Doug Middleton

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/23/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Jets S Doug Middleton Done For Season

Jets safety Doug Middleton suffered a torn pectoral in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

Middleton himself was already an injury replacement, as he was filling in for starter Marcus Maye after the latter suffered a broken thumb last week. Terrence Brooks took over at free safety against Minnesota after Middleton went down, and he’ll likely continue as a starter until Maye can return in a few weeks.

With Middleton and Maye both injured, Brooks and Jamal Adams are now the only healthy safeties on New York’s roster, meaning the club will almost certainly need to add another defensive back. The Jets have two safeties on their practice squad in 2018 supplemental draft pick Brandon Bryant and 2017 selection Jeremy Clark (who is technically a cornerback but dabbled at safety during training camp), while veteran Rontez Miles is eligible to return from the physically unable to perform list.

Middleton, 25, joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State in 2016. After appearing in four games during his rookie season, Middleton missed the entirety of the 2017 campaign with injury (coincidentally, another torn pectoral). This season, Middleton had made four starts and played on 46.3% of the Jets’ defensive snaps and 44.6% of the club’s special teams snaps, posting 22 tackles and three passes defensed along the way. He’ll be an exclusive rights free agent in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Williams, Jets, Bills, Patriots

Trent Williams is on schedule to participate in Redskins training camp, as expected after a surgery that was slated to erase his offseason. While the official name for the operation the ninth-year left tackle underwent is a tibial tubercle osteotomy, Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington notes doctors performed a “slight” microfracture surgery as well. The TTO procedure repaired Williams’ damaged kneecap. However, microfracture surgery is among the most difficult to surmount for athletes and could be worth monitoring as the soon-to-be 30-year-old blocker returns to full-contact work. Nevertheless, Williams has been working toward a camp re-emergence and fully expects to be ready by the time Washington’s roster reconvenes late next month.

Here’s the latest from the east, moving to another recent surgically altered starter.

  • The Jets were without one of their starting safeties during minicamp. Marcus Maye underwent ankle surgery this offseason. He is targeting a training camp return, per Calvin Watkins of Newsday. Maye started alongside Jamal Adams throughout last season. Third-year UDFA Doug Middleton, who missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, took the first-team reps in Maye’s place.
  • Lorenzo Alexander is not a lock to make the Bills‘ 53-man roster, Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News notes. Two years removed from a 12.5-sack season, one that secured him a two-year contract, the 35-year-old linebacker is unlikely to be a starter in 2018, per Skurski. Alexander started 11 of Buffalo’s 16 games last season, doing so in a 4-3 defense after he thrived in the 2016 Bills’ 3-4 look. Skurski notes rookie Tremaine Edmunds and 2017 fifth-rounder Matt Milano are the frontrunners to be the Bills’ three-down ‘backers.
  • Despite playing only half of last season, one halted by a PED suspension and subsequent Jets release, Jeremy Kerley appears to be a lock to not only make the Bills but play a key role, Skurski writes. The veteran slot receiver is entrenched alongside Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones among Buffalo’s top three, in Skurski’s view. Kerley, 29, finished as the 49ers’ leading receiver in 2016 before signing a San Francisco extension. The 49ers then cut him before last season.
  • On the subject of wide receiver battles, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com expects ArDarius Stewart to be given another chance with the Jets (Twitter link) in camp. The third-round pick out of Alabama caught just six passes as a rookie, and the Jets signed Terrelle Pryor and now have Quincy Enunwa healthy. And 2017 fourth-rounder Chad Hansen has fared well this offseason. Nevertheless, Mike Maccagnan using that third-round choice on Stewart likely keeps him safe for at least another training camp, per Cimini.
  • One of the bigger free agency defections the Patriots have had to deal with in a while, Nate Solder‘s departure to the Giants leaves what looks like a two-man battle for his left tackle spot, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston notes. Trent Brown took the lion’s share of the first-team reps during offseason work, with first-rounder Isaiah Wynn lining up at left guard more. However, left guard starter Joe Thuney is currently absent. Once he returns, Perry points out Brown and Wynn are likely set to compete for one spot. The other would become a swing backup, with Marcus Cannon now back at right tackle.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at the second-round level ($2.914MM):

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Extra Points: Matthews, Megatron, Wheaton

Although the Eagles dealt Jordan Matthews rather than make him part of their large recent group of extension signees, Howie Roseman said the trade wouldn’t preclude the team from re-signing Matthews as a free agent, Eliot Shorr-Parks tweets. Whether Matthews would consider a return to Philadelphia after this is another story. The Bills wideout is one of many notable receivers entering contract years. He joins fellow Friday traded pass-catcher Sammy Watkins, along with DeAndre Hopkins and fellow 2014 draftees Jarvis Landry, Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief as a prospective UFA.

The Bills have a revamped wide receiver corps, having traded Watkins and observed Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin leave in free agency, so it would stand to reason they’d want to keep Matthews past 2017. But the acquisitions of Matthews and E.J. Gaines may have been secondary to the second- and third-round draft choices received, so Buffalo’s strategy with the newly acquired players will be interesting.

Here’s the latest from around the league as preseason’s first week wraps up.

  • Teams have reportedly attempted to lure Calvin Johnson out of retirement, but the Lions still have the rights to Megatron if he were to return. But the timing of a Johnson comeback could affect where he’d end up. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes Johnson could put the Lions in a tough spot by notifying the NFL he intends to come back now. Operating under the premise Megatron was retired, the Lions have barely $7MM in cap space. Florio posits a Johnson comeback could get him to free agency — and teams he may believe have a better shot at contention — since his $16MM salary would hit the Lions’ payroll and force the team to act quickly to get in line with the cap. A trade or release would get Johnson out of Detroit, something he may not mind in a comeback scenario given the comments he made this offseason. The potential Hall of Famer turns 32 in September.
  • This probably shouldn’t be a surprise, but it appears Patrick Mahomes has leapfrogged Tyler Bray on the Chiefs‘ depth chart after their first preseason game, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com reports. Despite the rare first-round investment from a franchise that spent a generation signing free agent quarterbacks or trading for them, the Chiefs first installed Mahomes as their third-stringer to start camp.
  • Injuries are again affecting Markus Wheaton‘s status. The Bears wideout missed over a week of camp because of an emergency appendectomy and didn’t return until Saturday, but the fifth-year pass-catcher now has a broken pinkie finger sidelining him, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reports. John Fox doesn’t have a return timetable for Wheaton. The Bears signed three veteran wideouts to one-year deals, but Wheaton received more of a commitment than Kendall Wright or Victor Cruz. Wheaton is guaranteed $6MM in 2017 as part of his two-year contract. Dickerson adds the Bears still envision a large role for Wheaton, who missed 13 games last season due to a shoulder injury.
  • The Jets drafted safeties with their first two picks, leading to a shakeup this offseason. But one of their second-stringers may not be playing for them for a while — if at all — in 2017. Second-year safety Doug Middleton is expected to undergo surgery after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Gang Green’s first preseason game, Manish Mehta and Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News report. Middleton and Rontez Miles were running with the Jets’ second team behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. An ex-UDFA, Middleton will seek a second opinion, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Jets signed safety Robenson Therezie earlier Sunday, a sign they believe they may be a man short going forward.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Jets are promoting safety Doug Middleton from the practice squad. Gang Green signed Middleton, an Appalachian State product, as a UDFA this spring and signed him to their practice squad in September. The rookie safety has yet to play in an NFL game.
  • The Patriots waived defensive tackle Darius Kilgo, Doug Kyed of NESN reports (on Twitter). Kilgo’s cut opened the door for the Patriots to add wideout Griff Whalen earlier today. New England claimed Kilgo off waivers from the Broncos, who selected him in the sixth round in 2015. Kilgo became a superfluous commodity after Alan Branch won his suspension last week. Kilgo did not play in a game for the Patriots after suiting up for nine in each of the past two season for the Broncos.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the BillsDolphins, Patriots, and Jets are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day (all links go to Twitter unless noted otherwise):

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Jets Cut Jace Amaro, Others

The Jets are working their way down to 53. Here are the cuts so far: Todd Bowles

Reilly, a seventh-round pick in 2014, played in 29 games for the Jets over the past two seasons. He finished the 2015 campaign with 16 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. As Slater notes on Twitter, the linebacker was waived with an injury designation. The 28-year-old could land on the injured reserve, but the reporter doesn’t believe the injury to be that serious.

There was a chance that Morris could carve out a role among the Jets’ defensive backs. However, the three-year veteran couldn’t do enough to beat out Dexter McDougle or Kevin Short. Meanwhile, there was some optimism that former CFL linebacker Freddie Bishop could establish himself, but the team’s linebacker depth proved to be too much to overcome.

On the offensive side of the ball, Sudfeld’s tenure in New York appears to be over. The 27-year-old collected only ten catches for 148 yards over the past two seasons.

In related news, the Jets may be making an addition to the roster before the weekend is through. Former San Francisco guard Ian Silberman worked out for the Jets on Friday, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.

(Sheldon Richardson does not currently count against the 53-man roster due to his season-opening suspension)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents

The Jets’ rookie minicamp gets underway today in Florham Park, New Jersey, and there will be several undrafted free agents joining the seven players the team selected in last weekend’s draft. In addition to inviting 22 tryout players to audition for the team over the weekend, Gang Green has also confirmed 13 UDFA additions to the 90-man roster.

The Jets’ 13-man UDFA group primarily consists of pass-catchers, defensive ends, and special teams players. Here’s the full list of rookies signed by the club: