Mason Foster

Redskins Release Mason Foster

The Redskins released Mason Foster on Tuesday (Twitter link via Erin Hawksworth). The news comes as a surprise, especially since inside linebacker Reuben Foster won’t be able to play in 2019

[RELATED: Reuben Foster Done For Season]

Foster started in 16 games for the Redskins last year and was expected to return to first-string duties following R. Foster’s leg injury. Still, the team had concerns about M. Foster’s ability to play in nickel sets, which may have led to his release.

The 30-year-old tallied 131 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack last season. He’ll now be free to sign with another club as an unrestricted free agent and he likely won’t be out of work for long. By releasing Foster, the Redskins will save $4MM against just $250K in dead money.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Elliott, Cards, Redskins, Giants

Adding some additional spice to the Ezekiel ElliottCowboys situation, the running back may be making plans to be unavailable when his team convenes for training camp. While it is still uncertain if Elliott will indeed hold out, a source informed Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk the two-time rushing champion plans to leave the country in the coming days. Extension-eligible since January, Elliott is considering staying away from Cowboys camp due to his contract. The coming days were expected to be key for the Cowboys and Elliott, but the running back’s travel plans may affect these proceedings.

The Cowboys have prioritized extensions for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, both entering contract years, and have been rumored to be considering a future without an Elliott extension. The 24-year-old star has until August 6 to report to camp in order to accrue a fourth year toward free agency, so any holdout past that date would be quite bold. But withholding services from a team whose offense revolves around him could be a game plan for Elliott, regardless of the free agency-related date.

Here is the latest out of the NFC:

  • The Cardinals will begin camp without some notable veterans. Robert Nkemdiche, Charles Clay, Brooks Reed, Max Garcia and Brandon Williams on their active/PUP list, the team announced. Clay and Nkemdiche have been battling knee injuries, the latter’s stemming from a December torn ACL. A four-year Broncos guard, Garcia tore his ACL last season as well. Hip and back problems currently limit Reed and Williams, respectively. All players placed on the active/PUP list can return at any point in camp.
  • The Redskins tabbed Reuben Foster to be a three-down linebacker for them, but following his ACL tear, the team does not have a surefire full-time linebacker. While J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes Mason Foster will reprise his role as a starter, it is not certain if he will play consistently in nickel sets. Pro Football Focus did not grade Foster as a solid coverage ‘backer last season. However, the Redskins may have a nickel answer in third-year man Josh Harvey-Clemons. The team plans to use the former Louisville safety as a passing-downs linebacker, Finlay adds. A former seventh-round pick, Harvey-Clemons played just 196 snaps last season.
  • Despite the minicamp Darius Slayton buzz, Corey Coleman may still have the inside track on the Giants‘ No. 3 wide receiver job. Coleman’s first-round pedigree and his progress as a Giant gives him the edge over the likes of Slayton, Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. During games, Coleman has not shown much since early in his rookie year. He caught five passes for 71 yards with the 2018 Giants.

Redskins Shopping Zach Brown, Mason Foster

The Redskins are actively shopping several players in trade talks, including linebackers Zach Brown and Mason Foster, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Meanwhile, the Redskins are also strong players for Ravens free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley

Mosley already figured to have a huge market with teams like the 49ers on his tail. The Redskins, meanwhile, figure to make a strong play for him while overhauling their own LB corps.

Brown was solid in his second season with the Redskins, but he also clashed with coaches. In December, Brown said that he expected to be released in the offseason.

I think they’re just going in a different direction towards everything,” Brown said. “I’m going this direction, they’re going that direction.”

Brown, 29, had 96 tackles and one sack as the Redskins’ inside linebacker last season. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus were extremely high on him, grading him as the third-best LB in the NFL behind only Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly. Brown’s contract runs through 2020, but teams could still have interest in acquiring him.

Foster, 30, has spent hte last four seasons with the Redskins. He’s dealt with injuries in the past, but he started in all 16 games last season en route to compiling 131 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Re-Sign LB Mason Foster

The Redskins have re-signed linebacker Mason Foster, according to a team announcement. It’s a two-year deal with a base value of $4MM and a max value of $7MM, agent Blake Baratz tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Mason Foster (vertical)

Foster was starting for the Redskins when a torn labrum ended his season after five games. When he was placed on IR, Foster fired off a string of tweets voicing his frustration with the team. Later, he walked back his comments, saying that he was “too emotional” at the time and that he still wanted to be with the Redskins.

I’m a Redskin until they tell me I’m not a Redskin,” Foster said. “That’s how I feel about it. I love this team. This is where I wanna be. We handled it internally, and I appreciate Bruce sitting down with me and [senior vice president of football operations] Eric Schaffer so that we could get it squashed and go about business.”

Part of Foster’s frustration could be chalked up to his impending free agency. In 2014, he played through an injury that severely impacted his stock on the open market. This time, he felt that he was not given enough of an opportunity to gut it out and demonstrate his value.

In his five games last season, the former third-rounder totaled 31 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one interception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Cowboys, Foster, Johnson

The Cowboys decided not to pursue an extension for Demarcus Lawrence before this season, with the defensive end’s history of back trouble leading to hesitancy on this front, Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News notes. Dallas’ brass wanted to see if Lawrence could stay healthy and deliver on the intermittent promise he showed during his career, per George, who adds the franchise tag could be in play for Lawrence come March. That would cost the team more than $17MM, but with Lawrence’s 9.5 sacks second in the league (despite the Cowboys having already had their bye) and considering he had back surgeries the past two offseasons, it would seem reasonable the team would still want to opt for a temporary arrangement for the time being. George describes Lawrence as playing through severe back pain last season rather than opting for season-ending surgery, and he’s on the verge of becoming a high-end UFA if he can make it through this season healthy.

Here’s more from Dallas and other NFC East cities.

  • Ezekiel Elliott will play for the Cowboys on Sunday, but the seminal event for the running back will come Monday afternoon when his team and the NFL face off in New York’s Southern District Court. The latest Elliott-vs.-NFL chapter is set for 4pm CT Monday, and Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News expects it to determine the running back’s 2017 fate. Should Judge Katherine Polk Failla green-light an Elliott injunction, Hairopoulos expects him to play the rest of this season while the court battle plays out. If not, the reporter doesn’t see him skirting the six-game suspension.
  • Mason Foster fired off a string of tweets voicing his frustration with the Redskins, who placed him on IR Friday. However, the veteran linebacker met with Bruce Allen, senior VP of football operations-general counsel Eric Schaffer and other members of Washington’s front office on Saturday to clear the air about the IR decision, Master Tefatsion of the Washington Post reports. The inside ‘backer described his state of mind upon sending those tweets as being “too emotional,” and the UFA-to-be is open to staying with the Redskins. “I’m a Redskin until they tell me I’m not a Redskin,” Foster said, via Tefatsion. “That’s how I feel about it. I love this team. This is where I wanna be. We handled it internally, and I appreciate Bruce sitting down with me and Eric Schaffer so that we could get it squashed and go about business.” Foster played through a 2014 injury that affected his free agent stock the following spring and will be shut down this time around after playing through a torn shoulder labrum for three games.
  • The Eagles will not move Lane Johnson to left tackle midseason, instead installing swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai at Jason Peters‘ spot, Zach Berman of Philly.com notes. Vaitai struggled replacing Johnson last season at right tackle, and considering the Eagles’ hot start, there will be a bright spotlight on the second-year player this season on the left side. “Right now, Lane is playing extremely well at right tackle and looking down the road, and I hate to look down the road, but we’ve got some teams coming up that have some players on our right side, their left side, the Von Millers of the world, Khalil Macks of the world that play on that side of the ball,” Doug Pederson said of the decision to keep Johnson at right tackle.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Bills will fill Marcell Dareus‘ roster spot with running back Joe Banyard, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Banyard will return to Buffalo’s 53-man roster after being released last week. This is the running back/special-teamer’s sixth NFL season.
  • The Broncos waived wide receiver Hunter Sharp and promoted linebacker Kevin Snyder from their practice squad, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. Denver promoted Sharp last week when it was set to operate without Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie, but McKenzie is set to return and Sanders has a questionable designation. The Broncos signed Snyder to a reserve/futures deal in January, and he’s back despite the team having waived him with an injury designation in September.
  • Center Cornelius Edison will rise from the Vikings‘ practice squad to their active roster, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson (on Twitter). Minnesota will be playing without Jeremiah Sirles on Sunday, and starting guard Nick Easton is questionable after missing last week with a calf injury. Edison played in six games with the Bears last season.
  • The Redskins officially placed linebacker Mason Foster on injured reserve and waived running back Mack Brown, the club announced today. The dual transactions will create roster space for Washington’s two newest offensive lineman, Orlando Franklin and Arie Kouandjio.

NFC Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles

The Redskins placed linebacker Mason Foster on the injured reserve yesterday, and the veteran certainly isn’t happy with the move. In a series of tweets earlier this morning, Foster noted that he had been “done dirty” by the organization.

“All I know is [former GM] Scot [McCloughan] wouldn’t have done me like that,” Foster wrote (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I have played 3 weeks with a completely torn labrum. Lay everything on the line for someone just to have that same person slap you in the face. Business is business tho right. They don’t care about us.”

As the writer notes, Foster is set to be a free agent following the season, and it sounds like the veteran could be looking for a new home. In five games this season, the former third-rounder compiled 31 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one interception.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Cowboys promoted tight end Blake Jarwin from the practice squad earlier this week. ESPN.com’s Todd Archer writes that part of the organization’s motivation for making the move had to do with the interest Jarwin was garnering from around the NFL, particularly from the Eagles.
  • The Eagles may be in the hunt for some offensive line help, but Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com warns (via Twitter) that the team might not want to acquire an expensive player. After all, the writer believes the team is focused on rolling their current cap space over to the offseason, and trading for a pricey lineman could compromise that future financial flexibility.
  • Dan Bailey may be out for a while. Cowboys Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram that the veteran kicker is expected to miss at least four games (Twitter link). The 29-year-old was perfect on field goal and extra point attempts this season.
  • Speaking of kickers, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has details on Matt Prater‘s three-year extension with the Lions. The deal includes a $3.6MM signing bonus and $5MM in guaranteed money, raising his 2017 cap hit to $5.225MM. The contract hits a $2.7MM base salary in 2020.

Redskins To Place Mason Foster On IR

Mason Foster has encountered a shoulder injury serious enough the Redskins plan to place him on IR, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The seventh-year veteran linebacker is dealing with a torn labrum, per Schefter. He will undergo surgery, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (on Twitter).

Foster missed Washington’s Week 3 game with the shoulder malady but returned for the team’s subsequent two contests, including Monday night’s game in Philadelphia. Jay Gruden said Foster’s been playing through this malady, one that’s apparently become too severe for Foster to continue to do so.

The veteran inside linebacker’s made 22 starts for the Redskins over the past three seasons. He’s playing in the second season of a two-year contract and stands to become a free agent after this season, one that will not send him to the market on a high note.

Washington has three other inside ‘backers on its active roster, and Zach Brown will need a new running mate. Will Compton lined up alongside Brown when Foster missed Week 3 with the shoulder injury, so he would seemingly be in line to get the first crack at the starting gig. Compton was a full-time starter last season for the Redskins and has opened 30 games with the first unit in his five-season Washington career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Sanu, Lane, Harris, Jones

Here are some of the latest details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL.

  • Mohamed Sanu, WR (Falcons): Five years, $32.5MM. $14MM guaranteed. $7MM signing bonus. Base salaries of $1MM, $6MM, $6MM, $6MM, $6.5MM. (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, on Twitter). Can earn additional $1.25MM based on receptions, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure (on Twitter).
  • Jeremy Lane, CB (Seahawks): Four years, $23MM. $11MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. Base salaries of $2MM, $4MM, $6MM, $6MM (Twitter link via Wilson). $7MM fully guaranteed. Lane’s $4MM salary in 2017 guaranteed in February 2017, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter).
  • Mike Harris, OL (Vikings): One year, $2MM. $500K of $1.9MM base salary fully guaranteed. $100K workout bonus. (via Wilson, on Twitter). Can earn $1.05MM in incentives, per Pelissero (on Twitter).
  • Mason Foster, ILB (Washington): Two years, $2.5MM. $350K signing bonus. Can earn $1.6MM in playing-time incentives, per Pelissero (on Twitter).
  • Adam Jones, CB (Bengals): Three years, $24MM. $16MM in 2016-17, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (on Twitter).
  • Kellen Clemens, QB (Chargers): One year, $1.065MM. $80K roster bonus, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter).

Free Agent Rumors: Massie, Mack, Vikings

The latest free agent rumors:

  • Cardinals free agent tackle Bobby Massie is deciding between three teams and he could remain in Arizona, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) says that Alex Mack got a quality deal from the Falcons because multiple teams including the Browns and the Chargers were “in strong” for his services. Meanwhile, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter) says that even though the Chargers reached out, they did not “develop into a major contender.”
  • The Vikings are looking at free agent wide receiver Andre Holmes, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets. Holmes, who was with Minnesota as a UDFA in 2011, would give Minnesota a big target.
  • The Eagles never had formal contract discussions with Walter Thurmond prior to Monday, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic tweets. Thurmond is now on the open market and, one way or another, the Eagles need to add depth at the cornerback position.
  • Keenan Robinson appears to have posted a farewell message to Washington fans on Instagram. After re-signing Mason Foster, it seems like Washington will be moving on from their other free agent inside linebacker.