John Lunsford

AFC Notes: Bolts, Ravens, Jets, Steelers

Chargers first-round wide receiver Mike Williams, who has been dealing with a back injury since May, is “running” and “doing well,” head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters, including Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn suggested last week that Williams might not play at all this year, which came after the Chargers announced that the ex-Clemson star will miss all of training camp. However, they continue to hold out hope he’ll be healthy in time for the regular season, writes Eric Williams.

  • Newly signed Ravens offensive tackle Austin Howard hasn’t practiced with the team since inking a three-year, $16.5MM deal last Friday, and it’s unclear why, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Howard underwent offseason shoulder surgery, so his recovery from that procedure could be at the root of the delay, notes Zrebiec. For his part, head coach John Harbaugh is content to leave Howard’s fate “in the trainer’s hands.”
  • Free agent long snapper Andrew DePaola visited the Jets on Tuesday, tweets ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, who relays that incumbent Tanner Purdum hasn’t looked great in camp. Purdum has been the Jets’ long snapper since 2010, so even though his position isn’t glamorous, it would be notable for the club to make a change there. DePaola was the Buccaneers’ long snapper for the previous three seasons. They non-tendered him in March.
  • Center Mike Matthews, whom the Steelers waived Tuesday, will miss four to six months with a torn patellar tendon, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, will go on injured reserve if another team doesn’t claim him via waivers.
  • With Cairo Santos set to miss a week-plus with a groin injury, the Chiefs worked out free agent kickers John Lunsford and Conrad Ukropina on Tuesday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). It doesn’t appear the Chiefs will sign either, though, given that they added fellow kicker Sam Ficken after auditioning Lunsford and Ukropina.

Seahawks Release CB Perrish Cox

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Cox, 30, joined the Seahawks in January as insurance in the wake of DeShawn Shead‘s knee injury. Shead is not expected to be ready for Week 1, but the Seahawks do not feel that Cox is worth keeping around as an alternative. Before signing with Seattle, Cox was with the Titans. He intercepted three passes in 11 games for Tennessee in 2016.

With Lunsford out of the way, Blair Walsh stands as the only place kicker on Seattle’s roster.

Even after releasing Farmer and Magee, the Seahawks still have nine running backs under contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/22/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Dolphins have signed offensive tackle Avery Young and waived cornerback Daniel Davie with a non-football injury, the club announced today. Young, 24, went undrafted out of Auburn in 2016, and ended up spending the entirety of his rookie campaign on the non-football injury list. He was waived by the Saints last month. Davie, too, was a 2016 UDFA (Colts), and had agreed to a futures deal with Miami earlier this year.
  • The Seahawks announced that they’ve signed kicker John Lunsford, who was waived by the Buccaneers earlier this week. Lunsford, originally a 49ers UDFA in 2016, doesn’t figure to make Seattle’s final roster given that the club has already inked Blair Walsh this offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Patriots released running back Tyler Gaffney, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Gaffney has an extensive history with the Patriots but hasn’t played in a game. He spent the past three summers with the team, failing to make New England’s 53-man roster out of camp in each. He vacillated between the Pats’ active roster and practice squad last year, so if history is any indication, a reunion at could ensue at some point later this year.
  • The Chargers re-signed previously non-tendered defensive end Tenny Palepoi, according to a team announcement. Palepoi missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury but returned to action in 2016. He had 13 tackles in 13 games but wound up missing the last three contests due to a PED suspension. He still has to finish out that ban by sitting out one game in 2017.
  • Another Bolts move: ERFA wide receiver Geremy Davis signed his tender.
  • The Panthers announce they’ve re-signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year extension. Mainly utilized in a special teams role, Williams played in only three games last year due to a knee injury. In 2015, he appeared in all 16 regular-season contests for the NFC champions.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo re-signed with the Raiders. Condo’s been the Silver and Black’s long snapper since the 2007 season after breaking into the NFL with the 2005 Cowboys. Given that long snappers have a precise salary range — 14 of them earn between $1MM and $1.15MM per year — it’s fairly easy to project Condo’s next contract’s AAV. The 36-year-old is the Raiders’ second-longest-tenured player behind Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Cody Parkey will have some competition with the Browns this summer. Cleveland added CFL kicker Brett Maher from the CFL. The 27-year-old hasn’t appeared in an NFL game yet. He’s kicked in Canada for the past three seasons, spending 2016 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maher made 41 of 50 field goal tries for Hamilton. Parkey, 24, hit 20 of his 25 attempts and made 20 of 21 PATs.
  • The Redskins announced the re-signing of left tackle Ty Nsekhe. Washington placed an ERFA tender on Nsekhe, who at 31 is much older than players normally involved in these transactions. Nsekhe spent the past two seasons with Washington, starting in six games in that span. Four of those starts came last season while Trent Williams was serving a substance-abuse suspension.
  • After the Nick Folk signing created a stacked Buccaneers kicker depth chart, the team released John Lunsford, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Folk and Roberto Aguayo will battle for the Bucs’ kicker job, leaving Lunsford without a role.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/4/17

Here are the latest 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.

Los Angeles Rams

  • DB Jerome Couplin
  • LB Cassanova McKinzy
  • LB Reggie Northrup
  • DB Kevin Peterson
  • WR Brandon Shippen
  • DB Kevin Short
  • RB Brandon Wegher
  • TE Bryce Williams

New Orleans Saints

  • LB Adam Bighill
  • DB Forrest Hightower

New York Jets

  • K Ross Martin

Philadelphia Eagles

  • WR Rasheed Bailey

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • TE Kivon Cartwright
  • K John Lunsford

49ers Cut Jerome Simpson, Eight Others, Place Eric Rogers On IR

The 49ers released Jerome Simpson and waived eight other players, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports (on Twitter). They also placed coveted ex-CFL wide receiver Eric Rogers on IR after he tore his ACL earlier this month.

Here are the other players San Francisco cut today:

Originally a Bengals second-round pick in 2008, Simpson has seen action in seven seasons — with Cincinnati from 2008-11, Minnesota from 2012-13 and with the 49ers last year — but saw a suspension derail his most recent one. The 30-year-old wideout signed a two-year, $1.73MM deal with San Francisco before last season but saw a substance-abuse policy suspension shelve him for six games. Simpson, who recorded 700-yard+ seasons with the Bengals and Vikings, made just five receptions for 54 yards in 2015.

The 49ers, who have to make four cuts to get to the 75-man limit by the Tuesday-afternoon deadline, do not owe Simpson any guaranteed money.

Rogers, who chose to sign with the 49ers because of Chip Kelly‘s presence, received the most lucrative deal for a CFL refugee since Cameron Wake in 2009. He fielded offers from nearly half the league after re-establishing his stock, one that didn’t initially attract much NFL interest after signing with the Cowboys as a UDFA in 2013.

Gaskins played in nine games for the Niners last season, receiving 16 carries and gaining 38 yards as a rookie.

49ers Sign DeForest Buckner, Draftees, UDFAs

The 49ers have confirmed the previously-reported signings of sixth-round draft picks Kelvin Taylor and Jeff Driskel, and announced nearly two dozen more roster moves to go along with those signings. In a press release, the Niners said they have waived four players from their 90-man roster, signed nine draft picks (including Taylor and Driskel), and added 12 undrafted free agents to the mix.DeForest Buckner

San Francisco’s most notable transaction is the signing of defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who becomes the highest-drafted player to ink his rookie contract so far. Buckner, a standout at Oregon, was snagged by the 49ers with the seventh overall pick in last week’s draft, and is in line for a four-year contract worth more than $18.19MM, including a signing bonus of approximately $11.43MM. His deal also features a fifth-year option for 2020.

Listed below are the other draftees signed today by the 49ers, in addition to Buckner, Taylor, and Driskel. Only first-round guard Joshua Garnett and third-round defensive back Will Redmond are still unsigned:

While the 49ers had plenty of space on their roster for their draft picks, the team didn’t have much extra flexibility to add more than a handful of undrafted free agents. As such, San Francisco has cut four veterans: offensive lineman Jordan Devey, kicker Corey Acosta, running back Kendall Gaskins, and quarterback Dylan Thompson.

Devey is perhaps the most notable name in this group — the 49ers didn’t make many headlines when they acquired him from the Patriots in a trade for tight end Asante Cleveland last August, but Devey unexpectedly made his way into the club’s starting lineup to open the season. Although he was replaced down the stretch, the 28-year-old made nine starts and played nearly 400 offensive snaps for San Francisco in 2015.

With a few spots cleared on their 90-man roster, the Niners officially added 12 undrafted free agents. Here’s the full list of those UDFAs:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.