Ben Malena

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/4/16

Now that the 2015 regular season is in the books, teams can begin signing players to reserve/futures contracts, adding those players to their 90-man offseason rosters. Generally, these players finished the season on a team’s practice squad, though some were free agents at season’s end.

Here are today’s reserve/futures deals:

Atlanta Falcons signed four players (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of

Baltimore Ravens signed seven players (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun):

  • Brennen Beyer, LB
  • Leon Brown, G
  • Nordly Capi, DE
  • Blaine Clausell, T
  • Chuck Jacobs, WR
  • Nick Perry, S
  • Harold Spears, TE

Buffalo Bills signed seven players (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of

Chicago Bears signed nine players (Twitter link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune):

Cleveland Browns signed six players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Dallas Cowboys signed eight players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Denver Broncos signed four players (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9NEWS)

Detroit Lions signed five players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Jacksonville Jaguars signed nine players (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union):

Miami Dolphins signed one player (link)

  • Tyler Davis, WR

New Orleans Saints signed five players (link via Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune):

New York Giants signed six players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Philadelphia Eagles signed seven players (Twitter link via team):

San Diego Chargers signed six players (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego)

Seattle Seahawks signed three players (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Andrew East, LS
  • Ronnie Shields, TE
  • Phillip Sims, QB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed nine players (link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times):

  • Josh Allen, G
  • Andre Davis, WR
  • Antoine Everett, G
  • Ben Gottschalk, C
  • Gerod Holliman, S
  • Martin Ifedi, DE
  • Derrick Lott, DT
  • C.J. Roberts, CB
  • Joel Ross, CB

Tennessee Titans signed five players (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of

  • David Fluellen, RB
  • Kevin Greene, TE
  • Nick Harwell, WR
  • Josue Matias, G
  • Will Poehls, T

Washington signs three players (link via team):

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/2/15

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from across the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: TE Dan Light (link via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post)
  • Cut: TE Arthur Lynch

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

San Diego Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: WR Deshon Foxx, DT Justin Hamilton, C Drew Nowak (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)
  • Cut: WR Douglas McNeil

Cowboys Cut A.J. Jenkins, Down To 53 Players

The Cowboys have announced their Saturday roster moves, paring down from 75 players to 53 in preparation for the regular season. One of the players waived today by the Cowboys was former first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins, who signed with the team earlier in the offseason. With failed stops in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Dallas now under his belt, Jenkins’ NFL opportunities are likely running out.

Here are the players removed from Dallas’ active roster today, per a team release:


  • QB Dustin Vaughan
  • QB Jameill Showers
  • RB Gus Johnson
  • RB Ben Malena
  • FB Ray Agnew
  • WR Clyde Gates
  • WR Nick Harwell
  • WR A.J. Jenkins
  • T Laurence Gibson
  • T John Wetzel
  • C Shane McDermott
  • C Ronald Patrick
  • DE Ben Gardner
  • DE Efe Obada
  • LB Donnie Baggs
  • LB Dakorey Johnson
  • CB Joel Ross
  • S Tim Scott


  • LB Ka’Lial Glaud
  • CB Rod Sweeting


  • DE Greg Hardy
  • LB Rolando McClain

Meanwhile, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram weighs in on rumors from earlier in the day that linked running back Jonas Gray to the Cowboys. According to Williams (via Twitter), the Cowboys didn’t have interest in trading for Gray, but could be interested now that he has been cut by the Pats. The young back will become a free agent tomorrow unless he’s claimed on waivers or signs to a practice squad.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/15/15

Here are Saturday’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL.

  • The Saints have signed linebacker Justin Anderson, reports Katherine Terrell of (via Twitter). Anderson, 24, has spent time on the rosters of the Vikings, Giants, and most recently, the Cowboys, with whom he reached an injury settlement last week.

Earlier updates:

  • The Cowboys signed two running backs, inking Michael Hill and Ben Malena to deals after the duo worked out for the team today, per Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). As a result, the team waived injured safety Ray Vinopal. A third-year veteran who’s now on his sixth team, the 26-year-old Hill was released by Washington last month after playing special teams for the Colts in the playoffs due to Trent Richardson‘s deactivations. The second-place finisher in the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy voting (Division II’s Heisman equivalent), Hill has nine career totes for 23 yards — all coming as a rookie with the Bucs. Malena, 23, initially signed with Dallas last offseason after going undrafted out of Texas A&M.
  • The Dolphins exchanged wideouts, re-signing Tyler McDonald and waiving the injured Tommy Streeter, the team announced on its Twitter account. Miami waived the 24-year-old McDonald on Tuesday. Streeter played for the Jaguars last season and spent time on the Dolphins’ practice squad.
  • The Bears signed wideout Jeremy Kelley and waived linebacker DeDe Lattimore, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Kelly spent time on the Broncos’ practice squad last season before being waived by John Fox‘s old team in May on the same day as Paul Cornick, who also went on to sign with Fox’s new team. Although Cornick was waived by Chicago in May as well. The 6-foot-5 Kelley, a recent CFL and Arena League cog, fills a camp need, with the Bears’ receiving corps thin at the moment due to injuries. Lattimore played in 10 games for the Bears last season.

NFC Notes: Davis, Ertz, Giants, Cowboys

Here is some of the latest news emerging from NFC franchises.

  • Anthony Davis is already teasing a comeback, per his Twitter account. According to Matt Maiocco of, Davis plans to return to the NFL for the 2016 campaign. The 49ers hold his rights for the next five seasons due to the contract extension the 25-year-old right tackle signed in 2013.
  • Last night, we heard Zach Ertz will miss the preseason after undergoing surgery, but Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if Chip Kelly expecting him back for Week 1 is realistic. Bowen, who notes the injury is believed to be a partial groin tear, remains skeptical Ertz will be up to speed by the time the Eagles debut Sept. 14. Ertz told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer (Twitter link) his groin bothered him for a while and he reinjured it Wednesday.
  • Byron Maxwell will shadow No. 1 receivers this season with the Eagles, and it’s a chance to give the team an elite cornerback for the first time in years, writes Reuben Frank of “I was on the right in Seattle, but it’s an opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it; I really am,” Maxwell told Frank. “Once you start following guys, your name is up there, so that’s how I’m looking at it.
  • In light of the Giantsaccelerating injury rate in the secondary, they will likely explore adding cornerbacks to patch the corps together, Jordan Raanan writes (on Twitter). In addition to the four players lost to injuries Friday night, Prince Amukamara remains sidelined for the coming weeks with a groin malady.
  • Washington trading for Vernon Davis is not an option in an effort to repair their ransacked tight end contingent, writes’s John Keim. The ESPN Washington-based reporter also points out he’s been told Zach Miller will not be in the team’s plans for this fix. PFR’s Luke Adams profiled Washington’s quandary at tight end, which stems from Niles Paul being lost for the season, recently.
  • The Cowboys are working out three running backs — Michael Hill, Ben Malena and Zach Bauman — with top ball-carriers Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar limited with injuries, reports Todd Archer of Of this trio, only Hill, a journeyman who was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II’s Heisman equivalent) in 2012, has seen regular-season game action. Washington waived him last month.

No Deal For Pierre Thomas, Texans

11:38am: Thomas had a “great visit and workout” with the Texans, but the two sides were unable to agree on terms, according to agent Lamont Smith (via Twitter). Assuming Thomas and the Texans don’t revisit negotiations, the team will be on the lookout for another running back.

10:32am: The Texans intend to sign free agent running back Pierre Thomas to a contract today following a workout with the team, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). According to Wilson, Houston also tried out running backs Ben Malena and Joe McKnight., while Rand Getlin of the NFL Network tweets that the club “put out at feeler” on former Olympian Jeff Demps as well.

The Texans entered the market for free agent running back help after word broke yesterday that starter Arian Foster will require groin surgery. There’s no official timetable for Foster’s return just yet, as he and the Texans consider his options, but there’s some speculation that his recovery may require a trip to the IR-DTR list. With Foster out, and with Thomas’ signing not yet official, Houston’s running back depth chart includes Alfred Blue at the top, with Jonathan GrimesChris Polk, and rookie Kenny Hilliard all behind him.

Thomas, 30, has spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Saints, accumulating 3,745 rushing yards and another 2,608 yards through the air during his stint in New Orleans. A part-time contributor, Thomas has always been a strong receiver, catching a career-high 77 balls in 2013 and another 45 in 2014.

I wouldn’t expect Thomas shoulder a significant load for the Texans, even if Foster misses the start of the season, but he’d give the team a veteran option to take some of the pressure off of Blue and the club’s other young backs.

Texans Interested In Pierre Thomas, BJGE

9:00pm: The Texans have also internally discussed BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Rand Getlin of tweets. Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link) hears that Houston will look at Thomas, Ben Malena, and Joe McKnight with Thomas as the frontrunner for the job.

6:25pm: Pierre Thomas is on his way to Houston to take a physical and meet with the Texans, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Houston hopes to sign him if all is well, Rapoport adds.

The Texans, of course, are looking a little bit thin at running back after it was learned that Arian Foster will require groin surgery. There’s no timetable for Foster’s return just yet, but there’s talk that his recovery will require a trip to the IR-DTR list. At present, Houston’s running back depth chart includes Alfred Blue towards the top with Chris Polk, Jonathan Grimes, and rookie Kenny Hilliard all behind him.

Despite playing in ten games in 2014, Thomas amassed only 45 carries all year with the Saints, the lowest for his career. Thomas did remain fairly involved in the passing game, however, grabbing 45 balls out of the backfield. He was pushed onto the backburner as former first-round pick Mark Ingram saw his workload and productivity increase. Ingram, who has also struggled with injuries, was given over 200 carries during his breakout year.


Minor Moves: Friday

Here are Friday’s minor moves from around the league:

  • Houston parted ways with three players, free safety Josh Aubrey, defensive end Keith Browner and running back Ben Malena, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports on Twitter. The 24-year-old Aubrey played in eight games for the Browns and Texans in 2013 and ’14, respectively, while Malena spent part of last season on the Texans’ practice squad. Browner, 27, spent multiple seasons on Houston’s taxi squad before playing in three games last year.
  • The Jets cut linebacker Mario Harvey, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter. A 27-year-old who spent time on the Jets’ practice squad last year after two years on the Colts’ active roster, Harvey has 16 career tackles.
  • The Titans waived tight end Brett Brackett, per The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt (Twitter link). Brackett started four games for the Titans last year but suffered a knee injury in December, which led to the 27-year-old Penn State product finishing the season on injured reserve. Since coming into the league in 2011, Brackett’s seen action for four teams — the Eagles, Jaguars, Seahawks and Titans.

Texans Sign 10 To Futures Contracts

The Texans have locked up nine players to reserve/futures contracts for the 2015 season, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. Here are the players who inked new deals with the club:

Eight of the nine players signed by the Texans finished the season on the team’s practice squad. Labhart was the lone player who wasn’t on the taxi squad at season’s end, while two players who were a part of the unit – quarterback Ricky Stanzi and guard Alex Kupper – have yet to sign new deals.

Meanwhile, the Texans haven’t made an official announcement regarding his status, but agent David Canter tweeted that his client, defensive end Tevita Finau, has also signed a futures deal with the team, making it 10 overall signings for Houston.

Audition Notes: Wednesday

The Cowboys scheduled a visit for linebacker Will Smith, a source tells Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram. However, there might not be a spot for Smith after Tim Dobbins was picked up earlier today. The Cowboys have needs at offensive guard and at linebacker with injuries to starting left guard Ron Leary and starting weakside linebacker Justin Durant. Durant is done for the year while Leary is out with a groin strain. A look at today’s auditions from around the NFL..