Jermaine Whitehead

League Notes: Whitehead, Brown, Garrett

The Browns released safety Jermaine Whitehead following an outburst of threats against critics on social media. While it does not excuse Whitehead’s actions, a number of fellow players understood what led him there, according to ESPN Staff Writer Jeremy Fowler. Fowler describes it as commonplace for players to return to their lockers after games and check their phones before even removing their pads. Players describe an accumulation of frustration with fans criticism that often goes beyond and enters the realm of hatefulness.

Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree had a similar, albeit substantially milder, incident last season involving his response to a tweet. Dupree mentioned specific tweets, some that included racial slurs, that eventually pushed him to react. The league has an instituted “cooling off period,” which restricts players ability to post on social media after games, but Whitehead’s threats came far after that period ended. It will be interested to see if Whitehead’s decision changes how the league, teams, and players approach social media and if more players choose to eliminate the practice altogether.

Here’s more news from around the league off the field:

  • Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown had seemed hopeful that he could soon return to the field. While the currently unsigned wideout remains marred in controversy, a number of social media posts last week suggested he may have been approaching a new deal. However, there is no reason to believe any team would be interested in signing Brown at the moment because they believe he would be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list as soon as he was signed, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post.
  • The NFL upheld the league’s indefinite suspension of Browns defensive end Myles Garrett yesterday. One point in Garrett’s appeal, which has garnered significant social media attention, was an accusation that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur against Garrett that prompted his violent response. When the league upheld Garrett’s suspension, many assumed the league had reviewed the on-field audio recorded and found no corroborating evidence. That now appears to be only half the story. The NFL did find no evidence Rudolph used a racial slur, but the league also had no recorded sound on the field to review in the case, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/11/19

Here’s the latest from around the league’s workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Raiders Work Out S Jermaine Whitehead

Dismissed from the Browns after several Twitter comments following their Week 9 loss to the Broncos, Jermaine Whitehead visited Oakland on Monday. The Raiders worked out the free agent safety, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

No one claimed Whitehead after the Browns waived him, but he had started every game this season. The former Packers safety has 10 career starts since arriving in the NFL as a UDFA in 2015.

Whitehead joined cornerback DeShawn Shead for this workout. The Raiders recently placed Karl Joseph on IR and have the versatile Lamarcus Joyner battling a hamstring injury. Joyner’s status will likely determine whether the Raiders sign Whitehead or Shead.

After starting all eight Browns games this season, Whitehead went on a Twitter tirade that ended with his banishment from the medium. The 26-year-old defender responded to multiple tweets and Instagram comments criticizing his performance against the Broncos. This season, he’s made 41 tackles, intercepted one pass and forced a fumble.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Cut Jermaine Whitehead

The Browns are done with Jermaine Whitehead. On Sunday, Whitehead went on a Twitter tirade that resulted in his banishment from the platform. On Monday morning, the Browns released the safety, per a club announcement.

[RELATED: Browns To Revert To Greg Robinson At LT]

The Browns, who previously said the rant was “totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate” cut him loose with a terse statement that was way under 280 characters. Whitehead will now be subject to the NFL’s waiver wire, but it remains to be seen whether any club will want to take a gamble on him at this time.

Whitehead on played every snap of the Brown’s 24-19 loss to the Broncos but did not record a single stop. When he was heckled for his performance, Whitehead responded poorly, and the Browns responded by dropping him from the roster.

Whitehead, a second-year pro, leaves the Browns after 41 tackles across eight games (all starts) in 2019. For his career, Whitehead has 34 appearances to his credit, including ten starts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/3/19

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Re-signed (ERFA): WR Marcus Kemp
  • Waived: CB Step Durham

New York Giants

New York Jets

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Second round tender:

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Browns Claim CB Phillip Gaines, S Jermaine Whitehead Off Waivers

The Browns claimed cornerback Phillip Gaines (from the Bills) and safety Jermaine Whitehead (Packers) off waivers, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). If placed on the active roster, both players will be available for Sunday’s game against the Falcons.

Cleveland’s been short on secondary personnel recently. Damarious Randall missed Week 9 because of groin and ankle injuries, and E.J. Gaines (concussion) is now on IR.

Both Cleveland-bound players have connections to the front office. John Dorsey drafted Gaines in the third round while serving as the Chiefs’ GM in 2014, and Whitehead caught on with the Packers in 2016, when Browns execs Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith were in Green Bay.

Phillip Gaines signed a league-minimum deal with the Bills after four seasons of up-and-down work with the Chiefs. He started in six Buffalo games this season — the most of his career — and made 54 tackles.

Whitehead started in two Packers contests and was expected to be a bigger part of Green Bay’s secondary following the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trade. The former UDFA, however, was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Patriots, further weakening an already-thin safety contingent. He played 221 snaps this season, registered 37 stops and recorded a sack.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Place Geronimo Allison On IR

The Packers placed wide receiver Geronimo Allison on injured reserve, according to a team announcement. The club also released safety Jermaine Whitehead, who was ejected on Sunday night after slapping Patriots center David Andrews in the helmet. His spot will be filled by the promotion of cornerback Will Redmond from the practice squad.

Allison, 24, was held out of Sunday night’s game due to his ongoing hamstring and groin problems. He’ll undergo core surgery soon, which will rule him out for the remainder of the year. Ultimately, his season will end with 20 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns across five games.

Redmond, a third-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, was signed to the Packers’ practice squad on Sept. 11. He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a knee injury and missed the first eight games of 2017 with an ankle malady. The 24-year-old has yet to see live action, but he may soon get his chance with the Packers.

After losing to the Pats on Sunday, the Packers are 3-4-1, good for third in the NFC North. On Sunday, they’ll return home to take on the Dolphins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: P. Peterson, Winston, Peters

We heard last week that the Cardinals were at least willing to listen to trade offers for Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and while GM Steve Keim later threw cold water on those rumors, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Arizona is not only looking to deal Bucannon and Reddick, but that the team is also open to parting with star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mike Jurecki of the team’s official website tweets that there is zero chance that the Cardinals move Peterson, but even if that’s the case, it seems apparent that the rebuilding Cards will be busy as we approach the October 30 trade deadline.

Now let’s take a look at a few more items out of the NFC:

  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Jameis Winston‘s job with the Buccaneers is pretty secure for the time being, but the rest of the season will be critical in determining Winston’s long-term future with the club. He is under club control through 2019 under the fifth-year option, but that option would cost the Bucs $20.9MM and is guaranteed for injury only, so if Winston performs poorly but remains healthy, Tampa Bay could conceivably cut ties after the 2018 season.
  • La Canfora reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to hire Falcons team president Rich McKay in recent years to oversee the league’s football operations, a department that has come under fire for its handling of Bountygate, Deflategate, and other scandals. However, the compensation committee, which has been trying to cut spending, would not authorize the creation of an expensive executive position like that, and there is nothing to indicate that anything will change in that regard, even if McKay were open to such a post (which he apparently was).
  • Eagles LT Jason Peters suffered a torn biceps against the Giants on Thursday night, but Rapoport tweets that Peters is expected to return and play this season and could miss just a game or two. While Peters has not been performing to his usual standards in 2018, this is still obviously great news for Philadelphia.
  • Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and cornerback Josh Norman have discussed the halftime incident that garnered some media attention earlier this week and have put the matter behind them, per Rapoport (video link). Rapoport says that Gruden stepped to the front of the locker room to address the team at halftime of Monday’s loss to the Saints, and Norman had his headphones on — as he always does at halftime — and had his back to Gruden, so did not know that the head coach had begun talking. Gruden took exception to what he perceived as a lack of attention and yanked the headphones of off Norman’s head, which obviously made Norman upset. Norman walked away from Gruden and was therefore benched to start the second half, but it does not sound as if this issue will be a lingering problem for the two men moving forward.
  • The Packers, at 2-2-1, are clearly not performing as well as they would like, and Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com has a couple of suggestions as to how Green Bay might shake things up. Dougherty believes the team should consider making a change at safety, either by giving Jermaine Whitehead a shot at starting or moving Bashaud Breeland into the rotation (when healthy), and he also believes Robert Tonyan should get more snaps at tight end.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks