Cody Latimer

East Notes: Belichick, Patriots, Jets, Giants

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known for finding diamonds in the rough. He’s turned MAC quarterback Julian Edelman into a star receiver, and made numerous other brilliant discoveries. The draft apparently isn’t the only place he looks for these unheralded gems, as Zach Cox of NESN.com pointed out in a recent interesting piece. The Patriots are holding joint practices with the Lions right now, and Cox points out that Belichick always uses these joint practices to scout the opposing team’s players for guys he might want to pick up when they’re later cut.

“From 2012 to 2017, New England participated in 11 rounds of joint practices with seven different opponents. In all 11 cases, at least one member of the opposing team went on to sign with the Patriots,” Cox writes. That’s a pretty incredible streak, and it shows that the Patriots are paying extremely close attention during these joint sessions. It’ll be interesting to see which current member of the Lions ends up signing with New England later this year.

Here’s more from the league’s eastern divisions:

  • We’ve got the full details on Ryan Kalil‘s contract with the Jets, courtesy of Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The one-year, $8.4MM pact includes a $3MM signing bonus, 2.4MM in base non-guaranteed salary, and a $3.4MM roster bonus. The total guarantee is just the $3MM signing bonus. Kalil recently came out of retirement, and the veteran center’s presence should be a huge boost to the rest of the offensive line and Sam Darnold‘s protection. Even though the majority of his money is non-guaranteed, it would take something truly shocking for him not to end up collecting it all.
  • The Giants have had a brutal stretch of luck with their receivers. Just in the past few weeks, Corey Coleman tore his ACL, Sterling Shepard suffered a broken thumb, and Golden Tate was suspended for the first four games of the season. Shepard will likely be back for Week 1, but the options after him aren’t too appealing. As of right now it looks like Cody Latimer will be the second receiver to open the season, while Bennie Fowler will be the third, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Latimer is a former second-round pick of the Broncos who is looking to reinvent himself with the Giants. He spent last year in New York, catching 11 passes for 190 yards in only six games. Fowler is also a former Bronco who caught 16 balls for 199 yards in his first season with the Giants last year. Eli Manning (or Daniel Jones) won’t be in an easy situation when the season opens.
  • In case you missed it, the Dolphins signed former Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche

Giants To Re-Sign WR Cody Latimer

The Giants’ receiving corps will look quite different in 2019, but part of the previous group looks to be staying in the fold.

Cody Latimer revealed (via Instagram) he will be back with the Giants next season. Residing as a free agent after inking a one-year deal to join the Giants last season, Latimer is now in line to be part of the post-Odell Beckham Jr. Giants receiving corps.

This is likely another low-cost agreement for the Giants, who are thin on answers beyond Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Both Russell Shepard and Bennie Fowler previously joined Latimer as free agents. The Giants are bringing back RFA Corey Coleman, however. Latimer figures to join Coleman as depth.

A hamstring injury limited Latimer to six games last season, but despite the Giants being out of playoff contention during the season’s second half, they made him an IR-return candidate. Primarily known for his special teams work with the Broncos, the physically imposing target caught 11 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown during his Giants debut — which also came under former Broncos wideouts coach Tyke Tolbert.

A former second-round pick, Latimer has not panned out as a pass-catcher, having hauled in just 46 receptions for 635 yards in five seasons. This deal may not guarantee he makes the Giants’ roster, but it’s clear the organization likes what it saw during a limited sample last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/19/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers 

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Giants To Activate Cody Latimer

Cody Latimer will return for the Giants’ final games in 2018. The wide receiver will be activated for Week 16, allowing him to play him against the Colts and Cowboys, as Matt Lombardo of NJ.com writes.

The Giants designated Latimer for return in late November, opening up a three-week window for activation. So far, he’s looked healthy on the practice field, and doctors have given him clearance to play again.

The Giants aren’t playing for much at this point, but this will be an opportunity for Latimer to play his way on to the 2019 roster. For now, he’s scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency in March after the expiration of his one-year, $2.5MM contract.

Latimer, 26, was enjoying an expanded role in the Giants’ offense against the Eagles on Oct. 11 before he went down with a hamstring injury. The wide receiver had six catches for 108 yards across four games before being sidelined.

The Giants will not have Latimer for Sunday’s game against the Titans and it remains to be seen whether they’ll have Odell Beckham Jr. for the contest. OBJ has been sidelined with a quad injury and did not practice on Wednesday morning.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Cody Latimer Designated For Return

Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer has been designated for return, coach Pat Shurmur announced. Latimer will take the practice field on Wednesday, kick starting a three-week window for activation. 

Latimer, 26, was enjoying an expanded role in the Giants’ offense against the Eagles on Oct. 11 before he went down with a hamstring injury. The wide receiver had six catches for 108 yards across four games before being sidelined.

The Giants aren’t playing for much at this point of the season, but Latimer will have a chance to showcase himself before reaching unrestricted free agency in March. The Giants are also keenly interested to see whether he can be a fit for the 2019 roster after signing him to a one-year, $2.5MM contract in the offseason.

The Giants close out their season with games against the Bears, Redskins, Titans, Colts, and Cowboys.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place Cody Latimer On IR

The Giants made a slew of roster moves on Tuesday morning. The club signed wide receiver Bennie Fowler and promoted linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and cornerback Grant Haley from the practice squad. Spots were opened for them after the Giants placed wide receiver Cody Latimer (hamstring) and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (concussion) on IR and waived cornerback Donte Deayon

As Latimer exits, another former Bronco takes his place. Fowler now has a chance to become the fourth player to catch passes from both Peyton and Eli Manning, following Latimer who achieved that milestone on Sept. 16. Fowler has 56 receptions for 598 yards and five touchdowns for his NFL career. He’s perhaps best known for the two-point conversion catch he had in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory. That play also went down as Peyton Manning’s final career pass attempt.

The Giants, who are desperate for a spark, will look to improve upon their 1-5 record when they face the Falcons on Monday night.

Giants Notes: Latimer, Receivers, Hill, Stewart

Wide receiver Cody Latimer has had an up and down journey since entering the NFL. He came into the league as a second round pick of the Broncos in 2014, but never really established himself as a receiving threat. He was immediately labeled a bust by fans and media, and was never really able to recover. Latimer was able to stick in Denver by becoming an elite special teams player, excelling on kick coverage units.

This past year, Latimer finally began to catch some passes. After never cracking 100 yards receiving his first three seasons, he racked up 287 last year along with two touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 15.1 yards per catch and parlayed that progress along with his special teams prowess into a one-year $2.5MM contract with the Giants. Now with New York, Latimer has already been making an impression. He’s reportedly done well during offseason workouts, and the Giants’ number three receiving job is now “his to lose” according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.

Latimer appears to have turned his career around, and looks likely to have the biggest offensive role in his career this upcoming season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent again this March, and if he shows well for the Giants, he should be able to cash in.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Behind Latimer, the Giants’ receiving situation is less clear, writes Lombardo. He views Russell ShepardKalif Raymond, and Travis Rudolph as all being on the roster bubble, likely fighting for one spot. Whoever shows they can make the biggest impact on special teams may win the three way battle.
  • Defensive lineman B.J. Hill will be starting as a rookie, according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. The third rounder from NC State has reportedly impressed this offseason, and Dunleavy is quite confident he’ll be starting on the outside of the Giants’ 3-4 defense. He calls Hill a “shrewd pick” and adds that while Josh Mauro will “enter the mix” when he returns from suspension, for now it’s Hill’s job.
  • Dunleavy thinks the team wouldn’t have signed veteran running back Jonathan Stewart had they known Saquon Barkley would be available for them to draft at number two. The Giants apparently feared the Browns would take Barkley first overall, and signed Stewart as insurance. Now, instead of carrying the ball, Stewart’s “main role will be as a locker room leader and conduit” for GM Dave Gettleman, writes Dunleavy.
  • In case you missed it, check out another round of Giants notes from yesterday.

East Notes: Smith, Pryor, Giants

Although other quarterback deals soon overshadowed this one, the Redskins made a commitment to Alex Smith. And the details of his contract have him entrenched in Washington into the next decade. Smith received a $27MM signing bonus, and his 2018 and ’19 base salaries — $13MM and $15MM, respectively — are also fully guaranteed at signing, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington notes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, Smith’s 2020 salary ($16MM) becomes fully guaranteed, per Tandler. So, barring something crazy, the Redskins are essentially tethered to Smith for three seasons. The deal runs through 2022, but non-guaranteed base salaries of $19MM and $21MM are on tap in those respective seasons. Washington would save $13MM by cutting Smith after the 2020 slate. Smith’s contract will call for cap hits of $18.4MM (2018), $20MM (2019), $21.4MM (’20), $24.4MM (’21) and $26.4MM (’22).

Here’s the latest from the East divisions as teams sit midway through their OTA calendar.

  • Former Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has run into more injury trouble, encountering another ankle malady that’s sidelined him from Jets OTAs. But Todd Bowles said, via Calvin Watkins of Newsday, this latest issue is unrelated to the one that forced him to undergo surgery while a member of the Redskins. The Jets have a host of wide receivers under contract, and Pryor is attempting to carve out a role and rebound from his poor performance in Washington.
  • Speaking of wideouts, the Giants may not be necessarily done adding talent at that position. When asked earlier this month if the Giants had their No. 3 wide receiver on their roster, Pat Shurmur said, via Tom Rock of Newsday, “I don’t know.” This was before New York added Russell Shepard in the latter stages of free agency. But Big Blue signed Cody Latimer, and he’s been playing on the outside in that No. 3 role during OTAs, per Rock. Shepard likely represents Latimer’s top competition for this job, barring another outside hire. The Giants cut Brandon Marshall, and Dez Bryant‘s been mentioned as wanting to join this receiving contingent. They have $8.3MM in cap space.
  • Shurmur is hoping Eli Apple can rebound from what’s been a rough start to his career, and he’s not going to hold what the 2016 first-rounder did during the previous regime against him. “You hear things,” Shurmur said (via Rock) regarding Apple’s past behavior, “but I’m sure glad that I truly believe in a clean slate. He’s been nothing but professional; he’s been out here competing. He’s one of the guys that has been here almost every single day, and I haven’t seen anything that somebody might have thought I heard. He’s been greatIn terms of his stature, his skill set, yeah, he’s what you’re looking for.” The Giants cut Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and did not use a draft pick on a corner. They signed William Gay, Teddy Williams and B.W. Webb, however. But Apple could well have a promising route to a starting job despite the tumultuous 2017.

NFL Contract Details: Scandrick, Shelby, Latimer, Wynn

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts around the NFL:

  • Orlando Scandrick, CB (Redskins): Two years, $6.85MM. $1MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Derrick Shelby, DE (Falcons): One year, $3.25MM. $2MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
  • Cody Latimer, WR (Giants): One year, $2.5MM. $2.47MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com).
  • Marshall Newhouse, T (Bills): One year, $1.5MM. $500K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus. $250K available via playing time incentive (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
  • Kerry Wynn, DE (Giants): One year, $1.25MM. $500K guaranteed (Twitter link via Raanan).
  • L.P. Ladouceur, LS (Cowboys): One year, $1.015MM. $630K guaranteed. $90K signing bonus. Minimum salary benefit (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com).

Giants Sign WR Cody Latimer

Cody Latimer will make the move from Denver to the Big Apple, announcing (via Twitter) he has agreed to terms with the Giants.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirmed the signing (Twitter link), which will relocate a former second-round pick who spent four seasons with the Broncos. Although Latimer didn’t live up to his draft status, he served as a valuable special-teamer in Denver and showed some promise late in his contract year.

The 25-year-old wide receiver did not exceed 100 air yards in a season until 2017, when he 19 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. The Indiana product will join several Giants attempting to fill in behind Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. Latimer will reunite with Tyke Tolbert, whom the Giants recently hired as their wide receivers coach. Tolbert coached Latimer in each of his four Broncos seasons.

Denver has now lost both of its top reserve wideouts, having also non-tendered RFA Bennie Fowler last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.