Keenan Allen

Restructure Details: Armstead, Dolphins, Hill, Chubb, Chargers, WRs, Ravens, Pierce, Panthers, Moton, Jets, Cardinals, Eagles, Vikings

Teams have until 3pm CT Wednesday — the start of the 2023 league year — to move under the $224.8MM salary cap. With the legal tampering period beginning at 3pm Monday, teams are working to create cap space for free agency pursuits. Here are the latest maneuvers teams have made on that front:

  • The Dolphins have created more than $43MM in cap space over the past two days, being the runaway leaders on this front this week. They agreed to restructures with Bradley Chubb and Terron Armstead to free up $25MM-plus, per’s Field Yates (Twitter links), but they are also using Tyreek Hill‘s receiver-record contract to create room. Miami created $18MM in space by restructuring Hill’s $30MM-AAV deal, Adam Schefter of tweets. Hill was due a $16MM roster bonus; that and most of his 2023 base salary have been shifted into a signing bonus. Chubb’s base salary is now down to $1.1MM in 2023.
  • Rather than trade Keenan Allen to carve out cap space, Chargers GM Tom Telesco firmly opted against that strategy. The Bolts are keeping Allen, and both he and Mike Williams‘ 2024 cap numbers will balloon. The team freed up $14MM-plus in 2023 cap space by restructuring both their $20MM-per-year wide receiver deals, per Yates. While new funds are available for 2023, Williams and Allen are now tied to $32.5MM and $34.7MM cap numbers in 2024 (Twitter links). Neither should be expected to play on those numbers, which will undoubtedly lead to more maneuvers down the road.
  • The Panthers freed up more than $11MM in cap room by restructuring Taylor Moton‘s deal, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. This marks the second straight year Carolina has adjusted Moton’s contract. A Xavier Woods tweak also added $1.5MM to Carolina’s cap space, Tom Pelissero of tweets.
  • Michael Pierce accepted a $2MM pay cut to remain with the Ravens, Pelissero tweets. The move added $2.7MM in funds, Yates tweets. Pierce, who returned to the Ravens in 2022, can earn the money back via incentives. Pierce missed most of last season due to a biceps tear.
  • Pierce’s former team, the Vikings, took the same path with Ross Blacklock. The 2022 trade acquisition accepted a near-$700K slash which he can earn back via incentives, Pelissero adds (on Twitter).
  • D.J. Humphries missed much of the 2022 season, and while the Cardinals have a new regime in place, they are not moving their veteran left tackle. They will use Humphries’ 2022 extension to free up funds, with Pelissero noting (via Twitter) the Cards created $5.3MM in cap space with this restructure. Arizona has moved past $32MM in cap space. More could be coming via a DeAndre Hopkins trade as well.
  • C.J. Uzomah‘s three-year Jets deal became a vehicle for the team to carve out some room. The team freed up $3.6MM in cap space with a recent restructure for the veteran tight end, Pelissero tweets.
  • The Eagles also went to the restructure well Friday, with Yates noting (via Twitter) they are creating $2.5MM in space by adjusting Jake Elliott‘s deal.

Bolts GM: Team Not Trading Keenan Allen

Not long after the Bengals shot down the notion Tee Higgins is available via trade, the Chargers are effectively taking another big name off the wide receiver market. Tom Telesco put a stop to Keenan Allen trade rumors.

During an appearance on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, the longtime Chargers GM said there has “never been any thought” of moving Allen. Two years remain on the 11th-year veteran’s four-year, $80.1MM extension.

Keenan Allen (vertical)Keenan Allen, to me, he’s our Andre Reed. He’s our Charlie Joiner,” Telesco said (Twitter link). “He’s an incredible football player. We have a great quarterback and we need weapons around him. There’s never been any thought of [a trade].”

Allen may not be on track to join those pass catchers in Canton, but he has been one of the most important Chargers players during this era. The Chargers gave Mike Williams a three-year, $60MM contract last March and have a Justin Herbert megadeal to negotiate. These big-picture components, Allen’s age (31 in April) and the Bolts’ cap situation have pointed to a potential separation. But a Herbert extension could pair with Allen’s money ($20MM AAV) for at least another season.

As the Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray extensions most recently showed, big-ticket QB contracts often carry low cap numbers in Year 1. Watson, Murray and Wilson all checked in below $18MM for first-year cap hits on their respective accords. Herbert’s deal following suit would complement Allen’s $21.7MM cap hit. The Chargers could look to reduce that via other methods as well.

Allen’s trade value took a hit last season as well. He missed seven games because of a recurring hamstring injury, limiting the top-shelf route-runner to 752 receiving yards. In terms of per-game impact, however, Allen’s 75.2 average was his best since 2017. The former third-round pick should have a bit more left in the tank to help the Bolts, who have relied on him for 10 seasons as a starter. With Higgins and Allen trades being squashed, that would only make the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks more valuable as part of a receiver landscape that does not feature a high-end free agency class or the kind of draft crop teams have grown accustomed to in recent years.

The Chargers are still $20MM over the cap. Allen staying on the payroll will force the team to make other adjustments. The Bolts want to keep right tackle Trey Pipkins, and The Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes linebacker and fellow UFA-to-be Drue Tranquill is likely in the team’s plans as well. Pipkins joins an intriguing right tackle market, which houses Mike McGlinchey, Jawaan Taylor and Kaleb McGary. Tranquill’s position group is one of the deepest, which should make the versatile ‘backer affordable for the Bolts. But the AFC West team still has work to do before it can make any re-signings happen.

Chargers WRs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams Expected To Play In Week 11

Sunday could mark the first time this season that Chargers wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams start and finish a game together. As Lindsey Thiry of reports, both players were full participants in practice on Friday and are expected to play in the Bolts’ Week 11 matchup with the division-rival Chiefs.

Allen sustained a hamstring injury in the season opener, and he has reaggravated the injury multiple times. He returned for Los Angeles’ Week 7 loss to the Seahawks, though he appeared in just 23 snaps and caught two passes for 11 yards. The hamstring problem flared up during the club’s Week 8 bye, and he has missed the last two contests as a result.

Williams, meanwhile, suffered a high ankle sprain during the above-referenced Seattle matchup and was forced to leave the game early. Like Allen, Williams has been sidelined for the last two games.

When healthy, the Allen-Williams tandem is one of the best WR duos in the league, and their compensation reflects that. In March, Williams signed a three-year, $60MM contract featuring $40MM in guaranteed money, and he was living up to that deal prior to the injury. In seven games, the Clemson product has posted 37 catches for 495 yards, putting him on pace for his second consecutive campaign of 1,100+ yards. Though his 2022 13.4 YPR rate represents a step back from his recent output, his catch percentage has increased from 58.9% in 2021 to 62.7% this year.

Allen signed his $20MM/year deal in September 2020, an accord that made him the second-highest-paid wideout in the league at the time. That marked the second extension the Chargers authorized for Allen since they selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft, and he has largely justified the team’s faith in him. From 2017-21, Allen averaged over 101 receptions and 1,180 yards per season, all of which culminated in Pro Bowl nods. He has never been the home run threat that Williams is, but he is about as reliable as a receiver can be.

Although the 2022 season has been a wash for Allen thus far, a return to his typical form would be a significant development for a Chargers club that is 5-4 and currently just outside the AFC playoff picture. Per Thiry, the team is also set to welcome back right tackle Trey Pipkins III, who missed LA’s Week 10 loss to the 49ers due to a knee injury.

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’ Keenan Allen To Return In Week 7

The Chargers will have both members of their one-two WR punch available today. Keenan Allen will return after missing the last six contests with a hamstring injury.

The ailment was initially believed not to be particularly serious, and the 30-year-old suggested he could be ready to play on a short week in the aftermath of the Chargers’ Week 1 win. Allen posted 66 yards on four catches in that game, once again operating as the dependable pass-catcher he has established himself as throughout his career.

However, his rehab attempts were unsuccessful at first. Allen acknowledged last week that he pushed the hamstring too hard, which led to a setback. In his absence, the Chargers have still been plenty effective through the air; the team ranks fifth in the league entering today’s action, averaging 286 passing yards per game.

Still, the return of Allen will be a welcomed sight for the Los Angeles offense. The five-time Pro Bowler had his fifth career 1,000-yard season in 2021, and was expected to pair with Mike Williams to give the Chargers one of the top receiving duos in the league. From a financial perspective, that was certainly the team’s intention when they signed the latter to a three-year, $60MM deal this offseason, to go along with the three seasons remaining on Allen’s deal which include significant cap figures.

As the team has confirmed, fellow wideout Josh Palmer is out for today’s game against the Seahawks. The second-year receiver ranks second at the position with 240 yards, so Allen will have a significant role available to him. However, Daniel Popper of The Athletic tweets that he will be on a snap count as he looks to round back into form.

Injury Notes: Allen, Colts, Dalton, Zappe

The Chargers have been without Keenan Allen since he suffered a hamstring injury during the team’s season opener. While he has yet to officially be ruled out for Monday night’s game against the Broncos, it appears his return will come no earlier than Week 7.

The 30-year-old said as much when speaking to NFL Network’s Bridget Condon. Allen was expected to be on the field by this point in the season after suffering the injury, but a setback pushed his recovery timeline into October. “I wouldn’t say it was going well,” Allen said of his first rehab attempt. “I think I pushed a little too fast. I wasn’t ready obviously and reaggravated it.”

Here are some other injury updates ahead of tomorrow’s action:

  • The Colts have had an extended rest period prior to Week 6 by virtue of playing on Thursday night last week. However, they will still be without running back Jonathan Taylor, as the team confirmed on Saturday. His absence against the Broncos placed a higher burden on backup Nyheim Hines, but he, in turn, left that contest with a concussion. Per the team’s injury report, Hines will also miss tomorrow’s game against the Jaguars as he recovers, leaving Indianapolis particularly thin at the position.
  • For the third consecutive week, the Saints will turn to quarterback Andy Dalton as their starter. Head coach Dennis Allen confirmed that the veteran will fill in for Jameis Winston, who is continuing to deal with back and ankle injuries. With him still sidelined, Dalton will face the Bengals, with whom he spent the first nine years of his career. While he will be eyeing his second New Orleans win against his old squad, he will be without his top receiving target; Michael Thomas has also been ruled out and will miss his third straight contest.
  • Jeremy Fowler of adds that Winston will be active and in uniform (Twitter link). The Saints will only turn to him in the event of an injury to Dalton, but proceeding in this fashion means that the team does not have to promote a practice squad passer, which would then require a corresponding release. Indeed, the Saints waived QB Jake Luton on Saturday to help make room for their WR and DB needs (h/t Mike Triplett of on Twitter).
  • Sticking with the QB position, the Patriots are in store for a repeat of last week’s decisive win over the Lions. Rookie Bailey Zappe is expected to start once again, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. He was thrust into the No. 1 role after Mac Jones‘ ankle sprain and Brian Hoyer‘s concussion. Jones has officially been listed as questionable, but it is unlikely that he will be able to suit up, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The news is an encouraging step for the 2021 first-rounder regarding his recovery, though. Zappe and the Patriots will, on the other hand, be without receiver Nelson Agholor, who was ruled out on Saturday.

AFC Injury Notes: Ravens, Watt, Bengals

J.K. Dobbins returned to practice today, with the running back hoping to make his long-awaited return to the field this Sunday. The Ravens running back admitted that his injury “wasn’t just a normal ACL,” with Dobbins explaining that he tore his ACL, LCL, hamstring, and meniscus at the end of the 2021 preseason (per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley on Twitter). It’s been just over a year since Dobbins suffered his injury.

“It would mean the world to me if I can go out there this Sunday and play well in front of a full house,” Dobbins said (via Hensley).

Fellow running back Gus Edwards also missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, but thanks to his placement on PUP, he’ll have to sit out the first four games of the season. Still, Edwards took to Instagram to tell fans that he continues to progress in his recovery and eventual return to the field.

“For everybody wondering about my recovery I’m doing great and I’m very close,” Edwards wrote.

More injury notes from around the AFC…

  • The news keeps getting better for T.J. Watt and the Steelers. The star linebacker could recover from his partially torn pectoral muscle within five weeks, according to Aaron Wilson of There was initial fear that Watt had completely torn his pec, which would have ended his season. The news quickly got better; we learned yesterday that Watt wouldn’t need surgery and could be back within six weeks.
  • Bengals long snapper Clark Harris is expected to miss an extended amount of time after tearing his biceps, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). While Zac Taylor didn’t want to rule out the LS for the season, he did acknowledge that the 38-year-old will miss at least a few months (via ESPN’s Ben Baby on Twitter). Harris, a one-time Pro Bowler, has been with the organization since 2009. Cal Adomitis will get the first shot to replace Harris at long snapper.
  • J.C. Jackson has been listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Chiefs, and Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said earlier this week that the cornerback has a “50-50” shot at playing (per NFL Network’s James Palmer on Twitter). Jackson previously suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss the team’s Week 1 victory over the Raiders. After earning a second-team All-Pro nod with the Patriots in 2021, Jackson joined Los Angeles this offseason on a five-year, $82.5MM deal. Meanwhile, both Chargers wideout Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (ankle) have been ruled out for Thursday’s showdown.
  • Mac Jones dealt with back spasms following the Patriots‘ Week 1 loss to the Dolphins, but the quarterback continues to improve, according to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi (on Twitter). A source told Giardi that the QB is “doing everything he needs to” in order to be on the field for this weekend’s matchup against the Steelers. Jones and the Patriots offense struggled during the season opener, with the second-year QB guiding New England to only one touchdown.

Keenan Allen Unlikely For Week 2?

9:50pm: In a postgame interview, Allen claimed he “possibly” can play in Week 2 after today’s hamstring injury, according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. When reminded that the Chargers have a short week before their Thursday night matchup in Kansas City, Allen amended his “possibly” to a “small possibly.”

6:54pm: Los Angeles was rolling on offense before veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen left the game in the first half with an apparent hamstring injury. Allen pulled up in the middle of running a route, grabbed him hamstring, and limped directly off the field and to the blue medical tent. After initially being announced as questionable to return, he was quickly downgraded to “out,” according to Bridget Condon of NFL Network. 

Allen was a huge part of the Chargers’ early success on Sunday, reeling in four catches for 66 yards in less than two quarters of football. Without Allen in the second half, Los Angeles’ offense grew stagnant, allowing the Raiders to claw their way back into the game.

In Allen’s absence, quarterback Justin Herbert had to really spread out his targets. Newly re-signed Mike Williams is the obvious answer to step up with Allen out, but the Las Vegas defense mobbed Williams for much of the remainder of the game, forcing Herbert to find other targets to pass to. The running backs and tight ends got heavily involved in the passing game with Gerald Everett, Tre’ McKitty, Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Zander Horvath reeling in 14 receptions between the five of them.

Allen has been with the Chargers for nine years dating back to their time in San Diego. Even with Williams hot on his heels, Allen has been the leading receiver for the Chargers in every healthy season of his career, except for last season when Williams outgained Allen by eight yards. It’s unknown how much time Allen is expected to miss, but, in the meantime, the Chargers will count on wideouts DeAndre Carter, Joshua Palmer, and Jalen Guyton to open up the field for Williams.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap 

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/6/21

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Trent Scott

Cleveland Browns

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans