J.J. Nelson

NFL Workout Updates: 11/11/19

Here’s the latest from around the league’s workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Buccaneers Audition RB Spencer Ware

The Buccaneers were busy this afternoon, as SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out eight players. Among that grouping was a trio of offensive weapons: wide receiver Maurice Harris, wide receiver J.J. Nelson, and running back Spencer Ware.

The Buccaneers receiver depth chart is topped by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but the team could be looking for a veteran to fill out the squad. The coaching staff could also be hunting for a return man, as they’ve had to use punt returner T.J. Logan in double duty following the release of Bobo Wilson.

Neither Harris nor Nelson have much experience in the return game, but the two have plenty of experience on offense. Nelson, 27, was a 500-yard receiver as recently as 2017, but he’s fallen off over the past two seasons. He hauled in four catches in two games for the Raiders before getting released in early October. Harris, 26, had his first productive NFL season in 2018, but he hasn’t had a gig since getting cut by the Patriots back in August.

Similar to the Bucs’ receivers, the team’s running backs corps are pretty much set. In fact, earlier this week, coach Bruce Arians revealed that Ronald Jones had secured the starting running back gig, with Peyton Barber, T.J.Logan and Dare Ogunbowale also contributing to the running game. Ware would provide a veteran option, although the soon-to-be 28-year-old hasn’t seen the field in 2019. He had ankle surgery back in August, so it’s encouraging that he’s already working out for teams. The veteran had 470 yards on offense in 13 games for the Chiefs last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/22/19

Here is Tuesday’s summary from the workout circuit:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Raiders To Release WR J.J. Nelson

The Raiders are planning to release J.J. Nelson, but this is not to make room for Zay Jones. The team will retain its seven-wideout roster arrangement, with Field Yates of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the team is bringing back recently cut pass catcher Marcell Ateman.

Oakland signed Nelson this offseason but has not seen much from the former Arizona deep threat. A vested veteran who will become a free agent, Nelson played in just two games and has four receptions for 36 yards this season. Nelson did score a touchdown in Week 3 against the Vikings, but he’s battled a leg injury in recent weeks.

Ateman went unclaimed on waivers earlier this week. The 2018 seventh-round pick played 28 snaps in the Raiders’ win over the Bears in London. He will return to a Raiders receiver room that still houses Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss, Dwayne Harris, Trevor Davis and Jones.

Nelson signed a one-year, $1MM deal as a free agent. He has not been especially productive since Bruce Arians’ departure from Arizona, having totaled 100 yards since the start of the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Raiders Add WR J.J. Nelson

A third new wide receiver will join the Raiders’ corps. Following the additions of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson is joining the fold.

The four-year Cardinals auxiliary weapon figures to compete for a similar role in Oakland. Based on how Nelson played during the Bruce Arians era, the Raiders may have brought in another key contributor. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound receiver is one of the league’s top deep threats, despite having been used in a niche capacity.

Nelson totaled more than 1,000 yards between the 2016 and ’17 seasons, the latter coming when the Cardinals had to turn to mostly backup quarterbacks. Nelson’s 17.8 yards per catch leads all NFL receivers since 2015.

In 2016, Nelson hauled in six touchdown receptions, and he followed that up by posting 508 yards on just 29 receptions while working mostly with Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert in 2017. But last season, Nelson was a non-factor. Working in the NFL’s worst offense, the former fifth-round pick caught just seven passes for 64 yards.

Oakland has released Jordy Nelson, and beyond Brown and Williams, this seems to be a wide-open competition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Injury Updates: Cutler, Lacy, Boyd, Adams

While we don’t cover every NFL injury at Pro Football Rumors, we keep a close eye on them nonetheless, and we’ll often pass along injury news if it pertains to a key player, or if a team may have to make a roster move due to an injury. Here are some of the latest noteworthy updates on injuries sustained by players during this weekend’s games:


  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a strained hamstring, according to head coach John Fox, who added that the Bears haven’t decided whether or not to add another QB to the roster this week (Twitter links via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune).
  • Packers running back Eddie Lacy sprained his ankle against the Seahawks last night, but the injury is minor and he could play in Week 3, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • While the initial diagnosis on Packers defensive tackle Josh Boyd suggested that his ankle injury may not be too significant, an MRI revealed torn ankle ligaments, and his season is now in jeopardy, tweets Rapoport.
  • Falcons running back Tevin Coleman fractured a rib yesterday, and will likely be sidelined for a couple weeks, depending on his pain threshold, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite the injury, head coach Dan Quinn said he doesn’t anticipating adding another running back to the roster, according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure (Twitter link).
  • Panthers wideout Jerricho Cotchery has a high ankle sprain, which is often a multi-week injury, but the team hopes he’ll be ready for Week 3, says Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson is expected to miss two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians (Twitter link via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic).


  • Texans offensive lineman Jeff Adams suffered a torn patellar tendon in his knee, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). It’s a season-ending injury for Adams, who figures to land on the team’s injured reserve list this week.
  • Bills defensive back Aaron Williams sustained what appeared to be one of the more serious injuries of Week 2, but head coach Rex Ryan passed along some positive news today, indicating that Williams was back at the team’s facility and is “doing OK.” As Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News details, Ryan said it’s probably a stretch to think Williams will be back for this Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but it sounds like he avoided a significant injury.
  • Jaguars running back Denard Robinson‘s knee injury is a sprained MCL, and he’s considered week to week, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter links).

Draft Signings: Falcons, Bucs, Bills

The latest draft signings from rounds 3-7..

  • The Falcons signed third-round pick Tevin Coleman, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With the running back in the fold, Vic Beasley stands as the last draft pick unsigned in Atlanta.
  • The Buccaneers signed fourth-round linebacker Kwon Alexander, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). The Bucs traded up in the fourth round with the Raiders to land the LSU product.
  • The Buccaneers also signed Nebraska product Kenny Bell, according to Smith (on Twitter). The wide receiver was taken in the fifth round.
  • FSU tight end Nick O’Leary, a sixth-round choice, has signed his rookie contract with the Bills, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Seventh-round wideout Dezmin Lewis has also signed his rookie deal with the team, tweets Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.
  • The Bengals signed safety Derron Smith, a sixth-round pick, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Smith is just the second of nine picks to sign.
  • The Cardinals announced (via Twitter) that they have signed a pair of fifth-round picks in linebacker Shaquille Riddick and wide receiver J.J. Nelson.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Peterson, Willis, Draft

Wide receiver figures to be a primary area of focus for the Eagles in the draft, and according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, UCF’s Breshad Perriman is paying a visit to the team today. It’s one of 18 pre-draft visits or private workouts Perriman has on his schedule in advance of the draft — the young wideout has had private workouts for the Giants and Texans, and recently visited the Ravens.

In addition to bringing in Perriman, the Eagles are also taking a look at USC’s Nelson Agholor, with Chip Kelly in Tampa today to work out a player he recruited back in his Oregon days (Twitter link via Kevin O’Donnell of WTVT Fox13).. Philadelphia has previously been linked to Agholor, so it looks like that interest is very genuine.

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Former agent Joel Corry of CBSSports.com takes an extended, in-depth look at Adrian Peterson‘s situation in Minnesota, suggesting that if the Vikings were to trade the veteran running back, they probably shouldn’t expect more than a second-round pick in return. Corry also identifies seven potential trade partners for the Vikes, with clubs like the Falcons and Chargers joining oft-mentioned suitors such as the Cowboys and Cardinals.
  • Speaking to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Corry says he’d be surprised if the 49ers don’t attempt to recoup a portion of Patrick Willis‘ signing bonus, following the linebacker’s retirement. In Corry’s view, the team could probably recover a minimum of $3.54MM from Willis. Chris Borland, who also retired this offseason, previously indicated he’d be returning three-quarters of his signing bonus to the Niners.
  • Linebacker Darin Drakeford, who participated in last month’s veterans combine, is working out today for the Buccaneers, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • The Lions continue to examine speedy receiving prospects, bringing in UAB’s J.J. Nelson today for a pre-draft visit, writes Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.