Anthony Dable

Lions Audition Jaye Howard, Garrett Grayson

The Lions have hosted workouts for defensive lineman Jaye Howard and quarterback Garrett Grayson, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (all Twitter links).Jaye Howard (vertical)

Howard, 28, was released by the Bears during final cutdowns after having a signed a one-year pact in May. A longtime Chief, Howard only suited up eight times and made five starts last year, as a hip injury ended his season in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard added 23 tackles and a sack, and ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

Detroit needs all the help it can get in the front seven, as the club’s defensive line has been decimated by injuries and suspensions. Kerry Hyder and Jordan Hill have both been placed on injured reserve, while Armonty Bryant and Khyri Thornton won’t return until Weeks 4 and 6, respectively, after being hit with league-imposed bans.

Quarterback is a less-pressing need for the Lions, as Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock comprise the team’s top two options under center. Seventh-round pick Brad Kaaya was lost via waivers earlier this month, and Detroit doesn’t currently have a signal-caller on its practice squad. Grayson, a former third-round selection of the Saints, has never attempted an NFL pass.

Howard and Grayson weren’t the only free agents on display in the Motor City. Per Balzer, the Lions also took a look at quarterback Mitch Leidner; wide receivers C.J. Board, Montay Crockett, Anthony Dable, Cyril Grayson, Bug Howard, and Jordan Payton; defensive tackles Jeremy Faulk, Marcus Hardison, and Louis Trinca-Pasat; defensive end Patrick Gamble; LB Nicholas Grigsby; and S Jack Tocho.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Cut 14 Players

The Falcons are letting some players walk early as they get ready for the 53-man deadline on Saturday. The team announced the following cuts:

Taylor, a former sixth-round pick, is the son of Fred Taylor, the greatest running back in Jaguars franchise history. The Falcons picked him up in August after he was discarded by the Chiefs.

The Falcons will only carry two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets, so it appears that Matt Simms will follow Torgersen out the door at some point.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/5/17

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • WR Anthony Dable

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • S Elijah Shumate

New York Jets

  • LS Zach Triner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • G Jarvis Harrison
  • WR Derel Walker

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Notes: Falcons, Lions, Redskins

Former New England defensive end Rufus Johnson worked out for the Falcons today, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Johnson has made the rounds on the workout circuit since getting waived off the Patriots’ practice squad in September. Atlanta also took a look at quarterback Ricky Stanzi, wide receivers Max McCaffrey and Anthony Dable, and defensive ends Lawrence Okoye and Arthur Miley, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the workouts happening around the league today, all courtesy of Caplan unless otherwise noted:

Workout Notes: 9/13/16

The latest workouts from around the NFL.

  • The Bears worked out former New England defensive end Rufus Johnson today, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The former sixth-rounder has one career appearance under his belt. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter) adds three more players to the list of workouts: linebackers Deiontrez Mount and Jermauria Rasco and defensive end Jimmy Bean.
  • The Colts worked out running back Brandon Wegher this week, according to his reps at Enter Sports Management (on Twitter). The former Morningside standout made one appearance for the Panthers in 2015. The team also worked out former Seahawks running back Zac Brooks, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • Safety Elijah Shumate worked out for the Raiders this week, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame spent time with the Buccaneers this summer.
  • The Patriots worked out four players today, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter): WR Anthony Dable, DE Ryan Russell, OL Ian Silberman, DE Davis Tull. Dable is an interesting inclusion, as the 27-year-old has spent much of his professional career playing in the German Football League.
  • The Lions worked out a trio of defensive backs, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter): safety Jimmy Wilson and cornerbacks Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Demetrius McCray. The three players each have extensive NFL experience, with 12 combined starts in 2015.
  • The Packers worked out running back Storm Johnson, tweets Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. The former seventh-rounder last played in the NFL in 2o14, when he played six games for the Jaguars.
  • The Buccaneers worked out a trio of players today, according to Caplan on Twitter: defensive tackle Kyle Love, defensive end Kroy Biermann and guard Josh LeRibeus. Biermann is the most veteran of the bunch, with the 31-year-old compiling 331 career tackles in eight NFL seasons.
  • Former Eagles offensive lineman Andrew Gardner worked out for the Seahawks today, tweets Caplan. The former sixth-rounder has started 11 NFL games since entering the league in 2009.

Giants Down To 53

The Giants started their cuts early this morning by cutting a handful of big wide receivers and went from there. French wide receiver Anthony Dable and Cal product Darius Powe are among those who have been shown the door.

Dable played professionally in Grenoble, France and also spent the last two seasons in Germany. With his German Football League team, Dable caught 145 passes for just under 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns over the last two campaigns. Although he did not grow up in a football-heavy atmosphere, he learned the game by watching others from afar.

I learned football by watching videos of the receivers I like on YouTube, and I like guys that are the same size as me, like Brandon Marshall,” Dable said. “I think I play like Brandon Marshall. I like how he moves after the catch, with his size.”

Powe, a 6’3″ receiver, saved his best season for last at Cal. As a senior, Powe hauled in 47 catches for 560 yards and 8 touchdowns.

We’ll keep a running list of the Giants’ moves here. All of these moves have been confirmed via team press release.

Placed on IR:

  • TE Will Johnson

Cut:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Pats, Giants, Redskins, Eagles

Although annoying many fans to no end with its 16-month-plus shelf life, Deflategate remains a key topic of conversation as the 2016 season approaches.

As a result of a report from an unlikely source, the status of John Jastremski with the Patriots is in question, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. Comedian Jim Breuer received an email from one of the equipment managers implicated in the Deflategate proceedings that points to Jastremski being quietly fired by the Pats last season.

The last news coming from New England about Jastremski’s status came last fall, when the team announced in September Jastremski and Jim McNally were reinstated after their NFL suspensions, and then in October when Bill Belichick said the team was still searching for a role for Jastremski. However, Breuer’s email describes a November 2015 weekend encounter in Mexico where Jastremski, who invited Breuer for a drink and emailed him on November 10 thanking him for the conversation, said the Patriots fired him and that he was unable to get another NFL job.

Volin reached out to the Patriots about this, but the team did not reply. While not a traditional source, as Volin points out, Breuer detailing a November conversation with Jastremski alters the narrative about the team’s belief of its innocence. That said, the alleged dismissal could have conceivably been unrelated.

Here’s the latest coming out of the Eastern divisions from some more NFL-based sources.

  • Kirk Cousins watched various highlights of Josh Doctson‘s work at TCU and envisions the Redskins having another key red zone option to go with Jordan Reed. “He is a special player,” Cousins said during Washington’s OTAs, per Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com. “Looks like he can make the contested catch. It’s very natural for him to go up and catch that type of pass. He can run well. He has got great size. I almost thought he was a tight end when he showed up because if his size.” At 6-foot-2, the former Wyoming and TCU target differs from Cousins’ other top receivers, with Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder standing at 6-foot or shorter.
  • Osi Umenyiora helped the Giants land French receiver Anthony Dable, according to Barbara Barker of Newsday. Now an NFL ambassador and announcer in London, Umenyiora steered the Giants toward the 27-year-old European performer during a February tryout in Florida. Having a background not too dissimilar to Vikings sixth-rounder Moritz Boehringer in being a standout in Germany as well as France, the 6-foot-5 Dable also lined up interviews with the Cowboys, Chiefs, Jaguars, Lions, Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals, Barker reports. But Umenyiora made sure the Giants received the first visit. Following that meeting, Dable cancelled the other prospective summits and signed with the Giants. “The things he was doing on the football field, you could tell they would translate,” Umenyiora told Barker. “He’s a tremendous athlete and once I saw his size, I thought he had a good chance. I don’t think it’s going to happen immediately, but I think he will develop into an outstanding receiver in the NFL. We’re not just talking about a special teams guy.”
  • The Eagles may be thin at inside linebacker beyond their starters, but CSNPhilly.com’s Dave Zangaro doesn’t anticipate a Jim SchwartzBrandon Spikes reunion. A quality run-stopper, Spikes played for Schwartz in 2014 with the Bills after four in New England, starting 49 games in five years. He’s been unattached since the Patriots released him in June 2015, and a hit-and-run incident resulted in Spikes being suspended for four games last season despite being unaffiliated with a team.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick has a three-year offer on the table from the Jets that will pay him $12MM in 2016. Check out the latest on the back-and-forth between Fitz and Gang Green.

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/18/16

Here’s a rundown of today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Dolphins have signed arena standout A.J. Cruz, as Tom Pelissero of USA Today first tweeted. The receiver/return man was with the Bears in camp last year.
  • The Giants have signed France’s Anthony Dablé, as reported by the American Football International Review. Dablé, widely considered one of the most dangerous receivers and returners in Europe, is coming off of a strong season in which he won his second straight German Bowl. Dablé initially signed to play with France’s Aix en Provence Argonautes for the 2016 season, but he was permitted to break free from that deal if an NFL opportunity came up.
  • Edmonton Eskimos cornerback Aaron Grymes is signing with the Eagles today, his representatives tell Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Grymes, 24, joined the CFL after playing three seasons at the University of Idaho. In 2015, Grymes earned an All-Star nod. Prior to signing with Philly, Grymes auditioned for the Cardinals and Titans in January.
  • The Eagles will also sign quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (pending physical), per Caplan (on Twitter). The QB spent part of last season with the 49ers’ taxi squad.
  • The Eagles signed former Saints wide receiver Seantavius Jones, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. Philadelphia also signed wide receiver Xavier Rush, as Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

NFC East Notes: Bradford, Giants, Cowboys

Earlier this month, an ESPN report indicated that the Eagles were not expected to use their franchise tag to lock up quarterback Sam Bradford. At the time, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News said the team had yet to make a decision on Bradford. However, with the franchise-tag window opening today, Bowen now agrees that the Eagles “don’t seem wed” to the QB to the extent that they’d dedicate nearly $20MM in 2016 cap space to him via the franchise or transition tag.

While the Eagles appear unwilling to use their franchise tag on Bradford, they still may re-sign him. If the two sides don’t work out a new deal prior to March 9th, the former first overall pick will hit the open market, and Philadelphia may have to address its quarterback situation with a free agent or a draft pick — or both.

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Like their division rivals in Philadelphia, the Giants aren’t particularly likely to use the franchise tag. If they do, the top candidate will probably be kicker Josh Brown, as James Kratch of NJ.com outlines. Still, Kratch thinks the club can find a middle ground between Brown’s $1MM 2015 salary, and the projected franchise salary for kickers (around $4.5MM).
  • The Cowboys need a cornerback, but David Moore of The Dallas Morning News isn’t so sure that they should use their No. 4 pick to fill that hole. For starters, Dallas has used a first-round pick on a cornerback twice in the last eight years, selecting Mike Jenkins and Morris Claiborne, and those picks haven’t worked out. Beyond that, Moore points to elite corners like Chris Harris and Josh Norman as evidence that plenty of top CBs can be found in the later rounds.
  • The Giants are taking a look at two players from overseas, according to NFL Draft Diamonds, which reports that tight end Harry Innis and wide receiver Anthony Dablé are working out for New York. Per NFL Draft Diamonds, both players – who have excelled in European leagues – have drawn NFL interest from multiple teams.

Zach Links contributed to this post.