Ricardo Allen

South Notes: Tannehill, Texans, Falcons

The refrain during the final several weeks of the Titans‘ season pointed to either a Ryan Tannehill extension or franchise tag. But the resurgent team may not be entirely committed to the ex-Dolphin yet. The Titans have not decided Tannehill is worth a $27MM franchise tag or a franchise QB-level salary, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com note. Tannehill is open to a long-term Titans deal, and the sides began discussing an extension late in the season. After the quarterback’s surprising stretch to help the team to the AFC title game, it would be surprising if he were allowed to hit the market. But the Titans do have Derrick Henry as a franchise tag candidate and four-year right tackle starter Jack Conklin set for free agency as well. The Titans have some major decisions to make in the next few weeks. Teams can use their franchise and transition tags this year, if there is no new CBA in place by the time the tag window opens February 25. Teams have from Feb. 25-March 10 to apply tags.

Here is the latest from the South divisions:

  • Among their free agents, Austin Hooper appears to be the Falcons‘ top priority. De’Vondre Campbell is on the team’s re-up radar as well. Vic Beasley‘s future in Atlanta is less certain. The former first-round pick earned All-Pro acclaim in 2016 but fell off the radar for years after that dominant season. “Well, Vic played at a different level in the back half of the year than the first half of the year,” Arthur Blank said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “What changed for him, I’m not exactly sure. And whether or not we can have that kind of consistency with him when it matters, only time will tell.” A trade candidate at the deadline, Beasley finished with four sacks in his final four games to record eight this season.
  • Falcons safety Ricardo Allen underwent shoulder surgery recently, Jason Butt of The Athletic tweets. The veteran defender played through a shoulder malady late in the season. He will require a multiple-month rehab process, which could delay his participation in the Falcons’ offseason program.
  • The Texans added multiple staffers to lower-level positions, bringing in Deon Broomfield as a defensive assistant and DeNarius McGhee as a quality control coach, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Broomfield coached cornerbacks at Indiana State for the past three years, while McGee coached quarterbacks and running backs at Montana State in that span.

Falcons Create Room For Julio Jones Deal

The Falcons are “very, very close” to an extension for Julio Jones, owner Arthur Blank tells Jeff Schultz of TheAthletic.com (on Twitter). Of course, this is roughly what we’ve been hearing all summer, but it’s worth noting since we are days away from the start of the season and it is coming directly from the owner’s mouth. 

Furthermore, the Falcons have created some additional breathing room that may give them the cap space necessary to re-up their star wide receiver. The team completed simple contract restructurings with left tackle Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (on Twitter) to carve out another $5MM.

We’ve been here many times before, but this time, it feels real. In all likelihood, Jones will have a brand new deal by the end of the week that will put him at or near the top of the WR heap in the NFL.

Falcons Notes: Julio, Neal, Allen, Smith

We learned earlier today that the Falcons may already have a new deal in place for star receiver Julio Jones, but GM Thomas Dimitroff declined to put a timetable on the negotiations. As Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes, Dimitroff did express optimism that the two sides would reach an accord.

Dimitroff said, “[w]e have the utmost faith that Julio is coming here and he’s taking care of his business while he’s here, and we’ll keep plugging away with [Jones’ agent] Jimmy [Sexton]. We have a very good working relationship and respect for Jimmy Sexton and CAA, and I’m confident [the deal] will get done.”

Sexton could not be reached for comment, but after getting long-term deals for Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones done this month, it looks like the Falcons will give Julio Jones his new contract in short order.

Now for more from Atlanta:

  • We heard back in May that the Falcons’ starting safety tandem of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, who suffered major injuries that ended their 2018 seasons prematurely, were expected to be ready for training camp, and that turned out to be true. As Ledbetter writes, Allen returned to the practice field Monday and went through most of the team drills, and Emmanuel Morgan of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Neal has participated in drills and has taken reps with the first-team defense. Unfortunately, the club lost backup safety J.J. Wilcox for the season after he tore his ACL on Monday.
  • The Falcons plan to expand RB Ito Smith‘s role this season, as Morgan writes in a separate piece. Smith will serve as the club’s No. 2 back behind Devonta Freeman, and he will look to improve his pass protection and his ability to hit holes at full speed while continuing to refine his abilities as a pass catcher. Running backs coach Matt Brock hinted that the club may only carry three RBs, so the battle for the No. 3 spot behind Freeman and Smith is one that he expects to be highly competitive.
  • Defensive lineman Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle on Monday, but he could return this season, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
  • The Falcons signed veteran DL Allen Bailey yesterday.

NFC South Notes: Little, Falcons, Grayson

The Panthers traded up in the second round of the 2019 draft to land Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little, and as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, Carolina’s left tackle job is seemingly Little’s to lose. The Panthers deployed Taylor Moton on the blindside last season, but GM Marty Hurney‘s preference is to have Moton play right tackle. Daryl Williams is still in the mix for a spot on the right side of the line, but the club appears prepared to pencil in Little as its starting LT, which would make the rookie a key figure in the Panthers’ 2019 fortunes.

Now for more from the NFC South:

  • The Falcons have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension with franchise-tagged defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, but GM Thomas Dimitroff recently conceded that Jarrett may play out the 2019 campaign under the tag, which suggests that the two sides still aren’t particularly close on a new contract. Dimitroff said (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), “I’m confident that something will get done one way or the other. If it doesn’t, we have a year to continue to talk about it.”
  • The Falcons‘ starting safety tandem of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, who are recovering from major injuries that ended their 2018 seasons prematurely, are both expected to be at full strength by the time training camp begins in July, as Ledbetter notes in a separate piece.
  • The Saints tried out former LSU track star Cyril Grayson yesterday, as Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune tweets. Grayson has spent time with the Seahawks, Colts, and Bears, but he has yet to see regular season action.

Falcons’ Ricardo Allen Done For Season

Falcons safety Ricardo Allen tore his Achilles and is out for the season, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a tough blow for an Atlanta defense that has already lost multiple defensive starters to injury this year. 

Allen inked a three-year, $19.5MM extension with the Falcons before the start of the season, tying him to the club through the 2021 campaign. In his previous four seasons with the team, Allen played in 46 games, including 45 starts. During that time, he racked up six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles. This year, he added an interception in the team’s Week 2 victory over the Panthers plus 14 total tackles through three contests.

After a crushing overtime loss to the Saints, the 1-2 Falcons will look to rebound against the Bengals on Sunday. They’ll do so without one of their better players in the secondary.

The injury may force the Falcons to promote Jordan Richards or Keith Tandy to the starting lineup, but those are uninspiring options for a team that is already without starting safety Keanu Neal. Instead, one has to wonder if the Falcons might inquire on free agent Eric Reid, or pursue Seahawks safety Earl Thomas via trade.

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Falcons, S Ricardo Allen Agree To Extension

The Falcons have agreed to a three-year extension with safety Ricardo Allen, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The pact, worth $19.5MM, will keep Allen in place through the 2021 season. 

The Falcons retained Allen this offseason by assigning the $2.914MM restricted free agent tender to him. He took his time before signing the deal, waiting until June to ink the contract. Allen took a small gamble by waiting to sign his tender, but the Falcons were unlikely to pull it the given his past performance.

In four seasons with the team, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles. Allen made it clear that he wanted to play in Atlanta beyond the 2018 season and the interest was mutual, so it was only a matter of time before a deal came together.

The $6.5MM average annual value on the deal puts Allen in the top 20 amongst all NFL safeties. Currently, four other safeties – Glover Quin (Lions), Barry Church (Jaguars), Jaquiski Tartt (49ers), and Eric Weddle (Ravens) – make the same per year on average.

Still, it’s a reasonably priced deal that should give the Falcons enough room to work out an extension with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Meanwhile, Allen has obtained financial security that will spare him from testing a weak market for free agent safeties.

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Falcons, Ricardo Allen Discussing Extension

After reaching a compromise with Julio Jones and locking up left tackle Jake Matthews, the Falcons are moving on to other offseason priorities. With that in mind, the Falcons are meeting with agent Drew Rosenhaus in Atlanta to discuss an extension for safety Ricardo Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

The Falcons retained Allen this offseason by assigning the $2.914MM restricted free agent tender to him. He took his time before signing the deal, waiting until June to ink the contract. Allen took a small gamble by waiting to sign his tender, but the Falcons were unlikely to pull the given his past performance.

In four seasons with the team, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles. Allen has made it clear that he wants to play in Atlanta beyond the 2018 season and the interest in mutual.

Still, there are a couple of factors working against Rosenhaus and Allen. First, Rosenhaus will have to fight something of an uphill battle given the weakness of this year’s free agent market for safeties. The Falcons also must leave enough flexibility in the cap for a new deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

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Falcons’ Ricardo Allen Signs RFA Tender

Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen has officially inked his restricted free agent tender, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets. Allen was the last of this year’s tendered restricted free agents to sign his deal. 

Coming from Pick [No.] 147 to being cut and spending a whole year on the practice squad, then next switching positions and playing something I’ve never played before to securing at least $3MM this year for my family,” Allen said. “I don’t think there is anyone around that doesn’t think I can/shouldn’t make more, but I’m grateful.”

Allen took a moderate gamble by waiting this long to sign his RFA tender, but the Falcons were unlikely to pull the $2.914MM deal given his past performance. In four seasons with the team, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery, and 158 tackles.

Allen played cornerback in college, but he has successfully transitioned to safety under head coach Dan Quinn. The two sides could hammer out a long-term deal between now and the start of the season, but it’s not immediately clear whether the team will engage him in talks.

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said that left tackle Jake Matthews and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are up next for new deals after the completion of Matt Ryan‘s mammoth extension. Wide receiver Julio Jones has also taken notice of Ryan’s new deal and is pushing for a new multi-year contract of his own.

Allen is eager to sign a multi-year deal with Atlanta, but he already has secured a nice pay bump by signing the one-year tender. Last season, he made just $615K in base pay as an exclusive rights free agent.

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Falcons’ Ricardo Allen Wants New Deal

Ricardo Allen has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender, as D.Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Falcons free safety says he’s waiting things out as he pushes for a multi-year deal. 

I have a tender,” Allen said. “I haven’t signed it yet. That’s what you all hope for (a long-term contract)…I just take it day by day. I come out here and do my best for the team. I put myself in a good situation and I want to keep going.”

By not signing his $2.914MM tender, Allen is technically putting himself at risk for the Falcons to rescind the deal. From a football standpoint, that’s not much of a gamble after he started 15 games in 2017 and at least 14 games in each of the last three seasons. However, if he were to suffer an injury, that would make his situation a little less certain.

Allen’s position as the only player yet to sign his RFA tender in the NFL this year is a bit curious since the Falcons have some history of signing players to extensions after they ink their tenders. Last year, right tackle Ryan Schraeder inked his second-round tender in March and received a five-year, $31.5MM ($12.5MM guaranteed) extension in November.

Then again, Allen may feel compelled to make noise after the Falcons stated that left tackle Jake Matthews and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are up next for new deals after Matt Ryan‘s mammoth extension. Wide receiver Julio Jones has also taken notice of Ryan’s new deal and is pushing for a new multi-year contract of his own.

Allen played cornerback at Purdue, but he has responded well to his move to safety under head coach Dan Quinn. In four seasons with the Falcons, Allen has played in 46 games, including 45 starts. All in all, he has made six interceptions, ten deflected passes, one fumble recovery and 158 tackles.

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Falcons Place 2nd-Round Tender On Ricardo Allen

The Falcons have placed a second-round tender on restricted free-agent safety Ricardo Allen worth $2.91MM, according to Vaughan McLure of ESPN. McLure notes that the tender doesn’t eliminate the chance of the Falcons still locking up Allen with a multi-year deal.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in February that he believed the team could create the space to strike a multi-year deal with Allen. The 26-year-old made just $615K last year in base salary as an exclusive-rights free agent. He was graded by Pro Football Focus as the No. 31 safety in the league, tied with Tre Boston, Tashaun Gipson and Eric Reid. Allen will have until April 20 to sign an offer sheet with another team. The Falcons also have until June 15 to withdraw the tender.

Allen started 15 games at strong safety last season alongside Keanu Neal. Allen has started at least 14 games the last three seasons after the Falcons took him in the fifth round in 2014. Leon McFadden and Blidi Wreh-Wilson are the only members of the Falcons secondary due to become unrestricted free agents in the offseason. They have Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford locked in as the team’s top cornerbacks after they each signed multi-year extensions last year. The team will also be looking to extend quarterback Matt Ryan, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

The Falcons have some precedent in signing a player to a restricted free agent tender and eventually signing them to an extension. They signed right tackle Ryan Schraeder to a second-round tender last March, which was worth $2.55MM. The Falcons ended up signing Schraeder to a five-year, $31.5MM extension in November, with $12.5MM guaranteed.

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