Andy Janovich

Texans Sign FB Andy Janovich

Andy Janovich is off to Houston. The Texans are signing the veteran fullback, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Janovich is inking a one-year deal.

Janovich has appeared in 77 career games for the Broncos and Browns over the last six years. This year, he just missed the cut as a Pro Bowler, winding up as an alternate for the game. With his 29th birthday just around the bend in May, Janovich is regarded as one of the league’s best fullbacks.

However, in an attempt to save some extra cash, the Browns declined the 28-year-old’s option. The move made Janovich a free agent. This is the first known interest in Janovich, but it can be assumed that multiple teams reached out on the fullback.

With some NFL teams shying away from utilizing traditional fullbacks, it will be interesting to see what kind of deal Janovich commands. The fullback inked a three-year, $5.7MM extension with the Broncos in 2019 before getting traded to Cleveland five months later.

Browns To Decline Andy Janovich’s Option

The Browns will decline the option on Andy Janovich’s deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). With that, the fullback is now on course for free agency in March.

[RELATED: Browns Place Franchise Tag On Njoku]

Janovich has appeared in 77 career games for the Broncos and Browns over the last six years. This year, he just missed the cut as a Pro Bowler, winding up as an alternate for the game. With his 29th birthday just around the bend in May, Janovich is regarded as one of the league’s best fullbacks.

The Browns could still circle back to Janovich at a lesser-rate, but it’s not currently clear whether that’s in the cards. Even if the Browns don’t look to re-sign him, he should find a healthy market for his services. Ultimately, it’ll come down to how many teams will want to use a fullback in their offense this year and his own tolerance for waiting. While free agency officially opens on March 16th, teams will look to prioritize premium positions first, which may mean sitting things out until the second wave of free agency.

In other Browns news, the club has placed the franchise tag on tight end David Njoku. Now, they’ll turn their attention to a long-term deal, one that could pay him upwards of $10MM per season.

Browns Place RT Jack Conklin On IR

The Browns will be without one of their top offensive linemen for at least the next three games. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that right tackle Jack Conklin has landed on injured reserve.

Conklin dislocated his elbow during last weekend’s loss to the Steelers. Fortunately, the veteran will likely avoid surgery, and there’s optimism that he’ll be able to return to the lineup later this season.

This is poor timing for the 27-year-old, as he had just returned to the lineup after recovering from a knee injury. The eighth-overall pick by the Titans in the 2016 draft joined the Browns in 2020 on a three-year, $42MM deal. He started 15 games during his first season in Cleveland, earning first-team All-Pro honors (the second of his career). He’s started each of the six games he’s appeared in during the 2021 campaign. Blake Hance will likely start at right tackle while Conklin’s out of the lineup.

The Browns have also activated fullback Andy Janovich and center Nick Harris from injured reserve, and they promoted defensive tackle Sheldon Day and tight end Miller Forristall from the practice squad (per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal).

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/21

Keeping tabs on today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

  • Promoted: OLB/DL Sam Kamara

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

COVID-19 Positive Test Closes Browns Facility

UPDATE, 3:45pm: The Browns have placed fullback Andy Janovich on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets, which would seem to suggest he’s the player who tested positive.

12:34 pm: Cases of COVID-19 continue to trickle in throughout the league, and the Browns are the latest to be hit by the virus. Cleveland is closing their facility after a player tested positive Monday morning, the team announced in a tweet. This news comes just a few days after the Browns were originally cleared to reopen their facility following offensive lineman Chris Hubbard‘s positive test.

By now the drill is more or less routine. The Browns will have their facility closed while they conduct contact tracing and identify any close contacts. Players who are close contacts with the infected player will then likely go on the reserve/COVID-19 list as well, although they can still play this coming week as long as they test negative for five days in a row. Speaking to the media on Monday, head coach Kevin Stefanski declined to say whether the player played on Sunday against the Texans.

Assuming he did, Houston will then likely have to go into an intensive protocol as well around their facility. There’s no word yet on who the player on the Browns is, but we’ll pass that along as soon as it’s reported. Cleveland improved to 6-3 yesterday with their victory over the Texans.

Browns To Acquire Broncos FB Andy Janovich

Day 2 of the tampering period will produce a fullback trade. The Broncos have agreed to trade Andy Janovich to the Browns in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round pick, Mike Klis of 9News reports (on Twitter).

Janovich has been one of the league’s top fullbacks, but many NFL systems do not make use of this diminishing position. New Denver OC Pat Shurmur does not intend to use fullbacks regularly, per Klis, leading to the Broncos shipping Janovich out for little value.

While the Broncos extended Janovich in October of last year, he only played 13% of the team’s offensive snaps. With another new offensive coordinator set to take over, the fifth-year fullback will relocate to Cleveland. Janovich, 26, is under contract through the 2022 season.

Janovich will join Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the Browns’ backfield on Kevin Stefanski‘s first Cleveland offense.

Broncos Place Andy Janovich On IR

Broncos fullback Andy Janovich is out for the season after suffering a dislocated elbow, according to Mike Klis of 9News. Janovich left Denver’s game earlier today against the Vikings. The Broncos burst out to an unexpected lead, but Minnesota eventually mounted a successful comeback, dropping Denver to 3-7 on the season.

Denver placed Janovich on IR and signed tight end Orson Charles to take his roster spot. The latter was with the Broncos in training camp but did not make the team. He was set to play for the XFL’s Washington Defenders, having been picked in the fourth round of the league’s recent draft. While those plans may not be scuttled, with XFL 2.0 not set to start until February, Charles will first receive another NFL opportunity.

A 2012 fourth-round Bengals pick, Charles has also played for the Saints, Lions, Chiefs and Browns. While he has never recorded an NFL carry, he will now be in line to take over as the Broncos’ fullback.

While the fullback position was thought to be on its last legs a few years ago, players like Janovich have led to a resurgence in the position’s value as an all-around offensive weapon. Unlike 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, Janovich is not an exceptional athlete who offers substantial value catching passes out of the backfield. Instead, Janovich follows the traditional mold of players at his position as a strong blocker in both the running and passing game. While only catching four receptions on the season, Janovich consistently plays in around 30% of the team’s snaps when healthy.

Just over a month ago, Janovich agreed to a three-year, $5.7 MM contract extension with the team and remains in their long-term plans. However, with young quarterback Brandon Allen under center, the team will have to look for a short-term solution to help the team’s backfield.

Broncos Give Andy Janovich Three-Year Extension

Broncos fullback Andy Janovich missed the first few games of the season, but that didn’t stop him from getting paid. Denver is giving Janovich a three-year extension, a source told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link).

The deal will be worth $5.7MM tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who notes it’ll pay him a signing bonus of $1.35MM with $3.22MM fully guaranteed. Janovich is now the league’s third-highest paid fullback, and his deal runs through 2022 now. He had previously been scheduled to be a free agent after this season as he’s currently playing out the final year of his rookie deal. The Broncos originally drafted Janovich in the sixth-round back in 2016.

A Nebraska product, Janovich has become something of a fan favorite in Denver. He suffered a pec injury during training camp that knocked him out for the first few weeks of the season, but he returned a couple of games ago. Last season Janovich carried the ball only twice for five yards, while reeling in eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Last year he played about 22 percent of the offensive snaps, and is a key member of some of their special teams units. Broncos GM John Elway issued a statement on the extension, which you can read courtesy of this tweet from Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, calling Janovich “exactly what you look for in a fullback,” and saying it’s “nice to see how Andy’s hard work has paid off.”

Broncos FB Andy Janovich Out 6-8 Weeks

Bad news for the Broncos, as it turns out they suffered a second significant injury in their preseason game last night. Starting fullback Andy Janovich has a pec injury that will sideline him six-to-eight weeks, sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News

We had heard earlier this morning that rookie tight end Austin Fort tore his ACL and would miss the entire year. Even though Janovich will miss some regular season time, the Broncos are breathing a sigh of relief. According to Klis, the team initially thought Janovich was going to be done for the season, and the team says news of the pec strain is “better than we expected.”

The only other fullback on the roster is George Aston, an undrafted rookie from Pittsburgh, and Klis seems to think the team will do something to address the position before Janovich gets back. Janovich has become a fan favorite in Denver the past few seasons, and he’s been playing a big role. Last season he played just over 22 percent of the offensive snaps, and over 61 percent of the special teams snaps.

As for Fort, Klis writes that he “had been among the Broncos’ most pleasant offseason surprises,” so it’s an especially tough blow. The Broncos played in the Hall of Fame Game last week and also suffered two serious injuries, as defensive lineman Billy Winn was lost with a season ending triceps injury and special teams standout linebacker Joe Jones will miss six-to-eight weeks with a triceps injury of his own.

 

Broncos FB Andy Janovich Placed On IR

Broncos fullback Andy Janovich had ankle surgery and will be placed on IR, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post tweets.

Janovich was taken in the sixth round of this year’s draft. Not only did Janovich make the 53-man roster this year, but he has appeared in all eleven games for Denver this season.

Used primarily for blocking purposes, the youngster has excelled. He is ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 fullback in the entire NFL with roughly even marks for his run blocking and pass blocking. He was on the field for 235 total snaps, the second-highest number of any fullback to date. Only Kyle Juszczyk of the Ravens (331 snaps) has seen more burn. The fullback position has been marginalized by many teams around the league, but the Broncos have leaned heavily on Janovich’s blocking.

As the 176th overall pick, Janovich is playing on a four-year deal worth $2.504MM, with a signing bonus of about $164K.