October 25th, 2016 at 7:15pm CST by Dallas Robinson
After losing wide receiver Vincent Jackson to a torn ACL last week, the Buccaneers are working out another veteran pass-catcher. According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Tampa Bay took a look at WR Nate Washington today.
The 33-year-old Washington has been a member of three teams since going undrafted from Division III Tiffin University in 2005. He spent a productive 2015 as a member of the Texans, with whom he hauled in 47 passes for 658 yards and four touchdowns. Washington, who has also played three years in Pittsburgh and six seasons in Tennessee, has 458 receptions and 44 touchdowns to his name. In his most prolific campaign, 2011, the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder recorded career highs in catches (74), targets (121), yards (1,023) and scores (seven) with the Titans.
The Bucs can still rely on No. 1 wide receiver Mike Evans, who is second in the league with 75 targets, but are quite thin behind their top option. Cecil Shorts, coming off a hamstring injury, is joined by Adam Humphries, Freddie Martino, and Russell Shepard — who caught five passes for 77 yards and a score on Sunday — in the wide receiver corps. Tampa also re-signed WR Donteea Dye to its practice squad today.
In addition to Washington, the Buccaneers also worked out running backs Austin Johnson and Will Ratelle, reports Howard Balzer (Twitter link).
Barnes signed with the Saints last Sunday, meaning his stay in New Orleans lasted less than a week. In 11 NFL seasons, the 34-year-old has seen action in more than 150 games (117 starts) with the Jaguars and Raiders. Barnes lost his starting job in Oakland last season, but still appeared in 14 games.
The Saints are considering several scenarios with fullback Austin Johnson, according to Nick Underhill of the Advocate. Johnson recently suffered a knee injury in camp, and New Orleans is hoping that he’ll be able to return in a few weeks and continue to work towards a roster spot. But while they wait for more information, the Saints have signed veteran John Kuhn to compete with incumbent fullback Sione Huma.
Here’s more from the NFC South:
Although rumors persisted that Sean Payton would leave the Saints for a new team, it doesn’t as though the New Orleans head coach ever seriously considered defecting. “I understand how that began to build steam, and yet [GM] Mickey [Loomis] and I have a great relationship,” Payton told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. “That took basically a day-and-a-half of us sitting down and outlining the next five years and what our goals are and where we see this team going.” Payton is now locked up through the 2020 campaign.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht took some flak for firing Lovie Smith after only two seasons, especially given that Licht didn’t exactly shake up the coaching staff, promoting offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to the top job. But as Licht tells Peter King of TheMMQB.com, his choice of Koetter will likely be the defining moment of his Tampa tenure. “My career’s probably on the line with this pick,” said Licht. “That was the thing I thought about right away: We’ve got to find the guy who’s going to have success and eventually leave on his own terms.”
Locked in a battle with rookie Swayze Waters, veteran punter Mike Scifres has not had a productive camp with the Panthers, writes King in the same piece. Scifres signed a minimum salary benefit contract with no guaranteed money, so Carolina could easily move on if they so choose. Head coach Ron Rivera didn’t dismiss the possibility of signing another punter, according to King.
February 10th, 2016 at 6:13pm CST by Zachary Links
Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:
The Broncos signed nine practice squad players to reserve-futures contracts, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post writes. Receiver Jordan Taylor, running back Kapri Bibbs, safety RyanMurphy, guard Dillon Day, tackles Cameron Jefferson and Kyle Roberts, tight end Nick Kasa, defensive end George Uko, and linebacker Zaire Anderson all have new deals with Denver. Taylor served as as Peyton Manning‘s personal practice receiver in 2015 when he rehabbed from his foot injury. Murphy was sent packing during Super Bowl week after being involved, but not arrested in a prostitution sting in San Jose. In a related move, Northern Colorado receiver Jace Davis was waived.
On Wednesday, the Eaglesannounced that linebacker Najee Goode has been signed to a new one-year contract. Originally a fifth-round draft pick of Tampa Bay in 2012, Goode was claimed off of waivers by the Eagles in September 2013. After a pectoral injury suffered in the 2014 opener against Jacksonville put him on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season, Goode returned to form in 2015.
The Saints have re-signed fullback Austin Johnson, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune writes. Johnson, 26, was an exclusive-rights free agent. In his three years with the Saints, Johnson has bounced between the active roster and the taxi squad. Johnson has played in 17 games in the last two seasons, rushing 12 times for 31 yards and catches seven passes for 45 yards. He is also a frequent contributor on special teams. As Woodbery notes, Johnson will likely compete with fullback Toben Opurum for a roster spot in 2016. Besides the two fullbacks, New Orleans already has four other tailbacks under contract for 2016, not counting free agents Khiry Robinson (RFA), Tim Hightower, Travaris Cadet, and Kendall Hunter.
4:01pm: The Saints have filled Ingram’s roster spot by promoting fullback Austin Johnson from their practice squad, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
3:59pm: As feared, Mark Ingram‘s shoulder injury is serious enough to prematurely bring his 2015 season to an end. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the Saints have placed Ingram on injured reserve, officially ruling him out for the rest of the year.
Ingram, who turns 26 later this month, posted career numbers in 2014, earning a Pro Bowl berth and a new four-year contract from New Orleans. Through 12 games, Ingram was on track for another productive year, with 769 rushing yards and six touchdowns to go along with 405 yards through the air.
In Ingram’s absence, Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller figure to shoulder the load, with rookie Marcus Murphy potentially in the mix as well. The Saints have an open roster spot now that Ingram is on IR, though the team may not use it on a running back, with three other viable options still on the 53-man squad.