Kendell Beckwith

Extra Points: Packers, Cobb, Matthews, Buccaneers, Beckwith, Jets, McGuire

Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews are two of the longest tenured members of the Packers, but their time in Green Bay could be coming to an end. There’s been a drop in production for both in recent years and both are heading into the final year of their contracts. Both have non-guaranteed salaries for 2018, and could be cap-casualties this summer.

When asked which big names could be on the chopping block this summer, Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com listed both Cobb and Matthews (Twitter link). Cobb has been held to less than 700 receiving yards in back to back seasons and was recently spotted in a walking boot. If the Packers do decide to move on from either player, it would be the end of a very successful era for the fan favorites.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

South Rumors: Jaguars, Hooker, Texans

The Jaguars would have an interesting setup for Lamar Jackson, employing a recently extended starting quarterback but a long-scrutinized player whose long-term future with the team remains in doubt. Tom Coughlin said Friday the Louisville prospect was an “outstanding young man” and an “extremely talented athlete.” But Dave Caldwell said the team that pulls the trigger on Jackson would have to be ready to adjust its offense to accommodate the dual-threat talent.

He’s a rare athlete,” Caldwell said, via Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union. “As a quarterback, he’s a good player. He won a lot of games at that position. [Drafting him] depends what your scheme is, what you want to do and how you want to play and how he fits. I can’t say he’s the prototypical pocket passer, but you can win games with a guy like him.”

Jacksonville holds the draft’s No. 29 overall pick and has not conducted a workout with Jackson, who may now be a full-fledged top-20 prospect.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions:

  • Caldwell did not give an indication on which way he was leaning with regards to picking up Dante Fowler‘s fifth-year option. The Jacksonville GM said the team had not made a decision. Earlier today, Fowler’s price became clear. It will cost the Jaguars a massive sum ($14.2MM) to keep Fowler on their books for 2019 on his rookie contract.
  • On the subject of AFC South pass rushers, Brian Gaine is optimistic the Texans will extend Jadeveon Clowney this offseason. But Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports no deal is particularly close at this point. Clowney, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack figure to see the others members of this trio’s deals affect theirs, and Von Miller may become the fourth-highest-paid defender by the time this offseason is over.
  • Gaine does not plan to deviate from Rick Smith‘s philosophy of setting the offseason as the window for extension agreements. John McClane of the Houston Chronicle notes the first-year Houston GM wants to finalize re-ups before the regular season. Clowney and Benardrick McKinney‘s proceedings will put this approach to the test this year.
  • Malik Hooker joined his Colts teammates for the start of their offseason program earlier this month but said (via Matt Taylor of Colts.com) he’s “not 100 percent by any means” as he recovers from a severe knee injury. Colts.com’s Andrew Walker writes training camp isn’t a certainty for the 2017 first-rounder, who went down in late October of last year with a torn ACL and MCL.
  • Former Broncos and Bears linebacker Lamin Barrow was driving the car at the time of the accident that ended with Buccaneers ‘backer Kendell Beckwith fracturing an ankle, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Barrow and Beckwith were LSU teammates. The crash occurred at around 1 a.m., April 12. The vehicle veered off a road and crashed into a gate, per Laine. Although authorities said Barrow did not show signs of impairment, he was given a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Bucs’ Kendell Beckwith Injured In Car Crash

Buccaneers strongside linebacker Kendell Beckwith was involved in a car accident last week in Louisiana, Bucs GM Jason Licht told reporters (Twitter link via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com). Beckwith suffered a fractured ankle in the crash and had to undergo surgery. He will miss a significant portion of the offseason as a result and it’s not clear whether he’ll be ready to go in Week 1.

We’re very fortunate that it wasn’t life-threatening,” Licht said (via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times). “He’ll be out of OTAs and in training camp, we’ll have a better idea of how far along he is.

Beckwith, a third round pick in the 2017 draft, fell to the Bucs after suffering a torn ACL. It’s presently unknown whether his broken ankle is on the same leg.

Last year, the Bucs used Beckwith at all three linebacker spots as he appeared in all 16 games with eleven starts. The 23-year-old had 73 total tackles on the year, including a huge 14-tackle game against the Patriots in the first month of the season. Beckwith wasn’t originally ticketed for a starting role, but he wound up playing on 847 snaps as a rookie.

Beckwith’s injury could prompt the Bucs to take a closer look at linebackers in the later rounds of next week’s draft. The team may also lean more heavily on linebacker Adarius Glanton, though he is recovering from an injury of his own after breaking a leg in December (a side note – Glanton recently took on his father’s surname, so he will take the field as Adarius Taylor in the fall).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/23/17

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Jets announced that they’ve signed second-round safety Marcus Maye and fifth-round linebacker Dylan Donahue. Maye, a Florida alum, was the second safety New York drafted last month, joining sixth overall selection Jamal Adams. With Marcus Gilchrist having been released, and Calvin Pryor in danger of being traded or cut, Maye and Adams could be Gang Green’s starters come Week 1. Donahue, meanwhile, will likely begin his NFL career on special teams as he transitions from Division II West Georgia.
  • The Seahawks have signed third-round wide receiver Amara Darboh, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Darboh, the penultimate pick of Day 3, put up 57 receptions for 862 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior season at Michigan. At 6’2″, 214 pounds, Darboh will give Seattle some size on a wide receiver depth chart that includes smaller pass-catchers such as Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.
  • The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, fifth-round running back Jeremy McNichols, and seventh-round defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, the club announced today. Tampa Bay traded up in the draft to acquire both Beckwith and Tu’ikolovatu. Of the trio, Beckwith seemingly has the best chance for playing time early in his career, as he can take over at strong-side ‘backer for Daryl Smith. McNichols, meanwhile, could earn a role pending Doug Martin‘s eventual martin, although the Boise State product is recovering from surgery.

Extra Points: Trubisky, Dolphins, 49ers, Bucs

The Bears played it close to the vest before making their Mitch Trubisky trade from No. 3 to No. 2, one that headlined the draft and one that may have the team’s power structure at odds. Chicago’s brass tried to throw teams off the scent early in the process by sending an armada of personnel to Deshaun Watson‘s pro day while orchestrating a secret dinner meeting with Trubisky, per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. The Bears also “begged” Trubisky’s camp not to leak news of that summit, and that part of the operation succeeded. Ryan Pace followed Dave Caldwell‘s secretive playbook when he made the Blake Bortles pick few expected.

Here’s more from around the league as rookie minicamp sessions are upon us.

  • Charles Harris experienced a similar type of draft misdirection. The Dolphins cancelled a pre-draft visit with the Missouri product without providing a reason for the change of plans. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s messed up,” Harris said, via James Walker of ESPN.com. Miami was linked to edge defenders coming into the draft despite re-signing Cameron Wake and Andre Branch, and Harris fell to the Fins at No. 22 to validate their pre-draft plot. The Dolphins met with Harris at the Combine but didn’t prompt him for a post-Combine workout before the cancellation tactic. “It’s just there are some players that we purposely try and stay away from once we are comfortable with the player, his character and what type of kid we are getting,” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said, via Walker. “We just do not feel the need to spend any more time with them.”
  • John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were split on one of the 49ers’ eventual draft picks, and the coach won out. Lynch had Utah running back Joe Williams off his draft board, but Shanahan convinced the new GM to give the go-ahead for a fourth-round selection, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Shanahan, who was tied to the 49ers midway through the GM hunt and thus received an opportunity for additional control, helped sway Lynch to trade a fifth-round pick to move up in the fourth round and select Williams. The Utes runner’s questionable off-the-field past had Lynch skeptical, but Shanahan saw some promise in the back who ran the Combine’s second-fastest 40 time at 4.41 seconds. With Carlos Hyde entering a contract year, Williams could be a key component of the 49ers’ future.
  • Both Kendell Beckwith and Buccaneers management expect the linebacker to be ready to return by training camp, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Beckwith tore his ACL late during his senior season at LSU last fall. Stroud expects Beckwith to be a possible early-season starter on the strong side, with the writer believing primary 2016 starter Daryl SmithPFR’s No. 4 UFA off-ball linebacker — is closing in on retirement rather than returning for a 14th NFL season.
  • Bucs running back Jeremy McNichols underwent surgery shortly after the Combine to repair a torn labrum, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Laine reports McNichols’ timeline hovers at around four months, noting the Boise State-developed back hopes to be ready for camp. McNichols arrived via fifth-round pick for a Bucs team that has questions about Doug Martin‘s future. The team still employs Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber on the roster. McNichols caught 103 passes at Boise State in three seasons, but Jason Licht views him as a possible three-down back as opposed to a passing-game specialist.

Buccaneers Acquire 107th Pick From Jets

The Buccaneers have acquired the final selection of the draft’s second day, No. 107 overall, from the Jets. Tampa Bay gave up the 125th and 204th picks to land the 107th choice, and has taken LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwith.

The 252-pound Beckwith broke out in earnest in 2014, when he accumulated 77 tackles – 7.5 for loss – and two sacks. He then combined for 175 tackles, 16 of which were for loss, and 4.5 sacks over his final two seasons at LSU. Unfortunately, Beckwith tore his ACL late last season, which could further limit a player who already had speed issues before the injury, notes Pro Football Focus.

Assuming he’s healthy, Beckwith should serve as much-needed middle linebacker depth for the Buccaneers as a rookie. The club entered the draft in need of bodies behind starter Kwon Alexander.

Saints Notes: Fournette, Foster, Vaccaro

LSU running back Leonard Fournette was on hand Friday for the Saints‘ local pro day, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). Fournette didn’t go through workouts, however, tweets Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. Barring something unexpected, odds are the Saints won’t emerge from Round 1 with Fournette. They’re set to pick 11th, while Fournette appears likely to come off the board in the top five.

Fournette isn’t the only running back the Saints have discussed. Continuing a candid offseason, Sean Payton offered effusive praise for Christian McCaffrey to the extent of giving the Stanford dual-threat back a hypothetical role in his offense.

I’ve got a crystal-clear vision of the player. He’d be like Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush for us, kind of the Joker role. But I think you have to have him on a pitch count,” Payton told TheMMQB.com’s Peter King (via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).

McCaffrey has not visited the Saints, and this is full-on smokescreen time. But if nothing else, Payton would have an apparent fit for McCaffrey alongside Mark Ingram. The fast-rising McCaffrey’s stock could force a trade-up from the Saints’ first selection window, but the team is believed to be focused on continuing their defensive rebuild.

Here’s more out of New Orleans.

  • Adrian Peterson wouldn’t appear to complement Ingram as well as McCaffrey could, being a run-centric veteran, but a 1-2 punch between Ingram and Peterson is still possible, per Underhill. Peterson would serve as Ingram’s backup in this arrangement, Underhill writes, to the point that the Saints might not be inclined to give Peterson more than Ingram’s $3.7MM salary for 2017. Peterson’s New Orleans visit reportedly went well.
  • In addition to a meeting with Zach Cunningham, the Saints met with SEC linebackers Reuben Foster and Kendell Beckwith, Underhill reports. New Orleans also met with UCLA edge defender Takkarist McKinley. Beckwith (LSU), McKinley and Cunningham (Vanderbilt) joined Foster during his meeting with the Saints last week. Underhill reports Foster’s meeting went well. The Saints drafted Stephone Anthony two years ago to potentially man that spot, but the experiment hasn’t gone well and has led to Anthony moving to the strong side. The team remains in search of a long-term cog at that spot. The Saints would reportedly “love” to draft Foster at No. 11.
  • An Adderall-induced suspension led to Kenny Vaccaro‘s stock falling a bit last season, but the fourth-year safety wanted to assure Payton such a mishap wouldn’t again occur. “It was selfish of me, and I’m just mad I couldn’t be out there with my teammates. I’ll never do that again,” Vaccaro said, via The Advocate. “I think the Saints knew that. Coach Payton was real cool about the whole process. I think he knew it was an honest mistake.” The safety wants to sign a long-term extension to stay in Louisiana, but those talks aren’t expected to commence until the summer.

Connor Byrne contributed to this report.