Buccaneers Re-Sign Connor Barth

9:23am: The Buccaneers have now announced Barth’s signing in a press release, making it official.

9:08am: A day after waiving Kyle Brindza, the Buccaneers have found a new kicker — their old kicker. Tampa Bay is re-signing Connor Barth, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). We heard yesterday that Barth, Kai Forbath, Randy Bullock, and Billy Cundiff were working out for the Bucs.

Barth, 29, was the Bucs’ full-time kicker from 2009 to 2012, converting on 84.3% of his field goal attempts during that stretch, including 12 of 18 from beyond 50 yards. After being sidelined for the entire 2013 season, Barth signed with the Broncos last season and made 15 of 16 field goals for Denver. However, he was cut by both the Broncos and the Bucs prior to the 2015 season.

Brindza initially beat out Barth – and Patrick Murray – for the Buccaneers’ kicking job this season, but the rookie missed seven kicks (five field goals and two extra points) in Tampa Bay’s last two games, forcing the club to make a change. Yesterday, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith indicated that the team’s top priority in a new career was accuracy, so the fact that Barth isn’t known for his booming kickoffs is a secondary concern for Tampa Bay.

It’ll be a two-year deal for Barth, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter).

Bears To Sign Sherrod Martin

A month after releasing him from their roster, the Bears are set to re-sign free agent defensive back Sherrod Martin, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The corresponding move for Martin’s signing isn’t yet known, but center Will Montgomery will likely be heading to the injured reserve list after breaking his leg this weekend.

Martin, who turns 31 next Monday, spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Panthers, starting 36 games during that stretch, including all but one in 2010 and 2011. The former second-round pick hasn’t played a significant role for an NFL defense since then, though he did earn a couple starts in 2014 for Jacksonville, as well as contributing for the Jaguars on special teams.

Martin survived Chicago’s initial cutdown to 53 players last month, but was one of two players let go on the Sunday after teams’ initital rosters were set, as the Bears claimed a pair of players off waivers. The Troy product will return to the team with safety Antrel Rolle‘s availability in doubt for Week 5. Rolle suffered a right foot injury against the Raiders on Sunday, leaving Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey, and Chris Prosinski as the only healthy safeties on Chicago’s roster.

Extra Points: Ravens, Mallett, Colts, Campbell

The Ravens completed a trade over the weekend, acquiring Chris Givens from the Rams for a future draft pick, and Peter King of TheMMQB.com wouldn’t be surprised if that’s not the last deal for a wide receiver Baltimore makes this season. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun agrees that the Ravens will certainly monitor the market, but notes that GM Ozzie Newsome isn’t the type to panic and trade future assets for a short-term fix.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Texans coach Bill O’Brien told reporters that Ryan Mallett is still the team’s starting quarterback heading into Thursday’s game against the Colts, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Mallett completed 12 of 27 passes for 150 yards and one interception with a passer rating of 46.8 on Sunday against the Falcons.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter) wouldn’t be surprised to see the Colts re-sign quarterback Josh Johnson on Wednesday.
  • Dolphins players “love” the newly-appointed interim head coach Dan Campbell but there’s concern about whether the play-calling will improve, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • After punter Thomas Morstead suffered a leg injury, the Saints are bringing in four punters for tryouts on Tuesday, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Norman, Reed, Bears, Bucs

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman doesn’t negotiate contracts during the regular season, but David Newton of ESPN.com wonders if the bye week might be an exception. If it is, perhaps Carolina could explore getting something done with cornerback Josh Norman this week, but as Newton acknowledges, that seems unlikely. Norman reportedly turned down a contract offer worth about $7MM annually prior to the regular season and a new pact would likely require an offer of $10MM+ per year.

Here’s more out of the NFC..

  • Washington may be in the market for a tight end once again, as Jordan Reed is dealing with an MCL sprain, an ankle sprain, and a concussion, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Head coach Jay Gruden said he’s concerned about Reed’s status, though he’s not sure yet about the magnitude of the injuries.
  • Former Giants wide receiver Julian Talley has a workout scheduled with the Bears on Tuesday, a source tells Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (Twitter link). Talley was cut from the Giants’ roster at the end of the preseason, then released off the team’s practice squad last week.
  • With the Buccaneers searching for a new kicker to replace Kyle Brindza, head coach Lovie Smith said today that accuracy will be the team’s top priority — a big leg for kickoffs and longer field goal attempts would be a bonus (Twitter link via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com).
  • After Zach Hocker missed a late 30-year field goal against the Cowboys on Sunday, the Saints are planning kicker tryouts this week, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.
  • The Rams are expected to re-sign linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar to fill the roster spot of injured linebacker Alec Ogletree, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets. However, they have not decided whether or not to sign him just yet (link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/15

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Colts announced that they have signed free agent cornerback Shaun Prater. Prater will take the roster spot vacated by quarterback Josh Johnson. Prater was originally signed by the Colts as a free agent on September 29, 2015 and was waived on October 2. He has played in 19 career NFL games (three starts) and registered six tackles, seven passes defensed, one interception and five special teams tackles
  • The Cowboys waived linebacker Keith Smith and defensive tackle Ken Bishop, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. With Lance Dunbar sidelined with a knee injury, the Cowboys will use two of their three open roster spots for the returns of Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain.
  • The Buccaneers waived wide receiver Adam Humphries, according to Pat Yasinskas of WalterFootball.com (on Twitter). In a related move, wide receiver Donteea Dye has been promoted to the 53-man roster, as Jenna Laine of FOX Sports 1 tweets.
  • Washington announced the signing of defensive end Frank Kearse and the release of linebacker Terrance Plummer.

Patriots Work Out Boom Herron

The Patriots worked out former Colts running back Boom Herron on Monday, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter). The Patriots may have been taking a look at Herron in an effort to keep their emergency lists fresh, as Reiss insinuates, but his previous body of work could have New England interested in a deal. Of course, the Pats are also facing the Colts in two weeks and, as teams often do, the Patriots could be looking at Herron as a source of useful information.

Herron, who suffered a sprained AC joint in the Colts’ final preseason game, was waived by the Colts in September. The 26-year-old, who was competing for a role as one of Frank Gore‘s backups, was a sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 2012 and spent the last two years with the Colts. He played in all 16 of the Colts’ regular-season contests in 2014 and rushed for 351 yards and a touchdown, adding 21 catches.


Eagles Notes: Sturgis, Bradford, Sanchez

Caleb Sturgis, whom the Eagles signed to replace the injured Cody Parkey, had an rough debut Sunday in the team’s 23-20 loss to Washington. Sturgis missed a 33-yard field goal and an extra point and coach Chip Kelly sounds open to finding a replacement.

You always have to [consider your options],” Kelly said, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter). “The state of kicking in the NFL is not good.”

Still, for the time being, Kelly says that Sturgis will remain the team’s place kicker (per PhiladelphiaEagles.com via Twitter). While we wait to see if Philly will move on to kicker No. 3 this season, here’s more on the Eagles..

  • Kelly has taken the Eagles from pretty good to pretty awful, Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes. In the offseason, Kelly wrestled roster control away from exec Howie Roseman and therefore the blame has to lie with him, Maske writes. The Eagles stand at 1-3, putting them in last place in the division.
  • Through four games, Sam Bradford is 35-for-66 for just 309 yards in the first half with a paltry 4.7 yards per attempt, one touchdown, and one pick. Given his struggles, it’s time for Kelly to bench the former No. 1 pick and replace him with Mark Sanchez, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com opines.
  • Kelly is confident that he has the guys he needs to win games, as Les Bowen of the Daily News writes.

Lance Dunbar Out For Season

Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, head coach Jason Garrett told reporters, including Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The surgery, of course, will end Dunbar’s season at the quarter-mark.

Dunbar, 25, has been a key part of the Dallas offense through the first month of the season, establishing a new career high already in receptions (21). He racked up 54 yards on the ground on just three carries before leaving Sunday’s game against the Saints.

While DeMarco Murray‘s departure opened the door for Dunbar to get a little more playing time, his receiving ability out of the backfield would have helped him carve out a role even if Murray had re-signed with the Cowboys in the offseason.

Dallas still has Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden in-house and Christine Michael could take on a larger role, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll look out-of-house for a running back. Dallas also has running back Gus Johnson on the practice squad and he could be promoted to the 53-man roster for additional depth, if needed.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/5/15

Here are Monday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

St. Louis Rams


  • Signed: WR Issac Blakeney, LB Lynden Trail (press release)
  • Cut: LB Sage Harold

Dolphins Rumors: Coyle, Tannehill, Campbell

While multiple reporters, including Jason Cole of Bleacher Report and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links), suggested earlier today that Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was likely to be shown the door along with Joe Philbin, Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets that Coyle remains employed and is going about his job. Breer adds that Dan Campbell “has a call to make” on Coyle, suggesting the new interim head coach will make the decision on the DC’s status.

As we wait to see whether Coyle will continue to run the Dolphins’ defense, let’s round up several more items of interest out of Miami….

  • Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post provided an interesting report on the situation in Miami today, writing that Ryan Tannehill has been making negative comments toward practice squad players, who have been forcing him to turn the ball over in practice sessions. According to Wilson’s sources, the quarterback told players to “enjoy [their] practice squad pay check [and] practice squad trophy.”
  • If Wilson’s report is accurate, it’s a sign of a potentially dysfunctional locker room, but Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links) received a text message from a Dolphins player saying he was unaware of any rift between Tannehill and the club’s practice squad players. Of course, if the incident Wilson describe did happen, it’s unlikely that every Dolphin player would be eager to confirm it.
  • It was only a matter of months ago that the Dolphins signed Tannehill to a long-term extension, but that deal doesn’t really guarantee him a job beyond the 2016 season, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes. It may be a little early to say Tannehill’s long-term future in Miami is in jeopardy, but as Florio notes, new coaching staffs often aren’t tied to specific players on a team’s roster — even quarterbacks.
  • Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said today that Campbell will certainly be a candidate for the Dolphins’ permanent head coaching job in 2016, tweets James Walker of ESPN.com. For what it’s worth, agent Brent Tessler tweeted today that his clients on the Dolphins said the locker room “loves” Campbell and is feeling good about the move.
  • Ross was loyal to Philbin to a fault, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, who says it would have made sense for the Dolphins to part ways with Philbin after the 2014 season. La Canfora also explores possibilities for Miami’s permanent coaching job, mentioning names like Eric Mangini, Sean Payton, and Jon Gruden, though their odds range from unlikely to very unlikely.
  • Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today identifies six potential head coaching candidates the Dolphins could consider in the coming weeks or months.

NFL News & NFL Rumors