Justin Herron

AFC East Notes: Davis, McCourty, Pats, Bills

Corey Davis will be expected to play a critical role for the Jets this season, but he will need some time off first. The fifth-year wide receiver suffered a shoulder injury during Jets OTAs, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Davis landed on his shoulder after attempting to make a leaping catch. This is believed to be a minor shoulder strain, though Garafolo adds that Dr. James Andrews examined the former top-five pick. Davis, who signed this year’s second-most lucrative wideout contract (three years, $37.5MM), is not expected to require surgery.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Dolphins added Jason McCourty early this month. The veteran cornerback is expected to play a key depth role in Miami, and Brian Flores said (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald) some work at safety is possible for the three-year Patriots corner starter. McCourty saw most of his snaps at corner in 2020 but did work as a safety on 75 plays. The Dolphins let Bobby McCain go this offseason but have ex-Pats corner Eric Rowe and second-rounder Jevon Holland at safety. As for McCourty’s compensation, Jackson adds the 33-year-old defender signed for the veteran minimum. His base salary is nearly fully guaranteed, with OverTheCap noting McCourty is locked into $987K of that $1.1MM figure.
  • Joe Thuney‘s departure for Kansas City will create a vacancy at New England’s left guard spot for the first time in many years. The Patriots‘ first-string left guard since 2016, Thuney has yet to miss a game during his career. The Pats, however, may have located a gem in 2020 sixth-round pick Michael Onwenu. The Michigan product started 16 games and played more on the edge than at guard as a rookie. But it looks like the Pats will shift Onwenu to a full-time guard role, with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss noting he lined up as their first-string left guard in OTAs. The Pats traded for Trent Brown and are expected to use him at right tackle, Onwenu’s primary 2020 position. Pro Football Focus graded Onwenu as a top-10 tackle last season.
  • Brown and Isaiah Wynn are set to be the Pats’ starting tackles, and Reiss adds Justin Herron looks like the top candidate to be their swing backup. Drafted 13 spots ahead of Onwenu in last year’s sixth round, Herron started six games and played 351 snaps as a rookie. PFF graded Herron 56th overall at tackle in 2020. Considering Wynn’s injury history, the Pats’ swing-tackle role is a pivotal gig.
  • Long snappers have a rigid salary structure. Entering last week, a seven-way tie existed for the league’s highest paid deep snapper. But the Bills appear to have broken said tie. Buffalo made Reid Ferguson the highest-paid snap specialist, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Though it is not known how much more than the previous snapper-high figure ($1.2MM) the Bills are giving Ferguson, Pelissero adds that the fifth-year snapper will receive a $675K signing bonus.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/28/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted: QB Reid Sinnett

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on IR: G Sua Opeta

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/20

Here is the league’s avalanche of Halloween minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/7/20

We’ll keep track of today’s late round signings here:

  • The Ravens inked third-round pick Tyre Phillips. With the Mississippi State offensive lineman under contract, the Ravens have now taken care of seven of their ten draft picks. Phillips played tackle in college, but he’ll likely move to the inside with Marshal Yanda retiring.
  • The Texans signed offensive tackle Charlie Heck, their fourth-round tackle.
  • The Patriots signed third-round linebacker Anfernee Jennings (Alabama), sixth-round guard Michael Onwenu (Michigan), and seventh-round center Dustin Woodard (Memphis), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Jennings wasn’t the most athletic rusher in this year’s class, but his hard-nosed playing style and technique made him a strong fit for Bill Belichick‘s defense. BB’s relationship with ‘Bama head coach Nick Saban likely helped to lead Jennings to New England. The Pats have also inked kicker Justin Rohrwasser, linebacker Cassh Maluia, and tackle Justin Herron (all of whom are Day 3 picks), leaving only three unsigned players in their ten-player draft class.
  • The Bills signed a trio of picks from the back of their draft, per a club announcement: sixth-round kicker Tyler Bass, sixth-round wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, and seventh-round cornerback Dane Jackson. Hodgins, out of Oregon State, managed 86 receptions for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final year on campus.
  • The Dolphins inked a pair of fifth-round edge rushers in Curtis Weaver (Boise State) and Jason Strowbridge (UNC), as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. The bulk of their 11-man draft class still remains unsigned, so there’s more work to be done.