Patriots Sign CB Cyrus Jones

The Patriots signed cornerback Cyrus Jones off the Ravens practice squad, a source tells Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter). To make room for their 2016 second-round pick, the Pats released running back Kenjon Barner. It’s a two-year deal for Jones, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter), so the youngster can be controlled through the 2019 season.

Jones was released earlier this month during the Pats’ final roster cuts, but it wasn’t an easy call for New England. Now that he’s back in the fold, he figures to handle return punt returns while also seeing some reps at cornerback.

As a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2016, Jones saw time on special teams as a kick and punt returner. Last year, however, a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus cost him the season.

Barner, 28, was expected to handle some return work for the Pats when he was signed last week. The former Eagles running back will now look to hook on elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign Jordan Matthews

The Eagles reunited with wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to a team announcement. To make room, the Eagles have placed veteran Mike Wallace on IR. 

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3]

Matthews worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday – his first audition since the Patriots released him in August. Although he was not productive with Buffalo last year, the Eagles have seen what Matthews can do when he is fully healthy and in the right system. He enjoyed three 800-plus-yard seasons with Philly, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — under Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles receivers.

Wallace, meanwhile, suffered a broken fibula last week. The injury is not necessarily a season-ender, so he could be a candidate to return from IR in eight weeks or more.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

Prior to the Browns waiving kicker Zane Gonzalez, Hue Jackson did not know the second-year specialist was dealing with a groin injury. The third-year Browns HC (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) said he knew “nothing about an injury whatsoever” and that no one from the Browns’ medical department told him Gonzalez was hurt, which could set up for an interesting situation as Cleveland pivots to another kicker. It hasn’t been reported that Gonzalez was waived with an injury designation, and Florio posits an injury grievance from Gonzalez could be in the cards. Gonzalez’s groin malady required an MRI, but he still attempted a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds Sunday. This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light, given Gonzalez’s struggles on Sunday — ones that led directly to Cleveland’s 21-18 loss.

Shifting from a player the Browns just cut to one they opted not to draft, here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Sam Darnold did his best to not offer much regarding his draft-night mindset, but he did say he expected the Browns to take him at No. 1 due to the amount of time John Dorsey and Co. spent with him leading into the draft, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. The Browns spent time with all four of the top quarterback prospects before narrowing their decision to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. “We spent time with (Darnold) and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”
  • The Ravens are not counting on having C.J. Mosley available for their Week 3 game against the Broncos, David Ginsburg of the Associated Press notes. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a bruised left knee in Baltimore’s loss in Cincinnati. Rookie Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were called to action in place of Mosley, who’s only missed two games (both in 2016) in his career. A fourth-round pick, Young looks like the Sunday starter, per Ginsburg.
  • Broncos rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay sits third among the league’s rushing leaders going into Week 3’s Baltimore trip, and Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets the Colorado product narrowed his post-draft choices to the Broncos and Ravens. Lindsay (178 rushing yards on 6.1 per carry) is part of a two-rookie backfield in Denver. The Ravens opted to retain their status quo at running back, with Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen back.
  • Allen is now on IR, though the Ravens would’ve preferred to keep both he and cornerback Maurice Canady on their active roster rather than shelve them for at least two months, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Neither’s injury is a season-ending setback, and Dixon is a candidate to return from IR later in the season.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s agent, Adisa Bakari, attended the Steelers‘ season-opening tie in Cleveland, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes the vibe between he and Steelers brass wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Bakari also represents Tyrod Taylor. Nothing on the Bell front’s transpired in several days, and Pittsburgh’s bracing for a long absence.
  • Mike Tomlin expressed frustration with punter Jordan Berry, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter), and he may be on the verge of losing his job. The Steelers brought in free agent punters Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel for workouts today, Kaboly tweets. Berry’s been Pittsburgh’s punter since 2015, and the Steelers signed him to an extension in February.
  • With Joe Mixon out for a bit, the Bengals brought in a host of running backs for Tuesday workouts. Thomas Rawls, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Troymaine Pope and Matthew Dayes trekked to Cincinnati for auditions, Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan tweets.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/18

Here’s the latest from the NFL workout circuit on a busy Tuesday. All links to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Jets Work Out 5 Tackles

The Jets’ Tuesday workout schedule proved to be quite specific. Only one position was brought through for Jets brass in advance of the team’s Thursday-night game against the Browns.

Five tackles auditioned for Gang Green today, with Field Yates of ESPN.com tweeting Menelik Watson, Will Beatty, Cyrus Kouandjio, Cornelius Lucas and Chaz Green comprised the quintet.

New York already has Ben Ijalana on IR, and Kelvin Beachum entered the week with a foot injury. So did guard James Carpenter. However, both upgraded to full practices by Tuesday.

Watson and Kouandjio both went to camp with the Broncos. Neither former second-round pick made Denver’s 53-man roster, although Watson pocketed some additional money thanks to guarantees in his 2017 free agent contract with the team. He made seven starts with the 2017 Broncos.

Beatty is now 33 and hasn’t been an NFL regular since his run as the Giants’ left tackle ended after the 2014 season. He did play in one game for the Eagles last season and in six for the 2016 Giants, however, and is trying his hand at latching on with a team for another season.

A third-round Cowboys pick in 2015, Green started four games last season but experienced consistent trouble blocking Adrian Clayborn during the then-Falcons defensive end’s six-sack day. A four-year veteran, Lucas started one game for the Rams last season and worked out for the Texans last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed from practice squad: RB Josh Adams
  • Waived: WR DeAndre Carter

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad updates.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

NFC North Notes: Rodgers, Vikings, Lions

The Vikings were not the first team that sought Dan Bailey‘s services this season. Although he’s in Minnesota now, other franchises wanted to sign the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey agreed to terms with the Vikings on a one-year, $2MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). However, the 30-year-old specialist also turned down offers worth double that on multiyear deals, Rapoport adds. The Jets brought in Bailey to work out just after the Cowboys cut him, but nothing came to fruition. Gang Green may have been one of the teams that presented a better offer, but that’s not known. Nevertheless, Bailey will replace Daniel Carlson, whom Mike Zimmer said it was not difficult to cut after his performance in Minnesota’s Week 2 tie in Green Bay.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC North:

  • Aaron Rodgers did not exit the Packers‘ Week 2 game with any new discomfort on his injured left knee, Mike McCarthy said (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Rodgers is “obviously sore,” and McCarthy does not have a read on whether his quarterback’s condition is better or worse than at this point last week. But it’s encouraging for the Packers that Rodgers didn’t sustain any additional damage while clearly playing hurt.
  • Carlson’s cut will save the Vikings $200K, though the Bailey addition will negate those savings. Only Carlson’s signing bonus ($248K), plus his base salary through two games, will count against Minnesota’s cap, per Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). The Vikings are up against the cap but managed to add Bailey, Aldrick Robinson and Tom Johnson in the past two days.
  • Robinson will only make the league minimum, and no guarantees exist in the soon-to-be 30-year-old wide receiver’s Vikings pact, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The former Redskins, Falcons and 49ers pass-catcher now comprises part of the Vikes’ receiving corps. Minnesota currently has five receivers on its roster, the same amount it did prior to the Robinson signing. Stacy Coley, a 2017 seventh-rounder, was cut to make room.
  • On a busy day for workouts, the Lions brought in two veteran edge rushers who would slot in as defensive ends in their 4-3 scheme. John Simon and David Bass trekked to Detroit for Tuesday workouts, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). A recent Colts cut, Simon already met with the 49ers and Jets since being released. A six-year veteran, Bass led Jets edge rushers in sacks last season with 3.5. Former Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski also worked out for the Lions today, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Also among the workout contingent: linebacker Tyrone Holmes, fullbacks Jalston Fowler and Jay Prosch, and tight end Donnie Ernsberger, per Balzer. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher visited with the Lions.
  • Former Jets wideout Chad Hansen was among those who auditioned for the Packers today, with Balzer tweeting Shay Fields, Korey Robertson, Taj Williams and quarterback Brogan Roback — of Hard Knocks fame — joined him.

Jaguars Work Out Wright, Jones, Sims

While the Redskins saw enough from Breshad Perriman and Michael Floyd‘s workouts Monday to sign them, Kendall Wright‘s Washington audition did not produce an offer. He has another opportunity a day later.

The Jaguars worked out the veteran slot receiver on Tuesday, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM radio tweets. Wright, Landry Jones and Charles Sims were in Jacksonville today auditioning, per Caplan.

Wright could not make the Vikings’ 53-man roster but is coming off a 614-yard season — his most in a single campaign since the 2014 slate — with the Bears last year. The Jags are still sorting out their receiver hierarchy post-Marqise Lee, but the group produced in a Week 2 win over the Patriots.

Jones also had a Monday workout, with the Cowboys, but he remains a free agent. The Steelers severed ties with their longtime backup quarterback just prior to the regular season. Jones spent five years in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars traded for Cody Kessler this offseason; he and Blake Bortles are the only two passers on Jacksonville’s roster.

A former Buccaneers passing-down back, Sims got an earlier start on the 2018 workout circuit than Wright or Jones, already auditioning for the Texans and Patriots. The Jags have four running backs on their active roster, having added Brandon Wilds late last week because of Leonard Fournette‘s hamstring trouble.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Place Rob Kelley On IR

Another Redskins running back will head to IR. Rob Kelley will join Derrius Guice and Byron Marshall on the team’s injured reserve list, with a toe injury set to shelve the third-year back for at least two months, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets.

Kelley was set to miss around a month of action because of this malady, per Jay Gruden (via Keim, on Twitter), and the Redskins decided to save a roster spot. Kelley, whom Gruden said might need surgery, will not be eligible to return to action for eight weeks.

Samaje Perine will now be Washington’s third active running back on game day, Keim adds, joining Chris Thompson and the resurgent Adrian Peterson. Kelley and Perine were set to be Washington’s top two backs, but Peterson’s August workout changed those plans. Kelley has received just four carries this season, gaining eight yards.

As a rookie, Kelley broke out and became the leading rusher for the playoff-contending Redskins. He amassed 704 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He was not as prominent of a backfield fixture last season, though, and saw the late-arriving Peterson usurp his potential 2018 role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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