Lawrence Virgil

Jets Work Out DT Sammie Lee Hill

The Jets auditioned defensive tackles Sammie Lee Hill, Jordan Hill, and Lawrence Virgil, as well as offensive tackle Arturo Uzdavinis today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Sammie Lee Hill (Vertical)

[RELATED: Jets, Broncos Discussed Sheldon Richardson]

Sammie Lee Hill, who will turn 30 years old tomorrow, served a four-game suspension as a free agent earlier this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Injuries limited Hill to only 10 games (five starts) with the Titans in 2015, and Tennessee expressed no interest in re-signing him during free agency. No other clubs were knocking down Hill’s door, either, as his only known visit came with the Seahawks in March.

Jordan Hill, meanwhile, was released off Seattle’s injured reserve list earlier this season. Hill, 25, was a key reserve during the 2014 campaign, posting 5.5 sacks, and was a part-time player (10 appearances) last season as well. He’s worked out for several teams since being cut loose by the Seahawks, including the Falcons, Bengals, Redskins, and Colts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Work Out Dallas Thomas, Two Others

With defensive tackle Haloti Ngata being questionable for this weekend’s game, the Lions are eyeing some defensive lineman. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the team has auditioned defensive end Shelby Harris and defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil. The Lions also worked out offensive guard Dallas Thomas.

Dallas ThomasHarris, 25, was a seventh-round pick back in 2014. In two seasons with the Raiders, the Illinois State product played in eight games, compiling 14 tackles and one sack. Harris spent time with the Jets this offseason, but he was ultimately cut in late August. Virgil, meanwhile, has one NFL game on his resume. The 25-year-old was released by the Saints in early August after having spent two years with the organization.

Despite not necessarily fitting a need, Thomas is the most notable name among the auditionees. The former third-round pick had spent his entire career with the Dolphins, making 37 appearances in three-plus seasons. The 26-year-old was actually a consistent presence on the Dolphins line in 2015, starting all 16 games. An underwhelming performance in early October led to his release from the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/3/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • Tackle Matt Pierson signed with the Texans, and the team cut cornerback Cleveland Wallace to make room, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links).
  • The Bengals announced that they have signed cornerback Corey Tindal. The Marshall product initially joined the Bengals as a UDFA in May. Tindal should give the Bengals some extra depth in practice as they deal with injuries to their other corners.
  • The Saints announced that they have added UDFAs safety Jamal Golden and guard Jordan Walsh. In a corresponding move, the Saints waived defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil and waived/injured wide receiver Kyle Prater and safety Alden Darby.
  • The Ravens have signed running back Stephen Houston, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Ravens released punter Michael Palardy, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Jets waived defensive back Kendall James, who had been on the PUP list, with an injury designation, as Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets. They signed running back Terry Williams to replace him.
  • The Steelers signed tight end Jake Phillips and cornerback Kevin White, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). To make room, the Steelers waived/injured tight end Mandel Dixon and wide receiver Shakim Phillips.
  • Former South Carolina defensive lineman Gerald Dixon Jr. is signing with the Cowboys, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • The Dolphins have waived wide receiver Tyler Murphy, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Redskins announced the signing of free agent offensive lineman Isaiah Williams, Mike Jones of The Washington Post tweets.
  • The Bears are expected to sign veteran fullback Darrel Young, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Young is an experienced blocker in the zone scheme and also plays special teams.
  • Wide receiver Ryan Spadola has reverted to the Lions‘ IR after going unclaimed on waivers, as Justin Rogers of The Detroit News tweets.

Saints Place Jamarca Sanford On Injured Reserve

Jamarca Sanford may have signed an extension with the Saints this past offseason, but the veteran’s tenure in New Orleans might be over. Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com reports (via Twitter) that the team has placed the veteran safety on the injured reserve. To take his roster spot, the Saints have signed nose tackle Lawrence Virgil.

The 30-year-old played in all 16 games for the Saints last season, compiling 14 tackles and one interception in 105 total defensive snaps. The former seventh-round pick has settled into a back-up/special teams role over the past several years, but the Saints thought enough of him to offer a one-year contract this past offseason. Before joining the Saints in 2014, Sanford played for the Redskins and Vikings, where he started 44 games in five seasons.

The Saints signed veteran defensive back Roman Harper earlier this month, but Woodbery isn’t sure if that addition was related to the Sanford move. Either way, the writer notes that Sanford’s roster spot was certainly in question following the acquisition of Harper.

As Woodbery tweets, Lawrence Virgil was originally signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2014. After compiling a pair of tackles as a rookie, the Valdosta State product spent 2015 on the injured reserve.

NFC South Notes: Saints, Panthers, Short

Running back C.J. Spiller says he’s ready to live up to the billing he received when he inked a four-year, $16MM deal with the Saints last March, Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate writes.

When I’m 100 percent and able to do what I’m able to do, I know I can flourish in this offense,” Spiller said. “This offense is built for my type of skill set. I wouldn’t want to be in any other one — a great head coach that knows how to put players in position to make plays, and then you’ve got a quarterback that’s a future Hall of Famer, that knows how to win matchups and to take advantage of each and every play. I’m just happy that I have a chance to revamp or redeem myself and give this team hopefully 100 percent.”

Last season, Spiller amassed only 112 yards on a meager 36 carries and caught 34 passes at just 7.0 yards per reception before being placed on IR in December.

Here’s more from the NFC South:

  • Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short “checked in” at the beginning of minicamp, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observe (Twitter link). Short is skipping OTAs in the hopes of landing a new contract, but with those talks reportedly on hold, Short may have thought it wise to make an appearance with the team, especially given that head coach Ron Rivera has subtlety voiced his displeasure at Short’s absence.
  • Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith said that undrafted rookie outside linebacker Ivan McLennan has some pass rush ability and he’s a player to watch at minicamp, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. McLennan will be fighting for a roster spot at strongside linebacker and could push 2014 seventh-round pick Tyler Starr for a place on the team. The linebacker played two years of JUCO football before spending the past two seasons at Washington State. He racked up 15 sacks and 34.5 tackles for losses over his collegiate career.
  • More from Ledbetter who wonders if there is a sleeper in the Falcons‘ cornerback group. The most intriguing player fighting for a spot is C.J. Goodwin, a 6’4″ former basketball player and wide receiver who is looking to make it as a CB. Atlanta secondary/senior assistant Marquand Manuel praised Goodwin for his play so far in practice and noted that he was able to stay with Julio Jones in man-to-man coverage.
  • The Saints are trying out a pair of UDFAs today in outside linebacker Royce LaFrance (Tulane) and linebacker Chris Weatherd (Tennessee), as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. Defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil is also in the house as a tryout invitee (link).

ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/9/16

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to exclusive-rights free agents. We’ll round up those decisions here:

Tendered

Non-Tendered

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/18/15

Here are Tuesday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL:

  • Long snapper Nate Boyer, who took an unusual path to the NFL, has been waived by the Seahawks, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (Twitter link). With the newly-created roster spot, the Seahawks appear to have signed quarterback Jake Waters, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links).
  • The Steelers have reduced the number of quarterbacks on their roster by one, announcing today that they’ve cut Tajh Boyd, replacing him with wide receiver Jarrod West (Twitter link via Burt Lauten).
  • Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt, who tore his Achilles on Saturday, has been officially placed on injured reserve, the team announced today. To replace him, Minnesota signed former Giants tackle Stephen Goodin.
  • The Eagles‘ roster turnover at linebacker continues, as the team announced today (via Twitter) that it has signed former Southern Mississippi linebacker Dasman McCullum to replace Jordan Dewalt-Ondijo, who has been waived/injured due to an ankle injury.
  • The Colts made a change to their wide receiver group, signing UDFA wideout L.T. Smith and waiving Tyler Rutenbeck, according to a team release.
  • Former Emporia State wide receiver Austin Willis has been waived by the Raiders, tweets Herbie Teope of ChiefsDigest.com.
  • The Cardinals have a new body in their secondary, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, who reports that safety Anthony Walters has signed a one-year deal with the club. Linebacker Zack Wagenmann, who broke his foot, has been waived/injured, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com.
  • More updates from Wilson: The Saints have cut receiver Kyle Prater and waived/injured defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil (Twitter link), the Jets have cut punter Jacob Schum (Twitter link), the Cowboys have cut cornerback Jason Wilson from their injured reserve list with an injury settlement (Twitter link), and the Steelers have removed running back Cameron Stingily from their IR with a settlement (Twitter link).

Saints Place Brodrick Bunkley On IR

The Saints have made a defensive roster change in advance of Week 13’s contests against the Steelers, officially placing injured defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley on their injured reserve list, according to a team release. To fill Bunkley’s spot on the 53-man roster, defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil has been promoted from the practice squad, as we heard yesterday.

Bunkley, who turned 31 on Sunday, suffered a leg injury during New Orleans’ Monday loss to the Ravens. Although the team didn’t specify the diagnosis, a report earlier in the week indicated that Bunkley had torn his quad and was expected to be out for the rest of the season.

With 276 defensive snaps this year, Bunkley was New Orleans’ second-most-used defensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). I’d expect increased roles for players like John Jenkins and Tyrunn Walker over the last few weeks of the season, with Virgil serving as a depth piece on the defensive line.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

In addition to tracking Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts, we’ll also be keeping tabs on minor transactions involving teams’ 53-man rosters. Here’s the latest:

  • The Saints have promoted defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil to the 53-man roster in the wake of Brodrick Bunkley‘s injury, according to Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Advocate (via Twitter).
  • A day after being cut by the Buccaneers, wide receiver and kick returner Marcus Thigpen has been claimed off waivers by the Bills, says Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, adding that Buffalo has released defensive end Bryan Johnson in the corresponding move (Twitter links). Presumably the Bills are eyeing Thigpen as a return specialist, despite the fact that he muffed a couple punts in recent weeks for the Bucs.
  • After injuring his foot more than a month ago, tight end David Ausberry has finally been moved to the injured reserve list by the Raiders, with the team promoting defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin from the practice squad to take Ausberry’s place on the roster. Oakland announced the pair of transactions today in a press release.

Earlier updates:

  • The Bears have placed veteran offensive lineman Brian De La Puente on their injured reserve list due to an ankle injury, the team announced today (Twitter link). The former Saint played both center and guard for Chicago this season, earning more than 500 overall snaps. He’ll be replaced on the 53-man roster by defensive tackle Brandon Dunn, who was promoted from the practice squad.
  • Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com (Twitter link) confirms that the Cowboys have indeed placed Jack Crawford on season-ending IR, as was speculated below.
  • The Titans have plucked a player from their head coach’s old team, signing outside linebacker Kaelin Burnett from off the Cardinals‘ practice squad, the club announced today (via Twitter). Tight end Richard Gordon has been cut from Tennessee’s active roster to make room for Burnett.
  • In advance of tomorrow’s game against the Eagles, the Cowboys will call up linebacker Keith Smith from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, tweets Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. Archer doesn’t have the corresponding move for us yet, but speculates that defensive end Jack Crawford could be placed on injured reserve due to a broken thumb.
  • Defensive lineman Nick Williams has signed with the Chiefs, taking the active roster spot vacated by Eric Berry, who is on the non-football illness list.

Practice Squad Updates: Monday

We rounded up the first wave of practice squad additions in a series of posts by division yesterday, which you can check out on our Transactions page. Several more teams have announced new practice squad players today, or made slight changes to their units, so we’ll round up that news right here:

6:33pm:

  • The 49ers have filled out their practice squad by adding cornerback Chance Casey and running back Kendall Gaskins, the team announced in a press release.

4:37pm:

  • The Browns have added wide receiver Charles Johnson and offensive lineman Karim Barton to their practice squad, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Twitter).
  • Cornerback Khalid Wooten will be the 10th man on the Titans‘ practice squad, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.

4:07pm:

  • The Seahawks have added defensive end Julius Warmsley and defensive back Josh Aubrey to their practice squad, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • The Redskins have finalized their practice squad by adding safety Akeem Davis and linebacker Chaz Sutton, the club announced today (Twitter link).
  • Cornerback LeQuan Lewis has been added to the Jets‘ practice squad, according to the team (via Twitter).

2:46pm:

  • The Rams have finalized their practice squad by adding linebacker Denicos Allen, wideout Emory Blake, safety Christian Bryant, and quarterback Garrett Gilbert, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). That means Michael Sam isn’t among the 10 players on St. Louis’ squad.
  • The addition of Henry Josey to the Jaguars‘ practice squad has officially been announced by the team in a press release. We had noted below that although his signing had been previously reported, Josey wasn’t among the first list of names released by the club.
  • The Ravens have announced the signing of offensive lineman Marcel Jones to their practice squad, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

1:31pm:

  • The following players are now on the Browns‘ practice squad: James Brown, OL; Jacobbi McDaniel, DL; Emmanuel Ogbuehi, TE; Keith Pough, LB; Justin Staples, LB; and Patrick Lewis, C. The first five names are listed on the team’s official site, while the addition of Lewis was reported by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • Alex Gillett‘s time on the Packers‘ practice squad didn’t last long — he was replaced today by cornerback Jumal Rolle, tweets Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • The Buccaneers have signed safety Kimario McFadden, cornerback Derrius Brooks, and linebacker Carlos Fields to their practice squad, according to the team’s official site.
  • Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune provides the last few names to be added to the Saints‘ practice squad: safety Pierre Warren, guard Antoine McClain, nose tackle Lawrence Virgil, and tight end Nic Jacobs.
  • The Eagles have signed quarterback G.J. Kinne for their practice squad, per the team’s official site.
  • Fullback Nikita Whitlock is the latest addition to the Cowboys‘ practice squad, the team announced today.
  • The Vikings filled the final spot on their practice squad by adding cornerback Chris Greenwood, says Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Defensive end Zach Thompson is now on the Broncos‘ practice squad, according to the club.
  • The Chiefs filled the final opening on their practice squad by signing defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • Wide receiver Freddie Martino and tight end Kyle Miller have joined the Falcons‘ practice squad, per the team’s official site.
  • One more housekeeping note: Yesterday, running back Henry Josey and fullback Kiero Small were reported as having joined the Jaguars‘ and Browns‘ practice squads, respectively. However, when those teams announced their PS rosters, those players weren’t included. There haven’t been any reports indicating those agreements fell through, so we’ll keep an eye on both situations. For now though, we won’t be including those players in our master list of practice squad rosters, which will be published this afternoon.