Logan Ryan

Contract Restructures: Graham, Nassib, Ryan

With the start of Week 1 quickly approaching, NFL front offices are still finding ways to open some cap space. A handful of players restructured their contracts today, and we’ve compiled some of the notable transactions below:

  • TE Jimmy Graham, Bears: Converted $5.825MM of salary into signing bonus, opening $4.66MM in cap space while also adding four voidable years to contract (via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter). The veteran inked a two-year, $16MM deal with the Bears prior to last season, and he finished his first season in Chicago with 50 receptions for 456 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • DE Carl Nassib, Raiders: Converted $2.51MM of salary into a signing bonus, opening $2.008MM in cap space (via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter). Nassib inked a three-year, $25MM deal (including $16.75MM guaranteed) with the Raiders last offseason. The 28-year-old got into 14 games (five starts) during his first season in Las Vegas, finishing with 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and nine QB hits.
  • DB Logan Ryan, Giants: Converted “most of the base salary” into signing bonus (per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). The veteran was set to earn around $5.5MM this upcoming season. After inking a one-year deal with the Giants last offseason, Ryan signed a three-year, $31MM extension (with $20MM guaranteed) in December. After switching from cornerback to safety, Ryan finished his first season in New York with 94 tackles, three forced fumbles, nine passes defended, and one interception.
  • OT Duane Brown, Seahawks: Converted $7MM of base salary into signing bonus, saving the team $3.5MM in cap space. After skipping training camp in pursuit of an extension, we learned earlier today that the veteran lineman got an extra year tacked onto his contract. Indeed, as veteran reporter John Clayton points out, Brown got an extra year “with an injury protection benefit for 2022.”

Giants Sign Logan Ryan To Extension

It’s an especially Merry Christmas for Logan Ryan. On Friday morning, the Giants agreed to a three-year, $31MM extension with the veteran safety, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

The deal includes $20MM in guarantees, assuring that Ryan will be a part of the team’s plans beyond 2021. It’s not immediately clear how much of that $20MM figure is guaranteed at signing, but a good portion of that sum should be locked in for Year One.

Ryan, 30 in February, hooked on with the Giants just before the start of the season. His history with head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham helped to bring him to New York, but his talent and versatility were the real drivers.

The one-year, $7.5MM deal paid off for the G-Men, and they’re now rewarding him with the $10MM/year figure that he had been seeking throughout the offseason. In 2019, Ryan led all NFL corners last season with 113 tackles. He graded as one of the league’s top slot defenders, per Pro Football Focus, but ultimately had to make the switch to safety.

It hasn’t been a banner year for the Giants on the whole, but Ryan has been solid throughout. Through 14 games, the Rutgers product has 83 stops, one interception, one sack, three forced fumbles, and nine passes defensed to his credit. Now, he has security with a contract that could take him all the way to the end of his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Newton, Dolphins, Jets

Cam Newton was reported Monday to be asymptomatic after his positive COVID-19 test, and with nothing changing on that front Tuesday, the Patriots quarterback could return to practice as soon as Thursday. While no other players on New England’s active roster tested positive, the team placed practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray on its reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. Murray did not make the trip to Kansas City, per NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran (on Twitter), but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes the young defender did stay at the hotel near Gillette Stadium with teammates previously.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, moving first to the Dolphins’ quarterback situation:

  • Brian Flores did not commit to Ryan Fitzpatrick receiving a fifth start when asked earlier this week, but the Dolphins‘ second-year head coach did so Tuesday. Fitzpatrick will start against the 49ers. Flores said Tua Tagovailoa‘s 2019 hip injury remains a factor in the Dolphins’ decision-making. The former Alabama prodigy’s past injury issues have helped keep Fitzpatrick in the lineup. Fitz has thrown four touchdown passes, five interceptions and interestingly holds the league’s No. 9 QBR figure (75.3). But with questions about Fitzpatrick’s job status taking place before Week 5, Tagovailoa will surely make his debut this season.
  • Before ultimately deciding on the Giants, Logan Ryan was squarely on the Jets‘ radar. The most recent report indicated Jets GM Joe Douglas nixed a Ryan agreement because it leaked to the media, with contract demands almost certainly playing a role as well, but Ryan said during a radio interview with WFAN the Jets did not make an offer (Twitter link). Ryan estimated he talked to nearly every team this offseason, one in which he was a free agent for more than five months. Barring a Giants extension, the veteran defensive back is slated to be a free agent again in 2021.
  • The Jets did not plan on using injured left tackle Mekhi Becton last week, but replacement Chuma Edoga going down in the first quarter prompted them to reinsert their ailing starter into the lineup. Adam Gase said the nature of Becton’s injury would have prevented him from making it worse, calling it a pain-tolerance issue. The Louisville alum is said to be dealing with a capsule issue in his shoulder, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. This pertains to the ligament surrounding the shoulder joint. Becton played just 17 snaps in Week 4. The first-round pick has played well when healthy but has seen this injury stall his development.
  • Gang Green may be without its left tackle and starting quarterback in Week 5. The Jets are not expected to play Sam Darnold against the Cardinals, with the team on track to proceed with caution after the quarterback was slammed to turf during the Jets’ loss to the Broncos.

AFC East Notes: Douglas, Pats, White

Jets head coach Adam Gase may soon receive his walking papers, and though the leash for GM Joe Douglas will be a bit longer, Douglas is not without blame for the club’s struggles over his first 16 months or so on the job. In a piece that colorfully recounts all of Douglas’ missteps, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News includes an interesting nugget indicating that Douglas nixed an impending agreement for free agent DB Logan Ryan — whom Douglas reportedly coveted — because he was unhappy that the agreement was leaked to the media.

To be fair, other reporters wrote that Ryan’s asking price was the real obstacle to the deal, and Mehta himself has noted on more than one occasion that Douglas is operating under owner-imposed financial constraints, so it’s unclear what actually prevented Ryan from joining Gang Green. And obviously the Jets would still look just as directionless with Ryan as they do without, but when Douglas’ body of work is laid out in black-and-white, one can understand any skepticism Jets fans might feel about the GM’s abilities.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • Doug Kyed of NESN.com believes the Patriots should try to trade for a top-flight wide receiver. His piece was published before QB Cam Newton threw the ball all over the place in the team’s narrow loss to the Seahawks in Week 2, but in New England’s Week 3 triumph over the Raiders, it was clear that Newton could use another receiving threat. After posting eight catches for 179 yards against Seattle, Julian Edelman caught just two passes for 23 yards against Las Vegas, and the Pats want to reduce Edelman’s snap count. Meanwhile, N’Keal Harry is still coming into his own, and Damiere Byrd is hardly irreplaceable. Kyed believes a player like the Bears’ Allen Robinson would be a great fit, and that New England should not be hesitant to give up 2021 draft capital.
  • Prior to the Patriots‘ win over Las Vegas, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com suggested that Sony Michel needed a big game to keep his job as New England’s RB1, and Michel delivered. He reeled off 117 yards on just nine carries, though he and J.J. Taylor both had 11 touches and Rex Burkhead had 13 (three of which ended in touchdowns). As usual, it looks like the Pats will take a committee approach to their backfield, and the committee will become even more crowded when Damien Harris returns from IR. Still, it’s encouraging for New England that Michel, who has not exactly lived up to his status as a former first-rounder, looked as good as he did.
  • The Bills signed cornerback Tre’Davious White to a massive extension shortly before the season started, a deal that temporarily positioned him as the highest-paid CB in the league in terms of AAV ($17.25MM). But as Jason Wolf of the Buffalo News writes, some league observers believe Buffalo came out ahead in that deal, as Jalen Ramsey signed a five-year, $105MM extension shortly after the ink dried on White’s contract. The NFL world knew that Ramsey’s deal was coming soon, so pundits like Joel Corry of CBS Sports believe White could have gotten himself at least $19MM per year if he had been more patient, and that the Bills were wise to strike when they did. Of course, with $55MM in guaranteed money coming his way, most people won’t be too sad for White.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Giants, Smith

Jalen Reagor will miss the Eagles‘ season opener, and possibly the first two games of the year, with a labrum tear, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hears. The silver lining is that Reagor’s shoulder injury is not major and he will not require surgery. Reagor, the No. 21 overall pick in the draft, racked up 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns over the course of three seasons at TCU. The speedster figures to play a significant role in the Eagles’ offense when he returns.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Carson Wentz has missed multiple Eagles practices due to an unspecified soft tissue injury, per Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, but Doug Pederson indicated the fifth-year quarterback is not dealing with anything major. While any Wentz injury is notable given his history, he will be expected to be under center in Week 1.
  • Logan Ryan‘s Giants deal is a one-year pact worth $5MM in base value, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The extra $2.5MM in Ryan’s contract comes through incentives. A playing-time structure covers $1.5MM of the incentives, with Florio adding that Ryan can earn up to $1.5MM through these escalators. Ryan would earn that sum if he plays 90% of the Giants’ snaps, however, and it would take an 80% snap rate for him to collect $1MM. The other $1MM in this deal involves accolades, with Ryan receiving $500K for a Pro Bowl honor and another $500K for an All-Pro nod. The seven-year veteran has never made a Pro Bowl.
  • For the first time since his gruesome November 2018 injury, Alex Smith participated in team drills. The Washington quarterback took snaps in 11-on-11 sessions, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. Washington was not in full pads during this session, but the 36-year-old passer continues to work his way back after what looked like a career-ending injury. Ron Rivera would like to see Smith participate in a fully padded team session this week. Smith’s 2020 base salary ($16MM) is guaranteed. He is set to count $21.4MM against Washington’s cap this season.
  • Jason Peters has requested a raise to move back to left tackle, and it is not clear the Eagles will oblige. Peters is still working at guard with Philly, which has used Matt Pryor in place of injured left tackle Andre Dillard, per Bowen. A sixth-round pick in 2018, Pryor did not play as a rookie and has seen only 79 snaps of NFL action. Pryor primarily worked as a guard at TCU, though he made six starts at right tackle as a senior. This would be an interesting route for the Eagles to take, however, given their usual commitment to their offensive line.
  • DeAndre Baker‘s arraignment date has been moved back four months, with the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard reporting the Giants cornerback is now set to appear in court Jan. 20, 2021. This could potentially close the book on Baker’s 2020 season. A 2019 first-round pick, Baker faces four charges of armed robbery with a firearm. He resides on the commissioner’s exempt list.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Logan Ryan To Sign With Giants

The Giants are adding a big name to their secondary. Logan Ryan agreed to terms on a one-year, $7.5MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

While the value is not quite what Ryan hoped for earlier this offseason, it represents a nice payday for a player who spent more than five months in free agency. Ryan, who changed agents over the weekend, will also return to his native New Jersey for his eighth NFL season.

Earlier Monday, Ryan was reported to have interest in joining the Giants, who had been monitoring his market for a while. This will take one of the top free agents off the market. Although Ryan will have less than two weeks with his new team before Week 1, he has a history with new Giants head coach Joe Judge and DC Patrick Graham. Both were in New England during Ryan’s four-year Patriots tenure.

Ryan’s fit will be interesting, because the Giants could use help at multiple spots. The former Patriots and Titans slot defender recently marketed himself as a safety, citing his cornerback-most 113 tackles last season as a selling point. The Giants, though, saw Sam Beal opt out and DeAndre Baker land on the commissioner’s exempt list. But second-round pick Xavier McKinney, an expected safety starter, suffered a broken foot. Ryan saw far more time at slot corner than safety in 2019. Regardless, the Rutgers product will be expected to be a full-time player for the Giants this season.

The 29-year-old defender intercepted four passes last season and has 17 career picks; 13 of those came with the Patriots. The Jets were close to a deal with Ryan earlier this year, and the Dolphins expressed interest in adding another ex-Patriot to their roster. The Ravens were also moderately interested, though Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets Baltimore was not prepared to pay $7.5MM. But the Giants won out and will help their needy defense with a player who may play a versatile role in 2020.

The Giants ranked 31st in pass-defense DVOA last season. They have now added Ryan and James Bradberry to their secondary, which could include McKinney during the season’s second half. He looms as an IR-return candidate. While questions remain about Big Blue’s pass rush, their secondary looks to be upgraded.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mutual Interest Between Giants, Logan Ryan

With issues at cornerback, safety and outside linebacker, the Giants are set to again enter Week 1 with major questions about their pass defense. But they may be eyeing 11th-hour help.

The Giants have been eyeing Logan Ryan for months, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes the free agent defensive back has interest in signing with the NFC’s Big Apple franchise (Twitter link).

Ryan has carried a high price tag this offseason, which has led to his lengthy stay in free agency. Earlier this year, Ryan was reported to be seeking a $10MM-AAV deal. No team appeared willing to pay that price. However, the veteran slot cornerback has recently marketed himself as a safety and changed agents.

The Giants are down cornerback DeAndre Baker (on the commissioner’s exempt list) and rookie safety Xavier McKinney (broken foot). Ryan would help Big Blue’s secondary, potentially in multiple capacities.

Ryan, 29, has a history with both Joe Judge and new Giants DC Patrick Graham. Judge was on New England’s staff throughout Ryan’s four-season tenure, while Graham was there for Ryan’s first three NFL seasons.

Although the Giants hold more than $22MM in cap space, Raanan adds they will not splurge for Ryan. The team handed out some big deals in free agency this year — to James Bradberry and Blake Martinez — but has held firm on further upgrades to its defense. The Giants laid back on the edge rusher market in March and have not expressed interest in Jadeveon Clowney, despite the Pro Bowler’s reported interest in a New York stay.

Ryan has played seven seasons with the Patriots and Titans. He led all corners last season, by a significant margin, with 113 tackles and graded as one of the top slot defenders, per Pro Football Focus. The Giants ranked 31st in pass-defense DVOA last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Logan Ryan Hires New Agent

Free agent DB Logan Ryan has hired one of the NFL’s top agents, Joel Segal, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). Rapoport says Ryan is “poised to do a deal.”

It’s unclear if that means Ryan, 29, is set to sign a contract or just that Segal has some ideas to get his new client signed as the regular season draws closer. Ryan, who is now marketing himself as a safety, has seen his name crop up in some informal speculation recently.

The Ravens just parted ways with Earl Thomas, thereby opening up a theoretical spot for Ryan, and the Browns lost rookie safety Grant Delpit for the season due to an Achilles tear. Meanwhile, Browns’ starting corner Greedy Williams is dealing with a shoulder injury, so Cleveland could definitely use some reinforcements in the secondary.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the Browns have likely inquired about Ryan, but the most recent reports regarding his salary demands indicated that he was looking for a $10MM/year contract. That number has almost certainly come down, so we will see if he can come to terms with a new club in the coming days.

Ryan led all corners — by a significant margin — in tackles last season, racking up 113 combined. No other corner topped 82. The then-Titans slot defender also paced corners with 73 solo tackles. Ryan’s tackling prowess extended to his New England days as well, with the former Patriots starter registering 74 solo stops in 2016.

Ryan only played 22 snaps at safety — compared to 855 in the slot and 243 at outside corner — last season. Still, his intelligence and experience should make the switch to safety a relatively straightforward one, and though his coverage abilities at corner are not as strong as they used to be, he can still serve as effective CB depth if necessary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Logan Ryan Preparing To Play Safety

A free agent for nearly five months, Logan Ryan is now making a versatility-based pitch in hopes of securing the kind of contract he has sought this offseason.

The unattached cornerback now views himself as a safety, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noting Ryan’s agent emailed all 32 teams stats comparing his client to the top NFL safeties (Twitter link).

Ryan indeed led all corners — by a significant margin — in tackles last season, racking up 113 combined. No other corner topped 82. The then-Titans slot defender also paced corners with 73 solo stops. Ryan’s tackling prowess extended to his New England days as well, with the former Patriots starter registering 74 solo stops in 2016.

Ryan, however, only played 22 snaps at safety — compared to 855 in the slot and 243 at outside corner — last season. Earlier this summer, teams were reportedly viewing Ryan as a nickel corner. This could be an 11th-hour attempt for the 29-year-old defender to pitch himself as a defensive chess piece.

Nearly three months have passed since Ryan appeared squarely on the Jets’ radar. They have a greater need at corner than safety, despite the Jamal Adams trade. The Dolphins expressed interest at multiple junctures, but that also has cooled. Ryan sought a $10MM-per-year deal earlier this offseason. That no longer seems realistic, and with the cap likely set to drop in 2021, the seven-year veteran may need to reduce his expectations. But he is making another effort to secure a respectable deal ahead of the 2020 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.