Matt McCrane

Cardinals Cut Kendall Wright, David Amerson

Two higher-profile veterans will lose their Cardinals roster spots to make room for younger players.

The Cardinals waived both David Amerson and Kendall Wright on Saturday to clear space for kicker Matt McCrane and defensive end Vontarrius Dora.

Both Wright and Amerson were in-season additions, the latter joining the Cards this week. But needs at other positions will send them to the waiver wire, where all vested veterans who are cut after the trade deadline go.

The Cardinals worked out McCrane on Friday, and this signing may be an indication Phil Dawson will not be able to kick on Sunday. The 20-year veteran missed practice time with a hip injury this week and is questionable.

This would be McCrane’s second game action as a rookie. He kicked in three games for the Raiders earlier this season but made just 5 of 9 field goals before being waived. The Kansas State product was in camp with the Cardinals and spent time on Arizona’s practice squad.

A former Broncos UDFA, Dora has not played in a game since the 2016 season but has spent this season on the Cards’ practice squad and has shown well during preseasons. Rodney Gunter and Robert Nkemdiche‘s statuses are in question for Sunday, and the Cards made an insurance promotion in Dora.

Wright caught on with the Cards earlier this year but has not played in a game since leading the Bears in receiving last season. Released by both the Raiders and Chiefs this year, Amerson logged numerous workouts before landing with the Cardinals on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/30/18

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cardinals Sign Matt McCrane To P-Squad

With concern over Phil Dawson‘s hip injury, the Cardinals signed kicker Matt McCrane to the practice squad. To make room, the Cards released offensive lineman Kyle Friend from the 10-man unit.

McCrane was with the Cardinals in the preseason before being cut, so coaches are already familiar with what he offers. He hooked on with the Raiders after being let go, but he was pretty lousy in his three games as Mike Nugent‘s stand-in. The Kansas State product went 5-for-9 on field goal tries and was just 2-for-6 when subtracting chip shots from 20-29 yards out.

Perhaps he’d have better luck in Arizona. During the preseason, McCrane nailed 4-of-4 field goal attempts, including two tries from 50 yards or longer.

If Dawson can’t go this weekend, the Cardinals can promote him to the active roster on Saturday and have him in the lineup on Sunday when they face the 49ers. Kicking is the least of the Cardinals’ worries, but his presence gives the 1-6 club one less thing to worry about.

Raiders Cut K Matt McCrane

The Raiders waived kicker Matt McCrane, according to Matt Schneidman of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). To replace him, the Raiders signed Daniel Carlson.

The Raiders signed McCrane after losing Mike Nugent to a hip injury, but he didn’t kick like Nugent in his three games with the team. He went 5-for-9 on field goal tries, and just 2-for-6 when subtracting chip shots from 20-29 yards out.

Carlson has had his own struggles this year. The fifth-round pick of the Vikings missed three field goals in Week 2, and was quickly dropped by Minnesota.

Carlson will make his Raiders debut on Sunday when the Colts travel to Oakland.

Raiders To Add K Matt McCrane

After 17 seasons featuring the same kicker, the Raiders are pivoting to a third in the past two years.

While Mike Nugent battles a hip injury, the Raiders are adding another leg in rookie UDFA Matt McCrane, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. McCrane went to camp with the Cardinals this year.

Nugent was only added after Oakland opted to cut Giorgio Tavecchio, its 2017 kicker. Tavecchio was also on the list of specialists the Raiders auditioned on Tuesday, with Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan reporting (via Twitter) Tavecchio joined McCrane, Michael Badgley, Jon Brown and Trevor Moore.

Nugent suffered a hip malady in the Raiders’ loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. He remains on the Raiders’ roster, giving them a two-kicker setup going into Week 4. The Raiders used Tavecchio last season and Nugent for the first three games of this one, after Nugent beat out rookie UDFA Joel Pineiro for the job. Prior to that, Sebastian Janikowski served as the Raiders’ kicker from 2000-16.

A Kansas State product, McCrane spent four seasons as the primary kicker for the Big 12 program. He made 57 of his 66 career kicks — by the end of his sophomore season he’d made 25 of 26 kicks — and earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game. He could not beat out Phil Dawson for the Cardinals’ kicking job in camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Workout Notes: Giants, Jets, Raiders, Colts

As Week 1 practices are underway, here’s the latest from the workout circuit:

  • The Giants appear to envy the Raiders’ roster depth. After adding Mario Edwards and cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Big Blue will work out Raiders 2017 fourth-round tackle David Sharpe, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Sharpe’s shed 30 pounds this offseason, per Gehlken. He played in five games and started two as a rookie. The Giants will also audition former Broncos cornerback Michael Hunter, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). These workouts will take place Tuesday.
  • Hunter was part of a four-cornerback contingent that auditioned for the Texans on Labor Day, with veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweeting Hunter, Breon Borders, Chris Campbell and Jalen Myrick took part in the Monday showcase. Of this quartet, only Myrick has NFL experience. He played five games as a Texan last season.
  • Dan Bailey appears to have a good chance to be the Jets‘ next kicker, but in the event the team doesn’t sign him, an insurance option is coming to the Big Apple for a workout. Matt McCrane will kick for Jets brass on Wednesday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. The Cardinals cut McCrane last week. Jason Myers currently sits as Gang Green’s kicker, but he may not have a good grip on the job.
  • Prior to the Raiders signing Brandon LaFell, they worked out one of their former wideouts. Brice Butler trekked back to Oakland for a Monday workout, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. Although most of Reggie McKenzie‘s draft picks aren’t too popular with Jon Gruden right now, Butler joined the Raiders as a 2013 seventh-round and played sparingly in 2013 and ’14. The Raiders traded him to the Cowboys prior to the 2015 season. Butler did not impress the Cardinals in camp, despite signing a two-year deal this spring.
  • The Patriots worked out tight end Stephen Anderson, tackle Eric Smith and wide receiver Jace Billingsley on Monday, Balzer tweets. New England will sign Smith to its practice squad.
  • Thinner at wide receiver after losing Marqise Lee, the Jaguars will work out former Giants wideout Kalif Raymond on Tuesday, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets. The former UDFA mostly served as a Giants return man last season.
  • Multiyear Steelers backup Fitzgerald Toussaint visited the Colts on Monday, per Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The Steelers cut the 28-year-old running back last week after what ended up being a three-year stay.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Celestin will work out for the Browns on Tuesday, per NFL Draft Diamonds (Twitter link). The Falcons axed Celestin after the preseason.
  • Lastly, the Chiefs auditioned tackle Pace Murphy on Monday, per Balzer.

Cardinals Cut Brice Butler, Others

The Cardinals have moved their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Cut:

Placed on injured reserve:

Waived from injured reserve:

Additionally, the Cardinals activated both tight end Jermaine Gresham and linebacker Marcus Golden off the physically unable to perform list.

Cardinals Sign 24 UDFAs

The Cardinals have signed enough undrafted free agents to fill a starting lineup. Of course, it’s likely that only a few will actually make Arizona’ final cut. The complete rundown of Arizona’s UDFA class is as follows:

  • CB Elijah Battle (West Virginia)
  • TE Alec Bloom (Connecticut)
  • LB Dennis Gardeck (Sioux Falls)
  • LB Frank Ginda (San Jose State)
  • OL Will House (Southern Nazarene)
  • S A.J. Howard (Appalachian State)
  • DE Alec James (Wisconsin)
  • QB Chad Kanoff (Princeton)
  • K Matt McCrane (Kansas State)
  • LB Mike Needham (Southern Utah)
  • CB Deatrick Nichols (South Florida)
  • DT Owen Obasuyi (Hampton)
  • OL Austin Olsen (Southern Illinois)
  • LB Matthew Oplinger (Yale)
  • S Jonathan Owens (Missouri Western)
  • FB Austin Ramesh (Wisconsin)
  • WR Trent Sherfield (Vanderbilt)
  • CB Tavierre Thomas (Ferris State)
  • WR Jalen Tolliver (Arkansas-Monticello)
  • WR Jonah Trinnaman (BYU)
  • S Zeke Turner (Washington)
  • TE Andrew Vollert (Weber State)
  • OL Brant Weiss (Toledo)
  • WR Corey Willis (Central Michigan)

The Cardinals also have six drafted rookies to account for, meaning that they presently have 99 players in total. The Cardinals will be laying off at least nine players in the coming days in order to sign the aforementioned UDFAs to contracts.

Kicker Phil Dawson inked a two-year, $6MM deal with the Cardinals last year, but the team could save $2.5MM with just $1MM in dead money by releasing him. In theory, McCrane could have an opportunity to unseat him, especially since he would represent a cheaper option. Last year, Dawson connected on 80% of his field goal tries, including 4-of-5 from 50+ yards. He also nailed the longest field goal try of his NFL career when he sank a 57-yard game winner against the Jaguars.