Caleb Benenoch

Panthers Place WR Chris Hogan On IR, Claim OL Caleb Benenoch

The Panthers have placed wide receiver Chris Hogan on injured reserve and claimed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch off waivers from the Patriots, Carolina announced today.

Hogan, 31, landed with the Panthers during the offseason after spending the previous three seasons with the Patriots. A deep-ball threat who led the NFL in yards per reception in 2016, Hogan wasn’t a large part of Carolina’s offense through four games, as he’d received only five targets while working behind D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Jarius Wright. Per the Panthers, Hogan — who is dealing with a knee injury — has a chance to return later this year.

Benenoch will join his third team of 2019 after previously being waived by the Buccaneers and Patriots. He’ll give Carolina offensive line depth while Greg Little is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Benenoch started all 16 games at right guard for Tampa Bay in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots To Waive OL Caleb Benenoch

The Patriots are waiving offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Garafolo notes that Benenoch worked out for three clubs before signing with the Pats, so he might not be out of work for long. 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown Likely To Win Grievance Against Patriots?]

Reportedly, there were nine NFL teams requesting workouts with Benenoch before he hooked on with the Patriots in mid-September. Plenty of teams need offensive line help, but they might have to get in line – and sweeten the pot – to bring the longtime Bucs lineman into the kitchen.

Benenoch started every game of the 2018 season at right guard for the Bucs and also offers experience at tackle. And, he’s not necessarily a world-beater, but he does have 35 appearances to his credit (22 starts) with decent size at 6’5″ and 305 pounds.

In other New England news, former Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is set to file up to nine appeals relating to contractual matters. That’s one grievance for every team that Benenoch drew interest from earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Sign Caleb Benenoch

Former Bucs offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch will sign with the Patriots on Tuesday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Nine NFL teams requested workouts with Benenoch, but Rapoport hears the veteran ultimately wanted to play for Pats offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia

The Patriots could really use the help. They were without right tackle Marcus Cannon for Sunday’s win over the Dolphins and, during the game, Isaiah Wynn exited with a toe injury. They’re still awaiting word on the status of both linemen, but they’re unlikely to be at full strength up front for Week 3 against the Jets. (Then again, do they need to be anywhere near full strength to face the Jets?)

Benenoch started every game of the 2018 season at right guard for the Bucs last season but also boasts experience on the outside. There apparently wasn’t a place for him on the Bucs, but the Pats are happy to bring him on board for reinforcement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/16/19

We’ve got another batch of workout updates from the past few days, all via veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer on Twitter (unless otherwise noted):

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC Notes: Jaguars, Patriots, Randall

The Jaguars will be without several players on Sunday against the Texans, Michael DiRocco of ESPN recaps on Twitter. S Ronnie Harrison is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. CB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee, DE Yannick Ngakoue and LT Cam Robinson have all already been ruled out of the contest.

Last week, Jacksonville lost starting QB Nick Foles, who suffered a broken left clavicle in Week 1 and has been placed on injured reserve. The franchise’s collective health has put a damper on what should have been a bounceback year for the Jags. As the team carries on in Houston, let’s take a look around the AFC:

  • The Patriots worked out several players ahead of their game against the Dolphins, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). OT Caleb Benenoch, NT Carl Davis, DT Willie Henry, DB Josh Jones and DB Adarius Pickett worked out for New England.
  • Browns S Damarious Randall has been ruled out of Monday’s game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Randall showed up to Cleveland’s facility with a concussion and was placed in the concussion protocol.
  • A.J. Green, who injured his ankle during the Bengals‘ training camp, is out of his walking boot and feels like is he ahead of schedule in his recovery, as Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer relays. “I’m only six weeks out and I’m already walking,” Green said. “You never know what the next two weeks or three weeks are going to bring to where I can start back putting on shoes and actually running and doing some on the field stuff. You never know.”

Patriots Meet With OL Caleb Benenoch

The Patriots have made several transactions on their offensive line over the past two weeks, and they continue to explore help on this front. They visited with recently waived guard Caleb Benenoch on Thursday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Benenoch was a 16-game Buccaneers starter at right guard last season, and he played in Tampa Bay’s Week 1 game. But the Bucs waived him Monday, and no one submitted a claim. The Bucs drafted Benenoch in the 2016 fifth round.

New England traded for Russell Bodine, Jermaine Eluemunor and Korey Cunningham recently, though the defending Super Bowl champions cut Bodine. The Pats also agreed to terms with veteran tackle Marshall Newhouse on Wednesday.

Buccaneers To Waive OL Caleb Benenoch

A 16-game starter for the Buccaneers last season, Caleb Benenoch did not open with Tampa Bay’s first unit on Sunday. He will not be with the team in Week 2, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting (via Twitter) the fourth-year blocker will be waived.

Benenoch joined the Bucs as a fifth-round pick three years ago but struggled in his first full-season audition. He allowed 10 sacks and finished with one of Pro Football Focus’ lowest guard grades. The Bucs intend to sign former Jaguars lineman Josh Wells.

One year remains on Benenoch’s contract. With linemen consistently generating interest (and, as Rapoport notes, various former Benenoch Tampa Bay coaches residing with other teams), the Nigerian may have a new team by Tuesday.

Second-year guard Alex Cappa started at right guard Sunday, while Benenoch saw action on special teams. The Bucs also added Earl Watford, a former Bruce Arians charge with the Cardinals, in free agency and brought in Zack Bailey as a rookie UDFA.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Rumors: Brown, Steelers, Smith

We could see a lot of change in Tampa this year, but do not expect the Buccaneers to pursue Antonio Brown, GM Jason Licht says (via ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert).

From a talent perspective, the Bucs would surely like to have Brown on the roster. However, a Brown trade would require the forfeiture of significant draft capital and would hurt the team’s cap room, effectively forcing them to mortgage the future for a soon-to-be 31-year-old.

For now, the Bucs seem intent on keeping deep threat DeSean Jackson, though it remains to be seen whether they can hang on to pending free agent Adam Humphries.

Here’s more on the Bucs:

  • I don’t envision Donovan Smith being anywhere else but the Bucs, at least for next year,” Licht said on SiriusXM (Twitter link via Greg Auman of The Athletic). He added that the franchise tag is “more than likely” for the left tackle. This jibes with what we’ve heard previously. if the Bucs follow through on that plan, they’ll be even less likely to keep their hands on Humphries.
  • Bruce Arians’ recent chat with Jackson went well, according to the Bucs’ new head coach. “It went great. We had a long sit-down. From my perspective, it couldn’t have been any better,” Arians said (via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com). “You’d have to talk to DeSean to find out what his perspective is. But I thought it was great. I look forward to working with him. Ton of respect for him as a player … and a person.” Licht, meanwhile, was non-committal when asked about D-Jax.
  • Licht was similarly non-committal when asked about six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who carries a $13MM cap hit in 2019 and is under contract through 2021. “Gerald’s been a real productive, successful player for the Bucs — one of the Bucs’ all-time best defensive players, you could argue,” Licht said. “He’s under contract. Ideally, [we’d] love it if he continued to be a Buc.” For what it’s worth, rumor has it that the Bucs see McCoy as a good fit, even as they transition to a 3-4 scheme.
  • Rising sophomore M.J. Stewart will get looks at several positions but “we’d love to see him at safety,” Licht said (Twitter link via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times). Last year, the 2018 second-round pick spent the bulk of his eleven games (five starts) at cornerback. He finished out with 33 tackles and three passes defensed.
  • Licht noted that the Bucs can keep running back Peyton Barber with a high tender in order to keep him from free agency, which may give some insight into the team’s plans (via Auman). A second-round tender at just over $3MM should ward away other interested clubs.
  • Caleb Benenoch struggled in 2018 as the team’s right guard and Licht believes that a switch to tackle is in his future, Auman writes. The change would mean a backup role, so Auman wonders if his job will be safe given his scheduled $2MM salary for ’19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

South Notes: Jaguars, Breaux, Buccaneers

Formerly a Dolphins second-rounder given the chance to start for multiple seasons with two teams, Chad Henne is in position to reclaim the Jaguars‘ starting job after Doug Marrone‘s postgame announcement. By opening the competition, Marrone is giving it to Henne, Ryan O’Halloran of jacksonville.com notes. Regarding Henne’s competitor in this renewed competition, O’Halloran notes the Jags should be ready to cut Blake Bortles soon rather than risk an injury in a game or practice that could potentially put them on the hook for the $19MM fifth-year option come 2018. Bortles’ 2017 money ($6.571MM) is guaranteed at this point, so the Jags would carry that amount on their cap regardless of the fourth-year quarterback’s employment, but the team could afford it in carrying more than $44MM in cap space currently. This would be an even more aggressive move than the 2015 Redskins used with Robert Griffin III. Washington benched Griffin for the season and cut him after an injury-free campaign of practices.

Here’s more from Jacksonville and some other southern-headquartered franchises.

  • While O’Halloran categorizes the Jags’ decision to pick up Bortles’ option as careless, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com argues the team should have drafted or signed competition to join Bortles and Henne. O’Halloran suggests the Jags should have drafted a quarterback, while DiRocco points to players like Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler or Nick Foles as UFA options that could have pushed Bortles.
  • The handling of Bortles and Branden Albert have not looked good for Tom Coughlin, Gene Frenette of jacksonville.com writes. Cutting Bortles now and bringing in a third passer would put that quarterback too far behind, and Frenette looks at the decision not to add an outside arm to learn Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense looks bad now that Bortles could be on the way to a demotion or out of Jacksonville.
  • Delvin Breaux underwent successful surgery to repair a broken fibula that was initially misdiagnosed, Joel Erickson of the New Orleans Advocate reports. The Saints cornerback went to Green Bay for the surgery — one that removed the old plate in the his leg and replaced it with a longer one. Sean Payton tentatively put the timetable at six weeks, which Erickson estimates will shelve the third-year corner for four games and place him on course to return after New Orleans’ Week 5 bye. “He’ll be back in New Orleans, and when we get back, we’ll have a chance to sit down,” Payton said. “I don’t want to call him up over the phone; I know it went well.”
  • Demar Dotson will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, and Dirk Koetter said (via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com) Caleb Benenoch and Kevin Pamphile would be the next men up. Both are fifth-round picks, Pamphile in 2014, Benenoch in ’16. Koetter added he’s more content with the Bucs’ guard depth than he is at tackle presently.