Davin Joseph

NFC Notes: Mathis, Flowers, Rams

Offensive lineman don’t always make the most headlines, but when a high-profile blocker like Evan Mathis gets released everyone starts to pay attention.

Aside from fans, analysts, and general managers, the NFLPA has also taken interest in the All-Pro guard’s release, according to Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com (via Twitter). The Association is currently in the “information-gathering” phase of the process.

The NFLPA could be investigating whether the team’s decision to cut Mathis was a direct result of his absence at voluntary offseason workouts, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

The more likely explanation for the investigation, writes Florio, that the Eagles cut him after reports that the team removed an offer to rework his contract because Howie Roseman was no longer the team’s general manager.

Here are a few more nots regarding offensive linemen in the NFC:

  • With Mathis and Todd Herremans no longer on the team, the Eagles will have a tall task to replace both starting guards from 2014. Zach Berman of Philly.com lists all of the teams options, including a number of names already on the roster and a few free agent options, like Davin Joseph and Dan Connolly.
  • Giants’ first-round pick Ereck Flowers is one of the last unsigned draft picks left, which is notable because he is also one of the few rookies who has elected not to hire an agent. However, he still is confident that he will get a deal done, writes Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, saying that negotiations are “going good.”
  • With Scott Wells out of the picture, the Rams will have three players competing to start at center, writes Joe Lyons of STLToday.comTim Barnes, Barrett Jones, and Demetrius Rhaney are battling for the job, and all three are still in the running to start. “We’re not going to make a decision real early,” said head coach Jeff Fisher. “We’ll let them all play. We’re rotating them. They’re all getting opportunities to work with (new quarterback Nick Foles), so he’s familiar, not only with the exchanges, but also the communication. We’ll make that decision when somebody shows us he’s earned the job.”

Extra Points: Draft, Falcons, Chiefs, Joseph

The 2015 NFL draft is now just six days away, and trade talks figure to heat up very soon. According to Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter), Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said today that he’s fielded calls about the No. 4 overall pick, and Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has taken calls about moving up or down from No. 8, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Additionally, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets that Chiefs GM John Dorsey has called around and told teams that his club is open to trade discussions.

As we wait to see whether any of those teams make some moves before or during the draft, here are a few more items from around the league, including additional notes on the Falcons and Chiefs:

  • Among the other updates from today’s Falcons presser: Dimitroff dimissed the idea that Atlanta is pursuing Adrian Peterson (per Ledbetter), and head coach Dan Quinn said the club plans to address the linebacker spot in the draft, despite having signed free agents (Twitter link via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure).
  • The Chiefs have been in contact with Justin Houston‘s representatives, having spoken to the linebacker’s camp within the last three days, Dorsey said today (link via Paylor). Houston, who was franchised by Kansas City, has yet to sign his one-year tender, and there’s a chance the two sides could work out a long-term deal this spring.
  • Players and agents aren’t thrilled that general managers have publicly voiced doubts about whether certain 2016 fifth-year options will be exercised, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Whatever the intention of those comments is, players tend to regard them as an expression of uncertainty about their abilities, and a signal that the team may not want to keep them around for the long term.
  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at the Browns‘ decision to draft Johnny Manziel over Teddy Bridgewater a year ago, writing that a league source with knowledge of the Vikings‘ draft plans said Minnesota had determined a few days before the draft that Cleveland was leaning toward Manziel rather than Bridgewater.
  • Free agent guard Davin Joseph told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that he’d love to join a contender and try to get a championship ring. Joseph, 30, spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Buccaneers, starting 99 of the 100 games he played for the team, before signing with the Rams last spring.
  • Idaho center Mike Marboe had a private workout today for the Seahawks, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

Rams Sign Davin Joseph

THURSDAY, 2:25pm: According to Marvez (via Twitter), Joseph’s new one-year deal is worth $1.75MM, with a $1.1MM base salary, a $300K roster bonus, and $350K in additional per-game roster bonuses.

WEDNESDAY, 9:37am: The Rams have officially signed Joseph, the team announced today (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 4:23pm: While it’s not a done deal yet, the Rams are finalizing their agreement with Joseph, which will be a one-year contract, tweets Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.

3:40pm: The Rams are set to sign veteran offensive lineman Davin Joseph, reports Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Terms of the agreement have yet to be reported.

Joseph, 30, spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Buccaneers, starting 99 of the 100 games he played for the team. A two-time Pro Bowler, Joseph missed the 2012 season with a torn patellar tendon and provided subpar play at right guard last year upon his return, despite starting all 16 games. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced grades (subscription required), Joseph ranked second-last among 81 qualified guards in 2013. The former first-rounder was released by Tampa Bay earlier in the offseason.

For the Rams, Joseph should provide some veteran depth on an offensive line that saw guards Shelley Smith and Chris Williams sign elsewhere in free agency. Despite losing those two regulars, St. Louis addressed the line by re-signing Rodger Saffold to a lucrative five-year contract and selecting Greg Robinson with the No. 2 pick in this month’s draft, so Joseph shouldn’t be pressed into a starting role, barring an injury.

Poll: Best Remaining Free Agent

In March, PFR’s Peter Sowards took a look at the best remaining free agents. Each of those players has since found a new home, as have many of their peers. With that said, team’s don’t need to necessarily scrape the bottom of the barrel if they’re still looking to add a veteran presence.

On the offensive side of the ball, Jermichael Finley is certainly the most intriguing player available. The 6-5 tight end caught 55 passes for 767 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, following by a solid 2012 campaign. He appeared in only six games this past season after suffering a spinal cord injury.

Teams may also be interested in former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. He has only appeared in 15 games over the past two seasons, but he was certainly a productive wideout prior to that. On the line, two-time Pro Bowler Davin Joseph seemed to have recovered nicely from a 2012 knee injury, appearing in all 16 games this past season.

Linebacker James Anderson led the 2013 Bears in tackles, but has yet to sign with a team. The 30-year-old had compiled more than 100 tackles in three of the last four seasons. Six-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams is also on the market. The big defensive tackle is certainly slowing down, but he still appeared in 15 games for the Vikings last season. In the secondary, Terrell Thomas could be a good option for teams lacking depth. Thomas returned from ACL tears in 2011 and 2012 and ultimately played 16 games for the Giants.

Who do you think is the best remaining free agent? Did I forget anybody? Let us know in the comments.

East Rumors: Manziel, Pats, Jets, Eagles

Within his latest article for Bleacher Report, Mike Freeman drops a few nuggets relating to NFC and AFC East clubs, writing that the Cowboys and Eagles both definitely have interest in Johnny Manziel, but are very unlikely to land him. Meanwhile, one scout tells Freeman he thinks there’s a “90% chance” the Patriots draft a quarterback this week, since New England knows the Tom Brady era will end within the next few years.

Let’s round up several more items from out of the NFL’s East divisions….

  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported previously that the Jets are trying to move up in the first round, and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News is hearing similar rumblings. A source tells Mehta that the Jets have been telling other teams they’re interested in trading up.
  • The Patriots hosted free agent guard Davin Joseph for a visit, according to Field Yates and Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. New England’s current projected starting guards, Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly, are both entering their age-32 seasons, so having a veteran like Joseph around for insurance purposes could be beneficial for the club.
  • Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link) keeps hearing that the Eagles really love Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, who probably won’t still be on the board at No. 22. If Philadelphia decides to move up in the first round, Fuller could be the team’s target, though Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that the Steelers, who pick several spots ahead of the Eagles, are also high on the young corner.
  • Cornerback Prince Amukamara said he was “definitely relieved” that the Giants decided to pick up their fifth-year option on his rookie contract last week, as Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News details.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Giants, Cowboys

DeSean Jackson might be getting all of the ink, but he’s not the only notable addition for the Redskins this offseason. Larry Michael of CSNWashington.com (video link) sat down with wide receiver Andre Roberts to talk about coming to D.C. Roberts likely came to the Skins thinking that he would be the No. 2 receiving option but he’ll be fighting for looks with Pierre Garcon and Jackson. The latest out of the NFC East..

  • Free agent guard Davin Joseph, who hasn’t generated many rumors since being released by the Buccaneers in early March, has met with the Cowboys, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, Moore adds that free agent receiver LaRon Byrd, after meeting with the Giants earlier this week, will work out for Dallas tomorrow.
  • The Cowboys also hosted Texas defensive tackle Chris Whaley for a visit yesterday and today, which included a dinner with members of the team’s staff, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • Wisconsin defensive back Dez Southward visited the Redskins this week and has also worked out for the Patriots, reports Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. The speedy Southward is viewed as capable of playing at either safety position.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

FA Rumors: 49ers, Tate, Rams, Melton, Bills

News of signings and visits is gradually slowing down as we approach the 72-hour mark of free agency, but there are plenty of players still seeking contracts, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a number of those free agents find deals today. Here’s the latest on a few available players:

  • The 49ers are comfortable heading into 2014 with Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock as their starting cornerbacks, but are willing to offer Tarell Brown a three-year, $10MM deal to return, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
  • Free agent running back Ben Tate‘s visit with the Browns is continuing into today, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
  • The Rams “aren’t quite done” in free agency, according to head coach Jeff Fisher (Twitter link). Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com notes that the team remains interested in free agent guards Daryn Colledge and Davin Joseph.
  • Speaking of Fisher, the Rams will host one of his former players from Tennessee, as wide receiver Kenny Britt is scheduled to visit St. Louis, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
  • Earlier today, we heard that Henry Melton was en route to Seattle to visit the Seahawks after spending the night in Minnesota. After his Seattle meeting, Melton will visit the Cowboys, tweets Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • The Bills have confirmed that free agent running back Anthony Dixon and linebacker Brandon Spikes are visiting the team today, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com.
  • Chris Russell of ESPN Radio (Twitter link) hears that cornerback Walter Thurmond is no longer scheduled to visit the Redskins.
  • Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star explores the Colts‘ signing of Phil Costa and their rumored interest in Alex Mack, suggesting that Costa represents a solid fallback starting option at center if the team is unable to land Mack.

Bucs Rumors: Tillman, Ginn, Joseph

The Buccaneers aren’t done yet. Even after signing Alterraun Verner yesterday to a four-year, $26.5MM pact and landing quarterback Josh McCown, Tampa Bay is still in on free agent cornerback Charles Tillman, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Tillman figures to have plenty of suitors around the NFL but the opportunity to reunite with former coach Lovie Smith might draw him to Tampa Bay. More on the Buccaneers..

  • Along with the Ravens, the Buccaneers and Raiders could be a landing spot for free agent wide receiver Steve Smith, a source tells Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer (on Twitter). Earlier today, Smith’s agent revealed that his client has played his last snap in Carolina.
  • The Buccaneers confirmed that they are hosting free agent wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., writes Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com. Ginn, the ninth-overall pick in the 2007 draft, has made a name for himself in the return game. Ginn, 29 in April, averaged 12.2 yards per punt return in 2013 and 23.8 yards per kickoff return.
  • Former Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph is visiting the Rams today, a source tells Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Joseph saw time in all 16 games for Tampa Bay last season.

Bucs Release Davin Joseph

A couple days ago, speculation circulated that the Buccaneers would attempt to trade veteran guard Davin Joseph. Apparently they couldn’t find a taker. Joseph has been released, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times (via Twitter).

Joseph, 30, was drafted by the Bucs in the second round of the 2006 draft and started 99 of the 100 games he played for the franchise. Joseph was a Pro Bowler in 2011, but missed the 2012 season with a torn patellar tendon and was not the same player last season despite starting all 16 games. He was scheduled to count $6MM against the cap in 2014.

Pompei On Byrd, Graham, Joseph, McCown

Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report leads off his latest column by discussing Bills safety Jairus Byrd, who looks poised to reach the open market in the next few days. Many front office executives around the league view Byrd as the top difference-maker of this year’s free agent class, so the 27-year-old figures to draw plenty of interest, even if he won’t come cheap — Pompei suggests the “word on the street” is that Byrd will seek $9MM+ per year. Here’s more from the BR piece:

  • The Seahawks are unlikely to pursue franchised Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, since the investment required in Graham could preclude deals for one or more of the team’s own young players.
  • Others clubs around the league believe Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph could be available via trade, says Pompei. Joseph is a two-time Pro Bowler, but is owed $6MM in 2014 and turns 31 later this year.
  • Josh McCown‘s market is “developing quite nicely,” according to Pompeti, who suggests that it’s starting to look like the free-agent-to-be won’t return to the Bears. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted something similar today, indicating that it looks like the signal-caller will hit the open market next week. The Buccaneers, Jets, and Vikings could be among McCown’s suitors, writes Pompei.
  • Don’t expect Greg Schiano to join the Patriots‘ staff, despite the time he spent with Bill Belichick at last month’s combine. A source tells Pompei that New England doesn’t have a spot on the staff for the former Bucs head coach, and isn’t likely to create one.
  • The 49ers front office “thinks very highly” of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, according to Pompei, who suggests that if the reported tension between the club and Jim Harbaugh develops into anything real, Tomsula could be next in line for the head coaching job.