Ryan Allen

NFL Workout Updates: 9/7/19

We’ve got another big batch of workouts, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter).

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Texans could be looking for specialist help, as they worked out a pair of punters and a longsnapper. Boddy-Calhoun, who worked out for the Vikings, is probably the biggest name on this list. He started at least seven games for the Browns each of the past three seasons, but was released by Houston at final cuts.

Texans Work Out Ryan Allen, Matt Wile

The Patriots and Vikings went in different directions at punter, with the defending Super Bowl champions drafting one and Minnesota signing Britton Colquitt after waivers. That left Ryan Allen and Matt Wile looking for work. Both veterans worked out for the Texans this week, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.

Houston, as of now, is going into a second season with Trevor Daniel as its punter. The Texans went with Daniel, a 2018 UDFA out of Tennessee, as their punter over all-time great Shane Lechler. Daniel ranked 29th in yards per punt last season (43.2).

Allen (16th in 2018 yards per punt, 45.1) spent six years as New England’s punter, his last game proving to be arguably his most important — a five-punt Super Bowl LIII assignment. Three of Allen’s Super Bowl boots landed inside the Rams’ 10-yard line. However, the Pats went with fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey (and a cheaper salary).

Wile was the Vikings’ punter for 16 games last season; he finished 14th in 2018 yards per punt (45.2). It was his first full-time NFL gig. While the Vikings traded for possible dual-threat specialist Kaare Vedvik, they cut him but added Colquitt a day after Wile initially won the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots To Release P Ryan Allen

The Patriots are switching punters. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the team will be releasing veteran Ryan Allen. The news was first reported by Jim McBride of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). This makes rookie Jake Bailey the team’s new starting punter.

Allen joined New England as a 2013 undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, and he proceeded to play in every game for the Patriots during his six-year stint. The 29-year-old won three Super Bowls during his time with New England, including a Super Bowl LIII performance where he placed three of his five punts inside the 20.

Despite his standout performance during the Super Bowl, Allen inked a modest one-year extension with New England this past offseason. The veteran reportedly turned down multiyear offers, as he was looking to boost his value in time for next offseason. Allen will now have to find that one-year, prove-it deal elsewhere.

The team will now turn to Bailey, a fifth-round pick out of Stanford. The 22-year-old has garnered a pair of punt attempts this preseason, averaging 49.5-yards per punt. For comparison’s sake, Allen averaged 43.8 yards on his five punts. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, this will be the first time in Bill Belichick’s 20 seasons with New England where he’s opted for a righty punter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Lee, Allen, Fins

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets, who set a league spending record by doling out $137MM in total guarantees in free agency thus far, are very interested in trading down from their No. 3 overall pick to accumulate more draft capital. Despite its high-spending ways, New York still has a number of holes to fill, and with his QB of the future already in tow, GM Mike Maccagnan — who is under a ton of pressure this year — may look to add picks so that he can address those holes in the draft. After all, the Jets have only six picks in the draft at present, the third-fewest in the league.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • In the same piece linked above, Cimini writes that the Jets will look to shop linebacker Darron Lee during the draft. Lee is expendable now that C.J. Mosley is in the fold, and even if New York does not find any takers, Cimini does not think the club will cut Lee immediately. He suggests that the Jets could hold on to Lee in the hopes that another team suddenly finds itself in need of a young LB with a first-round pedigree, and he points out that New York was able to deal another disappointing first-round pick, Calvin Pyror, in a June trade several years ago.
  • The Patriots recently re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the club actually had a multiyear offer on the table. Allen, though, preferred the shorter option because he did not like the money he was being offered on the open market, and he wanted a chance to increase his worth on a prove-it deal. Reiss says, however, that New England could be more inclined to bring in competition for Allen, just as it did last season.
  • Reiss observes that cornerback Jason McCourty, who recently signed a two-year, $10MM pact to remain with the Patriots, did receive interest from several other clubs. McCourty had made it clear that he wanted to return to New England, so while he appreciated the opportunity to hit the open market at the start of free agency for the first time in his career, he is happy with how things turned out.
  • New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has, predictably, refuted the talk that his team is tanking in 2019, and he would not concede that the club is embarking on a multiyear rebuild, either. As Grant Gordon of NFL.com writes, Flores told the NFL Network’s Judy Battista, “I think every team’s rebuilding. That’s this league. Every team rebuilds every year because no team is the same every year. I can tell you, we’re going to go try, gonna go out there and try to win every game. I think the foundation is there, and we’ll just, you know, like every other team we’re building.”

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Patriots To Re-Sign P Ryan Allen

Punter Ryan Allen and the Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, a source tells Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Allen, presumably, will earn a step up from his $1.3MM salary from last year. 

There was little doubt that the Patriots wanted to keep Allen, but a recent change in representation may have gummed up the works. Last week, Allen changed agents (Twitter link), so it may have taken additional time for the Pats to hammer out a deal with his new rep, Chris Gittings of OneWest Sports.

Allen has been the Patriots’ punter since 2013. Head coach Bill Belichick places a great deal of emphasis on special teams work and Allen showed the value of quality punting with some spectacular kicks in the Super Bowl. February’s Super Bowl win, by the way, marked Allen’s third ring with the Pats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Kraft, Flowers, Tate

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely not face many legal repercussions from his prostitution charges, according to a Florida criminal defense attorney (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Kraft will probably be required to pay a several hundred dollar fine and attend counseling of some sort, at which point the charges may be dropped.

But the consequences from an NFL standpoint are likely to be much more severe. Volin believes commissioner Roger Goodell should “come down hard on Kraft” and impose at least a six-game suspension and a hefty fine (the maximum fine is $500K). Kraft is obviously one of the most prominent and powerful owners in the league, but he may be relieved of some of his duties (he is a part of five major ownership committees). He was supposed to guide the league through a potential 2021 lockout and lead negotiations with television networks when those contracts expire in 2022, but that is all in question now.

Volin still believes Kraft will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his induction will now be delayed, and the 77-year-old may not be around to enjoy his enshrinement when it does happen (Volin says Kraft was likely to get the HOF nod in a year or two). And, while Kraft will almost certainly not be forced to sell the club or hand it off to his son, Jonathan, this incident will be a permanent blot on his reputation.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few on-field notes from Foxborough:

  • Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers will be a hot commodity if he hits the open market, but Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says locking him up to a long-term deal is high on New England’s list of priorities. The Pats are unlikely to use the franchise tag on Flowers, and they are unlikely to keep him if it takes an Olivier Vernon-esque deal to do so (five years, $85MM). However, McBride believes Flowers will ultimately return to New England on a multi-year contract, even if he tests the free agent market first.
  • In the same piece linked above, McBride looks at the other Patriots eligible for free agency and their chances of returning to the club. For instance, he believes specialists Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen will certainly be back, while Eric Rowe and Danny Shelton are more likely to find homes elsewhere.
  • Assuming the Patriots don’t trade out of the first round, Doug Kyed of NESN.com sees tight ends Noah Fant (Iowa) and Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama) and DB Taylor Rapp (Washington) as potential fits.
  • Golden Tate would be a good fit in the Patriots’ offense, but Kyed does not believe the Pats will be willing to meet Tate’s asking price.
  • Brothers Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty have announced that they will continue their careers in 2019 after some retirement speculation prior to the Super Bowl. Devin is still under contract with the Patriots, but Jason is eligible for free agency.

AFC East Notes: Darnold, Pats, Patterson

Sam Darnold ended his holdout on Monday, leaving Roquan Smith as the final unsigned rookie. But the Jets made some concessions to bring their long-term quarterback investment into camp. Offset language, bonus payments and guarantees served as sticking points for Darnold’s camp, and the Jets bent on two of these items. Darnold’s deal includes offsets, but he will receive his $20MM signing bonus payment within 15 days, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports (on Twitter). The Jets also agreed agreed to keep Darnold’s guarantees intact in the event he is fined in the future, per PFT (on Twitter). Florio notes the lump-sum bonus payment represents a rarity, and this surely indicates how badly the Jets wanted their QB in camp.

The Jets continue to believe Darnold can make a strong push to unseat Josh McCown from the starting job, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes. A Jets official categorized Darnold as not being “hopelessly behind” by missing the first few days of camp. Jets officials have gushed about the USC-developed passer’s potential all offseason, so it’s unlikely he’ll be out of the running because of this holdout.

Here’s the latest from the AFC East:

  • Despite being a two-time All-Pro return man, Cordarrelle Patterson‘s been a specialist on special teams. The former Vikings and Raiders returner has specialized in kick returns. Bill Belichick hinted at the possibility of Patterson being a punt returner with the Patriots as well, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes that hasn’t been the case in camp yet. Rookies Braxton Berrios and Riley McCarron have joined veterans Julian Edelman, Patrick Chung and Chris Hogan as the punt returners in Pats camp. Patterson has fielded precisely one punt in his five-year NFL career, so it shouldn’t surprise the Patriots confine him to kickoff returns.
  • Rookie Corey Bojorquez could push five-year incumbent Patriots punter Ryan Allen, per Reiss, who notes the New Mexico product probably has more natural talent than Allen. The sixth-year veteran has one year and $2MM remaining on an extension he signed in 2015.
  • Second-round Pats pick Duke Dawson is in the mix to win the nickel cornerback job, Reiss tweets. Florida’s seen several corners warrant high draft choices in recent years, and this one has a chance to play alongside Stephon Gilmore on passing downs. Reiss tabs Eric Rowe as being slightly ahead of Jason McCourty for work as the other starting corner.
  • The Jets worked out defensive lineman Drew Iddings over the weekend, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Iddings has bounced around the league for a couple of years, with the Panthers being the most recent team to cut him by doing so last week, but has yet to play in a regular-season game.
  • Former Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas latched on with the Patriots this spring, but New England released him last week. He’s still dealing with a sore knee stemming from a 2017 injury, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (subscription required). However, Howe adds his New England’s depth chart at tight end also contributed to the move.

East Notes: Beckham, S. Jones, Patriots

The Giants and star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are far apart in extension talks, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes Beckham should stage a holdout. After all, if Beckham reports for training camp — as he said he will do — but does not get the deal he’s looking for, then he would essentially be foreclosed from holding out. As Florio notes, a player who reports and then leaves subjects himself to a “five-day letter,” in which a team advises such player that, if he does not return within five days, he will be put on the reserve/left squad list, thereby tolling his contract for a full year. And, if Beckham reports but does not practice with the team until he gets a new deal, he could be subject to fines and suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

As such, Florio believes Beckham’s only chance to get the contract he deserves this year is to hold out and put a little pressure on the Giants, which none of his other alternatives would do. Beckham, though, appears to be sensitive to the stigma associated with holdouts, so this will remain a fascinating case to monitor.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Matt Lombardo of NJ.com names the secondary as perhaps the biggest weakness on the Giants‘ roster, though he says UDFA cornerback Grant Haley — who reportedly received a whopping $100K in guaranteed money from Big Blue — could be a solid slot corner in his rookie season. Lombardo also says the team could reunite with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, which grows more likely the longer DRC lingers on the open market.
  • Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones had a strong offseason, but as Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com observes, Jones spent the last three practices of the spring on the sideline with soreness in his lower body. Philadelphia has said that soreness is wholly unrelated to the Achilles injury that forced Jones to miss almost all of his rookie season, but Shorr-Parks says the fact that the Washington product was forced to miss the most important practices of the spring with a vague injury is noteworthy. The team needs Jones to live up to his collegiate potential, which would have a positive trickle-down effect on the rest of a secondary that needs to replace Patrick Robinson (as of now, Shorr-Parks says, Jalen Mills is the favorite to serve as the Eagles’ nickel corner, a role that Robinson filled so admirably last year).
  • Free agent WR Eric Decker indicated earlier this week that the Patriots would be a good fit for him, and while no team — including the Patriots – has publicly expressed interest in Decker in nearly three months, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says New England could be interested once it has had the opportunity to fully evaluate its receiving corps in training camp.
  • One potentially key member of the Patriots‘ receiving corps, Malcolm Mitchell, is unsure if he will be ready for the start of training camp. Per Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald, Mitchell — who missed all of the 2017 campaign with a knee injury after a promising rookie season — simply said “we’ll see” when asked if he would be ready to go when camp opens next month. New England would love to have a healthy Mitchell, especially in light of Julian Edelman‘s impending four-game suspension.
  • Reiss says that Patriots‘ UDFA punter Corey Bojorquez is a legitimate threat to incumbent Ryan Allen.

Patriots Notes: Brady, Flynn, Allen

As the Patriots, along with the rest of the NFL, continue to wait for Roger Goodell to announce a ruling on Tom Brady‘s suspension appeal, let’s round up a few of the latest notes out of New England….

  • Appearing on ESPN today, Adam Schefter said the NFL isn’t “inclined to budge much” on Brady’s appeal, adding that he expects the suspension to remain at four games (Twitter link via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal). If Schefter’s prediction turns out to be accurate, Brady and the NFLPA will almost assuredly fight the decision in court.
  • As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, Brady is hardly the only one whose 2015 outlook will be significantly altered by Roger Goodell’s ruling on his suspension appeal — Matt Flynn‘s odds of making the Patriots‘ 53-man roster hinge largely on whether or not Brady will be available.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) and Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter links) have the details on Ryan Allen‘s new contract extension with the Patriots. Allen’s deal is worth $6.685MM, including a $2MM signing bonus and $3MM in new guarantees. The contract also features $200K in annual per-game roster bonuses from 2016 to 2018, and an annual $50K incentive for making the Pro Bowl.