Cyrus Kouandjio

Broncos Place OT Menelik Watson On IR

The Broncos announced that they have placed right tackle Menelik Watson on injured reserve with a foot injury. To take his place, they have signed Cyrus KouandjioMenelik Watson (vertical)

Watson came to Denver on a three-year, $18.75MM contract this offseason. Although he is talented, he is no stranger to missing time. Heading into 2017, Watson had already missed 37 of a possible 64 regular-season games due to various injuries over the course of four seasons, including an entirely lost 2015. With his 2017 over, the tally is now up to 48 missed games out of 80 possible appearances.

Watson lost a significant amount of weight in the offseason in an attempt to stay healthy, but he is still in search of his first complete season. The former second round pick of the Raiders has yet to play in more than 12 games in any given campaign.

The Broncos have first-round pick Garett Bolles starting at left tackle with Donald Stephenson and Elijah Wilkinson in reserve. Stephenson has been sidelined thanks to a calf injury he suffered prior to Week 7, so Wilkinson or Kouandjio could conceivably draw the next start at RT.

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Giants Audition OL Orlando Franklin

The Giants auditioned or met with a host of free agents today, according to Field Yates and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter links), and the club specifically focused on the offensive line. Here’s the entire list:

Workouts

Visits

Franklin, 29, has already been released twice this calendar year, first by the Chargers — who employed Franklin for the past two seasons — and then by the Saints, with whom Franklin lasted less than a week. A knee injury reportedly led to New Orleans cutting ties, and though there was some thought that Franklin could re-sign with the Saints, a new deal never came to fruition.Orlando Franklin (vertical)

A guard by trade, Franklin has also played tackle (the area of most need on the Giants’ roster), but it’s not clear that he’d be an improvement over Ereck Flowers or Bobby Hart. To be sure, Flowers and Hart have struggled mightily this season, but Franklin graded as one of the seven worst guards in the NFL a year ago, per Pro Football Focus. As far as reserves go, however, New York could do worse, as Franklin boasts 89 starts worth of pro experience.

Kouandjio offers several intriguing traits, as well, and chief among them is his youth, as he’s still only 24 years old. The former second-round pick was waived by the Bills earlier this year following an odd off-field incident, and then failed to beat out draft bust Greg Robinson for the Lions’ fill-in left tackle job. He’s only started 12 games in three NFL seasons.

Lions Waive Cyrus Kouandjio

The Lions announced that they have waived offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. He’ll be free to sign with any team if he clears the waiver wire over the next 24 hours. Cyrus Kouandjio (vertical)

The release of Kouandjio means that Greg Robinson is now in line to serve as the Lions’ starting left tackle in Week 1. Of course, this isn’t quite how the Lions thought things would go this offseason. Taylor Decker was set to resume his role at left tackle before a torn labrum forced him to the sidelines. Detroit added Robinson and Kouandjio with the hope that one of them could hold down the fort and Robinson ultimately proved to be the better man.

Kouandjio showed some promise with the Bills, but he was waived this year after an odd off-field incident in which he was found partially undressed in a field near the scene of a car accident. Robinson not arrested, but he taken to a hospital for evaluation afterwards. Last year, Pro Football Focus placed him a solid 34th among 78 qualified tackles.

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Lions Notes: LTs, Tabor, Quin

A few notes from Detroit:

  • In response to the serious shoulder injury stud left tackle Taylor Decker suffered during the spring, the Lions went out and acquired a pair of fill-in options in Greg Robinson and Cyrus Kouandjio. Robinson (second overall) and Kouandjio (44th) were high picks in the 2014 draft, but the former washed out with the Rams and the latter failed to stick in Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Lions, the two aren’t off to good starts in training camp, according to both Kyle Meinke of MLive.com and Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Robinson and Kouandjio have each dealt with injuries, but when they have taken the field, things haven’t gone well. Second-year defensive end Anthony Zettel, a sixth-rounder in 2016 who had one sack as a rookie, made “mincemeat” of the two tackles during practice Wednesday, per Meinke. Zettel has indeed held his own against the duo, confirms Rothstein, who currently tabs Kouandjio as the likely starter on the blindside. Either way, it appears the Lions are in for significantly worse play this year from the left tackle position, which isn’t exactly positive news for a team that could soon commit huge money to its quarterback.
  • Rookie cornerback Teez Tabor has also begun 2017 in less-than-stellar fashion, relays Meinke, who suggests that the second-round pick from Florida could struggle to see the field much this year at the rate he’s going. Most or all of Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs and D.J. Hayden are in line to receive more playing time than Tabor, whom unproven receiver Jared Abbrederis “abused” on Friday, notes Meinke. Tabor also hasn’t shown much speed, which is especially troubling for a player whose draft stock fell as a result of subpar showings in the 40-yard dash.
  • Rothstein has the details on safety Glover Quin‘s two-year, $13MM extension. Initially, he was slated to earn a base salary of $4MM with a cap hit of $7.8MM in 2017. Now, his base salary is down to just $900K (fully guaranteed) with a cap hit of $6.4MM. In 2018, Quin will make $3.85MM in base salary, with $3.6MM of it guaranteed for injury only. On the third day in March, however, it becomes fully guaranteed. In 2019, the final year of his deal, Quin has no money guaranteed. Although the 31-year-old got some additional dollars and years in the extension, the Lions will still have the ability to get out of the deal before the 2018 season if his performance dips.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Fairley, Packers, Lane, Lions

Nick Fairley‘s heart issue has stalled his career to the point the Saints are preparing for this season as if the recently re-signed defensive tackle won’t play, Larry Holder of NOLA.com reports. Last we heard, the 29-year-old defender was getting a third opinion on the condition. Fairley signed a four-year, $28MM deal to stay in New Orleans in March. But if he’s not going to play this season, Holder notes the Saints are going to be at a loss. They used 2016 fourth-rounder David Onyemata alongside Sheldon Rankins on the first-string defense during minicamp, but Holder notes the starting nose tackle will probably be Tyeler Davison, a 2015 fifth-rounder who started 15 games last season. Davison is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Here’s the latest from around the NFC.

  • Davante Adams has shot to the top of the Packers‘ 2018 UFA contingent after a breakout 2016 season, one that also includes Morgan Burnett, center Corey Linsley and guard Lane Taylor, Rob Reischel writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This could mean Randall Cobb faces a pivotal season, with Reischel noting the Packers could elect to prioritize an Adams deal and move on from Cobb despite his young age. The slot target will only be 27 this season, but Cobb recorded a modest (for him) 60-catch, 610-yard season. He’s signed through 2018 and has cap numbers of $12.6MM and $12.7MM this season and next, respectively.
  • The Seahawks have a pair of cornerbacks that have suffered severe injuries in recent years, but while DeShawn Shead rehabs, Jeremy Lane looks like the starter opposite Richard Sherman. Pete Carroll said Shead is recovering well from the ACL and meniscus tears sustained in January, but with the re-signed player unlikely to be ready for Week 1, the team may be turning to Lane. “He’s physically as fit as he’s been in a long time,” Carroll said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “Remember, he had a really difficult offseason a couple years back (following knee and arm injuries in Super Bowl XLIX) and it’s taken him almost a couple years to overcome all of that, and he’s back to full form.” The Seahawks drafted Shaquil Griffin in the third round and moved rookie sixth-rounder Mike Tyson from safety to corner, but those first-year talents look to enter camp as depth pieces behind Lane.
  • Once Taylor Decker suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him out up to six months, the Lions gave first-team left tackle reps to Joe Dahl. The second-year player worked as a guard in six games last season. But after the additions of Greg Robinson and Cyrus Kouandjio, Dahl seems on his way back to guard, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Neither Robinson nor Kouandjio participated in Detroit’s minicamp, but Jim Caldwell confirmed they will compete for the now-vacant left tackle job come training camp. A fifth-round pick last year, Dahl would then be in line to compete for a guard spot with Graham Glasgow and Laken Tomlinson opposite T.J. Lang.

Lions Acquire Greg Robinson, Sign Cyrus Kouandjio

The Lions have acquired offensive tackle Greg Robinson from the Rams for a sixth-round pick in 2018, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Additionally, Detroit has signed free agent offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter links).

Greg Robinson (vertical)

Both Robinson and Kouandjio will compete to start at left tackle for the Lions, head coach Jim Caldwell announced. The position became a concern for the Lions when stalwart Taylor Decker suffered a torn labrum during organized team activities, thereby creating an obvious need opposite big-money right tackle Ricky Wagner.

Like Decker, a first-round pick last year, both Robinson and Kouandjio were high selections in recent drafts. However, neither has established himself as a quality NFLer. Robinson disappointed in St. Louis and Los Angeles after going second overall in the 2014 draft, which led the Rams to decline his fifth-year option for 2018 before dealing him. Robinson does come with plenty of experience, having started in 42 of 46 appearances (including all 14 in 2016), though Pro Football Focus ranked him among the league’s worst tackles in each of his first three seasons. He’s due a $3.3MM salary as he enters the final year of his contract.

Kouandjio was in the same draft class as Robinson, and the second-rounder from Alabama is coming off a three-year stint in Buffalo that saw him appear in just 25 of a possible 48 games. He only started in seven of those contests, including a career-high five last year, when PFF placed him a solid 34th among 78 qualified tackles. Despite his recent output, the Bills waived Kouandjio in May after an odd off-field incident in April. The 23-year-old was found partially undressed in a field in Elma, N.Y., not far from the scene of a car accident and taken to a nearby hospital, though he wasn’t arrested.

To create roster space for its two newest players, Detroit waived long snapper Jimmy Landes and tackle Arturo Uzdavinis, per Tim Twentyman of the team’s website (on Twitter).

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Cyrus Kouandjio To Visit Lions

Free agent offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio announced Tuesday on Twitter that he’s flying to Detroit to visit the Lions, who could use another bookend in light of Taylor Decker‘s shoulder injury.

Cyrus Kouandjio (vertical)

The 6-foot-7, 323-pound Kouandjio hit the open market when the Bills cut him in late May, which came after a three-year stint in Buffalo that included mixed results on the field and an odd off-field incident in April. The 23-year-old was found partially undressed in a field in Elma, N.Y., not far from the scene of a car accident and taken to a nearby hospital. Kouandjio wasn’t arrested, though, and he noted in his tweet that he’s on his best behavior.

If he signs with the Lions, Kouandjio would give the team another option at either tackle position to help make up for the absence of Decker, who could miss a portion of the regular season. Kouandjio was a standout at Alabama and a second-round pick in 2014, but he only started in seven of 25 appearances with the Bills. In 12 games and a career-high seven starts last year, his performance ranked a respectable 34th among Pro Football Focus’ 78 qualified tackles.

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Bills Sign WR Rod Streater

The Bills have signed wide receiver Rod Streater and tight end Wes Saxton, according to a team announcement. To make room, tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and quarterback Josh Woodrum have been released. The Bills cut Kouandjio with a non-football injury designation, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "<strong

[RELATED: Why The Bills Should Sign TE Gary Barnidge]

Streater, 29, played in all 16 regular season games last season for the 49ers, catching 18 passes for 191 yards and two scores. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he will add some depth to the team’s banged up receiver group. Star Sammy Watkins is still healing up after foot surgery and second-round rookie Zay Jones has been sidelined with a knee injury. As it stands, free agent additions Andre Holmes, Philly Brown, and Streater are the team’s top WRs in practice.

Kouandjio was involved in a bizarre incident with police in April. The lineman, 24 in July, was found partially undressed and in a field not far from the scene of a car accident. He was taken to a nearby hospital afterwards and that visit presumably included some psychiatric evaluation.

The University of Alabama product has appeared in 25 games for Buffalo since being drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft. Kouandjio has been a quality contributor in Buffalo and last season he outperformed name guys like Jake Matthews, Russell Okung, Doug Free, and Andrus Peat, according to Pro Football Focus.

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AFC Notes: Bills, Browns, Patriots

The Bills will send representatives to Clemson to meet with quarterback Deshaun Watson on Friday, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bills general manager Doug Whaley is supposedly “in love” with Watson, but there’s a belief that the team’s highest-graded QB prospect is North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said Thursday on NFL Network (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). The problem for Buffalo, if it looks to draft a first-round passer, is that Trubisky might not be on the board when it’s on the clock at No. 10. Cleveland, which owns the 12th pick, may be angling to move ahead of the Bills to ensure it grabs Trubisky.

More on Buffalo and two other AFC clubs:

  • Shortly after Cleveland acquired Brock Osweiler from Houston last month, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the Browns were willing to eat around half of the quarterback’s $16MM base salary for 2017 in order to trade him. It turns out the exact number is $10MM, tweets La Canfora. It seems likely that the Browns will eventually cut Osweiler if they’re unable to trade him, but given that he’s still on the roster, both executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson have said that they expect him to compete for the team’s starting QB job. Of course, the Browns will probably add another signal-caller in the draft (be it Trubisky or someone else), perhaps lessening Osweiler’s chances of making the club.
  • The Patriots ventured to the University of Connecticut on Thursday for a meeting with safety Obi Melifonwu, according to Ryan Hannable of WEEI. New England’s not slated to pick until the third round, No. 72 overall, and Melifonwu should be long gone by then. However, trading cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Saints for the 32nd pick could put the Patriots in position to select Melifonwu.
  • Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com offers more details on a bizarre incident involving Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio this week. Police in Elma, N.Y., responded to a 9:22 a.m. call on Wednesday regarding a suspicious man in a field, which turned out to be a partially undressed Kouandjio. Firefighters then had to administer first aid to Kouandjio for an undisclosed condition. And though Kouandjio screamed “Shoot me!,” he was cooperative with deputies and was not arrested. Kouandjio did go to Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation, however.

Bills’ Kouandjio Involved In Strange Incident

Bills offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio was involved in a bizarre incident with police earlier this week, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. Details on the incident are sparse, at the moment, but the tackle was found “not fully clothed” and in a field not far from the scene of a car accident. Kouandjio, who had climbed over an electric fence, screamed “Shoot me!” when approached by police. Cyrus Kouandjio (vertical)

We are aware of the matter involving Cyrus and are carefully monitoring his condition and gathering more information,” the Bills said in a statement. “We don’t have all of the details, so we won’t have any further comment at this time.”

Police suspect that Kouandjio pulled off of Route 400 and ran when he saw police lights. His exact role in the accident is not clear and there’s also no word on any potential mind-altering substances being involved. One has to presume that Kouandjio has undergone psychiatric evaluation and drug testing since the incident on Tuesday.

Kouandjio, 24 in July, has appeared in 25 games for Buffalo since being drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft. The DeMatha Catholic High School and University of Alabama product has been a solid contributor for the Bills, earning a higher score from Pro Football Focus last season than guys like Jake Matthews, Russell Okung, Doug Free, Andrus Peat, and other notables.

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