The Vikings placed Bishop Sankey on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Minnesota signed the former Titans second-round pick to a reserve/futures contract in January, but an MRI Friday revealed Sankey tore an ACL. He will miss the season. Sankey hasn’t played in a game since 2015.
Cut by both the 49ers and Jets in August, Bruce Ellington caught on with a third team this month. The Texans agreed to terms with the wide receiver/return specialist, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Jets waived Ellington with an injury designation, but a Friday workout with the Texans provided a green light for the franchise to sign him. The Texans are currently reeling at wideout. In addition to Will Fuller‘s absence, Braxton Miller and DeAndrew White aren’t practicing. Ellington missed all of last season with a torn hamstring.
The Jaguars signed veteran running back Jonathan Grimes and waived running back Tyler Gaffney with an injury designation, the team announced. Grimes is a five-year NFL veteran whose most notable work came as a backup for the Texans from 2012-16. He gained 455 yards from scrimmage in 2015, the final year Arian Foster suffered a severe injury.
Defensive end Keionta Davis agreed to terms with the Patriots, who cut cornerback Dwayne Thomas to make room, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. A rookie out of Chattanooga, Davis was invited to the Combine but wasn’t drafted or signed after the draft.
The Chargers re-signed tight end Matt Weiser, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter). A University of Buffalo alum, Weiser spent time with the Bolts during their final San Diego camp last summer but was cut just before the season.
The Colts reached injury settlements with tight end (and former VCU basketball standout) Mo Alie-Cox and wideout Harvey Binford, Wilson tweets.
Mykkele Thompson‘s time as a Giants secondary cog could be coming to a close. After Big Blue cut Thompson — a fifth-round pick in 2015 — on Thursday, he cleared waivers. NJ.com’s Dan Duggan expects an injury settlement to follow (Twitter link). Duggan notes this Thompson is battling a minor quadriceps injury.
A day after the Dolphins cut him, tackle Terry Poole landed with the Texans via waiver claim, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. Poole was initially a Seahawks fourth-round pick but hasn’t yet played in an NFL game.
The Saints worked out their longtime long snapper Justin Drescher this week and reached an agreement to bring him back on Sunday, Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate reports. Sean Payton had been frustrated by the long snapping during camp recently, and the team made the decision to release veteran Thomas Gafford and Chase Dominguez on Sunday. Drescher returns to the Saints after spending the past seven seasons in New Orleans. The team did not re-sign the 29-year-old specialist after his contract expired following last season.
Former VCU basketball player Mo Alie-Cox cleared waivers and will revert to the Colts‘ IR list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The Steelers have signed cornerback JaCorey Shepherd and cut defensive end Nelson Adams. Originally a sixth-round Eagles selection in 2015, Shepherd followed Chip Kelly to San Francisco and played in 11 games for the 49ers last season.
Mo Alie-Cox‘s dream of switching from the hardwood to the gridiron took a bit of a hit on Saturday, as the Colts announced that they have waived-injured the former Virginia Commonwealth University forward. The team has signed tight end Steven Wroblewski to take the open roster spot. If Alie-Cox passes through waivers, he’ll land on the Colts injured reserve.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Alie-Cox played four seasons on VCU’s basketball team, but he decided to pursue an NFL career following graduation. Considering his height, the player was signed as a tight end, although he allowed teams to audition him at a variety of different positions during his spring workout. He ultimately decided to sign with the Colts in April.
His lack of football experience predictably made him a project, so it might not necessarily be a bad thing if Alie-Cox slips through waivers and has a “red shirt year” on the IR. On the flip side, an assortment of teams had interest in the prospect, including the Buccaneers, Seahawks, Jets, Eagles, and Chargers (via Zak Keefer of IndyStar.com). There’s always a chance one of these teams is willing to take the gamble and claim the 23-year-old.
Wroblewski, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Southern Utah, spent time with the Cardinals earlier this offseason. In 21 games between 2015 and 2016, the tight end hauled in 63 catches for 770 yards and three touchdowns. Wroblewski will presumably replace Alie-Cox’s spot on the depth chart behind Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, and Brandon Williams.
While the quarterback dominoes could fall before the Texans‘ No. 25 selection window opens, GM Rick Smith does not feel obligated to take a quarterback in Round 1. Of course, it’s not like the veteran decision-maker would say his team has to have a quarterback by a certain point, it is notable Smith said he would be fine with Tom Savage as a Week 1 starter.
“I think he’s proven that he can play at a high level in the offense,” Smith said, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “He’s been injured, so he hasn’t had an extended amount of time to do that, but I am comfortable with that.”
Smith confirmed Houston plans to add a third quarterback going into training camp but didn’t say said passer has to be added through the draft. Although, the 12th-year GM did call this maligned crop of quarterbacks a “good class.” Smith echoed what Bill O’Briensaid earlier this offseason, noting the difficulties modern rookies face when taking the reins in Year 1.
“It’s rare that you can get a guy that can come in and play at a high level at the position early,” Smith said, via Barshop. “But it’s certainly possible.”
The Texans brought in Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, the latter of whom O’Brien is quite fond of, for visits earlier this week. Both could well be off the board by the time the Texans pick, which could place the team — in the event it doesn’t trade up — with Savage as its Week 1 starter. Potential Day 2 prospect Brad Kaaya also visited this week. The Texans had mild interest in Jay Cutler, but O’Brien prefers Savage to him.
Here’s more from the AFC South.
Colts GM Chris Ballard is borrowing a page from “The Cubs Way,” a book about how Theo Epstein reshaped baseball in Chicago. One key similarity between the two decision-makers is their emphasis on young talent. “It takes time to build a team,” Ballard said (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells). “… Do we have work in front of us? Yes, we do. But it takes time. And the biggest thing that I want to make sure that we’re emphasizing is that competition and they have to earn it. It doesn’t matter where you come from and how we build it or where, from first-round pick to undrafted free agent to street free agent, guy that was cut at the 53-[man roster], future signing.”
On a conference call with reporters, new Colts addition Mo Alie-Cox said that the Buccaneers, Chargers, and Seahawks were among the teams that also made offers (Twitterlinksvia Stephen Holder of the Indy Star). The former VCU basketball player added that he picked the Colts in part because coach Chuck Pagano reminded him of (former VCU coach) Shaka Smart. Some teams thought Alie-Cox could play defensive end, but he’ll be a tight end with the Colts.
Texans GM Rick Smith said he has not talked to Vince Wilfork since last season, but his “expectation is that Vince is not playing anymore,” Barshop tweets. Wilfork retired after 13 seasons in the league after the Texans’ loss to the Patriots in January.
Mo Alie-Cox is going from the hardwood to the gridiron. The Colts have reached agreement on a contract with the former Virginia Commonwealth University forward, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
Based on what we’ve been hearing, Alie-Cox is most likely to pursue a career as a tight end. However, given his athleticism and size, he could theoretically play other positions. When auditioning for teams earlier this spring, Alie-Cox’s camp allowed clubs to work him out at various drills for different spots on the field.
Regardless of where he lines up, it’s safe to assume that he will be regarded as more of a project player than immediate help for the 2017 season. The Colts are a bit thinner at tight end after trading Dwayne Allen to the Patriots, but the VCU hoopster obviously can’t be expected to fill his shoes. The Colts now have four tight ends in total with starter Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, and Brandon Williams also in the mix.
Nearly every team watched Alie-Cox work out before today’s deal with the Colts. On Tuesday, he met with the Seahawks and left without a deal, so they might be the most disappointed runner-up of the bunch.
Although Richard Sherman doesn’t plan to attend the start of Seahawks workouts today, he is expected to report before OTAs, meaning he’ll be in attendance in early or mid May, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Sherman, of course, reportedly asked for a trade, and Seattle is now attempting to oblige him. After originally setting an ask of a first-round pick and another player, the Seahawks have reduced the Sherman price to a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional mid-round pick in 2018.
Here’s more from Seattle and the rest of the NFC West:
Before inking Seahawks restricted free agent Garry Gilliam to a one-year, $2.2MM deal, the 49ers approached Gilliam with two- and three-year offers, both of which were rejected, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. By agreeing to a one-year commitment, Gilliam affords himself the possibility of reaching unrestricted free agency in 2018. Seattle had the option of matching San Francisco’s offer sheet, and though the Seahawks had five days to make a decision, they used just over 12 hours to turn down the terms. Gilliam will earn $1.4MM in guarantees under his new 49ers pact, while his RFA tender with Seattle would have paid him $1.797MM in non-guaranteed base salary.
Defensive end Dion Jordan‘s one-year contract with the Seahawks is worth only $615K, per Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. The deal comes with a $25K workout bonus, but doesn’t contain any guarantees, meaning Seattle can move on without any dead money incurring on its salary cap. Additionally, Jordan agreed to a split salary: if he gets injured, the Seahawks will owe him only $378K. If Jordan does succeed this season, Seattle can keep him for 2018 as a restricted free agent. Because he entered the league as first-round pick, the Seahawks could use the original round tender to retain Jordan without worrying about another club signing him to an offer sheet.
Collegiate basketball player and aspiring tight end Mo Alie-Cox is scheduled to meet with the Seahawks today, tweets Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, who adds Alie-Cox has a visit lined up with the Colts on Monday. 30 NFL clubs attended a recent Alie-Cox audition, and teams are now hoping to sign the 6’7″ hoopster to play offense. Alie-Cox is not eligible for the draft, and is able to sign an NFL contract immediately.
The Bills have shown significant interest in prospective first-round quarterbacks of late, but it could be a ploy to trade down from the 10th overall pick, suggests Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. By publicly meeting with signal-callers, including North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, the Bills might be trying to coax a QB-needy team into moving up to No. 10. Head coach Sean McDermott acknowledged that possibility Wednesday, telling WKSE-FM in Buffalo (via Mike Rodak of ESPN): “We’ll take a look at those [quarterbacks], but it doesn’t mean we’re taking a quarterback. Maybe these last three or four trips were just kind of all a smokescreen, right? It’s kind of like hiding your presents from your kids. You kind of put them in different spots and see, right? We’ll just see.” However, the Bills didn’t want the news of their meetings with QBs to leak, according to Greg Gabriel of 670theScore. Further, the fact that owner Terry Pegula has been on hand for workouts with QBs implies the Bills, despite having Tyrod Taylor, view the position as a major need, posits Gabriel (Twitterlinks).
The Dolphins were among 30 teams in attendance for former Virginia Commonwealth University basketball player Mo Alie-Cox‘s workout Tuesday, but just one of three to meet with him afterward, per the Richmond Times Dispatch (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). As a free agent, Alie-Cox could sign anywhere immediately, and he’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of ex-college basketball players who became successful NFL tight ends.
The jump from basketball to football may not be easy, but Mo Alie-Cox has plenty of believers in the NFL. The former Virginia Commonwealth University forward is already slated to visit the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Jets, Colts, Seahawks, and Chargers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. More teams could request to meet with the 6’7″ athlete, Rapoport adds.
Alie-Cox held an open audition for NFL teams recently and it seems like more than half the league had scouts in attendance. In addition to the aforementioned clubs, reps from the Bears, Lions, Dolphins, Vikings, 49ers, Browns, Patriots, Redskins, and Steelers were in the house (via Lane Casadonte of WTVR on Twitter).
Despite his lack of gridiron experience, teams are intrigued by Alie-Cox’s combination of size and athleticism. He is looking to play tight end and follow in the footsteps of Tony Gonzalez, Julius Thomas, Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, and other TE standouts with basketball backgrounds. At the same time, he is open to playing other positions and he took requests from scouts to perform drills that were suited for different roles.
What really sets Alie-Cox apart from other young NFL hopefuls is that he is not draft eligible and, therefore, can be signed as a free agent. A team that is really high on the hoopster could see this as an opportunity to effectively acquire a late-round draft pick for nothing.
“The interest is widespread,” agent Joe Flanagan said. “Twenty clubs are already confirmed to be sending reps, with multiple tight end coaches.”
What makes Alie-Cox particularly interesting is that he is not draft eligible and can be signed by any team. Alie-Cox was “eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft and has remained a free agent since the conclusion of that draft,” a league spokesman confirmed to Rapoport.
Alie-Cox will perform typical pro day drills, then will open up the floor for teams to have him perform other drills, including drills that would showcase him at other positions. There’s no guarantee that the VCU product can make the transition from the hardwood to the gridiron, but more than half of the NFL’s teams are at least curious to see what he has to offer.