Bennie Fowler

East Notes: Belichick, Patriots, Jets, Giants

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known for finding diamonds in the rough. He’s turned MAC quarterback Julian Edelman into a star receiver, and made numerous other brilliant discoveries. The draft apparently isn’t the only place he looks for these unheralded gems, as Zach Cox of NESN.com pointed out in a recent interesting piece. The Patriots are holding joint practices with the Lions right now, and Cox points out that Belichick always uses these joint practices to scout the opposing team’s players for guys he might want to pick up when they’re later cut.

“From 2012 to 2017, New England participated in 11 rounds of joint practices with seven different opponents. In all 11 cases, at least one member of the opposing team went on to sign with the Patriots,” Cox writes. That’s a pretty incredible streak, and it shows that the Patriots are paying extremely close attention during these joint sessions. It’ll be interesting to see which current member of the Lions ends up signing with New England later this year.

Here’s more from the league’s eastern divisions:

  • We’ve got the full details on Ryan Kalil‘s contract with the Jets, courtesy of Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The one-year, $8.4MM pact includes a $3MM signing bonus, 2.4MM in base non-guaranteed salary, and a $3.4MM roster bonus. The total guarantee is just the $3MM signing bonus. Kalil recently came out of retirement, and the veteran center’s presence should be a huge boost to the rest of the offensive line and Sam Darnold‘s protection. Even though the majority of his money is non-guaranteed, it would take something truly shocking for him not to end up collecting it all.
  • The Giants have had a brutal stretch of luck with their receivers. Just in the past few weeks, Corey Coleman tore his ACL, Sterling Shepard suffered a broken thumb, and Golden Tate was suspended for the first four games of the season. Shepard will likely be back for Week 1, but the options after him aren’t too appealing. As of right now it looks like Cody Latimer will be the second receiver to open the season, while Bennie Fowler will be the third, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Latimer is a former second-round pick of the Broncos who is looking to reinvent himself with the Giants. He spent last year in New York, catching 11 passes for 190 yards in only six games. Fowler is also a former Bronco who caught 16 balls for 199 yards in his first season with the Giants last year. Eli Manning (or Daniel Jones) won’t be in an easy situation when the season opens.
  • In case you missed it, the Dolphins signed former Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche

Giants Re-Sign WR Bennie Fowler

The Giants have re-signed wide receiver Bennie Fowler, according to a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s likely an inexpensive short-term deal. 

[RELATED – Giants GM: “We Were Not Actively Shopping” OBJ]

Fowler, a Michigan State product, joined the Giants in October after fellow receiver Cody Latimer was placed on IR. After that point, Fowler appeared in ten games and caught 16 passes for 199 yards, including a touchdown against Washington on Dec. 9. Before joining the Giants, Fowler had 56 receptions and five touchdowns in three seasons with the Broncos. He also spent time with the Bears and Patriots last year, but did not appear in games for either club.

Fowler is a part of the Giants’ new Odell Beckham-less depth chart at WR, which also includes Golden TateSterling Shepard, Corey Coleman, and Latimer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place Cody Latimer On IR

The Giants made a slew of roster moves on Tuesday morning. The club signed wide receiver Bennie Fowler and promoted linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and cornerback Grant Haley from the practice squad. Spots were opened for them after the Giants placed wide receiver Cody Latimer (hamstring) and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (concussion) on IR and waived cornerback Donte Deayon

As Latimer exits, another former Bronco takes his place. Fowler now has a chance to become the fourth player to catch passes from both Peyton and Eli Manning, following Latimer who achieved that milestone on Sept. 16. Fowler has 56 receptions for 598 yards and five touchdowns for his NFL career. He’s perhaps best known for the two-point conversion catch he had in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory. That play also went down as Peyton Manning’s final career pass attempt.

The Giants, who are desperate for a spark, will look to improve upon their 1-5 record when they face the Falcons on Monday night.

Lions Audition CB Tony Lippett

Defensive lineman Tank Carradine and tight end Clive Walford weren’t the only veteran free agents to work out for the Lions today. Cornerback Tony Lippett also auditioned for Detroit on Wednesday, tweets veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer.

Lippett, who transformed from a collegiate wideout to an NFL corner, was a 13-game starter for the Dolphins in 2016, but didn’t make it through final cutdowns earlier this year after missing the entire 2017 campaign with a torn Achilles. Provided he’s now healthy, Lippett could give Detroit’s secondary a boost, as the club ranks just 29th in passing defense DVOA. While starters Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson have played well, nickel back Jamal Agnew ranks as a bottom-10 NFL corner, per Pro Football Focus, and is now dealing with an injury.

Lippett, 26, has drawn plenty of interest since being cut by Miami, as he’s worked out for the Giants, Jets, Seahawks, and Bills.

Here’s the full list of players the Lions worked out today:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 9/20/18

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

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/18

Here’s the latest from the NFL workout circuit on a busy Tuesday. All links to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Patriots To Cut WR Bennie Fowler

The Patriots signed both Bennie Fowler and Corey Coleman on the same day earlier this week but will keep only one of them on their roster going into Week 2.

Fowler received word the Patriots will cut him, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). New England will sign offensive lineman Cole Croston from its practice squad, per Rapoport (on Twitter).

This marks the second time in a month Fowler’s been cut. The Bears moved on from the veteran wide receiver prior to their regular-season opener, despite signing him in free agency. The Patriots will go into their Week 2 Jaguars tilt with Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Coleman as their wideouts.

Best known for catching Peyton Manning‘s final NFL pass, a two-point conversion in Super Bowl 50, Fowler spent three seasons on the Broncos’ active roster but has yet to establish himself elsewhere. While this could be a temporary move based on needs at other positions, with Croston joining a Pats team that may or may not have right tackle Marcus Cannon available Sunday and the fact Coleman’s been jettisoned by two teams in the past month, for now the 27-year-old Fowler is again unattached.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/10/18

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

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans 

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Bears Trim Roster To 53

The Bears have reduced their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Waived:

Released:

Placed on injured reserve: