Leonte Carroo

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Carroo, Ravens, Pats

The Dolphins‘ interest in adding cornerback help led them to consider supplemental prospect Sam Beal, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. However, Miami didn’t hold Beal in as high regard as did the Giants, who sacrificed a third-round pick in order to land the Western Michigan product. Beal, of course, suffered a season-ending injury upon landing in New York, but he could have provided depth to a Dolphins defensive back depth chart currently led by Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, and Bobby McCain. Given that Miami is still searching for cornerback reinforcements, Jackson speculates the club could be interested in a trade in the coming weeks, but notes the Dolphins are loathe to sacrifice high draft picks.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • More from Jackson, who adds that former third-round pick Leonte Carroo is not a lock to make the Dolphins‘ roster, especially given the team’s other options at wide receiver. Miami gave up a haul of draft picks for the right to select Carroo in the 2016, but he’s managed only 10 receptions and 98 yards over two seasons. The Dolphins now have the option to deploy DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, and Albert Wilson, so Carroo — who Jackson notes hasn’t always been in the best shape and has trouble separating from opposing corners — could be a roster casualty. For what it’s worth, Caroo was also considered to be on the Dolphins’ roster bubble in 2017.
  • While the Ravensrecent meeting with free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland “went well,” the ex-Redskins defensive back is apparently looking for a larger contract than Baltimore is comfortable with, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Breeland, whose three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers was voided this spring after he failed a physical, has drawn the interest of the Patriots, Jets, Raiders, Chiefs, Browns, and Colts. Clearly, something is preventing clubs from pulling the lever on Breeland, and financial demands or health concerns are both viable options. Baltimore, notably, seemingly has plenty of corner depth with Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett, and others in tow.
  • After being waived earlier this week, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is an unlikely candidate to return to the Patriots, according to Doug Kyed of NESN. Mitchell, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, has struggled with injuries for much of the past two seasons, and Kyed indicates New England was simply tired of waiting for Mitchell to get healthy. The 25-year-old Mitchell passed through waivers unclaimed after being cut, so it’s clear the rest of the NFL is weary of Mitchell’s health issues, as well.

East Notes: Pats, Marsh, Fins, Carroo, Eagles

Former Patriots defensive end Cassius Marsh recently trashed the legendary “Patriot way,” saying the Patriots’ uptight nature didn’t allow him to have any fun and that his time in New England almost caused him to walk away from the game.

Now a member of the 49ers, Marsh provided details on his experience with the Patriots in an interview with Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Marsh revealed that he “wanted to get waived” and facilitated a meeting with Bill Belichick with that goal in mind. He said the Patriots misused him, asking him to do things he had never done before, saying they had him “covering running backs and receivers and basically almost never rushing the passer” which is what he was used to.

Marsh ultimately got what he wanted, and was claimed off waivers by the 49ers. He’ll be playing on the opposite side of the country now for a team with a much different culture. It’s very rare for a player to openly criticize Belichick and the Patriots like this, and whatever you think of Marsh’s comments, it’s refreshing to see a player speak this honestly.

Here are more notes from the league’s eastern divisions:

  • Dolphins receiver Leonte Carroo will undergo “minor knee surgery” according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Salguero adds that Carroo is expected to miss the rest of OTAs and minicamp, but should be back on the field by the time training camp starts in July. Carroo was a third-round pick in 2016, but has done little his first two years in the league. Dolphins beat reporters have already predicted he won’t make the team this year without a strong offseason, and this injury definitely doesn’t help his chances of making the team’s 53-man roster.
  • Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is always active in the trade market during the summer months, and The Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski expects that to continue this year. Kempski speculates that several players could be on the move, including cornerback Ronald Darby. Kempski notes that Darby is heading into the final year of his contract, whereas all the Eagles’ other corners are locked up for multiple years. Kempski speculates that the Eagles may let Darby walk in free agency anyway, so they might try to trade him now and get something for him, perhaps a third-round pick.
  • In case you missed it, Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is still going through the reinstatement process. Read all the latest here.

Leonte Carroo Not A Lock To Make Dolphins

Wide receiver Leonte Carroo was a relatively high draft pick a year ago, going in the third round (86th overall) to the Dolphins. Now, after a quiet rookie season, Carroo isn’t certain to make the Dolphins’ roster this year, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Leonte Carroo

Miami moved up in a trade with the Vikings in order to draft the ex-Rutgers star, which should make it all the more difficult to cut ties with Carroo so early. The Dolphins surrendered a sixth-round pick in 2016 and two mid-rounders (a third and fourth) in this year’s draft for Carroo, who was a non-factor in his first NFL season. The 6-foot, 217-pounder played just under 13 percent of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps across 14 games (two starts) and hauled in three catches, including a touchdown, on a mere six targets. Carroo was so unimpressive that playoff-bound Miami deactivated him for its final three games, including its wild-card round loss to the Steelers.

As he did last season, the 23-year-old Carroo will again jockey for position as part of a top-heavy Dolphins receiving corps in 2017. Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills figure to easily outshine Carroo even if he does make the team. And while there aren’t any other proven wideouts on the roster, which might help Carroo’s cause, newly acquired tight end Julius Thomas and running backs Jay Ajayi and Damien Williams could also overshadow him in the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill-led passing game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Rumors: Steelers, Jets, Broncos, Fins

Less than 24 hours before the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, conflicting reports have emerged regarding Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. While Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicates the Steelers will be one of several teams to pursue Pryor this week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link) says Pittsburgh doesn’t have any interest in Pryor, at least at the $10MM+ he’s expected to command. The Giants, 49ers, Eagles, and Titans have also been linked to Pryor, whom Cleveland is attempting to re-sign.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Jetsreported interest in free agent quarterback Mike Glennon is “largely overblown,” according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. General manager Mike Maccagnan and staff have been linked to Glennon several occasions, but the club’s front office doesn’t believe the Buccaneers backup quarterback is worth the $14MM he’s likely to command on the open market. Ultimately, New York thinks Glennon will land with the Bears, who have also been connected to the free agent signal-caller.
  • Adding reinforcements along the lines will be the primary objective of the Broncos this offseason, as Troy Renck of Denver7 reports in a pair of articles. On offense, Denver is expected to be especially aggressive in signing a right guard, while the club will give Max Garcia another chance to lock down left guard. On defense, the Broncos will likely target mid-range options. Although they missed out on Earl Mitchell, the Broncos were linked to free agent Chris Baker earlier tonight.
  • If the Dolphins lose wide receiver Kenny Stills to free agency, they will sign a veteran pass-catcher in the coming weeks, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Miami isn’t certain that 2016 third-round pick Leonte Carroo is ready to take over as the club’s third receiver, per Jackson, who points to Ted Ginn, Terrance Williams, Aldrick Robinson, and Marquise Goodwin as potential options.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/24/16

We’ll keep track of today’s draft signings and other minor moves here:

  • The Dolphins agreed to terms with two members of their draft class today, signing third-round receiver Leonte Carroo and seventh-round tight end Thomas Duarte, as Wilson reports (Twitter link). Miami now only has third-round running back Kenyan Drake left to sign, as PFR’s Zach Links detailed when looking at unsigned 2016 draftees earlier today.
  • The Lions waived offensive lineman Darius Johnson on Tuesday, as Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press adds (via Twitter) that Johnson was waived with an injury waiver designation. Johnson, a Middle Tennessee State product, signed with Detroit following the team’s rookie minicamp.
  • The Chargers placed safety Matt Daniels on the injured reserve list with a leg injury, Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets. Daniels appeared in only one game for San Diego last season. Former Michigan linebacker James Ross has been signed to fill Daniel’s void, a source tells Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
  • After signing as an undrafted free agent out of UTSA, edge rusher Jason Neill was waived today by the Cowboys, according to Wilson (Twitter link). To replace Neil, Dallas signed fellow defensive end Zach Wood, tweets Wilson.
  • The Panthers placed tight end Jake McGee on waivers with an injury designation last week, and after reverting to injured reserve, McGee has now been cut from IR with an injury settlement, per Wilson (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Bills have signed second-round linebacker Reggie Ragland, according to his agents at Vanguard Sports (on Twitter). Ragland was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after recording 97 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and six pass breakups. GM Doug Whaley has said that he expects to see Ragland in the starting lineup to begin the 2016 season.
  • The Raiders announced that they have signed free agent wide receivers Robert Herron and Nathan Palmer. To make room, the Raiders have waived/injured wide receiver Andre Debose and waived quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Palmer auditioned for New Orleans last week alongside a handful of notable names, including Hakeem Nicks. Herron was originally selected by the Bucs in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in eight games his rookie season, posting six receptions for 58 yards (9.7 avg.) and one touchdown.
  • The Browns signed undrafted free agent wide receiver David Richards, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The Arizona product first hooked on with Atlanta after the draft but was waived soon after.
  • The Jets waived tight end Jerome Cunningham and signed running back Romar Morris, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.
  • The Buccaneers have placed safety Johnny Lowdermilk on the reserved-retired list, creating a second opening on the 90-man roster, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

AFC Notes: Tunsil, Carroo, Ravens, Steelers

The Dolphins slotted Laremy Tunsil as their No. 2-rated player before the draft, with Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey at No. 1, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Had Tunsil not fallen to them at No. 13, the Dolphins would have been inclined to trade back and seek cornerback help, Salguero writes.

Among corners, the Dolphins had Eli Apple rated No. 2 behind Ramsey. Although Miami traded for Byron Maxwell, the team is now without all three of its primary starters from 2015 — Brent Grimes, Brice McCain and Jamar Taylor, the latter being traded to the Browns for a seventh-round pick Saturday.

Here’s more from the AFC as we transition into a post-draft world, beginning with more on the Dolphins’ board.

  • Miami traded up in the third round to take Rutgers wideout Leonte Carroo, but it’s not where the ex-Scarlet Knights target came off the board that’s interesting; it’s where his new team rated him. “We thought he was the second-best receiver in the draft,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said, via Salguero. That assessment runs counter to just about every pre-draft analysis in a draft that saw four wideouts go in the first round and three come off the board in Round 2. Prior to Miami selecting Carroo at No. 86, the Texans took Braxton Miller at No. 85. The Dolphins surrendered a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft — which it traded to the Vikings to select another receiver, Jakeem Grant — as well as third- and fourth-round choices in 2017 to become the ninth team to select a receiver this year. Rutgers suspended Carroo twice in 2015, and he was arrested once on a domestic violence-related charge.
  • Tunsil’s selection strikes Salguero as interesting considering as the No. 2 player on the Dolphins’ board, they couldn’t have done the exhaustive work on him as they did on someone like Apple or another player they thought would be in play at 13. He uses the Patriots, who did not pick until the 60s, not doing much work on Ramsey as an example.
  • Although Ozzie Newsome denied the Ravens picked Ronnie Stanley over Tunsil because of the now-infamous bong video posted on the tackle’s Twitter account before the draft, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reports that the social media posting was passed around the Ravens draft room prior to the team selecting Stanley. The Ray Rice moment still hangs over the franchise, Schmuck writes, inducing Baltimore to play it safe when it comes to questionable prospects.
  • The past two years, the Steelers have chosen 11 defensive players compared to just four on offense, and Mike Tomlin told media (including Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) it’s realistic three could emerge as starters in Week 1. “I believe it’s realistic,” Tomlin said of the prospect of the team’s top three picks — cornerback Artie Burns, safety Sean Davis and nose tackle Javon Hargrave — starting against Washington in September. “That’s why we chose them where we chose them. But they have to earn it, and we’ll give them the opportunity to do that.” Following the departures of Steve McLendon and Brandon Boykin, the team has holes in its lineup at No. 2 corner and at defensive tackle.

Draft Notes: Cowboys, Dolphins, Broncos

With the fourth round nearly halfway done, let’s check in on some draft whispers from around the league…

  • The Cowboys‘ gameplan for the second round was to select Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and then move up and select Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). Ogbah was ultimately selected by the Browns with the first pick of the second round, and Dallas snagged Smith two picks later.
  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says there was a general belief that the Cowboys would select quarterback Connor Cook with pick No. 101, leading to the Raiders‘ acquisition of the 100th pick. Meanwhile, Rapoport notes that Oakland is planning on keeping Matt McGloin and allowing the two quarterbacks to compete for the back-up job.
  • According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter), the Dolphins slapped Leonte Carroo with a “second-round grade.” Miami ended up snagging the Rutgers wideout late in the third round.
  • If Laremy Tunsil hadn’t been around at No. 13, the Dolphins would have selected UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. Eli Apple, who was selected 10th overall, was also under consideration for the pick.
  • Speaking of Tunsil, ESPN’s Adam Schefter determined how much money the offensive lineman actually lost on Thursday evening (via Twitter). The Ravens were prepared to select the embattled University of Mississippi product with the sixth-overall pick, but Tunsil ended up falling to No. 13. Schefter estimates that the rookie lost nearly $7MM after having fallen eight spots.
  • The Broncos are fielding calls on several of their picks, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The team has a compensatory fourth-round pick (which can’t be traded), as well as two fifth-round selections.

Dolphins Acquire 86th Pick From Vikings

10:07pm: If the Dolphins get a fourth-round compensatory pick next year, they’ll be able to send that to the Vikings, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

9:44pm: The Dolphins have acquired the 86th pick from the Vikings and selected Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo, according to Jenna Laine (Twitter link). In return, the Vikings will receive a sixth-rounder (No. 186) from Miami this year and two selections in 2017 – a third- and fourth-rounder – per Tom Gower of Football Outsiders (Twitter link).

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Carroo had a strong three-year career at Rutgers, where he caught 122 passes, averaged 19.5 yards per reception and hauled in 29 touchdowns. He’ll join a Dolphins receiving corps that lost Rishard Matthews in free agency, but has the solid trio of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in place.

South Rumors: Panthers, Brees, Texans

Josh Norman admitted the Panthers‘ decision to rescind his franchise tag “sideswiped” him, as the fifth-year veteran was preparing to play in North Carolina again before Wednesday’s changing of his status eventually sent him up the Atlantic coast, David Newton of ESPN.com writes.

Dave Gettleman made his top offer — $44MM over four years — at the Combine but felt the $13.9MM franchise tag cost for Norman could have been spent better elsewhere, as his usual policy is not to spend big on defensive backs, Newton writes.

An extension for Kawann Short will be a likely domino to fall in Carolina as a result, Newton offers. The Panthers now have the fourth-most cap space in the league at $31.17MM, and the former second-round pick is entering a contract year.

Here’s the latest coming from the NFL’s southern contingent.

  • The Panthers will look to add a veteran cornerback in the coming weeks, but it probably won’t be an unrestricted free agent, Newton reports. With Norman’s Friday-night defection putting Carolina in position to grab a compensatory third-round pick in 2017, the signing of a UFA corner — and one who hovers far beneath Norman’s career arc — would negate that opportunity. The Panthers will likely target a player who’s been released, with Newton mentioning Antonio Cromartie, who was cut after a one-season reunion with the Jets, as an option here. As of now, Bene Benwikere and Brandon Boykin are the team’s top two corners going into the draft, where Carolina’s need for another talent immediately increased.
  • Drew Brees reportedly being willing to restructure his $30MM cap number to help the Saints sign Norman struck Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio as a PR move as the 15th-year quarterback prepares for questions about that figure, which is by the largest in the league in 2016 — $6MM clear of Eli Manning‘s $24MM cap charge. Florio believes Brees was the source for the ESPN.com report that emerged after Norman signed with Washington, and the writer categorizes it as a calculated salvo from Brees in an attempt to preempt backlash that could come from fans realizing his 2016 cap hold was the main reason New Orleans couldn’t afford Norman or a player of his ilk earlier in free agency. The perpetually cap-strapped Saints cut Jahri Evans and Marques Colston in March, making the two Bayou icons the latest such casualties. The Saints have the least amount of space in the league at $2.9MM.
  • One of the receivers the Texans brought in for a visit, Leonte Carroo acknowledged the team is looking for a receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, whom the Rutgers prospect spoke to during his Houston tour, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. “That’s what I’m excited about, that they’re looking for a wide receiver,” Carroo told Wilson. “I fit their system very well. They could use a big, physical receiver like myself on the other side from Hopkins. I feel like I could help them tremendously.” Houston has essentially been seeking a quality No. 2 wideout during the franchise’s entire run, with Kevin Walter‘s late-2000s work representing the best the Texans have coaxed from this role. Carroo also visited the Saints, Patriots and Dolphins and worked out at the Jets’ and Giants’ local pro days.
  • The Titans have likely moved on from their interest in former Broncos All-Pro guard Louis Vasquez, Jim Wyatt of Titans.com writes. Cut by the Broncos early last month, Vasquez visited the Titans. But nothing emerged from the eighth-year veteran’s meeting and he remains a free agent. Chance Warmack and Jeremiah Poutasi reside as the Titans’ projected starting guards this season.

NFC South Notes: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers

The Falcons currently the hold the No. 17 pick in the first round, but they are open to trading down, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com detail. GM Thomas Dimitroff has been aggressive in moving up the draft board in past years, but with this draft class being extremely deep, a move down is more enticing.

“We’ve looked at all the different scenarios, of course, and having few picks this year gives us an opportunity,” Dimitroff said of the Falcons’ strategy. “We think the draft has some really good strength from No. 15 on — obviously, as well as at the front of the draft. But we think there’s some good opportunities all the way through into the third round. So, it does present options to potentially move back.”

Here’s the latest out of the NFC South…

  • Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo is visiting the Saints today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. PFR’s Rob DiRe projected Carroo to come off the board at the end of the second round in the first edition of PFR’s Mock Draft.
  • Former Florida safety Keanu Neal says the Falcons would be the ideal fit for him, as McClure writes in a separate piece. “For me, schematically, yes,” Neal said. “I feel like that’s a great fit for me and my style of play. The coaching staff is authentic. I can tell they really care about each other and the program. I feel like [secondary coach] Marquand Manuel can really help me out as a person and a player. And Coach [Dan] Quinn, he’s a tremendous head coach. Getting under him, getting under his wing and learning will skyrocket my career.”
  • Offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann worked out for the Buccaneers today, tweets Wilson. The 24-year-old Hauptmann, a Florida International product, has spent time with the Browns, Patriots, and Seahawks, but has just one career NFL game to his name.

Zach Links contributed to this post.