Jaydon Mickens

Extra Points: Texans, Patriots, Packers

The big story of the day has been the drama surrounding Patriots exec Nick Caserio. The Texans announced earlier today that they’d be backing down from their pursuit of Caserio, and the Patriots in turn agreed to drop tampering charges. The Texans’ statement from owner Cal McNair indicated there was a provision in Caserio’s contract they were unaware of, and now we have some clarity. It was initially thought he would be allowed to interview since the Texans’ job is a clear promotion, but Caserio apparently has language in his contract that specifically forbids him from interviewing with any other team.

Caserio’s contract ends right after the 2020 draft, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Pelissero floats the possibility that the Texans could wait until then to hire a GM and then go after Caserio, which is in line with another recent report that indicated the Texans might go without a GM for the rest of the season. In a follow-up tweet Pelissero writes that “the call between Cal McNair and Robert Kraft was very cordial,” and that after the Texans learned of the contract language they “asked what a trade would cost,” but the Patriots declined. It’s fair to question why the Texans wouldn’t be aware of such language before they made it very clear that they wanted Caserio for the job, although that’s now a question for another day. Pelissero also was told that for now “the process will continue,” so it seems like they aren’t closing the door on hiring a GM for this year quite yet. Non-Caserio candidates reportedly include former GMs Ray Farmer, Martin Mayhew, Reggie McKenzie, and Scott Pioli.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet Friday night:

  • The Texans aren’t the only team shuffling around their front office. The Packers promoted Richmond Williams to director of pro personnel and Brett Thiesen to college scout, per Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. Williams is entering his twelfth year with the team, and originally joined Green Bay as a scouting intern all the way back in 2007. Green Bay’s power structure remains unchanged, with team president Mark Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst still running the show.
  • In addition to everybody on their 90-man roster, the Colts also had a group of tryout players at their minicamp this week, per Joel Erickson of The Athletic (Twitter link). There were a couple of notable names trying out, including former Jaguars receiver/kick returner Jaydon Mickens. Mickens, a 2016 UDFA out of Washington, showed very well as a returner in 2017, but was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury last October. The Jags elected not to tender him a contract after the season. It’s a bit surprising he hasn’t been able to resurface on anyone’s offseason roster yet.
  • Star Lions cornerback Darius Slay skipped the team’s minicamp, and is apparently undecided on when his holdout will end. “Time will tell” whether he shows up to training camp next month, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Slay still has two years left on his contract, but feels grossly underpaid. He’s set to earn about $12.5MM in 2019 and $10MM in 2020, which has him outside of the top-10 among cornerbacks in average annual value. Slay has already forfeited $250K in workout bonuses this offseason, and will be fined more if he doesn’t report soon. This will be an important situation to monitor, as Slay is Detroit’s best player on defense.

Free Agent Rumors: Seahawks, Texans, Bills

With the first wave of NFL free agency largely in the books, teams have begun hosting lesser-known options that remain on the market:

  • The Seahawks met with free agent defensive tackle Caraun Reid on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The 27-year-old Reid has bounced around the league, but spent most of the 2018 campaign in Dallas, compiling 10 tackles and a half-sack on 28% playtime. Seattle lost defensive tackle Shamar Stephen in free agency, meaning the club is looking for depth behind Jarran Reed and Nazair Jones.
  • Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens visited with the Texans today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Mickens is a wideout-in-name-only, as he’s garnered only six total receptions over his two-year career (all in 2017). Instead, Mickens is a core special-teamer, with a focus on punt returns. He handled 27 for Jacksonville last season, managing 10.6 yards per return with one touchdown. Houston is already one of the best return teams in the NFL, per Football Outsiders‘ metrics, and is bringing back DeAndre Carter, who split return duty last season.
  • The Bills hosted linebacker Mark Nzeocha on Thursday, per Yates (Twitter link). Like Mickens, Nzeocha is primarily a special teams player, topping 60% ST playtime in each of the past two years with the 49ers. But he saw a bit of action on defense in 2018, starting three games and playing on 13% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps. He’d give Buffalo depth at linebacker.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers

  • Promoted from practice squad: TE Ross Dwelley
  • Waived: DL Ryan Delaire

Jaguars PR Jaydon Mickens To Miss Time

Jaguars return man Jaydon Mickens is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after fracturing his ankle against the Cowboys on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Mickens, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016, joined Jacksonville’s practice squad last September but ultimately spent 10 games on the club’s active roster. While he wasn’t much of an offensive contributor (six receptions, 77 yards), Mickens was the Jaguars’ primary punt returner, as he averaged 10.6 yards per return and scored one touchdown. This year, Mickens had also led Jacksonville in kick returns with six.

Receiver Dede Westbrook took over as the Jaguars’ punt returner after Mickens went down, while fellow pass-catcher D.J. Chark was in the endzone for kickoffs (although Cowboys kicker Brett Maher posted only touchbacks following Mickens’ injury). Backup running back Corey Grant has historically contributed in the return game, but he’s on injured reserve.

Given Mickens’ projected recovery timeline (and his limited role overall), the Jaguars will likely place him on injured reserve. Mickens would be allowed to return after an eight-game absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: S Jameill Showers
  • Released: G Nate Theaker

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
  • Released: WR Fred Brown

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s workout update notes:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Workout Updates: 9/15/17

The latest workouts from around the NFL (all links go to Twitter):

Cleveland Browns

  • DEs Ian Seau, Jhaustin Thomas; CBs De’Chavon Hayes, Marcus Sayles, JaCorey Shepherd; LB Garrett Sickels (links via Adam Caplan of ESPN)

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • WRs Montay Crockett, Tim Patrick; Ps Matt Darr, Jordan Gay, Richie Leone, Austin Rehkow; QB Jerod Evans, Joel Stave; PKs Andrew Franks, Josh Lambo, Mike Meyer; LS Colin Holba (link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union)

Los Angeles Rams

  • WRs Jaydon Mickens, Michael Rector, Kenneth Walker (links via Caplan)

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

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

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/4/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Browns claimed offensive lineman Zach Banner off waivers from the Colts, who cut him despite drafting him in the fourth round this year. Cleveland made room for Banner by placing offensive lineman Rod Johnson on IR. Additionally, the Browns continued their busy offseason regarding secondary turnover by releasing former safety starter Ed Reynolds from IR.
  • The Steelers re-signed linebacker Steven Johnson and waived safety Jordan Dangerfield with an injury designation. Johnson initially saw his name appear on Pittsburgh’s cut list Saturday, but the backup will return. Pittsburgh also placed cornerback Cameron Sutton, a rookie third-rounder, on IR.
  • Jacquies Smith will move from the PUP list back to the Buccaneers‘ 53-man roster. The team reinstated the defensive end on Monday. A fourth-year player, Smith is expected to be a rotational player in Tampa Bay this season.
  • The Dolphins re-signed tackle Sam Young. Miami cut the offensive lineman on Saturday but will keep him around for now. Miami guaranteed Young’s salary, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets, signing Young this week instead of next because an unspecified team wanted him. This will mark Young’s eighth NFL season. The Dolphins signed him to an extension in December.
  • Quarterback Jeff Driskel will land on the Bengals‘ IR list. The former 49ers sixth-rounder has yet to play in a game.
  • A starter in three games last season, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin landed on the Jets‘ IR Monday. To replace the third-year player, Gang Green re-signed linebacker Bruce Carter. Now a seventh-year veteran, Carter played a depth role with the Jets last season.
  • Wide receiver Chris Matthews re-signed with the Ravens, who made room on their 53-man roster by placing cornerback Maurice Canady on IR.
  • The Falcons released defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who resides on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as a result of misdemeanor charges from 2016. While Hageman is on that list, the Falcons will not have to pay Hageman.
  • The Chargers claimed linebacker Hayes Pullard off waivers from the Jaguars. A former Browns seventh-rounder in 2015, Pullard started two games for the 2015 Jags and played in all 16 Jacksonville contests last season.
  • Jelani Jenkins was expected to start for the Raiders, but the former Dolphins linebacker found himself on the team’s cut list Saturday. The Raiders, though, reached an injury settlement with the fifth-year linebacker, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (on Twitter). Jenkins suffered a groin injury during the preseason. Oakland also reached an injury settlement with Jaydon Mickens, per Gehlken, who adds Mickens suffered an ankle injury.
  • The Seahawks waived cornerback Demetrius McCray with an injury settlement, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Redskins reached an injury settlement with center Ronald Patrick, waiving the interior blocker from IR as a result.