Nick Bellore

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/17

Monday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Promoted from practice squad: DT Tyrique Jarrett

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Geremy Davis
  • Waived: CB Jeff Richards

Minnesota Vikings

  • Released with injury settlement: QB Taylor Heinicke

New Orleans Saints

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Adam Bighill

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/17

Here are the today’s minor moves.

  • With a ruptured Achilles’ tendon set to end Eric Berry‘s season, the Chiefs officially placed the eighth-year safety on IR Saturday. The team also signed offensive lineman Jordan Devey and safety Steven Terrell. Both Devey and Terrell went to training camp with Kansas City. The Chiefs cut both last weekend. Terrell started in five games as Earl Thomas‘ replacement with the Seahawks last season.
  • The Colts cut safety Earl Wolff with an injury settlement, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. A 2013 fifth-round Eagles pick, Wolff hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2014. The Redskins signed Wolff to a reserve/futures deal in January but waived him earlier this month.
  • To fill Matt Jones‘ roster spot, the Colts promoted guard Adam Redmond from their practice squad. Redmond signed with the Colts as a UDFA in 2016. He’ll join Deyshawn Bond as a center option for the team, which will be without starter Ryan Kelly to start the season.
  • For now, the Broncos won’t go with a two-Peko setup on their defensive line. They waived defensive tackle Kyle Peko, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. The Broncos signed Domata Peko to be their starting nose tackle and have until Sunday afternoon to replace his cousin on the roster in advance of their Monday-night game. Kyle Peko missed time this summer because of an injury.
  • The Lions signed offensive lineman Storm Norton off their practice squad and waived linebacker Nick Bellore, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Rothstein adds this news could mean tackle Corey Robinson — brought off the PUP list last week — may not be ready to play in Week 1. Robinson missed the preseason with an injury.
  • The Saints released outside linebacker Bryan Braman off IR with an injury settlement, Caplan reports (on Twitter).

Contract Details: Keenum, Gilberry, Escobar

The latest contract details, most of which come via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

  • Quarterback Case Keenum‘s one-year, $2MM pact with the Vikings features $750K in guarantees. There’s also a $250K signing bonus, $250K in incentives and $46,875 in per game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry‘s accord is worth $1.4MM, including a $300K signing bonus and a $100K workout bonus. He could make another $500K via sack incentives and $6,250 in per game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Running back Tim Hightower‘s one-year deal with the 49ers is worth $1.107MM, including $300K guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. He can earn an extra $400K in incentives for rushing yards.
  • Tight end Gavin Escobar‘s one-year Chiefs contract is a minimum salary benefit deal worth $855K, including $95K fully guaranteed. It also comes with an $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Lions linebacker Nick Bellore also inked a minimum salary benefit contract. Like Escobar, Bellore’s contract includes an $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Lions Sign LB Nick Bellore

The Lions have signed linebacker Nick Bellore, according to a team announcement. Bellore was previously with the Niners and entered the league with the Jets.

Bellore is primarily known for his special teams work, but he did get reps on defense last year with San Francisco. In 2016, he had ten starts on defense and finished out with 83 tackles, one sack, one interception, and a forced fumble. For his work in 692 snaps, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 61 linebacker in the NFL last season out of 87 qualified players. His run defense left much to be desired, per the advanced metrics, but his solid coverage score helped boost his overall grade.

It remains to be seen how Detroit will use him, but it seems like he’ll provide linebacker depth as well as special teams help. Bellore went to college at Central Michigan, so this is something of a homecoming for the 27-year-old.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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49ers Place Three Players On IR

As the 49ers seek their second win of the year, they’ll have to do it without the services of three of their players. Wide receiver Quinton Patton, linebacker Nick Bellore, and tight end Blake Bell will all be shut down for the year, as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes. Quinton Patton (vertical)

Patton (foot) and Bellore (elbow) both went down early on in Sunday’s embarrassing 41-13 loss to the Falcons. Bell, meanwhile, suffered a shoulder injury after being tackled on a 45-yard pass play in the second quarter. In addition to those three, Maiocco notes that cornerback Jimmie Ward (shoulder), center Marcus Martin (ankle), and nose tackle Glenn Dorsey (undisclosed) also sustained injuries yesterday and their status for Weeks 16 and 17 are not yet known.

The 49ers could fill some of these roster spots from within, if they choose. Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter and linebacker Wynton McManis could be candidates for promotion from the practice squad, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Sullivan, Morgan, Wilson

Here are the details on some recently-signed contracts, all courtesy of the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson on Twitter:

  • John Sullivan, C (Vikings): Extended through 2017. $1MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout bonus, plus $500K escalator for 2017 with 90% playing time in 2015 and 2016 (Twitter links).
  • Will Montgomery, C (Bears): One year, $950K base value. $120K guaranteed (link).
  • Joe Morgan, WR (Saints): One year, $600K base value. $15K signing bonus (link).
  • Josh Wilson, CB (Lions): One year, $950K base value. $200K guaranteed (link).
  • Nick Bellore, LB (49ers): Two years, $1.69MM base value. $30K signing bonus. $505K available through incentives (link).

49ers To Sign Nick Bellore

The 49ers signed linebacker Nick Bellore, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Bellore spent last season with the Jets. Bellore is known for his special teams acumen, but the Jets moved on from Bellore recently when they inked Jamari Lattimore to a one-year deal. Bellore’s pact will be a two-year contract, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).

Bellore, 25, has spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Jets. Terms of this deal are not yet known. Bellore played for the $1.431MM restricted free agent tender with the Jets last season and it remains to be seen how his 2015 salary looks in comparison. In 2014, the linebacker tallied a total of 15 sacks. He has played in all 16 games of each season for the Jets, going back to 2011.