Jets Release Dee Milliner From IR

Dee Milliner‘s tenure with the Jets ended Wednesday after the team released the former first-round cornerback from its IR list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Milliner is now a free agent.

Just before the season, the Jets waived Milliner with an injury designation, and he resided on the team’s IR in the meantime. He spent three seasons on the team’s active roster, making this the shortest tenure by a Jets first-round pick with the team (of those who have seen appropriate service time) since Vernon Gholston‘s three-year stay from 2008-10. Of course, a previous Jets regime brought in Milliner, making his status with the team less stable.

Like Gholston, Milliner was a top-10 pick, going off the 2013 board at No. 9 to the Jets. He did not stand out and saw Todd Bowles sign three corners — Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine — in 2015, relegating Milliner to deep-backup status. He played in just five games last season after an Achilles injury limited the former Alabama corner to three in 2014.

New York declined to pick up Milliner’s fifth-year option in May, but he’ll now get an earlier look at unrestricted free agency. The team attempted to trade him this summer but could not find a taker.

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Coughlin Takes Meeting With Bills’ Owners?

Tom Coughlin hasn’t made any secret of his desire to return to coaching, and the two-time Super Bowl-winning leader may have met with Bills ownership over the weekend. However, multiple parties are denying this summit occurred.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Sal Maiorana reports a meeting between Coughlin and Terry and Kim Pegula occurred (Twitter link), but he did not detail whether it was a consulting session or a job interview. Both the NFL — for which Coughlin currently works in the operations department — and his agent, Sandy Montag, deny this took place, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. The Bills did not comment on whether or not this meeting occurred due to a team policy.

Prior to this season, the 70-year-old Coughlin had coached for 20 of the past 21 seasons with the Jaguars and Giants. He’s working alongside Troy Vincent as a senior advisor participating in all game-related committees while having responsibilities relating to the draft and Pro Bowl.

Before their upset victory over the Cardinals, the Bills were dealing with turmoil due partially to the early dismissal of OC Greg Roman and subsequent fallout that may have put Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley on notice. Buffalo’s home triumph may have stalled that speculation, but Ryan’s job status likely isn’t going to fade into the background this season, leading to potential links between the Bills and possible Ryan successors.

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Rams Claim Marqui Christian Off Waivers

The Rams have claimed Marqui Christian off waivers from the Cardinals, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Christian was waived by Arizona on Tuesday. Marqui Christian (vertical)

Christian, a safety out of Midwestern State, was a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. The youngster impressed coaches with his aggressive play this offseason, but he ultimately found himself bumped from a roster that had plenty of depth in the secondary. The Cardinals were reportedly hoping to re-sign Christian to their practice squad before Los Angeles swooped in.

The Rams will now have Christian in reserve behind starters Mo Alexander and T.J. McDonald. Cody Davis and Isaiah Johnson are also on the depth chart at safety.

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Dez Bryant Has Hairline Fracture In Knee

2:30pm: There’s a chance Bryant could play Sunday but he might also miss the next two or three games, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter).

1:57pm: Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has a hairline fracture in his knee, coach Jason Garrett told reporters on a conference call (including Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group on Twitter). Garrett referred to the injury as a “day by day” or “week by week thing,” meaning that we won’t have an exact timetable on the wide receiver’s recovery. Still, the Cowboys are hopeful that he can suit up against the Niners on Sunday. Dez Bryant

[RELATED: Cowboys Place Charles Tapper On IR]

Bryant is no stranger to the injury bug. Last year, Bryant had his season derailed by foot and ankle injuries. Those issues limited him to the worst numbers of his career — in nine games, he caught just 31 balls for 401 yards and three touchdowns, all career lows. In late December, Bryant was placed on season-ending IR. Fortunately, this injury does not appear to be anywhere near as severe. If team doctors give Bryant the green light, he may try to play through the pain this weekend.

Bryant, 28 in November, has caught 11 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown through three games this year.

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Saints To Sign OT Khalif Barnes

The Saints are expected to sign tackle Khalif Barnes today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Barnes had multiple auditions with the Saints this month and he finally has landed a deal with New Orleans. Khalif Barnes (Vertical)

The tackle hooked on with New Orleans towards the end of the preseason but he did not make the final 53-man cut in early September. Coach Sean Payton indicated that Barnes didn’t make the team initially because he wasn’t in football shape. Now, Barnes is presumably ready for live action.

Barnes played in 14 games for the Raiders last year, but he only started one contest. In his previous ten NFL seasons, Barnes started in more than 80% of his games.

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Cowboys Place Charles Tapper On IR

The Cowboys announced that they have placed defensive end Charles Tapper on injured reserve with a back injury. The move will make room for the addition of offensive tackle Emmett ClearyCharles Tapper (vertical)

Tapper was a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and Dallas hoped that he would make an immediate impact while second-round Jaylon Smith would be sidelined for 2016. Unfortunately, Tapper was diagnosed with Pars Defect, an issue that had gone undetected since birth. He hoped that he could play through the pain in his lumbar spine with an injection, but it apparently wasn’t enough. Tapper will now be out for at least the next eight weeks and possibly for the entire season.

Tapper appeared in 39 games with Oklahoma in three seasons and piled up 13.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss.

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Cardinals To Sign Joplo Bartu

The Cardinals have agreed to sign linebacker Joplo Bartu, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). It’s not immediately clear if it’s a 53-man deal or a practice squad contract, though Bartu already has plenty of in-game experience and it would stand to reason that he will be joining the varsity team. Joplo Bartu (vertical)

[RELATED: Cardinals Sign LS Aaron Brewer]

Bartu, who turns 26 on Oct. 3, auditioned for the Cardinals on Tuesday along with fellow linebackers Nate Irving and James-Michael Johnson. Last year, Bartu split his time between the Falcons and the Jaguars. This offseason, Bartu was let go by Jacksonville before the 75-man deadline.

The bulk of Bartu’s NFL experience came with the Falcons in 2013 and 2014 where he appeared in every regular season game and amassed 167 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Last year, he totaled just eleven tackles. He’s ostensibly hoping to get the kind of burn that he had in the early part of his career.

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Texans Expected To Place J.J. Watt On IR

Texans star rusher J.J. Watt has re-injured his back and is expected to miss a significant amount of time, and could potentially be done for the year, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The Texans officially placed Watt on IR Wednesday morning. Houston hopes he will return this season, but a source told Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link) that the odds are not good.J.J. Watt

[RELATED: Brian Cushing Tears ACL]

Losing one of the best — if not the best — player in the NFL for any amount of time will be devastating to Houston’s chances this season, and that may be an understatement. Watt underwent back surgery over the summer, and though he hasn’t missed any action, he hasn’t been his usual dominant self, as he’s ranked just 72nd among interior defenders in 2016, per Pro Football Focus.

Watt, 27, has never missed a regular season game in his five-year career. In each of the last four seasons, Watt has earned Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro selections, solidifying himself as one of the most terrifying defensive players in the league.

Over his firsrt five seasons in the league, Watt has averaged 74 tackles, 15 sacks, and nine pass defended per season. In 2015, he finished with 76 tackles, 17.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and three forced fumbles. As Roster Resource shows, the Texans’ defensive end group outside of Watt includes Jadeveon Clowney, Joel HeathDevon StillChristian Covington, and Brandon Dunn. If Watt misses significant time, they may want to pick up a DE.

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Chargers Sign LB Korey Toomer

The Chargers signed linebacker Korey Toomer off of the Raiders’ practice squad. Today, Toomer took to Twitter to announce the news. Korey Toomer (vertical)

Thanking god for all my opportunities that I’ve had this journey has been a wild one thank you Raiders and #Raidernation hello @Chargers,” Toomer tweeted.

Recently, the Chargers lost Manti Te’o for the season when he tore his Achilles. The Bolts immediately started looking for outside help at linebacker and they found some depth in Toomer. The inside linebacker will have a chance to show his former team what he can do when the Chargers play the Raiders in Week 5.

Toomer, 28 in December, appeared in ten games for the Raiders last season. In 2014, he saw his first NFL action with the Cowboys (one game) and the Rams (seven games).

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Bills Sign Michael Ola From Giants’ Practice Squad

The Bills have signed offensive lineman Michael Ola, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Ola was plucked from the Giants’ practice squad to fill their vacant 53-man roster spot. Michael Ola (vertical)

Ola, 28, was among the Lions’ final cuts this preseason. He hooked on with the Seahawks’ taxi squad soon after being released, but he didn’t last long there. The lineman agreed to join the Giants’ p-squad on September 21st and one week later, he’s off to a new city.

Ola has 24 games to his credit between the Bears, Lions, and Chargers over the last two years. In his time with Chicago, Ola made 12 starts and saw time at every offensive line position except for center. The Bills view Ola as a solid depth pickup and someone that can offer help across the line, if needed.

The Bills now have ten offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, as Rodak notes (Twitter link). Buffalo also has two linemen on the taxi squad and Seantrel Henderson will return from suspension next week. The Bills could get a one-week roster exemption for Henderson that would allow them to have him practice without counting against the roster.

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