Brice Butler

Dolphins Sign WR Brice Butler

The Dolphins signed Brice Butler to fill their open roster spot, according to a team announcement. At minimum, the wide receiver should help to replenish a group that has been dinged by injuries.

[RELATED: Dolphins Promote OL Isaac Asiata]

With DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant sidelined, Butler may be one of four healthy receivers heading into Nov. 25th’s game against the Colts. On the plus side, the Dolphins can use their bye week to heal up.

Butler rejoined the Cowboys this year after his signing with the Cardinals did not work out. He talked a big game in free agency, but he’s appeared in just one game through ten weeks of the season.

To his credit, the well-traveled pass-catcher averaged 21.1 yards per catch last season with Dallas. That season also marked a new career high in yards (317) and matched his previous watermark for touchdowns (3).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/6/18

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

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • LB Christian Kuntz

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

  • T Roubbens Joseph (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 11/5/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

AFC Notes: Gordon, Melvin, Marshall, Bosa

Josh Gordon has run afoul with a new team. The Patriots plan to discipline the oft-embattled wide receiver during tonight’s Bills game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), with tardiness at the root of the trade acquisition’s latest issue. New England will play without Gordon for a period of time tonight, around a quarter or “several series,” per Rapoport. Gordon showed up late to the Patriots’ facility on Sunday before the team left for Buffalo, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. After Gordon rides the bench to start the game, Rapoport adds he’ll return to his normal workload tonight. This benching is part of the team’s effort to manage and work with the 27-year-old wideout, one who had rampant trouble in Cleveland on this and other off-field fronts. If Gordon was on a low-tolerance policy with the Patriots, this doesn’t help his cause.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on trade deadline eve:

  • Bruce Irvin and Karl Joseph are believed to be on the trade block during the Raiders‘ rebuild, and, perhaps unsurprisingly based on the way his season’s gone, so is cornerback Rashaan Melvin. The recently signed corner was a healthy scratch against the Colts on Sunday, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link) Melvin is available for a trade. Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM deal but drew Jon Gruden‘s public scrutiny after complaining about his role on the Raiders and the coaching staff’s style earlier this season. Melvin, 29, was a well-regarded Colts starter at this point last season and almost certainly will not be part of the 2019 Raiders.
  • Broncos plans to trade Brandon Marshall, if that was ever the case, look to have hit a snag. The longtime Denver starting linebacker now has a bone bruise in one of his knees and will likely miss time because of it, Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets. Marshall, whose contract makes him far from a lock he’ll be on next year’s Broncos, surfaced in trade rumors over the weekend. One of the handful of Denver starting defenders left over from Super Bowl 50, Marshall has been a full-time starter since 2014. He signed an extension in 2016, but that deal includes a $9MM cap number next year. Rookie Josey Jewell has played well in part-time duty as well, and the Broncos could get an early look at the fifth-round pick as a starter if Marshall is forced to miss time.
  • Joey Bosa could make his season debut on Sunday. At least, the Chargers haven’t ruled it out. Anthony Lynn said it was possible Bosa plays in Week 9, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn said Bosa was getting closer. He’s missed seven Bolts games this season because of a bruised left foot, an injury he aggravated before Week 1. Lynn added he’s not ruling Melvin Gordon out, either.
  • The Texans followed through with their scheduled Brice Butler workout on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. In addition, Houston auditioned quarterback Brogan Roback, cornerback Craig Mager and wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Steven Mitchell.

Texans To Work Out WR Brice Butler

The Texans will work out former Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler on Friday, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). This marks Butler’s second audition of the week after working out for the Jets on Wednesday

[RELATED: Texans’ Will Fuller Done For Year]

Butler talked a big game heading into free agency and insisted on becoming a starter with his next team. He inked a two-year deal with the Cardinals in April, but did not make their initial cut in early September.

Last year, Butler showed flashes of being a strong deep threat. The 6-foot-3 target averaged 21.1 yards per catch in 2017, posting 317 air yards and three touchdowns on just 15 receptions. He averaged 21.5 yards per grab in 2015, his first year in Dallas, while working with various backups while Tony Romo was on the shelf.

If signed, Butler could help fill the void left by Will Fuller‘s season-ending ACL tear. He couldn’t ask for a much better opportunity to rebuild his value, especially as Keke Coutee also continues to work his way back from injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Meet With WR Brice Butler

Wide receiver Brice Butler visited the Jets on Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. As Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson deal with injuries, Butler may help fill the void.

Butler averaged 21.1 yards per catch last season with the Cowboys and parlayed that work into a two-year Arizona deal. He did not end up making the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, though, and returned to the Cowboys as roster depth for a shaky receiving corps. Earlier this week, the Cowboys put him back on the curb after trading for Amari Cooper.

The Jets recently brought Rishard Matthews into the fold and he could serve as one of their top three receivers when they face the Bears on Sunday. Jermaine Kearse, Andre Roberts, Charone Peake, and Deontay Burnett round out the WR depth chart, but one of the latter two could be displaced in favor of Butler.

Cowboys To Cut Brice Butler

Brice Butler‘s latest Cowboys stint will end as a result of the franchise’s Amari Cooper acquisition. The Cowboys informed Butler they intend to release him, Jane Slater of NFL.com tweets.

The veteran wide receiver rejoined the Cowboys this year after a Cardinals signing did not work out. He played in one game thus far this season and did not catch a pass.

The well-traveled pass-catcher averaged 21.1 yards per catch last season and parlayed that work into a two-year Arizona deal. He did not end up making the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, though, and returned to the Cowboys as roster depth for a shaky receiving corps.

Having begun his career with the Raiders as a seventh-round pick, Reggie McKenzie traded Butler to the Cowboys prior to the 2015 season. He played three seasons in Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Thomas, Bradford, Eagles, Reid

The Seahawks have indeed fined safety Earl Thomas, who missed practice for non-injury reasons for the second consecutive week. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Seahawks — who were considering imposing a substantial fine on Thomas last Sunday — fined the star defender for missing practice and for “other things.” Rapoport adds that “communication should increase going forward,” but it is presently unclear as to whether he is referring to communication between Thomas and Seattle or between Seattle and other clubs who may want to trade for Thomas. We heard earlier today that the Steelers were interested in Thomas, but there has been no communication between Seattle and Pittsburgh at this point.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds that the Seahawks are still asking for a second-round pick for Thomas, and that the Chiefs remain interested (though Kansas City does not want to give up a second-rounder). The Cowboys, of course, offered a second-round pick to Seattle earlier this year, but the Seahawks wanted more from Dallas at the time since the two teams were set to play each other last week. Now that the Cowboys-Seahawks matchup has taken place, perhaps the Seahawks will be more willing to consider the Cowboys’ offer, but Rapoport indicates (video link) that the Seahawks want two second round picks in exchange for Thomas, which seems like an especially lofty asking price.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Sam Bradford is now the Cardinals‘ No. 3 quarterback, per Schefter, who says that going forward, rookie Josh Rosen will be the starter and will be backed up by Mike Glennon (Twitter link). That means that Bradford will generally be inactive on game days and will miss out on his active roster bonuses of $312,500 per game, a situation we explored in more detail last week.
  • Another tough blow for Rams outside linebacker Dominique Easley. Per the team’s official website, Easley, who has suffered three torn ACLs since 2011, may be heading for his fourth surgery in the last seven years. Head coach Sean McVay said that Easley, who converted to outside linebacker during training camp, is suffering complications from his previous injuries.
  • Prior to signing him a few days ago, the Panthers did not ask new safety Eric Reid about his anthem protests or his collusion case against the league, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. GM Marty Hurney said team ownership was not involved in the signing, and that it was a purely football move.
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery will make his 2018 debut today, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (via Twitter). Rapoport (video link) reports that Jeffery’s status for this week was up in the air because of a virus that made him seriously ill, but that his shoulder is good to go.
  • As Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer observes, the Eagles have four prominent starters playing out the final year of their respective contracts: Jordan Hicks, Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, and Brandon Graham. Even if the Eagles wait until after the 2019 season to give quarterback Carson Wentz what will surely be a massive extension, Philadelphia has to plan for that contract now, which means the club will have some difficult decisions to make with respect to its impending free agents. McLane posits that Hicks is the most likely of the above-named players to be retained, and he examines the futures of all four players in detail.
  • Jane Slater of the NFL Network reports that Cowboys WR Terrance Williams will be inactive today, and that the recently re-signed Brice Butler will be leaned upon more heavily as a result (Twitter link). Williams, the most expensive receiver on Dallas’ roster, may be facing a suspension stemming from his May arrest and recently missed practice, though that absence was reportedly an excused one and was unrelated to the possible suspension. Williams, though, has just two catches for 18 yards this season, and the team wants to give someone else a shot.

East Rumors: Patriots, Cowboys, Bills

Reports of discord within the Patriots‘ organization are nothing new, but a new book by ESPN’s Ian O’Connor has shed even more light on the dynamic between head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. In “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” O’Connor reports that Brady would “divorce” Belichick if he could, but feared alienating New England fans after the Patriots traded backup (and possible successor) Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers last season. “If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor. Brady will return for yet another season with the Belichick and the Patriots after agreeing to a revised contract that includes multiple performance-based incentives.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • The Cowboys, perhaps unsurprisingly, don’t have any interest in re-signing veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant, as executive Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “Don’t necessarily see that at this moment, but we’re always looking for ways to improve,” Jones said. “Obviously we’re focused on the guys that are on our team at the moment.” Dallas is currently fielding arguably the league’s worst receiving corps, as complementary options such as Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, and Allen Hurns top the club’s depth chart. Bryant, though, wouldn’t be a clear improvement after a disappointing 2017 campaign. Now 29 years old, Bryant has been linked to multiple clubs this offseason, but only came close to a contact with the Browns, who could still opt to sign him.
  • Speaking of Bryant, the veteran receiver was a factor in Brice Butler re-signing with the Cowboys this week, per Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram, who notes Bryant told Butler to head back to Dallas if the opportunity presented itself. As Hill tweets, the Cowboys called Butler after a Week 1 loss to the Panthers, so his addition was in the works for awhile. Butler, who had spent his entire career in Dallas before signing with the Cardinals this spring, signed a two-year deal, per Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll earn the veteran minimum of $790K in 2018.
  • Before signing with the Vikings earlier this week, defensive tackle Tom Johnson drew interest from the Bills and Browns, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Johnson, whose release from the Seahawks precipitated his free agency, was in fact close to signing with Buffalo before Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson — who led Johnson in Minnesota from 2014-17 — reached out. Seattle also expressed interest in re-signing Johnson, but his number of suitors allowed to him to a land a one-year, $1MM deal from the Vikings, one that includes $500K in incentives.

Cowboys To Sign WR Brice Butler

The Cowboys have reunited with wide receiver Brice Butler. Saad Yousuf of The Athletic was the first to report the news on Monday (Twitter link). 

Butler, 28, began his career with the Raiders but spent the 2014-17 seasons with the Cowboys. He was never a focal point of the club’s offense, as he averaged just 16 receptions, 269 yards, and two touchdowns during those four campaigns, but he offers familiarity with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan‘s scheme. Butler inked a two-year deal with the Cardinals this offseason but failed to make it through final cutdowns.

Dallas currently fields one of the league’s worst receiving units, as its depth chart is filled with complementary options such as Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams, Deonte Thompson, and rookie Michael Gallup. Through two games, Beasley leads the club in receptions (nine) and yards (86), while Austin is the only Cowboys receiver to catch a touchdown pass.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.