Al Louis-Jean

Latest On 2018 Spring League

The 2018 Spring League is scheduled to get underway next week, with practices starting next Wednesday and games beginning on April 7. Former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is the most high-profile former NFL player involved in the endeavor, but other NFL notables are also participating, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Running backs Ben Tate and Lorenzo Taliaferro, receiver Stephen Hill, defensive lineman Alameda Ta’amu, and defensive back Al Louis-Jean are among the ex-NFLers who will take part in the Spring League, per Florio. Meanwhile, former NFL defensive backs coach/Rex Ryan disciple Donnie Henderson will lead the league’s East team.

The Spring League is a developmental effort comprised of four teams which involves four games in April. The league began in 2017, and notable ex-NFLers such as Greg HardyKellen Winslow, and Ahmad Bradshaw were among the participants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Release Brandon Harris, Waive 10 Others

The Dolphins have pared their roster down to 78 players today, moving closer to the first-cut deadline of 75. They waived 10 players (Twitter link) and released cornerback Brandon Harris, who has sufficient service time to avoid waivers.

A former Texans second-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2011, Harris has played in 42 games but has yet to start one. His service time runs from 2011-14, with the ex-Hurricane seeing action for three years in Houston and one, 2014, in Tennessee. A torn ACL sustained last summer while employed by the Titans stalled Harris’ career, one that saw him land with the Dolphins late last month.

Miami’s Chris Culliver signing pushed Harris further on the bubble, and he’ll now attempt to find a new home.

Hazel landed with the Dolphins as a sixth-rounder in 2014 and played in five games last season, starting one. This leaves seven wideouts still on the Fins’ roster, with Griff Whalen and UDFA Rashawn Scott potentially battling for a roster spot.

DiSalvo lost the long-snapping battle to longtime Dolphin John Denney, and Koehn couldn’t beat out Andrew Franks for the kicker job.

Painter was a Broncos sixth-rounder in 2013 who’s played in three games — all with the Browns in 2014.

Dolphins Waive/Injured CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

This offseason, there has been a bit of buzz in Miami around the addition of cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. The cornerback fell to the Browns in the seventh-round of the 2015 draft due to a torn ACL and a dislocated bone in his right knee. The Oregon product had not been on the field since the 2015 Rose Bowl, but the Dolphins believed that he could be an impact player and claimed him off waivers in April. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins To Sign LB Danny Lansanah]

Unfortunately, the young athlete has suffered yet another setback and will not be suiting up for the Dolphins this season. The team waived/injured Ekpre-Olomu when he tore his other ACL in practice, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Dolphins weren’t the only team with high hopes for the 23-year-old. Before Ekpre-Olomu was claimed off waivers by Miami, the Saints, Bills, and Steelers all reportedly tried to claim him. Alas, he’ll have to wait until next season to give football another try. For the Dolphins, the news is unfortunate considering their lack of depth at cornerback.

To fill Ekpre-Olomu’s spot, the Dolphins have added fellow cornerback Al Louis-Jean.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Pats, Jets, Robinson

The Dolphins were never mentioned as a suitor for cornerback Sean Smith during the free agent period, but Smith’s agent met with Miami general manager Mike Tannenbaum in the spring and pitched his client to the club, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Fins, who originally drafted Smith in 2009, weren’t interested in reuniting with the veteran defensive back, who ultimately signed with the Raiders for nearly $10MM annually. Passing on Smith was a mistake, opines Salguero, who adds that Miami is still looking for a press cornerback opposite Byron Maxwell, where the leading contenders for playing time are Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, and recent signee Rashaan Melvin. Another defensive back could be on the way, as the Dolphins worked out former Bear Al Louis-Jean today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Let’s take a look at more from the AFC East:

  • Given that they’ll enter next offeason with more than $60MM in cap space, there’s no reason the Patriots can’t reach extensions with a decent number of their defensive free agents, explains Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the high-profile names, and New England could use the franchise tag to retain at least one of that duo. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard is also heading for free agency, while Malcolm Butler will be a restricted free agent. Further down the list, defensive backs Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan and defensive linemen Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, and Terrance Knighton will all see their contracts expire.
  • Now that the Jets have re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, the conventional wisdom states that the club won’t carry Fitz, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg on the 53-man roster, but head coach Todd Bowles downplayed that notion, telling Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk it’s “conceivable” that New York brings all four signal-callers to Week 1. However, as Florio notes, Bowles’ stance could merely be posturing in the hopes that another team will offer to trade for one of Gang Green’s reserve quarterbacks.
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson doesn’t appear to have meddled in contract negotiations with Fitzpatrick, as Darryl Slater of NJ.com writes. “…Woody is knowledgeable of what’s going on,” said general manager Mike Maccagnan. “From a negotiation standpoint and all that stuff, we communicate with him because he owns the team and he runs the team, but he lets us do our jobs and hopefully do it well.” 
  • Running back Khiry Robinson isn’t close to appearing in Jets camp as he recovers from a broken leg, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Robinson, 26, fractured his leg in November and was subsequently non-tendered by the Saints in the spring. He agreed to a one-year deal with New York that includes $80K guaranteed and $370K in per-game roster bonuses, so Robinson will be missing out on a decent chunk of money every time he misses a regular season contest.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/2/16

Today’s minor moves:

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/5/16

Only the 12 teams in the playoffs can still make changes to their practice squads, so there were a handful of made by Wild Card clubs today. Here’s are today’s PS signings and cuts:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington

Workout Notes: Raiders, Colts, Packers

Today’s workouts from around the league:

Workout Notes: Saints, Seahawks, Jaguars

Today’s workouts from around the NFL..

  • The Jets worked out defensive end Lawrence Okoye, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. Okoye, a former University of Kentucky discus hurler, had previous stops with the 49ers and Cardinals.

Earlier updates:

North Notes: Ratliff, Schwartz, Bengals

In the wake of the Bearsrelease of defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, details have trickled out about the circumstances surrounding the veteran’s departure, and they don’t paint Ratliff in a particularly positive light. According to Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, coaches considered Ratliff one of the team’s best defensive lineman, if not the best, but team officials determined that he wasn’t in a condition to work when he arrived at Halas Hall on Wednesday. When the Bears sent Ratliff home from the facility, an argument took place.

Per the Tribune’s sources, Ratliff came back to Halas Hall twice and had an “intense vocal altercation” with GM Ryan Pace before he was sent home again. Lake Forest police were ultimately summoned as a safety measure, and Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets that the club still operated “at a heightened state of security” on Thursday, a day after the incident took place.

Even at age 34, Ratliff can still be effective on the field, but his latest off-field run-in will surely make any team think twice before signing him. Here’s more from out of the NFL’s North divisions:

  • When asked if he wants to re-sign with Cleveland, Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz said, “That’s kind of out of my control. We’ll see what happens,” as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) opined that Schwartz is in line for a major payday this offseason.
  • Cornerback Al Louis-Jean, who appeared in nine games for Chicago during his rookie season in 2014, is working out for the Browns today, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Louis-Jean was waived by the Bears in August.
  • Speaking of workouts, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post passes along word on several players auditioning for the Bengals, tweeting that Cincinnati took a look at safeties Ahmad Dixon and Ryan Murphy, wide receivers Devin Gardner and Deontay Greenberry, linebackers Quayshawn Nealy and Ronald Powell, and center Reese Dismukes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bears Add Kevin White To PUP, Ryan Mundy To IR, Cut 12

The Bears have knocked down their roster to 76 players as of today, meaning they need to make only one more roster decision by the Tuesday deadline. Their most notable release was announced earlier today, with the team deciding to cut ties with veteran Tim Jennings.

The team also added rookie wide receiver Kevin White to the PUP list and safety Ryan Mundy to the IR, according to the official Twitter account.

The cuts were announced by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times.

  • Malcolm Bronson, S
  • Josh Chiles, WR
  • Kevin Greene, TE
  • Cameron Jefferson, OT
  • Tim Jennings, CB
  • Jeremy Kelley, WR
  • Al Louis-Jean, CB
  • Rick Lovato, LS
  • Levi Norwood, WR
  • Olsen Pierre, DE
  • Chris Pantale, TE
  • Daniel Thomas, RB

Along with adding White to the physically-unable-to-perform list and Mundy to the injured reserve, which leaves the teams roster at 76 players, according to Finley.