Jasper Brinkley

Chiefs Work Out Laurinaitis, Brinkley, Irving

The Chiefs worked out a host of linebackers on Monday, including a handful of notables. James Laurinaitis, Nate Irving, Jasper Brinkley, Jayson DiManche, Nick Moody, and Miles Burris all showed their stuff for Kansas City (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com). KC could look to sign a linebacker with Derrick Johnson out for the season."<strong

[RELATED: Derrick Johnson Not Considering Retirement]

Laurinaitis inked a three-year, $8.5MM deal with the Saints in the offseason. Expected to provide veteran leadership for New Orleans, Laurinaitis suffered a setback when he went down with a quad injury. He insisted that he was healthy enough to return from IR, but that possibility went out the window when rookie Sheldon Rankins was activated. Last month, the Saints agreed to release Laurinaitis after having paid him roughly $2MM for his six games and 17 tackles.

Irving was speculatively connected to the Colts after D’Qwell Jackson‘s four-game suspension, but Indianapolis wasn’t interested in a reunion. The 28-year-old was dropped by the Colts at final cutdowns despite being in the midst of a multi-year deal. Injuries limited him to eight games (two starts) last year with just eleven tackles. Prior to joining Indianapolis, Irving spent four years with the Broncos, but wasn’t a starter until his final season in Denver.

We haven’t heard much about Brinkley since October when he auditioned for the Patriots. The 31-year-old had 67 tackles and one sack for the Giants last year and he has been exceptionally durable throughout his career. Still, he has been unable to find work so far in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Work Out LB Jasper Brinkley

The Patriots worked out a trio of linebackers today, auditioning Jasper Brinkley, Randell Johnson, and Trevor Bates, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Jasper Brinkley (Vertical)

[RELATED: Patriots Acquire Kyle Van Noy]

None of the linebackers agreed to a contract with New England, and that’s likely because the Patriots filled their linebacker vacancy by acquiring former second-rounder Kyle Van Noy from the Lions. The Pats are looking for help along the front seven given that Jamie Collins (hip) and Shea McClellin (concussion) are coming off injury, though both played on Sunday.

Brinkley, 31, re-signed with the Giants this offseason after having spent the 2015 season in New York. The veteran had another solid campaign last year, compiling 67 tackles and one sack. The linebacker has only missed a pair of games since the start of 2012.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sign Josh Johnson, Release Jasper Brinkley

The Giants have added a third quarterback. Agent Doug Hendrickson announced (via Twitter) that client Josh Johnson has signed with the G-Men. According to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter), the team has released veteran linebacker Jasper Brinkley to make room on the roster.

Josh Johnson (vertical)Johnson, 30, was cut by the Ravens this weekend after having signed with Baltimore in May. The journeyman has bounced around since leaving the Buccaneers in 2011. Since 2012, Johnson has spent time with the Ravens, Browns, Bengals, 49ers, Colts, Bills and Jets. The last time the quarterback took the field was in 2013, when he compiled 20 rushing yards on seven carries for Cincinnati. His last NFL start came in 2011. Johnson will presumably slide in behind Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib on the Giants depth chart.

Brinkley, 31, re-signed with the Giants this offseason after having spent the 2015 season in New York. The veteran had another solid campaign last year, compiling 67 tackles and one sack. The linebacker has only missed a pair of games since the start of 2012. Raanan notes (on Twitter) that the Giants guaranteed $1.7MM of Brinkley’s 2016 contract. With the veteran out of the picture, Keenan Robinson or Kelvin Sheppard could slide into the starting middle linebacker spot for New York.

Contract Details: A. Smith, V. Davis, Knighton

Here are the latest details on recently signed or agreed-upon contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.

  • Aldon Smith, OLB (Raiders): Two years, $11.5MM. Annual salaries of $1.25MM. Up to $4MM annually in per-game roster bonuses. $500K annual workout bonus. Up to $3.5MM in annual incentives (Twitter link).
  • Vernon Davis, TE (Washington): One year, $2.4MM. $500K signing bonus. $600K of $1.35MM base salary is guaranteed. $150K roster bonus due on August 22. Up to $300K in per-game roster bonuses. Up to $2.1MM in incentives (Twitter links).
  • Terrance Knighton, DT (Patriots): One year, $2.018MM. $250K signing bonus. Up to $500K in per-game roster bonuses. $100K workout bonus. Up to $300K in performance incentives. Up to $2MM in playing-time incentives. $500K Pro Bowl incentive (links via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • Jasper Brinkley, LB (Giants): One year, $1.8MM. $1.2MM base salary is guaranteed. $500K roster bonus paid on April 1. $100K workout bonus. Up to $500K in incentives for playing time (Twitter link)
  • Stefen Wisniewski, C/G (Eagles): One year, $1.51MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1.25MM in incentives (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports).
  • Wallace Gilberry, DE (Lions): One year, $1.25MM. $340K signing bonus. $25K workout bonus. Up to $500K in incentives for performance and playing time (link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Jack Crawford, DE (Cowboys): One year, $1.1MM. $240K signing bonus. $100K workout de-escalator. Up to $500K in incentives (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Paysinger, LB (Dolphins): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus. $120K of $760K base salary is guaranteed. (Twitter link).
  • Kyle Love, DT (Panthers): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

East Rumors: Jets, Wilkerson, Cowboys, Giants

Although general manager Mike Maccagnan says that the Jets aren’t “actively pursuing” a trade involving Muhammad Wilkerson, a source tells Brian Costello of the New York Post that the team continues to quietly shop the defensive lineman, as we heard last week. There’s skepticism around the NFL that Gang Green will find a trade partner willing to meet the club’s asking price, but Costello suggests that Maccagnan has four weeks to resolve the situation, since trading Wilkerson becomes much trickier after the draft.

As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com outlines, trading Wilkerson and his $15.7MM would help the Jets solve their current cap crunch. However, Cimini points out that moving Wilkerson would mean letting go of the only player out of the team’s three highest-paid veterans who is still in his prime. Darrelle Revis and D’Brickashaw Ferguson round out the Jets’ top three cap numbers, and both players are arguably on the decline.

As we wait to see how Maccagnan moves forward in New York, let’s round up a few more items from out of the NFL’s East divisions…

  • While it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll draft a quarterback this year, the Cowboys are interested in the possibility of adding a developmental signal-caller to their depth chart. One prospect who might fit that bill is Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, and Dallas held a private workout for him on Wednesday, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Hackenberg will also work out for the Eagles next week, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • The Giants left the door open for Tom Coughlin to assume a role within the organization after he stepped down as the team’s head coach, but it doesn’t sound like that will be happening. As Ryan Lazo of the New York Post details, Coughlin said in an appearance at Mike Francesa’s and Chris Russo’s reunion show that he doesn’t expect to be with the Giants “in any capacity this season.”
  • Jasper Brinkley‘s one-year deal with the Giants is worth $1.8MM, and all but $100K of that money is guaranteed, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (Twitter link).
  • The Patriots added another tight end to their roster on Wednesday when they agreed to terms with ex-Jaguar Clay Harbor. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com takes a closer look at exactly what the Pats are getting in Harbor.

Giants Re-Sign Jasper Brinkley

MARCH 29: The Giants have officially re-signed Brinkley, the team confirmed today in a press release.

MARCH 18: The Giants will bring back free agent middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley on a one-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Financial details aren’t yet available. It’s the second straight one-year pact for Brinkley, who joined the Giants leading up to Week 1 last season after the NFC East rival Cowboys released him.

In his first season with the Giants, Brinkley totaled 67 tackles, four forced fumbles and a sack in 15 appearances (nine starts). Overall, he graded a solid 36th among 97 qualifying linebackers at Pro Football Focus for his performance with Big Blue. He Jasper Brinkley (Featured)was especially impressive against the run, ranking as PFF’s fourth-best LB in that category.

Brinkley, a 2009 fifth-round pick, previously played with the Vikings and Cardinals until 2014, racking up 79 regular-season appearances and 42 starts.

The 30-year-old Brinkley is now set to be part of a 2016 Giants linebacking corps that recently added fellow middle man Keenan Robinson and also features Jonathan Casillas and Devon Kennard. He’ll likely serve as a backup to Robinson, per Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (Twitter link).

Brinkley is the latest defensive free agent pickup for New York, which has made a serious effort to improve last season’s worst-ranked ‘D’ in the NFL. Since March 7, the Giants have signed three high-profile defensive linemen in Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul and Damon Harrison, added Robinson and Brinkley at linebacker, and given cornerback Janoris Jenkins a mega-deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Cox, Brinkley, Romo, JPP

Having already extended the contracts of Vinny Curry, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Malcolm Jenkins, and Brent Celek since their season ended, the Eagles would still like to get something done with Fletcher Cox, whose next deal may very well make him the team’s highest-paid player. Speaking to the media on Wednesday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, de-facto general manager Howie Roseman called it a “huge priority” to lock up Cox, as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer details.

“He’s a great player and he’s going to get great player money,” Roseman said. “And we’re not shy about saying that.”

Cox remains under contract with the Eagles for one more season, so the team isn’t under any immediate pressure to get something done with the standout lineman. As the two sides attempt to work on a deal, let’s round up a few other items from out of the NFC East….

  • Giants linebacker Jasper Brinkley is expected to hit the open market next month, according to James Kratch of NJ.com. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll sign elsewhere. A source with knowledge of the situation tells Kratch that the Giants have expressed interest in signing Brinkley and have had discussions with his representatives.
  • While there’s still no final decision on what type of collarbone surgery Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will undergo, he’s expected to go under the knife within the next two weeks, a source tells Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A Tuesday report indicated Romo is leaning toward a Mumford procedure, which involves shaving off or removing a portion of the distal clavicle.
  • Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is likely focused on his next contract as he nears free agency, but he’ll have another issue on his plate in the near future. According to Julia Marsh of the New York Post, Pierre-Paul filed a lawsuit against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter on Wednesday for publishing his medical records last year. The lawsuit contends that Schefter “improperly obtained” JPP’s medical chart, violating his medical privacy.

Giants Sign Jasper Brinkley

WEDNESDAY, 9:49am: The Giants have officially signed Brinkley, the team announced today in a press release.

TUESDAY, 2:54pm: A day after being released by the Cowboys, linebacker Jasper Brinkley has found a new NFL home with Dallas’ division rivals. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Brinkley has agreed to terms with the Giants, and will join New York’s 53-man roster.

Brinkley, 30, signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys this summer and he said that he was partially motivated by the chance to reunite with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. However, despite the fact that Dallas guaranteed him $2MM as part of the two-year pact, Brinkley failed to earn a spot on the club’s 53-man roster this weekend.

A former fifth-round pick, Brinkley started 11 games for Minnesota last season, compiling 75 tackles and a sack. As the newest member of the Giants’ linebacking corps, the South Carolina product figures to provide some veteran depth behind middle linebacker Jon Beason, who appears to be on track for Week 1 after sustaining a knee injury. Brinkley could also provide a scouting report on his old team, with the Giants set to face the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Cowboys Cut Jasper Brinkley

The Cowboys have cut linebacker Jasper Brinkley, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The move will make room for newly-acquired offensive tackle Jordan Mills. Brinkley’s deal included $2MM cash, so Dallas will be on the hook for some considerable cash.

Brinkley, 30, signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys this summer and he said that he was partially motivated by the chance to reunite with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

“I played in Minnesota for five years and I remember when he was in Chicago, just thinking about those defenses and the guys with the takeaways, a lot of takeaways,” Brinkley said in July.“You think about Charles Tillman, you think about Brian Urlacher, you think about Lance Briggs, you think about Tim Jennings, all those guys.”

 

Brinkley started 11 games for Minnesota last season, compiling 54 tackles and one sack. Prior to that, the veteran played for Arizona in 2013 before returning to the team that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. As a two-down linebacker Brinkley was expected to allow the Cowboys to shift Sean Lee from inside linebacker to weak-side linebacker. Instead, he’ll be looking for work elsewhere.

NFC Notes: Ihenacho, Washington, Brinkley

Washington safety Duke Ihenacho has been watching NBA free agency going crazy, and took to Twitter to express his opinions about minimum contracts for NFL players. Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post captured his tweets, where Ihenacho writes that NFL players have the highest risk of injury and brain trauma, and that the NFL is the richest league, and therefore the minimum salary for players should be $1MM.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC:

  • Washington D.C. wants their NFL franchise to return to the District, but they are unlikely to get support from the Obama administration as long as the team still bears a racial epitaph for their name and logo, writes Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post. The National Park Service owns the land beneath Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, and they are unlikely to accommodate the construction of a new stadium, according to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
  • Former Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley decided to sign a two-year deal with the Cowboys this offseason, and the top reason for choosing Dallas is the opportunity to play for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, writes Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News“I played in Minnesota for five years and I remember when he was in Chicago, just thinking about those defenses and the guys with the takeaways, a lot of takeaways,” Brinkley said. “You think about Charles Tillman, you think about Brian Urlacher, you think about Lance Briggs, you think about Tim Jennings, all those guys.”
  • Even though Deone Bucannon was a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2014, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) doesn’t see the Washington State product having a great career at safety. The draft expert feels that Bucannon should stay at linebacker, where he played the bulk of last season. In 16 games, the Washington State product racked up 86 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and three pass deflections.
  • Former Buccaneers linebacker Brandon Magee has been swinging the bat for the Boston Red Sox Class A affiliate, but he told Pro Football Talk that if an NFL team called him, he would give up baseball to try out, reports Mike Florio. Magee was released from the Buccaneers in March, and had also spent time with the Browns.
  • The Bears hired John Fox in the hope that he could quickly turn the organization around, writes Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The turnaround starts with the attitude of every player on the roster, and the veterans are already buying in. “You go out and get John Fox and Vic Fangio and Adam Gase — you’re sending a message to every player in that locker room that we’re not messing around,” said Jared Allen“We want to win. We want to win now. We certainly have the talent to win. So, get your heads right and let’s go play ball.”