Teez Tabor

Dolphins Workout Former Lions Second-Rounder CB Teez Tabor

Teez Tabor is getting another look. The corner back who was recently released by the Lions had a workout with the Dolphins on Tuesday, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Tabor was a second-round pick in 2017, but he flamed out quickly and lasted just two seasons in Detroit. Tabor made one start as a rookie and four last year, but consistently struggled. He was quickly labeled a bust, and it was clear that Matt Patricia’s coaching staff wasn’t too high on him. The 53rd overall pick of the 2017 draft, Tabor was a first-team All-SEC selection in each of his last two years at Florida, but never lived up to his billing.

Because of his draft status, he’ll likely get another shot somewhere soon whether it’s with the Dolphins or someone else. Miami is in the midst of a full-blown rebuild and will likely be taking looks at as many young players as possible to try and find some gems for the future, so their interest makes sense. The Dolphins have Xavien Howard locked up longterm, but not too much behind him at corner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Cut CB Teez Tabor

Teez Tabor‘s time in Detroit has come to an end. On Friday, the Lions released the 2017 second-round pick, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 overall two years back, but some draft analysts, like NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, were much higher on him. The Florida product suffered a hamstring injury during his workout with Detroit and was unable to audition for other teams, leading to his drop.

In the pros, Tabor hasn’t measured up. To date, the 23-year-old has made just five total starts. For his career (22 games), he has 39 total tackles and no interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Vikes, Bolts, Raiders, Lions

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford is dealing with “swelling, pain and discomfort” in his left knee, Chris Mortenson of ESPN reports. Notably, that’s the same knee in which Bradford underwent procedures to repair a torn ACL in 2013 and ’14. Thanks to his latest knee issue, Bradford’s not a lock to play Sunday against in Pittsburgh, though the Vikings are “cautiously optimistic” he will, per Mortenson. At the same time, the Vikes do have some reservations about the injury, Mortenson notes. In the unlikely event Bradford doesn’t suit up, the Vikings’ offense would presumably experience a marked drop-off after handling the Saints on Monday. Bradford was the driving force behind that 29-19 win, going 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. His backup is Case Keenum, who struggled mightily with the Rams last season.

Elsewhere around the NFL…

  • Speaking of left knee troubles, Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett is experiencing soreness there after an ACL tear limited him to four games last season. He’ll miss Sunday’s game against Miami as a result and could sit out “several” more weeks, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Verrett played nearly all of the Chargers’ defensive snaps (63 of 69) in their loss to Denver on Monday, but head coach Anthony Lynn held him out of practice Friday and stated that the corner is “just not right.” Lynn added that he has “no idea” how long Verrett will be on the shelf, only revealing that the player is “week-to-week.” Verrett, 26, is less than a year removed from the knee surgery he underwent last October.
  • Left tackle Donald Penn expected the two-year deal he signed with the Raiders in 2016 t0 be his last contract, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Penn didn’t show signs of slowing down last season, though, leading him to shelve any thoughts of retirement. He’s now under Raiders control through 2018 after inking an extension Friday. The 34-year-old believes the new pact will ensure that he’ll retire a Raider, which would be a “childhood dream,” as he told Bair and other reporters. Penn, who held out over the summer, noted that he wasn’t optimistic an agreement would come. “There was a lot of doubt (about getting a new deal),” he said. “I didn’t want to hit free agency again. I told them, ‘You know how much I love you guys. Show me how much you guys love me back, and let’s get this done so I can retire a Raider.’
  • Lions second-round pick Teez Tabor was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and, given the team’s depth at cornerback, probably won’t be a factor for a while, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes. But head coach Jim Caldwell still thinks the ex-Florida Gator could pay short-term dividends. “That probably would not be an accurate statement in terms of a ‘long-term project,'” Caldwell said. “I’m not certain what that denotes, but that probably wouldn’t be how we would assess it.” Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is pleased with the progress Tabor has made in recent months. “He’s doing everything right and we’ll see him at some point,” Austin declared. “(He’s) much different than when he first got in here. I think he’s a really super smart player. Gets it, can get around the ball, again, just growing him right now.” Once considered a good bet to go in the first round this year, Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 after posting slow times in the 40-yard yard dash in the offseason.

Lions Notes: LTs, Tabor, Quin

A few notes from Detroit:

  • In response to the serious shoulder injury stud left tackle Taylor Decker suffered during the spring, the Lions went out and acquired a pair of fill-in options in Greg Robinson and Cyrus Kouandjio. Robinson (second overall) and Kouandjio (44th) were high picks in the 2014 draft, but the former washed out with the Rams and the latter failed to stick in Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Lions, the two aren’t off to good starts in training camp, according to both Kyle Meinke of MLive.com and Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Robinson and Kouandjio have each dealt with injuries, but when they have taken the field, things haven’t gone well. Second-year defensive end Anthony Zettel, a sixth-rounder in 2016 who had one sack as a rookie, made “mincemeat” of the two tackles during practice Wednesday, per Meinke. Zettel has indeed held his own against the duo, confirms Rothstein, who currently tabs Kouandjio as the likely starter on the blindside. Either way, it appears the Lions are in for significantly worse play this year from the left tackle position, which isn’t exactly positive news for a team that could soon commit huge money to its quarterback.
  • Rookie cornerback Teez Tabor has also begun 2017 in less-than-stellar fashion, relays Meinke, who suggests that the second-round pick from Florida could struggle to see the field much this year at the rate he’s going. Most or all of Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs and D.J. Hayden are in line to receive more playing time than Tabor, whom unproven receiver Jared Abbrederis “abused” on Friday, notes Meinke. Tabor also hasn’t shown much speed, which is especially troubling for a player whose draft stock fell as a result of subpar showings in the 40-yard dash.
  • Rothstein has the details on safety Glover Quin‘s two-year, $13MM extension. Initially, he was slated to earn a base salary of $4MM with a cap hit of $7.8MM in 2017. Now, his base salary is down to just $900K (fully guaranteed) with a cap hit of $6.4MM. In 2018, Quin will make $3.85MM in base salary, with $3.6MM of it guaranteed for injury only. On the third day in March, however, it becomes fully guaranteed. In 2019, the final year of his deal, Quin has no money guaranteed. Although the 31-year-old got some additional dollars and years in the extension, the Lions will still have the ability to get out of the deal before the 2018 season if his performance dips.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Lions Rumors: Carter, Maclin, Golladay

The Lions are planning a position switch for a recent draft pick. Additions of D.J. Hayden, Teez Tabor and fifth-round pick Jamal Agnew at cornerback led the Lions to ask their 2015 third-rounder — Alex Carter — to relocate to safety, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. This would stand to give Carter a better chance to make the roster and attempt to launch a career that hasn’t taken off yet. The former Stanford performer has only played in one NFL game in two years. A 2015 ankle injury put Carter on IR, and the team didn’t see enough from him in 2016 to activate him for more than one contest.

At safety, Detroit has starters Glover Quin — who is in a contract year — and Tavon Wilson, with backups Miles Killebrew and Don Carey behind them. It’s a thinner situation than cornerback looks, as Roster Resource details, but Meinke notes Carter is no lock to make the team. More is expected of Killebrew, a 2016 fourth-round selection, in Year 2, and Carey is a constant on special teams. Jim Caldwell identified Carter’s frame, at 6-foot and 205 pounds, as a reason for the move.

Here’s more out of the Motor City.

  • The Chiefs made one of the more surprising moves of the offseason by making Jeremy Maclin an old-school, June 2 cut. Maclin immediately vaults to the top of the UFA wide receiver contingent, and the Lions could still be in need of a third reliable wideout after Anquan Boldin‘s contract expired. Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com weighs the fit for Maclin in Detroit, noting the salary would have to be right. Maclin just saw the Chiefs move on from a five-year, $55MM contract. That said, Maclin, at 29, probably profiles as a player who will want a role more substantial than as a No. 3 behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Tate earns $6.2MM per year, and Jones averages $8MM annually. A Maclin commitment may be untenable. Boldin fits that description better, but the sides haven’t talked a deal in a while.
  • June 1 passing means the Lions do, however, gain $5.99MM in cap space after the funds from DeAndre Levy‘s release became available, as Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap notes. The Lions now possess $8.638MM in cap space. Levy’s deal will saddle the team with $4.8MM in 2017 dead money.
  • Third-round wide receiver Kenny Golladay remains the only Lions draft choice unsigned. This is due to the CBA’s cloudier language regarding third-round picks, with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press noting third-rounders’ base salaries in Years 2-4 of their contracts can fluctuate compared to players chosen in every other round of the draft. Golladay, though, is working out with the team and expected to be signed by training camp.
  • Jarrad Davis signed a fully guaranteed rookie deal worth $10.969MM, Birkett reports. Davis receives a $6.117MM signing bonus. Tabor, assigned to travel from Florida to the Motor City a round after Davis, saw the Lions fully guarantee the base salaries in his first two seasons. Tabor’s signing bonus came in at $1.647MM, per Birkett. Both ex-Gators will have $465K base salaries as rookies.
  • Sixth-round quarterback Brad Kaaya signed for four years and $2.523MM after being a one-time Day 2 prospect, Birkett reports, with a $123K signing bonus. None of the Lions’ draft choices received any additional bonuses beyond their signing bonus.

NFC Notes: Folk, Eagles, Lions, Vick

Despite spending the entirety of the 2010s thus far with the Jets and being that franchise’s most accurate kicker, Nick Folk wasn’t especially surprised by his early-offseason release. The 32-year-old kicker is now with the Buccaneers, which would be surprising given their recent investment history at this position. Roberto Aguayo‘s struggles have opened the door to an ongoing competition, but Folk doesn’t believe he has to win it to be kicking in the NFL this season.

If I kick well, I’ll be kicking here or somewhere else,” Folk said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “I can’t worry about things I can’t control. If I kick the best I can, I’ll be just fine.”

Folk signed a one-year, $1.75MM deal with $750K guaranteed. Aguayo went 22-for-31 on field goals last season, putting the former second-round pick’s future in question. Auman offers that Folk’s experience as an 11th-year veteran could give him the edge if this competition is close, Aguayo’s status as a rare Day 2 kicker pick notwithstanding. As Auman points out, Folk winning the job would make it six straight years the Bucs will have deployed a different kicker.

Here’s the latest from the NFC.

  • Despite Michael Vick seeming to indicate he was in the process of coming to an agreement with Falcons management on a one-day retirement contract, the former Falcons Pro Bowler said Sunday he hasn’t spoken with anyone with the team about doing this yet. But he has it on the agenda. “I haven’t talked to anybody about it specifically,” Vick said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “It’s something that I’ve really been thinking about trying to get done. I was asked the question the other day is that what I want, and I said, ‘Yeah.’ … When I spoke to [Falcons owner] Arthur [Blank], we talked about various other things,” Vick said. “Like I said, [retiring as a Falcon] is something that can happen down the road, and I think we both know that.” Vick told McClure he still has a good relationship with Blank despite one of the most notorious exits from a team in league history. Blank did invite Vick and other former Falcon greats to the Georgia Dome on New Year’s Day for a celebratory ceremony. The 36-year-old added that the Falcons are where his “identity lies as a player.”
  • A hamstring injury limited Teez Tabor this week at Lions OTAs, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Tabor is not expected to start this year, Rothstein points out, but the second-round pick missing time during his developmental stage would bring a sharper learning curve. The Lions have 16-game starter Nevin Lawson as the likely frontrunner to open the season opposite Darius Slay, and they signed D.J. Hayden to a one-year deal.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham‘s Eagles roster spot is in trouble, Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com opines. After the Eagles outfitted Jordan Matthews with outside hired guns in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, Zangaro expects Green-Beckham to fail to make the 53-man roster. Philadelphia’s wide receiver group also houses Nelson Agholor and rookie fourth-rounder Mack Hollins. The 24-year-old Beckham, once the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school, played extensively for the Eagles last season but didn’t stand out. The former second-round Titans pick caught a career-high 36 passes but saw his yards-per-catch figure drop drastically, from 17.2 as a rookie to 10.9 in 2016. That said, Matthews, Jeffery and Smith could all be free agents after 2017 — Smith’s deal has option years — so retaining a formerly coveted player with two years left on his contract might be prudent from a long-term perspective.

NFC Notes: Saints, Cards, Seahawks, Packers

With just one year and $3.5MM guaranteed on his Saints contract, Adrian Peterson is far removed from those lavish salaries he collected in his final years with the Vikings. However, the relocated running back can collect some additional cash via incentives — some of which being attached to reasonable figures. The future Hall of Fame back has $2.75MM in incentives tied to various milestones in each of the next two years, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. The 32-year-old running back can collect incentive cash by rushing for 750 yards, scoring at least six touchdowns, or the Saints making the playoffs. Volin doesn’t specify how much each milestone would pay out, but these aren’t outrageous numbers. Peterson scored at least 10 touchdowns in all eight of his seasons that didn’t involve a major September setback. However, with Mark Ingram in the picture, there won’t be as many TD opportunities. Ingram has scored 25 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

Additionally, Volin notes a $750K roster bonus will be tied to Peterson’s 2018 New Orleans employment. That’s rather light compared to the massive $18MM option that was tied to the 2017 season on Peterson’s Vikings contract. But a Saints return in what would be Peterson’s age-33 season in ’18 likely hinges on the running back’s health.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC.

  • The Cardinals are following through with their idea to flip their starting tackles. Jared Veldheer will move to right tackle, while third-year man D.J. Humphries‘ future will be on the left side. Veldheer initially voiced opposition to the move, one broached by OC Harold Goodwin, immediately after the 2016 season concluded, Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com notes. But the career left tackle is on board now. Humphries played left tackle at Florida and parlayed that performance into a first-round Cardinals draft selection in 2015.
  • Packers rookie linebacker Vince Biegel broke his foot, and the ensuing surgery leaves him questionable to be ready by the start of training camp, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky report. The intent of this operation, done last week, was to repair a Jones fracture that also plagued him last season at Wisconsin, Demovsky writes. The latest in a slew of mid-round Packers ‘backer picks, hasn’t had a smooth transition into the NFL. A hand injury briefly sidelined him at rookie camp last weekend.
  • Speaking of positioning, the Saints sound like they might be willing to try Stephone Anthony at middle linebacker again. The Saints moved their underwhelming 2015 first-rounder to the strong side last year, but new linebackers coach Mike Nolan said middle ‘backer suits Anthony best, Herbie Teope of NOLA.com notes. Anthony led the Saints in tackles as a rookie but was moved outside and then benched in 2016. And New Orleans added inside linebackers in Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein this offseason, complicating Anthony’s path back to playing time.
  • The Seahawks used a sixth-round pick on Cincinnati safety Mike Tyson, but those rooting for the menacingly named defender to double as a hard-hitting back-line option in the Legion of Boom may be disappointed. Tyson was practicing at cornerback during the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, according to Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. Although, the 6-foot-2 defensive back drew a Byron Maxwell comparison from Pete Carroll, so that’s a good start for a player who might be changing positions.
  • The Lions‘ second-round Teez Tabor investment came after GM Bob Quinn watched more film on the Florida corner than he has on any prospect during his 15-year evaluation career, Nate Atkins of MLive.com notes. The second-year Detroit GM estimated he watched about 14 Gators games with the primary purpose to see if Tabor played faster than his 4.62-second 40-yard dash clocking.

Lions Sign LB Jarrad Davis

The Lions announced that they have signed eight of their nine draft picks, plus 14 undrafted free agents. The complete list:

Draft Signings:

UDFAs:

As far as draft picks go, Northern Illinois wide receiver Kenny Golladay is the only player that has yet to put pen to paper. The reason for the delay is not known, but third round picks often take longer to sign than other picks as things are less rigid in those slots.

Davis was said to be a target of the Dolphins at No. 22, so it’s a good thing that the Lions were up at No. 21. Davis impressed scouts at his Pro Day when he posted a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump. As shown on Roster Resource, Davis may be in for a starting role in 2017.

Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 but some draft analysts, like NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, felt that he should have gone much higher. The Florida product suffered a hamstring injury during his workout with Detroit and was unable to audition for other teams, so that might explain why he was still available. Then again, we’ve seen “pretend injuries” before, so it’s possible there was a wink-wink deal between Tabor’s team and the Lions.

Kaaya was said to have one of the highest football IQs of any quarterback in this year’s class. It remains to be seen whether he has the arm to make it as an NFL quarterback, but the Lions believe that he can be a solid backup QB, at minimum.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter), Valoaga got $22K guaranteed ($12K bonus, $10K base) to sign with Detroit. Typically, UDFAs get around $5K, so that’s a sign that Valoaga had at least a few teams interested in adding him to the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Draft Notes: Bears, 49ers, Saints, Lions

Reports emerged last night that Bears head coach John Fox was unaware of his club’s intention to draft North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky until a “couple hours” before the draft. GM Ryan Pace subsequently denied those reports, saying his head coach is involved in all of the team’s decisions.

“That stuff is so false,” Pace said (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). “There’s consistency in everything we do, so we all work arm-in-arm and that’s the way it is and that’s the way it should be.

“John is involved in every decision deeply. The respect I have for John is enormous, especially his experience and all of the players that he’s been with. I think if you look back — and we talked about this — I think a lot of it was kept secret I thought we did a good job keeping this thing pretty under wraps, it’s so sensitive. But if you go back to the private workouts that we had, I mean John and I — it’s pretty hard to hide him — but we’re traveling to Chapel Hill and having dinners and workouts with Mitch, so he’s been deeply involved from the very beginning.”

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

  • The Vikings reportedly approached the 49ers about trading for the 104th pick, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). However, San Francisco wanted to guarantee that they’d get Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard, so they rebuffed Minnesota’s advances. Ironically, Minnesota was previously in possession of that pick.
  • The Saints were fans of Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, general manager Mickey Loomis told Larry Holder of NOLA.com (Twitter link). However, with Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore still being on the board, New Orleans wasn’t too interested in moving up for the signal-caller. Mahomes was ultimately reelected 10th overall by the Chiefs.
  • UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau‘s pectoral muscle is “looking great,” tweets NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. This reassurance probably convinced the Redskins to take the defensive back with the 81st-overall pick.
  • The Lions selected cornerback Teez Tabor with the 53rd pick, despite the fact he suffered a hamstring injury during his workout with the team. Rapoport tweets that the Florida product didn’t end up working out for any other teams.

NFC Draft Visits: 49ers, Panthers, Cowboys, Redskins

Some of Wednesday’s notable pre-draft visits from the NFC:

  • Florida cornerback Teez Tabor and Michigan defensive back/linebacker Jabrill Peppers were among the 49ers’ visitors, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Neither will be in play for the 49ers’ first-round pick (even if they trade down from No. 2), but could still be on the board when the club’s second-rounder comes up at No. 34.
  • Kansas State edge rusher Jordan Willis visited the Panthers, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Willis seems like a more realistic fit for the Panthers in the second round (No. 40 overall) than in the first (No. 8). Regardless, with Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson and Mario Addison each on the wrong side of 30, Carolina could use a young pass rusher like Willis, who totaled 20 sacks from 2015-16.
  • Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey met with the Cowboys, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Humphrey may well be off the board by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at No. 28, though it’s possible he’ll drop amid unwanted comparisons to another ex-Alabama corner, recent first-round bust Dee Milliner.
  • The Redskins, owners of the 17th pick, hosted Houston edge defender Tyus Bowser, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Washington amassed the ninth-most sacks in the league last year, though nine of their 38 came from outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who will serve a four-game suspension to open the season. He’s also due to hit free agency next spring. Adding another pass rusher early in the draft this year could make sense, then. Bowser racked up 22.5 sacks during his four-year college career, including a personal-best 8.5 in 2016.