Leodis McKelvin

Rams Host Leodis McKelvin On Visit

The Rams are meeting with free agent cornerback Leodis McKelvin, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’ll chat with the team on Wednesday and work out for them on Thursday. Leodis McKelvin (Vertical)

[RELATED: Seahawks Sign Best Available CB]

Things have been quiet for McKelvin ever since being let go by the Eagles in February. He auditioned for the Saints late last week, but that was his first known workout of the offseason and he left New Orleans without a deal.

The Rams shook things up in a major way last week, acquiring Sammy Watkins in a surprising blockbuster trade with the Bills. Clearly, they are not shy about shaking up the roster here in August.

The Rams plan to use Trumaine Johnson and Wade Phillips favorite Kayvon Webster as the starting corners with Nickell Robey-Coleman as the slot specialist. McKelvin, if signed, could push Blake Countess and Michael Jordan for a spot on the 53-man roster. The team will be without Troy Hill for the first two games of the year thanks to his suspension for DUI.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Meet With Leodis McKelvin

The Saints are in the market for cornerback help. The team is meeting with cornerback Leodis McKelvin on Friday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsLeodis McKelvin (Vertical)

[RELATED: Saints Work Out Tharold Simon]

We haven’t heard McKelvin’s name mentioned much since he was released by the Eagles in February. In his lone campaign with Philly, McKelvin appeared in 13 games (12 starts), managing 16 passes defensed and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Even though he had the familiarity of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme, McKelvin graded out as the league’s No. 71 ranked corner out of 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Over the course of his career, McKelvin has not done much to justify his selection as the No. 11 overall pick in the 2008 draft. On the plus side, the 31-year-old managed to start 12 games last year, marking the second time that he has reached double-digit starts in the last five years. No one expects McKelvin to blossom into a shutdown corner at this stage of his career, but he’ll can find more success by staying healthy.

As we learned on Thursday, the Saints are also taking a look at former Seahawks corner Tharold Simon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Eagles Release CB Leodis McKelvin

The Eagles went into this offseason with a plan to create a “significant” amount of cap space, and they’ve started that process today. Philadelphia has released cornerback Leodis McKelvin, the club announced.Leodis McKelvin (Vertical)

[RELATED: Eagles Approach Jason Peters About Paycut]

McKelvin followed former Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to Philadelphia, inking a two-year, $6.2MM deal last offseason. The 31-year-old McKelvin was due a $1.2MM roster bonus later this offseason, a payment the Eagles clearly had no intention of paying. By releasing McKelvin now, Philadelphia clears $3.2MM in cap room, and incurs just $250K in dead money.

In his first (and only) season with the Eagles, McKelvin appeared in 13 games (12 starts), managing 16 passes defensed and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Even with the benefit of playing in a familiar scheme, McKelvin graded as just the league’s No. 71 corner among 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

McKelvin is unlikely to be the only veteran released by Philadelphia this offseason, as previous reports have indicated Connor Barwin, Ryan Mathews, Jason Kelce, Ron Brooks, Allen Barbre, and Mychal Kendricks could all be on the chopping block.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Cook, Dolphins, Browns, Eagles

Jared Cook appears to have avoided a season-ending injury, but the rare Packers free agent looks to be out for at least a game and possibly more following Green Bay’s Week 4 bye, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. It’s being determined whether Cook will be out through Week 5, or if the former Titans and Rams target will be forced to miss multiple full games.

Cook left Lambeau Field Sunday on crutches and remains in a walking boot. The Packers are off in Week 4 and host the Giants in Week 5, but they will likely do so without their starting tight end’s services. Richard Rodgers will be the next man up for Green Bay.

Here are some more injury-related notes from around the league.

  • Continuing the string of trouble at the tight end position this season, Jordan Cameron suffered a concussion against the Browns and won’t play on Thursday against the Bengals, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. This makes four concussions in the past four years for Cameron, who is in his second season with the Dolphins.
  • Gase also labeled Arian Foster as unlikely to return this week, per Beasley. He remains out with a groin injury. Foster sustained a groin tear during his final Texans training camp last summer and underwent surgery for it at the time. Foster missed three games last season due to that malady before going down with the Achilles tear that ended his time in Houston.
  • Browns linebacker Nate Orchard has a high-ankle sprain, which he sustained on the final play of Cleveland’s overtime loss in Miami, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports (on Twitter). Orchard is expected to be out “a while.” Additionally, Tramon Williams suffered an AC joint sprain during the loss, Hue Jackson said Monday. It’s unclear how long the veteran corner will be out.
  • As long as Ryan Mathews is healthy, he will remain the Eagles‘ top running back, per Doug Pederson (via Zach Berman of Philly.com). The problem, as it’s been for much of the running back’s career, stems from the fact the second-year Eagle again might not be healthy. Mathews left Sunday’s game against the Steelers after playing just eight snaps due to a left ankle injury. Mathews struggled with left ankle trouble in training camp as well.
  • The Eagles expect Zach Ertz and Leodis McKelvin to return after the team’s Week 4 bye, Berman reports. Philadelphia’s starting tight end has missed the past two games with a displaced rib, and McKelvin has missed the same amount of time due to a hamstring ailment.
  • Safety Darian Thompson‘s foot injury is not serious and not “the end of the world,” a source tells Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter). Thompson will probably be out another week or two before suiting up for the Giants.

Eagles’ Ertz, McKelvin Suffer Injuries

We’re one game into the season and the Eagles are already a little bit banged up. Today, coach Doug Pederson told reporters that tight end Zach Ertz and cornerback Leodis McKelvin are both week-to-week after suffering injuries (Twitter link via Eagles’ team account). Ertz suffered an especially painful-sounding injury as one of his ribs has displaced itself under his collarbone. McKelvin, meanwhile, has a hamstring strain that could sideline him for multiple games. "<strong

[RELATED: Eagles Notes: Johnson, Wentz, Fullbacks]

Ertz, the 35th overall pick in the 2013 draft, is coming off a career year in which he caught 75 passes for 853 yards in 2015. This offseason, he was rewarded with a lucrative extension that should keep him in Philly through the 2021 season. On Sunday against the Browns, Ertz caught six of his seven targets for 58 yards. The Eagles have Brent Celek and Trey Burton on the depth chart behind the 6’5″, 249 pound tight end.

In the case of McKelvin, the Eagles could simply promote from within by calling up C.J. Smith from the practice squad. Pederson acknowledge that as a possibility while also adding that the team will explore its options at cornerback if McKelvin has to miss significant time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Broncos, Long, Eagles

Trevor Siemian, the Broncos‘ presumptive No. 2 quarterback, was more consistent in many ways than presumptive starter Mark Sanchez during the team’s OTAs and minicamp, and given that head coach Gary Kubiak said in his offseason-ending press conference last week that Sanchez and Siemian are in a virtual tie for the starting job, there has been some speculation that Siemian could be under center when Week 1 rolls around. But Mike Klis of 9News.com, while acknowledging Siemian’s strong performance, agrees with the prevailing consensus that, unless Sanchez completely flops in the first two games of the preseason–which is a distinct possibility–his experience will force Kubiak’s hand and he will be named the starter prior to the all-important third preseason contest.

Now let’s take a look at some more links from around the league:

  • Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com says that a long-term deal between Von Miller and the Broncos remains the most likely outcome, but if the July 15 deadline for a new contract comes and goes, the two sides could work out an alternative one-year agreement that provides Miller with a little more incentive to sign. For instance, the team could promise to not use the tag on Miller again in 2017, which means that Miller, assuming he is willing to risk injury/ineffectiveness in 2016–while earning the full $14.129MM of the franchise tender in the process–would be guaranteed to hit the open market and get his big payday in 2017. If stubbornness prevails and there is no new deal by July 15, that currently unlikely scenario suddenly becomes more plausible.
  • Before coaching at yesterday’s University of Michigan Big Man camp, free agent left tackle Jake Long said that he is finally healthy. The former No. 1 overall pick added, “This is the healthiest and best I’ve felt in probably about five, six years. My knee’s back. I’ve just been working out, feeling good and ready for the opportunity when it comes along” (article via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com). Long, of course, spent the first five years of his career with the Dolphins and was widely-regarded as one of the best left tackles in the league during that time, but he tore his ACL in each of his two subsequent seasons, which he spent with the Rams, and he appeared in only four games with the Falcons last year, starting none. If he is, in fact, completely healthy, he should be able to land a job as teams look to replace injured or underperforming players during training camp and the preseason.
  • Two of the Chiefs‘ best players, Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston, are recovering from torn ACLs, and the team is being cautious with both, as Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com writes (citing Adam Teicher of ESPN.com). Houston will not be ready for the start of training camp and may not suit up until sometime after the regular season begins, while Charles will be eased into camp and should be ready for Week 1. Neither player, though, will be on the field before they are completely healthy, as they are too important to the team’s plans to risk re-injury.
  • In the Eagles‘ crowded and confusing defensive backfield, it is too early to predict who will emerge as the regular contributors. But Mark Eckel of NJ.com writes that a source with knowledge of the way DC Jim Schwartz and DB coach Cory Undlin are thinking says that, if the season started today, the top of the cornerback depth chart would look like this: Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks, and Eric Rowe.

Contract Details: Bruton, Soliai, M. Wallace

Here are specific details on several of the latest agreed-upon and signed contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

NFC:

  • David Bruton, S (Washington): Three years, $9MM. $3.4MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus. $500K annual playing-time escalator in 2017 and 2018. $500K in incentives in 2018 (Twitter links via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post).
  • Paul Soliai, DT (Panthers): Two years, $6.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $2MM signing bonus. $740K in annual per-game active roster bonuses. $500K roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2017 league year (Twitter link).
  • Leodis McKelvin, CB (Eagles): Two years, $6.2MM. $3MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus. $1.2MM bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $100K Pro Bowl incentive. $350K playing-time incentive (Twitter link).
  • Cory Harkey, TE (Rams): Three years, $5.7MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due on 10th day of 2016 league year. $500K roster bonus due in 2017, guaranteed for skill and injury (Twitter link).
  • Rolando McClain, LB (Cowboys): One year, $4MM. $750K signing bonus. $1.25MM base salary. $2MM in per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in playing-time and playoff incentives (Twitter link).
  • Rhett Ellison, TE (Vikings): One year, $1.75MM. $100K signing bonus. $790K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $500K in incentives (Twitter link).
  • Chris Givens, WR (Eagles): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus. $100K of $760K base salary is guaranteed (Twitter link via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News).

AFC:

  • Mike Wallace, WR (Ravens): Two years, $11.5MM. $4.5MM signing bonus. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. Option for second year to be exercised/declined prior to end of 2016 league year (Twitter links).
  • Matt Moore, QB (Dolphins): Two years, $3.55MM. $2.25MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus. $1.25MM in annual incentives (Twitter link).
  • Sean Spence, LB (Titans): One year, $2.5MM. $500K signing bonus. $500K in per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Robert Turbin, RB (Colts): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K in incentives for rushing yards (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).

Eagles Sign Leodis McKelvin

9:56pm: McLane offers a minor clarification, tweeting that the base value of McKelvin’s contract is actually $6.2MM.

2:46pm: McKelvin’s deal carries a max value of $6MM, which means that his base value is less than that, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter).

2:29pm: The Eagles and Leodis McKelvin have agreed to terms on a two-year contract, the team announced (on Twitter). The two-year deal is worth just over $6MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.Leodis McKelvin

New Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz coached McKelvin in Buffalo, so Philly has been thought to be a logical landing spot for him ever since he was released earlier this month. McKelvin was also scheduled to meet with the Cowboys, so the signing has the added benefit of beating out an NFC East rival.

McKelvin, selected 11th overall in the 2008 draft, had been preparing to enter the final year of his contract with the Bills. Recent reports had suggested the team would explore a reworked contract with McKelvin in an attempt to keep him around, but Buffalo ultimately parted ways with him instead, allowing him to hit the open market.

Despite being a first-round pick, McKelvin never developed into a shutdown corner for the Bills, or even a full-time starter — he has only started more than nine games in a season twice in his career, due to both performance and injuries. In 2015, McKelvin grabbed two interceptions to go along with 32 tackles, nine passes defended, and a fumble recovery. Pro Football Focus ranked him 83rd out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Leodis McKelvin Visiting Eagles; Cowboys Next?

Free agent cornerback Leodis McKelvin is paying a visit to Philadelphia today to meet with the Eagles, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). While most pending free agents can’t make visits until Wednesday, McKelvin is eligible to begin doing so now since he was released by the Bills last week.Leodis McKelvin

McKelvin, selected 11th overall in the 2008 draft, had been preparing to enter the final year of his contract with the Bills. Recent reports had suggested the team would explore a reworked contract with McKelvin in an attempt to keep him around, but Buffalo ultimately parted ways with him instead, allowing him to hit the open market.

Despite being a first-round pick, McKelvin never developed into a shutdown corner for the Bills, or even a full-time starter — he has only started more than nine games in a season twice in his career, due to both performance and injuries. In 2015, McKelvin grabbed two interceptions to go along with 32 tackles, nine passes defended, and a fumble recovery. Pro Football Focus ranked him 83rd out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.

The Eagles are in the market for cornerback help after agreeing to trade Byron Maxwell to the Dolphins, and McKelvin would represent a more affordable option than many other players on the free agent market. Rapoport suggests that a deal between the two sides could “come quickly.” However, if McKelvin and the Eagles don’t work something out while he’s in Philadelphia, a visit to Dallas to meet with the Cowboys is next up on the 30-year-old’s schedule, per Rapoport.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.