Billy Price

Cardinals Waive WR Andy Isabella, Sign C Billy Price Off Raiders’ Practice Squad

Months after shopping Andy Isabella in trades, the Cardinals are cutting bait. The team waived the former second-round pick Tuesday, doing so to make room on the roster for Billy Price.

The Cardinals are signing Price off the Raiders’ practice squad. The team hosted the veteran center as a free agent in May, when it was not known if Rodney Hudson would be back, but Price found his way to Las Vegas. He will move to the NFL’s other desert team this week.

Isabella never came too close to justifying the Cards’ draft investment. The former No. 62 overall pick has played in three Arizona games this season, catching two passes for 21 yards. Despite DeAndre Hopkins‘ suspension and the injuries to Rondale Moore and A.J. Green, the Cards did not turn to Isabella as a steady contributor. He will be available on the waiver wire.

A standout at Division I-FCS UMass, Isabella arrived in Arizona months after Kliff Kingsbury did. The 5-foot-9 slot receiver topped out at 224 yards and two touchdowns — on 21 receptions — in 2020. Isabella, who caught nine passes in 15 games as a rookie, was one of three receivers the Cards chose in that 2019 draft. The other two, fourth-rounder Hakeem Butler and sixth-rounder KeeSean Johnson, are out of the league. This came during a rich receiver draft, which saw D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and Diontae Johnson chosen after Isabella went off the board on Day 2. The Cards shopped Isabella before free agency and then during the draft but found no takers.

Arizona drafted the 5-7 Moore in the 2021 second round and used their 2022 first-round pick in the Marquise Brown trade. Greg Dortch, who also goes 5-7, became Moore’s primary replacement to start this season. It will be interesting if another team takes a flier on Isabella, whose rookie deal expires at season’s end.

The Bengals drafted Price in the 2018 first round but benched him in his second season. Cincinnati traded Price to the Giants for defensive tackle B.J. Hill last year. Price did not see any action for the Raiders. Hudson is battling a knee injury, though he has not missed any time yet, while Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com adds guard Justin Pugh is also dealing with an injury situation.

The Cards traded for guard Cody Ford before the season, but a subsequent injury led the ex-Bill to IR. Kingsbury said (via Urban) Ford will not return to practice when first eligible this week; the former second-round pick is at least a couple weeks away from his practice window opening. Price will soon move into position as an interior backup in Arizona, his fourth NFL team.

Raiders Work Out Kelechi Osemele, Oday Aboushi, Billy Price

SEPTEMBER 14: The Raiders signed Price to their practice squad Wednesday. This comes as Aboushi landed on the Rams’ taxi squad. A former No. 21 overall pick, Price lost his Bengals starting center gig in his second NFL slate (2019). But the 27-year-old blocker is coming off a full season of starter work with the Giants.

SEPTEMBER 13: Kelechi Osemele did not play in the NFL in 2021, but retirement is not yet in the cards. Two teams have now worked out the former All-Pro guard over the past several days.

The Raiders brought in their former interior starter for an audition, according to ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Osemele, whom the Raiders traded to the Jets during the 2019 offseason, has not played since a Chiefs-Raiders game in October 2020. In addition to Osemele, the Raiders brought in O-linemen Oday Aboushi, Billy Price and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for early-season workouts.

[RELATED: Raiders Sign CB Nickell Robey-Coleman]

Osemele, 33, suffered tendon tears in both knees. A similar injury development halted longtime Texans right tackle Derek Newton years ago. Newton went down in October 2016, missed all of 2017 and played in just one more game (in 2018) before hanging up his cleats. Newton was also younger than Osemele was at the time of those tendon tears. But both the Bears and Raiders have kicked the tires on Osemele, whose two career Pro Bowl nods came during his time with the Raiders.

A big-ticket Raiders free agent signing in 2016, Osemele earned Pro Bowl invites in 2016 and ’17. The ex-Ravens second-rounder started three seasons for the Raiders, but months after the team parted ways with ex-GM Reggie McKenzie, its Jon Gruden-led power structure traded Osemele to the Jets. A shoulder injury hijacked the veteran guard’s Jets season (2019) as well, and a memorable dispute with the team ensued on his way out. Osemele played in five Chiefs games, working as a starter for the eventual AFC champions early in the 2020 campaign.

Aboushi is also attempting to come back after an injury; an October ACL tear ended his Chargers run. By lining up as a Bolts starter last year, Aboushi became a rare player who has been a starter for six teams (Jets, Texans, Seahawks, Cardinals, Lions, Chargers). The 31-year-old blocker started five games with the Bolts, who have since moved on via their first-round Zion Johnson pick.

A 2018 first-round Bengals selection, Price spent last season with the Giants. Traded straight up for then-Giants defensive tackle B.J. Hill before last season, Price returned to a full-time starter role after being benched in Cincinnati. The Ohio State product started 15 games for a battered Giants offensive line. Hargreaves, a 2016 Buccaneers first-round pick, played in 12 games for the Bengals and Texans last season.

Despite fielding a below-average offensive line last season, the Raiders did not make any big additions to that unit. In Week 1, they used a few different combinations up front. Josh McDaniels‘ team kept left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard John Simpson and center Andre James on the field throughout but made in-game changes on the right side. The Silver and Black started Jermaine Eluemunor at right tackle and third-round rookie Dylan Parham at right guard.

Center Billy Price To Visit Cardinals

Former first-round pick Billy Price is looking to join the third team of his career. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Price will be visiting the Cardinals with hopes to end his stint as a free agent. 

Price was drafted No. 21 overall in 2018 to become the new starting center for the Bengals. After starting the first two games of his rookie season, Price injured his foot and missed six games before returning to start the rest of the season. He started his sophomore season on the bench, returning to the starting lineup intermittently throughout the year. In his third season, Price was much more consistently on the bench, starting only one game in 2020, his last start as a Bengal. The Bengals declined his fifth-year option at the conclusion of the season, making the 2021 NFL season a contract year for Price.

Just prior to the 2021 season, Cincinnati traded Price to the Giants in exchange for defensive tackle B.J. Hill. Price didn’t start Week 1 for the Giants, possibly due to the short acclimation period, but earned the starting center job for the rest of the season, only sitting out a Week 17 game to heal from a personal family loss.

Last year, Arizona traded for then-Raiders center Rodney Hudson. While Hudson performed well during his first year in Arizona, he did miss five games throughout the year, some with rib and shoulder injuries and some with COVID-19. Arizona no longer rosters Max Garcia who filled in for Hudson last year, and the only other center on the roster is Marcus Henry who has appeared in six games since joining the league in 2016 without ever making a start.

If signed, Price would add some quality depth to the Cardinals’ offensive line, giving them a solid back up option should Hudson need to miss any games next year.

Giants Place G Shane Lemieux On IR

The knee injury Shane Lemieux suffered in late July has continued to plague him, and the Giants will give the young guard time to recover. They placed Lemieux on IR Thursday.

Inserted into the Giants’ starting lineup after Will Hernandez‘s COVID-19 contraction last year, Lemieux did not give up the job the rest of the way. After New York released Kevin Zeitler this offseason, Lemieux and Hernandez started in Week 1. Surgery may be in the cards for Lemieux, though that is not yet certain. The 2020 fifth-round pick playing again this season would be a surprise, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Giants Promote Matt Skura]

Lemieux’s injury will force the Giants to get creative on their offensive line. They are set to start recent trade acquisition Billy Price at center and slide Nick Gates to left guard, Raanan notes. Such a promotion occurring in Week 2, which features a short week and a trip to Washington, will represent a stiff challenge for Price. The former first-round pick could not stick in the Bengals’ lineup, despite the team’s lofty investment, and was traded to the Giants for a late-round pick.

Lemieux could not make it through the first half against the Broncos, playing only 17 snaps. Ben Bredeson, the other O-line trade acquisition the Giants made ahead of the season, replaced him in the lineup. But the ex-Raven is set to return to a reserve role tonight.

Considering the issues the Giants had up front with their starting five available over the past several weeks, the team needing to make changes ahead of a Thursday road tilt is certainly bad news. The Giants are looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2016.

Giants To Trade B.J. Hill To Bengals For Billy Price

We’ve got another trade to report! Not too long after the Bills dealt Darryl Johnson to the Panthers, the Giants and Bengals have pulled off an interesting swap. New York has agreed to trade defensive lineman B.J. Hill, head coach Joe Judge announced to the media on Monday.

Right after Judge said Hill would be traded, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted that it was to the Bengals for offensive lineman Billy Price. The Bengals will also get a conditional seventh-round pick in the deal, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News notes in a tweet. In a follow-up tweet, Rapoport notes that Price has been a “key name” in trade talks recently, and that the Giants were searching for O-line depth.

Price wasn’t the only Bengals lineman on the block, as Albert Breer of SI.com tweets that Cincy also had discussions about guard Michael Jordan. He adds that the Jaguars joined the Giants as teams calling around about interior offensive line help this week.

A former first-rounder, Price was the 18th overall pick back in 2018. Cincinnati declined his fifth-year option this past offseason, meaning he’ll be a free agent after this season. The Ohio State product never lived up to his draft status, and could benefit from the change in scenery.

He was Cincy’s starter at center as a rookie, then moved to guard and only started eight games in 2019. This past season he was mostly a reserve, only starting one game. Hill was a third-round pick back in 2018, and also declined after his rookie year.

In his first pro season he had 5.5 sacks while starting 12 games, but over the past two years he’s had just two total sacks while being reduced to a rotational role. It makes sense for both sides, with each addressing an area of need.

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

Bengals Decline Billy Price’s Option

The Bengals will not exercise Billy Price‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). With that, the 2018 first-round draft pick is now on track to reach free agency after the 2021 season.

[RELATED: 2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Price, the No. 21 overall pick in the ’18 draft, struggled as a rookie. The Ohio State product played in just ten games due to a lower leg injury and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-worst full-time center. When he healed up in 2019, he lost his spot to veteran Trey Hopkins, a one-time UDFA.

This past season, Price was healthy and able to dress for all 16 games, but he started just once. The Bengals’ decision was no surprise — keeping Price for 2022 would have cost the Bengals $10.41MM. And, thanks to the latest collective bargaining agreement, that sum would have been fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only.

NFL teams have until May 3 to pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders. In addition to full guarantees, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a new formula which accounts for the player’s position, initial draft placement, accolades, and playing time.

NFL’s Fifth-Year Option Salaries For 2021

The NFL’s 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, marking the league’s first reduction in a decade. With that, the league has also ironed out the value of this year’s fifth-round option for 2018 first-round picks.

Here’s the full rundown, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter):

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

2. Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB — $7.217MM (1x Pro Bowl)

3. Sam Darnold, Jets, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

4. Denzel Ward, Browns, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

5. Bradley Chubb, Broncos, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

6. Quenton Nelson, Colts, G — $13.754MM (2x Pro Bowl)

7. Josh Allen, Bills, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

8. Roquan Smith, Bears, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

9. Mike McGlinchey, 49ers, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

10. Josh Rosen, Cardinals, QB*

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, S (drafted by Dolphins) — $10.612MM (2x Pro Bowl)

12. Vita Vea, Buccaneers, DT — $7.638MM

13. Daron Payne, Washington, DT — $8.529MM (playing time)

14. Marcus Davenport, Saints, DE — $9.553MM

15. Kolton Miller, Raiders, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

16. Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

17. Derwin James, Chargers, S — $9.052MM (1x Pro Bowl)

18. Jaire Alexander, Packers, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

19. Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, LB — $9.145MM

20. Frank Ragnow, Lions, C — $12.657MM (1x Pro Bowl)

21. Billy Price, Bengals, C — $10.413MM

22. Rashaan Evans, Titans, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

23. Isaiah Wynn, Patriots, OT — $10.413MM

24. D.J. Moore, Panthers, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

25. Hayden Hurst, Falcons, TE (Drafted by Ravens) — $5.428MM

26. Calvin Ridley, Falcons, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks, RB — $4.523MM

28., Steelers, S Terrell Edmunds — $6.753MM (playing time)

29. Taven Bryan, Jaguars, DT — $7.638MM

30. Mike Hughes, Vikings, CB — $12.643MM

31. Sony Michel, Patriots, RB — $4.523MM

32. Lamar Jackson, Ravens, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

* Rosen was released from his original contract and, therefore, is not option-eligible 

As a refresher, the fifth-year option year is now fully guaranteed. In the past, it was guaranteed for injury only. The values are also dependent on certain performance metrics:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

Bengals Notes: Price, Green, Dennard, QBs

After losing starters Clint Boling and Jonah Williams this offseason, the Bengals will have another new first-stringer up front. They are set to bench center Billy Price, a 2018 first-round pick, for veteran Trey Hopkins, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweets. This marks a setback in Price’s development. The Ohio State alum struggled as a rookie, playing in only 10 games and grading as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-worst full-time center. A sixth-year UDFA who has made 21 Bengals starts over the past two seasons, Hopkins fared better in 589 snaps in 2018. He graded as PFF’s No. 21 snapper and will parlay that into a Week 1 job.

Additionally, Price’s former Ohio State teammate, fourth-round rookie guard Michael Jordan, will be Cincinnati’s left guard starter. Should an injury befall Hopkins, Jordan or starting left guard John Miller, Dehner adds (via Twitter) Price will return to center.

Here is the latest out of southwest Ohio:

  • Darqueze Dennard is expected to begin the season on the Bengals’ reserve/PUP list, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. The recently re-signed cornerback underwent knee surgery before re-upping with the Bengals. While the team knew Dennard would need surgery after re-signing him, it is certainly a bad sign when a player on a one-year deal will be out at least six regular-season games. Dennard signed for $4.5MM in March.
  • A.J. Green will join Dennard in being out for the start of the season, and it’s uncertain when the perennial Pro Bowl wideout will return. But Hobson adds the Bengals will still attempt to extend Green, who is entering his age-31 season. The Bengals already extended Tyler Boyd. Earlier this offseason, Green expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati after his 2019 contract year. But that was before he suffered an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out of multiple September games.
  • While Green recovers, a rookie UDFA will take his place. Damion Willis will start alongside Boyd, Zac Taylor said (via Dehner, on Twitter). Willis was part of Cincinnati’s initial post-draft free agent class, signing with the team out of Troy. He has certainly enjoyed a standout preseason.
  • Ryan Finley has commandeered the Bengals’ backup job, and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon expects this to push Jeff Driskel off the roster. Driskel has run into hamstring trouble and was making an attempt to show versatility by lining up at wide receiver recently. The former sixth-round pick started five games last season.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Fins, Bengals, Chargers

If Jon Gruden had his way, safety Derwin James would be patrolling the Raiders‘ defensive backfield instead of the Chargers’. Gruden today told reporters that he preferred to select James in the first round of this year’s draft, but Oakland had already used high picks on safeties — Karl Joseph and Obi Melifonwu — in recent years, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Raiders ultimately used the 15th overall selection on UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller, who is now manning Derek Carr‘s blindside. James has emerged as an early Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with his play in Los Angeles, but Gruden’s remarks can be interpreted as a subtle dig at Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, who reportedly hasn’t meshed with Gruden.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Dolphins safety Reshad Jones will be available for Week 5 after missing the previous two weeks with a shoulder injury, writes Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. Jones was sidelined for Miami’s games against Oakland (win) and New England (loss), forcing rookie defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to take over at safety opposite T.J. McDonald. With Jones’ return, Fitzpatrick will move back into his natural slot corner role. Jones, who entered the league as a Dolphins fifth-round pick in 2010, has been a full-time starter since his second season in the NFL. Last spring, he inked a long-term extension that should keep him in South Beach through 2021
  • Rookie Bengals center Billy Price hasn’t suffered any setbacks since suffering a foot injury in Week 2, but he’s still expected to be in a walking boot for at least two more weeks, tweets Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. That means Price will miss games against the Dolphins and Steelers, and possibly more if his recovery timeline is extended. Cincinnati’s bye comes in Week 9, so the Bengals could potentially hold Price out through then if they want to be cautious. With Price out, the Bengals have turned to former starting guard Trey Hopkins to fill in at the pivot.
  • Chargers linebacker Kyzir White underwent a minor knee operation on Monday and will miss Week 5, head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters, including Williams (Twitter link). White isn’t expected to miss much time, however, and should be back “sooner rather than later,” per Lynn. A fourth-round rookie out of West Virginia, White has started three games for Los Angeles this season, racking up 12 tackles in the process. Jatavis Brown should see more snaps in White’s absence.