Chris Manhertz

Extra Points: Cardinals, Cooks, Gregory, Manhertz, McCluster

Larry Fitzgerald will be back for a 15th season in Arizona, and the long-time Cardinals wideout is set to hit free agency next offseason. Of course, the future Hall of Famer can’t envision himself playing elsewhere, as he essentially told Jace Frederick of TwinCities.com that he’d hang up his cleats if he wasn’t retained by Arizona.

“If I’m not playing in Arizona, I won’t be playing anywhere,” he said. “I’ve built a good life for myself down there. Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing.”

Fitzgerald is one of only two players (along with Antonio Brown) to compile 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards over the past three seasons. Despite turning 35 years old this fall, Fitzgerald says he isn’t slowing down.

“It doesn’t really matter about the age, it’s about what you put into it and your mind-set,” he said. “Everybody kind of takes numbers and assumes this is when it’s supposed to end. As an athlete, fortunately, you write your own script. If you still produce and you play at a high level, you kind of determine how long you want to play. If I can stay at a high level, I still keep destiny in my own hands.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • We learned earlier today that wideout Brandin Cooks had inked a five-year, $80MM extension with the Rams. NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora tweets that the new deal contains $20.5MM in guaranteed money and a $50.5MM injury guarantee. NFL.com’s Albert Breer clarifies (via Twitter) that the deal will actually total $81MM, with the $16.2MM average annual value trailing only Brown, Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins.
  • Cardinals general manager Steve Keim pleaded guilty today to extreme DUI, and the Cardinals subsequently fined and suspended the executive. Kent Somers of AZCentral tweets that there won’t be an interim general manager during Keim’s absence, as the team will ultimately divide his responsibilities. Terry McDonough will likely handle the “evaluation side,” while Mike Disner will focus on contracts and the cap. Somer adds that Keim won’t face further discipline from the NFL.
  • Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that Keim’s suspension “doesn’t preclude” the Cardinals from working out a long-term deal with running back David Johnson, echoing that Disner would likely negotiate the contract. The Pro Bowler skipped mandatory minicamp last month as he looks for a raise on his $1.8MM base salary.
  • Panthers tight end Chris Manhertz will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, reports Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. The 26-year-old underwent offseason surgery after suffering a Jones fracture in his left foot. The team is hopeful that Greg Olsen‘s primary backup will be ready for the start of the regular season. As Person points out, Manhertz’s absence will provide fourth-rounder Ian Thomas with an opportunity to contribute during training camp.
  • Earlier today, the NFL reinstated Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory on a conditional basis. Naturally, after appearing in only two games over the past two seasons, the 25-year-old is excited about the prospect of returning to the NFL. “I’m very excited,” Gregory said (via the Dallas News’ Jon Machota on Twitter). “Thanks to the ones who supported me and stood by me. It’s a lot more to the story than it seems and it took me a lot to get to this point. Now I’m ready to make some plays.”
  • Former NFL running back Dexter McCluster has caught on with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL (via CFL.ca). The 29-year-old played in six games with the Chargers during the 2016 season. During his four years with the Chiefs, McCluster compiled 662 rush yards, 1,500 receiving yards, and more than 2,000 return yards.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Rams

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

  • Promoted to active roster: T Blaine Clausell
  • Placed on injured reserve: TE Chris Manhertz

Kansas City Chiefs

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Panthers have claimed tight end Chris Manhertz off waivers from the Saints, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. A basketball player turned tight end, Manhertz was cut loose by New Orleans late last week to make room for the promotion of a wide receiver. He’ll slot in behind Greg Olsen and Ed Dickson on the Carolina roster. To clear a spot on the 53, the Panthers waived cornerback Lou Young, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Broncos waived reserve guard Darrion Weems, reports Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Weems, 28, had played on roughly a third of Denver’s offensive snaps, but graded as one of the worst interior lineman in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • The Colts have waived cornerback Frankie Williams, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Williams was promoted from the practice squad prior to Sunday night’s game against Houston.

Saints Promote WR Jake Lampman

The Saints announced that they have promoted wide receiver Jake Lampman. To make room on the roster, the team has waived tight end Chris ManhertzSaints general helmet (Featured)

Lampman, 23, joined the Saints as a UDFA out of Ferris State this offseason. When he didn’t make the team’s final cut, he signed on with the practice squad. In his final collegiate season, the wide receiver hauled in 52 passes for 731 yards and eight touchdowns.

Manhertz became expendable this week when Josh Hill returned to practice after dealing with a high ankle sprain. Manhertz was on the field for 43 snaps this year while Hill was sidelined but drew zero targets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/5/16

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the league. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2016 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ 90-man rosters.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Taylor Boggs, C (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com)
  • Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, C
  • Mike Reilly, OLB
  • Tyrequek Zimmerman, S

Baltimore Ravens

  • Jerod Johnson, QB (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

  • Burton Pierce, OT
  • Ben Heenan, G
  • Edwin Jackson, LB
  • Kitt O’Brien, G
  • Dezmen Southward, DB
  • Joshua Stangby. WR

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

  • Garrett Gilbert, QB (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)
  • Giorgio Tavecchio, K

San Diego Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

  • Corey Acosta, K (link via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle)

St. Louis Rams

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints Slim Down Roster To 53

One season and two training camps proved sufficient for the Saints to determine whether Stanley Jean-Baptiste was capable of making an impact for them.

They determined the 2014 second-round pick wasn’t good enough for their roster, notes Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com. Jean-Baptiste only played eight snaps last year and as a result of this move, Brandin Cooks is the only player remaining on the team from last year’s draft class.

The Saints instead kept 2014 undrafted free agent Brian Dixon, who played 166 snaps as a rookie, among their seven-cornerback contingent.

New Orleans did not keep veteran receiver Josh Morgan, either, and will go with a mostly young receiving stable, excepting Marques Colston.

Jairus Byrd also avoided having to start the season on the PUP list, per Terrell.

The Saints’ other cuts are as follows:

  • Justin Anderson, LB
  • Edwin Baker, RB
  • Nick Becton, OL
  • Orson Charles, TE
  • Henry Coley, LB
  • Jerry Franklin, LB
  • Mike Golic Jr., OL
  • Ryan Griffin, QB
  • Bryce Harris, T
  • Sean Hickey, OL
  • Seantavius Jones, WR
  • Dustin Hopkins, K
  • Cyril Lemon, OL
  • Chris Manhertz, TE
  • Joseph Morgan, WR
  • Toben Opurum, FB
  • Sammy Seamster, CB
  • Alex Smith, TE
  • Pierre Warren, S

NFC Notes: RGIII, Packers, Saints

The Packers will have some work to do in the next couple of weeks as they look to reduce their current 88-man roster to 53. Even though they need to trim a third of their preseason roster, general manager Ted Thompson told Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com that he’ll still be eyeing the waiver wire prior to the regular season.

“We look, like everybody else,” Thompson said. “We do a lot of that work and we do it every week, so it’s non-stop because games are played on Monday and Thursday and Friday and Saturday, so it’s non-stop. We’re always trying to catch up.”

“It could be guys that you would potential consider trading for or putting in a claim for or that sort of thing. It runs the gamut because you’re kind of guessing what the home team, so to speak, wants to do with a player. The home team might love this player and you know you’re not going to get your hands on him, so you move on. At the same time, you find guys from time to time where the teams aren’t quite as attached to.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC…

  • Washington general manager Scot McCloughan is “determined to change [the] team culture,” reports ESPN.com’s Ed Werder (via Twitter). Those changes would include moving on from quarterback Robert Griffin III.
  • Kirk Cousins may not only be starting this evening’s preseason game for Washington, as ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini tweets that the plan is to have the former fourth-rounder start Week 1.
  • Evan Woodbury of NOLA.com writes that wideout Willie Snead‘s strong preseason has put the player in a position to make the Saints“I think he’s done well. He’s very competitive. He’s got some real good football instincts,” said coach Sean Payton. “He’s right there in the thick of it, competing for playing time, competing for a roster spot. He made a couple of plays tonight. He’s doing a good job.”
  • Drew Brees‘ role as the Saints number-one quarterback is obviously safe, and rookie Garrett Grayson seems to have a solid hold on the number-three spot. That leaves Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin competing for the backup spot, and Woodbury writes that McCown appears to be leading the competition.
  • Former Canisius power forward Chris Manhertz is trying to catch on with the Saints as a tight end, and Brett Martel of the Associated Press writes that the former Bills project is using Jimmy Graham (a former basketball player) as inspiration. “Absolutely,” Manhertz said. “It’s really amazing to see how smoothly (Graham) made the transition and where he’s at now, and playing at a high level.”

Bills Sign Red Bryant

The Bills have announced a series of transactions, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News, who tweets that the team has signed veteran defensive lineman Red Bryant. In addition to signing Bryant, the Bills also added running back Cierre Wood, cutting tight end Chris Manhertz and cornerback Rod Sweeting.

Bryant, who was among the defensive players to work out for the Bills earlier this week, saw time in all 16 games in his first and only season for the Jaguars in 2014. In total, he racked up 23 tackles to go with one pass deflection and one sack. The 31-year-old graded out as a slightly below-average contributor, according to Pro Football Focus‘ (subscription required) metrics, coming in with a -1.6 grade. Overall, that placed him 31st out of 59 qualified 4-3 defensive ends.

Before his season in Jacksonville, Bryant spent six years with the Seahawks, starting all but one regular-season contest for the team from 2011 to 2013. Although Bryant has been a starter for the last four years, one GM tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the veteran defender is best used in a rotation at this point in his career, perhaps for 20-30 plays per game. That shouldn’t be a problem in Buffalo, where the Bills have plenty of talent on the defensive line, even after taking a few injury hits.

The addition of Wood should help provide depth at another injury-plagued position for the Bills, though it’s not clear if his signing means the team has decided not to sign a veteran like Ray Rice. As I outlined earlier today, Buffalo had been discussing a possible pursuit of Rice, with LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Fred Jackson (hamstring), Anthony Dixon (calf), and Karlos Williams (illness) all battling health issues.