D.J. Humphries

NFC West Rumors: Seahawks OL, Jackson, Greenlaw, Humphries

With Brandon Shell departing in free agency and Duane Brown and Ethan Pocic now rostered with the Jets and Browns, respectively, the Seahawks have had a bit of work this offseason piecing their offensive line back together. Seattle may even be in the extremely rare position of bookending their offensive line with two rookie tackles, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

While Charles Cross has long been expected to start for the Seahawks on the blindside as the No. 9 overall pick in the draft, it appears that third-round pick Abraham Lucas is currently favored to man the tackle spot opposite Cross. The most recent instance of this in the NFL that I could find is back in 2012 when the Cardinals were forced to start seventh-round pick Nate Potter across from fourth-round pick Bobby Massie late in the season. That was a result of some injuries, though. The last time a team started the season with two rookie offensive tackles, I believe, was in 2009 when Jacksonville trotted out in Week 1 with first-round pick Eugene Monroe at left tackle and second-round pick Eben Britton at right tackle.

Additionally, while the Seahawks return Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis as the starting guards from last year, backup guard Phil Haynes has reportedly been pushing both for playing time this offseason. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Brady Henderson, head coach Pete Carroll had plenty of good things to say about Haynes.

“Phil could start. He plays like a starter,” Carroll extolled. He looks like a starter out there and he’s pushing Gabe, he really is. He’s our guy that’s swinging right and left side right now. If he had to start for either guy right now, I would feel absolutely comfortable…I feel like we’ve got three starting guards right now that we could play and be fine with.”

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC West, starting with a couple rumors from the Bay Area:

  • The 49ers used a second-round pick this year to select Drake Jackson, a big-bodied defensive end out of USC. But they are determined not to limit Jackson to the outside of the line, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. San Francisco has been lining Jackson up all over the defensive line this offseason, placing him not only on both ends but at defensive tackle, as well.
  • When the 49ers rush an extra defensive back on the field in passing situations, one of their three starting linebackers is going to have to come off the field. When asked which starting linebacker would stay on the field with Fred Warner in those situations, Barrows posited that it had to be Dre Greenlaw. Barrows went on to say that the only way Azeez Al-Shaair would take hold over the No. 2 linebacker spot in San Francisco is if Greenlaw is injured.
  • Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries recently signed a three-year, $51.76MM extension. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the deal has a guaranteed amount of $32.82MM consisting of a $17MM signing bonus, the 2022 salary of $3.82MM, $4MM of the 2023 salary, and the 2023 roster bonus of $8.24MM. Additionally, the 28-year-old tackle can earn a per game active bonus of $14,117 for a potential season total of $240,000.

NFC West Notes: Rams, Cards, 49ers, Hawks

Van Jefferson‘s second 2022 surgery will shut him down for weeks. In their No. 3 wide receiver’s stead, the Rams are using the likes of second-round pick Tutu Atwell, veteran backup Ben Skowronek, converted tight end Jacob Harris and fifth-year return specialist Brandon Powell, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Of course, the Rams have also been linked — mostly by their own words — to a second Odell Beckham Jr. contract.

We’ll look at those guys and then we’ll continue to see if we can figure out when Odell will come back at some point as well,” Sean McVay said.

Jefferson’s surgery went well, Rodrigue tweets, adding a Week 1 return should be realistic. Although the Rams signed Beckham when Robert Woods was still healthy, Jefferson’s role was not threatened after the latter’s injury. He finished his sophomore NFL slate with 50 receptions, 802 yards (nearly quadrupling rookie-year total) and six touchdowns. Although Beckham coming back and joining Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson would threaten Jefferson’s playing time, the third-year receiver should have a firm grip on the WR3 job for a bit.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Activated off the non-football injury list Tuesday, Marquise Brown found himself in off-field trouble several hours later. The recently acquired Cardinals wide receiver was arrested on a criminal speeding charge and booked in the Maricopa County Jail. The arrest occurred at 7:05am Wednesday in north Phoenix, according to Jose Romero of the Arizona Republic. Brown was traveling from his home to the Cards’ facility, per Kliff Kingsbury. Brown, acquired in a draft-weekend deal that saw the Cardinals’ first-round pick change hands, faces a potential suspension under the personal conduct policy purview.
  • D.J. HumphriesCardinals extension is for three years and $51.8MM, Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger tweets. This deal comes with a $17MM signing bonus, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Humphries’ 2022 cap number will also drop from $19.9MM to $12.6MM, creating some additional space for the Cards. Humphries’ extension is worth a bit more than his previous contract (three years, $44.3MM), but it comes in eighth among left tackles for AAV.
  • The 49ers may go with two unseasoned guards this year. They have been using fourth-round rookie Spencer Burford exclusively as their first-string right guard, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes. If the Texas-San Antonio product can stick at this position, it could relocate two-year San Francisco right guard starter Daniel Brunskill to center, where he is battling veteran backup Jake Brendel to take over for Alex Mack. Buford is vying to join Aaron Banks as a guard starter. The 2021 second-round pick logged five offensive snaps as a rookie but looks to have a firm grip on the 49ers’ left guard gig in camp.
  • The SeahawksReuben Foster workout does not look to signal an immediate signing, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. This appears to be a case of the Seahawks kicking the tires on the former first-round pick. Foster has not played in a game since the 2018 season. Although Washington claimed the once-high-profile linebacker during the 2018 season, he never played a down for the team. An ACL tear during Washington’s 2019 offseason program led the Alabama product out of the league. However, the Seahawks are the fifth team to work out Foster since his Washington contract expired following the 2020 season. The Jets, Jaguars, Browns and Dolphins have also brought him in.
  • Former Jets quarterback James Morgan also worked out for the Seahawks, auditioning Thursday. The team, which is holding a long-scrutinized Geno SmithDrew Lock competition, is not planning an immediate Morgan signing, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. A Green Bay native, Morgan, 25, also worked out for the Packers recently.

Cardinals Extend LT D.J. Humphries

After extending quarterback Kyler Murray last month, the Cardinals have now locked up his left tackle. According to Darren Urban of the team’s website, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries has agreed to a contract extension. The lineman inked a new three-year deal that will keep him in Arizona through the 2025 season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the extension is worth $66.8MM, including $34MM guaranteed.

Humphries was set to hit free agency following the season. The lineman signed a three-year, $45MM deal back in 2020, and he was attached to a $19.3MM cap hit for the 2022 campaign. Per Urban, there’s a good chance the player’s new contract will reduce that cap hit for the upcoming season.

The Cardinals selected Humphries in the first round of the 2015 draft. He’s started each of his 75 games since entering the NFL, and he made his playoff debut this past season. After being inactive for every game of his rookie season, the lineman proceeded to miss 21 games between the 2016 and 2018 seasons. However, over the past three years, Humphries has only missed a single game (last season due to COVID).

The 28-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2021 after starting each of his 16 games. He’s yet to practice during training camp thanks to “a gastrointestinal issue,” leading to the team adding offensive lineman Rashaad Coward earlier today.

As Urban writes, there’s plenty of uncertainty surround the future of the Cardinals offensive line, so it was especially important for GM Steve Keim to extend his LT. Even with Humphries extended, the front office still has to account for the expiring contracts of Justin Pugh, Will Hernandez, and Kelvin Beachum. Plus, as Urban notes, Rodney Hudson could consider retirement when the season is over.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap 

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

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

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/30/21

Here are Thursday’s reserve/COVID-19 list updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from virus list: OL Cody Ford, CB Cam Lewis
  • Activated from practice squad virus list: TE Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Placed on practice squad virus list: LB Omari Cobb

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Cardinals Rework D.J. Humphries’ Contract

The Cardinals converted $10.59MM of D.J. Humphries’ base salary into a signing bonus, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The move will free up more than $7MM in cap room, giving Arizona some much-needed flexibility in advance of Saturday’s roster deadline. When valuable vets become cap casualties, the Cardinals will have enough space to get involved.

Humphries, 26, agreed to a three-year, $45MM extension in February, making him the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid tackle at the time of signing. The deal gave Humphries some long-term security instead of playing on a one-year franchise tender at a similar ~$15MM rate. There isn’t much that changes for the former first-round pick – he’ll still receive $30MM over the first two years of the deal, a pact that contains more than 50% guaranteed cash.

Humphries has been battered, but the Cardinals are sold on him as Kyler Murray‘s blind-side protector for years to come. The Cardinals had not seen Humphries play 16 games until this past season. From 2017-18, he played five and nine, respectively. Knee issues sidelined Humphries during those slates, which came after a 2015 rookie season in which he was inactive throughout. Still, he stands as one of the most talented young tackles in the game, and one of Steve Keim‘s rare quality first-round picks.

Cardinals To Extend D.J. Humphries

Shortly after Steve Keim indicated the Cardinals were confident they’d retain D.J. Humphries in free agency, Arizona’s left tackle has agreed to terms to stay with the franchise that drafted him.

Humphries agreed to a three-year, $45MM extension on Monday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The former first-round pick will receive $30MM over the first two years of that deal, and the pact contains $29MM guaranteed. This takes one of the top offensive linemen off the free agent market.

The second year of Humphries’ deal – worth $15MM – will become guaranteed on March 21 of this year, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. That means the first two years are effectively guaranteed; a big win for the lineman and his camp.

Humphries, 26, now becomes the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid tackle, in terms of per-year salary. He’s also one of five $15MM-AAV offensive linemen. A Humphries franchise tag would have cost Arizona nearly $15MM; that certainly played a role in these extension talks.

While Humphries has battled injuries and inconsistency, the Cardinals are sold he can be Kyler Murray‘s blind-side protector for years to come. The Cardinals had not seen Humphries play 16 games until this past season. From 2017-18, he played five and nine, respectively. Knee issues sidelined Humphries during those slates, which came after a 2015 rookie season in which he was inactive throughout. This is a big bet from Keim, whose record on first-round picks between Humphries and Murray has not been great.

From 2016-18, the Cardinals used first-round picks on Robert Nkemdiche, Haason Reddick and Josh Rosen. None were starters by season’s end; Reddick is the only member of this trio who remains with the Cards. He will almost certainly see his fifth-year option declined come May. Humphries has outperformed this trio, but other than a brief 2017 work sample, Pro Football Focus has not raved about the ex-Florida blocker’s work. That has not stopped teams from big tackle investments, however. The Buccaneers gave Donovan Smith a major extension last year, despite frequent down reviews from PFF.

Humphries began his career as Arizona’s right tackle in 2016 but switched to the left side a year later, moving Jared Veldheer from his long-held left tackle post. Humphries has played for three head coaches, but despite Kliff Kingsbury being early in his Texas Tech tenure when the Cards drafted the 6-foot-5 tackle, the second-year Arizona coach has entrusted him to protect the franchise’s top investment for a while.

Cardinals ‘Very Optimistic’ About Re-Signing LT D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals weren’t very good this past year, but the first season of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray partnership was by all accounts a modest success relative to expectations. They now have a pivotal offseason ahead of them, and it sounds like locking up Murray’s blindside protector is a priority. 

Arizona GM Steve Keim said during a recent radio interview with 98.7 FM that he’s “very optimistic” about the team’s chances of bringing back left tackle D.J. Humphries, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. Keim added that the entire organization is “very confident” that Humphries is “one of the better tackles” in the league. The Cardinals drafted Humphries in the first round back in 2015, and his career got off to a very shaky start.

His rookie season was a disaster, as he couldn’t move past third-string on the depth chart and was inactive for all 16 games. He started his second season at right tackle, starting 13 games. He was the left tackle the following year, but knee issues limited him to only five appearances. In 2018 he started nine games at left tackle before another knee injury ended his season. This past year he finally stayed healthy, starting all 16 contests.

Humphries received solid grades from Pro Football Focus, and the Cards clearly don’t plan on letting him walk. When asked about using the franchise tag on him, Keim indicated he would rather work out an extension. “You always want to tie up your players that you feel good about and you want to come to an agreement moving forward to a longer-term deal than having to use those things,” he said. McManaman thinks that Arizona will have to pay the 26-year-old around $14MM annually.

Cardinals Undecided On D.J. Humphries Extension

Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries is playing out the fifth-year option of his rookie contract and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020. But even though Humphries has opened each of the past three seasons as Arizona’s starting LT, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes that the Cards are undecided as to whether they will attempt to retain the Florida product long-term.

Humphries did not play a single snap in 2015, his rookie season, and then-head coach Bruce Arians criticized Humphries for his work ethic and commitment. Somers notes that no one doubts Humphries’ dedication at this point, and Humphries has played well in stretches, but he has not been able to consistently sustain a high level of play.

He has also been unable to stay healthy, having not played a full season of football since his freshman year of college. And, given the level of compensation that even league-average LTs are making these days — Somers estimates that Humphries would earn at least $12MM per year on the open market — the Cardinals’ reluctance to engage in extension talks is understandable.

When asked about Humphries’ performance this season, new head coach Kliff Kingsbury was non-committal. Kingsbury said that Humphries is “continuing to improve, and that’s what we’ve asked of him. We just have to keep him coming. He’s still getting comfortable in our system, and we’re getting comfortable with him, but I like what I’ve seen so far.”

One way or another, the Cardinals will have to invest either big money or premium draft capital into the left tackle position in 2020. For his part, Humphries is trying not to think too much about it.

“Thinking about it is not going to do anything for you,” Humphries said. “You can think all day about a paycheck — it’s still not Friday. Friday is going to come when it comes. It’s inevitable, if you’re working all week like you’re supposed to, Friday is inevitable.”