Taco Charlton

Chiefs Place Mitchell Schwartz On IR

Mitchell Schwartz has seen his iron-man run stop this season, having missed time due to injury. The Chiefs will now be without their ace right tackle for a while.

Kansas City placed Schwartz on IR Saturday. This move will sideline the All-Pro blocker for at least three more games. Schwartz is dealing with a back injury — one that has shelved him since Week 6.

Prior to the October injury, Schwartz had not missed a game in eight seasons. He had started four years with the Browns and another four with the Chiefs. Kansas City gave Schwartz an extension in the process, relying on his stability as Eric Fisher underwent surgery last season. Both Fisher and Schwartz landed on Kansas City’s reserve/COVID-19 list recently, but Fisher will be back in action against Las Vegas. Schwartz will not.

The Chiefs also removed Mecole Hardman from their reserve/COVID list. They had placed the second-year wideout on the virus list last week. Hardman should play a key role against the Raiders, with Sammy Watkins set to miss the AFC West rivals’ Week 11 rematch.

Kansas City is also activating Alex Okafor and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed from IR. Okafor worked as a starter last season, but a midseason injury knocked him out for the team’s Super Bowl push. A hamstring injury sidelined Okafor this season. A fourth-round rookie, Sneed played well early this year but suffered a broken collarbone in September. Okafor will help out a Chiefs pass rush that will be without Taco Charlton for a while. The Chiefs placed the offseason acquisition on IR Saturday.

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Chiefs’ Taco Charlton Fractures Leg, Headed To IR

The Chiefs outlasted the Panthers in a thrilling shootout, but they’ll be without a part of their pass-rush moving forward. Defensive end Taco Charlton suffered a fracture in his lower leg and will head to injured reserve, head coach Andy Reid announced after the game.

It’s unclear the severity, but it’s certainly possible that he’s done for the year. With the new IR rules, he’ll be out at least three games. He’d been playing a decent-sized role as a rotational pass-rusher, notching around a quarter of the defensive snaps in the six games he played prior to getting hurt. He had been reasonably productive in those six games, racking up two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

Charlton’s NFL career started out as a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, but he quickly flamed out in Dallas. He was cut after only two-plus years with the Cowboys, then scooped up by the Dolphins. He had his best season as a pro last year with Miami, notching five sacks in only ten games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Place DE Alex Okafor On IR

While they cannot match their Sunday opponent for impactful injuries, the Chiefs will enter Week 7 missing some key players.

Alex Okafor will miss Sunday’s tilt in Denver and at least two more contests. The Chiefs placed the veteran defensive end on IR Saturday. Okafor has encountered a hamstring issue.

Okafor, All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and wideout Sammy Watkins are out Sunday for the Chiefs. Okafor will land on IR for the second straight season. The Chiefs placed the 2019 free agent acquisition on IR after 10 games last season, with a torn pec preventing the veteran pass rusher from playing during the team’s Super Bowl push.

Okafor’s latest injury is not as severe, but it will test Kansas City’s depth a bit. The Chiefs are also without 2020 free agent get Taco Charlton this week. The defending Super Bowl champs have used contract-year defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon ahead of Okafor on their depth chart this season. After Okafor started nine games in 2019, he has worked as a rotational rusher this year. Okafor has a half-sack in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Chiefs, Irvin, Amukamara

The Chiefs moved on from their longest-tenured player this offseason, jettisoning 15-year punter Dustin Colquitt. Although the team with Patrick Mahomes negotiations looming and Chris Jones attached to a franchise tag created cap space by cutting Colquitt, the defending Super Bowl champions also identified his potential successor in its UDFA class. Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub said (via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, on Twitter) he rated rookie UDFA punter Tommy Townsend as this draft class’ best punter. Twice a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award, Townsend punted at Florida after transferring from Tennessee. The Chiefs signed both Townsend and 2019 UDFA Tyler Newsome this offseason. Toub’s glowing assessment of Townsend almost certainly gives him a leg up in this competition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Bruce Irvin had his eye on a Seahawks reunion for a while. The former Seattle first-round pick texted Bobby Wagner during the playoffs he wanted to come back (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter). Irvin also confirmed he will be playing linebacker in Seattle’s base defense while shifting to an edge-rushing role on passing downs, Condotta adds (via Twitter). This was the expected arrangement. The Seahawks used their base defense considerably last season but have not re-signed Mychal Kendricks. Irvin functioned in this versatile capacity during most of his first Seahawks stint.
  • Prince Amukamara will take a considerable pay cut to join the Raiders. The veteran cornerback signed a one-year, $1.05MM deal, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Amukamara will qualify for the new minimum salary benefit, counting only $888K against the Raiders’ cap. The Bears re-signed Amukamara in 2018, and he was set to make $9MM in base salary on that contract this season.
  • Frank Clark played a role in bringing Taco Charlton to Kansas City, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Charlton’s ex-teammate and roommate while at Michigan, Clark lobbied Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo in an effort to bring the former first-round pick to Kansas City. The Chiefs did not claim Charlton’s rookie contract but did add him at a cheaper rate. Charlton called his departure from Dallas and Miami “mutual,” according to Pelissero (via Twitter). Both teams waived the 2017 first-rounder, the Dolphins doing so despite Charlton leading the team in sacks last season with five. Charlton figures to fill a rotational role vacated by the exits of Emmanuel Ogbah and Terrell Suggs.
  • Despite Bashaud Breeland being arrested on several charges earlier this offseason, he has been part of the Chiefs’ virtual offseason since it began, Spagnuolo said (via NFL.com’s James Palmer, on Twitter). Re-signed on a one-year deal, Breeland will likely face a suspension for his arrest — which included the charge of resisting arrest.

Contract Details: Jets, Charlton, Gipson

Some assorted contract details to pass along:

  • Tashaun Gipson, S (Bears): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $550K in guaranteed money. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • Johnathan Joseph, CB (Titans): One year. Deal is worth $2MM, including $1.5MM guaranteed. Additional $500K in “reachable incentives” and another $750K in standard incentives. Contract worth a maximum of $3.25MM. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Twitter and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • Frank Gore, RB (Jets): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $200K guaranteed. Cap charge of $750K. Via Pelissero on Twitter and ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter.
  • Jordan Jenkins, LB (Jets): One-year. Deal is worth $3.75MM. $3.25MM in guaranteed money, including $1.75MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. $500K in roster bonuses, $250K in “likely to be earned” incentives. Via Cimini on Twitter.
  • Taco Charlton, DE (Chiefs): One year. Deal is worth $825K. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • Devontae Booker, RB (Raiders): Signed. One year deal worth veteran salary benefit ($887.5K cap charge). Includes $50K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.

Chiefs Sign DE Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton has found a new home. The defensive lineman is signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs, reports Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo (via Twitter).

Charlton’s brief stint with Miami came to an end earlier this week, as the Dolphins waived the 25-year-old. Of course, that’s not to say that the lineman’s lone season in Miami wasn’t a success; despite appearing in only 10 games (five starts), Charlton still managed to compile a career-high five sacks and two forced fumbles.

The 2017 first-round pick out of Michigan spent the first two-plus seasons of his career with the Cowboys. He wasn’t particularly productive when he saw the field, as he combined for only 46 tackles and four sacks between the 2017 and 2018 seasons (27 games). He missed five games during the 2018 campaign thanks to a shoulder injury, and he later underwent ankle surgery. Those ailments lingered into the early parts of the 2019 season, and the Cowboys cut the lineman in mid-September.

In Kansas City, Charlton will have another shot to rehabilitate his image. Of course, that might be easier said than done, as he’ll be inserted into a depth chart that already includes the likes of Alex Okafor, Derrick Nnadi, Mike Pennel, and Breeland Speaks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Waive DE Taco Charlton

The Dolphins will move on from one of its first-round defensive linemen. They waived Taco Charlton on Thursday. Miami initially claimed Charlton off waivers from Dallas last season.

Charlton did not live up to expectations with the Cowboys, who used a first-round pick on him in 2017, but did lead the 2019 Dolphins in sacks with five despite playing in only 10 games with Miami. No other Dolphin totaled more than 3.5 last season.

Miami signed multiple defensive ends this offseason — Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah — and added hybrid player Kyle Van Noy but did not make a substantial investment in the position during the draft. The Dolphins used a fifth-round pick on defensive end Jason Strowbridge.

Given Charlton’s draft pedigree and production in limited Dolphins time last season, he will be a tempting waiver claim — especially when teams can carry 90 players on their respective rosters. Charlton, though, recorded just four sacks in two seasons with the Cowboys. Dallas waived him in September of last year.

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Dolphins Claim Taco Charlton Off Of Waivers

The Dolphins have claimed Taco Charlton off of waivers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com relays (Twitter link).

Charlton will be eligible to play for the Dolphins against the Cowboys on Sunday. Dallas released their former first-round pick earlier this week.

Charlton has been ineffective during his time in Dallas, though injuries have robbed him of a chance to get better. Dallas gets Robert Quinn, who played last season with the Dolphins, back from suspension this week, so the team had little room for Charlton in the defensive line rotation. He finished his Cowboys career with four sacks in 27 games.

Per ESPN’s Field Yates, the Dolphins were the only team to put a claim in on Charlton (Twitter link). Other clubs were deterred by the $3MM Charlton is owed over the next two seasons and his relative lack of production to date, but Miami, flush with cap space and in the midst of a rebuild, was willing to absorb the cost of this particular lottery ticket.

Cowboys Release Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton, who the Cowboys selected in the first round of the 2017 draft, has been released, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports and the Cowboys confirm. It was reported earlier today that the Cowboys would shop the defensive end or cut him if they couldn’t find a suitor on the trade market.

Robert Quinn, who the Cowboys acquired in the offseason, is set to return from a two-game suspension and with Quinn in the defensive line rotation, playing time for Charlton would have likely been minimized.

Charlton has been ineffective during his time in Dallas, though injuries have robbed him of a chance to get better. He finishes his Cowboys career with four sacks in 27 games.

Cowboys To Cut Taco Charlton?

One way or another, Taco Charlton won’t be with the Cowboys much longer. The Cowboys continue to seek a trade for the former first-round pass-rusher, but if they can’t find a suitable deal, they’ll release him, Ian Rapoport and Jane Slater of NFL.com (on Twitter) hear. 

With Robert Quinn set to return from his two-game ban, there’s little room for Charlton, who has not lived up to expectations so far. The 2017 first-round pick has lacked explosiveness at the pro level and a string of injuries prevented him from taking a step forward this offseason. This year alone, Charlton has already undergone two surgeries.

Given his potential, it seems likely that Charlton will hook on elsewhere if the Cowboys cut him. The 24-year-old (25 in November) will look to improve upon an iffy 2017 season in which he struggled, despite three sacks as a part timer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.