Billy Winn

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/12/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Ryan Tannehill‘s season is officially over. The Dolphins placed the quarterback on IR and signed linebacker Junior Sylvestre. Tannehill, who will have knee surgery next week, is expected to be ready for the 2018 season. Sylvestre spent time with the Ryan Grigson-era Colts for two years but was cut after Indianapolis’ 2016 training camp. He signed with the Bills earlier this year but was cut after a month.
  • The Panthers signed defensive lineman Connor Wujciak, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Wujciak was an Eagles UDFA signing on in 2016, but an injury wiped out his would-be rookie season. The Chiefs worked out Wujciak last week. Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler will miss some time, Ron Rivera revealed Friday — via David Newton of ESPN.com — opening the door for an extra defensive line opportunity. Rivera said Butler’s target date for a return is Week 1. The Panthers waived defensive tackle Drew Iddings with an injury designation to open a roster spot, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports (on Twitter).
  • Carolina also brought back offensive lineman Brian Folkerts, Person reports. The Panthers made room by cutting offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson, who had spent time with them since last season (Twitter links). A three-year backup blocker who played in 16 games for the 2014 Panthers, Folkerts last played for the 2015 Rams. Los Angeles cut him when paring its roster down to 75 players last summer.
  • Cornerback Jumal Rolle signed with the Bills and will replace Charles James, whom the team released, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW reports (on Twitter). Both players have at least two years’ experience and both previously played for the Texans. The 27-year-old Rolle was a Houston UDFA in 2014 and has played in 18 games. Rolle also intercepted three passes as a rookie before becoming mostly a special teams player in the time since. James played in 21 games with Houston between the 2015-16 seasons; Buffalo claimed him on waivers in May.
  • The Broncos relocated defensive lineman Billy Winn to IR after his ACL tear diagnosis emerged Friday. They signed linebacker Nelson Adams, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports.
  • Linebacker Reshard Cliett negotiated an injury settlement with the Chiefs, becoming a free agent after being removed from Kansas City’s IR list, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter).
  • The Giants waived linebacker Jimmy Herman, whom they signed Friday. James Kratch of NJ.com tweets Herman was given a “left squad” designation.
  • The Saints and linebacker Sae Tautu agreed on an injury settlement to trigger Tautu’s release from New Orleans’ IR, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com tweets.
  • Rookie wide receiver Keevan Lucas signed a three-year contract with the Eagles, the team announced. Philadelphia waived linebacker Steven Daniels to make room. A Tulsa product, Lucas declared early but was not signed by a team after the draft.
  • Washington signed wide receiver Jamari Staples and waived/injured left tackle Kevin Bowen, per John Keim of ESPN.com. The Chiefs waived Staples in June after initially signing him in May. The Redskins also placed Trent Murphy on IR. Murphy tore his ACL in Washington’s preseason opener Thursday night.

Broncos DE Billy Winn Done For Year

Broncos DE Billy Winn has suffered a torn ACL last night, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Broncos braced themselves for the bad news when Winn was carted off of the field in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Bears. Billy Winn (Vertical)

Winn was set to serve as Denver’s primary backup nose tackle behind Domata Peko. After he joined up with the Broncos last year, he proved to be a reliable, though unspectacular, reserve option. The 28-year-old appeared in all 16 regular season games (two starts) and played on roughly 30% of the Broncos’ defensive snaps. In that span, Winn had 19 tackles and one fumble recovery while grading as the league’s No. 97 interior defender among 127 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Losing Winn is not ideal, but the Broncos can turn to free agent addition Zach Kerr and Kyle Peko (cousin of Domata) for support in the middle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Re-Sign DL Billy Winn

The Broncos have agreed to re-sign defensive lineman Billy Winn, the club announced today.Billy Winn (Vertical)

Denver signed Winn last summer to serve as depth along its defensive line following the loss of Vance Walker to an ACL injury, and Winn provided just that. The 28-year-old appeared in all 16 games (two starts) and played on roughly 30% of the Broncos’ defensive snaps. In that time, Winn 19 tackles and one fumble recovery while grading as the league’s No. 97 interior defender among 127 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

The Broncos have steadily added to their defensive line over the past few months, as they signed free agents Domata Peko, Zach Kerr, Kasim Edebali, and Bobby Richardson while expending a second-round draft pick on Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker. Last year’s second-round pick, defensive end Adam Gotsis, is also expected to play a larger role in 2017. As such, Winn could have a tougher time earning a spot on Denver’s final roster than he did in 2016.

One defender who won’t be competing for a roster spot in 2017 is Bobby Richardson, whom the Broncos announced was waived today. Richardson, 24, started 11 games as a Saints rookie in 2015, but hasn’t seen an NFL field since. He had just signed with Denver in February.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Work Out Henry Melton

In need of some reinforcements along their defensive line, the Broncos today worked out free agent tackle Henry Melton, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Melton hasn’t drawn any other known interest since his contract with the Buccaneers expired in March.Henry Melton (Vertical)

[RELATED: Ronnie Hillman on Broncos’ roster bubble]

Denver was already reeling from the offseason loss of Malik Jackson, and the man set to replace him, Vance Walker, suffered a torn ACL last week and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. Starting defensive end Derek Wolfe recently rolled his ankle, but apparently not seriously enough to cause any major absence, as he played in last night’s preseason contest against the 49ers. Free agent signee Jared Crick is now set to start opposite Wolfe, but Melton could offer a reserve pass-rushing presence at both end and tackle if signed.

Melton, 29, has settled into more of a rotational role in recent years, and is no longer the dominant interior presence he was during his early career with the Bears. But he still appeared in all 16 games for Tampa Bay last season, playing on roughly half of the Bucs’ defensive snaps. In that time, Melton picked up two sacks, 18 tackles, and recovered two fumbles, but only graded as the league’s No. 101 interior defender among 123 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. The former Texas Longhorn earned an honorable mention on PFR’s May list of the best remaining free agent defenders.

While Melton is auditioning for a spot on Denver’s roster, fellow defensive lineman Billy Winn already has one, and he could end up making the team due to the club’s injuries up front, as Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post tweets. Winn was signed last month after the Broncos released Phil Taylor from IR, and he played early in Friday’s preseason contest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Sign Billy Winn

The Broncos have swapped out one former Brown for another, announcing today that they’ve signed defensive lineman Billy Winn and placed defensive tackle Phil Taylor on injured reserve.Billy Winn (Vertical)

[RELATED: Broncos sign WR Marlon Brown]

Winn, 27, spent the first three years of his career in Cleveland before being traded to the Colts right before the 2015 campaign got underway. He didn’t play much of a role, appearing in 12 games but playing less than 400 snaps as a rotational defensive lineman. Winn piced up six tackles and two fumble recoveries, and graded out as the league’s No. 112 interior defender among 123 qualifiers, according to Pro Football Focus.

As Roster Resource shows, Denver didn’t acquire a veteran this offseason that can adequately make up for the loss of Malik Jackson, as Vance Walker and Jared Crick are thought to be the primary contenders for playing time at end. Neither option is particularly inspiring, meaning Winn could have the opportunity for playing time if he makes the roster and can beat out raw second-round pick Adam Gotsis.

Taylor, meanwhile, was signed by the Broncos in February after spending last season out of the NFL while dealing with knee injuries. Taylor suffered another knee ailment on Friday, tweets James Palmer of NFL.com, but the former first-round pick has been dealing with chronic knee pain for years. In four seasons with the Browns, Taylor started 42 contests, losing nearly two years to various injuries, including a torn pectoral.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Announce Several Roster Moves

Following a disappointing loss to the Texans on Sunday, the Colts have shaken up the back of their 53-man roster, announcing six moves today in a press release. Here are today’s transactions out of Indianapolis:

Signed:

  • RB Trey Williams (from Dolphins’ practice squad)

Promoted to active roster from practice squad:

Placed on injured reserve:

Waived:

While Whalen, Winn, and Tipton weren’t among the Colts’ most noteworthy contributors this season, all three players saw some action throughout the year.

Whalen, who lost a key fumble on Sunday, had 19 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown this season. Winn recorded 14 tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries in 12 games (three starts). Tipton had 20 rushing yards on five attempts, adding another 57 yards through the air on five receptions.

Colts Acquire Billy Winn, Cut Boom Herron

3:30pm: It’s a seventh-round pick headed from the Colts to the Browns in the deal, tweets Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.

3:15pm: The Colts have made multiple changes to their roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve acquired defensive lineman Billy Winn from the Browns in exchange for a conditional late-round 2017 pick. In order to clear room on the roster for Winn, Indianapolis has waived guard Robert Myers.

Additionally, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the Colts have reached an injury settlement with running back Boom Herron, who was waived/injured during the club’s cutdown to 53 players. The move means that Herron will pass through waivers again, and if he goes unclaimed, he’ll become a free agent, able to sign with any team.

Herron, who suffered a sprained AC joint in the Colts’ final preseason game, isn’t expected to be shelved for a significant amount of time due to the injury, so he could be claimed on waivers, like Robert Turbin was yesterday. However, I’d be a little surprised if a club wanted to carry Herron on its 53-man roster quite yet.

As for Winn, he has played 40 games for the Browns since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2012, earning 18 starts during that span. He’ll provide depth on the Colts’ defensive line, but likely won’t take on a significant role unless Indianapolis has injury problems up front.

For the Browns, trading Winn opens up a roster spot for the team to promote Shaun Draughn from the practice squad. Cleveland hasn’t made that move official yet, but with Turbin out and Duke Johnson recovering from a concussion, Draughn figures to join the team’s backfield for at least Week 1 to complement Isaiah Crowell.

2015 Proven Performance Escalator Raises

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time in said snaps for the duration of his first three years in the league. If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s restricted free agent qualifying offer — that figure was $1.431MM last year, and will inflate commensurate with the salary cap increase. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their 2015 salary rise due to the PPE, courtesy of Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap.

Bengals: George Iloka, S; Mohamed Sanu, WR

Bills: Nigel Bradham, LB

Broncos: Malik Jackson, DL; Danny Trevathan, LB;

Browns: Billy Winn, DL

Cardinals: Bobby Massie, T

Chargers: Johnnie Troutman, G

Colts: Dwayne Allen, TE; T.Y. Hilton, WR

Dolphins: Lamar Miller, RB; Olivier Vernon, DE

Eagles: Brandon Boykin, CB; Nick Foles; QB

Falcons: Lamar Holmes, T

Jets: Demario Davis, LB; Antonio Allen, DB

Packers: Mike Daniels, DL

Panthers: Josh Norman, CB

Patriots: Alfonzo Dennard, CB

Raiders: Miles Burris, LB

Rams: Chris Givens, WR; Trumaine Johnson, CB

Ravens: Gino Gradkowski, C

Saints: Akiem Hicks, DT; Corey White, CB

Seahawks: J.R. Sweezy, G; Russell Wilson, QB

Steelers: Kelvin Beachum, T

Texans: Brandon Brooks, G; Jared Crick, DL; Ben Jones, G

Titans: Coty Sensabaugh, CB

Vikings: Robert Blanton, S: Rhett Ellison, TE; Josh Robinson, CB; Jarius Wright, WR

Washington: Alfred Morris, RB