Ted Larsen

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.

Dolphins OL Ted Larsen To Return From IR

Dolphins offensive lineman Ted Larsen is expected to return from injured reserve later this season, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).Ted Larsen

NFL clubs are now allowed to bring two players off injured reserve, and aren’t forced to designate those players as return options when the original transaction occurs. However, any player who might be an option to come off IR at some point must be carried through to his team’s initial 53-man roster. Miami, then, will have to place Larsen on its roster before shifting him to IR on Sunday.

Larsen, who signed a three-year deal with the Dolphins this spring, is dealing with a torn biceps. The 30-year-old veteran, who boasts 65 career starts, will be in contention for Miami’s starting left guard job when he returns. The Dolphins already lost interior offensive line depth last week when they released Kraig Urbik, who was also sidelined by injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Place Ted Larsen On IR

Ted Larsen‘s torn biceps will require a stay on injured reserve, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald tweets. The hope is that the Dolphins can bring him after Week 8, the earliest point at which players can return from IR. "<strong

[RELATED: Dolphins Sign Jay Cutler]

Larsen was expected to serve as one of the Dolphins’ starting guards in Week 1. Although he wasn’t stellar last year, he was the team’s best option next to Kraig Urbik. Miami will now have to consider backups like Jermon Bushrod and fifth round pick Issac Asiata. The Dolphins may also want to look at free agent options, like the newly available Orlando Franklin. Of course, after his stay with the Saints was terminated in less than a week, the Dolphins would want to take a good look at his knee injury.

Last year, players were permitted to only bring one player back from injured reserve during the season. This year, teams will be allowed to designate two players for return from IR. Teams do not have to declare their one IR-DTR player in advance, meaning that the Dolphins can monitor Larsen’s situation and bring him back when he is fully healthy. Conversely, the Dolphins reserve the right to change course and use their two IR-DTR spots on other players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Ravens, Fins, Texans, Bolts

In the wake of John Urschel‘s retirement and Nico Siragusa‘s season-ending knee injury, the Ravens’ top priority is to add to their offensive line, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. General manager Ozzie Newsome has discussed trades with other teams, reports Zrebiec, who points out that free agency could be a tough route to take because the Ravens don’t have much cap room. Further, while the Ravens showed interest in free agent center Nick Mangold during the offseason, there are questions as to whether the 33-year-old is committed to continuing his career, relays Zrebiec. Notably, Mangold indicated in May that he could retire.

More from the AFC:

  • Dolphins guard Ted Larsen will be a candidate to begin the season on injured reserve if his biceps does prove to be torn, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. In that case, the Dolphins could check in on the free agent and trade markets for help at the position, suggests Jackson, who notes that ex-Miami Hurricane Orlando Franklin would have interest in signing with the team. Franklin’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reached out to the Dolphins earlier this offseason, but they were content with their guard situation at the time. Franklin was most recently with the Saints, who cut the cord shortly after signing him – partly because of a knee injury.
  • Safety Marcus Gilchrist‘s one-year deal with the Texans carries a max value of $3MM, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). It includes a $1.2MM base salary, an $800K signing bonus and $1MM in per-game roster bonuses.
  • The Chargers worked out undrafted rookie center Barrett Gouger on Thursday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Gouger’s audition came after the Bolts lost guard Forrest Lamp, an expected starter, to a torn ACL on Wednesday

Ted Larsen May Have Torn Biceps

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill wasn’t the only Dolphin to suffer an injury Thursday. Guard Ted Larsen left practice with what the team fears is a torn biceps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). The likelihood is that Larsen will miss “several” regular-season games, per Jackson.

Ted Larsen

The Dolphins signed Larsen as the outset of free agency in March, and he immediately became a strong contender to start at left guard for the club. The 30-year-old brings plenty of experience to the table, having combined to start 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 a respectable 37th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 75 qualified guards.

As they brace for a prolonged Larsen absence, the Dolphins will go forward with Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik and fifth-round pick Isaac Asiata as potential options opposite No. 1 right guard Jermon Bushrod. Steen started seven games at center in 2016 while Mike Pouncey was on the shelf. Fortunately for Miami, there’s hope that the hip issues which have troubled Pouncey in the past won’t cause problems this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Campbell, Demps, Wheaton

Let’s take a look the financial details of some recently-signed contracts:

  • Mike Adams, S (Panthers): Two years, $4.2MM. $1.15MM guaranteed. $650K signing bonus. $00K available annually via Pro Bowl and interception incentives (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Calais Campbell, DL (Jaguars): Four years, $60MM. $30MM guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus. Base salaries $9MM (guaranteed), $15MM (guaranteed), $12MM, $15MM. $3MM option bonus for 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Marcus Cooper, CB (Bears): Three years, $16MM. $8MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $1MM available annually in Pro Bowl and interception incentives (Twitter links via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune).
  • Quintin Demps, S (Bears): Three years, $13.5MM. $5MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ryan Griffin, TE (Texans): Three years, $9MM. $3.225MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout base de-escalator (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • D.J. Hayden, CB (Lions): One year, $3.75MM. $2.25MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $250K workout bonus. $1.5MM available via incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ted Larsen, OL (Dolphins): Three years, $5.65MM. $1.75MM guaranteed. $1.25MM signing bonus. $500K escalator in 2018. $1MM escalator in 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Josh Robinson, CB (Buccaneers): Two years, $5M. $2MM guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due on eighth day of 2017 league year. $1.75MM team option in 2018. $750K available via incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cornelius Washington, DL (Lions): Two years, $5.825MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $1.5MM guaranteed (link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Markus Wheaton, WR (Bears): Two years, $11MM. $5MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Terrance Williams, WR (Cowboys): Four years, $17MM. $9.5MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. 2020 option season. Annual $200K workout base salary de-escalator (Twitter links via Wilson).

Dolphins To Sign Ted Larsen

A busy day continues for the Dolphins: The team is set to sign free agent guard Ted Larsen to a three-year deal, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).Ted Larsen (vertical)

With 2016 starter Jermon Bushrod now on the market, the Dolphins entered Thursday in search of help along the interior O-line. Larsen could help the Dolphins’ cause, then. The soon-to-be 30-year-old will certainly provide versatility to Miami, having lined up at each guard spot and center during his seven-season career.

As a member of the Bears in 2016, Larsen appeared in 15 games, made eight starts and ranked 44th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 72 qualified guards. He previously combined for 86 appearances and 57 starts with the Buccaneers and Cardinals from 2010-15.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.