Marvin Jones

Lions To Place WR Marvin Jones On IR

Marvin Jones‘ third Lions season will come to an end early. Detroit will place the veteran wide receiver on IR, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets.

A knee injury has sidelined Jones in recent weeks. The Lions are signing linebacker Nicholas Grigsby to fill Jones’ roster spot, per Rogers (on Twitter).

Detroit dealt Golden Tate to Philadelphia this season but soon after lost Jones to injury. The 2017 Lions saw both players exceed 1,000 yards, making them the only 1,000-1,000 receiver tandem last season, but this year’s group will play without both the rest of the way. Kenny Golladay will take over as the Lions’ No. 1 wideout.

Signed through 2020 on his $40MM deal, Jones had played in 31 regular-season games with Detroit from 2016-17. He’ll end up missing seven this season. The 28-year-old wideout caught 35 passes for 508 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: McCarthy, Lions, Tuitt, Ravens

Mike McCarthy‘s enjoyed the benefit of coaching two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and the Packers have qualified for nine playoff brackets in the coach’s 12 previous seasons. But with the team in danger of missing the NFC bracket for the second straight season, McCarthy appears to be firmly on the hot seat. The 13th-year Green Bay coach’s job status is “pretty clearly” uncertain regarding 2019, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). McCarthy signed a one-year extension to take him through the ’19 season, so the team isn’t committed long-term here. He’s now reporting to team president Mark Murphy under the post-Ted Thompson power structure, and with Brian Gutekunst now GM, different voices will have a say if McCarthy will be brought back.

That’s the job. That’s the way this business has gone,” McCarthy said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, when asked about his status. “I’m not going to get into comparables, but at the end of the day that’s part of the job responsibility of the head coachWe set a standard here the past 12 years and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard.”

The Packers are venturing near must-win territory if they want to secure their ninth playoff berth in 10 seasons. They face the Vikings in Minnesota next week.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions:

  • The post-Megatron Lions relied on the Marvin JonesGolden Tate tandem. For the first time since Calvin Johnson retired, neither will suit up for Detroit. Jones is out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers after missing practice this week, and ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein reports the veteran Lions wideout is seeking a second opinion on his injured right knee. Initial tests revealed no damage to Jones’ ACL or MCL, and Jones was diagnosed with a bone bruise. He’ll miss only his second game as a Lion. T.J. Jones would likely be the starter in Marvin Jones‘ place.
  • T.J. Lang‘s Lions tenure hasn’t gone as smoothly from a health standpoint. The former Pro Bowl guard landed on IR this week because of a neck injury, but that setback is not believed to be career-threatening, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Lang also suffered a concussion that forced him to miss time earlier this season. He only played in six games this season after missing three in 2017. Set for his age-32 season next year, Lang — with an $11.1MM cap number — will be a release candidate in the offseason. The Lions could save more than $8MM by releasing the acclaimed blocker. Lang is due a $500K roster bonus on the fourth day of the upcoming league year.
  • Darius Slay, however, will be back for the Lions after missing Week 10. Bears wideout Allen Robinson gouged the Lions in Slay’s absence, but the All-Pro cornerback was not on the injury report as of Friday and will return Sunday.
  • While the 2018 Jaguars haven’t been the kind of impediment the 2017 version was, the Steelers will be without a key starter in their attempt to beat a team that went 2-0 against them last season. Stephon Tuitt will miss Sunday’s game with an elbow injury he sustained against the Panthers. Tyson Alualu will start in Tuitt’s place up front, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Although Robert Griffin III has been mentioned as a possible Ravens starter Sunday, the expectation remains Lamar Jackson will take the reins, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Jackson’s hospital trip Thursday, coupled with Joe Flacco‘s hip injury, left Griffin as the Ravens’ lone practice quarterback that day. But Jackson returned to practice Friday.

NFC North Notes: Lions, Packers, Bears

Matthew Stafford hasn’t had a particularly productive campaign in 2018, and the Lions have struggled to a 3-6 record while ranking just 9th in offensive DVOA. But that doesn’t mean Detroit will have any interest — or opportunity — to move on from its veteran quarterback this offseason, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. “You’ve got as much chance of getting rid of Matthew Stafford as the Baltimore Ravens did of Joe Flacco prior to next year, because there was no way they were ever getting rid of Joe Flacco because of the way his contract was structured until 2019 at the earliest,” says former agent and current CBS.com contributor Joel Corry. Stafford signed a five-year, $135MM extension in 2017 that included a $50MM signing bonus. That bonus is prorated through 2021 at a rate of $10MM annually, meaning it will be virtually impossible for the Lions to cut Stafford before 2020. Among the 25 signal-callers that have attempted at least 250 passes this season, Stafford ranks just 15th in passer rating and 20th in adjusted net yards per attempt.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • One of Stafford’s weapons, wide receiver Marvin Jones, went down with a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, but tests showed the Lions pass-catcher’s ACL and MCL are both intact, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. However, Jones did suffer a bone bruise and is now considered day-to-day. It’s unclear if Jones will be able to play against the Panthers in Week 11, but Detroit needs all the receivers it can find (having already traded Golden Tate to the Eagles earlier this month). If Jones can’t go, fellow wideouts Bruce Ellington, Brandon Powell, and T.J. Jones would see more work behind starter Kenny Golladay. Marvin Jones, currently in his third season with the Lions, has posted 35 receptions, 508 yards, and five touchdowns this year.
  • Speaking of injuries, the Packers will be without several of their key players when they face the Seahawks on Thursday night. Per Schefter (Twitter link), wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Nick Perry, cornerback Kevin King, and safety Kentrell Brice will not make the trip to Seattle. Cobb’s absence means rookie pass-catchers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown will continue to see more work alongside Davante Adams, while Perry will be replaced by Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert. King, meanwhile, didn’t play in Week 10, leaving cornerback snaps to to Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Bashaud Breeland.
  • The Bears did not try to re-sign guard Tom Compton this past offseason, the veteran tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “No,” he said. “They were pretty up front about that.” Compton wound up signing with the Vikings for less than he made with the Bears in 2017. After earning $1.85MM on a one-year deal with Chicago, he inked a one-year, $900K deal with Minnesota. Originally signed to be a backup, Compton was thrust into the starting lineup after Nick Easton suffered a season-ending injury in August.
  • In case you missed it, the Lions placed starting right guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve, meaning his season is now over due to a neck injury.

Lions, Marvin Jones Restructure Deal

The Lions restructured the contract of wide receiver Marvin Jones, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The adjustment will save the Lions $2.2MM against the salary cap. 

After the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles on Tuesday, Jones is in line for an even bigger role in the offense. And, by tweaking his deal, Jones may have opened the door for some of his teammates to receive extensions.

Jones inked a five-year, $40MM free agent deal with the Lions prior to the 2016 season. He’s contract, with two years to go, allows the Lions to release him after the season with $3.2MM in dead money versus $4.9MM in savings. Details of the restructure are unknown, but Jones may have gained some security for 2019 in exchange for his concession.

Jones, 28, caught seven passes for 117 yards and two scores against the Seahawks on Sunday. Heading into a Week 9 matchup against the Vikings, Jones has 26 grabs for 387 yards and five scores on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: McCown, Iloka, Vikes, Lions

Interestingly, the Browns’ decision to give Robert Griffin III all of their first-team reps in training camp before naming him their starting quarterback Tuesday was backup Josh McCown‘s idea, writes Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.

“(McCown) was the guy that came to me and said, ‘Hey coach, make sure this guy gets all the reps he needs to be the best he can be,”’ said first-year Browns head coach Hue Jackson. “(He said) ‘you know who I am.’ Obviously he would love to have the job too, but I think he understands his role.”

That was an unselfish move by McCown, who was ostensibly going to compete for the No. 1 job with Griffin, the Browns’ most noteworthy offseason addition. The 37-year-old has instead served as a mentor to Griffin, 26, with Jackson saying,“A lot of him getting better has to do with Josh McCown.”

As a result of both his leadership and his status as a quality reserve, the Browns would like to retain McCown, notes Cabot, who points out that they rejected Dallas’ attempt to acquire him last week.

More from the NFL’s North-based divisions:

  • Before he re-signed with the Bengals for five years and $30MM in March, standout safety George Iloka considered accepting an offer from the Vikings, he said Wednesday (via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press). Joining the Vikings would’ve meant playing for head coach Mike Zimmer, whom Iloka worked under from 2012-13 when Zimmer was the Bengals’ defensive coordinator. “If I was going there, I was going because of Zim,” Iloka, 26, revealed. “I know what type of locker room he has there just by the type of coach he is. But I really wanted to come back. My chances of leaving Cincinnati weren’t too high, and I’m back.’’
  • The versatility of big-money offseason signing Marvin Jones, including his ability to cause damage downfield, could make him the Lions’ No. 1 receiver, says Kyle Meinke of MLive.com (video link). Whereas Golden Tate is at his best as a short- to medium-yardage option, quarterback Matthew Stafford has targeted Jones all over the field in training camp, per Meinke, who praises the 26-year-old’s route-running abilities. Fulfilling the role of a No. 1 wideout would be new for Jones, who played second fiddle to elite receiver AJ Green in Cincinnati from 2012-15. Still, Jones is fresh off a productive year (65 catches, 816 yards and four touchdowns), which led the Calvin Johnson-less Lions to award him a five-year, $40MM contract in free agency.
  • In an early projection of the Ravens’ 53-man roster, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun lists safety Matt Elam and inside linebacker Arthur Brown (the club’s first- and second-round picks from 2013) as players on track to miss the cut. Elam could lose his spot to Terrence Brooks, who has impressed in training camp, per Zrebiec. Notably, the Ravens declined Elam’s fifth-year option for 2017 earlier this offseason, which came after he struggled in 2014 and then missed the 2015 campaign because of a biceps tear. Releasing Elam, who also has a suspension in his past, would save Baltimore $1.33MM. The club would free up less than $900K by parting with Brown, who has amassed just 17 tackles and a half-sack in 34 games (zero starts).
  • In case you missed it, scouting guru Dave-Te Thomas ran down which Bears rookies could make impacts this year.

Lions Sign Marvin Jones

THURSDAY, 3:41pm: The Lions have officially signed Jones, the team announced today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 1:58pm: It’s a five-year, $40MM deal for Jones, per Rapoport (Twitter link). $17MM is fully guaranteed ($20MM guaranteed overall), and Jones will earn $27MM through the first three years.

9:00am: Jones told Michael Silver of NFL Network (on Twitter) that it was a “stressful decision” for him, but he ultimately chose the Lions over the Bengals.

8:24am: The Lions will sign wide receiver Marvin Jones, according sources who spoke with Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Jones will give Detroit some reinforcements following the retirement of Calvin Johnson, though he probably won’t be counted on to singularly replace his production. The deal will pay Jones roughly $8MM per year, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). "<strong

It was reported earlier today that Jones was atop the Lions’ wish list, though Detroit certainly wasn’t alone in that regard. The Giants were also high on the veteran, new Browns coach Hue Jackson wanted a reunion, and the incumbent Bengals considered him to be a priority free agent.

In 13 starts last season, Jones caught 65 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns. It was a solid bounceback for Jones after he lost the 2014 season due to an injured ankle. When considering him, the Browns were reportedly hoping that Jones could break out as a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver if he’s not playing in the shadow of star A.J. Green and one has to imagine that the Lions are thinking the same thing.

Golden Tate‘s deal with the Lions, inked one year ago, was thought to be a possible reference point for a deal. Tate signed with Detroit on a five-year deal worth $31MM, including $16MM in guaranteed cash. Based on AAV, it sounds like Jones has bested Tate.

With Jones out of the picture, the Bengals might have even more incentive to get something done with fellow free agent receiver Mohamed Sanu. Jones’ contract also pushes the market for free agent wide receivers. While PFR had Jones ranked as the No. 1 available receiver this offseason, his $8MM average annual value trumps what most projected for him. There are several receiver-needy teams this week and other top options like Travis Benjamin, Rishard Matthews, Rueben Randle, Anquan Boldin, and Jermaine Kearse could benefit from Jones’ payday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Contract Details: Vernon, Jenkins, Mack

Here are some of the latest details on many recent agreed-upon and signed contracts from out of the NFC (all links via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post unless otherwise indicated)…

NFC East:

  • Olivier Vernon, DE (Giants): Five years, $85MM. $52.5MM guaranteed. $20MM signing bonus. $7MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2016 league year (Twitter links).
  • Janoris Jenkins, CB (Giants): Five years, $62.5MM. $28.8MM guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $1.4MM base salary in 2016 (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Brooks, G (Eagles): Five years, $40MM. $21MM guaranteed. $11MM signing bonus. $1MM base salary in 2016 and $5MM base salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Chase Daniel, QB (Eagles): Three years, $21MM base value. $36MM max value. $3MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due on March 14. $3MM base escalators in 2017 and 2018 (Twitter link).
  • Colt McCoy, QB (Washington): Three years, $9MM base value. Third year can be voided based on playing time. $1.8MM signing bonus. $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Ron Brooks, CB (Eagles): Three years, $5.5MM. $1.55MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC South:

NFC North:

  • Marvin Jones, WR (Lions): Five years, $40MM. $20MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Alex Boone, G (Vikings): Four years, $26.8MM. $10MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Danny Trevathan, LB (Bears): Four years, $24.5MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter link).
  • Michael Griffin, S (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $250K signing bonus. $500K of $1.65MM base salary guaranteed. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter links).
  • Tavon Wilson, S (Lions): Two years, $2.2MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $500K in annual playing-time incentives (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Mark Barron, OLB (Rams): Five years, $45MM. $20MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • William Hayes, DE (Rams): Three years, $17.5MM. $10MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus due on March 13 (Twitter link).
  • Tyvon Branch, S (Cardinals): Two years, $8MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1.75MM roster bonus in 2016, $1MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Tim Barnes, C (Rams): Two years, $5.6MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.25MM roster bonus due in four days. $750K roster bonus due on third day of 2017 league year guaranteed for injury, skill; becomes fully guaranteed if on roster June 17. Up to $1MM in annual playing-time incentives. $250K annual Pro Bowl incentive (all Twitter links).
  • Brian Quick, WR (Rams): One year, $1.75MM. $1.5MM guaranteed ($1.25MM bas salary, $250K roster bonus due on March 15). $2MM stats incentive (Twitter link).

Free Agent Rumors: Browns, Harrison, Titans

The Browns have had a knack for stealing headlines in recent years, but that trend could come to a halt this offseason. New Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown is not looking to make a splash in free agency, various agents tell Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Browns already lost out on one significant free agent target today when Marvin Jones signed a lucrative deal with the Lions.

Here are the latest free agent rumors:

  • There’s nothing brewing right now between the Titans and free agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.
  • Safety Tashaun Gipson is a longshot for the Eagles but it’s not out of the question, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic (on Twitter) hears.
  • The Seahawks are working to bring back Brandon Mebane, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Rams are in good position to bring back linebacker/safety Mark Barron, a league source tells Vincent Bonsignore of the Daily News (on Twitter).
  • The Jets are sniffing around the free agent tackle market and that could spell the end of Breno Giacomini in New York, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.

Latest On Bengals Free Agent WRs

The latest out of Cincinnati:

  • There is mutual interest between the Patriots and Mohamed Sanu, according to sources who spoke with Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Howe writes that Sanu could command $5MM/year, particularly because of the lack of talent at the position in this year’s crop. In 2014, Sanu hauled in 56 catches for 790 yards and five touchdowns. Last year, he saw a dip in production with just 33 catches for 394 yards and no touchdowns.
  • The Titans are also showing interest in Sanu, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.
  • Marvin Jones is “atop the Giants‘ wide receiver wish list,” according to Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter). Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press says that the Lions feel similarly about Jones (link).

Free Agent Rumors: Jaguars, Bengals, Ravens

Jerricho Cotchery is not in the Panthers’ 2016 plans, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. Cotchery, 34 in June, hauled in 87 passes for 1,065 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons with Carolina. The veteran has said that he would only continue playing if it were with the Panthers, so it’s possible that the former Jet will retire this offseason. Cotchery is effectively a free agent with a contract that will automatically void tomorrow.

The latest free agent rumors:

  • The Jaguars are not close to done after agreeing to terms with Malik Jackson, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears. The Jags are still interested in top pass rushers and corners.
  • Albert Breer of NFL.com (on Twitter) senses that the Bengals‘ priority guys are safety George Iloka and wide receiver Marvin Jones. Breer hears there is about $15MM budgeted for unrestricted free agents, which may not leave much room for others.
  • Saints free agent tight end Ben Watson is getting “strong, strong interest” from the Ravens, sources tell Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins are in pursuit of defensive end William Hayes, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. There is a strong market for Hayes, however, so Miami will have some competition to deal with.
  • Running back Lamar Miller wants an annual salary in the range of $6MM or more, which is more than the Dolphins would like to offer, Jackson writes.
  • The Vikings have checked in on Lions free agent linebacker Tahir Whitehead, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).
  • The Raiders are working to retain wide receiver Andre Holmes but the sense is that he’ll get decent interest elsewhere, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets.