Quinton Jefferson

Browns To Add DL Quinton Jefferson

Losing Jordan Elliott to the 49ers this week, the Browns are adding a piece to their defensive line. In addition to bringing back Shelby Harris, Cleveland will add an outside hire to its D-line equation.

Quinton Jefferson will come over from the Jets on a one-year deal, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot. A veteran who has largely worked as a defensive tackle, Jefferson has enjoyed his two most productive years as a pass rusher since 2022. The eight-year veteran has combined for 11.5 sacks in that span.

[RELATED: Browns Re-Sign DT Shelby Harris]

This will be Jefferson’s fifth NFL destination in the 2020s. The former Seahawks draftee has ventured from Buffalo to Las Vegas to Seattle to New York since the decade dawned. He will now join Jim Schwartz‘s Cleveland defense, which led the league against the pass in 2023. Jefferson is set to team with the likes of Harris and high-priced DT Dalvin Tomlinson.

The Jets brought in former Robert Saleh 49ers charge Javon Kinlaw early in free agency, and Jefferson — as he is accustomed to doing — will take his routine to another city. Vacillating from starter to rotational player during this nomadic period, Jefferson has produced consistently. After notching 16 quarterback hits as a Raider in 2021, the former fifth-round pick totaled 13 in each of the past two seasons. Jefferson, 31 this month, also forced a fumble with the Jets last year; the six sacks he notched in New York represent a career high.

Jefferson has extensive experience contributing on playoff-bound D-lines. While the Jets fell well short of expectations, Jefferson was on a postseason-bound team from 2018-22. He sacked Joe Burrow in the Raiders’ narrow wild-card loss to the Bengals in 2021 and totaled two sacks during the 2019 playoffs as a Seahawk.

While Jefferson has traveled the league following the expiration of his rookie contract, he has not signed exclusively one-year deals like Jadeveon Clowney has. The Seahawks released Jefferson from a two-year pact last year, leading him to the Jets. His work in Saleh’s defense caught the Browns’ eye, bringing in an interesting piece for Schwartz’s pass rush.

Jets Place DL Quinton Jefferson On IR

Quinton Jefferson is done for the season. The Jets have placed the veteran defensive tackle on injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. To fill the open roster spot, the Jets have signed defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes to the active roster.

Jefferson will miss the rest of the campaign with a hip issue. It’s uncertain exactly when the defensive lineman suffered the injury, but he was limited to a season-low 11 defensive snaps this past weekend.

The 30-year-old joined the Jets this past offseason on a one-year deal. He ended up starting all 14 of his appearances with his new squad, compiling a career-high 6.5 sacks to go along with 34 tackles and one forced fumble. Pro Football Focus only graded Jefferson 96th among 132 qualifying interior defenders, although the site did give him a positive grade for his pass rushing.

The former fifth-round pick has had multiple stints with the Seahawks over the years, including a 17-game run with the organization in 2022. In 103 career games, Jefferson has compiled 26.5 sacks.

Holmes joined the Jets back in August before ultimately earning a spot on the practice squad. He’s earned a pair of promotions this season, collecting a single tackle in two games. The former fourth-round pick got into 25 games with the Vikings through his first three seasons in the NFL.

Jets, DL Quinton Jefferson Agree To Deal

APRIL 12: The deal will check in at $3.6MM in base value, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates, who adds the veteran defender will see $2.75MM guaranteed (Twitter link). Jefferson can collect up to $4.25MM via incentives on his latest contract. The Jets tacked on four void years to minimize Jefferson’s 2023 cap hit.

APRIL 6: Quinton Jefferson is making a return to the AFC East. The Jets announced on Thursday that they have signed the veteran defensive lineman, giving them an experienced producer along the defensive front. SNY’s Connor Hughes was the first to report a deal was imminent (Twitter link).

Jefferson has played for three teams, but is best known for his time with the Seahawks. He began his career in Seattle, operating as a starter in 2018 and 2019. His production to finish out his rookie contract earned him deals with the Bills and Raiders, with whom he enjoyed steady campaigns. A career-best 47 tackles in Vegas helped guide him back to the Emerald City in 2022, though that reunion didn’t entirely go according to plan.

Seattle ended up releasing the 30-year-old in a cost-cutting move last month. The cap savings helped the Seahawks sign Dre’Mont Jones to provide an upgrade along the defensive front, particularly in the pass-rushing department. Jefferson did, however, set a new personal mark with 5.5 sacks and six tackles for loss last season, despite logging the lowest snap share of his career since 2017.

That points to the Maryland alum being at least an effective rotational player with the Jets in 2023. New York has All-Pro Quinnen Williams in place at the heart of their defensive front, but Jefferson could step into the role vacated by the free agent departure of Sheldon Rankins. While this deal represents a notable addition on New York’s part, it might not be the only one amongst veteran d-linemen.

Hughes tweets that the Jets remain in on Al Woods, who like Jefferson has had multiple stints in Seattle. Woods has a visit lined up with New York, though a reunion with the Seahawks also may not be off the table. Hughes also names former Lion and Ram A’Shawn Robinson as a name to watch as the Jets look to continue adding depth along the interior. Regardless of what other moves they make, Jefferson is now in place as a starting-caliber option.

Seahawks To Release DL Quinton Jefferson

Quinton Jefferson‘s second Seahawks stint is coming to an end. The team plans to release the veteran defensive lineman, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

A Seahawks draftee in 2016, Jefferson made his way back to the Pacific Northwest last year and played mostly a rotational role with the team. But the Seahawks can create $4.5MM in cap space by releasing the seventh-year D-lineman.

The Seahawks just notified Jefferson of this decision, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (on Twitter), and it comes hours after the team paid up to win the Dre’Mont Jones sweepstakes. The Seahawks are giving the former Broncos starter a three-year, $51MM deal. This has led to some rearranging, with Shelby Harris — Jones’ teammate in Denver for three seasons — also on the way out.

Jefferson, who will turn 30 later this month, played in all 18 Seahawks games last season and started three of those. With the former Bills and Raiders cog registering a career-high 5.5 sacks, it would seem he will have the option of continuing his career elsewhere. Jefferson intends to keep playing, per Anderson, and he will bring some versatility to his next team — whomever that may be.

Teams have used Jefferson as both a defensive tackle and defensive end, both in 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, making the former fifth-round pick a valuable rotational presence. Jefferson, who also added a career-best six tackles for loss in 2022, started 17 games with the Raiders in 2021 and has 48 starts on his resume.

Seattle will be retooling up front, with Poona Ford also unsigned at this point. But the team still has nose tackle Al Woods and veteran Bryan Mone under contract. Jones will be the centerpiece of the Seahawks’ updated D-tackle situation, however, with the Seahawks making a late appearance in that competition to bring the ascending interior rusher to the NFC West.

Contract Details: Koo, Armstrong, Whitehead, McKissic, Seahawks, Gladney

Here are the details from the latest agreed-upon contracts around the league:

  • Younghoe Koo, K (Falcons): Five years, $24.25MM. Koo received a $6.25MM signing bonus and will earn a fully guaranteed $1.75MM 2022 base salary, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. The final three years of Koo’s deal are nonguaranteed; none of Koo’s cap hits exceed $6MM.
  • Jordan Whitehead, S (Jets): Two years, $14.5MM. The Jets fully guaranteed Whitehead $7MM and, according to OverTheCap.com, the veteran safety’s cap hits will be $4.2MM and $10.2MM.
  • Austin Johnson, DL (Chargers): Two years, $14MM. Initially reported as having a max value of $14MM, Johnson’s deal carries a base value of that amount. It comes with $10.6MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets.
  • Dorance Armstrong, DE (Cowboys): Two years, $12MM. The Cowboys fully guaranteed Armstrong $6MM, and Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets his 2022 cap figure checks in at $3.38MM. The deal also features a $1MM sack incentive.
  • Quinton Jefferson, DL (Seahawks): Two years, $9.5MM. The Seahawks guaranteed Jefferson $5.2MM to return. This includes a $1.2MM 2022 base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • J.D. McKissic, RB (Commanders): Two years, $7MM. Enticing him to renege on a Bills agreement, the Commanders guaranteed McKissic $3.6MM. The deal includes $1.5MM in performance incentives for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.
  • Jeff Gladney, CB (Cardinals): Two years, $6.5MM. The former first-round pick will receive $4MM guaranteed, SI.com’s Howard Balzer tweets. In addition to his $2MM signing bonus, the Cards guaranteed Gladney’s 2022 base salary ($1.5MM) and $500K of his 2023 base ($2.5MM). Gladney will count just $2.5MM against Arizona’s cap this year.
  • Rashaad Penny, RB (Seahawks): One year, $5.75MM. To keep Penny, the Seahawks guaranteed him $5.07MM. Penny will carry a $5.51MM cap number, Henderson tweets. Incentives for rushing yards, receiving yards and touchdowns could take the deal to $6.5MM.

Seahawks To Sign Quinton Jefferson

Quinton Jefferson is reportedly coming back to Seattle. The Seahawks are signing the defensive tackle, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports that the contract is a two-year deal worth $9.5MM, with a maximum value of $11MM (Twitter link).

Jefferson, who will be 29 by the start of next season, began his career with the Seahawks in 2016. He played four seasons in Seattle, coming on as a pass-rushing presence with 6.5 total sacks in his final two seasons there. He then played for the Bills in 2020, racking up 23 tackles and three sacks.

That was followed by another one-year stint, this time with the Raiders. Starting all 17 games last season, the former fifth round pick had a career year. He totalled 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. That earned him the sizeable raise this deal represents from the $3.25MM he played for in 2021.

My old d-line coach from when I was in Seattle before is the d-coordinator now”, he said, referring to Clint Hurtt. “It just made sense to go back. My house is there, my friends too. It’ll be good to see some familiar faces”.

Jefferson continues the ongoing makeover of the Seahawks’ defense. The team has lost the likes of Bobby Wagner, Carlos Dunlap and Kerry Hyder in the front seven recently, all as a result of releases. Bringing the Maryland product back is a reunion, but also therefore part of the unit’s re-shaping.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Jefferson, Broncos, Massie

During an appearance on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady discussed his reactions to a potential 2020 free agent suitor pulling out of the sweepstakes to stick with their incumbent signal-caller.

“There was a story, in free agency, one of the teams, they were interested and all of sudden they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said. “I was sitting there thinking, you’re stick with that [expletive]? Are you serious?

“When I look back I’m like, there’s no [expletive] way I would’ve went to that team. But they said they didn’t want me. I know what that means, I know what that feels like.”

There’s been plenty of speculation about the mystery team and quarterback that Brady was referring to, and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com cites multiple league sources who believe the future Hall of Famer was referring to the Raiders and Derek Carr. Las Vegas had been mentioned as a potential Brady suitor during the 2020 offseason, but the organization dropped out of the sweepstakes after balking at Brady’s long list of requests. As Florio notes, Brady had his chance at payback last season, when he tossed four touchdowns in a 45-20 Tampa Bay victory over Las Vegas.

Unless Brady unexpectedly reveals who he was talking about, we’ll never truly know if it was the Raiders. Plenty of other teams and quarterbacks have been mentioned, including the Bears/Mitch Trubisky and the Titans/Ryan Tannehill. The 49ers and former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo have been a popular suggestion, but considering Brady’s lifelong affinity for San Francisco (and his declaration that he was never going to sign with that team in the first place), we can probably cross them off the list.

Here’s more out of the AFC West…

  • Quinton Jefferson has played all over the defensive line during his five-year career, but despite the Raiders depth at defensive tackle, the team is still planning to play their free agent acquisition at his natural position. The 28-year-old will be teaming up with the Raiders main offseason acquisition, defensive tackle Yannick Ngakoue, and Jefferson is excited to form a two-headed monster with his good friend and former college teammate. “Yannick is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL right now and he brings that intensity,” Jefferson told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “He is going to bring some pressure and help relieve Maxx (Crosby), free Maxx up so that other teams can’t key on one guy. And then hopefully I can bring some interior pressure as well, so we should have a good mix out there. I am excited to see how that all comes together.”
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post explores several Broncos players who find themselves on the roster bubble prior to training camp and the preseason. Atop his list is defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, a 2020 third-round pick who was limited to only 110 defensive snaps as a rookie. O’Halloran notes that it’s troubling that the young defensive lineman wasn’t working with the starters during minicamp despite the absences of Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris. Offensive tackle Calvin Anderson, running back Royce Freeman, safety Trey Marshall, and linebacker Derrek Tuszka also earned spots on the list.
  • The Broncos brought in both Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to compete for the starting right tackle spot, and ESPN’s Jeff Legwold believes Massie will get the first shot at the gig. Massie certainly has the advantage when it comes to experience; the 31-year-old has started 110 of his 118 career games, including each of his eight games in 2020. Meanwhile, Fleming has mostly served as backup throughout his career (91 games, 42 starts), although he did start a career-high 16 games for the Giants last season.

Raiders To Sign DL Quinton Jefferson

6:08pm: The Raiders moved fast here. They agreed to terms with Jefferson, according to the team. The former Seahawk will be set to play in a familiar system in his sixth NFL season.

Jefferson’s deal is similar to Hankins’, with Caplan noting it is a one-year pact worth $3.25MM (Twitter link). Jefferson can earn up to $4MM in 2021.

3:39pm: Raider Day continues. The team reached out to recent Bills cap casualty Quinton Jefferson and will bring him in for a visit, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

The Raiders will host the former Bills and Seahawks defensive lineman later this week, with Caplan adding Jefferson’s experience in new DC Gus Bradley‘s scheme is a factor in the Raiders’ interest. The Bills cut Jefferson after one season.

With Seattle, Jefferson served as a hybrid player; he saw time at both defensive end and D-tackle. The 2016 fifth-round pick served as a rotational cog in Buffalo but was primarily a starter in his final two Seattle seasons. Jefferson has accumulated 9.5 sacks over the past three seasons, though he underwhelmed in Buffalo. The five-year veteran has never played under Bradley, but the former Seahawks DC will use a similar system to the one in which Jefferson operated in Seattle.

Oakland has added Yannick Ngakoue at end, where he will team with 2019 draftees Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby. The team also re-signed Johnathan Hankins on Wednesday. Maliek Collins, a 2020 signee, defected to the Texans this week.

Bills Release WR John Brown, DL Quinton Jefferson

The Bills have released wide receiver John Brown and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, per a club announcement. The release of Brown will save $7.9MM against the cap with $1.6MM left in dead money. Meanwhile, Jefferson’s release will save $6.5MM with no dead money left over.

Brown started his Bills tenure with a bang, compiling 72 receptions for 1,060 receiving yards, both career highs. Last year, knee injuries, ankle issues, and a stint on the COVID-19 list limited him to just nine games. The 30-year-old (31 in April) finished 2020 with just 33 grabs for 458 yards and three touchdowns, so his release doesn’t come as a huge surprise. All in all, Brown totaled 105 catches, 1,518 receiving yards and nine TDs for Buffalo across two seasons.

Jefferson, meanwhile, was set to enter his second year with the Bills. Last year, he scored a two-year, $13.5MM deal — higher than most expected after serving as a part-time starter in Seattle. His final two years with the Seahawks saw a total of 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks. In Buffalo, he notched 23 stops, three sacks, and one forced fumble.

In a related move, defensive lineman Vernon Butler has agreed to a pay cut in order to keep his spot on the roster (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Originally, Butler was set to count for $7.8MM against the cap with $5.5MM in base pay. Terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

Contract Details: Nassib, Alonso, Jefferson

Some more contract details from around the league:

  • DE Carl Nassib, Raiders: signed. Three-year, $25MM deal with $17MM guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The deal has a max value of $28MM.
  • LB Kiko Alonso, Saints: restructured contract. Base salary reduced from $6.4MM to $1.7MM, $4.7MM available in incentives. Already has $1.45MM roster bonus, meaning he can still hit his previous $7.85MM total via playing-time bonuses. All notes via ESPN’s Mike Triplett on Twitter.
  • DE Quinton Jefferson, Bills: two-year deal. Contract worth $13.5MM total, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano on Twitter.
  • FB Derek Watt, Steelers: signed. Three-year deal worth $9.75MM, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor on Twitter.
  • LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, Dolphins: one-year deal. Contract worth $3MM, including $2MM signing bonus, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Twitter. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that there’s up to $500K in playing time incentives.