Josh Bellamy

Jets Place Trumaine Johnson On IR

It looks like the Trumaine Johnson era in New York is coming to an end. The Jets placed Johnson on injured reserve today, as well as receiver Josh Bellamy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Johnson was a monster flop in the Big Apple after signing his massive free agent deal, and as Rapoport writes, “it’s safe to say Johnson has played his last down with the team.” Johnson is set to have $11MM in salary for 2020 become guaranteed in March, so he’ll almost certainly be cut by then. All told, Johnson will have received $34MM to appear in 17 underwhelming games for the Jets. New York apparently tried desperately to trade him at the deadline, but couldn’t find any takers.

After having a solid first six years in the league with the Rams, Johnson inked a five-year, $72.5MM deal last offseason. Things got off to a rocky start, and although he picked off four passes in ten games last year, he didn’t play up to standards. He was benched for a couple of weeks earlier on this season before ultimately regaining his starting role, and he clearly didn’t get along well with the new regime in New York.

Johnson has been graded very poorly by most observers this season, and he missed last week with an ankle injury. Still only 29, he should draw some interest on the open market. Bellamy is a former UDFA who had the occasional moment with the Bears over the past few years. He inked a two-year, $5MM deal with the Jets this offseason, but will finish 2019 with only two catches for 20 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Sign WR Josh Bellamy

After adding Jamison Crowder earlier today, the Jets are signing another receiver. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team is close to a deal with wideout Josh Bellamy. Rapoport adds that the deal is for two years and has a max value of $7MM (with $2.75MM guaranteed).

The 29-year-old receiver had spent the past four seasons with the Bears, and he finished with at least 200 receiving yards in three of those four years. Bellamy’s numbers took a step back in 2018, as he finished with 14 receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown. The veteran has also proven to be a reliable special teamer, compiling 23 tackles throughout his career.

That’s presumably where Bellamy will make the most significant contribution with the Jets in 2019. After all, the team appears to be relatively loaded at receiver, with Crowder, Robby Anderson, and Quincy Enunwa leading the depth chart.

North Notes: Hundley, K. White, Hurst

Although many have assumed that the Packers will keep DeShone Kizer on their final roster — after all, Kizer is just one year removed from being a second-round draft pick, and Green Bay liked him enough to trade for him this offseason — Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com believe the Packers should keep Brett Hundley and cut Kizer if it comes to that. Baranczyk and Dougherty say the game has slowed more for Hundley than it has for Kizer, and the fact that Green Bay recently traded for Kizer should not be a factor in the team’s decision (after all, the Packers were likely to cut Damarious Randall anyway if Cleveland hadn’t been willing to deal Kizer for him). Ideally, the Packers would be able to swing a trade for one of Hundley or Kizer, but failing that, the Packers News scribes think GM Brian Gutekunst should stick with Hundley, who did not play very well in relief of the injured Aaron Rodgers last year.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes from the league’s North divisions:

  • Wide receivers Kevin White and Javon Wims both improved their chances of making the Bears‘ 53-man roster during Chicago’s preseason victory over Kansas City last night, as Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. White, of course, was the No. 7 overall pick of the 2015 draft — and GM Ryan Pace‘s first-ever draft choice — but injuries have almost completely wiped out the first three years of his NFL career. Wims was a seventh-round selection in this year’s draft, and Jahns believes the Bears should keep both players and six receivers overall, including Josh Bellamy.
  • Although Mackensie Alexander is battling an ankle injury, he is expected to start as the Vikings‘ slot corner — and “quarterback of the defense” in head coach Mike Zimmer‘s scheme — if he is healthy, as Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. However, first-round rookie Mike Hughes — who is also battling an undisclosed injury — has been pushing for first-team reps, which is fairly remarkable when considering that he did not play in the slot in college. Hughes could overtake Alexander down the line, but in any case, Minnesota appears to be well-set at the position in the long-term. Alexander, a 2016 second-rounder, has made tremendous strides in his third summer with the club.
  • Though they had been enjoying an injury- and drama-free offseason, the Ravens have been hit hard with unwelcome news over the past few days. They lost rookie TE Hayden Hurst for three-to-four weeks, they saw star CB Jimmy Smith suspended for four games — though they at least knew that was coming — and now Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic has more bad news to report. Zrebiec tweets that emerging third-year defensive tackle Willie Henry will miss several weeks with a hernia, while promising rookie safety DeShon Elliott may be out for the season with a forearm injury. Zrebiec adds that the recent spate of bad luck will impact Baltimore’s initial roster construction, because while the team will likely carry Hurst and Henry on the 53-man roster until they are ready to return, the Ravens may need to keep an extra tight end and defensive lineman until that happens (Twitter link). Elliott, meanwhile, is an IR candidate. Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports that Henry had surgery for his hernia and Hurst has had surgery for the stress fracture in his foot (Twitter links).
  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson wants to keep six wide receivers on the team’s regular-season roster, as Steve Doerschuk of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins make up four of those six wideouts, while sixth-round rookie Damion Ratley also stands a good chance. That means veteran Jeff Janis and relative unknowns Derrick WilliesDa’Mari Scott, and C.J. Board could be fighting it out for the last spot.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/4/18

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

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: K/P Brett Maher
  • Waived: WR Brian Brown

Detroit Lions

  • Waived: QB Alek Torgersen

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

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:

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/6/17

Here are today’s ERFA decisions as teams make their final preparations for free agency.

  • David Irving emerged as a viable pass-rusher for the Cowboys down the stretch last season, and the team will understandably extend an ERFA tender offer to the defensive end, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. He will make $615K in 2017.
  • Two Panthers wide receivers, though, won’t be tendered and will thus become free agents. RFAs Philly Brown and Brenton Bersin will become UFAs, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports. Brown started 22 games for the Panthers and had a key role in Super Bowl 50. In three seasons, Brown caught 79 passes for 1,019 yards and seven touchdowns. Bersin also spent the past three seasons on Carolina’s roster but wasn’t utilized nearly as much.
  • The Bears have re-signed ERFA tight end Daniel Brown to a one-year deal, the team announced. The team also tendered ERFAs Josh Bellamy, a wide receiver/special-teamer, and Bryce Callahan, a cornerback.
  • The Saints plan to submit a tender to retain wide receiver Willie Snead, Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune writes. However, his camp is hoping New Orleans will pay him more than the one-year minimum salary. The 24-year-old Snead is an ERFA despite arriving in New Orleans in 2014. However, the standout target only has two accrued seasons since he spent his rookie year on the practice squad. In those, he’s combined for more than 1,800 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
  • The Vikings have agreed to tender offensive lineman Zac Kerin at the one-year, $615K level, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/15/16

Here are Friday’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • Broncos wide receiver Bennie Fowler will officially stay with the team after signing his exclusive rights tender, Ben Swanson of DenverBroncos.com writes. Fowler, undrafted out of Michigan State in 2014, took the field in all 16 of the Super Bowl champions’ regular-season games and tallied 16 receptions, 203 yards, and a touchdown. He also added a key 31-yard grab on a third-and-12 play in the Broncos’ second-round playoff win over the Steelers.
  • Center Sam Brenner joined Fowler in signing his ERFA tender with the Broncos, per Swanson. The Broncos claimed Brenner off waivers in November, and he ended up on the team’s active roster for eight of its regular-season contests and its entire playoff run. Brenner was previously a member of the Dolphins, with whom he appeared in 10 games (four starts) from 2013-15.
  • Bears receiver Josh Bellamy posted a picture of himself on social media signing his exclusive rights tender with the club, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Bellamy, 26, saw action in all 16 of the Bears’ games last season, started three, and totaled 19 receptions and two touchdowns.
  • Packers safety Chris Banjo has signed his exclusive rights tender, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Banjo hasn’t made much of a defensive impact in his three-year career, but he is one of the Packers’ top special teamers. The 26-year-old accrued a team-best 21 special teams tackles in 16 appearances last season.
  • The Browns have claimed defensive end/outside linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat off waivers from Washington, per Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). Jeffcoat, an undrafted free agent in 2014, logged nine appearances (one start), an interception and a forced fumble in two years with Washington.
  • The Cardinals have released running backs Marion Grice and Robert Hughes, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Both players were on the Cards’ practice squad last season. Grice racked up playing time in his rookie year, 2014, amassing 22 touches (15 carries, seven receptions) and a score in Arizona. Hughes, who has seen regular-season action for three different teams since 2011, recorded eight receptions for an impressive 140 yards (17.5 yards per catch) for the 2014 Cardinals.
  • Offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson, whom the Jaguars claimed off waivers from the Eagles earlier this month, has decided to retire (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union). Hawkinson, a former Kansas Jayhawk, was the Bengals’ fifth-round selection in 2013. He appeared in six career games with Cincy and Philly.
  • Lions defensive tackle Khyri Thornton has signed his exclusive rights tender, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Thornton, whom NFC North rival Green Bay took in the third round of the 2014 draft, debuted in the league last year as a member of the Lions, recording five tackles in six games.
  • The Bills have announced the release of offensive tackle Tyson Chandler with a non-football injury. Chandler signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent from North Carolina State last spring.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/3/16

Today’s round of minor transactions around the NFL is dominated by exclusive-rights free agents. ERFAs are players with less than three years of NFL experience, who don’t have a contract for 2016.

While these players are technically considered free agents, they don’t have any real freedom when it comes to picking their destinations — if their current teams want them back, all those clubs have to do is submit an ERFA tender (typically worth the minimum salary), which precludes those players from negotiating with any other teams.

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league:

  • The Bears have tendered a contract offer to ERFA wide receiver Josh Bellamy, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bellamy saw a decent amount of playing time on offense, catching 19 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and was also one of the club’s top contributors on special teams.
  • The Cardinals have assigned ERFA tenders to defensive tackle Josh Mauro and tight end Ifeanyi Momah, signaling that they want to bring back those players, the team announced today on its website. Momah missed the 2015 campaign with a knee injury, while Mauro was a depth piece on Arizona’s defensive line.
  • The Titans have re-signed ERFA running back Antonio Andrews, the club announced in a press release. The move is classified as a re-signing rather than a simple contract tender because Andrews has already signed the offer. He figures to compete for a roster spot in Tennessee in 2016.
  • The Buccaneers have assigned an ERFA tender to long snapper Andrew DePaola, agent Sean Stellato tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). DePaola has been Tampa Bay’s full-time long snapper since the start of the 2014 season.

Bears Place Marshall On IR, Promote Bellamy

As expected, the Bears have officially placed wide receiver Brandon Marshall on injured reserve, ending his 2014 season, the team announced today (Twitter link). In a pair of related roster moves, Chicago promoted wideout Josh Bellamy from the practice squad to the active roster, and signed linebacker Jonathan Brown to the taxi squad.

Marshall, 30, left last Thursday’s game against the Cowboys with a rib injury and was hospitalized for several days. The veteran receiver broke multiple ribs and also sustained a lung injury, making it an easy decision to shut him down for the rest of the season, particularly with the club no longer in the playoff hunt.

With Marshall out for Chicago’s last three games, it could open the door for second-year wideout Marquess Wilson to assume an increased role in the team’s offense. Wilson entered the season hoping to establish himself as the No. 3 receiver behind Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but missed a good chunk of the year with a fractured clavicle.

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll keep tabs of today’s minor transactions from around the NFL right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Dolphins have signed Marcus Thigpen to their practice squad, writes Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. Thigpen spent one week on the Patriots’ practice squad beore being cut last week. Thigpen, a former CFL standout, contributed 1,910 kickoff return yards, 580 punt return yards, and scored three touchdowns for the Dolphins in the past two seasons.
  • The Redskins will sign center Tevita Stevens to their practice squad tomorrow, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones, who injured his wrist last night, has been placed on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list with the designation to return, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). The designation means that Jones will be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks of game action.
  • In advance of tonight’s game against the Jets, the Bears have waived wide receiver Josh Bellamy and promoted linebacker Terrell Manning from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Linebacker Keith Smith has been cut by the Cowboys, the team officially announced today (via Twitter). For now, the club has an opening on its 53-man roster.
  • The Ravens are filling the 10th and final opening on their practice squad by re-adding defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • After being cut from the team’s active roster before this weekend’s contest against the Colts, safety Craig Loston has rejoined the Jaguars‘ practice squad, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson is set to join the Vikings‘ practice squad, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). When the move becomes official, Minnesota will need to cut or promote someone off the practice squad to clear a spot for Bethel-Thompson.
  • The Buccaneers have removed Rashaan Melvin from their injured reserve list with a settlement, says Wilson (via Twitter).