Morgan Fox

Contract Details: Fox, Saunders, Cardinals

Here are some details on more recently signed contracts:

  • Khalen Saunders, DT (Saints): Three years, $12.3MM. The contract, according to Wilson, has a guaranteed amount of $6.6MM, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed at signing. The $4.6MM consists of a $3.5MM signing bonus and the first year base salary of $1.1MM. The second and third year base salaries are worth $3.1MM and $3.4MM, respectively. Saunders can receive a $2MM 2024 roster bonus (injury guaranteed at signing) that will fully guarantee on the third league day of the 2024 season. The deal also has three void years built in to spread out Saunders’s cap hit. He’ll also earn a per game active roster bonus of $17,647 for a potential season total of $300,000. The deal also includes a potential $1.45MM base salary escalator in 2024 based on sacks and playing time. New Orleans built a potential out into the deal, allowing them to release Saunders after this year with $2.8MM of dead cap but cap savings of $11.2MM of cap savings over the following four years.
  • Morgan Fox, DE (Chargers): Two years, $7.25MM. The deal, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, has a guaranteed amount of $3.75MM consisting of a $2.5MM signing bonus and the first year base salary of $1.25MM. The second year base salary is worth $2.5MM. Fox can receive a $1MM 2024 roster bonus on the third day of the 2024 league year. The deal also includes annual $750,000 incentives based on playing time, sacks, and Pro Bowl selections.
  • Antonio Hamilton, CB (Cardinals): One year, $1.5MM. The contract, according to Balzer, is fully guaranteed with a signing bonus of $335,000 and a base salary of $1.17MM.
  • L.J. Collier, DE (Cardinals): One year, $1.23MM. The deal, according to Howard Balzer of PHNX, has a guaranteed amount of $76,250 consisting solely of Collier’s signing bonus. Collier’s base salary is worth $1.08MM. He can earn a potential roster bonus of $76,250 if he is active for Week 1.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/15/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Washington Commanders

Smith got a two-year deal from Denver that can max out at $5.5MM, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). Smith got a $1.4MM signing bonus to join the Broncos, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (via Twitter). After finishing last in kicker return average in 2022, the Broncos should get a bump from Smith, who averaged 23.9 yards on his 40 kickoff returns for Houston over the past two years.

AFC West Notes: Waller, Chiefs, Broncos

Darren Waller came up in trade talks last year, generating Packers interest ahead of the deadline, and the veteran tight end missed a big chunk of the Raiders‘ season due to a nagging hamstring injury that may or may not have irked some with the team. This came after the Raiders reached a three-year, $51MM extension with the former Pro Bowler just before the season. Despite Waller’s disappointing slate and the team moving on from Derek Carr, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes the Silver and Black are not looking to move on from the talented tight end (subscription required).

Waller’s $12MM cap number checks in considerably lower than Chandler Jones‘ ($19.3MM), but Howe adds the latter is also unlikely to be moved. The Raiders did not receive what they had hoped from Jones, who totaled just 4.5 sacks and seven QB hits in his Las Vegas debut. The Raiders would save $9MM-plus by trading Jones, 33, but the ex-Cardinals All-Pro’s trade value may not be especially high right now. Jones still has $16MM in guarantees remaining on his three-year, $51MM deal.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Chiefs had once eyed Mike Kafka to succeed Eric Bieniemy as OC, per’s Albert Breer, but they had envisioned the latter landing a head coaching job. Bieniemy famously failed to do so and ended up leaving for a play-calling role in Washington after five years. This proved too long for Kafka to wait; he is now the Giants’ play-caller and joined this year’s HC carousel. Benefiting from the past two offseasons’ events, Matt Nagy replaced Kafka as QBs coach and has since replaced Bieniemy. Nagy’s Bears HC shortcomings notwithstanding, Breer adds he is seen as a possible Andy Reid heir apparent in Kansas City. Reid shot down retirement rumors after Super Bowl LVII, but the future Hall of Famer will turn 65 this month and is going into his 25th season as a head coach.
  • Graham Glasgow, Ronald Darby and Chase Edmonds loom as cut candidates for the Broncos, who have some needs to fill in free agency. It is possible the Broncos release all three, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Denver restructured Glasgow’s contract in 2022 and saw him become needed after injuries to guard Quinn Meinerz and center Lloyd Cushenberry. But the team can save $11MM by releasing Glasgow. The team can add $9.6MM by cutting Darby, who suffered a torn ACL in October. Rookie Damarri Mathis fared decently replacing the veteran opposite Patrick Surtain II. The Broncos picked up Edmonds at the deadline from the Dolphins; they can save $5.9MM by releasing the ex-Cardinals starter. Denver should be able to add a veteran for cheaper, given this year’s crowded running back market, and Sean Payton favorite Latavius Murray is likely a candidate to be re-signed.
  • For what it’s worth, Russell Wilson‘s office is no longer in use. The space that drew considerable attention as the former Seahawks star struggled in Denver has been cleaned out, Mike Klis of 9News notes. While Broncos players did not necessarily voice issues about Wilson’s office, it attracted scrutiny during a 5-12 season. Wilson previously agreed to stop using it during the season’s final two weeks.
  • Kyle Van Noy wants to stay with the Chargers, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper, who notes the versatile linebacker should have a chance to return. The Bolts signed Van Noy to a low-cost deal late in the 2022 offseason. His role expanded after Joey Bosa‘s groin injury, and the 13-game starter hit the five-sack mark for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Conversely, Morgan Fox will probably depart in free agency, Popper adds. Fox registered 6.5 sacks and likely will price himself out of Los Angeles, as the Bolts want to re-sign right tackle Trey Pipkins and linebacker Drue Tranquill.
  • Mecole Hardman recently underwent groin surgery, Tom Pelissero of tweets. The November injury kept the contract-year wide receiver out of Super Bowl LVII. Hardman will attempt to get healthy ahead of a free agency bid, with Howe adding he will need around two months to recover (Twitter link). The Chiefs have Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster set to hit the market. Mutual interest exists between the Chiefs and Smith-Schuster.

Chargers Sign DL Morgan Fox

The Chargers have added to their defensive line. According to Aaron Wilson of (on Twitter), the Chargers have signed defensive end Morgan Fox.

Fox went undrafted out of CSU–Pueblo before catching on with the Rams. He ended up spending five seasons with the organization, seeing time in 52 games. After missing the 2018 campaign with a torn ACL, Fox managed to return and appear in each of the Rams’ 32 games over the next two years, including a 2020 season where he collected six sacks. Per ESPN, Fox is the third member of the 2020 Rams defense to join the Chargers this offseason (along with defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day and linebacker Troy Reeder).

Fox inked a two-year pact with the Panthers last offseason and ended up getting into all 17 games for his new squad, compiling a career-high 34 tackles, seven QB hits, and 1.5 sacks. He was released by the organization back in March.

The Chargers made a major upgrade to their pass-rushing corps when they acquired edge rusher Khalil Mack from Chicago. Fox should play a secondary role on the depth chart, and the Chargers will likely turn to him for special teams reps.

Panthers To Cut Morgan Fox

The Panthers are set to release defensive lineman Morgan Fox (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). Fox was previously set to play on the backend of his two-year, $8.1MM deal.

Fox, 27, joined the Rams as a UDFA in 2016. His entire 2018 campaign was wiped out by an ACL tear, but in 2017, 2019, and 2020, he worked as a situational pass rusher and performed reasonably well in that role. The Panthers picked him up last year with the intention of putting him opposite of fellow newcomer Haason Reddick. Fox went on to appear in all 17 regular season games with nine starts, recording 1.5 sacks and 34 total tackles along the way.

Ultimately, he wasn’t able to repeat his finest work from 2020. That year, he appeared in 39% of the Rams’ defensive snaps and notched six sacks, both career highs.

The Panthers finished in the bottom fourth of the league in 2020 with just 29 team sacks. In 2021, they improved slightly with 39 total sacks — albeit with an extra game — to place in the middle of the NFL’s pack.

Panthers To Sign Morgan Fox

The Panthers are signing defensive lineman Morgan Fox, per Albert Breer of TheMMQB (via Twitter). Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network adds that it will be a two-year, $8.1MM deal, with $7MM guaranteed (Twitter link).

Fox, 26, joined the Rams as a UDFA in 2016. His entire 2018 campaign was wiped out by an ACL tear, but in 2017, 2019, and 2020, he worked as a situational pass rusher and performed reasonably well in that role.

He saved his best for 2020, appearing in 39% of Los Angeles’ defensive snaps and recording six sacks, both career highs. He will join the newly-signed Haason Reddick as part of Carolina’s revamped pass rush.

The Panthers finished in the bottom fourth of the league in 2020 with just 29 team sacks, and Reddick and Fox should help push that number higher this season.

NFC West Notes: Staley, Rams, Cardinals

Both the 49ers and Joe Staley realized this offseason they wanted to pursue an extension. The 49ers did so after watching the left tackle’s 2018 film, while Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes Staley — once on the fence about playing into another decade — also decided he wanted to keep going.

We went back and watched it (Staley’s film) in the offseason,” John Lynch said, “and it was even more impressive than we thought, so he earned it, first and foremost, by that. I think Joe is the perfect guy to say, ‘Hey, we’re also about taking care of our own.’ We just had to have some of our own that we had that opportunity with, and when we’ve turned over the roster, we haven’t had many opportunities. But Joe was one of those, and probably nobody deserves it more than him.”

Talks accelerated last week, Maiocco adds, and although Staley’s two-year extension was announced Wednesday night, the 34-year-old lineman agreed to a new deal on Monday. So any Mike McGlinchey-to-left tackle plans will be tabled for the foreseeable future.

Here is more from the NFC West’s warmer climates:

  • The Rams recently made a positional adjustment. Before he went down with a season-nullifying torn ACL last summer, Morgan Fox was working as an outside linebacker. But the Rams are moving him back to defensive end, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic tweets. Fox played 16 games in 2017, registering 2.5 sacks, and the Rams were intrigued by the prospect of the former UDFA as a rotational pass rusher. He’ll now rejoin the defensive line group.
  • No word has emerged from Los Angeles about the Rams working on a Jared Goff extension, and Albert Breer of expects the team to wait a year. The Rams are interested in extending Goff, however, and it would behoove them to do an extension before a near-$23MM fifth-year option kicks in next season. It would also cost the Rams upwards of $30MM in 2021 to tag their two-time Pro Bowl quarterback. While the Rams do have big expenses on this year’s payroll — with Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Dante Fowler in contract years — the quarterback landscape will look different a year from now. Carson Wentz and the Eagles are moving toward a deal, and Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes may well be attached to long-term contracts by this time next year. Assuming he does not regress after making significant strides in 2018, Goff’s price figures to go up.
  • It might not be a great idea for late-round fliers on Cardinals tight ends in fantasy drafts. The Kliff Kingsbury-designed offense will use “a ton” of 10 personnel — four wide receivers, one running back — this season, Bob McManamon of the Arizona Republic notes. Texas Tech tight ends caught just four passes in 2018. The Cards still have Ricky Seals-Jones and added both Charles Clay and Maxx Williams this offseason. Arizona drafted three wide receivers, and if this is to be a modern-day version of some of the NFL’s early-1990s run-and-shoot teams, it will be interesting to see if they keep three tight ends on their active roster.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Brant Weiss (Alliance of American Football)

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Rams Tender LB Cory Littleton, Others

Cory Littleton established himself as a surefire Rams starter last season. He figures to be a key component of Los Angeles’ 2019 defense.

The Rams placed a second-round tender on Littleton. That will come out to a $3.1MM salary for 2019, should no extension be reached before June’s RFA signing deadline.

A fourth-year UDFA, Littleton broke out for a 125-tackle, four-sack season in 2018 — his first as a full-time starter. With so many big contracts on the Rams’ roster, it helps they can get quality production from players with rookie-deal salaries. While the $3.1MM will take Littleton to a slightly higher tax bracket, that is a manageable figure for the Rams.

In addition to Littleton, the Rams made the following moves with other restricted and exclusive-rights free agents:

RFAs tendered at original-round level: DB Blake Countess, RB Malcolm Brown, CB Troy Hill

ERFAs tendered: DE Morgan Fox, CB Dominique Hatfield, WR KhaDarel Hodge, CB Kevin Peterson, WR JoJo Natson