Jon Halapio

East Notes: Pryor, Eagles, Giants, Bills

Terrelle Pryor and Todd Bowles have a slight difference of opinion when it comes to the wide receiver’s timetable. Though, maybe the Jets‘ fourth-year head coach doesn’t want to make an unnecessarily bold proclamation in this case. Bowles is not certain the recently signed wideout will be available when training camp begins. Pryor did not practice this week. After encountering more ankle trouble in the spring, Pryor underwent surgery earlier this month. Despite the ankle trouble limiting him this offseason, one that’s involved a boot on Pryor’s right foot at minicamp’s outset, Pryor believes he’ll be available on Day 1 of camp.

For now, in my mind, I’ll be there the first day,” Pryor said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “Right now, I’m healthy and I’m ready to get back to form and have a dominant year.”

Pryor also said the injury he suffered early last season — a torn deltoid ligament in his right ankle during Week 1 — affected him throughout his woeful Washington campaign. The veteran was not able to practice much due to the malady and ended his Redskins season on IR.

I just really couldn’t focus on my game because I was too worried about my foot,” Pryor said. “It kind of took control and controlled my mind.”

Here’s the latest from around the East divisions:

  • Doug Pederson said this week (via Kalyn Kahler of SI.com) he’s considering splitting first-team reps evenly between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles during training camp. Although the Eagles‘ franchise centerpiece has not been cleared for 11-on-11 work, he continues to progress and is expected to be ready by September. But an even split — similar to how Pederson handled matters in 2016, when Sam Bradford was still on the team — puts Foles in better position to lead the offense if Wentz endures a setback.
  • The Giants may have a new contender for the center job. Jon Halapio is making a strong push to be the starting snapper, with Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reporting the fifth-year player has emerged in this role after an “extremely strong” spring. Brett Jones entered the offseason as the player most observers assumed would succeed Weston Richburg as Big Blue’s full-time center, and the Giants tendered him at a second-round level. Halapio, once a sixth-round Patriots pick, re-signed as an ERFA. He started six games last season as a guard, his first action as a pro despite being a 2014 draftee, and has now impressed the Giants’ new coaching staff. While that second-round tender should give Jones a good chance come camp, this is an interesting situation on a retooling offensive line.
  • Speaking of unlikely starters, Nathan Peterman may have a reasonable chance of starting for the Bills in Week 1. While A.J. McCarron is the assumed stopgap while Josh Allen learns, ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak calls Peterman a serious contender for the starting job. This would be a strange turn of events after Peterman’s one rookie-year start went so poorly, but it appears McCarron might not have an automatic route to the job.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/12/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

New York Giants

Los Angeles Chargers

Oakland Raiders

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-Tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

NFC Notes: Barnett, Ansah, Giants, Panthers

The Eagles have had many stars in their journey towards the top of the NFL this season, and one of those players has been rookie defensive end Derek Barnett. The team’s first round pick this past May has given Philadelphia another dominant pass rusher outside of Brandon Graham and has made the front office look even better, opines Geoff Mosher of the FanRags Sports Network.

Mosher points out that Barnett was viewed as the “safe” pick when the Eagles were selecting in the middle of the first round. He states that flashier draftees that the Eagles passed on, like running back Dalvin Cook, defensive end Jonathan Allen and linebacker Reuben Foster, have all had injury problems, making the choice to select Tennessee’s all-time sack leader even more brilliant.

At the moment, Barnett is simply a pass rushing specialist coming off the bench, but has already racked up 4.5 games even without getting the majority of the snaps. He trails team leader Brandon Graham by just 1.5 sacks with six weeks left to play. Barnett may not have been the sexy choice at the time, but he’s making the Eagles decision makers look even smarter because of what he’s adding to an already outstanding roster.

  • Lions star defensive end Ezekiel Ansah returned to game action for the team’s Thanksgiving tilt against the Vikings. Ansah is active for the first time since Week 9 when he injured his back on Monday night football. The 28-year-old has responded well from a down 2016 campaign with four sacks in just eight games this season. The news of his return is certainly a welcomed addition to a defense that ranks 20th in sacks in the NFL.
  • In regards to the late Thanksgiving game between the Redskins and Giants, the expectation that New York will have offensive lineman Jon Halapio make his first professional start at right guard, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. The 26-year-old would be replacing D.J. Fluker, who has already been ruled out for Week 12 with a toe injury. The move represents another shift in the offensive line for the Giants, who had rookie Chad Wheeler make his first NFL start during the team’s victory over the Chiefs in Week 11.
  • In more positive injury news, Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen is continuing to make progress recovering from a broken foot he suffered back in September, reports Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Rodrigue further notes that Olsen looks to be on track to return Sunday, which would be huge addition for an offense that already traded away Kelvin Benjamin and lost wide receiver Curtis Samuel for the season.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

Giants Down To 53

The Giants are all kosher. Here’s the full rundown of their cuts and moves to get to 53:

Cut:

Placed on IR:

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/11/17

Wednesday’s minor moves:

Reserve/Futures Contracts

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Practice Squad

Pittsburgh Steelers

Workout Notes: Giants, Jets, Cardinals

Thursday’s tryouts from around the NFL:

  • The Giants auditioned four offensive linemen – Rob Crisp, Jason Weaver, Jon Halapio and Shahbaz Ahmed – reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). New York ended up signing Halapio to its practice squad. The Patriots selected Halapio in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, but he hasn’t seen any regular-season action. Crisp, Weaver and Ahmed are also devoid of experience.
  • The Jets worked out defensive end Sterling Bailey, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link). Bailey signed with Indianapolis in May as an undrafted free agent from Georgia, but the Colts cut him from their practice squad Monday.
  • The Cardinals tried out guards Kaleb Johnson and Martin Wallace, tweets Caplan. Both Johnson and Wallace have one game of pro experience under their belts.