The running back market continues to move, and a recently released ball-carrier now has a new home. Chase Edmonds is heading back to Florida, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com noting the Buccaneers are signing him.
Edmonds, whom the Broncos cut months after acquiring him from the Dolphins, agreed to terms on a one-year Bucs deal Thursday morning (Twitter link). Following Leonard Fournette‘s release, Edmonds is now in line to pair with second-year back Rachaad White in Tampa.
This will be a fit-based signing, as Fox Sports’ Greg Auman tweets Edmonds is joining the Bucs on a league-minimum deal. This comes a year after the Dolphins signed him to a two-year, $12MM contract. The Broncos saved nearly $6MM in cap space by cutting Edmonds, adding to Denver’s funds ahead of a busy free agency week. They acquired him in the Bradley Chubb trade, picking up the running back’s salary after the Dolphins needed to shed it from their payroll to clear space for the edge rusher’s fifth-year option money.
Edmonds will turn 27 in May but is coming off a low-workload season; he logged just 84 touches in 2022. The Dolphins did not end up receiving much in the way of production from the ex-Cardinals starter; Edmonds averaged 2.9 yards per carry with Miami. The Fordham product fared better in Denver, sporting a 4.8-yard average for a team that by that point was starting a few backups along the offensive line.
The Cardinals started Edmonds over James Conner for most of the 2021 season, when the former fourth-round pick totaled a career-high 903 yards from scrimmage. Edmonds teamed with transition-tagged Kenyan Drake in 2020 and reached 850 scrimmage yards, scoring a career-most five touchdowns. Twice averaging 5.1 yards per carry in a season — the second such instance (2021) coming on 116 totes — Edmonds should still have some tread on his tires. He has only taken 401 handoffs in five pro seasons.
The Bucs ranked last on the ground in 2022, so White and Edmonds may face an uphill battle. Tampa Bay has not made any significant augmentations up front just yet, though it did re-sign guard Aaron Stinnie, who was lost for the 2022 season. The team cut eight-year left tackle Donovan Smith, viewing Tristan Wirfs as a candidate to switch sides. Ryan Jensen staying healthy also stands to improve the Bucs’ rushing attack.
Broncos cost-clearing moves are commencing. They are cutting Chase Edmonds, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Part of the Bradley Chubb trade last year, Edmonds will head straight to free agency as a vested veteran.
This has long been one of the expected moves the team can make to create cap space, and $5.9MM in savings will emerge as a result. A former Cardinals regular, Edmonds did not have a chance to make much of an impact in Denver.
The Broncos are also releasing Ronald Darby, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The Darby transaction will lead to more savings for the AFC West franchise. Darby was set to earn $12.7MM in base salary next season; Denver will save $9.6MM by releasing the veteran cornerback.
The Dolphins sent over Edmonds in the Chubb deal for salary purposes, offloading the two-year, $12.1MM contract they authorized in free agency last year. That deal brought the Broncos a first-round pick, which the team ended up sending to the Saints in exchange for Sean Payton‘s rights. During an injury-abbreviated stint, Edmonds ended up totaling just 26 carries as a Bronco. He did perform better in Denver compared to his Miami work (2.9 yards per carry on 42 totes), but the former Cardinal starter will hit free agency at a bad time. Several starter-caliber backs join Edmonds on the market this year, creating a buyer’s environment at a position in which not too many teams figure to allocate notable resources.
Denver made a more notable investment in Darby back in 2021, giving him a three-year deal worth $30MM. This was one of GM George Paton‘s first signings. While Darby played well when available, the 30-year-old cover man could not shake the injury issues that plagued him prior to his Colorado trip. Darby missed six games for the Broncos in 2021 and suffered a torn ACL five games into the ’22 season.
Dealing with injuries to numerous starters last season, the Broncos encountered a brutal stretch during a four-day October stretch. They lost Darby, Garett Bolles and Javonte Williams to season-ending injuries between a Week 4 loss to the Raiders and an ugly Week 5 loss to the Colts. That created a need in the backfield, with Latavius Murray pitching in to fill it as well.
Despite being 32 and on a free agent market with a number of younger backs, Murray may have a path back to Denver. Payton coached him in New Orleans and spoke fondly of the veteran during interviews recently. Murray returning on a low-cost deal as a backup/Williams insurance option may end up coming to pass, though the Broncos will probably seek out a better insurance option alongside Murray in the event their starter is not ready to return from his ACL tear to start the season.
Following Darby’s injury, the Broncos turned to fourth-round rookie Damarri Mathis opposite All-Pro Patrick Surtain II. While cornerback may end up being a need area in Denver, the team does have slot man K’Waun Williams under contract as well. A new defensive coordinator — Vance Joseph — being in place, however, will probably lead to the Broncos looking around at the position this offseason. With no picks in the first or second rounds, the Broncos figure to be active in free agency.
Darren Waller came up in trade talks last year, generating Packers interest ahead of the deadline, and the veteran tight end missed a big chunk of the Raiders‘ season due to a nagging hamstring injury that may or may not have irked some with the team. This came after the Raiders reached a three-year, $51MM extension with the former Pro Bowler just before the season. Despite Waller’s disappointing slate and the team moving on from Derek Carr, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes the Silver and Black are not looking to move on from the talented tight end (subscription required).
Waller’s $12MM cap number checks in considerably lower than Chandler Jones‘ ($19.3MM), but Howe adds the latter is also unlikely to be moved. The Raiders did not receive what they had hoped from Jones, who totaled just 4.5 sacks and seven QB hits in his Las Vegas debut. The Raiders would save $9MM-plus by trading Jones, 33, but the ex-Cardinals All-Pro’s trade value may not be especially high right now. Jones still has $16MM in guarantees remaining on his three-year, $51MM deal.
Here is the latest from the AFC West:
The Chiefs had once eyed Mike Kafka to succeed Eric Bieniemy as OC, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, but they had envisioned the latter landing a head coaching job. Bieniemy famously failed to do so and ended up leaving for a play-calling role in Washington after five years. This proved too long for Kafka to wait; he is now the Giants’ play-caller and joined this year’s HC carousel. Benefiting from the past two offseasons’ events, Matt Nagy replaced Kafka as QBs coach and has since replaced Bieniemy. Nagy’s Bears HC shortcomings notwithstanding, Breer adds he is seen as a possible Andy Reid heir apparent in Kansas City. Reid shot down retirement rumors after Super Bowl LVII, but the future Hall of Famer will turn 65 this month and is going into his 25th season as a head coach.
Graham Glasgow, Ronald Darby and Chase Edmonds loom as cut candidates for the Broncos, who have some needs to fill in free agency. It is possible the Broncos release all three, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Denver restructured Glasgow’s contract in 2022 and saw him become needed after injuries to guard Quinn Meinerz and center Lloyd Cushenberry. But the team can save $11MM by releasing Glasgow. The team can add $9.6MM by cutting Darby, who suffered a torn ACL in October. Rookie Damarri Mathis fared decently replacing the veteran opposite Patrick Surtain II. The Broncos picked up Edmonds at the deadline from the Dolphins; they can save $5.9MM by releasing the ex-Cardinals starter. Denver should be able to add a veteran for cheaper, given this year’s crowded running back market, and Sean Payton favorite Latavius Murray is likely a candidate to be re-signed.
For what it’s worth, Russell Wilson‘s office is no longer in use. The space that drew considerable attention as the former Seahawks star struggled in Denver has been cleaned out, Mike Klis of 9News notes. While Broncos players did not necessarily voice issues about Wilson’s office, it attracted scrutiny during a 5-12 season. Wilson previously agreed to stop using it during the season’s final two weeks.
Kyle Van Noy wants to stay with the Chargers, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper, who notes the versatile linebacker should have a chance to return. The Bolts signed Van Noy to a low-cost deal late in the 2022 offseason. His role expanded after Joey Bosa‘s groin injury, and the 13-game starter hit the five-sack mark for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Conversely, Morgan Fox will probably depart in free agency, Popper adds. Fox registered 6.5 sacks and likely will price himself out of Los Angeles, as the Bolts want to re-sign right tackle Trey Pipkinsand linebackerDrue Tranquill.
Mecole Hardman recently underwent groin surgery, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The November injury kept the contract-year wide receiver out of Super Bowl LVII. Hardman will attempt to get healthy ahead of a free agency bid, with Howe adding he will need around two months to recover (Twitter link). The Chiefs have Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster set to hit the market. Mutual interest exists between the Chiefs and Smith-Schuster.
Murphy has missed the last five games for the Cardinals while dealing with a back issue, so while it’s not necessarily a further setback for Arizona, the transaction indicates that Murphy will miss the rest of the season before going into free agency. With Murphy absent, the Cardinals have started veteran Antonio Hamilton across from Marco Wilson.
The Bengals both designated Prince for return from IR and activated him Monday. This marks the second time this year the defending AFC champions have used one of their injury activations on a player only to waive him a day later. This first happened with Kareem, who then moved to the Bengals’ practice squad ahead of this Colts poaching. A former Dolphins sixth-rounder, Prince played in 15 Bengals games last season and started four. He has not played this year. It will be somewhat interesting if the Bengals keep Prince via a P-squad agreement, provided no waiver claims emerge.
Eifler, Rhattigan and Shudak have three weeks from Tuesday to be activated. The Seahawks, Titans and Commanders had seen their number of activation-eligible players pile up in recent weeks. Each of these teams have five injury activations remaining.
The Titans waived Week 11 kicker fill-in Josh Lamboon Monday. Primary Tennessee kicker Randy Bullock missed the game but is not on IR. Bullock suffered a calf injury during pregame warmups in Week 10. Shudak, a rookie UDFA out of Iowa who has spent the season on the Titans’ reserve/PUP list, would stand to represent insurance this week.
The Broncos thinned their running backs room by choice earlier today, but they will be even more shorthanded at the position unintentionally for the short-term future. Chase Edmondsis dealing with a high ankle sprain, and will miss at least “a few weeks,” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
The 26-year-old had a career-year in 2021, operating in a timeshare with James Connerin Arizona. He racked up 592 yards on the ground (at a average of 5.1 yards per carry), adding 311 yards through the air. That earned him a two-year, $12.6MM deal with the Dolphins in free agency. Miami made a number of moves aimed at improving their ground game relative to the previous season.
Edmonds played a small role in that feat, however; the former fourth-rounder received just 42 carries with the Dolphins, producing 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He found himself on the move at the start of the month when he was included in the package Miami sent to Denver for edge rusher Bradley Chubb. That left him in another crowded backfield for the back half of the season.
The Broncos have made several moves in the wake of Javonte Williams‘ ACL tear. With the promising young back sidelined for the remainder of the season, veteran backup Melvin Gordonwas expected to take over the lead role. His fumbling issues have continued, however, leading to today’s decision to move on from him. That could have resulted in a larger workload for Edmonds, but he is now facing a relatively lengthy absence.
In light of today’s news, the Broncos will likely turn to Latavius Murrayas their No. 1 tailback this week against the Panthers. He signed to Denver’s active roster from New Orleans’ taxi squad, and has carved out a significant role since making his Broncos debut in Week 6. Fellow veteran Marlon Mack– who arrived in October after a brief stay on the 49ers’ practice squad – will likely serve as the backup, with Devine Ozigborepresenting a potential elevation before gameday.
To help create cap space as they acquired Bradley Chubb‘s fifth-year option salary (initially), the Dolphins included Chase Edmonds‘ two-year, $12MM deal in their Tuesday trade with the Broncos. Edmonds joins a Denver backfield already housing veterans in Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray. Gordon’s up-and-down Broncos tenure has now included a demotion, effectively, with Murray playing a big role since being signed off the Saints’ practice squad. Fumbles have continued to plague Gordon in 2022, leading to the reduced workload despite a starting role. Broncos GM George Paton said the Edmonds trade would not affect Gordon’s starter status, calling the former Cardinals change-of-pace back “another piece to the puzzle.” It will be interesting to see how the Broncos proceed once Mike Boone is ready to return from IR. The team has five injury activations remaining this season.
Midway through his eighth season, Gordon (75 carries, 263 yards, four fumbles) is on pace for career lows in totes and rushing yards. Edmonds is on Denver’s 2022 cap sheet at just more than $1.1MM; that number spikes to a nonguaranteed $5.7MM in 2023. Gordon and Murray are both on expiring contracts. Here is the latest from the AFC West:
The other player coming to the AFC West via pre-deadline trade, Kadarius Toney is expected to make his debut for the Chiefs on Sunday night. Andy Reid pointed to Toney being in uniform against the Titans, via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope (on Twitter). Toney has not played since Week 2. After he battled myriad injuries as a rookie, the former Giants first-round pick encountered issues with both hamstrings this season. The mercurial speedster, who has missed 12 career games, will attempt to stay healthy as he joins a Chiefs team that has started to see steady production from its post-Tyreek Hill receiving corps.
Shifting to the Chargers‘ receiving corps, Keenan Allen is aiming to avoid a lost season. The Chargers have ruled out their five-time Pro Bowl target due to the hamstring injury he suffered back in Week 1. Allen experienced a setback earlier this season but returned on a limited snap count in Week 7, but the 10th-year veteran said (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry) he exited the Bolts’ bye week feeling worse than he had before. Allen added that he was not 100% when he played in Week 7 and would not return again until he was full-go. After posting four 1,100-plus-yard seasons over the past five years, Allen has seen his absence hurt Los Angeles’ passing attack — one likely also impacted by the rib injury Justin Herbert suffered earlier this year. Mike Williams is also navigating an extended injury absence due to a high ankle sprain.
The hits keep coming for the Chargers. They will be without former first-round defensive lineman Jerry Tillery this week. Brandon Staley said the rotational D-tackle suffered a back injury weightlifting this week. Despite not starting and the Bolts not picking up his fifth-year option, Tillery has played 43% of the team’s defensive snaps this season.
Barely 90 minutes before the trade deadline, the Broncos have decided to accept a Bradley Chubb trade offer. They are sending the fifth-year pass rusher to the Dolphins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
Denver will receive the 2023 first-round pick Miami obtained from San Francisco, along with a 2024 fourth-rounder and running back Chase Edmonds. The Dolphins will receive Chubb and a 2025 fifth, Schefter tweets. The Broncos needed to make a decision: accept an offer including a first-round pick or attempt to extend Chubb in 2023. Second-year GM George Paton took the first-rounder-fronted package. The teams have announced the deal.
This marks the second time in two years the Broncos have traded a cornerstone edge rusher at the deadline. Chubb, 26, will join 2021 trade chip Von Miller in the AFC East. Miami has made some moves to fortify its pass rush this year, re-signing Emmanuel Ogbah and adding Melvin Ingram and Trey Flowers in free agency. Despite these moves, the Dolphins have tallied only 15 sacks this season. No player has more than three. Chubb will head to Miami after registering 5.5 sacks in his final Broncos season.
Denver’s latest seller trade wraps a swiftly developing saga. At this point last week, Chubb was expected to bring in a Miller-like haul (second- and third-round picks). But the Broncos discussed Chubb with more than 10 teams; a first-rounder was reported to be on the table since Sunday morning. The Jets and Dolphins were linked as being willing to send the Broncos a first-rounder, but while New York was believed to have backed off, Miami will pay up for the contract-year pass rusher. It is unclear if another team offered a first, but it is unsurprising the Broncos parted with Chubb for such compensation.
The Dolphins are now expected to work out a long-term deal with Chubb, Schefter tweets. Such a contract will cost north of $20MM per year. But the Dolphins are in a better position to pay Chubb his market value compared to the Broncos, who now have an expensive quarterback on their payroll.
Ogbah is signed to a $16.35MM-per-year deal, while first-rounder Jaelan Phillips (team-high three sacks) is attached to a rookie contract through 2024. The Dolphins ponied up record-setting receiver dough for Tyreek Hill, and they are set to pay Chubb as well. These accords will complement Tua Tagovailoa‘s rookie contract. With Tua not an open-and-shut 2023 extension candidate like Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert yet, the Dolphins can slow-play it with the 2020 No. 5 overall pick. Tagovailoa can be kept on his rookie deal through 2024, via the fifth-year option.
Sitting in a tie for second place in the AFC East with the Jets, the Dolphins (5-3) will be armed with a former Pro Bowl pass rusher. The Broncos chose Chubb fifth overall in 2018, and while the Nos. 6 and 7 picks from that draft became top-tier players (Quenton Nelson, Josh Allen), the North Carolina State-produced pass rusher still developed into an upper-echelon edge defender in Denver. Chubb registered 12 sacks as a rookie and bounced back from a 2019 ACL tear with a 2020 Pro Bowl berth. Chubb underwent two ankle surgeries in 2021, leading to a zero-sack season, but has rebounded again to help the Broncos form a top-five defense despite Vic Fangio‘s exit.
The pre-deadline deal closes the Broncos’ book on a decent what-if chapter in their modern history. The team’s John Elway-led regime drafted Chubb to pair with Miller, but after 2018, the two rarely ended up playing together. Chubb went down early in 2019; Miller missed all of the 2020 season. Chubb was lost early in the 2021 campaign; by the time he returned, the Broncos had traded Miller to the Rams. Denver has retooled on the edge in 2022, and each of its current cogs are Paton-era investments.
Denver signed Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70MM deal, moved Baron Browning from inside linebacker to the edge and drafted Nik Bonitto in Round 2 this year. All three have shown flashes, but both Gregory and Browning are out with injuries presently. While Tuesday’s trade depletes Denver’s 2022 edge corps, the team is 3-5 and pounced on a rare opportunity to land a first-round pick for a somewhat injury-prone player.
After losing its first- and second-round 2023 picks in the Russell Wilson trade, Denver has replenished its draft cupboard to some degree. The Dolphins have also been active with first-round selections under GM Chris Grier. They collected this 2023 draft choice from the 49ers in 2021’s Trey Lance deal, moved up to draft Jaylen Waddle that year and sent the Chiefs a 2022 first-rounder for Hill. While the Chubb move gives the Broncos a first-round pick next year, the Dolphins are now without one. The NFL stripped Miami of its original 2023 first-round pick, in the Tom Brady–Sean Paytontampering scandal, and the last of the selections obtained for Lance is now sacrificed for Chubb. The Dolphins are betting big Hill and Chubb can lead them to their first playoff win in 22 years.
Edmonds signed a two-year, $12.1MM deal this offseason but has seen ex-Mike McDaniel 49ers charge Raheem Mostert overtake him in Miami’s backfield. This season, Edmonds has 216 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. He has not surpassed 10 carries in a game since Week 1. Edmonds, 26, showed more while playing alongside Kenyan Drake and James Conner, respectively, in Arizona. A fourth-round pick out of Fordham, Edmonds topped 800 scrimmage yards in 2020 and ’21. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season, but the Cardinals turned to Conner as their primary back and re-signed him this offseason.
The fifth-year back is tied to a $2MM 2022 base salary and a nonguaranteed $5.7MM 2023 salary. The Broncos could look to pair Edmonds with Javonte Williams next year, with current backfield cogs Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray unlikely to be with the team in 2023. For now, Edmonds will join the veterans who have been sharing the backfield since Williams’ ACL tear.
Minutes after it was announced they were keeping their top pass rusher, the Dolphins also added to their rushing attack. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team has reached an agreement on a two-year, $12.6MM deal with Chase Edmonds (Twitter link). The contract includes $6.1MM in guaranteed money.
Edmonds, who will be 26 at the start of the 2022 season, was part of a highly effective tandem in Arizona. Paired with James Conner, he posted 592 rushing yards at a clip of 5.1 per carry, scoring two touchdowns. He also added 311 receiving yards, making 2021 a career year.
The effectiveness of the Conner-Edmonds duo led the Cardinals to express their desire to keep both in the fold. However, the former fourth rounder will now be suiting up for a different team for the first time in his NFL career.
Edmonds will represent a significant upgrade over the incumbent RBs in Miami. Myles Gaskinaveraged an underwhelming 3.5 yards per carry in 2021, which cost him his spot as the No.1 back and forced the team to add Duke Johnsonmidseason. The latter performed much better, posting 330 yards on the ground in five games with the Dolphins. Still, Edmonds will add an efficient piece to Miami’s ground game, which ranked 30th in the league at just over 92 yards per game last year.