New York Giants

East Notes: Beckham Jr., Kerley, Pryor, Murray

Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was always destined for greatness, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “My mom told me when I was four years old…I was outside playing, she came outside and said ‘What are you doing?’ I looked in her eye and told her I was practicing for Sundays. She said the way I said it she had no choice but to believe it,” the LSU product said. Here’s more from the AFC and NFC East..

  • Jeremy Kerley‘s new four-year extension with the Jets calls for $14MM in new money, including a $3MM signing bonus, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan reported earlier this week that the wide receiver has $5.4MM in guaranteed salary under the new deal.
  • Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters today that first round pick Calvin Pryor hasn’t “had the impact necessarily that all of us had expected,” writes Cimini. Part of that probably has to do with the hard-hitting Louisville product playing out of position. Pryor made a name for himself by delivering highlight reel hits near the line of scrimmage. Instead, he’s playing deep-middle safety thanks to the Jets’ injuries in the secondary.
  • Bob Sturm of The Dallas Morning News is really high on Alabama running back Todd Gurley. In fact, in a hypothetical where the Cowboys could part ways with DeMarco Murray and replace him with Gurley rather than franchising him or re-signing him to a big long-term deal, he would go with the rookie tailback. Of course, Dallas will have to make their call on whether to franchise Murray in advance of the draft and it doesn’t seem like Gurley, projected to be a top ten pick, will be around when the Cowboys are on the clock.

Extra Points: Bears, Rice, Sam, Rivers

Worried about potential unrest in Chicago? Brandon Marshall isn’t. “We’re great,” Marshall said of his relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler in an appearance on Showtime’s Inside The NFL (video link). Still, one has to wonder if the Bears offense can get back on the same page this season and make a run for the NFC North crown. More from around the NFL..

  • As expected, Ray Rice has filed a grievance against the Ravens, challenging the team’s decision to terminate his contract, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If Rice is successful in his grievances against both the Ravens and the NFL, he would be eligible to receive $3.52MM from Baltimore.
  • Michael Sam figures to find another NFL opportunity thanks to his motor, writes Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The linebacker was released from the Cowboys‘ taxi squad earlier today.
  • Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is on his way to joining the $20MM quarterback club, writes Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. Since the start of the 2013 season, Rivers has enjoyed a career revival and has arguably been the league’s second-best quarterback behind Peyton Manning.
  • A source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that RB Alex Green had a “good workout” with the Giants today, but the team isn’t signing him at this time. Big Blue won’t be inking Felix Jones to a contract either, but he’ll be on the team’s “short list” if and when a tailback is needed (link).
  • Former Giants center Jim Cordle worked out for the Titans recently, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Cordle suffered a partially torn patella but Caplan says he’s been healthy for a while.
  • With Derrick Coleman hurt, the Seahawks worked out veteran fullbacks Tony Fiammetta, Greg Jones, and Will Tukuafu, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.
  • The Titans got something for nothing when they sent Akeem Ayers and a seventh-round choice to the Patriots earlier today for a sixth-round pick, opines Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Ayers is in his contract year and wasn’t contributing much to the Titans. Of course, the Titans wish things worked out differently with their former second-round pick.
  • The NFL could wind up installing two personal conduct policies: one for players and one for all other NFL employees, including owners, writes Peter King of The MMQB. The policy for non-players could be hammered out by Thanksgiving and the players policy should be completed after that.

Giants Worked Out Felix Jones, 14 Others

4:31pm: The Giants worked out 15 players in total, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who provides the full list of participants. Here are the 11 new names:

12:00pm: After losing back-to-back divisional matchups against the NFC-leading Cowboys and Eagles, the Giants are entering their bye week, and are taking the opportunity to look at a handful of free agents. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link), running backs Felix Jones and Alex Green are working out for the team.

Green, a former third-round pick who started his career with the Packers, was cut by the Jets in August and has auditioned for the Lions and Panthers since then. As for Jones, there haven’t been many reports on the former Cowboy this year, which is somewhat surprising — while he didn’t do much in limited action for the Steelers last season, he had recorded over 100 carries in each of his previous four seasons in Dallas, and is still just 27 years old.

The fact that the Giants are working out running backs shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a sign that Rashad Jennings‘ recovery is moving slowly, or that the team is looking to add a player at the position. It’s more likely that New York is simply gauging the options in the market at several spots in case the club needs to dip into free agency later in the season.

In fact, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Terrelle Pryor is also visiting the club today, while Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post adds tight end Tony Moeaki to the list of players auditioning. The Giants’ workout group this work is expected to be large, as Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets, so several more participants will likely be reported soon.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Giants, Redskins

The NFC East looks to be a competitive division, at least near the top, where the Cowboys and Eagles have a combined record of 11-2. Let’s take a look at some injury updates from Philadelphia, New York, and Washington:

  • Making his weekly appearance on CSNPhilly, Eagles guard Evan Mathis said he has been cleared to resume practicing (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of ESPN). Mathis, who sprained his MCL in Week 1, is on injured reserve/designated to return and isn’t eligible to return to game action until Week 10.
  • Mathis also told CSNPhilly that center Jason Kelce, who has been sidelined since Week 3, is “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a sports hernia, and could play for the Eagles again as soon as Week 9 (Twitter link via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer).
  • Though Giants linebacker Jon Beason is expected to travel to North Carolina to meet with an ankle specialist, New York has no intention of shutting down the veteran as of yet, according to Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger.
  • Meanwhile, guard Geoff Schwartz is expected to begin practicing next week, but he likely won’t make his regular season debut for the Giants until Week 9, per Raanan.
  • The Redskins will be without linebacker Brian Orakpo for the rest of the season, leading John Keim of ESPN.com to examine how Washington will aim to replace a key cog in its defense. Rookie Trent Murphy will see more snaps, and a team source tells Keim that the Redskins will consider re-signing Rob Jackson, who played for the team until 2013.

East Notes: Foles, Cousins, Mayo

As the games get underway, let’s take a look at some notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Although the Eagles are currently sitting pretty with a 5-1 record, Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Nick Foles has been neither very good nor very bad in the team’s first six games, and he wonders “[w]hether [head coach Chip] Kelly is fine with Foles as the long-term guy.”
  • Speaking of NFC East signal-callers, John Keim of ESPN.com writes that the Redskins have not lost confidence in QB Kirk Cousins, but he has to prove that he can handle adversity better.
  • We heard earlier today that the Cowboys may have interest in dealing for Bills RB C.J. Spiller in advance of the October 28 deadline, but Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes that it makes no sense for the Giants to consider adding Spiller to their backfield.
  • Although Jerod Mayo‘s injury certainly hurts the Patriots on the field, it may actually help Mayo financially, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Volin writes, “Per [Mayo's] contract…$4.5 million of his $6.25 million base salary is guaranteed for injury only. If he had stayed healthy this year and through the offseason, Mayo would have $0 in guarantees in 2015. But if he can’t fully return from the injury and the Patriots decide to move on, he’ll have recourse to still collect a fat check.”
  • We learned earlier that the Patriots may be targeting offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker help prior to the trade deadline.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork has a few more notes on new Jets wideout Percy Harvin.

NFC East Notes: Williams, Giants, Jackson

The Cowboys will fine running back Joseph Randle for his shoplifting incident but will not suspend him, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. Dallas certainly wants to keep Randle on the roster after he torched the Seahawks for a 38-yard run early in Sunday’s game. With an injury-prone DeMarco Murray on pace for a record number of carries, the Cowboys are expected to get Randle and fellow understudy Lance Dunbar more and more involved each week. More from the NFC East..

  • Despite a report to the contrary, the Giants never had interest in giving up a draft pick for the right to pay Mike Williams‘ hefty salary, writes Jordan Raanan of The Star-Ledger. Williams is making more than $1MM this year and is guaranteed more than $5MM in 2015. Of course, a deal is even less likely after the Giants picked up veteran wide receiver Kevin Ogletree last night.
  • Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com wonders aloud if the Eagles are actually better off without wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Ultimately, even though their record is better than it was at this point last year (5-1 as opposed to 3-3) and they’ve largely replaced his production, Sheridan can’t honestly say they’re better off. After all, the Eagles could be even more dangerous with both Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as the wideouts with Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews sharing time in the slot.
  • No one is expecting Ogletree to replace Victor Cruz, but he does have experience and he is comfortable working out of the slot where Cruz excelled, writes Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Now, the Giants can choose between Ogletree and Preston Parker for that role in the slot while keeping rookie Odell Beckham Jr. in an outside receiver spot.
  • In an interview with the NFL Network, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he’ll be ultimately remembered for his boldness, writes Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “I think that I will be viewed as aggressive,” Jones said. “It is about winning that Super Bowl. My goal is that Super Bowl.”

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

While we track today’s transactions relating to teams’ 53-man rosters in a separate post, we’ll use this space to keep tabs on the day’s practice squad signings and cuts. Here’s the latest:

  • The Redskins signed wide receiver Rashad Ross to the practice squad, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington liked Ross this summer and they scooped him up after he was discarded by the Bears.
  • A day after being waived by the Bears, linebacker Terrell Manning has rejoined the team’s practice squad, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
  • The Redskins have parted ways with practice squad wideout Marvin McNutt, tweets Zac Boyer of the Washington Times.
  • As the Giants weight their options at receiver on the 53-man roster, they’ve made a change to the wideouts on their practice squad — Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets that Chris Harper has replaced Travis Harvey.
  • Wide receiver Patrick Edwards is the newest addition to the Lions‘ practice squad, replacing defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, per Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • Linebacker Kaelin Burnett and cornerback Ross Weaver have found a new home, joining the Cardinals‘ practice squad, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link). The team had one opening on its squad, so linebacker Jonathan Brown has been released to make room for the second incoming player.
  • The Dolphins have parted ways with wideout Marcus Thigpen, replacing him on their practice squad with defensive back Rod Sweeting, tweets Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • The Jaguars have signed tight end Michael Flacco, the brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union notes (via Twitter) that Flacco replaces tight end Marcel Jensen, who was put on the practice squad IR list.
  • Wide receiver Lee Doss has been cut from the Browns‘ practice squad, according to Wilson (via Twitter).

Giants To Sign Kevin Ogletree

6:52pm: To make room for Ogletree, the Giants officially placed cornerback Trumaine McBride on IR, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).

6:17pm: The Giants will sign wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The 27-year-old worked out for Big Blue earlier today.

The Giants were in need of depth following Victor Cruz‘s painful season-ending injury on Sunday night. Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. was quick to tell the salsa-dancing star that he’s ready to step up in his absence, but reinforcements were needed further down the depth chart. Ogletree had his best season in 2012 when he emerged with the Cowboys, hauling in 32 catches with four touchdowns.

Ogletree first made a name for himself in the NFL as a capable fill-in for Dez Bryant and Miles Austin when they were sidelined with injury. Now, he could have an opportunity to make an impact with the Giants as they forge ahead without Cruz.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Tuesday is typically a busy in-season day for NFL transactions, so we expect to add several more moves from around the league to this list as the day goes on. For now, here are the the day’s minor transactions relating to clubs’ 53-man rosters:

  • For now, to replace linebacker Danny Trevathan, the Broncos will promote Shaquil Barrett from their practice squad, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • The Seahawks have tweaked the back of their roster, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has cut safety Steven Terrell and signed defensive end Greg Scruggs.
  • With the roster opening created by Ventrone’s release (noted below), the 49ers have re-signed quarterback Josh Johnson, who was cut a few days ago, the club announced today in a press release.

Earlier updates:

  • The Browns have placed defensive lineman Armonty Bryant on injured reserve, signing another defensive lineman, Sione Fua, to take his spot on the roster, the team announced today (Twitter link). Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports first reported (via Twitter) that Fua was signing with the Browns.
  • The Ravens have a roster exemption for previously-suspended safety Will Hill, which will last until next Monday, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. By that point, Baltimore will have to either waive Hill or cut someone else on the roster, creating space for the safety.
  • A week after re-signing him to their active roster, the 49ers have released defensive back and special-teamer Bubba Ventrone, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Ventrone spent last season on San Francisco’s roster, but was cut prior to the 2014 regular season.
  • Having lost cornerback Trumaine McBride during Sunday night’s game against the Eagles, the Giants are set to promote cornerback Chandler Fenner from their practice squad to the active roster, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Fenner, cut in July by Seattle, has shuffled back and forth between New York’s practice squad and active roster since the regular season began.

Victor Cruz Tears Patella Tendon

TUESDAY, 4:37pm: The Giants have officially placed Cruz on injured reserve, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 5:40pm: Cruz underwent patellar tendon repair surgery today, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 9:45pm: Sunday night’s game against the Eagles went from bad to worse for the Giants, who are currently being shut out by their division rivals, and have now learned that wide receiver Victor Cruz suffered a torn patella tendon while running a route in the third quarter. The injury, which was first reported by Michele Tafoya on NBC, has now been confirmed by the team (Twitter link).

Although the Giants have yet to announce a timetable for Cruz, it’s extremely likely that the injury will end his season. That’s very bad news for a Giants offense that has been up and down even with Cruz in the lineup, and was already missing another injured wide receiver, Jerrel Jernigan.

Among Giants wideouts, Cruz came into the evening trailing Rueben Randle in total receptions, with 21 to Randle’s 23, but Randle had averaged just 8.2 yards per reception compared to Cruz’s team-best 15.3 ypc and 321 total receiving yards. In Cruz’s absence, Randle, Preston Parker and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. will assume larger roles. Eli Manning has also developed a rapport with tight end Larry Donnell, who leads the team in catches.

Assuming Cruz’s injury is determined to be season-ending, as expected, the Giants figure to place him on injured reserve this week, and will likely add another wideout to the 53-man roster. While an outside free agent is a possibility, the Giants could also elect to promote a player from their practice squad, which currently features three receivers — Juron Criner, Travis Harvey, and Julian Talley.