Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17.  Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders, Jon Gruden expected to reach contract settlement

The Las Vegas Raiders and former head coach Jon Gruden are expected to work out a financial settlement following his resignation last week, NFL Network reported.

Gruden signed a 10-year, $100 million contract in 2018 to return to coaching. He had been ESPN’s analyst on “Monday Night Football.”

He resigned Monday after leaked emails revealed derogatory comments he made about commissioner Roger Goodell, players union chief DeMaurice Smith and various team owners as well as statements categorized as misogynistic and homophobic.

Per the NFL Network report, Gruden, 58, has about $40 million unpaid on his deal.

Gruden had a 22-31 record over the past three-plus seasons in his second stint with the Raiders, including 3-2 this season. He coached the Raiders from 1998-2001, then moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-08. Overall, he has a 117-112 NFL coaching record and led Tampa Bay to its first Super Bowl win in 2002.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) celebrates with inside linebacker Avery Williamson (51) during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Steelers, T.J. Watt reach $112M extension

T.J. Watt will become the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, as he and the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a four-year contract extension worth at least $112 million, NFL Network and ESPN reported Thursday.

Watt’s new deal will include $80 million fully guaranteed at signing, according to NFL Network.

The 26-year-old outside linebacker has played and started in 62 of a possible 64 games for the Steelers since entering the league. He has already racked up 49 1/2 sacks, including a league-leading 15 last season.

The runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 was entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract with Pittsburgh and had drawn-out negotiations with the team over the offseason.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently said Watt deserved to make “whatever he wants,” adding that it was for the benefit of teammates like Watt that Roethlisberger took a voluntary pay cut this year.

Guaranteed money was reportedly the sticking point between Watt and the Steelers. Watt’s $80 million guaranteed at signing is the fourth-highest number in the NFL, according to Spotrac, behind only quarterbacks Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan.

Watt was the 30th overall draft pick in 2017, and at the time was best known for being J.J. Watt’s younger brother. His talent as a pass-rusher translated from Wisconsin to the NFL, where his sack totals have increased every season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Duane Brown (76) stretches prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Seahawks rework LT Duane Brown’s contract

The Seattle Seahawks have reworked the final year of left tackle Duane Brown’s contract, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection will receive a $7 million signing bonus and $4 million in salary for 2021, per ESPN.

Brown, 36, had been scheduled to earn $10 million in base salary and up to another $1 million in per-game roster bonuses. While the total compensation doesn’t change, he receives more money up front with the new arrangement.

Brown’s “hold-in” ended Monday when he returned to practice. Coach Pete Carroll pronounced him “ready to go” for Sunday’s season opener at Indianapolis.

A first-round pick by Houston in 2008, Brown has made 186 starts for the Texans (2008-17) and Seahawks. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2012 and made the Pro Bowls after the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 campaigns.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) on the field before the game against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys rework Dak Prescott’s deal, free up $5M in cap

The Dallas Cowboys carved out $5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of quarterback Dak Prescott.

The team announced Tuesday that it converted $6.5 million of Prescott’s base salary this season into a signing bonus.

Prescott and the Cowboys agreed to a four-year, $160 million extension in March.

The team restructured running back Ezekiel Elliott’s deal last week, creating $7 million in cap room.

Prescott has been cleared for Thursday’s opener against Tampa Bay and was listed as a full participant in practice Monday.

Prescott, 28, has not played since suffering a season-ending leg injury during a win against the New York Giants on Oct. 11, 2020.

A 2016 fourth-round draft pick, Prescott has passed for 17,634 yards with 106 touchdowns and 40 interceptions over five seasons and 69 games (all starts) with the Cowboys. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

His best season came in 2019 when he passed for 4,902 yards and 30 TDs, both career bests, but Dallas went just 8-8 that season and did not advance to the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) walks the sideline during an NFL preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.

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Report: Titans rework Julio Jones’ deal, free up $11.2M

The Tennessee Titans created $11.2 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of wide receiver Julio Jones, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The team converted $14 million of Jones’ salary into a signing bonus, per the report. The team also added two void years. As a result, Jones will have a cap hit this season of $4.1 million.

Jones, 32, is in his first year with the Titans after a June trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

He returned to practice on Aug. 24 after being held back for three weeks. Jones left practice early on Aug. 2 after he landed awkwardly when catching a pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and had been sidelined since.

Jones, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, missed seven games with assorted injuries in 2020. He has 848 receptions for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in 135 games (134 starts), all with the Falcons.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) celebrates his fourteen yard interception return for a touchdown with teammates against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: Joe Haden to test free agency in 2022

The agent for Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden said the three-time Pro Bowl player will play out his current deal and test free agency in 2022.

Haden earlier this month said he wanted to sign an extension with the club to remain in Pittsburgh beyond this season. But the Steelers don’t negotiate contract extensions during the regular season, which begins Sept. 12.

Further, the Steelers are still engaged with pass rusher T.J. Watt on a new deal, one that is expected to make him the highest-paid defensive player in the league.

“Joe has never been an unrestricted free agent before and is excited about that opportunity,” agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN on Wednesday. “We expect him to have a very strong market.”

The salary cap is expected to increase significantly in 2022.

Haden, 32, has started all 56 games in which he’s played for the Steelers since joining the team in 2017. He played his first seven seasons in Cleveland, making the Pro Bowl twice with the Browns. He made the Pro Bowl with the Steelers after the 2019 season.

For his career, Haden has 29 interceptions and 149 passes defensed since being taken No. 7 overall by the Browns in the 2010 draft.

–Field Level Media

Aug 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) looks on against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of a preseason game at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Cowboys restructure RB Ezekiel Elliott’s contract

The Dallas Cowboys restructured running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-year, $90 million contract to free up cap space ahead of the 2021 season, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

Per reports, the Cowboys converted $8.6 million of Elliott’s $9.6 million base salary this season to a signing bonus. The move clears $6.88 million in cap space.

Dallas now has approximately $12.6 million under the cap, per OverTheCap.com.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Elliott led the NFL in rushing yardage as a rookie in 2016 and again in 2018.

Last season, the 26-year-old finished with 979 yards and six touchdowns on 244 carries, and he added 52 catches for 338 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) yells to the sidelines during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Seahawks make Jamal Adams highest-paid safety

Jamal Adams’ signature is all that awaits the 25-year-old becoming the NFL’s highest-paid safety courtesy of a reported four-year, $70 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

Adams, acquired for a package of draft picks from the New York Jets last season, had been in negotiations with the team since the end of the 2020 season and wanted to be the top-paid player at his position.

Despite reports the two sides were further apart in talks as recently as Sunday night, a pact was struck on Tuesday, NFL Network and the Seattle Times reported.

Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos had the highest annual average value on his contract at $15.25 million before the Adams deal, which includes $38 million guaranteed, per reports.

Adams was the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and his unique skill set was a perfect fit with the Seahawks, who used him in blitz packages and at linebacker as often as he lined up at safety.

Adams had 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble and 83 tackles in 2020 but played in a career-low 12 games.

Simmons signed a four-year, $61 million contract with the Broncos after playing last season on the franchise tag.

Simmons received $35 million in guarantees in the contract.

–Field Level Media

Eagles' Jason Peters walks the field after after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 17-9 Sunday night.

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Bears reach deal with veteran OT Jason Peters

The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms on a contract with offensive tackle Jason Peters, his representation announced Saturday.

Elite Loyalty Sports announced the move over social media. ESPN reported Peters will sign a one-year contract.

Peters, 39, is expected to battle rookie second-round pick Teven Jenkins for the starting left tackle job. Jenkins, however, has been nursing a back injury since the start of training camp.

“It’s about familiarity with a guy that’s played in this league for a long time and has been very good,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Saturday, per ESPN. “We understand that he’s older. There is a history with (Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo). Juan worked with him several years ago in Philadelphia. I was also there in Philadelphia.

“For us to bring him in, he knows there is a great competition. We are trying to do everything we can to provide protection and have a great run game. I think he’s coming in here to compete to be the starting left tackle. It’s open, man. It’s a competition.”

Peters has spent the past 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He rejoined the team prior to the start of the 2020 regular season after it appeared the Eagles were headed another direction.

Peters, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at left tackle, signed to play guard following Brandon Brooks’ season-ending injury. He wound up back at tackle due to a series of injuries.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Dolphins restructure CB Xavien Howard’s contract

The Miami Dolphins have restructured star cornerback Xavien Howard’s contract following his trade request, ESPN reported Sunday.

Head coach Brian Flores said the team was “excited” to come to terms with the two-time Pro Bowl selection. He did not disclose financial details.

According to ESPN, Miami fully guaranteed Howard’s 2021 base salary of $12.785 million while adding up to $3.5 million in incentives. The team also adjusted his 2022 salary, including fully guaranteeing $6.775 million.

The Dolphins also agreed to rescind $93,000 in fines he accrued from skipping a mandatory minicamp this summer, per the report.

The report also said Howard received assurances that the team will renegotiate a new deal in the offseason based on his health and his performance in 2021.

Howard, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions and 20 passes defensed last season, became the league’s highest-paid cornerback when he signed a five-year, $75.1 million extension in 2019. He has since fallen to sixth in the NFL at the position.

He reported to training camp on July 27 and requested a trade later that night.

Howard added 51 tackles and one forced fumble in 16 games last season. He has 191 tackles, 22 interceptions and two forced fumbles in 56 career games (55 starts) since being selected by Miami in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media