Here is Wednesday’s latest from the workout circuit:
San Francisco 49ers
Here are today’s minor moves, which feature a few recognizable names:
- Signed: WR/RS Jaydon Mickens, G Norman Price, DL Bijhon Jackson
- Waived: RB Elijah Hood, G Ian Silberman, DT Elijah Qualls
- Signed: QB Taryn Christion
Kansas City Chiefs
- Released: TE Neal Sterling
Los Angeles Chargers
- Signed: RB Derrick Gore
- Waived: LB Jayrone Elliott
New York Giants
- Claimed: WR Da’Mari Scott
- Released: CB Tony Lippett
- Signed: TE Isaiah Searight
- Waived: TE Eric Dungey
New York Jets
- Signed: TE Temuchin Hodges (formerly known as Bucky Hodges)
San Francisco 49ers
- Signed: DL Damontre Moore
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott managed to escape a suspension for a potentially troublesome incident in May, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests that if Elliott should even come close to violating the league’s personal conduct policy again, the punishment will be severe. Commissioner Roger Goodell gave everyone in the league office this week off, so Florio believes the only reason for Goodell to summon Elliott to league headquarters on Tuesday was to sufficiently scare him into staying on the straight and narrow. Goodell has been less harsh with players who run afoul of league policies in recent history, but if Elliott should put another toe out of line in the future, the commissioner will likely hand out a lengthy ban, and his decision to not suspend Elliott this time will help to justify such a measure.
Now for more the league’s east divisions:
- There do not seem to be any starting jobs up for grabs along the Giants‘ defensive line, even though the presumptive starters are young and mostly unproven. However, with that youth comes a great deal of potential, and one of the keys to Big Blue’s immediate prospects is the realization of that potential. Third-year player Dalvin Tomlinson, second-year talent B.J. Hill, and rookie Dexter Lawrence are expected to open the season atop the Giants’ D-line depth chart, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, and the addition of Lawrence allows Tomlinson to slide into a traditional nose tackle spot, to which he is better-suited.
- In a separate 2019 positional preview piece, Schwartz examines the Giants‘ tight end group, which is headed by Evan Engram. Engram had a disappointing start to 2018, his second professional season, but when Odell Beckham missed the final four games of the season, Engram excelled and finished with some positive momentum. Now that OBJ is in Cleveland, New York will need Engram to show more of the same in a crucial year for his development. The club’s second TE, Rhett Ellison, is a favorite of HC Pat Shurmur, while returnee Scott Simonson will have to hold off C.J. Conrad — a UDFA who impressed this spring — and former Syracuse QB Eric Dungey, another UDFA who is trying to make the club as a TE/gadget player.
- Vic Carucci of BNBlitz.com says it’s possible that Bills GM Brandon Beane and LeSean McCoy have adamantly pushed the notion that McCoy will be the team’s starter in 2019 in order to generate some trade interest. After all, the club does have a large stable of RBs, and McCoy, a 2020 free agent, appears to be nearing the end of his career. But Carucci says he has heard nothing to indicate that Buffalo is seeking to trade McCoy.
- In the same piece, Carucci says he believes Levi Wallace will start for the Bills at cornerback opposite TreDavious White.
- In case you missed it, we heard this morning that Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory will be applying for reinstatement shortly.
- Also from this morning: the Giants may deploy safety Jabrill Peppers as their primary punt returner.
Prior to the Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones, the Bills were engaged in talks to move down from their No. 9 spot. In a must-watch piece for Bills fans and draft buffs, Brandon Beane allowed partial access to his team’s draft room (video link). Buffalo scrapped talks to trade down once New York selected Jones, with Beane zeroing in on Ed Oliver shortly after. It appeared the Bills, despite taking Dawson Knox in Round 3, did not have interest in T.J. Hockenson, the Lions’ selection at No. 8. Applause occurred after Detroit left Oliver on the board.
The Bills also offered an undisclosed team picking in the 20s, which initiated the talks, picks 40, 131 and 147. (Beane said multiple teams contacted him to inquire if the Bills wanted to move back into Round 1.) But said team did not believe that was enough to move out of the round. This move was likely for Cody Ford. The Bills attempted to trade up higher than they did in order to land Ford in the second round, with members of their draft room showing relief the Panthers — whom Bills execs assumed were taking the Oklahoma lineman — before striking a deal with the Raiders for No. 38. The Bills also rebuffed a Bears offer to move out of No. 74, which ended up sending running back Devin Singletary to Buffalo.
Moving to an NFCer’s defensive line situation, here is the latest from the East divisions:
- The Eagles released Timmy Jernigan but brought him back at what turned out to be a substantial discount. After signing a four-year, $48MM extension late in 2017, Jernigan had to settle for a one-year, $1.25MM deal, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. This comes with $1MM guaranteed, including a $250K signing bonus. Another $750K is available in incentives, per Frank. Jernigan now enters what will be a significant season for his career trajectory. A full-time starter for the Super Bowl champion Eagles edition, Jernigan will only be 27 by the time free agency opens in 2020.
- Currently at the Vikings‘ rookie camp, Sean McGuire appears to have another suitor in the event Minnesota does not sign him. The Dolphins are interested in adding the Western Illinois quarterback prospect, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). The Dolphins want to add a quarterback before their rookie camp begins May 10, Jackson continues. Miami now has Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Lions backup Jake Rudock on its roster. The Dolphins cut Luke Falk earlier this week. McGuire would seemingly compete for a third-string job or practice squad slot in Miami.
- The Dolphins are likely to turn to the veteran offensive line market as well, Jackson writes, adding only four players — Laremy Tunsil, Daniel Kilgore, fellow starter Jesse Davis and third-round pick Michael Deiter — are true locks to make the roster. Although Jackson adds sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince and UFA signing Chris Reed will likely make the team as well, he notes the team appears ready to explore some additional help. Jared Veldheer, Donald Penn, Jermey Parnell, Mike Remmers, Andy Levitre and Stefen Wisniewski are some of the notable vets available.
- Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine did not show for their rookie minicamp this weekend. The team wants the recent gunshot victim to stay in Kansas and be with family, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The Washburn-developed cornerback is expected to make a full recovery and attempt to make Big Blue’s 53-man roster — one without many surefire answers at corner.
- Former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is officially listed on the Giants’ roster as a quarterback/tight end, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Dungey was a dual-threat player for the Orange, finishing his career with 1,993 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns.
The Giants announced that they have signed the following undrafted free agents in advance of tomorrow’s rookie minicamp:
- Paul Adams, OT (Missouri)
- Jake Carlock, DB (LIU Post)
- C.J. Conrad, TE (Kentucky)
- Eric Dungey, QB (Syracuse)
- Jeremiah Harris, DE (Eastern Michigan)
- Nate Harvey, DE (East Carolina)
- Jon Hilliman, RB (Rutgers)
- Mark McLaurin, DB (Mississippi State) ($20K guaranteed base salary and $10K signing bonus, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter)
- James O’Hagan, C (Buffalo)
- Josiah Tauaefa, LB (UTSA) ($95K guaranteed base salary and $15K signing bonus, per Wilson on Twitter)
- Jacob Thieneman, DB (Purdue)
- Alex Wesley, WR (Northern Colorado)
- Reggie White Jr., WR (Monmouth)
Cue the quarterback controversy, as Dungey could be coming for Daniel Jones‘ job. Well, probably not, but Dungey was in high demand after the draft was over, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. Dungey had offers from about five clubs, but a telephone call between the former Orange signal-caller and New York head coach Pat Shurmur helped seal the deal. Dungey could theoretically stick as the third QB if Big Blue goes in that direction, and his athleticism will certainly help his case for a roster spot, as he could contribute on special teams and/or as a gadget player. Dungey passed for 9,340 yards with 58 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in his four seasons at Syracuse, but he also rushed for 1,993 yards and 35 touchdowns.
The Giants addressed their flagging pass rush to some degree in the draft by selecting Old Dominion defensive end Oshane Ximines in the third round, and they may have uncovered a gem in Harvey, a converted running back. Harvey had 14.5 sacks last year and was named the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year.
As evidenced by the large amount of guaranteed money they’re giving him, the Giants think highly of Tauaefa, a tackling machine who is capable of making plays behind the line of scrimmage and who posted over 100 tackles in two of his three collegiate seasons. And after adding three DBs in the draft, Big Blue added three more via UDFA signings, further underscoring its commitment to improving its defensive backfield.