Tim Patrick

Restructured Deals: Packers, Broncos, Bills, Patriots, Giants

As free agency continues, teams will keep finding ways to open up additional cap. We’ve had a handful of reworked contracts in recent days, which we’ve compiled below:

  • The Packers opened $10.15MM in cap space by restructuring the contracts of wideout Randall Cobb (which was previously reported) and safety Adrian Amos, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tweets that Green Bay turned $5.88MM of Amos’ $7MM base salary into a signing bonus and added four void years.
  • The Broncos opened up some space via a pair of restructured deals. Wideout Tim Patrick converted $6.9MM of his roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating around $4.6MM in cap space, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter). The Broncos also converted receiver Courtland Sutton‘s $10.5MM roster bonus into a signing bonus, saving $7.875MM in 2022 cap space, per Klis (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers converted $11.765MM of wideout Robby Anderson’s 2022 pay into a signing bonus, creating $5.88MM in cap space, per Yates (on Twitter). Staying in the NFC, Yates also tweets that the Eagles converted $14.88MM of cornerback Darius Slay’s salary into a signing bonus, creating $11.90MM in 2022 cap space.
  • The Giants converted $2.63MM of kicker Graham Gano’s salary into a bonus, creating $1.753MM in cap space, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). The team also added a void year to the contract, something GM Joe Schoen was trying to avoid (per Raanan).
  • After getting traded to the Bills, quarterback Case Keenum agreed to rework his contract. Per Yates (on Twitter), Keenum reduced his base salary to $3.5MM. Another AFC East team, the Patriots, also got into the game, reducing defensive end Henry Anderson‘s base salary from $2.5MM to $1.25MM (per Yates).
  • Yates passes along three more restructures (on Twitter): the Vikings opened $6MM in cap space by reworking safety Harrison Smith‘s contract, the Bills opened $5.172MM via linebacker Matt Milano‘s contract, and the Titans opened $6.45MM via linebacker Zach Cunningham‘s contract.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Details On Broncos WR Extensions

The Broncos have been busy handing out money to their wideouts recetnly, extending both Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick over the past few weeks. Thanks to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, we’ve now got some details on those new contracts.

[RELATED: Sutton Extension | Thomas Extension]

Patrick’s contract was reported as a three-year pact worth a max value of $34MM, including $18.5MM in guaranteed money (via Twitter). In 2021, Patrick will earn a $3MM signing bonus and a $1.5MM base salary (prorated from $3.3MM), all of which is guaranteed. The wideout will earn a $6.96MM roster bonus and $1.53MM base salary in 2022, with the entire $8.5MM guaranteed. Patrick’s 2023 and 2024 earnings are relatively similar; he’ll have $500K in game-day bonuses in both 2023 and 2024, along with $8MM (2023) and $9.4MM (2024) base salaries. His 2023 salary includes a $5.5MM injury guarantee.

Sutton’s new deal was reported as $60.8MM total, with $34.9MM guaranteed. Sutton’s new deal includes a $6MM signing bonus (via Twitter). He’ll earn another $10.5MM via a 2022 roster bonus (along with a $1.5MM base salary in 2022). In 2023, he’ll earn a $14MM salary with $500K worth of roster bonuses, and he’ll get similar bonuses in 2024 (along with a $13MM salary (of which only $2MM is guaranteed for injury only)). 2025 is the final year of the wideout’s contract, with Sutton earning a $13.5MM salary (and a $500K bonus).

Broncos, WR Tim Patrick Agree On Extension

Entering the season with two key contract-year wide receivers, the Broncos made the move Friday to extend one of them. They agreed to terms with Tim Patrick on a three-year deal, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

The former UDFA will collect a nice payday, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting the contract carries a max value of $34MM and includes $18.5MM guaranteed (Twitter link). While Courtland Sutton remains unsigned beyond 2021, Denver is keeping its other outside wideout in the fold long-term.

Despite his undrafted status and complementary role with the Broncos, Patrick has become one of the NFL’s most dependable wideouts. He did not drop a pass last season and grades as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 overall receiver against man coverage this season. Patrick’s drop-less streak extends to the 2019 season, with Field Yates of ESPN.com noting the ex-Utah Ute has not dropped a pass since Week 13 of that slate (Twitter link).

The 6-foot-4 wideout has been essential for the Broncos this season, with the team having lost K.J. Hamler for the year and having been without Jerry Jeudy for a chunk of it. Patrick has 37 receptions for 523 yards and four touchdowns this season; he led the Broncos with six TD grabs in 2020.

The Broncos initially signed Patrick in 2017, after three other teams cut him, and he became an auxiliary piece for a team still rostering Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Patrick became part of Denver’s solution after those Pro Bowlers left via trade. The team placed a second-round RFA tender on Patrick this offseason, and the soon-to-be 28-year-old target opted to bypass a free agency run to collect a Broncos payday early.

It remains to be seen if new GM George Paton will also extend Sutton, who will carry a higher price tag. Paton did refer to Sutton as a core player earlier this year. But the Broncos have Jeudy and Hamler tied to rookie deals through 2023, with Jeudy’s contract including a fifth-year option, and Patrick locked down through the ’24 season.

Broncos WR Tim Patrick Signs RFA Tender

Despite the Broncos drafting wide receivers with their first- and second-round picks in 2020, they gave former UDFA Tim Patrick a second-round RFA tender in March. Patrick signed that tender Tuesday.

Patrick will make $3.384MM on this tender, barring an extension. He is expected to be a key option — be it as a starter or the top wideout off the bench — for Drew Lock and/or Teddy Bridgewater this season.

A Utah alum, Patrick became Lock’s most reliable target in 2020. The Broncos lost Courtland Sutton for the season in Week 2, and K.J. Hamler battled injuries during his rookie campaign. The 6-foot-4 Patrick more than doubled his previous career-high marks for receptions and yardage, hauling in 51 passes for 742 yards. His six touchdown grabs doubled the next-closest Bronco.

Both Patrick and Sutton are entering contract years, with the latter doing so after an ACL tear. Sutton would profile as an extension candidate for a Broncos team that has been the main suitor connected to Aaron Rodgers thus far. One of Denver’s receivers may factor into such a trade, should this saga reach the negotiation stage, and Patrick could play a part there. It would be unlikely the Broncos part with 2020 first-rounder Jerry Jeudy, who can be kept on his rookie contract through 2024.

Denver just waived DaeSean Hamilton, after the supporting-caster suffered an ACL tear last week. Barring any Rodgers offer that includes a receiver, the Broncos are set to go with a Sutton-Jeudy-Hamler-Patrick quartet in 2021. Patrick is due for unrestricted free agency next year.

Broncos Tender LB Alexander Johnson At Round 2 Level

The Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay RFA tender opens the door to his Denver exit. The franchise gave a higher-priority tender to one of its three-down linebackers.

Denver will tender Alexander Johnson at the second-round level, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Johnson and wide receiver Tim Patrick received second-round tenders, which come out to $3.4MM this year.

An unusual RFA, Johnson will turn 30 this year. A legal issue delayed his NFL career, but the former Tennessee Volunteer has thrived after receiving his opportunity in Denver. The Broncos turned to Johnson as their starting middle linebacker early in the 2019 season, and he has become one of the league’s better off-ball ‘backers. Joining Josey Jewell as Denver starting linebackers going into contract years, Johnson led the 2020 team in tackles with 124.

Given his age, Johnson may not be a candidate for a long-term deal. But he could be in the mix for either a medium-length Broncos extension before the mid-June RFA deadline or draw interest for a similarly structured pact in unrestricted free agency next year.

Both Johnson and Patrick were expected to draw interest from other teams, had the Broncos tendered them at the right-of-first-refusal level. The Broncos did place the low-end tender on Linsday, whose profile exceeds both Johnson and Patrick’s. It will be interesting to see if the Pro Bowl running back draws an offer sheet. Any offer sheet that comes for Patrick or Johnson would require the signing team to send a second-round pick to the Broncos, should they fail to match. This scenario seems unlikely, pointing both players back to Denver for the 2021 season.

Broncos GM On Von Miller, Drew Lock, Phillip Lindsay

George Paton is the Broncos’ new GM, and he’s got his work cut out for him during his first offseason at the helm. Several big decisions loom, including what to do with Von Miller and at quarterback. Speaking to the media Thursday, Paton got into all that and more.

We’ve heard that the Broncos are preparing to franchise tag safety Justin Simmons for the second year in a row, but it sounds like they really want to get an extension done. “Justin is one of our core guys. Our goal is to sign him to a long-term deal,” Paton said, via a tweet from Troy Renck of ABC Denver 7. Simmons seems to be on the same page, reiterating in a recent interview with Sirius XM NFL radio (Twitter link) that he wants to be with the Broncos for the future. “It seems like Denver wants me back, and I want to be there,” Simmons said in part.

As for Miller, he’s got an option that guarantees him significant money that needs to be picked up by March 16th. We’ve heard the team wants him to take a bit of a pay-cut to return in 2021, and Paton said that he’s still working through the details of the option with his agent. “We want to bring Von back. Obviously the legal process, it’s a serious situation. I don’t know all the details. But respect what’s going on. But we do want Von back.” Paton was referring of course to the legal investigation that stems from allegations made by his ex-fiancee. Even with that looming, it sounds like Paton wants to keep the franchise icon in the fold if the financials can work.

Phillip Lindsay is a restricted free agent since he’s a former UDFA, and Paton said the team wants him back as well. “Phillip’s a good player, very passionate. Obviously had some injuries last year. He’s a good player, brings energy, brings juice. He’s a restricted free agent, we do plan on tendering him. I’m not sure what level but we want Phillip here,” he said, via Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Klis writes that fellow restricted free agent receiver Tim Patrick is expected to get a second-round tender from the Broncos. That would pay him around $3.4MM in 2021. Patrick is coming off a career year where he had 746 yards and six touchdowns. If the team decides $3.4MM is too steep for Lindsay as a split-time running back, they’d tender him at the original-round level, which would mean a team signing him to an offer sheet wouldn’t have to give up any draft pick.

Finally, Paton also talked about the elephant in the room, Drew Lock and his job security. “Obviously did a deep dive with Drew. Very talented, was inconsistent at times. Has a lot to work on. I’ve spoken with Drew, he’s here every day. He’s here early. He really wants to be great,” Paton said, before adding we’re always going to try and bring in competition at every position and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew is on,” Klis tweets.

Those certainly don’t sound like the words of someone who’s committed to Lock as his 2021 starter. Things are up in the air, but we should continue to expect Denver to sniff around potential upgrades while having Lock as the fall-back option if nothing falls into their laps.

Broncos RFAs Expected To Draw Interest

Preparing to use their franchise tag on Justin Simmons for a second straight year, the Broncos do not have a high number of unrestricted free agents that would seemingly factor prominently into their big picture. (Though, defensive lineman Shelby Harris would qualify as such a player.)

But Denver does have a few intriguing restricted free agents, and teams are believed to be monitoring a couple of those players’ statuses. Should the Broncos fail to place at least a second-round tender on RFAs Alexander Johnson or Tim Patrick, interest in those contributors will develop quickly, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com notes.

An unusual RFA due to his age, the 29-year-old Johnson has worked as a three-down linebacker with Denver for most of Vic Fangio‘s two seasons. Pro Football Focus has graded Johnson as a top-25 off-ball ‘backer in each of those seasons. Johnson made 124 tackles last season, teaming with Josey Jewell in Denver’s sub-packages. Jewell is going into a contract year.

Despite the Broncos becoming the first team since the 2003 Cardinals to use first- and second-round picks on wideouts in the same draft — in Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler — Patrick led the team with six receiving touchdowns and amassed a career-high 742 receiving yards. The Broncos leaned on their 6-foot-4 ex-UDFA in key spots after Courtland Sutton‘s season-ending injury. Sutton is going into a contract year in 2021.

Should the Broncos place second-round RFA tenders on Johnson and Patrick, they would have the right to match an offer sheet. A refusal to do so would mean a second-round pick coming Denver’s way. Round 2 RFA tenders are expected to come in around $3.3MM, per OverTheCap. The rarely used first-round tender is expected to cost around $4.8MM.

Interestingly, Phillip Lindsay‘s status may be murkier. The Broncos paused extension talks with their Pro Bowl running back last year, giving Melvin Gordon an $8MM-AAV contract instead. It is unclear if Lindsay will receive a second-round tender, per Legwold, or if the Broncos will give the two-time 1,000-yard rusher the right-of-first-refusal tender. The latter scenario would mean the team would receive no compensation if it refused to match a Lindsay offer sheet. A similar situation unfolded five years ago, when the Broncos gave C.J. Anderson the low-end tender but matched a Dolphins offer sheet. Gordon is under contract for 2021, but his DUI arrest and expected suspension leaves the six-year veteran’s $8.9MM cap number vulnerable.