Chargers Release Austin Pettis

The Chargers have released receiver Austin Pettis, reports Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).

Pettis, whom the Chargers signed to a futures-reserve contract in January, spent the first four seasons of his career with the Rams after they took him in the third round of the 2011 draft. He posted 107 catches and nine touchdowns in St. Louis, amassing career highs in receptions (38), yards (399) and scores (four) in 2013. He caught 12 passes in five games last year before the Rams released him in October.

Raiders Trade Sio Moore To Colts

The Raiders have traded linebacker Sio Moore to the Colts, tweets Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. In return, the Raiders will get a sixth-round pick in 2016, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Oakland was recently shopping Moore, who fell out of favor with head coach Jack Del Rio and his staff, per Bair. Prior to the sour turn in the relationship between him and the coaches, Moore was expected to be the Raiders’ starting weakside linebacker this season.

Moore has 26 appearances (22 starts), 140 tackles and 7.5 career sacks to his name since the Raiders used a third-round pick on him in 2013. Moore’s 2014 campaign came to an end after only 11 games because of a hip injury, though he’s healthy now and looking to build on a 90-tackle, three-sack effort. Despite his solid numbers, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) was unimpressed with Moore last year, ranking him toward the bottom (19th out of 21) among 4-3 OLBs who played at least 50 percent of snaps. He received a rather positive assessment from the site as a rookie, though, particularly against the run. Opposing ground games have been a bugbear lately for the Colts, who had the 18th-ranked run defense in 2014. They were famously gashed by the rival Patriots runners twice last season – including in a 45-7 AFC title game shellacking.

Moore will switch schemes with the Colts, who run a 3-4, so the role he’ll fill in Indianapolis is currently unclear.

Seahawks, Fred Jackson Agree To Deal

The Seahawks and free agent running back Fred Jackson have agreed to a one-year contract, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Financial details of the deal are not yet available.

Jackson, whom the Bills released earlier this week, visited the Seahawks on Tuesday. They were just one of several playoff NFL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Billsteams that expressed interest in Jackson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Seahawks head coach Pete Caroll was excited about Jackson after his visit with the team, saying, “I really, really like the kid. We all did,” per The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta.

Despite being the oldest running back in the NFL, Jackson, 34, was in high demand after a terrific eight-year tenure in Buffalo. He totaled 5,646 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground as a Bill after signing with the club as an undrafted free agent out of Division III Coe College. In addition to his prowess as a runner, Jackson was also a quality blocking back and receiving option for the Bills, catching 322 passes (including a career-best 66 last year) and seven more scores.

In Seattle, Jackson will reunite with ex-Bills teammate Marshawn Lynch to once again form a dynamic one-two punch in the backfield and further beef up the league’s reigning top-ranked ground attack. The two played together in Buffalo from 2007-10 and combined for three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported earlier this week that the friendship between Jackson and Lynch was the primary reason for the interest Jackson and the Seahawks had in each other.

Jackson is expected to supplant Robert Turbin, who’s currently felled by a high ankle sprain, and Christine Michael as the Seahawks’ primary backup to Lynch.

Colts’ Arthur Jones Likely Out For Season

Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones underwent ankle surgery to repair torn ligaments Friday and, as a result, will likely miss the entire 2015 season, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.

Jones’ short career with the Colts hasn’t gone according to plan. He was a disappointment in 2014 – his first season with the team – after signing a five-year, $33MM deal to leave Baltimore for Indianapolis, totaling 23 tackles and 1.5 sacks in just nine games (three starts). Prior to hurting his ankle last month, the fifth-year man was hoping for a bounce-back campaign. So were the Colts, who eschewed signing a big-time D-tackle or using a high-round draft pick on one this past offseason largely because of Jones’ presence, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).

Given his less-than-stellar tenure with the Colts, one wonders if Jones is long for the organization. In 2016, he’ll count $5.6MM against the Colts’ cap, with that number jumping up to $7.35MM for 2017 and 2018. If the club isn’t confident he can stay on the field going forward, Jones could be released in ’16 with just $3.3MM in dead money left on Indianapolis’ cap.

Bears Release TEs Rosario and Pascoe

The Bears are moving on from tight end Dante Rosario after two seasons, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Briggs, who reports they’ll terminate his contract (via Twitter). They’re also parting with fellow tight end Bear Pascoe, Briggs writes.

Rosario, 30, was the second tight end on Chicago’s depth chart last season, behind Martellus Bennett. The former fifth-round pick caught 16 balls for 116 yards, but primarily served as a blocker during his 323 offensive snaps. Although his Pro Football Focus grades weren’t spectacular in 2014, Rosario has traditionally been a very solid run blocker.

The eight-year veteran has appeared in 120 games for four different teams, hauling in 116 passes and eight touchdowns.

Pascoe signed a one-year contract with the Bears this past offseason after spending 2014 in Atlanta, where he caught just two passes (one TD) in a blocking role for the Falcons. Prior to that, the 29-year-old was a Giant for five seasons. He was a sixth-round pick of the 49ers in 2009 and has totaled 40 receptions and two touchdowns in the NFL.

Bills Release 16 Players, Waive Meeks

5:04pm: In addition to their moves earlier today, the Bills have waived safety Jonathan Meeks, ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweets. The Bills attempted to trade Meeks, per Rodak, but were unable to find any takers. Rodak writes that Meeks is a candidate to end up on the Bills’ practice squad if he goes unclaimed on waivers. According to Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, the Bills tried – and failed – to trade a receiver in order to keep Meeks on their 53-man roster (Twitter link).

1:07pm: The Bills announced that they have cut 16 players, including defensive end IK Enemkpali, as a part of their effort to get down to a 53-man roster. The full list of transactions is below:

Released:

  • OL William Campbell
  • FB John Conner
  • WR Andre Davis
  • DE IK Enemkpali
  • DT Andre Fluellen
  • LB Quentin Groves
  • RB Bronson Hill
  • OL Darryl Johnson
  • OL Alex Kupper
  • DE B.J. Larsen
  • WR Dezmin Lewis
  • CB Merrill Noel
  • WR Tobais Palmer
  • G Cyril Richardson
  • QB Matt Simms (as reported earlier today)
  • RB Cierre Wood

Reserve/NFI List:

  • CB Leodis McKelvin

Waived/Injured:

  • WR Deonte Thompson

Enemkpali is now (and perhaps, forever) best known as the player who punched Jets quarterback Geno Smith, causing him a broken jaw and many weeks on the sidelines. Immediately after the incident, the Jets waived the linebacker/defensive end and old pal Rex Ryan wasted little time in claiming him. Enemkpali only saw the field sparingly in his rookie season, playing 40 defensive snaps and contributing a little on special teams as well.

Groves, 31, appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Titans last season, including three starts. The linebacker, a former second round pick by the Jaguars, has bounced around a bit over the years and despite signing with Buffalo in August, he’ll be looking for a new NFL home once again in 2015.

Fluellen, 30, spent nearly all of his career with the Lions since being drafted by the team in the third round back in 2008. However, he has never played a significant role in Detroit, acting as a part-time contributor over the course of 77 career games (75 with Detroit). In 2014, Fluellen recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery in 183 defensive snaps. In June, he hooked on with Buffalo, but his stay in Western New York was brief.

 

Patriots Cut Ryan Lindley, Sign Justin Coleman

The Patriots have cut quarterback Ryan Lindley, according to Howard Balzer of TheSportsXchange (Twitter link). Additionally, they’ve signed free agent cornerback Justin Coleman, reports Mike Kaye of First Coast News (via Twitter).

Lindley, whom the Patriots signed last month, was hoping to earn a backup role behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. However, he became superfluous to the Pats when Brady’s four-game suspension regarding his role in DeflateGate was overturned Thursday.

The 26-year-old Lindley was a sixth-round pick of the Cardinals in 2012 and has nine regular-season appearances under his belt. He tossed two touchdowns against 11 interceptions in those nine contests and is best known for starting Arizona’s playoff loss to Carolina last January. He completed 16 of 28 passes for just 82 yards, a touchdown, and two picks in the Cardinals’ 27-16 defeat.

Coleman went undrafted out of Tennessee this year and subsequently signed with Minnesota, which released him Sunday.

Zeke Motta Suspended Two Games

The NFL has suspended free agent safety Zeke Motta for two games, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s currently unclear why the league suspended the 25-year-old.

Motta – a seventh-round pick of the Falcons in 2013 – hasn’t seen action since his rookie season, when he posted 16 tackles in 10 games before suffering a fractured C1 veterbra. He missed all of last season and the Falcons waived him with a failed physical designation this past April.

 

AFC Notes: McCoy, Mathis, Browns

After releasing longtime backfield weapon Fred Jackson earlier this week, the Bills could find themselves without his replacement, LeSean McCoy, for their Week 1 matchup with Indianapolis on Sept. 13. McCoy, the Bills’ big-ticket offseason acquisition, has been dealing with a hamstring injury since last month and was noncommittal about his status for the opener when asked by reporters Friday.

“We’ll wait and see,” he said, according to ESPN.com. “Only thing I can do is control what I can control, and that’s just working hard and getting treatment and getting ready to go get out there.”

Bills head coach Rex Ryan stated he’s “optimistic” McCoy will be ready for Week 1. If McCoy can’t go, Ryan isn’t ready to name a starter for the Indy game.

“I’m not gonna get into those type of scenarios, the what-ifs and all that type of stuff. I know one thing: This football team will be ready. Period,” he said.

More from the AFC:

  • Buffalo’s Week 1 opponent, the Colts, could have pass rusher Robert Mathis back for the opener, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. “There’s a possibility,” Pagano said, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “We’ll just evaluate how the week goes. Rob is doing great. He’s making great progress.” Mathis, who had an NFL-high 19.5 sacks in 2013, sat out all of last season after tearing his Achilles.
  • Browns general manager Ray Farmer is suspended four weeks for violating league rules prohibiting certain uses of electronic devices during games last year. Thus, executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich will oversee their player personnel department until Farmer returns, reports Andrew Gribble of the team’s website.
  • The Titans’ starting offensive line is in place, writes Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. “Pretty much, it’s set,” said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. From left tackle to right tackle, they’ll go with Taylor Lewan, Byron Bell, Brian Schwenke, Chance Warmack and Jeremiah Poutasi.
  • The Raiders are receiving interest from teams regarding receiver Seth Roberts, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Roberts, who signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama last year, was second in receiving yards (243) during the preseason.

Dolphins Cut Josh Freeman

For the second time this summer, the Dolphins have cut Josh Freeman, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). When Miami cut Freeman in July, the club re-signed him four days later, but it’s not clear if he’s still in the team’s plans at all after his latest release.

Freeman, 27, was Tampa Bay’s full-time starting quarterback from 2009 to 2012, but saw the wheels come off in 2013 and was cut by the team. In his first four seasons, the former 17th overall pick completed 58.8% of his passes and tossed 78 touchdowns to go with 63 interceptions, as well as throwing for more than 4,000 yards in 2012.

With Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore ahead of him on the depth chart, however, Freeman was never considered a good bet to make the Dolphins’ regular season roster, barring an injury to one of the top guys, or an unexpectedly productive preseason by Freeman. The former Bucs starter completed 13 of 22 passes against his former team in Thursday night’s preseason finale, throwing no touchdowns and two interceptions.

NFL News & NFL Rumors