Here are Wednesday’s practice squad updates:
- Signed: RB Jalen Simmons
- Signed: DB Makinton Dorleant
Los Angeles Rams
- Signed: TE Nick O’Leary
- Released: S Jack Tocho
New Orleans Saints
- Signed: DL Gabe Wright
- Signed: LB Asantay Brown
- Signed: C Marcus Henry
Today’s workout updates, with all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s of Twitter account unless otherwise noted:
- G Jonathan Cooper, G Dillon Day, G Jamil Douglas, C T.J. Johnson, G Austin Pasztor, G Ian Silberman, T Darrell Williams. (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley)
- S Quin Blanding, DT Joshua Frazier, S Mike Mitchell, DT Elijah Qualls, DE Charles Tapper (Twitter links via Balzer and Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan)
- S Andrew Adams, CB David Amerson, CB Alex Carter, CB Michael Hunter, CB Jeremy Lane (via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, on Twitter)
- CB Johnathan Alston, CB De’Vante Bausby, S Kurtis Drummond, Jackson Porter, CB Josh Shaw (Visit, link)
New York Jets
- CB De’Vante Bausby, DT Michael Bennett, WR Jace Billingsley, T Gerhard de Beer, LB Azeem Victor, Adolphus Washington (link)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- TE Nick O’Leary (link)
Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:
- OGs Sean Harlow, Will Holden; LBs Nigel Harris, Jacob Pugh, Emmanuel Smith; CBs Tarvarus McFadden, Kalan Reed, Herb Waters; WR Korey Robertson
New England Patriots
- Gs Tony Adams, Spencer Drango; C Jake Eldrenkamp; CBs Kalan Reed, Josh Robinson (link); WRs Bennie Fowler, Greg Ward; LB Ufomba Kamalu
New Orleans Saints
New York Jets
- FB Jay Prosch; G Sean Harlow; T Jylan Ware; LBs Zaire Anderson, Ufomba Kamalu; CB Herb Waters (link)
- CBs Breon Borders, Makinton Dorleant; Ss Elijah Campbell, Nick Orr; LBs Cayson Collins, Naashon Hughes
San Francisco 49ers
- TE Nick O’Leary
The Bills have moved their roster to 53 players but cutting the following:
- DE Mat Boesen
- OG Ike Boettger
- DB Breon Borders
- DB Ryan Carter
- WR Kaelin Clay
- WR Corey Coleman
- OT Gerhard de Beer
- WR Malachi Dupre
- RB Keith Ford
- DT Rickey Hatley
- DE Albert Havili
- OT Josh James
- DE Mike Love
- DB Dean Marlowe
- TE Nick O’Leary
- WR Cam Phillips
- OT Mo Porter
- WR Austin Proehl
- C Adam Redmond
- WR Brandon Reilly
- RB Sam Rogers
- DE Ryan Russell
- LB Corey Thompson
- TE Keith Towbridge
- LB Tanner Vallejo
- DB Levi Wallace
- OT De’Ondre Wesley
- LB Xavier Woodson-Luster
- RB Travaris Cadet
- DE Terrence Fede
- DB Kelcie McCray
- P Jon Ryan
- WR Rod Streater
- DT Tyrunn Walker
Buffalo will take on dead money by releasing Coleman, whom it acquired from Cleveland earlier this year. Ryan lost out in the punting battle to Colton Schmidt.
Running back Marcus Murphy continues to improve his chances of making the Bills’ 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round had a brief cameo with Buffalo last season, but he had showed some intriguing flashes during his tenure with the Saints. His talents have been on display during the preseason, as he’s compiled 74 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries (he’s also hauled in four catches).
“I just want to make a play,” Murphy told Branson Wright of Cleveland.com. “Whenever an opportunity is given, I just want to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being a running back, punt returner or kick returner. I just want to be a playmaker whenever I get the chance.”
“I appreciate the coaching staff giving me an opportunity. I want to show them that they can trust me to make a play and show that I’m able to execute whenever they need me to.”
Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News is ready to give Murphy a spot on the opening-day roster, and the writer cites the struggles of current number-three running back Travaris Cadet. Otherwise, Murphy would be competing with Taiwan Jones for a role behind LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory.
Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Buffalo…
- While Skurski is willing to hand Murphy a roster spot, he wonders if tight end Nick O’Leary is on the roster bubble. While the 25-year-old did finish last night’s preseason win over the Browns with a team-leading four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown, he didn’t end up taking the field until the second half. If the former sixth-rounder has any hopes of making the Bills, he’ll have to beat out Jason Croom, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee for backup reps behind Charles Clay. O’Leary finished last season with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (five starts).
- Quarterback A.J. McCarron suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during last night’s preseason game. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the signal-caller will end up missing “several weeks,” but a definitive timetable hasn’t been set. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mike Rodak isn’t ready to hand the starting quarterback gig to first-rounder Josh Allen. The reporter notes (on Twitter) that head coach Sean McDermott has a high opinion of backup Nathan Peterman, and McCarron’s injury shouldn’t force the coach to “stray from his “calculated” plan about Allen.” Rodak believes the two healthy quarterbacks will split reps during next weekend’s game against the Bengals, although he also wonders if the team may end up adding another quarterback to the roster.
- Defensive lineman Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury during last night’s game, but Rapoport tweets that the Pro Bowler’s ACL wasn’t injured. If the MRI confirms that prognosis, the 35-year-old “could return this season.” That still sounds like a rather grim outlook for the defensive tackle, but the MRI will likely provide specific details on the severity of the injury. The five-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire 12-year career with Buffalo, and he finished last season with 41 tackles and three sacks. If he is indeed forced to miss time, the Bills will likely turn to Harrison Phillips or Adolphus Washington for a bigger role.
The Browns were seemingly dealt a big blow last week when receiver Antonio Callaway was arrested. News of the arrest came right after the team had traded away Corey Coleman to the Bills, and not too long after Josh Gordon left the team for an indefinite period of time. Callaway seemed poised to start as a rookie, but his arrest clouded the whole situation.
Callaway apparently did not inform the team of his arrest, and the Browns only found out through media reports. Many speculated the Browns would discipline him internally for failing to tell the team about the incident, but it appears no suspension will be forthcoming. Coach Hue Jackson said after practice today that the team’s punishment for Callaway was playing him nearly the entire game in the preseason opener, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (Twitter link). It seems like Callaway dodged a bullet, as many organizations would’ve been a lot more displeased with his failure to inform them of his situation.
Here’s more from the AFC:
- The Patriots may have traded for cornerback Jason McCourty back in March, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to make the team. McCourty is on the “roster bubble” according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, who writes that New England currently has a logjam at corner. Reiss thinks McCourty’s lack of special teams contributions could cost him the opportunity to suit up on the same team as his twin brother Devin McCourty, a safety for the Patriots.
- Speaking of AFC East roster bubbles, tight end Nick O’Leary is a “surprise cut candidate” for the Bills, according to Joe Buscaglia of Buffalo 7. Buscaglia writes that O’Leary was “once thought of as a shoe-in for the 53-man roster”, but has now been demoted to the third-team offense in practice and very well may find himself cut. The 2015 sixth-rounder caught 22 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns last season.
- As a result of Jalen Ramsey‘s suspension by the Jaguars, the guarantees in his contract could void writes former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry (Twitter link). Although it shouldn’t end up mattering for a player of Ramsey’s caliber, it’s a fascinating look into how quickly all the guarantees in a player’s contract can go out the window in the NFL.
Today’s minor moves:
- Signed: DB Tyson Graham, DT Garrison Smith, DT Justin Zimmer
- Re-signed: WR Quincy Adeboyejo, RB Alex Collins, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, TE Vince Mayle, LB Patrick Onwuasor, OL Maurquice Shakir, OL Matt Skura (ERFA)
- Signed original round RFA tender: CB Bryce Callahan
Green Bay Packers
- Re-signed: WR Geronimo Allison, CB Donatello Brown, QB Joe Callahan, WR Michael Clark; FB Joe Kerridge, G Justin McCray, T Adam Pankey, G Lucas Patrick, S Jermaine Whitehead (ERFA)
Los Angeles Rams
New York Jets
Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:
Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):
- Cardinals: DL Xavier Williams
- Jets: S Rontez Miles (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY)
- Saints: WR Willie Snead (story)
- Steelers: LB Anthony Chickillo (via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Bills: TE Nick O’Leary, DE Eddie Yarbrough, TE Logan Thomas, CB Lafayette Pitts (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com)
- Browns: FB: Dan Vitale, C Austin Reiter (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal)
- Buccaneers: RB Peyton Barber (story)
- Jaguars: WR Shane Wynn (story)
- Packers: QB Joe Callahan, T Adam Pankey (reports via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com),
- Ravens: RB Alex Collins, TE Vince Mayle, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, on Twitter)
The Cowboys earned their first win this season without Tony Romo on Monday night, upending NFC East rival Washington, 19-16, to improve to 4-8 and remain in the hunt for the division title. Despite the victory, owner Jerry Jones wasn’t happy after the game. The 73-year-old criticized his club’s Jason Garrett-led coaching staff both for not getting star receiver Dez Bryant more involved and its end-of-game clock management, according to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Jones said that the Cowboys beat Washington “on will, not tactical mastery.” He also expressed disappointment in the team’s 1-7 record sans Romo.
“I am stunned that we haven’t been able to win more games without Tony. And I would have thought that we could have coached it up enough, and put it together enough, that we would not have lost those games without Romo early. We would be in better shape than we are right now.”
Even though they’re well under .500, the Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt because of their division’s general incompetence. Jones doesn’t sound particularly hopeful about their postseason chances, though.
“I look at it at 4-8 and won’t look at it any differently as we move up the ladder until something really special happens,” Jones stated.
More from both the NFL’s two East-based divisions:
- The Bills won’t have any in-season discussions about the future status of general manager Doug Whaley, according to The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci (Twitter link).
- Giants receiver Rueben Randle has garnered 66 fewer targets than last season, when he totaled career highs in catches (71) and yards (938), and he voiced his displeasure about it Tuesday. “My opportunities have been cut down a little more,” Randle told WFAN, per the New York Daily News’ Ebenezer Samuel. “It’s definitely frustrating. As a receiver you want to get more involved. It can be kind of tough when the opportunities are limited.” Randle is averaging just over five targets per game this year after piling up almost eight per contest last season.
- The Bills made a surprising roster move today, releasing veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan in order to promote rookie TE Nick O’Leary. The transaction sparked some speculation that Buffalo had wanted to protect O’Leary from a team that might sign him away, and Mike Rodak of ESPN.com confirms (via Twitter) that the sixth-rounder did have some clubs “fishing around” on him.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.