Chris Culliver

Colts Cut Chris Culliver From IR

The Colts are cutting Chris Culliver from injured reserve, as veteran NFL reporter Adam Caplan tweets. Culliver, if healthy, will now be free to sign with any team. Chris Culliver (vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Colts QB Andrew Luck]

The Colts signed Culliver in August with the hope that he could bolster one of the league’s worst secondaries from 2016. Unfortunately, a groin injury took him out of commission during the preseason, leading the Colts to put him on IR prior to the 53-man deadline.

Culliver, 29, was a 14-game starter as recently as 2014, but he has been hampered by injuries in recent years.After being released by the Redskins in the spring of 2016, Culliver sat on the free agent market until landing a one-year deal with the Dolphins in August. Still recovering from a torn ACL, Culliver began the season on the PUP list and was ultimately cut in November without ever having played a down for Miami. Culliver has not seen the field since Nov. 22, 2015.

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Colts Down To 53

The Colts made major news on Saturday when they shipped wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to the Patriots in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. After that, they had the daunting task of bringing their bloated preseason roster down to the 53-man max in time for the deadline. Here’s the complete rundown.

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Released:

Placed On IR:

PUP List:

Richardson, who once had a prominent role with the Rams, joined the Colts on Aug. 29 and was viewed as a longshot to make the final cut.

Colts To Sign CB Chris Culliver

The Colts have agreed to sign free agent cornerback Chris Culliver, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal for Culliver, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com.Chris Culliver (Vertical)

Culliver, 29, was a 14-game starter as recently as 2014, but his recent campaigns have been defined by injury. After being released by the Redskins last spring, Culliver sat on the free agent market until landing a one-year deal with the Dolphins in August. Still recovering from a torn ACL, Culliver began the season on the PUP list and was ultimately cut in November without ever having played a down for Miami.

The Colts — who worked Culliver out today, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com (Twitter link) — can use all the secondary help they can get after ranking 26th in passing DVOA a year ago. Vontae Davis is Indianapolis’ only established cornerback, as second-round rookie Quincy Wilson is set to start opposite him with Darius Butler in the slot. Rashaan Melvin, Darryl Morris, Nate Hairston, and Chris Milton round out the rest of the Colts’ corner depth.

Given that uninspiring cast of characters, it’s entirely possible that Culliver could earn ample playing time early in the season. The condition of his knee, which ultimately led to his release in Miami, will likely determine if Culliver is able to contribute on a weekly basis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Jags, Pats, Browns, Jets, Chiefs

Thanks to the now-fired Gus Bradley‘s disastrous stint as a first-time head coach, the Jaguars are unlikely to hire a replacement who doesn’t bring prior experience, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. That makes it all the more probable the team will tab a previously reported candidate like Tom Coughlin, who interviewed Wednesday, interim head coach Doug Marrone or ex-Falcons head coach and current Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Steelers O-coordinator Todd Haley have also been head coaches, but it’s unlikely either will end up a match for Jacksonville, per Mortensen.

More from the AFC:

  • Patriots receiver Michael Floyd could face a mandatory 180 days in jail, not the previously reported 45, for his Dec. 12 arrest in Arizona on a Super Extreme DUI charge, report Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Whether the harsher punishment will enter the fray will come down to whether the courts in Arizona regard this as a second offense for Floyd, who has a prior DUI arrest under his belt from his time at Notre Dame. If Floyd gets 180 days, it could put his availability for next season in jeopardy. The impending free agent is currently slated for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 24, just two weeks before he’s scheduled to hit the open market.
  • With the first pick in next year’s draft in their sights, Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown and vice president Andrew Berry attended Friday’s Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, to scout North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, writes Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. Brown and Berry were previously on hand Wednesday at the Houston Bowl to observe Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, another potential No. 1 overall pick. Trubisky, a junior, hasn’t yet declared for the draft, but the Ohio native is expected to forgo his senior season in favor of the pros. The Browns reportedly “love” the 22-year-old.
  • The Jets brought free agent cornerback Chris Culliver in for a Friday visit – but not a workout – tweets Courtney Fallon of NFL Network. Meanwhile, fellow corner Tharold Simon worked out for Gang Green, relays ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Culliver, whom the Dolphins released Nov. 19, didn’t play a game this year after a torn ACL limited him to just six contests as a member of the Redskins last season. Simon appeared in nine games with the Cardinals earlier this season, but the ex-Seahawk barely made a dent on the stat sheet (five tackles).
  • The Chiefs tried out free agent defensive backs Elijah Shumate and Jeff Richards on Friday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter links). Neither has appeared in an NFL game.

Dolphins Cut Chris Culliver

The Dolphins are in need of an emergency center after Mike Pouncey‘s hip trouble flared up again, and to make room for that replacement the team cut Chris Culliver, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Signed late in free agency despite coming off an ACL tear, Culliver began the season on the PUP list and did not return to form in the way the Dolphins hoped, Salguero notes. Miami promoted rookie UDFA center Jake Brendel from its practice squad. Pouncey is doubtful to play in Week 11 against the Rams.

Culliver’s endured a difficult stretch over the past year, with a 2015 suspension negating the guaranteed money in his Redskins-constructed contract and leading to a premature release from Washington. The separation was largely tied to the cornerback tearing his ACL last November, and it appears the sixth-year corner wasn’t sufficiently recovered from that setback to make an impact in Miami.

The Dolphins activated the 28-year-old corner two weeks ago but did not use him in a game, with Culliver’s surgically repaired knee not allowing him to go all out in practice, either, per Salguero. Initially part of the plan upon signing, Culliver’s PUP list trip did not generate the kind of recovery Fins coaches expected, and the past two weeks since his activation didn’t reveal a corner capable of contributing to a suddenly resurgent team on Sundays.

Culliver told reporters he planned to play against the Chargers last week, but Salguero reports Dolphins coaches had no intention of deploying him.

A full-time starter in 2014-15 with the 49ers and Redskins, Culliver will now enter into an uncertain phase in his career. Although he will venture onto the waiver wire due to late-season rules pushing cut players there at this juncture of the calendar, another team taking a chance on him now if he’s unable to practice at full speed seems unlikely.

Signed to a one-year Dolphins deal worth $3.75MM — $300K fully guaranteed — Culliver saw a four-year, $32MM Redskins accord fail to pan out. He played in just six games for Washington in 2015. Should he sign elsewhere if he clears waivers, Culliver will likely have to do so on a one-year deal to re-establish his value.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Activate CB Chris Culliver

The Dolphins announced that they have officially activated cornerback Chris Culliver from the PUP list to the 53-man roster. In related moves, the Dolphins waived defensive tackle Chris Jones, waived/injured cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, and promoted defensive back LaFayette Pitts from practice squad. Chris Culliver (vertical)

Culliver took the practice field in mid-October, setting him up for his November return to football. Culliver tore his ACL roughly one year ago and it has been a tough road back for the veteran. This offseason, the Dolphins were desperate for help in the secondary and they signed Culliver to a one-year deal with the knowledge that he would be out for the first half of the season.

Now, the Dolphins are more in need of secondary help than ever. Star strong safety Reshad Jones has been playing through a torn rotator cuff for two years, but he pushed it too far and was shut down for the season. At corner, rookie Xavien Howard is dealing with a knee injury and Chekwa is obviously out of the picture. Now at 4-4 after beating the Jets, Culliver joins the Dolphins at a very critical time that can determine the course of their season.

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Dolphins Rumors: Haden, Culliver, Branch

Here’s a quick look at the Dolphins as the trade deadline approaches:

  • Could the Dolphins make a play for Browns cornerback Joe Haden before the deadline? Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald isn’t so sure that Miami would make that move. So far, Pro Football Focus has Haden ranked as the 29th overall cornerback in the NFL and if Miami views him in the same light, then they won’t want to move the necessary resources to acquire him. Salguero notes that safety, linebacker, and running back are also potential positions of need for the Dolphins, but it’s not clear if they’ll look to the trade market to address those problems either. For more on Haden and other top trade targets, check out our 2016 NFL Trade Deadline Primer.
  • Dolphins cornerback Chris Culliver says he’s ready to make his 2016 debut after being sidelined with a knee injury, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. “I feel good; I can play Sunday,” said Culliver, who has been on the PUP list since the start of the season. “If I’m not activated, I’ll be mad. It would be a disappointment. I’m ready to rock.” Culliver’s contract calls for him to earn $156K+ for each game he’s on the 53-man roster, so it would greatly benefit him if he were activated.
  • Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch has hired agents Jimmy Sexton and Tory Dandy of CAA Football for representation, according to Rand Getlin (on Twitter). Branch signed a one-year, $2.75MM deal ($2.5MM guaranteed base) with the Dolphins this offseason. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. Branch, a second-round pick in 2012, spent the first four years of his career in Jacksonville, where he amassed 14 sacks in 51 Andre Branch appearances (13 starts). He logged a career-best 10 starts in 13 appearances last season, totaling 24 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles. So far this year, he has 17 total tackles and three sacks.

Dolphins’ Chris Culliver To Return To Practice

After learning that star safety Reshad Jones is done for the season, we have word of some good news for the Miami secondary. Dolphins cornerback Chris Culliver is slated to practice for the first time this year, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Chris Culliver (vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins Safety Reshad Jones Done For Season]

Culliver, 28, signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins in August. When Miami signed the veteran corner, they knew that it would be some time before he would be able to take the field.

Culliver tore his ACL in November and that, understandably, hurt his market. Had he been healthy, Culliver likely would have been one of the best true outside cornerbacks in free agency. After all, he is on the right side of 30 and isn’t that far removed from being one of the league’s better players at the position.

In 2014, his final season with the 49ers, Culliver limited opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 50.7% and a 66.5 passer rating when they threw into his coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF’s grades placed Culliver as the 14th-best cornerback out of 108 qualified players. In 2015, however, Culliver started only six games for the Redskins, tallying 16 tackles and one pass deflection.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Bills, Culliver, Patriots

As another Bills draft comes under scrutiny in light of Reggie Ragland‘s ACL tear following the season-altering shoulder surgery that Shaq Lawson underwent, Doug Whaley‘s beginning to draw some ire from within the organization. Many inside the franchise are wondering why the recently extended GM has not taken more of the blame for drafting high-risk players, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).

With five of the past eight Bills first- or second-round picks over the past four years set to miss or having already missed extensive time, the aforementioned anonymous sources believe the fourth-year GM should be held more accountable for what’s happened.

Sammy Watkins, whom the Bills of course traded their 2015 first-rounder to acquire, and current Dolphin Kiko Alonso are among the others who have been injured in this span. Whaley’s initial draft pick, EJ Manuel, has failed to live up to expectations after being the only quarterback selected in the 2013 first round.

Here’s more from Buffalo and some other eastern locales.

  • Whaley declared Lawson, Ragland and third-rounder Adolphus Washington would all start “off the bus” in Rex Ryan‘s defense after the draft. Now, Washington is the only one looking ready to live up to that billing, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. IK Enemkpali could now start on the edge in Lawson’s stead after Manny Lawson sustained an injury weightlifting this summer and remains on the Active/PUP list. Although the Bills signed Brandon Spikes and David Hawthorne in the wake of Ragland’s injury, free agent acquisition Zach Brown is expected to step in and start, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.com writes.
  • Chris Culliver is likely to begin the season on the PUP list, helping to explain his incentive-laden Dolphins contract, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Only cleared to resume football activities last week, Culliver embarked on a mini-free agency period, but the team that signed him wants to play it safe despite not having much depth at corner. He drew interest from the 49ers, Bears and Cardinals before agreeing to sign with another cornerback-depleted team. Culliver told media, including Salguero, he expects to be on the field in around two weeks (Twitter link).
  • With the signing of the 6-foot-3 Culliver, the Dolphins are also continuing to transition away from smaller corners, save for those in the slot, per Salguero.
  • Jabaal Sheard is the most likely player to see a playing-time spike for the Patriots after Rob Ninkovich‘s injury, Christopher Price of WEEI.com writes. Sheard played 305 fewer snaps than Chandler Jones last season but rated as one of Pro Football Focus’ best edge defenders. But, as Price notes, the former Browns edge player almost matched the current Cardinals cog in quarterback hits (five to Jones’ seven) and hurries (16.5 to Jones’ 17.5). Price adds more will be expected of 2015 draftees Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers as well. The former played in 15 games, while the latter saw time in only one as rookies.
  • The Jets are seeing positive results after buying low on Ryan Clady.

Dolphins To Sign Chris Culliver

6:03pm: Culliver’s one-year deal can be worth up to $5MM, according to Rapoport (Twitter link).

5:04pm: The Dolphins have reached an agreement to sign free agent cornerback Chris Culliver, a source tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Culliver will sign a one-year deal, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Chris Culliver (Vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins waive/injured CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu]

Miami has been on the lookout for secondary help for some time, as their cornerback depth chart is rather thin behind Byron Maxwell, whom the club acquired earlier this year via trade. Second-round rookie Xavien Howard had been expected to start opposite Maxwell, but he underwent surgery after suffering a knee injury during minicamp and is now on the active/PUP list. Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and Chimdi Chekwa currently round out the Dolphins’ depth chart at corner.

Culliver signed a four-year, $32MM contract with Washington in May 2015, ultimately playing out just one season of that deal. Although Culliver’s agreement with the club called for $16MM in full guarantees, including an $8MM guaranteed salary for 2016, that guarantee was voided when the cornerback was suspended one game for a 2014 incident.

Culliver, 28 next week, also tore his ACL in November, meaning his availability for the start of the season could be in doubt. He probably stood as one of the best true outside cornerbacks left on the open market and he is on the right side of 30, but it’s not clear when he might actually be able to take the field.

In 2014, his final season with the 49ers, Culliver limited opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 50.7% and a 66.5 passer rating when they threw into his coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF’s grades placed Culliver as the 14th-best cornerback out of 108 qualified players. In 2015, however, Culliver started six games for Washington, tallying 16 tackles and one pass deflection.

Culliver had also drawn interest from the Cardinals this offseason, and took a visit with the club in June. Back in May, we ranked Culliver as one of the best defensive free agents remaining on the board .

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.