Adrian Phillips

Patriots To Release DL Lawrence Guy, S Adrian Phillips

Cost-cutting season is in full swing around the NFL. New England is letting go of defensive lineman Lawrence Guy and safety Adrian Phillips, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Guy had one year remaining on his contract, and none of his $2MM base salary was guaranteed. As a result, today’s move will produce $3MM in cap savings and a dead cap charge of just $500K. Phillips was likewise on an expiring deal with none of the $3MM he was owed in the form of guaranteed money. His release will also save $3MM against the cap in 2024 while incurring $1.18MM in dead money.

Amidst an exodus of other longtime members of the organization in recent years, Guy found himself the longest-tenured member of the franchise heading into the 2023 season. Talks on an extension took place during the summer, but no agreement was reached. The 33-year-old had been a full-time starter in his first six seasons in New England, but his playing time dipped to a Patriots tenure-low of 46% in 2023. Now, he will begin searching for a new opportunity.

Guy remained a steady contributor along the defensive front for the Patriots across his 110 games played with the franchise, recording between one and three sacks and between 46 and 61 tackles from 2017-22. His production took a step back this past season, but the Super Bowl LIII winner could generate a decent market in free agency on a short-term deal.

Phillips inked a $12.75MM extension in 2022, and he played every game over the past two seasons. After receiving eight starts in 2022, however, that figure fell to one this past campaign. The 31-year-old’s 12% defensive snap was the lowest of his career and a far cry from his previous workloads in his three Patriots campaigns. He shifted to a special teams mainstay, something which should help his financial floor on a new contract.

The safety spot could see further turnover in this offseason. Kyle Dugger is a pending free agent, as is versatile defensive back Jalen Mills (who logged over 100 snaps at each safety spot last season). Jabrill Peppers has one year remaining on his contract, so a long-term investment at the position should be expected either through free agency or the draft this offseason.

The Patriots entered today with $66MM in cap space, the fourth-highest figure in the league. These cost-shedding moves will add to that total as the team begins a critical offseason with new personnel in place in the front office and on the sidelines. Both Guy and Phillips, meanwhile, will join the list of veteran defenders available on the free agent market.

Pats Re-Sign Veteran DB Devin McCourty

The Patriots are bringing back veteran defensive back Devin McCourty for another season, according to the twins’ joint-Twitter account earlier this evening. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the older twin will be returning on a one-year deal worth $9MM. 

McCourty has started every game he’s ever played for the Patriots. Over his 12-year career, McCourty has appeared in 188 regular season games and 24 playoff games, only missing 5 games throughout his career. While he’s never quite matched the production of his rookie year when he intercepted 7 passes and broke up 17, he has long been a staple in the New England secondary, never failing to secure an interception in a season.

The Patriots tend to play three safeties and two corners on defense a lot of the time. Relying on J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills to lock down outside receivers, McCourty, Adrian Phillips, and Kyle Dugger are able to roam around and cover based on matchups and formations. The trio of safeties produced 11 interceptions between them, with Dugger coming on strong in his second season. The Patriots would love to see Dugger seamlessly step in when the 34-year-old McCourty decides to hang up the cleats.

With Jackson heading to the open market, the Patriots’ cornerbacks cupboard is looking pretty bare. Behind Mills is third-year corner Joejuan Williams and reserve corner Justin Bethel. McCourty’s experience at corner could be useful, but should be thought of as a last resort, as most corners move to safety in their advanced age, not the other way around. More likely the Patriots will look to the Draft and free agency to fill that hole.

Regardless, the Patriots bring back a leader. A durable one. He may not be able to produce on the field like he did in the 2010’s, but his role as the quarterback of the secondary makes him a valuable addition to the team’s 2022 defense.

Patriots Extend S Adrian Phillips

Adrian Phillips is sticking around New England. The Patriots safety is inking a three-year extension, reports SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter).

The three-year deal is worth $12.75MM and could be worth up to $14.25MM. The deal contains $7.25MM in guaranteed money.

Phillips evolved from an undrafted rookie into an All-Pro special teamer with the Chargers. He caught on with the Patriots in 2020, signing a two-year, $6MM deal ($3MM guaranteed). After starting 24 games in six seasons for the Chargers, Phillips has started 27 games in one-plus seasons with New England.

Following a first season in New England that saw him starting all 16 games and collecting a career-high 109 tackles, Phillips has had another productive season with the Patriots in 2021. In 15 games (11 starts), the 29-year-old has compiled 76 tackles, eight passes defended, and four interceptions. He ranks among the top of Pro Football Focus’ ranking of top coverage safeties, and he also earned a spot on the site’s recent “All-Pro Team.”

While Phillips is listed as a safety, Bill Belichick and co. haven’t been afraid to use the veteran throughout their defense. Per Next Gen Stats (and passed along by ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter), Phillips has played more than 100 defensive snaps at safety, slot cornerback, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and edge. He’s also seen time at perimeter cornerback and interior defensive line.

Contract Details: Mayo, Patriots, Bailey

A handful of contract details to pass along:

  • LB David Mayo, Giants: three-year extension. $8.4MM deal, including $3.5MM guaranteed. Salaries: $1.5MM guaranteed (2020), $2.25MM (2021), $2.5MM (2022). Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • WR Damiere Byrd, Patriots: one year, $2.5MM. $1MM base salary, $350K signing bonus, $900K in receptions incentives. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.
  • S Adrian Phillips, Patriots: two years. Deal worth up to $7.5MM, $3MM guaranteed, $1.5MM signing bonus. Can earn up to $4MM in 2020. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • K Dan Bailey, Vikings: re-signed. Three-year deal worth up to $12MM. $5MM guaranteed, $3.15MM signing bonus. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • OL Joe Looney, Cowboys: signed. One-year, $2.4375MM deal. As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets, one of the new CBA’s veteran benefits is that the deal will count $1.25MM less on the cap than it would have last season.
  • OT Shon Coleman, 49ers: one-year extension. Worth $962.5K, including $825K base salary and $137.5K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter.
  • DB Jaylen Watkins, Texans: signed. Two-year deal worth $3MM, per Wilson.
  • OT Roderick Johnson, Texans: re-signed. One-year deal worth $1.75MM, per Wilson.

Patriots To Sign Adrian Phillips

The Patriots have agreed to a two-year deal with former Chargers safety Adrian Phillips, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Phillips, 28 next week, had spent his entire career with the Chargers after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but on paper, he looks like the perfect Patriot. Not only is he something of a hybrid player capable of playing both safety and linebacker, but he’s extremely active on special teams.

Phillips played on at least 40% of Los Angeles’ ST snaps in each of the past five seasons, and earned a first-team All-Pro nod as a special teamer in 2018. New England head coach Bill Belichick has always placed a priority on special teams play, and Phillips will certainly see his fair share of action in that capacity.

But Phillips will likely have a role on defense, as well. The Patriots have deployed a number of three-safety looks in recent years, and with Duron Harmon now in Detroit, New England has roughly 600 vacant safety snaps to fill. Phillips could slot into Harmon’s old role alongside Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.

Chargers Activate Derwin James, Adrian Phillips

While the Chargers’ playoff hopes are dim, they’ll be receiving some much-needed reinforcement for the stretch run. The team announced today that they’ve activated safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips from injured reserve.

James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in August after a screw that was originally inserted during his freshman year at Florida State bent back. The injury required a surgical operation, and a new screw has since been placed. James has been running without any pain for several weeks now, and he presumably won’t have any limitations tomorrow against the Broncos. The 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft started all 16 games for Los Angeles during his rookie campaign, posting three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks during that time. Pro Football Focus graded James as the league’s seventh-best safety, and he also garnered a first-team All-Pro nod.

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in a September loss to the Lions, knocking him out of action. The 27-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, with the hybrid safety/linebacker finishing with 94 tackles, nine passes defended, and one interception. He had compiled 14 tackles in two games this season before going down with an injury.

With James and fellow safeties Adrian Phillips and Nasir Adderley on IR, the Chargers have primarily deployed Rayshawn Jenkins and undrafted rookie Roderic Teamer in the back end. So far, the results have been lackluster; after finishing 8th in defensive DVOA in 2018, Los Angeles now ranks 25th in the same metric.

Chargers Designate Adrian Phillips For Return

Adrian Phillips is on his way back to the Bolts. On Thursday, the Chargers designated the safety for return from the injured reserve list. 

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in a September loss to the Lions, knocking him out of action. The Chargers have remained optimistic about his chances to return this year, however, and he’s primed to do just that. The sixth-year pro now has a three-week window to practice and get ready to play. If the Chargers do not activate him within that timeframe, he will not be eligible to play this year.

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’ve had to get by without him and other key defenders which has led to some mixed results. The Chargers managed back-to-back wins against the Bears and Packers recently, but Thursday night’s loss to the Raiders has them at 4-6 and on the verge of falling out of the playoff chase.

Things won’t get much easier for the Chargers – they’ll face the Chiefs on Monday night in Mexico City and quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he’s feeling better than he has all season.

Chargers To Place Adrian Phillips On IR

Adrian Phillips will join Derwin James on the Chargers’ IR list. The Bolts will place Phillips on IR, Anthony Lynn confirmed, shelving the recently re-signed safety for at least eight weeks.

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. The Chargers can bring back both players from IR, but James will obviously reside atop this figurative queue. Phillips’ status will likely depend on how the Bolts’ injury situation looks at the midseason point, though Lynn did confirm the sixth-year player will be an IR-return candidate, per’s Eric Williams (on Twitter).

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’re down two key defenders as they head into Week 3 against the Texans. A part-time starter in five previous Bolts slates, Phillips opened this season with the first unit in both games.

Los Angeles will be down to Rayshawn Jenkins, second-round pick Nasir Adderley and Jaylen Watkins at safety for the time being.

Chargers’ Adrian Phillips Out Indefinitely

More bad news for the Chargers’ secondary. Safety Adrian Phillips, who has been filling in for the injured Derwin James, suffered a broken forearm during Sunday’s loss to the Lions, Adam Schefter of tweets. He’s out indefinitely and the team will not have a clear read on his timetable until doctors take a closer look at his situation. 

[RELATED: Chargers Place Derwin James On IR]

Phillips was rolling to start the season – he had six tackles against Detroit and posted eight in the Bolts’ 13-10 overtime win over the Colts in the opener. But, unfortunately, he cracked his arm while taking Kerryon Johnson down on Sunday. It’s possible that he can still return this season, but he’ll be out for several weeks, at minimum.

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’re down two key defenders as they head into Week 3 against the Texans.

Meanwhile, they’re keeping their fingers crossed on starting cornerback Michael Davis, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. If Jaylen Watkins is needed to take the place of Davis, then Desmond King may be called upon to cover for Phillips.

West Rumors: Chiefs, Brown, Bolts, Rams

Andy Reid has worked with an MVP before (Brett Favre) and coached Pro Bowlers in Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Alex Smith. But Chiefs GM Brett Veach makes the case the seventh-year Kansas City HC has never had the kind possibilities for creativity, without limitations, that Patrick Mahomes provides.

I think Andy understands that the talent he has in this kid is like nothing he’s ever had before,” Veach said, via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star. “Not to say he didn’t have good quarterbacks before, not to say he didn’t have a great rapport or relationship with them, but I think Andy’s creativity is not restricted now in any way, not by mental, not by arm strength, not by mobility. Because sometimes you get super-smart guys, and maybe they don’t have this … or you get guys that don’t have this, but they have that.”

Over the course of Reid’s Chiefs tenure, he has steadily incorporated college concepts into his offense. He helped coax the best season of Smith’s career in 2017, but Mahomes’ runaway MVP season obviously established a new bar for the Reid offense’s modern capabilities. In Pryor’s expansive article detailing the relationship between Reid and Mahomes, Veach adds the 21st-year HC not having to scrap any of his play designs separates his partnership with Mahomes.

Here is the latest out of the West divisions, continuing first with (a given) the Antonio Brown saga:

  • Brown is about out of options, and Tom Pelissero of notes (on Twitter) Mike Mayock‘s comments Sunday set the stage for potential Raiders discipline if the mercurial receiver does not practice soon. Another Brown option: a lawsuit that would allow him an injunction, thus enabling him for a time to wear his old helmet while the case plays out. That would be a rather extreme response, especially coming after a report indicating Brown was unlikely to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. But that was before NFL- and NFLPA-backed testing struck down Brown’s 2011 Schutt AiR Advantage helmet solution bid failed. Brown could still appeal, but it does not seem probable he would prevail. The Raiders’ dress-rehearsal game is Thursday; it is quite possible, if not likely, Brown will not play in the preseason.
  • Derwin James‘ absence will test the Chargers, but it makes their March re-signing of Adrian Phillips all the more important. The sixth-year safety/All-Pro special-teamer made a big difference playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Chargers’ Round 1 win over the Ravens, and Eric Williams of notes he will receive first crack at replacing James. Phillips (94 tackles in 2018 before a two-turnover wild-card performance) started Sunday’s preseason game against the Saints.
  • The contract-year statuses of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters may force the Rams to consider the big picture when finalizing their roster. Les Snead could well keep an extra corner this season because of the potential 2020 departures of the team’s starting corners, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic writes (subscription required). In addition to Talib and Peters, slot starter Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill and third-round pick David Long will be roster locks. That leaves one or two spots left for a host of players who have shown well in camp, with Bonsignore singling out 2018 waiver claim Darious Williams and 2017 UDFA Kevin Peterson as the leaders to round out the corner corps. The latter missed all of 2018 due to injury, but both players have had standout camps. In addition to the Colts, Patriots and Saints, the Rams may begin receiving trade calls on some corners.