Alex Redmond

North Notes: Browns, Bengals, Barr, Bears

The latest of many updates regarding the Browns‘ preference for their No. 1 pick runs indicates John Dorsey may have an issue with Baker Mayfield‘s height. While it’s uncertain if the Heisman Trophy winner’s 6-foot frame will be a deal-breaker, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports hears from a source close to the Browns the new Cleveland GM prefers size in quarterbacks (Twitter link). That and off-field baggage will work against Mayfield, who is slotted by most as a high first-round performer but someone who won’t likely be the Browns’ choice. Hue Jackson‘s on the same page about the size issueRobinson previously reported Dorsey, though, is a fan of Mayfield’s competitive streak and was zeroing in on he or USC’s Sam Darnold. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Josh Allen going to the Browns at No. 1, and Josh Rosen is generally regarded as the readiest pro prospect. So, the Browns — who wanted Alex Smith to mentor their to-be-determined prospect — will have a complex decision to make.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions.

  • Now that the Browns missed out on another trade target, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer mentions Kirk Cousins will warrant consideration. The Browns were planning on signing or trading for a bridge quarterback while their No. 1 pick learns but now could be in the Cousins mix. However, Cleveland’s status after two historically woeful years could derail this. Cousins has said he’s going to value a winning situation, and the Browns are about the furthest thing away from being classified as such. It would seem odd a team that’s at this stage of the rebuilding process would consider Cousins rather than a rookie, but the Browns ($100MM-plus in space) have the money to enter the fray. Cabot notes the Browns will likely know if they’ll have a shot at Cousins before the tampering period begins, and if he’s not interested, they will move on to bridge-type veterans, mentioning Chase Daniel or a Josh McCown reunion as options.
  • Like everyone else in the stellar 2014 first-round class, Anthony Barr is still attached to his rookie contract. However, the Vikings outside linebacker wants to sign an extension, and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes the team is expected to try to sign Barr by the time training camp opens. “I love it here,” Barr said, via Tomasson. “Absolutely. I really love my teammates. I really love this team. I love the city. I could see myself being here for the future.” Jamie Collins‘ $12.5MM-per-year pact paces 4-3 outside ‘backers presently, but Barr could poised to (sorry) raise the bar here. No other player in this role makes more per year than Telvin Smith‘s $11.1MM pact, so it’s a near-certainty Barr’s re-up will come in above that. The Vikings extended Xavier Rhodes, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen in 2017. A Barr agreement would be logical to follow this offseason.
  • Former Lions center Dominic Raiola played the Bears on numerous occasions. Chicago will now dip into the family for coaching help, hiring younger brother Donovan Raiola to be its assistant offensive line coach, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Donovan Raiola worked under new Bears O-line boss Harry Hiestand at Notre Dame.
  • Clint Boling took some snaps at left tackle last season, and Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes the Bengals could consider that for the future — even if he’s merely the backup tackle. Boling has been the Bengals’ left guard for six seasons. At right guard, Cincinnati liked what it saw from its young options will likely turn to either Alex Redmond, a 2016 UDFA, or Christian Westerman, a 2016 fifth-rounder, in 2018, per Dehner.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

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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. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals Bring Roster To 53

The Bengals are now in roster compliance, having brought their roster to 53. The following players have been cut:

Additionally, DT Marcus Hardison was placed on injured reserve and WR Mario Alford was waived with an injury settlement, tweets Owcazrski.

Kumerow had been fighting for a reserve wide receiver spot on a Cincinnati club that lost several of its pass-catchers over the offseason. And though he offers special teams value, Kumerow wasn’t able to beat out the likes of Cody Core and Alex Erickson to join a depth chart that includes A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Brandon LaFell.

On Friday, the Bengals released safety Jimmy Wilson.

Bengals Announce 13 UDFA Signings

The Bengals formally announced their undrafted free agent signings this morning, tweeting out a list of 13 new rookie additions to their roster. After splitting their draft class fairly evenly between offensive and defensive players, the Bengals’ group of UDFAs leans more toward offense, with only four defenders among them. Here’s the full list:

AFC Draft Updates: Lynch, Broncos, Bengals

A previous report had indicated the Broncos were expected to bring in Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch this week, and Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirms (via Twitter) that visit is taking place on Tuesday. The Broncos, of course, continue to consider all their options at QB in the wake of Peyton Manning‘s retirement and Brock Osweiler‘s departure.

  • UCLA guard Alex Redmond, who is drawing plenty of attention leading up to the draft, visited the Bengals on Monday, per Gil Brandt of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Florida wide receiver Demarcus Robinson is paying a visit to the Raiders on Tuesday, tweets Mike Kaye of First Coast News.
  • Houston offensive lineman Alex Cooper also visited the Raiders on Tuesday, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. Cooper participated in Houston’s local prospect workout on Saturday. Cooper started every game for UH at three different positions (left tackle, right tackle, and right guard) and served as a team captain.
  • The Colts are working out William & Mary middle linebacker Luke Rhodes, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • Purdue offensive lineman David Hedelin is drawing interest from the Chiefs, Lions, Falcons, Broncos, Patriots, Washington, and Dolphins, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

Extra Points: Forte, Bears, 2016 Draft

Bears running back Matt Forte indicated to reporters, including Adam Jahns of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter links) that he would like to stay in Chicago, if possible.

I always look at staying home and being here where I’ve been the past 8 years. That’s a major factor,” the pending free agent said. While admitting that it might not be a given that he can return to the Bears in 2016, Forte did seem open to the possibility of taking less money to stay put. “At this point. I’m not worried about earning powers and all that stuff. I’ve made money,” he said.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • UCLA coach Jim Mora says that offensive lineman Alex Redmond has left the team and already signed with an agent for the upcoming NFL draft, Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News tweets. It remains to be seen where Redmond will go in the draft, but he is not viewed as a first-round talent. Redmond, a junior, was the team’s starting right guard and started ten games in 2015. By leaving the team, Redmond will not participate in the Foster Farms Bowl against Nebraska.
  • Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd is leaning toward entering the NFL Draft, as Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. If Dodd opted to stay in school, he would be a 25-year-old senior, so it makes sense for him to go pro. Dodd stands at 6’5″, 275 pounds and runs a 4.8 second 40-yard-dash.
  • Former Falcons coach Mike Smith won’t let his dismissal hold him down, as FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez writes. Smith admits that he lost his way while coaching the Falcons, but he also says that he will not allow that to happen again if given another head coaching opportunity in the NFL. Recently, Smith wrote about the lessons he learned in a new book titled “You Win in the Locker Room First.” In 2013 and 2014, Atlanta finished with a combined 10-22 record, leading to his firing. Smith seemed to have opportunities to serve as a defensive coordinator somewhere this season, but he opted to take the year off and spend time with his family instead. It remains to be seen how much head coaching interest he might draw this offseason.
  • Dolphins wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan is leaving the team to become the new wide receivers coach/passing coordinator for East Carolina University, a source tells Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated (on Twitter).