John Simon

Extra Points: Dolphins, Wake, Patriots, Simon, Cowboys, Williams

Cameron Wake is 36-years-old, and as such the Dolphins were hoping to conserve him early on this season to preserve his body for later in the year. Wake, the five-time Pro Bowler from Penn State, was being used in an even rotation early on this year, but now may be forced to take on a bigger role. The Dolphins’ plan for Wake “might have lasted all of three games” according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, due to injuries on Miami’s defensive line.

William Hayes tore his ACL on a controversial play where he was trying to avoid a roughing the passer penalty, and fellow defensive lineman Andre Branch also went down. The Dolphins now have only three healthy defensive ends, and Wake will now likely be forced to play nearly the entire game. It’s a big ask for a player of Wake’s age, and the Dolphins can’t afford anymore injuries to their defensive front.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Patriots recently signed pass-rusher John Simon, and now the details are in on his contract. He’ll receive a base salary of $800K, with another $412K available in incentives and roster bonuses according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). The Patriots have been unable to generate any pressure through three games, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Simon ends up playing a large role.
  • Terrance Williams recently missed practice, and rumors began circulating online that the Cowboys wideout was facing a suspension, but those rumors are untrue according to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Watkins reports that Williams, who has been lightly used this year despite recently signing an extension, was given an excused absence from practice.
  • In case you missed it, another weak area for the Patriots has been their receiving corp, and they continued to look for help by working out former first round pick Breshad Perriman.

Patriots To Place RB Rex Burhhead On IR

The Patriots will place running back Rex Burkhead on injured reserve with a neck injury, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Pats will also place rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley on IR with an unknown ailment. To fill Bentley’s place on the roster, the Pats have signed outside linebacker John Simon, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets

Burkhead, 28, had to be cleared from concussion protocol prior to the Patriots’ Week 3 game against the Lions. Unfortuantely, he was forced out of that game with a neck injury, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy. It’s currently unknown whether Burkhead is a candidate to return from IR later this year or if this is a definite season-ender.

In three games, Burkhead failed to get going on the ground with 24 rushes for 86 yards. Last year, he averaged 4.1 yards per carry in a limited sample.

Burkhead’s injury should mean a larger workload for rookie Sony Michel and more carries for James WhiteKenjon Barner is back in the fold, so the club may opt to stand pat with those three active running backs plus fullback James Develin.

Bentley, meanwhile, is the just the latest Patriots 2018 draft pick to be placed on IR this season, joining first round tackle/guard Isaiah Wynn, second-round cornerback, sixth-round wide receiver Braxton Berrios, and others.

Simon spent one season with the Colts, but in their new 4-3 defense, he was not viewed as an ideal fit. He spent the prior five seasons of his career with 3-4 teams — the Ravens and Texans — and has worked in a starting role for the past three years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/25/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • C Dillon Day, T Gerhard de Beer, T Christian DiLauro, DT David Parry (link)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Christian DiLauro (link)

Tennessee Titans

NFC North Notes: Rodgers, Vikings, Lions

The Vikings were not the first team that sought Dan Bailey‘s services this season. Although he’s in Minnesota now, other franchises wanted to sign the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey agreed to terms with the Vikings on a one-year, $2MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). However, the 30-year-old specialist also turned down offers worth double that on multiyear deals, Rapoport adds. The Jets brought in Bailey to work out just after the Cowboys cut him, but nothing came to fruition. Gang Green may have been one of the teams that presented a better offer, but that’s not known. Nevertheless, Bailey will replace Daniel Carlson, whom Mike Zimmer said it was not difficult to cut after his performance in Minnesota’s Week 2 tie in Green Bay.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC North:

  • Aaron Rodgers did not exit the Packers‘ Week 2 game with any new discomfort on his injured left knee, Mike McCarthy said (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Rodgers is “obviously sore,” and McCarthy does not have a read on whether his quarterback’s condition is better or worse than at this point last week. But it’s encouraging for the Packers that Rodgers didn’t sustain any additional damage while clearly playing hurt.
  • Carlson’s cut will save the Vikings $200K, though the Bailey addition will negate those savings. Only Carlson’s signing bonus ($248K), plus his base salary through two games, will count against Minnesota’s cap, per Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). The Vikings are up against the cap but managed to add Bailey, Aldrick Robinson and Tom Johnson in the past two days.
  • Robinson will only make the league minimum, and no guarantees exist in the soon-to-be 30-year-old wide receiver’s Vikings pact, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The former Redskins, Falcons and 49ers pass-catcher now comprises part of the Vikes’ receiving corps. Minnesota currently has five receivers on its roster, the same amount it did prior to the Robinson signing. Stacy Coley, a 2017 seventh-rounder, was cut to make room.
  • On a busy day for workouts, the Lions brought in two veteran edge rushers who would slot in as defensive ends in their 4-3 scheme. John Simon and David Bass trekked to Detroit for Tuesday workouts, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). A recent Colts cut, Simon already met with the 49ers and Jets since being released. A six-year veteran, Bass led Jets edge rushers in sacks last season with 3.5. Former Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski also worked out for the Lions today, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Also among the workout contingent: linebacker Tyrone Holmes, fullbacks Jalston Fowler and Jay Prosch, and tight end Donnie Ernsberger, per Balzer. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher visited with the Lions.
  • Former Jets wideout Chad Hansen was among those who auditioned for the Packers today, with Balzer tweeting Shay Fields, Korey Robertson, Taj Williams and quarterback Brogan Roback — of Hard Knocks fame — joined him.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/12/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM’s Twitter account:

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

John Simon Visits Jets

The Jets’ search for additional outside linebacker help will now include John Simon. The edge defender made the Jets his first free agent visit since being released by the Colts, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Simon spent one season with the Colts, but in their new 4-3 defense, he was not viewed as an ideal fit. He spent the prior five seasons of his career with 3-4 teams — the Ravens and Texans — and has worked in a starting role for the past three years.

Gang Green’s outside-rush situation has been mentioned as one of the most glaring weak spots any team’s facing. The Jets do not return a player who registered more than three sacks last season. Projected outside linebacker starters Josh Martin and Jordan Jenkins combined for 4.5 sacks in 2017.

The second-place finishers in the Khalil Mack sweepstakes, the Jets did sign Jeremiah Attaochu after the 49ers cut him. A Simon route to New York would be a similar addition. The 27-year-old defender started all nine Colts games he played. His single-season sack high is five, set with the 2015 Texans — for whom he worked as a part-time starter.

 

Colts Cut John Simon

The Colts have released veteran edge rusher John Simon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

New defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus planned to play Simon at defensive end rather than middle or strongside linebacker. At 6’2″ and 260 pounds, that was perhaps too tall of an order for the veteran. Simon played well during the preseason after being listed as a potential roster cut during the summer, but Indy still decided to move on.

Simon signed a three-year, $14MM deal with the Colts just last year, but he had no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. The Colts will save $3.28MM against the cap by releasing Simon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Hackenberg, Cardinals, Colts

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Raiders coach Jon Gruden has never been a fan of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and he attribute quarterback Christian Hackenberg‘s recent release to the CBA’s limitations. “Everybody is an expert out there on Hackenberg and thinks he can’t play,” Gruden said (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). “It’s unfortunate, this whole collective [bargaining agreement]. How do you develop a quarterback? I don’t know how you do it. … It is hard enough to get Connor Cook enough reps, let alone a fourth guy. It really depresses me how we can’t spend more time with these young quarterbacks, and it is really going to be an impactful situation on the NFL in the future.” The former second-round pick was released by the Raiders after having been acquired from the Jets several weeks ago.
  • First-round quarterback Josh Rosen is undoubtedly impressing in Cardinals‘ camp, but Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com believes Sam Bradford will still be the team’s starter heading into the season. The veteran has the upper hand when it comes to accuracy and throwing power, and while the team is planning on bringing him along slowly (Bradford suffered another knee injury last season), he’s expected to be atop the depth chart at the start of the season.
  • The Colts are curiously attempting to switch linebacker John Simon to defensive end. As Zak Keefer of IndyStar.com writes, this is an especially questionable move considering the team’s lack of depth at linebacker. So far, no one on the Colts sounds overly optimistic about the switch. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus didn’t give a glowing review of the 27-year-old, acknowledging that Simon lacks the size of a typical defensive end. “What you have to do is use your attributes, your strengths, use your get-off, all those things,” he explained. “He’ll figure it out as we go.”
  • Former Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage has been named the general manager of the Alliance of American Football league’s Phoenix franchise (via SBJ’s Liz Mullen on Twitter). The 53-year-old was also the Browns general manager between 2005 and 2008.

AFC Notes: Kendricks, Raiders, Colts, Simon

Mychal Kendricks‘ left his visit with the Raiders on Wednesday without signing a deal, as Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. With that in mind, Kendricks’ scheduled visit with the Browns should take place this week.

Kendricks has been vocal about his desire to play with his brother in Minnesota, but the Vikings’ level of interest is not immediately clear following their meeting. Minnesota arguably would give Kendricks the easiest path towards another Super Bowl ring, but the Browns – armed with upwards of $70MM in cap room – could be the highest bidder of the bunch. The Raiders, meanwhile, would have to do some maneuvering to sign Kendricks given that they have just $1.7MM in cap room.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Colts could conceivably cut John Simon this summer, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star writes. Simon performed well in an injury-shortened 2017, but new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is looking to play him at defensive end rather than middle or strong-side linebacker. Simon, listed at (a perhaps inflated) 6’2″and 260 pounds, is undersized for DE and may not have the speed needed to get around pass blockers. Given that Simon is now battling with edge rushers like Jabaal Sheard, Tarell Basham, Kemoko Turay, Chris McCain, Tyquan Lewis, it’s possible that he might not make the final cut. Simon, who signed a three-year, $14MM deal with the Colts just last year, has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. The Colts would save $3.28MM against the cap by releasing Simon.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com estimates that any suspension for Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson would be of the shorter variety. Recently, Florida prosecutors dropped felony charges against Anderson, though he still faces six charges stemming from a January incident in which he was arrested and threatened to sexually assault the wife of a police officer.

Colts Place LB John Simon On IR

The Colts have placed linebacker John Simon on injured reserve and promoted defensive tackle Anthony Johnson from their practice squad, the club announced today.John SImon (Vertical)

Simon, who is now dealing with a shoulder injury, also missed three games earlier this season with a neck issue. Part of general manager Chris Ballard‘s initial free agent class, the 27-year-old Simon was lured away from the division-rival Texans via a three-year, $14MM contract. For that price, Indianapolis received solid — if not spectacular — production, as Simon managed three sacks while grading as the league’s No. 55 edge defender among 115 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Johnson, meanwhile, has appeared on a number of rosters since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but his most significant playing time came in 2016, when he saw action in 11 total games while splitting time between the Jets and Patriots. He’ll now get a four-game audition during which the Colts can decide whether the 6’3″, 308-pounder should be part of the team’s 2018 plans on the interior.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.