Darryl Roberts

East Rumors: Williams, Patriots, JPP, Jets

Trent Williams has encountered a patella issue, one that caused him to briefly exit Monday night’s Redskins-Chiefs game. The Pro Bowl left tackle will not need surgery to correct the problem, but Williams is “week-to-week,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Washington has not ruled Williams out for its Week 6 game, per Rapoport. The eighth-year tackle underwent an MRI on Wednesday, and the exam ruled out a long-term injury. A near-future absence would obviously cause issues for the team. Swing tackle Ty Nsekhe is out after undergoing core muscle surgery, so the drop-off if Williams can’t go against the 49ers could be significant.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions, shifting to New England.

  • Rob Gronkowski extended his streak of seasons without 16-game participation to six by missing Thursday night’s Patriots-Buccaneers tilt with a thigh injury, but the Pats expect their all-world tight end back by Week 6, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). The same goes for Rex Burkhead, per Schefter. Burkhead hasn’t played since Week 2, but the team is expecting its newly acquired dual-threat back to be available against the Jets next weekend.
  • Missing Thursday’s game will deprive Gronkowski of collecting the $10.75MM salary the Patriots set as his ceiling on the now-incentive-laden 2017 arrangement. By failing to play in 90 percent of the Pats’ snaps this season, Gronk is in danger of falling to the $8.75MM tier of his contract, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes (on Twitter). The 28-year-old tight end could still rise back to that top tier, but he’d have to earn first-team All-Pro honors. That’s obviously still in play for Gronkowski, a three-time All-Pro, but he will have to make it through most of the Pats’ remaining regular-season games to be strongly considered for such acclaim. He will need to play on 80 percent of New England’s snaps this season or total 1,000 receiving yards or 12 touchdowns to earn $8.75MM. The salary drops to $6.75MM if Gronkowski can’t meet one of those benchmarks.
  • A sprained shoulder has put Jason Pierre-Paul‘s Week 5 availability in question, but the Giants defensive end said this issue is not new for him. He intends to play against the Chargers, Howie Kussoy of the New York Post reports. JPP said he’s been dealing with shoulder problem for “a while.” Both Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon missed Thursday’s practice, and with Vernon leaving early with an ankle injury the past two weeks, Big Blue’s other starting defensive end is in danger of missing his first NFL game in a six-season career.
  • The Jets could be down nickel cornerback Juston Burris on Sunday after the No. 3 corner hurt his foot in practice, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. With fellow reserve corner Darryl Roberts unlikely to play in Cleveland, the Jets could be scrambling here if Burris can’t go. New York, though, still has veteran Marcus Williams in the event the younger talents can’t play behind Morris Claiborne or Buster Skrine. A former steady contributor on whom the Jets placed a second-round RFA tender, Williams has not played a defensive snap this season. Both Burris and Roberts have played 90.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the BillsDolphins, Patriots, and Jets are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day (all links go to Twitter unless noted otherwise):

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Patriots Cut Aaron Dobson, Move To 53

The Patriots have announced the cuts that bring them down to 53, including the waiving of Aaron Dobson.
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Dobson, 25, is a former second-round pick, but he hasn’t done much since joining New England in 2013. In three seasons with the club, the Marshall product has only posted 53 receptions for less than 700 yards. Most of that production came during his rookie season, as Dobson has put up only 16 catches during the past two years. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Dobson was set to earn about $872K in base salary.

Here’s the list of Patriots cuts so far today:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Claim DaVaris Daniels Off Waivers

The Patriots announced several roster moves to get down to the 75-man limit today, including one addition to the roster. Here’s the full list:

Claimed off waivers:

  • DaVaris Daniels, WR (waived by Vikings)

Waived:

  • Chris Barker, G
  • D.J. Lynch, LB

Placed on IR:

  • James Develin, FB
  • Darryl Roberts, CB

PUP list:

  • Dane Fletcher, LB
  • Chris Jones, DT

Pats Sign Seven Draftees, Seven UDFAs

The Patriots announced the signings of a number of rookies today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed eight of their 11 draft picks, and another seven undrafted free agents. Two of those draft picks – fourth-rounder Tre’ Jackson and seventh-rounder Xzavier Dickson – had their deals previously reported, but six of the names are new, and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that a ninth draftee has signed his contract as well.

The following picks have signed their contracts, per the team and Wilson:

  • Jordan Richards, DB (second round)
  • Geneo Grissom, DE (third round)
  • Trey Flowers, DE (fourth round)
  • Shaq Mason, OL (fourth round)
  • Matthew Wells, OLB (sixth round)
  • A.J. Derby, TE (sixth round)
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (seventh round)

Of New England’s 11 draft picks, only first-rounder Malcom Brown and fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona remain unsigned. In addition to locking up most of their draft class, the Pats have formally inked seven undrafted free agents to deals. Here are those players:

  • David Andrews, C, Georgia
  • Devin Gardner, WR, Michigan ($5K bonus, plus $10K guaranteed salary, per Dave Birkett)
  • Chris Harper, WR, California ($15K bonus, plus $5K guaranteed salary, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Jimmy Jean, DB, Alabama-Birmingham
  • Brandon King, DB, Auburn
  • Eric Patterson, DB, Ball State
  • Vince Taylor, DL, Vanderbilt ($2.5K bonus, per Jeff Howe)

 

Draft Visits: Jets, Jags, Steelers, Lions

Draft day is only a week and a half away, but teams are still bringing in prospects for visits and working them out, as they try to compile as much information as possible on this year’s draft class. Here are a few Monday updates on the latest visits and workouts:

  • Leonard Williams, DL (USC); Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB (Florida): Making their previously-reported visits to the Jets this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Denzel Perryman, LB (Miami): Visiting the Jaguars today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Marshall); Bryce Callahan, CB (Rice); Steven Nelson, CB (Oregon State): All visiting the Steelers today, according to Wilson (Twitter link).
  • Jamison Crowder, WR (Duke): Has had private workouts with Panthers, Buccaneers, and Texans, per Wilson.
  • Carl Davis, DT (Iowa): Visiting the Lions today, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).
  • David Johnson, RB (Northern Iowa): Visiting the Falcons today, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Marcus Hardison, DL (Arizona State): Visiting the Bengals today and generating a lot of interest around the league, per Gil Brandt of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Bud Sasser, WR (Missouri): Visiting the Broncos today, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

Draft Notes: Strong, Peters, Beasley, Fowler

Teams are in full swing in preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft, meeting with prospects and hosting workouts to fill out final draft boards. Here we will keep up with which prospects are garnering interest in a jam-packed notes post, with any updates added to the top:

  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that Louisville tackle Jamon Brown will visit the Broncos, Lions, and Washington, and has private workouts scheduled with the Bengals and Bills.
  • Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams have visited with LSU tackle La’el Collins and Louisville WR DeVante Parker (Twitter links). In a separate piece, Thomas offers a little more detail on Parker and provides a complete list of all the pre-draft visits that the Rams have hosted.
  • Kevin White visited with the Giants today, tweets Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. Raanan adds that the team is doing its due diligence just in case the wideout should fall to New York, which holds the No. 9 overall pick.

Earlier Updates

  • Jaelen Strong definitely has a wrist injury, but he contradicts the report that he will need surgery, according to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).
  • In addition to Strong, Todd Gurley, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Tevin Coleman will be having Combine rechecks this weekend, writes Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • The Seahawks will meet with University of Louisiana at Lafayette defensive tackle Christian Ringo, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). The team will also host Michigan defensive end Frank Clark (via Twitter). Clark had recently visited the Saints in New Orleans.
  • In addition to Kendricks, the Falcons will work out UCLA defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, according to Chase Goodread of NFL.com (via Twitter).
  • Western Oregon wide receiver Tyrell Williams will visit the Chargers on Monday, reports Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The Division II star has already met with the Patriots, Lions, and Cardinals.
  • Minnesota defensive tackle Cam Botticelli has a number of team’s interested in his services, writes Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). The Texans, Eagles, Lions, Seahawks, and Buccaneers have looked into him.
  • University of Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux worked out for the Bengals at their local prospect day, according to the Associated Press in USA Today. Legaux will also have the opportunity to work out for the Saints later this week.
  • The Saints will also host Tulane running back Dante Butler at their local prospect day on Friday, reports Tammy Nunez of NOLA.com.
  • Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong has a fractured bone in his wrist, which should require surgery, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). He will be among players that will get combine rechecks this weekend, and the injury could affect his draft stock (via Twitter).
  • Potential first-round cornerback Marcus Peters met with the 49ers yesterday and the Falcons today, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). Peters will visit with the Raiders tomorrow.
  • Pass rusher Vic Beasley has met or will meet with at least six teams drafting in the top ten, writes Rapoport (via Twitter). He will meet with the Titans today, and visit the Jets and Washington sometime next week.
  • Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. will visit with Washington as well, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post. The visit might be for naught, as most believe Fowler is going to land in Jacksonville on draft day. The Jaguars select third overall.
  • Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat visited with the Broncos, who are need of help along the offensive line after losing Orlando Franklin in free agency, writes Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Peat might not last that long, but could provide immediate impact for a team trying to return to the Super Bowl.
  • Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell attended Tevin Coleman’s workout at Indiana, writes Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (via Twitter). The Lions already had Coleman in for a workout earlier in the process, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). Tony Paulie of DraftInsider.net adds that the Cowboys and Patriots have expressed interest in the Indiana tailback (via Twitter).
  • The Rams have scheduled a workout with Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty in Waco, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com (via Twitter). Brandt notes the team has indicated that it will select a quarterback at some point in the draft.
  • The Lions also hosted Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett for a visit, the sixth receiver the team has brought in according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • The 49ers have expressed interest in a number of LSU players, including linebacker Kwon Alexander, running back Terrence Magee, and cornerback Jalen Collins, writes Eric Branch of SFGate.com.
  • Ohio State speedster Devin Smith told SiruiusXM NFL Radio he had a visit with the 49ers, saying he got a “really good vibe from the coaches and staff,” and that the visit “went really well,” (via Twitter).
  • UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks met with Saints’ assistant coaches Joe Vitt and Rob Ryan during his visit with the team earlier this week, writes Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com.
  • Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks worked out for the Bengals at their local prospect day, and could be a player the team keeps an eye on in the middle rounds of the draft, writes Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
  • Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has visited with the Patriots, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 (via Twitter). Edwards will visit with the Texans and Seahawks as well, although Garafolo believes Seattle will need to trade up from No. 63 to draft him.
  • Old Dominion basketball player Richard Ross has drawn interest from NFL teams who believe he could be next in line of basketball players making the transition to tight end. The Vikings are among the teams interested in Ross, sending tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski to the school for a private workout, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
  • The Browns have conducted a private workout for quarterback Garrett Grayson at Colorado State, a source tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Assuming they don’t trade up in the draft, the Browns figure to miss out on at least the top two QBs in this draft class, meaning a player like Grayson probably represents a more realistic target.
  • Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle has visited the 49ers, Chargers, Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Seahawks, and Washington, and is on his way to visit the Colts today, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links).
  • South Florida cornerback Chris Dunkley has visits lined up with a number of NFL teams, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Dunkley says by the end of the process he will have met with the 49ers, Chargers, Falcons, Dolphins, Patriots, Bills, Lions, and Ravens.
  • Coastal Carolina interior offensive lineman Chad Hamilton will work out privately for the Falcons on Thursday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Hamilton previously had a private workout for the Texans.
  • Wilson also reported that Western Kentucky tight end Mitchell Henry met with the Chargers for a private workout. Mitchell will meet with an NFC team this week. Additionally, Wilson reports that Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts has had workouts for the Colts, Eagles, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers.
  • University of Washington pass rusher Andrew Hudson met with the Browns, Buccaneers, and Washington this week, as part of his pre-draft visits, writes Brett Tessler of Tessler Sports (via Twitter).
  • Utah guard Junior Salt, BYU wide receiver Jordan Leslie, and San Diego State University linebacker Derek Largent are among the players the Dolphins are targeting as late-round picks or priority free agents, reports Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).

Rob DiRe and Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Parker, Holliman, Roberts, Bucs

Let’s take a look at the latest regarding a handful of prospects as the 2015 NFL Draft draws nearer:

  • Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker has pre-draft visits lined up with the Patriots, Ravens, Jets, Saints, Rams, Titans, 49ers and Panthers, according to Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko (Twitter link). In a mock draft posted earlier today, our own Rob Dire has the highly touted Parker going 11th overall to the Vikings.
  • Safety Gerod Holliman, Parker’s teammate at Louisville, tweeted that his workout with the Dolphins was a “success.”
  • Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts visited the Chiefs this week, writes Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post and Baltimore Sun. Roberts previously had private workouts with the 49ers and Packers.
  • Stony Brook receiver Adrian Coxson is scheduled to visit the Packers, reports Wilson (via Twitter).
  • The Buccaneers are expected to take a quarterback – either Florida State’s Jameis Winston or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota – with the first overall pick, but Wilson tweets that a a lesser-known QB, West Georgia’s Austin Trainor, impressed the team at its local prospect day. Trainor was the only signal caller in attendance.
  • In other Bucs news, South Florida kicker Marvin Kloss had a “strong workout” for the team Friday, per Wilson. Kloss hit 9 of 10 field goals, including a 55-yarder, and three of his four kickoffs went for touchbacks.