Colt Lyerla

Colt Lyerla Arrested For Heroin Possession

The story of Colt Lyerla took a sad turn today as the former Oregon standout was arrested for heroin possession, as Tim Brown of The Oregonian writes. Colt Lyerla (vertical)

As a true freshman for Chip Kelly‘s Oregon Ducks in 2011, the tight end caught seven passes for 147 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2013, Lyerla was getting into trouble off the field and ultimately quit the program. Soon after, he was arrested and later pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. After going undrafted, Lyerla signed on with the Packers but suffered a season-ending knee injury prior to the 2014 season. Lyerla’s agent said that the Packers indicated he would still be in the team’s plans, but they never circled back to him for one reason or another.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Rivers, Brown, Johnson

A federal judge has approved a plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits that could cost the league $1 billion over 65 years, Maryclaire Dale of The Associated Press writes. The awards could reach $1MM to $5MM for those diagnosed in their 30s and 40s with Parkinson’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, or for deaths involving chronic brain trauma. NFL actuaries estimate 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to someday suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia. The settlement between the two sides ends a four-year legal battle. Here’s more from around the league..

  • A possible trade of Philip Rivers to the Titans is complicated by the fact that Tennessee would have to work out a contract extension in the days prior to the deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. A deal couldn’t begin and end while the Titans are on the clock at No. 2 since Tennessee would need permission from the Chargers to work on Rivers’ contract (link).
  • Antonio Brown took to Twitter to explain his absence from the Steelers‘ voluntary offseason program. “Just enjoying my new born Ali can not wait to get back with my teammates! I am dad first and working to be best player I can be,” Brown tweeted. It’s very possible that Brown is holding out for a new contract too, but that’s apparently not the sole reason.
  • Andre Johnson insists that he didn’t sign with the Colts just to get revenge on his former team, as Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. “I didn’t come here because we play against the Texans twice a year..I have bigger goals than just playing against the Texans,” the wide receiver said. Johnson signed with the Colts on a three-year, $21MM deal.
  • Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla working out this spring and is a player worth watching, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton feels that he could form an “unstoppable” duo with Haloti Ngata if the Lions draft him, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets.

NFC North Links: Lions, Ponder, Packers

Roster construction is a collaborative effort in Detroit, but head coach Jim Caldwell acknowledges that general manager Martin Mayhew will have the final say on the 53 players the Lions carry into the regular season, as he tells Justin Rogers of If Caldwell were making the final decisions, he’d like favor production over potential, for one obvious reason.

“I’m in the business of winning games and winning games now,” Caldwell said. “So the most important thing to me is getting guys who can be in a position to help us win right now. There are other, businesses (and) positions within the organization that may look at it differently, but we have to look at it as coaches. We’re looking for the best guy to help us win, at this particular moment in time, and that’s what counts for us.”

Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Although Christian Ponder has made comments indicating he’d be open to a trade, he clarified today that he’s not asking to be dealt by the Vikings. “As a competitor you want to be the guy out there playing,” Ponder said. “But I do feel like in the situation I’m in right now, I am getting better” (Twitter links via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press).
  • Colt Lyerla was waived-injured by the Packers yesterday after tearing his MCL and PCL, but agent Vinnie Porter gets the sense that the team still has his client in its plans, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Assuming Lyerla clears waivers, he could spent the year on injured reserve and continue on with Green Bay next season.
  • In a separate piece for the Journal Sentinel, Dunne explores whether or not there’s still room on the Packers for former first-round pick Nick Perry. The linebacker’s roster spot probably isn’t in jeopardy, but 2014 could be a make-or-break season for him.
  • By signing Julius Peppers and having him make the transition from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker, the Packers are hoping the ex-Bear has a career renaissance similar to the one experienced by Charles Woodson when Woodson joined the Packers and began to play positions besides just cornerback. Andy Benoit of has the story.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL, with additional transactions added to the top of the list throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Colts added guard Andre Cureton, an undrafted free agent who was let go by the Cowboys last week, per Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). He takes the roster spot of kicker Cody Parkey, who was waived.
  • Chargers defensive end Damik Scafe has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season, reports Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter).
  • Linebacker Dom DeCicco has cleared waivers and reverted back to the Vikings’ injured reserve, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Receiver Shaq Evans, one of the Jets’ three fourth-round picks, has been placed on injured reserve, and will miss his rookie year after suffering a shoulder injury, according to Adam Schefter of (via Twitter). Players with no NFL experience have to pass through waivers before being placed on IR at this point, so it’s unclear if the Jets will actually make this move official until September.

Earlier updates:

  • Defensive lineman Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) and quarterback Pat Devlin (Dolphins) have been removed from their respective teams’ injured reserve lists with injury settlements, according to’s Michael Rothstein and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, respectively (Twitter links).
  • Nothing is official yet, but ex-Bears receiver and returner Eric Weems, who was just cut this weekend, is set to sign with the Titans, reports Vaughn McClure of (Twitter link). Weems had been released by Chicago when the team signed Santonio Holmes.
  • Although linebacker Jason Phillips was said to be recovered from the ACL injury that sidelined him for the 2013 season, he was cut by the Eagles today, according to’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Philadelphia’s first transaction since June, the move was made because the special teams ace wasn’t going to make the team and the Eagles wanted to give him a chance to catch on elsewhere, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Tight end Colt Lyerla, who suffered a knee injury during training camp, has been waived-injured by the Packers, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Per Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin (Twitter link), Green Bay intends to place Lyerla on injured reserve for the season if he clears waivers.
  • It appears the Bills may be getting an early start on next week’s roster cutdowns. The team has opened a couple roster spots by waiving offensive lineman Edawn Coughman and wide receiver Kevin Elliott, according to’s Mike Rodak (Twitter links). No corresponding signings to fill the two openings have been announced yet.

NFC North Notes: Wilson, Lyerla, Lions

Bears second-year receiver Marquess Wilson will be sidelined indefinitely after he suffered a fractured clavicle on Monday. A second-year pro, Wilson had the inside track on the Bears’ No. 3 receiver job prior to going down. Josh Bellamy was listed behind Wilson on the Bears’ unofficial preseason depth chart, but the team is expected to sign another receiver in Wilson’s absence.

Here’s a few more NFC North news and notes:

  • There’s a legitimate chance 34-year-old safety Adrian Wilson doesn’t make the Bears if he’s not a starter, says Chicago Sun-Times writer Adam Jahns, who lists five Bears with something to prove.
  • Packers rookie tight end Colt Lyerla suffered a knee injury which will keep him out for ‘weeks,’ according to head coach Mike McCarthy (Twitter link). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Tyler Dunne spoke with Lyerla’s agent, who said surgery doesn’t look necessary (Twitter link). While the injury throws cold water on one of the more interesting story lines in Packers camp, it could be a blessing in disguise if the team is able to stash the talented undrafted free agent on IR.
  • Adding Jonathan Baldwin to the mix is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Lions, opines ESPN’s Michael Rothstein: “The Lions are always on the search for tall wide receivers, hoping the work ethic and professionalism Calvin Johnson provides can potentially rub off on one of them.”
  • The Lions drafted Nate Freese with the thinking he would take over the team’s kicking duties, but he has not impressed, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. Meanwhile, Italian-born Giorgio Tavecchio is pushing hard for the job, and Justin Rogers of says Freese’s status as a draft pick will not preclude the team does not guarantee anything.
  • “The Vikings are being built the right way, a model that could lead to sustained success if — and this should be written in bold capital letters because it looms over everything else — rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater can develop into their franchise quarterback,” writes Chip Scroggins in the Star Tribune. Scroggins adds the team has 17 “core players,” excluding rookies.

North Notes: Williams, Lyerla, Worilds

Packers cornerback Tramon Williams was a Pro Bowler in 2010, but a shoulder injury in the 2011 season opener limited his effectiveness for two seasons (despite starting 31 games). The 31-year-old seemed to regain his form last season, however, writes ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde, who quoted cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt: “Really, the last nine games – [Williams] played as good as everybody talked about 2010. From the New York game on, if you’re looking for much better play than that, you’re not going to get it from anybody in the league. Now, can we get it for 16 games and onto the playoffs and next year? I’m a firm believer if he’s healthy, we’re going to get it.”

Here’s a handful more NFC and AFC North links:

  • An story touching on Packers tight ends recycled a May story by the Journal Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne in which Eagles rookie receiver Josh Huff said former Oregon teammate and current Packers hopeful Colt Lyerla can be better than the best tight ends in the game. That said, the position is crowded. In a recent podcast, Dunne and Fox 11-TV’s Justin Felder speculated about Lyerla’s chances, saying roster decisions might come down to special-teams utility. They also wondered aloud if trying to stash Lyerla on the practice squad — in a scenario where he is productive and trustworthy through training camp — would be too risky.
  • The Steelers were next up in’s “Best and Worst Contracts” series, and Jason Fitzgerald is very skeptical of the team’s decision to use the transition tag on outside linebacker Jason Worilds: “In my estimation, with just half of a pretty good season under his belt in four years, Worilds was looking at no more than $6.5 million per year on a long-term deal. Now with the leverage of the [$9.8MM] tender, he has limited incentive to take a reasonable deal, so they’ll likely have to overpay significantly if they want to retain him long-term. And if they don’t retain him long-term, they’ll have overpaid significantly for a single season from a player who has been mediocre at best to this point.”
  • The Steelers’ nose tackle position, most notably returning starter Steve McLendon, was previewed by ESPN’s Scott Brown. McLendon was just “OK” as Casey Hampton’s replacement last season, and “McLendon still has to prove that he is the long-term answer at nose tackle,” says Brown, “but he appears to be in a much better position to play well this season, both from a physical and mental standpoint.” McLendon, who played about a third of the Steelers’ defensive snaps in 2013, has bulked up 20 pounds in an effort to anchor better against the run.
  • The departure of Arthur Jones via free agency creates an opportunity for Ravens defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson, writes staff writer Garrett Downing, who points out Tyson’s career arc is similar to Jones’.

NFC Camp Notes: Seahawks, Lyerla, Eagles

Now that OTAs and minicamps are behind us, writers from around the league are looking ahead to training camp, anticipating roster battles, and wondering if anything we saw in the past few weeks of workouts will translate into the regular season. Here are some such notes from the NFC:

  • Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks‘ most heated position battle will be at right tackle, where Michael Bowie and Justin Britt appear to have equal footing heading into training camp.
  • Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel lists 10 Packers storylines to watch before training camp, including JC Tretter‘s hold on the center position and how the team will replace Jermichael Finley. Perhaps undrafted tight end Colt Lyerla, who Dunne also lists as a player to watch this summer, could be part of that solution.
  • Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer, like most writers, notes that reports from OTAs and minicamps are typically full of optimism. But trouble always lurks beneath that hopeful veneer, and for the Eagles, that trouble comes in the form of depth along the offensive line and the wide receiver corps. Then there is the question of whether the team’s projected starters in the defensive backfield are good enough to compete on a weekly basis.
  • On the more optimistic side of the coin, Rich Tandler of points to five reasons for Redskins fans to feel hopeful heading into training camp, including what promises to be a more productive pass rush.
  • Matt Bowen of The Chicago Tribune liked a lot of what he saw from the Bears‘ defensive unit this spring, including the promise displayed by Brock Vereen and Shea McClellin.

Packers Notes: Rodgers, Finley, Jones

In an exhaustive Q&A with Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Jason Wilde of delves into the psyche of the former Cal standout and 10-year vet, with questions ranging from dealing with public scrutiny to his relationship with coach Mike McCarthy.

Wilde also touches on the length of Rodgers’ career, which has been a topic of discussion after the quarterback hinted at how many years he has left in a tweet on the nine-year anniversary of his drafting. Here’s Rodgers’ response when asked if he has changed his timeline:

I think the way I’ve been feeling the last two years, with changing some things off the field in the offseason with my eating patterns, my body’s been feeling really good. To the point of, I feel like I can really keep my legs underneath me for a long time and as long as I have my legs, I feel like I can play the position the way I want to play it. I’d love to be able to play this contract out and then do a few more [years]. I think that’d be a lot of fun. This is a great place to play and live and work, and this is what we do. This is what I’m talented at more than anything else in my life, and I want to keep doing it.

More links and notes from the NFC North can be found below…

NFC Links: Simpson, Lynch, Giants, Davis

Veteran wide receiver Jerome Simpson was surprised that he had to take a pay cut from the Vikings, write Chris Tomasson and Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press. Simpson set a career high last season for receiving yards and was two catches shy of his best season ever in that category, but a DUI hurt his leverage. Ultimately, he saw his salary chopped from $2.1MM in 2013 to $1MM in 2014.

I can’t lie. I was definitely surprised that I get paid less than what I got last year,” Simpson said. “I had my best numbers. But I guess when you got that negative thing on you, they kind of got you behind the eight-ball.

Here are several more Thursday links from around the NFC:

  • No one knows for sure yet if Marshawn Lynch will or won’t be in attendance when the Seahawks‘ mandatory minicamp gets underway, but if the running back holds out for a new contract, it won’t be a surprise, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Meanwhile, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap explains why Lynch has to do this now if he wants to strengthen his job security going forward. We heard last night that the Seahawks aren’t expecting Lynch to show up for the start of the camp.
  • Although they haven’t signed any new players yet, the Giants are believed to have hosted about 10 non-roster players for auditions yesterday, according to Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr of
  • Tight end Vernon Davis is seeking a new contract and didn’t show up for the 49ers‘ voluntary workouts, but he recognizes the mandatory nature of the team’s upcoming minicamp, as Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News writes. “It’s mandatory, so I should be there, for sure,” Davis said during an appearance on KNBR 680-AM in San Francisco.
  • While the Packers‘ decision to sign troubled tight end Colt Lyerla last month raised some eyebrows, Green Bay takes pride in developing all kinds of young players, according to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report, who wonders if Lyerla could fill a void at the position for a club that no longer has Jermichael Finley on its roster.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC North Notes: Fairley, Packers, Bears

Pro Football Weekly’s 2011 scouting report of draft prospect Nick Fairley included notes such as “has underachiever tendencies” and “needs to be pushed and is not a self-starter.” Three years after the Lions drafted him 13th overall, motivation is still an issue for Fairley, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract because the team declined his fifth-year option. Why? “The Lions had grown weary of Fairley’s fluctuating weight and inconsistent play and saw this as a last chance to motivate their talented defensive tackle who’s shown far too few flashes of brilliance on the field,” according to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. In response, Fairly has trimmed down approximately 25 pounds in an effort to have a strong season and increase his value on the open market.

Here’s some more news and notes from around the NFC North division, starting with another prominent defensive tackle:

  • Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji accepted a one-year, “prove it” deal to return to Green Bay, in part, because he will return to his more natural nose tackle position, says Tyler Dunne in the Journal Sentinel.
  • The Packers appear to be transitioning versatile defensive back Micah Hyde to safety in an attempt to get their best personnel on the field, reports Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Colt Lyerla will be one of the most watched undrafted free agents in the league this summer because his physical ability and impact potential is legitimate. Though his checkered past means he’s on a perilously short leash in Green Bay, the team is making a concerted effort to foster mutual trust and an environment in which Lyerla can develop without distraction, writes Dunne.
  • Lance Briggs has the Bears’ weak-side linebacker job on lock, but the other two linebacker spots are question marks. ESPN’s Michael C. Wright thinks veteran D.J. Williams will man the middle with second-year flash player Jon Bostic will beat out Shea McClellin on the strong side.