AP source: Rams trade LB Alec Ogletree to Giants for two picks
The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because NFL trades can't be announced until March 14. ESPN first reported the deal.
Los Angeles gets the Giants' fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft. The NFC West champion Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season's leading tackler.
Ogletree has spent his entire five-year NFL career with the Rams, who drafted him out of Georgia in the first round in 2013. He led their defense in tackles during four of his five seasons, only failing to do so in 2015 when he played in just four games due to a broken leg.
He had 95 tackles and two sacks last season while moving into coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 defensive scheme. He also provided leadership on the defense, both during the Rams' turbulent relocation season from St. Louis and again last season, when they ended their 12-year playoff drought.
Ogletree signed a four-year, $42.7 million extension with the Rams just last October, getting $30 million in guaranteed money.
While Ogletree is a speedy linebacker who has been quite productive, he has been an inconsistent tackler at times, and he never appeared to be an ideal fit in Phillips' defense.
Ogletree also was a key player in the Rams' spotty run defense. Los Angeles finished last season fifth-worst in the NFL at stopping the run, allowing 122.3 yards rushing per game and frequently struggling with stops between the tackles, where Ogletree needed to shine.
Ogletree will fill the Giants' need for quality veteran linebackers as they rebuild from their 3-13 season, arguably the worst in franchise history. Starting linebackers Devon Kennard and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas could leave as free agents.
The Giants had two fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft, including a compensatory selection.
Despite their overall success last season under coach Sean McVay, the Rams clearly are reconfiguring their defense in Phillips' preferred image while clearing salary cap space. That room is likely to be used in part to sign AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald to a lucrative long-term extension.
Los Angeles already agreed to trade linebacker Robert Quinn to Miami last week, and starting linebacker Connor Barwin is a free agent.
The Rams agreed last month to acquire cornerback Marcus Peters in a trade with Kansas City, and Los Angeles also used its franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner. Those moves likely mean top cornerback Trumaine Johnson will leave as a free agent.
The trade of Ogletree seemingly improves the chances for the Rams to keep fellow veteran linebacker Mark Barron, who carries a $28 million salary cap hit over the next three seasons. He is due a $2 million roster bonus next week.
AP sources: Eagles get Michael Bennett from Seattle
The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their formidable pass rush with another top-level defensive lineman.
The Eagles acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, three people familiar with the trade told The Associated Press. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the trade information.
Seattle gets wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick.
Bennett had 8 ½ sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career. The 32-year-old Bennett has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary of just $1.65 million in 2018. That number jumps to $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020.
The Eagles will have to make roster moves to accommodate Bennett because they already are over the salary cap. Defensive end Vinny Curry is a likely candidate to be traded or released. Curry started 19 games this season, including playoffs, had three sacks and has three years left on a five-year, $47 million deal.
Bennett joins a deep front unit that includes Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Chris Long and Tim Jernigan. He probably won’t face double-teaming as much and could thrive in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s aggressive system.
The outspoken Bennett has been heavily involved in social activism and fits in nicely in Philadelphia’s locker room with Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins, who are leaders in those areas.
Seattle could be moving on from another defensive star. Cornerback Richard Sherman also is on the trading block.
Johnson has five catches for 45 yards in 10 career games.
AP source: Jerry Jones to pay NFL $2 million for legal fees
Jerry Jones has agreed to pay the NFL more than $2 million in legal fees resulting from two disputes the Dallas Cowboys owner had with the league, a person with direct knowledge of the settlement tells The Associated Press.
The amount to be paid was resolved Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL did not announce details.
Commissioner Roger Goodell held an appeal hearing with Jones on Monday. That came a few days after Goodell assessed the financial penalties for Jones’ lawsuit to overturn the suspension of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott, and for a lawsuit Jones threatened to stop Goodell’s newly approved contract.
Many owners were consulted on seeking restitution, including members of the finance committee. Some finance committee members are on the compensation committee that was at the center of what became a legal back-and-forth over Goodell’s deal.
The restitution is rooted in a 1997 resolution that states owners can seek repayment for legal fees if a fellow owner is responsible for getting them involved in legal action.
Jones’ attempt to derail Goodell’s extension, which came after Elliott was suspended over domestic violence allegations, led to a volley of threatening letters from lawyers for both sides.
After eventually relenting, Jones said after the owners meetings in December that he got what he wanted with an agreement to consider changes to the power of the commissioner’s role through the league’s constitution. Jones denied that his attempt to scuttle the contract was tied to Elliott’s suspension, but made repeated references to Goodell’s power to punish players.
Jones and the Cowboys were supportive of Elliott’s lawsuit, which was led by the players’ union and resulted in federal court hearings in three states over a span of two months. The suit eventually failed and Elliott served the suspension.
Washington to give 1987 replacement players Super Bowl rings
The Washington Redskins will present replacement players from 1987 with Super Bowl rings.
The team announced Wednesday it would honor the work of the replacement players who went 3-0 during the NFL strike. Washington went on to finish 11-4, win the NFC East and beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Owner Dan Snyder says the replacement players’ “contributions are part of Redskins history and represent an integral reason why a Lombardi Trophy from the 1987 campaign resides in our facility.” The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday commending the replacement players on the 1987 team.
An exact date for the celebration of the replacement players’ contributions is yet to be announced.
MOST VIEWED MEDIA