Khiry Robinson

Extra Points: Bengals, Lewis, Eagles, Foles, Chiefs, AAF

The Bengals are counting on some new coaching roles making a major difference this season. Marvin Lewis survived another year on the hot seat but knew he would need to rearrange his staff after another disappointing season. Teryl Austin will succeed now-Raiders DC Paul Guenther in running Cincinnati’s defense, and Lewis made Bill Lazor the full-time OC. The team jettisoned longtime offensive line coach Paul Alexander as well, with other new staffers coming in to help a team that’s fallen in the AFC hierarchy the past two years.

I made up my mind I wanted to coach,” Lewis said, via Jonathan Jones of SI.com. “So, do I want to go start over somewhere where I don’t know the people or coach these group of guys downstairs that no one else has? That’s an easy decision. You look at what’s open and these are the best players. And that’s what you want.

I knew we were going to have a lot of change on the coaching staff. I knew I had to make changes and those are the things that (owner) Mike (Brown) and I had to discuss. I had to make changes on people that had been with me for a long time and had been friends, and it’s difficult.”

Lewis added that he didn’t want to make wholesale roster changes, pointing out the number of Pro Bowlers still on the team, but the Bengals aren’t receiving much attention as a contender this season. They’re hoping these staff moves can re-route them back to the AFC playoffs.

Here’s the latest from the football landscape:

  • The Eagles received a scare Thursday night when Super Bowl MVP and temporary starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with a shoulder injury. The shoulder sprain Foles suffered is believed to be a minor malady and not one that will require a significant rehab effort, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. It’s looking like it will come down to the wire on whom the defending Super Bowl champions will start at quarterback on opening night, with Carson Wentz unlikely to play in the preseason. The Eagles not having Foles would throw a major wrench in their plans, despite third-stringer Nate Sudfeld having a nice offseason.
  • Steven Nelson will be a full-time outside cornerback this season, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star notes. This change emerged in the offseason, one that featured breakout slot man Kendall Fuller’s arrival, but the Chiefs are evidently committed to trying Nelson – their most frequent slot corner over the past two seasons – as an outside man. The 2015 third-round pick is entering a contract year. While Kansas City has looked at other corners this month – Bashaud Breeland and Orlando Scandrick – the trio of Fuller, Nelson and David Amerson remains atop the depth chart. Nelson did leave the Chiefs’ game Friday night with a head injury, however.
  • Former Jets second-round pick Stephen Hill and ex-Titans backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger are two of the notable new names signed on to play for the Alliance of American Football. The AAF announced 100 more players will join. Ex-Rams running back Daryl Richardson, former Saints and Jets ball carrier Khiry Robinson, linebacker Deontae Skinner and running back Storm Johnson are among the new contingent. Former Giants and Ravens safety Will Hill and veteran kicker Nick Novak, who was with the Chargers last season, were among the first wave to sign.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/30/17

Here are the latest workout and visit updates, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer unless otherwise noted.

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Saints Work Out Khiry Robinson

Days after shaking up their running back depth chart, the Saints are looking into some reinforcements. New Orleans worked out old friend Khiry Robinson on Monday, according to Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter). Khiry Robinson

The bulk of Robinson’s NFL experience has been with the Saints and he enjoyed best season with New Orleans in 2014. In that year, he had 362 rushing yards and three touchdowns off of 76 carries plus eight receptions for 63 yards.

Robinson hooked on with the Jets in 2016, but it proved to be a jinxed season. First, the running back broke his leg during the Jets’ preseason finale. Then, he returned to the field in December only to injure his leg yet again in his first game back.

If Robinson is healthy, coach Sean Payton & Co. may look to sign him as a backup to top runners Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Currently, UDFA Trey Edmunds is serving as the team’s No. 3 RB.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Audition RB Khiry Robinson

The Jets are bringing running back Khiry Robinson back on a tryout basis, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Robinson signed with the Jets before the 2016 season but a pair of unfortunate injuries limited him to just one game in green. "<strong

Robinson broke his leg during the Jets’ preseason finale last year. He managed to return to the field in December only to injure his leg yet again and was subsequently placed on the injured reserve. In his one game with the Jets, the running back totaled 22 yards on eight carries.

Robinson’s best season came in 2014 with the Saints when he had 362 rushing yards and three touchdowns off of 76 carries. He also added another eight receptions for 63 yards in that campaign.

The Jets’ current RB depth chart features Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Brandon Wilds, Brandon Burks, Romar Morris, and sixth-round running back Elijah McGuire.

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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Jets Release RB Khiry Robinson

The Jets have cut running back Khiry Robinson, reports ESPN’s Rich Cimini (via Twitter). The 27-year-old ultimately played in only one game for New York.

The veteran joined the Jets last offseason after spending three seasons with the Saints. However, Robinson broke his leg during the team’s preseason finale. He managed to return to the field in December, but the running back re-injured his leg and was subsequently placed on the injured reserve. In his one game with the Jets, the running back compiled 22 yards on eight carries.

The 2014 season was Robinson’s best in the NFL. The running back collected 362 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 76 carries, and he added another eight receptions for 63 yards.

Following this transaction, the Jets will now have five running backs on their roster: Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Brandon Wilds, Brandon Burks, and Romar Morris.

Jets Sign RB Khiry Robinson

The Jets announced that they have signed running back Khiry Robinson. The team also promoted running back Brandon Wilds off of the practice squad and added defensive lineman Claude Pelon to the p-squad. Khiry Robinson

Robinson was with the Jets in camp and was expected to be a change of pace back behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. However, he was waived/injured towards the end of the summer. He’s now healthy and it sounds like the Jets are looking to evaluate him over the last month of the season to see what he can bring to the table for 2017.

The Jets shook things up at running back this week when they dropped veteran C.J. Spiller. Spiller, who gone through three teams in 2016, was largely ineffective. If Robinson can show some what he demonstrated while with New Orleans, the Jets may find a spot for him for next season.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Pats, Jets, Robinson

The Dolphins were never mentioned as a suitor for cornerback Sean Smith during the free agent period, but Smith’s agent met with Miami general manager Mike Tannenbaum in the spring and pitched his client to the club, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Fins, who originally drafted Smith in 2009, weren’t interested in reuniting with the veteran defensive back, who ultimately signed with the Raiders for nearly $10MM annually. Passing on Smith was a mistake, opines Salguero, who adds that Miami is still looking for a press cornerback opposite Byron Maxwell, where the leading contenders for playing time are Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, and recent signee Rashaan Melvin. Another defensive back could be on the way, as the Dolphins worked out former Bear Al Louis-Jean today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Let’s take a look at more from the AFC East:

  • Given that they’ll enter next offeason with more than $60MM in cap space, there’s no reason the Patriots can’t reach extensions with a decent number of their defensive free agents, explains Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the high-profile names, and New England could use the franchise tag to retain at least one of that duo. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard is also heading for free agency, while Malcolm Butler will be a restricted free agent. Further down the list, defensive backs Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan and defensive linemen Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, and Terrance Knighton will all see their contracts expire.
  • Now that the Jets have re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, the conventional wisdom states that the club won’t carry Fitz, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg on the 53-man roster, but head coach Todd Bowles downplayed that notion, telling Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk it’s “conceivable” that New York brings all four signal-callers to Week 1. However, as Florio notes, Bowles’ stance could merely be posturing in the hopes that another team will offer to trade for one of Gang Green’s reserve quarterbacks.
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson doesn’t appear to have meddled in contract negotiations with Fitzpatrick, as Darryl Slater of NJ.com writes. “…Woody is knowledgeable of what’s going on,” said general manager Mike Maccagnan. “From a negotiation standpoint and all that stuff, we communicate with him because he owns the team and he runs the team, but he lets us do our jobs and hopefully do it well.” 
  • Running back Khiry Robinson isn’t close to appearing in Jets camp as he recovers from a broken leg, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Robinson, 26, fractured his leg in November and was subsequently non-tendered by the Saints in the spring. He agreed to a one-year deal with New York that includes $80K guaranteed and $370K in per-game roster bonuses, so Robinson will be missing out on a decent chunk of money every time he misses a regular season contest.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Contract Details: Kearse, Whitehead, Hali

Here are a few of the latest contract details for players who have agreed to new deals and/or signed them in recent days. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

NFC:

  • Jermaine Kearse, WR (Seahawks): Three years, $13.5MM. $6.3MM guaranteed. $5.5MM signing bonus. Up to $4.7MM in total incentives/escalators (Twitter links via Wilson and Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Tahir Whitehead, LB (Lions): Two years, $8MM. $4.75MM guaranteed. $3MM signing bonus. $500K in annual playing-time/Pro Bowl incentives. $200K in per-game active roster bonuses in 2017 (Twitter links).
  • Sherrick McManis, CB (Bears): Two years, $2.85MM. $600K signing bonus. $150K roster bonus due 10th day of 2016 league year. $50K annual workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Senio Kelemete, OL (Saints): Two years, $2.7MM. $300K signing bonus. $50K roster bonus due third day of 2017 league year. Up to $600K in annual incentives (Twitter links).
  • Kenrick Ellis, DT (Vikings): One year, $810K. $25K workout bonus. $25K bonus for one game on 53-man roster (Twitter link via Pelissero).

AFC:

  • Tamba Hali, OLB (Chiefs): Three years, $21MM. $11.5MM fully guaranteed. $4.75MM signing bonus. $500K annually in weight bonuses (five weigh-ins worth $100K each). $500K annually in per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson and Pelissero).
  • Robert Golden, S (Steelers): Three years, $4.95MM. $1.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Eddie Pleasant, S (Texans): Two years, $2.15MM. $311K roster bonus in 2016. $36K roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Shane Lechler, P (Texans): One year, $1.8MM. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Khiry Robinson, RB (Jets): One year, $1.175MM. $80K signing bonus. $20K roster bonus for first game. $350K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Nick Novak, K (Texans): One year, $965K. Minimum salary benefit. $80K roster bonus due March 14 (Twitter link).

Jets To Sign Khiry Robinson

7:10pm: Robinson gets a one-year, $1.175MM deal with $80K in guaranteed money, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link).

11:52am: Having entered the offeason with their top three running backs eligible for free agency, the Jets didn’t waste much time in replenishing their backfield. Having already struck deals with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, New York has now agreed to sign former Saints running back Khiry Robinson, reports Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link).Khiry Robinson

[RELATED: Jets to re-sign Bilal Powell]

Robinson, 26, saw his 2015 campaign come to an early end when he suffered a broken leg in November, but he has been a steady contributor in New Orleans’ backfield since 2013, averaging 4.1 yards per carry on 186 total attempts. Nonetheless, the Saints opted not to tender him a contract prior to the new league year getting underway, making him an unrestricted free agent rather than an RFA.

For the Jets, Chris Ivory has signed with the Jaguars and Stevan Ridley may not be back, but the team has replaced them with Forte and Robinson, re-signing Powell. All three backs are capable of catching the ball out of the backfield in addition to carrying it, giving the team plenty of versatility in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.