Aaron Lynch

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/26/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aaron Lynch Unretires, Returns To Jaguars

Aaron Lynch has changed his mind on retirement. He has committed to resuming his career and is back on the Jaguars’ 53-man roster, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The former 49ers and Bears edge rusher signed with the Jags in May but opted to retire in August, doing so as the Jags lost a few defensive linemen — including Rodney Gunter and Al Woods. A six-year veteran, Lynch will provide some experience to a defensive front relying on recent first-rounders Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson. Allen missed last week’s game with an injury.

Jacksonville also lost Jabaal Sheard this week, opting to let the veteran edge rusher head to New York rather than promote him to its active roster. The Jags also have the bulk of their practice squad on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so depth is somewhat of a critical issue this week. Of course, Lynch would need to navigate the NFL’s new near-week-long bevy of coronavirus tests before returning to practice.

In four 49ers seasons and two with the Bears, Lynch has 20 career sacks and 36 tackles for loss.

Jaguars DE Aaron Lynch Retires

Jaguars defensive end Aaron Lynch will retire from the NFL, per a club announcement. Lynch, 27, leaves the Jaguars with yet another hole to fill in the front seven. 

[RELATED: Jaguars’ Gunter Announces Retirement]

On Monday, fellow Jaguars DE Rodney Gunter arrived at the same decision. Previous to that, defensive tackle Al Woods opted out of the 2020 season, pushing his three-year, $18MM deal into 2021. All three of those players were new arrivals in Jacksonville, and none of them will be playing this year. Woods and Gunter were supposed to help fill in for Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell. Lynch, meanwhile, was set to serve as a rotational edge rusher.

Lynch entered the league in 2014 as a fifth-round pick of the 49ers. He spent his first four seasons in SF and made a dent early with 12.5 sacks through his first two pro campaigns. Suspensions and injuries limited him to only 14 games between 2016 and 2017, and he moved on to the Bears in 2018. All together, he leaves the sport with 20 career sacks.

Jaguars Sign DE/LB Aaron Lynch

Aaron Lynch is heading to Florida. The Jaguars announced that they’ve signed the defensive end/linebacker. It’s a one-year deal, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

The 2014 fifth-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the 49ers, and he compiled 12.5 sacks through his first two seasons in the NFL. Suspensions and injuries limited him to only 14 games between 2016 and 2017, and he moved on to Chicago in 2018.

The veteran has spent the past two seasons with the Bears, collecting 22 tackles and five sacks in 29 games (three starts).

Lynch will provide the Jaguars with a rotational pass-rusher, and he could be in for a bigger role if the front office finds a taker for Yannick Ngakoue.

Bears Re-Sign Aaron Lynch

The Bears have re-signed Aaron Lynch, according to a team announcement. The outside linebacker will return on a new one-year deal. 

Lynch met with the Seahawks, Raiders, and Colts this offseason, but he ultimately chose to return to the Bears for at least one more season. Lynch registered three sacks in Chicago last year, giving him 18 across five NFL seasons. However, 12.5 of those sacks came in his first two years in the league.

Lynch spent the first four seasons of his career with the 49ers and signed with the Bears last season to reunite with then-Chicago DC Vic Fangio. After playing on roughly 16% of the 49ers’ defensive snaps over his last two years in SF, Lynch saw an uptick in playing time last year, appearing in roughly one-third of the Bears’ defensive snaps.

Lynch can line up at DE or OLB, so he figures to split his time between those spots in 2019.

Aaron Lynch To Visit Colts

Aaron Lynch has enjoyed a busy free agency, and his itinerary will now include a trip to Indianapolis. The veteran edge rusher will visit the Colts on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Lynch has already trekked to Seattle and Oakland for meetings. The Colts obviously have quite a bit more cap room than the Raiders or Seahawks; they have quite a bit more cap room than anyone at the moment. But Chris Ballard‘s trend of being selective in free agency continues nonetheless.

With the Bears last season, Lynch registered three sacks. He has 18 in five NFL seasons, 12.5 of those coming during his first two years. The 26-year-old edge defender has spent most of his career as a 3-4 outside linebacker, with a one-year stay in San Francisco’s 4-3 look in 2017, but that fit matters less and less with teams using nickel and dime sets more than base looks now. Matt Eberflus‘ defense is a 4-3 scheme.

The Colts have not made any notable front-seven additions this offseason. They reached an agreement to retain Margus Hunt but have left their group alone for the time being. Ballard has added the likes of Jabaal Sheard and Denico Autry in free agency since taking Indianapolis’ GM reins. The Colts also have 2018 second-rounders Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay in the fold, creating an interesting mix of linemen.

However, the team still probably has what can be considered a need for edge help.

Aaron Lynch To Visit Seahawks

Free agent edge defender Aaron Lynch suddenly finds himself with a busy schedule. After visiting with the Raiders today, the 26-year-old is headed to Seattle to visit with the Seahawks, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

Lynch spent the first four seasons of his career with the 49ers and signed with the Bears last season to reunite with then-Chicago DC Vic Fangio. After playing on roughly 16% of the 49ers’ defensive snaps over his last two years in San Francisco, Lynch saw an uptick in playing time last year, appearing in roughly 1/3 of the Bears’ defensive snaps.

The former fifth-round pick offers some pass rush ability, and he did record 12.5 sacks across the 2014-15 seasons. Seattle was one of the better pass rushing teams in the league in 2018 in terms of raw sack totals, but Lynch, who can line up at either DE or OLB, would be a welcome addition to most clubs as a situational pass rusher if the price is right.

Raiders Interested In Brandon Marshall; Also Interested In Vontaze Burfict?

The Raiders are interested in former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, according to Mike Klis of 9News (via Twitter). Marshall, who saw his 2019 option declined by the division-rival Broncos, has attracted the attention of at least five clubs.

He does have a concerning injury history, but Oakland has very little firepower in its LB corps, and Marshall, who compiled 102 tackles and three sacks in 2017, would represent an immediate upgrade if he can stay healthy.

Vontaze Burfict would also represent an upgrade, and the Raiders, never a club to shy away from controversial players and big personalities, may also may be interested in the recently-released linebacker, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Bengals cut Burfict today after a seven-year run that included one Pro Bowl berth and a whole host of fines and suspensions, and though he may have lost a step or two, there is clearly a need for someone of his ability in Oakland.

In addition to their interest in Marshall and their potential interest in Burfict, the Raiders have also hosted Manti Te’o and Aaron Lynch, as Rapoport observes. Te’o, who just finished a two-year pact that he signed with the Saints in 2017, saw action in just five contests (two starts) last year, compiling 18 total tackles, but he did start 11 games in 2017 and played reasonably well. Plus, he is still only 28, and he would likely welcome a chance to sign with the Raiders given the playing time that might be available for him.

Unlike Burfict and Te’o, Lynch is an edge defender who can line up at DE or OLB. He was in for about 1/3 of the Bears’ defensive snaps in 2018, and he recorded three sacks in his 13 games played (three starts). The Raiders need someone who can get after the quarterback, and Lynch did post 12.5 sacks over his first two years in the league with the 49ers. At 26, he could be a low-risk, high-reward acquisition.

Extra Points: Patriots, McDaniels, Bears

Predicting when the Patriots’ dynasty will end has become a seemingly annual exercise, but this year there seems to be some very real cracks in the foundation. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe has a new piece examining all the possible explanations for the Patriots’ uncharacteristic issues this year, and the whole thing is worth a read. He quotes many former coaches and adversaries like Rex Ryan, and notes that the consensus seems to be that the “Patriots may have overestimated how much” the trio of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman had left in the tank.

Gronkowski has struggled with injuries all season long and hasn’t looked like himself, and Brady’s numbers aren’t of the eye-popping variety we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Volin notes that the Patriots’ longtime “commandment” was to trade players before they got over the hill, but that the team opted not to deal Gronkowski after reportedly dangling him in trade talks this offseason. There’s still a couple of weeks plus the playoffs left, but it will be very interesting to see what type of changes come in New England this offseason if things don’t pick up.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of the Patriots, one change they might be facing is the potential departure of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels famously spurned the Colts at the last second this offseason, but is likely to be a hot head coaching candidate again this year. A league source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic that McDaniels will be heavily sought after on the interview circuit in part because there’s a “shortage of impressive coaching candidates.” Howe notes that the Patriots made McDaniels the league’s highest paid coordinator to help keep him, but that he “recently hired a new agent and will be interested in interview opportunities.” McDaniels has been linked heavily to the Packers’ opening in particular.
  • The Bears just wrapped up the NFC North last week, but they’ll be without a pair of key defensive players this week as they take on the 49ers while pursuing a first round bye. Safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Aaron Lynch have been ruled out for the game, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). Jackson has graded out as the top safety in the league according to Pro Football Focus, and his absence will be massive for the league’s best defense.
  • In case you missed it, Pat Bowlen’s wife is now weighing in on the ongoing legal saga surrounding ownership of the Broncos.

North Rumors: Browns, Tyrod, Steelers, Bell

Tyrod Taylor gave Browns fans a scare on Thursday night when he left Cleveland’s preseason game with a hand injury, but he eventually return to the contest and was diagnosed with just a dislocated pinky, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While undoubtedly a painful ailment, Taylor isn’t expected to miss any time with the issue, and he tweeted earlier today that he’s “doing well.” Taylor will begin the 2018 campaign as the Browns’ starting quarterback, but could eventually cede to No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Le’Veon Bell isn’t expected to report to the Steelers until Week 1, and it’s unclear if the two-time franchise player will be a member of Pittsburgh’s roster after 2018. He won’t be assigned the tag again, meaning he’ll be able to hit the open market next spring. With that in mind, Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports examined whether Bell will be able to command a fully guaranteed deal, and also looked at the top contenders to land Bell once he finally hits free agency. The Colts, Jets, and Browns — all of whom project to have plenty of 2019 cap space, all make sense as potential destinations, per Paylor.
  • Bears safety DeAndre Houston-Carson during Chicago’s preseason game against the Broncos and is expected to miss regular season action, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Houston-Carson had been performing well in training camp and during the preseason, but it’s unclear if the Bears will hold a roster spot for a player who’s not a key contributor on defense. The former sixth-round pick has played just 24 defensive snaps over two seasons in Chicago, but is a core special-teamer (303 total ST snaps since 2016).
  • Edge rusher Aaron Lynch is running out of time to earn a place on the Bears‘ roster, as Campbell writes in a full piece. Lynch has been dealing a hamstring issue since late June, and has since missed 20 practices and three preseason games. He won’t participate in Saturday’s exhibition contest, either, meaning the 25-year-old will need to show progress in Chicago’s final preseason game next Thursday. A third-round pick in 2015, Lynch flashed potential during his first two NFL seasons with San Francisco, but has played in only 14 total games over the past two years due to injuries and a suspension.