Alex Collins

FA RB Alex Collins Suffers Broken Leg

Free agent running back Alex Collins suffered a broken leg and recently underwent surgery, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Collins was waived by the Ravens several months ago immediately following an arrest on drug and gun charges.

However, Rapoport says that Collins’ legal issues are nearing a resolution and that he had drawn interest from multiple teams. He was expected to play this year, but now he will have to wait to get back on the field.

Even before his arrest and subsequent dismissal from the team, Collins was very much on the Ravens’ roster bubble. Although he was terrific for Baltimore in 2017 and entered 2018 as the club’s No. 1 back, he managed just 3.6 yards per carry last season and was ultimately surpassed on the depth chart by Kenneth Dixon and UDFA Gus Edwards. He was a restricted free agent, but it was rumored that the Ravens were not going to tender Collins even at the lowest level. His arrest simply hastened his exit.

Still, the 2016 fifth-round pick has plenty of upside, and given that he almost put together a 1,ooo-yard season in 2017 despite playing in just 12 games, it’s understandable that he would be garnering some attention. However, it’s unclear when he will be able to resume football activity.

Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets that Collins’ next court date is July 22. Hensley’s tweet also includes Collins’ Instagram post detailing his injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Waive RB Alex Collins

The Ravens announced that they have waived running back Alex Collins. The move comes hours after Collins was arrested in connection with a Friday morning car crash

[RELATED: Ravens’ Nick Boyle Has 20 Teams Interested]

Collins, 25 in August, enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, but was something of an afterthought in 2018. After averaging 4.6 yards per carry as Baltimore’s lead back in 2017, he let down Ravens fans and fantasy players everywhere with a 3.6 yards per carry season. Now, the Ravens are moving forward with Gus Edwards as their lead back and Collins will try to hook on elsewhere.

Collins was unlikely to receive even the lowest possible tender from the Ravens, so the transaction effectively gives him an early jump on free agency. The rest of the league’s available players will not be free to sign until March 13.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested

Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early Friday morning after a car accident, (via Sarah Meehan and Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun). Police say Collins crashed his car into a tree roughly a mile away from the Ravens’ facility. 

Collins, 25 in August, was already in limbo this season as a restricted free agent. There were doubts that Collins would even receive a low-round RFA tender, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets, and this latest incident could seal his exit.

Collins was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2016 but was a roster casualty prior to the 2017 season. After that, he hooked on with the Ravens, and his future looked bright. As the Ravens’ top back, Collins racked up 973 yards off of 212 carries (4.6 yards per carry) and six rushing touchdowns. He also added 23 catches for 187 yards in that season. His follow up, however, was less impressive. Collins averaged just 3.6 yards per attempt across ten games and slid down the depth chart.

The Ravens now plan on using Gus Edwards as their top tailback after he managed 5.2 yards per carry in a limited sample last season. Collins, meanwhile, will probably wind up elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Place RB Alex Collins On IR

Alex Collins‘ season has come to an end. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that the Ravens have placed the running back on the injured reserve. The team has activated running back Kenneth Dixon in a corresponding move.

Collins had been dealing with a foot injury that forced him to miss last week’s win over the Raiders. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the running back won’t have to undergo surgery for the injury, but the organization decided that it was in the player’s best interest to sit out and heal his foot. Collins should be “fine” by the time he hits restricted free agency this offseason.

There were some high hopes for Collins heading into this season, especially after he finished the 2017 campaign having compiled 973 rushing yards and six touchdowns. However, the 24-year-old struggled in 2018, as he had rushed for only 411 yards on 114 carries (3.6-yard average). The running back did manage to find the end zone eight times, however.

Collins is expected to hit restricted free agency this offseason, and the Ravens will have to decide whether they want to tender him a contract. Fellow running backs Buck Allen and Ty Montgomery are also set to hit free agency, meaning the organization could completely revamp their running back depth chart before next season. At the very least, the running back corps could look a whole lot different behind Gus Edwards.

Dixon hasn’t been able to stay healthy since being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, as the 24-year-old has appeared in only 13 games through three seasons. The running back missed the entire 2017 season, and he’s only appeared in one game in 2018. He was relatively production during his rookie campaign, as he compiled 382 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 88 carries. He also added 30 receptions for 162 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Rumors: Sanders, Slauson, Ravens, Jets

Following in the footsteps of Plaxico Burress, Emmanuel Sanders has thrived after leaving the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s permitted many of its wideout finds to depart over the years, prioritizing only long-term partnerships with Hines Ward and Antonio Brown this century. In advance of the latest Broncos-Steelers game, Sanders said (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski) Mike Tomlin told him prior to 2014 free agency the Steelers “didn’t have the money to pay me.” Denver added Sanders to a $5MM-per-year accord then extended him two years later.

The Steelers have let Sanders, Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Martavis Bryant and Antwaan Randle-El go either after the wideouts’ rookie deals expired or, in Bryant’s case, trading him away. But Pittsburgh continues to find wideout talent, with JuJu Smith-Schuster being the latest such discovery. After an injury-plagued 2017, Sanders (763 receiving yards) is on pace for his fourth 1,000-yard season in five years with the Broncos. He’s signed through 2019. Despite a $10.15MM base salary next year, the 31-year-old pass-catcher may be in line to play out his contract. The Broncos traded Demaryius Thomas, with Courtland Sutton waiting in the wings, but don’t have an obvious Sanders replacement lined up just yet.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on this NFC-only Thanksgiving:

  • It doesn’t sound like Matt Slauson has immediate retirement plans, despite suffering a scary back injury, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star notes. The first-year Colts lineman has contributed plenty to the cause despite being sidelined for much of this year, with Keefer noting he’s helped Indianapolis’ younger linemen. The Colts haven’t allowed Andrew Luck to be sacked in 214 straight pass attempts; that’s the longest since the Redskins kept Mark Rypien upright for 252 straight pass plays during the franchise’s 1991 Super Bowl season. Slauson continues to work out with teammates but is 32 and only signed through 2018.
  • Both Joe Flacco and Alex Collins missed the Ravens‘ Thanksgiving practice, per Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun. Flacco has not practiced since suffering the hip injury that has him sidelined. He’s expected to miss at least one more week, giving Lamar Jackson another audition opportunity. Collins played last week but has dealt with a foot injury throughout the season, per Shaffer.
  • Signs continue to point to Josh McCown receiving another Jets start. Sam Darnold did not participate in team drills Thursday, missing a second straight day of such work, according to the Associated Press. The rookie starter suited up Wednesday for the first time since straining his right foot but did not throw a pass in individual drills. McCown appears to be in line to face the Patriots, with Todd Bowles indicating (via the New York Post’s George Willis) the team will err on the side of caution. So, unless Darnold makes some significant strides by Friday, he’ll likely rest for at least one more week.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/13/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

RB Notes: Charles, Abdullah, Collins, Texans

Two starting running backs received some unfortunate news Monday, with Dalvin Cook having suffered a confirmed ACL tear and Chris Carson suffering multiple lower-leg injuries that will shelve him for an extended time period — if not the rest of his season. These setbacks stand to weaken Vikings and Seahawks’ rushing attacks, although both teams have veteran insurance. However, prior to these rookies’ arrivals, each team struggled to gain ground yards last season. Latavius Murray and Eddie Lacy — two fifth-year backs who relocated this offseason, one that featured a slow market for running backs — figure to play more prominent roles with their new teams now.

Here’s the latest from NFL backfields, continuing to another player who spent extensive time in free agency this year.

  • A bruised knee limited Jamaal Charles to just one series in the second half of the Broncos‘ Week 4 win over the Raiders, Mike Klis of 9 News tweets. That’s a bit scary given Charles’ injury history, but the good news is that it is not serious. It also helps that the Broncos are on bye and will not play again until Oct. 15.
  • Lions running back Ameer Abdullah rolled his ankle early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but he says he feels “good” and has been cleared by doctors (link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). Abdullah, who missed the majority of the 2016 season with a foot injury, finished the day against Minnesota with a career-high 94 yards on 20 carries. If not for the ankle, he might have become the first Lion to have a 100-yard rushing game since Reggie Bush. The Lions have now gone 58 games since Bush gained 117 yards in a Thanksgiving win over Green Bay in 2013.
  • Alex Collins broke off two long runs on Sunday, but the new Ravens starter is already on a short leash because of ball-security issues. Collins has now fumbled twice since debuting with the Ravens in Week 2. “He won’t get any more opportunities [if the fumbling continues] — the leash isn’t going to be long on that,” John Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “When you come in here and drop the ball however many times he has dropped, I’m not going to tolerate it. I like him. He’s a good kid, and he makes plays, but he has to hold onto the football.” Collins fumbled twice as a rookie last season in limited Seahawks action and 17 times while at Arkansas.
  • Fellow second-year runner Tyler Ervin won’t have a chance to contribute on the field again this season. The Texans back suffered a torn patellar tendon, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Ervin was operating as a depth piece in a Lamar Miller– and D’Onta Foreman-fronted backfield. Ervin’s expected to have surgery Monday and land on IR, Wilson reports.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Ravens Promote RB Alex Collins

The Ravens have made several moves this afternoon. Ian Rapoport tweets that the team has signed running back Alex Collins off their practice squad, while Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the team has also promoted cornerback Tony McRae. To make room on the roster, the team has placed cornerback Sheldon Price on the injured reserve (via Zrebiec) and released running back Jeremy Langford (via ESPN’s Adam Caplan on Twitter).

Alex CollinsCollins, a 2016 fifth-round pick, joined the Ravens practice squad earlier this month. The 23-year-old spent his rookie season with the Seahawks, where he ultimately appeared in 11 games. He finished the campaign with 125 rushing yards and one touchdown on 31 carries, and he hauled in another 11 receptions for 84 yards. With Danny Woodhead and Kenneth Dixon currently on the injured reserve, Collins will presumably serve as the team’s third running back behind Terrance West and Javorius Allen.

That spot was previously held by Langford, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this week. The 25-year-old does have plenty of experience, as he appeared in 28 games (five starts) and compiled 210 carries between 2015 and 2016. While he does have 737 career rushing yards and 10 career rushing touchdowns, his 3.5-yards-per-carry mark is rather underwhelming, probably explaining why the Bears moved on from him following last season.

Price, 26, joined the Ravens back in 2015. The 2013 undrafted free agent out of UCLA has six career games with the Colts and Ravens, compiling a single tackle. He spent the majority of the 2016 season on the injured reserve after suffering a biceps injury. McRae, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of North Carolina A&T, will likely take Price’s spot on the depth chart. The 26-year-old figures to compete with Jaylen Hill to be the team’s fourth cornerback behind Brandon Carr, Jimmy Smith, and first-rounder Marlon Humphrey.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers