Jeremy Mincey

Jeremy Mincey To Retire

Veteran defensive end Jeremy Mincey announced his retirement on Instagram, posting a picture of hung-up cleats along with a detailed message thanking his previous teams and supporters.Jeremy Mincey (Vertical)

“I just want you all to know: family, fans, and supporters gave me the hope to make it this far, to inspire those who will come behind me,” said Mincey. “I played the game with love, passion and relentlessly (sic) to prove to people your heart will take you as far as you want it to go. Trust me. I had half the talent a lot of guys had in this league.What separated me from the others was my will for victory.”

Mincey had free agent offers on the table, but is instead opting to follow through with retirement, tweets Adam Schefter of It’s not surprising that Mincey had generated interest, as even in his age-32 season he was productive, appearing in 14 games for the Cowboys (six starts) and grading as the No. 61 edge defender in the league, with exceptionally high marks against the run, according to Pro Football Focus. Dallas, however, was not open to a reunion with Mincey, whom PFR recently ranked as the 10th-best free agent defender.

Just a year ago, Mincey posted even better results, managing six sacks for the Cowboys while starting all 16 games. In eight NFL seasons, Mincey, a former sixth-round draft selection, appeared in 96 games and put up 26 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, and 158 tackles. The Florida alum spent time with the Patriots, Jaguars, and Broncos before signing with Dallas prior to the 2014 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Best Available NFL Free Agents: Defense

The most high-profile free agent signings occurred more than two months ago, but as we near June there are still talented NFL free agents available on the open market. Most of these players (with a few exceptions) won’t command much guaranteed money, and given that we’ve passed the May 12 deadline, none will factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. After examining the offensive side of the ball yesterday, let’s take a look at the defensive players who will try to find a home as training camp approaches…Donte Whitner (Veritcal)

1. Donte Whitner, S: Despite being released by the Browns last month, Whitner is still an excellent player, having graded as the league’s No. 24 safety among 89 qualifiers in 2015, per Pro Football Focus. Remarkably durable (he’s missed only three games in the past six years), Whitner visited with the Rams in early April, and is reportedly still on Los Angeles’ radar. Elsewhere, both the Chargers and the Cowboys could make sense as potential landing spots if San Diego and Dallas want to upgrade on Jahleel Addae and Barry Church, respectively.

2. Leon Hall, CB: Hall hasn’t lacked suitors this offseason, as the Cowboys, Cardinals, Giants, and Falcons have all shown varying levels of interest in the 31-year-old cornerback over the past several months. He’s not the boundary defender that he used to be, but Hall is a productive slot corner, which essentially makes him a starter in today’s NFL. Health questions have nagged Hall throughout his entire career, and an offseason back procedure won’t quiet those concerns, but the former Bengal figures to find a new home sooner rather than later.

3. Greg Hardy, DE: Clearly the best defender on this list in terms of pure talent, Hardy’s off-the-field issues don’t need to be rehashed here. The 27-year-old edge rusher and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, are apparently lobbying NFL clubs for an opportunity, detailing the steps Hardy has taken to correct his pattern of behavior. However, it doesn’t appear as though many teams are convinced Hardy has changed his tune, as sources told Ed Werder of that no one is interested in Hardy, with executives calling him — at best — a “hard sell” to ownership and — at worst — “toxic.”
Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

4. Dwight Freeney, LB/DE: Freeney spent roughly a third of the 2015 season at home, waiting until the Cardinals called in October to get back on an NFL field. Now 36 years old, Freeney has become something of a cause célèbre of mine, as I think he’s a far more valuable player than the league apparently does. I outlined Freeney’s tools in April of last year, and much of what I wrote at the time still holds — any number of clubs could benefit from allowing Freeney to get after the quarterback 20-25 times per game. A reunion with Arizona isn’t out of the question, and the Ravens, Bengals, Panthers, Jets, Patriots, Lions, Chiefs, and Bills could all use an extra edge rusher.

5. Brandon Boykin, CB: At age 25, Boykin surprisingly had to settle for a minimum salary benefit contract to join the Panthers in March — he lasted less than two months on the roster, as he was released by Carolina earlier this week. That series of events, coupled with Boykin’s relative lack of playing time after being dealt to the Steelers last year, is hard to figure, as Boykin is considered one of the premier slot corners in the game. With teams lining up in sub packages more than 60% of the time, Boykin is capable of playing a substantial role, and shouldn’t stay on the street for long.

6. Mike Neal, LB: Neal started a career-high 15 games last season, and has posted at least four sacks in each of the past four years. He’s met with both the Lions and the Seahawks this offseason, but has yet to sign a contract, and would seemingly only be in line for a one-year pact at this point. The Packers selected fellow linebacker Kyler Fackrell in the third round of last month’s draft, so Green Bay probably isn’t an option (though Neal is open to returning). It’s possible that the 2015 Al Jazeera report that linked Neal to PEDs is hindering his market, a sentiment with which Neal agrees.Chris Culliver (Vertical)

7. Chris Culliver, CB: It’s been a trying 12 months or so for Culliver, whose 2015 one-game suspension voided his 2016 $8MM guarantee, making it much easier for Washington to release him — which they did earlier this month. Culliver, 27, also tore his ACL in November, meaning his availability for the start of the season could be in doubt. But Culliver is the one true outside cornerback on this list, and he has also has youth on his side. A smart team might sign Culliver to a two-year deal with limited or no guarantees for the 2017 season, let him rehab for the first half of 2016, and then evaluate him over the course of November and December.

8. Antrel Rolle, S: Rolle isn’t going to get the same kind of offers that fellow safety Whitner will — not only is he more than three years older, but Rolle ranked a little lower among safeties than did Whitner, coming in at No. 39 in the NFL according to PFF. Rolle has expressed an interest in reuniting with the Giants, with whom he spent the 2010-14 seasons, and on paper, it’s a match that makes a lot of sense, as New York needs a rangy free safety opposite Landon Collins. The Rams, Falcons, and Buccaneers could have interest in the veteran defensive back, as could the Colts if they plan to move 2016 second-rounder T.J. Green to cornerback, as has been rumored.

9. O’Brien Schofield, LB: Schofield and the Falcons were said to be working on a deal as far back as early March, but no signing ever came to fruition. At the time, the Cowboys, Bears, and Titans were reported to have interest in Schofield, and while he’s expressed his preference to return to Atlanta, he remains a free agent. Head coach Dan Quinn has stated he hopes that Schofield is re-signed, and the Falcons have in fact made an offer. Primarily a nickel linebacker, Schofield agreed to a two-year deal with the Giants in 2014 only to see it fall apart due to medical concerns — it’s unclear whether his current disagreement with Atlanta is due to injury questions or financial disparities.

10. Jeremy Mincey, DE: At 32 years old, Mincey isn’t going to suddenly blossom into a star, but he’s more than capable of being thrown into a defensive end rotation on a team that runs a 4-3 scheme. Mincey didn’t post any sacks last season, but he registered six quarterback takedowns in 2014, which led to him holding out for an extra $500K the following offseason. The Cowboys reportedly aren’t interested in a reunion, but Mincey did generate some level of trade interest last November, so it’s likely that there are clubs who’d be willing to offer a one-year deal.

Honorable mention: Chris Canty, DL; Henry Melton, DT; Kevin Williams, DT; Cortez Allen, CB; Antonio Cromartie, CB; Cortland Finnegan, CB; Jayron Hosley, CB; Will Allen, S.

Safety Walter Thurmond was not included on this list because he’s contemplating retirement and has reportedly turned down offers of $4MM per year.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Brady, Cowboys, Panthers

Robert Kraft addressed the reinstatement of Tom Brady‘s suspension on Friday night, and the Patriots owner certainly didn’t mince his words.

“Number one, there is no finer ambassador for the game of football, and the New England Patriots, than Tom Brady,” Kraft said, via Josh Alper of “We always have had, and will continue to have, Tom’s back. Especially when he’s being treated unfairly. He knows that. All the decisions that this organization and I personally have made throughout this ordeal have been focused on putting Tom in the best possible position for success.”

“Number two, I have been in constant communication with Tom over the past 16 months and we’ve had numerous conversations this past week. We are both on the same page and he knows exactly where my allegiances, and the total team’s [allegiances] are, relative to the extremely unfair discipline that he has been subjected to.”

“I share in our fans’ anger and frustration with the penalties the league has levied, and the entire process and how it was conducted. But please trust that I am always trying to do what I believe is best for this franchise, and pledge that I will always continue to do that.”

The Patriots have seemingly started preparing for Brady’s absence, as the organization selected quarterback Jacoby Brissett during last night’s third round.

Let’s check out some more non-draft-related notes from around the NFL…

  • Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee underwent minor knee surgery yesterday, tweets’s Ian Rapoport. Expected recovery time is two weeks for the 29-year-old. The former second-round pick finished last season with 128 tackles, a career-high.
  • The Cowboys are no longer pursuing veteran defensive end Jeremy Mincey, tweets Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram. The writer notes that the team also won’t be adding former-Lions defensive lineman Jason Jones.
  •’s David Newton believes the Panthers will pursue a veteran cornerback following the draft (Twitter link).

East Notes: Mincey, Morris, Wake, Jets

After recording six sacks in his first season with the Cowboys in 2014, defensive end Jeremy Mincey failed to get to the quarterback in 2015, finishing the year without a sack. Still, Mincey was solid against the run, and thinks there’s “probably a 50-50 chance” that he’ll re-sign with Dallas as a free agent (link via Dallas Morning News).

During an appearance on KDFW-TV Channel 4 in Dallas, Mincey was also asked about Greg Hardy‘s impact on the Cowboys, and whether it would be difficult for the team to bring Hardy back and have a cohesive locker room.

“Yeah, it will be,” Mincey said. “I think it will be good for the younger guys, which I don’t know how they feel about him personally, I mean I haven’t spoken to them or asked. It would be me or him, you see what I’m saying? It would be either-or. It’s hard to have two type of line mentality guys in one room, so it’s tough to figure out who the younger guys are going to follow. Of course they’re going to look up to a guy who’s a prolific player. But I just understand the game, and I know what it takes to win.”

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

  • With rookie running back Matt Jones cutting into Alfred Morris‘ workload this season, it’s not clear if Morris is a part of Washington‘s long-term plans. According to John Keim of though, the free-agent-to-be hopes not to go anywhere. “When I first came into the league, no matter what team I went to, I just wanted to do my whole career with the same team,” Morris said. “That’s still my goal. I would love to return, but a lot goes into that. I haven’t thought about that. You all keep bringing it up, but we’ll see what happens.”
  • The Dolphins will face a very difficult decision on defensive end Cameron Wake this offseason, writes James Walker of Wake, who is on the books for $9.8MM in 2016, is confident he can return “better than ever” from a torn Achilles, but the club will likely have to make a call on the 34-year-old’s $8.4MM salary before he’s back to full health.
  • The Jets hosted a pair of players for workouts, taking a look at offensive lineman Lamar Holmes and CFL defensive lineman Freddie Bishop, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Holmes, a former third-round pick, started 19 games at tackle for the Falcons in 2013 and 2014, while Bishop has played for the Calgary Stampeders since ’13.

Trade Rumors: Cowboys, Young, McCourty

Will we see any trades finalized around the NFL today? Teams have less than an hour before this afternoon’s 3:00pm CT deadline arrives, so they’ll have to act fast to get anything done. Here are a few of the latest rumors and rumblings:

  • The Cowboys won’t be making any trades today, according to owner Jerry Jones (link via Todd Archer of Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said the team had some calls, but nothing serious developed.
  • According to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), the defensive end market has been the most active today, with names like Vinny Curry (Eagles), Willie Young (Bears), and Jeremy Mincey (Cowboys) generating interest. It’s not clear yet whether their respective teams will move them, however.
  • Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link) also mentions Young in his list of the players he’s heard mentioned the most today. La Canfora’s other names include 49ers tackle Joe Staley, Rams right end Jared Cook, Browns linebackers Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo, Raiders wideout Rod Streater, and Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper.
  • Per La Canfora (via Twitter), the Jets are among the teams that have been “sniffing around” pass rushers.
  • After reporting earlier that the Patriots had interest in Titans cornerback Jason McCourty, Rapoport says he’s now hearing that McCourty is no longer available (Twitter link).

Jeremy Mincey Ends Holdout With Reworked Deal

Jeremy Mincey ended his holdout today, as expected, and while he doesn’t have a contract extension to show off, Mincey and the Cowboys have agreed to rework his contract for the 2015 season.

The renegotiated deal hasn’t been fully reported yet, but it will include at least an extra $500K in new money, which will bump up Mincey’s pay grade beyond $2MM for the upcoming season, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram.

Head coach Jason Garrett spoke very highly of his defensive veteran, and is happy to have him back with the team.

“I think that contributed to taking the ball away 31 times, second-most in the National Football League,” said Garrett. “That positively impacted the games that we played, and I think Mince was a big part of that, establishing that identity, that toughness, that relentlessness.”

As Zach Links wrote when discussing Mincey’s holdout, the veteran narrowly missed a $500K bonus based on snap count last season, despite coming up with a team high six sacks in 2014. The 31-year old had one of his best all-around seasons last year, and will be increasingly valuable to the team early on with Greg Hardy suspended for the first four games of the regular season.

The team’s second-round pick, Randy Gregory, also shows promise, but is undersized and could struggle to impact games early on. When the three hit their stride during the middle and hopefully towards the end of the season, the Cowboys could have a newfound strength on the defense.

“I think Jeremy has been a good player in this league for a number of years,” Garrett said. “He’s physically tough, and he plays hard. You want that on your football team.”

Mincey had sat out the last four days, hoping to work out out a contract extension with the team.

East Notes: Cowboys, Kelly, Mathis

Jeremy Mincey is expected to end his holdout pending a meeting with Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones and head coach Jason Garrett today, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter). Per Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News, Mincey arrived in Oxnard on Saturday night and will discuss a new two-year deal with the club. If the two sides strike a deal, Mincey can join his teammates later today for the fourth day of training camp practices.

Now let’s take a look at some more links from the league’s east divisions:

  • The Cowboys will be on the lookout for more linebacker depth, as Justin Jackson tore his ACL in a special teams walkthrough (Twitter link to ESPN’s Todd Archer).
  • Brandon Boykin, who was dealt from the Eagles to the Steelers last night, is the latest to take a racially-related jab at Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Per Geoff Mosher of, Boykin said Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture…He can’t relate and that makes him uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn’t been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me.” Former Eagles LeSean McCoy and Tra Thomas have made similar comments about Kelly in the past, and although there is plenty of evidence to suggest that sentiments like those expressed by Boykin are a bit misguided, it will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this will have on Kelly’s control of his locker room.
  • Mychal Kendricks, who was rumored to be on the trading block, will likely remain with the Eagles as an insurance policy for DeMeco Ryans, according to Andy Schwartz of
  • Citing GM Jerry Reese, Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News tweets that Giants left tackle Will Beatty will return at some point this season, and the team has not closed the door on free agent tackle Jake Long.
  • The Jets, who have a hole at right guard, have spoken with free agent Evan Mathis, per Justin Tasch of The New York Daily News. However, Mathis’ asking price appears to be out of New York’s range at the moment.
  • We learned several days ago that Jets rookie wideout Devin Smith suffered broken ribs in Friday’s practice, and Rich Cimini of reports that Smith also has a partially punctured lung. Smith will be sidelined for four to six weeks.
  • Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets that Bills head coach Rex Ryan has declared Richie Incognito the team’s starting left guard and Cordy Glenn the team’s starting left tackle.

NFC Links: Eagles, Mincey, Claiborne, 49ers

There have been a number of instances where Eagles coach Chip Kelly and agent Drew Rosenhaus haven’t necessarily seen eye to eye. It started when the organization shipped out Rosenhaus-client LeSean McCoy, and the Eagles followed that by releasing Evan Mathis. Later, Frank Gore, another of Rosenhaus’ players, spurned Philly to sign with the Colts.

Still, the agent told Geoff Mosher of that he’s not at odds with Kelly or the Eagles organization.

“I get along fine with Chip,” Rosenhaus said. “We’ve had a real good line of communication. LeSean, I had nothing to do with their decision to trade him. That was their call. That was contract-related. The notion that he traded LeSean because of me is, that’s just ridiculous. There was no friction. LeSean was a football decision that he explained fairly well.”

Kelly echoed that sentiment.

“I don’t really deal with agents. We have a real good relationship with Drew, I can tell you that,” Kelly said. “I think Drew has been very professional, very detailed. I think he gets a bad rap to be honest with you in my dealings with him.

“I think he’s been above board, straight ahead, detail-oriented, very organized and you know exactly where you stand. I think anybody will tell you that when you deal with Drew you know exactly where you stand. Wish more people acted like that to be honest with you.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • As defensive end Jeremy Mincey holds out for a new contract, the Cowboys have continued to fine him, writes David Moore of The Dallas Morning News“There have been some discussions back and forth,” said coach Jason Garrett. “I don’t want to share much about them…We’re focused on the players that we have here in camp and trying to build our football team.”
  • Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News believes that Morris Claiborne will make the Cowboys roster, but 2015 will likely be the cornerback’s final season with the organization. George adds that the 25-year-old will have to produce if he has any hope of staying in Dallas.
  • Vernon Davis told Janie McCauley of the Associated Press that he fired an advisor who urged the tight end to get pushy with the 49ers regarding a new contract.“Last year I had a lot of people in my ear, particularly an adviser who kept telling me, ‘Hey, you should try to get another contract,'” Davis said. “As my fiduciary, he was right about a lot of things, so I listened to him, I took his advice. But during the course of that season, I had a chance to really think about it, like: ‘What am I doing? I don’t play this game for money. That’s not why I play.’ It’s good, it’s good to have that, to get rewarded and things, but what am I doing?”

NFC Notes: Mincey, Eli, Bennett, Saints, Pack

Here’s a look at the latest from around the NFC:

  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the team and defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who is holding out from training camp over a contract dispute, have had some back and forth regarding a new deal, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Mincey started all 16 games last season and totaled 46 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. He’s due to earn $1.5MM this year.
  • Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who is entering the final year of his contract, hasn’t set a deadline on getting an extension done, tweeted the New York Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano.
  • Bears tight end Martellus Bennett said in June that he’s “always working on a new contract,” but he changed his tune Thursday, per ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. “I’m not even worried about a contract right now,” he said. “It’s just business. I have no hard feelings against anybody.”  Bennett, who caught 90 passes and made his first Pro Bowl trip in 2014, has two years left on his contract and is set to earn a base salary of $4.9 million this season.
  • The NFL suspended Saints tight end Orson Charles for one game without pay for violating its personal conduct policy, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). The league’s discipline process is confidential, meaning it’s unclear what Charles was suspended for, but Evan Woodbery of wrote that Charles received diversion in February for a 2014 “road rage” incident. The 24-year-old has appeared in 29 NFL games, all with the Bengals (none since 2013), and caught nine passes.
  • Friday was rough for Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland: The league suspended him one game for a past incident involving marijuana possession and he suffered an apparent right leg injury during practice. ESPN’s John Keim reports (via Twitter) that it’s an MCL injury and Breeland will miss 4-6 weeks.
  • The Packers worked out ex-Sacred Heart running back Keshaudas Spence on Friday, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press Gazette (via Twitter).

NFC East Notes: JPP, Mincey, T. Williams

Giants co-owner John Mara has “no idea’” when Jason Pierre-Paul will report to training camp, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. Mara acknowledged it was “very disappointing” to him that Pierre-Paul refused to see two team officials who traveled down to Florida to check on his physical condition. Mara also said that no one from the organization has seen JPP’s damaged right hand, and he fears the defensive end is not “receiving very good advice right now.”

As Dan Graziano of writes, Pierre-Paul continues to rehab and get his own medical care near his home in South Florida. Here’s more on JPP, along with a couple other NFC East updates:

  • Within Graziano’s story, he cites a source who says that Pierre-Paul expects to be healthy and to return to the field for the Giants this season “sooner than a lot of people think.”
  • With defensive end Jeremy Mincey preparing to hold out from Cowboys camp, it sounds like the team is preparing to play hardball. According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link), Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said today that Mincey will be fined for each day of camp he misses, and the team won’t discuss a new deal as long as he’s absent.
  • Having locked up linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to a long-term extension, Washington figures to focus on left tackle Trent Williams next. Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed today that Williams, who is entering the final year of his current deal, is in talks with the team about a new contract, tweets Zac Boyer of the Washington Times.