Jason Vander Laan

NFL Workout Updates: 10/18/17

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

Atlanta Falcons

  • DE Ricky Ali’ifua; TE Anthony Firkser; DT Nigel Williams, FB Malcolm Johnson; LB Kevin Snyder (link)

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • CB Josh Thornton; RB Marquez Williams (link)

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

  • S Malik Smith (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • T Storm Norton (link)

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets 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 AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

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NFL Workout Updates: 12/20/16

Tuesday is typically a busy workout day for NFL teams, and the level of activity only increases near the end of the season, when clubs are looking at players who might be candidates for reserve/futures contracts. Here are today’s tryout notes:

  • The Buccaneers worked out quarterback Sean Renfree, defensive end Alex Bazzie, linebacker Deon Lacey, and Spanish rugby star Inaki Villanueva (as a tight end), reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Renfree, 26, spent last season as Matt Ryan‘s backup in Atlanta, and has auditioned for a number of clubs this year without being offered a deal.
  • The Lions worked out a pair of free agent tight ends — David Ausberry and Gabe Hughes — at the end of last week, tweets Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. PFR reported earlier this year that Ausberry tore his Achilles during a November 2015 tryout with New York, and has presumably been rehabbing ever since.
  • Former Chicago linebacker Khaseem Greene tried out for the Chiefs, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Greene started six games for the Bears from 2012-14, and has spent time on a few other NFL rosters, but hasn’t appeared in the NFL in two years.
  • The Jets met with quarterback Mike Bercovici; tight ends M.J. McFarland, Gannon Sinclair, and Jason Vander Laan; and wide receiver Dez Stewart, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bercovici, a 2016 favorite of some NFL draftniks, went to camp with San Diego but didn’t make the final cut.
  • The Titans worked out former Oakland/New York defensive end Shelby Harris today, tweets Caplan. Harris, 25, played in eight games over the past two seasons with the Raiders.
  • The Texans met with cornerback Mitchell White, who has spent the past three years in the Canadian Football League, according to Caplan (Twitter link).
  • The Patriots auditioned defensive tackle Jeoffrey Pagan, reports Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link).

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/20/16

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Jets Place Devin Smith On PUP, Cut 11

The Jets have announced a series of roster moves that moves their roster to 78 players, three over the 75-man limit. New York will need to make three more cuts before Tuesday at 3pm CT.

The Jets have announced the following transactions:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Cut:

Smith, a 2015 second-round pick, is still recovering from a torn ACL, and won’t be eligible to play during the first six weeks of the season. The Jets will then have a three-week window during which they can activate Smith. In 10 games last year, Smith posted nine receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Bills, Glenn, Patriots

A decorated Division II college quarterback, Jason Vander Laan is attempting to make the Jets as a tight end, as Brian Costello of the New York Post writes.

It’s a different perspective,” said Vander Laan, who has never played tight end before. “It’s different being in the huddle and not calling out the play. It’s different lining up and not touching the ball every play. But I’m having a great time and having fun out here. There’s still plenty of learning to be done. I’m just trying to get the hang of things and pick up the system.”

The former Ferris State star won D2’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in each of the last two years. In 2015, he threw for 2,626 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushed for 1,542 yards and 24 touchdowns. Now, he’ll try and apply that athleticism to a brand new position.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap was surprised by the big money contracts given to Terron Armstead and Cordy Glenn. While both players came away with sizable deals, Fitzgerald believes that Glenn is the bigger winner of the two with cap hits in ’17 and ’18 that could very likely be restructured. As for the Bills‘ side of things, Fitzgerald isn’t sure why the team traded its future financial flexibility for immediate cap relief when it wasn’t necessary.
  • Malcolm Butler‘s rise from undrafted free agent to Pro Bowler has made other UDFAs want to join up with the Patriots, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. This year, the Pats signed three undrafted corners in Illinois’ V’Angelo Bentley, Auburn’s Jonathan Jones and Florida Atlantic’s Cre’Von LeBlanc. “Clearly when a tryout guy like Malcolm Butler ends up where he does, it’s an example of how they play the best players and it’s truly an open competition, no matter how you got there,” said Joe Linta, who represents Jones. Jones is a particularly interesting prospect – he posted a 4.3 second 40-yard-dash time, but teams were concerned about his 5’9″ height.
  • On Saturday, the Dolphins and Cameron Wake reached agreement on a two-year, $15MM extension. The seven-year veteran made only seven appearances last season due to a torn ACL, but the team ostensibly believes that he has fully recovered from that injury.

Jets Sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents

The Jets’ rookie minicamp gets underway today in Florham Park, New Jersey, and there will be several undrafted free agents joining the seven players the team selected in last weekend’s draft. In addition to inviting 22 tryout players to audition for the team over the weekend, Gang Green has also confirmed 13 UDFA additions to the 90-man roster.

The Jets’ 13-man UDFA group primarily consists of pass-catchers, defensive ends, and special teams players. Here’s the full list of rookies signed by the club: