Here are Tuesday’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.
December 13th, 2016 at 8:25pm CST by Dallas Robinson
We’ve already passed along one batch of workout updates earlier today, but clubs with continuously taking a look at free agents as the season comes to a close — likely with an eye on futures contracts — we have a fresh listing of tryouts to share. Here’s the latest from the workout circuit:
Before signing Shaquille Riddick to their practice squad earlier today, the Steelers also worked out fellow linebacker Davis Tull, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Tull was waived from Atlanta’s practice squad in early November.
Like Denver, the Saints also worked out a large group of players. The full list, per Nick Underhill of the Advocate (alllinksgotoTwitter): quarterback Sean Renfree; running backs Will Ratelle, Darrel Young, and Soma Vainuku; wide receivers Max McCaffrey, Derel Walker, and Kevin Smith; linebackers Khalil Bass and Adam Bighill; defensive end T.J. Fatinikun; defensive tackle Drake Nevis; defensive backs Tony Burnett, Otha Foster, Anthony Gaitor, and Forest Hightower.
The Packers worked out linebacker Frank Beltre and defensive lineman David Moala today, reports Rob Demovksy of ESPN.com. The third member of that tryout, linebacker Jordan Tripp, was ultimately signed to the active roster.
The Buccaneers tried out cornerback Tre Jones and linebacker Raphael Kirby, per Caplan (Twitter link).
As expected, the Cowboys are starting quarterback Dak Prescott after the team’s bye week against the Eagles, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Meanwhile, Tony Romo may not be ready to be considered for the following week against the Browns either, Rapoport hears.
More from the NFC:
It’s possible Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards’DWI arrest in May will negatively affect his chances of eventually becoming a head coach, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press details (Twitter link). Edwards was among six assistants the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes minority hiring in the NFL, recommended last offseason for a head coaching job. Whether the Fritz Pollard Alliance endorses Edwards again will come down to opinions from Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer, FPA chairman John Wooten told Tomasson. “I want to talk to Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer and see what their thoughts are, and whether they still support him in moving up the line,” he said. In a positive development for Edwards, Zimmer stuck by the 49-year-old assistant Wednesday in explaining his role with the 5-0 team. “He does a whole ton of things for me that I don’t have to do,” said Zimmer. “We talk about things all of the time as far as game plans. He goes through a lot of the research tape that I really don’t have time to do and we talk about of different things. But George is a very smart guy. He’s very diligent about his work. He cares about making sure his side of the ball performs very well.”
The Packers have to consider moving on from Sam Shields next year, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com opines. Shields, a talented cornerback, recently suffered his second concussion in nine months and his fourth in the last six seasons. The soon-to-be 29-year-old plans to continue playing football, but it’s fair to wonder if he can return to his old form and stay on the field. By cutting Shields, the Packers could recoup some of the four-year, $39MM deal they gave him in 2014.
Young, 29, is the most experienced of the bunch, as he’s appeared in 90 games during his six-year career (all with the Redskins). Young was just signed earlier this month, but it appears that 2015 UDFA Paul Lasike has won Chicago’s fullback job.
The Bengals announced that they have signed cornerback Corey Tindal. The Marshall product initially joined the Bengals as a UDFA in May. Tindal should give the Bengals some extra depth in practice as they deal with injuries to their other corners.
The Saints announced that they have added UDFAs safety Jamal Golden and guard Jordan Walsh. In a corresponding move, the Saints waived defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil and waived/injured wide receiver Kyle Prater and safety Alden Darby.
The Ravens have signed running back Stephen Houston, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
The Ravens released punter Michael Palardy, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.
The Jets waived defensive back Kendall James, who had been on the PUP list, with an injury designation, as Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets. They signed running back Terry Williams to replace him.
The Steelers signed tight end Jake Phillips and cornerback Kevin White, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). To make room, the Steelers waived/injured tight end Mandel Dixon and wide receiver Shakim Phillips.
Former South Carolina defensive lineman Gerald Dixon Jr. is signing with the Cowboys, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
The Dolphins have waived wide receiver Tyler Murphy, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets.
The Redskins announced the signing of free agent offensive lineman Isaiah Williams, Mike Jones of The Washington Post tweets.
The Bears are expected to sign veteran fullback Darrel Young, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Young is an experienced blocker in the zone scheme and also plays special teams.
Veteran wideout James Jones was surprised when the Packers notified him that he wouldn’t be back in 2016. As ESPN.com’s Jason Wilde writes, the receiver expected to return to Green Bay even despite the talented receiving corps.
“I wasn’t mad that they didn’t bring me back, but I was surprised,” the wideout said. “Me and Mike [McCarthy] had a very good conversation at the end of the year after we had lost to Arizona and I kind of felt like, ‘OK, cool, I’m going to be back.’ Whether it’s [a] one-year [deal], whether it’s two years, I felt like Mike was going to bring me back. But he didn’t.”
While Jones isn’t rooting for any of his former teammates to get injured, he acknowledged that he’d gladly return to the team should the need arise.
Let’s check out some more notes from the NFL…
The recent extension for receiver Keenan Allen could indicate the “floor” for Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin, tweets Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.
Kirk Cousins said there’s been no progress on an extension with the Redskins, tweets Tarik El-Bashir of CSN MidAtlantic. With about a month left to come to an agreement, the signal-caller told writers to “stay tuned.”
Former Redskins fullback Darrel Young will be participating in the Bears minicamp, tweetsMike Jones of The Washington Post. The six-year veteran has 13 career touchdowns, and the 29-year-old has never missed more than three games in a season.
Let’s take a look at a few notes from around the league as Easter Sunday comes to a close…
Colin Kaepernick‘s $11.9MM 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, but a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the 49ers might still be on the hook for that total even if they cut Kaepernick before April begins. Kaepernick’s base salary is currently guaranteed for injury only, and because he’s undergone three offseason surgeries, the NFLPA would argue that the San Francisco signal-caller is entitled to his pay even if he’s released. Of course, the 49ers have said they’ll keep Kaepernick on the roster if he’s not dealt, and a source tells Florio that that sentiment is not a facade.
Because Russell Okung looked destined to leave Seattle, the Seahawks appealed to free agent tackle Bradley Sowell because they offered the possibility of playing on the blind side, as Sowell explained to 710 ESPN. “They showed a lot of interest. They called me right away,” Sowell said. “For a guy who hasn’t started a ton over the last couple of years, that’s a little bit rare to get that kind of interest quick. Usually a guy like me would have to wait a little longer, but they were really quick, so obviously they had done film study on me and stuff. They were really quick and called me, and when I got here, they basically kept making me an offer.”
The Packers and general manager Ted Thompson refuse to negotiate against themselves and are content with slow-playing free agency, a strategy that has worked well for them in the past, writes Weston Hodkiewicz of PackersNews.com.
“Thank you DMV for embracing me this year. Had a lot of fun on this years playoff run. The Pot Roast train has been told to move on!,” Knighton tweeted.
Last offseason, Pot Roast was expected to net a sizable deal but wound up having to settle for a one-year, $4MM pact from Washington. The six-year veteran was an integral part of a Broncos team that had the league’s second-best run defense in 2014, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Knighton 12th among 81 qualifying D-tackles. This past season, he graded out as only the 58th best interior defender in the league, per PFF.
10:14am: Washington informed fullback Darrel Young that they are going in another direction and will not re-sign him, a source tells Mike Jones of The Washington Post (on Twitter). To date, Young has spent all six of his NFL seasons with Washington.
Young has established himself as one of the best lead blocking fullbacks in the NFL and is known to be a quality pass-catcher out of the backfield. Last season, however, Young saw his role in the offense decrease. When Jay Gruden first arrived in Washington in 2014, he was insistent that he would utilize Young’s abilities even though he historically has not used fullbacks in his offenses.
“I didn’t have Darrel Young in Cincinnati. If I had him, I would have used him,” Gruden said.
Washington has also cut defensive end Jason Hatcher, a source tells Jones (on Twitter). As Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post notes (on Twitter), Hatcher penned a farewell message to the organization on Instagram. In the message, Hatcher intimated that he will not be retiring and will seek out another NFL opportunity.
Hatcher was slated to count against the cap for $8.7MM in 2016, so his release will give the team some significant breathing room this spring.
49ers GM TrentBaalke confirmed today that the team wants to extend the contracts of wide receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati, tweets Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. Baalke added that he hasn’t decided when the time will be to stop negotiations if no deal has been reached, which suggests that discussions are ongoing. We’ve examined both Crabtree and Iupati as part of our Extension Candidate series.
Let’s round up a few more items from around the NFC….
The last year of Kendall Hunter‘s contract with the 49ers will be a lost one, as an ACL injury has him ticketed for injured reserve, but Baalke would like to re-sign the running back next year if possible, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
With running backs Jonathan Stewart and Tyler Gaffney sidelined, the Panthers intend to sign another player to join the backfield, according to head coach Ron Rivera (Twitter link via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer). Per ESPN.com’s David Newton (Twitterlinks), Gaffney suffered a torn lateral meniscus tear in his knee and will miss the season.
New Redskins coach Jay Gruden didn’t make much use of his fullbacks during his last three seasons in Cincinnati. However, he intends to work Darrel Young into the mix in Washington this year, explaining simply, “I didn’t have Darrel Young in Cincinnati. If I had him, I would have used him” (link via Joseph White of The Associated Press).