Cody Kessler

Texans Work Out Prosise, Halapio, Others

The Texans are looking into some veteran free agents. Running back C.J. Prosise, wide receiver Ryan Grant, quarterback Cody Kessler and center Jon Halapio were among the players who participated in a Texans workout Wednesday.

This marks Prosise’s second August workout; he auditioned for the Lions nearly two weeks ago. The former Seahawks running back showed promise as a rookie and remained with the team throughout his four-year rookie contract, but the former third-round pick could never carve out a consistent role.

Now 30, Grant has bounced around since his Washington run ended. The nixed Ravens agreement in 2018 ended up routing him to the Colts, with whom he saw his last significant game action. Grant caught 35 passes for 334 yards in 2018. The Texans have a veteran-heavy receiving corps — headlined by the Will FullerBrandin CooksRandall CobbKenny Stills quartet — but are down Keke Coutee at the moment. The third-year wideout is batting a foot stress fracture.

The Patriots carried Kessler for part of last season but released him in April. He has not seen game action since starting four games for the 2018 Jaguars.

Halapio brings the most recent starting experience, having been the Giants’ starting center for 15 games in 2019. He was rumored as a player who could return to the Giants, but nothing has emerged on that front in a bit. The Giants non-tendered him as an RFA in March. Halapio, 29, entered the past two seasons as New York’s starting center, but a broken leg ended his 2018 slate early and an Achilles’ tendon tear knocked him out of a Week 17 game last season.

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The Top QBs Left In NFL Free Agency

Just after the NFL Draft, Jameis Winston found his new NFL home by signing a low-cost one-year deal with the Saints. Even with the former No. 1 overall pick off the market, there are still several notable names left. Here’s a rundown of some of the passers available here in May:

  1. Cam Newton: A slew of injuries have hampered the one-time MVP and the ongoing pandemic has prevented clubs from having their team doctors take a close inspection. Newton has gone under the knife multiple times throughout his career, including surgeries to his throwing shoulder and left foot. While Winston settled for a deal to serve as a backup – and perhaps a QB3 – Newton is still pushing for a starting job. Right now, there aren’t any clubs willing to hand him a QB1 gig, so he’ll probably have to wait this one out or temper his expectations. The Patriots, who currently have Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham as their top QBs, could be a fit, but there hasn’t been much movement on that front yet.
  2. Joe Flacco: Was Flacco an elite quarterback in his prime? That question will plague the football world forever. What we do know is that Flacco profiles as an experienced and inexpensive backup option for teams in need. The 35-year-old was sidelined for the second half of 2019 – his first season with the Broncos – and waiting for an opportunity to open up. At one point, Flacco was asked about his thoughts on the Eagles. But, with Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld, and Kyle Lauletta on the depth chart, that no longer seems like a fit.
  3. Blake Bortles: Despite all of his flaws, the Jaguars handed Blake Bortles a three-year, $54MM deal in 2018 with $26.5MM guaranteed. One year later, they pushed him out the door for Nick Foles, leading him to L.A. After throwing a grand total of three passes last year, the former No. 3 overall pick is looking for a solid backup opportunity. The Rams have several QBs under contract behind Jared Goff, but there could still be an opportunity for him to return.
  4. Mike Glennon: With a dearth of quality QBs on the market in 2017, Glennon landed a three-year, $45MM deal with the Bears. Now 30 with a career 6-16 record, he’ll come for a lot cheaper. He earned just $1MM in base pay last year with the Raiders.
  5. Cody Kessler: Even after Tom Brady bid farewell, the Patriots decided that they didn’t need the former fourth-round pick on the roster. He’s got 12 career starts on his resume – unfortunately, the first eight came with the 2016 Browns.
  6. Trevor Siemian: We haven’t heard Siemian’s name mentioned recently. Fortunately, he’s said to have made a full recovery from his brutal Week 2 ankle injury.

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Patriots To Cut QB Cody Kessler

The Patriots’ quarterback depth chart will soon be two-man group again. They are cutting Cody Kessler, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will leave Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as the Pats’ QBs.

New England acquired Kessler in late September of last year, and the former Cleveland third-round pick bounced on and off the Pats’ roster. But the USC product spent most of last season with the Patriots. This move points to the team planning to add another quarterback.

Despite being a fourth-round pick who threw four passes as a rookie, Stidham is rumored to have the inside track at being Tom Brady‘s immediate successor. Hoyer re-signed with the Pats because he was told he would be able to compete for the starting job. Kessler was not expected to factor into that equation, but his departure opens the door to questions about the Pats’ plans for this additional quarterback job.

Kessler was under contract through the 2020 season; his release will save the Pats $935K in cap space. They entered Wednesday with just $708K in cap room.

Kessler has 12 career starts on his resume, the first eight coming with a 2016 Browns team that went 1-15. He briefly supplanted Blake Bortles with the 2018 Jaguars. For his career, Kessler has completed 64% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdown passes and five interceptions.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/19

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: RB Alfred Blue

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/19

Here’s a rundown of early-week minor NFL moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: T Dan Skipper (from Patriots’ practice squad)

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: DE L.T. Walton

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Extra Points: Mack, AB, Ramsey, Kessler

The Bears are set to face off against the Raiders in London this weekend, which means Khalil Mack will have his first chance to play against his former team. The linebacker told reporters today that he actually envisioned playing for the Raiders for his entire career.

“That’s the expectation when you get drafted to a team: You want to be there for the long haul and bring championships and all those good things,” Mack said (via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson). “It’s the business side of it that doesn’t really let you do that.”

Mack spent the first four seasons of his career with Oakland, but the Raiders put him on the block when the two sides couldn’t agree to a long-term selection. The Bears swooped in and ended up signing four-time Pro Bowler to a deal that included $90MM in guaranteed money. Mack rewarded his new team by compiling 47 tackles and 12.5 sacks in 14 games.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • As the NFL continues to investigate Antonio Brown for alleged sexual assault, the wide receiver still hasn’t met with the league, tweets ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Considering the Pro Bowl receiver is currently a free agent, Fowler notes that it’s “unclear how cooperative he plans or needs to be.” As Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes, it’s likely that no team would sign Brown until the NFL’s investigation is complete, meaning the wideout could be forced to cooperate if he wants to play again.
  • Peter King of Football Morning in America writes that the Chargers might get into the Jalen Ramsey sweepstakes. The writer believes adding a top defensive player would be a savvy move as the organization prepares for a new stadium in 2020. King adds that he “still think[s]” that the Chiefs and Ravens are also involved in talks with the Jaguars. We heard earlier this week that the Jaguars rejected a trade that would have netted them a pair of late first-rounders.
  • Yesterday, the Eagles acquired linebacker Duke Riley and a sixth-round choice from the Falcons in exchange for safety Johnathan Cyprien and a seventh-round pick. SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan tweets that the seventh rounder is actually the Buccaneers’ selection. The Eagles originally acquired the pick in the offseason trade that brought DeSean Jackson back to Philly.
  • Quarterback Cody Kessler signed a minimum contract with the Patriots, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. This means he’ll earn a prorated $720K salary (a bit less than $593K for the rest of the season) with no guaranteed money and a $448K “injury split.” This essentially means the Patriots can evaluate Kessler’s spot on the roster on a week-by-week basis.

Patriots To Sign Cody Kessler

The Patriots have a new quarterback. On Wednesday, the Pats agreed to sign Cody Kessler, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The former Jaguars, Eagles, and Browns passer has 12 career starts to his credit and, now, he’ll learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. At this moment, fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham serves as Tom Brady‘s QB2, though he tossed a pass into the hands of Jets safety Jamal Adams on Sunday for a pick six.

Kessler was most recently with the Eagles, but he was dropped from the flock when the club opted to roll with Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld as Carson Wentz‘s support team. In his five games/four starts for the Jaguars last year, he completed 64.9% of his passes with two touchdowns against two interceptions.

Eagles To Cut DE Eli Harold

Three weeks after acquiring Eli Harold from the Bills, the Eagles will not carry him through to their 53-man roster. The Eagles will release the veteran edge defender, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The team will also place tight end Richard Rodgers on IR and waive quarterback Cody Kessler. The Eagles only gave up undrafted rookie offensive tackle Ryan Bates for Harold, so it’s not like they had a particularly big investment in him. Harold was originally drafted by San Francisco in the third-round back in 2015, and spent last year with the Lions. He had four sacks with Detroit last year and the Eagles were looking for pass-rushing depth, but they apparently didn’t like what they saw from the 25-year-old. For his career, he has nine career sacks in 61 games and 25 starts

Kessler was drafted by the Browns in 2016, then traded to Jacksonville last offseason. He surprisingly ended up starting four games for the Jaguars last year, but he averaged a pitiful 5.4 yards per attempt. He was trying to make the team in Philly, but the Eagles luring Josh McCown out of retirement all but sealed his fate. Rodgers has made some noise in the past with Green Bay, but he’ll now miss the entire 2019 campaign with a foot injury.

Eagles To Sign Cody Kessler

The Eagles are expected to sign quarterback Cody Kessler tomorrow, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Kessler joins 2019 fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson and former AAF signal-caller Luis Perez as new additions to Philadelphia’s QB room.

The Eagles strongly believe that a team can never have enough opportunities to develop a quarterback with talent, and the team’s acquisitions this offseason are certainly in line with that philosophy. Carson Wentz is obviously the first-string signal-caller — though he has dealt with serious concerns over the past two years — and the team has long been high on current backup Nate Sudfeld.

But Sudfeld has only attempted 25 passes in his professional career, and Kessler could theoretically push him for the No. 2 job. Or, if Wentz’s recovery doesn’t go as hoped, Kessler could even compete for the interim starting gig. At the very least, he and Thorson could battle it out for a role as the team’s third-string signal-caller.

Kessler, whom the Browns selected in the third round of the 2016 draft, has compiled an unattractive 2-10 record as a starting QB in his career, but he hasn’t exactly been in environment that are conducive to winning. Cleveland traded Kessler to the Jaguars last March in exchange for a conditional seventh-rounder, and Kessler ultimately appeared in five games (four starts) for Jacksonville. He went 2-2 and completed 64.9% of his passes with two TDs and two interceptions en route to a modest 77.4 QB rating.

The Jaguars cut Kessler just a few days ago.

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Jaguars Release Cody Kessler

The Jaguars released quarterback Cody Kessler, according to league sources who spoke with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Kessler made four starts for the Jags last year while Blake Bortles was benched. Now, both players are gone.

Last year, Kessler took the reins for four games, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire. All in all, he completed 64.9% of his passes (85-of-131) for 709 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions.

This year, the Jaguars will trot out a totally revamped quarterback room with new starter Nick Foles, sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew, 2018 sixth-round choice Tanner Lee, and Alex McGough. Of course, at least one of those backup QBs will be displaced between now and September.

In other Jags news, linebacker Telvin Smith says he wants to stay put, despite his absence from workouts and continued whispers about his future.

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