Marcus Johnson

Colts To Re-Sign WR Marcus Johnson

The Colts have agreed to re-sign wide receiver Marcus Johnson, according to his agents at EnterSport Management (Twitter link).

Johnson, 25, reached restricted free agency last month, but Indianapolis opted not to tender him an offer. Thus, the former undrafted free agent almost surely re-signed at a cost cheaper than the lowest RFA tender of $2.133MM.

Johnson was injured for the first half of last season, but took on a prominent role down the stretch, starting six games and posting a 105-yard performance against Tampa Bay. Overall, he finished with 277 yards and two touchdowns in only eight games.

Colts Won’t Tender Marcus Johnson

An interesting young receiver is about to hit the open market. The Colts won’t tender restricted free agent wideout Marcus Johnson, so he’ll be entering unrestricted free agency later this month, according to Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). In a separate tweet, Erickson noted he was surprised by the move.

Erickson writes that the Texas product is “expected to get a lot of interest” from other teams now that he’ll be free to sign wherever. Johnson originally signed with the Eagles as an UDFA in 2016 and spent the first two years of his career in Philly, winning Super Bowl LII with the team. He was then traded to the Seahawks as part of the Michael Bennett deal, before Seattle traded him to Indy prior to the 2018 season.

Johnson was injured for the first half of last season, but he took on a prominent role down the stretch. He ended up starting six games and even had a 105-yard game against Tampa Bay, which is why it’s a bit surprising that the Colts are letting him walk. Overall he finished with 277 yards and two touchdowns in only eight games. Still only 25, it’ll be interesting to see where he latches on next.

Colts QB Jacoby Brissett Won’t Play Sunday

NOV. 10: Brissett is considered week-to-week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Colts hope Brissett will return for next week’s game against the Jaguars, but nothing is certain at this point.

NOV. 9: Jacoby Brissett has been downgraded to ‘OUT’ for the Colts matchup against the Dolphins tomorrow, reports Stephen Holder of The Athletic (via Twitter). This means Brian Hoyer will take over as the starting quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Colts made a handful of moves to accommodate this lineup change. The team announced that quarterback Chad Kelly (along with wideout Marcus Johnson) has been promoted from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team has waived wideout Deon Cain and defensive tackle Kyle Peko.

Brissett injured his MCL during last week’s loss to the Steelers, putting a sudden halt on his breakout campaign. Taking over for Andrew Luck, the 26-year-old has completed 64.8-percent of his passes for 1,649 yards, 14 touchdowns, and three picks. He’s also added another 37 rushes for 110 yards and one score. Hoyer filled in admirably during last week’s loss, throwing for 168 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll be getting his first start since 2017.

Kelly, the Mr. Irrelevant of the 2017 Draft, was suspended for the first two games of this season. After getting waived by the Colts, he subsequently joined the team’s practice squad. Should Hoyer be sent to the sideline, Kelly could see himself playing in his second career game. Johnson, a former undrafted free agent out of Texas, has 11 career receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Cain, a 2018 sixth-round pick, spent his rookie year on the injured reserve as he recovered from an ACL injury. The 23-year-old got into seven games (three starts) this season, hauling in four receptions for 52 yards. Peko, 26, was claimed off waivers from the Bills earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/1/19

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Signed: OL Brandon Hitner

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/24/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Colts Reach Roster Max

The Colts reached the 53-man limit on Saturday by cutting a number of players, including running back Charcandrick West. West, who has been toggled on and off of the Chiefs’ roster in recent years, hooked on with the Colts less than two weeks ago. Despite the season-ending injury suffered by D’Onta Foreman, he wasn’t able to make the final cut.

Also among the cuts – J’Marcus Webb, one of the club’s Week 1 starting tackles in 2018. Webb’s season was mostly lost to injury, and he’ll have to hook on elsewhere for 2019.

Here’s the rest of the Colts’ moves:

Waived:

– S Micah Abernathy
– T Jackson Barton
– CB Jalen Collins
– WR Ashton Dulin
– G Jake Eldrenkam
– T Antonio Garcia
– DE Gerri Green
– DE Obum Gwacha
– K Cole Hedlund
– WR Krishawn Hogan
– CB Isaiah Langley
– WR Roger Lewis
– LB Skai Moore
– C Daniel Munyer
– DE Carroll Phillips
– DT Johnny Robinson
– DT Sterling Shippy
– G Nate Theaker
– S Jacob Thieneman
– WR Jordan Veasy
– QB Phillip Walker
– RB Aca’Cedric Ware
– RB Marquis Young

Waived/Injured:

– WR Penny Hart
– S Isaiah Johnson
– WR Marcus Johnson
– S Kai Nacu
– CB Shakial Taylor
– LB Ahmad Thomas

Released:

– TE Gabe Holmes
– DT Caraun Reid
– TE Ross Travis

Colts WR Chester Rogers Signs RFA Tender

Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, the club announced today. Safety Matthias Farley inked his original round RFA tender, while wide receiver Marcus Johnson signed his exclusive rights free agent tender.

Rogers earned only $695K in 2018, but he’ll now see a pay bump to $3.095MM for the upcoming season. An undrafted free agent in 2016, Rogers’ playing time has hovered between 45% and 65% during his three years in the NFL, but his production has increased year-over-year. In 2018, Rogers set career-highs with 53 receptions for 485 yards and two scores; his catch and yardage totals ranked second among Colts wideouts.

Any other club could have signed Rogers to an offer sheet, but they would have been forced to hand over a second-round pick to the Colts in order to land him. While Rogers is a solid complementary offensive piece, he’s probably not worth a second-round selection.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Second round tender:

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Extra Points: 49ers, Coaching Staffs, Zorn

Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes the 49ers would jump at the chance to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. if the Giants actually make him available, but Barrows is more skeptical about San Francisco’s interest in Antonio Brown. It has been rumored that Brown’s preferred destination is the 49ers, but Barrows says San Francisco would only be a serious suitor for Brown if the Steelers’ trade demands are modest. Of course, we recently heard that Pittsburgh may not get more than a third-round pick for AB, so maybe that is modest enough for the Niners to take the plunge.

Now for more from around the NFL (and XFL):

  • In the same piece linked above, Barrows writes that the 49ers must re-sign guard Mike Person, and he says the club plans to meet with Person’s agent at the Scouting Combine this week.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the Giants are expected to hire Everett Withers as their new DBs coach. Withers spent the last three seasons as the head coach of Texas State and had previously agreed to become the defensive coordinator for Florida International in 2019. He will take over for Lou Anarumo, who left Big Blue to become the Bengals’ DC.
  • Former Bengals RBs coach Kyle Caskey will join the Lions in the same capacity, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network (via Twitter). It is a logical hire for Detroit, as Caskey did good work in his five years coaching Cincinnati’s running backs.
  • Colts WR Marcus Johnson, an exclusive rights free agent, has been cleared to resume football activities, Johnson himself tweeted. Johnson was placed on IR in October.
  • Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is not at this week’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis due to his surgery to repair a torn ACL (plus, while he would have been permitted to participate in limited interviews and undergo medical testing, he was banned from participating in drills). However, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets that Simmons will attend the medical recheck in Indianapolis in April, which will give interested clubs the chance to see how his recovery is progressing.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out an odd quirk in the league’s rule concerning a prospect’s eligibility to fully participate in the Scouting Combine. Since the ban on drills that players like Simmons have faced only encompasses convictions, that means that players who have not been convicted of a crime but who are still facing potentially serious charges — like Wyoming DE Carl Granderson — are allowed to participate in all aspects of the Combine. Of course, current NFL players may face league discipline even if they avoid legal repercussions for their misdeeds, so Florio believes the rule banning prospects only if they have been convicted of a crime should be eliminated.
  • Appearing on The Mighty 1090 (audio link), draft guru Tony Pauline expressed his belief that Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray will definitely be drafted in the first round; it is merely a question of where in the first round he will fall.
  • Former Redskins head coach Jim Zorn, who also served as the quarterbacks coach for five different NFL clubs, has been named the head coach and GM of the XFL’s Seattle franchise, the league announced via Twitter.

Colts Sign WR Dontrelle Inman

The Colts signed free agent wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, according to a team announcement. Inman takes the place of fellow receiver Marcus Johnson, who has been placed on IR. 

Inman is best known for his time with the Chargers. In 2016, he caught 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns for the Bolts, putting him on the map as a reliable pass catcher. He might not see another 97-target season at this stage of his career, but Inman could find playing time in a group that is thin without top pass-catcher T.Y. Hilton. Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers have been serving as the team’s primary WRs, and may continue to so if Hilton cannot suit up against the Bills in Week 7.

Inman put himself on the NFL radar in 2012 and 2013 with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, catching a combined 100 passes for 1,542 yards and 11 touchdowns. After racking up numbers on the elongated field (and a Grey Cup), he was signed by the Chargers. After four-plus seasons in L.A. and San Diego, he was traded to the Bears last October. He finished out with 23 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown in the second half of the year with Chicago.

Johnson collected a Super Bowl ring wuth the Eagles as a rookie, catching five passes for 45 yards last season. He was traded twice this offseason – first from the Eagles to the Seahawks, then from the Seahawks to the Colts. Unfortunately, he got injured while fielding a squib kick, and his season is over here in October.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.