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Archive for the ‘ free agency ’ Category

2014 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

Here is a look at all the transactions made thus far by the New England Patriots; this post will be continuously updated as more moves are made throughout the year. For those wishing to take a trip down memory lane, check out
2013 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker
2012 New England Patriots Transaction Tracker

 

Jan 11-20: The following players were signed to future/reserve contracts:
WR Sam McGuffie
WR Greg Orton
WR Reggie Dunn
C Braxston Cave
OT Jordan Devey
OT R.J. Mattes
DE Marcus Forston
LB Taylor Reed

Jan 21: Linebacker coach Pepper Johnson announces he is leaving the staff; he accepts a position as the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills on Jan 31.

Jan 22: Offensive line coach and assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia retired.

Jan 22: Dave DeGuglielmo named offensive line coach; had previously been OL coach for University of Maryland, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Jan 22: Tight end coach George Godsey departs to accept a position as quarterbacks coach on Bill O’Briens staff with the Houston Texans

Jan 29: Brendan Daly is named new defensive assistant coach; had been the Minnesota Vikings defensive line coach the last two seasons.

 

Feb 20: Michael Lombardi hired as assistant to the coaching staff; had most recently been with the Cleveland Browns.

Feb 28: — S Steve Gregory released Move creates $2,849,500 in cap space, with $833,334 of dead money remaining on the cap.

 

Mar 7: Re-signed RFA LS Danny Aiken to a one-year contract
Base salary: $645,000
Signing bonus: $55,000
Workout bonus: $25,000
Cap figure: $725,000

Mar 10: Seven players were waived:
— WR Sam McGuffie

— OT Elvis Fisher (failed physical)

— OT Brice Schwab

— RB Quentin Hines (failed physical)

— LB Taylor Reed

— DT Cory Grissom

— WR T.J. Moe

Mar 11: Start of the new league year

Mar 11: With the start of a new league year, the following players from the 2013 roster become unrestricted free agents:
RB LeGarrette Blount
DE Andre Carter
WR Austin Collie
WR Julian Edelman
LB Dane Fletcher
TE Michael Hoomanawanui
TE Matthew Mulligan
ILB Brandon Spikes
T/G Will Svitek
CB Aqib Talib
C Ryan Wendell

Mar 11: At the start of the new league year, the following players are under contract; the year indicates the final year of their contract.
– 2015 UFA: Vince Wilfork, Stephen Gostkowski, Dan Connolly, Tommy Kelly, Nate Solder, Devin McCourty, Matt Slater, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Danny Aiken, D.J. Williams, Marcus Cannon, Chris White
– 2015 RFA: James Develin, Sealver Siliga, Brandon Bolden, Markus Zusevics
– 2016 UFA: Isaac Sopoaga, Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, Alfonzo Dennard
– 2016 RFA: TJ Moe, Elvis Fisher, Cory Grissom, Mark Harrison, Kenbrell Thompkins, Ryan Allen, Quentin Hines, Brice Schwab, Josh Kline, Armon Armstead, Chris Barker, Joe Vellano – 2016 ERFA: Marcus Forston, Kanorris Davis, Justin Green, Ja’Gared Davis, Braxston Cave, Jonas Gray, Reggie Dunn, R.J. Mattes, Greg Orton, Jordan Devey
– 2017 UFA: Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer, Kyle Arrington, Rob Ninkovich, Jamie Collins, Aaron Dobson, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Josh Boyce, Chris Jones, Michael Buchanan, Steve Beauharnais
– 2018 UFA: Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Danny Amendola

Mar 11: Available cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $14,821,836.

Mar 11: Re-signed TE Michael Hoomanawanui
Two-year contract worth $2.4 million with a $360k signing bonus and $1.1 million guaranteed.

2014: $740k base salary with $140k guaranteed; $100k roster bonus ($6250 for each time on game day roster); $400k NLTBE incentives; cap number of $1,020,000
2015: $800k base salary; $300k roster bonus due on 5th day of league year; $100k roster bonus ($6250 for each game on game day roster); playing time bonus of $400k, NLTBE; cap number of $1,380,000

Mar 11: — CB Aqib Talib departs to sign with Denver Broncos

Mar 11: LB Dane Fletcher visits with the Bucs

Mar 11: UFA C Phil Costa (Cowboys) visits

Mar 12: UFA WR Jason Avant (Eagles) visits

Mar 12: UFA WR Brandon LaFell (Panthers) visits

Mar 12: UFA OLB/DE Matt Shaughnessy (Cardinals) visits

Mar 12: UFA OG Shelley Smith (Rams) visits

Mar 12: UFA LB Wesley Woodyard (Broncos) visits

Mar 12: — Released DT Isaac Sopoaga
Move creates $2,080,000 in cap space; he will count $1,000,000 in dead money against the cap.

Mar 12: — Released OT Markus Zusevics
Move creates $75,000 in cap space; he will count $4,334 in dead money against the cap.

Mar 12: CB Darrelle Revis (Bucs) signs
One year contract for $12,000,000 with a team option for 2015.
$10,000,000 signing bonus

2014: $1,500,000 base salary Roster bonus: $31,250 per game ($500,000 max total)

There is an option for 2015 that the Patriots would have to exercise by the end of the 2014 league year, locking in a $12 million roster bonus payable April 1, 2015, a base salary of $7.5 million and another $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses. If the Patriots decline the option it also would prevent them from using the franchise tag, meaning Revis would either get a new deal in New England or hit the open market as a free agent.

Mar 13: DT Tommy Kelly restructures contract
Move saves $800,000 in cap space by converting salary to bonuses
Old contract: Base: $1,950,000
Workout bonus: $50,000
Roster bonus: $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($31,250 per game)

New contract: Signing bonus: $1,000,000
Maximum value: $5,000,000
Guaranteed: $1,000,000

2013 Base salary: $950,000
Workout bonus: $50,000
Roster bonus: $31,250 per game on the 46-man active list (maximum value of $500,000)
Cap number: $2 million

2014 Base salary: $1,950,000
Workout bonus: $50,000
Roster bonus: $31,250 per game on the 46-man active list (maximum value of $500,000)
Cap number: $3,000,000

Mar 13: UFA CB Brandon Browner (Seahawks) visits

Mar 13: DT Vince Wilfork asks for his release

Mar 13: WR Julian Edelman visits with the 49ers; Browns, Ravens also reportedly interested

Mar 14: MLB Brandon Spikes visits with the Bills

Mar 14: DT Letroy Guion (Vikings) visits Pats

Mar 14: WR Lance Moore (Saints) visits Pats

Mar 14: DB Brandon Browner (Seahawks) signs
Three year, $12.35 million contract; max value of $16.8 million; zero signing bonus

2014: Base: $1,000,000
Workout bonus: $250,000
Roster bonus: $500,000
Roster bonus: $150,000 for each time on 46-man game day roster
Other: up to $1,250,000 in playing time incentives Cap number: $2,950,000

2015: Base: $1,900,000
Roster bonus: $2,000,000 due at start of league year
Roster bonus: $100,000 for each game on 46-man game-day roster
Other: up to $500,000 in playing time incentives
Cap number: $4,700,000

2016: same details as 2015

Mar 14: — ILB Brandon Spikes departs to sign with Buffalo
One-year deal with $900,000 guaranteed (signing bonus), a $1,250,000 base salary, and a $3,250,000 cap number.

Mar 15: WR Brandon LaFell (Panthers) signs
Three-year contract with a $3 million signing bonus; $9 million total value

2014: Base: $800,000
Roster bonus: $200,000 (12,500 per game on the 46-man roster)
Cap number: $2,000,000

2015: Base: $1,800,000
Roster bonus: $400,000 (25,000 per game on the 46-man roster)
Cap number: $3,200,000

2016: Base: $2,400,000
Roster bonus: $400,000 (25,000 per game on the 46-man roster)
Cap number: $3,800,000

Mar 16: UFA WR Kenny Britt (Titans) visits

Mar 16: — LB Dane Fletcher departs to sign with Tampa Bay One-year deal with $1,200,000 guaranteed; can exceed $2 million in total value with incentives.

Mar 17: WR Julian Edelman re-signs
Four year deal with a $5 million signing bonus; $19 million max value

2014: Base: $1 million (guaranteed)
Roster bonus: $500,000 ($31,250 per game on 46-man roster)
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap number: $2,750,000

2015: Base: $2,250,000 ($2 million guaranteed for injury only, converts to skill guarantee in 2015)
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap number: $4,250,000

2016: Base: $2,500,000
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Off-season workout: $250,000
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap number: $4,750,000

2017: Base: $3,000,000
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Off-season workout: $250,000
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap number: $5,250,000

Mar 19: LS Charley Hughlett signs
Two year deal with no signing bonus or guarantee
Base salaries (and cap charges) of $420,000 in 2014 and $510,000 in 2015
UDFA from UCF was in Dallas training camp in 2012

Mar 21: RB LeGarrette Blount visits with Steelers

Mar 26: UFA TE Owen Daniels (Texans) visits

Mar 27: DT Vince Wilfork signs extension
3-year contract with $3,000,000 guaranteed and max value of $22.5 million

2014:$1.3 million to sign
Base: $1,300,000
Weight clause: $300,000
Workout bonus: $200,000
Roster bonus 1: $500,000 for first game on 53-man roster
Roster bonus 2: $87,500 for each game on 46-man game day roster
Playing Time bonus: $500,000 for 50% playtime; $1.25M for 60% PT; $2M for 70% PT, $2.5M for 70% plus a divisional playoff appearance
$500,000 for 70% playtime and Pats being Top 10 in scoring defense
Max Value in 2014: $8,000,000

2015: Roster bonus due first day of 2015 league year: $4,000,000
Base: $3,000,000
Roster bonus 2: $500,000 total ($31,250 per game)
Weight clause: $300,000
Workout bonus: $200,000
Max value in 2015: $8,000,000

2016 Base: $5,000,000
Roster bonus: $500,000 total ($31,250 per game)
Weight clause: $300,000
Workout bonus: $200,000
Max value in 2016: $6,000,000

Mar 28: — RB LaGarrette Blount departs to sign with Steelers
2-year contract worth $3,850,000 with a $950,000 signing bonus

Mar 28: C Ryan Wendell re-signs
2-year deal with a max value of $8,150,000 2014

Base: $1,000,000
Roster bonus: $1,800,000
Roster bonus 2: $12,500 per game ($200,000 total) on 46-man roster
Cap number: $3,425,000

2015 Base: $2,250,000
Roster bonus: $750,000
Roster bonus 2: $12,500 per game ($200,000 total) on 46-man roster Playing time incentives: up to $1,300,000
Cap number: $4,250,000

Mar 31: UFA RB Michael Bush (Bears, Raiders) visits

 

April 1: UFA DE Will Smith (Saints) visits

April 3: S Patrick Chung signs
One-year deal with a max value of $1,100,000
Base salary: $740,000
Signing bonus: $60,000
Workout bonus: $60,000
Roster bonus: $240,000 ($15,000 per game based on being on 46-man roster)
Salary-cap charge:$1,040,000

April 4: — Released S Adrian Wilson
Move creates $1,500,000 in cap space; he will count $333,334 in dead money against the cap.

April 7: TE Matt Mulligan visits with Bears

April 8: — TE Matt Mulligan departs to sign with Bears
One-year, $730,000 contract that qualifies for the minimum salary benefit of $570,000 on the cap.

April 10: — Dr. Thomas Gill resigns as team’s medical director.

April 10: Dr. Matt Provencher become new medical director for the Patriots.

April 10: WR Austin Collie visits with Washington

April 24: Patriots exercise fifth-year (2015) option on LT Nate Solder

April 24: ILB Josh Hull (Redskins, Rams) signs
One-year deal for $645,000; zero guaranteed; $373,000 injury split

April 30: UFA TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins, Jets) visits with Patriots

 

May 5: DE Will Smith (Saints) signs
One-year contract: $855,000 base salary, $15,000 workout bonus, $50,000 roster bonus; $570k salary cap charge (minimum salary benefit for cap purposes)

May 8: Patriots enter the 2014 NFL Draft with the eight picks:
– 1st round, 29th pick, 29th overall
– 2nd round, 30th pick, 62nd overall
– 3rd round, 29th pick, 93rd overall
– 4th round, 30th pick, 130th overall
– 4th round, 40th pick, 140th overall (compensatory pick)
– No 5th round pick (went to Philadelphia in Isaac Sopoaga trade)
– 6th round, 22nd pick, 198th overall (from Eagles in Sopoaga trade)
– 6th round, 30th pick, 206th overall
– 7th round, 29th pick, 244th overall

May 8: Patriots select Florida DT Dominique Easley with the 29th pick of the draft

May 9: Drafted Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppollo with the 30th pick of the 2nd round (62nd overall)

May 9: Patriots trade their 3rd round pick (3.93) to Jacksonville for a 4th (4.105) and a 6th (6.179); the Jaguars selected Miami G Brandon Linder with that pick.

May 10: Drafted Florida State center Bryan Stork with the 5th pick of the 4th round (105th overall)

May 10: Drafted Wisconsin RB James White with the 30th pick of the 4th round (130th overall)

May 10: Drafted Stanford OT Cameron Fleming with the 40th pick of the 4th round (140th overall)

May 10: Drafted Florida guard Jon Halapio with the 3rd pick of the 6th round (179th overall)

May 10: Drafted Concordia DE Zach Moore with the 22nd pick of the 6th round (198th overall)

May 10: Drafted Georgia Tech safety Jemea Taylor with the 30th pick of the 6th round (206th overall)

May 10: Drafted Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon with the 29th pick of the 7th round (244th overall)

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent TE Tyler Beck, Bowling Green
$1,500 guaranteed ($1,500 signing bonus)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent RB Roy Finch, Oklahoma
$10,000 guaranteed ($5,000 signing bonus, $5,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent S Shamiel Gary, Oklahoma State
$10,000 guaranteed ($5,000 signing bonus, $5,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent OLB Cameron Gordon, Michigan
$35,000 guaranteed ($15,000 signing bonus, $20,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent CB Travis Hawkins, Delaware
$10,000 guaranteed ($5,000 signing bonus, $5,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent RB Stephen Houston, Indiana
$22,500 guaranteed ($7,500 signing bonus, $15,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent TE Justin Jones, East Carolina
$15,000 guaranteed ($5,000 signing bonus, $10,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent LB Deontae Skinner, Mississippi State
$5,000 guaranteed ($5,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 10: Signed rookie undrafted free agent TE Asa Watson, North Carolina State
$20,000 guaranteed ($3,000 signing bonus, $17,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 11: Signed rookie undrafted free agent LB James Morris, Iowa
$20,000 guaranteed ($10,000 signing bonus, $10,000 base salary)
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 11: Signed rookie undrafted free agent long snapper Tyler Ott, Harvard
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 11: Signed rookie undrafted free agent safety Jeremy Deering, Rutgers
$420,000 in 2014, with $5,000 guaranteed
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016

May 11: Ole Miss WR Ja-Mes Logan invited to mini-camp

May 11: UCLA DT Seali’i Epenesa invited to mini-camp

May 11: North Carolina State DT Deylan Buntyn invited to mini-camp

May 11: Signed rookie undrafted free agent CB Malcolm Butler, West Alabama
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 11: Colorado State NT Calvin Tonga invited to mini-camp

May 11: Towson CB Jordan Love invited to mini-camp

May 12: Arizona NT Tevin Hood invited to mini-camp

May 15: — LS Charley Hughlett waived

May 15: — TE Tyler Beck waived

May 15: Pikeville WR Nu’Keese Richardson invited to mini-camp

May 15: Sixth round pick DE Zach Moore signs contract
Four years, $2,322,200; $102,200 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $102,200
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 16: Fourth round pick OT Cameron Fleming signs contract
Four years, $2,520,584; $300,584 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $300,584
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 16: Seventh round pick WR Jeremy Gallon signs contract
Four years, $2,267,592; $47,592 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $47,592
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 16: Fourth round pick RB James White signs contract
Four years, $2,617,088; $397,088 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $397,088
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 16: Signed free agent DE/OLB Darius Fleming; was 5th round draft pick by 49ers in 2012
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 17: UFA LB James Anderson (Panthers, Bears) visits for a tryout

May 17: UFA LB Marvin Mitchell (Saints, Vikings) visits for a tryout

May 17: UFA LB Stevenson Sylvester (Steelers) visits for a tryout

May 18: Signed rookie undrafted free agent WR Derrick Johnson, Maine
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 19: Signed rookie undrafted free agent LB Taylor McCuller, West Texas A&M
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 19: 6th round pick CB Jemea Thomas signs contract
Four years, $2,312,512; $92,512 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $92,512
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 19: 4th round pick C Bryan Stork signs contract
Four years, $2,697,000; $477,000 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $477,000
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 19: 6th round pick G Jon Halapio signs contract
Four years, $2,343,100; $123,100 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $123,100
2014 base salary: $420,000
2015 base salary: $510,000
2016 base salary: $600,000
2017 base salary: $690,000

May 19: Club announces Ty Law to be inducted to Patriots Hall of Fame

May 20: — LB James Morris released, failed physical

May 21: UFA RB Ronnie Brown (Dolphins, Chargers, Eagles) visits for a tryout

May 21: UFA RB Brian Leonard (Rams, Bengals, Bucs) visits for a tryout

May 21: UFA TE Nate Byham (Bucs) visits for a tryout

May 21: UFA TE Ben Hartsock (Colts, Titans, Jets, Falcons, Panthers) visits for a tryout

May 22: — S Jeremy Deering released

May 22: — WR Greg Orton released

May 22: Signed free agent CB Daxton Swanson; originally signed by Colts as an UDFA and was on 49ers Practice Squad in 2013
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 22: Signed free agent DT L.T. Tuipulotu; undrafted rookie from Utah had been in Packers rookie mini-camp
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 27: Signed rookie undrafted free agent WR Wilson Van Hooser, Troy State and Tulane
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

May 27: Signed rookie undrafted free agent WR Reese Wiggins, East Carolina
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

— Roster now at 90 players, leaving zero openings —

May 30: UFA TE Jermichael Finley (Packers) visits with Patriots

 

June 2: 2nd round pick QB Jimmy Garoppolo signs contract
Four years, max value of $3,483,898; $1,103,744 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $853,744
2014: $420,000 base salary; $633,436 cap number
2015: $578,359 base ($250,000 fully guaranteed); $791,795 cap number
2016: $686,718 base; $50,000 workout bonus; $950,154 cap number
2017: $820,077 base; $75,000 workout bonus; $1,098,513 cap number

June 4: — WR Mark Harrison released

June 4: May 22: Signed free agent LB James Anderson; Panthers 2006-12, Bears 2013
One year contract
Max value of $920,000
$15,000 guaranteed
Base salary: $855,000
Signing bonus: $15,000
Roster bonus: $50,000 if on the week one 53-man roster
Cap number: $635,000 (minimum salary benefit)

June 5: UFA DT Kevin Williams (Vikings) visits for a tryout

June 9: — WR Derrick Johnson released

June 9: Signed free agent TE Kyle Auffray; undrafted from UNH; spent 2013 off-season and training camp with the Arizona Cardinals
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

June 11: UFA OLB Quentin Groves (released by Browns earlier in week) visits for a tryout

June 11: — OL R.J. Mattes released

June 12: Signed undrafted free agent WR Jeremy Johnson, of SMU
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

June 16: — TE Kyle Auffray released

June 17: Signed undrafted free agent DT Seali’i Epenesa, from UCLA
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

June 19: — WR Reggie Dunn released

June 23: Signed undrafted rookie free agent OT Chris Martin of Central Florida; originally signed by Houston Texans
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

June 23: 1st round pick DE Dominique Easley signs contract
Four years, max value of $7,303,550, with fifth-year team option
$5,887,611 guaranteed; $3,631,672 signing bonus
2014: $420,000 base salary (guaranteed); $ $1,327,918 cap number
2015: $751,980 base (guaranteed); $1,659,898 cap number
2016: $1,083,959 base (guaranteed); $1,991,877 cap number
2017: $1 million base; $415,939 roster bonus; $2,323,857 cap number

 

July 16: — DL Armond Armstead announces his retirement

July 17: — WR Jeremy Johnson released

July 17: — WR Reese Wiggins released

July 18: WR Derrick Johnson re-signed; UDFA from Maine was originally signed by Pats on May 18 and released June 9
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

July 18: WR Tyler McDonald signed; UDFA from South Carolina State had been invited to Pats rookie camp in May
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

July 20: TE Nate Byham signed; veteran FA was 6th round draft pick by SF in 2010, spent 2010-11 with 49ers and 2012-13 with Bucs
One year contract
Base salary: $645,000
Split salary: $373,000 (in the event of injury)
Salary-cap hit: $645,000

July 21: — DL Seali’i Epenesa released

July 21: DE Eathyn Manumaleuna signed; UDFA from BYU was originally signed by Giants May 10
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

July 21: DL Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and T Chris Martin placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list

July 21: CB Alfonzo Dennard, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Jeremy Gallon, DT Tommy Kelly and ST/WR Matt Slater placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list

July 23: — WR Tyler McDonald released

July 23: WR Greg Orton re-signed; originally signed by Bengals as an UDFA in 2009, has been with Broncos and Pats practice squad, as well as Arena and United Football Leagues
$420,000 in 2014
$510,000 in 2015
$600,000 in 2016
No guarantees or signing bonus

July 24: RB Roy Finch activated off the NFI list

July 25: — TE Nate Byham released

July 26: DT Tommy Kelly removed from PUP list

July 27: — WR Greg Orton released

July 27: WR Brian Tyms signed

July 27: WR Cole Stanford signed

July 28: — LB Josh Hull released

July 28: RB Tyler Gaffney claimed off waivers from Carolina

July 29: CB Alfonzo Dennard removed from PUP list

July 31: ST/WR Matthew Slater removed from PUP list

 

Aug 2: — WR Cole Stanford released

Aug 3: LB James Morris re-signed

Aug 10: — TE Asa Watson released

Aug 10: — TE Justin Jones released

Aug 10: — RB Stephen Houston released

Aug 10: TE Ben Hartsock signed

Aug 10: TE Steve Maneri signed

Aug 10: TE Terrence Miller signed

Aug 11: WR Aaron Dobson removed from PUP list, practices for first time

Aug 11: DL Dominique Easley removed from NFI list, practices for first time

Two players still remain inactive that have yet to practice:
OL Chris Martin (NFI), WR Jeremy Gallon (PUP)

Aug 12: DT Ben Bass acquired in trade with Dallas Cowboys in exchange for CB Justin Green

Aug 12: DE Jerel Worthy acquired in trade with Green Bay Packers in exchange for a conditional future draft pick

Aug 13: — TE Terrence Miller waived/injured, opening roster spot for Worthy

Aug 14: — TE Ben Hartsock released

Aug 15: TE Terrence Miller placed on Injured Reserve after clearing waivers

Aug 17: — LS Tyler Ott released

Aug 17: TE Justin Jones re-signed

Aug 18: WR Jeremy Gallon passes physical, activated off PUP

Aug 18: DE Jerel Worthy passes physical, activated off NFI

Aug 21: — DT Marcus Forston released

Aug 21: — TE D.J. Williams released

Aug 24: — DT Tommy Kelly released

Aug 24: — DE Will Smith released

Aug 24: — OLB James Anderson released

Roster now at 84 players; needs to be at 75 on August 26

Aug 24: — TE Justin Jones waived

Aug 26: — LB Deontae Skinner waived

Aug 26: — WR Wilson Van Hooser waived

Aug 26: — WR Derrick Johnson waived

Aug 26: — CB Travis Hawkins waived

Aug 26: LG Logan Mankins traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for TE Tim Wright and a 2015 4th round draft pick

Aug 26: — CB Jemea Thomas waived

Aug 26: — DE Ben Bass waived

Aug 26: RB Tyler Gaffney placed on Injured Reserve

Aug 26: LB Cameron Gordon placed on Injured Reserve

Roster now at 75 players; needs to be at 53 on August 30

Aug 30: — OG Jon Halapio waived

Aug 30: — SS Shamiel Gary waived

Aug 30: — WR Josh Boyce waived

Aug 30: — DB Dax Swanson waived

Aug 30: — RB Jonas Gray waived

Aug 30: — DE Jake Bequette waived

Aug 30: — LB Steve Beauharnais waived/injured

Aug 30: — DT Jerel Worthy waived

Aug 30: — WR Jeremy Gallon waived

Aug 30: — DT L.T. Tuipulotu waived

Aug 30: — FB/LB Taylor McCuller waived

Aug 30: — C Braxston Cave waived

Aug 30: — DT Eathyn Manumaleuna waived

Aug 30: — RB Roy Finch waived

Aug 30: — SS Kanorris Davis waived

Aug 30: LB James Morris (right leg) placed on IR

Aug 30: — LS Danny Aiken waived

Aug 30: — TE Steve Maneri waived

Aug 30: — OL Chris Martin waived

Aug 30: — LB Ja’Gared Davis waived

Roster now at 53 players

OFFENSE: 26

Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo
Offensive Line (10): Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Josh Kline, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Bryan Stork, Chris Barker, Sebastian Vollmer, Jordan Devey, Cameron Fleming
Tight End (3): Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tim Wright
Running Back (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, James White, Brandon Bolden, James Develin
Wide Receiver (5): Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell, Kenbrell Thompkins

DEFENSE: 24

Defensive Line (9): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Vince Wilfork, Dominique Easley, Michael Buchanan, Joe Vellano, Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones, Zach Moore
Linebacker (5): Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins, Dont’€™€™a Hightower, Darius Fleming, Chris White
Cornerback (5): Darrelle Revis, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler
Safety (5): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

SPECIAL TEAMS: 3

Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
Punter: Ryan Allen
ST Ace: Matthew Slater

RESERVE/SUSPENDED: 2

WR Brian Tyms and CB Brandon Browner begin the season on the reserve/suspended list, and do not count toward the final 53-man roster for the four weeks that they are suspended.

Aug 30: Patriots try out/work out twelve free agents:
WR Armon Binns (Bengals 2011-12, Dolphins 2013)
S Omar Brown (Ravens 2012-13)
CB Deveron Carr (Bucs 2013)
DT Jermelle Cudjo (Rams 2010-13)
DT Hebron Fangupo (Seahawks 2012, Steelers 2013)
DE Cam Henderson (UCF, Browns)
CB Aaron Hester (UCLA, Lions)
WR Rashad Lawrence (Northwestern, ‘Skins)
QB Jeff Mathews (Cornell, Falcons)
LB Kevin Reddick (Saints 2013)
RB Jerome Smith (Syracuse, Falcons)
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson (Vikings 2012-13, 49ers 2013)

Aug 31: LB Ja’Gared Davis signed to Practice Squad

Aug 31: RB Jonas Gray signed to Practice Squad

Aug 31: — QB Ryan Mallett traded to Houston Texans in exchange for a conditional sixth or seventh-round draft pick in 2016

Aug 31: Claimed DT Kelcy Quarles off waivers from Giants; undrafted rookie from South Carolina

Aug 31: — LB/ST Chris White waived

Aug 31: Claimed DT Bruce Gaston off waivers from Cardinals; undrafted rookie from Purdue

Aug 31: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson signed to Practice Squad

 

Sept 1: Patriots try out/work out LS Kevin McDermott (49ers)

Sept 1: DB Dax Swanson signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: WR/KR Josh Boyce signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: DE Jake Bequette signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: LB Deontae Skinner signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: OL Chris Martin signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: S/ST Kanorris Davis signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: LS Charley Hughlett signed to Practice Squad

Sept 1: — OG Chris Barker waived

Sept 1: Claimed SS Don Jones off waivers from Dolphins; 7th round draft pick by Miami in 2013 out of Arkansas State

Sept 2: Patriots try out/work out nine free agents:
FB Maurice Hagens (rookie, U of Miami; Falcons)
LB Derrell Johnson (rookie, East Carolina; Cardinals)
LB Josh Kaddu (3rd year, Oregon; Dolphins, Eagles)
TE Allen Reisner (4th year, Iowa; Vikings 2011-12, Jaguars 2012-12, Vikings 2014)
FB Evan Rodriguez (3rd year, Temple; Bears 2012, Bills 2013-14)
TE Weslye Saunders (4th year, South Carolina; Steelers 2011, Colts 2012-14)
LB Colton Underwood (rookie, Illinois State; Chargers)
LB Kion Wilson (4th year, South Florida; Chargers 2011, Panthers 2012, Steelers 2013, 49ers 2014)
DE Martez Wilson (4th year, Illinois; Saints 2011-13, Raiders 2013, Cowboys 2013-14)

Sept 3: Patriots name their 2014 captains:
Tom Brady
Dan Connolly
Vince Wilfork
Jerod Mayo
Devin McCourty
Matthew Slater

Sept 3: — QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson released from Practice Squad

Sept 3: — S Kanorris Davis released from Practice Squad

Sept 3: — DB Daxton Swanson released from Practice Squad

Sept 3: OG Chris Barker signed to Practice Squad

Sept 3: TE Allen Reisner signed to Practice Squad

Sept 3: RB Marcus Thigpen signed to Practice Squad

Sept 3: — DT Kelcy Quarles waived

Sept 3: — DT Bruce Gaston waived

Sept 3: — LS Charley Hughlett released from Practice Squad

Sept 4: LS Danny Aiken re-signed

Sept 4: LB Chris White re-signed

Sept 4: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson re-signed to Practice Squad

Sept 6: — TE Allen Reisner released from Practice Squad

Sept 6: DT Kelcy Quarles signed to Practice Squad

Sept 7: first regular season game, at Miami Dolphins
Inactives:
DL Chris Jones (out ankle)
DE Michael Buchanan (out, ankle)
LB Darius Fleming
C Bryan Stork
G Josh Kline
WR Aaron Dobson (not listed, foot)
RB James White

Sept 8: Patriots try out/work out four free agents:
RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins 2011-13)
QB Brock Jensen (rookie UDFA from North Dakota State; with Dolphins until 8/11)
TE Evan Wilson (rookie UDFA from Illinois; was with Cowboys and Dolphins)
TE Brian Wozniak (rookie UDFA from Wisconsin; was with Falcons this summer)

Sept 9: — QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson released from Practice Squad

Sept 9: DE Cameron Henderson signed to Practice Squad; rookie UDFA from UCF spent off-season with Browns

Sept 9: Current Practice Squad:
RB Jonas Gray
LB Ja’Gared Davis
LB Deontae Skinner
RB Marcus Thigpen
OL Chris Barker
OL Chris Martin
WR Josh Boyce
DL Kelcy Quarles
DE Jake Bequette
DE Cameron Henderson

Sept 9: Patriots try out/work out seven free agents:
LB Moise Fokou (Maryland; Eagles 2009-11, Colts 2012, Titans 2013)
DT Sione Fua (Stanford; Panthers 2011-13, Broncos 2013)
DE Brian Sanford (Temple; Browns 2011-13, Raiders 2013)
LB Yawin Smallwood (UConn; 7th round pick for Falcons)
LB Adrian Tracy (William & Mary; Giants 2012, Cardinals 2014)
DE George Uko (USC rookie UDFA; Saints)
LB Chris Young (Arizona State rookie UDFA; Texans)

Sept 13: — OLB Darius Fleming waived

Sept 13: ILB Deontae Skinner promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Sept 14: week two regular season game, at Minnesota Vikings
Inactives:
DE Michael Buchanan (out, ankle)
LB Jamie Collins (out, thigh)
C Ryan Wendell (out, knee)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (not listed, shoulder)
DE Zach Moore
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
RB James White

Sept 16: — DE Cameron Henderson released from Practice Squad

Sept 16: — RB Marcus Thigpen released from Practice Squad

Sept 16: OLB Darius Fleming re-signed to Practice Squad

Sept 16: OT Caylin Hauptmann signed to Practice Squad; 2013 UDFA from FIU was with Browns (2013 off season, practice squad) and Seahawks (2013)

Sept 16: DT Kona Schwenke signed to Practice Squad; 2014 UDFA from Notre Dame was with Chiefs in off season

Sept 16: — OLB Darius Fleming signed by Colts to their 53-man roster off Patriots’ practice squad

Sept 17: DB Daxton Swanson re-signed to Practice Squad

Sept 19: Patriots try out/work out four free agents:
WR Kevin Cone (Georgia Tech; 29 games w/Falcons 2011-13; Dolphins, Cardinals 2014)
DE Steven Means (Buffalo; 10 games w/Bucs 2013)
RB Rajion Neal (rookie UDFA from Tennessee; Packers)
LB D.J. Smith (Appalachian St; 22 games w/Packers 2011-12; Texans, Panthers)

Sept 21: week three regular season game, vs Oakland Raiders
Inactives:
CB Alfonzo Dennard (questionable, shoulder)
S/LB/ST Don Jones (questionable, hamstring)
C Ryan Wendell (questionable, knee)
WR Aaron Dobson (not listed, foot)
DE Zach Moore
OL Josh Kline
RB James White

Sept 24: Patriots try out/work five defensive backs and a tight end:
TE Konrad Reuland (Stanford, Jets; 3 starts, 26 games in 3 seasons
CB Justin Green (UDFA from Illinois was on Pats PS in ’13, and played in 2 regular season games; also on roster for two playoff games. Traded earlier in off season to Dallas)
CB Keon Lyn (rookie UDFA from Syracuse; Colts)
SS Kimario McFadden (rookie UDFA from South Carolina State; Falcons, Bucs)
S Bacarri Rambo (Georgia, 2013 6th round pick by Washington; 13 NFL games; waived 9/16/2014)
CB Trevin Wade (Arizona, 2012 7th round pick by Browns; 13 games w/Browns in 2012 and 2 w/Saints in 2013)

Sept 26: — OL Chris Martin released from Practice Squad

Sept 26: DT Ben Bass re-signed to Practice Squad

Sept 27: DT Sealver Siliga (foot) placed on Injured Reserve with Designation to return

Sept 27: DT Casey Walker signed off the Carolina Panthers practice squad

Sept 29: week four regular season game, at Kansas City Chiefs
Inactives:
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
WR Aaron Dobson
OL Josh Kline
OL Jordan Devey
DT Casey Walker
DE Zach Moore
CB Alfonzo Dennard (probable, shoulder)

Oct 3: Patriots try out/work out four free agents:
OLB Lawrence Sidbury (2009 4th round pick from Richmond; 48 NFL games with Falcons)
DE Gerald Rivers (2nd-year UDFA from Ole Miss; 2 NFL games with Rams, Jaguars and Dolphins)
QB Brad Sorensen (2013 7th round pick from S Utah; 0 NFL games with Chargers and Titans)
OLB Jamaal Westerman (2009 UDFA from Rutgers; six-year veteran with 62 NFL games with Jets, Colts, Cardinals, Steelers and Bills)

Oct 4: — WR Kenbrell Thompkins waived

Oct 4: LB Ja’Gared Davis promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Oct 5: week five regular season game, vs Cincinnati Bengals
Inactives:
DE Zach Moore
LB Dont’a Hightower (questionable, knee)
CB Malcolm Butler
SS Nate Ebner (out, finger)
OG Josh Kline
OL Cameron Fleming (out, finger)
RB James White

Oct 6: — WR Kenbrell Thompkins claimed by Raiders off waivers

Oct 6: DE Michael Buchanan (ankle) placed on Injured Reserve

Oct 6: — DT Joe Vellano waived

Oct 6: CB Brandon Browner activated off suspended list

Oct 6: WR Brian Tyms activated off suspended list

Oct 7: DT Joe Vellano re-signed to Practice Squad

Oct 8: — OT Caylin Hauptmann released from Practice Squad

Oct 8: OT Chris Martin re-signed to Practice Squad

Oct 12: week six regular season game, at Buffalo Bills
Inactives:
43 – S Nate Ebner (Out – Finger – DNP)
66 – C Bryan Stork (Questionable – Head – DNP)
39 – CB Brandon Browner (Questionable – Ankle – DNP)
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Out – Finger – DNP)
74 – DL Dominique Easley (Questionable – Shoulder/Knee – DNP)
54 – LB Dont’a Hightower (Questionable – Knee – LP)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)

Oct 13: — OT Chris Martin released from Practice Squad

Oct 13: OT Caylin Hauptmann re-signed to Practice Squad

Oct 13: Patriots try out/work five linebackers:
LB Justin Anderson (rookie UDFA from Louisiana-LaFayette; was with Giants in off-season)
LB Kaelin Burnett (2012 UDFA from Nevada; 22 games in two seasons with Raiders)
LB Tim Dobbins (2006 5th round draft pick by San Diego; 110 NFL games in eight seasons)
LB/FB Mario Harvey (2011 UDFA from Marshall; 28 NFL games with Colts 2012-14)
LB Paul Hazel (2013 UDFA from W Michigan; 13 NFL games with Browns in 2013)
Trivia: on the same day the Browns released WR Davone Bess, they also waived Hazel and future Patriots WR Brian Tyms

Oct 16: LB Jerod Mayo (patellar tendon) placed on Injured Reserve

Oct 16: RB Stevan Ridley (ACL, MCL) placed on Injured Reserve

Oct 16: OL Chris Barker promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Oct 16: RB Jonas Gray promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Oct 16: week seven regular season game, vs New York Jets
Inactives:
66 – C Bryan Stork (Questionable – Concussion – DNP)
43 – S Nate Ebner (Out – Finger – DNP)
63 – C/G Dan Connolly (Questionable – Concussion – DNP)
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Out – Finger – DNP)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)
17 – WR Aaron Dobson (Healthy Scratch)
21 – CB Malcolm Butler (Healthy Scratch)

Oct 22: — LB Ja’Gared Davis waived

Oct 22: OLB Akeem Ayers and a 7th round draft pick acquired in trade with Tennessee Titans for New England’s 2015 6th round draft pick

Oct 23: Patriots try out/work out two players:
RB David Fluellen (rookie UDFA from Toledo was originally signed by Philadelphia, and was traded to Indy for kicker Cody Parkey)
DE/OLB Scott Solomon (2012 7th round pick from Rice by Tennessee; 20 NFL games with Titans, Jets and Bucs)
Pats Trivia: Solomon was the player released by the Jets in 2013 to make room on the roster for former Patriot TE Zach Sudfeld

Oct 24: LB Ja’Gared Davis re-signed to Practice Squad

Oct 26: week eight regular season game, vs Chicago Bears
Inactives:
65 – OT Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard – (healthy scratch)
71 – OT Cameron Fleming (Questionable – Finger – LP)
17 – WR Aaron Dobson – (healthy scratch)
64 – OL Chris Barker – (healthy scratch)
95 – DE Chandler Jones – (Out – Hip – DNP)
43 – S Nate Ebner – (Questionable – Finger – LP)

Oct 28: — OT Chris Barker waived

Oct 28: LB Jonathan Casillas and a 6th round draft pick acquired in trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers for New England’s 2015 5th round draft pick

Oct 29: — LB Deontae Skinner waived

Oct 29: DL Alan Branch signs one-year contract; 33rd overall pick of 2007 draft has 170 tackles over seven seasons with Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills

Oct 30: — DT Ben Bass released from Practice Squad

Oct 30: OT Chris Barker re-signed to Practice Squad

Oct 31: — WR Jonathan Krause released from Practice Squad

Oct 31: LB Deontae Skinner re-signed to Practice Squad

 

Nov 2: week nine regular season game, vs Denver Broncos
Inactives:
17 – WR Aaron Dobson – (healthy scratch)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard – (healthy scratch)
65 – OT Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
71 – OT Cameron Fleming – (Questionable – Finger – LP)
90 – DE Zach Moore – (healthy scratch)
95 – DE Chandler Jones (Out – Hip – DNP)

Nov 4: Patriots try out/work out a QB and six special team players, none of whom have appeared in an NFL regular season game:
QB Garrett Gilbert (2014 6th round draft pick by Rams, out of SMU)
LS Tyler Ott (2014 UDFA from Harvard was with Pats from May 16 to August 17)
LS Charley Hughlett (2012 UDFA from UCF has been with Dallas, Cleveland and Jacksonville; was with Pats from March to May, and on the practice squad for three days in early September)
LS Patrick Scales (2011 UDFA from Utah State has spent time with the Ravens, Jets and Bucs)
P Cody Mandell (2014 UDFA from Alabama was released by Dallas on August 12)
K Dave Teggart (2012 UDFA from UConn was originally signed by Chicago)
K Zach Hocker (2014 7th round draft pick by Washington, out of Arkansas)

Nov 5: — DL Kona Schwenke released from Practice Squad

Nov 5: WR Jonathan Krause re-signed to Practice Squad

Nov 10: Patriots adjust incentive bonuses to contract of OT Sebastian Vollmer, to make them easier to attain

Nov 16: week 11 regular season game, at Indianapolis Colts
Inactives:
65 – OT Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
17 – WR Aaron Dobson – (healthy scratch)
95 – DE Chandler Jones – (Out – Hip – DNP)
98 – DT Casey Walker – (healthy scratch)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard – (healthy scratch)
29 – S Don Jones – (healthy scratch)

Nov 18: Patriots try out/work OT Derek Sherrod;
former Green Bay Packer was a first round pick (32nd overall) in 2011 and was released earlier in month;
appeared in two games this season and has 20 career NFL games, with one start

Nov 20: — DL Casey Walker waived

Nov 20: RB LaGarrette Blount signed to two-year contract; was cut earlier in week by Pittsburgh; signed with Steelers as a free agent after spending 2013 with Patriots
2014: Pro-rated $730,000 salary (for six weeks, that is $257,647)
2015: $745,000 salary

Nov 22: — LB Ja’Gared Davis released from Practice Squad

Nov 22: DT Casey Walker re-signed to Practice Squad

Nov 23: week twelve regular season game, vs Detroit Lions
Inactives:
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Out – Ankle/Finger – DNP)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)
17 – WR Aaron Dobson (Healthy Scratch)
74 – DL Dominique Easley (Questionable – Knee – DNP)
95 – DE Chandler Jones (Out – Hip – DNP)
21 – CB Malcolm Butler (Healthy Scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey (Healthy Scratch)

Nov 26: Patriots extend contract of ST captain Matthew Slater two years, through 2016
$4,000,0000 deal with $3,000,000 guaranteed
$2,000,000 signing bonus
Base salary of $1,000,000 in both 2015 and 2016
Incentives of $100,000 in both 2015 and 2016

Nov 26: — LB Deontae Skinner released from Practice Squad

Nov 26: — DB Daxton Swanson released from Practice Squad

Nov 26: TE Xavier Grimble signed to Practice Squad

Nov 26: LS Charley Hughlett signed to Practice Squad

Nov 28: — S Don Jones waived

Nov 28: — TE Xavier Grimble released from Practice Squad

Nov 28: — LS Charley Hughlett released from Practice Squad

Nov 28: DT Sealver Siliga (in-season IR) returns to practice; 21-day window to place Siliga on 53-man roster, full-season IR, or release him begins

Nov 29: LB Darius Fleming promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Nov 30: week 13 regular season game, at Green Bay Packers
Inactives:
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Questionable – Ankle/Finger – LP)
95 – DE Chandler Jones (Questionable – Hip – LP)
21 – CB Malcolm Butler (Healthy Scratch)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)
49 – LS Danny Aiken (Questionable – Concussion – LP)
65 – OL Jordan Devey (Healthy Scratch)
59 – LB Chris White (Questionable – Ankle – DNP)

 

Dec 3: CB Justin Green re-signed to Practice Squad

Dec 3: LB Deontae Skinner re-signed to Practice Squad

Dec 3: DB Dax Swanson re-signed to Practice Squad

Dec 4: WR Aaron Dobson (hamstring) placed on Injured Reserve

Dec 6: DT Sealver Siliga activated from in-season injured reserve to 53-man roster

Dec 7: week 14 regular season game, at San Diego Chargers
Inactives:
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard (Healthy Scratch)
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Questionable – Ankle – LP)
95 – DE Chandler Jones (Questionable – Hip – LP)
54 – Dont’a Hightower (Questionable – Shoulder – LP)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey (Healthy Scratch)
59 – LB Chris White (Doubtful – Ankle – DNP)

Dec 11: Patriots extend contract of OL Marcus Cannon two years, through 2016
$9,000,0000 maximum value
$3,200,000 signing bonus
2015 base salary: $1,200,000
2015 roster bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 for each game that he is active)
2015 weight bonus: $100,000 ($30,000 for making weight on 4/15; $35,000 for making weight on 6/1; $35,000 for making weight on 7/15)
2015 playing time incentives: $250,000 for playing in 80% of the offensive snaps
2016 base salary: $3,400,000
2016 roster bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 for each game that he is active)
2016 weight bonus: $100,000 ($30,000 for making weight on 4/15; $35,000 for making weight on 6/1; $35,000 for making weight on 7/15)
2016 playing time incentives: $250,000 for playing in 80% of the offensive snaps

Dec 12: Patriots try out/work out CB Delvin Breaux
Had received a scholarship to LSU, but never played there due to suffering three fractured vertebrae in a 2006 high school football game
2012: played with Louisiana Bayou Vipers in the Gridiron Developmental Football League
2013: played with New Orleans VooDoo in the Arena Football League
2014: All-Star with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League

Dec 14: week 15 regular season game, vs Miami Dolphins
Inactives:
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard (Healthy Scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey (Healthy Scratch)
71 – OT Cam Fleming (Ankle – LP – Questionable)
28 – RB James White (Healthy Scratch)
59 – LB Chris White (Ankle – LP – Questionable)
74 – DL Dominique Easley (Knee – DNP – Out)
90 – DE Zach Moore (Healthy Scratch)

Dec 16: — DT Casey Walker signed by Baltimore Ravens off Patriots’ practice squad

Dec 17: DL Dominique Easley (knee) placed on Injured Reserve

Dec 17: TE Steve Maneri signs one-year contract; was with Patriots in 2010 (inactive for three games, then on practice squad); since then has been with Chiefs, Bears and Bucs

Dec 17: QB Garrett Gilbert signed to Practice Squad; 6th round pick by Rams out of SMU in 2014 was beaten out by Austin Davis for a roster spot out of training camp

Dec 21: week sixteen regular season game, at New York Jets
Inactives:
63 – OL Dan Connolly – (knee – limited practice – questionable)
11 – WR Julian Edelman – (thigh/concussion – limited practice – questionable)
37 – CB Alfonzo Dennard – (healthy scratch)
29 – RB LeGarrette Blount – (shoulder – limited practice – questionable)
25 – CB Kyle Arrington – (hamstring – limited practice – questionable)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)

Dec 23: — DB Daxton Swanson released from practice squad

Dec 23: DE Cameron Henderson signed to practice squad; originally signed with Atlanta out of Central Florida in 2013, and was with Cleveland until the end of 2014 training camp.

Dec 27: CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring) placed on Injured Reserve

Dec 27: WR Josh Boyce promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Dec 27: — DE Cam Henderson released from practice squad

Dec 27: DB Dax Swanson re-signed to practice squad

Dec 28: Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio has contract extended through 2020

Dec 28: week seventeen regular season game, vs Buffalo Bills
Inactives:
63 – OL Dan Connolly – (knee – limited practice – questionable)
76 – OT Sebastian Vollmer – (back – limited practice – questionable)
11 – WR Julian Edelman – (thigh/concussion – limited practice – questionable)
87 – TE Rob Gronkowski – (healthy scratch)
35 – RB Jonas Gray – (ankle – did not practice Friday – out)
54 – LB Dont’a Hightower – (shoulder – limited practice – questionable)
39 – CB Brandon Browner – (groin – limited practice – questionable)

Dec 31: RB Dion Lewis signed to reserve/future contract; 2011 Eagles’ fifth-round pick out of Pitt was traded to Browns in 2013, then was on IR for all of 2013 with a broken leg

Dec 31: DT Antonio Johnson signed to reserve/future contract; fifth-round 2007 pick by Tennessee has 52 NFL starts with Titans and Colts, but did not play in 2014 after being waived in September with an injury (knee) settlement

Dec 31: OLB Rufus Johnson signed to reserve/future contract; was a sixth-round pick in 2013 for the New Orleans Saints

 

Jan 9: Patriots extend contract of S Patrick Chung three years, through 2017
$8,200,000 max value with $3,400,000 guaranteed
$2,400,000 signing bonus
Base salary of $1,000,000 in 2015, $1,400,000 in 2016 and $1,800,000 in 2017
Weekly roster bonuses worth up to $200,000 in each season
Snap-count based incentives worth up to $900,000 in 2016 and 2017
$200,000 for 60% of the defensive snaps; $500,000 for 70%; $900,000 for 80%

Jan 9: Patriots extend contract of ST/RB Brandon Bolden two years, through 2016
$2,270,000 max value with $300,000 guaranteed
$300,000 signing bonus
2015: $660,000 base salary; weekly 46-man roster bonuses worth up to $200,000
2016: $760,000 base salary; weekly 46-man roster bonuses worth up to $350,000

Jan 10: division round playoff game, vs Baltimore Ravens
Inactives:
82 – WR Josh Boyce – (healthy scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
90 – DL Zach Moore – (healthy scratch)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)
35 – RB Jonas Gray – (ankle – limited practice – questionable)
86 – TE Steve Maneri – (healthy scratch)
71 – OT Cam Fleming – (healthy scratch)

Jan 16: Patriots receive a $1,184,000 salary cap credit for Inmate number 174594

Jan 17: — TE Steve Maneri released

Jan 17: DT Joe Vellano promoted from Practice Squad to 53-man roster

Jan 18: conference championship game, vs Indianapolis Colts
Inactives:
66 – C Bryan Stork – (knee – did not practice – out)
90 – DL Zach Moore – (healthy scratch)
84 – WR Bryan Tyms – (healthy scratch)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
94 – DL Chris Jones – (elbow – limited practice – probable)
82 – WR Josh Boyce – (healthy scratch)

 

Feb 1: Super Bowl, vs Seattle Seahawks
Inactives:
90 – DL Zach Moore – (healthy scratch)
82 – WR Josh Boyce – (healthy scratch)
84 – WR Bryan Tyms – (healthy scratch)
72 – DL Joe Vellano – (healthy scratch)
65 – OL Jordan Devey – (healthy scratch)
35 – RB Jonas Gray – (healthy scratch)
28 – RB James White – (healthy scratch)

Feb 6: Practice squad G Chris Barker signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$510,000 base salary
$333,000 split in event of injury
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad DE Jake Bequette signed to future/reserve contract
2-year contract with max value of $1,275,000
2015: $585,000 base salary ($333,000 split in event of injury)
2016: $675,000 base salary ($403,000 split in event of injury)
2016 workout bonus: $15,000
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad QB Garrett Gilbert signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$445,000 base base salary
$318,000 split in event of injury
Workout bonus: $10,000
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad CB Justin Green signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$435,000 base salary
$318,000 split in event of injury
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad G Caylin Hauptmann signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$510,000 base salary
$333,000 split in event of injury
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad WR Jonathan Krause signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$445,000 base salary
$318,000 split in event of injury
$10,000 signing bonus
No other guarantees

Feb 6: Practice squad LB Eric Martin signed to future/reserve contract
2-year contract with max value of $1,290,000
2015 base salary: $585,000 ($348,000 split in event of injury)
2015 workout bonus: $10,000
2016 base salary: $675,000 ($403,000 split in event of injury)
2016 workout bonus: $20,000
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad LB Deontae Skinner signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$510,000 base salary
$333,000 split in event of injury
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: Practice squad CB Dax Swanson signed to future/reserve contract
1-year contract
$435,000 base salary
$318,000 split in event of injury
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: DL Antonio Johnson signed to future/reserve contract
30-year old veteran of six NFL seasons with Colts and Titans
Was 2007 5th-round (152nd overall) draft pick by Titans out of Mississippi State
Released by Tennessee prior to start of 2014 season
1-year contract
$745,000 base salary
$10,000 workout bonus
$595,000 cap charge
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: OLB Rufus Johnson signed to future/reserve contract
24-year old was released by Saints prior to start of 2014 season
Was 2014 6th round (183rd overall) draft pick by Saints out of Tarleton State
1-year contract
$435,000 base salary
No guarantees or signing bonus

Feb 6: RB Dion Lewis signed to future/reserve contract
24-year old veteran of three NFL seasons with Eagles and Browns
Was 2011 5th round (149th overall) draft pick by Eagles out of Pittsburgh
1-year contract
$585,000 base salary
No guarantees or signing bonus

March 5: — Patriots decline option on NT Vince Wilfork, making the 11-year veteran a free agent

March 6: LS Tyler Ott signed to one-year contract
Ott had been with Patriots in 2014 off-season and training camp
One-year deal with a non-guaranteed base salary of $435,000

March 10: The 2015 league year begins at 4:00 pm ET

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

NFL Free Agent Update – a look at who is still available at each position

For what it’s worth, here’s a list of what’s currently available in free agency by position, along with the player’s age (as of this season/calendar year), and their last team. Apologies in advance for any incorrect positions, players that I overlooked that have been signed, players not worth mentioning that were left out, etc.

As you can see, it’s pretty slim pickings at some positions – though there are the occasional diamonds in the rough, and some players that may be very good values for the 2014 NFL season. Based on the other options, it would be nice to see the Patriots re-sign free agents Will Svitek and LeGarrette Blount, assuming the price is reasonable.

 

Defense

Defensive Tackle
29 – Pat Sims – Raiders
27 – Alex Carrington – Bills
27 – Vance Walker – Raiders
26 – Terrence Cody – Ravens
34 – Kevin Williams – Vikings
35 – Ryan Pickett – Packers
34 – Aubrayo Franklin – Colts
31 – Johnny Jolly – Packers
30 – Adam Carriker – Bills
30 – Peria Jerry – Falcons
35 – Kenyon Coleman – Saints
34 – Colin Cole – Panthers
31 – Derek Landri – Bucs
35 – Shaun Rogers – Giants
29 – Ogemdi Nwagbuo – Bengals
27 – Brandon Deaderick – Jaguars
33 – Isaac Sopoaga – Patriots

 

Defensive End
32 – Jared Allen – Vikings
33 – Shaun Phillips – Broncos
27 – Corey Wooton – Bears
30 – Anthony Spencer – Cowboys
29 – Robert Ayers – Broncos
33 – Will Smith – Saints
36 – Brett Keisel – Steelers
27 – Daniel Te’o-Nesheim – Bucs
31 – Jason Hunter – Raiders
27 – Everette Brown – Cowboys

 

Outside Linebacker
31 – James Anderson – Bears
30 – Parys Haralson – Saints
27 – O’Brien Schofield – Cardinals
30 – Desmond Bishop – Packers
29 – Rob Jackson – Redskins
36 – James Harrison – Bengals
31 – Stephen Nicholas – Falcons
28 – Lawrence Sidbury – Colts
30 – Blake Costanzo – Bears
29 – Garrett McIntyre – Jets
29 – Ernie Sims – Cowboys
29 – Marvin Mitchell – Vikings
34 – Will Witherspoon – Rams
31 – Rocky McIntosh – Lions
25 – Aaron Morgan – Bucs

 

Inside Linebacker
27 – Pat Angerer – Colts
28 – Erin Henderson – Vikings
26 – Arthur Moats – Bills
34 – Larry Foote – Steelers
33 – Nick Barnett – Redskins
32 – Jonathan Vilma – Saints
31 – Stewart Bradley – Broncos
30 – Bryan Kehl – Redskins
29 – Robert Francois – Packers
29 – Dan Connor – Panthers
28 – Austin Spitler – Dolphins
27 – Josh Mauga – Jets

 

Safety
29 – Thomas DeCoud – Falcons
26 – Kendrick Lewis – Chiefs
26 – Major Wright – Bears
31 – Steve Gregory – Patriots
31 – James Ihedigbo – Ravens
33 – Mike Adams – Broncos
32 – Jim Leonhard – Bills
32 – Reed Doughty – Redskins
34 – Quintin Mikell – Panthers
35 – Ryan Clark – Steelers
36 – Yeremiah Bell – Cardinals
36 – Ed Reed – Jets
38 – Charles Woodson – Raiders
29 – Tanard Jackson – Redskins
29 – Colt Anderson – Eagles
27 – Patrick Chung – Eagles
26 – Kurt Coleman – Eagles
26 – Darian Stewart – Rams
32 – Matt Giordano – Rams
31 – John Wendling – Lions

 

Cornerback
30 – Antonio Cromartie – Jets
33 – Carlos Rogers – 49ers
32 – Jabari Greer – Saints
29 – Terrell Thomas – Giants
31 – Dimitri Patterson – Dolphins
36 – Champ Bailey – Broncos
33 – Asante Samuel – Falcons
34 – Drayton Florence – Panthers
29 – Mike Jenkins – Raiders
31 – Josh Wilson – Redskins
32 – Aaron Ross – Giants
34 – Rashean Mathis – Lions
27 – E.J. Biggers – Redskins
28 – Antoine Cason – Cardinals
29 – Eric Wright – 49ers
30 – Zack Bowman – Bears
32 – Dunta Robinson – Chiefs
35 – Quentin Jammer – Broncos
26 – Phillip Adams – Raiders
27 – Cassius Vaughn – Colts
28 – Chris Owens – Browns
26 – A.J. Jefferson – Vikings
26 – Aaron Berry – Jets
27 – Dominique Franks – Falcons
27 – Jerome Murphy – Redskins
28 – Brice McCain – Texans

 

 

Offense

Center
29 – Brian De La Puente – Saints
36 – Jonathan Goodwin – 49ers
31 – Kyle Cook – Bengals
31 – Will Montgomery – Redskins
29 – Fernando Velasco – Steelers
28 – Ryan Wendell – Patriots
32 – Chris Spencer – Titans
36 – Andre Gurode – Raiders
35 – Dan Koppen – Broncos
33 – David Baas – Giants
32 – Dylan Gandy – Lions
30 – Samson Satele – Colts
31 – Ryan Cook – Cowboys

 

Guard
33 – Travelle Wharton – Panthers
28 – Rich Ohrnberger – Chargers
30 – Uche Nwaneri – Jaguars
31 – Davin Joseph – Bucs
32 – Daryn Colledge – Cardinals
33 – Harvey Dahl – Rams
28 – John Jerry – Dolphins
31 – Paul McQuistan – Seahawks
27 – Chris Scott – Panthers
27 – Vlad Ducasse – Jets
28 – Garrett Reynolds – Falcons
29 – Mike Gibson – Cardinals
30 – Leroy Harris – Lions
30 – Rob Turner – Titans
33 – Wade Smith – Texans
31 – Richie Incognito – Dolphins

 

Offensive Tackle
32 – David Stewart – Titans
31 – Eric Winston – Cardinals
27 – Charles Brown – Saints
32 – Will Svitek – Patriots
30 – Levi Brown – Steelers
34 – Tony Pashos – Raiders
26 – J’Marcus Webb – Vikings
26 – Marshall Newhouse – Packers
26 – Jason Fox – Lions
26 – Bruce Campbell – Panthers
27 – Eben Britton – Bears
27 – Thomas Welch – Bills
29 – Winston Justice – Broncos
29 – Ryan Harris – Texans
31 – Rashad Butler – Steelers
31 – Mike Otto – Titans
31 – Jonathan Scott – Bears
33 – Tyson Clabo – Dolphins
34 – David Diehl – Giants

 

Tight End
27 – Jermichael Finley – Packers
32 – Owen Daniels – Texans
30 – Dustin Keller – Dolphins
38 – Tony Gonzalez – Falcons
27 – Ed Dickson – Ravens
34 – Ben Hartsock – Panthers
28 – Bear Pascoe – Giants
28 – Fred Davis – Redskins
28 – Chase Coffman – Falcons
29 – Zach Miller – Bucs
31 – Jeff King – Cardinals
32 – Alex Smith – Bengals
35 – Dallas Clark – Ravens
31 – Kellen Winslow – Jets

 

Wide Receiver
26 – Kenny Britt – Titans
28 – Sidney Rice – Seahawks
31 – Lance Moore – Saints
31 – Jason Avant – Eagles
32 – Devin Hester – Bears
30 – Robert Meachem – Saints
27 – Earl Bennett – Bears
27 – Jacoby Ford – Raiders
29 – Josh Morgan – Redskins
32 – Jerricho Cotchery – Steelers
33 – Nate Burleson – Lions
26 – Damian Williams – Titans
27 – Marc Mariani – Titans
27 – Louis Murphy – Giants
30 – Miles Austin – Cowboys
31 – Michael Spurlock – Lions
23 – Eric Page – Bucs
25 – Dezmon Briscoe – Redskins
26 – Kyle Williams – Chiefs
27 – Taylor Price – Jaguars
29 – Davone Bess – Browns
30 – Santonio Holmes – Jets
37 – Plaxico Burress – Steelers

 

Running Back
27 – Knowshon Moreno – Broncos
29 – Maurice Jones-Drew – Jaguars
28 – LeGarrette Blount – Patriots
28 – Andre Brown – Giants
30 – Michael Bush – Bears
27 – Felix Jones – Steelers
27 – La’Rod Stephens-Howling – Steelers
29 – Justin Forsett – Jaguars
30 – Bernard Scott – Ravens
30 – Tashard Choice – Colts
30 – Brian Leonard – Bucs
26 – Fozzy Whittaker – Browns
26 – Phillip Tanner – Cowboys
28 – Kahlil Bell – Packers
33 – Ronnie Brown – Chargers
33 – Willis McGahee – Browns

 

Fullback
32 – John Kuhn – Packers
33 – Vonta Leach – Ravens
30 – Le’Ron McClain – Chargers
33 – Greg Jones – Texans
30 – Lex Hilliard – Jets
29 – Frank Summers – Bills

 

Quarterback
34 – Michael Vick – Eagles
32 – Ryan Fitzpatrick – Titans
33 – Jason Campbell – Browns
26 – Josh Freeman – Vikings
29 – Matt Flynn – Packers
30 – Kevin Kolb – Bills
33 – Luke McCown – Saints
34 – Shaun Hill – Lions
34 – Rex Grossman – Redskins
27 – Jimmy Clausen – Panthers
28 – Colt McCoy – 49ers
28 – Joe Webb – Vikings
31 – Dan Orlovsky – Bucs
34 – Seneca Wallace – Packers
42 – Jon Kitna – Cowboys

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

 

 

With NFL free agency officially about to begin in just a short while, here is a recap of what has transpired with all 16 AFC teams since the end of the season.

 

AFC East

New England Patriots

Jan 20: Signed RB Sam McGuffie, WR Greg Orton, WR Reggie Dunn, C Braxston Cave, OT R.J. Mattes, T Jordan Devey and LB Taylor Reed to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 21: Linebacker coach Pepper Johnson announces he is leaving the staff; he accepts a position as the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills on Jan 31.

Jan 22: Offensive line coach and assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia retired.

Jan 22: Dave DeGuglielmo named new offensive line coach; had previously been OL coach for University of Maryland, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Jan 22: Tight end coach George Godsey departs to accept a position as quarterbacks coach on Bill O’Briens staff with the Houston Texans.

Jan 29: Brendan Daly is named new defensive assistant coach; he had been the Minnesota Vikings defensive line coach the last two seasons.

Feb 20: Michael Lombardi hired as assistant to Pats’ coaching staff; had most recently been GM and VP of Player Personnel for Cleveland Browns.

Mar 7: RFA LS Danny Aiken agrees to terms on one-year contract.

Mar 10: WR T.J. Moe, WR Sam McGuffie, LB Taylor Reed and DT Cory Grissom were released.

Mar 10: OT Brice Schwab, OT Elvis Fisher (failed physical) and RB Quentin Hines (failed physical) were waived.

Mar 10: TE Michael Hoomanawanui will be re-signed to a 2-year contract when new league year begins.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $14,821,836

 

Miami Dolphins

Jan 7: Fired GM Jeff Ireland and OC Mike Sherman.

Jan 16: Named Bill Lazor new OC; was Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach in 2013.

Jan 20: Named Mark Duffner linebacker coach.

Jan 26: Named Dennis Hickey new GM; had most recently been Tampa Bay director of player personnel.

Jan 29: Assistant GM Brian Gaine resigned/was let go.

Feb 19: OL coach Jim Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill were fired.

Mar 1: John Benton promoted from assistant offensive line coach to OL coach.

Mar 1: Jack Bicknell Jr. named assistant offensive line coach.

Mar 1: UFA CB Brent Grimes re-signed to four-year, $32 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $33,860,686

Mar 11: CB Dmitri Patterson to be released, saving $5.4 million in cap space.

Mar 11: Dolphins to sign former Lions FS Louis Delmas to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

 

New York Jets

Jan 16: Signed HC Rex Ryan to an extension.

Jan 16: Signed C Jacolby Ashworth, S Brandon Hardin and DB Nick Taylor to reserve/future contracts.

Feb 6: Named Thomas McGaughey special teams coordinator.

Feb 28: Used franchise tag on K Nick Folk.

Mar 5: Claimed CB Johnny Patrick off waivers from the San Diego Chargers.

Mar 5: Re-signed backup CB Ellis Lankster.

Mar 5: Re-signed backup CB Darrin Walls.

Mar 8: Re-signed TE Jeff Cumberland.

Mar 9: Released CB Antonio Cromartie.

Mar 10: Released WR Santonio Holmes.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $40,089,361.

 

Buffalo Bills

Jan 10: Re-signed 38 year old UFA P Brian Moorman.

Jan 13: Fired LB coach Chuck Driesbach.

Jan 14: Signed OLB Kourtnei Brown, RB Anthony Allen and G Randy Colling to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 15: Signed WR Ramses Barden, WRChris Summers, S Jajuan Harley, OLB Willie Jefferson and OLB Nathan Williams to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 16: Named Jeff Hafley defensive assistant coach.

Jan 23: Named former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz the new defensive coordinator; Schwartz replaces Mike Pettine, who took the job as Cleveland Browns head coach.

Jan 24: Named Todd Downing quarterbacks coach.

Jan 29: Named Jim Hostler senior offensive assistant.

Jan 31: Named former Pats assistant Pepper Johnson defensive line coach.

Jan 31: Named Fred Pagac linebackers coach.

Feb 6: Named Rob Moore wide receivers coach, replacing Ike Hilliard (fired).

Feb 7: Promoted defensive quality control coach Jason Rebrovich to assistant defensive line coach.

Mar 3: Released backup OLB Willie Jefferson.

Mar 3: Extended SS Aaron Williams to a four-year, $26 million contract with $8.5 million guaranteed.

Mar 6: Re-signed backup/practice squad CB Brandon Smith.

Mar 10: Named Thad Bogardus defensive quality control coach.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $22,733,404.

 

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals

Jan 7: Signed WR Cobi Hamilton, C T.J. Johnson, DE David King, CB Onterio McCalebb, LB Bruce Taylor and C Scott Wedige to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 9: Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden departs to become head coach of Washington Redskins.

Jan 9: Promoted Hue Jackson from running backs coach to offensive coordinator.

Jan 16: Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer departs to become head coach of Minnesota Vikings.

Jan 16: Promoted Paul Guenther from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator.

Jan 18: Named Matt Burke linebackers coach; had been with Lions the last five seasons as LB coach.

Jan 21: Named Vance Joseph assistant defensive backs coach.

Jan 23: Named Brian Braswell assistant offensive line coach and quality control coach.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $27,354,957.

Mar 11: KR/WR Brandon Tate re-signs.

Mar 11: UFA DE Michael Johnson signs with Tampa Bay.

Mar 11: C Kyle Cook released, saving $2.5 million in cap space.

 

Baltimore Ravens

Jan 3: Fired RB coach Wilbert Montgomery

Jan 27: Named former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak offensive coordinator.

Jan 29: Named Steve Spagnuolo secondary coach.

Jan 29: Named Brian Pariani tight ends coach.

Feb 17: Re-signed OLB Terrell Suggs to five-year, $28.5 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.

Feb 27: Released FB Vonta Leach.

Feb 27: Released ILB Jameel McClain.

Feb 28: Re-signed TE Dennis Pitta to five-year, $32 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $21,983,602.

Mar 11: OLB Albert McClellan re-signed.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jan 3: Fired offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr.

Jan 23: Named former Titans head coach Mike Munchak offensive line coach.

Jan 27: Named James Saxon running backs coach, replacing Kirby Wilson.

Jan 28: Signed WR Danny Coale to a reserve/future contract.

Feb 11: Named Joey Porter defensive assistant coach.

Mar 3: Placed transition tag on OLB Jason Worilds.

Mar 5: Signed 33-year old FS Troy Polamalu with a two-year contract extension to lower his cap number, with a $6.75 million signing bonus.

Mar 5: Signed TE Heath Miller with a two-year contract extension to lower his cap number; there is $8 million in new money including a $5 million signing bonus.

Mar 10: OLB LaMarr Woodley will be released when new league year begins.

Mar 10: CB Ike Taylor accepted a pay cut, signing a one-year, $2.75 million contract that frees up $4.25 million in cap space; he had been scheduled to make a base salary of $7 million.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $3,434,434.

 

Cleveland Browns

Jan 2: Signed RB Jamaine Cook and DB Brandon Hughes to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 23: Named Mike Pettine head coach.

Jan 27: New coaching staff announced: named Jim O’Neil defensive coordinator, Chris Tabor special teams coordinator, Brian Angelichio tight ends coach, Bobby Babich assistant secondary coach, Chuck Driesbach linebackers coach, Brian Fleury assistant linebackers coach, Jeff Hafley secondary coach and Shawn Mennenga assistant special teams coach.

Feb 3: Named Kyle Shanahan offensive coordinator.

Feb 6: Remainder of new coaching staff announced: named George DeLeone assistant offensive line coach, Chris DiSanto and Derik Keyes assistant strength and conditioning coaches, Richard Hightower offensive quality control coach, Dowell Loggains quarterbacks coach, Mike McDaniel wide receivers coach, Andy Moeller offensive line coach, Wilbert Montgomery running backs coach, Paul Ricci strength and conditioning coach, Tony Tuioti defensive quality control coach and Anthony Weaver defensive line coach.

Feb 11: Announced CEO Joe Banner will resign in April.

Feb 11: General Manager Mike Lombardi fired and replaced by Ray Farmer.

Feb 12: Signed backup CB Royce Adams.

Feb 26: Released starting ILB D’Qwell Jackson.

Mar 3: Placed transition tag on C Alex Mack.

Mar 5: Released WR Davone Bess, backup WR Brian Tyms and backup OLB Paul Hazel.

Mar 10: Re-signed UFA K Billy Cundiff to a 1-year, $1.02 million contract.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $49,102,538

Mar 11: Former Cardinal ILB Karlos Dansby signs a four-year, $24 million contract.

 

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

Feb 10: Released G Justin Anderson.

Feb 10: Signed S David Sims, ILB Henoc Muamba and OT Jack Breckner.

Mar 6: Released starting C Samson Satele.

Mar 6: Signed former Browns starting ILB D’Qwell Jackson to a four-year, $22 million contract with $10.13 million guaranteed.

Mar 7: Re-signed P Pat McAfee to a five-year, $14.5 million contract with $3.75 million guaranteed.

Mar 10: Re-signed DL Fili Moala.

Mar 10: Re-signed OLB Justin Hickman.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $35,308,213.

Mar 11: K Adam Vinatieri resigned to a two-year, $5 million contract.

 

Tennessee Titans

Jan 4: Fired head coach Mike Munchak.

Jan 8: Signed G Oscar Johnson, WR Isaiah Williams, WR Lamont Bryant and OLB David Hinds to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 13: Named Ken Whisenhunt coach.

Jan 20: Named Ray Horton defensive coordinator and Louie Cioffi defensive backs coach.

Jan 22: Named Mike Mularkey tight ends coach, Giff Smith defensive line coach and Bob Bostad offensive line coach.

Jan 28: Named Mike Sullivan assistant offensive line coach and Nick Eason assistant defensive line coach.

Feb 4: Named Cannon Matthews quality control coordinator on defense and Todd Toriscelli director of sports medicine.

Mar 3: Re-signed SS Bernard Pollard to a two-year $6,300,000 contract extension with an $850,000 signing bonus.

Mar 7: Re-signed DE Ropati Pitoitua to a three-year contract.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $9,470,202.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Feb 10: Named Robert Saleh linebackers coach, Scottie Hazelton assistant linebackers coach and Scott Trulock trainer.

Mar 4: Released starting RG Uche Nwaneri.

Mar 6: Re-signed starting LT Cameron Bradfield, backup OT Sam Young, and TE Clay Harbor.

Mar 7: Re-signed starting QB Chad Henne to a two-year, $8 million extension with $4.5 million guaranteed.

Mar 8: Signed former Seahawk UFA DE Red Bryant to a four-year, $19 million contract with $4.7 million guaranteed.

Mar 10: DE Jason Babin elected to void the final two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $51,114,670.

Mar 11: RB Justin Forsett released

 

Houston Texans

Jan 2: Named Bill O’Brien new head coach.

Jan 4: Signed LB D.J. Smith to a reserve/future contract.

Jan 7: Fired pretty much the whole coaching staff: defensive coordinator Wade Phillips; offensive coordinator Rick Dennison; Perry Carter, assistant defensive backs coach; Karl Dorrell, quarterbacks coach; Dan Hammerschmidt, offensive assistant coach; Chick Harris, running backs coach; Reggie Herring, linebackers coach; Vance Joseph, defensive backs coach; Bobby King, assistant linebackers coach; Larry Kirksey, wide receivers coach; Marc Lubick, assistant wide receivers coach; Brian Pariani, tight ends coach; Jim Ryan, assistant offensive line coach; Matt Schiotz, assistant strength and conditioning coach; Cedric Smith, strength and conditioning coach and Jeff Zgonina, assistant defensive line coach.

Feb 6: New coaching staff announced: Named Romeo Crennel defensive coordinator, Mike Vrabel linebackers coach, Paul Dunn offensive line coach, George Godsey quarterbacks coach, Sean Hayes assistant strength and conditioning coach, Stan Hixon wide receivers coach, Tim Kelly offensive quality control coach, Will Lawing defensive quality control coach, Charles London running backs coach, Anthony Midget assistant secondary coach, John Perry tight ends coach, Anthony Pleasant assistant strength and conditioning coach, Jim Bernhardt director of football research, John Butler secondary coach, Doug Colman assistant special teams coach and Craig Fitzgerald strength and conditioning coach. Retained Bob Ligashesky as special teams coordinator.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $8,865,377.

Mar 11: TE Owen Daniels released, clearing $4.5 million in cap space.

Mar 11: CB Brice McCain released, clearing $850k in cap space.

 

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Feb 6: Signed S John Boyett, T Paul Cormick, DE Hall Davis, DE John Youboty, DE Ben Garland, WR Nathan Palmer, WR Gerell Robinson and WR Greg Wilson to future/reserve contracts.

Feb 12: Signed executive VP John Elway to a three-year extension and also named him general manager.

Mar 6: Released CB Champ Bailey.

Mar 10: G Chris Kuper retired.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $27,345,856

Mar 11: WR Andre Caldwell re-signs, a two-year, $3.45 million contract.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

Jan 11: Signed RB Joe McKnight, LB Jordan Campbell, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, DT Dominique Hamilton, former Patriot OT R.J. Dill, DB Jerron McMillian and DE Brandon Moore to future/reserve contracts.

Feb 6: Named Brock Olivo assistant special teams coach.

Feb 7: Released CB Dunta Robinson.

Feb 7: Re-signed WR Weston Dressler.

Feb 14: Re-signed TE Richard Gordon.

Mar 6: Released OLB Robert James and TE Dominique Jones.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $9,187,069.

Mar 11: OLB Frank Zombo re-signed.

 

San Diego Chargers

Jan 14: Promoted Frank Reich from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.

Jan 24: Named Pete Metzelaars tight ends coach.

Mar 4: Released FB Le’Ron McClain.

Mar 4: Released CB Derek Cox.

Mar 4: Released CB Johnny Patrick.

Mar 8: Re-signed LG Chad Rinehart to a two-year, $6 million contract with $2 million guaranteed.

Mar 8: Re-signed safety and special teams captain Darrell Stuckey to a four-year contract.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $6,536,580.

 

Oakland Raiders

Jan 2: Signed DT David Carter, QB Trent Edwards and DT Torell Troup to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 13: Signed LB Frank Beltre, C Jarrod Shaw, CB Neiko Thorpe and S Tony Dye to reserve/future contracts.

Jan 14: Re-signed offensive line coach Tony Sparano and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.

Feb 6: Named Joe Woods defensive backs coach, Marcus Robertson assistant defensive backs coach, Chris Boniol assistant special teams coach and Vernon Stephens assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Feb 12: Signed CFL Grey Cup MVP RB Kory Sheets.

Feb 24: Re-signed CB Taiwan Jones to a three-year contract.

Feb 28: Re-signed OT Khalif Barnes to a one-year contract.

Mar 11: Cap space entering free agency and the new league year: $59,945,373

 

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

 

 

NFL Update: News and Team Needs for the AFC South

NFL Update: News and Team Needs for the AFC South

Here is a look at the AFC South, approaching free agency and the draft. Cap figures are per our friend Jason Fitzgerald at Over The Cap.

 

Indianapolis Colts

2013 Record: 11-5, division champions
Playoffs: The Colts made the playoffs for the second straight year of the Luck era.
Estimated current cap space: $37,514,024

 

Key Free Agents

Starters:
CB Vontae Davis
ILB Pat Angerer
SS Antoine Bethea
NT Aubrayo Franklin
RB Donald Brown
RG Mike McGlynn

Backups and role players:
K Adam Vinatieri
DT Fili Moala
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
RG Jeff Linkenbach
S Sergio Brown
OLB Lawrence Sidbury
KR/CB Cassius Vaughn
ILB Kavell Conner

The Colts have re-signed P Pat McAfee, signed former Brown ILB D’Qwell Jackson, and tendered CB Josh Gordy and G Joe Reitz. C Samson Satelle (most well known in New England as the player Miami drafted in their trade with the Patriots for Wes Welker) was released; the move was partly due to performance, and in part due to $4 million in cap savings; RB Tashard Choice was also released.

 

Team Needs – CB, S, RG, C, WR, OLB, DE, RB, K

Both the offensive line and defensive secondary need attention. The Colts need to better protect their franchise quarterback, and will have new starters at RG and C in 2014. The team needs at least one corner (two if Davis departs), and probably two new starting safeties. Bethea turns 30 this summer and is a free agent; LaRon Landry is an injury prone liability in pass coverage who will also turn 30 this year.

Indy also needs to improve their pass rush. OLB Robert Mathis is very good, but they could stand an upgrade over OLB Bjoern Werner and DE Cory Redding. Werner missed time with a torn plantar fascia in his rookie season and will be given another opportunity to live up to his first round expectations, but at minimum some better depth at the position is in order.

Brown outplayed Trent Richardson at running back, but there’s a good chance that he will sign elsewhere in free agency; even if he does return the team needs more depth here. Reggie Wayne will be back but he turns 36 this season; a replacement needs to be brought in now. Adam Vinatieri is also a free agent that the club will need to make a decision on.

 

Draft Picks

Round 2, Pick 27 (59)
Round 3, Pick 26 (90)
Round 5, Pick 26 (154)
Round 6, Pick 27 (187)
Round 7, Pick 17 (209) (From Ravens in trade for center A.Q. Shipley last May)
– Round 1, pick 26 traded to Browns last season for RB Trent Richardson.
– Round 4, pick 27 traded last year to the Browns for their 2013 3rd round pick.
– Round 7, pick 26 traded to Rams for CB Josh Gordy in 2012.

Potential first round picks: CB Victor Hampton, South Carolina; WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt; C Marcus Martin, USC

 

News

In a very politically-correct manner, McAfee said that he would be open to taking over the field goal duties from Vinatieri. McAfee signed a five-year, $14 million with $5 million guaranteed; at $2.8 million per year that makes him the league’s eighth highest paid punter, and only three have more guaranteed money. McAfee, who already handles kickoffs for Indy, said “who knows what’s going to happen with Vinatieri? If he gets re-signed, if he wants to get re-signed, however long he wants to play, I just wanted to know whenever that guy is done, whenever that Hall-of-Fame career is over, that I just want a fair shake in kicking as well. That came up in the conversation. Who knows what’s going to happen with everything else obviously with him or who else they bring in. That definitely came up during negotiations and I’m excited to see how that turns out as well.”

 

 

Tennessee Titans

2013 Record: 7-9
Playoffs: The Titans have not been to the playoffs since 2008, when Kerry Collins replaced Vince Young as the starting quarterback.
Estimated current cap space: $10,013,952

 

Key Free Agents

CB Alterraun Verner and WR Kenny Britt are the only starters hitting free agency. SS Bernard Pollard and DE Ropati Pitoitu have been re-signed. Other free agents include former starting C Rob Turner, C/G Chris Spencer, OT Mike Otto, DT Antonio Johnson, WR Damian Williams and WR Marc Mariani.

 

Team Needs – OLB, ILB, OT, NT, CB, RB, S

The Titans are moving to a 3-4 defense this year, and Kamerion Wimbley was a disappointment; an OLB at number 11 may be what Tennessee decides to do in the draft; another option would be to move Akeem Ayers outside and add an ILB such as Baltimore Raven free agent Daryl Smith.

Dave Stewart will likely be cut and Michael Roos, who will turn 32 this year, is in the final year of his contract. Offensive tackle is a position that should be used on one of the first two picks and/or with a starting caliber player in free agency.

Tennessee has dependable 4-3 defensive tackles but that don’t have that big wide body guy needed in the middle of a 3-4 defensive line. Drafting a guy like Louis Nix in the first round is a possibility.

If Alterraun Verner bolts in free agency then second year CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson will be given the chance to start opposite Jason McCourty, but some decent depth should be added if that is the plan; there’s no viable option currently as the number three corner. The club could also use some depth at safety behind Pollard and Michael Griffin.

Chris Johnson may become a cap casualty, which would mean that there will be an opening at running back; right now the backups are Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle.

Some fans think the Titans should draft another quarterback, but I think Jake Locker deserves another chance before doing so. Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel will probably be already taken when the Titans turn comes up at number 11, and Derek Carr will likely be off the board before they pick again at number 42.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 11
Round 2, Pick 10 (42)
Round 4, Pick 12 (108)
Round 5, Pick 11 (139)
Round 6, Pick 10 (170)
Round 7, Pick 13 (205)
– Round 3, pick 77 and two 2013 picks traded to 49ers for San Francisco’s 2nd round pick, WR Justin Hunter; SF had acquired that pick from Kansas City in the Alex Smith trade.

Potential first round picks: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA; ILB C.J. Mosely, Alabama; DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame; OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame

 

News

RB Chris Johnson is due to make $8 million this year, counting $10 million against the cap. Releasing him would save the Titans $6 million in cap space, which is likely unless he agrees to a restructure or pay cut.

RT Dave Stewart is another potential cap casualty. Stewart will turn 32 before the season kicks off and is not the player he was a few years ago; he is scheduled to be paid $6.4 million this year, and there would be no dead money as he is in the final year of his contract.

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

2013 Record: 4-12
Playoffs: Jacksonville’s playoff appearance was in the 2007 season, when they lost to the Patriots in the division round.
Estimated current cap space: $56,373,848

 

Key Free Agents

The only free agents that were starters are RB Maurice Jones-Drew and DE Jason Babin, but they also cut RG Uche Nwaneri and C Brad Meester retired. here’s also the situation with WR Justin Blackmon; he is suspended indefinitely, pending an appeal for reinstatement. The Jaguars have re-signed QB Chad Henne and LT Cameron Bradfield, and also signed former Seahawk DE Red Bryant. In addition the Jags have re-signed some depth players: TE Clay Harbor and OT Sam Young, and they tendered RB Jordan Todman. Other free agents include former Patriots DT Kyle Love, DE Brandon Deaderick and WR Taylor Price. CB Will Blackmon is also a free agent but because played under a minimum-salary, one-year veteran contract in 2013, his deal doesn’t expire until the start of the new league year; as a result he cannot sign a new deal until Tuesday.

 

Team Needs – QB, G, C, WR, RB, CB, S

Blaine Gabbert was not the answer at quarterback and while Chad Henne is okay, he is not the long term answer. While I would not be very surprised if the Jaguars do not select one of Bridgewater, Bortles or Manziel with their number three overall selection in the draft in light of Henne being re-signed; this is their best opportunity to grab an elite quarterback; even though they are the Jags, they can’t count on getting a top five pick every year. If they pass on a QB early and draft a defensive player such as Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack, then they might go after Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round; head coach Gus Bradley got a close look at the Eastern Illinois product when he coached the Senior Bowl.

With a new quarterback presumably selected in the first round, the next step is to improve the offensive line. The Jags will have an entirely new interior on the line in 2014 since Meester retired, Nwaneri was released, and LG Will Rackley needs to be replaced. After that there is still more to be done on offense: a running back or two will need to be added to replace MJD, and a WR to go opposite Cecil Shorts; Justin Blackmon should not be counted on at all.

On defense the Jaguars signed Red Bryant to upgrade the line; next priority is the secondary. At corner there is Dwayne Gratz, Alan Ball and Will Blackmon; that’s a position that should be upgraded. Jacksonville has two second-year players at safety: second round SS Jonathan Cyprien and sixth round FS Josh Evans. At minimum another safety should be brought in to compete with Evans, and to add depth.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 3
Round 2, Pick 7 (39)
Round 3, Pick 6 (70)
Round 4, Pick 5 (101)
Round 4, Pick 14 (110) (From Ravens in trade for OT Eugene Monroe)
Round 5, Pick 4 (132)
Round 5, Pick 10 (138) (From Lions in trade for WR Mike Thomas)
Round 5, Pick 19 (147) (From Ravens in trade for OT Eugene Monroe)
Round 6, Pick 3 (163)
Round 7, Pick 7 (199)

Potential first round picks: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; QB Blake Bortles, UCF; QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

 

News

 

 

Houston Texans

2013 Record: 2-14
Playoffs: After two straight playoff appearances and high expectations, the Texans bottomed out with the NFL’s worst record in 2013.
Estimated current cap space: $8,325,377

 

Key Free Agents

The biggest Texan free agent is technically not a starter: RB Ben Tate has been stuck behind Arian Foster, and will find more playing time (and a bigger paycheck) elsewhere. Greg Jones is one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, but he will turn 33 in May. DE Antonio Smith will also turn 33, but the Texans only have a pair of street free agents on the roster at DE beyond JJ Watt. DT Earl Mitchell may walk as well; Miami and Chicago have been rumored as possible destinations. Daryl Sharpton and Joe Mays got some playing time at ILB, but now serve strictly as depth with Brian Cushing presumably returning from his knee injury in time to start the season. LG Wade Smith is another free agent that started last year; he’ll be 33 next month and has had some knee troubles the last couple of seasons. Smith has said that he would like to return but new coach Bill O’Brien may prefer to get younger; he may come back for depth purposes though, since the cupboard is bare at the position. Other free agents include TE Garrett Graham and backup tackles Andrew Garner and Ryan Harris.

 

Team Needs – QB, RT, S, ILB, OLB, CB, LG

Aside from the obvious – a new QB – the team also needs an upgrade over RT Derek Newton, an ILB alongside Cushing, a passing down OLB, and a slot/nickel corner to upgrade Brice McCain, a FS to replace Ed Reed and Shiloh Keo, and a LG to replace or compete with Wade Smith.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 1
Round 2, Pick 1 (33)
Round 3, Pick 1 (65)
Round 4, Pick 1 (97)
Round 5, Pick 1 (129)
Round 6, Pick 1 (161)
Round 7, Pick 1 (193)

Potential first round picks: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

 

News

Rumors are flying that O’Brien has interest in Patriot backup QB Ryan Mallett. It would make sense for the Pats to move Mallett and get something for him before he hits free agency, and O’Brien certainly saw plenty of him in his days in Foxboro to make a decent assessment of his capabilities.

 

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

 

 

NFL Update: News and Team Needs for the AFC West

NFL Update: News and Team Needs for the AFC West

Here is a look at the AFC West, approaching free agency and the draft. Cap figures are per our friend Jason Fitzgerald at Over The Cap.

 

Denver Broncos

2013 Record: 11-5; AFC champions
Playoffs: Three straight post-season appearances
Estimated current cap space: $24,988,429

 

Key Free Agents

John Elway has stated that the club will not approach their own free agents with offers right out of the gate, and will instead let them test the waters first. The Denver general manager and director of football operations said that “I think they have to hit the market, the market sets those (contract prices). Especially where you look where we are and what we have coming up. Both Thomases (Demaryius and Julius) are up next year. Wes (Welker) is too. All that plays into it. Fitting pieces. The hard part is you’re doing it with personalities. You’re dealing with people. That’s the hard part.”

ILB Wesley Woodyard had a down year at due to in part to a neck injury, and the Broncos may let their six-time captain walk. Denver worked out middle linebackers D’Qwell Jackson (before he signed with the Colts) as well as Lofa Tatupu, perhaps a sign that they have already moved on. Woodyard was a weakside linebacker prior to 2013 but the Broncos are now set there with Danny Trevatahan, leaving him as the odd man out on this team.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played much better in 2013 with Denver than he did previously with the Eagles, but he still seems to have occasional mental lapses. That inconsistency will drive head coaches and general managers crazy, and the Broncosmay want to move on – even though Champ Bailey has been released and Chris Harris is coming off ACL surgery. Harris was Denver’s best corner and the surgery was relatively minor as the ligament was not torn all the way through; he is expected to be 100% when the season begins. If Denver lets DRC walk then they could try to trade for Darrelle Revis or sign Aqib Talib, or any one of the other free agent corners on the market that Patriot fans are also eyeing in case Talib walks: Alterraun Verner (Titans), Sam Shields (Packers), Vontae Davis (Colts), Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers), Tarell Brown (49ers), Walter Thurmond (Seahawks), etc.

RB Knowshon Moreno had a great season after a less than stellar start to begin his NFL career. Ronnie Hillman was handed the starting position but couldn’t hold on to it, and the most memorable part of Montee Ball‘s rookie season was whiffing on a blitz pickup that resulted in a hit that Peyton Manning must have felt for a week. Moreno had been injury prone and unproductive in his first four years in the NFL – he missed 20 games the three previous seasons – something Elway will surely remember when it comes to a decision to re-sign Moreno or let him walk.

WR Eric Decker will be looking for number one receiver pay – he’s the top free agent wide receiver in 2014 – but in Denver he’s only a WR2. I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs elsewhere, and the Broncos go after his replacement in what is a draft class that is deep at receiver.

DE Shaun Phillips had ten sacks for Denver in 2013, but he will turn 33 in a couple months. The team is set with Derek Wolfe on one side (he is reportedly healthy now, after suffering a seizure in November) but Von Miller is recovering ACL surgery and unlikely to be full speed when the season begins. I wouldn’t expect Denver to pursue a top-dollar end like Michael Johnson, but they may try to get younger and replace Phillips with somebody like Lamarr Houston (Raiders), Michael Bennett (Seahawks) or Everson Griffen (Vikings).

DE Robert Ayers is a good run defender but no more than average as a pass rusher. DE Jeremy Mincey filled in nicely in the rotation, but he’s not a starter. Ayers is not expected to return, but the coaching staff would like to keep Mincey. The club does have some depth at the position: Malik Jackson played well when given the opportunity, and they also have Hall Davis, John Youboty and Quanterus Smith on the roster.

LG Zane Beadles is only 27 and is a four-year NFL starter, which will make him an attractive option to other NFL teams. With the priority for the Broncos in free agency expected to be on their defense in free agency, Beadles could easily end up elsewhere.

CB Champ Bailey was released and three restricted free agents – CB Chris Harris, CB Tony Carter and DT Mitch Unrein were tendered. Other unrestricted free agents include CB Quentin Jammer, C Dan Koppen, WR Andre Caldwell, OT Winston Justice, G Chris Kuper, ILB Paris Lenon and ILB Stewart Bradley.

 

Team Needs – CB, S, ILB, DE, RB, LG, WR

For starters Denver will need another CB or two to replace Bailey and DRC. Rahim Moore is fine at one safety, but Mike Adams is a free agent; even if he is re-signed the team needs more depth at the position. With Woodyard probably gone Denver needs another ILB – probably early in the draft. The problem for them is that C.J. Mosley will probably be gone by the time Denver is up at the podium, and the next best inside linebackers would be reaches at number 31. The situation at DE is unsettled; the club might sign a vet and hope Miller returns quickly, while one of the young backups develops. With all that attention on defense, what about the offensive side? Who runs the ball if Moreno bolts; do you trust Montee Ball to take over? Once Decker departs what happens if Welker is out for any time with another concussion – switch midstream to a two-tight end offense with Julius Thomas and either Jacob Tamme or Joel Dreesen?

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 31
Round 2, Pick 31 (63)
Round 3, Pick 31 (95)
Round 4, Pick 31 (127)
Round 5, Pick 31 (159)
Round 6, Pick 31 (191)
Round 7, Pick 31 (223)

Potential first round picks: CB Jason Verrett, TCU; CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech; S Calvin Pryor, Louisville; DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

 

News

Peyton Manning passed his contractually obligated physical to examine his neck, which made headlines. Ho-hum, such is life on a slow news day in the off-season… The Broncos are leaving no rock unturned in an attempt to upgrade their defense; they brought in Lofa Tatupu for a visit. Mosi’s 31-year old son hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010; he was he was released by Atlanta in July 2012 after suffering a torn pec… Restricted free agent KR Trindon Holiday was not offered a tender, signaling an end to his days in Denver. Holiday scored four touchdown returns in 2012 and began the 2013 season strong, with two early season touchdown returns: an 81 yard punt return against the Giants in week two and a 105-yard kickoff return in week four against the Eagles. However, after losing two fumbles he was relieved of punt return duties and never got out of the doghouse.

 

 

Kansas City Chiefs

2013 Record: 11-5
Playoffs: the Chiefs made the playoffs for the second time in four years with their record turnaround. However, KC lost in the first round when they were unable to hold on to a 28-point lead as they lost 45-44 to the Colts; the Chiefs have not won a playoff game since defeating the Steelers in the wild card round of the 1993 post-season.
Estimated current cap space: $9,396,444

 

Key Free Agents

LT Branden Albert, DE Tyson Jackson, ILB Akeem Jordan, and FS Kendrick Lewis were all starters last year, and Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah split time as the starting right guard. Other unrestricted free agents include WR/PR Dexter McCluster, S Husain Abdullah, S Quintin Demps, OLB Frank Zombo and WR Kyle Williams.

Albert is one of the top players in this year’s free agent class and is highly unlikely to return; Miami is rumored to have the inside track and desperately needs help on their offensive line; Arizona, and Tampa Bay are all possible destinations. Jackson has been a huge bust since being drafted number three overall in 2009, but turned things around under Andy Reid and DC Bob Sutton. He excelled against the run but is still only average rushing the passer; with his only good season coming in a contract year it’s a case of buyer beware. Jordan is another player who is better against the run than the pass, but is a favorite of Reid’s – he followed him to KC after six years in Philly – and will likely be re-signed.

Lewis struggled mightily last year and is not expected to be back. He was very good his first two years in the league but has regressed since then, in part due to injuries; a change of scenery might be beneficial. Abdullah started the last two games in his place and looked much better; KC would wise to keep him. Asamoah began the season as a starter but was replaced mid-season by Schwartz; I would expect the Chiefs to make a strong effort to keep Schwartz and let Asamoah walk.

The Chiefs will make a strong effort to re-sign McCluster, who had 53 receptions for 511 yards and two touchdowns, plus 686 yards and two more touchdowns on punt returns. Kansas City also released CB Dunta Robinson just one year after signing him to a 3-year, $13.8 million deal. Robinson will be 32 next month and he appeared to have lost a step; he was unable to keep his job as a slot corner and nickel back last year.

 

Team Needs – WR, OT, ILB, S, TE, CB

The Chiefs need to get somebody they can better depend on at WR opposite Dwayne Bowe. Donnie Avery had just 40 receptions for 596 yards and 2 TD and could be released. A.J. Jenkins is raw and unproven, and 5’8″ Dexter McCluster is more suited to the slot.

Eric Fisher will probably slide over from RT to Albert’s LT spot, but that still leaves an open spot on the offensive line. If Schwartz is not re-signed there could be a second opening as the club may not want to go back to Asamoah.

An ILB will need to be brought in to replace Jordan, and it would be a good idea to add some depth at OLB as well. In the secondary a replacement at free safety will need to be found if Abdullah departs, and the roster could use some additional depth at both safety and corner.

Another tight end needs to be brought in as well, to upgrade or compliment Anthony Fasano. Between a concussion, knee and ankle injuries the former Dolphin missed seven games; with Alex Smith not known for his downfield passing ability, this position is a vital part of the offense. Travis Kelce was drafted in the third round last year and could become the new starter, but do you want to bank on a player that missed all of 2013 because of microfracture surgery?

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 23
Round 3, Pick 23 (87)
Round 4, Pick 24 (120)
Round 5, Pick 23 (151)
Round 6, Pick 24 (184)
Round 7, Pick 23 (215)

Potential first round picks: WR Odell Beckham, LSU; WR Kelvin Benjamin, FSU; WR Allen Robinson, Penn State; G Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA.

 

News

The Chiefs have four players – Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers – with eight-figure cap numbers, taking up a total of over $45.5 million in cap space this year. A bit of restructuring might be in order to give the team some flexibility; the lack of cap space severely hindered any chance of re-signing Branden Albert.

Rumors have been floated that Philadelphia Eagle WR DeSean Jackson could reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City. While that may happen eventually, that’s the problem of using baseball logic to trades in the NFL. Jackson is collecting a base salary of $10.5 million this year; there’s no way that the Chiefs can afford that. The Eagles may indeed move on from Jackson at some point – they signed receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to deals recently – but there is no incentive for Philadelphia to release or trade Jackson now.

 

 

San Diego Chargers

2013 Record: 9-7
Playoffs: The Chargers made the playoffs on the last weekend of the season, then defeated the Bengals at Cincinnati before losing to Denver. It was San Diego’s first playoff appearance in four seasons.
Estimated current cap space: $5,224,080

 

Key Free Agents

While the Chargers may be tight on cap space, they don’t have a lot of free agents to re-sign or replace either. ILB Donald Butler and S Darrell Stuckey have been re-signed. Butler was the Chargers’ top free agent, a solid every down player; Stuckey is the special teams captain as well as the primary backup safety.

FB Le’Ron McClain, CB Derek Cox and CB Johnny Patrick have been released. McClain was a starter last year but was let go due to a relatively high price ($2.5 million in cash and $3.3 million in salary cap space) for a fullback on a team tight on cap space. Cox was a huge free agent bust; he was benched for poor performance and was due $4.25 million as part of a four-year, $20 million contract signed last spring and takes up $3.9 million in dead money against the cap.

LG Chad Rinehart is a decent player but can’t seem to stay on the field; he has missed 14 games over the last two seasons. Former Patriot Rich Ohrnberger is another free agent offensive lineman; he filled in nicely in the playoff victory against the Bengals, but he too has a history of injuries. NT Cam Thomas was benched late in the year, losing his starting job to Sean Lissemore.

Other free agents include WR Danario Alexander, CB Richard Marshall, RB Ronnie Brown, ILB Reggie Walker and QB Charlie Whitehurst.

 

Team Needs – CB, OLB, WR, NT, RG, TE, RB

The Chargers need to recover from the Cox signing blunder at corner. Right now the starters would be Shareece Wright and Steve Williams; the team needs better top end talent as well as more depth at the position.

At outside linebacker the club is fine on one side with Jarrett Johnson, but Dwight Freeney is past his prime. Larry English is the depth at the position, but he has never played up to his first round draft status. Nose tackle is another position on defense that could use an upgrade.

On offense the club could use a better receiver than Malcom Floyd or Vincent Brown outside opposite Keenan Allen, and some depth at running back behind Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead would be a good idea. At some time soon TE Antonio Gates will need to be replaced, and RG Jeromey Clary is better suited as a backup than a starter.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 25
Round 2, Pick 25 (57)
Round 3, Pick 25 (89)
Round 4, Pick 25 (121)
Round 5, Pick 25 (153)
Round 6, Pick 25 (185)
Round 7, Pick 25 (217)

Potential first round picks: CB Jason Verrett, TCU; DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota; OLB/DE Dee Ford, Auburn; G Cyril Richardson, Baylor

 

News

WR Eddie Royal restructured his contract at a reduced rate. Royal was due to make $4.5 million in base salary and would have counted $6 million against the cap; there was no way that San Diego was going to bring him back with those figures. The slot receiver had 47 receptions for 631 yards and eight touchdown catches in 2013.

 

 

Oakland Raiders

2013 Record: 4-12
Playoffs: The Raiders last playoff appearance was following the 2002 season, when they lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl; Oakland has not had a winning record since then.
Estimated current cap space: $63,783,470

 

Key Free Agents

Lamarr Houston is the second best defensive end in this year’s free agent class, close behind Michael Johnson. He is very productive both as a pass rusher and against the run, and deserves a big contract. The Raiders have plenty of cap space and are in need of blue chip players; I have no idea why they have not made more of an effort to re-sign him.

Running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are both free agents. McFadden is injury prone and averaged a lowly 3.5 yards per carry; Jennings averaged 4.5 but will turn 29 later this month. Coach Dennis Allen said that Jennings was a free agent priority, but said nothing about McFadden, so we know who Oakland does (and does not) want back.

OT Jared Veldheer missed all but four games with a torn triceps; because of that injury he should be able to be re-signed at a reasonable price. Khalif Barnes took Veldheer’s place at left tackle and wasn’t bad; Barnes has been re-signed to a one-year deal as insurance in case Veldheer does not return.

Starting corners Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter are both free agents, as is ancient safety Charles Woodson. None of the three were horrible, but by the same token none would be missed if they departed either; same holds true for defensive tackles Vance Walker and Pat Sims.

Other free agents include WR/KR Jacoby Ford, C Andre Gurode, OT Tony Pashos, DE Jason Hunter, CB Phillip Adams and S Usama Young.

 

Team Needs – QB, DE, CB, S, RB, DT, ILB, LG, WR, LT

Terrelle Pryor was inconsistent, and although he was in a difficult position with so little talent around him, I would have to think that Oakland will select a quarterback at number five if one of the big three (Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel) is still on the board. Another option would be to go with a QB later (Derek Carr) and address another need with the first pick.

Assuming Lamarr Houston walks – again, I’m baffled as to why he wasn’t re-signed or even franchised – a replacement will need to be found. The club may want to pick up one in free agency and another in the draft, because they’re better off with Jason Hunter as a backup rather than depending on him to produce as a starter. Jadeveon Clowney is also a possibility with the first round pick.

Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams are all free agents, and all three corners are nothing more than average. Again, a double dip in free agency and/or the draft may be in order. Last year’s top draft pick, DJ Hayden can man one side, but that still leaves an opening on the other side as well as at the slot/nickel corner position.

Safety is yet another position that could use two new starters. Charles Woodson needs to be put out to pasture, and Brandian Ross needs to be replaced. This would be normally be a top priority, if not for the glaring needs above; right now it’s just Tyvon Branch and some street free agents at the position that are on the roster.

Running back is still another position with two players possibly departing, but that is the least of the team’s concerns. If the Titans cut Chris Johnson (he’s due $8 million in salary and has a $10 million cap figure; releasing him saves $6 million in cap space) then the Raiders could go after him, and another back from the middle of the draft.

That’s plenty to revamp in one off-season, but this is just the tip of the iceberg to rebuilding the Raiders. At defensive tackle Pat Sims is a free agent, and even if he is re-signed there is still a hole to be filled at the other DT spot. The team could also use an upgrade at ILB over Kaluka Maiava or Nick Roach.

If Oakland is going to invest in a quarterback early then they should give him a top-level target; Rod Streater and Denarius Moore should be no more than WR2 and WR3 (rather than WR1 and WR2), and along the same lines a starting caliber tight end is needed as well. That may have to wait a year though, as uprades are also needed on the offensive line. LG Tony Bergstrom missed all of 2013 with a foot injury and Lucas Nix – who was horrible last year – had outplayed him for the starting position in training camp, but lost the starter’s job due to an injury of his own. There may also be an opening at left tackle, where Jared Veldheer is a free agent; with all the other positions in need of attention they may have no choice but to go with Khalif Barnes as the starter.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 5
Round 2, Pick 4 (36)
Round 3, Pick 3 (67)
Round 4, Pick 7 (103)
Round 6, Pick 5 (165)
Round 7, Pick 4 (196)
Round 7, Pick 20 (212) (From Arizona as part of the Carson Palmer trade)

Potential first round picks: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida; WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson; DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

 

News

A year ago the Raiders finally decided to formulate a long range plan rather than continually act as if they could fix everything in one season. It painfully hamstrung the team for one season – they carried more than $50 million worth of dead money on last year’s cap – but so what; it’s not as if they were going to the Super Bowl last year. As a result they are now in a good position to genuinely rebuild the roster. Rather than once again being in a poor cap position, they have over $60 million available to maneuver with; the only dead money still on the books worth noting is $6.2 million for Michael Huff and $2.6 million for Matt Flynn. While there are holes seemingly everywhere that need to be filled, the club can formulate a plan to get better, that looks beyond the upcoming season.

 

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

 

 

NFL Update: News and Club Needs for the AFC North

NFL Update: News and Club Needs for the AFC North

Here is a look at the AFC North, approaching free agency and the draft. Cap figures are per our friend Jason Fitzgerald at Over The Cap.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

2013 Record: 11-5; AFC North champions
Playoffs: three straight years and 4 of last 5 (lost in wildcard round each time)
Estimated current cap space: $29,428,957

 

Key Free Agents

DE Michael Johnson was franchised a year ago and although he was not as productive in 2013 as he was the prior year, he is still one of the top free agents available this spring – and the number one defensive end now that Carolina franchised Greg Hardy. Although Johnson had only 3.5 sacks last year, he is still one of the premier edge rushers in the NFL, a disruptive force that opponents specifically game plan to limit his productivity. Johnson does everything well; he excels in the run game, deflected 10 passes in 2013 and had 11.5 sacks in 2012. Cincinnati signed Carlos Dunlap to a big contract last year when they were unable to extend the 27-year old Johnson to a long-term deal (he was offered five years and $40 million, which was in essence a 4-year $28.8 million extension of the $11.2 million he was receiving in 2013) and it appears that he will be in a new uniform next fall.

LT Anthony Collins moved in to the starting lineup due to injury in week 13, and played very well. He is above average in pass protection, which is the most important attribute you want from a left tackle, though just average at best in the run game. The 28-year old Collins is a career backup (25 career starts in six seasons) that made the best of his opportunity, and somebody elsewhere will give him starting money that Cincy will not match.

S Taylor Mays was labeled a bust early in his career – he lasted just one season with the 49ers – but began to show some promise last season at both safety and linebacker before going on IR after week 8. He is not expected to re-sign with the Bengals, and will probably be limited to an incentive-rich, short term deal wherever he lands.

Other unrestricted free agents, all backups or role players: LB Michael Boley, CB Brandon Ghee, S Chris Crocker, G Mike Pollak, T Dennis Roland, KR/PR Brandon Tate, TE Alex Smith, DT Ogemdi Nwagbo and P Zoltan Mesko; LB Vincent Rey, WR Andrew Hawkins and WR Dan Sanzenbacher are restricted free agents that have been tendered.

 

Team Needs – C, CB, DE, WR, LT, DT

Although the Bengals have cap space available, don’t expect them to big players in free agency. First of all being big spenders in March has never been in the club’s DNA, and more importantly they need to keep an eye on 2015. Next year WR A.J. Green, TE Jermaine Gresham, LB Vontaze Burfict, LB Rey Maualuga and NT Domata Peko are all scheduled to become free agents. QB Andy Dalton will also hit free agency at the same time – though whether or not the team is sold on him as the long term answer is probably dependent on his performance this season.

Center Kyle Cook will turn 31 before the season kicks off, and is nothing more than average; don’t be surprised if the Bengals look to draft a center early to replace him.

The Bengals also need to add a cornerback early in the draft. Leon Hall has torn his Achilles twice in the last three years, Pacman Jones will turn 31 in September, Terence Newman will be 36, and Brandon Ghee is a free agent.

The team will also need to make a decision with Margus Hunt: are they satisfied that he can replace Johnson at defensive end, or do they want to take another defensive end early? Cincy could also use an upgrade over Mohamed Sanu at wide receiver to compliment Green and Marvin Jones.

Andrew Whitworth will probably move back to left tackle with Clint Boling coming back from injury to start at left guard, but Collins’ imminent departure does require the team sign a new swing tackle to back up Whitworth and Andre Smith; another possibility is to leave Whitworth at guard and draft a tackle.

With Geno Atkins coming off an ACL injury and Domata Peko a free agent in 2015, the Bengals could also be looking to add a defensive tackle for depth and insurance.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 24
Round 2, Pick 23 (55)
Round 3, Pick 24 (88)
Round 4, Pick 23 (119)
Round 5, Pick 24 (152)
Round 6, Pick 23 (183)
Round 7, Pick 24 (216)

Potential first round picks: CB Jason Verrett, TCU; LaMarcus Joyner, Florida State; OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan; DE Vic Beasley, Clemson

 

News

The Bengals enter 2014 with a pair of new coordinators. Hue Jackson replaces Jay Gruden as the offensive coordinator, and has plenty of experience calling plays. Jackson was the OC with Washington in 2003, Atlanta in 2007, Oakland in 2010, and continued to call plays as the Raider head coach in 2011. he served as the Bengals’ running backs coach last year. Prior to working in the NFL Jackson had a 14-year coaching career in the NCAA – all of it on the offensive side of the ball – including five years as on OC (one at Cal and four at USC).

Paul Guenther takes over from Mike Zimmer as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator. This will be Guenther’s tenth season with the Bengals; he was their linebacker coach the last few years. Both of the former Bengal coordinators wanted to bring Guenther along to serve as their DC – Gruden in Washington and Zimmer in Minnesota – but Cincinnati was fortunate to retain his services. Guenther has been credited with development of one of the league’s best linebacking corps, and inherits a defense that ranked third in yardage and fifth in points allowed.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

2013 Record: 8-8
Playoffs: last appearance was an overtime loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos two years ago; missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998-2000.
Estimated current cap space: ($372,066)

 

Key Free Agents

DE Ziggy Hood, DE Brett Keisel, S Ryan Clark, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Jerricho Cotchery, C Fernando Velasco, C/G Cody Wallace, NT/DE Al Woods

The Steelers need to re-sign one of either Hood or Woods; most likely it will be Woods. Hood is a better fit in a 4-3, and will probably be offered something in the $3 million range – which is much more than he is worth to the Steelers. Keisel will turn 36 in September and should be able to be retained for much less than the $4.9 million cap figure he represented last season. Similarly Sanders will most likely depart for more money elsewhere, which makes re-signing the lower-priced Cotchery an important move. With Maurkice Pouncey coming back from IR to reclaim the center position, the retention of Velasco, who tore his Achilles late last season, is highly unlikely.

 

Team Needs – CB, WR, S, OT, DE, ILB, OLB, TE

I thought CB Ike Taylor looked no better than average at best last year – at age 34 he may have hit the wall and be done. Taylor has a cap figure of nearly $12 million, and releasing him will save Pittsburgh $7 million in cap space that they need badly. It would make sense to draft a corner with their first round pick to replace him, as there is nobody else on the roster that should be starting opposite William Gay.

A couple years ago the Steelers were in great shape at wide receiver, but that is no longer the case. Mike Wallace left last year and Emmanuel Sanders (740 yards, 6 TD) will presumably do the same this month, leaving the club with Antonio Brown (1,499 yards, 8 TD) and last year’s third round pick, Markus Wheaton. As long as Cotchery – who had 602 yards receiving and 10 touchdown receptions last year – can be re-signed, then this position can become less of a priority.

Ryan Clark has been incredibly durable, missing just one game in the last four years. However, he will turn 35 this season, making safety another position that needs to get younger. Clark wants to return for another season and it may be a stretch to pencil in Shamarko Thomas as a starter. Troy Polamalu (who turns 33 next month) signed a two-year extension which converted a large chunk of his salary to bonus, which for the short term does give the club some much needed cap relief. Will Allen – another safety on the wrong side of 30 – did sign a one-year, $955,000 contract this week. Still, at the minimum there is a need for some infusion of youth and depth at safety.

Cameron Heyward is locked in as one defensive end, but with Hood about to depart the Steelers could use another DE. Keisel would be a short term solution and Woods is a better fit inside.

Lawrence Timmons is an excellent inside linebacker but with Larry Foote released in a cap-saving move, the Steelers could use another player here; that leaves just Vince Williams, a 6th round pick last year at ILB. At outside linebacker the team is set with starters Lamarr Woodley and Jason Worilds, who was given the transition tag. The club could use some depth though; first round pick from 2013 Jarvis Jones didn’t show much last year. Jones needs to get stronger and add better pass rushing moves if he is going to live up to his draft status and start in the NFL.

Heath Miller will turn 32 this year and didn’t look like his old self while coming back from an ACL last year; a mid or late round tight end selection wouldn’t be a bad idea. And with Maurkice Pouncey returning from a torn ACL and MCL, it would be wise to add a decent backup center for depth and insurance as well.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 15
Round 2, Pick 14 (46)
Round 4, Pick 18 (114)
Round 5, Pick 17 (145)
Round 6, Pick 16 (176)
Round 7, Pick 15 (207)
* Round 3 pick traded away last year to Cleveland; Pittsburgh received the Browns’ 2013 4th round pick, which was used to select safety Shamarko Thomas.

Potential first round picks: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan; OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame; CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State; DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame

 

News

The Steelers have released OT Levi Brown, ILB Larry Foote and CB Curtis Brown, while re-signing S Will Allen to a vet minimum deal; they also placed the transition tag on OLB Jason Worilds. The club has also extended TE Heath Miller and S Troy Polamalu, converting sizeable amounts of base salary to bonus to save much needed cap space. Those moves saved about $16 million in cap space, but they still need some more room. Releasing Ike Taylor would save $7 million, and the team will probably approach Lamarr Woodley too. Woodley’s cap number is over $13.5 million, so it would make sense to try and restructure his contract.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens

2013 Record: 8-8
Playoffs: The defending Super Bowl champs saw their streak of five consecutive playoff appearances end with losses to the Patriots and Bengals in weeks 16 and 17.
Estimated current cap space: $24,929,100

 

Key Free Agents

OT Eugene Monroe, DE Arthur Jones, ILB Daryl Smith, CB Corey Graham, OT Michael Oher, WR/KR Jacoby Jones, S James Ihedigbo

Other unrestricted free agents: NT Terrence Cody, ILB Jameel McClain, TE Ed Dickson, FB Vonta Leach, RB Bernard Scott, TE Dallas Clark, S Jeromy Miles. Restricted free agents: ILB Albert McClellan, S Anthony Levine, WR/PR Tandon Doss, S Omar Brown

Monroe is the second highest rated tackle in free agency and the team should push hard to keep him in Baltimore. The club has yet to begin negotiations with Oher and will likely let him walk; he’s inconsistent and really isn’t NFL starting caliber.

Arthur Jones had a very good season and should draw a lot of interest around the league as well; it would be a huge blow to the organization if they lost both Monroe and Jones.

Smith, Graham, Jacoby Jones and Ihedigbo all started last year, as did Dickson due to Dennis Pitta‘s injury. Smith in particular played very well but is 32; Graham was solid but not spectacular. Jacoby Jones will turn 30 before the season kicks off and will have to take a substantial pay cut to stay; he made $4 million last year. Former Patriot and UMass safety Ihedigbo is a good player to have on your team, excelling on special teams and playing well against the run – he performed well enough to beat out first round pick Jason Elam – but as Pats fans know it can be tough to watch him in coverage.

McClain has been a solid role player but will likely depart for a better payday and more playing time; he has visited the Giants, Bills and Vikings. Cody has been injury prone and a bit of a disappointment; it is unlikely that he will return.

 

Team Needs – OT, C, WR, ILB, S, DE

With both starting offensive tackles free agents, this has to be the top off-season priority for Baltimore. The Ravens also want to get bigger and more physical on the interior of the offensive line; center Gino Gradkowski should be replaced. Once the offensive line is set the next order of business is to get Joe Flacco more weapons; if opponents can take Torrey Smith out of the game he has little to depend on at receiver. Rookie UDFA Marlon Brown was counted on too heavily last year; he’s more suited to be a WR3 or WR4.

The other big hole that will need to be filled is at defensive end if Arthur Jones signs elsewhere, and a decision will need to be made at running back too. Ray Rice had an abysmal year on the field (3.1 yards per carry), and has followed that up with an off the field incident he would prefer to forget. Was the poor performance due to ineffectiveness of the offensive line – or has Rice hit the wall after four years of heavy use? At inside linebacker Daryl Smith is a free agent and Jameel McClain was released, so that is yet another position that needs attention.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 17
Round 2, Pick 16 (48)
Round 3, Pick 15 (79)
Round 6, Pick 18 (178)
* Round 4, pick 14 (110) and round 5, pick 19 (147) traded to Jaguars for OT Eugene Monroe last October. Round 7, pick 17 (209) traded to Colts last May for center A.Q. Shipley.

Potential first round picks: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan; OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame; WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M; WR Marqise Lee, USC; DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame; TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina

 

News

Whether they like it or not, the Ravens are stuck with Ray Rice for a while. Baltimore signed him to a five year deal in 2012 worth $35 million, with $15 million guaranteed; they would lose $5.5 million of cap space if he was to be cut, and that would create $14.25 million of dead cap money.

By cutting FB Vonta Leach and ILB Jameel McClain, the Ravens created about $5 million of cap space. It was a tough move – both players were hard working and very popular – but a sound decision that had to be done. With so many starters hitting free agency, the club really had no choice.

The contract given to TE Dennis Pitta (5 years, $32 million) was a bit of a surprise. The transaction opens up cap space this year (only $3.2 million), but jumps up to $6.2 million in 2015 and $7.2 million for each of the final three years. That’s a lot of cap space for two skill players (Pitta and Joe Flacco) on a team that has historically been tilted so heavily on defense. Flacco has cap numbers of $14+ million for each of the next two years, and then those figures double into the $28+ range in 2016 and 2017.

 

 

Cleveland Browns

2013 Record: 8-8
Playoffs: This rendition of the Browns has only been to the playoffs once, in 2002.
Estimated current cap space: $49,848,350

 

Key Free Agents

C Alex Mack would have looked nice in a Patriots uniform, but he’s most likely staying put. Cleveland placed the transition tag on Mack, which means that the Browns can match any offer he receives from another team.

S T.J. Ward is loathed in New England for putting Rob Gronkowski on IR, but is known throughout the rest of the NFL as being a very good safety. The team has been in negotiations with Ward’s agent for several weeks, but with no deal in place it is looking like there is a very good chance that he will depart for another club.

RG Shaun Lauvao and RB Willis McGahee are the only other free agents of note. Lauvao was a starter but was subpar, and McGahee is well past his expiration date.

 

Team Needs – QB, WR, ILB, RB, RG, S, CB

Brian Hoyer looked good when he finally got an opportunity last year, but his season was cut short after blowing out his knee after just three games. Going into the season with Hoyer as the starter might be a public relations disaster, but isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Cleveland could go with Hoyer, add a vet like Matt Schaub for competition and depth, and still draft someone like A.J. McCarron or Zach Mettenberger later.

Josh Gordon had an incredible season but there is nobody to compliment him at wide receiver. If the team is going to invest an early pick on a QB then it stands to reason that they will also add someone for him to throw the ball to – whether it is through the draft (Sammy Watkins in the 1st? Kelvin Benjamin in the 2nd?), free agency, or both.

Running back is wide open with Trent Richardson having been traded away and McGahee a free agent. The club could be a major player for Knowshon Moreno or the soon to be released Darren Sproles, as well as at least one other veteran such as Ben Tate or Donald Brown – and still need to add another back in the draft.

The Browns also need an overhaul at inside linebacker: D’Qwell Jackson was released for financial reasons, and nobody else on the roster should be starting. Cleveland tendered ILB Craig Robertson, but that was due more to their lack of bodies at the position than anything else; Robertson was a disappointment, struggling in pass coverage and regressing overall from the previous year. The club should sign a vet free agent and then add someone like FSU’s Christian Jones with a mid-round draft pick. The problem with ILB this year is that there is something lacking with every option. The best of the lot are over 30 (Karlos Dansby will be 33 and Daryl Smith will be 32) while Erin Henderson has off-field issues (two DUIs this past year); others can’t seem to stay healthy (Pat Angerer, Desmond Bishop, Jon Beason) and the best of the rest (Brandon Spikes, Akeem Jordan, Daryl Sharpton) are strong against the run but a liability in coverage.

Neither Shawn Lauvao nor Oniel Cousins impressed last year, so right guard is yet another position in need of attention; neither should be counted on to start and both are unlikely to be re-signed. Zane Beadles (Broncos), Chad Rinehart (Chargers) or Geoff Schwartz (Chiefs) are all possible free agents that could be had at a reasonable price. There are plenty of openings in the secondary as well with the lone exception of corner Joe Haden. The defense needs an upgrade over two starters, free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Buster Skrine, and Pro Bowl strong safety T.J. Ward is a free agent who will be high on the radar of many other NFL teams.

 

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 4
Round 1, Pick 26 (From Colts in trade for RB Trent Richardson)
Round 2, Pick 3 (35)
Round 3, Pick 7 (71)
Round 3, Pick 19 (83) (From Steelers in trade for 2013 4th round pick)
Round 4, Pick 6 (102)
Round 4, Pick 27 (123) (From Colts in trade for 2013 5th round pick)
Round 5, Pick 5 (133)
Round 6, Pick 4 (164)
Round 7, Pick 3 (195)

Potential first round picks: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida; WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson; OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

 

News

While the team has a boatload of room to spend and still stay under the cap, that doesn’t automatically equate to them making a big splash in free agency. With so many starting positions that need to be filled and upgraded and so little quality depth, they may be better off spreading that money around on as many as a dozen or more veteran free agents. From there they have the ability to maneuver on draft day; the Browns have three of the top 35 picks, and ten picks overall.

The Browns did receive some good news with the announcement this week that DE Desmond Bryant has been cleared to play. Bryant finished last season on the non-football illness list and missed the final four games of the year due to an irregular heartbeat that flared up twice last season and once in 2012.

 

 

 

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2014 NFL Calendar and Key Dates for the New England Patriots

 

 

NFL Dead Zone: don’t expect much activity prior to March 12

If last year is any indication, then don’t expect much of anything at all to happen between now and March 12.

 

As a point of reference, last year the Pats did the following prior to the start of the new NFL year, and free agency:

 

– Signed seven players to future/reserve contracts (Markell Carter, Matt Kopa, Aaron Lavarias, Mike Rivera, Tiquan Underwood, Ross Ventrone).

 

– DL Armond Armstead and Jason Vega are technically future/reserve contract signings as well, making this year’s total nine (Armstead, Vega, James Develin, WR Jeremy Ebert, LB Jeff Tarpinian, WR Andre Holmes, DE Tracy Robertson, QB Mike Kafka, DE Marcus Bennard).

 

– Last year the Pats also signed RB Eric Kettani in February, prior to free agency.

 

– This year the Pats also have one other early signing: LB Dane Fletcher.

 

– Last year the Pats made two other roster moves prior to the start of the new NFL year, releasing OL Rich Ohrnberger and DL Mike Wright.

 

Compare that to what happened in the days following the start of the new NFL year:

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft the Pats re-signed six of their own free agents: Niko Koutouvides, Matthew Slater, Tracy White, Dan Connolly, Deion Branch, and Dan Koppen.

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft two players signed their tenders: RFA Brian Hoyer and ERFA Kyle Love.

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft the Pats signed 15 players who were not on the club the previous year: DL Jonathan Fanene, DL Marcus Harrison, S Steve Gregory, WR Anthony Gonzalez, DL Trevor Scott, WR Brandon Lloyd, TE Daniel Fells, WR Donte’ Stallworth, OL Robert Gallery, CB Marquice Cole, CB Will Allen, FB Spencer Larsen, FB Tony Fiammetta, LB Bobby Carpenter, and K Chris Koepplin.

 

– Between the start of free agncy and the draft the Pats released two players: LB Christian Cox and FB Lousaka Polite.

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft two players restructure their contracts with the Pats: Tom Brady and Chad Johnson.

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft four players that had been with the Pats the previous season sign elsewhere: Mark Anderson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Antwaun Molden, and Gary Guyton.

 

– Between the start of free agency and the draft one player is placed on the reserve/retired list: Matt Light.

 

Right now there is very little incentive for players to sign with a team, or for teams to sign any of the very few players that are available. Once the new league year begins there will be more players cut, increasing the pool of talent available. For right now all we can do is speculate, and count down the days until free agency commences.

 

 

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Physical vs Finesse: which players or positions need an upgrade?

Fans of the Patriots are constantly told that the team is ‘too finesse’ and needs to be ‘more physical’. Personally I find those terms rather cliché and nebulous, but let’s just say that we want the team to upgrade and improve (i.e., become more physical); which players and positions are the most important to upgrade with a bigger, stronger player?

 

Offense
LT – can’t see the team moving on from Nate Solder

LG – ditto for Logan Mankins

C — I thought Ryan Wendell had a good season; don’t think there is a realistic upgrade available.

RG – replace Dan Connolly with who? Donald Thomas? A free agent?

RT – satisfied with Sebastian Vollmer? If not, then who is a realistic improvement? I don’t see one.

RB – should the Pats add a big bruising back? Don’t forget those guys are typically slower; if that’s the case, then who departs? Perhaps adding a genuine fullback would be the way to go. Don’t forget the Pats had three on their off-season roster a year ago; this is something that has obviously already crossed Bill Belichick’s mind.

WR – while the rallying cry is for a ‘big, physical receiver’, isn’t it more important to be able to get better run blocking and pass protection?

 

Defense
DT – Vince Wilfork is obviously fine; what about the other DTs? Do the Pats need to use an early pick on another DT? Henry Melton would be a more than welcome addition but is likely far too pricey; are there any other free agents worth considering?

DE – Chandler Jones obviously stays; what about Rob Ninkovich? He comes up with a lot of big plays on sacks and turnovers; are we willing to sacrifice that for a player we hope may win more individual battles over the course of a game? Should the Pats go after a free agent like Michael Bennett, who should be less expensive than a guy like Michael Johnson.

LB – wasn’t the issue that this group needed to improve in pass coverage, as opposed to being ‘more physical’?

S – how do you balance the need to cover with being ‘more physical’?

CB – while it would be nice to get bigger and taller, those CBs are hard to find when you draft as late as the Pats do. Any faith Ras-I Dowling can contribute?

 

It seems to me that if the Patriots truly do want to become ‘more physical’, then the most likely areas would be at safety, defensive tackle, defensive end, and right guard – not necessarily in that order. But how much improvement can realistically be made at those positions in one off-season?

 

 

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Swan song for Wes Welker?

The New England Patriots and Wes Welker failed to reach an agreement to a contract extension prior to the league deadline of Monday at 4:00 p.m. Per NFL rules the two sides cannot sign a multi-year contract now until after the team’s final game of the 2012 season.

 

For the time being Welker will remain a Patriot and will be the recipient of a $9,500,000 guaranteed contract. But considering that the two sides have been unable to reach a long term agreement over the last five months, it would seem to be unlikely that they will work out a deal in the relatively small window of time between the end of the season and the start of free agency in March.


Wes Welker led the league in receptions for the third time in 2011, with 122 receptions

 

The Patriots will have the option of placing the franchise tag on Welker again next spring, at a price of about $11,400,000. However, if the team isn’t open to paying Welker what he was looking for during these negotiations, I cannot imagine that they would be willing to spend that much on him for the 2013 season – especially when you look at how much cap space Tom Brady ($21,800,000), Vince Wilfork ($10,600,000) and Logan Mankins ($10,000,000) will be taking up next year.

 

So why did a deal not get done? As I mentioned earlier, the CBA negotiations, the lockout, and Welker’s desire to not negotiate during the season played a part in this. The biggest reason that people bring up is Welker’s age, but I don’t think that the fact that he is over 30 should have been such a big issue.

 

Welker is a rare player that defies conventional wisdom. For example, look at what happened after he blew out his knee in Houston. Not only was he able to return for the start of the next season, he was able to do so at an exceptional level, as if the injury never happened. Last year at the age of 30 he caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards, and he has averaged 111 receptions per year since he arrived in Foxboro. The guy is tough as nails and has shown zero signs of any decline. I don’t see any reason to think that he could not maintain his current level of production for three years.

 

So if when Welker departs, who takes his place? Julian Edelman is one name that has been brought up because he admirably filled in for Welker for two games a couple years ago, but he has done nothing to distinguish himself as a wide receiver since then. The Pats drafted Jeremy Ebert late, but he is a complete unknown at this point. Neither has the chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady that Welker has, nor the instincts, and determination to defy the odds and just make things happen.

 

I can’t help but think that some sort of creative deal couldn’t have been worked out that would have been acceptable to both sides, that would have kept Welker happy and allowed the team to still have enough flexibility to extend Aaron Hernandez in the near future.

 

Maybe I’m wrong and a new deal will get worked out next spring. However, I fear that is not the case and we will see Welker lining up in an opposing team’s uniform, carving up our defense with alarming ease.

 

 

 

 

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Did the lockout derail a contract extension for Wes Welker?

We are fast approaching the deadline for when players who had the franchise tag applied to them to be able to sign a contract extension with their current team. After Monday July 16, players who were franchised can only sign a one-year contract with their club, and their contract cannot be extended until after their final game of the regular season.

 


July 16 is the deadline for the Pats to work out a long term deal with Wes Welker

 

From what I have read it is my understanding that Wes Welker said that he absolutely did not want any contract negotiations to be going on once the 2011 season began. Because of the lockout that left two very small windows of time to get a deal done: (a) from the time between the playoff loss to the Jets in January of 2011 to the start of the lockout, and (b) from the end of the lockout to the first game of the 2011 season.

 

In the first window there was the uncertainty of not knowing what the upcoming cap would be, and for that matter not even knowing whether or not there would even be a 2011 football season. In the second window teams had to sign free agents, sign drafted rookies, sign undrafted free agents, and for guys that were both general managers and head coaches like Bill Belichick, also conduct training camp. Before you know it it is time to make roster cuts, and now there are just a few days to the start of the regular season. Boom, the window for contract negotiations with Welker has suddenly closed.

 

Perhaps the Pats should have pushed harder to have those negotiations re-opened during the season. Perhaps Welker should have been less adamant about not having negotiations take place during the season, given the circumstances.

 

Normally I would completely agree with Welker in his desire to avoid the possibility of contract negotiations becoming a possible distraction during the season.  In retrospect however, I think he and his agent should have reconsidered this decision given the very unique circumstances that the lockout had on working out a contract extension that would have been acceptable to both parties. Their hard stance on the topic may have resulted in their painting themselves into a corner in regards to getting a long term deal done, and the peace of mind from the added financial security that it would have provided.

 

As far as avoiding distractions once the season kicks off goes, how many times do you think Welker will be asked about his future this season if a new deal is not worked out during this week?

 

 

 

 

 

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