James Sample

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/30/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves.

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: G Dustin Stanton

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived/Injured: CB Elie Bouka

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Waived: OL Avery Young

Washington Redskins

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/1/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Baltimore Ravens

  • QB Josh Woodrum
  • RB John Crockett
  • FB Ricky Ortiz
  • OT Steven Moore

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • LB Carl Bradford
  • K Jon Brown
  • LB Connor Harris
  • OT Javarius Leamon
  • OG Oni Omoile
  • TE Scott Orndoff
  • CB Sojourn Shelton
  • SS Robenson Therezie
  • WR Kermit Whitfield

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • TE Mo Alie-Cox
  • WR Dres Anderson
  • DT Johnathan Calvin
  • WR Kolby Listenbee
  • LB Arthur Miley
  • LB Josh Perry
  • QB Phillip Walker
  • G Isaiah Williams

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

 

NFL Workout Updates: 12/21/17

Today’s workout updates, with all Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

  • WRs Harvey Binford, Rashad Ross, Brandon Zylstra; DBs Jonathon Mincy, Kacy Rodgers (link)

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

  • WR Diontae Spencer (link)

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • G Greg Pyke (link via Balzer)

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

  • TE Brandon Barnes; OL Erik Austell; DT Euclid Cummings; LB Chris Casher; CB Shaq Richardson (link)

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Workout Updates: 10/24/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • LS Trent Gow (link)

Detroit Lions

  • WR Jake Kumerow (link)

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

NFL Workout Updates: 9/27/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • LSs Andrew East and Anthony Kukwa (link)

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/8/17

Today’s NFL workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars Sign Jeron Johnson, Cut James Sample

The Jaguars have cut safety James Sample and signed safety Jeron Johnson to take his place on the roster, as John Oehser of Jaguars.com tweets. Jacksonville selected Sample in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, but he has struggled with shoulder and forearm injuries over his first two seasons in the league and has appeared in only four games as a result. All four of those games came in his rookie campaign, as he was placed on IR prior to the 2016 season.

Jeron Johnson (Vertical)

Johnson is entering his seventh season in the league and has suited up for the Seahawks and Redskins in his career. He has been deployed primarily as a reserve defensive back and special-teamer and has just two starts to his credit. He performed well enough for Seattle from 2011-14 to land a two-year pact with Washington in 2015, but the Redskins cut him loose after just one year. He returned to Seattle last December and was part of the club’s playoff push, but the Seahawks did not re-sign him this offseason. He worked out with the Giants in June but left without a contract.

Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson make up Jacksonville’s starting safety tandem, but Johnson will have a chance to compete for a reserve role with the likes of Peyton Thompson, Jarrod Wilson, and Jarrod Harper. It is more likely, however, that he was signed for the contributions he could make to the Jags’ special teams unit, which was sub-par in 2016.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Release Bjoern Werner

The Jaguars announced the release of former Colts first-round pick Bjoern Werner. In a related move, safety James Sample was placed on IR and tight end Nic Jacobs was released. The Jaguars are now down to 75.Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner, who turns 26 today, appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery. After the season, he was waived by the Colts.

Werner never lived up to expectations in Indianapolis, but was an inexpensive gamble for the Jaguars. His deal granted him an $80K bonus if he made the roster plus sack incentives, but it is unlikely that it contained any significant guarantees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jags Notes: Beachum, Joeckel, Cyprien, Sample

The Jaguars won’t have a competition at left tackle between Luke Joeckel and free agent pickup Kelvin Beachum, according to Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com. Instead, the job will belong to Beachum if he’s able to return successfully from a torn ACL. Beachum – who signed a unique deal earlier this month that could be worth either $4.5MM for one year or $44.5MM over five years – said Friday that he does indeed expect to start when Week 1 rolls around in September. That’s bad news for Joeckel, who has started in all 35 career appearances since the Jaguars drafted him second overall in 2013. The 24-year-old hasn’t lived up to his draft status, though, and could end up in a reserve role in 2016.

Here are more notes on the Jaguars, all of which come courtesy of O’Halloran:

  • Jacksonville must decide by early May whether to exercise Joeckel’s fifth-year option for 2017, but O’Halloran expects the club to decline it because doing otherwise would kill the lineman’s trade value. If the Jags pick up the option, it would guarantee Joeckel upward of $11MM in 2017, though only in the event of a serious injury. Teams wouldn’t want to risk acquiring Joeckel and being stuck with that kind of financial commitment in the event of a nightmare scenario like, say, a torn Achilles. On the other hand, a version of Joeckel who doesn’t come with a 2017 option attached might appeal to clubs looking for help at left tackle next season.
  • Like Joeckel, safety Jonathan Cyprien could go from No. 1 to backup in 2016. Cyprien, a second-rounder in 2012, has started all 44 of his appearances, but he seems in danger of losing his job to James Sample. Cyprien had a team-high 21 missed tackles last season and hasn’t established himself as a playmaker, O’Halloran notes. As a fourth-rounder last year, Sample doesn’t have Cyprien’s draft pedigree, and he only appeared in four games (two starts) as a rookie because of a shoulder injury. Nonetheless, he has an important fan in head coach Gus Bradley. “We’ve seen flashes of Sample,” Bradley said. “His instincts — he’s a very good football player. In similar ways to Dante [Fowler], Sample is like another draft pick coming in.”
  • Denard Robinson was second to T.J. Yeldon among Jags running backs with 88 touches (67 rushes, 21 receptions) and 430 total yards last season, but the acquisition of Chris Ivory could make playing time scarce. Bradley insists the team isn’t going to phase Robinson out of its offense, though. “He’ll get in there, too,” Bradley said. “He’s our speed back. Again, a different style of running back.”

AFC Notes: Steelers, Dolphins, Jaguars

Given the key injuries and suspensions they’ve endured this year, the fact that the Steelers are 6-4 and in the driver’s seat for a wild-card spot in the AFC is an impressive feat.

“I don’t think there has been a team that has been through as much as we have. Period,” guard Ramon Foster said.

Overcoming its adversity and staying in the race means Pittsburgh has a legitimate chance to end up representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. In their past two title-winning seasons, in 2005 and ’08, the Steelers got hot down the stretch and carried that through the playoffs. Their players are cognizant of that.

“This is the one thing we have been saying all year, that we want to play our best ball at the end of the year, to keep growing and getting better,” said linebacker Arthur Moats.

More on the Steelers and a couple of their AFC counterparts:

  • Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had lofty praise for backup Landry Jones, per the Tribune-Review’s Joe Starkey. “He is, above the shoulders, as smart and sharp as any quarterback I’ve ever been around,” Roethlisberger stated. “That’s a credit to his hard work, dedication and determination. He’s always in the meetings almost bugging our quarterback coach because he’s just constantly doing more and more.” Jones has filled in during Roethlisberger’s multiple injuries this season and completed just under 61 percent of passes on 9.39 yards per attempt, also tossing three touchdowns and two interceptions.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald took a look back at the Dolphins’ offseason, concluding that their failure to address their interior offensive line through either free agency or the draft has been particularly regrettable. The Dolphins could have used the money they spent on disappointing wideout Greg Jennings toward the guard position, which hasn’t fared well with Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, or spent a late-round draft pick on La’el Collins. As Jackson points out, though, the Dolphins were joined by everyone else in passing on Collins – who went undrafted because of a murder investigation. Collins’ name was cleared, however, and he ultimately signed with Dallas and has had a terrific rookie year.
  • Thanks to rookie James Sample‘s injury troubles, the Jaguars will address the free safety position through free agency or with a high-round draft pick this offseason, according to Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com. The Jags wanted to see if Sample, a fourth-round pick, could handle a starting role this year. However, a broken forearm slowed him over the summer and a shoulder injury forced him to season-ending injured reserve earlier this week. The Jags weren’t able to gather enough info on Sample this year to see whether he could be counted on in a No. 1 role going forward, so they’ll have to find someone else when the season ends.