Jason Verrett

NFC West Notes: Goff, Seahawks, 49ers

While the Eagles and Carson Wentz are negotiating an extension that is expected to be finalized before the season, the Rams and Jared Goff have not made similar progress. It is not clear if they have begun re-up talks. But the notion the team is toying with the idea of using the two-time Pro Bowler during his rookie deal and moving in is not rooted in reality, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Rams are committed to building a roster around a franchise-level Goff contract, per Bonsignore. Goff stands to make more than $20MM in 2020 on his fifth-year option but is tethered to merely an $8.89MM cap number this season. Sean McVay has not said if the Rams plan to extend Goff this year, mentioning the possibility of a deal being tabled until 2020.

Shifting to another quarterback’s contract, here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Geno Smith landed with a fourth team in four years recently, linking up with the Seahawks. His one-year deal is for the minimum salary, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). He’ll receive just $25K guaranteed on the $895K deal as he competes with Paxton Lynch to serve as Russell Wilson‘s backup. Lynch is making $645K this year. Neither is a lock to be on Seattle’s roster when the regular season begins. Despite these two high picks’ struggles as NFLers, each profiles as a bigger name than the Seahawks have employed behind Russell Wilson over the past two seasons.
  • More Seahawks details: Al Woodsdeal points to the veteran defensive tackle having a slightly better chance to make the 53-man roster. But the 10th-year lineman’s pact is worth slightly less than originally reported, as is often the case. Woods can earn up to $2.25MM, but the base value of this pact is $1.25MM, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. A five-team veteran who played two games with 2011 Seahawks, Woods received $400K guaranteed. The deal will count $2.215MM against Seattle’s cap. This deal is similar to those given to Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen last year. Both made the team, though Johnson was cut midway through the season.
  • Ahkello Witherspoon‘s 2018 season did not go well. The young cornerback graded as, by far, the worst full-time corner in the view of Pro Football Focus. But the 49ers signing Jason Verrett does not mean he will be the starter. Witherspoon will still be the man to beat at right cornerback, Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Verrett is unlikely to be ready to go until training camp, Barrows adds.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

West Notes: 49ers, Hawks, Broncos, Chiefs

Jason Verrett signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the 49ers this offseason, but the ex-Chargers cornerback says he actually contemplated retirement before landing in San Francisco, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Verrett, who was in a “dark place” while deciding on his NFL future, has only played in five total games over the past three seasons, with various injuries — including a torn ACL and a ruptured Achilles — ending his campaigns. The 49ers ranked 26th in defensive DVOA against No. 2 wideouts in 2018, so they can use all they help they can get opposite Richard Sherman. Verrett, an excellent corner when healthy, is expected to compete with Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore for the job.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Fullback Nick Bellore‘s contract with the Seahawks is worth $2.23MM over two years, tweets Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Bellore will receive $600K guaranteed, including a $300K signing bonus and a $300K 2019 base salary guarantee. A linebacker who played primarily on special teams for the first seven years of his NFL career, Bellore converted to the offensive side of the ball last summer. The 30-year-old appeared in 14 games for the Lions in 2018, playing 118 snaps on offense and 238 on special teams. Seattle used a fullback on only 8% of its plays last season.
  • New Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco will take all the first-team reps at organized team activities, head coach Vic Fangio told reporters, including Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). That’s perhaps unsurprising, as Flacco is fully expected to be Denver’s starter despite the club selecting Missouri’s Drew Lock in the second round. Indeed, Flacco’s performance in early Broncos practices dissuaded general manager John Elway from drafting a signal-caller on Day 1 of the draft. Lock, veteran Kevin Hogan, and undrafted free agent Brett Rypien will compete to become Denver’s second and third quarterback.
  • The Seahawks gave significant signing bonuses to several of their undrafted collegiate free agents, as Henderson tweets. Quarterback Taryn Christion, receiver Terry Wright, and cornerbacks Derrek Thomas and Davante Davis each received a $10K bonus. As Henderson notes, though, that level of guarantee doesn’t necessarily ensure a roster spot. In 2018, Seattle gave receiver Ka’Raun White a $14K bonus but cut him after rookie minicamp. Click on Henderson’s tweet to see the full list of the Seahawks’ UDFA signing bonuses.
  • Free agent offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph is meeting with the Chiefs today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). An undrafted free agent out of Florida International University in 2017, Joseph has spent time with the Bears, Ravens, Vikings, and Jets but has yet to appear in an NFL game.

NFC Notes: Verrett, Peppers, Packers

The 49ers are placing a lot of faith in their training and medical staffs, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle observes (Twitter link). The club’s two major offseason acquisitions, Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford, come with medical red flags, as do new cornerback Jason Verrett and the recently re-signed Jimmie Ward. But Verrett could offer the most bang for San Francisco’s buck.

Verrett’s one-year deal carries a cap charge of just $1.5MM and maxes out at just $3MM. As Branch writes in a separate piece, Verrett has been told that the starting cornerback position opposite Richard Sherman is up for grabs, and Verrett, a 2015 Pro Bowler, is determined to make the most of his chance. He said, “[t]he opportunity is there for me. Wide open. It’s just there for me to take. It’s just for me to get back healthy and get back there on the football field and do what I love to do.” Verrett’s primary competition for the job is Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Eli Manning will not collect his $5MM roster bonus until tomorrow, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv (via Twitter). It had previously been reported that Manning earned his bonus yesterday, all but ensuring that he will remain with the Giants in 2019. But Vacchiano says Manning is still expected to return next season and that he will not be cut within the next 24 hours.
  • Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes that the Giants are very excited about the acquisition of Jabrill Peppers, part of New York’s return in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. Per Schwartz, Big Blue sees Peppers as a classic strong safety, but the club will take full advantage of his versatility. Peppers will not line up in the same position from snap to snap and will be asked to line up deep, up near the line, at slot cornerback, and at nickel linebacker. New York brass has been heavily criticized for the OBJ deal, but if Peppers can live up to his draft pedigree, that will go a long way towards the Giants’ rebuild.
  • Eagles top personnel executive Howie Roseman has made it abundantly clear that he does not value the running back position, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com observes. Roseman has invested neither top dollar nor top draft capital in running backs, and that remains an area of glaring need at the moment. But since Roseman has built a strong offense and a roster that is in win-now mode, and since he has again avoided the free agent market for running backs, one has to think that he will use one of his three picks in the first two rounds of the 2019 draft to add some talent to the offensive backfield.
  • The Packers made a rare foray into the top end of the free agent market this year, and thus far they have dished out free agent contracts with a total value of $184MM (though less than one-third of that figure is guaranteed). But as Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com notes, Green Bay ranks near the bottom of the league in 2020 salary cap room, and it opted for smaller salary cap hits on its big-ticket FAs this year in exchange for bigger hits down the road. That means that at least a couple of the club’s major signees — Za’Darius SmithPreston SmithAdrian Amos, and Billy Turner — will have to pan out, and GM Brian Gutekunst will have to have a successful draft in order to field a competitive team over the next several seasons, as he will not be able to splurge again next year.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

49ers To Sign CB Jason Verrett

The 49ers are signing former Chargers’ cornerback Jason Verrett to a one-year, $3.6MM deal, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The former first-round pick has played in just five games over the last three years, but he could be a strong value signing if he stays on the field. 

Verrett missed the entire 2018 campaign after suffering a torn Achilles during a conditioning test last July. The Texans and Chiefs were also said to have had interest in Verrett, but they were also closely looking into his health situation.

Verrett was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and looked primed to establish himself as one of the best young corners in the league. Reportedly, before the latest injury, he looked like his old self in practice, so there’s reason to believe that he’ll make the most of his one-year prove-it deal.

The Niners made major upgrades to their defense this week, signing Kwon Alexander and trading for (and extending) Dee Ford. They also made an offer to cornerback Bradley Roby before he chose to sign with the Texans. They didn’t land Roby, but they got another former first-round pick out of the AFC West in Verrett.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Hosting Jason Verrett; Texans, Chiefs On Deck

Free agent cornerback Jason Verrett is visiting the 49ers, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Texans are presently scheduled to host Verrett after his trip to the 49ers, and the Chiefs are on the docket after that.

The former first-round pick of the Chargers has played in just five games in the last three years due to injury, and he missed the entire 2018 campaign after suffering a torn Achilles during a conditioning test last July.

Because of his health concerns, San Francisco is making a physical part of Verrett’s visit, and Houston and Kansas City may do the same. Rapoport indicated that Verrett was garnering significant interest, and that certainly seems to be the case.

Verrett was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and looked primed to establish himself as one of the best young corners in the league, but his career has been sidetracked in a big way. However, he reportedly looked like his old self in minicamp last year before the Achilles injury, and if he can make good on a one-year prove-it deal, he may be able to really cash in next offseason.

The 49ers have made major upgrades to their defense this week, signing Kwon Alexander and trading for (and extending) Dee Ford. They are also looking to bolster their secondary and made an offer to cornerback Bradley Roby, who ultimately chose to sign with the Texans.

But even with the addition of Roby, Houston could stand to add to its stable of CBs, and Kansas City is also in the market for corner help. The Chiefs are meeting with Ronald Darby tonight.

If healthy, Verrett could be in store for plenty of playing time if he lands with any of these clubs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Jason Verrett Tears Achilles

Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett suffered a torn Achilles during a conditioning test, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via ESPN colleague Josina Anderson on Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was the first to report (via Twitter) that Verrett sustained an injury that would likely cost him the season. Injuries have limited Verrett to just five total games over the past two seasons, so this is obviously devastating news for the 27-year-old. 

Verrett was a full participant in June’s minicamp and reportedly looked like his old self. The Bolts were cautiously optimistic about Verrett after he flashed the ability that earned him a Pro Bowl nod in 2015.

“We can be real special,” Verrett said recently when asked about the Chargers’ secondary“I know it’s a tough for the coaches to make a decision on who’s going to go out there, just because of how deep we are. But I think just how tight we are as a group, it’s going to allow us to keep feeding off each other. Everyone’s going be wanting to get better each and every day because you know the guys behind you are going to want to be where you are.”

Without Verrett, the Bolts will lean more heavily on the likes of Casey HeywardTrevor Williams, and Desmond King. It’s conceivable that they could also explore outside help, such as free agent Bashaud Breeland. Anderson reports that the team is keeping another big name free agent, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, in mind, but that there is no rush to bring DRC in at this time.

Verrett, a 2014 first-round selection, is entering the walk year of his contract. Between his two knee surgeries and this latest setback, Verrett’s future is very much in flux.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Verrett, Raiders, Browns, Stephenson

Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett has appeared in five totals games over the past two seasons. The 27-year-old is excited to head into the 2018 season fully healthy, and he’s ready to return to his Pro Bowl level.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit more juice, just dealing with the fact that I lost two seasons,” Verrett told Hayley Elwood of Chargers.com (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “I’m hungry. I’m going to grind. I’m going to grind, grind, grind. They’re going to see the Pro Bowl player they saw in 2015.”

The former first-rounder had a breakout season in 2015, compiling 42 tackles, 12 passes defended, and three interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl nod. However, the cornerback has recently been battling through a torn ACL that he suffered during the 2016 campaign.

Starters Trevor Williams and Casey Hayward will still be around next season, but Verrett will be given every opportunity to contribute if he’s healthy.

“We can be real special,” Verrett said. “I know it’s a tough for the coaches to make a decision on who’s going to go out there, just because of how deep we are. But I think just how tight we are as a group, it’s going to allow us to keep feeding off each other. Everyone’s going be wanting to get better each and every day because you know the guys behind you are going to want to be where you are.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…
  • The Raiders brought in a number of new players and coaches this offseason, and Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area takes a look at the five additions with the most to prove. Head coach Jon Gruden naturally leads the list, with linebacker Derrick Johnson ranking second. Bair notes that Johnson is expected to provide Oakland’s defense with some much-needed leadership, and the signing will be a win if he can prove to be a three-down linebacker. Running back Doug Martin, wideout Jordy Nelson, and cornerback Rashaan Melvin also earned spots on the list.
  • Former NFL agent (and current CBS Sport contributor) Joel Corry observes the “interesting dynamics” between the Browns pair of first-round picks (Twitter link). As Corry points out, cornerback Denzel Ward, who was selected fourth overall, doesn’t have any incentive to sign his contract until the team inks their first-overall selection, quarterback Baker Mayfield, to a deal. If Mayfield ends up receiving guaranteed money without any offsets, Corry believes Ward can push to get similar advantages on his contract. For what it’s worth, 2017 first-rounder Myles Garrett does have offsets in his deal.
  • After being suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season, Browns offensive lineman Donald Stephenson decided to retire yesterday. As Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com points out, coach Hue Jackson was set to fine the player after he was a no-show from mandatory minicamp. Now, the team presumably won’t hit Stephenson with any fines, especially since he gave up his $1MM in guaranteed money by deciding to retire.
  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes the Browns have improved, but he’s wondering if Jackson will be able to take a step forward. The writer notes that the head coach had a built-in excuse (“rebuild”) during his 1-31 start with the organization, but there will now be actual expectations for the squad. The hiring of offensive coordinator Todd Haley will certainly help, but it will ultimately be up to the head coach to lead the Browns to success.

Jason Verrett Returns To Full Participation

Good news for Chargers fans (at least for now). Per Dan Woike of the San Diego Union-Tribune, cornerback Jason Verrett was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, the second day of last week’s mandatory minicamp, and he looked like his old self. Woike reports that, over the course of the three-day minicamp, Verrett flashed the ability that earned him a Pro Bowl nod in 2015 and that suggested he would become one of the better corners in the league.

Of course, Verrett has struggled to stay on the field since his Pro Bowl campaign. His 2016 season was limited to four games due to a partially-torn ACL, and although he returned during last year’s training camp, he only played in the season opener before it was revealed that he would need another surgery on the same knee.

Chargers faithful can therefore be forgiven for being skeptical about Verrett’s return to form, but it seems that Verrett is in a better place — both physically and mentally — than he was at this time last year, when he was recovering from his first knee surgery. Verrett said, “Man, last year was tough. I was in a brace the whole time. It was like a little bit mentally and physically [challenging]. But now being out of the brace, not even thinking, being able to cut and get out of my breaks, I’m able to cut and get back to where I was before.”

In some ways, Verrett’s absence has been a blessing for the Bolts, as it has given players like Casey Heyward, Trevor Williams, and Desmond King an opportunity to shine. So if Verrett can, in fact, recapture at least most of his pre-injury form, Los Angeles should be well-stocked at one of the game’s most important positions.

At his best, Verrett could be better than any other CB on the roster. As defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, “[Verrett’s] skill set, what he has, his speed, his athleticism, his change of direction, it is elite. Just to see him go through the individuals sometimes, you see a guy come back from an injury like that, it takes some time. I don’t see that right now. The way he’s working out, the way he’s practicing, he’s in a really good place right now.”

Verrett, a 2014 first-round selection, also has plenty of financial motivation to stay healthy and productive, as he will play out the 2018 season under the fifth-year option of his rookie deal before being eligible for free agency next year. Although his two knee surgeries will likely dampen his earning power even if he stays healthy this year, a strong showing will make him a highly valuable commodity on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.