Elandon Roberts

Dolphins To Sign Elandon Roberts

The Dolphins have agreed to sign former Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, according to a source who spoke with Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Before this, Roberts spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Patriots. He’s appeared in 60 games for them and started in more than half of those contests. Last year, however, he was only called upon for three starts.

Playing mostly as an inside linebacker, Roberts has tallied 206 total stops since 2016. The former sixth-round pick is just the latest Patriots player to leave in free agency this week. The list, which figures to grow, already includes:

AFC East Notes: Pats, Gostkowski, Jets, Bell

Mohamed Sanu joined the Patriots in late October, but the veteran receiver believed he was going to land with the organization much earlier. As Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes, the Rutgers product expected to be drafted by New England during the 2012 draft, and he later opted for a lucrative payday from the Falcons when he hit free agency in 2016. Now, during his ninth year in the NFL, he’s finally on the Patriots.

“The draft, free agency, and now it happened – it’s kind of been like a long time coming, like it was almost meant to happen,” Sanu told Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

The 30-year-old also discussed his chances of sticking with New England for his entire career.

“That’d be cool,” Sanu said. “You never know. I just go where everything falls, take it day by day. Whatever happens, happens. I do my part, do my best, be a great teammate and do my part, whenever I can to help this team win…Now that I’m here, it’s time to go to work. I’m very excited.”

Sanu had a standout game for the Patriots during last night’s loss, hauling in 10 receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown.

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski underwent successful hip surgery and was back at the team’s facilities last week. Meanwhile, it was revealed that third-round offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste will likely miss the entire season as he recovers from quadriceps surgery. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Reiss) that the rookie would likely have a redshirt season: “That’s probably a pretty good way of approaching or saying it. He’s probably not ready to do anything and probably won’t be until next year. That’s the way I see it.”
  • Elandon Roberts has had to fill in at fullback for the Patriots following injuries to James Develin and Jakob Johnson. However, the linebacker isn’t planning on making a permanent position change; Reiss writes that Roberts is still a “full-time participant in defensive and linebacker meetings.” While the 25-year-old indicated that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win, he views the fullback position as an “extra” priority.
  • Jets running back Le’Veon Bell is set to undergo an MRI on his injured knee, coach Adam Gase told reporters (via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano on Twitter). The coach also acknowledged that he’s uncertain when the veteran suffered the injury, as Bell only reveled the ailment this morning.
  • While Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts has love for “the loyal fans,” he wasn’t too happy with those who criticized the team following their loss to the Dolphins yesterday. You can check out the Instagram rant for yourself thanks to Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post.

Patriots Notes: Andrews, Thomas, Harris, Roberts

We learned earlier this evening that Patriots center David Andrews was hospitalized due to blood clots in his lungs. Fortunately, there’s some good news on that front, as Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweets that the lineman has been released from the hospital.

Andrews is expected to miss a significant amount of time, with the initial report indicating that the lineman’s season is in jeopardy. This would be a significant loss to the Patriots’ line, as the 27-year-old has been the team’s primary center since 2015.

Some more notes out of New England…

  • Wideout Demaryius Thomas told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Reiss) that the Patriots were the only team to express interest in him this past offseason. After tearing his Achilles following a trade to the Texans, the 31-year-old ended up inking a one-year deal with New England this offseason. He finished last season with 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The Patriots waived both DE Keionta Davis and WR Maurice Harris this past weekend, and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the duo were cut with the injury designation. The two ended up clearing waivers are have now been placed on the injured reserve. Harris initially seemed like a lock to make the Patriots roster, but the team’s sudden receiver depth left him without a spot.
  • Rookie running back Damien Harris was injured during the Patriots preseason win on Thursday, and the team is apparently eyeing some reinforcement at the position. NESN.com’s Doug Kyed tweets that the team worked out former Washington State running back James Williams today. The undrafted free agent has already had stints with the Chiefs and Colts.
  • Reiss points to linebacker Elandon Roberts as a potential trade chip, noting that the fourth-year player has only played 14 defensive snaps this preseason. While the 25-year-old normally doesn’t cover kickoffs, the team may show him off for potential suitors during the team’s preseason finale. Reiss wonders if the Lions and former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be a fit.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Patriots Sign Eight UDFAs, Cut Joey Iosefa

The Patriots have officially confirmed six previously reported contract agreements with their 2016 draftees, and announced that they’ve locked up two more members of their draft class. Having now signed third-round defensive tackle Vincent Valentine and sixth-round linebacker Elandon Roberts, New England has now secured all of its draft picks except for third-round quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

The Patriots have also cut running back Joey Iosefa from their roster, so he’ll become a free agent if and when he passes through waivers. Iosefa spent time on the Pats’ practice squad last season and was promoted when the backfield was hit hard by injuries. He had 15 carries on the year, with 14 of them (for 51 yards) coming in Week 15 against the Titans.

Finally, the Patriots filled out their 90-man roster by adding eight undrafted free agents to the mix. The club signed the following UDFAs:

Draft Notes: S. Davis, J. Smith, K. Joseph

Maryland corner Sean Davis is attracting a ton of interest around the league, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, who writes that Davis has met or will meet with 16 clubs, including the Texans, Cowboys, Saints, Cardinals, Dolphins, Lions, Browns, Colts, Seahawks, Ravens, Washington, Raiders, 49ers, Steelers, Bengals, Bills, and Titans. Wilson also confirms previous reports that Davis has met with the Patriots and Ravens.

Let’s dive into the latest draft news…

  • Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has started running again, which is a good sign as he recovers from his ACL injury, tweets Gil Brandt of NFL.com. Smith, once a surefire top-15 pick, but with some clubs now reportedly worried about possible nerve damage, Smith could be in danger of tumbling down the board.
  • Like Smith, West Virginia safety Karl Joseph is also recovering from a torn ACL, and he won’t be able to run before the draft, per Brandt (Twitter link). But Joseph, who suffered his injury in early October, should be ready to go by training camp.
  • In a piece for the Houston Chronicle, Wilson reports that Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah was the highest-rated prospect to participate in the Texans‘ local prospect workout on Saturday morning. University of Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts was also in attendance, and has also met with the Steelers, per Wilson. The lengthy list of attendees is available via the link.
  • Georgia Southern safety Antonio Glover met with the Lions and Titans after his Wednesday pro day, and was scheduled to fly to Indianapolis to meet with the Colts, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
  • The Browns and Bears have spent a “significant amount of time” with Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil, who will also take a meeting with the Falcons, per Pauline. Vigil’s teammate, defensive tackle David Moala, met with the Browns and Chiefs.

Draft Updates: Nkemdiche, Broncos, Lasco

Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche is meeting with the Broncos today in Denver, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. After his meeting there, he’s off to the Cardinals for a visit. Teams are reportedly fearful of Nkemdiche’s off-the-field issues, but his talent should still keep him pretty high up on boards around the league.

Here’s the latest draft news:

  • Cal running back Daniel Lasco has received invites from the Texans, Raiders, and 49ers, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. Lasco has also had private workouts with the Patriots and Eagles and he’ll take part in the Texans’ local pro day since he’s from Houston (via Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee on Twitter). Lasco turned heads with his performance in 2014 but he was held back by a hip injury in 2015.
  • Former LSU corner Rashard Robinson is generating a ton of interest, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). Robinson visited the Broncos recently and the Jets and Seahawks are next on his docket. Robinson sat out 2015 after being suspended indefinitely by coach Les Miles. With no hope of getting back on the field for LSU in 2016, Robinson declared early for the draft.
  • Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts has (or has had) workouts with the Texans and Steelers, Getlin tweets. He also has a visit lined up with the Cardinals. Roberts led the FBS with 88 solo tackles last year.
  • Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard has visits and/or workouts on the books with the Lions, Jets, Titans, Seahawks, Raiders, Falcons, and Patriots, Getlin tweets.