Hand suffered a torn quad in the Titans’ opener, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). He is undergoing surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season. A former fourth-round Lions draftee back in 2018, Hand has been with the Titans since last year. He played two defensive snaps Sunday.
Montgomery had battled a knee injury during the run-up to the regular season, but the veteran passing-down back played in the Patriots’ Week 1 contest. Montgomery caught three passes for 15 yards in New England’s loss. The Pats signed Humphrey, a former Saints wideout, midway through the offseason.
September 12th, 2022 at 1:35pm CST by Adam La Rose
The Eagles held on for a victory over the Lions yesterday, but lost a key defender for the season in the process. Defensive end Derek Barnetttore his ACL, and will miss the remainder of the campaign (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).
The 26-year-old has been with the Eagles for his entire career since joining them as a first-round pick in 2017. He became a starter in his second year, and set a career high in 2019 with 6.5 sacks. That figure had fallen to just two by 2021, though, leading to the belief that his time in Philadelphia would be coming to an end.
Instead, Barnett re-signed on a two-year deal in March. That kept him in the fold after the Eagles made a sizable investment in free agent Haason Reddick, and re-upped Josh Sweatthe previous offseason. While Barnett therefore faced plenty of competition for snaps from those two (along with fellow veteran Brandon Graham), he was likely to at least occupy a rotational role amongst the team’s edge rushers.
Barnett is due to carry a cap hit of just over $4MM next season. The presence of $1.5MM in guaranteed money in his deal, along with several void years, would make a release untenable from a financial standpoint, however. The Eagles will need to hope he can recover back to full health and try to regain his form of 2019 and ’20 to provide an effective return on their investment.
In Barnett’s absence, the Eagles may lean on sixth-rounders Tarron Jacksonand Kyron Johnson, who were added in the 2021 and 2022 drafts, respectively, as rotational rushers. With nearly $11MM in cap space, Philadelphia could also be active on the remaining free agent market to add a more experienced option.
Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to around the NFL:
Terron Armstead, T (Dolphins): Five years, $75MM. In addition to a $12MM signing bonus, Armstead’s $43.37MM guarantee includes his 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($1.1MM, $9MM), Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Armstead’s $13.25MM 2024 base salary is guaranteed for injury at signing. The deal includes $2.5MM-per-year incentives for playing time and Pro Bowl accolades, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $30MM. Valdes-Scantling’s $18MM guaranteed includes a $6MM signing bonus and a fully guaranteed 2022 base salary ($2.56MM), Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The Chiefs have some flexibility in 2023. MVS has $6.4MM of his $8.6MM 2023 salary guaranteed for injury at signing; that shifts to a full guarantee if the wideout is on Kansas City’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. Valdes-Scantling’s $11.6MM 2024 base is nonguaranteed.
Rasul Douglas, CB (Packers): Three years, $21MM. The Packers gave Douglas a $5.3MM signing bonus and have him tied to base salaries of $1.1MM, $2.25MM and $6.25MM, Wilson tweets. Douglas will collect a $2MM roster bonus if he is on Green Bay’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year.
Derek Barnett, DE (Eagles): Two years, $13.2MM. Barnett will see $7MM fully guaranteed, which includes $5.5MM in Year 1 and $1.5MM in Year 2, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes (Twitterlinks). The Eagles guaranteed $1.5MM of Barnett’s 2023 salary and will guarantee $2MM more of that $7.5MM figure if he is on their roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. There are $9MM in incentives available, Wilson tweets.
Malcolm Butler, CB (Patriots): Two years, $9MM. The Patriots only guaranteed the recently unretired cornerback $750K, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. That comes via a $500K signing bonus and a $250K guarantee of Butler’s 2022 base salary. Butler’s cap numbers check in at $2.22MM and $2.75MM.
Patrick Peterson, CB (Vikings): One year, $4MM. In addition to the $3.5MM guaranteed Peterson will collect, Wilson notes the Vikings included $1MM in playing-time and playoff incentives (Twitter link). The team tacked a void year onto the deal.
Jabrill Peppers, S (Patriots): One year, $2MM. The Patriots are giving Peppers a $300K signing bonus and guaranteeing his $1.1MM base salary, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The deal includes $3MM in playing-time incentives.
Derek Barnett is staying in Philly. The Eagles reached a two-year agreement to retain the veteran defensive end Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The team has since announced the move.
This will ensure the Eagles again have a deep stable of edge rushers. The team extended Josh Sweat last year and signed Haason Reddick last week. Brandon Graham remains under contract as well.
Howie Roseman said at the Combine he would be “surprised” if the Eagles did not devote offseason assets to addressing their defensive end position, but a previous report indicated Barnett was likely on the way out. While Barnett’s contract will certainly check in below Reddick’s on the payroll, the former first-round pick’s return will bolster a Philadelphia edge corps that played shorthanded last season.
Graham is coming off an Achilles tear and will turn 34 next week. Barnett will be 26 when the Eagles begin the 2022 season. He joins Sweat as a homegrown D-end given a second contract. The Eagles signed Sweat to a three-year, $40MM extension and gave Reddick a three-year, $45MM pact. Graham is attached to a $9.25MM-per-year deal. Barnett’s contract gives the Eagles four veteran deals at defensive end, making for a rather unusual setup.
While Barnett has not delivered on the promise he came with as the 2017 No. 14 overall pick, the Tennessee alum represents a complementary piece. Barnett has 21.5 career sacks, with 12 of those coming between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Barnett posted 22 QB hits during the 2019 campaign. However, he slumped during his contract year, which ended with just two sacks. The 6-foot-3 edge plays the run effectively and does have the biggest fumble recovery in Eagles history on his resume, having pounced on Graham’s sack-strip of Tom Brady late in the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII win.
In the estimation of Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link), the quality and depth of this year’s collegiate class of pass rushers could negatively impact their professional counterparts seeking new contracts. Some of the most notable names in that latter category include the Cardinals‘ Chandler Jones and the Rams‘ Von Miller.
Rapoport believes that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill genuinely wants to retain Jones (as we heard last month), but the franchise tag value for the four-time Pro Bowler would be roughly $25MM, so that option is not feasible for the Cards. As such, Jones will hit the open market, and given that there has been something of a strained relationship between player and team for several years, he could be playing elsewhere in 2022.
A less heralded (but much younger) option for clubs in need of pass rush help could be Chargers OLB Uchenna Nwosu. As Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports, the Bolts and Nwosu have mutual interest in a new contract, but despite Nwosu’s desire to remain with his hometown team, the money will need to be right. Wilson suggests that the 25-year-old is targeting a contract with an average annual value between $10MM-$13MM, which would seem to be a fair price for an ascending player who put together a strong 2021 campaign — five sacks, eight TFL, 17 QB hits, and an interception — despite playing through a serious labrum injury.
The Colts, Packers, Bills, and Jets are all teams that could have interest in Nwosu, per Wilson. There is a good chance that Green Bay releases Za’Darius Smith, so Nwosu could serve as a Smith replacement in Wisconsin. In a separate piece, Wilson reports that the Jets, like the Chiefs, would be in on Smith should he indeed become a Packers cap casualty.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman is certainly monitoring both collegiate pass rushers as well as the free agent market. When discussing how he is prioritizing his team’s pass rush, Roseman recently said, “I’d be surprised if we didn’t do something there” (Twitter link via Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com). Zach Berman and Bo Wulf of The Athletic (subscription required) believe there is a good chance Philadelphia grabs an edge rusher with at least one of its three first-round picks, especially since they expect Roseman to let DE Derek Barnett depart in free agency.
ESPN.com’s Jordan Reid, Matt Miller, and Todd McShay provide a detailed breakdown of the strong performance put on by the 2022 draft class of front seven players at this year’s scouting combine (subscription required).
Teams have called the Eagles to inquire about the possibility of trading for DT Fletcher Cox, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. Those clubs are attempting to acquire Cox for a mid- to late-round selection, but Rapoport says GM Howie Roseman would require a “high” pick to pull the trigger.
Philadelphia selected Cox, who will turn 31 in December, with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2012 draft. He is well-established as a franchise icon, having earned six consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2015-20, one First Team All-Pro selection (2018), and, of course, a Super Bowl ring. The club furnished him with a six-year, $103MM contract in 2016, but his best days seem to be behind him.
Cox is mired in something of a down year, and he has publicly complained about the scheme that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is running. With the 2-5 Eagles unlikely to make a postseason run in 2021, it stands to reason that Roseman would at least entertain calls from contenders looking to fill a hole on the interior of their defensive lines.
However, the Eagles did restructure Cox’s contract earlier this year, which could make him virtually untradeable. Although the restructure bought Philadelphia a fair amount of cap relief this season, it pushed a great deal of guaranteed money into future seasons, and a trade would leave a considerable dead cap charge on the Eagles’ books. And if Roseman is going to absorb that type of hit, he is only going to do it for a Day 2 selection, which other clubs might view as a prohibitive cost in light of Cox’s disappointing 2021 effort.
The Eagles might also consider trading DE Derek Barnett, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets. Barnett, a 2017 first-rounder, has yet to record a sack in 2021, but teams are always in search of edge help, and as Barnett is eligible for free agency this offseason, Roseman may be willing to swing a deal.
In the wake of Carl Lawson‘s season-ending Achilles tear, the Jets are on the lookout for pass rushing help, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The club will surely scour the free agent market, which will continue to grow as cuts are made throughout the league, and New York is also exploring trade possibilities.
The loss of Lawson is a significant one for the Jets. The former Bengal inked a three-year, $45MM deal ($30MM guaranteed) in March, and he had performed well in training camp. He notched a modest 5.5 sacks in 2020, but his 32 QB hits were bested only by T.J. Watt, and he appeared primed for a big season in head coach Robert Saleh‘s 4-3 scheme.
Veterans Vinny Curry and Ronald Blair could help fill the void, but Blair has not played since Week 9 of the 2019 season due to an ACL tear and subsequent complications. He is now dealing with a hamstring ailment, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, while Curry is entering his age-33 season and has been primarily utilized as a rotational piece throughout his career.
Behind Curry and Blair, there is very little by way of proven edge talent, and the Jets failed to generate much pass rush against the Packers’ backup O-line in last night’s preseason victory. So it’s little wonder that the team is taking a look at outside options.
In terms of free agents, players like Everson Griffen and Olivier Vernon are still available, though Vernon’s own health is very much up in the air. The Jets and Eagles will hold joint practices this week, and Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com suggests that two Philadelphia edge defenders, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat — both of whom are entering their walk years — could be targets for Jets GM and former Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas.
The Cowboys went through three offseasons of Dak Prescott negotiations, finally bringing an end to the saga with a monster four-year, $160MM extension for the Pro Bowl quarterback. This drawn-out process ended benefiting Prescott considerably, given his value when the first round of negotiations began in 2019. Dak is now one of the league’s two $40MM-per-year players, joining Patrick Mahomes, and the sixth-year Dallas quarterback cannot be franchise-tagged after this extension expires. When addressing his top regret during his time as the team’s executive vice president, Stephen Jones said he “probably would have signed Dak the first time around; it would have been better for everybody,” via Pat Doney of NBC 5. The negotiations, which began in April 2019, led to a 2020 franchise tag and the QB’s price rising to the point he inked one of the most player-friendly deals in NFL history this past March. The Cowboys still have their fourth-round find locked up long-term, however. They just took a more difficult route to get here.
Here is the latest from the NFC East:
Randy Gregory has moved into position to be a full-time starter for the first time, being set to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence on a regular basis this season. The Cowboys’ oft-suspended pass rusher alluded to then-defensive coordinator Mike Nolan preferring Aldon Smith due to “favoritism.” “I felt there was a little bit of favoritism going on … refusing to let me outshine their favorite,” Gregory said in a lengthy story by The Athletic’s Dan Pompei (subscription required). “They knew I could do it, so they did what they could to keep me at bay. I had my times when I was angry. … I truly felt I got robbed of a year last year.” The NFL reinstated Gregory in late October last year. Smith, who started 16 games after making his own comeback from suspension, is now a Seahawk. New DC Dan Quinn said, via Pompei, he was surprised Gregory (27.1 defensive snaps per game in 2020) did not play more in 2020 and added that the embattled defensive end will indeed see more time this season.
The Washington Football Team will unveil its next nickname in 2022. That new identity will not be the Warriors, according to team president Jason Wright, who notes discussions the team held revealed “deep-seated discomfort” with that potential moniker. Regardless of what the new name ends up being, the franchise will still use its burgundy-and-gold color scheme.
Lane Johnson and Derek Barnett‘s restructures created a sizable chunk of cap space for the Eagles. They now have an additional $14MM in cap space, according to Yates (via Twitter). They are up past $16MM, per OverTheCap. Following the Saints’ lead, the Eagles spread out Barnett’s 2021 fifth-year option salary onto future caps by using void years. Barnett’s base salary is now $990K, with the void years stretching through 2025. The Eagles also used void years in Johnson’s restructure, spreading out the right tackle’s cap hit through 2028. He is on Philly’s books for just a $1.1MM base salary this season.
Derek Barnett and Lane Johnson have reworked their contracts. ESPN’s Tim McManus reports (via Twitter) that the two Eagles players have agreed to restructure their contracts.
While details of the moves are unknown, McManus notes that the move will free up 2021 money and push current cash down the road. The reporter suspects that the front office also added voidable years (presumably) to Johnson’s contract, a common mechanism that teams use to clear space.
Johnson has earned three Pro Bowl appearances and a first-team All-Pro nod during his eight years in Philadelphia. The veteran signed a four-year, $72MM deal with the organization in 2019, a contract that included just under $55MM in guaranteed money. At the time, the move made the offensive tackle the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. The veteran has been willing to work with the organization throughout his career, so it’s not a surprise that the sides agreed to restructure.
Barnett, a 2017 first-round pick, is also an Eagles lifer, and he’s started 24 games for the team over the past two seasons. The defensive end will be playing the 2021 season on his fifth-year option, which will pay him around $9MM this upcoming season. With only a year remaining on his contract, it will be interesting to see what kind of “restructuring” the two sides agreed upon.