Brandon Thompson

NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/17

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

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Browns Trim Roster To 65

The Browns have begun reducing their roster count in advance of tomorrow’s 53-man deadline. Cleveland announced the following transactions:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Released:

Waived:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Sign DT Brandon Thompson

The Browns have already found a replacement for Desmond Bryant, as Cleveland announced that they’ve signed fellow defensive tackle Brandon Thompson.Brandon Thompson (Vertical)

While Thompson doesn’t offer the experience or history of production of Bryant, he is roughly four years younger (age-27) than his defensive line counterpart. Having just been released by the Bengals on Monday, Thompson also presumably has some level of familiarity with Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson, who was previously Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator.

A former third-round selection, Thompson never broke into the starting lineup for the Bengals during his five-year run with the club (with the exception of 2013, when he started seven contests after Geno Atkins went down with injury). Still, he was a serviceable reserve, appearing in 39 games and and posting three sacks from 2012-15. Thompson didn’t see the field in 2016 after suffering a torn ACL the previous December.

Thompson should have an opportunity to earn playing time in the place of Bryant, but he’ll have to compete with several other players. Trevon ColeyJamie MederXavier Cooper, and rookies Caleb Brantley and Larry Ogunjobi are among the interior defenders who could see action alongside nose tackle Danny Shelton during the upcoming campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Release DT Brandon Thompson

The Bengals have released defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, the club announced today. Cincinnati also waived wide receiver Karel Hamilton and running back Stanley Williams.Brandon Thompson (Vertical)

Thompson, 27, re-signed with the Bengals on a one-year contract prior to the 2016 season after having torn his ACL in December 2015. Although he attempted to work his way back to the field, Thompson never played last year and spent the campaign on the physically unable to perform list. As such, his contract tolled, meaning he was still under Cincinnati control for 2017.

A former third-round selection, Thompson never broke into the starting lineup for the Bengals during his five-year run with the club (with the exception of 2013, when he started seven contests after Geno Atkins went down with injury). Still, he was a serviceable reserve, appearing in 39 games and and posting three sacks from 2012-15.

Hamilton and Williams, meanwhile, were each undrafted rookie free agents earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bolts, Bengals, Bills, Browns, Pats

Cornerback Brandon Flowers‘ NFL future is in question after the Chargers placed him on injured reserve Wednesday, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Flowers had a history of concussions even before suffering two this year, and he told Gehlken in November, “I have to make sure I am sane and can function and remember things after football.” If the soon-to-be 31-year-old does continue his career in 2017, it probably won’t be in San Diego, per Gehlken, who points to the cap savings that would come with releasing Flowers. By cutting the nine-year veteran and three-year Charger, the Bolts would free up $7MM in spending space compared to $4MM in dead money for 2017.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Bengals defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will remain on the physically unable to perform list and will not play in 2016, according to Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. Thompson, 27, tore his ACL at the tail end of the 2015 campaign, but then re-signed with Cincinnati on a one-year deal. He’d been practicing for the past two weeks, but Bengals coaches don’t feel Thompson has progressed enough for a return to action.
  • A few prominent Bills are publicly rallying around embattled head coach Rex Ryan, whom the franchise could move on from after the season. “I think Rex is the guy for the job,” running back LeSean McCoy said. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins would also like the Bills to stay the course with Ryan, he told the Associated Press. And guard Richie Incognito wants to “fight for Rex. “I want to go out there and get wins and keep him around here” (all links here). With games against winless Cleveland, a Dolphins team that could be without Ryan Tannehill and the Jets, the 6-7 Bills seemingly have a decent chance of hitting the nine-win mark by season’s end. Buffalo went 8-8 last year under Ryan in his first season with the team.
  • Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor‘s three-year, $15MM extension includes $5.5MM in fully guaranteed money, relays ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link).
  • The Patriots worked out three free agents – running back Shakir Bell, defensive tackle Michael Brooks and linebacker Deon Lacey – on Wednesday, tweets Doug Kyed of NESN. The only member of the trio with NFL experience is Brooks, who appeared in one game with the Seahawks in 2013.
  • The Texans tried out a pair of offensive linemen in guard Sean Hickey and tackle Jason Weaver on Wednesday, according to Caplan (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/22/16

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Bengals announced that they have formally cleared defensive tackle Brandon Thompson – previously on the PUP list – to return to practice. They now have an open spot on the roster. Thompson has spent four-plus seasons in Cincinnati, appearing in 39 games.
  • The Falcons announced the signing of punter Matt Wile to the 53-man roster. The deal could be a sign that Matt Bosher‘s hamstring will cause him to miss games. Before coming to Atlanta, Wile had contracts with Carolina and Dallas. He was a kicker at Michigan and a hopeful NFL kicker, but he’ll be punting for the Falcons.
  • The Jets signed wide receiver Jeremy Ross and waived linebacker Taiwan Jones. This marks the third time that the Jets have signed Ross in 2016. If the speedy wideout takes over return duties, the Jets could look to utilize C.J. Spiller in the running game.
  • The Lions announced that they have waived wide receiver Corey Fuller. The 2013 sixth-round pick had 18 catches for 288 yards over two-plus seasons in Detroit.
  • The Chargers have promoted cornerback Trovon Reed from the practice squad, the team announced. The former Auburn standout has yet to make an NFL appearance. The defensive back will be taking the roster spot of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who was placed on the injured reserve today.
  • The 49ers have promoted safety Vinnie Sunseri from the practice squad, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). The former Alabama star last played in the NFL with the Saints in 2014. The 25-year-old will be taking the roster spot previously held by Eric Reid, who was placed on the injured reserve today.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Jackson III, Ravens

The Bengals haven’t yet made a decision on which player they will bring back from injured reserve, as Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com writes. Cincinnati has two options for IR/return — first-round cornerback William Jackson III and veteran running back Cedric Peerman — and both are “essentially healthy,” per Terrell, meaning the Bengals are simply biding their time before choosing between the two.

“Obviously the first-round pick is an asset, and you want to get him involved,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “We’ve had him all year since he’s been back from Houston and since the surgery, so to keep him invested in the football team.” The Bengals’ secondary has been below-average, meaning Jackson — who will the only 2016 first-rounder who hasn’t seen the field after Jared Goff starts for the Rams tomorrow — would be a welcome option. But Cincinnati’s sub-par special teams unit is missing its ace in Peerman, making the decision between the pair all the more difficult.

Here’s more on the Bengals and the rest of the AFC North:

  • Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will return to practice next week, said Lewis, opening a three-week window during which the Bengals can choose to transfer Thompson from the PUP list to the active roster. Thompson suffered a torn ACL in the 2015 season finale after spending the year as a reserve, appearing in nine games and acting as a run-stuffer. If Cincinnati doesn’t opt to active Thompson in the next three weeks, he’ll either need to stay on PUP for the rest of season or be waived.
  • Because Crockett Gillmore is dealing with an injury, the Ravens have continually added a tight end to their practice squad in recent weeks to ensure that they have enough bodies for practice sessions, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes (all Twitter links). Quarterback David Fales has been the victim in such scenarios, having been repeatedly dropped from the taxi squad to create room for a tight end. That series of transactions will likely end next week, per Zrebiec, as TE Nick Boyle will be eligible to return from a 10-game PED suspension.
  • The Steelers made a number of moves earlier today, placing wide receiver Markus Wheaton and defensive end Cameron Heyward on injured reserve while activating edge rusher Bud Dupree from IR and promoting running back Daryl Richardson from the practice squad.
  • Yesterday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said it would be a “coup” if Cleveland could retain recently-acquired linebacker Jamie Collins, and also indicated that quarterback Robert Griffin III would begin practicing next week.

Bengals Cut Brandon Tate, Roster At 75

The Bengals have released wide receiver Brandon Tate, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), and they’ve also waived fellow WR Mario Alford with an injury designation, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Additionally, Cincinnati has placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings on injured reserve and fellow DT Brandon Thompson on PUP. The club’s roster is now at 75.Brandon Tate (Vertical)

[RELATED: Cedric Peerman Fractures Arm]

Tate, 28, has been on Cincinnati’s roster since the 2011 season, but most of his contributions have come on special teams rather than on offense. He’s returned more than 350 kicks and punts during his time with the Bengals, averaging 9.6 yards per return on kickoffs and 24.6 yards on punts. Tate is highly-respected by the Cincinnati coaching staff and front office, and Rapoport notes that the club released him now so that he might be able to latch on with another club.

Alford, meanwhile, was thought to be contending for both returner jobs, but injuries have kept him off the field. The former sixth-round pick will revert to the Bengals’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers.

The Bengals also released kicker Jon Brown from the injured reserve list, presumably with an injury settlement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: P. Robinson, Robertson, Cook

Listed below are some specific details on several of the latest contracts recently agreed upon or signed by NFL free agents. All links courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.

AFC:

  • Patrick Robinson, CB (Colts): Three years, $14MM. $6MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2MM roster bonus due this Tuesday. $1MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year — becomes fully guaranteed if on roster beyond this Friday (all Twitter links).
  • Chris Hairston, OL (Chargers): Two years, $2.9MM. $550K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Thompson, DT (Bengals): One year, $840K. $50K signing bonus. $30K workout bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Leonard Hankerson, WR (Bills): One year, minimum salary benefit. $40K workout bonus. $40K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).
  • Steven Johnson, LB (Steelers): One year, minimum salary benefit. $25K signing bonus. $55K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).

NFC:

  • Craig Robertson, LB (Saints): Three years, $5MM. $1.965MM guaranteed. $1.2MM signing bonus. $250K roster bonus due on fifth day of 2017 league year. $275K due on fifth day of 2018 league year. Up to $1.5MM in annual incentives (Twitter links).
  • Jared Cook, TE (Packers): One year, $2.75MM. Up to $900K in incentives for catches, TDs, and Pro Bowl (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Courtney Upshaw, OLB (Falcons): One year, $1.25MM. $390K signing bonus. $100K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $250K in incentives for playing time and playoffs (Twitter links).
  • Mike Morgan, LB (Seahawks): One year, $1MM. $200K signing bonus. $150K incentive for playing time (Twitter link).
  • Jamarca Sanford, S (Saints): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus. $130K of $885K salary is guaranteed (Twitter link).

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/24/16

Here are today’s minor roster moves from around the NFL:

  • Bills offensive lineman Jordan Mills has inked his low-round tender, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). Mills will earn $1.671MM for 2016.

Earlier Updates:

  • Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson has re-signed with the Bengals, according to his representatives at Element Sports Group (Twitter link). Thompson, who visited the Seahawks earlier in free agency, figures to join Pat Sims in a rotational role behind starting defensive tackles Geno Atkins and Domata Peko. Rand Getlin of the NFL Network tweets that it’s a one-year deal, while Ian Rapoport of NFL.com suggests (via Twitter) that there will be playing-time bonuses or incentives for Thompson, who tore his ACL near the end of the 2015 season.
  • The Bears have re-signed receiver and return man Deonte Thompson on a one-year contract, the club announced today (via Twitter). Thompson, who didn’t play much of a role on Chicago’s offense last season, did post an impressive 29.2 yard average on kickoff returns, though he got just 14 attempts.
  • Ravens tight end Chase Ford has signed his restricted free agent tender, officially taking him off the market, the team announced today (via Twitter). Baltimore signed Ford off the Vikings’ practice squad last year, but placed him on IR with a season-ending shoulder injury shortly thereafter. He got the low-end RFA tender, worth $1.671MM.
  • The Seahawks have released snapper Andrew East, as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.