Washington NFL Rumors & News

Redskins, Tim Hightower Not Moving Toward Deal

  • The Redskins and running back Tim Hightower had a meeting, but they aren’t moving toward an agreement, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. It doesn’t appear that will change anytime soon, with Keim noting that Washington could circle back to Hightower as an insurance option down the road.

Packers To Sign DT Ricky Jean-Francois

The Packers have signed defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s a one-year, $3MM deal. Ricky Jean-Francois (Vertical)

Jean-Francois was released by the Redskins earlier this month, giving him the opportunity to go elsewhere. He also had visits with the Seahawks and Bears, but he ultimately landed in Green Bay. Now, he’ll help offset the Packers’ loss of Datone Jones after he left for the Vikings. He’ll also come in handy for the first month of the season while Letroy Guion serves his suspension.

Jean-Francois ranks as PFR’s No. 5 free agent interior defender still on the board. Since being released by Washington, Jean-Francois has visited the Seahawks and Bears.

Jean-Francois, 30, played in 32 games (eight starts) with Washington over the past two seasons. Last year, he saw action on roughly 40% of the club’s defensive snaps, racking up 32 tackles and 1.5 sacks in that span. Heading into Thursday, we had RJ-F ranked as the No. 5 free agent interior defender still on the board.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Front Office Rumors: Bills, 49ers, Colts

Earlier today, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com brought us news on the Redskins’ GM search. Further down in his column, he presented more front office news from around the NFL. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • New Bills coach Sean McDermott could convince ownership to import front office guys with whom he has a relationship. JLC floats the name of Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory and notes that there are “already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills GM Doug Whaley” will not last.
  • The 49ers are also looking to add to the front office. This makes sense given that new GM John Lynch is a front office neophyte.
  • New Colts GM Chris Ballard may want to shake up the scouting core, but league sources tell JLC that he may have to wait a year since the evaluators that are already there have more time to go on their contracts. Still, Ballard badly wants to poach Seahawks executive Ed Dodds. If Indy can land him, he’ll probably get a promotion over his current title. Jets director of college scouting Rex Hogan is also a Ballard target, but JLC hears that he still has a good amount of time left on his contract and might be harder to pry away.
  • Bears exec Morocco Brown, who has history with Ballard, could be a possible candidate for the Colts and 49ers. JLC notes that Brown had a solid relationship with new SF coach Kyle Shanahan in D.C.

Latest On Redskins’ GM Search

The Redskins are casting a wide net in their search for a general manager, but they’re already finding that several top executives are not interested in working for them. Redskins officials are looking at some of the more successful teams in the league to find a highly qualified candidates, but several targets have already removed themselves from consideration, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora. Redskins Cheerleader (vertical)

La Canfora doesn’t list specific names of execs who have been considered, but he hears that the search has included front office people with the Steelers, Seahawks, and Packers. I would speculate that the list of candidates could include Packers Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf, Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst, and Seahawks co-Directors of Player Personnel Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner. However, based on what JLC is hearing, they might not have any interest in the job.

Front office guys from around the league have multiple concerns about the gig. It’s not clear who would really have the power in D.C. given the history of meddling from team president Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder. Furthermore, the team’s proposed GM salary is in the $1.5MM range, and that might not be enough money to make a top candidate overlook all of the red flags in Washington. There’s also concern about whether Snyder will be willing to pump the necessary resources into scouts and talent evaluators.

So far, former Bucs GM Mark Dominik and ex-Chargers GM A.J. Smith have been among the names linked to the opening, but JLC hears that neither guy is expected to land the job. Former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock have also been mentioned as possibilities. In the past, La Canfora has opined that Redskins executive Alex Santos would make a good internal candidate for the job and today he also put forth the name of Washington cap guru Eric Schaffer.

As we’ve heard previously, no hire will be made before the draft in late April, but JLC gets the sense that the Redskins also don’t want to let the process linger too far beyond the draft either.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Host RB Tim Hightower On Visit

The Redskins are hosting Tim Hightower on a free agent visit, a source tells Mike Jones of The Washington Post (on Twitter). This marks the second known trip for the Saints free agent this month. He previously met with the 49ers. Tim Hightower

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Hightower was with the Redskins in 2011 but played in only five games due to a torn ACL. After that, he was out of the NFL for several years until re-emerging with the Saints in 2015. Last year, he finished out with 548 yards off of 133 carries with four rushing touchdowns. He also added 22 catches for 200 yards.

The Redskins already have four running backs under contract in Robert Kelley, Keith Marshall, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Many also expect the Redskins to consider a running back with their No. 17 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Patriots released running back Tyler Gaffney, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Gaffney has an extensive history with the Patriots but hasn’t played in a game. He spent the past three summers with the team, failing to make New England’s 53-man roster out of camp in each. He vacillated between the Pats’ active roster and practice squad last year, so if history is any indication, a reunion at could ensue at some point later this year.
  • The Chargers re-signed previously non-tendered defensive end Tenny Palepoi, according to a team announcement. Palepoi missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury but returned to action in 2016. He had 13 tackles in 13 games but wound up missing the last three contests due to a PED suspension. He still has to finish out that ban by sitting out one game in 2017.
  • Another Bolts move: ERFA wide receiver Geremy Davis signed his tender.
  • The Panthers announce they’ve re-signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year extension. Mainly utilized in a special teams role, Williams played in only three games last year due to a knee injury. In 2015, he appeared in all 16 regular-season contests for the NFC champions.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo re-signed with the Raiders. Condo’s been the Silver and Black’s long snapper since the 2007 season after breaking into the NFL with the 2005 Cowboys. Given that long snappers have a precise salary range — 14 of them earn between $1MM and $1.15MM per year — it’s fairly easy to project Condo’s next contract’s AAV. The 36-year-old is the Raiders’ second-longest-tenured player behind Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Cody Parkey will have some competition with the Browns this summer. Cleveland added CFL kicker Brett Maher from the CFL. The 27-year-old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game yet. He’s kicked in Canada for the past three seasons, spending 2016 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maher made 41 of 50 field goal tries for Hamilton. Parkey, 24, hit 20 of his 25 attempts and made 20 of 21 PATs.
  • The Redskins announced the re-signing of left tackle Ty Nsekhe. Washington placed an ERFA tender on Nsekhe, who at 31 is much older than players normally involved in these transactions. Nsekhe spent the past two seasons with Washington, starting in six games in that span. Four of those starts came last season while Trent Williams was serving a substance-abuse suspension.
  • After the Nick Folk signing created a stacked Buccaneers kicker depth chart, the team released John Lunsford, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Folk and Roberto Aguayo will battle for the Bucs’ kicker job, leaving Lunsford without a role.

Duke Ihenacho Likely Done In Washington

  • Free agent safety Duke Ihenacho will apparently not return to the Redskins in 2017. As Peter Hailey of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes, Ihenacho fired off several cryptic tweets over the past couple of days indicating that his time with Washington is over. Given that the Redskins recently acquired D.J. Swearinger and plan to move Su’a Cravens back to safety, Ihenacho’s departure makes sense.

Redskins Almost Extended Kirk Cousins In 2015

  • Although former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan wanted to sign Kirk Cousins to an extension during 2015 training camp, the club waited on a new Cousins deal due to concerns over how fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III would react, writes Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. McCloughan was given the go-ahead to negotiate with Cousins in December 2015, but by then Cousins already had a season of solid production under his belt. Since that time, Washington has placed two consecutive franchise tags on Cousins at a cost of nearly $45MM.

Contract Details: Foles, Carr, Poe, Cowboys

Here’s a fun fact from Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter links): Of the 155 free-agent contracts that have been filed since March 9, only 23 have more than $3MM fully guaranteed in post-2017 money. In essence, that means 85.2% of the contracts done over the last ten days are one-year deals with team options.

Now for the latest contract details:

  • Cornerback Brandon Carr‘s four-year, $23MM Ravens contract comes with $6MM in 2017 – most of which is by way of a $4MM signing bonus – and then the Ravens will have a 2018 team option, reports Breer (on Twitter).
  • Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe‘s one-year, $8MM accord features a $500K signing bonus and incentives for playing time, sacks and a Pro Bowl appearance (Twitter link via Breer).
  • Quarterback Nick Folespreviously reported two-year, $11MM deal with the Eagles is actually a five-year, $27.5MM pact, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. However, the final three years of the contract will void if Foles is still on Philadelphia’s roster 23 days before the start of the 2019 league year. The arrangement comes with $5MM in incentives and an esclator for 2018 worth as much as $6MM (Twitter links).
  • Panthers defensive tackle Kyle Love‘s two-year contract is worth $2.2MM and features a few bonuses – $200K for signing, $25K for workouts and $10K per game active – as well as $500K in annual incentives, tweets Wilson.
  • Cowboys running back Darren McFadden‘s one-year contract is a minimum salary benefit deal worth $980K (a salary of $900K and an $80K signing bonus). Guard Jonathan Cooper‘s single-year accord is worth $2MM and has a $31,250 bonus per game active, $500K in incentives and a $100K workout base de-esclator (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Cardinals running back/wide receiver Andre Ellington will earn a $775K base salary on his one-year agreement, tweets Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910.
  • Redskins defensive tackle Ziggy Hood’s two-year, $2.7MM deal includes a $300K signing bonus, per-game active bonuses of $15,625 each, $600K in incentives and a $600K escalator. Meanwhile, the Redskins gave linebacker Chris Carter a minimum salary benefit deal worth $855K, including $775K in salary and a signing bonus of $80K, relays Wilson (Twitter links).
  • Saints running back Travaris Cadet also got a minimum salary benefit contract for 2017, says Wilson (Twitter link). It’s worth $855K ($775K in salary and an $80K signing bonus).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/16/17

The latest minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Chiefs have signed safety Marqueston Huff, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Since going in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Huff has appeared in 41 games in stints with the Titans and Ravens, though he has only picked up one start. Huff played in 11 contests with Baltimore last year and failed to register a tackle in 32 defensive snaps. He did see plenty of special teams action, however (223 snaps).
  • The Redskins have added linebacker Chris Carter, a six-year veteran who is joining his sixth team. Carter has totaled four starts, the latest of which came in 2013, and 62 appearances. The special teamer combined for 14 appearances last season between the Colts and Ravens.
  • Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman has signed his exclusive rights tender, tweets ESPN’s Field Yates. Coleman, 23, has seen action in 20 games and racked up three starts in his two-year career.