Danny Trevathan

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Inside Linebacker Market

There are many inside linebackers waiting patiently on the open market. A wild first week of free agency has come and gone with other positions seeing record deals and big names moving. The market for inside linebackers, however, has been quiet and less than lucrative.

In years past, we’ve seen monster deals to players like C.J. Mosley, whose contract has an average annual value of $17MM and guaranteed him $43MM at signing, and Darius Leonard, whose contract has an average annual value of $19.7MM and guaranteed him $33MM at signing. The largest payout we’ve seen this offseason to an inside linebacker was when the Packers kept De’Vondre Campbell from entering free agency with a five-year, $50MM deal, with a guaranteed $15MM. It’s certainly an impressive deal, and one the esteemed linebacker deserves, but no other deals have come close.

After being cut by the Jaguars, Myles Jack signed a two-year, $16MM deal to become a Steeler. Josey Jewell remained with the Broncos after signing a two-year, $11MM deal. Minnesota’s new inside linebacker, Jordan Hicks, joined the Vikings on a two-year, $10MM contract. Christian Kirksey signed a similar deal to remain with the Texans. We’ve seen a few other small deals like Zaire Franklin signing a three-year, $10MM deal to remain in Indianapolis and Alex Anzalone signing a one-year, $2.25MM contract to play another year with the Lions.

While that may sound pretty active, there are many big names who have yet to find deals. The biggest of these names is Bobby Wagner. Cut after ten outstanding years in Seattle, Wagner was expected to be a highly sought after free agent. While there have been many teams who’ve voiced interest in the eight-time All-Pro, there has been no word of negotiations. Any deal Wagner signs will likely top the numbers posed by Campbell and the Packers, but the fact that he has yet to find a home may hint at the fact that the money he’s looking for isn’t being offered.

There are many other impact names on the open market: Kwon Alexander, Jayon Brown, Jarrad Davis, Dont’a Hightower, Anthony Hitchens, Nick Kwiatkoski, Reggie Ragland, Joe Schobert, and Danny Trevathan.

Due to the low spending we’ve seen thus far and the plethora of names available, these players will likely have to search for the right fit and accept a decent deal if offered. They may end up having to wait until injuries provide an opportunity for them to fill in on a roster. The exception, of course, is Wagner, who can afford to be patient. Wagner will have the luxury of being able to wait and see how rosters form throughout the league, biding his time until he’s sure he’s joining a contender. Look for the others to give up on looking for a lucrative payday and settle for decent deals from teams with schemes they like.

Bears To Release Danny Trevathan

The Bears are expected to release Danny Trevathan, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. His release clear upwards of $5MM from this year’s books but those savings would be negated by a $8.9MM dead money charge.

[RELATED: Bears To Release Cohen]

Trevathan, soon to be 32, has been with the Bears since 2016. A training camp knee injury camp sidelined him to start 2021, but he returned after missing the first four games. His presence alongside Roquan Smith figured to strengthen Chicago’s defense, but he wound up back on IR in November. Appearing mostly as a reserve, Trevathan registered just 19 tackles across five games and appeared in roughly one-quarter of Chicago’s snaps. That’s a big drop from 2020 when Trevathan turned in a full slate, registered 113 stops, and helped bring the Bears to the playoffs.

New Bears GM Ryan Poles has made a point to clear out many of Ryan Pace’s high-priced veterans, so this is on-brand with his overall offseason plan. Already, he’s released longtime running back Tarik Cohen and traded star edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers. That deal netted him a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 sixth-round selection, and more flexibility to spend in free agency.

Trevathan, meanwhile, should be able to land a new deal elsewhere if he’s healthy and wants to continue playing.

Bears’ Danny Trevathan Done For Year

The Bears have placed Danny Trevathan injured reserve, per a club announcement. This marks the veteran linebacker’s second trip to IR, which will officially shut him down for the rest of the season. In related moves, the Bears have officially signed linebacker Bruce Irvin while promoting fellow LB Cassius Marsh to the 53-man roster.

[RELATED: Bears Sign Bruce Irvin]

Trevathan, 31, has been with the Bears since 2016. A training camp knee injury camp sidelined him to start the year, but the 10th-year linebacker returned after missing the first four games. His presence alongside Roquan Smith figured to strengthen Chicago’s defense, but he wasn’t able to stick around for long. Appearing mostly as a reserve, Trevathan registered just 19 tackles across five games and appeared in roughly one-quarter of Chicago’s snaps. That’s a big drop from last year when Trevathan turned in a full slate, registered 113 stops, and lifted the Bears to the playoffs.

Even with Trevathan in the lineup, the Bears have sunk to 3-6 on the year. Now, they’re out to stop their four-game skid against the Ravens without one of their key defenders.

Trevathan is no stranger to injuries, having missed a ton of time since 2016. Still, he’s been a starter for most of his Bears tenure and remains under contract through 2022, thanks to the three-year pact he inked in 2020.

Bears Move David Montgomery To IR, Activate Danny Trevathan

While the Bears moved their starting running back off their active roster Saturday, they received some good defensive news. The Bears activated Danny Trevathan off IR, putting the veteran linebacker in position to make his season debut in Week 5.

Trevathan will take David Montgomery‘s roster spot. Montgomery will miss at least Chicago’s next three games, and a more extended absence is expected. The third-year Bears starting running back is not believed to be out for the season — at least, not at this juncture — but the team will need to get by with a different backfield plan.

Chicago added ex-Kansas City starter Damien Williams this offseason. He should be expected to shoulder the brunt of the running back work in Montgomery’s absence. A career backup who saw Kareem Hunt‘s abrupt Chiefs departure change his career trajectory, Williams has managed to be an impact back without a considerable workload. In two Kansas City playoff slates, Williams totaled 10 touchdowns. Yet, he has just 310 career carries despite being in his age-29 season. Williams opted out of the 2020 campaign, leading him to the Bears.

Trevathan, 31, has been with the Bears since 2016. A knee injury during training camp sidelined the 10th-year linebacker, but Trevathan returned to practice last week. His presence alongside Roquan Smith stands to strengthen Chicago’s defense, which enters Week 5 10th in points allowed.

Bears Designate Danny Trevathan For Return

The Bears have designated linebacker Danny Trevathan to return from the injured reserve list. The Bears now have 21 days to either move him to the active roster or shut him down for the remainder of the season.

Trevathan will likely return sooner rather than later. The tenth-year vet missed time with a knee injury during training camp, but this was always viewed as a short-term injury.

The Bears did their best to brace for Trevathan’s absence, rostering plenty of inside linebackers on their 53-man roster. Still, they’d like to have the 31-year-old defensive anchor return ASAP. The 1-2 Bears coughed up a combined 60 points in their losses to the Rams and the Browns.

Trevathan has been a starter for the Bears since signing with them in 2016. The former Broncos sixth-round pick and two-time Super Bowl starter has battled multiple significant injuries since ’16, but turned in a full slate with 113 stops last year to help lift the Bears to the playoffs. The Bears have Trevathan signed through 2022, thanks to the three-year contract he inked last year.

Bears To Place LB Danny Trevathan On IR

Danny Trevathan is likely to begin his season late. The Bears are expected to stash the veteran linebacker on IR to start the year, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs (on Twitter).

The 10th-year vet missed time with a knee injury during Chicago’s training camp. Landing on IR will sideline Trevathan for at least the first three games. The Bears appear to have prepared for such a scenario, having kept seven inside linebackers on their 53-man roster.

One member of that septet is Alec Ogletree, a former starter who has bounced around the league in recent years. Ogletree’s recent nomadic status aside, Biggs adds he should be expected to take Trevathan’s place alongside Roquan Smith as a starter in Week 1 (Twitter link). The Bears signed the former first-round pick just after training camp began.

Trevathan, 31, has been a Bears starter since the team signed him in 2016. The former Broncos sixth-round pick and two-time Super Bowl starter has battled multiple significant injuries during his Chicago stay, but he started 16 games and made 113 tackles in 2020 to help the Bears return to the playoffs. The Bears have Trevathan signed through 2022, via the three-year deal he inked last March.

Contract Details: Trevathan, Slater, Smith

A bunch of teams have been locking up their own impending free agents with contract extensions before the new league year opens, and now we have the financial details we were missing on some of those deals. Linebacker Danny Trevathan signed a new three-year contract with the Bears, and he got a nice payday. The pact has a base value of $21.75MM that can grow to $24MM if he hits some incentives, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link).

He’s getting $14MM in guaranteed money, essentially meaning the first two years of the deal are mostly guaranteed. Rapoport also reports that the extension was a “priority” for them, and confirms this likely means the Bears will be letting fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski walk in free agency, something we heard earlier this weekend. Trevathan is a full-time starter when healthy, but he has missed 18 games across his four years with Chicago.

Here’s the latest on the new salaries:

  • Special teams ace and locker room leader Matthew Slater signed a new two-year deal with the Patriots on Friday, and now we have his terms. He’s getting $5.3MM over the two years, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. He’ll have base salaries of $1.6MM in 2020 and $1.75MM in 2021, with the rest coming in the form of roster and per-game bonuses. That’s a pretty impressive figure for a player who only contributes on special teams these days. Of course, Slater’s importance to the team goes well beyond his on-field contributions, as he is a team captain and staple of Bill Belichick’s program. He’s also made the Pro Bowl eight times.
  • Speaking of guys playing unheralded positions getting paid, Falcons fullback Keith Smith also signed an extension yesterday. His new three-year contract will pay him a solid $4.3MM, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). The San Jose State product, who was in his first year with Atlanta in 2019, will get $1.95MM in guaranteed money. Smith played about 17 percent of the offensive snaps last year as a lead-blocker, while also contributing heavily on special teams.

NFC North Notes: Harris, Kwiatkoski, Kearse, Kilgo

The Vikings secondary was one of the most inconsistent parts of their defense last season, but safety Anthony Harris remained a star amidst an inconsistent supporting cast. While Harris is set to become a free agent, Minnesota fans should be happy to know that he has a positive view of the Vikings. In an interview on Sirius XM, Harris stated, “I love the organization.”

Here are a few more notes from the NFC North:

  • The Bears organization has seen linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski progress into a legitimate contributor since he was selected in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. However, Dan Pompei of The Athletic, reports that after signing fellow linebacker Danny Trevathan to a three-year extension, Chicago appears prepared to let Kwiatkoski leave the organization via free agency.
  • Vikings impending free-agent defensive back Jayron Kearse took to Twitter on Friday and said he does not want to return to the team. A pair of Vikings fans were engaging in common social media speculation about the various ways Minnesota could approach the offseason. When one argued that they thought Jayron wanted to stay in the twin cities, Kearse jumped in and said, “No jayron doesn’t want to come back.”
  • Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports Lions nose tackle Darius Kilgo will soon be cleared to return to action from the quadriceps injury that cost him all of last season. Pelissero further notes that Detroit has no intention of resigning Kilgo, but it’s obviously ideal for Kilgo to be back to health before entering the open market. Of course, teams would likely want to see Kilgo workout in person, but the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak could make teams more tentative to give Kilgo any guarantee if they are unable to see him in person.

Bears, Danny Trevathan Agree To Three-Year Deal

The Bears have signed linebacker Danny Trevathan to a new three-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Trevathan had been scheduled to become a free agent when the market opens.

Trevathan turns 30 years old later this month and missed time in 2019 due to an elbow injury, so there was no guarantee Chicago would re-sign the veteran ‘backer. Indeed, Trevathan has missed 19 of 64 games since inking a four-year, $28MM deal prior with the Bears to the 2016 campaign. But he’s shown enough when on the field — and as a locker room presence — to warrant a new deal from general manager Ryan Pace.

There’s no word as of yet on Trevathan’s new annual salary or guaranteed money. His $7MM yearly average now pales in comparison to the top of the off-ball linebacker market, where Bobby Wagner and C.J. Mosley currently top the list at $18MM and $17MM, respectively. Trevathan clearly won’t come close to those figures, but it’s possible he sees a bump on his previous per-year commitment.

A former sixth-round pick, Trevathan spent the first four years of his career with the Broncos before Denver allowed him to leave for Chicago. In 2018, Trevathan played all 16 games for just the second time in his career before missing seven contests in 2019. Last year, he posted 70 tackles and one sack while grading as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 39 linebacker among 89 qualifiers.

With Trevathan back in the fold, the Bears are almost assuredly prepared to let fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski walk in free agency. Kwiatkoski, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft, played the most defensive snaps (512) of his career last season, and could be a candidate for a surprisingly large free agent contract from another club.