Darrius Caldwell

Extra Points: Gates, McClain, Supplemental Draft

A look at the latest from around the NFL, including notes relating to this afternoon’s rash of surprise suspensions..

  • The four suspensions handed down this afternoons are likely the final ones today before the holiday weekend, Albert Breer of NFL.com tweets. Of course, there could always be more suspensions lurking around the corner on Monday.
  • The cases of Antonio Gates, Datone Jones, Sheldon Richardson, and Rolando McClain have all gone past the appeals phase, so those penalties are final, Breer tweets.
  • Fifteen NFL teams were on hand for the Pro Day workout at West Georgia for Dalvon Stuckey and Darrius Caldwell, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets. Among the teams in attendance are the Cardinals, 49ers, Packers, Raiders, Titans, Jets, Dolphins, Lions, Seattle, Chargers, Falcons, Rams, Bucs, and Washington (link). Stuckey, a defensive tackle, signed with FSU but never played a snap for them. He wound up at West Georgia where he had 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles in 2014. Caldwell, who is entering the supplemental draft due to academic issues, was initially an Illinois recruit. He had an eye-popping 12 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss last season.

2015 Supplemental Draft Set For July 9

The 2015 NFL supplemental draft will take place on July 9, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). As Rapoport notes, with some intriguing prospects eligible to be selected in this year’s supplemental draft, we could have our first player selected since the Browns picked Josh Gordon in 2012.

The supplemental draft allows clubs to select players who for some reason were unable to enter the standard draft; academic trouble or disciplinary issues are often – but not always – key factors. If a team selects a player in the supplementary draft, it will lose its corresponding pick in the following year’s standard draft. For example, if a club were to select a player in the fourth round of the supplemental, it will lose its 2016 fourth-rounder as a result.

Most players who enter the supplemental draft ultimately go undrafted, allowing them to become free agents and sign with any team. That has been the case over the last two years, as supplemental draft day came and went without any selections. The last two players to be picked were Terrelle Pryor (third round, 2011) by the Raiders and Gordon (second round, 2012).

So far, four players are known to have declared for the 2015 supplemental draft: Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, West Georgia defensive end Darrius Caldwell, and North Carolina Central receiver Adrian Wilkins. Battle, in particular, is viewed as a strong candidate to come off the board, as we heard last week.

Meanwhile, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the two West Georgia prospects are scheduled to work out for NFL scouts this Thursday afternoon. Per Wilson, 20 NFL teams have indicated that they plan to attend the session.

Extra Points: Rice, Manning, Rams, Vick

Rex Ryan learned a lot in his time with the Jets, including the important of partnering with a franchise that shares his vision, Albert Breer of NFL.com writes. “I’ve had six years of experience,” the Bills coach said. “So am I gonna be better now? Of course. You’re not gonna be worse by having experience. The other thing is understanding what’s important, because the second time, I was lucky — I got to choose where to go. The thing about that was, go to an organization where you see the direction, and it’s the same direction (you believe in).” Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that he believes that former Ravens running back Ray Rice is being blackballed from the game. “This, unfortunately, is a league that has a history of blackballing players. I find it hard to believe that a player of Mr. Rice’s caliber hasn’t at least gotten one offer from a team to come work out,” Smith said (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). While Smith is suggesting some kind of collusion against the troubled Rutgers product, it seems very possible that all 32 teams have independently decided that Rice is simply not worth the trouble.
  • Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t think that this will be Peyton Manning‘s last year in the NFL, Mike Klis of 9NEWS writes. “I think he’s got a lot left in the tank,” Sanders said Wednesday. “He’s wearing a glove and his spiral is back. He’s throwing a good ball. You can tell that the glove is helping him. He didn’t wear it this early last year. His arm is not a problem. His ball is accurate. I don’t see anything that says this is his last year.”
  • Missouri lawmakers are challenging the authority of Gov. Jay Nixon and other officials to build a new stadium for the Rams, as Marie French of The Associated Press writes. “I want nothing more than for the Rams to stay,” said Rep. Rob Vescovo. “But I don’t think the governor has the authority to bury us under the additional debt without proper vetting.” The lawsuit filed by Vescovo and his associates asks the court to stop any further action by the governor and the authority immediately.
  • Even after a forgettable season with the Jets, Michael Vick believes that he has more left in the tank, Ed Miller of The Virginian-Pilot writes. “I still feel like I can help a football team win a couple of games,” the soon-to-be 35-year-old said Wednesday. Vick reiterated his desire to play for three more years and pointed to last year’s performances against the Chiefs and Steelers as evidence that he’s still got it.
  • Eleven teams are showing interest in West Georgia pass rusher Darrius Caldwell, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets. We learned on Wednesday that Caldwell is entering his name in the supplemental draft.

Extra Points: Winston, Bills, Rams

While there’s a lot of whispering about whether first overall pick Jameis Winston will live up to the hype, Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins feels like he’s up to the challenge, Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida writes. “He’s just himself,” Jenkins said of Winston. “Great quarterback and he wants to be great. He’s himself, he doesn’t need to pretend or anything like that. But I didn’t really get to see him personally out there. We were just running. I think it’s a better question to ask the coaches, they spent more one-on-one time with him.” Here’s more from

  • Bills head coach Rex Ryan says he’s trying Corey Graham at safety to make sure that he has the “best eleven on the field” after losing Da’Norris Searcy in free agency, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes. For his part, Graham says he’s excited about the move and is eager to follow in the footsteps of Charles Woodson, who also made the transition from corner to safety. “Obviously, I’ve been watching him my whole career, so with the move to safety, now I have the opportunity to do some of the things he’s done,” Graham said. “I was in Chicago when he was in Green Bay, so I watched him a lot. He played nickel, I played nickel. I focused on him, studied his game, so it means a lot to me, seeing what he was able to accomplish.”
  • St. Louis residents will not vote this summer on the use of their tax dollars to build a new riverfront football stadium for the Rams, David Hunn of the Post Dispatch writes. At this point, it is unclear whether city voters will get the opportunity to weigh in on the use of city tax dollars to help finance a proposed $985MM downtown stadium.
  • According to team sources, the Chargers and San Diego city officials will sit down on Tuesday, June 2nd to talk about the stadium proposal, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News tweets.
  • West Georgia defensive end/outside linebacker Darrius Caldwell is applying to the Supplemental Draft this year, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Illinois transfer registered 69 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, and 12 sacks in 2014.