Bruce Ellington

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

Lions Release RB Ameer Abdullah

The Lions are signing free agent wide receiver Bruce Ellington, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. To make room, the Lions will waive running back Ameer Abdullah

Abdullah entered the league with lots of hype as a second-round pick in 2015, but injuries prevented him from doing much of anything after his rookie season. This year, Abdullah has been mostly inactive behind rookie star Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, and pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick. Rapoport notes that the Lions had trade talks about the Nebraska product before the deadline, but the team was unable to find a deal. Now, he’ll have an opportunity to start fresh somewhere else.

Ellington spent most of the 2018 season on Houston’s injured reserve as he dealt with a hamstring injury, but the 27-year-old was recently cleared by doctors to play. While it was once assumed that the Texans would activate the receiver, their acquisition of Demaryius Thomas (and quick recovery of KekeCoutee) changed things. Ellington ultimately got released off of IR late last month.

The 2014 fourth-round pick signed with Houston back in 2017, and finished that campaign with 29 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He was underwhelming through Houston’s first three games in 2018, as he only hauled in eight receptions for 92 yards and one score. But, Ellington can contribute on special teams for Detroit and could carve out a role for himself at receiver in the wake of the Golden Tate trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Work Out WR Bruce Ellington

Jeremy Kerley isn’t the only wideout the Lions are eyeing. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out receiver Bruce Ellington this morning.

Ellington had spent most of the 2018 season on Houston’s injured reserve as he dealt with a hamstring injury, but the 27-year-old was recently cleared by doctors to play. While it was once assumed that the Texans would activate the receiver, their acquisition of Demaryius Thomas (and quick recovery of Keke Coutee) changed things. Ellington ultimately got released off the IR last week.

The 2014 fourth-round pick signed with Houston back in 2017, and he ended up having a solid season for his new organization. Ellington finished that campaign with 29 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He was underwhelming through Houston’s first three games in 2018, as he only hauled in eight receptions for 92 yards and one score. Ellington can also contribute on special teams, as he served as the 49ers’ full-time kick returner between 2014 and 2015. He’s also returned 47 punts in his career.

The Lions have been seeking a wideout since they traded Golden Tate earlier this week, and they had Kerley in for a workout yesterday. Detroit currently has four healthy wideouts on their roster in Marvin JonesKenny Golladay, Brandon Powell, and T.J. Jones.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Release Bruce Ellington Off IR

The Texans are releasing wide receiver Bruce Ellington off of the injured reserve list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ellington, who was suffering from a hamstring injury, was recently cleared by doctors, so he could be ready to contribute for another team right away. 

Since the trade deadline has passed, all NFL players released today or going forward are subject to the league’s waiver system. That means the league’s 31 other teams will have a chance at claiming Ellington, even though he is a vested veteran with more than four years of experience in the NFL.

While the Eagles, Texans, and Cowboys added receivers before the buzzer, other WR-needy teams such as the Patriots and Titans did not. Ellington could profile as a low-cost, low-risk addition for them.

Ellington had a breakout campaign with Houston in 2017. The 2014 fourth-round pick hauled in 29 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns, and he added another 17 rushing yards on three carries. He also proved to be a capable returner when he played for the 49ers. The receiver averaged 25.6 yards per kick return in 2015 and 2016, but he didn’t return a single kickoff in 2017. He did return five punts, though, compiling 47 yards.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/25/18

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Contract Details: Cousins, Graham, Davis

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts around the NFL:

  • Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): Three years, $84MM. Guaranteed salaries of $22.5MM, $27.5MM and $29.5MM. Guaranteed $500K workout bonuses each year. Up to $2MM in incentives per year. No-trade clause and a no-transition tag provision in 2021 (Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN).
  • Jimmy Graham, TE (Packers): Three years, $30MM. $11MM signing bonus, $300K per-game roster bonuses each year. $2MM base salary in 2018, $3.45MM in 2019 and $7.45MM in 2020. $5.67MM 2018 cap number. $5MM roster bonus due on third day of 2019 season (Twitter links via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein).
  • Demario Davis, LB (Saints): Three years, $24MM. $16MM guaranteed. $9.2MM signing bonus. Annual salaries of $850K, $5.95MM (guaranteed) and $7.35MM. (Twitter links via Graziano and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jeremy Hill, RB (Patriots): One year, $1.5MM. $150K signing bonus. $1M base salary. (via Pelissero, on Twitter, and ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss).
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Texans): One year, $1.25MM. $730K base salary, $200K signing bonus (via Wilson, on Twitter).

WR Bruce Ellington Re-Signs With Texans

Wideout Bruce Ellington is returning to Houston. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the receiver has signed a one-year deal with the Texans.

The 2014 fourth-round pick had a breakout campaign with Houston in 2017. The 26-year-old hauled in 29 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns, and he added another 17 rushing yards on three carries. Ellington also proved to be a capable returner when he played for the 49ers. The receiver averaged 25.6 yards per kick return in 2015 and 2016, but he didn’t return a single kickoff in 2017. He did return five punts, though, compiling 47 yards.

Assuming Houston’s wideouts are healthy heading into next season, Ellington could slot in behind DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Braxton Miller on the depth chart.

Texans Place Fiedorowicz, Ellington On IR

The Texans have placed tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) and wide receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring) on injured reserve. Both players will be sidelined for the last four games of the regular season. 

Fiedorowicz left Sunday’s game when he suffered his third concussion of the year. Thanks to head injuries, he appeared in only five games in 2017. He finishes out with 14 catches for 127 yards – not quite the encore he was hoping for after reeling in 54 catches for 449 yards and four touchdowns, all career highs. He’s scheduled to be back with the team in 2018 after signing a the three-year, $21.5MM extension in the offseason.

Ellington missed all of last season with the same injury. The former fourth-round pick is scheduled to reach free agency in March.

The 4-8 Texans will round out the season with games against the 49ers, Jaguars, Steelers, and Colts. The Texans’ 2018 first round pick – which would be in the top ten if the season ended today – is owned by the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/11/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Vikings placed Bishop Sankey on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Minnesota signed the former Titans second-round pick to a reserve/futures contract in January, but an MRI Friday revealed Sankey tore an ACL. He will miss the season. Sankey hasn’t played in a game since 2015.
  • Cut by both the 49ers and Jets in August, Bruce Ellington caught on with a third team this month. The Texans agreed to terms with the wide receiver/return specialist, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Jets waived Ellington with an injury designation, but a Friday workout with the Texans provided a green light for the franchise to sign him. The Texans are currently reeling at wideout. In addition to Will Fuller‘s absence, Braxton Miller and DeAndrew White aren’t practicing. Ellington missed all of last season with a torn hamstring.
  • The Jaguars signed veteran running back Jonathan Grimes and waived running back Tyler Gaffney with an injury designation, the team announced. Grimes is a five-year NFL veteran whose most notable work came as a backup for the Texans from 2012-16. He gained 455 yards from scrimmage in 2015, the final year Arian Foster suffered a severe injury.
  • Defensive end Keionta Davis agreed to terms with the Patriots, who cut cornerback Dwayne Thomas to make room, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. A rookie out of Chattanooga, Davis was invited to the Combine but wasn’t drafted or signed after the draft.
  • The Chargers re-signed tight end Matt Weiser, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter). A University of Buffalo alum, Weiser spent time with the Bolts during their final San Diego camp last summer but was cut just before the season.
  • The Colts reached injury settlements with tight end (and former VCU basketball standout) Mo Alie-Cox and wideout Harvey Binford, Wilson tweets.
  • Mykkele Thompson‘s time as a Giants secondary cog could be coming to a close. After Big Blue cut Thompson — a fifth-round pick in 2015 — on Thursday, he cleared waivers. NJ.com’s Dan Duggan expects an injury settlement to follow (Twitter link). Duggan notes this Thompson is battling a minor quadriceps injury.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Cutler, Jets, Bills

If Jay Cutler didn’t return to the NFL in order to sign with the Dolphins, Miami would have considered Robert Griffin III and Christian Ponder, reports Peter King of TheMMQB.com. Of course, RG3 and Ponder were far from the only options on the table for the Dolphins, as Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, Brock Osweiler, Blaine Gabbert, and Teddy Bridgewater were all at least discussed internally. Griffin has been linked to the Seahawks, Chargers, and Ravens this offseason, while Seattle was also interested in Ponder at one point. At least one league executive believes the Dolphins had better options available under center, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

Here’s more from Miami and the rest of the AFC East:

  • Cutler will essentially earn $10MM in guaranteed money under the terms of his Dolphins contract, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). As previously reported, Cutler will take home a $5MM base salary and a $5MM roster bonus, but that bonus is due this August 9 (this Wednesday). Additionally, Cutler can earn another $3MM in incentives: $1MM if he plays 75% of Miami’s offensive snaps and the club is in the top-10 in touchdowns; $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and the Dolphins earn a postseason berth; and another $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and Miami wins a playoff game.
  • “No concerns” were raised about Cutler’s shoulder in his pre-signing physical, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). For what it’s worth, Cutler says he was cleared in March. Meanwhile, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase says the Dolphins have a “plan” for how they’ll manage Cutler’s preseason repetitions. “We’re going to have to be smart with that because I’m sure (Cutler) wasn’t out in the backyard throwing 100 balls a day,” Gase said, per Pelissero (Twitter link).
  • While the Jets won the rights to wide receiver Bruce Ellington last week, the Bills, Texans, and Chiefs all put in waiver claims for the former 49ers draft choice, tweets Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. Ellington, of course, didn’t last long in New York, as the Jets waived him with an injury designation just one day after acquiring him. That means any of the other clubs that attempted claims on Ellington should have an another opportunity to acquire him, either through the waiver process or after New York potentially cuts Ellington from injured reserve.
  • Free agent running back Stephen Houston worked out for the Jets last week, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Houston, originally an undrafted free agent out of Indiana, has never played in a NFL game despite bouncing between several rosters since entering the league in 2014. Most recently, Houston spent time on Baltimore’s practice squad, but was waived by the Ravens in May. The Jets, who already boast Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Brandon Wilds, and others at running back, also auditioned Shaquille Cooper last week.