Tajae Sharpe

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.

Latest On Tajae Sharpe Assault Accusations

Back in May, Titans receiver Tajae Sharpe and offensive guard Sebastian Tretola were accused of assault in a federal civil suit. Now, according to WKRN.com, the duo is countersuing the accuser, stating that he initiated the confrontation and the two players were purely acting in self defense.

Tajae Sharpe (Vertical)The individual, Dante Satterfield, claimed that Sharpe and Tretola had beaten him until he was unconscious outside of a Nashville bar. Sharpe allegedly “took exception” to Satterfield’s comments about recent Titans draft pick Corey Davis, with the accuser reportedly stating that Sharpe’s playing time would now be reduced. After leaving the bar, Sharpe allegedly punched Satterfield in the face while Tretola kept watch. The individual claimed that he suffered from broken bones in his face, a perforated eardrum, and a concussion, leading to him asking for $500K.

In their countersuit, Sharpe and Tretola are saying that an intoxicated Satterfield continued to harass the duo inside the bar. When the duo eventually left, the individual followed them outside, threatening them and claiming to be in a gang. The two players admitted to “roughing up” the accuser, but they were adamant that their actions were in self defense.

The two players are asking for a jury trial and damages. The duo has not been charged, and Metro police recently said that their investigation was wrapping up.

“When my client sued Mr. Sharpe, his agent told the media that Sharpe ‘wasn’t even there at the time [my client] was allegedly beaten up,’” Satterfield’s attorney said in a statement. “In today’s court filing, Sharpe changes his story entirely and says he was there but acted in self-defense. We are confident that an impartial jury will be able to make out what actually happened that night.”

As our own Dallas Robinson wrote back in May, Sharpe could be in danger of not only earning a league-imposed suspension, but losing his roster spot altogether. Roster Resource lists Sharpe as the Titans’ fourth receiver behind Eric Decker, Rishard Matthews, and Davis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Rumors: Steelers, Broncos, Titans

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey‘s career could end when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s does, relays Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Pouncey’s still young (he’ll turn 28 in July), but it’s possible the seventh-year man and five-time Pro Bowler would rather hang it up than continue with someone other than Roethlisberger, who mulled retirement after last season and is entering his age-35 campaign. “It will be hard for me to come back if he’s not here,” Pouncey said of Roethlisberger. “Whenever you’re playing with that level of quarterback, to try to switch that up would be a different mojo for everybody on the team. … I’m glad he came back. We need him to win a championship around here.”

More on Pittsburgh and two other AFC clubs:

  • Three Broncos who have gone high in recent drafts, wide receiver Cody Latimer, offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo and tight end Jeff Heuerman, will have to fight for their roster spots in training camp, observes Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. Latimer, a second-rounder in 2014, hasn’t made much of an impact as a receiver (16 career catches), and he’s not in position to change that with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie ahead of him on the depth chart. As such, his best hope is to make the Broncos as a special teamer, posits Wolfe, who expects that to happen. Sambrailo, meanwhile, went in the second round a year later and has only totaled 13 appearances and seven starts. Even if he cracks the Broncos’ roster, Sambrailo seems likely to serve as primarily a backup again, as the team spent a first-rounder on tackle Garett Bolles this year after adding fellow bookend Menelik Watson on a three-year, $18.3MM deal in free agency. And then there’s Heuerman, a 2015 third-rounder who missed his entire rookie year with a torn ACL and then caught nine passes in 12 games last season. He’ll have to fend off Henry Krieger-Coble to make the team, notes Wolfe. Denver’s other tight end options include Virgil Green, A.J. Derby and fifth-rounder Jake Butt, a former Michigan standout who’s working back from the torn ACL he suffered in his final college game last December.
  • As a rookie last season, fifth-rounder Tajae Sharpe finished second among Titans wide receivers in catches (41), targets (83) and yards (522) in 2016. Nevertheless, it seems he’ll enter camp with a weak hold on a roster spot, writes Jason Wolf of the Tennesseean. The Titans used two valuable picks on receivers – Corey Davis in the first round and Taywan Taylor in the third – in the spring and then signed established veteran Eric Decker last week. Those additions combined with Sharpe’s questionable health (he recently underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot) and a police investigation over an alleged assault have the 22-year-old in limbo, according to Wolf.
  • The fact that the Steelers have a deep receiving corps means third-year man Sammie Coates will have to battle for a spot in camp, suggests Fowler. Coates was a relatively high selection in 2015, when he went in Round 3 of the draft, but the ex-Auburn star has totaled just 22 receptions in 21 games as a Steeler. A broken finger and a groin injury likely contributed to Coates’ underwhelming output last season (21 catches on 49 targets, two touchdowns), and he indicated that he’s nearing full health with camp approaching. “I’m getting there. It’s a process,” said Coates, who underwent sports hernia surgery over the winter. “That’s what this process is for, to get your body back so you can compete during camp.”