Landon Collins

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Commanders To Cut Landon Collins

The Commanders are set to release Landon Collins (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The two sides tried to come to terms on a pay cut, but the safety preferred to try his luck on the open market.

The old regime gave Collins a six-year, $84MM deal in 2019. That pact made him the first safety in league history to crack the $14MM/year mark. Now, midway through the megadeal, the Commanders are going to bid farewell to the 28-year-old. Releasing Collins will save $6.6MM against roughly $10MM in dead money for 2022.

By all accounts, the Commanders would have been happy to keep Collins — just not at his $16.1MM cap figure. To his credit, Collins was mostly healthy in 2021, appearing in 13 games as a linebacker/safety. Plenty of teams will have interest in the veteran, though he won’t match his previous deal. This year’s safety market — headlined by the likes of Marcus Williams, Tyrann Mathieu, and Jessie Bates III – offers more bang for the buck elsewhere.

Collins finished 2021 with 81 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and three sacks across 13 games. Now, he’ll look to reassert himself elsewhere when free agency opens on March 16.

Commanders Seeking Landon Collins Pay Cut

Landon Collins was the first safety to secure a contract worth at least $14MM per year. Three years after authorizing that deal, Washington plans to give the hybrid defender an ultimatum.

The Commanders are asking Collins to take a pay cut, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. If the veteran refuses, the team will cut him. A Collins release would save the Commanders $6.6MM while saddling the team with nearly $10MM in dead money.

This is not the same front office that gave Collins a six-year, $84MM deal in 2019, and although Keim adds the Ron Rivera regime would like Collins to stay, they do not plan to retain him on a team-high $16.1MM cap number (Twitter link). Collins, 28, bounced back from an October 2020 injury to play in 13 games last season. Washington deployed the former second-round pick as a linebacker-safety hybrid, and the team would use him in that capacity again in 2022 — if he agrees to the pay reduction.

“Yeah, for what he does and playing that position, he can be a dynamic guy for us,” Rivera said of Collins’ hybrid role, via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. “He’s a guy that made an impact when he played that position.”

Known more for his box work than coverage skills, Collins would not come especially close to matching his current average salary on the market. The ex-Giants Pro Bowler would certainly draw interest and would help the Commanders this season if retained. Although he did not factor in prominently to Washington’s top-five defense in 2020, Collins finished with 81 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three sacks last season.

Washington has Kamren Curl tethered to his rookie deal, but 2021 pickup Bobby McCain is a free agent and Deshazor Everett is embroiled in serious legal trouble. The team wants to retain McCain, Jhabvala adds. McCain, 28, has also played multiple positions as a pro, moving between safety and cornerback. He started 16 games last season. Washington signed McCain, whom the Dolphins cut, to a one-year accord worth close to the league minimum last year.

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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/24/21

Here are the NFL moves from Christmas Eve:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Landon Collins Done For The Year

Washington picked up their first win of the year since Week 1 when they crushed the Cowboys on Sunday, but that victory now has a dark cloud hanging over it. Safety Landon Collins has suffered an Achilles injury that is believed to be season-ending, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets.

That means it’s almost certainly a torn Achilles for the Alabama product. It’s a brutal blow to a Washington defense that quietly has a lot of talent on it. Washington is 2-5, but thanks to the pitiful state of the NFC East they’re still very much alive in the race for first place and are currently only a half-game back of the Eagles. Collins was drafted by the Giants with the first pick of the second-round back in 2015, and spent his first four seasons in New York.

He then made the jump within the division as a free agent last year, signing a massive six-year, $84MM deal with Washington. Torn Achilles’ can obviously be tricky, and Collins should at the very least miss most of next offseason. Hopefully he’s able to make a full recovery in time for the 2021 season.

Collins, who made the Pro Bowl three straight years from 2016-18, had been an every down player for Washington this season. He had a crucial strip-sack of Andy Dalton early in the game before going down. He’ll finish the season with 41 tackles, two sacks, and an interception.

NFC East Notes: Elliott, Eagles, Redskins

The Cowboys‘ strategy of prioritizing extension for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper over Ezekiel Elliott have seemingly influenced the two-time rushing champion to consider a holdout. While Elliott is signed through the 2020 season and can be controlled on a 2021 franchise tag, a path the Cowboys appear to be pondering, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap tweets the team’s best move would be to extend Elliott now in order to have the remaining $12.9MM on his contract become part of the extension’s guarantee structure. The Cowboys should structure a deal that would enable them to cut bait after the first year of the extension, which if done now would be 2021, Fitzgerald adds (on Twitter). That would be unlikely to happen if Elliott heads into 2020 without an extension. Having not yet met the service-time requirements for free agency, Elliott must report to the Cowboys by Aug. 6. This gives the team considerable leverage against a 2019 holdout. A 2020 holdout would become more complicated.

With the NFC East teams wrapping up their offseasons, here is the latest out of this division:

  • Several Redskins players missed out on some cash this offseason. By either not showing up, in Trent Williams‘ case, to the offseason program (or failing to be there for 90% of it), Williams, Josh Norman, Landon Collins, Paul Richardson, Quinton Dunbar and Vernon Davis missed out on some bonus cash, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Norman led the way on this front, seeing $200K docked from his 2019 salary. Collins was docked $175K, with Williams and Richardson down $150K.
  • Staying with Washington, their free safety job still figures to be Montae Nicholson‘s to lose, J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes. This comes despite the Redskins suspending him in December, for an off-field arrest that resulted in dropped charges, and Jay Gruden expressing annoyance Nicholson missed the early portion of Redskins OTAs. Washington did not draft a safety, and Pro Football Focus graded Nicholson as its fifth-worst back-line defender last season. Still, Finlay expects the third-year player to have a major say in who starts alongside Collins.
  • Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders and Corey Clement will be on the Eagles‘ 53-man roster, leaving recent draft picks Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Donnel Pumphrey in danger of the waiver wire. Despite the Eagles investing in each of these players out of college, Saints 2018 sixth-round pick Boston Scott looks like the early favorite to be the Eagles’ fourth running back, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. Possessing a Darren Sproles-type physique at 5-foot-6 and 203 pounds, Scott has yet to take a regular-season handoff. But his experience as a punt returner may give him the edge, per Zangaro. Adams (511 yards) and Smallwood (364) were Philadelphia’s two leading rushers last season.
  • The Giants will join the Eagles in having a project offensive lineman in camp. After Philly drafted tackle Jordan Mailata in last year’s seventh round, the Giants signed college shot putter Austin Droogsma. The Giants signed Droogsma, who last played football as a high-schooler 2012, in May and will try the 6-4, 345-pound track convert as a guard, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes. While at Florida State, Droogsma won the 2018 ACC indoor and outdoor titles and finished both seasons as an All-American. Mailata, a rugby standout, spent most of last season on the Eagles’ practice squad; the Giants’ P-squad would seem like the best-case scenario for Droogsma in 2019.

Giants Never Made Offer To Landon Collins

The Giants had 14-plus months of exclusive negotiating rights with Landon Collins. Although his contract came up in reports in that span, no serious negotiations were reported to have commenced.

Collins took that a step further, indicating (via NJ.com’s Ryan Dunleavy) the Giants did not make him an offer.

I wanted to be one of those guys to finish his career on one team,” Collins said. “They didn’t give me the opportunity to do that. It’s a business. I can’t do anything about that. … They never made an offer. I knew when they were about to trade me how it was going to go. Very, very eye-opening.”

Trade offers, one from the Buccaneers including a third-rounder, came in for Collins before the 2018 deadline. But the Giants stood pat. They then opted not to use their franchise tag, which would have meant an $11.15MM 2019 price, letting Collins hit free agency. His Redskins deal reset the safety market in a major way. Collins signed for $14MM per year; he and Tyrann Mathieu are now the league’s highest-paid safeties.

The Giants prioritized an Odell Beckham Jr. extension in 2018, doing so as Collins entered his contract year. Neither are part of the 2019 Giants. New York replaced Collins with Jabrill Peppers, acquired in that Beckham trade with the Browns.

Giants Notes: Collins, Rosen, Draft

Earlier this month, the Giants lost Landon Collins to the rival Redskins in free agency, meaning that they will get nothing more than a 2020 compensatory pick in exchange for one of the game’s best young safeties. Meanwhile, they had an opportunity to trade him prior to last year’s deadline, when they probably could have gotten something in the 2019 draft.

That leaves GM Dave Gettleman with some explaining to do, though he downplayed the previously received trade offers when speaking with reporters this week.

The rumor that we were offered a first-round draft pick isn’t even remotely accurate. … Did we have teams call? Yes. But at that point in time I didn’t think (the offers we got were) what he was worth,” Gettleman said (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

We don’t recall hearing that the Giants were offered a first-round pick for Collins last year, but we did recently learn that the Buccaneers offered a third-rounder before the deadline. The difference between a third-round pick in 2019 and a compensatory pick in 2020 might not sound like much, but there is definitely a value gap between a surefire pick in the immediate draft and a chance to receive a similarly slotted pick one year later.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Some in the Giants organization liked Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen in the draft last year, but it sounds like he ranked third or fourth out of five first-round QBs on their board, Vacchiano hears. They could explore a trade for Rosen now, but their concern remains the same: Would Rosen’s personality play well in New York? Rosen has been known to be outspoken whereas Eli Manning has survived in the country’s No. 1 media market by staying controversy-free.
  • The Giants could take a QB at No. 6 overall, but Gettleman is not locked in on any signal caller the way in the same he was focused on Saquon Barkley in last year’s draft, according to Vacchiano. Instead, the Giants could target one of this year’s pass rushers with their first pick.

Contract Details: Collins, Morse, Graham

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts from around the NFL:

  • Landon Collins, S (Redskins): Six years, $84MM deal, $45MM guaranteed. $15MM signing bonus, $6MM option bonus for 2024 (exercised between first and fifth of 2020). Deal includes $32MM guaranteed over the first two seasons. $5MM of his 2021 salary is guaranteed at signing. Salaries: $1MM (2019), $10MM (2020), $12.5MM (2021), $11.5MM (2022), $12.5MM (2023), $13.5MM (2024). All Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, and ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
  • Mitch Morse, C (Bills): Four years, $44.5MM, $26.5MM guaranteed (original story). Receives $19.5MM in 2019, $28.375MM in 2020. Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.
  • Brandon Graham, DE (Eagles): Three years, $40MM. $23.5MM guaranteed. $12.5MM signing bonus. Salary: $1MM (2019), $10MM (2020). Team option for 2021: $13MM salary and $3.5MM option bonus. Twitter link via Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic.
  • Danny Amendola, WR (Lions): One year, $4.5MM. $4.25MM fully guaranteed. $250K in per-game roster bonuses, $1.25MM in incentives. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
  • Tyler Kroft, TE (Bills): Three years, $18.75MM. $8.3MM guaranteed, $2.4MM signing bonus. Will earn $1.8MM salary in 2019, $4.45MM in 2020. Roster bonuses include $2.1MM (2019), $750K (2020), $750K (2021). Twitter links via Wilson and ESPN’s Mike Rodak.