Corey Linsley

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chargers Place Joey Bosa, Austin Ekeler On COVID-19 List

The Chargers will be forced to place edge rusher Joey Bosa, center Corey Linsley, and running back Austin Ekeler on the COVID-19 list (Twitter link via Daniel Popper of The Athletic). The Bolts will likely add more players to that list later today, which may leave them at less than full strength for Sunday’s game against the Texans. 

Bosa was reported to be unvaccinated earlier this year. So, unless he has received the vaccine in recent weeks, he’ll still be subject to the league’s 2020 protocols and held out of this week’s game. Even under the revised rules, unvaccinated players who test positive must remain in quaratine for a minimum of ten days.

Bosa was briefly placed on the COVID-19 list back in November when he was ID’d as a high-risk close contact. But, after testing negative, he was cleared to face the Steelers in Week 11.

The 26-year-old is in the midst of another sensational season with 43 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and a league-leading six forced fumbles. Needless to say, he’s well on his way to a third straight Pro Bowl selection, which would give him four for his young career. The Chargers have Bosa under contract for years to come, thanks to the five-year, $135MM mega-deal he inked in 2020.

Unfortunately, the Chargers be without Bosa for at least a little while as they work to clinch a playoff berth. At 8-6, the Bolts have a 75% chance of. making the cut, per Five Thirty Eight, plus an outside chance of catching the Chiefs for the divisional crown.

NFL Contract Details: Bolts, Griffin, Broncos

With the tampering period in full swing, here are some of the latest contract details to emerge:

  • Chargers C Corey Linsley: Five years, $62.5MM. $26MM guaranteed, $13MM signing bonus. Linsley is due $26MM through 2022, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Linsley’s 2021 base salary ($4MM) is fully guaranteed. His 2022 base salary ($9MM) is guaranteed for injury at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Bolts’ roster on Day 2 of the 2022 league year, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin: Three years, $40MM. $23.5MM fully guaranteed, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. $12MM signing bonus, base salaries of $1MM, $11.5MM and $11.5MM. Griffin is due a $1MM roster bonus in 2023, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Lions DE Romeo Okwara: Three years, $39MM. $14MM signing bonus, $20MM fully guaranteed. Another $5MM will be guaranteed by next March, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).
  • Broncos DL Shelby Harris: Three years, $27MM. $9MM signing bonus. Harris’ $1MM 2021 base salary and $5.5MM of his $7.5MM 2022 base are guaranteed, Wilson tweets.
  • Patriots DB Jalen Mills: Four years, $24MM. $2.5MM signing bonus, $3MM base salary in 2021, $4.5MM in ’22. Williams will have $3.5MM of his 2022 base salary fully guaranteed, Breer tweets.
  • Panthers OL Cameron Erving: Two years, $10MM. This contract includes base salaries of $990K and $2.01MM, with Wilson tweeting a March 2022 roster bonus of $2.5MM is guaranteed.
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett: One year, $5.5MM. $2MM signing bonus, $2.5MM base salary, $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. Another $1MM is available via incentives, Yates tweets.

Chargers To Sign C Corey Linsley

After cutting multiple key veteran starters last week, the Chargers will use some of those funds to make a big addition on their offensive line. They are signing longtime Packers center Corey Linsley, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The deal, which will reunite Linsley with former Green Bay O-line mate Bryan Bulaga, is expected to make Linsley the NFL’s highest-paid center. Linsley expected to hit the market, and after the Packers prioritized Aaron Jones just before the legal tampering period began, his Wisconsin exit appeared a near-certainty.

It is a five-year, $62.5MM contract, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. That will come in just above Ryan Kelly‘s recently established center-record contract.

Linsley broke through in his contract year, becoming an All-Pro blocker. Pro Football Focus slotted him as far and away the No. 1 overall center. The Bolts have battled issues up front for years, and their investments in Mike Pouncey and Trai Turner did not end up working out especially well. Pouncey retired after missing all of last season, and Turner saw his run of Pro Bowls stop after an injury-plagued 2020. The Chargers cut Turner last week.

This will give Justin Herbert a high-end offensive lineman to work with as well. Linsley and Bulaga were also teammates from 2014-19. The Packers signed Linsley to an extension that ran through 2020 but could not strike a deal to keep him off this year’s market. The 2021 season will be Linsley’s age-30 campaign.

Linsley will represent a key free agency loss for the Packers, who cut 2020 starter Ricky Wagner last month. The Jets were also interested in Linsley, likely joining several other teams, but the Chargers moved quickly to secure his services. Los Angeles still has holes on its offensive front, however, so Linsley might not be their last big upgrade here.

Jets Interested In Corey Linsley, Joe Thuney

The Jets missed out on Kevin Zeitler and they won’t have an opportunity to speak with Andrew Norwell. However, they have two other interior linemen on their list. The Jets are expected to pursue center Corey Linsley and guard Joe Thuney, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). 

The Jets were said to be keenly interested in Thuney last week with plans to call him bright and early on Monday morning. The Patriots declined to tag him again, making him an unfettered free agent. A second-team All-Pro in 2019 and a key part of the Patriots’ most recent Super Bowl wins, Thuney is regarded as one of the better guards in the NFL.

Linsley, meanwhile, was a First-Team All-Pro for his work with the Packers last season. It’s expected that he’ll approach or best Ryan Kelly‘s $12.4MM per-year average, so either player would be mighty costly for the Jets. Still, the offensive line is a long-standing need for Gang Green, so they’re willing to spend the big bucks.

Latest On Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley

The Packers have not dusted off their franchise tag in a while, last using it on nose tackle Ryan Pickett in 2010. They may be on the verge of a change in offseason strategy.

Beginning his fourth offseason as GM, Brian Gutekunst has top-tier free agents Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley barely a week away from being able to negotiate with other teams for the first time. An All-Pro center, Linsley expects to test the market. This would leave Jones in the tag crosshairs.

We certainly could (tag Jones). I think it’s something we’re working through. Again, it’s not a philosophical thing to avoid it,” Gutekunst said of using the tag, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “I do think there’s usually better ways to go about it, but certainly if I think as we get down the road here over the next week or so, if that becomes what is in the best interest of the Packers, I think we’ll do that. But at this point, we haven’t done that.”

It cost the Titans $10.3MM to tag Derrick Henry last year, though the sides reached an extension agreement on deadline day last July. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s anticipated impact on the 2021 cap, the Packers may have the opportunity to tag Jones at barely $8MM. This would be a difficult scenario for Jones, who saw fellow 2017 draftees Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon cash in — all on deals worth at least $12MM annually — last year. But it would allow the Packers an unusual way to retain one of the best players.

The Packers and Jones negotiated extensively last year, and the 25-year-old running back changed agents during the process. An offer that would have paid Jones at least $12MM annually did not result in a deal. That proposal was light on guarantees, however. The team has until March 9 to tag Jones. Green Bay RB2 Jamaal Williams is expected to depart via free agency, which would seemingly elevate 2020 second-round pick A.J. Dillon.

A 2014 fifth-round pick, Linsley agreed on a Packers extension that ran through 2020. Coming off an All-Pro season, Linsley appears poised to approach or surpass Ryan Kelly‘s market-topping contract ($12.4MM AAV, $25MM fully guaranteed). It does not sound like the Packers will extend him to keep him off the market by the time the legal tampering period begins March 15.

Finding a way to bring him back would be ideal, but at the same time obviously, at the level of compensation that he’s at, he’s earned that,” Gutekunst said. “We certainly would never close the door on someone like Corey Linsley. We’ll see as we get down what’s possible and what’s not.”

Going into the spring tag deadline, the Packers have work to do before being free to tag Jones. They are more than $11MM over the projected salary cap, even after a David Bakhtiari restructure and the releases of Rick Wagner and Christian Kirksey. The Packers are discussing a restructure with Aaron Rodgers, Demovsky adds.

A $6.8MM Rodgers roster bonus could be converted to a signing bonus without the quarterback’s approval, creating $4.5MM in 2021 cap space. And the Packers could also move some of Rodgers’ 2021 base salary ($14.8MM) into a signing bonus to free up more room. This would, of course, complicate matters down the road. But the NFL’s post-2021 future is unlikely to include any further cap reductions, likely making present restructures easier to stomach for teams.

Packers’ Corey Linsley Doesn’t Expect To Return

Packers center Corey Linsley tells SiriusXM that “all signs are pointing to” a change of teams this offseason. Linsley, a pending free agent, made similar comments after the Packers’ playoff ouster.

[RELATED: Mutual Interest Between Dolphins, Aaron Jones]

We’re not closing the door for anything,” Linsley said (via PFT). “Obviously we’d never do that for any team, especially the Packers, but yeah it definitely feels weird. It looks like all signs are pointing towards snapping the ball somewhere else next year.”

Linsley, has spent his entire career in Green Bay since being selected in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft. Fresh off of his first All-Pro nod, he’s now positioned for free agent riches. The Packers, meanwhile, have other matters to address and limited resources to work with. Their own free agent list includes running back Aaron Jones, who could be on track for the franchise tag.

Linsley, 30 in July, has a chance to top Ryan Kelly‘s new high-water salary mark for centers with a deal worth more than $12.4MM per year on average.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/28/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Packers Activate C Corey Linsley From IR

The Packers will have their standout center back in action Sunday night. They activated Corey Linsley from IR in advance of their key matchup against the Titans.

Linsley will end up having missed only the minimum three games because of a knee sprain. His return will be a boon to a Green Bay squad that has the inside track to earn the NFC’s lone bye.

When Linsley went down in late November, he was playing at a high level. The longtime Packers center will enter Week 16 as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1-ranked snapper — by a significant margin. In the final weeks of his second Packers contract, Linsley will now have a chance to make a final push for either an extension or a monster free agency payday.

As of last month, no extension talks had transpired between Linsley and the Packers. He joins Aaron Jones as key Packers free agents-to-be. Although the salary cap is expected to decline for only the second time in the cap era, high-level offensive linemen are coveted annually in free agency. Linsley, 29, would have a chance to top Ryan Kelly‘s new high-water salary mark for centers ($12.4MM per year) were he to reach free agency. The Packers recently authorized a record-breaking extension for left tackle David Bakhtiari.