Ziggy Hood

Saints To Release DT Sylvester Williams

The Saints will move on from one of their mid-offseason defensive additions. They will release veteran defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets.

Williams has bounced around since his four-year Broncos tenure concluded after the 2016 season. The former first-round pick played for the Titans in 2017 and split time with the Lions and Dolphins last season.

The 30-year-old defender played 376 snaps in 2018, starting four games with the Lions and playing 14 total in Detroit and Miami. His last full-season starter role came with the Broncos in 2016. The Titans used Williams as an 11-game starter in their 3-4 defense.

Williams marks the second veteran inside defender the Saints moved on from today. They also released Ziggy Hood, whom they signed just ahead of training camp. Hood was last a full-time player with the 2017 Redskins, with whom he was a 13-game starter.

Saints To Sign DT Ziggy Hood

The Saints are making a move to address a sudden hole on the interior of their defensive line. The team is signing veteran defensive tackle Ziggy Hood, a source told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

David Onyemata was slapped with a one game suspension last month, which left the Saints a bit thin at defensive tackle. Stud tackle Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles in the playoffs last year, and isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season. With Onyematta sidelined for the first game, the Saints were going to need some defensive tackle help for Week 1.

Hood was the 32nd overall pick of the Steelers all the way back in 2009. He’s bounced around ever since, spending time with five different teams. Hood was a starter for the Redskins in 2016 and 2017, but was relegated to a backup role last season. He was then cut in October, but got swooped up by the Dolphins not long after. This is the first we’ve heard of him all offseason, and he didn’t draw much known interest on the open market.

Hood is 32 now, and ideally the Saints won’t count on him for too much. In his lengthy career, he has 141 appearances and 73 starts under his belt. He’s always been primarily used as a run-stuffer, entering the 2019 campaign with 235 career tackles and 14 sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Sign DT Ziggy Hood

The Dolphins have signed defensive tackle Ziggy Hood, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Hood auditioned for the Dolphins on Tuesday morning and it did not take long for a deal to come together.

Hood, a one-time starter for the Redskins, profiles as a reserve for the Dolphins. Davon Godchaux and Akeem Spence start in the middle for the Dolphins, but Hood will be one of two true reserve defensive tackles for Miami. Incumbent backup Vincent Taylor has played well in the first half of the year, so it will be interesting to see how Hood’s arrival affects his usage.

The Dolphins, with Hood in tow, will face the Jets on Sunday.

Dolphins Meet With Ziggy Hood

Ziggy Hood will visit with and work out for the Dolphins on Tuesday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Hood started for the Redskins in 2016 and 2017, but was released by the team earlier this month. 

Hood was in a reserve role for Washington this year and recorded just three tackles in his four games. Before that, however, Hood spent two years as the club’s primary nose tackle. The advanced metrics have not been fond of his work in recent years, but Hood offers experience and a first-round pedigree.

The Dolphins’ defensive line has taken some hits this year, including William Hayes‘ season ending ACL tear and Charles Harris‘ ongoing calf injury. Hood doesn’t profile as a starter for Miami, but he could offer some depth heading into the team’s intra-divisional matchup with the Jets on Sunday.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/18

Here are today’s reported tryouts:

Denver Broncos

  • P Brock Miller

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Saints have had some injuries on the defensive line recently, so it makes sense why they’d bring in this group. With this large of an amount of players brought in, they will likely be signing someone soon. The Buccaneers are clearly evaluating their kicking options after Chandler Catanzaro has struggled to start the year. He made a game-winning 59-yard field goal in overtime last week, but missed an extra point and a 40-yarder at the end of regulation before that. Both Ficken and Santos have kicked for the Rams this season.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/23/18

Here’s a rundown of today’s NFL workouts:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • TE Nick Keizer (Twitter link via Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson)

 Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

 

Redskins Release Ziggy Hood

A two-year starter for the Redskins whom the team deployed in a backup role for four games this season, Ziggy Hood received notice he’d been released on Tuesday.

The Redskins announced they are cutting ties with the veteran nose tackle. He played just 49 snaps in four games for Washington this season. The 31-year-old defender did not play any snaps on Sunday.

Hood, however, started 27 games between the 2016-17 seasons with Washington. The Redskins now having Da’Ron Payne made Hood less valuable, though. The 10th-year player’s started 73 games since being a Steelers first-round pick in 2009.

The Redskins have not made a corresponding move yet. Stacy McGee is now eligible to come off the PUP list, so this transaction could be a sign he’s ready to return from the groin injury that caused him to land on the PUP to start the season.

Ziggy Hood Fractures Elbow, Out For Week 17

The Redskins will be without their starting nose tackle for the team’s final game of the 2017 season. Defensive lineman Evander Hood fractured his right elbow in the team’s victory over the Broncos and will be unable to play in Week 17, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. On the positive side, Hood will not need surgery because of the injury.

Ziggy Hood (Vertical)

This is the first game that “Ziggy” Hood has missed since he signed with Washington prior to the 2016-17 season. As the team’s primary nose tackle, Hood has gotten little in the ways of sacks and tackles. Even though he still ranks as just the 124th best interior defender this season, according to the metrics at Pro Football Focus.

The Redskins play the Giants this weekend, so there is little on the line in this game besides draft position. The team has two veterans to replace Hood in Terrell McClain and A.J. Francis, so Washington doesn’t need to bring in another nose tackle to help offset Hood’s absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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