Jared Veldheer

OT Jared Veldheer Retires

Jared Veldheer has decided to hang up his cleats. The veteran offensive tackle has chosen to retire after previously looking like he was about to sign with the Cowboys, a source told Todd Archer of ESPN.com.

Veldheer worked out for the team in Dallas last week, had begun their COVID-19 protocols, and Archer writes that he was expected to sign. The Cowboys had a $2.5MM contract prepared that was just awaiting Veldheer’s signature when he called it off, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

Veldheer changing his mind isn’t exactly anything new, as he originally retired shortly after signing with the Patriots last year. He then asked to be released from the reserve/retired list last November, and ended up getting claimed by the Packers.He announced in March that he intended to keep playing 2020, but didn’t draw much reported interest until this Cowboys meeting.

Dallas is dealing with injuries to Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Cameron Erving, so they were looking for some veteran tackle help.A third-round pick of the Raiders back in 2010, Veldheer carved out a nice career for himself.

Assuming he’s done for good this time, the Michigan product will finish with 113 starts under his belt. Most recently he started 12 games for Denver at right tackle in 2018, and 13 for Arizona the year before.

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Cowboys Working Out T Jared Veldheer

Jared Veldheer has began COVID-19 protocols, upon arriving in Dallas earlier this week, and is working out for the team Friday, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

The Cowboys brought in Veldheer on Wednesday, per Michael Gehlken of the Morning News (on Twitter), and may be prepared to make an emergency addition. Dallas is down its top two right tackles — La’el Collins and Cameron Erving. Both are on IR.

Rookie UDFA Terence Steele started at right tackle against the Rams in Week 1. Veldheer obviously brings far more experience, though the veteran blocker has not started a game since 2018. The former Raiders, Cardinals and Broncos starter retired in 2019, shortly after a Patriots agreement, but resumed his career to play in two games with the Packers.

Veldheer, now 33, has made 113 career starts. Considering the Cowboys also have Tyron Smith classified as questionable, it is not hard to envision them moving forward with Veldheer ahead of Week 2. Smith did not practice this week due to a neck injury. Veldheer has extensive experience at both left and right tackles, playing on the left side in Oakland and to start his Arizona stay. He has been a right tackle since 2017.

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Jared Veldheer To Continue Playing

Jared Veldheer already retired from the NFL once. His next retirement can wait. The Packers free agent plans to continue playing in 2020, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). 

Veldheer’s first exit from the game didn’t stick. In May of last year, he walked away from the NFL shortly after signing with the Patriots. But, in late November, the Pats granted his request to be released from the retired list. The Packers swooped in to claim him, and he went on to suit up for them in a pair of games.

Multiple teams inquired about Veldheer at the combine, Schefter hears, so it sounds like he’ll have a decent market waiting for him in a couple of weeks. Interested clubs will want to take a close look at his hip, however – he cited that lingering injury as the main reason for his abrupt and short-lived retirement last year.

Veldheer may be past his prime, but he did start 12 games for the Broncos in 2018. And, up until last year, he was a starter for almost every season since 2010.

Veldheer has appeared in 120 career games with 113 starts throughout his career. After starting out with the Raiders for his first four years, the third-round pick suited up for the Cardinals and Broncos before hooking on with the Packers in 2019.

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Extra Points: Ebron, Packers, Guenther

Eric Ebron was recently placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, and it apparently came as a surprise to the Colts. Ebron said in a statement at the time that he had been dealing with severe ankle pain since the beginning of the season, but Indianapolis apparently was caught off-guard. Colts coach Frank Reich said recently he was “not aware there was anything significant” with Ebron’s ankle, per Zak Keefer of The Athletic. Keefer notes that the tight end “missed only one legitimate practice due to ankle pain all season,” and that was back in Week 9.

Ebron’s statement on Twitter read, in part, “up to this point, the team and I have done everything in our power to manage the pain and get me out there each and every week.” That seems to be at odds with the Colts’ recollection. The team wasn’t happy “about how it went down,” tweets Stephen Holder of The Athletic. Keefer notes that Ebron is set to be a free agent in March, and the implication from the team seems to be that Ebron wanted to save himself for free agency, even if they aren’t saying it directly. Reich did say that Ebron had a scan on his ankle during training camp, but that “to the best of [his] knowledge, the scan was fine.” If the reports that Indy isn’t happy are true, then it’s probably safe to say Ebron will be finding a new home this spring.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Jared Veldheer is officially a member of the Packers. The offensive tackle retired with the Patriots during training camp as he battled a lingering hip injury, and was released off their reserve/retired list after expressing interest in a comeback. Green Bay claimed Veldheer, and there was apparently some concern he wouldn’t be able to pass a physical. Those fears were unwarranted, as Veldheer indeed passed his physical and practiced with the team Friday, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • Oakland’s defense has struggled mightily at times this season, and it was terrible last year, but don’t expect Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s job to be in jeopardy anytime soon. Guenther’s seat is “ice cold” writes Vic Tafur of the Athletic, who notes that head coach Jon Gruden “loves him.” Gruden himself has been given a seemingly endless leash from owner Mark Davis, and that apparently extends to his assistants as well. Interestingly, Tafur writes that “everything has always been directed toward Las Vegas with this staff” and that nobodies jobs will be in danger “until they are all sitting in a meeting room in the desert.”
  • In case you missed it, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett won’t be fired during the season.

Packers Claim T Jared Veldheer

Cut from the Patriots’ reserve/retired list on Tuesday, Jared Veldheer will have a comeback opportunity. The Packers submitted a successful claim for the free agent tackle, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Veldheer announced his retirement in May, shortly after signing with the Patriots. While the former Raiders, Cardinals and Broncos tackle cited a lingering hip injury as the reason for his retirement, the 32-year-old blocker has worked his way into form. The Packers will see what the nine-year veteran has left, though he will need to pass a physical before going forward with the team.

Green Bay recently lost Bryan Bulaga to an MCL sprain, and Matt LaFleur indicated the team might have a reconfigured line when it takes the field in Week 13. Veldheer may represent depth at this point, but he did start 12 games for the Broncos last season and has been a first-stringer for nearly every game since the Raiders took him in the 2010 third round.

The Packers initially replaced Bulaga with second-year UDFA Alex Light, who struggled against the 49ers’ fearsome pass rush. They will likely be without Bulaga for multiple games, so it will be interesting to see if Veldheer can work his way into playing time given his recent retirement choice. Veldheer has battled injuries for several seasons now, but Green Bay will attempt to see if he can stay healthy for an abbreviated slate.

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Patriots To Release T Jared Veldheer From Reserve/Retired List

Jared Veldheer appears to be backtracking from his retirement stance. The veteran tackle will no longer reside on New England’s reserve/retired list and is looking for a job before season’s end, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This is interesting given Veldheer’s offseason comments. The 32-year-old tackle said a hip injury did not progress much during his time between the Broncos and Patriots, inducing him to call it quits. The Pats signed the former Raiders, Cardinals and Broncos blocker in May but saw him opt to retire shortly after the agreement.

Despite Veldheer’s injury issues, Rapoport adds the nine-year veteran is in shape. He could profile as an emergency starter or a swing man for a contender in need at the position. Veldheer started 12 games for the Broncos last season and has been a starter for 113 of the 118 games in which he’s been active.

Injuries have limited Veldheer for years. A partially torn triceps muscle ended his 2016 season, and he battled an ankle malady in 2017. He also suffered a concussion last year.

This transaction comes a week after the Texans cut Seantrel Henderson from their NFI list, and the former right tackle starter has begun making visits. It will be interesting to see if a team meets with Veldheer, who has extensive experience at both tackle spots. The longtime left tackle moved to the right side in 2017 to accommodate D.J. Humphries in Arizona and stayed there in Denver last season.

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Jared Veldheer On Retirement Decision

In a two-week span this May, Jared Veldheer went from the free agent market to the Patriots to retirement. A starter in each of his nine NFL seasons, Veldheer called it quits — largely because of a previous injury.

Serving as the Broncos’ right tackle last season, Veldheer dealt with a knee malady that shelved him for four games. But that was not the health-related concern that drove him to backtrack on his decision to sign with the Patriots.

My hips, particularly my left one, was in pretty bad shape (after the season),” Veldheer said, via MLive.com’s Peter Wallner. “When March rolled around I thought I could give it a go, but once I went out there to do actual football stuff, the hip felt exactly how it did at the end of the season. There was just no way I was going to put my body through that. I couldn’t conceive even trying to make my body do that.”

Stem cell therapy and other treatments did not do the trick, Veldheer added. In addition to this hip trouble, the 32-year-old tackle dealt with a litany of injuries late in his career. An ankle problem ended his 2017 season and lingered into 2018, and early last season Veldheer suffered a concussion. A partially torn triceps muscle ended his 2016 campaign with the Cardinals.

Veldheer signed a one-year, $3.5MM deal with the Patriots, to serve potentially as insurance for Isaiah Wynn. The second-year Patriots left tackle is recovering from the torn Achilles’ tendon that erased his rookie season. After one OTA practice, Veldheer said he informed Bill Belichick of his decision.

(Deciding to retire) was easy because of knowing what my body was telling me, but it was hard because I was leaving a very good situation being with the Patriots,” Veldheer said. “(Belichick) understood, and everyone in the NFL building understands that the sport can do a number on your body and different guys have different timelines on how long they can make it through.”

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Patriots’ Jared Veldheer Retires From NFL

Jared Veldheer signed with the Patriots just two weeks ago, but he’s had a change of heart. On Tuesday, the veteran offensive tackle informed the club that he plans to retire (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss). 

Veldheer was set to play out the 2019 season on a one-year, $3.5MM deal with a maximum value of $6.5MM. That’s significant money to leave on the table, so it’s possible that he is retiring for health reasons.

Veldheer started 12 games in Denver last season and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 58-rated tackle. The veteran, 32 in June, profiled a swing option for the Patriots. Instead, he’ll leave the game after nine seasons with the Raiders, Cardinals, and Broncos.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are expected to scour the offensive line market once again for front five depth.

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Patriots To Sign Jared Veldheer

The Patriots are planning to sign free agent offensive tackle Jared Veldheer later this week, sources tell Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The veteran met with the Pats last week and, days later, the two sides appear to have agreed on numbers. Once completed, it’ll be a one-year, $3.5MM deal with a maximum value of $6.5MM, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (on Twitter).

A nine-year veteran, Veldheer started 12 games in Denver last season and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 58-rated tackle. Veldheer has more experience playing left tackle, having lined up there with the Raiders and Cardinals for several years. But, the Cards switched Veldheer and D.J. Humphries in 2017, moving him over to the right side. The 31-year-old (32 in June) may be a swing option for the Patriots in the upcoming year.

New England drafted third-round tackle Yodny Cajuste but lost Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle this offseason. Meanwhile, they have 2018 first-rounder Isaiah Wynn coming off a season-nullifying torn Achilles. All of this leaves them with a depth need that Veldheer can fill.

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Patriots Meet With Jared Veldheer

Not much has emerged surrounding Jared Veldheer this offseason. After the Broncos made their annual right tackle switch, pivoting quickly to Ja’Wuan James, their previous option began an anonymous free agency stay.

Veldheer, however, secured a post-draft meeting with the Patriots and visited the defending Super Bowl champions, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This is believed to be Veldheer’s first 2019 visit.

New England drafted third-round tackle Yodny Cajuste but lost Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle this offseason. They have 2018 first-rounder Isaiah Wynn coming off a season-nullifying torn Achilles, potentially pointing to a depth need.

A nine-year veteran, Veldheer started 12 games in Denver last season. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 58-rated tackle during his one-season Broncos stint. Veldheer has more experience playing left tackle, having lined up there with the Raiders and Cardinals for several years. But the Cards switched Veldheer and D.J. Humphries in 2017, beginning his right tackle career. The 31-year-old blocker may be a swing option for the Patriots.

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