Kwon Alexander

Saints Shuffle Roster, Activate Three Players From IR

The Saints are welcoming back three players for tonight’s game against the Seahawks. Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans is activating linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith from IR. The three players returned to practice last week, and they’ll all be eligible to play tonight.

The Saints also promoted wideout Kevin White from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team released center Will Clapp and defensive tackle Albert Huggins (via Underhill on Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, while Smith (hamstring) landed on IR a bit earlier than that. The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, and he registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Smith’s injury dogged him for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

White joined the Saints back in August, and he later landed on the team’s practice squad. The former first-round pick got into three games with the 49ers in 2020, but he only saw nine snaps on offense. Clapp was a seventh-round pick by the Saints in 2018, and he got into 27 games (four starts) through three-plus seasons with the team. Huggins has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2019. He saw time in four games (one start) for the Saints this season, collecting seven tackles and two QB hits.

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Saints Designate LB Kwon Alexander, DE Marcus Davenport, WR Tre’Quan Smith For Return

The Saints are about to get some reinforcement. The team designated linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith for return from injured reserve today, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, meaning the earliest they could have returned was Week 5.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, providing the player with an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season.

Smith landed on IR a bit earlier than his defensive teammates after suffering a hamstring injury. The injury dogged Smith for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

While the Saints will happily welcome back this trio, they’ll still be without one of the most notable players. While wideout Michael Thomas was eligible to return from PUP this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that there hasn’t been any news on his potential activation.

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Saints Place Marcus Davenport, Kwon Alexander On IR

Two Saints defensive starters will be sidelined until at least October. The Saints are placing Marcus Davenport and Kwon Alexander on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Neither Davenport nor Alexander practiced this week due to shoulder and elbow injuries, respectively. They will not be able to return until New Orleans’ Week 5 game.

While Davenport was believed to have suffered a pectoral muscle strain in Week 1, the Saints listed the fourth-year defensive end on their injury report with a shoulder ailment. Davenport’s injury is not expected to keep him out especially long, but the Saints will nevertheless save a roster spot by moving him to IR.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, after having let Trey Hendrickson walk in free agency. Hendrickson signed with the Bengals, leaving Davenport an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. The Saints picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option in May.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this continues a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season. Alexander’s latest malady stands to increase second-year linebacker Zack Baun‘s workload, The Athletic’s Larry Holder tweets. The 2020 third-round pick played 23 defensive snaps in the team’s opener.

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Contract Details: Allen, Alexander, McCoy, Barkley

Let’s catch up on the details of some of the high-profile contracts given out recently:

  • Josh Allen grabbed all the headlines by inking his mega-extension with the Bills. In an interesting piece, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com breaks down how it compares to the huge deal Patrick Mahomes recently signed with the Chiefs. For starters, Allen got a $16.5MM signing bonus, while Mahomes only got $10MM. Further, “the early cash flow for Allen is vastly superior to the Mahomes contract,” Florio writes. That’s because Mahomes’ deal is more back-loaded, while Allen is for example due $47MM in the second year of the pact. Mahomes’ contract is still worth more annually, but only because of the extra years at the end that his has. Through the first eight seasons of their respective deals, the compensation is nearly identical. Allen will clear $284.55MM through eight years, while Mahomes will get $285.33MM through the first eight years of his.
  • Last week the Saints agreed to terms on a one-year deal with linebacker Kwon Alexander, and now we have all the financials. We heard at the time it was worth “up to” $3MM. It turns out to have a base value of only $1.127MM, not too much above the minimum for a player with his service time, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football tweets. He got $387.5K in guaranteed money. Alexander will get another $200K if he plays 50% of the snaps in 13 games, another $300K for 15 games, and another $400K for 17 games. He also has another $972K in other unspecified playing time incentives. New Orleans cut him back in March to save $13MM in cap space, so even if Alexander hits all his incentives he’ll have taken a fairly hefty pay-cut. That’s unfortunately what happens when you’re coming off an Achilles tear like Alexander is. He started all seven games that he played for the Saints last year before going down.
  • Alexander wasn’t the only big name defensive player to sign last week, as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy also latched on with the Raiders. His one-year deal with Las Vegas is worth up to $2MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. He got a signing bonus of $150K and also has incentives worth $750K. The six-time Pro Bowler missed all of 2020 with a torn quad. Once one of the best interior linemen in the league, he turned 33 back in February.
  • Matt Barkley resurfaced with the Titans to give them some insurance behind Ryan Tannehill, and he got $1.1MM on a one-year deal, Rapoport notes in the same tweet. Rapsheet didn’t specify, but it seems unlikely that much if any of it was guaranteed. Tennessee apparently wasn’t happy with only having Logan Woodside behind Tannehill. Shortly after signing Barkley, they released Deshone Kizer. Woodside and Barkley will now battle it out for clipboard-holding duties.

Saints Sign LB Kwon Alexander

Kwon Alexander is heading back to New Orleans after all. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the free agent linebacker has agreed to a one-year deal with the Saints. The deal is worth up to $3MM.

The veteran was released by the Saints back in March, but the move was mostly financially motivated. By cutting Alexander, the organization saved $13MM at the time. Considering the discount they got on the latest pact, this was clearly a wise move by the organization. Back in March, some suspected that the team may have also been wary of the player’s Achilles injury, which ended his season early. However, we learned last month that Alexander had already been cleared to resume football activities.

Alexander was shipped from San Francisco to New Orleans in November, and he ultimately collected 27 stops, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in seven games with his new squad. A torn ACL and a torn pectoral muscle limited Alexander to only 14 games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and he only appeared in 12 total games last season. It’s been five seasons since Alexander appeared in all 16 games, and it’s been four seasons since he made a Pro Bowl. Still, he’ll only be 27 by the start of next season, and the Saints were apparently more than happy to take a shot at the player’s upside.

The 27-year-old will still have to battle for reps, of course. The Saints are pretty deep at linebacker; behind projected starters Zack Baun, Demario Davis, and Pete Werner, the team is rostering the likes of Kaden Elliss, Wynton McManis, Andrew Dowell, Chase Hansen, Shaq Smith, and Sutton Smith.

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LB Kwon Alexander Visiting Saints

Kwon Alexander could end up rejoining the Saints. The free agent linebacker is set to visit with his former team today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The 26-year-old also has a handful of unidentified suitors, according to the report.

Following a half-year stint with the organization, Alexander was released by the Saints back in March. The move was mostly financial, as the transaction helped the team free up $13MM. Now, the Saints could be pushing for an affordable reunion with the linebacker.

Alexander was shipped from San Francisco to New Orleans in November, and he ultimately collected 27 stops, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in seven games with his new squad. A torn Achilles ended his season early, but Schefter notes that the defender has been cleared and is ready to resume football drills.

A torn ACL and a torn pectoral muscle limited Alexander to only 14 games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and he only appeared in 12 total games last season. It’s been five seasons since Alexander appeared in all 16 games, and it’s been four seasons since he made a Pro Bowl. Still, he’ll only be 27 by the start of next season, and plenty of teams would be willing to take a gamble on his talent. It sounds like the Saints will be first in line for his services.

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Saints To Cut Kwon Alexander

The Saints will release linebacker Kwon Alexander in the coming days (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). With no guarantees remaining, the move will save upwards of $13MM against the cap with $0 in dead money. 

Alexander suffered an Achilles tear towards the end of the regular season, ruling him out for the Saints’ playoff run. He finished the year with 27 stops, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in seven games.

Alexander was shipped from San Francisco to New Orleans in November, fortifying the Saints’ front seven and lightening the Niners’ books a bit. The Saints assumed the last two seasons of his original four-year, $54MM deal, though the remainder was non-guaranteed.

The veteran, 27 in August, still has some work to do as he battles back from injury. The timing isn’t ideal as he seeks a new job, but he has a history of quick healing. In 2019, a torn pec threatened to end Alexander’s season in the fall. Somehow, he bounced back in a matter of weeks to join the 49ers for their playoff run. This time around, he expects to be ready for the start of training camp.

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Saints’ Kwon Alexander Done For Year

Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander tore his Achilles in Friday’s win over the Vikings, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. While the Saints will march towards the playoffs as the NFC South champs, Alexander will be held out on the injured reserve list. 

[RELATED: Saints Place WR Michael Thomas On IR]

The Saints ruled Alexander out for the game moments after the fateful play, an early indication that he was dealing with something serious. The veteran registered three tackles before he was forced out, leaving his season tally at 27 stops, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in seven games with New Orleans.

Alexander was traded from San Francisco to New Orleans in November. The deal fortified the Saints’ front seven and lightened the books a bit for the Niners. The Saints are now responsible for the last two seasons on his original four-year, $54MM deal, though the remainder is non-guaranteed.

Unfortunately, this is familiar territory for Alexander. But, unlike last year’s torn pec injury, this one won’t allow for a super-human recovery.

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Trade Notes: Packers, McKinley, Alexander

We heard earlier today that the Packers were eying Texans wideout Will Fuller, but there were reportedly disagreements among high-level Packers officials on whether they should make a play for a receiver. While head coach Matt LaFleur said he was unsure if “anything ever got that serious,” he was sure that he’s on the same page with general manager Brian Gutekunst.

“I have no idea where anything like that would ever come from,” LaFleur said of the reports (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). “We’re in constant communication, we’re on the same page and there is no truth to that. I promise you that.”

While receiver Davante Adams expressed confidence in his teammates, he previously acknowledged that he’d welcome some help at the position.

“I wouldn’t say we necessarily need to, because I think we’ve shown what we can do,” Adams said. “When I went down, guys stepped up and did what they had to do. Stepped up big. I wouldn’t say it’s a need. Obviously, I’ve said this before, I don’t think it’s any secret that could help us potentially. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It could help us. But I definitely got full faith and trust in my guys here to be able to get it done.”

As Demovsky notes, the Packers could be getting some reinforcement at the position, as receiver Allen Lazard could return this weekend. The 24-year-old had eight catches for 146 yards and one score in Week 3, but he’s been sidelined since undergoing core muscle surgery.

Some more trade notes from around the NFL:

  • The Falcons were seeking a fourth-round pick for defensive end Takkarist McKinley, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). We heard last week that the former first-rounder was on the trade block, but the 25-year-old declared last night that he wasn’t going anywhere. McKinley has compiled only eight tackles and one sack in four games this season, and he hasn’t played more than 40-percent of his team’s defensive snaps since Week 1.
  • After acquiring defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in a preseason trade with the Jaguars, the Vikings traded the veteran to the Ravens back in October. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that the trade conditions from the conditional fifth-rounder that Minnesota sent Jacksonville still apply. That fifth-rounder will turn into a fourth-rounder if Ngakoue goes to the Pro Bowl (with the Ravens). It’s worth noting that the Vikings received a conditional fifth-rounder in their trade with Baltimore, and there’s a good chance that selection contains many of the same conditions.
  • The pick the Dolphins received in the Isaiah Ford trade with the Patriots is a conditional sixth-rounder, tweets Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Howe adds that the pick could turn into a seventh-rounder if the conditions aren’t met.
  • The conditional fifth-round pick that the Saints sent the 49ers in the Kwon Alexander trade has a bit more intrigue. The MMQB’s Albert Breer tweets that it’s a 2022 pick that’s heading to San Francisco, although that could turn into a 2021 selection based on “play-time markers.”
  • Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup was presumably never on the block, as VP Stephen Jones said last week that the organization wouldn’t be trading the 24-year-old (via The Athletic’s Jon Machota on Twitter). Following a breakout 2019 campaign, Gallup has disappointed a bit in 2020, hauling in 26 receptions for 432 yards and one score through eight games (seven starts).

49ers Trade Kwon Alexander To Saints

The 49ers have agreed to trade linebacker Kwon Alexander to the Saints, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. In exchange, the Saints will send fellow ‘backer Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round pick to San Francisco. 

Alexander, 26, has three seasons left on his four-year, $54MM deal. The off-ball ‘backer is remarkably tough – he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in November and somehow managed to return for the Niners’ playoff run. Alexander also battled a biceps injury that required surgery in February. These maladies emerged after he missed much of the 2018 season with an ACL tear.

Those issues predictably dropped his trade value, preventing SF from offloading him over the summer. Now, they’ve found a deal for him, though it mostly amounts to a contract dump.

It’s not too often that you see two guys at the same position swapped. Alexander has once again been banged up in 2020 as he’s missed the past two games with an ankle injury, although that doesn’t seem like anything too long-term.

New Orleans has an elite defensive front but their linebacking group has left a bit to be desired, so this move makes plenty of sense. They lost A.J. Klein in free agency, and offseason acquisition Nigel Bradham didn’t pan out as he was cut before the season began. Alexander has graded out solidly from Pro Football Focus, but not at the level he was playing last year. Demario Davis is locked into his role at inside linebacker for the Saints, so Alexander could cut into Alex Anzalone‘s role.

The 49ers get some salary relief, the draft pick, and a player in Alonso who stared at least 15 games for Miami from 2016-18. Alonso was placed on the reserve/PUP list at the beginning of the year and missed the first six games. New Orleans then activated him, but he has yet to appear in a game this season. These teams play each other in just a couple of weeks, so both players will get their chance at revenge.

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