Month: November 2017

Extra Points: Schwartz, Falcons, Bengals

Although there has been some speculation that he’ll play at right tackle, new Lions lineman Geoff Schwartz isn’t sure what his position will be, as Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.

Schwartz, 29, signed a one-year deal with Detroit earlier this week as he looks to restore his value. The veteran inked a four-year contract with the Giants in March 2014, but he has appeared in only 13 games over the last two seasons thanks to injuries. If Schwartz can stay healthy for a full year, he could prove to be an excellent pickup. Even though he only played in 11 games for the Giants in 2015, Pro Football Focus rated him as the league’s 20th-best guard last season.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Falcons will work out former TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin on April 12th, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
  • Georgia defensive tackle Sterling Bailey will work out for the Falcons on April 6th, Ledbetter tweets.
  • Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Vernon Butler worked out for the Bengals today and will do the same for the Raiders tomorrow, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has a private visit planned with the 49ers in Santa Clara soon, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • North Dakota all-conference linebacker William Ratelle worked out for the Buccaneers as a fullback, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net tweets.
  • Free agent defensive lineman Jack Crawford visited the Steelers, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • University of Miami cornerback Tracy Howard worked out for the Saints, met with the Jaguars, and visited the Browns in the last week, a league source tells Mike Kaye of First Coast News (on Twitter).

East Rumors: Eagles, Lynch, Jets, Dolphins, Toler

The Eagles‘ interest in taking a quarterback at No. 8 overall is “very real,” sources tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The Eagles have made plans to work out Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch and officials believe that they intend to select a QB in the first round. However, not everyone in the NFL is sold and some think that Philly is engaging in a ruse to make Chip Kelly‘s 49ers panic and trade up in the draft.

If the Eagles can trick the 49ers with a smoke screen, it will serve as more than a prank. Philly will have a better shot at taking one of the top available defensive players in the draft if San Francisco slides up to grab a quarterback.

  • Lynch has a pre-draft visit lined up with the Jets, Albert Breer of NFL.com tweets. The Jets could be looking at Lynch and other quarterbacks in the draft as a contingency plan if they are unable to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • The Dolphins are bringing in veteran cornerback Greg Toler for a visit tonight and Friday, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). Toler has made 25 starts for Indianapolis over the past two years.
  • The Bills announced that they have promoted two assistant coaches on offense. Pat Meyer has gone from football operations consultant to offensive assistant while Jason Vrable has been elevated from offensive quality control coach to the team’s assistant quarterbacks coach.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/31/16

Here’s a rundown of today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Jaguars have released wide receiver Damian Copeland, John Oehser of Jaguars.com (on Twitter). Copeland, a Louisville product, caught 58 passes for 780 yards and five touchdowns in his senior season before hooking on with Jacksonville as a UDFA.
  • The Cowboys signed punter/place kicker Matt Wile (Michigan) and long snapper Branden Hartson (Houston) today, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).

Draft Updates: Nkemdiche, Broncos, Lasco

Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche is meeting with the Broncos today in Denver, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. After his meeting there, he’s off to the Cardinals for a visit. Teams are reportedly fearful of Nkemdiche’s off-the-field issues, but his talent should still keep him pretty high up on boards around the league.

Here’s the latest draft news:

  • Cal running back Daniel Lasco has received invites from the Texans, Raiders, and 49ers, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. Lasco has also had private workouts with the Patriots and Eagles and he’ll take part in the Texans’ local pro day since he’s from Houston (via Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee on Twitter). Lasco turned heads with his performance in 2014 but he was held back by a hip injury in 2015.
  • Former LSU corner Rashard Robinson is generating a ton of interest, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). Robinson visited the Broncos recently and the Jets and Seahawks are next on his docket. Robinson sat out 2015 after being suspended indefinitely by coach Les Miles. With no hope of getting back on the field for LSU in 2016, Robinson declared early for the draft.
  • Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts has (or has had) workouts with the Texans and Steelers, Getlin tweets. He also has a visit lined up with the Cardinals. Roberts led the FBS with 88 solo tackles last year.
  • Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard has visits and/or workouts on the books with the Lions, Jets, Titans, Seahawks, Raiders, Falcons, and Patriots, Getlin tweets.

Dolphins Sign Isaiah Pead

6:53pm: The Dolphins announced (on Twitter) that the signing is official.

2:46pm: The Dolphins are finally on the board when it comes to signing a free agent running back. After missing out on Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson, and Chris Johnson, the team is signing former Ram Isaiah Pead, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link).Isaiah Pead

Of course, unlike many of the other backs the Dolphins had been considering, Pead isn’t necessarily expected to play a major role in 2016. As Marvez notes (via Twitter), an ACL injury and a drug suspension have played a role in sidelining Pead, who has just 19 rushing attempts in his NFL career. He has some upside, but he won’t be assured of a roster spot for 2016.

Pead, 26, was originally selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Cincinnati. St. Louis kept him on its roster until September 2015, at which point he was cut. The Steelers signed Pead in November, but also waived him a few weeks later.

Signing Pead shouldn’t have a real impact on the Dolphins’ running back plans. The team could still take a back in the draft, or add a veteran via trade or free agency. We heard earlier today that Miami has spoken to the Chiefs about a possible deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pauline’s Latest: Titans, Steelers, Falcons

Here’s a look at the latest news from Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (via WalterFootball.com):

  • Boise State outside linebacker/defensive end Kamalei Correa met with the Titans on Wednesday and had dinner with the Steelers on Wednesday night. Pauline hears that the Steelers are considering Correa as a late first-round pick. Some believe the Steelers will take the best defensive back seven player (safety/cornerback/linebacker) when they pick in the first round.
  • The Falcons had their entire front office on hand at today’s Boise State pro day to watch Correa and Darian Thompson, according to Pauline.
  • Thompson worked out for the Eagles on Monday and met with the Titans on Wednesday. He also has official visits set up with the Steelers and Panthers next week.
  • The Dolphins, Seahawks, Bears, and Steelers all had offensive line coaches on hand to watch Boise State offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo. Odhiambo met with the Colts on Wednesday and he’ll do an official visit with the Vikings.
  • The Seahawks also like Boise State center Marcus Henry.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon is drawing interest from the Colts and Browns and is taking an official visit to the Giants.
  • German receiver Moritz Boehringer‘s had a strong showing at Florida Atlantic’s pro day. One scout told Pauline that Boehringer is a “legitimate prospect” while another said he could go as early as the fourth round. The wide receiver had dinner with the Vikings on Wednesday night.
  • FAU defensive lineman Trevon Coley met with the Vikings, Titans, Lions and Browns and has a workout with the Dolphins coming up. Pauline hears that he impressed scouts on Thursday.

Dolphins To Sign MarQueis Gray

The Dolphins have agreed to sign tight end MarQueis Gray, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not immediately known.

Gray was eligible for restricted free agency this offseason, but the Bills elected to let him go without tendering him an offer. The 26-year-old has been on the market now for weeks without much buzz attached to his name, but he has potentially found his new home for 2016.

Gray, a Minnesota product, first broke into the league in 2013 with the Browns. In 2014, he landed in Minnesota before being cut loose mid-season and getting picked up by the Bills. Gray broke out somewhat in his five games with the Bills that year, catching eight passes for 118 yards. Last year, however, Gray saw time in only four games with one reception.

Dolphins To Sign RB Daniel Thomas

The Dolphins have agreed to sign running back Daniel Thomas, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.

In four seasons with Miami, Thomas ran for 1,480 yards off of 409 attempts, good for just 3.6 yards per carry. In 2014, he saw time in 12 games, rushing for 168 yards off of 44 carries, good for a 3.8 yard average on each try. At one point in time, Thomas was looked at as a significant piece of the Dolphins offense, but he fell out of favor in Miami and was not asked back in 2014.

The tailback hooked on with the Bears in 2015, but his stint did not last long, and he spent a good deal of time on the workout circuit during the season, including auditions with the Broncos, Colts, and Lions. Now, he has come full circle by signing with Miami.

Earlier today, Miami also added running back Isaiah Pead.

Cardinals’ Calais Campbell Hires New Agent

For some time now, the Cardinals have been wanting to sit down with Calais Campbell‘s representation to discuss his contract. However, they were unable to since Campbell was without representation. Now that has changed as the defensive end has hired agent Tom Condon, as Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets.

Campbell was a client of Ben Dogra, who was suspended and fined by the NFLPA in January. Dogra is appealing the ruling from the union, but Campbell is moving on to another agent. With that hurdle out of the way, Arizona can now try and work out a new pact with the veteran who is slated to carry a whopping $15.25MM cap charge in 2016.

The Cardinals could attempt to work out an extension with Campbell in an effort to lower their costs in the present. However, the 29-year-old (30 in September) may instead prefer to play out the season to try and restore his value before free agency. While Campbell has earned Pro Bowl selections in each of the last two seasons, he has not quite justified his ~$55MM contract inked prior to the 2012 season.

The Cardinals also might not be willing to offer Campbell much after acquiring edge rusher Chandler Jones from the Patriots. Arizona must leave room to re-sign Jones following the 2016 season and given the way that top defensive ends have been getting paid, they might have to give the former Patriots standout a deal worth close to $20MM/year. The Cardinals probably want to lessen their financial commitment to Campbell for ’16, but not at the expense of fiscal flexibility in 2017 and beyond.

Cowboys Draft Rumors: Buckner, Boykin, Coleman

The Cowboys are slated to be on the clock at No. 4 overall and they appear to be especially intrigued by one top prospect. The latest out of Dallas:

  • Oregon defensive end Deforest Buckner worked out for the Cowboys last week, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. Dallas appears to be pretty intrigued by him as they will be his next visit.
  • TCU quarterback/wide receiver Trevone Boykin will work out for the Cowboys on April 8th, according to Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
  • Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman will spend tomorrow working out for the Cowboys, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Coleman is widely regarded as one of the top wide receivers in this year’s class along with Laquon Treadwell, Will Fuller, Josh Doctson, Tyler Boyd, and Michael Thomas.
  • The Cowboys had a private workout with Tennessee receiver Marquez North, according to Williams (Twitter link).