Kasey Redfern

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at the second-round level ($2.914MM):

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

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

Lions P Kasey Redfern Suffers Torn ACL

Lions punter Kasey Redfern is done for the year. Redfern suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and partial tear of the patellar tendon in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Redfern will be placed on injured reserve, likely later today or tomorrow. Kasey Redfern (vertical)

The injury took place after Redfern bobbled a snap in the Lions’ end zone and ran with the ball. He was hit hard around the ten-yard line – shy of the first down marker – causing his leg to hit the ground at an awkward angle.

Redfern was signed to serve as the team’s punter while Sam Martin is on the non-football injury list. The Lions will now have to look into a Plan C. Kicker Matt Prater took over punting duties on Sunday, but the Lions will almost certainly sign a full-time punter this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: OBJ, Browns, Cardinals, Lions

Former NFL wide receiver Jordan Norwood has announced his retirement, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Norwood, played in parts of five seasons with the Eagles, Browns, and — most recently — Broncos, totaling 79 receptions, 844 yards, and two touchdowns during that time. Norwood’s most notable NFL time came in Denver, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2015. PFR extends it best wishes to Norwood in retirement.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • While Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t active for tonight’s Giants game against the Cowboys, he’s expected to be a full go when New York faces Detroit in Week 2, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Beckham, of course, suffered an ankle injury during the preseason that forced him to sit out for Week 1. The dynamic wideout’s absence has unsurprisingly affected the Giants’ offensive output thus far, as Big Blue has yet to score a single point against Dallas.
  • Responding to a report that he was “irate” at the Browns‘ decision to release cornerback Joe Haden, head coach Hue Jackson said he works in “lockstep” with Cleveland’s front office, reports Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). The Browns parted ways with Haden just before the season in a move that will cause them to absorb $10.9MM in dead money over the next two year. Playing against his old team as a member of the Steelers today, Haden graded as the NFL’s No. 53 cornerback among 75 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Offensive guard Alex Boone‘s one-year deal with the Cardinals is worth $1.4MM, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). Boone, 30, can also make another $600K via playtime incentives. Additionally, Boone is scheduled to earn $3.4MM as part of his Vikings contract, which does not contain offset language. Boone will begin his Arizona tenure as a backup, but could conceivably start later in the season.
  • The Lions may be on the lookout for a new punter, as Kasey Redfern suffered a “significant” injury during today’s contest, head coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Redfern is already an injury replacement, as he’s filling in for incumbent Sam Martin, who was placed on the non-football injury list during final cutdowns.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/25/17

Today’s minor move:

  • Restricted free agent wide receiver Dontrelle Inman has signed his second-round tender, the Chargers announced today. Inman will now earn a non-guaranteed $2.797MM base salary for the 2017 campaign. The 28-year-old former undrafted free agent broke out last season, catching 58 balls, 810 yards, and four touchdowns from quarterback Philip Rivers. Inman will return to a Los Angeles wideout corps that includes Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and Travis Benjamin.
  • The Lions have signed free agent punter Kasey Redfern, according to a team announcement. Redfern, 25, was sent to the Browns last August as part of the Panthers’ Andy Lee acquisition, but didn’t end up making Cleveland’s final roster. A Wofford alum, Redfern has bounced around the NFL since entering the league in 2014, but has yet to appear in a pro contest. Detroit signed punter Sam Martin to a four-year extension in September, so Redfern won’t act as anything more than a camp body in the Motor City.

Browns Down To 53

The Browns have officially cut down to a 53-man roster, according to a team announcement.

The team’s cuts include receivers Taylor Gabriel and Marlon Moore. Undrafted out of Abilene Christian in 2014, the 5-foot-8, 176-pound Gabriel appeared in 29 of a possible 32 regular-season games with the Browns and started four. He amassed 64 receptions for 862 yards and a touchdown during that time, with most of those numbers coming as a rookie. Gabriel caught 36 passes on 72 targets and averaged a prolific 17.1 yards per reception in his first year, but that figure fell to a paltry 8.6 on his 28 grabs in 2015.

Moore, a six-year veteran, previously saw action with the Dolphins and 49ers before joining the Browns last season. He pulled in only seven receptions in 14 games in Cleveland.

The full list is below.

Released:

Waived:

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/31/16

We’ve had quite a busy day as teams worked feverishly to get under the 75-man roster maximum before the afternoon deadline. Here are the rest of the roster moves made so far:

  • The Packers have released punter Tim Masthay to make room for fellow punter Jacob Schum, whom they claimed on waivers from the Buccaneers, Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel tweets.
  • The Browns have signed punter Michael Palardy and waived free safety Tim Scott, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. Palardy will battle it out with new acquisition Kasey Redfern.
  • The Eagles announced that they have claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers from the Chargers. The Purdue product has played with five teams to date. Philadelphia also signed defensive end Jake Metz, according to a team announcement. Metz previously played with the Arena League’s Philadelphia Soul.
  • The Buccaneers moved guard J.R. Sweezy and receiver Louis Murphy to the PUP list, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. In related moves, linebacker Jeremiah George and safety Kimario McFadden have been re-signed.
  • Contrary to previous reports, the Saints are not cutting linebacker Jeff Schoettmer (Twitter link via Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune).
  • The Steelers have moved their roster to 75 men by waiving safety Jacob Hagen, defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler and cornerback Kevin White, the club announced.
  • The Colts had one open roster spot, and they’ve filled by signing safety Alden Darby, per a team announcement.
  • The Bears have waived rookie cornerback Kevin Peterson, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

Browns Trade Punter Andy Lee To Panthers

The Panthers acquired veteran punter Andy Lee and a 2017 seventh-round pick from the Browns in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice in 2018 and punter Kasey RedfernAndy Lee (vertical)

Lee, 34, spent the first eleven years of his career with the 49ers before being traded to the Browns in 2015. The veteran has never missed a regular season game and has three First-Team All-Pro nods to his credit (2007, 2011, 2012) with two Pro Bowl selections (’07, ’11). The Pittsburgh product averaged 46.7 yards per punt last season, slightly higher than his career average. He’ll now step into the role that was originally supposed to be filled by Mike Scifres.

The Panthers signed Redfern less than two weeks ago as they waived Swayze Waters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/15/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Buccaneers have signed defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and waived/injured rookie safety Elijah Shumate, the club announced. Kitchen, who weighs in at 330 pounds, appeared in 40 games for the Browns from 2012-14, but saw action in only two contests last year with the Patriots and Lions.
  • The Cardinals announced that they’ve waived/injured safety Durell Eskridge and re-signed safety Tyrequek Zimmerman.
  • The Raiders have waived offensive lineman Torian White, per an announcement from the club. Additionally, head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters, including Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) that tight end Gabe Holmes is likely headed to injured reserve.
  • The Seahawks announced that they’ve waived running back Cameron Marshall and signed linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.
  • The Colts have claimed guard Donovan Williams off waivers from the Bears and waived punter Michael Palardy, the team announced.
  • The Steelers announced that they’ve signed linebacker Jermauria Rasco and waived long snapped Matt Dooley. Pittsburgh also reached an injury settlement with special teams ace Ross Ventrone, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Jets cut defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi with a left squad designation, according to Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Panthers announced that they’ve swapped out punters, signing Kasey Redfern while waiving Swayze Waters.
  • The Chargers have signed defensive tackle Kamal Johnson, linebacker Zach Hodges, and linebacker James Vaughters, and waived waived cornerback Carrington Byndom.
  • The Rams have signed safety Michael Caputo and waived/injured safety Brian Randolph, tweets Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Packers have waived/injured long snapper Jesse Schmitt and will likely release him with an injury settlement, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).
  • The Falcons have claimed guard Jordan Walsh off waivers from the Saints and waived fellow guard Shahbaz Ahmed, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/8/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Lions waived wide receiver Damian Copeland and signed fellow wide receiver Alex Chisum, as Justin Rogers of The Detroit News tweets.
  • The Saints have signed long snapper Chris Highland, according to a source who spoke with Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter).
  • The Broncos have waived defensive end Kenny Anunike as he continues to be dogged by knee troubles, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets. In a related move, the Broncos have signed safety Ryan Murphy. Murphy spent last season on the Broncos’ practice squad and was famously sent home from the Super Bowl. Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post (on Twitter) hears that Anunike passed his physical before being waived.
  • The Buccaneers signed offensive lineman Kelvin Palmer, as Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune tweets.
  • The Jets announced that they have signed wide receiver Anthony Kelly and defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi, waived/injured defensive lineman Julien Obioha, and placed wide receiver Chris King on the reserve/did not report list.
  • The Browns signed defensive lineman Chigbo Anunoby and waived fellow defensive lineman Kyle Rose, as Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers removed Quinton Schooley from their injured reserve with an injury settlement, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Chargers announced that they have signed wide receiver Rico Richardson and defensive tackle Zamir Carlis. To make room, they waived offensive lineman Mike McQueen and punter Kasey Redfern. With Redfern out of the way, it appears that Drew Kaser has won the team’s punting competition.
  • The Redskins waived linebacker Steven Daniels with an injury designation, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets.