November 14th, 2017 at 3:55pm CST by Zachary Links
The Giants announced that they have signed linebacker Akeem Ayers and guard John Greco. They also placed linebacker Keenan Robinson (quad) on injured reserve and elevated wide receiver Kalif Raymond from the practice squad. To make room, they cut defensive end Devin Taylor and waived wide receiver Ed Eagan.
Ayers auditioned for the Giants in September and again on Nov. 8. In the most recent workout, he apparently made a good impression on coaches. Ayers finished out last season with 18 tackles, two sacks, and one interception for the Colts. He graded out as the No. 54 edge defender in the NFL out of 110 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus’ metrics. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire last season, but he does offer experience as a starter from his time with the Titans (2011-2013) and Rams (2015). In 2014, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots.
Greco, 32, joined the Saints in early October but was released without having played a down. Injuries forced him to miss six total games from 2015-16 for the Browns, but he was effective while healthy. Last year, he graded as the league’s No. 18 guard among 75 qualifiers last season, per PFF. All told, Greco offers 111 games — and 70 starts — worth of experience.
The Giants aren’t playing for much at this point, but they are curious to see if Ayers, Greco, and Raymond can be worthwhile players for 2018.
October 3rd, 2017 at 5:40pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Falcons have placed defensive Jack Crawford on injured reserve with a biceps injury, the club announced today.
Crawford, whom Atlanta signed away from the Cowboys this offseason, is now the third Falcons defensive lineman to go down with injury in recent weeks. Star edge rusher Vic Beasley is still working his way back from a hamstring issue, while Courtney Upshaw may be close to returning from an ankle ailment. Crawford, for his part, had played on 101 defensive snaps this season but graded as just the No. 87 interior defender among 100 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
Taylor, 27, offers vast experience, as the former fourth-round pick appeared in 61 games (18 starts) for the Lions over the past four seasons. While he’s posted 15 sacks during his NFL career, PFF wasn’t complementary of Taylor’s performance in 2016, ranking him as the second-worst defensive end in the league. Taylor signed with the Giants in May but didn’t make it through final cutdowns, and has since worked out for the Vikings.
Devin Taylor‘s tenure with the Giants ended relatively quickly. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the team has released the veteran defensive end.
Taylor originally joined the Giants back in May. Previously, the 2013 fourth-round pick had spent his entire four-year career in Detroit, where he served mostly in a reserve role. Taylor earned a bit more responsibility in 2016, starting a career-high 16 games while compiling 21 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. The 27-year-old has 15 career sacks in four seasons.
The Giants’ decision to hand defensive end Devin Taylor a minimum salary benefit deal last month has mostly generated positive reviews around the NFL, with one source calling it a “great signing,” reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. One NFC source took a less enthusiastic tone, however, calling Taylor “just a guy.” But, considering what they’re paying him, the Giants aren’t expecting Taylor to do much more than provide passable depth behind stars Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. Taylor, who started in all 16 of the Lions’ games last season and piled up a respectable 4.5 sacks (down from seven in 2015), will rotate at defensive end with the Giants and could see time as an interior rusher on passing downs, according to Raanan.
More from the NFC:
Late-March free agent signing Brian Quick won’t be long for the Redskins’ roster if he doesn’t impress in training camp, writes Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Quick didn’t perform well during offseason practices, and the team has a few locks at wide receiver, leaving the 28-year-old on the bubble as camp nears, per Tandler. The 2012 second-round pick spent his first five years as a member of the Rams, with whom he exceeded the 20-catch plateau only twice. To his credit, though, Quick posted a career year in 2016, hauling in personal highs in catches (41), targets (77), yards (564) and touchdowns (three).
Saints left tackle Terron Armstead underwent successful surgery for a torn labrum on Monday, reports Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. While that’s a relief for Armstead and the Saints, it’s not going to change his expected recovery timeline. He’s still set to miss between four to six months, which will leave the club without arguably its best offensive lineman until sometime in the fall.