Month: July 2018

NFC Notes: FJax, Cowboys, Mathis, Long

The Cowboys have no interest in Fred Jackson at this time, sources tell David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. For now, they plan on going into season with a committee of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar, but they haven’t closed the door on adding a tailback either. Jackson, of course, is on the open market after getting cut by the Bills on Monday.

Here’s more from the NFC..

  • Cowboys COO Stephen Jones admitted that he would pursue a talented tailback if there was a fit, though he said that age is a factor. “If we saw a young running back to add to the mix, we’d certainly look at it,” Jones said, according to Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News (on Twitter).
  • Evan Mathis is now a Bronco, but he received interest from the Seahawks before he landed in Denver, and according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Seattle wanted to know if the veteran guard could play center. The Seahawks moved Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham trade with New Orleans back in March, and will likely roll with the inexperienced Drew Nowak at center to start the season.
  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confirmed that he has not ruled out signing veteran offensive tackle Jake Long, as Andrew Hirsh of AtlantaFalcons.com writes. “He’s somebody we’ve still talked about for sure,” Quinn said of Long, who auditioned for Atlanta earlier this summer. “(He’s) a guy we have lots of regard for.

AFC Notes: Thomas, Green, Jets

Here’s a quick look at the AFC..

  • Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas is expected to need surgery on a tendon in his finger and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Thomas will go in for a second opinion on Tuesday.
  • Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer expects the Bengals and A.J. Green to get a lucrative, long-term deal hammered out in the coming weeks. If they don’t, he writes, it’s fair to wonder if they ever will. There are serious hurdles for the two sides to overcome in talks, including the Bengals’ reluctance to guarantee base salaries and Green’s desire to be paid higher than Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones.
  • According to head coach Todd Bowles, Jets cornerback Dee Milliner, who is recovering from a wrist injury, is a candidate for the team’s short-term IR slot “if his hand’s not healthy,” tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/31/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Bills announced that they have designated wide receiver Austin Willis as waived/injured.
  • Defensive end Camaron Beard will re-join the Jaguars, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com tweets. Beard will take the roster spot made vacant by Monday’s Josh Scobee trade.
  • The Chargers cut Forrestal Hickman, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The offensive tackle, who is listed as 6’7″ and 320 lbs, signed on with the Bolts in June.
  • Toby Johnson has been released by the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of Titans Online (on Twitter). The defensive tackle was signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent on May 11, 2015.
  • The Ravens placed Darryl Baldwin, Allen Reisner, Chris Greenwood, and Steven Means on IR, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Argonauts Land Justin Blackmon’s CFL Rights

The Toronto Argonauts added suspending Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon to their “confidential” negotiation list earlier this month, according to Sportsnet’s Arash Madani. This does not mean Blackmon is ticketed for the Argos, but it does mean that they will hold the talented athlete’s rights should he ever decide to attempt a comeback up north.

Under the CFL’s “Ricky Williams rule,” any player suspended by another professional football league is ineligible to play in the CFL until that discipline is rescinded. Even if the former No. 5 overall pick decided to take his talents to Canada, he’d still have to get his situation squared away with the NFL. There’s also the matter of the Jaguars still holding his rights, though the team does not expect him to play football again.

“I have not heard anything and I guess I harbor a little bit of hope but realistically I think when you’re away from the game for two-and-a-half years what you were once is not what you probably will be,” GM Dave Caldwell said earlier this month. “Your skills do erode and especially if you’re not staying in tip-top shape and you’re not in football shape. … I don’t know [what] to expect, but I would say common sense would probably be if you haven’t played football in two-and-a-half years apparently that’s not a priority for you.”

Blackmon was suspended indefinitely in 2013 for repeated violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and would have to apply for reinstatement and go through a lengthy vetting process before having the opportunity to get the greenlight from the NFL. Blackmon has been arrested on drug charges since being suspended, though he has completed a voluntary rehab program.

Despite their pessimism about Blackmon’s NFL future, the Jaguars will continue to keep the 25-year-old on the reserve/suspended list in an effort to recoup some of his signing bonus. Blackmon’s service-time clock remains on hold during his suspension, so if he were to ever return to the Jaguars, he’d still be under contract with the team for multiple seasons.

Tom Brady Was Open To One-Game Suspension

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was believed to be “open” to serving a one-game suspension for his role in the DeflateGate matter, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It was a possibility heading into settlement talks in court Monday, but talks never got that far.

Settlement talks between Brady and the NFL broke down Monday when Judge Richard M. Berman decided the two parties were too far apart and there was no point to continuing. Brady maintains his position that he will not accept the findings of the Wells Report and he is unwilling to accept responsibility for his alleged role in the deflation of footballs. The NFL, meanwhile, has said that it will only slash Brady’s suspension if he’s willing to accept responsibility.

Previous reports have indicated that the NFL would be willing to cut Brady’s suspension to two games if he were to admit guilt. However, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News (on Twitter) hears that the NFL has indicated that it would only take the suspension down from four games to three games. The NFL has yet to make a formal settlement offer to Brady’s camp.

Bills Notes: Jackson, Ryan, Cassel

Earlier today, the Bills parted ways with running back Fred Jackson. The news was devastating to many Bills fans but also to Jackson himself who would have “done anything” to retire with the Bills, according to a source to spoke with Mike Florio of PFT. Bills GM Doug Whaley acknowledged today that finances played a role in Jackson’s exit from Buffalo, but Florio hears that the veteran was never even given a chance to make things work with the team. Here’s more on the Bills..

  • In a statement that was seemingly hinting at the salary-cap ramifications of cutting Jackson, coach Rex Ryan said the Bills are “restricted by several limitations as a team,” Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Ryan went on to say that he isn’t worried about Jackson landing with the Patriots or any other divisional rival, as Rodak wrote.
  • Safety Aaron Williams said that Ryan told the locker room that the team did everything possible to keep Jackson, as Rodak writes.
  • Ryan told reporters, including Rodak (link): “I expect to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. That’s a true statement.” Many would assume that those three QBs would be newly-named starter Tyrod Taylor, Matt Cassel, and E.J. Manuel. However, Matt Simms could be in the mix for that third spot.

Packers Release Five Players

The Packers announced that they have released five players in advance of the 75-man cutdown deadline. The following moves have brought Green Bay to an 83-man roster, meaning that they still have some more work to do:

  • Tavarus Dantzler, LB
  • Fabbians Ebbele, T
  • Josh Francis, LB
  • Lavon Hooks, DT
  • Vince Kowalski, T

Dantzler did not participate in the NFL combine this year, but he did audition at regional combines and Bethune-Cookman’s Pro Day. Interestingly, his measurables were quite even with Packers fourth-round pick Jake Ryan. Still, the UDFA was unable to crack Green Bay’s linebacker depth chart and he’ll now have to try to hook on elsewhere.

Raiders Waive Kenbrell Thompkins

The Raiders waived wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The move will go on tomorrow’s transactions, meaning that he could be claimed on Wednesday at 3pm CT.

Thompkins, 26, stuck with the Patriots in 2013 after being signed as an undrafted free agent, impressing at times during his rookie campaign. He caught 32 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns in eight starts last season, but wasn’t a major part of New England’s passing attack in early 2014, and was cut just a few weeks into the season. The Raiders then acted quickly to claim him. In 12 games for Oakland, Thompkins caught 15 passes for 209 yards.

The Raiders will also waive UDFA quarterback Cody Fajardo, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter).

Raiders To Cut Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson (vertical)

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

The Raiders will cut running back Trent Richardson, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweets. Richardson, 25, was said to have been on Oakland’s roster bubble this offseason.

Richardson was selected third overall in the 2012 draft by the Browns, but lasted just over a year in Cleveland, having been dealt to the Colts for a first-round pick early in the 2013 campaign. Richardson was underwhelming, to say the least, during his time in Indianapolis, recording 977 yards and six touchdowns on 316 rushing attempts across two seasons, while adding 55 receptions for 494 yards and a TD in 29 games (20 starts). During his time wearing blue and white, the Alabama product averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.

Richardson’s time in Indianapolis came to an unceremonious end when the Colts waived him after hitting him with a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team at the end of the 2014 season. Less than a week after he was let go, the Raiders swooped in and signed him. Now, the former No. 3 overall pick will be looking to join the fourth team of his short career.

Latavius Murray and Roy Helu are the Raiders top two backs and T-Rich was expected to serve as the No. 3 back on the depth chart. However, today’s news confirms that Michael Dyer, who hasn’t been setting the world on fire either, has leapfrogged him.

Patriots Waive 5 Players

The Patriots have waived five players, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. That group includes linebacker Dekoda Watson, though there are no major surprises in the bunch.

  • Josh Boyce, WR
  • Jonathan Krause, WR
  • Jimmay Mundine, TE
  • Joe Vellano, DL
  • Dekoda Watson, LB

Watson‘s deal with the Pats called for him to earn a $745K base salary on a one-year deal. Watson has spent time with the Bucs, Jaguars, and Cowboys over the course of his career and played in 70 games.