Joe Staley

NFC Notes: 49ers, Staley, Panthers, Samuel, Cowboys, Price

The few years preceding the dawn of the Kyle Shanahan era in San Francisco were dark times. The 49ers had three coaches in a three year span and experienced a lot of losing. The stress took a toll on many of the team’s veteran players, including longtime left tackle Joe Staley.

Staley, who’s been with the 49ers ever since he was taken in the first round back in 2007, revealed in a recent interview with Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle that he considered retirement amidst all the losing and coaching changes. It’s all behind him now, and he says he feels rejuvenated by the energy Shanahan has injected into the team, but it sounds like Staley very nearly walked away from the game.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Curtis Samuel, the Panthers‘ second round pick in 2017, underwent a procedure to fix an irregular heartbeat according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It will likely keep him out for at least the first week of the season and possibly longer.
  • The Raiders threw a wrench into the plans of the Cowboys when they claimed defensive tackle Brian Price off waivers, according to Todd Archer of ESPN (Twitter link). Archer writes that the team planned on re-signing Price when they placed Dante Jones on injured reserve, but that they never got the chance, and that they will now be searching for a new defensive tackle.
  • In case you missed it, despite not having much experience behind Dak Prescott, the Cowboys won’t be in the market for a backup quarterback.

 

This Date In Transactions History: Joe Staley

On this date in 2009, the 49ers signed Joe Staley to a sizable extension, despite the fact that he was only two seasons into his NFL career. The six-year, $42MM attachment raised some eyebrows around the league, but then-GM Scot McCloughan had no doubt that it would benefit the team. 

Joe Staley is the type of player we want to continue to add to this football team,” McCloughan said. “He’s a tough, versatile, no-nonsense type of guy who wants to do whatever it takes to help his team win football games. Joe is a consummate team player and has been completely unselfish in the way he has approached his role on this team. We know what he means to the success of the 49ers and getting this extension done puts us in a very nice position for the future.”

In the first two years of his career, Staley carried cap numbers of $1.02MM and $1.22MM. Staley’s new deal tacked on an extra six seasons at an average annual value of $7MM per year, giving the 49ers a total of nine years of club control after the time of signing.

The deal was a huge gamble at the time, but McCloughan saw tremendous potential in the former first-round pick and also anticipated some serious advancement in the left tackle market. He was right on both fronts. Before long, Staley’s contract went from bloated to bargain. Today, 18 left tackles – more than half of the league’s starters at the position – make more than $7MM per season.

Nine years ago, not every GM in the league would have bet big on Staley after he allowed 16.5 tackles over his first two seasons. But, with talent and determination, Staley persisted and blossomed into one of the league’s best left tackles. In a 2010 game against the Rams, Staley played through a broken left fibula as he did not want to let his teammates down.

The X-rays were negative, so I went back out there,” Staley said afterwards. “Then I got kicked again, and I knew it was broken, but I stayed in for a couple plays.”

Staley’s six-year, $42MM deal turned into an below-market deal rather quickly. In 2014, the Niners gave Staley another early extension to reward him and keep him in the fold through 2019. Then, this past April, the Niners gave him another pay bump, giving him $17.5MM over the next two seasons.

Still, Staley’s pay does not quite match his performance. For reference, Giants left tackle Nate Solder is the kingpin at left tackle with an average of $15.5MM per year. Even with the raise, Staley will average roughly half of that over the next two seasons. Last year, Pro Football Focus had Staley ranked as the second-best tackle in the NFL in 2017 while Solder placed at No. 32.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Joe Staley Gets Raise From 49ers

49ers tackle Joe Staley has gotten a pay bump. The Niners have agreed to rework his contract to give him a raise over the next two years, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Originally, Staley was set to earn $11MM combined in 2018 and 2019. Now, he’ll earn $17.4MM over the next two years. In the coming season, he’ll make $8.72MM instead of $5.5MM.

Staley has been among the very best at his position for the last six years and his new salary comes closer to reflecting his performance, even if he’s not quite at the top of the tackle market. New Giants left tackle Nate Solder is the kingpin at the position with an average of $15.5MM per year and, even with the raise, Staley will average roughly half of that over the next two seasons. For reference, Pro Football Focus had Staley ranked as the second-best tackle in the NFL in 2017 while Solder placed at No. 32.

It’s not especially common for a team to give a player a pay bump without getting some additional years in return, but Staley is the anchor of the 49ers’ offensive line and has been a leader in the locker room for the past eleven years. If Staley was giving any thought to retiring after the 2018 season, the new deal could give him incentive to continue playing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Lynch, Staley, Buchanon

The Broncos turned to another quarterback, but got the same results in today’s loss to Oakland. Second-year signal caller Paxton Lynch was the latest passer to rack up a defeat during the team’s seven game losing streak. However, the loss was not the only thing the former first round pick suffered on Sunday.

Lynch was forced to exit the game in the third quarter after an apparent right ankle injury, reports Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. The quarterback was seen very emotion on the sideline when he learned that his day would be done. It’s a crushing development for Lynch, who’d been waiting for his chance to get on the field as he’d been recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason.

Trevor Siemian was good in relief, but with the team at 3-8 and clearly out of the playoff hunt, I’m sure head coach Vance Joseph wanted to see what he had in his young gunslinger. It remains to be seen just how serious the injury actually is, though it appears to be distinct possibility that the team will have to switch starters again in Week 13.

  • The 49ers have dealt with a variety of injuries this year, but seemed to avoid another to one of the team’s best players. Left tackle Joe Staley left the game for just one play after an apparent leg injury, but was able to return without much issue. The veteran lineman clarified after the game that he simply hyperextended his knee and is fine, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that linebacker Deone Bucannon has injured right leg, says Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. While the news is concerning on its own, there is added negativity because it’s the same leg that Bucannon had surgery on during offseason, which forced him to miss the first three games of the year. It’s not known just how long it’s expected to keep the 25-year-old out, but the team does have three reserves in Josh Bynes, Scooby Wright and Bryson Albright to take those snaps should the injury force Bucannon to miss time.
  • The Seahawks came out of their win over the 49ers with few injuries of their own. Head coach Pete Carroll said that defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was “Ok” after leaving in the fourth quarter, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. However, Henderson also passes along that second-string tight end Luke Willson suffered a bit more serious of an injury after he was removed in the second quarter with a concussion. Carroll did mention to reporters that the tight end has a chance to play in next week’s game, but he obviously must pass concussion protocol first. In the meantime, both Jimmy Graham and third-stringer Nick Vannett were able to find the end zone without Willson in the lineup.

West Rumors: Pagano, 49ers, Chargers

The Raiders switched out defensive coordinators in firing Ken Norton Jr. and promoting John Pagano. Jack Del Rio said this week no one should feel comfortable about their statuses, but Pagano may be secure moving into 2018. Del Rio expects Pagano to have a role on the ’18 Raiders, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes (on Twitter). Of course, this would likely hinge on Del Rio being retained for a fourth season. After guiding the team to major improvements in 2015 and last season, Del Rio has overseen the Raiders become arguably the NFL’s most disappointing team this season. But he signed a contract extension earlier this year; that would point to the current HC receiving another year to attempt to make good on this Reggie McKenzie-assembled nucleus. Pagano will inherit a defense that ranks 26th. The Del Rio- and Norton-helmed units of the past two seasons ranked 26th in each.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions on Thanksgiving.

  • For those unable to watch Chargers-Cowboys, Nick Novak suffered a back injury but has returned to the game, limping back onto the field for a 22-yard field goal. Punter Drew Kaser was practicing kicks into a net on the sideline, but the Bolts eschewed a 30-yard field goal for a fourth-and-13 early in the second quarter prior to Novak’s return. Novak returned to the Chargers earlier this year after being cut by the Texans. The Bolts have struggled at kicker this season, with Novak already missing a kick today. This gives Los Angeles a 12-for-19 make ratio — worst in the NFL.
  • The Bolts have announced Mike Williams won’t return to their Thanksgiving game because of a knee injury. Williams now has another malady to surmount after a back ailment dogged him for much of the offseason.
  • The 49ers aren’t planning to part with Joe Staley in the near future. Despite the 11th-year player toiling for a rebuilding team in his age-33 season and being the annual subject of trade rumors, John Lynch said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle) he and right tackle Trent Brown will be cornerstones for the next “couple, few” years. Brown is under contract through 2018 but can be extended after this season. Lynch’s comments appear to point to the team wanting to go that route. Staley’s deal runs through 2019 on incredibly team-friendly cap numbers ($7.7MM in 2018 and ’19).
  • Lynch said Joshua Garnett has changed his “body composition” in order to better function in Kyle Shanahan‘s zone-blocking scheme. Branch notes the 321-pound guard, who was known as a power blocker previously, could have returned from IR this season. Perhaps the 49ers wanted to use this year, once Garnett suffered a preseason injury, as an intentional redshirt for the purposes of the 2016 first-round pick adjusting to the new offense. Lynch said the 49ers encouraged the 6-foot-5 lineman to adjust accordingly, physically speaking, for Shanahan’s scheme, so it appears he will be in the picture in 2018 despite arriving under the Trent Baalke regime. Branch notes he figures to compete for a starting job next season.

Tackle Notes: Remmers, Hill, Decker, Staley

The Vikings will be without their starting right tackle when they go to Washington on Sunday. Mike Remmers has started all year long at the position, but will be unable to play because of a concussion he suffered during the team’s game two weeks ago, according to Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. Backup tackle Rashod Hill will make his first start of his NFL career in the veteran’s place. Hill, 25, has played in 147 snaps, but seems comfortable with his new role given that he’s had a full week of practice to prepare.

“Oh yeah, it helps me a lot, man,” Hill said of practicing at right tackle all week. “Because unfortunately, when we were in London and Mike went down, I had been playing left [tackle] all week. So getting a full week down means getting a better feel for the plays.”

Hill is still in a difficult spot given that Remmers ranks as the 12th best tackle in all of football, according to Pro Football Focus.

  • Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told the media today that left tackle Taylor Decker is “close to returning”, as relayed by the team’s website. The second-year left tackle has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for the entire first half of the season with backup tackle Greg Robinson mainly taking over to protect Matt Stafford’s blindside. However, Detroit just released their backup offensive lineman earlier today, which clears the road for Decker to get back into the starting lineup in short order. Decker’s return will be a huge boost to a Lions team that is currently on the outside of the playoff picture. Decker started all 16 games for the Lions during his rookie campaign.
  • Another prominent offensive tackle looks likely to return from injury. 49ers veteran offensive lineman Joe Staley appears on track to play this Sunday after suffering an orbital fracture two weeks ago vs. the Eagles, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Gate. Branch notes that Staley was expected to miss at least two weeks with the injury, but is now ahead of schedule with his recovery. The veteran will have to wear a visor in order to protect his injured eye, but seeing the 33 year-old tough out the pain is the reason why he’s been one of the best lineman in football over the past decade. The 49ers will attempt to win their first game of the season when take on the Giants at home this weekend.

49ers To Place Jimmie Ward On IR

The 49ers will place safety Jimmie Ward and offensive tackle Garry Gilliam on season-ending injured reserve, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, including Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.Jimmie Ward (Vertical)

Ward, 26, suffered a broken arm in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, so his placement on IR doesn’t come as a surprise. The former first-round pick had started six of seven games for the 49ers in 2017, but had only graded as the No. 69 safety among 87 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. San Francisco exercised Ward’s fifth-year option earlier this year, so he’ll back in the Bay Area in 2018. In the meantime, the 49ers will consider moving Eric Reid back to safety following a short stay at linebacker, tweets Matt Maiocco of the Bay Area News Group.

Gilliam, meanwhile, has barely played this season despite several injuries along the 49ers’ offensive line. He’d seen action on just 38 total snaps after inking a one-year, $2.2MM restricted free agent offer sheet with San Francisco (that the Seahawks declined to match). Gilliam does have 31 games of starting experience under his belt, but he’ll now hit 2018 free agency coming off an injury-marred campaign.

Ward and Gilliam aren’t the only 49ers’ players dealing with health questions, however. Left tackle Joe Staley will miss at least two games after suffering an orbital bone fracture on Sunday, while defensive lineman Solomon Thomas — who is dealing with a low-grade MCL sprain, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com — will also miss roughly two weeks, Shanhan announced. While the winless 49ers aren’t going anywhere in 2017, Staley’s injury likely negates any chance that San Francisco would trade him before Tuesday’s deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Vikings, Zeke, Williams, Lynch

Sam Bradford does not have a return timetable after making a brief cameo in Chicago earlier this month. The Vikings quarterback is still experiencing knee pain, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). However, Minnesota may be set to finally have some quarterback depth again after its Week 9 bye. Teddy Bridgewater is expected to come off the PUP list after the bye, and Rapoport expects him to immediately compete with Case Keenum for the Vikes’ starting job. A mostly Keenum-led team this season, the Vikings lead the NFC North after their win over the Browns on Sunday. Bridgewater reclaiming his job might be a bit tricky considering where the team is in the standings and how long it’s been since the fourth-year passer was at the controls. But a Bridgewater return gives the Vikings options they don’t currently have with Bradford still on the mend.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • Ezekiel Elliott did not travel with the Cowboys back to Dallas on Sunday night, instead trekking to New York for his seminal court date, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). Elliott did not attend his previous hearing with New York’s Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans earlier this month. The Cowboys star back rushed for more than 100 yards for a second straight week and has five touchdowns over the past two games but could see his suspension go into effect as early as next week if Monday goes poorly for his side.
  • Trent Williams is hoping the Redskins‘ bye week gives him time to heal his knee injury, but the Washington tackle isn’t certain that will do the trick, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Williams said earlier this month he’s hoping to put off surgery until after the season but revealed Sunday (via Keim) some doctors have told him that’s a six- to nine-month rehab process. Calling this a deep bone bruise, Williams added other medical personnel have said he can go the rest-and-recover route. So this bye week will be critical for the status of Washington’s injury-ravaged offensive line.
  • Speaking of left tackle injuries, Joe Staley suffered an orbital bone fracture Sunday. But the 11th-year 49ers edge blocker received a bit of good news, with Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reporting (via Twitter) no surgery will be required. Still, this could end any Staley trade speculation and keep him in San Francisco for another full season.
  • Paxton Lynch is no longer on the Broncos‘ injury report, and the second-year quarterback could be in uniform Monday night for the first time this season, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The Broncos have not received much help from their offense the past three games and have fallen to 3-3. The team obviously would be interested in getting its 2016 first-rounder on the field at some point, but Trevor Siemian won the job in the preseason. However, if the Broncos slink out of the playoff race as a result of a brutal upcoming schedule — the Chiefs, Eagles and Patriots represent Denver’s ensuing three games — Lynch could be summoned for a full-on audition.
  • Devon Still is considering retirement. The former Bengals rotational defensive lineman told TMZ he plans to decide in a couple of weeks if he will pursue a shot at another opportunity or not. The 28-year-old interior defender is currently a free agent, having last played with 2016 Texans. The Jets cut Still in August.
  • T.Y. Hilton is rumored to be on the trade block. Florio hears from multiple sources the NFL’s reigning receiving-yardage leader is available. Florio opines a future Hilton-type talent could come out of a mid-round draft pick, allowing the Colts — now run by a decision-maker in Chris Ballard who did not draft the sixth-year wide receiver — to offload Hilton’s $13MM-AAV contract and improve the roster with the savings.

Joe Staley, Jimmie Ward Sustain Injuries

Both Joe Staley and Jimmie Ward did not finish Sunday’s Week 8 game for the 49ers. The former suffered an eye injury that will require an overnight stay in Philadelphia, and the latter could be out for a while because of a broken arm.

Ward sustained a broken forearm in San Francisco’s loss, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This stands to put Ward’s season in jeopardy. A starting defensive back in the 49ers secondary for the third season, Ward has finished two of his three previous NFL campaigns on IR.

The 49ers have not announced precisely what injury Staley is dealing with, but Rapoport notes the 11th-year tackle may have broken his orbital bone. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirmed this, tweeting Staley’s orbital bone is indeed broken. However, Schefter notes this is not believed to be a season-ending injury.

Staley’s injury occurred while on the other end of a Fletcher Cox block during an Eagles interception-return sequence.

Staley’s only missed three games since the start of the 2011 season. A report earlier today indicated the 49ers would be willing to move Staley, along with other veterans, before Tuesday’s trade deadline. This would stand to throw a wrench into any Staley deal. Staley’s said he would not like to be traded, despite the 49ers being in a full-scale rebuild.

Ward is under team control through 2018 via the fifth-year option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Megatron, Bryant, Staley

We heard earlier today that the Seahawks are still trying to trade for a veteran left tackle, and they are willing to part with TE Jimmy Graham in order to facilitate such a deal. With the league’s trade deadline just two days away, let’s take a look at more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Two teams have called the Lions to discuss acquiring the rights to retired WR Calvin Johnson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, and Detroit told those clubs to go ahead and reach out to the future Hall-of-Famer. However, Johnson has been noncommittal at best, so it does not seem as if he will change his decision to remain retired, which he reiterated just two months ago.
  • We learned yesterday that the Lions are shopping TE Eric Ebron, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Detroit is receiving inquiries from multiple teams about Ebron. Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), Ebron has admitted that he could be dealt.
  • The Steelers are ignoring Martavis Bryant‘s trade request and plan to continue ignoring it, according to Albert Breer of SI.com, which makes it sound as if Pittsburgh is going to try and make things work with its disgruntled but talented wideout. However, that has not stopped contending teams from inquiring on Bryant, according to Rapoport (video link), who suggests that the Steelers are willing to at least listen to offers. The Patriots are one potential landing spot, as they discussed trading for Bryant prior to the draft.
  • The Eagles are another club looking for offensive line help at the deadline, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who names the 49ers‘ Joe Staley as one possibility. Indeed, La Canfora writes in a separate pice that the 49ers are open to trading veterans like Staley, Carlos Hyde, and Eric Reid, but other teams say that the new regime in San Francisco values such players more highly than the market dictates, thereby making a deal unlikely.
  • Despite the fact that the Bills have jumped out to a surprisingly strong start, La Canfora says the team is still willing to move some of its veteran pieces. However, it has already been reported that Cordy Glenn and Anquan Boldin are available, and La Canfora does not add any other names to the list of Bills who could be on the move.
  • Per Schefter (via Twitter), the Colts are receiving inquiries on CB Vontae Davis, and they have been in talks with at least two clubs about the Illinois product.
  • John Reid of the Florida Times-Union says the Jaguars could look to trade RB T.J. Yeldon, but it is unclear whether there has been any movement on that front.
  • Because of the playing time that Chris Smith has received with the Bengals this season, the Jaguars will get a 2018 seventh-round pick from Cincinnati per the conditions of the trade the two clubs completed in April, as Mike Kaye of First Coast News tweets.