Anthony Spencer

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/20/15

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves..

Earlier today:

  • The Browns are signing linebacker Jayson DiManche off the Chiefs‘ taxi squad, Adam Caplan of tweets. DiManche will take the roster spot previously filled by running back Shaun Draughn, who has been waived, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound DiManche has appeared in 28 regular-season games with one start, all with the Bengals. Draughn appeared in five games this season for Cleveland with two carries for 10 yards.
  • The Falcons signed linebacker Philip Wheeler and released safety Charles Godfrey, as Vaughn McClure of tweets.
  • The Lions have claimed guard/tackle Michael Ola off waivers from the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets. Ola has yo-yo’d between the Chargers’ 53-man roster and the taxi squad all season long.
  • The Colts promoted safety Dewey McDonald from the practice squad, as Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. The Colts also cut Amarlo Herrera and cornerback Shaun Prater, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks signed Lemuel Jeanpierre and cut Crezdon Butler, as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Seahawks also placed linebacker Brock Coyle on IR-DTR, Gregg Bell of The News Tribune tweets.
  • The Chargers will sign safety Adrian Phillips from the practice squad as early as today, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets.
  • The Raiders re-signed strong safety Taylor Mays, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Saints have signed wide receiver T.J. Graham, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings signed Kenrick Ellis and placed Shamar Stephen on IR, Wilson tweets.
  • The Jaguars moved wide receiver Neal Sterling to the active roster and signed safety Craig Loston, John Oehser of tweets.

Saints Claim Sammy Seamster Off Waivers

5:35pm: After trading Jalen Saunders to the Patriots, the Saints had 14 players to shed prior to today’s deadline. They got the job done and we have the full list of moves, courtesy of The Times-Picayune’s Evan Woodbery.

Claimed Off Waivers:

  • Sammy Seamster, CB (waived by Dolphins)


  • Erik Lorig, FB


  • Antonio Johnson, OL
  • Lance Lewis, WR
  • Ronald Powell, LB
  • Markus Pierce-Brewster, DE
  • Nick Toon, WR
  • Terrence Frederick, CB
  • R.J. Harris, WR
  • Chris Young, LB
  • David Hunter, DT
  • Cole Manhart, OL


  • Vinnie Sunseri, S

Placed on IR:

  • Anthony Spencer, OLB
  • P.J. Williams, CB

3:32pm: The Saints have waived defensive tackle David Hunter and linebacker Chris Young, according to Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune (Twitter links). In addition to those moves, New Orleans has waived wide receiver Nick Toon, undrafted rookie receiver R.J. Harris, cornerback Terrence Frederick, (via Twitter links).

Hunter and Young were brought in as a camp fill-ins after the Saints suffered multiple injuries in their first preseason game. Weeks later, it’s not a huge surprise to see both players let go.

Contract Details: Johnson, Spencer, Lattimore

We learned yesterday that the Lions have disputed the Buccaneers‘ offer sheet to George Johnson, extending the process beyond yesterday’s initial decision deadline. However, it wasn’t immediately clear what Detroit’s issue with the offer sheet was.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk sheds a little light on the subject today, reporting that the Lions want to know whether they have to match all the specifics of a Bucs’ offer that includes de-escalators in the second and third years of the deal. Per Florio, the three-year, $9MM proposal could shrink to $7MM over three years if the de-escalators are applied, so depending on how an arbitrator rules, Detroit may only have to match that lower $7MM figure.

As we wait for resolution on Johnson, which should come by the end of next week, let’s break down a few more new contracts from around the NFL…

  • Anthony Spencer inked a minimum salary benefit contract with the Saints, allowing the team to carry a cap hit of just $665K, tweets Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Spencer’s one-year deal includes an $80K signing bonus to go along with a base salary of $870K.
  • Jamari Lattimore also signed a minimum salary deal with the Jets, though since he has less NFL experience than Spencer, his base salary is just $745K, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The linebacker’s one-year contract includes a $60K signing bonus and a $20K roster bonus.
  • Wilson passes along the details on one more minimum salary benefit contract, tweeting that Will Allen‘s deal with the Steelers is worth $1.05MM, including a $970K base salary and an $80K signing bonus. Like Spencer and Lattimore, Allen will count for only $665K against his team’s cap.

Anthony Spencer Signs With Saints

12:32pm: The team confirmed Spencer’s pact, although terms of the deal are not yet disclosed.

12:10pm: Longtime Cowboys defensive end/linebacker Anthony Spencer agreed to a one-year contract with the Saints, reports’s Albert Breer via Twitter.

Spencer, who played for Dallas for eight seasons and started from 2009-12, made the Pro Bowl after an 11-sack campaign in 2012 when he served as a 3-4 outside linebacker under current Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

A former first-round pick, the 31-year-old Spencer played as a backup defensive end last season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery in 2013.

Spencer’s return from surgery went well, with the former linebacker serving as a decent run defender off the bench last season. Pro Football Focus graded Spencer as its 21st-best defensive end in a 4-3 alignment (subscription required), with his strong run defense being the primary reason for the resurgence.

Although Spencer convened with the Seahawks, he also met with the Saints last month and will now serve as an edge player in a Saints look that meshes 4-3 and 3-4 principles. The Saints introduced Spencer as a linebacker, meaning he could compete with Parys Haralson and Ramon Humber for time on the outside. Last season’s work, however, showcases a flexibility for Spencer to potentially join a defensive end corps fronted by stalwart Junior Galette.

Saints Notes: Evans, Spencer, Jordan, Draft

Although he was the last head coach to arrive at the NFC coaches’ breakfast in Phoenix this morning, Sean Payton of the Saints may have dropped more noteworthy tidbits for reporters in Arizona than any other NFC coach. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights, via Larry Holder, Nick Underhill, Ian Rapoport, and Mike Garafolo (all links go to Twitter)….

  • The Saints explored the possibility of trading both Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs, since it wasn’t feasible to keep both high-priced guards. With Grubbs having been sent to Kansas City, Evans is poised to stick around, but his contract may still be addressed and modified, per Payton.
  • There were “four or five teams” talking to the Saints about a potential Jimmy Graham trade, including the Dolphins. Asked about whether last year’s positional battle or contract negotiations involving Graham played a part in the team’s decision to trade the tight end, Payton replied, “Zero. None.” The head coach added that he has spoken to Drew Brees about the deal, and the quarterback handled it fine.
  • Payton confirmed that free agent DE/OLB Anthony Spencer visited the Saints on Monday, but said there’s nothing to announce at this point.
  • Payton likes this year’s draft class for wide receivers, and believes the team will take at least one or two defensive linemen or edge defenders in the draft. Adding a tight end, either in free agency or the draft, is also a priority.
  • General manager Mickey Loomis has begun discussions on a potential long-term contract extension for defensive Cameron Jordan.
  • Payton believes there’s a good chance Travaris Cadet would have re-signed with the Saints if the club hadn’t added C.J. Spiller in free agency. The head coach added that he had dinner in Los Angeles with Reggie Bush to discuss a potential reunion before signing Spiller, since the team expected Spiller to “end up somewhere else at a higher number.”
  • Asked about finding a successor for Brees, Payton said he thinks the veteran quarterback has “a lot of good football left,” but he’s open to drafting a QB if there’s value to be had. However, Payton dismissed the idea of trading up for Marcus Mariota, saying that “won’t happen.”
  • Prior to releasing him, the Saints wanted Curtis Lofton to make some adjustments and improvements to his game, and to take a pay cut, but it didn’t pan out.

South Notes: Titans, Spencer, Saints, Panthers

With the Buccaneers viewed as very likely to draft Jameis Winston first overall next month, the Titans‘ pick at No. 2 is a big one, since it’s not clear whether Tennessee will opt for quarterback Marcus Mariota or select a defender.

Asked today about the Mariota possibility, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters, including Jim Corbett of USA Today (Twitter link) that “if he comes to us at No. 2, he’s definitely going to be the Day One starter.” As Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports tweets, Whisenhunt later clarified that he meant if his team were to draft a quarterback second overall, it would be with the expectation that the player would start immediately.

Whisenhunt’s comments don’t necessarily signal that Tennessee is leaning toward the Oregon signal-caller, but the door certainly doesn’t seem closed on that outcome either. Here are a few more notes from around the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • The latest report on the possibility of a Titans sale has led to the latest round of denials from the organization. This time, it’s interim president Steve Underwood saying that ownership is committed to the team, and doesn’t intend to field offers on the franchise, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Per Wyatt, Tommy Smith‘s replacement also made it clear that he has confidence in Whisenhunt and GM Ruston Webster.
  • Former Cowboys DE/OLB Anthony Spencer is visiting New Orleans to meet with the Saints, per Kristian Garic of WWL 870 (via Twitter). Spencer, who has spent all eight years of his NFL career with Dallas, hasn’t started a game since his Pro Bowl season in 2012, but has a history with Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
  • Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said today that linebacker Thomas Davis will be next in line for a contract extension, and also suggested that wide receiver Greg Jennings and cornerback Alan Ball are still in play for Carolina — both players have drawn interest from other teams as well, and are taking their time to make decisions.
  • Texans head coach Bill O’Brien identified safety and offensive line as two spots at which he wants to improve his team’s depth, adding that he’d like to upgrade the club’s return game as well (Twitter link via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle).

FA Notes: Clay, Canty, Spencer, Irving, Moore

There hasn’t been much movement on the Charles Clay front lately, but the Bills are still steadfast in their hopes of signing him to an unmatchable offer sheet, a source tells Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Buffalo appears confident in landing the Dolphins transition player, as the source tells Carucci that it’s a 90% certainty that the Bills will acquire the tight end.

Rex Ryan is reportedly pushing for Clay, as the Bills head coach knows how difficult Clay is to defend from the former’s time with the Jets. Per Carucci, Buffalo is currently going over both their cap numbers and those of the Dolphins, in an attempt to structure a contract that Miami can’t match.

Let’s take a look at the what’s happening on the rest of the free agent market:

  • Defensive lineman Chris Canty will visit the Seahawks tomorrow, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The 32-year-old was released by the Ravens last month, and while a reunion with Baltimore is possible, he’s also met with the Jets as he explores his options.
  • Canty isn’t the only defender who will take a meeting with Seattle, as LB/DE Anthony Spencer will also visit the Seahawks, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). Seattle had success in bringing in veteran defensive lineman Kevin Williams last season, so perhaps they’re trying to find another diamond-in-the-rough between Canty and Spencer.
  • While his visit with the Colts today went well, linebacker Nate Irving is still weighing all his options, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN. The former Bronco has also been linked to the Dolphins and the Cardinals.
  • After asking a source whether receiver Denarius Moore could return to the Raiders, Bill Williamson of (via Twitter) got a clear response: “Not a chance.” The 26-year-old hasn’t drawn any known interest during the free agent period.
  • Although we heard on Thursday that the Bears were discussing a multi-year deal with linebacker Mason Foster, no such pact is imminent, per Michael C. Wright of (Twitter link), who adds that nothing is close between the two sides.

NFC East Notes: Robinson, Sanchez, Escobar

After running through some AFC East notes this morning, let’s run down the NFC East:

NFC East Notes: Spencer, Martin, Smith, Moore

Cowboys veteran defensive end Anthony Spencer, recovering from microfracture surgery, will most likely start the season on the physically unable to perform list, projects’s Calvin Watkins.

Here’s a handful more NFC East notes:

  • Cowboys first-rounder Zack Martin, praised for his consistency and versatility, is working at right guard during rookie minicamp, and head coach Jason Garrett thinks it’s a natural fit, writes Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News. Meanwhile, Martin has already sought out the help of veterans, and he told Carlos Mendez of the Star-Telegram that Doug Free “is like another coach on the field.”
  • “Most first-round edge rushers make mild contributions, or almost none at all, in their first year,” says the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, who writes the Eagles are prepared to be patient with first-rounder Marcus Smith if he doesn’t make an immediate impact.
  • Speaking with Les Bowen on, Eagles seventh-rounder Beau Allen said his predraft interview with the team was more formal and organized than other teams’.
  • Though defensive end was viewed as a need, the Giants did not spend a draft choice on the position, which shows some faith in second-year man Damontre Moore, writes Conor Orr in the Star-Ledger. Recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Moore hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, but says he’s 95 percent and working towards bulking up 15 pounds.

Cowboys Re-Sign Anthony Spencer

TUESDAY, 4:05pm: Spencer’s one-year deal has a base value of just $1.5MM, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). $250K of a $1.25MM base salary is guaranteed, while Spencer can earn another $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Presumably, if Archer’s initial report on the contract’s max value is accurate, there are significant incentives available on top of that $1.5MM.

SATURDAY, 6:25pm: Spencer’s contract is worth up to $3.5MM, reports Todd Archer of (via Twitter). However the deal includes no signing bonus up front.

12:50pm: Free agent pass rusher Anthony Spencer has re-signed with the Cowboys, according to his agent Jordan Woy (via Twitter). Spencer, 30, is the longest-tenured Cowboys defender. He played in one game last season before undergoing season-ending microfracture surgery on his knee. In 2012, Spencer produced 95 tackles and 11 sacks in 14 games.

In addition to losing his 2013 season, the injury cost Spencer a lucrative free-agent contract. Instead, he was forced to take a one-year, “prove it” deal, as his health and utility remain question marks heading into training camp. This is the third year in a row Spencer will be on a one-year deal, as ESPN’s Todd Archer points out, though Spencer will make a fraction of what he did the last two seasons when he played as Dallas’ franchise tagged player, earning nearly $20MM.