Green Bay Packers Rumors & News

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/3/15

Today’s minor moves and signings in the NFL..

  • The Patriots have agreed to bring back second-year linebacker Cameron Gordon to address some depth concerns, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. The Patriots also announced that they have claimed guard Harland Gunn off waivers from the Falcons.
  • The Chiefs announced that they have signed former Missouri wide receiver L’Damian Washington.
  • The Patriots waived-injured Kevin Hughes and cut Vince Taylor with a failed physical designation, Wilson tweets.
  • The Packers announced that they have signed wide receiver Ed Williams.
  • The Cowboys waived-injured Justin Jackson, who tore his ACL over the weekend, Wilson tweets.
  • The Broncos signed wideout Corbin Louks, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets. Louks, who was cut by the Chiefs in May, will fill the roster spot previously filled by Kyle Williams, who has hit the IR.
  • The Chargers signed former Packers defensive tackle Luther Robinson, Wilson tweets.
  • The Browns announced that they have signed running backs Timothy Flanders and Jalen Parmele and waived wide receiver Kevin Cone and defensive back Brandon Stephens, Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal tweets.
  • The Bills have signed free agent cornerback Merrill Noel, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News (on Twitter). Noel was released by Buffalo back in June.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Chiefs waived backup defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, as Blair Kerkhoff of The Kansas City Star tweets. Worthy signed a futures deal with KC back in December. Worthy, a 2012 second-round pick out of Michigan State, tore his ACL in the final game of the 2012 season and played only 12 snaps in 2013. Worthy was traded from the Packers to the Pats in August of 2014 but he did not get on the field last season.
  • The Eagles signed rookie free agent wide receiver Mike Johnson, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The Delaware product participated in the Eagles rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis and, apparently, he impressed the right people.
  • Linebacker/defensive end Austen Lane, who had stints with the Jaguars, Lions, and Bears, took to Twitter to announce his retirement.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Saints, 49ers, Packers, Hill

As we head into Saturday night, here’s the latest from around the NFC.

  • Panthers wideout Stephen Hill‘s bad week worsened Saturday in the form of a right leg injury that resulted in him being carted off the field, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press. This comes a few days after his marijuana-related citation. Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweeted Hill’s status “doesn’t look good.” He has to be considered a longshot to play in North Carolina this season, considering what’s happened this week and the players residing ahead of the former second-round pick on the Panthers’ depth chart.
  • A starter at right tackle in Minnesota’s final five games last season, Mike Harris will receive the first crack at earning the Vikings‘ starting right guard job, coach Mike Zimmer confirmed to media (via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune). Rookie T.J. Clemmings also figures to factor in there, but Harris has started 17 games since arriving in the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
  • Adrian Peterson‘s game-action drought will likely continue until the Vikings take the field for the regular season, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com reports. Although this means the running back’s time without having suited up for a game will last more than a year, with the Vikings’ opener coming Sept. 14, Peterson hasn’t carried the ball in a preseason game since 2011.
  • Saints coach Sean Payton was not surprised by the suspension given to tight end Orson Charles‘ one-game suspension for a road-rage incident, telling media (including NOLA.com’s Evan Woodberry), “We were on top of all of that. None of that was a surprise, “Payton said. “He’s been very forthright in communicating. He’s been very open with the league and with ourselves.” Charles has started six games in three seasons, each coming with the Bengals as a rookie in 2012.
  • As part of his reworked contract, fifth-year 49er Aldon Smith collected a $300K roster bonus Saturday. The perpetually afoul-with-the-league linebacker’s earned $800K in bonuses since April 1, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Sean Richardson‘s eventful offseason continued Saturday, with the safety receiving a $200K bonus for being on the roster on the third day of Packers training camp, per ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky (via Twitter). The Packers matched the Raiders’ $2.55MM contract offer and kept Richardson in Green Bay for another season.

NFC Notes: Mincey, Eli, Bennett, Saints, Pack

Here’s a look at the latest from around the NFC:

  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the team and defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who is holding out from training camp over a contract dispute, have had some back and forth regarding a new deal, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Mincey started all 16 games last season and totaled 46 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. He’s due to earn $1.5MM this year.
  • Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who is entering the final year of his contract, hasn’t set a deadline on getting an extension done, tweeted the New York Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano.
  • Bears tight end Martellus Bennett said in June that he’s “always working on a new contract,” but he changed his tune Thursday, per ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. “I’m not even worried about a contract right now,” he said. “It’s just business. I have no hard feelings against anybody.”  Bennett, who caught 90 passes and made his first Pro Bowl trip in 2014, has two years left on his contract and is set to earn a base salary of $4.9 million this season.
  • The NFL suspended Saints tight end Orson Charles for one game without pay for violating its personal conduct policy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The league’s discipline process is confidential, meaning it’s unclear what Charles was suspended for, but Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com wrote that Charles received diversion in February for a 2014 “road rage” incident. The 24-year-old has appeared in 29 NFL games, all with the Bengals (none since 2013), and caught nine passes.
  • Friday was rough for Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland: The league suspended him one game for a past incident involving marijuana possession and he suffered an apparent right leg injury during practice. ESPN’s John Keim reports (via Twitter) that it’s an MCL injury and Breeland will miss 4-6 weeks.
  • The Packers worked out ex-Sacred Heart running back Keshaudas Spence on Friday, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press Gazette (via Twitter).

North Notes: Browns, H. Smith, Steelers

The 2015 season will likely be a redshirt year for rookie cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Browns head coach Mike Pettine said on Wednesday, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. At one point, Ekpre-Olomu, who continues to recover from a serious knee injury, was viewed as a potential first-round pick, but Cleveland snagged him in the seventh round in May following his torn ACL and disclocated knee. The Browns will have to wait until the end of training camp to move the Oregon alum to injured reserve if they want to avoid the risk of losing him on waivers.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/24/15

Today’s minor moves…

  • The Texans signed offensive tackle Aaron Adams, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Green Bay cut Adams with a failed physical designation in April. He tore his ACL and MCL in training camp last year and missed all of the 2014 season.
  • The Packers waived cornerback Bernard Blake with the non-football illness designation, Howard Balzer reports (Twitter link). Green Bay signed Blake as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State in May.
  • The Steelers signed offensive tackle Kevin Palmer and waived safety Jordan Dangerfield, Balzer tweeted.
  • The Browns’ Tory Slater passed his physical, according to Balzer (Twitter link), and the team will remove him from its PUP list. Cleveland claimed Slater off waivers in May, when the Seahawks waived him with the injured designation.
  • The Buccaneers have waived linebacker Jared Koster, Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune reports (Twitter link). Koster signed with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in May. His release gives Tampa 88 active players.
  • The Ravens placed injured safety Terrence Brooks on the physically unable to perform list, according to Wilson (via Twitter). Brooks, who appeared in 11 games and made 19 tackles as a rookie in 2014, is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered last December.
  • The Jaguars signed wide receiver/returner Greg Jenkins, per the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran. The 25-year-old Jenkins has appeared in six games, all with Oakland in 2013, and returned 10 kicks for 221 yards.

Bears Consider Pursuing Jermaine Gresham

With training camps around the corner, unsigned tight end Jermaine Gresham is becoming a popular free agent target around the league. The latest team to be linked to Gresham is another NFC North squad — according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have discussed the possibility of pursuing the former Bengals tight end.

The Bears’ No. 1 tight end, Martellus Bennett, reportedly isn’t thrilled with his contract, and was mentioned as a potential trade candidate earlier in the offseason. However, Biggs’ report suggests that if the Bears were to go after Gresham, it would likely be as a complement to Bennett, rather than as a replacement.

While Chicago is one possible suitor for Gresham, he doesn’t appear to be lacking options these days. The 27-year-old recently paid a visit to the Cardinals, and the Packers hosted him for a visit this week as well, though Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets that Green Bay isn’t currently discussing a contract with Gresham. The Saints and Raiders are also said to have some interest in the former first-round pick.

I expect that Gresham, who is returning from offseason back surgery, will sign with a team around the time that training camps get underway in the coming days.

Packers Hosting Jermaine Gresham

Free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham is visiting with the Packers, a source tells Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (on Twitter). Gresham is an intriguing option for a Green Bay team with questions at the tight end position.

Andrew Quarless was viewed by many as the favorite to start at tight end, but a July arrest has thrown his status into flux. Quarless reportedly fired a pair of rounds following an argument with two women at a South Beach parking garage. When police pursued the vehicle he was riding in, the 26-year-old tried to hide outside a restaurant and conceal his weapon in a potted plant. The gun, reportedly, was legally registered to Quarless. If Quarless is suspended to start the year, the Packers could turn to second-year tight end Richard Rodgers, who caught 20 passes for the team in 2014. However, a proven commodity like Gresham could make more sense.

Gresham visited with the Cardinals on Tuesday but left without a deal. Arizona is apparently weighing other tight end options too after expressing interest in former Washington notable Chris Cooley. The Saints also hosted Gresham on a visit back in June and they could be a solid fit for his services. New Orleans, of course, traded dynamic tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle in March and would probably like an established veteran to fill his shoes.

Gresham, a former Oklahoma product, never lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he was selected by Cincinnati in the first round of the 2010 draft, but he has a history of consistent production, averaging about 56 catches, 544 yards, and five touchdowns per year. He is also a capable blocker, and although there is no chance he will return to the Bengals, he now has a handful of clubs to choose from as he enters the next stage of his career.

Letroy Guion Suspended Three Games

The NFL has suspended Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion for the first three games of the regular season as a result of his offseason arrest, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. According to Demovsky, Guion is planning to appeal the penalty, with his agent and lawyers preparing his case after they were notified of the suspension earlier this week.

Guion, who turned 28 last month, was arrested in February when police found 357 grams of marijuana and an unloaded gun in his truck. The case was settled in March when Guion accepted a plea deal, at which point the Packers re-signed the veteran defensive lineman to a one-year, $2.75MM contract.

Green Bay had been bracing for a possible suspension for Guion, though the club hoped it would just be for a game or two, notes Demovsky. Assuming the league’s decision stands, the Packers will be without multiple defenders to start the season, since Datone Jones was also suspended for the first game of the regular season due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

In his first season with the Packers in 2014, Guion started all 16 regular season contests as the team’s nose tackle, establishing new career highs in tackles (41) and sacks (3.5).

North Rumors: Packers, Pitta, Browns

Packers president Mark Murphy wasn’t thrilled to see his a handful of his players at the center of off-field incidents this offseason, with Datone Jones having been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, while Letroy Guion and Andrew Quarless were each arrested and could be suspended as well. However, the team still doesn’t have any plans to release any of those players to send a message, as Murphy tells Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“While we’re disappointed in all the situations, we have to let the process play out and see exactly what happens in each situation,” Murphy said.

As we wait to see how Quarless’ legal situation plays out, and whether or not Guion receives discipline from the NFL, here are a few more items from around the league’s two North divisions:

  • Although Dennis Pitta has made “significant progress” in his recovery from a fractured and dislocated right hip, his NFL future is still up in the air. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens tight end will likely begin the 2015 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks. Pitta, who will earn a guaranteed $4MM base salary this year whether or not he plays, has yet to be medically cleared to practice.
  • In his latest piece for ESPNCleveland.com, Tony Grossi highlights the departure of former Browns director of player engagement Jamil Northcutt, suggesting that the so-called mutual parting reflects a “seeping rift” between head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer. Sources have told Grossi that Northcutt was a recipient of Farmer’s illegal in-game texts that earned the GM a four-game suspension, though another source says that’s not accurate.
  • The Vikings don’t have interest in free agent guard Evan Mathis, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that the team wants to see what it has in its young players. Minnesota could consider revisiting Mathis later if the club’s guard play is an issue.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Janie Mayeron has ordered the NFL and the Players Association into settlement negotiations in their battle over Vikings running back Adrian Peterson‘s suspension, writes Dave Campbell of The Associated Press. The legal fight stems from the NFLPA claiming that the league “deliberately ignored” Judge David Doty’s ruling when Doty sided with the union in rejecting arbitrator Harold Henderson’s decision to uphold Peterson’s suspension.

Latest On Reggie Wayne

Last week, Reggie Wayne reiterated that he wants to play at least one more season in the NFL, suggesting that a few teams had been in touch with him this offseason. At the time, Dave Furst of WRTV-6 in Indianapolis tweeted that the Patriots, Ravens, Texans, and Packers were showing some interest in the veteran wideout, with the Broncos having backed off.

A pair of reports today, however, have reduced that list of potential suitors by half. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens are not expected to pursue Wayne, given his age and the presence of another 36-year-old wideout – Steve Smith Sr. – on the roster. Baltimore doesn’t appear to be in the market for receiving help in general, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, who tweets that the club also isn’t likely to go after the recently-waived Ace Sanders.

Meanwhile, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) reports that the Texans aren’t interested in Wayne either. Houston lost its longtime No. 1 receiver Andre Johnson to the Colts earlier this offseason, so it would be somewhat fitting for the Texans to land Wayne, but it doesn’t appear that will happen.

Wayne has said he’s healthy after playing through a triceps injury last year, and his 2014 numbers indicate he can still be productive. But the deep wide receiver draft classes in 2014 and 2015 have dampened interest around the league in veterans like Wayne, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. In Robinson’s view, the former Colt will likely have to wait for players to start getting hurt in training camp before he signs somewhere.