Aaron Ross

Browns Cut Six Players

The Browns have begun to make their cuts in advance of tomorrow’s 75-man deadline, but still have plenty of moves left to make. According to a team release, Cleveland has waived two players and released four more, bringing the roster down to 84 players. The club will have to make nine more roster moves by tomorrow at 3:00pm central time.

Players who have less than four years of NFL experience and were let go by the team will have to go unclaimed on waivers before becoming free agents, while players with at least four years of experience are simply released, hitting free agency without passing through waivers. Here’s the breakdown for the Browns:


  • Anthony Ezeakunne, TE
  • Shane Wynn, WR


  • Everette Brown, LB
  • Moise Fokou, LB
  • Jalen Parmele, RB
  • Aaron Ross, DB

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/15

Here are Sunday’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL:

  • The Saints have released tight end Alex Smith, per Kristian Garic of WWL 870am (Twitter link). Smith, who signed with the Saints earlier this month, hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2013. He caught 163 passes and 13 touchdowns from 2005-13 as a member of four different teams.
  • The Dolphins have signed offensive lineman Bryant Browning, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Browning was previously a member of five other organizations since going undrafted out of Ohio State in 2011. He was last with the Steelers and has only suited up for one game – a 2011 contest with Carolina.
  • The Saints have waived long snapper Chris Highland, tweets Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com.

Earlier updates

  • The Cowboys cut receiver George Farmer and signed fellow wideout David Porter, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram (Twitter link). Farmer signed with the Cowboys in May as an undrafted free agent out of USC. Porter, formerly of TCU, also went undrafted this year. He previously spent time with Denver.
  • After a rash of injuries at the position, Washington has signed a new tight end in Ernst Brun, the club announced. Brun, an undraftd free agent out of Iowa State, tried out for the team earlier today. Washington also officially placed tight ends Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen on injured reserve, and waived/injured running back Silas Redd.
  • The Falcons have signed RB Evan Royster, CB Travis Howard, and LB Terrell Manning, tweets Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. The team has also cut OL DeMarcus Love.
  • The Browns have signed CB Aaron Ross and LB Everette Brown, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. The team waived OL Joe Madsen and DL Christian Tupou to make room for Ross and Brown. Ross, 32, was a key member of the Giants’ secondary when Big Blue captured Super Bowl titles in 2007 and 2011.
  • Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets that the Dolphins have cut offensive tackle Chris Martin.

Rams Notes: Gurley, Cignetti, Ross, Fairley

As the St. Louis Rams look to compete in the NFC West and make the playoffs for the first time since 2003, here are a few notes from around the team heading into the summer months:

  • While the Rams hope first-round pick Todd Gurley will be ready to play this season, his contract has language that protects both the player and team in case he is unable to recover from the torn ACL he suffered at Georgia, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Even if Gurley is unable to be a part of the active roster in his first two seasons, he will still receive his full salary for both years, but the Rams will be able to get out of the deal if he is unable to recover from his college injury.
  • The Rams will be making changes to the offense this year without Brian Schottenheimer, but they won’t be reinventing the wheel in St. Louis with quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti as the new offensive coordinator, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch“It’s like this: Coach Schottenheimer put a tremendous foundation in place here,” said Cignetti. “It’s like buying a house. The foundation’s there. What do you do? ‘Let’s remodel a couple rooms.’ So really that’s what we’ve done.”
  • The Rams have brought in cornerback Aaron Ross for a workout, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Ross spent 2014 on injured reserve with the Ravens, but won two Super Bowl rings with the Giants and also spent time with the Jaguars during his NFL career.
  • New addition Nick Fairley is excited for his first season in St. Louis, writes Mark Inabinett of AL.com“I feel good being part of their defense,” said Fairley. “Just the style that they play – attack. It fits my skills, especially the D-line that they have is going to be amazing this year.” He also mentioned that he was planning on bulking up to 290 pounds in order to retain his quickness but still anchor the defensive line against the run.

NFC Notes: Morris, Forte, Ross, Carr

Running back Alfred Morris is aware that his contract situation could become a subject of interest and speculation as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, but he tells Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com that he couldn’t care less about it.

“I approach every year the same,” Morris said. “I’m a running back so I’ll be running the ball, blocking, catching it. I don’t even think about next year.”

For the team’s part, Washington appears set to take a wait-and-see approach with Morris. Since he was a sixth-rounder in 2012, the running back’s contract doesn’t feature a fifth-year option for 2016, but Washington will have exclusive negotiating rights until next March.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • “It’s a hypocritical league,” Bears running back Matt Forte said of the NFL, in reference to his contract situation (link via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times). Forte is seeking an extension, and recognizes that if he hadn’t reported to the voluntary portion of Chicago’s offseason program, he would’ve been labeled selfish. “But then if, say, I didn’t perform last year and (the Bears) wanted to cut me or cut my pay, they can do that,” Forte said. “They can get rid of you. So nobody says nothing to the team about that.”
  • Former Giants defensive back Aaron Ross, who played 83 career NFL games for New York and Jacksonville, is aiming to return to action after missing last season with a torn Achilles, and has workouts lined up with the Rams and 49ers, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
  • Reports this offseason have indicated Brandon Carr isn’t interested in accepting a pay cut, but the Cowboys still hope to reduce the cornerback’s 2015 cap number, and owner Jerry Jones says there could be ways to do that that benefit Carr as well as the team, writes Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News.
  • The Vikings are expected to explore a possible contract extension with safety Harrison Smith this offseason, but he tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that a new deal is “the furthest thing” from his mind at the moment. There’s no urgency for Smith or the Vikes, since his contract includes a fifth-year option for 2016.

Ravens Sign Will Hill

2:14pm: Hill’s one-year deal is worth the minimum salary, with no signing bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

9:33am: Shortly after learning that cornerback Aaron Ross tore his Achilles tendon and will miss the 2014 season, the Ravens have waived-injured Ross and replaced him on the roster with another defensive back. The team has signed former Giants safety Will Hill, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Per Josina Anderson of ESPN (via Twitter), it’s a one-year contract.

Hill, 24, started 10 of the 12 games he appeared in for the Giants last season, and played well, compiling 77 tackles and creating a handful of turnovers (two INTs, two forced fumbles, one recovery). Pro Football Focus’ grades ranked Hill as the league’s second-best safety in 2013, behind only Devin McCourty (subscription required), but off-field issues and character red flags have always cast a shadow over his on-field performance.

In fact, Hill is facing a six-game suspension to start the 2014 season, which makes Baltimore’s decision to sign him an interesting one. Although the ex-Giant will still be able to practice with the club and play in preseason contests, he won’t be able to play in a regular season game until mid-October. It’s Hill’s third suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

While Matt Elam is locked in as one of the Ravens’ starting safeties, the other spot isn’t set in stone yet, with Darian Stewart looking like the likely starter. Hill should provide more depth and experience at the position, though one could argue it’s not necessarily a good look for the Ravens to sign another player facing a suspension when the team is already under some scrutiny for having five players arrested this offseason.

AFC Notes: Blackmon, Chiefs, Ross, Dalton

Wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who was already serving an indefinite suspension for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, was arrested in Oklahoma on Wednesday night for possession of marijuana, as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union details. The Jaguars say they haven’t considered cutting Blackmon, but there’s no indication that he’ll be reinstated and return to the field anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Via Joel Corry of CBSSports.com, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap passes along the details on Jamaal Charles’ new deal with the Chiefs, which includes a roster bonus and reporting bonus for 2014, but no prorated signing bonus.
  • Even after signing his extension, Charles also earned the honor of having the best contract on the Chiefs, in Fitzgerald’s view. On the other end of the spectrum, Dwayne Bowe’s deal is the least team-friendly pact on the team’s books, says Fitzgerald.
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters, including Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link), that cornerback Aaron Ross tore his Achilles tendon during the team’s conditioning test, and will be out for the season. The injury is an unfortunate one for the veteran defensive back, who was hoping to earn a regular-season roster spot.
  • Speaking to the media today, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he’s not worried about his contract situation, adding that the backing of owner Mike Smith makes him confident the two sides will work something out (Twitter links via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com).

Ravens Notes: Extensions, Ross, Franks, Rice

When the Ravens signed five players to their roster at the end of last week’s minicamp, most of the new additions were veterans, or at least players who have spent some time with an NFL club for a season or two. That’s not the case for Nick DiMarco, an undrafted rookie who was cut by the Jets shortly after being signed by the team in May. The William Penn product has joined the Ravens in search of a regular-season roster spot, and while it may be an uphill battle, he tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun that he intends to do everything he can to impress his coaches.

Here’s more on the Ravens, from Wilson’s Sun colleague, Jeff Zrebiec:

  • While there’s not much going on around the NFL for the next month, it would be a good time for the Ravens to address potential contract extensions for wideout Torrey Smith and defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, says Zrebiec. Smith is entering the final season of his rookie deal, while Ngata has two years left on his pact.
  • After signing veterans Chris Canty and Marcus Spears and using a third-round pick on Brandon Williams in 2013, the Ravens didn’t see much improvement on their defensive line last season, so the team was forced to address the position again this year. However, Zrebiec thinks it could be a much-improved group in 2014, given the promise already being shown by draftees Timmy Jernigan and Brent Urban.
  • Zrebiec views recent signees Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks as insurance policies for Baltimore, and expects the team to give Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson every opportunity to earn the No. 3 cornerback job. Ross and Franks may ultimately end up competing for a single roster spot.
  • Although there’s no timetable for the NFL to make its announcement on a Ray Rice suspension, commissioner Roger Goodell likely won’t want to prolong it, assuming he has all the information he needs. As such, we could get the news on Rice very soon.

Ravens Finalize Series Of Roster Moves

The Ravens have officially finalized a series of roster moves that includes five signings and three cuts, according to multiple reports from the Baltimore Sun. According to Aaron Wilson, the team has parted ways with undrafted rookies Dexter Moody (S), Xavius Boyd (LB) and Avery Patterson (CB). With the newly-created openings, plus the two other open roster spots, the club has confirmed the signings of cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks, linebackers Nick DiMarco and Austin Spitler and wideout Mike Willie, per Jeff Zrebiec (via Twitter).

Of those five signings, four had been reported yesterday, so only the addition of Willie is new. The Arizona State alum, who went undrafted in 2012, has spent time with the Chargers in past years, though he has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game.

As for the trio of players who were cut, all three were part of Baltimore’s undrafted free agent class back in May. Patterson received a signing bonus of $3K from the team, while Boyd received $1.5K to sign, but neither bonus was enough for the club to keep them on the roster into training camp.

The Ravens now have a full 90-man roster.

Ravens To Sign Aaron Ross, Dominique Franks

The Ravens have decided to sign cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks after both men had strong performances at their mini-camp, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Ross, he adds, had the very best tryout of any free agent corner that auditioned for Baltimore this week (link).

The Ravens inquired on Brandon Flowers earlier this week but it appears, at least for the time being, that they’ve satisfied their cornerback needs elsewhere. Free agent veteran Drayton Florence was also a consideration, but Ross and Franks won out over him and former Jet and Patriot Marquise Cole .

Ross, 32 in September, tried out for the Lions back in April but came away without a deal. The 20th overall pick in the 2007 draft saw just four games on the field for the Giants last season due to a back injury. He has spent his entire NFL career to date with Big Blue, with the exception of his 2012 campaign with Jacksonville.

Ravens To Sign Austin Spitler

4:29pm: The Ravens will also sign edge defender Nick DiMarco, who was among the players to try out for the club this week, tweets Wilson.

4:01pm: On the heels of a successful audition at their minicamp, the Ravens will sign free agent linebacker Austin Spitler to a contract, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The signing hasn’t been officially announced yet, and details of the agreement aren’t yet known, but it will likely be a one-year pact for the former Dolphin.

Spitler, who will turn 28 this fall, played nearly exclusively on special teams during his four years in Miami, playing only 15 total defensive snaps during his stint with the Dolphins, according to Pro Football Focus’ data. In kick and punt coverage, the former seventh-round pick out of Ohio State logged eight tackles in 2013.

Spitler was one of several players the Ravens tried out this week at their minicamp, and as Wilson notes, the team is expected to add at least one or two more of those non-roster players. Veteran cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks are considered “likely additions,” says Wilson. Besides those players, the Ravens also took a look at defensive tackle Daniel Muir, cornerbacks Drayton Florence, Marquice Cole, Kevin Thomas, and Bobby Felder, and wideouts Mike Willie and Dezmon Briscoe.