Austin Franklin

AFC South Notes: Titans, Texans, Colts

We’ve got plenty of news to round up today on teams working out free agents, including updates from all four AFC South clubs. Here’s a look at which players the Titans, Texans, Colts, and Jaguars have been auditioning recently:

Rams Waive Michael Sam, Down To 53

The Rams made history in May when they used a seventh-round pick on Michael Sam and became the first NFL team to draft an openly gay player. However, for now at least, St. Louis won’t become the first NFL team to carry an openly gay player on its 53-man roster. According to Adam Schefter of (via Twitter), Sam has been cut by the Rams.

Sam had a solid preseason for the Rams, including a sack of Johnny Manziel in the team’s game against the Browns. But competition for a roster spot on the Rams’ defensive line – one of the best in football – was fierce, and Sam became one of the last roster casualties before this afternoon’s deadline. As Schefter notes, the Missouri alum would be a strong practice squad candidate for the Rams or another club, if he clears waivers.

In addition to waiving Sam, the Rams have also removed the following players from their roster:

Rams Sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents

The Rams have officially announced their list of undrafted free additions, and Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the 15 names for us. Here are the newest Rams:

  • Alex Bayer, TE, Bowling Green
  • Jarrid Bryant, CB, South Dakota
  • Avery Cunningham, S, Central Michigan
  • Austin Franklin, WR, New Mexico
  • Deantre Harlan, DT, Bacone
  • Aaron Hill, LB, Minnesota
  • Kadeem Jones, FB, Western Kentucky
  • Emmanuel McCray, OT, Mississippi
  • Johnny Millard, LB, Cal Poly State
  • Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
  • Abasi Salimu, OT, Nicholls State
  • Jamaine Sherman, WR, East Texas Baptist
  • Julius “Trey” Watts, RB, Tulsa
  • Ethan Westbrooks, DT, West Texas A&M ($20K bonus and $30K in other guarantees, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Tavarius Wilson, LB, North Alabama

Draft Notes: Ravens, Giants, Lions, Bengals

The Ravens have committed plenty of time and resources to scouting prospects from smaller schools, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. That extensive research paid off in 2008 when the team selected Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco. Since, the team has picked a number of players from small schools, including four of their ten selections last season.

“I think, in general, scouting has gotten better across the league,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. “Teams are doing better jobs, so we’ve tried to find value by more closely looking at small-school players. Our scouts do a great job of going out there and evaluating those guys.

“We get the chance to see a small-school guy at the Senior Bowl, you get a chance to see him at the Combine to compare against the big-school guys. That’s always a big challenge. The other thing is, ‘How are players going to get better?’ At small schools, sometimes they don’t have the luxury of having a nice weight room, nutritional programs or support staff. We feel like sometimes these guys come into our facility… and get better quickly because they have the advantage of all these new things.”

Among the Ravens’ previous small-school selections are Flacco, Lardarius Webb and Gino Gradkowski.

Now, for some more Draft notes from around the NFL…

  • New Mexico State wide receiver Austin Franklin visited with the Giants, reports Wilson. The wideout had 52 catches for 670 yards last season.
  • Teddy Bridgewater could be a fallback option for the Bengalstweets ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The team is seeking a cornerback and defensive lineman, but could select the Louisville quarterback if they decide he’s the best player on the board.
  • The Lions are looking for a center and Florida State’s Bryan Stork would be a very good option, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Rimington Trophy winner (awarded to the nation’s best center) would compete with veteran Dominic Raiola, who signed a one-year deal to return to Detroit earlier this offseason.