Darius Philon

Chargers Put Brandon Flowers, Corey Liuget On IR

A season that’s going to send the Chargers to their first top-10 draft pick since 2004 won’t feature Brandon Flowers or Corey Liuget for the home stretch, with the team opting to place both defensive starters on injured reserve, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter).

San Diego activated rookie defensive lineman Darius Philon from IR-DTR in one of its two corresponding moves.

The team also promoted quarterback Brad Sorensen off the practice squad as an insurance policy against Philip Rivers‘ illness, one that’s not expected to force him to miss Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Gehlken reports.

Both Flowers and Liuget signed lucrative contracts with the Chargers prior to this season.

A fifth-year veteran who signed a five-year, $51.25MM extension, Liuget struggled with a foot injury. Flowers, who joined the Chargers last season as a free agent, left last week’s game against the Broncos with a knee malady.

Liuget totaled 60 straight starts before missing Week 9 against the Bears before resuming his role as a starting end in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme. He notched three sacks and led Chargers defensive linemen with 35 tackles but rated as Pro Football Focus’ 76th-best interior defensive lineman.

Also mirroring the Chargers’ freefall, Flowers did not live up to the form he displayed when he relocated from Kansas City on a one-year deal last season. PFF ranked him as its fifth-worst regular cornerback. The 11th-highest-paid corner in the league after signing a four-year deal in March that pays him $9MM+ AAV, Flowers is under contract through the 2018 season.

The Chargers placed Philon, a sixth-round pick this year, on IR-DTR after Week 5. The rookie figures to get a long look after missing so much time and Liuget’s sudden shelving further thinning out an injury-plagued team.

San Diego’s already lost Keenan Allen and experienced rampant offensive line issues in its woeful season. These latest moves will increase the Chargers’ chances of procuring a potential top-5 pick. They’d pick at No. 3 in the first round if the season ended today.

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/15

Here are Saturday’s minor moves from around the NFL. We’ll keep the list updated throughout the day…

  • The Raiders added wide receiver and kick returner Walt Powell to their 53-man roster and signed strong safety Keenan Lambert to their practice squad, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). A Cardinals sixth-round pick in 2014, Powell played in 14 games for the Jets as a rookie. Oakland waived Lambert, who began the year in training camp with the Seahawks, two days ago, and the defender cleared waivers to enable a practice squad signing.
  • The Chargers placed rookie sixth-round pick Darius Philon on IR-DTR and promoted guard/tackle Michael Ola from their practice squad, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). With the Bolts still struggling with offensive line injuries, a need for Ola emerged. A former UDFA, Ola started 12 games with the Bears in 2014. Philon, a defensive end who’s been backing up Kendall Reyes, been active in each of the Chargers’ five contests thus far this season but now will miss most of the regular season’s remainder with a hip malady. Week 14 represents Philon’s earliest return date.
  • The Titans signed Justin Staples to their active roster and placed Deiontrez Mount on IR, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). Mount, a rookie sixth-round defensive end, suffered a torn ACL. A third-year linebacker, Staples played six games with the Titans in 2014 after entering the league as a UDFA.
  • Hard Knocks fan favorite cornerback Charles James received notice of being cut by the Ravens, with the team signing running back Terrance Magee, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). The Ravens placed Lorenzo Taliaferro on IR this week, creating a spot for Magee. Zreibec also notes (on Twitter) this may be a depth move to protect the team in case Justin Forsett, who is questionable for Sunday’s game against the 49ers with an ankle ailment, doesn’t play this week. A rookie undrafted free agent out of LSU, Magee signed with the Ravens initially in May. Prior to being waived by the Texans in September, James played in 13 games with the Giants in 2013.
  • The Broncos have promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The team also released tight end Richard Gordon, who was just added to the roster earlier this week.

Earlier updates:

  • The Colts have released kick returner Marcus Thigpen and called up linebacker Amarlo Herrera to take his roster spot, reports Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). With Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving both struggling with injuries, the Colts were clearly looking for some reinforcement on defense. Thigpen previously saw time with the Bills this season, returning 12 combined punts and kickoffs.
  • The Bears have signed nose tackle Bruce Gaston from the Packers practice squad, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. The second-year player had made a pair of appearances with Green Bay this season. He’s expected to provide the Bears with some depth on the defensive line, where Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton and Jeremiah Ratliff are all banged up.

Chargers Sign Four Draft Picks

With just five picks this year, the Chargers had one of 2015’s smallest draft classes, and the team nearly locked up all its draftees in one fell swoop today. According to the club’s official website, the Chargers have signed four rookies, including second-round linebacker Denzel Perryman.

In addition to inking Perryman to his rookie contract, the team also made things official with third-round cornerback Craig Mager, fifth-round outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel, and sixth-round defensive lineman Darius Philon. First-round running back Melvin Gordon, this year’s 15th overall selection, is the only San Diego draftee who has yet to put pen to paper.

As Over The Cap’s data shows, the cap numbers for the Chargers’ four signed picks will range from about $465K to $870K. Of the four players, Perryman will pull in the largest signing bonus, at about $1.734MM. Mager’s bonus will be worth approximately $662K, while Emanuel’s will come in at about $219K, and Philon will get about $121K.

For a complete breakdown of which draft picks have and haven’t signed their rookie contracts, be sure to check out our tracker.

Chargers GM On Gurley, Gordon, Collins

Some draft prognosticators had the Rams selecting Todd Gurley at No. 10, but Chargers GM Tom Telesco wasn’t expecting him to be the pick. Telesco told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (audio link) that he thought St. Louis was set at the position with incumbent Tre Mason in the backfield. It turns out that the Gurley selection altered the Bolts’ draft plans at the last minute and forced them to make a move. Here’s more from Telesco’s chat with Marvez…

  • Telesco explained that after Gurley came off the board at No. 10, he started making calls to other teams. He didn’t expect the University of Georgia star to be available at No. 17, but he did feel compelled to move up in the draft to get a running back after he was taken. The Chargers, of course, moved from No. 17 to No. 15 in order to draft Melvin Gordon.
  • The GM said that the Chargers have kept in touch with La’el Collins‘ agent and they continue to “compile information” on his off-field situation. A number of teams are getting background information on the LSU tackle and individual players are working hard to recruit him.
  • Sixth-round pick Darius Philon could see action as an inside pass rusher in nickel packages, Telesco said. He also said that the team will find a role for inside linebacker Denzel Perryman, whom they drafted in the second round.

Draft Notes: Miller, Philon, McCarthy

Here’s the latest NFL Draft news from Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..

  • Auburn announced that offensive tackle Patrick Miller will enter the draft (link). Miller’s decision comes as quite a surprise and there has been little buzz about him as a 2015 prospect.
  • Arkansas defensive tackle Darius Philon officially declared that he’ll be entering the 2015 draft (link). The 6-foot-2, 272-pound standout totaled 46 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 13 games for the Razorbacks in 2014. The redshirt sophomore is draft eligible because he has completed three years at Arkansas.
  • UCLA defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy is expected to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft (link). McCarthy made a major leap forward in 2014 and he credits his weight loss for that improvement. “Getting the weight off was the biggest thing,” said McCarthy, according to Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times. “It got my knees feeling better and improved my speed and quickness. It has paid off, but I still need to make progress.”
  • UCF cornerback Jacoby Glenn is expected to forego his remaining college eligibility and enter the NFL Draft (link). Glenn finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the nation in interceptions (7) and passes defended (18). He was also named the co-defensive player of the year for the American Athletic Conference.

Extra Points: Suh, David, Accorsi, Draft

Lions star Ndamukong Suh has a chance of winning the appeal of his suspension, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. If Suh can win the appeal, he’ll be in action for Sunday’s playoff game against the Cowboys. While we wait to see how that plays out, let’s take a look at more news from around the NFL..

  • Discussing linebacker Lavonte David, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said the team would “like to lock him up now,” tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, adding that negotiations on a new deal are underway. The 2012 second-round pick becomes extension-eligible this offseason for the first time.
  • The Bears announced today that they’ve hired former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi as a consultant as the team searches for a new GM and head coach, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Meanwhile, team president and CEO Ted Phillips confirmed today that besides offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, whose contract was terminated, all of the other Bears assistants are still with the team (Twitter link). That includes defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
  • Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown and Arkansas defensive tackle Darius Philon may be playing their final college games tonight, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link), who says both players are leaning toward entering the 2015 draft. The two players’ teams square off in the Texas Bowl.
  • Former star NFL wideout Cris Carter indicated today (via Twitter) that his son, CFL receiver Duron Carter, will visit the Colts on January 5 and the Vikings on January 9.
  • According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (all Twitter links), Carter isn’t the only notable CFL player drawing significant NFL attention. Caplan reports that Hamilton Tiger-Cats cornerback Delvin Breaux has 18 teams interested in bringing him in for a visit and/or a workout, including the Eagles, Patriots, Texans, Jaguars, Dolphins, Cardinals, Steelers, Lions, 49ers, and Broncos.
  • Utah offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi announced that he will enter the 2015 draft, as Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports tweets. Poutasi projects as a mid-round prospect.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.