Jonathan Jones

Patriots Re-Sign PR Bernard Reedy

The Patriots announced that they have re-signed punt returner Bernard Reedy. Reedy will be eligible to play in this weekend’s AFC title game against the Jaguars. Bernard Reedy (vertical)

The Pats will have to make a roster move in order to bring Reedy back into the fold. That will likely be accomplished by placing cornerback Jonathan Jones on IR. On Wednesday afternoon, New England opted against activating wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell from injured reserve, which cleared the way for Reedy to rejoin the team.

Reedy, 26, spent 2017 with the Patriots and Bucs. In total, he returned 18 punts for 175 yards plus seven kickoffs for 145 yards.

The Toledo product caught on with the Pats’ taxi squad in November after the Bucs ended his lengthy Tampa Bay stay. Despite being with the Bucs since the 2015 season, the former 2014 UDFA only saw live action in ’17.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Ravens, Colts

The latest from the AFC:

  • Eric Rowe isn’t necessarily a lock to serve as the Patriots’ No. 3 cornerback in 2017, suggests Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Rather, it could be Jonathan Jones who emerges behind stars Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler, as Reiss notes that the second-year man got first-team reps as the Patriots’ nickel corner during OTAs last week. With that in mind, Rowe’s playing time during the upcoming season might depend on matchups. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, the Patriots could feature Rowe as their nickel corner against teams with multiple big receivers or clubs with tight ends who function as large wideouts, relays Reiss. That was the case in Super Bowl LI when the Pats put Rowe on the Falcons’ best receiver, the 6-3, 220-pound Julio Jones.
  • Now-49er Kyle Juszczyk was more of a Swiss Army knife than a fullback for the Ravens, meaning it may take multiple players to replace him, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Running backs Lorenzo Taliaferro and Danny Woodhead, fullback Ricky Ortiz and tight end Nick Boyle could try to make up for Juszczyk’s departure as a group. The versatile Juszczyk parlayed his time in Baltimore as a lead blocker/pass catcher/special teamer into a record contract for a fullback (four years, $21MM, including $10.5MM guaranteed). Although the Ravens wanted to keep Juszczyk, their offer wasn’t competitive with the 49ers’, reports Zrebiec.
  • Le’Raven Clark started in just three of eight appearances as a third-round rookie in 2016, but he ended the year as the Colts’ No. 1 right tackle and looks likely to win the job this season, per Kevin Bowen of the team’s website. Joe Reitz and Joe Haeg picked up the bulk of the work at right tackle while Clark was on the bench, but the former has since retired and the latter is primarily a guard. As for Clark, he’s “got enough talent” to be a full-timer, according to Chuck Pagano, though the head coach noted that the 24-year-old must improve as a pass blocker. Pro Football Focus agrees, having assigned Clark an awful pass-blocking grade during his inaugural campaign.

Panthers Bring Roster To 53

The Panthers have moved their roster all the way down to 53 by making several cuts, and the NFL announced that guard Chris Scott had been suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy.

Placed on IR:

Suspended:

  • G Chris Scott

Garrett, a wide receiver out of Tulsa, went undrafted, but he believes that he is the best at his position in the 2016 class.

I say that all the time,” Garrett told David Newton of ESPN.com earlier this year. “That’s just how I feel. I had the best numbers out of any of the receivers. My numbers don’t lie. “That’s why I felt like I was the best wide receiver.”

Last year, Garrett racked up a nation-leading 1,588 receiving yards off of 96 catches.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/25/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Redskins have waived 2015 sixth-round pick Kyshoen Jarrett with a failed physical designation, according to Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com (Twitter link). Jarrett appeared in all 16 games last season (starting five), but was unlikely to play in 2016 due to a neck injury.
  • The Panthers signed tight end Eric Wallace and waived wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, as Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Wallace played college basketball at Ohio State and DePaul, and then spent three years playing Australian Rules Football. A few weeks ago, the 6’6″, 260-pounder worked out for Carolina and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, which led to today’s signing, according to a team press release.
  • The Packers waived running Don Jackson with a non-football injury, and also cut defensive end B.J. McBryde, reports Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, who adds that Green Bay’s roster now stands at 88.
  • The Texans signed undrafted rookie wide receiver Quenton Bundrage from Iowa State, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. To make room, Houston has cut wide receiver Richard Mullaney, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Jaguars have signed former Penn State kicker Sam Ficken, bringing the roster to 90 players, as Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com tweets.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Fitzpatrick, Smith, Misi

About a year ago, ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss focused on Tom Brady‘s praise for unheralded Patriots running back Dion Lewis. The career journeyman’s pass-catching skills were clear, but the running back was also commended for his ability to take “a teaching point that was covered in morning meetings…and [execute it] on the field.”

We all know how that experiment ended up working. Lewis compiled 622 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in seven games.

Today, Reiss decided to highlight some “under-the-radar” OTA participants who could play a significant role on this year’s squad. Among the candidates were cornerback V’Angelo Bentley (who adds versatility via the return game), receiver DeAndre Carter (played on last season’s practice squad), running back D.J. Foster (undrafted free agent received personal phone called from Bill Belichick to join team), and cornerback Jonathan Jones (most guaranteed money among undrafted players).

While the Patriots determine whether they’ve landed on any hidden gems, let’s see what else is happening around the AFC East…

  • We have conflicting reports as to whether Brandon Marshall‘s absence from Jets OTAs is related to the team’s contract talks (or lack thereof) with Ryan Fitzpatrick. One source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) that there is “no story” with regards to Marshall not being in practice with his teammates. Eric Decker, however, is reportedly staying home to make a statement about his feelings on the Fitzpatrick situation.
  • Jets quarterback Geno Smith says that he is OK with his teammates voicing their support for Fitzpatrick, as Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. “When I’m out there on the field no matter who I’m with my job is to score points,” he said. “I have the utmost confidence in my abilities and myself. When the time comes when I’m out there, I’ll go out there and perform. As of right now, it’s about what we’re doing here and taking care of business.”
  • Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi was detained (but not arrested) by police following a fight outside a Fort Lauderdale nightclub on Sunday morning, according to a police report obtained by the Miami Sun-Sentinel. The report also indicated that the 29-year-old attempted to “flee a police officer” following the altercation. Misi could be in line for a team suspension, and it’s notable that the organization disciplined former defensive end Derrick Shelby following a fight outside the same club.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Patriots Sign Eight UDFAs, Cut Joey Iosefa

The Patriots have officially confirmed six previously reported contract agreements with their 2016 draftees, and announced that they’ve locked up two more members of their draft class. Having now signed third-round defensive tackle Vincent Valentine and sixth-round linebacker Elandon Roberts, New England has now secured all of its draft picks except for third-round quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

The Patriots have also cut running back Joey Iosefa from their roster, so he’ll become a free agent if and when he passes through waivers. Iosefa spent time on the Pats’ practice squad last season and was promoted when the backfield was hit hard by injuries. He had 15 carries on the year, with 14 of them (for 51 yards) coming in Week 15 against the Titans.

Finally, the Patriots filled out their 90-man roster by adding eight undrafted free agents to the mix. The club signed the following UDFAs:

AFC Rumors: Taylor, Bills, Broncos, Steelers

Asked during an appearance on the NFL Network if Tyrod Taylor is the Bills‘ long-term solution at quarterback, Doug Whaley was somewhat non-committal in his answer.

We want him to be, he wants to be, and time will tell,” the Bills GM said, as NFL.com’s Kevin Patra writes. “But we’re excited about what he did last year — he went 8-6 as a starter. There is a lot of excitement around our football team.I’ll tell you this, I know he’s a big competitor and he’s going to want to raise his level of his game next year and take the next step and we are excited and we’re going to try to give him as much ammunition around him for him to succeed.

So what does that mean for a potential contract extension? Whaley says he won’t rule out a new pact being agreed to this season, but it’d have to be at the “right price.” In the interim, the Bills are keeping their options open and meeting with some of the top QBs in this year’s draft.

Here’s more out of the AFC:

  • GM John Elway and the Broncos have inquired about Taylor, according to Benjamin Allbright of AM1340 in Denver (Twitter link). A trade probably isn’t likely, as the Bills prefer to hang onto their quarterback and the Broncos are just exploring all their options, but it’s an interesting tidbit nonetheless.
  • Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak says the team worked out Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch at his pro day on Wednesday, as Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets. Denver will still bring Lynch in for an official pre-draft visit down the line, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post tweets.
  • The offensive line is definitely a priority for the Colts, but it appears they’re more focused on improving at center and guard rather than the tackle spots, Mike Wells of ESPN.com writes. “The interior of that offensive line, the center and two guard spots, is the focal point,” coach Chuck Pagano said. At the same time, there aren’t a ton of high-level interior lineman in this year’s class and Wells wouldn’t be surprised if they took a top pass-rusher or middle linebacker if there’s one on the board.
  • Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones is visiting the Steelers today, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. Akron outside linebacker Jatavis Brown and North Carolina Central cornerback Ryan Smith are also among the prospects in Pittsburgh to meet with the Steelers, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.