Lane Taylor

Contract Details: Smith, Falcons, Texans

Here are the details from some of the league’s most recently agreed-upon contracts:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Falcons): One year, $3MM. The decorated kick returner’s contract includes a $1.7MM base salary and $1.3MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • DeMarcus Walker, DL (Texans): One year, $1.5MM. The ex-Broncos D-lineman will receive $500K guaranteed and can earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Walker’s deal will count $1.45MM against the Texans’ cap.
  • Jaleel Johnson, DL (Texans): One year, $1.3MM. Johnson will see $300K of his $1MM base salary guaranteed, Wilson tweets. A $350K incentive also exists within this deal.
  • Roderick Johnson, T (Texans): One year, $1.15MM. Johnson will receive $350K guaranteed. He will be attached to a $920K base salary and can collect $130K in per-game roster bonuses, Wilson tweets.
  • Aldon Smith, DE (Seahawks): One year, $1.13MM. Smith agreed to a deal that includes a nonguaranteed $990K base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. He will collect a $137K signing bonus, with the contract counting at $988K on Seattle’s cap sheet.
  • Lane Taylor, G (Texans): One year, $1.13MM. Taylor will collect a $138K signing bonus and count $988K toward Houston’s cap, Wilson tweets.
  • Duron Harmon, S (Falcons): One year, $1.1MM. Harmon will receive $363K guaranteed, per Rothstein. He will count $988K against Atlanta’s cap.

Texans To Sign Lane Taylor

Former Packers guard Lane Taylor will join the Texans on a one-year deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Taylor will reunite with his old offensive line coach in Green Bay James Campen as he works his way back from a torn ACL. 

[RELATED: Latest On Deshaun Watson]

Taylor, 31, has missed 29 games over the past two seasons due to bicep tears and knee trouble. He’s now seven months removed from ACL surgery though, and RapSheet hears that he should be ready in time for training camp this summer. The 49ers, who hosted Taylor in March, and Texans are looking into his status late in the rehab process.

Before all of that, Taylor became the Packers’ starting left guard, following the release of Josh Sitton. In 2016, he grading out as the league’s No. 41 guard out of 72 qualifiers. Then, in the fall of 2017, the Packers rewarded him with a three-year, $16.5MM extension.

Taylor will take the roster spot of offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel, who was dropped earlier this week and quickly claimed by the Washington Football Team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Meet With Lane Taylor, Jaleel Johnson

Despite coming off back-to-back injury-marred seasons, Lane Taylor continues to draw interest as a free agent. The Texans brought the veteran offensive lineman in for a visit Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

The Texans also summoned former Vikings defensive line starter Jaleel Johnson for a meeting. Under new GM Nick Caserio, Houston has made several modest investments in starters or depth pieces this offseason. These two would qualify as such, though the Texans may be merely monitoring Taylor’s rehab progress.

Taylor, 31, missed 29 games over the past two seasons. Biceps and knee maladies altered the former Packers guard’s NFL path; he is currently recovering from an ACL tear. However, Taylor’s latest injury occurred in nearly seven months ago. That would give the eight-year vet a reasonable chance to be ready for a training camp. The 49ers, who hosted Taylor in March, and Texans are looking into his status late in the rehab process.

The Packers gave Taylor an extension and used him as a full-time starter from 2016-18. He missed just two games during that stretch. Green Bay penciled in Taylor as a Week 1 starter in 2019 and ’20 as well. However, the two major injuries will limit the former UDFA’s value on this year’s market.

A 2017 fourth-round pick, Johnson started 16 games for the Vikings last season. The defensive tackle also recorded 3.5 sacks as a rotational player during the 2019 slate. The Vikings moved on from Linval Joseph and saw Michael Pierce opt out last year, opening a door for Johnson to start. Pro Football Focus did not view Johnson’s starter season in a positive light, rating him as one of the worst interior defenders in 2020. Johnson and Texans Ross Blacklock and Maliek Collins each ranked in PFF’s bottom five among interior D-linemen last season. Johnson received higher marks as a backup in previous years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Host G Lane Taylor On Visit

Injuries have thrown Lane Taylor‘s career off course, but he spent several seasons as a Packers starter and is aiming to bounce back in 2021. The 49ers are looking into the veteran blocker, hosting him on a visit Friday.

Taylor’s 49ers meeting does not sound like it will produce an immediate offer, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicating the team is curious about the 31-year-old lineman’s knee rehab remained on schedule (Twitter link). But the 49ers have the eight-year veteran on their radar about a possible gig for next season.

Previously signed to a Packers extension, Taylor suffered season-ending biceps and knee maladies in the past two Septembers, respectively, and has played in just three games over the past two seasons. The latter injury was an ACL tear, and Taylor is still recovering from that setback. He worked as a guard starter for the Packers from 2016-18, however, and only missed two games in that span.

The former UDFA success story would certainly not be a costly addition for San Francisco, which has made some moves on its O-line this week. In addition to re-signing Trent Williams, the 49ers added Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. Top guards Laken Tomlinson and Daniel Brunskill remain on the roster, however, making Taylor more of a higher-end depth addition.

Packers’ Lane Taylor Done For Year

That’s a wrap on Lane Taylor‘s season. On Monday, the Packers placed the right guard on IR with a right knee injury. 

[RELATED: Packers, Aaron Jones Working On New Deal]

It’s especially unfortunate for Taylor, who lost his 2019 season to a biceps tear. This year, he reclaimed his starting RG job, only to exit midway through the season opener. Taylor was playing on a reworked contract — originally set to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.8MM, he agreed to earn just $1.5MM, with a $100K signing bonus. Before the revision, Taylor was viewed as a likely release candidate.

The former undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State started 45 games for the Packers between 2016 and 2018. After this year, he’ll be eligible for free agency.

After their 43-34 win over the Vikings, the Packers will turn their attention to the Lions on Sunday afternoon. Interior swingman Lucas Patrick is next in line to start and the club will likely add another blocker in support.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Bears, Packers, Tomlin, Browns

The Bears became the latest team to work out Jamon Brown, with SI.com’s Albert Breer tweeting the guard was in Chicago for an audition. The free agent guard, a Falcons cut last month, has already worked out for the 49ers. Brown was a full-time Rams starter in 2017, but a 2018 suspension derailed his momentum. The Rams waived him shortly after he returned from that ban, but he ended the ’18 season as a Giants first-stringer. The Bears are returning four starters from last season and have been trying ex-Seahawks right tackle Germain Ifedi at guard.

Here is the latest from the North divisions:

  • The Steelers will let Mike Tomlin enter a contract year. Signed through 2021, Tomlin will not be extended this year, Art Rooney II said (via The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette, subscription required). The Steelers gave Tomlin his most recent extension last July, and he managed an eight-win season despite the largely Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers ranking 32nd in offensive DVOA. Rooney said he plans to address the contracts of Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert, who just signed a one-year extension, in 2021.
  • One of the league’s healthiest teams last season, the Packers may be down a starter in Week 1. Billy Turner suffered a knee injury during a scrimmage and is uncertain for Green Bay’s opener, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Turner played guard for the Packers last season but is competing with free agency addition Ricky Wagner at right tackle this year. Lane Taylor, who missed all of last season, is expected to play right guard opposite emerging talent Elgton Jenkins on the left side.
  • For the second time in three weeks, the Browns brought in Cody Parkey for a visit. The veteran was part of a kicker group to work out for the Browns in August, though it was reported at the time the team was organizing a COVID-related emergency kicker list. Parkey briefly kicked for the Titans last season.
  • Bears training camp coaching intern Henry Burris will stay on the team’s staff all season, Matt Nagy announced. Known mostly for his 17-season CFL run, Burris also was a Bears quarterback for a short time in the early 2000s. This will be his first NFL coaching gig.
  • Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith underwent successful open-heart surgery recently, according to the Associated Press. Mike Zimmer said the second-year defender, who landed on Minnesota’s IR list, will remain in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future to recover.

Packers Eyeing David Bakhtiari Extension

Aaron Rodgers‘ longtime blindside protector, David Bakhtiari, is entering the final year of the four-year extension he signed with the Packers just before the 2016 campaign. He has more than lived up to that contract, earning two Pro Bowl nods and one First Team All-Pro bid over the past four seasons.

He is unquestionably one of the best left tackles in the league, and as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network observes, Green Bay would love to get an extension finalized before Week 1 (Twitter link). After all, the LT market is rapidly heating up, and Bakhtiari’s deal now places him outside of the top-10 in terms of average annual value.

When asked back in June if there were any ongoing negotiations with the Packers, the soon-to-be 29-year-old was tight-lipped. Though he did commit 12 penalties in 2019, including a career-high five false starts, he chalked that up to learning a new offensive system. Indeed, he did not commit any penalties in the final four games of the campaign, and if he turns in a typical performance in 2020, he will have every right to demand a contract similar to the monstrous three-year, $66MM pact ($50MM guaranteed) that Laremy Tunsil recently signed with the Texans.

The Packers certainly would like to get Bakhtiari tethered to something a little more team-friendly, so it stands to reason that they would try to lock him up sooner rather than later. That is especially true in light of the expected salary cap decrease in 2021.

In other OL news for Green Bay, offseason acquisition Ricky Wagner left practice with a left arm injury yesterday, as Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com write. If Wagner misses an extended period of time, look for the club to line up 2019 right guard Billy Turner at right tackle and Lane Taylor at right guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Notes: Rodgers, LaFleur, Bakhtiari, Taylor

The Packers’ offense lacked its usual punch in 2019 and, so far, they have yet to add a playmaker this offseason. If the Packers aren’t able to address that need between now and September, head coach Matt LaFleur believes that he can make a difference from the sideline.

It does start with the playcalling, maybe taking a few more chances to try to help generate those plays down the field,” said LaFleur (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky). “Typically, if you’re getting explosives, you’ve got a much better chance at scoring points.”

Last year, the Packers ranked 20th in explosive plays – passes of 20 yards or more and runs for at least ten yards. But, as Demovsky notes, it wasn’t the result of a conservative strategy. Aaron Rodgers had the league’s fifth-highest rate of pass attempts for 15+ yards and placed third in attempts for 20+ yards.

For now, the Packers are hoping that wide receiver Devin Funchess, second-round running back A.J. Dillon and third-round tight end Josiah Deguara will make a difference.

Here’s more out of Green Bay:

  • After taking a pay cut in late May, Packers guard Lane Taylor will earn just $910K in base salary this year, according to Demovsky (on Twitter). He’s now set to count for $2.4MM against the cap in his final year under contract, saving the team roughly $3MM against the cap. The Packers now have about $14MM to spend, which could give them some room to add a playmaker for Rodgers.
  • The extra cap room could also help the Packers lock up left tackle David Bakhtiari. In 2016, the Packers made Bakhtiari one of the five highest-paid tackles in the NFL with a four-year, $48MM extension. Now set to enter his final year, Bakhtiari’s value is tough to peg, as Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes. Bakhtiari, 29 in September, is one of the league’s best outside protectors, but he did regress slightly in 2019. Last year, he was flagged 12 times, his highest penalty total since 2015. For his part, Bakhtiari says that it was the product of adjusting to a new system. “The false starts are … I mean, that’s just unacceptable,” Bakhtiari said. “That just really comes down to thinking more about the concepts. Also just being new to a bunch of new things that are going on, So I’m taking my thought process away from the cadence. I think I kind of situated that and ironed that out.”
  • The Packers inked rookie Jon Runyan Jr. late last week, officially bringing one of Bakhtiari’s new backups into the fold.

Packers’ Lane Taylor Agrees To Pay Cut

The Packers and Lane Taylor have agreed to revise his contract, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Taylor was originally set to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.8MM for 2020, but it was completely non-guaranteed. Now, the veteran guard will make less than half of that – $1.5MM, with a $100K signing bonus. 

[RELATED: Aaron Jones “Would Love To Be A Lifelong Packer”]

Taylor was a likely release candidate for the Packers, who could have cut him without much in the way of cap consequences. Taylor, a former undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State, started 45 games for the Packers between 2016 and 2018. He started the first two games of 2019 at left guard, but a biceps injury suffered in a September win over the Vikings wiped out his year.

With the reworked deal, Taylor will have a chance to stick on the roster and compete with Elgton Jenkins for the starting left guard spot, opposite of Billy Turner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Big Ben, Massie, Rankins

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery today, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The veteran is expected to be ready for the 2020 season. This optimism is similar to what we heard yesterday when we learned about Big Ben’s impending surgery.

Schefter adds that Roethlisberger had surgery on his right elbow. The operation was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache (in consultation with team physician Jim Bradley) in Los Angeles. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter) that this is the same surgeon who operated on Aaron Rodgers collarbone back in 2017.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a statement (via Schefter).

We learned yesterday that the procedure would repair a muscle tear, and it didn’t involve any ligaments or tendons. Roethlisberger is expected to begin throwing by the spring, and it sounds like he should be good to go come next season.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bears right tackle Bobby Massie was forced to sit out tonight’s game against the Redskins due to a bout with vertigo, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). The illness apparently popped up today, and it’s uncertain if this is a temporary or long-term issue for the 30-year-old. After starting each of his 46 games during his first three seasons in Chicago, Massie added another two starts to his resume this season.
  • On Saturday, the Packers placed offensive guard Lane Taylor on the injured reserve with a biceps injury, and we now have a bit more clarity on his outlook. Demovsky reports (via Twitter) that the 29-year-old will ultimately need surgery on his left bicep. While the veteran could return from the injured reserve in late November, the operation may sideline him for the rest of the season. Taylor started a pair of games this season before suffering the injury.
  • There’s a chance that Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins sees this field next Sunday night, but Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that the 25-year-old is more likely to return in Week 5 or Week 6. The 2016 first-rounder has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from his Achilles injury. After compiling a career-high eight sacks during the 2018 regular season, Rankins suffered the injury during the divisional round of the playoffs.