Erik Swoope

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/14/18

Here are Friday’s practice squad moves:

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: OL Will Holden, TE Erik Swoope

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: LB Shilique Calhoun
  • Cut: DT Gabe Wright

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: LB Tre’Von Johnson
  • Cut: RB Lavon Coleman

Colts Waive TE Erik Swoope

Erik Swoope‘s tenure with the Colts has come to an end. Adam Caplan tweets that Indy has waived the tight end. Defensive tackle Jihad Ward has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

The Colts were hoping they landed the next Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates when they signed the undrafted free agent back in 2014. Up to that point, Swoope had never played organized football, but the six-foot-five forward did play 110 games for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team over four seasons.

After appearing in only a single game as a rookie, Swoope proceeded to play in 16 games (four starts) in 2015, hauling in 15 catches for 297 yards and one touchdown. However, he sat out all of the 2017 campaign after undergoing minor knee surgery, and he found himself behind Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron on the depth chart heading into 2018. With Ryan Hewitt on the roster and Ross Travis sitting on IR, the Colts decided it was time to move on from the 26-year-old.

Ward, a second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2016, was traded to the Cowboys back in April. However, he failed to make the roster, and he caught on with the Colts practice squad earlier this month. The 24-year-old showed promise as a rookie, compiling 30 tackles in 16 games (13 starts). Unfortunately, a foot injury limited him to only five games last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at the second-round level ($2.914MM):

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Injury Notes: Falcons, Cowboys, Broncos

Devonta Freeman has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will return to Falcons practice on Wednesday, head coach Dan Quinn told 92.9 The Game, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Freeman was injured on the second play of Atlanta’s game against the Cowboys in Week 10, and the veteran running back has since missed two additional games as he deals with this second concussion of the season. Fellow running back Tevin Coleman has dominated backfield touches with Freeman sidelined, but Freeman figures to take on the majority of carries from here on out.

Here’s more on injuries from around the NFL:

  • Like Freeman, Cowboys guard Zack Martin has also cleared the NFL concussion protocol and is on track to play when Dallas faces Washington on Thursday night, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Martin played only 20 offensive snaps in what was an eventual loss to the Chargers on Thanksgiving before leaving the contest with a brain injury, forcing the Cowboys to turn to backup Joe Looney to man right guard. One of the league’s best offensive lineman, Martin will attempt to help Dallas win out (essentially a requirement if the club hopes to earn a postseason berth).
  • The Colts will be without cornerback Rashaan Melvin after he suffered a “significant” hand injury, head coach Chuck Pagano told reporters, including Mike Chappell of FOX59 (Twitter link). While Indianapolis’ defense ranks 23rd in DVOA, Melvin has been one the team’s bright spots. A career reserve, the 28-year-old Melvin has started 10 games for the Colts this season while ranking as the NFL’s No. 14 corner, per Pro Football Focus. He’s scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency next spring. Tight end Erik Swoope, meanwhile, won’t return from IR this season although Indy originally believed he would do so, per Chappell (Twitter link).
  • Domata Peko‘s start streak is expected to end at 123 games, as the Broncos defensive tackle has a second degree MCL sprain that will cause him to miss time, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Peko, 33, looked to be nearing the end of his career with the Bengals last season, but he’s rebounded in Denver. The mammoth interior defender has been outstanding against the run, helping the Broncos to a No. 1 overall ranking in run defense DVOA.
  • The Giants have designated defensive end Romeo Okwara to return from injured reserve, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). The 22-year-old started four games as a rookie in 2016, and had played 78 defensive snaps this year before going down with a sprained MCL. Okwara will likely contribute on special teams when he returns to game action.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Davis, Titans, Texans

Three teams discussed trading for former Colts cornerback Vontae Davis in advance of last week’s deadline, but it’s unclear if Indianapolis ever received a formal offer, according to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Davis, of course, was released earlier today following reports that he’s likely to undergo season-ending groin surgery. Any team interested in acquiring Davis would have had to not only factor in Davis’ injury, but the fact that he’s played extremely poorly when on the field (No. 94 CB among 117 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus). Plus, a club that picked up Davis would have been responsible for his remaining $4.5MM in base salary, a hefty total for a player who is no longer a star.

Here’s more from the AFC South:

  • The release of Davis removed a potential distraction for the Colts for the rest of the season, as Mike Wells of ESPN.com writes. Indianapolis had no plans to re-sign Davis after the season, and given that he was entering the final year of his contract, Davis won’t affect the club’s cap space going forward. The Colts likely would have had to continue answering questions about Davis as the year progressed, but the team’s defensive back room is now a clean state.
  • The Titans will next week discuss whether to activate wide Harry Douglas and/or linebacker Aaron Wallace from injured reserve, tweets Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. NFL clubs are now allowed to bring two players off IR, so Tennessee will be able to see both players return to the field in 2017 if it so chooses. Douglas would become the Titans’ fourth or fifth wideout if activated, but Wallace could potentially play a role down the stretch, as Tennessee currently ranks as a bottom-five team in adjusted sack rate.
  • Speaking of returning from injured reserve, Colts tight end Erik Swoope hopes to do just that in the near future, reports Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), who reports Swoope returned to practice on Wednesday. Swoope, a collegiate basketball player, has managed only 15 receptions since entering the NFL in 2014, but the Colts don’t have much at tight end behind starter Jack Doyle. Swoope could hypothetically carve out a role at the expense of backups Brandon Williams or Darrell Daniels.
  • Given that head coach Bill O’Brien has claimed that wins — and not off-field events — are the primary driver for the Texans, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick makes “football sense” for the Texans, opines Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. While O’Brien noted that Kaepernick “hasn’t played football in awhile,” recent signee Josh Johnson has attempted a pass since 2011, which would seem to render O’Brien’s argument moot.

Colts Place TE Erik Swoope On IR

The Colts placed tight end Erik Swoope on injured reserve. To take his place, tight end Brandon Williams has been signed to the roster.

Swoope underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason, meaning that he’ll be unable to suit up for the season opener. However, that type of procedure is rarely a season ender, so it seems possible that he could return during the season. The latest iteration of the league’s IR rules permit teams to bring two players back from IR each season. Erik Swoope (vertical)

Swoope, 25, appeared in all 16 games for the Colts last season. He finished out with 15 catches for 297 yards and one score.

The Colts now have three tight ends on the roster in starter Jack Doyle, Williams, and reserve Darrell Daniels.

In other news, the Colts have signed wide receiver Krishawn Hogan, nose tackle Joey Mbu, and offensive tackle Andrew Wylie to the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/17

The latest minor moves…

  • Raiders defensive end Denico Autry has signed his RFA tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). The Raiders gave the 2014 undrafted free agent an original-round tender, leading to speculation that he could draw interest from elsewhere. Instead, Autry will return to the Raiders on the heels of back-to-back three-sack seasons. ERFAs Seth Roberts (WR) and Denver Kirkland (G) are also back in the fold, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter).
  • The Seahawks have re-signed linebacker Kache Palacio, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Palacio, a former fullback who went undrafted out of Washington State last year, spent most of 2016 on Seattle’s practice squad.
  • Lions ERFAs Brandon Copeland (DE), Kerry Hyder (DT) and T.J. Jones (WR) have signed their tenders, tweets Birkett. Dolphins ERFAs Mike Hull (LB) and Anthony Steen (C) did the same earlier Monday, per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Panthers have re-upped restricted free agent guard Andrew Norwell and a pair of exclusive rights free agents – center Tyler Larsen and punter Michael Palardy – writes Bryan Strickland of their website. Carolina used a second-round tender on Norwell, who will earn $2.746MM in 2017. Norwell combined for 29 starts over the previous two seasons and ranked 11th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 72 qualified guards last year.
  • Steelers RFA cornerback Ross Cockrell has inked his original-round tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Cockrell went in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, so the Steelers would have been entitled to a fourth-rounder had Cockrell signed elsewhere and they elected against matching the offer. The 25-year-old caught on with the Steelers in 2015 and has since totaled 31 appearances, 23 starts and two interceptions. Cockrell started in every Steelers game last year, and his performance ranked an improve 28th among 111 qualified corners at PFF.
  • Chiefs RFA kicker Cairo Santos has signed his tender, per Schefter (on Twitter). Santos, undrafted in 2014, received a low tender; as such, Kansas City wouldn’t have been entitled to compensation had he gone elsewhere. The three-year veteran has connected on 84.3 percent of field goal attempts, including 88.6 percent last season (good for fifth in the league).
  • Lions offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas has signed his RFA tender, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions assigned Lucas an original-rounder tender last month, so they wouldn’t have gotten a pick had the 2014 undrafted free agent signed elsewhere and they chose not to match. Lucas is now slated to make $1.797MM this year in Detroit, where he has started in six of 35 career appearances.
  • The Buccaneers have re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin, cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, tight end Cameron Brate, linebacker Adarius Glanton, and wide receivers Adam Humphries and Freddie Martino, per Scott Smith of the team’s website. As a restricted free agent, Griffin is the only one of the bunch who could have potentially gone elsewhere (the rest were exclusive rights free agents). The Bucs tendered the 2013 undrafted free agent at an original-round level last month, and he’ll now try to win the No. 2 role behind Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay’s previous second-stringer, Mike Glennon, is now the Bears’ starter.
  • RFA defensive back Marcus Burley and ERFA running back George Atkinson III are returning to the Browns, per a team announcement. Burley, undrafted in 2013, received an original-round tender. The former Seahawk is coming off his first year in Cleveland, where he appeared in 12 games and played just under 40 percent of the Browns’ special teams snaps.
  • Fullback Tommy Bohanon and receiver Larry Pinkard have signed with the Jaguars, tweets the team’s account. Bohanon is the only with NFL experience, having logged 36 appearances and 14 starts as a Jet from 2013-15.
  • Speaking of the Jets, they have re-signed linebacker Julian Stanford (via Randy Lange of the team’s site). The Jets could Stanford on Friday, but both sides knew that was only a procedural move. Last season was the first as a Jet for the 26-year-old Stanford, who appeared in nine games (two starts) and played about a quarter of their defensive snaps and a third of their special teams snaps.

Colts Notes: London, Fournette, Tulloch, Swoope

While some Colts players are surely anticipating their trip to London this season, it’s just more of the same for running back Frank Gore. The 33-year-old will be making his third career appearance at Wembley Stadium, and he compiled 189 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his previous two games.

The veteran told Kevin Bowen of Colts.com of his first trip to London in 2010. While the player was in an unfamiliar setting, it didn’t take long for him to feel at home.

“I saw people wearing my jersey and I was surprised by that,” he said. “I don’t know how they pick what team they want to cheer for but they are into it.”

Winston Guy (then with the Jaguars) played in London in 2013, and the veteran safety distinctly remembers the energy of the fans.

“It felt like a Super Bowl,” he said. “They didn’t care who won. They were just excited…It’s different, especially for guys that have never been across the world. Definitely a good week of experience.”

Let’s check out some more notes out of Indianapolis…

  • LSU running back Leonard Fournette would be an excellent fit for the Colts in next year’s draft, writes Bowen. The team has a need for a young running back, and the Colts’ depth may take a hit if Gore decides to retire. Of course, Bowen also notes that the organization shouldn’t be reaching for Fournette at the top of the first round.
  • Bowen can’t envision the Colts pursuing former Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch. General manager Ryan Grigson recently said that the team probably wouldn’t be adding more veteran talent, and the organization is also looking to make their defense younger. Considering the presence of Nate Irving and Sio Moore, signing Tulloch may not be the best use of the Colts limited cap space. The 31-year-old was released by the Lions earlier this week.
  • If the Colts end up seeking additional depth at other positions, Mike Chappell of Fox59 in Indy believes that receivers Brian Tyms or Josh Boyce could be out of a job.
  • After two years on the practice squad, it’s time for tight end Erik Swoope to make the active roster, writes Chappell. If the 24-year-old doesn’t prove that he’s worthy of the spot, rookie Darion Griswold could see himself sliding in behind Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/30/15

Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, as teams get their rosters set for Week 17:

  • The Colts made a pair of tight end transactions, placing Dwayne Allen (calf) on season-ending injured reserve and promoting Erik Swoope from their practice squad, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). A fourth-year man, Allen made 16 catches in 13 games for the Colts this season. He hasn’t been able to match the production he put up as a rookie in 2011 in terms of receptions (45) and yardage (521), but he did amass a career-best eight touchdowns last season.
  • The Patriots waived cornerback Troy Hill, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (Twitter link). The Pats claimed Hill off waivers from Cincinnati last week. In addition, they signed defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • The 49ers have been awarded tight end Je’Ron Hamm off waivers, a day after he was cut by Washington, according to a Niners release. San Francisco moved running back Shaun Draughn to injured reserve to accommodate the waiver claim — Draughn joins fellow RBs Reggie Bush and Carlos Hyde on the Niners’ IR.
  • The Bills created two roster spots on Tuesday by placing Charles Clay and Ron Brooks on injured reserve, and filled those spots today with a pair of practice squad cornerbacks. As Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets, head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Buffalo elevated Merrill Noel and Sammy Seamster from the team’s taxi squad.
  • The Chargers also added secondary depth today, signing safety Brandian Ross and cornerback Cassius Vaughn to their active roster, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). The club has now added three defensive backs to its 53-man squad this week.
  • After placing Dez Bryant and two other players on injured reserve today, the Cowboys have promoted wide receivers Rodney Smith and Vince Mayle from their practice squad, and also signed cornerback Josh Thomas, per Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).
  • The Broncos are signing guard Robert Myers off the Ravens‘ practice squad to fill the 53rd spot on their roster, reports Mike Klis of 9News. That roster opening was created on Tuesday when Denver cut safety Shaun Prater.
  • According to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter link), offensive lineman Braxston Cave has been promoted from the Lions‘ practice squad to their active roster, taking the spot vacated by cornerback Bill Bentley, who was cut on Tuesday.