Max Garcia

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Contract Details: Ford, Mosley, Crowder

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

Cardinals To Sign Max Garcia

The Cardinals have agreed to sign guard Max Garcia, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Garcia, 27, spent the previous four years with the Broncos. 

[RELATED: Giants Interested In Cardinals’ Josh Rosen]

Last year, Garcia’s season was cut short in November by a torn ACL. It was a bad blow to a Broncos O-Line that already had lost guard Ronald Leary to an Achilles tear and center Matt Paradis to a broken fibula.

Garcia was a Broncos fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft. Although he started 32 consecutive games from 201-17, Garcia wasn’t a deployed as a starter in 2018 until after Leary got hurt. Indeed, Garcia didn’t play a single offensive snap until Week 6, but he was on the field for every play between Leary’s injury and his own.

Garcia’s 242 snaps were not enough to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ rankings, but he drew a favorable score in 2016 when he started in every game for Denver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos G Max Garcia Tears ACL

Broncos guard Max Garcia will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link).

It’s unclear exactly when Garcia tore his ACL, but it sound as though it may occurred during practice on Thursday. Per Klis, Garcia took every snap at practice yesterday, but felt discomfort in his knee afterwards. A subsequent MRI revealed the ACL injury and will now knock Garcia out for the rest of the year.

Denver’s offensive line has already been decimated by injury this year, and the loss of Garcia will only further deplete the unit. Veteran guard Ronald Leary went down with a Achilles tear in mid-October, while starting center Matt Paradis suffered a fractured fibula and ligament tears earlier this month. Per Klis, backup Billy Turner now figures to take over as the Broncos’ starting left guard, meaning Denver will now field an interior offensive line that is entirely different than its Week 1 configuration.

Garcia, 27, was a Broncos fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft. Although he started 32 consecutive games from 201-17, Garcia wasn’t a deployed as a starter this season until after Leary got hurt. Indeed, Garcia didn’t play a single offensive snap until Week 6, but has since been on the field for every play.

Garcia is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next spring, but his market will certainly be affected by his ACL tear and subsequent recovery. He’ll join a class of free agent guards that also includes Rodger Saffold, Quinton Spain, Mark Glowinski, Ramon Foster, and Mike Iupati.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos HC Vance Joseph Still On The Hot Seat

The Broncos nearly fired head coach Vance Joseph at the end of the 2017 season, and even though team president and CEO Joe Ellis publicly backed Joseph several days ago, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Joseph’s job security is tenuous at best.

Denver is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and Rapoport writes that upper management will be closely monitoring Joseph’s performance over the next few weeks. The clear implication is that, if the team does not perform well during that time, Joseph could be axed before the season is over, and perhaps as soon as next month.

Joseph, with his job on the line, has made a series of changes in an effort to save himself. As Rapoport and Mike Klis of 9News.com write, Joseph will take on a more active role in defensive play-calling, although defensive coordinator Joe Woods will continue to be the primary play-caller for a unit that ranks No. 26 in the league in yards per game. Also, as was speculated yesterday, Max Garcia will start at right guard this afternoon in place of Connor McGovern, and both Klis and Rapoport note that practices were shorter this week while the number of team meetings were increased.

Joseph, whose club suffered an eight-game losing streak last year, will have a tall order against the 5-0 Rams today. The Broncos will get an eminently winnable game on a short week this Thursday, when they take on the Cardinals, but they will then head to Kansas City to take on the league’s only other defeated team, the Chiefs.

Given the Broncos’ upcoming opponents — Denver will also host the Texans before their bye week — it is difficult to say exactly what they need to do in order for Joseph to keep his job. But our readers believe that Joseph will be the next coach to get a pink slip, and today’s report only serves to support that notion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Notes: Keenum, Draft, Joseph, OL

Case Keenum‘s gotten off to a rough start with the Broncos, going from being the No. 1 DVOA quarterback during a potential outlier 2017 season to sitting 24th in that metric and 31st in Total QBR through five games this season. However, this is unlikely to produce a Chad Kelly promotion in the near future, with Albert Breer of SI.com noting the sense he’s getting is any such switch won’t come until the team falls out of contention. Denver won its first two games but has lost its past three, and Vance Joseph is now 1-9 on the road after the Broncos dropped Week 3 and Week 5 games in Baltimore and New Jersey. The Broncos may have discussed Kelly, who has never attempted a regular-season pass but fared well in the preseason. But Breer adds Joseph and John Elway are tied to Keenum thanks to the $25MM in fully guaranteed money the journeyman passer’s making on his current deal. Keenum’s on pace to throw more than 600 passes, and the Broncos have oddly turned to the weaker component of their offense more so than committing to their strong ground attack that ranks third (137 yards per game).

Here’s the latest out of Denver:

  • It’s likely Elway will have to look for yet another post-Peyton Manning solution in 2019, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes. The Broncos have cycled through an unlikely successor (Trevor Siemian), a spectacular first-round misstep (Paxton Lynch), a retread (Brock Osweiler) and now Keenum. Elway and Broncos player personnel director Matt Russell are in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday for a Washington-Oregon game that features possible top 2019 QB prospect Justin Herbert, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Several teams are in attendance for this Pac-12 matchup, per Klis, who adds the Broncos figure to be looking at cornerbacks and tackles as early-round possibilities as well.
  • An interesting indictment of Pro Football Focus appears to be coming out of Denver this week. The acclaimed advanced-metrics site has Broncos right guard Connor McGovern rated as the No. 4 overall guard in football (and No. 1 in run-blocking), but OC Bill Musgrave said (via Klis) Max Garcia will take some of McGovern’s snaps this week against the Rams. McGovern struggled at times against Leonard Williams, and Garcia — a starter from 2016-17 and a player not graded nearly as well by PFF — may start this week, per Joseph, against the Rams’ menacing defensive front. This would be a curious move for a team that’s running the ball as well as it is.
  • Volin also doesn’t view Broncos president Joe Ellisstatement this week as a ringing Joseph endorsement, pointing to the team’s once-vaunted defense struggling against the run vs. Jets backs and entering Week 6 with just 11 sacks (19th) despite having used a No. 5 overall pick on Bradley Chubb. Elway hired Joseph, a career defensive-based coach, after one season of DC experience. The Broncos’ pre-Week 10 bye slate features a home game against the Rams, a Thursday road assignment in Arizona, a road matchup in Kansas City and a return home to face the Texans. With Joseph looking like a two-and-done coach at this point, this will be a pivotal stretch for the embattled leader.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

AFC Rumors: Steelers, Jets, Broncos, Fins

Less than 24 hours before the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, conflicting reports have emerged regarding Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. While Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicates the Steelers will be one of several teams to pursue Pryor this week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link) says Pittsburgh doesn’t have any interest in Pryor, at least at the $10MM+ he’s expected to command. The Giants, 49ers, Eagles, and Titans have also been linked to Pryor, whom Cleveland is attempting to re-sign.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Jetsreported interest in free agent quarterback Mike Glennon is “largely overblown,” according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. General manager Mike Maccagnan and staff have been linked to Glennon several occasions, but the club’s front office doesn’t believe the Buccaneers backup quarterback is worth the $14MM he’s likely to command on the open market. Ultimately, New York thinks Glennon will land with the Bears, who have also been connected to the free agent signal-caller.
  • Adding reinforcements along the lines will be the primary objective of the Broncos this offseason, as Troy Renck of Denver7 reports in a pair of articles. On offense, Denver is expected to be especially aggressive in signing a right guard, while the club will give Max Garcia another chance to lock down left guard. On defense, the Broncos will likely target mid-range options. Although they missed out on Earl Mitchell, the Broncos were linked to free agent Chris Baker earlier tonight.
  • If the Dolphins lose wide receiver Kenny Stills to free agency, they will sign a veteran pass-catcher in the coming weeks, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Miami isn’t certain that 2016 third-round pick Leonte Carroo is ready to take over as the club’s third receiver, per Jackson, who points to Ted Ginn, Terrance Williams, Aldrick Robinson, and Marquise Goodwin as potential options.

Broncos Sign Max Garcia, Darius Kilgo

The Broncos have signed their first draft picks from this year’s class:

  • Florida center/guard Max Garcia, a fourth round choice of the Broncos, has signed his deal, according to Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter). Garcia began his college career at Maryland before joining Florida in 2012. The versatile athlete made starts at left guard, left tackle, and center for the Gators, but primarily played center in his final season there.
  • Sixth-round nose tackle Darius Kilgo took to Instagram to announce that he has inked his deal with the Broncos. The No. 203 overall pick will earn about $2.39MM over four seasons with a signing bonus that is worth about $112K, as Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post writes.

AFC Links: Collins, Dorsett, Timmons

One of the highest-regarded undrafted free agents in history, La’el Collins figures to be a premier topic in May as he attempts to begin a now-unorthodox career.

The Titans, however, won’t be among the teams pursuing the ex-LSU lineman that was a surefire first-round pick as recently as earlier this week, according to The Tennesseean’s Jim Wyatt on Twitter. The team remains in need of a right tackle but did add two interior linemen in the draft — guard Jeremiah Poutasi and center Andy Gallik in the third and sixth rounds, respectively.

Here is some additional news from around the AFC.

  • The Colts‘ draft puzzled Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel, with the team adding players in key spots that may not be able to contribute much this season — one with immense expectations. Doyel argues the team did not address needs of defensive tackle and safety early enough, with one of each added on Day 3. Indianapolis ranked 18th in run defense last season. Part-time players last year, Josh Chapman and Montori Hughes, are the Colts’ top two nose tackle options.
  • The crux of Doyel’s argument, first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, could also find himself a key player in the Colts’ offense from the start, writes the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder. Dorsett, CFL import Duron Carter and former All-Pro Andre Johnson add to a loaded wideout corps that was at times slowed by descending veterans Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks last year. Holder wonders if the 34-year-old Johnson will give way to Dorsett in some three-wide sets or when the Colts deploy the two-tight end look they often do.
  • One of now four linebackers with first-round pedigrees in Pittsburgh, Lawrence Timmons is in line for a contract extension come 2016, reports Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Steelers’ second-highest-paid player and NFL’s best-compensated inside linebacker’s current deal that pays him $12.6MM this season and $11.8MM next year runs through ’16.
  • With just two starters locked in for this season up front, the Broncos are positioning their offensive line youngsters less than three days after acquiring them. Second-round choice Ty Sambrailo will open his career at right tackle, where the Broncos have a glaring need after using three players there last year, while versatile fourth-rounder Max Garcia will begin work behind Louis Vasquez at right guard, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Last year’s third-rounder, Michael Schofield, didn’t suit up for a game as a rookie despite the Broncos’ right tackle issues and is now playing behind Ryan Clady at left tackle.
  • Mel Kiper Jr. envisions Ravens second-round pick Maxx Williams as an offensive rookie of the year candidate, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The ESPN draft veteran also opined Breshad Perriman will be a better player than Torrey Smith.