49ers To Sign Jordan Reed

The 49ers have agreed to sign Jordan Reed, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). The deal will reunite the talented tight end with former Washington staffer and current SF head coach Kyle Shanahan

[RELATED: Ravens, Patriots Interested In Delanie Walker]

Reed had been connected to the Ravens and other teams in need of tight end help. The Niners – who boast the game’s best tight end in George Kittle – certainly did not need Reed, but they’ve landed him anyway. If Reed is healthy, the 49ers will boast the league’s scariest 1-2 combo at the position.

Reed has been adamant about wanting to return to the field, despite his troubling history with head trauma. Over the last three seasons, he’s played in just a baker’s dozen of games. And, since the start of his college career, he’s suffered at least seven concussions. His last concussion took him out for the entire 2019 season. In February, the Washington Football Team released from the two seasons left on his five-year, $47MM contract.

But, when he’s been healthy and on the field, Reed has performed as one of the league’s top tight ends. Between 2013 and 2018, Reed racked up 329 catches for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns for Washington.

In March, we heard that the Seahawks had some interest in signing Reed. The Ravens had him on their short list as well, but they’ll likely pivot to Delanie Walker, who is reportedly 100% healthy and interested in coming to Baltimore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets LB C.J. Mosley To Opt Out

C.J. Mosley will become the latest player to pass on the 2020 season. The Jets linebacker is opting out, per Rich Cimini of (on Twitter).

The former Ravens first-round pick’s Jets career barely started last year, with injury setbacks limiting him to 114 snaps in two games. Now, the Pro Bowl linebacker will wait until 2021 to make an impact with his second NFL team.

While the Jets are not expected to be a serious 2020 contender, this represents another major setback. They made Mosley the NFL’s highest-paid linebacker (by far) last year, in signing him to a five-year, $85MM deal. Bobby Wagner since surpassed that pact, but by 2021, Mosley will have played two of a possible 32 games with the Jets, who have already paid him $29MM.

With Jamal Adams now a teammate of Wagner’s in Seattle, after last weekend’s blockbuster trade, the Jets have lost their two best defenders in a seven-day span.

The second year of Mosley’s contract will toll to 2021, now making the deal run through the 2024 season. But this leaves a major hole among a Jets linebacking corps that also has Avery Williamson returning from a season-long injury absence. The Jets placed Williamson on their active/PUP list earlier this week.

Dont’a Hightower, Nate Solder and Damien Williams are among the biggest names to opt out. Mosley is the most decorated player set to skip the season. The 2014 first-rounder has made four Pro Bowls. The Ravens wanted to re-sign the inside linebacker last year, but the Alabama product understandably did not turn down a monster Jets offer that raised the off-ball ‘backer salary ceiling by nearly $3MM. Mosley has four 100-plus-tackle seasons on his resume.

A groin injury sidelined Mosley last season. He suffered the ailment in September, attempted to come back during a Monday night in October but aggravated the malady and missed the rest of the campaign. Mosley underwent surgery in December and received a clean bill of health in June. He will have more time to ensure he’s 100% now, with the Jets set to miss out on his age-28 season after mostly missing his age-27 slate.

Considering Mosley and Williamson’s salaries, the Jets are obviously limited at this position beyond their top two talents. While the Jets were a quality run-defending team without their top defensive investment, ranking second in DVOA against ground attacks, Pro Football Focus did not have a high opinion of any of their non-Mosley linebackers. The team signed former Mosley Baltimore teammate Patrick Onwuasor; his 2020 role stands to increase now. James Burgess, Neville Hewitt and 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman are also part of Gang Green’s linebacking corps. Available free agents include ex-Giant Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron and Wesley Woodyard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Hands Antonio Brown 8-Game Ban

2:58pm: Brown is not expected to appeal this suspension, Pelissero notes (via Twitter). This will shelve him until at least Week 9. However, the civil suit in which he’s currently involved could add more games to the ban.

1:45pm: The NFL has finally revealed the length of Antonio Brown‘s suspension. He will receive an eight-game ban, Robert Klemko of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The league has announced the suspension, which stems from “multiple violations” of the personal conduct policy.

This suspension will begin Week 1, whether Brown is on a roster or not, and’s Tom Pelissero adds that the acclaimed wide receiver could face additional discipline if further violations are uncovered in a civil suit in Florida (Twitter link). The civil suit is regarding former trainer Britney Taylor’s sexual assault allegations. The next hearing in that case is set for Sept. 15, Pelissero tweets. Brown has backed out of settlement talks in this case multiple times.

So, the finality the four-time All-Pro sought has emerged. But it will severely impact his 2020 status. Should Brown sign with a team before the regular season begins, he would, however, be eligible to practice, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Brown has backtracked on retirement a few times now; the most recent such occurrence took place last week. The mercurial free agent wanted clarity on an investigation that began almost a year ago. The NFL has investigated Brown for three separate incidents — the Taylor allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, an allegation of sexual misconduct by an unnamed artist (and the texts Brown sent regarding this matter), and the wideout’s alleged assault on a deliver driver in January — and a lengthy suspension was expected.

However, the league’s initial punishment does not include the Taylor case. The league is still investigating that matter, Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets. It will wait until the civil suit’s conclusion before handing down any additional punishment. That could further restrict Brown’s ability to play this season. Even if eight games will be the final number, Brown will have been out of action for more than 13 months by the time he returns.

The former Steelers superstar landed on the All-Decade team and was on a surefire Hall of Fame trajectory going into Week 17 of the 2018 season. Since his Pittsburgh tenure began to unravel after he missed his former team’s final 2018 game, the once-traded, twice-released talent has traversed a historic path of self-destruction. His Raiders stay involved a few high-profile controversies and ended with no games played. The Patriots did deploy Brown in a game but cut him before its Week 3 contest last year. Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady have lobbied for their respective teams to sign Brown, but his impact will be limited in 2020.

The NFL’s release mandates Brown continue undergoing counseling and warned him that any future violations of the personal conduct policy would result in a more significant penalty. Given the events of the past 19 months and Brown going into what would be his age-32 season, he is almost out of time to resurrect his career. That said, one of the game’s top pass-catching talents will be available (as of now) to potentially impact the 2020 playoff race.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints, Nigel Bradham Agree To Deal

Nigel Bradham will land with a different NFC contender. The longtime Eagles linebacker reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Saints, Adam Schefter of tweets.

The Eagles cut Bradham earlier this year. The ninth-year ‘backer will resurface in New Orleans, joining former Philadelphia teammate Malcolm Jenkins.

New Orleans houses a surefire three-down player in Demario Davis, who has been one of the best off-ball linebackers in recent years. Picked a round later in 2012 (in Round 4), Bradham was the Eagles’ steadiest linebacker since he signed with Philly in 2016. The former Bills draftee will add experience to a Saints second-level corps that has ex-Bradham Bills teammate Kiko Alonso recovering from an ACL tear.

Bradham, 31 in September, played at least 900 defensive snaps from 2016-18 but logged 717 last year. He battled an ankle injury in 2019. He graded as a top-35 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, in three of his four seasons in Philly — including the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl slate.

New Orleans lost A.J. Klein in free agency but used a third-round pick on Wisconsin’s Zack Baun, who worked as both an off-ball defender and a pass rusher for the Big Ten program.

The three-time reigning NFC South champions have been active on the market this offseason, with Bradham following Jenkins, Emmanuel Sanders and Jameis Winston to Louisiana. With Drew Brees on a year-to-year plan regarding retirement, maximizing his final snaps makes sense for a team that has endured some brutal endings to its past three seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers To Sign LeSean McCoy

The Buccaneers are making a big move at running back. They will bring in LeSean McCoy, Adam Schefter of reports (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum, Ian Rapoport of tweets. That works out to $1.05MM for a 12th-year player.

Bruce Arians confirmed the team was interested in Devonta Freeman earlier this offseason but said the ex-Falcon’s price tag was too high. The Bucs went in a different direction, signing the former All-Pro to work with Ronald Jones and third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn. With the pandemic nixing the onsite work and the preseason, it makes sense for the Bucs to bring in a veteran Jones complement while Vaughn develops.

McCoy said recently he had spoken to multiple teams and wanted to land with a contender. Considering the Bucs’ new profile after their Tom Brady signing, they certainly qualify. One of the other teams McCoy spoke with was indeed the Eagles, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The Eagles were interested in a reunion, but given McCoy’s league-minimum Bucs pact, it is unclear if an offer came.

Although the Chiefs made McCoy a healthy scratch in Super Bowl LIV, he showed flashes during the regular season. Shady averaged 4.6 yards per carry, bouncing back from a 3.2-YPC season in an undermanned Bills offense in 2018, and scored five touchdowns during his one-year Andy Reid reunion.

After collecting his first Super Bowl ring, the six-time Pro Bowler will join another team with Super Bowl aspirations. The Bucs have now added future Hall of Famers Brady and Rob Gronkowski to their offense, and McCoy will have a chance to work on his Canton credentials in Tampa.

The former Eagles and Bills standout wants to become the league’s 17th 12,000-yard rusher. Sitting on 11,071, the 32-year-old runner will likely need at least two seasons to get there. Every retired back who has eclipsed 12,000 is in the Hall of Fame. Rushers who ended their careers between 11,000 and 12,000 — Fred Taylor, Steven Jackson and Corey Dillon — have not been inducted, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs RB Damien Williams Opts Out

The Chiefs will lose another starter from their Super Bowl champion team to an opt-out decision. Damien Williams informed the team he will not play this season.

This news follows longtime Kansas City guard starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif‘s decision, which preceded several players’ choices to bypass 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns. Williams became the Chiefs’ starting running back shortly after the team waived Kareem Hunt in 2018. He was again set for a key role this season.

Williams, 28, delivered an inconsistent regular season; the Chiefs ranked 23rd in rushing offense. But the former Dolphins backup again produced in the playoffs. Williams scored six playoff touchdowns and had the best non-Patrick Mahomes claim to the Super Bowl LIV MVP award after totaling 133 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. He scored four TDs in the 2018 postseason.

Kansas City, however, has some interesting options in its backfield. First-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire will now be on track to start this season. The LSU product was one of college football’s most difficult tackling assignments last season and will join a high-powered Chiefs offense — one now in need of a starting running back. Edwards-Helaire is the only running back an Andy Reid-led team has selected in Round 1 during the future Hall of Fame coach’s 21 years as a head coach. The Chiefs also have young backs Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams as options beyond Edwards-Helaire.

Williams’ contract ran through 2020. He was to make $1.85MM in base salary this season on a deal that will now toll to 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants LT Nate Solder Opts Out

Giants left tackle Nate Solder has announced he is opting out of the 2020 season. The former Patriots blocker cited family concerns in doing so (Twitter link). Solder, who overcame testicular cancer during his NFL career, has a son battling cancer.

This was set to be Solder’s third season with the Giants, who were to slot No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas‘ at right tackle. This announcement may change the organization’s plans. Solder qualifies as a high-risk opt-out player. He will receive a $350K stipend for the 2020 season.

The Giants signed Solder to a then-record four-year, $62MM deal in 2018. That deal now runs through the 2022 season, with Solder’s $9.9MM base salary and $19.5MM cap number tolling to 2021.

He was the centerpiece of then-new GM Dave Gettleman‘s offensive line overhaul. While the 6-foot-8 veteran has not delivered on that contract, his opt out will leave the Giants shorthanded at one of the game’s most pivotal positions. Solder, 32, has started all 32 games since signing his Giants pact.

Big Blue drafted Thomas as a Solder heir apparent, but after letting 2019 right tackle stopgap Mike Remmers leave in free agency, the team was planning on a Solder-Thomas setup. This may force the team to begin Thomas at left tackle early and move March addition Cameron Fleming into the starting lineup. The Giants had the former Patriots and Cowboys tackle on track for a swing-man role. Fleming has started 18 games in his six-year career. New York also used a third-round pick on tackle Matt Peart, but even before the coronavirus wiped out onsite offseason workouts, the UConn product was viewed as more of a developmental player.

Were the Giants to look to the market to find a left tackle stopgap, Cordy Glenn remains unsigned. Jason Peters re-signed with the Eagles after months in free agency, and Kelvin Beachum reached a recent deal with the Cardinals. Donald Penn and longtime Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson also remain free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Larry Warford Will Not Play In 2020

Larry Warford has received multiple offers to play in 2020, but the Pro Bowl guard will not sign with any team. He is instead opting out for the season, Adam Schefter of tweets.

The Saints released Warford shortly after using their first-round pick on interior lineman Cesar Ruiz. Warford, who made the Pro Bowl as an alternate from 2017-19, is looking to start a family, per Schefter, and will continue to train for the 2021 season.

Players who inform their teams of a voluntary opt-out decision are in line for a $150K stipend; players who do so because of a higher risk of potential COVID-19 complications receive $350K. Warford not being on a team places him outside of these categories. So, Warford is essentially pausing his career independently during the coronavirus-clouded season.

The stipend payment likely would not affect Warford much; the former Lions and Saints blocker has made quite a bit of money playing this sport. He played three seasons on his four-year, $34MM New Orleans pact. This would have been Warford’s age-29 season. He was seeking around $7MM per year as a free agent.

The Texans and Bears immediately showed interest in Warford after his Saints release, though Chicago backed out of the pursuit. The Dolphins were connected to Warford as well, but as of a few weeks ago, it did not appear they were overly interested. But given how valuable quality O-linemen are, Warford would have had little trouble finding a starting job this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Raheem Mostert Agree To New Deal

The 49ers have smoothed things out with Raheem Mostert. The two sides have agreed to a restructuring to keep the running back in the fold this year, as Adam Schefter of tweets

[RELATED: 49ers Sign CB Jamar Taylor]

Mostert demanded a trade earlier this summer when extension talks stalled. The running back wanted a deal to reflect his 2019 performance, by way of a contract that would match Tevin Coleman‘s. Coleman is set to enter the backend of his two-year, $8.5MM deal. The Niners, predictably, pushed back – Mostert still had two seasons left on his three-year, $8.7MM pact. Ultimately, they met somewhere in the middle. Mostert’s existing deal will continue, but he’ll get a little more in the way of current year comp to stay satisfied and productive.

Happy we got things worked out and looking forward to him having another great season there,” said Mostert’s agent, Brett Tessler. “Thanks to the organization for taking care of him.”

The new deal will pay Mostert $2.575MM in base salary this year, with a $300K bonus, per Schefter. He’ll also be able to earn up to an additional $2.75MM through incentives and bonuses.

Mostert, 28, bounced around the league for a while before landing with the 49ers in 2016. The former UDFA is the team’s longest-tenured running back, but, up until 2018, he barely saw any work in the backfield. Mostert averaged 7.7 yards per carry (on 34 totes) in 2018. Then, he broke out in 2019, leading the 49ers with 772 rushing yards and pacing all running backs with 5.6 per carry. He then set a conference championship game record with four rushing touchdowns.

With Mostert firmly in the fold, the Niners are set to feature a solid stable of Mostert, Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Trade Jamal Adams To Seahawks

The Jets have traded safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks, as Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Seahawks sent a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, and safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets in exchange for Adams and a 2022 fourth-round choice.

[RELATED: Adams Says Adam Gase Isn’t “Right Leader” For Jets]

Jets GM Joe Douglas has come under fire for his handling of Adams, but it’s hard to argue with the Jets’ return on the trade. It’s a stunning haul, considering how badly the Adams bridge had been burned.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, have received one of the league’s most exciting young talents. Adams – who won’t turn 25 until October – has been a certified star since his rookie season and he’s been rock solid in coverage for the last two years. Between 2018 and 2019, only Vikings standout Anthony Harris graded out higher than Adams at safety, according to Pro Football Focus. Eddie Jackson (Bears) is No. 3 on the list, and he currently stands as the league’s top-paid safety. In 2019, Adams earned his first ever First-Team All-Pro nod while notching 75 tackles, seven passes defensed, 6.5 sacks, and a defensive touchdown.

It’s an immediate lift for the Seahawks and a future cornerstone for their secondary. Of course, they’ll have to iron out a new deal with Adams sooner rather than later. For now, Adams has two years of club control remaining on his deal. Beyond that, he’s seeking a deal that will position him as the league’s highest paid safety, meaning a floor of $15MM per year. Adams was also pushing the Jets for $20MM per season – putting him in defensive end territory – but that sticker price was probably exclusive to Gang Green. For the Seahawks, and other clubs that were on his wish list, the ask was believed to be a bit lower. Also, Adams is reportedly willing to wait until next year to start negotiations with the Seahawks.

Throughout the offseason, Douglas told the world that he would not trade Adams under any circumstances. That stance softened in recent weeks as Adams voice his displeasure more and more. Adams claims that the Jets promised him an extension offer in January. That offer never came. In the spring, the Jets pinned the delay on the pandemic and the related economic factors, but he wasn’t buying it. Per one recent report, Jets ownership instructed the front office to hold on large, multi-year committments long before COVID-19 reached the United States.

The Cowboys, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers, and Buccaneers were also among Adams’ preferred destinations. It’s not clear whether those clubs made an aggressive play for Adams, however. Any of those teams would have loved to have him – especially the Texans, given their glaring need at the position – but the Jets’ asking price coupled with the expense of a new Adams deal cooled the interest of most clubs. For the Seahawks, it was well worth it.

While most teams have held off on making major moves this offseason, the NFC West has been a notable exception. Adams is the latest big-time trade acquisition in the division, following the 49ers’ move for Trent Williams and the Cardinals stunner of a deal for DeAndre Hopkins. The Rams, who have made a habit of splashy moves in their new L.A. digs, have not been quite as proactive.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.