The Saints announced that they have placed cornerback Kyle Wilson on injured reserve, ending his season before it could even begin. The nature of the injury is not yet known. In a related move, the team has signed defensive tackle C.J. Wilson.
Kyle Wilson, a former first-round pick, spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Jets before heading to New Orleans for the 2015 season. While he didn’t live up to expectations in the Big Apple, Wilson played well as the Saints’ third cornerback last season, picking up 27 tackles and an interception. Pro Football Focus ranked him 47th out of 111 qualified players at the position. In March, the Saints re-signed him to a one-year, minimum salary deal.
As the Saints’ depth chart on Roster Resource shows, New Orleans doesn’t have much in the way of depth at cornerback. Aside from Wilson, the Saints will draw from a group of Delvin Breaux, P.J. Williams, Brian Dixon, Damian Swann, Keenan Lewis, Brandon Dixon, and Tony Carter. Of course, not all of those players will make the 53-man roster.
C.J. Wilson, meanwhile, is a 29-year-old defensive lineman with 78 career games under his belt, with most of that time coming as a rotational option with Packers from 2010-2013. He played in 12 contests in 2016 (eight with the Lions, four with the Raiders), and picked up nine total tackles to go along with one sack.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
For his career, Cadet has appeared in 48 games (2 starts) with 62 catches for 559 yards and three scores plus 22 carries for 65 yards. This past season, he spent time with the Patriots and Niners. Cadet, 27, saw his first significant action for the Saints in 2014, hauling in 38 passes on 51 targets, totaling 296 yards and a touchdown on those receptions. He didn’t see that kind of usage in 2015 but he’s certainly hoping to find that same level of involvement in ’16 as he returns to New Orleans.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFC:
- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE (Giants): One year, $10MM. $8.5MM fully guaranteed. $4.25MM signing bonus, $4.25MM base salary. $1.2MM per-game roster bonuses. $300K incentive tied to sacks. $10.5MM max value (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
- Rolando McClain, LB (Cowboys): One year, $4MM. $1MM available via incentives if McClain plays 75% of defensive snaps (Twitter link via Drew Davidson of the Star Telegram).
- Michael Hoomanawanui, TE (Saints): Three years, $5.2MM. $1.85MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
- Kyle Wilson, CB (Saints): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
- Keith Tandy, S (Buccaneers): Two years, $1.85MM. $250K roster bonus guarantees on fifth day of league year (Twitter link via Wilson).
- Andrew Sendejo, S (Vikings): Four years, $16MM. $950K 2016 base salary (fully guaranteed). Contains option for 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
- Lane Taylor, OL (Packers): Two years, $4.15MM. $600K signing bonus. Contains $1MM in playtime and workout incentives (Twitter links via Wilson).
Pending free agent cornerback Kyle Wilson won’t hit the open market on Wednesday, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network, who reports (via Twitter) that the Saints and Wilson have agreed to terms on a one-year contract that will keep him in New Orleans.
Wilson, a former first-round pick, spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Jets before heading to New Orleans for the 2015 season. While he didn’t live up to expectations in the Big Apple, Wilson played well as the Saints’ third cornerback last season, picking up 27 tackles and an interception. Pro Football Focus ranked him 47th out of 111 qualified players at the position.
Despite re-signing Wilson and retaining Delvin Breaux, the Saints will likely be in the market for help at the cornerback position this offseason. The team reportedly intends to cut Brandon Browner from its roster when the new league year begins on Wednesday, after Browner ranked dead-last among PFF’s cornerback rankings in 2015.
Chris Borland surprised the football world when he announced his retirement in March on the heels of a promising rookie campaign. Perhaps even more surprising was that he agreed to return three-quarters of his signing bonus to the 49ers, a sum of over $460,000. Speaking at the 2015 Legends of Wisconsin Golf Classic last week, Borland was asked about his decisions and emphasized that his choice to retire was motivated by health concerns. As Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, Borland said he decided to walk away based on “a combination of my own experience, along with a lot of data that is out there regarding long-term health effects of head injuries. And I play a position and a style of play where I was susceptible to the worst of it. I played a physical brand of football and played through some things where it makes sense for me.”
When asked about why he returned a large portion of the signing bonus, Borland said simply, “I signed a contract. I was living by the contract.” As for his future plans, Borland said a trip to Europe is next on his agenda, but otherwise, “I’ve got a few pretty decent options. I’m not going to hurry up and start a career. I’m going to take my time.”
Now for a few more links from around the league:
- We cited this mailbag from ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett yesterday to provide a surprising stat on Drew Brees, but it also made sense to pass along Triplett’s thoughts on the Saints‘ cornerback situation. Triplett writes that the top four spots are probably reserved for Keenan Lewis, Brandon Browner, P.J. Williams, and Damian Swann. After that, he sees Delvin Breaux and Stanley Jean-Baptiste as the frontrunners for what may be the final two cornerback openings on the roster, leaving veterans Kyle Wilson, Terrence Frederick, and Brian Dixon on the outside.
- Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com thinks Marcus Mariota is determined to be present at Titans training camp, though it is possible his agents could convince him to stay away. The holdup in the team’s contract negotiations with its potential quarterback of the future is offset language, and Kuharsky writes that GM Ruston Webster simply needs to get Mariota to camp, either by convincing him the Titans are not going to move off their offset philosophy or by coming off their offset philosophy.
- Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer believes the Browns are pretty pleased with their current tight end situation, and she does not foresee the team adding to its TE corps. She also says Cleveland is hopeful that one of its talented young running backs will ultimately separate himself from the pack, but that the Browns will distribute the rushing duties fairly evenly to open the season.
- Mike Klis of 9News.com examines the impact newly-acquired safety Darian Stewart will have on the Broncos and whether the former Ram and Raven will represent an upgrade over Rahim Moore, who departed in free agency.
10:34am: Having reworked Keenan Lewis‘ deal and signed Brandon Browner as a free agent last month, the Saints are making another move at cornerback, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta reports (via Twitter) that that ex-Jet Kyle Wilson will be signing with New Orleans.
Wilson, who turns 28 next month, was a first-round pick back in 2010, but only started 28 of the 80 regular season contests he played for the Jets since entering the league. In 2014, Wilson didn’t start a single game for the club, and only saw 320 defensive snaps. In his limited playing time, Wilson allowed a 73.3% completion rate and a 111.9 passer rating on passes thrown into his coverage, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
The Jets no longer had room for Wilson in a crowded secondary that has received an influx of talent at the cornerback spot within the last few weeks. Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine all signed with New York as free agents, and 2013 first-rounder Dee Milliner will also rejoin the team after missing most of the 2014 season with an Achilles tear. Of course, even before adding all those new corners, the Jets didn’t appear interested in re-signing Wilson.
In New Orleans, Wilson will compete for playing time on a defense led by Rob Ryan, the brother of the cornerback’s old head coach. Lewis and Browner are penciled in as the starters, but Patrick Robinson and Corey White, two of the Saints’ top corners last season, are now playing elsewhere, so Wilson, Brian Dixon, Terrence Frederick, and others should get an opportunity to earn snaps.
The Jets are not expected to bring cornerback Kyle Wilson back next season, sources tell Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. The 27-year-old former first-round pick will become a free agent on March 10th. Wilson never fulfilled his promise during his time with Gang Green and was never able to develop into anything more than an average slot cornerback. Here’s a look at some items out of the AFC and NFC East..
- Reuben Frank and Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com looked at cornerback Chris Culliver as a possible target for the Eagles. The Philadelphia native missed his third season after tearing his ACL but came back last year to start 14 games, and picked off four passes. Mosher likes the 49ers free agent as a cheaper alternative to Byron Maxwell and Frank think he’d be a good fit in Bill Davis’ scheme.
- Washington is in need of at least one cornerback capable of starting in 2015, and perhaps two, Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com writes. Luckily for new GM Scot McCloughan, there are plenty of talented corners available, including Maxwell, Culliver, Brandon Flowers, Kareem Jackson, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, and Davon House.
- Bob Sturm of The Dallas Morning News isn’t a huge Brandon Weeden fan, but he sees replacing him with another backup quarterback for the Cowboys as a low priority matter.
It’s Saturday, and that means a fresh batch of NFL mailbags from ESPN.com’s writers. Let’s start with some interesting notes out of the AFC…
- To James Walker’s knowledge, the Dolphins have not discussed a contract extension with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The writer clarifies that it’s too early to know if Tannehill is actually the answer for the organization.
- Meanwhile, Walker doesn’t believe running back Knowshon Moreno will be back with the Dolphins next season.
- Among the group of upcoming Jets free agents, linebacker David Harris will be atop the team’s list of priorities, writes Rich Cimini. Reversely, the writer can’t envision Willie Colon or Kyle Wilson being back, and he also has a tough time seeing Geno Smith on the roster, especially if the front office is cleared out.
- Mike Wells believes the Colts’ use of LaRon Landry is an indication that he will not be back next season. The safety hasn’t cracked the starting lineup since returning from suspension.
- Jamison Hensley writes that it would be a great public relations move for the Ravens to bring back running back Justin Forsett next season.
- Adam Teicher believes Chiefs special-teams coordinator Dave Toub would make a good head coach.
- Cecil Shorts deserves an extension from the Jaguars, according to Michael DiRocco, but the value might not be what the receiver was originally seeking.
ESPN personality (and former Broncos offensive lineman) Mark Schlereth was critical of Jets acquisition Eric Decker, who Schlereth described as a “marginal No. 2 [receiver] at best” (via New York Post’s Brian Costello). The wide receiver commented on the remarks to the New York Post’s Brian Lewis…
“Am I surprised? I guess, yeah. I mean, I don’t know how to answer that. We did interviews in Denver a couple times, and it always was good.”
“Like it was a little personal? Really, I’m just going to handle my business. I’ve got more things to worry about as far as getting ready for the Oakland Raiders.
“There was never anything that I could think of that’d give us to have beef. I’m not going to get into a battle of who-said-what or how-he-feels-about-what. He said what he said, and he’s obligated to his opinion. We’ll just move on. … I’m going to let my talking be on the field. That’s really what will in time prove itself.”
Teammate David Nelson also gave his take on the criticism:
“It sounded like jealousy to me. I don’t know why you’d ever come out and bash a guy, especially as a former player, why you’d come out and say something like that about somebody. That’s inaccurate, first of all. It’s unfortunate that someone like that has to come out and say those things.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC East…
- Considering the Jets’ lack of depth at cornerback, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com thinks Kyle Wilson is primed for a big season. The fifth-year player is entering the final season of his contract, and the writer thinks it’s time for him “to step up and take charge.”
- In the same article, Cimini opines that if the Jets endure another losing season, it will be tough for Rex Ryan to keep his job. The writer does note that it’s not necessarily “playoffs-or-bust” for Rex and the Jets.
- Following a reported argument between Bills coach Doug Marrone and members of the team’s front office, CEO Russ Brandon attempted to defuse the situation. “This is the best working relationship I have seen, to be honest, between a coach and a G.M.,” Brandon said (via ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio). “They’re great competitors and communicators.”