Green Bay Packers

Practice Squad Updates: Monday

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here..

  • The Chiefs have placed Darin Drakeford on the practice squad-injured list, tweets Aaron Wilson. The linebacker was originally cut by the Falcons in August, and he signed with Kansas City in October.
  • The Colts have re-signed wideout Griff Whalen to their practice squad, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. The 24-year-old was waived this past weekend to make room for Zurlon Tipton.

Earlier updates:

  • The Packers have signed offensive tackle Justin Renfrow to their practice squad, tweets ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. To make room, they released guard Rishaw Johnson, who was signed to the practice squad last week. Renfrow, a former standout for the Miami Hurricanes, briefly spent time with the Cardinals.
  • The Chiefs are planning to sign defensive lineman Nick Williams off of the Steelers’ practice squad, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Kansas City has their eye on the 2013 seventh rounder all year, Rapoport adds. Williams, 24, spent last year on injured reserve. He’s now the second defensive lineman to be plucked from the Steelers’ practice squad this month. The Cardinals signed defensive end Josh Mauro off of the Steelers’ taxi squad two weeks ago.
  • To fill the space left by Williams’ departure, the Steelers have signed defensive end Joe Kruger to their practice squad, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.

North Notes: Blount, Gordon, Cobb

Although he acknowledges that there is no evidence to suggest that LeGarrette Blount wanted to get himself released from the Steelers when he left the field prior to Pittsburgh’s Monday night win over the Titans, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders if Blount “walk[ed] out on the Steelers so he could walk right back to the New England Patriots.” Bouchette notes that, with no ramifications whatsoever–although the Steelers certainly could have penalized him instead of essentially rewarding him for his behavior–Blount “went from a team fighting to make the playoffs to one among the favorites to win it all, one where he had success last season and was used more often than he was with the Steelers.” Even if it sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, Bouchette believes it is fair to think that Blount knew exactly what he was doing and that everything played out according to plan for him and for New England.

Now for some more notes from the league’s north divisions:

  • The Browns expect star receiver Josh Gordon to be on the field for 20-30 snaps in his first game of the 2014 season this afternoon, according to ESPN.com staff.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that a ruling on Ray Rice‘s appeal hearing is expected by tomorrow. Even if the former Ravens running back is reinstated, of course, it will be difficult for him to find a job in the league this season.
  • Even though they have been publicly silent on the issue, ESPN’s Ed Werder tweets that Vikings ownership and management were pushing throughout the season to get Adrian Peterson back on the field. Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets that Minnesota’s coaching staff would love to have Peterson back, and Werder adds in a full-length piece that head coach Mike Zimmer believes Peterson has not played his last game in a Vikings uniform.
  • Although he believes the Packers will work out an extension with Randall Cobb, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes that Cobb’s excellent 2014 season is driving up his price, possibly out of Green Bay’s budget. On the other hand, even though the Packers have a number of young wideouts on the roster, Demovsky notes that none of those players have proven they are capable of filling Cobb’s shoes.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe describes how Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has finally paired excellent play with clean play in his free agent season.

 

NFC North Notes: Cobb, Packers, Bears

The latest from the NFC North..

  • The Packers are expected to keep the duo of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb together, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Still, with $14.25MM already committed to Nelson this season, GM Ted Thompson has to figure out how to keep Cobb in the fold as well. Cobb is in the final season of his rookie extension and Green Bay has other needs to take care of with their projected $8.8MM in cap space. The feeling around the league is that there’s no way the Packers would let him hit free agency next March. “It will get done,” said an NFL personnel executive. “He’s a Ted guy.”
  • Lovie Smith is preaching a different defense with the Buccaneers, and the Bears have taken notice, writes CSNChicago.com’s John Mullin. “They’ve played a lot of man-to-man coverage, more than you’d think,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “You look at where they’ve been defensively, and they’re moving man-to-man coverage significantly.
  • More from Mullin, who wonders if the newly-signed Marc Mariani is the key to the Bears turning their return game around. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis spoke highly of Mariani’s “returner mechanics” and attributed that to the tutelage of former coach Jeff Fisher. Mariani went to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a member of the Titans.

North Notes: Peterson, Cobb, Hoyer

ESPN.com has published the full five-page letter sent by the NFL Players Association to commissioner Roger Goodell explaining the reasoning behind appealing Adrian Peterson‘s suspension, and the document makes for an interesting read.

In addition to the previously-reported points raised by the NFLPA, the union also points out that Peterson’s violation of the personal conduct policy happened back in May, well before the league instituted its new policies related to domestic violence. NFLPA attorney Tom DePaso also points out that the Vikings running back’s suspension, which totals 15 games when taking into account his time on the exempt list, is without precedent for such an incident, and “grossly disproportionate” when compared to past penalties.

Here’s more on that letter to Goodell, as well as a couple more notes from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The union’s letter to the commissioner suggests that multiple league officials – including Troy Vincent – told Peterson and his agent that his stint on the exempt list would be considered time served, and takes issue with the league’s lack of transparency in failing to explain the role of outside experts during the disciplinary hearing that was scheduled for Peterson last week. The appeal also calls, in strong terms, for a neutral arbitrator during the appeal process. “There is simply no way for you to impartially arbitrate Mr. Peterson’ s appeal,” DePaso writes, addressing Goodell.
  • 2015’s free agent class of wide receivers projects to include several intriguing names, but none will have Randall Cobb‘s combination of youth (he turned 24 in August) and on-field production (779 receiving yards, 10 TDs so far this season). While Cobb says he wants to remain “a Packer for life,” he’ll be a hot commodity if he reaches the open market, writes Don Banks of SI.com.
  • Greg A. Bedard of TheMMQB.com tackles the issue of what Brian Hoyer‘s next contract will look like, writing that there’s a significant range of possibilities for the Browns quarterback depending on how he finishes the 2014 season.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

We’ll round up today’s practice squad signings and cuts in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • The Packers have filled the lone opening on their practice squad by signing guard Rishaw Johnson, the team announced today. Johnson previously spent time this season on the Buccaneers’ active roster and the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Earlier updates:

  • The Steelers, who cut LeGarrette Blount and promoted running back Josh Harris to their roster yesterday, have added another back to the practice squad to replace Harris. LaDarius Perkins, an undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State who spent the summer with the Packers, is the newest member of the taxi squad, per Burt Lauten (via Twitter).
  • Defensive end George Uko, who spent three weeks on the Buccaneers‘ practice squad earlier this year, has been re-signed to the unit, the team announced today in a press release. Tampa Bay cut punter Jacob Schum to make room for Uko.
  • After cutting him earlier this week to accommodate the activation of guard Geoff Schwartz, the Giants have re-signed linebacker Justin Anderson to their practice squad, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

North Notes: Steelers, Tate, Peterson

Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com reported earlier today (via Twitter) that someone on the Steelers staff called someone with the Browns to ask about Ben Tate‘s release, but Scott Brown of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that Pittsburgh has no interest in picking up Tate to replace LeGarrette Blount. More out of the North divisions..

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Saturday

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

  • Running back Cierre Wood, who signed with the Seahawks‘ practice squad earlier this week, was let go by the team today, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • With tight end Brandon Bostick ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Eagles, the Packers have promoted Justin Perillo from their practice squad to the active roster, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). To make room for the incoming tight end, the club has released offensive lineman Jamon Meredith.
  • The Dolphins have placed cornerback Will Davis on injured reserve after he tore his ACL during Sunday’s game, the team announced on Twitter. Davis, a 2013 third-round pick, had been playing on slightly more than 20% of Miami’s defensive snaps. To fill his roster spot, the club has signed CB Jalil Brown, who spent training camp with the Dolphins.

Free Agency Notes: Suh, Bryant, Pierre-Paul

Many NFL teams are focused on making the playoffs during the home stretch of the season, but many of their top players are also worried about their impending free agency. Field Yates of ESPN.com put together a list of five players who are set to receive huge contracts this offseason (subscription required).

The headliner of that list is Lions‘ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who may be leaving Detroit this offseason for a contract in the range of what J.J. Watt received this past offseason. Dez Bryant, Justin Houston, Demaryius Thomas, and Randall Cobb also made the list of players set up to be paid after the season.

Here are some other notes on player movement this offseason:

  • Along with the list of players who are ready to get big contracts, Yates also listed five players who have seen their stocks soar since the beginning of the season. Much like the five top free agents, the five soaring stocks all come from potential playoff teams. Yates points to DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Maclin, Brian Hoyer, Mark Ingram, and Chris Harris Jr..
  • Bryant appears on Yates’ list of players set up for big contracts, but Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com expects the superstar wide receiver to remain with the Cowboys for at least two more seasons (via Twitter). Archer writes that the Cowboys always keep a player they want, and won’t lose Bryant if they want to keep him (via Twitter).
  • One big name player who doesn’t appear on Yates’ list is Giants‘ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul has been inconsistent since his breakout 2011 season when he recorded 16.5 sacks. The embattled Giant is ambivalent about returning to the team next year, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post (via Twitter). “Hey, if I’m here, I’m here,” said Pierre-Paul. “If I’m not, I’m not.”

Workout Notes: Tuesday

We’ll keep track of today’s workouts and visits here..

  • The Colts worked out notable kick returner Josh Cribbs, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Cribbs is the NFL’s all-time co-leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns with eight.
  • The Titans worked out former Packers first round pick Derek Sherrod, Yates tweets. The offensive tackle was cut by the Packers late last month.
  • The Panthers also auditioned Sherrod and Kevin Greene, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets.
  • Defensive tackle Fred Evans tried out for the Seahawks, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • The Saints tried out safeties M.D. Jennings and Kenny Phillips, according to Balzer (on Twitter). Jamarca Sanford was signed earlier today, so Jennings and Phillips probably won’t be coming to New Orleans.
  • The Saints also auditioned running backs Andre Brown, Tim Hightower, Mikel LeShoure, and Rutgers alum Brian Leonard, according to Yates (via Mike Triplett on Twitter).
  • The Packers looked at defensive tackle Kenny Horsley, safety Kimario McFadden, and linebacker Chaz Sutton, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Falcons are working out former Utah State center Tyler Larsen today, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins worked out Jonte Green, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks worked out running backs Johri Fogerson, Stanley Havili, and Karl Williams, Wilson tweets.
  • The Titans worked out tight end Dorin Dickerson today, Wilson tweets. The Titans removed him from the IR with an injury settlement in August.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

In addition to tweaking their 53-man rosters in preparation for Week 11’s games, teams around the NFL are also making changes to their practice squads. Here are Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts:

  • The Browns signed defensive lineman Jamie Meder to their taxi squad, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (on Twitter). Meder, an Ohio native, was recently cut from the Ravens’ practice squad.
  • Brian McIntyre (on Twitter) has the goods on the Seahawks‘ latest taxi squad moves. Seattle has signed defensive end Ryan Robinson and running back Cierre Wood while placing running back Demitrius Bronson and defensive tackle Julius Warmsley on the IR. Linebacker L.J. Fort, who was being looked at as a possible fullback option, has been released.
  • The Giants released safety Kyle Sebetic from the practice squad, tweets Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger.
  • The Packers have re-signed wideout Alex Gillett to their taxi squad, releasing Jordan McCray in a corresponding move, a source tells Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Confirming a Monday report, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com tweets that center Darren Keyton has formally been added to the Lions‘ practice squad, replacing linebacker Jerrell Harris.

Earlier updates:

  • After placing linebacker Patrick Willis on injured reserve today, the 49ers signed another linebacker, Shayne Skov, to their practice squad, the team announced (via Twitter). Skov, who spent the summer with the Niners, was cut from the Buccaneers’ taxi squad last month.
  • Looking to add depth at the tight end position, the Chiefs not only added Phillip Supernaw to their active roster today, but also signed tight end Adam Schiltz to their practice squad, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Schiltz takes the spot vacated by running back Charcandrick West, who was promoted to the 53-man roster today.
  • The Browns have released defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel from their practice squad, leaving an opening on the unit, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
  • Linebacker Denicos Allen has been cut from the Buccaneers‘ practice squad, per Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (Twitter link).
  • Amidst a flurry of other roster moves, the Jaguars released cornerback Lou Young from their practice squad today, according to Wilson (via Twitter).