A.J. Hughes

Steelers Sign Safety Daimion Stafford

The Steelers have signed safety Daimion Stafford and long snapper Kameron Canaday, the club announced today. Pittsburgh also waived punter A.J. Hughes.Daimion Stafford (Vertical)

Stafford, 26, was part of a four-man Titans safety rotation in which each player played roughly half the club’s defensive snaps (Stafford sat at 57.2% on the year). In that time, Stafford posted 51 tackles, one sack, and one interception while grading as the league’s No. 63 safety among 90 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

With the Steelers, Stafford will slide into a reserve role behind starters Mike Mitchell and Sean Davis, and will also likely contribute on special teams. In 2016, Stafford saw action 48.3% of Tennessee’s special teams plays, a clear indication that he’s a valuable asset in that phase of the game.

Canaday, meanwhile, is likely a camp body for the Steelers, who had already released veteran long snapper Greg Warren earlier this offseason. Pittsburgh used a sixth-round selection on Colin Holba in this year’s draft, so he figures to act as the club’s long snapper once the season gets underway.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/21/17

  • The Jaguars announced that they’ve re-signed offensive lineman Tyler Shatley, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this spring. It’s a one-year deal with a club option in 2018, tweets Ryan O”Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Shatley, 25, started four games for Jacksonville last season, playing on roughly a quarter of the club’s offensive snaps. During his three-year run, Shatley — a Clemson alum — has appeared in 28 total contest. Shatley becomes the second RFA offensive lineman the Jaguars have re-signed this month, joining Josh Wells.
  • The Steelers have signed long snapper Kameron Canaday and punter A.J. Hughes, the club announced today. Canday, 23, won the Cardinals’ long snapping job out of training camp, but was waived following botched snap in Week 3. Pittsburgh already re-signed its longtime LS, Greg Warren, earlier this offseason, so Canaday will likely serve only as offseason depth. Hughes, meanwhile, is an ex-Virginia Tech Hokie who worked for the Bears and Broncos in 2016 but never latched on with a club.
  • The Dolphins announced that they’ve signed long snapper Winston Chapman. Chapman, 24, went undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2015 after tearing his ACL during his senior season. Miami’s incumbent long snapper, John Denney, is an unrestricted free agent.

West Notes: Raiders, Fisher, Rams, Broncos

Suspended Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith is “mad and frustrated” about the way his reinstatement bid has stalled, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Smith applied for a return in October, just under a year after the league handed him a one-year ban for a substance abuse violation. That year has since passed, but there’s still no word on Smith’s future. “He is losing hope,” Smith’s personal trainer, Steve Fotion, told Tafur. “They are jerking him around, telling him they’ll have an answer for him on Monday. And then nothing. It seems unprofessional.” Smith has “been randomly drug-tested and they have all come back clean,” Fotion added. The 27-year-old pass rusher met with commissioner Roger Goodell last Friday. Goodell acknowledged that meeting earlier this week, though he didn’t offer details on when he’ll decide Smith’s fate.

More on the Silver and Black and a couple other franchises:

  • There was a report earlier this week pointing to disharmony between Raiders owner Mark Davis and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, but team officials had a productive meeting with Adelson at his office Thursday. “Both are working very hard to finalize a deal,” tweeted Clark County (Nev.) Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, who was also in attendance. Further, Sisolak dismissed the idea that Davis and Adelson don’t get along, writes Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Raiders remain focused on Vegas relocation, which the league could vote on in March, and don’t regard the city of Oakland’s $1.3 billion stadium plan as economically viable.
  • Former Rams head coach Jeff Fisher doesn’t believe the team ever intended to keep him in place for its 2019 move to a new stadium in Inglewood, he told FOX Sports’ Charissa Thompson (via Marc Sessler of NFL.com). “He didn’t win enough games, and the organization has a much bigger picture,” Fisher said on why the Rams fired him Monday. “And I don’t think I was ever part of seeing the new stadium.” Had the Rams experienced more success under Fisher, perhaps he could have been at the helm when they shifted to their new facility. The club went just 31-45-1 with Fisher, though, and its 4-8 start this year was enough for owner Stan Kroenke to go in another direction.
  • The Broncos worked out punter A.J. Hughes on Thursday, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Notably, the team already has a capable option in Riley Dixon, who ranks seventh in the league in net yards per punt (41.2) and 11th in punts inside the 20 (twenty-two). As of earlier this month, his net average was the highest ever for a rookie, per Broncos vice president of public relations Patrick Smyth (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Workout Notes: Cards, Lions, Browns, Bears

Friday’s workouts from around the NFL:

  • The Cardinals auditioned a pair of offensive linemen, guard Vlad Ducasse and tackle Garry Williams, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (on Twitter). Ducasse is the more experienced of the two, having made 78 appearances and 22 starts since the Jets drafted him in the second round in 2010. Ducasse totaled a career-high 11 starts with Chicago last season. Williams has played far fewer games than Ducasse (41), but he has made just one fewer start (21). The 30-year-old’s latest action came in 2014, though, and he hasn’t appeared in more than one game in a season since 2012. Williams spent the first five years of his career with the Panthers.
  • The Lions tried out two offensive tackles – Sam Young and Laurence Gibson – and defensive tackle Cliff Matthews, tweets Caplan. Young, a sixth-round pick in 2010, has amassed a combined 58 appearances and 13 starts with the Cowboys, Bills and Jaguars. He suited up in all 16 games last season for the first time. The Falcons chose Matthews in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, and he ultimately appeared in 32 games with Atlanta from 2012-14.
  • The Browns worked out offensive lineman Mike Leidtke, as agent Brett Tessler tweets. Liedtke, an Illinois State product, auditioned for New Orleans last week.
  • Punter A.J. Hughes tried out for the Bears, according to Caplan (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.