Extra Points: Osweiler, Jags, 49ers, Bolts

Before the Broncos and Texans squared off Monday, Denver cornerback Aqib Talib revealed that the club’s players harbor resentment over quarterback Brock Osweiler‘s offseason departure. Osweiler joined the Texans on a four-year, $72MM deal in free agency after it appeared he would take over the Broncos’ offense from the retired Peyton Manning. “We believed in him,” said Talib (via ESPN.com). “We thought he was going to be our QB. We feel like he reneged on us.” Osweiler’s exit has so far gone swimmingly for the the reigning Super Bowl champion Broncos, who have gotten quality production from signal-caller Trevor Siemian at a minimal cost. Meanwhile, the high-priced Osweiler has been among the NFL’s worst starters in 2016.

More from around the league:

  • Jaguars players are questioning head coach Gus Bradley‘s effectiveness, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Bradley remains popular in the locker room, but players are wondering whether he is tough enough to get the team out of its inconsistent ways. The Jaguars were a popular darkhorse pick before the season started, but they are now 2-4 after Sunday’s home loss to the Raiders. The Jags are also just 14-40 since hiring Bradley in 2011.
  • The 49ers are reportedly shopping Joe Staley, but head coach Chip Kelly unsurprisingly wants the team to keep the standout left tackle. “That’s news to me,” Kelly said of Staley’s apparent placement on the trade block. “Nobody’s had any discussions with me about Joe being traded. We need Joe here” (Twitter link via Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group). It’ll ultimately be general manager Trent Baalke who decides whether to deal Staley, for whom the 49ers have a lofty asking price. While Baalke wants a first-round pick for Staley, multiple GMs have told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that he’d be lucky to receive a second-rounder (Twitter link).
  • Chargers defensive end Caraun Reid tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the team’s 33-30 win over the Falcons on Sunday, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Amazingly, Reid is already the fifth Charger to suffer a torn ACL this season, joining receiver Keenan Allen, running back Danny Woodhead, inside linebacker Manti Te’o and ILB Nick Dzubnar. He’ll also become the sixth Charger to land on injured reserve when the team makes it official. The highlight of Reid’s season was a fumble recovery that he returned 61 yards for a touchdown in Week 3.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Derek Newton Tears Both Patella Tendons

In devastating news for Derek Newton and the Texans, the right tackle tore both patella tendons Monday against the Broncos, report Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Worse, that’s not the full extent of the damage, per Rapoport and Garafolo.

Derek Newton (featured)

This will prematurely end an injury-plagued year for Newton, who was carted off the field in the first quarter in Denver. Newton missed the Texans’ loss to the Colts last week with an ankle problem and sat out the preseason with a hamstring issue.

The 28-year-old Newton has long been a rock for Houston, having appeared in at least 14 games in each of his first five seasons in the NFL. The 2011 seventh-round pick came into this season with three straight 16-game campaigns under his belt and has started in all 68 of his appearances since 2012.

After Newton went down, the Texans replaced him with the experienced Chris Clark. The 31-year-old entered Monday with 36 starts, including five this season, and 86 appearances on his resume.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Eagles Discussing Torrey Smith

The 49ers are open to trading receiver Torrey Smith, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who adds that the sixth-year man is garnering interest from multiple teams (Twitter link). The Eagles are among those clubs, but no deal is imminent, reports Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. Smith joins left tackle Joe Staley as big-name 49ers who are reportedly on the block as next Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches.

Torrey Smith

After spending the first four years of his career in Baltimore, Smith became a free agent in March 2015 and agreed to head to San Francisco on a five-year, $40MM deal with $22MM guaranteed. The 49ers’ struggles under center since last season have negatively affected Smith, who has caught just 43 passes and six touchdowns in 23 games.

Smith’s production has declined in the Bay Area, but he has still averaged an outstanding 18.7 yards per reception and continued his career-long iron man streak. The 27-year-old has appeared in 87 straight regular-season games since going in the second round of the 2011 draft.

As a member of the Ravens, the ex-Maryland Terrapin averaged 53 catches, 898 yards and nearly eight touchdowns per season. That type of production would benefit Philadelphia, which could use another threat at wideout to accompany Jordan Matthews. The Eagles’ second- and third-best receivers, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham, haven’t been particularly productive this season.

Smith is making $4.5MM and carries a $7.6MM cap number this year. The remaining three seasons of his contract include a $6.5MM annual salary and $9.6MM yearly cap hit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cards, Chandler Jones Discussing Extension

The Cardinals and the agent for contract-year defensive end Chandler Jones have been discussing an extension since training camp, general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 (via Darren Urban of the team’s website). Keim didn’t indicate whether there has been progress toward an agreement.

Chandler Jones

Jones is “something we have not had here in years,” said Keim, who acquired the 26-year-old in a March trade with the Patriots. Keim gave up a second-round pick and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper (now with the Browns) for Jones.

In four years with the Patriots, Jones piled up 36 sacks and 10 forced fumbles over 55 regular-season games. The 2012 first-round pick from Syracuse has remained a force in Arizona, where he has amassed 23 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles through seven contests. Jones, who has participated in 96 percent of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps, ranks third in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 103 qualifying edge rushers.

Based on his production, Jones wouldn’t be unreasonable to seek a deal similar to the five-year, $85MM pact fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon signed as a free agent with the Giants over the winter. The former Dolphin, also 26, got a whopping $52MM in guarantees after totaling 29 sacks and four forced fumbles during his first four seasons.

If the Cardinals and Jones aren’t able to find common ground by March, they could hit the one-time Pro Bowler with the franchise tag – worth upward of $15.7MM this year – to keep him off the market. Jones is currently raking in $7.799MM in his fifth-year option season.

Arian Foster Retires

In surprising news, Dolphins running back Arian Foster has announced his retirement (Twitter link via Uninterrupted).

“There comes a time in every athlete’s career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page. I’ve reached that point,” Foster revealed in a written statement. “My father always said, “You’ll know when it’s time to walk away.” It has never been more clear than right now. I’m walking away with peace. I know it’s not commonplace to do it midseason, but my body just can’t take the punishment this game asks for any longer. I want to thank the Miami Dolphins, with everything in me, for allowing me to bow out with grace and making this process as easy as possible.”

Arian Foster (vertical)

Unfortunately, as Foster alluded to, injuries derailed the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro toward the tail end of his career. The 30-year-old suffered a torn Achilles last October, and that ultimately ended his seven-year tenure in Houston. The Texans elected in March to release Foster, who inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Dolphins in July.

A groin injury limited Foster in Miami, where he picked up only 22 carries for 55 yards in four appearances. Most of those attempts (13) and yards (38) came in Week 1. In the final game of his career, Foster rushed three times for 5 yards in the Dolphins’ 28-25 win over the Bills on Sunday.

Although Foster was a shadow of his previous self over the past two seasons, he’ll go down as one of the greatest undrafted players in NFL history. The former Tennessee Volunteer burst on the scene in 2010, his second season, to lead the league in ground yards (1,616), rushing touchdowns (16) and yards from scrimmage (2,220). That was the first of four seasons with at least 1,200 rushing yards for Foster, who may have also eclipsed the mark in 2013 if not for a back issue that kept him out of eight games. All told, Foster tallied 6,527 yards (4.4 YPC) and 54 TDs as a rusher. He also proved himself as a serious pass-catching threat by hauling in 255 receptions and another 14 scores.

In the wake of Foster’s exit, the 3-4 Dolphins will go forward with breakout second-year man Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams as their main backfield options. Ajayi has rushed for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games, making him only the fourth player in league history to accomplish that feat.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Workout Notes: Bears, Pack, Chiefs, Pats

The Bears worked out 10 free agents – including defensive tackle Jordan Hill – on Monday, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter links). Also among their tryouts: Running back Isaiah Pead; quarterback Josh Woodrum; receivers Matt Hazel and Mekale McKay; defensive end Sterling Bailey; and cornerbacks Darryl Morris, Shaun Prater, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Melvin White. Hill was a backup from 2013-15 in Seattle, where he appeared in 27 regular-season games and recorded seven sacks (5.5 in 2014).

More workouts from Monday:

  • The Packers worked out six receivers – Mario Alford, Dez Stewart, Harvey Binford, Da’Ron Brown, Marcus Johnson and Wendall Williamsaccording to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Stewart ended up signing with their practice squad. Guard Josh Walker and quarterback Keith Wenning were also among Green Bay’s tryouts Monday. Walker was previously with the Packers, who waived/injured him in training camp.
  • Receiver Cayleb Jones tried out for the Chiefs, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The 6’3″, 205-pound receiver spent training camp with Philadelphia.
  • The Patriots auditioned safety Shamiel Gary, per Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). The ex-Dolphin was with the Patriots for a brief period in 2014.
  • The Cowboys took a look at defensive tackles Montori Hughes and Casey Walker, reports Caplan (Twitter link). The team doesn’t plan to sign either of them, however, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram (via Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/24/16

Monday’s minor moves:

  • The Patriots have cut defensive lineman Anthony Johnson, according to Rand Getlin (on Twitter). The former Dolphin and Redskin has shuffled in and out of the New England organization since signing with the club in May. Johnson took part in four of the Patriots’ first seven games and made one start.
  • The Chargers will re-sign cornerback Pierre Desir, tweets Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The club waived Desir on Saturday.
  • The Packers have promoted receiver Geronimo Allison and cornerback Jermaine Whitehead from their practice squad, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. They’ll take the places of wideout Jared Abbrederis and corner Chris Banjo, both of whom landed on injured reserve Monday.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/24/16

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: OL Arturo Uzdavinis (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

New York Jets

  • Signed: DL Brandin Bryant

Bears Place Brian Hoyer On IR

The Bears have placed quarterback Brian Hoyer on injured reserve, promoted offensive lineman Cornelius Edison from their practice squad and claimed tight end Daniel Brown off waivers from the Ravens, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).

Brian Hoyer (vertical)

Hoyer left the Bears’ 26-10 loss to Green Bay on Thursday with a broken left arm and underwent surgery Sunday. The journeyman originally entered the Bears’ lineup when Jay Cutler went down with a sprained thumb in Week 2. Hoyer impressed in Cutler’s absence, completing more than 68 percent of his passes for 1,396 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. His placement on IR means he won’t be eligible to come back until Week 16.

Fortunately for the Hoyer-less Bears, Cutler will be ready for their Week 8 tilt against the NFC North rival Vikings, head coach John Fox said Monday.

Brown appeared in two of the Ravens’ games this year and failed to register any receptions. As a rookie last season, he totaled six grabs in as many games. He’ll now join a Chicago tight end group that includes Zach Miller, Logan Paulsen and Ben Braunecker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Claim Taylor Hart From 49ers

The Eagles have claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from the 49ers and signed cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad, Adam Caplan of ESPN was among those to report (Twitter link). The club has also placed cornerback Ron Brooks on injured reserve and released offensive lineman Matt Rotheram.

Taylor Hart

Hart will now return to Philadelphia, which selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. After a rookie year in which he totaled 14 appearances, including one start, and 12 tackles, Hart was unable to survive the Eagles’ final cuts in September. The 49ers, led by former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, then claimed Hart, but he only made one appearance with San Francisco before it cut him. Hart also played under Kelly at Oregon.

Brooks ruptured his quadriceps tendon in the Eagles’ 21-10 win over the Vikings on Sunday, so his placement on IR comes as no surprise. Grymes, who was previously with the Eagles over the summer, worked out for the club Monday before signing and will provide extra organizational depth in Brooks’ absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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