Omar Bolden

NFC Notes: Eagles, Bolden, Buccaneers, Raji

Some assorted notes from around the NFC…

  • After having worked under Andy Reid for several years, Doug Pederson is now in full control as the head coach of the Eagles. Reid had guided the Eagles to the playoffs during his second season as head coach in Philly, but Pederson believes he inherited a better team than his mentor. “This team today is better than that team,” Pederson told Jeff McLane of “I just think that we’re in a better position.”
  • Safety Omar Bolden was released by the Bears yesterday, but Troy Renck of Denver7 ABC tweets that the 27-year-old “will land on his feet.” Renck notes that the former Broncos draft pick could wind up in Denver, and he adds that his release from the Bears was due to the team’s “logjam” at defensive back.
  • If Buccaneers offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus proves to be nothing more than a backup to Demar Dotson, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times could see the team letting go of him and his $4.5MM salary. Other veterans who could find themselves on the hot seat include offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, defensive end George Johnson, tight end Brandon Myers, and safety Major Wright.
  • The Packers had offered B.J. Raji a “lucrative” contract, indicating that they expected him to play a major role on their 2016 squad. However, as’s Rob Demovsky writes, the defensive lineman’s one-year hiatus from the NFL suddenly changed the organization’s offseason plans.


Bears Release Omar Bolden

3:57pm: Bolden’s exit from the Bears’ roster might only be temporary, according to Eli Kaberon of the team’s official site (Twitter link). Chicago released Bolden to make room for Charles Tillman, who will sign a one-day contract to retire as a Bear. Once that goes through, Bolden could rejoin the club in time for training camp, per Kaberon.

3:26pm: The Bears announced that they have released safety Omar Bolden. Bolden signed a one-year, $840K deal ($80K guaranteed) with Chicago in March. "<strong

[RELATED: Charles Tillman Will Retire With Bears]

When he signed this spring, Bolden became the latest in a series of former Broncos who played under John Fox in Denver to join the head coach in Chicago. The Bears also added the likes of linebacker Danny Trevathan, offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez, and long snapper Aaron Brewer, but the reunion didn’t last long for Bolden.

A fourth-round pick out of Arizona State in 2012, Bolden never really played a major role on defense during his four years in Denver. However, he has been something of a jack-of-all-trades in Denver, contributing in the return game and in punt and kick coverage. Now, the Bears seem to be going in a different direction on special teams.

Bolden recorded his first career touchdown in 2015, returning a punt 83 yards for a score. In the postseason, the 27-year-old’s lone punt return, against the Steelers in the divisional round, went for 42 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Sign Omar Bolden

The Bears and head coach John Fox have added yet another former Bronco to their roster, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who reports (via Twitter) that Chicago is signing defensive back and special-teamer Omar Bolden to a one-year, minimum salary contract.Omar Bolden

Bolden is the latest in a series of former Broncos who played under Fox in Denver to join the head coach in Chicago. So far this offseason, the Bears have also signed linebacker Danny Trevathan, offensive lineman Manuel Ramirez, and long snapper Aaron Brewer.

A fourth-round pick out of Arizona State in 2012, Bolden never really played a major role on defense during his four years in Denver. However, he has been something of a jack-of-all-trades in Denver, contributing in the return game and in punt and kick coverage.

Bolden recorded his first career touchdown in 2015, returning a punt 83 yards for a score. In the postseason, the 27-year-old’s lone punt return, against the Steelers in the divisional round, went for 42 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Bolden, Bears, Morris, Larsen

The free agent contracts for players like Brock Osweiler, Olivier Vernon, and Malik Jackson dominated NFL discussions when the new league year opened earlier this month, but Field Yates of wants to make sure that some of this year’s less heralded deals don’t fly entirely under the radar.

In an Insider-only piece, Yates identifies the Panthers‘ one-year deal with defensive end Charles Johnson, the Seahawks‘ three-year agreement with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, and three other signings as moves that perhaps didn’t get the attention they deserved.

Here’s more on 2016 free agency:

  • Omar Bolden‘s previously-reported visit to the Bears is set to happen next Wednesday, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who tweets that Chicago is the favorite to land the versatile defensive back, special-teamer, and return man.
  • Sean Stellato, the agent for Alfred Morris, appeared on 105.3 FM-KRLD The Fan in Dallas to discuss why his client was ready to move on from Washington, and why he wanted to sign with the Cowboys. The Dallas Morning News has the key quotes from Stellato, who said Morris was seeking “a fresh start.”
  • Free agent guard Ted Larsen continues to consider his options and isn’t expected to sign a contract today, but his visit with the Falcons went “great,” a source tells Vaughn McClure of
  • As Jeff Dickerson of details, new Jets running back Matt Forte wasn’t thrilled with the Bears‘ willingness to pursue C.J. Anderson in free agency after announcing they were moving on from Forte. Despite comments from head coach John Fox suggesting the team was happy with its young, in-house backs, the Bears reportedly made Anderson an offer higher than the one he signed with Miami.

FA Rumors: Chargers, Jeffery, Steelers, Bears

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco says that he views Chris Watt as the team’s starting center, but he will not rule out making a move to improve at the position,’s Eric D. Williams writes. Although Telesco didn’t mention them by name, it sounds possible that the Bolts could consider free agent centers Stefen Wisniewski or Manny Ramirez. As of this writing, the Chargers have less than $14MM in cap space for 2016, per ESPN and

Here’s more on free agency from around the league:

  • Bears head coach John Fox and Jets owner Woody Johnson each discussed their franchised players on Monday, and the differences in their comments were noticeable. As Jeff Dickerson of details, Fox said on ESPN’s NFL Live that the Bears are actively working on a longer-term deal for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
  • Meanwhile, Johnson said he won’t be “disappointed” if defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson remains in New York going forward, and was evasive when asked whether the Jets have made him a fair extension offer. “I’m not going to characterize the offer,” Johnson said, per Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin. “If we made him an offer, he didn’t accept it. Fair is a subjective thing. It’s got to be acceptable to him and to us.” While Wilkerson technically remains a free agent, Jeffery recently signed his franchise tender, taking him off the market.
  • Could the Steelers add a cornerback in free agency? Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound optimistic about the idea, as Jeremy Fowler of writes. “I don’t know that there is one that’s viable at this juncture in free agency,” the Steelers coach said. “We are comfortable with the guys that we have from that perspective.”
  • The Broncos continue to have interest in re-signing receiver and return man Jordan Norwood, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck adds that free agent special-teamer Omar Bolden is set to visit John Fox and the Bears this week.
  • The Giants were the biggest spenders of this year’s free agent period, signing Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Damon Harrison to mega-deals early in the new league year. Jason Fitzgerald of examines New York’s free agent decisions and wonders whether the club will come to regret its big moves.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Broncos To Open Talks With Brock Osweiler

The Broncos will meet with representatives for the majority of their own unrestricted free agents this week at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. The “most significant” of those discussions involves quarterback Brock Osweiler, with whom the Broncos have yet to open negotiations about a new contract, says Klis.

In addition to talking to Osweiler’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, the Broncos will also speak to Joby Branion and Jack Scharf, the reps for Von Miller and Malik Jackson, respectively. Per Klis, there haven’t been many discussions so far with Branion, since it’s becoming a foregone conclusion the Broncos will use their franchise tag on Miller. However, negotiations with Scharf about Jackson have gotten somewhat serious.

[RELATED: Broncos attempting to re-sign Malik Jackson]

While Osweiler, Miller, and Jackson represent the top tier of Denver free agents, the team will make time at this week’s combine to meet with the agents for other free-agents-to-be. Klis expects the Broncos to be the most serious about attempting to lock up wide receiver Jordan Norwood, linebacker Danny Trevathan, and offensive tackle Ryan Harris.

Here are a few more brief Broncos items:

  • The Broncos have nothing going on right now in talks with free agents Harris, David Bruton, and Omar Boldentweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Renck says that all three players have earned the right to start, suggesting they may have to look elsewhere for that opportunity.
  • Offensive guard Evan Mathis told Renck (Twitter link) that he would be open to playing for the Broncos in 2016 if he decides to continue his career.
  • The Broncos completed a little offseason work on Monday by picking up former first-round defensive lineman Phil Taylor and re-signing blocking tight end Richard Gordon.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Broncos Place Bolden On IR, Promote Nixon

As expected, the Broncos officially placed defensive back and return man Omar Bolden on their injured reserve list today, ending his 2015 season, per a team release. To replace Bolden on the 53-man roster, Denver has promoted cornerback Taurean Nixon from the club’s practice squad.Omar Bolden

Bolden, 27, was limited to just nine games during the 2015 season, and wasn’t a contributor on defense for the Broncos. However, he was the team’s most effective return man when given the opportunity, with one of his five regular-season punt returns going for an 83-yard touchdown, and his lone playoff return going for 42 yards. A partial PCL tear suffered in the divisional round on Sunday ended Bolden’s season prematurely.

Nixon, a seventh-round pick in 2015, spent the entire season on the Broncos’ practice squad. If he’s active this Sunday, he’ll likely be used on special teams and perhaps in the return game, rather than on defense.

The Broncos now have an opening on their practice squad that they can fill prior to Sunday’s game if they so choose.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: J. Allen, O. Bolden, JPP

Our newest round of injury updates has an impact on two teams still alive in the postseason, along with one notable player eligible for free agency this winter. Let’s dive in and check out the latest….

  • Per David Newton of, Panthers defensive end Jared Allen met with Dr. Robert Anderson – one of the country’s top foot doctors – during Sunday’s game and was scheduled to meet with him again today. Initially diagnoses with a fractured foot, Allen aimed to get a more definitive diagnosis today, and Ian Rapoport of suggests (via Twitter) that nothing has changed since Sunday — it’s still believed to be a small broken bone, and Allen hopes to play through it. The veteran pass rusher’s status will be worth keeping a close eye on this week.
  • Broncos defensive back and return man Omar Bolden will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his PCL, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Bolden was used somewhat sparingly as a returner this season, but made the most of his opportunities, with one of his five regular-season punt returns going for an 83-yard touchdown, and his lone playoff return going for 42 yards. He’ll be placed on IR and the Broncos will decide within the next couple days how to place him, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • Giants defensive end and free-agent-to-be Jason Pierre-Paul posted a photo on his Instagram revealing that he’s undergoing more surgery on his injured hand today. New York is unlikely to use its franchise tag on JPP again, so he figures to hit the open market in March if he and the Giants can’t work out an extension. You can bet teams will be closely monitoring the state of his that right hand.

Extra Points: Thurmond, Bell, Bolden

This point in the offseason can be slow with big news that actually has on-the-field consequences. This past week only saw a few notable signings and one major training camp injury. However, a few camp notes include some players who are looking to step into new positions this coming NFL season:

  • Walter Thurmond signed with the Eagles thinking he might have a chance to compete for a starting cornerback job, but now it looks like he could end up being the starter at safety, writes Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Thurmond cited the defensive scheme allowing safeties to make plays on the football as the reason he was open to the switch. Thurmond, who previously played for the Seahawks and Giants, has only had experience as an outside cornerback and nickelback in his five-year career.
  • Byron Bell struggled at left tackle for the Panthers in 2014, ranking 83rd out of 84 qualifying tackles who played at least 25% of offensive snaps for their respective teams, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The Titans believe that moving Bell back to right tackle will be the catalyst for an uptick in his performance, writes John Glennon of the Tennesseean. Pro Football Focus didn’t grade him much better as a right tackle between 2011 and 2013, only getting as high as 53rd over those three years.
  • Broncos return specialist Omar Bolden was electric on his ten kick returns in 2014, but he is looking to make a bigger impact next season. He hopes that in addition to winning full-time kick return duty, he would also like to return punts for the Broncos, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Flowers, Sherman, Chargers, Raiders

While the focus is on Von Miller and Chris Harris rehabbing ACL injuries,’s Andrew Mason takes a look at other defenders coming off injury who could strengthen the Broncos’ defense, including free safety Quinton Carter and pass rusher Quanterus Smith.

Carter, who has missed most of the last two seasons because of knee and hamstring problems, looked promising as a rookie in 2011, but has since been passed on the depth chart by Rahim Moore. With Moore and T.J. Ward holding down starting spots and Duke Ihenacho and special teams captain David Bruton providing depth, Omar Bolden could be on the bubble. A healthy Carter could create an interesting storyline if he’s able to push Moore, as both are free agents at year’s end.

In the case of Smith, he was one of the most productive pass rushers in college football in 2012 before a late-season torn ACL knocked him down to the fifth round. After a “redshirt” 2013, the 6-5, 255-pounder is poised to earn reps in passing situations. Said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio: “On tape coming out, we liked [Smith’s] athleticism, his length, his ability to bend and his ability to rush the quarterback. So those are things we’re looking forward to seeing from him.”

Here’s a few more AFC West notes:

  • In a Chiefs mailbag, ESPN’s Adam Teicher said third-round cornerback Phillip Gainesis insurance in 2015 for Brandon Flowers, who is also expensive and may not be a good fit for what the Chiefs are doing on defense.” Flowers has three years remaining on a six-year, $49.35MM deal ($22MM guaranteed), though he struggled adapting to defensive coordinator’s Bob Sutton’s press-man responsibilities (his -9.8 pass coverage rating was the worst on the team, according to Pro Football Focus), and his name surfaced in trade rumors around draft time.
  • Chiefs Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray, drafted in the fifth round after tearing his ACL in November, could be stashed on IR, says Teicher. Behind starter Alex Smith, the Chiefs have veteran backup Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Murray, though Teicher doesn’t see keeping all three or utilizing a practice squad spot as viable options.
  • Fullback Anthony Sherman has flourished in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, writes Pro Football Focus’ Matt Claassen. According to PFF, Sherman had an outstanding season as a run blocker, was an opportunistic as a receiver and served as a productive, core special teams player.
  • Gregg Rosenthal of provides a projected starting lineup for the Chargers. In his accompanying thoughts, Rosenthal calls tight end Ladarius Green a potential breakout player. Meanwhile, in a fan chat for the team’s website, GM Tom Telesco explained why less than ideal measurables didn’t prevent them from drafting cornerback Jason Verrett — who is expected to start from Day One — and nose tackle Ryan Carrethers.
  • In a review of the Raiders’ offseason, ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez praises GM Reggie McKenzie for not overthinking and letting the draft come to him, particularly with top picks Khalil Mack and Derek Carr. Gutierrez also credits McKenzie for not overpaying for veteran free agents while creating a “strong enough locker room to withstand a wild card or two,” i.e. the addition of Greg Little.
  • Accordingly, Rosenthal says, “No team had a more dramatic overhaul this offseason,” as he projects the Raiders’ starting lineup. In his supplemental notes, Rosenthal calls free agent offensive tackle Donald Penn a boom-or-bust signing and says there’s reason to worry about the secondary, particularly if 2013 first-rounder D.J. Hayden doesn’t elevate his game.