Things have slowed down a bit since the more hectic start to free agency, so we'll play a little catchup on what's happened over the last week, starting with a pretty big item from today in Tennessee, where we got confirmation the Titans will have Derrick Henry
for at least another year.
Henry signed his franchise tender today, according to ESPN. That means Henry is guaranteed a base salary of $10.2 million this season.
General manager Jon Robinson said on Tuesday that he’s optimistic about a long-term deal, and the sides could still reach such a deal before July 15. If they haven’t come to terms on a long-term contract by then, Henry will play on the franchise tag.
"I met with Derrick like I met with all of the guys whose contracts were going to be up at the end of the season," Robinson said. "We told him we would start working on that but [we] couldn't get to an agreement on that one, so we used one of the avenues that were available to us to keep Derrick.
"He's an important part of our football team. I've spoken to his representatives after we've used the tag. And we want to continue to have those discussions and back-and-forths in hopes of reaching some kind of long-term agreement. We will kick those conversations off again probably, certainly before training camp gets ramped up and going."
As Profootballtalk.com notes, although running backs have been devalued in today’s NFL, the Titans place a high value on Henry after he had the best season of his career, with 303 carries for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season, followed by 83 carries for 446 yards and two touchdowns in the postseason.
He averaged 5.1 yards per carry, leading all NFL running backs with at least 200 carries last season.
According to ESPN.com, Henry was the first running back to get the franchise tag after leading the NFL in rushing the previous season. He is the third running back to get tagged and win a rushing title at any point in his career, along with Edgerrin James
(rushing titles in 1999 and 2000, tagged in 2005) and Shaun Alexander (rushing title in 2005, tagged earlier in 2005 offseason).
At age 26, Henry is still in his prime, and the Titans are willing to pay a high price for him now. Whether it’s wise to dedicate a lot of money to him for several years into the future remains to be seen. ...
In Detroit. ... Geronimo Allison
had to wait a bit to find a new team, but he didn't have to go too far to find it.
The former Packers wide receiver signed a one-year deal with the Lions, the team announced last week. Allison is set to earn $910,000 with a $137,500 signing bonus, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.
The later signing (in terms of the overall signing period) is indicative of what has been a rough market for wide receivers, who aren't in particular demand this offseason because of what's viewed as a historically deep draft class at
Allison, of course, also isn't coming off the best of seasons. Despite increased opportunity in Green Bay, the fourth-year wideout caught just 34 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Just a year earlier, he got off to a fast start before a concussion and groin injury forced him to miss 11 games.
The 6-3 target joins an underrated Lions receiving corps headed by Kenny Golladay
, Marvin Jones
and Danny Amendola
, who re-signed last month. Detroit has agreed to pay Allison the maximum amount for the veteran's minimum as he tries to re-establish himself in the league.
After going undrafted in 2016, Allison caught 89 passes for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns over four seasons with the Packers, mostly as a reserve. ...
In Minnesota. ... The trade of Stefon Diggs
left a big hole in the Vikings wide receiver corps and they started to fill it with a free agent signing last Wednesday, when the team signed former Titans wideout Tajae Sharpe
. It’s a one-year deal for Sharpe and there’s no word on the money involved.
Sharpe signed a one-year deal to become part of a wide receiver depth chart that is unsettled behind Adam Thielen
. After seeing his role shrink over the last couple of seasons with the Titans, he called the chance at a bigger role “an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.”
“The opportunity that’s being presented with Diggs being traded, having kind of a void to fill at the receiver position, I felt like I had the opportunity to come in here and compete for a starting spot,” Sharpe said on a conference call, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “That’s all that you can ask for is the opportunity to come in and compete, to prove your worth. I feel like with Coach Kubiak and with him running the offense and the success that he’s had for all these years, I just feel like this is the best spot for me to be.”
is the only receiver on the roster other than Thielen who played more than 71 snaps last season, although the makeup of the group is likely to change during a draft that’s deep with well-regarded receiving prospects.
, Alexander Hollins
, Dillon Mitchell
and Davion Davis
are the other wideouts on the Vikings roster.
In addition, even though Ameer Abdullah
doesn’t get many carries, he was a contributor for the Vikings.
So they decided to keep him.
The team announced they had re-signed the free agent running back and return man.
He only got 23 carries and 15 receptions as an offensive player, but he was their primary kick returner, posting a decent 25.0-yard average.
The Vikings have Dalvin Cook
and Alexander Mattison
, so there’s not much room for him to have a role on offense, but the former Lions second-round pick gives them good depth there. ...
In Kansas City, one of the top free agents still available is staying put with the Super Bowl champs.
The Chiefs are re-signing receiver Demarcus Robinson
to a one-year contract.
Robinson will earn around $2.3 million fully guaranteed, the maximum allowed to qualify for the new veteran salary benefit under the new CBA, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero added. The receiver will count only $1 million against Kansas City's cap.
Drafted by K.C. in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, Robinson played out his rookie contract, which culminated in a Super Bowl run in 2019. The Chiefs WR enjoyed a career year last season, starting 10 of 16 games played, catching 32 passes for 449 yards and four touchdowns. Robinson caught three passes for 35 yards in the postseason and played 39 offensive snaps in Super Bowl LIV.
On his career, Robinson, 25, has started 23 of 64 games played, caught 75 balls for 949 yards and scored eight touchdowns.
Robinson returns to a healthy Chiefs receiver room, with Tyreek Hill
, Sammy Watkins
and Mecole Hardman
holding things down. ...
Also in KC. ... The Chiefs agreed to terms on one-year deals with fullback Anthony Sherman
and defensive tackle Mike Pennel.
Sherman has been a mainstay as a blocking force in the Chiefs’ backfield since joining the team in 2013 via a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. The 31-year-old Sherman is also a core special-teams contributor, leading the Chiefs in special-teams snaps (310) in 2019.
In Chicago. ... The Bears appear to have their quarterback room just about set by securing Tyler Bray
With the acquisition of Nick Foles
in a trade from Jacksonville, and the return of incumbent starter Mitch Trubisky, the Bears have what looks like their quarterback depth chart for 2020 already in the fold. It’s possible they’ll add another quarterback, but it would likely be a late-round pick or camp arm to compete with Bray for the third-string job.
The 28-year-old Bray has been in the NFL since 2013 but has only thrown one pass in the regular season. He was with the Chiefs from 2013 to 2017 and has been with the Bears since 2018. He’s a favorite of Bears head coach Matt Nagy, who was his quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in Kansas City before coaching him again in Chicago.
In Washington. ... Cody Latimer
is headed to the Redskins after agreeing to terms on a new contract.
Latimer, a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Broncos, spent the first four years of his career with Denver, where he was coached by Tyke Tolbert, now the Giants receivers coach. Latimer followed Tolbert to the Giants in 2018, spending two seasons as a reserve receiver and kickoff return specialist.
Latimer only appeared in six games for the Giants due to a hamstring injury that landed him on injured reserve. He also missed one game last year. He started 12 of the 21 games played for the Giants, catching 35 out of 58 pass targets for 490 yards and three touchdowns.
As a return specialist, Latimer returned 29 kickoffs for 693 yards with a long of 50 yards for the Giants.
In Tampa Bay. ... Tom Brady
's decision to sign with the Buccaneers answered the question of who will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2019, but there’s still a question about who will be backing him up.
remains on the roster and Rapoport reports he’ll have company on the depth chart behind Brady. Blaine Gabbert
is returning to the team on a one-year deal.
As PFT reminded readers, Gabbert dislocated his shoulder during the preseason, but opened the regular season on the active roster before heading to injured reserve after a couple of weeks. He also played for Bucs head coach Bruce Arians with the Cardinals in 2017.
Rapoport went on to suggest that Gabbert knowing Arians' offense only helps as Brady and the coach work to blend their schemes.
Gabbert started five games that season and the 2011 first-round pick made his last three regular season starts with the Titans in 2018. He has started 48 games over the course of his NFL career. ...
In Green Bay. ... Free agent running back Tyler Ervin
won’t be leaving the Packers.
Ervin signed a one-year contract to remain in Green Bay, Field Yates of ESPN reported last week.
Last year Ervin was waived by the Jaguars in the middle of the season and claimed by Green Bay, and the Packers liked what they saw of him. Although he didn’t play much on offense, he turned in some big plays as a punt and kickoff returner.
Originally a fourth-round pick of the Texans in 2016, Ervin lasted a couple years in Houston and then spent some time in Baltimore before heading to Jacksonville. Green Bay may be the spot for him to establish some stability with his NFL career.
In Dallas. ... According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys signed TE Blake Bell
to a one-year deal.
Bell’s a blocker, who played for the Chiefs last year and registered eight catches for 67 yards in the regular season. He did catch a pass in the Super Bowl, and caught his first career touchdown in the comeback win over the Texans. He has also spent time with the 49ers (he was a fourth-round pick in 2015), Vikings, and Jaguars.
The Cowboys said goodbye to veteran Jason Witten
this offseason and signed Blake Jarwin
to a three-year contract extension.
In Atlanta. ... XFL players were allowed to start signing deals with NFL teams on Monday and several deals have come together in the last few days. The most recent of those deals came together in Atlanta on Wednesday. The Falcons announced that they signed tight end Khari Lee
Lee played for the D.C. Defenders in the league’s truncated first season.
He had eight catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns with the team. Lee also has previous NFL experience. He signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and has also spent time with the Bears, Lions and Bills. He has two catches for 12 yards in 34 total appearances.
In Arizona. ... The Cardinals announced Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with defensive lineman Trevon Coley and running back D.J. Foster
on one-year contracts.
Foster appeared in six games with the Cardinals last season before going on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Oct. 28. Foster, 26, entered the league with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016. He arrived in Arizona in 2017 and had 336 all-purpose yards in seven games after joining the team from New England’s practice squad.
Foster played three games with the Patriots as a rookie and had seven carries for 24 yards and one reception for 2 yards.
In New York. ... The Giants are bringing back a tight end who spent time with them in the early part of the 2019 season.
posted a picture of himself signing a contract with the team to his Instagram account. He didn’t reveal any of the terms of the deal.
Tomlinson joined the Giants on September 1 last year and appeared in three games with the team before being released. He made two appearances with the Patriots and then wrapped up the season by playing three games for the Raiders. He caught one pass for one yard over the course of his travels.
The previous three years were more stable as Tomlinson played in 36 games for the Jets. He had 16 catches for 193 yards during that time.
For the other New York franchise. ... The Jets agreed to bring back David Fales
on a 1-year deal.
Fales was the No. 2 QB to Sam Darnold
for most of last season and could fill that role again this year. He played for Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains in Chicago and Miami.
In New England. ... The Patriots announced they have released Cody Kessler
That leaves just Brian Hoyer
and Jarrett Stidham
in their QB room, and signals a likely addition either via the draft of free agency -- although the Athletic.com believes Stidham is the early favorite to win the job previously held by Brady. Kessler spent the majority of last season with New England but did not accrue any stats. ...
In Seattle. ... The Seahawks have released tight end Ed Dickson
Dickson signed a three-year, $10.7 million contract with the Seahawks in 2018, with hopes that he’d step out of Greg Olsen
’s shadow in Carolina and become a legitimate receiving threat.
Now Olsen's arrival in Seattle is once again a factor in Dickson's career. The move clears $3 million in cap space.