Jake Ryan

AFC Notes: Simmons, Newton, Ravens

Broncos safety Justin Simmons has still not signed his franchise tender, and like most players seeking new contracts, Simmons’ negotiations have been impacted in a big way by the pandemic. As a result, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post believes Simmons is more likely to play out the 2020 campaign on his $12.7MM tender than land a multi-year pact. The one caveat to that would be if Simmons is willing to give Denver a hometown discount, but there have been no real indications that he is willing to do so.

However, O’Halloran does not expect the process to be an ugly one, and he fully believes Simmons will sign his tender and report to camp if there is no new deal in place by the July 15 deadline.

Let’s take a quick trip around the AFC:

  • Much has been made of the minimal guarantee and base salary that 2015 MVP Cam Newton stands to earn under his new one-year pact with the Patriots. 49ers CB Richard Sherman took to Twitter to express his outrage over the deal, calling it “disgusting” that a player like Newton would have to settle for such chump change (and ignoring the myriad injury concerns that led to the contract). But Newton himself, in his first public comments about the financial details (via Instagram), said simply “[t]his is not about money for me. It’s about respect.” A productive season in Foxborough would lead to Newton’s market rebounding in a big way in 2021, though the Pats may be inclined to use the franchise tag on him if that happens.
  • The Ravens lost future Hall-of-Fame RG Marshal Yanda to retirement this offseason, and though the club has a number of young players who could replace him, the pandemic will likely give veterans a leg up over less experienced talents. As such, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic expects D.J. Fluker to win the starting right guard gig, while 2019 left guard Bradley Bozeman is the clear favorite to reprise his role in 2020.
  • In the same piece linked above, Zrebiec notes that the Ravens, who recently cut veteran LB Jake Ryan, did so because both sides realized that Ryan — who has only played in two games since 2017 — still wasn’t healthy and wouldn’t have enough time to get healthy and learn the team’s defense.
  • In case you missed it, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue may be prepared to sit out the entire 2020 season if he does not get traded.

Ravens Cut LB Jake Ryan

Less than two months after signing Jake Ryan, the Ravens are cutting the veteran linebacker. The team announced the decision to part ways with Ryan on Thursday. The Ravens cut Ryan with a non-football injury designation.

Shortly after signing Ryan, the Ravens devoted significant draft resources to bolstering their linebacker spot. They drafted off-ball ‘backers Patrick Queen (in Round 1) and Malik Harrison (in Round 3).

Prior to the draft, the Ravens had seen Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes defect in free agency — to the Jets and Bengals, respectively. These exits came a year after the Ravens’ C.J. Mosley negotiations broke down when the Jets swooped in with a monster offer.

For Ryan, this represents another setback. The former Packers starter was perhaps on his way to a nice free agency payday in 2019, but an ACL tear during the 2018 offseason proved to be a seminal event. Ryan caught on with the Jaguars last year but spent most of the year on multiple ineligible lists — first the NFI list and then IR — before the Jags declined his option this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Sign LB Jake Ryan

After being limited to only a pair of games over the past seasons, Jake Ryan has found another gig. The linebacker has signed a one-year deal with the Ravens, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

The 2015 fourth-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Packers, and he started at least 10 games and compiled at least 80 tackles each year between 2016 and 2017. A torn ACL forced him to miss the entire 2018 campaign, and he proceeded to sign with the Jaguars last offseason.

Ryan started the 2019 season on the reserve/NFI list, but he managed to make two appearances after getting activated in November. He landed on the IR in December, and the Jaguars declined his option a few months later.

The Ravens have needed some depth at the position, and there were rumblings that the front office could opt for a linebacker in one of the first three rounds. While this signing certainly won’t prevent the organization from taking a prospect, it’ll certainly reduce the urgency to add at the position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Decline Jake Ryan’s Option

Marcell Dareus isn’t the only Jaguars defender who will have his option declined. The Jaguars will also decline the 2020 option for linebacker Jake Ryan, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Had his option been exercised, $1MM of Ryan’s $5.5MM base salary would have been guaranteed for the coming season. Instead, they’ll wipe that out, and carve out some badly needed cap room.

At the start of the offseason, the Jaguars had just over $1MM in available cap space. By shedding Dareus and Ryan, they’ve carved out a bit of flexibility as they look to keep Yannick Ngakoue and address needs on both sides of the ball.

These were not particularly tough calls, and more cap clearing moves are likely on the way. Tight end Geoff Swaim and oft-injured receiver Marqise Lee are also expected to be dropped. In total, those four moves would save them more than $34MM. They can find even more space by cutting or trading Calais Campbell to save $15MM, though they’d probably prefer to find middle ground with him by way of an extension.

Ryan, who turns 28 this week, missed all of the 2018 season thanks to an ACL tear and played in just two games last year. Before that, he started in 27 games for the Packers between 2015 and 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/10/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Promoted: WR Ishmael Hyman

Washington Redskins

Interestingly Dallas’ hand was forced with Hyatt, as they promoted the offensive lineman because another team was trying to poach him away, a source told Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). He’s a rookie UDFA from Clemson. Elsewhere, the Dolphins are scooping up players from other teams left and right as they build for 2020.

Jaguars Activate LB Jake Ryan From NFI List

Out of game action for nearly two full seasons, Jake Ryan appears set to return to the field. The Jaguars activated the veteran linebacker from their NFI list Saturday, clearing the way for Ryan’s first game since the Packers’ 2017 regular-season finale.

The former Green Bay starter tore an ACL during the 2018 offseason and entered free agency on the heels of a lost season. Although the Jaguars expected Ryan to be ready for Week 1, an August setback shelved him for nearly three more months.

A fourth-round pick out of Michigan, Ryan started 27 games with the Packers. The ACL tear damaged his stock going into free agency, but the Jaguars — who hired ex-Packers DC Dom Capers this offseason — opted to take a chance on him via two-year, $8MM deal. Ryan’s injury likely prompted the Jags to guarantee him just $1MM and include a $5.5MM option bonus — due on the 22nd day of the 2020 league year — in the event he can display his old form.

On a Jaguars team that lost Telvin Smith in the offseason, Ryan will have a chance to convince the Jaguars to pick up that option. He combined for 160 tackles between the 2016-17 seasons, during which he served as a primary Green Bay starter at inside linebacker.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Jags placed running back Tyler Ervin on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Gipson, Quinn, Thomas, Ryan

Texans safety Tashaun Gipson is expected to return to the lineup this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Gipson has missed the team’s previous two games after sustaining a back injury in Week 7. Houston has won both games without their starting safety, but set to go up against the Ravens and their dynamic offense, the team hopes to be as close to full strength as possible.

Here’s some more notes from the NFC and AFC South:

  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has relinquished defensive play-calling duties, according to Darin Gantt of NBC Sports. It appears that assistant head coach Raheem Morris and linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich are now responsible for sharing the duties. Given Atlanta’s atrocious start to the season defensively, it makes sense that the staff decided to make a change. While the team remains just 2-7 on the season, they are coming off their strongest performance of the season in a dominating 26-9 victory against the Saints.
  • Two AFC South rivals could be welcoming back some depth in the coming weeks. Texans tight end Jordan Thomas and Jaguars linebacker Jake Ryan have both returned to practice for their respective teams, according to Howard Balzer. Both players were placed on the injured reserve with a designation to return earlier this season. They will now be allowed to practice for up to 21 days before they must be added to the 53-man roster or must return to the injured reserve for the remainder of the year.

Jaguars Reach 53-Man Limit

The Jaguars got down to 53. Here’s how:

Waived or released:

OL Ka’John Armstrong
WR Tyre Brady
TE Donnie Ernsberger
CB Tae Hayes
WR Quadree Henderson
RB Elijah Hood
DL Mike Hughes
DL Lyndon Johnson
TE Charles Jones
WR Raphael Leonard
WR Tre McBride
QB Alex McGough
CB Quenton Meeks
TE Carson Meier
S Joshua Moon
CB Picasso Nelson
S C.J. Reavis
CB Saivion Smith
OL Bunchy Stallings
LB Connor Strachan
DL Kalani Vakameilalo
WR Michael Walker
CB Brandon Watson
DL Andrew Williams
TE Ethan Wolf

Waived/injured:

OL Donnell Greene
RB Devante Mays
OL KC McDermott
OL Leonard Wester

Placed on IR:

OL Ben Ijalana
WR Terrelle Pryor

NFI:
LB Jake Ryan

Contract Details: Ingram, Suggs, Kendricks

Here are the latest details from some agreed-upon contracts during the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Jaguars To Sign LB Jake Ryan

The Jaguars are signing linebacker Jake Ryan, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical, and the terms of the deal aren’t yet known.

The former fourth-rounder once looked to be a future cornerstone of the Packers’ defense. Ryan compiled at least 80 tackles in both 2016 and 2017, and Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 19 among linebackers following that latter campaign. In total, the 27-year-old started 27 games during his three healthy seasons with Green Bay.

Unfortunately for Ryan, he tore his ACL during 2018 training camp, forcing him to sit out the entire campaign. While the linebacker was once eyeing a lucrative contract ahead of his walk year, he’ll likely have to settle for a shorter deal with Jacksonville.

Myles Jack and Telvin Smith seem like locks for the Jaguars’ starting lineup, but a healthy Ryan could easily supplant Leon Jacobs. Assuming Ryan continues playing on the outside, he’ll also be competing with Lerentee McCray, Blair Brown, and Christian Kuntz for playing time in Jacksonville.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.