Justice Cunningham

Bengals Work Out Reece, Gilberry, Others

Since hitting the free agent market, Marcel Reece has yet to find a taker to give him a second chance. But several teams have been interested, with the Bengals being the latest after working out the veteran fullback today, Doug Kyed of NESN.com tweets.

The Bengals worked out Reece, along with their former defensive end Wallace Gilberry, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and tight end Justice Cunningham, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (Twitter links).

Cut by the Raiders on the heels of his PED suspension ending in September, the eighth-year fullback worked out for the Patriots and Jets over the past five weeks but has not played this season. The 31-year-old Reece made the Pro Bowl from 2012-14 and was a consistent outlet option for Derek Carr and previous Raiders passers during his time in Oakland.

Cincinnati does not employ a traditional fullback presently but does house four tight ends.

Gilberry signed a one-year deal with the Lions this offseason but was cut last month. The 31-year-old pass-rusher played for the Bengals from 2012-15, starting in 19 games for the team and recording 16.5 of his 35.5 career sacks with Cincinnati. He’s played in four games this season, starting one.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Audition Bjoern Werner, Two Tight Ends

The Lions are apparently spending their Tuesday taking a look at failed first-round picks. After working out former Jets draft pick Quinton Coples earlier today, Detroit auditioned ex-Colt/Jaguar Bjoern Werner, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets."<strong

[RELATED: Lions Re-Sign Aaron Dobson]

Werner, 26 appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery. Following the 2015 campaign, he was waived by Indianapolis.

Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah is expected to be out for Sunday’s game — and perhaps longer — as he deals with a high ankle sprain. Detroit, then, is presumably searching for some low-cost depth options as they brace for Ansah’s loss.

Werner and Coples weren’t the only players auditioning in Motown today, as the Lions also looked at free agent tight ends Justice Cunningham and Adrien Robinson, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Cut Several Players

The Rams have begun cutting players prior to Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline. Unless otherwise specified, names come courtesy of Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Here’s the list:

The longest-tenured pro of the group is Cunningham, who had been with the Rams organization since 2013. He made just three appearances with the club, though, and his only career reception came with the Colts. Notably, Seau is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau. Ian Seau signed with the Rams this year as an undrafted free agent from Nevada.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/5/16

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the league. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2016 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ 90-man rosters.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Taylor Boggs, C (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com)
  • Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, C
  • Mike Reilly, OLB
  • Tyrequek Zimmerman, S

Baltimore Ravens

  • Jerod Johnson, QB (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

  • Burton Pierce, OT
  • Ben Heenan, G
  • Edwin Jackson, LB
  • Kitt O’Brien, G
  • Dezmen Southward, DB
  • Joshua Stangby. WR

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

  • Garrett Gilbert, QB (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)
  • Giorgio Tavecchio, K

San Diego Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

  • Corey Acosta, K (link via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle)

St. Louis Rams

Practice Squad Updates: 12/1/15

Today’s practice squad updates from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brian Blechen (Twitter link via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer)

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: WR Austin Hill (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

St. Louis Rams

Rams Sign Zach Hocker

4:39pm: To open up a spot on the roster for Hocker, the Rams have cut tight end Justice Cunningham, tweets Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

1:08pm: With Greg Zuerlein questionable to play in Sunday’s game against the Bengals, the Rams are signing free agent kicker Zach Hocker as an insurance policy, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Zuerlein has been battling a groin injury, and his availability for Sunday remains unclear.

Hocker, a seventh-round pick in the 2014 draft, earned his first starting job this year in New Orleans. However, the 24-year-old was a little shaky during his first six games as the team’s kicker, resulting in his release in October. Hocker missed four of his 13 field goal tries, including three from less than 50 yards, and failed to convert one of his extra-point attempts as well. After becoming a free agent, Hocker had workouts with the Jets, Jaguars, and Giants.

As for Zuerlein, even when he’s been healthy, he’s been up and down this season. The fourth-year veteran has missed eight field goals and an extra point in 10 games, and is converting a career-low 65.2% of his field goal attempts.

An injury is also forcing the Rams to make a change at a more important position, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who tweets that Nick Foles will return to the starting lineup with Case Keenum still recovering from a concussion. No roster move should be required at QB though, since Sean Mannion remains on the roster as a backup option.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/15

Here are Thursday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Raiders have waived former Seahawks safety – and Kam Chancellor‘s brother – Keenan Lambert, the team announced today in a press release. Oakland, on its bye week, will have more than a week to make more roster moves to fill the two openings on the team’s roster.
  • Using the roster spot they opened up when they placed offensive lineman Rodger Saffold on injured reserve earlier today, the Rams have promoted tight end Justice Cunningham from their practice squad to their active roster, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • After moving fullback Derrick Coleman to the reserve/suspended list this afternoon, the Seahawks had an opening on their 53-man roster, and have re-signed wide receiver B.J. Daniels (Twitter link via John Boyle). Daniels was just cut by Seattle two days ago.
  • Former Ravens cornerback Rashaan Melvin has been claimed off waivers by the Patriots, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). As Zrebiec points out, the Patriots’ offense went after Melvin frequently during last season’s playoff game, so the move is an interesting one.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed to practice squad (link via Matt Maiocco):
    • WR DiAndre Campbell
    • CB Marcus Cromartie
    • RB Kendall Gaskins
    • DT Kaleb Ramsey
    • OLB Marcus Rush
    • NT Garrison Smith
    • QB Dylan Thompson
    • OG Andrew Tiller (Twitter link via Matt Barrows)
    • S Jermaine Whitehead (Twitter link via Barrows)

Seattle Seahawks

St. Louis Rams

  • Signed to practice squad:

Davis, Jones Among Rams’ Final Cuts

Thought to have the upper hand in the Rams’ center competition, Barrett Jones was one of St. Louis’ roster cuts as it trimmed to 53 players (according to Myles Simmons of the team’s website).

Tim Barnes and Demetrius Rhaney ended up sticking on the roster due to having better positional versatility than Jones, an Alabama product who the Rams took in the fourth round in 2013, per ESPN.com’s Nick Waggoner.

An undrafted free agent in 2011, Barnes is listed as the Rams’ starting snapper.

The Rams also waived Austin Davis, who started eight games for the team last season in Sam Bradford‘s absence. Davis threw for over 2,000 yards and completed 63.4% of his passes in his first game sample.

Here are the rest of the Rams’ cuts:

  • Alex Bayer, TE
  • Emory Blake, WR
  • Malcolm Brown, RB
  • Christian Bryant, S
  • Justice Cunningham, TE
  • Marcus Fortson, DT
  • Montell Garner, CB
  • Jacob Hagen, S
  • Martin Ifedi, DE
  • Zach Laskey, FB
  • Matt Longacre, DE
  • Marshall McFadden, LB
  • Brandon McGee, CB
  • Trovon Reed, CB
  • Daniel Rodriguez, WR
  • Louis Trinca-Pasat, DT
  • Brandon Washington, OL

NFC West Notes: Brooks, 49ers, Rams

The Seahawks aren’t in the driver’s seat of the NFC West as they anticipated, but coach Pete Carroll says that their record doesn’t dictate their effort on the field. “We’d still be playing these games as championship games,” Carroll said, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “That’s the way we look at it. If we were here and our record is different than it is, we’d be playing every one of these games like it’s the last game we get to play all year. That’s how we do it. And it doesn’t matter.” More from the NFC West, where the Cardinals are on top..

  • Ahmad Brooks’ cap figure of $9.65MM for 2015 makes him a prime candidate for a trade, or a drastic pay cut if he wants to stay with the 49ers, former agent Joel Corry told Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Niners can save $4MM in 2015 by releasing Brooks. Corry went on to say that he doesn’t expect SF to sign both Mike Iupati or Alex Boone – it’s either-or.
  • Another team was interested in signing tight end Justice Cunningham to its active roster, but the Rams liked him enough to beat them to the punch and promote him to the 53-man roster, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch (via Twitter).
  • Thomas (via Twitter) also notes that the Rams must create an additional roster spot later in the week when they activate defensive end Chris Long from the IR/DTR list.