Will Parks

Eagles Activate Vinny Curry, Will Parks

Some good injury-related news came out of Philadelphia on Saturday. This change of pace comes in the form of Vinny Curry and Will Parks being activated off injured reserve.

The Eagles placed Curry on IR after Week 1; Parks landed there prior to his new team’s season opener. The Philadelphia native will make his Eagles debut Sunday.

Curry and Parks were part of the brigade of NFLers who suffered hamstring injuries in September, which came after the league canceled its preseason slate because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will bring some reinforcements for an Eagles defense tasked with supporting an injury-ravaged offense.

The Eagles signed Parks in free agency. The four-year Broncos supporting-caster is on track to be a depth piece with the Eagles. Curry is in his second season back in Philly. The longtime defensive line contributor spent the 2018 season in Tampa Bay but returned after one season in south Florida.

While the Eagles will be down four offensive line starters in Week 6, they still have their array of talented defensive linemen ready to go. The team also promoted tight end Jason Croom and defensive back Elijah Riley ahead of its game against the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cowboys, Eagles

Dwayne Haskins‘ standing in the Washington organization has plummeted tremendously since the previous regime drafted him 15th overall last year. He is now the team’s third-string quarterback, with both Kyle Allen and Alex Smith leapfrogging him on the depth chart, and trade rumors have emerged. Haskins has clearly not impressed Washington’s coaching staff, and John Keim of ESPN.com notes last year’s staff took issue with the one-year Ohio State sensation as well. Both staffs have communicated concerns about Haskins’ work ethic to the quarterback. This concern surfaced early during Haskins’ rookie season, one that ended with the young passer ranking last in QBR by a considerable margin. Haskins has not made a trade request, and Washington has yet to field any trade calls on him, Keim adds. Although Ron Rivera has publicly backed Haskins, Keim notes both sides appear prepared to move on after one of the quicker auditions for a first-round quarterback in recent history.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Leighton Vander Esch is progressing closer to beating his recovery timetable. The Cowboys linebacker saw his first post-injury work in pads Friday, and NFL.com’s Jane Slater tweets the third-year defender could well be activated ahead of Monday’s game against the Cardinals. The Cowboys placed Vander Esch on IR after Week 1 because of a broken collarbone. Given a six- to eight-week timetable, Vander Esch returning Monday would mean a mere four-game absence. That would obviously be encouraging for a player who has seen injuries stall his promising career.
  • The Eagles‘ offensive line resides as one of the NFL’s most decimated position groups. Jason Peters, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo are on IR. The team declared Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson out for Week 6 with an ankle injury. While Johnson’s injury is not expected to require surgery, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter), he will rest it this week against the Ravens. Although Johnson not needing surgery represents good news, the Eagles are down to one original starter — center Jason Kelce — in their lineup against a top-tier Ravens defense.
  • One of the Eagles’ defensive depth pieces returned to practice this week. The Eagles opened Will Parks‘ 21-day activation window. The fifth-year safety has yet to debut for his hometown team. The Eagles placed Parks on IR before Week 1 because of a hamstring injury and have until 4pm CT Saturday to activate him for Week 6.
  • The Cowboys worked out defensive tackle Gabe Wright on Friday. Wright has not played in a regular-season game since the 2018 season. The former fourth-round pick has spent each of his four seasons with a different team — the Lions, Browns, Dolphins and Raiders. The team only has two defensive linemen on its practice squad.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/20

Here are Sunday’s minor moves. The players who landed on injured reserve are eligible to come off teams’ respective lists after three weeks. For 2020, teams can also activate an unlimited number of IR players — as opposed to the two-man max of 2019.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Claimed (from Washington): T Timon Paris

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Claimed (from Dolphins): G Deion Calhoun
  • Signed: CB Torry McTyer

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Contract Details: Davis, Roberts, Haeg

Let’s take a closer look at the details of a few recently-signed free agent contracts:

AFC

NFC

  • Sean Davis, S (Redskins): One year, $4MM. $2MM guaranteed (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of ESPN.com).
  • Zach Kerr, DT (Panthers): Two years, $3MM. Unknown incentives available (Twitter link via Garafolo).
  • B.J. Goodson, LB (Browns): One year, $2.4MM. $2.25MM guaraneed. $1.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • Joe Haeg, T (Buccaneers): One year, $2.3MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. Up to $1MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cedric Ogbuehi, T (Seahawks): One year, $2.3MM. $500K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Will Parks, S (Eagles): One year, $1.5MM. $1.375MM guaranteed. $375K signing bonus. Up to $125K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tajae Sharpe, WR (Vikings): One year, $1MM. $675K guaranteed. $175K signing bonus. Max value of $1.5MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Sharrod Neasman, S (Falcons): One year, $950K. $40K signing bonus. Veteran salary benefit (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Walker, LB (49ers): One year, $900K. Max of $75K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).

Eagles, S Will Parks Agree To Deal

A Philadelphia native will be part of the next Eagles secondary. The Eagles and former Broncos safety Will Parks agreed to terms on Saturday, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets.

Parks had been linked to the Lions, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes other teams made offers for the hybrid defender (Twitter link). But the Philly product will come home on a one-year deal worth $1.6MM, Mike Klis of 9News notes (on Twitter).

With Gary Kubiak having drafted Parks, the Vikings were also interested. Both the Lions and Vikings submitted better offers, Klis adds, but Parks instead will have a chance to play for his hometown team.

An ex-Arizona Wildcat, Parks displayed versatility with the Broncos and will add to an Eagles safety corps that will not have Malcolm Jenkins next season. Parks worked as a safety, sub-package linebacker and nickel corner with the Broncos, beating the odds as a former seventh-round pick to play extensively in each season with the team.

Parks has 149 career tackles and four interceptions. He forced a key goal-line fumble against the Steelers in a 2018 Broncos upset win, and his blocked-PAT return in a one-point Broncos win over the Saints in 2016 doubled as one of the league’s first two-point return plays. The Broncos signed Kareem Jackson in 2019 and moved him to safety, before placing their 2020 franchise tag on Justin Simmons. These moves effectively signaled Parks would have to go elsewhere for his second NFL contract.

The Eagles re-signed Rodney McLeod this week and brought back Jalen Mills with the intention of moving him to safety. With Mills a career-long cornerback, Parks has a path toward a full-time starting role for the first time in his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Interested In DB Will Parks

We haven’t heard a whole lot from Will Parks‘ camp this week, but Troy Renck of Denver7 reports (via Twitter) that the market has “been consistently strong” for the safety.

Further, Renck notes that the Lions have been “most aggressive” in trying to sign the versatile defensive back. We’ve been hearing throughout the day that Detroit was in the market for a cornerback or safety.

Parks, a 2016 sixth-round pick, has spent his entire four-year career with the Broncos. That includes a 2019 campaign where he compiled 35 tackles, one sack, two passes defended, and one interception in 14 games (seven starts). In total, Parks has appeared in 62 games throughout his career.

We heard earlier this month that Denver could have a tough time retaining Parks. At that time, it was reported that 10 teams could have interest in the 25-year-old.

AFC West Notes: C. Jones, Broncos, C. Harris

The Chiefs will hit star DT Chris Jones with the franchise tag, and Jones is none too happy about it. “It’s like a mix of emotions,” Jones said in a recent interview with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “Because you figure, you know, after four years, you do everything the right way, within the team way, you try to stay under the line, out of trouble, and be a good citizen for a team and for the city, you expect to be rewarded….It’s like, ‘Man, what else you want me to do?'”

Jones isn’t exactly the first player to express frustration with the tag, and Cowherd, as is his custom, did his best to wrangle noteworthy soundbites out of the 2019 Pro Bowler. But Jones will almost surely get the contract he’s looking for, either with the Chiefs or another club after a tag-and-trade. For what it’s worth, Florio does not believe KC will let Jones get away.

Now for more from the AFC West:

  • The Broncos made a splash today by acquiring CB A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars, which has furthered the belief that Chris Harris will leave in free agency. Indeed, Mike Klis of 9News believes that, unless Harris’ market falls dramatically, he will be suiting up elsewhere in 2020 (Twitter link). A team source acknowledged that Bouye’s presence makes it less likely Harris will be back, but the source did not close the door on the possibility (Twitter link via Klis).
  • After all, the Broncos still need another veteran CB, though Troy Renck of Denver7 believes the club will target a mid-range FA and draft a corner (Twitter link).
  • Another free agent the Broncos could have a tough time retaining is safety Will Parks. Renck reports in a full-length piece that Parks, lauded for his energy and versatility, has attracted significant interest from as many as 10 teams. However, the club has had positive dialogue with DE Derek Wolfe, per Renck. Wolfe has made it clear that he wants to remain in Denver.
  • The Raiders are one of the teams interested in Harris, and they also have their eye on one of the market’s other top CBs, Byron Jones.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Broncos, Raiders

Patrick MahomesMRI did not slam the door on the Chiefs quarterback returning this season, but the parties are still gathering information. Mahomes will seek a second opinion on the dislocated kneecap he suffered, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com tweets. A Mahomes return this season may be a dicey process, however. This injury carries a significant risk of re-dislocation, former Chargers team physician David Chao writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Mahomes will likely need surgery after the season, should he decide to put it off until then, putting him out for most of Kansas City’s 2020 offseason program. But for now, a potential return — likely after K.C.’s Week 12 bye, though Albert Breer of SI.com tweets a return before then is not out of the question — is on the table.

Here’s the latest from the Mahomes front, along with more from the West divisions:

  • Chad Henne‘s preseason ankle surgery, which prompted the Chiefs to place him on IR and sign Matt Moore, was not a season-ending operation. Henne is a few weeks away from being ready to return, per Paylor. With Henne having been with the Chiefs for two seasons now, this would seemingly be a superior option to Moore. The 35-year-old ex-Dolphin was working as a Dolphins scout earlier this year after spending 2018 out of football. Moore was helping the Dolphins’ scouting department and serving as an assistant coach at his former high school, William S. Hart High in California, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com notes. Henne becomes eligible to return from IR in Week 9.
  • While the Chiefs lost the highest-profile player in Thursday’s game, the Broncos lost another defensive starter. Safety Will Parks left Thursday’s game with a thumb injury, and Mike Klis of 9News notes the fourth-year defender has already undergone surgery. Parks is expected to miss at least two games. The 2-5 team is now down Parks, Bradley Chubb and Bryce Callahan on defense.
  • In addition to three IR-stationed Broncos set to return to practice next week, Jake Butt will do so as well, per Klis. The injury-prone tight end saw another knee malady sideline him during preseason play. The Broncos stashed him on IR but have not ruled out redeploying him. However, with Drew Lock seeming certain to be brought back from IR, the team can only summon one of the Butt-Theo RiddickTim Patrick trio.
  • Tyrell Williams will miss his second straight game. The Raiders‘ No. 1 wide receiver is out for Week 7. The Raiders are largely down to rookies (Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss) and in-season trade acquisitions (Zay Jones, ex-Packer Trevor Davis) in Green Bay.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.