Isa Abdul-Quddus

Dolphins To Cut DB Isa Abdul-Quddus

The Dolphins plan to cut Isa Abdul-Quddus today due to a failed physical, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald tweets. The defensive back suffered a serious neck injury late in the 2016 season.

Abdul-Quddus was signed to a three-year, $12.75MM deal prior to the 2016 to play opposite of Reshad Jones in the secondary. While he was on the field in the regular season, he did a good job of living up to his contract. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus ranked Abdul-Quddus as the No. 31 safety in the NFL out of 92 qualified players. His season ended with 78 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and five passes defended in 15 games.

It’s not immediately clear if when he’ll be ready to resume football activities.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, Branch, Jets

The Patriots and Dont’a Hightower are maintaining positive, productive dialogue, Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes. Still, Hightower is intrigued by the idea of finding out his value on the open market, so there remains a real chance that he reaches free agency on March 9. The Pats have not extended a formal, written proposal since last summer.

[RELATED: Find Out Where Dont’a Hightower Ranks On Our Top 50 Free Agents List]

Here’s a look at the latest out of the AFC East:

Dolphins Place S Isa Abdul-Quddus On IR

The Dolphins are placing yet another starting safety on injured reserve. Isa Abdul-Quddus is done for the year, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. To take his place on the roster, rookie safety A.J. Hendy is being promoted from the practice squad. Isa Abdul-Quddus (vertical)

Abdul-Quddus was signed to a three-year, $12.75MM deal this offseason to play opposite of Reshad Jones in the secondary. The Dolphins have locked up their spot in the playoffs, but they’ll have to forge ahead without both players. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus ranked Abdul-Quddus as the No. 31 safety in the NFL out of 92 qualified players. His season ends with 78 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and five passes defended in 15 games.

Without Abdul-Quddus, Michael Thomas will likely start at safety along with Bacarri Rambo. They are ranked as PFF’s No. 79 and No. 85 safeties, respectively. The rest of the Dolphins’ D will need to step up in order to advance beyond the Wild Card round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Sign Isa Abdul-Quddus

THURSDAY, 7:06pm: The Dolphins have officially signed Abdul-Quddus, according to the team (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 3:45pm: The Dolphins defensive back depth is set to get a bit deeper, as the team is expected to sign safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, reports Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com (via Twitter). NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that it’s a three-year deal worth $12.75MM.

The 26-year-old has been a solid backup safety throughout his five-year career. The former undrafted free agent spent the past two seasons with the Lions, where he appeared in all 32 games (12 starts). Abdul-Quddus had arguably the best season of his career in 2015, compiling 57 tackles, one sack, six passes defended, and a forced fumble. Prior to his tenure in Detroit, the defensive back spent three seasons with the Saints.

Abdul-Quddus placed ninth on PFR’s list of the top free agent safeties. Pro Football Focus rated him as above-average at his position (albeit his limited snaps), and he would have ranked among the top-30 safeties had he earned enough playing time.

AFC Contract Details: Osweiler, Ivory, Iloka

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Brandon Mebane, DT (Chargers): Three years, $13.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. $3MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jaye Howard, DT (Chiefs): Two years, $10MM. $8.26MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus. $3.27MM guaranteed at signing for injury. Pro Bowl escalator worth up to $2MM $12,500 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $200K in 2016. $15,625 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $250K in 2017 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Dwight Lowery, S (Chargers): Three years, $7.2MM. $1.5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Frank Zombo, LB (Chiefs): Three years, $3.6MM. $500K signing bonus. Roster bonus of $100K in 2016 and $150K the next two seasons (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Brock Osweiler, QB (Texans): Four years, $72MM. $37MM fully guaranteed in first two years – $21MM in 2016 ($12MM signing bonus, $5MM roster bonus, $4MM salary), $16MM in 2017. The remaining $35MM is non-guaranteed, including $18MM salary in 2018 and $13MM in 2019. Deal includes a $4MM roster bonus due March 2019 (all Twitter links courtesy of USA Today’s Tom Pelissero).
  • Chris Ivory, RB (Jaguars): Five years, $32MM. $10MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Jeff Allen, G (Texans): Four years, $28MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due this month. Annual per-game roster bonus worth $31,250 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Brad Nortman, P (Jaguars): Four years, $8.8MM. $1.65MM guaranteed. $650K roster bonus in 2016 (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

AFC East:

  • Richie Incognito, G (Bills): Three years, $15.75MM. $3.45MM signing bonus. $2MM base salary in 2016 is fully guaranteed. $100K workout bonuses in each season (link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Isa Abdul-Quddus, S (Dolphins): Three years, $12.75MM. $2.5MM signing bonus. $6MM in guarantees (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • James Develin, FB (Patriots): One year, $750K. $150K playing time incentives. $50K signing bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

Giants Rumors: JPP, Ayers, Amukamara

The Giants would like to re-sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and will continue to try to make it happen, writes Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. However, according to Raanan, the club is currently only willing to do a one-year, prove-it deal. Unless that stance changes within the next week or so, there’s a good chance JPP will explore the market, and if he finds a more appealing offer elsewhere, there’s a good chance he’ll depart.

As Raanan details, it’s possible that another team in desperate need of a pass-rusher will be willing to offer Pierre-Paul a multiyear contract in the neighborhood of $10MM per year, but there are too many variables in play for the Giants to make such an offer themselves before letting JPP gauge his value. It will be an interesting situation to watch as free agency nears.

Here’s more from Raanan on the Giants:

  • On the whole, the free agent market is expected to be player-friendly, and one player who will likely benefit is Giants defensive end Robert Ayers. According to Raanan, Ayers is expected to land a deal in the range of $6MM per year, and the Giants will be in the running.
  • The Giants will allow Prince Amukamara to reach the open market to get a sense of his value. The team doesn’t appear poised to spend big money on the cornerback position, since the front seven is the priority, says Raanan. If that’s the case, Amukamara could land with another team.
  • New York will likely explore signing a veteran free agent safety to pair with Landon Collins, says Raanan. Isa Abdul-Quddus is one player the team could target if it doesn’t spend on a top-tier safety.
  • The Giants are willing to let kicker Josh Brown walk if he finds a lucrative multiyear contract on the open market, since they don’t want to invest too heavily in the position.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Bears, Vikes, Lions, Draft

The Dolphins’ front office and coaching staff apparently aren’t the only areas they’re going to overhaul during the offseason. The team will also make big changes to its 27th-ranked defense, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Miami ranks 24th in passing yards allowed and 25th in rating against (98.8), so it plans to strengthen its secondary in the coming months. That means adding two new cornerbacks, asking veteran corner Brent Grimes ($9.5MM cap hit in 2016) to restructure his contract, and finding another safety to complement Reshad Jones. Free agent-to-be Eric Weddle, a three-time Pro Bowler with San Diego, would be open to an offer from the Dolphins, Jackson writes. He and Jones would form an excellent tandem, but it will cost the Dolphins (or anyone else) a lot to land Weddle.

Along the front seven, the Dolphins want to keep end Cameron Wake, who tore his Achilles’ tendon in October. Doing so might require the soon-to-be 34-year-old to restructure his deal, as he’s set to count nearly $10MM against the club’s cap next season. The Dolphins hope to continue pairing Olivier Vernon with Wake to generate a pass rush, but Vernon is a free agent and retaining him might be unrealistic.

“I only get one shot [at free agency], so I’m not [doing] a hometown discount,” said Vernon.

Miami also needs to upgrade at linebacker, where Jackson believes the team will look to add one or two new starters. They could either cut Koa Misi or move him back to the middle if they’re unable to find a better outside solution than MLB Kelvin Sheppard.

More from around the NFL:

  • The Bears are open to a long-term deal with receiver Alshon Jeffery, CSNChicago.com reports. The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder landed on injured reserve Wednesday after totaling 54 catches, 807 yards and four touchdowns this year in just nine games. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is primed to cash in soon, be it with the Bears or someone else, having accumulated 228 receptions, well over 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns over the last three years (41 games).
  • Like Jeffery, Vikings right guard Mike Harris is also a pending free agent. His ideal scenario includes re-signing with Minnesota rather than testing the open market.That’s the hope,” Harris said, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It’d be wonderful. It’d be a dream come true.” The fourth-year man has made a career-best 15 starts this season and earned a positive assessment from Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which ranks him 24th out of 81 qualifying guards.
  • Continuing the soon-to-be free agent theme, Lions safety Isa Abdul-Quddus is scheduled to hit the market in the offseason. That’s good timing, notes Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, as Abdul-Quddus is in line for a payday thanks to a career year. Abdul-Quddus, whom PFF ranks an impressive 20th out of 87 qualifying safeties, is hoping that payday comes in Detroit. “I love it here,” the 26-year-old told Meinke. “I love the coaching staff. I love Coach (Jim) Caldwell. I love everything here man, and I’d love to come back.”
  • Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee will enter the 2016 draft, Chase Goodbread of NFL.com tweets. Lee, a redshirt sophomore, is following the same path as teammates Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jonesall of whom declared for the draft earlier this week.

Sunday Roundup: Marrone, Martin, Keenum

As the afternoon games get underway, let’s take a look at some news and notes from around the league:

  • We heard earlier today that Jaguars OL coach Doug Marrone will be viewed as a top head coaching candidate this offseason, and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com explains why. As Florio writes, Marrone, who became available after opting to terminate his relationship with Buffalo last year, came on the market “a little too unexpectedly” for teams to scrap their existing plans at the time. Now, however, with a high number of potential head coaching vacancies and a relatively small number of truly qualified candidates, Marrone will be an attractive option, especially given that the Bills are doing less (record-wise) with more talent under Rex Ryan than they did under Marrone.
  • Former NFL agent Joel Corry tweets that there is no need to speculate as to whether the Buccaneers will put the franchise tag on Doug Martin, as the nearly $12MM cap number for a franchised running back is too steep in today’s NFL. The last time the tag was used on an RB was in 2012, when the Ravens tagged Ray Rice and the Bears tagged Matt Forte. The cap number for a franchised RB at the time was $7.7MM.
  • ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweets that, even though the NFL has apparently closed the book on whether the Rams should be penalized for last week’s concussion controversy surrounding Case Keenum, the NFL Players Association is continuing its own investigation.
  • In his latest mailbag, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com looks at what the Browns might expect to receive if they were to trade Johnny Manziel at this point, and he notes that the best the Browns could hope for is a future pick conditioned on Manziel’s active status and number of starts.
  • After the Lions promoted Isa Abdul-Quddus to a starting role and moved James Ihedigbo to the bench, they began to see a noticeable improvement from the back end of their defense, as Kyle Meinke of MLive.com observes. Abdul-Quddus is not as physical as Ihedigbo, but he covers much more ground and has established himself as a quality option in the team’s secondary, particularly in light of the recent injury to Glover Quin. Adbul-Quddus, who signed a one-year deal with Detroit last year, may be putting himself in line for a multi-year pact this offseason.
  • David Moore of The Dallas Morning News examines the futures for Cowboys defensive backs Byron Jones and Morris Claiborne, predicting that Dallas plans to move Jones to safety moving forward, thereby increasing the likelihood that the team retains Claiborne.
  • In a series of three articles, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com reexamines the Eagles‘ offseason decisions, offers his thoughts on the Jets‘ rebuilding process, and previews the 2016 class of free agent tight ends.

Lions To Re-Sign Isa Abdul-Quddus

7:49pm: Abdul-Quddus confirmed that he’s returning to Detroit, tweeting that he’s “very excited to be back” with the Lions.

6:53pm: After striking a deal to bring in defensive line reinforcements earlier in the day, the Lions plan to bring back a member of their secondary, as they’re finalizing a one-year deal with safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, per Paul Schrager of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Dave Birkett of Lions.com confirms the news, saying that while isn’t done yet, it’s close (Twitter link).

Abdul-Quddus isn’t a big-name player, but as Birkett notes, he’s a valuable backup and a key player on special teams, where he racked up five tackles. He did end up starting four games last season, and posted 22 total tackles on the year. The Lions originally claimed the 25-year-old off waivers from the Saints last February.

While he earned a base salary of $645K in 2014, Abdul-Quddus will probably see a slight bump through his new deal, and could perhaps approach $1MM.

Lions Sign Isa Abdul-Quddus

Not long after claiming him off waivers from the Saints, the Lions have signed safety Isa Abdul-Quddus to a contract for the 2014 season, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). Despite being claimed on waivers by Detroit, Abdul-Quddus wasn’t under contract beyond next month, having been eligible for restricted free agency.

Abdul-Quddus, 25, spent his first three seasons with the Saints, starting three games for the team during the 2012 season. While he grabbed a pair of interceptions and defended seven passes on defense in ’12, the Fordham alum saw most of his action in 2013 on special teams.

According to Birkett (Twitter link), Abdul-Quddus’ new deal with the Lions is worth a total of $695K for 2014. Since the pact includes a $50K signing bonus, that means the safety will be under contract for a minimum base salary of $645K.