Brian Leonard

Workout Notes: Pats, Chiefs, Broncos, Jets

Now that cutdowns are completed, teams have begun auditioning players that are still on the free agent market, either in an effort to upgrade their current roster or to update their emergency free agent lists. Let’s take a look at the workouts that have been reported today:

Saints Cut Brian Leonard, Sign Jalen Saunders

Having completed a series of roster moves yesterday, the Saints once again tweaked their 53-man squad today, according to Field Yates of, who reports (via Twitter) that the club has signed wide receiver Jalen Saunders from off the Seahawks’ practice squad, cutting running back Brian Leonard to create space for Saunders.

A Jets fourth-round draft pick back in May, Saunders was cut earlier this season after muffing a pair of punts, and has since spent time on the Cardinals’ and Seahawks’ practice squads. While the rookie wideout certainly won’t be called upon to take over Brandin Cooks‘ role or replicate his production in New Orleans, the Saints’ decision to sign him appears related to having to put their own rookie receiver on IR yesterday due to a season-ending thumb injury.

As for Leonard, he had signed with the Saints a week ago to provide backfield depth. The fact that the team is comfortable releasing him a day after cutting fellow running back Edwin Baker suggests that perhaps Pierre Thomas and/or Khiry Robinson will return to action this weekend.

Saints Sign Brian Leonard, Cut Two

4:19pm: Linebacker Todd Davis has also been waived by the Saints, tweets Triplett. That should make room for Morgan and leave the team with the standard 53 players.

1:38pm: The Saints have placed rookie safety Vinnie Sunseri on injured reserve, tweets Mike Triplett of While that could be the corresponding move for Leonard’s signing, the team will have to subtract one more player from its roster to also accommodate the return of suspended receiver Joe Morgan, whose roster exemption expires today.

11:29am: After working out for the team yesterday, free agent running back Brian Leonard appears set to sign with the Saints. Agent Mike McCartney announced today, via Twitter, that he’s “excited” for his client to join the club.

A seven-year veteran, Leonard has appeared in 87 games for the Rams, Bengals, and Buccaneers since being selected in the second round of the 2007 draft. Last season in Tampa Bay, the veteran back carried the ball 47 times for 182 yards, adding 29 receptions for 179 yards.

Running backs Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson have been out of the Saints’ lineup in recent weeks, and while the two backs were thought to be on the road to recovery, the addition of Leonard suggests they aren’t ready to return to the field quite yet. Backup running back Edwin Baker also left Sunday’s game with a concussion, further thinning out New Orleans’ backfield.

The Saints will need to make a corresponding roster move to make the signing of Leonard official.

Workout Notes: Tuesday

We’ll keep track of today’s workouts and visits here..

  • The Colts worked out notable kick returner Josh Cribbs, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Cribbs is the NFL’s all-time co-leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns with eight.
  • The Titans worked out former Packers first round pick Derek Sherrod, Yates tweets. The offensive tackle was cut by the Packers late last month.
  • The Panthers also auditioned Sherrod and Kevin Greene, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets.
  • Defensive tackle Fred Evans tried out for the Seahawks, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • The Saints tried out safeties M.D. Jennings and Kenny Phillips, according to Balzer (on Twitter). Jamarca Sanford was signed earlier today, so Jennings and Phillips probably won’t be coming to New Orleans.
  • The Saints also auditioned running backs Andre Brown, Tim Hightower, Mikel LeShoure, and Rutgers alum Brian Leonard, according to Yates (via Mike Triplett on Twitter).
  • The Packers looked at defensive tackle Kenny Horsley, safety Kimario McFadden, and linebacker Chaz Sutton, Rob Demovsky of tweets.
  • The Falcons are working out former Utah State center Tyler Larsen today, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins worked out Jonte Green, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks worked out running backs Johri Fogerson, Stanley Havili, and Karl Williams, Wilson tweets.
  • The Titans worked out tight end Dorin Dickerson today, Wilson tweets. The Titans removed him from the IR with an injury settlement in August.

AFC South Notes: Titans, Texans, Colts

We’ve got plenty of news to round up today on teams working out free agents, including updates from all four AFC South clubs. Here’s a look at which players the Titans, Texans, Colts, and Jaguars have been auditioning recently:

AFC Notes: Jones, Texans, Raiders, Browns

The Bengals will be without wide receiver Marvin Jones for at least “a few weeks,” according to Geoff Hobson of, who reports (via Twitter) that Jones broke his foot and had a pin put in his fifth metatarsal. The timetable for Jones’ return isn’t clear yet, but Hobson suggests (via Twitter) that placing him on the short-term IR isn’t entirely out of the question — I doubt the Bengals make that move, but we probably shouldn’t expect to see the wideout back on the field by the time Cincinnati’s regular season gets underway.

Here’s more from across the AFC:

  • The Texans worked out veteran running backs Ronnie Brown, Brian Leonard, and William Powell today, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). None of the three were immediately signed by the club.
  • While a move to San Antonio by the Raiders already seemed very unlikely, a new report may further reduce Mark Davis‘ interest in South Texas. According to Tom Orsborn and Josh Baugh of the San Antonio Express-News, the Spurs’ ownership group would want a controlling interest in any NFL franchise that moved to San Antonio.
  • Only about a week after he was claimed off waivers from Seattle by the Browns, offensive lineman Michael Bowie suffered a shoulder injury that may sideline him for the season. Head coach Mike Pettine says no decision has been made yet, though it’s looking like Bowie will be out for the year, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
  • Ulrich was also among the reporters who spoke to Jordan Cameron today, and the tight end said talks with the Browns on a contract extension have been ongoing and positive. Cameron is hopeful that something can be worked out in time for the regular season (Twitter link).
  • Although they auditioned a few veteran quarterbacks today, it seems the Dolphins wanted a look at those players just in case they need one down the road, says Jason La Canfora of, adding that the club doesn’t necessarily need to bring one aboard right now (Twitter link).
  • After rewarding him in the offseason with a lucrative four-year contract extension, the Colts are hoping for elite play out of cornerback Vontae Davis in 2014 and beyond, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.

NFC Links: Cowboys, 49ers, Suh, Cardinals, Redskins

Let’s see what’s happening around the NFC on this Sunday evening…

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged that the team nearly selected Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, tweets’s Dan Hellie. The owner added that he will rethink the decision “for the rest of (his) career.” Jones did clarify that he ultimately made the correct pick in offensive tackle Zack Martin (again via a tweet from Hellie).
  • 49ers running back LaMichael James dislocated his elbow in practice and will miss a month, writes Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. With Kendall Hunter out for the season with a torn ACL, the team only has rookie Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton as backup options for Frank Gore.
  • With a depleted running back group,’s Bill Williamson can envision the 49ers placing Hunter on the IR and adding a free agent running back (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets out a list of possibilities: Willis McGahee, Felix Jones, Michael Bush, Kahlil Bell, Bernard Scott, LaRod Stephens-Howling and (in a separate tweet) fullback Brian Leonard.
  • Count Lions head coach Jim Caldwell among those who believe a contract extension will get done between the team and Ndamukong Suh“I’m always optimistic,” Caldwell said to’s Michael Rothstein“I think you know me by now, and I think without question they are working at it, and I think something will be done at the appropriate time.”
  • The Cardinals used Robert Hughes as a fullback during practice, and’s Josh Weinfuss says the player is a “strong possibility” to be the team’s fourth running back.
  • The Redskins’ release of linebacker Brandon Jenkins should allow some younger players to shine, writes’s John Keim. “We like the play of the guys behind him,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “We thought the earlier we make that move to give Brandon a chance to go somewhere else would be beneficial to him.”

Pats Work Out Ronnie Brown, Three Others

While most NFL teams are taking an extended look at undrafted free agents and other young players, the Patriots have an eye on a handful of veterans. According to Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange (via Twitter), New England recently worked out runnings backs Ronnie Brown and Brian Leonard, as well as tight ends Ben Hartsock and Nate Byham.

The Patriots haven’t carried many big-play receivers on their roster in recent years, but the club’s variety of options at running back and tight end give Tom Brady a number of weapons with which to work. Although New England didn’t select a tight end in this month’s draft, the team added Wisconsin running back James White to join Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in the backfield.

Brown will turn 33 later this year, but contributed in a reserve role last season, accumulating 45 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers. Leonard also continues to earn touches, having totaled 47 rushes and 29 receptions for the Buccaneers in 2013. As for Hartsock and Byham, the two tight ends are primarily blockers — between them, they’ve hauled in just 42 passes in 160 combined games during their careers.

For now, it seems the Patriots have opted not to sign any of the players they auditioned, though that could change. It’s also possible that the club is keeping its eye on veteran free agents in the event of injuries later this summer.