Dorial Green-Beckham

NFC Rumors: Freeman, Giants, Eagles, Vikings

The Falcons are set to begin training camp this week, but Thomas Dimitroff said he’ll be focused on working out a contract with running back Devonta Freeman. The general manager told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure that he’d like to have a deal finalized by Thursday at the latest (Twitter link).

We’ve heard reports throughout the offseason that the two sides would ultimately agree on a new deal, with owner Arthur Blank recently stating that an extension was coming “fairly soon.” Meanwhile, while Freeman is obviously seeking a new contract, he’s more than willing to wait for a deal that is reflective of his talent. Over the past two years, the running back has collected at least 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns per season, and he’s averaged 63 receptions during that same span.

Last week, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wondered if the extension delay could be attributed to uneasy negotiations. Earlier today, former agent Joel Corry tweeted that Freeman’s camp should “insist” that the recently-rejected contract offer to Le’Veon Bell “reflects the top” of the running back market.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis is no longer facing charge of operating a vehicle while impaired, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Of course, the 23-year-old could still face punishment from the NFL even though he is legally in the clear. Last year, Lewis appeared in 13 games for the G-Men and finished with seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
  • It sounds like Eagles fifth round pick Shelton Gibson may be a longshot to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster. The wide receiver is “by no means where he wants to be or where we want him to be,” said head coach Doug Pederson (Twitter link via Brandon Lee Gowton of SB Nation).
  • Meanwhile, Pederson discussed the Eagles‘ decision to move on from receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was waived earlier this month. “With the additions of some of the young guys picked up this spring, we just felt like it was in his interest and our best interest to let him find another suitor and keep developing our younger guys in that role,” Pederson said (via Zach Berman of Philly.com). The former second-round pick was traded to the Eagles last offseason, and he finished his lone season in Philly with 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns.
  • With Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon ahead of him on the Vikings‘ depth chart, C.J. Ham knows that playing fullback gives him the best chance at making the 53-man roster, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune writes. Although he is still listed as a running back, the Vikings have been transitioning him to fullback since the middle of OTAs. The Vikings are unsure as to whether they’ll carry a true fullback or if they’ll just rely on reserve tight ends to do some lead blocking. “That’s part of the [evaluation]; Do we keep a fullback on the roster or do we add more tight ends,” said head coach Mike Zimmer. “That should all shake out here in this preseason. If a guy is going to play say 10 plays a game, he’s also got to be really good on special teams to make the squad.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Dorial Green-Beckham Clears Waivers

Before the holiday, the Eagles put wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham on the waiver wire. Today, we’ve learned that the league’s 31 other teams declined to take on his contract. Green-Beckham cleared waivers, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Dorial Green-Beckham (vertical)

In high school, DGB was one of the country’s most sought after recruits. However, after two disappointing seasons in the NFL, his stock is at an all-time low. Green-Beckham’s lack of work ethic led the Titans to ship him out just one year after the organization used a second round pick on him. Now, his stint with the Eagles is over after less than one calendar year. During his lone season in Philly, the 24-year-old hauled in 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns.

Green-Beckham could still find a new NFL home, but it will have to be at a salary cheaper than what he was making as a 2015 second-round pick. You can expect the 24-year-old to get calls this summer, but he’s likely to only get offered one-year deals with low base pay.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Giants, Eagles, Donald

The Giants and quarterback Eli Manning will soon be dealing with a memorabilia fraud lawsuit, but ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio notes that the NFL still has no comment on the situation. Specifically, the reporter wonders if “a civil finding of memorabilia fraud” would ultimately lead to a review under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, especially considering the vague explanation of the rule:

“Conduct by anyone in the league that is illegal, violent, dangerous, or irresponsible puts innocent victims at risk, damages the reputation of others in the game, and undercuts public respect and support for the NFL. We must endeavor at all times to be people of high character; we must show respect for others inside and outside our workplace; and we must strive to conduct ourselves in ways that favorably reflect on ourselves, our teams, the communities we represent, and the NFL.”

Florio also notes that the list of “prohibited acts” include “[c]rimes of dishonesty such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, money laundering, or racketeering.”

While we await some clarity on that situation, let’s take a look around the NFC…

  • With former second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham seeking his third team in three seasons, Geoff Mosher says the former Eagles wideout needed “a heavy dose of humble pie.” The writer notes that the talented offensive weapon easily lost focus, ran sloppy routes, and dropped easy-to-catch passes. While the receiver was once compared to Randy Moss, Mosher now believes Green-Beckham is a prime example of “wasted talent.” As a result, the receiver is no longer an elite prospect, and he should instead be considered a “reclamation project.” During his lone season in Philly, the 24-year-old hauled in 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Despite the presence of Ryan Mathews and free agent addition LeGarrette Blount, veteran running back Darren Sproles is still confident that he can contribute to the Eagles running game this season. Sproles told ESPN’s Josina Anderson (Twitter link) that he “can do it all,” and it’s likely that Philly capitalizes on his versatility again in 2017. Last season, the 34-year-old caught 52 receptions for 427 yards and two touchdowns, and he added another 438 yards on the ground.
  • Appearing on ESPN’s NFL Live, Anderson said that she assumes Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald is likely frustrated that he hasn’t received an extension from the organization (via Rams-News.com). The reporter notes that the team has extended Tavon Austin and Robert Quinn, yet the three-time Pro Bowler still hasn’t receive a new contract. The Rams did exercise the former first-rounder’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, so Donald will be sticking with the organization through at least the 2018 season.

Eagles Waive WR Dorial Green-Beckham

The Eagles have waived wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the club announced today. In a related move, Philadelphia has signed quarterback Dane Evans to a three-year contract.Dorial Green-Beckham (Vertical)

Green-Beckham’s stint with the Eagles is now over after less than a calendar year, as Philadelphia acquired DGB from the Titans in mid-August of 2016, sending offensive lineman Dennis Kelly to Tennessee in the process. Betting on Green-Beckham’s draft pedigree and natural athleticism, the Eagles decided to give the former second-round choice a chance despite persistent questions about his work ethic.

While playing as the Eagles’ third wideout behind Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor, Green-Beckham saw action on roughly 57% of Philadelphia’s offensive plays, but didn’t do much with those snaps. On 74 targets, DGB managed only 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles have since acquired multiple receivers, including free agents Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and draft picks Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson, lessening the need for Green-Beckham.

As Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes (Twitter link), the Eagles are aiding Green-Beckham by waiving him now as opposed to later this summer, as he’ll have a chance to latch on with another club before training camps begin. Entering only his age-24 campaign, DGB still offers youth and upside despite his struggles through two NFL seasons, and — if he’s not claimed off waviers — he’ll enter a free agent receiver market dominated by veterans such as Anquan Boldin, Vincent Jackson, and Stevie Johnson.

Evans, meanwhile, went undrafted out of Tulsa earlier this year after completing 59.5% of his passes for 3,348 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions during his senior season. In a predraft scouting report, Pro Football Focus said Evans has an excellent arm but inconsistent touch and a sub-par ability to read opposing defenses.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: DGB, E. Thomas, H. Smith

Dorial Green-Beckham, whom the Eagles acquired in a mid-August trade last year, believes Philadelphia has not seen him at his best. After all, he had to learn a new offense on the fly after the trade, and then he had to adjust to a new starting quarterback a few weeks later. But as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, DGB has an uphill battle just to make the team, let alone make a major impact. The Eagles signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency, they spent mid-round draft choices on Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson, and Jordan Matthews looks to remain with the club after being the subject of offseason trade rumors. All five of those players are roster locks, which means that Green-Beckham will battle former first-round selection Nelson Agholor — whom the Eagles have more of a commitment to from a salary and draft standpoint — for the final wide receiver spot. So, barring injury or a transcendent training camp, DGB’s days in Philadelphia could be numbered.

Now for more from the NFC:

  • Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken left left leg, and head coach Pete Carroll has no doubts that Thomas will be at full speed in training camp. WR Tyler Lockett, who is also recovering from a broken leg, is not as far along as Thomas, but Carroll indicated that Locket is still “on schedule.”
  • The Giants signed D.J. Fluker this offseason to help bolster an offensive line that was a major weakness last season. Fluker, whom the Chargers drafted as a tackle, shifted inside to guard over the past couple of seasons, but it was expected that he could at least compete for the Giants’ right tackle job this summer. But the Associated Press reports that Bobby Hart has manned right tackle during OTAs, which has relegated Fluker to John Jerry‘s backup at right guard.
  • The Lions recently signed former division-rival Matt Asiata to complement their running back corps, but barring an injury, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press does not see Asiata making the team. Birkett expects Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington to be the Lions’ running backs, in that order, and he does not believe there is room for a fifth RB, even without a fullback.
  • Vikings star safety Harrison Smith says his ankle is fully healed and is now a non-issue, per the Associated Press.
  • Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reports that Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is expected to return to Minnesota today, to visit his eye doctors tomorrow, and if all goes well, he will be coaching OTAs on Tuesday (Twitter links).

NFC Notes: Doctson, Cards, DGB, Saints

An Achilles issue continues to bother Redskins first-round receiver Josh Doctson, who will miss his third straight game Sunday, and head coach Jay Gruden didn’t rule out an eventual trip to injured reserve Friday. “We’ll have to wait and see if this thing gets any better the next week or so and go from there,” he said (via JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic). “I hate to put him on IR and then he’s better tomorrow, you know what I mean, because he’s such a valuable, big play type guy. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and see what happens.” Doctson is dealing with pain when he “pushes off,” according to Gruden, which Finlay notes is especially problematic for a receiver. The 22nd pick from TCU appeared in the Redskins’ first two games, catching two passes for 66 yards, but he previously missed all of training camp and the preseason.

More from the NFC:

  • After going without a catch or a target in the Cardinals’ 33-21 win over San Francisco on Thursday, wideout Michael Floyd is on a career-worst reception pace through five weeks. That led head coach Bruce Arians to posit Friday that Floyd’s status as an impending free agent is a factor in his sagging production. “I’m sure that has a lot to do with it,” Arians said of Floyd, who has caught only 12 of 35 targets through five games. Floyd averaged 52 receptions on 97 targets over his first four years, and the Cardinals remain confident in him, per Arians (Twitter links via Darren Urban of the team’s website).
  • Although Eagles receiver Dorial Green-Beckham hasn’t posted gaudy numbers this year (seven catches, 65 yards in three games), the club is pleased with the mid-August trade acquisition. “He’s done a nice job. He’s really grasped the offense and understood his role,” head coach Doug Pederson stated (via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com). Green-Beckham, whom the Eagles got from the Titans for offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, has seen his offensive snap percentage rise in each of Philly’s games. The 2015 second-round pick participated in 32 percent of the Eagles’ plays in their opener and was on the field for 46 percent and 49 percent in Weeks 2 and 3.
  • The Saints were disappointed with high-priced free agent signing Coby Fleener after the first two weeks of the season, but the tight end has turned it around since, writes Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. After picking up a meager three catches on 12 targets in his first pair of games as a Saint, the ex-Colt totaled 10 receptions on 16 targets over the previous two. “I feel like over the last two or three weeks here, he’s really starting to, ‘OK, I got it, I understand what’s going on. I know what Drew’s (Brees) looking for,” assistant head coach/tights ends Dan Campbell told Teope.
  • Friday was an eventful day for backup quarterbacks in San Francisco: A contract restructuring is a possibility for Colin Kaepernick, as is a return to the starting lineup in Week 6. Meanwhile, some 49ers want Christian Ponder to take Blaine Gabbert‘s job.

East Notes: Drake, DRC, Revis

The Dolphins will treat rookie running back Kenyan Drake as the starter this week in place of the injured Arian Foster, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport, though, passes along more interesting news regarding Miami’s running back corps and head coach Adam Gase‘s attempts to instill discipline in his new club.

After Gase’s highly-publicized decision to leave Jay Ajayi off the team’s travel list prior to the Dolphins’ regular season opener in Seattle, there was another incident involving the team’s running backs the following week. Both Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams missed a meeting in advance of Miami’s Week 2 matchup against New England, which is why both were inactive for that contest. Drake, it appears, is the only back on the 53-man roster who is both healthy and has not had a lapse in maturity over the past several weeks.

As Rapoport notes, time will tell if more “messages” are necessary or if the Dolphins will begin to fall in line with Gase’s vision.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Despite his team-friendly deal and his still considerable abilities, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is clearly not in the Giants‘ long-term plans, James Kratch of NJ.com writes. Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple are entrenched as the team’s top two corners, and it would make no sense for New York to pay $6.5MM for a 30-year-old slot corner after this season (especially when the team could recoup the full $6.5MM by cutting DRC). But there are plenty of cornerback-needy teams for whom Rodgers-Cromartie would represent a significant upgrade, so Kratch opines that the Giants should look to trade DRC prior to this year’s deadline, and if that fails, then the team should release him before free agency begins next year.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets and cornerback Darrelle Revis are set for a “contract staredown” after the season. Revis is scheduled to earn $15MM in 2017, including a non-guaranteed roster bonus of $2MM, which is due to be paid on the second day of the 2017 league year in March. Of course, if Revis begins to recapture his prior level of play, his contract may not be as much of an issue, but if he continues to struggle, the team will probably ask him to renegotiate, which Revis has never shown any inclination to do. As Cimini notes, the roster bonus puts a deadline on what could become one of the bigger storylines of the offseason.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson expects Dorial Green-Beckham‘s role to increase as DGB continues to learn the offense and get healthy, as Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com writes. Through the first two games, Green-Beckham has had just six passes thrown his way, though Pederson says DGB was the primary target on several plays in the team’s Week 2 win over Chicago, but the defense dictated that the play go elsewhere.
  • If Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is in fact suspended for PED use–his hearing is set for October 4–Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the team will move left guard Allen Barbre to right tackle and promote Stefen Wisniewski to the starting lineup to take Barbre’s place.

Dorial Green-Beckham On Titans-Eagles Trade

Newly minted Eagles receiver Dorial Green-Beckham commented Thursday on the unexpected trade that sent him from Tennessee to Philadelphia on Tuesday, telling Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer he’s “not necessarily sure” why the Titans dealt him. In return for the talented Green-Beckham, its second-round pick a year ago, Tennessee received offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.

Dorial Green-Beckham (vertical)

The Titans were reportedly disappointed in Green-Beckham’s work ethic and conditioning, but the 23-year-old shot down the idea that he gave anything less than maximum effort with the club. DGB showed up to training camp “in great condition” this summer and did “everything” he needed to do, including put in extra work after practice, he informed Berman. Moreover, Green-Beckham refuted the notion that off-field concerns may have helped cause new Titans general manager Jon Robinson to part with him.

“Totally a whole different person,” he said. “The off-the-field stuff is in the past, has been in the past. That stuff, I’ve never heard anything since then being brought up from anyone. That tells me I’m doing the right things.”

Green-Beckham dealt with multiple legal issues at the University of Missouri, which led then-head coach Gary Pinkel to dismiss him from the team in April 2014. That came on the heels of allegations that Green-Beckham forced his way into a fellow student’s apartment and pushed her down at least four stairs. Police quickly closed the case, citing reluctant witnesses fearing retaliation, after the alleged victim and another woman (Green-Beckham’s then-girlfriend) told a detective they didn’t want to press charges. Prior to that ordeal, Green-Beckham was arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents – the first of which led to a one-game suspension.

When his time at Missouri ended, Green-Beckham transferred to Oklahoma, but he didn’t play a game with the Sooners and left school after the 2014 season to pursue his NFL career. In his first season in the pros, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder hauled in 32 receptions, four touchdowns and averaged a lofty 17.2 yards per catch in 16 games (five starts). That wasn’t enough for the Titans to keep him around, though, and he’ll now try to make good on his vast potential in Philadelphia.

“I feel like being in this offense, I can catch a lot balls, score a lot of touchdowns,” he said.

Green-Beckham made his first appearance as an Eagle in their preseason game against the Steelers on Thursday, going without a catch while logging some second-half playing time.

Related links:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans’ Justin Hunter On Roster Bubble?

Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was a second-round pick just a year ago, but that didn’t stop new Titans general manager Jon Robinson from trading DGB to Philaelphia on Tuesday. Now, another of Tennessee’s previous second-round picks – fellow wideout Justin Hunter – is worried about his job security.

[RELATED: Q&A with Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com]

In regards to the Green-Beckham deal, Hunter told Adam Vingan of the Tennessean, “I feel like it sent a message out to everybody — you better get your stuff right. I don’t think anyone in the locker room was expecting it.”

Justin Hunter (vertical)

Hunter, whom the Titans drafted 34th overall in 2013, then admitted that cracking the Titans’ roster is going to be difficult.

“It is still going to be hard (to make the team) because we have a lot of talented receivers in the group. We are fighting for spots, and you have to keep up and progress at the same time,” said the 25-year-old.

Like the 6-foot-5, 237-pound Green-Beckham, Hunter (6-4, 203) is a big target. But that hasn’t led to much production in the NFL for the ex-Tennessee Volunteer. Hunter has an uninspiring 68 receptions and eight touchdowns in 35 career games (13 starts). While Hunter has averaged an impressive 16.8 yards per catch, that number dropped to a career-worst 12.0 on 22 grabs last season. The 2015 campaign was a short one for Hunter, who only appeared in nine games as a result of a mid-November fractured ankle.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota likes what Hunter has shown in returning from the injury.

“Coming back from an injury like that, being able to run routes, he’s been pretty clean and crisp in and out of his breaks,” the second-year signal-caller told Vignan.

Despite a vote of confidence from his QB, Hunter is wary about his status under a new regime.

“I feel like everybody is on the chopping block,’’ Hunter stated. “We have a new GM, and he didn’t draft too many people in here. Anybody could go at this point, and we are all fighting for a spot.”

It remains to be seen how many receivers will make the Titans’ initial 53-man roster in the first full season of the Mike Mularkey era, of course, but Vingan notes that they only kept four last year. As Roster Resource indicates, the club currently has free agent signings Rishard Matthews and Andre Johnson, Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas, fifth-round rookie Tajae Sharpe, second-year man Tre McBride and Hunter among its wideout options.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Reaction To Dorial Green-Beckham Trade

The Titans shocked the NFL world earlier today when they dealt 2015 second-round wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to the Eagles in exchange for offensive lineman Dennis Kelly. Let’s take a look at some of the reaction to the surprising trade:

  • The Titans were consistently disappointed in Green-Beckham’s work ethic, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that DGB repeatedly disregarded instructions to work out harder over the offseason and to enter training camp in the proper shape. Head coach Mike Mularkey confirmed that sentiment, telling reporters, including Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com (Twitter link): “We had many conversations about that and it never did click in.”
  • However, DGB never did have issues with missed meetings or lateness, tweets McCormick. Rather, Green-Beckham just never mastered the Titans’ offense during his year-plus with the squad.
  • Trade talks between Tennessee and Philadelphia began last week, per McCormick (Twitter links), and general manager Jon Robinson says the deal boiled down to the fact that the club had a surplus at wide receiver and a need along the offensive line.
  • The presence of rookie Tajae Sharpe seems to have played a large role in the trade, as McCormick tweets that DHB had lost reps to Sharpe in practice. Indeed, DGB was behind Rishard Matthews, Sharpe, Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas, and Andre Johnson on the Titans’ depth chart, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • According to Robinson, the deal wasn’t intended to send a message to Tennessee’s wide receiver corps, or to make a statement to the team as a whole. Rather, the GM says he was simply trying to improve the Titans’ roster (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com).
  • The Eagles, meanwhile, had been searching for receiver help for some time, and had even offered a “nice deal” to veteran Anquan Boldin before he signed with the Lions, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman isn’t taking much of a risk by acquiring DGB given that he can easily be waived, but the trade shows the weak state of the Eagles’ wide receiving group, opines Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).