L.J. Collier

West Notes: Hawks, Brown, Raiders, Bolts

Pete Carroll said the Seahawks indeed looked into Antonio Brown once the Raiders released him on Saturday, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Carroll said he and GM John Schneider always communicate on potential moves but added, “Not everything is always as it seems and you’ve got check into stuff and figure out what’s going on.” Carroll also gave the impression that a stronger Seahawks pursuit of the four-time All-Pro may not have mattered, indicating Brown was intent on signing with the Patriots. “He was headed to New England. He was going,” Carroll said. The Seahawks and Browns were the two other teams mentioned as interested in Brown.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • More than a year after pleading guilty to insider trading, Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks has still not been sentenced and will not be any time soon, according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. Kendricks’ sentencing, which has already been delayed for nine months, was delayed again and is now scheduled for November 21. Kendricks started for the Seahawks this past Sunday against the Bengals, tallying seven tackles (one for loss).
  • Jon Gruden scoffed when asked about Brown’s lawsuit, as Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Authentic relays (Twitter link). “I’m not aware of anything,” Gruden said. “If you want to ask about him you can call his employer.” The civil suit surfaced three days after Brown agreed to terms with the Patriots.
  • Adding to the Chargers’ injury woes, Anthony Lynn said today that he is concerned about the knee of wide receiver Mike Williams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter relays (Twitter link). Earlier today, it was reported that tight end Hunter Henry had suffered a tibia fracture to his left knee and would be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The Bolts are already without starting left tackle Russell Okung and All-Pro safety Derwin James. Williams dealt with injury trouble as a rookie but played in 16 games last season.
  • Seahawks first-round pick L.J. Collier returned to practice today for the first time since spraining his ankle early in camp. Carroll said the TCU defensive end product has a chance to make his debut Sunday against the Steelers, Henderson adds. The Seahawks stand to have their entire defensive line healthy soon, with Ziggy Ansah also on the verge of making his Seattle debut. Ansah was limited Wednesday.

West Notes: Chiefs, Hill, Reaser, Seahawks, Collier, Gruden, Peterman

Just a few months ago, it looked like Tyreek Hill‘s time with the Chiefs was coming to an end. Since then the situation has changed completely, and Hill didn’t even get suspended by the league. The team reportedly always felt like Hill was being honest with them, and they stood by their star receiver despite taking a lot of heat. Kansas City apparently never considered disciplining Hill on their own outside of the league’s investigation, according to Albert Breer of SI.com.

In Breer’s piece, he also notes that Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke recently on his first conversation with Hill since this saga started. “So I had a good visit with him earlier in this week. I’m not going to get into the details of that conversation, but it was a very frank conversation, talking to him about responsibility as he comes back to be a Kansas City Chief,” Hunt said. Now that Hill has been cleared by the league, he’s reportedly likely to get an extension soon.

Here’s more from the league’s western divisions:

  • Speaking of the Chiefs, it sounds like they may have gotten some tough injury news. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said it looks like cornerback Keith Reaser may have an Achilles tendon tear, according to Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Teams usually know right away but have to wait for MRI confirmation, so it’s almost certainly an Achilles tear for Reaser if Reid would say that publicly. Assuming that’s the case, he’ll miss the entire season. Reaser spent parts of the last two seasons with the Chiefs, and also played for the Orlando Apollos in the AAF. Kansas City’s already thin cornerback group just got a little less deep.
  • Speaking of injuries, it sounds like Seahawks first-round pick defensive end L.J. Collier is going to be on the shelf for a while. Collier, the 29th overall pick in April’s draft, is dealing with a high ankle sprain, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Collier almost certainly won’t be playing in the preseason, and it sounds like he’s in danger of missing regular season time. The Seahawks traded away their best pass-rusher in Frank Clark this offseason, and they’re counting on Collier to play a big role for them in 2019. If he’s sidelined for regular season action, it’ll be a huge blow to their already depleted pass-rush.
  • Raiders coach Jon Gruden caused quite the uproar online earlier today when he raved about quarterback Nathan Peterman. Speaking to the media at camp, Gruden said “this Nate Peterman is growing on me,” per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Twitter link). Gruden also said “I know he’s got some nightmare performances in the NFL, but when you watch the film, you can see why: It’s not all his fault.” Peterman, of course, has become somewhat of a punchline during his brief NFL career due to a couple of brutal performances. In his first career start as a rookie for the Bills in 2017, he threw five interceptions before being benched. He was equally as disastrous last year, tossing seven interceptions in just two starts and two relief appearances. After being cut by Buffalo, the Pittsburgh product latched on with Oakland. He’s battling with Mike Glennon for backup duties, and it sounds like he has a very real chance to hold Derek Carr‘s clipboard in 2019.

Seahawks Sign First-Rounder L.J. Collier

The Seahawks have signed first-round pick L.J. Collier, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The No. 29 overall selection will earn $10.8MM on the four-year pact with a $5.9MM signing bonus. 

Collier only spent one full season as a full-time starter at TCU, but he could be asked to take on a major role in the Seahawks’ defense as a rookie following the trade of Frank Clark to the Chiefs that brought the No. 29 pick to Seattle. The Seahawks also signed Ziggy Ansah to help on the edge, but his shoulder might prevent him from taking the field to start the season.

Collier profiles as a power rusher, though his 6’2″, 283-pound frame could put him at a disadvantage against larger tackles. His snap reaction time also needs some work, but the Seahawks believe they can get him up to speed between now and September.

With Collier under contract, the Seahawks have only two unsigned rookies left: second-round wide receiver D.K. Metcalf and third-round linebacker Cody Barton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Redskins, Bills, Jets, Eagles

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones will meet with the Redskins today and tomorrow, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Washington will also sit down with Northwestern signal-caller Clayton Thorson on Wednesday, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, adding that fellow quarterbacks Drew Lock (Missouri) and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) have already visited with the Redskins. Washington is looking at nearly all the top QB prospects, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the status of Alex Smith‘s knee injury. Smith isn’t expected to play in 2019, and while the Redskins have already acquired veteran Case Keenum, the club is searching for a long-term option to place under center.

Here’s more on the 2019 NFL draft:

  • The Bills are hosting Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown Wednesday, while Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen‘s meeting with Buffalo will occur on Thursday, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Although the Bills invested in pass-catching help during free agency, adding both John Brown and Cole Beasley on multi-year deals to a depth chart that already included Zay Jones and Robert Foster, the team is still in need of receivers. Brown (6’1″, 225) posted at least 75 receptions, 1,250 yards, and six touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. Allen, meanwhile, isn’t likely to be available for Buffalo at No. 9 overall, but the club could potentially trade up given that it owns the sixth-most draft capital.
  • Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams is meeting with the Jets, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Gang Green ranked dead last in Football Outsiders‘ run-blocking metric in 2018 (and 18th in pass-blocking), but so far the club has only addressed its offensive line by acquiring guard Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders. New York’s tackle situation has remained unchanged, with Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell projected to start on the left and right sides, respectively. Williams is expected to come off the board early in Round 1.
  • The Bengals met with Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite last week, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The pre-draft process has not been kind to Polite, who had been viewed as a potential first-round selection. Polite performed poorly during athletic testing, while his interviews with clubs were also widely panned. Additionally, Polite is battling currently battling through hamstring injuries. Cincinnati has edge depth with Carlos Dunlap, Carl Lawson, Sam Hubbard, and Kerry Wynn in tow, but Polite would give the team another option.
  • TCU defensive end L.J. Collier is meeting with the Lions, Eagles, and Seahawks, per Rapoport (Twitter link), who adds Collier is “quietly pushing” to become a first-round pick. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com currently ranks Collier as the No. 45 prospect, noting that while he isn’t an “elite bender,” Collier has the ability to play both inside and on the edge. In his senior season with TCU, Collier posted six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in 11 games.
  • Penn State running back Miles Sanders has been vaulting up draft boards (he currently ranks one spot behind Collier at No. 46 on Jeremiah’s list), and he has a busy schedule ahead of him. Sanders is scheduled to work out for/meet with the Bears, Eagles, Steelers, Ravens, Bills, Cowboys, Falcons, Titans, Bengals, Panthers, Buccaneers, and Colts. In 2018, Sanders’ only season as a starter, he posted 1,274 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 220 attempts.

Dolphins Eyeing Defensive Ends Via Draft?

The Dolphins have moved on from Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, and Andre Branch this offseason, so the team is predictably in the market for defensive ends. It sounds like the organization may try to fill those holes via the draft, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the Dolphins have scheduled workouts with a number of prospects.

Jackson writes that Dolphins defensive line coach Marion Hobby recently gave a private workout to Louisiana Tech lineman Jaylon Ferguson, who has been graded as a second-round pick. The Dolphins have also scheduled visits with TCU’s L.J. Collier and Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, a pair of players who are also expected to be selected in the second or third round. Miami is currently armed with one second-rounder and one third-rounder: the 48th-overall pick and 78th-overall pick, respectively.

It sounds like the Dolphins may even consider opting for a defensive end in the first round, where they’re currently holding the 13th pick. Jackson notes that the team has also shown interest in Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell, FSU’s Brian Burns, and Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat. If the Dolphins want Sweat, it might require a trade, as the lineman is currently projected to go in the top-10.

The Dolphins are currently only rostering four defensive ends with any NFL experience. That grouping includes Charles Harris, Tank CarradineJonathan Woodard, and Jeremiah Valoaga.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.