Corey Wootton

Corey Wootton Announces Retitrement

Veteran defensive end Corey Wootton took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to announce his retirement from the NFL. Corey Wootton (vertical)

Wootton, 29, spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Bears before joining the Vikings for the 2014 season. In 2015, he signed on with the Lions in an effort to continue his tour of the NFC North. While he has never been an every-down player, Wootton saw 22 starts and totaled 10 sacks during his final two seasons with the Bears. In Minnesota, he came off the bench and recorded just a single sack in 2014. Last year, he was released by the Lions prior to the start of the season.

Wootton becomes just the latest NFL player to announce his retirement this week. On Monday, former Packers, Vikings, and Dolphins wide receiver Greg Jennings announced his retirement from the NFL and so did Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Reach 53-Man Roster

The Lions slashed their roster to the 53-man regular-season limit and included a couple of notable names in their cuts.

Veteran defensive lineman Corey Wootton did not make the roster after joining the Lions this offseason. The 28-year-old made 22 starts for the Bears in 2012-13 before serving as a Vikings backup last season.

To make room for Zach Zenner and Tim Wright, respectively, Detroit waived George Winn and Joseph Fauria. After releasing former Boise State star Kellen Moore, the Lions also will go into a season with just two quarterbacks for the first time since 2009.

The remainder of Detroit’s cuts are as follows:

  • Al Bond, OL
  • Crezdon Butler, DB
  • Braxston Cave, OL
  • Jermelle Cudjo, DL
  • Kerry Hyder, DL
  • Emil Igwenagu, RB
  • Isaiah Johnson, DB
  • Joe Madsen, OL
  • Nate Ness, DB
  • Casey Pierce, TE
  • Xavier Proctor, OL
  • Jeremy Ross, WR
  • Greg Salas, WR (placed on IR)
  • Julian Stanford, LB
  • Brian Suite, DB
  • Larry Webster, DL
  • Torrian Wilson, OL
  • Jerel Worthy, DL

North Notes: Browns, H. Smith, Steelers

The 2015 season will likely be a redshirt year for rookie cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Browns head coach Mike Pettine said on Wednesday, per Mary Kay Cabot of At one point, Ekpre-Olomu, who continues to recover from a serious knee injury, was viewed as a potential first-round pick, but Cleveland snagged him in the seventh round in May following his torn ACL and disclocated knee. The Browns will have to wait until the end of training camp to move the Oregon alum to injured reserve if they want to avoid the risk of losing him on waivers.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

NFC Notes: Rams, Garcia, Lions, Walsh

Former NFL signal-caller Jeff Garcia interviewed for the Rams‘ quarterbacks coach job earlier in the offseason, but the position ultimately went to Chris Weinke. Still, the club apparently liked what it saw from Garcia. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter), the Rams have added Garcia to their coaching staff as an offensive assistant for the coming season.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Lance Moore received a $40K signing bonus from the Lions and will get another $40K bonus if he’s on the team’s roster in Week 1, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. As Birkett observes, the modest guaranteed money on the minimum salary deal hardly assures the veteran wideout of a regular season roster spot. Birkett also provides contract details for defensive lineman Corey Wootton ($150K guaranteed) and second-round running back Ameer Abdullah ($2.29MM guaranteed).
  • Asked about a possible contract extension to keep him in Minnesota beyond the 2015 season, kicker Blair Walsh expressed optimism, but cautioned that he and the Vikings haven’t had serious talks yet. “We have to make sure we’re on the same page and the numbers match up,” Walsh told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on SiriusXM NFL Radio (TwitLonger link). “That’s for management and my agent to discuss. I’ll be ready to talk about it when they are.”
  • The Cowboys are happy to have cornerback Orlando Scandrick back at their offseason workouts, as Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram details. Scandrick and the team continue to discuss the possibility of a new contract that would increase his salary for 2015.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams was diagnosed with papillary type 2 cancer and will undergo kidney surgery, the team announced this week.

Lions Sign Corey Wootton

11:32am: The Lions have officially signed Wootton, the team announced in a press release.

10:57am: Wootton’s deal with the Lions is a minimum salary benefit contract, with an $80K signing bonus and a portion of the base salary guaranteed, tweets Birkett.

10:18am: The Lions are adding a little more depth to their revamped defensive line, according to agent Mike McCartney, who tweets that his client Corey Wootton is heading to Detroit on a one-year contract. Wootton had worked out for the club earlier this month.

Wootton, who turns 28 next month, spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Chicago before joining the Vikings for the 2014 season. While he has never been an every-down player, Wootton saw 22 starts and totaled 10 sacks during his final two seasons with the Bears. Last year in Minnesota, he came off the bench and recorded just a single sack.

In Detroit, Wootton will be part of a new-look defensive line for the Lions, who lost Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, and George Johnson in free agency. C.J. Mosley also remains unsigned. To replace the departed players, the team has brought in Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, rookie Gabe Wright, and now Wootton.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), Wootton is expected to play primarily at defensive end for the Lions. The veteran lineman also tried out for the Jaguars and Titans earlier in the offseason and visited with the Saints in April before landing in Detroit.

North Notes: Ravens, Wootton, Manziel

By signing wide receiver Breshad Perriman on Monday, the Ravens set a new mark for the earliest that they have ever inked a first-round draft choice, Jamison Hensley of tweets. It’s no surprise that the Ravens got a deal done quickly with the UCF speedster and that’s partially because of how easy the current CBA has made signing rookies. Here’s a quick look at the AFC and NFC North..

  • The Lions worked out defensive lineman Corey Wootton today, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The veteran tried out for the Jaguars and Titans earlier in the offseason and visited with the Saints in April.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter) believes that cornerback Kyle Arrington makes a lot of sense for the Ravens. Arrington, who signed a four-year, $16MM contract with the Patriots in 2013, was let go by the Patriots earlier today.
  • If the Browns see anything worthwhile out of Johnny Manziel they should slot him in as the starter, Pat McManamon of writes. He reasons that the Browns need to find out where they stand with Manziel in 2015 rather than stagnate with Josh McCown.

NFC Notes: AP, Wisniewski, Wootton, Saints

Today is April 15, which means that, under the terms of the NFL’s original suspension, Adrian Peterson is now eligible to be reinstated. Still, nothing has happened on that front so far today, and few expect anything definitive or formal to actually happen in the next few hours either, tweets Ian Rapoport of

As Rapoport notes (via Twitter), the legal case related to Peterson’s suspension may still drag out for some time, but the league can reinstate him in the meantime, which will signal the end of his time served, making him eligible to start the 2015 season. Time will tell whether that happens with the Vikings or another team.

Let’s round up a few more items from across the NFC….

  • Free agent center Stefen Wisniewski visited Washington this week, but the club is “probably” not the frontrunner for him at the moment, tweets John Keim of Wisniewski has made a handful of visits since free agency opened, having met with the Patriots, Jaguars, and Titans as well. However, it’s not clear whether all those teams have real interest in him, or if the visits were more exploratory in nature — perhaps to get a closer look at Wisniewski’s surgically-repaired shoulder.
  • Veteran defensive lineman Corey Wootton, who tried out for the Jaguars and Titans earlier in the offseason, is visiting the Saints today, according to Sean Fazende of FOX 8 in New Orleans (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings and Saints, a pair of teams in need of a cornerback, are hosting Georgia corner Damian Swann for pre-draft visits, tweets Adam Caplan of
  • Florida State’s Cameron Erving, viewed as the top center in this year’s draft class, is paying a visit to St. Louis to meet with the Rams, today, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). The offensive line figures to be one of main areas of focus for the Rams during the draft.
  • The Packers will take a closer look at BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie, who is scheduled to visit the team prior to the draft, writes Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

South Notes: Johnson, Bucs, Wootton

The Buccaneers hosted Lions restricted free agent defensive end George Johnson, according to Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida. Johnson, of course, was with the Bucs from 2010-2012. The Lions placed Johnson on a low-round RFA tender, which means the Lions have the right to match any offer Johnson receives, but they won’t collect compensation if he goes elsewhere. Here’s more out of the AFC and NFC South..

  • Former Bears and Vikings defensive end Corey Wootton tried out for the Titans, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter) adds that Wootton auditioned for the Jaguars. Wootton, 28 in June, appeared in 15 games for the Vikings last season.
  • Former Giants wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan recently had a tryout with the Buccaneers, a source told Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The 5’9″ wide receiver saw just two games in 2014 thanks to injury.
  • Former Chiefs practice squad center Ben Gottschalk worked out for the Buccaneers today, a league source told Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Gottschalk caught Tampa Bay’s eye at the veteran combine.

Aaron Donald’s Potential Fit With Bears

Each year, a group of players will get brought up with the same team over and over leading up to the draft. A combination of the player’s talent level, his fit with the team and the team’s draft slot make it convenient to send the same guy to the same team when making mock drafts.

This year, it’s Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald going No. 14 overall to the Chicago Bears.

The talent of Donald is obvious, as noted by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Donald tore up the Senior Bowl, ran a 4.68 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, as well as impressing in the bench press and three-cone drill.

More obvious than his talent is the potential fit as a three-technique penetrator on the Bears defensive line. Donald led the nation in tackles for loss and sacks per game, and concerns about his relative small stature (6-1, 285 pounds) have lessened as of late.

As for the Bears draft slot, landing in the mid-first round seems reasonable for Donald. lists Donald as the No. 13 overall prospect and the No. 1 defensive tackle. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay campaigned for the Bears to draft Donald, saying the team’s Plan B would be in “panic” were he to be off the board.’s Tony Pauline figures Donald to come off the board anywhere between No. 6 and 16.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah is sold on Donald’s pro potential: “I don’t think he really has anything to answer. The only concern you’d have is he’s not a 315-pound guy. But we always talk in scouting: You want a guy to make it through the whole process and check every box.

“He’s dominant on tape. . .. He lives in the backfield as a pass rusher. He’s explosive with his hands, and he’s also able to kind of bend and wrap, and a really dynamic interior pass rusher.”

And, as pointed out by Finley in the article, after losing Henry Melton and Corey Wootton in free agency, Donald would fill the void well and figure to be a key cog in the Bears defensive line for years to come.

Vikings Sign Corey Wootton

SUNDAY, 4:45pm: Wootton will earn a $1MM base salary, with a $400K signing bonus and $100K workout bonus, according to Ben Goessling of (via Twitter). As previously reported, Wootton has $500K available in incentives.

FRIDAY, 10:05am: The Vikings have officially announced the signing of Wootton (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 8:11pm: It’s a one-year, $1.5MM contract with $500K in incentives for Wootton, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports 1.

7:01pm: Defensive lineman Corey Wootton has agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings, according to agent Mike McCartney (via Twitter). Wootton previously had surgery for a torn labrum in his hip but is said to have recovered well.

Wootton, 26, saw time on pretty much ever part of the defensive line last season for the Bears. In 16 games (15 starts), Wootton recorded 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks plus five passes defended. Known for his positive demeanor in the locker room, Wootton should bring as much in the locker room as he does on the gridiron. Wootton first emerged in 2012 with Chicago, racking up seven sacks and 20 tackles across 16 games (seven starts).