Pro Football Rumors https://www.profootballrumors.com NFL Rumors: Trades, Free Agency, Draft Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:35:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 Panthers Working Out K Andrew Franks https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/panthers-working-out-k-andrew-franks https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/panthers-working-out-k-andrew-franks#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:33:57 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82364 The Panthers are working out a group of kickers that includes free agent Andrew Franks on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Andrew Franks (Vertical)

While incumbent kicker Graham Gano has not been ruled out for next week’s game against the Buccaneers, he is dealing with a knee injury. Gano appeared on Carolina’s injury report late last week, and subsequently had ice on his knee following the Panthers’ 17-3 loss to the Bears on Sunday, tweets Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Gano converted his lone field goal attempt yesterday, a 36-yarder that represented Carolina’s only points on the day.

The Panthers began the season with rookie kicker Harrison Butker on their practice squad, but he’s since been snatched up the Chiefs (and performed rather well). Franks, meanwhile, was the Dolphins’ kicker for each of the past two seasons, but he converted just 78.4% of his field goal attempts during that time. He’s auditioned for the Redskins, Buccaneers, and Jaguars since being released by Miami, but has yet to land a contract.

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Latest On Steelers WR Martavis Bryant https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/latest-on-steelers-wr-martavis-bryant https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/latest-on-steelers-wr-martavis-bryant#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:42:37 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82353 Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant — the subject of recent trade rumors — took to social media and responded to an Instagram user who claimed fellow Pittsburgh pass-catcher JuJu Smith-Schuster is the superior wideout, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Bryant, who has since deleted the post, “wants out” of Pittsburgh, a source tells Fowler.Martavis Bryant (vertical)

“JuJu is no where near better than me, fool,” Bryant wrote. “All they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”

Bryant, who is back in the NFL after being suspended for the entirety of the 2016 campaign, reportedly requested a trade last week, although he has since denied that ask. Either way, the Steelers don’t intend to deal Bryant, although he has struggled this season and is being phased out of the club’s offense in favor of Smith-Schuster. Bryant has manged only 234 yards and one touchdown in seven games, and he essentially rotated with Smith-Schuster in Sunday’s victory. Bryant finished with 36 offensive snaps, while Smith-Schuster — a second-round rookie — played 32.

“JuJu is the future and got great talent and is going to be one of the best to play this game,” Bryant wrote after deleting the original post. “I want him to get his. I just want mines, period, point-blank. Ain’t nobody did nothing to get me back. I worked my a– off to get myself back with no help and little support, period. In due time the process will show.”

Bryant didn’t show up for required team meetings Monday, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and one teammate said Bryant “called in sick.” Whether or not Bryant’s absence today is related to his ongoing situation within the offense is unclear, but the timing would certainly hint that the two are interconnected. Bryant’s agent says the wideout did in fact see a doctor today, however, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

The Steelers don’t plan on disciplining Bryant for either today’s meeting or his comments on Smith-Schuster, as Bouchette writes in a full piece. And — reiterating previous reports to this effect– Pittsburgh “certainly” don’t intend to ship Bryant out of town via trade.

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Cowboys Working Out Kickers https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/cowboys-working-out-kickers-including-younghoe-koo-and-mike-nugent https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/cowboys-working-out-kickers-including-younghoe-koo-and-mike-nugent#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:33:59 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82336 The Cowboys had to resort to using defensive back Jeff Heath as their placekicker on Sunday after incumbent Dan Bailey went down with a groin injury, but the club won’t ask Heath to play the role of kicker any longer. Dallas is working out free agent kickers Mike Nugent, Jason Myers, Sam Irwin-Hill, and Younghoe Koo, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Younghoe Koo (Vertical)

Bailey is expected to miss several weeks after sustaining a groin strain, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Replacing the 29-year-old certainly won’t be easy, as Bailey owns a 89.9% field goal success rate for his career, and hasn’t missed a field goal or an extra point this season. The Cowboys have garnered 4.1 points of field position from Bailey’s work on field goals and extra points, good for seventh in the NFL per Football Outsiders.

Nugent is — by far — the most experienced of the kickers Dallas is working out, as he’s appeared in 153 games during his 12-year NFL career. He lost out to Aldrick Rosas in the Giants’ kicking battle this summer. Myers and Koo, meanwhile, were released this season after struggling with the Jaguars and Chargers, respectively. Irwin-Hill has never appeared in an NFL game, but he did spend the summer in Cowboys’ camp.

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Browns OT Joe Thomas Done For Season https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/browns-fear-ot-joe-thomas-has-torn-triceps https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/browns-fear-ot-joe-thomas-has-torn-triceps#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:05:04 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82322 Browns stalwart left tackle Joe Thomas suffered a torn triceps in Sunday’s loss to the Titans and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) was the first to report Thomas had likely torn his triceps.Joe Thomas (vertical)

Thomas, 32, had not missed a single offensive snap since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2007. That streak is now over at 10,363, but that figure stands as a testament to Thomas’ amazing consistency and resiliency. And Thomas, a nine-time All Pro, hasn’t yet hit a decline, as Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 3 offensive tackle in the league through seven weeks.

The winless Browns turned to Spencer Drango to replace Thomas on Sunday, making the 2016 fifth-round selection the first player other than Thomas to man left tackle in Cleveland since 2006. Drango will presumably continue on the blindside for Cleveland — which ranks a mediocre 18th in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate — but the Browns could also conceivably take a look at fellow tackle Zach Banner, a fourth-round rookie whom Cleveland acquired off waivers from Indianapolis.

With Thomas done for the year, any chance of the Browns reaping draft pick compensation for him via trade is eliminated. Cleveland reportedly had “no intention” of dealing Thomas, who has been oft-mentioned in trade rumors given the Browns’ lack of success on the field and his status as the club’s best player, and Thomas’ health questions would render any theoretical discussions moot. Thomas is signed through the 2018 season, and has a $8.8MM base salary on the books for next season.

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Ravens Sign TE Gavin Escobar https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/ravens-sign-te-gavin-escobar https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/ravens-sign-te-gavin-escobar#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:55:55 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82339 The Ravens have signed tight end Gavin Escobar and released offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, the club announced today.Gavin Escobar (vertical)

Escobar, 26, never lived up his to second-round draft status, as he managed only 30 receptions and 333 yards over four seasons with the Cowboys. He inked a minimum salary benefit contract with the Chiefs in March, but was part of the club’s final cutdowns in September. Since then, Escobar has been on the workout circuit, and while he’s auditioned for a number of clubs, he hadn’t found a deal until now.

Baltimore currently has four tight ends on its roster, with Ben Watson, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and Vince Mayle serving as the club’s depth at the position. Watson and Boyle have done most of receiving work for the Ravens this year, while Williams was inactive for Sunday’s contest with an ankle injury. Williams’ health questions could have conceivably led Baltimore to inking Escobar.

Bergstrom, meanwhile, was sent to Baltimore in a preseason trade but has since bounced on-and-off the Ravens’ roster. He’s appeared in four games this season but played just 32 total snaps.

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Latest On Jay Cutler, Dolphins’ QB Situation https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/latest-on-jay-cutler-dolphins-quarterback-situation https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/latest-on-jay-cutler-dolphins-quarterback-situation#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:08:18 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82334 Confirming reports from Sunday night, Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler did indeed suffer cracked ribs in Miami’s Week 7 win over the Jets, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Cutler is initially expected to miss two-to-three weeks while recovering from the injury.jay Cutler (Vertical)

With Cutler sidelined, Miami is meeting with free agent quarterback David Fales, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Fales spent the summer with the Dolphins, and also worked under Miami head coach Adam Gase when the pair was in Chicago. Given that history, Fales should have enough familiarity with Gase’s offense in order to serve as Matt Moore‘s backup on Thursday night. If signed, Fales will have been chosen over Dolphins practice squad quarterback Brandon Doughty.

Despite Cutler’s struggles to begin the 2017 season, he’s expected to remain Miami’s starter under center when he returns from injury, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Moore could certainly change that with excellent play over the next several weeks, but the Dolphins plan to re-insert Cutler when he’s available. Cutler, who un-retired to join Miami, hasn’t performed well this year, as he ranks 28th in quarterback rating and 29th in adjusted net yards per attempt.

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Texans OT Duane Brown Ends Holdout https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/texans-ot-duane-brown-ends-holdout https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/texans-ot-duane-brown-ends-holdout#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:42:28 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82324 Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown has ended his holdout and reported to the club, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Duane Brown (vertical)

Brown, 32, hasn’t played a single game for Houston this season as he continues to push for a new contract. His decision to rejoin the Texans doesn’t necessarily mean the team’s front office has decided to cave on a new deal, and in fact there’s no indication that’s the case. Instead, Brown is likely reporting in order to gain credit for the 2017 season, as he needed to appear in eight games to do so.

Presuming that he’s ready to immediately step in at left tackle, Brown should provide a significant upgrade on the blindside. Houston has turned to Chris Clark (five starts) in Brown’s absence, but he’s offered a sub-par performance thus far, Pro Football Focus ranks Clark as just the No. 52 tackle among 71 qualifiers. While the Texans’ offensive line has played well in the run game, the unit is 31st in adjusted rack rate, according to Football Outsiders.

If the Texans are intent on not reaching a new deal with Brown, they could conceivably still trade him, something the club is reportedly open to doing. Cleveland currently owns Houston’s first- and second-round picks in 2018, so shipping Brown for draft capital could help the Texans recoup some of its lost assets. The Seahawks, notably, have been linked to a potential Brown acquisition.

But “barring the unforeseen,” Brown is set to play for the Texans, and not act as trade bait, tweets Rapoport. His return is coming at a fortuitous time, as Clark is now expected to miss a week or two after suffering a calf injury, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

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NFL’s Request For Expedited Ezekiel Elliott Hearing Denied https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/judge-denies-nfls-request-for-expedited-ezekiel-elliott-hearing https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/judge-denies-nfls-request-for-expedited-ezekiel-elliott-hearing#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:19:32 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82319 A judge has denied the NFL’s request for an expedited hearing in Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension case, according to legal analyst Daniel Wallach (Twitter link). The league had been pushing for an October 27 hearing, but the case will instead be heard on October 30 as originally planned.Ezekiel Elliott (vertical)

The most immediate impact of Judge Katherine Failla is that Elliott will be available to play in Dallas’ Week 8 contest against the Redskins, which takes place just one day before the October 30 hearing date. That’s an incredibly important NFC East matchup, especially given that the Cowboys now sit at 3-3 after Sunday’s thrashing of the 49ers (Washington, meanwhile, is 3-2 pending the result of Monday Night Football).

Following that game, Elliott and his team will take his case to Failla. Elliott, of course, is facing a six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations, but last week was granted a temporary restraining order against the NFL that allowed him to stay on the field. If Ellliott’s ban sticks after Week 8, he would miss critical games against the Falcons, Chiefs, Eagles, and Redskins, and wouldn’t be able to return until Week 15.

Elliott is fresh off his best performance of the season, as he totaled 219 yards from scrimmage and scored three times against San Francisco. If Elliott is suspended, the Cowboys would likely turn to a combination of Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden in the backfield.

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Colts’ Malik Hooker Out For Year https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/colts-malik-hooker-done-year https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/colts-malik-hooker-done-year#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 03:25:08 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82284 Malik Hooker‘s season is already over. The Colts safety suffered a torn ACL and MCL in Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) reports.Malik Hooker (vertical)

The first round rookie was off to a strong start this year. Heading into this weekend, he was ranked as a top-35 safety by the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus. He also proved to have a nose for the ball with a team-leading three interceptions.

The No. 15 overall pick is no stranger to injuries, unfortunately. In January, he underwent operations to fix a torn labrum and address a hernia issue. Still, he was viewed as a high-end pick despite the health concerns. In his final year at Ohio State, Hooker racked up 74 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and an eye-popping seven picks. Some talent evaluators even preferred Hooker to LSU safety Jamal Adams who went nine picks earlier to the Jets.

[He’s] still so raw and you see him making all of those plays. He’s a player who will come in and look bad his first year and then be an all-pro by his third year. I think that’s his arc. No short-cut for experience,” one AFC personnel director told Lance Zierlein of NFL.com before the draft.

Turns out, Hooker looked great in his first NFL season, but his frosh campaign in the pros has ended prematurely. He’ll look to build off of his hot start in 2018.

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Injury Notes: Bailey, Foster, Wallace, Spence https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/injury-notes-bailey-foster-wallace-spence https://www.profootballrumors.com/2017/10/injury-notes-bailey-foster-wallace-spence#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 02:33:51 +0000 https://www.profootballrumors.com/?p=82307 It was a dominant win for the Cowboys in San Francisco this afternoon, but the team did not escape the contest with their special teams intact. Kicker Dan Bailey was forced out of the game with a groin injury, according to the Dallas News. Bailey was reported to have suffered the injury in warmups, but it remains to be seen whether the news will force Dallas to bring in another kicker. In one of the more entertaining aspects of this week’s action, safety Jeff Heath was the emergency fill-in for today’s game, which included him clunking an extra point off the pole and through the uprights.

  • It’s been a trying rookie season for 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster so far. After missing a few games already with an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the season, the former Alabama defender was back on the sidelines after suffering an apparent rib injury in the third quarter. Foster seemed unsure of what was to come following the game.“I really don’t know, I’ve got to come in here (get an) MRI and treatment and just see what he doctors say about it. If they clear me, they clear me. If they don’t, they don’t,” he told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. It’s worth noting that Foster did return to the game initially, but was later taken out again for X-Rays. Barrows did add that Foster was cleared to return later in the fourth quarter by team doctors, but the coaches weren’t comfortable letting him back on the field at the end of a blowout.
  • The Ravens suffered another blow to their depleted wide receiver corps in today’s game vs. the Vikings when Mike Wallace was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a big hit on a pass over the middle of the field. However, Wallace was pleading to play following the hit, explains Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The 31 year-old receiver was seen walking up-and-down the sideline trying to convince coaches to put him back in the game. However, head coach John Harbaugh said that Wallace staying out of the game “was a done deal”, tells Zrebiec. The Ravens play on Thursday next week, so Wallace would need to pass all the concussion protocol rather quickly in order to suit up. If not, the Ravens have just Michael Campanero, Chris Moore and Griff Whalen remaining on the depth chart.
  • Bucs rookie pass rusher Noah Spence left today’s contest with an apparent shoulder injury, reports Josh Reed of WIVB.com (Twitter Link). Reed passes along that Spence will likely require surgery and is probable to miss an extended period of time. He later added onto the initial report stating there is concern that the 2017 second round pick may end up missing the rest of the season. In his first six professional games, the linebacker had just nine tackles, including one strip sack.
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