Shaquill Griffin

NFC North Notes: Bears, Vikings, Reader

Coleman Shelton started every Rams game at center last season, and the former UDFA logged a few starts there during the 2022 season. The Bears gave Shelton only a one-year, $3MM deal, however. Already rostering guards Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis, the Bears may view Shelton as a backup. This is because Chicago acquired Ryan Bates from Buffalo. Given a Bears RFA offer sheet in 2022, Bates remains attached to that contract (four years, $17MM). He looks more likely to be the favorite for Bears center duties than Shelton,’s Courtney Cronin notes.

Bates, 27, does not have a notable history at center. At Penn State, he primarily played left tackle. The Bills used him primarily at guard, with Mitch Morse previously entrenched at center. Despite Buffalo matching the 2022 Chicago offer sheet, the team added two new guards — Connor McGovern, O’Cyrus Torrence — in 2023. Bates did not start a game for the Bills last season, but the ex-UDFA looks set to have a good shot at taking over at center for the Bears.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • The Bears’ four-year, $76MM Jaylon Johnson extension features an out in 2026. The deal calls for $10.6MM of Johnson’s $15.1MM 2026 base salary to be guaranteed for injury, but no skill guarantees are in place beyond 2025. KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes $7.6MM of Johnson’s 2026 base will shift to a full guarantee if the Pro Bowl cornerback is on the roster by that date. With no true guarantees on this deal post-2025, the Bears could get out with just $5MM in dead money (in the event of a post-June 1 cut) in 2026.
  • The Vikings have been active in using void years under GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. This practice cost the team when Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Tomlinson departed, but it is turning to cap space-saving measure heavily this year as well. Minnesota included four void years in Sam Darnold, Aaron Jones and Andrew Van Ginkel‘s deals, with three void years used to spread out the three-year, $22.5MM Blake Cashman contract’s cap hits. While this will create some dead money if these players are not re-signed before their contracts officially expire, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling observes it created some cap space in the event the Vikes need to carry a bigger 2024 cap number for Justin Jefferson, who has been on the extension radar for two years. That said, Jefferson’s 2024 cap figure is already at $19.7MM on the fifth-year option.
  • Looking elsewhere on the Vikings’ payroll, their Jonathan Greenard deal (four years, $76MM) features $42MM in total guarantees. The contract includes $4MM guaranteed for 2026, per Goessling. Though, that money is classified as injury guarantees, providing the Vikes — like the Bears with Johnson — some flexibility down the road on a $19MM-AAV contract.
  • Rounding up some Minnesota contract matters, Goessling adds Shaquill Griffin‘s one-year contract is worth $4.55MM and features $3.99MM fully guaranteed. The Vikings are giving Jonathan Bullard a one-year, $2.25MM deal to stay, per Goessling, who adds Dan Feeney‘s contract to come over from the Bears is worth $1.8MM. Jonah Williams, the defensive lineman, signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal that includes $350K guaranteed, Goessling offers. Jihad Ward‘s one-year accord is worth $1.8MM and includes $1MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets.
  • Initially labeled as being worth up to $27.25MM, D.J. Reader‘s Lions pact contains $22MM in base value. The Lions are only guaranteeing the veteran nose tackle $7.4MM at signing, per OverTheCap. Coming off his second quad tear in four years, Reader would receive a $4MM roster bonus on Day 3 of the 2025 league year. That date will certainly be pivotal for his Detroit future.
  • Arrested on a fourth-degree DWI charge in December, Vikings OC Wes Phillips pleaded guilty to a lesser charge recently. The third-year Minnesota OC pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge, Fox 9’s Jeff Wald notes. Phillips, 45, agreed to pay a $378 fine and will serve eight hours of community service.

Vikings To Sign CB Shaquill Griffin

Waived during the 2023 season, Shaquill Griffin has now played for three teams since his Seahawks rookie contract expired. He now has a chance to add another team to his resume.

The Vikings will add Griffin, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling. A former multiyear Seahawks and Jaguars starter, Griffin spent last season with the Texans and Panthers.

Griffin’s stock has certainly dipped over the past few years. The Jaguars gave him a three-year, $40MM deal in 2021, bringing him over after a successful run with the Seahawks. A back injury in 2022 led to Griffin being a cap casualty after the season, as no guaranteed money remained on the deal for 2023. The Texans then waived Griffin, whom they used as a Derek Stingley Jr. injury replacement, in November. The Panthers claimed the former third-round pick, but he only played in three games with the team.

For his career, Griffin has 79 starts. He made six last season. This included a Bengals game in which Griffin notched a key interception in the team’s road win over a team that still had Joe Burrow healthy. Pro Football Focus ranks Griffin 53rd among corners last year. That is a mid-pack mark. While Griffin only allowed a 71.4 passer rating as the closest defender, Stingley’s return prompted the Texans to relegate him to the bench. After only playing on special teams in his final Houston weeks, Griffin hit the waiver wire.

A steady starter with the Seahawks to close out his rookie contract, Griffin will join a Vikings team that features Byron Murphy as its top corner. The team returns auxiliary options Josh Metellus, Mekhi Blackmon and Akayleb Evans. While the Vikes have made bigger commitments to bolstering their front seven in free agency — from signing Jonathan Greenard to Blake Cashman to Andrew Van Ginkel — Griffin represents their most notable DB addition thus far.

Panthers Claim CB Shaquill Griffin

Shaquill Griffin did not make it past team No. 1 on the waiver wire. Despite the veteran cornerback sitting in free agency for nearly two months between his Jaguars and Texans stays, he generated immediate interest after Houston waived him Wednesday.

The Panthers will use their top waiver priority to claim Griffin, the team announced Thursday. This will mark a return to the NFC for the former Seahawks starter. This is Griffin’s third team this year. In 10 Texans games, the seventh-year defender made six starts. But Houston’s depth improving led the resurgent team to cut bait.

This year has brought an undeniable fall for Griffin, who was one of the top defensive free agents in 2021. The Jaguars gave him a three-year, $40MM contract. A back injury in 2022 led to Griffin being a cap casualty after the season, as no guaranteed money remained on the deal for 2023. It took until May for Griffin to find another home, via a one-year deal worth $3.5MM in Houston, but he made some notable contributions during the Texans’ 6-5 start. The Panthers will be responsible for the remaining $529K of Griffin’s base salary.

Pro Football Focus ranks Griffin 52nd among corners, a middle-of-the-pack placement after his injury-marred 2022. With Derek Stingley Jr. and multiple slot cornerbacks suffering injuries early in the season, the Texans turned to their mid-offseason pickup as a starter. Griffin intercepted a Joe Burrow pass to help the Texans complete an upset victory. With Stingley activated from IR following that game, the Texans demoted Griffin to a special-teamer. He has not played a defensive snap since that Week 10 win over the Bengals.

For his career, Griffin has made 78 starts. Most of them came in Seattle, where the former third-round pick became a regular as the NFC West squad moved on from Richard Sherman. The Seahawks have not shown a penchant, aside from Sherman’s 2014 extension, to give cornerbacks second contracts. Many Pete Carroll-era cogs have moved on; Griffin did so after earning a Pro Bowl invite in 2019 and intercepting three passes in 2020. The 28-year-old defender will have another chance this season — albeit on the NFL’s worst team.

Centering their corner situation on Jaycee Horn, the Panthers are still waiting for the former No. 8 overall pick to break through. Injuries have hounded the South Carolina alum, who has been out since Week 1 with a severe hamstring injury. The Panthers designated Horn for return recently and have until Monday to activate him. The team could activate Horn and keep him inactive, in order to keep the door open for a late-season return. But Griffin will provide some veteran insurance alongside Donte Jackson and C.J. Henderson.

Texans To Waive CB Shaquill Griffin

The Texans will become the second AFC South team this year to cut ties with Shaquill Griffin. Houston is waiving the veteran cornerback Wednesday, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets.

After the Jaguars released Griffin this offseason, he ended up in Houston. The Texans have used the former Seahawks draftee as a starter in six games, but the team had benched him for the past two. Although Jackson went straight to free agency following his Jacksonville release, all players cut after the trade deadline are subject to waivers.

Houston gave Griffin a one-year, $3.5MM deal in May. Because the Texans used void years to lower Griffin’s cap hit, they will be on the hook for nearly $2MM in dead money as a result of this release. But the team is healthier at corner than it has been for most of the season, leaving Griffin without a clear role.

Derek Stingley Jr., Tavierre Thomas and Grayland Arnold had missed time due to injuries this season, and the team recently re-signed Desmond King to a practice squad deal. King worked as a gameday elevation in Week 12.

The Texans used Griffin exclusively on special teams over the past two weeks, demoting the seventh-year veteran after he had logged a 95% defensive snap share in five straight games earlier this season. Griffin, 28, had entered the Texans’ starting lineup following a Stingley hamstring injury that moved the top-three draftee to IR in September. The team activated Stingley in Week 10.

Pro Football Focus measured Griffin as a mid-pack corner this season, slotting him 52nd at the position. He intercepted one pass and broke up four more in 10 Texans games. The Jaguars had given the former third-round pick a three-year, $40MM contract during Urban Meyer‘s year in charge. A back injury stalled Griffin’s Jacksonville run, ending his 2022 season after five games. The Trent BaalkeDoug Pederson regime moved on this offseason, saving $13MM in the process.

A 78-game starter during his run in Seattle, Jacksonville and Houston, Griffin could certainly land elsewhere on waivers. It will be interesting to see if another team takes a flier on the 6-foot defender.

Texans CBs Derek Stingley Jr., Tavierre Thomas To Miss Time

SEPTEMBER 22: After undergoing an MRI, Stingley’s injury is likely to sideline him for six to eight weeks, Wilson notes in an update to yesterday’s report. That news confirms the initial fears that an extended absence will be coming for the 22-year-old, and an IR placement will surely be coming his way soon.

In another injury-related update to the team’s secondary, Wilson adds that starting safety Jalen Pitre will miss Houston’s Week 3 contest. The latter suffered a bruised lung in the Texans’ Week 1 loss, and he has been recovering since then with the expectation he would not miss much game time. Pitre is likely to return to practice next week, per Wilson, which should give him a strong chance of suiting up in Week 4.

SEPTEMBER 21: The Texans played their Week 2 game against the Colts without most of their starting offensive line. One of those blockers — center Juice Scruggs — is poised to be an IR activation near the season’s midpoint. The Texans may soon need to use at least one more IR spot for a starter.

Derek Stingley Jr. suffered a hamstring injury in practice this week, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports, and an MRI points to a several-week absence for last year’s No. 3 overall pick. The LSU product is likely headed to IR, Wilson adds.

In addition to Stingley’s forthcoming absence, the Texans are set to see nickel corner Tavierre Thomas sidelined for a bit. Thomas suffered a broken hand in the Texans’ loss to the Colts and has since undergone surgery, according to Wilson. The Texans have not used an IR spot on Thomas yet, but he is expected to miss multiple games.

Stingley went down during Wednesday’s practice. Offseason addition Shaquill Griffin is expected to replace him in Houston’s lineup. Grayland Arnold will fill in for Thomas, per Wilson. These maladies hit a Texans secondary that has been without Jimmie Ward over the season’s first two games. The ex-DeMeco Ryans 49ers pupil is working his way back from a hip injury. Ward also began last season out of action, opening his final 49ers season on IR due to a hamstring injury. Ward managed a limited practice Wednesday, putting him in position to debut for his new team in Week 3.

For Stingley, this is familiar territory. He missed the Texans’ final seven games last year due to a hamstring injury — one that eventually led him to IR in December. Overall, Stingley missed nine games during his rookie season. Drafted to anchor Houston’s secondary in Lovie Smith‘s defense, Stingley remains a cornerstone piece for the Ryans-led team. Stingley and Jeff Okudah are the only corners to go off a draft board in the top three during the 21st century.

The Texans dropped their previous slot corner — Desmond King — before roster-cutdown day, releasing he and linebacker Christian Kirksey. While the latter made retirement plans Thursday morning, King caught on with the Steelers. King’s exit opened the door for Thomas, who is in his third season with the Texans. Thomas, 27, has made 15 starts with his current team; he played 69% of Houston’s defensive snaps over this season’s first two games.

Thomas re-signed with the Texans on a one-year, $2.25MM deal this offseason. Houston gave Griffin a one-year pact worth $3.5MM shortly after the draft. A former Eagles UDFA, Arnold joins Thomas in being on his third Texans team. He has worked almost exclusively as a special-teamer in Houston. Twenty of his 23 defensive snaps with the team came upon replacing Thomas in Week 2.

Texans Notes: Green, Perryman, Griffin, Staff

The Texans received updates on two injury situations with the potential to bleed over into training camp, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. It looks like Houston will see a defender back at full-speed, while an offensive starter may have a bit further to go.

Firstly, Wilson reported that free agent addition Denzel Perryman is nearly back to full-strength after recovering from labrum shoulder surgery. The former Raiders linebacker missed games last year with a dislocated shoulder before ultimately undergoing the procedure. The 30-year-old has graded out as a top-30 linebacker in each of his two years in Las Vegas, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He’s projected to start beside Christian Kirksey and Christian Harris in 2023.

On the offensive side of the ball, last year’s rookie starter at offensive guard, Kenyon Green, is still making his way back from an arthroscopic knee surgery that he underwent this offseason. New head coach DeMeco Ryans was noncommittal on when Green would return“We’ll see where Kenyon is come training camp,” Ryans told reporters. “For Kenyon, he has to be ready to go, and the work he puts in over the next few weeks will see if he’s ready and ready to go out and compete.”

Here are a few other rumors coming out of H-Town:

  • The Texans were recently able to add free agent cornerback Shaquill Griffin to their secondary. According to another report from Wilson, Houston wasn’t the only team with interest in the veteran corner. Griffin claims that along with his former team in Jacksonville and his new team in Houston, he felt interest from the Vikings and Commanders. He only made one visit, but his trip to Texas was enough to sell him on the team’s scheme and “energy.”
  • Houston was recently able to reach an agreement to extend defensive tackle Maliek Collins to a new two-year, $23MM deal with a reported $20MM of guaranteed money. Recent updates adjust the latter number slightly. Collins was actually guaranteed $20.5MM, consisting of a $10.5MM signing bonus, Collins’s 2023 base salary of $2MM, and his 2024 base salary of $8MM. His contract will also include a per game active bonus of $29,411 for a potential season total of $500k.
  • Lastly, there was a bit of a shakeup in the Texans’ front office last weekend. According to Wilson, former chief of staff Nick Kray is no longer with the organization. Kray came over with Ryans from the same position in San Francisco when Ryans took the head coaching gig in Houston. Since his departure, assistant to the coaches Jake Olson has taken over Kray’s duties. Olson was recently added to the staff after stints as Kent State director of football operations and Yale chief of staff.

Texans To Sign CB Shaquill Griffin

After getting an early release from his three-year, $40MM deal in Jacksonville, veteran cornerback Shaquill Griffin will reportedly be signing a one-year deal with the Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal has a reported maximum value of $4.5MM and includes $3MM of guarantees, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. After the Jaguars failed to find a trade partner for Griffin, they’ll face him twice this season as a division opponent.

Griffin signed with Jacksonville after finishing out his rookie contract in Seattle. He produced at a high level from the jump but really gained recognition in 2019 when he was voted to the Pro Bowl and ranked as the 10th best cornerback in the league, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

He initially rewarded the Jaguars with another strong season, ranking as the 19th best cornerback in the NFL, according to PFF. In 2022, though, injuries tanked his season. Already underperforming a bit through six weeks, Griffin’s season ended when he suffered a season-ending back injury. The Texans are hoping he will bounce back for a strong performance in 2023.

Griffin could slot in as another new starter for a new-look defense that is expected to field rookie defensive end Will Anderson, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, rookie linebacker Christian Harris, linebacker Denzel Perryman, and safety Jimmie Ward as starting newcomers. He’ll compete with Desmond King and Steven Nelson for starting snaps opposite Derek Stingley.

Jaguars To Move On From CB Shaquill Griffin

The Jaguars are in a much different salary cap situation in 2023 compared to last offseason. That will inevitably lead to fewer notable signings during free agency, but also cost-cutting moves leading up to the new league year.

One instance of that will concern cornerback Shaquill Griffin. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Jacksonville will look to find a trade partner for him in the coming days; barring that, he will be released (Twitter link). Moving on from Griffin will mark an end to his two-year stint in Jacksonville.

Griffin is due a base salary of $11.5MM in 2023, the final season of a three-year, $40MM accord signed in 2021. His scheduled cap hit is $17.1MM, however, and no guaranteed money remains on his pact, making him a logical cut candidate. His release will save the Jaguars just over $13MM while generating a dead cap charge of $4MM.

The 27-year-old carried high expectations upon his arrival in Jacksonville, given his production in three years with the Seahawks. Griffin earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2019, and was a full-time starter in his two seasons in Duval County. His 2022 campaign was limited to just five games due to a back injury. The former third-rounder was held without an interception during his time as a Jaguar, and he totaled only 11 pass deflections in his 19 games there.

Still, his age and past success will likely allow Griffin to generate a notable market as a free agent. He will find himself near the top of the list of available corners, alongside the likes of James Bradberry and Marcus Peters. In an update which will help his value significantly, Jordan Schultz of the Score reports that Griffin has full received medical clearance (Twitter link).

Once Griffin is off the books, Jacksonville will have roughly $29MM in cap space, a figure which will help them retain a shortlist of coveted in-house free agents. That includes tight end Evan Engram, who was reported earlier today to be in line for the franchise tag to guarantee his presence on the team for at least 2023, or longer if talks on a multi-year deal proceed according to plan. Jacksonville will, though, need to identify one or more Griffin replacements in free agency and the draft to bolster a secondary which ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed in 2022.

Jaguars Place CB Shaquill Griffin On IR

Shaquill Griffin has missed two games this season; the Jaguars’ highest-paid cornerback will miss at least four more. The Jags moved Griffin to injured reserve Wednesday.

A back injury will stall Griffin’s season. He missed the Jags’ Week 7 loss to the Giants and their Week 3 win over the Chargers. The previous absence involved a hip injury, however.

The former Seahawks draftee is in the second season of a three-year, $40MM contract. One of three secondary starters to arrive during Urban Mayer‘s abbreviated tenure, Griffin, 27, has extended his run of NFL starts t0 72 since coming to Jacksonville. Pro Football Focus graded Griffin as a top-20 corner last season; he sits a bit off that pace (62nd) in a limited sample size this year.

This season will feature Griffin’s lowest participation rate as a pro. Guaranteed to miss at least six games, Griffin came into this season having maxed out with just four absences (2020 in Seattle). The Central Florida alum’s contract, which features $11.5MM in base salary this year and next, does not include any guarantees beyond 2022

Jacksonville also has Meyer-tabbed investments at corner (2021 second-rounder Tyson Campbell) and safety (2021 third-rounder Andre Cisco). The team signed former Rams starter Darious Williams this offseason. Tre Herndon, who was acquired during Tom Coughlin‘s short run back with the franchise, filled in for Griffin against the Giants. In his fifth season with the team, Herndon has been Griffin’s replacement this season. He did not play a defensive snap from Weeks 4-6, when Griffin was healthy, but logged 51 during both the games Griffin missed.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Defense

After looking at this year’s top salary cap numbers on the offensive side of the ball, here is a rundown of the players counting the most toward their teams’ payrolls in 2022.

As could be expected, the salary figures here start below the quarterbacks. A few pass rushers, however, are tied to notable cap hits. Those numbers that check in within the top 20 leaguewide regardless of position. With the exception of true nose tackles and pure slot cornerbacks, every defensive position is represented here.

Here are the top cap figures on the defensive side for the ’22 season:

  1. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $31.12MM
  2. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $29.42MM
  3. Joey Bosa, OLB (Chargers): $28.25MM
  4. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $27.3MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DT (Rams): $27MM
  6. Jalen Ramsey, CB (Rams): $23.2MM
  7. Deion Jones, LB (Falcons): $20.1MM
  8. Bud Dupree, OLB (Titans): $19.2MM
  9. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.85MM
  10. Javon Hargrave, DT (Eagles): $17.8MM
  11. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $17.5MM
  12. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $17.42MM
  13. Robert Quinn, DE (Bears): $17.14MM
  14. Matt Judon, OLB (Patriots): $16.5MM
  15. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $16MM
  16. Shaquill Griffin, CB (Jaguars): $16.44MM
  17. Tre’Davious White, CB (Bills): $16.4MM
  18. J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals): $15.9MM
  19. Marcus Peters, CB (Ravens): $15.5MM
  20. Carl Lawson, DE (Jets): $15.33MM
  21. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $15.1MM
  22. Lavonte David, LB (Buccaneers): $14.79MM
  23. Budda Baker, S (Cardinals): $14.78MM
  24. Romeo Okwara, DE (Lions): $14.5MM
  25. Trey Hendrickson, DE (Bengals): $14.49MM
  • Illustrating how much the cap has climbed over the past several seasons, T.J. Watt is tied to a number nearly twice that of J.J. Watt, who has been tied to $16.7MM-per-year (a defender-record number in 2014) and $14MM-AAV deals as a pro. Trailing his older brother in Defensive Player of the Year honors, T.J. is signed to an edge defender-record $28MM-per-year accord.
  • Jones’ four-year Chiefs deal vaults from an $8.5MM cap number in 2021 to the league’s second-highest defensive figure this year. The standout defensive tackle’s cap hit accompanies Patrick Mahomes‘ $35.79MM number, which is well north of his 2021 figure, on Kansas City’s new-look payroll.
  • After two franchise tags, Williams scored a monster extension in 2021. The well-paid Giants D-lineman’s cap number this year is way up from his 2021 number ($9.4MM).
  • The Rams redid Donald’s contract last month, adding no new years to the through-2024 pact. The all-world defender’s cap hit actually decreases in 2023, dropping to $26MM
  • It is not certain Deion Jones will be back with the Falcons, who have jettisoned other Super Bowl LI cornerstones from the roster since the current regime took over in 2021. But they would save just $1MM were they to release the seventh-year linebacker.
  • To date, this represents the high-water mark for Mosley cap hits on his Jets deal, which at the time (2019) began a sea change for off-ball linebacker contracts. Mosley’s cap hit, on a pact that runs through 2024 because of the linebacker opting out of the 2020 season, increased by $10MM from 2021-22.
  • Hargrave is one of five Eagles pass rushers signed to veteran contracts. The ex-Steeler’s 2021 deal accompanies Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Fletcher Cox‘s new agreement on Philadelphia’s defensive front. As cap hits do not reflect average salaries, Hargrave is the only member of this quartet tied to an eight-figure cap number in 2022.
  • Quinn has also been connected to a departure, with the 31-year-old pass rusher skipping minicamp after it became known he would like to be traded away from the rebuilding team. His cap hit tops the Bears’ payroll. The Bears would save $12.9MM by trading Quinn, should another team sign up for taking on his full 2022 base salary.