Marcedes Lewis

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Packers To Re-Sign TE Marcedes Lewis

Marcedes Lewis is returning to Green Bay. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Packers are re-signing the tight end to a one-year deal.

The 34-year-old joined the Packers last offseason following a standout career with the Jaguars. He didn’t show much of his pass-catching prowess during his first season in Green Bay, hauling in only three receptions in 16 games.

On the flip side, Lewis did earn his worth in the blocking game. While he didn’t earn enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus‘ rankings, he would have graded out as an average to above-average run blocker.

The Packers will presumably continue to rely on him in the blocking game in 2019. The team still has Jimmy Graham sitting atop their depth chart, and they’re also rostering tight ends Robert Tonyan Jr.Evan Baylis, and Malcolm Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers GM Discusses Offseason, Bulaga, Lewis

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has been a busy man since being promoted to the gig in January. After having previously served as the team’s director of college scouting and director of player personnel, the executive is now hands-on with every aspect of the organization.

The 44-year-old recently appeared on a pair of Packers-centric podcasts, “Nagler’s Never Right” and PackersNews.com, to discuss some of his team’s offseason additions and his role as general manager (via Aaron Nagler of JSOnline.com and Jason B. Hirschhorn of NFL.com)…

On the signing of offensive lineman Byron Bell, and whether the addition was an indication that the Packers weren’t optimistic about starting tight tackle Bryan Bulaga‘s recovery from a torn ACL:

“I think moreso for us, we had an opportunity to add a guy who not only has started and played tackle, but guard as well. Having a guy that’s going to be able to compete with our group that has 40-some starts under his belt, I think that was something that was attractive to us…It was one of those things that as we moved on, we felt it would improve the entire group.”

On the addition of free agent tight end Marcedes Lewis:

“I don’t think that’s something we expected, for him to come loose. Obviously he had not only been a really good player for (the Jaguars) but an exceptional leader and teammate there.

“For us, I just think that we’re tickled to be able to get him. The amount of experience he has at that position, I think it’s really going to be valuable to us. The tight end position is one of those positions that it’s really tough for young players to come in and make an impact. Obviously, as much experience he has not only in the passing game, but as a blocker as well, I think it’s something that will hopefully provide a lot of positive things for us coming forward.”

On the fact that team president Mark Murphy retained the power to fire and hire head coaches (as opposed to the GM making the decision):

“It was certainly different than what I’ve been exposed to here in Green Bay. I needed some time to kind of process it. I think the thing to me that made it OK with me was the people. The relationships I already had with Mark [Murphy] and Mike McCarthy and Russ Ball. I think that’s what made it OK and made it easier for me. But it was certainly something I hadn’t seen or been a part of in my professional career.”

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Packers Notes: Lewis, Bell, McCarthy

Not every late offseason signing makes the cut, but it sounds like Marcedes Lewis will probably be a keeper for Green Bay. The veteran tight end’s one-year, $2.1MM deal includes a $500K signing bonus, according to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. Lewis will also earn another $500K bonus if he’s on the team’s opening day roster.

Lewis, a powerful run blocker, figures to do the dirty work while Jimmy Graham racks up yards in Aaron Rodgers‘ offense. The 34-year-old wasn’t expecting to be released by the Jaguars this year, but he did manage to find a landing spot with another contender.

Here’s more from Green Bay:

  • Offensive tackle Byron Bell also seems fairly likely to make the final cut given the terms of his contract. Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets that Bell will earn a $500K signing bonus on his one-year deal. He’ll see $850K in base salary with an overall cap charge of $1.712MM. The Packers signed Bell earlier this week, which could signal that right tackle Bryan Bulaga is behind schedule in his recovery.
  • Historically, the Packers have been shy in free agency. Under the watch of GM Brian Gutekunst, the team appears to be more willing to make outside additions. Head coach Mike McCarthy is in favor of the change in philosophy. “I think it goes back to Brian’s comments and just the conversations we had,” McCarthy said (via Ryan Wood of USA Today). “Player acquisition is a 12-month process, and there’s definitely a pool of players that come available at this time of year.”
  • Rodgers may seek a player option in his next contract with the Packers.

Packers Sign TE Marcedes Lewis

The Packers have officially signed free agent tight end Marcedes Lewis. Lewis first made the agreement public via Instagram on Thursday following his visit to Green Bay’s facilities.

Green Bay, of course, already inked fellow tight end Jimmy Graham earlier this offseason, but Graham is far more likely to be placed in the slot than actually line up and block. While he’ll likely compete for backup tight end snaps with incumbent Lance Kendricks, Lewis may have the advantage, especially in the run game. Indeed, Pro Football Focus graded Lewis as the single-best run-blocking tight end in the NFL in 2017.

Lewis, who turned 34 years old last week, hasn’t been a prolific receiving threat in roughly a half-dozen years, but he won’t be asked to work much in the passing game given the presence of Graham and starting receivers Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Last season, Lewis posted numbers roughly in line with his age-30+ production, managing 24 receptions for 318 yards and five touchdowns, three of which came in a single Week 3 contest against the Ravens.

The Packers were the only club known to have expressed interest in Lewis, who was released by the Jaguars in late March. Jacksonville’s decision to part ways with Lewis came as a surprise, especially given that the club had exercised his 2018 option just a month prior. Lewis had been set to earn a base salary of $3.5MM for the upcoming campaign, but the Jaguars cleared that entire total by releasing the veteran tight end.

Green Bay won’t have to worry about sacrificing a compensatory pick in exchange for signing Lewis, as the May 8 deadline for free agents to factor into the comp pick formula has already passed. That may have been a more important consideration for former Packers general manager Ted Thompson, as new GM Brian Gutekunst has shown a willingness to explore free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Meet With TE Marcedes Lewis

Free agent tight end Marcedes Lewis is met with the Packers on Thursday, a source tells Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). Silverstein notes that the Packers’ level of interest is unclear at this time. 

Lewis, 34, would be a logical fit for the Packers since they could use a quality blocking tight end. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the league’s best run blocker, ahead of Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

The Packers will rely on Jimmy Graham heavily in the passing game while using Lance Kendricks as an H-Back but they’ll need some blockers at the tight end position. They could get what they need out of a group including Robert Tonyan, Ryan Smith, and Kevin Rader, but no one in that trio offers a resume like Lewis’.

Although he has not put up big numbers since 2012, Lewis still managed to appear in all 16 games as he reeled in 24 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Offensively, his best season came in 2010 when he had 58 caches for 700 yards and ten touchdowns en route to his first and only Pro Bowl selection.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers To Meet With Marcedes Lewis

The Packers are interested in tight end Marcedes Lewis, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hears. With that in mind, Green Bay expects to meet with the free agent this week. 

The Jaguars released Lewis in March after 12 seasons with the team. Over the past six weeks, we’ve heard very little regarding the veteran.

I think I deserved a little better than I got,” Lewis said after learning of his release. “I wish they would have done it sooner.”

Lewis, who just turned 34 last week, would be a logical fit for the Packers as they look for a quality blocking tight end. Lewis hasn’t topped 25 catches in each of the last five years, but he offers the protection and veteran leadership that the Packers are seeking.

Although he he has not been consistently used as a pass-catching weapon since 2012, Lewis still managed to appear in all 16 games as he reeled in 24 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the league’s best run blocker, edging out Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

The Packers already have Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks on board, but Graham does little in the way of blocking and Kendricks has been deployed mainly as an H-back int he past. Beyond those two, the Packers have a tight end group of young undrafted players including Robert Tonyan, Ryan Smith, and Kevin Rader.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Release Marcedes Lewis

Marcedes Lewis is hitting the free agent market. The Jaguars will release the tight end after 12 seasons with the team, according to Mark Long of the AP (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Jaguars Release WR Allen Hurns]

The moves comes as a surprise since the Jaguars exercised their 2018 option for Lewis in late February. Then again, their March signing of Austin Seferian-Jenkins made Lewis less of a priority and new pickup Niles Paul crowds the depth chart somewhat. Paul now figures to serve as ASJ’s primary understudy with Ben Koyack, James O’Shaughnessy, and David Grinnage vying for the No. 3 TE role.

I think I deserved a little better than I got,” Lewis said of the release (Twitter link). “I wish they would have done it sooner.”

Lewis’ $3.5MM salary for this season was not guaranteed, so the release will not leave any dead money on Jacksonville’s cap. He leaves the team with the third most games played in franchise history. It wasn’t always fun times for Lewis as the 2017 campaign marked just the second winning campaign he’s experienced in his career.

Even though he’ll turn 34 in May, Lewis figures to find a healthy market for his services. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the league’s best run blocker, edging out Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Exercise TE Marcedes Lewis’ Option

The Jaguars have exercised their 2018 options for tight end Marcedes Lewis, tackle Josh Wells, and guard/center Tyler Shatley, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.Marcedes Lewis

Lewis, 33, has been with the Jaguars ever since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2006, but the 2017 campaign marked just the second winning campaign he’s experienced during his 12-year career. While he stopped being a prolific receiving threat roughly a half-dozen seasons ago, Lewis is still perhaps the best blocking tight end in the league — indeed, Pro Football Focus graded Lewis first overall in run-blocking with a 87.1 mark, just ahead of Rob Gronkowski.

Given the importance of the run game in Jacksonville (and Lewis’ contributions to that aspect of the Jaguars’ offense), the veteran tight end’s $3.5MM base salary and $500K bonus for 2018 is eminently affordable. The Jaguars could even choose to tack on an extra year to Lewis’ contract later this offseason, as he’s expressed a desire to remain in Jacksonville for the entirety of his career, tweets O’Halloran.

Wells and Shatley, meanwhile, acted as reserves along Jacksonville’s offensive line last season. Both started four games a year ago, with Wells filling in at both tackle spots and Shatley taking over at center for an injured Brandon Linder. Wells will now earn $705K in base salary for the 2018 campaign, while Shatley will collect $790K.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.