Giorgio Tavecchio

NFL Workout Updates: 9/17/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s of Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • TE Nick O’Leary (link)

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Falcons Reduce Roster To 52

The Falcons have trimmed down their roster. The team announced that they’ve reduced their roster to 52 players, meaning they’re leaving one spot open for a potential free agent addition.

We learned yesterday that the organization was moving on from defensive back Ron Parker and offensive lineman Austin Pasztor. The rest of the team’s moves are below:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Falcons Sign K Giorgio Tavecchio

The Falcons have signed former Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, according to a team announcement. The move gives the Falcons three kickers on their roster for the time being. 

Tavecchio, 28, was released by the Raiders this year, despite a decent 2017 season in which he made 16 of 21 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards. He also made 33 of his 34 extra point attempts last year.

Tavecchio will compete with Matt Bryant – the Falcons’ all-time leading scorer – and Georgia product David Marvin for the team’s kicking job. The game of musical chairs won’t last long with roster cuts coming on Saturday.

The Falcons inked Bryant to a three-year, $10.5MM extension in March to make him one of the ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL. The deal included a $2MM signing bonus, so that would be a sunk cost for Atlanta if they release him.

Last year, Bryant nailed 87.2% of his field goals, good for 12th in the NFL. He also sank eight-of-nine attempts from 50 yards or more.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Work Out Kickers Tavecchio, Rose

The Texans worked out kickers Giorgio Tavecchio and Nick Rose on Wednesday, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Both players performed well, but Wilson hears that Tavecchio is the one who is under consideration to be signed. 

Tavecchio played for Texans special teams coach Brad Seely while they were both with the Raiders, so he would be a logical fit for the team. If signed, he’ll compete with incumbent kicker Kai’imi Fairbairn for the job.

Last year, Fairbairn connected on 20 of 25 field goal tries (80%) and 32 of 35 of extra point attempts (91.4%). Tavecchio, meanwhile, made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts (76%), including three-of-four tries from 50 yards or further.

Tavecchio recently auditioned for the Falcons, but left Atlanta without a deal. His next opportunity may come in Houston.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Work Out Giorgio Tavecchio

Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio worked out for the Falcons this week, a source tells Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). Tavecchio was waived by the Raiders on Friday, making him a free agent. 

The Tavecchio audition could be an indication that the Falcons have some doubts about 43-year-old Matt Bryant. That would be somewhat surprising, since the Falcons inked Bryant to a three-year, $10.5MM extension in March to make him one of the ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL. The deal included a $2MM signing bonus, so that would be a sunk cost for Atlanta if they release him.

Last year, Bryant nailed 87.2% of his field goals, good for 12th in the NFL. He also sank eight-of-nine attempts from 50 yards or more, so his power hasn’t deteriorated much. Tavecchio, meanwhile, made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts with the Raiders in 2017 (76%), including three-of-four tries from 50 yards or further.

The Falcons also have Georgia UDFA kicker David Marvin on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Rumors: Switzer, DL, Kickers

While Jon Gruden‘s yet to bestow much praise upon Martavis Bryant, the Raiders’ other wide receiver trade acquisition has impressed the new coach. It’s looking like the former Cowboys draft choice will have a role in the passing game, and Ryan Switzer certainly will contribute on special teams. Switzer returned seven punts for touchdowns while at North Carolina, including five his freshman year. He returned a punt for a score last season as a rookie.

He’s a guy that can change the game, I think, on third down. He’s a tough matchup,” Gruden said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). “He’s quick. He has vertical speed. He has special teams ability. … I love Switzer. I think he’s one of the best punt returners of college football, perhaps the history of college football. He’s as good as I saw.”

Seth Roberts has served as the Raiders’ top slot option for the better part of the past three seasons for a team that hasn’t featured much depth at the position. Switzer, if nothing else, may supply that.

Here’s the latest out of Oakland.

  • It’s not finalized the Raiders will play the 2019 season in Oakland, but they will remain in Napa, Calif., for training camp next year. It could be their last one in northern California, however. In 2020, Reno has emerged as the favorite, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. Reno officials visited Raiders camp this weekend, Gehlken reports, and Las Vegas has been ruled out as a camp site. The Raiders hope to play the 2019 season in Oakland, and while 2020 represents the franchise’s relocation goal, a firm departure date hasn’t been established.
  • Giorgio Tavecchio‘s kicking foot looks to have played a key part in his Raiders downfall. Holder Johnny Townsend had to switch sides when the Silver and Black alternated reps between last year’s kicker (Tavecchio, who is left-footed) and rookie UDFA Eddy Pineiro, and Gruden was tired of that continuing to be required, he said today (via Tafur). Gruden added that Pineiro has kicked well in camp and that he views Mike Nugent as a legitimate option, rather than a mere mentor.
  • The Raiders have not been able to supplement Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin with much in the way of complementary pass rushers the past two seasons, but a growing belief exists among Raiders coaches and scouts their rookie contingent of defensive linemen — P.J. Hall, Arden Key and Maurice Hurst — can be early contributors, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. The team has injury-prone defensive end Mario Edwards entering a contract year and fifth-year nose tackle Justin Ellis back. And the Raiders signed Tank Carradine in March. Eddie Vanderdoes enters his second season after being a primary starter as a rookie, but he’s coming off an ACL tear. The team looks to have a deeper pool of options up front.
  • The Raiders are also making some history on their strength and conditioning staff. Kelsey Martinez is signed on to work as an assistant strength assistant, Gehlken writes. The 26-year-old becomes the franchise’s first woman to work in this department. Martinez worked under new Raiders strength boss Tom Shaw at the Tom Shaw Performance facility in Orlando, Fla., the past four years.

Raiders To Waive Giorgio Tavecchio, Sign Mike Nugent

The Raiders are going to be moving in a different direction at kicker. Giorgio Tavecchio won’t be a part of Oakland’s kicking competition any longer, with Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting (on Twitter) the second-year kicker will be waived.

Oakland, though, won’t automatically give rookie Eddy Pineiro the job. Mike Nugent will join the team, per Gehlken.

Tavecchio served as the Raiders’ kicker throughout last season, having replaced Sebastian Janikowski. Tavecchio made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts with the Raiders in 2017 and converted 33 of his 34 PAT tries. But Jon Gruden has orchestrated a string of shakeups this offseason, and Tavecchio’s trip to the waiver wire serves as the latest.

The 28-year-old Italian endured a rough Friday at Raiders camp, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Raiders, though, gave Pineiro a $25K signing bonus to compete with the incumbent as a UDFA.

If the 36-year-old Nugent beats out the rookie, the Raiders will be his seventh team. He last kicked for the Bears and Cowboys (four games apiece) in 2017. He served as the Bengals’ kicker for six years prior to that. However, Tafur adds (on Twitter) Nugent will be viewed as more of a mentor than full-fledged competition for Pineiro. He may be insurance in case the Florida product, who made 17 of his 18 field goal tries last season, has a rough preseason.

Two right-footed kickers are now vying for the Raiders’ job, with the winner set to become the first non-lefty to serve as the Oakland kicker since Brad Daluiso 17 years ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves.

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: OL Joseph Cheek
  • Signed: OL Larson Graham
  • Signed: OL Parker Collins

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-Tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

Raiders To Place Sebastian Janikowski On IR

The Raiders will open the season with a kicker other than Sebastian Janikowski for the first time since the 20th century on Sunday, because the team placed the 18th-year veteran on IR Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Janikowski’s struggled with a back injury during the preseason. In Janikowski’s place, Giorgio Tavecchio is in line to make his NFL debut Sunday against the Titans, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. The Raiders signed Tavecchio to their practice squad on Friday after taking him to training camp the past two years.

Schefter notes (via Twitter) the Raiders promoted Tavecchio from the practice squad. The Raiders were concerned about Janikowski’s back for some time, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting (on Twitter) the kicker hadn’t felt right in weeks.

A disc injury will shelve Janikowski for at least half the season, but the situation could be complicated. The Raiders are planning to make rookie safety Obi Melifonwu one of their IR-DTR players, and teams only have two such spots. So it’s possible this injury ends Janikowski’s season, depending on what transpires on the Oakland injury front during the first half of the season. The Raiders waited until December of last year to recall defensive end Mario Edwards, but it would certainly be interesting if they held a spot for a kicker.

This has been quite the newsworthy week involving the longest-tenured player in Raiders history. Oakland worked out three recently released kickers — Josh Lambo, Mike Nugent and Marshall Koehn — and a pay-cut agreement commenced, reducing Janikowski’s 2017 salary from $4MM to $3MM. This followed an initial impasse that involved the longtime specialist refusing to accept a pay reduction. That $3MM figure is guaranteed in this the last season of Janikowski’s latest Raiders contract.

The 2000 first-round pick has only missed four games with the Raiders, and his 268 are the most any Raider’s ever played.

Lambo, Nugent and Koehn will be names to monitor, since it’s unlikely Tavecchio will have surefire job security. He’ll have to perform to stave off a potential veteran add. Also a left-footed kicker, Tavecchio kicked for Cal from 2008-11.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.