Amobi Okoye

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/17/16

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Steelers have brought back tight end David Johnson, who was with Pittsburgh from 2009-13 after it took him in the seventh round of the ’09 draft (Twitter link via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Johnson, who has 24 career receptions, spent the previous two seasons in San Diego. To make room for Johnson, the Steelers cut fellow tight end David Reeves, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Reeves, an undrafted free agent from Duke, signed with the Steelers last month.
  • Just days after signing with the Titans as an undrafted free agent, cornerback/kick returner Morgan Burns has retired, writes The Associated Press. Burns, a former Kansas State speedster, was the Big 12 special teams player of the year in 2015.
  • The Panthers have claimed tight end Marcus Lucas off waivers from the Bears, David Newton of ESPN reports. Lucas is familiar with Carolina, having spent the 2014 season on its practice squad. The former undrafted free agent from Missouri has yet to appear in an NFL game.
  • The Jaguars signed offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach and cut kicker Jaden Oberkrom, according to ESPN’s Mike DiRocco. Linkenbach has 86 appearances and 36 starts to his name. Ten of those appearances came when Linkenbach was a member of both the Dolphins and Chargers last year. Oberkrom had a brief stint in Jacksonville, which signed the ex-TCU standout as an undrafted free agent earlier this month.

Earlier updates:

  • The Eagles announced that they have signed tight end M.J. McFarland and linebacker Ty Powell while waiving quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and offensive lineman Brett Boyko, Adam Caplan of tweets. The addition of Powell means that the Eagles now have four players from the Buffalo’s 2014 defense on their roster. Jim Schwartz, of course, served as the defensive coordinator of that team.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have signed A.J. Francis, as Scott Smith of writes. The defensive tackle now joins his fourth team after beginning his career in Miami and later seeing time in Seattle and New England. To make room, second-year defensive tackle Davon Coleman has been waived.
  • Former Texans first-round pick Amobi Okoye has signed with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. The defensive tackle was stricken with a rare illness, which seemingly ended his career in 2012. He hooked on with the Cowboys last season, but he was released before he could take the field.
  • Washington has signed tryout cornerback Mariel Cooper, Tarik El-Bashir of tweets.
  • The Ravens announced that cornerback Sheldon Price, an ERFA, has agreed to his one-year contract with the team. Price, who went undrafted out of UCLA in 2013, previously spent time on the Colts’ taxi squad.

Extra Points: Slauson, Okoye, Flacco, Amendola

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Saturday morning…

  • Former Bears offensive lineman Matt Slauson left his visit with the Bills without a contract, tweets Michael Gehlken of San Diego Union-Tribune. The 30-year-old is also set to meet with the Chargers, who Gehlken says are “very much in the mix.”
  • Amobi Okoye is attempting another NFL comeback, writes Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The former first-round pick was stricken with a rare illness, which seemingly ended his career in 2012. Luckily, the defensive tackle made his way back with the Cowboys last season, but he was cut before he could take the field. “The illness happened and I really beat it,” Okoye said. “I’m feeling really good. My doctor has cleared me for full-contact football since August of 2014. I’m working hard to get back in the NFL. I’ve always felt a passion for working out and my recovery has gone very well. I’ve been going through my normal training regimen. I’m full-go, training hard and waiting to get that call to get back on a team. I’m still fairly young. That kind of helps.”
  • There was one interesting participant at the Ravens rookie minicamp (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun on Twitter): tight end Michael Flacco, brother of quarterback Joe Flacco.
  • Danny Amendola‘s role on the Patriots is “irreplaceable,” said the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe on As a result, the reporter says it would have been interested if the wideout has called the Patriots’ bluff in regard to a pay cut.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • We learned yesterday that the Raiders have officially secured all five of their restricted free agents, and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets today that the team has locked up its exclusive rights free agents as well. Rival clubs couldn’t make a play for those ERFAs, so there wasn’t much suspense about whether or not they’d be returning to Oakland. Defensive end Denico Autry, tight end Brian Leonhardt, tackle Matt McCants, fullback Jamize Olawale, and cornerback Neiko Thorpe are now under contract.
  • Cornerback Antwon Blake, who received the low-end RFA tender from the Steelers last month, has officially signed that tender, according to Wilson (via Twitter). Blake will return to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal for 2015 worth $1.542MM.
  • Former Texans and Bears defensive lineman Amobi Okoye has been released by the Cowboys, tweets Adam Caplan of Okoye appeared in 87 games between 2007 and 2012 before he was sidelined by a medical issue, and had been attempting to make it back to the NFL — if he intends to continue his comeback attempt, it looks like it’ll have to happen with another team.
  • The Packers have cut tackle Aaron Adams with a failed physical designation, per Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette (Twitter link). The former Kentucky lineman tore his ACL and MCL during training camp last year and missed the entire 2014 season.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Besides the Cowboys signing of Dekoda Watson and the Cardinals addition of Josh Mauro, it wasn’t a very busy day for NFL transactions. Let’s check some minor moves (and non-moves) that were made today…

  • The Jaguars cut wideout Nathan Slaughter from injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). The wideout signed with Jacksonville in June.
  • A source tells Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (on Twitter) that the Cowboys are not activating defensive tackle Amobi Okoye today. Since today was the deadline for the former first round pick, that means he won’t play this season. The former first-rounder missed all of 2013 for an “undisclosed medical issue,” and he signed a contract with Dallas in May.

Cowboys Links: Okoye, Sam, Murray

Amobi Okoye practiced for the first time yesterday, and the clock has officially begun ticking. The Cowboys have three weeks to decide whether they want to activate the former first-rounder or keep him on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Regardless, practicing was a big step in the right direction for the 27-year-old. Okoye is recovering from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a brain condition that causes memory loss and seizures. This resulted in Okoye spending three months in a coma last year. Following such a traumatic experience, the defensive tackle was thrilled to return to the field (via Calvin Watkins of…

“It was good, it was worth it,” said Okoye. “It was mixed emotions. It felt like it naturally was coming back. I’ve played six years in the league [and], it doesn’t take too long for stuff to come back to you.”

Linebacker Bruce Carter was impressed by his teammate’s determination to return to the game…

“He’s been through a lot,” Carter said. “His story is amazing. A guy like that who works real hard, I see him all the time working [with strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik] one-on-one. Just to see him actually working with [us] and see it pay off is a great thing. I think he’s going to do great things for us.”

Let’s see what else is happening in the Cowboys organization…

  • Owner Jerry Jones attributed the release of Michael Sam to “a numbers game,” tweets Calvin Watkins of Jones clarified that Sam was great at practice and worked “very, very hard.”
  • Members of the Cowboys’ 2013 draft class are already contributing to the team, and Todd Archer of points to first-round pick Travis Frederick as the best of the bunch.
  • The Cowboys have enough money under the cap to fit a veteran, but Archer doesn’t believe the team is going to be active at the trade deadline.
  • Despite DeMarco Murray‘s hot start to the season, Bob Sturm of The Dallas Morning News would still move on from the veteran in free agency if the team could draft a stud running back like Georgia’s Todd Gurley. Since the team won’t have that foresight, Sturm believes the team should franchise the running back.

Cowboys Cut Caleb Hanie, 10 Others

The Cowboys are the latest NFL team to trim its roster to 75 players, with former Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie and former fourth-round pick Matt Johnson among the players cut today by Dallas. Per Todd Archer of (via Twitter), here’s the full list of roster moves made by the Cowboys in advance of this afternoon’s deadline:



Placed on injured reserve:

  • Ben Gardner, DE

Placed on reserve/non-football injury list:

Minor Moves: Eagles, Cards, Pats, Bengals

The Eagles have released wide receiver Arrelious Benn, the team announced today (via Twitter). The former second-round pick, who is returning from a torn ACL, had been set to earn a base salary of $1MM, so it’s not a real surprise that the club decided to cut him. However, multiple Eagles beat writers, including Zach Berman and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links) believe the former Buccaneer could be re-signed at a lesser salary.

Here are a few more of Friday’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Cardinals have claimed defensive tackle Christian Tupou off waivers from the 49ers, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Another former Niner, linebacker Darius Fleming, has signed with the Patriots, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (via Twitter).
  • A day after he was cut by the Jaguars, quarterback Matt Scott has been claimed off waivers by the Bengals, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Scott essentially takes the spot on the depth chart vacated by Josh Johnson, who was recently released by Cincinnati.

Earlier updates:

  • Just days after signing him as a rookie free agent, the Dolphins have waived defensive end Gannon Conway, the club announced today (via Twitter).
  • To make room on the roster for Okoye, whose signing is noted below, the Cowboys cut linebacker Jonathan Stewart, the team announced today.
  • The Cowboys have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the veteran’s agents told ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The former 10th overall pick was a longtime starter for the Texans before joining the Bears for the 2011 season. Okoye saw limited action in Chicago during the 2012 season and missed the entire 2013 campaign due to health issues, but the Cowboys have long had interest in him, having checked in on him last summer.
  • Shortly after he was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Saginaw Valley State, offensive tackle Tevon Conrad has been waived, according to the team (via Twitter).
  • The Bills have cut wide receiver Brandon Kaufman, the club announced today in a press release. Kaufman joined the Bills last summer, was waived before the regular season, then rejoined the team’s practice squad in December before inking a futures deal at season’s end.