Marcus Johnson

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.

Colts To Acquire WR Marcus Johnson From Seahawks

Marcus Johnson will head to another new team this year. A two-trade offseason will ensue for the wide receiver; the Colts agreed to acquire him from the Seahawks, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.

The Colts are sending tight end Darrell Daniels to Seattle, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This will mark an interesting second-year UDFA-for-second-year UDFA exchange.

The Seahawks acquired Johnson from the Eagles in the Michael Bennett trade earlier this year. Now, the Colts will add Johnson to a thin wideout corps — one that lost promising rookie Deon Cain for the season.

Johnson collected a Super Bowl ring last year as a rookie, catching five passes for 45 yards last season. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound pass-catcher showed a nice rapport with Russell Wilson this preseason, per Henderson, but the Seahawks’ receiver contingent is slightly more crowded than the Colts’.

Daniels will join a Seahawks tight end corps that lost Jimmy Graham. Daniels played in 12 Colts contests last season and caught three passes.

 

Seahawks Trade Michael Bennett To Eagles

Trade alert! The Seahawks are sending defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh-round pick to the Eagles for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Facebook link). Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported that Bennett was Philadelphia-bound. 

[RELATED: Seahawks To Also Part Ways With Richard Sherman?]

Bennett has been the subject of trade speculation for months now and the Falcons were among the teams to express interest in acquiring him recently. The return for him may seem underwhelming given his ability, but his market was suppressed by his contract, which still has three seasons and $26MM left.

The Seahawks’ loss is now the Eagles’ gain. Bennett didn’t have his best season in 2017, but he did earn a third Pro Bowl nod as he registered 8.5 sacks. His inside pass rush ability helped to propel Seattle to the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons and he’ll look to do more of the same for the defending champs. The Eagles project to start a defensive line of Bennett, Cox, Derek Barnett, and Brandon Graham, and that’s as good of a D-Line as you’ll find in the NFL.

After acquiring Bennett, the Eagles may explore a potential trade of defensive end Vinny Curry, Schefter tweets. The Eagles like Curry, but his cap number for 2018 is a bit too pricey given their limited amount of room.

The Bennett deal opens up roughly $2.2MM in cap space for the Seahawks, though they’re still saddled with about $5.2MM in dead money. The trade also helped Seattle escape the $3MM bonus he was due later this month and freed them of the future seasons left on his deal. The Eagles now assume that contract, which has Bennett under control through the 2020 season.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks gain an insurance policy in the event that Paul Richardson leaves in free agency. Given the buzz surrounding him, it’s very possible that they’ll lose him on the open market. Enter Johnson, who has posted a 40-yard-dash time of 4.36 seconds in the past. He doesn’t have a stat line that comes close to Richardson (he had just five grabs for 45 yards last season), but his speed could allow him to fill a similar role in Seattle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Matthews, Revis, Flowers

The latest from Philly:

  • Although wide receiver Jordan Matthews is entering the final season of his rookie deal, the Eagles haven’t made any progress towards an extension with the former second-round pick, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Matthews was reportedly dealing with knee tendinitis and didn’t practice much during the spring, but some in the Eagles organization believe Mathews sulking about his contract, per Bowen. Last week, Matthews was fully cleared to participate in training camp, tweets Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and declined to elaborate on the status of his knee. However, he did tell Tim McManus of ESPN.com that he would “literally never” sit out due to contract concerns. Entering his age-25 campaign, Matthews is scheduled to earn $1.095MM for the upcoming season.
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com ran down ten cornerbacks that the Eagles could trade or sign for. The list includes Darrelle Revis, even though the former shutdown corner has clearly lost a step or three. Although Revis was bad in 2016, he wasn’t quite as bad as the Eagles’ cornerbacks in the writer’s estimation. Revis gave up three touchdowns last year, which was still less than Eagles No. 1 cornerback Leodis McKelvin‘s seven surrendered TDs. Brandon Flowers, Sam Shields, and Leon Hall are among the other veteran possibilities highlighted.
  • Wide receiver Marcus Johnson is a legit contender for the Eagles‘ roster now that he is healthy, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes. Johnson, 23 on Saturday, joined the team as an undrafted free agent last year but did not have a chance to see live action thanks to a quad injury he suffered in camp. His arrow is now trending upwards as he looks to fill a spot behind receivers Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, and rookie Mack Hollins.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

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.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

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