Jerry Tillery

Vikings To Sign DT Jerry Tillery

Continuing to re-shape their front seven, the Vikings have a deal in place with Jerry TilleryThe former first-round defensive tackle is set to join Minnesota on a one-year deal worth up to $3.25MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Tillery had an underwhelming start to his career with the Chargers, despite seeing a full-time starting role 2020 and ’21. The 27-year-old saw his workload cut the following season, and he was ultimately waived midway through the 2022 campaign. He closed out that year with the division-rival Raiders, starting four of eight games. His play with Las Vegas earned him a two-year, $6.8MM contract last offseason.

However, Tillery was released last week as part of the Raiders’ cost-shedding moves. The Notre Dame product logged a 45% defensive snap share in Vegas in 2023, making 31 tackles and adding a pair of sacks. His nine pressures fell well short of his previous high marks in the pass-rush department, something of particular significance given his skillset. Tillery will get another chance to establish himself in Minnesota, though.

The Vikings have seen plenty of changes along the defensive front this offseason, with edge rushers Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport departing and Jonathan Greenard being added on a big-money deal along with Andrew Van Ginkel. Along the interior, Minnesota has retained Jonathan Bullard, but Tillery will add to the list of new faces for the unit. The latter will look to carve out a starting (or at least rotational) role under DC Brian Flores.

Minnesota ranked 19th in the league in sacks last season, and the absence of Hunter will lead to questions about the team’s ability to improve on that figure (even given the additions made to replace him). Known more for his ability to generate interior pressure than his run defense, Tillery could help in that regard if he earns notable playing time. Doing so would help the Vikings transition to a new look on the defensive front while helping his 2025 free agent stock in the process.

Raiders To Release DE Jerry Tillery

Jerry Tillery‘s stint with the Raiders has come to an end. The team informed the defensive end that they will release him following the start of the league year, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

After spending the second half of the 2022 campaign in Las Vegas, Tillery re-signed with the Raiders last offseason, inking a two-year, $6.8MM contract. Releasing the defensive lineman will free up around $3.8MM in cap space for the organization.

The former first-round pick disappointed during his three-plus seasons with the Chargers. Tillery steadily earned more snaps through his first three seasons in the league, but he wasn’t able to provide the Chargers with the top-end DL skills that they were seeking.

2021 marked a career year for Tillery from a counting stats perspective, with the defensive end compiling 51 tackles and 4.5 sacks while starting 15 of his 16 appearances. That extended look was apparently enough for the Chargers to determine he wasn’t a future piece, as the front office declined his fifth-year option the following offseason. Tillery found himself with a backup role in 2022 before ultimately getting waived midway through the season.

The Raiders ended up claiming the former first rounder, and he proceeded to start four of his eight appearances in Las Vegas. He started six of his 17 games this past year, finishing with 31 tackles and a pair of sacks. Pro Football Focus graded Tillery 40th among 130 qualifying interior defenders, although none of his skills graded out as anything more than above-average.

Considering his first-round pedigree, there’s a good chance Tillery can find a new home for 2024. However, following another underwhelming season, those changes may soon dry up for the 27-year-old.

Raiders DE Tyree Wilson Expected To Be Available For Week 1

Well into August, the Raiders have not had their top rookie on the field at any point this offseason. Defensive end Tyree Wilson remains on the non-football injury list while recovering from surgery which addressed a Lisfranc injury.

The Raiders expected him to be activated in time for the start of training camp, but that has still yet to take place. Wilson was one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s edge class due to his injury history. Vegas remained high on him, however, and stayed put at the No. 7 slot to select him. Despite his continued absence, head coach Josh McDaniels is confident Wilson will be cleared for the start of the season.

“I’m going to hope so,” McDaniels said, via Tashan Reed of The Athletic, when asked about Wilson’s projected Week 1 readiness (subscription required). “As soon as he’s ready, he’s going to be out there. There’s been nothing that has told us that that’s not going to happen.”

Wilson put up underwhelming numbers at Texas A&M but his production jumped considerably after transferring to Texas Tech. He posted 14 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss across his two years with the Red Raiders, putting him firmly on the first-round radar. Wilson should be expected to serve in a rotational role behind Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones to start his pro career. The Raiders eyed Wilson in part to ease the workload of the latter two, but missed reps in training camp will surely hinder his early development.

In another development on the D-line, Jerry Tillery has seen time at defensive end during camp (Twitter link via Reed). The former Chargers first-rounder has primarily been used on the inside during his career, but his skillset has always lent itself more to pass-rush production than run defense. Especially with Wilson sidelined, there have been snaps available for Tillery – whom the Raiders claimed off waivers and subsequently re-signed on a two-year deal – to try his hand at practicing as a base end.

It will be interesting to see if the Tillery experiment continues once Wilson is cleared to return. The team is confident that will happen soon, and his presence will be welcomed as the Raiders look to turn the corner defensively compared to last season.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Ekeler, Raiders

Jarrett Stidham will replace Brett Rypien as Russell Wilson‘s Broncos backup, agreeing to a two-year, $10MM deal. While Stidham has fewer career starts than Rypien, his late-season Raiders cameo — particularly a 365-yard, three-touchdown performance against the 49ers’ No. 1-ranked defense — generated a market for the former Patriots fourth-round pick. Stidham chose the Broncos over the Raiders because of Las Vegas’ Jimmy Garoppolo signing and potential to also add a quarterback in the first round, per NBC Sports’ Peter King. From the Broncos’ perspective, Sean Payton views Stidham as an upward-trending option behind Wilson.

There were a handful of No. 2s that either I have worked with, or we felt comfortable with,” Payton said, via the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson. “In this case, I think he’s a No. 2 whose arrow is moving in a direction where we feel like he can become an NFL starter in our league. The evaluation was pretty crystal clear for all of us. I think he’s someone that’s going to be great in the room. He’s smart. Quietly, that was an important signing for us.”

Payton’s words do not point to a quarterback competition, but this addition does provide an option in case Wilson’s 2022 stumble was more indicative of a steep decline than being trapped in a dysfunctional offense. Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Wilson ran into a few injury problems during his shockingly mediocre first season in Denver. Knee trouble can be added to the Broncos quarterback’s list of ailments. Wilson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery shortly after last season ended, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The 12th-year passer is expected to be ready for Payton’s first round of Broncos OTAs. This issue nagged Wilson for a few seasons, per Rapoport. Last year, the knee trouble accompanied hamstring, shoulder and lat issues, along with a late-season concussion. Wilson, who did not miss an NFL start until his 11th season, missed two games last year.
  • Dre’Mont Jones signed for slightly more per year than Zach Allen, committing to the Seahawks on a three-year, $51MM deal just after the ex-Cardinal agreed to a three-year, $45.75MM Broncos pact. But Jones ended up receiving less guaranteed money ($23MM) than Allen ($32.5MM). The Broncos viewed Jones’ initial asking price as too high, Jeff Legwold of notes, pointing to Jones — a player the team had long wanted to retain — preferring a change of scenery or reducing his demand as the market shifted. The Browns also pursued Jones but landed Dalvin Tomlinson shortly after the ex-Bronco’s Seattle pledge.
  • Austin Ekeler explained his trade request recently, correctly indicating his contract is out of step with the value he provides the Chargers. But GMs do not see a market forming for the former UDFA, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. Ekeler has outperformed most of his peers on their respective second contracts, but several teams took advantage of this year’s buyer’s market at the position. Many lesser backs filled roster holes. While Ekeler is still just 27 and could provide versatility for another team, the Bolts may not land too much for him. His four-year, $24.5MM contract runs through season’s end.
  • Robert Spillane signed a two-year, $7MM Raiders contract, coming over from the Steelers. That ended up being more than Denzel Perryman received to leave Las Vegas for Houston, and Spillane said (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur) Raiders coaches want him to wear the green communication dot. This would point to the Raiders eyeing a big role for Spillane, a run-stuffer who logged a career-high 59% defensive snap rate in 2022.
  • The Raiders were planning to move Dylan Parham from guard to center, Tafur adds, but the team’s decision to retain starting snapper Andre James will lead to Parham staying at left guard (Twitter link). A 2022 third-round pick, Parham started all 17 Raiders games as a rookie. McDaniels said the Memphis alum will still work at center, pointing to this being the team’s backup plan in case James goes down.
  • Jerry Tillery‘s Raiders deal is a two-year, $6.8MM accord that includes $5.5MM in total guarantees, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. The ex-Chargers first-round D-tackle is due a guaranteed $1.5MM roster bonus in 2024, though his 2024 base salary ($1.7MM) does not become fully guaranteed until next March.

Raiders To Re-Sign DT Jerry Tillery

The Raiders acquired defensive tackle Jerry Tillery via waivers earlier in the season, and his stay in Vegas will be continuing. The two sides have agreed to terms on a new deal, as first reported by The Score’s Jordan Schultz (on Twitter).

The former first-rounder had a generally underwhelming tenure with the Chargers to begin his career. Following his college career, Tillery entered the league with significant expectations as a pass rusher in particular. He managed just 10.5 sacks across 54 games in Los Angeles, however, and his time in California officially came to an end when he was waived in November.

Upon his arrival in Vegas, the Notre Dame product saw a slight uptick in usage. His snap share jumped to 49%, an increase compared to his playing time in 2022 with the Chargers, but a far cry from the full-time starting role he occupied in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. In eight games as a Raider, Tillery totaled 10 tackles and was held without a sack.

Those figures point to a rotational role remaining the ideal one for the 26-year-old, which represents a disappointment relative to his high draft stock. Tillery drew considerable interest on the waiver wire, which suggests he could have fostered at least a modest market for himself as a free agent. Instead, he will opt for stability and seek to help the Raiders take a necessary step forward on the defensive front.

Vegas struggled in a number of defensive categories in 2022, though their run defense was middle-of-the-road. Given his skillset, Tillery is unlikely to make much of an impact in that regard, but realizing his potential as a disruptive presence in terms of interior rushing would help not only the Raiders but also set him up for a more promising financial future down the road.

Eight Teams Attempted To Claim Jerry Tillery; DL Headed To Raiders

Jerry Tillery did not work out with the Chargers, but a fourth of the league wanted to greenlight a contract-year audition. Eight teams attempted to claim the fourth-year defensive lineman, according to’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The Raiders won out.

In addition to Las Vegas, which now holds the No. 2 spot in the waiver order, the Lions, Panthers, Colts, 49ers, Jets, Giants and Chiefs submitted claims for the former first-round pick. Considering Tillery’s history, the interest is not too surprising. His midseason Bolts exit does make the claim volume notable, however.

Tillery, who follows defensive lineman John Cominsky in drawing eight waiver claims this year, is signed for the remainder of the season. The Chargers passed on Tillery’s fifth-year option in May and moved him out of the picture for good late last week. This number of interested teams does open the door to a potential market in free agency come March.

This marks yet another D-line addition for the Raiders, who restocked their front during the Dave ZieglerJosh McDaniels regime’s first offseason. Bilal Nichols, Andrew Billings and rookies Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell comprise Las Vegas’ top interior D-line options. The Raiders had re-signed Jon Gruden-era pickup Johnathan Hankins but ended up trading him to the Cowboys before the deadline.

Chosen 28th overall out of Notre Dame in 2019, Tillery has 29 starts under his belt. He has tallied 10.5 career sacks and 12 tackles for loss in three-plus seasons. Tillery notched 14 quarterback hits during the 2020 and ’21 seasons. The new Bolts regime did not view him as much of a fit, signing Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson in free agency and not picking up his 2023 option. Despite Johnson going down for the season, the Chargers followed through on ending Tillery’s tenure. With the Fighting Irish in 2018, Tillery recorded eight sacks to move onto the first-round radar.

Pro Football Focus rates Tillery just inside the top 50 among interior D-linemen this season; that mark is well north of the reviews the site gave from 2019-21. Tillery, 26, also finished his Chargers career having suffered a back injury while weightlifting. The Raiders and the septet of teams that did not end up landing him, however, were clearly unconcerned by that development. While the Raiders season has skidded off track, Tillery’s Silver and Black audition will be interesting.

Chargers Waive DL Jerry Tillery

The Chargers have moved on from a former first-round pick. The team announced that they’ve waived defensive lineman Jerry Tillery.

The Notre Dame product was selected by the Chargers with the 28th-overall pick in 2019. The defensive lineman had a difficult time carving out a consistent role in Los Angeles through his three-plus seasons with the organization. After serving as a backup during his rookie campaign, he started 26 games between 2020 and 2021. He’s been back to a situational role in 2022, starting none of his seven appearances. He’s collected eight tackles and one sack this year, and had he earned enough snaps, he would have graded as a middle-of-the-road interior defender, per Pro Football Focus (with the site giving him a nod for his pass-rush ability).

Tillery’s Chargers career will end with him having collected 106 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in 54 games (29 starts). The 26-year-old had his fifth-year option declined back in May, so the team won’t be on the hook for any future money. If a team claims Tillery off waivers, they’ll be responsible for paying the $1MM-plus remaining on his pact for this season.

“Jerry has been a valued member of our organization since arriving in 2019, and I want to thank him for all his contributions to the Chargers,” said general manager Tom Telesco (via the team’s website). “This was not an easy decision but, after careful consideration, it was a necessary one that is in the best interest of both team and player. We wish Jerry all the best moving forward in his career.”

The Chargers brought in a number of defensive linemen this past offseason, including Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson, Morgan Fox, and rookie Otito Ogbonnia. That grouping will be more than capable of soaking up Tillery’s defensive snaps.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Toney, Chargers

To help create cap space as they acquired Bradley Chubb‘s fifth-year option salary (initially), the Dolphins included Chase Edmonds‘ two-year, $12MM deal in their Tuesday trade with the Broncos. Edmonds joins a Denver backfield already housing veterans in Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray. Gordon’s up-and-down Broncos tenure has now included a demotion, effectively, with Murray playing a big role since being signed off the Saints’ practice squad. Fumbles have continued to plague Gordon in 2022, leading to the reduced workload despite a starting role. Broncos GM George Paton said the Edmonds trade would not affect Gordon’s starter status, calling the former Cardinals change-of-pace back “another piece to the puzzle.” It will be interesting to see how the Broncos proceed once Mike Boone is ready to return from IR. The team has five injury activations remaining this season.

Midway through his eighth season, Gordon (75 carries, 263 yards, four fumbles) is on pace for career lows in totes and rushing yards. Edmonds is on Denver’s 2022 cap sheet at just more than $1.1MM; that number spikes to a nonguaranteed $5.7MM in 2023. Gordon and Murray are both on expiring contracts. Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The other player coming to the AFC West via pre-deadline trade, Kadarius Toney is expected to make his debut for the Chiefs on Sunday night. Andy Reid pointed to Toney being in uniform against the Titans, via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope (on Twitter). Toney has not played since Week 2. After he battled myriad injuries as a rookie, the former Giants first-round pick encountered issues with both hamstrings this season. The mercurial speedster, who has missed 12 career games, will attempt to stay healthy as he joins a Chiefs team that has started to see steady production from its post-Tyreek Hill receiving corps.
  • Shifting to the Chargers‘ receiving corps, Keenan Allen is aiming to avoid a lost season. The Chargers have ruled out their five-time Pro Bowl target due to the hamstring injury he suffered back in Week 1. Allen experienced a setback earlier this season but returned on a limited snap count in Week 7, but the 10th-year veteran said (via’s Lindsey Thiry) he exited the Bolts’ bye week feeling worse than he had before. Allen added that he was not 100% when he played in Week 7 and would not return again until he was full-go. After posting four 1,100-plus-yard seasons over the past five years, Allen has seen his absence hurt Los Angeles’ passing attack — one likely also impacted by the rib injury Justin Herbert suffered earlier this year. Mike Williams is also navigating an extended injury absence due to a high ankle sprain.
  • The hits keep coming for the Chargers. They will be without former first-round defensive lineman Jerry Tillery this week. Brandon Staley said the rotational D-tackle suffered a back injury weightlifting this week. Despite not starting and the Bolts not picking up his fifth-year option, Tillery has played 43% of the team’s defensive snaps this season.

Chargers DL Jerry Tillery On Roster Bubble?

When Jerry Tillery had his fifth-year option declined back in May, the Chargers made it clear that they still saw the defensive lineman as part of their future. However, it sounds like Tillery could find himself on the roster bubble come preseason. Daniel Popper of The Athletic writes there is a “realistic scenario” where the Chargers look to move the former first-round pick in a trade toward the end of training camp.

Tillery had a standout career at Notre Dame, leading to him being the 28th pick by the Chargers in 2019. The defensive lineman found himself in and out of the starting lineup through his first two seasons in the NFL, but he firmly established himself as a starting defensive tackle in 2021.

In 16 games (15 start), Tillery set career-highs across the board, including tackles (51), sacks (4.5), tackles for loss (six), and QB hits (14). While the numbers were solid, ProFootballFocus didn’t grade him particularly well, ranking Tillery 96th among 106 eligible interior defensive lineman.

After the season, the Chargers decided they didn’t want to commit to Tillery’s $11.8MM cap hit for 2023, so they declined the player’s fifth-year option. When the news broke, we heard that the defensive lineman was still “firmly in [the Chargers’] long-term plans.” GM Tom Telesco also gave the player a vote of confidence, stating that the organization was expecting “an even bigger role” for the lineman in 2022.

Fast forward to today, and it’s tough to find a clear role for Tillery on the Chargers defense. As Popper writes, all of Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson, Morgan Fox, Christian Covington, and Otito Ogbonnia appear to be locks to make the roster. That means Tillery would be fighting for the final defensive line spot, and there’s a chance that the Chargers could roster only five lineman like they did in 2021. Popper opines that Breiden Fehoko, Forrest Merrill, and Joe Gaziano could each bring more to that sixth role thanks to their run-stopping ability, and while Tillery is the superior pass rusher, his skills overlap too much with Fox. Ultimately, the writer decided to keep Tillery on his proposed 53-man roster, but he believes the organization could move on if they prefer to keep a run stopper.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)