NFL Workouts: Ross, Austin, Butler

Despite adding star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back to the active roster and acquiring former Panthers wide out Robbie Anderson for a pair of draft picks, the Cardinals worked out another receiver yesterday in John Ross, according to Field Yates of ESPN. While many viewed Anderson as a replacement for the lost production of draft day acquisition Marquise Brown, who faces a potential multi-week absence, the speedy Ross would be a better match, in terms of skill set, to team up with diminutive wide outs Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch to replace Brown’s ability.

A former top ten draft pick for the Bengals in 2017, Ross is widely considered not to have lived up to his draft stock. After missing the majority of his rookie season with knee and shoulder issues, Ross was still able to salvage some bright spots in his second and third seasons, reaching career highs for touchdowns with seven in 2018 and receiving yards with 506 in 2019. Despite showing some promise, injuries continued to drag the young wide out down. Over the final two years of his contract, Ross missed 21 games, leading him towards free agency. He signed with the Giants last year and appeared in 10 games, catching 11 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown.

Here are a couple of other workouts reported around the league, starting with Brown’s former home in Baltimore:

  • After losing second-year wide receiver Rashod Bateman to injury for the past two weeks, the Ravens were looking to add some receiving depth recently, as well. This desire resulted in the practice squad addition of veteran DeSean Jackson, but, according to Yates, Baltimore auditioned another veteran wide out in Tavon Austin. The former long-time Ram has spent the last four seasons since leaving Los Angeles with three other teams. Austin has seen quite a down-sized role since his heyday as a starter with the Rams, but showed a big-play ability in Dallas, averaging 15.1 yards per reception as a Cowboy three seasons ago. With Jackson now on the practice squad, Austin will likely have to keep searching for his fifth NFL squad.
  • The Seahawks worked out a former first round pick in defensive tackle Vernon Butler yesterday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Butler waited until the final year of his rookie contract with the Panthers to play up to his draft stock, racking up 6.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, 32 tackles, and three forced fumbles, which all still stand as career highs by quite a bit. Butler signed a two-year contract with the Bills after leaving Carolina but failed to match the production from his best year with the Panthers. He’s available after failing to make the Raiders’ final 53-man roster and looks to add some depth to a minorly banged up Seahawks defensive line.
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