Wes Schweitzer

Commanders Activate OL Wes Schweitzer From IR

DECEMBER 3: The Commanders announced today that they have officially activated Schweitzer from IR in time for the team’s matchup with the Giants. Turner has been ruled out this week with knee and ankle issues, freeing up a starting spot on the offensive line. It’s unclear whether the Commanders will want to play Schweitzer at the center position at which he had been starting and move Larsen over to fill in for Turner or if Schweitzer will just slide into the open spot at right guard.

NOVEMBER 30: Wes Schweitzer has missed almost two months of action because of a concussion he sustained early this season. But the veteran offensive lineman will have a chance to play again this season.

The Commanders designated Schweitzer for return on Wednesday, opening his 21-day practice window. Washington was using Schweitzer as a starter before he went down in September. The team has pivoted to a Panthers reunion at guard over the past several weeks, moving Trai Turner into the lineup alongside Andrew Norwell.

It obviously is a cause for concern when a player misses an extended stretch because of a concussion, and while Norwell was out, the league changed its concussion protocol. But the team will observe the seventh-year blocker in practice ahead of a possible activation. Washington has four injury activations remaining. One of those figures to be earmarked for Carson Wentz, whom the team designated for return last week.

In the third season of a three-year, $13.5MM deal, Schweitzer has worked primarily as a starter with Washington. The current regime authorized his contract and has used him as a starter in 20 games over the past three seasons. With Chase Roullier going down early in the season as well, the Commanders had moved Schweitzer to center. He played every snap there in the Commanders’ Week 3 matchup against the Eagles. Tyler Larsen, whom the team activated from the reserve/PUP list earlier this season, has been the Commanders’ starting center over the past several weeks. Pro Football Focus rates Larsen as the league’s 28th-best center this season.

Schweitzer, who started 36 games with the Falcons over the course of his rookie contract, would give the Commanders some options as they aim to become the rare team to go from 1-4 to the playoffs — a route the franchise took during Schweitzer’s first season in town.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/1/22

Today’s minor moves around the league, including practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s action:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

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

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Commanders Place OL Wes Schweitzer On IR

The Commanders have been dealt another blow on the offensive front. Veteran interior lineman Wes Schweitzer has been placed on IR, per a team announcement. The news comes after he was held out of practice this week with a concussion, and guarantees that he will miss at least the next four games. 

The 29-year-old played every snap in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Eagles, after missing the previous contest and leaving the season opener early. He began the year as the starting right guard, but changes were required after center Chase Roullier suffered a major knee injury. That shifted Schweitzer to the middle, though he did nothing to help his PFF rating for the year. With a pass protection grade of 21.6, the San Jose State product has given up six pressures in limited action this year.

As a result, Washington will likely turn to Nick Martin on Sunday. The veteran signed just over one week ago as an insurance option in the wake of Roullier’s injury. The former Texans second-rounder was a full-time starter during his time in Houston, but he was relegated to backup duties last year with the Raiders. The absence of both Roullier and Schweitzer could clear the way for him to once again take on first-team duties.

Elsewhere on the o-line, left tackle Charles Leno is dealing with a shoulder injury, though he is expected to play on Sunday. Still, with Schweitzer joining Roullier and reserve linemen Willie Beavers on IR, the unit will be one to watch as the Commanders look to move to 2-2 against the Cowboys.

Commanders C Chase Roullier Facing Extended Absence

After an eight-game 2021 season, Chase Roullier is facing a second straight year with an extended absence. The Commanders center is heading to IR with what ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) is a significant knee injury.

Roullier, who suffered a season-ending fibula fracture in Week 8 last year, will seek a second opinion on his latest injury, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. The veteran center left Sunday’s game with barely a minute remaining and exited Ford Field on crutches.

Last year’s injury required extensive procedures, leading Roullier to begin Washington’s 2022 training camp on the active/PUP list. He joined Chase Young and Logan Thomas as notable Commanders needing additional rehab from injuries sustained last season. Roullier, 29, returned to work and was good to go by Week 1, beginning his sixth season as Washington’s center starter. Now, the Commanders will need to make another adjustment.

Wes Schweitzer will take over for Roullier at center, Keim adds. One of many veteran presences on Washington’s O-line, Schweitzer began his season as the team’s starting right guard. The Commanders signed longtime Panthers starter Trai Turner this offseason. After not cracking Washington’s starting lineup to open the season, Turner will become the team’s full-time right guard. He did line up with the starters in Detroit due to a Schweitzer hamstring injury.

This is a tough blow to a team that lost perennial Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff in free agency. Pro Football Focus has rated the Washington O-line as the league’s sixth-best blocking unit in 2020 and 2021. While injuries have regularly hit this position group, Washington not having Scherff to anchor this year’s front five will make for a more difficult task replacing Roullier. Washington gave the former sixth-round pick a four-year, $40.5MM deal at the end of the 2020 season. That accord ranks as the NFL’s sixth-most lucrative center contract. Roullier (63 career starts) has been a first-unit presence since his rookie year.

A former Falcons starter, Schweitzer is in Year 3 of a three-year, $13.5MM Washington deal. The 29-year-old blocker has made 18 starts with Washington and 51 over the course of his seven-year career. The ex-sixth-rounder has almost exclusively played guard, however. Turner, 29, is even more experienced, having lined up as a starting guard 107 times.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/11/21

Here is how teams finalized their Week 14 rosters:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Washington K Joey Slye To Miss Time

Washington kicker Joey Slye will be out for at least three weeks, according to head coach Ron Rivera (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). It’s not yet official, but Slye will “more than likely” land on the injured reserve list given the timeframe for recovery.

Slye injured his left leg last night while chasing down Seahawks defensive lineman Rasheem Green. As Green took his blocked XP back for two points, Slye slipped, fell, and had to be taken out of the game. After that, Washington had punter Tress Way handle kickoffs, but they opted against going for any field goals.

Slye signed with D.C. in November 9th to serve as their third kicker of the season. Since then, he’s nailed all six of his field goals while going 5-of-6 on extra point tries (he can thank Green for the lone blemish). Slye may be able to return by Week 17 but, in the interim, Washington will have to evaluate outside options.

On the plus side, running back J.D. McKissic is “all good” after his neck injury, according to agent Doug Hendrickson (on Twitter). They’ll hope for similar news on center/guard Wes Schweitzer, who was forced out of last night’s game with an ankle injury.

Contract Details: JPP, Boston, Waynes

A new batch of contract details to pass along, all via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter):

  • LB Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers: two year extension. $25MM, including $20MM guaranteed. Salaries: $6.5MM, guaranteed (2020), $12.5MM, with $7.5MM guaranteed for injury (2021).
  • Tre Boston, Panthers: three years, $18MM. $8MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1.16MM (2020), $2.25MM (2021), $3.69MM (2022). $1MM third day 2020 roster bonus, $1MM third day 2022 roster bonus.
  • CB Trae Waynes, Bengals: three years, $42MM. $15MM signing bonus. Salaries: $5MM (2020), $8.4MM (2021), $10.4MM (2022).
  • DT Linval Joseph, Chargers: two years, $17MM. $8MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1.5MM (2020), $5.5MM (2021). $1MM annual playtime, sacks, Pro Bowl incentive.
  • OL Wes Schweitzer, Redskins: three years, $13.5MM. $4MM guaranteed, $3MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM guaranteed (2020), $3.49MM (2021), $4.49MM (2022).
  • LB A.J. Klein, Bills: three years, $18MM. $9.7MM guaranteed, $1.2MM signing bonus. Salaries: $2.2MM guaranteed (2020), $4.1MM, with $3.2MM guaranteed (2021), $4.2MM (2022).
  • OL Tyler Shatley, Jaguars: signed. One-year, $1.511MM deal with $600K guaranteed. $1.375MM salary for 2020.

G Wes Schweitzer Heading To Washington

Free-agent offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer has agreed to a three-year deal with Washington worth up to $13.5MM, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. Schweitzer played with the Falcons for the first four years of his career before entering free agency.

With experience at all three spots along the interior offensive line in Atlanta, Schweitzer at the very least can serve as a useful swiss-army knife. After not appearing in a game as a rookie, Schweitzer started every game of the 2017 season at right guard for the Falcons, in 2018, he served as the teams primary starter at left guard, and last season, while primarily playing left guard, he still played over 20 percent of his snaps at right guard.

Washington placed the franchise tag on guard Brandon Scherff, but the size of Schweitzer’s role may very well be determined by the fallout of Scherff’s future in the nation’s capital.

 

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

OL Notes: Colts, Peters, Giants, Falcons

Jim Irsay is generally unafraid to make bold statements, and the longtime Colts owner made another recently by proclaiming the team’s embattled offensive line as “fixed.” Andrew Luck took the second-most hits of any quarterback last season at 128 despite missing a game due to a concussion. The team also allowed the fifth-most sacks with 46. Luck missed nine games in 2015 with a shoulder injury and absorbed plenty of hits before that season-ending malady. And the Colts did not make any big additions this offseason, former Titans starter Brian Schwenke‘s one-year deal notwithstanding.

Let me say this: The offensive line is fixed,” Irsay said, via Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “I’m telling you guys, the offensive line is fixed. The reason I’ll tell you it’s fixed is because (former Colts offensive line coach) Howard Mudd told me it’s fixed. If Howard Mudd tells you it’s fixed, trust me, it’s fixed.”

The Colts do return an entrenched left side of the line in Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort and Ryan Kelly. Wells projects Joe Haeg to start at right guard and Le’Raven Clark to man right tackle. Irsay added the team may be ready to run more in 2017. Indianapolis did add fourth-round running back Marlon Mack and UFA Christine Michael to join Frank Gore. The Colts ranked 16th with 25.6 rushing attempts per game last season.

We’ve worked hard to bring in the right type of players (on the offensive line),” Irsay said. “We’re ready to run the football and protect Andrew.”

Here’s the latest news on some other offensive lines, moving first to the Eagles’.

  • Jason Peters did not attend the Eagles‘ OTA sessions but will be back for minicamp, Bob Ford of Philly.com notes. Lane Johnson worked at left tackle in the 35-year-old’s stead. Peters will be back with the team despite the Eagles approaching him about a paycut in February and the sides not agreeing on one. Ford notes Johnson is expected to slide over to the left side after Peters’ Philadelphia tenure concludes.
  • The Giants‘ tackle situation is not as enviable, but a consensus appears to be forming. Big Blue seems to agree with the Chargers’ coaching staffs of the past two years. D.J. Fluker did not play right tackle during OTAs, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes, focusing strictly on guard duty. Even after Bobby Hart was absent during the team’s final OTA sessions, sixth-round rookie Adam Bisnowaty took first-team reps instead of Fluker on the right edge, Raanan writes. Fluker played right tackle during his first two seasons in San Diego, but the Giants are going with Hart — a 2015 seventh-round pick — right now. This means Fluker may have a tougher time auditioning, barring injury, for a long-term contract with the Giants re-signing holdover right guard John Jerry. Fluker is signed to a one-year deal.
  • Ben Garland may be ready to stick on one side of the ball this season and will probably see time in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. Used on defense as well during the Falcons‘ NFC championship season, Garland will battle Wes Schweitzer for the right guard job vacated by Chris Chester, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Schweitzer was a sixth-round pick last year who did not suit up as a rookie. Ledbetter notes the 29-year-old Garland may have a slight upper hand going into minicamp. Garland’s previous opportunity to vie for a starting job ended quickly, with the 2015 Broncos bringing in Evan Mathis midway through training camp after Garland worked with Denver’s first-stringers at that camp’s outset. Garland, though, played in all 19 Falcons games last season after spending most of the ’15 season on Atlanta’s practice squad.