Chargers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Brant Weiss (Alliance of American Football)

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Philip Rivers Absent From Bolts' Workouts

  • Conversely, Philip Rivers did not show up for Day 1 of the Chargers‘ offseason work, Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). The 16th-year quarterback is entering a contract year, but the Bolts view him as an obvious extension candidate. Though, it is not certain if re-up talks have begun. Nevertheless, this does not appear to be a contentious situation.
  • Former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will resurface in the XFL. The 67-year-old coach will become HC for the XFL’s New York franchise, Jay Glazer of The Athletic tweets. Gilbride has been a head coach twice in his four-decade coaching career, leading the Chargers for 22 games between the 1997-98 seasons and overseeing the Southern Connecticut State program from 1980-84. Gilbride’s most recent NFL role was a seven-year stint as Giants OC, which ended in 2013.

Chargers To Extend Travis Benjamin

The Chargers and wide receiver Travis Benjamin have agreed to a one-year extension through 2020, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The new pact includes a $3MM signing bonus while lowering his 2019 base salary from $5.25MM to $1MM. 

The deal is mutually beneficial. The Chargers gain $2.75MM in salary cap relief while keeping Benjamin under contract for another season. Meanwhile, Benjamin gets a $3MM guarantee for the upcoming year, giving him some security as he enters a season with a non-guaranteed base salary.

Benjamin, 30 in December, was hardly used in 2018. He finished out with just 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown, a far cry from the 69/966/5 line he produced with the Browns in 2015. Statistically, he’s regressed in each of his three Chargers seasons, but things could change this year after the club lost Tyrell Williams to the rival Raiders in free agency.

Things could change after the draft and the later stages of free agency, but, for now, Benjamin is primed to serve as the Bolts’ No. 3 WR behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Packers, Dillard, White, Fins

Midway through a rather notable offseason, given the recent behind-the-curtain look at their previous power structure, the Packers are investigating some high-end quarterback prospects. They are obviously set at sports’ marquee position, but with Aaron Rodgers set to turn 36 by season’s end, Green Bay is at a similar point compared to when it last made a major quarterback investment. The Packers will host Drew Lock on a visit Tuesday, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports (on Twitter). They also tried to set up a summit with Daniel Jones, but the parties’ schedules did not line up, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter). The Packers took Rodgers when Brett Favre was 36 and sat him for three years. While Green Bay pulling the trigger on a passer would be rather surprising, especially given Rodgers’ contract status, the team does have two first-round picks this year.

Here is the latest from the draft world, staying on the subject of quarterbacks:

  • Lock will also meet with the Chargers, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter). Teams have ramped up their signal-caller-related preparation, in the event Kyler Murray does not go No. 1, according to Robinson, who notes some teams believe this year’s passers could slide a bit should Murray not be the Cardinals’ choice atop the draft. Some modest steam picked up on this notion earlier Monday.
  • The Dolphins, who already met with Jones, will head to the Duke campus to work out the former Blue Devil starter, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Teams only have a few more days to host prospects on “30” visits but can still work them out after that deadline passes. Miami will also host Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Devin White‘s stock has risen during the pre-draft process, to the point he may be the rare off-ball linebacker to be picked in the top five. One of the teams holding such a selection, the Raiders, brought in White for a visit, Rapoport tweets. The Buccaneers, who hold pick No. 5, have been closely connected to the LSU ‘backer. The Raiders have the No. 4 overall pick. Oakland, which also holds the Nos. 24 and 27 selections, will meet with tight end Noah Fant, on Monday as well, Rapoport tweets. The Raiders lost their starting tight end of the past two seasons, Jared Cook, in free agency.
  • For weeks, the Jets have been viewed as a team that would love to trade down. They are meeting with a prospect Tuesday that would support the fact this is a consideration. Ed Oliver will visit the Jets, per Schefter (on Twitter). While the defensive tackle is a surefire first-round talent, he has not been mocked as a player who would be a consideration at No. 3 overall.
  • The Titans are visiting with defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, per Rapoport (on Twitter). This is the Notre Dame-developed defender’s second known visit, the first having come with the Saints recently. Tillery remains in rehab after surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum.
  • Not much has surfaced about which teams are researching an Andre Dillard pick. That has changed. The Washington State tackle prospect is visiting the Falcons on Monday and will meet with the Chargers later this week, Schefter tweets. Additionally, Schefter adds the first-round offensive line hopeful has already visited or worked out for a host of teams — the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, Titans, Panthers, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Texans, Bengals, Packers, Redskins.

Charged Hire Two Coaches

  • The Chargers have hired La’Roi Glover as an assistant defensive line coach, according to Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com. Glover played 13 seasons in the NFL, earning six Pro Bowl nods. The former defensive tackle also earned a spot on the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s. The 44-year-old previously served as a coach with both the Jets and Rams. The organization also announced that Chris Caminiti was hired as a senior coaching assistant.

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Latest On Josh Rosen Market

Josh Rosen remains an Arizona Cardinal and plans to report to the start of the team’s offseason program. But with the Cardinals widely expected to draft Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall, trade rumors persist.

The Redskins remain at the front of the line, with NBC Sports’ Peter King predicting that is the most likely destination for the former UCLA standout. Both Jay Gruden and new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell liking the pocket passer coming out of college, King notes, adding that Washington’s offense would be a good fit for Rosen.

Washington has checked in but will not offer its No. 15 overall pick for Rosen. Even the Redskins’ second-round pick (No. 46) may be too rich of an asking price for the Cardinals, with King adding it’s possible Washington’s top third-round choice (No. 76) may be enough to pry away the 22-year-old passer. The Redskins were the first team connected to Rosen, but they then traded for Case Keenum, complicating their interest. However, the $6.24MM left through 2021 on Rosen’s contract would make sense for the Redskins, who have Alex Smith‘s lofty cap hits on their books through 2022.

Washington has also done “a ton” of work on this year’s draft-eligible quarterbacks, and Albert Breer of SI.com notes teams looking to move out of the top 10 view the Redskins as a prime trade partner. Although, Redskins executive VP Doug Williams did not sound like a trade-up was too likely.

Beyond Washington, Breer reports the Dolphins, Chargers and Giants have checked in on Rosen’s availability. The Cardinals have not given their incumbent starter any indication if he’s available, per Breer. They also are unlikely to accept the Giants’ No. 95 overall pick for a player they drafted 10th last year, King adds, which could complicate Big Blue’s plans. They have discussed a Rosen deal internally but have no picks between Nos. 37 and 95, giving up their third-rounder in last year’s supplemental draft.

The primary team linked to waiting until 2020 for their possible long-term quarterback, the Dolphins appear to be less bullish on this year’s class. The only way they will trade for Rosen or use their first-round pick on a passer this year is if they are convinced he is a possible 10-plus-year starter, King adds. The Dolphins have not had a 10-year QB starter since Dan Marino.

The Patriots were not high on Rosen last year, Breer notes, but that was partially because of what it would have cost them to move up in the first round to acquire him. After a rough year for Rosen, Patriots interest may still not be there, per King. Philip Rivers continues to indicate he has no near-future retirement plans, and the Bolts gave Tyrod Taylor $6MM on a two-year deal. This would not point to a Rosen-to-Los Angeles scenario coming to fruition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lock To Meet With Chargers

  • Drew Lock could be headed to the AFC West soon. He’s been heavily linked to John Elway and the Broncos with the tenth pick, and Lock will meet with Denver today, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). According to Pelissero, Lock will then head to Los Angeles and meet with the Chargers tomorrow. The Chargers sniffed around the top quarterbacks in last year’s class and are doing the same thing with this class, even though Philip Rivers just had his best season in years. If you believe the current reporting, the Chargers would likely have to trade up in the draft if they wanted to get Luck. Denver is slated to roll with Joe Flacco in 2019, but the Broncos are widely expected to draft a young quarterback who can be the future.

Tre Boston Still Awaiting Deal

Though most of the high-profile free agents have found homes, Tre Boston is not one of them. Not surprisingly, the safety is not happy about that fact, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes

Responding to a Pro Football Focus tweet that showed Boston as one of the top defenders in the NFC West, the safety wondered what there is left to do to get teams to notice.

“Doesn’t mean much but Stats are beyond there! OBVIOUSLY!! The Players see it, the Fans see it, and are starting to question what’s going on. I like it, keep asking question. You’ll see what’s really up. 2 Prove It Deals…. What’s left to prove? Lol Bout to jump on Offense. Lol”

Those two “prove-it deals” he mentions are the one-year deals he took with the Chargers (2017) and Cardinals (2018) looking to land a long-term deal. Despite performing at a level that should’ve netted him that deal, Boston has been left out in the cold.

He’s not the only one, as several other free agents like Ndamukong Suh, are still awaiting teams due to compensatory picks being attached to their signing, ESPN’s Dan Graziano tweets. Those players will have that pick stripped in May, when most will begin to find homes.

Duke QB Daniel Jones Met With Four Teams

Daniel Jones is generating interest from several NFL teams. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Duke quarterback recently had “private meetings and workouts” with the Giants, Broncos, Dolphins, and Chargers. Schefter also echoes previous reports that Jones is set to meet with the Redskins next week.

Jones, a three-year starter at Duke, is generally considered to be the fourth-best quarterback in this year’s draft, with mock drafts pegging him on a tier below Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock. However, there’s still a good chance that the signal-caller hears his name called during the first round, especially considering the lack of quarterback depth behind him (West Virginia quarterback Will Grier is the only other player at the position who’s generally being mentioned as a first- or second-rounder). Jones completed 60.5% of his passes for 2,674 yards, 22 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2018.

The Giants interest in Jones isn’t all that surprising, as we heard in late March that the organization could be eyeing the prospect with the 17th-overall pick. The Dolphins and Redskins are also a pair of QB-needy teams that have a pick in the teens, so their inclusions also make plenty of sense. The Dolphins moved on from Ryan Tannehill earlier this offseason, leaving them with no clear-cut starter. The Redskins acquired Case Keenum to fill in for the injured Alex Smith, although neither player should be seen as a long-term option for the organization.

The Broncos are in a unique position, as they acquired veteran Joe Flacco earlier this offseason. Their new signal-caller is only 34-years-old, although he has shown signs of decline in recent years. The Broncos are also armed with the 10th-overall pick; if the team is focused on acquiring their quarterback of the future, they should have a shot at both Haskins and/or Lock. If Denver is particularly interested in Jones, perhaps they could explore a trade to move back (although this is merely my speculation).

The Chargers may simply be doing their due diligence on the Duke quarterback, or maybe they’re hoping that the rookie will slide down to the 28th pick. Philip Rivers is 37-years-old, but he did have one of the best seasons of his career in 2018. The Chargers also finished with 12 wins before bowing to the Patriots in Divisional Round; if they want to build off last season’s success, it might make more sense to use their first-rounder on a player who could contribute right away.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.