Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Giants Audition CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

We have an Ifo Ekpre-Olomu sighting. The former Oregon cornerback is among the players trying out for the Giants today, the team announced. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (vertical)

Ekpre-Olomu has had some terrible luck in recent years. Coming into the league, he was viewed as a talent with high potential, but a torn ACL and a dislocated bone in his right knee caused him to fall to the Browns in the seventh round of the 2015 draft. He later wound up with the Dolphins, but he tore his other ACL in practice before the 2016 season got underway. Now, it appears that he is healthy, so he is going to try to hook on with the Giants.

Before the Dolphins scooped up Ekpre-Olomu last year, the Saints, Bills, and Steelers all reportedly tried to claim him, so he is well regarded around the league. The question now is whether he can get back to his old form. Unfortunately, he has not been on the field since the 2015 Rose Bowl.

Kicker Travis Coons is also working out for the Giants today. Coons played for the Browns in 2015 and made 88% of his field goals. Offensive lineman Michael Brewster (who played in The Spring League) and tight end Justice Cunningham are also among those auditioning.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Cut DE Mario Williams

Break out the ceviche, because it’s (apparently) Miami Day here at Pro Football Rumors. Defensive end Mario Williams and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu are the latest players to get released by the Dolphins, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald"<strong

The Williams release has been anticipated for some time now. The 32-year-old was set to carry a $10.5MM cap charge in 2017 and that was not palatable for Miami after he fell flat in 2016. Initially signed to replace Olivier Vernon, Williams could not come close to that type of production and was even a healthy scratch for multiple games.

Williams had only five sacks in 2015, but in the year prior he piled up 14.5 sacks. The Dolphins felt that a change of scenery and a return to a 4-3 system would benefit him, but he instead turned in one of the worst seasons of his career.

On Thursday, the Dolphins also released defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and are working to trade left tackle Branden Albert. The Dolphins will save big bucks by parting ways Albert, Mitchell, and Williams, but the Ekpre-Olomu release isn’t really a cap-related measure. The oft-injured corner was waived/injured last year and this move simply takes him off of IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Waive/Injured CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

This offseason, there has been a bit of buzz in Miami around the addition of cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. The cornerback fell to the Browns in the seventh-round of the 2015 draft due to a torn ACL and a dislocated bone in his right knee. The Oregon product had not been on the field since the 2015 Rose Bowl, but the Dolphins believed that he could be an impact player and claimed him off waivers in April. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins To Sign LB Danny Lansanah]

Unfortunately, the young athlete has suffered yet another setback and will not be suiting up for the Dolphins this season. The team waived/injured Ekpre-Olomu when he tore his other ACL in practice, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Dolphins weren’t the only team with high hopes for the 23-year-old. Before Ekpre-Olomu was claimed off waivers by Miami, the Saints, Bills, and Steelers all reportedly tried to claim him. Alas, he’ll have to wait until next season to give football another try. For the Dolphins, the news is unfortunate considering their lack of depth at cornerback.

To fill Ekpre-Olomu’s spot, the Dolphins have added fellow cornerback Al Louis-Jean.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Redskins, Dolphins, Jets

Here’s the latest coming out of the Eastern divisions.

  • Despite questions about Ryan Mathews‘ durability and viability as a starting back, the Eagles waited until the fifth round to add to the position in Wendell Smallwood. And the current mix — which also houses Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner — looks like Philadelphia’s backfield battalion for 2016 as opposed to bringing in another veteran, Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. Rumors of a potential Sproles trade surfaced earlier this week, but Doug Pederson did his best to refute them. Although effective in 13 games on a per-carry basis at a career-best 5.0 figure, Mathews hasn’t started more than six games in a season since 2013.
  • Logan Paulsen could be on the Redskins‘ roster bubble after the addition of Vernon Davis, Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. A starter in 36 games the past three seasons as the team’s blocking tight end, Paulsen missed 2015 with a toe malady. Washington also has Niles Paul and Derek Carrier returning from injuries, though El-Bashir estimates the latter to begin the season on the PUP list after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year.
  • Although Duke Ihenacho started over David Bruton during the Broncos’ AFC championship season of 2013, Bruton was the more consistent player. Now that the former Broncos are reunited with the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com expects Bruton to start. Ihenacho signed his $1.67MM low-end tender in March, and despite winning a starting job in training camp, the 26-year-old ex-UDFA broke his wrist in Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. Regarded as one of the Broncos’ top special-teamers the past several years, Bruton filled in well for T.J. Ward when called upon the past two years but has made just eight starts in seven seasons. The 29-year-old Bruton is signed to a three-year, $9MM deal.
  • Recently claimed cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has been cleared to practice with the Dolphins after missing his entire rookie season with the Browns, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. The Browns waived the former Oregon seventh-rounder in April. Miami sports a revamped cornerback contingent that could benefit from a success story after the Fins moved on from Brent Grimes, Brice McCain and Jamar Taylor.
  • In a scenario where the Jets don’t re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith would be the obvious Week 1 starter despite the chance he’s not on the team in a Fitzpatrick-is-back world, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. With Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg potentially serving as Fitz’s backups if he returns, they wouldn’t be ready to handle a start in Cimini’s mind, giving Smith a high-variance offseason.
  • In likely faux-serious comments regarding an attempt to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. while he was with the Jets, Rex Ryan could have been second-guessing current Bills boss Doug Whaley‘s decision to trade up for Sammy Watkins rather than stay at No. 9 and selected Beckham, whom the Giants took at No. 12, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk offers. Although regarded as the No. 1 receiver prospect in the 2014 draft, Watkins is now battling another injury after struggling in that area the past two seasons during which Beckham has become a superstar.

Extra Points: Hardy, Robison, Knighton

Greg Hardy is frustrated that Aldon Smith received a sizable contract from the Raiders while he continues to sit on the shelf, sources tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).

Hardy’s camp is still expecting to land an incentive-laden deal, but interest has not been strong up until this point. According to league sources who spoke with Cole, teams are more concerned about Hardy’s attitude in Dallas last season and stories of his partying than they are about his domestic-abuse allegations.

Here’s some more news from outside the draft realm.

  • Family members are pestering Vikings defensive end Brian Robison to find out about his NFL future and while he’s not certain of what will come next, he does have an idea of what he’d like to do. Robinson says his “ultimate hope” is to play out the remaining two years on his deal, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes. The veteran is due to earn a base salary of $3.75MM in 2016 and $5.25MM in 2017. Robison racked up at least eight sacks per season from 2011-13. After that, he recorded 4.5 sacks in 2014 and 5.0 sacks last season. For his efforts in 2015, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus rated him as the 19th-best defensive end out of 48 qualified players.
  • Terrance Knighton consulted Vince Wilfork before signing his one-year deal with the Patriots, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. A Windsor, Conn., native, Knighton grew up a Patriots fan and followed Wilfork’s career closely. Despite being released last year after 11 seasons in New England, Wilfork expressed consistent praise for the Patriots in a long conversation with Knighton, Reiss reports.
  • The Pats have set Knighton up with a nutritionist and included weight clauses in the defensive tackle’s contract, Reiss reports. Washington listed Knighton at 354 pounds last season, and the eighth-year veteran wouldn’t disclose if that was accurate. Although Knighton told media (including Reiss) he weighs less than that now, he doesn’t have an issue with the Patriots‘ weight clauses. “It’s something I’ve paid a lot of attention to this offseason, and it won’t be a problem,” said Knighton, whose weight has likely played a part in failing to secure a long-term deal the past two offseasons. Last year, I was obviously heavier than I am right now. Contractually, I’ll have weights that I need to hit. Whatever the coaches want me to play at, that’s what I’ll be. [Weight concerns are] something that obviously has been an attack on me my whole career.”
  • Andy Mulumba‘s one-year deal with the Chiefs is worth $620K, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. The outside linebacker’s deal is only guaranteed for $10K, however. Mulumba also gets a $10K workout bonus to go along with his $600K base. The native of the Democratic Republic of Congo became a free agent when Green Bay declined to extend him the low-round tender.
  • In a recent mailbag, a reader asked Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune whether the Bears would give up their first-round pick for Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. The Jets are willing to entertain trade offers from Wilkerson, but they’re not desperate enough to move him cheaply. Chicago, meanwhile, likely needs to build through the draft for a few years to put their plan in motion, and a Wilkerson deal would probably weaken its stockpile.
  • Before Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was claimed off waivers by Miami, the Saints, Bills, and Steelers all tried to claim him, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Sam Robinson contributed to this report

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/5/16

Today’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Dolphins have claimed defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu off waivers from the Browns, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Oregon product suffered a major knee injury before the 2015 Rose Bowl, tearing his ACL and dislocating a bone in his right knee. Although the injury dropped him to the seventh round in last year’s draft, Ekpre-Olomu possesses plenty of upside if he can get healthy.

Earlier updates:

  • Dillon Farrell has signed with the Giants, according to his reps at Tier 1 Sports Management (on Twitter). The signing reunites Farrell with new offensive line coach Mike Solari, who held the same position in San Francisco from 2010-14. The UDFA out of New Mexico also spent some time on Tennessee’s taxi squad last year.
  • The Raiders announced that they have signed long snapper Andrew East. The Vanderbilt product first came into the NFL as a UDFA in 2015 and spent training camp with Kansas City. In February of this year, he inked a deal with Seattle, only to be waived in March.
  • Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald has signed his one-year restricted free agent tender, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). McDougald started 15 games for the Bucs in 2015.
  • The Buccaneers also announced that ERFA long snapper Andrew DePaola has inked his tender. DePaola has been Tampa Bay’s full-time long snapper since the start of the 2014 season.

North Notes: Lions, Bears, Ekpre-Olomu, Doss

Matthew Stafford is locked in as the Lions‘ starting quarterback, but don’t be surprised if Detroit selects a signal-caller in this year’s draft. “I think it’s really good football business to acquire a young quarterback every year or every other year,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “There’s such a value in the position and nowadays in college football there’s a lot of spread offenses, which means it’s a lot different than pro football. So it takes these young quarterbacks time to develop. So if you can add a young quarterback every year or every other year to your roster, it’s good football business in my mind.”

Let’s take a look at a few more items from the NFL’s two North divisions…

  • The Bears‘ mass signings to their offensive line signal uncertainty for the group, John Mullin of CSNChicago.com writes. Bobby Massie looks set at right tackle, but Kyle Long‘s move to right guard isn’t a lock, despite John Fox placing the Pro Bowler there in the meantime. Ted Larsen and Manny Ramirez could supplant Hroniss Grasu and Matt Slauson at center and left guard, respectively, per Mullin. Insiders inform Mullin the Dowell Loggains-led Bears will aim to run more than Adam Gase‘s group did, which was 47% of the time in 2015.
  • Cut by the Browns earlier todayIfo Ekpre-Olomu told NFL.com’s Rand Getlin (Twitter link) he’s 100% healthy and is “certain he’ll be playing football at a high level this year.” Cleveland released the cornerback with an injury designation. An Oregon product and seventh-round pick of the Browns’ last year, Ekpre-Olumu hasn’t played since tearing his ACL prior to the 2015 Rose Bowl.
  • Former Ravens draft pick Tandon Doss was present at Indiana University’s pro day, catching passes as he tries to make his way back on an NFL roster, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Doss, 26, spent three seasons in Baltimore before latching on with the Jaguars for the 2014 season. He never appeared in a game for Jacksonville, however, and didn’t play in the league last year.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/2/16

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • The Browns released cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu with an injury designation, Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. A knee injury suffered before the 2015 Rose Bowl cost the seventh-round pick from Oregon his rookie season, and the Browns denied Ekpre-Olomu the chance to continue rehabbing it with the team. Prior to tearing his ACL and dislocating a bone in his right knee, Ekpre-Olomu was considered by some to be a first-round-caliber prospect.

Extra Points: Relocation, Mariota, Hartley

With the race to Los Angeles heating up, the NFL announced today that the league will conduct public hearings later this month in St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland to discuss possible relocation (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). The town hall meetings are meant to provide fans and community members in those cities an opportunity to ask questions and express views directly to the NFL before any decisions on relocation are made, according to the league’s press release.

As we wait to see how those meetings play out, let’s round up a few Monday odds and ends from across the NFL….

  • Speaking to reporters, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt confirmed today that quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday. However, Whisenhunt said that Mariota is walking fine, and the team will determine later this week whether or not he’ll have to miss any games (Twitter links via Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com).
  • Former Saints and Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley is fully recovered from his hamstring injury and is receiving some interest, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. New Orleans made a kicking change, but the team opted for another free agent – Kai Forbath – rather than Hartley.
  • If Colts owner Jim Irsay decides he wants to replace head coach Chuck Pagano, Peter King of TheMMQB.com expects Irsay to have interest in Sean Payton in the offseason, and adds that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with Jim Harbaugh as well. King doesn’t expect Harbaugh to leave Michigan, but thinks it would be worth seeing what his price would be.
  • Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Browns cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu received $3MM today from his loss-of-value insurance policy. It’s the largest amount of money that a player has ever been paid on such a policy, which the former Oregon defensive back was able to collect because his draft stock was significantly hurt by an ACL injury he suffered in college.

PUP, NFI Players Soon Eligible To Practice

Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the Giants and Eagles, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many clubs could be welcoming injured players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to the practice field.

Of course, just because those players are able to return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player currently on the PUP list could return to the field for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest.

The rules for NFI players are similar to those for PUP players. If a player on either reserve list doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, his 2015 season will officially be over.

Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list who can begin practicing as soon as this Tuesday:

And here are the players currently on their teams’ non-football injury or illness lists, who are also eligible to begin practicing this Tuesday:

  • Arizona Cardinals: WR Damond Powell
  • Buffalo Bills: CB Leodis McKelvin
  • Cincinnati Bengals: T Cedric Ogbuehi
  • Cleveland Browns: DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE Randall Telfer, RB Glenn Winston
  • Dallas Cowboys: LB Mark Nzeocha
  • Houston Texans: T David Quessenberry
  • Kansas City Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray
  • San Francisco 49ers: WR DeAndre Smelter
  • Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams

In addition to monitoring players on the PUP and NFI lists, it’s worth keeping an eye on players who have been placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this IR-DTR spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.

That means that a player who was placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing on Tuesday, though he won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 9. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after Week 1 will have to wait until next Tuesday – October 27 – to return to practice, while other IR-DTR players will have to wait until November to practice.

Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as Tuesday: