NFL Notes: Vikings decline Peterson's option; Revis to be released

NFL Notes: Vikings decline Peterson's option; Revis to be released

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota's all-time leading rusher, will be an unrestricted free agent when the market opens next week.

As expected, the Vikings declined to exercise their option for next season on Peterson's contract. Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, what would have been an unwieldy hit to their salary cap.

General manager Rick Spielman says the team will "continue to have conversations" with Peterson's representatives about the potential of re-signing the soon-to-be 32-year-old Peterson. He has played 10 seasons with the Vikings, who drafted him seventh overall out of Oklahoma in 2007.

He is coming off a meniscus tear in his right knee that limited him to 72 yards on 37 carries over parts of three games.

Jets: Revis informed he will be released
NEW YORK -- The New York Jets have informed cornerback Darrelle Revis that they are releasing him, ending his second tenure with the team which was marked by a slip in play because of injuries and age.

Revis, 31, was scheduled to make $15 million, including a $2 million roster bonus, next season -- but that would have been a lofty salary for an aging player who admittedly had a subpar year.

The move Tuesday, which was expected, makes Revis a free agent while also clearing about $9.3 million on the salary cap.

Revis is also facing aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men on Feb. 12 in Pittsburgh, but his legal issues aren't believed to have played a role in the Jets' decision.

Chiefs: Jamaal Charles era over
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs released four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles on Tuesday, clearing more than $6 million in salary cap space that they used to sign safety Eric Berry and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to long-term extensions.

Even though the move made business sense, it was still somewhat bittersweet.

Charles ran for 7,260 yards and 43 touchdowns in nine seasons with the Chiefs, and will finish as the franchise's career rushing leader. But a career that looked as if it would land Charles in the Hall of Fame has been derailed the past few years by injuries that have cut short seasons in his prime.

He tore his left ACL while taking an awkward step out of bounds in Detroit in 2011. He tore his right ACL against Chicago four years later. And after missing the start of last season, Charles returned to play in only three games, carrying 12 times for 40 yards, before requiring more operations on his knees.

The uncertainty about his future made it impossible for the Chiefs to swallow his salary.

"I have a great deal of admiration for Jamaal Charles, his toughness and what he's been able to achieve in his time in Kansas City," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "These decisions are never easy, but we felt it was in the best interests of the club to move on at this time.

"We wish Jamaal and his family the best of luck in their next step."

Redskins: Kirk Cousins tagged
WASHINGTON -- In a move that seemed the most likely at this point in the odd dance between Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins, the team placed the exclusive franchise tag on the starting quarterback on Tuesday.

The Redskins announced the news one day before the deadline for assigning tags to players.

Nearly a half-hour before the club itself sent out a news release about the move, Cousins' agent Mike McCartney tweeted about it, and Cousins wrote on the social media site: "Tag! I'm it!"

Coming off a pair of statistically impressive seasons, and a nearly $20 million salary under the franchise tag last season, Cousins is now in line for a one-year salary of about $24 million.

He also could wind up agreeing to a long-term contract with the Redskins sometime before July 15 -- or they also could decide to trade him, perhaps to a QB-starved team such as the San Francisco 49ers, whose new head coach is former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

By using the exclusive tag, the Redskins prevent Cousins from signing an offer sheet with another team. A year ago, they put a non-exclusive tag on him, and he immediately signed it.

Chiefs: Duvernay-Tardif inks 5-year extension    
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs have signed offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to a five-year contract extension, locking up the former sixth-round pick before he reaches free agency next season.

Terms of the contract announced Tuesday weren't revealed, but the deal is believed to be worth $41.25 million, with $20 million guaranteed. That would make him one of the highest-paid offensive guards in the NFL.

Duvernay-Tardif was the 200th overall selection out of McGill University in Canada, and he arrived in Kansas City as a raw prospect brimming with potential. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound medical student quickly earned his way into the starting lineup, and has played 30 games with 27 starts over three seasons.

He started all but two games last season, when Kansas City won the AFC West.

Colts: DL Parry arrested in Arizona
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman David Parry has been arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona, on suspicion of assaulting the driver of a motorized cart and then stealing and crashing the vehicle.

Police say the 24-year-old showed signs of impairment when arrested early Saturday morning near where the cart was found crashed.

According to police, the driver had picked up Parry and two other people and that the alleged assault and theft occurred after the driver dropped off the other two people and got out to be paid.

Parry was a 2015 fifth round draft pick. He started all of the Colts' games in 2015 and 2016.

Police said they don't know if Parry has an attorney who could comment on the allegations of robbery, auto theft, criminal damage, resisting arrest and DUI.

Browns: 2nd-round tender placed on Crowell
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns have placed a second-round free-agent tender on running back Isaiah Crowell.

The tender -- worth $2.8 million -- would allow the Browns to match any contract offer Crowell might get from another team. If the Browns decided not to match an outside offer, they would receive a compensatory second-round draft pick for Crowell.

The 24-year-old rushed for 952 yards and scored seven touchdowns last season, and was one of the few bright spots as Cleveland went 1-15.

Coach Hue Jackson identified Crowell as one of the core players and the Browns would like to sign him to a long-term contract extension.

Crowell has run for 2,265 yards with Cleveland, which signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Crowell averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season while falling just short of his goal of 1,000 yards.

'Highly respected' Zach Ertz important piece of Eagles' offense

'Highly respected' Zach Ertz important piece of Eagles' offense

It doesn't take long in any conversation about Zach Ertz in Philadelphia before the words "breakout season" are tossed around.
 
Again.
 
But while a good portion of Eagles fans have been impatiently waiting for Ertz to "break out," the 2013 draft pick has quietly put together an extremely impressive start to his career.
 
In four seasons, Ertz has caught 247 passes for 2,840 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's one of just seven tight ends in NFL history to put up those numbers in the first four seasons of a career. The other six: Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Jeremy Shockey, Tony Gonzalez, Kellen Winslow and Mike Ditka.
 
Not bad company.
 
But for whatever reason, Ertz hasn't become a real fan favorite. Fans have questioned his talent, his play-making ability and even his toughness.
 
Why the indifference?
 
"I don't know," tight ends coach Justin Peele said. "I love coaching him. I think he's good for this team. Every day he comes to work with the right attitude, trying to get better. He's had some success. I don't know. He's a pleasure to coach and I know he's very highly respected in this organization."
 
Ertz, 26, admitted this spring that the constant criticism from fans used to bother him when he was younger. But now entering his fifth season with the Eagles, he's gotten used to it.
 
Does Ertz think he's underrated or overrated?
 
"Whatever people think, people think," Ertz said earlier this spring on Quick Slants on CSN. "I'm not going to get caught up in people's opinions. It's the guys in this building, their opinions of me. I'm really happy with how I progressed this spring and I think I'm setting the stage for a good season."
 
The one thing Ertz admitted he needs to improve is his production in the end zone. He has just 13 touchdown catches in four years and has never had more than four in a season.
 
To put that in perspective, only two players over the last four years — Matt Forte and Jarvis Landry — have had more catches with 13 or fewer touchdowns. 
 
"That falls on me to go out there every Sunday to make plays," Ertz said. "Show I can do it in the spring and in the summer leading into the season and I'm working really hard at it."
 
The height of Ertz criticism came during a 32-14 Week 13 loss at Cincinnati last season. There was an infamous play where Carson Wentz went scrambling and Ertz failed to block a charging Vontaze Burfict, who was in pursuit. The play actually looked like Ertz got out of the way.
 
It was a bad look.
 
And Ertz knew it. He heard the criticism loudly and went out the next week and had a tough, physical game. But the damage was done. A lot of the fanbase turned on him.
 
"One play is not going to define him," Peele said. "The kid played through injury, he came back quick off of surgery a few years ago. He practices every day. This team is important to him. The game of football is important to him."
 
One way Ertz can win back Eagles fans this year is by having a big season. And that isn't out of the realm of possibility for one big reason. He's entering Year 2 with Wentz.
 
Since he entered the league in 2013, he's played with a new quarterback every season. So for this upcoming year, he's worked hard to build a rapport with Wentz and hopes the two of them can build something (see story).
 
How big of a season can Ertz have in 2017?
 
"It just really depends on the health," Peele said. "He's really talented. He can do a lot of things. He can help this offense in a lot of ways. I'm looking forward to it. He's doing well right now."

Seumalo, Vaitai comfortable heading into Year 2 after busy rookie seasons

Seumalo, Vaitai comfortable heading into Year 2 after busy rookie seasons

Had everything gone to plan in 2016, Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai would have spent their rookie seasons watching from the sideline. 

Everything didn't go to plan. 

Allen Barbre had a hamstring injury, Lane Johnson was suspended for 10 games and Brandon Brooks lost two games as he dealt with anxiety issues. 

As a result, Seumalo and Vaitai, third- and fifth-round draft picks, respectively, aren't just one year into their NFL careers. They've also played significant NFL snaps. 

And this year, they'll arrive at training camp as seasoned veterans, not green rookies. So which has had the greater impact: the year or playing time? 

"It’s both," head coach Doug Pederson said. "It's a combination of both. But the biggest thing is the actual playing time last year has really put them in good position this year."

Vaitai ended up playing in seven games with six starts. He played a total of 423 snaps as a rookie and filled in for Johnson until he went down with a knee injury. After a rough start — really rough — Vaitai settled in and showed signs that he could possibly be the Eagles' right tackle of the future. 

When asked about the difference in Vaitai from last year to this year, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland laughed before answering. 

"Night and day, apples and oranges," Stoutland said. "Just his understanding of the position, his balance, his body control, the way he uses his hands. This is a lot faster game than college."

Vaitai found out about the speed of the game first-hand in Week 6 last year. Thanks to Johnson's suspension, Vaitai started at right tackle and didn't have a bad game. He had a horrible game. 

He didn't need to think very long when he was asked what his "welcome to the NFL" moment was. 

"It was that game," he said. "Because in camp I'm going with the threes and twos. I was still a rookie, but when I got thrown into the fire, I learned real quick that if you're not doing great, then you're out. I didn't want to be a disappointment to my family and be that guy who gets drafted and then is out the next year."

Seumalo ended up playing in nine games with four starts and a total of 335 snaps. He played four positions along the offensive line; the only one he didn't play was his most natural spot at center. 

"It's not just the year, it's the playing experience," Stoutland said. "He's played in nine games I think he started four of those games. ... He played a lot of football in his first year. Just that experience in playing those positions and understanding the angles we need to take. He's a very intelligent player. I love coaching players of his magnitude. They have talent, they're smart. Really all you do is coach him one time on something and he pretty much has it."

Seumalo didn't get to play at center last year because veteran Jason Kelce didn't miss any of the 1,133 snaps in 2016. Kelce is still on the team, but it seems like the Eagles are grooming Seumalo to eventually take over. Even this spring, the second-year lineman has been taking some first-team reps at center. 

That's actually how Seumalo thinks he got better. By learning the center position, he gained a better grasp of the offense. That, combined with a year under his belt and significant playing time, have him feeling much more confident heading into Year 2.

"Training camp was tough and a grind and the season is just long," Seumalo said. "Now, I know what to expect a little bit more."