Month: September 2017

Jaguars Can Recoup Branden Albert Bonus

If Branden Albert stays retired, the Jaguars have the right to recoup $3.4MM in signing bonus from the left tackle, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Branden Albert (vertical)

Jacksonville absorbed Albert’s base salaries when it acquired him from the Miami earlier this year, but — as with any trade — Albert’s prorated bonus money stayed with his original club, with the Dolphins taking on $3.4MM in accelerated dead money. Despite that, Albert’s rights, and the rights to any forfeited money, transferred to the Jaguars as part of the swap with the Dolphins, as Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap explains (Twitter link).

In sum, the Jaguars will never actually pay Albert a dime of his 2017-18 base salaries, which would have totaled $18.45MM. Instead, provided Albert stays retired, they’ll pick up $3.4MM in cash (not cap space). Plus, Jacksonville won’t even lose the 2018 seventh-round pick it sent to the Dolphins — because Albert wasn’t on the Jacksonville roster for at least three games, Miami was forced to return the draft choice, reports Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

Contract squabbles between the Jaguars and Albert are nothing new, as the veteran blindside protector held out for a new deal soon after being traded to Jacksonville. General manager Dave Caldwell & Co. refused to rework Albert’s pact (with, hypothetically, could have played a role in his retirement), and Albert eventually reported to camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers DT Montravius Adams To Miss Time

Packers rookie defensive tackle Montravius Adams suffered a stress fracture in his foot and is expected to require a screw inserted, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy announced Adams will miss “several weeks,” Rapoport indicates Adams will be hard-pressed to be available for the start of the 2017 regular season.Montravius Adams (Vertical)

Adams, the 93rd overall pick of the draft, had been expected to compete for a rotational role along the Packers’ defensive line. Clearly, that could still happen at some point later in the season, but it will be exceedingly difficult for Adams to register playing time without having had the benefit of a rookie training camp and preseason.

Adams has already practiced this year, so he isn’t eligible for the physically unable to perform list. If Green Bay wants to stash Adams without having him count towards the roster count, it will have to place him on injured reserve, and then designate him as one of two players to return from IR following an eight-week absence.

The Packers were already fairly thin along the defensive interior, especially considering that Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first four games of the season. While reserves such as Ricky Jean-Francois or Christian Ringo could potentially slide to nose tackle, Green Bay could conceivably consider outside additions. Dan Williams, Jared Odrick, Arthur Jones, and Vance Walker are the best interior lineman on the free agent market, though not all are cut out to play one-technique.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Ezekiel Elliott Announcement This Week

The NFL will not announce a suspension for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott this week, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), who reports the league is still waiting for the four external advisors who attended Elliott’s meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell to complete their work.Ezekiel Elliott (Vertical)

A league announcement on Elliott’s suspension has been expected for some time, but the timeline of the implementation has been continually pushed back. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has repeatedly stated that he expects a decision on Elliott to be handed down soon, but no news was disseminated over the weekend, and now Dallas must wait until next week (at least) until it learns whether it will be without its star running back.

The NFL is reportedly wrapping up its investigation into Elliott, but Jones stood behind Elliott when addressing the media earlier this month. “I have reviewed everything and there is absolutely nothing – not one thing – that had anything to do with domestic violence,” Jones said. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com recently reported a “growing sense” that Elliott will face a league-imposed suspension. Elliott was never arrested or charged in the incident, but his accuser addressed her allegations in a statement last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Sign WR Louis Murphy

The 49ers have signed veteran wide receiver Louis Murphy to a one-year deal, the club announced today. In order to create a roster spot, San Francisco waived/injured linebacker Jimmie Gilbert."<strong

Murphy, a seven-year NFL veteran, has spent time with four clubs during his pro tenure, with his last stop coming in Tampa Bay. The former fourth-round pick’s best season came in 2010, when he posted 41 receptions and 609 yards for the Raiders. Health questions (a torn ACL in 2015 followed by a setback during rehab) and off-field concerns (an arrest on gun charges earlier this year) have limited Murphy’s market, but he should have a chance to compete for time in San Francisco.

While the 49ers have some intriguing options among their current receiver crop, the club lacks established players aside from Pierre Garcon and Jeremy Kerley. While Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Bruce Ellington, Trent Taylor, and others each have interesting attributes, Murphy is more experienced than any of them.

Gilbert, meanwhile, is expected to miss the 2017 campaign after suffering a torn ACL, as the 49ers announced earlier today. Gilbert is a rookie undrafted free agent out of Colorado.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens No Longer Considering RGIII

Although the Ravens considered bringing in Robert Griffin III for a workout, the free agent quarterback is no longer on Baltimore’s radar, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. The Ravens are still assessing other signal-callers, including Colin Kaepernick, per Hensley.Robert Griffin III (Vertical)

Baltimore is on the hunt for another option under center while starter Joe Flacco deals with a back injury. Head coach John Harbaugh recently labeled Flacco “day-to-day,” but the Ravens still want another quarterback on the roster, especially given the struggles of incumbent backup Ryan Mallett. Although Baltimore swapped out David Olson for Josh Woodrum earlier today, that move isn’t expected to affect the team’s search for a more established quarterback.

For Griffin, meanwhile, his dalliance with Baltimore marks the second time in the past week he’s been unfruitfully linked to a club with a quarterback need. RG3, who’s reportedly been generating “minor interest,” worked out for the Chargers last week but is unlikely to sign after Los Angeles acquired Cardale Jones from the Bills. The Seahawks also considered Griffin earlier this year, but ultimately went with Austin Davis instead.

As the Ravens continue to seek another quarterback, free agent options such as Christian Ponder, Shaun Hill, and Zach Mettenberger could potentially come into play.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Sign Marcus Gilchrist

The Texans have agreed to sign free agent safety Marcus Gilchrist to a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links).Marcus Gilchrist (vertical)

Gilchrist, 28, worked out for Houston earlier this month, and the club evidently liked what it saw from the former Jet as he continues to work his way back from a torn patellar tendon. Previous reports had indicated Gilchrist was progressing in his recovery, and he’ll now give the Texans depth at a position where the team was sorely lacking.

Given his level of experience (91 appearances, 69 starts), Gilchrist figures to be tossed into the Texans’ starting lineup immediately. He’ll likely displace Corey Moore, who has only eight career starts under his belt, in replacing Quintin Demps, who signed with the Bears in the spring.

Gilchrist had been a beacon of health until suffering the patellar tendon injury last December, as he’d started 61 consecutive games without an absence. In 2016, he picked off two passes in 13 games en route a passable 53rd-place ranking among Pro Football Focus’ 90 qualified safeties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign RB Kenny Hilliard

The Redskins have signed free agent running back Kenny Hilliard. To make room, fellow running back Keith Marshall has been cut with an injury designation. Kenny Hilliard (vertical)

[RELATED: Safety David Bruton Retires]

Hilliard first joined the Texans as a practice squad player in 2015 and circled back to the taxi squad late in the 2016 season. He signed a futures deal to remain with the club in the winter, but he was cut in May as the team added tackle Breno Giacomini and a handful of undrafted free agents. We have yet to see him in a regular season game, but he did post four 100-yard games during his time at LSU.

The speedy Marshall suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s practice, an especially rough break considering that he missed his entire rookie season with an elbow injury. Marshall was said to be having a strong offseason and projected to be the fourth and final running back on the team’s roster.

Marshall’s injury could mean that Hilliard will slide in as the Redskins’ RB4. In theory, this may also give the Redskins an opportunity to work Matt Jones back into the game plan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Kaep, Browns

Ravens decision makers aren’t sure about whether to sign Colin Kaepernick, but some of the team’s most vocal veterans say they’d welcome the quarterback, as ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley writes.

Hell yeah, if he’s going to help us win,” Suggs said. “We have no issues. Not in the locker room. Hell yeah, we want him.”

Defensive back Lardarius Webb, who is in his ninth season in Baltimore, also says that he’d like to see Kaepernick join the team and spice up the backup quarterback competition. While sponsors and fans of the Ravens might not be crazy about Kaepernick, it doesn’t sound like the players would have any issues with the QB and his political activism.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Browns left tackle Joe Thomas isn’t necessarily thinking about retirement, but it’s something he’ll consider after the 2017 season. “It’s hard to say [how much longer I’ll play],” Thomas said (via ESPN.com’s Tony Grossi). “I’m lucky enough to be standing here after completing 10 years in my career, which was longer than I expected to play when I was a rookie. “I’ll re-evaluate things after the season. To me, the questions become do I still love it, am I still good enough to have a spot, and am I still healthy enough. Those are always the things I ask myself and if those are all yes I’ll keep playing, and if for some reason they’re no, then I’ll stop playing.” Thomas is signed through 2018 and due to make non-guaranteed salaries in each of the next two years.
  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson says safety Ed Reynolds will miss significant time with a knee injury, though he did say that it is not a torn ACL (Twitter links via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). Reynolds currently projects as Cleveland’s starting free safety, so the Browns may want to look into signing a defensive back if he has to miss regular season games.
  • Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he could retire after the 2017 season.
  • The Bengals‘ kicking competition is starting to take shape.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/17

A roundup of today’s minor transactions:

  • The Cardinals signed cornerback Jarell Carter and waived/injured linebacker Alani Fua (knee) and cornerback Ronald Zamort (knee). Zamort appeared to be ahead of Brandon Williams on the Cardinals’ depth chart at the time of his season-ending ACL tear.
  • The Bengals waived kicker Jonathan Brown, which means the team’s kicking competition is down to Jake Elliott and Randy Bullock. To fill his roster spot, the Bengals signed safety Cedric Thompson.
  • The Colts claimed former Denver tight end Henry Krieger-Coble on waivers. To make room, the Colts waived tight end Colin Jeter.
  • The Eagles signed cornerback Tay Glover-Wright to a one-year contract, per a club announcement. Glover-Wright is an undrafted free agent with Utah State with just two games of NFL experience on his resume.
  • Wide receiver K.J. Maye, who played in college at Minnesota, has been signed to the Patriots‘ 90-man roster.
  • The 49ers announced that they’ve claimed wide receiver Tim Patrick off waivers from Baltimore and waived/injured fellow wideout B.J. Johnson.
  • The Chiefs have signed free agent wide receivers Corey Washington and Rob Wheelwright, and waived wide receiver Antwan Goodley and tight end Emanuel Byrd.
  • The Saints have signed former South Carolina linebacker Jonathan Walton, tweets Nick Underhill of the Advocate.

Lions OT Tony Hills Retires; Team Signs Nick Becton

Veteran tackle Tony Hills is retiring, the Lions announced. To take his place, the team has signed free agent tackle Nick Becton.

Hills, 33 in the fall, has moved around the league a bunch since being drafted by the Steelers in 2008. This offseason, the Lions signed him in the wake of Taylor Decker‘s shoulder injury. Of course, Hills was never expected to replace Decker’s production and was only being brought on board as a potential reserve.

Becton is expected to fill a similar role for Detroit. The 27-year-old met with Detroit in late March and the team apparently kept his name in mind for an occasion such as this. He has spent time with the the Chargers, Giants, Saints, and Bears, but we haven’t seen him on the field in the regular season since 2015.