Will Blackmon

Raiders Work Out S Will Blackmon

The Raiders may be in London, but that didn’t stop the team from auditioning a veteran defensive back. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Raiders worked out safety Will Blackmon yesterday. The 34-year-old is currently working for the NFL Network and was in London reporting on the Bears/Raiders matchup.

The 2006 fourth-round pick out of Boston College bounced around the league during his career, including stints with the Packers, Giants, Seahawks, Jaguars, and Redskins. He started 22 games between the 2013 and 2015 campaigns.

Blackmon’s last appearance came in 2016, when he compiled 41 tackles, three passes defended, and one pick in 15 games (six starts) for the Redskins. He was released by Washington the following preseason, and he later signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in mid-2018. After appearing in only one game, Blackmon retired and joined the broadcasting ranks.

As Yates notes, the veteran has stayed in shape, and while he’s surely lost a step, he could still provide a team with a veteran presence in the secondary. The Raiders are currently rostering a trio of safeties behind starters Lamarcus Joyner and Karl Joseph: Curtis Riley, Erik Harris, and Dallin Leavitt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Four Teams Work Out DB Will Blackmon

Veteran defensive back Will Blackmon worked out for the Seahawks, Browns, Colts, and Falcons recently, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Blackmon will turn 34 in October, but he impressed in his workouts and Garafolo gets the sense that he’ll land with a team after the draft. 

Blackmon appeared in 30 out of 32 possible appearances for the Redskins between 2015 and 2016, including 16 starts, but missed Washington’s final cut in 2017. Blackmon auditioned for the Colts in November, but did not sign with a team last season.

The veteran offers experience at both safety and cornerback. Blackmon played almost exclusively at corner between 2013 and 2015, but shifted to safety in ’16 when the Redskins added Josh Norman. The move to safety suited him well as he earned his best marks ever from Pro Football Focus. PFF placed him as the 32nd in the league at the position in that season, ahead of notables like Shawn WilliamsBradley McDougald, and T.J. Ward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/7/17

Today’s workout updates:

Arizona Cardinals

  • QBs Joel Stave, Alek Torgersen; WRs Harvey Binford, Dante Edwards (link via Balzer)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

  • WR Dominique Young (link via Wilson)

Redskins Cut S Will Blackmon

The Redskins have cut veteran safety Will Blackmon, two sources tell Mike Jones of The Washington Post (on Twitter). Will Blackmon

[RELATED: Redskins Shopping TE Derek Carrier]

Blackmon has appeared in 30 out of 32 possible appearances for the Redskins over the last two years, including 16 starts. He played corner in 2015 but shifted to safety last year when the team signed Josh Norman.

Blackmon had 39 total tackles, one interception, three passes defensed, and half a sack last year. In his 570 snaps on defense, he earned a strong 79.7 overall score from Pro Football Focus, placing him as the 32nd best safety in the league. He placed ahead of notables like Shawn Williams, Bradley McDougald, and T.J. Ward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Rams, Elliott, Wentz, Redskins

There’s still no movement toward a deal between the Rams and cornerback Trumaine Johnson, per ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez, who’s the latest to report that he’ll play 2017 under the franchise tag. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson relayed earlier this week that no agreement would come to fruition by Monday’s deadline, meaning Johnson will play the season as the NFL’s highest-paid corner. Johnson will earn $16.742MM in his second straight year as the Rams’ franchise player, and the likelihood is that he’ll test the free agent market next offseason. Tagging him again isn’t going to happen because doing so would cost the Rams $24.1MM.
Elsewhere around the NFC…
  • The NFL needs to make a decision on whether to suspend Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott as soon as possible, opines Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. In doing so, he league would ensure that the internal appeals process would be resolved by Week 1, reasons Florio. Elliott is bracing for a season-opening ban, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and Florio wonders if the league leaked that information to Schefter in order to gauge the opinions of both the public and Jerry Jones. The Cowboys owner has made it known to NFL higher-ups that he won’t react kindly if the league suspends one of his stars without ample justification, reports Florio. Given the power Jones has, the NFL “needs to placate” him, writes Florio; at the same time, the league’s also in a difficult situation because it can’t afford to screw up another ruling involving domestic violence.
  • The Eagles want to “take a little bit off” second-year quarterback Carson Wentz‘s plate this season, head coach Doug Pederson told Comcast SportsNet’s John Clark this week (via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com). Pederson believes that the offseason additions of wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and running back LeGarrette Blount should make life easier for Wentz, who didn’t have enough help at the skill positions last season and attempted 607 passes – the second-highest rookie total in NFL history, notes Frank. “Everything doesn’t have to fall on Carson’s shoulders and I think sometimes a little bit last year he felt that way and things had to fall his way a little bit to make a play and I don’t think we have to do that this year,” said Pederson.
  • Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall agreed to a pay cut last month, but he’ll still enter training camp in danger of losing his roster spot, suggests Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic. A couple of other veteran safeties, Will Blackmon and Josh Evans, are also on the bubble, per Tandler. Injuries limited Hall to just 17 games over the previous three seasons, including a mere three in 2016. Conversely, staying healthy hasn’t been a problem for the 32-year-old Blackmon, who has made 30 of 32 appearances and logged 16 starts since joining the Redskins prior to 2015. Evans, a regular for the Jaguars from 2013-15, was on and off Washington’s roster last year and only played two games.

NFC Notes: Washington, Artis-Payne, Saints

Josh Norman‘s signing with Washington will likely lead to Will Blackmon making the move to safety, Mike Jones and Master Tefatsion of the Washington Post write. Blackmon started 10 games at corner last season. Although Washington signed David Bruton to compete for a starting safety job this offseason, the team has questions on the back line. Kyshoen Jarrett‘s status is unknown after a season-ending injury, and career-long corner DeAngelo Hall‘s full-time transition to the position will come in a season where he turns 33.

Jones and Tefatsion also point out that Bashaud Breeland looks like the favorite to start alongside Norman for Washington this season, since 2015 free agent acquisition Chris Culliver‘s $8MM base salary is non-guaranteed. Washington would take on $3.75MM in dead money if the club decides to release Culliver, Pro Football Focus’ second-worst full-time corner last season.

Here’s more from around the NFC, including a couple more notes on how Norman’s signing affects Washington:

  • Speaking of Breeland, when he first heard the news that Norman was heading to Washington, he “took it as disrespect,” he admitted during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (SoundCloud link). However, he came to view the signing as a “chess move” that will not only improve the team, but could also allow Breeland himself to improve by working with one of the league’s best corners.
  • Landing Norman shouldn’t negatively impact Washington‘s chances of getting a long-term deal done with quarterback Kirk Cousins or any of the club’s other key contributors, writes John Keim of ESPN.com.
  • Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne was arrested after police recorded him driving 102 mph in a 65-mph zone, per WSOCTV (on Twitter).
  • The Eagles brought in Auburn cornerback Blake Countess for a pre-draft visit last week while clubs were still permitted to host prospects, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link).
  • The Saints held pre-draft visits with Washington linebacker Travis Feeney and Nebraska offensive lineman Alex Lewis, reports Joel Erickson of the Advocate. Both prospects project as Day 3 picks, and Lewis is particularly interesting as the college tackle could be moved inside to guard at the pro level.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Washington Rumors: Goldson, Thomas, Paul

On Wednesday morning, Washington coach Jay Gruden addressed reporters at the owners’ meetings. Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Gruden said the door has not been shut on Dashon Goldson returning and he says it was a financial decision to release the safety, Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com tweets. He added that there have been talks with the veteran since his release (Twitter link via Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post). Goldson was set to carry an $8MM cap figure in 2016 and while Washington wanted to keep him, they did not want to keep him at that rate. The veteran started 15 games for Washington last season, playing on more than 90% of the team’s defensive snaps. Goldson posted 70 tackles and one interception, grading as the No. 70 safety among 88 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Gruden says that running back Pierre Thomas is still a possibility for Washington, El-Bashir tweets. Thomas, 31, spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Saints, but saw his 2014 campaign derailed by injuries. In 2015, he had a cup of coffee with the 49ers before landing with Washington in December. In four games with Washington, Thomas carried the ball 11 times for 52 yards. He also added nine receptions for 84 yards.
  • Washington plans to use tight end Niles Paul at fullback on some occasions when he’s healthy even though it’s a position that they hardly used last year (Twitter links via Tesfatsion).
  • Washington will try out Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett at safety, Tesfatsion tweets. “We’re thin in the secondary,” Gruden said.

NFC Contract Details: Starks, Galette, Mathis

Here are several of the latest contract details on deals which were agreed upon or signed within the last week. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.

NFC North:

  • James Starks, RB (Packers): Two years, $6MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $300K in annual per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $600K in annual Pro Bowl and rushing-yard incentives (Twitter link).
  • Andre Smith, T (Vikings): One year, $3.5MM. $500K of $2.5MM base salary guaranteed. $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in playing-time and Pro Bowl incentives (Twitter link).
  • Terence Newman, CB (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $1MM guaranteed. $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Mitch Unrein, DL (Bears): Two years, $2.26MM. $500K guaranteed. $300K signing bonus. $200K roster bonus due April 1. $500K base escalator for 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Matt Asiata, RB (Vikings): One year, $840K. $60K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time, rushing-yard, and catch incentives (Twitter link).
  • Marc Mariani, WR (Bears): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC East:

  • Nolan Carroll, CB (Eagles): One year, $2.36MM. Can be worth up to $3MM. $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. $600K for eight games active. Up to $640K in playing-time and Pro Bowl incentives (Twitter link).
  • Junior Galette, OLB (Washington): One year, $1.6MM. Can be worth up to $4.1MM. $1MM base salary. $500K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $2.5MM in playing-time, Pro Bowl, and sack incentives (Twitter link).
  • Will Blackmon, CB (Washington): Two years, $2.05MM. $150K signing bonus (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Josh LeRibeus, G/C (Washington): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Evan Mathis, G (Cardinals): One year, $4MM. Can be worth up to $6MM. $3MM guaranteed. $2MM signing bonus. $1MM guaranteed base salary. $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $2MM in playing-time, Pro Bowl, and All-NFL incentives (Twitter link).

Washington To Re-Sign Will Blackmon

Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Will Blackmon on a new two-year contract, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Blackmon, who received an offer from the team last week, reportedly received interest from other clubs and took the weekend to mull his options before making a decision.Will Blackmon

Blackmon, 31, joined Washington as a depth piece in the secondary a year ago after making stops with the Packers, Giants, and Jaguars between 2007 and 2014. While the veteran corner wasn’t expected to play a major role, he ended up making a career-high 10 starts for Washington in 2015, as fellow free agent addition Chris Culliver missed a good chunk of the year due to a suspension and injuries.

While Blackmon earned nearly 900 defensive snaps, Pro Football Focus wasn’t overly fond of his play, ranking him 84th out of 111 qualified cornerbacks. Still, it would be a surprise if the former fourth-round pick doesn’t at least get an opportunity to compete for the nickel back role in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Manziel, Okung, Streater

Rumors have persisted that Johnny Manziel could eventually wind up with the Cowboys. However, following the embattled quarterback’s release from the Browns, it doesn’t sound like Dallas currently has much interest.

According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have no intention of signing the 23-year-old once he passes waivers. However, Moore did leave the window open, noting that the organization wouldn’t pursue the signal-caller “until he gets his life back in order.”

A report in January hinted that Manziel had interest in playing for Dallas, and according to Moore, the quarterback was convinced that the interest would be mutual. For the time being, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Let’s check out some more assorted notes from around the league…

  • Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated believes the Lions are the favorite to sign offensive tackle Russell Okung. The writer notes that the Seahawks, 49ers, and Giants are also in the mix for the 28-year-old.
  • Wideout Rod Streater is set to meet with the Chiefs today, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The former Raiders receiver has also met with the Patriots and the Jets.
  • Defensive back Will Blackmon has received a contract offer from Washington, reports Mike Jones of The Washington Post (via Twitter). However, the 31-year-old has drawn interest from several teams, and the cornerback is currently “reviewing his options.”
  • The 49ers have interest in retaining defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. The team wasn’t willing to commit the $1.67MM it would have taken to make the 25-year-old a restricted free agent.