Aaron Ripkowski

NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/18

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

NFL Workout Updates: 10/29/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise specified.

Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

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.

Patriots Work Out WR Kendall Wright

The Patriots hosted wide receiver Kendall Wright and a host of other free agents for workouts on Wednesday, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England currently only has four wide receivers on its roster (excluding special-teamer Matthew Slater), and the club is counting on Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and the recently-claimed Chad Hansen to shoulder the load until Julian Edelman returns from suspension in Week 5. In addition to Hansen, the Patriots claimed former Seahawks pass-catcher Amara Darboh off waivers on Sunday, but waived him with an injury designation on Tuesday.

Wright inked a one-year, $1MM deal with the Vikings this spring that contained $400K guaranteed, but he was cut loose on Sunday. Scheduled to be Minnesota’s slot receiver between Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Wright was beaten out by former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell for a starting spot. Given his lack of special teams prowess, Wright didn’t hold much appeal as a reserve for Minnesota.

That Wright doesn’t play special teams (he has only four career ST snaps) could present a problem for his chances to earn a Patriots roster spot, as well, but New England’s dire need for receiving weapons could trump Wright’s weakness on teams. A former first-round pick, Wright spent five years with the Titans before landing with the Bears in 2017. The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal passing attack, Wright posted a team-leading 59 receptions and 614 yards in his only season with Chicago.

Here’s the full list of free agents that were on hand for New England today, per Reiss:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Move Roster To 53

The Packers have trimmed their roster to 53 by making the following transactions:

Waived/Injured:

Placed on suspended list:

Cut:

North Rumors: Browns, Gordon, Kuhn, Packers

Earlier today, the football world was rocked by the news that embattled Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has apparently failed another drug test, putting his NFL future in jeopardy. However, top execs in the Cleveland front office probably weren’t all that shocked. The Browns were getting the sense for weeks that Gordon wasn’t going to be reinstated anytime soon and felt that it was possible that he might not get reinstated at all, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. The league office had concerns about who Gordon was continuing to associate with (link) and, after some initial optimism, the Browns started to fear the worst.

While we wait to learn more about Gordon, here’s the latest from the North divisions:

  • With one week to go before the start of the Packers‘ offseason program, veteran fullback John Kuhn remains unsigned, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. Agent Kevin Gold says he is still waiting to hear whether the Packers will re-sign Kuhn or instead roll with second-year player Aaron Ripkowski. In 2015, the Packers did not re-up Kuhn until April 13th, so it’s possible that he could still be in the mix for 2016.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), tight end Hunter Henry said he has had five or six workouts with teams, but has only visited one club so far — the Bears. The former Arkansas Razorback is widely viewed as the top tight end in the draft.
  • The Lions, with wide receiver Corey Fuller already on their roster, will take a look at another Fuller brother this week, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who reports that Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller is visiting Detroit.

Draft Pick Signings: Thursday

Over the course of the next few weeks, as the league’s 32 teams lock up their draft picks, we’ll dedicate individual posts to first- and second-round picks reaching agreements with their respective clubs. Already today, for instance, we’ve passed along word of Trae Waynes signing with the Vikings and Nelson Agholor reaching a deal with the Eagles.

However, given the lack of drama involved in rookie contract negotiations under the new CBA, news on players who were selected in the third round or later will be relegated to round-up posts. Here are Thursday’s mid- to late-round picks who signed their deals, with any additional updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

4:52pm:

  • In addition to confirming the signing of Deon Simon (noted below), the Jets also announced the signings of third-round outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and fourth-round quarterback Bryce Petty, per a team release.
  • The Vikings are gradually agreeing to terms with nearly their entire draft class over the course of the day. Chris Tomasson (Twitter links) has updates on two more, reporting that fifth-round tight end MyCole Pruitt, fifth-round wideout Stefon Diggs, and seventh-round offensive lineman Austin Shepherd have all reached deals with the club.
  • The Ravens have signed fifth-round guard Robert Myers and sixth-round wide receiver Darren Waller, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).
  • The Seahawks have signed fifth-round cornerback Tye Smith, tweets Terry Blount of ESPN.com.

3:50pm:

  • The Vikings have officially added three more draftees to the roster, agreeing to terms with sixth-round defensive lineman B.J. Dubose and seventh-round linebacker Edmond Robinson, according to reports from Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). In addition to those late-rounders, fourth-round offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings has signed his deal, tweets agent Mike McCartney.
  • Sixth-round lineman Kristjan Sokoli has signed his four-year rookie deal with the Seahawks, tweets agent Brett Tessler. A defensive lineman at Buffalo, Sokoli will be moving over to the offensive line in Seattle.
  • Jets seventh-round defensive tackle Deon Simon and Patriots seventh-round defensive end Xzavier Dickson have signed their rookie deals, according to tweets from their respective agencies. Simon will get a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $73K, while Dickson’s bonus will be worth about $53K.

2:43pm:

  • Sixth-round offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson has agreed to terms with the Vikings and will officially sign when he arrives at the team’s facility, tweets Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Thompson is the second Vikes draftee to reach a deal with the club.
  • Another Packers draftee has agreed to terms with the team, per Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Post-Gazette, who tweets that the club has struck a deal with sixth-rounder fullback Aaron Ripkowski. Ripkowski was the first of three players selected by the Packers in the sixth round, and is also the first one to reach an agreement with the team.
  • The Browns have signed sixth-round tight end Randall Telfer, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Telfer will receive a signing bonus of just under $118K.

1:48pm:

  • The Packers have agreed to terms on four-year rookie contracts with fifth-round quarterback Brett Hundley and fourth-round linebacker Jake Ryan, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). Green Bay is expected to lock up most or all of the rest of its late-round picks by the end of the day, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • The Ravens have agreed to contract terms with fourth-round defensive back Tray Walker, reports Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link). The final player selected in the fourth round, as a supplemental pick, Walker will count for about $521K against the cap in 2015.
  • Seventh-round center Austin Reiter has agreed to terms on his rookie contract with Washington, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. Reiter will receive a signing bonus worth just under $75K.

Draft Notes: Winston, Gregory, Steelers, Rams

The NFL announced (via Twitter) that 26 prospects will attend the draft in Chicago later this month, but neither of the two biggest names — quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota — will be present to hear their respective names called. Receiver Amari Cooper, also expected to be a top-five pick, will also skip the event, but the likes of Leonard Williams, Kevin White, and Dante Fowler Jr. will be on hand.

Let’s look at some more draft news as we get closer to April 30:

  • Winston reportedly scored a 27 on the Wonderlic, the NFL’s predraft intelligence test, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, who notes Winston’s mark is just one shy of Peyton Manning‘s grade in 1998. It’s unclear what role the Wonderlic plays in teams’ draft decisions, but it’s an interesting note nonetheless.
  • We previously heard that Nebraska edge rusher Randy Gregory was set to visit Pittsburgh at some point this week, and it looks like he’ll meet with the Steelers on Thursday, writes Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • In the market for offensive line help, the Rams met with guards Ali Marpet, Tre Jackson, and Jamil Douglas today, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Oklahoma fullback Aaron Ripkowski met with the Packers today, tweets Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
  • Texas long snapper Nate Boyer (a former Green Beret whose story can be read here) has a predraft visit lined up with the 49ers, he tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • More from the Bay Area: The 49ers have maintained heavy interest in a pair of LSU players — linebacker Kwon Alexander and running back Terrence Magee — a source tells Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).