Jon Halapio

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.

Giants Cut Jon Halapio, Slash Roster To 53

The Giants revealed the moves they made to pare their roster down to 53 players. Here are the cuts Big Blue made Saturday:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

The two quarterback cuts will leave Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy as the Giants’ only two quarterbacks to start their post-Eli Manning era, though Rush certainly would profile as a practice squad candidate. He played for new OC Jason Garrett in Dallas for three seasons.
Connelly’s cut is somewhat surprising, given the linebacker’s three starts last season. But an injury cut short his rookie season. The Giants can place 16 players on their practice squad this season. If Connelly clears waivers, it is likely he will be part of that group.
The Giants re-signed Halapio days ago. He has been Big Blue’s starting center in each of their past two Week 1 games, and the former Patriots draft pick started 15 games in 2019. The Giants did not tender Halapio as an RFA this offseason and kept Nick Gates, whom they extended this year, and Spencer Pulley on the roster over him.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Acquired via trade: 2021 7th-Round Pick (from Giants)

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Signed: RB Pete Guerriero
  • Waived: LB B.J. Bello, DL Sterling Johnson

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Giants Work Out Jon Halapio, Jaron Brown

The door appears to remain open for Jon Halapio to return to the Giants. The team worked out its Week 1 center starter of the past two years on Monday, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets.

Wideouts Jaron Brown, Johnny Holton, and quarterback Jalan McClendon also auditioned for the Giants today. Halapio, however, has the most recent track record as a starter.

After letting Weston Richburg walk in 2018, the Giants turned to Halapio at center. He started two games for the Giants in 2018, but a broken leg ended his season. The former sixth-round Patriots pick then started 15 games last season, but a Week 17 Achilles tear clouded his NFL future. The Giants did not tender him as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Halapio, 29, worked out for the Texans last week. Big Blue has held a Nick GatesSpencer Pulley competition at center during training camp. Joe Judge called this competition “scratch even” last week. Halapio played over both when healthy the past two seasons. The Giants, however, gave Gates an extension earlier this year.

The 49ers signed Brown earlier this month but released him last week. He has played seven NFL seasons — five with the Cardinals, two with the Seahawks. The Giants are fairly set at wide receiver — at least, among their top three — but lost wideout/special-teamer Cody Core to a season-ending injury. Brown, 30, has started 18 career games. The 6-foot-3 target has mostly been a depth player in his career. Last season, he caught 16 passes for 220 yards and two TDs with Seattle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Work Out Prosise, Halapio, Others

The Texans are looking into some veteran free agents. Running back C.J. Prosise, wide receiver Ryan Grant, quarterback Cody Kessler and center Jon Halapio were among the players who participated in a Texans workout Wednesday.

This marks Prosise’s second August workout; he auditioned for the Lions nearly two weeks ago. The former Seahawks running back showed promise as a rookie and remained with the team throughout his four-year rookie contract, but the former third-round pick could never carve out a consistent role.

Now 30, Grant has bounced around since his Washington run ended. The nixed Ravens agreement in 2018 ended up routing him to the Colts, with whom he saw his last significant game action. Grant caught 35 passes for 334 yards in 2018. The Texans have a veteran-heavy receiving corps — headlined by the Will FullerBrandin CooksRandall CobbKenny Stills quartet — but are down Keke Coutee at the moment. The third-year wideout is batting a foot stress fracture.

The Patriots carried Kessler for part of last season but released him in April. He has not seen game action since starting four games for the 2018 Jaguars.

Halapio brings the most recent starting experience, having been the Giants’ starting center for 15 games in 2019. He was rumored as a player who could return to the Giants, but nothing has emerged on that front in a bit. The Giants non-tendered him as an RFA in March. Halapio, 29, entered the past two seasons as New York’s starting center, but a broken leg ended his 2018 slate early and an Achilles’ tendon tear knocked him out of a Week 17 game last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Newton, Williams, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants

Things weren’t great down the stretch for the Redskins and Trent Williams, but the new 49ers tackle says he’s not harboring any ill will towards his former team.

I’m thankful this is over,” Williams told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). “Thanks to Dan [Snyder] and the organization for all they’ve done for me. Still a lot of love for the fans and that locker room. Now I’m focusing on being the best player I can possibly be for the 49ers.”

Now that his saga with the Redskins is in the rear view mirror, Williams is focused on hashing out a new deal with the defending NFC champs. Right now, Williams is set to play out the 2020 season on a $12.5MM base salary, but the veteran says there’s mutual interest in a fresh pact. Given Williams’ medical history and age, it remains to be seen whether the 49ers would be willing to commit substantial guaranteed cash to him. Then again, he’s a seven-time Pro Bowler at a premium position and the Niners, ideally, want to keep him happy.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Were the Redskins ever serious about selecting Tua Tagovailoa instead of stud edge rusher Chase Young? “No, not really,” head coach Ron Rivera said this week (via JP Finlay of NBC Sports). “We just feel about the things we saw from Dwayne Haskins,” Rivera continued. “I feel good enough about him that I’m willing to take that chance, that opportunity.”
  • Meanwhile, the longtime Panthers head coach isn’t ruling out a reunion with former MVP Cam Newton (via NFL.com). “You know, the thing about Cam really is the situation,” said Rivera. “We’re in a situation where we’ve got two really young quarterbacks, one that’s been with us, been in the system, understands how we want things done and the other one is a guy who was taken last year in the first round and shows some promise.” For now, Newton is holding out for an opportunity to start.
  • The Cowboys coughed up a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Eagles to take Wisconsin lineman Tyler Biadsz last week. The intra-divisional trade wasn’t an easy call, but they were able to stomach it thanks to a wealth of mid-round selections coming their way, The Athletic’s Jon Machota writes. Jerry Jones & Co. will recoup comp picks after losing four starters in free agency: cornerback Byron Jones, edge rusher Robert Quinn, wide receiver Randall Cobb, and defensive tackle Maliek Collins.
  • The Giants non-tendered center Jon Halapio earlier this year, but there’s a strong chance he’ll return to the team as he recovers from an Achilles injury, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. For now, the Giants have a few options on hand in guard Shane Lemieux – who has never lined up in the middle – Spencer Pulley, and G/T Nick Gates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/20

Monday’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions will be posted below. Deals will be updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

  • Chiefs: TE David Wells

NFC East Rumors: Giants, Cooper, Jenkins

Baylor’s Matt Rhule is rumored to the be the Giantspreferred candidate, and although he turned down the Jets last year, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes the native New Yorker is expected to consider leaving the college ranks to coach the Giants. This and the soon-to-be-available Cowboys job might be the only ones Rhule would presently consider, per Vacchiano. Rhule, who spent 2012 as the Giants’ assistant offensive line coach, has drawn interest from the Panthers and Browns as well. The 44-year-old college coach plans to go on vacation soon after Wednesday night’s Sugar Bowl, but Vacchiano adds the Giants are expected to meet with him before he departs for said trip.

Mike McCarthy, however, may have the best shot at competing with Rhule for the job, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. The former Super Bowl-winning Packers coach is believed to have gained steam, per Vacchiano. McCarthy is scheduled to meet with the Giants on Friday. He’s set to interview with the Browns on Thursday and has already met with the Panthers twice.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • In Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have two of the league’s top free agents. Prescott is certainly not going anywhere and, despite the prospect of the team using its franchise tag on its quarterback, Cooper is not expected to reach the market, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Cooper continues to indicate Dallas is where he wants to be. The lack of a new collective bargaining agreement helps the Cowboys on this front, as they could use both their franchise and transition tags if no CBA is in place by March 10. However, to fully avoid the risk of losing one of these key players, the Cowboys would need to reach an extension with one of them before the March 10 franchise tag deadline. A wide receiver franchise tag is expected to cost just more than $18MM; a transition tag would come in at nearly $16MM.
  • Leonard Williams told Dave Gettleman he wants to stay with the Giants, according to the GM (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post). (Williams, however, has said he will hit free agency if the Giants don’t give him “top-tier money.”) The Giants made the strange move of trading two mid-round draft picks for the contract-year defensive end, and Gettleman said he wanted to get an up-close look at Williams in the Giants’ system. Of course, the Giants will likely have a new defensive system soon once a new head coach arrives.
  • Giants center Jon Halapio suffered another severe injury this season — a torn Achilles in Week 17 — but the team is expected to tender him in restricted free agency, per Dunleavy. Halapio suffered a broken leg in September 2018 but returned to start a career-high 15 games this season. The 28-year-old snapper is not expected to be ready until at least training camp. He underwent surgery Tuesday.
  • The Eagles‘ longtime safety tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod may break up in March, with the latter a free agent. But Jenkins is a rumored extension candidate, and Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com expects a re-up that would make Jenkins one of the NFL’s highest-paid safeties to occur soon (Twitter link). Jenkins, 32, would be a 2021 free agent. The Eagles have been busy with major extensions lately, coming to terms with Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson during the season.

Extra Points: Haden, Giants, Bolts, Jaguars

No extension discussions have commenced between Joe Haden and the Steelers, but that seems to be where this is headed. After a pre-draft report indicated a Haden re-up could be in the cards this year, the veteran cornerback said he wants to re-sign with the Steelers. Haden expects conversations to take place when or around the time the Steelers report for training camp July 25, with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac also anticipating extension talks at that point. Haden struggled with injuries and inconsistency at the end of his Browns tenure but has done well to stabilize one of the Steelers’ cornerback spots. Signing for three years and $27MM in 2017, Haden is going into his age-30 season. The Steelers, though, do not appear to have reservations about paying him for his early-30s seasons, per Dulac. Due largely to being an old-CBA first-rounder, Haden has earned more than $100MM in his career.

Let’s look at where some other teams stand exiting minicamp week:

  • After two years either marred by injuries or featuring constraints by his role, Mike Williams expects his usage rate to spike in 2019. The Chargers are thinner at wide receiver but have their 2017 first-round pick set to pick up the slack after Tyrell Williams‘ departure. “My role is going to expand with Tyrell leaving. I’m looking forward to that,” Williams said, via Chargers.com. “I feel I’m going to get a lot more opportunities than I did last year.” Williams saw the third-most snaps among Bolts wideouts last year (732, more than 100 fewer than Tyrell Williams) but still caught 10 touchdown passes (after not scoring as a rookie).
  • The Jaguars will not see their full receiving corps available for a while. Marqise Lee missed all of last season and is not expected to return until nearly the end of training camp, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com notes. Lee led the 2016 Jaguars in receiving and posted 702 yards in 2017, but a severe knee injury wiped out his 2018 slate. He joins Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook and 2018 second-rounder D.J. Chark in a receiving corps that brings questions about the cogs’ roles.
  • An injury spoiled Jon Halapio‘s first season as the Giants‘ center starter, but it appears he stands to return to the role he held before going down last September. The former sixth-round pick started two games last season but saw the bulk of the first-team reps during Big Blue’s offseason work, with Pat Shurmur indicating (via the New York Post’s Jared Schwartz) the sixth-year blocker is back at 100%. Spencer Pulley graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 26 center last season; he mixed in with the Giants’ first-stringers this offseason.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/6/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered: