David Wilson

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day….

  • The Giants officially announced their previously-reported signing of former Calgary Stampeders center Brett Jones, confirming the roster addition in a press release. “It has always been a goal and a dream of mine to play in the NFL,” said the CFL’s reigning Offensive Lineman of the Year. “This is the first step, and I look forward to taking many more.”
  • Within that same press release from the team, the Giants also revealed that they’ve waived running back David Wilson, who announced last year that he would retire from the NFL due to neck issues. By cutting WIlson, who had been on the books for a $2.127MM cap hit in 2015, the Giants will create about $1.3MM in cap savings.

East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Redskins, Wilson

Although Jim Kelly ultimately decided not to team with Jon Bon Jovi‘s Toronto-based group in an effort to buy the Bills, a source tells John Kryk of the Toronto Sun that Morgan Stanley – the investment firm handling the sale of the franchise – recommended Bon Jovi’s group meet with the Kellys as a way of making their bid “more Buffalo friendly.” As we heard this morning, it was the Kellys’ lack of confidence in the Toronto’s group’s intentions to keep the team in Buffalo that scuttled any potential agreement.

Here’s more from around the league’s two East divisions:

NFC Notes: Brent, Wilson, Bears, Foles

Former Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent is meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week in the hopes of being reinstated to the league after serving a 180-day prison sentence for intoxication manslaughter. And if he’s reinstated, he’ll have a roster spot available in Dallas, according to team owner Jerry Jones (link via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

“We will, yes we will,” Jones said, when asked if the Cowboys would create an opening for Brent. “In other words, we wouldn’t have it today, but we will make a roster spot.”

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Even with David Wilson no longer on the roster, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin thinks his team has enough running backs, tweets Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
  • As for Wilson, despite his retirement due to injury, he’ll be eligible to collect his full $998K salary for 2014 while on injured reserve, as well as half of his $1.3MM salary for 2015, writes Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg.
  • It sounds as if the Bears will add a wide receiver to their roster soon after potential No. 3 wideout Marquess Wilson suffered a fractured clavicle this week. In his latest mailbag, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune explores the possibility of the club re-signing Earl Bennett, who was cut earlier in the offseason and was subsequently signed and released by the Browns.
  • In a piece for The Sporting News, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap breaks down how Andy Dalton‘s new contract compares to other quarterback deals, suggesting that it may represent the return of the middle class market. The Dalton extension may also provide a blueprint for Nick Foles and the Eagles, according to Fitzgerald, since Philadelphia has a similar cap situation to the Bengals and Foles, like Dalton, still has a few question marks.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk takes a look at perhaps the oddest detail of Colin Kaepernick‘s extension with the 49ers, which involves the disability policy the quarterback had to purchase as part of the deal.

David Wilson To End Playing Career

The Giants have announced that they’ve placed running back David Wilson on injured reserve and advised Wilson to no longer play football, according to a team release. Wilson’s 2013 season was cut short by a neck injury, and though he was medically cleared to return to practice for the Giants this summer, he suffered another neck injury last week, resulting in the doctors’ decision.

“In light of last week’s episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, [Dr. Frank Cammisa] and I both told David he should not play football anymore,” said Giants physician Dr. Russell Warren. “We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious.”

For his part, Wilson sounds as if he’s heeding the advice of the doctors and ending his playing career.

“I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too,” Wilson said. “I’m thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football.”

Wilson, 23, was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Giants, making him the last running back to be picked in the first round. He showed plenty of promise in his rookie season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring five touchdowns, but his 2013 campaign was derailed by fumbling problems and injuries. With Wilson no longer in the mix, the Giants figure to lean more heavily on free agent signee Rashad Jennings, with Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox, and Andre Williams competing for carries behind him.

As Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports notes (via Twitter), no mention of retirement was made in the Giants’ press release today, but that was likely by design, since Wilson wouldn’t be able to claim injury protection on his salary if he were to officially retire.

David Wilson Out For ’14, Career In Jeopardy?

12:22pm: The Giants are expected to issue a statement regarding Wilson soon, and will most likely place him on injured reserve, tweets Kimberly Jones of NFL.com. Anderson adds (via Twitter) that Wilson’s 2014 season is over. If Wilson is indeed heading to IR, the club could wait a few weeks to officially make the move, at which point the running back would no longer have to pass through waivers.

AUGUST 4, 11:52am: : A source tells ESPN’s Josina Anderson (TwitLonger link) that Giants doctors have shut down Wilson due to his neck issues, and there’s a belief that the injury could be career-ending.

JULY 31, 10:00am: Just over a week after he was medically cleared to return to the field following neck surgery, Giants running back David Wilson left practice on Tuesday with a neck burner. Although Wilson tweeted last night that he’s “fine,” the team is more concerned about his status, according to Jordan Raanan & Conor Orr of NJ.com. The duo reports that the Giants believe Wilson is a long shot to return to the field, with a source suggesting that the running back “needs a miracle.”

It’s an extremely unfortunate turn of events for Wilson, who was projected to be the second-string tailback for the Giants this season behind the newly-signed Rashad Jennings, assuming both players remained healthy. No official determination has been made yet, however, as Wilson is scheduled to meet on Monday with Dr. Frank Cammisa, who performed last year’s neck surgery. After that assessment, the two sides should have a better idea of how to move forward.

It’s worth noting that the Giants have a reputation for being very cautious with neck injuries, so even if their team doctors weren’t comfortable with clearing Wilson, that doesn’t necessarily mean his NFL career is over. We’re seeing a similar situation play out with Jermichael Finley, who has reportedly been cleared by at least one NFL team doctor, but hasn’t received clearance from the Packers, who are also wary of neck and spine injuries.

NFC Notes: Austin, Wilson, Conte

Tavon Austin did not provide the degree of immediate impact the Rams were hoping for when they chose him eighth overall last year. In an AP story, Austin was bluntly honest about why he didn’t play as fast as he’s capable: he struggled with the complexities of his first NFL playbook. “I didn’t really know what was going on,” Austin said. “Everything looked like Spanish and sounded like Spanish to me.”

Here’s some NFC links:

NFC East Links: Frederick, Romo, Murray, Foles, Boykin, Wilson

The Cowboys were criticized when they drafted center Travis Frederick 31st overall last year. In the immediate aftermath of the 2013 draft, Mel Kiper Jr. said (subscription required) Frederick was his 87th rated player and the team “drafted a player I thought they could have taken at least 30 spots later.” Mike Mayock had a third-round grade on Frederick, and called the selection “a little bit of a reach.” However, Frederick rewarded the Cowboys confidence by making the NFL All-Rookie Team, and he’s poised to anchor the offensive line for the remainder of the decade, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.

Here’s a few more NFC East links:

  • Tony Romo‘s 2013 season was put under the microscope by Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, who concluded Romo excelled with a clean pocket, but was among the league’s worst when pressured.
  • Cowboys writers weighed in on the future of DeMarco Murray, and all of them mentioned the running back’s need to disprove durability concerns. However, Bryan Broaddus stated, “regardless of what [Murray] does in 2014, it will most likely not get this front office to pay him what he believes he is worth.” Broaddus also cited Marion Barber as a cautionary tale and one that might dissuade Dallas from investing heavily into Murray’s future.
  • Eagles quarterback Nick Foles got the same treatment from PFF. Interestingly, 92.5 percent of his dropbacks came from the shotgun or pistol formation, and he rated as one of the league’s best deep-ball throwers. Foles also threw the league’s highest percentage of crossing routes and screens.
  • Tim McManus of Phillymag.com explains why the Eagles desire big, long cornerbacks to play outside, while Brandon Boykin (six interceptions and league-leading 13.3 coverage rating from PFF) will likely remain a slot defender extraordinaire.
  • Giants running back David Wilson, recovering from neck surgery, is hoping to be cleared for contact on July 21 when he undergoes a crucial medical examination, writes ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

NFC Notes: Bell, Wilson, Vaughn

Cardinals safety Yeremiah Bell is likely to retire despite the team offering him a one-year contract, reports Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 in Phoenix (via Twitter). A Dolphins sixth-round pick in 2004, Bell, 36, spent eight years in Miami before joining the Jets in 2012 and the Cardinals in 2013. He played all 16 games in each of the last six seasons, starting all but one contest. Pro Football Talk provides additional perspective on a remarkable career which began when Bell decided to walk on at Eastern Kentucky.

Bell’s retirement would leave the Cardinals with Tyrann Mathieu at free safety and Tony Jefferson or Rashad Johnson at strong safety. However, the secondary has struggled to handle tight ends in coverage, and it would not be a surprise if the team added a bigger, more athletic, more physical safety in the draft.

In other NFC news and notes…

  • David Wilson would be an ideal No. 2 back for the Giants, but he’s coming off career-threatening neck surgery and his availability is unknown, writes Ralph Vacchiano in the New York Daily News.
  • Meanwhile, the Giants still have questions at three of five spots on their offensive line, in the opinion of ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano.
  • Losing starting center Brian De La Puente to the Bears didn’t surprise the Saints, as they seemingly chose to go another direction, writes ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett, who details De La Puente’s replacement options.
  • The Lions have agreed to a one-year deal with cornerback Cassius Vaughn, reports Aaron Wilson of National Football Post (via Twitter). Vaughn, 26, played all 16 games (four starts) last season for the Colts, recording 30 tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions and a forced fumble.
  • Oregon running back/receiver/returner De’Anthony Thomas (otherwise known as “Black Mamba”) will visit the Bears tomorrow, per Ross Jones of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Thomas displayed speed, quickness and playmaking ability in Oregon’s prolific spread attack, but concerns about his size, durability and work ethic could push him into the middle rounds. Thomas’ skill set seems to fit with the Bears, who are in need of a speedy compliment to their large receivers, as well as a replacement for Devin Hester.

Giants Notes: Nicks, Tuck, Wilson, Beason

Giants Senior Vice President & General Manager Jerry Reese spoke to the media Saturday morning and Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post tweeted some of the topics addressed:

  • Hakeem Nicks and Justin Tuck will hit the free agent market (via Twitter).
  • The team is optimistic about David Wilson‘s neck injury, but will likely select a running back in the draft (Twitter).
  • Uncertainty about the health of Chris Snee (wrist) and David Baas (knee) is making offensive line decisions difficult (Twitter).
  • Jon Beason, who was acquired in trade last season and recorded 93 tackles and an interception in 11 starts, will become an unrestricted free agent, but the Giants want him back (Twitter).