A.J. Jenkins

NFC East Notes: Kelly, Giants, USC, Cowboys

The Eagles are 2-3 and Southern Cal just fired coach Steve Sarksian. Naturally, people have started connecting Chip Kelly, who was a successful coach with Oregon, to the Trojans. At a Thursday morning press conference, Kelly did his best to quiet down that talk. Kelly said that no one from USC, or any college, has contacted him about its head coaching opening, as Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Kelly went on to say that he hopes to reach a level of success like Giants coach Tom Coughlin so that he doesn’t have to answer questions about returning to college football.

Here’s more out of the NFC East..

  • Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara will be out for 2-4 weeks with a partial pectoral tear, Coughlin told reporters (via the Giants on Twitter).
  • Former Colts/Dolphins/Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler was among those working out for the Giants on Wednesday, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Over the course of his seven-year career, he has played in 108 games (60 starts). Overall, he has registered 455 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2013 with the Dolphins, he led the team with a career-high 118 tackles. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Wheeler as the 18th best outside linebacker in a 3-4 set last season, giving him an overall grade of 2.6.
  • The Giants also worked out defensive backs Brandon McGee, Garry Peters, Greg Reid, and Dax Swanson this week, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter) adds wide receiver A.J. Jenkins of Illinois to that list.
  • Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia could have interest in the South Carolina job recently vacated by Steve Spurrier, as Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram writes.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Pryor, Cards

The Cowboys are making a quarterback change for Week 7, giving the nod to Matt Cassel, and that’s not the only starting lineup move they’re considering on offense. As Ed Werder of ESPN.com reported this morning (via Twitter), Dallas may also start recently acquired running back Christine Michael over Joseph Randle, and rookie guard La’el Collins over Ronald Leary.

Head coach Jason Garrett has since confirmed that Collins will indeed start at left guard in place of Leary, though it’s not clear yet what the team’s running back rotation will look like. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears from a Cowboys source that the team definitely plans on using Michael more, though Randle may still get the start.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Giants are the latest team to work out at Terrelle Pryor as a wide receiver, according to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). While several clubs that have auditioned Pryor are likely just seeing what the former quarterback looks like in his new position, New York might require some additional depth at WR, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle banged up, and Victor Cruz‘s availability going forward still up in the air. The Giants also tried out wideouts T.J. Graham and A.J. Jenkins, writes Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.
  • Former Buccaneers defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers is among the players working out for the Cowboys this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • Free agent cornerback Robert McClain has been busy over the last month and a half, working out for a handful of teams — Wilson tweets that McClain auditioned for the Cardinals this week, the veteran’s fifth tryout since the start of September.
  • In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (SoundCloud link), Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians explained his team’s decision to sign veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney, suggesting that the club had been in touch with Freeney multiple times since June.

Cowboys Cut A.J. Jenkins, Down To 53 Players

The Cowboys have announced their Saturday roster moves, paring down from 75 players to 53 in preparation for the regular season. One of the players waived today by the Cowboys was former first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins, who signed with the team earlier in the offseason. With failed stops in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Dallas now under his belt, Jenkins’ NFL opportunities are likely running out.

Here are the players removed from Dallas’ active roster today, per a team release:


  • QB Dustin Vaughan
  • QB Jameill Showers
  • RB Gus Johnson
  • RB Ben Malena
  • FB Ray Agnew
  • WR Clyde Gates
  • WR Nick Harwell
  • WR A.J. Jenkins
  • T Laurence Gibson
  • T John Wetzel
  • C Shane McDermott
  • C Ronald Patrick
  • DE Ben Gardner
  • DE Efe Obada
  • LB Donnie Baggs
  • LB Dakorey Johnson
  • CB Joel Ross
  • S Tim Scott


  • LB Ka’Lial Glaud
  • CB Rod Sweeting


  • DE Greg Hardy
  • LB Rolando McClain

Meanwhile, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram weighs in on rumors from earlier in the day that linked running back Jonas Gray to the Cowboys. According to Williams (via Twitter), the Cowboys didn’t have interest in trading for Gray, but could be interested now that he has been cut by the Pats. The young back will become a free agent tomorrow unless he’s claimed on waivers or signs to a practice squad.

East Notes: Carr, RGIII, Cannon

In a series of several tweets, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram checks in on the Brandon Carr situation in Dallas, writing that the Cowboys haven’t approached the cornerback’s agent recently about a possible pay cut. The team did so earlier in the offseason, but was rebuffed, and now it seems as if Carr may head into the 2015 season with his contract unchanged. According to Hill, nothing is set in stone yet, but Carr has talked to the media about the issue more than he’s talked to the team about it.

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

  • Speaking at the team’s charity golf tournament on Monday, Washington president Bruce Allen touched on a handful of topics, calling the decision to pick up Robert Griffin III‘s fifth-year option a “no-brainer,” according to Liz Clarke of the Washington Post. Allen also said that DeSean Jackson‘s absence from the club’s OTAs isn’t a concern (link via Scott Allen of the Washington Post), and suggested that Washington is still keeping an eye on players to acquire (link via ESPN.com’s John Keim).
  • According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Marcus Cannon‘s contract with the Patriots includes a $35K weight bonus — to earn that bonus, the offensive lineman must be under 345 pounds today.
  • A first-round pick in 2012, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins has been traded by the 49ers and cut by the Chiefs, and now hopes his third team is the charm. Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com writes that Jenkins is grateful for the opportunity he’s getting from the Cowboys, who signed him last week.

Cowboys Sign A.J. Jenkins

12:07pm: The Cowboys have officially signed Jenkins, the team confirmed today in a press release.

11:53am: To make room on their roster for Jenkins, the Cowboys are waiving wide receiver Chris Boyd with an injured designation, tweets Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. Boyd spent some time last season on Dallas’ practice squad before signing a reserve/futures contract with the team in January.

10:08am: After signing Darren McFadden earlier this offseason, the Cowboys are adding another former first-round offensive playmaker to their roster, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who tweets that A.J. Jenkins is signing with the team. Jenkins worked out for Dallas last week.

Like McFadden, Jenkins hasn’t lived up to his draft position so far in his NFL career, though the running back has at least seen plenty of playing time. After being selected 30th overall by the 49ers in 2012, Jenkins never recorded a single reception in San Francisco, and was traded to the Chiefs prior to the 2013 season. In two seasons in Kansas City, the Illinois product grabbed just 17 balls, and was cut back in February along with Donnie Avery.

While the Cowboys may still see some upside in Jenkins, it’s also possible that he’ll simply be a camp body, and won’t make the cut when teams reduce their rosters from 90 players to 53 at the end of the preseason.

Jenkins also worked out for the Jets this month.

Jets Add Nine UDFAs; Corey Hilliard Retires

9:12pm: The Jets also added cornerback Greg Henderson, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter.

12:32pm: The Jets have been busy today, announcing several roster moves as their rookie minicamp gets underway. In addition to signing eight undrafted free agents, the team has also cut two players, and will be working out former first-round wide receiver A.J. Jenkins this weekend.

The team has also seen an offseason addition decide to retire — offensive tackle Corey Hilliard, who signed with the Jets in March, has elected to call it a career.

The 30-year-old saw his 2014 season come to an early end when he sustained a Lisfranc foot injury and tore ligaments in that foot during the Lions’ Week 1 game. It was the second time in three years that he missed essentially an entire season, which likely prompted his early retirement, but he had been effective as a swing tackle when he was healthy. In 2013, Hilliard played 459 offensive snaps for Detroit, starting seven games at right tackle for the team.

Here are the rest of the roster moves for the Jets:

Undrafted free agents:

  • Deion Barnes, DE, Penn State
  • Durell Eskridge, S, Syracuse ($8.5K bonus, plus $5K guaranteed salary, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Julian Howsare, LB, Clarion
  • Taiwan Jones, LB, Michigan State
  • Demarkus Perkins, S, Florida International
  • Wes Saxton, TE, South Alabama
  • Davon Walls, DL, Lincoln ($15K bonus, per Wilson)
  • Jordan Williams, DE, Tennessee


Chiefs Cut Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins

1:01pm: The Chiefs have officially released Avery, and have also waived former first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins, tweets BJ Kissel of KCChiefs.com. Jenkins, who had just nine receptions last season, had been on the books for a non-guaranteed $1.337MM cap hit. He’ll have to clear waivers before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

12:12pm: The Chiefs are nearly ready to begin making cap-clearing moves in advance of this year’s free agent period, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is cutting wide receiver Donnie Avery. As a six-year NFL veteran, Avery won’t pass through waivers, and will immediately be free to sign with another club once the move becomes official.

Avery, who had started 14 games for the Chiefs in 2013, acting as the team’s No. 2 wideout behind Dwayne Bowe, was sidelined for most of the 2014 campaign due to a groin injury. He played in six games, grabbing just 15 passes for 176 yards, and was held without a touchdown for the first time in his career.

Of course, Avery was hardly alone in Kansas City when it came to being held touchdown-less. The Chiefs’ entire wide receiving corps improbably went the whole 2014 season without catching a single TD pass. Given the lack of production from the group last season, and the fact that there’s a chance Bowe could join Avery on the open market, wide receiver figures to be a primary area of focus for the team this offseason.

Because Avery had been scheduled to earn a $2.7MM base salary and $700K in combined roster and workout bonuses, the Chiefs will create $3.4MM in cap savings by cutting him. With less than $2MM in projected cap space, and a number of their own players to re-sign – most notably Justin Houston – Kansas City will have to make a few more moves before they’ll have enough room to comfortably negotiate new deals with those free-agents-to-be

Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are today’s minor transactions. We’ll update the list throughout the day, with the most recent moves added to the top…

Earlier Updates

Chiefs Sign Jason Avant, Place Jenkins On IR

6:57pm: In addition to confirming the signing of Avant, the Chiefs announced that they have placed fellow receiver A.J. Jenkins, who had just nine receptions for 93 yards this season, on injured reserve.

3:38pm: Three days after he was waived by the Panthers and one day after their receivers were quiet again in a loss to the Raiders, the Chiefs brought in Jason Avant for a workout and will sign him to a contract, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).

Avant, 31, signed with Carolina in the offseason as a free agent, and grabbed 21 balls for 201 yards and a touchdown during his time with the club. The Panthers cut him earlier this week after he questioned the team’s play-calling in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, though head coach Ron Rivera insisted the move was unrelated to Avant’s comments, and reflected the team’s desire to give its younger wideouts more playing time.

By signing with the Chiefs, Avant will join perhaps the least productive receiving corps in all of football in 2014. Improbably, no Kansas City wide receivers have caught a touchdown this season — Alex Smith has tossed 13 TD passes, but all of them have been caught by a tight end or a running back.

The Chiefs don’t currently have an opening on their 53-man roster, so a corresponding move will be necessary to accommodate the addition of Avant.

Chiefs Notes: Dressler, Smith, Johnson

Cousins David and DeMarcus Van Dyke have waited their entire lives to be on the same team. The time has finally come, as the two cornerbacks are now teammates on the Chiefs. There’s one problem, though: the players are competing for a roster spot.

The duo are two of ten cornerback candidates currently in Chiefs camp, and it’s no guarantee that either player makes the team. Even with all of the competition, the family members are still rooting for each other.

Via Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star:

May the best man win,” said DeMarcus. “I’ll be proud of him if he does make it, because I want him to win an opportunity in the NFL. He’s worked hard since little league to get here, so anything I can do to help him win a job, I’m down for it.”

“You have to compete for a job,” said David, “no matter what team you go to.”

DeMarcus was selected by the Raiders in the third round of the 2011 draft. He’s appeared in 25 career games. David was undrafted out of Tennessee State.

There’s a lot more going on in Kansas City. ESPN.com’s Chiefs writer Adam Teicher answered questions from readers this past weekend. Let’s see what he had to say…

  • Teicher believes it will be difficult for CFL veteran wide receiver Weston Dressler to make the roster. The writer says the drafting of De’Anthony Thomas “doomed” Dressler’s chances.
  • Teicher thinks the Chiefs will keep six wideouts:  Thomas, Donnie AveryDwayne Bowe, Junior HemingwayFrankie Hammond Jr. and A.J. Jenkins.
  • The writer doesn’t think Alex Smith will receive a contract approaching Jay Cutler‘s $126MM deal. He suggests a contract worth $14-$15MM annually, less than the $18MM that Cutler averages.
  • It wouldn’t surprise Teicher if the Chiefs hold on to four quarterbacks, especially if they don’t sign Alex Smith to an extension. Besides Smith, the team also has Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray.
  • The addition of linebacker Joe Mays is “an ominous sign” for Nico Johnson, the writer says.