September 13th, 2021 at 1:27pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Jets had a rough opener. They lost to the Panthers 19-14, and also lost starting tackle Mekhi Becton for at least the next month. But the 2020 first-rounder wasn’t the only New York starter to go down against Carolina.
Safety Lamarcus Joyner suffered a torn tendon in his arm that will require surgery, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). The injury “likely knocks him out for the season,” Rapoport writes. It’s a tough blow for a Jets secondary that already profiled as one of the team’s weaknesses. Their group of corners are quite young and inexperienced, and now they’ll be forced to move things around at safety.
Joyner entered the league as a second-round pick of the Rams back in 2014. After his rookie contract expired, he played 2018 under the franchise tag with the Rams. The Florida State product earned a big four-year, $42MM contract from the Raiders the following free agency but was released back in March just two years into that pact.
Shortly after getting cut by Vegas he inked a one-year deal with the Jets worth up to $4.5MM with $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM of that was in playing time incentives that it now appears he won’t be able to meet. Joyner turns 31 in November, so he probably won’t be able to count on a huge payday next spring.
The Raiders will kick off their regular season on Monday Night Football against the Ravens tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s round up a few recent items on the Silver-and-Black:
The 2020 wide receiver draft class was absolutely loaded, and plenty of pundits believed Jerry Jeudy was the cream of the crop. Although no WR had been selected by the time the Raiders were on the board with the No. 12 overall pick, Las Vegas ultimately chose Henry Ruggs over Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. As Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes, there were Jeudy supporters in the Raiders’ war room, but head coach Jon Gruden wanted his own version of Tyreek Hill, and he saw Ruggs as a player who fit that bill.
The Raiders selected DE Arden Key, who was once believed to be a first-round talent, in the third round of the 2018 draft. But the LSU product posted just three sacks in three seasons, and Vegas deemed him surplus to requirements in April. He was quickly scooped up by the 49ers, and he did not mince words when asked about his time with the Raiders. “To be honest, I wanted to get out of there,” Key said (via Jacob Hutchinson of KNBR.com). “I been wanting to get out of there. I wasn’t surprised. I was more happy than surprised. I wish it happened a little earlier but, hey, I got what I wanted and I’m good.” Key went on to say that the Raiders’ defensive scheme was a poor fit for him, and while he did not explicitly say so, it seems he is happy to be away from Gruden.
Count Lamarcus Joyner as another ex-Raider who is happy to be away from the club. The Raiders deployed Joyner — who primarily played safety with the Rams before signing a big-money free agent contract with Vegas — as a nickelback over the past several seasons, and he struggled in that role. The Raiders released him in March, and he signed with the Jets 10 days later. Gang Green will deploy him as single-high safety, and he is pleased with how things turned out. “I’m pretty sure the whole world knows that (I’m happy to be away from the Raiders),” he said. “I made that known. I’m so happy it’s over and I’m here with coach [Robert] Saleh right now” (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Joyner was clear that he didn’t have an issue with Gruden personally.
The Jets drafted Ashtyn Davis in the 2020 third round and are moving recent acquisition Lamarcus Joyner back to safety, where he has fared best as a pro. But the team used its franchise tag on Marcus Maye. Robert Saleh does not want that transaction to precede Maye departing in 2022.
Saleh said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini) he spoke with Maye before the offseason program started and that the Jets’ front office is “working relentlessly” to hammer out an extension for the fifth-year safety.
Maye’s arrival precedes Douglas’, with previous Jets GM Mike Maccagnan selecting the Florida alum in the 2017 second round. While Adams received greater accolades during their run together, Maye has been a four-year starter. Saleh did not express any concerns about Maye being a fit for his system. The former 49ers DC appears to be envisioning a Maye-Joyner back-line tandem, Cimini adds. Joyner came over from the Raiders, who cut him after stationing him at slot cornerback for two seasons.
The Broncos further raised the bar for this position this offseason, making Justin Simmons the NFL’s first $15MM-per-year safety. Five other safeties are signed to deals worth at least $14MM per year annually. While Maye has yet to make a Pro Bowl, he is undoubtedly shooting for a contract in this range. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 safety last season. The Jets have until July 15 to finalize an extension, or Maye will play the season on the $10.6MM safety tag.
March 21st, 2021 at 6:57pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Let’s catch up on the latest contract details from around the league:
QB Mitchell Trubisky, Bills: One-year, $2MM base salary with $1.5MM guaranteed, $500K signing bonus, and $2MM available in incentives. Via Field Yates of ESPN on Twitter.
C David Andrews, Patriots: Four-years, $19 MM, with $6.5MM fully guaranteed. More money available in play-time incentives. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network on Twitter.
RB Chris Carson, Seahawks: Two-years, $10.425MM, $4.5MM signing bonus and $1MM guaranteed salary for 2021. $4.5MM non-guaranteed 2022 salary and $450K in per-game roster bonuses in ‘22. Up to $1.4MM in incentives in both years. Via Dan Graziano of ESPN on Twitter.
RB Aaron Jones, Packers: Four-years, $48MM. The $13MM signing bonus is the only fully guaranteed money in the contract. A $3.5MM roster bonus is due on the first day of next league year. For 2023, a $7MM roster bonus is due on the third day of the league year. You can read the full breakdown of each year of the contract via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
OL Riley Reiff, Bengals: One-year, $7.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. We hadn’t known the terms of this contract yet, and $7.5MM is a pretty decent price for the Bengals for a solid starting tackle. Via Yates on Twitter.
S Lamarcus Joyner, Jets: One-year, up to $4.5MM. $2.5MM is guaranteed, with a $1MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. Up to $500K in per game active roster bonuses and $1.5MM in playing time and interception incentives.Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
Lamarcus Joyner is heading to New York. The veteran safety is signing with the Jets, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The reporter adds that it’s a one-year deal worth $4.5MM.
The Jets have been searching for some reinforcement at safety over the past week. Outside of Marcus Maye and Ashtyn Davis, the Jets had no depth at the position, so Joyner will certainly contribute with his new team. As Rapoport notes, Joyner seemingly made it a priority to find a team that would let him play safety. The veteran spent the 2020 campaign playing nickel with the Raiders.
Joyner ultimately spent two seasons with the Raider, starting 16 of his 28 games. He finished the 2020 season 66 tackles and five passes defended in 14 games (six starts). He appeared in 62 percent of his team’s defensive snaps last season.
The 2014 second-round pick spent the first five seasons of his career with the Rams organization, hauling in four interceptions in 27 starts between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The Raiders will clear a sizable chunk of cap space Monday. They plan to release Lamarcus Joyner, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Previously rumored, this move will save Las Vegas $8.7MM. That would bump the Raiders to north of $10MM in cap space. Joyner marks the third key contributor the Raiders have parted ways with over the past few days, with starting guards Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito out the door as well. This news also comes after a report indicated the Raiders are shopping another of their big-ticket 2019 additions (Trent Brown). They have already cut fellow 2019 signee Tyrell Williams.
Signed to a lucrative deal two years ago, Joyner did not work out as a Raider. After excelling at safety with the Rams, Joyner moved to the slot primarily with the Raiders. Pro Football Focus graded him outside its top 80 corners in each of his two seasons with the Raiders, who will again enter a free agency period needing some coverage help.
Joyner has done well for himself financially over the past three seasons, playing on the franchise tag in 2018 and having signed a four-year, $42MM deal in the spring of ’19. Now 30, Joyner will have to settle for a less enticing salary in 2021 in order to continue his career.
The Raiders narrowly missed the playoffs in 2020, and their defense was largely to blame for that. The unit finished near the bottom of the league in terms of total defense and points per game, and Vegas hopes that new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and an influx of new talent will lead to an improved showing in 2021.
As Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes, the Raiders can free up about $48MM of cap room with a series of cuts that shouldn’t be too difficult to make — they already plan to release WR Tyrell Williams — and they can allocate some of those funds (along with the No. 17 overall pick, perhaps) to the defensive side of the ball. One of the players that is expected be let go is defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.
Indeed, Tafur says “there is no way” that Joyner, 30, will return to the team on his 2021 salary of $9.6MM. Releasing him would save Vegas about $8.7MM in cap space, and when one considers the value of that space versus Joyner’s performance over his first two years in the Silver-and-Black, it stands to reason that the Raiders would want to part ways.
GM Mike Mayock signed Joyner as an unrestricted free agent in March 2019, giving the former Ram a four-year, $42MM contract. That did not turn out to be one of Mayock’s better decisions, as Joyner — who primarily played safety with the Rams but who has become Vegas’ top nickel corner — has generally struggled. As Tafur candidly remarks, Joyner has “made like five plays in two seasons,” and Pro Football Focus is not much higher on him. The advanced metrics ranked the Florida State product as the 89th-best CB in the league in 2020, out of 121 qualified players. While player and team could theoretically come to terms on a pay cut, Tafur says that doesn’t seem overly likely either.
In Tafur’s estimation, Mayock should use the No. 17 overall selection on one of this year’s top collegiate pass rushers while using some of his free agent dollars on an established safety like Denver’s Justin Simmons.
After Trent Brown‘s second lengthy absence this season, the Raiders may finally have their right tackle back in action soon.
The Raiders activated Brown, Lamarcus Joyner and Theo Riddick off their reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Brown contracted the coronavirus earlier this season and experienced significant complications from the disease, requiring hospitalization and a second stay on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID list.
Brown was on track to practice this week, and while the 2019 Pro Bowler might not be ready to return against the Jets, staying on schedule represents a positive development given his issues this season. If Brown is not ready to suit up this weekend, two weeks’ worth of practices could well be enough for a Week 14 re-emergence to take place.
Brown has played all of 73 offensive snaps this season, with an injury a few plays into the season moving him to IR, and has required two stints on the virus list. The Raiders have experienced issues at both tackle spots recently, though Kolton Miller returned from a brief absence late last month. He and Brown have barely seen the field together this season, however, and the latter’s return would be a boon to the suddenly struggling team’s playoff hopes. Las Vegas is already out starting guard Richie Incognito for the season.
Joyner has also landed on the Raiders’ COVID list twice this season. He was part of a slew of Raiders to be placed on the list after Clelin Ferrell‘s positive test late last month, but after Joyner initially came off the list with teammates, the Raiders moved him back on the list just before their Chiefs rematch. Joyner has missed the past two games.
The Raiders activated CB Lamarcus Joyner from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, but as Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports, Las Vegas has put Joyner back on the list today (Twitter link). As such, Joyner will miss tonight’s matchup with the Chiefs.
It’s unclear whether Joyner himself has contracted the virus, but regardless, the Raiders will be without their primary slot corner as they attempt to put a lid on the Chiefs’ high-flying offense. Of course, Las Vegas is responsible for Kansas City’s only loss this season, but the club had to prepare for this game with most of its starting defense participating remotely.
Joyner, who is in his second year with the Raiders, has not been great this season, as Pro Football Focus regards him as a middling performer in terms of coverage and as the 85th-best corner out of 119 eligible players. Still, the club ranks in the bottom third of the league in passing yards allowed per game, and losing a veteran like Joyner is never a good thing.
Joyner has compiled 46 tackles and three passes defensed this season.