Broncos Rumors

AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

Prior to the Browns waiving kicker Zane Gonzalez, Hue Jackson did not know the second-year specialist was dealing with a groin injury. The third-year Browns HC (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) said he knew “nothing about an injury whatsoever” and that no one from the Browns’ medical department told him Gonzalez was hurt, which could set up for an interesting situation as Cleveland pivots to another kicker. It hasn’t been reported that Gonzalez was waived with an injury designation, and Florio posits an injury grievance from Gonzalez could be in the cards. Gonzalez’s groin malady required an MRI, but he still attempted a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds Sunday. This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light, given Gonzalez’s struggles on Sunday — ones that led directly to Cleveland’s 21-18 loss.

Shifting from a player the Browns just cut to one they opted not to draft, here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Sam Darnold did his best to not offer much regarding his draft-night mindset, but he did say he expected the Browns to take him at No. 1 due to the amount of time John Dorsey and Co. spent with him leading into the draft, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. The Browns spent time with all four of the top quarterback prospects before narrowing their decision to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. “We spent time with (Darnold) and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”
  • The Ravens are not counting on having C.J. Mosley available for their Week 3 game against the Broncos, David Ginsburg of the Associated Press notes. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a bruised left knee in Baltimore’s loss in Cincinnati. Rookie Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were called to action in place of Mosley, who’s only missed two games (both in 2016) in his career. A fourth-round pick, Young looks like the Sunday starter, per Ginsburg.
  • Broncos rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay sits third among the league’s rushing leaders going into Week 3’s Baltimore trip, and Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets the Colorado product narrowed his post-draft choices to the Broncos and Ravens. Lindsay (178 rushing yards on 6.1 per carry) is part of a two-rookie backfield in Denver. The Ravens opted to retain their status quo at running back, with Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen back.
  • Allen is now on IR, though the Ravens would’ve preferred to keep both he and cornerback Maurice Canady on their active roster rather than shelve them for at least two months, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Neither’s injury is a season-ending setback, and Dixon is a candidate to return from IR later in the season.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s agent, Adisa Bakari, attended the Steelers‘ season-opening tie in Cleveland, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes the vibe between he and Steelers brass wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Bakari also represents Tyrod Taylor. Nothing on the Bell front’s transpired in several days, and Pittsburgh’s bracing for a long absence.
  • Mike Tomlin expressed frustration with punter Jordan Berry, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter), and he may be on the verge of losing his job. The Steelers brought in free agent punters Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel for workouts today, Kaboly tweets. Berry’s been Pittsburgh’s punter since 2015, and the Steelers signed him to an extension in February.
  • With Joe Mixon out for a bit, the Bengals brought in a host of running backs for Tuesday workouts. Thomas Rawls, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Troymaine Pope and Matthew Dayes trekked to Cincinnati for auditions, Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan tweets.

This Date In Transactions History: Laurence Maroney Trade

September trades are pretty rare in the NFL, but we got one eight years ago today. On this date in 2010, the Patriots traded running back Laurence Maroney (along with a 2011 sixth-round pick) to the Broncos in exchange for a 2011 fourth-round pick.

When the Patriots selected Maroney in the first round of the 2006 draft, they were hoping to get some longterm stability at the position. The Minnesota product certainly looked the part of a three-down back during his rookie campaign. While splitting time with veteran Corey Dillon, Maroney still managed to compile 745 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 175 carries (he also hauled in 22 catches for 194 yards and one score). He became the starting running back during his sophomore campaign, and he took on an ever bigger role during the playoffs.

However, Maroney only appeared in three games during the 2008 season after suffering a shoulder injury, and he struggled with fumbles following his return in 2009. By the time the 2010 season came around, he was buried on the depth chart behind Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, and Kevin Faulk. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis contributing on special teams, the Patriots decided to shop their former first-rounder.

In came the Broncos, who were dealing with a number of running back injuries. Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter were both hobbled, and their replacement, LenDale White, had already torn his Achilles. The team moved down two rounds in the 2011 draft in order to acquire Maroney, who was set to hit free agency following the season. The then-25-year-old ended up starting three of his four games for Denver, compiling only 74 yards on 36 carries. He was later arrested on weapons charges, and the team chose not to re-sign him following the campaign. Maroney’s stint with the Broncos was his last NFL action.

The Patriots ended up trading their acquired pick to the Seahawks for wideout Deion Branch, and Seattle used that pick to select linebacker K.J. Wright. The Broncos used their acquired pick (which was originally owned by the Saints) to select linebacker Mike Mohamed.

The Broncos were presumably hoping for a bit more when they acquired Maroney. Fortunately for the organization, the offense continued to improve over the next few years. Of course, a certain Hall of Famer probably helped with that.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/18

Here are Thursday’s practice squad moves.

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Joseph: Football Only Behind Henderson Cut

  • The Broncos cut ties with Carlos Henderson, potentially for good, by removing him from their practice squad on Thursday. Vance Joseph said (via Troy Renck of Denver7, on Twitter) this was strictly a football decision and wasn’t related to the 2017 third-round pick’s suspension or his absence from training camp. Only four Broncos 2017 draftees — Garett Bolles, DeMarcus Walker, Jake Butt and Chad Kelly — remain on the active roster. Two others (cornerback Brendan Langley and return man Isaiah McKenzie) are on the practice squad. Henderson has to play in a regular-season game.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/12/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: WR Frank Stephens

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL J.J. Dielman

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Adam Jones Usurps Tramaine Brock?

  • In addition to the Raiders’ interest in signing top free agent Johnathan Hankins, Gruden said they’re also interested in adding Clinton McDonald, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Hankins is visiting the Raiders on Wednesday. The Broncos released McDonald after the preseason slate. If signed, McDonald would add yet another 30-something to Gruden’s free agency haul. He’s 31.
  • Adam Jones signed with the Broncos late in the preseason, appearing to represent an upgrade at punt returner and No. 4 cornerback. However, the 35-year-old defender appears to have usurped Tramaine Brock for the nickel job, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com notes. Brock didn’t fare poorly in the preseason and graded as an upper-echelon corner during his last season of full-time work, with the 2016 49ers, but Jones has more experience in Vance Joseph‘s defense from their time together in Cincinnati. If he’s been demoted, it would mark a second straight season the 30-year-old defender’s resided out of a nickel picture. The Vikings carried Brock as a depth piece in 2017.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/11/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Buffalo Bills

  • Released: OL Gerhard de Beer

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Lucas Gravelle
  • Released: DL Cameron Mavlveaux

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/18

Today’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/10/18

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles