Ron Brooks

Eagles Release CB Ron Brooks

The Eagles have released cornerback Ron Brooks, the club announced today. In related moves, Philadelphia has signed linebackers Carlos Fields and Christian Tago and waived cornerback Mitchell White.Ron Brooks (vertical)

Brooks, 28, followed defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz from Buffalo to Philadelphia prior to the 2016 campaign, inking a three-year deal with the Eagles. Hampered by a quadriceps injury, Brooks only appeared in six total games before being placed on injured reserve. In that limited sample size (235 defensive snaps), Brooks earned poor marks from Pro Football Focus, which assigned him a 40.9 grade.

Brooks had already agreed to a pay cut earlier this year that slashed his 2017 base salary from $1.85MM to $1MM and changed his 2018 season into an option year. Instead, the Eagles will now pick up $1MM in 2017 cap space and incur $250K in dead money. Another $250K dead cap charge will appear on Philadelphia’s books in 2018.

The Eagles have made several trades to acquire cornerback depth this offseason, picking up Ronald Darby from the Bills and Dexter McDougle from the Jets, but the unit is still relatively thin overall. Darby projects as a starter alongside Jalen Mills, while free agent signing Patrick Robinson now appears to have won Philadelphia’s nickel corner job, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Second-round rookie Sidney Jones is also on the roster but may get a late start as he recovers from a torn Achilles, while other Eagles corners include rookie Rasul Douglas, Aaron Grymes, and C.J. Smith.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Lynch, Eagles, Saints

Aaron Lynch has an opportunity to play the Leo position in the 49ers‘ new 4-3 defense, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. That position in Robert Saleh‘s Seahawks-influenced scheme is viewed as the team’s top pass-rushing talent, but Lynch admitted the reports about his weight that surfaced earlier this offseason were true. The fourth-year edge defender clarified the weight struggles he’s having. Branch reports Lynch is currently in the 280s and wants to get down to around 270 pounds, but during his last year in San Francisco’s 3-4 scheme, Lynch ballooned to north of 300. This came during training camp, before he served a four-game suspension for substances of abuse. The then-outside linebacker was notified of a suspension last July. Lynch’s sack total plummeted to 1.5 last season after he registered 12.5 between his first two years.

I know last year I probably wasn’t as committed,” Lynch said, via Branch. “I mean, I was committed, but I basically [had] some off-field issues, getting suspended and getting hurt. So I don’t think my mind was in the right place as far as how the season was going. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t committed. I’m working my ass off right now. Getting down to the weight I need to get, doing everything they want me to do.”

The 24-year-old Lynch not making weight could result in the 49ers moving on from him, but the team is thin on pass-rushers. Branch writes the team did not draft a “legitimate Leo” candidate until the sixth round (Pita Taumoepenu of Utah), and the Bay Area-based writer isn’t categorizing No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas (8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss in 2016) as such.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • Ron Brooks is still recovering from the quadriceps injury he suffered in October of 2016 and did not participate in team drills during the first segment of Eagles OTAs, Dave Spadaro of PhiladelphiaEagles.com reports. Brooks took a paycut in March that trimmed nearly $1MM off his 2017 salary. He will make $1MM this season. The Eagles remain thin at cornerback after losing Nolan Carroll and drafting Sidney Jones, who may not be ready to play in 2017. Rookie third-rounder Rasul Douglas lined up as Philly’s No. 3 corner, per Spadaro, with Jalen Mills shifting inside when the team lined up in that formation last week.
  • LeGarrette Blount‘s one-year deal on a $1.25MM base salary is plenty worth it for the Eagles to find out if he can thrive outside of New England, Bob Brookover of Philly.com writes, noting that Blount never being paid more than $1.85MM in a season doesn’t add up with his career production. The 30-year-old rushed for a career-high 18 touchdowns last season — the most any NFL back’s totaled since Adrian Peterson in 2009 — but averaged just 3.9 yards per carry. While he’s averaged 5.0 yards per tote twice, those seasons came with lighter workloads.
  • The Saints keeping their corners healthy could see the position look rather deep compared to the barren outlook of 2016, Nick Underhill of The Advocate writes. Marshon Lattimore joins Sterling Moore, Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams in a secondary that did not feature a lot of the latter duo due to injuries last season. Underhill adds that Williams could see time in the slot for New Orleans and would have last year under optimal circumstances. Any optimism can, of course, be countered by mentioning how Lattimore comes with a history of hamstring trouble and that Breaux and Williams suffered severe injuries in 2016. But under ideal conditions, the Saints appear to be much deeper than they were for most of 2016.
  • Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson wouldn’t mind some competition coming in to push Kellen Moore for the team’s backup job.

East Notes: Jets, Giants, Cowboys, Eagles

The Jets did not make a real effort to re-sign Geno Smith, as NJ.com’s Connor Hughes writes. When asked whether he had any contact with the quarterback during free agency, coach Todd Bowles replied, “No. I would have been happy to have him back. But things don’t work out like that all the time.” Smith will now look for a fresh start with the other tenant of the Meadowlands.

More from the East Coast:

  • With Smith on hand, the Big Blue QB depth chart could get crowded as the team is open to taking a signal-caller early in the draft. The Giants had scouts at the pro days for Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Brad Kaaya, tweets James Kratch of NJ.com. Kaaya had an encouraging showing at his pro day, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). He would seemingly be a more realistic target for the Giants than Watson, who could be off the board when the Giants’ first-round pick (No. 23) comes up. Kaaya might have to wait until Day 3 to come off the board.
  • The Cowboys had two big-time defensive end prospects, Michigan’s Taco Charlton and UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, in for visits, according to the Dallas Morning News. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com ranks both players among his top 25, though McKinley could be on the shelf until late in the summer after undergoing shoulder surgery. Dallas is also looking at Washington cornerback Kevin King, whom it worked out, relays Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). King has the makings of a Day 1 pick, so he could be a possibility for the Cowboys at No. 28.
  • Eagles defensive back Ron Brooks took a pay cut Friday, reports Field Yates of ESPN (via Twitter). He’s now slated to make $1MM in 2017, down from the $1.85MM he had been scheduled to collect. The Eagles also changed 2018 into an option season for Brooks, whom they signed to a three-year, $6MM deal last March. Brooks missed most of last season with a ruptured quad, appearing in six games and picking up five starts.
  • Defensive end Chris Long‘s two-year contract with the Eagles is worth $4.5MM plus incentives, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Eagles Claim Taylor Hart From 49ers

The Eagles have claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from the 49ers and signed cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad, Adam Caplan of ESPN was among those to report (Twitter link). The club has also placed cornerback Ron Brooks on injured reserve and released offensive lineman Matt Rotheram.

Taylor Hart

Hart will now return to Philadelphia, which selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. After a rookie year in which he totaled 14 appearances, including one start, and 12 tackles, Hart was unable to survive the Eagles’ final cuts in September. The 49ers, led by former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, then claimed Hart, but he only made one appearance with San Francisco before it cut him. Hart also played under Kelly at Oregon.

Brooks ruptured his quadriceps tendon in the Eagles’ 21-10 win over the Vikings on Sunday, so his placement on IR comes as no surprise. Grymes, who was previously with the Eagles over the summer, worked out for the club Monday before signing and will provide extra organizational depth in Brooks’ absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles CB Ron Brooks Ruptures Quad

Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks suffered a ruptured quadriceps tendon in Sunday’s win over the Vikings, a source tells Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brooks will require surgery and he likely will not be fully healthy until training camp in July. Needless to say, the corner will be shut down for the season and placed on IR. Ron Brooks (vertical)

Brooks, 28, joined the Eagles as a free agent in March, following defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz from Buffalo along with Nigel Bradham and Leodis McKelvin. Prior to this season, Brooks started just three games in his career. This year, he started in five of six games as the team’s slot cornerback.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are meeting with cornerback Aaron Grymes today, according to Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic (on Twitter). Grymes was a standout for the Eagles over the summer but was waived after suffering a shoulder injury. Grymes will take a physical at the team’s Novacare Complex and, if everything checks out, he could rejoin the team this week.

Brooks is in the first year of a three-year, $5.5MM deal, though the pact only includes $1.55MM guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Broncos, Long, Eagles

Trevor Siemian, the Broncos‘ presumptive No. 2 quarterback, was more consistent in many ways than presumptive starter Mark Sanchez during the team’s OTAs and minicamp, and given that head coach Gary Kubiak said in his offseason-ending press conference last week that Sanchez and Siemian are in a virtual tie for the starting job, there has been some speculation that Siemian could be under center when Week 1 rolls around. But Mike Klis of 9News.com, while acknowledging Siemian’s strong performance, agrees with the prevailing consensus that, unless Sanchez completely flops in the first two games of the preseason–which is a distinct possibility–his experience will force Kubiak’s hand and he will be named the starter prior to the all-important third preseason contest.

Now let’s take a look at some more links from around the league:

  • Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com says that a long-term deal between Von Miller and the Broncos remains the most likely outcome, but if the July 15 deadline for a new contract comes and goes, the two sides could work out an alternative one-year agreement that provides Miller with a little more incentive to sign. For instance, the team could promise to not use the tag on Miller again in 2017, which means that Miller, assuming he is willing to risk injury/ineffectiveness in 2016–while earning the full $14.129MM of the franchise tender in the process–would be guaranteed to hit the open market and get his big payday in 2017. If stubbornness prevails and there is no new deal by July 15, that currently unlikely scenario suddenly becomes more plausible.
  • Before coaching at yesterday’s University of Michigan Big Man camp, free agent left tackle Jake Long said that he is finally healthy. The former No. 1 overall pick added, “This is the healthiest and best I’ve felt in probably about five, six years. My knee’s back. I’ve just been working out, feeling good and ready for the opportunity when it comes along” (article via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com). Long, of course, spent the first five years of his career with the Dolphins and was widely-regarded as one of the best left tackles in the league during that time, but he tore his ACL in each of his two subsequent seasons, which he spent with the Rams, and he appeared in only four games with the Falcons last year, starting none. If he is, in fact, completely healthy, he should be able to land a job as teams look to replace injured or underperforming players during training camp and the preseason.
  • Two of the Chiefs‘ best players, Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston, are recovering from torn ACLs, and the team is being cautious with both, as Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com writes (citing Adam Teicher of ESPN.com). Houston will not be ready for the start of training camp and may not suit up until sometime after the regular season begins, while Charles will be eased into camp and should be ready for Week 1. Neither player, though, will be on the field before they are completely healthy, as they are too important to the team’s plans to risk re-injury.
  • In the Eagles‘ crowded and confusing defensive backfield, it is too early to predict who will emerge as the regular contributors. But Mark Eckel of NJ.com writes that a source with knowledge of the way DC Jim Schwartz and DB coach Cory Undlin are thinking says that, if the season started today, the top of the cornerback depth chart would look like this: Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks, and Eric Rowe.

NFC Contract Details: Vernon, Jenkins, Mack

Here are some of the latest details on many recent agreed-upon and signed contracts from out of the NFC (all links via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post unless otherwise indicated)…

NFC East:

  • Olivier Vernon, DE (Giants): Five years, $85MM. $52.5MM guaranteed. $20MM signing bonus. $7MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2016 league year (Twitter links).
  • Janoris Jenkins, CB (Giants): Five years, $62.5MM. $28.8MM guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $1.4MM base salary in 2016 (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Brooks, G (Eagles): Five years, $40MM. $21MM guaranteed. $11MM signing bonus. $1MM base salary in 2016 and $5MM base salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Chase Daniel, QB (Eagles): Three years, $21MM base value. $36MM max value. $3MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due on March 14. $3MM base escalators in 2017 and 2018 (Twitter link).
  • Colt McCoy, QB (Washington): Three years, $9MM base value. Third year can be voided based on playing time. $1.8MM signing bonus. $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Ron Brooks, CB (Eagles): Three years, $5.5MM. $1.55MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC South:

NFC North:

  • Marvin Jones, WR (Lions): Five years, $40MM. $20MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Alex Boone, G (Vikings): Four years, $26.8MM. $10MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Danny Trevathan, LB (Bears): Four years, $24.5MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter link).
  • Michael Griffin, S (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $250K signing bonus. $500K of $1.65MM base salary guaranteed. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter links).
  • Tavon Wilson, S (Lions): Two years, $2.2MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $500K in annual playing-time incentives (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Mark Barron, OLB (Rams): Five years, $45MM. $20MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • William Hayes, DE (Rams): Three years, $17.5MM. $10MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus due on March 13 (Twitter link).
  • Tyvon Branch, S (Cardinals): Two years, $8MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1.75MM roster bonus in 2016, $1MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Tim Barnes, C (Rams): Two years, $5.6MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.25MM roster bonus due in four days. $750K roster bonus due on third day of 2017 league year guaranteed for injury, skill; becomes fully guaranteed if on roster June 17. Up to $1MM in annual playing-time incentives. $250K annual Pro Bowl incentive (all Twitter links).
  • Brian Quick, WR (Rams): One year, $1.75MM. $1.5MM guaranteed ($1.25MM bas salary, $250K roster bonus due on March 15). $2MM stats incentive (Twitter link).

Eagles, Ron Brooks Agree To Terms

The Bills-to-Eagles pipeline continues to flow on Day 1 of free agency, with cornerback Ron Brooks agreeing to terms to head to Philadelphia on a three-year deal, the Eagles announced via Twitter.

New DC Jim Schwartz has already added Nigel Bradham and Leodis McKelvin and now will bring Brooks aboard. The 27-year-old Brooks’ deal is for $6MM, with the potential to rise to $8.7MM in playing-time incentives, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Brooks has started just three games in his career but played under Schwartz in Buffalo in 2014. The 2012 fourth-round pick has played in 46 games the past four seasons.

The Eagles have added two former Bills corners over the past two days while shipping out Byron Maxwell. Nolan Carroll remains a free agent.

FA Rumors: Brooks, JPP, Gates, James Jones

Bills cornerback Ron Brooks is eligible for free agency this offseason, but he technically remains under contract with the team until the new league year begins in March. Perhaps he was reminded of that this afternoon.

Earlier today, Brooks published a tweet that read, “Preciate everybody with the @Buffalobills and the great fans of WNY!!! It’s been a good ride. Sad to leave but business is business.” He has since deleted the tweet.

It’s not clear whether Brooks plans or expects to leave the Bills, or he was just a little premature in assuming his free agency. Either way, with the tweet deleted, we may have to wait until March to find out the fate of the defensive back and special-teamer.

Here are some other Friday updates on players eligible for free agency this winter:

  • Appearing on The Michael Kay Show, Giants co-owner John Mara confirmed that he’d like to see his team bring back Jason Pierre-Paul. However, he cautioned that it will depend on the price, adding that the Giants “have to see more before [Pierre-Paul] gets paid like the top free agents in this league” (Twitter links via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News). A report last week suggested there’s mutual interest between JPP and the Giants in having the veteran defensive end re-sign with the team.
  • Antonio Gates has previously indicated he’ll likely return for at least one more season in 2016, and if he does, the Chargers would love to have him back, general manager Tom Telesco said today, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.
  • Another veteran pass catcher, Packers wideout James Jones, says he’d love to stay in Green Bay and finish his career with the team. However, as Jason Wilde of ESPN.com details, Jones acknowledges that he wasn’t necessarily counting on a multiyear stint when he re-signed with the Packers in 2015. “I kind of felt, ‘You’re here on a one-year deal; Jordy [Nelson] comes back next year; they’ve got a bright young star in Davante [Adams], drafted Ty [Montgomery], got Randall [Cobb],’ so my expectation was not to really fight for a contract here,” Jones said. “I’d love to finish it out, but at the same time, we’ll see.”

Bills Place Charles Clay On IR

The Bills have placed a pair of players on the injured reserve list, announcing today that they’re sending tight end Charles Clay and cornerback Ron Brooks to IR (Twitter link via Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News).

After inking a massive five-year contract with the Bills in the offseason, Clay was limited to 13 games this year, as he battled knee and back issues. In his first season in Buffalo, Clay caught 51 balls for 528 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers look similar to the ones he posted in 2014 in Miami – 58 receptions, 605 yards, three TDs – but the Bills were likely expecting more production from the veteran tight end after inking him to a $38MM offer sheet.

With a $10MM roster bonus owed to him in 2016, Clay will likely have his contract restructured in the offseason, but he’s not going anywhere for now, since that money is fully guaranteed.

As for Brooks, the defensive back who contributes primarily on special teams will be eligible for free agency at season’s end, so he may have played his last game with the Bills. His 2015 season came to an early end due to a neck injury.