DeAndre Houston-Carson

North Rumors: Browns, Tyrod, Steelers, Bell

Tyrod Taylor gave Browns fans a scare on Thursday night when he left Cleveland’s preseason game with a hand injury, but he eventually return to the contest and was diagnosed with just a dislocated pinky, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While undoubtedly a painful ailment, Taylor isn’t expected to miss any time with the issue, and he tweeted earlier today that he’s “doing well.” Taylor will begin the 2018 campaign as the Browns’ starting quarterback, but could eventually cede to No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Le’Veon Bell isn’t expected to report to the Steelers until Week 1, and it’s unclear if the two-time franchise player will be a member of Pittsburgh’s roster after 2018. He won’t be assigned the tag again, meaning he’ll be able to hit the open market next spring. With that in mind, Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports examined whether Bell will be able to command a fully guaranteed deal, and also looked at the top contenders to land Bell once he finally hits free agency. The Colts, Jets, and Browns — all of whom project to have plenty of 2019 cap space, all make sense as potential destinations, per Paylor.
  • Bears safety DeAndre Houston-Carson during Chicago’s preseason game against the Broncos and is expected to miss regular season action, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Houston-Carson had been performing well in training camp and during the preseason, but it’s unclear if the Bears will hold a roster spot for a player who’s not a key contributor on defense. The former sixth-round pick has played just 24 defensive snaps over two seasons in Chicago, but is a core special-teamer (303 total ST snaps since 2016).
  • Edge rusher Aaron Lynch is running out of time to earn a place on the Bears‘ roster, as Campbell writes in a full piece. Lynch has been dealing a hamstring issue since late June, and has since missed 20 practices and three preseason games. He won’t participate in Saturday’s exhibition contest, either, meaning the 25-year-old will need to show progress in Chicago’s final preseason game next Thursday. A third-round pick in 2015, Lynch flashed potential during his first two NFL seasons with San Francisco, but has played in only 14 total games over the past two years due to injuries and a suspension.

Extra Points: Browns, Saints, Packers, Eagles

Now playing in his contract season, Browns running back Isaiah Crowell indicated he thinks about a new deal “during the game, after the game, before the game, right now, all the time,” as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets. A restricted free agent, Crowell is earning $2.746MM after Cleveland tendered him at the second-round level. The Browns reportedly discussed an extension with the 24-year-old back during the summer, but no pact was ever signed. Thus far in 2017, Crowell is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry on 27 rushes.

  • Saints cornerback Sterling Moore suffered a pectoral injury against the Patriots on Sunday, a source tells Nick Underhill of the Adovcate, but it’s not a season-ending issue, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds Moore should miss “just a few weeks.” Moore, who re-signed with New Orelans this spring on a one-year, $900K pact, played 36 defensive snaps as the Saints’ nickel corner in Week 2. Perhaps with Moore’s injury in mind, the Saints worked out two cornerbacks on Tuesday and signed another — defensive back Bradley Sylve — to their practice squad.
  • Ahmad Brooks will have to post an excellent season in order to collect the entirety of his $1.5MM incentive-based pay attached to his one-year Packers contract, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports the veteran linebacker must reach 11 sacks to earn that total. However, Brooks can also bring in money for 6.5 sacks ($250K), 7.5 sacks ($500K), 8.5 sacks ($750K), 9.5 sacks ($1MM), or 10.5 sacks ($1.25MM). For what it’s worth, Brooks has never recorded an 11-sack season, and he managed only six quarterback takedowns a season ago.
  • Offensive lineman Jah Reid‘s one-year deal with the Texans is worth the veteran’s minimum of $775K, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). While the contract doesn’t qualify as a minimum salary benefit deal, Houston will only owe Reid a 14-game prorated portion of the minimum salary (~$684K). Reid should be able to immediately help a ramshackle Texans offensive line that is missing stalwart left tackle Duane Brown and ranks dead last in adjusted sack rate.
  • The Eagles attempted to sign defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson off the Bears‘ practice squad, but Chicago promoted Houston-Carson to its active roster instead, reports Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Houston-Carson, 24, appeared in eight games for the Bears a season ago, but rarely played on defense (just eight snaps). Instead, he spent most of his time on special teams, where he played on a quarter of Chicago’s snaps.

Eagles Claim Trae Elston Off Waivers

The Eagles announced that they have claimed safety Trae Elston off waivers from the Bills. He’ll be on the 53-man roster when the Eagles take on the Giants on Sunday. Trae Elston (vertical)

The Bills dropped Elston on Tuesday, opting to replace him with fellow safety Robert Blanton on Wednesday morning. A UDFA out of Mississippi last year, Elston spent time with three different clubs in 2016 before Buffalo claimed him off waivers from the Browns. He is still looking for steady work, but on the plus side he has already amassed a solid jersey selection. The 23-year-old saw time in both of the Bills’ games this season with the bulk of his work coming on special teams.

The Eagles have been looking for safety depth and they initially tried to fill that void by signing safety DeAndre Houston-Carson off of the Bears’ practice squad this week, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). They were blocked on that attempt when Chicago bumped him to the 53-man roster, however.

Elston is likely to be on the active roster this weekend with starter Rodney McLeod and reserve defensive back Jaylen Watkins on the mend.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/17

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Bears Sign DT John Jenkins

Here today, gone tomorrow, and back again. That’s the story of the Bears and defensive tackle John Jenkins who was released on Saturday and re-signed on Monday. Jenkins takes the place of safety Deiondre’ Hall on the roster after he was placed on injured reserve. John Jenkins (vertical)

Jenkins, 28, first signed on with the Bears in March. He’ll help to provide depth behind starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman in Vic Fangio‘s 3-4 set. Jenkins bounced around in 2016 but he was a 12-game starter for New Orleans as recently as 2015.

The Bears also signed nine players to the practice squad:

Bears Make Cuts, Reach 53

The Bears took time to announce their 53-man roster, but they got it done before the deadline. Here’s how:

Released:

Officially Placed On IR:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Bears Sign Several Draftees, UDFAs

The Bears announced 17 signings today, confirming several previously-reported moves and revealing some new ones (Twitter links). The team has signed seven of its 2016 draft picks and 10 undrafted free agents to fill out its offseason roster.

Of Chicago’s nine draftees, only one – fourth-round defensive back Deiondre’ Hall – had reportedly agreed to terms prior to day. However, the Bears have now locked up six more of their picks to go along with Hall. Here’s the full list of draft picks signed by the club:

A pair of front-seven players – first-rounder Leonard Floyd and third-rounder Jonathan Bullard – have yet to sign their rookie contracts with the Bears, but the team has otherwise secured its draft class.

Meanwhile, in addition to confirming the eight undrafted free agent signings we passed along on Friday, the Bears added two more rookies – Liberty wide receiver Darrin Peterson and Oklahoma State cornerback Kevin Peterson – to their roster. The former received a $6K signing bonus from the team, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).