Titans Sign OL Brent Qvale, Place C Spencer Pulley On IR

In addition to changing course at backup quarterback Thursday, the Titans made some moves on their offensive line. They signed tackle Brent Qvale and placed center Spencer Pulley on IR.

A sixth-year veteran, Qvale worked as a part-time starter with the Texans last season. The 6-foot-7 blocker is entering his age-30 season. He has logged 18 starts as a pro, most of those coming during his five-year tenure with the Jets, but never more than six in a season.

Tennessee used two draft choices at tackle this year, adding Dillon Radunz in Round 2 and Dez Fitzpatrick in Round 4. The team also signed Kendall Lamm this offseason, reassembling a tackle group that saw 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson flame out fast and replacement starter Dennis Kelly sign with the Packers.

[RELATED: Titans Sign Matt Barkley, Cut DeShone Kizer]

The Titans signed Pulley just last week. An IR designation before 53-man rosters are finalized means Pulley cannot play for the Titans this year. An injury settlement, which would allow Pulley to catch on somewhere else after he heals up, would appear likely. A former Chargers UDFA, Pulley last played for the Giants in 2019.

The team also signed former XFL tight end Donnie Ernsberger and offensive lineman Ross Reynolds, while placing cornerback Greg Mabin on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/5/21

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

Atlanta Falcons 

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Reverted to IR: OT Cody Conway

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: QB Case Cookus

New Orleans Saints

  • Waived: DE Kendall Donnerson

New York Jets

  • Reverted to IR: S Brandon White

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Reverted to IR: G Anthony Coyle

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFC East Notes: Dak, Gregory, WFT, Eagles

The Cowboys went through three offseasons of Dak Prescott negotiations, finally bringing an end to the saga with a monster four-year, $160MM extension for the Pro Bowl quarterback. This drawn-out process ended benefiting Prescott considerably, given his value when the first round of negotiations began in 2019. Dak is now one of the league’s two $40MM-per-year players, joining Patrick Mahomes, and the sixth-year Dallas quarterback cannot be franchise-tagged after this extension expires. When addressing his top regret during his time as the team’s executive vice president, Stephen Jones said he “probably would have signed Dak the first time around; it would have been better for everybody,” via Pat Doney of NBC 5. The negotiations, which began in April 2019, led to a 2020 franchise tag and the QB’s price rising to the point he inked one of the most player-friendly deals in NFL history this past March. The Cowboys still have their fourth-round find locked up long-term, however. They just took a more difficult route to get here.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Randy Gregory has moved into position to be a full-time starter for the first time, being set to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence on a regular basis this season. The Cowboys’ oft-suspended pass rusher alluded to then-defensive coordinator Mike Nolan preferring Aldon Smith due to “favoritism.” “I felt there was a little bit of favoritism going on … refusing to let me outshine their favorite,” Gregory said in a lengthy story by The Athletic’s Dan Pompei (subscription required). “They knew I could do it, so they did what they could to keep me at bay. I had my times when I was angry. … I truly felt I got robbed of a year last year.” The NFL reinstated Gregory in late October last year. Smith, who started 16 games after making his own comeback from suspension, is now a Seahawk. New DC Dan Quinn said, via Pompei, he was surprised Gregory (27.1 defensive snaps per game in 2020) did not play more in 2020 and added that the embattled defensive end will indeed see more time this season.
  • The Washington Football Team will unveil its next nickname in 2022. That new identity will not be the Warriors, according to team president Jason Wright, who notes discussions the team held revealed “deep-seated discomfort” with that potential moniker. Regardless of what the new name ends up being, the franchise will still use its burgundy-and-gold color scheme.
  • Lane Johnson and Derek Barnett‘s restructures created a sizable chunk of cap space for the Eagles. They now have an additional $14MM in cap space, according to Yates (via Twitter). They are up past $16MM, per OverTheCap. Following the Saints’ lead, the Eagles spread out Barnett’s 2021 fifth-year option salary onto future caps by using void years. Barnett’s base salary is now $990K, with the void years stretching through 2025. The Eagles also used void years in Johnson’s restructure, spreading out the right tackle’s cap hit through 2028. He is on Philly’s books for just a $1.1MM base salary this season.

Colts Host Ha Ha Clinton-Dix For Workout

Despite not playing in 2020, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has remained on teams’ radars for a potential role this season. The Colts are the latest team to meet with the former first-round pick.

Clinton-Dix trekked to Indianapolis for a workout Thursday, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter), joining other players at this audition. The six-year veteran has been on the market for nearly a year. The Cowboys cut him just before Week 1 last year.

The Colts followed the Panthers, Texans and Raiders by meeting with Clinton-Dix this year. Clinton-Dix, 28, played with the Bears in 2019 and worked as a full-time starter. Overall, the Alabama product has 90 starts and a Pro Bowl on his resume. Although Clinton-Dix’s Cowboys stay did not pan out, Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 19 overall safety in 2019.

Indy has Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis in place as its starting safeties, with the latter taking over for Malik Hooker — who has since landed with the Cowboys — after his September Achilles tear. The Colts also used a fifth-round pick on Shawn Davis this year. Creating some potential confusion, they also have ex-Steelers starter Sean Davis among their safeties. Six-year vet Ibraheim Campbell also resides on the Colts’ roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Cut DeShone Kizer

The Titans have released DeShone Kizer, according to Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. This was the expected move after the club signed journeyman Matt Barkley on Thursday afternoon.

[RELATED: Titans Sign QB Matt Barkley]

Kizer, 25, hasn’t started since his rookie campaign in 2017 — a winless year for the Browns. The Notre Dame product threw for just eleven touchdowns with double the interceptions (22). While the second-rounder showed some exciting flashes on the field, Kizer didn’t exactly inspire confidence on the whole.

Since then, he’s been looking for his next breakout opportunity. Kizer got into three games as the Packers backup in 2018, and he later lingered with the Raiders for about a year. The Titans added him to the taxi squad last fall, but he still hasn’t seen live action since ’18 with Green Bay.

With Kizer out of the picture, Barkley and Logan Woodside will battle for the QB2 job behind Ryan Tannehill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Host K.J. Wright

The Raiders are hosting K.J. Wright on a visit today (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). If all goes well, the former Seahawks linebacker could reunite with old pal Gus Bradley.

Wright spent the previous ten years in Seattle, standing as the team’s longest-tenured player. However, he’s been on the market all offseason as the Seahawks pivot towards top 2020 draft picks Jordyn Brooks and Darrell Taylor.

Wright has started at least 12 games in each of his pro seasons, save for 2018 when he dealt with a knee injury. He.won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks and even made the Pro Bowl in 2016. One of the last members of the legendary ‘Legion of Boom’ defenses of yesteryear, Wright could find a new home in Las Vegas.

He’s also expressed interest in rejoining another contact — Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn — but it’s not clear if there’s mutual interest. Ditto for the Seahawks.

Yes, there is a chance,” Wright said last month. “There is a chance, and I’m not closing the door on Seattle. Going into free agency, I thought it’d be a no-brainer, but they’re going to wait until training camp, so we’ll see. No matter what happens, my career in Seattle was just unforgettable.

Wright, 32, posted 86 tackles, eleven tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks in 16 starts last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Sign QB Matt Barkley

On Thursday, Matt Barkley announced that he’s signed with the Titans (Twitter link). The quarterback will now vie for a spot on the Week 1 roster to support starter Ryan Tannehill.

Barkley, 31 in September, has made the rounds since being drafted by the Eagles in 2013. The former fourth-rounder out of USC has made stops with the Cardinals, Bears, 49ers, Bengals, and Bills, with two tours in Arizona and Buffalo.

Barkley has just seven starts to his credit in total with a 2-5 record in those games. For his career, he’s completed 58.8% of his throwns with eleven touchdowns against 22 interceptions. His last start came in 2018, a solid showing and victory over the Jets. Over the past two years, he’s popped in for seven Bills games, lobbing four INTs with just one TD.

Still, the Titans present a decent opportunity for Barkley to get back into the mix. Before Barkley, the Titans were evaluating Logan Woodside and DeShone Kizer as their QB2 options.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Robert Griffin III Joins ESPN

RGIII has agreed to join ESPN as an on-air personality (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). However, the free agent quarterback has an out clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the game, should an opportunity arise. 

Griffin also drew interest from FOX with both networks eyeing him as a college football and NFL analyst. RG3 reportedly impressed in his on-camera auditions, prompting a bit of a bidding war. Ultimately, the 31-year-old went with the folks in Bristol.

Griffin has previously returned to the NFL after a hiatus. Griffin did not play in 2017 after he was cut by the Browns. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year signed with the Ravens in 2018, where he served as a backup — first for Joe Flacco, then for Lamar Jackson. Griffin, however, threw just one touchdown pass with four interceptions as a Raven with a 57% completion rate.

A hamstring injury ended Griffin’s 2020 campaign, prompting the Ravens to evaluate younger options like Trace McSorley and 2020 UDFA Tyler Huntley. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, meanwhile, may be done with football.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Sign Gerald McCoy

Well, that was fast. Shortly after meeting with him on Wednesday afternoon, the Raiders have agreed to sign defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Raiders have since confirmed the deal via press release.

The veteran made the most of his workout, showcasing the skills that made him a star player in Tampa. McCoy earned six Pro Bowl nods with the Buccaneers and performed as one of the NFL’s best defensive lineman in the 2010s. On the flipside, he’s 33 years old, and his last Pro Bowl selection came in 2017.

McCoy found his way to the Panthers in 2019 after his Bucs release. He appeared in all 16 games, registering five sacks — making it 59.5 for his career. McCoy would join the Cowboys in March of 2020, only to see a torn quad end his season before it began.

All in all, McCoy has 139 appearances (all starts), 352 tackles, 59.5 sacks, 79 tackles for loss, 24 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. If he stays healthy, McCoy could have an opportunity to lead the Raiders’ experienced interior group. Jon Gruden already has Johnathan Hankins, Solomon Thomas, Quinton Jefferson, and Darius Philon on hand.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants TE Levine Toilolo Tears Achilles

The Giants will be down one of their veteran tight ends for the season. Levine Toilolo was carted off a Giants practice field Wednesday, and the team subsequently announced he suffered a torn Achilles.

This was set to be Toilolo’s second season with the Giants. While the Giants signed Kyle Rudolph to pair with Evan Engram, Toilolo was in place as the team’s top blocking tight end.

Toilolo agreed to a pay cut to stay in New York this offseason, reducing his 2021 salary from $2.95MM to $1.35MM. This represents a tough break for the ninth-year veteran. Toilolo, who turned 30 last week, played in all 16 Giants games last season. One year remains on Toilolo’s deal.

Beginning his career with five seasons in Atlanta, Toilolo succeeded Tony Gonzalez as the Falcons’ starting tight end. The former fourth-round pick was part of Atlanta’s Super Bowl LI-bound team and, after a 2018 stopover in Detroit, later rejoined Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Toilolo suited up for a second Super Bowl during his lone 49ers season.

New York does have some additional bodies behind Engram and Rudolph. Kaden Smith, who was also part of the 2019 49ers, remains on Big Blue’s roster. Fifth-year vet Cole Hikutini also resides on Big Blue’s roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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