Harold Landry

NFL Restructures: 49ers, Humphrey, Barrett, Teller

The NFL has an offseason rule called the Top 51 rule. The Top 51 rule dictates that, from the start of the new NFL league year until the beginning of the regular season, only the top 51 contracts (in terms of salary cap hit) count against a team’s salary cap. With the 2023 regular season starting tomorrow, the Top 51 rule expired at 4pm today.

This means that each team in the NFL was forced to add two more contracts to their salary cap totals. If a team was flirting with the ceiling of the salary cap, the addition of two more contracts may push them above the limit. While that may not have been the case for all of the following teams, these front offices decided to take advantage of the timing to clear up some cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates:

  • The 49ers did double-duty, restructuring the contracts of tight end George Kittle and offensive tackle Trent Williams. For Kittle, the team converted $10.57MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the deal, clearing up $8.46MM of cap space. For Williams, San Francisco converted $18.24MM of the left tackle’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, also adding a single void year to the end of the deal. Williams’ adjustment cleared $14.59MM of cap space. The $23.04MM of cap space cleared in the restructures likely had less to do with the Top 51 rule and much more to do with star pass rusher Nick Bosa‘s record-setting extension.
  • The Ravens used the opportunity to adjust star cornerback Marlon Humphrey‘s contract. Baltimore converted $9.42MM of Humphrey’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus and added a single void year to the end of the deal. The adjustment created $7.54MM of cap space for the Ravens.
  • The Seahawks decided to create space by restructuring safety Jamal Adams‘ contract. Seattle converted $9.92MM of Adams’ 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, creating $6.61MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Buccaneers also targeted the contract of a defensive veteran, adjusting the numbers of pass rusher Shaquil Barrett. For Barrett, Tampa Bay converted $13.09MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the contract. The restructure clears up $10.47MM of cap space for the Buccaneers.
  • The Titans also addressed the contract of a pass rusher, restructuring Harold Landry‘s current deal. Tennessee converted $11MM of Landry’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, clearing up $8.25MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Broncos continue to miss the contributions of wide receiver Tim Patrick, who will once again miss the entire season, but Denver still found some value for him in a contract restructure. The team converted $6MM of Patrick’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus to clear up $3MM of cap space.
  • The Browns created some cap space by restructuring the deal of veteran offensive guard Wyatt Teller. Cleveland converted $11.42MM of Teller’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end his deal in order to create $9.14MM of cap space for the team.

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Defense

While the NFL’s top 2023 cap hits go to players on offense, a number of pass rushers are tied to lofty figures as well. None check in higher than Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Williams and Chiefs D-tackle Chris Jones carry high contract-year cap hits, while the Steelers’ two front-seven cornerstones each are set to go into training camp with cap figures north of $20MM. As the salary cap climbed to $224.8MM this year, here are the top defensive cap figures as camps near:

  1. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $32.26MM
  2. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $29.37MM
  3. Myles Garrett, DE (Browns): $29.18MM
  4. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $28.29MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DL (Rams): $26MM
  6. Arik Armstead, DT (49ers): $23.95MM
  7. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $22.26MM
  8. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $21.48MM
  9. Jonathan Allen, DT (Commanders): $21.44MM
  10. Shaquil Barrett, OLB (Buccaneers): $21.25MM
  11. Grady Jarrett, DT (Falcons): $20.63MM
  12. Marlon Humphrey, CB (Ravens): $19.99MM
  13. Shaquille Leonard, LB (Colts): $19.79MM
  14. Kevin Byard, S (Titans): $19.62MM
  15. Adoree’ Jackson, CB (Giants): $19.08MM
  16. Harold Landry, OLB (Titans): $18.8MM
  17. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.15MM
  18. Jamal Adams, S (Seahawks): $18.11MM
  19. Matt Judon, DE (Patriots): $18.107MM
  20. Quandre Diggs, S (Seahawks): $18.1MM
  21. Nick Bosa, DE (49ers): $17.9MM
  22. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $17.25MM
  23. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE (Dolphins): $17.19MM
  24. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE (Cowboys): $17.11MM
  25. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $17.1MM

The Chiefs are working toward a second extension agreement with Jones, who is in the final season of a four-year, $80MM contract. A new deal with the star inside pass rusher would free up cap space, and DeAndre Hopkins is believed to be monitoring this situation.

As for Williams, the Giants had wanted to adjust his deal to reduce his eye-opening cap number. As of mid-June, however, no extension appeared to be on the team’s radar. The previous Giants regime signed off on the 2021 Williams extension (three years, $63MM). The Giants are also uninterested — for the time being, at least — in extending Jackson, who was also a Dave Gettleman-era defensive addition.

Donald is in the second season of a three-year, $95MM deal. The Rams gave Donald a landmark raise last year, convincing the all-everything D-tackle to squash retirement talk. A no-trade clause exists in Donald’s contract, which pays out its guarantees this year. Mosley remains tied to the $17MM-per-year deal the Mike Maccagnan regime authorized with the Jets. That contract, which reset the off-ball linebacker market in 2019, still has two seasons remaining on it due to the deal tolling after Mosley’s 2020 COVID-19 opt-out call. The Jets restructured the deal last year.

Washington now has two D-tackles tied to deals of at least $18MM per year. While Daron Payne‘s pact is worth more ($22.5MM AAV), higher cap hits on that deal will come down the road. Three years remain on Allen’s 2021 agreement. At safety, no team is spending like the Seahawks. In addition to the big-ticket deals authorized for Adams and Diggs, Seattle gave ex-Giants starter Julian Love a two-year, $6MM accord in March.

New Titans GM Ran Carthon attempted to give Byard a pay cut. That request did not go over well, but the standout safety remains with the team and has not requested a trade. Tennessee re-signed Landry on a five-year, $87.5MM deal in 2022; the veteran edge rusher has yet to play on that deal due to the ACL tear he sustained just before last season.

The 49ers can bring Bosa’s number down via an extension, which has long been on the team’s docket. As San Francisco extended Deebo Samuel just after training camp began last year, Bosa received back-burner treatment due to the fifth-year option. The star defensive end’s price undoubtedly went up during the waiting period, with the former No. 2 overall pick earning Defensive Player of the Year acclaim in the fourth year of his rookie contract.

Titans OLB Harold Landry Tears ACL

SEPTEMBER 2: The Titans placed Landry on IR Friday and claimed Derrek Tuszka off waivers from the Steelers. A former Broncos seventh-round pick in 2020, Tuszka spent last season with the Steelers. He worked as a backup and notched two sacks in his Pittsburgh debut. The Steelers, who since traded for frequent Broncos fill-in starter Malik Reed this week, waived Tuszka on Thursday.

SEPTEMBER 1: Months after re-signing with the Titans, Harold Landry does not look like he will suit up for the team this season. The veteran edge rusher went down with a torn ACL in practice, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Landry sustained the injury Wednesday. This is obviously a crushing blow for the Titans, who have relied on Landry as their top outside linebacker for years.

Tennessee has gone through extensive efforts to fortify its edge-rushing corps under GM Jon Robinson, but several of the moves have not worked out. Landry, however, has helped the team get by. After putting together a strong contract year (12 sacks, 22 QB hits) — one that finished with the Boston College product recording 1.5 of the Titans’ nine sacks of Joe Burrow in their divisional-round loss — Landry signed a five-year, $87.5MM extension in March.

Both of the Titans’ top outside ‘backers have now sustained ACL tears as pros. Bud Dupree, who signed with Tennessee on a five-year deal worth $82.5MM in March 2021, was coming off a late-season ACL setback when he arrived in Nashville. Wednesday’s development hijacks the Titans’ plans to pair Landry with what could be a better Dupree version this season.

This 11th-hour injury certainly illustrates the importance of guaranteed money. The Titans passed on franchise-tagging Landry but managed to hammer out a deal with the former second-round pick to keep him off the market. Landry, 26, received $35.25MM guaranteed at signing.

Chosen 41st overall in 2018, Landry has 31 career sacks and is coming off his first Pro Bowl. He has helped the Titans withstand the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Vic Beasley and Cameron Wake being free agency disappointments over the past three seasons. Dupree, 29, also has yet to deliver on the contract he signed, recording just three sacks and eight QB hits in his first season post-ACL tear. The Kentucky alum also missed six games, despite starting the season on time after his rehab effort. The team will need more from the former first-round Steelers draftee this season.

This has not been the smoothest Titans offseason. The team said goodbye to its top wide receiver — A.J. Brown — after early extension talks revealed a substantial gap between the parties, and first-round wideout Treylon Burks has not proven to be a plug-and-play replacement. Of course, it is still early for the Arkansas product. But, with Robert Woods coming off a November ACL tear, Burks’ readiness is fairly important for a Titans team that survived a spate of injuries to book the AFC’s No. 1 seed last season.

The Titans are also thin on edge defenders beyond their starters, rostering 2021 fourth-rounder Rashad Weaver (12 defensive snaps last season) and former UDFA Ola Adeniyi (2.5 sacks in 2021 as a rotational cog) as backups. Several veteran edges — from Melvin Ingram to Justin Houston to Carlos Dunlap to Trey Flowers — came off the free agency board over the past several weeks. Jason Pierre-Paul remains available, as does Everson Griffen. JPP is coming off a down season, however, and Griffen is 34. Ex-Beasley Falcons teammate Takk McKinley, 26, is available as well. The former first-rounder took multiple visits this summer, but he is coming off a late-season Achilles tear.

Contract Details: Williams, Kirksey, Conley, Landry

Rounding up a few contract details from recent deals:

  • Mike Williams, WR (Chargers): Three-year, $60MM. The contract has $40MM guaranteed, including a $21MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. The third year of the contract, worth $17MM in not guaranteed for the 2024 season, when Williams will be due a $3MM roster bonus on the third day of the league year.
  • Christian Kirksey, LB (Texans): Two-year, $10MM. The contract has a base value of $8MM with a $2MM signing bonus being part of the contract’s $4MM guaranteed amount, according to Wilson. Kirksey will earn approximately $58,823 per game as an active bonus for up to $1MM per year. The contract also holds annual incentives of $250,000 for each year of the contract.
  • Chris Conley, WR (Texans): One-year, $2MM. The contract has a base salary of $1.5MM, $500,000 of which is guaranteed, along with a $250,000 signing bonus, according to Wilson. Conley’s contract also has a per game active bonus clause that can earn him up to $250,000 for the year as well as a $500,000 incentive that can be triggered off his 2022 catch and playing time totals.
  • Harold Landry, OLB (Titans): Five-year, $87.5MM. The contract has a guaranteed amount of $52.5MM, composed of a $19MM signing bonus and the contract’s first three years of salary: $1.25MM for 2022, $15MM for 2023, and $17.25MM for 2024, according to Wilson. The 2024 amount is guaranteed for injury at signing, meaning that it won’t become guaranteed until the 5th day of the 2023 league year.

Titans, Harold Landry Agree On Extension

Hours after not placing the franchise tag on Harold Landry, the Titans have a long-term agreement with their top edge rusher. Tennessee is signing Landry to a five-year extension, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Jon Robinson said he wanted to retain Landry this offseason, and for a second straight year, the Titans GM will authorize a major payment to an outside linebacker. Landry agreed to a five-year, $87.5MM deal, with Pelissero adding $52.5MM will be guaranteed. Less than a year after Tennessee gave Bud Dupree a five-year, $82.5MM pact (with $33.75MM guaranteed), they now have both signed long-term.

Landry will get a whopping $20.25MM in his first season of the deal, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). The tag would have cost Tennessee $18.7MM

Landry was a second-round pick out of Boston College in 2018, and he’s spent his entire four-year career with the Titans. After serving as mostly a backup during his rookie campaign, Landry has started all 49 games for Tennessee over the past three years. That includes a 2021 campaign where he earned his first Pro Bowl nod after collecting a career-high 12 sacks.

Titans Don’t Tag Harold Landry

One of the biggest omissions from the list of players receiving franchise tags is Harold Landry. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Titans elected not to tag him (Twitter link). 

While the team still hopes to get a long-term deal done, Landry is now one week away from free agency. The 25-year-old is coming off a breakout season, where he essentially set career highs across the board. Playing the full regular season, he notched 75 tackles, 12 sacks and one forced fumble. He added 1.5 sacks in the team’s playoff loss to Cincinnati. Those numbers earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl for the first time.

The tag would have cost Tennessee $18.7MM – a massive raise for Landry compared to his rookie deal, but a guarantee he’d be in the fold for at least the 2022 campaign. A longer-term contract could end up around that figure on a per-year average, according to some estimates.

When discussing a potential deal, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said “we’re going to do our best to keep him“. The situation is complicated by the team’s current salary cap circumstances. The Titans are presently projected to be over the cap by nearly $8MM, so plenty of other moves would be needed to accommodate a new Landry contract of any kind. What the team does in the coming days, then, will now be one of the most important storylines in the updated context of the free agent market.

Titans Have Discussed New Deal With LB Harold Landry

Titans outside linebacker Harold Landry had a breakout season at the perfect time, finishing with a career-high 12 sacks before hitting free agency this offseason. Naturally, the organization wants to keep Landry in Tennessee, as GM Jon Robinson told reporters today.

“I hope so, but there’s a lot of factors that go into that,” Robinson said when asked if he thinks Landry will be back next season (via Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com). “He’s certainly worked hard. He’s been about what we’re about. We’re going to do our best to keep him.”

Robinson also acknowledged that the Titans have discussed a new deal with Landry.

“Yeah, we’ve had some discussions,” Robinson said. “We will continue to have those discussions. We’ve got a meeting later this week. Continue to work through that situation, we’ve got a little bit of time on the tag decision. We’ve got a little more time on hopefully a long-term solution. Continue to work through that. We’ll see how it goes.”

The Titans are a bit strapped for cash at the moment ($8.3MM over the cap), so they’ll have to do some maneuvering to afford Landry’s next deal. This will be especially true if the organization simply decides to tag the 25-year-old, which would be valued at $18.5MM. Wilson estimates that Landry could earn between $17MM and $19MM on the open market.

Landry was a second-round pick out of Boston College in 2018, and he’s spent his entire four-year career with the Titans. After serving as mostly a backup during his rookie campaign, Landry has started all 49 games for Tennessee over the past three years. That includes a 2021 campaign where he earned his first Pro Bowl nod.

Harold Landry Wants To Stay With Titans

The Titans hope to retain Harold Landry, and the AFC South champions’ top edge rusher would be fine with such an effort coming to fruition.

Although a deal to keep Landry will be costly for the Titans, the free agent-to-be would prefer to spend his prime in Tennessee. The Titans will have the franchise tag at their disposal as well. The tag window opens Feb. 22 and closes March 8.

It’s no secret that I love playing for the Titans, and my family loves living in Tennessee,” Landry said, via Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “So hopefully we can get a deal done.”

Tennessee shelled out a big-ticket deal for Bud Dupree last year — five years, $82.5MM, with $33.75MM guaranteed — and it did not produce much this season. The Titans also have 2019 first-rounder Jeffery Simmons on track for a monster extension, though the fifth-year option gives the team two more years of rookie-contract control. A Simmons extension is unlikely to happen until at least 2023. Five weeks away from the tag deadline, the Titans are projected to be $7MM-plus over the cap.

The linebacker tag price is expected to rise past $18MM — up from $14.8MM in 2021 — thanks to the upcoming cap spike. The Titans will need to carve out sufficient space to have the tag ready for Landry, who is the team’s top free agent. GM Jon Robinson‘s moves to complement Landry in recent years have not panned out. Cameron Wake, Jadeveon Clowney and Vic Beasley bombed in Tennessee, and the jury is out on Dupree, who spent the 2021 offseason rehabbing an ACL tear.

Landry, 25, has provided the Titans solid value for a second-round pick. He finished his contract year with 12 sacks, giving him 31 in four seasons, and ranked in the top 10 in pressures.

Titans Aiming To Keep OLB Harold Landry

Harold Landry‘s breakthrough contract year will earn him quite a bit of money soon. The Titans would prefer it be their cash the free agent-to-be collects.

Tennessee’s top pass rusher finished with a career-high 12 sacks and made his first Pro Bowl. The former second-round pick also totaled 43 pressures, seventh in the NFL, and a career-best 22 quarterback hits. Landry, who also added 1.5 sacks in Tennessee’s nine-sack divisional-round performance, is poised to be one of the top free agents available come March.

I think Harold wants to be [with us], not to speak for him,” Titans GM Jon Robinson said. “We are going to do everything we can to try and keep Harold, but we understand there’s a lot of other things that need to go down, too. … We have to plan and forecast how we are going to allocate salary cap resources.”

The Titans have the franchise tag at their disposal, but the AFC South champions are projected to be nearly $10MM over the 2022 cap at this point. Though, it is still early here. Ryan Tannehill‘s cap number is set to rise from $11.1MM to $38.6MM, in the penultimate year of his deal, as well. The Titans already gave Bud Dupree a five-year, $82.5MM deal. Dupree missed time due to injury but could only register three sacks and eight QB hits in 11 games coming off his 2020 ACL tear, amplifying Landry’s importance.

While other standout edge rushers are set to hit free agency, Landry’s age (25) works strongly in his favor. Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Jason Pierre-Paul and Jadeveon Clowney are among the other big edge names set to hit the market. Of these, only Clowney (29 this month) is under 31. Among the younger pass rushers set for free agency — a list headlined by Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett, Emmanuel Ogbah and Uchenna Nwosu — Landry appears set to command the top value. Projecting the linebacker franchise tag to land north of $18MM, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry views Landry as a prime tag candidate.

Titans Add MyCole Pruitt To Practice Squad

After a brief stay in San Francisco, MyCole Pruitt will return to Tennessee. The Titans are adding their multiyear tight end contributor to the practice squad Friday.

The blocking tight end played with Tennessee over the past three seasons. Pruitt initially caught on with Tennessee via the practice squad three years ago but ascended to the active roster after Delanie Walker‘s September 2018 injury. He will return to a team that lost Jonnu Smith in free agency.

Pruitt, 29, signed with the 49ers in June but did not make their initial 53-man roster earlier this week. The Vikings draftee started 15 games for the Titans over the past three years and graded as a top-10 run-blocking tight end in 2020, per Pro Football Focus, contributing to Derrick Henry‘s 2,000-yard season.

Tennessee currently has Anthony Firkser in place to succeed Smith as its top tight end, but Geoff Swaim resides on its reserve/COVID-19 list. To make room for Pruitt, the Titans released tight end Miller Forristall from their practice squad.

Additionally, the Titans moved outside linebacker Harold Landry off their reserve/COVID-19 list. Landry spent nearly two weeks on Tennessee’s coronavirus list.