Washington Notes: RGIII, Williams, Roberts

NFL News
September 1, 2015

While Washington’s decision to name Kirk Cousins as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2015 season has been viewed as a signal that Robert Griffin III‘s time in D.C. is coming to an end, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk makes the case for why it makes some sense for the club to keep him on the roster. As Florio writes, Cousins and Colt McCoy aren’t exactly the safest QB duo in the league, and RGIII’s salary isn’t exorbitant for a backup.

Still, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports observes, the RGIII era in Washington seems likely to come to an end by next February, with the club likely cutting him in the new year or sooner. Here’s more on the former No. 2 overall pick, along with a couple more Washington-related notes:

  • Robinson and Peter King of TheMMQB.com both look ahead and attempt to identify an ideal landing spot for Griffin after he and Washington officially go their separate ways. In Robinson’s view, the Chiefs are the best fit for RGIII, while King cites the Seahawks and Cardinals as logical potential suitors.
  • Although most observers don’t believe Washington would be able to trade Griffin, it may be possible if the quarterback is willing to renegotiate his 2016 option year to remove the injury-only guarantee, writes former agent Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. Of course, as Corry acknowledges, Washington still wouldn’t be able to get much in return for the 25-year-old.
  • $30MM of Trent Williams‘ five-year, $66MM contract extension with Washington is fully guaranteed at signing, according to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). Corry adds that the team, having used a signing/option bonus structure on the deal, will pick up $3.55MM in cap room for the 2015 season.
  • In his latest mailbag for the Washington Post, Mike Jones fields questions about Washington’s outside linebackers, Andre Roberts‘ role, and – of course – the quarterback situation.

Broncos Down To 75-Man Roster

NFL News
September 1, 2015

The Broncos have gotten down to a 75-man roster with a handful of moves. Denver has waived tight end Dan Light and linebacker Danny Mason, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets. Wide receiver Nathan Palmer has also been shown the door and he has no remaining practice squad eligibility, Mike Klis of 9NEWS tweets.

Palmer spent the bulk of 2014 on the team’s practice squad and now the third-year receiver will be looking for work elsewhere in the NFL. Light, a Fordham University product known as “The Gronk of the Bronx,” had a tryout with the Broncos earlier this month that resulted in a deal. Mason, a speedy 235-pound linebacker, came to Denver after playing some indoor football in recent years.

AFC Notes: A. Jones, Bryant, Simms, Jaguars

NFL News
September 1, 2015

Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones is now seeking the opinion of another foot and ankle specialist to determine his course of action and how long he might be sidelined, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (via Facebook). The Colts previously sent Jones to a specialist who informed him that he would not have to go on IR. Now, he’s looking for a second opinion on the matter. Here’s more from the AFC..

  • The Steelers have known about wide receiver Martavis Bryant‘s possible four-game suspension for some time and it even impacted their approach in May’s draft, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Coach Mike Tomlin said that the news pushed Pittsburgh to use a third-round draft choice on Sammie Coates.
  • Bills coach Rex Ryan says the “odds are probably stacked against” quarterback Matt Simms making the 53-man roster but he will “never say never,” Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Many have speculated that Simms could bump Matt Cassel from the Bills’ roster, but that sounds like something of a longshot at this time.
  • Jaguars owner Shad Khan anticipates a long-term extension to the team’s London deal, keeping the partnership going until roughly 2030, Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union tweets. O’Halloran (link) expects that announcement to come in October when the Jaguars have their scheduled game in England.

Lions Waive Three Players

NFL News
September 1, 2015

The Lions have cut a trio of players to get down to a 75-man roster. First, Detroit dropped wide receiver Andrew Peacock and linebacker Justin Cherocci, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. Then, to go from 76 to 75, the Lions waived tight end Jacob Maxwell, according to Twentyman (via Twitter).

With Peacock out of the picture, the Lions’ depth chart at wide receiver features Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Corey Fuller, Lance Moore, Jeremy Ross, T.J. Jones, and Greg Salas at receiver. The Lions will likely retain five of those players on the 53-man roster.

At linebacker, DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes, Kyle Van Noy, Travis Lewis, Brandon Copeland, and Julian Stanford remain on the 75-man roster. The team kept six linebackers heading into the season last year, so it stands to reason that one or two of those players could get dropped in the coming days.

At tight end, the Lions have Tim Wright, Joseph Fauria, and Casey Pierce behind Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew.

Three Steelers Players Restructure Contracts

NFL News
September 1, 2015

The Steelers have restructured the contracts for three of their players, freeing up $6MM in cap space for 2015 with the moves, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Schefter reports that wide receiver Antonio Brown, tight end Heath Miller, and kicker Shaun Suisham all had their deals reworked.

The most interesting move of the three is the Steelers’ decision to rework Brown’s deal. Per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter), it’s not just a simple restructure for the star wideout, who had been seeking a new contract this offseason. Brown won’t get a significant raise or extension, but Pittsburgh has moved up $2MM from his 2016 base salary to 2015, making it part of a new signing bonus.

While specific details on the other restructures haven’t yet been reported, I would expect Miller and Suisham to have a portion of their 2015 base salaries converted to signing bonuses. Miller had been set to earn a $4MM salary this season, while Suisham would’ve earned a $2.595MM salary.

According to Schefter (via Twitter), the Steelers intend to use the majority of their newly-created cap room to offset the large number of injured players they have counting against their cap this year. One of those injured players is Suisham, and today’s moves were likely necessary, in part, to help accommodate the salary of kicker Josh Scobee, acquired by Pittsburgh yesterday from the Jaguars.