Deonte Harty

NFC Contract Restructures: Harty, Jackson

Here are two recent contract restructures from around the NFC:

  • Deonte Harty, WR (Saints): Harty recently restructured his one-year, $3.99MM contract with New Orleans to open up about $1.74MM in cap space, according to Field Yates of ESPN. The restructured deal contains four voidable years, a now common trait in Saints’ contracts meant to assist with cap space. Harty, who changed his surname from Harris in 2021 to honor his stepfather, has been with the Saints since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2019. As a rookie, Harty carved out a role for himself in the return game and led the NFL in punt return yardage. He was named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler that year and went on the serve as the Saints’ primary return man for the next two seasons while also adding growing contributions on offense. Unfortunately, this year, Harty has been bitten by a turf toe injury that has landed him on injured reserve. Reports have indicated that the injury could potentially keep Harty out for the rest of the season, leading to the agreement to restructure. In his absence, another undrafted rookie, Rashid Shaheed, has taken over Harty’s role on offense and special teams.
  • Gabe Jackson, G (Seahawks): Jackson and the Seahawks recently agreed to a restructured deal that clears up $1.5MM of cap space, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. The longtime Raider was traded to the Seahawks last year where he signed a three-year, $22.58MM extension. Jackson’s restructure likely has nothing to do with injury, though he did miss two games with a hip flexor injury before returning this week against the Giants. It’s likely just a team-friendly move to clear up some cap space. Jackson was one of only six players on the Seahawks with a base salary higher than $2.5MM and three of the other players are in a contract year, which limited Seattle’s restructuring options. In the end, the team converted $3.5MM of Jackson’s 2022 salary into a signing bonus that will be prorated over the remainder of his contract. The move frees up a little space for Seattle ahead of the trade deadline, but, likely, it’s just a move to help cover practice squad elevations and injuries for the remainder of the year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Injury Updates: Penny, Jets, Bills

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny is done for the season, but he did get some good news following an MRI. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), the ankle was shown to be “relatively clean,” with “no deltoid or associated issues.”

Penny underwent “tight-rope” surgery earlier this week, requiring his fibula to be plated in order to stabilize the ankle. The running back will ultimately need four months to recover, meaning he’ll have plenty of time to get healthy for next season.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Penny will be playing in Seattle next season, as the running back is set to hit free agency. The former first-round pick has spent his entire five-year career in Seattle, including a 2021 campaign where he collected a career-high 797 yards from scrimmage.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We previously heard that Jets offensive tackle Duane Brown was opting for rehab instead of surgery while he nursed his injured shoulder. Rapoport tweets that Brown is actually playing through a torn rotator cuff. The veteran landed on injured reserve right before Week 1 after suffering a shoulder injury in practice, and he made his debut with the Jets this past weekend.
  • Micah Hyde is eyeing a significant recovery timeline. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), the Bills All-Pro safety could take anywhere from six to nine months to return to the field. Hyde recently underwent successful surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck, and he’s already been ruled out for the season.
  • 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis is still “a few weeks” away from returning, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Willis landed on injured reserve last month with a knee injury. The veteran saw time in 10 games last season for San Francisco, collecting 15 tackles and three sacks.
  • Saints wide receiver Deonte Harty suffered a turf toe injury on Sunday, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football on Twitter. Harty will certainly miss some time, and there’s fear that the injury could be “significant.” Indeed, Rapoport tweets that Harty will get a second opinion, but if nothing changes, he’ll likely miss a few months. After collecting 36 receptions in 2021, Harty only has a pair of catches in four games this season. He’s also returned six kickoffs and three punts.
  • Chiefs defensive lineman Tershawn Wharton tore his ACL on Monday night, ending his season. The former undrafted free agent hasn’t missed a game for Kansas City since joining the organization in 2020. In five games this season, Wharton collected eight tackles and one sack.

Saints WR Deonte Harty Seeking New Deal

The Saints made some big changes at receiver this offseason, trading up for Chris Olave and signing Jarvis Landry. These additions and Michael Thomas‘ expected return would not leave nearly as many opportunities as the rest of New Orleans’ wideout cast received last season.

Prior to the Olave trade-ups and the Landry accord, the Saints tendered Deonte Harty at the second-round level. The former Deonte Harris signed his RFA tender in April, and Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football tweets Harty is expected to show for Saints minicamp this week. But the 5-foot-6 wideout/special-teamer is seeking a new contract, Underhill adds.

Harty will make $3.99MM on his RFA tender — well up from the $850K he earned in 2021 — and does have an All-Pro nod on his resume. Harty received that honor as a punt returner in 2019, his rookie season. Harty has remained New Orleans’ primary kick and punt returner in the two seasons since.

A former UDFA out of Division II Assumption College (Massachusetts), Harty became a necessary piece at receiver for the Saints last season — when Thomas’ evolving timetable (and eventual full-season absence) wrecked the team’s aerial setup. Harty caught 36 passes for 570 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, he also served a three-game suspension for a summer 2021 DWI arrest. The Saints and Harty are not believed to be close on terms, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Harty may be eyeing recent deals handed out to some return men this offseason. Fellow All-Pro returner Jakeem Grant signed a three-year, $10MM deal with the Browns in March. The Jets gave 2021’s All-Pro kick returner, Braxton Berrios, a two-year, $12MM deal this year. Despite Berrios’ momentum and increased usage in New York’s offense, Harty bested the part-time Jet slot’s yardage total (431) by a considerable margin and did so in playing fewer offensive snaps.

Saints WR Deonte Harris Signs RFA Tender

It wasn’t the biggest wide receiver news of the night, but on Thursday Deonte Harris signed his RFA tender to remain with the Saints (Twitter link via ESPN’s Field Yates). The 24-year-old will stay in New Orleans for at least one more season. 

[RELATED: Saints Move Up To No. 11, Select WR Olave]

Harris made an impact at the start of his career as the team’s primary returner. In 2019, he averaged 26.8 yards on kickoffs; he also led the league in punt returns (36) and yards (338), running one back for a touchdown. His special teams prowess earned him Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, and has remained a staple of his game.

Given the state of the team’s WR corps this season, though, Harris took on a much larger offensive role. In the absence of Michael Thomas, he became a key figure in the Saint’s passing game. Despite only starting one of 13 games, he totalled 36 catches for 570 yards and three touchdowns. Not surprisingly, given his speed, he averaged an impressive 15.8 yards per reception. His offensive totals would have been higher if not for a three-game suspension he served in December for a DWI arrest.

Given that Harris was offered a second-round tender, he will earn just under $4MM in 2022. He may revert more towards his more familiar special teams role given the expected return of Thomas and the team’s addition of Chris Olave last night. If not, though, he has proven an ability to be at least a complimentary piece in the receiving corps.

RFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/22

The deadline for teams to extend tender offers to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents looms next week. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Tendered:

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/31/21

Here are the New Year’s Eve additions and subtractions from teams’ reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from practice squad virus list: T Drew Himmelman, LB Barrington Wade

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

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

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints WR Deonte Harris Suspended Three Games

The Saints offense has taken another hit. Wideout Deonte Harris has been suspended for the next three games, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The move will keep Harris off the field until Week 17.

We heard previously that Harris had been slapped with a ban, but his subsequent appeal allowed him to play in each of the Saints last two games. The suspension stems from the player’s DWI arrest this past summer. The 24-year-old was booked on multiple charge following a July 16th arrest in Maryland.

This move further depletes a Saints receiving corps that has been gutted this year. The team’s Emmanuel Sanders release preceded the Michael Thomas injury drama, which led to the All-Pro target being set to miss the entire season. Tre’Quan Smith also missed time due to injury, though he has since returned. New Orleans has also played without Alvin Kamara since Week 9.

This opened the door to Harris playing a bigger role on offense. While Karama still leads the team in receptions, Harris was the team’s leading wideout, collecting 31 receptions for 523 yards and three touchdowns (all career-highs). The former All-Pro has also continued to contribute on special teams, returning 25 kicks and 17 punts.

Meanwhile, the Saints may have to deal with an absence on their defense, as defensive end Cam Jordan was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football (on Twitter). Jordan has tested positive for COVID-19 and is vaccinated, meaning he’ll have to return a pair of negative tests if he hopes to play next Sunday against the Jets. That would mean Jordan’s 172-game streak is in jeopardy. The veteran has continued to be productive in 2021, collecting 38 tackles, six tackles for loss, 13 QB hits, and four forced fumbles.

The team also designated defensive tackle Malcolm Roach for return from IR (via Underhill).

NFL Suspends Saints WR Deonte Harris

After playing in the Saints’ Thanksgiving game, Deonte Harris stands to be sidelined for a while. The NFL handed the New Orleans wide receiver a three-game suspension Friday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports.

Harris, 23, was arrested for DWI in July in Maryland. The NFL informed the 5-foot-6 receiver/return man of the ban before Thursday’s game, Rapoport adds, with an appeal process allowing him to suit up. Harris might be permitted to play against the Cowboys next week as well, but should his appeal fail, the young pass catcher will be out for three games.

This further depletes a Saints receiving corps that has been gutted this year. The team’s Emmanuel Sanders release preceded the Michael Thomas injury drama, which led to the All-Pro target being set to miss the entire season. Tre’Quan Smith also missed time due to injury, though he has since returned. New Orleans has also played without Alvin Kamara for the past three games. This opened the door to Harris playing a bigger role on offense.

A former All-Pro return man, Harris is the Saints’ leading receiver. The third-year weapon has 27 receptions for 427 yards and two touchdowns — all career-high marks for a player who operated mostly as a returner for Saints teams deeper at wide receiver the past two years.