Maurice Harris

Saints Add Maurice Harris On Futures Deal

One of the other wide receivers in the Antonio Brown-headlined workout will have a chance to stick with the Saints for next season.

The Saints agreed to terms with Maurice Harris on a reserve/futures deal Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. After failing to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster out of training camp, Harris spent the season on the workout circuit.

Prior to what turned out to be a key Saints audition in late December, Harris worked out for the Lions, Buccaneers and Vikings this season. The Patriots signed him early in free agency, but their steady turnover at wide receiver included placing the ex-Redskins wideout on IR and reaching a subsequent settlement.

Harris, 27, played three seasons with Washington. The ex-UDFA’s most notable work came in 2018, when he caught 28 passes for 304 yards. While at Cal, Harris topped out as a senior with 40 catches for 553 yards and six touchdowns in 2015.

The Saints remain in search for reliable Michael Thomas complementary players and, as their Brown and Dez Bryant workouts showed, are not shy about bringing in help. Ted Ginn‘s three-year contract expired at season’s end, and Tre’Quan Smith caught just 18 passes this season. New Orleans, which employs several UDFAs behind Thomas and Smith, also added two other wideouts — ex-Raven Tim White and 2019 UDFA Emmanuel Butler — on futures deals.

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Saints Audition Maurice Harris

Antonio Brown wasn’t the only wide receiver showing his stuff for the Saints on Friday. Brown and Maurice Harris were among six WRs auditioning for the team, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

[RELATED: Saints To Work Out Antonio Brown]

Head coach Sean Payton is aiming to update his WR list for the playoffs, in case any receivers are lost to injury, Schefter hears. That may or may not be an indicator for Brown’s chances of landing a deal. Granted, even if Brown is signed, the league office may step in and keep him off the field by placing him on the Commissioner’s List.

Harris, 27, doesn’t offer the same kind of upside as Brown, but he would come without any of the aforementioned complications. The former UDFA had his first productive pro season in 2018, though he hasn’t had a gig since getting cut by the Patriots back in August. Last year, with the Redskins, Harris caught 28 passes for 304 yards across 12 games.

It stands to reason that the Saints will sign at least one receiver in the coming days. Just this week, the club was forced to place Krishawn Hogan on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.

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Buccaneers Audition RB Spencer Ware

The Buccaneers were busy this afternoon, as SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out eight players. Among that grouping was a trio of offensive weapons: wide receiver Maurice Harris, wide receiver J.J. Nelson, and running back Spencer Ware.

The Buccaneers receiver depth chart is topped by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but the team could be looking for a veteran to fill out the squad. The coaching staff could also be hunting for a return man, as they’ve had to use punt returner T.J. Logan in double duty following the release of Bobo Wilson.

Neither Harris nor Nelson have much experience in the return game, but the two have plenty of experience on offense. Nelson, 27, was a 500-yard receiver as recently as 2017, but he’s fallen off over the past two seasons. He hauled in four catches in two games for the Raiders before getting released in early October. Harris, 26, had his first productive NFL season in 2018, but he hasn’t had a gig since getting cut by the Patriots back in August.

Similar to the Bucs’ receivers, the team’s running backs corps are pretty much set. In fact, earlier this week, coach Bruce Arians revealed that Ronald Jones had secured the starting running back gig, with Peyton Barber, T.J.Logan and Dare Ogunbowale also contributing to the running game. Ware would provide a veteran option, although the soon-to-be 28-year-old hasn’t seen the field in 2019. He had ankle surgery back in August, so it’s encouraging that he’s already working out for teams. The veteran had 470 yards on offense in 13 games for the Chiefs last season.

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NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/19

The latest on the workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns 

Houston Texans:

Minnesota Vikings

Bunch of former Washington players making the rounds as Harris, Alexander, and Marshall are all ex-Redskins. Harris is probably the “biggest name” on this list, and this is his second NFC North visit in recent weeks as he worked out for the Lions at the beginning of the month. Last year with the ‘Skins, Harris had 28 catches for 304 yards. The Cal product reportedly had a solid camp with New England this offseason, but he was waived with an injury settlement after suffering a foot injury.

Lions To Work Out WR Maurice Harris

The Lions will work out Maurice Harris on Tuesday, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The former Redskins receiver was said to have had a solid camp with the Patriots, but was waived in late August with an injury settlement after suffering a foot injury. 

Harris was recently cleared by the acclaimed Dr. Robert Anderson, so it sounds like it’s all systems go for the 26-year-old (27 in November). If he hooks on with the Lions, or another squad, he’ll look to top the watermarks of 28 catches, 304 yards, and 12 touchdowns that he set last year.

The workout could be an indication that Danny Amendola is still recovering from the chest injury that ruled him out against the Chiefs on Sunday. For now, the Lions WR depth chart consists of Amendola, Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Hall, and the recently promoted Tom Kennedy.

The Lions are 2-1-1 after Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs and will look to rebound against the Packers on Monday night.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 8/28/19

We’ll keep track of today’s roster shuffling here as teams gear up for major cuts at the end of the week:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: RB James Williams

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

  • Waived: TE Cole Wick
  • Waive/injured: OLB Josh Smith

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: T Will Holden, DE Logan Tago
  • Waived: DT Jay-Tee Tiuli

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/27/19

It was a busy day in the NFL as teams made early cuts in advance of the 53-man deadline. We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Jacob Ohnesorge

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Patriots Notes: Andrews, Thomas, Harris, Roberts

We learned earlier this evening that Patriots center David Andrews was hospitalized due to blood clots in his lungs. Fortunately, there’s some good news on that front, as Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweets that the lineman has been released from the hospital.

Andrews is expected to miss a significant amount of time, with the initial report indicating that the lineman’s season is in jeopardy. This would be a significant loss to the Patriots’ line, as the 27-year-old has been the team’s primary center since 2015.

Some more notes out of New England…

  • Wideout Demaryius Thomas told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Reiss) that the Patriots were the only team to express interest in him this past offseason. After tearing his Achilles following a trade to the Texans, the 31-year-old ended up inking a one-year deal with New England this offseason. He finished last season with 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The Patriots waived both DE Keionta Davis and WR Maurice Harris this past weekend, and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the duo were cut with the injury designation. The two ended up clearing waivers are have now been placed on the injured reserve. Harris initially seemed like a lock to make the Patriots roster, but the team’s sudden receiver depth left him without a spot.
  • Rookie running back Damien Harris was injured during the Patriots preseason win on Thursday, and the team is apparently eyeing some reinforcement at the position. NESN.com’s Doug Kyed tweets that the team worked out former Washington State running back James Williams today. The undrafted free agent has already had stints with the Chiefs and Colts.
  • Reiss points to linebacker Elandon Roberts as a potential trade chip, noting that the fourth-year player has only played 14 defensive snaps this preseason. While the 25-year-old normally doesn’t cover kickoffs, the team may show him off for potential suitors during the team’s preseason finale. Reiss wonders if the Lions and former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be a fit.

Patriots To Cut WR Maurice Harris

After some initially encouraging signs Maurice Harris would make the Patriots’ 53-man roster, the veteran wide receiver received word he will be released. The Pats are cutting another recent addition, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Harris has dealt with a recent leg injury, and the Patriots have seen both Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas re-emerge in their plans. Gordon returned to practice on Sunday; Thomas is now off the Pats’ active/PUP list. An injury settlement may well be how this ends, with Harris being limited in recent days.

A former Redskins UDFA out of Cal, the 26-year-old wideout signed a one-year Pats deal for the league minimum. He caught 28 passes for 304 yards last season in Washington, his first campaign with north of 100 receiving yards. But the Pats subsequently added promising UDFA Jakobi Meyers and received word of another Gordon reinstatement. The team also re-signed Phillip Dorsett, making Harris’ roster path more complicated.

The Pats have a much higher-profile receiving corps now than they did to start the offseason, with two Pro Bowlers, a Super Bowl MVP and two first-round picks set to make the team. Harris joins Bruce Ellington and Dontrelle Inman as 2019 UFA wideout additions (Dorsett and N’Keal Harry) the defending Super Bowl champions jettisoned before Week 1.

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AFC East Notes: Jets, CBs, Bell, Patriots

Despite their wealth of cap space this offseason, the Jets still have some apparent needs. One of those is cornerback. Trumaine Johnson leads the Jets’ corner group. Although the team appears to, at least to some extent, regret signing him to a five-year, $72.5MM contract, he is by far the surest thing Gang Green has here. After Johnson, the Jets have Darryl Roberts and slot signee Brian Poole. Both are former part-time starters, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes the Jets are indeed gauging the trade market for possible solutions. The Jets have thus far tried to address this issue with minor signings (Mark Myers and Montreal Meander) but still have $28MM-plus in cap space, so they could take on a veteran contract if need be. This will be an interesting situation to monitor, but the team does have an outside option in Morris Claiborne. A Jets starter over the past two seasons, Claiborne was not in the team’s initial offseason plans but remains in free agency.

Here is the latest out of the AFC East:

  • Another Jets issue does not yet appear to have subsided. Some in the building were upset Le’Veon Bell did not show for OTAs, Cimini adds. While the two-time All-Pro running back reported for minicamp, there will surely be some learning to do when training camp commences. Bell has only played in one offensive system, Todd Haley‘s, in his career. This is the latest in what’s been another complicated Bell offseason, one that included previous reports of Jets dissatisfaction at his absences and Adam Gase not wanting him at the price Mike Maccagnan paid.
  • Gang Green has not decided on an Andre Roberts successor at kick returner yet, but Trenton Cannon looks to be in the early lead, Ethan Sears of the New York Post writes. Jets special teams coordinator Brant Boyer praised the running back’s work in this department this offseason, but he has one career kick return as an NFLer. That won’t make replacing an All-Pro easy.
  • The Patriots have not featured much in the way of consistency at wide receiver over the past two years, with numerous players — including Julian Edelman, who did not play in 2017 — shuttling in and out of the lineup and on and off the roster. One low-level signee who has a chance to stick as a role player is former Redskins cog Maurice Harris, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Given a one-year, $1MM deal, the 6-foot-3 Harris has been used at multiple positions thus far, Reiss adds, and profiles as a Tom Brady auxiliary target.
  • The pick the Pats were going to send to the Lions for Michael Roberts was the one they acquired from the Falcons in trading them safety Jordan Richards last year, Reiss notes. The Falcons gave the Patriots a 2020 seventh-round pick, so Roberts’ chances of making New England’s roster may have been slim.
  • Both the Bills and Dolphins now have all of their rookies under contract.