Jaguars QB Nick Foles Returns To Practice

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The Jaguars will have quarterback Nick Foles back at practice today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While Rapoport mentions that the team does not intend to activate him until week eleven, it’s an important progression in his return.

Jaguars Could Lose DT Marcell Dareus For 4-6 Weeks

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Marcell Dareus is currently on his way to Philadelphia to visit Dr. William Meyers to receive a second opinion on a core muscle injury that could cause the defensive tackle to miss 4-6 weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Dareus has been a key cog in the Jacksonville defensive line, but has struggled with injuries throughout the year.

Dareus missed the Jaguars first game of the season with an elbow injury and the defense was scorched for 40 points, albeit by the high-flying Chiefs offense. Since returning to action in week two, Dareus seemed to provide a stabilizing presence for Jacksonville’s unit, having fared noticeably better, especially against the run.

The Jaguars originally reported that Dareus had to leave Sunday’s game against the Bengals with an abdomen injury. However, he later returned to action, quelling fear of something substantial. It seems that upon further review, the training staff has found more reason for concern.

Originally selected with the third overall pick by the Bills in the 2011 draft out of Alabama, Dareus has been a productive defensive lineman over the past eight seasons. In Buffalo, Dareus earned all-pro honors in 2014 and was selected to two pro bowls. His sustained success earned a six-year, $108m contract extension four years ago.

Buffalo, eventually felt they could utilize their salary cap better elsewhere and traded Dareus to the Jaguars in 2017 for a sixth round pick. Since joining Jacksonville, Dareus has appeared in nearly every game and started all but two games over the past two seasons. Depending on the outcome of his visit with Dr. Meyers, the organization may need to prepare to replace him for an extended period of time.

 

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh Denies NFL Interest

This week, a college football blog reported that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was looking to get out of his contract and return to the NFL. On Wednesday, Harbaugh denied those rumors in a letter to the parents of his players. 

I am reaching out to let you know that the recent claims that I am ‘pursuing an exit strategy’ are total crap,” Harbaugh wrote (via Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider). “It’s an annual strategy driven by our enemies to cause disruption to our program an to negatively recruit. By the way, I don’t even have an ‘agent or representative.’”

This isn’t the first time that Harbaugh has been linked to the pro game since taking over the Wolverines in 2015 and it likely won’t be the last. This past offseason, the Jets reportedly went after the ex-49ers HC and the Dolphins were also said to have him high on their list.

Harbaugh led the 49ers to three straight NFC championship games in his first three years as their head coach. At Michigan, Harbaugh is 43-16 overall, including a 3-2 record this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dion Jordan Drawing Interest

Former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan is drawing interest from “a bunch” of NFL teams, agent Tareq Azim tells NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The defensive end is said to be at 8% body fat at 273 pounds and his rep says he’s feeling great both mentally and physically. 

Jordan will be eligible to return from suspension in a few weeks, following his ban for PEDs. According to Jordan, he tested positive for Adderall after his therapeutic use exemption (TUE) expired.

I made a mistake,” Jordan told Pelissero back in May. “I feel like the person that I am, I’m ready to move forward, I’ve been ready to move forward, with this specific issue. I’ve been working really hard with myself outside of football, and I can see the progress as a young man, as Dion Jordan, I can see it. My whole lifestyle — it’s been a 180-degree change. I f–ked up, man. I can’t fix this [expletive]. It is what it is. But I know what I can’t do and what not to do compared to the mistakes I’ve made in the past.

If and when he signs, he’ll look to shed his draft bust label. Jordan was only a part-timer in his first two seasons with the Dolphins and managed just three sacks in total. Then, his 2015 season was wiped out due to a year-long suspension for diluting his drug test sample.

Jordan spent the last two seasons with the Seahawks, but it is not clear whether the Seahawks have any interest in a reunion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Interested In Giants LT Nate Solder?

With their Trent Williams efforts looking likely to come up short, the Browns may be looking at another NFC East tackle. They are interested in Giants left tackle Nate Solder, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets.

While it would be a major salary to take on, Solder is a proven left tackle who would upgrade Cleveland’s offensive line. The Giants signed Solder to a four-year, $62MM deal, reshaping the tackle market in 2018. Solder, the centerpiece of Dave Gettleman‘s aggressive overhaul of Big Blue’s offensive front, has not lived up to this contract and is signed through 2021.

The Browns made two deals (though they were categorized as one) with the Giants this offseason, acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon. Cleveland took New York’s second- and third-biggest contracts in doing so. Solder’s now sits second on the Giants’ payroll, in terms of AAV, behind only Eli Manning.

Cleveland’s line has struggled throughout 2019, even though Pro Football Focus tabs Greg Robinson as its No. 25 tackle (Solder sits 35th). But the Browns managed to release their starting left tackle in a preseason procedural move and were able to re-sign him quickly, indicating the rest of the league’s lack of interest in the former No. 2 overall pick. PFF grades right tackle Chris Hubbard, a 2018 Browns addition, as a bottom-tier tackle.

This has been the top Williams potential destination, but the Redskins have stonewalled the Browns. Interest in Solder’s massive contract would illustrate John Dorsey‘s desire to upgrade at tackle. This is Solder’s age-31 season. The former Patriot’s cap number spikes to a whopping $19.5MM in 2021. The Giants have not been mentioned among the seller contingent, but at 2-5, it would make sense for New York to consider it.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/22/19

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad decisions:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/22/19

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jaguars’ practice squad: DT Eli Ankou

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings 

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 10/22/19

Here is Tuesday’s summary from the workout circuit:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Trade Notes: Browns, Broncos, Eagles, Patriots, Saints, Lions

The Patriots and 49ers strengthened their aerial groups Tuesday, and the Saints are exploring the idea of doing the same. New Orleans is pursuing pass catchers, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). The Saints made a late-season addition of Dez Bryant last year but saw the longtime Cowboy go down before playing in a 2018 game. This Saints iteration has surprised many by going 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater at the controls, firmly placing the team in the contention picture. This offense has long funneled through Michael Thomas, with a steep drop existing between New Orleans’ No. 1 target and its other receiving targets. A.J. Green could be available, but the Bengals wideout may not be healthy by the deadline. Robby Anderson could also be a trade candidate, as could Demaryius Thomas (again).

Here is the latest from the trade market. Seven days remain until this year’s deadline.

  • Cornerback dominoes have fallen as well, with the Rams, Ravens and Texans making plays for key cogs. The Eagles‘ shaky pass defense features a notable need at corner, and the team has contacted the Broncos about Chris Harris, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. The Eagles were ready to send first- and second-round picks to the Jaguars for Jalen Ramsey. Harris is five years older and in a contract year, but it will likely take a Day 2 pick to pry him from Denver. The Texans tried to acquire the 30-year-old standout as well but evidently were not amenable to the Broncos’ asking price.
  • It does not look like a Trent Williams-to-Cleveland scenario will transpire. The Browns have repeatedly inquired about the Redskins tackle, but Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) they have accepted the fact Washington will stick to its guns and hold onto him. Washington has Williams signed through 2020 but has not seen him budge on his holdout. The Redskins are believed to prefer waiting until the offseason to trade him, in order to learn where every team’s draft capital resides.
  • The Patriots paid up to acquire Mohamed Sanu from the Falcons, parting ways with a second-round pick for the eighth-year wideout. But they were also in talks with the Broncos about Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Pats signed Sanders to an RFA offer sheet in 2013, but the Steelers matched. This marked the second straight year the Patriots wanted one of the Broncos’ starting wideouts, having tried to acquire Demaryius Thomas before the 2018 deadline. San Francisco landed Sanders for third- and fourth-round picks.
  • The Lions surprised many by dealing starting safety Quandre Diggs to the Seahawks, doing so despite Diggs being signed through 2021. Lions brass viewed Diggs’ play as having fallen off, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), and called multiple teams about moving him. The Lions landed a 2020 fifth-round pick for Diggs, who is now a Seahawk. The play of young safeties Tracy Walker and Will Harris helped induce the Lions to pull the trigger, Birkett adds. Walker and Harris grade as top-40 safeties, per PFF, which has Diggs slotted outside the top 60. Diggs is only 26, however. This trade gives the Seahawks access to a key part of his prime.

49ers Also Pursued Mohamed Sanu

Some key wide receiver dominoes fell Tuesday, and the 49ers were involved in both. Prior to acquiring Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos, the 49ers were “heavily” in on Mohamed Sanu, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic (subscription required).

The Patriots ended up outbidding the 49ers for the Falcon wideout, sending a second-round pick to Atlanta. San Francisco already unloaded its 2020 second-rounder, sending it to Kansas City for Dee Ford in March. Sanu is 30 and signed through 2020; Sanders is 32 and in a contract year.

While Sanders has accomplished more than Sanu, it’s understandable why the 49ers pursued the latter. Sanu’s first Atlanta season came when Kyle Shanahan was running a historically great Falcons offense, which led the team to Super Bowl LI. The third-year 49ers HC was seeking a “big-bodied” wideout in the offseason, per Barrows. Sanu would have filled that role better than Sanders, who ended up costing the 49ers 2020 third- and fourth-round picks.

San Francisco is now without second-, third- and fourth-round picks in next year’s draft. But the 49ers exited Week 7 with their leading wide receiver (Marquise Goodwin) having totaled 181 receiving yards. Sanders, who has 367, should be able to assimilate quickly after playing in ex-49er OC Rich Scangarello‘s offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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