Joe Barksdale

Extra Points: Davis, Vea, Pats, Lamp, Colts

Prior to Vontae Davis‘ now-infamous halftime retirement, the 10-year NFL veteran cornerback told Bills defensive backs coach John Butler, “I’m done” while he was in uniform late in the first half. This one-sided conversation, per Davis (via The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth), occurred in the final minute of the half. Lafayette Pitts replaced Davis in the game and ended up having to play a larger role after halftime once Davis did not return for the second half.

I didn’t expect them to understand,” Davis said, via Foxworth, of his teammates’ reaction to his abrupt NFL exit. “That moment was shocking to me as well. … My intention was not to hurt my teammates. In that moment, my intuition was telling me I don’t belong on that field anymore.”

The Bills received a roster exemption after the 30-year-old defender’s retirement, and they placed Davis on the reserve/left squad list, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. While Davis sounds about as far away from a player who’d attempt a comeback, his placement on this list would not allow it — with the Bills or another team — this season.

Shifting back to some active NFLers, here’s what’s new going into Week 3:

  • Jack Conklin‘s 2018 debut is unlikely to take place Sunday, Titans insider Paul Kuharsky tweets. In the final part of his recovery process from a torn ACL sustained in January, Conklin appears likelier to suit up in Week 4 against the Eagles than Sunday against the Jaguars. The Titans didn’t have Conklin nor Taylor Lewan in Week 2, but Tennessee’s left tackle has been cleared to return from a concussion he sustained in the season opener. Swing tackle Dennis Kelly, however, remains out. An illness forced Kelly to be hospitalized before last weekend’s game.
  • Another AFC South tackle won’t play Sunday, but Anthony Castonzo‘s second hamstring setback in as many months has not caused the Colts to consider placing him on IR. Indianapolis’ left tackle remains week-to-week in his recovery, Frank Reich said (via the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer, on Twitter). Were Castonzo to land on IR, he would not be able to return for eight weeks.
  • Three Patriots deemed unlikely to play will, in fact, sit out New England’s Week 3 game in Detroit. The Patriots announced Trey Flowers, Patrick Chung and Eric Rowe are out against the Lions. The team did not declare Marcus Cannon or Josh Gordon out. Cannon returned to practice this week and made progress, pointing to the right tackle’s return.
  • Vita Vea‘s calf strain will delay his debut for another week. The Buccaneers‘ first-round pick is out for Monday night’s Steelers game, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Vea did practice on Saturday, doing so for the first time in a month, so the defensive tackle’s NFL debut appears imminent.
  • The Chargers continue to bring Forrest Lamp along slowly. The 2017 second-round pick has not yet debuted, and Anthony Lynn said (via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times) Lamp isn’t ready for action yet. “It’s just that Forrest was an athletic guard,” Lynn said. “He moved a lot and we pulled him in space. He doesn’t feel that speed yet. He feels like he’s a step behind.” Lamp tore an ACL a few days into his rookie training camp and underwent an arthroscopic procedure in May. The Bolts are already down Joe Barksdale for another week. They’ve been playing guard-tackle Michael Schofield in Lamp’s spot, and Sam Tevi started in Barksdale’s right tackle position last week in Buffalo.

AFC Injury Notes: Titans, Ben, Berry, Bolts

Marcus Mariota experienced difficulty gripping the ball after suffering a Week 1 elbow injury, but he could well return for the Titans this week. However, he doesn’t appear to be at full strength. Blaine Gabbert stands to see time as well as an apparent result. Mike Vrabel said he expects to use both of his quarterbacks against the Texans, via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (on Twitter). Mariota hasn’t made much progress since his injury in Tennessee’s opener and was still experiencing tingling in his throwing arm as of Wednesday, per Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com, making this an interesting situation for a Titans team with playoff aspirations. If Mariota fails to progress by Sunday, it wouldn’t be hard to envision the Titans sitting him. Gabbert filled in for an injury-ransacked Cardinals team last season, making five starts (including a 12-7 win over the Titans). He completed 11 of 22 passes in a loss to the Dolphins last week.

Here’s the latest on the AFC injury front heading into Week 2:

  • A higher-profile AFC passer does look to be in better shape going into Week 2. Ben Roethlisberger practiced fully on Friday, Mike Tomlin said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter), pointing him toward being available in Sunday’s Steelers-Chiefs tilt. An elbow malady caused Big Ben to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Joshua Dobbs would start against Kansas City if Pittsburgh’s franchise passer can’t go.
  • When Mariota and/or Gabbert take snaps Sunday, they’ll do so with second-string tackles. Jack Conklin won’t be ready to debut, and Taylor Lewan is out as well after suffering a concussion, McCormick notes.
  • Eric Berry‘s ninth NFL season remains on hold while he battles a heel ailment. The All-Pro Chiefs safety did not practice on Friday and is doubtful to suit up in western Pennsylvania on Sunday, per Andy Reid (via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star, on Twitter). Berry’s battled this heel trouble, on the opposite foot of the torn Achilles he suffered in September 2017, for over a month.
  • As expected, Joey Bosa is out for the Chargers-Bills game Sunday. Right tackle Joe Barksdale won’t suit up, either, ESPN’s Eric Williams tweets. A knee injury’s affecting Barksdale. Sam Tevi is likely to start for the Bolts at right tackle. Second-year defensive end Isaac Rochell replaced Bosa as a starting defensive end last week.

AFC Contract Details: Osemele, Irvin, M. Jackson

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

AFC West:

  • Kelechi Osemele, G/T (Raiders): Five years, $58.5MM. $25.4MM fully guaranteed. Max value of $60MM via Pro Bowl incentives. Guaranteed base salaries of $6.7MM in 2016 and 2017. $6MM roster bonuses in 2016 and 2017 (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB (Raiders): Four years, $37MM. $14.5MM fully guaranteed. $19MM total guarantee. $6MM roster bonus in 2016, $2.25MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Barksdale, T (Chargers): Four years, $22MM. $10.5MM fully guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $3.5MM salary in 2016. $3MM of $4.5MM salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter links via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Malik Jackson, DL (Jaguars): Six years, $85.5MM. $31.5MM fully guaranteed. $42MM total guarantee. $10.5MM of $13.5MM base salary for 2018 becomes fully guaranteed in March 2018 (Twitter links via Pelissero).
  • Dwayne Allen, TE (Colts): Four years, $29.4MM. $4MM signing bonus. $16MM total guarantee (including injury guarantee). $5.5MM roster bonus in 2016. $2MM roster bonus on fifth day of 2017 league year (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Ben Jones, C/G (Titans): Four years, $17.5MM. $3.5MM signing bonus. $7.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM of $3.5MM salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due in March 2016 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Chris Clark, T (Texans): Two years, $6MM. $1MM signing bonus. $750K roster bonus due on March 16 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Adam Vinatieri, K (Colts): Two years, $6MM. $1MM of $3.25MM salary for 2016 is guaranteed. Can earn $500K in field-goal percentage incentives each year (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

  • Shareece Wright, CB (Ravens): Three years, $13MM. $4MM signing bonus. Up to $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • William Gay, CB (Steelers): Three years, $7.5MM. $1.9MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ben Watson, TE (Ravens): Two years, $7MM. $2MM signing bonus. $3MM fully guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due April 1, 2016. $1MM escalator for 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tank Carder, LB (Browns): Two years, $2.5MM. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC East:

  • Mario Williams, DE (Dolphins): Two years, $17MM. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $4.485MM salary for 2016. $3.5MM of $8.45MM salary for 2017 guaranteed for injury; becomes fully guaranteed on fifth day of 2017 league year. Deal includes incentives for sacks, playing time, Pro Bowls (all Twitter links via Wilson).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, T (Patriots): Two years, $2.35MM. $250K signing bonus. $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

Chargers, Joe Barksdale Agree To Four-Year Deal

TUESDAY, 10:27am: Barksdale’s new four-year deal with the Chargers is worth $22.2MM, with $10.5MM in fully guaranteed money, per Caplan (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 8:48pm: Joe Barksdale was close to becoming one of the top right tackles on this year’s free agent market, but he’s staying put. Barksdale will re-sign the Chargers, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). It’s a four-year pact, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). Financial details are not yet available.Joe Barksdale

“We got the deal done. I’ll be signing tomorrow,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale proved to be a bargain for the Chargers last season after joining them on a one-year deal. The 27-year-old made 16 starts and played the second-most snaps in the league among tackles (1,150). His performance earned him the No. 21 overall ranking among 77 qualifying OTs from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Barksdale, a third-round pick of the Raiders in 2011, joined the Rams in 2012 and emerged as a dependable starter the next season. Since then, he has appeared in 48 straight games and made 45 starts for the Rams and Chargers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Chargers, Barksdale, 49ers, Kelly

Let’s take a look at the latest news and notes from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Right tackle Joe Barksdale hopes his upcoming foray into free agency goes smoother than it did last season, writes Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Barksdale notably remained unsigned until mid-May of last year before finally latching on with the Chargers, with whom he went on to start all 16 games. After settling for a base salary/signing bonus of just over $1MM in 2015, Barskdale should be able to get a pay bump this season, be it with San Diego or another club looking for offensive line help.
  • Defensive line is a key area of need for the 49ers this offseason, says Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Defensive tackle Ian Williams is a free agent and could command a hefty contract on the open market, and the remaining options on the roster lack depth, as Arik Armstead, Glenn Dorsey, and Quinton Dial headline an uninspiring unit. But even if San Francisco fails to re-sign Williams, the club could use an early draft pick on a defensive lineman, and this year’s collegiate class is especially strong at that position.
  • Speaking of Armstead, the former Oregon Duck and current 49er is confident that new head coach Chip Kelly will help turn things around in the Bay Area. “I think [Kelly] is going to get us on the right path,” Armstead told Bleacher Report’s Uninterrupted (link via CSNBayArea.com). “It’s going to be a lot of hard work this year. But I think it’s going to be beneficial to our team. The sky is the limit for us, really, it can’t really get any worse than last season.”

NFC Links: Mathieu, Washington, Rams

Tyrann Mathieu claims he feels better than ever, and NFL.com’s Conor Orr notes that the Cardinals defensive back is no longer wearing a knee brace or thumb cast. Despite Mathieu being healthy for the first time in his career, the former third-rounder is still tentative about his recovery:

“It just feels good to be free…You try to stay as optimistic as possible, but there is a reality to it, too. It’s kind of hard to keep telling yourself it’s going to be all right, especially when we got into the thick of everything last year, thinking that if I was 100 percent, I’d probably be able to help my team a whole lot more than I’m doing right now.”

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

Extra Points: Brees, Cowboys, Rice

Drew Brees has said that he wants to play football until he is 45, but he admits that goal is a little bit unrealistic. “45 is a long way away,” the Saints quarterback said on ESPN’s SVP and Russillo, according to Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate. “I’m 36 right now, and I know I got maybe a little overzealous last year when I threw out the number 45.” Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde, and Steve Deberg hung in there until they were 44, but those final years were mostly spent playing in reserve roles. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Along with free agent running backs Daniel Thomas, Ben Tate, and Felix Jones, Ronnie Wingo also worked out for the Cowboys today, as Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram tweets. Wingo was released by the Falcons earlier this month to help make room on the roster for incoming rookies.
  • A judge dismissed domestic violence charges against former Ravens running back Ray Rice, as The Associated Press writes. Rice completed the terms of his pretrial intervention, which included $125 in fines and anger management counseling.
  • Joe Barksdale, who signed a minimum-salary deal with the Chargers, was offered more from the Rams earlier in the offseason, Jim Thomas of the Post Dispatch tweets. Back in March, Barksdale looked like a decent bet to land a deal similar to the $6MM-per-year pacts signed by Austin Howard and Anthony Collins in 2014. However, that kind of market never materialized for the veteran. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked the former Ram just 48th out of 84 qualified tackles last season.
  • Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu was fined $50,000 for an alcohol-related offense, but only after his two-game suspension was rescinded, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Bartu, who had 83 tackles in 2014, was handed a two-game suspension in March for his DUI arrest. Earlier this month, the linebacker brought new information to the league and his punishment was altered. However, future violations of the law will carry more significant discipline for him.
  • Ravens rookie lineman Leon Brown hopes to land a roster spot with his hometown team, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun writes. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound former junior college All-American also had an invite to try out for the Jaguars, but he chose the Ravens instead. Brown, an Alabama product, went undrafted this year.

Joe Barksdale, Chargers Agree To Deal

1:23pm: Barksdale gets a one-year, minimum salary contract from the Chargers, with a $350K signing bonus and an additional $1MM available in incentives, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Those incentives are very reachable, a source tells Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link), who adds that Barksdale will be rewarded if he starts.

12:40pm: The last unsigned player on PFR’s Top 50 Free Agents list has found a new home, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that offensive tackle Joe Barksdale has agreed to terms with the Chargers. Years and dollars on Barksdale’s new deal aren’t yet known.

When I ranked Barksdale 36th overall among available players at the start of 2015’s free agent period, I observed that, given the lack of steady, reliable offensive tackles on the market, Barksdale looked like a decent bet to land a deal similar to the $6MM-per-year pacts signed by Austin Howard and Anthony Collins in 2014.

According to various reports, Barksdale was seeking a contract in that range, or close to it, at the start of free agency. However, many teams in need of offensive line help opted to roll the dice on more affordable alternatives, or ones with more upside, such as the Jaguars with Jermey Parnell. As such, Barksdale’s asking price has likely been reduced significantly.

As our Dallas Robinson observed when he examined Barksdale’s free agent stock, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked the former Ram just 48th out of 84 qualified tackles. However, his +5.6 run-blocking grade placed him just outside the top 10 in that category.

Barksdale, who previously worked out for the Falcons and drew interest from the Titans and Rams, visited the Chargers this week before agreeing to terms with the team. Having re-signed King Dunlap to play left tackle and added Orlando Franklin as their probable starter at left guard, the Chargers are set on that side of the line, but have some question marks on the right side.

Although GM Tom Telesco suggested earlier in the offseason that he envisions D.J. Fluker playing right tackle in 2015, I’d expect Barksdale to challenge for the starting role at that spot, making Fluker a candidate to move inside.

Chargers Notes: Policy, Barksdale, Spanos

The Chargers and Raiders have hired Carmen Policy to oversee the potential football project the two teams would share, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (on Twitter). Policy, who held senior roles with the 49ers and Browns and has been out of the NFL for over a decade, believes that the NFL will put the project “on the fast track.” Since leaving the NFL, Policy’s main occupation has been his winery in Napa, but he says he’s excited to be back in football in some capacity. Here’s more on the Chargers..

  • Right tackle Joe Barksdale is visiting the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes. The veteran started 29 games the past two seasons, all at right tackle, for the Rams.
  • Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos announced that his two sons will be elevated to President-level roles. A.G. Spanos has been named President – Business Operations and John Spanos has assumed the role of President – Football Operations. John held the position of executive vice president of football operations for the past two seasons.
  • Dean Spanos will now focus on the Chargers’ stadium situation, Jim Trotter of ESPN.com writes.

Free Agent Notes: Vick, Barksdale, Spencer

As Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap outlines in his latest piece for The Sporting News, the Ravens are currently projected to earn three compensatory draft picks in 2016, which may not have been possible if the team had been active in free agency. Now that the May 12 deadline has passed though, veteran free agents are no longer tied to the compensatory pick formula, meaning we could see Baltimore and other clubs sign some veterans off the scrap heap in the near future.

In his Sporting News piece, Fitzgerald examines a few noteworthy names still on the market, including wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker, running back Chris Johnson, and linebackers Lance Briggs and Brandon Spikes. Fitzgerald also mentions Michael Vick, and we’ve got an update on Vick in our latest round of free agent notes. Let’s dive in…

  • Vick has been training with Chris Chambers at Chambers’ fitness center, and the former Dolphins receiver said he encouraged agent Joel Segal to let him work with the quarterback for a few weeks before Vick and Segal entertained offers. “There was a lot of political stuff with him and Geno Smith with the Jets last year,” Chambers said of Vick, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Last two weeks, he has done phenomenal. There are several teams that want him. He wanted to be on a winning team. He wants to play three years. Eventually, he wants to start again.”
  • As Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange observes (via Twitter), with the Falcons opting to sign Tyler Polumbus after working out Joe Barksdale earlier this month, Barksdale’s options may be dwindling. The Rams reportedly still have some interest in bringing back the free agent tackle, but didn’t tender him a contract offer at the May 12 deadline, Balzer tweets. For what it’s worth, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com details, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn says his team is still “actively talking to” Barksdale.
  • Free agent offensive lineman Chris Spencer, who has 95 career starts on his NFL résumé, tore his Achilles the day before the draft and almost certainly won’t be able in 2015, writes Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. While Spencer wants to continue his NFL career, he acknowledged that his top priority for now is getting healthy. “Before this happened, I was thinking I might sign back with the Titans at some point,” Spencer said. “But right now, football is on the back burner until I get through this and see where it stands.”