Jordan Phillips

Steelers, Patriots, Saints Wanted Jordan Phillips

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is the newest member of the Bills, but a trio of contenders also tried to land him. The Steelers, Patriots, and Saints all put waiver claims in on the former Dolphin, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, but the Bills won out thanks to their higher waiver priority. 

The former second-round pick has struggled with consistency over the last four years, but several teams still believe in his potential. The Patriots’ claim shows that they are less-than-thrilled about their current group of DTs, which consists of Lawrence Guy, Malcom Brown, Danny Shelton, and Adam Butler. Butler likely would have been the odd man out, and Phillips might have had an opportunity to eventually leapfrog Shelton and Brown in the pecking order. Through four weeks, Guy has 19 total tackles and is rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 overall ranked defensive tackle, but the other DTs have something to be desired.

Phillips started most of his games in 2016 and 2017, but was relegated to a reserve role this year in Miami. That didn’t sit well with him – as evidenced by his sideline blowup on Sunday – and that proved to be the last straw for him with the Dolphins. The 1-3 Bills may have a larger role in mind for the 26-year-old.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Claim DT Jordan Phillips

The Bills have claimed defensive tackle Jordan Phillips off waivers from the Dolphins, according to a club announcement. To make room, the Bills released defensive tackle Robert Thomas

The Dolphins cut Phillips on Tuesday, days after he blew up on the sidelines due to his lack of playing time. The Dolphins attempted to trade Phillips first, but they were unable to find a suitable deal.

Former Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, who drafted Phillips in 2015, works for the Bills now, so he is familiar with the former second-round pick’s potential. At 6’6″ and 341 pounds, Phillips has the size to disrupt quarterbacks and stuff opposing running backs. He hasn’t really blossomed at the pro level, but a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered.

Phillips’ most productive season came in 2016 when he had 23 tackles, three pass breakups, an interception, and a half sack. Over the last three seasons and change, the defensive tackle has 5.5 sacks to his credit.

With two games on the remaining schedule against the Dolphins (12/2 and 12/30), Phillips will have the opportunity to exact revenge on his former team. Phillips won’t be a starter for the Bills, but he should be in the rotation behind first-stringers Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Cowboys, Giants, Fins, Pats

Tony Romo was never going to play for a club other than the Cowboys before retiring last spring, owner Jerry Jones told reporters, including Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). At one point, teams such as the Broncos and Texans discussed a trade for Romo, but ultimately decided to wait and see if he was released by Dallas. Romo also later admitted that he considered the Jets before hanging up his cleats, but it sounds as though it was Cowboys-or-bust for the veteran signal-caller. Indeed, at least one report last fall indicated Romo would only come out of retirement to play for the Cowboys, but Dak Prescott never suffered any injury that forced Dallas to call its longtime quarterback.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Running back Jonathan Stewart is now on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury, but the veteran could conceivably return to the Giants this season, tweets Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. New York head coach Pat Shurmur said Stewart will be sidelined for eight weeks, the exact amount of time he’d be forced to miss due to the NFL’s IR/return rules. Stewart, who signed a two-year, $6.9MM deal with the Giants earlier this year, had received just six carries in three games, amassing only 17 rushing yards for his new team. With Stewart, New York will use Wayne Gallman as the top backup to Saquon Barkley.
  • The Dolphins attempted to trade defensive tackle Jordan Phillips before cutting him earlier today, reports Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The news isn’t all that surprising, as most clubs try to deal players before releasing them and receiving no value. However, Phillips has never lived up to his second-round draft status and also had a sideline disagreement with Miami coaches on Sunday, so the trade market for his services wasn’t large. Though four games, Phillips saw action on 124 defensive snaps. He had a season-high 46 snaps in Week 3 against the Raiders, but his usage dropped back down to 25 snaps in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Pats.
  • The Patriots will need to make a roster move before activating Julian Edelman off suspension this week, leading Doug Kyed of NESN to look at candidates to be moved off New England’s active roster. The two most obvious players who could be cut are offensive lineman Cole Croston and defensive end Keionta Davis, both of whom were healthy scratches on Sunday. Elsewhere on the roster, defender Geneo Grissom would likely pass through waivers, so the Patriots could waive him and hope to bring him back to their practice squad.
  • With their 2018 campaign looking like a lost cause, the Bills should consider trade offers for running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, argues Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. McCoy, of course, still has an investigation hanging over his head, so it’s unclear if there’d be any market for him. Benjamin, meanwhile, hasn’t been effective since joining Buffalo in 2017, and has posted just seven catches in through four games this year. McCoy is signed through 2019, while Benjamin’s contract expires next spring.

Dolphins Cut DT Jordan Phillips

The Dolphins are cutting defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, a source tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Phillips was visibly upset on the sidelines Sunday due to his playing time and his release is likely related. Clearly, there’s no love lost for the former second-round pick. 

Free at last, free at last,” Phillips wrote on Instagram (Twitter link via Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com). “[I’m] no longer a Miami Dolphin. Good luck to my brothers on the team. I’ll miss y’all but I couldn’t be happier to be out of there.I’m in my bag, don’t take it personal. Sometimes [you’ve] got to put your future in your own hands and live with it.”

Though four games, Phillips saw action on 124 defensive snaps. He had a season-high 46 snaps in Week 3 against the Raiders, but his usage dropped back down to 25 snaps in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Pats.

Head coach Adam Gase may be sending a message to his team, not unlike last year when he traded talented running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. Phillips might not be as much of a game-changer as Ajayi, but he does have 5.5 sacks over the last three years and change. It’s likely that Phillips will be picked up quickly by a club that is in need of interior defensive line help.

The Dolphins already lost William Hayes for the season and fellow defensive end Andre Branch is sidelined with a knee injury, so they’re not exactly working with a surplus on the defensive line. Akeem Spence, Davon Godchaux, and Vincent Taylor will be charged with keeping things afloat in the middle for now, but the Dolphins will surely sign a defensive tackle this week.

With Phillips out of the picture, wide receiver DeVante Parker and cornerback Bobby McCain stand as the last remaining Dolphins from the 2015 draft class. Phillips (2nd round), Jamil Douglas (4th), Ajayi (5th), Cedric Thompson (5th), and Tony Lippett (5th) are no longer with the club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bengals, Lewis, Dolphins

Here’s a look at the AFC:

  • Bengals coach Marvin Lewis denies reports indicating that he’s going to leave the team to pursue other opportunities, but nine unnamed members of the organization tell Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they’re not buying it. Meanwhile, Lewis recently told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) that he would “listen to” opportunities to transition a GM role somewhere. Rapoport adds that special teams coach Darrin Simmons could be an internal candidate to take over as head coach.
  • The Dolphins do not have any plans to shift Laremy Tunsil from tackle to guard, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Tunsil, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has 12 penalties this year, the second-most in the NFL. Still, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is insistent that he will remain on the outside.
  • More from Jackson, who writes that defensive tackle Jordan Phillips has erased any questions about whether he should be part of the team going forward. That’s no surprise given the year he is having. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke went so far as to say that he is a reliable player, something that he probably wouldn’t have said over the summer. “Snap count was a little down last week, but he has been really good,” Burke said. “The two weeks before that, he was at his best in a long time. I feel he has been more consistent this year — to the point where I had conversations with him, ‘Hey man — you’ve got to be one of our leaders now.’ He has found his way a little bit. Even last year, he he wasn’t as outgoing as he’s been this year — I am encouraging him to be more of an energy guy — part of that comes with being consistent and being reliable.” Phillips, a former second-round pick, has a decent 72.6 overall score from Pro Football Focus for his eleven games this year.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Chargers, Perryman

Dolphins 2015 second-round pick Jordan Phillips may not be in the team’s long-term plans, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. At one point this offseason, Phillips was being talked up as a key part of the team’s defensive line. Now, he’s practicing as the No. 3 defensive tackle behind fifth-round rookie Davon Godchaux.

There’s still time for Phillips to play with more consistency and passion and earn a starting job alongside Ndamukong Suh, but not everyone in Miami expects that to happen. If he continues trending downward, Jackson hears he won’t be in Miami for the long haul.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will be out 8-10 weeks after getting surgery to repair his torn ankle ligament, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). That timeline would put Perryman on track for a mid-season return. Perryman suffered the injury in Sunday night’s preseason game.
  • Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews has what the team is calling “a chip fracture in his sternum” and is week to week, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. For now, it sounds like the newly-acquired receiver is not in danger of missing games, but it’s a situation to keep an eye on.
  • The Cowboys are working out wide receiver Corey Washington for the second time in training camp, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. It might not be long before he is signed.

East Notes: Cowboys, Jets, Marshall

The Cowboys are working on contract extensions for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports. Both men are under contract through the 2017 season, having signed three-year deals in January 2015. Linehan has served as the Cowboys’ OC since 2014, while Marinelli worked as the team’s D-line coach in 2013 before being promoted to DC in 2014.

Team owner Jerry Jones said he is not ready to announce any extensions just yet, but that all talks thus far have been positive.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • We learned several days ago that the Cowboys are proceeding as if LB Jaylon Smith will play in 2017, although there has been no significant change in the nerve damage that caused Smith’s draft stock to plummet last year and that forced him to miss the entire 2016 campaign. As Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes, Dallas not only expects Smith to play this year, the team expects him to be a full participant in offseason workouts. Jones, as per usual, is especially bullish on Smith’s chances of being an impact player this year.
  • The Jets have clearly entered into full-on rebuilding mode, and as Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com writes, the club is willing to deal its No. 6 overall selection to acquire more picks. Per Bergman, if the Jets do not want to use their top pick on a quarterback or offensive lineman, they will be comfortable trading down to the mid-to-late first round and collecting mid-round selections in the process.
  • The Eagles‘ desire for wide receiver and cornerback help has been well-documented, but Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the team would also be well-served in pursuing a pass-rushing defensive end in the early rounds of the draft, especially since this year’s draft class is well-stocked with quality pass rushers. After all, the Eagles are expected to trade or release Connor Barwin, which would leave the team with two 29-year-olds (Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham) rushing the edge and little proven depth behind them.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com names the Giants, Patriots, and Ravens as three potential landing spots for the recently-released Brandon Marshall (Twitter link). We learned about the mutual interest between New England and Marshall yesterday.
  • The Dolphins plan to lean more heavily on 2015 second-rounder Jordan Phillips next season, and they hope Phillips will seize a starting role opposite Ndamukong Suh, as James Walker of ESPN.com writes.

 

AFC East Notes: McCoy, Fitzpatrick, Dolphins

After Bills running back LeSean McCoy aggravated his hamstring on Sunday, one source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) he’ll “be [in the] same position this week, probably questionable” for this Sunday. After falling 28-25 to Miami, the Bills return home to take on the New England. Given his past hamstring issues and his importance to the team, one has to wonder why the Bills aren’t putting him on the shelf and starting Mike Gillislee instead.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Injured Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, a close friend of Ryan Fitzpatrick, suggested the quarterback’s protracted contract stalemate may have fueled him to light up team brass after the win against Baltimore. “Throughout the offseason, I think it was hard for him, just trying to gauge the interest, I guess, maybe the Jets had or what their plan was going forward in getting him in the facility to start the season,” Decker told ESPN Radio (link). “Whether it’s some feelings on the process or what was said throughout that maybe led to some of the emotions he had at this point.”
  • Is defensive tackle Jordan Phillips falling out of favor with the Dolphins? Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph ripped into the 2015 second-round pick this week. “The bottom line is Jordan has got to play better overall,” Joseph said (via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). “Out of 35 plays, Jordan is playing a solid 25 plays very solidly. He’s having four or five plays where it’s not very good. I think Ndamukong Suh is playing well. “I think Suh gets doubled a lot, but I think Jordan could play better. Obviously, getting Earl Mitchell back in a couple weeks, that’s going to help us there. Losing Earl was a big deal for us inside, because now you’ve got probably three inside starters. Getting Earl back in two weeks, that’s going to help us a lot.”
  • Earlier today, the Patriots acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy in a trade with the Lions.

Dolphins To Sign Second-Round Pick Jordan Phillips

The Dolphins have agreed to terms with second-round pick Jordan Phillips, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Dolphins now have their top two picks signed to deals after first-round choice DeVante Parker agreed to terms earlier today.

Phillips, a defensive tackle, was chosen with the No. 52 overall pick. The Oklahoma standout is considered to be a little bit rough, but he’ll be learning from the absolute best at the position when he lines up alongside Ndamukong Suh. Recently, GM Dennis Hickey told reporters, including Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, that the war room was overjoyed about picking Phillips.

He truly was the best player available on our board,” Hickey said. “We took him and we almost had an earthquake up there, the defensive coaches trying to break down the walls, they were so excited.”

In addition to Phillips, the Dolphins have signed fifth-round running back Jay Ajayi, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Rapoport On Browns, Vikings, P.J. Williams

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has passed along a handful of noteworthy draft nuggets via Twitter this afternoon, so let’s check out what he has for us….

  • According to Rapoport (Twitter link), the Browns have spoken to Washington within the past week about possibly moving up to No. 5. Cleveland has two first-rounders to work with, and Washington GM Scot McCloughan indicated today that he was open to moving down and picking extra picks, so there could be a match there. Of course, as Rapoport adds, the Browns have “touched base” with most teams in the top 10.
  • Another pick to keep an eye on is the No. 11 selection, which currently belongs to the Vikings. Rapoport tweets that Minnesota wants ammo to move around in the draft, and points out that the 11th pick is an appealing one because fifth-year option prices decrease outside of the top 10. As such, there may be potential trade partners interested in moving up to that spot.
  • Lawyer Jonathan Simon tells Rapoport (Twitter links) that the DUI case against Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams has been dismissed. According to the paperwork filed in the case, the signs of impairment claimed by the arresting officer were not corroborated on video. The timing of the dismissal is good news for Williams, whose draft stock may have taken a hit if the case had moved forward.
  • Rapoport identifies the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Texans as some teams that may be interested in drafting Georgia running back Todd Gurley (Twitter link).
  • Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips and Mississippi State’s Preston Smith are two defensive linemen who could sneak into the back of the first round on Thursday, tweets Rapoport.