Kavell Conner

Ravens Place Watson, Arrington On IR

The Ravens took a big step towards getting their roster down to 75 today. The Ravens announced that they have placed veteran tight end Ben Watson and cornerback Kyle Arrington on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the team has also waived eight other players and cut one.

Both Watson and Arrington suffered their season-ending injuries during preseason. In the Ravens’ preseason opener against the Panthers, Arrington suffered a concussion that he has yet to recover from. Watson, meanwhile, tore his Achilles on Saturday night against the Lions.

The Ravens cut linebacker Kavell Conner and he’ll immediately hit the free agent market as a vested veteran. Meanwhile, the following eight players have been waived:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Sign Kavell Conner

The Ravens have signed free agent linebacker Kavell Conner to an undisclosed contract, thus bringing their roster to the 90-player maximum, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

[RELATED: Ravens To Sign Jake Long?]

Conner, 29, has previously seen NFL action with the Colts and Chargers. The former Clemson Tiger entered the league in 2010 as a seventh-round pick with Indianapolis and played there through 2014. Conner started in 36 of 52 appearances with the Colts and picked up 236 tackles, including a career-best 104 in 2011, and two forced fumbles. Conner then partook in 26 regular-season games and amassed 10 starts over the previous two seasons in San Diego, with which he compiled 70 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack in 2014. The Chargers scaled back Conner’s role last season and then released him in March after a 10-game, 22-tackle showing.

An inside linebacker, Conner will now look to crack a Ravens team set to start C.J. Mosley and Zachary Orr in the middle. Baltimore also has Arthur Brown and Albert McLellan as depth, as seen on Roster Resource.

Chargers Cut Donald Brown, Kavell Conner

The Chargers have issued a press release announcing that the team has cut four players from its roster. In addition to confirming the release of veteran linebacker Donald Butler, the Chargers have also parted ways with running back Donald Brown, linebacker Kavell Conner, and linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo.Donald Brown

[RELATED: Chargers release Donald Butler]

Brown, who turns 29 next month, had been set to enter the final season of the three-year contract he signed with the Chargers back in 2014. However, he had long been considered a probable cap casualty. If the Chargers had kept Brown on their roster, the team would have owed him a $500K roster bonus next week, plus a $3MM base salary in the fall. By cutting him, they wipe that entire $3.5MM from their cap.

Although he made a handful of starts for the Chargers in his two years in San Diego, particularly when the club’s backfield was hit hard by injuries, Brown never made a significant impact. In total, he accumulated 452 rushing yards on 144 attempts (3.1 ypc), and added 299 receiving yards on 37 catches. With Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, and Branden Oliver in the mix, Brown likely would have been buried on the depth chart if he had returned in 2016.

Conner, who just turned 29, started seven games for the Chargers in 2014, but saw his role cut back in 2015. After picking up 70 tackles and a sack in his first year with the Chargers, Cavell logged just 15 tackles last season. His release will clear his $950K base salary from San Diego’s books.

Ariguzo, who has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game, spent the 2015 season on IR. He’ll hit waivers and his release won’t create any cap room for the Chargers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Contract Details: Talib, Bills, Conner

Aqib Talib‘s contract with the Broncos features a $5MM signing bonus, a $2MM roster bonus, a $4.5MM guaranteed base salary, and $500K in per-game roster bonuses, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter). Since Talib has a small signing bonus and his 2015 and 2016 salaries are guaranteed for injury only, the Broncos could essentially cut ties with him for no guaranteed money and a minimal ($4MM) cap hit even after the 2014 season, barring a major injury, tweets Pelissero. Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com has the breakdown in chart form right here.

Here are a few more specific details on deals signed this week:

  • Corey Graham‘s new contract with the Bills can be worth over $19MM, but on the surface, it’s a four-year, $16.3MM deal with $8.1MM guaranteed, says Pelissero (via Twitter). According to Pelissero, the deal includes $700K in annual incentives, plus an extra $100K bonus each season for making the Pro Bowl.
  • The Chargers‘ three-year deal with Kavell Conner is worth $2.7MM, with a $270K signing bonus and an escalator worth up to $500K in 2016, tweets Pelissero.
  • Jim Dray‘s contract with the Browns features a $900K signing bonus, says Pelissero (via Twitter).
  • Pelissero also passes along the details on Chris Williams‘ four-year contract with the Bills. According to the USA Today scribe (via Twitter), it’s worth $13.04MM with $3.025MM in the first year, and is only guaranteed for injury in year two. Pelissero adds in another tweet that there’s a $2.5MM roster bonus due early in 2016 that’s a clear “trigger point” for the deal.
  • The Colts signed safety Sergio Brown on Tuesday, and that one-year deal will be worth $1.4MM, with a $300K signing bonus, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • While Keith Rivers‘ new deal with the Bills was reported as a two-year, $5MM contract with half of that amount guaranteed, it looks like it won’t be worth quite that much. Wilson tweets that it’s worth $4.05MM, with a $1MM signing bonus, base salaries of $1.25MM (2014) and $1.6MM (2015), and annual workout bonuses of $100K.
  • Michael Hoomanawanui‘s two-year contract with the Patriots is worth a total of $2.4MM, with a $360K signing bonus and $1.1MM in total guarantees, tweets Wilson.
  • The two-year, $5MM figure reported for Al Woods earlier today includes incentives, according to Wilson (via Twitter). The defensive lineman’s contract with the Titans features a signing bonus of $1MM, base salaries of $900K (2014) and $2.1MM (2015), and incentives worth up to $500K annually.

Chargers To Sign Kavell Conner

The Chargers have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with linebacker Kavell Conner, agent Tom Kleine tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported (via Twitter) that the two sides were close to a deal with resolution expected soon, after Wilson reported on Tuesday that Conner was visiting with the team.

After starting 27 games for the Colts in 2011 and 2012, Conner played a reserve role in 2013, appearing in just 147 defensive snaps while also contributing on special teams. He was very good when he did play though, recording 11 special teams tackles and posting a +3.3 grade on defense, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

AFC West Rumors: Allen, Howard, Saffold

Jared Allen‘s first visit of his free agency will be with the Broncos, which was first reported by Ian Rapaport of NFL.com (Dan Hanzus of NFL.com credited him with the report). Allen could be a perfect fit for a team in need of a pass rusher, unless they somehow find a way to attract an even bigger name in free agency.

Here are some other notes from around the AFC West:

  • Austin Howard is visiting with the Raiders, as reported by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The much improved right tackle failed to come to an agreement to stay with the Jets, and could play opposite the Raiders’ new presumed left tackle Rodger Saffold (unless Saffold is a very expensive guard).
  • While the Raiders have already retained one running back, they may still be looking to add depth to their backfield. Ian Rapaport of NFL.com reports that the team also has an interest former Giant tailback Andre Brown (via Twitter).
  • Kavell Conner is visiting with the Chargers, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). The former Colts linebacker was a starter for much of his first three seasons in Indianapolis, but did not start a single game in 2013.
  • Wide receiver Joe Morgan, who was non-tendered as a restricted free agent recently by the Saints, is visiting the Chiefs, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The Chiefs are interested in veteran inside linebacker Joe Mays, who coach Andy Reid selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.