Nic Jacobs

Ravens Activate Matt Elam

Matt Elam is back. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the Ravens have elevated the safety to the active roster. To make room on the roster, the team has waived Robertson Daniel. Zrebiec also notes that the team has waived tight end Nic Jacobs from the practice squad.

Matt ElamElam started practicing with the Ravens in late October, and the team had three weeks to activate the defensive back from the injured reserve. The team originally placed the 25-year-old on the IR in September after the safety was forced to undergo knee surgery. The Florida product was the team’s first-round pick back in 2013, and he started 26 of his 32 games between 2013 and 2014. Elam missed all of the 2015 campaign with a biceps injury, so he’ll be taking an NFL field for the first time in nearly two years. The safety has collected 127 tackles and seven passes defended during his career. Elam will presumably slide into a reserve role behind safeties Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb.

“It’s a blessing, man. I can’t wait,” Elam said after Friday’s practice (via Zrebiec). “To come back [with] the first game against the Steelers, it’s very exciting. I’m so excited to get back out there and happy to get back out there if I get a chance.”

As the Ravens welcome back one defensive back, they’ve cut bait with another. Daniel, an undrafted free agent in 2015, was promoted to the active roster in late October. Meanwhile, it’s a bit of a surprise that the team decided to waive Jacobs as opposed to promoting the former McNeese State standout. As Zrebiec notes, the team will only have two healthy tight ends (Dennis Pitta and Darren Waller) for their upcoming game against the Steelers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Practice Squad Updates: 11/2/16

Here are today’s practice squad moves.

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: OL Williams Poehls

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: RB Terrell Watson

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Saints Audition Rueben Randle, Others

The Saints auditioned a small army’s worth of players today. Among the notable players to work out for New Orleans were wide receivers Rueben Randle, Greg Little, and Andre Caldwell (Twitter links via Nick Underhill of The Advocate). Rueben Randle

Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes, long snapper Aaron Brewer, long snapper Andrew East, long snapper Thomas Gafford, offensive tackle Bryce Harris, tight end Nic Jacobs, tight end Jake Stoneburner, guard/center Mike Liedtke, cornerback Sterling Moore, cornerback Darrin Walls, cornerback B.W. Webb, and wide receiver Nate Washington also auditioned for the Saints. Liedtke’s visit “went well” and “there’s a good chance something may happen soon,” according to agent Brett Tessler (Twitter link).

Randle, 25, joined the Eagles this offseason after averaging 56 receptions, 782 yards, and six touchdowns over the past three seasons with the Giants. However, he was cut loose before the 75-man deadline. Randle is known to be a talented receiver but there were serious questions about his work ethic while he was in East Rutherford.

Caldwell, 31, appeared in 14 games for the Broncos last season, catching 10 passes (22 targets) for 72 yards. While he wasn’t one of the primary targets in Denver, he did also have two touchdowns on the year. In the spring he signed on with Detroit and before he was cut by the Lions in August, it was said that he suffered a “season-ending” hand injury. It seems that Caldwell’s injury might not be as bad as once feared.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Workout Notes: Ravens, Lions, Chiefs, Bills

The latest workouts from around the NFL:

  • Quarterback David Fales visited the Ravens on Monday, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link via Jamison Hensley). Fales spent the first two years of his career in Chicago after it selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. The former San Jose State signal-caller worked under then-head coach Marc Trestman as a rookie. Trestman is now the Ravens’ offensive coordinator.
  • The Lions tried out tight ends Nic Jacobs and Marcel Johnson on Monday, per Yates. Both Jacobs and Jensen were previously with Jacksonville. They have four career catches between them.
  • The Chiefs auditioned cornerback Robertson Daniel on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Daniel, a former BYU Cougar, has spent time with Oakland and Green Bay since going undrafted last year.
  • The Bills tried out tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson, a source told Yates. Anderson was a seventh-round pick of the 49ers last year. He didn’t see any game action as a rookie.
  • Linebacker Luke Rhodes has a Tuesday workout with the Jaguars, according to Draft Diamonds (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times). Rhodes went undrafted out of William & Mary before hooking on with the Buccaneers, who waived him Friday.
  • The Packers took a look at tight end Steven Scheu, relays Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Patriots cut Scheu, undrafted from Vanderbilt, in camp.

Workout Notes: Pats, Chiefs, Broncos, Jets

Now that cutdowns are completed, teams have begun auditioning players that are still on the free agent market, either in an effort to upgrade their current roster or to update their emergency free agent lists. Let’s take a look at the workouts that have been reported today:

Jaguars Release Bjoern Werner

The Jaguars announced the release of former Colts first-round pick Bjoern Werner. In a related move, safety James Sample was placed on IR and tight end Nic Jacobs was released. The Jaguars are now down to 75.Bjoern Werner (vertical)

Werner, who turns 26 today, appeared in 38 games over the last three years for the Colts, including 16 starts. In that time, the Florida State alum registered 77 tackles (61 solo), 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. However, the majority of Werner’s production came in his first two years in the league — in 2015, he appeared in 10 games and picked up just 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery. After the season, he was waived by the Colts.

Werner never lived up to expectations in Indianapolis, but was an inexpensive gamble for the Jaguars. His deal granted him an $80K bonus if he made the roster plus sack incentives, but it is unlikely that it contained any significant guarantees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/8/16

It’s been a day of huge news around the NFL, with top free agents like Malik Jackson and Kelechi Osemele reaching contract agreements. We don’t want to let some of the smaller deals from around the league slip through the cracks though, so let’s round up Tuesday’s minor transactions….

  • The Panthers have agreed to terms with Joe Webb on a new two-year contract, according to his agency, SportsTrust Advisors (Twitter link). Webb provides Carolina with a third quarterback on its depth chart, and can be utilized as a versatile, all-purpose weapon elsewhere on offense and special teams.
  • The 49ers have re-signed linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, extending him through the 2016 season before he reaches free agency, the team announced today. San Francisco claimed Armstrong off waivers from the Raiders in 2015 after the linebacker and special-teamer made headlines for illegally taunting a police dog before a game against the Steelers.
  • The Colts announced today that they’ve signed undrafted free agent long snapper Forrest Hill, in what probably qualifies as the exact opposite of a “splash.” Nonetheless, Hill could be given an opportunity to compete for the job this summer in Indianapolis against incumbent LS Matt Overton.
  • Jaguars tight end Nic Jacobs has signed the one-year ERFA tender he received last week, the club announced today in a press release.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle A.J. Francis has also received his ERFA tender, per Dov Kleiman of RantSports (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks waived defensive tackle Jesse Williams, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports (on Twitter).

Jaguars Extend Second-Round Tenders To Ryan Davis, Abry Jones

The Jaguars have extended a second-round tender offer to restricted free agent defensive end Ryan Davis, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). A report earlier this week had indicated that Davis would receive the low-end offer, but it appears the Jags went a little higher in an effort to keep the pass rusher.Ryan Davis

According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (via Twitter), the Jaguars also tendered contract offers to RFA defensive tackle Abry Jones and ERFA tight end Nic Jacobs. O’Halloran reports that Jones, like Davis, got a second-round tender.

Davis, who turned 27 last month, has appeared in 38 games over the last four years for Jacksonville, earning three accrued seasons during that stretch. He has never played more than a part-time role, but he has shown a knack for getting after the quarterback when he sees the field, recording 11 sacks and three forced fumbles in his NFL career. In 2015, Davis played 250 defensive snaps and picked up 3.5 sacks. He also received the top pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus out of any of the Jaguars’ edge defenders or interior linemen.

Jones, 24, was also a part-time player on Jacksonville’s defensive line, picking up 17 tackles, a pair of sacks, and a fumble recovery in 2015.

Since Jacksonville had been armed with more than $85MM in projected cap room after cutting Zane Beadles and Chris Clemons this week, it makes sense that the club would want to assign second-round tenders to their RFAs to avoid losing them. Teams aren’t likely to pursue Davis or Jones now that it would cost a second-round pick to sign either of them, and the tenders cost the Jaguars just $2.553MM apiece, an increase of less than $1MM over the low-end ($1.671MM) tender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Teams around the NFL are shuffling players on and off their 53-man rosters today, and we’ll track all those minor, back-of-the-roster transactions right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Chargers waived/injured cornerback Marcus Cromartie, according to Eric Williams of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Titans have agreed to terms on a contract with tight end Chase Coffman, waiving wideout T.J. Graham to create space on the roster, tweets Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • With Dennis Pitta out for the year and heading to injured reserve, the Ravens have promoted tight end Phillip Supernaw from the practice squad to their active roster, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union has the full details on the Jaguars‘ transactions (via Twitter). In addition to the two previously-reported signings – noted below – the team also added tight end Nic Jacobs, who had been on the Saints’ practice squad. To make room for the three incoming players, the club cut tight end Marcel Jensen and wideout Kerry Taylor, and waived-injured safety Chris Prosinski.
  • Having cut linebacker Keith Smith from their 53-man roster yesterday, the Cowboys have an open spot, and will use it to bring back defensive end Lavar Edwards, writes Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. Smith had been added to the roster in Edwards’ place for this past Sunday’s game due to the absence of injured linebacker Justin Durant.
  • Defensive tackle Deandre Coleman has been signed off the Jaguars‘ practice squad by the Dolphins, according to a tweet from Miami’s official account. The Dolphins cut safety Brandian Ross in a corresponding move.
  • Linebacker Jeremiah George, who had been on the Jets‘ practice squad, tweeted today that he’s now a Jaguar. The move has yet to be announced by the club, but it appears George will be added to Jacksonville’s 53-man roster. Having also reportedly agreed to a deal with Sherrod Martin, the Jags will have to remove two players from their active roster to finalize the signings.

Practice Squad Updates: Monday

We rounded up the first wave of practice squad additions in a series of posts by division yesterday, which you can check out on our Transactions page. Several more teams have announced new practice squad players today, or made slight changes to their units, so we’ll round up that news right here:

6:33pm:

  • The 49ers have filled out their practice squad by adding cornerback Chance Casey and running back Kendall Gaskins, the team announced in a press release.

4:37pm:

  • The Browns have added wide receiver Charles Johnson and offensive lineman Karim Barton to their practice squad, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Twitter).
  • Cornerback Khalid Wooten will be the 10th man on the Titans‘ practice squad, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.

4:07pm:

  • The Seahawks have added defensive end Julius Warmsley and defensive back Josh Aubrey to their practice squad, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • The Redskins have finalized their practice squad by adding safety Akeem Davis and linebacker Chaz Sutton, the club announced today (Twitter link).
  • Cornerback LeQuan Lewis has been added to the Jets‘ practice squad, according to the team (via Twitter).

2:46pm:

  • The Rams have finalized their practice squad by adding linebacker Denicos Allen, wideout Emory Blake, safety Christian Bryant, and quarterback Garrett Gilbert, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). That means Michael Sam isn’t among the 10 players on St. Louis’ squad.
  • The addition of Henry Josey to the Jaguars‘ practice squad has officially been announced by the team in a press release. We had noted below that although his signing had been previously reported, Josey wasn’t among the first list of names released by the club.
  • The Ravens have announced the signing of offensive lineman Marcel Jones to their practice squad, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

1:31pm:

  • The following players are now on the Browns‘ practice squad: James Brown, OL; Jacobbi McDaniel, DL; Emmanuel Ogbuehi, TE; Keith Pough, LB; Justin Staples, LB; and Patrick Lewis, C. The first five names are listed on the team’s official site, while the addition of Lewis was reported by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • Alex Gillett‘s time on the Packers‘ practice squad didn’t last long — he was replaced today by cornerback Jumal Rolle, tweets Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • The Buccaneers have signed safety Kimario McFadden, cornerback Derrius Brooks, and linebacker Carlos Fields to their practice squad, according to the team’s official site.
  • Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune provides the last few names to be added to the Saints‘ practice squad: safety Pierre Warren, guard Antoine McClain, nose tackle Lawrence Virgil, and tight end Nic Jacobs.
  • The Eagles have signed quarterback G.J. Kinne for their practice squad, per the team’s official site.
  • Fullback Nikita Whitlock is the latest addition to the Cowboys‘ practice squad, the team announced today.
  • The Vikings filled the final spot on their practice squad by adding cornerback Chris Greenwood, says Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Defensive end Zach Thompson is now on the Broncos‘ practice squad, according to the club.
  • The Chiefs filled the final opening on their practice squad by signing defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • Wide receiver Freddie Martino and tight end Kyle Miller have joined the Falcons‘ practice squad, per the team’s official site.
  • One more housekeeping note: Yesterday, running back Henry Josey and fullback Kiero Small were reported as having joined the Jaguars‘ and Browns‘ practice squads, respectively. However, when those teams announced their PS rosters, those players weren’t included. There haven’t been any reports indicating those agreements fell through, so we’ll keep an eye on both situations. For now though, we won’t be including those players in our master list of practice squad rosters, which will be published this afternoon.