LaAdrian Waddle

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets

Having ended their veteran quarterback search with a Ryan Fitzpatrick agreement, after pursuing Teddy Bridgewater and Tyrod Taylor, the Dolphins continue to embark on a rebuilding track. In fact, the word “tanking” came up during one of the team’s head coach interviews, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Chris Grier, as could be expected, denied the team will use 2019 to tank.

Often one of the most active teams during free agency, the Dolphins this year have parted ways with starters Ryan Tannehill, Josh Sitton, Ted Larsen, Andre Branch and Danny Amendola. They let Ja’Wuan James and Cameron Wake walk. This leads Salguero to the notion the Dolphins are indeed tanking with the prospect of being in best position to land a high 2020 draft pick and have cap space when that league year begins. As of now, early projections have the Dolphins at $107MM in 2020 cap space — second in the league behind the Cowboys. And with Dallas set to extend several young talents, Miami looks poised to lead that pack. Fitzpatrick has made at least eight starts in a season nine times; his teams finished with a winning record in one of those seasons. Sunday’s move lends further credence the Dolphins are targeting the 2020 quarterback class.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Rob Gronkowski has not given the Patriots his decision on if he will continue his career in 2019, but if the future Hall of Famer wants an extension, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes this cannot happen until August 30 — a year after his previous contract adjustment, per an NFL rule. Long dissatisfied with a contract he agreed to in 2012, Gronkowski would be entering the final year of that deal if he returned for 2019. The Patriots could approach Gronk about a pay cut, however, at any point this offseason, per Volin. Gronkowski is due a $10MM salary and to count $11.86MM on the Patriots’ cap. The latest word on Gronk’s status is a return for a 10th season is more likely than a retirement.
  • Conversely, a Tom Brady extension can happen at any point this offseason. Since the Patriots did not adjust their quarterback’s cap number via the unmet incentives last year, Volin notes they can extend his contract before the 12-month mark from when the team included those incentives. Brady’s deal appears likely to be adjusted, with the 41-year-old passer’s contract-year cap figure sitting at $27MM.
  • Dialogue about the trade that moved the Jets up to last year’s No. 3 overall pick began at the 2018 Senior Bowl, with Jets VP of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger approaching Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds that January about a possible trade, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. Christopher Johnson emphasized the Jets focus on quarterback scouting in 2017, primarily Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. The Jets targeted No. 3 overall because their sources indicated to them the Giants were zeroing in on Saquon Barkley, Cimini adds. Gang Green put its plan B into action a year ago today after Kirk Cousins spurned them.
  • The Dolphins are interested in acquiring a fullback, which marks a change from recent years. Specifically, they are exploring the addition of Michael Burton, per Salguero. Burton was Pro Football Focus’ No. 2-rated fullback last season but only played 49 snaps, not enough to qualify for full-time status. Only five fullbacks did meet those standards, illustrating this position’s scarcity on most teams. If not Burton, a four-year veteran who has played in Detroit and Chicago, Miami may target another UFA blocking back.
  • Prior to LaAdrian Waddle signing with the Bills, the Patriots conveyed interest in bringing him back, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Pats kept an open dialogue with their swing tackle but were not willing to match the Bills’ offer, Reiss adds.

Bills Add T LaAdrian Waddle

A swing tackle for recent Patriots teams, LaAdrian Waddle will head to another AFC East franchise. The Bills will sign the free agent offensive lineman, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets.

Waddle generated interest from the Dolphins but will instead trek to Buffalo, which has been busy revamping its offensive line this week.

The Bills have signed Spencer Long, Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe and Jon Feliciano. More than half of Buffalo’s offensive line group may well be new in 2019. Waddle, 27, may end up serving in a backup role again but has been a capable fill-in with the Patriots for the past two seasons.

His run as a Lions starter did not produce a long tenure in Detroit, and after being waived in 2015, Waddle landed in New England. He was a part of two Super Bowl champions, the second such run including three starts. This continues the exodus of recent Patriot tackles, with Waddle’s defection following those of Nate Solder, Cameron Fleming and Trent Brown.

The Patriots still have right tackle starter Marcus Cannon under contract but will likely have to add some help for depth purposes, especially considering potential left tackle starter Isaiah Wynn missed all of his rookie season due to having torn his Achilles’ tendon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Waddle, Allen, Copeland

Here’s a quick rundown of some AFC East items:

  • The Dolphins lost right tackle Ja’Wuan James and are seeking a cheaper alternative. The club had a discussion about free agent LaAdrian Waddle, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, but nothing had materialized on that front as of this afternoon. Jackson says Miami could also be interested in former Falcons RT Ryan Schraeder, whom Atlanta released today.
  • New Dolphins TE Dwayne Allen is under contract through 2020, but his $3.5MM salary for 2020 is not guaranteed, as Jackson writes in a separate piece. As such, the club could cut him at the end of the 2019 campaign and incur only $625K in dead money.
  • The Patriots lost their top sack artist from last season, Trey Flowers. and are looking for some pass rush help. To that end, the club has inquired on free agent Brandon Copeland, who had five sacks for the division-rival Jets last season.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets are unlikely to re-sign return man Andre Roberts.

Contract Details: Gore, Osweiler, Waddle

Some details on recent free agent deals:

  • Brock Osweiler, QB (Dolphins): One year, $880K ($790K base salary + $90K signing bonus). $630K guaranteed (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9 News Denver).
  • Frank Gore, RB (Dolphins): One year, $1.105MM. $90K signing bonus (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, OT (Patriots): One year, $1.5MM. Includes $800K base salary, $200K signing bonus, $50K workout bonus and $450K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of ESPN).
  • Tom Johnson, DT (Seahawks): One year, $2.1MM. Includes $950K base salary, $900K signing bonus, $250K in per-game active roster bonuses (Link Via Brady Henderson of ESPN).
  • Shamar Stephen, DT (Seahawks): One year, $2.1MM. Includes $800K base salary, $1MM signing bonus and $300K in per-game active roster bonuses (Link Via Brady Henderson of ESPN).

Patriots Re-Sign OT LaAdrian Waddle

The Patriots have re-signed offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal for the veteran. 

The Pats have lost a number of key free agents this offseason, including running back Dion Lewis, wide receiver Danny Amendola, cornerback Malcolm Butler, and tackle Nate Solder. Today, they retained one of their important remaining UFAs by re-upping Waddle, who turns 27 in July.

The Cowboys hosted Waddle on a visit earlier this week, along with fellow Pats free agent tackle Cameron Fleming. Ideally, the Pats would like to retain both players, but they might not be able to keep both of them at home.

Waddle, by most measures, is the lesser tackle of the two, but he’s still productive. For now, he projects to start on the offensive line with Marcus Cannon holding down the other top tackle job.

On Thursday, the Patriots re-signed Marquis Flowers, a key component of their special teams unit. He’s the latest key special teamer to re-up with the team, following new deals for Matt Slater, Nate Ebner, Brandon Bolden, and Brandon King.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Host LaAdrian Waddle On Visit

The Cowboys are hosting LaAdrian Waddle on a visit, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He joins fellow Patriots free agent tackle Cameron Fleming who is also meeting with Dallas. 

The Pats are hoping to retain one or both tackles, particularly after losing Nate Solder in free agency to the Giants. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are looking to reinforce their already powerful offensive line.

Dallas seems pretty set with Tyron Smith and La’el Collins at the tackle spots, but Waddle or Fleming could be slotted in at right tackle, allowing La’el Collins to shift back to left guard. That would push former third-round pick Chaz Green back to a reserve role and leave Dallas with a starting five of Smith, Collins, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Waddle or Fleming. It’d be hard for any other team to top that.

If the Cowboys are intent on keeping Collins at tackle, it’d probably be tough to lure Fleming in as a backup, but Waddle could be receptive to a reserve role. In 2017, Fleming played 543 total snaps and graded as the league’s No. 24 offensive tackle, per Pro Football Focus. Waddle, meanwhile, played 380 snaps, and was PFF’s No. 64 offensive tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Meeting With OT LaAdrian Waddle

Patriots free agent offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle was at Gillette Stadium on Friday, meaning he was likely discussing a new contract and/or taking a physical, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

New England is searching for offensive line depth after losing starting left tackle Nate Solder to the Giants last week. While the Patriots reportedly have interest in re-signing one or both of Waddle and Cameron Fleming, Fleming is scheduled to meet with the Cowboys during the upcoming week.

With Solder out of the picture, the Patriots don’t have many clear options to take over on Tom Brady‘s blindside. New England agreed to a one-year deal with veteran Matt Tobin on Friday, but he’s more of a depth piece than a starting left tackle. Likewise, 2017 rookies such Antonio Garcia, Cole Croston, and Andrew Jelks don’t inspire much confidence or offer much experience.

Waddle, 26, started 10 games for the Lions as recently as 2014, but he’s mostly been a reserve since then. He was pressed into starting duty for four games a season ago, and he also chipped in on nearly 20% of the Patriots’ special teams snaps. Waddle, though, has primarily played right tackle during his five-year NFL career, so he may not be much help on the left side.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Patriots’ Cameron Fleming, LaAdrian Waddle

The Patriots lost their starting left tackle on Wednesday when Nate Solder inked a four-year, $62MM with the Giants, but they have interest in retaining one or both of Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Fleming is probably the more important of the New England free agent linemen, as he’s demonstrated the ability to play left tackle in the past. Last season, Fleming played 543 total snaps and graded as the league’s No. 24 offensive tackle, per Pro Football Focus. At age-25, Fleming is now the best pure offensive tackle — not counting Justin Pugh, who is better at guard — on the open market after Solder and Chris Hubbard signed elsewhere.

Waddle, 26, started 10 games for the Lions in 24, but he’s mostly been a reserve since then. He was pressed into starting duty for four games a season ago, and he also chipped in on nearly 20% of the Patriots’ special teams snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Notes: Smith, Keenum, Irving, Waddle

After being named as a suspect in an alleged domestic violence incident, the Raiders released linebacker Aldon Smith last week. Today, the edge rusher pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, according to TMZ Sports (via Scott Bair NBC Sports Bay Area on Twitter). The 28-year-old is currently facing “misdemeanor counts of domestic violence, assault, false imprisonment and vandalism.”

The former Pro Bowler hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2015, when he compiled 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three passes defended in nine games (seven starts) for Oakland. Despite re-signing with the organization in 2016, Smith still hasn’t been reinstated. Smith was originally issued a one-year suspension for a hit-and-run incident in 2015.

Let’s take a look at some other notes pertaining to NFL free agency…

  • Former Vikings starter Case Keenum is pursuing a multi-year, guaranteed deal, reports Mike Jurecki of 98.7FM in Arizona (via Twitter). Meanwhile, former teammate Teddy Bridgewater is reportedly looking for a two-year deal.
  • ESPN’s Todd Archer reports that the Cowboys are likely to place a tender on restricted free agent David Irving tomorrow. The front office is still deciding whether they should slap the defensive tackle with a first- or second-round tender, which is the difference of about $1.2MM. Despite playing in only eight games, the 24-year-old arguably had his best NFL season in 2017, compiling 22 tackles and seven sacks. Irving missed eight games due to suspension and a concussion.
  • It’s unlikely the Patriots and offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle agree to a deal before Wednesday, reports NESN’s Doug Kyed (via Twitter). The 26-year-old is likely to test free agency following a 2017 campaign that saw him play in 12 games (four starts). While the lineman played 380 snaps, Pro Football Focus ranked him 64th among 81 eligible offensive tackle candidates.
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets that the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Colts, Broncos, and Redskins are among the teams looking to add a defensive tackle. The reporter lists free agents Dontari Poe, Star Lotulelei, and Sheldon Richardson as potential targets.