Audie Cole

NFL Workout Updates: 11/14/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • T Laurence Gibson (link)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

  • TEs Brandon Barnes, Gabe Holmes (link)

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • LSs Ryan DiSalvo, Andrew East, Drew Ferris (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

Texans To Work Out Audie Cole, Brian Parker

Audie Cole

Dealing with a suspension at linebacker and injuries at tight end, the Texans will work out a couple potential reinforcements at those positions next week. The team will audition linebacker Audie Cole on Monday and tight end Brian Parker on Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).

Nobody would mistake Cole for the accomplished Brian Cushing, who will sit until early December because of a 10-game performance-enhancing drug ban, though the former would nonetheless provide some experience at inside linebacker. The 28-year-old has appeared in 57 games, all with the Vikings, since going in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He wasn’t much of a factor defensively in Minnesota, though, as he tallied just seven starts (five of which came in 2013) and 78 tackles. Cole played a mere 36 defensive snaps in 2016, compared to 275 on special teams.

Parker, whose sole NFL experience to this post came during a nine-game, one-catch 2015 with the Chiefs, would add a body at tight end for a Houston team whose top options – C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson – are battling concussions. Notably, the Texans will meet with Gary Barnidge, a far more established tight end than Parker, on Friday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Reach 53-Man Roster Limit

Every team had to get under the 53-man limit by Saturday’s deadline, but the Saints were the last to publicly announce their cuts. Here’s the full rundown of their moves:

Waived:

Released:

IR:

The Saints re-signed Cadet this offseason only to put him on the trade block in June. They didn’t find any takers then and they apparently couldn’t find any now. The Jets, who pursued him in free agency, could have interest in signing him.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/28/17

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: LS Taybor Pepper

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: LB Akeem Dent
  • Waived from IR: CB Ezra Robinson

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: DL Michael Bart, LB Christian Kuntz, LB Nick Usher

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jaguars Release LB Audie Cole

Audie Cole‘s “tenure” with the Jaguars has come to an end. According to John Oehser of Jaguars.com (via Twitter), the team has released the veteran linebacker.

Audie ColeFollowing five seasons with the Vikings, Cole joined the Jaguars back in March. While Jacksonville certainly wasn’t expecting the 28-year-old to start, he figured to serve as a dependable backup to middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. Now, the team will presumably be rolling with Blair Brown or Hayes Pullard for that role (although they could also turn to backup outside linebackers like Lerentee McCray, Josh McNary, and Andrew Gachkar).

The former seventh-rounder served mostly as a backup and special teamer during his time in Minnesota, and he finished last season with 12 tackles in 16 games. His best season came in 2013, when he compiled a career-high 45 tackles and one sack. There were reports during free agency that the Vikings had interest in retaining their former draft pick, but it’s uncertain if they’d be looking for reinforcement this late in the preseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Sign LB Audie Cole

After having signed defensive tackle Stefan Charles earlier today, the Jaguars are adding another player to their defense. Mike Kaye of First Coast News reports (via Twitter) that the team is expected to sign linebacker Audie Cole.

Audie ColeThe former seventh-round pick had spent his entire five-year career with the Vikings, serving mostly as a sub and special teamer. In 16 games last season, Cole collected 12 tackles. His best season came in 2013, as he compiled a career-high 45 tackles and one sack. The 27-year-old has seven career starts under his belt. Previous reports indicated that a return to Minnesota was still in play.

Cole is the second linebacker the Jaguars have added this week, as the team signed former Bills defender Lerentee McCray. The duo will be joining a deep Jaguars linebackers corps that also includes Myles JackPaul Posluszny, Telvin SmithDan Skuta, Marcus Rush, Sean Porter, and Hayes Pullard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Redskins, Bears, Vikes

Jerry Jones is bullish on linebacker Jaylon Smith‘s prospects at 2017 contributions, but Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com hears the situation isn’t exactly as rosy, as the Cowboys view anything Smith gives them in 2017 as a bonus. While the damaged nerve in Smith’s foot started firing again, the 2016 second-round pick is nowhere close to full strength and might never get there again, Breer notes. The MMQB scribe also doubts whether Smith can be effective playing on a brace to deal with the unique drop foot issue with which the ex-Notre Dame star became saddled. And playing through this injury puts Smith at risk for further damage, Dr. Thomas Gill told Breer.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Free agent defensive tackle Terrell McClain is already expected to draw interest from Atlanta and Seattle, and the Redskins are also expected to give the 28-year-old a call, according to Jane Slater of NFL.com (Twitter link). McClain is coming off the best season of his career, as he started more 12 or more games for the first time since 2012. In 15 starts, McClain put up 39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
  • The Bears were expected to meet with Brian Hoyer‘s agent last weekend, and the club reportedly expressed its desire to re-sign the veteran quarterback, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Chicago is expected to pursue other signal-callers this offseason, but Hoyer could serve as something of a bridge option if the Bears roll with a young passer. Hoyer will have plenty of other suitors, however, per La Canfora.
  • Linebacker Audie Cole will reach free agency without inking a new Vikings deal, but a return to Minnesota is possible, per Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). Cole, 27, appeared in all 16 games for the Vikings last year but didn’t start a single contest. While played only 35 defensive snaps, Cole did play on more than 65% of the Vikes’ special teams snaps.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

North Notes: Wallace, Hicks, Bryant, Vikings

Even after being released by the Vikings earlier this week, Mike Wallace still might return to Minnesota, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who says that the possibility of Wallace re-signing with the Vikings is “on the table.” Wallace hasn’t been the same player since leaving the Steelers after 2012, as he’s averaged just 755 yards and six touchdowns with the Dolphins and Vikings in the three years since. But he’s not yet 30 years old, and given the crop of free agent wideouts, he should be able to find a nice landing spot.

Wallace was set to count $11.5MM against the cap in 2016, so if Minnesota does want to re-sign him, it will obviously be for far less than that total. The Ravens will reportedly have Wallace in for a visit, and while it’s just my speculation, I wonder if the Steelers would be interested in a reunion given that Martavis Bryant is facing a yearlong suspension.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the NFL’s two North divisions…

  • Free agent defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is in Chicago deciding his next move, and no resolution is expected to be announced today, reports Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link). The Bears are still in the hunt for Hicks, per Finley, while the Lions have also expressed interest.
  • The Steelers have known about Bryant’s suspension since before the combine, tweets Albert Breer of NFL.com, so today’s news didn’t come as a major surprise.
  • Two Vikings‘ linebackers — Travis Lewis and Audie Cole — received one-year, minimum salary benefit deals, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). Lewis received a $50K signing bonus, per Rothstein, while Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported (via Twitter) a few days ago that Cole received a $40K bonus.

Vikings Re-Sign LB Audie Cole

10:30am: The Vikings have officially announced Cole’s new deal.

9:09am: A day before becoming an unrestricted free agent, linebacker Audie Cole has agreed to a new deal with his current team, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter). Pelissero reports that the Vikings are re-signing Cole, whose rookie contract had been set to expire. It’s a one-year deal for Cole, tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.Audie Cole

[RELATED: Vikings, Phil Loadholt agree to new contract]

A seventh-round pick in 2012, Cole has played a role on special teams for the Vikings in his 41 NFL games to date, and has also seen some playing time on defense. His best season came in 2013, when he started five games, earning 45 tackles and a sack.

Cole’s 2015 campaign came to an early end in November, when the Vikings placed him on their injured reserve list due to a fractured ankle. Given his limited contributions on defense and the fact that he’s coming off a season-ending injury, Cole probably isn’t in line for much more than the minimum salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/15

Here are Tuesday’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL:

  • The Saints have signed linebacker James Anderson, as Katherine Terrell of The Times-Picayune tweets. The Saints have been thin at linebacker recently, with injuries to strongside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha (ankle), weakside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hip/groin), and backup Ramon Humber, so Anderson will provide additional depth for New Orleans. To make room for Anderson, the Saints have cut fellow linebacker Mike Mohamed, as Mike Triplett of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Vikings announced that they have signed linebacker Jason Trusnik while placing fellow linebacker Audie Cole on IR. Trusnik, a former Division-III standout, was cut by the Panthers before the final trim down to a 53-man roster. He first broke into the league as a UDFA with the Jets in 2007. The Ohio native has played in 109 career games with 24 starts, tallying 146 total tackles, 4 PDs, 4 FRs and 1 FF in his first eight NFL seasons. Cole wasn’t a factor on the Vikings’ defense, but he was playing more than half of the club’s special teams snaps before fracturing his ankle.
  • The Giants announced that they have added defensive tackle Montori Hughes to the active roster while placing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins on IR. Hankins suffered a torn pectoral muscle over the weekend, ending his 2015 season prematurely. Hughes, who stands at 6’4″ and weighs 350 pounds, played in 16 games for the Colts between 2013 and 2014.
  • The Browns announced that they have activated defensive back Charles Gaines and running back Glenn Winston. Both players were previously sidelined with injuries.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have signed safety Kimario McFadden, who played with them in the preseason. To make room for McFadden on the 53-man roster, the Buccaneers waived defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.
  • The Chargers announced that they have signed tight end Sean McGrath while waiving guard Craig Watts. McGrath briefly retired following his second season in 2013, a season in which he caught 26 balls for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The Chiefs will promote safety Saalim Hakim from the practice squad, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Bears will promote wide receiver Deonte Thompson to the 53-man roster from the taxi squad, Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune tweets.