Marcus Simms

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/19

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Chase Middleton
  • Waived: DB Hamp Cheevers

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: DT Brandin Bryant, OT Travis Vornkahl

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: TE Brandon Barnes
  • Waived: CB Isaiah Langley

Houston Texans

  • Waived/injured: DE Ira Lewis

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: WR Quadree Henderson, LB Davis Tull
  • Waived/injured: WR Marcus Simms (concussion)

 

Jaguars To Sign WR Marcus Simms

Marcus Simms went unselected in Wednesday’s supplemental draft, but he does have an NFL deal. The former West Virginia wide receiver has agreed to sign with the Jaguars, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). 

Simms was viewed as the second-best talent in this year’s second-chance draft, behind Washington State safety Jalen Thompson, who was the only player taken in the fifth round when the Cardinals called his name (or, more accurately, emailed his name to the NFL’s offices.) Some off-the-field issues interrupted his run in West Virginia, but Simms flashed some potential over the last two seasons.

Between 2017 and 2018, Simms reeled in 81 passes for 1,362 yards and seven touchdowns. He also contributed as a kickoff and punt returner, which should help his cause as he tries to stick at the pro level.

Now, Simms will focus on trying to make the Jags’ 53-man cut, joining Keelan Cole, Chris Conley, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Terrelle Pryor, and others on the WR depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Only One Player Taken In Supplemental Draft

The NFL’s Supplemental Draft on Wednesday concluded with only one player drafted. After the Cardinals chose Washington State’s Jalen Thompson in the fifth round, no other players were taken in the remaining two rounds.

The players who were not selected in the supplemental draft are now free to sign with any club. Those players are:

After Thompson, Simms was widely regarded as the best player in this year’s supplemental draft. The 6’0″ receiver averaged 16.7 yards per catch during his time with the Mountaineers and seems likely to land on a team’s 90-man roster.

Clarington, a one-time University of Texas commit, has also shown some impressive athleticism and potential at the JUCO level. He may also find work in the NFL, but he’s a raw prospect, even by supplemental draft standards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Supplemental Draft, Bucs, McDowell, Wilkerson

The 2019 Supplemental Draft is tomorrow, and just like last year we could see a lot of action. Before last season, when two players were taken, there had only been one selection since 2013. This year, it seems likely that two players will get taken again, Washington State safety Jalen Thompson and West Virginia receiver Marcus Simms. Thompson is more highly regarded by the scouting community, and has been drawing a lot of interest. He met with the Packers earlier today, and 26 teams attended his workout yesterday. To help get you prepared for tomorrow, Dane Brugler of The Athletic studied game tape of both players and wrote up detailed scouting reports.

He notes that while Thompson is a “terrific athlete” and good in coverage, he’s also “undersized for the safety position.” There’s been some speculation that Thompson may have to switch to corner at the pro level. Brugler gives Thompson a third or fourth round grade. Brugler writes that Simms is a burner with excellent speed, but that his route-running isn’t very well developed. As a “best-case NFL player projection,” Brugler lists Kenny Stills, while giving Stills a fifth-to-seventh round grade. We’ll know the results of the draft tomorrow afternoon.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Things reportedly aren’t going well between rookie first-round pick Josh Jacobs and the Raiders. There’s a holdup in negotiations over his rookie deal, and it looks like Jacobs isn’t going to report to training camp in a couple of weeks. Don’t expect anything similar for linebacker Devin White and the Buccaneers. The fifth overall pick in April’s draft is going to sign “any day now,” and “you can bet he won’t miss a meeting,” writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The Bucs are counting on White to play a huge role for their revamped defense, so it’s good to hear there’s no drama surrounding his contract.
  • A couple of weeks ago we heard that free agent defensive lineman Malik McDowell had been arrested, and now we have video of the incident, courtesy of TMZ Sports. In the video, McDowell can be seen getting tased, and then attempting to fight the arresting officer after pulling the taser prongs out. McDowell was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round back in 2017, but never played a game for them. He suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident before his rookie training camp, and the Seahawks never cleared him to return. McDowell has reportedly been cleared to play by independent doctors, and recently met with the Cowboys, but nothing materialized. Back in May, the Seahawks filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup some of McDowell’s signing bonus.
  • Free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the biggest names left on the market. He was arrested for DWI at the beginning of June, which could be delaying his signing. Wilkerson recently appeared in court, and turned down a plea deal prosecutors offered him, per Shayna Jacobs and Sarah Valenzuela of the New York Daily News. Wilkerson’s attorney said it was “telling” that they offered the deal, and seemed confident his client would get off. After spending seven seasons with the Jets, Wilkerson signed a one-year deal with the Packers last season. A serious ankle injury ended his first year in Green Bay after just a few games. Wilkerson is still capable of playing at a high level, and should sign somewhere soon.

Extra Points: CBA, Supplemental Draft, Saints, Onyemata

Everything we’ve heard so far indicates that discussions between the league and the NFLPA on a new CBA have been positive. Things seem so be going surprisingly smoothly, and earlier this week we heard the two sides hope to have a deal done before the 2019 season starts. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of issues to be resolved. As we track the negotiations this summer, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com is out with a great piece detailing the fight ahead.

Graziano broke down the nine biggest issues in the talks, and the whole article is well-worth a read. Graziano cautions that while everything seems positive for now, it’s “a complex negotiation with pitfalls.” Graziano writes that the owners have run out of money for stadiums that they were allotted in the previous CBA, and that’s “seen by many connected with the talks as the main reason the owners are interested in doing a new deal as soon as possible.” He writes that “they need money to help with stadium projects in places such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Carolina, Washington and even Los Angeles, where Rams owner Stan Kroenke would likely enjoy a bit of league-sponsored help with his project.” If the players are going to allow the owners to take more money off the top for ‘stadium credits’ as they’re called, Graziano writes that they’ll demand a greater share of the net revenue in return.

Among many other interesting nuggets, Graziano notes that the players have a good shot of getting the ‘fully funded rule’ erased, which “requires teams to hold in escrow any portion of a player’s contract that is fully guaranteed.” It currently dissuades owners who might not want to tie up all the cash from giving out longterm guaranteed contracts, and doesn’t exist in any of the other major leagues.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • This year’s Supplemental Draft will be more intriguing than most. Washington State safety Jalen Thompson‘s entry into the draft ensured that there would be at least one player selected. We heard last week that Thompson had a 3-4th round grade on him before last season, but there’s another player with good shot of getting picked. Former West Virginia Marcus Simms is “likely to be chosen” as well, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Simms held a workout on Monday which was attended by half the league’s teams, including by Raiders GM Mike Mayock. The draft is scheduled for July 10th, so we should know pretty soon.
  • Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was recently suspended for the first game of the 2019 season, but at least he won’t be facing any further legal trouble. Onyemata completed a diversion program and won’t be prosecuted in his marijuana case, per Ramon Antonio Vargas of NOLA.com. Unfortunately for Onyemata this didn’t all happen before the new CBA took effect, as the league is reportedly likely to stop punishing players for marijuana use. Onyemata, a 2016 fourth-round pick, has blossomed into a key contributor for the Saints, and New Orleans’ defensive line will be a bit thin in Week 1 with him and Sheldon Rankins both sidelined. Last year Onyemata played around 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps as a run-stuffer, and received very strong marks from Pro Football Focus.

Marcus Simms Works Out For Teams

Former West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms worked out for half of the NFL’s teams on Monday, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. The Jaguars, Saints, Seahawks, Colts, Jets, Redskins, Chiefs, Browns, Eagles, Lions, Packers, 49ers, Vikings, Ravens, Raiders, and Falcons.

[RELATED: The 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft, So Far]

The 49ers and Vikings both sent directors of scouting while the Ravens had their personnel director on hand. The Raiders, meanwhile, had general manager Mike Mayock on hand, which may be an indicator of strong interest.

Simms’ 40-yard-dash times of 4.49, 4.45 and 4.40 seconds were strong, while his 36 inch vertical showed decent hops for the position. While he’s not considered to be as strong of a pro prospect as Washington State safety Jalen Thompson, Simms has a chance at being selected when the NFL Supplemental Draft takes place later this month.

Marcus Simms Enters Supplemental Draft

West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms has filed paperwork to enter the supplemental draft, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com tweets. Simms is expected to work out for teams in early July. 

This spring, Simms entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, signaling a desire to play for a different school. Instead, he’ll go pro with one year of college eligibility remaining.

Simms hauled in 87 career receptions for 1,457 yards and eight touchdowns with the Mountaineers, but fell out of favor under new head coach Neal Brown. He skipped most of the team’s spring practices due to a reported hamstring injury, but Brown later said that the receiver was dealing with a personal issue.

No date has been set for the 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft just yet, but it’s likely to take place in mid-July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.