Mike Adams (OT)

Former OT Mike Adams Attempting NFL Comeback

Former offensive tackle Mike Adams hasn’t appeared in an NFL games since the 2016 season, and the veteran is now attempting a comeback… at a different position. During an appearance on the Rival podcast, the 28-year-old said he’s reduced his weight from 323 pounds to 255 pounds, and he’s looking to catch on as a tight end.

“I want to give it another shot and get after it,” Adams said (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I love the game. It’s what I want to do. It’s who I am.”

Despite failing a drug test during 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, the Ohio State product ended up getting selected by his hometown Steelers in the second round. The lineman ended up spending four seasons with the organization, including a 2013 campaign where he started a career-high 10 games. However, injuries and ineffectiveness led to a reduced role, and he finished his Steelers tenure having appeared in 41 games (21 starts) in four years.

After failing his physical in 2016, Adams was released by the Steelers. He quickly caught on with the Bears, and he appeared in 12 games (one start) with Chicago during the 2016 season. He suffered a back injury towards the end of that season and landed on the injured reserve, and he was unable to secure a job for the 2017 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Put Adams On IR, Claim McCants

Mike Adams served as a swing tackle during his first season in Chicago, but that campaign will end early after the Bears placed the edge blocker on IR, Brad Biggs reports (on Twitter).

To replace him on the 53-man roster, the Bears claimed tackle Matt McCants off waivers from the Browns.

The Bears initially signed Adams, a former Steelers second-round pick whom Pittsburgh cut this offseason, in August and used him in 11 games. He made one start, which was the 21st of his five-year career.

Adams was playing on a one-year deal for just $760K this season. He missed all of the ’15 season with a back injury. It’s again a back injury that will shelve the 26-year-old Adams to close this year as well, which could again limit teams’ interest come free agency.

McCants will now serve as a backup to Charles Leno and Bobby Massie. The Browns waived him Saturday to officially bring Robert Griffin III back on the active roster. A Raider for three years who took a pay cut from 1.67MM to $675K in September but still was waived off Oakland’s roster later this season. The 27-year-old lineman played in two games for the Raiders this season but did not appear in one with the Browns.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Sign OT Mike Adams

The Bears have agreed to sign Mike Adams, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The former Steelers tackle is not to be confused with the Colts safety of the same name. Terms of the deal are not yet known. Mike Adams OT (vertical)

[RELATED: Bears C Hroniss Grasu Tears ACL]

Adams, a former second-round pick, was released by Pittsburgh in May. Thus far in the NFL, Adams has had a disappointing career since the Steelers used a second-round selection on him in 2012. In his first three years, Adams appeared in only 41 games with 20 starts. Last year, Adams did not take the field due to a back injury. The Steelers were apparently not hopeful about what Adams could do in 2016, but the Bears are cautiously optimistic and want to give him a shot.

Had he remained in Pittsburgh, Adams would have received an $873K salary for 2016. His new deal in Chicago is presumably for the minimum salary and without guarantees.

To make room for Adams, the Bears have waived fellow lineman Nick Becton, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Tribune tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Release Mike Adams

The Steelers announced that they have released offensive tackle Mike Adams with a failed physical designation. Kicker Ty Long and running back Abou Toure were also released. Mike Adams OT (vertical)

[RELATED: James Harrison To Return In 2016]

Adams, a former second-round pick, has had a disappointing career since the team used a second-round selection on him in 2012. In his first three years, Adams appeared in only 41 games with 20 starts. Last year, Adams did not take the field due to a back injury. The Steelers were apparently not hopeful about what Adams could do in 2016 and they have released him days after adding offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins in the fourth-round of the draft. Had he remained in Pittsburgh, Adams would have received a $873K salary for 2016.

In other Steelers news, the team declined the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Jarvis Jones earlier this week. Jones’ fifth-year option would have been worth $8.369MM, more money than the Steelers were willing to pay.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Browns, Austin, Wolf

Browns head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer will not both be back with the team next season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (article via Conor Orr of NFL.com). Pettine had hinted at some discord between the Cleveland front office and coaching staff last week, but apparently the situation is more toxic than originally believed.

According to Rapoport, the coaching staff believes the scouting department does not provide the team enough information to effectively execute the game plan, and the scouting department believes the coaching staff does not effectively utilize its personnel. Neither the front office nor the coaches, of course, are without fault. Farmer has blown two consecutive drafts, which has hamstrung Pettine’s efforts quite a bit, but Pettine has not been an especially savvy in-game strategist and has failed to establish the hard-nosed, defensive-minded mentality he promised when he was hired. If owner Jimmy Haslam chooses to keep one of the Pettine/Farmer duo, the smart money may be on Pettine, but it seems clear that at least one of those men will be out of a job at the end of the season, and perhaps both will be looking for a new position.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the league’s north divisions:

  • Although Kyle Meinke of MLive.com believes Lions head coach Jim Caldwell‘s fate is sealed–no one believes he will return to Detroit next season–the futures of defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter are more uncertain. Austin, for the second season in a row, has done an excellent job leading the Lions’ defense, and although Cooter has less of a track record, he has successfully turned around an offense that crashed and burned under Joe Lombardi. If Austin does not get a head coaching position this offseason–he could even wind up as the Lions’ head coach–he is certainly a viable candidate to return as DC, and Meinke believes Cooter is deserving of an extended look as OC.
  • Though Austin will be a candidate for the Lions‘ head coaching position, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that current Bears OC Adam Gase will be a “top target” for the club.
  • Packers pro personnel director Eliot Wolf is a hot name among teams searching for a GM this offseason, but per La Canfora, it is highly unlikely Wolf will be leaving Green Bay. Wolf, who has steadily risen through the ranks of the Packers organization, is seen as the heir apparent to current GM Ted Thompson, and he would be exceedingly selective if he were to consider any position outside of Green Bay. La Canfora’s report does not come as much of a surprise, as Wolf has been a popular GM candidate for several years now.
  • Although Steelers tackle Mike Adams is technically in the final year of his rookie contract, he will remain under club control in 2016, according to Mark Kaboly of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Adams was placed on the PUP list before the start of training camp, he never returned to the active roster, and he was not removed from the PUP list, which means that his contract will be tolled and he will be back with Pittsburgh in 2016 at the same salary he earned in 2015 (roughly $873K). Adams could still hit the open market if the Steelers choose to cut him, of course, but given the team’s lack of depth at tackle, Kaboly does not see that as a real option.

Extra Points: Amukamara, Chargers, LA, Steelers

A quick look around the NFL as we draw closer to Sunday’s Week 12 action. . .

  • From a business standpoint, it would make a lot more sense for the Chargers to head to Los Angeles than stay in San Diego, writes Dan McSwain of the San Diego Union-Tribune. If the Chargers get a new stadium in San Diego, which doesn’t appear likely, projections indicate it would boost the team’s revenue by $50MM per annum. Conversely, the yearly revenue increase accompanying a new stadium in LA could be anywhere from $300MM to $500MM. Thus, the league’s relocation fee of $500MM to $600MM doesn’t look as if it should serve as much of a deterrent to either the Chargers or any other team eyeing LA.
  • Though Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara will be a free agent at season’s end, he’d like to stay where he is. “This is the organization that took a chance on me,” he told Steve Serby of the New York Post. “It’s a first-class organization.” Amukamara, who has missed 25 of 74 regular-season games since he was a first-round pick in 2011, added that he doesn’t “think the Giants would ever have to worry about the corner position again if I could stay on the field.”
  • Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams has had a disappointing career since the team used a second-round selection on him in 2012, appearing in only 41 games (20 starts). Adams – who won’t play at all this year because of a back injury – will be a free agent after the season, but he might end up remaining with the Steelers, per Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As Kaboly notes, the Steelers have just two tackles signed next season (Marcus Gilbert and Alejandro Villaneuva), so it’s possible they’ll bring back Adams as a depth player on a team-friendly deal.

Extra Points: Rams, Randle, Mexico City

The NFL announced its 2016 lineup of London games today, and the Rams are one of three teams giving up a home game to play overseas. However, as Jacob Kirn of the St. Louis Business Journal writes, that would seem to violate the terms of the team’s lease with the Edward Jones Dome. Of course, the franchise’s future in St. Louis beyond this year remains up in the air, so it’s possible there will be no lease with dome in 2016 to violate.

For what it’s worth, the St. Louis stadium task force issued a statement today indicating that if the Rams were to enter discussions with the task force about the riverfront stadium proposal, then “we’re certain accommodations can be made for the Rams to play one game in London next season.” As is, this looks like just another small piece in a complicated Los Angeles puzzle.

Here are a few more Wednesday odds and ends from around the NFL:

  • Just three weeks after he was waived, former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was arrested on Tuesday after an incident at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas. Randle, who had already been suspended by the NFL for a previous arrest, was charged with one felony and five misdemeanors, further reducing the possibility of him signing with a new team anytime soon. Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News has the details on the incident, including the specific charges Randle is facing.
  • The NFL’s three London games may not be the league’s only international contests during the 2016 regular season. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link), the league is working on a logistics issue relating to a possible Mexico City game, but is “well along” in the process, and there’s a good chance a November ’16 game will be scheduled at Azteca Stadium.
  • While there have been proposals to push the NFL vote on Los Angeles further back, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links) says that’s unlikely to happen due to the league’s schedule release. As Farmer explains, forcing a late vote would risk get the moving team(s) off on the wrong foot in a challenging market.
  • The Steelers didn’t open the 21-day practice window for tackle Mike Adams prior to Tuesday’s deadline, so his 2015 campaign is over before it began, tweets Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Adams started the year on the PUP list and would have had to begin practicing yesterday to have a chance at being activated this season. Instead, his contract is expected to toll, meaning he won’t reach unrestricted free agency.

PUP, NFI Players Soon Eligible To Practice

Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the Giants and Eagles, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many clubs could be welcoming injured players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to the practice field.

Of course, just because those players are able to return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player currently on the PUP list could return to the field for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest.

The rules for NFI players are similar to those for PUP players. If a player on either reserve list doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, his 2015 season will officially be over.

Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list who can begin practicing as soon as this Tuesday:

And here are the players currently on their teams’ non-football injury or illness lists, who are also eligible to begin practicing this Tuesday:

  • Arizona Cardinals: WR Damond Powell
  • Buffalo Bills: CB Leodis McKelvin
  • Cincinnati Bengals: T Cedric Ogbuehi
  • Cleveland Browns: DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE Randall Telfer, RB Glenn Winston
  • Dallas Cowboys: LB Mark Nzeocha
  • Houston Texans: T David Quessenberry
  • Kansas City Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray
  • San Francisco 49ers: WR DeAndre Smelter
  • Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams

In addition to monitoring players on the PUP and NFI lists, it’s worth keeping an eye on players who have been placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this IR-DTR spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.

That means that a player who was placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing on Tuesday, though he won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 9. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after Week 1 will have to wait until next Tuesday – October 27 – to return to practice, while other IR-DTR players will have to wait until November to practice.

Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as Tuesday:

Steelers Reduce Roster To 75 Players

The Steelers added one player to their roster today, acquiring Josh Scobee in a trade with the Jaguars, but most of the day’s transactions for the team involve removing players onto reserve lists, or cutting them from the team entirely.

Here are the rest of the moves completed today by Pittsburgh in order to get the roster down to 75 players, according to the club’s transactions log:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

  • T Mike Adams

Placed on injured reserve:

  • CB Senquez Golson
  • K Garrett Hartley

Waived/injured:

  • TE Cameron Clear
  • DE Niko Davis
  • TE Ray Hamilton

Cut:

  • G Miles Dieffenbach
  • WR Kenzel Doe
  • WR C.J. Goodwin
  • RB Braylon Heard
  • DE Joe Kruger
  • DT Joe Okafor
  • OL Collin Rahrig
  • CB Jordan Sullen
  • T Kevin Whimpey
  • S Ian Wild

Extra Points: Burnett, Long, Adams

ESPN’s staff put together a list of each team’s starter whose job is in jeopardy. Among the most notable are 49ers running back Frank Gore, Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and Packers safety Morgan Burnett. On Burnett, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky says, “When the Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round, the thinking was that he would start alongside Burnett. Now, there’s a chance he could start instead of Burnett. Coach Mike McCarthy likes what Micah Hyde has done at free safety, and when Burnett strained his oblique muscle this week, he put Clinton-Dix in Burnett’s strong safety spot. The Packers made a major investment in Burnett last summer with an $8.25 million signing bonus as part of a four-year extension, but he followed it with an unproductive season.”

Here’s a few miscellaneous links from around the league:

  • Panthers veteran linebacker Chase Blackburn is on that list, as second-year man A.J. Klein is pushing for the starting job, but Blackburn is embracing his role as mentor, writes Scott Fowler in the Charlotte Observer.
  • With the Eagles in Chicago to play the Bears tonight, Zach Berman of Philadelphia Inquirer writes about the relationship between Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who helped Long get his career back on track during their time together at Oregon.
  • The Steelers were hoping 2012 second-rounder Mike Adams would challenge for a starting tackle job, but that’s not happening, writes ESPN’s Scott Brown. Adams has been inconsistent, and “It would be charitable to put Adams among the Steelers’ best seven offensive linemen through the first 11 practices,” according to Brown. Adams started 10-of-15 games played last season, but struggled and “earned” a -4.9 overall rating from Pro Football Focus.
  • Cowboys rookie safety Ahmad Dixon’s ‘Welcome to the NFL’ hit left him with a concussion, reports Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram.
  • The Seahawks’ secondary has established itself as the “Legion of Boom.” The Buccaneers are trying to establish the offensive equivalent, with the trio of Vincent Jackson, first-rounder Mike Evans and second-rounder Austin Seferian-Jenkins going by the “Three Dunkateers,” writes USA Today’s Jim Corbett.