Eric Weems

Titans Cut QB Matt Cassel, WR Eric Weems

The Titans are making moves this week. Quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Eric Weems have been released, according to a press release from the team. They join running back DeMarco Murray and safety Da’Norris Searcy as recent Titans cap casualties. 

Cassell spent two years with the Titans as a backup to Marcus Mariota. He played sparingly and amassed a stat line of 446 yards with three touchdowns against four interceptions with a 59% completion rate. By cutting Cassel, the Titans will clear his entire $2.5MM cap hit from the books.

The release of Weems will free up $1.35MM for the Titans. Weems, 33 in July, was an expected cut this offseason. He served primarily as a deep reserve in 2017 with the occasional appearance on special teams.

Between all four cuts, the Titans have saved approximately $13MM heading into free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, and Titans are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Titans Move Roster To 53

The Titans have announced their final 53-man roster, moving from the 90-man limit down to the regular-season standard on Saturday. Here’s who Tennessee cut to get down to 53 (via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com).

Cut:

Waived/injured:

Placed on IR:

Eric Weems To Sign With Titans

Eric Weems is expected to sign with the Titans, ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure tweets. The deal will reunite the former Atlanta special teams captain with his old position coach, offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie.

The former Pro Bowler spent the past three seasons with the Falcons. After collecting career-highs in receptions (10), yards (102), and touchdowns (two) in 2014, Weems has mostly served as a return specialist over the past two years. The 31-year-old retuned 32 kicks for 794 yards (24.8 average) during that span. He also returned 43 punts for 494 yards (11.5 average).

Weems will join a receivers depth chart that includes Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, Harry Douglas, and Tre McBride. Marc Mariani served as the team’s primary returner in 2016.

NFC Notes: 49ers, RGIII, Chancellor

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree spent the first six years of his career with the 49ers after they drafted him 10th overall in 2009. His time in San Francisco was somewhat underwhelming, given his production at Texas Tech and draft status, as he eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau just once and never racked up double-digit touchdowns in a season. Crabtree stayed in the Bay Area and signed with Oakland during the offseason, but he told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that the 49ers wanted him back. The feeling wasn’t mutual.

“A lot of people don’t know that the Niners offered me a contract, I just didn’t take it,” the 27-year-old said. “I wanted a fresh start. It was more money too — the Niners offered me more money than anybody did — but business is business and I wanted to come to a team that really wanted and needed me.”

Crabtree then took a shot at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying, “I needed a quarterback that can deliver the ball, and that was hungry like I was.”

More from the NFC:

  • Robert Griffin III‘s abrupt fall from grace continues. The former second overall pick and 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year will enter the season as Washington‘s third-string quarterback, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. He’s behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy on the depth chart.
  • The NFL and the NFL Players Association could be in the early stages of a spat centering on Saints running back Khiry Robinson, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Saints fined Robinson for a training camp altercation with an intern and then reported it to the league, which is proper protocol. The league then violated protocol by interviewing Robinson about the incident without a union rep present. The NFLPA is now investigating.
  • Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has taken quite a financial hit so far during his holdout, per Florio. Chancellor will lose his game check ($267,941.17) for not playing in Sunday’s opener, bringing his money lost total to $1.87MM. That amount will continue adding up as long as he stays away from the team.
  • With Devin Hester out for the Falcons’ Monday opener because of injury, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution expects Eric Weems to handle the team’s return duties (Twitter link).

Falcons Re-Sign Eric Weems

SATURDAY, 9:25am: The two-year pact has an average annual value of about $1.5MM, tweets ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Presumably, the total value of the contract is just south of $3MM. McClure notes that the contract is one of the most lucrative among special teasers, and he adds that the contract has incentives for production at wide receiver.

FRIDAY, 4:33pm: The Falcons have reached an agreement with wide receiver and special teamer Eric Weems on a new two-year contract that will keep him off the open market, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Weems had been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Weems, who turns 30 in July, was a key special teams player for the Falcons in 2014, recording 12 tackles in kick and punt coverage. The veteran also played over 200 offensive snaps, and while he didn’t see a ton of targets, two of his 10 receptions on the season went for touchdowns. The Falcons also used to utilize Weems as kick returner, but he probably won’t be asked to resume those duties as long as Devin Hester is around.

Financial terms of the deal aren’t yet know, but I’d expect a fairly modest salary figures for Weems.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Here are Thursday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the following players are now on their respective teams’ injured reserve lists: Darnell Dockett (Cardinals), Greg Latta (Broncos), Fendi Onobun (Jaguars), Jeremy Deering (Raiders), and Mike Caussin (Redskins). Because he has four or more accrued seasons, Dockett can be placed on IR without passing through waivers, and we heard previously that Latta, Onobun, and Deering were waived-injured by their clubs. Caussin’s case is less clear — he doesn’t appear to have four accrued seasons, so he should have to be waived before landing on IR. For what it’s worth, the Redskins’ official site still lists him as on the team’s active roster.

Earlier updates:

  • Former Falcon Eric Weems has returned to the team, according to Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com, who tweets that wideout Jabin Sambrano has been cut to make room for the veteran receiver and return specialist. Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, who reported earlier this week that Weems wanted to sign with Atlanta but appeared headed to the Titans, said today (via Twitter) that the ex-Bear took a physical in Tennessee, but it hit a snag. The Falcons, who entered the picture last night, signed Weems to a one-year, minimum-salary contract, per McClure (Twitter link).
  • The Saints have begun making cuts in advance of next Tuesday’s first deadline, parting ways with four players today. As Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune details, the club waived outside linebacker Chidera Uzo-Diribe, running back Tim Flanders, tight end Je’Ron Hamm and wide receiver Tobais Palmer.
  • Defensive tackle Anthony McCloud has been waived by the Cardinals, opening up a second spot on the team’s 90-man roster, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com.
  • The Buccaneers have swapped a pair of players at the back of their roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed guard R.J. Mattes and waived defensive end James Ruffin.
  • The Patriots have made two cuts, letting go of defensive lineman Marcus Forston and tight end D.J. Williams, according to a team release.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL, with additional transactions added to the top of the list throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Colts added guard Andre Cureton, an undrafted free agent who was let go by the Cowboys last week, per Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). He takes the roster spot of kicker Cody Parkey, who was waived.
  • Chargers defensive end Damik Scafe has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season, reports Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter).
  • Linebacker Dom DeCicco has cleared waivers and reverted back to the Vikings’ injured reserve, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Receiver Shaq Evans, one of the Jets’ three fourth-round picks, has been placed on injured reserve, and will miss his rookie year after suffering a shoulder injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Players with no NFL experience have to pass through waivers before being placed on IR at this point, so it’s unclear if the Jets will actually make this move official until September.

Earlier updates:

  • Defensive lineman Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) and quarterback Pat Devlin (Dolphins) have been removed from their respective teams’ injured reserve lists with injury settlements, according to ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, respectively (Twitter links).
  • Nothing is official yet, but ex-Bears receiver and returner Eric Weems, who was just cut this weekend, is set to sign with the Titans, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Weems had been released by Chicago when the team signed Santonio Holmes.
  • Although linebacker Jason Phillips was said to be recovered from the ACL injury that sidelined him for the 2013 season, he was cut by the Eagles today, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Philadelphia’s first transaction since June, the move was made because the special teams ace wasn’t going to make the team and the Eagles wanted to give him a chance to catch on elsewhere, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Tight end Colt Lyerla, who suffered a knee injury during training camp, has been waived-injured by the Packers, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Per Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin (Twitter link), Green Bay intends to place Lyerla on injured reserve for the season if he clears waivers.
  • It appears the Bills may be getting an early start on next week’s roster cutdowns. The team has opened a couple roster spots by waiving offensive lineman Edawn Coughman and wide receiver Kevin Elliott, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (Twitter links). No corresponding signings to fill the two openings have been announced yet.

Bears Sign Santonio Holmes

TUESDAY, 9:57am: According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Holmes’ deal is a minimum salary benefit contract, with no guaranteed money.

SATURDAY, 5:29pm: The Bears have officially announced the signing of Holmes, with Eric Weems being cut to make room on the roster for the former Jet (Twitter link).

9:49am: Veteran receiver Santonio Holmes has agreed to sign with the Bears, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Holmes, 30, joins the Bears after four years with the Jets. Though he caught just 23 balls and one touchdown last season, he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch despite missing five games because of a pulled hamstring. Holmes also sat out 12 games in 2012 with a Lisfranc injury.

Holmes worked out for the Bears last week, as they’re in desperate need of a third receiver after Marquess Wilson suffered a broken clavicle. Holmes was one of the biggest “names” remaining on the free-agent scrap heap, but thanks to his age, injuries and character questions, he received just tepid interest as his free agency lingered into mid August.

The Jets were relieved to be rid of Holmes when they cut him in March, at which time the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta wrote, “General manager John Idzik released the underachieving, injury-prone diva wide receiver Monday, capping a strange four-year journey sprinkled with malaprops, meltdowns and “misunderstandings.” In June, Holmes’ agent admitted teams were asking if his client is a “diva.” And recently, reports surfaced that the Browns passed on Holmes because they didn’t think his talent was worth the risk of him disrupting team chemistry.

Nevertheless, injury has opened the door for Holmes in Chicago, where Marc Trestman has shown the ability to get star players with unique personalities or coachability issues to buy in. If Holmes has gas left in the tank, he figures to have a realistic chance of playing a key role as a complimentary piece in a Bears offense loaded with talented skill players.

Bears Notes: Clausen, Safeties, Scott

The Bears played another flag-filled preseason game last night, and the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs provided his post-game thoughts:

  • The Bears have ongoing competition for backup quarterback — Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer are both playing well — and running back, where Shaun Draughn and fourth-rounder Ka’Deem Carey are vying for carries behind Matt Forte.
  • The safety position remains a jumble, though Chris Conte is expected to be cleared for action in next week’s third preseason game, and the best estimation for the starting combination come opening day might be Conte and veteran Ryan Mundy.
  • In keeping with the question mark theme, the job of kick returner is also up for grabs because Chris Williams is hurt, and Eric Weems has done nothing to take ownership. “The Bears have gone from Devin Hester to who-knows-what entering the third preseason game,” says Biggs.
  • A week after starring in the first preseason game, tight end Zach Miller went down with a left foot injury. The team will get details on the injury today.
  • Defensive end Trevor Scott is emerging as the fourth defensive end, says Biggs: “[Scott] looked good again. He’s got legit speed and is being used with the first unit on special teams by Joe DeCamillis.”
  • Sixth-rounder Pat O’Donnell has all but locked up the punting job.
  • With Marquess Wilson injured, veteran Josh Morgan could position himself as the third receiver.
  • Shea McClellin, who is being scrutinized in Chicago, struggled again last night in his second game as a linebacker, says ESPN’s Michael C. Wright: “The Bears want to remain patient with Shea McClellin as he transitions to linebacker, but his play against the Jaguars seemed just about on par with his shoddy showing last week. McClellin did stuff the run once early on but continues to struggle at shedding blocks and making tackles in space.”