Stacy McGee

Redskins Activate DL Stacy McGee

The Redskins activated defensive lineman Stacy McGee from the physically unable to perform list. To make room, they waived safety Kenny Ladler

[RELATED: Orleans Darkwa Rejected Redskins Offer]

McGee joined the Redskins on a five-year, $25MM contract last spring and appeared in all 16 games (ten starts) for the club in 2017, managing 44 tackles in the process. This year, he was held back by thigh surgery in June. Joining a defensive line that also includes Jonathan AllenDa’Ron PayneMatt IoannidisTim Settle, and Caleb Brantley, McGee is unlikely to start, but he could find a spot in the rotation.

Ladler was no longer needed after the Redskins acquired standout safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from the Packers before the trade deadline. The 26-year-old dressed for five games this year and played primarily on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ McGee, Lions’ Jones Return To Practice From PUP

Redskins defensive lineman Stacy McGee and Lions wide receiver Andy Jones, both of whom are currently on the physically unable to perform list, returned to practice on Wednesday, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link).

NFL players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list must miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season, so McGee and Jones have already fulfilled that requirement. Now that they’ve returned to practice, Washington and Detroit both have a three-week window during which it can decide to either activate McGee and Jones to its respective 53-man rosters, or keep them on the PUP list for the rest of 2018 campaign.

McGee joined the Redskins on a five-year, $25MM contract last spring and appeared in all 16 games (10 starts) for the club in 2017, managing 44 tackles in the process. He underwent surgery on his thigh in June, and had been fully expected to miss time as he recovers. When he does see the field, McGee will join a Washington defensive line depth chart that also includes Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle, and Caleb Brantley.

Jones, 24, went undrafted out of Jacksonville University in 2016, and originally latched on with the Cowboys. He spent the entirety of his rookie season on Dallas’ practice squad before being cut in advance of the 2017 season. He was claimed off waivers by the Texans, but appeared in just one game before being waived yet again. Jones was on the Lions’ practice squad from September onward, until getting promoted to the active roster for three games in December.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Form Initial Roster

The Redskins moved their roster to 53 players on Saturday by making the following transactions:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on PUP:

Placed on NFI:

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, Ealy, Ward

Adrian Peterson spent several months in free agency before landing with Washington recently. Although the Redskins did not fare especially well in a loss to the Broncos on Friday night, their 33-year-old running back showed he still has something left. Peterson is now a “stone-cold lock” to make the Redskins’ roster, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. While the future Hall of Fame back was brought in because of injuries to Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall, Tandler views Peterson as having usurped Marshall for a spot on Washington’s 53-man roster. Peterson amassed 56 yards on 11 carries in his Redskins debut. Tandler expects Washington to retain four running backs but doesn’t rule out the prospect of five surviving the post-preseason cuts.

Here’s more out of the nation’s capital and the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals.

  • Thanks to Jonathan Allen‘s return and the arrival of his former Alabama teammate, Da’Ron Payne, Washington is deeper on the defensive line than it was last season. But Tandler expects one of the Redskins’ cogs up front to begin the season on the PUP list. Stacy McGee underwent groin surgery earlier this summer and was not expected to be ready for Week 1. A spot on the Reserve/PUP list will shelve McGee for six regular-season weeks.
  • Former Redskins starter Matt Jones looks to have played himself out of consideration for an Eagles backup job, with Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com handicapping the race for Philadelphia’s No. 4 running back job as a head-to-head battle between third-year player Wendell Smallwood and rookie UDFA Josh Adams. Shorr-Parks views Donnel Pumphrey, a 2017 fourth-rounder who missed all of last season, as third behind Smallwood — whom the Eagles are still intrigued by — and Adams in this race for work behind Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement. An Adams cut will likely result in another team claiming him, since the Eagles had to give him one of the largest UDFA guarantees any team authorized in this year’s post-draft signing period.
  • The Cowboys‘ move of Kony Ealy to defensive tackle may not be enough to save his roster spot. Dallas is deeper up front this year, and although Ealy was a 2018 UFA signing, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the former Panthers second-round pick off the 53-man roster. Former Dallas waiver claim Brian Price resides in front of Ealy, in Hill’s view, for a roster spot. Ealy signed a one-year, $1.25MM contract, with a $200K signing bonus, in April. Also lost in the shuffle here is recent Cowboys trade acquisition Jihad Ward, who Hill doesn’t see making the roster. Both of these former second-round picks will at least need to show well in Dallas’ final two preseason games to have a shot.
  • One of the Eagles‘ 2018 UDFAs, safety Stephen Roberts, did not last until the final cut. Philly waived the Auburn product earlier Saturday, and this came after the defending Super Bowl champions guaranteed $52K of his base salary, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link). That amount was one of the highest guarantees allotted to any UDFA this year, so it’s possible Roberts will generate some waiver-wire attention.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Cowboys, Giants

While recent reports indicated LeGarrette Blount could lose his Eagles roster spot before the season gets underway, head coach Doug Pederson seemingly dismissed those insinuations today, as Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. “LeGarrette Blount is a beast of a runner,” said Pederson. “I’m excited he’s here and he’s going to be a big part of our offense.” The Eagles signed Blount to a one-year deal that contains $400K guaranteed after he led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns a season ago. While there’s virtually no chance the 30-year-old Blount will match his 299 carries from 2016, he should be part of a Philadelphia backfield rotation that also includes Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Last year’s Josh Brown episode could potentially factor into the NFL’s dealings with suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out. Brown, of course, was banned for only a single game even after admitting to abusing his ex-wife. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld Brown’s suspension at the time, and he’ll also be hearing Elliott’s appeal of his own six-game ban. “Mitigating factors” lead to the NFL suspending Brown for only contest, but the league has never disclosed what those factors were, per Florio.
  • D.J. Fluker isn’t going to earn a starting spot along the Giants‘ offensive line, and it’s possible he won’t even make the club’s roster, opines James Kratch of NJ.com. New York signed the 26-year-old Fluker to a one-year, $3MM deal ($1.5MM guaranteed) this spring, but he’s made no push to steal Big Blue’s starting right guard job from John Jerry. The Giants aren’t giving Fluker the opportunity to compete at right tackle, so the former first-round pick could be shown the door in favor of journeyman Adam Gettis.
  • The Redskins spent heavily on their defensive line this spring, signing both Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee to multi-year pacts. Thus far, McGee has been far more impressive in camp, but neither player has a lock on a starting job, as Mike Jones of the Washington Post writes. McClain, in fact, has performed so poorly that there’s been some noise he could be released, although that’s unlikely given the $7.25MM dead money hit that would come with the cut. Still, first-round rookie Jonathan Allen and others (such as Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier) could be better bets for playing time.
  • After working out for the Bears last week, undrafted rookie linebacker Michael Scherer is set to audition for the Giants today, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). Scherer, a Missouri product, appeared in 26 games for the Tigers from 2014-15 before a knee injury ended his senior season after seven contests in 2016. Ranked as one of the 30 best undrafted linebackers following this year’s draft, Scherer has yet to land an NFL contract.

East Notes: Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Pats

The Dolphins have until May 2 to pick up the 2018 fifth-year option on right tackle Ja’Wuan James, and the decision is not clear-cut, as James Walker of ESPN.com writes. James, 24, has started 39 games since being selected with the 19th overall pick in 2014, and he was solid last season, grading as the league’s No. 32 tackle, per Pro Football Focus. However, because the fifth-year option salary is based on both left and right tackle contracts, it’s expected to be worth approximately $8MM, a figure that would make James the third-highest-paid right tackle in the league on an annual basis. The deal would only be for a single season, however, and is guaranteed for injury only until the first day of the 2018 league year.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is still a member of the Giants, as franchise owner John Mara told reporters, including Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Mara added he “doesn’t think” Odighizuwa will follow through on his apparent retirement plans. The 25-year-old defender has posted a cryptic series of tweets in recent days, first indicating that he’d step away from the NFL, then saying he’s “grateful to be part of Big Blue.” Fellow Giants players aren’t sure exactly what’s going on with Odighizuwa, although some observers believe he’s dealing with “personal” problems.
  • Although free agent signing Stacy McGee may fit better as a nose tackle given that he’s doesn’t rush the passer well, the Redskins intend to use him as a defensive end in their 3-4 scheme, according to Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. Either way, Washington could still use another lineman or two, even after inking McGee and Terrell McClain last month. Johnathan Hankins is still available on the open market, as are fellow free agents Jared Odrick and Vance Walker. Draft options for the Redskins could include Malik McDowell (Michigan State), Chris Wormley (Michigan), and Caleb Brantley (Florida).
  • Brandon Bolden‘s new deal with the Patriots is worth $855K and comes with a $50K signing bonus, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. The pact also includes a $30K workout bonus. As Volin notes, this contract certainly doesn’t mean Bolden is a lock to earn a spot on the New England roster, especially given the club’s crowded backfield. At present, the Pats boast Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkhead, D.J. Foster, and are also in contact with free agents Adrian Peterson and LeGarrette Blount. If Bolden does make New England’s squad, it will be on the basis of his special teams work.
  • Safety T.J. McDonald‘s one-year contract with the Dolphins has a value of $1.344MM, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The deal will include a base salary of roughly $945K, $213K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $200K workout bonus. Of course, McDonald will only earn half of those totals, as he’s suspended for the first eight games of the season .

FA Notes: Blount, Peterson, Pryor, Glennon

Coming off an 18-touchdown season, LeGarrette Blount hasn’t found much traction on his latest free agency odyssey. The Patriots, though, have discussed a deal with the bruising running back, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. However, the sides could not agree on terms. Reiss suggests that even though the Pats signed Rex Burkhead they still don’t have a power back, with their roster housing only multipurpose cogs Dion Lewis and James White, pointing to a possible reunion between the oft-reunited parties after the draft. Blount rushed for a career-high 1,161 yards as well last season but turned 30 in December. He ranks as PFR’s No. 2 UFA running back.

Here’s more on some still-unsigned and recently signed UFAs, continuing with PFR’s No. 1 available back.

  • An ESPN report pegged Adrian Peterson‘s reported asking price of $8MM per year as the reason he’s still a free agent. Peterson took to Twitter to express skepticism in that report. The three-time rushing champion disputed the notion he’s seeking $8MM AAV and added he wants to play for a contending team. The 32-year-old ball-carrier added, however, he’s not in a rush to sign. Peterson visited the Seahawks and has been linked to several other teams, most recently the Packers.
  • Mike Glennon‘s contract contains offset language to help protect the Bears against the quarterback earning dual salaries in the future, in the event he doesn’t play out the deal in Chicago, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports. Breer categorizes the three-year, $45MM deal as basically a one-year, $16MM commitment that includes team options for 2018 and ’19. Only $4.5MM in guaranteed money exists on the deal after this season.
  • Breer views that the five-year deals for Robert Woods and Stacy McGee authorized by the Rams and Redskins, respectively, are essentially one-year pacts. Woods saw $10MM of the $34MM deal fully guaranteed at signing, per OverTheCap. He has $5MM due on the third day of the 2018 league year. Nothing is guaranteed for the former Bills complementary target past Year 2. Breer sees McGee’s Washington accord as a one-year, $6.5MM deal.
  • Speaking of one-year agreements, Terrelle Pryor explained his reasoning for taking the Redskins‘ one-season offer. “Maybe … our market wasn’t where it was supposed to be or we thought it would be,” Pryor said, via the Associated Press in a piece about the increased frequency of one-year commitments this month. “Some guys don’t want to take deals where they’re outplaying the deal. I just wanted to get a one-year deal and see how I fit with the program and move forward after that, and see if we get something done if everything works well.” Conflicting reports emerged about Pryor’s Browns exit, regarding whether or not he gave the team a chance to match his Redskins offer. The converted wideout joined the Redskins on a one-year deal worth up to $8MM and could be in position to cash in come 2018 if he proves his 1,000-yard season in Cleveland wasn’t a fluke.

Redskins To Sign Stacy McGee

The Redskins have agreed to sign defensive tackle Stacy McGee to a five-year, $25MM contract, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).Stacy McGee (Vertical)

Washington lost defensive lineman Chris Baker to the Buccaneers today, but it’s replaced him by adding both McGee and Terrell McClain. Defensive line was a clear need area for the Redskins this offseason, and they’ve now signed two solid — if unspectacular — veterans to fill roles up front. McGee and McClain will team up with Anthony Lanier, RickyJean-Francois, and Matt Ioannidis along the line.

McGee, who ranked as PFR’s No. 12 free agent interior defender, appeared in nine games for the Raiders last season, starting each of those contests. The 27-year-old posted 14 tackles. 2.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries during that time, earning strong grades against both the run and pass from Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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