Sam Bradford, who is still dealing with knee complications. He’s performed well, completing 64.5% of his passes for four touchdowns and zero interceptions, but his contract — like those of Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater — expires after the 2017 season. An extension would allow Minnesota to lock in a quality reserve for another year or two, while giving Keenum more cash and the possibility of competing for a starting job in 2018. Bradford has already been ruled out for Sunday’s contest against the Packers, so Keenum will earn a fourth start.
  • Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will require a four-month recovery period after undergoing surgery on a torn bicep Thursday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). As had already been reported, Ngata won’t be able to return to the Lions this season, but that injury timeline means he should be fully healthy by the time free agency opens in 2018. Ngata isn’t under contract for next year, and the soon-to-be 34-year-old interior defender has flirted with retirement in the past. It’s unclear whether he intends to continue his career for another season.
  • Given his lengthy injury history, it would be “shocking” to see Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert garner a long-term contract like Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, or Jordan Reed, all of whom earn more than $8.5MM annually, opines Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Eifert, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, has only appeared in 39 games over four-plus seasons in the NFL. While his talent is immense (13 touchdowns in 2015), Eifert simply can’t stay on the field, a fact which makes the franchise tag — at a cost north of $10MM — an unlikely option for Cincinnati in 2018. Instead, a one-year, “prove-it” deal for the 27-year-old pass-catcher could conceivably make more sense for both sides.
  • The Patriots currently have three rookies on the various NFL reserve lists, but only one will be able to return in 2017, as Doug Kyed of NESN tweets. Offensive lineman Andrew Jelks, an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt who is currently on the non-football injury list, can come back under PUP rules, meaning he must miss six weeks of the season. After that, New England has a five-week window during which it can activate Jelks. Tackle Antonio Garcia, a third-rounder from Troy who’s on the non-football illness list, and defensive lineman Keionta Davis, a UDFA on non-football injury, aren’t eligible to return this season, per Kyed.

Lions Place Haloti Ngata On IR

The Lions announced that they have placed Haloti Ngata on injured reserve. Ngata suffered a bicep injury last week against Carolina that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season. Haloti Ngata (vertical)

Players can return from IR after eight weeks and bicep injuries aren’t always season enders, but this tear is significant enough to rule the defensive tackle out for the rest of the year. Ngata has never played in less than 12 games in any given season, so this is largely new territory for the veteran.

Ngata’s 2017 campaign ends after five games with seven tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble. It’s possible that this will mark the end of his career as well.

Ngata will turn 34 in January and his contract will expire at the end of the season. Earlier this year, he was giving real thought to retirement and coaches weren’t sure whether he’d actually suit up until March.

Ngata has earned many millions throughout the years and has a career resume that few can match. He’s been a starter since entering the league as a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2006 and has been playing at a high level for all 12 years. He was – and still is – among the league’s most talented interior linemen and earned five straight Pro Bowl nods from 2009 through 2013. He also picked up a pair of First-Team All-Pro selections (2010, 2011) during that stretch. With a Super Bowl ring on his finger, Ngata can walk away from the game knowing that he met all of his goals and then some.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Lions, Long, Bush

Some assorted notes from around the NFL this morning…

  • There were rumors that veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata could consider retirement, but the 33-year-old decided to return to the Lions for the 2017-18 campaign. Coach Jim Caldwell is certainly happy that the defensive lineman will be sticking around. “Obviously, when you get to (have) played as many years as he has, you never know,” Caldwell said (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “And I think once a guy gets about eight, nine years (in), that’s certainly always a possibility. But certainly we’re glad that he’s coming back.”
  • Lions offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson may have lost his starting gig last season, but general manager Bob Quinn made it sound like the first-round pick will be returning. “Laken’s still here,” Quinn told Birkett. “Laken’s going to compete at the left guard spot, and we’ll head into training camp and OTAs with really good depth and really good competition across the board.”
  • Chris Long‘s contract with the Eagles includes options from the 2018 to 2021 season, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The total deal could max out at $11.25MM, and he’ll essentially earn $2.25MM each season from 2019 through 2021.
  • Safety Rafael Bush‘s one-year deal with the Saints is worth $885K, reports Wilson (via Twitter). $775K of that will come via the player’s salary (with $100K guaranteed), with another $80K coming via a signing bonus.

Extra Points: Colts, Okung, Panthers, Ngata

Restricted free agent defensive tackle Zach Kerr has yet to be tendered an offer by the Colts and an NFL source tells Stephen Holder of the Indy Star that indications are he won’t be tendered at all. Kerr’s playing time vacillated last year but he still finished out with 2.5 sacks. Since joining the Colts as a UDFA in 2014, he has played nose tackle, defensive tackle, and defensive end. In related news, the Colts have decided against tendering an offer to linebacker Josh McNary.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

NFC Notes: Ngata, Eagles, Cowboys

Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata may have set several career-lows this past season, but Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes that the veteran intends to keep playing in 2017.

“It’s year to year for me — I’m up there in age — but I still love playing,” Ngata said. “Still love the game, love the guys and coaches. And so I love playing. Definitely looking forward to playing another year.”

The 32-year-old was traded to the Lions prior to the 2015 season, and he’s combined for 27 games over the past two years. Ngata finished the 2016 campaign with 22 tackles, 1.5 sack, and three passes defended. The defensive lineman has one year remaining on his contract.

Let’s check out some other notes from around the NFC…

  • Top Eagles exec Howie Roseman told reporters that the team wants to bring Jason Peters back (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). He did not specify whether the team would be willing to bring the veteran back at his current salary or whether he’d still be the team’s starting left tackle. The presence of embattled lineman Lane Johnson complicates Peters’ future position on the team.
  • The Eagles worked out wideout Bryan Burnham, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). The 26-year-old has spent the past three seasons playing for the BC Lions of the CFL. He finished the 2016 campaign with 79 receptions for 1,392 yards and six touchdowns.
  • Cowboys rookie linebacker Jaylon Smith believes he’ll be playing in 2017, writes ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. The second-round pick missed the entire 2016 season as he recovered from a serious knee injury. This news didn’t surprise the Cowboys coaching staff. “He’s worked very hard at it and doesn’t surprise us one bit,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “One of the reasons he was so attractive to us as a player is just the approach that he’s taking. Those were the reports from the people around him for three years at Notre Dame and that’s been our experience with him. Obviously he had a serious knee injury last year, but we felt like, ‘Hey, if anybody can come back from this, this is the guy who can.’ He’s got an incredible attitude, always upbeat, always positive, always working very hard.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Lions DT Haloti Ngata To Miss Time

Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is expected to miss 2-3 weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He is currently undergoing tests to confirm that timetable. Haloti Ngata (vertical)

Ngata left the Lions’ 24-23 win over the Eagles with a shoulder injury. So far in this young season, the advanced metrics haven’t been fond of Ngata’s play. He ranks as the 58th best interior defender in the league out of 111 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus. His pass rush score of 69.6 would put him in at least the middle of the pack, but he has earned an atrocious 48.7 mark for his run defense.

In his first season in the Motor City, Ngata started 15 games, posting 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks. This spring, the Lions re-upped him on a two-year pact worth $12MM with $6MM fully guaranteed.

The Lions rank 21st in the NFL in run defense this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Re-Sign Haloti Ngata

5:50pm: Ngata’s new two-year deal with the Lions is worth $12MM, with $6MM in fully guaranteed money, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. The veteran defender gets a $6.25MM payout in 2016.

2:32pm: The Lions have agreed to re-sign defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, his agent Mike McCartney tweets. It’ll be a two-year pact between Ngata and Detroit.Haloti Ngata (vertical)

Ngata, 32, was traded from the Ravens to the Lions on the first day of free agency in 2015. In his first season in the Motor City, Ngata started 15 games, posting 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Ngata said in February that intended to continue playing, and a recent report indicated that he was “increasingly likely” to be retained by the Lions.

Ngata isn’t the only defensive lineman to re-sign with the Lions in the past week, as Detroit also reached an agreement with Tyrunn Walker on March 4.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.