Eagles T Tyreek Burwell Retires

Eagles offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell has announced his retirement, as the Cincinnati product announced himself on Instagram (h/t Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk). Burwell posted the following statement:

“Man it’s hard for me to sit here and put this into words but after careful consideration I’ve made the decision to retire from the NFL. This journey has been unbelievable! I’ve been blessed to have been able to play this game since I was 7 years old. Playing in the NFL has been a dream come true and this game has taught and given me so much.”

Burwell signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2015, and though he was a victim of final cutdowns in September of that year, he was signed to the club’s practice squad shortly thereafter. He ultimately suited up for nine games in his rookie campaign, and five more in 2016, seeing minimal snaps in both seasons.

He was waived by the Bolts in September 2017 and then joined the Colts’ practice squad. He played in one game for Indianapolis that year, the last time he would see regular season action.

The Colts cut him last September, and the Eagles signed him to a reserve/futures contract in January. He was obviously a long shot to make Philadelphia’s 53-man roster.

NFC Notes: Zeke, Buckner, A. Smith

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is definitely considering a holdout, though Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Elliott has not yet made up his mind one way or another. However, Robinson acknowledged earlier today (via Twitter) that the situation could go sideways fast. He writes that the club has discussed an extension for Elliott for a month or so, but those talks have not progressed in any meaningful way, so Elliott is now exploring his options.

Critically, Robinson notes that Elliott must report to training camp by August 6 in order to get a fourth accrued season towards free agency and preserve his right to hold out next summer if he so chooses. That reality gives Dallas a little more leverage, but Robinson also reports that the two sides are still working towards an agreement and that Elliott’s toying with the idea of a holdout has not yet strained the relationship between player and team.

Elliott and his camp will take this week to assess his options. If Elliott agrees to report on time, perhaps the team will assure him that it will prioritize an extension for him before the regular season. To date, a new deal for Elliott has not been on the top of Dallas’ to-do list.

We rounded up some NFC notes earlier today, and now we’ll dive into more items from the National Football Conference:

  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com says that Grady Jarrett‘s 2019 salary cap number will shrink to $11MM as a result of the extension he signed today. That will give the Falcons just shy of $11MM in cap space, which will help them sign Deion Jones to a new deal (Jones’ $1.45MM 2019 cap number will almost certainly go up if and when the club inks him to an extension of his own).
  • The last we heard, the 49ers and DeForest Buckner had not made much progress in extension talks, and Joel Corry of CBS Sports says that the contract San Francisco gave to Dee Ford after acquiring him via trade could be complicating Buckner negotiations (Twitter link). The club is set on using a team-friendly structure just like it always does — and just as it did with Ford — and it will not change its M.O. for Buckner, which is surely a sticking point for 2016’s No. 7 overall pick.
  • Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports that Redskins QB Alex Smith was able to shed the external fixator that had been keeping his leg in place since the horrific injury he suffered last year, an injury that has put his playing career in serious jeopardy. But Smith is committed to returning to the field, and this is a big step in his recovery.
  • Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise may be a release candidate, but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says the oft-injured tailback is very much in the mix for a roster spot. Carroll said, per John Boyle of Seahawks.com, “[Prosise] has been fit throughout, he’s really strong, worked out really hard in the offseason to get his strength right, and his weight is up, but he’s fit and has really been able to do a little bit of everything. So to add him into the competition is really nice. So we’re fired up about C.J. being back.”

Latest On Clint Boling’s Retirement, Bengals’ O-Line

The Bengals’ offensive line took another major hit today when Clint Boling announced his retirement. Boling, who had served as the club’s primary left guard since 2012, was expected to reprise that role in 2019. Although it looked as though he might be squeezed into a backup job (or even cut) when Cincinnati drafted LT Jonah Williams in April, Williams’ season-ending labrum tear forced the Bengals to shift Cordy Glenn from left guard back to left tackle, thereby keeping the door open for Boling.

But as reported earlier today, Boling felt compelled to end his playing career due to health reasons. Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com passes along more details on that front, reporting that Boling went to the hospital several days after the 2018 season ended due to pain his right leg. Tests revealed a blood clot, and when the issue didn’t subside, Boling returned to the hospital, at which point doctors discovered a pulmonary embolism (meaning another clot had found its way to his lungs).

Boling believes his clots were related to football, and while he considered returning to the field, he ultimately determined it wasn’t worth the risk for him or his family.

And even though the Bengals certainly respect his decision, the fact remains that the team’s O-line, already an area of concern given its performance over the last several seasons, is getting dangerously thin. But new head coach Zac Taylor expressed confidence in the unit and suggested that the team’s next left guard is already on the roster. Taylor said, per Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer, “[w]e have a lot of guys in there that can compete for those jobs. The left guard spot will be a competition in training camp and we’ll be excited to see what happens there. We have a lot of good guys in the mix who we are counting on to step up and do their job.”

Taylor, who also said “we’ll be good” when discussing the revolving door on the left side of the O-line, certainly makes it sound as if the club will not be looking to make any outside additions. But it would not be surprising to see the Bengals pick up a veteran or two over the next few weeks. After all, in addition to being the team’s starting LG, Boling also served as the backup LT, and the trio that is now expected to compete for the LG job — Christian WestermanJohn Jerry, and Trey Hopkins — doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA RB Alex Collins Suffers Broken Leg

Free agent running back Alex Collins suffered a broken leg and recently underwent surgery, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Collins was waived by the Ravens several months ago immediately following an arrest on drug and gun charges.

However, Rapoport says that Collins’ legal issues are nearing a resolution and that he had drawn interest from multiple teams. He was expected to play this year, but now he will have to wait to get back on the field.

Even before his arrest and subsequent dismissal from the team, Collins was very much on the Ravens’ roster bubble. Although he was terrific for Baltimore in 2017 and entered 2018 as the club’s No. 1 back, he managed just 3.6 yards per carry last season and was ultimately surpassed on the depth chart by Kenneth Dixon and UDFA Gus Edwards. He was a restricted free agent, but it was rumored that the Ravens were not going to tender Collins even at the lowest level. His arrest simply hastened his exit.

Still, the 2016 fifth-round pick has plenty of upside, and given that he almost put together a 1,ooo-yard season in 2017 despite playing in just 12 games, it’s understandable that he would be garnering some attention. However, it’s unclear when he will be able to resume football activity.

Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets that Collins’ next court date is July 22. Hensley’s tweet also includes Collins’ Instagram post detailing his injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Jarrett, Peterson, Seahawks

The $42.5MM guarantee in Grady Jarrett‘s contract is essentially a full guarantee. While the Falcons defensive tackle officially received $38MM guaranteed at signing, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports he also has a $4.5MM injury guarantee that turns into a full guarantee on the third day of the 2020 league year. Jarrett is almost certain to receive all $42.5MM. The $38MM figure represents the second-highest full guarantee a team has given to an interior defender, with Jarrett’s deal trailing only Aaron Donald‘s ($50MM fully guaranteed) in that department. So, the zero-time Pro Bowler (but well-regarded lineman) made out well on deadline Monday.

Part of that guaranteed amount is an $18MM signing bonus, with Florio adding Jarrett will earn $6.5MM in base salary in 2019 and $10.5MM in 2020. Of Jarrett’s 2021 and ’22 salaries, only $4.5MM is guaranteed. His 2022 $16.5MM salary is non-guaranteed, and the structure of this contract looks like it will make it fairly easy for the Falcons to cut bait after 2020 if the investment proves poor.

Here is the latest from around the NFC, shifting from the Falcons to teams that do not open camp this week:

  • Part of the reason Patrick Peterson requested a trade last season stemmed from the changes the Cardinals were making on defense. Their switch from their long-used 3-4 look to a 4-3 did not go well, and Peterson was not happy with how far the team fell since the 2015 NFC championship game. “I mean, honestly, what happened last year, it was a lot of turn of events,” Peterson said during a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview (via the Arizona Republic). “Especially being one game removed from going to the Super Bowl, and getting new coaches, getting new staff, a new scheme, when you’re so used to playing in a 3-4, and you felt that it was good for the players that you had on your roster. So, it was just a lot of whirlwind going on last year and I was just frustrated.” Fully backtracking on last year’s trade demand, the eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback recently said he wants to be a Cardinal for life.
  • The Jarrett deal looks like good news for Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes. Reed’s representation will be pointing to Jarrett’s deal as the floor for Reed, Joel Corry of CBS Sports said in the piece. The Seahawks have identified Reed as an extension candidate after his breakout 10.5-sack 2018. Reed statistically outperformed Jarrett in 2018, registering 24 quarterback hits in addition to his sack total. While Corry adds he does not believe Reed will sign for what Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones does, he adds the longer the Seahawks wait on this front the more a 2020 Reed deal — with a Jones pact factored into the equation — could cost them.
  • Bobby Wagner‘s deal will likely take precedence over Reed’s, Condotta continues. The Seahawks have more than $23MM in 2019 cap space and, as of mid-July, stand to hold more than $75MM in 2020. They do not have a bevy of pricey defender contracts on their 2020 cap sheet, with both Wagner and Reed in walk years, so the team will have to determine how it wants to allocate resources. Wagner is still believed to be targeting more money than C.J. Mosley received ($17MM AAV) on the open market.

Martavis Bryant Applies For Reinstatement

Suspended again for substance-abuse issues, Martavis Bryant filed for reinstatement on Monday, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. The former Steelers and Raiders wide receiver has been suspended since December.

The 27-year-old wide receiver has worked with the NFL and NFLPA on his mental health, with the league and the union aiding Bryant regarding therapists and ADHD treatment, Graziano adds. This the latest in a line of Bryant bans; he missed all of the 2016 season because of a substance-abuse suspension and had been sidelined for stints of previous seasons.

It is not certain, however, that Bryant will play again. The deep threat “seriously angered” the NFL during his appeal process last year. Another report indicated Bryant has been critical of the league’s limited assistance to players dealing with mental health issues. But he will attempt to convince Roger Goodell and Co. he has taken the necessary steps to return to the league. Bryant initially planned to apply for reinstatement in May, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), but waited in order to attempt to take further steps toward self-improvement.

The NFL green-lit a Josh Gordon return last year, only to watch him again succumb to the substance-abuse problems with which he’s frequently dealt. Substance abuse has sidetracked Gordon’s career more than Bryant’s, but the once-promising wideout saw his troubles interfere with his earning potential. Bryant (two 600-plus-yard seasons) did not make it to a point he could command a lofty receiver deal, being traded to the Raiders in the final year of his rookie contract and playing eight games last season (266 yards) under the cloud of another suspension.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFLPA To File Grievance Against Texans

As members of the 2016 draft begin to sign extensions, 2014’s No. 1 overall pick is set to play yet another season without a long-term deal. And there will now be drama over Jadeveon Clowney‘s 2019 salary.

The NFLPA is expected to file a grievance against the Texans regarding Clowney’s franchise tag figure, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Texans tagged Clowney as a linebacker, and that price comes in at $15.967MM — $1.698MM less than Clowney would have received on the defensive end tag.

The Texans paid Clowney just more than $1MM this year to resolve a dispute about his position as it related to his 2018 fifth-year option salary. Houston uses a 3-4 defense and deploys Clowney as a stand-up linebacker in base sets, but the college defensive lineman spends more time in three-point stances in sub-packages as a pro. The defensive line-linebacker split was roughly 60-40 in favor of a D-line role, Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson tweets.

This has turned into quite the year for the Texans, who also fired their GM — one who was on board with a Clowney extension — and will not replace him until 2020. Clowney has hovered in extension limbo with the Texans for well over a year. Now, more back-and-forth will likely commence between he and the team that took him first overall five years ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Sign G Jonathan Cooper

On the first business day after Richie Incognito‘s suspension was announced, the Raiders moved to add some guard depth and perhaps a stopgap starter. They agreed to terms with Jonathan Cooper, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The former first-round pick did not come close to living up to his lofty draft slot and was a pre-Week 1 release last year, despite inking a mid-level 49ers deal. But Cooper has started 31 games since being drafted No. 7 overall in 2013 and stands to supply the Raiders with another option at left guard.

Incognito will miss the first two games of this season. Denzelle Good resided as the Raiders’ previous left guard starter. He now figures to compete with Cooper for that role in Weeks 1-2.

Cooper, 29, was a 13-game Cowboys starter in 2017, leading to the 49ers guaranteeing him $4MM last year. They opted to go with Mike Person over Cooper in their starting lineup. Cooper resurfaced with the Redskins late last season; he started four games with Washington.

The Raiders waived wide receiver Montay Crockett to make room for Cooper on their 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Deal For Texans, Jadeveon Clowney

The 3pm CT deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extension came and went without a Jadeveon Clowney deal. He will play this season for $15.967MM.

While no agreement was expected, Clowney is now in a strange spot. The former No. 1 overall pick has been extension-eligible since January 2017 yet will play a sixth season without a long-term extension in place. As a result, the Texans should not expect to see him for a while.

Clowney is unlikely to show for “a good portion” of training camp, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeting the Pro Bowl edge defender may not resurface in Texans gear until September. But he is expected to report before the Texans’ Sept. 9 opener against the Saints, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

As was the case with Le’Veon Bell last year, Clowney is going into his sixth season and has already accrued enough service time to be an unrestricted free agent. So, the August 6 reporting date will not affect the 26-year-old’s potential UFA path.

A reported disagreement between Bill O’Brien and since-fired GM Brian Gaine on Clowney’s value existed, with O’Brien being against a long-term deal for the former South Carolina prodigy. The Texans are going without a GM this season, but their reshuffled front office will have to deal with a disgruntled standout — one the team shopped in trades this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Falcons’ Talks With Julio Jones, Deion Jones

Now that the Falcons have agreed to an extension with Grady Jarrett, negotiations with Julio Jones and Deion Jones stand to pick up. The franchise will continue to talk with its extension-seeking Joneses.

Deion Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will meet with Falcons brass on Wednesday in Atlanta, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Jones and the Falcons have been discussing an extension since early March.

Although there is less clarity on the Julio Jones front, Ian Rapoport tweets the All-Pro wide receiver now becomes the Falcons’ top contract priority. However, a Deion Jones deal may beat this process to the finish line. Julio Jones and the Falcons still appear to have a ways to go before finalizing a deal.

Both Joneses reported to Falcons minicamp in June, and Julio expressed optimism he and the Falcons would have a new deal in place soon. Arthur Blank has said he wants both players, along with Jarrett, to be “Falcons for life.” Deion Jones has one season (at just more than $1MM) remaining on his rookie deal, while Julio Jones is signed through 2020 on his second Falcons contract. Julio’s third contract, whenever it is completed, stands to have a major impact on other extension-seeking wideouts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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