Drew Kaser

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/1/19

Here are the New Year’s Day reserve/futures contract decisions:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • K Tristan Vizcaino

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 12/27/18

Today’s workouts, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter):

Cincinnati Bengals

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

NFL Workout Updates: 11/13/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/5/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed off Colts’ practice squad: OL Zack Golditch

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Extra Points: Harbaugh, Browns, Packers, Chiefs

Earlier today, it was reported that Ravens coach John Harbaugh was on the hot seat. It was reported Harbaugh was under “mounting pressure” to turn his team’s season around, and things didn’t get any better today. The team lost to the Steelers and slipped below .500, but despite the loss Harbaugh wasn’t sweating the media reports after the game.

Harbaugh “certainly didn’t act worried” during his post-game press conference, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Harbaugh didn’t sound like he was worried about his job security even though the team dropped its third straight game today. Harbaugh has had a ton of success during his tenure in Baltimore, but things have been rocky the past couple of years and the Ravens reportedly considered parting ways after last season. Despite his defiant tone today, it certainly seems like the 11-year Harbaugh era in Baltimore could be coming to a close. The Ravens are heading into their bye week, so it’s possible we hear news of a switch as early as this week.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Browns haven’t been able to get any consistency in the kicking game all season, and worked out a slew of specialists Saturday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Schefter notes that the team worked out kickers “Sam Ficken, Marshall Koehn, Younghoe Koo, Jon Brown and Tyler Rausa.” It wouldn’t be surprising if the team moved on from current kicker Greg Joseph soon.
  • Speaking of specialists, the Packers made the unusual move of adding a second punter earlier this week, and nobody really knew why. There’s more clarity on the situation now, as they only signed Drew Kaser because incumbent punter J.K. Scott’s wife was due to have a baby tonight, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. It sounds like the team isn’t planning on making a change, and Kaser’s stay on the roster should be short-lived.
  • The Chiefs are clearly a Super Bowl contender and are in win-now mode, so plenty of people were surprised when they didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline to boost their defense. The team had reportedly been interested in trading for Earl Thomas earlier this year, but stood pat at the deadline, and now we know why. The Chiefs did try to trade for Landon Collins close to the deadline but weren’t able to strike a deal, according to Albert Breer of SI.com, who also writes that Kansas City’s coaching staff “has faith” that the team’s group of young defenders will continue to “improve as they go along.”

North Notes: Bell, Browns, Green, Cook

The Le’Veon Bell saga is coming to a head, as the Steelers running back must sign his franchise tender by November 13 to be eligible to play for any team this season. But as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, the CBA does not dictate that Bell must report by that day, only that he sign the tender. That means that Bell could sign the tender and not report until next Saturday, which would make him eligible to be added to the roster for next Sunday’s game — not that he would be playing in that game regardless — or he could just not sign the tender at all and skip the entire season.

The latter option is not considered likely at this time, but La Canfora says that if Bell does skip the entire 2018 campaign, the Steelers would strongly consider slapping the franchise or transition tag on him next offseason, which would of course set up another drama-filled battle. La Canfora further reports that no rival clubs called Pittsburgh at last week’s trade deadline in an attempt to acquire Bell.

Now for more the league’s North divisions:

  • When the Browns have hired a new head coach in recent seasons, they have used a search firm, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) says he would be surprised if the team, with respected GM John Dorsey now in charge, goes that route when it looks for another HC this offseason. Rapoport’s sources expect Dorsey to conduct the search himself, and they expect that he will do so very “secretly.” Rapoport says one name under consideration would be Josh McDaniels, who is reportedly open to revisiting HC opportunities (should another one come his way), and RapSheet also lists John DeFilippo, Mike McCarthy, and Lincoln Riley as potential targets.
  • Bengals WR A.J. Green is battling a toe injury, per Rapoport (via Twitter), who says that Green either has visited or will visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. There will be more clarity on the injury soon, and Rapoport says surgery remains on the table. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that Green is expected to miss time regardless of whether he has surgery.
  • Vikings WR Stefon Diggs will miss today’s game with a rib injury, per Rapoport (video link), though it is uncertain whether Diggs will miss any additional time (given that he expected to play today and was listed as questionable on the final injury report, it seems that he’ll be ready to go after Minnesota’s bye next week. Meanwhile, RB Dalvin Cook is expected to hit the field today, which will mark his first appearance since Week 4. Cook will be on a pitch count and is only expected to see 20 snaps or so, but when the team returns from bye, it could have Cook and Diggs at full strength.
  • The Packers signed punter Drew Kaser yesterday, but the team is not moving on from incumbent J.K. Scott at this time, per ESPN.com. However, it is still an open question as to whether Scott will be punting against the Patriots tonight.
  • We learned earlier today that Ravens HC John Harbaugh is on the hot seat as the team faces a critical divisional matchup against Pittsburgh this afternoon.

Packers To Sign P Drew Kaser

Drew Kaser will receive another opportunity after the Chargers opted to cut him earlier this season. The Packers will bring in the free agent punter, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Bolts cut Kaser and brought in veteran Donnie Jones. But Kaser, who is in his third NFL season, will have a chance in Green Bay. This doesn’t bode well for incumbent Packer punter J.K. Scott, whom the team selected in this year’s fifth round.

Kaser will come to Green Bay with the NFL’s second-highest 2018 net average (48.4 yards per punt). Scott sits 16th on that list (45.3) thus far this season.

The 25-year-old Kaser was a sixth-round Bolts pick in 2016. He punted in 36 Chargers games, averaging north of 48 yards per boot in 2017 as well, prior to being waived. Kaser worked out for the Bills last month and will join the Packers at an interesting juncture, considering they’re traveling to Foxborough today prior to their Week 9 matchup against the Patriots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chargers Sign P Donnie Jones

The Chargers are changing punters, as the club has signed veteran Donnie Jones to replace Drew Kaser, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Jones, 38, originally announced his retirement from the Eagles in February, but later decided he wanted to continue his lengthy NFL career. Philadelphia then released him from the reserve/retired list, giving Jones the opportunity to find another team. Jones, who hadn’t garnered any other known free agent interest, was solid in 2017, ranking solid 15th in yards per punt average and 16th in net average. He also placed 35.1% of his punts inside of the 20-yard line.

As has become the norm in recent years, the Chargers’ special teams unit is among the league’s worst. Per Football Outsiders’ metrics, Los Angeles ranks 31st in overall special teams and dead last in punts. Kaser, who had been the Chargers’ punter since 2016, ranks 31st in net punting average. Because he’s not a vested veteran, Kaser will hit the waiver wire, but it seems unlikely he’ll be claimed given his struggles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Fitzpatrick, Romo, Chargers

Let’s take a look at some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up the weekend…

  • After having thrown nine interceptions over the past two weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have a turnover on Sunday. However, the Jets lost again, dropping their record to 1-4. Fortunately for the veteran, coach Todd Bowles said he isn’t planning on making a change at quarterback. However, as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com notes, the coach did acknowledge that he’ll “examine everything.”
  • Chargers coach Mike McCoy was facing a “critical two-game stretch” entering this weekend, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. A firing doesn’t appear to be imminent following his team’s loss to the Raiders, but a bad showing on Thursday could spell the end of McCoy’s tenure in San Diego. Rapoport adds that some within the organization thought “a change would be made” following last week’s loss to the Saints.
  • It was a tough day for Chargers rookie punter Drew Kaser. His lone punt traveled only 16 yards, and he later fumbled the ball on a potential game-tying field goal. McCoy was non-committal when discussing the position after the game. “We’ll talk about that later on,” he said (via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune on Twitter).
  • Cowboys owners Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo will get an MRI on Monday to check on the status of his back injury, according to David Helman of DallasCowboys.com (via Twitter). Jones was also emphatic that Romo remains the team’s top quarterback, even after rookie Dak Prescott‘s hot start.