Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Chiefs Activate LDT, Cut Parker

The Chiefs activated guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship tilt against the Patriots (Twitter link via Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star). To make room for him on the roster, the Chiefs cut safety Ron Parker

Duvernay-Tardif was forced to go on injured reserve in early October with a fractured fibula. In late December, however, he was designated for return.

Andrew Wylie has been Kansas City’s primary starter in Duvernay-Tardif’s absence. Things have gone well enough with Wylie in the front five, but the Chiefs’ best offensive line configuration has LDT, a recent medical school graduate, in the mix.

Parker, 31, has been with the Chiefs since 2013, although his KC run was briefly interruped in the offseason when he was released from a five-year, $30MM deal and later brought back at a lesser rate.

In the 2018 regular season, Parker wound up starting 14 of his 15 games and amassed 77 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack.

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Chiefs G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif To Return To Practice

The Chiefs’ offense may soon receive some additional help. Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will practice on Wednesday, Andy Reid said (via the Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor, on Twitter).

Duvernay-Tardif has been on IR since early October with a fractured fibula. He can be activated in advance of Sunday’s game, if the Chiefs choose. He has missed the required eight weeks of action. If LDT can return this season and take his place back at right guard, it would reform Kansas City’s starting offensive line.

Since Duvernay-Tardif was last on the field, the Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt and have been without Sammy Watkins and Spencer Ware. Attached to a high-end guard contract, Duvernay-Tardif would be a welcome addition for a Chiefs team that has lost its past two games and likely needs to beat the Raiders on Sunday to secure home-field advantage for the first time since 1997.

Teams can activate players from IR in the playoffs, so the Chiefs would not have to bring Duvernay-Tardif onto their active roster in time for Sunday’s game. He has three weeks to be activated.

Andrew Wylie has been Kansas City’s primary starter in Duvernay-Tardif’s absence. The 2014 sixth-round pick and recent medical school graduate has started since his rookie season. He signed a five-year, $41.26MM extension early in 2017.

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Chiefs Place LDT, Watts On IR

The Chiefs formally placed guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and defensive back Armani Watts on injured reserve. In a related move, the club brought back outside linebacker Frank Zombo

Duvernay-Tardif was injured in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 30-14 win over the Jaguars. As coach Andy Reid explained, the fibula is a non-weight bearing bone, so LDT should be able to heal up before the end of the season. Per league rules, he’ll have to spend at least eight weeks on the sidelines, meaning that he cannot return until Week 14, when the Chiefs face the Ravens. The Chiefs have their bye in Week 12, so Duvernay-Tardif might only miss seven games in total.

Watts, a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, recorded one sack and two total tackles in five games this year. He’s just the latest Chiefs safety to succumb to injury thanks to a groin tear suffered against the Jaguars.

Zombo, 31, appeared in all of the Chiefs’ regular season games between 2013-2017. He started in 27 of those contests for KC and racked up 7.5 sacks for them in total.

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Chiefs Likely To Place Laurent Duvernay-Tardif On IR

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif suffered a fractured fibula and is likely headed for injured reserve, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a bad blow for the Chiefs, but the good news is that he should be back later in the season. 

Duvernay-Tardif was injured in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 30-14 win over the Jaguars. As coach Andy Reid explained, the fibula is a non-weight bearing bone, so LDT should be able to heal up before the end of the season.

Per league rules, the starting guard will have to spend at least eight weeks on the sidelines, meaning that he cannot return until Week 14, when the Chiefs face the Ravens. The Chiefs have their bye in Week 12, so Duvernay-Tardif might only miss seven games in total.

The Chiefs turned to Jordan Devey after Duvernay-Tardif exited the game, so he’ll probably get the starting nod in his absence. The Chiefs could also consider Andrew Wylie as an option and they’ll likely sign another interior lineman for depth in the coming days.

LDT, a Canadian import, was a sixth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2014. Since then, he has established himself as one of the better guards in the NFL. Last year, the Chiefs locked him up with a five-year, $41.25MM extension which included $14MM guaranteed at signing.

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West Rumors: Chiefs, 49ers, Hoyer

Chiefs starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif exited Monday night’s game in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. Tests on Tuesday morning will determine the extent of the injury and the team is hopeful that it is an MCL injury and not an ACL tear, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.

The Chiefs and Duvernay-Tardif agreed to a five-year, $41.25MM extension in the offseason, making him one of the league’s highest-paid interior linemen. Losing him for a lengthy period of time would be a setback for KC.

Here’s more from the West divisions:

  • 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan says he not given any consideration to a quarterback change, as Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee writes. For now, the Niners are sticking with Brian Hoyer, but it sounds like Shanahan will not hesitate to yank him if he feels it would benefit the team. “I think he needs to play better,” Shanahan said of Hoyer. “And I think we can play better around him. … When you have the time and you have guys open, you need to hit them. I thought he struggled with that at times (Sunday). I know he can do better. But I also know when he did make throws, guys weren’t great at catching them for him, either.” If Hoyer gets the hook, rookie C.J. Beathard will get a chance to show what he can do.
  • The Rams will add Mike Thomas to the roster and go to seven wide receivers when he returns from suspension this week, coach Sean McVay said (Twitter link via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com). Thomas was hit with the ban in July for PED use.
  • Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries is still out with an MCL injury and coach Bruce Arians doesn’t expect to see him back until two weeks from now, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com tweets.

AFC West Rumors: Romo, Broncos, Chiefs

Linked to numerous teams throughout the offseason, Tony Romo should still be on the Broncos‘ radar, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com said (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post). The former agent anticipates the Broncos being the winner of this unique pursuit while noting the Texans are likely the primary competition.

I expect Romo to be a Bronco,” Corry said. “Houston may actually be his more favored destination because it’s in the state of Texas and it’s an easy transition. He wouldn’t be uprooting his family in the same way as he would with Denver. But Denver, [recent] Super Bowl champions, just a quarterback away, it makes sense.”

John Elway didn’t dismiss the Romo route last week, saying the Broncos would “look at all options,” but has praised his two incumbents, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Corry suggests the Broncos retain Siemian even if they sign Romo. While possibly being able to fetch a late draft pick in a trade, Denver’s primary 2016 starter stands to make just $628K next season. The Broncos unloaded Mark Sanchez last year because Siemian beat him out for the starting job, wanting Lynch to see more practice reps. A Romo/Siemian/Lynch setup would potentially be a complicated scenario but provide the Broncos with depth.

Here’s more from the AFC West.

  • We have additional details on Eric Berry’s six-year, $78MM deal with the Chiefs, courtesy of Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Berry’s $20MM signing bonus is prorated through 2021, meaning the Chiefs could not save real cap room by cutting him until 2019. If that were to happen, they’d save about $4.5MM in space. As previously reported, the deal includes $40MM in guarantees, including a $20MM signing bonus. He’ll earn $30MM over the first two years of the new pact. The deal is the most lucrative ever given to a safety.
  • The Chiefs have a similar timeline on Laurent Duvernay-Tardif‘s extension, should they choose to bail on the deal, Paylor writes. Kansas City could save about $2.2MM in cap space by cutting the guard in 2019. The Canadian doctor-in-training inked his five-year, $41.25MM extension with KC late last month.
  • It seems like Broncos nose tackle Sylvester Williams and cornerback Kayvon Webster are likely to sign elsewhere, Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post tweets. Webster has been vocal about his desire for more playing time and we recently ranked him as one of the Top 50 Free Agents based on his potential earning power.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Steelers, Patriots, Chiefs

The Steelers are heavy into negotiations with running back Le’Veon Bell on a long-term deal, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). She adds that there is a very good chance the deal will set the market for running backs. Among rushers with multiyear contracts, the Bills’ LeSean McCoy paces the NFL in total value ($40.05MM) and annual average ($8.01MM), while the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott is atop the league in guarantees (~$25MM). Thanks to his designation as the Steelers’ franchise player, Bell is currently slated to lead all backs in salary next season ($12.12MM).

More on Pittsburgh and two other AFC franchises:

  • On another note relevant to the Steelers’ offense, the club has expressed interest in soon-to-be free agent quarterback Mike Glennon, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). It’s fair to say Glennon won’t end up in Pittsburgh, though, unless Ben Roethlisberger decides to retire by the opening of free agency. Glennon’s current team, Tampa Bay, has tried to keep him at $8MM per year, but he’ll get more money and a chance to start on the market.
  • Impending free agent fullback James Develin is likely to re-sign with the Patriots in the coming days, tweets CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. A member of the Pats since 2012, Develin hasn’t touched the ball much in his career (13 receptions, seven carries), but he has registered three straight 16-game seasons and won two Super Bowls. He took part in 33.7 percent of the Patriots’ special teams snaps and 31.3 percent of their offensive plays in 2016.
  • Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif‘s new deal includes a $10MM signing bonus and $14MM fully guaranteed at signing, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Chiefs Extend Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

The Chiefs have locked up one of their starting offensive linemen for years to come. The team has agreed to a five-year, $41.25MM extension with guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The deal includes $20MM in guaranteed money, a source tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). It’s not immediately clear how much of that $20MM is guaranteed at signing versus yearly guarantees that are triggered at the outset of each league year. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (vertical)

[RELATED: Chiefs To Tag Eric Berry Over Dontari Poe?]

Over the last two years, the 6’5″ lineman has appeared in 30 games for KC with 27 starts. In 2016, he was ranked as the 27th best guard in the NFL by Pro Football Focus with a 78.4 overall score. That grade put him ahead of notables like Kyle Long, Austin Pasztor, and Patrick Omameh. His pass blocking was particularly strong and he had the 14th highest score amongst guards in that area by PFF’s measure.

Duvernay-Tardif had one more year to go on his rookie deal, but the Chiefs saw an opportunity to lock him up on what they feel is a team-friendly extension. The contract could take the guard through his age-30 season. Sometime after that, the McGill product hopes to become a full-time doctor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2017 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Donte Moncrief (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.8MM in 2017. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2017 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Aaron Lynch, LB; Marcus Martin, OL

Bears: Charles Leno, T; Will Sutton, DT

Bengals: Russell Bodine, C

Bills: Preston Brown, LB; Seantrel Henderson, T

Broncos: Michael Schofield, OL

Browns: Christian Kirksey, LB

Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, G

Cardinals: John Brown, WR

Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G; Zach Fulton, G; Phillip Gaines, CB

Colts: Donte Moncrief, WR

Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB

Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB

Giants: Devon Kennard, LB

Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB; Brandon Linder, G; Telvin Smith, LB

Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB; Travis Swanson, C

Packers: Corey Linsley, C; Richard Rodgers, TE

Panthers: Tre Boston, S; Trai Turner, G

Raiders: T.J. Carrie, CB; Justin Ellis, DT; Gabe Jackson, G

Rams: Maurice Alexander, S; E.J. Gaines, CB

Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB; Spencer Long, G; Morgan Moses, T

Texans: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE; Andre Hal, S

Titans: DaQuan Jones, DL; Avery Williamson, LB

Vikings: Shamar Stephen, DT

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Bennett, Rams, Waynes

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett is not expected to be in attendance for the Seahawks’ voluntary workouts, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes. Bennett denies that he’s seeking a trade out of Seattle but sources have said he would like the team to redo his contract. Bennett is entering the second year of a four-year deal worth $28.5MM signed last spring. When asked if he’s happy with is deal, the veteran replied: “I can’t really say that, but I mean I don’t know anybody that is happy with the amount of money that they’re making. But at this point, I’m just trying to be a good Seahawk.” Here’s more from the AFC and NFC West..

  • The Rams will host Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes on Tuesday and South Carolina offensive guard A.J. Cann on Wednesday, according to Nick Wagoner of the Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). The Rams pick at No. 10 and they have the opportunity to jump the Vikings at No. 11, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network notes (via Twitter).
  • Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson says that he hopes to play for another 3-5 years, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The Chiefs could create $5.2MM in cap savings by releasing Johnson, but team chairman Clark Hunt recently said that he expects that the veteran will stay put.
  • In addition to Justin Houston and Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were also absent from Chiefs camp due to academics, Paylor tweets.
  • Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith is in Denver today visiting the Broncos, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link). Smith visited the Vikings in Minnesota earlier in April.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.