Kasim Edebali

Saints Claim LB Kasim Edebali

The Saints have added a familiar face as the team gets ready for its first postseason appearance since 2013. The team has claimed linebacker Kasim Edebali off waivers from the Rams, according to Josh Katzenstein of the The Times-Picayune. To free up a roster spot, New Orleans has placed linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha on injured reserve.

Kasim Edebali (Vertical)

Edebali, 28, had previously been employed by the Saints from 2014-16. His best year in New Orleans came in 2015 when he racked up five sacks in a full season of work. Edebali has bounced around a bit this season, having started the year with the Broncos, before making stops with the Lions, Rams and now the Saints after being cut on three different occasions.

The Saints likely made this move to help replace Kikaha as a reserve pass rusher for the remainder of the season. The third-year player out of Washington University had appeared in 12 games with the Saints, collecting four sacks behind the likes Manti Te’o and Michael Mauti on the depth chart. The former 2015 third-round pick had suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win over the Falcons, which surely prompted his move to the IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/21/17

Today’s workout updates, with all Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

  • WRs Harvey Binford, Rashad Ross, Brandon Zylstra; DBs Jonathon Mincy, Kacy Rodgers (link)

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

  • WR Diontae Spencer (link)

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • G Greg Pyke (link via Balzer)

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

  • TE Brandon Barnes; OL Erik Austell; DT Euclid Cummings; LB Chris Casher; CB Shaq Richardson (link)

Seattle Seahawks

Rams Sign OLB Kasim Edebali

Kasim Edebali began his 2017 season playing in a scheme initially put together by Wade Phillips, in signing with the Broncos in March. Now, the fourth-year edge defender will play for Phillips in Los Angeles.

The Rams signed Edebali on Wednesday and placed Brandon Allen on IR, the team announced.

The Lions claimed Edebali off waivers in November after the Broncos parted ways with him, but Detroit followed suit in cutting him. Edebali, who initially played with the Saints from 2014-16, was a free agent for nearly a week. He played 56 snaps for the Broncos and Lions, mostly serving as a special teams presence this season. He received more playing time for the Saints, registering eight sacks in three seasons.

Allen spent all season on the Rams’ active roster after arriving in September via waiver claim. The Redskins also put in a claim for the former Jaguars draft choice in September, but the Rams attained Allen’s rights due to a higher waiver priority.

The 2016 sixth-round pick has yet to throw an NFL pass, and his IR venture — as a result of a back injury — leaves Jared Goff and Sean Mannion as the Rams’ only active-roster quarterbacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/19/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • QBs Garrett Fugate, Matt McGloin; WR Jake Kumerow; C Lucas Crowley; LB Jacob Lindsey; CB Manny Asprilla (link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com)

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/13/17

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Lions Claim LB Kasim Edebali

The Lions have claimed linebacker Kasim Edebali off waivers from the Broncos and waived defensive end George Johnson, the club announced today.Kasim Edebali (Vertical)

Edebali, 28, had appeared in nine games for Denver this season, but hadn’t made a dent on defense, as he’d seen only 55 defensive snaps on the year. His real action had come on special teams, where he’d played on more than 60% of the Broncos’ snaps. Detroit general manager Bob Quinn has shown a willingness to pay for special teams prowess in the past, and Edebali comes cheap — he’s only due about $400K for the remainder of the 2017 campaign.

Johnson, meanwhile, leaves the Lions after only 24 hours, as the club has just re-signed him on Monday. Detroit has employed Johnson at various points during his career, including his career season in 2014 when he posted six sacks. Injuries and ineffectiveness have marred Johnson’s recent output, but given his familiarity with the Lions’ defense, it wouldn’t be surprise to see him back in Detroit at some point later this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/14/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

West Rumors: Conley, Broncos, Cardinals

It took the Raiders until their training camp eve to reach an agreement with first-round pick Gareon Conley. Although no legal clarity has come after a woman accused the cornerback of sexual assault in April, the Raiders did not design Conley’s contract with that alleged incident in mind. Conley’s deal contains 90 percent guaranteed money, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding the language in the four-year contract is standard despite the legal cloud surrounding the ex-Ohio State defender presently. The Raiders also agreed to terms with second-rounder Obi Melifonwu this week. Titans first-rounder Corey Davis is the only unsigned pick remaining.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions on opening camp weekend.

  • The Broncos opened 2016 with a dominant outside linebacker corps, with DeMarcus Ware, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett joining Von Miller in the fold. Miller has none of those sidekicks available for the time; Ray and Barrett may both be out throughout the preseason. Vance Joseph discussed the early replacement hierarchy here Saturday, calling recent UFA signing Kasim Edebali the top edge rusher alongside Miller (via Mike Klis of 9News, on Twitter). Edebali played three years with the Saints but wasn’t offered an RFA tender in March, leading to his one-year deal with the Broncos.
  • Bruce Arians said Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams could be battling for the Cardinals‘ No. 2 cornerback job until the final week of the preseason, but Williams and others will have some additional opportunities to build a case early. Bethel suffered a hyperextended knee and will be out for the coming days, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports. Arians did not believe this injury was serious, but given this position duel likely coming down to the wire, it stands to raise Bethel’s degree of difficulty here.
  • Regarding Williams, the second-year man has evidently been usurped on the depth chart by Ronald Zamort — a 2016 UDFA who spent last season on Arizona’s practice squad — according to Kent Somers of AZCentral.com (on Twitter). The Cardinals have been connected to Brandon Flowers and Tramon Williams this week, and Arians’ status on his own corners looks to have changed. Somers notes he now wants to add a veteran.
  • The Raiders‘ handling of Donald Penn‘s holdout will be key to how future free agents view the team, Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News writes. The Raiders relied immensely on free agency in recent years, Penn being one of the key signings. On a two-year deal worth $6.25MM AAV, the 34-year-old Penn is now by far the fourth-highest-paid offensive lineman on his own team, after the Raiders made Gabe Jackson an $11MM-per-year man in June. Penn saw a host of less proven tackles sign for more than him this offseason, and he’s seeking top-10 left tackle money. His per-year wages rank 20th presently. The Raiders have just more than $14MM in cap space. Oakland lined up Marshall Newhouse at Penn’s left tackle spot and second-year man Vadal Alexander at right tackle on Saturday.
  • Menelik Watson has missed 37 of a possible 64 regular-season games due to various injuries through four seasons, and the Broncos‘ projected right tackle starter dropped a lot of weight in an attempt to stay on the field. The former Raiders right tackle is close to 315 pounds after playing in the 340s earlier in his career, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter links), noting Watson told him the reduction is because of the slew of setbacks he encountered.
  • Joseph won’t have 5-foot-7 rookie Isaiah McKenzie return kicks due to his slight frame, Klis tweets. Carlos Henderson and Cody Latimer are vying to handle those duties for the Broncos while McKenzie has the inside track to return punts. This is a deviation of sorts for a Broncos team who received high-end kick-return production from 5-5 Trindon Holliday in 2012-13. The team has not had much success in this area since, leading to the selection of McKenzie in the fifth round.

Broncos To Sign Kasim Edebali

Non-tendered as an RFA by the Saints last week, Kasim Edebali found a new home quickly. The Broncos signed the fourth-year defensive end to a one-year deal, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter).

The Broncos expressed interest in the defender earlier today, and the 27-year-old ex-UDFA looks like he’ll serve as a depth piece in Denver. A Boston College product, Edebali played in all 48 possible Saints contests during his three years in New Orleans. He made two starts but mostly functioned as a rotational player and special-teamer.

Denver has now added three new front-seven performers, with Edebali joining Domata Peko and Zach Kerr. Edebali’s best Saints season came in 2015, when he registered a career-high five sacks. He has eight for his career to go along with 48 tackles. He played 254 snaps for the Saints’ defense last season.

Edebali could be set for an edge role in Denver. The Broncos saw DeMarcus Ware elect to retire, and although he was a free agent, Denver was interested in a fourth Ware season in orange. Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett currently profile as the Broncos’ top complements to Von Miller at outside linebacker.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Rumors: Steelers, Cards, Bills

The latest free agent news:

  • Cornerback Davon House will visit with the Steelers on Monday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). House was let go by Jacksonville earlier this month. Green Bay reportedly reached out to him about a reunion, but we haven’t heard much on that front in recent days.
  • Steelers free agent linebacker Jarvis Jones is visiting today with the Cardinals, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Steelers remain interested, however, and the two sides are still in discussions. We had Jones ranked as one of the fifteen best edge defenders heading into the opening of free agency last week. The former first-round pick hasn’t justified his high selection in the draft, but he has been pretty solid against the run.
  • The Bills are holding free agent visits with former Green Bay linebacker Jayrone Elliott and former Bolts wide receiver Jeremy Butler, according to a team announcement. Both players were non-tendered by their respective former clubs. Butler appeared in four games last season and caught two passes for eleven yards. In eleven games with Green Bay last year, Elliott had one sack and 12 total tackles.
  • The Broncos have interest in Saints free agent defensive end Kasim Edebali, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. Edebali could provide depth and special teams experience for Denver. He was non-tendered by New Orleans last week.
  • Cardinals free agent outside linebacker Alex Okafor is visiting the Saints today, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Okafor played through a painful torn bicep injury last season.