Tagged in: final year

Kendrick Nunn, 26, opts into final year of contract with Los Angeles Lakers

Kendrick Nunn, who missed all of last season because of a bone bruise in his right knee, is opting into the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $5.25 million, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

Nunn, who turns 27 this summer, signed with Los Angeles for the midlevel exception last summer but never played a match during the regular season after injuring an ankle during training camp and later discovering the bone bruise, which was slow to heal.

The Chicago product came into the league undrafted out of Oakland and latched onto the Miami Heat, averaging 15 points on 36.4% from 3 and 88.1% from the foul line in two seasons, along with 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

During his exit interview with reporters in April, Nunn announced his plan to return to Los Angeles.

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“Knowing that I just took this entire year off, it’s a no-brainer for me to opt in,” Nunn said.

Nunn’s decision puts the Lakers at five guaranteed contracts on the books for next season, along with LeBron James ($44.47 million), Anthony Davis ($37.98 million), Talen Horton-Tucker ($10.26 million) and Austin Reaves ($1.56 million).

Russell Westbrook, entering into the final year of his deal worth $47.06 million, has until June 29 to inform L.A. whether he intends to opt in or not.

Los Angeles also has team options on Stanley Johnson ($2.35 million) and Wenyen Gabriel ($1.88 million) for next campaign.

Even if the Lakers exercise those options, the front office will still have half the roster to fill out this summer as it looks to regroup from one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history (33-49 in 2021-22).

In other Lakers news, the team is hiring Nets assistant coach Jordan Ott for a more prominent role on Darvin Ham’s new staff.

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Los Angeles Rams lock up QB Matthew Stafford with $160M extension

The Rams and Matthew Stafford have reached agreement on a four-year, $160 million extension that includes $135 million guaranteed and should allow the veteran quarterback to concluded his career in Los Angeles, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Stafford is cashing in on his spectacular debut season with the Rams after 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, who traded the 2009 No. 1 overall pick to Los Angeles a year ago. Stafford would be 38 years old in the final season of the extension.

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Stafford is headed into the final year of his previous five-year, $135 million deal signed in Detroit, but he repeatedly stated he had no interest in going anywhere.

His new deal also is clearly calculated to allow the Rams to retain more of their championship core while adding new pieces, since Stafford almost certainly could have received more money at the top of the quarterback market. Aaron Rodgers’ new deal with the Packers is essentially a three-year, $150 million contract.

Stafford never won a playoff game in 12 seasons with the Lions, but he realized the enormous potential of winning a Super Bowl immediately after joining coach Sean McVay and a talented offense including Cooper Kupp, who became the NFL’s receiving leader in the first year of their partnership.

Stafford set a franchise record with 4,886 yards passing in the 17-game regular season, and he tied Kurt Warner’s team mark with 41 touchdown passes while leading the Rams to the NFC West title.

He then excelled in the first four playoff victories of his career, passing for 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns with just three interceptions. He led game-winning drives in the fourth quarter of the Rams’ final three postseason games, including their Super Bowl victory over Cincinnati at SoFi Stadium.

The Rams also are working on a contract extension for All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Stafford’s deal will alter the amount of room under the salary cap for the Rams, who have already lost several free agents this month. But Los Angeles signed talented veteran receiver Allen Robinson this past week, and the team is hoping to keep Odell Beckham Jr. as well.

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Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says contract talks with QB Derek Carr yet to begin but could start anytime

While Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is primed to enter the final year of the then-record five-year, $125 million contract extension he signed in 2017, new head coach Josh McDaniels acknowledged Wednesday at the combine that no new extension talks have taken place.

“But that doesn’t mean that’s not going to change,” McDaniels stated. “We are aware of where we’re at on that, in that process.”

Rather, McDaniels said, he has been focusing on getting his new staff assembled since being hired by owner Mark Davis on Jan. 31. “I’ve met and spoken to Derek a number of times now,” McDaniels said.

“Just trying to begin our relationship. I think it’s really an important one — the head coach, the playcaller, the quarterback, getting to know one another as people. Kind of how we think. How we work. The football part of that will come later, which I think is also an important part of the puzzle.”

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Carr, who turns 31 on March 28, is coming off a career-high 4,804 passing yards, though his 23 touchdown passes were only nine more than his career-high 14 interceptions, and he was sacked 40 times, the second-highest total of his eight-year career.

Despite the inordinate amount of turmoil the Raiders experienced both on and off the field last season, Las Vegas went 10-7 and Carr played in the postseason for the first time in his career.

Carr, who last summer said he would “probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else” and would “rather go down with the ship,” insisted after the wild-card round loss at the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals that he was not a “face-to-face guy” when it came to negotiations and that his “message will be talked about” when it came time.

The Raiders seemingly have three options when it comes to Carr and the 2022 season: 1) Simply guarantee the $19.8-plus million remaining on his deal and see if he would honor the final year of the contract, with the potential of a bigger payday or $35 million or so franchise tag on the other end; 2) Sign him to an extension before seeing if Carr and McDaniels truly mesh, basically sight unseen; 3) Entertain trade offers and start fresh.

Backup Marcus Mariota is scheduled to be a free agent. “[I’m] really happy with the opportunity that I’ve had to get to know him,” McDaniels said of Carr.

“He’s there in Nevada. He stays there in Nevada, so we’re aware of where things are and, again, as I said when I was introduced [as coach], I’m really looking forward to working with him. He’s won a lot of games. I feel good about what we can do with Derek as our quarterback.”

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Los Angeles Chargers center Mike Pouncey having season-ending surgery

Four-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey has been placed on injured reserve and will soon undergo hip surgery that will keep him out for the remainder of the 2020 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers informed Thursday, a tough blow for a team that was looking forward to a healthier offensive line this season.

Pouncey, 31, also spent time on IR with a hip injury while with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. He then started every game over the next two years, including his first season with the Chargers in 2018, but missed the final 11 weeks last year after undergoing neck surgery.

The veteran, in his 10th season, has started all 114 games he has played in during his career. He is in the final year of his contract with the Chargers.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Pouncey’s surgery will take place before the end of September.

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“On top of being a Pro Bowl talent, he’s the ultimate captain, teammate and competitor,” Telesco said in a statement. “Quite simply, he’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around. Mike’s played a major role in establishing the culture and standard we now have in our locker room and sets a tremendous example, especially for the younger members of our team.”

Fourth-year offensive lineman Dan Feeney is expected to substitute Pouncey as the starting center, with Forrest Lamp likely filling in for Feeney at left guard.

The Chargers, the third-most injured team last season according to Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost, are already without star safety Derwin James, who recently underwent season-ending knee surgery.

Fullback Gabe Nabers was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Thursday in a corresponding move.

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