Kenjon Barner

NFL Workout Updates: 9/8/17

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

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chargers Reach 53-Man Limit

The Chargers announced 37 player moves on Saturday, bringing them down to the 53-man limit. Here’s the full breakdown.

Released:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Reserve/Suspended:

Reserve/Injured:

Barner seemed to have a decent chance of cracking the roster as a pass-catching back, particularly after the loss of Danny Woodhead. On 27 carries last season, Barner averaged a career-best 4.8 yards per attempt.

Clemens, 33, was slated to return for a fourth season as Philip Rivers‘ backup. Instead, that job will go to Cardale Jones, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo earlier this offseason.

AFC Notes: Jets, Chargers, Ivory, Maclin

A video emerged on Twitter this weekend allegedly showing Jets linebacker Darron Lee in an apparent altercation with a woman at the Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island. The video shows a man shouting at a woman, and the Twitter user claimed the individual proceeded to “manhandle her’’ and “call her names.’’

Jets defensive end Leonard Williams can also be seen in the video physically restraining his teammate, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Williams’ Instagram account showed that quarterback Bryce Petty was also at the festival.

We are aware of the reports,” a Jets spokesman said (via Schwartz). “We are taking them seriously, and we are looking into the specifics of the situation. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Lee, a 2016 first-round pick, appeared in 13 games (nine starts) with the Jets last season, compiling 73 tackles and one sack.

Let’s take a look at other notes from around the AFC…

  • Danny Woodhead signed with the Ravens this offseason, so ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams took a look at current Chargers who could replace the departed running back’s production. The writer points to Branden Oliver and Kenjon Barner as players who could serve as the pass-catching back behind starter Melvin Gordon.
  • We learned yesterday that running back LeSean McCoy was recruiting former teammate Jeremy Maclin to join the Bills. Now it looks like quarterback Tyrod Taylor is also looking to touch base with the free agent receiver. “Today was the first day I seen Shady,” Taylor told Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “We texted about it, but [I] want to get Maclin’s number and try to reach out to him. Just to see what his thoughts, what is he thinking moving forward and try to get him here.”
  • After a season that saw him compile only 439 rushing yards, Jaguars running back Chris Ivory wants to prove that he’s still capable of starting in the NFL. Unfortunately, despite his experience, the veteran has fourth-overall pick Leonard Fournette breathing down his neck. While the odds seem to be against the 29-year-old, he’s still confident that his 2016 woes are a thing of the past. “One thing about it, people and everybody are going to have their opinions,’’ Ivory told John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. “Mainly, the people that know nothing about football. They don’t know the things we go through to get to this point. What we actually face before we come out for those games…Most of the stuff the people on the outside see are the mistakes and the bad things you do. It’s not always going to go the way you want. I think a lot of people that like to see guys get a 1,000 yards each year, but it just don’t work that way.’’

Chargers To Sign Kenjon Barner

The Eagles did not elect to tender an RFA contract to Kenjon Barner, allowing the running back to explore other options. He appears to have found one. The Chargers agreed to terms to add Barner, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal for Barner, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Barner will be entering his fifth NFL season but was just eligible for restricted free agency this year due to service-time issues, but the Eagles non-tendering the ball-carrier moved him to the UFA market a year early. He will join a Chargers backfield that was decimated by injuries in 2016 and one that just lost Danny Woodhead in free agency. Barner adds depth to a Bolts backfield stable housing Melvin Gordon, who has failed to finish each of his first two NFL seasons, and Kenneth Farrow.

The Eagles used Barner sparingly, with the likes of Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray blocking his path to playing time.

On 27 carries last season, Barner averaged a career-best 4.8 yards per carry. Philadelphia initially acquired Barner via trade from the Panthers, so the Chargers will be the former Oregon running back’s third NFL team. The soon-to-be 28-year-old running back gained 129 yards last season and scored two touchdowns. He has just 61 career carries.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Eagles Will Not Tender Kenjon Barner

The Eagles will not place an RFA tender on running back Kenjon Barner, tweets Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenjon Barner (vertical)

Barner, 28 next month, has spent the past two seasons with the Eagles, racking up more than 55 carries during that time. While he’s managed 4.6 yards per carry in that span, he was never able to garner a larger workload. A low tender offer would have cost nearly $2MM, so it’s possible Philadelphia will non-tender Barner now before re-signing him on a cheaper deal.

For now, the Eagles’ backfield is comprised of Ryan Mathews, Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, Byron Marshall, and Terrell Watson, though Mathews is thought to be a candidate for release.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Activate Lane Johnson

The Eagles announced that Lane Johnson has been formally activated for this week. To clear a spot, running back Kenjon Barner was placed on the injured reserve list. Lane Johnson

Johnson, of course, was hit with a 10-game suspension earlier this year and his appeal was unsuccessful. The tackle maintained that he was not given proper information from the NFL or NFLPA regarding banned substances and he took action against both. Ultimately, he would up serving a lengthy suspension as a repeat PED offender. He’ll be back in action for the final two games of the year, but these, unfortunately, are largely meaningless games for Philly. Next up for the Eagles is an opportunity to block the Giants from potentially taking the division.

Barner, meanwhile, is being shut down after suffering a hamstring injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign Nine To Reserve Contracts

The Eagles have agreed to terms with nine players from their practice squad on reserve/futures contracts, the team announced today. Here’s the list of players who are now locked up for the coming offseason, according to the club (Twitter links):

Of the 10 players on the Eagles’ practice squad, only linebacker Brandon Hepburn wasn’t among the players whose futures contracts were announced today.

For a refresher on how reserve/futures deals work, be sure to check out our glossary entry.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

We’ll round up the latest practice squad signings and cuts from around the league right here, with the most recent moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Seahawks continue to shuffle through the members of their practice squad, as Condotta reports (Twitter link) that the club has cut tight end Brett Brackett.
  • Safety Adrian Phillips has cleared waivers and rejoined the Chargers‘ practice squad, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter).
  • The Saints have filled their practice squad by signing running back Tauren Poole and officially confirming the addition of fullback Michael Zordich, tweets Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
  • According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Seahawks have signed safety Dion Bailey to their taxi squad, while Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets that the club dropped receiver Chris Matthews to make room for Bailey.

Earlier updates:

  • Wideout Jalen Saunders, who was drafted in the fourth round this year by the Jets and has also spent time with the Cardinals, has signed to the Seahawks‘ practice squad, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • The Bills have cut wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt from their taxi squad, replacing him with cornerback Rod Sweeting, the club confirmed in a press release. Sweeting was just released from the division-rival Dolphins’ practice squad a week ago.
  • After losing safety Jordan Kovacs to Miami, the Eagles have signed running back Kenjon Barner to fill the final spot on their practice squad, the team announced today (Twitter link). Philadelphia traded for Barner this summer, but cut him when reducing the active roster from 75 players to 53.
  • Cornerback Chance Casey has been added to the 49ers‘ practice squad, filling the 10th and final open spot, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).
  • Washington has released tackle Terren Jones from its practice squad, leaving three openings on the unit, the team announced today (Twitter link).

Workout Notes: Chargers, Eagles, Jags, Bucs

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has passed along a few updates on free agents working out for teams this week, so let’s round up the highlights….

  • Cornerback Roc Carmichael, who saw a decent amount of action last season for the Eagles, tried out for the Chargers (Twitter link). Carmichael was waived by Philadelphia during this summer’s cutdowns to 53-man rosters.
  • Speaking of those Eagles, they had running back Kenjon Barner in for a workout recently (Twitter link). The team traded for Barner in the summer and has now brought him in for multiple looks since cutting him with an injury settlement in August, so it’s clear the Eagles see something they like, even if they’re not ready to use a 53-man roster spot on the back at this point.
  • In addition to safety Matt Daniels, who the team signed to its practice squad, the Jaguars worked out linebacker Justin Jackson and safety Jeremy Deering (Twitter link). Jackson most recently spent time with the Vikings, while Deering was on the Raiders’ roster this summer.
  • Former Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Siddoway, who went undrafted in May, worked out for the Buccaneers (Twitter link).