Marshall Koehn

Extra Points: Texans, RG3, Chiefs, Patriots

The Texans haven’t tried to hit a home run after losing quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season, as they’ve re-inserted Tom Savage as the starter while signing T.J. Yates, Josh Johnson, and Matt McGloin (since released). While Colin Kaepernick stands out as one signal-caller who could potentially aid Houston, there’s another free agent quarterback who could also make sense for the Texans: former Redskins/Browns passer Robert Griffin III.

“Deshaun’s an incredible player with a really bright future,” Griffin told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “I feel like I could help him after my experiences with Washington and Cleveland. I feel like I could help the team. I know a lot of their guys. I think I can do a lot of things they’ve been doing offensively. Texas is home, and I’ve always got a soft spot in my heart for Texas.”

Kaepernick, who notably starred collegiately in Texas at Baylor University, has been linked to a number of clubs this offseason — including the Seahawks, Chargers, and Ravens — but has yet to land a contract. While he’s certainly struggled in recent campaigns, he could theoretically offer upside that Savage, Yates, and Johnson do not. However, the Texans haven’t shown any indication that they plan to move away from Savage in the near future.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy is considered a “hot name” in NFL circles and could be a head coaching candidate in 2018, according to Michael Lombardi of the Ringer (Twitter link). Nagy doesn’t call plays in Kansas City (head coach Andy Reid handles that duty), but the 39-year-old has helped orchestrate an exotic offense that’s featured career-best performance from quarterback Alex Smith and excellent contributions from young players such as Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. At present, the Chiefs ranks third in offensive DVOA, fifth in yards, and fifth in scoring.
  • Special-teamer Matthew Slater suffered a “serious” hamstring injury in the Patriots‘ Week 10 victory over the Broncos and could now be sidelined for multiple games, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. A wide receiver in name only, Slater also missed the first four games of the season with a hamstring issue. He’s played only eight offensive snaps this year, but has seen time on a quarter of New England’s special teams plays. The Patriots are a top-five special teams unit in DVOA, as they have been in six of the past seven seasons.
  • Linebacker Dadi Nicolas (Chiefs) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (Packers) have both begun practicing and now have a 21-day window during which they can be activated from the physically unable to perform list, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter links). As Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star writes, the Chiefs are dealing with a number of injuries at linebacker, meaning Nicolas — who appeared in 11 games a season ago — could provide depth. Goodson made three starts for Green Bay in 2016 before going down with a torn ACL.
  • The Packers worked out running back Dare Ogunbowale on Wednesday while the Giants took a look at kicker Marshall Koehn, tweets Balzer. Green Bay is dealing with injuries to both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery, so the club is looking for backfield options. New York, meanwhile, has now auditioned kickers in two consecutive days, a sign the team could be frustrated with incumbent Aldrick Rosas‘ 66.7% field goal conversion rate.

Bengals Place RB Jeremy Hill On IR

The Bengals have been busy this morning, making a series of roster moves. The team announced on Twitter that they’ve placed running back Jeremy Hill on the injured reserve and waived kicker Marshall Koehn. To take their place on the roster, the team has promoted safety Brandon Wilson and defensive tackle Josh Tupou.

Jeremy HillHill has been battling an ankle injury recently, forcing him to miss last weekend’s game against the Jaguars. Despite starting all seven games this season, the 25-year-old was on pace to set career-lows in several statistic categories. The former second-rounder has compiled only 116 rushing yards on 37 carries, a far cry from his 1,124-yard performance in 2014. The impending free agent running back had also hauled in only four receptions for 16 yards. With Hill done for the season, the team will presumably turn to Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard to handle the majority of the carries.

Marshall Koehn filled in for Randy Bullock during last weekend’s game, converting his lone extra point attempt. With the team waiving the rookie out of Iowa, it’s a clear indication that Bullock should be ready to go this weekend against the Titans.

Wilson, a sixth-round pick in this past year’s draft, had spent the entire season on the Bengals’ practice squad. The Houston product will presumably slide in behind Shawn Williams, George Iloka, and Clayton Fejedelem on the Bengals’ depth chart. Meanwhile, Tupou is expected to fill in for defensive lineman Pat Sims, who is dealing with a calf injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sign K Marshall Koehn

With Randy Bullock questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Jaguars, the Bengals have added another kicker to the active roster. ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed Marshall Koehn. To make room on the roster, the Bengals waived safety Derron Smith (via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Twitter).

Marshall KoehnBullock was limited throughout the week, and he missed practice on Wednesday. Despite dealing with a back issue, the 27-year-old has been relatively efficient this season. Bullock has connected on all 14 of his extra point attempts as well as eight of his ten field goal attempts. Koehn, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of Iowa, has yet to make an NFL appearance, but he converted two of his three field goal attempts while playing with the Vikings during the preseason. He connected on nearly 78-percent of his field goal attempts and 96-percent of his extra point attempts during his collegiate career.

Smith joined the Bengals organization as a fifth-round pick in 2015. He appeared in 31 games during his two-plus seasons with the organization, but he only made three appearances this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins K Dustin Hopkins Placed On IR

Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins is being placed on injured reserve with a strained rotator muscle in his right hip, a source tells JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (on Twitter). Dustin Hopkins (vertical)

With Hopkins out, the Redskins are auditioning replacements. Andrew Franks, Marshall Koehn, Mike Nugent, and Nick Rose all showed their stuff in D.C. on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports. Franks, Koehn, and Nugent are well acquainted after they all participated in the Buccaneers’ workout last week.

Hopkins connected on 9 of 11 field goal attempts this season. In Sunday’s game against the Niners, he connected on tries from 21 and 48 yards, though he missed one extra point try.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Working Out DL Lamarr Houston

The Buccaneers are working out free agent defensive end Lamarr Houston, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Tampa Bay has also added two kickers to its audition list in the forms of Patrick Murray and Marshall Koehn, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.Lamarr Houston (Vertical)

Houston, 30, was never able to stay fully healthy after inking a five-year, $35MM contract with Chicago prior to the 2014 campaign. In three seasons with the Bears, the 30-year-old Houston appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only 10 starts. He managed nine total sacks in Chicago, but eight of those came in 2015, his only healthy year with the Bears.

Chicago placed Houston on injured reserve (and subsequently released him) earlier this year, but the veteran pass rusher reportedly doesn’t have any structural knee dame. The Buccaneers likely want to confirm that, and see if the seven-year pro could help improve a defensive line which will be without reserve Ryan Russell for the next several weeks. Since parting ways with the Bears, Houston has worked out for the Saints and Patriots.

Murray and Koehn, meanwhile, will join a tryout group of kickers that also includes Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo, and Andrew Franks (Cairo Santos will also be in town for a physical). Incumbent Nick Folk missed three field goals last Thursday night, and has failed to convert five total attempts on the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s workout updates, with nearly all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Raiders Work Out Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo

Sebastian Janikowski is set to enter yet another season as the Raiders kicker, but the team appears to be exploring outside options in advance of his 18th year.

Oakland brought in Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo and Marshall Koehn — all cut on Saturday — for workouts Monday, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Nugent did not win the Giants’ job, and Lambo also saw a younger kicker displace him with the Chargers. Koehn did not win the competition in Minnesota.

The 39-year-old Janikowski has kicked with the Raiders since the 2000 season. He’s in the final year of his contract and is set to count $4.41MM against Oakland’s cap. That figure represents the second-most in the league, behind only Stephen Gostkowski.

Lambo kicked for the Bolts for the past two seasons, and Nugent — a former second-round pick — has 12 years’ experience. Almost all of that came with the Jets and Bengals. Koehn has yet to kick in an NFL game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings’ 53-Man Roster Set

The Vikings made their mandatory cuts to pare their roster down to the 53-man ceiling. Here are the rearrangements Minnesota made to set its regular-season roster.

Cut:

Placed on IR:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/Suspended list:

North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Lions, Vikings

Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett, the first pick in this year’s draft, suffered a left foot injury Wednesday that left him in “obvious pain,” reports Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland. A day later, Garrett sat out practice as team doctors evaluated his foot, a club spokesman announced. The Browns won’t provide further details on Garrett’s ailment, per Cabot, who relays that the injury likely isn’t serious. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Garrett should be “fine.” Foot issues are nothing new for Garrett, who dealt with soreness throughout organized team activities and battled a high ankle sprain during his final year at Texas A&M last season. Fortunately, though, it looks as if he and the Browns will escape relatively unscathed in this instance.

More from the NFL’s North divisions:

  • Unsurprisingly, it appears injured tight end Dennis Pitta‘s release from the Ravens last week will bring an end to his career. When speaking with reporters Thursday, Pitta didn’t announce his retirement, but he conceded, “I’m not delusional” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun). Hip problems limited Pitta to seven games from 2013-15, but he returned last season to post a 16-game campaign and catch a team-high 86 passes. The soon-to-be 32-year-old suffered a hip dislocation earlier this month, though, leading the Ravens to cut ties after seven seasons.
  • In his first meeting with the Detroit media on Thursday, newly acquired Lions offensive tackle Greg Robinson called the trade that sent him from Los Angeles to the Motor City “a big surprise,” per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Robinson busted with the Rams, who selected him second overall in 2014, and acknowledged that things “haven’t really went the way I would like” to this point. The 24-year-old expects to jump-start his career in Detroit, however. “I plan on benefiting from (my fresh start) tremendously,” Robinson declared. “It’s really refreshing and I plan to make the most out of it.”
  • Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler has been “very happy” with his performance this spring, and the ex-Texan explained Wednesday why his play has improved from his disastrous 2016 in Houston. “The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals,” Osweiler said, via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.” Osweiler added that his “fundamentals slid” last year, but he declined “to go into great detail” on why. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk interprets Osweiler’s remarks as a shot at the Texans’ coaching staff, particularly Bill O’Brien, who didn’t get along well with the signal-caller last season.
  • Defensive back Lardarius Webb experienced a “tepid market” during his month of unemployment before re-signing with the Ravens in May, as Zrebiec details. The only club known to have expressed interest in the 31-year-old Webb was the Vikings, although Baltimore reportedly had interest in bringing Webb back almost instantly after releasing him. The Ravens saved $5.5MM in cap space by originally cutting ties with Webb, who has since inked a new three-year deal worth $6.3MM (with another $1.4MM available annually via incentives).
  • Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer indicated Wednesday that both kicker Kai Forbath and punter Ryan Quigley will have to fight for their jobs this summer, telling reporters that “there’s an open competition” at both spots (via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune). Forbath, whom the Vikings signed last November after releasing Blair Walsh, made all 15 of his field goal attempts with Minnesota in 2016 but will battle second-year man Marshall Koehn to stay with the club. “He’s got the stronger leg,” Priefer said of Koehn. “This kid is coming on strong. It’s a great competition.” Quigley, an April signing, will try to fend off another second-year player, Taylor Symmank, after averaging a career-worst 41.6 yards per punt on 34 attempts with the Cardinals last season.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Workout Notes: Pack, Vikes, Chiefs, Giants

In addition to the previously reported Joique Bell, the running back-needy Packers worked out fellow rushers James Wilder Jr. and Brandon Wegher on Tuesday, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Defensive end Arthur Miley and defensive back Brandon Dixon also tried out.

More of the latest workouts (courtesy of Howard Balzer, unless otherwise noted):