Dustin Vaughan

Ravens Sign QB Thad Lewis

The Ravens announced that they have signed free agent quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. To make room, fellow QB Dustin Vaughan has been shown the door. Thad Lewis (vertical)

Vaughan was hoping to make the cut as a third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and primary backup Ryan Mallett. But, given Flacco’s back injury and Mallett’s struggles in practice, the Ravens are taking an especially look at their reserves. Vaughan apparently didn’t do enough to practice to assert his spot, prompting the team to look elsewhere.

Lewis, 32, signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last year, but a torn ACL ended his season before it could begin. The good news is that Lewis was medically cleared in May and he was able to hit the workout circuit starting in late July. An audition for the Rams did not yield a deal, but the Ravens apparently believe that he is 100% healthy and ready to contribute. It seems likely that the Ravens will allow Lewis to compete with Mallett for the QB2 role, though it could be challenging for him with only a few weeks to go before the start of the season.

The signing of Lewis may not sit well with those around football who were hoping the Ravens would sign Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is coming off of a decent season in which he spearheaded a less-than-decent offense. Lewis, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the field since 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Read more

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/27/16

Tuesday’s practice squad changes:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: DE Martin Ifedi, TE Darion Griswold

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: QB Dustin Vaughan

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: WR Antwan Goodley
  • Placed on P-Squad IR: TE Devon Cajuste

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: WR Brandon Shippen

New York Giants

  • Signed: QB Keith Wenning, RB Jacob Huesman, S Ryan Murphy

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: TE Eric Williams (Twitter links via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times)
  • Placed on P-Squad IR: LB Kache Palacio

Workout Notes: Pack, Vikes, Chiefs, Giants

In addition to the previously reported Joique Bell, the running back-needy Packers worked out fellow rushers James Wilder Jr. and Brandon Wegher on Tuesday, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Defensive end Arthur Miley and defensive back Brandon Dixon also tried out.

More of the latest workouts (courtesy of Howard Balzer, unless otherwise noted):

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/16

To cap off a transaction-packed Friday, here are the latest minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Steelers released former Virginia Tech offensive lineman Wade Hansen, agent Brett Tessler tweets, and waived quarterback Dustin Vaughan with an injury settlement (Twitter link via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).
  • The Colts waived defensive back D’Joun Smith with an injury designation, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Smith was a third-round pick in 2015.
  • The Lions cut center Gabe Ikard, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Jets waived safety Dion Bailey off IR with an injury settlement, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Cowboys are releasing linebacker Derek Akunne, according to his agent David Canter (on Twitter). They’ve also waived defensive ends Gerald Dixon and Shaneil Jenkins off IR with injury settlements, Caplan tweets.
  • The Saints waived linebacker Dillon Lee, as Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets.
  • The Falcons will work out an injury settlement with fullback Will Ratelle, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Buccaneers reached an injury settlement with receiver Donteea Dye, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • The Seahawks signed long snapper Tyler Ott, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).

Steelers Trim Roster To 79

The Steelers have placed rookie OT Jerald Hawkins on the reserved/injured list and have waived/injured quarterback Dustin Vaughan, as Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Per Fittipaldo, the club has also cut the following players:

  • LB Jordan Zumwalt
  • LB Mike Reilly
  • WR Levi Norwood
  • WR Isaac Blakeney
  • TE Michael Cooper
  • DE Giorgio Newberry
  • DT K.K. Mosley-Smith
  • CB Julian Whigham

Zumwalt, the Steelers‘ sixth-round pick in 2014, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons on injured reserve with a hip injury, and the hip surgery that ended his 2015 campaign before it started took over five hours to complete and included a brutal recovery/rehabilitation period. Zumwalt had been working exclusively at inside linebacker in offseason workouts, but he did not do enough to survive the first round of cuts.

The Steelers now have79 players on their roster and must get down to 75 by Tuesday at 4pm.

Steelers Notes: Bell, Green, Jones, Vaughan

The Steelers don’t have many reasons to trust Le’Veon Bell at the moment, argues Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, and it’s possible that sentiment infects contract talks with the pending free agent. Earlier this week, Bell saw his suspension reduced from four games to three, but that doesn’t excuse the missed drug tests, DUI, and marijuana busts, as Fowler writes, adding that Pittsburgh “probably won’t know what to expect from him off the field until he proves it over time.” On the flip side, the Steelers laud Bell for his work ethic and his interactions with fans, so he’s clearly not a character problem in the traditional sense of the term. How exactly Pittsburgh views Bell and his off-field questions could affect his future with the club and any negotiations the two sides might have over the next seven months or so.

More from the Steel City:

NFL Workouts/Visits: 1/8/16

As teams look ahead to formulating their offseason rosters, they’ve begun to bring in free agents for both workouts and visits. Let’s look at the latest:

Workouts

Chargers (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

  • Freddie Bishop, DL
  • Euclid Cummings, DE
  • Cleyon Laing, DL

Chiefs (Twitter link via Wilson)

Jaguars (Twitter link via Wilson)

Ravens (Twitter link via Wilson)

Steelers (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Freddie Bishop, DL
  • Dexter McCoil, LB
  • Eric Rogers, WR
  • Dustin Vaughan, QB

Washington (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Cleyon Laing, DL
  • Eric Rogers, WR

Visits

Cardinals (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Toby Johnson, DT (prior to signing with Vikings’ practice squad)

Chiefs (Twitter links via Wilson)

Giants (Twitter link via Wilson)

Steelers (Twitter link via Wilson)

Workout Notes: 12/30/15

Here are Wednesday’s workouts from around the NFL:

  • The Jets worked out defensive lineman Devon Still, receivers Marcus Thigpen and Eric Rogers, linebacker Willie Jefferson and defensive end/LB Tristan Okpalaugo (Twitter links via ESPN’s Rich Cimini).
  • The Cardinals tried out center Taylor Boggs, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • The Bills worked out defensive end/linebacker Xzavier Dickson, Wilson tweeted. Dickson ended up joining Atlanta’s practice squad.
  • The Bengals worked out quarterback Mike Kafka and tight end John Peters, per Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The Browns tried out quarterback Dustin Vaughan, running back Timothy Flanders, receivers Eric Rogers, Ricky Collins and Levi Norwood, and safety Jordan Kovacs (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Quarterback Ryan Lindley, defensive linemen Warren Herring and Eze Obiora, and linebacker Ryan Mueller worked out for the Colts, according to Wilson (Twitter link). They signed Lindley afterward.
  • The Giants worked out linebackers Cole Farrand and Glenn Carson – the latter of whom they signed to their practice squad – quarterback Pete Thomas, safety Ty Zimmerman, punter Spencer Roth and kicker Quinn Sharp (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • The Steelers tried out two safeties, Ray Vinopal and Jake Hagen, and linebacker Marquis Spruill (via Wilson on Twitter).
  • The Chargers worked out receiver Jeff Fuller, defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and linebacker Dexter McCoil, Wilson tweeted.
  • The Titans worked out receiver Kenny Stafford, defensive end Freddie Bishop, defensive backs Aaron Grymes, Steven Clarke and Emanuel Davis, long snapper Dax Dellenbach and kicker Swayze Waters (Twitter link via Wilson).