Lorenzo Taliaferro

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

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

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Ravens Cut 18 Players

The Ravens made some major strides towards getting under the 53-man limit. On Friday, they announced 24 roster moves, including the release of 18 players. Here’s the full rundown:

Waived:

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

Placed on IR:

In addition to White, the following players have now been officially placed on IR:

The Ravens are now down to 66 players.

Ravens Cut Jeremy Zuttah

The Ravens have released offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro has also that he’s been waived (Twitter link).Jeremy Zuttah (Vertical)

Zuttah, 31, has had an eventful offseason, as Baltimore originally dealt him to the 49ers earlier this year. Unable to stick on the roster in San Francisco, Zuttah re-signed with the Ravens last month after the club suffered a multitude of injuries along the offensive line. The Colts were previously interested in Zuttah, who started all 16 games a season ago, so Indianapolis could potentially circle back to Zuttah now that’s available again.

Lewis and Dixon, meanwhile, were never expected to play large parts for the Ravens in 2016. With Joe Flacco on the mend, Baltimore will roll with Ryan Mallett as their No. 2 quarterback. Taliaferro wasn’t able to crack the roster despite the Ravens having lost fellow back Kenneth Dixon for the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Saints, Fins, Cowboys, Ravens

The Saints have too many linebackers and not enough spots, which could lead to the ouster of either Manti Te’o or Stephone Anthony, writes Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. Te’o hasn’t even played a down yet for the Saints, who signed him in May, but his two-year, $5MM deal includes just $600K in guarantees. With that in mind, the former Charger will be easy to jettison if he doesn’t impress Saints coaches in the coming weeks. Anthony’s contract, on the other hand, isn’t so team friendly. Cutting him wouldn’t save the Saints any money this year, yet it would leave them with $2.1MM-plus in dead money. While the 24-year-old was a first-round pick of the Saints not long ago, in 2015, he’s coming off a subpar second season that ended after 10 games on account of a knee injury.

More from around the NFL:

  • As of late June, the expectation was that Dolphins center Mike Pouncey would be ready for Week 1. That remains the case, it seems, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Pouncey hasn’t had any setbacks during his recovery from the hip injury that kept him out of 11 games last year. As a result, both Pouncey and the Dolphins are “confident” a forthcoming hip exam will yield positive results. Still, for precautionary reasons, the Dolphins will limit Pouncey in practice throughout the year in hopes of having him for all 16 regular-season games (and potential playoff contests), relays Salguero.
  • Cowboys defensive end David Irving was a no-show for the team’s first day of camp on Friday, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com. It’s unclear why Irving was absent, but he’s now subject to a $40K fine for missing reporting day. Irving’s already set to serve a four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
  • With training camp approaching, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun projects the Ravens’ season-opening roster. Veterans whose roster spots are in danger include tight end Maxx Williams, fullback Lorenzo Taliaferro, defensive ends Brent Urban and Za’Darius Smith, and cornerback Brandon Boykin, writes Zrebiec. Urban is the only member of the group who appeared in every Ravens game last season, when he picked up two sacks on 150 snaps. Smith, a participant in over 47 percent of Baltimore’s defensive snaps and a starter in 13 appearances, played the biggest role of the five in 2016. But Smith only made a marginal impact statistically (20 tackles, sack, forced fumble), and his performance ranked a less-than-stellar 92nd among Pro Football Focus’ 106 qualified edge defenders.
  • Bears center Hroniss Grasu missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in August, and now it’s up in the air whether he’ll play another down for the team, suggests JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago. Grasu’s old starting job now belongs to Cody Whitehair, who more than held his own as a rookie after shifting from guard to center in the wake of Grasu’s injury. So, if the Bears only keep eight offensive lineman this year, it may lead to Grasu’s demise. The 25-year-old was a third-round pick in 2015, when he started in all of his appearances, though a neck injury limited him to eight games that season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/13/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Seahawks have made a series of roster moves, announcing that they’ve signed running back Kelvin Taylor and cornerback Ronald Powell to their 53-man roster while placing running back Troymaine Pope and fullback Will Tukuafu on IR. Tay is the son of former NFL great Fred Taylor.
  • The Bears have signed tight end MyCole Pruitt off the Vikings‘ practice squad, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispacth, while Chicago announced that it has cleared a roster spot by waiving defensive back De’Vante Bausby. Pruitt, a 2015 fifth-round pick, has played in 18 games over the past two years.
  • The Packers will sign linebacker Jordan Tripp, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Tripp, primarily a special teamer, was recently waived off Seattle’s IR.
  • John Hughes won’t be staying home alone any longer, as the Buccaneers announced that they’ve re-signed the veteran defensive tackle. Hughes, 28, has already played in three games for Tampa this season.
  • The Ravens announced that they’ve placed running back Lorenzo Taliaferro on injured reserve and signed linebacker Lamar Louis to the active roster. Taliaferro, a 2014 fourth-round, hasn’t been able to get on the field in Baltimore, as he’s managed only 14 carries over the past two seasons. The Ravens are also promoting WR Michael Campanaro, tweets Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Rams have signed cornerback Troy Hill from the practice squad and placed tight end Cory Harkey on injured reserve, the team announced today. Hill had been waived following a DUI arrest, but has now earned a second chance on the roster.
  • The Bills signed safety Shamiel Gary and offensive lineman Michael Ola to the active roster, per a club announcement. Linebacker Bryson Albright has been waived in a corresponding transaction.
  • The Redskins announced that they’ve promoted linebacker Nick Moody from the practice squad to the active roster and placed defensive end Anthony Lanier on injured reserve. Lanier, 26, has 25 games of NFL experience under his belt since entering the league as a San Francisco draft pick in 2013.
  • The Cardinals have swapped out punters once again, announcing that they’ve waived Drew Butler in favor of Matt Wile, who was promoted from the practice squad. Arizona also signed quarterback Zac Dysert off the taxi squad.
  • The Falcons have re-signed cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, the team announced today. BWW had just been waived last week in order to clear a spot for wide receiver depth.
  • The Browns announced that they’ve promoted DL Gabe Wright from the practice squad to active roster. Wright, a former Detroit draft pick, was claimed by Cleveland earlier this year.

Ravens Release Devin Hester

One of the greatest kick returners of all-time is out of work. The Ravens announced that they have released Devin Hester. Michael Campanaro will be promoted from practice squad and serve as the team’s new returner. The Ravens also placed running back Lorenzo Taliaferro on injured reserve and signed inside linebacker Lamar Louis"<strong

[RELATED: Falcons Promote WR Nick Williams]

Hester was a late addition to the Ravens’ roster, joining the club on Sept. 4. The 34-year-old averaged 24.5 yards per kick return and 7.2 yards per attempt on punt returns. Lately, however, he has struggled to field kicks. Last night, he made a costly decision to not field a punt and it would up resulting in a safety.

The veteran could be a fit for the Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) speculates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Activate Lorenzo Taliaferro, Place Kendrick Lewis on IR

It’s time to add another name to the Ravens’ continually rolling list of running backs. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the Ravens will be activating running back Lorenzo Taliaferro from the PUP list. Zrebiec notes that the team has also promoted cornerback Robertson Daniel from the practice squad. Safety Kendrick Lewis has been placed on the injured reserve, while tight end Dan Brown has been waived.

Lorenzo TaliaferroTaliaferro, 24, has had issues staying healthy since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2014. The Coastal Carolina product has made 16 appearances over two seasons, running for 339 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carries (4.2 average). Taliaferro also has 13 career receptions for 114 yards. He’ll presumably compete with Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen for snaps in the backfield.

Lewis will certainly be missed in the Ravens secondary, although the 28-year-old hasn’t played a significant role this season. After starting 15 games for Baltimore in 2015, Lewis had only collected six tackles this season. The team will be replacing the veteran with Daniel, who has also spent time with the Redskins, Raiders, and Packers. The cornerback was signed to the Ravens’ practice squad earlier this month.

Brown, a former undrafted free agent, had issues establishing himself on a team that also features tight ends Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore, and Darren Waller. In eight career games, the 24-year-old has six receptions for 64 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Trim Roster To 75

The Ravens have announced four roster moves, and have trimmed their roster to the 75-player maximum. As such, Baltimore is done with transactions until this weekend, when all clubs must move to 53 men.

Placed on PUP:

Placed on IR:

Waived:

Taliaferro will miss the first six weeks of the season, but can then be activated to the Ravens’ active roster. Kaufusi was Baltimore’s third-round pick this year.

AFC Notes: Chiefs, Bolts, Ravens, Titans

The fact that the Chiefs have running backs Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware in the fold could lead them to trade fellow rusher Knile Davis, writes Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. As of late April, the Chiefs were shopping Davis, who requested a trade over the winter. Davis switched gears last month in expressing a desire to remain with the Chiefs, but even with Charles missing most of last season on account of a torn ACL, Davis only racked up 28 carries. West and Ware, meanwhile, combined for 232 attempts and subsequently netted contract extensions earlier this offseason. The writing seems to be on the wall, then, for the 24-year-old Davis, whom the Chiefs used a third-round pick on in 2013. The ex-Arkansas Razorback has amassed 232 carries and a paltry 3.3 yards-per-rush average during his three-year career.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Chargers first-round defensive end Joey Bosa has a better chance at improving the payout of his ~$17MM signing bonus than getting guarantees without offsets, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) opines. Bosa, the third overall selection, is one of the last few first-rounders in this year’s class who hasn’t signed yet; however, Chargers president of football operations John Spanos doesn’t seem concerned.
  • The Ravens have a handful of notable veterans who will enter training camp on the bubble to make the roster, reports Clifton Brown of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Eighth-year cornerback Kyle Arrington, 2013 second-round linebacker Arthur Brown, 2014 third-round safety Terrence Brooks and fourth-round running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, and third-year receiver Michael Campanaro are all in jeopardy, per Brown.
  • Dennis Polian, son of Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian, has resigned from his position as the Titans’ assistant director of football administration/pro scout to take a player personnel role with Texas A&M, according to Jason Wolf of the Tennessean.
  • Earlier Tuesday, the Jaguars signed third-round edge defender Yannick Ngakoue and have now locked up their entire seven-player draft class.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Weddle

Safety Eric Weddle spurned other teams’ offers to sign a four-year, $26MM with the Ravens during the winter. One of the clubs that had interest in Weddle was the hated AFC North rival Steelers, and the three-time Pro Bowl defender revealed today that he and Ben Roethlisberger talked throughout the free agent process (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “Hopefully I get a lot of wins and interceptions against him,” said Weddle. “And maybe sprinkle in a few touchdowns.”

More on the two standouts’ teams:

  • Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell shot down a Twitter rumor that he failed a drug test, telling reporters, including Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I haven’t missed any drug tests, failed any drug tests. I am fine.” Bell, of course, sat out three regular-season games in 2015 for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He also missed seven more contests because of a torn MCL. Bell passed along a positive update on his knee today, per Kaboly (Twitter links). Now entering a contract year, Bell – arguably the league’s premier RB – will try to bounce back from a tumultuous 2015.
  • Steelers guard David DeCastro says his reps have talked a “little bit” with the team about contract negotiations, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. With one year left to go on his contract, DeCastro figures to be a priority for Pittsburgh to address, along with Bell.
  • Once looked at as a potential starter for the Ravens, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro finds himself in the same boat as Terrance West and Trent Richardson, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes. Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and fourth-round rookie Kenneth Dixon have their roster spots locked down, but Taliaferro, West, and Hall of Fame hopeful Richardson may be competing for just one spot. Taliaferro, 24, suffered a foot injury in October that wound up ending his season prematurely. In 2015, Taliaferro logged only 13 carries for 47 yards and one score. He also caught all five of his targets for a total of 29 yards.
  • Earlier this evening, we learned the Ravens are shopping left tackle Eugene Monroe. Further, they worked out fellow veteran O-lineman Todd Herremans.

Zach Links contributed to this post.