Kyle Nelson‘s season is over. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the 49ers long snapper has been suspended 10 games. The team announced that Nelson was suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The 10-game van would seemingly indicate that this is the veteran’s second violation.
“I have been made aware by the NFL that I tested positive for a banned substance, and as a result will be suspended,” Nelson said in a statement. “I have been taking the same supplements for my entire time with the 49ers, while undergoing often simultaneous testing by the NFL with no issues. I do not deviate from my nutrition routine, and I would never knowingly take a banned substance. I am currently having the supplements tested, and I hope to uncover the cause of the positive test. When the product is identified I fully intend to seek legal action against the manufacturer to protect against this happening to other players in the future.”
The 32-year-old has spent the past four-plus seasons in San Francisco, appearing in every single game for the organization. The suspension could actually spell the end of the veteran’s tenure with the 49ers, as Nelson is set to become a free agent this offseason.
Since he’ll be forced to sit out the first six games of the 2019 campaign, it’s unlikely the 49ers will carry two players at the position for more than a month. In fact, it’s unlikely Nelson will be able to snag a new gig with any team before the start of the regular season. However, the long snapper will be eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices/games.
Considering Nelson’s reliability, it was a bit odd to see the 49ers audition a number of long snappers last week. That grouping was headlined by veteran Jon Condo, and it also included Tanner Carew, Lucas Gravelle, Colin Holba, and Taybor Pepper (via Matt Maiocco NBC Sports Bay Area on Twitter). The workouts now make a lot more sense, as the team will need to add a long snapper for the final stretch of the season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer, unless otherwise specified.
- LB James Burgess, P Matt Darr, LB Obum Gwacham, DE Damontre Moore, P Brad Nortman, P Jake Schum (link)
Green Bay Packers
- RB Mack Brown, RB Martez Carter, RB Jarvion Franklin, RB Gerald Holmes, TE Khari Lee, RB Akrum Wadley (link)
San Francisco 49ers
Here’s a rundown of today’s NFL workouts:
- TE Nick Keizer (Twitter link via Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson)
New England Patriots
- LS Jon Condo, K Andrew Franks, LB Terence Garvin, LB Christian Kuntz, P Jeff Locke, WR Tanner McEvoy, P Colton Schmidt, WR Deangelo Yancey (Twitter link via ESPN’s Mike Reiss)
New York Jets
- S Ibraheim Campbell, S Kai Nacua, DB Quinten Rollins (via Caplan and New York Post’s Brian Costello)
The Titans worked out long snapper Jon Condo on Friday, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Raiders did not re-sign the two-time Pro Bowler this offseason and he has so far been unable to land a job despite being active on the workout circuit.
Condo offers 12 years of NFL experience with all but one of those seasons coming in Oakland. He celebrated his 37th birthday in August, but age typically doesn’t work against specialists as much as other NFL players, so he could very well find a home with the Titans or another club.
The Titans already have a long snapper in Beau Brinkley, and it’s not clear whether he is injured or if the club is giving serious thought to making a change. If he is displaced by Condo, his 100+ game streak in Tennessee will come to an unceremonious end.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:
- LB Alvin Jones
- OT Brant Weiss
Green Bay Packers
- RB Tra Carson (signed to practice squad), WR Keon Hatcher (signed to PS), WR Devin Lucien, WR Teo Redding
- RB Jamaal Charles (signed, story), RB Charcandrick West, LS Jon Condo, LS Matt Overton, LS Zach Triner, TE Pharoah McKever (signed to PS), WR Breshad Perriman, QB Josh Woodrum
Kansas City Chiefs
New Orleans Saints
- WR Quan Bray, WR Rashad Greene, WR Jordan Leslie, WR Brandon Reilly, WR Lucky Whitehead, WR Shane Wynn, CB Chris Campbell, LB Kennan Gilchrist, LB Manase Hungalu, LB Greer Martini, DB Lardarius Webb
San Francisco 49ers
- RB Matthew Dayes (signed to PS), RB Andre Ellington, RB Jeremy McNichols, RB Shane Vereen, RB Charcandrick West (story), QB Jack Heneghan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- OG Kofi Amichia, WR Jace Billingsley, Fred Brown, Corey Coleman, Damoun Patterson, Austin Proehl, QB Joe Callahan, OT De’Ondre Wesley
Long snapper Jon Condo spent 12 years with the Raiders, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods along the way. However, the organization moved on from the 36-year-old this offseason, opting to roll with a younger alternative in Andrew DePaola.
While Condo may have 176 games under his belt, he isn’t planning on hanging up his cleats any time soon.
“I’m a free agent right now,” Condo told Mike Boytim of the Altoona Mirror. “My first year was 2005, so I’ve been in the league for 13 years. I’m happy with where I’m at, but I’m also hungry to get back out on the field. If a team comes calling, I’m definitely staying available and keeping in shape. I want to make myself ready for the opportunity.”
While Condo had a visit with the Texans earlier this offseason, he understands that his opportunities have essentially dried up. However, he’s still optimistic that a job could open up during the preseason.
“There’s definitely teams interested,” Condo said. “But with me being 36 years old, they want to give the reps to the younger guys. They know what I can do. If they want to see me, they can put on 12 years of film. I’ve spoken with my agent, and he told me a lot of teams are interested in me, but right now it’s a matter of someone getting hurt or a team losing confidence in their guy.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the AFC…
- While Titans undrafted rookie wideout Deontay Burnett is talented, Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com believes fellow undrafted receivers Jordan Veasy and Devin Ross were more impressive during OTAs. When asked which other undrafted rookies could crack Tennessee’s 53-man roster, Wyatt pointed to running back Akrum Wadley and linebacker Sharif Finch.
- The Colts have a number of talented offensive and defensive linemen on their roster, and Kevin Bowen of 1070TheFan.com writes that the team will have to cut bait with some notable names. For instance, offensive lineman Le’Raven Clark and Jeremy Vujnovich could end up being on the chopping block, while defensive linemen Margus Hunt, Chris McCain, Hassan Ridgeway, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are all fighting for limited roster spots.
- The Jets signed linebacker Avery Williamson to a three-year, $22.5MM contract back in March, but Brian Costello of the New York Post writes that there’s no certainty he’ll be a three-down player. His former team, the Titans, would take Williamson out of the game during passing downs, but Jets head coach Todd Bowles has expressed optimism that the linebacker will remain on the field in all scenarios. While Costello doesn’t sound all too bullish on that sentiment, he does believe Williamson will end up being a primary pass rusher for his new team.
- Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com lists Mychal Kendricks as the Browns‘ “key linebacker.” The 27-year-old sat out minicamp as he recovered from offseason ankle surgery, but it shouldn’t take long for him to fit in with his new team, as he has the versatility to play any of the linebacker spots. Cabot writes that Kendricks will initially contribute as the “Will” linebacker, although that means he’s behind Christian Kirksey on the depth chart. “Being more in the box, run front, blitzing, covering backs and tight ends from the Will is what he’s done,” said linebackers coach Blake Williams. “That’s where he’ll definitely start out from the get-go to make sure that it’s as seamless a transition as possible. As he can take more, we can move him around more, but we want him to have confidence and success to start out with.”
Houston already employs Jon Weeks — who made the Pro Bowl as recently as 2015 — so it’s unclear if the club is seeking to replace Weeks, or simply taking a look at Condo for possible depth down the line. Weeks, who has been with the Texans since 2010, signed a four-year, $3.9MM extension in 2015 that will keep him under contract through 2019. Houston could conceivably release Weeks, as it would only incur a $100K dead money charge for doing so.
Condo, for his part, reached free agency in March after spending 11 seasons with the Raiders. Oakland opted to sign Andrew DePaola to replace Condo, who ranked just 28th among 33 qualified long snappers in accuracy, per Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus (Twitter link). Condo has earned two Pro Bowl nods during his career, although the most recent came back in 2011.
Bowen, meanwhile, was an undrafted free agent out of Division II East Central in 2016. While Bowen was with the Redskins from 2016-17, he never actually saw the field, as health issues forced to him injured reserve in each season. Clearly, an injury-prone UDFA lineman from a small school is a long shot, but the Texans have little depth at offensive tackle.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Before Alec Ogletree was traded to the Giants earlier today, the Rams also offered the veteran linebacker to the Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Los Angeles recently completed a Marcus Peters-centered trade with Kansas City, but it’s clear if Ogletree was part of those talks, or discussed in a separate deal. The Chiefs have already announced that team icon Derrick Johnson will not be re-signed, but Kansas City could still use another inside linebacker to play opposite Reggie Ragland in its 3-4 scheme. However, the Chiefs are one of the more-cap strapped teams in the NFL, so it’s unlikely they could have taken on Ogletree’s $10MM guarantee in 2018.
- While the Lions now have until mid-July to work out an extension with recently franchise-tagged defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, a long-term could be a risky proposition for Detroit, argues Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Ansah will already be 29 years old when the 2018 campaign gets underway, and he’s dealt with nagging injuries and inconsistent play over the course of his five-year career. Additionally, Ansah will now earn $17.143MM in 2018, meaning he’s likely looking for a guarantee of $38MM (the value of two consecutive franchise tags). As Rothstein writes, Lions general manager Bob Quinn has shown a willingness to pay up for stars in the past, but it’s unclear if Detroit is willing to go all-in for Ansah.
- In addition to confirming Mike Groh‘s previously-reported promotion to offensive coordinator, the Eagles have announced a series of staff moves. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland had had “run game coordinator” added to his title, Carson Walch was promoted to assistant wide receivers coach, and Trent Miles was promoted to offensive quality control/running backs.
- The Lions have hired former NFL defensive back Steve Gregory as a defensive assistant, the club announced today. Gregory played under Detroit head coach Matt Patricia when both were in New England, and had spent the past several seasons as a special teams quality control coach at Syracuse, his alma mater. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link), Gregory has long wanted to coach in the NFL, and many of his former teammates were high on his future coaching potential.
- Long snapper Jon Condo will not be re-signed by the Raiders, as Condo himself announced on his Twitter account. This was the expected result after Oakland inked two long snappers to futures deals this winter, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A two-time Pro Bowler, Condo had spent all but one season of his dozen-year career in Oakland.
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.