Chase Young

Latest On Saints DEs Cameron Jordan, Chase Young

Saints stalwart Cameron Jordan underwent surgery earlier this year to address the significant ankle injury he sustained in November. While the eight-time Pro Bowler was able to play through the injury, he was clearly limited by it down the stretch of the 2023 season, and he ultimately recorded just two sacks (his lowest total since his rookie year in 2011).

Fortunately, Jordan is on the mend. He told reporters, including Mike Triplett of NewOrleans.Football, that he is running again and participating in walk-throughs, and he hopes to do some on-field work by the end of OTAs and minicamp (the last OTA session is on June 6, and the club’s three-day mandatory minicamp commences on June 11).

Despite the diminished sack total, Jordan still played fairly well in the eyes of Pro Football Focus, securing a solid 73.5 overall grade that positioned him as the 41st-best edge defender out of 112 qualified players. That is off the pace of his elite performances from 2015-21 but right in line with his 2022 work. His overall mark was pulled down by a middling 63.8 pass rush grade, though there is hope that a healthy ankle will at least allow him to replicate the counting stats he accumulated in 2022, when he tallied 8.5 sacks, 66 total tackles (13 TFL), and a pair of forced fumbles.

One way or another, it appears that Jordan, who will turn 35 in July, has another two years to go in his illustrious playing career. The Cal product inked an extension last August that keeps him under club control through 2025, which he expects to be his last season. In classic Saints fashion, the team restructured his contract in March to clear cap space.

Joining Jordan on the New Orleans defensive front is free agent acquisition Chase Young, who has yet to get the big-money deal that he was doubtlessly eyeing when the Commanders made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2020. Young, of course, earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors that season but struggled with a serious knee injury thereafter, though he did manage to post 7.5 sacks between the Commanders and 49ers in 2023. While he can earn up to $13MM on his one-year pillow contract with the Saints, most of that value comes in the form of per-game roster bonuses.

Young’s market was limited in part by the fact that he required neck surgery this offseason, and while the Saints were comfortable with his prognosis, they knew he would need some time to recover. As Triplett notes, Young will likely remain in “walk-through mode” through minicamp, which is consistent with earlier reports that he would be sidelined into training camp in July.

Chase Young’s Neck Injury Affected 2023 Trade Market

Chase Young missed only one game last season, coming back from a knee injury that marred the previous two years. But his free agent market underwhelmed. The former No. 2 overall pick settled for a Saints contract that has turned out to be heavy in per-game roster bonuses. His upcoming neck surgery has brought another hurdle.

New Orleans gave Young a $13MM contract, but one that hinges on the former Washington and San Francisco starter suiting up. Young visited three teams — the Saints, Titans and Panthers — over the past week, but SI.com’s Albert Breer notes none would clear the Ohio State alum on his physical. It is not uncommon for players to fail a physical and land a free agency deal, as prior injuries requiring rehab efforts are regularly baked into teams’ pursuits of certain players.

Young sustained a neck stinger during a preseason game last year, causing him to miss Week 1. He returned and played the rest of the way, totaling 7.5 sacks during a season split between the Commanders and 49ers. San Francisco ended up with Young — in exchange for a third-round compensatory pick — because Washington dropped its asking price. The Bears were among the other teams interested in Young, but Breer adds his neck scans provided the NFC North team with enough concern it moved in another direction. This led to Montez Sweat going to Chicago and signing an upper-crust extension (four years, $98MM).

The 49ers were comfortable with Young’s medical sheet, and they were interested in re-signing him. San Francisco hopes at a higher-end compensatory pick will not come to fruition as a result of this contract. The 49ers have moved on, signing Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos. Young will be expected to recover and play opposite Cameron Jordan, with both his 2024 earnings and 2025 free agent market hinging on a smooth recovery from this neck operation.

Previously ticketed for a contract a few tiers north of the one he ultimately received, Young has seen his career hit a crossroads. While returning to full health could reestablish the 25-year-old edge rusher as being worthy of a deal in the Sweat neighborhood, Young has seen injuries sidetrack his career. To prevent another round of one-year offers from coming to pass, the fifth-year defender will need to stay healthy in New Orleans.

Contract Details: Young, Awuzie, Taylor, Rams, Cards, Chargers, 49ers, Lions, Texans

With free agency’s first wave in the rearview mirror, here is a look at some of the contracts authorized by teams in the days since the market opened:

  • Chidobe Awuzie, CB (Titans). Three years, $36MM. Contract includes $22.98MM guaranteed. Awuzie’s 2025 base salary ($11.49MM) is guaranteed for injury at signing, with $7.51MM of that total fully guaranteed. Awuzie being on Tennessee’s roster on April 1 of next year locks in the other $3.98MM. The veteran cornerback is a due a $1MM bonus on April 1, 2026, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson.
  • Darious Williams, CB (Rams). Three years, $22.5MM. Commanding a market, the recent Jaguars cap casualty’s second Rams contract can be worth up to $30MM, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.
  • Chase Young, DE (Saints). One year, $13MM. The deal includes $7.99MM in per-game roster bonuses, CBS Sports Jonathan Jones notes. Including a $2.7MM base salary and a $1.86MM signing bonus, Young’s New Orleans pact is still heavily tilted toward games active. That will make the defensive end’s recovery from neck surgery worth monitoring more closely.
  • Tyrod Taylor, QB (Jets): Two years, $12MM. Taylor will see $8.5MM fully guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets. An additional $6MM in incentives are present in the veteran QB’s deal. Three void years are included here, dropping Taylor’s 2024 cap hit to $2.8MM.
  • DeeJay Dallas, RB (Cardinals): Three years, $8.25MM. Dallas will see $2.4MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. The final two base salaries on this contract — both worth $2.4MM — are nonguaranteed. Rushing yards-based incentives run up to $750K per year in this deal.
  • Javon Kinlaw, DT (Jets): One year, $7.25MM. The ex-49ers first-rounder will receive a $5.5MM signing bonus, with KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson indicating the deal also includes $1.75MM in incentives.
  • Gus Edwards, RB (Chargers). Two years, $6.5MM. The ex-Ravens back will see $3.38MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. Edwards’ $3MM 2025 base salary is nonguaranteed, with Wilson adding he is due a $125K roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2025 league year.
  • Noah Brown, WR (Texans): One year, $4MM. Brown re-signed with the Texans for $3MM guaranteed, per Wilson. The wideout’s second Houston contract can max out at $5MM.
  • Jon Feliciano, G (49ers). One year, $2.75MM. Feliciano will receive a $925K signing bonus, and Wilson adds $1.25MM in incentives are present in this accord.
  • Emmanuel Moseley, CB (Lions). One year, $1.13MM. Moseley will stay in Detroit for the veteran minimum, via the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers. Coming off a second ACL tear in two years, Moseley will receive a $1MM signing bonus. He received $6MM in 2023.

Saints DE Chase Young To Undergo Surgery

A knee injury represents a significant reason Chase Young is now with the Saints, after a declined fifth-year option led him to free agency. But the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will spend extensive time rehabbing another issue this offseason.

Young will undergo neck surgery, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, who adds the talented edge rusher is expected to be sidelined into training camp. The Saints expect Young to be ready for the season, and while they were comfortable with the fifth-year veteran’s neck issue upon signing him Monday, it will be a while before he is in uniform again.

This procedure helps explain why Young ended up with a “prove it” deal. Even on a market featuring some starter-caliber edge rushers with upside, Young’s talent stood out. But his 2021 knee trouble — a torn ACL and ruptured patellar tendon — sidelined him for nearly all of the 2022 season. With that in his rearview mirror and this nick issue a factor as well, Young did not land a multiyear contract. Though, the Saints did give the former Heisman finalist a $13MM guarantee for the 2024 season. That illustrated other teams were willing to bet on Young now.

The Saints indeed secured exclusive negotiating rights with Young until March 2025. That will give the NFC South team a chance to evaluate a player whose trajectory once seemed to be soaring beyond “prove it” deal territory. But Young lost nearly two seasons due to the knee injury. After he started off well with the Commanders before a midseason trade last year (five sacks), he was unable to display the same form with the 49ers, registering 2.5 sacks in eight games. Still, Young is going into only his age-25 season. He has time to rebuild his value ahead of a potentially lucrative third contract.

That said, this neck surgery will introduce another complication here. It is certainly possible the Saints will want to see an extensive run of Young health before considering an extension. Young also may be interested in proving it to enhance his 2025 market, seeing as he was not planning to discuss a new Commanders deal until after the 2024 season. The Saints will wait on the once-prized prospect for a while, as it now appears less than a lock Young will be ready for Week 1.

Saints Sign DE Chase Young

Chase Young‘s free agent period is likely to come to an end. The former No. 2 pick is set to visit the Saints today with the intention of signing, as first reported by Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report.

Young will receive $13MM fully guaranteed on a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds. That represents quite the ‘prove-it’ commitment on the part of New Orleans, a team which has shown interest in the former Defensive Rookie of the Year. Young’s visit with New Orleans was rescheduled to today, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. With that process having gone according to plan, the sides have a deal in place. The team has now announced the signing.

A trio of teams quickly emerged as Young suitors – New Orleans, Carolina and Tennessee. It thus comes as little surprise that the Saints appear to have won out the competition for his services as he profiled as one of the more intriguing free agents on the market. Young will be 25 at the start of the 2024 season, meaning he could have more upside and runway for high-end play than many other veterans who landed big-money deals last week.

The Ohio State product entered the league with massive expectations, but for the most part he did not deliver during his time in Washington. Injuries in 2021 and ’22, along with perception of freelancing during his time with the Commanders, hindered Young’s trade value leading up to this year’s deadline. Washington appeared committed to retaining one of he and fellow first-rounder Montez Sweat at that point. As such, Young’s contract year could have ended with him remaining in the nation’s capital.

However, he (like Sweat) was traded, finding himself in a deal which allowed him to reunite with former college teammate Nick Bosa in San Francisco. Young recorded five sacks in seven regular season games with the 49ers, adding one in the team’s postseason run. A deal keeping him on the Bay Area was in the cards, but Young made it clear upon arrival he would test the market. That suggested a departure could be coming, and he will now join a Saints team making another investment along the edge.

New Orleans has Cameron Jordan and Carl Granderson in the fold, with both veterans having signed extensions last offseason. The team has also spent significant draft capital at the defensive end spot in recent years, including a first-round pick in 2021 (Payton Turner) and a second-rounder last April (Isaiah Foskey). Young will join that edge group for at least one season ahead of another potential trip to free agency.

The Saints – following yet another offseason filled with restructures and cuts needed to achieve cap compliance – entered Monday with $18.6MM in cap space. Young’s deal being fully guaranteed will eat into that figure considerably, although void years will no doubt be in place. It will be interesting to see how he fares in New Orleans and how his performance affects his value ahead of next offseason.

Panthers To Meet With Jadeveon Clowney; Jets, Ravens Interested

MARCH 14: Clowney has another suitor in the Jets. The defensive lineman will visit with the Jets next week, according to Garafolo. The veteran will consider “multiple options” before making his decision. Clowney’s Jets visit is set for Tuesday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

The Jets are in natural need of some reinforcement on the edge. The team lost Bryce Huff to the Eagles, opening close to 500 defensive snaps alongside Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers.

MARCH 13: Known to take his time during free agency, Jadeveon Clowney has spent the 2020s journeying the league on one-year deals. The South Carolina alum’s next trip will be in a familiar region.

The Rock Hill, South Carolina, native is set to make a trip to visit the Panthers, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo. A few teams are monitoring the Clowney market; this includes the Ravens, who coaxed a quality season from the nomadic pass rusher in 2023. The Panthers are meeting with Clowney, Chase Young and D.J. Wonnum on Thursday, ESPN’s David Newton tweets.

[RELATED: Panthers Trade OLB Brian Burns To Giants]

It took Clowney until mid-August to land a deal last year, and the former No. 1 overall pick’s Baltimore pact was worth only $2.5MM. After another bounce-back season, the South Carolina alum can aim higher. Clowney has never secured a long-term deal since the expiration of his Texans rookie contract, but he has done well for himself on this bevy of one-year agreements. Though, the edge defender has never come especially close to the kind of top-market contract that once seemed in play while he was in Houston.

En route to a No. 1 defensive ranking, the Ravens received Clowney’s top sack season. Known more for an all-around game, Clowney has never reached double-digit sacks in a season. His three Pro Bowls came back in Houston. But the once-elite prospect has four seasons with at least nine sacks on his resume.

Injury issues and inconsistency have impeded Clowney on the contract front, as he was not especially productive in Seattle, Tennessee or during his second year in Cleveland. But he did total nine sacks opposite Myles Garrett in 2021 while helping a previously edge-deficient Ravens team thrive — opposite September addition Kyle Van Noy — last season. Clowney totaled 19 QB hits for the second time in three years.

The Panthers made a rather surprising decision to accept second- and fifth-round picks from the Giants to wrap their years-long Brian Burns saga. That tag-and-trade transaction leaves the Panthers with next to nothing at edge rusher, with former second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos agreeing to a two-year, $18MM 49ers deal as well. Clowney would help, though the move would remind — to a degree, at least — of last year’s Justin Houston stopgap addition.

Mentioned as being interested in retaining Clowney earlier this week, the Ravens are again in need on the edge. Their most recent band-aid pass rushers — Clowney and Van Noy — are both free agents. While Baltimore extended Justin Madubuike on a deal that set up the big-ticket Chris Jones and Christian Wilkins contracts, the team needs to fill out its outside linebacker depth chart once again.

DE Chase Young To Visit Panthers, Saints, Titans

A few of the top edge rushers in the 2024 free agent class have already found a new home. One of the more intriguing options still available is Chase Young, who has a trio of visits lined up. Carolina and New Orleans are expected host Young later this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The Titans will also bring him in, colleague Ian Rapoport notes.

While Young’s Panthers meeting is taking place Thursday, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football notes the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will make his trip to New Orleans on Friday.

Entering the NFL with massive expectations, Young seemed destined for a long and productive Commanders career given his play in 2020. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors that season, but things did not go according to plan after that. A torn ACL and a ruptured patellar tendon left the former No. 2 pick sidelined for considerable stretches, and his time in Washington ultimately came to an end at the trade deadline.

By the time the Commanders elected to deal Young to San Francisco, fellow defensive end (and pending free agent) Montez Sweat had been traded. The latter’s absence seemed to suggest Washington would attempt to re-sign Young, but instead his walk year concluded with the 49ers. Playing opposite Nick Bosa, Young posted only 2.5 sacks in nine regular season games with San Francisco (albeit while logging a much smaller workload). The Ohio State alum chipped in with one sack in the team’s run to the Super Bowl, but it would come as a surprise if the NFC champions made a major effort to retain him after his 2023 showing.

Still only 24, Young profiles as having some of the highest upside amongst free agents on either side of the ball this year. In both Carolina and New Orleans, he would be counted on as a key edge rush producer. The Panthers finally put an end to the Brian Burns saga on Monday, dealing him to the Giants. That has created a major vacancy along the edge, as Burns was the team’s most proficient sack artist.

Carolina was last in the league in sacks in 2023, and New Orleans did not fare much better (28th). The Saints were led in that department by Carl Granderson, but fellow defensive end Cameron Jordan was limited to a pair of sacks. Adding Young as a (potentially) impactful rusher off the edge would be beneficial to a Saints team needing to get younger on defense.

Tennessee saw 2023 sack leader Denico Autry agree to a deal with the Texans yesterday, so a replacement will be needed. Harold Landry and Arden Key are both under contract for 2024, but another rotational option would help the Titans’ front seven as the team looks to rebound from a poor performance last season. Young appears prepared to take his time vetting potential landing spots. .

49ers Interested In Re-Signing Chase Young

The 49ers have passed on re-signing some Nick Bosa wingmen in the recent past, letting the likes of Arden Key, Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu walk over the past two free agency periods. It would seem Chase Young will follow suit, but the NFC champions are not resigned to collecting a compensatory pick just yet.

Young is less than a week from testing the market, and while the 49ers have a considerable amount of money tied up in D-line payments, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano notes the team is interested in re-signing the recent trade acquisition. It probably will depend on how teams view Young, which will be one of this free agency period’s most interesting storylines.

A brutal knee injury sidelined Young for more than a year, but the former No. 2 overall pick showed some positive signs to start this past season. Young totaled five sacks in eight games with the Commanders last year, drawing trade interest from the Ravens, Jaguars and 49ers. After the Commanders reduced their asking price for Young — on a memorable deadline day in Washington — the 49ers obtained him for a third-round comp pick. The partnership did not produce fireworks, with Young finishing with 2.5 sacks during his Bay Area regular-season run. He did add a sack of Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LVIII, however.

If Young’s market escalates well past the “prove it” point, it would seem the 49ers may have a hard time bringing him back. Some teams, per Graziano, remain intrigued with Young’s potential; the former Heisman finalist entered the league as one of the 21st century’s top defensive prospects.

With Brian Burns and Josh Allen off the market via the franchise tag, interest in Young would stand to increase. Though, other edges — most notably Jonathan Greenard, Bryce Huff and Danielle Hunter — are poised to be available as well. Young’s place on this market is somewhat difficult to peg as of now, but a team viewing this as a buy-low opportunity for a player in the process of re-establishing his value following an ACL tear and a ruptured patellar tendon could conceivably land a steal.

The former Defensive Rookie of the Year probably fits best as a sidekick pass rusher at this point in his career. The 49ers could use such a presence, having seen 2022 second-round pick Drake Jackson fail to return from injury last season. Bosa’s starting bookend partner, Clelin Ferrell, is also on track for free agency. So is Randy Gregory, thanks to a contract reworking.

Although Brock Purdy is on a rookie deal, the 49ers have Bosa tied to a defender-record contract ($34MM per year). They struck that deal after having extended Arik Armstead in 2020 and giving Javon Hargrave a $21MM-AAV pact during free agency last year. San Francisco Young a notable second contract would be a fascinating roster-building move.

49ers Activate S George Odum, Place DE Clelin Ferrell On IR

Shortly after losing starting safety Talanoa Hufanga for the year to a torn ACL, the 49ers were worried that they would be down another body in the secondary after George Odum suffered a biceps injury that the team feared could be season-ending. Luckily, they were wrong. San Francisco activated Odum off of injured reserve today, opening a roster spot for him by placing defensive end Clelin Ferrell on IR in his place.

Odum, a former undrafted free agent, signed a three-year contract with the 49ers after a breakout year that saw him start seven games for the Colts. Up until that breakout season, Odum had seen most of his use coming on special teams. The patient defender was given his opportunity to start thanks to multiple injuries to starters Khari Willis and Andrew Sendejo. He took advantage of that opportunity, finishing sixth on the team with 55 total tackles while recording an interception and two passes defensed. While Odum may not be a game changer on the 49ers defense, the depth he provides at safety will be a welcome one as San Francisco starts their 2023 playoffs.

Ferrell, a former top-four pick out of Clemson, has ultimately failed to live up to his draft stock over his five years in the league. After seeing his fifth-year option declined by the Raiders, Ferrell signed a one-year deal to come to San Francisco. Despite not meeting expectations in Las Vegas, Ferrell stepped in as a full-time starter for the 49ers this season. Ferrell hasn’t been very productive as a pass rusher (only 3.5 sacks), but he hasn’t needed to be as Nick Bosa (10.5), Javon Hargrave (7.0), and Arik Armstead (5.0) have fed off of their combined pass rushing effort. With Ferrell out with a knee injury, trade acquisition Chase Young, who has been coming off the bench since being acquired before Week 10, will once again step into a starting role.

In addition to the two IR transactions, the team also announced their standard gameday practice squad elevations for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Defensive tackles Alex Barrett and T.Y. McGill will be called up to add some depth to the defensive line against the Packers tonight.

Ron Rivera, Jack Del Rio Wanted Commanders To Retain Montez Sweat

As the Commanders completed what looked on the surface to be a reluctant sell-off at the trade deadline, Ron Rivera said all parties were onboard with the trades of Montez Sweat and Chase Young. A virtual meeting with new owner Josh Harris appears to have provided the final push for the Commanders to trade their defensive ends, though other factors were part of the equation.

It looks like the Washington coaching staff was readier to trade Young than Sweat. Rivera, DC Jack Del Rio and others wanted to make it past the deadline with Sweat still on the roster, according to ESPN.com’s John Keim and Jeremy Fowler. But two second-round offers came in for the contract-year edge rusher — from the Bears and Falcons — leading the team to complete the first of its two deadline-day deals.

Following the Commanders’ Week 8 loss to the Eagles, calls came in on the DEs and other players, per Fowler and Keim. While the Commanders had done legwork on trades involving Sweat and Young for more than a week going into the deadline, it was not known until hours before the Oct. 31 trade endpoint how Harris felt.

The Dan Snyder successor expressed an openness to trade the defensive ends and acquire draft capital, and while Fowler and Keim do not describe the meeting as Harris mandating both be traded, the owner leaning in that direction looks to have provided the biggest difference in Washington making the surprising call to trade both Sweat and Young. Both players were gone hours after the meeting.

Young’s propensity to freelance within Del Rio’s scheme looks to have made the Commanders more amenable to trading the former No. 2 overall pick, and the team dropped its asking price to move on. It took only a third-round compensatory pick for the 49ers to acquire the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Sweat had been more consistent, but with the Commanders expecting both players to cost near-top-market money, they decided to cut bait. As should be expected, the extensions given to Jonathan Allen (in 2021) and Daron Payne (in March) played a role, along with the defensive line’s early-season struggles, in the Commanders determining they would not be in position to extend Sweat or Young.

Rivera wanting to keep his top sack artist in the fold makes sense, as he entered this season on a hot seat. The fourth-year Washington HC had hoped to retain enough pieces to salvage this season, a sentiment some in the front office shared as well; losing Sweat, who has since signed a high-end Bears extension, did not help matters. The 2019 first-round pick is closing in on his first double-digit sack season, collecting 6.5 of his nine QB drops in Washington. Without Sweat and Young, the Commanders are close to starting over at defensive end.

While Washington had regressed on defense even with its two walk-year sack artists, the team has cratered on that side of the ball without them. The Commanders have allowed back-to-back 45-point games, the second coming after Rivera — after a morning conversation with Harris — fired Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer.

Harris and Rivera have retained a solid relationship, per ESPN, but the writing has been on the wall for the well-liked sideline bastion for a while. The Commanders are also more likely than not to clean house in the front office, with ex-Panthers execs Marty Hurney and Eric Stokes joining GM Martin Mayhew as staffers in play to follow Rivera in being ousted. It is unknown what type of coach and leadership structure Harris will prefer in 2024, but he effectively asked a lame-duck staff to trade draft capital it most likely will not be in position to use come April.

Rivera, 61, is on track to be fired by a new owner for a second time. David Tepper canned the former NFC champion HC during the 2019 season, the Panthers owner’s second on the job. This has been Mayhew’s second crack at a GM job. The former Washington Super Bowl-winning cornerback, who is 58, served as Lions GM from 2008-15.