Barry Cofield

Giants Sign Barry Cofield, Cut Brandon Meriweather

THURSDAY, 9:13am: The Giants have officially signed Cofield, the team announced today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 2:15pm: The Giants are making a change on defense, signing one veteran player while cutting another, according to reports. Dan Graziano of tweets that New York is waiving safety Brandon Meriweather, while ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that defensive tackle Barry Cofield will fill the newly-created opening on the roster.

Cofield, who started his career with the Giants, suffered his first major injury in 2014, as he missed about half the season after an ankle injury forced him onto the injured reserve list with the designation to return. While the defensive lineman returned to action for Washington in November, he only started three of eight games for the season, marking the first time since 2007 that he appeared in a game he didn’t start.

The 31-year-old underwent offseason hip surgery, which kept him on the free agent market for longer than expected, but it appears the Giants liked what they saw of Cofield during an early-December workout, resulting in him landing an NFL job.

Meriweather, a starting safety for the Giants’ first 11 games, has been inactive during the last two weeks as he deals with a knee issue. The 31-year-old, who is currently ranked 67th by Pro Football Focus out of 86 qualified safeties, had 53 tackles and a pair of interceptions for New York this season. Based on the official announcement from the Giants, it doesn’t appear that Meriweather was cut with an injury designation.

Giants Worked Out Barry Cofield

The Giants brought in defensive tackle Barry Cofield for a workout this week, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). A nine-year veteran, Cofield has been on the free agent market since being released by Washington back in February.

Cofield, who started his career with the Giants, suffered his first major injury in 2014, as he missed about half the season after an ankle injury forced him onto the injured reserve list with the designation to return. While the defensive lineman returned to action for Washington in November, he only started three of eight games for the season, marking the first time since 2007 that he appeared in a game he didn’t start.

Based on various reports over the last several months, it’s hard to know exactly how healthy Cofield is now. In July, he told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he was healthy and waiting for a call, but a report a week later suggested he’d be ready to go in another four to six weeks. A September report indicated the 31-year-old would likely sign with a contending team in October, when he fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. Cofield has since worked out for the Colts, and now the Giants, so presumably he’s ready to return at this point.

In addition to trying out Cofield, the Giants also auditioned English rugby star Tom Burgess today as a tight end, tweets Adam Schefter of While we’ve seen Jarryd Hayne open the door for rugby players to earn spots on NFL rosters, Burgess will almost certainly have to wait for an offseason deal, if New York – or another team – wants to add him.

Workout Notes: Seahawks, Colts, Bears

The Kendall Hunter tour continues. On Tuesday, the Seahawks tried out the running back, as Field Yates of tweets. Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from Sam Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent. Last week, he tried out for the Jaguars, but that audition did not immediately lead to a deal.

Here’s a roundup of Tuesday’s notable workouts from around the NFL:

Extra Points: Pats, Cofield, Raiders, Solomon

Another DeflateGate loose end was tied off earlier today, when the NFL announced that Patriots employees John Jastremski and Jim McNally have been reinstated from their suspensions. As Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links) notes, the NFL said the Pats “satisfied the league’s requirements” for the staffers’ returns, but Jastremski is prohibited from handling footballs and McNally is barred from handling equipment going forward.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Defensive tackle Barry Cofield, viewed by many NFL people as the best defensive free agent available, will likely sign with a contending team in October when he recovers from hip surgery, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Cole cites the Colts and Packers as a couple teams that would interest Cofield and that may have a need on the defensive line.
  • The Raiders did not come close to signing safety Stevie Brown this week even though there’s a clear need at the position, Bill Williamson of writes.
  • Browns outside linebacker Scott Solomon will miss four to six weeks with an ankle injury suffered early in the season opener, a source told ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The Browns had high hopes for Solomon, who made his mark after being signed to the practice squad in November. Cleveland will likely add an outside linebacker to replenish its depth.
  • Eric Grubman, the NFL’s point man on Los Angeles, said this week that San Diego and St. Louis reps won’t get the opportunity to make presentations on their stadium plans at the league’s October owner meetings, according to Bernie Wilson of The Associated Press. Grubman suggested that another time and place would allow for a more in-depth presentation, since there’s already a “full agenda” for next month’s meetings.
  • As Howard Belzer of The SportsXchange tweets, many NFL team owners want to have serious discussions at those October meetings about Roger Goodell’s disciplinary power, which is one reason why there isn’t room for stadium presentations. Steelers president Art Rooney II indicated this week that “informal discussions” on that issue have already begun, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Brady, Branch

Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News certainly doesn’t believe Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Jets‘ long-awaited savior at quarterback, but given Fitzpatrick’s performance in the team’s preseason win over the Giants on Saturday night, along with the Jets’ corps of talented wideouts and loaded defense, Mehta does think the Harvard grad could keep Gang Green in playoff contention all season.

Now for some more links from the AFC East:

  • Judge Richard Berman is set to meet with NFL and NFLPA reps in court again today regarding the Tom Brady case, and a source in the Patriots quarterback’s camp tells Josina Anderson of (TwitLonger link) that, barring a settlement, a decision is expected by week’s end. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of tweets that Giants owner John Mara is attending today’s hearing.
  • Ben Volin of The Boston Globe wonders if the Patriots regret signing Alan Branch to a two-year deal worth as much as $6.6MM this offseason. Branch played well for New England in 2014, but he skipped the team’s offseason workout program this year and arrived to training camp overweight and out of shape. Branch has a history of similar behavior, and since the Pats have some defensive line depth and only gave Branch $700K in guaranteed money, it would not be hard for the team to move on.
  • Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald would not be surprised if the Dolphins made the somewhat unorthodox decision to try and sign kicker Andrew Franks to the team’s practice squad. Salguero notes that Franks has tremendous upside. (Twitter link).
  • The Dolphins have their starting lineup mostly set as the regular season approaches, but the one exception is who will start at corner opposite Brent Grimes, writes Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. Jamar Taylor was the leader before injuring his quadriceps, and Brice McCain hasn’t locked up the spot in his absence. Beasley writes that the great pressure the defense has gotten on the quarterback has made it difficult to evaluate the cornerback depth chart with the starting unit.

Rob DiRe contributed to this post.

East Notes: Rice, Wilkerson, Brady, Cofield

Ray Rice and his supporters are reportedly lobbying NFL teams to give the veteran running back a shot to make a roster this preseason, and the Cowboys are the team most often linked to free agent backs, but Dallas has no interest in signing Rice, a source tells Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter links). According to Williams, the Cowboys want to see how their current running backs look — the team hasn’t ruled out adding a veteran, but it likely won’t happen for a couple weeks, if it happens at all.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • As expected, Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson will report to camp rather than holding out, despite the fact that he has yet to sign a contract extension, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post. According to Costello, the two sides remain “far apart” on a new deal, though I’d expect negotiations to continue in the coming weeks.
  • Although there have been whispers that an announcement on Tom Brady‘s suspension appeal could come within the next day or two, Ian Rapoport of says the NFL and NFLPA are still exchanging offers for a potential settlement (link via Kevin Patra of However, with the Patriots quarterback seemingly unwilling to accept a deal that includes any sort of suspension, a compromise remains unlikely. Adam Schefter of echoes Rapoport’s report, tweeting that the NFL and NFLPA aren’t expected to reach a settlement for Brady.
  • Rapoport (Twitter link) suggests keeping an eye on free agent defensive tackle Barry Cofield, who is recovering from groin and abdomen surgeries and should be ready to go in four to six weeks. Cofield, who was released by Washington earlier this year, said last week in an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he was “doing really well” in his recovery and was looking forward to signing with a team.

East Notes: Revis, Kromer, Cofield, Giants

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis told Sports Illustrated that he considered retirement in 2012 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee (partial transcript via Rich Cimini of

I did think about retiring,” Revis told SI. “I had never been seriously injured before, and I didn’t know how to handle it.

Revis’ surgery was previously believed to be reconstructive surgery, but a microfracture procedure is more complicated and requires a longer recovery time. Here’s more from the AFC and NFC East..

  • New Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman had actually pegged Chris Foerster as his first choice to coach the offensive line, a league source told Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. Instead, the Bills ended up with Aaron Kromer, who could be on his way out after his offseason incident.
  • Defensive tackle Barry Cofield remains unsigned but he told SiriusXM NFL Radio (audio link) that he’s healthy and just waiting for a call. Cofield, 31, suffered his first major injury in 2014, as he missed about half the season for Washington after an ankle injury forced him onto the injured reserve list with the designation to return. While the veteran lineman returned to action in November, he only started three of eight games for the season, marking the first time since 2007 that he appeared in a game he didn’t start.
  • The Giants‘ offense could put up major points with Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and free agent addition Shane Vereen, but the club’s former offensive coordinator isn’t sure that enough has been done to address the team’s offensive line woes, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. “The tragedy of that is they’ve made some strides over the last couple years to address that issue,’’ Kevin Gilbride told NFL Network. “The problem is it all went astray when William Beatty got injured in the offseason.’’

Washington Releases Barry Cofield

2:03pm: Washington has officially confirmed the release of Cofield (via Twitter).

12:40pm: On the heels of the team’s agreement with free agent defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois, Washington has informed defensive tackle Barry Cofield that he will be released, according to agent Mike McCartney (Twitter link). The club has yet to formally announce the move, but it looks like it should become official shortly.

Cofield, who turns 31 next month, suffered his first major injury in 2014, as he missed about half the season after an ankle injury forced him onto the injured reserve list with the designation to return. While the veteran lineman returned to action in November, he only started three of eight games for the season, marking the first time since 2007 that he appeared in a game he didn’t start.

With a cap hit of $7.678MM due for 2015, Cofield was a potential cap casualty, and head coach Jay Gruden confirmed at the combine that the team had been in touch about a potential restructure or pay cut. It seems the two sides didn’t come to an agreement, however, so by releasing Cofield, Washington will carry $3.555MM in dead money on its books for the coming year, creating $4.123MM in cap savings.

It’s easy to point to those cap savings and deduce that they went directly toward paying Jean-Francois — the new three-year pact for the former Colt reportedly has a total base value of $9MM.

Combine Pressers: Washington, Lions, Chargers, Ravens

Head coaches and general managers continue to speak to the media at press conferences in Indianapolis, and we’ve already rounded up the highlights from several of them so far today. Here are a few more noteworthy comments from some NFL decision-makers, with all links go to the Twitter accounts of various reporters in attendance:

Washington head coach Jay Gruden:

  • In perhaps the most newsworthy moment of any of today’s pressers so far, Gruden said that Robert Griffin III will open the 2015 campaign as Washington’s starting quarterback. There’s still plenty of time for things to change between today and September, but on a day when Jay Cutler couldn’t get a vote of confidence from the Bears, it’s notable that Washington seems committed to RGIII.
  • According to Gruden, the Washington front office is in contact with the reps for high-priced players like Pierre Garcon, Barry Cofield, and Stephen Bowen about possible contract restructures. Discussing Garcon specifically, the head coach stressed that the veteran wideout is still very much in the club’s plans.
  • Echoing the mantra of new GM Scot McCloughan, Gruden said Washington’s philosophy will be to target the best available players in the draft.

Lions GM Martin Mayhew:

  • While he admitted that a new deal with Ndamukong Suh isn’t done, Mayhew remains confident that the two sides will work something out. According to the GM, the defensive scheme, coaches, and players are all a good match for Suh, and the club will definitely “keep working on it.”
  • The Lions still haven’t decided whether or not they’ll resort to the franchise tag if the team and Suh don’t reach an agreement by March 2. Detroit also remains undecided about the fifth-year option for offensive tackle Riley Reiff, and hasn’t yet made any final determinations on any free agents except center Dominic Raiola, who won’t be re-signed.
  • Mayhew can envision a situation where both Suh and Nick Fairley return to Detroit, but he can also imagine a scenario in which neither player is back. The Lions aren’t sure yet how seriously they’ll pursue Fairley, but will meet with his agent, Brian Overstreet, this week.
  • The general manager also has a combine meeting lined up with the agent for free-agent-to-be Matt Prater.
  • According to Mayhew, the team is engaged in dialogue with some players about contract restructures to clear some cap room. Although the GM didn’t identify anyone specifically, one of those players could be Reggie BushMayhew said the team hasn’t determined yet what the running back’s future with the team is.

Chargers GM Tom Telesco:

  • The Chargers plan to meet with the agent for free agent running back Ryan Mathews at the combine this week, according to Telesco. The GM added that the Chargers are “a different team” when Mathews is healthy and on the field.
  • The team is currently planning for D.J. Fluker to play right tackle in 2015, rather than continuing to try him at guard. San Diego figures to have some holes to fill on its offensive line this offseason, so having a set plan for Fluker should help identify the spots that need to be addressed.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh:

  • According to Harbaugh, the team’s free agents want to return to Baltimore, and the team wants them back. “That bodes well for us,” Harbaugh said.
  • It’s not clear if the head coach’s comment applies to every Ravens free-agent-to-be, but when he was asked specifically about Torrey Smith, Haloti Ngata, and Lardarius Webb, Harbaugh said, “They want to be back [and] we want them back, so we should have a good chance.” Smith is eligible for free agency, while Ngata and Webb are candidates for contract restructures or pay cuts.
  • Harbaugh also expects wide receiver Steve Smith to be back with the Ravens in 2015. The former Panther has two years left on his contract, but will turn 36 in May, so retirement may be a viable option soon.

NFC East Links: Rolle, Smith, Cowboys, Cofield

Antrel Rolle is playing in a contract year for the Giants, and while he wants to stay with the team, he knows that anything can happen in an NFL offseason, writes Bob Glauber of

“Staying here would definitely be ideal,” said Rolle. “I feel like there’s a lot of things that I would like to get accomplished with a new set of [teammates]. I feel like there’s a lot more to get done. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the opportunity to stay, you move on.”

The 32-year-old safety has been a stalwart of the Giants’ defense since coming over from Arizona in 2010.

Here are some other links from around the NFC East:

  • Eagles‘ first-round pick Marcus Smith has struggled to see the field as a rookie, but the team worries if he will ever develop into the player they had hoped when they drafted him, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith has been compared to Danny Watkins, another failed first-round selection.
  • Cowboys‘ head coach Jason Garrett has been thought of as a puppet for Jerry Jones, but Jean-Jacques Taylor of thinks Garrett has wielded more power within the organization recently. He cites the team drafting Zack Martin, letting DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher leave in free agency, and holding off on extensions for Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray as all uncharacteristic moves for Jones, likely influenced by Garrett.
  • Martin has been excellent as a rookie, validating the Cowboys‘ decision not to draft Johnny Manziel. However, if the Browns decide to sign Hoyer to a long-term contract, Manziel could still be a fit for the Cowboys, writes Steven Mullenax of The With the struggles of Brandon Weeden and Tony Romo‘s injury issues, Manziel could be a good backup and eventual replacement in Dallas.
  • Given the choice between Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, or Murray this offseason, Jon Machota of believes the Cowboys should place Peterson at the top of their wish list. He believes that signing Peterson behind this offensive line would be more dangerous even than the younger DeMarco Murray.
  • Washington defensive lineman Barry Cofield eased his way back into action last week against the Buccaneers, after returning from injury. Cofield should see his snaps increase starting this week, reports Tom Schad of the Washington Times.
  • Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been in charge of an erratic defense during his tenure with the team, but despite scheme changes and coaching changes, he has survived, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Jones paints the major problem in the consistency of the defense as a lack of talent on that side of the ball.
  • As the controversy with the Washington team name carries on, one devoted fan has decided to take a stand against the name, writes John Woodrow Cox of the Washington Post. He found a company to make strips of cloth that say “Washington” in which fans can use to patch over their old team apparel. Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News points to the name change for the University of Stanford as a precedent for the change, and the New Yorker has used their cover to mock the name in anticipation of Thanksgiving, according to Sports Illustrated.