Casey Hayward

Falcons To Sign Casey Hayward

The Falcons have agreed to sign Casey Hayward (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The veteran cornerback will receive a two-year, $11MM deal, keeping him under club control through the 2023 season. 

[RELATED: Falcons, Saints Chasing Watson]

Hayward spent the past five seasons with the Chargers, up until he was released in 2021. At the time, the move came as a surprise. Hayward’s first deal with the Bolts — three years, $15.3MM — produced two Pro Bowls and a second-team All-Pro nod. Ultimately, they bailed on the rest of his three-year, $34.25MM re-up, leading him to the rival Raiders.

Hayward, 33 in September, led the NFL with seven INTs in 2016. He’s slowed down a bit in recent years, though he did start in all 17 of his Raiders games last year, notching 46 tackles, one interception, three tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, and a safety.

The move will help to fortify the Falcons’ secondary, though Heyward is likely ticketed for a supporting role. The Falcons are still expected to target CB help in the draft next month, where they could use the No. 8 overall pick to take a top-ranked cover man like Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/1/22

Here are the New Year’s Day activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: G Oli Udoh

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Bryce Hall

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Raiders Activate CB Mullen From IR

Trayvon Mullen is primed for a return to action as the Raiders have announced that he’s been activated from injured reserve today. Las Vegas had designated the former second-round pick to return from injured reserve a little over a week ago.

Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia had made a statement saying, “[Mullen] wants to be in a position where he feels like he’s ready to go and he’s not at 70 percent or 80 percent,” so Mullen’s activation should indicate a return to full health for the Raiders’ starting cornerback.

While the Raiders will certainly be happy to have a bit more depth to a cornerback room that was looking fairly slim with Mullen injured and Damon Arnette‘s release, Mullen’s absence has allowed Las Vegas to test out some of the corners they had available. Even after losing Mullen and Arnette after only four games, the Raiders knew they had experience in ten-year veteran Casey Hayward and liked what they saw in rookie fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs. They did take action, reaching out to sign Hayward’s former teammate, Brandon Facyson, off the Chargers’ practice squad to help fill out the room. The signing has paid off as they’ve seen Facyson start their last six games as Hobbs continues to develop as a pro.

Adding Mullen to the mix strengthens an already impressive position group for the Raiders’ defense. Mullen’s activation was joined by defensive tackle Darius Philon‘s activation off injured reserve. Las Vegas also announced the signing of linebacker Will Compton to the active roster and the release of defensive tackle Damion Square. From the practice squad wide receiver Tyron Johnson, linebacker Javin White, and running back Trey Ragas have been called up for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Sutton, Chubb

When the Raiders selected Damon Arnette 19th overall last year, it marked the second straight year the Jon GrudenMike Mayock regime stunned draft viewers in Round 1. Despite multiple thumb issues and a placement on the Raiders’ reserve/COVID-19 list, Arnette started seven games as a rookie. Pro Football Focus graded Arnette as a bottom-10 cornerback, however, and the Raiders may not have the Ohio State product in their lineup plans this year. Arnette has nearly drifted off the Raiders’ radar, Vic Tafur of The Athletic notes, adding that Casey Hayward is expected to line up as Las Vegas’ outside corner starter opposite Trayvon Mullen (subscription required). While a few lower-profile corners’ names surfaced during Raiders minicamp this week, Arnette’s was conspicuously absent, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal adds. Talk surfaced last month of Arnette moving into the slot, but Tafur adds that job looks like Nevin Lawson‘s to lose. Arnette did not practice in the slot during minicamp.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Yannick Ngakoue is in search of a new agent. The recently signed Raiders defensive end left the Wasserman agency this week, according to the Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen (on Twitter). This is not a first for the former Jaguars, Vikings and Ravens pass rusher. He left his first NFL agent in May 2018 and made another change last August. Ngakoue’s next agent will be his fourth as a pro. Ngakoue signed a two-year, $26MM deal with the Raiders in March; that pact featured $21MM fully guaranteed.
  • Numerous key players missed extensive time for the Broncos last season, but the team received good news as it prepares for its next training camp. One of the biggest names to miss Denver’s 5-11 2020 slate, Courtland Sutton is not expected to start camp on the team’s active/PUP list, Vic Fangio said this week. The Pro Bowl wide receiver suffered an ACL tear in Week 2 of last season. Neither Sutton nor Bradley Chubb, who is rehabbing offseason ankle surgery, are likely to miss camp time, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes. Chubb needed bone spurs removed from his ankle.
  • Bashaud Breeland moved on from the Chiefs after two seasons, signing with the Vikings. But the veteran cornerback initially wanted to re-sign with the Chiefs.

Raiders To Sign CB Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward will stay in the AFC West. The former Chargers Pro Bowler intends to sign with the Raiders, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets. It’s a one-year deal worth up to $4MM, Anderson adds (on Twitter).

The Bolts cut Hayward this offseason, ending a five-year tenure. The veteran cornerback will link up with former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, whom the Raiders hired this offseason. Hayward met with Raiders coaches Tuesday, Anderson adds (via Twitter). He will also reunite with secondary coach Ron Milus, whom the Raiders brought over with Bradley. Milus was the Chargers’ DBs coach throughout Hayward’s tenure.

Corner has resided as a perennial Raiders need, and they have extensive experience going against Hayward to judge his credentials. Experience in Bradley’s system will benefit the nine-year veteran as well. This move, however, likely will send Richard Sherman elsewhere. The former All-Pro spoke with the Raiders about a deal this offseason, but Hayward’s impending Las Vegas stay likely will point Sherman to another team.

Hayward, 32 in September, operated as one of the league’s better corners for a while. He signed what turned out to be a bargain deal for the Chargers in 2016, coming over from the Packers, and made the Pro Bowl that season and under Bradley in 2017. Hayward intercepted 11 passes between the 2016-17 seasons. This led the Bolts to reward him with a $12MM-per-year extension. While 2020 can be classified as a down year for Hayward, he is not far removed from elite work. Pro Football Focus graded the former second-round pick as a top-five corner in 2019.

Las Vegas drafted a corner this year — Nate Hobbs — but not until the fifth round. The team still has highly drafted cogs Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen; Hayward will provide veteran support for these young defenders. Arnette missed much of last season due to injury.

Chargers Release CB Casey Hayward

One of the better free agent signings in recent years, Casey Hayward will be forced to head back to the market. The Chargers are releasing the veteran cornerback, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The team announced the move.

A former Packer, Hayward spent the past five seasons with the Bolts. The Chargers will save $9.75MM by cutting Hayward in the final year of his contract. They attempted to trade Hayward first.

I’ve known for a couple of days,” Hayward said (via veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson, on Twitter) of the Bolts’ plans to move on. “I know they were seeing if they could trade me, wanting to keep my salary the same. I’m definitely open to new possibilities now. I want to play at least a couple more years.”

This marks a major change for the Bolts, who saw their initial Hayward contract — three years, $15.3MM — produce two Pro Bowls and a second-team All-Pro honor. Hayward agreed to a three-year, $34.25MM re-up ahead of the 2018 season.

Going into the 2020 slate, the Chargers had three All-Pro corners — Hayward, Desmond King and 2020 signing Chris Harris. Entering free agency, Harris is the only one left for a Bolts defense that will transition to Brandon Staley‘s scheme. While Staley was only with the Broncos for one season and helmed the outside linebackers during his Denver stint, Harris was with the team during Staley’s stay.

Hayward, 31, led the NFL with seven INTs in 2016. He picked off four passes in his second Chargers season, another Pro Bowl slate, and was a key presence for a Chargers defense that ranked third overall in the team’s 2018 playoff campaign. The nine-year veteran’s play tailed off last season, with Pro Football Focus slotting him outside the top 60 players at his position.

With the cuts of Hayward and Trai Turner, the Chargers have moved their cap-space figure north of $45MM. This will help the now-Justin Herbert-centered team in need areas. The offensive line certainly profiles as one. But with Hayward gone and Michael Davis a free agent-to-be, cornerback will be an area to address as well.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/21

Here are the minor moves from New Year’s Day:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: WR John Brown

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chargers Activate Chris Harris, Place Melvin Ingram On IR

A Pro Bowl defender will be available for the Chargers against the Bills, but the team will also be without one. The Bolts activated Chris Harris on Friday but cleared the roster spot by placing Melvin Ingram on IR.

Harris has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury, but the All-Decade cornerback returned to practice last week. The Chargers signed the longtime Broncos slot corner to a two-year deal this offseason, but their squadron of All-Pros in the secondary has largely failed to materialize.

Derwin James is out for the season, and the Chargers traded 2018 All-Pro Desmond King to the Titans. Casey Hayward will also miss the Bills game with a groin injury, interestingly leaving Harris as the only member of that would-have-been All-Pro quartet on track to suit up in Buffalo.

The Chargers previously ruled Ingram out for Week 12 with a knee injury. This will be the second time the ninth-year edge rusher has landed on IR this season. He missed time earlier this year because of knee trouble. These setbacks have damaged Ingram’s 2021 free agency stock. After lobbying for a new contract in August, Ingram returned to practice. The 31-year-old defensive end’s multi-injury season — one that has yet to produce a sack — and the expected cap reduction could severely affect his market come March.

Chargers Sign Casey Hayward To Extension

Casey Hayward is sticking around Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the Chargers have inked the cornerback to a three-year, $36MM extension. The deal includes $20MM in guaranteed money.

As Michael David Smith of ProFootballFocus.com points out, Hayward still had a year left on his contract, but the Chargers ultimately ripped up the old deal and locked their top cornerback up through 2020. Rapoport tweets that Hayward will earn $15.75MM in the first year of the contract. The Pro Bowler was set to account for a $5.1MM cap hit in 2018.

Following four seasons with the Packers, the 28-year-old has spent the past two years with the Chargers organization. After serving as a backup for most of his tenure in Green Bay, the former second-round pick has established himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the league during his time in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Since joining the organization, Hayward has earned a pair of Pro Bowl births and second-team All-Pro nods, and he’s collected 11 interceptions through two seasons. Pro Football Focus was particularly fond of Hayward’s performance in 2017, ranking him first among 120 eligible cornerbacks.

The Chargers seem relatively set at cornerback heading into next season. Besides Hayward, the team is also rostering Jason VerrettTrevor Williams (ERFA), Michael Davis, Craig Mager, and Jeff Richards.

Contract Details: Weddle, Sensabaugh, Hayward

Listed below are several of the latest contract details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless other indicated.

AFC:

  • Eric Weddle, S (Ravens): Four years, $26MM. $13MM guaranteed ($9MM fully guaranteed). $7MM signing bonus. $1MM roster bonus due on April 4. $4MM base salary guaranteed for injury at signing; becomes fully guaranteed if on the roster on the fifth day of the 2017 league year. $1MM annual Pro Bowl incentives from 2017 to 2019 (Twitter links).
  • Casey Hayward, CB (Chargers): Three years, $15.3MM. $6.8MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus. $3.3MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonuses due on third day of 2017, 2018 league years (Twitter links).
  • Chris Hogan, WR (Patriots): Three years, $12MM. $7.5MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus paid on March 14. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Mackenzy Bernadeau, OL (Jaguars): Two years, $3MM. $250K signing bonus. $250K option bonus to be exercised 22 days before first day of 2017 league year (Twitter links).

NFC:

  • Coty Sensabaugh, CB (Rams): Three years, up to $19MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 18. $1MM roster bonus due third day of 2017 league year (becomes fully guaranteed this Friday). $1.5MM annually incentives for playing time, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and playoffs (all Twitter links).
  • J’Marcus Webb, G/T (Seahawks): Two years, $6MM. $2.45MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $500K in annual per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Zach Miller, TE (Bears): Two years, $5.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $500K roster bonus due on March 18. $500K in annual per-game roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in annual incentives for playing time, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns (Twitter links).
  • Chris Conte, S (Buccaneers): One year, $3MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus due on March 17. Up to $1MM in incentives for playing time, stats, and playoffs (Twitter link).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): One year, $2MM. $500K roster bonus due on March 18 (Twitter link).
  • Sealver Siliga, DT (Seahawks): One year, $1.05MM. $200K signing bonus. $50K Week 1 active roster bonus. Up to $350K in incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Bradley Sowell, T (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Dan Orlovsky, QB (Lions): One year, minimum salary benefit. $160K guaranteed. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Red Bryant, DL (Cardinals): One year, minimum salary benefit. $55K Week 1 roster bonus. $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).