Charles Johnson (WR)

Jets Officially Cut 18 Players

The Jets’ roster is now at 71 players after the club announced 18 cuts today. Like all NFL teams, New York will need to reduce to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Several of the following transactions were reported earlier today, but we’ll list them here as well:

Waived:

Released:

Jets Notes: Rosen, Johnson, Minter, Dozier

If the Jets are looking to play it safe at quarterback, Josh Rosen would be the smart choice, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com argues. Of course, that’s assuming that Rosen will be on the board for Gang Green at No. 3 overall, and that’s far from a certainty.

That’s also not to say that Rosen is a slam dunk. Although Rosen has great mechanics, the Jets do have concerns about his accuracy. Conversely, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield has been lauded for his precision. The UCLA star also doesn’t have the arm strength of Wyoming product Josh Allen.

Currently, all signs are pointing to the Browns selecting Sam Darnold at No. 1 overall and there are rumblings that the Giants are not particularly interested in Rosen at No. 2. Assuming the Browns take Darnold and the Giants go with a non-QB, the Jets will get to choose between three of this year’s top four QB prospects.

Here’s more on the Jets:

  • Wide receiver Charles Johnson‘s contract with the Jets is a one-year, $1.5MM pact, Cimini tweets. The deal includes a $250K signing bonus, a $250K workout bonus, and a $1MM base. Johnson spent the 2017 season on the Panthers’ IR after a summer injury. He made some noise in Minnesota, but has not made a noticeable impact since 2014.
  • Linebacker Kevin Minter‘s contract with the Jets is a one-year, $880K deal with a $90K signing bonus, Cimini tweets. Same goes for guard Dakota Dozier.

Jets Sign Kevin Minter, Charles Johnson

The Jets have announced some under-the-radar signings that could pay dividends this season. Linebacker Kevin Minter and wide receiver Charles Johnson have agreed to terms with the Jets, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.

Minter spent the 2017 season with the Bengals and visited the Bills last month. He’ll return to a 3-4 scheme with the Jets and reunite with Todd Bowles, who coached Minter for two seasons as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.

Johnson did not play in 2017 but visited the Jets last month. He’s agreed to terms to join a somewhat crowded Gang Green receiving corps.

The Bengals signed Minter to start at middle linebacker, but he saw just 196 snaps in the nine games he played last season to lower his value. A seven-game starter, Minter saw a hamstring injury limit him and eventually send him to IR.

The Jets also made a splashy addition to their inside-linebacking contingent earlier this offseason in signing Avery Williamson. New York also has 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee, but he’s struggled as an NFLer thus far. Minter started all 32 regular-season games for the Cardinals from 2015-16 and entered the 2017 offseason with higher stock as a UFA. The former second-round pick may have to use this season to rebuild it.

Johnson spent last season on the Panthers’ IR after a summer injury. He signed for $2.2MM in Carolina last year after being a part-time Vikings starter. His most notable season came as a rookie in Minnesota. The Division II product posted 475 receiving yards and two touchdowns prior to the Vikings forming the Adam ThielenStefon Diggs pairing.

Johnson will join a Jets corps that now has Terrelle Pryor and Andre Roberts, to go along with 2017 starters Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse and second-year players ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. Quincy Enunwa is also back from injury, so there will be a fight for receiving jobs in the coming months.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WR Charles Johnson Visits Jets

It sounds like Charles Johnson has a potential suitor. The Jets announced (via Twitter) that the wideout paid a visit earlier today.

The 2013 seventh-round pick joined the Panthers last offseason. However, 29-year-old required knee surgery during the summer, and he was subsequently placed on the injured reserve. While the wideout failed to play a game in 2017, he was a dependable receiver for the Vikings between 2014 and 2016. During his final season in Minnesota, Johnson hauled in 20 receptions for 232 yards. His best offensive season came in 2014, when he finished with 31 receptions for 475 yards and two scores.

The Jets are seemingly looking for some reinforcement at wide receiver, although Johnson wouldn’t earn his way to the top of the depth chart. Rather, if he joins the organization, he’ll be battling wideouts like Chad Hansen, Jojo Natson, Charone Peake and Lucky Whitehead for snaps.

Panthers Sign WR Trevor Graham

The Panthers have signed free agent wide receiver Trevor Graham, the club announced Monday. Graham, an ex-third-round pick of the Bills, formerly went by the first name T.J., but has since reverted to his given name. Carolina also signed center Greg Van Roten, waived/injured wideout Charles Johnson, and waived defensive end Ryan Delaire with a failed physical designation.T.J. Graham (Vertical)

Graham, who turns 28 years old later this week, is now the 13th receiver on Carolina’s roster, and if he makes the club, it will likely be because of his speed. A track athlete while at North Carolina State, Graham averaged 27 receptions and 342 yards during his first two years in the league (both with Buffalo), but hasn’t contributed on offense since.

While Graham’s skillset seemingly should make him a solid return man in the kicking game, that’s not a role he’s been asked to play throughout his NFL career. He’s returned just seven kickoffs during his time in the league, and has never returned a punt. In fact, in his two seasons with the Bills, Graham played only three total special teams snaps.

As such, it will be difficult for Graham to earn a spot on the Panthers’ roster unless he carves out a role as a deep threat à la Ted Ginn Jr. Given that Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Russell Shepard are locks to make Carolina’s squad, Graham will be competing with the likes of Damiere ByrdBrenton Bersin, and Kaelin Clay for reps during training camp.

Johnson — not to be confused with his former defensive end teammate of the same name — won’t be part of that receiver group, as he’s been cut following right knee surgery. He’ll go through waivers but won’t be claimed due to his injury, so he’ll revert to the Panthers’ injured reserve list. At that point, Carolina could agree to an injury settlement with the former Viking in order to clear him from IR. Johnson, 28, signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $2.2MM earlier this offseason.

Delaire, meanwhile, played 139 defensive snaps for the Panthers a season ago in between two separate stints on injured reserve. In six games, Delaire managed five tackles, one sack, and one pass defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign WR Charles Johnson

The Panthers have cornered the market on NFLers named Charles Johnson. After re-signing the defensive end earlier this week, the team has announced a deal with the wide receiver of the same name. The latter will earn $2.2MM on a one-year pact, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Charles Johnson

A seventh-round pick of the Packers in 2013, the wideout debuted with the Vikings a year later and posted 31 receptions, 475 yards and two touchdowns on 59 targets as a rookie. He wasn’t able to match that production in either of the previous two seasons in Minnesota, though, and is now coming off a scoreless, 20-catch campaign. Johnson did set career highs in appearances (16) and starts (seven) in 2016, however.

With the additions of Johnson and Russell Shepard, the Panthers have signed two receivers Friday. They’ll join Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, among others, in a Carolina receiving corps that lost Ted Ginn to the Saints on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/10/17

Rounding up some of this week’s tender decisions:

RFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered: 

ERFAs:

Tendered:

Extra Points: Lions, Saints, Vikes, Chiefs

Second-year man Ameer Abdullah is atop the Lions’ depth chart at running back, but they won’t rely on him as a workhorse, according to head coach Jim Caldwell (via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com). “Do I think that he’s durable enough to do it? Absolutely,” Caldwell said. “Do I think he’s strong enough to do it? Absolutely. I just don’t think that’s his cup of tea.” Abdullah, a second-round pick last year, averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 143 attempts as a rookie, but he didn’t eclipse the 16-rush mark in any of his 16 appearances. He’s also coming off shoulder surgery that limited him throughout the offseason, as Meinke notes. Pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick and another second-year player, Zach Zenner, are among the Lions’ other backfield options.

More from around the NFL on opening night of the 2016 season:

  • Saints head coach Sean Payton says that he preferred cornerback Sterling Moore to Cortland Finnegan because he’s better in man coverage and a younger player, as Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. The Saints signed the 26-year-old Moore on Tuesday after releasing Finnegan, 32. Payton isn’t sure how much Moore will help in Week 1 against Oakland, but the coach likes his versatility, intelligence and short-area quickness (Twitter link via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com).
  • Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson has changed representation, hiring agents Jonathan Perzley and Brian Mackler of Sportstars NYC, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • A pair of free agents – defensive end Rufus Johnson and outside linebacker/DE Sadat Sulleyman – worked out for the Chiefs on Thursday (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Johnson, whom New Orleans took in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, made his first career appearance last season as a member of the Patriots. Sulleyman, undrafted this year from Portland State, didn’t survive the Broncos’ final cuts. He worked out for the Bengals on Wednesday.
  • There was no shortage of big news Thursday: Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets; the Steelers inked guard David DeCastro to a massive contract extension; and five-time Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch hasn’t closed the door on returning to the league.
  • In case you missed it, the PFR staff weighed in with its 2016 NFL predictions Thursday.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC North Notes: Greenway, Johnson, Jeffery

Luke Adams took a look at some top stories from around the NFC North earlier today, but a few more notes come across the wire worth sharing.

  • Before the season, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway wasn’t sure whether or not 2015 would be his last season. Now he is sure of his decision, but he hasn’t told any teammates or reporters, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press“I’ve told a bunch of people but not (a reporter) or anybody else that’s in this locker room,” said the 10-year veteran. “I’ve decided, but you guys (the media) don’t know yet.”
  • Tomasson also looked at the future of Charles Johnson in Minnesota. Johnson was a key receiver down the stretch last season, but has lost his starting spot to rookie Stefon Diggs and has only nine catches this season. Next year will be the last year of his rookie contract, and with a decreased workload he might find a better situation elsewhere if the Vikings release him this offseason.
  • Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss his sixth game of the season this week against the Buccaneers, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. He has only 54 catches for 807 yards this season, after going over 85 and 1,000 each of the past two seasons. He will be heading into free agency this offseason, seeking to be paid like a top-NFL wideout. However, a big money contract or even the franchise tag would be a lot to pay for a receiver who has struggled with injury and consistency.

NFL Quotes: Raiders, Pryor, Vikings, Packers

With OTAs finished, it’s been relatively slow in the NFL world (luckily we have the Tom Brady saga to distract us temporarily). Even with a lack of news, various beat reporters have still been able to come away with some excellent sound clips, and we’ve compiled those for you below…

Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave on team’s offense (via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com):

“We made some strides, but we have a long way to go. That’s probably the understatement of the year. … We have our moments, but we have to be much more consistent. I think we all recognize and acknowledge that. That will be our goal, of course, going up there to training camp so we can get good in a hurry.”

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on Terrelle Pryor‘s quest to become a wideout (via WHBC in Canton, Ohio; quote via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com):

“If anyone can, he can. He certainly has tremendous athletic ability and a passion to help wherever he can be helpful. So if anyone can do it, he can. And, he could be the bonus of, he can be the team’s third quarterback, and that way they only have to carry two, which gives you a chance to have one more good player on special teams or whatever else. So I think he could be a bonus.”

Vikings wideout Charles Johnson on his job security (via Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune):

“In this business, you’re never secure. You never want to lie down and say, ‘Hey, I made it.’ I’m always working, and we’re always working together. Nobody here has been handed anything, and we’re just ready to come out here and work and become the best players we can be.”

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari on his interactions with Aaron Rodgers (via Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin):

“I didn’t really talk to Aaron. I was like, ‘If he speaks to me, I’ll speak to him.’ If he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t want to go up to him unless he wanted to engage in a conversation.”