Matt Paradis

Broncos Notes: Joseph, Thomas, Elway

His new team dealing perhaps the final blow to his previous employer’s 2018 playoff hopes via 19-17 win in Week 9, Texans wide receiver Demaryius Thomas expressed issues he had with the Broncos’ coaching staff. Thomas said during an interview with former Broncos Ray Crockett and Rod Smith on Orange and Blue 760 (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter) Vance Joseph informed him he would be staying in Denver after the trade deadline. Though, to be fair to the second-year head coach, he may not have known the status of John Elway‘s progress in acquiring a mid-round pick for the veteran wideout. Thomas said his agent told him Elway wanted a fifth-round pick in a trade, helping perhaps to explain the GM’s decision to accept a Texans fourth-round pick.

Additionally, Thomas told Crockett and Smith the coaching staff made him feel as though he was holding back rookies Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton and that first-year receivers coach Zach Azzani asked only Thomas to come out of a Jets loss to give Hamilton more snaps (Twitter links via Jhabvala). Joseph said (via Mike Klis of 9News) he didn’t recall a trade-related conversation with Thomas unfolding the way the since-jettisoned wideout said it did.

Here’s more from Denver:

  • As for Joseph’s job security, Elway offered a lukewarm endorsement. “At this point in time, we’re going to stay the course,” Elway said during an Orange and Blue 760 interview (via Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press). “I think there’s enough good things that are going on as far as us and the way that we’re playing. I’m much more encouraged this year than I was last year.” The Broncos have lost four one-score games — all to teams with at least six wins — but are 3-6 and may be on the verge of their first back-to-back losing seasons since the mid-1970s. It’s hard to imagine Joseph (8-17 as a head coach) receiving a third year.
  • A possible route Elway might go in 2019, look no further than the success the Chiefs are having. Buzz is developing in NFL circles (via SI.com’s Albert Breer) that Elway has taken a “special interest” in the college-type concepts that have helped not just the Chiefs but other teams around the league. Should Elway hire another coach in January, it will be his fourth since taking a front office job with his former team. He interviewed Joseph, Kyle Shanahan and Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub for the job Joseph received.
  • Wide receiver Jordan Taylor won’t play for the Broncos this season, Jhabvala tweets. He will stay on the PUP list the rest of the way. Taylor’s 21-day practice window expired on Monday.
  • Matt Paradis underwent surgery to repair a broken right fibula, Klis notes. The veteran center will be a free agent in March, but Klis adds the Broncos are interested in bringing him back. The sides discussed an extension before the season but did not come to terms. Prior to the injury Sunday, Paradis had started every game for the Broncos since the start of their 2015 Super Bowl season.

Broncos’ Matt Paradis Done For Year

Broncos center Matt Paradis is done for the year after suffering a fractured fibula and ligament tears in his leg, head coach Vance Joseph announced. Paradis will undergo surgery and the Broncos will place him on injured reserve. 

Pro Football Focus ranks Paradis as the third best center in the league this year, giving him an 79.0 overall grade with similarly strong marks for his run blocking. After his exit, the Broncos moved Connor McGovern from guard to center, which may be an indicator of their plans moving forward.

Paradis is due to reach free agency in the spring, so Sunday’s loss to the Texans may mark his final game in Denver. Paradis was retained with a $2.9MM second-round RFA tender this season and he’s due for a pay raise regardless of where he lands. The Broncos and Paradis discussed an extension in August, but so far, the two sides have been unable to come to terms. Paradis, who celebrated his 29th birthday last month, has spent his entire career with the Broncos.

Sunday’s loss dropped the Broncos to 3-6 on the year. They’ll try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive on Sunday after the bye when they face the red-hot Chargers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Matt Paradis Believed To Have Fractured Fibula

Awful injury news for Denver, as center Matt Paradis is believed to have suffered a fractured fibula, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link).

In a separate tweet, Klis notes that if it is indeed a fractured fibula, Paradis “would be out minimum six weeks and could miss rest of season.” It’s a massive blow to the Broncos’ offensive line, which has already dealt with a few injuries this year. Paradis is the best member of the offensive line, and has been having a great season.

Pro Football Focus has graded Paradis as the third best center in the league this year, giving him an 80.0 grade. It’s especially tough news for Paradis, as this was a contract year for him. Earlier this year, the Broncos had placed a second round tender on Paradis when he was a restricted free agent.

Assuming he makes a normal recovery, it shouldn’t impact his free agent market too much. With contracts for interior linemen exploding in recent years, Paradis should be able to land a big deal on the open market if the Broncos don’t lock him up. Prior to this injury, he had been an incredibly durable player, starting 16 games each of the past three seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos, Matt Paradis Discussing Deal

Entering a season with an interesting collection of contract-year players, the Broncos have begun discussing a long-term future with one of them.

The Broncos have opened extension talks with Matt Paradis, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Paradis will begin his fourth season as Denver’s starting center next month. These talks will likely intensify toward the end of camp, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets.

Paradis, Bradley Roby, Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray comprise the notable sect of walk-year Broncos, and the team extended second-round RFA tenders to Paradis and Barrett. Both are attached to that $2.9MM amount this season. Paradis, though, has been the Bronco who’s seen the most snaps over the past three seasons. He’s started all 48 games since debuting as Denver’s top snapper in 2015, the former sixth-round pick doing so in 2016 despite pain in both hips — requiring two surgeries last year.

Now able to train regularly this offseason, Paradis could set himself up to be a prime free agent on the 2019 market. Though, the Broncos will surely not want to let their offensive line’s centerpiece walk. Considering the Bradley Chubb selection could cloud the futures of Barrett and Ray in Denver, and no known Roby re-up talks having taken place yet, Paradis may be the team’s top extension priority this year.

The Broncos negotiated extensions for RFAs given second-round tenders in the recent past, signing Brandon Marshall long-term in 2016 and Brandon McManus last year. Six centers earn at least $9MM per year, and Paradis being convinced to bypass free agency will likely mean his team making him the seventh such snapper. Two centers — Ryan Jensen and Brandon Linder — are $10MM-AAV players.

Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 center in 2017, Paradis is a bit older than others from his 2014 draft class. He’s set to turn 29 this season. So, the Broncos will be signing up for his early-30s campaigns if they agree to extend him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Paradis, Raiders

Broncos center Matt Paradis said the team has not begun negotiations on a contract extension yet, but he would welcome those talks as he wants to stick around beyond 2018 (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic). Paradis signed a restricted free agent tender with the team earlier this offseason, keeping him under contract for one more year at a rate of $2.9MM. Paradis, 29 in October, has had operations on both hips, but has not missed a snap since taking over at center in 2015. The Broncos would ostensibly like to hold on to Paradis, though other impending free agents such as cornerback Bradley Roby will be a higher priority.

Here’s a look at the AFC West:

Broncos’ Matt Paradis Signs RFA Tender

Broncos center Matt Paradis has signed his restricted free agent tender, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). Paradis will earn $2.9MM in 2018. 

Paradis carried a modest $615K cap hit for Denver last year, so this marks a significant pay bump for the former sixth-round pick. The new deal also provides some financial security for a player who has had operations on both hips. Despite his injuries, Paladis has not missed a snap since taking over in the middle in 2015.

The 28-year-old (29 in October) will be eligible to hit the open market without restrictions next offseason. The Broncos may address Paradis’ contract between now and then, but cornerback Bradley Roby will be more of a priority.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Place Second-Round RFA Tender On Matt Paradis

Although the Broncos have regressed since their Super Bowl season, Matt Paradis has become one of the franchise’s best players over the past two seasons. And the Broncos are treating the restricted free agent center as such.

Denver plans to place a second-round tender on its three-year center starter, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. A second-round tender will cost the Broncos $2.914MM after Paradis represented merely a $615K cap hit for Denver last year.

Since earning the center job at the outset of Denver’s 2015 Super Bowl campaign, the former sixth-round pick has not missed a snap. Paradis managed to accomplish this despite playing in 2016 on two hips that eventually needed surgery. Despite undergoing procedures on both during the 2017 offseason, he was back in action in Week 1 and anchored the ’17 Broncos’ line.

The 28-year-old snapper profiles as an extension candidate for the Broncos, who have not enjoyed much non-Paradis continuity on their line over the past three years. Paradis is one season from UFA status, joining key re-up possibility Bradley Roby in that regard.

The Broncos also have to make a tender call on outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who joins Paradis in profiling as a top-tier RFA this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos C Matt Paradis Medically Cleared

After undergoing hip surgery last December, Broncos center Matt Paradis has been medically cleared and should be able to take part in training camp, reports Mike Klis of 9News.Matt Paradis (Vertical)

“I never was that worried,’’ said Paradis. “I might have been worried about quality. And that’s something we’re still going to have to work out. But man, they’re feeling great. I guess I never realized how much pain I was in previously and now it’s like, “You mean I’m not supposed to be in pain all day, every day?’’

Paradis dealt with pain all season and didn’t practice at all over the last ten weeks of the year, according to Klis, but he still managed to start all 16 games for the second consecutive campaign while grading as the league’s No. 1 center, per Pro Football Focus. The 27-year-old Paradis earned a 90.7 overall mark, a score that included a league-high 90.6 run-blocking grade.

A former sixth-round pick, Paradis will earn $615K during the upcoming season before becoming a restricted free agent in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

OL Notes: Seahawks, Joeckel, Eagles, Paradis

As teams get set for the start of offseason workouts, they are assembling their pre-draft offensive line depth charts. One such team with some fluidity: the Seahawks. They plan to make a move that ended up backfiring on the Jaguars in stationing Luke Joeckel at left tackle. While Pete Carroll acknowledges Joeckel could end up at left guard, the recently added blocker will begin his Seahawks tenure as a left tackle.

Luke is a guy who started at left tackle, was drafted at left tackle. I’m thinking of him as that, knowing he can play left guard,” Carroll said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. “He had a really good experience this year moving in, and he liked it and felt comfortable doing that. So my first thought is we head into it with he’s coming into it as a left tackle that can play left guard.”

Jacksonville shuttled Joeckel from left tackle to left guard before the 2016 season, but an injury limited him to only four games. The former No. 2 overall pick did not fare especially well at left tackle as a full-time starter from 2014-15; he began his Jags run as a right tackle while a rookie. The Seahawks signed Joeckel to a one-year deal for a fully guaranteed $7MM in an attempt to help what’s been a maligned offensive line over the past two seasons. Carroll plans, for now, to sit converted basketball player George Fant behind Joeckel. Fant started 10 games for the NFC West champions last season.

If George had to sit for a while, what could be better for him than sitting behind a guy who was a [No. 2] pick in the draft and knows how to play the position?” Carroll said. “If that happens, it would only enhance his future, and we have high expectations for him down the road — high expectations.”

Here’s more out of Seattle and the latest from other offensive fronts.

  • The Seahawks’ most recent first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, is expected to receive a long look at right tackle, per Kapadia. Ifedi started 13 games at right guard last season, but a chain reaction might relocate him. Should Joeckel move to left guard, 2016 left guard starter Mark Glowinski would shift to the right side and possibly bump Ifedi to right tackle. Ifedi primarily played right tackle at tackle-rich Texas A&M but slid inside during his debut NFL season. Seattle, of course, is no stranger to moving its linemen. Former second-round pick Justin Britt shifted from tackle to guard to center during his first three seasons in the league.
  • Isaac Seumalo started four games — at three different positions — for the Eagles last season, and it looks like Doug Pederson is eyeing more time for the second-year blocker. “He’s a guy that we want to get into the mix,” Pederson said, via Zach Berman of Philly.com. Berman adds Seumalo could wind up at center or guard long-term. The Eagles, though, are keeping left guard Allen Barbre and center Jason Kelce after being rumored to be set to unload both. Philadelphia also brought back center/guard Stefen Wisniewski, complicating Seumalo’s immediate path to playing time.
  • Matt Paradis underwent offseason surgery on both of his hips and has an uncertain timetable back to his spot on the Broncos‘ starting offensive front. The fourth-year center shed his crutches last month and is expected back. But Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post notes the hope now is Paradis won’t miss any regular-season action, meaning Paradis might not be a lock for training camp. The former sixth-round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 center and doing so on one of the league’s shakiest offensive lines. He’s played every Broncos snap over the past two seasons.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/3/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Titans have agreed to terms with cornerback Demontre Hurst, according to a team announcement. Hurst spent the past three seasons with Chicago, where he totaled 58 tackles and two interceptions. Hurst is the eighth player signed by the Titans since the opening of free agency.
  • As expected, tight end Trey Burton signed his one-year RFA tender, per an announcement from the Eagles. It’s a one-year, $2.746MM contract.
  • Three Broncos signed their ERFA tenders. Starting center Matt Paradis, reserve wide receiver Jordan Taylor and long snapper Casey Kreiter signed tenders and will make $615K in 2017, Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post reports. Denver extended ERFA tender offers to five other players — including outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett — but none of the remaining contingent has signed yet.