Category Archives: NFL

D.J Humphries to re-sign with Cardinals for 3 years

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly are hanging on to 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries. 

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the 26-year-old offensive tackle has agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with $29 million guaranteed and $30 million to be paid over the first two years.

Humphries was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim hinted that a deal was imminent on last Friday while appearing on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (h/t Cards Wire’s Jess Root): “I would just say that I’m very optimistic that D.J. will return.”

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In December, Kyle Odegard of the team’s official website relayed that Humphries was Pro Football Focus’ 23rd-best player at his position with a minimum of 500 snaps. 

The Cardinals ended 2019 at 5-10-1, but there is reason for optimism in the near future with 2019 No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray at quarterback—especially with Humphries locked in to continue protecting him.

Humphries will also play a large role in Arizona solidifying its identity on the ground after finishing as the 10th-best rushing offense last campaign.

“I’d like to continue to be a physical run team,” Kingsbury told ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss last week. “I think when you can mix in the quarterback having his 40, 50 [yards]—we’re never going to run him 20, 25 times—but guys are playing at a physical level on the perimeter, up front, and it’s paying off.”

Humphries is coming off his regular season in which he appeared in all 16 matches. The Florida product didn’t play during his 2015 rookie campaign before playing 13 games in 2016 and being limited to five in 2017 and nine in 2018 with persistent injuries. Humphries made $9.63 million last year in his option season.

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Texans release veteran cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III

The Texans have cut veteran cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the team said Friday.

Hargreaves signed with the Texans in November after he was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he was benched during a match.

After that match, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Hargreaves “didn’t look like he was hustling to go in for a tackle.”

Hargreaves could have stayed in Houston under his fifth-year option worth $9.6 million, but there was no dead money on the contract because the option is guaranteed for injury only before the start of the new league year in March.

In his end-of-season news conference, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he thought Hargreaves “made the best of” his opportunity to join Houston during the campaign.

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“I don’t think that’s easy to be able to come in, in the middle of a season, and really later than that, and play that nickel position is not easy,” O’Brien said. “So, I give a lot of credit to Vernon. There’s a lot of things that he’s going to work hard to improve upon. We’re going to help them with that, but I think Vernon stepped into a tough situation and really made the best of it.”

Hargreaves, 24, was drafted by Tampa Bay with the No. 11 overall pick in 2016.

In 41 career games, the Florida product has two interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 186 tackles.

The move helps the Texans clear an additional $10 million in salary cap space, which should help the club with its impending negotiations to keep defensive tackle D.J. Reader, running back Carlos Hyde, and a bevy of other free agents set to hit the open market when the new league year starts on March 18.

Hargreaves will now have the make the best of a situation where he will be on his third team in a 12-month span. The Texans will also have to make the best of a situation where there could be a swath of brand new faces at cornerback.

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Colorado reaches out to Chiefs´ Eric Bieniemy for coaching job

With the unexpected departure of Mel Tucker to Michigan State, the Colorado Buffaloes Football program is now in hunt of a new head coach.

The name of Eric Bieniemy immediately entered the conversation about potential replacements due to his connection to Colorado. The Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, fresh off a Super Bowl 54 win in Miami, is one of the best football players in the school’s history, and he is showing interest in the job opening, according to 9News’ Mike Klis.

“Per source, the University of Colorado has reached out to respected KC Chiefs offensive coordinator/CU alumni Eric Bieniemy about its vacant head coaching job,” Klis wrote in a tweet. “There is preliminary mutual interest between CU and Bienemy. It would be a great move by Buffs AD Rick George.”

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SportsLine oddsmakers listed Bieniemy with the fifth-best odds to become the next Colorado head coach.

The coordinator was a potential aspirant for multiple NFL head coach openings after the regular season, but he was ultimately passed over. The insiders at Pro Football Talk believe Bieniemy should be considered a top candidate, much higher than the odds suggest.

“Colorado will now be scrambling to find a new head coach extremely late in the hiring cycle,” writes Pro Football Talk. “With Bieniemy’s connections to the school, he seems certain to be considered for the job coming off a Super Bowl victory earlier this month. Bieniemy is Colorado’s all-time leading rusher. He rushed for 3,940 yards with 4,351 all-purpose yards and 42 total touchdowns during his time in Boulder.

After initially turning down Michigan State’s offer, Tucker decided to replace Mark Dantonio as the Spartans head coach. Tucker leaves Colorado after just one season at the helm, and the school named Darrin Chiaverini as the interim head coach on Wednesday.

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Jaguars hire Ben McAdoo as quarterback coach

On Tuesday night, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan first reported the Jacksonville Jaguars are hiring former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as their new quarterbacks coach.

McAdoo has been out of the NFL for a couple of years after being fired by the Giants in 2017. While he went 11-5 and got to the playoffs in his first season as head coach, he won just two out of his first 12 matches in 2017.

After breaking into the NFL as an offensive quality control coordinator with the New Orleans Saints in 2004, he spent a season with with the San Francisco 49ers in the same role with the added responsibility of coaching the offensive line.

McAdoo then joined the Green Bay Packers as a tight ends coach, and was part of the staff that won Super Bowl XLV. He then took over as the quarterbacks coach, where he helped further Aaron Rodgers’ development.

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McAdoo then left to become the offensive coordinator for the Giants in 2014, and was promoted to head coach in 2016.

This is a win for the Jaguars, as McAdoo has experience with working with some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks such as Rodgers and Eli Manning.

He will be tasked with developing Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles, who figure to battle it out this offseason for the starting position.

The Jaguars’ former quarterbacks coach, Scott Milanovich, left Jacksonville to take over as the head coach for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

He had served as the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts for four years and even won the 2012 CFL Coach of the Year award before leaving for his three-year stint with the Jaguars.

McAdoo, 42, also interviewed with Marrone to be the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, a position that opened when the team parted ways with John DeFilippo.

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Redskins hire Jennifer King, NFL´s first African American female full-time intern

Jennifer King, who acted as a Carolina Panthers intern during the 2017 preseason, has joined the Washington Redskins’ staff as a full-time assistant coach.

“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” head coach Ron Rivera said in the team’s release. “Her familiarity with my expectations as a coach and my firsthand knowledge of her work ethic and preparation were big factors in bringing her to the Redskins.”

Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic first reported the hire on Saturday.

King is the first full-time African American female coach in league history and the fourth female with a full-time assistant job overall, per Walker. Collette Smith was the NFL’s first black female coach, serving as an intern with the New York Jets in 2017.

King acted as an intern for Carolina from May through August 2017 under then-Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who now leads the ‘Skins after being hired in December.

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Since then, King worked as an assistant wide receivers coach for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots and as an offensive assistant for Dartmouth College.

Both teams excelled in 2019

The Hotshots co-led the AAF West division with a 5-3 record when the league folded. The Big Green went 9-1 (6-1 Ivy League) and ended second in their conference.

Previous to her Panthers’ coaching stint, King played in the semi-pro Women’s Football Alliance, winning three championships. She also coached youth and high school teams, per Walker.

As has been the case throughout her coaching career, King will work on the offensive side of the ball, specially with Washington’s running backs.

She joins Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust, Bucs assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar and San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers as the only women working as full-time NFL coaches.

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Rams safety Eric Weddle announces retirement after 13 season

Safety Eric Weddle’s career has ended after 13 NFL seasons. 

The six-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement Thursday.

Per The Athletic’s Rich Hammond, the Los Angeles Rams will get $4.75 million in cap space back for 2020 and a $500,000 cap credit for 2019. 

Weddle tweeted last month that he underwent his first-ever surgery at age 35. 

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the surgery was a meniscus trim, and Weddle’s recovery was estimated to take just weeks. 

The Rams signed Weddle to a two-year contract last March. He started all 16 matches and finished second on the team with 108 combined tackles last season.  Weddle’s NFL career began in 2007 when the San Diego Chargers drafted him No. 37 overall out of Utah. He became a full-time starter in his second season and was a staple of the Chargers secondary for nine years.

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The Baltimore Ravens signed Weddle to a four-year deal after the 2015 season.

The California native started all 48 games during his three years with the team before being released in March 2019. 

In addition to the career accomplishments Weddle listed in his tweet, he also led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2011 and was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in each of his final two seasons at Utah. 

“He’s played a lot, had a great career,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the season. “I’m very thankful and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

A six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Weddle finishes his career with 29 interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 9.5 sacks and 98 pass deflections.

With the retirement of Weddle — who is also known for his signature beard and ice cream triumph celebrations — the Rams are expected to promote second-year pro Taylor Rapp to a starting role to play alongside John Johnson.

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Chargers to keep Shane Steichen as Offensive Coordinator in 2020

Shane Steichen will stay as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator for the 2020 season after taking over on an interim basis for the second half of this season, the team announced Tuesday.

Under Steichen, the Chargers’ passing offense improved in total net yards per game, passing yards per game and passing yards per attempt. In addition, the Chargers’ rushing offense improved by 42.6 yards per game. Steichen replaced Ken Whisenhunt in the offensive coordinator’s role at the end of October. He was the team’s quarterbacks coach at the time of his promotion.

The Chargers were 5-11, finishing in last place in the AFC West this season. Coach Anthony Lynn, however, signed an extension with the team last week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lynn signed the extension before he could head into the last season of his deal and now has “multiple years on his contract,” the source said.

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Lynn had said the Chargers would likely hire a new quarterbacks coach if Steichen remained as the offensive coordinator for the 2020 season.

The Chargers announced a few positional coaching assignments on Tuesday but did not name a quarterbacks coach among those moves.

The Chargers face uncertainty at quarterback for the 2020 campaign as longtime starter Philip Rivers will be an unrestricted free agent. He told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Schefter last month that he has “permanently” moved his family from San Diego to Florida to be closer to his family.

The team holds the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft and might use the selection on a rookie quarterback.

Steichen is also just 34 years old. The Chargers hope they can groom the coach. If done correctly, he could be around for a very long time, and possibly even find his way to a head coach spot soon.

It seems the Chargers want to give Steichen a longer look, and see if maybe he can be that star.

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Falcons won’t offer DE Vic Beasley new deal

The Falcons announced Monday they will not pursue contract negotiations with the defensive end. Beasley is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 18 when the new league year starts.

“As we continue to craft our 2020 roster, we’d like to thank Vic for five years of effort on behalf of our organization,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said, per the Falcons’ official site.

The decision shouldn’t come as a surprise, though as the team is looking to upgrade its defense ahead of the 2020 campaign. Plus, the former 2015 first-round pick played the 2019 campaign on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

In addition to Beasley, Atlanta will need to make decisions on Adrian Clayborn and Jack Crawford, who are also set to become free agents this offseason.

The Falcons finished 31st in the league in sacks, despite Beasley’s eight on the year and the defense’s late-season resurgence.

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Beasley, who was coach Dan Quinn’s first draft pick in 2015, eighth overall, did not show consistency despite leading the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016 — the season the Falcons went to the Super Bowl.

Beasley made the Pro Bowl that year but managed just five sacks in each of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Although Beasley had eight sacks this past season, 6.5 of those came in the second half of the season.

The Falcons dangled Beasley for a trade before last season’s trade deadline with no takers. Beasley told ESPN the trade talk did not serve as motivation to play better in the second half of 2019.

Now that the Falcons have decided to move on, acquiring a pass-rusher via the draft or free agency becomes even more of a priority this offseason. The Falcons hope to get more production out of another former first-rounder, defensive end Takk McKinley, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Falcons need more pressure off the edges, particular with the Pro Bowler Jarrett creating havoc on the interior of the defensive line.

Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos and Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa are just a few of the draft prospects the Falcons might consider to help improve the rush. The Falcons have a new defensive coordinator for 2020 in Raheem Morris.

Beasley finished his time with the Falcons recording 37.5 sacks, 156 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

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Raiders to pursue Tom Brady if QB becomes free agent

A couple of teams have been named as possible landing spots for Tom Brady in free agency, but one specific team separated itself from the pack on Sunday.

The Las Vegas Raiders are “poised” to pursue Brady if the New England Patriots don’t re-sign him before free agency starts in March, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

It’s unclear at this point if Brady will leave the Patriots, who he has spent his entire 20-year career playing for. 

Owner Robert Kraft recently told TMZ Sports the Patriots “plan to” re-sign Brady.

The 42-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent for the first time when the new league year starts in March.

He still a productive player, throwing for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2019. 

Schefter noted the Patriots are expected to want a decision from Brady before the start of free agency on March 18, but Brady is being “open-minded” about this process with several teams expected to look into signing him.

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The Raiders currently have Derek Carr under contract for three more seasons, but his deal is structured with just $5 million in dead cap for 2020 and $2.5 million in 2021 if they decide to release him. 

Moving from Oakland to Las Vegas would seem to give the Raiders more incentive to land a marquee name who can help sell season tickets and be used to market the team. 

The Raiders also have a solid offensive foundation in place that could appeal to Brady. Running back Josh Jacobs ran for 1,150 yards as a rookie in 2019; Darren Waller’s 1,145 receiving yards ranked second among tight ends (Travis Kelce, 1,229); and Tyrell Williams has blazing speed and averaged 15.5 yards per reception. 

Brady would give the Raiders instant credibility in their new city, not to mention an enormous marketing advantage that could be presented on billboards across Nevada.

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Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky had surgery on left shoulder

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky underwent surgery shortly after the season to repair the partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, a person with knowledge of the situation corroborated. ESPN first reported Wednesday that Trubisky had surgery.

The postseason procedure was widely expected after Trubisky’s left shoulder popped out of joint and back in when he was sacked on Sept. 29 versus the Vikings.

Trubisky is expected to participate in the on-field portion of the Bears offseason program, which can start April 20. That it’s his non-throwing shoulder is crucial to such a relatively fast return. Trubisky was injured six plays into that Vikings game.

He missed the rest of that 16-6 triumph and the following game versus the Raiders in London. He played the final 11 games of the season with a harness on his left shoulder. He insisted the injury did not hinder him more than the standard toll of football affects any player.

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His regression in his third campaign was a leading reason why the Bears ended fourth to last in the NFL in scoring and second to last in yards per play. The Bears were worst in the league in yards per pass attempt.

The Bears have said Trubisky will be their starting quarterback next season.

The second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, Trubisky finished the year 28th in total QBR (39.4), tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0).

The Bears went 8-8 and failed to reach the playoffs.

In 2018, which was Matt Nagy’s first season as head coach, the Bears went 12-4 as Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns.

Pace insisted in December that the Bears remain committed to Trubisky as their starting quarterback, but Chicago is expected to upgrade at backup quarterback in the offseason.

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