Tevin Coleman

NFC South Notes: Falcons, Coleman, Bucs

Here’s a look at the NFC South:

  • Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff says that he has no interest in trading running back Tevin Coleman this offseason (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). Previously, Dimitroff indicated that he could see a scenario of extending Coleman even though the team has already paid Devonta Freeman. Last year, Coleman totaled 628 rushing yards and four touchdowns plus 27 catches for 299 yards. For what it’s worth, that’s 122 less receiving yards than he had in 2016 and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average was down from 4.4 over the previous two seasons.
  • Pending Buccaneers free agent T.J. Ward is a player to watch in free agency, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ward started only five of his 12 games for the Bucs last year and graded out as the No. 58 ranked safety in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. That’s a big dropoff from his three straight Pro Bowls from 2013-2015 and his January arrest doesn’t help matters either. Still, in a shallow safety pool, Rapoport expects Ward to draw interest. Whether that comes to fruition or not, it’s not expected that Ward will be back with the Bucs.
  • The Falcons know that they’ll have some tough choices to make as they create room for quarterback Matt Ryan‘s next deal. “We all know that as we start nearing the signing of quarterbacks in this league, and especially quarterbacks of Matt Ryan’s status, you have to be very creative,” Dimitroff said on 680 The Fan (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “There are going to be some difficult moves for us to make probably early next week and into next week.” Ledbetter notes that left guard Andy Levitre ($7MM in savings) and defensive end Brooks Reed ($3.6MM in savings) are both cap casualty candidates. Other cap casualty candidates include quarterback Matt Schaub ($3.25MM), defensive tackle Derrick Shelby ($3.2MM), wide receiver Mohamed Sanu ($3.1MM,) and tight end Levine Toilolo ($2.5MM).

GM: Falcons Could Extend RB Tevin Coleman

Prior to the season, the Falcons signed running back Devonta Freeman to a lucrative contract extension. Pretty soon, the front office will have to think about extending fellow running back Tevin Coleman, which could prove to be a tricky situation. However, as general manager Thomas Dimitroff told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, it wouldn’t be unrealistic for the team to pay big money to both running backs.

Tevin Coleman (Vertical)“I believe you could realistically do it,” Dimitroff said. “I think, again, it comes back to an earlier question when you’re talking about looking at all the different spots on the roster and what you can do to create the space.

“And again, we do a really good job here, I think, about being creative. Luckily, we have an owner [Arthur Blank] that’s allowing us to spend the money, and he doesn’t want to leave a whole bunch on the table, so everyone should be happy about that. I know Q [Dan Quinn] and I definitely are. It makes it a lot more manageable when you’re putting it all together.”

Coleman, who has served mostly as a backup since he entered the NFL in 2015, will make a modest $791K next season. However, he’ll be a free agent following the campaign, and McClure notes that Coleman could be seeking both a large payday and a starting gig. The Falcons could realistically trade the former third-rounder, but executives told McClure that the deep running back draft class might dissuade teams from pulling off a trade. The 24-year-old had another solid campaign in 2017, compiling 628 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He also hauled in 27 catches for 299 yards.

While the Falcons will have to eventually figure out their running back situation, it sounds like the front office has another priority heading into the offseason. Dimitroff said that the team is focused on signed quarterback Matt Ryan to an extension, which could vicariously create even more wiggle room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Notes: Coleman, Ryan, Bryant

Over the summer, the Falcons locked up Devonta Freeman with a five-year extension worth more than $41MM. That’s a big chunk of change to dedicate to the running back position, but GM Thomas Dimitroff seems to think that there will be enough room to also keep Tevin Coleman in the fold after his contract expires next year (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com).

Coleman, a third-round pick in the 2015 draft, is slated to carry a cap number of just $978K in his final year under contract. The Falcons love having him as a complement to Freeman, but with a career average of 4.3 yards per carry, Coleman figures to attract starter money on the open market in 2019. If the Falcons are intent on keeping the tandem together, their best bet might be to extend Coleman in the coming weeks, before RBs like Isaiah Crowell, Carlos Hyde, Dion Lewis ink new contracts.

Here’s more from Atlanta:

  • No surprise here, but Dimitroff says a contract extension for Matt Ryan will be a top focus for the team as they look to create flexibility going forward (Twitter link via McClure). As it stands, the quarterback is signed through 2018 and is slated to carry a cap charge in excess of $21MM. Of course, re-upping the MVP of the 2016 season won’t be cheap. Ryan turned in another strong season in 2017, tying with Drew Brees as the second-best quarterback in the league, per Pro Football Focus, placing him behind only Tom Brady. He also eclipsed 4,000 passing yards for the seventh consecutive season, though his 4,095 total was his lowest since 2010.
  • Dimitroff says the team will talk to kicker Matt Bryant soon about a contract extension (Twitter link via McClure). Bryant will turn 43 in May, but it sounds like the kicker is intent on continuing his career. In 2017, Bryant connected on 34 of 39 field goal attempts (87.2%) and made all 35 of his extra point tries. Bryant was money from long distance, nailing 8 of 9 kicks from 50+ yards.
  • The Falcons have decided to stick with Steve Sarkisian as their offensive coordinator.

Tevin Coleman Ruled Out For Week 15

The Falcons will again have the services of only one of their two-headed running back contingent. This time, Tevin Coleman will miss a game due to a concussion.

Coleman’s head injury will keep him out of a critical contest against the Buccaneers on Monday night, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Devonta Freeman missed two games because of a concussion late in the season but returned last week to help Atlanta’s cause. In the concussion protocol, Coleman did not practice this week. He’s totaled 838 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns this season.

Terron Ward served as Coleman’s backup during Freeman’s hiatus and will step back into that role behind Freeman this time in Tampa.

The Falcons are 8-5 and currently hold the No. 6 spot in the NFC, but several teams are relevant members of the “In the Hunt” group, making each of Atlanta’s final three games pivotal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Rule Out Freeman For Week 12

The Falcons will be without star running back Devonta Freeman when the team hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (Twitter link). Freeman could not recover in time from a concussion he sustained in Week 10 vs. Dallas. Devonta Freeman (vertical)

Freeman, who had only missed one game in his first three seasons, will be sidelined for the second consecutive week. Out for most of the week going through the concussion protocol, Freeman was limited at practice on Thursday and Friday before being ruled out.

The team will look to Tevin Coleman to shoulder the load vs. Tampa Bay. In each of his last two games as the team’s workhorse, Coleman has received at least 20 carries and scored a touchdown in victories over the Cowboys and Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Eagles, Bucs, Cowboys, Injuries

There’s a lot of talk about receivers the Eagles could acquire, but which players could they look to trade themselves? Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com runs down some candidates, including linebacker Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles are somewhat thin at linebacker, but it seems defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz isn’t that high on Kendricks and other teams would probably use him more than Philly has. Other suggested trade candidates include interior offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, wide receiver Nelson Agholor, defensive end Connor Barwin, and running back Ryan Mathews.

  • Will the Buccaneers acquire a veteran wide receiver between now and the trade deadline? Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders notes that there is a need there after Louis Murphy‘s latest setback and looks at a handful of candidates around the league. Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery is a game-changing talent, but he’s in his contract year and the Bucs would have to juggle re-signing him while trying to extend Mike Evans this offseason. For that reason, someone like 49ers receiver Torrey Smith might make more sense for Tampa Bay.
  • The Cowboys had interest in Chase Daniel as a backup quarterback during the offseason, Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram tweets. However, that was before the Eagles made Daniel the league’s highest-paid reserve QB.
  • Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has injury updates on a number of key players. Colts receiver Donte Moncrief will play, but Falcons running back Tevin Coleman won’t. Neither will Redskins rusher Matt Jones, whose teammate, tight end Jordan Reed, is questionable.
  • Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis admitted that he’s “breaking down,” but he’s not thinking retirement.

South Rumors: Payton, Coleman, Blackmon, Colts

Sean Payton decided again to squash any potential move to another team next season, per ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett.

It’s come up every, I’m going to say, two to three years. And I guess … listen, it comes with the territory,” the Saints coach told media. “This is where I call home. I just finished building a home here. I’m close enough to my son back in Dallas where I’m pretty much back there once a week or he’s over here; my daughter is off in college now. So, I see myself coaching this team long past this season.”

Payton made similar comments in October after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins, and possibly other teams, would make a play for his services after this season. The 10th-year coach has two years remaining on his contract, so such a move would require compensation.

Drew Brees‘ coach for each of his Saints campaigns, Payton also anticipates the 15th-year quarterback to stay in New Orleans next season, when he’ll be 37 and occupy an untenable $30MM salary cap number.

I understand (the question). It’s the business we’re in. And yet he’s playing at a very high level,” Payton told media. “His mechanics, his arm strength has been outstanding. Two weeks ago in Tampa Bay, he made a throw down the sideline and into the wind in Cover 2 that was unbelievable. So, yes, to answer your question, I do (expect him back).”

Here is some more news emerging from the Southern divisions.

  • Tevin Coleman slipped in the shower at the Falcons‘ facility and entered the concussion protocol as a result, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. The rookie runner who began the season as Atlanta’s starter has 392 yards on 87 carries this season.
  • The Jaguars recouped an undisclosed amount of Justin Blackmon‘s bonus money despite the embattled receiver going on his second full-season absence from the league, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports. Previous reports indicated the Jaguars were keeping the former top-10 pick on their roster to recoup as much as $4MM of Blackmon’s signing bonus, instead of cutting him and not reacquiring any money. O’Halloran estimates, with Blackmon accruing another DUI this month, the receiver’s suspension has no end in sight and the Jags could conceivably keep him on their roster for years, with it not costing any cap space to do so.
  • After T.Y. Hilton criticized the Colts‘ game plan for a lack of deep shots, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski indicated the team’s tenuous situation has limited the number of downfield strikes he’s willing to attempt, according to an Associated Press report. This isn’t the first time in-house criticism of play-calling’s surfaced, with since-deposed OC Pep Hamilton receiving his share previously this season.
  • Including Chuck Pagano only being offered a one-year extension and Ryan Grigson‘s failure to upgrade the Colts’ offensive line, the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer examines the main components that led to the Colts’ tumble this season.

Injury Updates: Cutler, Lacy, Boyd, Adams

While we don’t cover every NFL injury at Pro Football Rumors, we keep a close eye on them nonetheless, and we’ll often pass along injury news if it pertains to a key player, or if a team may have to make a roster move due to an injury. Here are some of the latest noteworthy updates on injuries sustained by players during this weekend’s games:

NFC:

  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a strained hamstring, according to head coach John Fox, who added that the Bears haven’t decided whether or not to add another QB to the roster this week (Twitter links via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune).
  • Packers running back Eddie Lacy sprained his ankle against the Seahawks last night, but the injury is minor and he could play in Week 3, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • While the initial diagnosis on Packers defensive tackle Josh Boyd suggested that his ankle injury may not be too significant, an MRI revealed torn ankle ligaments, and his season is now in jeopardy, tweets Rapoport.
  • Falcons running back Tevin Coleman fractured a rib yesterday, and will likely be sidelined for a couple weeks, depending on his pain threshold, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite the injury, head coach Dan Quinn said he doesn’t anticipating adding another running back to the roster, according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure (Twitter link).
  • Panthers wideout Jerricho Cotchery has a high ankle sprain, which is often a multi-week injury, but the team hopes he’ll be ready for Week 3, says Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson is expected to miss two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians (Twitter link via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic).

AFC:

  • Texans offensive lineman Jeff Adams suffered a torn patellar tendon in his knee, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). It’s a season-ending injury for Adams, who figures to land on the team’s injured reserve list this week.
  • Bills defensive back Aaron Williams sustained what appeared to be one of the more serious injuries of Week 2, but head coach Rex Ryan passed along some positive news today, indicating that Williams was back at the team’s facility and is “doing OK.” As Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News details, Ryan said it’s probably a stretch to think Williams will be back for this Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but it sounds like he avoided a significant injury.
  • Jaguars running back Denard Robinson‘s knee injury is a sprained MCL, and he’s considered week to week, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter links).

Injury Updates: 9/20/15

The big news is the Tony Romo injury, which could have a devastating effect on the Cowboys’ season. We already looked at a major injury to Bills safety Aaron Williams – who appeared to be doing okay after being taken to a hospital, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter) – and a potential starting quarterback injury for Jay Cutler of the Bears. Here’s a roundup of other noteworthy injuries from Sunday’s action. Any additional injury updates from the afternoon games will be added to the top of the page throughout the day.

Earlier:

  • Ereck Flowers left the Giants-Falcons game with an ankle injury, and was not able to return, writes Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Flowers has dealt with ankle injuries for a few weeks, and Jordan Raanan of NJ.com notes that head coach Tom Coughlin hopes those issues aren’t continuous (via Twitter).
  • Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso has been ruled out of the remainder of today’s game vs. the Cowboys due to a left knee injury, tweets Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As McLane observes, that’s the same knee that suffered a torn ACL in 2014.
  • Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was getting X-rays taken after the loss to the Vikings, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). Detroit Lions senior writer Tim Twentyman writes that Stafford confirmed the X-rays were taken of his chest and ribs (via Twitter).
  • Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left the 26-19 win over the Saints with a right arm injury, reports Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 The Team in Tampa (via Twitter). Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times adds that McCoy was not moving his right arm in the locker room (via Twitter).
  • Titans right guard Chance Warmack will have an MRI on his knee on Monday after injuring it today, but the initial diagnosis is a sprained MCL, according to Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (Twitter links).

Draft Signings: Falcons, Bucs, Bills

The latest draft signings from rounds 3-7..

  • The Falcons signed third-round pick Tevin Coleman, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With the running back in the fold, Vic Beasley stands as the last draft pick unsigned in Atlanta.
  • The Buccaneers signed fourth-round linebacker Kwon Alexander, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). The Bucs traded up in the fourth round with the Raiders to land the LSU product.
  • The Buccaneers also signed Nebraska product Kenny Bell, according to Smith (on Twitter). The wide receiver was taken in the fifth round.
  • FSU tight end Nick O’Leary, a sixth-round choice, has signed his rookie contract with the Bills, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Seventh-round wideout Dezmin Lewis has also signed his rookie deal with the team, tweets Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.
  • The Bengals signed safety Derron Smith, a sixth-round pick, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Smith is just the second of nine picks to sign.
  • The Cardinals announced (via Twitter) that they have signed a pair of fifth-round picks in linebacker Shaquille Riddick and wide receiver J.J. Nelson.