Luke McCown

Cowboys Trim Roster To 53

The Cowboys navigated the busy cut week and moved down to the 53-man limit. Here are the players Dallas removed from its roster to reach the regular-season standard.

Released:

Waived:

Placed on Reserved/Suspended list:

Placed on IR:

Cowboys To Release Luke McCown

The Cowboys will part ways with both of their veteran backups and hand the No. 2 quarterback job to an undrafted rookie. Dallas informed Luke McCown of its decision to release him, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

McCown only spent a month in Dallas, but he and Kellen Moore represented the veteran depth behind Dak Prescott. UDFA Cooper Rush is now in line to be the only other passer on the 53-man roster. Although, Rapoport notes the Cowboys want to sign Moore to their practice squad. Despite being 29, Moore has only played in three career games.

The 36-year-old McCown has played in 62 and started 10 since breaking into the league in 2004. He signed with the Cowboys in late July — on a $1MM base salary — after the Saints cut him in April. McCown will cost the Cowboys $250K in dead money.

Rush started for four seasons at Central Michigan, but it’s interesting the Cowboys will turn to him as their only active-roster quarterback behind Prescott.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Freeman, Panthers, Vikes

An extension for Falcons running back Devonta Freeman doesn’t appear imminent, but an agreement should come together by early September, writes Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. The Falcons and Freeman’s agent, Kristin Campbell, are engaging in daily conversations, and both sides are motivated to reach a deal, adds Graziano. Atlanta regards the 25-year-old as a cornerstone player after witnessing him pile up 1,000-plus rushing yards in each of the previous two campaigns, to go with 27 touchdowns (22 on the ground, five as a receiver) and 127 catches. Freeman provided that production while making a relative pittance, and he’ll earn another low base salary this year ($1.797MM) if talks with the Falcons fall through. It doesn’t appear that will happen, however.

More from the NFC:

  • Corey Graham visited the Panthers last week, but the two sides could not agree on money, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (on Twitter). The safety signed with the Eagles on Thursday.
  • Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodesfive-year, $70MM extension features $32.8 million in guaranteed money (excluding the $8.026MM he’ll make this season as a fifth-year option player), writes Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. The accord also comes with $500K in per-game roster bonuses from 2018-22 and annual workout bonuses of $100K.
  • Quarterback Luke McCown‘s one-year pact with the Cowboys includes a $1MM base salary, $170K guaranteed and an $80K signing bonus, per Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • The Redskins worked out rookie safety Alex Gray on Thursday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Gray previously spent time with the Buccaneers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent from Appalachian State.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Cowboys To Sign Luke McCown

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Luke McCown, according to his agent, Mike McCartney (Twitter link).

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The season-ending surgery that Zac Dysert underwent earlier this week put the Cowboys in the market for another signal-caller, but it seemed they were searching for a developmental player. At 36, McCown certainly doesn’t qualify, but the Texas native will at least provide the club with an experienced option behind Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore. Before picking up McCown, Dallas was down to undrafted rookie Cooper Rush as its third option under center.

The brother of Jets starter Josh McCown, whom the Cowboys have courted in the past, Luke McCown entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Browns in 2004. Since then, he has also spent time with the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Saints and Falcons. He has totaled 62 appearances and 10 starts, the most recent of which came with New Orleans in 2015. All told, McCown has completed 216 of 356 passes (60.7 percent), averaged 6.7 yards per attempt and thrown nine touchdowns against 15 interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints To Release QB Luke McCown

The Saints plan to release quarterback Luke McCown today, according to a source who spoke with Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune (on Twitter). McCown has been Drew Brees‘ backup since 2013, but he was effectively squeezed out of that role when the team signed Chase Daniel earlier this offseason. Luke McCownComments from Brees late last week seemed to hint that McCown’s time in New Orleans was coming to a close.

I love Luke. I had four great years with Luke. Luke was such a pro,” Brees said. “He was so great in the room because he’s seen and played so much football. He was really a wealth of knowledge and just a calm presence and just fun to be around.”

In theory, the Saints probably could have kept McCown as a QB3 since he was only slated to carry a $1.75MM cap number. Instead, the Saints are cutting him loose to save $1.5MM with just $250K in dead money. In his four years with the Saints, McCown completed 32 of 40 passes for 335 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. He did not see the field in 2016.

With Daniel in place as a solid QB2, the Saints could now draft a developmental quarterback or perhaps take on a young project player. It will be interesting to see if Johnny Manziel, who met with coach Sean Payton last month, gets any further consideration from the club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Notes: Morris, Shelby, Moore, Jordan

The Dolphins expressed interest in free agent running back Alfred Morris before he signed with the Cowboys, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Miami, of course, signed Broncos restricted free agent C.J. Anderson to a four-year, $18MM offer sheet, only to see Denver eventually match the deal. The club has also eyed free agent options such as James Starks and Chris Johnson, and is now said to be exploring the trade market as its search for a back continues.

Let’s take a look at a few more items out of South Beach…

  • Morris wasn’t the only free agent whom the Dolphins initially targeted, per Jackson, who reports that Miami also showed interest in cornerback Patrick Robinson before he joined the Colts. Additionally, the Dolphins might have more strongly gone after fellow corner Josh Robinson had they known they’d have cap space available once Denver matched the offer to Anderson.
  • Among their own free agents, Miami reportedly did not contact defensive end Derrick Shelby “for months,” according to Jackson, before calling him at the last minute to ask if he’d accept $3MM. Shelby ultimately signed a $21MM deal with the Falcons.
  • Like Shelby, quarterback Matt Moore received the cold shoulder from the Dolphins as the club met with Brandon Weeden and, per Jackson, showed interest in Luke McCown before he re-signed with the Saints. Moore eventually re-signed with Miami after being endorsed by head coach Adam Gase, reports Jackson.
  • The Dolphins weren’t fans of this year’s class of free agent corners, which explains why they didn’t target any of the top-rated players on the board at that position.
  • Miami does still need secondary help, however, and as Jackson explains in a separate article, the Dolphins are studying the top cornerbacks available in the draft.
  • Jackson believes that former third overall pick Dion Jordan would make the Dolphins’ roster if he’s reinstated from his yearlong suspension.

Saints Re-Sign Luke McCown

The Saints are bringing back Drew Brees‘ backup for the 2016 season, according to agent Mike McCartney, who tweets that his client, Luke McCown, has agreed to a two-year deal with New Orleans. According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), the two-year pact is worth $3MM, with a $500K signing bonus.Luke McCown

McCown, 34, has been the No. 2 signal-caller in New Orleans for the last three seasons. After throwing just one pass in 2013 and 2014, McCown saw some action last season, making a spot start for Drew Brees. For the season, he completed 32 of 39 passes for 335 yards and an interception, then was sidelined in November with a back injury.

Coming off a minimum salary benefit contract, McCown will get a bit of a raise this year — perhaps due to that performance in place of Brees last season. The veteran signal-caller also paid a visit to the Colts today, so it’s possible that interest from Indianapolis forced the Saints to give their backup QB a bit of a raise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Saints, Patriots, Jaguars

The latest free agent rumors:

  • The Saints have expressed an interest in bringing safety Rafael Bush back to the team, Sean Fazende of FOX 8 tweets.
  • Bears free agent cornerback Sherrick McManis is visiting the Patriots, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Earlier today, it was reported that McManis was visiting an AFC East team and we now know that club’s identity. The Jaguars are also interested in him, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter).
  • Quarterback Luke McCown visited the Colts today, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweeted.
  • Danny Trevathan, who just signed with the Bears, offered up an interesting answer when asked if the Packers reached out to him. “No, they didn’t. I wish they would have, but they didn’t,” the linebacker said (Twitter link via NFL Network).
  • Defensive end Frank Kearse is visiting the Patriots, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Ravens hosted guard Vlad Ducasse on a visit today, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ducasse started 11 of 16 games for Chicago in 2015. Ducasse began his career with the Jets, a team that was high on his raw talent but never got to see him put it altogether on the field.

Saints To Sign Matt Flynn

As Matt Flynn said on Twitter, it looks like his hunting season is over. The Saints are set to sign the veteran quarterback, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Veteran backup Luke McCown is set to undergo season ending back surgery, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), so Flynn will help to provide depth behind starter Drew Brees from here on out. Flynn, 30, spent time in training camp with the Patriots and Jets this past season but was not able to stick on either AFC East roster. The former Packers draft pick has bounced around a bit since leaving Green Bay in 2011, having also spent time with the Seahawks, Raiders and Bills.

The Jets considered Flynn as an outside option with Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick both nursing injuries earlier this month, but they ultimately they decided against signing him.

Sunday Roundup: Hardy, L. McCown, Welker

As this week’s games get underway in full force, let’s take a look at some notes from around the league:

  • Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times, citing ESPN’s Adam Schefter, reports that the Buccaneers put together a contract structure for Greg Hardy that the Cowboys ultimately mirrored, but Tampa Bay’s contract was contingent on the club meeting with Hardy for evaluation. Once it became clear that such a meeting was not possible, the Bucs pulled the offer (Twitter links).
  • Katherine Terrell of The Times-Picayune writes that Saints backup quarterback Luke McCown will get a second opinion on his back injury this week, but Terrell’s source indicates that McCown will likely require season ending surgery. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the news is fairly significant, as New Orleans has never had to rely on a rookie to back up Drew Brees.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes that free agent wide receiver Wes Welker is still waiting for his phone to ring, and that he has passed both physicals he has taken this year. He wants to play for a contender, and he has instructed his agent to reach out again to the teams on his list to see if there is a fit.
  • ESPN’s Jane McManus tweets that the NFL’s investigation into Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel‘s recent encounter with police is expected to conclude this week. McManus notes that the police report and various witness testimony have complicated the investigation.
  • Although there was more league-wide effort to make a deal prior to this year’s trade deadline than in seasons past, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that only one trade was made because the demand from sellers was too great. The Browns and 49ers in particular asked for compensation that rival executives believed was unreasonable.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com takes a detailed look at the 2016 wide receiver free agent class and the types of contracts some of the bigger names in the class can expect to land. Fitzgerald says the best player on that list, Alshon Jeffery, is better equipped to handle a franchise tag should the Bears go that route because he is so young and the tag will not impact the way teams view his future as long as he remains healthy.
  • ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets that the Jaguars are likely to part ways with Toby Gerhart at season’s end.
  • Likewise, Jordan Raanan of NJ.com believes Jon Beason has played his last game for the Giants (Twitter link).