Adrian Colbert

Dolphins Place Jones, McCain On IR

The two longest-tenured Dolphin defenders will finish their seasons on injured reserve. Miami placed safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on IR, where they will join cornerback Xavien Howard.

This strips the Dolphins’ secondary of two key veterans — in a year that’s seen numerous Miami vets depart or head to IR — and creates questions about Jones’ future with the franchise. Jones is by far the Dolphins’ longest-tenured player, at 10 years, but he was a trade candidate throughout this offseason.

A chest injury cost Jones four games this season, but he returned for the Dolphins’ Week 11 matchup against the Bills. Against the Browns, the Dolphins will deploy a skeleton crew featuring Eric Rowe and a host of young players. McCain suffered a shoulder injury against Buffalo.

The Dolphins gave Jones a $12MM-per-year extension in March 2017; the two-time Pro Bowler’s play since, however, has not quite lived up to that price. Jones will turn 32 in February and stands to count $15.6MM toward Miami’s 2020 cap. The Dolphins could save nearly $8MM by releasing Jones next year, though that move would cost them almost as much in dead-money charges.

Miami offered Jones to Pittsburgh before sending Minkah Fitzpatrick there this year, but the former’s high salary impeded trade talks this offseason. For a Dolphins team that’s made no secret of a full-scale rebuild, as the exits of most of the franchise’s previous core have shown, it will likely not have an issue jettisoning Jones next year.

McCain has started eight games for Miami this season and 40 since joining the team as a 2015 fifth-round pick. He’s attached to a four-year, $27MM extension the Dolphins gave him in 2018. With only $5.5MM in 2020 salary due, the 26-year-old defender has a better chance of returning next season.

The Dolphins added safety help by signing ex-49ers starter Adrian Colbert off the Seahawks’ practice squad. They also placed 2019 Seahawks wide receiver draftee Gary Jennings on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/15/19

A look at the latest NFL practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/26/19

Today’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Waive WR Gary Jennings

The Seahawks have waived wide receiver Gary Jennings, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). The move is notable because Jennings was a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Jennings, a West Virginia product, missed time during the offseason program with a hamstring injury and had a quiet training camp. Plus, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes, Jennings had difficulty picking up Seattle’s playbook. He posted just one catch for 12 yards during the preseason and has been a healthy scratch for all three of the team’s regular season contests.

Jennings was one of three receivers the Seahawks drafted this year. Second-round choice D.K. Metcalf has shown off his big-play ability during his first taste of professional action, and seventh-rounder John Ursua remains on the roster.

During his junior year with the Mountaineers, Jennings topped the 1,000-yard mark, and he nearly did it again in his senior season. It’s possible that a receiver-needy team will put in a claim, but if not, the Seahawks could theoretically re-sign him to the taxi squad.

In a related move, Seattle has promoted safety Adrian Colbert from the p-squad and signed LB Malik Carney to the practice squad to replace Colbert.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/17/19

Here are Tuesday’s updates from the workout circuit, all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted.

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

  • T Gerhard deBeer, Christian DiLauro, Brandon Hitner, C James Murray (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

49ers, S Adrian Colbert Reach Injury Settlement

Adrian Colbert opened last season as the 49ers’ starting safety. The 2017 seventh-round pick had progressed to the point he was viewed as a potential long-term secondary piece. A year later, he is no longer part of the team.

The 49ers placed Colbert on IR on roster cutdown day, ending his season. Friday, they released him from IR via injury settlement, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Colbert will be free to sign with another team once he heals up from a hamstring injury.

Colbert started six games for the 2018 49ers but saw his season end early when a high ankle sprain intervened in October. The Miami alum made six starts as a rookie. The 49ers re-signed versatile defensive back Jimmie Ward this offseason and will pair him with Jaquiski Tartt. The team also moved 2018 third-rounder Tarvarius Moore from cornerback back to safety, making Colbert’s roster path more difficult.

The 49ers also released wide receiver Nick Williams from IR via injury settlement.

49ers Cut Joshua Garnett, Reach Max

The 49ers got down to the 53-man roster maximum by releasing 24 players in total on Saturday, including former first-round pick Joshua Garnett.

The Niners used the No. 28 pick to select Garnett in 2016, but they never saw much from him at the pro level. The Stanford product started in eleven of his 15 games as a rookie, but even then, his performance was underwhelming – Garnett racked up penalties and didn’t excel in run blocking or pass blocking. Garnett then missed all of 2017 after undergoing knee surgery and only saw action as a reserve in seven games last year. At a rate of $10.35MM, it made little sense to keep Garnett for 2020, especially since the option would have been guaranteed for injury.

This year, Garnett is said to be healthy, but that ensured little in terms of performance, so he’s out. The Niners will save $1.7MM against $1.2MM in dead money.

Jordan Matthews was said to have had a strong camp, but the 27-year-old wide receiver wasn’t able to stick in SF. He inked a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Niners in March, but he’ll exit with just his $300K signing bonus in hand.

Aside from Garnett and Matthews, here’s the rest of the Niners’ cuts:

Released

DB Antone Exum Jr.

LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

DL Jamell Garcia-Williams

DL Kevin Givens

S Marcell Harris

TE Daniel Helm

WR Malik Henry

LB Elijah Lee

LB David Mayo

DL Damontre Moore

LB LaRoy Reynolds

G Ross Reynolds

S Tyree Robinson

QB Wilton Speight

WR Chris Thompson

DL Jordan Thompson

OL Najee Toran

DL Jeremiah Valoaga

RB Austin Walter

RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

Waived/Injured

DB Adrian Colbert

OL Andrew Lauderdale

49ers Place S Adrian Colbert On IR

49ers free safety Adrian Colbert will go on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. It’s a 6-to-8 week injury, but coach Kyle Shanahan says he is “probably not” a candidate to return this season.

[RELATED: 49ers To Re-Sign QB Tom Savage]

Colbert, 25, was forced out of Sunday’s game against the Rams with a right ankle injury. Colbert was hoping to return, but it sounds like his season is over after compiling 20 tackles and one pass deflection in seven games (six starts).

The 2017 seventh-round pick was surprisingly effective last year after taking over the starting job in Week 10, but he wasn’t playing at the same level this year. Colbert had a slow start out of the gate and briefly lost the top job in Week 4 to D.J. Reed. He was re-inserted into the starting lineup in Week 5, but surrendered a 75-yard touchdown due to a costly mental error.

Now that Colbert is out of the equation, Reed figures to take over as the Niners’ starting free safety. The club may also explore options i traden free agency and the trade market.

NFC West Rumors: Rams, 49ers, Thomas

Despite the Rams‘ dominance through four games, they haven’t deployed much in the way of name talent at linebacker. They traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and shipped Robert Quinn to the Dolphins. Los Angeles is in line to have its top current ‘backer back in Week 5, however. Sean McVay expects Barron to make his season debut against the Seahawks after missing the first four games due to a lingering Achilles injury that caused him to miss all of Los Angeles’ offseason program.

We’ve kind of got a plan in place where we’re anticipating him being able to go. And that’s subject to change based on how he responds. But he’s feeling good up to this point,” McVay said, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com. “We’re hopeful to be able to get him back and if that’s the case we’ll be excited to get Mark out there.”

Barron started 44 games for the Rams the past four seasons and is in the third season of a five-year, $45MM contract. The Rams have started Cory Littleton and Ramik Wilson at inside linebacker this season.

Here’s the latest from this division, one that features a clear-cut favorite at the quarter pole.

  • Although McVay said earlier this week Greg Zuerlein had a chance to return Sunday, that probably remains at least a week away. The second-year Rams coach said the signing of Cairo Santos likely indicates Zuerlein is still a bit way from resuming his season. He’s been sidelined since Week 2 warmups after sustaining a groin injury.
  • Richard Sherman‘s per-game bonus-laden contract makes it critical he stay on the field as much as possible, and the veteran cornerback has a chance to play this week. The 49ers defender participated in a limited practice on Thursday and would be in line to start upon returning. However, not much else is known about the 49ers’ corner situation, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward and Greg Mabin could continue a rotation on the outside, Robert Saleh said, adding this is a product of Mabin’s progress rather than the coaching staff having issues with Ward or Witherspoon’s play.
  • Don’t look for D.J. Reed to usurp the rehabbing Adrian Colbert. Kyle Shanahan confirmed, via Maiocco, the original San Francisco free safety starter will get his job back once he returns from a hip contusion. Shanahan would be “surprised” if Colbert isn’t ready to return this week. The second-year player did not start last week but got in two full practices this week.
  • The Seahawks could franchise Earl Thomas for $12.48MM, but the three-time All-Pro could well hit the market. If he’s not franchised, it’s incredibly hard to envision Thomas back with the Seahawks. And if he is, another long holdout almost certainly commences. Despite having a broken leg end his season, Thomas may see a robust market come March, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports citing big deals given to Allen Robinson (coming off an ACL tear) and Matt Kalil (off a hip injury) as why Thomas can be expected to be a coveted commodity. Thomas has already surmounted a significant leg injury; he returned from that season-ending malady to be a 2017 Pro Bowler. He should have immense incentive to get cleared by the time free agency opens.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Suh, Seahawks

Because of the lack of a solidified position, Jimmie Ward has enjoyed a unique start to his career. He’s been shuttled between cornerback and safety throughout his run with the 49ers, and despite returning to play for the same defensive coordinator in a second consecutive for the first time as a pro, Ward still doesn’t have a surefire position. Robert Saleh used him at safety last season after Jim O’Neil stationed him at cornerback in 2016. He saw action at both spots under Eric Mangini in 2015. Now, the 49ers are again ready to see if he can play outside corner again.

Jimmie Ward is a guy who’s played some outside corner in his career,” John Lynch said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We’re going to experiment with that this offseason and see if that’s viable and give him some time there.”

The 49ers have Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon penciled in as cornerback starters, and Maiocco reports they don’t intend to re-sign Eric Reid. So, keeping Ward at safety would make more sense from a personnel standpoint. But the team nevertheless intends to persist experimenting with the fifth-year player as a corner. However, Maiocco notes the 49ers view 2017 seventh-rounder Adrian Colbert as a possible starting-caliber safety alongside Jaquiski Tartt.

Here’s the latest from the NFC West:

  • Speaking of positioning, the Rams will play Ndamukong Suh at nose tackle in their 3-4 base set, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will play outside in Wade Phillips‘ base set, and Suh will play a position at which he’s lined up around 3 percent of his career, per Gonzalez. “Those are things that we talked about with Ndamukong,” Sean McVay said earlier this week. “We wanted to make sure, ‘Hey, do you feel good about the way we envision you?” Suh, who’s played only for teams that utilized 4-3 sets in his eight-year career, will see plenty of time as a 4-3 defensive tackle once the Rams are in sub packages. Los Angeles used sub sets 70 percent of the time last season.
  • Expected to be in the mix for wide receivers this offseason, the 49ers instead backed off of this year’s top UFA targets. Maiocco reports they weren’t interested in either Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson but are expected to target a wideout in the draft. “What you don’t want to do is have a bunch of guys who are OK but are paid like the best,” Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s where you get in trouble and have to stay away from in free agency. It’s usually why the draft is the best way to go.” San Francisco extended Marquise Goodwin this offseason and has Pierre Garcon due back as well.
  • UFA signee Jonathan Cooper will line up at right guard initially for the 49ers. Laken Tomlinson will slot in at left guard, per Maiocco, who adds a slimmed-down Joshua Garnett will compete with Cooper for the right guard job. Tomlinson started 15 games at left guard for the 49ers last season. Last year’s right guard, Brandon Fusco, left in free agency. A 2016 first-rounder, Garnett started 11 games as a rookie.
  • The Seahawks are again in need of a backup quarterback. The team waived Trevone Boykin, and Austin Davis remains unsigned. Colin Kaepernick does not appear to be in the team’s plans, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Kaepernick visited the Seahawks last year before the team signed Davis. Geno Smith met with the team this week, and Mark Sanchez has also been linked to Seattle. Sanchez’s former backup with the Jets, Kellen Clemens, also has ties to new Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer. The 34-year-old backup could interest the Seahawks, per Henderson. Clemens also worked under Schottenheimer with the Rams.