There’s just four weeks until the “legal tampering” period of free agency opens up prior to the new league year. The NFL’s offseason sure does fly by these days.
- It would be an absolute joy if the next Collective Bargaining Agreement was done by the time the new league year started. Sources informed NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo that a vote could be coming as soon as this coming Thursday. NFLPA Executive Committee and player representatives are set to meet, and if things are to their liking, a vote could happen. Discussions have reportedly been productive, so perhaps a deal can get ironed out to get the 2020 league year off on the right foot. In an ideal world, a deal would get done ahead of free agency in order to give players and teams an idea of what future salary caps could look like before spending sprees begin.
- Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio hears one proposed CBA tweak would change how first-year options work for first-round picks. Sources informed Florio that a new caveat would allow first-round picks who make it to the Pro Bowl twice in their first three seasons to bump the fifth-year option to the price of the franchise tag for that player’s position. Florio uses the example of Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is set to make $13.7 million in 2020 on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. But under the proposed tweak of the system, Ramsey would be lined up to make $16.4 million because of his Pro Bowl status. It’s certainly one way for players to get a little reward for their excellence.
- It seems as if the Lions are open for business. Last week, their GM was shouting down Matthew Stafford trade rumors. This week, it’s cornerback Darius Slay. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets the Lions have discussed a potential trade of Slay with multiple teams. Acquiring Slay isn’t going to be easy, as Schefter reports that any team trading for the Pro Bowl corner will need to give him a new deal to make it happen. Slay is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $10 million this season, but the talented defensive back is well-positioned to ask for a raise.
- So what does that deal even look like? A thought:
League executive on what it would take for #Broncos to acquire CB Darius Slay from Lions: "Second or third rounder and $15 million-ish per year," via extension.
— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) February 17, 2020
- It’s already been a weird offseason for the Lions, who are keeping status quo at the top of the power pyramid and have sent a “win or go home” edict down to the general manager and head coach. Fun times for the NFC North’s last-place team.
- A reminder that Slay is pretty good: PFF has him graded as a top-5 most valuable cornerback since 2014.
- The Browns are doing their own shuffling:
Browns released CB T.J. Carrie, TE Demetrius Harris, G Eric Kush and LB Adarius Taylor.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 17, 2020
- It’s a move that opens more than $13 million in cap space for the Browns, who need some work after a disappointing 2019 season. Remember when Browns and Bears Super Bowl bets were the hottest tickets in Vegas? Ahhh, good times. Now you know why Vegas is always building. You’re never going to beat the house, my friends. Just remember that.
- Old friend Eric Kush’s time in Cleveland is over. I’m curious what his future looks like moving forward. His PFF grades weren’t pretty, but he has proved he can start in a pinch anywhere on the interior line. It’s just that his upside is limited, while his floor is in being a guy who can plug a hole until a better option comes through.
- From a Bears perspective, the most intriguing name here might be Demetrius Harris. He caught just 15 passes for 149 yards and scored three touchdowns, but has experience as the “Y” tight end in Matt Nagy’s system having played in Kansas City from 2014-18. That he has missed just two games in the past five seasons is notable. The NFL is a league where availability is the best ability, with durability checking in not too far behind. It isn’t the sexiest name on the tight end market, but one that would be an upgrade from what the team currently has in house.
- Mike Tomlin sounding off on the Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph stuff:
- In search of veteran quarterback help? Philip Rivers tells Sam Farmer of the LA Times he has at least two years of football left in him.
- On the other end of the age spectrum is Justin Herbert, the Oregon quarterback prospect who will almost certainly be picked in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. Sources have reached out to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, suggesting the Dolphins are taking a liking to Herbert. Perhaps Miami is having second-thoughts about snagging Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama product who is still working his way back from season-ending hip surgery. Maybe the Dolphins are using this situation as leverage against a team like the Lions, who could be drive up the price on the No. 3 overall pick if they believed the Dolphins had eyes for only Tagovailoa. The season of subterfuge has begun!
- A former Bear recently called it quits:
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) February 13, 2020