Month: November 2018

Seahawks Notes: Baldwin, Jordan, Thomas

Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is currently dealing with a knee issue that will force him to miss a couple of weeks, coach Pete Carroll told reporters today.

“We’re gonna give him a couple weeks here before we bring him back out to make sure that we’ve ramped him back up properly,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “He came into camp a little bit off and we just want to make sure that we take care of him. We know exactly what’s going on. He’s doing some special treatments to make sure that we’re taking care of him, and we want to bring him back into shape so we can really get him ready for the long haul.”

Meanwhile, Carroll didn’t sound as optimistic about the recovery of defensive end Dion Jordan, who is sitting on the physically unable to perform list. The head coach described the veteran’s injury as a “stress issue,” although the latest ailment isn’t attributed to Jordan’s offseason knee surgery.

“It’s gonna be a while,” Carroll said. “The word is it’s gonna be a while. He’s got a little bit of healing to do, so it’s gonna be a while.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Seattle…

  • Carroll also told reporters that there’s been zero communication with safety Earl Thomas (via The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta on Twitter). The veteran continues to hold out as he pushes for either a new contract or a trade, and reports have continually connected him to the Cowboys. However, we heard earlier today that Seattle wasn’t going to give away the Pro Bowler for nothing, while the Cowboys aren’t intending on overpaying to acquire Thomas via trade.
  • Peter King of Football Morning in America believes the most general manager John Schneider could get for Thomas would be a conditional 2020 third-rounder from either the Cowboys or Raiders. King even puts in specific conditions: if the safety makes at least 10 starts, Seattle receives a third-rounder. If he doesn’t, Seattle will receive a fourth-rounder.
  • Punter Jon Ryan, the longest-tenured member of the Seahawks, saw his team select fellow punter Michael Dickson in the fifth-round of this past year’s draft. While the 36-year-old understands that his stint in Seattle is likely coming to an end, he admitted to Condotta that the team’s selection also provided some motivation. Ryan also discussed how the punter’s holding duties could play a role in who makes the roster, especially since the Seahawks are auditioning a righty (Jason Myers) and lefty (Sebastian Janikowski) for their kicking gig. This sentiment was echoed by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider“That’s a huge part (of the job) and Jon’s been so consistent over the years,” Schneider said. “Dickson hasn’t done a whole lot of it, but he’s very talented. He’s got great hands, he’s caught a lot of balls, and so he’s done a really nice job, too.”

Saints Sign OL Don Barclay

The Saints have completed their busy evening by adding some offensive line help. Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed veteran lineman Don Barclay.

The 2012 undrafted free agent out of West Virgina has managed to put together a six-year career, most of which came with the Packers. Besides missing the entire 2014 campaign, the 305-pound offensive guard sat out only a pair of regular season games during his Green Bay tenure, and he made 24 starts protecting Aaron Rodgers. Barclay has also appeared in eight career postseason games.

He was released with an injury settlement in October and quickly caught on with the Lions. However, after appearing in three games (one start) with his new team, Barclay suffered a season-ending concussion.

The 29-year-old will now try to crack a Saints rotation that’s seeking a top reserve. Jermon Bushrod and Cameron Tom appear to have the inside track on that “sixth man” role (via John Sigler of USA Today), although Barclay could certainly provide the duo with some competition. The Saints are also rostering Rick LeonardJosh LeRibeus, and Bryce Harris.

Earlier tonight, the Saints added a pair of wide receivers in Michael Floyd and Brandon Tate.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign WR Brandon Tate

The Saints have added another wideout. After signing Michael Floyd earlier tonight, the team has also added receiver Brandon Tate, reports Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate (via Twitter). Josh Katzenstein The Times-Picayune tweets that the Saints have also placed wideout Travin Dural on the injured reserve.

The 30-year-old Tate spent the past two seasons with the Bills, including a 2017 campaign where he hauled in 6 receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown. In recent years, he’s primarily played a role on special teams, serving as both a kick and punt returner. The former third-rounder has averaged 23.8 yards per kick return and 9.5 yards per punt return throughout his career.

Tate could slide into a special teams role in New Orleans. The Saints are reportedly looking to reduce running back Alvin Kamara‘s role in the return game, and while the team is still rostering Tommylee Lewis and Ted Ginn Jr., both players are accompanied by their own question marks (lack of production for Lewis, fumbles for Ginn). Saints coach Sean Payton recently admitted that the team’s return game is up in the air (via Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate.)

“Our return game, it’s kind of like ‘The Bachelor’ right now,” Payton said. “We’ve got about 12 contestants, all with roses. We don’t know who our returner’s going to be, and if she doesn’t like any of them, we’re bringing in more.”

Tate’s only had two seasons with more than 200 receiving yards, so it’s unlikely he’ll establish a role in a crowded receivers depth chart. Even with his special teams prowess, he’ll still have to compete for a roster spot with the likes of Lewis, Floyd, and Austin Carr.

Dural, a former LSU standout, joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent last offseason. He spent last season on New Orleans’ practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Place Rookie WR Cedrick Wilson On IR

Cowboys rookie Cedrick Wilson won’t make his NFL debut until at least 2019. The team placed the wideout on the injured reserve today, according to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (via Twitter). The team has signed receiver Ricky Jeune to take the open roster spot (via Watkins).

The Cowboys selected Wilson with a sixth-round pick in this past year’s draft. The six-foot-three wideout had two productive seasons at Boise State, hauling in 139 receptions for 2,640 yards, and 18 touchdowns in 26 games. He also served as one of the team’s kick returners, averaging 23.9 yards on 31 returns. The rookie suffered an injury in a recent practice, and ESPN’s Todd Archer tweets that the receiver will eventually undergo surgery to repair a “subluxation issue” in his shoulder.

Jeune, also six-foot-three, was expected to be a late-round pick in this past year’s draft following a productive career with Georgia Tech. The wideout ultimately went undrafted before landing with the Rams after the draft. He was waived earlier this week, and he landed a workout with Dallas earlier today.

The 24-year-old will likely battle with Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, and K.D. Cannon for one of the Cowboys’ final roster spots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign WR Michael Floyd

Michael Floyd has found a new home. Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports (via Twitter) that the veteran wideout has signed with the Saints.

The embattled wideout spent the 2017 season with the Vikings, hauling in 10 catches for 78 yards in 11 games (one start). While the 28-year-old had expressed interest in sticking around Minnesota, he was only able to garner a single workout with the Ravens back in March.

Floyd broke onto the scene in 2013 with Arizona, compiling 1,041 yards and five touchdowns. However, the former first-rounder’s numbers and role continued to decline over the next few years. Following a 2016 DUI arrest, Floyd was let go by the the Cardinals. He caught on with the Patriots for their 2016 Super Bowl run before landing with Minnesota last offseason.

Michael Thomas is entrenched atop the Saints’ receiver depth chart, while Ted Ginn Jr. and Cameron Meredith are also expected to start. However, Floyd could conceivably battle for snaps with any of the team’s other rostered wideouts, including Brandon ColemanTre’Quan Smith, and Josh Huff (who is suspended for the first two games of the upcoming campaign).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Place CB Tye Smith On IR

The Titans’ cornerback depth took a hit today. The team announced that they’ve placed Tye Smith on the injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. The team also waived/injured defensive lineman Claude Pelon. The Titans signed defensive linemen Johnny Maxey and Du’Vonta Lampkin to take the open roster spots.

Smith, a 2015 fourth-round pick, had a breakout season for the Titans in 2017. The cornerback finished the campaign with 19 tackles, one interception, and one pass defended in 15 games (one start). The 25-year-old also started the team’s two playoff games, totaling seven tackles.

The Towson product was expected to play an important depth role behind Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, and Adoree’ Jackson in 2018. The injury means former fifth-rounder LeShaun Sims will likely slide in as the team’s fourth cornerback, although the Titans will also give a look at Kalan Reed and Demontre Hurst.

Pelon, a former undrafted free agent out of USC, spent the first two seasons of his career with the Jets organization, compiling a pair of tackles in one game. He signed with the Titans last week. Now, the team will hope that one of Maxey or Lampkin can make up for the lost depth, at least during the preseason. Maxey, 24, previously spent time with the Steelers. Lampkin, 21, spent time with the Ravens after going undrafted out of Oklahoma in this past year’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Waive OL Vadal Alexander

Yesterday, Raiders coach Jon Gruden indicated that the organization was set to move on from Vadal Alexander. Today, the team made the move official, as the Raiders announced that they have waived the offensive lineman with a non-football injury designation.

Even prior to Gruden’s announcement, things weren’t looking good for the 24-year-old. The lineman was already suspended for four game after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, and he was a no-show when Raiders’ camp opened. Alexander was removed from the team’s 90-man roster when he failed to show up, so this move won’t open a roster spot for the Raiders.

The 2016 seventh-round pick out of LSU appeared in nine games (five starts) as a rookie, including an appearance at tight end. He appeared in 15 games (four starts) last season, mostly contributing as an offensive guard. Alexander also has some experience playing offensive tackle.

The six-foot-five, 326-pound lineman was already going to struggle for playing time, especially after the Raiders added rookies Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker this offseason. With Alexander now out of the picture, perhaps one of Oday AboushiJylan WareDenver Kirkland, and James Stone will have a better shot at making the opening day roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/18

Today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Patriots To Sign Brian Schwenke

The Patriots have agreed to sign offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Schwenke, a guard/center, spent the last five seasons with the Titans. 

Schwenke missed 23 regular season games from 2013-2015, but he has now turned in back-to-back 16-game seasons. It’s hard to say whether Schwenke is healthier, however, since he has played a whole lot less in the last two years. The 27-year-old started at center for all of his games from ’13-’15, but served as an interior line reserve in ’16 and ’17. Schwenke’s 148 offensive snaps last year were not enough to qualify for a ranking, but his 60.4 overall score from Pro Football Focus left much to be desired.

With the Pats, Schwenke will try to hook on as a backup behind starting guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason and center David Andrews.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Interested In Eric Decker

Wide receiver Eric Decker worked out for the Patriots on Monday, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Pats are dealing with some injury issues at wide receiver, so Decker could be a candidate to show his stuff in camp and potentially make the final roster. 

The Patriots are already down one receiver for the first month of the season thanks to Julian Edelman‘s four-game suspension. Beyond that, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell, and Kenny Britt are all dealing with ailments of their own. Mitchell seems unlikely to make the Pats’ final cut (and he could even be traded in the next few weeks), but the Patriots can ill afford to be short-handed at wide receiver if Matthews and Britt do not recover fully between now and September.

Enter Decker, who has openly lobbied for an opportunity with the Patriots this summer. Outside of spring meetings with the Ravens and Raiders, Decker’s market has been eerily quiet this offseason.

Decker was a late surprise cut by the Jets last year, leading him to sign a one-year deal with the Titans. He fell a little flat in Tennessee, recording 54 catches for just 563 yards and one touchdown. Decker also missed most of 2016 due to injury, so the 31-year-old is now two years removed from being a high-end wide receiver.

In 2015, Decker’s last complete season, he hauled in 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Jets. He also had 1,000+ yard seasons in 2012 and 2013 with the Broncos and nearly hit that mark in his first Jets season in 2014. If Decker can show at least some of his old form, he could be an interesting addition to the Patriots’ mix.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.