Greg Van Roten

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tua, Fitz, Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick is “really excited” to have Tua Tagovailoa in the Dolphins‘ locker room, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. He gushed about the Alabama product in a chat with former Bills teammate Eric Woods, though he’s not quite ready to pass the torch as the team’s starting quarterback.

I also want to be out there playing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I also want to be on the field. And that’s why I’m still doing it, because I still enjoy playing the gameHopefully some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are from him watching me play. But if it’s the other way around, I’m going to do my best to help him succeed in the best way he can.”

Ultimately, the Dolphins will do what’s best for business, but Fitzpatrick may have a leg up on the rookie, thanks to his relationship with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Chan and I have worked together for three years … He’s the guy who has given me the longest leash in my career in terms of being able to do things,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I trust him completely, and he has ultimate trust in me as well. This will be a little bit different in that if I’m out there playing there’s going to be a little bit longer leash because of the history we have together.”

Here’s more from the AFC East:

Contract Details: Anderson, Pennel, Alexander

A handful of contract details to pass along:

Jets To Sign Greg Van Roten

The Jets continue to bolster their offensive line. New York has agreed to terms with guard Greg Van Roten, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s a three-year deal for Van Roten according to a tweet from Connor Hughes of The Athletic, who notes that New York has had their eye on him since before free agency opened. We heard a handful of days ago that the Jets had turned their attention to Van Roten and other second-tier interior linemen after whiffing on their attempt to sign Graham Glasgow, and now they’ve got their guy.

Van Roten was one of the top linemen left on the market, and the available pool just got that much thinner for teams still looking for O-line help. Van Roten has had an unusual path to prominence, as he entered the league as an UDFA back in 2012 but didn’t start a game until 2018. He then became a full-time starter for the Panthers the past two seasons, earning reasonably strong marks from Pro Football Focus.

The Jets have been remaking their unit, and they signed Connor McGovern to a big deal to be their center earlier this week. Jets beat writers seem to expect Van Roten to start at right guard with Alex Lewis at left. This could mean the end of the line for guard Brian Winters in New York, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. The Jets could save a little over $7MM by cutting him. They also signed new left tackle George Fant in free agency, so this offensive line is going to look completely different in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Targeting Interior Linemen Stefen Wisniewski, Greg Van Roten

The Jets have swung and missed on a handful of top free agents already, forcing them to shift their attention to some of their backup plans. They were reportedly in on guard Graham Glasgow, before he signed a big deal with the Broncos.

New York still needs help on the offensive line, and they’re now targeting a couple of lower-profile options along the interior. The Jets have “turned their attention” to guard/center Stefen Wisniewski and guard Greg Van Roten, sources told Connor Hughes of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Jets were also interested in guard Joe Thuney, before the Patriots shockingly franchise-tagged him this morning.

Both Wisniewski and Van Roten are longtime veterans with a lot of starting experience. Neither are elite players by any means, but they’re both respectable options. Wisniewski was a full-time starter with the Raiders and Jaguars his first five years in the league, then became a top reserve with the Eagles and started at least six games in each of his three years in Philly. He spent last year with the Chiefs and only started twice, his first season with less than six starts.

Van Roten entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but didn’t start a game until 2018 when he unexpectedly became Carolina’s starter at left guard and started all 16 games. He started all 11 that he appeared in this past year. As Hughes points out, he’s done quite well in pass protection.

AFC East Rumors: Jets, Bell, Butler, Norman

The Jets are widely expected to be active in free agency, and now that a new CBA has been approved, they can increase their ability to spend by designating Trumaine Johnson as a post-June 1 cut. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com takes a look at the players that Gang Green is expected to target, and unsurprisingly, some of this year’s most prolific O-lineman, edge rushers, and cornerbacks are on the list.

But what are the Jets’ fallback plans if they can’t land their top targets? Connor Hughes of The Athletic has heard that the team could pursue Eagles OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and if the Jets miss out on guards like Graham Glasgow and Joe Thuney, Hughes says they have looked into Panthers guard Greg Van Roten.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets would like to retain WR Robby Anderson, but if his price tag gets too high, both Hughes and Cimini believe Breshad Perriman would be a target. Perriman offers field-stretching ability and had a strong finish to the 2019 season with the Bucs.
  • Jets RB Le’Veon Bell receives a $2MM roster bonus today. As Cimini points out, that bonus makes it a little less likely that Bell is traded, though that never seemed like a realistic proposition to begin with.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots are prepared to move on from WR Phillip Dorsett, though it’s a different story for Adam Butler. The fourth-year DT recently switched agents, and Reiss says extension talks could be on tap. Butler, a former UDFA, recorded six sacks last season.
  • The details are in on Josh Norman‘s new contract with the Bills, courtesy of Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Twitter), The deal was originally reported as a one-year, $6MM pact that could increase to $8MM with incentives, but Norman has a number of workout and roster milestones to hit before he collects the full $6MM. His salary is just $2.8MM, $1.5MM of which is guaranteed.

Panthers Sign Stacy McGee and Woodrow Hamilton

The Panthers made a flurry of roster moves on Wednesday morning. Carolina officially moved defensive tackle Dontari Poe and guard Greg Van Roten to the injured reserve and signed defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Woodrow Hamilton, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.

The move to injured reserve was expected for Poe after it was reported earlier this week that he had to undergo surgery for a torn quad. Van Roten, however, left Sunday’s game against the Saints with a toe injury and the severity was not yet known. Now, both are officially out for the season.

McGee is the more well-known of the two new additions. A six-year veteran, McGee played the first four seasons of his career with the Raiders where he served as a swingman, playing nearly every position along the defensive line. After his tenure in Oakland, Washington signed him to a two-year contract that spanned the 2017-18 seasons. Over his career, McGee has appeared in 75 games (29 starts), recorded 116 tackles, and 4 sacks.

Hamilton has bounced between a number of NFL organizations and has appeared in two games since turning pro in 2016. While he does not come with McGee’s resume, he also signed a futures/reserve contract with the Panthers in December of 2018 and was with the organization until final roster cuts on August 30th. His familiarity should help him quickly integrate himself into the rotation.

Panthers Sign WR Trevor Graham

The Panthers have signed free agent wide receiver Trevor Graham, the club announced Monday. Graham, an ex-third-round pick of the Bills, formerly went by the first name T.J., but has since reverted to his given name. Carolina also signed center Greg Van Roten, waived/injured wideout Charles Johnson, and waived defensive end Ryan Delaire with a failed physical designation.T.J. Graham (Vertical)

Graham, who turns 28 years old later this week, is now the 13th receiver on Carolina’s roster, and if he makes the club, it will likely be because of his speed. A track athlete while at North Carolina State, Graham averaged 27 receptions and 342 yards during his first two years in the league (both with Buffalo), but hasn’t contributed on offense since.

While Graham’s skillset seemingly should make him a solid return man in the kicking game, that’s not a role he’s been asked to play throughout his NFL career. He’s returned just seven kickoffs during his time in the league, and has never returned a punt. In fact, in his two seasons with the Bills, Graham played only three total special teams snaps.

As such, it will be difficult for Graham to earn a spot on the Panthers’ roster unless he carves out a role as a deep threat à la Ted Ginn Jr. Given that Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Russell Shepard are locks to make Carolina’s squad, Graham will be competing with the likes of Damiere ByrdBrenton Bersin, and Kaelin Clay for reps during training camp.

Johnson — not to be confused with his former defensive end teammate of the same name — won’t be part of that receiver group, as he’s been cut following right knee surgery. He’ll go through waivers but won’t be claimed due to his injury, so he’ll revert to the Panthers’ injured reserve list. At that point, Carolina could agree to an injury settlement with the former Viking in order to clear him from IR. Johnson, 28, signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $2.2MM earlier this offseason.

Delaire, meanwhile, played 139 defensive snaps for the Panthers a season ago in between two separate stints on injured reserve. In six games, Delaire managed five tackles, one sack, and one pass defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Sign 16 UDFAs, Cut 11 Players

The Jaguars announced that they have signed 16 undrafted free agents. In order to make room, they have released eleven players from the roster. Here’s the full rundown:

Signed:

Released:

Dimick led the Pac-12 in sacks last season with 13.5 and earned a first-team All-Conference selection. Prior to the draft, one NFC West Coast scout told Lance Zierlein of NFL.com that Dimick’s work ethic is admirable, but his lack of natural talent may inhibit him at the next level.

He’s more try-hard than talented. His effort is great. I love how hard he plays, but when you are as sawed-off as he is on the edge and you can’t unlock your hips, I don’t know how he is going to see the field,” the scout said.

Horton got $25K guaranteed from the Jaguars between his $5K bonus and $20K guaranteed base, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets.

The Jags’ roster is now at the 90-man max.

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/27/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The 49ers have re-signed exclusive rights free agents Carl Bradford (linebacker) and Mike Purcell (defensive lineman), the team announced. San Francisco claimed Bradford, a former Green Bay fourth-round pick, off waivers near the tail end of last season, and the 24-year-old went on to play in two games with the Niners. Purcell, meanwhile, has spent the past three seasons with the 49ers. In 2016, he appeared in 15 games (five starts) and played on roughly a quarter of San Francisco’s defensive snaps.
  • The Buccaneers have re-signed exclusive rights free agents WR Adam Humphries (wide receiver), DB Jude Adjei-Barimah (defensive back), Adarius Glanton (linebacker), and Freddie Martino (wide receiver), reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Humphries (55 receptions, 622 yards, two scores) and Adjei-Barimah (290 defensive snaps before a PED suspension) played the largest roles among this group in 2016.
  • The Cardinals announced that they’re re-signed linebacker Gabe Martin, who was an exclusive rights free agent. Martin, 24, played in eight games last season but spent most of his time on special teams. The former undrafted free agent was placed on injured reserve in November after suffering a knee injury.
  • The Jaguars announced that they’ve signed offensive lineman Greg Van Roten. Van Roten, 27, hasn’t appeared in the NFL since 2013, when he played in three games for Green Bay. After spending a few months with Seattle in 2014, Van Roten signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, where he’s played the past two campaigns.
  • The Colts have agreed to sign offensive lineman Fahn Cooper, the club announced today. Cooper, a 2016 sixth-round choice out of Ole Miss, spent his rookie season on the 49ers’ practice squad. The 23-year-old was placed on San Francisco’s taxi squad injured reserve list in November.
  • The Saints have waived offensive lineman Avery Young, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Young, 24, went undrafted out of Auburn in 2016, and ended up spending the entirety of his rookie campaign on the non-football injury list.