Kamren Curl

Free Agency Notes: Giants, Vikings, Jets, Hawks, Huff, Commanders, Ekeler, Raiders, Dolphins, Jacobs, Rams

The Bryce Huff market did not reach the level of Jonathan Greenard‘s, and Danielle Hunter also scored a better guarantee compared to the Jets‘ contract-year breakout pass rusher. But the Eagles needed to give Huff a three-year, $51.1MM deal with $34MM guaranteed. That came about because, per Huff, the Commanders, Giants, Seahawks and Vikings joined the Jets in pursuing him. The Jets had expressed interest in keeping the former UDFA, who led the team in sacks last season, but their 2023 Will McDonald draft choice appeared to point Huff elsewhere.

Minnesota came in early with its Greenard signing (four years, $76MM, $38MM fully guaranteed), while Washington turned to one of Dan Quinn‘s ex-Cowboys charges — Dorance Armstrongsoon after. The Giants made a bigger splash hours later by trading for Brian Burns, in a deal that involved a second-rounder going to the Panthers and fifth-rounders being swapped, while the Seahawks devoted their funding to fortifying their interior D-line (via the Leonard Williams deal). Huff, 26, led the NFL in pressure rate last season but was not used as a full-time D-end. It should be expected the Eagles, who have Haason Reddick in trade rumors, will up Huff’s usage.

Here is the latest free agency fallout:

  • As Lloyd Cushenberry and Andre James scored nice contracts, the center market has not seen Connor Williams come off the board. It should be a while on that front. Rehabbing an ACL tear, Williams is not expected to sign anywhere anytime soon, agent Drew Rosenahus said during a WSVP interview (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson). Williams going down in Week 14 certainly has impacted his market. Pro Football Focus graded the two-year Dolphins blocker as a top-five center in each of his two Miami seasons. Ahead of his age-27 season, the ex-Cowboys draftee will probably need to show teams he is healthy or on track to full strength before a deal commences.
  • The Raiders lost their starting running back in free agency, seeing Josh Jacobs join the Packers. Zamir White is tentatively in place as Las Vegas’ starter, but the now-Tom Telesco-run club did show interest in Austin Ekeler, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. Telesco was with the Chargers when they signed Ekeler as a UDFA and when they extended him, but the GM did not greenlight a second extension last year. That led to trade rumors and a small incentive package. Ekeler signed a two-year, $8.43MM Commanders deal, indicating (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) the NFC East team showed the most interest. Despite leading the NFL in TDs in 2021 and 2022, Ekeler received only $4.2MM fully guaranteed — ninth among FA backs this year.
  • As for Jacobs, his guarantee fell well short of Saquon Barkley‘s and shy of the Bears’ commitment to D’Andre Swift. The Packers signed Jacobs to a four-year, $48MM deal, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes only the $12.5MM signing bonus is guaranteed (plus a $1.2MM 2024 salary). Beyond 2024, this is a pay-as-you-go deal. Jacobs is due a $5.93MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2025 league year, creating a pivotal date for Green Bay’s backfield. The Packers are known for shying away from guarantees beyond Year 1, in most instances, but it is interesting to see the gap between guarantees Barkley could secure ($26MM) and Jacobs’ locked-in money.
  • The gap between Xavier McKinney‘s Packers deal and the Ramstwo-year Kamren Curl pact ended up wider than the aforementioned RBs. Curl agreed to a $9MM accord, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. Curl, 25, has two seasons to show he can command a more lucrative contract. But McKinney (four years, $68MM) showed how valuable an age-25 offseason can be for earning power, making the Curl contract look quite Rams-friendly.
  • Jonnu Smith‘s two-year Dolphins deal came in at $8.4MM, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Miami will guarantee the former Tennessee, New England and Atlanta tight end $3.96MM. No guarantees are present beyond 2024, SI.com’s Albert Breer tweets. Miami’s three-year Jordyn Brooks accord lands slightly lower than initially reported, with Wilson adding the ex-Seattle linebacker signed for $26.25MM. Brooks’ contract features $16MM guaranteed; just $9.5MM of that sum is guaranteed at signing.

Rams To Sign S Kamren Curl

Kamren Curl‘s market will not end with a deal in the Xavier McKinney ballpark, and the Rams will land an ascending safety on a midlevel deal. The Rams are signing the four-year Washington starter, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero report.

The former seventh-round pick is signing a two-year deal worth up to $13MM. Curl will join a Rams team that has top safety Jordan Fuller unsigned. Fuller, a four-year Rams starter, visited the Panthers this week.

[RELATED: Rams Bring Back CB Darious Williams]

Turning 25 earlier this month, Curl came into the market as one of its youngest UFAs. Beyond McKinney, however, the safety contingent has seen teams come in with lower offers. Although Curl’s base value is not yet known, his deal may land in the Darnell SavageGeno StoneBrandon Jones neighborhood. As Jessie Bates‘ was on last year’s market, McKinney’s Packers contract (four years, $68MM) may become an outlier this year.

Curl does not bring a proven record of turnover production, which undoubtedly affected his market. The Arkansas alum has not intercepted a pass since his three-INT rookie season, but he should still be coming into his prime. Pro Football Focus ranked Curl second among all safeties in 2022, which was a much better year for the Commanders’ defense compared to last season. After Washington ranked last defensively in 2023, two higher-end free agents coming out of its secondary — Curl, Kendall Fuller — are accepting midrange pacts over two years. While the Miami accord (two years, $16.5MM) is Fuller’s third NFL deal, Curl should have a chance to play himself into better terms on this Rams agreement.

Several teams cutting ties with safeties recently did not help the UFAs’ cause. While McKinney sailed to a top-five contract, the likes of Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs Jordan Poyer and Kevin Byard becoming street free agents hurt some of the younger players’ causes. McKinney is the only safety thus far in free agency to land a contract north of $7.5MM per year.

The Rams have typically not paid safeties much under their current regime. During the Sean McVay years, they have let starters John Johnson, Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott walk in free agency. The 2018 Lamarcus Joyner franchise tag proved an exception here, and while this Curl deal technically does as well, the team appears to be getting good value on a player who started 53 games and resided as one of Washington’s defensive cornerstones over the past four seasons.

This certainly marks an overhaul for the retooling Commanders, who have lost 2023 starters Curl, Fuller, Montez Sweat and Chase Young over the past five months. The team has brought in a host of free agents on defense, a few of whom having played under Dan Quinn. Curl will now go to work attempting to help Russ Yeast and Co. in Los Angeles’ secondary. Curl and Williams stand to infuse experience into a young DB corps.

Free Agency Notes: Queen, Seahawks, Packers, Panthers, Pats, Jackson, Bengals

The Ravens’ Roquan Smith payment always made it likely Patrick Queen would need to collect his money elsewhere. Now that Queen’s most recent defensive coordinator landed a coaching job, a logical fit has emerged. Indeed, many executives predicted (via the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora) Queen would wind up reunited with Mike Macdonald in Seattle. With the Seahawks likely to again part ways with Bobby Wagner, spots are open. Jordyn Brooks, who joined Queen as a 2020 first-round LB pick, is also on the cusp of free agency. Queen is coming off his best season — a Pro Bowl showing alongside Smith — and turned a corner once the Bears trade commenced last year.

Checking in eighth on PFR’s top 50 free agents list (before the Chris Jones and Baker Mayfield deals), Queen could be in line to rival what Tremaine Edmunds received ($18MM per year, $41.8MM fully guaranteed) last year and land a top-five ILB contract. Barely 12 hours from the legal tampering period, here is the latest from the free agent scene:

  • Not known for splashy signings, the Packers do look like they are ready to upgrade at one position on the market. Green Bay appears likely to look at the top safeties available, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes. Although several veteran safeties became street free agents due to recent cuts (Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Jordan Poyer among them), this saturated market does include two young guns that should be paid well soon. It would not shock to see the Pack pursue Xavier McKinney and Kamren Curl, Fowler adds. Both safeties are going into their age-25 seasons, which could separate them on a crowded market.
  • The Panthers released Bradley Bozeman today, and while they will look for a center, expect a guard pursuit as well. This year’s market is big on guards, and The Athletic’s Joe Person writes the Panthers want to upgrade at a guard spot this offseason. Carolina lost both its starting guards — Brady Christensen, Austin Corbett — to major injuries last season, representing one of the many issues on offense in Bryce Young‘s rookie year. The team does not consider Ikem Ekwonu an option. Despite the 2022 first-rounder playing guard at points in college, ESPN.com’s David Newton indicates the new coaching staff is keeping him at left tackle.
  • The Patriots are open to bringing back J.C. Jackson, according to Sportskeeda.com’s Tony Pauline. Jackson’s season ended early after the team placed the veteran cornerback on the reserve/NFI list. Should Jackson move past the mental health struggles that wrapped his first season back in New England, Pauline adds the team is open to another reunion despite last week’s release.
  • Seeing a revolving door form at right tackle (Bobby Hart, Riley Reiff, La’el Collins, Jonah Williams) over the past four years, the Bengals want that to stop. They may be ready to take a two-pronged approach by adding a veteran and a potential rookie heir apparent. “We would like to have somebody man the right tackle spot for a number of years, yes,” player personnel director Duke Tobin said (via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.). “We’d like it to be a young guy that can come in and do that or a veteran that might have the opportunity to rebuild his career, something. But yes, we would like that to be manned on multiple fronts. But we’re focused with having it manned well enough to provide us a chance to win next year. That’s the No. 1 thing.” Williams is a free agent, and given the market he might have — as a chance to move to left tackle may await — it is unlikely the 2019 first-round pick is back in Cincinnati.

FA Notes: Chiefs, Jones, Evans, Titans, Pats, Giants, Panthers, Falcons, Jags, Bucs, Rams

Buzz about the Chiefs re-signing Chris Jones surfaced last week, and while that trail has gone a bit cold, some optimism still exists the defending champions can keep their top defender off the market. Many around the league do not expect Jones to leave Kansas City, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, but they do not anticipate a discount coming to pass. Jones stuck to his guns last year during a holdout that cost him more than $3MM between fines and a missed game check; that would make it rather shocking if he agreed to a team-friendly deal now.

The Chiefs reaching the $27-$28MM-per-year range should help move this close to the finish line, Fowler adds. That said, Jones could probably — given the cap spike — make a run at Aaron Donald‘s $31.7MM AAV standard and the position’s guarantee record (Quinnen Williams‘ $66MM) if he reaches free agency. The Chiefs were not willing to go near the Donald AAV neighborhood during talks last year, and it will surely take a monster offer to keep Jones from testing free agency now.

With the legal tampering period less than a week away, here is the latest free agency news:

  • The Chiefs were also among the teams interested in Mike Evans, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, who details what would have been a big market for the veteran wide receiver. Evans opted to re-sign with the Bucs on a frontloaded deal that included $29MM fully guaranteed. The Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Panthers, Patriots, Rams and Titans were preparing to see what it could take to lure Evans out of Tampa. High-profile FAs regularly use the Combine to gauge markets before the legal tampering period, and Evans evidently determined this Bucs deal compared favorably to what he could have collected on the market. But with Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. franchise-tagged, Evans would have been the top WR available. That distinction may now fall to Calvin Ridley.
  • Speaking of the Bucs, they are not ruling out a reunion with Shaquil Barrett at a reduced rate, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com notes. Tampa Bay cut Barrett last week, removing an $18MM-per-year contract from their payroll. Barrett stands to generate interest as a street free agent, but the former Super Bowl standout and NFL single-season sack leader is going into an age-32 season and coming off a 4.5-sack showing in 2023.
  • Darnell Mooney may be one of the players who could benefit from Evans, Pittman and Higgins being off the market. Despite the Bears target failing to eclipse 500 receiving yards in each of the past two years, he posted a 1,000-yard season in 2021 and has been in a low-volume passing offense. Teams figure to check in on the deep threat, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler suggests the Chiefs and Titans as potential players. The Chiefs’ receiver woes were well documented last season, and they recently cut Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Titans beat out the Chiefs for DeAndre Hopkins last year, but he is going into an age-32 season and signed for just one more year. Treylon Burks has also not shown much consistency yet.
  • Barring 11th-hour deals, this year’s safety market will feature Xavier McKinney and Kamren Curl. These two could do quite well without Antoine Winfield Jr. and Kyle Dugger in the mix, with ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan noting Curl’s market could come in around $14MM per year. A line of demarcation may emerge after these NFC East starters, with Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline adding a lucrative second wave should not be expected to transpire at this position. This is how the 2023 market played out, with a gulf forming between Jessie Bates and the field. Though, multiple others (Juan Thornhill, Vonn Bell, Donovan Wilson) collected eight-figure guarantees.
  • The Rams have talked terms with Kevin Dotson‘s camp, per GM Les Snead. They expect both he and center Coleman Shelton to hit the market. Dotson delivered a big contract year and should be expected to become one of the top earners on a crowded guard market. The Rams want Shelton back as well.

Commanders Interested In Extending S Kamren Curl

While reports indicated the Commanders could look to trade some of their expiring contracts prior to the deadline, it sounds like at least one impending free agent is staying up. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, safety Kamren Curl isn’t expected to be “under consideration” as the organization sorts through potential trade options.

[RELATED: Latest On Commanders’ Deadline Plans]

In fact, the Commanders are hoping Curl will stick in Washington beyond the 2023 season. According to Fowler, the Commanders are much more interested in extending the defensive back than trading him for draft assets.

Despite being selected in the seventh round of the 2020 draft, Curl has seen a significant role in Washington through his first three-plus seasons in the NFL. The Arkansas product started 25 of his 32 appearances through his first two seasons in the league before emerging as a full-time starter in 2022. Curl ultimately started all 12 of his appearances last season, finishing with 83 tackles and one sack.

In eight games this season, the 24-year-old has collected 65 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended. Pro Football Focus has Curl ranked 12th at the safety position among 87 qualifying players.

While Curl may be safe, two of his fellow defenders might find themselves on the way out of Washington. Defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young have been popular in trade talks, with both former first-rounders set to hit free agency following the season.

Commanders Injury Updates: Robinson, Thomas, Curl

After surviving an attempted robbery that resulted in multiple gunshot wounds, rookie third-round running back Brian Robinson is looking more and more likely to make a return to the field this season for the Commanders. On the Don Geronimo Show, head coach Ron Rivera divulged that the swelling in Robinson’s knee has gone down “an awful lot” and that Robinson is off crutches less than two weeks after suffering his non-life-threatening injuries, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.

The Commanders were forced to place Robinson on the reserve/non-football injury list as a result of the shooting, meaning that, at the very least, Robinson will miss four games to begin his rookie season. Many expected the result to be much, much worse, but it’s looking more and more like a Week 5 return is possible, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Here’s a few more updates out of DC, starting with some more good news on the offensive side of the ball:

  • Washington’s starting tight end, Logan Thomas, will be available for the season opener tomorrow versus the Jaguars after tearing his ACL and MCL only nine months ago, according to ESPN’s John Keim. Thomas opened training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, being activated off the list about three weeks ago, but has been practicing with a brace on his leg since coming back. The former Virginia Tech quarterback will want to try and recapture the magic of his breakout season two years ago, when he caught 72 balls for 670 yards and six touchdowns. The addition of Thomas should give new quarterback Carson Wentz a full array of targets along with Terry McLaurin, rookie first-round pick Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel.
  • After suffering a thumb injury a little over a week ago, it was confirmed that starting safety Kamren Curl indeed underwent surgery to repair his thumb, according to Jhabvala and Sam Fortier of The Washington Post. Curl feels that he could potentially play “if it came to that,” but he will forgo the club-like cast and play it safe as he works towards a quick recovery. Curl is expected to miss the the season opener, according to a tweet from Keim, but his absence is expected to end there. According to Jhabvala’s Twitter account, Rivera is “pretty optimistic” that Curl will only miss one game, making sure to clarify that he is not the team’s doctor, for what it’s worth.

Commanders S Kamren Curl May Need Surgery On Thumb

The Commanders will already be without star defensive end Chase Young to start the season, but it’s looking like they may lose a starter in their secondary, as well. Third-year safety Kamren Curl suffered a thumb injury this week, according to Ben Standig of The Athletic. While head coach Ron Rivera shied away from giving the media a report on the injury, The Athletic reports that the injury may have required surgery, as Curl was seen in a sling and a possible cast. 

It isn’t apparent when Curl suffered the injury, but he didn’t appear in the Commanders’ final preseason game against the Ravens last Saturday. It was reported that Curl had to leave practice last Thursday with a member of the training staff, but nothing official was reported.

Curl has been a pleasant surprise for Washington, emerging as a starter during his rookie season despite being a seventh-round draft pick. As a rookie starter, Curl intercepted three passes, returning one 76 yards for a touchdown. He was unable to pick off any passes in his sophomore season, but Curl was second on the team, behind only linebacker Cole Holcomb, in total tackles, outpacing fellow safety Landon Collins.

If Curl’s potential surgery forces him to miss any time, Washington has a number of options to fill in for him. The first name off the bench is likely Darrick Forrest. Forrest is a second-year safety out of Cincinnati. The former fifth-round pick played extremely sparingly last year, but should be prepared to step up in the case of Curl’s absence.

Additional depth can be provided by rookie fourth-round pick Percy Butler and Jeremy Reaves. Reaves has started eight games for Washington in his four years with the team and is a reliable depth piece in case the Commanders don’t feel fully comfortable relying on the younger Forrest or Butler.

It remains to be seen what the outlook is for Curl’s recovery. As Rivera told the media, “(they) don’t have to give (us) the injury report” until Wednesday.

Washington Football Team Makes Christmas Eve Roster Moves

This afternoon the Football Team in our nation’s capital announced a number of roster moves leading up to their Sunday Night matchup in Dallas.

Washington was thankful to add some players back to the active roster from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen, safety Kamren Curl, undrafted free agent linebacker Milo Eifler, and starting cornerback Kendall Fuller all made their way off the COVID list. They did lose defensive end Nate Orchard to the COVID list, though.

The return of Curl will be welcome as Washington placed starting safety Landon Collins on IR, along with rotational defensive end Daniel Wise. Curl spent most of his rookie season filling in for Collins as the starting safety last year.

Defensive back and core special teams player Deshazor Everett was placed on the reserve/Non-Football Injury list following a car accident that killed the passenger of the vehicle, 29 year-old Olivia S. Peters. It was reported by Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post that Everett was taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The wreck is being investigated and it sounds like the Football Team is awaiting the results of the investigation before taking any further action.

The last move affecting Washington’s active roster was the release of defensive lineman Akeem Spence. Spence signed a week ago amidst the surge of COVID-19 positive tests.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

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

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 7/23/20

Here are Thursday’s draft pick agreements, with the list being updated throughout the day.

  • The Vikings picked an interesting year to make 15 draft choices, given the pandemic’s impact on developmental work. But the team is nearly finished with rookie contract agreements. Minnesota signed third-round cornerback Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State), fourth-round defensive end D.J. Wonnum (South Carolina), fifth-round corner Harrison Hand (Temple), fifth-round wideout K.J. Osborn (Miami), sixth-round tackle Blake Brandel (Oregon State), sixth-round safety Josh Metellus (Michigan), seventh-round defensive end Kenny Willekes (Michigan State) and seventh-round safety Brian Cole (Mississippi State). Minnesota lost Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason and tripled up on corners in the draft. First-round corner Jeff Gladney is the Vikes’ lone unsigned pick.
  • Top 2020 Steelers pick Chase Claypool, a second-rounder, is now under contract. The Steelers have their latest Day 2 wide receiver investment signed, along with Round 6 safety Antoine Brooks (Maryland). Claypool’s addition means the top four Pittsburgh wideouts — JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Claypool — came from the second or third rounds. The Notre Dame product has quite the SPARQ profile, going 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the Combine.
  • Washington wrapped up its 2020 draft class by signing Round 4 tackle Saahdiq Charles, Round 5 linebacker Khaleke Hudson, Round 6 safety Kamren Curl and Round 7 defensive end James Smith-Williams.
  • The Bengals signed one of Claypool’s former Fighting Irish teammates, fifth-round defensive end Khalid Kareem. He is the first of Cincinnati’s seven 2020 picks to agree to terms.