Phillip Dorsett

NFC West Notes: Dorsett, Simmons, 49ers

Phillip Dorsett signed with the Seahawks earlier this offseason, but it sounds like the wideout regrets not joining the organization sooner.

“I could have went a lot of different places but I just felt like this was the right fit,” Dorsett told reporters (via Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk.com). “I felt like it was one year – not too late because I could have come last year and I chose to stay in New England, but I didn’t want to make that mistake again.”

The former Patriots receiver made two trips to the Super Bowl (including a victory in Super Bowl LIII) during his time in New England. However, he struggled to climb the depth chart, as he hauled in only 73 total receptions for 881 yards and eight touchdowns in 45 games for the Patriots.

“I’m not going to say it’s not any fun. Because at the end of the day, I went to two Super Bowls and won one. So you can’t say there’s no fun in that. There is fun in that,” Dorsett said. “But at the end of the day when you’re at practice, it’s all business. When you’re in the meeting rooms, it’s all business. When you’re on the practice field or the game field, it’s all business. But I met some amazing people there. Amazing teammates, media, equipment managers, coaches. I had a great experience there. And I was just ready for the next step, you know, I’m blessed to be here. I can’t wait to get going. And I’m just thankful.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC West…

  • While Clemson may have capitalized on Isaiah Simmons’ versatility, it sounds like the Cardinals have other plans. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury will allow the eighth-overall pick to solely focus on one position. “His ability to play so many positions and not really having a chance to focus on one, we just think the sky could be the limit for what he can be if we really lock him in one position for the majority of the time,” Kingsbury said (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph previously hinted that Simmons could end up spending most of his time at linebacker.
  • Retired 49ers offensive lineman Joe Staley will count $2MM against the cap next season, observes Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. The veteran was set to earn more than $10MM in salary and bonuses before the 49ers released him with an injury settlement. Staley will get $1MM via that transaction, and he’ll receive another $1MM stemming from the contract extension he signed last offseason.
  • We learned yesterday that the Seahawks don’t seem interested in re-signing Jadeveon Clowney, and it could be a while before the edge rusher joins any NFL team

NFL Contract Details: Lions, Seahawks, Vikings, Jets, Broncos

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL deals:

  • Tony McRae, CB (Lions): One year, $1MM. $200K guaranteed. $100K signing bonus (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News).
  • Phillip Dorsett, WR (Seahawks): One year, $1.048MM. $138K guaranteed. Qualifies as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Ameer Abdullah, RB (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune).
  • Anthony Zettel, DE (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press).
  • Joseph Jones, LB (Broncos): One year, $825K. No guaranteed money (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News).
  • Bennett Jackson, DB (Jets): One year, $725K. $100K guaranteed. $50K signing bonus (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com).

Seahawks To Sign WR Phillip Dorsett

March 31: Dorsett’s deal will qualify for the veteran salary benefit, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That means he’ll count for just $877K against Seattle’s cap, with a $137,500 signing bonus, even though he’ll collect a larger sum.

March 24: Phillip Dorsett will have a new address soon. The free agent wide receiver has committed to signing with the Seahawks, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal.

As many as five teams were looking into the former Patriots contributor, and Dorsett’s decision will add a weapon to the Seahawks’ receiving corps. The Jets, 49ers, Raiders and Chargers also showed interest in the former first-round pick.

Seattle will team Dorsett with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, giving Russell Wilson some additional help. Dorsett spent the past three seasons with the Patriots, being sent to New England for Jacoby Brissett just before the 2017 season. While Dorsett never broke through as a higher-end weapon for Tom Brady, he played a supporting-cast role and posted 29 receptions for 397 yards and a career-high five touchdowns last season. He added two TDs during the Patriots’ 2018 playoff run.

Dorsett, 27, averaged north of 16 yards per catch in 2016 and ’17, enjoying his best season with Andrew Luck in ’16. Dorsett posted a career-high 528 receiving yards that year but saw then-new GM Chris Ballard ship him out just before the 2017 regular season. This Seahawks agreement represents another chance for the ex-Miami Hurricanes speedster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Teams Interested In Phillip Dorsett

Free-agent wideout Phillip Dorsett tells ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Jets, Seahawks, Chargers, 49ers, and Raiders have all shown preliminary interest in his services. Dorsett added, “I just want to come in and have a great opportunity to play and showcase how I can really flourish as a player.”

While Dorsett has never lived up to the expectations placed upon a first-round pick (the Colts selected Dorsett with the 29th overall pick in 2015), he has consistently been a healthy pass-catching depth option over his five-year career.

Dorsett was most productive in 2016. Appearing in 15 games with a career-high 7 starts, Dorsett caught 33 receptions for 528 yards and 2 touchdowns with the Colts. Indianapolis shipped Dorsett to the Patriots the following offseason in a trade for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. In New England over the past three seasons, Dorsett was a decently productive depth piece, accruing 73 receptions for 881 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Of course, the Patriots struggles to find legitimate options at wide receiver over the past few seasons have been well documented. Yet even amidst the dire straights, Dorsett was never able to emerge as a top option. Still, given his long history as a sturdy player, it’s no surprise that many teams remain interested in his services.

AFC East Rumors: Jets, Bell, Butler, Norman

The Jets are widely expected to be active in free agency, and now that a new CBA has been approved, they can increase their ability to spend by designating Trumaine Johnson as a post-June 1 cut. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com takes a look at the players that Gang Green is expected to target, and unsurprisingly, some of this year’s most prolific O-lineman, edge rushers, and cornerbacks are on the list.

But what are the Jets’ fallback plans if they can’t land their top targets? Connor Hughes of The Athletic has heard that the team could pursue Eagles OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and if the Jets miss out on guards like Graham Glasgow and Joe Thuney, Hughes says they have looked into Panthers guard Greg Van Roten.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets would like to retain WR Robby Anderson, but if his price tag gets too high, both Hughes and Cimini believe Breshad Perriman would be a target. Perriman offers field-stretching ability and had a strong finish to the 2019 season with the Bucs.
  • Jets RB Le’Veon Bell receives a $2MM roster bonus today. As Cimini points out, that bonus makes it a little less likely that Bell is traded, though that never seemed like a realistic proposition to begin with.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots are prepared to move on from WR Phillip Dorsett, though it’s a different story for Adam Butler. The fourth-year DT recently switched agents, and Reiss says extension talks could be on tap. Butler, a former UDFA, recorded six sacks last season.
  • The details are in on Josh Norman‘s new contract with the Bills, courtesy of Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Twitter), The deal was originally reported as a one-year, $6MM pact that could increase to $8MM with incentives, but Norman has a number of workout and roster milestones to hit before he collects the full $6MM. His salary is just $2.8MM, $1.5MM of which is guaranteed.

Extra Points: Sanu, Brown, Bears, Lock

The Patriots‘ revolving receiver cast may be set for more adjustments. Mohamed Sanu may well be battling a high ankle sprain, according to Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston. While that is not confirmed, the recent trade acquisition did not practice Wednesday and is listed on New England’s injury report. A high ankle sprain would stand to sideline Sanu for multiple games. The Pats have cycled through numerous receiver combinations this season, with Julian Edelman being the only constant. Phillip Dorsett is in the Pats’ concussion protocol, meaning Edelman’s supporting cast against the Cowboys may be fronted by rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers.

Here is the latest from around the NFL, moving first to a player not currently in the league.

  • Antonio Brown launched a countersuit against Britney Taylor, the first of two women to make sexual misconduct claims against the free agent wide receiver. Taylor filed a civil suit against Brown earlier this year, alleging sexual assault, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports Brown’s case will center around defamation and interference with NFL contract and endorsement opportunities. Brown remains hopeful the NFL will clear him soon; he met with the league last week. But a recent report gave Brown a long-odds chance of playing again this season.
  • Mitchell Trubisky was a full participant at Bears practice Wednesday, despite being removed from Sunday night’s game with a hip injury. Matt Nagy said he does not intend to bench his starter and plans to play him this week against the Giants. “We want him to be out there this week as the starter,” Nagy said, via J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m hoping that’s the case. … These types of injuries, you get to a point where they are literally day to day and it becomes about where you’re at with the pain and how we manage that.”
  • Brandon Allen has helped spark the Broncos‘ offense, but the team would stand to benefit from Drew Lock debuting soon. Vic Fangio added an interesting stance Wednesday, indicating he does not think it’s “vitally important” the rookie passer plays this season, via Mike Klis of 9News. However, the Broncos do plan to activate Lock from IR either next week or in Week 14, per Klis. Denver selected Lock in Round 2 but saw its Joe Flacco investment fail, leading to more uncertainty at a long-troublesome position for the franchise. The Broncos could again be linked to top quarterbacks in the 2020 draft, just as they were in 2018 and ’19.
  • One of the Falcons‘ IR-return slots will go toward a punter. Longtime punter Matt Bosher returned to practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). Atlanta’s ninth-year punter cannot return to action until Week 13.
  • After placing fullback Nick Bawden on IR, the Lions worked out several fullbacks. Tommy Bohanon, Derrick Coleman, Tre Madden, Aaron Ripkowski auditioned for the Lions, per Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter).

Contract Details: Nsekhe, Anderson, Dorsett

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Patriots To Re-Sign WR Phillip Dorsett

Phillip Dorsett is heading back to the Patriots. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the receiver is returning to New England on a one-year deal. The reporter describes it as “prove-it” deal before Dorsett returns to free agency next offseason.

Back in 2017, the Patriots acquired Dorsett from the Colts in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. His first season was a bit of a dud, but Dorsett emerged in 2018.

While his role was reduced following the return of Julian Edelman and the acquisition of Josh Gordon, Dorsett still finished the campaign with 32 receptions for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Dorsett also came up big during the Patriots’ Super Bowl run, hauling in five receptions for 70 yards and two scores in three games.

As it stands right now, Dorsett may have an opportunity to play an even bigger role in 2019. The Patriots current receivers depth chart essentially consists of Edelman, although the organization has reportedly been hunting for wideouts. Even if Chris Hogan re-signs or Gordon is given the chance to return, Dorsett should still have an opportunity for plenty of targets next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Interested In Amendola Reunion?

Danny Amendola‘s Dolphins tenure lasted one season, and a report indicated the veteran wide receiver was interested in rejoining the Patriots. It appears the defending Super Bowl champions are open to that.

The Patriots have interest in bringing Amendola back, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter).

New England’s wideout situation features extensive uncertainty. Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett are free agents, and Josh Gordon — an RFA, were he to be reinstated again — cannot be counted on to come back at this point. Julian Edelman delivered another productive season, culminating in a dominant playoff stretch, but will be 33 next season.

The Patriots would be interested in a Dorsett return, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, but the team does not appear to be eyeing a bigger role for the former first-round pick. Should another team view Dorsett in a better light, Reiss expects the four-year veteran to leave New England.

Amendola will turn 34 this year and was not especially consistent for the Patriots. But he came up big in some key moments, including in his final playoff run with the Pats.

Last season, Amendola caught 59 passes for 575 yards and one touchdown. The Dolphins gave him a two-year, $12MM deal, which they scrubbed from their books earlier this week. Another Patriots contract would not be for that much, but given Amendola’s experience with the team, it would be logical the Pats could pursue him to fill in as an auxiliary weapon on a lower-end deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Josh Gordon Suspension

With news of yet another suspension sidelining Josh Gordon, the mercurial wide receiver’s on-field work with the Patriots likely will end up concluding with the team’s Week 15 loss to the Steelers. Here are some reactions to the news of Gordon’s ban.

  • The Patriots’ decision to trade for him as a possible quick-fix option was naive, NBC Sports’ Peter King said during a WEEI radio interview (via NESN.com). Citing the Patriots’ failure to properly address their skill positions this offseason, King scrutinizes the organization for bringing in a player with Gordon’s immense baggage — and doing so just after yet another incident in Cleveland prompted the Browns to engage in serious trade talks. New England traded Brandin Cooks and cut a slew of wideouts — Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Eric Decker and Jordan Matthews — before acquiring Gordon. Although Gordon’s 720 yards are the second-most in NFL history by a wideout playing on a different team than he did when a season started, behind only Wes Chandler‘s 857 for the 1981 Chargers, the Pats are again shorthanded at wideout.
  • New England’s attempt to acquire Demaryius Thomas from the Broncos stemmed from its concern about Gordon, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required). The Patriots also protected seldom-used wideout Phillip Dorsett before the deadline, with Howe noting the team rebuffed at least one trade inquiry regarding the former first-round pick. Minimized by Gordon’s arrival, Dorsett has not caught a pass since Week 12. He’ll surely be called upon more now.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson has repeatedly failed to live up to expectations that come with being a first-round wideout, despite his immense talent as a kick returner, and Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston notes the Patriots have been hesitant to put too much on Patterson’s plate as a receiver. But they now may have to turn to him more in that area, Curran adds. New England still has Dorsett and Chris Hogan as Julian Edelman complements, but with Edelman and Rob Gronkowski not quite on their former levels, Gordon’s exit will damage the Patriots’ passing game. Patterson has 20 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns as a Patriot.