Maliek Collins will relocate for the second straight offseason. The veteran defensive tackle agreed to terms with the Texans on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
The former Cowboys draftee and 2020 Raiders contributor will sign a one-year contract worth up to $6MM, Schefter adds. This could represent good value for the rebuilding Texans, with Collins having started 66 games in his five-year career.
A third-round Cowboys pick in 2016, Collins became a Dallas regular immediately. He will a Houston D-line that lost J.J. Watt this offseason. Collins, who will turn 26 next month, played 12 games last season (11 starts) but failed to record a sack or a tackle for loss as a Raider.
This represents a “prove it”-type deal for the longtime starter. The Texans will surely add more starters to a defense that has fallen on hard times in recent years.
Maliek Collins has started throughout his first Raiders season but will see an injury pause his initial post-Cowboys campaign.
The Raiders are placing the first-string defensive tackle on IR Wednesday, per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur (on Twitter). Collins has started in the 10 games in which he’s played this year but must miss at least the next three. Collins was listed on the Raiders’ injury report with ankle and hamstring issues, but Jon Gruden said the D-lineman has a shoulder injury as well (Twitter link via Tafur).
While the Raiders gave Collins a one-year deal worth $6MM, he has struggled. Pro Football Focus currently has the fifth-year veteran slotted as the league’s worst full-time interior defender. Collins has yet to record a sack and has just one quarterback hit this season.
Working under current Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli in Dallas, Collins recorded multiple sacks in each of his first four seasons. He also notched at least eight QB hits in each of his Cowboy campaigns, creating a mid-level market for himself this offseason.
The Raiders placed these seven players on their reserve/COVID list earlier this week, preventing each from practicing. They joined Lamarcus Joyner in that regard; the Raiders activated Joyner on Friday. This octet profiled as close contacts ofClelin Ferrell, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. Abram, Hankins, Key, Collins, Johnson and Vickers will be eligible to play against the Chiefs if their most recent COVID tests come back negative Sunday morning. Irving must be activated off the Raiders’ practice squad to suit up in Week 11.
Unlike Week 7’s Raiders-Buccaneers game — which was moved out of the Sunday-night window after Las Vegas’ first-string offensive line did not practice all week because of Trent Brown‘s positive COVID test — the NFL did not switch this week’s Raiders-Chiefs rematch out of the Sunday-night time slot.
3:06pm: The Raiders already prepared for a game without their first-string offensive line. They will face another difficult task ahead of their Week 11 rematch with the Chiefs.
At least eight members of the Raiders’ starting defense will land on their reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Some of Las Vegas’ non-starter contributors on defense will also surface on the COVID list soon.
These players qualify as high-risk close contacts, and while Rapoport and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero note they are not ruled out of Sunday night’s game (Twitter link), this certainly will bring another challenge for a team accustomed to dealing with them on the coronavirus front.
This news comes after the Raiders placedClelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner on their coronavirus list. The former tested positive for COVID-19, Rapoport tweets. With two starters already on the list — and Ferrell set to miss the team’s Week 11 game — Wednesday’s news would cover almost every other starting defender. The latest slew of players set to appear on Vegas’ COVID list are indeed close Ferrell contacts, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets.
Players who land on the virus list must isolate for five days. That timetable starts not at the point they land on the list but dates back to the individuals’ last contact with someone who contracted the virus. The Raiders are currently down right tackle Trent Brown due to COVID-19 and have lost a 2021 draft choice — and more than $1MM in total this season — because of failure to comply with the NFL’s COVID protocols.
Ahead of their Week 7 game against the Buccaneers, the Raiders practiced without Brown and the rest of their starting offensive line because of the group qualifying as high-risk close contacts of the mammoth tackle. The rest of the Raiders’ O-line returned to face the Bucs, which was moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon. With more Raiders out of practice because of the virus a month later, it would not be surprising if the NFL removes this game from the Sunday-night time slot as well to create flexibility in the event a postponement is necessary.
Here are the latest contract details as of Sunday night. We will focus on the AFC here.
Bryan Bulaga, T (Chargers): Three years, $30MM. $19.25MM guaranteed; $10MM signing bonus. Bulaga’s salaries in 2020 ($1.5MM) and 2021 ($7.75MM) are guaranteed. A $2.5MM roster bonus is due on Day 3 of the 2022 league year, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
Randall Cobb, WR (Texans): Three years, $27MM. $18MM guaranteed; $6MM signing bonus. Base salaries in 2020 ($3.75MM) and ’21 ($8.25MM) are guaranteed; non-guaranteed salary of $7.9MM in 2022. Wilson notes (on Twitter).
Rodney Gunter, DL (Jaguars): Three years, $18MM. $11.15MM guaranteed; $4.25MM signing bonus. 2020 and ’21 base salaries of $2MM and $4.9MM are guaranteed. Non-guaranteed 2022 base of $5.4MM, per Wilson (on Twitter).
Vic Beasley, OLB (Titans): One year, $9.5MM. The $9.5MM is guaranteed and includes a $6MM signing bonus. $2.5MM worth of sack-based incentives exist in the deal, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
Still just 24 years old, Collins has already started 55 games in his four-year career, and while Collins has never put up big numbers, he has a rare combination of experience and youth valuable to any team. In 2019, Collins recorded 4 sacks, 20 tackles, 10 quarterback hits, and 6 tackles for loss.
The Cowboys will now need to look for another option along the front four, while the Raiders have a young, new addition to enter into the fold.
January 13th, 2019 at 1:42pm CST by Dallas Robinson
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.
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 $2MM in 2019. 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 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:
The Cowboys boast more defensive line depth than they have in the recent past, and they are expecting to have one of their starters back in time for the regular season. Executive VP Stephen Jones expects Maliek Collins to be ready to go by Week 1. Jones indicated during a Saturday radio interview with 105.3 KRLD-FM (via the Dallas Morning News) that Collins, who suffered another foot injury this offseason but was activated from the PUP list last week, may well be on a pitch count upon returning. He may no longer be a starter, however, with Tyrone Crawford having moved to defensive tackle. Crawford and Antwaun Woods are currently Dallas’ inside starters. Collins has started 30 of the 32 games he’s played since arriving as a third-round pick, so this would create some depth — something Jones said isn’t as prevalent at defensive tackle as it is at end — inside.
Here’s the latest out of Dallas:
Stephen Jones dismissed the prospect of Byron Jones returning to safety due to the team’s situation there. Byron Jones is now a cornerback, with new secondary coach Kris Richard preferring taller corners who can press, and Stephen Jones has praised the development the former first-round safety’s made at his new position.
Kavon Frazier is now working as Dallas’ starting strong safety, replacing the injured Xavier Woods for the time being, and that’s resulted in Jeff Heath moving to free safety, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Cowboys do not view the recently signed Jeron Johnson as a starter but instead more of a depth piece behind the current first-stringers. Watkins writes the Cowboys discussed George Iloka, who opted for the Vikings on a league-minimum agreement, but liked Johnson because of his positional flexibility. Stephen Jones hinted at (Twitter link, via the Morning News’ Jon Machota) another safety potentially being added after preseason cuts commence.
While the Cowboys discussed Earl Thomas with the Seahawks, they did not replace Jason Witten with a high- or medium-profile player. Geoff Swaim, a 2015 seventh-round pick with nine career catches, will replace the future Hall of Famer in the starting lineup, per Watkins, who adds 2017 UDFA Blake Jarwin is the No. 2 tight end. Rico Gathers may not have a way onto the roster, with Watkins expecting Dallas to carry three tight ends. The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round, and he almost certainly will be the No. 3 player here.
Stephen Jones dropped an interesting hint about what the Cowboys may be planning with their reconfigured wide receiver corps. The team may choose to carry more than six at this spot. “Traditionally we’ve kept five or six receivers. But if I’m a betting man, I think that ends up being more than five or six,” Jones said (Twitter link, via Machota) of how the Cowboys plan to handle their Week 1 roster. Watkins views Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams and third-round rookie Michael Gallup as locks. UFA addition Deonte Thompson and second-year man Noah Brown are currently dealing with injuries, but it doesn’t look like they’re out of the running as a result.
The Packers selected Washington State offensive guard Cole Madison in the fifth round of this past year’s draft. However, the rookie has sat on the did not report list and hasn’t attended training camp. While his absence isn’t encouraging, general manager BrianGutekunst is confident that he’ll be able to contribute eventually.
“We’re fully supportive of what’s going on,” Gutekunst told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “He’s dealing with a [personal] issue, when that issue is resolved we’ll get back to the football part of it.”
Gutekunst added that he believes Madison wants to continue playing, and he even hinted that the rookie could end up returning to the team at some point during the preseason.
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…
The Cowboys received some good news today. Howard Balzer tweets that Maliek Collins has passed his physical and been activated from the physically unable to perform list. The 23-year-old has undergone a pair of surgeries over the past four months to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot. With several weeks to go before the end of the preseason, the Cowboys are confident Collins can return for the start of the regular season. “He’s just progressing,” Cowboys coach JasonGarrett said earlier this week (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “He’s done a really good job with his rehab, and we’re taking him day-by-day, we’ll see if he’s available at some point to come practice here in the next week or so.” Collins finished last season with 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
The BroncossignedAlexander Johnson earlier today, and it sounds like the organization has high hopes for the embattled linebacker. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that the organization is giving the rookie $50K in guaranteed money, more than they gave to any of their other undrafted rookies. The former Tennessee star, who has dealt with his share of off-field issues, hasn’t played organized football in more than four years.
Denver wasn’t the only suitor for Johnson. Volin tweets that the Dolphins (along with a “couple other teams”) had expressed interest in the rookie linebacker before he joined the Broncos.
Former Southern Miss wide receiver Allenzae Staggers worked out for the Redskins today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Following a breakout 2016 campaign where he hauled in 63 receptions for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns, the wideout took a step back in 2017, finishing with 44 catches for 471 yards.