Chris Owens

Saints Place Keenan Lewis On IR

A difficult defensive season for the Saints worsened on Thanksgiving Day, when they placed top cornerback Keenan Lewis on season-ending injured reserve, Evan Woodberry of NOLA.com reports.

Lewis’ injury-riddled season endured its final blow against Washington two weeks ago after suffering a knee injury.

The Saints signed Chris Owens to fill Lewis’ spot, and the veteran cornerback practiced with the team Thursday, Woodberry reports.

The veteran cornerback missed four games this season and underwent a sports hernia operation, which limited Lewis to participation in just six contests this season and only one start. He only played 106 snaps in New Orleans this year.

This came as a stark contrast for the 29-year-old Lewis, who functioned as the Saints’ top corner the past two seasons after signing as a free agent in 2013.

Lewis, who started 32 games the past two years and snared six interceptions, missed time this offseason with the Saints before the team reworked his contract to add additional guaranteed money. The 2016 portion of Lewis’ contract features a now-fully guaranteed $2.7MM base salary and a $6.3MM cap figure. Lewis is under contract with New Orleans until the 2017 season.

The 29-year-old Owens most recently played with the Chiefs in 2014 after serving as a Falcons cog from 2009-12.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/25/15

The Ravens will activate defensive end Brent Urban off of the IR-DTR list, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets. It still hasn’t been determined whether he will play against the Browns on Monday, however. Urban, 24, was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by the Ravens, but missed his entire rookie campaign with a torn ACL. The Virginia product sustained a torn bicep this year, but Baltimore liked him enough to use its only IR-DTR slot on him back in September.

Here are the rest of Wednesday’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL:

  • The Saints are set to sign cornerback Chris Owens to the 53-man roster, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Owens, who turns 29 on Tuesday, played in 11 games for the Chiefs last season.
  • The Raiders will promote wide receiver/return man Jeremy Ross from the practice squad to the active roster, a source tells Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers have signed long snapper Danny Aiken, as Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Aiken will give Carolina an option as they wait to learn more about J.J. Jansen‘s availability.

Workout Notes: Pats, Saints, Seahawks

Earlier tonight, we learned that the Ravens hosted former Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor for a workout on Tuesday. However, he wasn’t the only notable NFL veteran auditioning today. Here’s a roundup of today’s workouts from around the league:

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/13/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL..

  • The Dolphins released RB/KR Raheem Mostert off their roster, according to agent Brett Tessler (Twitter links). Mostert led the entire NFL in yardage this preseason while with the Eagles. If he passes through waivers, Tessler adds that he’ll be added to Miami’s taxi squad.
  • The Texans signed defensive tackle Brandon Dunn to active roster off the Bears‘ practice squad, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). In a related move, the Texans cut wide receiver Chandler Worthy from active roster (Twitter links). If Worthy clears waivers, Houston would like to sign him to the taxi squad.
  • The Saints re-signed wide receiver Joe Morgan, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. To make room, the defensive backs waived defensive back Don Jones (link).
  • The Eagles (via Twitter) announced that they signed offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson off the 49ers‘ practice squad and released center/guard Julian Vandervelde.
  • The Chiefs signed running back Darrin Reaves to their practice squad, as Adam Teicher of ESPN.com writes. The former Panthers tailback was in camp with Kansas City this past offseason.
  • The Steelers released kicker Garrett Hartley off of IR, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Lions released cornerback Chris Owens off of the IR, Caplan tweets.
  • The Cowboys waived wide receiver Vince Mayle, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. The Washington State product was moved from the practice squad to the active roster last week to give Dallas additional depth at the position.
  • The Bears waived quarterback David Fales, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • The Cardinals placed defensive back Chris Clemons on injured reserve, Wilson tweets.
  • The Dolphins cut Damarr Aultman, Wilson tweets.
  • The Colts cut Jalil Brown from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks waived UDFA running back Rod Smith and quarterback B.J. Daniels, Caplan tweets.
  • The Lions waived linebacker Kevin Snyder from the IR, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets.

Lions Release Ryan Broyles, 8 Others

The Lions have cut ten players loose, including wide receiver Ryan Broyles, as Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com writes. The full list is below:

  • Deon Butler, TE
  • Ryan Broyles, WR
  • Garret Gilbert, QB
  • Vernon Johnson, WR
  • Desmond Martin, RB
  • Roy Philon, DT
  • Jocquel Skinner, CB
  • R.J. Stanford, CB
  • Erik Williams, DE

In addition to those moves, cornerback Chris Owens has been placed on IR with an undisclosed injury. Broyles, 27, has spend the last three years with the Lions and appared in 21 total games. In his rookie season, the second round selection hauled in 22 catches for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading many to wonder if he could be on his way to becoming a leading wide receiver. Since then, however, he has notched just 10 total catches.

Lions Sign Greg Salas, Chris Owens

With unrestricted free agents no longer tied to the compensatory draft pick formula, the Lions have added a pair of veterans to their roster, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. Per Twentyman, the club has signed wide receiver Greg Salas and cornerback Chris Owens to one-year contracts.

Salas, a fourth-round pick by the Rams in 2011, only spent one season in St. Louis before moving on to play for the Patriots, the Eagles, and – most recently – the Jets. Over the course of his four-year NFL career, the 26-year-old has accumulated 43 receptions, including eight last year for New York — most of those catches came in Salas’ rookie season, when he hauled in 27 balls for the Rams.

As for Owens, he has more NFL experience than Salas, having appeared in 83 games (17 starts) over the last six years for the Falcons, Browns, Dolphins, and Chiefs. A cornerback who plays most frequently in the slot, Salas has totaled 217 tackles, 21 passes defended, three interceptions, and three fumble recoveries in his career.

Salas will compete for reps behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, alongside recently-signed vet Lance Moore and a handful of other players, while Owens will join a group of cornerbacks that includes Darius Slay, Rashean Mathis, Josh Wilson, Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson, Alex Carter, Quandre Diggs, and Crezdon Butler.

AFC Notes: Titans, Browner, Clowney, Chiefs

The Eagles are considered the favorites to land Mark Sanchez, and it’s hard to determine which other teams may be a threat to Philadelphia for the signal-caller. The Seahawks have been ruled out as a destination, and reported interest from the Rams and Giants has been significantly downplayed. Now, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com suggests that another rumored suitor isn’t seriously in the mix, tweeting that the Titans don’t have interest in bringing Sanchez aboard. As we wait to see where the former Jet lands, let’s check out a few more notes from around the AFC….

  • Chris Johnson‘s future with the Titans remains in limbo, as Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean writes.
  • In a series of four tweets, Tom Pelissero of USA Today explains how Brandon Browner‘s contract with the Patriots works, complete with financial specifics.
  • Field Yates of ESPN Boston (Twitter link) has the details on the playing-time incentives in Michael Vick‘s new deal with the Jets. As Yates outlines, Vick can earn bonuses up to $1MM depending on whether he appears in 50% ($100K), 60% ($300K), 70% ($550K), 80% ($900K), or 90% ($1MM) of the Jets’ snaps.
  • Texans head coach Bill O’Brien plans to attend Jadeveon Clowney‘s Pro Day next week, and is looking forward to continuing the “good talk” he had with Clowney at the combine, tweets James Palmer of CSNHouston.com.
  • Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed that he spoke to free agent receiver Jason Avant, but suggested there’s nothing there when it comes to the team’s interest in the former Eagle. Reid instead hinted that he and Avant may work together down the road, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links).
  • Chris Owens‘ one-year contract with the Chiefs is worth $800K, which includes a $730K base salary and a $70K workout bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. $80K of Owens’ base salary is guaranteed.
  • Fullback Jamize Olawale has signed his exclusive rights tender to remain with the Raiders, the team announced today (Twitter link).

Chiefs Sign Chris Owens, Waive Brandon Moore

Cornerback Chris Owens has signed a deal to become a member of the Chiefs, reports Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). Adam Teicher of ESPN also reported the signing (via Twitter). The team has also decided to release defensive tackle Brandon Moore.

Owens has played six years in the NFL, with the Dolphins, Falcons, and Browns. Teicher added that the signing was curious, because at 5’9″ he is undersized compared to what the Chiefs are looking for in the secondary under this regime.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Moreno, Contract Details

Newly-minted NFLPA president Eric Winston is just hours into his new role, but he sounds like he’s ready to hit the ground running.

“This union has always been about fighting,” Winston told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “It won’t change.”

Winston didn’t mince words when it came to the idea of expanding the NFL season from 16 to 18 games, telling Pelissero that the idea is “dead in the water.” He was less definitive when it came to the idea of playoff expansion, but he made it clear that the union will only be on board under certain conditions. Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Knowshon Moreno arguably had the most impressive 2013 campaign of any of this year’s free agent running backs, but his name hasn’t surfaced at all in the last nine days. That changed today, with word breaking that the Dolphins will have Moreno in a for a visit on Friday (Twitter link via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald).
  • The Panthers continue to pursue free agent receivers, and will have Lestar Jean in for a visit tonight and tomorrow, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
  • The Buccaneers hosted free agent defensive back Chris Owens today, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. Owens also met with the Steelers this week, as we heard earlier this afternoon.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap has the full breakdown of many of the new contracts signed in recent days, including, but not limited to, Andrew Hawkinsfour-year pact with the Browns, Scott Chandler‘s two-year deal with the Bills, James Starkstwo-year deal with the Packers, Charlie Johnson‘s two-year contract with the Vikings, and Usama Young‘s two-year deal with the Raiders.
  • Jerricho Cotchery‘s deal with the Panthers is technically for five years, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun details (via Twitter). I imagine it includes three void years, similar to Roman Harper‘s new contract. Cotchery also received a $2.25MM signing bonus.
  • Wilson (Twitter links) also provides details on a pair of minimum salary benefit contracts, noting that fullback Jed Collins will get $710K from the Lions between his $65K signing bonus and $645K base salary. Safety Craig Steltz will get $795K from the Bears between his $730K salary and the $65K roster bonus for 2014.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

FA Rumors: Fitzpatrick, Ihedigbo, Underwood

When the Titans released Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, there was an expectation that it wouldn’t take long for the veteran quarterback to find work. Fitzpatrick remains on the market, but at least one potential suitor has emerged. According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link), Tennessee’s division rivals, the Texans, are hosting Fitzpatrick for a visit today.

Let’s round up a few more Thursday odds and ends related to the free agents still available….

  • According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (via Twitter), center Brian De La Puente finished his visit in Washington and is still considering multiple options, including the Redskins and Saints.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports (via Twitter) that safety James Ihedigbo, repped by a new agent, has at least two other teams in the mix for him besides the Lions, who seemed to be close to signing him earlier this week. The Ravens appear to be one of those two, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun notes (via Twitter).
  • Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood is visiting the Panthers today, says Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The receiver-thin Panthers already signed Jerricho Cotchery today, and it “looks promising” that they could add Underwood as well.
  • Richie Incognito, who is aiming to return to the NFL in 2014, believes the Raiders make “a lot of sense” as a possible destination, writes Michael Silver of NFL.com.
  • Free agent defensive back Chris Owens had a visit this week with the Steelers, tweets Aaron Wilson.
  • Wilson also reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos tried out free agent safety Jordan Pugh.
  • The Bengals have confirmed (via Twitter) that Louis Murphy visited the club today, which means the wide receiver left the meeting without a deal in place.