The 29-year-old Bryant brings a fair amount of experience to New York, having appeared in 56 games with the Steelers and Bills since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Northwestern in 2011. Fifty-five of Bryant’s appearances have come in Buffalo, where he started in 16 of 24 games from 2015-16. Bryant missed half of last season, an eight-game, six-start showing, and received poor marks from Pro Football Focus for his performance. The year before, though, he saw action in each of Buffalo’s contests, piled up a career-high 45 tackles across 10 starts, and drew a positive grade from PFF.
Now, Bryant will attempt to catch on with a Giants team that lost starting D-tackle Johnathan Hankins to the Colts in free agency. Big Blue still has standout nose tackle Damon Harrison, of course, and used a second-round pick on former Alabama D-tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Backups Jay Bromley and Robert Thomas are also on hand to offer some experience, but not as much as Bryant.
Holmes, who joined the Giants on a reserve/futures deal in January, has seen his career stall since the Colts cut him after the 2015 season. The 2013 fourth-rounder started in nine of 17 appearances as a Colt over three seasons.
January 18th, 2017 at 7:13pm CST by Dallas Robinson
Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:
LeRibeus, 26, was selected by Washington in the third round (71st overall) in the 2012 draft. The SMU product played in just 12 games, including one start, during his first three years in the NFL, but was thrust into action last season when starting center Kory Lichtensteiger missed a good chunk of the year due to a neck injury. Despite accruing that experience, LeRibeus was released at final cutdowns.
A fourth-round Colts pick in 2013, Holmes started seven games with Indianapolis last season. But the Colts cut Holmes in May after the first-round selection of Ryan Kelly. Holmes played in 17 games during his three-year stay with the team, starting nine. He signed on with the Bears during the summer, but didn’t make it through to Chicago’s 53-man roster.
September 2nd, 2016 at 4:33pm CST by Zachary Links
The Bears dropped a number of players today in their quest to get down to a 53-man roster. Here are the cuts that we know of so far. All links to go to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter), unless otherwise noted.
Mason suffered a knee sprain in last night’s preseason game. Daniels hooked on with the Bears in late July, making them his fifth NFL franchise since San Francisco picked him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. The former South Florida quarterback has spent time at both QB and receiver in the pros. In his eight appearances (six with Seattle, two with Houston) last year, he lined up at wideout and on special teams.
Injuries and retirements have changed the Bears’ outlook up front, and the team continued to address the situation by signing free agents Shelley Smith and Khaled Holmes, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter).
Chicago cut offensive linemen Donovan Williams and Dan Buchholz to make room for the veteran pair, per Campbell.
A fourth-round Colts pick in 2013, Holmes started seven games with Indianapolis last season. But the Colts cut Holmes in May after the first-round selection of Ryan Kelly. Holmes played in 17 games during his three-year stay with the team, starting nine.
The fourth-year blocker figures to compete with free agent signing Ted Larsen and former UDFA Cornelius Edison for a job with the Bears, whose center landscape changed after starter Hroniss Grasu‘s ACL tear last weekend.
Smith did not play in the NFL in 2015 despite signing for two years and $5.65MM with the Broncos last March. A former Rams and Dolphins cog who started 11 games from 2012-14, Smith did not make the Broncos out of training camp, being supplanted at left guard quickly. Denver eventually signed Evan Mathis, and Smith did not catch on elsewhere.
The former sixth-round pick is entering what would be his age-29 season and will attempt to stick with a Bears team that lost Manny Ramirez and Nate Chandler to retirement.
The most high-profile free agent signings occurred more than two months ago, but as we near June there are still talented NFL free agents available on the open market. Most of these players (with a few exceptions) won’t command much guaranteed money, and given that we’ve passed the May 12 deadline, none will factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. Let’s take a look at the players who will try to find a home as training camp approaches:
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: The most obvious destination for Fitzpatrick remains the Jets, who don’t intend to play second-round pick Christian Hackenberg immediately but, as of the draft, hadn’t had meaningful talks with Fitz’s camp in awhile. The 33-year-old Fitzpatrick has apparently told people he’d “rather not play football” in 2016 than accept New York’s current offer, though that seems like a negotiating ploy to get the Jets to put more than $7-8MM on the table. Gang Green holds all the leverage in this scenario, as the only other club that might have still been searching for a quarterback — the Broncos — is thought to have ended their hunt for another signal-caller after drafting Paxton Lynch last month.
2. Anquan Boldin, WR: Even as he ages, Boldin continues to post solid production — he’s managed at least 65 receptions in each of the past four years, averaging nearly 1,000 yards and five touchdowns during that time. And while the 49ers have not asked him to return in 2016, Boldin could be an option for a number of wide receiver-needy teams, as the Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, and Giants could all make varying levels of sense for the veteran pass-catcher, especially given that he’s indicated he’d prefer to play for a contender. Boldin has taken just one free agent visit this offseason, but that team — Washington — is unlikely to still have interest given that it selected TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft.
3. Arian Foster, RB: There’s no question that Foster offers the highest upside of any free agent on this list, as he’s topped 1,200 yards rushing in every season that he’s remained even remotely healthy. But health, of course, has remained a hindrance throughout Foster’s career — in 2015 alone, Foster was slowed by a groin injury during camp before suffering a torn Achilles in in Week 7. The Dolphins met with Foster earlier this offseason and could still be a landing spot, while the Raiders, Eagles, and Chargers (especially if Melvin Gordon‘s recovery from microfracture surgery doesn’t go well) could be options.
4. Jahri Evans, G: Knee and ankle injuries limited Evans to 11 games in 2015, but like Foster, Evans is a solid contributor when he’s on the field, as he graded as the league’s No. 27 guard among 81 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. Entering his age-33 season, Evans might have to be willing to engage in a camp battle for a starting role, or even wait until a club suffers an injury along its offensive interior. But a team like the Broncos, who are currently projected to start sixth-round rookie Connor McGovern at right guard, could express interest.
5. Louis Vasquez, G: Vasquez isn’t quite the guard that Evans is, but he offers a vast amount of experience, as he played over 1,000 snaps in 2015 with Denver, and has started 101 games since entering the league in 2009. Not yet 30 years old, Vasquez could help a number of clubs at either guard position — he met with the Titans earlier this offseason, and depending on its assessment of Jeremiah Poutasi, Tennessee may still be interested. The Chiefs, having failed to replace Jeff Allen, could also make sense as a destination.
6. Andre Johnson, WR: After posting the worst full-season results of his career, Johnson was released by the Colts just one season into a three-year pact. Whether interested clubs will determine that Johnson was victimized by a lackluster 2015 Indianapolis (and largely Andrew Luck-less) offense — or instead conclude that Johnson is just about finished at age-34 — is an open question, but the 13-year veteran has indicated that he’d like to continue playing in 2016.
7. Will Beatty, T: Beatty is expected to be fully healthy this summer after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle, but he reportedly won’t be returning to the Giants. It’s a little surprising that Beatty hasn’t yet found a home for 2016, but he shouldn’t have to wait much longer, as he’s clearly the best tackle available on the open market (his top competition is the likes of Jake Long and Mike Adams). I could see the Bears bringing in Beatty to compete with Charles Leno on the blindside, while the Cardinals could also be a feasible landing spot if they aren’t happy with D.J. Humphries — who didn’t play a single snap as a rookie — at right tackle.
8. James Jones, WR: Another season catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, another successful year for Jones, who returned to Green Bay after a year in Oakland to post 50 receptions for nearly 900 yards an eight touchdowns. Jones, now 32, has indicated that he’d like to play for awhile longer, though the Packers have reportedly moved on. After waiting until July of last year to sign with the Giants (and September to reunite with the Pack), Jones could again have to wait awhile to find a new team, but whoever signs him will be acquiring a big-play threat — in 2015, Jones ranked fourth in the league with 17.8 yards per reception.
9. Ryan Wendell, C/G: Perhaps the least recognizable name on this list, Wendell spent the last seven seasons as a utility interior lineman with the Patriots, and ended up starting 44 contests from 2012-2014. A knee injury prematurely ended Wendell’s 2015 season in November, and a March report stated that Wendell would wait until he returned to full health before signing with a new team. A return to New England can’t be ruled out, but a club like the Cardinals — who are currently projecting A.Q. Shipley to start at center — could also be on Wendell’s radar.
10. Owen Daniels, TE: Daniels has spent all ten of his NFL seasons under the tutelage of Gary Kubiak, following the coach from Houston to Baltimore and, finally, to Denver. That streak of loyalty is now in danger after the Broncos released Daniels earlier this year, though Kubiak did not rule out re-signing the veteran tight end (Denver has since signed fellow TE Garrett Graham, however). Even at age-33, Daniels performed in line with his career averages, posting 48 receptions for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns.
Holmes, 26, is the most notable player in the group, having been a fourth-round pick in 2013 out of USC. The interior lineman started nine games for the Colts since joining the team, including seven in 2015. However, he played primarily at center in Indianapolis, and the club’s decision to draft Ryan Kelly in the first round on Thursday made Holmes expendable.
The salary cap impact of today’s moves will be negligible for the Colts. All four players were on minimum salary contracts, and only Holmes had any dead money left on his deal. His release will clear his non-guaranteed $675K base salary from Indianapolis’ books, leaving about $105K in dead money on the cap.
“Teams are just afraid to say, ‘Let’s start again, because we literally do not have a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl with the quarterback that we have,’” one club president told Trotter. “They’d rather have an average to above-average quarterback than wait to get a great quarterback. I think it’s more than fair to say that the fear of the unknown is greater than the fear of the known.”
Let’s check in on a few more odds and ends from around the NFL….
Giants offensive lineman Eric Herman has been suspended for four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. The NFLPA released a statement on behalf of Herman explaining the positive test.
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that he considered a pitch from the Falcons this offseason before ultimately reaching an agreement with the Dolphins (Twitter link).
In the wake of the 49ers‘ first preseason contest, it doesn’t sound as if there has been any movement on contract talks with holdout guard Alex Boone, tweets Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.
As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details, former Colts running back Chris Rainey doesn’t seem to believe he should have been cut by Indianapolis for breaking team rules, and took to Twitter to vent last night. Rainey, a free agent, has since deleted the tweets.
The Colts’ offensive line is thinning out, with both Khaled Holmes and rookie Ulrick John suffering injuries this week. According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter), the team believes Holmes may have sprained his left ankle, which would sideline him for a few weeks. As for John, Stephen Holder of the Star reports (via Twitter) that his ankle might be broken. Meanwhile, Xavier Nixontweeted today that he’s set to undergo surgery, presumably on the knee that his been bothering him.
When asked if the Colts would add a center or safety before training camp, Mike Wells answers that the team is set at those positions. The writer believes Khaled Holmes will start at center and Delano Howell “is on track” to be the starting safety.
Looking at potential free agents additions for the Steelers, Brown says he would “be surprised” if the team doesn’t consider signing linebacker James Harrison. He adds that the team will “keep an eye” on Jermichael Finley but won’t have much interest in Ed Reed.
Ravenswriter Jamison Hensley expects the team to stick with their young core of cornerbacks. If the team sees a need at the position, Hensley says they won’t address it until final cuts.
February 22nd, 2014 at 12:20pm CST by Matt Feminis
“The Ted Wells report most likely saved the Dolphins a lot of money when it comes to Mike Pouncey,” says ESPN.com’s James Walker. Pouncey is a 24-year-old Pro Bowler, but his part in the bullying of Jonathan Martin “is reason enough to deny Pouncey a long-term extension,” according to Walker, who believes rewarding Pouncey would send a bad message.
The Chiefs will not have to release any players for cap purposes, believes ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher, who also says the team must retain two of the three starting offensive linemen scheduled to hit free agency: Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz. Says Teicher: “[The Chiefs] might be able to get Schwartz and Asamoah for what they could pay Albert. That’s what makes the most sense. But I know Schwartz wants to be a starter (and get paid like one). I don’t blame him. He won’t come back for a backup job or backup money unless he can’t get better somewhere else. That’s true for Asamoah, too. So the Chiefs may be forced to choose between Schwartz and Asamoah and look elsewhere for their backups.”
Colts center Samson Satele did not get a ringing endorsement from GM Ryan Grigson, says ESPN.com’s Mike Wells. Satele’s roster spot could be in jeopardy, as he struggled last season and counts $5.1MM against the 2014 salary cap. Additionally, Wells mentions some scouts think Mike McGlynn, a free agent-to-be, is a better option. The team also spent a fourth-round pick on Khaled Holmes, a developmental center out of USC.