Larry Pinkard

Jaguars Activate WR Dede Westbrook

Wide receiver Dede Westbrook is finally set to make his NFL debut. The Jaguars activated the rookie wideout from the reserve/injured list this morning, the team announced. The organization also activated defensive back Calvin Pryor from the reserve/injured list and promoted receiver Larry Pinkard from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team placed wideout Arrelious Benn on the injured reserve and waived defensive tackle Sheldon Day and receive Jaelen Strong.

Dede Westbrook (vertical)We learned in late October that the Jaguars had designated Westbrook for return. The fourth-rounder was initially placed on the injured reserve with a core injury prior to the start of the regular season. A former Oklahoma standout, Westbrook collected 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, making him a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Considering the fact that Allen Robinson was already out for the season and the team let go of two wideouts today, Westbrook could easily slide behind Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns on the depth chart.

Pryor was claimed off waivers from the Browns in September, although he was placed on the injured reserve shortly thereafter. As our own Dallas Robinson noted, Pryor will be stuck in a reserve role behind Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, who both rank among the NFL’s top defensive backs, according to Pro Football Focus. Of course, the 25-year-old still has plenty in the tank, as he finished the 2016 campaign with 62 tackles and six passes defended in 15 games for the Jets.

Benn, a 2010 second-round pick, has been stuck towards the bottom of the depth chart during his two-year tenure in Jacksonville. After having hauled in 55 receptions during his first two seasons in the league, Benn only has six receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown in two seasons with the Jaguars (24 games). The 29-year-old was productive on special teams, however, compiling eight tackles over the past two years. Strong, a 2015 third-round pick, joined the Jaguars in mid-September after being waived by the Texans. He ultimately didn’t see the field for the Jaguars. Pinkard, a former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, has yet to get in an NFL game. Day, a 2016 fourth-round pick, was buried on the depth chart for the Jaguars, as the 23-year-old had only compiled three tackles and one sack in six games this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: CB Greg Mabin

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Brian Brown
  • Released: S Jameill Showers

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Storm Norton
  • Cut: DE Pat O’Connor

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: G Darrell Greene

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: CB Ryan Lewis

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Jaguars Trim Roster To 75

The Jaguars have cut their roster from 90 players to 75, according to John Oehser of the team’s website:

Waived:

  • TE Caleb Bluitt
  • OL Malcolm Bunche
  • LB P.J. Davis
  • CB Charles James
  • DT Tueni Lupeamanu
  • WR Larry Pinkard
  • OL Demetrius Rhaney
  • WR Jamal Robinson
  • CB Dwayne Thomas
  • FB Marquez Williams (waived/injured)

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

Placed on IR:

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/17

The latest minor moves…

  • Raiders defensive end Denico Autry has signed his RFA tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). The Raiders gave the 2014 undrafted free agent an original-round tender, leading to speculation that he could draw interest from elsewhere. Instead, Autry will return to the Raiders on the heels of back-to-back three-sack seasons. ERFAs Seth Roberts (WR) and Denver Kirkland (G) are also back in the fold, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter).
  • The Seahawks have re-signed linebacker Kache Palacio, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Palacio, a former fullback who went undrafted out of Washington State last year, spent most of 2016 on Seattle’s practice squad.
  • Lions ERFAs Brandon Copeland (DE), Kerry Hyder (DT) and T.J. Jones (WR) have signed their tenders, tweets Birkett. Dolphins ERFAs Mike Hull (LB) and Anthony Steen (C) did the same earlier Monday, per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Panthers have re-upped restricted free agent guard Andrew Norwell and a pair of exclusive rights free agents – center Tyler Larsen and punter Michael Palardy – writes Bryan Strickland of their website. Carolina used a second-round tender on Norwell, who will earn $2.746MM in 2017. Norwell combined for 29 starts over the previous two seasons and ranked 11th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 72 qualified guards last year.
  • Steelers RFA cornerback Ross Cockrell has inked his original-round tender, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Cockrell went in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, so the Steelers would have been entitled to a fourth-rounder had Cockrell signed elsewhere and they elected against matching the offer. The 25-year-old caught on with the Steelers in 2015 and has since totaled 31 appearances, 23 starts and two interceptions. Cockrell started in every Steelers game last year, and his performance ranked an improve 28th among 111 qualified corners at PFF.
  • Chiefs RFA kicker Cairo Santos has signed his tender, per Schefter (on Twitter). Santos, undrafted in 2014, received a low tender; as such, Kansas City wouldn’t have been entitled to compensation had he gone elsewhere. The three-year veteran has connected on 84.3 percent of field goal attempts, including 88.6 percent last season (good for fifth in the league).
  • Lions offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas has signed his RFA tender, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions assigned Lucas an original-rounder tender last month, so they wouldn’t have gotten a pick had the 2014 undrafted free agent signed elsewhere and they chose not to match. Lucas is now slated to make $1.797MM this year in Detroit, where he has started in six of 35 career appearances.
  • The Buccaneers have re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin, cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, tight end Cameron Brate, linebacker Adarius Glanton, and wide receivers Adam Humphries and Freddie Martino, per Scott Smith of the team’s website. As a restricted free agent, Griffin is the only one of the bunch who could have potentially gone elsewhere (the rest were exclusive rights free agents). The Bucs tendered the 2013 undrafted free agent at an original-round level last month, and he’ll now try to win the No. 2 role behind Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay’s previous second-stringer, Mike Glennon, is now the Bears’ starter.
  • RFA defensive back Marcus Burley and ERFA running back George Atkinson III are returning to the Browns, per a team announcement. Burley, undrafted in 2013, received an original-round tender. The former Seahawk is coming off his first year in Cleveland, where he appeared in 12 games and played just under 40 percent of the Browns’ special teams snaps.
  • Fullback Tommy Bohanon and receiver Larry Pinkard have signed with the Jaguars, tweets the team’s account. Bohanon is the only with NFL experience, having logged 36 appearances and 14 starts as a Jet from 2013-15.
  • Speaking of the Jets, they have re-signed linebacker Julian Stanford (via Randy Lange of the team’s site). The Jets could Stanford on Friday, but both sides knew that was only a procedural move. Last season was the first as a Jet for the 26-year-old Stanford, who appeared in nine games (two starts) and played about a quarter of their defensive snaps and a third of their special teams snaps.

NFC North Notes: Vikings, Loadholt, Lions

Earlier this week, Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt announced his retirement from football. While Loadholt cited his health as the driving factor in his decision, Mike Florio of PFT wonders if the veteran’s recent pay cut was an even greater motivation to walk away from the sport. This spring, the Vikings pushed Loadholt to amend his ~$5.5MM base salary to a $2MM base for 2016 with up to $3.5MM in incentives. Ultimately, Loadholt may have opted for early retirement rather than playing for a reduced salary this season.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Or, maybe Loadholt did retire because of injuries. The lineman had a setback two weeks ago while working out in Houston, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter) hears. The leg issue, which was unrelated to his troublesome Achilles tendon, would have sidelined him during training camp.
  • Former Miami wide receiver Tyler Davis and former Green Bay wide receiver Larry Pinkard both worked out for the Lions earlier this week, along with quarterback Jimmy Clausen, ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein tweets. However, after the Lions added Anquan Boldin on Wednesday, it’s not clear if there is still a spot available for Pinkard or Davis.
  • Yesterday, we discussed the Vikings’ offseason with reporter Darren Wolfson.

Workout Notes: 12/16/15

It’s been a busy last couple of days around the NFL, with teams still looking to fill up their squads for the rest of the season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted a whole bunch of workout notes this afternoon, which we’ve compiled for you below…

Arizona Cardinals

  • CB Mitchell White (link)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Read more

Workout Notes: Steelers, Bucs, Colts, Browns

British rugby player Tom Burgess has continued his wave of tryouts for NFL clubs, per Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link), who reports that Burgess worked out for the Steelers today. Burgess, who’s also auditioned for the Giants, Jets, and Bills, could be line for a futures contract at the end of the season, following in the footsteps of fellow international star Jarryd Hayne.

Here’s at look at the rest of today’s workouts as clubs seek to get a feel for available free agents and update their emergency lists:

  • The Buccaneers worked out several players today, including linebacker Willie Jefferson, cornerback Garry Peters, defensive end Nordly Capi, and cornerback De’Vante Bausby, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Peters, a Clemson alum, was a favorite UDFA of several draftniks this spring.
  • Running back Daniel Thomas is searching for new opportunity after being released by the Bears earlier in the year, and he earned a tryout with the Colts today, per Wilson (on Twitter). Thomas, whose most notable time came with the Dolphins, could be an option for Indianapolis, who is looking to replace the injured Ahmad Bradshaw.
  • The Browns brought in three players for an audition, says Wilson (via Twitter), who reports that receivers R.J. Harris and Marcus Lucas, plus safety Phillip Thomas, worked out for Cleveland. A fourth player involved in the tryout — defensive back Tim Scott — was signed to the club’s practice squad yesterday.
  • A large group of receivers worked out for the Seahawks, including Rashaad Carter, Desmond Lawrence, Jordan Leslie, Colin Lockett, and Larry Pinkard, in addition to quarterback Dustin Vaughan, per Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Bears visited with receiver Kyle Prater, who was a Saints UDFA out of Northwestern earlier this year, according to Wilson (Twitter link). Prater, 23, was named the No. 1 receiver of the 2010 recruiting class.

Workout Notes: Raiders, Colts, Packers

Today’s workouts from around the league:

West Notes: Megatron, Cardinals, Seahawks

If Calvin Johnson and the Lions were to part ways, Megatron’s best landing spot would be with the Raiders, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports opines. Johnson, 31 in September, may not have more than three or four top-shelf seasons left in him and that’s a luxury that a rebuilding team like Detroit might not be able to afford.

If the Lions were to cut Johnson, they’d immediately open $11MM in cap room for 2016, and $21MM in 2017, when his dead money would be completely off the books. Meanwhile, a team landing him via trade would only be on the hook for Johnson’s base salaries, which total $32.45MM over the next two seasons.

So, why Megatron to Oakland? Robinson points out that Michael Crabtree is set to hit the open market and Johnson, who offers up far more talent and bigger matchup problems for opposing defenses, would be an excellent replacement. The Raiders could also have $75-$80MM in cap room next year, so they could afford Johnson’s substantial deal.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s West divisions:

  • Several key Cardinals players are on the verge of free agency and general manager Steve Keim has been trying to extend some of them. Still, the GM continues to indicate that nothing is on the verge of getting done at this time, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes.
  • The Seahawks recently added a $25K signing bonus to defensive back DeShawn Shead‘s contract, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. There are no other alterations to the deal, so it doesn’t appear that Shead gave up anything to get that additional cash.
  • The 49ers worked out cornerback Chykie Brown as well as defensive backs Buddy Jackson, and Brandon McGeetweets Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle.
  • The Cardinals worked out cornerback Jordan Mabin, Wilson tweets.
  • The Chiefs worked out offensive tackle Caylin Hauptmann, defensive end B.J. McBryde, and wide receiver Larry Pinkard, Wilson tweets.

Workout Notes: Saints, Seahawks, Jaguars

Today’s workouts from around the NFL..

  • The Jets worked out defensive end Lawrence Okoye, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. Okoye, a former University of Kentucky discus hurler, had previous stops with the 49ers and Cardinals.

Earlier updates: