Jaelen Strong‘s Browns tenure looks like it will be limited to one offseason. The wideout tweeted a farewell message to Cleveland, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot confirmed (via Twitter) the former third-round pick will be cut.
Strong has not played in a regular-season game since 2017. He tore an ACL in December of 2017, but he’d caught just three passes leading up to that. The former Arizona State standout caught 14 passes in each of his first two seasons, with the Texans, before being cut in September of 2017.
Steelers CB Artie Burns, a 2016 first-round pick, was widely considered to be on the club’s roster bubble this summer, and even after he earned an $800K roster bonus at the end of July, there was still some chatter that he could be sent packing. But as Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes, Burns has quieted those rumors with a strong training camp, and he excelled in Pittsburgh’s preseason contest against the Chiefs on Saturday. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020 since the Steelers declined his fifth-year option, and his contract year has gotten off to a great start. He now has a legitimate chance to be the team’s No. 3 corner.
Now for more from the AFC North:
Kaboly notes in a separate piece that the Steelers may be on the lookout for a veteran TE and/or punter on the free agent market.
Ravens slot corner Tavon Young may miss the entire 2019 campaign due to a serious neck injury, but Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic says Young is still weighing his options with respect to surgery (Twitter link). Initial reports suggested that Baltimore believes Young should get surgery, which would likely allow him to return at full-strength for the 2020 season, but Young remains undecided. If he doesn’t get surgery and allows the injury to heal on its own, he could potentially return in 2019, but if the injury doesn’t heal, he may miss some of 2020. Either way, he will almost certainly open this season on IR.
Ravens guard Marshal Yanda is dealing with an ankle/foot injury and will not play in either of the club’s remaining preseason games, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets. However, HC John Harbaugh expects the seven-time Pro Bowler to be ready to go for Week 1.
Garrett Gilbert played well in the Browns‘ preseason victory over the Colts on Saturday, but head coach Freddie Kitchens foreclosed any potential chatter of a QB2 battle by declaring that Drew Stanton will be the club’s backup QB (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). Still, Cabot writes that Gilbert’s performance likely earned the AAF alumnus a spot on the roster.
Jaelen Strongwas signed by the Browns in February, and he has played well over the past several weeks. He found the endzone in Saturday’s game, and Tony Grossi of ESPN.com suggests that the former Texans’ third-rounder is closing in on a roster spot (Twitter link).
February 20th, 2019 at 3:09pm CST by Zachary Links
The Browns have signed wide receiver Jaelen Strong, according to a team announcement. Strong, a former third-round pick, did not play in the 2018 season.
Strong spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Texans, but was released by Houston in September of 2017 and landed with the Jaguars as a depth signing. He was activated in the wake of injuries to starters Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and responded by catching a touchdown pass in the first half. Unfortunately, he went down with a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in that game. In April of 2018, the Jaguars cut him loose.
If Strong has fully recovered, he could be an intriguing weapon for quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns could use some fortification in their receiver group anyway – Jarvis Landry led the way with 81 catches last year, but no other Browns receiver topped 45 grabs.
Strong, an Arizona State product, has played in 20 career games with just three starts. Overall, he’s tallied 31 catches for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
Strong spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Texans, who selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft. He was cut by Houston in September and landed with the Jaguars as a depth signing. He was activated for the first time in December in the wake of injuries to starters Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and responded by catching a touchdown pass in the first half. Unfortunately, he went down with a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in the game.
Strong is still rehabbing from surgery, but he figures to be a popular target for teams once he’s able to get back on the practice field.
December 25th, 2017 at 2:16pm CST by GregGoldstein
An encouraging comeback game turns out to be the final one of the 2017 season for wide receiver Jaelen Strong. After catching his first touchdown pass of the season against the 49ers, the 23-year-old wideout revealed on his own personal Instagram that he has torn his ACL, effectively ending his third professional season.
“I was cut in September by the Texans. Jags claimed me a day after. 14 weeks later I am finally active. My first reception goes for a TD. IM SO EXCITED to finally be out here w GANG grinding w my dogs and then I tear my ACL. I walked off on my own power cause i immediately thought of who was watching me, our youth! Let this be a testimony for you. No matter what knocks you down you gotta pull ya self back up and what better way to show you then this… can’t wait to watch my dogs in the OFFS! Love everybody who been in my corner.”
Strong had spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Texans, who had selected him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Strong was cut by Houston in September, but was signed by the Jaguars after the team needed wide receiver depth. Strong was activated for the first time this season as Jacksonville dealt with injuries to starters Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns.
Strong responded by catching three balls and a game tying touchdown at the end of the first half. It’s a cruel turn of events for what was looking to be a nice turn around story. Now the Jaguars will have to hope for the likes of Lee and Hurns to return for the postseason. Rookies Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Jaydon Mickens have stepped up admirably for quarterback Blake Bortles over the past few weeks, but Jacksonville would certainly like their more veteran playmakers to get back in the lineup with the playoffs just two weeks away.
Jaelen Strongis back. The Jaguars have promoted the wideout to the active roster, reports John Oehser of Jaguars.com (via Twitter). To make room on the roster, the team has waived/injured receiver Larry Pinkard.
Strong has bounced around a bit in 2017, spending time with both the Jaguars and Texans. The former third-round pick started the season in Houston, but he was released by the team after serving a one-game suspension. He later caught on with Jacksonville, but he was released by the team without having played a game. He subsequently signed with the team’s practice squad.
The 23-year-old has only appeared in a single game this season without compiling a catch. During his first two years in the league, Strong hauled in 28 catches for 292 yards and three touchdowns in 18 games (three starts). He’ll presumably slide behind Keelan ColeandJaydon Mickens at the bottom of the receiver depth chart.
Pinkard had been recovering from a concussion in recent weeks. The former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion was promoted to the Jagaurs active roster in mid-November. He ultimately played in four games, compiling a single five-yard catch.
Wide receiver Dede Westbrook is finally set to make his NFL debut. The Jaguars activated the rookie wideout from the reserve/injured list this morning, the team announced. The organization also activated defensive back Calvin Pryor from the reserve/injured list and promoted receiver Larry Pinkard from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team placed wideoutArrelious Benn on the injured reserve and waived defensive tackle Sheldon Day and receive Jaelen Strong.
We learned in late October that the Jaguars had designated Westbrook for return. The fourth-rounder was initially placed on the injured reserve with a core injury prior to the start of the regular season. A former Oklahoma standout, Westbrook collected 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, making him a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Considering the fact that Allen Robinson was already out for the season and the team let go of two wideouts today, Westbrook could easily slide behind Marqise LeeandAllen Hurns on the depth chart.
Pryor was claimed off waivers from the Browns in September, although he was placed on the injured reserve shortly thereafter. As our own Dallas Robinson noted, Pryor will be stuck in a reserve role behind Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, who both rank among the NFL’s top defensive backs, according to Pro Football Focus. Of course, the 25-year-old still has plenty in the tank, as he finished the 2016 campaign with 62 tackles and six passes defended in 15 games for the Jets.
Benn, a 2010 second-round pick, has been stuck towards the bottom of the depth chart during his two-year tenure in Jacksonville. After having hauled in 55 receptions during his first two seasons in the league, Benn only has six receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown in two seasons with the Jaguars (24 games). The 29-year-old was productive on special teams, however, compiling eight tackles over the past two years. Strong, a 2015 third-round pick, joined the Jaguars in mid-September after being waived by the Texans. He ultimately didn’t see the field for the Jaguars. Pinkard, a former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, has yet to get in an NFL game. Day, a 2016 fourth-round pick, was buried on the depth chart for the Jaguars, as the 23-year-old had only compiled three tackles and one sack in six games this season.
September 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm CST by Zachary Links
The Jaguars have claimed wide receiver Jaelen Strong off waivers from the Texans, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Strong was released by Houston on Monday.
Because he is not yet a vested veteran, Strong was subject to the waiver wire. With one of the league’s worst records last year, the Jaguars had higher waiver priority than most.
Jacksonville is hoping that Strong will flash some of the skills that made him a third round pick in 2015 draft. So far, he hasn’t done much in the NFL. In his final game as a member of the Texans, he drew zero targets despite the team being paper thin at receiver.
But, at Arizona State, he had 82 catches for 1,165 yards and ten touchdowns in his final season on campus. He’s a 6’3″ target with the strength to push away defenders, so he can make plays happen even though he doesn’t have tremendous speed.
Strong will provide depth for a WR group that is without Allen Robinson for the remainder of the year and without rookie Dede Westbrook for at least six more games.