Lemuel Jeanpierre

NFC Notes: OBJ, Elliott, Seahawks, Bears

We learned earlier this week that the Giants weren’t prioritizing a contract extension with star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., and that could be because the Pro Bowler is seeking a record-breaking deal. The 24-year-old said on Thursday that he was aiming to become the league’s highest-paid receiver, and he elaborated on those remarks on Friday.

“That’s what you want to do, you want to change the game,’’ Beckham told Paul Schwartz of The New York Post. “This is not just for Odell Beckham, this is for everybody in the league, people who deserve it.

“You sit there and you watch the NBA, it’s crazy. Being realistic, it’s crazy what they’re getting. And there’s people in the NFL who deserve that, I want to do, if I can, be on the forefront for it and help push the league, the game that way, because I feel like the fans deserve it, I feel like we go through a lot, we put ourselves through a lot. They just deserve it. It’s not for me.’’

As our own Connor Byrne noted earlier this week, the top-paid honor usually belongs to quarterbacks, with Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr currently holding the distinction. Steelers wideout Antonio Brown‘s $17MM annual salary is the highest value at his position. Beckham is set to play the upcoming season on a $1.8MM salary, although the organization did pick up his $8.5MM fifth-year option for 2018.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said an NFL decision on running back Ezekiel Elliott could be handed down “imminently,” no announcement is expected today nor this weekend, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The league is reportedly wrapping up its investigation into domestic violence allegations against Elliott, and while Jones claimed his own review of the evidence indicated Elliott had done nothing wrong, a short suspension is still expected. If Elliott is banned, Dallas will turn to a cadre of Darren McFaddenAlfred Morris, and the newly-signed Ronnie Hillman in the backfield.
  • Former offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre will be joining the Seahawks coaching staff as an offensive assistant, according to Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. The 2011 undrafted free agent out of South Carolina spent six seasons in Seattle, appearing in 63 games (11 starts). The 30-year-old also appeared in nine postseason games, and he earned a ring after the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII.
  • The Bears have promoted former Pro Scouting Direction Champ Kelly to Assistant Director of Player Personnel, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). According to the reporter, the Dolphins tried to “lure away” Kelly this past offseason, but Chicago clearly had bigger plans for the executive. The former United Indoor Football general manager has been with the Bears organization since 2015, and he previously spent time as the Broncos’ Assistant Director of Pro Personnel.
  • Biggs passes along (on Twitter) that the Bears have also promoted several other members of their scouting team. Chris White is now one of the team’s pro scouts, while Scott Hamel and Brendan Rehor have been promoted to area scout and combine scout, respectively.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Lions Trim Roster To 53

The Lions have released offensive lineman Brandon Thomas, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. Thomas came to Detroit in the Jeremy Kerley trade earlier this weekBrandon Thomas (vertical)

Thomas, a former third-round pick, has never taken a snap in the NFL. He missed his entire rookie season in 2014 while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in college, and didn’t appear in a game during his sophomore campaign. Thomas wasn’t need in the Bay Area given that Anthony Davis has come out of retirement and shifted to guard and he apparently wasn’t wanted in Detroit either.

Thomas obviously wasn’t the Lions’ only victim of cut day. Cuts include:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/20/15

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves..

Earlier today:

  • The Browns are signing linebacker Jayson DiManche off the Chiefs‘ taxi squad, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. DiManche will take the roster spot previously filled by running back Shaun Draughn, who has been waived, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound DiManche has appeared in 28 regular-season games with one start, all with the Bengals. Draughn appeared in five games this season for Cleveland with two carries for 10 yards.
  • The Falcons signed linebacker Philip Wheeler and released safety Charles Godfrey, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Lions have claimed guard/tackle Michael Ola off waivers from the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets. Ola has yo-yo’d between the Chargers’ 53-man roster and the taxi squad all season long.
  • The Colts promoted safety Dewey McDonald from the practice squad, as Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. The Colts also cut Amarlo Herrera and cornerback Shaun Prater, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks signed Lemuel Jeanpierre and cut Crezdon Butler, as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Seahawks also placed linebacker Brock Coyle on IR-DTR, Gregg Bell of The News Tribune tweets.
  • The Chargers will sign safety Adrian Phillips from the practice squad as early as today, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets.
  • The Raiders re-signed strong safety Taylor Mays, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Saints have signed wide receiver T.J. Graham, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings signed Kenrick Ellis and placed Shamar Stephen on IR, Wilson tweets.
  • The Jaguars moved wide receiver Neal Sterling to the active roster and signed safety Craig Loston, John Oehser of Jaguars.com tweets.

Workout Notes: Bears, Broncos, Packers

Here’s a roundup of today’s auditions from around the NFL. All links go to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle on Twitter), unless noted otherwise..

Workout Notes: Raiders, Pollard, Eagles

Earlier this afternoon, we passed along word that the Patriots had brought in six players for workouts, including wide receivers Jarrett Boykin and Austin Pettis, along with running back Bryce Brown. A few other teams have been auditioning free agents of their own this week, so let’s round up some of the latest updates….

  • The Raiders, who recently placed Nate Allen on IR-DTR and saw Charles Woodson go down with a shoulder injury, could use some help at safety, and the team auditioned a veteran free agent this week, bringing in Bernard Pollard, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Pollard, whose 2014 season ended with a torn Achilles, tweeted that he “smashed” today’s tryout with Oakland.
  • The Eagles made some changes to their offensive line this offseason, and the unit didn’t look as effective in Week 1 as it has in past years. It’s not clear yet if changes are on the horizon in Philadelphia, but the club worked out interior linemen Lemuel Jeanpierre and J.D. Walton this week, per Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange (Twitter link). Adam Caplan of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that Philadelphia also took a look at UDFA running back Ross Scheuerman.
  • Quarterback Dustin Vaughan, one of those six players that worked out for the Patriots this week, also had an audition with the Titans, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Vaughn was waived by Dallas during the Cowboys’ cutdown to 53 players.
  • Cornerback Trovon Reed, cut by the Rams earlier this month, tried out today for the Jets, says Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter).

FA Notes: Bradshaw, Jeanpierre, Sims

Most of today’s news is related to cuts, waiver claims, and practice squad signings, but let’s take a look at a few notes concerning some unsigned free agents…

  • Running back Ahmad Bradshaw‘s broken leg is completely healed, according to Mike Wells of ESPN.com, meaning that the veteran back could find work soon. The 29-year-old is suspended for the first week of the NFL season due to a marijuana arrest, but Bradshaw could still help a club in need of running back help. In 10 games with the Colts last season, Bradshaw ran for more than 400 yards and posted 38 receptions.
  • After being released by the Seahawks last week, center Lemuel Jeanpierre will take a meeting with the Bills, reports ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. Jeanpierre appeared in 53 games (11 starts) during the past four years with Seattle. Buffalo did claim center Gabe Ikard off waivers from the Titans earlier today, so its interest might have waned.
  • Quarterback Phillip Sims, an undrafted free agent who was recently released by the Cardinals, will work out for both the Raiders and the Titans this week, per Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter links).

Seahawks Reduce Roster To 75 Players

The Seahawks announced that they have made a number of moves before the deadline to reduce rosters to 75 players. The full list of moves, recapped below, includes the outright release of center Lemuel Jeanpierre and defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith. As veterans, neither player is subjected to waivers.

Released outright:

  • Lemuel JeanpierreC
  • D’Anthony Smith, DT

Waived:

  • Jesse Davis, T
  • George Farmer, CB
  • Deshon Foxx, CB
  • Deontay Greenberry, WR
  • Keelan Johnson, CB
  • Quayshawn Nealy, LB
  • Greg Scruggs, DE
  • Ty Zimmerman, S

Waived/injured:

  • Brandon Cottom, FB
  • Triston Wade, CB

Jeanpierre, started six games at center over the past two seasons and was in competition with Drew Nowak for the starting job. Nowak, who has started the past two preseason games, has presumably beat him out for the starting gig.

West Notes: Bowlen, L.A., Kaepernick, Seahawks

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen‘s son John Bowlen Jr. was released on a $1,000 bond after being arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault and harassment stemming from a domestic violence incident Wednesday night, reports Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Bowlen Jr. allegedly pushed his girlfriend against a wall as she was trying to call the police as a result of his “erratic behavior,” per Jhabvala. She told police he was under the influence of nitrous oxide and alcohol.

This is the owner of the Denver Broncos. I am sorry. Nothing is wrong,” Bowlen Jr., 29, said when he picked up the phone, according to the police report.

The Broncos placed him on an indefinite leave of absence. Bowlen Jr. works as an administrative employee with the team but is a candidate to take over when Pat Bowlen, 71 and stricken with Alzheimer’s, decides to cede ownership to one of his seven children. Per Jhabvala, Bowlen Jr. had drug charges dismissed and was arrested under suspicion of alcohol-induced driving in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Here are some (lighter) notes from the Western divisions.

  • The Rams may have adjusted contracts with seasonal contractors to coincide with the NFL’s February 2016 deadline for relocation bid submissions, reports Brian Feldt of the St. Louis Business Journal. According to Feldt, these contracts typically run from May to May, but with owner Stan Kroenke securing land in Inglewood, Calif., for a possible $2 billion stadium, he likely plans on posting a bid between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15, 2016. Two Rams contractors told Feldt their contracts were changed, with the Rams saying telling one it’s to coincide with the end of the season.
  • The NFL will hold a special owners meeting Aug. 11 in Chicago on the topic of the three-team Los Angeles relocation derby, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (via Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Miklasz notes this date is important for St. Louis in its effort to securing a site and funding for a new stadium on the north Mississippi riverfront. The Post-Dispatch columnist also notes the NFL is expected to let teams apply for relocation starting this fall.
  • League executive Eric Grubman, who’s serving as the NFL’s point man on the Los Angeles efforts, told reporters the special meeting will determine if the NFL needs to provide an “expedited timetable” for teams looking to move, meaning the Feb. 16 deadline could indeed be moved up, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. For San Diego’s prospects, Williams reports Chargers and NFL officials think the $1.1 billion proposal put forth by a local advisory group for a stadium in Mission Valley, Calif., is “nowhere near enough” to bring about an actionable plan to keep the Chargers in the city they’ve played in since 1961.
  • The Rams appear to have more zone-blocking concepts in store this season under new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., reports Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. And though Todd Gurley remains a ways away from full practices, the rookie runner worked on some straight-line speed with Rams trainer Byron Cunningham and caught passes from rookie quarterback Sean Mannion, although those weren’t at full speed.
  • After working at EXOS training facility in Phoenix from January to April, Colin Kaepernick appears to have a quicker release, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Entering his third full season as the 49ers QB, Kaepernick is expected to return to the facility to finish up his offseason work in July.
  • Albert Wilson joined Dontari Poe in leaving early from Chiefs OTA practice, exiting Thursday’s workout due to a hamstring injury. Poe departed Wednesday’s workout with a back ailment, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • Speaking at a town hall meeting with fans, Pete Carroll noted this team’s depth may be the best it’s been in his tenure. Of course, town hall addresses aren’t exactly hard-hitting reports, but offensive line coach Tom Cable said the competition to replace Max Unger could soon be down to two or three players, according to the Seattle Times’ Bob CondottaLemuel Jeanpierre is leading that competition — or at least receiving the first opportunity to do so by trotting out with the starters in OTAs.

West Notes: D. Thomas, Cards, Foote, Floyd

Demaryius Thomas, like other franchised players who have yet to sign their one-year tenders, didn’t report to his team’s voluntary spring workout this week. That had been expected, but Broncos GM John Elway still didn’t sound all that thrilled about it when he spoke to reporters today.

We’d like to get [a long-term contract] done,” Elway said, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “But by him being away from here, there is zero value, not only to us, (but) to him. To me it makes no sense. That actually has no effect to anything we’re talking about, trying to get a contract done with him, because that’s ultimately what we’d like to do. But for him not to be here it has zero effect.”

As we wait to see whether Thomas and the Broncos can work out an agreement, here are a few more items from across the NFL’s two West divisions….

  • The Cardinals added Larry Foote to their coaching staff earlier in the offseason, intending to sign him to their roster later in the summer if he decides he wants to continue his playing career. So far, however, he remains undecided. According to Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals (via Twitter), the veteran linebacker said he’s 50/50 between playing and coaching — the draft, his health, and Daryl Washington‘s situation are among the factors Foote is considering.
  • The Cardinals haven’t yet decided whether to pick up the fifth-year option on receiver Michael Floyd, and figure to make that call after the draft, tweets Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910. Like fellow wideout Kendall Wright, whose 2016 option the Titans plan to exercise, Floyd would be in line for a salary of $7.32MM.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio today, Terrance Knighton, who ultimately signed with Washington, admitted he was surprised that the Raiders didn’t make a stronger push to sign him (Twitter link). New Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio had previously coached Pot Roast in both Denver and Jacksonville.
  • Sean McGrath, who is attempting an NFL comeback after retiring last summer, was cut by the Chiefs, but that had nothing to do with the tight end’s football ability, according to head coach Andy Reid. As Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star details, Reid and the Chiefs simply wanted to give McGrath the opportunity to get a fresh start elsewhere, if he so chooses.
  • The one-year deal that center Lemuel Jeanpierre signed with the Seahawks is a minimum salary benefit contract with an $80K signing bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Minor Moves: Monday

Here are today’s minor transactions from across the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening:

  • Howard Balzer of the SportsXchange (all Twitter links) passes along word on a number of exclusive rights and restricted free agents who officially signed their contract tenders today. According to Balzer, the following players are now under contract for the 2015 season: Browns linebacker Craig Robertson (second-round RFA), Browns safety Johnson Bademosi (low-end RFA), Steelers fullback Will Johnson (low-end RFA), Giants cornerback Chandler Fenner (ERFA), Ravens cornerback Tramain Jacobs (ERFA), and Chiefs wide receivers Frankie Hammond and Junior Hemingway (ERFAs).
  • The Seahawks have re-signed free agent center Lemuel Jeanpierre, according to Balzer (via Twitter). Jeanpierre, who turns 28 next month, started three games at center for Seattle near the end of the 2014 regular season.

Earlier updates:

  • The Titans have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with linebacker Kaelin Burnett, the club announced today (Twitter link). Burnett, who started his career with the Raiders, has played in 22 total NFL games, including five last year for the Titans, primarily as a special teamer.
  • Wide receiver Kamar Aiken signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Ravens today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The move was a mere formality, allowing Aiken to participate in the club’s offseason program.
  • Lions wide receiver and kick returner Jeremy Ross also signed his ERFA tender today, per Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter link). Like Aiken, Ross was technically a free agent but wasn’t able to negotiate with any team besides Detroit.