Jared Veldheer

Broncos Acquire T Jared Veldheer

The Broncos have announced the acquisition of Cardinals offensive lineman Jared Veldheer in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft (on Twitter). Troy Renck of Denver 7, ABC, first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal involving Veldheer and a late-round pick (on Twitter).

Veldheer, 30, is expected to step in and start at right tackle for the Broncos opposite former first-round pick Garett Bolles at left tackle. The Broncos were previously set to go with Menelik Watson at right tackle after he started the team’s first seven games there last season but was then placed on injured reserve with a calf injury.

Veldheer started 13 games for the Cardinals last season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken ankle. He’s appeared in 106 games over an eight-year career, making 101 starts. The Raiders originally selected Veldheer in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Hillsdale. He’s spent the bulk of his career at left tackle before shifting to the right side of the line last season.

The veteran offensive lineman is set to enter the final season of a five-year, $35MM deal signed with the Cardinals and is slated to have a cap hit of $10.16MM for the upcoming season. The Broncos entered the day with $21.28MM in available cap space, which ranked No. 12 in the NFL.

The addition of Veldheer helps round out the Broncos offensive line. Along with Bolles at left tackle, they’re set to return Max Garcia at left guard, Matt Paradis at center and Ronald Leary at right guard.

The deal creates $3.25MM in dead cap space for the Cardinals but does open up $6.9MM in available space. Newly-signed Andre Smith will likely take over at right tackle for the Cardinals with John Wetzel taking over as the team’s starting swing tackle. The Cardinals also helped beef up their offensive line this offseason by adding right guard Justin Pugh in free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Place Jared Veldheer On IR

Left tackle Jared Veldheer is headed to the injured reserve list with a fractured ankle, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Monday morning (Twitter link via Darren Urban of the team website). Meanwhile, right guard Earl Watford is likely to miss time with high ankle sprain. Jared Veldheer (vertical)

The Cardinals have been dealing with offensive line injuries all year long. Starting guard Mike Iupati landed on IR with an elbow injury in Week 4 and season-ending maladies later sidelined offensive linemen D.J. Humphries and Daniel Munyer. Without starters Veldheer and Watford, the Cardinals will have to dig even deeper.

Fifth-round rookie Will Holden figures to move into the starting lineup while center Evan Boehm may be asked to fill-in at right guard. Interior lineman Max Tuerk, who was recently plucked from the Chargers’ taxi squad, could be in line for significant reps. The Cardinals will also likely add an offensive lineman or two to hold them over for the final stretch.

The Cardinals have Veldheer under contract for one more season at a $10.24MM cap number, but they can release him with just $3.25MM in dead money this offseason. Watford is scheduled to hit the open market in March.

The Cardinals advanced to 6-7 on the year with a win over the Titans on Sunday. They’ll wrap up the regular season with games against the Redskins, Giants, and Seahawks in the final three weeks. Even if they run the table, odds are they will not qualify for the playoffs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

D.J. Humphries Dislocates Kneecap

The Cardinals will be without their starting left tackle for the rest of the season after D.J. Humphries suffered a severe knee injury Thursday night.

Bruce Arians said Friday (via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, on Twitter) that Humphries did not tear his ACL but instead dislocated his kneecap. Humphries, who also has MCL damage, will miss the rest of Arizona’s season. Arians said Thursday night he thought Humphries tore his ACL. While he dodged that, an extensive rehab process will be in store for the third-year edge blocker.

Arizona will move Jared Veldheer back to left tackle, Kent Somers of AZCentral.com tweets. Veldheer and Humphries switched positions going into this season. Veldheer played left tackle throughout his career coming into this season. John Wetzel, who stepped in for Humphries at left tackle against the Seahawks, will move to the right side going forward.

Arians said Humphries faces a three-month recovery timetable but will be ready for OTAs, and the fifth-year Cardinals coach believes the new left tackle’s chronic MCL troubles can be fixed.

The Cardinals will soon have two of their starting offensive linemen on IR. Mike Iupati remains on the injured list due to an elbow ailment.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Ford

The 49ers have used three first-round picks on defensive linemen since 2015, and each of those figures to be in the starting lineup Sunday. With Tank Carradine on IR, Solomon Thomas will likely start at San Francisco’s strong-side defensive end spot, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes. The 49ers have used Thomas as an edge defender, but DC Robert Saleh envisions the No. 2 overall pick as a “premier inside rusher” once he develops. Saleh said Thomas “could be a good edge rusher,” so it’s clear the first-year 49ers coordinator wants to see how the Stanford product functions from a defensive tackle spot.

We do need to find ways to get him inside to rush the passer a little bit more,” Saleh said, via Barrows.

The 49ers, though, used first-round picks on interior defenders Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner the previous two years. Buckner rates as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 interior defender, behind only J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh, through three games. The new-look 49ers defensive staff wanted to decrease Buckner’s workload upon being hired, Saleh calling it “criminal” for Buckner to exceed 1,000 snaps as he did as a rookie, but Barrows observes those stances softening as the season’s begun. At 179 defensive plays, Buckner is on pace for nearly the 1,005 snaps he played last season now. Injuries to Carradine and Ronald Blair, and the release of current Packers cog Quinton Dial, has thinned out a potential 49ers D-line rotation.

Here’s the latest from the Western divisions.

  • The Cardinals are not receiving Jared Veldheer‘s best work thus far this season. The team’s move of the veteran left tackle to the right side has not gone well, and Veldheer might be playing in his final Arizona season. While Veldheer took a day away from the team to consider leaving football earlier this year, Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com notes (on Twitter) the veteran lineman would like to return in 2018. However, Jurecki does not expect him to stay with the Cardinals. Veldheer’s in the fourth season of a five-year, $35MM deal — one that includes a $10.25MM cap hold for 2018. He profiles as a cap casualty at this point.
  • Deone Bucannon will make his season debut after an extensive layoff due to an ankle injury. Bruce Arians confirmed the inside linebacker will be ready to suit up in Week 4. Haason Reddick, the fill-in player here, will likely start Sunday while Bucannon is gradually worked back into the fold, per Arians.
  • The Chiefs, though, will be without a key front-seven piece in their Week 4 game. Dee Ford will miss Kansas City’s Monday-night home game against Washington. With Tamba Hali already being conserved for the stretch run via the PUP list, this will leave the AFC West leaders thin at outside linebacker. Ford’s dealing with a back injury.
  • The gap between Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard remains too wide for the 49ers to consider a quarterback change, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes. Hoyer’s system knowledge giving the embattled 49ers their best chance to win now makes him unlikely to be unseated any time soon, Maiocco notes.

NFC West Rumors: Hawks, Lacy, 49ers, Cards

Speaking to the media today, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said today that rookie defensive tackle Malik McDowell is going to be sidelined “quite a while” after suffering injuries in an ATV accident last week, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Initial reports indicated McDowell could be in danger of missing the 2017 campaign, and Carroll confirmed “it might be a lot to ask” McDowell to play during the upcoming season, tweets Dave Mahler of 950 KJR. Seattle has already placed McDowell on the non-football injury list, meaning he isn’t currently counting against the club’s roster count.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • While he could still return in time for the start of the regular season, 49ers guard Joshua Garnett will be hard-pressed to do so as he’s expected to miss one month after suffering a knee injury over the weekend, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). As Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported Saturday, veterans Brandon Fusco and Zane Beadles are now working as San Francisco’s starting guards. Garnett, the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2016, started 11 games during his rookie season, but graded near the bottom of Pro Football Focus‘ guard rankings.
  • For the third time this year, Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy has met a weight requirement that will net him $55K, per Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. Lacy earned $55K in May for weighing in below 255 pounds, while his two most recent thresholds were 250 pounds. Signed to a one-year deal in March, Lacy’s contract has a base value of $4.25MM, which includes $385K in weight bonuses. An additional $1.3MM is available via incentives.
  • Cardinals offensive tackle Jared Veldheer took a personal day away from the club last month to contemplate retirement after chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 99 percent of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, as Bob McManaman and Andrew Vailliencourt of the Arizona Republic write. “It wasn’t really like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is scary.’ I wasn’t going to … It was more complicated than that,” Veldheer said. “Everyone kind of would like to know more about (CTE) just because that kind of stuff has only been brought up in the last five years or so really and there’s just a lot of stuff they need to do research-wise.” Veldheer, 30, will shift to right tackle in 2017 in order to allow former first-round selection D.J. Humphries to take over on the blindside.

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.

NFC Notes: Cousins, 49ers, Saints, Cardinals

If Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins becomes available either via the trade or free agency this offseason, the 49ers reportedly plan to pursue the 28-year-old. That would seemingly be a welcome development for Cousins, who praised the 49ers’ new leadership – rookie general manager John Lynch and soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan – on Thursday. Cousins told KNBR 680 (via CSN Bay Area) that Lynch is “smart guy” and a “class act,” adding, ” I think it was a good hire and credit the 49ers for going outside the box and doing something different, and not just getting stuck in a rut of the same old thing.” Shanahan is an “offensive genius,” according to Cousins, who played under the longtime coordinator in Washington from 2012-13. “I’ve always been a big fan of Kyle’s,” Cousins said. “I’ve always spoken very highly of him from the day I was picked. And he called me right after the draft and preached belief in me and encouragement … I loved his system right away and saw it successfuly run with Robert Griffin. I’ve seen it now run successfully with Matt Ryan.”

More from the NFC:

  • Colts COO Pete Ward stated last month that an “associate” of Saints head coach Sean Payton reached out to Indianapolis about its head coaching job, but Payton denied that Friday. Payton told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that his only “associate” is agent Don Yee, who didn’t call the Colts, and the coach added that he had never even previously heard of Ward. While there were reports earlier this winter that teams – including the Colts and Rams – could explore trading for Payton, the Saints never made him available, he informed Florio.
  • Payton’s boss, Saints owner Tom Benson, brought an end to a long battle Friday in settling an ownership dispute with his heirs centering on both New Orleans’ NFL franchise and the NBA’s Pelicans, details Greg LaRose of NOLA.com. If not for the settlement, the parties would have headed to trial Monday (the trial would not have impacted Benson’s control over the teams). Prior to Friday, Benson had been looking to remove ownership shares in the Saints and Pelicans from trust funds created for his daughter and grandson. The family had a falling out on account of Benson’s third wife, Gayle, whom he married in 2004 and who, in the heirs’ opinions, has too much control over Benson’s business affairs.
  • The Cardinals are planning to have left tackle Jared Veldheer and right tackle D.J. Humphries trade places in 2017, offensive coordinator/line coach Harold Goodwin revealed Thursday (via Darren Urban of the team’s website). “Jared is a team player, D.J. is a team player, so I’m sure we’re going to have a little coach-to-player conversation, but right now, throwing it out there of my own accord, I think D.J. at left and Jared at right and we’re rolling and kicking butt,” Goodwin said. Veldheer went on injured reserve in October with a partially torn triceps. That opened the door for Humphries to move back to the left side, where he spent his college career at Florida. Humphries was impressive enough there with the Gators to end up as a first-round pick in 2015, though he was inactive for his entire rookie season before beginning last year on the right side. In a combined 13 starts at the two positions, he graded as Pro Football Focus’ 42nd-best tackle among 78 qualifiers. Veldheer, meanwhile, was far better at the time of his injury (No. 18 out of 74), but that won’t stop the Cardinals from moving him off his typical position. The 2017 campaign will be the penultimate season of the five-year, $35MM deal Veldheer signed with the Cardinals in 2014.

Cardinals Place Jared Veldheer On IR

Cardinals left tackle Jared Veldheer needs surgery on his partially torn triceps, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Schefter notes that Veldheer had this surgery before and missed ten weeks. The Cardinals have confirmed that Veldheer will go on IR and he is almost certainly done for the year.Jared Veldheer (vertical)

Veldheer exited Sunday’s game against the Panthers in the fourth quarter. It’s a frustrating situation for Veldheer who was playing through a broken finger and has already dealt with this tear.

The veteran’s first triceps tear came in 2013 when he was in his contract year with the Raiders. Fortunately, he still found a healthy offensive line market in the spring and landed with Arizona on a five-year, $35MM deal.

The 3-4 Cardinals will miss Veldheer who is ranked No. 18 out of 74 qualified tackles so far this year. Veldheer has been an absolute workhorse for the Cardinals with 578 total snaps on the field this year, the second-highest total amongst tackles this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Osweiler, Elway, Broncos, Foles

In a recent interview, Broncos GM John Elway indicated that Brock Osweiler was none too pleased when he got the hook in favor of Peyton Manning last season.

I can understand that he didn’t want to sit down and have Peyton come back in that San Diego game, but it wasn’t the fact that Brock was playing bad,” Elway said (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “We needed a change of something. So I was a little surprised just how he seemed to be a little bent out of shape about that. But he had an opportunity to make a tremendous amount of money in Houston, and for us, it just didn’t fit.”

Given Elway’s view of Osweiler, one has to wonder exactly how much he wanted to re-sign him. This offseason, Osweiler signed a four-year, $72MM deal with the Texans with $37MM in guarantees. The Broncos, meanwhile, only offered Osweiler ~$64MM with $30MM in guarantees.

Here’s more from the West divisions:

  • Osweiler responded to Elway on Monday (link via ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop). “The only thing I would say is what kind of competitor wouldn’t want to play in that situation?” the former Broncos QB said. “Outside of that, I think I’ve answered all of those questions, we’re now in August, we just had a great training camp practice, and I’m excited to play the 49ers coming up.”
  • Nick Foles agreed to lower his guaranteed 2016 base salary in order to secure his release from the Rams, accepting $1MM from Los Angeles rather than the $1.75MM he was scheduled to earn. But as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Foles will make up that difference if he earns a spot on the Chiefs‘ roster, as he’ll earn that same $1.75MM amount on his new contract. Foles’ deal with the Rams contained offset language, Florio suggests, and Los Angeles be able to will clear Foles off their salary cap if he makes the Chiefs.
  • Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer converted $6MM of his $7.25MM base salary into a signing bonus, creating $4MM of cap space for the team, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That gave the team enough wiggle room to give Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer one-year extensions last week.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

West Links: Veldheer, Campbell, Boone

Cardinals left tackle Jared Veldheer entered the league with a reputation as a tireless worker in the weight room. The 6-8, 321-pounder put on approximately 70 pounds during his time at Hillsdale College (where the weight room is now named after him), and his passion for strength training continues to this day. In fact, his massive physique has drawn “Hulk” comparisons, writes Darren Urban of azcardinals.com. Veldheer signed a five-year, $35MM deal with Arizona in March.

Here’s some more NFC and AFC West reading:

  • Calais Campbell, 27, is in his prime and desires to be respected as an elite player, writes ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. The 6-8, 300-pound five-technique stated his case last year, tallying 58 tackles, nine sacks and six batted passes. Additionally, his 34.1 grade from Pro Football Focus was the best rating by a 3-4 defensive end not named J.J. Watt.
  • There’s “no way” 49ers guard Alex Boone reports to training camp without a new contract, reports CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers “redshirt” running back Marcus Lattimore was the subject of a feature story by ESPN’s Bill Williamson, who detailed the remarkable adversity Lattimore has persevered through to reach this point. Now, Lattimore says, “I’m ready to get hit again. . .and then move on.”
  • Meanwhile, Lattimore’s 49ers and South Carolina teammate Bruce Ellington, a multisport star, was featured in USA Today.
  • Keeping with the injury recovery/South Carolina theme, Chargers.com managing editor Ricky Henne spotlighted Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, who made an exceptionally quick return from an ACL tear suffered last May.
  • The Rams were given an “Offseason Report Card” by SI.com’s Chris Burke. The results? B-plus.