Morris Claiborne

Extra Points: Eagles, McCown, Claiborne, Saints, Crawley

Josh McCown agreed to an unprecedented deal to become the Eagles’ emergency remote quarterback by signing to their practice squad earlier this month, and now we have more details on the arrangement. One of the reasons McCown was brought in was because of his strong relationship with Carson Wentz, and he’s been talking Wentz through his slow start, sources told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Sources also told La Canfora that McCown is viewed by the Eagles and other organizations across the league as a future NFL head coach. McCown is essentially working as a part-time coach right now, as La Canfora writes he’s staying in shape but not training with the team at all. “Several” execs told La Canfora that he “could be an NFL head coach within five years of retiring from the game, perhaps sooner.” Those same execs said he could have a quarterback coach job right now if he wanted it, and would be fast-tracked to be a coordinator.

This isn’t all that surprising considering the Eagles discussed a coaching job with him as far back as January. The 41-year-old McCown was the backup to Wentz last year when he was suddenly inserted in relief in their first-round playoff game against Seattle and nearly led them to an improbable win. If Wentz keeps playing like he has been, they might need him to come in cold off the bench one more time.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of guys on the verge of retirement, that’s apparently a good way to describe free agent corner Morris Claiborne. While not officially retired Claiborne is “not actively looking for work and spending family time,” Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Fowler adds that while he’s “staying ready just in case,” it “would take the ideal circumstance” to get him off the couch. The sixth overall pick of the 2012 draft by the Cowboys, Claiborne won the Super Bowl with the Chiefs last year, appearing in eight games and starting one. He made 15 starts in each of the previous two seasons with the Jets. If this is really it for him, he’ll hang up his cleats having made 74 starts across eight years, but never quite living up to his draft status.
  • The Saints are playing right now on Sunday Night Football, and they could be reuniting with a familiar face soon. New Orleans brought in cornerback Ken Crawley for a visit on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The 2016 UDFA started his career with the Saints, and was with him until he was cut and claimed off waivers by the Dolphins in October of last year. He was with both the Raiders and Cardinals during training camp, and was ultimately cut by both. Still only 27, Crawley was a big part of the Saints’ defense for a while, starting 13 games in 2017 and five in 2018. He struggled pretty badly toward the end with the Saints, which is what led to his release.

Chiefs Activate CB Morris Claiborne

The Chiefs have activated cornerback Morris Claiborne after the completion of his four-game suspension, the club announced today. In a corresponding move, guard Jeff Allen has been released.

Kansas City inked Claiborne to a one-year, $2MM deal in August with the knowledge that he was facing a four-game ban after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. At present, it’s unclear if Claiborne will immediately factor into the Chiefs’ plans on defense. Kansas City currently ranks ninth in pass defense DVOA, and each of the club’s top three corners — Bashaud Breeland, Charvarius Ward, and Kendall Fuller — have graded among Pro Football Focus‘ top-64 CBs, so Claiborne might not be needed right off the bat.

Claiborne, 29, has a concerning injury history, as he played in only 47 of a possible 80 games during the first five years of his career. But he managed to stay healthy during his past two years on the Jets roster, appearing in 30 games and playing nearly 2,000 defensive snaps since 2017. Last season, Claiborne posted two interceptions and ranked as a top-25 corner in Football Outsiders’ success rate.

Allen, meanwhile, was in the midst of his second stint with the Chiefs, with whom he’s spent six of his eight NFL campaigns. This year, Allen hadn’t played at all on the offensive side of the ball, and had seen only a handful of special teams snaps.

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Chiefs To Sign CB Morris Clairborne

The Chiefs have agreed to sign free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne, according to Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Claiborne will receive a one-year deal worth $1.5MM, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The pact contains playtime incentives, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, and Paylor indicates (via Twitter) those incentives could be worth up $1.5MM. In total, Claiborne’s deal will have a maximum value around $3MM.

Kansas City is bringing in Claiborne with the knowledge that he’ll be unavailable for the first quarter of the regular season. Claiborne was hit with a four-game suspension earlier this month after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Claiborne, 29, has a concerning injury history, as he played in only 47 of a possible 80 games during the first five years of his career. But he managed to stay healthy during his past two years on the Jets roster, appearing in 30 games and playing nearly 2,000 defensive snaps since 2017. Last season, Claiborne posted two interceptions and ranked as a top-25 corner in Football Outsiders’ success rate.

The Chiefs lost more than 1,900 cornerback snaps during the offseason via the departure of free agents Steven Nelson and Orlando Scandrick. When he returns from suspension, Clairborne should become an immediate starter alongside Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland.

Despite his recent track record, Claiborne drew limited over the offseason, perhaps because teams were aware of his impending suspension. Claiborne met with the Cardinals in April, and worked out for the Vikings near the end of July.

Claiborne averaged $6MM annually on his two consecutive one-year pacts with the Jets, so he’ll be taking a step pay cut to join the Chiefs. PFR ranked Claiborne as the fourth-best available defensive free agent in mid-May, and three players listed above him — Ndamukong Suh, Tre Boston, and Shane Ray — have all since found new homes.

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NFL Suspends Morris Claiborne

Veteran cornerback Morris Claiborne has been hit with a four-game ban for a violation of the substance abuse policy, sources tell Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Claiborne, they hear, plans to appeal the suspension in hopes that it will be overturned or eliminated. 

Claiborne stands as one of the best available free agents left at this stage of the offseason, but the impending ban could explain his extended unemployment. Recently, the Vikings kicked the tires on the cornerback, but did not sign him.

Claiborne, 29, spent the past two seasons with the Jets and has played on one-year deals for the past three seasons. He hasn’t really excelled since his 2016 season with the Cowboys, when he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 ranked corner in a limited sample of seven games. Last year, Claiborne graded out as just the No. 75 CB in the NFL out of 112 qualified players, per PFF.

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Vikings Work Out Morris Claiborne

The Vikings worked out Morris Claiborne on Friday, sources tell Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Claiborne could provide the team with additional depth during a slightly rocky time for the secondary. 

Rising sophomore Mike Hughes, who suffered a torn ACL in 2018, opened up camp on the PUP list, leaving the team thin at cornerback. Furthermore, Holton Hill has been suspended for eight games (substance abuse and PEDs), so the Vikings are doing their due diligence.

Claiborne, 29, spent the past two seasons with the Jets and has played on one-year deals for the past three seasons. He hasn’t really excelled since his 2016 season with the Cowboys, when he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 ranked corner in a limited sample of seven games. Last year, Claiborne graded out as just the No. 75 CB in the NFL out of 112 qualified players, per PFF.

The Vikings also kicked the tires on veteran Orlando Scandrick this week.

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Compensatory Pick Formula Ends Today

Starting at 4pm ET/3pm CT, any unrestricted free agent that signs with a new team will not count towards the 2020 compensatory draft pick formula, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This should quickly accelerate the market for several free agents of note, including:

Compensatory picks are given to teams that lose a greater number of compensatory free agents (or, a greater quality of free agents) than they acquire. The complicated formula that dictates how the picks are dispersed is not disclosed to the public, but teams are wary of signing even lower impact UFAs while it is in effect.

But, when the formula is turned off, veteran free agents should start flying off of the board.

Jets Open To Re-Signing Morris Claiborne

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan says he remains open to re-signing free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). However, as Cimini notes, the Jets may need to act fast if they want to retain the veteran. 

[RELATED: Grading The Jets’ Draft]

Starting on May 7, teams can sign free agents without having them count towards the compensatory pick formula. At that point, clubs will probably give more consideration to Claiborne, a player who has talent, but hasn’t been playing at an elite level in New York.

Claiborne spent the past two seasons with the Jets and has played on one-year deals for the past three seasons. He hasn’t really excelled since his 2016 season with the Cowboys, when he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 ranked corner in a limited sample of seven games. Last year, Claiborne graded out as just the No. 75 CB in the NFL out of 112 qualified players, per PFF.

Back in March, the Jets appeared set to move on from Mo, but they could be reconsidering their position after failing to land a top CB prospect in the draft.

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Giants Meet With Claiborne, Liuget

The Giants hosted former Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne and former Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget on Wednesday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link). Both players have lost some luster in recent years, but would represent solid additions at this stage of free agency.

Claiborne spent the past two seasons with the Jets and has played on one-year deals for the past three seasons. The Jets appear set to move on from Mo, who last played at a high level in 2016 with the Cowboys. Last year, Claiborne graded out as just the No. 75 CB in the NFL out of 112 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus.

Liguet missed the first four games of the 2018 season after being handed a four-game performance enhancing-drug suspension. After coming back, Liuget managed five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks while earning a 66.9 grade from PFF, a mark that would have ranked him as a middling defensive tackle if he had enough snaps to qualify.

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Cardinals Host CBs Morris Claiborne, Tramaine Brock

The Cardinals entered another offseason continuing their search for a reliable complementary cornerback to Patrick Peterson. They signed Robert Alford. But the team may still want to add pieces to its secondary.

Both Morris Claiborne and Tramaine Brock are in Arizona visiting the Cards on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Each saw a one-year contract recently expire.

Claiborne spent the past two seasons with the Jets and has played on one-year deals for the past three seasons, having signed his first with the Cowboys in 2016. The Jets deployed the former top-10 pick as a starter in each season but appear set to move on.

The Broncos turned to Brock to fill out their previous cornerback trio, which lost Aqib Talib last offseason, with Brock stepping in as Denver’s nickel performer. The Brock-Chris HarrisBradley Roby trio obviously was a step down from when Talib was in that mix, and Denver was not expected to make an effort to re-sign Brock. No such effort was made, and the Broncos have added Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan this offseason.

Brock, who graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 98 corner last season, is entering what would be his age-31 campaign. Claiborne, 29, was one of a handful of corners to surpass 1,000 snaps last season, playing 1,002. The former No. 6 overall pick graded as PFF’s No. 75 cornerback.

In addition to Peterson and Alford, Arizona employs longtime starter David Amerson and Josh Shaw, the latter a free agency addition. Should the Cardinals add either Claiborne or Brock, they will have one of the NFL’s most experienced cornerback contingents.

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New York Notes: Tannehill, Mosley, Giants

The Jets made some noise on Day 1 of the legal tampering period, adding Anthony Barr, Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy to the mix. Their Barr deal also may not preclude them from a C.J. Mosley pact. The Jets aggressively pursued the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker on Monday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. Other teams — including the Browns, Colts and Redskins, in addition to the Ravens — made pushes for Mosley, and those may start back up again Tuesday. The linebacker remains unsigned. The Jets still have plenty of cap room and may be set to waive Darron Lee soon, creating room for Mosley alongside Avery Williamson.

While Barr is expected to help the Jets’ edge rush, he is also viewed as someone who will play off the ball, Mehta notes, comparing the latest high-priced Gregg Williams chess piece to Jamie Collins — the Browns’ off-ball ‘backer who would rush quarterbacks as well. However, it sounds like Barr — a UCLA edge defender — will see more time in rush roles than Collins did.

Here is more from the Jets’ first day of unofficial free agency and the latest from Giants headquarters:

  • A third Josh McCown Jets season could occur, with the team maintaining some interest in the soon-to-be 40-year-old passer backing up Sam Darnold, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. But McCown released a statement Monday night indicating he is undecided on continuing his career, which could put the Jets in the market for another backup.
  • One of those options figures to be Ryan Tannehill, given his three-year run with Adam Gase in Miami. However, the soon-to-be-released quarterback has not come up in Jets meetings about filling their QB2 role, per Mehta. Tannehill could command a higher-end backup salary, like McCown, due to his extensive run as a starter. But he has not proven he can stay healthy since his knee troubles began in 2016.
  • A Mosley backup plan may be former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall. The Jets expressed interest in the longtime Denver starter, according to Vacchiano. This would also point to Lee not being in the team’s plans any longer.
  • A third Morris Claiborne contract will not be on the Jets’ agenda, despite their need at corner, Vacchiano adds. Claiborne’s past two free agency stays ended with Jets deals; the veteran corner will likely have to seek his latest contract elsewhere.
  • The Broncos just reset the right tackle market, with their four-year, $52MM deal for Ja’Wuan James, and that should drive up the price for Daryl Williams. The Giants are likely to express interest in the former Panthers starter, Vacchiano notes. But as was the case with former Dave Gettleman find Andrew Norwell, whom the Giants tried to sign last year, Williams probably won’t come cheap. That said, Norwell and James were coming off healthy seasons; Williams missed almost all of last season because of leg injuries.
  • Big Blue, per Vacchiano, also inquired Monday about former Redskins outside linebacker Preston Smith, who is one of this market’s top edge defenders. The Giants just traded Olivier Vernon to the Browns and have a massive need on the edge. But Smith will also be a coveted commodity on this market.