Month: July 2019

Jets To Sign TE Ryan Griffin

Set to be without Chris Herndon for the season’s first month, the Jets added some experience Monday. The team and veteran tight end Ryan Griffin agreed to terms, per Brian Costello of the New York Post.

A six-year veteran, Griffin joins fourth-round rookie Trevon Wesco and fifth-year players Eric Tomlinson and Daniel Brown (a combined 51 career catches). Griffin ended his Texans run with 136 receptions, topping out with a 50-catch, 442-yard 2016 season.

Following an arrest on charges of misdemeanor vandalism and public intoxication, the Texans released Griffin in May. The charges were later dismissed. Griffin, 29, will now have a chance to make an impact with a second franchise.

Griffin’s functioned as a part-time starter throughout his career, earning that distinction 36 times since debuting in 2013 after being a sixth-round Texans pick. He started a career-high 11 games for the 2018 Texans and, with Herndon set to be shelved on a four-game suspension, stands to have a decent chance at working with Jets first-stringers in September.

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Chargers Won’t Budge In Melvin Gordon Talks

The Chargers’ aren’t budging in talks with Melvin Gordon. Barring a change in his camp’s expectations, an extension isn’t coming soon for the running back, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) hears. 

Gordon has threatened to hold out, but the Bolts appear willing to call his bluff. The Bolts aren’t shaken, probably because Gordon would sacrifice roughly $330K per week by missing games, representing 1/17th of his $5.6MM salary. He also wouldn’t unshackle himself from the Chargers by skipping the whole year – the Chargers could still hit him with the franchise tag in 2020 if he sits out.

The timing of the new round of CBA negotiations also isn’t helping matters. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the future revenue split or salary cap machinations will impact future deals, so the general uncertainty may also be making the Chargers skittish.

For what it’s worth, Gordon says he ultimately wants to stay in L.A.

I want to end up with the Chargers. That’s my home,” Gordon said recently. “I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. They changed my life. Of all 32 teams, that was the team that called me. I can’t forget them for that.”

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Redskins’ Trent Williams Won’t Report

Redskins left tackle Trent Williams is not expected to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates this week, sources tell Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Williams did not report for minicamp in June, so this does not come as a total surprise. 

Williams is dissatisfied with the Redskins’ handling of his medical situation, but he’s also seeking a new contract that pays him as a top player at his position. He continues to be a top performer, though he still has two years to go on his deal and his recently injury trouble may be a concern to the team.

The Redskins extended Williams in 2015 with a five-year, $66MM deal that made him the NFL’s highest-paid tackle. From a AAV standpoint, his contract has not been significantly diminished by recent tackle deals. The 31-year-old still sits seventh among tackles at $13.2MM per year, and $24MM remains on the contract. However, the contract the Raiders gave Trent Brown did change the marketplace a bit. The $16.5MM-AAV pact for a non-Pro Bowler was eye-opening, but the Raiders had plenty of cap space and spent it wildly this offseason.

Redskins president Bruce Allen addressed the situation but declined to go into detail. The longtime Washington executive did say he has spoken with Williams a few times this year.

I know what Trent told me so I know what the truth is,” Allen said earlier this year. “I’ll leave my conversation with Trent between the two of us. Trent has been a valuable player for us and that’s why we signed him to the contract he has.”

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Patriots Work Out Justin Hunter

The Patriots worked out four wide receivers on Monday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Free agents Nick Williams (Titans), Justin Hunter (Steelers), Papi White (Jaguars), and Travin Dural (Saints) all showed their stuff for the Pats, who will be without Julian Edelman for the next three weeks because of a thumb injury. 

Hunter seemed to hold serious promise when he entered the league as a second round pick of the Titans in 2013. Since then, he has spent time with three other teams, with the Steelers being the most recent of the bunch. He has managed just 14 catches with the Bills, Dolphins, and Steelers between 2017 and 2018. Last year, he did not see the field. His best season came most productive season came in 2014 when he had 28 catches for 498 yards and three scores with the Titans, though he did manage four TDs with Buffalo in 2016.

Hunter and the other players won’t have the easiest path towards making the Patriots’ final cut, but one of them may have an outside opportunity to hook on with the defending champs.

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Browns Work Out Arie Kouandjio, Cyrus Kouandjio

The Browns are working out a pair of brothers in free agency. Guard Arie Kouandjio and tackle Cyrus Kouandjio will audition for the team on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Cyrus showed some promise with the Bills, but he was waived in 2017 after an odd off-field incident in which he was found partially undressed in a field near the scene of a car accident. The former second-round pick spent some time with the Broncos in 2017 and 2018, but hasn’t had a real opportunity to showcase himself in years.

Arie, meanwhile, appeared in 17 games for the Redskins between 2015 and 2017. Unfortunately, a torn quadriceps muscle wiped out his 2018 season before it even began. Before the injury, Kouandjio was said to be performing well on the practice field and figured to be a staple in the rotation on Washington’s interior line.

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Bills Host Josh Bynes, Stephone Anthony

Linebackers Josh Bynes and Stephone Anthony are visiting the Bills today, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Both players profile as high-upside, yet low-risk, depth options. 

The Cardinals released Bynes in March to save just $667K against $1.87MM in dead money. That was a sharp turn from the previous year, when Bynes was being played ahead of both Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick.

Anthony seemed to have a great deal of promise when he entered the league as a first-round pick of the Saints in 2015. But, after starting in all 16 games as a rookie, he was moved from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker with poor results. The Dolphins acquired him for a fifth-round pick in 2017, but the change of scenery didn’t do much for him. Anthony had just seven tackles across 16 appearances last year and the Dolphins declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent.

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Seahawks’ Jarran Reed Suspended

Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed has been suspended for the first six games of the 2019 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The ban stems from a 2017 violation of the personal conduct policy, though he was not charged or arrested in connection with the incident. 

Reed underwent sports hernia surgery in April, but was on track to participate in training camp. Now, he’ll have to wait until at least October to see live action.

The Seahawks were banking on a big season from Reed, who is coming off of a season with 10.5 sacks as a starter. He was also an extension candidate, but those plans may be put on hold.

The Seahawks will now have to generate pass pressure from elsewhere, and that won’t be an easy task after the trade of Frank Clark. Poona Ford and first-round pick L.J. Collier will have to carry much of the load, unless the team is able to find help elsewhere.

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Falcons’ Michael Bennett Out Indefinitely

Falcons defensive lineman Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle during Monday’s practice, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old is out indefinitely, striking a blow to the Falcons’ depth.

The Falcons signed Bennett in October of last year to fill in for Grady Jarrett after an injury. He appeared in just two games during his short time with the team, but they circled back to him in January with a low-risk deal.

Bennett finished out the 2018 season with five tackles in two games. Prior to that, he appeared in 14 games for the Jaguars across two seasons.

Browns To Work Out Orleans Darkwa

The Browns will work out running back Orleans Darkwa on Monday, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Darkwa last played for the Giants in 2017 and is looking to make his NFL return. 

Darkwa’s 2018 comeback attempt and workout tour was halted by a torn Achilles that knocked him out for the rest of the season. Now fully healthy, he’s looking to get back to the form he exhibited in 2017 when he rushed for 751 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 171 carries.

The Browns’ audition of Darkwa may be a prelude to granting Duke Johnson‘s trade request. As of this writing, the Browns refuse to move Johnson with the goal of keeping him as a backup to standout Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (once he returns from his eight-game suspension.)

For his career, Darkwa has 246 carries for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns.

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Giants To Work Out Cyprien, Boston

The Giants are looking for help in the secondary and they’re starting with a pair of big names. On Monday afternoon, the Giants will audition free agent safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Tre Boston, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). 

Cyprien, who turns 29 next week, missed the entire 2018 season due to a torn ACL. He also worked out for the Colts this week and should be able to hook on with a contender if he is indeed back to 100% health. The advanced metrics have never been high on Cyprien, but he has been a starter for his entire career and has a reputation for delivering hard hits.

Boston, 27, has averaged four interceptions, 61 tackles, and 8.5 passes defended over the past two seasons (30 games) with the Chargers and Cardinals. Pro Football Focus was also fond of his performance, ranking him among one of the top defenders in the NFC West last season. Still, a big free agency payday continues to elude him.

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