Bjoern Werner

Bjoern Werner Retires

After three disappointing seasons, free agent defensive end Bjoern Werner‘s NFL career is over. The 26-year-old revealed on German television that he’s retiring because teams aren’t showing interest in him, in part because of knee problems, per Scott Horner of the Indianapolis Star. Werner has undergone eight knee operations in the past eight years.

Bjoern Werner (vertical)

A former star at Florida State, where he racked up 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2012, the German-born Werner entered the pros as the Colts’ first-round pick in 2013. He was never able to live up to his status as the 24th overall selection in Indianapolis, where he appeared in 38 games and totaled 6.5 sacks. Four of those sacks came in his second season, as did a career-high 15 starts. Werner started only once as a rookie and not at all in 2015, when he also went without a sack in 10 games.

On the heels of his less-than-stellar third season, the Colts waived Werner last March. He then inked a deal with the AFC South rival Jaguars in the spring, but they released him at the end of August. Werner auditioned for the Lions and Saints during the season, though he wasn’t able to land a contract with either team.

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Saints Work Out DE Bjoern Werner

The Saints worked out defensive end Bjoern Werneraccording to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s not immediately clear if the team is thinking about signing the former first-round pick right now or if he is simply being kept in mind for injuries down the road. Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner, 26, appeared in 38 games for the Colts from 2013-2015, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery.

Following the 2015 season, Werner was cut by Indianapolis. This past spring, he hooked on with the Jaguars, but he was released in late August. Last month, he auditioned for the Lions, but that workout did not lead to a deal.

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Lions Audition Bjoern Werner, Two Tight Ends

The Lions are apparently spending their Tuesday taking a look at failed first-round picks. After working out former Jets draft pick Quinton Coples earlier today, Detroit auditioned ex-Colt/Jaguar Bjoern Werner, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets."<strong

[RELATED: Lions Re-Sign Aaron Dobson]

Werner, 26 appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery. Following the 2015 campaign, he was waived by Indianapolis.

Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah is expected to be out for Sunday’s game — and perhaps longer — as he deals with a high ankle sprain. Detroit, then, is presumably searching for some low-cost depth options as they brace for Ansah’s loss.

Werner and Coples weren’t the only players auditioning in Motown today, as the Lions also looked at free agent tight ends Justice Cunningham and Adrien Robinson, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).

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Jaguars Release Bjoern Werner

The Jaguars announced the release of former Colts first-round pick Bjoern Werner. In a related move, safety James Sample was placed on IR and tight end Nic Jacobs was released. The Jaguars are now down to 75.Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner, who turns 26 today, appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery. After the season, he was waived by the Colts.

Werner never lived up to expectations in Indianapolis, but was an inexpensive gamble for the Jaguars. His deal granted him an $80K bonus if he made the roster plus sack incentives, but it is unlikely that it contained any significant guarantees.

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AFC South Notes: Ihedigbo, Texans, Conklin

James Ihedigbo is looking for work and he says he’d love to play for his hometown team, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes.

I would love to play for the Houston Texans,” Ihedigbo said. “I think it’s a great fit. It could be a great fit for both of us. I could definitely add to an already stout defense.”

The Texans currently have six safeties behind presumptive starters Eddie Pleasant and Andre Hal. It remains to be seen whether they would displace one of their reserves to give the 32-year-old a chance.

Here’s more from the AFC South:

  • First-round pick Jack Conklin is working at both left and right tackle in his early days with the Titans, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com writes. Conklin is projected to start at right tackle this season, but he could also be the team’s top option in the event that left tackle Taylor Lewan gets hurt. Conklin, taken with the No. 8 overall pick, played at right tackle in his first three games at Michigan State before moving to left tackle primarily.
  • Bjoern Werner‘s minimum salary deal with the Jaguars gives him an $80K bonus if he makes the roster and an extra $300K if he reaches a certain sack total, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. Werner, 25, inked a prove-it deal with Jacksonville last week. The former first-round pick appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league.
  • The Colts named Todd Vasvari as their senior player personnel scout, Matt Terpening as the assistant director of college scouting, and Brandon Brown as an advanced scout, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The Colts also named Chad Henry as their east regional scout and Joey Elliott as a pro scout (Twitter link).

AFC Notes: Amendola, Sanchez, Mettenberger

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola underwent a pair of surgeries this offseason, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. The 30-year-old had surgery on his injured left knee, and he also had an operation to remove a bone spur in his ankle. Despite these ailments, Amendola still managed to play 14 games last season, compiling 65 catches for 648 yards and three touchdowns.

There is hope that Amendola will be healthy enough for training camp, but the organization is not planning on rushing him back. Since it’s so early in the process, Howe notes that there is “no guarantee” that the wideout will be ready for Week 1.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez injured his left thumb in the weight room last week, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The 29-year-old underwent surgery on Saturday, but he is only expected to miss “a few OTAs.”
  • Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman says he’s back to 100% on his knee, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post tweets. Heuerman, the 92nd overall pick in last year’s draft, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during rookie camp last year and missed the entire 2015 season.
  • Indianapolis castoff Bjoern Werner could be another late bloomer for the JaguarsHays Carlyon of The Florida Times-Union writes. Buffalo struck gold in the 2013 offseason when they traded with Indy for defensive end Jerry Hughes, a player who many had written off. Since then, Hughes has racked up 25 sacks for Jacksonville over the last three seasons. Werner has yet to produce in the NFL, but he is still just 25 years old and could theoretically turn things around with a change of scenery. The Jaguars signed Werner to a prove-it deal late last week.
  • The Titans released Zach Mettenberger today in order to give him a chance to do his OTAs and minicamp with a team and learn their system, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Jaguars Sign Bjoern Werner

THURSDAY, 9:35am: Werner’s contract with Jaguars does not contain any guaranteed money and is basically a “prove it” deal, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Caplan does not specify the length of the deal, but I would surmise that it is a one-year pact.

WEDNESDAY, 3:30pm: The Jaguars continue to make changes on their defensive line this offseason, announcing today that they’ve signed defensive end Bjoern Werner. A former first-round pick, Werner was waived by the Colts about two months ago.Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner, 25, appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery.

After being selected 24th overall in the 2013 draft, Werner never lived up to expectations with the Colts, but figures to be an inexpensive gamble for the Jaguars. Contract terms aren’t yet known, but I’d be surprised if Werner gets more than a minimum salary deal from Jacksonville.

The Jaguars added Malik Jackson in free agency, and will get Dante Fowler Jr. back from injury this season. The team also added Myles JackYannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day, Tyrone Holmes, and Jonathan Woodard on the third day of the draft, so there will be several new front-seven players vying for roles and roster spots in 2016.

In a corresponding roster move, the Jaguars also cut cornerback Chance Casey today.

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Colts Waive Former First-Round Pick Bjoern Werner

The Colts announced that they have waived outside linebacker Bjoern Werner. Werner was taken with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner didn’t see much playing time in 2015 and today’s news doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Had he remained on the Colts roster, Werner would have carried a $2.51MM cap number for the 2016 season. Now they will carry just $1MM in dead money while saving $1.48MM against the cap.

Werner has appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, he registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Last year, he appeared in 10 games with 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery.

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