Steelers Not Interested In Phil Taylor

9:39pm: The Steelers are not interested in signing Taylor, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The team feels that Taylor’s bad knee is in need of repair and will take too long to heal, according to a source.

5:23pm: Nose tackle Phil Taylor became a free agent on Tuesday but he might not be unemployed for long. The former Browns first round pick visited the Steelers on Wednesday, according to a source that spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears that upwards of eight teams are expressing interest in the veteran.

Taylor, 27, actually asked to be released by the Browns after it became clear that Danny Shelton would be the club’s starting nose tackle. The Browns obliged and didn’t ask to reduce the money owed to him, even though he’s slated to earn a $5.477MM fully guaranteed salary.

In 2013, Taylor was a starter on defense for Cleveland, but only played 555 defensive snaps, serving primarily as a run stopper. While he wasn’t a full-time player, Taylor’s performance against the run still placed him a solid 26th among 69 qualified defensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). The 27-year-old played just 133 snaps in 2014 before being sidelined with a knee injury.

Taylor was the Browns’ last remaining player from the Julio Jones trade with the Falcons four years ago. Now, the Browns have nothing to show for that deal.

Extra Points: Titans, Trent Williams, Cowboys

The NFL Players Association recently filed an injury grievance on behalf of former Titans tight end Taylor Thompson, according to a league source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan. Thompson, who was officially waived June 19th, is expected to have knee surgery in the near future, but he was not released with an injury designation at the time of the transaction.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Washington‘s new deal with Trent Williams resets the market for left tackles, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Williams’ deal is similar to the contract Joe Thomas signed with the Browns in some respects, like the $42MM value of the first three years of the deal. However, in years four and five, Williams could earn a good deal more than Thomas or Tyron Smith of the Cowboys. The biggest difference of all, of course, is the guarantee structure, which amounts to $30MM in total.
  • Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said there could be a lot of action from the team after final cuts, as Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram tweets. Jones added that running back will be a position of interest for the organization.
  • The Raiders are very likely on the look out for a kick returner on the waiver wire, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.

West Notes: Manning, Chancellor, 49ers

Here’s a look at the AFC and NFC West..

  • Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said on ESPN that he hopes to play next season, as Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets. “I am really enjoying myself.. I feel good and feel I can help and contribute,” Manning said. Manning, 39, had another excellent season for the Broncos in 2014, putting up 4,727 passing yards to go along with 39 touchdown passes. However, he was hampered by injuries late in the season and struggled down the stretch, particularly in the team’s divisional playoff loss to the Colts, in which he totaled just 211 passing yards on 46 attempts.
  • Both the Seahawks and Kam Chancellor need to find a way to save face, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, and he doesn’t think that it will be hard to do. Chancellor is due to make $4.55MM this year, $5.1MM in 2016, and $6.8MM in 2017, so Florio suggests that the Seahawks could take $1MM from next year and $1MM from 2017 and move it to 2015. Alternatively, the Seahawks could give Chancellor more guaranteed cash in 2016 and/or 2017. At some point, Seattle should stop reworking deals, but Florio doesn’t think that this is the place to draw the line given Chancellor’s importance in the locker room.
  • Niners head coach Jim Tomsula said the decision to waive defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye during the first round of cuts to 75 players was made to give him the best opportunity to land with another team this season, as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes. “Just to be frank, Lawrence hasn’t played a lot of football,” Tomsula said. “So for somebody to give him an opportunity in fairness to him, they’re going to want to (see him before the cut to 53 players). So, when you have a guy in that situation, was my thought, that it gives him a better opportunity … What he’s done in three years or two-and-a-half years is remarkable.”

Re-Introducing Pigskin Links

Here at Pro Football Rumors, we deliver up-to-the-minute news on NFL transactions and high-quality original analysis. Each week, we’ll also be featuring some of the best blog articles from around the web in our regular feature, Pigskin Links.

We’re looking for interesting reads on all things football from blogs of all sizes. While PFR is dedicated to player movement, Pigskin Links will be open to pieces on all areas of the game. If you would like to suggest your blog post (or someone else’s) for Pigskin Links, send Zach an email with the link and a brief synopsis at PigskinLinks@gmail.com.

Rams/Chargers To Join Forces On L.A. Stadium?

A pairing of the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood, Calif. is gaining momentum among NFL owners who fear that the Raiders don’t have the cash to make the move work, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets. At this time, the Rams are on board with that plan but the Bolts are reluctant since there isn’t “a lot of trust” between the two teams at this time (link).

Long-term, Cole wonders aloud (link) if the Raiders’ financial situation could force Mark Davis to sell the team to someone with deeper pockets. He also hears that NFL owners and executives are kicking around the idea of moving the Jaguars to St. Louis to replace the Rams if they head west (link). Nothing is certain at this time, but it sounds like there could be a serious domino effect stemming from the NFL’s venture into the Los Angeles market.

Meanwhile, Floyd Kephart, the man trying to redevelop the Oakland Coliseum complex and finance construction of a new stadium for the Raiders, has been pitching his plan to the team for several months. As it turns out, that proposal didn’t jive with the team’s “terms and conditions” for deal and is a non-starter for the Raiders, Matthew Artz of the Bay Area News Group writes. In short, the Raiders made it clear to Kephart that they needed to control stadium revenues to help pay for the team’s $500MM contribution toward the stadium, including a $200MM stadium loan from the NFL. Kephart’s proposal, meanwhile, would have had the financial shortfall filled primarily through issuing bonds backed by future stadium revenue.

Lance Briggs To Retire, Join CSN Chicago?

5:16pm: Strangely, Briggs’ agent says that the linebacker still wants to play football, as Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com tweets.

2:51pm: Briggs clarifies (via Sqor.com) that he has not filed any papers yet to make his retirement official, though he says he’ll make an official decision in “the coming weeks.” Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets that Briggs told him he’d submit the retirement paperwork in the next week or so.

2:26pm: Veteran linebacker Lance Briggs has announced his retirement from the NFL, confirming the decision during today’s Cubs/Reds broadcast on Comcast SportsNet. Briggs, who spent his entire playing career in the Windy City, will be joining CSN Chicago as a studio analyst for the 2015 season, participating in pregame and postgame coverage of the Bears.

“I’m excited to continue my partnership with Comcast SportsNet,” said Briggs, who has co-hosted CSN’s ‘The Lance Briggs Show’ with Pat Boyle since 2010. “I’ve had the good fortune of being a part of this network over the past few years. I credit Pat Boyle who immediately made me feel at home here and I always told him I wanted to be here after my career. It’s just a great atmosphere and I love being surrounded by some really great people. This was the right decision for me.”

Briggs, who turns 35 in November, played in 173 regular season games for the Bears in his 12 NFL seasons, earning seven Pro Bowl appearances and making a case to be considered for the Hall of Fame. The Bears, however, opted to go in a new direction this offseason and in early March they informed him that he wouldn’t be returning for another season.

Briggs, who entered the league as a third-round pick in 2003, was a key piece on the defensive side of the ball for the Bears for more than a decade. Known for being tough and durable throughout his career, Briggs has missed 15 of 32 games across the last two seasons. That’s a stark contrast to the four total contests he missed in his first 10 seasons.

After accumulating more than 1,100 tackles, 16 forced fumbles, and 16 interceptions during his career with the Bears, Briggs drew some interest from the 49ers this offseason, as San Francisco saw its linebacking corps depleted by retirements. However, the Niners never reached an agreement with Briggs, and now the former third-round pick will remain in Chicago as he moves onto the next phase of his career.

Dolphins Shopping Will Davis

In advance of this week’s cutdown to 53 players, the Dolphins are calling around and offering players who aren’t in their plans to other teams, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. According to Salguero, one of the players on the Dolphins’ trade block is cornerback Will Davis, who is being shopped by the club.

Davis, a 2013 third-round pick, was placed on IR in November of 2014 after tearing his ACL. Up until that point, he had only been playing on slightly more than 20% of Miami’s defensive snaps. Coming into this summer, Davis told reporters, including Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, that he was feeling pretty strong, albeit not at 100%. The fact that Davis found his way back to the practice field at all in June was impressive since an ACL tear typically requires a nine-to-12 month layoff.

Some speculated that Davis could put himself in the mix for the starting cornerback job opposite of Brent Grimes, but things did not pan out that way. As it stands, Davis is on Miami’s roster bubble and ostensibly teetering towards getting bumped off the team. The Dolphins are now going to find out if they can get something for their former third round choice rather than releasing him outright.

Raiders Sign Lorenzo Alexander

Two days after he was released by the Cardinals, linebacker and special-teamer Lorenzo Alexander has found a new home. The Raiders announced today in a press release that they’ve signed Alexander, waiving linebacker Horace Miller in a corresponding roster move.

Alexander, 32, spent his first six NFL seasons with Washington, earning a Pro Bowl spot in 2012 for his work on special teams. Alexander joined the Cardinals prior to the 2013 season, and in 2014, he played just 53 defensive snaps, but contributed all season long for the team on kick and punt coverage.

An Oakland native, Alexander played his college ball at Cal, so it’s a homecoming for the eight-year veteran.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/15

Here are today’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Falcons have made a change on offense, signing offensive lineman Eric Lefeld and waiving wide receiver Bernard Reedy, the team announced today in a press release. Reedy, who joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2014, spent last season on the team’s practice squad.
  • After cutting their roster down to 74 players on Tuesday, the Jaguars have filled the lone opening by re-signing tight end Connor Hamlett, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter links). O’Halloran adds that the club also reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Greg Jenkins, so he has been removed from the injured reserve list.
  • The Giants also left an open spot on their 75-man roster following Tuesday’s cuts, and they’re using that sport to re-sign kicker Chris Boswell, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). As Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter), Josh Brown has been dealing with a leg injury, so Boswell will handle the job in New York’s final preseason game on Thursday night.
  • The Ravens released linebacker Steven Means (groin) with an injury settlement, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.

South Notes: K. Lewis, Jennings, J. Jones, Jags

The Saints made the cornerback position a priority this offseason when they added former Patriot Brandon Browner and CFLer Delvin Breaux as free agents, but the team’s top corner won’t be available to start the regular season. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Keenan Lewis underwent hip surgery yesterday and will miss about four to six weeks of action.

Landing on the IR with the designation to return doesn’t appear likely for Lewis, since that would sideline him for the entire first half, but the Saints will have to make do without him for at least the next month.

Let’s check in on a few other items from out of the league’s two South divisions….

  • Speaking to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Facebook link), free agent cornerback Tim Jennings said a visit with to Tampa Bay “went well,” but he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether he’ll sign with the Buccaneers. “I do want to take this time to see what other opportunities may materialize, if possible,” Jennings said. “Some teams may have some things come up with more roster cuts. Obviously, I also have a strong connection to Tampa too. So we will see.”
  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com has the full year-by-year breakdown for Julio Jones‘ extension with the Falcons, which includes a $12MM signing bonus and $35.5MM in fully guaranteed money.
  • Echoing many of the same points made by Jason La Canfora in a recent CBSSports.com column, Bob Kravitz of WTHR Sports writes that Chuck Pagano‘s future as the Colts head coach is uncertain, given his expiring contract and possible tension with GM Ryan Grigson.
  • The Jaguars would “most likely not” let Justin Blackmon out of his NFL contract to pursue a contract in the CFL, writes Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Of course, Blackmon would also have to be reinstated by the NFL before he could even consider playing in Canada, and that doesn’t appear imminent either.
  • A housekeeping detail on the Steelers‘ acquisition of Josh Scobee, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links): The Jaguars converted $925K of Scobee’s base salary into a signing bonus before completing the deal, meaning they pay that amount, leaving the Steelers with just a $2.5MM tab for 2015.

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