Alex Henery

Workout Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Raiders, Bucs

With 53-man rosters set, teams around the NFL will start to frequently bring in players for workouts and auditions, keeping up-to-date on which free agents are out there, in case injury replacements or practice squad fill-ins are required.

Here are a few of the latest updates on teams working out players, or bringing them in for visits:

  • The Bills, who are exploring other possible options at kicker after an underwhelming preseason from Dan Carpenter, worked out Alex Henery, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). Henery’s last game in the NFL, the one that cost him his job, came last October, when he missed three field goals for the Lions against Buffalo.
  • Before they signed linebacker Adrian Hubbard, the Dolphins worked out Hubbard and several other players, according to Wilson (Twitter link). The players who earned an audition with Miami included former Raiders safety Jonathan Dowling, ex-Cardinals linebacker Glenn Carson, former Bengals linebacker Nico Johnson, ex-Cowboys cornerback Robert Steeples, and former Eagles safety Chris Prosinski.
  • The Raiders brought in a number of players for workouts, with a focus on wide receivers, quarterbacks, and defensive backs. According to Wilson (Twitter links), wideouts Phil Bates, John Harris, DeAndre Carter, and T.J. Graham, quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Phillip Sims, and defensive backs Tommie Campbell, Phillip Thomas, B.W. Webb, and Ty Zimmerman auditioned for the club. Offensive lineman Dillon Farrell also had a tryout with Oakland.
  • Offensive lineman Austin Reiter, a 2015 seventh-rounder waived by Washington over the weekend, is working out for the Buccaneers this morning, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
  • After being waived by the Chargers last week, wide receiver Titus Davis paid a visit to the Lions, tweets Wilson.

Steelers Sign Garrett Hartley

A day after learning that kicker Shaun Suisham suffered a torn ACL, the Steelers have found their new kicker. According to agent Erik Burkhardt (via Twitter), Pittsburgh has signed veteran free agent Garrett Hartley to a contract.

Hartley was one of a handful of kickers who were reportedly set to audition for the Steelers today, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Rapoport named former Eagles kicker Alex Henery and journeyman free agent Jay Feely as other candidates expected to get a look from Pittsburgh.

Hartley, 29, served as the Saints’ kicker for parts of five seasons between 2008 and 2013, making a total of 82 field goals in 101 attempts (81.2%). He struggled in his last year with the club in 2013, making just 73.3% of his 30 attempts, and missing four field goals from inside 40 yards. Hartley’s last NFL stint came in 2014 with the Browns.

A source tells Josina Anderson of (Twitter link) that Hartley’s deal is for one year, so he’ll be a stopgap solution while Suisham recovers. I would expect Hartley’s contract features little to no guaranteed money, so the Steelers would have the option of finding a replacement if he struggles.

Lions Release Alex Henery

12:15pm: Connor Barth will be a part of the auditions tomorrow too, according to Birkett (via Twitter).

12:06pm: Former Broncos kicker Matt Prater will join Feely for the workout, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter).

11:53am: Jay Feely is on his way to Detroit to work out for the Lions tomorrow, a source tells Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (on Twitter).

11:25am: That didn’t take long. Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter), that the team has cut kicker Alex Henery. The Lions have not signed his replacement yet, but that should be coming rather soon.

Henery missed all three of his field goal attempts yesterday, including a 50-yard attempt that would have given Detroit a 17-14 win. Instead, it was the Bills and kicker Dan Carpenter who got the field goal opportunity and the win by the same score. Henery missed a 52-yarder but made a 51-yard field goal try against the Jets, giving him a 1-5 completion percentage over his two weeks for Detroit.

The Lions will now move on to their third kicker in the 2014 season. Nate Freese, who won the preseason battle over Giorgio Tavecchio for the job, was axed after he missed a costly field goal against the Packers in Week 3.

Caldwell said experience will be a factor in the selection of their next kicker, tweets Birkett.

NFC Links: Harbaugh, Donnell, Prater, Eagles

The 49ers have a very volatile situation on their hands, as tensions between management and head coach Jim Harbaugh are only outmatched by those between the coach and his players. Much has been made about this ongoing situation, but the team was still playing at a high level last week. Their defense suffocated the Eagles’ offense, and the team still looks like a Super Bowl contender despite currently sitting at third in the NFC West.

Seth Wickersham of ESPN profiled Harbaugh, writing that he thrives in chaos and that it doesn’t matter what the atmosphere is in the locker room. His competitiveness could be enough and overcome the tensions and the 49ers could be looking at another deep playoff run.

Here are some more links from around the NFC:

Lions Sign Alex Henery

11:23am: Speaking to reporters, including Birkett (Twitter link), head coach Jim Caldwell acknowledged today that the Lions have signed Henery and waived Freese.

10:27am: After using one of their eight draft picks this spring on a kicker, the Lions have decided to move on from that player – Nate Freese – after just three regular-season games. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter), the team plans to sign former Eagles kicker Alex Henery later today.

While Birkett doesn’t specifically say that Freese will be waived, that seems like the only logical corresponding move for the signing of Henery. Freese, a rookie out of Boston College, has struggled early in the NFL career, missing at least one field goal in each of the Lions’ games so far, including a 41-yarder yesterday against Green Bay. Detroit auditioned Henery and other free agent kickers last week to prepare for the possibility of replacing Freese, who has converted just three of his seven attempts this season.

Henery had struggles of his own during the preseason with the Eagles, ultimately losing out on the job in Philadelphia to rookie Cody Parkey. However, the 27-year-old was fairly effective in three previous seasons with the club. From 2011 to 2013, Henery made 86.0% of his field goal tries and all but one of 117 extra-point attempts.

Lions Worked Out Kickers, Beauharnais

The Lions conducted workouts with several veteran players today, including a handful of kickers, according to various reports. Adam Schefter of reports (via Twitter) that Rob Bironas, Alex Henery, and Garrett Hartley all auditioned for the club, while Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that former Patriots linebacker Steve Beauharnais was also in Detroit for a tryout.

While Beauharnais’ workout looks fairly standard, the fact that Detroit brought in multiple veteran kickers is notable. Rookie Nate Freese won the job in the preseason, but he has struggled out of the gate for the Lions — he has made just two of five field goal attempts so far, with both converted tries coming from inside 30 yards.

Birons, Henery, and Hartley were the starting kickers for the Titans, Eagles, and Saints respectively for most or all of last season, and could prove to be more reliable than Freese. I’d expect the Lions to give their seventh-round pick at least one more chance to straighten things out, but his leash may not be much longer than that.

AFC Links: Jaguars, Jets, Patriots, Browns

Let’s round up some news from the AFC…

  • The Jaguars worked out a trio of kickers today, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). Jay Feely, Alex Henery, and Derek Dimke all tried out for Jacksonville, which is likely updating its emergency list of kickers as incumbent Josh Scobee deals with a quadriceps injury.
  • Yates also notes that the Jets worked out linebacker Steve Beauharnais, who spent 2013 with the Patriots. Beauharnais, a Rutgers product, had a workout with the Giants on Tuesday.
  • In his latest piece for, Adam Schefter points out that while Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell have eerily similar statistics since both entered the league in 2010, Tate was guaranteed $10.5MM by the Lions over the offseason, while LaFell’s contract with the Patriots guarantees him just $3MM. While the pair’s traditional numbers are comparable, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) strongly favored Tate, grading him as the 18th-best receiver in 2013 — LaFell, meanwhile, was ranked at No. 94 among WRs.
  • Without Josh Gordon in the fold, the Browns’ receiver corps seems to lack not only talent, but size — as Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer writes, the Browns’ average receiver stands 5’11”, 191.4 pounds. But general manager Ray Farmer isn’t second-guessing his decision to not add more WR depth, or to release veterans like Nate Burleson or Anthony Armstrong. “There’s no reason to waver,” Farmer said. “Talent is talent. I think that question everyone wants to know is ‘How come I don’t know him? How come I’ve never heard of that guy?’ I can’t answer that question. I don’t know the answer to it. I know that our scouts do a really good job of hitting the streets and figuring out who’s who on which roster and when we can pick up a guy and who’s out there to make our team better.”

AFC Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jags, Spiller

With Ryan Mallett no longer in the Patriots‘ plans, the Texans were able to acquire Tom Brady‘s former backup last weekend on the cheap, parting ways with just a sixth- or seventh-round pick, depending on how much playing time Mallett sees in Houston. According to Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790 in Houston though, Mallett wasn’t the only signal-caller the Texans explored trading for. Zierlein tweets that Houston also targeted Matt Barkley of the Eagles before landing Mallett.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos‘ contract talks with receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas aren’t dead but they’re not active either, writes Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Demaryius Thomas‘ agent Todd France probably wants to see a resolution to Dez Bryant‘s contract talks before striking a deal. Meanwhile, the Broncos have exchanged proposals with Orange Julius’ agent Frank Bauer but those talks appear to have stalled.
  • The Jaguars worked out kickers Derek Dimke and Alex Henery and even though they liked what they saw, they sent them home now that Josh Scobee is recovering from his groin injury, tweets Adam Schefter of
  • Bills running back C.J. Spiller, who could hit the open market this offseason, is signing on with agent Chad Speck, according to Jason La Canfora of (on Twitter).
  • When Tom Brady and the Patriots part ways, former Pats center and CSNNE analyst Dan Koppen says it will be Bill Belichick‘s call, not Brady’s. “As long as Bill is here, he will make those decisions,” said Koppen. “If Tom is not carrying his weight or he’s in a decline Bill’s going to bring him in the office and have a little speech. “Maybe he gets a hug at the end, but I guarantee it’s going to be, ‘Tom, we’re going to release you. Thanks for coming. We appreciate everything You’ve done, but I’ve got to do what’s best for the football team.'”
  • In his latest piece for, Albert Breer examines the quarterback situations for the Jaguars, Chiefs, Raiders, and Bills, including a look at the rookies in Jacksonville and Oakland, as well as Kansas City’s investment in Alex Smith.
  • People around the league believe that Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has plenty of good football ahead of him, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “Steve’s getting up there in age, but he hasn’t changed his tenacity and physicality,” said former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, an NBC analyst. “He’s still able to impose his will. When you talk about his style of play, pairing up with the Baltimore Ravens, the two go hand in hand. He brings that toughness to the offense they haven’t had since Anquan Boldin was playing for them.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Eagles Reduce Roster To 53 Players

The Eagles have officially finalized their 53-man roster, according to the team. In a press release, the Eagles announced the roster moves they made to get down to the regular-season limit. They are as follows:

The Eagles’ other eight roster-trimming moves were reported yesterday.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Bryant, Garrett, Giants

Although undrafted free agent Carey Spear’s performance wasn’t worthy of wresting a roster spot from incumbent Eagles kicker Alex Henery, it appears recent Philadelphia acquisition Cody Parkey has in fact unseated the veteran. Sources tell Eliot Shorr-Parks of that Parkey has won a place on the Eagles’ 53-man roster — if confirmed, the news doesn’t bode well for Henery, as most teams don’t carry two kickers. Parkey, acquired from the Colts on August 20, made two field goals from 50-plus yards in Philadelphia’s preseason game against the Jets on Thursday. More from Philly and the rest of the NFC:

  • The Eagles are trying to trade third-year receiver Damaris Johnson, according to Geoff Mosher of (via Twitter). It sounds like the 24-year-old Johnson, who saw just 53 offensive snaps last season, will be waived if Philadelphia can’t find any takers.
  • Though progress has been made towards an extension, “there’s nothing all that close” to a new deal between Dez Bryant and the Cowboys, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.
  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is entering the final year of his contract, and owner/GM Jerry Jones tells Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News that he’s content to let Garrett lead the team as a lame duck coach. “I, in no way, have shut that door [on extending Garrett’s deal],” said Jones. “But I have already decided that we were going to operate this year with his contract status the way that it is.”
  • Unsurprisingly, Garrett’s name is on Adam Caplan of’s list of coaches entering 2014 on the hot seat. Mike Smith and Jeff Fisher are the other NFC head men that Caplan thinks could be in trouble.
  • Paul Schwartz of the New York Post looks at some Giants who could be on the roster bubble.