Melvin Ingram

Steelers To Sign Melvin Ingram

Well, that was fast. Soon after meeting with the Steelers, defensive end Melvin Ingram inked a one-year deal to play in Pittsburgh (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

Ingram has had an unexpectedly long stay in free agency, likely due to health concerns. Last year, a knee issue held him to just seven games for the Chargers. But, before that, he notched 49 career sacks en route to three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19. He had exactly zero sacks in 2020, but Pro Football Focus gave him a solid 76.3 pass-rushing score, good for top-20 among all OLBs/DEs.

Ingram, 32, met with the Dolphins and Chiefs earlier this year, but left both visits without deals. Fortunately for them and other teams in need of edge help, Justin Houston, Everson Griffen, Olivier Vernon, and Bruce Irvin are still on the board.

Now, instead of Joey Bosa, he’ll have two-time All-Pro T.J. Watt as his opposite end counterpart. Beyond those two, the Steelers also have rookie Quincy Roche, youngster Alex Highsmith, and veteran Cassius Marsh in the mix.

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Steelers Host Melvin Ingram

The Steelers are hosting edge rusher Melvin Ingram on a visit today, (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Ingram, who visited with the Chiefs and Dolphins earlier this year, would help the Steelers fill a lingering mid-summer need.

Ingram is one of several big-name pass rushers left on the board, along with Justin Houston, Everson Griffen, Olivier Vernon, and Bruce Irvin. Like Houston, Ingram is 32 years of age. But, unlike Houston, he comes with some health concerns about his knee. We haven’t heard much about his status, but one has to imagine that he’d be off the board by now if he was 100% healthy.

The longtime Charger earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2017-19. Last year, however, Ingram was limited to just seven games. In those contests, he failed to record a single sack, though he did manage a 76.3 pass-rushing score from Pro Football Focus in that limited sample. That was good for top-20 status among all NFL edge rushers.

The Steelers have two-time All-Pro T.J. Watt to lead the pack, but former first-round pick Bud Dupree is out of the picture. Beyond him, they’ve got rookie Quincy Roche, youngster Alex Highsmith, and veteran Cassius March on the depth chart.

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2021 Cap Space For All 32 NFL Teams

There are still plenty of quality free agents left on the board as we look ahead to training camp. Cornerback Steven Nelson, tackle Russell Okung, and longtime Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman headline the list, along with accomplished edge rushers like Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram, and Olivier Vernon. That list will only grow larger, of course, as more teams shed veterans to redirect their funds elsewhere.

With that in mind, here’s a look at every NFL team’s cap situation, starting with the league-leading Jaguars:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — $32.7MM
  2. Denver Broncos — $28.9MM
  3. New York Jets — $28.5MM
  4. Cleveland Browns — $20.6MM
  5. Los Angeles Chargers — $19.9MM
  6. Detroit Lions — $17.9MM
  7. San Francisco 49ers — $17.8MM
  8. Cincinnati Bengals — $17.4MM
  9. Washington Football Team — $16.7MM
  10. Indianapolis Colts— $14.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers— $14.3MM
  12. Minnesota Vikings — $13.5MM
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers — $13.1MM
  14. New England Patriots — $13.1MM
  15. New Orleans Saints — $11.4MM
  16. Arizona Cardinals — $11.3MM
  17. Buffalo Bills — $10.5MM
  18. Baltimore Ravens — $8.8MM
  19. Atlanta Falcons — $8.6MM
  20. Seattle Seahawks — $8.3MM
  21. Tennessee Titans — $8.3MM
  22. Kansas City Chiefs — $7.9MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams — $7MM
  24. Chicago Bears — $6MM
  25. Dallas Cowboys — $6MM
  26. Miami Dolphins — $5.3MM
  27. Green Bay Packers — $5MM
  28. Houston Texans — $5MM
  29. Las Vegas Raiders — $3.3MM
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — $3.2MM
  31. New York Giants — $2.4MM
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $489K

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Top Remaining Pass Rushers

A team can never have too many pass rushers. Even as quarterbacks around the league try to get the ball out of their hands more quickly, the emphasis that most offenses put on their aerial attacks ensure that quality edge defenders will continue to be among the NFL’s most desirable commodities and, therefore, among the highest earners. As we sit in the middle of the lull between OTAs/minicamp and the start of training camp, let’s take a look at where things stand with a few of the highest-profile pass rushers that are still on the market.

  1. Justin Houston: Houston, one of the most fearsome pass rushers in the league during his heyday with the Chiefs, just finished up a two-year contract with the Colts. He is no longer a First Team All-Pro talent, but he was still plenty productive in Indianapolis, at least from a raw statistic standpoint. He averaged 9.5 sacks per year over his two Colts campaigns, and though Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics were not high on his work in 2020 – he received middling grades in both run defense and pass rush – the 32-year-old would be an asset to most any pass rushing corps. The only two teams really connected to him this offseason, the Ravens and the incumbent Colts, both added edge defenders in the first round of this year’s draft (Indy also invested a second-round choice on DE Dayo Odeyingbo). However, Baltimore’s first-round edge, Odafe Oweh, may be a little green, and the club lost Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue to free agency this offseason. As such, the Ravens may still be in the mix, and there are surely other teams monitoring the situation.
  2. Melvin Ingram: Like Houston, Ingram is 32, but unlike Houston, he is dealing with some health concerns. The longtime Charger earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2017-19, but knee problems limited him to just seven games in 2020. In those seven contests, Ingram failed to record a single sack, and given the lack of reporting on his knee, it’s fair to wonder if he is 100% healthy. He took a pre-draft visit with the Chiefs, and KC might still be interested, especially given Frank Clark’s recent legal trouble. Ingram also visited with the Dolphins after the draft, and while Miami selected uber-talented edge defender Jaelan Phillips with the No. 18 overall pick, the club also released LB and locker room favorite Kyle Van Noy. Plus, Phillips has a troubling medical history of his own, so there could be room in South Beach for another established pass rusher with leadership abilities. It is encouraging that Ingram’s PFF pass-rushing score of 76.3 was a top-20 mark, even if the sample size of snaps was comparatively small.
  3. Everson Griffen: Griffen’s free agency stay in 2020 lasted until August, when he inked a one-year deal with the Cowboys. Even though Dallas was still very much in the running for the historically weak NFC East, the club dealt Griffen to the Lions in advance of the trade deadline. The four-time Pro Bowler tallied six sacks across 14 games split between Dallas and Detroit, earning a 73.6 pass-rushing mark from PFF in the process (good for 25th out of 108 qualifiers). Now 33, Griffen is probably best utilized as a situational pass rusher at this point, but he could do well in such a role. While there has been no reported interest in his services this year, his recent history suggests that he is content to wait until late summer for the right opportunity to present itself.
  4. Olivier Vernon: Vernon, who will turn 31 in October, came to the Browns in 2019 as part of the blockbuster Odell Beckham trade. He lost six games to injury in his first Cleveland season and managed only 3.5 sacks. He was a candidate to be traded or released last offseason as the team flirted with Jadeveon Clowney, but ultimately he agreed to a paycut to remain with the Browns for 2020, the last year of his previous contract. He picked up nine sacks in 14 games – he has not played a full 16-game slate since 2016 – and while three of those sacks came against an injury-ravaged Eagles O-line, advanced metrics continue to be high on him. Pro Football Focus considered him the 20th-best edge player in the league last year, a grade that incorporated identical (and strong) 71.6 marks for his run defense and his pass rushing acumen. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn Achilles in the regular season finale, which is probably why there have been no reports of interest in him to date (and why he is not higher on this list). Depending on his prognosis, he could be an intriguing late summer or in-season add for any number of clubs.
  5. Bruce Irvin: Irvin suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, which he and the Seahawks had hoped would represent a successful second stint in Seattle. The ‘Hawks made him the No. 15 overall pick of the 2012 draft, which was generally viewed as a reach at the time, but the West Virginia product has put together a lengthy and productive NFL career. In his lone season with the Panthers in 2019, Irvin posted a career-high 8.5 sacks, and before his two-game campaign last year, he hadn’t posted a single-season sack total of less than 5.5 since his second pro season in 2013. At 33, he is the oldest player on this list, but assuming he has not faced any setbacks in his recovery, he should be ready to roll by the start of the 2021 season, or close to it. He might have a hard time getting much by way of guaranteed money, but he should certainly have an opportunity to continue his playing career if he wants to. But he may not want to. In March, Irvin posted a tweet that said, “I think it’s time,” which many obviously construed to be a hint that he was hanging up the cleats. There hasn’t been anything concrete, though, so his playing status is still unclear.

Melvin Ingram To Visit Dolphins

Melvin Ingram‘s market has been quiet, but it looks like things could be heating up. The free agent pass-rusher is visiting with the Dolphins on Monday, a source told Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald.

Ingram visited with the Chiefs back on March 20th, and this is the first we’ve heard about him since. Miami has made overhauling their edge rushing group a priority this offseason, cutting Kyle Van Noy and then drafting Jaelan Phillips in the first-round last month. The Chargers drafted Ingram 18th overall back in 2012, and he spent his first nine seasons with the team.

Ingram had a lot of success with the Chargers, making three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19. He struggled with injuries early in his career, but became a late bloomer and eventually formed one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league next to Joey Bosa.

Unfortunately his run of good health came to an end this past year, when multiple knee injuries limited him to seven games. After finishing with at least seven sacks in each of his previous five seasons, he had zero last year. Now 32 and coming off an injury plagued year, it’s not shocking his market has been slow to develop.

As Beasley points out, it’s not even clear if he’s 100 percent healthy since there hasn’t been much reporting on his knee. Either way, Ingram was a Pro Bowler just two seasons ago, and the South Carolina product could be a nice veteran presence for a young team. He was a vocal leader on the Chargers the past few seasons.

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DE Melvin Ingram To Visit Chiefs

Melvin Ingram has his first reported visit. The veteran pass-rusher is set to visit the Chiefs, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

The 18th-overall pick of the 2012 draft had spent his entire career with the Chargers, earning three-straight Pro Bowl nods between 2017 and 2019. Ingram collected at least seven sacks per season between 2015 and 2019, and his 49 career sacks ranks fourth on the team’s all-time leader board.

However, after missing three regular season games in 2019, Ingram missed nine games in 2020 thanks to a nagging knee injury. He started the seven games he did appear in, but he didn’t show his normal burst, finishing with only 10 tackles and zero sacks. He ultimately appeared in only 35 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, his lowest percentage since an injury-riddled 2013 campaign.

The Chiefs make sense as a landing spot for the 31-year-old. The team’s currently eyeing a depleted depth chart with defensive ends Alex Okafor and Tanoh Kpassagnon sitting on the open market

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Chargers Activate Chris Harris, Place Melvin Ingram On IR

A Pro Bowl defender will be available for the Chargers against the Bills, but the team will also be without one. The Bolts activated Chris Harris on Friday but cleared the roster spot by placing Melvin Ingram on IR.

Harris has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury, but the All-Decade cornerback returned to practice last week. The Chargers signed the longtime Broncos slot corner to a two-year deal this offseason, but their squadron of All-Pros in the secondary has largely failed to materialize.

Derwin James is out for the season, and the Chargers traded 2018 All-Pro Desmond King to the Titans. Casey Hayward will also miss the Bills game with a groin injury, interestingly leaving Harris as the only member of that would-have-been All-Pro quartet on track to suit up in Buffalo.

The Chargers previously ruled Ingram out for Week 12 with a knee injury. This will be the second time the ninth-year edge rusher has landed on IR this season. He missed time earlier this year because of knee trouble. These setbacks have damaged Ingram’s 2021 free agency stock. After lobbying for a new contract in August, Ingram returned to practice. The 31-year-old defensive end’s multi-injury season — one that has yet to produce a sack — and the expected cap reduction could severely affect his market come March.

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Chargers Activate Melvin Ingram, Justin Jones From IR

As they attempt to snap a four-game losing skid, the Chargers will have some reinforcements back. They activated defensive linemen Melvin Ingram and Justin Jones off IR on Saturday.

Ingram has been out since Week 2 with a knee injury. This year’s tweaked IR policy allows teams to shelve players for just three weeks, and the longtime Bolts defensive end will miss the minimum number of contests before returning to team with Joey Bosa on the edge.

This stretch of games will be key for Ingram, who lobbied for a new contract but failed to secure it during a brief training camp hold-in. The Bolts extended Ingram in 2017, and his contract expires at season’s end. Bosa signed an NFL-high (for defenders) $27MM-per-year deal in August, topping Ingram’s $16MM-AAV deal as the top Chargers contract.

It will be difficult for the Bolts to give Ingram a major raise ahead of his age-32 season in 2021, though Justin Herbert‘s rookie contract will make that easier than it would have been with Philip Rivers‘ deal on L.A.’s books. But Ingram showing good form in his team’s final 11 games would strengthen his bargaining position in free agency.

A third-year defensive tackle, Jones will also miss the minimum number of games. He went down with a shoulder injury. The Chargers have used the 2018 third-round pick as a starting defensive tackle over the past two seasons.

The Chargers also promoted running back Troymaine Pope from their practice squad and waived wide receiver Jason Moore and defensive end Jessie Lemonier.

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Chargers Designate DE Melvin Ingram, DT Justin Jones To Return

The Chargers have once again been one of the most banged up teams in the league, but it looks like reinforcements are on the way. Los Angeles has designated defensive end Melvin Ingram and defensive tackle Justin Jones to return from injured reserve, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Each can now return to practice. The team now has a three-week window to activate either player. If they are not activated in that span, they’ll be ineligible to return for the remainder of the year. Ingram usually forms one of the league’s best pass-rushing duos with Joey Bosa when healthy, and he’s made the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons. Jones, a 2018 third-round pick, is a starter and key run-stuffer.

With guys like Derwin James and Chris Harris sidelined, the Chargers could really use this boost on defense. They’re 1-4 on the year and have blown 17-point leads in back to back weeks. Despite the record the Chargers still have a legit chance, as Justin Herbert has looked like a star in the making and the schedule coming up is extremely soft. Their next five games are against the Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins, and Jets, so if the defense can heal up they’ve got a shot to make some noise.

Ingram has only played in the first two games of the season, and he had a crucial interception in a Week 1 win over the Bengals. The South Carolina product has at least seven sacks in each of the past five seasons. He’s dealing with a knee issue, while Jones has a shoulder injury.

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Chargers Place Melvin Ingram On IR

On the heels of a fairly strong defensive performance against the Chiefs, the Chargers will see one half of their top-end pass-rushing tandem miss time.

The Bolts placed Melvin Ingram on IR Saturday. This will knock the veteran defensive end out for at least three games. Ingram is battling a knee injury.

Also placing defensive tackle Justin Jones and linebacker Asmar Bilal on IR, the Chargers will promote safety Jahleel Addae to their active roster. The former longtime Chargers safety starter, Addae agreed to a practice squad deal recently. The Bolts will also promote running back Darius Bradwell from their practice squad.

Ingram, though, certainly represents the biggest piece of news from the team’s Saturday transactions. He and Joey Bosa have seen some interruptions in their run as an edge-rushing pair during an era featuring rampant Bolts injury trouble. Though, Ingram has only missed three games over the past five-plus seasons. The three-time Pro Bowler has 43 sacks over the past five seasons.

Ingram’s return from this injury will begin a critical stretch, with the 31-year-old defender in a contract year. Ingram waged a brief hold-in during training camp but returned to practice when the Bolts guaranteed his 2020 salary.

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