E.J. Gaines

NFL Workout Updates: 11/4/19

Today’s notes from around the workout circuit:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Oakland Raiders

Colts Workout CBs Kayvon Webster, E.J. Gaines

The Colts are apparently thinking about bringing in an experienced cornerback. Indianapolis worked out veteran corners E.J. Gaines and Kayvon Webster, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM (Twitter link).

Starting cornerback Pierre Desir has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, so perhaps that is why they’re looking for reinforcements. Wesbter entered the league as a third-round pick of the Broncos back in 2013, and he won Super Bowl 50 with the team. He signed with the Rams in 2017 and was a starter for them before tearing his Achilles late in the season. After recovering he signed with the Texans last year, but barely played due to more injuries.

Webster latched on with the Saints earlier this year but was released at final cuts, as all the injuries appear to have sapped some of the 28-year-old’s effectiveness. He’s received a little bit of interest, and just worked out for New Orleans again a couple of weeks ago. Gaines is another player who used to be highly thought of before injuries derailed his career. Gaines was traded from the Rams to the Bills in the Sammy Watkins trade, and ended up starting all 11 games that he appeared in for Buffalo in 2017.

After multiple concussions landed him on injured reserve during his time with the Browns last year, he re-signed with the Bills this past offseason. He was cut in camp after going down with a core muscle injury. He’s been making the workout rounds recently, and we just heard a couple of weeks ago that he was now fully healthy after meeting with the Texans.

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New York Notes: Bell, Jets, Williams, Giants

On what turned out to be a slow deadline day, the Jets’ negotiations involving Jamal Adams turned out to be the top story. But more came out of New York this week. Here is the latest on the Jets and Giants, beginning with a key Jet that was not dealt:

  • Douglas says he did not shop Le’Veon Bell, but the first-year Jets GM did admit that he listened to offers for both stars (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post). The Jets were rumored to be shopping Anderson, and Adam Schefter of ESPN said during a Tuesday TV appearance the team was asking for a second-round for the contract-year wideout. Both Bell and Anderson are set to finish the season with the Jets.
  • The Jets‘ trade talks with the Giants started weeks ago, Douglas says (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). Remarkably, they managed to keep the rumors away from the New York tabloids before they pulled the trigger on the historic deal that sent Leonard Williams to the G-Men.
  • The Giants will obviously try to lock up Williams beyond his current deal, but no one can really agree on his value, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes. Some have speculated that Williams could land ~$100MM based on his age and potential. Others, meanwhile, think he’s looking at something closer to a deal worth $10-$12MM on an average annual basis. When and if a deal gets done, it could very well land in the middle, Vacchiano hears from execs, with a five-year, $75MM deal with about $20MM guaranteed.
  • Moving back to non-trade business, the Jets worked out a few notable veterans on Tuesday. Cornerbacks Trevor Williams and E.J. Gaines auditioned for Gang Green, with Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio noting (via Twitter) linebacker Ramik Wilson did as well. Williams has been with both the Cardinals and Chargers this year, while the Bills released Gaines via August injury settlement. A member of the Rams’ 2018 NFC champion squad, Wilson spent time with the Jaguars and Cards this year.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/22/19

Here is Tuesday’s summary from the workout circuit:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Texans Meet With E.J. Gaines

The Texans will meet with cornerback E.J. Gaines on Tuesday afternoon, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Gaines, who has 38 starts to his credit, is finally healthy and ready to play. 

[RELATED: Texans Acquire Conley From Raiders]

Gaines returned to the Bills for a second stint in March with a one-year, $2.1MM deal, but his Buffalo return didn’t work out. In August, they were forced to place him on IR with a groin injury.

He started 11 games with the 2017 Bills and was a first-stringer in the team’s wild-card game. Gaines signed with the Browns last season but only played in six games, landing on IR there as well. For his career, the 27-year-old has made 38 career starts. The majority of those starts (25) came with the Rams.

The Texans just recently bolstered their CB group by trading a third-round choice to the Raiders for Gareon Conley. Conley is there to help fill the void left by Bradley Roby and Phillip Gaines’ injuries. The team may also be in store for and a lengthy Johnathan Joseph absence, so a vet like E.J. Gaines would be valuable.

Worth noting: The Texans also showed interest in Gaines during the 2018 offseason, before he signed with the Browns.

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Bills, E.J. Gaines Reach Injury Settlement

E.J. Gaines landed on the Bills’ IR list earlier this month, but the cornerback will nevertheless have a path to playing time this season. The Bills reached an injury settlement with the veteran corner to remove him from their IR list, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Bills placed Gaines on IR due to a groin injury on August 10; they signed Captain Munnerlyn to effectively replace him on the roster. Once Gaines heals up, he will have a chance to sign elsewhere and play in 2019.

This was Gaines’ second Bills contract. He started 11 games with the 2017 Bills and was a first-stringer in the team’s wild-card game. Gaines signed with the Browns last season but only played in six games, landing on IR in early November. The Bills signed him to a one-year, $2.1MM deal (with $250K guaranteed) in late March.

Should the former sixth-round pick suit up in 2019, this will be his age-27 season. Gaines has made 38 career starts, 25 of those coming for the Rams.

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Bills Place CB E.J. Gaines On IR

Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines has been placed on injured reserve due to a groin injury, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets

Gaines sustained the injury in practice and was expected to miss a few weeks initially. Following the IR designation, he will now not be eligible to return until after Week 8.

A sixth-round selection by the Rams in 2014, Gaines spent two seasons with the team before being dealt to the Bills in 2017 in the same deal that sent Sammy Watkins the other way. He played one season with the Bills before signing a one-year deal with the Browns for 2018. Following an injury-shortened campaign, the cornerback returned to the Bills for 2019 on a one-year, $3.6MM contract.

Plagued by injuries in recent years, Gaines is coming off his one season with the Browns in which he appeared in six games, including two starts, but was lost for the season after suffering two concussions in a month’s time.

After placing Gaines on IR, the Bills brought in veteran cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who is familiar with head coach Sean McDermott from their time with the Panthers.

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Bills To Sign CB E.J. Gaines

E.J. Gaines is returning to the Bills. The cornerback has agreed to a new one-year, $3.6MM deal with Buffalo, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). 

Gaines joined the Browns on a one-year, $4MM deal last year, but spent the 2017 season with the Bills after coming over in the Sammy Watkins trade with the Rams. In that season, he finished out as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 12 ranked cornerback and placed ninth in Football Outsiders’ success rate, though injuries limited him to just eleven games.

Last year, the injury bug bit Gaines once again. He appeared in only six games for the Browns (two starts), so he’s eager to re-assert himself.

The Bills’ cornerback room is starting to shape up with quality starters in Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace and support from Gaines and fellow new addition Kevin Johnson.

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Browns Place Kirksey, Gaines On IR

The Browns placed linebacker Christian Kirksey (hamstring) and defensive back E.J. Gaines (concussion) on injured reserve, according to a team announcement. Both players were forced out during the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs and those injuries have ended their seasons prematurely. 

Kirksey, a fifth-year veteran and team captain, started all seven of his games for the Browns this year. In that time, he racked up 29 tackles, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Kirksey averaged 90 tackles and three sacks between 2016 and 2017, so those numbers were off of his usual pace. According to Pro Football Focus, it has been a subpar 2018 for Kirksey, who currently ranks as one of the ten worst qualified LBs in the league. Still, losing Kirksey is a blow to the Browns D.

The Browns are hoping to get Joe Schobert back on the field soon and his return should take some of the sting out out of losing Kirksey. Schobert has been held out of the last three games with a hamstring ailment of his own.

Gaines joined the Browns on a one-year, $4MM deal in the offseason. Unfortunately, he’s done for the year after suffering his second concussion of the season. Gaines started in two of his six games and snagged his lone interception of the year against the Raiders in September.

To fill one of the vacated roster spots, the Browns have signed defensive back Juston Burris off the Jets’ practice squad.

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Browns To Sign CB E.J. Gaines

The Browns have reached an agreement with free agent cornerback E.J. Gaines, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal worth $4MM, while an additional $1MM is available via incentives, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com first reported Cleveland was nearing a deal with Gaines.

After ranking 27th in pass defense DVOA in 2017, Cleveland has overhauled its secondary this offseason. Not only did the Browns trade veteran Jason McCourty to the Patriots in exchange for pennies, but they’ve also signed free agents T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell to multi-year deals. With Gaines in tow, Cleveland will now have a bit of depth in a defensive backfield that also includes Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

Heading into free agency, PFR ranked Gaines as the fourth-best cornerback on the market and the No. 18 free agent overall. While other corners such as Trumaine Johnson, Malcolm Butler, and Aaron Colvin quickly flew off the board, Gaines’ market took longer to develop. He wasn’t exactly wanting for interest, though, as the Jets, Cardinals, and Texans all expressed some level of intrigue in Gaines.

Gaines, 26, appeared in 11 games for the Bills a season ago after being traded as part of the Sammy Watkins deal. During that time, Gaines ranked 12th in Pro Football Focus’ cornerback grades and ninth in Football Outsiders’ success rate. A former sixth-round pick, Gaines has started 37 total games and posted three interceptions during his four-year NFL career.

With Gaines off the market, the free agent cornerback class is now comprised of options such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Bashaud Breeland, Delvin Breaux, Dontae Johnson, and Jeremy Lane.

[RELATED: Browns Depth Chart]

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