Dan Skuta

Bears Make Cuts, Reach 53

The Bears took time to announce their 53-man roster, but they got it done before the deadline. Here’s how:

Released:

Officially Placed On IR:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Bears Shopping LBs Sam Acho, Dan Skuta

The Bears have made linebackers Sam Acho and Dan Skuta available for trade, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).Sam Acho

[RELATED: Bears Release Victor Cruz]

Chicago has a slight surplus at outside linebacker, as Leonard Floyd and Willie Young are the club’s projected starters while veteran Pernell McPhee recovers from a knee injury. Lamarr Houston is also around, and given his and McPhee’s lengthy injury history, it’s surprising the Bears don’t want to keep Acho and/or Skuta as insurance.

It’s not as if the Bears can hope to reap much in the way of draft compensation for either player — both Acho and Houston were freely available on the open market earlier this year, and both landed only minimum salary benefit contracts with Chicago. Both will be at least 29 years old by next, and neither has been a full-time starter in some time.

Given that the Bears are shopping Acho and Skuta, both figure to be in severe danger of being released by Saturday if Chicago can’t drum up a trade market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Sign LB Dan Skuta

The Bears have signed outside linebacker Dan Skuta, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal, according to a team announcement. "<strong

Skuta was released by the Jaguars roughly one month ago in a move that saved the team $4.1MM against the 2017 cap. In late April, he visited with the Patriots, but he left New England without a deal.

The 31-year-old came to Jacksonville in 2015 after notching five sacks as a reserve with the Niners. Unfortunately, he did not live up to the five-year, $20.5MM pact. Last year, he appeared in just 24.8% of the Jags’ snaps and made just two starts in his 13 games.

The Bears have a fairly deep OLB group with projected starters Willie Young and Leonard Floyd and reserves including Pernell McPhee, Sam Acho, and Lamarr Houston. However, Houston could be a cap casualty this summer since the team can release him for $5.01MM in savings versus just $1.98MM in dead money. As it stands, he’s projected to carry a hefty $6.99MM cap number in the fourth year of a five-year, $35MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Hosting LB Dan Skuta On Visit

Free agent linebacker Dan Skuta is visiting the Patriots today, reports Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). Skuta has been on the open market since the Jaguars released him April 11.

Dan Skuta (vertical)

Skuta, who turned 31 last week, parlayed a five-sack 2014 season as a reserve with the 49ers into a five-year, $20.5MM deal with the Jags in 2015. That move clearly didn’t pan out for Jacksonville, though, particularly during a 2016 campaign that saw Skuta play just 24.8 percent of defensive snaps and total two starts in 13 appearances. Skuta made a minimal impact defensively, racking up a mere 18 tackles, though he did see time on nearly half of the Jaguars’ special teams snaps.

In New England, Skuta would likely function as depth behind fellow outside linebackers Shea McClellin and Rob Ninkovich. The Patriots also have 2016 sixth-round pick Elandon Roberts, who partook in 26 percent of their defensive snaps as a rookie, and Jonathan Freeny on hand.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Release LB Dan Skuta

The Jaguars have released linebacker Dan Skuta, according to a team announcement. The move will save the Jaguars $4.1MM against this year’s cap.Dan Skuta (vertical)

Skuta, 31 later this month, came to Jacksonville on a five-year, $20.5MM deal two years ago. That free agent investment did not pan out. Skuta was demoted to a bench role in 2016 and turned in his worst campaign in the last four years, according to Pro Football Focus. Skuta’s 68.3 overall score would have placed him as the No. 62 ranked edge defender in the league last year, if he had enough snaps to qualify. He saw only 268 defensive snaps across his 13 games.

The Jaguars have revamped their reserve linebacker group this offseason with the signings of Lerentee McCray, Josh McNary, and Audie Cole. With Skuta gone, the Jags still have six outside linebackers on the roster and nine linebackers in total. Myles Jack, Paul Posluszny, and Telvin Smith currently project as the starters.

Skuta’s deal called for him to earn $4.1MM in each of the next three seasons, but none of that money was guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jags Notes: Skuta, Robinson, Davis, Jackson

Dan Skuta faced a misdemeanor battery charge after a June 19 arrest, but the Jaguars linebacker saw his case dismissed once the prosecution declined to pursue charges, according to an ESPN.com report. The 30-year-old Skuta was accused of pushing a woman’s face into a glass window, an allegation he denied. However, Assistant State Attorney Natalie Lord categorized the case as one “not suitable for prosecution.”

Skuta’s lawyers wrote the eighth-year defender didn’t receive special consideration in this matter.

Here’s more from north Florida’s NFL franchise.

  • Not determined to be impaired after driving a car into a retention pond earlier this month, Denard Robinson received a citation for careless driving, Joe Daraskevich of the Florida Times-Union reports. The officer issuing the citation was the same one who determined the Jaguars running back was not impaired, writes Daraskevich, who notes Robinson accepted the citation. An investigation into the police officers’ conduct on the morning of July 3, when Robinson and a female companion were found asleep in a car that was drifting into a pond, remains ongoing, however.
  • Ryan Davis joins Skuta, Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, Paul Posluszny as linebackers who are essentially locks to make the 53-man roster, Ryan O’Halloran of the Times-Union writes. The fifth-year performer signed the second-round tender ($2.55MM) the Jaguars placed on him this offseason as an RFA. Jacksonville moved him to linebacker this offseason after he previously functioned as a defensive end. Davis, who has registered 11 career sacks, is expected to back up Skuta on the strong side. It’s an interesting move for Davis, who has dropped weight this offseason, since the 27-year-old ex-UDFA has experience lining up as a defensive tackle in sub packages for the Jags. Although Davis is still expected to play some defensive end, the team is expected to deploy a healthy Dante Fowler Jr., adding to a deeper defensive front.
  • The Jags paid Malik Jackson a lot of money to serve as their primary interior pass-rushing threat, and both Tania Ganguli and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com rate the former Broncos versatile lineman is the AFC South’s top newcomer. Jackson’s experience as a 4-3 defensive tackle in 2013 will serve him well in his expected role in Jacksonville. He moved to the 4-3 defensive end spot in 2014 with the Broncos and saw his stock rise exponentially as a 3-4 end in Wade Phillips‘ scheme last season.
  • How far have the Jaguars come this offseason? Have they done enough to challenge the Texans or Colts for a division title? Check out PFR’s Jaguars Offseason in Review.

South Notes: Jaguars, Skuta, Panthers, Falcons

Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta was arrested on June 19 and charged with misdemeanor battery, but Skuta and his lawyer are now disputing the charges, as Brent Martineau of Action News Jax reports. While a woman claims she was hit by Skuta after she rebuffed his advances, Skuta’s lawyer contends that the linebacker was actually the one who was struck. Jags management, meanwhile, has released a statement saying that while they are “aware of the situation,” they won’t be offering further comment.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Panthers GM Dave Gettleman moved on from cornerback Josh Norman this offseason but he replenished the cornerback position by drafting James Bradberry (second round), Daryl Worley (third round), and Zack Sanchez (fifth round). All of them had their moments during OTAs and minicamp, but it remains to be seen how these young cornerbacks will perform in live action, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. The prevailing wisdom is that Carolina doesn’t need shutdown corners, thanks to their heavy use of a zone scheme — not to mention its dominant front seven. Whether this crop of rookie defensive backs can (in part) replace Norman could be a key to the Panthers’ season.
  • Former Division II standout C.J. Goodwin is a longshot to make the Falcons‘ roster, but because Jalen Collins is facing a four-game suspension to start the season, Goodwin, a receiver-turned-cornerback, could earn a place on the final 53, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Goodwin, who played only two seasons of collegiate football, switched to the defensive side of the ball while working on Atlanta’s practice squad last year, and with a history of special teams experience, he could make for a solid back-of-the-roster contributor.
  • Earlier today, veteran evaluator Dave-Te Thomas examined which Texans rookies could make an impact during the 2016 season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Skuta

A pair of pending Colts free agents have hired Drew Rosenhaus to represent them, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter links). Tight end Dwayne Allen and linebacker Jerrell Freeman will both be represented by the super agent heading into March and that could be a promising sign for the Colts. Rosenhaus has a history of getting deals done with Indianapolis and the team would surely like to retain both players.

Here’s more from the AFC South:

  • Linebacker Dan Skuta had never been considered a probable cap casualty for the Jaguars this offseason, but that possibility became even more remote last week. According to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), $3.5MM of Skuta’s $3.6MM base salary for 2016 became fully guaranteed on Friday, meaning there would be extremely minimal cap savings this season for the Jags if they were to cut him.
  • Finding a starting center should be a priority for the Jaguars this offseason, says Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. As we noted last week during our Jags offseason preview, incumbent starter Stefen Wisniewski is a free agent, and Alex Mack – who drew significant interest from Jacksonville two years ago – may hit the market again.
  • Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome was arrested early Wednesday morning on possession of marijuana charges, as Matt Adams of FOX59 writes. Authorities first came to Newsome’s home to follow up on a noise complaint and during the investigation, officers found marijuana. Police said Newsome cooperated with authorities as he was taken into custody. Newsome established himself in 2014 with 4.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits. In 2015, the 25-year-old didn’t put up the same kind of numbers, recording 18 total tackles and 1 sack.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Jaguars Sign Dan Skuta

WEDNESDAY, 10:35am: In what has been a busy morning for the team, Skuta’s signing is the latest to be confirmed by the Jaguars (via Twitter).

MONDAY, 10:51pm: Skuta’s deal is for $20.5MM over five years, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

9:31pm: The defection of 49ers defensive players will continue, as Adam Caplan of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that linebacker Dan Skuta will sign with the Jaguars when the free agent period begins tomorrow. We first heard of Jacksonville’s interest in Skuta earlier today, including that he’d have an expanded role on the Jags’ defense.

Skuta, 29 next month, also drew interest from the Dolphins and Eagles, the latter of whom would have a “ton of interest” in signing him had they not retained Brandon Graham, tweets Caplan. A key contributor on special teams, Skuta also saw more than 300 snaps at outside linebacker for San Francisco, racking up five sacks. He spent four seasons with the Bengals before joining the Niners in 2013.

The Jaguars have been incredibly active through the three-day negotiating window, agreeing to terms with tight end Julius Thomas, defensive tackle Jared Odrick, and offensive tackle Jermey Parnell.

Free Agent Rumors: Fletcher, Williams, Gresham

The Vikings have expressed interest in pending free agent cornerback Bradley Fletcher, a source tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Fletcher had an off year for the Eagles in 2014, being ranked 92 out of 108 NFL cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. He was much better in 2013, having been ranked 44 out of 110 players at the position. Here’s a look at the latest free agent rumors..

  • Giants free agent linebacker Jacquian Williams took to Twitter to let everyone know that he has interest from five teams.
  • If the Raiders don’t get a deal done with tight end Jermaine Gresham, the Browns are also among those with interest, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • The Jaguars a team to watch for when it comes to linebacker Dan Skuta, but there are several interested, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. He could have expanded role with Jacksonville if he signs with them tomorrow, Caplan adds.
  • Pat McManamon of ESPN.com (on Twitter) doesn’t expect the Browns to lose any of their restricted free agents, but he thinks a team in need of a safety could think about adding Tashaun Gipson.
  • Bills tight end Lee Smith is expected to sign a big contract with another team tomorrow, Tim Graham of The Buffalo News tweets.