Jeff Allen

Extra Points: Steelers, Tuitt, Saints

Here’s a look around the NFL:

  • Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt has a chance to play this week against Minnesota, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). Tuitt has been classified as week-to-week with his bicep injury.
  • In light of the Zach Strief injury news, Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter) notes that likely replacement Senio Kelemete can earn $200K by playing in 50% of the team’s snaps and up to $600K at 70%. The Saints will be without the tackle for at least a few weeks.
  • Texans guard Jeff Allen is expected to miss at least one game with an ankle injury, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. Allen, one of Houston’s starting guards, is in year two of a four-year, $28MM pact. He appeared in 14 games last season, all starts.
  • Wide receiver Cobi Hamilton is working out for the Texans this week, a source tells ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). The former Pittsburgh receiver could round out a banged up unit that is missing both Bruce Ellington (concussion) and Will Fuller (collarbone).
  • The Chiefs gave running back Akeem Hunt an upgraded practice squad contract, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. He’ll now make $36K per week, which comes out to $615K for the year. Hunt signed on with KC’s taxi squad on Sept. 5 and it sounds like the Chiefs weren’t the only team interested in his services.

Texans Sign Jeff Allen

THURSDAY, 3:17pm: The Texans officially announced that they have signed Allen (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 2:44pm: Shortly after agreeing to deals with quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller, the Texans are set to add yet another big-time offensive piece. The team is expected to sign guard Jeff Allen, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com Jeff Allen (Twitter link).

The deal is done, per FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo (on Twitter), and Allen will receive $28MM over four years. He’ll get exactly half of that ($14MM) next season.

Allen, whom the Bears and Eagles were reportedly pursuing as of earlier this afternoon, will take the place of the departed Brandon Brooks – who’s signing with Philly — in Houston. The 26-year-old spent the first four seasons of his career in Kansas City after it selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft.

All told, he appeared in 44 regular-season games and totaled 36 starts.

Last season, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Allen as the 10th-best guard in the NFL, giving him a strong 88.8 grade for run blocking and a solid 77.4 grade as a pass blocker.

PFR’s Luke Adams ranks Allen as the 27th-best free agent in this year’s class.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Contract Details: Osweiler, Ivory, Iloka

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Brandon Mebane, DT (Chargers): Three years, $13.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. $3MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jaye Howard, DT (Chiefs): Two years, $10MM. $8.26MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus. $3.27MM guaranteed at signing for injury. Pro Bowl escalator worth up to $2MM $12,500 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $200K in 2016. $15,625 per-game active roster bonuses worth up to $250K in 2017 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Dwight Lowery, S (Chargers): Three years, $7.2MM. $1.5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Frank Zombo, LB (Chiefs): Three years, $3.6MM. $500K signing bonus. Roster bonus of $100K in 2016 and $150K the next two seasons (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Brock Osweiler, QB (Texans): Four years, $72MM. $37MM fully guaranteed in first two years – $21MM in 2016 ($12MM signing bonus, $5MM roster bonus, $4MM salary), $16MM in 2017. The remaining $35MM is non-guaranteed, including $18MM salary in 2018 and $13MM in 2019. Deal includes a $4MM roster bonus due March 2019 (all Twitter links courtesy of USA Today’s Tom Pelissero).
  • Chris Ivory, RB (Jaguars): Five years, $32MM. $10MM guaranteed. $5MM bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Jeff Allen, G (Texans): Four years, $28MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due this month. Annual per-game roster bonus worth $31,250 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Brad Nortman, P (Jaguars): Four years, $8.8MM. $1.65MM guaranteed. $650K roster bonus in 2016 (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

AFC East:

  • Richie Incognito, G (Bills): Three years, $15.75MM. $3.45MM signing bonus. $2MM base salary in 2016 is fully guaranteed. $100K workout bonuses in each season (link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Isa Abdul-Quddus, S (Dolphins): Three years, $12.75MM. $2.5MM signing bonus. $6MM in guarantees (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • James Develin, FB (Patriots): One year, $750K. $150K playing time incentives. $50K signing bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

Free Agent Rumors: Vikings, Weddle, Steelers

The Vikings are negotiating to bring back tight end Rhett Ellison, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). If Ellison can’t be retained, however, one option to replace him might be free agent James Hanna, formerly of the Cowboys, a source tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

Here’s a look at some of the latest news and rumors on this crazy day of action:

  • Terence Newman is also a Vikings free agent, and the club will talk to his agent once again later tonight or tomorrow, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Wolfson also says that Minnesota did not show interest in guard Jeff Allen, as Alex Boone was their target all along.
  • The Steelers like veteran safety Eric Weddle, a source tells Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link), but the club thinks he’s too expensive at the moment. Pittsburgh is hoping Weddle’s price falls.
  • Free agent offensive lineman Ted Larsen will take a visit with the 49ers, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Bears are not done looking for free agent offensive lineman, even after agreeing to a deal with Bobby Massie, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).
  • Texans restricted free agent corner A.J. Bouye is drawing interest from other clubs, but no offer sheet is yet on the table, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Bouye was tendered at the lowest level, so Houston won’t get any compensation if it fails to match an offer.

Bears, Falcons Pursuing G Jeff Allen

12:19pm: Allen could command between $6MM and $7MM per year, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

12:00pm: The Bears and Falcons are among the teams pursuing guard Jeff Allen, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets. It’s not immediately clear how involved the incumbent Chiefs are in his free agency, however.

Last season, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Allen as the No. 10 guard in the NFL with a strong 88.8 grade for run blocking and a solid 77.4 grade for pass blocking. Those scores put Allen as the second-best available free agent guard this offseason behind veteran Richie Incognito. In total, Allen saw 321 pass snaps and 272 run snaps for KC.

The Eagles were previously listed as a potential suitor for Allen given their need for interior line help and Allen’s connection to new head coach Doug Pederson. At this time, however, it doesn’t sound like they are a leading team for his services.

FA Rumors: Osweiler, Okung, M. Williams

The big news of the day, of course, was the report that Peyton Manning will officially announce his retirement tomorrow. However, offseason business in the NFL waits for no man, and to that end, here are some notes regarding some of this year’s biggest free agents:

  • After Manning’s decision, and with free agency set to officially open on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Broncos‘ negotiations with Brock Osweiler will really begin to ramp up.
  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Osweiler may indeed re-sign with the Broncos, but that is far from a certainty at this point. As Schefter observes, other quarterback-needy clubs could make it difficult for Denver to retain the fifth-year signal-caller.
  • Even though the Seahawks are interested in retaining him, LT Russell Okung is intent on hitting the free agent market, per Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • Rapoport tweets that Mario Williams stayed the night in Miami after visiting the Dolphins, and while Williams has other visits lined up, Rapoport says that Miami could keep him from taking those visits.
  • Panthers GM Dave Gettleman does not spend big in free agency, but if he makes an exception this offseason, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer identifies Eric Weddle and Bruce Irvin as two players that would make a great deal of sense for Carolina.
  • Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets that the Texans will be active in exploring the top of the free agent running back market after parting ways with Arian Foster. Wilson names Chris Ivory, Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, and Matt Forte as possibilities for Houston.
  • The Eagles will certainly invest free agent dollars and draft picks in their offensive line this offseason, and Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer names Jeff Allen and Brandon Brooks as realistic targets for the club.
  • Free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin, unsurprisingly, wants to continue his career with a title contender, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (via Twitter).

Extra Points: Eagles, Jeff Allen, Keenan Allen

Here’s the latest from around the NFL as we draw closer to free agency:

  • The Eagles, who desperately need help at guard, are targeting Chiefs pending free agent Jeff Allen, reports Les Bowen of Philly.com. Given Allen’s connection to new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who was previously Kansas City’s offensive coordinator, this news comes as no surprise.
  • The Packers’ James Jones, set to be part of the upcoming class of free agent receivers, is confused that he isn’t generating much buzz after totaling 50 catches, averaging a tremendous 17.8 yards per reception, and amassing eight touchdowns last season. “I’m hearing a lot of these receivers names being called and people are trying to brush over my name, and I had one of the best seasons out of all these guys that are free agents,” the 31-year-old said. On re-signing with Green Bay, he added, “I was hoping it would go be back to Green Bay, but I don’t know what’s going to happen” (link via Conor Orr of NFL.com).
  • Once free agency and the draft are out of the way, the Chargers will initiate extension talks with contract-year wideout Keenan Allen, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Even if the the Chargers drag their feet on giving Allen a new deal, he has no intention of holding out, per Gehlken. The soon-to-be 24-year-old racked up a whopping 67 catches in just eight games last season. That followed back-to-back 70-reception seasons in his first two years.
  • First-year Titans general manager Jon Robinson said Friday that his offseason focus lies with improving the team’s offensive line, acquiring offensive playmakers, and adding “players who can help us get off the field on third down on defense,’’ per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com.
  • The chances of pending free agent defensive backs Josh Robinson and Robert Blanton returning to the Vikings are “not good,” according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Robinson played in five games last season and wasn’t a factor. Blanton suited up for all 16 games, but appeared in just 21.5% of the Vikings’ defensive snaps.

East Notes: L. Johnson, Patriots, Bills, Cowboys

Although perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters currently mans left tackle in Philadelphia, the Eaglesextension of Lane Johnson indicates that the club clearly views him at its left tackle of the future. Johnson’s new deal, which locks him up through 2021, makes him the highest-paid right tackle in the league, and would put on him par with the most well-compensated left tackles, as well. For his part, Johnson agrees that his time on the blindside will come eventually.

“I think that’s what they drafted me for,” Johnson tells Zach Berman of Philly.com. “Obviously, Jason Peters is probably the best tackle of all time. One of them. Him and Walter Jones, in my opinion. Having him here, he’s taught me so much. I’m going to continue to [play right tackle] until that time comes.”

Here’s more from the NFL’s East divisions:

  • The Patriots‘ offensive struggles were on full display during the AFC Championship Game, and the club will have some work to do to improve the unit in 2016. But one lineman who is unlikely to be retained is swing tackle Marcus Cannon, whom Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston believes will be a salary cap casualty. Releasing Cannon would save New England about $3.69MM (the Patriots currently project to have only ~$4MM in 2016 cap space).
  • If the Patriots opt to make outside additions to its offensive line, someone like Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz will probably be outside of their comfort level financially. But Chiefs free agent Jeff Allen would be more affordable, and as Dolloff notes, Allen’s ability to play both guard and tackle could be intriguing to Bill Belichick.
  • Free agent linebacker Nigel Bradham clearly won’t be a priority for the Bills as they seek to re-sign Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, who predicts that Bradham won’t return to Buffalo if he asks for $4-5MM annually. One potential replacement could be Jets linebacker Demario Davis, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com, who says Buffalo could circle back to Davis after the first wave of free agency.
  • While reports have indicated that Johnny Manziel — who is in the news again for an off-field incident — would like to play for the Cowboys, Todd Archer of ESPN.com doesn’t think it would be a good move. Returning to the state where he is the biggest celebrity would not be a positive for the 23-year-old, opines Archer.

Minor Moves: Friday

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here, with the latest transactions added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • Confirming the signing of cornerback Jamell Fleming, the Chiefs announced that they’ve placed offensive lineman Jeff Allen on injured reserve in a corresponding roster move (Twitter link). It’s the latest blow to a line that already took several hits this year via free agency and a suspension.
  • The Colts have tweaked their practice squad, re-adding running back Zurlon Tipton, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Offensive tackle Reid Fragel will be the odd man out, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter).
  • Raiders head coach Dennis Allen confirmed earlier today that special teams ace Taiwan Jones is headed to the IR list (Twitter link via Fallon Smith of CSN Bay Area), and Bill Williamson of ESPN.com says (via Twitter) that it’ll mark the end of the season for Jones, who won’t be given the designation to return.

Earlier updates:

  • The Raiders are promoting Bojay Filimoeatu from practice squad to active roster, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Oakland signed the linebacker to their practice squad in late August, one day after releasing him to get down to the 53-man roster. The 6-1, 258-pound linebacker suffered a torn patellar tendon after his senior season and went undrafted in 2013.

AFC West Notes: Hillman, Allen, Jackson

Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman ended last season fourth on the depth chart, but he’s rebounded with an impressive, encouraging offseason, reports NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling. Hillman’s position coach Eric Studesville praised the third-year back, saying, “From when we started this spring in April forward, he has been unbelievable. He’s a completely different guy in the best possible way and I’m just excited about what he’s doing, how he’s approaching it, how he’s making plays on the field.”

Here’s a few more AFC West links:

      • The Broncos need to improve in the punt return game, writes the Denver Post’s Troy Renck, who takes a look at the players vying for the role, including Isaiah Burse and Jordan Norwood. The team can also use veteran Wes Welker if the “safe” option is the best option.
      • Donnie Avery had just 40 catches and two touchdowns in his first season with the Chiefs last year, but he remains the team’s best option to be the No. 2 receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe, says ESPN’s Adam Teicher.
      • The Chiefs’ offensive line is the focus of team reporter BJ Kissel, who writes about the impressive camp third-year blocker Jeff Allen is having. Allen is proving versatile and effective, and his teammates are noticing. Says Pro-Bowl pass rusher Tamba Hali: “I’m very impressed with [Allen]. He’s able to play guard and he’s able to play tackle and I’m going against him and he’s stoned me a couple times. I’m very impressed with him.”
      • There’s no more ambiguity about the type of offensive line the Raiders want to field, writes InsideBayArea.com’s Jerry McDonald, who says rookie guard Gabe Jacksonrepresents a changing of the guard for the Raiders in ways that go beyond inserting the rookie third-round draft pick into the starting lineup.” Jackson has work to do in pass protection, but the Raiders envision the third-rounder as a powerful road grader with long-term starter potential.
      • The Chargers’ depth chart for their first preseason game looks like this. Notre Dame rookie Chris Watt will start at right guard, while free-agent acquisition Donald Brown is listed as the primary kick returner.