Jonathan Freeny

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s workout updates, with nearly all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Giants To Work Out LB Jonathan Freeny

Even after setting their 53-man roster, the Giants are still looking for ways to improve. In the next few days, they’ll audition former Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny, a source tells Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Jonathan Freeny

Freeny, 28, appeared in 18 games with eleven starts for the Pats over the last two years. He amassed 60 tackles and one sack during that span. He signed an extension with the Pats prior to the 2016 season that was supposed to carry him through 2018. He was let go before the contract kicked in, however.

The Giants currently project to start Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, and Jonathan Casillas at linebacker. Reserves include outside linebackers J.T. Thomas and Deontae Skinner and middle linebacker Keenan Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Reach 53-Man Max

The Patriots made a massive amount of cuts on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit. Most of the cuts were expected, but there were a few surprises in the bunch.

Released:

Waived:

Karras was widely projected to be the team’s top backup on the interior line, so his release comes as a surprise. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Pats in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and played in all 16 regular season games last year. He also appeared in all three playoff games as a reserve.

O’Shaughnessy, acquired via trade in April, was competing for the third tight end spot. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has played in 23 NFL games with six starts.

Pats LB Jonathan Freeny Won’t Return From IR

Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago, and he won’t be healthy enough to be designated to return, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). Per the NFL’s IR rules, Freeny could have come back after eight weeks and helped out New England during the stretch run, but his shoulder injury will keep him out for the rest of the year.Jonathan Freeny

[RELATED: Jamie Collins Turned Down $11MM/Year]

The Patriots could conceivably be in the market for linebacker depth after making the surprising decision to trade Jamie Collins to the Browns, but Freeny won’t be part of any cavalry that comes along. New England already made a move to acquire a linebacker last week, picking up former second-round pick Kyle Van Noy from the Lions by swapping late-round picks. Meanwhile, rookie Elandon Roberts and Barkevious Mingo figure to form a duo to replace Collins’ production, as Doug Kyed of NESN reported earlier today.

Freeny, who agreed to a two-year extension before the season began, played in five games (four starts) before getting injured. The 26-year-old had managed six tackles and a forced fumble, and was also a factor on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Place Jonathan Freeny On IR

A starter in four of the Patriots’ five games thus far this season, Jonathan Freeny may not return to the field in 2016. The Patriots placed the fifth-year outside linebacker on IR, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Afflicted with a shoulder injury, Freeny played in all five of the Pats’ games and was the recipient of a two-year, $4.1MM extension in August. He will now be out until at least December. New England could activate Freeny after eight weeks, and the second-year starter could return to practice after six, but can only select one player from its IR list to return to action.

The Pats also placed recently added tight end Greg Scruggs on IR. To replace the duo on the 53-man roster, the Patriots signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and defensive end Geneo Grissom from their practice squad, Florio reports.

Freeny recorded 10 tackles and forced a fumble this season. He started seven games in 2015 after playing the previous three years with the Dolphins.

Scruggs, who has a knee injury, played in three games with the Bears this season but had yet to see action for his current team. He’s in his first season as a tight end after previously serving as a defensive lineman. However, with Freeny now on IR, Scruggs’ chances of playing again this season are remote.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Broncos, Hillman, Solomon, Jets

When asked about Ronnie Hillman‘s trade value, two NFL GMs told Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that he doesn’t have much because he doesn’t play special teams. The Broncos running back is said to be on the bubble as the 53-man deadline approaches.

Denver has already handed Hillman $600K through a signing bonus and workout bonuses, but his $1.4MM base salary is non-guaranteed. By most accounts, Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs have leapfrogged the one-time Broncos starter.

Here’s more from around the NFL on this busy day:

  • Former Cleveland outside linebacker Scott Solomon recently worked out for the Chiefs, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Solomon appeared in just two games last season before landing on injured reserve with a knee injury. He was a restricted free agent this offseason and Cleveland initially picked up his $1.671MM tender. Less than one month later, however, he was cut.
  • Jonathan Freeny‘s two-year extension with the Patriots is worth $4.1MM, including a $1.3MM signing bonus, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tweets. He’ll bring cap hits of $1.74MM in ’16, $1.87MM in ’17, and $2.03MM in ’18.
  • The Jets worked out former Harvard center Anthony Fabiano on Thursday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Long snapper John DePalma is working out for the Seahawks today, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). DePalma was previously in Philly.

Patriots Extend Jonathan Freeny

The Patriots have a number of notable defenders who are in line for extensions, but the team decided to lock up one of their more unheralded linebackers this afternoon. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter), the Patriots have extended linebacker Jonathan Freeny. The reporter adds that the extension is for two years, keeping Freeny on the squad through the 2018 season.

Jonathan FreenyFreeny, a 2011 undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, joined the Patriots last offseason following several seasons with the Dolphins. The 27-year-old ultimately played a significant role for New England, starting seven games and compiling a career-high 50 tackles. Considering the Patriots defensive depth, it’s unlikely that Freeny will play as significant role in 2016. Roster Resource projects that the defender will be the team’s first linebacker off the bench. Of course, Freeny also plays a large role on the Patriots’ special teams unit.

The Patriots will have some difficult decisions as they look to extend several of their big-name defenders. Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, and Jabaal Sheard are all set to hit free agency following the season.

AFC Notes: Manning, Tannehill, McCarron, Pats

Thanks to unimpressive showings over the last two weeks, including in Sunday’s 15-12 loss to Oakland, Brock Osweiler‘s hold on the Broncos’ starting quarterback job looks tenuous. Furthering the possibility of an eventual switch back to Peyton Manning is that head coach Gary Kubiak was reluctant Monday to name a starter for this Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh. Kubiak had announced Osweiler as the starter the previous four Mondays, and as Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today writes, he could be leaving open the possibility of Manning returning to practice this week and ultimately reclaiming the job.

Manning has been out since mid-November with a plantar fascia injury, but he is making progress in his recovery, according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post.

More from the AFC:

  • Since 2012, the Dolphins have invested a top 10 pick, a contract worth up to $96MM and 60 starts in quarterback Ryan Tannehill. However, they still don’t know whether he’s their solution under center, according to James Walker of ESPN. With Miami likely to bring in a new coaching staff and install a new offensive scheme during the offseason, Walker believes Tannehill needs to finish strong this year to impress the oncoming regime and avoid having to deal with competition for his job as early as next season. Walker does note, though, that Tannehill will likely to get one to two more seasons to prove to the Dolphins whether he’s their answer at QB.
  • Even though Pro Bowl-caliber starting quarterback Andy Dalton is potentially out for the season, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson isn’t going to stop relying on the team’s passing game down the stretch. On A.J. McCarron, who will fill in for Dalton, Jackson said (via Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com), “We pay him to win games. So whatever it takes for him to win, that’s what he’s going to do. If you guys think he’s going to turn around and hand it off 70 times to win a game, then you guys are mistaken.”
  • Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny dislocated his right thumb and part of his wrist in the team’s 27-6 win over Houston on Sunday, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports. The Pats hope to have Freeny back by year’s end, per Reiss.

Patriots Extend Jonathan Freeny

Only two games into his contract with the Patriots, linebacker and special-teamer Jonathan Freeny has shown the team enough to earn another year on his deal. According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the Pats have extended Freeny, tacking another year onto his current contract and locking him up through the 2016 season.

After spending the first four years of his NFL career in Miami, Freeny signed a one-year pact with the Patriots earlier this year, worth $1MM — an $850K base salary, along with a $150K signing bonus. According to Yates, Freeny’s second year will feature a raise, including a $1MM base salary, a $500K signing bonus, and $250K in per-game roster bonuses.

Freeny, 26, won’t see much action on defense for the Patriots unless someone gets hurt — through two games, he has appeared in just two defensive snaps for the team. However, he’s expected to be a key contributor on special teams, having racked up 11 tackles in kick and punt coverage a year ago for the division-rival Dolphins.

Freeny’s new signing bonus will be prorated over this season and next, so his 2015 cap hit will increase a little, while his 2016 cap number will be as high as $1.5MM, depending on how many games he plays this season.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Today’s minor moves…

  • The Giants have agreed to terms with cornerback Chykie Brown, writes Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. Brown was picked up by the Giants midway through last season after being waived by the Ravens. Brown played 375 snaps for the Giants after joining the team in early November, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
  • The Dolphins signed defensive back T.J. Heath, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter).
  • The Patriots signed linebacker Jonathan Freeny, who had been with the Dolphins since going undrafted out of Rutgers in 2011, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter).
  • Long snapper James Winchester signed with the Chiefs today, according to agent Ken Sarnoff (on Twitter).
  • Panthers free agent cornerback James Dockery is set to sign with the Raiders, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Dockery took to Instagram not long ago to thank his fans in the Charlotte area.
  • The Broncos (via Twitter) have signed rookie punter Karl Schmitz to a contract. He handled punts and kickoffs for Jacksonville University in 2008 before transferring to University of Missouri-St. Louis and graduating in 2011.
  • Long snapper Tanner Purdum has signed a new two-year deal with the Jets, according to agent Robert Roche (via Twitter). Purdum, who became an unrestricted free agent Tuesday, has been close to perfect in his five seasons as the Jets’ snapper, as Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com writes. He’s made every one of the punt and placement snaps in that time, 783 snaps over 83 regular- and postseason games, without a single fumble, wild snap or penalty.