Henry Anderson

AFC Rumors: Chubb, Conklin, Jags, Jets

Recently hired to coach some of his former teammates, DeMarcus Ware will likely be tasked with the early development of Bradley Chubb. Ware said during an interview with the Talk of Fame podcast the Broncos‘ first-round pick can have the type of career he had. But the future Hall of Famer identified Chubb’s larger frame as a different element that will thrive alongside Von Miller.

Chubb is probably 6-4, 270,” Ware said during the interview. “He’s the guy who can come in and be that power guy and really help Von out. The attributes that he really brings to the game — stopping the run and being able to be that strong-side guy for Von — that’s what you need. (The Broncos) have that tag-team again.”

The N.C. State-honed edge defender is noticeably bigger than fellow Miller sidekicks Shaquil Barrett or Shane Ray, and weighs more than Ware did during his Denver years. Whether that’s an impediment to speed rushes remains to be seen, but Chubb will factor into the Broncos’ pass rush immediately — especially considering Ray has encountered more wrist trouble. Since the Broncos primarily align Miller opposite of opponents’ right tackles, Chubb will have plenty of speed-rush opportunities on the blind side where Ware once played.

Here’s the latest from the AFC:

  • Mike Vrabel expects all Titans to be ready for training camp, with the exception of Jack Conklin. The third-year right tackle tore an ACL in the team’s playoff loss to the Patriots and has not participated in offseason work. Vrabel mentioned the PUP list as a possibility to start camp, Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com notes. Wyatt adds that it’s too early to tell if Conklin will be ready for Tennessee’s regular-season opener.
  • The Jaguars look set at quarterback, despite fairly consistent scrutiny. Cody Kessler is positioned to back up Blake Bortles, John Reid of the Florida Times-Union writes, adding the only way he can foresee the defending AFC South champions signing a veteran passer will be due to a Bortles injury or Kessler being overwhelmed by the job. Bortles has been an oft-derided player during his time in north Florida, but the Jags just re-signed him to a three-year extension and did not make a serious investment in competition for the fifth-year QB this offseason. Kessler has fared well in the offseason, per Reid, who also envisions seventh-round rookie Tanner Lee being practice squad-bound.
  • Acquired via draft-weekend trade, Henry Anderson is in the running to replace Muhammad Wilkerson in the Jets‘ starting lineup. Todd Bowles said (via Brian Costello of the New York Post) the former Colts defensive end would be on the field when the team deploys a four-man front, which would mean an important assignment given how often nickel sets are utilized. The Jets also signed Courtney Upshaw recently and are planning to use third-round defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd as an end as well. Upshaw was a Ravens lineup regular from 2013-15 but settled in as a Falcons backup the past two seasons. Jettisoned by the Colts because of their impending move to a 4-3 look, Anderson started eight of the nine games he suited up for last year.

Spring Practice Notes: Jets, Darby, Ebron

Now that mandatory minicamps have wrapped up around the league and players have returned home for a few weeks, the NFL will experience something of a lull until we get closer to the start of training camp in July. In the past couple of days, however, beat writers have shared some lessons learned during spring practices, offered some insight as to what OTAs and minicamp revealed about the upcoming season, and discussed some questions that remain unanswered. So let’s dive right in:

  • Terrelle Pryor‘s injury concerns have been well-documented, but as Darryl Slater of NJ.com observes, the Jets are also dealing with injuries to CB Morris Claiborne and OLB Jordan Jenkins. Both Claiborne and Jenkins are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, while the status of Pryor and starting free safety Marcus Maye is still up in the air. Slater also wonders who will start at OLB alongside Jenkins. David Bass and Josh Martin are candidates, as is Lorenzo Mauldin, though Slater suggests Mauldin is on the roster bubble.
  • Slater also indicates that Henry Anderson may have the leg up in the battle for the Jets‘ starting defensive end position opposite Leonard Williams — New York desperately needs someone to take double teams away from Williams — and that Andre Roberts appears to be leading the competition for Gang Green’s punt returner job. He adds that wideout Chad Hansen has impressed this spring after being a non-factor in his rookie campaign last year.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com also likes what he sees from Hansen, and he says TE Neal Sterling and RB Elijah McGuire are other under-the-radar players to impress for the Jets this spring. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, is very much on the radar, and Cimini says Darnold has done nothing to suggest he cannot be a quality starter in the NFL.
  • The most important lesson learned during the Eagles‘ spring practices, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that Carson Wentz is progressing in his recovery from an ACL tear and could be ready to go in Week 1. However, as Berman points out, the defending champs have plenty of injury concerns outside of Wentz, though no key players appear at risk of missing any regular season time at this point.
  • Berman also writes that Jay Ajayi is the Eagles’ unquestioned No. 1 running back — in stark contrast to the summer of 2017, when the team was emphasizing a committee approach to the offensive backfield — and he names De’vante Bausby, Nate Gerry, and Dallas Goedert as young talents who have stood out in the spring. Gerry, a 2017 fifth-rounder who converted from collegiate safety to professional linebacker, could compete for a starting LB job this year, Berman says.
  • Speaking of Bausby, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com is also impressed with the 25-year-old’s work this spring, which may be enough to allow the Eagles to trade Ronald Darby.
  • Seahawks‘ 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough stood out this spring and has a legitimate chance to be Russell Wilson‘s backup this year, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta also notes that Seattle’s first-round choice, Rashaad Penny, has looked the part and has also shown improvement in his pass-blocking technique, which will help him see more of the field this year.
  • TE Eric Ebron has been perhaps the most impressive newcomer for the Colts this spring, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who also says 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines was the most exciting rookie to watch. Hines, a running back from NC State, has the explosiveness and versatility to thrive in new head coach Frank Reich‘s scheme.
  • Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com says Harold Landry, the Titans‘ second-round draft choice this year, is living up to his draft pedigree and that, while he may have a hard time unseating veterans Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo as a starting OLB, he should see plenty of action as a situational pass rusher to begin his career. Wyatt also says Tennessee’s cornerbacks have been the most impressive position group of the spring.

Colts Notes: Luck, Anderson, Barrett

It was reported over the weekend that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck drew trade interest from teams as far back as the 2017 trade deadline. Team owner Jim Irsay addressed those rumors, saying teams were willing to part with a small fortune to acquire the quarterback, Fox 59’s Mike Chappell writes.

“Trust me, there were people who would have given an unprecedented amount of draft picks – all with the No. 1 behind them – for him,’’ Irsay said. “And we wouldn’t even think of even drifting in that direction. He’s our guy. We feel 100 percent confident he’s going to come back and lead this football team with some of the new teammates . . . to great things.”

Though he missed the entire 2017 season and has yet to resume throwing, Luck would still almost assuredly force teams trying to acquire him to give up multiple No. 1s and then some. A franchise quarterback who is just 28 years old rarely if ever pops up on the market. Not that there is a market, as the Colts reportedly laughed off inquiries at the time.

Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 mark and the playoffs in each of his first three seasons before missing half of the 2015 season with an injury. He returned and played 15 games the following campaign, going 8-7 and just missing the postseason. Though he was reportedly close to throwing a ball in January, Luck told reporters in early April that he has yet to throw an NFL-sized ball and is not rushing it.

Here’s more with the Colts:

  • In addition to laughing off trade requests, team general manager Chris Ballard told reporters about trading Andrew Luck — “I’m not putting that on my resume,” Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. Though Irsay notes teams were willing to give up a king’s ransom for the quarterback, Ballard didn’t seem to be interested in the move no matter the cost.
  • On Saturday, the Colts shipped defensive lineman Henry Anderson to the Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Addressing the trade, Ballard said the deal was based on scheme fit, saying Anderson worked better with the Jets than Indy, Chappell tweets.
  • Ballard also added that the team is bringing in former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett for rookie minicamp and that he is not signed to the team, Chappell tweets. Barrett registered one of the greatest runs as a Buckeye, setting the school record with 38 victories, becoming the team’s only three-time captain and leading the team to a 4-0 record over rival Michigan.


Colts Trade Henry Anderson To Jets

Drafted three years ago to play in a 3-4 scheme for the Colts, Henry Anderson is on the move to a familiar defense.

Now set to use a 4-3 look, the Colts shipped the interior defender to the Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Indianapolis will receive the No. 235 overall choice.

Anderson served as a starter for most of his time with the Colts, including eight games with the first unit last season. He only played in nine games, however, and has never exceeded 11 in a season. The 2015 third-round pick, who registered a career-high two sacks last season, has one year remaining on his rookie contract.

The Colts took two defensive linemen in this year’s draft in Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis (both in Round 2) and signed Denico Autry from the Raiders in free agency. The Jets released Muhammad Wilkerson and bypassed the D-line class in free agency to this point. They did select Division II dynamo Nathan Shepherd in Round 3 on Friday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Colts To Place DT Henry Anderson On IR

The Colts will place defensive tackle Henry Anderson on injured reserve after he suffered a laryngeal fracture during Sunday’s game, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Anderson will undergo surgery on Friday.Henry Anderson (Vertical)

Anderson’s injury — a break in the neck region that not only sounds incredibly painful, but can cause life-threatening airway obstruction — will end the third-year interior defender’s 2017 campaign. While the severity of Anderson’s injury doesn’t sound as though it would have let him return this year, the NFL’s IR rules wouldn’t have allowed it, anyway. The league stipulates an eight-week absence before a player can come off IR, meaning Anderson would have missed regular season’s second half.

While the Indianapolis defense has been forgettable this season (bottom five unit in both DVOA and adjusted sack rate), Anderson has shined as one of the club’s few bright spots. While Anderson has been effective for the duration of his NFL tenure, he’s continued that production in 2017 while increasing his snap rate to 62.3%, 30% greater than his average heading into the season.

The results have been excellent, as Anderson ranks as a top-40 interior defender among 117 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus, which gives the former draftnik favorite positive marks as both a run-defender and a pass rusher. He’s eligible for an extension this offseason, and will earn $720K this year before hitting the free agent market in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Remove Henry Anderson From PUP

MONDAY, 11:50am: The Colts have officially removed Anderson from PUP.

THURSDAY, 1:55pm: Henry Anderson is close to being healthy once again and not a moment too soon for the Colts. The defensive end is almost ready to come of the PUP list, as Kevin Bowen of Colts.com writes. Henry Anderson (vertical)

[RELATED: Colts Exploring Wide Receiver Market]

He’s doing really good, so I think we are close. We just have to make a decision what we want to do,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Basically the doctors have said, ‘When you guys feel good about it, we can get him off PUP.’”

Anderson, 24, was selected by the Colts in the third round of the 2015 draft (No. 93 overall). Immediately slotted into the club’s starting lineup, Anderson was one of the pleasant surprises of last year’s rookie class, totaling 31 tackles, a sack, and a pair of passes defended in his first nine games in the NFL. Unfortunately, an ACL tear in November ended his season prematurely. The good news is that if Anderson comes off of the PUP list in the next few days, he may be ready to go for Week 1.

The Colts could certainly use the help on the defensive line as Kendall Langford may not be ready to go for the Sept. 11 season opener following arthroscopic knee surgery. The Colts will also be without also will be without Art Jones for the first four games of the season thanks to his suspension.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Place Henry Anderson On IR

11:08am: The Colts have freed up a pair of spots on their 53-man roster as they enter their bye week. The team announced today that it has placed Anderson on the injured reserve list and waived cornerback Tony Carter.

10:36am: The Colts notched their biggest and best win of the season on Sunday, knocking off the undefeated Broncos to move ahead of the Texans for first place in the AFC South. However, that victory appears to have come at a cost.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), after conducting initial tests, the Colts believe that promising rookie defensive end Henry Anderson tore his ACL. An MRI is still forthcoming, but it’s expected to confirm the diagnosis feared by the team.

Anderson, 24, was selected by the Colts with the 93rd overall pick in the third round of the draft back in May. Immediately slotted into the club’s starting lineup, Anderson has been one of the pleasant surprises of this year’s rookie class, totaling 31 tackles, a sack, and a pair of passes defended in his first nine games in the NFL.

Assuming the MRI confirms that Anderson has a torn ACL, he’ll be sidelined for the rest of the season, prompting the Colts to turn to potential fill-ins like T.Y. McGill, Zach Kerr, and Billy Winn. Indianapolis would also likely add another defensive lineman to the roster, since moving Anderson to IR would leave the team with just five healthy players on the line.

Colts Agree To Terms With Two Third-Rounders

The Colts have agreed to terms with cornerback D’Joun Smith and defensive lineman Henry Anderson, their third-round picks from this year’s NFL draft, according to ESPN’s Mike Wells (Twitter link). Smith will get a four-year, $3.5MM deal (800k signing bonus), while Anderson will receive $2.9MM (610k bonus) over four years, Mike Chappell of CBS4 reports (via Twitter).

Smith and Anderson were the last two unsigned picks from the league’s 2015 draft class, meaning all 256 selections from this year are now under contract.

Smith, whom the Colts chose 65th overall out of Florida Atlantic, intercepted nine passes in college and is expected to vie for playing time in a cornerback corps that is shaky after No. 1 man Vontae Davis.

Anderson, who was first-team All-Pac-12 in 2014 before the Colts took him 93rd out of Stanford, could make an immediate impact along Indy’s D-line.

Extra Points: Colts, Galette, Falcons

Colts GM Ryan Grigson recently told Mike Chappell of CBS4 (Twitter link) that there were “language issues” to finalize when it came to deals for cornerback D’Joun Smith and defensive lineman Henry Anderson. Grigson added that there was no reason to believe those contracts wouldn’t get done for the two third-round draftees before August 1st. Smith and Anderson are the only remaining unsigned rookies now that Marcus Mariota and the Titans have reached agreement.

Here are a few more Wednesday evening odds and ends from around the league:

  • NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune that there is no update on outside linebacker Junior Galette‘s status with the Saints, just one week away from the start of training camp. McCarthy said the NFL would not comment or even confirm on whether there was meeting between Galette and league officials. “We consider a meeting a confidential part of the process between our office and the player,” he said.
  • This offseason, the Falcons moved on from veteran running back Steven Jackson and will go with a younger group at the position. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at the group, headlined by Devonta Freeman, a fourth-round pick in 2014 and Tevin Coleman, a third-round pick in 2015.
  • Commissioner Roger Goodell told Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link) on Tuesday that the NFL won’t expand past 32 teams. Interestingly enough, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently said that he will at least explore the idea of expansion.
  • The Raiders could use another young player to step up and create depth on the interior defensive line, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com writes. Still, Oakland did add some size to its line this offseason with the signing of Dan Williams in free agency. C.J. Wilson, meanwhile, is expected to serve as a super-sub for the Raiders.