Tajae Sharpe

Falcons To Add WR Tajae Sharpe

A week after the Chiefs released Tajae Sharpe, the veteran wide receiver found a new home. The Falcons are signing the former Titans draftee, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

After Sharpe spent 2020 in Minnesota and Kansas City, he will reunite with former Tennessee assistant Arthur Smith. The new Falcons HC was with the Titans throughout Sharpe’s tenure and served as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2019, Smith’s final Tennessee season.

Although Sharpe caught on with the Vikings and Chiefs last year, he does not have a regular-season reception since his Titans tenure ended. The former fifth-round pick caught 92 passes for 1,167 yards and eight touchdowns in three Titans seasons. Smith played out his rookie contract in Tennessee but only saw action in three of those seasons, missing all of 2017 due to injury. He played in four games with the Vikings last year.

Bigger news has obviously encircled the Falcons’ receiving corps, with Julio Jones no longer looking likely to play an 11th season in Atlanta. Trade noise has followed the perennial Pro Bowler for weeks now, and Jones said Monday he expects to be dealt. Should Jones be traded, Sharpe would have an easier path to Atlanta’s 53-man roster.

The Falcons have Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus in place as their top non-Jones receivers. They also drafted Frank Darby in this year’s sixth round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Release WR Tajae Sharpe

After re-signing with the Chiefs earlier this offseason, Tajae Sharpe has been let go. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that Kansas City has released the wide receiver.

Things have gone a bit downhill for Sharpe since his rookie season in 2016. That year, the Titans fifth-round pick finished with 41 receptions for 522 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In the four years since, the receiver has been limited to only 51 receptions for 645 yards and six touchdowns.

Sharpe didn’t re-sign with Tennessee after the 2019 season, and he subsequently caught on with the Vikings. Sharpe ended up getting into four games with Minnesota, appearing on only 28 offensive snaps and catching zero passes on three targets. He was waived in December and later landed on the Chiefs practice squad, and he re-signed with the organization back in April.

Sharpe was already going to have a tough time breaking the Kansas City roster, as the team seems set atop their depth chart with Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle. The team also used a fifth-round pick on Cornell Powell, meaning Sharpe was pretty much competing for a spot as a sixth receiver. Now, Sharpe will be looking for his third team in the matter of 12(ish) months. The receiver is still only 26-years-old, so there’s a good chance a wideout-needy team takes a chance on him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Re-Sign WR Tajae Sharpe

Tajae Sharpe did not have a role with the Vikings or Chiefs last season, but Kansas City kept the veteran wide receiver on its practice squad. The Chiefs will retain Sharpe for the 2021 season.

The former fifth-round pick agreed to a deal to stay with the Chiefs, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The sides agreed to a one-year contract, Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star tweets. This will be Sharpe’s sixth NFL season.

Kansas City’s receiver group will look different than it has over the past three seasons, with Sammy Watkins opting to leave for Baltimore late last week. Watkins had operated as the Chiefs’ No. 2 wideout (when healthy) since 2018. The Chiefs, however, did re-sign Demarcus Robinson for a second straight year and have Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle still on the roster as well.

The Vikings cut Sharpe in December; he did not catch a pass with Minnesota. Sharpe did not play in any Chiefs games and hit unrestricted free agency earlier this month.

Sharpe’s best season remains his 2016 rookie year with the Titans, when he caught 41 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns. Sharpe, 26, surpassed 300 yards in 2018 and ’19, bouncing back somewhat from a season-nullifying injury in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Expected To Add WR Tajae Sharpe

Following the Vikings’ decision to waive Tajae Sharpe, the veteran wide receiver is on track to catch on with the Chiefs.

The defending Super Bowl champions are planning to add the former Titans draftee to their practice squad, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Sharpe appeared in four Vikings games this season but did not catch a pass. He went unclaimed on waivers earlier this week.

A 2016 fifth-round pick, Sharpe was a three-year contributor with the Titans. His best statistical work came as a rookie, when he caught 41 passes for 522 yards. After missing the 2018 season because of injury, Sharpe worked his way back into Tennessee’s rotation. He scored four touchdowns in 2019, started six games and played in each of the Titans’ three playoff contests — including their AFC championship game loss to the Chiefs.

With Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson under contract, the Chiefs are certainly not in need at this position. (Though, Watkins’ injury history has frequently made him unavailable during his Kansas City tenure.) But Sharpe will be in position to provide roster insurance, which has obviously become more important in the COVID-19-altered NFL landscape.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Waive WR Tajae Sharpe

Tajae Sharpe‘s brief stint with the Vikings has come to an end. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Minnesota has waived the wide receiver. The team also announced that tight end Hale Hentges has been activated from the exempt list.

Sharpe joined the Vikings on a one-year, $1MM pact this past offseason. There was some optimism that the 25-year-old could establish himself as one of Kirk Cousins‘ top targets, especially following the Stefon Diggs trade. Instead, Sharpe was active for only four games, and he didn’t haul in any of his three targets. He played 28 offensive snaps, and he never appeared in more than 17 percent of his team’s offensive snaps during any of his four games.

Still, Sharpe could generate some interest on the waiver wire. The 2016 fifth-round pick out of UMass spent the first four years of his career with the Titans, including a rookie campaign where he hauled in 41 receptions for 522 yards. A foot injury sidelined Sharpe for the entire 2017 campaign, and he’s compiled 51 receptions for 645 receiving yards and six touchdowns since that time.

Hentges, 24, was signed off the Colts practice squad last week, and his required quarantine earned him a spot on the exempt list. The Alabama product saw time in 11 games (four starts) last season for Washington, hauling in eight receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Davis, Roberts, Haeg

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

AFC

NFC

  • Sean Davis, S (Redskins): One year, $4MM. $2MM guaranteed (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of ESPN.com).
  • Zach Kerr, DT (Panthers): Two years, $3MM. Unknown incentives available (Twitter link via Garafolo).
  • B.J. Goodson, LB (Browns): One year, $2.4MM. $2.25MM guaraneed. $1.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • Joe Haeg, T (Buccaneers): One year, $2.3MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. Up to $1MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cedric Ogbuehi, T (Seahawks): One year, $2.3MM. $500K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Will Parks, S (Eagles): One year, $1.5MM. $1.375MM guaranteed. $375K signing bonus. Up to $125K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tajae Sharpe, WR (Vikings): One year, $1MM. $675K guaranteed. $175K signing bonus. Max value of $1.5MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Sharrod Neasman, S (Falcons): One year, $950K. $40K signing bonus. Veteran salary benefit (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Walker, LB (49ers): One year, $900K. Max of $75K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).

Vikings Sign WR Tajae Sharpe

Yesterday was an active day for free agent wideouts, and that theme is continuing today. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that receiver Tajae Sharpe is signing with the Vikings. It’ll be a one-year deal for the 25-year-old.

The 2016 fifth-rounder out of UMass had spent his entire four-year career with the Titans, including a rookie campaign where he hauled in 41 receptions for 522 yards. A foot injury knocked Sharpe out for the entirety of the 2017 campaign, and he’s combined for 51 receptions, 645 receiving yards, and six touchdowns since that time.

The Vikings have been hunting around for a wideout after trading Stefon Diggs to the Bills. Sharpe will be competing with the likes of Chad Beebe, Olabisi Johnson, and Alexander Hollins to be the number-two receiver behind Adam Thielen.

We saw a number of free agent wideouts can taken off the board yesterday, with Robby Anderson, Devin Funchess, and Breshad Perriman joining new teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Titans To Place Tajae Sharpe On IR

The Titans’ revamped receiving corps may not include second-year talent Tajae Sharpe. The team will place Sharpe on IR, according to Jason Wolfe of the Tennesseean.

A 10-game starter for the Titans last season, Sharpe suffered a stress fracture in his foot this offseason and underwent surgery. Although he returned to play in two Tennessee preseason games after spending much of the exhibition slate on the PUP list, Sharpe re-aggravated the injury and will spend time on IR.

Because he was placed on injured reserve before initial rosters were set, Sharpe isn’t eligible to return later this year. The 2016 fifth-round pick caught 41 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie but saw the team add Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Eric Decker this offseason to make his role uncertain.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Falcons, Saints, Colts, Titans

The Falcons don’t intend to waive recently suspended cornerback Jalen Collins in the very near future, but it appears the club is still assessing its options, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “The disappointment for having a second, repeat offense is stronger,” head coach Dan Quinn said Monday. “This just came through yesterday. Some trust has been broken. We’ll take all the time that we need to make the best decision for the team.” Atlanta now has the secondary depth to withstand a Collins release, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, who identifies C.J. Goodwin and Deji Olatoye as valuable reserve pieces. Collins is suspended through late November, so the Falcons don’t have to make a decision on his status for some time.

Let’s check in on the latest from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Chase Daniel will almost assuredly serve as the Saints‘ backup quarterback during the upcoming season, meaning the battle for New Orleans’ third signal-caller job will come down to Garrett Grayson and Ryan Nassib, as Nick Underhill of the Advocate details. Grayson, a third-round pick just two years ago, currently has the upper hand, per Underhill, as Nassib — a free agent addition who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Giants — is considered a “long shot” to earn a roster spot. Of course, the Saints could opt to keep only two quarterbacks, at which the team would likely attempt to sneak Grayson onto their practice squad.
  • Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers has changed representation, hiring Rosenhaus Sports to replace Warren and Simpson, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. As a former undrafted free agent, Rogers is eligible to renegotiate his contract after only two seasons (in his case, following the 2017 season). Thus far, Rogers hasn’t done enough to earn an extension, as he managed only 19 receptions for 273 yards during his rookie campaign. However, the 23-year-old Rogers has been working as the Colts’ No. 3 receiver during training camp, ahead of Kamar Aiken and Phillip Dorsett, reports Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).
  • If the stress fracture in his right foot continues to act up, Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe could begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would force him to miss the first six games of the year, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com writes. Sharpe, a fifth-round selection in 2016, reportedly has a tenuous grasp on a roster spot, but placing him on PUP could give Tennessee more time to make a decision on his fate. Currently being sued after an alleged assault, Sharpe is countersuing his accuser.