Bradley Fletcher

AFC Notes: Gronk, Hightower, Broncos, Bengals

After checking in on a few items from out of the NFC earlier this afternoon, let’s shift our focus to the AFC and round up the latest….

  • The MRI on Rob Gronkowski‘s knee revealed only a minor knee strain, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). The star tight end will likely be good to go in a week or two, which is great news for the Patriots.
  • The Patriots also got relatively good news on linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who is week to week with his knee injury, per Dianna Marie Russini of (Twitter link). Russini adds that Hightower will be re-evaluated within the next few days.
  • The Broncos suddenly have a contracts problem on their hands for 2016, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who notes that the team will only be able to rely on the franchise tag to retain one of Brock Osweiler and Von Miller. Osweiler has won his first two starts as a Bronco, but it seems a little too early to assume he’s worthy of a significant investment. After five more regular season games and at least one playoff contest, Denver should have a much better idea of Osweiler’s value.
  • The Bengals worked out six defensive backs today, including cornerback Bradley Fletcher, tweets Nick Wagoner of According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link), cornerback Chykie Brown was also a part of that group. With Darqueze Dennard out for the season, and other members of the secondary banged up, Cincinnati seems to be keeping an eye out for possible depth additions.

Panthers Work Out Finnegan, Other CBs

With Charles Tillman out of action for the last two games, the Panthers have been a little short-handed in the secondary, and are searching for some potential help for their slot cornerback spot. A day after a Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys, Carolina brought in several free agent corners, including Cortland Finnegan, as Bill Voth of the Black and Blue Review details.

Despite the fact that Finnegan announced his retirement in March, the former seventh-round pick hired agent Drew Rosenhaus in the summer, and suggested he was open to an NFL return. At the time, Rosenhaus said that he was “working on teams” for Finnegan, who indicated a willingness to play either cornerback or safety. The 31-year-old has since auditioned for the Patriots.

In addition to working out Finnegan, the Panthers also brought in veteran cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain for tryouts, according to Field Yates of (via Twitter).

Fletcher, who appeared in 71 games (54 starts) over six seasons for the Rams and Eagles, started the 2015 season in New England, but was released by the Patriots in October. McClain was also a Patriot before becoming a free agent, having been let go by Bill Belichick and company at the end of the preseason.

With no reports of signings yet, it appears the Panthers may just be getting the lay of the land for now, with an eye toward identifying the veteran cornerbacks they like in case it becomes necessary to add one.

Workout Notes: Pats, Saints, Seahawks

Earlier tonight, we learned that the Ravens hosted former Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor for a workout on Tuesday. However, he wasn’t the only notable NFL veteran auditioning today. Here’s a roundup of today’s workouts from around the league:

Workout Notes: Titans, Brown, Johnson, Dixon

Just over seven months after he announced his retirement from the NFL, cornerback Cortland Finnegan had a workout today with the Patriots. Finnegan, 31, was one of the league’s worst cornerbacks in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. PFF ranked Finnegan 109th out of 110 qualified corners, with a grade of -19.7 in just seven games. As such, it came as a bit of a surprise when Miami inked the former Ram to a two-year, $11MM deal in 2014. He might not be worthy of that kind of pay, but he could make for an intriguing depth option for the Pats or another team.

Here’s a rundown of today’s other workouts from around the NFL, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..

Workout Updates: 10/20/15

Today’s workouts and visits from around the NFL..

Earlier today:

  • The Panthers are working out tight end/fullback James Casey today, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Saints tried out defensive backs Akeem Davis and Robert McClain, wide receiver T.J. Graham, guard David Arkin, and center Ryan Seymour, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Seymour was ultimately signed to New Orleans’ practice squad.
  • The Jets worked out cornerback Jeremy Harris on Monday, according to Rich Cimini of (on Twitter). Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams are both uncertain for this week, so Gang Green is likely looking at Harris as possible insurance.
  • The Vikings worked out former Ravens defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi on Tuesday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers worked out former Ravens quarterback Bryn Renner according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Broncos are working out former Titans linebacker J.R. Tavai, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Titans will try out ex-Ravens fullback Kiero Small, Wilson tweets.
  • The Ravens tried out a trio of defensive backs: Jonte Green, Sheldon Price, and Cornelius Brown, Wilson tweets.
  • The Chiefs tried out defensive back Trovon Reed, Wilson tweets.
  • The Steelers worked out tackle James Brewer, Wilson tweets.
  • Former Seahawks wide receiver Douglas McNeil is working out for the Panthers today, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (link).
  • The Broncos working out tight end Matt LaCosse today, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (link).

Patriots Release Bradley Fletcher

An offseason that featured a near-complete overhaul of the Patriots’ cornerback corps has continued into the season, with the team parting ways with veteran corner Bradley Fletcher, a source informed’s Field Yates (Twitter link).

Fletcher signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Patriots in March, and played in two games for the team this season. He had been dealing with a hamstring injury.

The ailment isn’t believed to be serious, but Fletcher wouldn’t have played against the Cowboys on Sunday, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter).

The Patriots promoted safety Brandon King from their practice squad to fill the roster spot, Mike Reiss of tweets.

New England’s been getting by with a previously maligned cornerback crew after losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason. The team’s parted ways with several veteran cornerbacks since, but Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Tarell Brown will lead the group against the Cowboys on Sunday.

The 29-year-old corner has started in 54 games in his seven-year career, the latest steady lineup stints coming with the Eagles in 2013-14. Prior to that, Fletcher, a third-round draft choice of the Rams in 2009, started throughout his second season in St. Louis.

Fletcher’s started 54 games in his career.


Contract Details: Shorts, Lewis, Cadet

Here are some details on a few of the contracts agreed to or signed within the last few days:

  • Cecil Shorts, WR (Texans): Two years, $6MM base value. $1MM signing bonus. $750K of $1MM 2015 base salary fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Kendrick Lewis, S (Ravens): Three years, $5.4MM. $1.4MM signing bonus (link via Wilson).
  • Garrett Reynolds, OL (Rams): Two years, $2.2MM base value. $250K roster bonus for 2015. Up to $1MM annually in playing-time and team-related incentives (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Travaris Cadet, RB (Patriots): Two years, $1.75MM. $65K signing bonus. Various roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Bradley Fletcher, CB (Patriots): One year, $1.5MM base value. $100K signing bonus. $250K of $800K base salary guaranteed. Up to $1MM in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).

Patriots Sign Bradley Fletcher

4:49pm: The Patriots have officially signed Fletcher to a one-year deal, the club confirmed today in a press release.

9:48am: It’s a one-year, $2.5MM deal, according to Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald (on Twitter).

9:33am: The Patriots are set to sign cornerback Bradley Fletcher, according to Mike Reiss of (on Twitter). Agent Andy Simms confirmed the news to Reiss. Terms of the deal are not yet known but it wouldn’t be surprising for it to be a one-year deal to help restore Fletcher’s value.

Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Fletcher as the 92nd best cornerback last season out of 108 qualified players at the position. He was much better in 2013, however, having been ranked 44th out of 110 players at the position. The Pats are hoping that they can get Fletcher to revert to his old form and they weren’t the only team with that idea in mind. The veteran also drew interest from the Vikings before the official start of free agency.

The Patriots hosted Fletcher this week, along with fellow cornerbacks Terence Newman, Tarell Brown, and Robert McClain. After losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason, New England has made it a priority to reload at the cornerback position.

Patriots Eyeing Free Agent Cornerbacks

We heard earlier today that veteran cornerback Terence Newman was in town to visit the Patriots, but Newman isn’t the only free agent corner the team is considering. According to Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange (via Twitter), the Pats also hosted Tarell Brown, Bradley Fletcher, and Robert McClain.

While Darrelle Revis‘ departure for the division-rival Jets was the most notable shake-up in the Patriots’ secondary, and will have the biggest impact on the group for 2015, Brandon Browner also departed in free agency, signing with the Saints. In-house options like Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Alfonzo Dennard, and Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler could be in line for increased roles next season, but it looks like the Pats wouldn’t mind adding a veteran or two to that group.

Brown, Fletcher, and McClain all saw significant playing time for their respective teams in 2014, with Brown (Raiders) and Fletcher (Eagles) logging 1,000+ defensive snaps while McClain (Falcons) played 642. None of them graded particularly well over at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), with Brown placing 75th among 108 qualified cornerbacks and McClain and Fletcher checking in at 90th and 92nd respectively.

Still, Browner (79th) was in that range as well, and the Pats’ coaching staff certainly doesn’t rely on PFF’s evaluations when making decisions on which players to target — no one in this group of free agent corners is capable of adequately replacing Revis, but Bill Belichick and company may find one or two players they like.

Vikings Notes: Murray, Peterson, McCourty

The latest on the Vikings..

  • If the Cowboys let DeMarco Murray walk, Adrian Peterson would be interested in going there, provided that Dallas would guarantee at least $25MM on a deal that amounts to a three-year pact, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets. Robinson adds (link) that if the Cowboys won’t pay Murray $8MM per year and guarantee $25MM+, they’re unlikely to deal for Peterson and do the same thing.
  • The Vikings were in on Devin McCourty until the bidding reached $7MM per year, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets. That could be an indication of how far they’re willing to go on free agent safeties.
  • The Vikings have also inquired about linebacker Brooks Reed, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Cardinals, Jets, Raiders, and Bears are interested in Reed but he’s reportedly leaning towards signing with the Falcons.
  • You can count the Vikings among the teams that are interested in cornerback Davon House, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune tweets.
  • The Vikings will likely host cornerback Brice McCain for a visit, Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Vikings have inquired on free agent linebacker Andrew Gachkar and may bring him in for a visit later in the week, Wolfson tweets.
  • The Vikings have checked on guys like Bradley Fletcher and Sterling Moore, but everything is still preliminary with both, Ben Goessling of tweets.