Month: July 2018

Extra Points: Rams, Jenkins, Hill, Eagles

The Rams are well below .500 under the regime of GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher and Bernie Miklasz of 101Sports.com isn’t giving them a pass. In the last four years, the Cardinals have turned themselves from a cellar dweller into a playoff team and St. Louis, Miklasz argues, should have been able to accomplish something similar. He notes that the Rams have invested 21 draft choices in the offense during the last four drafts – not to mention prominent free-agent signings and the Nick Foles deal – and yet the unit is sputtering in 2015. The Rams are 1-2 heading into this weekend and with upcoming road games against the Cardinals and the Packers, they could quickly fall to 1-4.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • It’s early but Bears defensive end Jarvis Jenkins just might proved to be the “steal” he predicted he would be in free agency, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. Jenkins thought he would join the Cardinals in free agency until they inked Cory Redding and Corey Peters. Then, he thought the Jaguars would be his landing spot before they spent big on Jared Odrick. He wound up signing a partially-guaranteed minimum salary deal with Chicago and, so far, he’s more than earning his paycheck.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle Jordan Hill has been excellent so far in 2015 and Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter) wonders if he’ll be the next guy that the Seahawks are going to have to find a way to pay. Hill, 24, has 11 tackles and one fumble recovery to his credit through three games. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) currently have him ranked as the 20th best defensive tackle in the NFL.
  • Eagles defensive end/outside linebacker Vinny Curry has left CAA Sports and is currently without an agent, Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal tweets.

NFC South Notes: Hicks, Saints, Jordan

This week, the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees agreed to a contract restructuring which gave the club a little bit more breathing room in 2015. New Orleans now has $2.6MM in additional cap room this season, but Brees’ cap hit for 2016 has been raised to an eye-popping $30MM, the highest in the NFL. Obviously, Brees is very unlikely to play out ’16 at that rate. The Saints will have to figure out a course of action with the veteran and that could mean an extension or a pay cut, but a trade or release might also be in play.

Here’s more out of the NFC South..

  • The Saints‘ trade of Akiem Hicks another blow to the team’s dismal scouting record, Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune writes. Hicks is the third draft pick the Saints have traded in the past seven months, joining former core players Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) and Kenny Stills (Dolphins). Hicks has been phased out of the Saints’ defensive plans and in a vacuum, the trade doesn’t come as a great shock. However, Duncan finds it disappointing that the Saints have traded a player who was slated to be a big part of the front seven last summer.
  • The New Orleans Police Department has closed its investigation into an incident at a night club involving Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan without bringing charges, as Matt Sledge of The Advocate writes. The local district attorney could still decide to take the case to a grand jury, however.
  • Running back Antone Smith, who reached an injury settlement with the Falcons at the final roster cutdown, has now been given the green light to resume football activities and sign with a team, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Submit Your Stuff To Pigskin Links

Here at Pro Football Rumors, we deliver up-to-the-minute news on NFL transactions and high-quality original analysis. Each week, we’re also featuring some of the best blog articles from around the web in our regular feature, Pigskin Links.

We’re looking for interesting reads on all things football from blogs of all sizes. While PFR is dedicated to player movement, Pigskin Links will be open to pieces on all areas of the game. If you would like to suggest your blog post (or someone else’s) for Pigskin Links, send Zach an email with the link and a brief synopsis at PigskinLinks@gmail.com.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/30/15

Here are Wednesday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from across the NFL:

  • The Patriots released linebacker Dekoda Watson, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. The veteran played primarily on special teams in the last two games.

Earlier Updates:

  • It was a busy day for the Texans, who overhauled their linebacker corps in an effort to improve the club’s special teams play. According to a press release, the Texans promoted ILB Max Bullough from their own practice squad, signed ILB Brian Peters from the Vikings’ practice squad, and signed OLB Kourtnei Brown from the Bucs’ practice squad. As Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets, the club placed linebackers Mike Mohamed and Carlos Thompson on injured reserve.
  • The Jets have parted ways with one of their draft picks from this past May, waiving seventh-round defensive tackle Deon Simon today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Simon, 25, has yet to see any action in a regular season NFL game.
  • Having cut running back Mike James earlier in the week, the Buccaneers had an open roster spot, and used that opening to promote tackle Reid Fragel from their practice squad, according to a team release. Fragel initially survived Tampa Bay’s cutdown to 53 players, but was dropped and signed to the practice squad after the Bucs claimed several players off waivers.
  • The Steelers made a change to their defense today, announcing that they’ve cut defensive end Caushaud Lyons, promoting linebacker Anthony Chickillo to their active roster to replace him.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/30/15

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically the most active time during the NFL season for teams to make changes to their practice squads, so we should expect another busy day today. Here are the latest practice squad signings and cuts from around the league:

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington:

  • Signed: OLB Sage Harold (Twitter link via Mike Jones of the Washington Post)

Saints Acquire Hoomanawanui From Patriots

The Saints have acquired tight end Michael Hoomanawanui from the Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). In return, the Patriots will receive defensive end Akiem Hicks (link).

Hoomanawanui, 27, has spent the last three seasons and change in New England after starting his career with the Rams. The former fifth-round pick played more than 700 snaps in 2013, grabbing 12 balls for 136 yards and a touchdown. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Hoomanawanui wasn’t an effective run blocker in that season, though he graded as slightly above average as a pass blocker. Last year, the Illinois product played in all 16 games but saw an even smaller role in the passing game, catching only three passes out of six targets.

Hicks was in the Saints locker room on Wednesday, Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune tweets, so it would appear that the deal really gained momentum later in the afternoon. Hicks is set to become a free this offseason and despite a solid showing in training camp, he wasn’t given the opportunity to make an impact on the field this year. The defensive end was a third-round choice in 2012 but was actually the Saints’ top pick in that year thanks to the Bountygate sanctions imposed against them.

Hoomanawanui is set to earn $850K in 2015 while Hicks will make $1.53MM.

Packers Place Andrew Quarless On IR-DTR

The Packers announced that they have placed tight end Andrew Quarless on injured reserve – designated to return. The designation will allow Quarless to return to the club in eight weeks.

Quarless suffered an MCL sprain in Monday night’s game against the Chiefs. Their usage of the IR-DTR spot on Quarless comes as a bit of a surprise, but the Packers view him as an important offensive weapon and they want him back on the field in 2015.

Quarless, 27 on Tuesday, hasn’t made a major offensive impact thus far in 2015. Through three games (really two games and a piece of a third), Quarless has a grand total of two catches off of two targets. In each of the previous two seasons, Quarless has hauled in ~30 catches for 300+ yards.

This offseason, many expected Quarless to compete with Richard Rodgers for the starting tight end job and possibly unseat him. However, it was Rodgers that came out with the No. 1 job after the summer competition. The Penn State alum’s offseason arrest probably didn’t help matters. Quarless reportedly fired a pair of rounds following an argument with two women at a South Beach parking garage in July. When police pursued the vehicle he was riding in, the tight end tried to hide outside a restaurant and conceal his weapon in a potted plant.

Quarless is in the second year of a two-year, $3MM pact. In the four seasons leading up to this year (he missed the 2012 season with a knee injury), Quarless has compiled 85 receptions for 909 yards few six touchdowns. In 2014, he set career highs in yards (323), touchdowns (three), and first downs (20).

Workout Notes: 9/30/15

Today’s workouts from around the NFL..

AFC Notes: Raiders, Manziel, Forbath, Jets

Having rounded up a few items from around the NFC earlier today, let’s shift our focus to the league’s other conference, and check in on several AFC notes:

  • Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), citing multiple sources, reports that Raiders owner Mark Davis has been in contact with a Los Angeles-based investor and developer about potential relocation. According to Cole, Davis may have to sell part of the Raiders in order for the Carson proposal to have a good chance of moving forward.
  • The struggling Browns will inevitably turn to Johnny Manziel to gauge whether he is their future at the quarterback position, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com writes, and Grossi believes that time will come sooner for the Browns than coach Mike Pettine ever anticipated. Grossi believes that Johnny Football could get the start on October 18th against the Broncos, Cleveland’s next home game, if the offense sputters against the Chargers and Ravens
  • Nick Novak got the job in Houston, but Kai Forbath was a close second in the Texans‘ kicker evaluations, according to sources who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). That might not be much consolation to Forbath, who was also the runner-up for the Eagles’ kicking job this week.
  • Former Jets GM Mike Tannebaum made some big mistakes near the end of his time with the team, but 17 players on New York’s current active roster were Tannenbaum acquisitions, says Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello makes the case that it’s time to recognize that Tannenbaum, who is currently in the Dolphins’ front office, did a “very good job” with the Jets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Kiko Alonso Won’t Miss Entire Season

Earlier today, a Philadelphia Daily News report indicated that Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso would have his troublesome left knee scoped to determine the extent of the damage to his ACL graft. Alonso, who tore his ACL in 2014, sustained a partial tear of the ligament this year, and if the damage was significant, season-ending surgery was a possibility.

However, according to Ian Rapoport and Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, today’s scope, performed by Dr. James Andrews, determined that the damage is minimal, and another procedure won’t be necessary. Alonso will still be sidelined for about four weeks as he rehabs the knee, but he’s expected to return to the Eagles’ lineup for the second half of the season.

The diagnosis is great news for Alonso and the Eagles, and the fact that the linebacker should only require about a month of recovery time before he returns means that he’s probably not a candidate for the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Philadelphia is one of 16 NFL teams that has yet to use its IR-DTR slot.

DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks, who is expected to play in Week 4, figure to share the Eagles’ snaps at inside linebacker until Alonso gets back on the field.