Eric Winston

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s workout updates, with nearly all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Bengals To Release Eric Winston, Wallace Gilberry

The Bengals are expected to release offensive lineman Eric Winston and defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Eric Winston

Cincinnati will go with a youth movement along its offensive line, both in the starting lineup and further down the depth chart. Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher are the club’s starting tackles, while youngsters such as Christian Westerman and J.J. Dielman should make the roster. Winston, the NFLPA president, appeared in all 16 games for the Bengals a season ago, but started only two contests.

Gilberry, meanwhile, originally signed with the Lions last year but found his way back to the Bengals at midseason. The 32-year-old ultimately played in five games for Cincinnati. Rookies Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis, plus trade acquisition Chris Smith, will take over backup edge rushing responsibilities in the Queen City.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Re-Sign Eric Winston

Eric Winston is sticking around Cincinnati. ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reports (via Twitter) that the veteran offensive tackle has signed a one-year deal with the Bengals.

Eric WinstonThe 2006 third-round pick has bounced around the NFL since leaving the Texans following the 2011 season, spending time with the Chiefs, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Bengals. The NFLPA president apparently found a home in Cincinnati, where he’s appeared in 29 games over the past two seasons (four starts). Winston didn’t earn great marks from Pro Football Focus for his performance in 2016, although the website was fond of his run blocking skills.

Winston will presumably return to a backup role in 2017, shadowing starting tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Bengals

Pending free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has told his representation he wants to stay with the Browns, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Browns management is reportedly “redoubling efforts” to re-sign Pryor, and the club is set to meet with Pryor’s agent this week. Cleveland, of course, holds the franchise tag as an option, but is loathe to go down that avenue unless a long-term deal cannot be reached. Pryor has spoken highly of the Browns and head coach Hue Jackson in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s willing to take a hometown discount to remain Cleveland.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston says he’s “hopeful” about a return to the Bengals, and noted a new deal “looks promising,” per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Thought to be buried on Cincinnati’s depth chart, Winston ended up rotating right tackle snaps with former first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi, and ultimately played on roughly a quarter of the Bengals’ offensive snaps. Winston, 33, signed a minimum salary benefit contract with Cincinnati in 2016, and would likely be forced to accept a similar deal this year.
  • If the Viking release running back Adrian Peterson (or ask him to take a paycut), the Steelers could confidently argue that Peterson’s $14MM annual salary was an anomaly, and pressure pending free agent Le’Veon Bell to accept something closer to LeSean McCoy‘s $8MM per year, opines Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Pittsburgh is likely to franchise Bell at a cost north of $12MM for 2017, and would probably be willing to go near $10MM annually on a long-term extension, per Fowler. Approaching, or exceeding, Peterson’s $14MM figure would represent a problem, however.
  • The Ravens will not hire a formal quarterbacks coach for the 2017 season, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will lead the QBs room, while Craig Ver Steeg — whom previous reports had indicated would become Baltimore’s new quarterbacks coach — will remain an offensive assistant.
  • In his latest chat at ESPN.com, Tony Grossi covers which quarterbacks the Browns may target if they strike out on Jimmy Garoppolo, the likelihood of Tyrod Taylor — who is said to be on Cleveland’s radar — heading to northern Ohio, and other position groups the Browns may target in free agency.

Extra Points: Paul, 49ers, Texans, Playoffs

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • Niles Paul relayed some information from a recent medical visit, noting Dr. Robert Anderson told the Washington tight end his ankle injury that caused him to miss the entire 2015 season was “the worst he’d ever seen,” via Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Although Paul said he’s only scheduled to see Andrews one more time, Jay Gruden said the backup tight end could be held out until training camp to be safe. The statuses of Paul and Derek Carrier, the latter of whom could miss regular-season time due to a knee injury suffered late last season, likely led Washington to sign Vernon Davis. Paul signed a three-year, $6MM deal to stay in Washington last March but has recovered. There is $666K worth of dead money left on the deal, making the sixth-year veteran easy to move on from in the event he can’t sufficiently recover.
  • The 49ers plan to work out Myles Jack this weekend, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The UCLA linebacker visited the Jaguars, Falcons and Ravens this week. San Francisco plans to observe a Mackensie Alexander workout today as well.
  • Former Colts and Patriots receiver Austin Collie told the CFL team he played for last season, the British Columbia Lions, he intends to retire, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Jay Drew reports. The 30-year-old receiver joined the Western Canada-stationed franchise last year and caught 43 passes for 439 yards. He finished with 1,908 yards and 16 touchdowns in five NFL seasons from 2009-13. The concussion-plagued receiver plans to work with a Provo, Utah-based company that focuses on concussion research and rehabilitation.
  • Authorities searched defensive end prospect Shawn Oakman‘s home in connection with a sexual assault investigation, USA Today’s A.J. Perez reports. A projected middle-round pick after setting Baylor’s single-season sack record as a junior in 2014, Oakman is cooperating with the investigation. This allegation could further damage Oakman’s stock after his senior season began with a suspension and didn’t end with the kind of numbers — at least from a sack standpoint, with Oakman only collecting 4.5 in 2015 — that his prior campaign produced.
  • The NFL hasn’t contacted the NFLPA regarding a potential expansion of the playoffs, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. “Until there’s a written proposal from the league that’s when we know they’re at least serious about it and then we can start bargaining over that working-condition change,” NFLPA boss Eric Winston told Florio. “That’s a working-condition change that has to be bargained. It’s not something that the owners can unilaterally implement.” The NFL expanded its playoff brackets twice in a 12-year span, moving from four to five teams per conference in 1978 and five to six in 1990, but has thus far held on off moving to the anticipated seven-team fields.
  • Rice wideout Dennis Parks, Houston offensive tackle Damien Parris and defensive lineman Melvin Holland, and Midwestern State defensive back Marqui Christian attended the Texans‘ local prospect showcase today (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).

Eric Winston Re-Elected As NFLPA President

Veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston was re-elected today as the president of the NFL Players Association, the union confirmed in a press release. Winston, who is currently under contract with the Bengals, ran unopposed and will now serve his second two-year term at the head of the NFLPA.Eric Winston

With the NFLPA’s board of player representatives meeting this weekend in Hawaii, the union also made some changes to its executive committee. Ryan Clark, Jay Feely, Brian Waters, and Scott Wells, who are no longer NFL players, are now no longer a part of the NFLPA executive committee.

The newest additions to the executive committee, replacing the four departing members, are Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham, and Patriots offensive lineman Ryan Wendell. They’ll join a group that already includes Lorenzo Alexander, Zak DeOssie, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Herzlich, Adam Vinatieri, and Ben Watson.

While the NFLPA’s new group of reps figure to deal with plenty of contentious issues over the next couple years, they won’t have to deal with the possibility of a looming lockout — the current CBA isn’t set to expire until after the 2020 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Rams, M. Bryant, Bills, D. Jackson

Over the weekend, it was reported that the NFLPA had concerns about player contracts with the Rams in light of their move from Missouri to California. That issue, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, has been sorted out.

“The team’s legal move to California coincides with the start of the offseason program on April 18,” Rams executive V.P. of football operations and COO Kevin Demoff said via email. “As such, all contracts are still subject to Missouri law at time of signing. We were able to work with agents on a simple fix saying the contracts will transfer to California law once the team move is official.”

The union was concerned that players would be forced to pay California taxes, which are higher than Missouri taxes, on salaries incurred before the move. Now, it appears that they will be able to save some money on any paychecks processed before April 18th.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NFL:

  • In the wake of Martavis Bryant‘s year-long suspension becoming official on Monday, the Steelers issued a statement (via Steelers PR man Burt Lauten, on Twitter): “We are very disappointed that Martavis Bryant has put himself in this current situation of being suspended by the League. He is at a crossroads of his professional life, and he needs to understand significant changes need to occur in his personal life if he wants to regain his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. We are hopeful that Martavis will take the necessary steps to develop the discipline in his personal life to become a successful player and a good teammate.”
  • The Bills officially announced multiple changes to their defensive coaching staff, including the hiring of a new defensive line coach, John Blake. Buffalo had recently parted ways with 2015’s DL coach, Karl Dunbar.
  • Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was found guilty of simple assault in a court room on Monday, Mike Wells of ESPN.com writes. The case stemmed from a February 2015 altercation with a delivery driver. Jackson could face a maximum of 180 days in jail, and while that seems unlikely, discipline from the NFL is possible once the case wraps up. The linebacker’s sentencing is scheduled to take place on April 6th. The Colts released the following statement on the matter: “We’re disappointed to read reports of D’Qwell Jackson’s misdemeanor verdict in Washington, D.C. We’ve not had an opportunity to review any of the evidence or testimony from the trial and have not made any determination as to any action we might take as a result.”
  • After re-signing with the Bengals last week, offensive tackle Eric Winston will seek a second term as president of the NFL Players Association, writes Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The current expectation is that Winston will run unopposed.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Bengals Re-Sign Eric Winston

Eric Winston will return to the Bengals for a third season, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, who tweets that the offensive tackle has agreed to a one-year deal. It’s worth $1.09MM, and features a $985K salary and an $80K bonus.

Winston, a 10-year veteran, joined the Bengals in 2014 and has since made four starts in 17 appearances. The 32-year-old has 141 appearances and 123 starts to his name with the Texans, Chiefs, Cardinals and Bengals. Winston suited up for 13 games last season and made two starts for the AFC North champions.

Bengals Re-Sign Eric Winston

Eric Winston took to Twitter to announce that he’s headed back to the Bengals. Winston, 31, missed the bulk of the 2014 season and joined Cincy in December of last year.

Winston, 31, has been one of the league’s most durable linemen over the last few years, starting all 16 of his teams’ games in Houston, Kansas City, and – most recently – Arizona in each of the last seven seasons, prior to 2014. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), the former third-round pick ranked as just the 69th-best tackle out of 76 qualified players in 2013. However, that may have been an aberration, considering Winston recorded consistently positive grades in every year prior to that.

Winston was cut by the Seahawks at the end of the ’14 preseason and was out of work until the Bengals scooped him up on December 2nd, despite tryouts with the Vikings, Falcons, and Eagles. The NFLPA president helped to add some depth to Cincinnati’s offensive line late in the season and he’ll likely be back in a similar role in 2015.

 

Bengals Sign Eric Winston, Cut Meredith

2:26pm: The Bengals announced the signing of Winston, and cut two more players, waiving tackle Jamon Meredith from the active roster and linebacker J.K. Schaffer from injured reserve (Twitter link). The series of moves leaves the team with an opening on its 53-man roster.

1:35pm: The Bengals have agreed to terms with veteran free agent tackle Eric Winston, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Garafolo’s report comes on the heels of one from Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, who indicated (via Twitter) that the two sides were nearing an agreement. It’s a one-year deal, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter).

Winston, 31, has been one of the league’s most durable linemen over the last few years, starting all 16 of his teams’ games in Houston, Kansas City, and – most recently – Arizona in each of the last seven seasons, prior to 2014. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), the former third-round pick ranked as just the 69th-best tackle out of 76 qualified players last season. However, that may have been an aberration, considering Winston recorded consistently positive grades in every year leading up to 2013.

In any case, Winston was cut by the Seahawks at the end of the ’14 preseason and has been a free agent since then, despite tryouts with the Vikings, Falcons, and Eagles. In the meantime, Winston has been keeping busy with his role as the NFLPA president, but it appears he’ll get a chance to earn some playing time on Cincinnati’s offensive line as the team makes a push for a playoff spot.

Starting tackle Andre Smith was lost for the season and placed on injured reserve last week, prompting the team to sign Jamon Meredith and start Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. In Winston, the Bengals add a reliable veteran who is capable of stepping into a starting role if necessary.

Cincinnati opened up a roster spot yesterday by placing linebacker Jayson DiManche on IR, so the club won’t have to make another move to make room for Winston.