Bruce Ellington

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed one of the most unique workouts in NFL history this afternoon. The NFL offered to stage a workout for the quarterback earlier this week. However, Kaepernick’s team became weary of the league’s intentions when his representatives were refused in their requests to open the event to the public. In a last minute decision, Kaepernick’s representation moved the event from the Falcons facility to a public location on their own.

Here’s the latest on the workout and its aftermath:

  • When the venue was changed, the NFL released a public statement on NFL.com that expressed they were “disappointed” with Kaepernick’s choice not to participate in the workout they had organized. They claimed “Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout.” The league also felt the need to note they “made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin’s representatives,” among a list of other points that attempted to counter some narratives that the league had been purposely opaque in their negotiations.
  • The league also tweeted out from the league’s official account a thread reiterating some main points from the press release. One key point from the league’s perspective, “Colin moved his workout to a facility an hour from Atlanta Falcons Flowery Branch facility. No one got a heads up until NFL saw the Twitter statement.”
  • Former Raiders and Browns head coach Hue Jackson was scheduled to run the workout orchestrated by the NFL. However, while Kaepernick’s team invited Jackson to run the workout at the new venue, Jackson returned to the airport, according to Michael Silver of NFL.com.
  • WR Bruce Ellington, WR Brice Butler, WR Jordan Veasy, TE/WR Ari Werts, and Panthers S Eric Reid were on the field with Kaepernick for the workout, according to Kaylee Harung of ABC News. The free-agent receivers were likely hoping to catch the eyes of scouts present to view Kaepernick, while Reid has been one of the most consistent advocated for Kaepernick in the league.
  • One claim in the announcement made by Kaepernick’s representatives was that the league required he sign an agreement that included language to limit his ability to bring claims against the league. Of course, given Kaepernick’s previous collusion lawsuit against the league, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk argues the workout was a ploy by the league to put Kaepernick “in legal checkmate.”
  • In the end, there were not nearly as many teams present at Kaepernick’s workout as the NFL claimed would have been present for the workout they had planned. The Washington football team, Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs, Jets, Titans, and Lions were the teams present for his workout, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
  • The 2-hour workout was streamed on YouTube and consistently maintained roughly 45,000 viewers. On the field, one NFL executive described Kaepernick’s arm talent as “elite” and on the same level as “when he came out of college,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
  • Teams that had personnel present for the workout noted that the workout consisted of 60 throws and “Basically showed he’s the same guy he was,” according to Albert Breer of MMQB. After the workout, Kaepernick did not hold any formal interviews, but in his closing remarks said he would hold an interview with any team. He also thanked his fans for their support and reiterated, “I’ve been ready. I’m staying ready. And I’ll continue to be ready….The ball’s in their court. We’re ready to go.”

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Colin Kaepernick‘s Saturday workout will not go according to the NFL’s plan. The quarterback’s camp changed the venue. Instead of the session commencing at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch, Ga., facility, Kaepernick will work out at a different location.

The NFL declined to allow media into the workout, which went against Kaepernick’s wishes for transparency, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Kaepernick’s representatives have rescheduled the workout for 3pm CT, moving it back an hour. Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., will serve as the new venue, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).

From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL office has not provided one,” Kaepernick reps Ben Miselas and Jeff Nalley said in a statement (Twitter link). “Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives.

Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. The NFL denied this request. … Mr. Kaepernick still looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”

Kaepernick’s camp requested to record the workout alongside the NFL’s camera crew, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter); the group did not trust a process with the NFL being the only party with the tape. When the league refused that arrangement, Kaepernick requested media be permitted to view the session. When that was nixed, the quarterback ditched the previous setup, Robinson tweets. This distrust should not surprise given the contentious history between the former Super Bowl starter and the league.

More than three-fourths of the league will send reps to watch the ex-49ers starter throw. While there will not be head coaches or GMs on hand, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports (video link) many pro personnel heads and scouting directors are in Atlanta. Some execs on hand are believed to be in consideration for future GM jobs, a sign some teams are taking this workout seriously. However, some may not be. Some teams may have been there only because of the NFL’s request, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets.

The NFL was set to provide three wide receivers to participate, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Considering this 11th-hour venue change, it’s possible that will no longer happen. However, ex-Kaepernick teammate Bruce Ellington will be there, with Fowler adding the 32-year-old free agent will bring up to five wideouts to the workout.

The Panthers will not be among the 25 teams in Atlanta for the workout, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (on Twitter). This is interesting given Carolina’s quarterback uncertainty and employment of Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in alleging collusion against the NFL. Per Reid, Panthers owner David Tepper told him the team was not planning to add a veteran quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Work Out WR Bruce Ellington

The Eagles made a transaction at wide receiver Sunday, waiving Shelton Gibson. They also spent part of the day working out free agent Bruce Ellington, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

A former 49ers, Texans and Lions wideout, Ellington spent several weeks with the Patriots in the spring. But the defending Super Bowl champions released him shortly after the draft. This marks Ellington’s first known workout for a team since.

Philadelphia remains deep at receiver, employing Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, DeSean Jackson and second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Former Ellington Houston teammate Braxton Miller resides on the Eagles’ roster, as do third-year wideout Mack Hollins and former Viking-turned-AAF standout Charles Johnson.

The Patriots signed Ellington in March, doing so after the slot player/return man spent 2018 with the Texans and Lions. Ellington’s most notable season came in 2017, when he posted 330 yards with the Texans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Cut WR Bruce Ellington

The Patriots’ partnership with Bruce Ellington ended up lasting barely a month. The defending Super Bowl champions cut the veteran wide receiver on Wednesday.

Ellington signed a one-year deal for $895K (with just $25K guaranteed), so this transaction will not be costly for the Patriots. This exit comes with an injury designation, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter), helping to explain Ellington’s abrupt departure.

Ellington has bounced around the league during his five-year career but established somewhat of a steady role with the Texans. However, a long-term role has eluded him.

New England signed the slot receiver in March, adding Ellington and former Redskins pass catcher Maurice Harris. The Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry in the first round and added Demaryius Thomas, who is recovering from an Achilles tear, in April. Slot player Braxton Berrios remains on the roster after not playing as a rookie. The Patriots also signed two UDFA wideouts — Auburn’s Ryan Davis and NC State’s Jakobi Meyers, the latter a former quarterback who posted a 1,000-yard season as a senior — last week.

The Pats last year released a slew of free agent wideouts, with Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt and Eric Decker departing before Week 1. Matthews and Decker did not play a down for the Patriots. It appears Ellington will follow that path.

After Ellington started six games for the 2017 Texans, hauling in a career-high 29 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns, he received his walking papers — via IR release — midway through the 2018 campaign. The Lions picked Ellington up and deployed him in three games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Contract Details: Funchess, LaCosse, Golden

Some assorted contract notes from around the NFL:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Colts): One year, $10MM. $7MM guaranteed via roster bonus. $3MM base salary. $3MM in incentives for receptions, receiving yards, TDs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro. Twitter link via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star.
  • Tyrann Mathieu, S (Chiefs): Three years, $42MM. $26.8MM guaranteed, $14.8MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $850K (2019), $1.15MM (2020), $14.5MM (2021, nonguaranteed). Details via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • K.J. Wright, LB (Seahawks): Two years, up to $15MM (original story). $8MM in 2019, including $5MM signing bonus, $1.5MM base salary, $1.5MM roster bonus. Second year isn’t guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Brady Henderson.
  • Matt LaCosse, TE (Patriots): Two years, $2MM, $500K guaranteed for 2019 (original story). Base salaries: $700K (2019), $1MM (2020). $300K signing bonus, $25K per-game bonus. $500K in playing time/receptions incentives. Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate.
  • Markus Golden, LB (Giants): One year. Worth up to $4.75MM, $2.225MM guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
  • Cameron Fleming, OT (Cowboys): Two years, $8.5MM. 2019: $1MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus, $2.25MM cap number. $300K for 60-percent playing time, $600K for 70-percent. Twitter link via ESPN’s Todd Archer.
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Patriots): One year, $25K guaranteed. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Patriots To Sign WR Bruce Ellington

Bruce Ellington is signing a one-year deal with the Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Pats met with Ellington and a few other players on Thursday morning. It did not take long for a deal to come together. 

Last year, Ellington had 23 catches for 132 yards in just four games for the Lions, showing what he could do when healthy. Earlier in the season he caught eight balls for 92 yards and a touchdown in less than three full games with the Texans, before Houston waived him with an injury settlement. He latched on in Detroit, but unfortunately the hamstring injury that hampered him in Houston re-emerged while he was with the Lions, landing Ellington on IR in December.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Host Ellington, Harris, LaCosse

The Patriots will meet with wide receivers Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The club will also meet with tight end Matt LaCosse, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Ellington and Harris aren’t exactly start players, but they both profile as quality depth options. Last year, Ellington had 23 catches for 132 yards in just four games for the Lions, showing what he could do when healthy. Earlier in the season he caught eight balls for 92 yards and a touchdown in less than three full games with the Texans, before Houston waived him with an injury settlement.

He latched on in Detroit, but unfortunately the hamstring injury that hampered him in Houston re-emerged while he was with the Lions, landing Ellington on IR in December. Harris, meanwhile, had 28 grabs for 304 yards in 12 games for the Redskins.

The Patriots are clearly focused on filling out their receiving corp, re-signing Phillip Dorsett on a one-year deal last night. LaCosse had 24 catches and 250 yards while filling in as the Broncos’ starting tight end for a period last year, but Denver non-tendered him this offseason. With Rob Gronkowski‘s status for next year still up in the air, it makes sense why New England is digging into the free agent tight ends. LaCaosse appears to have legit interest on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Release S Glover Quin

The Lions released safety Glover Quin, according to a team announcement. In related moves, wide receiver Bruce Ellington and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby were also cut from the roster. 

We thank Glover for his countless contributions to the Detroit Lions during his six seasons with our team,” Lions GM Bob Quinn said in a statement. “Since joining the organization in 2013, Glover exemplified everything it means to be a true professional in this league — as both a competitor on the field and a leading voice in the community. Coach [Matt] Patricia and I have the utmost respect for him as a man and player, and we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”

Quin, 33 in January, started all 16 of the Lions’ games in 2018, but saw some of his play time eaten into by rookie Tracy Walker down the stretch. Meanwhile, it has been speculated that the ten-year veteran may retire. The 2014 Pro Bowl selection was due a $5.25MM base salary with an extra $1MM in bonuses for 2019. By cutting Quin, the Lions saved $6.25MM in cap space.

Quin joined the Lions before the 2013 season and played in every game over six years for Detroit. His 148-game starting streak leads all active safeties in the NFL, but that could soon come to a stop.

Quin enjoyed the best season of his career in 2014 when he earned a Pro Bowl nod and registered seven interceptions. Over his decade in the NFL, Quin recorded 24 interceptions and 740 tackles in total.

Without Quin, the Lions will now likely have 2018 third-round pick Tracy Walker start alongside Quandre Diggs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Place Bruce Ellington On IR, Make Several Other Moves

It’s that time of year where there are a bunch of teams shuffling the bottom of their rosters, and the Lions made a flurry of moves today. The team is placing veteran wide receiver Bruce Ellington on injured reserve, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News (Twitter link).

In addition to Ellington, the team also placed safety Charles Washington on injured reserve. To fill their spots on the roster, they promoted receiver Chris Lacy and cornerback Dee Virgin from the practice squad. Ellington only signed with the Lions back in November, but immediately began playing a large role as the team’s slot receiver.

He got 30 targets in his four games with Detroit, and turned them into 23 catches for 132 yards. It’s a big loss to a Lions receiving corp that’s been depleted by the trade of Golden Tate and the injury to Marvin Jones Jr. Still only 27, Ellington should have no trouble resurfacing somewhere this offseason if he can show he can stay healthy.

Ellington was playing a big role for the Texans earlier this year but was released with an injury settlement in October after he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. The hamstring injury flared up in Detroit, and is ultimately what ended his season. Washington is a third-year UDFA who’s primarily a special teamer. Virgin is a sophomore UDFA from West Alabama while Lacy is a rookie UDFA from Oklahoma State.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.