Kellen Moore

Extra Points: Bills, Cowboys, Cards, Panthers

Bills first-round cornerback Tre’Davious White is performing so well during Buffalo practice sessions that new head coach Sean McDermott has scarcely noticed the rookie on the field, as Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News writes. “Really, I’ve had to sit back in my office up there and ask myself why haven’t I noticed Tre’Davious, in terms of why am I not concerned about him?” McDermott said. “As a defensive coordinator I was a lot closer to the defense at times, so I’ve been asking myself is it because of that or is it because he’s just integrated himself so smoothly into the NFL and what we do? He’s mature beyond his years.” The Bills traded down from No. 10 to No. 27 before selecting White, who projects as a Week 1 starter opposite Ronald Darby.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • While finding a backup quarterback appeared to be an important item on the Cowboys‘ offseason itinerary, the club may be content with incumbent No. 2 Kellen Moore, according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. The Cowboys, who lost Tony Romo to retirement and Mark Sanchez to free agency, have expressed interest in veterans such as Josh McCown, but have yet to add another passer behind starter Dak Prescott. If Moore does stick as Dallas’ backup, it could be because he has a backer in offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who refers to Moore as a “machine.”
  • The most interesting Cardinals position battle will take place at backup quarterback, where Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton will square off for Arizona’s No. 2 QB job, opines Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Gabbert offers a first-round pedigree and has a supporter in head coach Bruce Arians, but Stanton is more familiar with the club’s offense after three seasons in the desert. The Cardinals would absorb $2.5MM in dead money if they release Stanton.
  • The Panthers announced that they’re hired former Illinois head coach Ron Turner as a consultant to the coaching staff. Turner’s most notable experience comes at the collegiate level (he spent the past three seasons leading FIU), but he also has an NFL resume. Notably, Turner served as the Bears’ offensive coordinator from 2005-09, a tenure that overlapped with that of Carolina head coach Ron Rivera, who acted as Chicago’s DC from 2004-06.

Extra Points: Kizer, Moore, Patriots, Jackson

We recently heard that the Browns‘ staring QB job is Cody Kessler‘s to lose, and while that still might be true, the team selected DeShone Kizer in the second round of this year’s draft for a reason, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the Notre Dame product demonstrated superior physical skills during the first week of OTAs, especially with respect to arm strength and mobility. Cabot also says Kizer is picking up the offense quickly, and even if he does not start Week 1, he will get his chance early on in the season. Hue Jackson has spent more time with Kizer and will continue to do so, while quarterbacks coach David Lee will have a bigger role with Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan, per Cabot.

I want to make sure I have my hand on him as much as I can,” Jackson said, via Cabot, of coaching Kizer. “I will continue to do so. I have to find out probably more about [Kizer] than I do any of the guys. He’s not going to get too far away from me, I know that. He’s done a good job. He just has to keep getting better. He’s improved from day to day.”

Here’s more from around the league.

  • With only four draft picks, the Patriots allocated a considerable amount of funds to their UDFAs. The Pats guaranteed $415K to their 19-man UDFA class, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Reiss pointed this out after Mike Zimmer revealed the Vikings spent $192,500 on their 13-man class, which the coach said was the most in his four years. The Packers, meanwhile, guaranteed their 20-man pool just $63K. The Pats were aggressive with possible late-round picks that slipped out of the draft in BYU linebacker Harvey Langi — who took up a sizable portion of New England’s total with a $100K base salary guarantee and $15K signing bonus — and Wyoming tight end Jacob Hollister, Reiss reports.
  • Cowboys 11th-year quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson would be on board with the team bringing in competition for Kellen Moore, who is entering his sixth season but has just three career games (all with the 2015 Cowboys) to his name. “I do think that we need to create competition for him, and that’s at every position, but especially at the quarterback position,” Wilson said, via Matt Galatzan of Scout.com. “So because he hasn’t played, if there’s a veteran out there that we want to bring in and compete against him, I’d be all for that, but if not, I feel very comfortable about him going out there and playing.” The Cowboys were in on Josh McCown but didn’t come close to matching the Jets’ offer. They signed Moore, who is coming off a season-ending injury, to a one-year, $775K deal in March.
  • Lamar Jackson dazzled the college football world last year, but Louisville’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback doesn’t strike NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks as a polished passer ready to make an NFL impact in that area yet. While Brooks described Jackson (1,570 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns) as a more explosive runner than recent dual-threat prodigies Marcus Mariota or Robert Griffin III, he needs to improve upon his footwork, passing mechanics and defensive diagnoses to elevate into a franchise-type passing prospect. Both CBS and the Sporting News had Jackson as a first-round pick in their way-too-early 2018 mocks.
  • Brooks also heard from an NFC scout that Penn State running back Saquon Barkley‘s early hype is justified going into what most expect will be his final college season. The anonymous evaluator viewed the junior Nittany Lion as a player who is as “complete as they come” at this position. This follows an NFL exec saying Barkley could be the best running back prospect in a decade.

Rory Parks contributed to this report.

Contract Details: Claiborne, Geno Smith

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

  • Morris Claiborne, CB (Jets): One year, $5MM. $2.5MM base salary. $2MM signing bonus. $31K per game bonus if on 46-man roster. (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the Daily News).
  • Lorenzo Alexander, LB (Bills): Two years, $5.95MM. Cap numbers of $2.55MM (2017) and $3.4MM (2018). $1.1MM signing bonus. Base salaries of $2MM (2017, fully guaranteed) and $2.45MM (2018; $300K fully guaranteed; $1MM guaranteed for injury only). $300K roster bonus due on third day of the 2018 league year and additional per-game roster bonuses of $6K+ in 2018. Incentives up to $850K (2017) and $1.25MM (2018) in playing time and Pro Bowl incentives. (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Geno Smith, QB (Giants): One year, $775K base. $25K workout bonus. $800K in play time incentives. $12.5K per-game roster bonuses. Max value of $2MM. (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
  • EJ Manuel, QB (Raiders): One year, $800K. No guaranteed money. (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com).
  • Kellen Moore, QB (Cowboys): One year, $755K. $100K fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).
  • Tyson Alualu, DL (Steelers): Two years, $6MM. $1.75MM fully guaranteed. (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).
  • Kevin Minter, LB (Bengals): One year, $4MM. $2.1MM guaranteed. (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
  • Frostee Rucker, DE (Cardinals): One year, $1.08MM. $80K fully guaranteed. $500K+ available through incentives. (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN.com).

Extra Points: Foster, Panthers, Cowboys

Two Alabama stalwarts are making the pre-draft visit rounds. Reuben Foster had dinner with Bears brass on Sunday night and visited the team’s facility today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (on Twitter). Chicago holds the No. 3 pick in the draft. Although, the Bears spent upper-echelon inside linebacker money on Danny Trevathan and Jurrell Freeman last offseason.

Meanwhile, former Foster teammate Cam Robinson met with the Bills and Panthers. A Jaguars stop is next for the first-round tackle prospect, Rapoport reports. The Carolina visit occurred today. Robinson, Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk and Utah’s Garrett Bolles headline the tackle class.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Speaking of Panthers tackles, Matt Kalil‘s arrival in Charlotte will return Michael Oher to the right tackle position, should he be cleared to return to action. He and 2015 fourth-rounder Daryl Williams will compete for the right tackle job, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. Oher remains in the concussion protocol after suffering what turned out to be a severe head injury early last season. The 30-year-old Oher has two years remaining on the 2016 extension he signed. Oher started at left tackle for the Panthers beginning at the start of the 2015 season.
  • Zach Brown‘s Dolphins visit began tonight and will likely continue into Tuesday, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Brown is arguably the best linebacker remaining on the UFA market. He worked with Fins linebackers coach Frank Bush while with the Titans.
  • Recently added Bengals linebacker Kevin Minter will begin his Cincinnati career as a middle ‘backer, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Minter played as a 3-4 inside ‘backer with the Cardinals. However, it’s possible he could see time on the strong side in the Bengals’ 4-3 set. Vontaze Burfict and Vincent Rey are the likely incumbents set to flank Minter. Karlos Dansby returned to the Cardinals, beginning the teams’ indirect swap of non-rush ‘backers and leaving a bit of a hole on Cincinnati’s second level.
  • Jelani Jenkins figures to be Malcolm Smith‘s replacement as the Raiders‘ weakside linebacker, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com notes. Smith played as the Raiders’ weakside man for two seasons and was the team’s most utilized linebacker during that span, operating as a nickel player and a 3-4 inside man when Oakland shifted into those looks.
  • Kellen Moore‘s one-year Cowboys re-up is for $775K, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). Both Williams and the Telegram’s Clarence Hill report the Cowboys did not want to pay nearly what Josh McCown received from the Jets ($6MM fully guaranteed) to fill their impending backup quarterback vacancy. Dak Prescott will make $540K in base salary this season.
  • Damontre Moore signed a two-year, $1.66MM deal with the Cowboys, one that contains a $100K signing bonus, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
  • Ray Rice remains focused on trying to re-enter the NFL. The former Ravens Pro Bowl running back said today his absence isn’t because he no longer has the ability. “The reason why I’m not playing football, you do the dots,” the now-30-year-old Rice said from Torrey Smith‘s charity basketball game in Baltimore, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “It ain’t because I’m a bad football player. That’s just keeping it real. I’m never giving up and never giving in.” Rice hasn’t played since the 2013 season. The video of him striking his then-fiancee, now-wife in an elevator that emerged in September of 2014 led to the Ravens cutting him. Rice’s incident figures to come up again as teams decide whether or not to take a chance on Joe Mixon, who was also seen punching a woman on camera.

Cowboys Re-Sign QB Kellen Moore

The Cowboys have re-signed quarterback Kellen Moore, according to a team announcement. Terms of the deal are not yet known. "<strong

[RELATED: PFR’s Best Remaining Free Agent Quarterbacks]

Moore will return to Dallas to provide depth behind starter Dak Prescott. Tony Romo remains under contract in Dallas, but he’ll probably be off the roster one way or another, whether via trade or release. Once the Romo situation is resolved, the Cowboys may look to sign another QB and that could bump Moore down to the QB3 spot.

Moore appeared in three games (two starts) in 2015 while Romo was sidelined. Last season, he suffered a leg injury in the offseason and missed all of 2016. If it weren’t for that, Moore could have been Dallas’ starter again when Romo got hurt weeks later. Ultimately, things worked out alright for the Cowboys as they discovered a superstar in Prescott.

In 2015, Moore completed 61 of 104 passes for 779 yards and four touchdowns against six picks. In our updated version of the free agent quarterback rankings, we had Moore as the 14th best available option.

Veteran QB Josh McCown has been heavily linked to the Cowboys. It remains to be seen whether he can still wind up in Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive 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 offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Cowboys Place Kellen Moore On IR

Today, the Cowboys placed quarterback Kellen Moore on injured reserve. Kellen Moore (Vertical)

Earlier this month, Moore broke his leg, elevating Dak Prescott to the No. 2 spot on Dallas’ quarterback depth chart. Then, when Tony Romo suffered a back injury in preseason, Prescott was bumped up to the starting role. The initial prognosis on Moore was that he would miss three or four months, but Dallas has opted to shut him down instead.

Below, we have the full slate of Dallas’ moves to get down to a 75-man roster today.

Waived:

PUP List:

NFI List:

The Cowboys also placed tight end James Hanna on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waived

Cowboys QB Kellen Moore Breaks Leg

WEDNESDAY, 10:29am: Moore is scheduled for surgery later today to repair the fracture in his right leg, Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. The team expects that he will miss 3-4 months.

With Moore sidelined, the Cowboys are looking into Nick Foles and other quarterback options.

TUESDAY, 10:22pm: The Cowboys already had one of the worst backup quarterback situations in the league, and now their depth chart has been depleted even further, as backup QB Kellen Moore broke his ankle at practice tonight, owner Jerry Jones confirmed to reporters, including Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jones did not provide a timeline for Moore’s recovery, or indicate whether he would require surgery."<strong

[RELATED: Latest on Rolando McClain‘s substance abuse issue]

Dallas now looks like a prime destination for former Rams/Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who was released by Los Angeles last week after agreeing to accept a lower guaranteed salary in 2016. Initial reports indicated that the Cowboys were among several teams — along with the Vikings and Bills — that could have some interest in signing Foles, and as many as 10 clubs might place a call to the free agent signal-caller. But Jones denied that the Cowboys would contact Foles, saying that the club would instead turn to its internal options.

Foles isn’t an option. We wouldn’t get him any snaps. We got four that are going to get the snaps,” the Cowboys owner and GM said, referring to Tony Romo, Moore, Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers.

Despite that statement, the Cowboys were one of two teams (along with the Bills) that discussed a Foles trade before the draft, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), so Dallas clearly has at least some level of interest in Foles. And as Ed Werder of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter), the Cowboys will need to add another quarterback quickly, given that Romo is scheduled to take every third practice session off as he recovers from surgery.

Besides Moore, none of the options behind Romo have ever taken an NFL snap, and the Cowboys witnessed last year how a Romo injury can wreck a season, as Dallas posted a 1-11 record when Romo was not in the lineup. Even if the don’t pursue Foles, it’s difficult to imagine that the Cowboys won’t target a veteran quarterback in the coming days, and other free agents still sitting on the open market include Michael Vick, Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, T.J. Yates, Charlie Whitehurst, and Tarvaris Jackson, whom it was announced today will not face charges following a June domestic dispute.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Cowboys, Moore, Eagles, Jets

When the offseason began, finding a backup quarterback seemed to be one of the Cowboys‘ top priorities. However, they wound up sticking with Kellen Moore. From the sound of it, the Cowboys are comfortable sticking with him as their No. 2 quarterback, even though Nick Foles appears to be available.

He’s not a guy that overly impresses you physically,” head coach Jason Garrett said (link via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer). “He’s not an imposing figure when he walks into the room. He doesn’t have an overly powerful arm. He’s not overly athletic. But he has a lot of the things that really good quarterbacks have. He understands the game. He has a good feel for the game. He’s instinctive. He’s a very accurate passer. He’s a quick decision-maker. And he’s a very good leader.”

Here’s more out of the East divisions:

Extra Points: Browner, Cowboys, Foster

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Thursday evening…

  • Brandon Browner told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter) that returning to the Seahawks was a “no-brainer.” The veteran also acknowledged that he had received an offer from the Redskins.
  • Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones says the team has faith in Kellen Moore as the team’s No. 2 QB, Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram tweets. Jones’ comments indicate that the team will not be looking for outside help to support starter Tony Romo.
  • Free agent running back Arian Foster says he’s getting closer to being 100% healthy, though he says that he needs some more time before he can look like his old self. “I probably need another month to get where I am, the person everyone is use to seeing,” Foster told David Nuno of ABC13. “I can definitely play, but I need another month to be where I want to be and be at that Pro Bowl level I can be at.
  • Former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone is still in the hospital recovering from hands and hip surgeries following a weekend car crash, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson was operating the vehicle, and while cops said the 22-year-old had been drinking, sobriety tests proved that he was not impaired. Boone, 24, spent time with the Lions last season.