Bishop Sankey

Vikings Notes: Cousins, Forbath, Johnson

Kirk Cousins appears to be atop the Vikings offseason wish list. Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com writes that the organization will “go hard” after the free agent quarterback, adding that negotiations with their 13 unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents are on hold until the front office understands how much they’ll need to commit to a signal-caller.

The 29-year-old Cousins finished last season having completed 64.3-percent of his passes for 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. If the Vikings fail in their pursuit of the former Pro Bowler, they can turn their focus to any of the other three quarterbacks they were rostering in 2017: Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, or Sam Bradford.

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of Minnesota, all via Tomasson…

  • The Vikings want to re-sign kicker Kai Forbath, but the team has yet to make an offer to the veteran. The 30-year-old, who earned $775K last season, had one of the best seasons of his career with Minnesota in 2017. Forbath converted 32 of his 38 field goal attempts, and he made 34 of his 39 extra point tries.
  • The front office still hasn’t decided what tender they’ll place on restricted free agent offensive guard Nick Easton, but they want him back in 2018. A former undrafted free agent out of Harvard, the 25-year-old has started 17 of his 23 games over the past two seasons with the Vikings. Tomasson notes that the team is unlikely to tender restricted free agent running back Bishop Sankey or offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles.
  • There’s no guarantee that defensive tackle Tom Johnson will be back with the team next season. Tomasson notes that Minnesota is willing to pay the 33-year-old, but his return will “depend on other offers he might get.” The writer also writes that Johnson asked for a one-year, $4MM extension last season, but the Vikings ultimately balked. Johnson started 15 of 16 games last season, compiling 32 tackles and two sacks.

Vikings Sign RB Bronson Hill

After working out running backs David Cobb and Bronson Hill earlier on Saturday, the Vikings decided to sign Hill, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (on Twitter).

Hill will have an uphill battle toward cracking the Vikings’ 53-man roster, with Latavius Murray, Dalvin Cook and Jerick McKinnon under contract. But Hill, an Eastern Michigan alum who’s been in the NFL since 2015, still has practice squad eligibility. The team did not sign Cobb, a University of Minnesota alum and former Titans fifth-round pick.

The 24-year-old Hill played in three games with the Jaguars last season and has just two career carries, but Tomasson reports (on Twitter) he was going to work out for the Falcons next week if not signed by the Vikings. Hill has bounced around the league during the past three preseasons, with the Bengals, Bills, Bears, Dolphins and Saints having him on their respective rosters briefly before he caught on in Jacksonville.

Minnesota lost reclamation project Bishop Sankey to a torn ACL on Friday. The team waived the former second-round pick to make room. Sankey, who hasn’t played in a game since 2015, will revert to Minnesota’s IR list once he clears waivers.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/11/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Vikings placed Bishop Sankey on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Minnesota signed the former Titans second-round pick to a reserve/futures contract in January, but an MRI Friday revealed Sankey tore an ACL. He will miss the season. Sankey hasn’t played in a game since 2015.
  • Cut by both the 49ers and Jets in August, Bruce Ellington caught on with a third team this month. The Texans agreed to terms with the wide receiver/return specialist, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Jets waived Ellington with an injury designation, but a Friday workout with the Texans provided a green light for the franchise to sign him. The Texans are currently reeling at wideout. In addition to Will Fuller‘s absence, Braxton Miller and DeAndrew White aren’t practicing. Ellington missed all of last season with a torn hamstring.
  • The Jaguars signed veteran running back Jonathan Grimes and waived running back Tyler Gaffney with an injury designation, the team announced. Grimes is a five-year NFL veteran whose most notable work came as a backup for the Texans from 2012-16. He gained 455 yards from scrimmage in 2015, the final year Arian Foster suffered a severe injury.
  • Defensive end Keionta Davis agreed to terms with the Patriots, who cut cornerback Dwayne Thomas to make room, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. A rookie out of Chattanooga, Davis was invited to the Combine but wasn’t drafted or signed after the draft.
  • The Chargers re-signed tight end Matt Weiser, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter). A University of Buffalo alum, Weiser spent time with the Bolts during their final San Diego camp last summer but was cut just before the season.
  • The Colts reached injury settlements with tight end (and former VCU basketball standout) Mo Alie-Cox and wideout Harvey Binford, Wilson tweets.
  • Mykkele Thompson‘s time as a Giants secondary cog could be coming to a close. After Big Blue cut Thompson — a fifth-round pick in 2015 — on Thursday, he cleared waivers. NJ.com’s Dan Duggan expects an injury settlement to follow (Twitter link). Duggan notes this Thompson is battling a minor quadriceps injury.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

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Vikings Sign Bishop Sankey To Practice Squad

Bishop Sankey has been wandering the NFL all season long but he’s hoping to take his coat off and stay a while with his new team. The Vikings announced that they have signed the young running back to the practice squad. Bishop Sankey (vertical)

Sankey, a 2014 second-round pick, was released by the Titans’ new regime this fall. At one time, Sankey was being groomed for the primary running back role in Tennessee. This offseason, he didn’t demonstrate enough progress to keep his place on a team carrying four running backs.

After his release, Sankey spent time on the Patriots’ practice squad and the Chiefs’ 53-man roster. Earlier this week, KC released Sankey in an apparent endorsement of Knile Davis‘ as the last back behind Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West.

Currently, the Vikings have Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata, and fullback Zach Line on the 53-man roster. It stands to reason that they could add another tailback to the mix. Sankey now stands as the only RB on the p-squad and has a prime opportunity for a promotion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Waive Bishop Sankey

Bishop Sankey‘s tenure with the Chiefs has come to an end. According to NESN.com’s Doug Kyed (via Twitter), Kansas City has waived the running back.

Bishop Sankey (vertical)Sankey was signed off the Patriots practice squad in early November, but the running back didn’t end up making a single appearance with his new team. The former second-round pick has struggled during his two seasons in the league. In 199 career carries, Sankey has run for 762 yards (3.8-yard average) and three touchdowns. The running back also has 32 career receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown.

Sankey was originally brought in following Jamaal Charles‘ knee injury. However, Spencer Ware proved that he was more than capable of carrying the load at running back, while backups Charcandrick West and Knile Davis were presumably more familiar with the offense than Sankey.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Sign RB Bishop Sankey

The Chiefs have signed running back Bishop Sankey off of the Patriots’ practice squad, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweetsBishop Sankey (vertical)

The signing of Sankey could be a sign that Jamaal Charles‘ knee issues are rather serious. Kansas City is also awaiting word on Spencer Ware as he goes through concussion protocol. And, just a couple of weeks ago, KC shipped Knile Davis to the Packers (he was released yesterday). That left the Chiefs with Charcandrick West as their only healthy running back, necessitating today’s move.

Sankey was once viewed as the Titans’ top running back but he was dropped before the 53-man deadline this year. Sankey, 24, appeared in all 16 games for the Titans as a rookie but amassed only 569 yards off of 152 carries. Last season, Sankey’s role was reduced even further has he had only 47 rushing attempts for 193 yards in 13 games.

The Patriots recently gave a $52,700 raise to Sankey, but that was not enough to keep him from jumping at a 53-man roster opportunity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Lewis, Jackson, Bennett, Butler

The Patriots have made team-friendly extension offers to a number of their pending free agents — including Martellus Bennett, Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, and Logan Ryan — but so far, no player has been interested in putting pen to paper, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Given that the salary cap continues to rise, each of these impending free agents figures to cash in the open market, and therefore have little incentive to agree to any offer New England puts on the table.

Here’s more on the Patriots, who are now 5-1 after beating the Bengals today:

  • After opening the year on the physically unable to perform list, running back Dion Lewis is eligible to begin practicing this week. There’s a chance that happens, but it also wouldn’t be surprising for the Patriots to hold Lewis out of game action until after the club’s November bye, writes Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Lewis has made “positive progress” as he recovers from ACL surgery, per Reiss, but New England will exude caution nonetheless.
  • Offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson also started the season on the PUP list, but he’s closer to returning than is Lewis, reports Reiss. Mason is expected to practice this week, and should be able to play again as soon very soon. In fact, New England’s release of guard Jonathan Cooper may have precipitated by Mason’s health.
  • The Patriots recently gave $52,700 raises to four practice squad players — running back Bishop Sankey, defensive end Geneo Grissom, guard Chris Barker, and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. For what it’s worth, Grissom and Johnson were then promoted to active roster on Saturday.

Extra Points: Sankey, Chiefs, Cowboys, McCarron

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up the weekend…

  • At least five teams expressed interest in Bishop Sankey before the running back landed on the Patriots‘ practice squad, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
  • The Chiefs brought in several players for workouts on Saturday, according to Terez A. Paylor of KansasCity.com: RB Zac Brooks, RB David Cobb, C Anthony Fabiano, DT David Moala, OG Ian Silberman, and DE Quanterus Smith.
  • After having waived quarterback Jameill Showers earlier today, the Cowboys are hoping the signal-caller will land on their practice squad, according to Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News (via Twitter).
  • The Bengals are planning on holding on to three quarterbacks and have no “plans” of trading A.J. McCarron, according to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). Earlier reports indicated that the team was seeking at least “Day 2 draft picks” in return for the backup QB.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphins, Patriots, and Jets 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 East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day (all links go to Twitter unless noted otherwise):

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets