Eric Kush

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/10/20

Here are the NFL’s recent practice squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Released: C Cohl Cabral

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Bears Place S Deon Bush On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Bears have placed safety Deon Bush on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team announcement. According to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com, Bush did not test positive for the coronavirus, but he is considered a close contact with someone who did test positive while he was away from the team (Twitter link).

This is notable because Bush flew with his teammates to Tennessee for this week’s game against the Titans before he learned that the person he was in contact with tested positive, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. Luckily, COVID-19 tests across the league came back negative this morning, but given the virus’ incubation period, the Bears might not be out of the woods just yet.

Indeed, OL Lachavious Simmons did recently test positive and has joined Bush on the reserve/COVID-19 list. OL Aaron Neary has been summoned from the practice squad to take Simmons’ place on the active roster.

Chicago selected Bush in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He has started only two games since his rookie season and has seen limited defensive snaps, but he has been a key special teams contributor. Simmons, a seventh-round rookie, just got promoted from the taxi squad earlier this week.

In other Bears news, the club is expected to sign veteran offensive lineman Eric Kush, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Kush has a visit lined up this week, and assuming he clears COVID-19 protocols and passes a physical, he will join the team. He started four games for the Bears in 2016 and seven contests in 2018.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/20

Here are Sunday’s minor moves. The players who landed on injured reserve are eligible to come off teams’ respective lists after three weeks. For 2020, teams can also activate an unlimited number of IR players — as opposed to the two-man max of 2019.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Claimed (from Washington): T Timon Paris

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Claimed (from Dolphins): G Deion Calhoun
  • Signed: CB Torry McTyer

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Raiders Sign OL Eric Kush

Eric Kush is joining the eighth team of his career. The veteran offensive lineman is joining the Raiders, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

After inking a two-year deal with the Browns last offseason, Kush was cut by the team this past February. During his lone season in Cleveland, the 30-year-old appeared in a career-high 16 games, including seven starts.

Kush was with the Bears between the 2016 and 2018 seasons, including a 2017 campaign that was wiped out by a torn hamstring. The lineman has also spent time with the Rams, Texans, Panthers, Buccaneers, and Chiefs.

Browns Release Carrie, Harris, Kush

The Browns are in the midst of some serious spring cleaning. On Monday, the Browns announced that they’ve cut cornerback T.J. Carrie, tight end Demetrius Harris, and guard Eric Kush, in addition to the previously reported release of linebacker Adarius Taylor.

In total, the moves will open up more than $13MM in cap room for the Browns with less than $4MM in dead money left over. It’s yet another signal that the club is committed to a significant roster haul under the guidance of new head coach Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry. All four released players were brought on board by former GM John Dorsey.

Carrie joined the Browns on a four-year deal in 2018 after turning in a strong contract year as the Raiders’ slot cornerback. Over the past two seasons, he’s appeared in every possible game and started in 14 of those contests. Last year, he notched 52 tackles and one interception, but he was unable to get into a rhythm and his coverage was nowhere near his best work in Oakland.

Harris, too, will see his contract terminated at the midway point. In his lone Browns season, he had 15 grabs for 149 yards and three scores. On the line, Kush had a perfect attendance record and started seven times, but the advanced metrics painted him as one of the worst qualified interior linemen in the NFL.

While those four players will be let go, much of the Browns’ core will remain in tact. At his introductory presser, Berry indicated that Odell Beckham Jr. will probably not be traded, despite all of the speculation. The latest misstep of running back Kareem Hunt, meanwhile, won’t rule him out for 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Bengals, Browns

The Steelers will use the preseason to determine their backup quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger, but 2018 third-round pick Mason Rudolph appears to have a leg up over fellow signal-caller Josh Dobbs, as Ed Bouchette of The Athletic writes. Dobbs, a fourth-round selection in the 2017 draft, served as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 last season, but managed just 12 passing attempts in relief of Roethlisberger. Rudolph, meanwhile, only played during the 2018 preseason, completing 24-of-44 passes for 315 yards. “I had the general concepts down and our plays but there are things that you take a little deeper dive,’’ Rudolph said. “Run schemes, protections, signals. Just the no-huddle calls. Ben does such great job of ad-libbing.” As Bouchette notes, No. 3 quarterbacks rarely get significant practice reps during the regular season, so if the Steelers view Rudolph as Roethlisberger’s successor, he could use the practice snaps due a backup quarterback in order to develop this year.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Another Steelers battle is taking place at wide receiver, where veteran Donte Moncrief appears to be the frontrunner for No. 2 duties behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Moncrief, who signed a two-year, $9MM deal with Pittsburgh in March, is competing against 2018 second-round pick James Washington and 2019 third-rounder Diontae Johnson for time. In his first and only season with the Jaguars in 2018, Moncrief posted 48 catches for 668 yards and three touchdowns, but ranked as a bottom-15 wideout in Football Outsiders‘ efficiency metrics. The Steelers lost the second-most air yards and sixth-most targets of any NFL team during the offseason, so there should be plenty of work to go around.
  • Bengals sixth-round rookie running back Rodney Anderson has been cleared to practice, tweets Ben Baby of ESPN.com. Once viewed as a potential early-round selection, Anderson suffered a torn ACL during his final season at Oklahoma and subsequently fell to Day 3 of the draft. In 2017, however, Anderson put up 1,161 yards on the ground and scored 18 total touchdowns. Cincinnati is set at the top of its running back depth chart with Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, but Anderson and fellow sixth-round rookie Trayveon Williams should make the roster as reserves.
  • After the Browns traded Kevin Zeitler to the Giants, Austin Corbett was thought to be a shoo-in to take over as Cleveland’s starting right guard. But the 2018 second-rounder may not enter the regular season as one of the Browns’ top five linemen, per Graziano (Instagram link). Corbett hasn’t had the offseason the Browns “wanted or expected him to have,” so much so that veteran Eric Kush could end up starting at right guard. Kush, 29, started seven games for the Bears in 2018 and has appeared in 33 career contests.

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Bears OL Eric Kush Done For Season

Bears offensive lineman Eric Kush suffered a torn hamstring and will undergo season-ending surgery, head coach John Fox announced today. Chicago has officially placed Kush on injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Brandon Greene.Eric Kush (Vertical)

Kush, 27, wasn’t going to crack an excellent Bears interior offensive line that includes Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, and Josh Sitton, but he was set to serve as Chicago’s top reserve on the inside. In 2016, Kush appeared in eight games (four starts), playing on roughly a quarter of the club’s offensive snaps while earning solid pass-blocking grades from Pro Football Focus. He re-signed with the Bears over the offseason, agreeing to a two-year, $2.7MM deal that included $1.35MM in guarantees.

With Kush sidelined, Chicago is deploying Whitehair as a backup guard while inserting Hroniss Grasu as the starting center, tweets Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. While that’s a temporary alignment while Long recovers from injury, it’s probably how the Bears would line up if another injury strikes along the interior. Other Chicago linemen with guard experience include Tom Compton, Cyril Richardson, and Taylor Boggs.

Greene is a rookie undrafted free agent out of Alabama who spent his collegiate time playing both offense and defense. Although he’s played offensive line in the past, Greene was a tight end only in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Giants, Vikes, Bucs, Bears, 49ers

The Giants are trying to bring back every key member of their excellent defense, and while that would include retaining Johnathan Hankins, re-signing the 325-pound defensive tackle is easier said than done, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Hankins managed three sacks and 10 quarterback hits from the defensive interior, and given that he’s still only 24 years old, Hankins figures to break the bank in free agency. After speaking to a panel that includes executives and agents, Raanan pegs Hankins’ value at five years, $43MM, with $18MM in guarantees.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Vikings made a “strong push” for free agent cornerback K’Waun Williams, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, but ultimately lost out to the 49ers. Williams, 25, didn’t play in 2016 while dealing with an ankle injury, but would have given Minnesota another slot option given that Captain Munnerlyn is a free agent. Per Goessling, Williams’ relationship with San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley heavily factored into his decision to head to the Bay Area.
  • Pending free agent quarterback Mike Glennon has left his representation at Vanguard Sports and Athletes First, but he’s expected to re-sign with Athletes First agent David Dunn, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. Glennon, 27, hasn’t played regularly for the Buccaneers since his rookie season in 2013, but if Kirk Cousins sees the franchise tag as expected, Glennon will be the top quarterback on the market.
  • Offensive lineman Eric Kush‘s new two-year deal with the Bears is worth $2.5MM and contains $500K in full guarantees, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Kush, 27, started four games and played 279 offensive snaps on an injury-filled Chicago front five last year, but he’s projected to serve as depth in 2017.
  • The 49ers announced that they’ve hired Stan Kwan (assistant special teams), Vince Oghobaase (asssistant defensive line), and Adam Stenavich (assistant offensive line). While Oghobaase is a holdover from the Chip Kelly regime, Kwan and Stenavich are new additions. Kwan was relieved of his duties as a Saints assistant earlier this year after spending four years in New Orleans.