Jermey Parnell

Extra Points: Freeman, Broncos, Mack, Eifert

The Broncos have authored one of their worst modern-era stretches over the past five weeks, with now both their offense and defense struggling. John Elway lobbed some criticism at the team he put together.

I think we got a little bit soft. To be dead honest with you, we got a little bit soft,” the Broncos GM said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “We went 4-0 in preseason; we started out 3-1; we get a bye week, and if you exhale in this league, you’re in trouble. To be dead honest with you, I think we exhaled and it’s hard to recover from that.”

However, the seventh-year front office leader offered support for Vance Joseph despite the first-year coach having the Broncos in danger of their first sub-.500 season in seven years. The Broncos’ schedule eases up after the Chiefs-Eagles-Patriots gauntlet, with the Bengals making a trip to Denver in on Sunday, but Joseph may profile as a one-and-done candidate if this pace continues. The Broncos have lost all five games by at least 10 points. Elway threw some cold water on that prospect, though.

There’s going to be growing pains as a head coach, especially as a first-year head coach (and) we got a lot of youth on staff when it comes to coordinators, too,” Elway said. “So there’s growing pains there. Just like with players, we have to give them a chance to grow and get better and learn from certain situations. Vance, in my mind, is doing just fine and continues to get these guys to play hard and the energy is still there. So we’ll work our way through.”

Here’s the latest from around the league going into Week 11 Sunday.

  • Devonta Freeman has been ruled out for Monday night’s Falcons-Seahawks game. This wasn’t a surprise given the star running back’s concussion history. He suffered a second concussion of the season against the Cowboys. Tevin Coleman will start.
  • Reggie McKenzie wants to sign Khalil Mack to an extension next year, and the cornerstone Raiders defender has no problem with that. Mack does not seem interested in exploring a potential path elsewhere down the line. “Of course; that’s not even a question,” Mack said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Fallon Smith, about wanting to stay with the Raiders for the rest of his career. “That’s a no-brainer for me, especially when you think about coming into this organization and try to build something special, that’s something you want to be a part of for a lifetime.” Given his age (26), durability, production history and the fact Von Miller‘s extension occurred during the 2016 league year, Mack is a mortal lock to become a $20MM-per-year defender and surpass his fellow AFC West pass-rushing dynamo in that department. Mack’s under contract through 2018 via fifth-year option.
  • In addition to the back surgery Tyler Eifert underwent, the impending UFA tight end had a knee procedure done recently, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). This was not a major operation, with Graziano noting it was for a cyst that had developed on the Bengals pass-catcher’s knee. Eifert is out for the season and will profile as one of the more interesting UFAs due to his injury history and high-ceiling production when healthy.
  • The Jaguars will be without two starting offensive linemen on Sunday in Cleveland. Both Jermey Parnell and Patrick Omameh are out and didn’t travel with the team to northeast Ohio. This will be Parnell’s second straight absence due to a knee injury. A quadriceps injury will sideline Omameh, who’s worked as Jacksonville’s starting left guard throughout the season. The Jags have 10 offensive linemen on their active roster, so they’re prepared to handle the first-unit cogs’ absences.

Jaguars, Parnell Agree To Five-Year Deal

WEDNESDAY, 9:56am: The Jaguars have formally announced their new deal with Parnell (via Twitter).

MONDAY, 10:06am: Parnell’s deal will be worth $6.5MM per year over five years, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter). That’s a significant bump over the $1.83MM he earned with Dallas in 2014.

10:04am: Former Cowboys swing tackle Jermey Parnell has told friends that he plans to head to the Jaguars, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

Doug Free started eleven games at right tackle for the Cowboys in 2014, but Parnell started seven, including the two playoff games while Free was out with injuries. Last month, PFR’s Luke Adams looked at the market for prospective free agent offensive tackles and while Parnell didn’t land in the first tier with the likes of Free, Bryan Bulaga, King Dunlap, and Byron Bell, Parnell was in the second tier of attractive options thanks to his solid play in limited time as a starter.

Late last week, the Cowboys re-signed Free to a three-year deal worth $15MM overall, including $6MM in guaranteed money.

East Notes: McCown, Dez, Parnell, Bush

Josh McCown‘s free agent tour appears to have come to an end, and after drawing interest from the Bills, Jets, Bears, and Browns, the veteran quarterback has engaged in contract discussions with Buffalo, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Carucci cautions that it’s not known how many other teams are talking to McCown about a potential contract, or if the Bills are the favorites to land him, but the club is very much in the hunt, and the signal-caller may finalize his new deal – with Buffalo or another club – by Friday.

For what it’s worth, Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 notes (via Twitter) that the Bills view McCown as an upgrade over Kyle Orton, and that the former Buccaneer is the club’s preferred target in this free agent class. While we wait to find out whether a deal with the Bills materializes as a result of Buffalo’s interest in McCown, let’s check in on a few more items from around the NFL’s two East divisions….

  • As Monday’s franchise tag deadline nears, the rumors surrounding Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant continued to swirl today. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passed along word – and a police report – about an incident that took place outside of a Walmart in Lancaster, Texas; Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk attempted to break down what this new info means; and Jason Cole of Bleacher Report suggested that sources close to Bryant believe the alleged video of that Walmart incident does, in fact, exist.
  • Cowboys tackle Jermey Parnell should be a popular free agent next month, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com and Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter links). When I examined the free agent market for offensive tackles earlier in February, I singled out Parnell as a player who hasn’t seen much action as a reserve in Dallas, but pointed out that he has been very good when he has played.
  • In response to the Lions’ release of Reggie Bush, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com explores whether the Patriots would be interested, and how Bush’s availability may affect the market for free-agent-to-be Shane Vereen.
  • Nick Powell of NJ.com takes a look at whether or not the Giants will have interest in Bush, concluding that the former USC star could fit as a complement in the backfield for Rashad Jennings, particularly since Tom Coughlin is fond of veteran players.

East Notes: Cowboys, Romo, Fangio

The Cowboys face a tough decision on whether to bring back right tackles Doug Free and Jermey Parnell, as Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News writes. Free started eleven games for the Cowboys in 2014. Parnell started seven, including the two playoff games while Free was out with injuries. “I think Jermey played really well and I think a lot of teams will throw on the tape and watch him play and probably a lot of people will consider him a starter,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “So we’ll have to make a tough decision there with Doug and Jermey. Hopefully we’ll at least keep one of them.” More from the East divisions..

  • The Cowboys will use some trickery with Tony Romo‘s contract to carve out extra cap room this offseason, writes David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. Romo is scheduled to make $17MM in 2015 with a whopping $27.7MM cap hit. However, Dallas will convert a large portion of that salary into a signing bonus, allowing the QB to get the money in a lump sum and allowing the team to break it up and spread it out over the remainder of his contract.
  • Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that Vic Fangio wanted to bring Ed Donatell with him to Washington, but they wanted to keep Raheem Morris instead. As a result, Wright hears, Fangio passed on Washington and joined the Bears.
  • Mike Jones of the Washington Post (on Twitter) hears that Washington wanting to keep Morris wasn’t a sticking point for Fangio.
  • Running backs coach Anthony Lynn has been plucked from the Jets to join Rex Ryan‘s staff with the Bills, according to Kimberly Jones of WFAN (on Twitter). He impressed in offensive coordinator interviews, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Rapoport expects Lynn to get more consideration next year.
  • Doug Marrone‘s shocking departure from the Bills earlier this month left the majority of his assistant coaches out of jobs, but at least one of Marrone’s former position coaches doesn’t have any hard feelings toward his old boss. “That’s the business. He’s taking care of himself, his family. That’s the No. 1 thing you do as a man, all right?Fred Pagac, who served as linebackers coach for the Bills last season, told Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Pagac, 62, went on to say that he’d work for Marrone “tomorrow,” given the opportunity.
  • Former Vikings tight end coach Jimmie Johnson is expected to join Todd Bowles‘ staff as the new Jets tight ends coach, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Johnson was with Minnesota from 2006 through 2013.