L.J. McCray

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/17

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

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/17

Monday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Promoted from practice squad: DT Tyrique Jarrett

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Geremy Davis
  • Waived: CB Jeff Richards

Minnesota Vikings

  • Released with injury settlement: QB Taylor Heinicke

New Orleans Saints

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Adam Bighill

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Panthers Reduce Roster To 53

The Panthers trimmed their roster to 77 players yesterday, and it appears that they’ve reached the 53-man limit today (via Max Henson of Panthers.com):

Waived:

Released outright (vested veterans who are not subject to waivers):

Placed on IR:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/5/17

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • WR Anthony Dable

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • S Elijah Shumate

New York Jets

  • LS Zach Triner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • G Jarvis Harrison
  • WR Derel Walker

Washington Redskins

AFC Notes: Titans, Bills, Raiders, Texans, Fins

The Titans made wide receiver Kendall Wright a healthy scratch for their season finale last Sunday, and now the impending free agent is ready to leave Tennessee. “I saw the 2017 Tennessee Titans, and I am not a part of the 2017 Tennessee Titans,” Wright told TitansOnline.com on Monday (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com). “It is what it is. I respect everybody in the building.” A first-round pick in 2012, Wright began his career with three straight seasons of at least 57 catches and 93 targets, but the Titans tamped down their reliance on him the past two years. In 21 games dating back to 2015, Wright has combined for just 65 receptions and 102 targets. Now, with a trip to the open market looming, Wright feels “free.”

While Wright looks like a lock to exit the organization, two of his coaches – Bob Bratkowski (receivers) and Jason Tucker (assistant WRs) – definitely won’t be back in 2017. The Titans parted ways with the duo Wednesday, tweets Jim Wyatt of the team’s website.

More from the AFC:

  • The Bills will interview their interim head coach, Anthony Lynn, on Thursday, according to John Wawrow of the Associated Press (Twitter link). There was a report Tuesday that Lynn might not want to take over on a permanent basis in Buffalo, though he’s at least keeping that option on the table. The 48-year-old is a popular candidate around the NFL, as PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker shows.
  • Raiders safety Karl Joseph says he’ll play in Saturday’s wild-card matchup in Houston, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. The rookie missed the last four games of the regular season, and his return is big for Oakland with Nate Allen in the concussion protocol.
  • Unlike Joseph, Texans quarterback Tom Savage won’t be available this weekend, relays Palmer (Twitter link). Savage suffered a concussion last Sunday, thereby reopening the door for Brock Osweiler to start, but there was hope that Savage would be OK to serve as a backup. That won’t be the case, though, and the Texans will have to turn to Brandon Weeden as their No. 2 option.
  • The Dolphins worked out linebacker Ron Thompson, defensive end Arthur Miley and four defensive backs – L.J. McCray, Floyd Raven, Trent Matthews and Daniel Davie – according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Miami’s need for DBs is obvious, as its secondary is extremely banged up with the team’s weekend wild-card game in Pittsburgh approaching. Cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Bacarri Rambo didn’t practice Wednesday, while safeties Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus are on the shelf thanks to season-ending injuries.
  • In addition to the previously reported Elijah Shumate and Jeff Richards, the Chiefs auditioned receiver Tre Houston, kicker Devon Bell, defensive tackle Montori Hughes, linebacker Deon Lacey, defensive end Terrell Lathan, tight end Ryan Malleck, running back Will Ratelle and defensive back Julian Wilson last Friday, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. All are candidates to sign reserve/futures deal with the Chiefs, writes Paylor, who notes that now-starting running back Spencer Ware joined the team on that type of contract in January 2015.
Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Bills, Browns, Jags, Bengals, Colts

Rex Ryan was a beloved players’ coach with the Jets from 2009-14, but it doesn’t seem that was fully the case during his nearly two-year run in Buffalo. Reacting to the Bills’ Tuesday decision to fire Ryan, one defensive player informed Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne, “That was music to my ears.” Similarly, some other Bills never bought into Ryan and felt he tore down the elite defense he inherited in 2015, according to Dunne (Twitter links). On the other side of the ball, wide receiver Sammy Watkins told the team’s official website that a “culture change” will be in order with Ryan’s successor. “Change the culture, change the mindset and get players on board,” he said. “If they’re not listening, cut them, kick them out, whatever. Sit them on the bench. I think that will help us move forward.”

More from the AFC:

  • Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown and vice president Andrew Berry were in attendance at Wednesday’s Houston Bowl to scout Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This isn’t the first connection between Cleveland and Garrett, who could go No. 1 overall in next spring’s draft. The 1-14 Browns will lock up that selection with a loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
  • Impending free agent cornerback Prince Amukamara would like to re-sign with the Jaguars on a multiyear deal, but he admitted Thursday that the team has bigger issues on its plate at the moment. “Right now the front office priority is probably finding a head coach and stuff like that, but I would hope to be a priority to them [after the hire],” he told Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com. Amukamara, who inked a one-year deal with the Jags last March, has appeared in 13 games and made 11 starts – his highest totals in those categories since 2012. Despite being in danger of posting his first interception-less season, the 27-year-old ranks a respectable 51st among 119 corners at Pro Football Focus. “I think it was huge to just be able to show that I am durable and I can play this game if I’m healthy,” added the former Giant.
  • Like Amukamara, Bengals corner Dre Kirkpatrick doesn’t want to leave his current setting. “I love this organization,” the soon-to-be free agent told Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. Kirkpatrick, a 2012 first-round pick who’s currently in his fifth-year option season, is second among Bengals corners in snaps (906). He has also picked off exactly three passes for the third time in his career and is set for his second straight year with at least 14 starts. PFF isn’t overly bullish, however, as it ranks Kirkpatrick as this season’s 74th-best corner.
  • The Colts worked out linebacker Dezman Moses and safety L.J. McCray on Thursday, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter links). Moses is easily the more experienced of the pair, having appeared in 46 games to McCray’s 22, and has been available since the Chiefs cut him Oct. 7. McCray hasn’t caught on anywhere since the 49ers waived him Sept. 5.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Workout Updates: Seahawks, Patriots, Ravens

The Seahawks, with a below-average rushing attack and Thomas Rawls nursing a shoulder injury, worked out five free agent running backs Tuesday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Stevan Ridley, Jonas Gray, Dan Herron, LaMichael James and Dominique Williams all auditioned for the club. The most established member of the group is Ridley, who has been available since Atlanta released him Nov. 23. The 27-year-old has just one appearance and three carries to his name this season and has seen his playing time sharply decline since a 1,263-yard campaign with New England in 2012. Gray, also an ex-Pat, has made little impact since averaging 4.6 yards per attempt on 89 carries in 2014, his rookie year. He hasn’t found an employer since the Jaguars waived him Aug. 17.

Along with those rushers, defensive back L.J. McCray visited the Seahawks, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. The Seahawks agreed to acquire McCray from the 49ers back in early September, but the deal fell through after he failed his physical. San Francisco then cut McCray, who hasn’t landed anywhere since.

More workouts from Tuesday:

  • The Patriots auditioned linebacker Arthur Brown, according to Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). Both the Jaguars and Jets have cut Brown this month. He entered the league in 2013 as Baltimore’s second-round pick.
  • Cornerbacks Tharold Simon and Steve Williams tried out for the Ravens, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Simon made nine appearances earlier this season with the Cardinals, who cut him last week. He’s better known for his 11-appearance, five-start tenure with Seattle from 2014-15. Williams, meanwhile, moved on and off the Rams’ roster multiple times this year. He has totaled six appearances this season (five with San Diego) after playing in 14 games with the Chargers and intercepting two passes last year.
  • The Falcons worked out three tight ends – Orson Charles, Darion Griswold and Joel Ruiz – and defensive end Martin Ifedi, reports Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com (Twitter link). Griswold and Ifedi ended up signing with their practice squad.
  • The Dolphins also took a look at the aforementioned Tharold Simon, who joined fellow corner Demetrius McCray and two tight ends – Gabe Hughes and Chris Pantaletweets Caplan.
  • Tight end Rob Housler showcased himself to the Colts, relays Caplan (Twitter link). The five-year veteran has 109 catches, nearly all of which (105) came with Arizona from 2011-14.
  • The Eagles auditioned wide receiver Greg Ellingson, cornerback Tay Glover-Wright and Canadian Football League punter Richie Leone, according to Caplan (Twitter links).
  • Defensive ends Rufus Johnson and Rakim Cox worked out for the Lions (Twitter links via Caplan and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Linebackers Deon Lacey and Glenn Love tried out for the Cardinals, per Balzer (Twitter link).

49ers Claim Taylor Hart From Eagles, Waive L.J. McCray

The 49ers have claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from the Eagles, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area (Twitter link). Additionally, San Francisco has waived safety L.J. McCray.

Taylor Hart

Hart joins Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner as the third 49ers defensive lineman who attended Oregon, where new head coach Chip Kelly was at the helm from 2009-12. Hart played under Kelly during the latter’s final three seasons with the Ducks and then reunited with Kelly in Philadelphia. The Eagles chose Hart in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, but he didn’t debut until last season. In 14 games (one start), Hart tallied 27 tackles.

San Francisco had a deal in place over the weekend to send McCray to the NFC West rival Seahawks for a late-round pick in 2018, but it fell through after he failed a physical. As a result, the 49ers won’t get anything for McCray, an undrafted free agent in 2014 who appeared in 22 games with the club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Acquire Rod Streater, Trim Roster To 53

12:25pm: Maiocco tweets that McCray is likely to be placed on waivers following the failed trade.

MONDAY, 9:40am: McCray reportedly failed his physical, and NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo indicates (via Twitter) that the deal is off. The safety was originally traded to the Seahawks for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2018.

The safety is set to go back to the 49ers for the time being. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (via Twitter) that McCray is recovering from a torn ACL and is likely to be released.

SUNDAY, 5:30pm: The wideout announced that he’s officially been dealt to the 49ers, while CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco tweets that Streater presumably passed his physical.

SATURDAY, 4:14pm: The 49ers announced they they’ve acquired wide receiver Rod Streater from the Chiefs. Streater had spent his career in Oakland before signing with Kansas City, and now he’ll head back to the Bay Area with a chance to make an impact in a depleted WR corps.

San Francisco also announced that they’ve traded safety L.J. McCray to the Seahawks. The compensation involved in both deals has not been announced.

Cut:

Lemonier was the 49ers’ third-round pick in 2013, but he never made much of an impact in San Francisco. In 42 games (two starts), Lemonier picked up 37 tackles and a sack.