Jake Rudock

Dolphins Cut Ricardo Louis, Jake Rudock

The Dolphins have released wide receiver Ricardo Louis and quarterback Jake Rudock, as first reported by ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The early cuts will help the Dolphins shape the roster to meet the league’s recommended 80-man roster max. 

[RELATED: Dolphins Rookie Ray Lima Retires]

Louis joined the Dolphins in the spring of 2019 but did not play due to a knee injury. Prior to that, he spent three years with the Browns and tallied 45 catches for 562 yards. The Miami native was hoping to reassert himself with his hometown club, but he’ll have to seek work elsewhere.

Rudock also joined the Dolphins last year, but spent the year on the practice squad. The 2016 sixth-round choice of the Lions has just three career appearances to his credit. Even before the release, Rudock was facing long odds of making the active roster. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tua Tagovailoa, and (possibly) Josh Rosen project to serve as the Dolphins’ active QBs to open the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Gase

Prior to being selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2016 draft, quarterback Jacoby Brissett wanted nothing to do with New England.

“I honestly did not want to be there,” Brissett said on the McCourty twins’ podcast (via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston). “When I took my visit there — my pre-draft visit — I was like, ‘Hell no. If one team drafts me, it better not be them.’

“And I’ll never forget, (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) called me on the phone on draft night and I didn’t have his number saved. That’s how bad it was. I didn’t even have his number saved in my phone. I was like, ‘Damn, man.'”

You can’t necessarily blame Brissett for feeling that way. Besides having to play behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady, the rookie QB was also behind former second-rounder Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart. Due to suspensions and injuries to his teammates, Brissett ended up seeing time in three games (two starts) during his rookie campaign. The following year, the Patriots shipped Brissett to the Colts in exchange for wideout Phillip Dorsett.

“Honestly, that was my wake-up to the NFL, was being traded and then the next week, you’re out there in a game,” Brissett added. “It was like, ‘We don’t care how long you’ve been here. You’d better know how to play.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Speaking of Patriots quarterbacks, Cam Newton is in New England to complete his physical and finalize his one-year deal, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The reporter notes that the Patriots are confident in the quarterback’s “condition” and aren’t anticipating any issues with the physical. Injuries limited Newton to only a pair of games in 2019, forcing him to settle for a one-year, $1.75MM deal with New England.
  • If the Dolphins are forced to trim their training camp roster, then Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points to a handful of undrafted rookies who could get cut, including offensive linemen Jonathan Hubbard, Nick Kaltmayer, and Donell Stanley. Jackson also opines that a handful of veterans could be sent packing, a group that includes offensive linemen Adam Pankey and Keaton Sutherland, quarterback Jake Rudock, fullback Chandler Cox, and receivers Ricardo Louis and Mack Hollins.
  • Connor Hughes of The Athletic did a somewhat similar exercise with the Jets, as he explored which players could be traded if New York gets off to a sluggish start. The writer points to wideout Breshad Perriman, linebacker Avery Williamson, running back Le’Veon Bell, defensive end Henry Anderson, and safety Marcus Maye as potential trade candidates.
  • While Hughes believes that Adam Gase has received some underserved criticism during his tenure in New York, the writer also can’t envision the Jets head coach keeping his job if the team finishes with seven or fewer wins. Of course, there are plenty of scenarios where the Jets struggle and Gase does keep his job, especially if quarterback Sam Darnold misses more time in 2020.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/6/20

Here are Monday’s reserve/futures deals:

Green Bay Packers

  • WR Reggie Begelton, RB Elijah Wellman

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

  • CB Dylan Mabin

Philadelphia Eagles

Notable NFL Practice Squad Salaries

Playing on an NFL practice squad isn’t a bad gig. You work with a club’s 53-man roster every week, have a good chance to get called up if/when injuries strike, and collect a solid paycheck ($8K per week minimum). And for some practice squaders, the pay can get even better.

While all practice squad salaries count towards the salary cap, there’s no restriction on how much a team can pay a practice squad player. When a club desperately wants to retain a player but can’t fit him on its 53, they’ll often bump up his salary in an effort to keep him around. Here’s a look at several players who are earning much more than the NFL’s $8K per week standard, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

The 49ers clearly have no problem with spending a little extra on practice squad players, as both Lee and Harris are earning at least $22K more than the league PS minimum. Lee’s been with San Francisco since 2017 and started five games for the club last season, but the 49ers’ front seven depth is keeping him on the taxi squad for now. Harris, too, was a part-time starter for San Francisco in 2018.

The quarterbacks on the list are also interesting. Rypien has been deemed Broncos’ offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello‘s “project” and could be called up to the active roster at some point given that Denver is only carrying two quarterbacks in Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen (rookie second-rounder Drew Lock is on injured reserve). And the rebuilding Dolphins seem intent on hanging onto Rudock, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Lions.

Dolphins Cut Kiko Alonso

The Dolphins cut Kiko Alonso en route to reaching the 53-man max. Both moves were rumored this week, but the Fins were waiting to see if they could arrange a trade for the linebackers before letting them go.

Alonso requested a trade during training camp when he realized that he would be squeezed out of the Dolphins’ plans in one fashion or another. New coach Brian Flores is overseeing a defensive overhaul and he didn’t have much use for the veteran, despite his three years of starting experience in Miami. Originally drafted by the Bills in the second-round back in 2013, Alonso won’t play out the two years left on his four-year, $28.9MM deal.

Here are the other moves made by Miami to make their roster kosher by Week 1:

Dolphins Sign QB Jake Rudock To Futures Deal

Jake Rudock has found a new gig. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Dolphins have signed the quarterback to a reserve/futures contract.

Rudock split his collegiate career between Iowa and Michigan, winning the 2016 Citrus Bowl MVP after the Wolverines topped Florida. Following a 2015 campaign that saw him complete 64-percent of his passes and throw 20 touchdowns, Rudock ended up being selected by the Lions in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.

Playing behind Matthew Stafford, the 25-year-old predictably hasn’t seen the field a whole lot during his brief career. Rudock made three appearances in 2017, completing three of his five passes for 24 yards and one interception. The Lions waived the signal-caller at the end of the 2018 preseason, as the team decided to roll with only Stafford and veteran Matt Cassel. Rudock ended up spending the entire season on Detroit’s practice squad.

Now, he’ll have a chance to compete for a spot on the Dolphins’ roster in 2019. There have been plenty of rumblings that Miami could end up moving on from Ryan Tannehill this offseason. If the team moves on from the veteran, they’ll be left with only Rudock and rookie Luke Falk. While the organization would surely bring in a replacement for Tannehill, Rudock could still have a chance at a backup gig.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Signed:

Cut:

Placed on injured reserve:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Lions Announce Roster Cuts

In addition to trading offensive tackle Corey Robinson to the Panthers, the Lions have also reduced their roster to 53 players.

Released:

Waived:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on PUP:

Waived from injured reserve:

With Rudock out of the picture, Matt Cassel will serve as the backup to quarterback Matthew Stafford. Freeny conceivably could have made the roster based on his familiarity with head coach Matt Patricia, but the Lions went in another direction.

Lions To Cut QB Jake Rudock

It appears Matt Cassel will be Matthew Stafford‘s backup. The Lions are cutting the player who previously filled that role.

Jake Rudock did not make Detroit’s 53-man roster, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. But the Lions are interested in bringing him through to their practice squad if he’s unclaimed on waivers.

The 2016 draft choice generated trade interest last year, but the Lions ultimately kept him. He was rumored to have fallen behind the 36-year-old Cassel during training camp, and the Lions will go with the well-traveled veteran behind Stafford instead of a third-year incumbent.

Rudock did pass through waivers in 2016 when waived, but there’s obviously a chance the Lions won’t get to retain him.

NFC North Notes: Blount, Lions, Rudock

When LeGarette Blount starts the 2018 season with the Lions, it will be his third team in as many years. Blount has won the past two Super Bowls, first with the Patriots then with the Eagles. Blount rushed 766 yards and two touchdowns last season in Philadelphia, but wasn’t offered a contract by the team after the season.

When asked if he carried a grudge due to the snub, Blount replied “I’m past that”, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Blount emphasized that he’s looking forward to playing for the Lions and coach Matt Patricia, saying “fortunately, it worked out for me to wind up here with somebody that I’m familiar with, and like a lot.” Although the move means Blount is unlikely to win a third straight Super Bowl, it doesn’t sound like he’s losing too much sleep over the divorce.

Here’s more from the NFC North: