Antonio Andrews

Extra Points: Orr, China, Redskins

Free agent linebacker Zach Orr is planning a comeback after retiring in January on account of a congenital spine condition. There’s concern over whether he’ll be able to play with that condition, but Dr. David Chao of the San Diego Union-Tribune expects at least one team’s medical staff to clear Orr. Roughly half the NFL is interested in Orr, so odds do seem to be in his favor. If the 25-year-old does sign with someone, it’s likely that club will require him to sign a waiver releasing it of liability, notes Chao.

More from around the sport:

  • The NFL has abandoned its plan to play a regular-season game in China in 2018, reports Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal. Interestingly, the league is now considering kicking off 2019, its 100th season, in China. “It may make better sense to look at that game as an opportunity to celebrate our hundred years, in the event we can pull it off and as a way to look forward to the future,” NFL executive vice president/international Mark Waller told Kaplan.
  • Houston Bates and Lynden Trail have a chance of making the Redskins‘ roster thanks to Trent Murphy‘s four-game suspension, Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes. Last year, Bates served as the team’s No. 4 outside linebacker before a torn ACL ended his season in Week 14. Trail, meanwhile, has great size at 6’7″, 270 pounds, but he’s still raw after two practice squad seasons. Still, the suspension cracks the door open for both players to make the 53-man cut.
  • Free agent running back Antonio Andrews pleaded guilty to an assault charge Thursday, according to Stacey Barchenger of the Tennesseean. Andrews, accused in March of punching a man who used a racial slur, was sentenced to six months’ probation and will have the charge expunged from his record if he completes it. On the other hand, if Andrews violates his probation, he’ll serve jail time. Regardless, Andrews could face some form of discipline from the league. It might not matter, however, considering no teams have publicly shown interest in the three-year veteran since the Titans non-tendered him in March. That came after Andrews totaled just two carries in 16 games last season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:


  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

Read more

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/17

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:






AFC Mailbags: Bills, Titans, Broncos, Jets

It’s Saturday, and that means the NFL’s various beat reporters are opening their mailbags and answering questions from the readers. Let’s take a look at some of the notable responses out of the AFC…

  • Bills coach Rex Ryan and his staff are “operating under the premise that they have to “get it right” this year,” writes Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. While the writer wouldn’t definitively say if Ryan could end up on the hot seat, he did note that fans have started to recognize the weaknesses in his coaching style, allowing them to question whether he’s actually “the right man for the job.” With a lack of a coach’s salary cap and with more money to use, Carucci does acknowledge that NFL owners are justified in having a quick “trigger finger,” which might not bode well for Ryan.
  • Bills undrafted free agent Glenn Gronkowski isn’t necessarily competing for a tight end spot, notes Carucci. Instead, Ryan has been using him as more of a fullback, so Rob Gronkowski‘s brother would need to unseat Jerome Felton in order to make the roster.
  • Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry are locks to make the Titans roster, and Jim Wyatt of believes Dexter McCluster will also make the team. As a result, Wyatt sees David CobbBishop SankeyAntonio Andrews and David Fluellen fighting for one roster spot.
  • It could be a “make or break” preseason for Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs, writes Mike Klis of With C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Devontae Booker having a secure hold on the top three spots on the depth chart, Bibbs will be competing with Juwan Thompson for one of the final spots on the roster.
  • The Broncos are trying to extend wideout Emmanuel Sanders, but Klis says it won’t be easy. If the 29-year-old wants to be paid like a top receiver (similar to Jeremy Maclin‘s $11MM annual salary), the Broncos may be priced out of the negotiations.
  • While a Darrelle Revis-type one-year (plus an option) contract would seemingly make sense for the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick,’s Rich Cimini outlines a number of reasons why this scenario probably wouldn’t work. Notably, the Jets apparent leverage would be greatly diminished if Fitzpatrick had an opportunity to test the market again next offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/3/16

Today’s round of minor transactions around the NFL is dominated by exclusive-rights free agents. ERFAs are players with less than three years of NFL experience, who don’t have a contract for 2016.

While these players are technically considered free agents, they don’t have any real freedom when it comes to picking their destinations — if their current teams want them back, all those clubs have to do is submit an ERFA tender (typically worth the minimum salary), which precludes those players from negotiating with any other teams.

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league:

  • The Bears have tendered a contract offer to ERFA wide receiver Josh Bellamy, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bellamy saw a decent amount of playing time on offense, catching 19 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and was also one of the club’s top contributors on special teams.
  • The Cardinals have assigned ERFA tenders to defensive tackle Josh Mauro and tight end Ifeanyi Momah, signaling that they want to bring back those players, the team announced today on its website. Momah missed the 2015 campaign with a knee injury, while Mauro was a depth piece on Arizona’s defensive line.
  • The Titans have re-signed ERFA running back Antonio Andrews, the club announced in a press release. The move is classified as a re-signing rather than a simple contract tender because Andrews has already signed the offer. He figures to compete for a roster spot in Tennessee in 2016.
  • The Buccaneers have assigned an ERFA tender to long snapper Andrew DePaola, agent Sean Stellato tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). DePaola has been Tampa Bay’s full-time long snapper since the start of the 2014 season.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Greene, Titans, Jags

The Colts have thought outside the box as they’ve attempted to round out the bottom of their roster. As Stephen Holder of the Indy Star points out, the team currently has four former CFL players, two college basketball players and a Kenyan rugby player under contract.

The mix of different backgrounds isn’t unusual to general manager Ryan Grigson, who is willing to look anywhere to make his team better:

“If you have elite athletic traits, you can do this. This isn’t one of those specialized sports, like golf. If you have a level of toughness and you can move and you have instincts, if you have those at an elite level, you’re going to get a chance.”

Let’s take a look at more notes out of the AFC South, including additional whispers from Indianapolis…

Minor Moves: Tuesday

We’ll track today’s 53-man roster signings and cuts from around the NFL right here, adding the latest moves to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • The Seahawks claimed tight end Brett Brackett off waivers from the Titans, according to Adam Caplan of (via Twitter).
  • The Saints signed guard/center Eric Olsen, according to Mike Triplett of (on Twitter). That could indicate that they’re preparing to be without center Jonathan Goodwin for some time.
  • The Browns cut Jonathan Krause from injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Seahawks cut tight end Rashaun Allen, according to Wilson (on Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • Linebacker Marshall McFadden has replaced wideout Austin Pettis on the Rams‘ 53-man roster, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The move leaves two openings on St. Louis’ practice squad, so the team will likely add some new players there soon.
  • In what’s becoming a weekly ritual, the 49ers have re-signed quarterback Josh Johnson and released safety Bubba Ventrone, the team announced today (via Twitter). The team made the same pair of transactions last Tuesday, then re-signed Ventrone to replace Johnson later in the week.
  • Running back Antonio Andrews announced (via Twitter) that he has been promoted to the Titans‘ roster from their practice squad, filling the opening created yesterday when the team cut tight end Brett Brackett. Per Paul Kuharsky of (Twitter link), Andrews had an offer to sign elsewhere, perhaps with the Bills, so the Titans made the move to avoid losing him.
  • The Browns have confirmed a move that was reported yesterday, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve cut defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel. Tight end Gerell Robinson takes his spot on the team’s 53-man roster.

Bills Sign Phillip Tanner; Spiller To IR-DTR

1:58pm: The Bills have officially signed Tanner, announcing that Spiller has been placed on injured reserve with the designation to return, meaning his season isn’t necessarily over yet.

1:06pm: With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson sidelined due to injuries, the Bills will sign running back Phillip Tanner to help fortify their banged-up backfield, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The team has yet to announce the signing or the corresponding move, but Spiller looks like a candidate for the injured reserve list, assuming Buffalo doesn’t expect him to return this season.

Tanner, 26, recorded 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries during three years with the Cowboys, along with 93 receiving yards on nine catches. The Middle Tennessee State product, who also contributed on special teams in 2013, spent time with the Colts and Cowboys this summer, but was ultimately waived by Dallas during roster cutdowns at the end of the preseason.

For the Bills, Spiller is expected to miss most or all of the season, while Jackson will likely be sidelined for the next three or four weeks. In their absence, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown figure to carry the majority of the load for the team, but perhaps Tanner can insert himself into that mix as well if he looks good in practice.

As Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean tweets, the Bills had interest in signing running back Antonio Andrews off the Titans’ practice squad. However, Andrews wanted to remain in Tennessee and the team decided to promote him to its active roster to avoid letting him get away, forcing the Bills to look elsewhere.

Sunday Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Claimed off waivers: Mickey Shuler, TE (via Ryan O’Halloran on Twitter)
  • Cut: Marcel Jensen, TE (via Aaron Wilson on Twitter)
  • Signed to practice squad (officially announced): Cody Booth, T; DeAndre Coleman, DT; Henry Josey, RB (via Adam Caplan on Twitter); Craig Loston, S; Stephen Morris, QB; Kerry Taylor, WR; Tony Washington, WR; Marcus Whitfield, LB. The team has also added cornerback Peyton Thompson, reports Michael DiRocco (via Twitter), although the team has not officially announced the signing.

Tennessee Titans:

Titans Cut Mooney, Mariani, Others

SATURDAY, 4:29pm : In addition to trading DE Lavar Edwards to the Cowboys, the Titans have announced the following roster moves:


  • Maikon Bonani (K)
  • Moise Fokou (LB)
  • Will Poehls (OT)
  • Rico Richardson (WR)
  • Winston Wright (CB)

Placed on injured reserve:

FRIDAY, 3:36pm: The Titans have released fullback Collin Mooney and wide receiver Marc Mariani, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean (on Twitter). Terry McCormick of FOX 17 (on Twitter) adds defensive lineman Chigbo Anonuby to that list. As we passed along earlier today, offensive lineman Jeff Adams, defensive lineman Marcus Dixonand offensive lineman Justin McCray were also let go. Here’s the full list of Titans cuts from today: