Kwon Alexander

Contract Details: Godchaux, Reiff, Alexander

Some recent deals and extensions have been signed around the NFL. We’ve provided some updates on those contracts below:

  • Davon Godchaux, DT (Patriots): Two-year, $20.8MM extension, including $17.85MM guaranteed. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter), Godchaux got a $10.5MM signing bonus, and he’ll have a base salary worth $1.5MM in 2022. The extension reduced the defensive lineman’s cap hit from $10.25MM to $8.75MM.
  • Riley Reiff, OT (Bears): One-year deal worth a maximum amount of $12.5MM ($10MM likely to be earned). Per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the Bears structured Reiff’s contract in such a way that it will count for just $3MM against the cap next season. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune provides more details on Twitter, noting that the lineman will earn a $3MM base salary, and he’ll earn another $4.5MM if he’s on the field for 10% of his team’s offense snaps. There are also incentives tied to offensive categories and a playoff appearance.
  • Kwon Alexander, LB (Jets): One-year deal. Contract is worth $1.12MM with a $152K signing bonus, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic (on Twitter). His cap hit will be around that $1.12MM mark for the 2022 campaign.

Jets To Sign LB Kwon Alexander

The Jets had a standing offer out to Kwon Alexander, and the veteran linebacker will accept it. Alexander agreed to terms with the Jets on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal.

A former Buccaneers starter, Alexander has moved to the 49ers and Saints over the course of his seven-year career. The 49ers stretch is rather pertinent here, with current Jets HC Robert Saleh having coached the off-ball ‘backer during his stay as San Francisco’s DC.

Alexander, 28 next week, visited the Jets back in April. It is unclear how long the Jets’ offer has been on the table, but no other teams have been connected to the former Pro Bowler this offseason. The Saints made Alexander a cap casualty in March, and he will head to a fourth NFL organization shortly after the start of training camp.

Saleh has already signed ex-49er charges D.J. Reed and Solomon Thomas this offseason. Alexander played for the 49ers from 2019-20, though his tenure did not go so well. Given a lucrative deal to leave Tampa for San Francisco, Alexander went down with a torn pectoral muscle early in his first 49ers season. This came after an ACL tear ended his Bucs tenure midway through the 2018 season. Despite the ACL tear, the 49ers gave the ex-fourth-round pick a four-year, $54MM deal. That pact preceded the Jets’ decision to hand C.J. Mosley a market-topping — by a wide margin, at the time — five-year, $85MM pact.

The 49ers moved on with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw as their three-down linebackers, trading Alexander during the 2020 season. In New Orleans, Alexander started 15 games — including eight last season. The 2021 campaign involved more Alexander injury trouble, with an elbow injury sidelining him for an early-season stretch. He rebounded to make 50 tackles (seven for loss) and tally 3.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus graded Alexander just inside its top 50 at linebacker, though the advanced metrics site viewed him as a plus coverage ‘backer.

The Jets have Mosley and Quincy Williams poised to be their three-down linebackers, but a significant experience void existed between the full-timers and the backups. The Jets view Alexander as an option to work alongside the full-timers in base sets, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Alexander, whose Pro Bowl nod came back in 2017, will be in position to bridge that gap and carve out a decent role for himself in New York.

Riley Reiff, Kwon Alexander Remain On Jets’ Radar

With training camps looming, several big names remain free agents. Two paid visits to the Jets earlier this offseason. While neither Riley Reiff nor Kwon Alexander signed with the team after their respective meetings, both have the option to join ahead of camp.

The Jets made offers to Alexander and Reiff, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, who notes both still have the option to accept and sign on with the rebuilding team (subscription required). The Jets have set their prices here, however, with Hughes adding that — as was the case with the team’s Larry Ogunjobi interest — GM Joe Douglas is not prepared to deviate from his initial offers to either player.

It is understandable, at this point in the offseason, Douglas will not follow through with a perceived overpay for players not expected to be starters. The Jets are uncertain which positions their starting tackles will play, but George Fant and Mekhi Becton are in line to be the team’s first-stringers. Ditto for C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams as three-down linebackers. With neither Reiff nor Alexander having been connected to other teams this offseason, they may need to revisit the Jets’ offers at some point.

That said, the Jets lost out on a few marquee wide receivers this year after showing interest and/or making major offers. Tyreek Hill chose the Dolphins, while Amari Cooper went to the Browns for the cost of two Day 3 picks. The 49ers may not have been ready to trade Deebo Samuel during the draft, but the Jets’ proposal involving the No. 10 overall pick included the 49ers’ second-round choice coming back. Granted those were higher-stakes negotiations than those involving late-offseason UFAs, but Hughes adds that if offers are equal, players should be considered unlikely to commit to the Jets over a team with legitimate playoff aspirations.

Reiff, 33, makes sense for a few teams as a potential starter option, having worked as a first-stringer for almost all of his 10-year career. He would represent Becton insurance in New York. Alexander, 27, played for Saleh for parts of two seasons (2019-20) before a midseason trade to the Saints. But he did not pan out in San Francisco. Alexander’s 2019 49ers contract may well have had an impact on the Jets’ previous regime needing to pay Mosley a then-record (for off-ball linebackers) $17MM per year. Alexander started eight games for the Saints last season.

Jets Still Eyeing Kwon Alexander

The Jets’ defense has undergone plenty of changes this offseason, but the unit could see a few other additions in the near future. One free agent the team is still keeping tabs on is linebacker Kwon Alexander

According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets are still “interested” in the veteran. This isn’t the first time the two parties have been connected, meaning that New York eyeing Alexander even after the draft comes as little surprise.

The Jets hosted Alexander on a visit in mid-April, signalling the potential that they could add him to their linebacking corps. The 27-year-old was at his best with his initial team, the Buccaneers. It was in Tampa Bay in 2017 that he was named a Pro Bowler for the first and only time in his career.

That led to plenty of optimism when he joined the 49ers on a big-money deal. The LSU product wasn’t able to live up to the expectations that came with that deal, however, and he only suited up for 13 contests in San Francisco. Most recently, he was in New Orleans after the Saints traded for him. Registering eight starts in 12 games this past campaign, he totalled 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

That obviously wasn’t enough to earn him a deal in the initial waves of free agency, but it generated at least some interest from the Jets. If he were to end up in the Big Apple, he would once again play under Robert Saleh, and add a veteran presence to the team’s LB room. New York has C.J. Mosley on a lucrative contract; he would currently project as a starter alongside Quincy Williams – who is heading into a contract year. Other, younger, options remain slated for rotational roles after the team elected not to draft another option.

Kwon Alexander Visiting Jets

The Jets are in line to make significant additions to their roster next week in the draft. They are still keeping tabs on the free agent market, though, as they are hosting veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander today (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). 

Alexander, 27, has been in the NFL for seven years. He had a highly productive start to his career in Tampa Bay after they drafted him in the fourth round. In four seasons there, he totalled 380 tackles, seven sacks and six interceptions. In 2017, he earned his lone Pro Bowl nod.

His tenure with the Buccaneers came to an end after his rookie contract expired, though. He signed a four-year, $54MM deal with the 49ers in 2019. With injuries becoming a problem, however, his time in San Francisco was limited to just 13 games. It did, on the other hand, give Alexander a chance to play under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who is now head coach of the Jets.

The LSU product was traded to New Orleans in the middle of the 2020 season, as the 49ers offloaded the lucrative contract they had signed him to just one year earlier. Alexander helped fill one of the lone roster holes on a strong Saints defense, starting all seven games he played in. That convinced the team to bring him back (after cutting him in the offseason to save cap space), and he registered 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2021.

In New York, Alexander would not only reunite with Saleh, but add experience to the team’s LB corps. The Jets have C.J. Mosley at the top of the depth chart, along with Quincy Williams (who is a free agent next season) and a number of younger options. Signing Alexander would add a starting-caliber player in the middle of a defense looking to improve across the board from its 2021 performance.

Inside Linebacker Market

There are many inside linebackers waiting patiently on the open market. A wild first week of free agency has come and gone with other positions seeing record deals and big names moving. The market for inside linebackers, however, has been quiet and less than lucrative.

In years past, we’ve seen monster deals to players like C.J. Mosley, whose contract has an average annual value of $17MM and guaranteed him $43MM at signing, and Darius Leonard, whose contract has an average annual value of $19.7MM and guaranteed him $33MM at signing. The largest payout we’ve seen this offseason to an inside linebacker was when the Packers kept De’Vondre Campbell from entering free agency with a five-year, $50MM deal, with a guaranteed $15MM. It’s certainly an impressive deal, and one the esteemed linebacker deserves, but no other deals have come close.

After being cut by the Jaguars, Myles Jack signed a two-year, $16MM deal to become a Steeler. Josey Jewell remained with the Broncos after signing a two-year, $11MM deal. Minnesota’s new inside linebacker, Jordan Hicks, joined the Vikings on a two-year, $10MM contract. Christian Kirksey signed a similar deal to remain with the Texans. We’ve seen a few other small deals like Zaire Franklin signing a three-year, $10MM deal to remain in Indianapolis and Alex Anzalone signing a one-year, $2.25MM contract to play another year with the Lions.

While that may sound pretty active, there are many big names who have yet to find deals. The biggest of these names is Bobby Wagner. Cut after ten outstanding years in Seattle, Wagner was expected to be a highly sought after free agent. While there have been many teams who’ve voiced interest in the eight-time All-Pro, there has been no word of negotiations. Any deal Wagner signs will likely top the numbers posed by Campbell and the Packers, but the fact that he has yet to find a home may hint at the fact that the money he’s looking for isn’t being offered.

There are many other impact names on the open market: Kwon Alexander, Jayon Brown, Jarrad Davis, Dont’a Hightower, Anthony Hitchens, Nick Kwiatkoski, Reggie Ragland, Joe Schobert, and Danny Trevathan.

Due to the low spending we’ve seen thus far and the plethora of names available, these players will likely have to search for the right fit and accept a decent deal if offered. They may end up having to wait until injuries provide an opportunity for them to fill in on a roster. The exception, of course, is Wagner, who can afford to be patient. Wagner will have the luxury of being able to wait and see how rosters form throughout the league, biding his time until he’s sure he’s joining a contender. Look for the others to give up on looking for a lucrative payday and settle for decent deals from teams with schemes they like.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints Shuffle Roster, Activate Three Players From IR

The Saints are welcoming back three players for tonight’s game against the Seahawks. Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans is activating linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith from IR. The three players returned to practice last week, and they’ll all be eligible to play tonight.

The Saints also promoted wideout Kevin White from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team released center Will Clapp and defensive tackle Albert Huggins (via Underhill on Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, while Smith (hamstring) landed on IR a bit earlier than that. The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, and he registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Smith’s injury dogged him for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

White joined the Saints back in August, and he later landed on the team’s practice squad. The former first-round pick got into three games with the 49ers in 2020, but he only saw nine snaps on offense. Clapp was a seventh-round pick by the Saints in 2018, and he got into 27 games (four starts) through three-plus seasons with the team. Huggins has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2019. He saw time in four games (one start) for the Saints this season, collecting seven tackles and two QB hits.

Saints Designate LB Kwon Alexander, DE Marcus Davenport, WR Tre’Quan Smith For Return

The Saints are about to get some reinforcement. The team designated linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith for return from injured reserve today, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, meaning the earliest they could have returned was Week 5.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, providing the player with an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season.

Smith landed on IR a bit earlier than his defensive teammates after suffering a hamstring injury. The injury dogged Smith for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

While the Saints will happily welcome back this trio, they’ll still be without one of the most notable players. While wideout Michael Thomas was eligible to return from PUP this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that there hasn’t been any news on his potential activation.

Saints Place Marcus Davenport, Kwon Alexander On IR

Two Saints defensive starters will be sidelined until at least October. The Saints are placing Marcus Davenport and Kwon Alexander on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Neither Davenport nor Alexander practiced this week due to shoulder and elbow injuries, respectively. They will not be able to return until New Orleans’ Week 5 game.

While Davenport was believed to have suffered a pectoral muscle strain in Week 1, the Saints listed the fourth-year defensive end on their injury report with a shoulder ailment. Davenport’s injury is not expected to keep him out especially long, but the Saints will nevertheless save a roster spot by moving him to IR.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, after having let Trey Hendrickson walk in free agency. Hendrickson signed with the Bengals, leaving Davenport an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. The Saints picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option in May.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this continues a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season. Alexander’s latest malady stands to increase second-year linebacker Zack Baun‘s workload, The Athletic’s Larry Holder tweets. The 2020 third-round pick played 23 defensive snaps in the team’s opener.