Eric Murray

NFL Injury Notes: McCaffrey, Texans, Young, Brady, 49ers

Since signing a deal that gave him the highest average salary of any running back in the NFL, Christian McCaffrey has missed 23 of 33 games. From a high ankle sprain to a shoulder injury to a hamstring injury and back around to his ankle again, McCaffrey has seen more than his fair share of the injured reserve. According to Joseph Person of The Athletic, McCaffrey reached out for some help this offseason.

Among a few others, one of the players McCaffrey sought help from was Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, one of two players who share with McCaffrey the distinction of recording at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, the other being Roger Craig. Faulk was especially healthy later in his career despite having a tendency for a higher amount of total touches as a receiving back, his late health being a trait that McCaffrey would love to emulate.

Person reports that Panthers head coach Matt Rhule indicated McCaffrey would again be held out of the preseason and that the team is also looking into how they use their star during practice. McCaffrey, himself, has been tweaking his own offseason routine, in hopes of reversing his string of bad luck.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL, starting with two out of the Lone Star State:

  • From an interview with Texans head coach Lovie Smith, Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that pass rusher Jonathan Greenard and safety Eric Murray will be ready to return to the field by the time training camp rolls around. Greenard, who led the team in sacks last season with 8.0, underwent foot surgery over the offseason. Murray had shoulder surgery after starting 11 games for Houston last year.
  • The Commanders are expecting former Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young to rejoin the team in the next couple of weeks, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. The young defensive end is coming off an ACL tear he suffered in a Week 10 game against the Buccaneers. Young was having a bit of a sophomore slump last year, only recording 1.5 sacks in nine games of action, but Washington will nonetheless be happy to reunite him with Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, and Daron Payne in what may be the NFL’s best all-around pass rushing defensive line.
  • Although not a recent injury, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady talked about the condition of his left knee in a call with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times this week. Last offseason saw Brady limited a bit due to surgery he underwent to repair the MCL tear he suffered during his last season in New England. With the injury far in the rearview mirror, Brady has reportedly been doing much more to prepare for the upcoming season this summer, “including some sprint work to help with his mobility.”
  • Cam Inman of the East Bay Times reported an assertion from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan that San Francisco will likely play it safe and hold out tight end George Kittle and linebacker Fred Warner until training camp. About two of his stars, the sixth-year head coach claimed the team was “being smart” by using a little extra time to allow the two to get over their “lower half” issues.

Texans To Extend S Eric Murray

Not long after letting Justin Reid defect to the Chiefs, the Texans are retaining one of their own safeties. They reached an extension with Eric Murray, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.

Previously set to go into a contract year, Murray agreed to a two-year bump worth a maximum of $10MM, Wilson adds (on Twitter). The Texans initially signed Murray in 2020, and he has been a regular starter in Houston.

Formerly a Chiefs draft choice once traded straight up for Emmanuel Ogbah, Murray came to Houston after a year in Cleveland. The 28-year-old defender has started 25 games over the past two seasons. Despite arriving during Bill O’Brien‘s decision-making stint, Murray is in position to keep contributing under Nick Caserio and new HC Lovie Smith.

This marks the second re-up in Houston’s secondary this week; the Texans re-signed Desmond King to keep him off the market. They also added ex-Browns safety M.J. Stewart.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

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

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/23/21

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

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/13/21

Today’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Activated off reserve/COVID-19 list: C Alex Mack

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Texans Sign S Eric Murray

Eric Murray is heading to Houston. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the safety is inking a three-year, $20.25MM deal with the Texans.

The 2016 fourth-round pick spent the first three seasons of his career with the Chiefs, and he started nine game for Kansas City during the 2018 campaign. The defensive back appeared in 45 games during his stint with the Chiefs.

Last offseason, he was dealt to Cleveland in exchange of Emmanuel Ogbah, and he proceeded to appear in nine games (four starts) for his new squad. Murray finished the year having compiled 24 tackles and one sack.

This is the second (former) Browns safety to sign elsewhere tonight. Earlier, we learned that Juston Burris was joining the Panthers.

Browns Trade Emmanuel Ogbah To Chiefs

Emmanuel Ogbah stayed away from the Browns’ voluntary workout on Monday with the expectation that he would be traded in the near future. As it turns out, the near future arrived in a matter of hours. The Browns have traded the defensive end to the Chiefs in exchange for safety Eric Murray, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

After a foot injury ended his 2017 season, Ogbah suffered an ankle malady early in 2018. The former second-round bounced back, however, and delivered three sacks in 14 games (all starts).Ogbah has 12.5 career sacks to his credit and will have an opportunity to make an impact in KC.

There was no room for Ogbah in Cleveland with Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon as the starting bookends and Chad ThomasChris Smith, and Anthony Zettel supporting the high-profile duo. He follows wide receiver Ricardo Louis and safety Derrick Kindred, other relics of the Sashi Brown era, out the door.

In the swap, the Chiefs and Browns each traded from a surplus to fill a weakness. The Browns were able to part with a DE after adding Vernon and the Chiefs have extra ammo at safety thanks to the addition of Tyrann Mathieu. Even without Eric Berry, the Chiefs were able to part with a supporting safety, enabling them to bolster a pass rush that no longer features Dee Ford or Justin Houston.

Murray, 25, made a career-high nine starts last season as he logged 55 tackles and two pass deflections. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 50 ranked safety in the NFL out of 93 eligible players, positioning him as a starting-caliber player.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Draft Signings: Bengals, Broncos, Jags, Chiefs

We’ve compiled the latest draft pick signings below:

  • The Bengals have officially signed second-round pick Tyler Boyd, as Paul Dehner Jr. of The Enquirer tweets. The wideout is also a talented kick returner, having averaged 24.4 yards per return last season.
  • Broncos fifth-round pick Connor McGovern signed his rookie contract, as Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post tweets. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver tweets that the guard will receive a $263,900 signing bonus.
  • The Jaguars signed fourth-round defensive tackle Sheldon Day, as Wilson tweets.
  • The Chiefs have signed their fourth-round pick, cornerback Eric Murray, and fifth-round pick, wideout Ty Hill, tweets Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star.

NFC Notes: Falcons, Jennings, Giants, Draft

Could the Falcons be considering a local standout with their first-round pick? D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that pass rusher Leonard Floyd, who was born in Atlanta and played his college ball at Georgia, is paying a visit to the Falcons on Friday. Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link) reports that the Falcons also hosted Indiana tackle Jason Spriggs on a visit this week, while Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets that Stony Brook defensive end Victor Ochi is in Atlanta today to meet with the team.

Let’s round up a few more updates from across the NFC….

  • During an interview with KFAN earlier this week, free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings admitted that he missed playing in Minnesota, and left a voicemail for Vikings GM Rick Spielman expressing interest in a reunion. Aj Mansour of KFAN.com has the details and the quotes from Jennings.
  • Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller had a private workout with the Panthers on Thursday, tweets Rand Getlin of the NFL Network. Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that Tennessee wideout Marquez North is among the players working out for Carolina at the team’s local prospect day.
  • According to Aaron Wilson (Twitter link), the Giants recently tried out a handful of veteran free agents, including running back Bobby Rainey and defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett.
  • Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld has privately worked out for the Cardinals twice, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Caplan suggests Sudfeld projects to come off the board on day two of the draft, or early on day three, though that could be an optimistic forecast.
  • University of Minnesota cornerback Eric Murray recently met with the local NFL team, paying a visit to the Vikings, and has a visit on tap with the 49ers next week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.