Kurt Coleman

Bills To Re-Sign S Kurt Coleman

One Bills cutdown day casualty is about to find himself back with the team. Buffalo is going to re-sign safety Kurt Coleman, according to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (Twitter link).

To make room on the roster, the team will place tight end Jason Croom on inured reserve. The Bills signed Coleman back on July 19th in the wake of fellow safety Rafael Bush’s retirement. Coleman was one of the bigger names that got cut by the Bills yesterday, but his release was apparently only for roster maneuvering purposes. As a vested veteran Coleman wasn’t subjected to waivers, so the Bills could easily add him right back.

The deal Coleman originally signed was for one-year and a little over $1MM but could be worth up to $2MM, and it’s unclear if he’ll get those same terms now. Coleman spent a couple years playing under Bills head coach Sean McDermott when both of them were with the Panthers, so there’s familiarity here. He’ll likely serve as the team’s third safety behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. In his nine-year career, Coleman has made 132 appearances and 83 starts.

Croom signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He didn’t make any appearances as a rookie, but played a real role last year. In 15 games and three starts, he finished with 22 catches for 259 yards and a touchdown.

Bills Reach 53-Man Max

The Bills dropped a host of players on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit, but they also carved out spots by other means. Fifth-round linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) and running back Senorise Perry (quad) were placed on IR while undrafted linebacker Tyrell Dodson was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

Here’s the full list of cut players in Buffalo:

DE Sam Acho
TE Nate Becker
WR Victor Bolden Jr.
TE Kyle Carter
S Kurt Coleman
WR Nick Easley
DE Jeff Holland
QB Tyree Jackson
OT Jarron Jones
LB Deon Lacey
CB Cam Lewis
CB Ryan Lewis
OL Eric Magnuson
WR Ray-Ray McCloud
RB LeSean McCoy
K Chase McLaughlin
CB Captain Munnerlyn
RB Marcus Murphy
DT Kyle Peko
WR Cam Phillips
CB Lafayette Pitts
OL Demetrius Rhaney
CB Denzel Rice
WR David Sills
TE Keith Towbridge
RB Christian Wade
S Abraham Wallace
DT L.T. Walton
WR Duke Williams
DE Eddie Yarbrough
DT Roderick Young

Bills Sign Kurt Coleman; Rafael Bush Retires

Bills safety Rafael Bush has retired after nine seasons in the NFL, according to a team announcement. To replace Bush, the club signed fellow safety Kurt Coleman. Coleman will make just over $1MM on a one-year deal with a chance to make a maximum of $2M, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Bush, 32, was expected to serve as a depth option and round out his two-year pact. Instead, he’s opted to hang ’em up just before the start of training camp. Last year, Bush appeared in 15 games (seven starts) and helped out at the nickel corner spot after Taron Johnson was lost to a torn labrum.

Enter Coleman, 31, who has a long history with head coach Sean McDermott thanks to their time together in Carolina. With the Panthers, Coleman enjoyed the two best seasons of his career. He’ll likely serve as a reserve behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, stepping straight into the role that was supposed to be addressed by Bush.

Bush first appeared in the league as an undrafted free agent with the Broncos in 2011, but made a name for himself with the Saints where he saw frequent action. After five straight seasons in New Orleans, he hooked on with the Lions for 2016, returned to the Saints in 2017, and spent ’18 with Buffalo.

Saints To Release Kurt Coleman

The Saints are releasing safety Kurt Coleman, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). However, the Saints will keep the door open to a potential return later on, Garafolo hears. 

Coleman was due $5.5MM in total compensation this year, a figure that was too high for New Orleans. By cutting him loose, the Saints will save $4MM against the cap with a $3MM dead money hit.

The move leaves the Saints rather thin at safety. The club still has starters Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell under contract, but they have a clear need for backup support. Coleman is out of the picture and Chris Banjo‘s status is up in the air as an unrestricted free agent.

Coleman, 30, had two more years to go on his three-year, $16.35MM deal. It’s safe to assume that his next deal will come in at a much lower average annual value. After starting in every one of his appearances for the Panthers from 2015-2017, Coleman lost his starting job to Bell in 2018 and was first-string for just nine games. All in all, he had 32 tackles and one pass defensed last season.

In previous years, Coleman was extremely effective. In 2015, he reeled in seven interceptions for Carolina. He followed that up with four picks in 2016, plus a career-best 95 tackles.

NFC Notes: Redskins, Scherff, Ajayi, Saints

With Zack Martin recently signing a six-year, $84MM contract ($40MM guaranteed) with the Cowboys, Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post says Redskins guard Brandon Scherff is line for a big extension. The lineman has already earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods during his two seasons in the NFL, and he was rated as one of the best guards in the league per Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, with the organization looking to protect their investment in quarterback Alex Smith, it only makes sense to lock in their offensive line.

Fortunately for Scherff, it sounds like the team is more than willing to keep him around.

“His work ethic is off the charts,” said offensive line coach Bill Callahan. “He’s a guy that continually challenges you as a coach and every day wants to get better, wants to know specifically what he needs to work on to improve. We go over that list continually.

“He’s a guy that you just love to coach because you tell him one time and he gets it and he’s got it. You can do a lot of different things with him because he has that type of versatility and that type of adaptability as well.”

Scherff is set to earn $705K in 2018, but that will be bumped to $12.525MM in 2019 when the Redskins presumably pick up his fifth-year option.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Jay Ajayi is expected to sit atop the Eagles depth chart next season, but Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia says that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have have 20-plus carries per game. Rather, the writer expects Ajayi to collect less than 200 total carries on the season, especially when you consider the team’s depth at the position and Ajayi’s persistent knee issues. Acquired in a trade with the Dolphins midseason, the running back ultimately appeared in seven games (one start) for the Eagles in 2017, compiling 408 rushing yards and one score on 70 carries. He also collected 42 carries in the playoffs, including a nine-carry, 57-yard performance in the Super Bowl.
  • After being released by the Panthers in February, safety Kurt Coleman quickly signed a three-year deal with the Saints that contained more than $6MM in guaranteed money. It sounds like the organization had high hopes when they signed the defensive back to the contract, as Larry Holder of NOLA.com says Coleman could end up replacing Vonn Bell in the starting lineup. The 30-year-old played in 12 games for Carolina last season, compiling 76 tackles and three passes defended. On the flip side, Bell, 23, was plenty productive last year, finishing with 83 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
  • We learned yesterday that Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham is facing a one-game suspension.

Extra Points: Vikings, Giants, Norwell, Saints

Remember Zac Stacy? The former Rams and Jets running back is attempting an NFL comeback, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who spotted Stacy at Vanderbilt’s Pro Day earlier today. Stacy, who turns 27 next month, hasn’t played since 2015, and announced his retirement at this time last year following an ankle injury. The Rams’ starter as a rookie in 2013, Stacy racked up 973 yards and seven touchdowns during his only campaign as a team’s primary back. New York eventually acquired Stacy for a seventh-round pick, but he managed only 31 total rushes before hanging up his cleats.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Now that Kirk Cousins is closing in on a fully guaranteed deal with the Vikings, at least one source tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link) that Minnesota could ask running back Latavius Murray or defensive end Brian Robison to accept a pay cut in 2018. Murray got into the end zone eight times in 2017, but he’s due to count more than $6MM on next year’s cap and isn’t a lock to start given that rookie sensation Dalvin Cook will return from injury. Robison, meanwhile, hasn’t even decided if he’ll play during the upcoming season. If he retires, the Vikings will pick up $3.488MM in cap space, the same total as if he retires.
  • Guard Andrew Norwell was considered the Giants‘ primary free agent target this offseason, and while he ultimately landed with the Jaguars, New York’s offer was close if not the same as Jacksonville’s, tweets Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Norwell is now the league’s highest-paid after receiving $13MM annually (and $30MM guaranteed) on a five-year deal. New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman originally signed Norwell as an undrafted free agent in Carolina, so the connection made plenty of sense, but Norwell simply chose the Jaguars, per Raanan.
  • New details have emerged on veteran safety Kurt Coleman‘s three-year deal with the Saints, as Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com writes. In total, the pact is worth $16.35MM, but Coleman can earn another $2.25MM via incentives. Coleman will collect $6.2MM in full guarantees, $4.5MM of which will come in the form of a signing bonus. However, Coleman’s new contract is heavily back-loaded, as his 2018 cap charge is just $3.3MM. New Orleans will have a decision to make in 2019, as Coleman has a $500K roster bonus on the third day of the league year — he could be released with $3MM in dead money accelerating onto the club’s cap.

Extra Points: Broncos, Cousins, Coleman

Despite the Broncos being interested in Kirk Cousins throughout the offseason, they moved on Case Keenum and reached an agreement before the Cousins domino fell. The Broncos, who do not have as much cap space as their top Cousins competitors do, spoke with the quarterback’s representation on Monday but did not submit an official offer, James Palmer of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The team’s Keenum agreement being at least $18MM represented a significant discount from Cousins’ near-$30MM-AAV deal — one expected to be with the Vikings. Despite Cousins having proven more than Keenum, Broncos brass moved quickly on this agreement and was on the same page about the belated breakout passer. Palmer reports that went a long way toward completing this deal. Gary Kubiak is currently serving as a top Broncos front office bastion. Kubiak initially brought Keenum into the NFL as a UDFA while serving as Texans HC.

Here’s more from Denver and elsewhere around the league on Day 2 of pre-free agency.

  • Now that the Broncos lost one of the UFAs they were trying to keep, when Corey Nelson agreed to terms with the Eagles, Denver is trying to retain a higher-profile linebacker. The Broncos are expected to try and ramp up their efforts to retain Todd Davis before he hits free agency on Wednesday, Mike Klis of 9News reports (on Twitter). This would continue a change of pace for the John Elway-era Broncos. Previous offseasons saw off-ball ‘backers Wesley Woodyard, Nate Irving and Danny Trevathan depart. But in 2016, Elway authorized an $8MM-per-year deal for Brandon Marshall. Davis almost certainly won’t cost that much, profiling as more of a two-down thumper than sideline-to-sideline rover who can reliably operate in coverage, but he won’t come cheap since he’s been a two-year starter on one of the league’s top defenses.
  • Kurt Coleman took two visits before agreeing to join the Saints, meeting with the Giants and Bengals, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com tweets. Coleman has bounced around the league, with his most recent stop being his most notable since the Panthers deployed him as a three-year starter — including in Super Bowl 50 — and signed him to an extension in 2016. Despite having played for three teams and having started 74 games, Coleman won’t turn 30 until July. The Giants are in need of a safety to complement Landon Collins. The Bengals, though, don’t have as obvious a need on their back line.

Saints Sign DB Kurt Coleman

The Saints added some reinforcement at safety overnight. Following a meeting earlier this week, the team has signed former Panthers defensive back Kurt Coleman, reports Nick Underhill of The Advocate (via Twitter). Underhill notes (via Twitter) that it’s a three-year deal for Coleman, while NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds that the deal is worth $18MM, with $6.5MM due in the first year of the contract.

Kurt Coleman (Vertical)Coleman, a 2010 seventh-round pick out of Ohio State, bounced around the league during his first few years in the NFL. He ultimately landed with the Panthers in 2015, and he proceeded to start 30 games for the organization between 2015 and 2016. During that two-year stretch, Coleman finished each campaign with at least 90 tackles, seven passes defended, and four interceptions. However, the 29-year-old took a bit of a step back in 2017, compiling 76 tackles, three passes defended, and zero interceptions. These numbers ultimately earned him a bottom-10 safety ranking according to Pro Football Focus.

Despite the struggles, Coleman should still get an opportunity to play next season in New Orleans. The Saints aren’t expected to re-sign defensive back Kenny Vaccaro, meaning Coleman could play plenty in the team’s three-safety sets. He’ll ultimately compete with Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams for playing time, but there should be more than enough snaps for the trio.

The Saints weren’t the only team to express interest in the veteran safety. According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell (via Twitter), the Bengals also offered Coleman a three-year deal.

Bengals Meet With Kurt Coleman

The Bengals took a meeting with free agent safety Kurt Coleman at the combine earlier tonight, reports Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. Cincinnati becomes the known club to have visited with Coleman, joining New Orleans on the list of teams with interest in the veteran defensive back.Kurt Coleman (Vertical)

Coleman could join the Bengals as a third safety (the club has used player such as Chris Crocker or Josh Shaw in that role in recent seasons), but it’s not out of the question Cincinnati could install Coleman as a starter and cut one its incumbent safeties. George Iloka and Shawn Williams each offered league-average production in the Bengals’ defensive backfield in 2017, and the team could create cap space — $4.4MM for Iloka, $2.872MM for Willams — by cutting either.

More likely though, Coleman would offer depth for Cincinnati, as his performance last season wasn’t indicative of a starting caliber performer. Coleman was productive for the Panthers in 2015-16, so much through that Carolina gave him an extension that was to lock him up 2019. But Coleman struggled in 2017, and the Panthers opted to open up $2.65MM in cap room by parting ways with the 29-year-old.

Saints Meeting With DB Kurt Coleman

Kurt Coleman was released by the Panthers on Monday, but he’s already lined up a meeting with another NFC South club. Coleman met with a Saints contingent in Indianapolis today, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com, who adds (via Twitter) Coleman is expected to visit with multiple teams while at the combine."<strong

The Saints — who have historically played a good deal of three-safety looks — aren’t expected to re-sign defensive back Kenny Vaccaro, so Coleman would give New Orleans another option to play in sub packages. He’d also add experience and leadership to a safety group that includes young starter Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams, each of whom entered the league within the past two years.

Coleman, 29, was a solid starter for Carolina in 2015-16, but struggled last season, grading as a bottom-10 safety per Pro Football Focus. That performance wasn’t enough for Coleman to keep his job, especially given that he was scheduled to count for $5.15MM on the Panthers’ salary cap in 2018.

Now that he’s on the open market, Coleman is part of a free agent safety class which also includes Lamarcus Joyner, Eric Reid, Morgan Burnett, Tre Boston, and Vaccaro.