Jack Doyle

Colts Rumors: Doyle, Geathers, Brissett

The Colts will likely be without tight end Jack Doyle for the bulk of the offseason, GM Chris Ballard told reporters on Wednesday. Doyle, of course, missed significant time in the 2018 season thanks to a hip injury and finished out the year on IR thanks to a kidney injury that required surgery.

In six games last year, Doyle caught 26 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Eric Ebron picked up the slack with 66 grabs for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Colts hope to have both players in the mix in two tight end sets, but if Doyle misses time, they have a deep TE unit to draw from including the recently re-signed Ross Travis and former basketball player Mo Alie-Cox.

Here’s more from Indy:

  • The Colts want to re-sign safety Clayton Geathers, GM Chris Ballard says (Twitter link via Mike Chappell of FOX 59). Geathers, 27 in June, amassed 89 tackles and three passes defensed as the Colts’ starting strong safety. However, he missed four games and earned a so-so 67.4 score from Pro Football Focus, positioning him as just the 51st best overall safety in the NFL.
  • Geathers, cornerback Pierre Desir, and wide receiver Dontrelle Inman will be allowed to test the market in March, even though there is interest in bringing each player back, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) hears. Holder adds that safety Matthias Farley will likely be tendered and should return to the squad in 2019.
  • The Colts are still exploring backup quarterbacks and those conversations almost led them to signing Calgary Stampeders QB Bo Levi Mitchell recently, Holder hears (Twitter link). Still, Holder does not expect those conversations to have any direct impact on Jacoby Brissett‘s status for the coming year. The Colts say they’re not shopping Brissett, but if they do, they should find a decent market for his services.

Colts To Place Jack Doyle On IR

The surging Colts are likely to see a key cog in their offense head to injured reserve. Jack Doyle suffered an injury Sunday that will send him to IR, Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports (subscription required).

It’s a kidney injury, Frank Reich said (via Mike Chappell of Fox 59). Reich said Doyle was hospitalized because of this ailment and underwent a procedure.

Teaming with touchdown maven Eric Ebron, Doyle caught one of Andrew Luck‘s TD passes Sunday — Indianapolis’ fifth straight win — but appears set to see his season end early. Doyle missed five games earlier this season because of a hip injury but had returned to play in the Colts’ past three contests.

Indianapolis was down to just Ebron and Doyle on Sunday, with Erik Swoope, Mo Alie-Cox and Ryan Hewitt out. The Colts are likely to consider adding a reinforcement at this position, Holder notes.

Colts tight ends have caught 18 of Luck’s 32 touchdown passes this season. Though Ebron’s 11 TD grabs comprise much of that total, Doyle scored twice in limited action.

Swoope and Alie-Cox’s five combined scores make them potentially promising fill-ins, but their injuries complicate matters. An 80-reception, 690-yard season sent Doyle to the Pro Bowl last year. He’s signed through 2019 but has no guaranteed money remaining on a three-year, $18.9MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at ProFootballTalk.com.

Injury Notes: Titans, Mariota, Falcons, McKinley, Colts, Doyle, Eagles, Ajayi

Marcus Mariota‘s injury remains a mystery. It hasn’t been disclosed exactly what he’s dealing with although it has reportedly caused him to lose some feeling in his hand. Blaine Gabbert started, and won, for the Titans last week, and it’s possible he’s asked to do so again this week against the Jaguars.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that he would make the decision between Gabbert and Mariota within the next “24 hours” and that he would let them know then according to Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official website (Twitter link). If Mariota can’t go it would be a huge blow for Tennessee against the league’s top defense. One thing that could make their matchup a bit easier is that Jalen Ramsey was added to the injury report Friday with an ankle injury, although it’s unclear if he’s in any danger of missing the game.

Here’s more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Falcons just can’t seem to catch a break. It was already known they’d be without Devonta Freeman and several other starters, but it was announced today that they’d also be without talented pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley. McKinley is currently dealing with a groin injury.
  • The Colts will be quite shorthanded for their trip to Philadelphia as the team ruled out tight end Jack Doyle, running back Marlon Mack, defensive tackle Denico Autry, and right tackle Anthony Castonzo. Doyle’s injury is a big blow, as he formed an effective tight end duo with Eric Ebron through the first two games.
  • The Eagles will also be significantly shorthanded on offense, with their backfield being particularly banged up. Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles have been ruled out, while Corey Clement is questionable. If Clement isn’t able to go, the running back situation would be dire. Alshon Jeffery is questionable, but reporters have written that he’s very unlikely to play.

Colts Place Jack Mewhort On IR

The Colts injury bug hits again. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports (via Twitter) that offensive guard Jack Mewhort is headed to the injured reserve. The lineman’s knee swelled up yesterday, and a subsequent MRI revealed that he needed surgery.

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mewhort, 26, has started each of his 45 NFL games since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2014. This isn’t the first time the lineman has experienced knee issues. After suffering an injury during the 2016 preseason, Mewhort missed the first few weeks of the regular season. He went on to play in 10 games for the Colts, but his campaign ultimately ended on the IR.

This is yet another blow to a Colts offensive line that has allowed 18 total sacks this season. The team has previously lost Denzelle Good and Deyshawn Bond, although neither of those players were as essential as Mewhort. While Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of his performance in 2017 (he only ranks 48th among 72 eligible guards), he was rated much higher in previous seasons. With Mewhort done for the season, one of Le’Raven Clark, Mike Person, or Kyle Kalis could be promoted to the starting lineup.

Fortunately, there is some good news for the Colts. ESPN’s Mike Wells tweets that tight end Jack Doyle has cleared the concussion protocol and will play on Monday night. The 27-year-old missed last week’s game against the 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Gholston, Colquitt, Doyle, Davis

Updates on the contracts signed over the past couple of days, mostly via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle…

  • Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston‘s contract includes $13.5MM in guaranteed money, as well as a guaranteed base salary of $3MM for the 2017 season (via Twitter). The 25-year-old’s $6.5MM 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2017 league year.
  • Defensive tackle Khyri Thornton‘s deal with the Lions is worth $3.3MM with a $325K bonus (Twitter). Thornton will make $700K in 2017, followed by a $1.325MM salary in 2018. He can earn another $12.5K via annual per game active roster bonus, as well as $225K via a weight bonus.
  • Punter Britton Colquitt‘s new deal with the Browns is worth $11.2MM and $4.5MM guaranteed (via Twitter). The former fourth-rounder will earn $1.65MM in 2017, followed by salaries of $2.55MM (2018), $2.7MM (2019), and $2.8M (2020).
  • Colts tight end Jack Doyle will earn $18.9MM on his next contract (via Twitter). Doyle will earn a guaranteed $1MM next season, followed by a $3.5MM salary in 2018 (guaranteed fifth day of league year) and $5.15MM salary in 2019. The tight end will also earn a $6.5MM roster bonus on March 10th.
  • Fullback James Develin earned a $2.45MM contract from the Patriots along with a $300K signing bonus, reports Wilson (Twitter). Develin will earn $800K each year, with a guaranteed $200K base salary for 2017. He can earn another $12.5K via a per-game active annual roster bonus.
  • ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets that tight end Vernon Davis will receive $15MM ($7.5MM guaranteed) from the Redskins. The veteran will make $6MM in the first year of the three-year deal.
  • Punter Shane Lechler‘s new deal with the Texans is for one-year and $2MM ($1MM guaranteed), reports Caplan (via Twitter).

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents

It’s free agency week! This year, thanks to the salary cap increase, the dollars will be flying and players will make more than you ever could have expected. Our lists for offense and defense rank free agents based on overall ability, but our Top 50 ranks players based on earning power. Here, you’ll get a good sense of what the market will be like this week and who the big fish are.

The league’s “legal tampering” window will open on Tuesday at 11:00am CT. Technically, teams and players aren’t permitted to finalize agreements on contracts during that legal tampering window, but that’s often treated as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. We will almost certainly see handshake agreements go down on Tuesday and Wednesday before they become official on Thursday, the technical beginning of free agency.

Our list of 2017’s top 50 free agents doesn’t include restricted free agents, or franchise tagged players, since they’re effectively restricted free agents as well.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive right in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2017, along with a few predictions on how much they might earn and what teams could be in the mix to sign them:

1. A.J. Bouye, CB (Texans): Bouye is an overnight sensation, going from unknown to elite talent in the blink of an eye. No one knows exactly what to make of Bouye, but his upside is too much for teams to pass up. The Texans declined to use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old (26 in August), but they’re still hoping to get a deal done this week. The Jets are said to have interest, but it’s not clear if they’ll have the room to get something done. Cornerback-needy teams like the Panthers, Saints, Jaguars, Titans, Bears, and Eagles can be expected to at least kick the tires on this year’s top player in the secondary. Could something like Janoris Jenkins‘ five year, $62.5MM contract ($28.8MM fully guaranteed) from last year be within reach? Jenkins had a longer history of success than Bouye, but consider these facts: Bouye nearly two years younger than Jenkins was at time of signing and the salary cap has risen by about $12MM.
Signed with Jaguars for five years, $67.5MM.A.J. Bouye (vertical)

2. Alshon Jeffery, WR (Bears): He was hurt for most of 2015 and he slumped along with the entire Bears offense in 2016, but his natural ability is still evident and he is a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. At one point, it seemed like Jeffery could wind up as the league’s highest-paid wide receiver. That won’t be the case, but he will likely get more cash than any other wide receiver in this year’s class. The Eagles and Titans have been hot on his tail for some time now. The 49ers could also get involved and a return to the Bears cannot be ruled out either. Ultimately, Jeffery should wind up fetching at least $10MM per year and perhaps as much as $12MM per year on his next deal.
Signed with Eagles for one year, $9.5MM.

3. Kenny Stills, WR (Dolphins): Jeffery isn’t the only wide receiver who could fetch $12MM per year. Stills isn’t necessarily the best wide receiver on his own team, but he is just on the cusp of his 25th birthday and his ability to stretch the field is tantalizing. It doesn’t sound like the Dolphins are ready to be the highest bidder for his services and it’s not hard to imagine a team like the Eagles landing him. Naturally, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the potential suitors for Jeffery and Stills: the Eagles, Titans, Bears, and 49ers will probably come calling. The Rams may not have enough room to squeeze in Stills, but they could certainly use a playmaker like him if they do not re-sign Kenny Britt. Stills reportedly likes the West Coast (who doesn’t?) so the Niners and Rams could have a leg up on the others if the bidding is close.
Re-signed with Dolphins for four years, $32MM.

4. Dont’a Hightower, LB (Patriots): The market is capped for non-rush linebackers, but Hightower is pretty much the best at what he does and is also lauded for his intangibles. The Patriots have always embraced the “next man up” philosophy, so it is possible they will allow him to go elsewhere. The Dolphins have been frequently connected to Hightower, but that might be too ambitious for a team that has multiple major needs to address. The Colts might also make sense, but the price might be too rich for their blood. A Patriots return appears to be the most likely outcome, but anything is possible.
Re-signed with Patriots for four years, $35.5MM. 

5. Kevin Zeitler, G (Bengals): Zeitler has age on his side and he’s one of the safest free agents in the top ten after three consecutive years of dominance. Interior offensive linemen don’t get as much love as their counterparts on the outside, but they are still incredibly vital and Zeitler’s next contract will reflect that. If he doesn’t circle back to the Bengals, the Jaguars, Cardinals, Packers, and Seahawks all make varying degrees of sense for Zeitler. From a football standpoint, you can add the Jets to that group too, but I’m not sure they can meet a ~$12MM/year asking price.
Signed with Browns for five years, $60MM.

6. Logan Ryan, CB (Patriots): There are bigger names available at the cornerback position, but Ryan slots ahead of many of them after a career year. It also doesn’t hurt that this fresh-faced Super Bowl champ only just turned 26 in February. If the Patriots don’t tie him down, Ryan’s earning power could conceivably vault him past Trumaine Johnson in terms of guaranteed cash. The Jaguars and Titans would be wise to zero in on Ryan if they can’t land Bouye and it’s possible that some of their evaluators might even prefer Ryan over the Houston standout. Ryan’s next deal will probably pay him eight figures per year and it should be a lengthy pact.
Signed with Titans for three years, $30MM.

7. Terrelle Pryor, WR (Browns): There is strong mutual interest in a new deal between Pryor and the Browns. Still, the Browns passed on the opportunity to franchise tag the Ohio State product and he now appears poised to test the open market. With pretty much just one year to show, how will Pryor fare in free agency? His next deal should pay him at least $10MM/year and he could get up to $12MM/year. In addition to the Browns, the usual suspects for this year’s high-end WRs will explore signing Pryor (say it with me): Eagles, Titans, and 49ers. There’s conflicting word about whether the Steelers will get involved. The Giants are known to have interest, but I don’t think they’ll be splurging on free agents like they did one year ago.
Signed with Redskins for one year, $6MM.

8 .Ricky Wagner, OT (Ravens): There’s already talk of Wagner fetching around $10MM/year and it’s not like this year’s free agent market is flush with young, quality tackles. When you also consider the lack of quality tackles in the draft, it’s apparent that Wagner is about to get PAID, in all caps.Believe it or not, $10MM/year might be his floor. When all is said and done, he’ll be the league’s biggest earner at right tackle. The Bears are particularly interested in Wagner, so he could go from the AFC North to the NFC North this week.
Signed with Lions for five years, $47.5MM.

Calais Campbell (vertical)9. Calais Campbell, DL (Cardinals): Campbell was supposed to be an afterthought in Arizona after the addition of Chandler Jones. Perhaps motivated by a perceived slight, Campbell turned in a stellar year. Now, the Cardinals would very much like to keep him, but they can only go so far as they back up the Brinks truck for Jones and look into retaining other key free agents. If Jones does not agree to a cap-smoothing long-term deal between now and March 9th, the odds of Campbell leaving increase. The Jaguars are said to be a leading contender for Campbell while the Titans, Broncos, Colts, and Bears could also use a force like him. His age (31 in September) gives him a bit of a ceiling in terms of overall compensation, but he should still do nicely this month.
Signed with Jaguars for four years, $60MM.

10. Stephon Gilmore, CB (Bills): In terms of pure talent, Gilmore might be the best cornerback available. Trouble is, no one knows what to make of him after a down 2016. Some have openly theorized that Gilmore was playing it safe to avoid injury in his pivotal contract year. It’s also possible that Buffalo’s injuries in the front seven put undue stress on the secondary. The Bears are reportedly high on Gilmore and he may represent a cheaper option than Bouye or Ryan. A Bills return would also make sense here.
Signed with Patriots for five years, $65MM.

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Colts Re-Sign Jack Doyle

The Colts have announced the re-signing of tight end Jack Doyle to a three-year deal. The pact is worth $19MM and includes $2MM in incentives, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Half of the $19MM ($9.5MM) is guaranteed, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

Jack Doyle

Had Doyle gotten to free agency, he would have been among the most sought-after tight ends on the open market. In a breakout 2016 campaign, the 27-year-old Doyle posted across-the-board career highs with 59 catches, 75 targets, 584 yards and five touchdowns. During the previous three seasons of his career, Doyle combined 42 receptions, 209 yards and three TDs.

Doyle now joins Dwayne Allen as one of two well-compensated Colts tight ends. Allen nearly reached free agency last offseason, but the Colts stopped that from happening with a four-year, $29MM offer. The fact that Doyle won’t hit the market this year should increase the demand for free agency’s other top tight ends, Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook, and aid them in their quests to land raises.

Chris Hagan of FOX 59 first reported the news (Twitter link). Garafolo first tweeted the length of the deal. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Eyeing Top Tight Ends

After getting limited production from the position last season, the Giants are reportedly seeking an improvement at tight end. Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets that team is eyeing some of the top available tight ends, including Martellus Bennett, Jared Cook, and Jack Doyle. Earlier today, we learned that the team was also interested in Anthony Fasano.

Martellus BennettThe Giants crop of talented receivers predictably accounted for the majority of Eli Manning‘s targets last season, but the team still didn’t get much from their tight ends. Will Tye ended up leading the way, collecting 48 receptions for 395 yards and one touchdown. Jerell Adams and Larry Donnell combined for another 31 receptions.

The trio mentioned above would provide a certain upgrade at the position. Cook’s 10 games limited his counting stats, but Bennett and Doyle both finished with at least 55 receptions and 550 yards. The three players were also listed as PFR’s top available tight ends.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jack Doyle To Get $6MM+ Year?

Following his most productive NFL season, Colts tight end Jack Doyle is expected to get paid. NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the free agent could earn more than $6MM a season on his next contract.

Jack DoyleWe learned in late February that the 26-year-old would hit free agency after he failed to agree on an extension with the Colts. After playing in a reserve role during his first three seasons in the league, Doyle had a breakout campaign in 2016. The tight end collected 59 catches, 584 yards and five scores, and his 75 targets were the second-highest total on the team. As our own Connor Byrne noted, Doyle also rated as an above-average run blocker.

During his first three years in the league, the former undrafted free agent collected 42 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

Doyle ranked behind Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook on our list of the best available free agent tight ends.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.