Compton is not a star, but he does offer experience with 30 starts over the course of seven NFL seasons. The 6’6”, 315-pounder entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Redskins in 2012 and spent four years in the nation’s capital before stints with the Falcons, Bears, and Vikings. Last year, he started 14 games at left guard for the Vikes, but he’s also spent time at right guard and right tackle.
Matthew Stafford hasn’t had a particularly productive campaign in 2018, and the Lions have struggled to a 3-6 record while ranking just 9th in offensive DVOA. But that doesn’t mean Detroit will have any interest — or opportunity — to move on from its veteran quarterback this offseason, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. “You’ve got as much chance of getting rid of Matthew Stafford as the Baltimore Ravens did of Joe Flacco prior to next year, because there was no way they were ever getting rid of Joe Flacco because of the way his contract was structured until 2019 at the earliest,” says former agent and current CBS.com contributor Joel Corry. Stafford signed a five-year, $135MM extension in 2017 that included a $50MM signing bonus. That bonus is prorated through 2021 at a rate of $10MM annually, meaning it will be virtually impossible for the Lions to cut Stafford before 2020. Among the 25 signal-callers that have attempted at least 250 passes this season, Stafford ranks just 15th in passer rating and 20th in adjusted net yards per attempt.
Here’s more from the NFC North:
- One of Stafford’s weapons, wide receiver Marvin Jones, went down with a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, but tests showed the Lions pass-catcher’s ACL and MCL are both intact, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. However, Jones did suffer a bone bruise and is now considered day-to-day. It’s unclear if Jones will be able to play against the Panthers in Week 11, but Detroit needs all the receivers it can find (having already traded Golden Tate to the Eagles earlier this month). If Jones can’t go, fellow wideouts Bruce Ellington, Brandon Powell, and T.J. Jones would see more work behind starter Kenny Golladay. Marvin Jones, currently in his third season with the Lions, has posted 35 receptions, 508 yards, and five touchdowns this year.
- Speaking of injuries, the Packers will be without several of their key players when they face the Seahawks on Thursday night. Per Schefter (Twitter link), wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Nick Perry, cornerback Kevin King, and safety Kentrell Brice will not make the trip to Seattle. Cobb’s absence means rookie pass-catchers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown will continue to see more work alongside Davante Adams, while Perry will be replaced by Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert. King, meanwhile, didn’t play in Week 10, leaving cornerback snaps to to Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Bashaud Breeland.
- The Bears did not try to re-sign guard Tom Compton this past offseason, the veteran tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “No,” he said. “They were pretty up front about that.” Compton wound up signing with the Vikings for less than he made with the Bears in 2017. After earning $1.85MM on a one-year deal with Chicago, he inked a one-year, $900K deal with Minnesota. Originally signed to be a backup, Compton was thrust into the starting lineup after Nick Easton suffered a season-ending injury in August.
- In case you missed it, the Lions placed starting right guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve, meaning his season is now over due to a neck injury.
With more teams debuting their preseasons Friday night, here’s the latest out of the NFC, beginning with one of the teams that indeed begins its 2018 run tonight.
- A fourth-round pick two years ago, Miles Killebrew may be moving to a different position in order to increase his chances of making the Lions‘ 53-man roster. The third-year safety’s been working exclusively as a linebacker in practice as of late, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Killebrew started three games at safety for the Lions last season, but Birkett adds that the Southern Utah product was working as the fifth safety during camp in a unit that’s now including former full-time cornerback Quandre Diggs. Rookie Tracy Walker was also running ahead of Killebrew.
- Nick Easton‘s season-ending injury now has the Vikings down three starters, with Pat Elflein still on the PUP list and Mike Remmers also sidelined. Tom Compton is the favorite to fill in for Easton at left guard, and ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin notes the Vikings were eyeing the former Redskins and Bears blocker in the past prior to signing him this offseason. Compton, though, has only made 16 starts in six seasons. The Vikings are likely to keep Compton at guard rather than have him also work at tackle, Mike Zimmer said. Second-year man Danny Isidora looks to the the top insurance option at the other guard spot in case Remmers, down with an ankle injury presently, doesn’t return soon, per Cronin. A fourth-year UDFA out of Portland State, Cornelius Edison is currently working as Minnesota’s first-team center in Elflein’s absence.
- The Buccaneers will be without Vernon Hargreaves for a bit, potentially the rest of the preseason, with a groin injury. Dirk Koetter, however, doesn’t expect the former first-round pick to miss any regular-season time because of this malady (Twitter link, via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud).
- The 49ers will be dealing with similar timelines involving key personnel. Likely tight end starter George Kittle and No. 2 running back Matt Breida suffered separated shoulders in San Francisco’s preseason opener Thursday night, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Both will miss the remainder of the preseason calendar. Kyle Shanahan said the earliest either will return is Week 1.
- Derrius Guice‘s ACL tear deprives the Redskins of a potential impact player being part of their 2018 offense, and they will likely turn to former starter Rob Kelley in his place, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. He expects Samaje Perine, who was in danger of not making the roster prior to Guice’s injury, to work in off the bench on early downs. Tandler adds the Redskins could go after a veteran back, and while many are available, it’s not certain the team will move in that direction just yet. Kelley rushed for 704 yards (4.2 per carry) in 2016, a season that featured him start down the stretch, but gained just 194 last year (3.1 per tote) in seven games as Washington’s starter.
John DeFilippo played a big part in the Vikings‘ quarterback search. The new Minnesota offensive coordinator began studying film of the team’s three previous quarterbacks — Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum — on his first morning with the team in mid-February, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. This process of finding a potential long-term option in Kirk Cousins also included scouting of QBs that weren’t Cousins or the Vikings’ free agent trio, per Goessling, who adds QBs coach Kevin Stefanski was also involved in this process, along with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. DeFilippo and Cousins met at dinner the night before the new Minnesota starter signed his three-year, $84MM contract, per Goessling. Minnesota has not had a quarterback make it through three straight seasons as the primary starter since Daunte Culpepper in the early 2000s, and DeFilippo called the franchise’s signal-caller search as thorough as anything he’s been involved with in the NFL.
Here’s the latest from the Twin Cities:
- Previously stationed at right tackle at Vikings OTAs, Mike Remmers took reps exclusively at right guard during one of the OTA sessions this week, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. Third-year UDFA Rashod Hill, in turn, lined up at right tackle. This was the Vikings’ arrangement at the end of last season. Remmers worked as the Panthers’ starting right tackle from 2014-16. Tom Compton, who worked as the primary right guard last week, alternated at left guard with Danny Isidora, per Krammer. Slotting Remmers at guard would give second-round pick Brian O’Neill an easier path to playing time, but it’s uncertain what Remmers’ primary position will be this season.
- Anthony Barr reported to the Vikings this week and did so after taking out an insurance policy, Krammer notes. He missed the first week of Vikes OTAs while he ironed out this policy, which will cover him for injury while he’s still attached to his rookie deal. Barr remains hopeful he and the Vikings can come to terms before training camp. Minnesota agreed to extensions with Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph in a 10-day span just as camp began last year, and it would make sense Barr — one of the team’s big re-up candidates this year — would be the top priority for a pre-camp deal.
- Despite being a first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell has 21 receptions (and no touchdowns) in two years. However, the Ole Miss product is not categorizing 2018 as a make-or-break year, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes. The Vikings cut Jarius Wright and have not re-signed Michael Floyd, potentially giving Treadwell a chance to move into the No. 3 wideout role. However, Minnesota’s Kendall Wright deal could impede that. Neverthless, it could be a stretch the Vikings pick up Treadwell’s fifth-year option in May of 2019 at this rate.
At Vikings OTAs this week, they placed Mike Remmers back at right tackle, per Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Remmers finished last season playing guard, and the Vikings used a second-round pick on tackle Brian O’Neill out of Pittsburgh. Minnesota had UFA signee Tom Compton working as its first-string right guard during OTAs, per Rand. Compton has never been a full-time starter in his six-year career, coming closest with the 2014 Redskins, who used him as a nine-game starter. Last season, the Bears started Compton in five of the 11 games he played. Minnesota lost its most effective blocker, Joe Berger, to retirement and did not make any notable additions beyond Compton at the guard spot.
Here’s more from the north:
- The Browns have made some adjustments to their front office and scouting department, and Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com expects that to continue. She targets the VP of player personnel decision as a possible turnover spot. Alonzo Highsmith, Ken Kovash and Andrew Berry currently reside in that role. John Dorsey just hired Highsmith, and Cabot reports Berry is safe from a change despite being an integral part of the previous regime. The Browns promoted Kovash shortly after the Sashi Brown regime took over in 2016 after he’d previously worked as the franchise’s director of football research.
- Converted cornerback Damarious Randall will be the Browns’ starter at free safety this season, relocating Jabrill Peppers to strong safety, per Cabot. Gregg Williams‘ deep placement of Peppers, sometimes more than 25 yards off the ball, became a constant source of discussion and derision among Browns fans, and Peppers himself may be a bit tired of the jokes. But the Browns will now place him closer to the line of scrimmage, which is similar to the role he had at Michigan.
- Optimism exists around Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, who saw a strong season end early in 2017 because of a torn Achilles, but Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun notes the veteran may not be ready for the start of training camp. The career-long Raven is going into his age-30 season.
- Additional Ravens’ timelines are coming into focus as well. Defensive lineman Carl Davis, who started nine games last season, underwent surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder earlier this offseason, Zreibec reports. The former third-round pick is questionable to participate in minicamp. Offensive lineman Nico Siragusa also had an operation this offseason. The 2017 fourth-round pick missed all of last season because of ACL, MCL and PCL tears and required an additional knee surgery this year. Zreibec reports the goal for him is a training camp return. As for Alex Lewis, Baltimore’s projected guard starter opposite Marshal Yanda, he’s fully recovered from the shoulder injury that nixed all of his 2017 season, Zreibec notes.
- The Steelers aren’t sure where to station Cameron Sutton. The 2017 third-round pick played 117 snaps as a rookie after an injury delayed his NFL debut. Pittsburgh may be planning to use him at outside or slot cornerback, or as a safety alongside Morgan Burnett, Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. But he notes that Artie Burns and Sean Davis will still have first crack at their respective jobs, outside cornerback and the non-Burnett safety starter, with the Steelers still hoping for the high draft picks’ upside to show. Mike Hilton remains the frontrunner to be the Steelers’ slot corner, where the former UDFA fared well in 2017.
Compton, 29 in May, is a native of Rosemount, a suburb of Minneapolis. After 71 career games, he finally gets an opportunity to play for his hometown team.
Compton mostly worked as a reserve during his first five NFL seasons, starting in just 11 of 44 appearances with the Redskins and Falcons. Last year, he wound up starting in five of eleven contests for the Bears. Although he has previous experience at tackle, he played mostly on the inside in 2017.
The veteran will likely take on a reserve role with the Vikings, though he may get a chance to compete for a starting job on the interior. The Vikings are still waiting to find out if Joe Berger will return.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The latest contract details from around the NFL:
- ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link) offers further information on the weight-related incentives in Eddie Lacy‘s contract with the Seahawks: The running back can earn $55K in incentives for each month from May to December if he’s at or below the designated weight in his deal. Those weights are 255 pounds (May), 250 (June-August) and 245 (September-December). Lacy recently weighed in at 267 pounds during a free agent visit.
- Running back Latavius Murray‘s three-year accord with the Vikings comes with a chance to earn $2.3MM in incentives for rushing yards (it’s unclear how many), escalators in 2018 ($2MM) and 2019 ($4MM) based on rushing yards, and an annual Pro Bowl incentive, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
- Defensive end/outside linebacker Datone Jones‘ one-year deal with the Vikings features a $1.6MM signing bonus and per-game roster bonuses of $31,250 each (up to $500K), a $150K workout bonus and $1.25MM in incentives for sacks and playing time, reports ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
- Titans linebacker Daren Bates‘ three-year contract is worth $5.6MM and includes a $500K signing bonus, per ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky.
- Offensive tackle Tom Compton‘s agreement with the Bears is a one-year, $1.85MM deal with $850K in guarantees and $400K in incentives, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Cornerback Johnthan Banks‘ one-year pact is worth $855K and features $200K in guarantees and an $80K signing bonus.
Today’s minor moves:
- The Bears will sign free agent offensive tackle Tom Compton, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The 27-year-old has primarily worked as a reserve during his five NFL seasons, having started in just 11 of 44 appearances with Washington and Atlanta. Last season was Compton’s only one as a member of the Falcons. While he played in all of the NFC champions’ games, he didn’t start any of them.
- The Cowboys have signed defensive end Damontre Moore, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Moore, a former third-round pick, has appeared in 49 career games but never started a contest. Although he’s posted 10 sacks during his NFL tenure, Moore might be best known for getting cut by the Giants after a headphone-related altercation. He’ll compete for a rotational role in Dallas.
- The Chiefs re-signed offensive lineman Mike Person, tweets Terez A. Paylor. Person, 28, was a 14-games starter for the Falcons in 2015 but didn’t see the field last year. Person, who has 31 career starts under his belt, is in the mix for a reserve role for Kansas City.
- After being non-tendered by the Seahawks earlier this week, linebacker Brock Coyle has now signed with the division-rival 49ers, per his agency (Twitter link). Coyle is a former undrafted agent, and though he’s never been a full-time starter, he’s appeared in 35 games during his three-year career.
- The Jets announced that they’ve re-signed long snapper Tanner Purdum. Purdum has been with Gang Green since 2010 and has appeared in every game during that time.
Here are several of the latest contract details on deals which were agreed upon or signed within the last week.
- James Starks, RB (Packers): 2016 base salary: $1.1MM. Cap charge: $2.25MM. 2017 base salary: $2.6MM. Cap charge: $3.75MM. (According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
- Tom Compton, T (Falcons): One year, $760K base salary.
- LaRoy Reynolds, LB (Falcons): One year, $675K base salary. (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com)
- Christine Michael, RB (Seahawks): One year, $725K. $675K base salary. $25K signing bonus. $25K roster bonus. (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)
Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:
- The Falcons announced the signings of linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and offensive tackle Tom Compton (link via their website). Reynolds has spent time with the Jags and Bears since entering the league in 2013, totaling 43 appearances and four starts. Compton, Washington’s sixth-round pick in 2012, has 44 appearances and 11 starts under his belt. He amassed career highs in both categories (16 and nine, respectively) in 2014.
- The Raiders have signed safety Brynden Trawick, according to their website. Trawick appeared in 38 games with Baltimore from 2013-15 and made one start.
- The Bears have signed long snapper Aaron Brewer to a one-year deal, per their Twitter account. Brewer was the Broncos’ long snapper from 2012-15.
- Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins signed his exclusive rights tender, according to Dov Kleiman of RantSports (Twitter link). Pinkins, a sixth-rounder in 2014, logged his first six appearances last season.
- While the Seahawks will keep Pinkins, the same isn’t true for long snapper Clint Gresham. The club has released him, Kleiman tweets. Gresham had been Seattle’s snapper since 2010.
- Browns safety Don Jones signed his restricted free agent tender, per Kleiman (on Twitter). Jones joined the Browns last season after spending time with three other organizations since Miami took him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.