Michael Brockers

Ravens Targeting Defensive Linemen

While the Ravens have already made a notable move in free agency with the addition of safety Marcus Williams, they have needs along the defensive front. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, d-line is the next area of focus for the team through the remainder of free agency. 

[RELATED: Ravens’ DL Wolfe Considering Retirement]

Fowler notes that Calais Campbell – who is an unrestricted free agent – could still return to the Ravens. On the other hand, though, he reports that there is “leaguewide interest” in the 35-year-old. In two seasons in Baltimore, Campbell has recorded 77 tackles and 5.5 sacks. After nine seasons with the Ravens, nose tackle Brandon Williams is also a UFA.

Fowler names Michael Brockers as a potential Baltimore target, given that he could be a cap casualty. Brockers looked to be signing with the Ravens in 2020, but issues related to his medicals led to the deal falling through. The team then pivoted to Derek Wolfe, who had a productive first season with the team but missed all of 2021 due to injury.

As Fowler notes, help in the edge rush department is also a need for the Ravens. They looked to have a deal in place to re-unite with Za’Darius Smith, but he ultimately ended up signing with the Vikings. With most of the pass-rusher market having dried up, many expect the position to be a priority during the draft.

The Ravens currently have just under $11MM in cap space, so at least one notable signing along the front seven is possible. Given the current situation the team faces, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they make a move in the near future.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/3/22

Here are Monday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OT Mike Remmers (remains on IR)

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Raymond Calais (remains on IR)

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

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

Lions, Michael Brockers Agree To New Deal

Michael Brockers agreed to two contracts in free agency last year, coming to terms with both the Ravens and Rams. The veteran defensive lineman now has another new deal, this time with the Lions.

After acquiring Brockers for just a seventh-round pick, the Lions agreed to a new contract with the nine-year vet. Brockers is now attached to a three-year, $24MM contract with the Lions, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

This deal will benefit Brockers in guarantees. After no guarantees remained on his latest Rams extension — also a three-year, $24MM pact — the Lions have included $11MM in guarantees for their newly acquired interior defender. This should move Brockers from being signed through 2022 to being under Lions control through 2023.

After Brockers’ Ravens three-year, $30MM Ravens agreement fell through, the Rams swooped in and re-signed him last March. Aaron Donald‘s longtime D-line sidekick registered five sacks and matched his career high with 10 QB hits in 2020.

Brockers joins Jared Goff in heading from Los Angeles to Detroit, with new GM Brad Holmes bringing in some familiar players to start a rebuild in Detroit. Brockers, 30, has been an ultra-reliable player over the course of his career. He has missed just six games in nine seasons, and one of those came because he landed on the Rams’ reserve/COVID-19 list late last season.

Rams Trade Michael Brockers To Lions For Seventh-Round Pick

Early Wednesday, the Lions acquired defensive lineman Michael Brockers from the Rams. The cost? A 2023 seventh-round pick, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

Lions GM Brad Holmes kicked off his new responsibilities by shipping Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles in a blockbuster trade. This week, he went back to the Rams’ well for Brockers, a 2012 first-round pick who was a bit too pricey for L.A., even though he’s been productive. Last year, Brockers notched five sacks and 51 total stops in 15 games (all stars).

The Rams re-upped Brockers last year on a three-year, $24MM deal after his would-be Ravens agreement fell through. Brockers was a good bet to get cut, saving $6.17MM against the cap with $3.67MM in dead money. Instead, they got something in exchange for him — even if it’s not all that much.

Brockers will join Trey Flowers and newly re-signed edge rusher Romeo Okwara in the Lions’ front seven. Meanwhile, last year’s top nose tackle Danny Shelton is out of the picture following his release.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/8/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves right here:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Andrew Whitworth, Cooper Kupp, Michael Brockers Expected Back This Week

The Rams do not yet know who their starting quarterback will be in their Saturday wild-card game, but they are expecting a few critical reinforcements.

Out since mid-November, Andrew Whitworth remains on Los Angeles’ IR-DTR list. But the Rams expect their left tackle to return against the Seahawks, Sean McVay said Tuesday (via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, on Twitter). McVay also anticipates Cooper Kupp and Michael Brockers, who landed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list last week, to return to practice Wednesday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets.

Whitworth missed the past seven games, having suffered MCL and PCL tears during the Rams’ first Seahawks meeting. The 39-year-old blocker returned to practice last week and has long been reported to have progressed quicker than expected. A return for Rams-Seahawks III would certainly boost the visitors’ chances.

Kupp and Brockers were not confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus, ut the Rams placed the longtime starters on the COVID list last week. Each missed the team’s regular-season finale. Had they contracted the virus, neither would be eligible to return to practice Wednesday.

Jared Goff has resumed throwing, per McVay, but the Rams have not yet determined whether he or backup John Wolford will start in Round 1. Despite having never thrown an NFL pass, Wolford accounted for nearly 300 yards in the Rams’ win over the Cardinals last week. Goff, who is recovering from thumb surgery, had never previously missed a start due to injury.

Rams Place Michael Brockers On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Rams continue to run into obstacles in the leadup to their Week 17 game against the Cardinals. While most of them have been on offense, Los Angeles’ defense may be set to be without a key player.

Michael Brockers now resides on the Rams’ reserve/COVID-19 list. It is not yet known if the veteran defensive lineman tested positive or is classified as one of the two types of close contacts. This classification will determine if Brockers is eligible to suit up Sunday in a game that may determine if the Rams make the playoffs.

This move comes after the Rams ruled out Jared Goff for Week 17, placed Darrell Henderson on IR and placed Cooper Kupp on the COVID list. Cam Akers did not practice Wednesday and, considering he is dealing with a high ankle sprain, must be considered iffy at best for Sunday’s game. The Rams moved Micah Kiser off IR this week but did so in a procedural move. The inside linebacker is not expected to play. Although Andrew Whitworth returned to practice, it is not certain if the longtime left tackle will be back this week either.

Aaron Donald‘s longtime sidekick up front, Brockers opted to return to the Rams after his Ravens agreement fell through. He has again delivered, registering five sacks — a half-sack shy of his career high — and a career-most 10 QB hits. The 30-year-old defender has been a key player for the Rams since being selected in the 2012 first round and has obviously been central to the team’s defensive resurgence this season.

The Rams can make the playoffs with a win over the Cardinals or a Bears loss to the Packers. Given their expanding list of unavailable or potentially unavailable players, the latter route is becoming increasingly more relevant.

Michael Brockers Re-Signs With Rams; Ravens Deal Nixed

APRIL 4, 3:03pm: Brockers’ deal with the Rams is now official. This marks his third contract with the team that drafted him.

MARCH 27, 1:48pm: Brockers’ three-year deal carries a base value of $24MM and could be worth up to $31.5MM via incentives, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. A good chunk of the incentive package – $4.5MM – is based on realistic playing time milestones that he should bank, so long as he stays healthy. Brockers, as Rapoport notes, has not missed a game in the last three years.

MARCH 27, 9:24am: Michael Brockers isn’t going to the Ravens after all. On Friday, the Ravens announced that the deal is off. Then, Brockers did a U-Turn – he’ll return to the Rams on a three-year deal worth up to $31.5MM, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

It’s a similar deal to his would-be Ravens contract, which was reported to be worth $30MM over the course of three years. However, it’s worth noting that the Ravens were set to give him $21MM fully guaranteed and the locked-in dollar amount of Brockers’ new Rams deal is not yet known.

Brockers was set to join forces with newcomer Calais Campbell and incumbent interior force Brandon Williams in Baltimore. Then, earlier this week, the Ravens got skittish about his medical situation. Unable to examine him with their own team doctors due to the coronavirus epidemic, they had Brockers examined by an outside doctor. The exam raised potential issues with Brockers’ ankle, the same one he injured late last year.

Even though he doesn’t have gaudy sack totals, Brockers has been a solid defender against the run for L.A. For the Rams, it’s a significant item crossed off their to-do list. The Ravens, meanwhile, are in a bit of a tough spot. Before deciding on Brockers, the Ravens were in the mix for Ndamukong Suh and other notable D-Lineman, but Suh and most of this year’s impact free agents are already spoken for.

Ravens Concerned About Michael Brockers’ Medicals

The Ravens made a couple of major additions to their defensive front this month, trading for Calais Campbell and agreeing to a three-year contract with free agent Michael Brockers. But according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Baltimore has some concerns about Brockers’ medicals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams cannot have free agents examined by their own doctors. Instead, physicals must be conducted by independent doctors in the player’s geographic area. As Zrebiec tweets, the independent evaluation turned up potential issues with Brockers’ ankle, which he injured late last season.

Baltimore is still expected to sign Brockers, but the club is considering its options (one of which, presumably, is backing out of the deal altogether). Zrebiec says the team — which has formally announced all of its other acquisitions — was also interested in Ndamukong Suh, but Suh re-signed with the Buccaneers earlier today (Twitter links).

Brockers is not the type of elite pass rusher the Ravens may have been hoping for when free agency opened, but he is capable of getting to the QB, and his versatility and run-stopping ability would serve as an excellent complement to Campbell and Brandon Williams. His presence would also help to free things up for edge rushers Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson, so Baltimore clearly wants to get him in the fold.

The free agent market has been mostly picked over at this point, and the Ravens recently traded Chris Wormley and saw Michael Pierce sign with the Vikings, so if the Brockers deal falls through, Baltimore may turn its attention to the draft for DL reinforcements.