Matt Corrallanded on the Panthers’ IR Tuesday, ending his rookie season before it started. The Lisfranc injury the third-round pick suffered will require surgery, Matt Rhule said. The Panthers had planned to carry Corral as their third-string quarterback during what was to be a developmental year, with the team wanting him to add muscle to his 205-pound frame and obviously learn a pro-style offense, per Joe Person of The Athletic. Because of Corral’s injury, the Panthers’ roster math may change. The team may no longer be preparing to carry three quarterbacks, Person notes (subscriptionrequired). This news would pertain to P.J. Walker, the former XFL 2.0 standout who has been Carolina’s backup the past two seasons. Walker, who has won both his regular-season starts but holds a career 51.6 passer rating, struggled in the Panthers’ second preseason game. The 27-year-old passer could be stashed on the practice squad — behind starterBaker Mayfield and backup Sam Darnold — if he clears waivers in the event of a cut before next week’s deadline.
Here is the latest from the NFC South:
Shifting to the division’s most famous quarterback, Tom Brady is now back with the Buccaneers. The all-time great missed nearly two weeks of training camp. Family time has circulated as the reasoning behind Brady’s absence, which coincidentally occurred while the team held joint practices against the Dolphins, and Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com notes Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen spent time at an exclusive Bahamas resort. Not a bad arrangement, though not many players could swing such a mid-camp trip. Brady has not taken questions since the Dolphins scandal broke, but he is back practicing with the Bucs.
During Brady’s time away, the Bucs lost another potential O-line starter. Aaron Stinnie‘s ACL and MCL tears add to a lengthy list of changes to Tampa Bay’s interior O-line. Ali Marpet retired, Alex Cappa signed with the Bengals, and Ryan Jensen suffered what may be a season-ending injury. Jensen, however, may have a late-season return window. The Bucs are not planning to place their starting center on IR, with Albert Breer of SI.com noting the veteran blocker’s “complicated” injury could have him available for the playoffs. For now, the team will keep that door open. That would mean carrying Jensen onto the 53-man roster and then placing him on IR.
For now, the Bucs have 2021 third-round pick Robert Hainsey (31 offensive snaps last season) at center and would have either second-round rookieLuke Goedeke or former UDFA Nick Leverett (two career games; zero starts) at left guard opposite Shaq Mason. Goedeke would be the likely in-house solution, Greg Auman of The Athletic notes. Hainsey, who was working at guard earlier this offseason, is unlikely to be moved off his new center post, Auman adds. This would point to the Bucs, if they feel the need arises, looking at the guard market for a veteran. Ereck Flowers, Quinton Spain and James Carpenter are among the top options.
While the Bucs are not believed to be actively searching, the loss of two veteran blockers could be rather important in what could be Brady’s final season. The Ravens could be a trade option, Auman offers, holding a potential guard surplus featuring Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland and Ben Powers. The team is unlikely to keep all three.
AUGUST 14: Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said there have not been more updates on Jensen because the swelling in his knee has not yet subsided. Bowles confirmed that Jensen may miss the entire 2022 campaign, and he added that the team should know more this week (Twitter link via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times).
AUGUST 13: There’s some hope that Ryan Jensen‘s season could be salvaged, and the Buccaneers will remain flexible and keep the door open for a late-season return. According to Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter), the team won’t be placing Jensen on IR until after final cuts.
The Buccaneers could open a spot on their 90-man roster right now by placing the center on injured reserve. However, if Jensen was to be placed on IR now (or any time before final cuts), he wouldn’t be allowed to return for the 2022 campaign. Instead, the Buccaneers intend to keep him through final cuts and have him be a member of their initial 53-man roster. The team could then place Jensen on injured reserve and be allowed to activate him later in the campaign.
This may sound like minor roster machinations. However, it’s pretty telling that the Buccaneers are willing to wait to place Jensen on IR, and by doing so, they’re continuing to sacrifice a roster spot on a player who surely wouldn’t play for at least several months. Of course, Tampa Bay’s willingness to wait doesn’t definitively mean that Jensen will see the field during the 2022 campaign…rather, it keeps the door open.
Jensen suffered a severe injury in late July, and there was initial fear that he’d be out for the entire season. The Bucs just gave Jensen a second contract — a three-year, $39MM deal — to return as Tom Brady‘s center, and he was expected to provide some continuity to an offensive line that lost both Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa this offseason. Jensen has established himself as one of the NFL’s top centers, having evolved from sixth-round pick to a first-time Pro Bowler in 2021. Former offensive tackle Robert Hainsey is currently slotted in as Tampa’s starting center, but the team could add to the position before the start of the regular season.
JULY 29: The Bucs indeed fear Jensen will be out for the season, Rapoport adds. Todd Bowles confirmed Friday the team’s starting center will miss a significant amount of time (videolinks). The new Tampa Bay HC did not say Jensen would miss the entire season, mentioning a potential multi-month timeline.
The Bucs have already discussed bringing in a veteran, per Bowles, though the fourth-year Tampa Bay staffer said these discussions have not progressed too far just yet. Hainsey, a right tackle at Notre Dame who converted to the interior as a pro, is expected to receive the first crack at replacing Jensen, per Rapoport. Nick Leverett, a former UDFA who played in two games last season, is also in the mix.
JULY 28: A cart transported Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen off the practice field Thursday, and the team is concerned about a long-term absence. The Bucs fear the recently re-signed snapper suffered a serious injury, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report (on Twitter).
These reports indeed usually precede bad news for teams. The Bucs just gave Jensen a second contract — a three-year, $39MM deal — to return as Tom Brady‘s center. Tests are ongoing here, but a source informed ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter this situation is “not looking good” for the veteran blocker (Twitter link). Jensen is dealing with a major injury, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). His season is certainly in jeopardy.
Offensive line continuity played a big part in the Bucs’ surge to the Super Bowl LV championship, but the 2021 playoffs and this offseason have brought uncertainty to Tampa Bay’s front. This year has injected considerable O-line change, with longtime guard Ali Marpet retiring and the Bucs letting their other guard starter — Alex Cappa — defect to the Bengals in free agency. A Jensen absence would create a new issue for the Bucs, who will have the oldest primary starting quarterback in NFL history.
Jensen’s recommitment to the Bucs came just after Brady’s; the ninth-year center re-signed with the team hours after Brady’s unretirement. Jensen has established himself as one of the NFL’s top centers, having moved from sixth-round pick to using a contract-year springboard with the Ravens to a 2018 Bucs deal. On that pact, Jensen did not miss a game. The Colorado State-Pueblo alum has not missed a game since the 2016 season. Jensen, 31, made his first Pro Bowl last season.
Tampa Bay did trade a Day 3 pick to acquire Shaq Mason, reuniting Brady with one of his longtime Patriots guards. But the team could soon be vulnerable at two guard positions. With interior O-line play vital to Brady-led offenses, the Bucs could be in need of another veteran reinforcement. While it is premature here, center does feature an interestingly experienced free agent crop. J.C. Tretter, Matt Paradis and Trey Hopkins remain available.
For now, Robert Hainsey will take over at the pivot, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Competing for the other guard spot with second-round pick Luke Goedeke and the recently re-signed Aaron Stinnie, Hainsey is a third-round pick in his second season. Tampa Bay quickly addressed the Rob Gronkowski void by signing Kyle Rudolph. If Jensen is set to miss a substantial amount of time, it would not remotely surprise if Tampa Bay signed one of the top free agent snappers.
Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to across the league, starting with the Bills’ big-ticket deal for a future Hall of Fame edge rusher:
Von Miller, LB (Bills): Six years, $120MM. Miller’s deal includes $51.44MM guaranteed. The Bills will keep Miller’s early base salaries low; he is tied to $1.1MM (2022) and $1.3MM (’23) salaries, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Miller has a $13.34MM roster bonus due in 2023, and Albert Breer of SI.com tweets his deal includes $50MM over the first two years. His $17.1MM, $19.6MM and $29.6MM salaries from 2025-27 are nonguaranteed.
Allen Robinson, WR (Rams): Three years, $46.5MM. Robinson is attached to guaranteed base salaries of $1.5MM and $10MM in 2022 and ’23, respectively, per Wilson (on Twitter). The contract includes a $5.75MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2024 league year. If Robinson surpasses 2,200 receiving yards in the regular season and playoffs during the 2022 or ’23 seasons, Wilson adds his 2024 year will void (Twitter link). Only Cooper Kupp has accomplished that feat in a season.
Haason Reddick, DE (Eagles): Three years, $45MM. Reddick, who is guaranteed $30MM, is tethered to base salaries of just $1MM and $1.1MM in 2022 and 2023, per Wilson (on Twitter). His $13.75MM 2024 salary is nonguaranteed. The Eagles tacked three void years onto the deal for cap purposes. Reddick will collect a $13.7MM roster bonus in 2023.
Ryan Jensen, C (Buccaneers): Three years, $39MM. Jensen’s deal includes $26.5MM guaranteed. The Bucs center is tied to a $1.5MM base salary in 2022 and a $12.5MM base in 2023, Wilson tweets. Jensen’s 2023 salary is partially guaranteed at signing; it will become fully guaranteed if he is on Tampa Bay’s roster by Day 5 of the 2023 league year. A $1.5MM 2024 roster bonus resides in this deal as well. The Bucs included two void years here for cap purposes.
La’el Collins, T (Bengals): Three years, $30MM. The contract is closer to a two-year, $20MM pact, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with Year 3 being included for cap purposes (Twitter link). It appears Cincinnati has dipped into the void-year realm, though is not clear just yet how this contract is structured.
Marcus Mariota, QB (Falcons): Two years, $18.75MM. This deal veers closer to a one-year pact. Mariota is due $6.75MM in 2022, but NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes (on Twitter) a $12MM 2023 option is included in this contract. A key point for Mariota’s Atlanta future will arrive on Day 5 of the 2023 league year, when a $3MM roster bonus is due.
Andrew Norwell, G (Commanders): Two years, $10MM. Norwell will collect $5.7MM guaranteed, Wilson tweets. He is set to earn $1.2MM and $3.54MM in base salary, with Wilson adding Washington added three void years onto this deal.
Here are the details from the latest agreed-upon contracts around the league:
Maxx Crosby, DE (Raiders): Four years, $94MM. The Raiders gave Crosby a $13MM signing bonus and have fully guaranteed his 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($3.5MM, $10MM), Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. Crosby’s 2024 base ($19MM) will become fully guaranteed in 2023. Crosby’s 2025 and ’26 salaries ($21MM apiece) are nonguaranteed. There are $200K-per-year incentives included for All-Pro nods as well.
Randy Gregory, OLB (Broncos): Five years, $70MM. Denver is giving Gregory a $10MM signing bonus and has the pass rusher attached to $4MM and $14MM base salaries in 2022 and ’23, respectively, per Brad Spielberger and Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus (on Twitter). Both years are fully guaranteed, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Gregory’s deal includes $1MM roster bonuses in 2025 and ’26.
De’Vondre Campbell, LB (Packers): Five years, $50MM. Green Bay is giving Campbell a $15MM signing bonus and has backloaded the base salaries. Campbell’s first two salaries check in at $1.1MM and $1.45MM, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. They spike to just north of $7MM by 2024. A $3MM roster bonus is also due on Day 3 of the 2023 league year, with a $2.9MM roster bonus due at the same point on the 2024 calendar.
Ryan Jensen, C (Buccaneers): Three years, $39MM. Jensen will see $23MM fully guaranteed, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. His 2022 breakdown goes $1.5MM base salary and $12.5MM roster bonus. $9MM of Jensen’s $12.5MM 2023 base salary is fully guaranteed, and the other $3.5MM shifts to a full guarantee on Day 5 of the 2023 league year.
Will Dissly, TE (Seahawks): Three years, $24MM (max value). The deal includes a $9.3MM signing bonus but is light on guaranteed salary. Dissly’s $1MM 2022 salary is fully guaranteed, while Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets the 2023 base ($5.64MM) is guaranteed for injury. The injury-prone tight end’s 2024 base ($6.49MM) is nonguaranteed.
James Conner, RB (Cardinals): Three years, $21MM. Conner’s deal includes $13.5MM guaranteed, per Kyed and Spielberger (on Twitter). Conner’s 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($1.75MM and $5.75MM) are fully guaranteed.
Mark Glowinski, G (Giants): Three years, $18.3MM. The Giants included a $4.5MM signing bonus, and Glowinski will have cap figures of $3.35MM (2022), $7.75MM (2023) and $7.2MM (’24). Glowinski is due a $1MM roster bonus in 2023 (Twitterlinks via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan).
The Brady effect has started already and it is strong. Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen was poised for quite the pay day on the free agent market this week, but, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Jensen has agreed to a three-year, $39MM deal returning him to Tampa Bay.
Drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Jensen was released, signed to the practice squad, and then eventually promoted to full-time starter over the first four years of his career. After one season as the starting center in Baltimore, Jensen signed a four-year, $42MM contract with the Buccaneers that made him the highest-paid center in the NFL at the time. The new deal makes Jensen the second-highest-paid center in the NFL now behind only Frank Ragnow, who averages $13.5MM per year. Jensen’s new contract has a guaranteed amount of $23MM at signing, with a potential $3.3MM of incentives.
Jensen’s efforts in Tampa Bay last year were rewarded with a Pro Bowl appearance. He didn’t have his best season according to Pro Football Focus, who graded him out as the league’s 14th-best center. But Jensen hasn’t missed a game in five straight seasons and he should be able to replace the leadership on the offensive line lost with the retirement of Ali Marpet. Who knows? The return of Jensen and quarterback Tom Brady may have some influence in bringing back right guard Alex Cappa, set to hit free agency this week, and maybe even Marpet, who retired at 28-years-old.
Regardless of what else may come in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers and Brady will be happy to see the return of their Pro Bowl center. Center-quarterback chemistry is an important dynamic on an NFL offense and, some may remember, Jensen already knows just the right techniques to keep his butt sweat-free, just the way his quarterback prefers it.
It looks like the Buccaneers’ quarterback questions have been answered for now. Get comfortable, Kyle Trask, you’ve got a bit longer to wait. After 40 days of retirement, Tom Brady has announced he will return for his 23rd season of NFL football in a tweet this evening. He announced he has unfinished business in Tampa after the team lost in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last year to the eventual-Super Bowl Champion Rams.
Some details will need to be hashed out as Brady still had four years on his contract, with all years after 2022 being voided upon his retirement. Past that, Tampa Bay has several offensive pieces set to become unrestricted free agents including center Ryan Jensen, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard, and running backs Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, and Giovani Bernard. If they are going to attempt another glory run, these loose ends will need to be tied up.
In response to the news, no one is more happy to see the quarterback return than Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey who was set to spend eternity as the last person to have Tom Brady throw a touchdown on them. On the other hand, no one is less happy to see the quarterback return than the unfortunate big-spender who just dropped $518,000 at an auction in a bid to receive Tom Brady’s final touchdown ball. Looks like there will be many other balls getting thrown past many other defensive backs before Brady retires again.
The ESPN scribes expect Douglas — who needs to demonstrate tangible progress in his fourth year at the top of the Jets’ front office — to make a few high-profile signings. Graziano confirms earlier reports that New York is interested in center Ryan Jensen, and he adds that the Jets are in on 49ers DT D.J. Jones. Tight end and safety are also priorities.
Fowler, meanwhile, reports that the Jets are prepared to “spend big” on a premier cornerback. J.C. Jackson is generally viewed as the best CB available, though Costello says New York is not expected to be involved in the bidding for Jackson. Carlton Davis, whom Spotrac believes is in line for a five-year pact worth roughly $100MM, could be an option after the Bucs opted against putting the franchise tag on him.
The Jets believe that their young collection of corners, which includes recent Day 3 draftees like Bryce Hall, Brandin Echols, and Michael Carter II, have plenty of promise, but they clearly need a true CB1 to anchor the group. Jackson and Davis certainly fit the bill, though signing either player will put a damper on the flexibility that Douglas covets. Plus, as Costello observes, the Jets’ two top-10 draft choices will receive significant upfront signing bonuses, which will further limit the cash that Douglas has to throw around.
The Jets appear to be at least a year away from true contention, but again, Douglas may need to show some improvement to keep his job. That does not mean that he will spend wildly, but it’s probably fair to expect a little more activity than his recent comments on the matter would suggest.
Changes to the Dolphins’ offense have already begun on the sidelines, principally with the hiring of Mike McDaniel as head coach. On the field, the team is preparing to add significant pieces to the unit, according to NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe (video link).
In 2021, the team ranked 22nd in the league in points and 26th in yards, so there is certainly room for improvement in addition to developing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Wolfe names Amari Cooperas someone the team is “watching closely” in the event he is cut from the Cowboys. Given the lack of teams interested in trading for the four-time Pro Bowler – and taking on the weighty cap hit his contract carries as a result – it seems likely he will be released.
If that happens, Miami will certainly have competition to land such an accomplished wideout. With more than $50MM of unused space, however, the team will certainly have the spending power to offer Cooper a deal that would at least be close to what he would have made with the Cowboys. In any event, Wolfe notes that the Dolphins are looking to add a third impact piece to their pass-catching corps, in addition to Jaylen Waddleand Mike Gesicki.
With that said, Wolfe names the offensive line as the team’s “top priority”. With the potential for upgrades existing across the front, the team is looking at free agents at each position. Chief among those is tackle Terron Armstead; perhaps the top free agent of any kind this year, the Dolphins would, like with Cooper, need to win a bidding war for his services. Interior options they are watching reportedly include guard Laken Tomlinsonand center Ryan Jensen, other established veterans who would help in both run blocking and pass protection.
Whether along the offensive line or amongst skill-position options, the Dolphins are set up to make at least one notable signing next week. Who that will be – and what further moves the team makes – will certainly be worth keeping an eye on in the coming days.