Juante Baldwin

Colts Cut Austin Howard, Reach 53-Man Roster

The Colts are at the 53-man roster max after making a bundle of transactions, including the release of offensive tackle Austin Howard.

[RELATED: Colts Cut John Simon]

The Colts invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he was medically cleared until late July and struggled in camp and during the preseason. The Colts dangled him in trade talks this week, but there were no takers for him.

Despite his issues this summer, Howard had a solid 2017 with the Ravens and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle. If healthy, he could draw interest from other teams.

The Colts also placed defensive end Chris McCain, linebacker Jeremiah George, defensive end Anthony Johnson, and tight end Ross Travis on injured reserve.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Colts’ moves:

Waived:

Last year, Bond ascended to the starting center job when Ryan Kelly broke his foot late in training camp. Unfortunately, a torn quad landed him on IR in October. This year, he’ll be looking for work elsewhere.

Alie-Cox was a former basketball player looking to transition to tight end. Although Antonio Gates and others have successfully made the jump, Alie-Cox has yet to find similar success.

In addition to the aforementioned moves, the Colts also waived the following players with an injury designation. If they clear waivers, then they revert to the Colts’ Injured Reserve list:

Colts Waive/Injured QB Brad Kaaya

The Colts announced that they’ve waived/injured quarterback Brad Kaaya and signed cornerback Juante Baldwin.

Kaaya, 22, was once viewed as the potential first overall pick in the 2017 draft, but ended up falling to the sixth round after an inconsistent final season at Miami. Since being selected by the Lions, Kaaya has bounced around the NFL via waiver claims and free agent deals, spending time with the Panthers, the Lions (again), and — most recently — the Colts. He’s yet to appear in an NFL game.

Despite his lack of production, Kaaya could still conceivably garner interest on the waiver wire. Any number of teams that expressed interest in Kaaya leading up to the 2017 draft — a list that includes the Bears, Giants, Dolphins, and Texans — could theoretically put in a claim. If Kaaya isn’t claimed on waivers, he’ll revert to Indianapolis’ injured reserve list.

Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett are locked in as the Colts’ top two quarterbacks, while Phillip Walker is the club’s No. 3 option. However, Indianapolis is only expected to keep two signal-callers on its 53-man roster, meaning Walker’s time on the squad will likely end soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/25/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianpolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Waived: OL Donavon Clark

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: WR Aaron Lacombe, WR Khadarel Lott, WR JoJo Natson
  • Waived: WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, WR Ricky Jeune

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Waived/injured: DB Trey Johnson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Colts Try Out Keenan Lewis, Jacquies Smith

The Colts have eight tryout players on hand this week, including cornerback Keenan Lewis and defensive end Jacquies Smith (Twitter link via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin). Wide receiver Paul McRoberts, cornerback Juante Baldwin, running back Jordan Huff, safety Tim Scott, defensive end Evan Panfil, and defensive end Christian French are also among those looking to hook on in Indy. 

Lewis, 32, has not played since the 2015 season when he suffered a leg injury. In 2016, the Saints released him as he was slow to recover from a hip malady. He nearly rejoined the Steelers in 2017, but a medical red flag kept him from signing. Pittsburgh doctors reportedly found that Lewis had undergone a “failed surgery” and he filed a grievance against the Saints this year to recoup some of his lost salary.

Lewis, a 2009 third-round pick of the Steelers, spent the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. After serving as a reserve through his first few seasons, he started all 16 games for the Steelers in 2012, compiling 71 tackles and one forced fumble. He ended up signing a five-year, $26.3MM deal with New Orleans during the 2013 offseason, and he started all 32 games for the Saints in 2013 and 2014. However, he suited up just six times in 2015.

Smith, 28, established himself as a serviceable edge rusher for the Bucs (13.5 sacks from 2014-15) before a torn ACL ended his 2016 campaign after only one game. After working his way back to full health, Smith had played in his first contest of the year during Week 4 last year, but saw action on only seven snaps. Smith wound up signing with the Lions during their bye week in 2017, but did not play in any games for them. A second stint with Detroit later in the year resulted in two appearances for Smith, but he recorded only one tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.