Andre Holmes

Bills Place WR Andre Holmes On IR

The Bills have lost one of their receivers for the year as the team has decided to place Andre Holmes on the injured reserve with a neck injury, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). We learned yesterday that backup running back Travaris Cadet was out for the year as well after suffering an ankle injury in Week 16. The team has also placed him on the IR today. In response to the injuries, Buffalo has promoted running back Marcus Murphy and wide receiver Malachi Dupree from their practice squad.

Andre Holmes (Vertical)

Holmes, 29, was not a huge part of the Bills passing game this season, but still did have his brief moments. Holmes’ best game came against the Raiders in late October when he caught 3 passes for 51 yards and his second touchdown of the season.

With the injury, the Bills will continue to use Deonte Thompson and Brandon Tate as backups to Kelvin Benjamin and rookie Zay Jones. Buffalo needs to win in Miami and get some help in Week 17 in order to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bengals, Flacco, Boldin, Landry

PFR sends best wishes to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who “will be taking time away from the team to focus on a minor health issue,” according to a club announcement. Specifically, Lewis is dealing with a Baker’s Cyst on his ankle, but the initial fear was that he had a blood clot, per Stacey Dales of NFL Network (Twitter link). The Bengals expect Lewis to return sometime this week, fortunately, and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons will hold the reins as long as he’s out.

More from the AFC:

  • There’s no comeback date for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who’s dealing with a back injury, but a second opinion last week yielded news that was “positive for a slow return,” a league source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). The Ravens can afford to be patient with Flacco because he’s a 10-year veteran who has a full understanding of their offense, noted head coach John Harbaugh. “Every play we’ve run, he’s run before numerous times,” Harbaugh said.
  • The Bills’ signing of Anquan Boldin could help put them in position to land a third-round compensatory pick next offseason, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Because the Bills signed seven free agents and lost five prior to May 9, the cutoff date for the compensatory formula, they aren’t poised to receive a pick at the moment. But Boldin may make one of those signings, wideout Andre Holmes, expendable, and Rodak lists fellow FA additions Vlad Ducasse (guard) and Ryan Davis (defensive end) as release candidates. Parting with all three would give the Bills more losses than signings (five to four), thus netting them a valuable pick for 2018.
  • This week, the girlfriend of Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry issued a statement regarding the allegations that were raised against him earlier this year (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). “In March of 2017 the father of my child and I had a vocal disagreement that resulted in someone calling 911. I, myself did not call the police. When the police arrived they determined that there was no cause for any arrests nor was there any concern for my physical well-being. There were no arrests made, there were no criminal charges, I was not in any way physically harmed Yes, we are going through a civil family court case and emotions are high, but I would like to make it very clear that Jarvis would never, ever do anything to harm me or anyone else. Jarvis and I are happily raising our beautiful daughter and I would like to make a plea to the media that they refrain from spreading this completely false story.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Chiefs, Browns, Kap, Bills

The latest news and notes from the AFC:

  • The Chiefs have announced several changes to their front office, including the hiring of Tim Terry as director of pro personnel and the promotion of Ryan Poles from college scouting coordinator to director of college scouting. Terry is joining his second NFL organization after spending the first 13 years of his career in Green Bay, where he was most recently the team’s assistant director of pro personnel. General manager John Dorsey was in the Packers’ front office before the Chiefs hired him in 2013, so he’s already familiar with Terry. Kansas City’s Dorsey-led front office also pried Chris Shea away from Philadelphia. Shea, the Chiefs’ new salary cap and legal executive, previously served as the Eagles’ director of scouting administration.
  • Former NFL head coach and current 49ers assistant Eric Mangini believes that Colin Kaepernick would be a great fit for the Browns.  “I think as the market settles and people start looking at these young quarterbacks they brought in and start evaluating the quarterback situation, they might realize it may not look as good as they hoped it would be,” Mangini told PFT. “I always thought he would be a good fit for the Browns. Hue [Jackson’s] system is multiple shifts and motions, and that’s what he did in San Francisco. Hue has an element of quarterback-driven runs, I think Colin is excellent as that. As a candidate, him vs. RGIII a year ago, I’d take Colin 10 times out of 10.” So far, the Browns have shown no interest in Kaepernick. To date, only Seattle has given him a real look.
  • Currently, the Bills are not projected to receive any 2018 compensatory picks because they signed more unrestricted free agents (seven) to qualifying contracts than they lost to other teams (five). However, the Bills can change that, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. By releasing a total of four of their seven signed free agents between now and Week 10, the Bills would be projected to tack on two compensatory picks – one being a third-rounder for losing cornerback Stephon Gilmore plus a fourth-rounder for losing wide receiver Robert Woods. The most likely UFAs to go, in Rodak’s estimation, are defensive end Ryan Davis, offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse, and wide receiver Andre Holmes. To secure that fourth-round pick, they could also cut fullback Patrick DiMarco or kicker Steven Hauschka.

North Notes: Vikes, Lions, Bengals, Packers

While the Vikings made contact with free agent Andre Holmes before he signed with the Bills, Minnesota “never got serious” about inking the veteran pass-catcher, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The Lions had also been mentioned as a potential suitor for Holmes (and even had him in for a visit), but Detroit likely bowed out because Anquan Boldin may re-sign for the 2017 campaign, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).

Here’s more from the NFC North:

Bills Sign Andre Holmes

It looks to be the real thing this time. Andre Holmes is signing with the Bills, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The former Raiders wide receiver drew an offer from Buffalo this week, one that was mistaken for an agreement by the NFLPA. The Bills announced the move.

It’s a three-year pact worth $6.5MM, per Rapoport (on Twitter). This proves interesting since the Bills’ leaked offer was for three years and $4.5MM. This stands to provide the Bills a pass-catcher with some experience, albeit with a bit of an inconsistent track record. This appears to conclude an interesting situation, one that revealed the terms of Buffalo’s offer to the sixth-year wide receiver before he actually agreed to terms. Three days later, though, Holmes looks to be on his way to western New York.

The 28-year-old Holmes played the past four seasons as a member of the Raiders, drifting downward in Oakland’s pass-catching pecking order as the team continued to stock its receiving corps. The Raiders re-signed Holmes on a one-year deal last spring but used him as their No. 4 receiver. Previously having accumulated a 693-yard, four-touchdown season on a less talented 2014 Raiders team, Holmes caught just 14 passes for 126 yards while playing behind Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Seth Roberts last season. A former UDFA, Holmes did haul in three touchdown passes in 2016.

He actually commanded considerable interest this offseason, with as many as six teams pursuing the UFA wideout. Holmes visited the Lions but opted to sign on with the Bills as one of Sammy Watkins‘ sidekicks.

He joins a Bills team that lost No. 2 man Robert Woods in free agency and saw Percy Harvin retire again. Holmes should have a better path to regular playing time in Buffalo, which added potential supporting-casters Corey Brown and Jeremy Butler this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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FA Rumors: Butler, Poe, Z. Brown, Raiders

Restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler didn’t emerge from his Saints visit on Thursday with a deal, but the meeting “went well,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). As of now, there remains motivation on both sides to hammer out an agreement, Rapoport adds. PFR’s Zach Links laid out a few potential scenarios earlier this week involving Butler, who would surely net the Patriots a quality return in a trade.

More free agency-related news:

  • The offer that defensive tackle Dontari Poe accepted from the Falcons on Thursday was worth less than the Jaguars’ proposal, reports ESPN’s Josina Anderson (Twitter link). Before taking a one-year, $8MM deal (plus incentives) with the reigning NFC champions, Poe turned down the Jags’ fully guaranteed $9MM (and incentives). Head coach Dan Quinn was key in talking Poe into joining the Falcons, relays Anderson.
  • It doesn’t appear that linebacker Zach Brown‘s powwow with the Raiders will lead to a deal, as a source told ESPN’s Adam Caplan that it “looks like a no-go right now” (Twitter link). Although Brown had a stellar 2016 with Buffalo and currently ranks as PFR’s top available linebacker, the market for his services has been tepid.
  • Wide receiver Andre Holmes met with the Bills on Thursday, one day after there were reports that he had signed with them, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (via Twitter). It turns out the Bills offered Holmes a three-year, $4.5MM accord, which the NFLPA accidentally documented as a done deal.
  • Linebacker Dekoda Watson visited the Seahawks on Thursday, tweets ESPN’s Field Yates. The 29-year-old Watson is a journeyman who has played for five teams, including the Broncos last season. He served as an integral special teams cog in Denver, which would like to re-sign him.

Bills Make Offer To WR Andre Holmes

4:53pm: A Bills spokesperson also says that Holmes has not signed (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).

It seems that the Bills offered Holes a three-year, $4.5MM deal and the NFLPA accidentally documented it as a done deal rather than an offer. Now, the entire football world knows the exact terms of the Bills’ offer to Holmes, which could be detrimental to both sides. The deal could still go down, but as of right now, Holmes remains a free agent.

3:40pm: Hold up. Holmes took to Twitter to say that any reports of him signing with any team at this time are false. This is a strange development, particularly since ESPN’s report cites NFLPA documents.

3:29pm: It’s rare that NFL free agent deals become official before leaking out, but that’s exactly what happened with the Bills and wide receiver Andre Holmes. Holmes inked a three-year, $4.5MM deal with the Bills, according to NFLPA documents obtained by Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal includes $2.425MM guaranteed. Andre Holmes (Vertical)

Wide receiver was a big need for the Bills coming into free agency and the Holmes pickup doesn’t totally check that box. He can be a valuable supporting cast member behind star Sammy Watkins, but it would be a bit underwhelming to see the Bills go into the season with Watkins, Holmes, Dezmin Lewis, and free agent pickups Philly Brown and Jeremy Butler as their top five wide receivers. Walt Powell and Kolby Listenbee are also under contract, giving the team seven receivers in total.

Holmes, 28, spent the past four seasons in Oakland. The former undrafted free agent was a large part of the Raiders’ offense as recently as two years ago, as he posted 47 receptions for nearly 700 yards and four touchdowns during the 2014 campaign. In 2016, however, Holmes had only 14 catches with a larger emphasis on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Andre Holmes To Visit Lions

Free agent wide receiver Andre Holmes will visit the Lions on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Andre Holmes (Vertical)

Detroit was one of six teams with reported interest in Holmes earlier this month, a list that also included the Raiders, 49ers, Redskins, Jets, and Bears. As of yet, the Lions have mostly focused on defensive additions this offseason, with their one offensive signing being tackle Ricky Wagner. Wide receiver Corey Brown took a visit with the club on Friday, however, while the Lions have also been linked to pass-catchers Andre Roberts, Jared Cook, and Darren Fells.

Holmes, 28, has spent the past four seasons in Oakland after beginning his career with the Cowboys. The former undrafted free agent was a large part of the Raiders’ offense as recently as two years ago, as he posted 47 receptions for nearly 700 yards and four touchdowns during the 2014 campaign. In 2016, however, Holmes managed only 14 catches, but was a key cog on special teams, where he played over 65% of Oakland’s snaps.

Due to his lackluster offensive production, Holmes didn’t earn a spot among PFR’s free agent wide receiver rankings, but clearly clubs have already expressed interest in acquiring the 6’5″ pass-catcher. Holmes earned $2MM in 2016 on a one-year deal with Oakland, which was agreed to after other teams pushed to sign him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Raiders, Holmes, Whitworth

The latest from around the NFL: