Andre Dillard

NFC East Notes: Commanders, Dillard, Giants

The Commanders are planning to open Chase Young‘s practice window next week, Ron Rivera said Thursday. Designating Young to return off the reserve/PUP list will give the former Defensive Rookie of the Year three weeks to be activated. Young has not played since suffering a right ACL tear, and his reconstructive surgery required a graft from his left patellar tendon. This pushed Young’s timetable to midseason. Washington has used James Smith-Williams (two sacks) alongside Montez Sweat (three) this season. The team has been cautious with Young, who last played on Nov. 14, 2021, doing so despite Rivera not exactly being on a tepid seat.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Washington has discussed demoted cornerback William Jackson in trades, and teams have also expressed interest in Daron Payne. But the Commanders are still planning to hang onto the fifth-year defensive tackle, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. Washington did not progress far with Payne on extension talks but rebuffed trade inquiries this offseason. Its D-tackle equation has changed since then. Second-round rookie Phidarian Mathis is out for the season. Both Payne and longtime D-tackle mate Jonathan Allen lead the Commanders with 3.5 sacks apiece; Payne also tallied a safety this season. One of the NFC’s seven 3-4 teams, the Commanders do not necessarily have to be sellers. But they are in the conference’s toughest division, making a road to the postseason more difficult.
  • Staying on the trade front, Andre Dillard continues to generate interest. Mentioned in trade rumors before last year’s deadline, the Eagles’ swing tackle might be available this year. The Eagles are believed to be open to moving the former first-rounder, Fowler adds, but they are likely to want at least a third-round pick to move on. Dillard is in a contract year. He would probably be a starter on several teams but operates as a swingman behind Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Dillard’s injury history (23 missed games) also stands to affect his value.
  • The Giants will be without one of their tackles for a while. Evan Neal suffered what is believed to be a grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss at least three games, per Fowler and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links). Neal stabilized his rookie season a bit after a disastrous night against the Cowboys’ menacing pass rush, but an IR move might be in the cards here. The Giants used Tyre Phillips as Neal’s replacement against the Jaguars. Formerly the Ravens’ starting left guard, Phillips arrived in New York via waiver claim. He rejoined ex-Baltimore teammate Ben Bredeson in New York, but the Giants’ starting left guard is also set to miss time after a Week 7 injury.
  • Daniel Bellinger also left the Giants-Jaguars game due to injury. The team’s starting tight end will soon undergo surgery to repair a fractured eye socket and septum, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets. Brian Daboll said it is too soon to count on Bellinger returning this season, though Schwartz adds this is not believed to be a season-ending malady. Stepping in as a starter despite being a rookie fourth-round pick, Bellinger has 16 receptions (third in an evolving Giants aerial attack) for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The San Diego State alum also has a rushing score this season. Tanner Hudson is the only other Giant tight end with a catch (three) this year.

Eagles Activate T Andre Dillard From IR

OCTOBER 15: After two weeks of practice, Dillard is ready to go. The Eagles activated the former first-round pick from IR. Dillard is expected to serve as Philadelphia’s swing tackle against Dallas. The fourth-year blocker played that role last season. Mailata, who missed Week 5, is expected to return to his left tackle post Sunday.

OCTOBER 5: The Eagles remained unbeaten despite losing their starting left tackle — Jordan Mailata — to a shoulder injury in Week 4. Mailata is not a lock to play Sunday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (on Twitter), but the team could have its top backup available.

Philadelphia opened the practice window for Andre Dillard on Wednesday. Dillard, who is going into his fourth season with the team, now has 21 days to be activated. Should the Eagles not activate Dillard by that point, he will miss the 2022 season. Teams can activate up to eight players off their respective injured lists this season.

Dillard went down with a broken forearm just before the season; the former first-round pick underwent surgery in early September but has been deemed ready to practice. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles see enough from their one-time blindside heir apparent to activate him ahead of their Week 5 game against the Cardinals.

Philly used 2020 fourth-round pick Jack Driscoll to replace Mailata against Jacksonville, but Dillard has been the team’s top backup tackle for a bit now. The Eagles traded up to draft Dillard in 2019, viewing the Washington State prospect as the successor to Jason Peters. Dillard’s injury trouble led to Mailata commandeering that left tackle gig, and the team passed on Dillard’s fifth-year option in May. But the Eagles have resisted trade overtures toward the young blocker. He could be back on the Eagles’ 53-man roster soon.

The Eagles have Mailata locked up long-term; the rugby convert joins Lane Johnson and Landon Dickerson as O-line starters signed beyond 2022. Dillard, who started nine games at both left and right tackle during the 2019 and ’21 seasons, could move into position as an intriguing free agent next year. For this season, however, the injury-prone tackle represents higher-end insurance for a Super Bowl contender.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

A number of players who were placed on IR after the preseason and prior to the regular season returned to practice today. These players will have a three-week practice window until they have to be activated to the active roster. Otherwise, they’ll be ineligible to return this season.

One of the most surprising returns is Cardinals cornerback Antonio Hamilton. The former undrafted free agent rode a strong preseason to a potential starting gig, but he was sidelined with second-degree burns after spilling hot oil on his legs and feet. Kliff Kingsbury previously said an early-October return may be a “little aggressive” (per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss on Twitter), but the cornerback ended up working his way back to practice.

Eagles Place T Andre Dillard On IR

Andre Dillard‘s latest injury — a broken forearm — will cost him at least four weeks. The Eagles placed the veteran tackle on IR Tuesday. It might take more than the minimum timetable for the team’s swing tackle to return.

The fourth-year blocker was scheduled to undergo surgery today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. A four- to six-week recovery period is expected. Dillard lost his left tackle spot to Jordan Mailata long ago, but the former first-round pick still provides depth for the Eagles.

This is familiar territory for Dillard, whom the Eagles traded up for in the 2019 draft. The Washington State product, who was once Jason Peters‘ blindside heir apparent, missed the entire 2020 season due to a biceps tear and suffered a knee sprain during Philadelphia’s 2021 training camp. The Eagles passed on his fifth-year option in May.

When healthy, Dillard has shown enough for the Eagles to keep him around. The team resisted trade overtures ahead of the 2021 deadline, after having seen Dillard hold his own at left tackle during Mailata’s time sidelined with an MCL sprain. Dillard made five starts last season and rated as a midlevel tackle, per Pro Football Focus.

Mailata and Lane Johnson are entrenched as Philly’s tackle starters, but Dillard — once he returns from his latest setback — stands to provide nice insurance. Johnson has missed 17 games over the past three seasons, making said insurance essential for the Eagles. For a stretch without Johnson last season, the Eagles slid Mailata to the right side and kept Dillard at his natural spot. Dillard seeing more time in relief this year could create an interesting free agent market come 2023. Of course, the former No. 22 overall pick will likely have to stay healthy upon returning from the arm injury for such a market to form.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Eagles To Pass On Andre Dillard’s Fifth-Year Option

The Eagles’ Andre Dillard pick did not produce the Jason Peters heir apparent the franchise hoped. Unsurprisingly, the Eagles are passing on the first-round tackle’s fifth-year option, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter).

Regardless of the option tier on which Dillard landed, no scenario existed in which the 2019 No. 22 overall pick would have his 2023 salary guaranteed. All tackle tiers on the option hierarchy call for at least a $12MM salary. Dillard’s Philly path has not led to him securing such value.

Former seventh-round pick/rugby convert Jordan Mailata has become the Eagles’ long-term left tackle, and Lane Johnson remains entrenched on the right side of Philly’s O-line. Dillard, who has battled extensive injury trouble as a pro, has been a fill-in starter nine times.

The Eagles traded up three spots to select Dillard at No. 22 overall. A Washington State starter during Mike Leach‘s tenure at the Pac-12 program, Dillard suffered missed the 2020 season with a torn biceps and missed the start of the 2021 slate due to a knee sprain. Teams still inquired about a trade last year, but the Eagles held onto their top backup tackle. While the book should not be considered closed on Dillard finding a starting left tackle job as a pro, it likely will not come in Philly.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Latest On Eagles’ OL Andre Dillard

A report back in August indicated that Eagles OT Andre Dillard was generating trade interest, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, teams are still calling Philadelphia about Dillard in advance of the November 2 deadline. With left tackle talent at a premium, other clubs in need of a boost to their offensive line are trying to pry the 2019 first-rounder from GM Howie Roseman.

Of course, the Eagles drafted Dillard with the hopes that he would become the team’s answer at LT. But after an up-and-down rookie campaign, the Washington State product missed all of 2020 with a biceps injury and has seen 2018 seventh-rounder Jordan Mailata take over as Philadelphia’s blindside blocker (while pulling down a four-year, $64MM extension in the process).

The good news is that Dillard, who started the season on the bench, filled in nicely for Mailata when the latter went down with an MCL sprain in a practice in late September. In fact, Dillard’s performance was good enough to convince the Eagles’ coaching staff to keep him at left tackle and to shift Mailata to the right side of the line when RT starter Lane Johnson was forced to miss time to attend to his mental health.

In four starts this season, Dillard has earned a strong 78.0 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus, and his overall grade of 69.5 positions him as the 27th-best tackle out of 79 qualified players. He was especially stout in the Eagles’ Week 5 victory over the Panthers, though he struggled against the Bucs’ talented pass rush last week.

Despite Dillard’s mini-resurgence, the contract situations of Mailata and Johnson — who is signed through 2025 — suggest that he is probably not in Philadelphia’s long-term plans. Which means that a trade is certainly plausible, and Rapoport believes a “quality” Day 2 selection could be enough to get a deal done.

Dillard, 26, is under contract through at least 2022, and the Eagles or any acquiring team could theoretically keep him under club control through 2023 if his fifth-year option is exercised next spring.

Teams Calling Eagles On LT Andre Dillard

Injuries have altered Andre Dillard‘s career path, and the third-year tackle is currently on the mend after suffering a knee sprain during training camp. The Eagles also appear prepared to hand former seventh-round pick Jordan Mailata their left tackle job.

Dillard’s murky status in Philadelphia has prompted teams to contact the Eagles regarding his potential trade availability, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. The 2019 first-round pick has not been able to stay on the field, and McLane adds Mailata was winning the left tackle competition before Dillard went down.

The Panthers just unloaded Greg Little, a tackle who went 37th overall in 2019, and received just a seventh-round pick. That would represent sobering compensation for Dillard, but he went just 15 picks earlier this year and missed all of the 2020 season. Still, it would be surprising if the Eagles — whose GM from that draft, Howie Roseman, remains in place — gave up on Dillard for that type of return. Roseman is unlikely to do so for such a price, per McLane. Roseman traded up three spots for Dillard in the ’19 draft.

Nick Sirianni has not anointed Mailata as his left tackle starter just yet, but it appears that move is coming. Despite essentially redshirting for two years to learn the NFL game, the ex-rugby player became Jason Peters‘ primary replacement last season. Mailata started 10 games, and Pro Football Focus graded him as a middle-of-the-pack tackle. Dillard missed all of last season due to a biceps tear but did not stand out in his four starts during the 2019 season. The Washington State product also battled hand trouble early in camp. Dillard is not certain to be ready for the Eagles’ Week 1 game.

Tackle depth proves elusive for many teams, so the Eagles standing down and hanging onto Dillard would make sense. They did, however, sign former Colts swing man Le’Raven Clark in May. The Eagles also used a 2020 fourth-round pick on tackle Jack Driscoll and still have versatile veteran Matt Pryor on the roster.