Brandian Ross

Front Office Notes: Hinkie, Packers, Titans

Sam Hinkie developed an interesting reputation in the NBA, taking a unique path toward rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers during his run as their GM. He set them on their current course via historic tanking over a years-long endeavor dubbed “The Process” — one that led to the team making several lottery picks, two of those becoming Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Although Hinkie stepped down from his post in 2016, his work looks much better after those two prospects became stars and spearheaded Philly into the playoffs this season. And an NFL team took the time to pick his brain this week. Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports (subscription required) the Broncos brought in the 40-year-old executive for an analytics powwow. Hinkie spoke to the Broncos’ analytics department, as well as members of their scouting branch, football administration and conditioning staffs this week, per Jhabvala, on how to best use the data teams are now collecting.

Here’s the latest from some front offices around the league.

  • Green Bay will go with a two-man setup in a key role under GM Brian Gutekunst. Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski will rise to the roles of co-player personnel directors for the Packers, the team announced. Sullivan previously operated as the Packers’ director of college scouting, doing so for two seasons, while Wojchichowski was the team’s pro personnel director in 2017.
  • Gutekunst also made some adjustments to the team’s scouting staff. Matt Malaspina will rise to Sullivan’s old job. A 20-plus-year NFL veteran, Malaspina was hired as a Packers college scout in 2017. The Packers promoted Sam Seale to a national scouting role after he spent time working primarily as a west region scout, per Chad Brinker will now work as Green Bay’s assistant director of pro scouting and serve as a salary cap analyst, while Pat Moore will come over from the Browns and work as a college scout for the Packers. While former Packers exec John Dorsey is now the Browns’ GM, Moore spent five years in Cleveland working under previous regimes. Former NFL defensive back Brandian Ross will make greater inroads into the scouting world. The Packers are promoting the 28-year-old, who played for three teams from 2012-15 after coming into the league as a UDFA out of Youngstown State, to a college scouting role after he spent last year as a scouting assistant. Luke Benuska will also earn greater responsibility; he’ll work as a college scout after serving as a pro scout.
  • The Titans made a few adjustments to their staff on Friday. Most notably, player personnel director Ryan Cowden will now serve as the franchise’s VP of player personnel,’s Terry McCormick reports (on Twitter). Tennessee brought in Cowden two years ago to that player personnel director role. Previously, he spent 16 seasons with the Panthers, finishing his years there as Carolina’s assistant director of college scouting. Additionally, Kevin Turks will now serve as Titans assistant director of pro personnel and Rob Reiderer will work as a scouting assistant.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/16

Tuesday is workout day in the NFL, and today was no different. Due to the sheer volume of today’s auditions, we’ll split up the reports by conference:



Broncos Cut 11 Players

The Broncos announced that they have released one player and waived ten others. The full list is below:

[RELATED: Broncos Shopping Mark Sanchez]



The roster now stands at 79 players. The Broncos must be down to 75 by 3pm CT on Tuesday.

Broncos Sign Shiloh Keo, Brandian Ross

As first reported by Mike Klis of 9NEWS and Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter links) earlier today, the Broncos have re-signed safety Shiloh Keo and signed safety Brandian Ross, the team announced in a press release. Both players received one-year deals.Shiloh Keo

With T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart penciled in as the Broncos’ starting safeties, neither Keo nor Ross is expected to have a significant role in Denver this season, if they even earn spots on the roster. Still, having lost David Bruton in free agency, the club could use some depth at the position

Keo, who joined the Broncos last December after making his case for a contract on Twitter to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, played a little down the stretch and in the playoffs for the club, grabbing a Week 17 interception. He was was arrested for driving under the influence in February.

As for Ross, he started 13 games for the Raiders in 2013 and 10 more in 2014, but was cut in 2015 and didn’t find a new home until near the end of the season, when he signed in San Diego. The Chargers non-tendered him last month.

Here are a few more Broncos-related updates for Monday:

  • With the Broncos’ voluntary offseason program underway, Von Miller won’t be in attendance, and Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports takes a closer look at the contract talks between Denver and its star pass rusher. According to Robinson, the two sides are believed to be about $20MM apart over the span of five years — about $4MM per season. The Broncos’ offer is reportedly around $18MM per year, while Miller is seeking something closer to top QB money ($22MM annually).
  • Robinson’s piece includes plenty of interesting details, including several on Broncos cap guru Mike Sullivan. Some agents believe that, after locking up defensive lineman Derek Wolfe to a below-market deal, Sullivan and the Broncos are now attempting to get more players to agree to team-friendly contracts. Said one agent: “I think the Derek Wolfe deal screwed their heads up. It made [Mike] Sullivan believe he could get everyone to do bad deals. There is a lot of arrogance there.”
  • Although Sullivan certainly has a significant role when it comes to contract negotiations, anyone who has been around the Broncos knows that John Elway “calls all [the] shots,” says Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter link).
  • Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has yet to sign his RFA tender, but he’s still participating in workouts this week, signing a waiver to cover him in the event of an injury, tweets Ian Rapoport of
  • Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who is entering the final year of his current contract, said today that he hopes to remain in Denver for several more years, as Brandon Krisztal of Denver Sports 760 tweets. “The City of Denver has been really good to me,” Sanders said. “I want to be a Bronco, I want to retire a Bronco.”

RFA Tender Decisions: 3/9/16

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted free agents. We’ll round up those decisions here:



Minor NFL Transactions: 12/30/15

Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, as teams get their rosters set for Week 17:

  • The Colts made a pair of tight end transactions, placing Dwayne Allen (calf) on season-ending injured reserve and promoting Erik Swoope from their practice squad, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). A fourth-year man, Allen made 16 catches in 13 games for the Colts this season. He hasn’t been able to match the production he put up as a rookie in 2011 in terms of receptions (45) and yardage (521), but he did amass a career-best eight touchdowns last season.
  • The Patriots waived cornerback Troy Hill, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (Twitter link). The Pats claimed Hill off waivers from Cincinnati last week. In addition, they signed defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • The 49ers have been awarded tight end Je’Ron Hamm off waivers, a day after he was cut by Washington, according to a Niners release. San Francisco moved running back Shaun Draughn to injured reserve to accommodate the waiver claim — Draughn joins fellow RBs Reggie Bush and Carlos Hyde on the Niners’ IR.
  • The Bills created two roster spots on Tuesday by placing Charles Clay and Ron Brooks on injured reserve, and filled those spots today with a pair of practice squad cornerbacks. As Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets, head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Buffalo elevated Merrill Noel and Sammy Seamster from the team’s taxi squad.
  • The Chargers also added secondary depth today, signing safety Brandian Ross and cornerback Cassius Vaughn to their active roster, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). The club has now added three defensive backs to its 53-man squad this week.
  • After placing Dez Bryant and two other players on injured reserve today, the Cowboys have promoted wide receivers Rodney Smith and Vince Mayle from their practice squad, and also signed cornerback Josh Thomas, per Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).
  • The Broncos are signing guard Robert Myers off the Ravens‘ practice squad to fill the 53rd spot on their roster, reports Mike Klis of 9News. That roster opening was created on Tuesday when Denver cut safety Shaun Prater.
  • According to Tim Twentyman of (Twitter link), offensive lineman Braxston Cave has been promoted from the Lions‘ practice squad to their active roster, taking the spot vacated by cornerback Bill Bentley, who was cut on Tuesday.

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:

West Notes: Jenkins, 49ers, Chargers

After suggesting earlier in the season that he’d likely play out the final year of his rookie contract without a new extension in place, Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins confirmed as much this week, according to Nick Wagoner of As Jenkins explains, once the team’s bye week passed without an agreement, he made the decision to shelve contract discussions.

“They knew what was going on,” Jenkins said. “I told them anything after the bye week, I ain’t listening, I don’t want to hear it. I want to focus on football. The bye week is gone, so I just want to play football.”

As Jenkins continues to improve his free agent stock with an impressive season, let’s check out a few more notes from around the NFL’s West divisions….

  • Following up on an earlier report about a heated players-only meeting, Kyle McLorg of identified 49ers tight end Vernon Davis as the player who called out quarterback Colin Kaepernick during that meeting, while offensive tackle Joe Staley stepped up to defend the QB.
  • The 49ers have failed Kaepernick more than he has failed the team, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, who points out that other teams have performed well despite getting subpar quarterback play. Barrows also notes that the Niners haven’t made good on the promise they made to Kaepernick when he signed his deal, about using their cap flexibility to lock up key players to extensions.
  • The Chargers took a look at a pair of free agent safeties this week, working out former Giants safety Stevie Brown, along with Brandian Ross, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link).
  • Speaking to Eric D. Williams of, NFL executive Eric Grubman confirmed that the league feels the city of San Diego has made some progress on a stadium proposal. Whether or not that progress is enough to save the Chargers remains to be seen — as Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets, the league’s Los Angeles committee will meet on November 11-12 in New York to discuss relocation, and we’re moving closer and closer to possible resolution.

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 Notes: Bears, Broncos, Packers

Here’s a roundup of today’s auditions from around the NFL. All links go to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle on Twitter), unless noted otherwise..