Keith Reaser

First Two AAF Players Sign NFL Deals

That didn’t take long. Just a few hours after the AAF announced it would allow players to start signing NFL contracts effective immediately, two players have already inked deals. 

The Chiefs are signing cornerback Keith Reaser, while the Panthers have added receiver Rashad Ross, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). In a separate tweet, Schefter notes that Reaser is getting $100K upfront guaranteed in the form of various bonuses. That’s a significant chunk of change, and indicates Kansas City likely had competition for Reaser’s services.

Reaser comes from the Orlando Apollos, the team coached by Steve Spurrier that had the best regular season record before the AAF suspended operations. Ross comes from the Arizona Hotshots, and was one of the best players in the league before it shut down. He had multiple huge games, and was dominating AAF defenses.

Reaser spent parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Chiefs, so there’s some familiarity there. He was originally drafted by the 49ers in the fifth round back in 2014. He spent most of the 2017 season on the practice squad, and was released with an injury settlement early last season. Ross was a 2013 undrafted free agent, who received his most run with the Redskins back in 2015 when he returned kicks and caught eight passes for 184 yards. The Arizona State product was with the Cardinals for part of last offseason, but hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2016.

The two are likely the first of many who will sign NFL contracts in the coming days and weeks. While the league was ultimately unsuccessful, it clearly was helpful to a good number of players in getting them back on NFL radars. Reaser has already landed more than an AAF salary, and there will surely be more to follow.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Cut Down To Final 53

In addition to David Amerson, the Chiefs will release longtime depth cog Frank Zombo.

The outside linebacker’s been in Kansas City since the Andy Reid regime began in 2013. He started 11 games in 2016, when Justin Houston missed most of the season with knee trouble, but will not be part of the 2018 team. The Chiefs drafted Breeland Speaks in the second round and plan to use 2017 second-rounder Tanoh Kpassagnon more extensively than they did last season.

Here’s the full list of players who won’t be on Kansas City’s initial 53-man roster.

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Suspended:

Chiefs Place C Mitch Morse On IR

The Chiefs will have to make their playoff push without their starting center in the lineup. On Friday, the team announced that Morse is headed to injured reserve with a foot injury. Cornerback Keith Reaser has been promoted from the practice squad to take his place on the roster. Mitch Morse (vertical)

Without Morse, the Chiefs will be forced to put fourth-year pro Zach Fulton in the starting lineup. Swingman Cameron Erving will serve as Fulton’s primary backup.

Morse, 25, first suffered the injury in the Chiefs’ Week 2 game against the Eagles. He returned in late October, but the issue flared up again in the Chiefs’ recent loss to the Jets. Morse was carted off the field in that game and had to be held out of Sunday’s win over the Raiders.

The loss of Morse comes at a particularly bad time as the offensive line has to contend with the Chargers’ tenacious pass rush.

They’re playing very well right now,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week (via the Chargers’ website). “Their pass rush is tremendous right now. It was good against us. Look at our third downs the last time we played them; they got after us. They’re playing at a very high level, and the secondary, they don’t do a lot but they do it very well. They have a great defensive coordinator. Gus does a great job there. They’re in good hands.”

The Chiefs have a 64% chance of winning the division, according to the playoff odds calculated by the New York Times. Of course, those odds decrease significantly if they lose on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: S Jameill Showers
  • Released: G Nate Theaker

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
  • Released: WR Fred Brown

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jason Verrett‘s impending injury absence will cause the Chargers to add cornerback depth. The Bolts signed cornerback Michael Davis from their practice squad and cut wideout Geremy Davis, Eric Williams of ESPN.com reports. The Chargers signed Geremy Davis on Monday as Dontrelle Inman insurance, but he didn’t play in Los Angeles’ Week 1 game. Michael Davis is a rookie UDFA out of BYU.
  • The 49ers promoted cornerback Asa Jackson from their practice squad and waived fellow corner Keith Reaser to clear a roster spot, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. A fifth-round 49ers pick in 2014, Reaser played in 29 games for the team — including last week’s loss to the Panthers — but didn’t start any. San Francisco signed Jackson, an ex-Ravens starter, in August and stashed him on the practice squad after the preseason.
  • Nose tackles Kyle Peko and Tyrique Jarrett will once again trade places with the Broncos. Denver will promote Peko from its practice squad and waive Jarrett, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. A rookie UDFA out of Pittsburgh, Jarrett saw Week 1 work on a depleted Broncos line. Peko, a cousin of Broncos starting nose Domata Peko, was waived last weekend.
  • The Colts promoted linebacker Darnell Sankey from their practice squad, cutting wide receiver Matt Hazel to make room, Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com reports (via Twitter). Both Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker are dealing with injuries, making this an insurance addition.
  • The Jets signed outside linebacker Freddie Bishop and defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas from their practice squad, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. The team also waived linebacker Edmond Robinson with an injury settlement.

West Notes: McGahee, Hayne, 49ers, Raiders

The latest out of the West divisions…

  • Ex-Broncos running back Willis McGahee apparently hasn’t found an NFL team willing to take him on, because he’s trying his luck at a different sport altogether…rubgy. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link), McGahee will try out at the National Rugby Football League combine January 12 in Los Angeles. The 33-year-old played in the NFL just last season with the Browns, but was largely ineffective.
  • Improbably, we have more rugby-related news, as Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne visited the Seahawks today; Wilson reported that the 26-year-old met with the division rival 49ers yesterday. We last heard in October that Hayne, who would likely play running back, could fit with Seattle.
  • 49ers rookies Brandon Thomas and Keith Reaser will both remain on the reserve/NFI list after their practice periods ended today, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Thomas, a guard, was chosen in the third round of this year’s draft, while Reaser, a cornerback, was a fifth-round pick.
  • As both a current Raider and a Michigan alum, Charles Woodson has a unique perspective on Jim Harbaugh’s potential choice between Oakland and Ann Arbor. So what does Woodson think Harbaugh should do? “If the choice was out there, it would definitely be Michigan,” Woodson told NFL Network (link via CSNBayArea.com). “As a guy that played there, I think the fans would love it, I think it would be great for recruiting and all of that. Just to have a guy that’s proven, he’s won everywhere he’s been as a coach and I don’t think it would be any different if he went to Michigan. I would say ‘yeah.’ Go Blue.”

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Bowman, Cards

In what’s been a busy day for NFL news so far – particularly for running backs around the league – let’s catch up on a few items from out of the NFC West….

  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed that center Max Unger will likely miss three or four weeks with ankle and knee injuries, meaning the team will likely have to add a center to the mix to complement Patrick Lewis, as Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk details. Crabtree and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times both cite former Seahawk Lemuel Jeanpierre as a probable free agent addition for the club.
  • Within Condotta’s article, he also passes along a tweet from defensive tackle Travian Robertson, who had been on the Falcons‘ practice squad. Robertson announced that he’s on his way to Seattle, a signal that the Seahawks will be signing him away from Atlanta.
  • 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman will begin practicing today, starting the clock on a three-week window during which the team will have to move him to the active roster. If he’s not made active in three weeks, Bowman will be ruled out for the season, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio acknowledges that’s a possiblity, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Tight end Garrett Celek, defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey, and cornerback Keith Reaser will also begin practicing for the 49ers today, triggering their three-week countdowns, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Cardinals reporters Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic and Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter links) agree that running back Ben Tate is an unlikely target for Arizona, even if he makes it through waivers unclaimed.

49ers Roster Moves, Martin Update

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that 49ers rookie center Marcus Martin is expected to miss eight weeks of the regular season with a kneecap injury.

Also, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the 49ers have trimmed their roster to 75 players after making the following series of moves:

Waived

Released

Released off Injured Reserve

Reserve/PUP List

Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List

  • RB Marcus Lattimore
  • FB Trey Millard
  • CB Keith Reaser
  • G Brandon Thomas

The players on the PUP and NFI lists are eligible to return to practice after the first six weeks of the regular season or otherwise be placed on a season-ending reserve list. That means, of course, that Bowman and Lattimore will officially miss the first six weeks of the season.

As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee tweets, all seven players that were waived are eligible to be placed on the team’s practice squad.

 

 

Draft Signings: Reaser, Chiefs, Packers

Here’s a rundown of tonight’s draft signings from rounds 3-7. For a look at the signings that went down earlier today, check out our previous post..

  • The 49ers have signed fifth-round pick Keith Reaser, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The cornerback out of Florida Atlantic might have gone higher if he hadn’t suffered a torn ACL last October. Despite not being able to compete in on-field drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, Reaser put up 22 reps of the 225-pound bench press.
  • The Chiefs signed sixth-round offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). After Tennessee guard Zach Fulton agreed to terms yesterday, Duvernay-Tardif became the second KC rookie to sign. The 6’5″ offensive tackle out of McGill in Canada was the 200th overall pick and looks to be competing for the Chiefs swing tackle spot with starters Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson already on either side.
  • The Packers have signed seventh-round pick Jeff Janis, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of the Press-Gazette (on Twitter). The receiver out of Saginaw Valley State was the third wideout taken by Green Bay in the draft.