Christine Michael

Colts Cut RB Christine Michael

The Colts are releasing veteran running back Christine Michael, a source told Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). The 27-year-old lasted just three weeks in Indianapolis, the latest stop in his long-winding career.

Michael was always someone thought by evaluators to be high on talent, but could never put it all together. He re-signed on a one-year deal with the Colts this March after spending all of 2017 on injured reserve. Through three weeks, he appeared in just two games, carrying the ball twice for nine yards. Rookie Jordan Wilkins has emerged as a solid runner this year, and the team apparently feels comfortable moving forward with just Wilkins, Marlon Mack, and fellow rookie Nyheim Hines on the depth chart.

Michael was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round back in 2013, but never made a huge impact in Seattle. At the beginning of the 2015 season, he was traded to the Cowboys for just a conditional seventh round pick. Just a couple months later, he was waived by Dallas. After a short stint on the Redskins’ practice squad, he found himself back with the Seahawks. He spent parts of the next two seasons as Seattle’s starting running back, and played well, but was surprisingly waived in November of 2016.

He spent the rest of 2016 with the Packers, before signing with the Colts. It’s been a long journey for Michael, and he’ll likely resurface somewhere on a team that needs running back help. For his career he’s rushed for 1,080 yards on 254 carries (4.3 YPC) with seven touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Re-Sign RB Christine Michael

The Colts have re-signed running back Christine Michael, the club announced today.

Michael, 27, has typically been long on talent and upside, but short on results, during his five-year NFL career. Last season, the former second-round pick signed with Indianapolis in early June only to be placed on injured reserve two weeks later. The Colts must have liked what they saw from Michael during that brief stay on the roster, as they’ve now agreed to bring him back for another campaign.

Michael’s most productive season came in 2016, when he split time between the Seahawks and Packers. After beginning the year as Seattle’s starting running back, Michael managed six touchdowns before being surprisingly released at midseason. He managed only 3.7 yards per carry after being picked up by the Packers, who eventually cut him the following summer.

The Colts do not plan to re-sign veteran Frank Gore, so Michael will join a running back depth chart currently comprised of Marlon Mack, Robert Turbin, Matt Jones, George Winn, and Josh Ferguson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Place Christine Michael On IR

Christine Michael‘s stay on the Colts’ active roster was short, as the veteran running back has been placed on injured reserve, the club announced today. Indianapolis has signed fellow running back Troymaine Pope to fill its empty roster spot.Christine Michael (vertical)

It’s unclear exactly what type of injury forced Michael onto IR, but Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets that Michael went down hard in practice yesterday following a collision. Depending on the severity of Michael’s health issue, he could conceivably be released with an injury settlement, allowing him to once again the free agent market after he recovers.

Michael, 26, had just signed on earlier this month to serve as a reserve for the Colts behind starting running back Frank Gore. After averaging 3.9 yards per carry and scoring seven touchdowns with the Seahawks and Packers a year ago, Michael had been set to compete for playing time alongside fellow backups Robert Turbin and rookie Marlon Mack.

Now, that opportunity will go to Pope, who like Michael is a former member of the Seahawks. The 23-year-old Pope appeared in three games for Seattle in 2016, rushing 11 times for 43 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Sign RB Christine Michael

The Colts have signed running back Christine Michael, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. To make room, running back Brandon Radcliff has been cut."<strong

The Colts’ running back depth chart is currently headlined by a 34-year-old Frank Gore. Robert Turbin, fourth-round rookie Marlon Mack, and Josh Ferguson are also on the roster. Michael will be competing for one of the spots behind Gore and he could apply some pressure to Ferguson, a 2016 UDFA who didn’t do much after garnering buzz last summer.

Michael was released by the Packers earlier this offseason as a part of the club’s effort to make room for the three running backs selected in the draft.

The Texas A&M product was once viewed as a high-upside player, but it’s not clear what C-Mike can bring to the table at this stage of his career. The running back averaged 5.1 yards per carry in a limited sample for the Seahawks in 2014, but he has not been able to replicate that success in the last two seasons.

This now marks Michael’s fifth NFL team after time spent with the Seahawks, Cowboys, Redskins, and Packers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Host RB Christine Michael On Visit

Christine Michael visited the Patriots on Tuesday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Michael was released by the Packers earlier this month along with fellow running back Don Jackson, creating room for the three running backs selected in the draft. Christine Michael (vertical)

[RELATED: Patriots Could Use UFA Tender On LeGarrette Blount]

Michael signed a new contract with the Packers earlier this offseason, but it didn’t take long for them to have a change of heart. The Texas A&M product was once viewed as a high-upside player, but it’s not clear what C-Mike can bring to the table at this stage of his career. The running back averaged 5.1 yards per carry in a limited sample for the Seahawks in 2014, but he has not been able to replicate that success in the last two seasons.

The Patriots, meanwhile, are pretty well set at running back after signing Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead. James White, Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden, and D.J. Foster are also under contract, giving the team six quality veteran RBs on the roster. Michael could be added to the mix as low-cost competition, but it doesn’t seem like his chances of making the team are all that high.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers To Cut RB Christine Michael

The Packers are reshaping their running back depth chart. Moments after cutting Don Jackson, the Packers are also releasing Christine Michael, league sources tell Adam Schefter and Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Christine Michael (vertical)

Michael signed a new contract with the Packers this offseason – a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal with a paltry $25K signing bonus. Already, Green Bay has decided that it would be better off without him. After cutting the 26-year-old, Ty Montgomery stands as the team’s only running back under contract.

Green Bay claimed Michael off waivers from the Seahawks last fall and the former-second round pick proceeded to handle 31 carries for the Packers down the stretch. Before joining GB, Michael spent seven weeks as Seattle’s clear-cut No. 1 running back and posted two multi-score games during that run.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Steelers, Lions, Riddick, Pack

Let’s take a quick spin around the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Although the Steelers are proceeding as if veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2017, the club is still expected to search for a long-term successor in the draft, according to Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com. “I think we’ve been in that mindset for the last several years, that’s what this business tells us to be in,” said Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin. “We better start sharpening our sword in terms of evaluation of quarterbacks and what’s available to us or potentially available to us, that’s just due diligence. So yes, we have.” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert also indicated earlier this year that his team would start to look for a Roethlisberger replacement at some point, a course of action PFR suggested when assessing Pittsburgh’s top offseason needs.
  • Lions running back Theo Riddick had surgery on both wrists near the end of last season, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who adds those operations forced Riddick to be placed on injured reserve in December. Riddick, who still managed 53 receptions in an injury-shortened 2016 campaign, is expected to be available for the beginning of OTAs. Detroit is still expected to upgrade its backfield this offseason, meaning the club could target options either through free agency (where a number of backs are still unsigned) or the draft.
  • Christine Michael‘s new contract with the Packers is a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal that includes a $25K signing bonus, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Thanks to the MSB, Michael will earn $800K but only count for $640K against Green Bay’s cap. Michael, 26, is one of only three running backs currently on the Packers’ roster along with Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson.

Packers Re-Sign Christine Michael

The Packers have re-signed running back Christine Michael, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Christine Michael (vertical)

Green Bay claimed Michael off waivers from the Seahawks last fall, and the former-second round pick proceeded to handle 31 carries for the Packers down the stretch. Michael, 26, spent seven weeks as Seattle’s clear-cut No. 1 running back, and posted two multi-score games during that run.

Michael’s role soon dwindled, however, and while he also didn’t manage much of a role with the Packers, Michael ranks as PFR’s No. 8 free agent back. He’ll give Green Bay another option in a backfield that currently only includes Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson. The Packers lost Eddie Lacy earlier this month when he signed a one-year deal with Seattle.

Michael visited the Packers earlier today along with free agent offensive lineman Byron Bell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Host RB Christine Michael On Visit

The Packers hosted running back Christine Michael on a visit Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The team also hosted offensive tackle Byron Bell. Christine Michael

[RELATED: Ricky Jean-Francois Visits Packers]

Michael, who has bounced around a bit, finished out the 2016 season with Green Bay. In six games with the Packers, he had 31 carries for 114 yards and one touchdown. Between his time with the Seahawks and Packers last season, C-Mike averaged a so-so 3.9 yards per carry. The Packers could be open to a reunion given their lack of depth at running back. As it stands, Ty Montgomery is their top RB with with former UDFAs Don Jackson and John Crockett in reserve.

I have Michael listed as the eighth-best tailback left on the open market. Adrian Peterson, LeGarrette Blount, Jamaal Charles, ballroom dancing enthusiast Rashad Jennings, Tim Hightower, DeAngelo Williams, and Chris Johnson are all ahead of him on my list.

Bell did not play last season after dislocating his ankle during Titans OTAs. In the previous year, however, he started 16 games at three different spots: eight at right tackle, seven at left guard, and one at left tackle. I have him down as one of the ten best tackle options left in free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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