Ted Larsen

49ers Rumors: Pettis, Samuel, RBs, Reed

Here is the latest out of San Francisco. More injuries have cropped up for the 49ers, causing them to alter a previous strategy. But the 4-3 team received good news on the health front as well.

  • Dante Pettis looks to be off the trade block. The 49ers lost Deebo Samuel and Richie James to injuries during their win against the Patriots, and Kyle Shanahan said the team is now no longer likely to trade Pettis, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). Shanahan previously confirmed the team was trying to deal the 2018 second-round wideout, who has fallen out of favor after showing flashes as a rookie. Pettis may receive another chance soon. The ex-Washington Husky standout has played sparingly on offense and special teams this season but has not caught a pass in nearly a year.
  • As for Samuel, he is set for another multiweek absence. The second-year receiver suffered a hamstring strain that will keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Shanahan expects his No. 1 wideout to miss San Francisco’s Week 9 game against Green Bay as well. Samuel has not enjoyed much time to build on his strong rookie season, with this hamstring setback coming after he missed a few months because of a foot fracture.
  • While Jeff Wilson became the latest 49ers running back to go down, the team received good news regarding one member of its backfield. The 49ers designated Tevin Coleman to return from IR Wednesday, opening the door to the veteran back playing in Seattle after a six-week absence. Should Coleman return, the 49ers will only be down two backs — Wilson and Raheem Mostert. The 49ers also designated Jordan Reed and K’Waun Williams to come off IR. The team has three weeks to activate its IR-DTR players.
  • The fifth of San Francisco’s running backs to see time this season, JaMycal Hasty, opted to stay in San Francisco despite offers to leave. Three teams expressed interest in poaching Hasty off the 49ers’ practice squad, per agent Scott Casterline, but the rookie UDFA preferred to stay and wait for an opportunity with a team that has been known to use running back committees under Shanahan, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Hasty, now on the team’s 53-man roster, has averaged 5.2 yards per carry in three games.
  • Before signing offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom to their practice squad, the 49ers also brought former Bears starter Ted Larsen and ex-Dolphins first-stringer Evan Boehm for workouts. The 49ers, who are expected to be without starting center Weston Richburg until perhaps Week 12, lost replacement Ben Garland recently.

NFC North Notes: Vikings, Diggs, Bears

Stefon Diggs and the Vikings are at odds, and while Minnesota reportedly doesn’t have any plans to trade the star wideout, Diggs added a bit of fuel to the fire today when speaking to reporters, including Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press“I feel like there’s truth to all rumors no matter how dress you it up,” Diggs said. “I won’t be saying nothing on it. I won’t be speaking on it at all. But there is truth to all rumors, I guess.” Diggs want to play against the Giants on Sunday, but head coach Mike Zimmer said “we’ll have to see” when asked about Diggs’ availability for Week 5, as Chad Graff of The Athletic tweets.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is still hoping the situation “blows over” in due time, reports Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Per Fowler, this is not the first time Diggs has been upset with the Vikings’ “team dynamics,” although it’s not clear — at least publicly — what exactly Diggs is frustrated by at the moment.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Bears linebacker Roquan Smith said earlier today that he’ll play against the Raiders in Week 6, and Smith has indeed traveled to London with his team, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Tribune and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Smith has been dealing with an unspecified personal issue and reportedly hadn’t been “acting like himself ,” per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. It’s unclear exactly what is or was going on with Smith, but the Bears have been tight-lipped about the situation. Nevertheless, the 2018 first-round pick appears ready to suit up against Oakland on the other side of the pond.
  • While Smith figures to be available on Sunday, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and backup offensive lineman Ted Larsen are both dealing with injuries and did not make the trip to London, the Bears announced. Gabriel 75 yards and three touchdowns for Chicago in Week 3, but missed last Sunday’s game with a concussion. Larsen filled in for Kyle Long at right guard last week, but Long is expected to start in Week 5 after recovering from a hip injury.
  • In case you missed it, the Packers claimed ex-Ravens edge rusher Tim Williams off waivers.

Bears Add OL Ted Larsen

Ted Larsen is headed back to Chicago. The two-year Dolphins blocker will return to the Bears, with whom he played in 2016.

The 10th-year veteran interior lineman will sign a one-year deal with the Bears, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The Bears announced the move.

Although the Buccaneers inquired about the 31-year-old free agent, Larsen will not trek back to Tampa. Instead, he may become key depth in Chicago.

A sixth-round Patriots pick in 2010, Larsen has played for the Bucs, Cardinals, Bears and Dolphins. He has vacillated between part- and full-time offensive line duties but was a full-timer in Miami, working as the Fins’ left guard. Amid an ongoing roster purge, the Dolphins cut Larsen last week.

With Chicago in 2016, Larsen was a part-timer, having started eight games. With Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair and James Daniels in place, Larsen may well become the Bears’ top interior-line backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Reached Out To OL Ted Larsen

The Buccaneers are apparently eyeing offensive lineman. Greg Auman of the Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the team has reached out to offensive guard Ted Larsen.

The 31-year-old Larsen has some familiarity with the Tampa Bay offense, as he played for Bucs head coach Bruce Arians in Arizona between 2014 and 2015. The lineman also grew up in the area and played the first four seasons of his NFL career with the franchise. For those reasons along, Larsen would seem to be a logical fit for the Buccaneers.

The veteran has also been reliable throughout his career, including his recent stint with the Dolphins. Following an injury-riddled 2017 campaign, Larsen managed to appear in 15 games (13 starts) with Miami in 2018.

In Tampa Bay, Larsen would slide into a depth chart that already includes guards Ali MarpetCaleb Benenoch, and Alex Cappa.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Release Ted Larsen

The Dolphins are cutting guard Ted Larsen, a league source tells Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Dolphins also made their release of defensive end Andre Branch official. Between the two cuts, the Dolphins will save $9.15MM in cap space for 2019. 

Larsen, 32 in June, joined the ‘Fins on a three-year free agent deal in March of 2017. Unfortunately, he was plagued by injuries in his first year and underperformed in 2018. Last year, Larsen graded out as the second-worst qualified guard in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. For the Dolphins, this move was something of a no-brainer – dropping the veteran meant $2.125MM in savings versus $417K in dead money.

Branch signed a three-year, $24MM deal with the Dolphins in 2017, the same year as Larsen, but he hasn’t been worth the coin. After starting all 14 of his games in 2017, the 29-year-old only started one of his 14 games in 2018. Branch finished the 2018 campaign with 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Likely To Cut Quinn, Parker

Major changes are coming in Miami. This offseason, the Dolphins are expected to cut defensive end Robert Quinn (saving $12.9MM against the cap), defensive end Andre Branch (saving $7MM, $2MM in dead money) and wide receiver DeVante Parker ($9.4MM savings), according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Naturally, the upheaval won’t stop there, but the Dolphins have some big decisions to make on significant contracts in the coming weeks and months. Ryan Tannehill is likely done in South Beach and players like defensive tackle Akeem Spence ($2.5MM cap savings) and guard Ted Larsen ($1.9MM) could also be dropped from the roster, Jackson hears.

And, if the Dolphins really want to turn over a new leaf, they may decide against retaining unrestricted free agents like Frank Gore and Cameron Wake and move on from receiver Danny Amendola, whose entire $6MM cap hit can be washed out. Jackson adds that the future of veterans like guard Josh Sitton and safety T.J. McDonald is also in question.

Quinn, 29 in May, came to Miami via a spring trade with the Rams. The former first-round pick notched 6.5 sacks and 38 tackles, but graded out as just the No. 42 ranked edge defender in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Branch, meanwhile, was one of the lowest-ranked DEs out of 108 qualified players.

Parker was once viewed as the team’s future at wide receiver, but injuries have hampered his progress over the last four years. This year, he managed just 24 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown in eleven games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Broncos, Dolphins

Now that newly-hired Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has begun filling out his staff, a lot of his work will now shift to the personnel side of the franchise. Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Journal-Review previewed many of the decisions that Gruden and the front office will have to work through this offseason.

Gehlken starts by stating that the team is likely to move on from number one wide receiver Michael Crabtree and cornerback Sean Smith. Releasing both players would save money and allow the team to continue to get younger at both positions.

However, a more difficult decision may lie with soon-to-be 32-year-old running back Marshawn Lynch. His salary will jump from $1.35MM to $4MM in 2018. On March 18, he will receive a $1MM roster bonus if he is still on the roster. Lynch’s season was rather inconsistent and running backs that play into their 30’s don’t have the best track record, but it would still be difficult to move on from a talent like Lynch.

“You know, I’ve never met Marshawn Lynch,” Gruden said. “Even as a broadcaster, I asked for Marshawn Lynch in production meetings and I never got to meet him. So I’m anxious to sit down with Marshawn and meet him. We’ll talk about his future and the Raiders. I can’t wait. He came back to the Raiders for similar, I think, reasons that I did.”

In recent seasons, the Raiders have used free agency as a primary source of getting key players, and while the defense has been arguably the main area of concern, Gehlken passes along that Gruden is also is looking to bring new ideas to the offensive side of the ball.

“We are going to have to look at our roster carefully and see, do we have a fullback? Who is the feature back? Who are the receivers?” Gruden said Tuesday. “A lot of things have to be determined, and I think you have to have an offense that is adaptable, that is versatile and can adjust to a number of certain areas. That is what we need to do. Get through today, lock the doors and get to work.”

Here’s more stories from around the AFC:

  • In news from another AFC West club, the Broncos recently inked former head coach Gary Kubiak to a larger front office role. However, Kubiak could still draw interest from teams looking for a new offensive coordinator, speculates Mike Klis of 9News. Though Klis mostly shuts down that notion because the former Super Bowl winning coach is currently under contract for one more year in Denver, which would force a prospective team to pay up a draft pick in order to pry him away.
  • The Broncos also have a decision to make regarding star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The 30-year-old pass catcher has two years remaining on his current deal should his $4MM option for next season be picked up before the first day of the 2018 league year, reports Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post (Twitter link). However, if the Broncos do decline the option, the final two years would voided and he would become a free agent this offseason. This would also result in $3.1MM of dead money. His salary figures for the next two years are $12.03MM and $17.5MM, respectively. The Broncos need to get younger at the wide receiver position and could be served well letting Thomas walk as he enters the wrong side of his 30’s.
  • The Dolphins offensive line could undergo somewhat of a makeover this offseason and one part of that could come from one of their veterans switching positions. Ted Larsen played in the team’s final eight games at left guard after missing the first half of the season with an injury. However, the 30-year-old would like to switch to right guard in 2018, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Larsen told Jackson “That’s my preference, I played there since 2014.” Jackson notes that fellow starting guard Jesse Davis has shown no reservations about changing roles, so it’s a real possibility that Larsen could have his wish granted in training camp. Although, the writer did add that the team will likely bring in some competition through the draft or free agency. Miami is also not likely to hold onto right tackle Ja’Wuan James for his $9MM 2018 salary figure. Veteran tackle Jermon Bushrod was injured at the end of the year and will be a free agent this offseason as well. This could open up a spot for a prospective high round draft pick with the Dolphins currently holding the 11th overall selection.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Green, Ramsey

Just a day after activating offensive lineman Ted Larsen, the Dolphins have decided to make him inactive for their Sunday night affair versus the Raiders. Larsen, 30, was forced onto the injured reserve for the first two months of the season after suffering a torn biceps in the offseason. It remains to be seen how long it’s going to take until Larsen returns to the starting lineup, but he’s expected to replace left guard Jesse Davis at some point over the next few games.

  • Just as a key starter is returning in Larsen, Miami said goodbye to lead running back Jay Ajayi when they dealt him to the Eagles for a fourth round pick on the day of the trade deadline. The move came as a surprise to many Dolphins fans given the importance of the 24 year-old to the team’s offense. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald opines that the deal was just another in a series of questionable decisions that the franchise has made over the last few years. Salguero points out the team’s moves to get rid of Vontae Davis, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace and Karlos Dansby as points in time where the team gave up too early on talent. The trade does open up more playing time for the likes of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, but the Dolphins’ offense will certainly look a lot different without Ajayi in the backfield.
  • One of the many brawls as a part pf today’s slate of games came from an incident between Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Green. After Ramsey pushed one of the league’s best receivers after the whistle, Green unleashed a flurry of punches onto the Jaguars second-year defensive back, which prompted both sidelines into a shoving match. Both Green and Ramsey were ejected after the scuffle. However, Green was apologetic about the incident after the loss, as Michael DiRocco and Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com pass along. “I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I apologize to my teammates, [Bengals owner Mike] Brown, and everybody, because that’s not who I am. It just got the best of me today.” We’ll see how the league reacts to the situation as a suspension could be in order given the severity of Green’s reaction.
  • While both players were forced to leave the contest, many around the league pointed out that Ramsey did not actually throw a punch. However, there was some clarity given out on that front after the game. Apparently, the officials said that Ramsey was ejected because they thought he did throw a punch, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport reports that the Jags cornerback was informed by league officials after the team’s win that he was sent to the locker room because they thought he engaged Green too, even though it appears that Ramsey did not punch back. We’ll have to see how the Jacksonville players and coaches react to the apparent officiating mistake.

Dolphins Activate G Ted Larsen

The Dolphins announced that they have activated guard Ted Larsen. This means that Larsen will be available to play when the Dolphins face the Raiders on Saturday night. Ted Larsen

Larsen suffered a torn biceps injury over the summer, forcing the Dolphins to park him on injured reserve for the first two months of the season. Finally, the Dolphins will have the offensive line they intended to have in Week 1. Larsen, a free agent addition in the spring, will start at left guard along with left tackle Laremy Tunsil, center Mike Pouncey, right guard Jermon Bushrod, and right tackle Ja’Wuan James. It’s good timing for the Dolphins since Larsen’s first stand-in, Anthony Steen, is done for the season with a broken foot. Jesse Davis, the latest starting solution at LG, will revert to the bench.

Larsen, 30, started in 65 of 102 appearances as a Buccaneer, Cardinal and Bear from 2010-16. In Chicago last year, Larsen posted the fifth 16-game slate of his career and logged eight starts, during which he ranked 37th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 75 qualified guards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Patriots, Bills, Dolphins, Eagles

Chris Hogan won’t require surgery for the shoulder injury he suffered on Sunday, but his need for rest and recovery means the Patriots wideout could miss a few weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). New England heads into a bye in Week 9, so Hogan will be re-evaluated before the Pats face the Broncos in Week 10. In his second season in New England, Hogan ranks second among Patriots receives in catches (33) and yards (438), and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with five.

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

  • Bills general manager Brandon Beane expects veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to stay retired now that he wasn’t traded at the deadline, tweets Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Beane & Co. allowed Boldin — who expressed interest in returning from a brief retirement — to seek a trade, but he presumably wasn’t able to find a suitable landing spot. Buffalo had already expressed that it wouldn’t consider releasing Boldin, who inked a one-year deal with the club earlier this season. The 37-year-old Boldin could still return to the Bills, although Beane’s comments suggest that isn’t a likely outcome.
  • Offensive lineman Ted Larsen has been designated to return by the Dolphins, reports veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). This was the expected outcome for Larsen (who is dealing with a torn biceps), as reports as early as September indicated Larsen was a candidate to play again in 2017. Miami placed starting guard Anthony Steen on injured reserve earlier today, so Larsen — who is eligible to return as soon as this weekend — could be immediately inserted into the Dolphins’ lineup.
  • Eagles left tackle Jason Peters is done for the season after suffering a torn ACL, but the veteran blindside protector is financially protected for the 2018 campaign, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). Under the terms of the one-year extension Peters inked in June, he has a $4.5MM injury guarantee that becomes fully guaranteed in March. Because Peters likely won’t be able to pass a physical before the 2018 league year begins, he’ll be able to collect his salary, whether he’s on the Philadelphia roster or not.