Jaye Howard

Jets Work Out Lamarr Houston

The Jets are exploring options in the front seven. Gang Green will work out edge rusher Lamarr Houston and defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. Former Rams defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker and former Browns defensive lineman Lavar Edwards will also be a part of the workout, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Colleague Mike Garafolo (on Twitter) adds that the Jets brought in former Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard for a visit recently. 

The Jets have already added a number of new linebackers this offseason, including ILBs Avery Williamson, Kevin Minter, and Micah Awe and outside linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis, Brandon Copeland, and Neville Hewitt. However, they have done little to bolster the defensive line behind projected starters Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, and Mike Pennel.

After sacrificing two second round picks in this year’s draft (plus a second rounder in next year’s draft) to move up from No. 6 to No. 3 overall, the Jets may want to fill out the D-Line depth chart through veterans in order to focus on other needs this weekend. The Jets still have six picks in the draft, but their second choice won’t come until No. 72 overall.

Houston, 31 in June, recently auditioned for the Raiders but left Oakland without signing a deal. Howard, 29, put himself on the map with 5.5 sacks for the Chiefs in 2015 but was slowed by a hip injury in 2016 and did not play last season.

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NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/17

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

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/10/17

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

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints Work Out Will Beatty, Jaye Howard

The Saints auditioned edge rusher Lamarr Houston earlier today, but he wasn’t the only notable NFL veteran to work out for New Orleans today. Here’s who the Saints looked at on Tuesday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (all Twitter links), Adam Caplan (Twitter links), and Howard Balzer (all Twitter links):

Beatty is perhaps the most high-profile name of the bunch, as the veteran offensive tackle 63 career starts under his belt (all for the Giants). Having served as a backup last season, Beatty would presumably play right tackle for the Saints, who are down to Senio Kelemete on the right side following starter Zach Strief‘s MCL sprain. Ola, too, would give New Orleans depth along their front five, although he doesn’t offer nearly the experience that does Beatty (only 19 starts).Ricky Jean-Francois (Vertical)

As Caplan noted, the Saints essentially worked out the majority of the top free agents on the defensive side of the ball, and that comes as no surprise. Despite throwing free agent funds and draft picks at its defense, New Orleans ranks dead last in yards, 31st in scoring, and 31st in DVOA through two weeks.

Douzable, Howard, Jean-Francois, Johnson, and Langford have all served as quality starters in the very recent future, and Douzable (49ers), Howard (Bears), and Jean-Francois (Packers) have each signed contracts earlier this offseason only to be released later. Wilson, meanwhile, repeatedly bounced on-and-off the Bears’ roster a year ago, and also has a previous stint in New Orleans.

Per Pelissero, the Saints’ Week 4 contest in London is a factor in the club working out such a long list of players right now. Given that New Orleans won’t have much time to audition veterans in the coming weeks, the team will likely update its emergency list now before heading across the pond.

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49ers Work Out Seven Defenders

The 49ers hosted a few established defensive linemen on Wednesday, working out free agents Ahtyba Rubin, Jaye Howard, Kendall Langford and Tony McDaniel, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). They also tried out defensive tackle Stefan Charles and a pair of defensive backs – Devonte Johnson and Josh Thornton – per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Ahtyba Rubin

Rubin, perhaps the most notable of the bunch, spent the previous two years in the 49ers’ divisio – the NFC West – with Seattle. The Seahawks, who play the 49ers this week, released Rubin at the outset of the month, and his only known interest prior to his meeting with San Francisco came from the Bills. The 31-year-old DT started in all 32 appearances with the Seahawks, registering 75 tackles and three sacks, and previously started in 75 of 99 games as a Brown from 2008-14. Kyle Shanahan, the Niners’ rookie head coach, was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator during Rubin’s last season there.

Howard, 28, worked out for the Lions this week before his visit to San Francisco. The former Chief has been on the hunt for a job since the Bears released him Sept. 2. Howard didn’t play a down in Chicago, which signed him in May after the Chiefs released him, and is coming off an injury-played 2016. After Howard posted back-to-back 16-game seasons and combined for 24 starts from 2014-15, a hip ailment limited him to eight and five in those categories last year.

Like Rubin and Howard, Langford and McDaniel earned summer releases from their previous employers. The Colts cut Langford with a failed physical designation in August, indicating that the 31-year-old hadn’t recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2016 campaign in October. He was, however, the picture of durability from 2008-15 with the Dolphins, Rams and Colts, appearing in eight straight 16-game seasons. Langford’s also just two years removed from a career-high seven-sack showing.

McDaniel, whom the Saints released at the beginning of the month, is an 11-year veteran who spent three of the previous four years in Seattle. The 295-pounder is familar with first-year 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who worked on the Seahawks’ staff during one of McDaniel’s seasons with them (2013). McDaniel started a personal-best 15 games that season and notched 53 tackles (a career mark) and two sacks.

It’s unclear if the 49ers will sign any of these players, but doing so would perhaps improve a defensive line that didn’t generate much pressure during their 23-3 loss to the Panthers in Week 1. The 49ers hit Panthers quarterback Cam Newton just twice and failed to register a sack in Saleh’s debut atop their defense. They did, however, hold Carolina to a measly 3.1 yards per rush on 38 attempts.

Lions Audition Jaye Howard, Garrett Grayson

The Lions have hosted workouts for defensive lineman Jaye Howard and quarterback Garrett Grayson, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (all Twitter links).Jaye Howard (vertical)

Howard, 28, was released by the Bears during final cutdowns after having a signed a one-year pact in May. A longtime Chief, Howard only suited up eight times and made five starts last year, as a hip injury ended his season in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard added 23 tackles and a sack, and ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

Detroit needs all the help it can get in the front seven, as the club’s defensive line has been decimated by injuries and suspensions. Kerry Hyder and Jordan Hill have both been placed on injured reserve, while Armonty Bryant and Khyri Thornton won’t return until Weeks 4 and 6, respectively, after being hit with league-imposed bans.

Quarterback is a less-pressing need for the Lions, as Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock comprise the team’s top two options under center. Seventh-round pick Brad Kaaya was lost via waivers earlier this month, and Detroit doesn’t currently have a signal-caller on its practice squad. Grayson, a former third-round selection of the Saints, has never attempted an NFL pass.

Howard and Grayson weren’t the only free agents on display in the Motor City. Per Balzer, the Lions also took a look at quarterback Mitch Leidner; wide receivers C.J. Board, Montay Crockett, Anthony Dable, Cyril Grayson, Bug Howard, and Jordan Payton; defensive tackles Jeremy Faulk, Marcus Hardison, and Louis Trinca-Pasat; defensive end Patrick Gamble; LB Nicholas Grigsby; and S Jack Tocho.

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Bears Cut DE Jaye Howard

The Bears have told defensive end Jaye Howard that he is being released, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Howard has been dealing with a hip issue, though Biggs notes that he has been feeling better as of late. Jaye Howard (vertical)

In May, the Bears inked Howard to a one-year deal that included a $775K base with up to $4MM in incentives. With an eye on cashing in next year, he switched representation to David Canter in July. The 28-year-old is now going to have to find somewhere else to showcase his skills for the next year.

Howard only suited up eight times for the Chiefs last year before his hip shut him down in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard recorded 23 tackles and a sack. He ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

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NFC Notes: Saints, Cards, Bears, Packers

With left tackle Terron Armstead is set to miss a portion of the 2017 season after undergoing labrum surgery, the Saints would prefer to place Ryan Ramczyk or Khalif Barnes on the blindside instead of shifting Andrus Peat from left guard, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Barnes is the far more experienced option, as the 35-year-old has appeared in 151 games (117) starts during 11-year NFL career. Ramczyk, on the other hand, was just selected with the final pick of the first round in the 2017 draft. Peat, meanwhile, played left tackle at Stanford and has split time between tackle and guard with New Orleans.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Although cornerback Brandon Flowers is scheduled to meet with the Cardinals on Wednesday, head coach Bruce Arians says the club isn’t necessarily looking at the veteran defender as a starting-caliber player, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. As such, Arizona’s interest in Flowers shouldn’t be viewed as a comment on Justin Bethel, who is currently projected to start opposite Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals recently lost two backup defensive backs — Jumal Rolle and Elie Bouka — to minor injuries, so a Flowers addition would be a solid depth addition as the team heads to training camp.
  • Bears defensive lineman Jaye Howard has hired David Canter as his new representation, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Howard signed a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum earlier this offseason, but the pact could be worth as much as $4MM through incentives. Given that he’s still relatively young (28) and has been productive in the past, Howard could be in line for a lengthier contract next spring if he plays well in 2017.
  • Entering his third season as the Bears‘ general manager, Ryan Pace is building the Chicago roster in the mold of the Saints, the club with which Pace spent most of his career prior to heading to the Windy City, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Pace and the rest of the Chicago front office is clearly hoping No. 2 overall selection Mitch Trubisky turns into the next Drew Brees, but other points of comparison are apt, as well. Second-round tight end Adam Shaheen could have the game-breaking ability of a Jimmy Graham, while fourth-round running back Tarik Cohen may prove to be a passing game weapon like Darren Sproles.
  • The Packers announced a series of personnel changes on Tuesday, with the most notable being college scout John Wojciechowski‘s promotion to director of pro personnel. Wojciechowski, who has also worked for the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Steelers, has been with Green Bay since 2012. The rest of the Packers’ front office changes, all of which include promotions or hirings in the scouting department, can be found at the link.

NFC Rumors: Unger, Saints, Howard, Bears

While Max Unger recovers from surgery, the Saints could fill the gap from within and use center/guard Senio Kelemete as the starter in the middle, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) suggests. Center Jack Allen is also on the roster, but Rapoport seems to think that Kelemete would have the leg up.

Here’s more out of the NFC:

Bears To Sign Jaye Howard

The Bears have agreed to a one-year deal with defensive lineman Jaye Howard, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link)."<strong

Chicago had an offer out to Howard as of Wednesday, but the 28-year-old was supposed to visit other clubs after being released by the Chiefs last month. Instead, he’ll join the Bears and likely serve in a rotational capacity on steadily improving front seven. Currently, Mitch Unrein, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Goldman are Chicago’s projected starters along the defensive line, but Howard, Jonathan Bullard, John Jenkins, and Will Sutton give the Bears enviable depth.

Howard only suited up eight times and made five starts last year, as a hip injury ended his season in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard added 23 tackles and a sack, and ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

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