The Ravens asked Russell Shepard to work out alongside Dez Bryant and others this week, but he turned down their invite (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Instead, the wide receiver is “set to walk away and is not planning to play in 2020.”
Shepard, it seems, is ready to move on from football altogether. The 30-year-old spent the first five years of his career in the NFC South, playing for the Bucs and Panthers before inking a one-year deal with the Giants in 2018. The former undrafted free agent was always more of a special teams player than an offensive force. Statistically, his best season came in 2016 when he set career highs in catches (23) and yards (341). His first season in New York/New Jersey wasn’t much different – he notched just ten grabs for 188 yards and two scores. Last year, he landed on IR after just three games.
Less than a week after the Bengals cut Preston Brown, the veteran linebacker has a new team. The Raiders will sign Brown, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. It’s a one-year deal for Brown, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
To make room on their roster, the Raiders will place return man Dwayne Harris on IR, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (on Twitter). Harris has missed most of this season, playing only three games. The former Cowboys and Giants specialist has missed the past three Oakland games with an ankle injury.
A sixth-year vet, Brown has started 77 of the 80 games in which he’s played in the NFL. He started 15 games for the Bengals over the past two years. Although Brown spent time in Cincinnati, his and Raiders DC Paul Guenther‘s Bengals tenures did not overlap. Another opportunity will nonetheless emerge for Brown, a third-round pick in 2014.
The Bengals gave Brown one-year deals in 2018 and ’19, doing so after Brown spent most of his four-year Bills career as a starting inside linebacker. Coming after a Saturday workout, Brown’s agreement continues the Raiders’ investments in veteran off-ball ‘backers. They have signed Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall (twice) and Will Compton this year. Compton has played just 17 defensive snaps this season; the Raiders have primarily used Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow at linebacker since Burfict’s suspension.
Oakland added Harris last year, which ended up including an unusual 99-yard punt-return touchdown against Denver. This will end his age-32 season.
Mychal Kendricks, LB (Seahawks): One year, $4.5MM. $2MM base salary. $250K training camp bonus. $250K bonus for being on Seattle’s 53-man roster in Week 1. $1MM in incentives (playing time, sacks), Wilson tweets.
The Raiders have re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris, per a team announcement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Harris hooked on with the Raiders in April of 2018 following his release from the Giants. With the Raiders, he occupied a similar role as the one he filled with the Giants. Last year, Harris averaged 14.1 yards per punt return and even took a 99-yard return all the way to the house against the Broncos. He also averaged 22.9 yards per kickoff return.
Harris will turn 32 in September, and speed tends to go in the later years, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down (Also, the Raiders have no reservations when it comes to aging vets).