Maurice Alexander

Seahawks To Sign Maurice Alexander

The Seahawks have signed safety Maurice Alexander, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The former Rams safety will help fill the void after Earl Thomas was placed on IR. 

Alexander, 27, started 14 games for the Rams in 2016 and started four contests for the club last year. The former fourth-round pick wasn’t playing all that well, however, as Pro Football Focus graded Alexander as a bottom-10 safety in 2016. But Alexander offers both youth and experience, and could become a valuable reserve for the Seahawks.

For now, the Seahawks are expected to move forward with Tedric Thompson as Thomas’ replacement in the starting lineup. He joins Tre Flowers, Bradley McDougald, and Shaquill Griffin in a secondary that is talented, but not Legion Of Boom-level great.

If he’s active on Sunday, Alexander’s first contest will come against the Rams. Currently at 2-2, the Seahawks will look to hand the Rams their first loss of 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/2/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • T Andrew Nelson (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Seahawks Move Roster To 53

Placed on NFI:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Seahawks Sign Maurice Alexander

The Seahawks have signed safety Maurice Alexander, passes along Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). The defensive back was released by the Rams last October and subsequently met with Seattle. While he didn’t ink a deal back then, the two have agreed to deal this time around.

The 27-year-old had spent his entire four-year career with the Rams organization. Following a career season in 2016 that saw him compile 38 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions, the former fourth-rounder took a drastic step back in 2017.

Alexander finished the campaign with 13 tackles in four games (four starts). He was ultimately released by the organization in October, and he sat out for the remainder of the season.

Seahawks Notes: Avril, Joeckel, Alexander

As he continues to deal with a neck injury, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril has sought multiple medical opinions and is visiting another doctor today, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. Head coach Pete Carroll originally indicated Avril would be sidelined “awhile” with a stinger and numbness in his arm, but subsequent reports have expressed concern about the future of Avril’s career. While Seattle has the defensive line depth to withstand a Avril absence (Frank Clark, Marcus Smith), his absence will certainly be felt, and doubts about his ability to continue playing are certainly worrisome.

Here’s more from Seattle:

  • Left guard Luke Joeckel is expected to miss four-to-five weeks after undergoing knee surgery during the Seahawks’ bye week, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Joeckel, who signed a one-year, $8MM contract this spring, has played every snap at left guard for Seattle this season. Perhaps unsurprisingly given his track record with the Jaguars, Joeckel had struggled — along with the rest of the Seahawks’ offensive line — through five games, grading as the No. 44 guard among 75 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Mark Glowinski and rookie Ethan Pocic will now compete to replace Joeckel, per Condotta.
  • Free agent safety Maurice Alexander is visiting with the Seahawks this week, as Condotta writes in a full piece. Seattle should be relatively familiar with Alexander, as he’d spent the entirety of his four-year NFL career with the Rams. Alexander, who has also auditioned for the Jets and Cardinals since being waived last week, offers valuable experience (18 starts over the past season-plus), but he’d seemingly be overkill in Seattle. The Seahawks already boast two of the NFL’s best safeties in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, plus veteran Bradley McDougald and rookies Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson in reserve.
  • If recent history is any indication, Seahawks defenders Dion Jordan and DeShawn Shead likely won’t return to the field for three more weeks, opines Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Both Jordan, a defensive end, and Shead, a cornerback, are allowed to resume practicing today, but neither player is ready to roll just yet. Once they are, Seattle will get a three-week window during which Jordan and/or Shead can be added to the 53-man roster. Jordan is currently on the non-football injury list, while Shead is on the physically unable to perform list. As Henderson notes, the Seahawks have typically given their players ample practice time before activating them.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/17

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

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Jets Work Out DB Maurice Alexander

The Jets worked out free agent safety Maurice Alexander this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Alexander was waived by the Rams on Monday.Maurice Alexander (Vertical)

New York is currently deploying two rookies — Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye — at safety, and both have performed surprisingly well through five games. Terrence Brooks and Rontez Miles are currently the Jets’ backup defensive backs, and both have played on fewer than 60 defensive snaps. Both Brooks and Miles have been contributors on special teams, however, and both have seen action on at least a quarter of New York’s ST plays (Brooks, notably, is second to only linebacker Julian Stanford in Jets special teams snaps).

Alexander, 26, started 14 games for Los Angeles in 2016 and had started four contests for the club this season. The former fourth-round pick wasn’t playing all that well, however, as Pro Football Focus had graded Alexander as a bottom-10 safety in 2016. But Alexander offers both youth and experience, and could potentially become a valuable reserve for the Jets if signed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Waive DB Maurice Alexander

The Rams have waived safety Maurice Alexander in order to clear a roster spot for wide receiver Mike Thomas, the club announced today.Maurice Alexander (Vertical)

Alexander, 26, started 14 games for Los Angeles in 2016 and had started four games for the club this season. The former fourth-round pick wasn’t playing all that well, however, as Pro Football Focus had graded Alexander as a bottom-10 safety in 2016. Alexander’s release is simply performance-based, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com, who reports the Rams want to see more from young players Josh Johnson, Cody Davis, Blake Countess, Marqui Christian, and Isaiah Johnson.

Thomas, a sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft, was suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy. A favorite of many in the draft community, Thomas managed only three receptions in 15 games during his rookie campaign, but also contributed on special teams. He joins a wide receiver group that also includes Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Tavon Austin.

Extra Points: Ja. Peppers, Rams, Texans

Jabrill Peppers played both linebacker and cornerback at Michigan, but nearly all NFL teams view the draft-bound prospect as a safety, he told the Associated Press. Peppers is on board, saying, “I didn’t play safety, but I’m going to be a safety.” While one club informed Peppers it would use him at linebacker, another had an outside-the-box idea. “One team told me they thought I should play offense,” revealed Peppers, who did see time on that side of the ball at Michigan last season. Peppers rushed 27 times for 167 yards, caught two passes and scored three touchdowns. He also fared well in space as a punt returner, posting a Big Ten-leading 14.8-yard average on runbacks.

More from around the game:

  • Ravens college scouting director Joe Hortiz is the Rams’ top choice to take over the same position in Los Angeles, reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (all Twitter links). The Rams have shown interest in Hortiz in the past, notes La Canfora, who adds that Baltimore wouldn’t be able to prevent him from leaving. Los Angeles started reshuffling its scouting department when it dismissed four evaluators on April 9.
  • The Rams are also making changes on the field, with several familiar names apparently set to switch positions as the Sean McVay era begins, according to Myles Simmons of the team’s website. Contrary to a prior report, the signing of left tackle Andrew Whitworth will not force Greg Robinson to shift to guard; rather, Robinson will head to right tackle, leaving Rob Havenstein to move inside. Elsewhere, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner will play free safety and Maurice Alexander will take over at strong safety in the wake of the team’s addition of Nickell Robey-Coleman, who’s primed to handle Joyner’s old job as a slot corner. Finally, Robert Quinn is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker, though his role as a pass rusher will remain the same.
  • Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles visited the Texans on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. With potential first-rounders in Bolles, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk on their radar, it’s clear the Texans are strongly considering taking a tackle with the 25th pick in the draft.
  • The surgery Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster underwent on his right rotator cuff in February won’t keep him out for any portion of training camp, his agent, Malki Kawa, announced Monday (on Twitter). The soon-to-be first-rounder is “ahead of schedule,” per Kawa.

2017 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Donte Moncrief (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.8MM in 2017. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2017 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Aaron Lynch, LB; Marcus Martin, OL

Bears: Charles Leno, T; Will Sutton, DT

Bengals: Russell Bodine, C

Bills: Preston Brown, LB; Seantrel Henderson, T

Broncos: Michael Schofield, OL

Browns: Christian Kirksey, LB

Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, G

Cardinals: John Brown, WR

Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G; Zach Fulton, G; Phillip Gaines, CB

Colts: Donte Moncrief, WR

Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB

Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB

Giants: Devon Kennard, LB

Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB; Brandon Linder, G; Telvin Smith, LB

Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB; Travis Swanson, C

Packers: Corey Linsley, C; Richard Rodgers, TE

Panthers: Tre Boston, S; Trai Turner, G

Raiders: T.J. Carrie, CB; Justin Ellis, DT; Gabe Jackson, G

Rams: Maurice Alexander, S; E.J. Gaines, CB

Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB; Spencer Long, G; Morgan Moses, T

Texans: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE; Andre Hal, S

Titans: DaQuan Jones, DL; Avery Williamson, LB

Vikings: Shamar Stephen, DT

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.