C.J. Mosley (DT)

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/18/15

Here are Friday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, as teams get their rosters set for this weekend:

  • Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley will become a free agent if and when he clears waivers — per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the Dolphins have cut Mosley from injured reserve. Since there’s no word of an injury settlement, the former Lion should be healthy, so another team may decide to sign him for the stretch run.
  • The Buccaneers have waived linebacker Orie Lemon, tweets Wilson. The move leaves Tampa Bay with an open roster spot, which the club will have more than a week to fill, having played on Thursday night.

Earlier updates:

  • The Jets have placed rookie wide receiver Devin Smith on injured reserve due to the torn ACL he suffered in last week’s win over the Titans, the team announced today in a press release. Smith, the 37th overall pick in this year’s draft, was one of many receivers selected in the top 50 whose rookie season was unspectacular — he caught just nine of 28 targets, for 115 yards and a TD. To replace Smith on their roster, the Jets have promoted linebacker Taiwan Jones from their practice squad.
  • The Falcons have also elevated a linebacker from their practice squad, announcing today in a press release that outside linebacker Tyler Starr has received a promotion. In a corresponding move, the club placed center James Stone on the injured reserve list. Per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), Stone – who started nine games last season but just one this year – has a torn ACL.

Dolphins Waive C.J. Mosley

The Dolphins have waived/injured veteran defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, according to James Walker of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Mosley signed a one-year, minimum salary deal with Miami in June. In his place, the Dolphins will sign defensive tackle Robert Thomas off the Patriots’ practice squad, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.

By signing with Miami this summer, Mosley reunited with former teammate Ndamukong Suh, the offseason’s No. 1 free agent who signed with the club much earlier in the offseason. Although he wasn’t as coveted a free agent as his ex-Lions teammate, Mosley was a solid contributor in Detroit last season as well. Pro Football Focus’ grades ranked him 26th out of 81 qualified defensive tackles, viewing him as slightly above average against both the pass and the run.

This year, however, Mosley was not as effective as the Dolphins hoped he would be. A calf issue had Mosley listed as questionable for Sunday against the Ravens and that injury will probably be listed as the formal reason for his departure.

Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, was the general manager in New York when Mosley played for the Jets from 2006 to 2008.

AFC East Notes: Mosley, Vollmer, Vick

The Dolphins‘ late addition of C.J. Mosley, on a strong recommendation from their slightly higher-profile ex-Lions defensive line newcomer, came as a result of concerns about the depth toward the bottom of their depth chart, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Mosley, who will make just more than $1MM in what will be his 11th season, is a more reliable piece than what the team currently has behind Ndamukong Suh — unproven performers in A.J. Francis and Anthony Johnson — but it shouldn’t be viewed as an indictment on second-rounder Jordan Phillips‘ progress, writes Jackson.

Here are some more Sunday-morning news items from Miami and the rest of the AFC East.

  • Back under the guidance of a more enthusiastic coach in Mike Zimmer, Mike Wallace either strongly prefers this personality trait compared to the lower-key Joe Philbin or is trying to please his new employer. “Honestly, [Zimmer]’s more of my type of guy — fired up. It’s cool when you do things and just do them. But when you do them and have some fire with it, it’s a lot more fun,” Wallace is quoted in Jackson’s notes piece. “I think it’s more of an environment for me, coming from [Steelers] coach [Mike] Tomlin being fired up and going to Coach Philbin, who was a lot more reserved, then coming back to another coach who’s fired up. I love it.”
  • Despite each undergoing labrum surgeries this offseason, Dont’a Hightower and Sebastian Vollmer are on divergent recovery courses, reports Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Vollmer is on track to be ready for training camp, while Hightower’s status for Week 1 isn’t a lock. Hightower, who had surgery in February after playing through a torn labrum during the latter portion of last season, played with a bigger brace than Vollmer, which indicates his tear needed a more extensive surgical overhaul. Vollmer, however, likely played with a mere labrum fray, inducing a smaller-scale surgery, notes former Chargers team doctor David Chao. Chao does expect Hightower to be on the field for Week 1.
  • Although Patriots fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona‘s received apparent clearance from the navy to postpone his service time to play in New England this season, the team doesn’t know how long it’ll have him. It’s structured Cardona’s contract accordingly, notes Volin. Receiving only a $100K bonus rather than the $190K that would’ve been customary with his draft position, Cardona will receive roster bonuses for each year he’s with the Patriots and not in the navy. Per Volin, Cardona will collect just more than $17K, $37K and $45K for the 2015-17 seasons, respectively, if he’s on the active roster for at least one game, the PUP list or injured reserve.
  • The Pats are now extremely well-equipped to challenge teams at the goal line, writes Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, with their addition of 6-foot-6 Scott Chandler to go with Rob Gronkowski. With New England also adding Fred Davis to go with goal-line threat Michael Hoomanawanui, the team could add to its inside-the-20 proficiency after scoring 39 red zone touchdowns last season, a figure which was tied for the league high.
  • Michael Vick‘s unemployment extending into the summer likely stems from his lax work ethic last season, reports Volin, who notes the former No. 1 overall pick barely looked at the Jets‘ playbook last season and yielded many of his practice reps to Matt Simms.

Dolphins Sign C.J. Mosley

5:39pm: The Dolphins announced that the deal is official, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). To make room, defensive tackle Kamal Johnson has been shown the door.

1:16pm: It’ll be a minimum salary benefit contract for Mosley, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

12:33pm: After hosting him for a visit, the Dolphins have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The free agent defender reportedly drew interest from the Lions and at least one other team besides the Dolphins.

By agreeing to sign with Miami, Mosley will reunite with former teammate Ndamukong Suh, the offseason’s No. 1 free agent, who joined the Dolphins back in March. Although he wasn’t as coveted a free agent as his ex-Lions teammate, Mosley was a solid contributor in Detroit last season as well. Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required) ranked him 26th out of 81 qualified defensive tackles, viewing him as slightly above average against both the pass and the run.

While the addition of Suh was huge for the Dolphins, the team lost two of its top defensive tackles from 2014 this past winter — Jared Odrick departed in free agency and Randy Starks was released by the team. Earl Mitchell is returning from last year’s squad to pair with Suh up front, but the club doesn’t have much veteran depth at the position, so Mosley could be a useful part-time player. Second-round rookie Jordan Phillips also figures to be a part of Miami’s interior defensive line rotation.

It’s not clear yet what sort of salary Mosley will earn on his one-year pact with the Dolphins, but it figures to be fairly modest, since no free agents are signing for big money this late in the offseason. Still, the fact that the 31-year-old had multiple potential suitors may earn him a deal worth more than the minimum.

Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, was the general manager in New York when Mosley played for the Jets from 2006 to 2008.

East Notes: Wilkerson, Mosley, Eagles

While Muhammad Wilkerson isn’t saying much publicly about extension negotiations with the Jets, fellow defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was happy to discuss Wilkerson’s contract situation on Tuesday, telling Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that his teammate should be the NFL’s next $100MM man.

“He’s worth that penny,” Richardson said of Wilkerson. “And you know what penny I’m talking about. … We don’t just want J.J. Watt money. We want it all. We want [Ndamukong] Suh money. Hopefully everybody wants that type of bread in this league.”

If Wilkerson gets a $100MM contract, it won’t come from the Jets this year, according to Mehta, who points out that the team has the leverage at this point. The addition of first-round pick Leonard Williams to the defensive line somewhat weakened Wilkerson’s negotiating position, per Mehta.

Here’s more on Wilkerson, along with a couple more items out of the NFL’s East divisions:

  • More Richardson on Wilkerson, via Mehta: “If Gerald McCoy can get $100MM, I’m pretty sure my guy Mo Wilkerson can get $100MM.”
  • During his visit to Miami this week, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley received a contract offer from the Dolphins, who “made clear they would love to add him as soon as possible,” agent Harold Lewis tells Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Lions and one other unknown team also have interest in adding Mosley, who has yet to make a decision.
  • Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and safety Earl Wolff appear to be at odds over the defensive back’s recovery from microfracture surgery, writes Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Bowen notes, Wolff is more upbeat about his recovery than Kelly, who instead emphasized how well Walter Thurmond is adapting to the safety position.

C.J. Mosley Visited Dolphins

1:09pm: According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter), three teams are interested in Mosley, whose visit with the Dolphins is now over.

12:51pm: A report last week indicated that defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was drawing interest from an unknown suitor, while another report yesterday suggested he was making a visit, presumably to that some mystery team. The club hosting Mosley has now been identified, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that the veteran free agent is visiting the Dolphins today.

Mosley obviously isn’t the first former Lions defensive tackle to catch the Dolphins’ eye this offseason, and while Ndamukong Suh received far more headlines, Mosley was a solid contributor in Detroit last season too. Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required) ranked him 26th out of 81 qualified defensive tackles, viewing him as slightly above average against both the pass and the run.

Despite adding Suh, the Dolphins don’t have a ton of veteran depth at the defensive tackle position, so it makes sense that the team would be considering adding a player like Mosley, especially since he has a history with Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum, having played for the Jets back during Tannenbaum’s stint in New York.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Mosley will reach an agreement with the Dolphins, as multiple reports have suggested the Lions have also been in touch with his camp about a possible return. Most veterans settle for the minimum salary this late in the offseason, but if at least two clubs are interested in signing Mosley, he may land a little extra.

North Notes: Lions, Flacco, A. Brown

Special teams standout Brad Smith, who has played all over the field in his NFL career, will pay a visit to the Lions on Tuesday, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. While Smith has seen time at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver during his NFL career, and was a very productive kick returner a few years ago, his primary contributions at this point in his career will come in kick and punt coverage.

Meanwhile, a Lions free agent, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, is visiting an unknown team today, per Birkett. There were conflicting reports last week on whether Detroit has interest in re-signing Mosley, and Birkett notes that while the Lions have engaged with the defensive lineman about a possible return, no agreement is imminent.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would like to play in the NFL until he’s at least 40 years old, as he tells Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Of course, we should probably take Flacco’s comments with a grain of salt at this point, considering he just turned 30 earlier this year.
  • While the Steelers may not adjust Antonio Brown‘s contract this year, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, with the help of former NFL salary cap analyst J.I. Halsell, attempts to identify a potential extension scenario that could work for both sides.
  • Judge David Doty will hear the NFLPA’s motion to hold Roger Goodell in contempt of court in the Adrian Peterson case on August 13, tweets Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. Doty ruled in favor of the NFLPA back in February, granting the union’s motion to overturn the league’s decision on Peterson’s suspension, but the NFL didn’t reinstate the Vikings running back until mid-April.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun passes along word of a couple auditions taking place this week, reporting (via Twitter) that center/guard Ben Gottschalk is trying out for the Packers today and former Hawaii defensive end Beau Yap is working out for the Bengals tomorrow.

Lions Interested In Re-Signing C.J. Mosley?

9:12am: A source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that, contrary to Meinke’s report, the Lions have moved on from Mosley. If that is indeed the case, it’s possible that Mosley’s camp is attempting to use supposed interest from the Lions to gain leverage with another team.

8:50am: The Lions’ interior defensive line has undergone some major changes this offseason, but the team may be able to maintain a little continuity heading into the 2015 season. According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, the Lions have interest in re-signing veteran free agent C.J. Mosley — a marijuana-related incident that resulted in a two-game suspension in 2014 isn’t blocking the defensive tackle’s return. Negotiations are ongoing, and there’s a chance a deal comes together as soon as next week, says Meinke.

While the departure of Ndamukong Suh was the most notable event affecting Detroit’s defensive line, the team also lost Nick Fairley to the Rams, bringing in Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker to fill the hole at defensive tackle. One report in May suggested that the Lions may explore the trade market to fortify the interior defensive line, though team president Tom Lewand said last week that nothing was in the works on that front.

Suh and Fairley, arguably the two top defensive tackles on the market, grabbed the free agency headlines this offseason, but Mosley had a solid 2014 campaign as well. Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required) ranked him 26th out of 81 qualified defensive tackles, viewing him as slightly above average against both the pass and the run. Re-signing Mosley would give the Lions a solid veteran presence to complement a group that – outside of Ngata – is lacking in experience.

Still, a return to Detroit isn’t a lock for Mosley, who turns 32 in August. According to Meinke, the veteran defender is receiving interest from at least one other suitor, so the Lions may have to offer him for more than just a minimum salary benefit contract to lock him up.

NFC Notes: Huff, Mosley, Saints, Glennon, Long

Eagles receiver Josh Huff gives his opinion on a number of the team’s offseason moves to Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. Huff, who played for Chip Kelly at Oregon before coming to Philadelphia, has an interesting perspective on Kelly’s thoughts about each move.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC:

  • After losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley this offseason, it was expected that the Lions would attempt to re-sign defensive tackle C.J. Mosley. The team has not pursued him yet, and Kyle Meinke of MLive.com believes his suspension for marijuana possession the caused him to miss a game against the Falcons last season could be a reason why the team is hesitant to bring him back.
  • The Saints are caught in between win-now and rebuilding mode after a disastrous 2014 season. They traded away their best receiving threat in Jimmy Graham, but still have franchise signal caller Drew Brees at the helm. They are the only team with five selections in the first three rounds, and have the ammo to rebuild quickly despite their cap troubles, writes Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
  • If the Buccaneers do select Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, quarterback Mike Glennon will become available for a trade, writes Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. He writes if any team wants Glennon, he could be had as the team would just sign another veteran backup to replace him.
  • The Rams have yet to pursue offensive tackle Jake Long in free agency, and Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com doesn’t see the Rams or any team actively trying sign Long at this point in the offseason. Wagoner cites his injury concerns as a reason teams would not be rushing to sign the former All-Pro tackle.
  • The 49ers may have a pair of starting inside linebacker despite the retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, but NaVorro Bowman is coming off an injury and Michael Wilhoite is still relatively inexperienced. Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com believes that Lance Briggs could be an interesting option to add to their depth, as he would not command big money but is looking to continuing his NFL career.

NFC North Notes: Mosley, Vikings, Packers

It was a quiet weekend on the field for the NFC North, with the Lions, Packers, and Bears all on their byes. The Vikings will take next week off, but headed into their bye on a positive note, with a dramatic 29-26 comeback win over Washington. Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was suspended last week and sent home early from London without explanation, but sources tell Chris Mortenson of ESPN that the incident stemmed from the team finding Mosley with marijuana. Head coach Jim Caldwell suspended Mosley for two weeks for conduct detrimental to the team. The 31-year-old is set to return to the team for its Week 10 game against the Dolphins this Sunday.
  • The Vikings have done a tremendous job maneuvering the draft over the past three years, adding seven first-round picks to their roster over that time span. Developing those players will be key to the team’s success as they attempt to complete the turnaround after a disappointing few seasons, writes Matt Vensel of the Minnesota Star-Tribune.
  • The Packers joined the Patriots as one of the marquee teams in terms of utilizing multiple tight ends in their offense a few seasons ago, with Jermichael Finley at the peak of his powers as a receiver. After a career-threatening neck injury, Finley is no longer on the roster, but Andrew Quarless has filled in admirably as the lead tight end, writes Tom Silverstein of the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel. Along with Brandon Bostick and rookie Richard Rodgers, tight ends have accumulated 23 catches on 35 targets for 248 yards and two touchdowns this season, and have been a key part of the offense for Aaron Rodgers.