Arrelious Benn

Jaguars Decline Option On Mychal Rivera

The Jaguars have declined their 2018 options on tight end Mychal Rivera and wide receiver Arrelious Benn, the club announced today.Mychal Rivera

Rivera, 27, signed a two-year deal with the Jaguars prior to the 2017 campaign, but was placed on injured reserve in September and never saw the field in Jacksonville. He’d been scheduled to earn $1.25MM base salary next year, but the Jaguars will now incur $250K in dead money by cutting ties. Rivera’s high water mark came back in 2014, when he collected 58 passes and 534 yards for the Raiders.

Benn, meanwhile, was active for the Jaguars’ first nine games in 2017 before being placed on injured reserve. The former second-round pick played only 80 offensive snaps and managed just a single reception, but he did see time on 180 special teams snaps. Had his option been picked up, Benn would have earned a $790K base salary next year.

Although Rivera and Benn’s options have been declined, they will not immediately become free agents. Instead, they will hit the open market on March 14 like the majority of free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Activate WR Dede Westbrook

Wide receiver Dede Westbrook is finally set to make his NFL debut. The Jaguars activated the rookie wideout from the reserve/injured list this morning, the team announced. The organization also activated defensive back Calvin Pryor from the reserve/injured list and promoted receiver Larry Pinkard from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team placed wideout Arrelious Benn on the injured reserve and waived defensive tackle Sheldon Day and receive Jaelen Strong.

Dede Westbrook (vertical)We learned in late October that the Jaguars had designated Westbrook for return. The fourth-rounder was initially placed on the injured reserve with a core injury prior to the start of the regular season. A former Oklahoma standout, Westbrook collected 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, making him a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Considering the fact that Allen Robinson was already out for the season and the team let go of two wideouts today, Westbrook could easily slide behind Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns on the depth chart.

Pryor was claimed off waivers from the Browns in September, although he was placed on the injured reserve shortly thereafter. As our own Dallas Robinson noted, Pryor will be stuck in a reserve role behind Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, who both rank among the NFL’s top defensive backs, according to Pro Football Focus. Of course, the 25-year-old still has plenty in the tank, as he finished the 2016 campaign with 62 tackles and six passes defended in 15 games for the Jets.

Benn, a 2010 second-round pick, has been stuck towards the bottom of the depth chart during his two-year tenure in Jacksonville. After having hauled in 55 receptions during his first two seasons in the league, Benn only has six receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown in two seasons with the Jaguars (24 games). The 29-year-old was productive on special teams, however, compiling eight tackles over the past two years. Strong, a 2015 third-round pick, joined the Jaguars in mid-September after being waived by the Texans. He ultimately didn’t see the field for the Jaguars. Pinkard, a former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, has yet to get in an NFL game. Day, a 2016 fourth-round pick, was buried on the depth chart for the Jaguars, as the 23-year-old had only compiled three tackles and one sack in six games this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Garoppolo, Belichick, Williams

Three executives tell Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that they believe several teams will be making blockbuster offers for Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Ultimately, they think that will result in an offer the Pats cannot refuse.

Freeman also hears from Patriots sources that Bill Belichick likely plans to stay on as coach for at least five more years. Those same sources believe that Belichick wants to continue coaching after Brady retires to show that he can win without the best quarterback of all time.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Arrelious Benn‘s new contract with the Jaguars is a two-year, $1.765MM deal that contains $100K guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Although he didn’t contribute much to the Jacksonville offense (just five receptions for 116 yards), Benn was a regular on special teams duty, as he saw action on 63% of the Jaguars’ ST plays.
  • Cornerback K’Waun Williams‘ grievance against the Browns will be heard on May 16, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Williams, who played for Cleveland from 2014-15, contends the Browns waived him while he was still dealing with an injured ankle. As such, Williams is seeking the entirety of his 2016 base salary ($600K), plus the cost of his surgery.
  • Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara has fired VaynerSports and hired Damarius Bilbo of Revolution Sports Group as his new representation , according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter links). Kamara, a committee back with the Volunteers, managed less than 1,300 yards rushing during two years in Tennessee, but also averaged more than six yards per carry during that time. Largely viewed as a Day 2 prospect, recent buzz has indicated Kamara could sneak into Round 1.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Jaguars Re-Sign WR Arrelious Benn

The Jaguars re-signed wide receiver Arrelious Benn, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). The deal will be a one year pact with an option for second year. Arrelious Benn (vertical)

Last year, Benn appeared in five games for Jacksonville, but mainly in a special teams role. In the past, Benn had a more active role while he was a member of the Buccaneers. In 2010 and 2011, Benn totalled 55 catches for 836 yards and five touchdowns. In between then and now, Benn had an unsuccessful injury-marred stint with the Eagles. The Jaguars’ early re-signing of him could be an indication that they are hoping to use him more as a wide receiver in 2017. Or, this could be a simple low-risk move by Jacksonville that comes without a fiscal guarantee.

Recently, PFR’s Dallas Robinson ran down the Jaguars’ top offseason needs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South 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 Texans, Colts, Jaguars, and Titans 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 South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars Down To 53

The Jaguars announced that they are now compliant with the league’s 53-man max. Here’s the full list:

Released:

Waived:

The Jags also made moves on Friday and that list can be found here.

AFC South Notes: Jaguars, Murray, Titans, Luck

The Jaguars seemingly have five wide receivers locked into roster spots, according to Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.comAllen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Rashad Greene, Marqise Lee, and Bryan Walters.

That means there could be seven wideouts competing for a single roster spot. The group includes Arrelious Benn, Tony Washington, Rasheed Bailey, Rashad Lawrence, Jamal Robinson, Shaq Evans and Shane Wynn.

If one of those players was going to emerge, O’Halloran points to Benn. The former second-round pick was set to earn a roster spot last season before breaking his collarbone.

“He’s a big, strong, physical guy,” receivers coach Jerry Sullivan told O’Halloran. “He should be a top-notch special teams guy and be a dependable guy who can come in and be a relief pitcher.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes from the AFC South…

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/24/15

Here are Monday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Patriots waived Brian Tyms, who will revert to their IR (foot injury) if he goes unclaimed, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Lions waived/injured linebacker Kevin Snyder, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Bears made a change on their offensive line today, signing former Raiders guard Lucas Nix to a one-year contract and waiving offensive lineman Jason Weaver with an injury designation (Twitter link). Nix, who started 10 games for Oakland in 2013, worked out for Chicago earlier in the month.
  • The Dolphins have waived wide receiver Michael Preston, the team announced today (via Twitter). Preston himself broke word of the move yesterday, with a tweet thanking the club for the opportunity.
  • The Eagles have added one safety to their roster and removed another, signing Brandan Bishop and reaching an injury settlement with Earl Wolff (Twitter links via agent David Canter and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Wolff, a 2013 fifth-round pick, will become a free agent as he recovers from his knee surgery. The Eagles also waived/injured defensive tackle Wade Keliikipi, who suffered a Lisfranc foot injury this weekend, replacing him with defensive tackle Jeremy Towns (Twitter links).
  • The Falcons have parted ways with 2014 fifth-rounder Marquis Spruill, placing him on waivers today, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Spruill, whose rookie season was wiped out by a torn ACL, never played a regular-season down for Atlanta.
  • The Giants formally announced several moves today, including the signing of veteran linebacker Ashlee Palmer, who started 15 games over the last two seasons in Detroit. The club also signed rookie defensive back C.J. Conway, and waived/injured safety Justin Currie (ankle) and linebacker Tony Johnson (knee).
  • The Jaguars announced a series of moves today (via Twitter and press release), adding wide receiver Erik Lora, linebacker Mister Alexander, and offensive lineman Will Corbin to their roster. The outgoing players are receiver Damian Copeland (waived/injured), offensive lineman Brennan Williams (waived/injured), and wideout Arrelious Benn (placed on IR).
  • The Panthers have waived/injured defensive end Frank Alexander, signing tight end Dallas Walker to replace him on the roster, the team announced today (Twitter link). Alexander, who sustained a torn Achilles, is in the final year of his contract, so Carolina isn’t worried about another team claiming him.
  • The Saints‘ tight end carousel continues, as the club is cutting Michael Egnew just a week after signing him, per Kristian Garic of WWL 870AM (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks have cut defensive back Jeremy Crayton, using the newly-created roster spot to re-sign wide receiver DeShon Foxx, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • The Jets signed tight end Matt LaCosse and waived/injured defensive lineman Davon Walls, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.

Injury Update: 8/23/15

Here’s the latest on the injuries suffered during this weekend’s preseason games…

  • Falcons wideout Roddy White is scheduled to have a “minor procedure” on his elbow, but Andrew Hirsh of AtlantaFalcons.com reports (via Twitter) that the veteran should be ready for the start of the season. Vaughn McClure of the ESPN.com notes (on Twitter) that White isn’t a fan of surgeries, so there must not have been any other options.
  • Bills coach Rex Ryan doesn’t expect cornerback Leodis McKelvin to end up on the physically unable to perform list, tweets Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News. This would be an indication that the former first-rounder would be ready sometime in the first six weeks.
  • Saints wideout Nick Toon is expected to miss two to three weeks with a high-ankle sprain, according to Ross Jones of FoxSports.com. The suggested recovery time would mean Toon could miss the team’s opener.
  • Jaguars receiver Arrelious Benn fractured his collarbone, and Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union says the 26-year-old is set to have surgery on Tuesday (Twitter link).

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Playoff teams and non-playoff teams both continue to make roster moves this week, and we’ll round up today’s minor transactions below. Here’s the latest:

  • The Jaguars signed wide receiver Arrelious Benn to a two-year deal, a league source tells Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Meanwhile, Dan Duggan of NJ.com reports (via Twitter) that the team also signed safety Jeremy Deering.
  • Long snapper Brandon Hartson inked a futures contract with the Chiefs, according to agent Brian McLaughlin (via Twitter). Kansas City has been busy locking up players for 2015, announcing 14 reserve deals yesterday.
  • Per Oliver Thomas of PatriotsObserver.com (via Twitter), the Patriots signed three players to reserve/futures contracts today: Defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, linebacker Rufus Johnson, and running back Dion Lewis. Since New England’s season isn’t over, the team can’t yet lock up any players from its practice squad to futures deals.
  • The Saints have added another player on a reserve/futures contract, signing veteran safety Kenny Phillips today, tweets Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune. A former first-round pick, Phillips worked out for New Orleans in November.

Earlier updates:

  • Cornerback Roc Carmichael and guard Antoine McClain inked reserve/futures deals with the Cardinals, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link). Carmichael has spent time with the Eagles over the last two seasons, while McClain finished the 2014 campaign on the Bears’ practice squad.
  • The Panthers signed guard Tyronne Green to a futures contract for 2015, the team announced today (Twitter link). Green most recently spent time with the Cowboys, having been cut by the team in July.
  • The Bengals have placed wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on the injured reserve list due to a concussion, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). While losing Sanzenbacher, who caught just nine balls this season, isn’t a significant blow for Cincinnati, the team hopes A.J. Green won’t miss this weekend’s game with a similar ailment. With the newly-opened spot on the 53-man roster, the Bengals promoted wideout Cobi Hamilton from the practice squad.
  • Offensive tackle Joe Long, the brother of Rams tackle Jake Long, has been added to the Lions‘ taxi squad, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Detroit had been carrying just nine players on its unit, so no corresponding move was required to make room for Long.
  • The Buccaneers have signed former Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato to a reserve/futures contract for 2015, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.