Matt Barkley

East Rumors: Foles, Woods, Jets, Bills

Nick Foles played a major role in ensuring the Super Bowl champions could attempt to defend their title in this year’s playoffs, and the Eagles want to compensate him accordingly. The veteran quarterback came four plays short of a $1MM bonus in Week 17, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the Eagles are trying to find a solution to pay him that bonus. The Eagles sweetened Foles’ deal this past offseason, after he’d led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title. One of these incentives would have triggered had the Eagles made the playoffs with Foles playing 33 percent of the snaps. With Carson Wentz‘s backup being required to start and finish the season, that became attainable. But Foles went down during the Eagles’ Week 17 win over the Redskins.

Here is the latest from the Eastern front:

  • Jay Gruden will remain in Washington, but one of his assistants will not. The Redskins are letting secondary coach Torrian Gray go, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Washington appears to have two-year Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods in mind for this job, but the Jaguars are also eyeing Woods, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Broncos’ hiring of Vic Fangio would appear to point to Woods being free to seek work elsewhere. Gray coached Washington’s DBs the past two years.
  • The Bills extended in-season quarterback acquisitions Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley recently, and the Buffalo backups’ salaries are now known. Barkley signed a two-year extension that will produce non-guaranteed base salaries of $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com notes, adding Barkley will receive a $600K signing bonus ($200K of which counts against Buffalo’s 2018 cap). Near-$1MM incentives exist in each season of this deal, too. Anderson signed a one-year extension for the veteran minimum ($1.03MM), per Rodak (on Twitter). He received a $90K signing bonus.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon pleaded guilty to a New Jersey DWI charge, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. This comes from a June 2018 arrest following a car accident. This will likely result in a 2019 suspension for the Jets’ top tight end.

Extra Points: Ravens, Cowboys, Rams, Bills, Falcons

We’ve been hearing mixed things about John Harbaugh for a while now. The Ravens announced they hope to keep the coach longterm with an extension, but rumors have continued to swirl that Harbaugh isn’t willing to commit to Baltimore and that he may want to explore his options elsewhere. Numerous teams have been reported to be interested in trading for the coach, including the Broncos and Dolphins.

We have a new update on Harbaugh today, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Ravens have “yet to have any dialogue” with Harbaugh about a new contract. La Canfora writes that the “situation is being watched closely” by other front offices, and that several teams still have hopes of trading for him after the year. If the Ravens have a quick playoff exit, it could increase the chances that the two sides part ways this offseason. It’ll be one of the biggest stories to monitor the next few weeks, and we should know a lot more after the team’s game against the Chargers tomorrow.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Cowboys have a bunch of young players they’ll need to pay soon, and Ezekiel Elliott would like to be first in line. The third year running back has one more year left on his deal after this season plus his 2020 fifth-year team option, but he’d like to be extended this offseason, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). While Rapsheet notes that it “makes sense given his workload”, it’s unclear at what price the team values him. We heard back in November that the team might not be in any rush to extend Elliott, so it will be very interesting to see what the team does here.
  • By gaining more than 1,200 rushing yards, Todd Gurley got a $1MM bonus this season, Rapoport tweets. It brings the total value of Gurley’s extension with the Rams to four years and $58.5MM. Gurley got off to a red hot start to the year and was on pace to break the single season touchdowns record for a while, and while he cooled off a little bit during the second half of the season, he still had another dominant year. He’s been dealing with some knee soreness recently, but should be a full go for the Rams’ playoff run.
  • We also got details on Matt Barkley‘s recent extension with the Bills, that Mike Rodak of ESPN tweeted out. Barkley’s two year deal will pay him $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020. Interestingly, Rodak notes that the team gave Barkley a $600K signing bonus. Getting that large of an amount of guaranteed money would suggest he has a significant leg up on Derek Anderson in the race to be Josh Allen‘s backup next year. Buffalo signed Anderson to a one year deal earlier this week. The deal also includes active roster and playing time bonuses for Barkley, who showed very well in his one spot start this season.
  • Locking defensive tackle Grady Jarrett up longterm is a priority for the Falcons this offseason, according to GM Thomas Dimitroff, per Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com. “We would like to have Grady back for many years to come”, Dimitroff said. Jarrett was one of the few bright spots on a Falcons defense that regressed mightily this season, and he received elite grades from Pro Football Focus. Jarrett, a fifth round pick in 2015, is set to be a free agent this offseason and should be in for a huge payday.

Bills Sign Matt Barkley To Extension

The Bills and Matt Barkley agreed to an extension on Friday, according to a team announcement. The new deal will keep the quarterback in place through the 2020 season. 

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends Doug Whaley As GM Candidate]

The Bills signed Barkley on Halloween after rookie Josh Allen went down with an elbow injury and veteran Derek Anderson suffered a concussion. Barkley started against the Jets in Week 10 and it was a resounding success – the Bills blew out the Jets 41-10 as Barkley threw for 232 yards, two scores, and zero interceptions.

With the new deal, Barkley is poised to take over as Allen’s primary backup in 2019. Anderson, who turns 36 in June, is scheduled for free agency. If Allen suffers further injury, Barkley may have an opportunity to improve on his career 2-5 record as a starter in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Bills, Barkley, McCoy, Giants, Dolphins, Herbert

It’s been a crazy season for the Bills. While the defense has been promising, the offense has been an absolute train-wreck. They’ve cycled through quarterbacks, and will now get their fourth new starting signal caller of the season this Sunday. Recently signed Matt Barkley will get the start for Buffalo over Nathan Peterman, according to a release from the team (Twitter link).

There was some hope that rookie Josh Allen would be able to return this week, but the Bills ruled him out with his elbow injury. Derek Anderson has still been unable to clear the concussion protocol, so he won’t be able to play either. That left Barkley, who was only signed ten days ago, and Peterman as the only healthy options. It’s been reported before that coach Sean McDermott risked losing the locker room if he started Peterman again, so it makes sense why the team is turning to Barkley here. Barkley hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2016, when he started a few games with Chicago down the stretch. In those starts Barkley was up and down, looking awful at times and competent at others.

Here’s more from the league’s Eastern divisions:

  • Top brass from both the Giants and Dolphins are at the Oregon-Utah game today to scout quarterback Justin Herbert, according to Albert Breer of SI.com (Twitter link). Eli Manning and Ryan Tannehill both have uncertain futures with their respective teams, so it makes sense why they’d be taking a look. Herbert is widely considered the best quarterback prospect who’s draft eligible, but is reportedly considered unlikely to enter the draft after this year.
  • The Bills’ season might be circling the drain, but star running back LeSean McCoy insists he is happy in Buffalo, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). McCoy said that while “a lot of teams” wanted to trade for him at this year’s deadline, he is in the Bills’ longterm plans and is happy where he is. McCoy is getting up there in age, but still has his same burst and trademarked cutting ability. He’s hardly responsible for the Bills’ offensive woes, as opposing defenses completely sellout to stop the run.
  • In case you missed it, former Jets draft bust Christian Hackenberg signed with the upstart football league the AAF yesterday.

Bills Sign QB Matt Barkley

The Bills signed quarterback Matt Barkley and Colton Schmidt to one-year deals, according to a team announcement. In related moves, punter Corey Bojorquez shoulder and RB Taiwan Jones neck were placed on injured reserve. 

With Josh Allen still sidelined by an elbow injury and Derek Anderson in concussion protocol, the Bills are expected to turn to embattled QB Nathan Peterman as their starter against the Bears. Barkley joins the club as Peterman’s likely backup for Sunday.

Barkley, 28, was most recently with the Bengals. He signed a two-year contract with the club back in March, but landed on IR after suffering a knee injury in the preseason. He was released by the Bengals on Sept. 12th with an injury settlement. The five-year pro has appeared in 11 games in his NFL career and made a season-high six starts in 2016 for the Bears, but he hasn’t done much of note on the field.

Colin Kaepernick remains available, and would represent a more accomplished alternative to Peterman or Barkley, but the Bills apparently did not want to go down that road.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL J.J. Dielman

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Bengals Trim Roster To 53

For the time being at least, Michael Johnson will not be part of the Bengals’ 53-man roster. The longtime starting defensive end does not appear among Cincinnati’s regular-season contingent, signalling a changing of the guard opposite Carlos Dunlap.

While Johnson could well return, with Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. tweeting this is a possibility because of the team trying to protect as many young players from the waiver wire as possible, he’s again off the roster. Johnson spent a year with the Buccaneers in 2014 but returned to Cincinnati a year later.

He’s been a Bengals starter in five of the past six seasons, but third-round selections of Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson last year — along with 2018 third-rounder Sam Hubbard — made the 31-year-old talent a less important commodity. Johnson registered five sacks last season and has 44 in his career.

As for the rest of the Bengals’ cuts, here are the other players who aren’t on the 53-man roster.

Released as vested veterans:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The placement of Barkley on IR and the waiving of Woodside leaves Jeff Driskel as the Bengals’ only Andy Dalton backup. It would be logical if the Bengals examined the waiver wire this weekend for a possible signal-caller addition.

Extra Points: Bengals, Bucs, Browns, Chiefs, Broncos

Matt Barkley suffered a Grade 3 MCL sprain in Thursday night’s preseason game, which could end the veteran quarterback’s chance to serve as the Bengals‘ No. 2 signal-caller, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Barkley, whom Cincinnati inked to a two-year deal during the offseason, will likely be placed on injured reserve, although he could return later in the season. Given his lackluster play during the exhibition season, Barkley was likely going to lose out to Jeff Driskel in the Bengals’ backup quarterback battle even before injury luck intervened.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Buccaneers could make a waiver claim for a veteran backup offensive lineman over the weekend, but don’t expect them to orchestrate any trades, tweets Greg Auman of The Athletic. Starting left tackle Donovan Smith is expected to be sidelined for another one-to-three weeks after suffering a knee sprain earlier this month, so Tampa Bay could certainly aim to add bodies to its front five. However, offensive tackle depth is sparse league-wide, so it’s unclear if the Bucs will be able to find any competent options. At present, journeyman Michael Liedtke is set to fill in for Smith if the latter misses regular season action.
  • The Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Wednesday after he was shockingly charged with insider trading, but the 27-year-old had been performing so well in Cleveland that other clubs believed fellow ‘backer Jamie Collins was available via trade, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Crucially, Breer does not indicate the Browns were shopping Collins or had any intention of moving him, but the mere fact that rival teams believed Collins could be had is notable. Cleveland sent a third-round pick to New England in exchange for Collins in 2016, and subsequently re-signed him to a four-year, $50MM contract the following year. Collins, who played in only six games last season before going on injured reserve with a torn MCL, will join Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert as Cleveland’s starting linebackers.
  • Orlando Scandrick‘s one-year deal with the Chiefs contains a base salary of $915K and includes up to $500K in per-game roster bonuses, reports Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Scandrick had already collected $1MM in guarantees from the Redskins, who signed the veteran defensive back in March before releasing him earlier this month. Now that Steven Nelson has returned to Chiefs practice, Scandrick is competing with David Amerson for Kansas City’s third corner role.
  • Broncos linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering a torn ACL, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Garcia-Williams appeared in 11 games for Denver last season after going undrafted out of Hawaii, but was primarily limited to special teams duty (he saw only 23 defensive snaps). Speculatively, Garcia-Williams’ injury could open the door for the Broncos to reunite with fellow linebacker Corey Nelson, who was released by the Eagles on Sunday.

AFC Contract Details: Crabtree, Williamson

Here are figures on some of the recent contracts signed around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise.

QB Matt Barkley Signs With Bengals

Andy Dalton has a new backup. Quarterback Matt Barkley tweeted this morning that he has signed with the Bengals. The Bengals have confirmed that it’s a two-year deal.

The 2013 fourth-round pick out of USC has bounced around the league during his five-year career, as he’s had stints with the Eagles, Cardinals, Bears, and 49ers. After being released by San Francisco at the end of the 2017 preseason, Barkley caught on with Arizona this past November. However, he didn’t end up taking the field for his new club.

Barkley received his most playing time back in 2016 with the Bears, when he appeared in seven games (six starts). He ultimately completed 59.7-percent of his passes for 1,611 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions.

Cincinnati has presumably been seeking a backup quarterback all offseason, especially after A.J. McCarron left to take the Bills starting gig. Other than Dalton, the Bengals are only rostering quarterback Jeff Driskel.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.