Joe Thomas (LB)

NFC East Notes: Giants, Redskins, Cowboys

Although the Giants are not actively shopping wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., team owner John Mara (once again) didn’t dismiss the idea of dealing the star pass-catcher. “Do I want [Beckham] to be traded? Absolutely not,” said Mara, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). “I want him to be a Giant. I can’t promise that’s going to happen. We’re not looking to get rid of him, OK? I’d like him to be a Giant. But if you’re asking me for a 100% guarantee, nobody has that.” Beckham may reportedly consider a holdout if he’s not extended by the start of the 2018 season, but he’s clearly not in the good graces of New York’s decision-makers at the moment. Mara recently indicated he’s “tired of answering questions” about OBJ, who was involved in a video that may have involved drug use earlier this year.

Let’s take a look at more from the NFC East:

  • Free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is in a holding pattern with the Redskins after meeting with the club last week, as John Keim of ESPN.com writes. Asking price could be an issue, as Keim indicated Washington views Hankins as a potential complementary piece of its run defense rather than a key cog. As such, Hankins may not be in the Redskins’ plans unless his cost comes down. Fellow interior lineman Bennie Logan remains under consideration, but given that Washington has yet to schedule a visit, its interest clearly isn’t serious. If neither Hankins nor Logan end up in the nation’s capital, the Redskins should be expected to target defensive tackle help through the draft.
  • New Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas‘ two-year deal is worth up to $3.6MM, tweets Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Thomas, who had spent his entire career in Green Bay, received a $1MM signing bonus and will also have $400K of his base salary guaranteed. The Packers opted to non-tender Thomas as a restricted free agent rather than pay him an original round tender of $1.907MM, and Thomas won’t meet that mark with Dallas, either, as Demovsky reports Thomas will collect just $1.6MM total in 2018. Thomas, 26, will likely spend most of his time on the Cowboys’ special teams unit, but will provide depth in case Sean Lee or Jaylon Smith go down with injury.
  • Texas A&M receiver Christian Kirk has schedule a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys, according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. Because he’s likely considered a local prospect, Kirk shouldn’t count against Dallas’ allotment of 30 prospect meetings. The Cowboys have already added Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson to a pass-catching corps that also includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and — for now — Dez Bryant, but Kirk could give the club another dimension on offense. Kirk averaged a 78/952/9 line during three seasons with the Aggies.

Cowboys To Sign LB Joe Thomas

The Cowboys have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent linebacker Joe Thomas, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The pact is worth up to $4.6MM, tweets Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

Thomas, not to be confused with the former Browns tackle of the same same, is now on the open market after the Packers declined to tender him as a restricted free agent last week. The 26-year-old Thomas, who spent time on the Dallas practice squad in 2015, started seven games and played 60% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps in 2016, but saw his playtime drop to 13% last season.

The Cowboys appear to be set at linebacker with a trio of Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, and Damien Wilson, so Thomas won’t see playing time right off the bat. However, both Lee and Smith have dealt with serious injuries in the past, so Thomas will offer depth in case either goes down again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys To Meet With WR Deonte Thompson

The Cowboys met with wide receiver Deonte Thompson and linebacker Joe Thomas on Wednesday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter links).

Dallas’ wide receiver depth chart is fluid at the moment, as the Cowboys haven’t yet asked No. 1 pass-catcher Dez Bryant to accept a pay cut in order to remain on the roster. It’s unclear if Bryant will even be forced to take a pay reduction, but the Cowboys have other problems at receiver beyond Bryant. Terrance Williams managed only 568 yards in the first year of a four-year extension, while Brice Butler is an unrestricted free agent.

Thompson played for two teams in 2017, as he signed with the Bills in October after being released by the Bears. Overall, last season marked Thompson’s best campaign to date, as he set career-highs in both receptions (38) and yards (555). Thompson, 29, has also reportedly drawn interest from the Broncos and the incumbent Bills, but his visit with the Cowboys will mark his first official free agent meeting.

Thompson wasn’t the only receiver scheduled to meet with the Cowboys today. Former Jaguars wideout Allen Hurns is taking the first visit of his free agent tour with Dallas, while Dontrelle Inman and Justin Hunter were also expected to be in Arlington.

Thomas, not to be confused with the former Browns tackle of the same same, is now on the open market after the Packers declined to tender him as a restricted free agent last week. The 26-year-old started seven games and played 60% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps in 2016, but saw his playtime drop to 13% last season. Thomas would serve as depth and contribute on special teams if signed by the Cowboys.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at the second-round level ($2.914MM):

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/7/17

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:

RFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

ERFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

Packers Place Josh Boyd On IR, Sign Joe Thomas

The Packers have placed defensive end Josh Boyd on season-ending IR, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. In a related move, Green Bay has plucked Joe Thomas off of the Cowboys taxi squad.

Boyd, a fifth-round pick in 2013, has played in 26 career regular-season games. Unfortunately, on Sunday, he suffered an ankle injury and an MRI revealed torn ligaments. Boyd appeared in 15 games (4 starts) for Green Bay in 2014, racking up 22 total tackles and one pass deflection.

Thomas was released by the Packers at the end of the preseason and spent part of last year on their taxi squad. Now, the Packers have seized the opportunity to welcome him back with Sam Barrington on IR.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/8/15

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed:
  • Released:
    • G David Arkin

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed:

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington

  • To be signed:

Packers Cut 20, Settle On 53-Man Roster

In addition to placing Letroy Guion and Datone Jones on the reserve/suspended list, the Packers cut 18 players and waived two injured performers.

Green Bay parted ways with running backs Rajion Neal and John Crockett, leaving undrafted rookie Alonzo Harris as the third running back behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks.

The reigning NFC North champions’ additional departures are as follows:

  • Jared Abbrederis, WR
  • Carl Bradford, LB
  • John Fanor, S
  • Garth Gerhart, C
  • Tay Glover-Wright, CB
  • Mitchell Henry, TE
  • Justin Perillo, TE
  • Andy Phillips, C/G
  • Larry Pickard, WR (Waived/injured)
  • Jermaria Rasco, LB (Waived/injured)
  • Christian Ringo, DT
  • Matt Rotheram, G
  • Joe Thomas, LB
  • Khyri Thornton, DT
  • James Vaughters, LB
  • Jeremy Vujnovich, T
  • Ryan White, CB
  • Ed Williams, WR

Packers Waive Derek Sherrod

Fresh off their bye week, the Packers have made a slew of roster moves, with the most notable transaction being the waiving of tackle Derek Sherrod, who was the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft (Twitter link via Brian McIntyre). To replace him on the roster, Green Bay has activated center J.C. Tretter from the injured reserve/designated to return list, per Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). The club also tweaked its practice squad, signing running back Rajion Neal and linebacker Joe Thomas while cutting tight end Ike Ariguzo and defensive end Joe Kruger, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter).

The Packers’ decision to cut Sherrod ends an unceremonious run in Green Bay for the Mississippi State product, who despite his draft pedigree, started only one game during his stint with the team. He represents a rare miss by general manager Ted Thompson — as ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter), Sherrod joins Justin Harrell as the only Thompson first-round picks no longer on the Packers’ roster. Sherrod’s most notable performance, infamously, came during the NFL opener earlier this year, when he was routinely beaten by various Seahawks defenders on his way to registering a -6.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Still only 25, Sherrod should be able to latch on somewhere else; because he isn’t a vested veteran, he will have to clear waivers before becoming a free agent. The Packers, meanwhile, will need to find another swing tackle, as there isn’t another OT on the roster outside of starters David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. The club does have rookie tackle Jeremy Vujnovich on its practice squad, so perhaps we’ll see him be promoted if the Packers decide they need more depth along their line.

Tretter, 23, was slated to take over as Green Bay’s starting center following the offseason departure of veteran Evan Dietrich-Smith. After injuring his knee during training camp, however, the team placed the 2013 fourth-rounder on IR-DTR. His replacement in the lineup, Corey Linsley, is playing extremely well, as evidenced by his rating as the league’s third-best center per PFF, so it’s fair to wonder if Tretter will be relegated to a reserve role. As Silverstein suggests (via Twitter), Tretter is a candidate to act as a backup tackle, so perhaps his versatility would serve him well in a bench position.

Packers Place Six Players On IR

Losing B.J. Raji is certainly unfortunate for the Packers, but as we learned late last week, they’re not panicking. Rather than pick through the scraps on the open market, the Packers are prepared to work with a number of in-house replacements, including Josh BoydLetroy Guion and undrafted rookie Mike Pennel. Here’s the latest out of Green Bay..

  • According to an NFL source, the Packers will place guard Andrew Tiller on the waived-injured list, tweets Justin Felder of FOX 11 in Green Bay. Tiller injured his calf against the Raiders in preseason action. The Syracuse product has previously spent time with the Saints and Chargers and was on Green Bay’s practice squad last season.
  • As expected, the Packers will place Raji on injured reserve today, a league source tells Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The 28-year-old defensive lineman suffered a biceps tear last week.
  • Vinnie Porter, the agent to former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla, tells Demovsky (link) that the Packers gave his client an eight-week regular season injury settlement. Lyerla tore his MCL and PCL and, as expected, was waived-injured by the team. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) confirmed the move earlier today.
  • In total, the Packers announced that they have placed six players on injured reserve to get down to a 75-man roster, tweets Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. The six headed to IR are: Raji, Tiller, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, offensive lineman Don Barclay, running back Rajion Neal, and linebacker Joe Thomas.