Matt Longacre

NFC Notes: Carson, Falcons, Barr, Rams

The Seahawks have struggled not just to replace offensive linemen from the Marshawn Lynch era but to replace Lynch himself. Last season, they went through several running backs but saw none emerge as a surefire answer. Five backs — Eddie Lacy, Mike Davis, Thomas Rawls, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic — received more than 45 carries, but none surpassed 70 in a strange season. Now, the team is hoping one of these players in particular will be the leader in 2018. Carson’s been the clear No. 1 back throughout the offseason, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times expects him to be the starter in Week 1, should he stay healthy. Carson averaged 4.2 yards per carry prior to breaking his ankle early in the season. The Seahawks also added Rashaad Penny in the draft, but at this point, Carson is running ahead of the San Diego State alumnus few expected to be a first-round pick. Condotta also expects Prosise and McKissic to vie for the third-down back role, mentioning Prosise — should he stay healthy after an injury-prone career thus far — as a threat to factor into the starter conversation.

Here’s the latest from the NFC, pivoting to one of the Seahawks’ top rivals.

  • Although the Rams drafted three linebackers and have emerging backup Matt Longacre due back from injury, the team that devoted substantial offseason resources to restocking its defensive line and secondary doesn’t have much in the way of certainty on its second level. The Rams traded Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree, shedding salary but creating lineup vacancies. The team is counting on Longacre, 2017 fourth-rounder Samson Ebukam and third-year UDFA Cory Littleton to be first-string presences, Joe Curley of USA Today notes. Los Angeles drafted edges Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Trevon Young in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, and brought in ILB Micah Kiser with a fifth-round pick. However, Curley adds that ex-Chief inside ‘backer Ramik Wilson could be called upon as a possible starter as well in this still-muddled situation.
  • Desmond Trufant may have a new sidekick at some point this season. The Falcons used second-round pick Isaiah Oliver at right cornerback throughout the offseason, and D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution notes Dan Quinn would like to have a bigger presence at that position (Robert Alford is 5-foot-10; Oliver is 6-1). While predicting Oliver will begin his career as a special-teamer, Ledbetter writes that Alford would be an option as the Falcons’ slot corner if Oliver moves into the starting lineup. The Falcons extended Alford in 2016 and are set to pay him over $9MM in each of the next three seasons, though they can get out of that contract relatively easily after 2018.
  • Anthony Barr‘s effort level may be one of the factors involved in the Vikings‘ line of thinking regarding an extension for the fifth-year linebacker, Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. A Barr extension would probably require for him to either top or come quite close to exceeding Jamie Collins‘ OLB-high $12.5MM-AAV contract, and the Vikings already have a host of recently constructed extensions on their books. Barr’s been one of the best 4-3 outside ‘backers in the game for several years, but Mike Zimmer has questioned his effort in the past. The Vikings, who have already extended Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter this year, have begun re-up conversations with Barr.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/16/2018

Here are today’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

  • Re-signed: LB Zaire Anderson
  • Re-signed: DE Shelby Harris
  • Re-signed: LB Joseph Jones
  • Re-signed: WR Jordan Taylor
  • Re-signed: OT Elijah Wilkinson

Houston Texans

  • Signed original round RFA tender: OL Greg Mancz

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed original round RFA tender: LB Matt Longacre

Washington Redskins

  • Re-signed: OT Tony Bergstrom

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/14/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at the second-round level ($2.914MM):

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Rams Place LB Matt Longacre On IR

Rams linebacker Matt Longacre will miss the rest of the season after the team decided to place the pass-rush specialist on injured reserve with a back injury, Dan Greenspan of the Associated Press reports. Matt Longacre (vertical)

The third-year product out of Northwest Missouri State ranks third on the team with 5 1/2 sacks, behind only Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn. After not recording a sack in his first two seasons, Longacre thrived in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ pass-rushing scheme.

First-year head coach Sean McVay commented on the loss, saying, “it’s unfortunate that we’re not going to have him because of what he’s meant to our team.”

The Rams rank fourth in the NFL with 48 sacks heading into the season finale, behind only the Jaguars (52), Steelers (50) and Panthers (49). With the team gearing up for the postseason, it will turn to Donald, Quinn and veteran edge rusher Connor Barwin to fill the void left by Longacre. Not signed beyond this season, Longacre is sure to garner some attention on the free-agent market after his breakout campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/10/17

The latest minor moves from around the NFL:

  • Broncos linebacker Todd Davis has signed his restricted free agent tender, reports Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link). The Broncos applied a second-rounder tender to Davis, meaning it would have been quite costly for anyone to sign him away from Denver. The 24-year-old Davis set career highs in starts (15) and tackles (97) last season, when his performance ranked a decent 43rd among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.
  • Patriots offensive lineman Cameron Fleming has signed his RFA tender, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Pats applied an original-round tender last month to Fleming, who was a fourth-round pick in 2014. Fleming has started in 14 of 35 appearances in three seasons, and is coming off his first 16-game campaign.
  • The Rams are keeping defensive end Ethan Westbrooks, who signed his original-round RFA tender, relays Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. Westbrooks, undrafted in 2014, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence last month, but the Sacramento County District Attorney chose not to file charges. Los Angeles is also retaining exclusive rights free agents Matt Longacre (DE) and Louis Trinca-Pasat (DT). Meanwhile, the team has officially waived wide receiver Stedman Bailey, whose career likely ended when he survived two gunshot wounds to the head in 2015.
  • Nose tackle Mike Purcell and linebacker Carl Bradford have signed their ERFA tenders with the 49ers, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Purcell, the more experienced of the two, logged career-best totals in appearances (15), starts (five) and tackles (26) in 2016.
  • The Raiders have waived defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry, according to James Palmer of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cherry signed with the 49ers last spring as an undrafted free agent from Arizona State. After the 49ers cut him prior to the season, he caught on with Oakland’s practice squad.
  • The Falcons have signed former University of Georgia track and field athlete Garrett Scantling, who will try and make the team as a receiver (Instagram link). Scantling has not played football since his senior year of high school. However, he performed well when partaking in Jacksonville University’s pro day last month.
  • LSU’s Cyril Grayson, who also has a background in track, has signed with the Seahawks, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The seven-time All-American hasn’t played football since 2011, but he did run a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at LSU’s pro day last week, writes Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/6/15

Here are Friday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL, as teams prepare for Week 9 action….

  • The Falcons have waived cornerback Dezmen Southward, replacing him on their 53-man roster by promoting defensive back Akeem King from their practice squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). Southward, the 68th overall pick in the 2014 draft, becomes the second third-round pick from last year to be cut by his team this week – along with former Steelers RB/KR Dri Archer – and is now the fourth member of Atlanta’s 2014 draft class no longer with the club.
  • With a few defensive lineman banged up, the Rams have elevated defensive end Matt Longacre from their practice squad to the active roster, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis had an opening on its 53-man roster after moving running back Trey Watts to the reserve/suspended list due to his indefinite suspension.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed to practice squad (link via Matt Maiocco):
    • WR DiAndre Campbell
    • CB Marcus Cromartie
    • RB Kendall Gaskins
    • DT Kaleb Ramsey
    • OLB Marcus Rush
    • NT Garrison Smith
    • QB Dylan Thompson
    • OG Andrew Tiller (Twitter link via Matt Barrows)
    • S Jermaine Whitehead (Twitter link via Barrows)

Seattle Seahawks

St. Louis Rams

  • Signed to practice squad:

Davis, Jones Among Rams’ Final Cuts

Thought to have the upper hand in the Rams’ center competition, Barrett Jones was one of St. Louis’ roster cuts as it trimmed to 53 players (according to Myles Simmons of the team’s website).

Tim Barnes and Demetrius Rhaney ended up sticking on the roster due to having better positional versatility than Jones, an Alabama product who the Rams took in the fourth round in 2013, per ESPN.com’s Nick Waggoner.

An undrafted free agent in 2011, Barnes is listed as the Rams’ starting snapper.

The Rams also waived Austin Davis, who started eight games for the team last season in Sam Bradford‘s absence. Davis threw for over 2,000 yards and completed 63.4% of his passes in his first game sample.

Here are the rest of the Rams’ cuts:

  • Alex Bayer, TE
  • Emory Blake, WR
  • Malcolm Brown, RB
  • Christian Bryant, S
  • Justice Cunningham, TE
  • Marcus Fortson, DT
  • Montell Garner, CB
  • Jacob Hagen, S
  • Martin Ifedi, DE
  • Zach Laskey, FB
  • Matt Longacre, DE
  • Marshall McFadden, LB
  • Brandon McGee, CB
  • Trovon Reed, CB
  • Daniel Rodriguez, WR
  • Louis Trinca-Pasat, DT
  • Brandon Washington, OL

Rams Sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents

FRIDAY, 2:33pm: The Rams have officially announced their undrafted free agent signings, adding five more players to the list of 10 below, bringing their total to 15. Here are the five new names:

  • Isiah Ferguson, WR, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  • Montell Garner, DB, South Alabama
  • Matt Longacre, DL, Northwest Missouri State
  • Cameron Lynch, LB, Syracuse
  • Keshaun Malone, LB, Bacone

SUNDAY, 4:41pm: After adding nine picks in the 2015 NFL draft, the Rams have agreed to sign another 10 undrafted players, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

  • Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas
  • Imoan Claiborne, CB, Northwestern State
  • Terrence Franks, RB, Texas State
  • Jacob Hagen, S, Liberty
  • Jay Hughes, S, Mississippi State
  • Zach Laskey, FB, Georgia Tech ($3K bonus, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun)
  • Bradley Marquez, WR, Texas Tech
  • Tyler Slavin, WR, New Mexico-Highlands
  • Louis Trinca-Pasat, DT, Iowa ($15K bonus and $10K of base salary guaranteed, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press)
  • Darrell Williams, T, South Florida