Raiders Cut RB Taiwan Jones

The Raiders are releasing running back Taiwan Jones, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With upwards of four years of service, Jones is a veteran and will not be subject to waivers. He will be free to sign with any club once he is formally cut loose. Taiwan Jones (vertical)

Jones, 29, started out with the Raiders as a running back after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. The team had him switch to cornerback for a time, but he was moved back to running back for the 2015 season.

Still, he’s had only 44 carries in his six years with the club. Jones has primarily been a special teams guy for Oakland, but he even saw his return work slashed in 2016. Jones returned 26 kicks for the Raiders in 2013 and 31 kicks in 2015. Last year, he did just eight kick returns with a lackluster 14.0 yards per attempt average.

With Jones out of the picture, the Raiders appear ready to move forward with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and rookie Elijah Hood as the backups for Marshawn Lynch.

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Titans To Sign Erik Walden

The Titans are signing linebacker Erik Walden, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Walden spent the previous four seasons with the rival Colts. "<strong

Walden had 11.0 sacks last year and it’s surprising that he was on the market for this long. The 31-year-old (32 in August) has plenty of motivation to excel this year and make the rest of the league pass on signing him.

Walden met with the Titans in the spring after the Colts informed him that he wouldn’t be back. After four months of little activity – save for conversations with the Jets in June – he has circled back to Tennessee. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus might help to explain the lack of interest Walden has generated this offseason. Despite his 11 quarterback takedowns last year, he still graded out as one of the six worst edge defenders in the league.

The Titans will use Walden as a reserve outside linebacker behind starters Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo – assuming he makes the team. Kevin Dodd, Aaron Wallace, free agent addition Daren Bates, and rookies Jayon Brown and Josh Carraway are also pushing for playing time at OLB.

Walden fired agent Todd France at the tail end of March when he wasn’t getting enough bites and is now represented by Michael and Jason Katz of CSE Talent.

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Rams Audition Two Quarterbacks

The Rams aren’t just looking at defensive line help today. Los Angeles is also auditioning quarterbacks Sean Renfree and Thad Lewis, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsThad Lewis (vertical)

[RELATED: Rams Host Sean Lissemore On Visit]

The Rams recently inked veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky to potentially serve as a third quarterback behind Jared Goff and Sean Mannion. It’s possible that Orlovsky, who turns 34 next month, hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in practice.

Lewis was medically cleared in late May, but this marks his first known visit since getting the green light from doctors. The 32-year-old was supposed to serve as a backup for the 49ers last season, but an injury took him out of action before the season opener. Lewis hasn’t seen the field since the 2013 season, which was Lewis’ best campaign to date. That year, Lewis started five games for Buffalo and completed 59.2% of his passes for 1,092 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Renfree inked a reserve/futures deal with the Bucs in January but he was dropped in May when the team signed Ryan Fitzpatrick. His only NFL action came in 2015, when he completed three of seven passes for 11 yards and one interception.

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Rams Host Sean Lissemore On Visit

The Rams are meeting with nose tackle Sean Lissemore, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The veteran, who was most recently with the Chargers, played briefly for Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips when both men were in Dallas. "<strong

[RELATED: Rams Sign QB Dan Orlovsky]

Lissemore, 30 in September, played in 41 games for the Bolts between 2013 and 2015, including 13 starts during that span. Unfortunately, he suffered a major shoulder injury last August which ended his 2016 season before it even began. The visit with the Rams is probably a sign that the William and Mary product has been cleared to play football again.

The Rams have Michael Brockers starting at nose tackle, but they’re still working to figure out who his backups will be. After parting ways with Tyrunn Walker, the Rams are left with Mike Purcell, rookie Tanzel Smart, and untested 2015 UDFA Louis Trinca-Pasat as reserve options.

For his career, Lissemore has 135 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one interception to his credit.

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Ravens Interested In Colin Kaepernick

The Ravens have interest in Colin Kaepernick. Coach John Harbaugh confirmed to reporters that the team is planning to bring in another quarterback and signing Kaepernick “depends on what Kaepernick wants to do,” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun). "<strong

I’ve known Colin through my brother for many years. And we talked and then got to know him very well when he scrimmaged here. He and I have been talking throughout the summer a number of times,” Harbaugh said. “We had some great conversations on the phone and it’s really been a pleasure to talk to him and get to know him. I like history and politics too, and we’ve had some debates, and it’s been fun. And he’s a great guy. He’s a guy right now that’s being talked about. We’ll just see what happens with that. Only speculation right now. He’s a really good football player and like I said, I do believe he’ll be playing int he National Football League this year.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Ravens have made at least an informal offer to Kaepernick and he is mulling it over. If that’s the case, it’s possible that Kaepernick is looking for more in the way of base guarantees or incentives in the event that he takes a significant number of snaps this year.

Still, beggars can’t be choosers and Kaepernick might not have a ton of other options at the moment. Until now, the Seahawks were the only team willing to go on record with interest in Kaepernick, though the two sides did not exchange offers after his workout in June. If Kaepernick declines an opportunity to join up with Baltimore, he may have to wait for a QB injury elsewhere in the league to get his next chance.

From a pure football perspective, Kaepernick may be the most talented QB remaining on the open market. However, teams continue to shy away from him because of the specter of a locker room distraction. The Ravens may be the club to finally put a stop to the Kaepernick saga and give him an opportunity for 2017.

Flacco, Ryan Mallett, and Dustin Vaughan are currently the only quarterbacks on the Ravens’ roster. Vaughan, 26, has never taken a snap in an NFL game.

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Cardinals Meet With CB Tramon Williams

Former Browns cornerback Tramon Williams is flying to Arizona for a visit with the Cardinals, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The get-together comes on the heels of a meeting with Brandon Flowers on Wednesday. Tramon Williams (vertical)

[REL,ATED: Cardinals Meet With CB Brandon Flowers]

Williams started 22 games over his two seasons in Cleveland. Last year, he appeared in 12 games (seven starts) and he finished 2016 with 36 tackles, five passes defended, and one interception – his lowest totals since 2007. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus also indicated that he has lost a step. He finished out as PFF’s No. 73 cornerback out of 111 qualified players.

Williams can’t offer the same version of himself that we saw with the Packers earlier in his career, but he can still provide the Cardinals with some veteran know-how in the secondary. He’s probably being looked at as a backup since coach Bruce Arians indicated that Flowers was not being evaluated as a starter.

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Ravens’ John Urschel Retires From NFL

It’s not uncommon for players to announce their retirement as training camp gets underway. It is, however, unusual for a 26-year-old to do it. Ravens center John Urschel says he’s walking away from football. John Urschel (vertical)

This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Urschel participated in all of the Ravens’ offseason camps, but it seems that he is opting to pursue a career in mathematics instead. He’s a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at MIT and is said to be a straight-A student, so there should be no shortage of options for him after football.

Meanwhile, his surprise retirement leaves the Ravens with a definite void in the middle of the offensive line. Urschel was slated to be the Ravens’ starting center and now that Jeremy Zuttah is no longer in the picture, the Ravens are without a clear cut plan B.

Now that the Ravens are in the market for a center, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them circle back to former Jets standout Nick Mangold.

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Saints, Orlando Franklin Discussing Deal

Former Chargers guard Orlando Franklin visited the Saints on Wednesday and is discussing a deal with them, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Orlando Franklin (vertical)

[RELATED: Saints Don’t Expect Nick Fairley Return]

Franklin would be a logical fit for the Saints given the injuries they are dealing with on the offensive line. Left tackle Terron Armstead still has 3-5 months to go in his recovery after undergoing surgery on his torn labrum. It’s also not a certainty that center Max Unger will be ready for Week 1 after he had surgery earlier this year to fix a lingering foot issue. Both players are currently on the PUP list along with guard Senio Kelemete, a leading candidate to fill in for Unger if he misses time.

Franklin also met with the Jets on Tuesday.

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Cowboys To Sign RB Ronnie Hillman

The Cowboys are signing veteran running back Ronnie Hillman, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Hillman auditioned for the Cowboys earlier this week, along with ex-Jaguars running back Denard Robinson.Ronnie Hillman

[RELATED: Zac Dysert Likely To Miss Season]

Dallas already has Ezekiel ElliottAlfred Morris, and Darren McFadden on the depth chart, but they’re reportedly still looking for someone to fill Lance Dunbar‘s shoes in the RB4 role. Hillman could be the man for the job and that could spell bad news for undrafted running back Jahad Thomas and fullback Keith Smith.

Hillman was once a key part of the Broncos’ offense, but he has not been the same player since his surprising release from Denver before last season. Hillman appeared in eight games with the Chargers and Vikings, compiling only 131 yards on 41 carries (3.2 yards per carry). In 2015, however, he posted career highs in yards (863) and yards per carry (4.2).

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Zac Dysert Likely To Miss Season

A year after dealing with significant summertime injuries to quarterbacks Tony Romo and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys’ depth chart under center has already taken a hit in 2017 – albeit a minor one. Zac Dysert underwent surgery to fix a herniated disc and is likely to miss the season, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Zac Dysert (Vertical)

In a best-case scenario, Dallas wouldn’t have needed Dysert this season, as the team’s hope is that starter Dak Prescott and his top backup, Moore, will stay healthy through 2017. But Dysert’s injury leaves only undrafted rookie Cooper Rush behind Moore, which could force the team to search for depth from outside the organization. Dysert’s loss doesn’t exactly deprive the Cowboys of an experienced option, though, considering the 27-year-old has never appeared in a regular-season game.

The Cowboys added Dysert as a waiver claim from the Cardinals in June. The 2013 seventh-round pick from Miami of Ohio has spent time with seven NFL organizations.

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