Owa Odighizuwa

NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Buccaneers To Sign DE Darryl Tapp

The Buccaneers have agreed to sign free agent defensive end Darryl Tapp, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).Darryl Tapp (vertical)

Tampa Bay is dealing with several injuries along its defensive line, the most severe of which may be to edge rusher Noah Spence, who left Sunday’s contest with a shoulder injury and will likely miss an extended period of time. Ryan Russell is also coming back from a shoulder issue, while veteran Robert Ayers is managing a knee injury (and was able to play in Week 7).

Tapp, 33, has already had multiple stints with the division rival Saints in 2017, but hasn’t actually played a down for New Orleans since last season. He’s been more or less a rotational defensive end since 2009 (with his best and most productive years coming as a starter for the Seahawks in 2007-08), and that’s likely the role he’ll play for the Buccaneers. Tapp, who has 162 career appearances under his belt, will play behind Ayers, William Gholston, and Will Clarke in Tampa.

This isn’t the first time the Bucs have sought to add help on the edge of their defensive line. Free agent pass rusher Lamarr Houston worked out for Tampa Bay earlier this month before signing with the Texans, while the Buccaneers auditioned defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Owa Odighizuwa alongside Tapp on Tuesday, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Tampa also looked at cornerbacks Josh Johnson, Deji Olatoye, and Raysean Pringle, plus defensive tackle Marquavius Lewis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Patriots Work Out Owa Odighizuwa

The Patriots’ tryouts on Monday included former Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. There’s no word yet on how the tryout went, but the Pats could use some pass rush reinforcements following the events of this past offseason. Owa Odighizuwa (vertical)

For much of the offseason, it seemed like Odighizuwa was prepared to walk away from football at the age of 25. After taking some time to mull it all over, Odighizuwa was a late entrant to Giants camp and put himself in the mix to make the final 53-man cut. He struggled in practice, however, and his four-game ban for PEDs was the final nail in the coffin.

Odighizuwa was a third-round pick of the G-Mne in 2015. He appeared in four games as a rookie and 14 last season, though he didn’t make much of an impact. His suspension expired this week, so he’ll be ready to rock immediately if New England chooses to sign him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Waive Owa Odighizuwa

The Giants have waived Owa Odighizuwa. The move was expected after the defensive end was hit with a four-game suspension on Monday.

For much of the offseason, it seemed like Odighizuwa was prepared to walk away from football at the age of 25. After taking some time to mull it all over, Odighizuwa was a late entrant to training camp and put himself in the mix to make the final 53-man cut. Word is that he was struggling in practice, however, and was far from a lock to stay with the team past the Saturday deadline. Once word of the PED ban came down, it was a fairly easy call for GM Jerry Reese & Co.

Odighizuwa will be free to sign with any club if he clears waivers in the next 24 hours. Odds are, he will.

Giants’ Owa Odighizuwa Suspended

Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa has been suspended for the first four games of the season, according to an announcement from the league. Odighizuwa will be eligible to return for the Giants’ Oct 8 game against the Chargers. Owa Odighizuwa (vertical)

[RELATED: Giants Tried To Claim New Jets DE Kony Ealy]

Odighizuwa has violated the league’s PED policy, according to the league office. It’s another strange turn for Odighizuwa who hinted at retirement this offseason. After taking some time to address personal issues, Odighizuwa rejoined the team in camp this summer with an eye on playing.

So far, the 25-year-old has been running with the third-string defense and hasn’t been able to really get going. Because Odighizuwa was far from a lock to make the 53-man cut, this could wind up being the end of the line for him in New York.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: OBJ, Cowboys, Redskins

The Giants aren’t prioritizing a new contract for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who’s under control at eminently affordable prices through next season. If they do attempt to lock up Beckham down the line, it doesn’t seem that it’s going to be an easy negotiation. Beckham told uninterrupted.com on Thursday that he’s aiming to eventually become the NFL’s highest-paid player (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “It’s like the elephant in the room and you don’t want to talk about it,’’ said Beckham. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m like, there’s no need to not talk about it. I believe that I will be, hopefully not just the highest-paid receiver in the league, but the highest paid, period.”

As great as Beckham has been during his three-year career, the top-paid honor tends to belong to a quarterback. That’s the case right now, with the Raiders’ Derek Carr‘s just-signed deal (five years, $125MM-plus) atop the heap on an annual basis. The Steelers’ Antonio Brown leads all receivers in yearly pay ($17MM per on a four-year, $68MM accord), but he lags far behind Carr. And it might be awhile before the 24-year-old Beckham is even able to challenge Brown and the league’s other richest wideouts, given that the Giants will have the option of placing the franchise tag on him for tolerable costs in both 2019 and ’20 if he’s unsigned. In the meantime, Beckham’s set to play this year for $1.8MM – a pittance relative to his production – and the Giants picked up his $8.5MM fifth-year option for 2018.

More on New York and two of its NFC East rivals:

  • The Cowboys’ signing of running back Ronnie Hillman on Thursday has nothing to do with a potential suspension for Ezekiel Elliott, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. Rather, the Cowboys added Hillman as both a possible Lance Dunbar replacement and someone capable of accruing touches during the summer and taking some of the stress off the team’s other backs in the coming weeks. As for Elliott, who was bracing for a suspension two weeks ago, the NFL probably won’t announce his fate until later in the preseason, per Moore.
  • Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy underwent offseason surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot, according to JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Murphy is now healed, but he still won’t factor into the Redskins’ early season plans as a result of the four-game performance-enhancing drugs suspension the NFL handed him in April. When he returns in Week 6 (the Redskins have a Week 5 bye), the nine-sack man from 2016 will look to continue that strong production in a contract year.
  • Giants coach Ben McAdoo told reporters on Thursday that defensive end Owa Odighizuwa has reported to camp (Twitter link via Schwartz). Odighizuwa stayed away from the Giants during the offseason on account of personal issues.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, OBJ, Redskins

Earlier this week, Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant attempted to recruit free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis via Twitter. Subsequent reports indicated that the organization wasn’t pursuing the veteran, but head coach Jason Garrett was rather vague when addressing the rumors today.

“Yeah, I really don’t know the nature of that,” Garrett said (via Jon Machota of The Dallas News). “Obviously we have a lot of respect for Revis. He’s been a great player in this league for a long time.”

Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli deferred to the front office.

“I wouldn’t even speculate on anything like that,” he said. “That’s in the front office. They are the ones that decide those things.”

Predictably, Marinelli acknowledged that there could be a role for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

“Any great player you can,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where he’s at, what position.”

As we wait to see how this plays out, let’s take a look at other notes from the NFC East…

  • Odell Beckham Jr. grabbed headlines this month by staying away from the Giants during OTAs, but he says that he’s not fretting his contract situation. “I leave that in the hands of the man above,” Beckham said (according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post on Twitter). “When that time comes, that time comes. Right now is really not the time to discuss it. When it comes, it’ll come.”
  • Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is handling “personal issues” and isn’t expected to be present at mandatory minicamp, reports ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter). The former third-round pick, who also wasn’t present for OTAs, has played in 18 games over the past two seasons, compiling six tackles.
  • Redskins running back Matt Jones was absent during OTAs, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran was present for mandatory minicamp. Recent reports indicated that Jones wasn’t “a part of the team’s plans for 2017,” which echoed previous rumors that the team was shopping the 24-year-old. Jones appeared in seven games last season, running for 460 yards and three touchdowns on 99 carries.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Wynn, Odighizuwa Staying With Giants

Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn will sign his restricted free agent tender and participate in the team’s offseason program, tweets Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.

Kerry Wynn (vertical)

New York tendered Wynn at the lowest level last month, meaning the club would have not have received any compensation had the 2014 undrafted free agent signed elsewhere and it chose not to match the offer. There was risk of Wynn departing, too, as he visited the Patriots last Thursday. The Pats have been aggressive in pursuing other teams’ RFAs, evidenced most recently by their offer to Bills running back Mike Gillislee on Tuesday, but they declined to present a deal to Wynn. As such, he’s in line to make $1.797MM this year as a member of the Giants.

The 26-year-old Wynn has been a part-time player in New York, where he has started in seven of 34 appearances. All of those starts came in 2015 for Wynn, who amassed a career-high 53 tackles that season. That total dropped to a career-low eight in 14 appearances in 2016, when Wynn participated in just 10.4 percent of the Giants’ defensive snaps. He was a more prominent member of their special teams unit, partaking in 28.1 percent of plays. Going forward, Wynn will continue to serve as depth behind star defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon.

Meanwhile, it appears Owa Odighizuwa will again join Wynn as a fellow reserve end next season. There has been confusion about Odighizuwa’s status since he implied he was stepping away from football in early April, but the 25-year-old was on hand for the beginning of the Giants’ program Tuesday, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Pats

The Dolphins have until May 2 to pick up the 2018 fifth-year option on right tackle Ja’Wuan James, and the decision is not clear-cut, as James Walker of ESPN.com writes. James, 24, has started 39 games since being selected with the 19th overall pick in 2014, and he was solid last season, grading as the league’s No. 32 tackle, per Pro Football Focus. However, because the fifth-year option salary is based on both left and right tackle contracts, it’s expected to be worth approximately $8MM, a figure that would make James the third-highest-paid right tackle in the league on an annual basis. The deal would only be for a single season, however, and is guaranteed for injury only until the first day of the 2018 league year.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is still a member of the Giants, as franchise owner John Mara told reporters, including Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Mara added he “doesn’t think” Odighizuwa will follow through on his apparent retirement plans. The 25-year-old defender has posted a cryptic series of tweets in recent days, first indicating that he’d step away from the NFL, then saying he’s “grateful to be part of Big Blue.” Fellow Giants players aren’t sure exactly what’s going on with Odighizuwa, although some observers believe he’s dealing with “personal” problems.
  • Although free agent signing Stacy McGee may fit better as a nose tackle given that he’s doesn’t rush the passer well, the Redskins intend to use him as a defensive end in their 3-4 scheme, according to Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. Either way, Washington could still use another lineman or two, even after inking McGee and Terrell McClain last month. Johnathan Hankins is still available on the open market, as are fellow free agents Jared Odrick and Vance Walker. Draft options for the Redskins could include Malik McDowell (Michigan State), Chris Wormley (Michigan), and Caleb Brantley (Florida).
  • Brandon Bolden‘s new deal with the Patriots is worth $855K and comes with a $50K signing bonus, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. The pact also includes a $30K workout bonus. As Volin notes, this contract certainly doesn’t mean Bolden is a lock to earn a spot on the New England roster, especially given the club’s crowded backfield. At present, the Pats boast Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkhead, D.J. Foster, and are also in contact with free agents Adrian Peterson and LeGarrette Blount. If Bolden does make New England’s squad, it will be on the basis of his special teams work.
  • Safety T.J. McDonald‘s one-year contract with the Dolphins has a value of $1.344MM, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The deal will include a base salary of roughly $945K, $213K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $200K workout bonus. Of course, McDonald will only earn half of those totals, as he’s suspended for the first eight games of the season .