Terence Newman

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Austin, Vikings, Spence

The Seahawks released defensive end Cliff Avril with a failed physical designation yesterday, but it doesn’t sound like the decision was an easy one. Speaking with reporters following the first day of rookie minicamp, coach Pete Carroll reflected on the veteran’s impact on the organization.

“He’s been a great leader. He’s been a bit of a statesman for us. He always says the right thing, stands for the right stuff and been a really high character guy that you can always count on,” said Carroll (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “A great competitor in the program. I love him and would like to keep him connected with our club as long as we can because he’s just exactly what you hope to represent you. He’s had a great career with us.”

Avril, 32, said he wants to continue his NFL career.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Speaking of injured Seahawks, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets that safety Kam Chancellor has more neck scans scheduled in June. The veteran landed on the injured reserve last season due to an unspecified neck injury, and reports indicated that the 30-year-old may be forced to retire.
  • The Rams bailed on wideout Tavon Austin, sending him to the Cowboys for a sixth-rounder. While the receiver never lived up to his four-year, $42MM contract, his former organization doesn’t believe his tenure was a failure. “[The deal] was never necessarily to be, hey, a No. 1 receiver,” said general manager Les Snead (via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez). “But he was a weapon for us on special teams and in the offense. He led our team in touchdowns, and he had a lot of special-teams touchdowns called back. He was just a unique weapon on offense.”
  • The Vikings re-signed veteran cornerback Terence Newman last week, and Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune has details on the new deal (via Twitter). The 39-year-old will earn a $1.015MM base salary and a $90K workout bonus. However, there’s no guaranteed money, and the contract accounts for a $720K cap hit.
  • The undisclosed 2019 pick that the Lions acquired from the Dolphins in the Akeem Spence trade is a conditional seventh-rounder, tweets ESPN’s Field Yates. Miami originally acquired the selection in the deal that sent Jarvis Landry to the Browns.

Terence Newman To Retire After Season

Terence Newman will return for his age-40 season, but he’s not planning on going much further. The veteran says that he has no designs on extending his career beyond 2018.

[RELATED: Vikings Re-Sign CB Terence Newman]

I think this will be my last year no matter what happens,’’ Newman said (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). “After 15 years, I’ve soaked as much as I can in. It’s been a heck of a ride. I understand when it’s time for me. I’m not going to put an onus on doing anything special.”

Newman entered the league as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft. He is one of three active players remaining from that class and that number will be reduced to two if Cowboys tight end Jason Witten retires to begin his broadcasting career. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is the only other player from the ’03 class still hanging on.

This year will mark Newman’s fourth year with the Vikings. Before that, Newman spent nine years with the Cowboys and three years with the Bengals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Re-Sign CB Terence Newman

Terence Newman is back for another season. The Vikings announced that the veteran cornerback has re-signed with the team.

[RELATED: Vikings Pick Up Trae Waynes’ Option]

This year will mark Newman’s 16th season in the NFL. Even though he’ll turn 40 in September, the Vikings believe that he can provide valuable veteran leadership in the locker room and quality play in limited spurts on the field. He’ll mentor first-round cornerback Mike Hughes while he offers support in nickel packages behind starters Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes.

Last year, Newman appeared in all 16 of the Vikings’ regular season games as well as their two playoff contests. In the regular season, he tallied 35 tackles and five passes defensed as he played on 555 snaps, the third-highest total of any Vikings corner.

Pro Football Focus ranked Newman as 66th-best cornerback in the NFL, which indicates that he is still a quality contributor, even though he is no longer among the league’s best. Interestingly, the advanced metrics showed that Newman turned in one of his best seasons ever in 2016 – his age-38 season.

In the wake of James Harrison‘s retirement, Newman now stands as the oldest defensive player in the NFL. He also boasts the highest number of interceptions amongst all active players with 42.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Browns, Vikings, Meredith

The Vikings are working on a deal that would bring Terence Newman back to the Twin Cities, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Newman has expressed a desire to not only return for his age-40 season but do so with the Vikings. However, Tomasson confirms a previous report that money is an issue for a potential re-up. Newman made $3.58MM in 2017. Minnesota reached an agreement to re-sign Marcus Sherels and has Mackensie Alexander back for a third year behind their the team’s starting duo. Newman played in 16 games last season and remained a mid-tier corner in the opinion of Pro Football Focus despite his age.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions as we enter draft month.

  • Connected mostly to Sam Darnold and Josh Allen at No. 1 overall, the Browns are still publicly expressing their interest in the big four quarterbacks at this juncture of the process. But Hue Jackson is “very close” to finalizing a preference to bring to John Dorsey and has said he would like a quarterback whose mobility is relatively in step with Tyrod Taylor‘s, as opposed to a stationary passer. The Baker Mayfield interest is believed to be genuine, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports, adding the Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed a “great” workout with the Browns this week. The team is expected to bring Allen, Darnold, Mayfield and Josh Rosen in for visits before the draft.
  • Darnold-to-Cleveland has been the scenario most discussed around the league at this point, Terry Pluto of cleveland.com writes. While Pluto doesn’t discount the idea of the Browns going in a different direction, he has not heard anything lately connecting the team to Rosen. The UCLA quarterback was not exactly a portrait of enthusiasm about a potential Browns union when that subject surfaced late last year.
  • After the Browns take their quarterback at No. 1, Pluto expects them to select Bradley Chubb at No. 4. The caveat of the N.C. State dynamo being available should obviously be included, but with the Jets expected to take a QB at No. 3 and it making sense for the Giants to do the same at 2, the Browns could have the inside track on selecting the top quarterback and top non-quarterback in the draft. Jackson hasn’t exactly been evasive about envisioning what Chubb would bring to the Browns’ defense.
  • The Vikings still had concerns about Teddy Bridgewater‘s knee after the 2017 regular season, despite the quarterback being activated midway through the year. Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes these concerns affected the team’s approach regarding the former first-round pick this offseason. “The reports I’d get back from the medical people weren’t as positive as I was about it,” Mike Zimmer said. “That’s kind of how it came down is that his knee wasn’t as … he still has some recovery to do. When I watched him in practice he moved well, I didn’t see limitations but from what I’m told there was some.” The Vikings deactivated Bridgewater for both of their playoff games, and his Jets contract is light on guarantees.
  • Having brought in several UFA or RFA wideouts for visits recently, the Ravens may have a favorite among these pass-catchers. Baltimore is believed to be particularly high on Cameron Meredith, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports. Given the low-end tender by the Bears, Meredith joined fellow RFA Willie Snead and UFA Michael Floyd in trekking to Maryland for visits this month. Meredith’s met with the Colts and Saints as well, doing so after missing the entire 2017 season. The 25-year-old former UDFA, though, broke out with 888 receiving yards for the 2016 Bears. The Bears have $27.5MM in cap space compared to the Ravens’ $10.7MM figure, for offer-matching purposes.

NFC North Notes: Packers, Lions, Vikings

Allen Robinson narrowed his potential destinations to the Bears and Packers before ultimately deciding on Chicago, as the star wideout tells Mike Kaye of First Coast News. While a number of clubs — including the Redskins, Browns, Ravens, Panthers, and incumbent Jaguars — were linked to Robinson before free agency officially opened, Green Bay was never mentioned as a suitor. The revelation is interesting on a few different levels, but chief among them is that the Packers clearly feel a need to upgrade their receiving corps. So far this offseason, Green Bay cut ties with franchise icon Jordy Nelson, but hasn’t made any additions to its wideout depth chart. Robinson, 24, eventually landed a three-year, $42MM deal from the Bears.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Lions‘ decision to release Eric Ebron was strictly a financial call, general manager Bob Quinn told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Ebron had been scheduled to earn a base salary of $8.25MM in 2018, and that figure would have become fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year. Indeed, Ebron’s high salary also warded off any potential trade suitors, per Quinn, while Detroit never discussed an extension that would have reduced Ebron’s upcoming cap charge (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News). Ebron, a first-round pick in 2014, has subsequently inked a two-year, $13MM pact with the Colts.
  • Given that he’s currently in Ghana, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has no immediate plans to sign his franchise tag, per Birkett (Twitter link). However, Ansah does eventually plan to ink the tender and has no intention of dragging out the process. When he does eventually sign, Ansah will earn a fully guaranteed $17.143MM base salary for the 2018 campaign, and will have until July to hammer out a long-term extension with Detroit. Ansah finished the 2017 season with 12 sacks, 44 total tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
  • The Vikings have indicated they’d like to re-sign cornerback Terence Newman, but it sound as though money will be the determining factor in any such agreement, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). While Newman will be 40 years old when the 2018 season gets underway, he was able to stay healthy for all 16 games last year. Newman, who ranked as the No. 66 CB among 119 qualifiers in 2017 (per Pro Football Focus), would reinforce a Minnesota secondary that also includes Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander.
  • Despite a previous report to the contrary, the Lions are not interested in free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, tweets Birkett. Detroit has already upgraded its defensive tackle rotation by signing Sylvester Williams and Ricky Jean-Francois, but Hankins isn’t in the team’s plans.

Extra Points: Meredith, Curry, Ravens, Vikes

Bears restricted free agent wide receiver Cameron Meredith took a visit with the Colts today, and he’s expected to meet with at least one more (unidentified) team, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago somewhat surprisingly used an original round tender on Meredith, so it won’t receive any compensation if it decides not to match an offer sheet for the former undrafted free agent. Meredith, 25, is coming off a torn ACL, so the Colts (and the mystery club) likely want to check the condition of his affected knee. In 2016, Meredith posted 66 receptions and 888 yards in only 10 starts, so he could potentially be a bargain if he gets away from the Bears.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Defensive lineman Vinny Curry confirmed he had the chance to stick with the Eagles (almost assuredly at a reduced rate), but he ultimately secured interest from as many as seven teams before signing with the Buccaneers, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Curry joined fellow former Philadelphia defender Beau Allen in inking three-year deals with Tampa Bay, and their respective signings led the Bucs to cut ties with veteran defensive end Robert Ayers. The Eagles reportedly attempted both to trade Curry or lower his 2018 salary before releasing him, as his presence was made superfluous by Philadelphia’s acquisition of Michael Bennett.
  • New Ravens wide receiver John Brown was diagnosed with the sickle cell trait back in 2016, but he claims that’s not impacting his health. “I’m healthy. I’m feeling good,” said Brown, who signed a one-year, $5MM deal with Baltimore (link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “Sickle cell was never part of the problem.” Brown set career highs with 65 receptions for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns for Arizona in 2015, but has not reprised that performance in the last two years. Brown will team with fellow free agent addition Michael Crabtree to give Baltimore a new-look wide receiver corps in 2018.
  • The Broncos are still searching the free agent market for a tight end, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link), who suggests the recently-released Marcedes Lewis could get a look from John Elway & Co. Denver lost blocking tight end Virgil Green to the Chargers last week, and didn’t pursue any of the market’s top tight ends such as Jimmy Graham, Trey Burton, or Tyler Eifert. At present, the Broncos’ TE depth chart is topped by Jeff Heuerman and Jake Butt, but free agents that could speculatively be of interest may include Martellus Bennett, Antonio Gates, Luke Willson, or Brent Celek.
  • Kicker Kai Forbath became the first Vikings unrestricted free agent to re-sign with the club earlier today, and Minnesota still has interest in retaining a number of UFAs, tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Cornerbacks Terence Newman and Marcus Sherels are on the Vikings’ radar, as are offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles and defensive lineman Shamar Stephen. Minnesota could have competition for the latter two, as Sirles has taken a visit with the Panthers, while Stephen was hosted by the division-rival Lions.

Vikings Notes: Johnson, Richardson, Newman

Now that the Vikings have Sheldon Richardson set to add to an already stacked defense, the team is probably going to move on from previous defensive tackle starter Tom Johnson. Rick Spielman does not expect Johnson to return, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (on Twitter). The Vikes were previously open to a Johnson re-up, but that was before Richardson agreed to terms. Johnson turned down a $4MM extension offer last year that would have kept him alongside Linval Joseph on Minnesota’s front in 2018. But now, a menacing-looking Joseph-Richardson setup will be deployed. The Seahawks lost Richardson and now have interest in the 33-year-old likely-to-be former Viking.

Here’s more from the Vikings, courtesy of Tomasson.

  • Terence Newman has expressed interest in returning for an age-40 season, and Tomasson tweets he would like that to be with the Vikings. However, he wonders if Newman — who counted nearly $4MM toward Minnesota’s 2017 cap — would be a fit at that price now that major dollars have been allocated for big-name talent this offseason. The Vikings still have nearly $20MM in cap space but also have several key extension candidates entering contract years.
  • Spielman is confident Richardson has left his off-field trouble in the past. The former defensive rookie of the year encountered legal trouble while with the Jets, resulting in suspensions in 2015 and ’16 — the former a four-game ban. “We did a lot of research on that. That was maybe 2 1/2, 3 years ago,” Spielman said, via Tomasson (on Twitter). “We talked to a ton of people about it. … I felt very confident with him coming into this culture into our locker room that he’ll fit right in.’’
  • The Vikings cut Jarius Wright after six seasons on Friday. The team kept him in the loop throughout this process. The 28-year-old pass-catcher added the Vikings alerted him a cap-casualty cut was a possibility. “They had come to me and let me know that it was a possibly with some of the contracts they were looking at,” Wright said, via Tomasson (on Twitter). “They kept me updated.” It’s possible Wright, who was set to make $3.64MM in base salary next season, could be brought back at a lower rate.

Terence Newman Plans To Play Next Year

Terence Newman will turn 40 in September, but he’s not thinking about retirement. Fueled by a desire to get the mountaintop, Newman says he plans to play in 2018. Terence Newman

I want to play [next season], because we made it to an NFC Championship. We fell short. We fell way short … I want to be able to have an opportunity to win a ring. It’s that simple,” Newman said (via KFAN 100.3 on Twitter).

Bound for free agency, it’s not a guarantee that Newman will return to the Vikings next season. It seems like that Minnesota will have interest in retaining him, however, for his valuable veteran leadership and on-field production. In 2017, Newman graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 66 ranked cornerback, which puts him on the fringe of starter quality.

The Vikings are slated to start Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes at cornerback, but Newman could once again serve as support for that duo, along with Mackensie Alexander. If not, he’ll be exploring opportunities with other contending clubs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cardinals, Giants, Fangio, Vikings

David Johnson is doing his part to keep the Cardinals‘ offense together. Since he was last on the field, Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer retired. And Larry Fitzgerald isn’t certain to come back for a 15th season. Johnson, though, tried to coax Palmer into a 16th slate — one for which he was under contract.

I think Carson’s done,” Johnson said on the Pro Football Talk PM Podcast (via PFT’s Mike Florio). “I’ve talked to him. I was trying to get him to come back just because he was another person who was very impactful not just on the field but also off the field. I was trying to recruit him to come back but I think his mindset is [to retire] — and I definitely understand where he’s coming from.”

Johnson was more bullish on Fitzgerald’s chances of coming back following another 100-reception, 1,000-yard campaign.

Larry is going to come back,” Johnson said, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “He’s still playing at a high level.”

Johnson told Florio he hopes the team and his representation can begin negotiations on a new contract but added he remains focused on his rehab process.

Here’s the latest from the NFC:

  • Vic Fangio‘s new Bears contract is a three-year agreement, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reports. The veteran DC said he had “a lot” of options but chose to stay in Chicago because he’s confident in Matt Nagy‘s direction for the team. Fangio said he won’t be gaining more defensive responsibility under Nagy than he had under the defensive-oriented John Fox, per Dickerson, because Fox gave him full autonomy to run the Bears’ defense.
  • Eli Manning and Dave Gettleman met recently, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. While the new Giants GM described this as a “great conversation,” he added “I don’t want to go there” when asked about if the parties reached any closure about Manning’s status following the summit. Schwartz adds the Giants are “very likely” to select their quarterback of the future with the No. 2 overall pick.
  • The Giants are still likely to reach out to Patriots OC Josh McDaniels on Monday to see if he’s committed to becoming the Colts‘ HC as has been reported, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports. A source told Vacchiano that McDaniels would be the favorite if all of their finalists wanted the job, although Vacchiano reports a Giants source also described this year’s HC candidate pool as “uninspiring.” Pat Shurmur remains in line to become Big Blue’s next HC.
  • While it still sounds like Joe Berger has a maximum of two NFL games left, the Vikings guard (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) said he won’t decide until March or April if he’s done after this season or not. Berger said before the season he was likely to retire after 2017 and added one of the reasons he decided to come back was Mike Remmers‘ addition. “My thought is that this is it, but I’m not going to try to make that decision now in the middle of all this,” Berger said. Pro Football Focus graded the 35-year-old blocker as the No. 15 NFL guard this season.
  • Conversely, the Vikings winning a Super Bowl would not seem to dissuade Terence Newman from coming back for a 16th season and what would be his age-40 campaign. Newman said he’s optimistic he can remain an impact player in 2018, were he to decide to come back. “Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that I was able to (win a Super Bowl), then why not try to get two?’’ Newman said, via Tomasson. “You can look at it at both sides.” PFF graded Newman as a middle-of-the-pack corner this season. Newman’s playing on a one-year contract.

Extra Points: Raiders, Eagles, Broncos

“Things could be on track” for a vote on the Raiders’ potential relocation to take place during the upcoming owners meetings from March 26-29, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy informed Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. Indeed, the Raiders are “on course” to apply for Las Vegas relocation at the meetings, a source told Gutierrez. If a vote is held, Mark Davis will need 23 of the league’s other 31 owners to sign off on his Vegas plan. Before that happens, though, owners want to know where the Raiders would play in 2019, according to Gutierrez. They’re going to remain in Oakland the next two seasons, and the potential Las Vegas stadium wouldn’t open until 2019, leaving a one-year gap.

More from around the league:

  • Florida State running back and first-round prospect Dalvin Cook is in Philadelphia meeting with the Eagles, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Eagles finished an unimpressive 18th in the league in yards per carry last season and don’t have a high-end No. 1 rusher, so it’s possible they’ll give Cook serious consideration if he’s on the board at No. 14.
  • One of Cook’s fellow draft-bound running backs, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, visited the Broncos on Thursday, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Mixon met privately with both Broncos CEO Joe Ellis and general manager John Elway, adds Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links).
  • Terence Newman told reporters that his agent spoke with the Raiders on the same day he spoke to the Vikings, but Oakland did not make an offer (Twitter link via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune). Regardless, the Vikings were Newman’s top choice. This week, the cornerback agreed to return to Minnesota for his age-39 season.
  • Although the Bengals’ Andre Smith has served as an offensive tackle during his entire eight-year career, he’ll shift to right guard in his ninth season, writes Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “We think he has chance to be a really good player for us there,” said Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander. Smith, who spent his first seven seasons in Cincinnati and 2016 in Minnesota, returned to the Bengals on Tuesday on a one-year deal. He’ll replace former line mate and standout right guard Kevin Zeitler, who signed a massive contract with the AFC North rival Browns at the outset of free agency.
  • While the Vikings have shown interest in free agent cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, they aren’t among the teams that have booked visits with him, tweets Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
  • Offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus has officially announced his retirement (Twitter link). After initial word that Cherilius would retire, one report said that he was simply not seeking a contract at this time, indicating that the situation was fluid. However, Cherilus is indeed walking away from the game.

Zach Links contributed to this post.