Connor Cook

NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

  • P Brock Miller (link)

Houston Texans

  • OT Dieugot Joseph (link)

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • OT Corey Robinson; RB Thomas Rawls (link)

New England Patriots

  • DE Will Clarke; QB Connor Cook; LB Kasim Edebali; WR Devin Ross; TE Shane Wimann (link)

Tennessee Titans

  • LS’s Andrew East, Taybor Pepper (link)

Overall, nothing too noteworthy. The Patriots interestingly continue to work out quarterbacks, bringing in former Raiders third-rounder Connor Cook for a tryout. New England has Bryan Hoyer firmly entrenched behind Tom Brady, but also recently worked out Landry Jones.

Meanwhile, the Titans seem set to bring in a new long snapper, as the team also worked out veteran Jon Condo today.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/10/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Tennessee Titans

Practice Squad Updates: 10/9/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb
  • Released QB: Connor Cook

Dallas Cowboys

  • Released: RB Bo Scarbrough

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Tra Carson, WR Keon Hatcher
  • Released: RB Joel Bouagnon

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed On PS-IR: LB Robert McCray

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Kenneth Farrow

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Panthers Sign Connor Cook To P-Squad

The Panthers’ quarterback situation behind Cam Newton is rather thin. They’ve added a notable player to that mix.

Connor Cook will join the Panthers’ practice squad, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer tweets. To make room for the 2016 fourth-round pick on the 10-man unit, Carolina released defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, a rookie seventh-round pick.

The Raiders waived Cook last weekend, and the former Michigan State prospect passed through waivers unclaimed. He worked out for the Jets and Panthers this week and will now venture to Charlotte and attempt to revive his career there.

Taylor Heinicke is the only quarterback behind Newton on the Panthers’ active roster. A former UDFA, Heinicke’s played in one game and attempted one pass. The Panthers now have two quarterbacks on their practice squad, with Cook joining Kyle Allen.

Cook failed to sufficiently impress new Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who’s jettisoned many players from recent Reggie McKenzie drafts. The third-year player’s only start came in a 2016 wild card game, after the Raiders lost both Derek Carr and Matt McGloin to previous injuries. He struggled badly in Oakland’s loss to Houston that day and could not solidify his spot with the new Raiders regime.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/5/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Minnesota Vikings

Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Workout Updates: 9/4/18

Today’s workout updates:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Raiders Announce Roster Cuts

Trading Khalil Mack wasn’t the Raiders’ only order of business Saturday. They’ve also moved their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Waived:

Released:

Waived/injured:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on PUP list:

Could Raiders Acquire Veteran QB?

Even though he regressed a bit in 2017 after a stellar 2016 campaign, Derek Carr is entrenched as the Raiders’ starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, and Oakland is perfectly okay with that. However, the Raiders and new/old head coach Jon Gruden are not as pleased with their backup situation.

As Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, the battle to be Carr’s backup has no apparent winner, and Gruden did not dismiss the possibility that the team could bring in outside help. Connor Cook had a strong preseason debut this year, completing 11 of 19 attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown against the Lions, but his next two outings were not nearly as promising. EJ Manuel, meanwhile, lost his third fumble in three preseason games on Friday night, and he recovered another fumble after a bad snap.

When asked on Friday if the Raiders’ backup quarterback is currently on their roster, Gruden said, “I don’t know. We’re going to continue to work, continue to see who’s available. I thought there were some good moments tonight and there were some moments tonight that weren’t good. It’s been too inconsistent. But I’m not going to say much more tonight until I see the tape. We’re going to continue to evaluate it.”

At this point in the year, the list of free agent quarterbacks does not offer any clear upgrades over Cook or Manuel, with players like Matt Moore, Derek Anderson, and Mark Sanchez representing the best options (excluding Colin Kaepernick, of course). Teddy Bridgewater‘s name has come up in trade rumors, and while it’s not clear if the Jets are willing to part with him, other signal-callers — like Baltimore’s Robert Griffin III, who has enjoyed a strong preseason — could become available via trade.

Carr has suffered injuries in each of the past two seasons, so the No. 2 QB job is an important one to an Oakland team that has playoff aspirations. Manuel was adequate while filling in for Carr in 2017, though Kawahara writes that Cook received a large share of second-team reps in training camp this summer. The Raiders did trade for Christian Hackenberg back in May, but the Penn State product lasted less than a month on the team’s roster, and he is with the Eagles for the time being.

In other Raiders news, Scott Bair of NBCSports.com writes that, after a disastrous start to his NFL career — which saw him go unclaimed on waivers just one year after being selected in the third round of the draft — Shilique Calhoun is firmly in the mix to make Oakland’s roster. Bair also notes that rookie kicker Eddy Pineiro remains sidelined with a groin injury, and Gruden has not put a timetable on his return. The longer Pineiro remains shelved, the better veteran Mike Nugent‘s chances are to make the team.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Albert Breer On Cousins, Garoppolo, Raiders

This year’s free agent quarterback market is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory, Albert Breer of The MMQB writes. Teams are always eager to draft their next franchise QB, but this year it might make more sense for teams to sign a veteran instead. Kirk Cousins (vertical)

Fans and media want their guy—the start-from-the-bottom, untainted rookie,” one AFC exec told Breer. “And the Moneyball guys will say it’s cheaper through the draft, which is true. Bu if the point is to have a functional starting quarterback, any football guy will tell you that while everyone wants a Brady or Rodgers, the reality is those are fewer and father between. So a Kirk Cousins or a Jimmy Garoppolo? I think football guys are drooling over that. If a guy like that gets out in free agency? You see what K.C. can do with Alex Smith. Put Cousins on a good squad with a good coach, I don’t know many football guys that’ll say that won’t work. And all those guys you named, they all can play at a starting caliber level … You can solve your problem before you get to the draft.”

The crop of potentially available signal callers goes far beyond just Cousins and Garoppolo. Drew Brees, who turns 39 in January, has looked great through the first month of the season. At least one of the Vikings’ signal callers – Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater – should be there for the taking in March and the aforementioned Smith might not have a place in Kansas City thanks to the presence of Patrick Mahomes. Meanwhile, A.J. McCarron is still viewed as a hot property even though he’s on the Bengals’ bench.

Here’s more from Breer’s column:

  • Did the Patriots make a mistake by signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason? Gilmore made costly mental and communication errors against Carolina on Sunday and that’s nothing new, based on what three sources who were in Buffalo last season tell Breer. Gilmore did quite a bit of finger-pointing last year, they say, and also made business decisions on run plays as he nursed a shoulder injury. Gilmore is in Year One of a five-year, $65MM deal which included an $18MM signing bonus. The pact calls for $31MM fully guaranteed through 2018.
  • The Raiders didn’t give much consideration at all to signing a stopgap quarterback in the wake of Derek Carr’s injury, Breer hears. That could have been a deliberate move to keep the team’s confidence high, but he hears that the Raiders legitimately like what they have in EJ Manuel and Connor Cook. Eyebrows were raised when it was reported that the Raiders did not consider signing Colin Kaepernick, but it sounds like they didn’t give real though to signing any quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Veach, Mahomes, Raiders, 49ers

Andy Reid credited recently hired GM Brett Veach of alerting him to the likes of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Fletcher Cox during the duo’s time together with the Eagles. The new Chiefs GM’s latest pet project was a player who figures to have a big say in whether the franchise can challenge for a Super Bowl title in the years to come. Reid said Veach was “all in on” Patrick Mahomes during the franchise’s draft preparation and brought the Texas Tech prospect onto he and then-GM John Dorsey‘s radar.

If he brings you (a player) and he’s that sold on him, you better take a look at him,” Reid said, via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star. “He’s brought to me (guys) like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Fletcher Cox — all these guys, and it was early, before anybody really had a beat on it. And (back then) … I’m going, ‘Wow, he’s got kind of a knack for this thing.”

The Chiefs have brought in several cornerstone players during Dorsey and Veach’s time as top execs, with Travis Kelce, Marcus Peters and Tyreek Hill becoming first-team All-Pros in 2016. Mahomes recently commandeered Kansas City’s backup quarterback job.

Here’s the latest out of the Western divisions.

  • Viewed as the AFC West favorite despite the Chiefs’ sweep in this rivalry last season, the Raiders have seen their backup quarterback picture clear up to some degree in recent days. Jack Del Rio said (via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle) said E.J. Manuel has outperformed Connor Cook so far and is in the No. 2 spot behind Derek Carr. A former Bills first-rounder, Manuel signed a modest one-year deal with the Raiders early in free agency.
  • The Raiders’ current depth chart has two recent Day 3 draft picks as starters at the non-rush linebacker spots, with second-year sixth-rounder Cory James stationed as Oakland’s first-team weakside ‘backer and fifth-round rookie Marquel Lee in the middle. Lee’s spot may be less certain, per Tafur, who adds the Raiders will likely look to the waiver wire to add another inside linebacker if the Wake Forest product falters. The Raiders signed Perry Riley midway through last season, and the former Redskins starter became a quality performer for the Silver and Black. Still a free agent, the 29-year-old Riley would seemingly be an option. Reggie McKenzie said the 2016 starter was a consideration, but that was back in May. The Dolphins passed on Riley as a Raekwon McMillan replacement, choosing to sign Rey Maualuga instead.
  • The 49ers entered camp uncertain if they had one starting-caliber guard on their roster, let alone two, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes. Brandon Fusco will play right guard, but the 49ers are on the lookout for outside help opposite the longtime Vikings cog, Maiocco reports. Zane Beadles is penciled in on the other side, with Joshua Garnett sidelined due to knee surgery.
  • Jimmie Ward will return to safety this season after a lengthy cornerback experiment, but the 49ers have yet to see him work at that spot during camp. Maiocco reports the 49ers expect the fourth-year defensive back to be cleared this week. He suffered a hamstring injury during San Francisco’s conditioning tests.
  • Maiocco adds recently signed corner K’Waun Williams is in position to function as the 49ers’ top nickel back. He’s in the lead over 2016 third-rounder Will Redmond for that job. Neither Williams nor Redmond played last season. A torn ACL during his final college season led to Redmond missing 2016, and a controversial injury ended Williams’ time with the Browns. Cleveland’s two-year slot corner was not on a team last season but participated in a lengthy visit tour before deciding on a one-year, $765K deal with the 49ers.
  • The Seahawks will have a decision to make on Luke Joeckel‘s position after starting left tackle George Fant tore his ACL Friday night.