D.J. Humphries

Restructure Details: Armstead, Dolphins, Hill, Chubb, Chargers, WRs, Ravens, Pierce, Panthers, Moton, Jets, Cardinals, Eagles, Vikings

Teams have until 3pm CT Wednesday — the start of the 2023 league year — to move under the $224.8MM salary cap. With the legal tampering period beginning at 3pm Monday, teams are working to create cap space for free agency pursuits. Here are the latest maneuvers teams have made on that front:

  • The Dolphins have created more than $43MM in cap space over the past two days, being the runaway leaders on this front this week. They agreed to restructures with Bradley Chubb and Terron Armstead to free up $25MM-plus, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter links), but they are also using Tyreek Hill‘s receiver-record contract to create room. Miami created $18MM in space by restructuring Hill’s $30MM-AAV deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Hill was due a $16MM roster bonus; that and most of his 2023 base salary have been shifted into a signing bonus. Chubb’s base salary is now down to $1.1MM in 2023.
  • Rather than trade Keenan Allen to carve out cap space, Chargers GM Tom Telesco firmly opted against that strategy. The Bolts are keeping Allen, and both he and Mike Williams‘ 2024 cap numbers will balloon. The team freed up $14MM-plus in 2023 cap space by restructuring both their $20MM-per-year wide receiver deals, per Yates. While new funds are available for 2023, Williams and Allen are now tied to $32.5MM and $34.7MM cap numbers in 2024 (Twitter links). Neither should be expected to play on those numbers, which will undoubtedly lead to more maneuvers down the road.
  • The Panthers freed up more than $11MM in cap room by restructuring Taylor Moton‘s deal, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. This marks the second straight year Carolina has adjusted Moton’s contract. A Xavier Woods tweak also added $1.5MM to Carolina’s cap space, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
  • Michael Pierce accepted a $2MM pay cut to remain with the Ravens, Pelissero tweets. The move added $2.7MM in funds, Yates tweets. Pierce, who returned to the Ravens in 2022, can earn the money back via incentives. Pierce missed most of last season due to a biceps tear.
  • Pierce’s former team, the Vikings, took the same path with Ross Blacklock. The 2022 trade acquisition accepted a near-$700K slash which he can earn back via incentives, Pelissero adds (on Twitter).
  • D.J. Humphries missed much of the 2022 season, and while the Cardinals have a new regime in place, they are not moving their veteran left tackle. They will use Humphries’ 2022 extension to free up funds, with Pelissero noting (via Twitter) the Cards created $5.3MM in cap space with this restructure. Arizona has moved past $32MM in cap space. More could be coming via a DeAndre Hopkins trade as well.
  • C.J. Uzomah‘s three-year Jets deal became a vehicle for the team to carve out some room. The team freed up $3.6MM in cap space with a recent restructure for the veteran tight end, Pelissero tweets.
  • The Eagles also went to the restructure well Friday, with Yates noting (via Twitter) they are creating $2.5MM in space by adjusting Jake Elliott‘s deal.

D.J. Humphries To Miss Rest Of Season

D.J. Humphries joined Justin Pugh and Rodney Hudson as Cardinals offensive line starters on IR on Saturday. Like Pugh, Humphries’ stay on the injured list will cover the rest of the season.

Kliff Kingsbury said Monday the eighth-year tackle will not return from the back injury that sent him to IR. Humphries made it through eight games this season; he has not played since Arizona’s loss to Seattle in Week 9.

This injury absence comes after the Cardinals locked down Humphries on another three-year extension. Despite being a left tackle starter in his prime, Humphries opted against tabling an extension and testing the 2023 free agent market. He is signed to a three-year, $51MM deal that runs through 2025. Humphries locking in $28.8MM fully guaranteed looks better now than it did this offseason, when the contract made the 28-year-old blocker just the 14th-highest-paid tackle (AAV-wise) in the league.

The former first-round pick’s run of good health during his prime led to the Cardinals giving him three-year deals in both 2020 and 2022, but injuries have been a notable part of Humphries’ career. He missed all of his rookie season, 11 games in 2017 and seven in 2018. The Florida product only ended up missing one contest (due to COVID-19) from 2019-21, setting himself up for multiple paydays. Pro Football Focus rates Humphries as the league’s No. 25 overall tackle this season.

It is easier to name the Cardinals offensive starters who have not missed time due to injury this year, but health issues have been a particular problem up front. Pugh went down with an ACL tear in Week 6; Hudson has been out with a knee injury since Week 4. Both Hudson and Pugh contemplated retirement this offseason, but each moved forward with the team. Arizona trotted out one of the league’s oldest O-lines this season; the veteran unit was much healthier last year.

Former third-round pick Josh Jones has stepped in for Humphries at the blindside post; he will have an extended audition during what is looking like a lost season for a franchise that voyaged to the playoffs in 2021.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/26/22

The league’s minor moves and standard gameday elevations for Week 12:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Cardinals Expected To Activate WR Marquise Brown For Sunday

The Cardinals have not yet had the pleasure this season of fielding all of their top wide receivers in the same game, but they are expected to take a step towards that goal by activating wide receiver Marquise Brown off of injured reserve, according to team senior writer Darren Urban. The update comes from head coach Kliff Kingsbury who said that Brown is expected to play this Sunday.

Brown has been on IR since Week 6 recovering from a foot injury that was initially feared to sideline him for the remainder of the season. Days before, Arizona made the move to acquire Panthers wideout Robbie Anderson, who had had a bit of a falling out with his former team. In the immediate aftermath, the move was considered a one-for-one replacement, as many assumed this indicated a long-term absence for Brown. The team had been operating with Brown as their No. 1 receiving option through the first six weeks of the season. The Cardinals’ true No. 1 receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, was serving a suspension and would return just in time for Brown to head to IR.

In the weeks since Brown’s injury, Hopkins has regained his role as the team’s top wideout. Last year’s second-round pick Rondale Moore has been asked to step up in Brown’s absence, as has Greg Dortch during certain moments of the season. Veteran receiver A.J. Green has contributed, as well, but not nearly with the output he has in past years. Anderson’s addition has so far proven joyless, as he’s only been targeted seven times through five games with the Cardinals and totaled a whopping negative-four yards on one reception.

The return of Brown this week helps move Arizona towards a healthy collection of their top wide receivers. Brown should step immediately into a No. 2 role behind Hopkins as Moore sits out with what is expected to be a short-term groin injury and Dortch is considered a gametime decision with a thumb injury. If Dortch is unable to go, Hopkins and Brown will be supplemented by only Green and Anderson.

The passing game should also see a big boost as Kingsbury told the media that it’s looking like quarterback Kyler Murray will be able to start this weekend after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, Kingsbury also confirmed that the team will be without starting left tackle D.J. Humphries and starting cornerback Byron Murphy.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, T D.J. Humphries Out For Week 11

NOVEMBER 21: Confirming previous reports, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets that McCoy will “definitively” get the nod once again tonight. She adds that Murray was never truly in consideration to suit up against the 49ers, but that the Cardinals publicly kept his availability in the air to avoid tipping their hand in the lead-up to the contest.

This will be the second straight absence for Murray, but he may remain sidelined for even longer. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that the Cardinals may very well rest their starter next week against the Chargers, allowing him to return after their Week 13 bye (Twitter link). Much could depend on the team’s performance during the next two contests as Arizona looks to get back into playoff contention.

NOVEMBER 20: This season has not gone according to plan for the Cardinals, who were 8-2 at this point last season. Things can turn towards a more positive direction with a win over their division opponent, the 49ers, tomorrow night. Unfortunately, they will be attempting to do that without their starting left tackle and potentially without their star quarterback.

Starting left tackle D.J. Humphries has been ruled out for the second-straight game as he continues to deal with back issues, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN. Arizona has quite a few options to replace the veteran on the blindside as they’ve been filling injury-caused holes in their offensive line all year. Starting center Rodney Hudson and starting right guard Will Hernandez are on IR while several others have missed games here and there. Josh Jones, Rashaad Coward, Lecitus Smith, and Cody Ford have all gotten opportunities to fill in with starts. Jones, Coward, and Ford will likely be the ones vying for the left tackle spot as Smith has been at the right guard position in place of Hernandez.

Quarterback Kyler Murray has been limited in practice all week while dealing with a hamstring injury. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury told the media that Murray is “progressing” with his injury and has “come a long way,” according to Weinfuss. Murray will reportedly be a gametime decision for tomorrow night’s game in Mexico City.

If Murray is unable to go, the Cardinals will have Colt McCoy behind center for the second-straight game. McCoy led the team to a win against another division-rival last week when the Cardinals beat the John Wolford-led Rams. While McCoy will technically be facing another backup quarterback tomorrow, Jimmy Garoppolo is a much more capable starting quarterback than Wolford. There were worries that the team would have to turn to third-string quarterback Trace McSorley as McCoy dealt with a knee injury, but after full participation in practice on Friday and Saturday, McCoy should be good to go.

At 4-6, the Cardinals have only one fewer win than the 49ers. A win tomorrow night could be a huge step towards passing San Francisco in the division standings and working towards the NFC’s final Wild Card spot. They’ll be attempting to do so without Humphries, and we’ll find out Murray’s status tomorrow.

Cardinals RB James Conner To Return In Week 9

The Cardinals have been without their top running back for the past three weeks, but their ground game will receive a boost today. James Conner is among the notable players who will be active for Arizona’s Week 9 contest against the Seahawks, as noted (on Twitter) by team reported Darren Urban.

Conner suffered a rib injury in Week 5, and it was expected to cause a multi-week absence. That dealt a blow to the Cardinals’ running game, as the 27-year-old had once again operated as the lead back following his highly-productive debut Arizona season last year. The former Steeler was named a Pro Bowler after scoring 18 total touchdowns and recording 1,127 scrimmage yards.

Things have not gone as well in 2022, however. Conner had yet to top 55 rushing yards in a game prior to the injury, averaging 3.7 yards per carry and finding the endzone just once. Overall, the Cardinals’ offense underperformed during the early portion of the season, as DeAndre Hopkins remained sidelined due to his PED suspension. That led head coach Kliff Kingsbury to acknowledge that he would consider ceding play-calling duties.

Since then, backup Darrel Williams has suffered an MCL sprain, and is currently on IR. That, coupled with Conner’s absence, opened the door to former seventh-rounder Eno Benjamin taking on lead back duties. He totaled 223 scrimmage yards over the past three weeks, but a healthy Conner would likely provide a boost to an Arizona offense averaging 116 yards per game on the ground, ranking them mid-pack.

Conner was limited throughout the week, leading to his being listed as a game-time decision on the weekend. That, in turn, suggests that he will have a limited role for at least today’s game while splitting snaps with Benjamin. Still, his return will be a welcomed sight as the Cardinals look to move out of the NFC West basement. After missing last week’s contest, left tackle D.J. Humphries will also be active.

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