The Chiefs and Butker agreed to terms of a five-year contract extension worth about $20 million, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. The $4 million annual average on the extension would tie him for eighth among the league’s highest paid kickers.
NFL Network was the first to report terms of the deal.
Most of the other highest paid kickers are, like Tucker, at least 30 years old. Butker won’t turn 24 until July.
But his first two NFL seasons have been good enough to put him among the NFL’s best. Butker made a 43-yard field goal with four seconds left to beat the Washington Redskins in his 2017 debut and has been equally impressive ever since.
Butker has made 62 of 69 field goal attempts since joining the Chiefs. His 90 percent success rate is ninth best in the league for kickers with at least 10 attempts.
Falcons, LB Jones reach $57M deal through ’23
The length of the deal was announced by the team. Rosenhaus told ESPN that the extension includes $34 million guaranteed for the one-time Pro Bowler.
Jones, a former second-round draft pick from LSU who led the Falcons in tackles during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, is considered to be the top coverage linebacker in the NFL.
The deal comes on the heels of the Falcons signing defensive tackle Grady Jarrett to a four-year, $68 million deal that included $38 million guaranteed at signing.
It also leaves wide receiver Julio Jones‘ contract as the team’s most pressing unfinished business prior to the start of training camp. The six-time Pro Bowler, who has two years and more than $21 million remaining on his contract, could be on the verge of becoming the first $20 million-per-year receiver.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff vowed to address Julio Jones’ contract situation after the team adjusted the receiver’s contract prior to the start of last season, netting him an additional $2.9 million for the 2018 season.
As the numbers stand right now, Julio Jones is No. 12 on the NFL’s list of highest-paid receivers at $14.25 million per year. From a production standpoint, he boasts five consecutive seasons of at least 1,400 receiving yards and 80 receptions. His career average of 96.7 receiving yards per game tops the all-time list.
Julio Jones said he wouldn’t hold out over his contract situation and is due to report to training camp Sunday. There has been optimism about the deal getting done before Monday’s first practice, but that’s not a guarantee.
The Falcons have continued the trend of rewarding their own draft picks and briefly made quarterback Matt Ryan the league’s highest-paid player with a five-year, $150 million extension ($100 million guaranteed) in May 2018.
With Deion Jones signed, the team now has to start planning for extensions for three other members of the 2016 draft class — strong safety Keanu Neal, tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.
The Falcons already picked up the fifth-year option for Neal, a former first-round pick who is returning from ACL surgery.
There is a chance 2015 first-round draft pick Vic Beasley could earn an extension with a dominant season. The Falcons picked up Beasley’s fifth-year option for $12.81 million, but they’ve made no commitment to the pass-rusher beyond 2019.
Source — NFL, NFLPA meetings end after one day
A three-day negotiation session between the NFL and the players’ union has ended after a single day, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
The NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement, “Today’s meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA’s Executive Committee and the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee will continue.”
A source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the meetings, which were originally scheduled to run through Friday, ended early because “there was information they needed to take back and discuss further with the other owners.”
The source said the next set of negotiations is set to start July 29, with another three-day session planned.
NFL Network first reported the truncated session.
Broncos hope their poor QB play ends with Flacco
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Denver Broncos became the first full team in the league to report for training camp Wednesday, president of football operations/general manager John Elway made it clear just how much he hopes Joe Flacco can break the team’s disappointing run at quarterback.
The Broncos have used four different starting quarterbacks over the last two seasons — Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler and Case Keenum — and have finished with back-to-back seasons of double-digit losses for the first time since the 1966 and 1967 seasons. And none of those four quarterbacks are on the current roster as the Broncos haven’t finished above 19th in the league passing yardage in any of the last three seasons.
Their last top 10 finish, in fact, was in 2014, which was the last season Peyton Manning started more than nine games — he missed seven starts in 2015 with a foot injury when the Broncos were 14th in passing yardage.
“It’s a hard position to fill,” Elway said Wednesday as Broncos players reported to training camp. “We tried to shake all these trees around here the last four years and the quarterbacks didn’t fall out. So, it’s difficult. We’ve taken a lot of shots, we’ve tried a lot of different situations … Hopefully with Joe we’ve got it solidified with Drew working under him.”
Enter Flacco, who the Broncos acquired from the Baltimore Ravens in a pre-draft trade, a 34-year-old who has made it clear he believes he has plenty of football left in him.
Elway and coach Vic Fangio reaffirmed the Broncos have no question about the starting quarterback — it’s Flacco — and as the Broncos roll into their first on-field practice of training camp Thursday, Flacco carries the expectation he can break the Broncos’ current run of tough luck behind center since Manning retired after the 2015 season.
“It’s been a battle, but this league’s a battle,” Elway said. “It’s been a tough situation, especially at that position … I’m excited for that position.”
The Broncos may practice, at least initially, without rookie quarterback Drew Lock in uniform. Lock, who was the second of the team’s two second-round picks in the April draft (41st overall) is the Broncos’ only unsigned rookie.
Lock and his representatives are looking for a slightly different structure of his rookie deal in case he becomes the team’s starting quarterback over the next four seasons.
Wednesday, Elway was asked if a deal would be done in time for Lock to be on the field Thursday morning and he said simply: “We’ll see. I’m not going to make a prediction one way or the other.”
When the Broncos exited their offseason workouts after their June minicamp, Fangio said Lock was still competing for the backup job behind Flacco. Kevin Hogan, who was the Broncos’ backup last season, and Brett Rypien are the other quarterbacks on the roster.
But, in the end, the team’s hopes and expectations at the position reside squarely on Flacco’s shoulders.
“Any football team when you get back to that position I think, when the football team has confidence with the guy at that position it makes your football team better,” Elway said. “Joe proved, he showed everybody on our football team he’s that guy. Our team responded to him well … he’s ready to take that spot over.”
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