Karlos Dansby

Jets Meet With LB Karlos Dansby

Karlos Dansby has now taken his second free agent visit with the AFC East, as the veteran linebacker met with the Jets today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The division-rival Bills have also reportedly hosted Dansby.

Dansby overlapped with Jets head coach Todd Bowles in both Miami and Arizona, so it’s no surprise that Gang Green has some level of interest in the 36-year-old linebacker. However, New York signed former Titans linebacker Avery Williamson last week to pair with fellow inside ‘backer Darron Lee, so it’s unclear where exactly Dansby fit.

While Dansby could be viewed as something of a glorified coach if signed by the Jets, his recent play doesn’t quite warrant that moniker. Indeed, Dansby is still an effective and durable player despite his age. In 2017, Dansby started 15 games a season ago, racking up 74 tackles and one sack while grading as the league’s No. 49 linebacker among 87 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Host LBs Kevin Minter, Karlos Dansby

After losing Preston Brown to the Bengals last week, the Bills are making moves to replenish their linebacker corps. Buffalo has met with free agent linebackers Kevin Minter and Karlos Dansby, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

Minter started 32 games with the Cardinals from 2015-16, and had been expected to take on major responsibilities with Cincinnati after inking a one-year pact last spring. But Minter played on fewer than 20% of the Bengals’ defensive snaps, seeing less action than sixth-round rookie Jordan Evans and barely playing ahead of undrafted free agent Hardy Nickerson. Minter ended the 2017 season on injured reserve while dealing with a hamstring issue.

But Minter is still only 27 years old, and he offers more experience than other Bills options such as Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo. Moreover, the off-ball linebacker market has mostly been picked over, as NaVorro Bowman is the only impact player left at the position. Minter, then, could be viewed as an attractive addition when compared with aging veterans such as Brian Cushing, Lawrence Timmons, or Jerrell Freeman.

Dansby, on the other hand, is one of those aging veterans, and like Minter, he’s also an ex-Cardinal. The 36-year-old has actually enjoyed three separate stints with Arizona, and has also spent time with Miami, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. An extremely durable linebacker, Dansby started 15 games a season ago, racking up 74 tackles and one sack while grading as the league’s No. 49 linebacker among 87 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense on Monday, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2018:

Edge defender:

  1. Julius Peppers
  2. William Hayes
  3. Trent Murphy
  4. Pernell McPhee
  5. Aaron Lynch
  6. Alex Okafor
  7. Adrian Clayborn
  8. Kony Ealy
  9. Connor Barwin
  10. Jeremiah Attaochu
  11. Junior Galette
  12. Derrick Shelby
  13. Barkevious Mingo
  14. Kareem Martin
  15. Erik Walden

As a positional group, pass rushers comprise interesting market on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not often that a list of best available players is topped by a 38-year-old, but Peppers is the top free agent edge defender after the Cowboys and Lions deployed the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah, respectively. As with quarterbacks, NFL clubs are extremely reluctant to allow pass rushers to hit the open market, so top-tier options are rarely ever truly “available.” Peppers, for his part, hasn’t even declared whether he’ll return in 2018, but indications are that he’ll suit up for a 17th campaign after posting 11 sacks last year.

Alongside Peppers, other veterans populate the edge market, and while William Hayes may not be a household name, he’ll be a contributor for whichever team signs him. A stout run defender, Hayes is also capable of generating pressure despite managing only one sack in 2017. The Dolphins used Hayes on only 271 defensive snaps a season ago, and have since replaced him by acquiring fellow defensive end Robert Quinn from the Rams. Now that he’s entering his age-33 season, Hayes should come cheap, but will almost assuredly outplay his contract.

Nearly every other available pass rusher has some sort of flaw which will likely limit his market next week. Trent Murphy is only 27 years old and put up nine sacks in 2016, but he missed the entirety of the 2017 campaign with injury. Pernell McPhee, Alex Okafor, Junior Galette, and Derrick Shelby have also been plagued by health questions in recent seasons. And Adrian Clayborn famously registered the majority of his 2017 sacks (and 20% of his career sack total) in one game against overwhelmed Cowboys backup Chaz Green.

The two names that I keep coming back to are Aaron Lynch (49ers) and Jeremiah Attaochu (Chargers). Yes, Lynch has been suspended for substance abuse, struggled with his weight, and was reportedly in danger of being waived prior to last season. He’s also extremely young (he won’t turn 25 years old until Thursday) and ranked fifth in the league with 34 pass pressures as recently as 2015. Attaochu, a 25-year-old former second-round pick, also has youth on his side, and while he hasn’t quite flashed as much as Lynch, he’s also been buried on LA’s depth chart for much of his career.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Sheldon Richardson
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Muhammad Wilkerson
  4. Star Lotulelei
  5. DaQuan Jones
  6. Beau Allen
  7. Denico Autry
  8. Justin Ellis
  9. Tom Johnson
  10. Bennie Logan
  11. Chris Baker
  12. Kyle Williams
  13. Dominique Easley
  14. Haloti Ngata
  15. Jay Bromley

Interior rushers are getting more respect in today’s NFL, but that still hasn’t translated to them being paid on the level of edge defenders — the 2018 franchise tag for defensive tackles, for example, is roughly $3MM cheaper than the tender for edge rushers. While the 2018 crop of interior defenders boasts some impressive top-end talent, none of the available players figure to earn a double-digit annual salary. Sheldon Richardson may have the best chance to do so, but Seattle determined he wasn’t worth a one-year cost of $13.939MM, so is any other club going to pay him $10MM per year? I’d guess he comes in closer to $9MM annually, which would still place him among the 25 highest-paid defensive tackles.

Dontari Poe will be an intriguing free agent case after setting for a one-year deal last offseason, but the most interesting battle among defensive tackles will take place Star Lotulelei and Muhammad Wilkerson, and I’m curious to see which player earns more on the open market. Both are former first-round picks, and it’s difficult to argue Wilkerson hasn’t been the more productive player — or, at least, reached higher highs — than Lotulelei. Wilkerson also won’t affect his next team’s compensatory pick formula given that he was released, but his off-field issues, which include a reported lack of effort and problems with coaches, could limit his appeal.

While Beau Allen and Denico Autry are potentially candidates to be overpaid based on their youth, there are bargains to be had at defensive tackle. Tom Johnson is 33 but he’s offered consistent pressure from the interior for years — his last contract was for three years and $7MM, so he shouldn’t cost much this time around. Haloti Ngata was injured in 2017 but plans to continue his career, and he can still stop the run. And Dominique Easley was outstanding as a 3-4 end in 2016 before missing last season with a torn ACL, meaning the former first-round pick could be a value play for any number of teams.Read more

Extra Points: Pats, Ravens, Lockett, Dansby

If a Malcolm Butler trade is going to occur, it will likely take place this week and come down to whether the Saints are ready to surrender their No. 32 overall pick or submit a proposal of a package involving their second-rounder (No. 42), Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. Butler signed his $3.91MM RFA tender earlier this week to pave the way for a trade and Saints/Patriots talks continue, but it’s uncertain if the Saints want to unload a high draft pick and pay the 27-year-old Butler like a top-tier cornerback. Reiss gets the feeling the Patriots won’t have an issue with Butler playing on the RFA tender this season, as they would be able to fetch a compensatory pick after the season if/when Butler departs as a UFA in that scenario.

Here’s the latest from New England and the rest of the league as we enter draft week.

  • Aaron Hernandez‘s death closed all cases against him and could open the door to more issues between the NFL and NFLPA regarding the former Patriots tight end’s salary. The league and NFLPA agreed to table any grievance-related discussions until all criminal prosecution of Hernandez concluded, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. That having happened reopens those unresolved issues. Hernandez’s side was demanding $3.25MM in unpaid money from his 2012 signing bonus, and the NFLPA filed a grievance for the former tight end’s 2013 and 2014 guaranteed salaries (in addition to a 2014 guaranteed workout bonus). The NFL and the Patriots’ grievance sought repayment of all money given to Hernandez prior to the 2012 contract extension.
  • While initial reports indicated Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst had signed his restricted free agent tender, that doesn’t appear to be the case, tweets salary cap guru Ian Whetstone. Instead, Hurst looks to have agreed to a reduced one-year contract, similar to Baltimore RFA wide receiver Michael Campanaro. Under the terms of his original-round RFA tender, Hurst would have earned $1.797MM in 2017. But he will now will presumably take in a lesser total. Hurst, 25, started three games for the Ravens last season and played on roughly a quarter of the club’s offensive snaps.
  • Tyler Lockett expects to be ready for training camp, but the rehabbing Seahawks wideout has an uncertain timetable until then, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. Lockett broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg in Week 16 of last year and had surgery on Christmas Eve. Lockett told media, including Condotta, he’s aiming to be ready by camp but is viewing any earlier participation as a bonus.
  • The Cardinals did not view Karlos Dansby as a backup plan despite his age, contacting the 14th-year linebacker in the opening minutes of free agency, Kent Somers of AZCentral.com reports. Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal, the 35-year-old Dansby is expected to take Kevin Minter‘s place alongside Deone Bucannon at inside linebacker. The Cards allowed Minter to walk, and he signed a one-year, $4MM deal with the Bengals.
  • Two personnel men surveyed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn regarding the 2017 draft said Ryan Ramczyk would profile as a second-round pick if this were a more traditional year for offensive line prospects. But with the prognosis grim for this year’s class, the Wisconsin blocker likely will vault into the first round. An AFC team’s staffer said this class of linemen was the worst he’s seen in 10 years.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this report.

Contract Details: Hoyer, Newman, Dansby

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

  • Karlos Dansby, LB (Cardinals): One year, $2MM. $700K guaranteed. $250K available via incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Vlad Ducasse, OL (Bills): Three years, $3.5MM. $250K guaranteed. $250K signing bonus. Playing time incentives available (link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Brian Hoyer, QB (49ers): Two years, $12MM. $9.85MM guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. $1.5MM available via incentives (20 touchdowns, 2,500 passing yards, Pro Bowl) in 2017. $5MM available via incentives (same thresholds) in 2018 (links via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com).
  • Bennie Logan, DT (Chiefs): One year, $8MM. $7.68MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star).
  • Alex Okafor, LB/DE (Saints): One year, $2MM. $1MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $1MM available in sack and playtime incentives (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of the Advocate).
  • Terence Newman, CB (Vikings): One year, $3.25MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Cardinals To Sign Karlos Dansby

The Cardinals have agreed to sign linebacker Karlos Dansby for a third stint with the team, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. It’s a one-year deal for the veteran, according to Darren Urban of the Cardinals website (via Twitter).

Karlos Dansby

Dansby entered the NFL in 2004 as a second-round pick of the Cardinals, with whom he played through 2009 before a three-year stay in Miami. The ex-Auburn star then returned to the Cardinals in 2013, but his second tenure with the club only lasted one season. He has since suited up with Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Despite his age (35), Dansby has remained productive. In 2016, his 13th season, he totaled 16 appearances for the seventh time, though he turned in a career-low seven starts. Dansby nonetheless surpassed the 100-tackle mark for the seventh time and ranked a middle-of-the-road 46th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.

Dansby is the second over-30 defender who has agreed to sign with the Cardinals on free agency’s first day, joining safety Antoine Bethea. The two will try to bolster a ‘D’ that has suffered notable losses in lineman Calais Campbell (Jaguars) and safety Tony Jefferson (Ravens) since the league year began.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

Read more

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

Read more

AFC Notes: Vegas, Bengals, Browns, Broncos

The National Hockey League officially announced its expansion into Las Vegas on Wednesday, which could affect the NFL – and the Raiders, to be more specific. The Raiders have been working to relocate to Vegas if they fail to come up with a stadium solution in Oakland, though there has been concern historically about placing a pro sports franchise in a city built on gambling. However, as evidenced by the NHL’s decision, sports commissioners are less and less worried about gambling as a factor, per Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Now, with the NHL having taken the plunge into Vegas, the door has opened that much more for the Raiders to do the same.

For more on the NHL’s 31 franchises, bookmark the newly launched Pro Hockey Rumors and follow PHR on Twitter.

Elsewhere around the NFL…

  • Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby has tried to recruit free agent safety Donte Whitner to Cincinnati, he told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday (Twitter link via Alex Marvez). The rebuilding Browns released Dansby in March and Whitner in April after the two played together in Cleveland from 2014-15. Given the Bengals’ situation at safety, odds are seemingly against the 31-year-old Whitner joining them as anything but a backup – for which he’s overqualified. As Roster Resource shows, the team has expensive, in-their-prime starters in George Iloka and Shawn Williams.
  • In his interview with SiriusXM, Dansby also opened up about his experience with the 3-13 Browns last season (via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com). “The coaches and the front office, there was just a lot of mess going on, a lot of things going on, a lot of distractions.” Dansby said, referring to the coaching staff Mike Pettine was at the helm of and the Ray Farmer-led front office. The 13th-year man added that his teammates “had just shut down” after a certain point, which would help to explain Cleveland’s 1-10 finish. The Browns moved on from both Pettine and Farmer at the end of the season, of course, and have begun a new era with ex-Bengals assistant Hue Jackson atop the coaching staff and Sashi Brown leading the front office.
  • Three of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s seven children – John Michael Bowlen, Brittany Bowlen and Jane Elizabeth Bowlen Wallace – are no longer employees of the organization, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. That doesn’t mean a sale of the franchise is in the works, though. “No plans for the sale of the team. The hope remains to keep the Broncos in the Bowlen family,” Broncos vice president of communications Patrick Smyth tweeted in response to a Pro Football Talk report on Wednesday. PFT’s Mike Florio is skeptical, however, noting that “hope” isn’t a guarantee and one of Bowlen’s children will eventually have to show why he or she is worthy of taking control of the Broncos. In the meantime, with Pat Bowlen having resigned as the Broncos’ CEO in 2014 because of his battle with Alzheimer’s, the team will remain in a trust and president Joe Ellis will continue running the operation.

Bengals Sign Karlos Dansby

FRIDAY, 8:14am: Dansby’s one-year contract has a base value of $2MM, with another $250K available in incentives, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The deal also features a $700K signing bonus.

WEDNESDAY, 9:40am: The Bengals have made the signing of Dansby official, announcing the move today (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 9:55am: Having been released earlier this month by the Browns, veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby has found a new home, but he won’t be going far — his new team plays in the same state and the same division as his old team.Karlos Dansby

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Dansby is set to sign a contract with the Bengals. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com had reported earlier this morning (via Twitter) that talks between Dansby and the Bengals were heating up.

Dansby, a former second-round pick, racked up 109 tackles, forced three fumbles, and intercepted three passes, including two for touchdowns, during the 2015 season. Pro Football Focus ranked him 25th out of 97 qualified non-rush linebackers. However, having decided to go younger on defense, the Browns opted to cut the 34-year-old with two seasons left on his four-year contract.

At the time of his release, Dansby told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that he wouldn’t mind joining a Super Bowl contender like the Bengals, Packers, or Cardinals. “Yeah, I think the Bengals are licking their chops right now,” the linebacker said. “I hope they are. We’ll see what it is.”

The Bengals have some depth at linebacker, with Rey Maualuga, Vontaze Burfict, Vincent Rey, and A.J. Hawk among the available options for the three starting jobs. Still, the team did lose Emmanuel Lamur in free agency, and Burfict will serve a suspension to start the 2016 season, so adding a player like Dansby certainly won’t hurt.

Because Dansby was released by the Browns, he won’t count toward the compensatory pick formula for 2017’s draft. Cincinnati has lost several noteworthy free agents this year, including Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Andre Smith, so the club should be in line for a few extra draft picks next year.

Dansby is also said to have received some interest from the Seahawks, though his only reported visit was to Cincinnati.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.