Tavon Young

Injury Updates: Redskins, Smith, Ravens, Jefferson, Texans, Reid

Alex Smith to recover from the devastating leg injury he suffered midway through the 2018 season, and Redskins team president Bruce Allen recently provided an update, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Allen didn’t sound overly confident in Smith’s prospects of being ready for 2019, saying “If anyone can come back, it’s Alex”, but finishing with a “we’ll see.” He also left the door open to drafting a quarterback this April, and sounded as if the team is preparing for being without Smith.

He seemed open to the possibility of Colt McCoy starting, saying “we like Colt a lot.” McCoy initially filled in for Smith but soon went down with his own season ending leg injury. He was then replaced by Josh Johnson who looked a lot better than expected, but Allen didn’t mention Johnson at all in his comments. Smith was recently seen out in public for the first time since his injury, wearing a bulky apparatus on his injured leg.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • Recently extended Ravens coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media today, and provided updates on several injured players, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Harbaugh said guard Alex Lewis, who recently underwent shoulder surgery, should be back by training camp, and that safety Tony Jefferson, linebacker Za’Darius Smith, and cornerback Tavon Young would all be out around 4-6 more weeks, putting them on track for OTA’s.
  • Texans rookie safety Justin Reid had a great rookie season, earning very high marks from Pro Football Focus, and he was playing hurt throughout the year. Reid had been dealing with wrist issues, and he will undergo wrist surgery, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. It’s unclear how long he’ll be sidelined, but it doesn’t sound like anything major and he should be ready in time for offseason work.
  • In case you missed it, the 49ers hope to have Jimmy Garoppolo throwing by OTA’s.

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. 

Tavon Young Suffers Torn ACL

Ravens cornerback Tavon Young suffered a torn ACL in practice on Thursday, costing the team a notable defender well before the start of the season, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.

Tavon Young

A fourth-round pick last year, Young became a key part of the Ravens as a rookie, appearing in all 16 of their games (11 starts) and finishing fifth among their defenders in snaps (832). The former Temple Owl hardly looked out of place during those snaps, either, ranking an impressive 26th in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 111 qualified corners. Young also racked up 50 tackles, two interceptions and eight passes defensed.

The loss of Young is the latest significant change to the Ravens’ secondary in advance of the upcoming season. The team added name-brand newcomers in fellow cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey, a first-round pick, as well as big-money safety Tony Jefferson. Those three figured to join Young, among others, as integral pieces of the Ravens’ defensive backfield in 2017, but Young now looks likely to miss most or all of the season. His role as Baltimore’s nickel corner will go to either Lardarius Webb or Maurice Canady, according to Hensley.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Signings: Packers, Seahawks, Chargers

The Packers have signed second-round pick Jason Spriggs, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. The tackle from Indiana will earn just over $5MM on his four-year deal with nearly $3MM guaranteed. Spriggs is now the the fifth Packers draft pick to sign and only two rookies remain unsigned for Green Bay in first-round pick Kenny Clark and third-rounder Kyler Fackrell.

Here are the rest of today’s draft signings from round two and lower:

  • The Panthers announced the signing of second-round cornerback James Bradberry and seventh-round tight end Beau Sandland. Bradberry started his collegiate career at Arkansas State but finished up at Samford.
  • Derek Watt, former Wisconsin fullback-tight end and J.J. Watt‘s brother, signed his sixth-round rookie deal with the Chargers today, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Raiders announced the signing of seventh-round guard Vadal Alexander. Alexander is the first member of Oakland’s draft class to officially put pen to paper.
  • The Raiders also announced the signing of quarterback Connor Cook. The Michigan State product fell to Oakland in the fourth-round of last month’s draft.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Seahawks signed seventh-round pick Zac Brooks, as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets. All ten of Seattle’s draft picks have now signed.
  • The Chargers signed fourth-round linebacker Joshua Perry, as Jenna Laine tweets.
  • The Ravens have signed fourth-round cornerback Tavon Young, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Bengals announced (Twitter link) the signing of seventh-round safety Clayton Fejedelem.
  • The Cardinals signed three of their rookies in cornerback Brandon Williams, center Evan Boehm, and cornerback Harlan Miller (Twitter link).

AFC Draft Updates: Bills, Lynch, Jags, Broncos

Most NFL teams have at least one representative in attendance at the pro day for Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch on Wednesday, but the Bills got a closer look at the young signal-caller on Tuesday night, according to Sal Paolantonio of ESPN, who reports that Buffalo took Lynch out for dinner (Twitter link via Mike Rodak).

The Bills have a quarterback they like in Tyrod Taylor, but Taylor has just one year remaining on his contract with the team, and an extension is not believed to be close, so it will be interesting to see if Buffalo nabs a QB early in this year’s draft. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is in Memphis to check out Lynch.

Let’s round up a few more draft updates from across the AFC…

Draft Notes: Cravens, Lawson, Hogan

Let’s round up some draft notes to close out this Tuesday evening:

  • Contrary to prior reports, USC linebacker Su’a Cravens will not be holding any private workouts for interested clubs, according to agent Fadde Mikhail (article via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). Mikhail said, “There have been too many teams that have called to set up private workouts, and I think Su’a’s body of work on film speaks for itself.” Cravens played linebacker for much of 2015, but many teams view him as a safety at the next level, and he is seen as a late first-round or early second-round prospect. As Florio notes, the decision not to work out for teams is gradually becoming more popular with some agents, who believe the reward of potentially increased draft positioning does not justify the risk of an injury that could be sustained at a workout. Greg Gabriel of NFPost.com, however, disagrees with that line of thinking, as he thinks private workouts are a critical part of the draft process that allow a team to learn more about a player’s talent and personality. He adds that Mikhail’s decision will cause Cravens’ draft stock to drop (Twitter links).
  • Clemson DE Shaq Lawson, who already has a number of visits/workouts lined up, will also visit with the Lions, according to Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press.
  • The Eagles worked out Stanford QB Kevin Hogan, WR/TE Devon Cajuste, and LB Blake Martinez today, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter links).
  • 16 teams showed up to watch LB Victor Ochi at Stony Brook’s pro day yesterday, per Pauline, who adds that the Colts privately worked out Illinois State running back Marshaun Coprich (post via WalterFootball.com).
  • UCLA KR/WR Devin Fuller worked out for “multiple members of the Falcons braintrust” yesterday, according to Rand Getlin of The NFL Network (via Twitter).
  • Minnesota CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun will visit with the Vikings next week, according to Darren Wolfson of KTSP (via Twitter).
  • The Bengals were on hand at Western Kentucky’s pro day today to watch TE Tyler Higbee, as Robert Klemko of SI.com tweets.
  • Temple CB Tavon Young will work out for the Cardinals, Jets, Titans, and Ravens, and will visit the Steelers and Ravens, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (article via NFPost.com).