Ricardo Allen

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Open To Long-Term Deal With Ricardo Allen

Free safety Ricardo Allen is a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Falcons may look to lock him up with a multi-year contract. When asked about whether Allen could receive a long-term deal rather than play out the year under the one-year restricted free-agent tender, GM Thomas Dimitroff seemed open to the possibility. Ricardo Allen (vertical)

Yes, I believe we can create space for Rico and a number of other players,” Dimitroff said (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). “That said, we are always striving for creativity. And decisions made on certain free agents, whether they be restricted or unrestricted, oftentimes are contingent on the creativity they enable or not.”

No matter what, Allen is in line for a significant pay bump. Last year, he earned just $615K as an exclusive-rights free agent. Meanwhile, he proved to be an excellent value as he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 31 ranked safety in the NFL (tied with Eric Reid, Tashaun Gipson, and Tre Boston).

The Falcons seem likely to at least place a second-round tender on Allen, which figures to come in at just under $3MM this year. RFAs have until April 20 to sign an offer sheet from a rival club and teams have until June 15 to withdraw the tender. Even if Allen signs a tender, it will not preclude the team from inking him to an extension.

As McClure notes, right tackle Ryan Schraeder signed a $2.553MM second-round tender in March 2016 only to agree to a five-year, $31.5MM extension with the Falcons that November. Allen could take that route, but he may also want to borrow a page from Andrew Norwell‘s playbook. The Panthers guard played under the $2.746MM RFA tender in 2017 and now figures to become one of the highest-paid players at his position as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/17

Wednesday’s minor moves:

  • The Saints have waived running back Marcus Murphy and moved offensive lineman Chris Watt to the reserved/retired list, tweets Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Murphy, whom the Saints chose in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, served almost exclusively as a return man over his first two years, but he became superfluous to the team thanks to its offseason additions of Ted Ginn Jr. and Alvin Kamara. Watt signed with the Saints just over a month ago and looked like a candidate to function as interior O-line depth. That won’t be the case, though. The 26-year-old entered the NFL as a third-rounder of the Chargers in 2014 and started in eight of 17 appearances with them through last season.
  • The Jets have cut wide receiver Devin Street, per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter). New York will use Street’s old roster spot on Lucky Whitehead, whom it claimed off waivers from Dallas on Wednesday. A three-year veteran, Street was teammates with Whitehead when the two were on the Cowboys in 2015. Street was a member of the Colts last season, when he totaled five appearances and one catch. Indianapolis cut Street after the season, and both the Patriots and Jets have since waived him after short stints.
  • Safety Ricardo Allen has signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Falcons, who have waived undrafted offensive lineman Cam Keizer. Allen, a fifth-rounder in 2014, has emerged as an integral cog in Atlanta, having started in 30 of 31 appearances and picking off five passes since debuting in 2015. He racked up 90 tackles and two picks across 16 starts and a team-high 1,101 defensive snaps last year.
  • The Vikings have signed cornerback Sam Brown and waived offensive tackle Arturo Uzdavinis. Brown spent some time last year with the Ravens, who signed him as an undrafted free agent from Missouri Western State, but didn’t see any action. Uzdavinis just signed with the Vikings on Monday. They quickly became the fifth former team for the 2016 undrafted free agent from Tulane, who previously spent time with the Texans, Bears, Jaguars and Lions.
  • The Patriots have added defensive end Caleb Kidder, an undrafted rookie from Montana. Kidder previously had a brief stint with Minnesota, which cut him last week.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/17

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:

RFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered: 

ERFAs:

Tendered: