Mack Hollins

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Gase

Prior to being selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2016 draft, quarterback Jacoby Brissett wanted nothing to do with New England.

“I honestly did not want to be there,” Brissett said on the McCourty twins’ podcast (via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston). “When I took my visit there — my pre-draft visit — I was like, ‘Hell no. If one team drafts me, it better not be them.’

“And I’ll never forget, (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) called me on the phone on draft night and I didn’t have his number saved. That’s how bad it was. I didn’t even have his number saved in my phone. I was like, ‘Damn, man.'”

You can’t necessarily blame Brissett for feeling that way. Besides having to play behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady, the rookie QB was also behind former second-rounder Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart. Due to suspensions and injuries to his teammates, Brissett ended up seeing time in three games (two starts) during his rookie campaign. The following year, the Patriots shipped Brissett to the Colts in exchange for wideout Phillip Dorsett.

“Honestly, that was my wake-up to the NFL, was being traded and then the next week, you’re out there in a game,” Brissett added. “It was like, ‘We don’t care how long you’ve been here. You’d better know how to play.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Speaking of Patriots quarterbacks, Cam Newton is in New England to complete his physical and finalize his one-year deal, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The reporter notes that the Patriots are confident in the quarterback’s “condition” and aren’t anticipating any issues with the physical. Injuries limited Newton to only a pair of games in 2019, forcing him to settle for a one-year, $1.75MM deal with New England.
  • If the Dolphins are forced to trim their training camp roster, then Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points to a handful of undrafted rookies who could get cut, including offensive linemen Jonathan Hubbard, Nick Kaltmayer, and Donell Stanley. Jackson also opines that a handful of veterans could be sent packing, a group that includes offensive linemen Adam Pankey and Keaton Sutherland, quarterback Jake Rudock, fullback Chandler Cox, and receivers Ricardo Louis and Mack Hollins.
  • Connor Hughes of The Athletic did a somewhat similar exercise with the Jets, as he explored which players could be traded if New York gets off to a sluggish start. The writer points to wideout Breshad Perriman, linebacker Avery Williamson, running back Le’Veon Bell, defensive end Henry Anderson, and safety Marcus Maye as potential trade candidates.
  • While Hughes believes that Adam Gase has received some underserved criticism during his tenure in New York, the writer also can’t envision the Jets head coach keeping his job if the team finishes with seven or fewer wins. Of course, there are plenty of scenarios where the Jets struggle and Gase does keep his job, especially if quarterback Sam Darnold misses more time in 2020.

Lions Tried To Claim Mack Hollins

The Dolphins have added Mack Hollins to the mix, but they weren’t the only team to make a claim on him. The Lions also tried to snag the wide receiver, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets

[RELATED: Lions’ Kerryon Johnson Designated To Return]

The Lions, of course, lost out on Hollins, due to having a stronger record. The Dolphins have the fourth-highest waiver priority in the NFL thanks to their 3-9 record. The 3-8-1 Lions, meanwhile, are sixth.

The Lions viewed Hollins as developmental depth, which is roughly why the Dolphins went for him. With an $804K cap figure for this season and a small bump to $894K for 2020, Hollins is a cheap pickup that could pay dividends for Miami going forward.

The Eagles gave Hollins extensive work this year while other receivers were sidelined with injuries. Hollins played in at least 50% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps in six games this season, but produced just 10 receptions for 125 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Claim WR Mack Hollins

Another veteran wide receiver will head to Miami via waiver claim. The Dolphins submitted a successful claim for former Eagles wideout Mack Hollins on Wednesday.

Hollins follows Trevor Davis, whom the Raiders recently cut, to south Florida. The Dolphins have lost multiple receivers to season-ending injuries in recent weeks.

The Dolphins also signed offensive lineman Evan Brown off the Giants’ practice squad. They waived offensive lineman Chris Reed and cornerback Ken Crawley, the latter with an injury designation, to make room on their 53-man roster.

With their receiver situation battling injuries for most of the season, the Eagles gave Hollins extensive work. He played in at least 50% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps in six games this season but produced just 10 receptions for 125 yards. The 2017 fourth-round pick’s rookie contract runs through 2020, so the Dolphins will have a chance to evaluate him in the offseason as well.

The Dolphins signed Reed to a low-end two-year deal this offseason; he played in five games with one start. Brown is a rookie UDFA out of SMU who’s played three snaps this season. A former Saints corner, Crawley played in four Dolphins games this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/19

We’ll keep track of today’s minor NFL moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed: C Patrick Morris (from Steelers)

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promote TE Kendall Blanton
  • Placed on IR: WR JoJo Natson

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/18

Here are Thursday’s minor moves.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Promoted to active roster: LS Jeff Overbaugh
  • Waived: LB Richard Jarvis

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived from injured reserve: DT Chris Okoye, DB Josh Shaw

Jacksonville Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles

NFC Notes: Eagles, Hicks, Packers, Bears

Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks suffered a hand injury while exiting a pool on Thursday, according to Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice, but the issue isn’t expected to be serious, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hicks will only be sidelined for three-to-four weeks, per Bowen, meaning he should be available for the start of training camp. Currently on vacation in Greece, Hicks sent video of his hand to Eagles doctors in order for the club to get some idea regarding the severity of the injury. Hicks, 25, played 95% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps a season ago, managing 86 tackles and five interceptions while grading as the league’s No. 5 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, which labeled Hicks as the NFL’s second-best coverage ‘backer.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Although general manager Ted Thompson and the rest of the Packers‘ front office doesn’t often target external free agents, they did sign defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois to a one-year, $3MM deal in March. “To get that phone call that the Green Bay Packers want you is rare,” Jean-Francois tells Stu Courtney of PackersNews.com. “It’s rare that you see them go outside and pick guys up and if they do, it’s for a reason. On the first day of meetings when all the new guys stand up, I’m used to seeing like five or six guys stand up and there were only three guys to stand up. I’m blessed to get picked up.” Jean-Francois was released by the Redskins before signing with Green Bay, so he won’t affect the Packers’ compensatory picks (a key factor in Green Bay’s decision making). Entering his age-30 campaign, Jean-Francois will back up Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark on a Packers defensive line that already ranked sixth in adjusted sack rate in 2016.
  • Like Jean-Francois, cornerback Prince Amukamara landed a one-year pact with an NFC North club this spring, as the veteran defensive back signed a deal with the Bears. But he’s hoping his relationship with Chicago extends beyond simply the 2017 season, as Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes. “I don’t want to start bouncing around teams,” Amukamara said. “I want to find a home somewhere soon, what I did in New York. I’m trying to give this team everything I’ve got. Every one-year deal is a prove-it deal for the player. That’s just my mindset this year.” Amukamara, 28, will be playing on his second consecutive single-season accord after spending the 2016 campaign in Jacksonville. While he did earn a bump in pay (from $5MM to $7MM), it’s understandable that Amukamara hopes to ink a long-term deal.
  • The Eaglesdecision to waive wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was due in part to the club’s confidence in fellow pass-catchers Marcus Johnson and Mack Hollins, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Johnson, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of Texas, spent last year bouncing on and off Philadelphia’s practice squad before earning a futures deal in January. He has yet to appear in an NFL contest, but the Eagles clearly like what they’ve seen from Johnson on the practice field. Hollins, meanwhile, was selected in the fourth round in the 2017 draft, and should spent most his rookie season in special teams. Philadelphia currently has 11 wide receivers on its depth chart, including new free agent additions Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

NFC East Rumors: Cousins, Hollins, Jaylon Smith

We learned yesterday that long-term contract talks between the Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins were finally progressing, though Cousins is still holding all the cards in those negotiations. After all, since it would cost Washington north of $34MM to put the franchise tag on Cousins for the third time in 2018, Cousins can afford to play hardball, and Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com says it will still take $50-60MM in guaranteed money to get an extension done. Indeed, the Raiders and Lions are preparing to hand out massive paychecks to Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford, respectively, the Bears just gave Mike Glennon — who threw 11 passes over the past two seasons — essentially a one-year, $16MM deal, and the 2018 class of rookie quarterbacks is supposed to be better than this year’s crop, but it still lacks any Andrew Luck-type certainties, all of which enhances Cousins’ value.

Now for a quick trip around the NFC East to close out the night:

  • The Eagles reportedly have no interest in reuniting with old friend Jeremy Maclin, and Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks he knows why. Bowen says the Eagles are willing to sign a free agent stopgap like LeGarrette Blount if they do not have young, promising options at a given position, but otherwise they do not want to stunt the growth of a talented prospect that could blossom into a quality starter by the time they are truly ready to compete for a championship in a couple of years. Maclin may not be especially productive by that time, whereas rookie wideouts Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson would just be entering their prime. Hollins in particular is making the Philadelphia coaching staff excited, and as ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets, Hollins is well-regarded around the league and would have been a second- or third-round draft choice this year if not for a broken collarbone that hurt his draft stock.
  • Reporters finally got the opportunity to see Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith on the field yesterday, as Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press reports that Smith did individual drills and some 7-on-7 work with reporters watching. It was Smith’s sixth practice overall but the first one that the media was allowed to observe, and afterwards, Smith was characteristically vague about his practice time and recovery. However, he remains adamant that he will be ready for Dallas’ September 10 season opener.
  • We learned earlier tonight that NFL agents and front office personnel expect Giants receiver Odell Beckham to land a contract with a total value very close to, or even exceeding, $100MM.

Eagles Sign Seven Draft Picks

With the notable exception of first-round defensive end Derek Barnett, all of the Eagles’ draft picks are now under contract. The Eagles have agreed to deals with seven members of their rookie class, per a team announcement. Here’s the list:

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The biggest name included in that group belongs to Jones, who underwent surgery on a torn Achilles in March and won’t return to the field until the fall, at the earliest. Jones’ injury, which occurred on the final rep of his pro day, caused his draft stock to slip after it appeared he’d be a first-rounder. The 6-foot, 181-pounder was a 30-game starter at Washington, where he tallied eight interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: McGloin, Wentz, Draft

This year, Eagles player personnel vice president Joe Douglas and de facto general manager Howie Roseman are teaming up to run the draft, as Les Bowen of The Philadelphia News writes. “Since he’s been here, have we done everything that I wanted to do? No. Have we done everything that he wants to do? No. But have we done everything that’s right for the Philadelphia Eagles? Yes,” Roseman said. Earlier this week, both men spoke highly of controversial Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon.

Here’s more from Philly:

  • Matt McGloin‘s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $800K, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). The quarterback gets $775K of that sum from his base salary plus a $25K workout bonus and no guaranteed money. “Moxy” currently projects to be the third QB on the Eagles’ depth chart behind starter Carson Wentz and primary backup Nick Foles, but the Eagles could conceivably use a late pick on another signal caller in the upcoming draft. It’s also not a given that they’ll carry three QBs on the 53-man roster in the fall.
  • The Eagles will listen to what Wentz has to say about certain prospects, as Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. “If there’s any player on our roster that has insight into a guy in free agency or the draft, it’s part of our information gathering,” Roseman said. “Certainly, it’s no different with Carson. If he has insight because he worked out with a particular guy or knows a guy from college, then we want that information. But that’s not unusual just to him.” This offseason, Wentz worked out in California with several draft prospects, including Cooper Kupp, Chad Hansen, Mack Hollins, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, so he might be able to give the front office some extra scouting material.
  • Mike Kern of the Daily News advocates for the Eagles to take running back Christian McCaffrey at No. 14 overall. He also pitches the unorthodox idea of the Eagles going for tight end O.J. Howard if he falls that far, but that would be a surprise given that they already have Zach Ertz at TE.