Josh Wells

Buccaneers To Move Justin Evans To IR

A 10-game starter for the 2018 Buccaneers, Justin Evans will not have a chance to play in that many games this season. The Bucs are placing their former second-round pick on IR, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter).

The Bucs will sign offensive lineman Josh Wells to take Evans’ place on the 53-man roster. Wells worked out for the team last week.

This will mark at least 15 consecutive games Evans will have missed. A foot injury shelved him midway through last season, and IR rules stipulate the safety will not be eligible to return this year until Week 10. Evans is dealing with a nagging Achilles injury. Tampa Bay started Darian Stewart and Jordan Whitehead against San Francisco on Sunday.

A Texas A&M product, Evans landed with the Bucs as the No. 50 overall pick in 2017. He has started 19 of the 24 games in which he’s played. Under Bruce Arians this year, however, the Bucs selected safety Mike Edwards in Round 3.

Working mostly at tackle, Wells has played in 39 games — all with the Jaguars — since coming into the league as a UDFA in 2014. The 28-year-old blocker started five games for the 2018 Jags.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/7/19

We’ve got another big batch of workouts, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter).

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Texans could be looking for specialist help, as they worked out a pair of punters and a longsnapper. Boddy-Calhoun, who worked out for the Vikings, is probably the biggest name on this list. He started at least seven games for the Browns each of the past three seasons, but was released by Houston at final cuts.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/3/19

Here are today’s workout updates, all courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) unless otherwise noted. The Saints had several recognizable players in for workouts.

Arizona Cardinals (Twitter link via veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer)

Carolina Panthers (Twitter link via Balzer)

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Brandon Hitner

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins (Twitter link via Balzer)

AFC Notes: Stidham, Jags, Browns, Bolts

Although Tom Brady continuing to play at a high level into his early 40s has allowed the Patriots to table their need to identify a long-term successor for many years, their recent extension/2019 pay raise brings this issue back to the forefront. The Pats, however, are pleased with their latest quarterback draft pick. Fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham has “blown away expectations” this offseason, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required), adding that he is ahead of where Jimmy Garoppolo was at this point during his first NFL summer. Stidham has taken first-team reps in camp and moved the Patriots to move Danny Etling to wide receiver. He finished 14-for-24 for 179 yards and a touchdown in New England’s preseason opener Thursday. While the Auburn alum does not profile as a classic Brady successor type, the Patriots certainly appear encouraged by their developmental prospect.

As we wind down preseason Week 1, here is the latest from the AFC:

  • A.J. Cann has served as the Jaguars‘ starting right guard since his rookie season in 2015. He is not a lock to reprise his role in 2019. Cann is battling converted tackle Will Richardson for the spot, with Doug Marrone indicating (via Hays Carlyon of 1010 XL, on Twitter) Brandon Thomas is also in the mix here. A 2018 fourth-rounder, Richardson looks like the favorite to win this job thus far, Carlyon adds (via Twitter). Richardson has yet to play an NFL down; he hit IR in October of his rookie year. Thomas has hung around for six NFL summers, with the 2014 third-round 49ers pick having never played in a regular-season game. He’s bounced on and off the Jaguars’ roster and practice squad since 2017. Cann has three years remaining on a contract he signed in 2018.
  • With Cam Robinson potentially set to have a delayed start to the season, Marrone said the Jaguars are considering free agent additions Cedric Ogbuehi and Leonard Wester at left tackle. Longtime Jags backup Josh Wells is vying for that temp job as well. Second-round rookie Jawaan Taylor is set to start at right tackle.
  • Had Antonio Callaway not received a four-game suspension, the second-year Browns wideout might not have been able to go in Week 1 anyway. Callaway suffered a high ankle sprain in Cleveland’s preseason opener, per Freddie Kitchens (via ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich, on Twitter). The Browns will now be without two of their 2018 pass catchers, with Duke Johnson having been traded and Callaway out until at least October. Fortunately, they acquired Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason.
  • Chargers tight end Andrew Vollert suffered ACL damage in the team’s preseason opener, and Anthony Lynn said (via ESPN.com’s Eric Williams, on Twitter) the second-year UDFA will miss the season. The Bolts signed Vollert in May.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/28/18

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

  • Promoted from practice squad: G Dorian Johnson
  • Placed on IR: RB Kenjon Barner

Cleveland Browns

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Blake Jackson
  • Placed on IR: LB Tanner Vallejo

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: S Rolan Milligan

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Redskins

Jaguars To Waive S Barry Church

The Jaguars will waive safety Barry Church, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). In related moves, the Jags also waived tight end Niles Paul from the NFI list and activated offensive lineman Josh Wells from injured reserve. 

[RELATED: Jaguars’ Malik Jackson Expects To Be Cut]

Church, 30, joined the Jaguars prior to the 2017 offseason on a four-year, $21.6MM deal. His guarantees have already been paid out, so the move will have no impact on the Jaguars’ 2019 cap. Church’s release will free up $6.25MM in 2019 and its expected that there will be more cap-clearing cuts in the coming months.

The veteran was a healthy scratch last week, but the move to release him before the end of the season is a tad surprising. In any case, Church will hit the waiver wire, giving teams 24 hours to claim him.

In theory, a team could be on board with paying him game checks of $368K for the rest of the year before releasing him from his deal in the offseason. However, the more likely scenario is that Church will go unclaimed and then sign with a contender for the rest of the way.

In eleven games this year (all starts), Church has tallied 38 tackles, one sack, and one interception. However, he has been generally poor in coverage and ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 79 safety out of 83 qualified players. He was far sharper in 2016, his final year with the Cowboys, and 2017, his first with the Jags.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Sign Ereck Flowers

Ereck Flowers has a new home. The Jaguars have signed the offensive tackle to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement. 

The Giants cut ties with the former first-round pick earlier this week, and it didn’t take him long to find work. The deal reunites Flowers with his one-time head coach, Tom Coughlin, who now serves as Jacksonville’s football czar. The Miami product also returns to the same state in which he played college football, albeit several hours away from Coral Gables.

The Giants made Flowers the No. 9 overall pick in 2015 for a reason – he has the right build for an NFL tackle and above-average athleticism for the position. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much with those tools at the pro level. This year, the Giants tried to use Flowers at right tackle with new acquisition Nate Solder on the left side, but they got the same results.

To make room for Flowers, the Jaguars have placed tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve. Wells was starting at left tackle in place of Cam Robinson, who is out for the season. Just five weeks into the year, the Jaguars are primed to trot out their Plan C, Josh Walker, at left tackle. In time, Flowers could become the next player to get a shot at the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Exercise TE Marcedes Lewis’ Option

The Jaguars have exercised their 2018 options for tight end Marcedes Lewis, tackle Josh Wells, and guard/center Tyler Shatley, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.Marcedes Lewis

Lewis, 33, has been with the Jaguars ever since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2006, but the 2017 campaign marked just the second winning campaign he’s experienced during his 12-year career. While he stopped being a prolific receiving threat roughly a half-dozen seasons ago, Lewis is still perhaps the best blocking tight end in the league — indeed, Pro Football Focus graded Lewis first overall in run-blocking with a 87.1 mark, just ahead of Rob Gronkowski.

Given the importance of the run game in Jacksonville (and Lewis’ contributions to that aspect of the Jaguars’ offense), the veteran tight end’s $3.5MM base salary and $500K bonus for 2018 is eminently affordable. The Jaguars could even choose to tack on an extra year to Lewis’ contract later this offseason, as he’s expressed a desire to remain in Jacksonville for the entirety of his career, tweets O’Halloran.

Wells and Shatley, meanwhile, acted as reserves along Jacksonville’s offensive line last season. Both started four games a year ago, with Wells filling in at both tackle spots and Shatley taking over at center for an injured Brandon Linder. Wells will now earn $705K in base salary for the 2018 campaign, while Shatley will collect $790K.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bouye, Texans, Tannehill, Kelly

The Texans are unlikely to place the ~$14.297MM franchise tag on pending free agent A.J. Bouye, which the cornerback understands. “Like my agent told me, it’s about the market value. If you’re not set to make that amount in the franchise tag, then the Texans have to do what they have to do,” Bouye told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “We made some moves last offseason and spent some money. We have guys, other corners, No. 25 [Kareem Jackson], No. 24 [Johnathan Joseph] and No. 30 [Kevin Johnson]. On top of trying to bring me back, they also have to take care of Hopkins, take care of Clowney when his deal is up.” If the Texans don’t tag Bouye, the 25-year-old could price himself off the team on a long-term deal once he reaches the open market. Even though he only has 19 starts to his name, Bouye’s “going to get paid a lot of money” because “everybody in the league knows how good he is,” an NFL personnel department executive informed Wilson.

More from around football (and a relevant baseball note):

  • As expected, the knee injury that sidelined Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the tail end of last season, including the team’s wild-card round loss to the Steelers, won’t be a problem going forward. Tannehill is now fully healed from his partially torn ACL/Grade 2 MCL sprain and will be able to participate in the Dolphins’ entire offseason program, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
  • Because he pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct in January 2015, former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly isn’t allowed to participate in next week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. However, Kelly’s agent, Vance McAlister, is still working to land an invitation for his client, details Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. If that doesn’t happen, Kelly and McAlister might travel to Indy anyway. “We are talking with all the teams that have already expressed interest to see what their thoughts are to make a decision,” said McAlister, who believes Kelly deserves an opportunity to meet with each team and let the clubs decide if he’s worth drafting. “I’ll be the first to tell you, Chad has had to grow up and has made some mistakes because of his immaturity. No question about that,” continued McAlister. “But for me, it’s up to the 32 teams to decide whether he has learned from his mistakes or grown. Nobody would be writing a story or talking about this if Chad didn’t have the talent. And by no means are we trying to justify any of his behavior of what he has done in the past. But that’s for teams to talk to him, ask him the questions and decide.”
  • Onetime NFL defensive back Sanders Commings will attempt to break into Major League Baseball as an outfielder, having agreed to join the Atlanta Braves on a minor league contract, writes Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The soon-to-be 27-year-old could have taken a shot at a baseball career much earlier, as the Arizona Diamondbacks selected him in the 37th round of the 2008 MLB draft, but he instead chose to play football at Georgia. After his time with the Bulldogs ended, Commings went to Kansas City in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 2013. Commings appeared in the only two games of his pro football career that year with the Chiefs, who waived him in December 2015.
  • Jaguars offensive tackle Josh Wellsnew deal is a two-year, $1.52MM pact featuring $75K in guarantees, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.