Kellen Davis

Panthers Not Interested In TE Gary Barnidge

Although they’ll be without tight end Greg Olsen for at least eight weeks, the Panthers are not interested in free agent Gary Barnidge, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).Gary Barnidge (vertical)

Barnidge is no stranger to Carolina, as he spent the first four seasons of his career as a backup tight end with the Panthers. Set to turn 32 years old this week, Barnidge had been linked to Carolina earlier this offseason after being released by the Browns, but it’s not clear if any meeting was ever actually arranged.

Other clubs — including the Jaguars, Bills, and Broncos — have also been tied to Barnidge this year, but he has yet to land a contract. The Texans, who recently lost three tight ends to concussions, worked out Barnidge a week ago but didn’t offer him a deal. Bardnidge’s lack of a pact is a surprise given that he averaged 67 receptions, 828 yards, and six touchdowns over the past two seasons and graded as the league’s No. 1 pass-blocking tight end in 2016, per Pro Football Focus.

Without Olsen in tow, the Panthers will turn to veteran Ed Dickson — who’s angling to be used in an Olsen-esque manner — as their starting tight end. Chris Manhertz is the only other tight end on the roster, but Carolina promoted fullback Alex Armah (who played some tight end in college) to the active roster today.

Instead of Barnidge, the Panthers auditioned fellow tight ends Jace Amaro, Gavin Escobar, and Kellen Davis today, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Amaro and Escobar are both failed former second-round picks, while Davis isn’t much of a receiver — he’s managed only three receptions over the past three seasons. Still, with Dickson set to take over the starting tight end role, Carolina is likely looking for an addition who excels at blocking.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Notes: Davis, Brown, Vikings, Eagles

Assorted notes pertaining to this year’s free agents…

  • Free agent tight end Kellen Davis visited the Browns today, reports ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The former fifth-rounder has played in 24 games (16 starts) for the Jets over the past two seasons. In parts of nine NFL seasons, the 31-year-old has compiled 53 receptions for 579 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • The Dolphins hosted free agent linebacker Zach Brown yesterday, and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that the team “wants” the former Bill. However, he also notes that the organization isn’t willing to pay big or engage in a bidding war. Meanwhile, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com writes that Brown could also be an option for the Raiders. The 27-year-old fired his agent earlier today.
  • Nose tackle Domata Peko had previously said the Vikings were pursuing him in free agency. However, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (on Twitter), head coach Mike Zimmer said today that the organization never had interest in the long-time Bengals lineman. Peko ultimately signed with the Broncos earlier this month.
  • Yahoo’s Charles Robinson tweets that the Eagles had offered defensive tackle Bennie Logan a “sizable extension offer” during the season, which the player turned down. The veteran ultimately had to settle for a one-year deal from the Chiefs worth $8MM.

Jets’ Kellen Davis Lands On IR

MONDAY, 5:30pm: Davis has passed through waivers and been placed on the injured reserve, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter).

SATURDAY, 3:31pm: Although he did not catch a pass for the Jets this season, Kellen Davis functioned as Gang Green’s starting tight end. He won’t be serving in that role going forward after the team waived him with an injury designation, Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets.

An elbow injury led to Davis being sent to waivers, where the 31-year-old tight end could be claimed or subsequently passed through to New York’s IR list.

The Jets promoted cornerback Dexter McDougle to their active roster from the practice squad, per Slater.

Davis started seven games for the Jets this season but functioned almost exclusively as a blocking tight end for a team that has seen scant production from this spot for the past two years. The former Bears starter saw just one pass thrown his way this season after catching just three passes last season, his first with the Jets. However, New York completed just eight passes to tight ends in 2015 and has connected on just four to its cogs at this spot this fall. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Bostick have two receptions apiece for the wide receiver-centric pass offense.

The Jets re-signed Davis in March to a one-year, veteran-minimum contract. The 6-foot-6 talent has never been known for a receiving prowess, topping out at 19 receptions for 229 yards for the 2012 Bears.

Despite being a Jets third-round pick in 2014, McDougle has not played this season. He saw action in 14 games in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Contract Details: L. Miller, D. Johnson, Woods

Here are several of the latest contract details from around the AFC on recently agreed-upon and signed deals. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

  • Lamar Miller, RB (Texans): Four years, $26MM. $14.5MM guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 16. $750K in annual per-game active roster bonuses in 2018 and 2019 (all Twitter links).
  • Derrick Johnson, ILB (Chiefs): Three years, $21MM. $9.75MM guaranteed. $5.25MM signing bonus. $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Al Woods, DT (Titans): Three years, $10.5MM. $5MM guaranteed. $2.25MM signing bonus. $250K in per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Prince Amukamara, CB (Jaguars): One year, $5.5MM. $3MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $500K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Rod Streater, WR (Chiefs): One year, $810K. $110K guaranteed. $10K signing bonus. $1MM in incentives based on touchdowns, catches, and yards (Twitter link).
  • Kellen Davis, TE (Jets): One year, minimum salary benefit. $230K guaranteed. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe).
  • Jamell Fleming, DB (Chiefs): One year, minimum salary benefit. $40K signing bonus. $40K first-game 53-man roster bonus (Twitter link).

Jets Re-Sign Kellen Davis, Kenbrell Thompkins

The Jets may not have a starting quarterback lined up for the 2016 season yet, but they’ve brought back a pair of pass catchers from their 2015 squad. Pro Football Talk reports (via Twitter) that tight end Kellen Davis has signed a new one-year deal with the Jets, while Rand Getlin of the NFL Network tweets that wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has signed his RFA tender.Kellen Davis

Davis, 30, caught just three balls in his first season with the Jets, but he started nine games for the team and played more offensive snaps than any other tight end on the roster. With Jace Amaro returning from a season-ending injury in 2016, Davis may see his role reduced, but I’d expect him to continue to get a decent amount of blocking work.

As for Thompkins, the 27-year-old received a promotion from the Jets’ practice squad last October and played a role for the club down the stretch. For the season, the former Patriot recorded a modest 165 yards through the air on 17 receptions, but the Jets liked him enough to assign him a contract tender worth $1.671MM, despite their relative lack of cap room.

With Jeremy Kerley having been released earlier this month, Thompkins may get an opportunity to compete for the slot receiver job on the Jets’ offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Sign Kellen Davis

WEDNESDAY, 10:57am: Davis has signed a one-year contract with the Jets, according to Getlin (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 10:08pm: The Jets have been among the most active teams thus far in free agency, and while they’ve focused primarily on defense thus far, it looks as though they’re about to add a player to their offense. According to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), the Jets are “closing in” on a deal with tight end Kellen Davis, and a contract should be finalized within the next few days.

We heard earlier this evening that New York likely wasn’t finished in free agency, and also learned that Davis was visiting the Jets, so it appears that a deal came together rather quickly. The 29-year-old Davis is a veteran of seven NFL seasons — he spent the first five years of his career with the Bears before joining the Seahawks and Lions for the ’13 and ’14 seasons, respectively. He appeared in only six games with Detroit last season, seeing action on just 148 snaps.

Davis was a starter during the latter part of his tenure with the Bears, and had an excellent season in 2011, accruing a +10.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). All of that positive grade was due to his prowess in run-blocking, so perhaps that’s the role the Jets have envisioned for him. Indeed, presumptive New York starting tight end Jeff Cumberland was among the league’s worst at the position last year, while second-year player Jace Amaro is probably best-suited as a pass-catcher.

Davis hasn’t had much NFL success lately, nor he has drawn any known free agent interest, so I’d expect him to sign for something close to the minimum.

AFC East Notes: J. Graham, Dolphins, Bills, Jets

Before the Dolphins signed Jordan Cameron to a two-year deal to replace the departed Charles Clay, Miami had a different target at tight end — former Saint, and current Seahawk, Jimmy Graham, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who says that the Fins came in second in the Graham sweepstakes. Clearly, Miami wanted to upgrade the TE position this offseason, but this news makes it fair to wonder if the Dolphins assumed all along they would lose Clay to free agency (even though they had designated him as their transition player).

Here’s more from the AFC East…

  • Bills general manager Doug Whaley made it clear to reporters, including Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, that he was displeased that his club didn’t make more additions along the offensive line during the offseason. Buffalo did sign guard Richie Incognito, but Carucci writes that the team also made a bid for Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga, and attempted to trade for Saints guard Jahri Evans.
  • Another AFC East club — the Jets — might not be done making moves, as GM Mike Maccagnan told reporters, including Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (via Twitter), that New York is still targeting players in free agency, and pointed to running back as a position that could use an upgrade (Twitter link).
  • One such free agent could be tight end Kellen Davis, who had a visit with the Jets today, tweets Rapoport. The 29-year-old Davis spent last season in Detroit, appearing in six games.
  • The Dolphins aren’t opposed to retaining free agent running back Knowshon Moreno, Miami GM Dennis Hickey tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). The 27-year-old Moreno tore his ACL last October, but Hickey says the RB’s rehab is “going great.”
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap examines the contract structure employed by the Bills to ensure that the Dolphins wouldn’t match their offer to Clay.

Lions Place Joseph Fauria On IR

11:30am: The Lions have officially placed Fauria on IR and signed Davis, reports Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter).

10:47am: It appears that tight end Joseph Fauria‘s ankle injury will force him out of action for the rest of the season, with the Lions preparing to place him on injured reserve, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Fauria himself hinted at that possibility, via Instagram, writing, It will only make my future success that much sweeter. Trust I’m going to come back the best I’ve ever been.”

Fauria, 24, aggravated a previous ankle injury during Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers, and the fact that the Lions agreed to re-sign tight end Kellen Davis yesterday suggested the prognosis wasn’t good for the sophomore. It looks as if moving Fauria to IR will accommodate the official signing of Davis.

Fauria had to compete for playing time and targets with fellow tight ends Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew this season, and caught just six balls for 74 yards and a touchdown in the handful of games in which he played. During his two NFL seasons, Fauria has displayed a knack for finding the end zone, scoring eight TDs on only 24 overall receptions.

The Lions have Fauria under contract through the 2015 season, so he figures to return to the club next year, hopefully with a clean bill of health.

Lions To Re-Sign Kellen Davis

The Lions will re-sign a player they cut two weeks ago, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, tweeting that the team plans to add tight end Kellen Davis back to its roster today. No corresponding move has been reported or announced yet.

Davis, who turned 29 in October, has grabbed 50 balls for 561 yards and 12 touchdowns during his six-year NFL career. However, he didn’t add to those totals during his stint with the Lions earlier this season — he was targeted just three times during his brief run with the team, and failed to record a single reception.

When the Lions last signed Davis, it was to add depth at a tight end position that had been decimated by injuries. This time around, Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew appear to be healthy, so it’s unlikely that Davis will see a whole lot of game action. However, his signing doesn’t bode well for the health of Joseph Fauria, who tweaked his troublesome ankle during Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

Lions Waive Kellen Davis, Promote Austin

A little over a month after signing with the team, tight end Kellen Davis has been waived by the Lions, tweets Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Offensive lineman Rodney Austin will take Davis’ spot on the 53-man roster, having been promoted from the practice squad, while linebacker Jerrell Harris joins the taxi squad.

Davis, who turned 29 last month, has grabbed 50 balls for 561 yards and 12 touchdowns during his six-year NFL career. However, he didn’t add to those totals with the Lions — he was targeted just three times during his brief stint with the team, and didn’t record a single reception.

The Lions signed Davis when the team had multiple tight ends ailing. With Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria, and Brandon Pettigrew all healthy and back in the lineup, the club had a more pressing need for depth on the offensive line, which led to Austin’s promotion.