Vinny Curry

FA Rumors: Colts, Ajayi, Giants, Lions, Chiefs

Although the Colts met with free agent running back Jay Ajayi this week, there’s no deal imminent between the two parties, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). However, Indianapolis does plan to continue talking with Ajayi, which suggests it could look to sign the ex-Eagle down the line. Ajayi, 25, is arguably the best back still available on the open market after Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, and Mark Ingram came off the board during the first week of free agency. The Colts don’t necessarily need another running back given their depth chart already includes Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, and Nyheim Hines, but Ajayi could give the club another dimension in the backfield.

Here’s more from the free agent rumor mill:

  • The Giants had interest in defensive end Vinny Curry before he signed with the division-rival Eagles, and in fact offered Curry more money than Philadelphia, reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Aside from last season, Curry had spent his entire career with the Eagles, and it sounds like he simply preferred to return to Philadelphia rather than consider other destinations. Indeed, Curry only landed a one-year deal with a base value of $2.25MM from the Eagles, although the pact does contain $1.25MM in incentives. Before landing with the Eagles, Curry also took a visit with the Bengals.
  • Free agent Jake Fisher will work out as a tight end for the Bills on Thursday, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. A second-round pick of the Bengals as an offensive tackle in 2015, Fisher is now attempting to convert to a skill position, and is reportedly down to 285 pounds. Fisher, who played tight end in high school, has been limited by injuries and ineffectiveness throughout his career, and has started just 12 games in four years. He’s also auditioned for the Texans and Redskins.
  • The Lions hosted defensive tackle Al Woods on Wednesday, according to NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Woods is now entering his age-32 season and didn’t perform well in 2018 (bottom-20 DT among 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus), so he likely won’t command much guaranteed money. Detroit is already well-stocked in the middle of its defensive line with Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, and Da’Shawn Hand in tow.
  • Although he recently announced his retirement and took a collegiate coaching position, former Buccaneers tight end/fullback Alan Cross took a visit with the Chiefs this week, tweets Greg Auman of The Athletic. Cross, who posted 13 receptions over three seasons in Tampa Bay, would give Kansas City an option as they seek to replace former No. 2 tight end Demetrius Harris. The Chiefs also met with former Jets tight end Neal Sterling this week.

Eagles To Sign Vinny Curry

Vinny Curry is on his way back to Philadelphia. The Eagles are nearing a deal with the defensive end, as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. It’s a one-year deal worth $2.25M with an additional $1.25M of upside based on incentives, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (via Twitter).

Up until last year, Curry spent his whole career (2012-2017) with the Eagles. Last year, he joined the Bucs on three-year deal, but that contract was terminated when he became a cap casualty in February.

Last year, Curry tallied 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, and five tackles for a loss, numbers that don’t exactly jump off of the page. However, he was effective at generating pressure with the Eagles in 2017 and started in every game, including the team’s Super Bowl victory, so he could be a difference-maker in Philly.

This time around, Curry projects to come off of the bench in support of starters Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. He’ll be especially important to the rotation if Chris Long opts to retire.

Before agreeing to sign with the Eagles, Curry visited the Bengals and drew interest from the Giants.

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Giants Interested In Vinny Curry

The Giants are on the lookout for defensive line help after losing Josh Mauro to the Raiders. With that in mind, the Giants are in the mix for defensive end Vinny Curry (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). 

Curry, a pass-rushing veteran, hit the open market in February when he was released by the Buccaneers. Last year, Curry tallied 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, and five tackles for a loss, numbers that don’t exactly jump off of the page. However, pass rushers are continually in demand, and his 2017 season with the Eagles showed promise, so Curry could still be in line for a nice payday from the G-Men or another club.

Recently, Curry took his first visit of this free agent cycle when he met with the Bengals. The Bengals have Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard slotted in as starters, but Curry could compete with Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis for reserve time. There’s also opportunity in New York for Curry after the trade of Olivier Vernon to the Browns.

The Giants still have interest in bringing back Kerry Wynn, though Raanan notes that Wynn also has some other options.

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Bengals Hosting DE Vinny Curry

Vinny Curry is set for his first free agent meeting. Geoff Mosher of 97.3 ESPN in South Jersey reports (via Twitter) that the veteran defensive end is set to meet with the Bengals on Monday.

The 30-year-old signed a long-term deal with the Buccaneers last offseason, but the team cut him in early February. The former Eagles starter appeared in 12 games (seven starts) with Tampa Bay last season, compiling 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, and five tackles for loss.

While these numbers don’t jump off the page, Curry proved he was a capable starter in 2017. He surely won’t be able to receive a contract that approaches the three-year, $23MM deal he signed with the Bucs last offseason. However, pass rushers are always in demand, so Curry may be able to settle for a (relatively) big-money, short-term deal.

The Bengals aren’t hurting for defensive ends, with Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard slotted in as starters. However, if Curry signs with Cincy, he’ll be able to compete with the likes of Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis for backup reps.

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Buccaneers Cut Vinny Curry

Vinny Curry is now on the open market. The Buccaneers released the veteran defensive end on Tuesday, according to a team announcement. 

Curry earned $6.5MM with the Bucs in 2018 after signing a three-year, $23MM deal with the club. Apparently, new head coach Bruce Arians did not see him as a fit for his system, so he’s a free agent once again.

The good news for Curry is that pass rushers are continually in high demand, so he’ll have an opportunity to land another multi-year deal. His 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, and five tackles for loss don’t exactly jump off of the page, but Curry’s 2017 season with the Eagles showed serious promise. After serving as a reserve in his first five seasons with Philly, he was promoted to the starting lineup that year and helped the Eagles capture a Super Bowl ring.

All in all, the Buccaneers improved from a league-low 22 sacks in 2017 to 38 last year, thanks in part to Carl Nassib‘s 6.5 QB takedowns. They’ll look to improve that number even more under Arians.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Dez, Buccaneers, Conklin

Friday’s top news thus far affected Dez Bryant. The veteran wide receiver and Saints employee for barely a day is feared to have torn one of his Achilles’ tendons. This would put him out for the season and impact his free agency. This reality appears to be in motion. The Saints are “pretty sure he tore it,” Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. While Michael Crabtree did buck the trend of Achilles injuries taking up to a year and more to recover from when he came back in six months to join the 2013 49ers late that season, Bryant is now 30 and was already dealing with damaged stock based on his recent work. Bryant doesn’t appear to be considering retirement and sounds ready to go through a rehab process (Twitter link). It’s possible Bryant could have to accept another one-year deal in the event he recovers from this injury, and that contract may not arrive until he recovers. He may well be back in a similar situation he was this year, when the Cowboys irked him by releasing him well after potential free agency suitors had spent on wideouts.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions:

  • Jack Conklin won’t be available for the Titans on Sunday. The third-year right tackle has not cleared concussion protocol and has been downgraded to out for Tennessee’s game against the Patriots. Swing tackle Dennis Kelly will start on the right side, Turron Davenport of ESPN.com notes.
  • The Buccaneers won’t have Vinny Curry in uniform against the Redskins. The first-year Bucs defensive end is out because of an ankle injury that prevented him from practicing all week. Carl Nassib started opposite Jason Pierre-Paul when Curry was previously out, in Weeks 7-8, and figures to do so again. Nassib’s three sacks are second on the Bucs, though well behind JPP’s eight.
  • Speaking of the Bucs, they could create an immense amount of cap space this offseason while not incurring much dead money to do so. Tampa Bay could create more than $100MM in cap space and incur barely $12MM in dead-money charges, according to Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap, by cutting several veterans. Mentioning Jameis Winston (guaranteed-for-injury fifth-year option of $20.9MM), Curry ($8MM savings, no dead money), DeSean Jackson ($10MM savings, no dead money) and Gerald McCoy ($13MM, no dead money), Fitzgerald sees a path for Tampa Bay to move into better spending position. Of course, some of these players — almost certainly McCoy — will still be around to help the Bucs, the organization’s lack of signing bonuses increases its flexibility. As of now, the Bucs are projected to hold just $10MM in cap room next year.

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.

Contract Details: A. Smith, Pugh, Curry, ASJ

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently signed NFL contracts:

AFC

  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE (Jaguars): Two years, $10MM. $4MM guaranteed. $3.21MM signing bonus. $500K 2019 option bonus. $500K annually available via catch, playoff, and touchdown incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Adrian Clayborn, DE (Patriots): Two years, $10MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe).
  • Albert Wilson, WR (Dolphins): Three years, $24MMM. $14.45MM guaranteed. $4.5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Marcus Gilchrist, S (Raiders): One year, $4MM. $3.85MM guaranteed. $1.85MM signing bonus. $1MM available via playtime, interceptions, and Pro Bowl incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tramaine Brock, CB (Broncos): One year, $3MM. Fully guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. $1MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News).
  • Seantrel Henderson, T (Texans): One year, $4MM. $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

NFC

  • Alex Smith, QB (Redskins): Four years, $94MM. $55MM guaranteed. $27MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com).
  • Justin Pugh, OL (Cardinals): Five years, $45.025MM. $15.75MM guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Vinny Curry, DE (Buccaneers): Three years, $23MM. $6.5MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times).
  • Zach Brown, LB (Redskins): Three years, $21MM. $10MM guaranteed. $4.5MM signing bonus. $1MM annually available in Pro Bowl, All-Pro incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ed Dickson, TE (Seahawks): Three years, $10.7MM. $3.6MM guaranteed. $2.6MM signing bonus. $1.1MM annually available via catch, yards, and Pro Bowl incentive (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Aaron Lynch, LB/DE (Bears): One year, $4MM. $1.25MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

Buccaneers To Sign Vinny Curry

The Buccaneers are moving fast. Minutes after their release of Robert Ayers, the team is set to sign Vinny Curry.

Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports the Bucs are adding Curry, whom the Eagles released late this week, on a three-year deal worth $27MM with $11.5MM guaranteed.

Curry made 16 starts last season for the Super Bowl champions, the first 16 of his career, and played a key role in Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl title run. The Bucs have now added two pieces from Philly’s defensive front, with Curry joining Beau Allen. They’ve also added Mitch Unrein in what’s been a major effort to overhaul the Gerald McCoy-centered unit.

Set to turn 30 in June, Curry will land on his feet. The Eagles were slated to pay him $9MM this season as part of the previous extension he signed in 2016. Now, he’ll get that from the Bucs per year.

Curry ranked 21st among Pro Football Focus’ edge defender grades last season, 11 spots behind Ayers, and will be expected to provide an outside pass rush to complement McCoy’s nearly unparalleled interior-pursuit abilities. Curry’s best season (2014, nine sacks) came in a 3-4 defense as a rotational player who played on just 32 percent of Philly’s snaps, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). He will likely be utilized more as a pure pass rusher since the Bucs do not have the edge-rushing depth the 2017 Eagles did.

So, Michael Bennett replaced Curry and now Curry will take over for Ayers. It figures to be a matter of time before Ayers lands elsewhere.

[RELATED: Buccaneers Depth Chart]

Eagles Cut DL Vinny Curry

The Eagles are releasing defensive lineman Vinny Curry, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The Eagles were hoping to retain him, but the two sides were unable to agree to terms on a pay cut. Curry would have locked in $5MM of his $9MM base salary had he remained on the roster on Sunday. 

Curry appeared ticketed for release when the Eagles acquired Michael Bennett in a March trade with the Seahawks. He is now out of Philly and so is his $11MM cap hit. The Eagles will be left with $6MM in dead money after releasing Curry, but they’ll save $5MM.

Curry, 30 in June, totaled 42 tackles and three sacks last season for the Eagles. He tallied 22 sacks for the Eagles between 2013 and 2017.

At this point in free agency, Curry profiles as one of the very best free agent defensive linemen available. The Seahawks may have interest in Curry since they have dealt Bennett and are may be on the verge of losing Sheldon Richardson to free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.