The Falcons will bring in an offensive line swing man and re-sign one of their backup cornerbacks of recent years. Atlanta signed Justin McCray and Blidi Wreh-Wilson on Sunday.
McCray, who played with the Browns last season and has seen action with three teams since 2014, agreed to a one-year deal, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets. Wilson has been with the Falcons since 2016; he signed a one-year deal to stay in Atlanta in February 2019.
A former UDFA out of Central Florida, McCray started four games with the Browns last season. He started 13 with the Packers from 2017-18. The Packers traded McCray to the Browns last August, and the 27-year-old blocker saw action at guard and tackle. Largely because of his work in pass protection, McCray graded as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst tackles in 2019.
Wilson, 30, has started three games since coming to Georgia nearly four years ago. He saw his biggest workload in 2019, playing 335 defensive snaps. Wilson finished with seven passes defensed and 25 tackles last season. Having released Desmond Trufant, the Falcons are retooling at cornerback. They will have more moves to make at this position going forward this offseason.
The Browns and Packers completed a trade just before the 53-man deadline. The Browns will acquire guard Justin McCray in exchange for a 2020 draft pick.
McCray has started in 13 of his career 25 regular season games. That includes five starts last year out of 12 appearances for the Packers.
McCray, 27, will help support the starting interior line, which is still not quite finalized. The Browns will start either incumbent Eric Kush or newcomer Wyatt Teller at the right guard spot. This week, head coach Freddie Kitchens indicated that competition is open.
“Eric is our right guard as we speak, but we haven’t even had Wyatt on the field yet,” Kitchens explained. “My first inkling would be to say yes, but we haven’t seen [Teller] on the field yet. We still have four practices to get through. We will see where it all goes. Even though training camp has ended, there is always competition. There is always going to be competition while I am here. I think you get the most out of everybody when you run it that way.”
September 25th, 2018 at 8:14pm CST by Sam Robinson
Seven workouts has not yet produced an addition to San Francisco’s quarterback room, and one may not be coming despite the new 49ers backup being a former UDFA only promoted to the active roster this week. The 49ers do not plan to sign a veteran quarterback this week, NFL.com’s Jim Trotter tweets. While he adds that remains a possibility in the near future, don’t expect an outside addition to come this week. E.J. Manuel, Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens, T.J. Yates, Landry Jones, Matt Simms and Kyle Allen all worked out for the 49ers. But the NFC’s Bay Area team is evidently set with a C.J. Beathard–Nick Mullens depth chart heading into its Week 4 clash with the Chargers. The 49ers’ chances of being a surprise playoff contender absorbed a massive blow last week when Jimmy Garoppolo went down, and Kyle Shanahan said any veteran added would not be a threat to usurp Beathard. The second-year Iowa product started five games last season, completing 54.9 percent of his passes and throwing four touchdown passes compared to six interceptions. The 49ers went 1-4 in those games.
Here’s the latest from the NFC:
The Cowboys‘ defensive fortunes have generally taken hits when Sean Lee isn’t available, and the linebacker’s latest absence comes at a bad time for the 1-2 team. Dallas will be without its top linebacker for a few weeks “at least,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Lee suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday. This latest setback involves Lee’s right hamstring. A left hamstring issue caused him to miss time last season. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch now stands to see a more prominent role in the near future.
Dallas remains the favorite to acquire Earl Thomas, in the event the Seahawks trade him, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com writes. Thomas drew a penalty for bowing at the Cowboys’ bench following an interception in Seattle’s Week 3 win over Dallas. The Cowboys have offered a second-round pick for Thomas, but the Seahawks still want more. The safety nonetheless heard more rumblings about a deal with Dallas on Sunday, though. “Yeah, of course, I heard chatter. People were coming up to me and saying a trade might happen,” Thomas said. “Even pregame, a couple Cowboys coaches came up to me, I don’t know if they were playing psychological games, but they were like, ‘You ready for the trade tomorrow?” He remains a Seahawk, but the situation’s become quite strange.
Thomas said after Seattle’s win he missed two practices last week to protect himself from injury, and he expects to be fined for the absences. This is consistent with a report that emerged pregame Sunday. “I need to make sure my body is 100,” he said, via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. “I’m invested in myself. If they was invested in me, I would be out there practicing. But if I feel like anything — I don’t give a damn if it’s small, I’ve got a headache — I’m not practicing. But I don’t want that to be taken the wrong way. I know I’m going to get fined. But that’s just where I’m at with that.” Pete Carroll said the Seahawks still “love” Thomas as a person and a player and described communication between the team and the All-Pro safety as “ongoing.” Carroll did not specify if this communication is regarding an extension.
The Packers are preparing to start Byron Bell at right guard on Sunday against the Bills, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Justin McCray is dealing with a shoulder injury, one the Packers don’t believe will be a long-term issue. However, Bell is expected to step in for the time being. An eighth-year player, Bell’s spent almost the entirety of his career at tackle. He has previously played guard but hasn’t worked there nearly as much as he has on the edge.
September 17th, 2017 at 7:24pm CST by Sam Robinson
A “near mutiny” helped induce the Bengals to fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after two games. Although Andy Dalton‘s job is not believed to be in jeopardy as of now, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the leash might not be especially long for the seventh-year starter. And some Cincinnati players might not all be on board with a simple A.J. McCarron succession strategy. While it would certainly be an off-the-board choice, Florio hears some Bengals players are expressing support for a Colin Kaepernick signing.
The UFA passer has been the NFL’s most discussed player this offseason despite not being affiliated with a team. McCarron’s been a Bengal since 2014 but has never threatened Dalton’s job security, only seeing relevant action after a Dalton injury in 2015. Kaepernick said recently he does want to return to the NFL, and has been training daily for a potential chance. Many players have publicly endorsed the 29-year-old quarterback receiving an opportunity. A Bengals route might be a stretch, though, considering McCarron’s status.
Dalton currently sits on a 55 percent completion percentage and a 0-to-4 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio. The Bengals have not scored a touchdown in two games and have posted just nine points.
Here’s the latest from the North divisions.
The Vikings played without Sam Bradford on Sunday, and the Case Keenum-led team lost to the Steelers. Bradford’s knee injury has him at day-to-day for the time being, but Florio hears the quarterback’s injured knee is “structurally fine.” Mike Zimmer used “fine” to describe Bradford’s status (Twitter link), even though the coach was vague in setting a return timetable. Any further game absences would signal the eighth-year signal-caller is, in fact, not fine.
Green Bay will be playing without both starting tackles tonight in Atlanta. Longtime Packers starters David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga will miss the Falcons tilt, the team announced. Bulaga missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury suffered during preseason play. A hamstring malady will shelve Bakhtiari. Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray will start, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. A fourth-year UDFA, McCray has yet to play in an NFL game.
The Bears will not deviate at quarterback despite Mike Glennon‘s struggles, John Fox said today. Fox shot down the idea Mitch Trubisky would start in Week 3 for the 0-2 team. Glennon threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a blowout against his former team in Week 2.
The Cardinals announced that they’ve signed wide receiver Harvey Binford. Binford, 26, participated in Arizona’s “pro combine” last weekend. A former Arena League player, Binford spent last summer with Green Bay but was waived in August. He worked out for the Packers again late last year, but failed to land a contract.
The Packers have signed guard Justin McCray, the club announced today. Like Binford, McCray has also played in the Arena League. McCray began his career as an undrafted free agent signing with the Titans in 2014, and spent that entire season on Tennessee’s practice squad.