Jermon Bushrod

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL J.J. Dielman

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Saints Release OL Jermon Bushrod

Jermon Bushrod‘s no longer on the Saints’ roster, and three running backs again are. The Saints released the veteran offensive lineman and promoted Jonathan Williams from their practice squad, Nick Underhill of The Advocate and Mike Triplett of ESPN.com report (Twitter link).

A Pro Bowler with the Saints in 2011 and 2012, Bushrod spent the past five seasons with the Bears and Dolphins. He re-signed with the Saints on a one-year deal. However, the 34-year-old blocker missed two practices this week due to non-injury reasons, per Underhill.

It’s possible the Saints could bring back Bushrod, but for now, the 12th-year veteran is unattached. The Saints re-signed Michael Ola and Josh LeRibeus this week, though, perhaps signalling they’re OK with younger players working as second-stringers up front. Bushrod started 10 games for the Dolphins last season and has 122 career starts.

Affiliated with the Saints since midway through last season, Williams will join Alvin Kamara and Mike Gillislee as New Orleans’ Week 1 backs. Williams has not played in a game since doing so as a rookie for the 2016 Bills. The Saints signed Gillislee earlier this week after sorting through a few Mark Ingram-replacement options this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: McCarron, Green, Jones, Bushrod, Davis

Let’s take a look at the details from the latest contracts signed in the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

  • A.J. McCarron, QB (Bills): Two years, $10MM. $3MM in 2018, $7MM in 2019. $1.1MM of ’19 salary guaranteed for injury. 2019 salary fully guaranteed on Day 5 of 2019 league year. Bills would incur $2MM dead-money charge by cutting McCarron after one season (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • DaQuan Jones, DE (Titans): Three years, $21MM, $14MM fully guaranteed at signing. $6MM base salary for 2019 fully guaranteed (per Caplan).
  • Virgil Green, TE (Chargers): Three years, $8.6MM, $5.9MM fully guaranteed, which covers the first two years of this deal (per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, on Twitter).
  • Cody Davis, S (Jaguars): Two years, $5MM, $2.5MM fully guaranteed. Deal contains option bonus due 22 days before the start of the 2019 league year (via Caplan).
  • Jermon Bushrod, OL (Saints): One-year deal (via Herbie Teope of NOLA.com)

Saints Sign OL Jermon Bushrod

The Saints are signing Jermon Bushrod, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Bushrod, a fourth-round pick of New Orleans in 2007, returns back to where it all began. 

Bushrod spent the first six seasons of his career with the Saints. Four of those campaigns were spent as the team’s starting left tackle and he earned Pro Bowl nods for his 2011 and 2012 seasons with New Orleans.

Bushrod left in free agency in 2013 to sign a five-year, $35MM free agent deal with the Bears which, at the time, was considerable cash for a tackle. Three years later, the contract was cut short and the Dolphins picked him up to serve as their starting guard.

Bushrod will likely fill the void created by Senio Kelemete‘s departure. Kelemete, who signed a three-year, $12MM deal with the Texans, moved between tackle and guard for the Saints and appeared in 47 games over the past three seasons with 22 starts, including 17 in the past two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Place Julius Thomas On IR

The Dolphins have placed tight end Julius Thomas and offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod on injured reserve. In related moves, they promoted tight end Thomas Duarte and activated offensive tackle Eric Smith off of injured reserve. Julius Thomas (vertical)

The move means that Thomas and Bushrod will not be able to suit up for the team’s final two games against the Chiefs and Bills. This could also mean that the two players have played their final snaps for the Dolphins. Thomas is under contract with a $6.6MM cap number next year, but the team can get out of the entire obligation by releasing him. Bushrod, meanwhile, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in March.

This year, Thomas had 41 catches for 388 yards and three touchdowns. It has been widely assumed that he’ll be released outright, but Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald recently suggested that Thomas could instead return at a reduced salary. Recent comments by coach Adam Gase also indicate that Thomas could have a future with the team.

I see it different than it seems everyone else does,” Gase said. “He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. I wish there’s been situations we’ve called plays for him and haven’t been able to get the ball to him either by coverage or the ball didn’t go there for whatever reason. When we’ve asked him to do things in the running game he’s given me max effort. He’s been there every day for us in practice and at games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Re-Sign Jermon Bushrod

The Dolphins have re-signed free agent guard Jermon Bushrod, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link).

Jermon Bushrod

Miami entered the offseason hoping to land two affordable guards, and it now has after agreeing to deals with both Bushrod and Ted Larsen. The club reportedly only viewed the 32-year-old Bushrod as a fallback option as of Tuesday, but he’ll nonetheless return to the Dolphins for a second season. Although Bushrod started all 16 of the Dolphins’ games last season, Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the four worst guards in the NFL.

Bushrod, who divided the first nine years of his career between New Orleans and Chicago, has 112 starts, five 16-start seasons and 124 appearances on his resume. He’s slated to spend his 11th season on a Miami line consisting of him and Larsen at the guard spots, Mike Pouncey at center and Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James at the tackle positions.

AFC Rumors: Osweiler, Jets, Dolphins, Misi

The Texans had no intention of bringing quarterback Brock Osweiler back in 2017, as Peter King of TheMMQB.com writes. Talks between Houston and Cleveland began at the scouting combine, per King, and the two sides ultimately agreed on a deal that sent Osweiler (and his contract), a 2018 second-round pick, and a 2017 sixth-round pick to the Browns in exchange for a 2017 fourth-round pick. While the trade may work out for both clubs, it’s fair to wonder if Houston would have simply released Osweiler if no such proposal was created.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Defensive end Howard Jones is visiting with the Jets on Friday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets. Tampa Bay did not tender him as an exclusive rights free agent, making him an unrestricted free agent earlier this month. Jones had five sacks in five starts in 2015 before suffering a torn ACL in 2016. He is not yet fully healthy, but doctors believe he might be able to get full clearance before training camp, per Laine.
  • Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi will likely either be released or have his salary reduced, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The 30-year-old Misi is expected to be fully recovered from a serious neck injury time in time for the 2017 season, but he’s due a $4.175MM base salary next year. Given that Misi only played in three games in 2016 and isn’t guaranteed a starting job going forward, that’s an untenable figure.
  • Meanwhile, free agent guard Jermon Bushrod wants to re-sign with the Dolphins, but the club only views him as a fallback option, reports Salguero. Miami is reportedly “re-assessing the market” at the moment, and doesn’t feel the need to make hurried signings, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Still, the Dolphins need to bring in at least one more guard after agreeing to terms with Ted Larsen, and the team is in fact discussing Bushrod, per Jackson. Bushrod, 32, graded out as a bottom-four guard in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Several FAs On Dolphins’ Radar

Already set to meet with Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons after the market opens Thursday, the Dolphins have several other players on their radar on the eve of free agency, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Duron Harmon

With injured safety Isa Abdul-Quddus questionable to take the field in 2017, the Dolphins are prioritizing the position and could pursue the Patriots’ Duron Harmon and the Cowboys’ J.J. Wilcox, to name a couple. Harmon ranks as PFR’s 12th-best free agent and, although he figures to come at a high price, would perhaps form a quality tandem with star strong safety Reshad Jones.

The 26-year-old Harmon hasn’t been a full-time player in New England, where he only started four of 16 appearances there last season (and 12 of 63 since his career began in 2013) and partook in 48.6 percent of defensive snaps. The same has been true for Wilcox in Dallas, where he started 38 of 58 appearances from 2013-16. Only four of his starts (13 games) came last year, though his performance did rank an above-average 27th among Pro Football Focus’ 89 qualified safeties (Harmon was 54th). If the Dolphins want to add Wilcox, it appears they’ll have to compete with another Florida-based franchise, the Buccaneers, for his services.

Miami agreed to re-sign defensive end Andre Branch to a big-money deal Thursday, but that might not be the last time it addresses the position this offseason. The team would like to add two more ends, though it has so far passed on top available names like Calais Campbell and Jabaal Sheard, per Jackson. The Dolphins have reached out to a less notable player, the Cardinals’ Alex Okafor, who’s coming off a 15-appearance, 3.5-sack season. Okafor, 26, didn’t start a game last year, but he did line up with Arizona’s No. 1 defense 12 times in 2014, when he posted a career-high eight sacks, and 13 times in 2015.

Along with Okafor, the Dolphins have fellow D-linemen – tackles Terrell McClain and Lawrence Guy – on their radar, Jackson writes. The Dolphins are at least the fourth team eyeing McClain, a 28-year-old who spent the previous three seasons in Dallas and is coming off the most productive showing of his career. McClain tallied personal bests in appearances and starts (15 apiece), tackles (39), sacks (2.5) and forced fumbles (two) in 2016.

The 26-year-old Guy, meanwhile, played the majority of the past three seasons in Baltimore, where he picked up a career-high 10 starts across 16 appearances in 2016. In 484 snaps, Guy only registered one sack – down from a personal-best 4.5 in 2015 – though his performance did rank an impressive 38th among PFF’s 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

Shifting to the offensive side of the ball, Miami wants “two reasonably priced guards” and hasn’t ruled out re-signing Jermon Bushrod, relays Jackson. After playing with the Saints and Bears from 2007-15, Bushrod signed a cheap pact ($1.5MM) with Miami last offseason and proceeded to start all of its games this past year. PFF pegged him as one of the four worst guards in the league, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Dolphins, Pats

The Ryan Fitzpatrick era may be over in New York, but as Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post points out, the Jets are still feeling the after-effects. Per Cannizzaro, Fitzpatrick’s contract automatically voided on Friday, per the scheduled clause that called for such action five days after the Super Bowl. But, because of the way his two-year deal was structured, New York will carry $5MM in dead money on the 2017 salary cap. Fitzpatrick almost assuredly will not return to Gang Green, and Geno Smith is a free agent as well, which means that the Jets now have two quarterbacks under contract — Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg — that are both severely lacking in NFL experience. As a result, the Jets have been speculatively connected to some of the better quarterback prospects in this year’s draft as well as veteran options that could become available.

Now for some more notes from the AFC East:

  • Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, who missed the last 10 games of the 2016 season after a significant shoulder injury, has made a full recovery, Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. Jones, who is entering the final year of his contract, indicated that he will be physically able to participate in the Dolphins’ offseason schedule.
  • In the same piece, Beasley writes that Dolphins offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod, who will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March, will return for an 11th NFL season if he gets the right offer. Bushrod played for the Saints for six years before joining the Bears prior to the 2013 campaign. The 2016 season was Bushrod’s first in Miami, and though he started all 16 regular season games plus the team’s one playoff contest, he largely struggled, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-worst guard out of 72 eligible players (subscription required).
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe provides a list of 10 things he believes the Patriots should do this offseason, and he suggests that trading Jimmy Garoppolo should be one of New England’s top priorities. With Tom Brady showing no signs of aging, Volin believes the Pats need to do continue surrounding their starting quarterback with top-flight talent, and one way to do that is by acquiring at least one significant draft asset in exchange for Garoppolo.
  • Another thing Volin thinks the Patriots should do is to re-sign running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year, incentive-laden deal. After all, that approach worked well for both parties in 2016, as Blount turned his $760K salary into $1.75MM after hitting every incentive in his contract. He tallied career bests of 1,161 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, and as Christopher Price of WEEI.com reports, the 30-year-old Blount would love to be back with the team in 2017, though he does not know what the future holds.

Dolphins Notes: Jordan, Stills, Branch, Sims

Following the Dolphins‘ season-ending loss to Pittsburgh, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald looks at potential changes to the squad. The writer believes that defensive end Dion Jordan has probably played his final game for the organization. The former No. 3 overall pick has been suspended twice and has undergone a pair of knee surgeries, and Salguero reports that “he’s having “issues” again that effectively will get him cut this offseason.”

Salguero doesn’t specify what kind of issues the oft-banned pass-rusher is having, but should this mark the end of Jordan’s tenure in Miami, it will conclude the tenure of one of the worst draft picks in team history. Jordan has not played in a game since 2014 and has just three career sacks. Waiving Jordan would save the Dolphins $3.225MM.

Here’s more from out of Miami.

  • Kenny Stills comprises part of the Dolphins’ UFA contingent, and the former Saints wideout unequivocally wants to return to Miami. Stills enjoyed a bounce-back year after a down first season in south Florida, hauling in 42 passes for 726 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns. ESPN.com’s James Walker notes Stills could be the team’s top free agent. “I want to be back here,” Stills said. “I love this team. I love these guys. We did something special, just starting 1-4. So we’re going to do whatever we can to try to make it happen.” The Dolphins don’t have a veteran wideout contract on their payroll but are lining up a Jarvis Landry extension, and Stills could be an attractive commodity on the market, being just 24.
  • Andre Branch wants to be back with the Dolphins as well but may be less enthralled than Stills about the certainty of a return. He could be a key part of this equation, with Cameron Wake set to turn 35 this month and Mario Williams almost certainly being a cap casualty. “I love this place,” the fifth-year defensive end said, via Walker. “They believed in me when not too many people did. I appreciate them for that. But we will see how it goes.”
  • When assessing the Fins’ priorities in terms of their UFA strategy, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes re-signing Stills will be high on the list, along with finding a replacement for right guard Jermon Bushrod. But a Dion Sims re-up will factor in as well. An impending UFA, Sims said Adam Gase views him as a starter going forward. Miami does not intend to re-sign Jordan Cameron, who wants to keep playing despite rampant injury struggles. More known for his blocking, Sims caught 24 passes for 256 yards and four TDs this season. Beyond Sims, Miami didn’t boast much at tight end this season.
  • When accounting for the $8.4MM in carryover from this year, the Dolphins figure to enter the offseason with approximately $36MM in cap space. The team moving on from Jordan, Williams and linebacker Koa Misi as expected should push that total up to $52MM, Jackson notes.
  • Earlier today, the Dolphins filled Vance Joseph‘s DC position by promoting linebackers coach Matt Burke.

Ben Levine contributed to this report