Jacoby Brissett

Patriots Submit Offer To WR Calvin Ridley

The Patriots’ reported interest in receiver Calvin Ridley is very real. According to Josina Anderson, the Patriots have made an offer to the free agent wideout.

[RELATED: Patriots Pursuing Calvin Ridley]

The organization is also opting to “keep a deal on the table” following today’s reports that focused on the interesting logistics of the previous Jaguars/Falcons trade. If Jacksonville re-signs Ridley before 2pm tomorrow, they’ll owe Atlanta a second-round pick. If they wait beyond that deadline and re-sign the receiver, the Jaguars would only owe the Falcons a third-round pick.

This led some pundits to believe that Ridley was destined to return to Jacksonville and was simply biding his time to provide his organization with better draft capital. However, it sounds like the Patriots are still very much in the hunt, and it’ll be interesting to see how negotiations progress over the next 24 hours.

New England holds more than $80MM in cap space, and with Ridley sitting atop the WR market, it only made sense that the Patriots would target the free agent for their new-look offense. The team moved on from Mac Jones and added veteran Jacoby Brissett, and the organization appears to be leaning towards selecting a QB with the third-overall pick. Ridley would represent an intriguing target for whoever is under center for the Patriots in 2024 and beyond.

The Patriots’ receivers struggled in 2023, although that was partly due to the team’s inconsistent play at quarterback. The team has already moved on from DeVante Parker and is looking to unload JuJu Smith-Schuster, leaving plenty of question marks atop the depth chart. The team did agree to new deals with Kendrick Bourne and Jalen Reagor, but the rest of their depth chart features unproven options like Demario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, and Kayshon Boutte.

Browns, Jameis Winston Finalizing Deal

The Jameis Winston sweepstakes appears to have come to an end. Connected to a number of teams as a backup quarterback addition, the former No. 1 pick is finalizing a deal with the Browns, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz. The one-year agreement will have a maximum value of $8.7MM, he adds.

Winston as a Cleveland option came up Monday night, and the former No. 1 overall pick will indeed have another opportunity as a backup. The Browns have made some major changes to their coaching staff this offseason, firing OC Alex Van Pelt and QBs coach T.C. McCartney. Ken Dorsey will step in as Kevin Stefanski‘s top lieutenant, and Joe Flacco will be headed elsewhere if he wants to continue his career.

Not only have the Browns passed on re-signing the reigning Comeback Player of the Year, but the team was not closely linked to a reunion with Deshaun Watson‘s 2022 backup — Jacoby Brissett, who rejoined Van Pelt with the Patriots. The Browns preferred a younger option compared to Flacco, and cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot notes Watson is a Winston backer. That undoubtedly will help influence this agreement.

Brissett was, in fact, on the Browns’ radar, but Cabot adds the team did not want to authorize an $8MM payment like the Pats did. Flacco had resided as the team’s Brissett backup plan, Cabot indicates. But Cleveland will go in another direction. Winston’s agreement will surely settle south of that point, with incentives likely comprising a notable part of the former Buccaneers and Saints passer’s pact.

Best known for his 30-30 season in Tampa, the 30-year-old QB is coming off a four-year tenure in New Orleans. After the Bucs brought in Tom Brady to replace him in 2020, Winston followed Teddy Bridgewater as Drew Brees‘ backup. Cap-strapped in 2021, the Saints turned to the ex-Heisman winner to succeed Brees. While Winston produced decent numbers despite a bottom-tier receiving corps that year, an ACL tear ended his season midway through.

The Saints brought Winston back on a two-year deal in 2022 but ended up renegotiating it ahead of the ’23 season after Andy Dalton usurped the high-variance passer. Winston still stayed on as Derek Carr‘s backup, making multiple cameos as the ex-Raider ran into injury trouble during a season that featured two concussions.

Watson joined Carr in sustaining multiple injuries in 2023, but the high-priced Browns passer could not stay on the field. Watson’s November shoulder surgery prompted Cleveland to sign Flacco, who displayed stunning form in helping a battered offense do enough to sneak into the playoffs. Flacco did not play well in the Browns’ wild-card game, but the 39-year-old passer expressed interest in staying. The Browns were believed to share that interest, but the sides are set to go their separate ways after a memorable stretch.

Patriots To Sign QB Jacoby Brissett

As the Patriots navigate an uncertain future on offense, the team is turning to a familiar face. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that the Patriots are planning to sign quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

It’ll be a one-year deal for the veteran QB, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The contract is worth $8MM and can hit a max value of $12MM.

There were recent rumors that the Patriots could be eyeing their former third-round pick. While Brissett would never be confused with a franchise QB, there was a belief that the Patriots valued the veteran’s role as a potential bridge QB. Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald echoes that sentiment, but the reporter warns that Brissett could also transition to the QB2 role in 2024. The quarterback also worked with current Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt when the two were in Cleveland together, and the former Browns OC reportedly “loved” Brissett.

The organization has since moved on from Mac Jones, which only increased the odds that the Patriots were going to opt for a QB with the third-overall pick in the draft. With Brissett now penciled in atop the depth chart, the Patriots can opt for a first-year signal caller and have them develop behind the scenes for a year.

The 31-year-old Brissett has widely been considered one of the top backup QBs in the NFL, mostly thanks to his performance while filling in for injured QB1s. After going 4-11 during his first extended opportunity to start with the Colts, Brissett has since gone 13-18 as a QB1, including a 2019 campaign where he went 7-8. Brissett didn’t have an opportunity to start in Washington in 2023, but he tossed 12 touchdowns in 11 starts with the Browns in 2022 (he added another two scores on the ground).

Brissett entered the NFL as a third-round pick by the Patriots back in 2016. Thanks to a suspension for Tom Brady and an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, Brissett ended up getting into three games for New England, keeping the ship afloat with a 1-1 record as a starter. He’ll be eyeing a more significant role in New England this time around, although the veteran will surely know his opportunity will be short assuming the organization adds a rookie at the position.

Patriots Interested In QB Jacoby Brissett

With the Patriots facing an uncertain future at quarterback, the team may turn to a familiar face. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the Patriots have “real” interest in veteran QB Jacoby Brissett.

Brissett entered the NFL as a third-round pick by the Patriots back in 2016. Thanks to a suspension for Tom Brady and an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, Brissett ended up getting into three games for New England, keeping the ship afloat with a 1-1 record as a starter. That encouraging performance ended up making Brissett a trade candidate, and he was dealt to the Colts before his sophomore season to fill in for Andrew Luck.

The now-veteran QB’s connections to the Patriots go beyond his first stint with the organization. Brissett also worked with current Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt when the two were in Cleveland together. Per Volin, the former Browns OC “loved” Brissett, and the quarterback had one of the most productive seasons of his career while starting 11 games for Cleveland in 2022.

With Mac Jones likely out of the picture and the Patriots armed with the third-overall pick, it’s been hinted that the organization will look to address the quarterback position via the draft. In fact, there were whispers that the Patriots were considering drafting one of the top prospects at No. 3 and pairing him with a bridge QB who could start for a year.

Brissett would certainly fit that bill. The 31-year-old has widely been considered one of the top backup QBs in the NFL, mostly thanks to his performance while filling in for injured QB1s. After going 4-11 during his first stint in Indy, Brissett has gone 13-18 as a starter, including a 2019 campaign where he went 7-8.

Brissett didn’t have an opportunity to start in Washington in 2023, but he tossed 12 touchdowns in 11 starts with the Browns in 2022 (he added another two scores on the ground). The Patriots surely wouldn’t be expecting to compete for a playoff spot with Brissett under center, but they could rest easy knowing the offense is in good hands while their top prospect develops behind the scenes.

Commanders To Start Sam Howell In Week 17

DEC 30: Despite the Commanders seemingly moving towards Brissett as their starter at quarterback for the remainder of the season following two consecutive games in which Howell was benched, it looks like injuries will keep Howell in place under center for this weekend, at least. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2, Brissett will be sidelined in Week 17 with an aggravated hamstring injury. With Brissett out this week, Howell will return to the starting role. Practice squad pass Jake Fromm will be signed to the active roster in order to back up Howell against the 49ers.

Joining Fromm on the 53-man roster from the practice squad will be long snapper Tucker Addington and offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu. They will also be joined by safety Sean Chandler and cornerback Nick Whiteside, who will serve as standard gameday practice squad elevations tomorrow. Fromm, Addington, and Akingbulu will be filling the roster spots left vacant by offensive tackle Charles Leno, safety Percy Butler, and center Tyler Larsen, who were all placed on injured reserve today.

DEC 27: After an aggressive quarterback pursuit in 2022, the Commanders stood down this year and centered their offseason around Sam Howell‘s development. Howell has started throughout the season; that is about to change.

Washington has benched the second-year QB in back-to-back games, and after Jacoby Brissett provided a spark in each, Ron Rivera said the veteran will receive his first start of the season in Week 17. Brissett, who signed a one-year deal this offseason, has already started for four teams throughout his career. This will be Brissett’s 49th career start.

This decision can be interpreted in multiple ways. On one hand, Rivera is almost definitely coaching his final games with the Commanders. He has long been viewed as on his way out after his fourth season. Front office changes are also expected, so this staff’s view of Howell may not matter much. But the team has also been linked to pursuing another starter-caliber QB in 2024 to at least push Howell. The Patriots’ upset of the Broncos in Week 16 moved the 4-11 Commanders into the No. 3 draft slot, and with the Cardinals not certain to select a QB at No. 2 — where they currently reside — Washington could be in position to make a major investment in Josh Harris‘ first offseason running the show.

Brissett, 31, has started for the Patriots, Colts, Dolphins and Browns throughout an interesting eight-year career. He has been one of this era’s premier backups, being thrust into duty twice on short notice and again later due to Deshaun Watson‘s suspension. The Colts turned to Brissett soon after acquiring him via trade in 2017, with Andrew Luck‘s troublesome shoulder injury requiring a full-season absence. A better Brissett version resurfaced in 2019, when Luck abruptly retired. The Colts then gave their regularly used backup a two-year, $30MM extension. Brissett could not command those terms in 2021 (with the Dolphins) or ’22 (Browns), but he made 16 starts in that span.

The Commanders gave Brissett a one-year, $8MM deal in March. While the team held a competition for the starting job, the Howell praise that persisted during the offseason pointed to the second-year passer winning that battle. Howell has shown flashes, but after struggling during a Commanders six-game skid, the North Carolina product has encountered some early turbulence. Despite two games remaining, Howell has joined only Watson (2018) as QBs to be sacked at least 60 times in a season over the past 17 years. The North Carolina alum has been dropped 60 times this season. Howell also leads the NFL with 17 INTs.

This Brissett move likely ensures Howell will not move close to David Carr‘s single-season record for sacks taken (72 in 2002), but it also points him toward an uncertain path after making all 15 starts for the Commanders this season. The team initially turned to Howell in Week 18 of last season, with the rookie leapfrogging Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke on the depth chart. A new HC-GM combo will be poised to assess Howell in 2024.

Commanders Receiving Interest On Jacoby Brissett; Vikings Inquired About QB’s Availability

The Commanders have already made one notable move today by dealing away Montez Sweat, but fellow edge rusher Chase Young isn’t the only other player receiving interest. Teams are calling on the availability of veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports.

To no surprise, the Vikings checked in on Brissett, Dianna Russini of The Athletic adds. Minnesota changed course and added Josh Dobbs from the Cardinals to add depth under center in the wake of Kirk Cousins‘ Achilles tear. As Breer notes, Washington has set a high price (a Day 2 pick, specifically) for Brissett.

The latter joined the Commanders this offseason on a one-year deal with $7.5MM guaranteed. Only $3MM of that figure is comprised of his base salary, so an acquiring team would be on the hook for a prorated portion of that amount. Brissett, brought in to serve as an experienced insurance policy for starter Sam Howell, has yet to see any game action in the nation’s capital.

The Commanders sit at 3-5 on the year, and their decision to trade Sweat to the Bears hints at commitment to work as sellers in advance of today’s deadline regarding other players. It would come as a surprise if Young were to be dealt, but Brissett is one of many role player Washington could be convinced to part ways with. The 30-year-old has been on the radar for teams looking to shore up their QB situation, and even with the Vikings passing on a potential trade, suitors could still emerge for him.

Brissett has made 48 total starts, many coming in 2017 and ’19 with the Colts. His most recent run of extended action came last season with the Browns while Deshaun Watson served his 11-game suspension to start the year. Watson has battled a shoulder injury for much of the 2023 campaign, and it would come as little surprise if Cleveland looked to reunite with Brissett to add quality depth under center.

The Commanders’ asking price would need to come down for a Brissett trade to be finalized, Breer notes. With roughly 90 minutes until the deadline, it will be interesting to see how willing teams are to add a high-end No. 2 option at the QB spot in advance of the stretch run and the postseason.

NFC North Notes: Brissett, Bears, Lions

The Vikings will have a decision to make today. They have clawed their way from 0-3 to 4-4, sitting firmly in the NFC playoff race. But Kirk Cousinsinjury threatens to deal a death blow to Minnesota’s hopes of making a second consecutive postseason trip for the first time since the 2008-09 seasons. The Vikings attempted to add ex-Kevin O’Connell charge John Wolford, but the Buccaneers’ practice squad QB will instead be promoted in Tampa. However, Jacoby Brissett looms as a name floating around the league as a possible solution, Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com notes. While it remains unclear if Minnesota is truly intent on pursuing a notable outside upgrade, some around the league have mentioned Brissett as a sensible option.

Brissestt signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Commanders but saw Sam Howell constantly mentioned as an ascending player this offseason. Howell won the job easily and has shown flashes. Brissett, 30, also has extensive experience as an emergency QB option. He took the Colts’ 2017 reins shortly after a trade, needed to replace Andrew Luck again after a surprise 2019 retirement and was called upon for an 11-game starter run during Deshaun Watson‘s 2022 suspension.

  • One theory regarding the Bears allowing Jaylon Johnson to pursue a trade centers around Chicago seeing what kind of extension the contract-year cornerback can command, per the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs. Johnson, 24, does not have to be extended immediately if traded; an acquiring team would have exclusive negotiating rights until the 2024 legal tampering period. Said team could also use the franchise tag, though the cornerback tag price — expected to be around $19.5MM — may not be realistic here. As of now, the Bears have until March to re-sign Johnson. Though, extension talks breaking off obviously does not represent a good sign. The 49ers and Bills are in on Johnson; the Bears have until 3pm CT to make a trade.
  • Staying on the quarterback topic, the Bears will once again go with Tyson Bagent. The rookie UDFA will start in Week 9, Matt Eberflus announced, with Justin Fields needing more time to recover from his thumb injury. This will be Fields’ third missed start. While Fields remains week to week, no surgery has taken place. But a Bears season that hinged on Fields making progress — after the team passed on using the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback, trading the selection away — has morphed into a rare backdrop for a Division II-produced arm seeing extensive time.
  • The Lions have made good on their offseason hype, starting 6-2. This will naturally lead to expectations their coordinators will be in demand come 2024. In the event the Lions see Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn become head coaches in 2024, after both interviewed for jobs this year, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that running backs coach Scottie Montgomery and Kelvin Sheppard are the most likely internal candidates to be promoted. Sheppard, 35, is in place as Detroit’s inside linebackers coach; he has been on Dan Campbell‘s staff for three years. The Lions added Montgomery, 45, this offseason, after he spent the past two years as the Colts’ running backs coach. Although continuity might be preferred, teams must interview at least one external minority candidate for coordinator jobs.
  • As trades dominate the news cycle ahead of the 3pm deadline, the Packers agreed to terms with Rashan Gary on a monster extension. The fifth-year defender is now the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid edge defender, signing a four-year, $96MM deal.

Commanders Will Not Trade Jonathan Allen

The Commanders may be prepared to move at least one of their edge rushing duo of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, but another high-profile defender is not available. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Washington will not be dealing DT Jonathan Allen, regardless of whether the club loses to the Eagles today and drops to 3-5.

According to Schefter, the Commanders received trade inquiries on Allen following their loss to the Giants last week. While these types of reports often suggest that a team will only move a player if it is “blown away” by an offer, Washington is reportedly unwilling to even discuss the two-time Pro Bowler.

Of course, Sweat and Young are in contract years, while Allen is under club control through 2025. And though Allen carries a salary cap charge that ranks in the top-10 among defensive players and will carry $20MM+ cap hits in each of the next two seasons, that is not terribly unreasonable for a high-end defensive tackle capable of pressuring opposing quarterbacks from the interior of the line.

Despite the fact that Pro Football Focus’ metrics have generally considered Allen to be an average defender against the run, PFF has awarded the Alabama product high marks for his pass-rushing acumen, which is supported by the 16.5 sacks and 47 QB hits he has compiled over the past two seasons. His durability — he has played in at least 15 games every season since 2018 — further enhances his value.

Allen is clearly viewed as a long-term cornerstone, but in addition to Sweat and Young, other platform-year players like QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Antonio Gibson, WR Curtis Samuel, and CB Kendall Fuller are all possible trade candidates, according to Schefter (the ESPN scribe also named LB Cody Barton as a player that could be on the move, but Barton was placed on IR yesterday).

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com confirm that other clubs have inquired on Fuller, who had two pick-sixes last year and who has added two more interceptions and six passes defensed through seven games in 2023. Among qualified players, PFF presently considers Fuller the fourth-best corner this season and is especially bullish on his coverage ability.

Latest On Commanders, QB Sam Howell

Sam Howell has occupied the Commanders’ starting quarterback role throughout the offseason. With the team set to begin the preseason, their evaluation of him will reach the next stage. Head coach Ron Rivera remains confident the team’s young signal-caller is progressing well, but his Week 1 starter’s status is not assured yet.

The 2022 fifth-rounder was declared Washington’s starter of the present and future as early as January, with Carson Wentz unsurprisingly being released not long after. Howell was tapped as the team’s presumed QB1 after the hiring of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and once again ahead of training camp. His performance since then has drawn praise from Rivera.

As detailed by Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano, Howell has impressed with his ability to pick up Bieniemy’s scheme. As a result, he will be in pole position during the preseason, but Rivera has been consistent over the course of the offseason in mentioning Jacoby Brissett as well. The veteran was signed to a one-year deal to serve as an insurance policy in case Howell – who only started one game last year – struggles in his opportunity to hold down the full-time gig.

As Vacchiano notes, it is not clear at this point if the starter’s role could be Brissett’s to win, as opposed to strictly being Howell’s to lose. The former has 48 starts to his name, including the first 11 games of the season last year when he filled in for the Browns until Deshaun Watson‘s suspension had been served. Brissett, 30, represents a high-floor, low-ceiling option for a Commanders team facing what many feel could be a make-or-break season for Rivera.

The NFC East figures to be highly competitive after each of the teams other than Washington made the postseason. Howell’s play during exhibition contests will go a long way in determining his fate, but individual expectations for the North Carolina product will be tempered compared to his divisional counterparts considering the experience gulf which exists. In spite of that, Rivera is assured the Commanders will have have a passer in place by Week 1 who will allow the team to compete for a playoff spot.

“I mean, we got some really good quarterback play going on right now,” he said, via Vacchiano. “We’ve got a real good quarterback room.”

Ron Rivera Confirms Sam Howell As Commanders’ Training Camp Starter

Since the end of the 2022 season, Sam Howell has been in the driver’s seat to begin the coming campaign as the Commanders’ starting quarterback. The team’s stance in that regard did not change through minicamp, and the same is true with respect to next month’s training camp.

Head coach Ron Rivera said both before and after the hiring of new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy that Howell would sit atop the depth chart heading into the new league year. Free agency did not, as expected, involve a serious pursuit of the top signal-callers available via signings or trades, but a veteran presence was indeed added. Jacoby Brissett was inked to a one-year deal in March, opening the door to a potential offseason competition.

When Rivera addressed the situation before this past week’s mandatory minicamp, he said Brissett had “shown us some things that have really gotten people’s attention,” adding that the team “talks about Jacoby almost as much as we talk about Sam” (h/t Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports). With minicamp having come and gone, Washington has had another chance (albeit under very limited circumstances given the nature of June practices) to evaluate Howell with the first-team offense. The latter preformed well enough to maintain his title of QB1 for the time being.

“He’s much shown us what we want to see,” Rivera said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “He’s young, we know he is young. There was a lot of room for growth, and we know that, but he’s got a good skillset. He’s mobile, he’s got good foot movement, he’s got quick twitch to him, good decision maker. He is still learning to make those decisions, but he’s also got the arm talent and that’s the thing that that excites us.”

Howell, a 2022 fifth-rounder, made just one start in his rookie season. The Commanders’ Carson Wentz experiment did not pay off, leading to his release this offseason. Rather than making another pricey move under center, the keys have tentatively been handed over to Howell, whose career at North Carolina made him one of several less-than-highly-touted member of last year’s quarterback class.

A strong showing in training camp would be enough for Howell to remain in pole position for the Week 1 starting position, though the Brissett deal includes a high proportion of guranteed money along with incentives. The latter has logged 17 starts across his one-year stints in Miami and Cleveland over the past two years, and could provide Bieniemy’s unit with a stable floor if Howell delivers an underwhelming performance in July and August. Such a development will be needed for a change to the depth chart at this point, though.