We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here, with any updates moving to the top of the list:
After missing two meetings and subsequently being waived, former Saints linebacker Khairi Fortt is going to be evaluated for the sleep problems that he suspects he has, according to Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Advocate (via Twitter). Is it too late for Geno Smith to change excuses? Here’s tonight’s look at the NFC South..
- Panthers coach Ron Rivera isn’t sweating a new contract for quarterback Cam Newton, saying everything will come in due time, tweets Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer. Rivera also referred to Newton as the team’s “franchise quarterback.”
- The Panthers worked out Harvey Unga, Doug Worthington, Michael Brooks, Richard Clebert, Justice Cunningham, and Maurice Hagens, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
- Safeties Anderson Russell and Bacarri Rambo worked out for the Buccaneers, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Rambo has been busy lately, working out for the Colts, Giants, Bears, and other teams.
- The Saints worked out Edgar Jones, Lawrence Sidbury, Kellen Davis, Moise Fokou, and Paul Hazel this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). Tight end Tom Crabtree also auditioned for New Orleans and was quickly signed.
3:40pm: The Browns have confirmed that they’ve waived Pinkston, and also cut three other players, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). Wide receiver Chandler Jones and tight end James Oboh will have to pass through waivers, while veteran linebacker Edgar Jones has been released and will immediately become a free agent.
3:11pm: Browns offensive lineman Jason Pinkston appears likely to retire due to ongoing health issues, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Facebook link). After having spent the last week and a half battling blood clots in his lungs, Pinkston reached a settlement with the team today and will be waived, says Schefter.
“More than likely I’ll have to retire,” Pinkston said in a text message to Schefter. “The Browns were great working with me and I would love to thank GM Ray Farmer and owner Jimmy Haslam for my opportunity here in Cleveland. It’s been an honor to be apart of the organization and city.”
Pinkston, a fifth-round pick in 2011, played 25 games in his three seasons with the Browns, starting 24 of those contests, including all 16 in his rookie season. He was limited to just nine games in the last two years due to a variety of health issues, including a high ankle sprain, a concussion, and a previous battle with blood clots.
Once Cleveland officially parts ways with Pinkston, the team will have an open spot on its 90-man roster to add another player.
2:28pm: In addition to Westerman, the Browns have also struck an agreement to sign linebacker Edgar Jones, according to agent Marc Lillibridge of Pro Football Syndicate (via Twitter). Although he played 74 defensive snaps last season in Dallas, Jones has played primarily on special teams during his seven-year career with the Ravens, Chiefs, and Cowboys.
Westerman, 29, spent his first three seasons with the Jets, but has bounced around among several teams in the last two years. The Rutgers product appeared in a handful of games for the Colts and Cardinals in 2012, then played for the Bills and Steelers last season. In 12 contests for Buffalo, Westerman contributed on defense and special teams, logging nine tackles and splitting a sack.
No roster move is necessary to make room for Westerman, since the team already has multiple open roster spots, but the Browns are cutting running back Jourdan Brooks and wideout Kenny Shaw anyway, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The series of moves will leave the club with 87 players on its 90-man roster, so more signings figure to follow at some point.
When Colin Kaepernick‘s new contract extension was announced, the 49ers signal-caller suggested that he inked a team-friendly contract in part because he hoped it would help San Francisco lock up some of its other key players. But the fact that Kaepernick accepted such a modest guarantee could complicate matters for the Niners when it comes to extending players like Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati, says Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
As Maiocco writes, the Niners aren’t in the business of handing out huge guarantees to outside free agents or their own players, so Crabtree and Iupati may have to make some concessions if they want to remain in San Francisco. Both players could potentially earn a larger guarantee on the open market than the Niners will be willing to pay.
Let’s round up several more Monday odds and ends from around the NFL….
- Veteran edge defender Edgar Jones worked out for the Browns today, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Jones, who has played for the Ravens, Chiefs, and Cowboys, has appeared in 64 regular season contests, but has never started a game or played a significant defensive role.
- The new Browns’ decision-makers, led by GM Ray Farmer, have made about 40 player transactions since taking control of roster decisions in February, so Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com decides to take stock of the additions and subtractions made by the club.
- There hasn’t really been a market set for second-tier quarterbacks, so the Bengals and Chiefs will have tough decisions ahead of them as they decide what to do with Andy Dalton and Alex Smith, respectively. Albert Breer of the NFL Network takes a look at the limited options for the two clubs, proposing one “radical” alternative to signing their QBs to lucrative extensions.
- Given the lack of reliable veteran options on the Panthers’ wide receiving corps, there could be an opening or two for an unheralded player to earn a roster spot. One such player may be Wofford’s Brenton Bersin, who has earned some praise from head coach Ron Rivera, as David Newton of ESPN.com details.
- After signing with the Rams as a free agent this offseason, wide receiver Kenny Britt is enjoying his fresh start in St. Louis, writes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Following DeSean Jackson‘s latest allegations against agent Drew Rosenhaus, the NFLPA issued a memo to all agents vowing to double the penalties for any infractions, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said yesterday that a decision needs to be made on DeMarcus Ware, he took it a bit further on today’s SportsCenter. As Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes, Jones is certainly not guaranteeing that Ware will return:
“There’s no question when you are where we are on the cap… and you have a defensive player that’s your highest paid defensive player, and he hasn’t been on the field much the last two years, that has to be considered,” Jones said. “You can’t have it all.”
As the Cowboys figure out what to do with Ware and his huge cap hit, let’s see what else is happening around the NFC East…
- Danny McCray, Edgar Jones and Ernie Sims are the Cowboys most likely to return, believes Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.
- The offensive line remains the Giants‘ top offseason priority, says Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. Vacchiano does point out general manager Jerry Reese‘s belief that “you start in-house” at the position.
- OverTheCap.com breaks down DeAngelo Hall‘s new contract, which will have a cap number north of $5MM in 2016.