Brian Dixon

NFL Workout Updates: 10/19/17

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

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

West Notes: Seahawks, Reddick, Chiefs

Despite failing to live up to his first-round status with the Eagles, Marcus Smith said he generated considerable interest during his brief stay in free agency. Prior to signing with the Seahawks in late July, Smith said he had offers from the Packers, Chiefs and Colts, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. However, this Seahawks regime being interested in the then-Louisville product during the 2014 draft — with Condotta noting the team traded out of the first round after he went off the board to Philly at pick No. 26 — and former college assistant Clint Hurtt now Seattle’s defensive line coach made it a better fit than those other teams would have, Smith said.

Condotta adds Smith will now serve as the Seahawks’ first end off the bench now that Frank Clark will take the injured Cliff Avril‘s place in the starting lineup. Smith finished with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his new team’s Sunday-night win over the Colts.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Northwest and other West locales in advance of Week 5.

  • Despite being hospitalized for what was viewed at the time as a scary injury, Rees Odhiambo may return to action without missing a game. Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable expects his starting left tackle to play on Sunday against the Rams, Condotta tweets. Odhiambo was hospitalized for what was called a chest contusion (or bruised heart) Sunday night. He’s the second Seattle left tackle starter to suffer a serious injury, joining George Fant (ACL tear) in that regard. But this serious-sounding setback may not force the Seahawks to make another change on their starting O-line.
  • One of the Cardinals‘ fallout solutions for replacing Markus Golden, lost for the season with a torn ACL, will be to experiment with first-round pick Haason Reddick at outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said (via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com) there are packages set to be unveiled Sunday featuring Reddick as an outside linebacker. Bettcher wouldn’t confirm if Reddick is being moved outside full-time, but Weinfuss notes these packages with the rookie on the edge will be part of the solution to replacing Golden. Reddick started Arizona’s first three games at inside linebacker but went to the bench after Deone Bucannon reclaimed his job in Week 4. Bucannon and veteran Karlos Dansby are the Cards’ starting inside ‘backers, and with the team not considering a Dwight Freeney reunion, it’s possible they’re looking at this outside-the-box solution seriously.
  • The Chiefs have added interesting wrinkles to their unorthodox offense this season, and while this misidirection-based scheme resulted in some zany college-style plays and has helped the team to 4-0, it’s also probably led Alex Smith being on the injury report with an ankle issue. While Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the fifth-year Chiefs starting quarterback is expected to start Sunday against the Texans, past experience — i.e. playing well prior to a 2012 injury costing him his job once Colin Kaepernick emerged — should accelerate Smith’s drive to stay on the field. That said, the polish gap between Smith and Mahomes is likely considerable at this point. A permanent switch in 2017 — one Kansas City’s brass ruled out before the season — would be considerably different than Tom Savage losing his job to Deshaun Watson, especially considering how well Smith is playing thus far.
  • The Seahawks worked out guards Willie Beavers and Cole Toner, along with tackle D.J. Tialavea, Howard Balzer of SportsOnEarth tweets. The Bengals cut Toner from their practice squad late last month. Beavers has been on the workout circuit since the Patriots cut him from theirs in early September.
  • Holding an apparent defensive backs-only audition, the Raiders worked out several secondary cogs this week. Cornerback Brian DixonDemetrius McCray and Deji Olatoye participated. As did ex-Giants safety Mykkele Thompson, per Balzer (on Twitter). Dixon is the biggest name of this contingent, having spent three seasons with the Saints.
  • Linebacker Josh Keyes visited both the Chargers and Colts this week, Balzer tweets. These are the first known workouts for Keyes since the Falcons cut him prior to the season.

NFC Notes: Rams, Donald, Falcons

No surprise here, but Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is expected to miss Sunday’s season opener against Indianapolis as he continues his holdout, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Donald is presently at home with his family on the east coast and the two sides are not close to an agreement.

Holdouts typically do not drag into the regular season, but Donald has less to lose by staying home than other players fighting for a better contract. Le’Veon Bell, in theory, could have tried to drum up leverage by taking his holdout into mid-September, but that would have meant forfeiting game checks on a $12.12MM salary. Donald, meanwhile, is slated to earn only a fraction of that – $3.225MM – in 2017.

While we wait to see how things shake out between Donald and the Rams, let’s take a look at more news from the NFC:

  • The Falcons converted $1MM of center Alex Mack‘s $6.75MM base salary into a signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The move creates $750K of cap space for the current season. The Falcons are near the bottom of the league in terms of cap space this year, so every bit of flexibility will help them.
  • Cardinals punter Andy Lee‘s new contract calls for base salaries of $1MM per year in 2017 and 2018, Mike Jurecki of 98.7 FM tweets. Arizona is hoping that Lee, 35, will help to turn around one of the league’s poorest punting units from 2016.
  • The Bears auditioned eight players on Wednesday, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: wide receivers Mario Alford, Montay Crockett, Frankie Hammond, and Darreus Rogers were joined by defensive backs Dante Blackmon, Alex Carter, Brian Dixon, and Damian Swann. While Hammond and Dixon have played in the most NFL games, Carter might the most notable name on the list. A third-round pick of Detroit only two years ago, Carter has been limited by injuries and poor play and has only appeared in one pro contest.
  • The Cardinals worked out running back Darius Victor on Wednesday, according to Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune (Twitter link), who reports Victor has another audition on Monday for an unidentified team. Victor, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Towson, spent a month on New Orleans’ roster earlier this summer but was waived during final cutdowns. He’s likely a candidate for Arizona’s practice squad.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Jaguars Move Roster To 53

The Jaguars have reduced their roster to the league-mandated 53 by making the following transactions:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Placed on IR:

Jaguars Place Bryan Walters On IR

The Jaguars re-signed Bryan Walters in March on a two-year deal, but a sudden development affecting the wide receiver’s timeline looks to have changed the plans. Walters sustained a foot injury recently that will send him to the Jags’ IR, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

While the precise injury isn’t specified, it looks to end Walters’ season. It would have been the veteran’s third with the Jaguars. To replace Walters on the 90-man roster, Jacksonville signed cornerback Brian Dixon. The Jags also added now-well-traveled corner Tyler Patmon in a separate transaction Monday.

The 29-year-old Walters finished last season as a backup but one who served as the team’s No. 4 wide receiver. The former Seahawks special-teamer caught 24 passes for 231 yards and two scores. He was more productive a year earlier, recording a career-high 368 air yards on 32 receptions. The Jaguars added Dede Westbrook in the fourth round of the draft and still have Rashad Greene and Arrelious Benn on their roster.

Dixon, 27, comes to Jacksonville after the Cardinals cut him to make room for newer UDFAs earlier this month. The former UDFA out of Northwest Missouri State spent more than two seasons with the Saints, playing in 37 games. The 26-year-old Patmon also entered the league as a 2014 UDFA, doing so with the Cowboys. He made two starts for Dallas but was cut during the 2015 season. The Jags will be his sixth team. The Panthers cut Patmon on the same day Dixon was waived.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/2/17

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Waived: LB Cavellis Luckett

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • Waived: K Brett Maher

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/28/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Cardinals signed cornerback Brian Dixon off the Saints’ practice squad, NOLA.com’s Herbie Teope reports. Dixon has spent most of this season on the Saints’ practice squad after the 2014 UDFA during the first two seasons of his career resided on New Orleans’ active roster. The 26-year-old Division II product played in five games for the Saints this season.
  • The Titans placed defensive end Mehdi Abdesmad on IR and added rookie defensive tackle Antwaun Woods to the 53-man roster. Signed as a UDFA in May, Woods has bounced on and off the Titans’ practice squad this season.
  • The Jets signed running back Brandon Burks off of the practice squad. The rookie out of Troy gained 1,300-plus yards from scrimmage as a senior last season.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/9/16

Today’s practice squad moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/7/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Titans announced that they’ve promoted running back David Fluellen from the practice squad and waived cornerback Cody Riggs. Fluellen’s signing could be an indication that Derrick Henry might miss multiple games with a calf injury, as head coach Mike Mularkey hinted at today. Henry tweaked his calf during warmups yesterday and didn’t play a single snap.
  • The Saints claimed tight end John Phillips off waivers from the Chargers, according to Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com. Phillips has 103 games under his belt, and has mostly served as a blocker throughout his career. New Orleans also waived cornerback Brian Dixon and defensive end Chris McCain, tweets Nick Underhill of the Advocate.
  • After placing veteran running back Antone Smith on injured reserve, the Buccaneers have promoted Russell Hansbrough from the practice squad, the team announced. Hansbrough has bounced on and off Tampa’s taxi squad this year.
  • The Packers announced that they’ve promoted fullback Joe Kerridge to the active roster and waived safety Jermaine Whitehead.
  • The Texans waived tackle Jeff Adams, the club announced today. Adams, 27, had spent portions of the past two seasons with Houston.
  • The Chiefs have waived cornerback Terrance Mitchell, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).

Saints Promote Brian Dixon

The Saints will officially place safety Erik Harris on injured reserve today, according to Nick Underhill of The Advocate. Meanwhile, Brian Dixon will be promoted to the 53-man roster. It was reported earlier this week that Harris would be shut down for the season. Brian Dixon (vertical)

Harris’ primary role was on special teams and Dixon will be used to fill that void. Dixon, who appeared in every regular season game for New Orleans in 2014 and 2015, has 31 total tackles and two forced fumbles to his credit. The Northwest Missouri State product was in uniform against the Chargers but was later released and signed to the practice squad.

To fill Dixon’s spot on the taxi squad, linebacker Chris McCain has been signed. The Saints acquired McCain in a trade with the Dolphins in exchange for a conditional pick this offseason but he was cut days later. McCain, 25 in November, picked up a sack and a forced fumble in 2015, but only played on 113 total snaps (43 on defense).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.