Monthly Archives: June 2017

How Derek Carr’s Potential New Deal Matt Ryan, Stafford, Garoppolo, Brees, Cousins

The Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr are close to finalizing a deal that would pay Carr about $25 million per year. NFL Nation reporters weigh in on how Carr’s new deal might impact negotiations with quarterbacks who could get new contracts in the very near future.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: The reigning MVP is one of 11 NFL QBs averaging more than $20 million per year and one of nine with $50 million-plus guaranteed in their contracts. With Carr on the verge of a deal that would top the one given to the Colts’ Andrew Luck ($24.594 million), it will be interesting to see what’s next for Ryan, 32, who is coming off his best season. Ryan has two years left on his current deal, and Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Ryan “needs to be compensated well, and he will be.” — Vaughn McClure

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford might be able to point to Derek Carr's deal in his negotiations and become the highest-paid player in the NFL.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: Carr’s expected new deal puts Stafford in position to become the league’s highest-paid player whenever he agrees to an extension. When I asked Lions president Rod Wood on Tuesday if he’d be comfortable making Stafford the league’s highest-paid player, he told me he’s “comfortable getting a deal done” with Stafford. He added that if Stafford is the highest-paid, that would be the case only until the next high-level QB is up for an extension. — Michael Rothstein

Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots: Carr’s expected extension provides a ballpark of what a young, up-and-coming quarterback might expect on the open market. The Patriots’ Garoppolo, who is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the season, likely wouldn’t be able to command that much money because he doesn’t have the same NFL on-field track record as Carr. But a deal in a range between Chicago’s Mike Glennon ($19 million guaranteed) and Carr appears to be the ballpark for Garoppolo in an open-market situation. Meanwhile, Carr’s extension reinforces how fortunate the Patriots are to have Tom Brady under a reasonable pact: a $14 million cap charge in 2017 and then a $22 million cap charge in both 2018 and 2019. — Mike Reiss

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: Carr’s potential new deal shouldn’t dramatically affect Brees’ next contract because he is already in that financial ballpark — and because he and the Saints appear to be operating in the mode of one-year deals. Brees, 38, signed a one-year extension worth $24.25 million during Week 1 of last season, after the Saints balked at a long-term commitment. It’s quite possible the same thing will happen again this year — or maybe they’ll even be content to wait until after the season — because Brees has made it clear he wants to stay in New Orleans, and neither side appears to be pressing to get a new deal done. — Mike Triplett

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins: Carr’s deal certainly raises the bar, but it’s one the Redskins were unlikely to hit anyway. And Cousins’ goal hasn’t been to become the highest-paid passer, but rather to be paid commensurate with his leverage, starting at his franchise tag number of $23.9 million. If the Redskins hit that, with the right guarantees, there is a shot it could lead to a deal — regardless of Carr’s average salary figure.

Auckland said the Redskins would ride the “hot” run back

After Washington selected a running back in the draft and reportedly demoted another this offseason, it’s fair to wonder who will be toting the rock in D.C. full-time. According to Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, it depends on the day and the drive.

Cavanaugh was asked Thursday whether Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson or rookie runner Samaje Perine will be the primary tailback come September and while the OC indicated Kelley has earned the starting job, that doesn’t mean he’ll keep it.

“I think really it’s a game-to-game evaluation, an in-game evaluation of how well he’s doing and how winded he is — ‘Does he need a blow,’” Cavanuagh said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “We just feel like we’ve got depth at that position now with a lot of similar-type players: stocky, quick-footed, strong, smart guys that can sub in for each other.

“I wouldn’t put a pitch count on any of them, but obviously if a guy’s got a hot hand and he’s feeling good and he’s not gassed, we’ll keep him on the field. Ideally, maybe have some third-down reps too.”

It’s June, and Cavanaugh, in his first NFL offensive coordinator gig since 2004, hasn’t seen all six of his tailbacks (Kelley, Thompson, Perine, Mack Brown, Matt Jones, Keith Marshall) in pads yet; Perine, a projected starter in many circles, has never seen professional contact before. There’s a lot of unknown with these backs, especially how Fat Rob will run with less weight, how Jones will react to being dropped to fifth in the depth chart and if the latter will even be on the roster by August.

But it sounds right now as if Washington is proceeding with an open running-back-by-committee approach and saying ‘Let the best man and/or least tired man win.’ That’s what happens when you have three three-down backs of equal ability on your roster. Bad news for fantasy owners. Good news for fans of committees and chaos.

Jeremy Maclin would fit Lions if he came at reasonable price

Wide receiver depth has been an issue for the Detroit Lions all offseason. Yes, the team drafted Kenny Golladay in the third round and he has been impressive during OTA practices. But Detroit could use a strong third option.

And a new name, one with intriguing possibilities, just popped onto the market.

Jeremy Maclin would fit the Lions well. The 29-year-old has good speed. At 6-feet, he has played both outside and in the slot and been productive in both areas. In some ways, that makes him like a player the Lions already have, Golden Tate, but Tate is slipperier and more elusive as a short to intermediate receiver.

Bringing a player like Maclin in would give the Lions multiple options in three receiver sets and where to line up tight end Eric Ebron, who often functions as a taller receiver. So it is worth at least inquiring about his services after Kansas City released him on Friday.

Maclin is also a proven player, unlike any other option the Lions have beyond Tate and Marvin Jones. Golladay is a rookie. TJ Jones, Jace Billingsley, Jared Abbrederis and Ryan Spadola all have varying levels of experience, but nothing like Maclin, who has 474 receptions for 6,395 yards and 46 touchdowns. He also has a career drop rate of 2.9 percent, which is workable in the Detroit offense. His production has largely been good, too. Before last season’s 536-yard, two-touchdown performance, he had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 18 combined touchdowns.

If the Lions were to bring him in, it would potentially leave just one slot for a younger receiver other than Golladay to develop. It would turn a competition that is already close and make it extremely cutthroat.

One thing Maclin wouldn’t solve is Detroit’s return question. While he has some experience there, Maclin hasn’t returned a kick since 2010 and has 17 career punt returns, but only four in the past three seasons. But he’s another guy potentially to throw in there – plus signing him could give the Lions some comfort to give Tate, who has been electric as a punt returner in his career, a shot at it because Maclin would be Tate insurance.

This isn’t a no-brainer decision, though, to even pursue him.

Maclin has played a full 16-game season only twice in his career and last year he appeared in a career-worst 12 games after dealing with a groin injury. So the Lions would have to feel somewhat confident with his long-term health.

There’s also the salary question. Would Maclin be willing to play for the Lions at a somewhat reduced rate? While the Lions have around $10 million in cap room after getting money from the DeAndre Levy release, they would be wise to use some of that on contract extensions for current players. Considering Maclin was scheduled to make at least $9.75 million in base salary each year over the next three years from the Chiefs, he might be too expensive. If he’s willing to take drastically less than that, it would be smart for the Lions.

At that type of rate, though, it would be too expensive for Detroit to realistically consider without having to make some other roster moves.

And that’s something the Lions would have to heavily consider before considering this move.