James Carpenter

AFC Notes: Jets, Carpenter, Browns, Supplemental Draft, Titans, Colts, Nelson

James Carpenter has been the starting left guard for the Jets for the past three seasons, but 2018 is likely to be his last with the team, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Carpenter is heading into the final year of the four-year $19MM deal he signed with New York back in 2015. Carpenter’s play declined significantly last season, and as he ages Costello thinks the team will let him walk.

He’s been remarkably durable, never missing a game due to injury during his time with the Jets. Costello thinks the Jets will use the “boatload of salary cap space in 2019” that they’ll have to upgrade the offensive line and find Carpenter’s replacement. He thinks “revamping the offensive line” will be a “top priority” in next year’s free agency.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal took a look at this year’s Supplemental Draft and whether the Browns would make a move. He came away thinking that GM John Dorsey‘s “aggressive” approach may lead him to use a selection on one of the cornerbacks available in the draft despite the Browns’ recent upgrades to their secondary.
  • If an undrafted player makes the Titans, it’s likely to be a receiver according to Jim Wyatt of Titansonline.com. Due to uncertainty on the receiver depth chart behind Corey Davis, Wyatt thinks there could be a three way battle between undrafted receivers Jordan Veasy, Deontay Burnett, and Devin Ross for a roster spot.
  • Number six overall pick Quenton Nelson appears to be adjusting to the NFL quickly, and the Colts are taking notice. “His impeccable technique and ability to quickly pick up schemes turned the heads of many of his teammates and the coaching staff while working with the first unit throughout offseason workouts” writes Mike Wells of ESPN.

Jets Restructure James Carpenter’s Contract

The Jets have completed a simple restructure on James Carpenter‘s contract, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com, who tweets that the team converted a portion of the veteran guard’s 2016 salary into a signing bonus. The move had been necessary to create room for the addition of nose tackle Steve McLendon.James Carpenter

Carpenter’s $4.45MM base salary had already been partially guaranteed, but the Jets assured the lineman of a little more of that money up front by turning $3.69MM of it into a signing bonus, leaving a minimum salary of $760K. For cap purposes, that signing bonus prorates over the next three seasons, meaning it reduces Carpenter’s 2016 cap charge by $2.46MM, and increases his 2017 and 2018 charges by $1.23MM apiece.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), the Jets’ new deal with McLendon features a cap number of $2.5MM for 2016, including a $1.75MM base salary and a prorated portion of his $2.25MM signing bonus. In other words, the reduction of Carpenter’s cap hit gives the team almost the exact amount it needed to accommodate McLendon’s contract.

Further restructures, cuts, or trades will be required for the Jets in the coming weeks, as OverTheCap.com had the team at just $2.282MM in cap space prior to the Carpenter and McLendon transactions. Of course, adding a player like Ryan Fitzpatrick to the club’s books will require a few million dollars in cap room. At the very least, New York will need to create the space necessary to sign its rookie class and to allow for a little in-season flexibility.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Maxwell, Murray, McPhee

Here are some key details on some of the notable contracts agreed to or signed around the NFL this week:

NFC deals:

  • Byron Maxwell, CB (Eagles): Six years, $63MM base value. $25MM fully guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • DeMarco Murray, RB (Eagles): Five years, $40MM base value. $42MM max value. $18MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Albert Breer of the NFL Network).
  • Pernell McPhee, OLB (Bears): Five years, $38.75MM base value. $8.675MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Antrel Rolle, S (Bears): Three years, $11.25MM base value. $4.9MM guaranteed. $3.9MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tom Johnson, DT (Vikings): Three years, $7MM base value. $2.75MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Matt Prater, K (Lions): Two years, $4.55MM base value. Third-year team option for 2017 (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

AFC deals:

Jets Sign James Carpenter

WEDNESDAY, 7:26pm: The Jets have officially signed Carpenter, the team announced in a press release.

TUESDAY, 9:18am: Carpenter will sign a four-year contract with the Jets worth in the ballpark of $4.75MM per season, a source tells Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).

6:49am: Although Middlekauf backtracked a little on his own report overnight, tweeting that he was “premature” and that talks with Carpenter are still ongoing, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports has also reported (via Twitter) that the Jets will sign the offensive lineman. So barring a last minute change of plans on either side, it should get done.

MONDAY, 11:14pm: With interior offensive line help near the top of their offseason to-do list, the Jets have made a move to aid their front five, agreeing to terms with guard James Carpenter, according to John Middlekauf of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link). The transaction can be made official when the new league year begins tomorrow.

Carpenter, who will turn 26 later this month, was selected by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2011 draft, and has spent the past four years in Seattle. The Seahawks declined Carpenter’s fifth-year option, allowing him to hit free agency a year earlier than many other first-round draftees. Drafted as a tackle, Carpenter has settled in at guard, but he hasn’t been very effective, rating as the league’s No. 65 guard among 81 qualifiers in 2014, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

The Jets had reportedly been hotly pursuing Mike Iupati, who was considered the top free agent guard on the market, but the former Niner reportedly agreed to terms with the Cardinals earlier today. Orlando Franklin, another reported target for New York, appears headed to San Diego, leaving the Jets to shift their focus second-tier alternatives.

While Carpenter may not be quite as reliable or effective a presence in the middle a a veteran like Iupati and Franklin would be, he shouldn’t be nearly as expensive either, though financial terms of the tentative agreement aren’t yet known.

Seahawks Decline Option On James Carpenter

The Seahawks won’t pick up their fifth-year option on offensive lineman James Carpenter, the team announced today. The move had been expected, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reporting last week that the team was leaning against exercising the 2015 option.

Carpenter, 25, struggled with injuries during the first two years of his career, but appeared in all 16 of the Seahawks’ regular-season games in 2013, starting 10 of them. The former 25th overall pick also started at left guard for the club in the conference championship and Super Bowl. Still, Carpenter ranked just 65th out of 81 qualified guards, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required), and his 2015 option would have been worth $7.438MM, so it’s not a surprise that Seattle was reluctant to exercise it.

As our fifth-year option tracker shows, most of the 2015 options decisions have been made in advance of tonight’s deadline. The only unannounced decision that could plausibly still go either way is the Vikings’ call on Christian Ponder, though Minnesota figures to pass on that option.

Seahawks Notes: Carpenter, Visits, McCloughan

The defending champion Seahawks will host the Packers on September 4 to kick off the NFL season, but that’s the last time during the regular season the club will play a prime-time game at home. A league source tells Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk that the lack of prime-time games at CenturyLink Field is a result of Seattle’s track record — in the last several seasons, the club has been too good in its nationally televised home games, and the league is wary of scheduling blowouts in prime time. As Crabtree points out, the Seahawks have won their last three prime-time games in Seattle by a combined 82 points.

Here’s more on the 2014 Super Bowl champions:

  • The Seahawks are currently leaning against picking up their 2015 option on offensive lineman James Carpenter, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. As our fifth-year option tracker shows, Carpenter would be in line for a $7.438MM salary in 2015 if his option is exercised, though it wouldn’t be fully guaranteed until the first day of the ’15 league year.
  • University of Washington quarterback Keith Price was one of 19 players to participate in the Seahawks’ local prospect day on Wednesday, as Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com details.
  • Senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan has resigned from his position in Seattle’s front office to tend to a family matter, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). McCloughan, who has been a key part of general manager John Schneider‘s staff since being hired by the Seahawks in June 2010, reportedly drew interest from both the Dolphins and Browns when those teams replaced their GMs earlier this offseason.