Logan Ryan

AFC East Notes: O’Shea, Warford, Ryan

The Dolphins fired former OC Chad O’Shea after just one season in his post, and the move surprised many at the time. After all, Miami’s offense wasn’t exactly brimming with talent, but O’Shea’s unit actually ranked in the top-10 in passing offense and top-15 in scoring offense after QB Ryan Fitzpatrick reentered the starting lineup in Week 7.

We had previously heard that O’Shea’s offense was overly complex for the young Dolphins talent, but as Barry Jackson, Adam H. Beasley, and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald write, the term “overly complex” may not be strong enough.

O’Shea, who brought in elements of the Patriots’ notoriously difficult offensive system after spending 10 years as New England’s WRs coach, tried to install especially advanced and complicated portions of the Pats’ scheme, which went over the heads of his new charges in Miami. And though he can’t be faulted for trying to replicate an offense that has thrived for years, players complained that he was a terrible teacher to boot, with one player calling his instruction during film study a “disaster.”

Head coach Brian Flores had O’Shea pulled out of his exit meeting with Fitzpatrick to advise him of his dismissal. O’Shea was reportedly blindsided by the news, and Fitzpatrick was apparently taken aback as well. It’s unknown if Flores asked Fitzpatrick about Chan Gailey — who was immediately hired as O’Shea’s replacement — prior to O’Shea’s firing. Fitzpatrick has played under Gailey for five seasons.

Let’s round up several more items from the AFC East:

  • In his most recent mailbag, Connor Hughes of The Athletic says the Jets should pursue former Saints guard Larry Warford, who was released by New Orleans earlier this month. Hughes believes Warford would represent an upgrade over incumbent RG Brian Winters — whose release would create a cap savings of $7MM — but he does not get the sense the Jets are interested. Warford does not fit the mold of the athletic, quick O-linemen that head coach Adam Gase wants in his system.
  • Hughes also notes that while the Jets are definitely interested in free agent corner Logan Ryan, Ryan will have to come off his current $10MM/year ask in order to reach an accord with Gang Green. We recently heard that New York believes it will sign Ryan, and it seems as if no team is willing to touch the $10MM sticker price at this point.
  • The Patriots have a talented crop of undrafted free agents, and their UDFA wideouts are particularly intriguing. Doug Kyed of NESN.com believes Miami product Jeff Thomas has the best chance to make the team, though Will Hastings — who received a salary guarantee of $57.5K and who served as Jarrett Stidham‘s slot receiver at Auburn — also has a good shot.

Top Remaining Free Agents

While most of the top free agents in this year’s cycle have long since signed with new clubs, there are plenty of potential difference-makers still available. Those players remain on the market for various reasons — price tag, injury concerns, etc. — but they all could be a key factor in the fortunes of whatever team they ultimately join. Let’s take a look at the best of who’s still out there:

  1. Jadeveon Clowney: If you think you’ve been reading a lot about Clowney over the past couple of months, you’re right. That’s what happens when a former No. 1 overall pick and a young dynamic talent is still up for grabs this late in the offseason. Clowney’s high asking price, originally said to be $20MM per year, certainly scared some teams off, as did his recent core muscle surgery. Some will also point to his relatively low sack totals as evidence that he is not the dynamic pass rushing force that he believes himself to be. But he undeniably has the chops to be a game-changer against the run and pass, and he is content to wait for the right situation to come along. Once teams have the opportunity to evaluate him themselves, his market should heat up rapidly.
  2. Cam Newton: Here’s another former No. 1 overall pick that we have written a great deal about recently. Like Clowney, the 2015 MVP may be signed by now if interested teams could have their own doctors examine him, and Newton is willing to be patient and wait for that to happen if waiting will allow him to secure a starting gig somewhere. But at this point, it looks like only an injury or major underpeformance will open the door for a QB1 role in 2020, so he may have to settle for a top backup job for now and hit the free agent market again in 2021. He is reportedly warming to that idea.
  3. Everson Griffen: Like Clowney, Griffen is a talented pass rusher, but unlike Clowney, Griffen has multiple double-digit sack campaigns under his belt. The 32-year-old posted eight QB takedowns in 2019, and it is a little surprising to see him unsigned this late in the process. A reunion with the Vikings may be in the cards, and the Seahawks are the only other club to be connected to Griffen at this point.
  4. Jason Peters: The only reason Peters isn’t signed yet is because of his age (38). He turned in a typically terrific season in 2019, and he has been connected to a number of clubs over the past couple of months. The problem is, many of those teams have filled their needs at the offensive tackle spots, so even though Peters has said that he is willing to play on the left or the right side, his options are now more limited. The Chargers could still be in play, and another year with the Eagles may also be a reality.
  5. Logan Ryan: Unlike several of the players ahead of him on this list, Ryan doesn’t have any notable health concerns, but his asking price — he’s seeking around $10MM per year — could be depressing his market. He turned in a productive 2019 season with the Titans and has the versatility to move around the defensive backfield, which has apparently led to multi-year offers. Given the need for quality corners in today’s game, Ryan will likely land a lucrative deal soon, it just may not be as lucrative as he wants. The Jets and Dolphins are involved in the bidding.
  6. Markus Golden: Golden enjoyed what appeared to be a breakout season with the Cardinals in 2016, posting 12.5 sacks in just his second year in the league. But injuries limited the edge rusher over the 2017-18 seasons, and he had to settle for a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants in 2019. He perhaps thought that he proved it, recording 10 sacks for Big Blue, but those 10 sacks came from just 26 total pressures, which is probably an unsustainable conversion rate. So far, only the Giants — who put the rarely-used UFA tender on Golden — have been publicly connected to him.
  7. Devonta Freeman: We haven’t heard a peep about the two-time Pro Bowl running back since the Falcons released him in March. The fact that Atlanta replaced him with Todd Gurley and his frightening injury concerns isn’t a good sign, and Freeman’s 3.6 YPC average in 2019 certainly isn’t helping matters either. Freeman’s own injury problems limited him to two games in 2018, so he is now two years removed from his last effective season. It’s nonetheless a bit of a surprise that there have been no rumors of interest in his services.
  8. Delanie Walker: The best tight end left on the market, Walker has battled injuries over the past two seasons and will turn 36 in August, so it makes sense that we haven’t heard too much about him lately. But while he may not be a TE1 anymore, he could still be a useful weapon in the passing game, and he also has a history of being a strong blocker. The Colts, Packers, and Redskins were said to be interested in him in March, and those teams continue to look like good fits even after the draft. The Ravens, who rely heavily on TEs and who traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason, also make some sense.
  9. Eric Reid: The 28-year-old safety turned in what appeared to be a strong year in 2019, starting all 16 games for the Panthers and posting a career-best 130 tackles. The problem is, he may have had so many tackle opportunities because he allowed over 77% of throws in his vicinity to be completed. Still, he is an experienced and generally solid back-end defender, and the Texans — who employ his brother, Justin Reid seem like a logical fit.
  10. Darqueze Dennard: Dennard, a former first-round pick of the Bengals, thought he had a deal with the Jaguars in March. But Jacksonville backed out of the deal, and while there was no word on why that happened, it could be that health concerns made the Jags skittish. Dennard missed the first few weeks of the 2019 season due to a knee procedure, but he did play every game from Week 10 forward and graded out well in terms of Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He has been Cincinnati’s primary slot corner over the past several seasons, but there has been no reported interest in him since the failed Jaguars pact.

Logan Ryan Discusses Free Agency, Jets Rumors

Logan Ryan is clearing the air. Following reports that the veteran cornerback was close to signing with the Jets, Ryan said on Good Morning Football that he’s “completely open for business.”

“[The] Jets…it makes a lot of sense because I’m from the area, I went to Rutgers. I’m blue collar,” Ryan said (via GMFB on Twitter). “[I’m] trying to do what’s best for my family. Obviously there’s a lot of rumors out there. I can’t confirm any of it because I’m obviously still not signed yet. We’ll see. I obviously want to get a deal done whenever, and I’m open to it. So we’ll see what happens there.

“But I’m also open to pretty much 30 other franchises, except for the Titans, that’s the only one I’ve ruled out thus far. So I’m completely open for business.”

On Tuesday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that the Jets organization believed they were on the verge of signing Ryan. However, nothing has materialized 48 hours later, and we’ve since heard that the Dolphins could still have interest in the 29-year-old.

As ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes on Twitter, the cornerback could simply be looking to “stimulate his market” with today’s appearance. Throughout the offseason, Ryan has been pretty adamant that he wants a contract that would pay him around $10MM per season. He previously approached the Titans with a suggested one-year, $9.5MM contract, which they rejected. As a result, Ryan bid farewell to the organization, as he alluded to this morning.

After winning a pair of Super Bowls during his four seasons in New England, Ryan signed a three-year, $30MM deal with the Titans back in 2017. He started each of his 45 regular season games with Tennessee, including a 2019 campaign where he set career-highs in tackles (113), passes defended (18), sacks (4.5), and forced fumbles (four).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Still Interested In Logan Ryan?

The team with two cornerbacks signed for more than $15MM per year may still have interest in adding another veteran. The Dolphins are still in the mix for Logan Ryan, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link).

Ryan and the Dolphins have engaged in recent discussions, per Garafolo, even if the Jets may now be a better bet to land the ex-Patriots and Titans defender. Ryan has said he will not return to the Titans. The Dolphins were high on Ryan in March, but no deal commenced. The 29-year-old cornerback has remained in free agency for nearly two months.

A report earlier Tuesday indicated the Jets are expected to land Ryan, who still wants $10MM per year. That may be unrealistic at this point in the offseason, but the Jets have a far bigger need at corner than the Dolphins.

Miami extended Xavien Howard on a $15.1MM-AAV deal last year and in March made Byron Jones the NFL’s first $16MM-per-year cornerback. In terms of per-year salary, Jones and Howard are the NFL’s second- and third-highest-paid corners. If that wasn’t enough, the Dolphins drafted Noah Igbinoghene in the first round.

Brian Flores, however, was on New England’s staff throughout Ryan’s Patriots tenure. The Dolphins have already added ex-Pats Eric Rowe, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Ted Karras since Flores’ arrival. Ryan could be seen as a slot stopgap while Igbinoghene develops. The Dolphins are still among the leaders in cap space, holding $23.4MM.

New York released the ineffective Trumaine Johnson but signed Pierre Desir shortly after his Colts release. The Jets also brought back slot corner Brian Poole but drafted just one corner — Virginia’s Bryce Hall, in Round 5 — this year. Ryan would fit in as a veteran to play alongside Desir and Poole potentially.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Sign CB Logan Ryan?

The Jets believe they’re close to signing one of the best remaining free agents. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the organization “believes” they’ll land cornerback Logan Ryan on a one-year deal. Meanwhile, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano hears that while the Jets are interested, no formal offer has been made just yet. It’s a situation to monitor, but it’s not signed, sealed, and delivered as of this writing.

We heard last month that the Jets were looking to “free up money” so they could make a run at the veteran defensive back. While the organization will eventually have the necessary funds to add Ryan (they’ll have $14MM in space come June 1st), a signing was dependent on “Gang Green’s relatively stringent budget.” Indeed, Mehta notes that the impending signing revolved around “ownership’s willingness to dole out enough cash this year.”

After winning a pair of Super Bowls during his four seasons in New England, Ryan signed a three-year, $30MM deal with the Titans back in 2017. He started each of his 45 regular season games with Tennessee, but it doesn’t sound like a reunion was ever in the cards. Ryan bid farewell to the organization earlier this month, and he later revealed that the front office wouldn’t consider his suggested one-year, $9.5MM contract.

Ryan had one of his most productive seasons in 2019, setting career-highs in tackles (113), passes defended (18), sacks (4.5), and forced fumbles (four). Even if the veteran does eventually transition to safety, Mehta previously opined that he’s “the kind of player that [defensive coordinator Gregg] Williams covets.

The Jets have been busy revamping their secondary this offseason. The front office signed Pierre Desir, traded for Quincy Wilson, and re-signed Brian Poole. They also added safety Ashtyn Davis in the third round of the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Logan Ryan

Last week, free agent cornerback Logan Ryan bid farewell to the Titans. But, before that, he says they rejected his pitch: A new one-year pact to match last year’s salary of $9.5MM.

I was willing to come back and work with the team on a one-year deal to earn the right for an extension or to go back to free agency next year,” Ryan told the McCourty twins on their podcast (transcript via ESPN.com). “I just wanted my salary that I made last year. You play well in a contract year, you’re going to get paid. I wanted to keep that thing going, but they weren’t really interested in that.”

It’s just a business. Tennessee really never offered me a contract. They never really talked extension or free agency. They never really tried to bring me back.”

Meanwhile, Ryan is waiting for business to pick up. The 29-year-old started all 16 games for the Titans last year as their top slot man and helped them reach the AFC title game. He also set new career watermarks in tackles (113), passes defended (18), sacks (4.5), and forced fumbles (four).

However, his market has been slow to develop, and his price tag probably has something to do with it. Teams, he says, are “taking their time.” Ryan says he’s received multi-year offers from teams, though he’s still waiting for the right fit.

The Jets and Giants still have needs at cornerback and would make some sense for Ryan. The Titans, meanwhile, are going in a different direction – they selected LSU product Kristian Fulton in the second round and even gave him No. 26, Ryan’s old number.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Logan Ryan Won’t Return To Titans

Logan Ryan isn’t sure where he’ll be playing in 2020. The only thing he does know is that it won’t be with the Titans. On Tuesday, the free agent cornerback took to Instagram to bid farewell to his fans in Tennessee. 

To the Titans’ fans: Thank you for all the love. The energy and support this past season is what led to an epic run,” Ryan wrote. “To my Titans teammates: I love all y’all. Being a leader and earning y’all respect is what meant most to me. Win or lose we stuck together and backed down from no one.”

Ryan joined the Titans on a three-year, $30MM contract prior to the 2017 season and became a fixture in the starting lineup. This year, they’re going in a different direction. Ryan finished out 2019 with 113 tackles and 4.5 sacks, showing that he’s still an effective player. With a proven track record and the ability to move around the secondary, Ryan shouldn’t have a hard time finding work – it just boils down to how much he’s asking for.

In March, Ryan refused to accept anything less than the $10MM salary he earned on his last deal, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Jets, who struck out on most of their targets this spring, would be a logical fit, and they’ll have the cap room to sign someone like Ryan once Trumaine Johnson is off the books. The Giants, who could use some support on both the outside and in the slot, would also make some sense for Ryan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Eyeing CB Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan could be heading back to the AFC East. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets have discussed making a run at the veteran cornerback. The Jets would need to “free up money” in order to pursue the 29-year-old.

We heard earlier this offseason that Ryan was hoping to earn at least $10MM in 2020. As Mehta notes, the Jets are currently sitting with around $10MM in cap space, although they’ll open up an additional $11MM in cash after June 1st thanks to the Trumaine Johnson designation. While the financials would obviously work (especially if Ryan is willing to lower his demands), “Gang Green’s relatively stringent budget would have to be loosened,” according to the reporter.

The versatile defensive back would be a logical fit for Gregg Williams‘ defense. Ryan had one of his most productive seasons in 2019, setting career-highs in tackles (113), passes defended (18), sacks (4.5), and forced fumbles (four). Even if the veteran does eventually transition to safety, Mehta is of the opinion that he’s “the kind of player that Williams covets.”

After winning a pair of Super Bowls during his four seasons in New England, Ryan signed a three-year, $30MM deal with the Titans back in 2017. He’s started each of his 45 regular season games with Tennessee, and there were rumblings earlier this month that he could end up landing back with the Titans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Ngakoue, Titans

The Colts clearly made a quarterback upgrade a top priority this offseason. In addition to the research done on Philip Rivers and Tom Brady, and a Nick Foles trade inquiry with a division rival, the Colts looked into Andy Dalton. The Colts discussed Dalton with the Bengals, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link). It is not clear how far the discussions progressed, but Rapoport suggests Dalton would have needed to agree to reduce his 2020 salary. The veteran quarterback is set to make $17.5MM in base salary. The Colts viewed Rivers as a better option than Foles, Rapoport adds, and may well have felt the same about the prospect of giving up assets for Dalton as opposed to paying Rivers $25MM.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Yannick Ngakoue still wants out of Jacksonville. The franchise-tagged defensive end insists he wants a trade from the Jaguars because of issues with the franchise that do not involve money, the disgruntled defensive end tweets. The Jaguars fired executive VP Tom Coughlin late last season. Grievances came the Jags’ way due largely to Coughlin’s actions, and Jalen Ramsey expressed issues with the since-dismissed exec. Ngakoue still harboring ill will toward the franchise suggests he took issue with Jaguars staffers beyond Coughlin. Ngakoue left Jags OTAs last year, skipped minicamp and broke off extension talks with the organization. The Jags were believed to have taken the unusual step of offering Ngakoue a short-term deal. It appears he will be traded this offseason.
  • Logan Ryan remains a free agent, but it does not seem the door is closed on the veteran cornerback returning to Tennessee. The Titans have maintained talks with Ryan’s representation, Tennessee GM Jon Robinson said Wednesday. The last we heard on Ryan, the longtime starter was holding out hope for a $10MM-per-year offer. That being nearly two weeks ago points to Ryan maybe needing to settle for less.
  • Robinson expressed similar strategies regarding his team’s backup quarterback and backup running back situations. The Titans are not satisfied with these spots, though they are not ruling out respective promotions for Logan Woodside and Dalyn Dawkins. However, Robinson said the team will keep monitoring the free agent market and look in the draft for potential upgrades. The Titans released Dion Lewis, their complementary back of the past two years, and predictably let Marcus Mariota walk in free agency.
  • The Titans also will hold a kicking competition. They signed Greg Joseph off the Panthers’ practice squad last year and moved on from Ryan Succop this offseason, but Robinson adds that the team will bring in another kicker to vie for the job with Joseph. Tennessee kickers made a stunning eight field goals last season, going 8-for-18 on the season.

Titans’ Logan Ryan Holding Out For $10MM/Year

This is breaking news. Please refresh for updates.

Titans free agent defensive back Logan Ryan stands as one of the best players still on the market. With that in mind, he’s not about to leap at any offer thrown his way.

Ryan is entertaining all offers and he’s willing to consider a short-term deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears from someone close to him. However, he’s unwilling to accept anything less than the ~$10MM salary he earned in 2019.

Ryan joined the Titans on a three-year, $30MM contract prior to the 2017 season. He’s been a fixture in the starting lineup ever since. Last year, Ryan finished out with 113 tackles and 4.5 sacks. With a proven track record and the ability to move around the secondary, Ryan figures to find a solid payday in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.