Geneo Grissom

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/22/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Patriots are promoting defensive end Geneo Grissom to the active roster, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Pats have been paying Grisson handsomely by taxi squad standards – $36,716 per week – and they think rather highly of the former third-round pick. Given the way the Pats’ pass rush was depleted over the offseason, they could use his production. The 25-year-old has appeared in 26 games for the Patriots over the last two years but has yet to really make a mark.
  • The Browns have promoted practice squad wide receiver Jordan Leslie in advance of Sunday’s game (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Given Corey Coleman’s injury, Leslie should be in for some playing time. To make room, Cleveland waived wide receiver Reggie Davis.
  • The Bengals have waived wide receiver Jake Kumerow from injured reserve.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Mo, Pats, Hightower

The Jets are “fully prepared” to release defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson if he posts another disappointing campaign in 2017, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Wilkerson graded as a bottom-15 edge defender last season, per Pro Football Focus, and sources tell Mehta that Gang Green isn’t happy with Wilkerson’s conditioning or motivation level. Speaking earlier this year, however, head coach Todd Bowles admitted Wilkerson was playing through injury in 2016, and the cost of cutting Wilkerson could also prove prohibitive. Even if he were designated as post-June 1 release, Wilkerson would count for $9MM in dead money over the 2018-19 seasons.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • After leaving last night’s game against the Chiefs with a knee injury, Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower has escaped with only a minor MCL sprain, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. New England gets a 10-day break before playing again, so it’s possible Hightower will be able to suit up when the Pats face the Saints in Week 2. If Hightower can’t go, New England will likely turn to fellow ‘backers David Harris and Elandon Roberts to take on more snaps.
  • Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley reached out to the Jets and Bowles immediately after being cut by the 49ers last week, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Kerley, of course, is now in his second stint with New York, as he spent 2011-15 with the club. The 28-year-old re-signed with San Francisco on a three-year deal that contained $2.8MM in guarantees, but was still handed his walking papers on Saturday. The Jets are now paying him the minimum to add experience to their youthful receiving corps.
  • Former Texans safety Robert Nelson worked out for the Jets today, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Nelson, 27, played in 11 games for Houston a year ago, and while he spent most of his time on special teams, he did manage one interception. New York ranked dead last in special teams DVOA in 2016, so Nelson could help out there, while the club is also fielding two rookie safeties in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, so adding a defensive back with experience such as Nelson could make sense.
  • Patriots defensive end Geneo Grissom is the NFL’s highest-paid practice squad player at $36,716 per week, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. That’s an active roster salary for a player of Grissom’s experience (two accrued seasons), a clear indication New England wants to keep the former third-round pick around. For reference, the minimum salary for a practice squad player is $7,200 per week.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets 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 East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Patriots Reach 53-Man Max

The Patriots made a massive amount of cuts on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit. Most of the cuts were expected, but there were a few surprises in the bunch.

Released:

Waived:

Karras was widely projected to be the team’s top backup on the interior line, so his release comes as a surprise. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Pats in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and played in all 16 regular season games last year. He also appeared in all three playoff games as a reserve.

O’Shaughnessy, acquired via trade in April, was competing for the third tight end spot. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has played in 23 NFL games with six starts.

Patriots Notes: Lewis, Jackson, Bennett, Butler

The Patriots have made team-friendly extension offers to a number of their pending free agents — including Martellus Bennett, Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, and Logan Ryan — but so far, no player has been interested in putting pen to paper, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Given that the salary cap continues to rise, each of these impending free agents figures to cash in the open market, and therefore have little incentive to agree to any offer New England puts on the table.

Here’s more on the Patriots, who are now 5-1 after beating the Bengals today:

  • After opening the year on the physically unable to perform list, running back Dion Lewis is eligible to begin practicing this week. There’s a chance that happens, but it also wouldn’t be surprising for the Patriots to hold Lewis out of game action until after the club’s November bye, writes Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Lewis has made “positive progress” as he recovers from ACL surgery, per Reiss, but New England will exude caution nonetheless.
  • Offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson also started the season on the PUP list, but he’s closer to returning than is Lewis, reports Reiss. Mason is expected to practice this week, and should be able to play again as soon very soon. In fact, New England’s release of guard Jonathan Cooper may have precipitated by Mason’s health.
  • The Patriots recently gave $52,700 raises to four practice squad players — running back Bishop Sankey, defensive end Geneo Grissom, guard Chris Barker, and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. For what it’s worth, Grissom and Johnson were then promoted to active roster on Saturday.

Patriots Place Jonathan Freeny On IR

A starter in four of the Patriots’ five games thus far this season, Jonathan Freeny may not return to the field in 2016. The Patriots placed the fifth-year outside linebacker on IR, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Afflicted with a shoulder injury, Freeny played in all five of the Pats’ games and was the recipient of a two-year, $4.1MM extension in August. He will now be out until at least December. New England could activate Freeny after eight weeks, and the second-year starter could return to practice after six, but can only select one player from its IR list to return to action.

The Pats also placed recently added tight end Greg Scruggs on IR. To replace the duo on the 53-man roster, the Patriots signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and defensive end Geneo Grissom from their practice squad, Florio reports.

Freeny recorded 10 tackles and forced a fumble this season. He started seven games in 2015 after playing the previous three years with the Dolphins.

Scruggs, who has a knee injury, played in three games with the Bears this season but had yet to see action for his current team. He’s in his first season as a tight end after previously serving as a defensive lineman. However, with Freeny now on IR, Scruggs’ chances of playing again this season are remote.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphins, Patriots, and Jets 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 East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day (all links go to Twitter unless noted otherwise):

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Patriots Cut Aaron Dobson, Move To 53

The Patriots have announced the cuts that bring them down to 53, including the waiving of Aaron Dobson.
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Dobson, 25, is a former second-round pick, but he hasn’t done much since joining New England in 2013. In three seasons with the club, the Marshall product has only posted 53 receptions for less than 700 yards. Most of that production came during his rookie season, as Dobson has put up only 16 catches during the past two years. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Dobson was set to earn about $872K in base salary.

Here’s the list of Patriots cuts so far today:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pats Sign Seven Draftees, Seven UDFAs

The Patriots announced the signings of a number of rookies today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed eight of their 11 draft picks, and another seven undrafted free agents. Two of those draft picks – fourth-rounder Tre’ Jackson and seventh-rounder Xzavier Dickson – had their deals previously reported, but six of the names are new, and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that a ninth draftee has signed his contract as well.

The following picks have signed their contracts, per the team and Wilson:

  • Jordan Richards, DB (second round)
  • Geneo Grissom, DE (third round)
  • Trey Flowers, DE (fourth round)
  • Shaq Mason, OL (fourth round)
  • Matthew Wells, OLB (sixth round)
  • A.J. Derby, TE (sixth round)
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (seventh round)

Of New England’s 11 draft picks, only first-rounder Malcom Brown and fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona remain unsigned. In addition to locking up most of their draft class, the Pats have formally inked seven undrafted free agents to deals. Here are those players:

  • David Andrews, C, Georgia
  • Devin Gardner, WR, Michigan ($5K bonus, plus $10K guaranteed salary, per Dave Birkett)
  • Chris Harper, WR, California ($15K bonus, plus $5K guaranteed salary, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Jimmy Jean, DB, Alabama-Birmingham
  • Brandon King, DB, Auburn
  • Eric Patterson, DB, Ball State
  • Vince Taylor, DL, Vanderbilt ($2.5K bonus, per Jeff Howe)