Cedric Ogbuehi

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/30/16

The Bengals have placed offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi on injured reserve and promoted running back Tra Carson from the practice squad to take his roster spot, per Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. Ogbuehi has a partial tear of his right rotator cuff, but it’s unlikely to prevent him from participating in the Bengals’ offseason activities. Nevertheless, it ends an injury-marred year for the 2015 first-round pick, who has also dealt with a sports hernia and a toe ailment in 2016. Ogbuehi did start in 12 of 14 appearances after only serving as a reserve last year, but the Bengals demoted him from right tackle to the bench in Week 13 before moving him to left tackle last Saturday. He’ll end 2016 ranked just 65th in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 74 qualifying tackles.

  • The Eagles have promoted running back Terrell Watson from the practice squad, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). The former Azusa Pacific standout joined the organization in late December after having spent time with the Browns and Broncos. The 23-year-old is expected to see some work in short-yardage situations this weekend.
  • The Ravens have claimed wide receiver Vince Mayle off waivers from the Cowboys and placed linebacker Zach Orr on injured reserve, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com was among those to report. Mayle hasn’t been a factor as a wideout, having gone parts of two NFL seasons without a catch, but did get 94 special teams snaps in Dallas this season before it cut him Thursday. Orr, meanwhile, had already been declared out for the Ravens’ season finale against Cincinnati because of a neck issue. He piled up 132 tackles (47 more than any other Raven) and three interceptions this season.
  • The Cowboys have promoted offensive lineman Ryan Seymour from the practice squad, reports Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). The former seventh-round pick last made an NFL appearance in 2014, when he played 11 games (three starts) for the Browns.
  • The Chiefs have activated linebacker Justin March-Lillard off IR and waived defensive lineman David King, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. Kansas City designated March-Lillard to return Dec. 21, which came at running back Jamaal Charles‘ expense. Before March-Lillard broke his hand in October, he started in all five appearances and amassed 22 tackles. King picked up three appearances with the Chiefs (two this year, one last season), but he didn’t record a tackle.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Bengals Activate Cedric Ogbuehi; Dennard To IR

The Bengals have announced a change to their 53-man roster, tweeting today that they’ve activated rookie offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi from their non-football injury list. To make room for Ogbuehi, the team placed cornerback Darqueze Dennard on injured reserve.

Dennard, 24, was the Bengals’ first-round pick in 2014, though he was only serving as the team’s fourth cornerback this season. We heard earlier this week that Dennard will require shoulder surgery, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com explains today (via Twitter) that while the corner’s labrum is intact, the ligaments and capsule around his shoulder have structural damage that needs to be repaired. He’s expected to make a full recovery for 2016.

With Dennard on IR, the Bengals will continue to lean on Adam Jones, Leon Hall, and Dre Kirkpatrick. However, Jones is injured and Kirkpatrick has been shaky this season, so Chris Lewis-Harris and Josh Shaw may see increased roles in the coming weeks. It’s the first time the team’s depth will really be tested this season, as Dennard becomes the first Bengal from the 53-man roster to land on the injured reserve list in 2015.

As for Ogbuehi, he was one of two tackles the Bengals selected early in the 2015 draft, along with Jake Fisher. Coming off a torn ACL, Ogbuehi started the season on the NFI list, but should be available for the team down the stretch. Still, while Ogbuehi and Fisher are likely the tackles of the future in Cincinnati, veterans Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith remain the starters for now.

North Notes: Joe Thomas, Bengals, Peterson

We’re a full week removed from the trade deadline, but whispers about the blockbuster deal that didn’t get done on that day – Joe Thomas to the Broncos – continue to linger. For his part, Thomas today denied a weekend report suggesting he and/or his agent asked the Browns to explore the trade market for a possible deal.

“I’m not sure where that report came from, but I can say in no uncertain terms that I never asked the Browns for a trade, that I never talked to them about wanting to be traded, (nor) did any of my representatives talk to the Browns about wanting to be traded,” Thomas said today, per Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. “From what I understand about how things went, the Browns were contacted by the Broncos and that’s where the trade came from.”

That weekend report also indicated that Thomas wanted the Broncos to guarantee his 2016 and 2017 salaries before agreeing to a deal, which the Browns star tackle also denied.

“The other thing I’m going to be very firm and make no qualms about is myself was never involved in any contract discussions with the Denver Broncos, my agent was never involved in any contract discussions, there was never any guaranteed money discussed,” Thomas said. “I was off the grid this weekend, so I was a little surprised to see (the report).”

Let’s round up a few more Tuesday notes from across the NFL’s North divisions….

  • The Browns will add running back Glenn Winston and cornerback Charles Gaines to their active roster at some point this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). Having cut linebacker Jayson DiManche and defensive back De’Ante Saunders yesterday, Cleveland shouldn’t need to make any other roster moves to accommodate the returning players.
  • A pair of Bengals players that opened the year on reserve lists returned to practice for the team today, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. As Harvey notes, Cincinnati will now have a three-week window to decide whether or not to activate offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (non-football injury list) and linebacker Sean Porter (physically unable to perform list).
  • As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com observes (via Twitter), Adrian Peterson needs at least 1,350 rushing yards and a Vikings playoff berth to keep his 2016 roster bonus from dropping by $2MM. While those may have seemed like tall orders before the season, Peterson – the league’s leading rusher – is currently on pace to exceed 1,500 yards, and Minnesota is tied for first place in the NFC North.

PUP, NFI Players Soon Eligible To Practice

Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the Giants and Eagles, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many clubs could be welcoming injured players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to the practice field.

Of course, just because those players are able to return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player currently on the PUP list could return to the field for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest.

The rules for NFI players are similar to those for PUP players. If a player on either reserve list doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, his 2015 season will officially be over.

Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list who can begin practicing as soon as this Tuesday:

And here are the players currently on their teams’ non-football injury or illness lists, who are also eligible to begin practicing this Tuesday:

  • Arizona Cardinals: WR Damond Powell
  • Buffalo Bills: CB Leodis McKelvin
  • Cincinnati Bengals: T Cedric Ogbuehi
  • Cleveland Browns: DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE Randall Telfer, RB Glenn Winston
  • Dallas Cowboys: LB Mark Nzeocha
  • Houston Texans: T David Quessenberry
  • Kansas City Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray
  • San Francisco 49ers: WR DeAndre Smelter
  • Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams

In addition to monitoring players on the PUP and NFI lists, it’s worth keeping an eye on players who have been placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this IR-DTR spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.

That means that a player who was placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing on Tuesday, though he won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 9. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after Week 1 will have to wait until next Tuesday – October 27 – to return to practice, while other IR-DTR players will have to wait until November to practice.

Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as Tuesday:

North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Bears

According to head coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals won’t make any roster moves next week involving linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who is on the PUP list, or offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, who remains on the NFI list (Twitter link via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com). Both players are eligible to be activated after Week 6, but it makes sense that Cincinnati would hold off, even if they’re close to being ready, since the club has a bye in Week 7.

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

  • Running back Raheem Mostert, claimed off waivers by the Ravens earlier this week, said he was “shocked” when he found out he was heading to Baltimore, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes. When he got the call, Mostert was standing in the Dolphins‘ training facility, ready to re-sign to Miami’s practice squad after the team cut him. Now, the 23-year-old is ready to contribute and hoping to find a new home with the Ravens.
  • Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, with an assist from the team’s official website, shut down any speculation that he might be a candidate for USC’s coaching job. “I love the Ravens. It’s not a consideration,” Harbaugh said today, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.
  • Asked by a reader if the Bears made a mistake by trading Jared Allen and Jon Bostic for late-round draft picks, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune suggests that neither player was a good fit in Vic Fangio‘s 3-4 defensive scheme, so he has a hard time imagining the moves hurting the club this season.
  • Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards said there’s a “possibility” safety Anthony Harris could soon be called up to the 53-man roster, tweets Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

Ravens, Bengals Cut Down To 75 Players

Two AFC North rivals, the Ravens and the Bengals, have reduced their rosters to 75 players in advance of this afternoon’s deadline, the teams announced today.

The Ravens confirmed in a press release that they’ve officially placed Dennis Pitta on the reserve/PUP list, a move we heard weeks ago was coming. The club waived offensive lineman De’Ondre Wesley to get down to 75 players on the active roster, and also cut tackle Darryl Baldwin, who had been on the reserve/NFI list.

As for the Bengals, their roster had been at 78 players after they cut Denarius Moore and eight other players on Monday. Cincinnati’s final three roster moves, according to the team (via Twitter), were placing offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi on the reserve/NFI list, placing linebacker Sean Porter on the reserve/PUP list, and waiving wide receiver Onterio McCalebb with an injury designation.

Ogbuehi and Porter will now have to sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season, while McCalebb will land on the Bengals’ IR list if and when he clears waivers.

Bengals Sign Cedric Ogbuehi

The Bengals have finished signing their 2015 draft class, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed first-round offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to his rookie contract. Ogbuehi was the last of nine Bengals draftees to ink his deal.

According to Over The Cap’s data, Ogbuehi’s four-year contract will have a total value of about $9.326MM, with a signing bonus worth approximately $5.042MM. The deal, which will also feature a fifth-year option for the 2019 season, likely won’t quite be fully guaranteed, since most players selected late in the first round don’t get full guarantees. The Bengals grabbed the Texas A&M lineman with the 21st overall pick back in April.

The Bengals’ draft was heavy on offensive lineman at the top, as Cincinnati used its second-round pick on former Oregon tackle Jake Fisher after having added Ogbuehi. While they could very well be the Bengals’ long-term solutions on either side of the offensive line, Ogbuehi and Fisher will have to contend in 2015 with veterans Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, who won’t be eager to surrender their starting spots. Whitworth and Smith are both eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2016.

I wrote yesterday that 25 players from 2015’s draft class remained unsigned. Since then, three offensive linemen – Ogbuehi, Lions first-rounder Laken Tomlinson, and Buccaneers second-rounder Ali Marpet – have been locked up by their respective teams, leaving just 22 draftees still to sign.

Extra Points: Browns, Bengals, Bonuses

Fond of assessing teams’ draft performances hours after their completion, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. provided some additional immediate analysis (Insider subscription required) on which teams’ depth charts improved the most.

Not coincidentally, six of Kiper’s eight teams mentioned here made their first pick in the top 10, with only the Browns and Seahawks drawing mention for their selections in the middle and near the end of the rounds, respectively.

While Kiper chastised Seattle for reaching each year, he’s come to accept what the franchise does may work, considering the annual production from homegrown players. He identified Tyler Lockett as a potential impact player for a team mostly devoid of them on the outside. Beyond their two first-rounders, the Browns’ third-round bolstering of their backfield with Duke Johnson drew specific praise from the longtime draft expert.

Here is some other news from around the league …

  • With interior-line players coming to Cleveland after first-round notifications, the Browns were definitely not as flashy in this draft as they were last year, writes Jeff Schudel of the Lorain Morning Journal. Characterizing this year’s class as one orchestrated by Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer rather than what he determines as a Jimmy Haslem move in getting Johnny Manziel last year, Schudel notes the Browns, who may start Josh McCown rather than the first-round quarterback they traded up for in 2014, are planning for low-scoring contests this season.
  • Coming off a torn ACL sustained in a bowl game, Cedric Ogbuehi seems destined for the physically unable to perform list to start his NFL career, writes Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com in his look at Cincinnati’s new depth chart. Second-round tackle Jake Fisher should also be ready for work at center, offers Hobson, with offensive line coach Paul Alexander preferring versatility from his charges.
  • With teams allotted $86K in bonuses to dole out to undrafted free agents, this year they are using funds from an unlimited area to compensate for that figure, reports Philly.com’s Paul Domowitch (Twitter links). By splitting finances for undrafted performers between bonus money and base salary guarantees, the latter not having a specific limit like the former, teams are spending quite a bit to land their post-draft targets.
  • The 49ers did the most in terms of securing future resources during this draft, by acquiring two of the five 2016 selections exchanged this weekend, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Wilkening. The Chargers and Cowboys traded the 49ers fifth- and sixth-round picks, respectively, in next year’s draft.

Extra Points: Gregory, Texans, Bengals

Here’s a look at the latest from around the NFL as the 2015 draft continues:

  • Representatives for Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, whom the Cowboys chose 60th overall, made it clear before the draft that he’d need significant support from his NFL team, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That support is expected to include a security person and personal handler for Gregory, whose draft stock plummeted because of off-field concerns – notably marijuana use and potential mental health issues.
  • The Texans aren’t going to trade cornerback Johnathan Joseph, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The nine-year veteran is entering the final season of his contract, but McClain reports that his place on the team is safe.
  • The Bengals filled a need along their offensive line Thursday when they used their first-round pick on Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. Had Ogbuehi been gone before then, the Bengals would’ve selected Oregon’s Jake Fisher, tweets ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. As luck would have it, Fisher was still available at No. 53, the Bengals’ second-rounder, so they were also able to land him.
  • Before drafting Mississippi cornerback Senqeuz Golson with the 56th pick, the Steelers attempted to move up and grab LSU’s Jalen Collins, who went 42nd to the Falcons, reports Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (via Twitter). They also liked Utah’s Eric Rowe, whom the Eagles selected at No. 47.
  • Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said he traded up for Hobart guard Ali Marpet because offensive line depth in the draft was shrinking, Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com tweeted. The Bucs selected Marpet in the second round after sending the 65th and 109th picks to the Colts for Nos. 61 and 128.
  • Michigan defensive end Frank Clark, whom the Seahawks chose with the 63rd pick, said he had a lot of pre-draft contact with the team, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Clark’s agent told him that the Seahawks “had a man crush on [Clark],” according to Condotta.

Draft Rumors: Gurley, Saints, K. Johnson

Three teams who pick in the top ten are considering Georgia running back Todd Gurley, according to Todd McShay of ESPN (Twitter link). The Dolphins are also known to be in on Gurley, but it sounds like he may not last that long.

Here are some more rumors as we approach the start of the draft:

  • A “high-level” Saints source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that the club doesn’t intend to take a quarterback in the first round. Previous reports had indicated that New Orleans would be interested in Baylor QB Bryce Petty at No. 31.
  • Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson is expected to be off the board by the time the Ravens pick at No. 26, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, who notes that the Dolphins, at pick No. 13, could consider Johnson.
  • It’s possible that we see a run on offensive tackles near the end of the first round, which could cause the Broncos to consider trading up. However, Denver won’t give up a second-rounder to do so, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • The Lions recently called Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to double-check his contact information, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). That might not mean much on its face, but at least we know Ogbuehi, who is recovering from an ACL injury, is still on Detroit’s board.
  • The Rams have received calls from teams interested in moving up to the tenth pick, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.