Sam Acho

Extra Points: Bennett, NFLPA, Cap, Kirksey

Although Michael Bennett went through a nomadic late-2010s stretch after the Seahawks traded him in 2018, he remained productive. The veteran defensive lineman has registered 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons and is a free agent for the first time since 2013. Bennett, who signed with the Seahawks in 2013, would like to return to the team to which he’s most linked. Asked if he would want to play for the Seahawks again, the 34-year-old defender said “hard yes.” Bennett, though, has not yet committed to playing a 12th NFL season.

I would love to end my career in Seattle,” Bennett said, via Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest. “It’s not up to you, though. It’s up to the team.”

The Seahawks gave Bennett two contracts, including a three-year, $31.5MM extension in 2016. That contract was set to run through 2020, but after the Eagles and Patriots traded him, Bennett and the Cowboys restructured the deal to direct him toward free agency this year. Seattle has most of its pass rushers — including Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed — as impending free agents, so the franchise will have critical decisions to make in the next week and change.

Here is the latest from around the league, moving first to the reconfigured NFLPA:

  • Russell Okung has enjoyed an eventful March, being traded from the Chargers to the Panthers and filing an unfair labor practice charge at the NFLPA staff. As for Okung’s status with the union, he will no longer be part of the NFLPA’s executive committee, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Okung dropped his bid for NFLPA president, throwing support behind Michael Thomas in a race that went to Browns center J.C. Tretter. Both of the players Tretter beat out for the job — Thomas and linebacker Sam Acho — will stay on as executive committee members.
  • Calais Campbell, Malcolm Jenkins and Wesley Woodyard will replace Mark Herzlich, Zak DeOssie and Adam Vinatieri on the executive committee. They will join Tretter, Acho, Thomas, Richard Sherman, Ben Watson, Alex Mack, Lorenzo Alexander and Thomas Morstead on the 11-man committee, the union announced.
  • Rumblings about the salary cap rising to around $230MM by 2021 have surfaced, but the 2020 cap will not move too far from the previously estimated $200MM amount. If the players approve the CBA proposal, the highest the cap would surge to in 2020 would be $206MM, per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic (subscription required). While the salary ceiling could climb significantly by 2023, if the league’s TV negotiations go well, those spikes will not come until at least 2021.
  • Christian Kirksey may have a chance to land on his feet before free agency. Recently released by the Browns, the veteran linebacker has three visits scheduled, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Kirksey’s travel itinerary is not yet known, but the 27-year-old defender’s first visit is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
  • The Texans will take a look at a notable wide receiver soon. They will work out former Broncos rotational cog Jordan Taylor, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. Taylor has not played since the 2017 season. He spent 2018 on the Broncos’ PUP list, and though he caught on with the Vikings last year, the 28-year-old target did not see game action.

J.C. Tretter, Michael Thomas, Sam Acho Nominated For NFLPA President

Three players will join Russell Okung in vying for the role of NFLPA president. Browns center J.C. Tretter, Giants safety Michael Thomas and Buccaneers linebacker Sam Acho have received nominations for union president, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Okung, who unveiled his candidacy earlier this year, was also nominated Monday. Okung, Thomas and Acho are current members of the NFLPA’s executive committee. Tretter serves as the Browns’ third co-alternate union representative.

The NFLPA will elect its next president on Tuesday; the union’s board members are meeting in south Florida this week to discuss key matters. One item obviously overshadows the rest this week. Players now have until 10:59pm CT Saturday to vote on the CBA. The NFLPA voted Monday to delay the deadline for two days.

Eric Winston has served in the role since 2014, but he will cycle out of it after ending his playing career after the 2018 season. The next president may or may not be thrust into a high-stakes situation. If more than 50% of players vote against CBA ratification, the 2020 season will be played under the 2011 CBA. That CBA expires in March 2021. Players voting against the proposal will increase the prospects of a strike or lockout next year.

Of the new members, Okung and Thomas submitted “no” votes on the CBA; Acho voted “yes” on the proposal, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Tretter did not indicate which way he has voted on the owners’ offer, Pelissero adds (via Twitter). Okung has been a hard-liner against the 17-game schedule, so much so he filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the staff of the NFLPA, Ken Belson of the New York Times reports.

Okung’s filing accuses union executive director DeMaurice Smith of forcing a union-wide CBA vote despite objections from the executive committee, Belson adds. The executive committee voted 6-5 in February not to recommend the owners’ CBA proposal, and after the Combine meeting, the executive committee was at 7-4 against recommending the CBA, Belson reports. However, the union’s 32-player board voted to send the proposal for a union-wide vote.

Should the recent Panthers trade acquisition receive the keys after the players vote down a proposal Smith and Winston championed, the league could be set for period of uncertainty over the next several months.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Sign LB Sam Acho

The Buccaneers are adding some defensive depth. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the team signed veteran linebacker Sam Acho to a one-year deal. To make room on the roster, the Bucs placed tight end Antony Auclair on the injured reserve.

The former fourth-round pick missed the majority of last season as he recovered from a pectoral injury. Acho joined the Bills this offseason, but he was released by the team at the end of the preseason. He had a workout with the Broncos in early October, but it’s otherwise been quiet for the 31-year-old.

After recording seven sacks in his rookie campaign in Arizona in 2011, Acho hasn’t been able to replicate that success. In 2017, he started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps, posting 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed. Last year, he had just two tackles across four games.

The Buccaneers’ pass-rush has been relatively underwhelming this season; the team’s 19 sacks ranks 24th in the NFL. Both Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson suffered injuries this past weekend, so Acho will at least provide the team with a healthy body. The veteran also has experience with the coaching staff, having played under head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/1/19

Here’s a look at the latest workouts from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Read more

Bills Reach 53-Man Max

The Bills dropped a host of players on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit, but they also carved out spots by other means. Fifth-round linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) and running back Senorise Perry (quad) were placed on IR while undrafted linebacker Tyrell Dodson was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

Here’s the full list of cut players in Buffalo:

DE Sam Acho
TE Nate Becker
WR Victor Bolden Jr.
TE Kyle Carter
S Kurt Coleman
WR Nick Easley
DE Jeff Holland
QB Tyree Jackson
OT Jarron Jones
LB Deon Lacey
CB Cam Lewis
CB Ryan Lewis
OL Eric Magnuson
WR Ray-Ray McCloud
RB LeSean McCoy
K Chase McLaughlin
CB Captain Munnerlyn
RB Marcus Murphy
DT Kyle Peko
WR Cam Phillips
CB Lafayette Pitts
OL Demetrius Rhaney
CB Denzel Rice
WR David Sills
TE Keith Towbridge
RB Christian Wade
S Abraham Wallace
DT L.T. Walton
WR Duke Williams
DE Eddie Yarbrough
DT Roderick Young

Bills Cut CB Captain Munnerlyn

Captain Munnerlyn‘s stint with the Bills only lasted several weeks. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran cornerback has been released.

With Buffalo eyeing some reinforcement in their secondary, the team brought in Munnerlyn in early August. The cornerback was familiar with head coach Sean McDermott’s defense, making him a logical fill-in for injured cornerback E.J. Gaines. Instead, it sounds like the organization decided to opt for younger options at the position.

A consistent starter between Carolina and Minnesota from 2011-14, Munnerlyn has taken on a backup role in recent campaigns. In 2018, he appeared in all 16 games, starting five, and registered one interception and nine passes defensed. In his 10-year career, Munnerlyn has logged 12 interceptions, five of which he has returned for scores.

Munnerlyn isn’t the only veteran defender to lose his job. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic tweets that veteran defensive end Sam Acho has also been cut. The 30-year-old joined the team earlier this month. Acho spent the past four years in Chicago, including a 2018 campaign where he was limited to only four games.

The Bills also let go of two intriguing offensive players: running back Marcus Murphy (via Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic on Twitter) and quarterback Tyree Jackson.

Bills Sign DE Sam Acho, Release OG Vlad Ducasse

The Bills have signed defensive end Sam Acho and have released guard Vlad Ducasse, the team announced. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic observes that Ducasse was running with the third-stringers when all of Buffalo’s O-linemen were healthy, so he was clearly not going to make the team (Twitter link). As a veteran and former starter, the club likely wanted to give him a chance to catch on elsewhere.

Indeed, Ducasse started 21 games for the Bills over the past two seasons, but he did not fare particularly well in either campaign. Buffalo made the O-line a primary focus this offseason, and the former second-round pick of the Jets slid down the depth chart as a result. Although he has never been a top performer, another club will likely bring him in to serve as experienced depth.

Acho, meanwhile, missed most of 2018 with a pectoral injury. In 2017, he started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps, posting 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed. Last year, he had just two tackles across four games.

After recording seven sacks in his rookie campaign in Arizona in 2011, Acho has never been able to replicate that success. He will attempt to make the Bills as a situational pass rusher after Buffalo traded Eli Harold earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Release Sam Acho

The Bears have released linebacker Sam Acho, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The move was expected after Acho missed the bulk of 2018 with a pectoral injury. 

[RELATED: Bears Shopping Jordan Howard]

Without Acho, the Bears will have to search for quality linebacker depth and special teams help elsewhere. They’ll also have to replace his locker room presence – Acho was a respected leader in the Bears’ locker room and the 30-year-old (31 in September) provided the club with veteran leadership.

In 2017, Acho started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps. In that time, he posted 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed. Last year, he had just two tackles across his four games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Sam Acho Done For Season

Bears linebacker Sam Acho is done for the season after tearing his pectoral muscle, coach Matt Nagy announced. The Bears will soon place Acho on injured reserve in order to free up a roster spot. 

Acho, who celebrated his 30th birthday just before the start of the season, was not starting this year, but he was involved in the Bears’ outside linebacker rotation behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. The injury means that the Bears will be featuring fourth-round rookie Joel Iyiegbuniwe and former 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch more frequently, though the Bears will obviously look to keep Mack and Floyd on the field for as many plays as possible.

Last season, Acho started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps. In that time, he posted 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: 3/25/18

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts: