June 5, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones stretches with the team during minicamp.  Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL announces offseason program dates for all 32 teams

The NFL announced the dates Thursday for the offseason workout programs for each of the 32 teams.

Still, it is unclear how many players will attend the voluntary portion of the program — the OTAs. They players on about 20 teams have indicated they won’t attend voluntary OTAs due to continuing concerns about safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases. Phase One (April 19-May 14) has been extended this year from two to four weeks, with activities limited to strength and conditioning, virtual meetings and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two (May 17-21) has been reduced from three weeks to one week. The phase allows for on-field workouts, including individual player instruction and drills, “perfect play” drills, and drills and plays conducted with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players. Players on one side of the ball may execute a play, but players on the opposite side of the ball may not make contact.

In Phase Three (May 24-June 18), teams can conduct in-person meetings and classroom instruction subject to COVID-19 testing and other protocols. Teams may hold a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity without live contact.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for one mandatory minicamp for veterans and a rookie football development program.

The dates for each team’s offseason workout program are as follows. They are tentative and subject to change.

ARIZONA CARDINALS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

ATLANTA FALCONS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BALTIMORE RAVENS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BUFFALO BILLS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CAROLINA PANTHERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CHICAGO BEARS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CINCINNATI BENGALS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14

CLEVELAND BROWNS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DALLAS COWBOYS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DENVER BRONCOS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DETROIT LIONS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

GREEN BAY PACKERS
offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

HOUSTON TEXANS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-16
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LOS ANGELES RAMS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MIAMI DOLPHINS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MINNESOTA VIKINGS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 8-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK GIANTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 14-15
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK JETS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 7-9
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TENNESSEE TITANS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys players begin voluntary workouts

Several veteran Dallas Cowboys players reported to begin offseason workouts at The Star, the team facility in Frisco, Texas, on Monday, contrary to what players on what many other teams are doing.

Nearly 20 teams have committed to skipping the in-person, voluntary portion of the offseason, citing ongoing safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and the positive feedback from players after a virtual offseason in 2020.

When the NFL released its official plan for the 2021 offseason, it included on-field practices that did not take place last offseason. The voluntary workouts are the first phase.

In response to the offseason plan, the NFLPA scheduled a briefing at 2 p.m. ET on Monday.

–Field Level Media

NFC South: Preseason Grades and Analysis

ATLANTA FALCONS

Key Acquisitions: OG Brandon Fusco, WR Calvin Ridley, DT Terrell McClain, CB Justin Bethel, TE Logan Paulsen, CB Isaiah Oliver, DT Deadrin Senat

Key Losses: DT Dontari Poe, DE Adrian Clayborn, WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Levine Toilolo, DE Courtney Upshaw, FB Derrick Coleman, DT Ahtyba Rubin

Offensive regression brought the Falcons back to earth a bit last season, but it wasn’t for a lack of talent, and the roster didn’t require much of a tweak in the offseason. The Falcons slotted Fusco in as a starting guard and were able to snag Ridley at No. 26 overall in the draft. Ridley has the polish and savvy to contribute immediately, and he should be very explosive on Atlanta’s home turf.

There are a few more questions on defense, where four linemen left via free agency, including Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn. Atlanta added only former Redskin Terrell McClain and third-round pick Deadrin Senat at defensive tackle, which could be an issue for a group that ranked 19th in yards per carry allowed in 2017. The Falcons deserve credit for using their top two draft picks on valuable players who slid, but waiting to address their biggest need may yield some headaches.

The Falcons did a lot of their off-season work in-house — making Matt Ryan the highest-paid quarterback in league history and trying to resolve Julio Jones’ contract situation without his holdout bleeding into the regular season. Management of the Jones situation will be crucial, especially with several youngsters (left tackle Jake Matthews, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, safety Ricardo Allen) seeking extensions as they enter contract years.

Our Take: The Falcons needed less work than most teams, but it’s not clear whether they did enough at defensive tackle. — B-

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Key Acquisitions: DT Dontari Poe, RB C.J. Anderson, WR Torrey Smith, WR D.J. Moore, WR Jarius Wright, OG Jeremiah Sirles, S Da’Norris Searcy, CB Ross Cockrell, CB Donte Jackson, TE Ian Thomas

Key Losses: OG Andrew Norwell, DT Star Lotulelei, S Kurt Coleman, RB Jonathan Stewart, DE Charles Johnson, TE Ed Dickson, CB Daryl Worley, QB Derek Anderson, WR Russell Shepard

A big chunk of the team that reached Super Bowl 50 departed this offseason, but it’s hard to fault Carolina for the exodus. It was expected that Andrew Norwell and Star Lotulelei would leave after counterparts Trai Turner and Kawann Short, respectively, received massive contracts. Meanwhile, Kurt Coleman, Jonathan Stewart and Charles Johnson are well into the backstretch of their careers.

Jeremiah Sirles has big shoes to fill following Norwell’s departure, but the offense upgraded elsewhere, with speedster Torrey Smith and first-rounder D.J. Moore, who should add some juice to the passing game under new coordinator Norv Turner. Despite his struggles as a head coach, Turner’s track record as a coordinator is excellent, and he could make magic with Cam Newton if the two develop chemistry.

C.J. Anderson arrived after the draft for just $1.75 million over one year, and he should complement 2017 first-round pick Christian McCaffrey extremely well. Nabbing Ian Thomas in Round 4 was a nice upside bet on a possible long-term replacement for 33-year-old Greg Olsen.

Getting Dontari Poe from the rival Falcons for less annual money than Lotulelei received in Buffalo was a steal, while Da’Norris Searcy and Ross Cockrell are exactly the types of veterans that Carolina has succeeded with in its zone-heavy defensive scheme under Ron Rivera. Second-rounder Donte Jackson could see early time in the slot as well.

Our Take: The Panthers recovered nicely, but some key losses will be felt. How Newton plays in Turner’s offense will likely make or break this team. — C+

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Key Acquisitions: CB Patrick Robinson, LB Demario Davis, DE Marcus Davenport, S Kurt Coleman, WR Cameron Meredith, OG Jermon Bushrod, TE Ben Watson, QB Tom Savage

Key Losses: OT Zach Strief, S Kenny Vaccaro, WR Willie Snead, OG Senio Kelemete, TE Coby Fleener, S Rafael Bush, CB Delvin Breaux, LB Jonathan Freeny, QB Chase Daniel

The Saints accomplished their top priority — re-signing Drew Brees — and managed to keep him for $25 million annually. That qualifies as a bargain considering the current QB market. New Orleans then turned its attention to reinforcing and already improved defense by adding Patrick Robinson ($5 million/year) and Demario Davis ($8 million/year), though they might have bought high.

The Saints also nabbed savvy veteran Kurt Coleman to replace Kenny Vaccaro. Coleman will be a great fit in Dennis Allen’s three-safety nickel and dime packages the team also re-signed Alex Okafor (4.5 sacks in 10 games in 2017). Then came the splash in the draft, when New Orleans sent its 2019 first-rounder to Green Bay to trade up for Marcus Davenport. While Davenport is extremely talented, the move was awfully aggressive for a player most consider quite raw.

Little changed on offense, though Ryan Ramczyk will have big shoes to fill following veteran right tackle Zach Strief’s retirement. Jermon Bushrod returned to provide depth at guard in place of Senio Kelemete. The Ravens pilfered restricted free agent Willie Snead, but the Saints added an RFA wideout of their own in former Bear Cameron Meredith. They surprisingly didn’t add a young tight end, despite their top three veterans entering contract years.

Our Take: The Saints saved some money on Brees and found several upgrades. That’s impressive for an 11-5 team, although the Davenport trade must pan out. — A

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Key Acquisitions: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Vinny Curry, C Ryan Jensen, DT Vita Vea, RB Ronald Jones, DT Beau Allen, DT Mitch Unrein, K Chandler Catanzaro, CB Carlton Davis, CB M.J. Stewart

Key Losses: RB Doug Martin, DE Robert Ayers, S T.J. Ward, DT Chris Baker, DT Clinton McDonald, C Joe Hawley, OG Kevin Pamphile, K Patrick Murray

It seems like the Bucs have often had productive offseasons that don’t translate into on-field wins, but it’s hard not to give them credit for this spring’s work. Rarely does a weak spot on the depth chart become a strength in a single offseason, but with the additions of Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein and Vita Vea make Tampa Bay’s D-line well stocked around Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence. The group may lack an elite pass rush — which was one reason to question picking Vea at No. 12 overall — but it should bother quarterbacks plenty while shutting down opposing run games. GM Jason Licht also added Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, who could play early, to the secondary in Round 2.

With a third second-rounder (two were acquired by trading down) Licht grabbed Ronald Jones, who should immediately take the lead role after Doug Martin’s release. Ryan Jensen will help clear the way up front, though the Bucs almost certainly overpaid ($10.5 million annually, most ever for a center). But the move allows allows Ali Marpet to move back to guard. The Bucs also locked up tight end Cameron Brate to a hefty extension (six years, $41 million), meaning two tight-end sets with 2017 first-rounder O.J. Howard will be featured plenty. Tampa Bay took another swing at a kicker as well, but who knows if Chandler Catanzaro will be the answer.

Our Take: The Bucs’ roster is clearly improved, though it’s not guaranteed to lead to wins in a brutally tough division. — A-

– Field Level Media

2015 NFL trades: Business as usual?

The NFL is no stranger to big trades. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember the 1959 trade that sent Ollie Matson from the Rams in exchange for seven players and two draft choices. I also clearly remember the 1989 trade where Herschel Walker went from the Cowboys to the Vikings in a trade that involved 18 players and draft choices. Even far more modest trades, though, have been the exception rather than the rule in the NFL.
Because of this, the NFL trades made so far in 2015 have been the source of much discussion. Have there been an unusually high number of trades this offseason? Or is it just a matter of more visible players being traded? This article is intended to put the 2015 trades into a proper context and at least partially answer those questions. Before starting, the point should also be made that this is very early in the trade season and it is likely that more 2015 trades are yet to come.
First, let us address the context. NFL trades can be categorized as being one of five types:

  • Off-season trades that occur before the draft
  • Draft day(s) trades where a team moves up in the draft order
  • Post-draft, pre-training camp trades where a team tries to fill a need it has not met through the draft or free agency
  • Training camp trades where a team may trade a surplus player
  • In-season trades that are few in number and are often necessitated by injuryThis article will focus on the pre-draft trades since that is where we are in 2015 process.During the period from 1995 through 2014 the number of pre-draft trades has ranged, by our count, from zero in 2011 to 20 in 2010. The average has been about 10 such trades per year. The following table shows the distribution of the annual number of trades over the study period:


The number of trades in each of the four years preceding 2015 have been relatively few in number compared to the norm with zero in 2011, eight in 2012, ten in 2013 and seven in 2014.
Individual trades over the past five years are listed in the following tables. The expected impact of each trade at the time of the trade is presented in the tables. A “10” in the trade impact column indicates a very impactful trade. A “0” indicates a trade with no impact. If there is no year in parentheses after the draft choice, it means that the choices involved were in the same year as the trade (e.g., a 2012 draft choice was received for a 2012 trade).
2011 Trades
By our count there were no (as in zero) offseason trades

2012 Trades
The trade-up to draft RG3 occurred in 2012 and was the most impactful trade of the offseason. It was really a trade-up of draft choices but is included in the trade list because of its timing.
The trades are:

2013 Trades
There were several relatively significant trades preceding the 2013 draft. Alex Smith went from the 49ers to the Chiefs; the Jets traded Darrelle Revis to the Bucs and the Vikings traded Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. A fourth trade (Carson Palmer) did not seem significant at the time but was big for the Cardinals. A complete list follows:

2014 Trades
Not much of significance happened during the 2014 preseason. Jeremy Zuttah was a starter for the Ravens and Darren Sproles was a situational player for the Eagles. Not much happened with the rest of the trades and they were relatively minor, both in terms of number and impact. A complete list of trades follows:

2015 Trades
While it is unlikely that 2015 will go down as one of the years with highest number of trades, the ones that did occur have been high impact. The Graham trade may be the most impactful of the group, as it provides a missing piece to a Super Bowl contender.
The McCoy for Alonso trade is very interesting because there have been historically few recent cases where top-level players are exchanged one for one. Most one for one deals involve role players or are “change of scenery” trades (e.g., Jeff Baldwin for A.J. Jenkins, Jason Smith for Wayne Hunter, etc.) The last trades having anywhere near the import of the McCoy/Alonso deal was the Joey Galloway (from Cowboys to Bucs) for Keyshawn Johnson trade in 2004. Clinton Portis was sent by the Bronocs for Champ Bailey deal in the same year but the trade also included a 2nd round pick.
It is also interesting that the Saints participated as sellers in three of the nine trades. Are there more Saints trades to come?
A list of trades made through March 15 is as follows:

Follow Tony on Twitter @draftmetrics

Top 2015 pay cut candidates

Players taking pay cuts during the off-season is a regular occurrence in the NFL’s salary cap environment. Sometimes, it is in a player’s best interest to accept a lower salary instead of getting released. Here are five of the off-season’s top pay cut candidates.
Sam Bradford (QB)-St. Louis Rams
Bradford is one of the last beneficiaries of high draft picks receiving mega-deals prior to the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement creating a rookie wage scale. As the first pick overall in the 2010 NFL draft, Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million deal (worth a maximum of $86 million) containing $50 million in guarantees.
Bradford’s future with Rams seemed in doubt because he missed the 2014 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee for the second year in row until head coach he was consulted on Frank Gignetti’s promotion from quarterback coach to offensive coordinator. This suggests that Bradford will open the 2015 regular season as the Rams’ starting quarterback barring injury or a terrible pre-season. It also gives Bradford some leverage in discussions about reducing his $12.985 million ($16.58 million cap number).
Larry Fitzgerald (WR)-Arizona Cardinals
The signs have been pointing to off-season pay cut discussions with Fitzgerald for quite awhile. Fitzgerald making $16.25 million on a $23.6 million cap number in 2015 isn’t feasible with the Cardinals having over slightly $151 million of 2015 cap obligations. The eight-time Pro Bowler, who signed a seven-year, $113 million contract extension in 2011, has the NFL’s fourth highest 2015 salary cap number.
The situation needs to be before resolved Fitzgerald’s $8 million 2015 roster bonus is payable on the fifth day of the league year (March 14). Although it is ownership’s preference for Fitzgerald to play his entire career with the Cardinals, his performance no longer warrants him being paid like an elite wide receiver. Fitzgerald hasn’t had a 1,000 receiving yards season since 2011. He seemed to be a lock for hitting the mark before he was hindered by a knee sprain and injuries at quarterback.
A trade market for Fitzgerald will be somewhat limited because a team must have enough cap room to absorb his $16.25 million salary in order to acquire him. Only after a trade is completed would the acquiring team be able to restructure Fitzgerald’s contract to decrease his cap number. The Cardinals will pick up $9.2 million of cap room with a trade, which is the same amount of cap space that would be created if the team released him.
Tamba Hali (OLB)-Kansas City Chiefs
Hali has expressed a willingness to take a pay cut if it would help re-sign 2014 NFL sack leader Justin Houston to a long term deal. The Chiefs will use their franchise tag on Houston if a new deal isn’t in place before the March 2 designation deadline. The linebacker franchise tag number will be $13.077 million with a $142 million 2015 salary cap. Some contract maneuvering will be required to fit Houston’s franchise tag under the cap. The Chiefs have less than $1 million of cap room assuming the cap is set at $142 million.
Hali, who is entering the final year of a five-year, $57.5 million contract (worth a maximum of $60 million through salary escalators), has a $9 million salary in 2015, with an $11,964,705 cap number. $2 million of Hali’s salary is a roster bonus payable on the 10th day of the 2015 league year (March 19). Any reduction to his salary would need to take place before he receives the roster bonus.
The 31 year old might balk at too steep of a pay cut. It’s conceivable that Hali could make more than his scheduled $9 million in 2015 as a free agent given the market for older pass rushers picked up last year. DeMarcus Ware made $13 million last season in the first year of a three-year, $30 million deal he received from the Denver Broncos after refusing the Dallas Cowboys’ attempts to cut his $12.975 million 2014 salary. He got a $250,000 raise for 2014 in his new deal despite coming off a 2013 season where he had career low six sacks while dealing with elbow, quadriceps and back injuries.
Julius Peppers quickly landed a three-year, $26 million deal (with $7.5 million guaranteed and worth a maximum of $30 million through salary escalators) from the Green Bay Packers once the Chicago Bears released him. He was 34 years old when he signed with Green Bay and made $8.5 million in 2014.
$9 million of cap room will be freed up by releasing Hali. 2014 first round pick Dee Ford would need to step up after playing sparingly as a rookie. Hali had 91.8 percent defensive playtime (975 of 1,062 snaps) in 2014 while Ford only received 11.5 percent playtime (122 of 1,062 snaps).
Percy Harvin (WR)-New York Jets
Harvin was acquired in trade with the Seattle Seahawks last October. The Jets owe the Seahawks their 2015 fourth round pick if Harvin on the roster on the 10th day of the 2015 league year (March 19). Seattle gets the team’s sixth round pick if he is released prior to this date.
This doesn’t leave the new regime of general manager Mike Maccagnan, who came to the Jets from the Houston Texans, and head coach Todd Bowles, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014, a lot of time to figure out whether Harvin fits into their plans. Harvin, who is scheduled to make $10.5 million in 2015, said during the 2014 season that he would like to remain with the Jets but isn’t interested in taking a pay cut.
The Jets have the leverage to ask Harvin to reduce his salary. He’s unlikely to find another team willing to pay him anything close to $41.5 million in the remaining four years of his contract as a free agent after wearing out his welcome with the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. There could be a glut of wide receivers on the open market because several pass catchers currently under contract could hit the streets (Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace, etc.). There also aren’t any negative cap consequences for the Jets with releasing Harvin. His entire $10.5 million cap number comes off the book if he is let go.
Adrian Peterson (RB)-Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are presenting a united front about welcoming back Peterson once he’s eligible for reinstatement from his suspension on April 15. Peterson is seeking immediate reinstatement through an NFLPA lawsuit against the NFL. Arguments were heard by U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty on February 6. There isn’t a set timetable for Doty to make a ruling.
Peterson, who turns 30 next month, said he didn’t think a pay cut was warranted in an interview with ESPN towards the end of the 2014 regular season. The six-year, $85.28 million contract extension (with a 2017 base salary escalator worth up to $4 million) Peterson signed in 2011 is an outlier in running back marketplace. He is the NFL’s only $10 million per year running back.
The 2012 NFL MVP’s $13 million salary and $15.4 million cap number for the 2015 season are the highest among running backs. LeSean McCoy is the only other running back with a double digit salary or cap number in 2015. The Philadelphia Eagles running back has an $11.95 million cap number and is scheduled to make $10.25 million.
Peterson has also wondered whether a clean slate with a new team might be best. His salary makes a trade unlikely, which suggests that he may be more receptive to playing for less with another team after his reinstatement. The Vikings would pick up of $13 million of cap room by releasing or trading Peterson. There’s already a lot of speculation that he’ll replace impending free agent DeMarco Murray in the Dallas Cowboys’ backfield since he has expressed an interest in playing for the team before he retires.
Others: Dwayne Bowe (WR)-Kansas City Chiefs: $14 million cap number/$11 million salary; Brandon Carr (CB)-Dallas Cowboys: $12.717 million cap number/$8 million salary; Trent Cole (OLB)-Philadelphia Eagles: $11.625 million cap number/$10.025 million salary; Marques Colston (WR)-New Orleans Saints: $9.7 million cap number/$7 million salary; Andre Johnson (WR)-Houston Texans: $16,144,585 cap number/$11.5 million salary; Jerod Mayo (ILB)-New England Patriots: $10,287,500 cap number/$7 million salary; Lardarius Webb (CB)-Baltimore Ravens: $12 million cap number/$8 million salary
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