Mike Matthews

AFC Notes: Bolts, Ravens, Jets, Steelers

Chargers first-round wide receiver Mike Williams, who has been dealing with a back injury since May, is “running” and “doing well,” head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters, including Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn suggested last week that Williams might not play at all this year, which came after the Chargers announced that the ex-Clemson star will miss all of training camp. However, they continue to hold out hope he’ll be healthy in time for the regular season, writes Eric Williams.

  • Newly signed Ravens offensive tackle Austin Howard hasn’t practiced with the team since inking a three-year, $16.5MM deal last Friday, and it’s unclear why, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Howard underwent offseason shoulder surgery, so his recovery from that procedure could be at the root of the delay, notes Zrebiec. For his part, head coach John Harbaugh is content to leave Howard’s fate “in the trainer’s hands.”
  • Free agent long snapper Andrew DePaola visited the Jets on Tuesday, tweets ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, who relays that incumbent Tanner Purdum hasn’t looked great in camp. Purdum has been the Jets’ long snapper since 2010, so even though his position isn’t glamorous, it would be notable for the club to make a change there. DePaola was the Buccaneers’ long snapper for the previous three seasons. They non-tendered him in March.
  • Center Mike Matthews, whom the Steelers waived Tuesday, will miss four to six months with a torn patellar tendon, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, will go on injured reserve if another team doesn’t claim him via waivers.
  • With Cairo Santos set to miss a week-plus with a groin injury, the Chiefs worked out free agent kickers John Lunsford and Conrad Ukropina on Tuesday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). It doesn’t appear the Chiefs will sign either, though, given that they added fellow kicker Sam Ficken after auditioning Lunsford and Ukropina.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/8/17

Tuesday’s minor NFL moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: RB Kelvin Taylor

Carolina Panthers

  • Claimed: DE Arthur Miley (from Dolphins)
  • Waived/Injured: S Dean Marlowe

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: WR Dez Stewart, CB Tramain Young
  • Waived: WR Ryan Spadola, CB Des Lawrence

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: K Sam Ficken (Twitter link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star)

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: C Lucas Crowley
  • Waived/Injured: C Mike Matthews

Seattle Seahawks

  • Waived: FB Kyle Coleman (Twitter link via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times)
  • Waived/Injured: OL Robert Myers

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/14/17

Tuesday’s minor moves:

  • The Giants have re-signed a pair of exclusive rights free agents – tight end Matt LaCosse and defensive tackle Robert Thomas – via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). LaCosse didn’t play at all last season because of a knee injury, while action for Thomas was scarce. The lineman took the field for just 68 defensive snaps in his eight appearances, during which he picked up five tackles and a sack.
  • The Steelers have added six free agents on reserve/futures deals – cornerback Devonte Johnson, linebackers Akil Blount and Jason Fanaika, offensive linemen Kyle Friend and Mike Matthews, and running back Trey Williams – per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Blount is the son of Steelers legend and Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount. Matthews’ father is one of Blount’s fellow Canton enshrinees, longtime Oilers/Titans offensive tackle Bruce Matthews.

Browns Down To 53

The Browns have officially cut down to a 53-man roster, according to a team announcement.

The team’s cuts include receivers Taylor Gabriel and Marlon Moore. Undrafted out of Abilene Christian in 2014, the 5-foot-8, 176-pound Gabriel appeared in 29 of a possible 32 regular-season games with the Browns and started four. He amassed 64 receptions for 862 yards and a touchdown during that time, with most of those numbers coming as a rookie. Gabriel caught 36 passes on 72 targets and averaged a prolific 17.1 yards per reception in his first year, but that figure fell to a paltry 8.6 on his 28 grabs in 2015.

Moore, a six-year veteran, previously saw action with the Dolphins and 49ers before joining the Browns last season. He pulled in only seven receptions in 14 games in Cleveland.

The full list is below.

Released:

Waived:

Extra Points: Fournette, Colts, Dolphins, Chiefs

LSU running back Leonard Fournette is expected to a high draft choice in 2017, but he’ll be financially covered in the event that something goes awry. As Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com details, Fournette’s parents have purchased two $10MM insurance policies — one that would cover a career-ending injury, and another that would kick in if Fournette falls in next year’s draft. The entire article is well-worth a read, as Dodd excellently reports on the largely unregulated industry of NCAA athlete insurance.

Here’s more from around the league…

  • Former New Orleans scout Brendan Prophett is reportedly set to join the Lions as the team’s new director of pro scouting, and Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link) hears that Prophett chose that position over a similar role in the Colts‘ front office.
  • Elsewhere in front office news, Marvez reports (Twitter link) that the Dolphins are promoting scout Adam Engroff to college scouting director. According to Miami’s media guide, Engroff has worked for the club since 1999, and has spent the past four years as a national scout.
  • Tom Reed of Cleveland.com takes a look at Browns undrafted rookie free agent Mike Matthews, a former Texas A&M center who is brother to Jake Matthews and cousin to Clay Matthews. Mike, for his part, says Cleveland was his first choice when identifying potential landing spot.
  • The Chiefs selected West Alabama receiver Tyreek Hill in the fifth round despite his having a domestic violence arrest in his past, but general manager John Dorsey told Pro Football Talk Live that Hill is not guaranteed a roster spot.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Browns Agree To Terms With 11 UDFAs

No NFL team had a larger 2016 draft class than the Browns, who selected 14 players in seven rounds last weekend. Now, Cleveland has added 11 more rookies, announcing today in a press release that they’ve agreed to terms with 11 undrafted free agents. Here’s the full list of new additions for the Browns, which includes four defensive backs:

Texans, Jonathan Grimes Agree To Deal

SATURDAY, 9:40am: Grimes’ one-year deal with the Texans is worth $900K, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

FRIDAY, 10:42am: The Texans are bringing back running back Jonathan Grimes, according to agent Sunny Shah, who tweets that his client has agreed to a one-year contract to return to Houston. The deal will allow Grimes to return to the free agent market a year from now.Jonathan Grimes

Grimes, 26, wasn’t the primary option in Houston in 2015, even with Arian Foster out for the majority of the season, but he did earn a slightly increased role. In 14 games, he set new career highs in rushing attempts (56), rushing yards (282), receptions (26), receiving yards (173), and total touchdowns (two). Despite not receiving a ton of touches, the William & Mary product averaged 5.0 yards per carry and has a fan in head coach Bill O’Brien, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Foster is no longer in the picture heading into the 2016 season, but the Texans’ backfield should still be fairly crowded. The team signed Lamar Miller to a four-year deal, and the financial terms on that contract suggest he’ll be in line for a majority of the carries. In addition to Grimes, Alfred Blue – who had 183 carries in 2015 – will also return, and so will young speedster Akeem Hunt.

Having reached an agreement with Grimes, the Texans are also looking ahead to the draft today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, who writes that the team worked out Texas A&M offensive linemen Germain Ifedi and Mike Matthews. Ifedi projects as a possible first-round pick, while Matthews is a potential late-round selection.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.