Keenan Lewis

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.

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Boston, Saints

Safety Tre Boston remains unsigned and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer wonders if the Chargers free agent’s history of social activism is hampering his market. Much has been written about Eric Reid‘s ongoing unemployment, but Boston was fairly outspoken following the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte police officer two years ago while with the Panthers. For his part, Boston isn’t sure that his public stance in 2016 is working against him.

I have no idea. But if I told you there’s a 25-year-old out there, no nagging injuries, no off-field issues, [eight] career picks, 180 tackles-plus, [two] sacks, what would you tell me?” Boston said. “I don’t know. I can’t say what upstairs is thinking,” he added. “But I know I have the stats and the numbers to play with the best of them. So for me it’s just being patient. Things are gonna happen.

Late last month, Boston said that he has drawn interest from the Cardinals, Raiders, Browns, and Giants this offseason. We haven’t heard much about him in recent weeks, however.

Here’s more from the NFC South:

Extra Points: Jets, Pryor, Steelers, Lewis

The Jets were said to be looking for a Calvin Pryor buyer, but the team now may be backing off that pursuit. GM Mike Maccagnan said he “doesn’t see any reason” why the Jets can’t retain Pryor, despite having selected safeties in each of the first two rounds of this draft (Twitter link, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News). Pryor is entering his fourth season and the Jets have until Wednesday to decide if they will pick up his fifth-year option. The selections of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye certainly make that unlikely. A 2014 first-rounder, the hard-hitting safety is set to make a guaranteed $2.74MM this season.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • A Steelers/Keenan Lewis reunion does not look to be in the works. A visit to Pittsburgh concluded with Lewis leaving the team’s facility. As Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette puts it (Twitter link), the cornerback doesn’t have “any further interest” in a Steelers deal. That is somewhat interesting since the soon-to-be 31-year-old Lewis hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015 and hasn’t played a season without major injury trouble since 2014. But it appears the former Steelers and Saints corner will continue his comeback hopes elsewhere.
  • Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell sees Cam Robinson as a left tackle, as Hays Carlyon of 1010XL writes. It’s an interesting statement considering that the Jaguars acquired Branden Albert in a trade with Miami earlier this offseason. So far, Albert has not shown up for voluntary workouts and has not touched base with coach Doug Marrone, so the team could be trying to send him a message by slotting Robinson for the outside.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Keenan Lewis Visits Steelers

Could Keenan Lewis be returning to Pittsburgh? According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter), the Steelers are “taking a look” at their former cornerback. The 31-year-old was reportedly seen at the team’s facility this morning.

Dec 2, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh

Lewis, a 2009 third-round pick, 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, over the past two seasons, he’s only appeared in six games.

If Lewis does indeed rejoin the Steelers, he’ll be joining a cornerback corps that includes Ross Cockrell, Artie Burns, William Gay, Senquez Golson, Cameron Sutton, Coty Sensabaugh, and Al-Hajj Shabazz.

Latest On Keenan Lewis

Cornerback Keenan Lewis was making the free agent rounds last month, but it sounds like he’ll need some more time before he gets back on the field and potentially signs with a club. Today, Lewis posted pictures on Instagram that appear to show him in a hospital bed post-surgery. It’s not clear why Lewis is in the hospital, though his lingering hip and groin injuries were apparently keeping him from signing with a club this offseason. Keenan Lewis (vertical)

Lewis came off of the PUP list earlier this offseason but the Saints released him in mid-August. Coach Sean Payton and others have said that he was cut because he was unable to get healthy, though Lewis has posited that his relationship with defensive coordinator Dennis Allen played a larger role in the decision.

Soon after he was cut, Lewis visited the Steelers and drew interest from a handful of other teams, including the Lions, Jets, and Cardinals. Pittsburgh brought Lewis through the locker room where he played from 2009-2012, but they ultimately passed due to his hip. The Steelers are said to still have Lewis on the radar, but they first have to see him healthy. If Lewis went under the knife today, that may take a little longer than initially expected.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Lewis, Pruitt, Cooper, Marshall

The Steelers are still considering free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis, but it will take him at least a month to recover from hip and groin injuries, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That news jibes with at least one report earlier this month that indicated Lewis would need as much as six weeks to heal from his ailments. However, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that the Steelers were troubled by the medicals on Lewis’ hip when he visited the team recently.

Here’s more on the injury front:

  • Although tight end MyCole Pruitt looked to have suffered a serious injury during yesterday’s preseason games, the second-year Viking will only miss two-to-four weeks with a sprained MCL, tweets Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. As such, Pruitt will likely miss at least the season opener, but he’ll return as Minnesota’s No. 2 tight end at some point early in the campaign.
  • Rams rookie wide receiver Pharoh Cooper has a shoulder injury and will miss “a few weeks,” head coach Jeff Fisher yesterday told reporters, including Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. At minimum, Cooper will probably miss the season opener. Cooper, a fourth-round pick, had apparently been the favorite for the LA’s third receiver role (and could still be when he gets back to action).
  • The Redskins will also lose a rookie for a short period of time, as seventh-round running back Keith Marshall will likely be out for three weeks, according to coach Jay Gruden (Twitter link via Mike Jones of the Washington Post). However, Gruden added that Marshall could be placed on injured reserve, which would likely allow Washington to stash Marshall until 2017.
  • The Buccaneers are expected to place WR/KR Donteea Dye on the waived/injured list with a hamstring issue, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Dye will need roughly a month to recover, but there’s a possibility could bring Dye back into the fold, tweets Laine (though it’s unclear if that means the club would bring him back off IR, or re-sign him after releasing him with an injury settlement).

Steelers To Pass On Keenan Lewis?

On Wednesday, Keenan Lewis visited the Steelers and even took a tour through their locker room. Still, it doesn’t sound like we should expect Pittsburgh to sign the veteran cornerback. The Steelers did not like what they saw with regards to Lewis’ hip, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Lewis’ troublesome hip limited him to just six games in 2015. 

[RELATED: NFL To Interview James Harrison Today]

This week, a former teammate told one reporter that Lewis is still recovering from his hip injury and needs another six weeks before he can play football again. Apparently, Steelers coaches and medical personnel arrived at the same conclusion.

While the Steelers apparently have some reservations about inking Lewis, other clubs may be willing to sign him and give him the necessary time to get back to full health. In addition to the Steelers, the Lions, Jets, Cardinals, and an unidentified NFC South team have expressed interest in Lewis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Keenan Lewis Still Injured?

Cornerback Keenan Lewis is drawing interest from several teams, but he might not be ready to help any of them in the first month of the season. A former teammate of the free agent claims that Lewis says he is still hurt and needs another six weeks to recover, Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets. Keenan Lewis (vertical)

Lewis is currently in the midst of his Steelers visit and walked through the Pittsburgh locker room on Wednesday morning. In July, the veteran insisted that he would be ready for the season opener. At this point, that seems to be in question and former coach Sean Payton implied that Lewis’ health was a main factor in his release.

“He’s 52 weeks post-surgery…Just availability, ultimately. We wish him well,” Payton said. “I think ultimately, it was just trying to get him on the field. It’s just been, it seems like, a long time.”

So far, we know that the Steelers, Lions, Jets, Cardinals and an unidentified NFC South team have expressed interest in Lewis. It remains to be seen what kind of deal Lewis can fetch if he is out until early/mid-October.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: Saints, Aguayo, Panthers

The Saints released Keenan Lewis last week, and the veteran cornerback thinks his relationship with defensive coordinator Dennis Allen led to his ousting, as he tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Facebook link) that he and the New Orleans DC never got along. Allen, for his part, denies any rift with Lewis, and head coach Sean Payton says other issues went into the decision to cut Lewis. “He’s 52 weeks post-surgery…Just availability, ultimately. We wish him well,” Payton told Joel Erickson of the Advocate. “I think ultimately, it was just trying to get him on the field. It’s just been, it seems like, a long time.”

Let’s check out the latest from the NFC South:

  • When asked about bringing in a second kicker, Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said “I wouldn’t think that’s an option,” though he said that is a better question for GM Jason Licht (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times). So far, second-round selection Roberto Aguayo has been struggling, which has led to even more scrutiny on the team’s unorthodox pick.
  • Former Duke linebacker Jeremy Cash had a fairly quiet training camp, but he helped his cause for making the team in the preseason game against the Titans on Saturday, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. The 6’0″, 215-pound athlete is fighting to make the Panthers with a sizable group of linebackers in front of him on the depth chart.
  • While the two sides in the Saints‘ ownership spat want until October to decide to on the terms of the settlement that was agreed to earlier this year, the judge in charge of the case has not yet granted that request, writes Ramon Antonio Vargas of the Advocate. Instead, the parties will come together for a conference on the issue tomorrow.
  • Earlier this week, we learned that wide receiver Brandon Coleman is not a lock for the Saints‘ roster.

Four New Teams Interested In Keenan Lewis

The Lions, Jets, Cardinals and an unidentified NFC South team have made preliminary inquiries on Keenan Lewis, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Earlier today, we learned that at least six teams have shown interest in Lewis, including the Steelers who will be hosting Lewis on a visit. Keenan Lewis (vertical)

The Lions are quite young at cornerback with 25-year-olds Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson in starting roles. Behind them are Quandre Diggs (24), Alex Carter (22), Darrin Walls (28), and Crezdon Butler (29). The 30-year-old Lewis could bring some veteran experience to a group that lost Rashean Mathis to retirement in the offseason.

Lewis says that he is particularly intrigued by the possibility of joining the Jets or Cardinals (link):

I wouldn’t mind playing with (Darrelle) Revis. Bruce Arians was also coaching with the Steelers when I was there. I wouldn’t mind playing with Patrick Peterson too. Those teams are only getting stronger. I just want to put myself in the best situation. I want to play two to three more years and my goal is to win a Super Bowl.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.