Greg Toler

NFC Notes: Fitzgerald, DeHaven, Lions, Redskins

Larry Fitzgerald recently signed an extension with the Cardinals that would take him through the 2017 season. However, when asked if he’d retire before completing the contract, the veteran wideout dodged the question.

“That’s kind of self explanatory, right?” Fitzgerald told Kent Somers of “I hope so. We’ve got a good thing going right now. We’ve got a really good football team. But not only that, management, Steve Keim (General Manager), Coach (Bruce) Arians, Michael Bidwill. We’ve done a great job in all phases of organization football, and it’s been fun to be around here the last couple years.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Panthers special teams coach Bruce DeHaven is taking a leave of absence to resume cancer treatments, writes Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer. The coordinator title has been handed to assistant Thomas McGaughey, and former NFL linebacker Chase Blackburn will slide into the assistant role. DeHaven, who has been coaching for 46 years, is hoping to return for the team’s Week 2 game against the 49ers. In the meantime, he’ll serve as the Panthers’ senior special teams advisor.
  • Lions rookie running back Zach Zenner got a longer look during the team’s preseason opener than veteran Stevan Ridley. The two backs have been splitting reps in practice, and’s Michael Rothstein believes both players will ultimately make the roster. However, the writer notes that if Zenner continues to get playing time over Ridley, the veteran could find himself on the “roster bubble.”
  • Rich Tandler of writes that the Redskins were expected to only carry a pair of quarterbacks on their roster (Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy) with the hope that rookie Nate Sudfeld would end up on the practice squad. However, Tandler writes that the signal-caller is making a case to make the roster.
  • Tandler notes that cornerback Greg Toler‘s play has led to some tough decisions for the Redskins coaching staff. If the former fourth-rounder ended up on the team, the organization would either cut Quinton Dunbar or Dashaun Phillips, although the team’s lack of safeties makes the latter unlikely.

Extra Points: Broncos, Kaepernick, P. Lynch, Bears

The blockbuster trade between the Rams and Titans that saw Los Angeles acquire the first pick in the draft, with which it will presumably select a quarterback, could have a notable ripple effect on the Broncos’ pursuit of Colin Kaepernick, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If the Rams take Cal signal-caller Jared Goff and the Browns, who hold the second choice, prefer Goff to North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, it might lead Cleveland to trade down with a team that wants Wentz. If that team isn’t San Francisco, which is scheduled to pick seventh, it could result in the 49ers closing the door on trading Kaepernick. Renck doesn’t expect the 49ers to deal him without a legitimate solution at quarterback in place, and their best non-Kaepernick option right now is the less-than-stellar Blaine Gabbert.

More from around the NFL:

  • Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch is still making pre-draft visits, and the Bears are one of the teams hosting him next week, per Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). PFR’s Rob DiRe had Chicago picking Lynch in our first mock draft last week.
  • Before releasing him, the Steelers asked cornerback Cortez Allen to take a pay cut, tweets Jeremy Fowler of However, it seems the two sides couldn’t find common ground on a reworked contract.
  • Georgia edge defender Jordan Jenkins, who projects as a probable day two pick, recently worked out for the Jets, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
  • Eastern Michigan running back Darius Jackson visited the Jets on Monday, Tony Pauline of tweets. Jackson also has visits with the Ravens, Dolphins, and Lions on his schedule.
  • The one-year contract cornerback Greg Toler inked with Washington earlier this week is worth $840K, including an $80K bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • Linebacker Lorenzo Alexanders one-year deal with the Bills is worth $885K – $75K of which is guaranteed – with a $428K split, Wilson reports (Twitter link).
  • Scott Smith of provides the full list of the 23 prospects with ties to the Tampa area who participated in the Buccaneers‘ local workout day on Friday.

Connor Byrne and Zach Links contributed to this post.

Washington Signs Greg Toler

4:26pm: Washington has officially announced the deal, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

3:47pm: After hosting him for a visit today, Washington has agreed to sign cornerback Greg Toler to a one-year contract, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Mike Jones of the Washington Post first reported (via Twitter) that Toler was expected to sign with the club.Greg Toler

Toler, 31, was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 draft by the Cardinals, and spent the first four years of his NFL career in Arizona. Since 2013, he has been a Colt, starting 32 of the 34 regular-season games he played for the club, as well as four playoff contests.

In 2015, Toler failed to grab an interception for the first time in his career, recording 51 tackles and 10 passes defended in 10 games. Pro Football Focus wasn’t fond of his performance, placing him 106th out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.

In D.C., Toler will be joining a Washington squad that projects to have Bashaud Breeland and Chris Culliver as its starting cornerbacks. Will Blackmon, Quinton Dunbar, Jeremy Harris, and Dashaun Phillips are among the other corners in the mix for the team.

For Toler, it’s also a reunion of sorts with former Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. After being fired by Indianapolis in January, Manusky headed to Washington, where he’ll coach the club’s outside linebackers in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Greg Toler Visiting Washington

Most players visiting teams this month are prospects hoping to be drafted a couple weeks from now, but there are still a handful of free agent visits taking place as well. One such visit, taking place today, involves veteran cornerback Greg Toler, who is heading to D.C. to meet with Washington, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).Greg Toler

Toler, 31, was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 draft by the Cardinals, and spent the first four years of his NFL career in Arizona. Since 2013, he has been a Colt, starting 32 of the 34 regular-season games he played for the club, plus four postseason contests.

In 2015, Toler failed to grab an interception for the first time in his career, recording 51 tackles and 10 passes defended in 10 games. Pro Football Focus wasn’t fond of his performance, placing him 106th out of 111 qualified cornerbacks.

Still, it’s possible that Toler will find a roster spot in Washington, depending on how his visit goes. The club employs his former defensive coordinator in Indianapolis — Greg Manusky, fired by the Colts in January now coaches linebackers in Washington.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Randle, Bills, Dolphins, Giants

Receiver Rueben Randle says he turned down longer deals than the modest one-year offer he accepted from the Eagles last week, according to Dave Zangaro of “There were [other teams interested],” the 24-year-old said. “I just felt like it was a better opportunity for me here to showcase my talents on a one-year deal, to go out and prove myself.” Along with Jordan Matthews, Randle is one of the Eagles’ two most accomplished wideouts. Not surprisingly, then, he expects to start. “I feel confident that I will be [a starter]. That’s for me to go out there and prove,” he said.

More from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin seemingly tweeted Friday that he was done with the team and then insisted it’s not an April Fools’ joke, as Ron Clements of the Sporting News writes. The Bills haven’t released Goodwin. Instead, he plans to dedicate his time and training to the upcoming Olympics, per Clements. Goodwin, twice an NCAA long jump champion at Texas, was part of the 2012 Olympics as a long jumper for the U.S. team. Since the Bills chose Goodwin in the third round of the 2012 draft, he has appeared in just 24 of 48 regular-season games and amassed 20 receptions and three touchdowns. Goodwin, 25, has one year and $675K left on his contract.
  • In other Bills news, team brass dined with six Ohio State prospects on Thursday, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Quarterback Cardale Jones, outside linebacker Darron Lee, cornerback Eli Apple, defensive end Adolphus Washington, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and free safety Vonn Bell all met with a Buffalo contingent.
  • The Dolphins announced that cornerback Greg Toler‘s visit with the team has concluded, as Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald tweets. Presumably, there is no agreement between the two sides – at least, not yet.
  • Toler might not be the only free agent corner on the Dolphins’ radar, writes the Sun Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, who says the team hasn’t closed the door on signing either Leon Hall or Antonio Cromartie. Hall – a Bengal since his career started in 2007 – has a connection to new Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who was Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach the previous two seasons. Cromartie’s first stint with the Jets began via trade back in 2010, when Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum was Gang Green’s general manager.
  • Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admits that he’s “disappointed” he wasn’t elevated to head coach, as Ebenezer Samuel of the Daily News writes. “I’m not going to lie to you,” Spagnuolo said. “I was disappointed I wasn’t the guy . . . but I’m not giving up on my dream of being a head coach…But I like [Ben McAdoo] a lot. It was two-fold. It didn’t happen, so it was a disappointment. But it’s always nice to be wanted.”

Zach Links contributed to this report.

East Rumors: Eagles, Lynch, Jets, Dolphins, Toler

The Eagles‘ interest in taking a quarterback at No. 8 overall is “very real,” sources tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The Eagles have made plans to work out Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch and officials believe that they intend to select a QB in the first round. However, not everyone in the NFL is sold and some think that Philly is engaging in a ruse to make Chip Kelly‘s 49ers panic and trade up in the draft.

If the Eagles can trick the 49ers with a smoke screen, it will serve as more than a prank. Philly will have a better shot at taking one of the top available defensive players in the draft if San Francisco slides up to grab a quarterback.

  • Lynch has a pre-draft visit lined up with the Jets, Albert Breer of tweets. The Jets could be looking at Lynch and other quarterbacks in the draft as a contingency plan if they are unable to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • The Dolphins are bringing in veteran cornerback Greg Toler for a visit tonight and Friday, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). Toler has made 25 starts for Indianapolis over the past two years.
  • The Bills announced that they have promoted two assistant coaches on offense. Pat Meyer has gone from football operations consultant to offensive assistant while Jason Vrable has been elevated from offensive quality control coach to the team’s assistant quarterbacks coach.

South Notes: Suh, Falcons, K. Jackson

The financial component of Ndamukong Suh‘s next deal has been discussed at length in recent months, but Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star takes a closer look at the nature of Suh’s game and describes it as something of a double-edged sword. Doyel writes that Suh is exactly the type of player the Colts have tried to avoid in recent years: a violent, cruel, and dirty player who violates the team’s mantra of winning with decency. And yet, it is those traits that, when combined with Suh’s undeniable talent, could lift the Colts from a playoff-caliber team to a Super Bowl team.

Doyel notes that the Colts have a number of talented players on the defensive side of the ball, but no great players, and no players with the type of nasty streak that can lift an entire unit. As has been proven time and time again, big-ticket free agents are rarely the answer in today’s NFL, and the negatives of their salary cap charges often outweigh their on-field contributions. But Doyel believes Suh is the exception to that rule, writing that the Colts can afford Suh even when they say they cannot, and he says the club should do everything it can to bring Suh to Indianapolis.

Now let’s take a look at a few other links from the league’s south divisions:

  • Mike Wells of has a look at a few questions facing the Colts this offseason, predicting that Greg Toler will return to the team but that LaRon Landry will not. In addition to safety, Wells identifies the running game and the pass rush as areas in clear need of improvement.
  • D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at the timeline on which Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff will be operating this offseason and the challenges they will face. Ledbetter also names the defensive and offensive lines and linebacking corps as areas of need.
  • In a separate piece, Ledbetter looks at the mixed track record of Korn Ferry, the search firm that the Falcons used in its head coaching search that culminated in Quinn’s hiring.
  • In a pair of articles, Ryan O’Halloran and Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union look at how the Jaguars‘ new offensive coaches will coexist.
  • In the wake of the Titans‘ recent hire of Dick LeBeau, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean looks at the mixed results the team has had when making “splashy” hires in the past.
  • Nate Davis of USA Today provides a brief offseason outlook for each team in the AFC South, noting that the Texans will be in real need of cornerback help if Kareem Jackson leaves in free agency and that the team could use an upgrade at tight end.

Extra Points: Bowe, Bortles, Blue

Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe will be suspended for the season opener as a result of his marijuana possession arrest last November, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Bowe is dealing with a “shot” finger, as Andy Reid told the KC Star’s Terez Paylor.

Here’s some more miscellaneous links from around the league:

      • Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles’ second preseason game was televised nationally last night, and praise is pouring in. “It was against the second- and third-team defenders for the Bears, but there was no question Blake Bortles looked the part of a viable NFL quarterback on Thursday night in Chicago,” said CBS’ Will Brinson. Bortles “showed why he’s the future of the franchise, and why the future just might be now,” said Bleacher Reports Ty Schalter. “Bortles has looked to be every bit of the future Pro Bowl quarterback a team expects to get with a top three draft pick,” said USA Today’s Chris Strauss, who calls for the Jags to name Bortles the starter immediately. And ESPN’s Michael DiRocco says Bortles needs first-team reps this week.
      • Could the Ravens be trying to sneak sixth-round quarterback Keith Wenning onto the practice squad? Backup Tyrod Taylor is scheduled for most of the work in tomorrow’s preseason game, and ESPN’s Jamison Hensley makes an “educated guess” the team will limit Wenning’s exposure to other teams who might want to poach him. “The presumed plan is to develop Wenning into the primary backup by next season, when Taylor is a free agent,” says Hensley.
      • Another rookie making waves is Texans sixth-round running back Alfred Blue. ESPN’s Tania Ganguli relayed praise for Blue from Bill O’Brien, who assessed the rookie’s skill set: “Good teammate, hardworking guy, football smart, three-down back — he’s got to continue to improve catching the football. But good runner, good vision, good on special teams, understands football, asks good questions. I see some good things from Alfred.” An ACL injury and crowded LSU backfield limited Blue’s college exposure — he carried just 209 times in 40 games — but scouts took notice of his physical ability once he declared for the draft, forgoing another year of eligibility. In his NFL Draft Preview book, Nolan Nawrocki described Blue as “A physically gifted runner who would have been the No. 1 back at most schools given his combination of size, speed, power and competitiveness.” Nawrocki added that Blue is a prime candidate to be a “far more productive pro than college player if he proves he can stay healthy.”
      • ESPN’s staff spotlighted each team’s most intriguing skill-position battle. Among the most notable capsules, Mike Reiss talks about the Patriots’ trio of running backs, saying Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen or James White could be featured any given week.
      • Greg Toler and Donte Moncrief are among four standouts in Colts camp identified by’s Stephen Holder. On Toler, Holder says, “Toler has been all over the field during camp, showing his superior ball skills and ability to play man coverage in the Colts defense. If he continues to perform like this heading into the regular season, the Colts won’t see much of a dropoff from franchise cornerback Vontae Davis to Toler.”
      • The Packers are deeper this season in the eyes of Journal Sentinel writer Bob McGinn, who analyzes the team’s projected roster position by position.