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.
The Patriots exchanged one fifth-year player for another on the day before their Week 4 clash against the Bills. New England signed Greg Scruggs and cut John Hughes, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
Both have spent the majority of their careers as defensive linemen, but Scruggs could be tapped to play tight end for the Patriots. He played four seasons as a reserve defensive lineman, seeing action for the Seahawks in 2012, ’13 and ’15, before moving to tight end with the Bears. The Pats worked out Scruggs on Friday.
Chicago waived Scruggs earlier this week. The 6-foot-3 former defensive end did see time in all three of Chicago’s games thus far this season but hasn’t made a catch at his new position yet. The Patriots listed Rob Gronkowski as questionable again this week. If he’s unable to go, Scruggs could have a route to being a game-day active in a Martellus Bennett-fronted group.
However, the Pats already have two other tight ends on their roster in Clay Harbor and A.J. Derby, and Doug Kyed of NESN.com (Twitter link) points out the team might want Scruggs to work at his former position.
Hughes signed with the Patriots on Monday after the Browns cut him last week to create a spot for Charlie Whitehurst. Cleveland signed the defensive lineman to a four-year, $14.4MM extension in March of 2015, but the franchise’s new regime evidently didn’t think as highly of him as the Ray Farmer– and Mike Pettine-ledoperation did.
The 28-year-old Hughes has played in 53 games (10 starts) since coming into the league as a third-round pick in 2012. He played in one game for the Browns this season after suiting up for all 16 in 2015. Hughes has 5.5 career sacks to his credit.
Reece, 31, had been with Oakland since since 2009. He violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs last December, and the ensuing multi-game ban cost him a trip to the Pro Bowl and, apparently, led the Raiders to finding his full-time replacement. Reece was scheduled to play out the 2016 season at a cap number of $3.53MM, but Oakland has opted against taking on that cap hit.
In 2015, Reece caught 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns and also added 36 rushing yards. A versatile back who can play a variety of roles, Reece averaged 34 receptions per season from 2010-15, and he’d likely assume the role of pass-catching back in New England if signed. With Dion Lewis sidelined through at least Week 6, James White has been absorbing most of the running back looks in the Patriots’ passing game.
As Reiss notes, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been extremely complementary of Reece in the past. “You put a big guy on him, he’s probably going to have a hard time matching up with Reece’s speed and quickness,” Belichick said in 2014. “Put a smaller guy on him, he might match up with his speed and quickness, but it would be hard to match up with his size. I’d say that’s a dilemma. Who do you have that has the same skill set as Reece?”
September 27th, 2016 at 7:10pm CST by Dallas Robinson
7:10pm: The Bears have officially announced the moves listed below.
5:52pm: The Bears have agreed to terms with defensive lineman C.J. Wilson, according to his agents at SportsTrust Advisors (Twitter link). Terms of the deal haven’t been announced, but it’s likely a one-year contract at minimum salary.
Wilson, 29, has 78 career games under his belt, with most of that time coming as a rotational option with Packers from 2010-2013. He played in 12 contests in 2015 (eight with the Lions, four with the Raiders), and picked up nine total tackles to go along with one sack. Wilson bounced and off the Saints’ roster this offseason, and was ultimately cut when final rosters were set.
Chicago didn’t stop with the Wilson signing, however, as the club has made several other transactions today. The Bears have waived tight end Greg Scruggs and linebacker Jonathan Anderson, creating roster spots for Wilson and linebacker John Timu, who is being promoted from the practice squad, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitterlinks).
The Bears have placed a pair of starting players on injured reserve, officially ruling them out for Week 17. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman have landed on IR, according to the team (Twitter link). To fill the openings on the 53-man roster, Chicago has signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs and Terry Williams.
Jeffery, in the final year of his rookie contract, was slowed by injuries, which prevented him from putting up the type of numbers he had in past seasons. After averaging about 87 receptions, 1,277 yards, and eight touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, the 25-year-old recorded just 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Of course, Jeffery’s numbers don’t look too bad when taking into account that he only played nine games this season for the Bears — he actually established a new career-high in yards per game (89.7). As he approaches possible free agency, the Bears will have a tough decision to make, as they consider whether to use the franchise tag on the standout receiver to keep him from hitting the open market.
As for Goldman, the rookie defender, selected in the second round of this year’s draft out of Florida, had a solid first season in Chicago, logging 22 tackles to go along with 4.5 sacks. His ankle injury isn’t expected to require surgery.
It’s been a busy last couple of days around the NFL, with teams still looking to fill up their squads for the rest of the season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted a whole bunch of workout notes this afternoon, which we’ve compiled for you below…
November 24th, 2015 at 5:48pm CST by Zachary Links
Running back Kendall Hunter has been a busy man as of late and his most recent audition came with the Jets on Tuesday, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. Hunter has also worked out for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Patriots within the last month. Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from San Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent.
Here’s a rundown of the rest of Tuesday’s auditions:
Just over seven months after he announced his retirement from the NFL, cornerback Cortland Finneganhad a workout today with the Patriots. Finnegan, 31, was one of the league’s worst cornerbacks in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. PFF ranked Finnegan 109th out of 110 qualified corners, with a grade of -19.7 in just seven games. As such, it came as a bit of a surprise when Miami inked the former Ram to a two-year, $11MM deal in 2014. He might not be worthy of that kind of pay, but he could make for an intriguing depth option for the Pats or another team.
Here’s a rundown of today’s other workouts from around the NFL, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..
We’ve passed along a few of the more notable updates from the last few days on workouts and free agent visits, including the Giants trying out wide receivers like Terrelle Pryor and the Cowboys bringing in running back LaMike James. However, there are plenty more tryout updates from this week to round up, and we’ve got them all below. All links point to the Twitter account of Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, unless otherwise indicated.