September 28th, 2017 at 6:49pm CST by Sam Robinson
Vontaze Burfict‘s Bengals contract calls for a $2MM roster bonus if he’s on the team by March 31 of next year, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The Bengals protected themselves heavily with the Burfict extension, one that could pay out $33.234MM through 2020, since the deal comes with just $3.3MM guaranteed. Speaking publicly about the extension for the first time, Burfict didn’t elaborate much about his decision to bypass free agency for a largely non-guaranteed deal. Although, he did say he appreciates the Bengals’ support in agreeing to take him on long-term given his suspension history. “I hope so,” Burfict said (via Owczarski) of the feeling of support. “I give my blood, sweat and tears out on the field. It’s vice versa. I appreciate everything they do for me and my family and like I said, let’s go get a win on Sunday. Now we’re in for four more years, so we’re past it now. So now obviously just win some games.”
The Bengals reinstated Burfict on Thursday.
Here’s the latest from the North divisions on a night when their most storied rivalry takes center stage.
The Bears‘ Tarik Cohen pursuit began when Ryan Pace‘s top southeastern scout declared the then-North Carolina A&T running back was his favorite player to watch, over all of the SEC prospects he observed, and the Chicago GM soon became enamored as well, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). The Bears selected several small-school talents this year, with second-round tight end Adam Shaheen being the first, but Cohen — a fourth-rounder — has played an impact role from the start.
While Cohen will receive his first chance to display the elusiveness that enticed the Bears to a national audience, the Packers will be down several key players. Both starting tackles — David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga — are out, and Mike Daniels will miss the Week 4 tilt as well. The Packers are already down would-be backup options in Don Barclay, Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy — each on IR — so Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets a four-guard lineup could be on tap. Justin McCray, who started at tackle for Bakhtiari in Week 2, and fellow rookie Adam Pankey join second-year player Lucas Patrick in the mix to protect Aaron Rodgers on Thursday. Each of those players entered the league as a UDFA. The Packers played without both starting tackles against the Falcons, with Murphy and McCray receiving the replacement starts.
The Bears aren’t judging Mike Glennon in their impending quarterback swap but rather are monitoring Mitch Trubisky to determine when the rookie will be ready to take over, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. Glennon has struggled during his first three starts, and Biggs categorizes the season’s plan — once based around Trubisky redshirting as a rookie — as a week-to-week arrangement.
Ka’Deem Carey‘s Bears injury settlement was worth $273,529, Biggs reports. The Bears placed the backup running back on IR just before the season, and the settlement came shortly after.
Tests done on Danny Shelton‘s injured calf don’t look to reveal a serious malady, Rapoport tweets. The Browns defensive tackle injured the calf in practice Wednesday. He has not missed a game in his three-year career.
September 2nd, 2017 at 11:54am CST by Dallas Robinson
The Bears will place running back Ka’Deem Carey on injured reserve, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Because he’s being shifted to IR before making Chicago’s initial 53-man roster, Carey isn’t a candidate to return later this year.
Carey, a fourth-round pick in 2014, has appeared in 36 games over three season with the Bears, but has only made one career starter. Last season, the 24-year-old averaged 3.9 yards per carry on 32 touches. While he won’t play for Chicago in 2017, it’s possible Carey agrees to an injury settlement and becomes a free agent.
August 23rd, 2017 at 9:55pm CST by Connor J. Byrne
The latest from the North:
With DeShone Kizer likely to open the season as the Browns’ starting quarterback, the probable runner-up in the competition, Brock Osweiler, is now on the trade block. The problem is that the Browns are unlikely to find a taker for him, even though they’re willing to eat around $10MM of his $16MM salary if the right offer comes along, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. The Browns wanted at least a third-round pick for Osweiler when they were shopping him in March, according to Cabot, which is a preposterous asking price when you consider the struggles he had in Houston last season. While Cleveland did give up a fourth-rounder to acquire Osweiler from the Texans, it also received a second- and sixth-rounder just to take on his bloated contract. Regarding the possibility of the Browns flipping the 26-year-old before Week 1, an NFL personnel executive told Cabot, “Good luck with that.”
The Bears will give rookie quarterbackMitch Trubisky some first-team reps in their preseason game against the Titans on Sunday, which is the latest sign that the second overall pick will emerge as their starter sometime this year, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes. Trubisky’s preseason play has easily trumped free agent signing Mike Glennon‘s (granted, the former has faced lesser competition thus far), but the job still belongs to the veteran, according to head coach John Fox. “Right now, Mike Glennon is the starter,” Fox said. “He’s going to start preseason (Game) 3, which is a pretty good indicator where you start the (regular) season. I’ll leave it at that.”
Bears running back Ka’Deem Carey underwent wrist surgery and will miss approximately six weeks, Fox told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and other reporters on Wednesday (Twitter link). Carey, who’s behind Jordan Howard and Kendall Langford on the Bears’ depth chart, has totaled just 111 carries since they chose him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He averaged 3.9 yards on 32 attempts last season.
The safety position remains a jumble, though Chris Conte is expected to be cleared for action in next week’s third preseason game, and the best estimation for the starting combination come opening day might be Conte and veteran Ryan Mundy.
In keeping with the question mark theme, the job of kick returner is also up for grabs because Chris Williams is hurt, and Eric Weems has done nothing to take ownership. “The Bears have gone from Devin Hester to who-knows-what entering the third preseason game,” says Biggs.
A week after starring in the first preseason game, tight end Zach Miller went down with a left foot injury. The team will get details on the injury today.
Defensive end Trevor Scott is emerging as the fourth defensive end, says Biggs: “[Scott] looked good again. He’s got legit speed and is being used with the first unit on special teams by Joe DeCamillis.”
Sixth-rounder Pat O’Donnell has all but locked up the punting job.
Shea McClellin, who is being scrutinized in Chicago, struggled again last night in his second game as a linebacker, says ESPN’s Michael C. Wright: “The Bears want to remain patient with Shea McClellin as he transitions to linebacker, but his play against the Jaguars seemed just about on par with his shoddy showing last week. McClellin did stuff the run once early on but continues to struggle at shedding blocks and making tackles in space.”
Assuming the Bears hold on to three running backs, Michael C. Wright believes that Jordan Lynch would be the odd man out. In spite of the players skills, Wright doesn’t think he’ll receive enough repetitions in the preseason to display his talent. Lynch figures to be competing with Ka’Deem Carey and Michael Ford.
We’ll round up today’s minor transactions here, including mid-to-late-round draftees agreeing to contracts, players being claimed off waivers, and the retirement of a former NFLer who most recently played in the Canadian Football League…..
The Chiefs announced that they have sixth-round pick Zach Fulton (Twitter link). The offensive lineman out of Tennessee was taken with the No. 193 pick.
The 49ers announced that they have signed fifth-round outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and seventh-round defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey, tweets Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Saints have signed former Notre Dame guard Mike Golic Jr. to a two-year contract, the club announced today in a press release. Golic went undrafted in 2013 and joined the Steelers for the preseason.
Drake Nevis, who was cut yesterday by the Jaguars, has been awarded to the Panthers on waivers, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). The defensive lineman appeared in games for the Cowboys and Jags last season.
The Eagles have locked up one of their draft picks, signing third-round wideout Josh Huff to a four-year deal, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).
After being cut by the Seahawks yesterday, long snapper Jorgen Hus has been claimed off waivers by the Rams, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter).
The Dolphins have cut punter Matt Syzmanski, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
The only NFL team to lock up any draftees so far, the Bears have agreed to terms with two more players they selected last week, according to the team (Twitterlinks). Fourth-round running back Ka’Deem Carey and seventh-round tackle Charles Leno Jr. have reached agreements on four-year deals with the club. At Over The Cap, Jason Fitzgerald has estimations on what sort of contracts the duo will be receiving.
The Jaguars have claimed linebacker Allen Bradford off waivers from the Giants, a day after he was cut, tweets Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. Bradford, a former Seahawk like a few other players the Jags have added this offseason, fills the last spot on the team’s 90-man roster.
Former Bills first-round pick Aaron Maybin has officially announced his retirement as a football player, according to the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts (Twitter link). After being selected 11th overall out of Penn State, Maybin failed to make a consistent impact at the NFL level, with his best season coming in 2011 as a reserve for the Jets (six sacks).
We’ve passed along a couple Ravens updates from the combine already today, but Aaron Wilson’s latest piece for the Baltimore Sun includes so many notable nuggets on the team that we’ll need a new post to round them all up. Let’s dive in….
The Ravens are in discussions with tight end Dennis Pitta and offensive tackle Eugene Monroe about new contracts, and coach John Harbaugh is optimistic about locking up both players. “To my knowledge, both of those guys really want to be here and we really want them here,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a good formula for working things out.”
If the Ravens tag Pitta as their franchise player, he’s expected to file a grievance to try to get the wide receiver tag, a source tells Wilson.
Harbaugh didn’t close the door on the possibility of bringing back both Monroe and Michael Oher, though a previous report suggested Oher is unlikely to return if Monroe re-signs.
Defensive tackle Arthur Jones is expected to receive heavy interest on the open market, and may be too expensive for the Ravens, as Harbaugh acknowledges: “It’s probably the one contract that he’ll have a chance to sign, a real big one. Guys that sign two big contracts, that’s very unusual. Three almost never happens, so you never feel bad about a guy getting an opportunity. You never want to lose a good player. But from a personal standpoint, you have to feel good about that. Whether we can match that or not, that’s all in the math.”
The Ravens will meet with Boston College running back Andre Williams, who also has meetings scheduled with the Jaguars, Bills, and Bengals, tweets Wilson.
Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey also met with the Ravens, as well as the Steelers, at the combine, tweets Wilson.