Marcus Cannon

AFC East Notes: Bell, Bills, Cannon, Dolphins

At last, a piece of good news for the Jets. It appears Le’Veon Bell‘s MRI came back clean, with ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweeting the exam showed no tears or notable damage in Bell’s injured shoulder. Bell played every Jets offensive snap Sunday, and Jets doctors felt the veteran running back would need more than just a couple days’ rest to surmount this shoulder setback. But this MRI looks to be a good sign for his availability Monday night against the Browns. Should Bell play, he will be taking handoffs from Trevor Siemian. Sam Darnold is out with mono.

Let’s look at the latest from the other AFC East teams:

  • Marcus Cannon left Sunday night’s Patriots win because of a shoulder injury and may miss time. New England’s starting right tackle underwent tests this week, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, who adds this injury is not believed to be a long-term setback. Cannon is practicing on a limited basis. Guard Joe Thuney moved to right tackle against the Steelers, but Reiss adds swing tackle Korey Cunningham may draw that assignment against the Dolphins (Twitter links). Cunningham was inactive in Week 1. The Pats just signed Marshall Newhouse as well, pointing to a possible Cannon absence in Miami.
  • Teams have been monitoring the Dolphins‘ situation regarding trades, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes GMs have been calling Chris Grier about potential deals. The Dolphins have traded Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills, Ryan Tannehill and Robert Quinn this year. However, there is not much left in terms of trade assets on the roster, at least among players the Dolphins would be willing to deal.
  • Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson drew a six-game suspension Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Dodson, a rookie UDFA who has resided on the commissioner’s exempt list, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in May.

Patriots OT Marcus Cannon Restructures Contract

Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon has agreed to a restructured contract, as originally reported by Michael Silver of NFL.com.

Cannon, who is signed through 2021, had been scheduled to collect a $5.5MM salary and up to $500K in per-game roster bonuses in 2019. Instead, he’ll now earn a $1MM base salary, a $3.5MM signing bonus, and up to $1.5MM in per-game roster bonuses, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Per Silver, New England also added incentives to Cannon’s deal that could raise its remaining value to more than $24MM.

Because Cannon’s new $3.5MM signing bonus will be prorated through the rest of his contract, the right tackle’s 2019 cap charge will decrease from $7.456MM to $4.935MM, a savings of roughly $2.5MM. Cannon can still make $6MM for the 2019 campaign, but he’ll need to be active for all 16 regular season games in order to do so (as a result of his new per-game roster bonus figure).

Cannon, 31, became a full-time starter for the Patriots in 2016 and inked a five-year, $32.5MM extension that fall. He’s been a high-quality right tackle ever since, although injuries have forced him to miss 12 games over the past two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at ProFootballTalk.com.

AFC East Rumors: Patriots, McMillan, Bills

A calf injury forced Marcus Cannon to miss the Patriots‘ preseason slate and resurfaced in New England’s Week 1 win over Houston. But the Pats’ right tackle starter looks on track to return on Sunday night. Cannon made progress this week, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (subscription required), and the Patriots announced he did make the trip to Detroit on Saturday. LaAdrian Waddle started for Cannon against the Jaguars. Cannon was signed to an extension to be the Patriots’ long-term right tackle, but he played in only seven games last season. It looks like he’ll have a chance to establish some consistency beginning in Week 3.

Here’s more out of New England and other AFC East locales:

  • Although Brandon Beane serves as the Bills‘ GM, it’s Sean McDermott who establishes the franchise’s tone “from top to bottom,” Tim Graham of The Athletic writes in an expansive piece about how the Bills’ rebuild is going thus far. The offseason mistakes Beane made in adding Vontae Davis, Jeremy Kerley, Corey Coleman and Russell Bodine may increase McDermott’s voice within the organization, Graham adds.
  • It will be a stretch for Trey Flowers to play this week. Howe notes Bill Belichick hasn’t deployed a player who’s missed an entire week of practice in at least 10 years. The Patriots’ top pass rusher was sidelined all week because of a concussion. Patrick Chung is in the same boat. Of course, the concussion protocol being in place means it’s not up to Belichick whether or not Chung and Flowers can suit up Sunday. Both are listed as doubtful to face the Lions. A Flowers absence could free up a spot for 2017 third-rounder Derek Rivers, who has yet to play in a regular-season game.
  • The Dolphins‘ intentions for Raekwon McMillan — set to be their starting middle linebacker in 2017 prior to a season-nullifying injury — was not to play him in their nickel package, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. However, McMillan is now being used as a three-down player this year. Pro Football Focus has graded McMillan as one of its worst coverage ‘backers through two games, and Salguero adds Jerome Baker was brought in this year via third-round pick to help in coverage. While McMillan remains a part of Miami’s nickel set, Baker is pushing for a role there, per Salguero, as passing-down backs like James White, Giovani Bernard and Tarik Cohen loom on the Fins’ first-half schedule.
  • On the subject of nickel work, the Patriots‘ bringing back Cyrus Jones for a possible nickel role, Howe adds. Although the former Pats second-round pick was re-signed to serve as the punt returner, he worked as a safety and was given a chance to play in the slot during practice this week. Third-year Patriot Jonathan Jones currently serves as New England’s slot man. He’s graded well through two games, per PFF, which slots him as the NFL’s No. 21 corner thus far. Jonathan Jones, though, was in coverage during Dede Westbrook‘s back-breaking touchdown last week.

AFC Notes: Jets, Johnson, Patriots, Michel, Cannon Raiders, Hankins

When Jets owner Woody Johnson accepted the role as ambassador to the U.K., he left the team under the leadership of his brother Christopher. Given the relative success and cultural improvements the organization has seen under Christopher’s watch, there’s been a lot of speculation about what will happen when Woody returns from his political appointment.

Christopher himself is being quite open about the fact that he wants to stay on with the Jets, saying “no question, I’m hoping to have a larger role” even after his brother returns according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). He added that he thinks Woody will be receptive to it, saying “I think he’d welcome that. I know that he would. I think that I have a new perspective at this point that would be valuable for the franchise.” Whatever happens, it’ll be interesting to watch it unfold as Christopher is reportedly well liked by the players.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • It looks like Sony Michel could be making his NFL debut this week. The first round pick of the Patriots missed most of the offseason and Week 1 due to a knee ailment, but has “made a lot of progress this week” and “the progress has been encouraging” for his Week 1 prospects according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Speaking of Patriots injuries, starting left tackle Marcus Cannon is looking unlikely to play and the team has “prepared LaAdrian Waddle this week to start” according to Howe (Twitter link). It’d be a big blow to the Patriots’ offensive line against Jacksonville’s dominant defensive front.
  • The details are in for the Raiders’ two recent defensive tackle signings. Johnathan Hankins will get $2MM for the season and Clinton McDonald will get $1.75MM according to Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Pelissero notes that almost every other recent veteran signing has been for the veterans minimum.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Cannon, Coleman

The Dolphins currently have three quarterbacks on the roster, and it looks like it will stay that way. Per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said he anticipates keeping three signal-callers all year, although he would not say whether David Fales or Brock Osweiler would serve as Ryan Tannehill‘s primary backup. Beasley suggests the No. 2 QB could change depending on the week (Twitter links).

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • The Dolphins cut former third-round pick Leonte Carroo yesterday, but Beasley tweets that Carroo could find himself on the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers. Although Carroo has disappointed in the pros thus far, other teams with a need at wide receiver may be willing to give him a shot.
  • Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon, who missed the entire preseason with a leg injury, is expected to be cleared to play in Week 1, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. As Howe details, Cannon’s availability could have an impact on other members of the team’s roster (Twitter link).
  • The Bills cut Corey Coleman yesterday, less than one month after trading a non-conditional draft pick for him and assuming his guaranteed base salaries in each of the next years. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes that Buffalo did not like Coleman’s attitude from the time he arrived, and the former first-rounder is also still dealing with tightness in his hamstrings. It is telling that the Bills would let Coleman go despite the team’s obvious need for receiving talent.
  • The Jets made a strong offer for Khalil Mack, but that offer did not include two first-round picks, which helped convince the Raiders to ship Mack to Chicago.

East Notes: Giants, OBJ, Cowboys, Patriots

The Giants don’t appear to have moved any closer to a contract extension for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. A source tells Vacchiano New York has taken a patient approach to negotiations, as the club not only wanted to check in on Beckham’s health after he missed most of the 2017 season, but his commitment. Beckham reported to training camp on time, an indication that he’s both ready to play and talk about a new deal. Despite his injury issues in 2017, Beckham figures to reset the wide receiver market on his next contract, which could have an annual salary north of $17MM.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Speaking of Beckham, TMZ Sports recently reported the Giants wideout is being sued in civil court, but Beckham says he’s the victim of extortion, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. “Mr. Beckham denies the recently added allegations, and further denies any wrongdoing whatsoever related to the alleged incident,” Beckham’s attorney said. “As stated before, he will not be extorted and his position as to the pending suit has not changed.” The suit against Beckham contains allegations of drug use, violence, and other transgressions, but it’s hard to imagine anything serious will come of the case.
  • Despite the NFL’s recent pullback on their national anthem policy, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said today that he will not allow any of his players to remain in the locker room during the anthem, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). The league will no longer enforce its previously announced policy, which would have led to teams being fined if players “did not respect” the anthem. It’s unclear exactly what Jones can do to prevent his players from staying in the locker room, or performing a visual protest, but it’s an issue to keep an eye as the season gets underway.
  • Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon only appeared in seven games last season as he battled an ankle injury, but he’s “good to go” ahead of training camp, tweets Jeff Howe of The Athletic. While New England will face upheaval at the left tackle position, right tackle is spoken for by Cannon, who’s become one of the league’s best players on the right side. Cannon signed a five-year, $32.5MM extension with the Patriots in 2016, meaning he’s now under contract through the 2021 campaign.
  • Former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is now officially a member of the Patriots’ staff, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds Bielema’s official title will be “consultant to the head coach.” While it’s unclear exactly why Bielema will be doing as he advises Bill Belichick, he sounded incredibly excited about his new role when speaking to the media earlier this year.

Patriots Sign Kenny Britt

The Patriots have signed former Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt to a two-year deal, as first reported by Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The team confirmed the move in a press release on Wednesday.

Britt visited the Pats on Tuesday and it didn’t take long for the two sides to get down to brass tacks. Rapoport hears that New England was Britt’s preferred landing spot. "<strong

The Patriots stood out as a strong contender to land Britt after he cleared waivers. After all, the Patriots have an affinity for ex-Rutgers players (likely fueled by their connection to former RU head coach Greg Schiano) and they have a clear need at receiver with multiple injuries in that unit.

Bill Belichick also has a track record for getting the most out of players with perceived attitude problems. Back in 2007, many in the football world figured that Randy Moss‘ best days were behind him after a rocky stint in Oakland. For the low price of a fourth-round pick, the Patriots wound up with one of the game’s most lethal offensive weapons. Britt does not have the talent of Moss in his prime, but he has demonstrated game-breaking ability in the past. Britt was an abject bust for the Browns, and an expensive one at that. Still, he’s just one year removed from a 1,000+ yard campaign with the Rams.

If he can quickly familiarize himself with the playbook, Britt could be in for a prominent role right off of the bat. Top targets Malcolm Mitchell and Julian Edelman have been parked on IR, leaving Britt an opportunity to crack the rotation. Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett, and Matt Slater currently stand as the team’s top five receivers.

The Patriots, who fell to 10-3 after being upset by Miami, are seeking to lock down a first-round bye in the final three games of the season. Meanwhile, Britt’s former team continues to look for its first win of the 2017 season.

In related moves, the Pats signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois and cut wide receiver Bernard Reedy. Meanwhile, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon has been placed on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Grimes, Gordon, Hali, Ford, Stanley, Pats Injuries

The Dolphins season has taken a dive in recent weeks. After starting the year 4-2, the team has lost control of the final AFC Wild Card spot, losing their past three games by a combined 67 points, thanks to blowout defeats at the hands of the Ravens and Panthers. However, while their reliance on Jay Cutler and midseason trade of Jay Ajayi have’t helped, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines that the secondary has been one of the major reasons why the Dolphins are not in position to be playoff contenders, particularly in regards to loss of Brent Grimes when the franchise opted to cut him before the 2016 season.

Beasley explains that the front office decided to move on from the veteran cornerback because his age, salary, 2015 performance and even his wife’s antics, but in hindsight the team misses Grimes’ steady contributions. The 34 year-old corner will face his former team for the first time since they let him walk this Sunday. Since his release, the Dolphins have failed to rectify the position with the likes of Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. While Howard and Tankersley are still young, both aren’t guys you can lean on during a playoff run. In comparison, Grimes has played more like a middle of the pack corner this season , grading out as the 60th best corner in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, in Beasley’s opinion the way the team has handled their defensive back situation has been a dud all around over the past few years.

  • Josh Gordon is back at the Browns practice facility and he has made a positive impression on head coach Hue Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Ulrich passes along that the second-year Cleveland head coach has stated that the wideout has been “involved” and is a “pleasure to be around”. The Browns reporter also states that Jackson expects the talented reciever to be back on the practice field on November 20. Still just 26 years old, Gordon last played for the team in 2014, and has since been suspended from the league for multiple drug violations. The former high supplemental draft pick will be a restricted free agent in 2018, so he needs to make the most of every opportunity to impress the coaching staff if he wants a real chance to continue his playing career.
  • The Chiefs will be without two key pass rushers when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Giants this Sunday. Both Dee Ford and Tamba Hali have been ruled out for the contest, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link). This is particularly interesting development in the case of Hali because the team took the cautious approach to resting him by putting him on the PUP before the start of the regular season. However, he remains on the sideline despite being placed back on the active roster. Kansas City will lean on Frank Zombo with these pass rush specialists unavailable. Getting to the quarterback has been an issue for the team, as the Chiefs currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks, racking up just a combined 19.0 through ten weeks.
  • The Ravens have already lost their best offensive lineman for the year in Marshal Yanda and have another troubling injury situation unfolding regarding left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Even after a bye, the second-year lineman is doubtful to play with a concussion, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Obviously, all concussions should be taken seriously, but his absence should be a concern considering that Baltimore has really had to shakeup their protection for Joe Flacco with the injuries to Yanda and second-year guard Alex Lewis. James Hurst would likely get the start in place of Stanley, which is a significant downgrade for a team that is looking to gain momentum in securing the final AFC wild card spot over the last seven weeks of the regular season.
  • The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman of their own when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Both center David Andrews (illness) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) have been ruled out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Backup lineman Ted Karras got some snaps at center during last week’s blowout of the Broncos and the team has reserve tackles in Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle who could fill in at right tackle. Bill Belichick and co. will also be without Chris Hogan and special teams ace Matt Slater, so the team has to overcome more than just new surroundings to get out of Mexico with their eighth win of the year.

 

Patriots Notes: Gronk, Cannon, Foster, FAs

Rob Gronkowski opting against a holdout during the summer continued to limit the historically great tight end’s earning potential, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe views that decision as costly for the again-injured All-Pro. Gronkowski was coming off two dominant seasons this summer but continued to play on a team-friendly deal signed in 2012, one that will pay him $4.25MM in base salary in 2017.

The 27-year-old dynamo has now seen another significant injury sideline him, shooting down his leverage with the Patriots on a deal that still contains three years — the final two featuring $19MM in nonguaranteed money. Gronk making $14MM in 2016-17 is not only incredibly pedestrian for his fellow tight ends, Volin argues his salary should have been closer to top-end receivers’ than those at a position at which he’s been viewed as the No. 1 talent for the past five years.

Now, 2017 looms as a pivotal year in Gronkowski’s New England timeline, with another comeback perhaps necessary to induce the Pats to keep him in 2018-19 during the nonguaranteed years. Volin also gathers from the joint statement released by the Patriots and Gronkowski’s family the team believed he could return this season but the Gronkowskis want to preserve the seventh-year player’s long-term value.

Here’s more from the perpetual AFC East champions.

  • Marcus Cannon will almost certainly be the Patriots’ right tackle in 2017 and 2018, but the full guarantees on the breakout player’s recent extension stop in 2019. The Patriots will have until the third day of the ’19 league year, per Volin, to determine whether or not they want to pay Cannon any more money. Through the end of the ’18 season, Cannon’s deal will pay out a minimum of $16.03MM and a maximum of $17.4MM. Set to turn 29 before next season, Cannon will carry cap numbers of $3.4MM and $6.05MM in 2017-18, with 2019’s figure ballooning to $7.55MM, which should still be a reasonable value as the salary cap continues to rise.
  • The Patriots’ roster didn’t seem to need another running back now that Dion Lewis is a game-day regular again, but moving D.J. Foster back to the practice squad did not result the usual financial ramifications for the backup. The UDFA will still make $26,470 this week as opposed to the practice squad minimum of $6,900 per week, Volin notes (on Twitter). New England re-signed Foster to its taxi squad earlier this week after claiming Darius Kilgo on waivers from Denver last weekend.
  • Dont’a Hightower should be considered a candidate for the franchise tag, even if the middle linebacker hasn’t shown himself to be tremendously durable, missing eight games in 2014-15, Michael Giardi of CSNNE.com writes. The linebacker franchise tag crept over $14MM this offseason, with pass-rushing OLBs being categorized the same as traditional-type ‘backers, but Giardi notes the Pats tagging Hightower would likely be a stopgap measure while the sides work something out. After all, the team essentially prioritized him after trading potential UFAs Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins.
  • There’s a rare win for the players. Alan Branch prevailed in his appeal of a four-game substance-abuse suspension.