Michael Davis

Chargers Rumors: RT, Davis, Palmer

The Chargers offensive line is almost perfectly set for the regular season. They return the left-side trio of tackle Rashawn Slater, guard Matt Feiler, and center Corey Linsley, who were all very impressive in the same roles last year. They used their first-round pick this year to fill the right guard spot with rookie guard Zion Johnson out of Boston College. 

The right tackle position is currently a battle between last year’s starter Storm Norton and reserve lineman Trey Pipkins III. Norton has vastly outperformed his undrafted status, but does leave something to be desired at the position. The Chargers are really hoping, though, that Pipkins will live up to his third-round draft stock from three years ago, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

Pipkins spent the offseason working out with Duke Manyweather, who works with offensive lineman in Dallas. Los Angeles will hope that Pipkins will be able to make the leap and take over the starting right tackle job to fill in their ideal offensive line. If not, they will likely rely again on Norton and focus any blocking help directly to that side of the line.

Here are a few other notes on position battles the Chargers face going into the preseason, according to Popper:

  • Cornerback Michael Davis is heading into his sixth year with the Chargers. After spending his first season and a half as a rotational cornerback in the Chargers defense, Davis took hold of a starting job and didn’t relinquish it. Not until this preseason, that is. With the free agent additions of Bryce Callahan and J.C. Jackson, Davis is facing some serious competition for his starting job. As training camp begins, it appears the Chargers have been running with Jackson and Asante Samuel Jr. on the first-team with Callahan coming in as the first option for nickel packages. It’s great news for the Chargers depth at cornerback, but tough for Davis who hasn’t been a backup since 2018.
  • With wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen set to return as quarterback Justin Herbert‘s top two receiving options, the question rises of who comes in as the third receiver. Los Angeles didn’t make any moves to acquire a new receiving threat this offseason, mainly due to the belief they hold that Josh Palmer will make a significant leap in his second NFL season. As a rookie, Palmer caught 33 balls (third-best for receivers on the team) for 353 yards (fourth-best for receivers on the team). The Chargers will continue to use running back Austin Ekeler‘s receiving abilities in the passing game and, after losing Jared Cook to free agency, they brought in Gerald Everett to start at tight end. But they hope to see Palmer really step up as a wide out so that they can terrorize opposing defenses with a three-headed monster of a receiving corps.

AFC West Notes: Wilson, Chargers, Chiefs

The Chargers made the biggest cornerback splash this offseason, signing ex-Patriot J.C. Jackson. While Jackson’s starting spot is known, the rest of the Bolts’ corner arrangement is not. Asante Samuel Jr. will enter training camp with the lead to be the team’s other outside starter, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic (subscription required). With Bryce Callahan signed to play in the slot, this would move Michael Davis to a bench role. Davis, who signed a three-year deal worth $25.8MM to stay in Los Angeles last year, started all 14 games he played for the 2021 Chargers. He has worked as a starter for the past three seasons. Pro Football Focus ranked both he and Samuel outside its top 80 corners last season, however. Samuel playing in the slot over Callahan, with Jackson and Davis outside, is another option for the Bolts, Popper adds. Callahan, who dealt with extensive injury problems in Denver, signed for barely the league minimum after the draft.

Shifting first to Denver, here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Although the NFL is amid its quiet period, the Broncos‘ new quarterback will host a pre-training camp of sorts ahead of the team reconvening. Russell Wilson will gather his pass catchers for a mid-July summit in San Diego, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Broncos have their top four wide receivers (Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler) and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam back, and Melvin Gordon‘s re-signing kept the team’s 2021 backfield intact. But Denver newcomers Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett‘s presences obviously loom larger, and the 11th-year QB will take advantage of some off time to accelerate his rapport with his new teammates.
  • Shifting back to L.A., the Bolts are planning to keep Kyle Van Noy in the versatile role he held with the Patriots. The post-draft free agency addition is expected to both work as an edge rusher and an off-ball linebacker, per Popper. Van Noy played both spots during the Bolts’ offseason program. The 31-year-old linebacker should be expected to be the team’s No. 3 edge rusher, behind Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, Popper adds. With the Pats and Dolphins over the past three years, Van Noy combined for 17.5 sacks.
  • Easton Stick‘s rookie contract expires after the 2022 season, and despite the Chargers having Chase Daniel back to be Justin Herbert‘s top backup, Popper notes the team is grooming the North Dakota State product to be Herbert’s post-Daniel QB2. Dating back to Tyrod Taylor‘s tenure, Stick, 26, has been L.A.’s third-stringer throughout his career. Carson Wentz‘s Bison successor has thrown one regular-season pass.
  • A Chiefs exec since 2017, Tim Terry is staying put with a new title. The team bumped him up to senior director of pro personnel, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Terry, 47, has been a key front office staffer for a while. Prior to coming to Kansas City, he spent eight years as the Packers’ assistant director of player personnel. The Chiefs lost one of Brett Veach‘s top lieutenants, assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles, this offseason. Poles is now the Bears’ GM.

Broncos Expected To Pursue Kyle Fuller

Now a free agent, Kyle Fuller figures to have some options. One will be in Denver with his former defensive coordinator.

The Broncos are expected to make a “strong push” to sign the veteran cornerback, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Vic Fangio coached Fuller for four seasons as Chicago’s D-coordinator. New Denver GM George Paton was with the Vikings throughout Fuller’s Bears career.

It should not be ruled out, as the Raiders have shown this week, that the Bears could find a trade partner at the 11th hour. But the team likely discussed Fuller with other teams before cutting him. Fuller was due to make $13MM as part of his 2018 contract, which the Packers constructed after the Bears transition-tagged him.

While the Broncos made a key addition in Ronald Darby, they still have a need at cornerback. They also roster ex-Fuller teammate Bryce Callahan, who is going into his third season with the team. Callahan has shown the ability to play outside and in the slot, his strength, but he has battled significant injury issues that would prevent the Broncos from counting on him. Callahan missed all of the 2019 season and was limited to 10 games last season.

Denver entered free agency targeting more than one cornerback, and Mike Klis of 9News notes the team made an offer to Michael Davis early this week (Twitter link). The Chargers, however, re-signed Davis. Fuller, 28, certainly carries a higher profile. The Broncos not adding another will make corner a logical target at No. 9 overall.

The Bears drafted Fuller before Fangio’s 2015 arrival, taking him in the 2014 first round, but he still broke out during Fangio’s run. The Bears passed on Fuller’s fifth-year option in 2017, but he delivered a first-team All-Pro 2018 season in Fangio’s Chicago finale. Considering the Packers signed Fuller to the offer sheet three years ago, they may be back in the mix for him as well. Other teams figure to inquire too, but Fangio’s presence may be pivotal for the Broncos.

Chargers To Re-Sign CB Michael Davis

Having just released Casey Hayward, the Chargers agreed to terms with one of their younger cornerbacks. They will keep Michael Davis off the free agent market via three-year deal, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

A key Los Angeles contributor, Davis will stay in southern California and receive $15MM guaranteed to do so, per Garafolo (on Twitter). He received interest from a few other teams as well but will play his fifth season in L.A.

A year ago, the Bolts gave Davis a second-round tender. He intercepted a career-high three passes last year, following a 2019 season in which he nabbed two picks. The former UDFA graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 55 overall cornerback in 2020.

The Chargers have parted ways with two All-Pro corners over the past several months, having traded Desmond King — who also dabbled at safety in L.A. — to the Titans ahead of their Hayward cut. Going into the new league year, Davis and Chris Harris are the Bolts’ top corners.

Chargers CB Michael Davis Signs Tender

Chargers cornerback Michael Davis signed his second-round tender, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. With that, Davis will earn roughly $3.3MM in 2020 on a one-year deal. 

[RELATED: Rams-Chargers Stadium May Not Be Ready For Season]

Davis was set for restricted free agency and the Bolts tendered him at the second-round level to keep other teams at bay. Last year, Davis started in all 12 of his games as the Chargers worked around a rash of injuries in the secondary. Derwin James, Adrian Phillips, and second-round rookie Nasir Adderley all succumbed to different maladies, thrusting Davis into the spotlight.

Davis, meanwhile, missed a pair of games due to a substance-abuse policy violation. All together, the advanced metrics were not wild about Davis’ performance – he graded out as one of the NFL’s worst qualified corners, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, he managed 39 stops and the first two interceptions of his career. It was, at minimum, enough for the Chargers to hang on to him for another season.

This year, the Chargers’ secondary will be bolstered by the arrival of Chris Harris, who is expected to play in the slot. The longtime Broncos star gives the Chargers three first-team All-Pros in the unit – Harris, James, and Desmond King – plus second-team All-Pro Casey Hayward. King, who excelled in the slot last year, will likely shift to safety.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/17/20

Tuesday’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions will be posted below. Deals will be updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level: 

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

NFL Suspends Chargers’ Michael Davis

The Chargers’ secondary has been shorthanded throughout 2019, and the NFL dealt the unit another blow Friday. Cornerback Michael Davis received a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, the league announced.

Davis has started nine games this season and has played 493 snaps. The Bolts remain without Derwin James, recently recalled Adrian Phillips from IR and lost second-round rookie Nasir Adderley for the season.

Joining Casey Hayward as a starting cornerback, Davis has done well for a former UDFA. The third-year defender started nine games last season and played in 16. This year, he’s made 27 tackles and notched his first NFL interception. Although Pro Football Focus has graded the BYU product as one of this season’s worst defensive backs, Davis has helped a Bolts secondary that’s experienced rampant injury trouble.

Second-year UDFA Brandon Facyson joins Hayward and Desmond King as the Bolts’ only other cornerback, so a roster transaction before the team’s Week 13 game should be expected.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jason Verrett‘s impending injury absence will cause the Chargers to add cornerback depth. The Bolts signed cornerback Michael Davis from their practice squad and cut wideout Geremy Davis, Eric Williams of ESPN.com reports. The Chargers signed Geremy Davis on Monday as Dontrelle Inman insurance, but he didn’t play in Los Angeles’ Week 1 game. Michael Davis is a rookie UDFA out of BYU.
  • The 49ers promoted cornerback Asa Jackson from their practice squad and waived fellow corner Keith Reaser to clear a roster spot, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. A fifth-round 49ers pick in 2014, Reaser played in 29 games for the team — including last week’s loss to the Panthers — but didn’t start any. San Francisco signed Jackson, an ex-Ravens starter, in August and stashed him on the practice squad after the preseason.
  • Nose tackles Kyle Peko and Tyrique Jarrett will once again trade places with the Broncos. Denver will promote Peko from its practice squad and waive Jarrett, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. A rookie UDFA out of Pittsburgh, Jarrett saw Week 1 work on a depleted Broncos line. Peko, a cousin of Broncos starting nose Domata Peko, was waived last weekend.
  • The Colts promoted linebacker Darnell Sankey from their practice squad, cutting wide receiver Matt Hazel to make room, Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com reports (via Twitter). Both Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker are dealing with injuries, making this an insurance addition.
  • The Jets signed outside linebacker Freddie Bishop and defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas from their practice squad, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. The team also waived linebacker Edmond Robinson with an injury settlement.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Oakland Raiders

Chargers Reach 53-Man Limit

The Chargers announced 37 player moves on Saturday, bringing them down to the 53-man limit. Here’s the full breakdown.

Released:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Reserve/Suspended:

Reserve/Injured:

Barner seemed to have a decent chance of cracking the roster as a pass-catching back, particularly after the loss of Danny Woodhead. On 27 carries last season, Barner averaged a career-best 4.8 yards per attempt.

Clemens, 33, was slated to return for a fourth season as Philip Rivers‘ backup. Instead, that job will go to Cardale Jones, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo earlier this offseason.