Sherrod Martin

NFC North Notes: Peppers, Martin, Lions

When Julius Peppers signed a three-year, $26MM deal with the Packers in 2014, there was some skepticism that he’d get to play out the entire contract, especially considering the significant cap hits in the final two seasons. With just one year left on that contract though, it appears Peppers will play it out after all, writes Rob Demovsky of

Peppers, who turned 36 last month, is set to count for $10.5MM against Green Bay’s 2016 cap, with a $7MM base salary. If he retires, or if the Packers cut him, the team would create significant cap savings, but it doesn’t appear the two sides are planning for either of those scenarios, according to Demovsky. Coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he recorded 10.5 sacks, Peppers seems prepared to continue his career, and the Packers want to keep him in the mix.

Here are a few more updates from around the NFC North:

  • Bears free agent safety Sherrod Martin is unlikely to return to Chicago this offseason, writes’s Jeff Dickerson. Martin started 36 games for the Panthers from 2009-11 but he only really played on special teams for the Bears. As a result, he doesn’t figure to be a high priority for the team this spring since his role could be filled by cheaper, younger players.
  • Calvin Johnson‘s future, potential veteran cuts, and a possible new contract for Darius Slay should be among the Lions‘ top priorities as the offseason officially gets underway, says Michael Rothstein of
  • A player’s character will be a major point of emphasis in Detroit under new Lions GM Bob Quinn, as Rothstein details in a separate piece. “That’s definitely going to be taken into account on every draft pick, every free-agent signing that we take,” Quinn said at his introductory press conference last month.

Bears To Sign Sherrod Martin

A month after releasing him from their roster, the Bears are set to re-sign free agent defensive back Sherrod Martin, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The corresponding move for Martin’s signing isn’t yet known, but center Will Montgomery will likely be heading to the injured reserve list after breaking his leg this weekend.

Martin, who turns 31 next Monday, spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Panthers, starting 36 games during that stretch, including all but one in 2010 and 2011. The former second-round pick hasn’t played a significant role for an NFL defense since then, though he did earn a couple starts in 2014 for Jacksonville, as well as contributing for the Jaguars on special teams.

Martin survived Chicago’s initial cutdown to 53 players last month, but was one of two players let go on the Sunday after teams’ initital rosters were set, as the Bears claimed a pair of players off waivers. The Troy product will return to the team with safety Antrel Rolle‘s availability in doubt for Week 5. Rolle suffered a right foot injury against the Raiders on Sunday, leaving Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey, and Chris Prosinski as the only healthy safeties on Chicago’s roster.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Bears Sign Daniel Thomas

The Bears took to Twitter to announce that they have signed running back Daniel Thomas and safety Sherrod Martin to one-year deals. In related moves, kicker Jeremiah Detmer, quarterback Pat Devlin, and tight end Jacob Maxwell have all been waived.

Thomas and Martin auditioned for Chicago on Wednesday and apparenty made a strong impression on the club. Thomas, a second-round pick in 2011, was initially displaced from the Dolphins when they added Knowshon Moreno last offseason. However, Moreno went down with a dislocated elbow in September, prompting Miami to reunite with the 27-year-old. In four seasons with Miami, Thomas has run for 1,480 yards off of 409 attempts, good for just 3.6 yards per carry. Last year he saw time in 12 games, rushing for 168 yards off of 44 carries, good for a 3.8 yard average on each try.

NFC Notes: Gurley, Carr, J. Jones, Bears

Former agent Jimmy Halsell passes along an interesting note on Todd Gurley‘s rookie contract with the Rams, observing that the running back will get his full 2015 and 2016 salaries even if he’s on the non-football injury list due to his knee (Twitter link). Gurley’s ACL injury occurred when he was still at Georgia, so based on the NFL’s definition, it would be considered a non-football injury, and teams can opt not to pay full salaries when placing players on the NFI list.

Here’s more from across the NFC:

  • Brandon Carr won’t be released late in the offseason like Evan Mathis was, as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said today that the cornerback will be with the team for the 2015 season. However, as Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets, the club is still working on lowering Carr’s cap number ($12.717MM).
  • Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones told reporters today, including D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that he doesn’t intend to hold out at all as he seeks a new contract.
  • A pair of former second-round picks, running back Daniel Thomas and defensive back Sherrod Martin, are trying out for the Bears at the team’s minicamp, according to Jeff Dickerson of (via Twitter). Thomas has been busy over the last few weeks, working out for the Lions and Cowboys as well.
  • The Panthers promoted director of football operations Brandon Beane to assistant general manager, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Beane was briefly Carolina’s interim GM before Dave Gettleman took over the job in 2012.

Jaguars To Re-Sign Sherrod Martin

The Jaguars have struck a deal to bring back safety Sherrod Martin, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Although Wilson classifies the signing as having been completed, Jacksonville will need to cut a player to make room on the 53-man roster for Martin, so the team has yet to officially announce the move.

Martin, who will turn 30 next month, was a second-round pick by the Panthers in 2009, spending the first four seasons of his NFL seasons in Carolina. During that stretch, the Troy alum appeared in 59 games, starting 36, and accumulated 184 tackles to go along with seven interceptions and four forced fumbles. Having signed a futures contract with the Jaguars at the end of the 2013 season, Martin spent the offseason and preseason with the club before being cut when rosters were trimmed from 75 players to 53.

The Jaguars had been in need of some added depth at the safety position after cutting Craig Loston over the weekend and seeing Chris Prosinski suffer an elbow/triceps injury during Sunday’s game against the Colts. Loston is now back on the team’s practice squad, while Prosinski is expected to be sidelined for two to four weeks.

Jaguars Cut Roster To 53 Players

SATURDAY, 4:52pm: As Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union notes (via Twitter), the following players were cut by the Jags today:

Since Ace Sanders is headed for the reserve-suspended list, the team was able to keep guard Tyler Shatley – who was reported below as having been cut – on its 53-man roster, tweets Oehser.

FRIDAY, 4:01pm: In addition to confirming the cuts noted below, the Jaguars have announced a slew of additional roster moves. Via John Oehser of, here’s the full list, which reduces the team’s active roster count to 57 players:


  • Cody Booth, OT
  • Chad Bumphis, WR
  • Deandre Coleman, DL
  • Ricky Havili-Heimuli, DT
  • Craig Loston, S
  • Drew Nowak, G
  • Kasey Redfern, K/P
  • Gerald Rivers, DE
  • Tyler Shatley, G
  • D.J. Tialavea, TE
  • Marcus Whitfield, LB


Place on injured reserve:

3:33pm: The Jaguars have started the process of reducing the number of players on their active roster from 75 to 53, as they look to finalize their regular-season roster in time for tomorrow’s deadline. Here are Jacksonville’s Friday cuts, with any additional moves added to the list throughout the day:

Florida Notes: Jags, Dolphins, Colledge

In his first two drafts as the Jaguars‘ general manager, David Caldwell has used four of his five first- or second-round selections on offensive players, but Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union doesn’t expect that to be the case in 2015. In Carlyon’s view, it’s a safe bet that Jacksonville will target a pass-rusher to fill the Leo role on defense. Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun, and Dante Fowler of Florida are among the players the Times-Union scribe suggests Jags fans keep an eye on when the 2014 NCAA season gets underway.

Here’s more on the Jags and another of the NFL’s Florida teams:

  • Within the same piece, Carlyon notes that safety Sherrod Martin will be one of the more intriguing players to watch in training camp for the Jaguars this summer. Martin has about as much combined starting experience as fellow safeties Johnathan Cyprien, Josh Evans, Winston Guy and Chris Prosinski, but his spot on the regular season roster is far from guaranteed.
  • In his discussion of Daryn Colledge‘s impending meeting with the Dolphins, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points out that, under new general manager Dennis Hickey, the team has attempted to sign every free agent it has brought in for a visit. That bodes well for Colledge’s chancing of earning a contract offer in the wake of Mike Pouncey‘s hip injury.
  • Dolphins safety Reshad Jones is intent on bouncing back in 2014 after a down 2013, vowing to practice harder this year, as Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel details. Jones has a guaranteed salary for the next two seasons, so even if he struggles again in ’14, Miami is unlikely to give up on him.

Extra Points: Bengals, Sam, Jets, Bortles

In assessing the likelihood of the Bengals‘ free agents returning to the team, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer suggests that defensive end Michael Johnson is likely to end up elsewhere this spring. After franchising Johnson last year, the Bengals could choose to place the franchise tag on their defensive end again this time around, but Dehner believes that’s the only scenario in which he returns to Cincinnati. According to Dehner, the club will likely be unwilling to shell out big bucks for another defensive lineman with Geno Atkins already on a lucrative, long-term deal.

Here’s more from around the NFL, with just over a month remaining until 2014’s free agent period:

  • The success of teams with low-salary quarterbacks like the Seahawks and 49ers has prompted a discussion on whether clubs with solid veteran QBs ought to let them walk in free agency if the price gets too high. However, Jason La Canfora of dismisses such thinking, arguing that the NFL’s cap structure ensures that even the more highly-paid signal-callers remain undervalued.
  • Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports (via Twitter) that defensive end prospect Michael Sam, who publicly came out as gay yesterday, left The Novo Agency and signed with new NFL agents Cameron Weiss and Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes.
  • Mullen also reports (via Twitter) that free-agent-to-be Emmanuel Sanders has left agent Jordan Woy.
  • Rich Cimini of takes a look at one of the Jets’ top priorities this offseason: Wide receiver. In Cimini’s view, the club would be wise to avoid paying top dollar for Eric Decker, and instead should focus on a $5-7MM free agent, who can be slotted alongside a receiver picked in the draft. Cimini identifies potential Seahawks cap casualty Sidney Rice as a possible target for New York.
  • We learned earlier today that Henoc Muamba received a $107K guarantee from the Colts on his futures contract, the largest guarantee for that type of deal so far this offseason. According to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter), the second-largest guarantee for a player on a futures deal belongs to safety Sherrod Martin ($100K), who signed with the Jaguars.
  • Top QB prospect Blake Bortles is preparing to do everything, including throw, at this month’s scouting combine, writes Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel.