Caplan’s NFL Corner: The Book On Ryan
Logan Ryan is generally viewed by NFL teams as the best-available CB at this point in free agency.
And Ryan, who turned 29 in February, has plenty of interest in his services.
However, from talking to various teams that graded the veteran defensive back in free agency, not every teams sees him being used in the same way for this season and beyond.
Ryan, who teams believe is seeking a deal that averages around $10M per season, is seen as a nickel DB by some of those teams. And others see him with the ability to play inside or outside (see the Tennessee Titans last season).
One thing that should be noted is that 11 CBs were drafted in the first two rounds and several of them are going to play right away, so with so many teams filling a need, the money that he was seeking before the season may not be there for him.
(Some NFL teams see veteran cornerback Logan Ryan, above, as solely a slot corner while others think he can play inside and out, but Ryan’s asking price might be too high at the moment.)
The New York Jets, who I’m told have interest in Ryan, re-signed nickel CB Brian Poole to a 1-year, $4.5m deal (max $5m–$1.5m base salary, $3m signing bonus, $500k in per game day roster bonuses).
But the Jets really need an outside CB: Pierre Desir is expected to start on one side, but the other side is currently open.
Ryan, who saw 1,114 total snaps on defense last season (tied for a team-high with S Kevin Byard), played in over 40% of those snaps out of the slot for the Titans, according to one of the teams that graded him for free agency.
A pro personnel source from an AFC team believes Ryan might benefit from a position switch for the final few years of his career.
“A few of us during our early free agency meetings discussed whether to sign him and move him to safety,” the personnel source said. “You love his smarts, toughness and leadership…you just get concerned with putting him up against guys who can really run.”
The Raiders, who at the start of free agency were looking to add a veteran outside CB, viewed him as a nickel DB, and that role is in the hands of Lamarcus Joyner, so they were not interested in Ryan.
NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell mentioned to me this week that Ryan lined up at safety at times last season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him used as a hybrid DB if he winds up signing for anywhere close to $10M for this season.
Raiders: No Shortage of Talent on Offense; Offense Ready to Take Off?
For the first time in years, the Las Vegas Raiders believe they have the makings of a complete offense.
While 2019 first-round pick RB Josh Jacobs had a terrific first season, it was hard watching their passing game last season.
Starting WR Tyrell Williams suffered a plantar fascia injury very early in the season, and while he only missed two games he was limited by the injury quite a bit and the team struggled to find quality depth at the position. And finding anyone who had speed at the position was equally as difficult.
Now with Williams 100% recovered, and with the addition of first-round pick Henry Ruggs, the Raiders believe they have a terrific size-speed combo.
Ruggs, who I’m told will line up at the “Z” position, is expected to be fully recovered from the cut he recently suffered on one of his thighs way before training camp starts. Ruggs was helping a friend move and suffered a deep gash in his thigh.
With Jacobs, Williams, Ruggs, slot WR Hunter Renfrow, and athletic TE Darren Waller, the coaches will able to take advantage of matchups on a consistent basis for the first time in head coach Jon Gruden’s second tenure with the team.
Word around the team is this offense has the makings of one of their best in years and they’ll be to attack the defense in a variety of ways.
After this season, look for third-round pick Bryan Edwards, who is still rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle, to possibly start at the “X” position.
Williams, who carries a base salary of $11m for this season (became fully guaranteed 3 days after the Super Bowl), has no guaranteed money past this season.
Edwards doesn’t figure to have much of a role this season, but he was drafted with the belief that he could start down the line. And the Raiders were one of many teams that felt he was a first-round talent just based on tape study, but his injury history dropped him down draft boards.
Seahawks: Plan for First-Round Pick; Second-Year WR Could Have Significant Role
The Seattle Seahawks have a plan in place this season for first-round pick Jordyn Brooks.
I’m told the 240-pound LB is expected to initially line up at WLB in place of injured starter K.J. Wright.
Wright, who turns 31 next month, is coming off shoulder surgery and there’s some uncertainty from a club standpoint whether he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season.
However, last week Wright told Sports Radio KJR that “if there’s a football season, I plan on being out there game one (@Atlanta Falcons).”
Wright, who is on the final year of his contract, is scheduled to earn a minimum of $6m this season ($5m base salary, $1m roster bonus earned in March) with a maximum of $7.5m ($1.5m in game day and 53-man roster bonuses).
True Seahawks fans know the name John Ursua. The 2019 7th-round pick earned a roster spot coming out of the preseason. Although he was only active for 3 games as a rookie, I’m told he’s going to get a chance to earn significant role as a slot WR.
The 26-year old pass catcher averaged 14.1 yards per catch in college (U of Hawaii), but because of his size (5-9, 180) and small frame, he projects best playing inside.
Veteran WR Tyler Lockett was the team’s primary slot WR since Doug Baldwin retired after the 2018 season.
Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) is a veteran NFL Insider and former ESPN NFL Insider and is currently a host on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
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