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Chargers Re-Sign DB Jaylen Watkins

The Chargers are re-signing defensive back Jaylen Watkins to a one-year deal, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Watkins, who can play both cornerback and safety, had signed with the Chargers last Spring, but went down with a torn ACL in Los Angeles’ second preseason game that ended his season. Rapoport notes in his tweet that Watkins was having a “very promising preseason” before getting hurt. He was originally drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round back in 2014.

The Florida product spent most of the next four years in Philadelphia, and was a part of the team that won Super Bowl LII. For his career, Watkins has tallied 56 tackles and eight passes defended, and was a major part of the Eagles’ secondary in 2016 and 2017, starting games each year. The Chargers already have a very talented secondary, so he’ll likely be little more than depth assuming he makes the team. Watkins is also the older half-brother of Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

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Bills Release TE Charles Clay

The Bills released tight end Charles Clay. The move was widely expected after Clay’s disappointing 2018 campaign. 

Clay, 30, was set to enter the final year of the five-year contract he signed with the Bills back in 2015. Instead, the Bills released him in order to save $4.5MM against the 2019 cap.

Clay proved to be worth the expenditure in his first couple of seasons with Buffalo. From 2015-2017, Clay averaged 52 catches for 546 yards and three touchdowns. Last year, however, he was held without a touchdown catch for the first time in his career and finished out with a weak 21/184 line.

Without Clay, the Bills have just one tight end on the roster in Jason Croom. Tight end Logan Thomas is scheduled for restricted free agency and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be kept.

There will be a market for the 30-year-old Arkansas native, but he won’t find anything close to the five-year, $38MM pact he inked with Buffalo in 2015.

With Clay out of the picture, the Bills are presently projected to have about $79MM in cap space this offseason.

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Dolphins Sign DE Tank Carradine

The Dolphins signed defensive end Tank Carradine, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. The veteran has 77 tackles and 5.5 sacks to his credit across 45 career games.

Carradine signed with the Raiders last spring, but was cut in early October after playing limited snaps. Afterwards, he hit the workout circuit, but did not find a new home for the 2018 season.

Carradine has yet to live up to his status as a 2013 second-round pick. Last year, he notched just 1.5 sacks and 19 tackles for Oakland.

The edge rusher’s best season came in 2014 when he had three sacks in nine games. On the plus side, Carradine has done a decent job of generating pressure off of the edge, despite his low sack totals. In 2017, his production would have placed him among Pro Football Focus’ top 50 edge defenders if he had enough snaps to qualify.

The Dolphins also inked cornerback Jomal Wiltz to a deal. Wiltz was on the Patriots’ practice squad in 2018.

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Lions Release S Glover Quin

The Lions released safety Glover Quin, according to a team announcement. In related moves, wide receiver Bruce Ellington and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby were also cut from the roster. 

We thank Glover for his countless contributions to the Detroit Lions during his six seasons with our team,” Lions GM Bob Quinn said in a statement. “Since joining the organization in 2013, Glover exemplified everything it means to be a true professional in this league — as both a competitor on the field and a leading voice in the community. Coach [Matt] Patricia and I have the utmost respect for him as a man and player, and we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”

Quin, 33 in January, started all 16 of the Lions’ games in 2018, but saw some of his play time eaten into by rookie Tracy Walker down the stretch. Meanwhile, it has been speculated that the ten-year veteran may retire. The 2014 Pro Bowl selection was due a $5.25MM base salary with an extra $1MM in bonuses for 2019. By cutting Quin, the Lions saved $6.25MM in cap space.

Quin joined the Lions before the 2013 season and played in every game over six years for Detroit. His 148-game starting streak leads all active safeties in the NFL, but that could soon come to a stop.

Quin enjoyed the best season of his career in 2014 when he earned a Pro Bowl nod and registered seven interceptions. Over his decade in the NFL, Quin recorded 24 interceptions and 740 tackles in total.

Without Quin, the Lions will now likely have 2018 third-round pick Tracy Walker start alongside Quandre Diggs.

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Falcons Will Not Tender CB Brian Poole

The Falcons informed cornerback Brian Poole that he will not be tendered as a restricted free agent, Mike Florio of PFT tweets

Poole has been the Falcons’ primary nickel cornerback for the past three seasons, so the news comes as a bit of a surprise. Last year, Poole set new career highs in tackles (74), sacks (3.0), and interceptions (3), but the team is unwilling to tender him even at the lowest level, which would cost just over $2MM.

The door is still open to a return, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. However, Poole would have to agree to a lesser deal than the RFA tender, and it’s possible that the 26-year-old (27 in October) will prefer to take his chances on the open market.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has indicated in the past that Damontae Kazee could take over at nickel, so the Falcons may already have Poole’s replacement in-house.

Last year, Poole graded out as just the No. 81 cornerback in the NFL out of 110 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Broncos To Part Ways With Brandon Marshall

The Broncos are set to part ways with linebacker Brandon Marshall, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Broncos informed Marshall that they are not planning to pick up his option, making him a free agent in March. 

Free agency officially kicks off on March 13, but Marshall’s injury history could force him to wait a week or two before landing anywhere. If he does sign quickly, it’ll be for a lesser sum than the $7MM he was set to earn in 2019 with Denver.

Marshall, 30 in September, was injured for much of the 2018 season. He finished out with just 42 tackles in eleven games, giving him his lowest number of stops since becoming a starter in the 2014 season.

The Broncos inked Marshall to a four-year, $32MM extension in the summer of 2016, tacking multiple years on to his RFA tender season. After he finished out with 102 tackles, it was an easy decision for GM John Elway & Co. But, given his injuries in 2016 and 2018, the Broncos felt compelled to cut him loose.

I love the organization, they gave me my first chance to play,” Marshall said, via Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). “I love all my teammates. I really love city. I felt embraced on and off the field. I’m just sorry I was injured two of the last three years. … It’s a really great organization so we’ll see what happens.

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49ers To Part Ways With Pierre Garcon

The 49ers will not pick up their option on wide receiver Pierre Garcon, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The move terminates his five-year, $47.5MM contract just two years into the deal. 

Despite Garcon’s past accomplishments, his release does not come as a total surprise. Last year, he played in just eight games and finished out with just 24 catches for 286 yards and one touchdown. In 2016, the season before he signed with the Niners, Garcon put up 79 catches for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns, which is the kind of production SF expected.

Unfortunately, injuries slowed Garcon during his time in SF, limiting him to just eight games in each of the last two years. But, in 2017, Garcon showed promise with a 40/500 line that had him on pace for a very solid season.

Garcon will enter a thin free agent WR market, which could enable him to land a solid deal. However, with his 33rd birthday coming up in August, he’ll have to brace for a lesser salary and a shorter deal than his last pact.

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Charges Decline DT Corey Liuget’s Option

The Chargers have declined their 2019 option on defensive tackle Corey Liuget, the club announced tonight. However, Los Angeles also indicated it would be open to re-signing Liuget at a reduced rate.

Liuget, 28, agreed to a reworked contract in advance of the 2018 campaign that changed his 2019 season to an option year. Under the terms of that deal, Liuget was scheduled to collect a $4MM roster bonus on March 15. Instead, Liuget will now hit the free agent market two days earlier on March 13. Because the Chargers opted not to exercise his option (and didn’t outright release him), Liuget will still factor into the NFL’s compensatory pick calculations.

Had the Chargers picked up Liuget’s option, he would’ve been under contract in 2019 with a base salary of $4MM. That total, plus his $4MM roster bonus and $1.5MM of prorated bonus money would’ve given him a cap charge of $9.5MM. Los Angeles likely viewed that as an untenable figure given that Liguet played in only six games a year ago.

Liguet missed the first four games of the 2018 season after being handed a four-game performance enhancing-drug suspension. That ban essentially forced Liuget to accept his aforementioned pay cut, and ensured he didn’t appear in a game until Week 5. After coming back, Liuget five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks while earning a 66.9 grade from Pro Football Focus, a mark that would have ranked him as a middling defensive tackle if he had enough snaps to qualify.

The Chargers will now have now have a vacancy along the interior of their defensive line, especially given that fellow defensive tackles Brandon Mebane, Darius Philon, and Damion Square are all free agents. Liuget, meanwhile, will join a free agent class that includes not only those fellow 2018 Chargers, but options such as Grady Jarrett, Sheldon Richardson, and Ndamukong Suh.

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Falcons Sign Steven Means To Extension

The Falcons inked defensive end Steven Means to a new one-year extension, according to a team announcement. Means was initially set for free agency in March. 

[RELATED: Falcons Re-Sign LB Bruce Carter]

Means, 29 in September, played in eight games (four starts) for the Falcons in 2018. In that span, he recorded 14 stops, three tackles for a loss, and one sack.

The defensive end has traveled around the league since being selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft by the Bucs, so this is a welcome bit of stability for him. Before coming to Atlanta, he also spent some time with the Eagles and had stints on the Ravens’ and Texans’ practice squads.

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Jaguars, Josh Lambo Agree To Extension

The Jaguars signed Josh Lambo to a new four-year extension, according to a tweet from the kicker. Lambo was set for free agency in March, but the new deal could keep him in place through the 2022 season.

Lambo will receive $15.5MM over the four-year term, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds Lambo will collect $6.5MM in full guarantees. That $3.875M annual average will tie for seventh among kickers, while Lambo’s guarantees also rank seventh at the position.

Lambo has been one of the Jaguars’ most consistent players over the past two seasons, and that was especially true in 2018 as the team faltered on the whole. Since joining Jacksonville in October 2017, Lambo has nailed 38 of 41 field goal tries and has missed only three PATs. During that run, the fantasy hero made a franchise-record 24 straight FG attempts (Nov. 19, 2017 to Nov. 11, 2018).

Lambo missed some time down the stretch of the 2018 season with a groin injury, but the new deal is an indication that those worries are behind him. Still in his prime, he’ll look to keep things going as he enters his age-29 season

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