Brandon Hardin

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll track the day’s minor transactions right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Dolphins have waived receiver Stephen Williams, replacing him on the roster with tight end Brett Brackett (Twitter link).
  • The 49ers have officially waived-injured running back Kendall Hunter, tweets’s Adam Caplan. Other teams will have the opportunity to claim Hunter, but the back is in the final year of his contract and will be sidelined for the season, so he figures to go on San Francisco’s IR. The Niners are expected to add a running back to replace him, notes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter).
  • Safety Brandon Hardin has been removed from the Jets‘ injured reserve list with a settlement, per Rich Cimini of ESPN New York (Twitter link).
  • The Browns have re-signed defensive back Royce Adams, who was waived by the club last month, tweets Brian McIntyre. Since the Browns cut four players today, Adams’ signing leaves the roster at 87 players.
  • Wide receiver Reese Wiggins was the roster casualty for the Lions as the club made room for new waiver claim Jonathan Baldwin, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • The Buccaneers have swapped an offensive player for a defender, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed safety Mark Joyce, having waived-injured wideout David Gettis to make room on the roster.
  • The Colts have signed linebacker Shawn Loiseau, the team announced today in a press release. Loiseau, who has previously spent time on the Colts’ practice squad and offseason roster, last played for the Arena Football League’s L.A. Kiss. Because Indianapolis had an opening on its 90-man roster, no corresponding move is necessary to clear room for the new addition.
  • The Cowboys have signed guard Wayne Tribue and waived-injured guard Brian Clarke, a source tells Todd Archer of Tribue has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game, though he has spent time with the Broncos, 49ers, and Saints. As for Clarke, he was one of the two dozen UDFAs signed by the Cowboys following the draft, receiving a $1.5K signing bonus from the team.

Minor Moves: Sunday

We’ll round up the day’s minor transactions from around the NFL right here, with additional moves listed at the top of the page throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Redskins have filled the roster spot previously held by Jerry Rice Jr. with defensive end Jeremy Towns, tweets Mike Jones of The Washington Post. Towns is an undrafted rookie out of Samford.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Redskins have waived injured wideout Jerry Rice Jr.tweets Zac Boyer of The Washington Times. The player tore the labrum in his left shoulder and will be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers.
  • The Colts have signed undrafted wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardsontweets Ian Rapoport of The embattled rookie attended three colleges and was charged with armed robbery.
  • The Colts have also cut wide receiver Greg Moore and waived cornerback Brandon Burtontweets Aaron Wilson of The National Football Post.
  • To make room for Brock Jensen, the Dolphins have waived wide receiver Rantavious Wooten, reports the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley (via Twitter).
  • Five players cleared waivers and will be placed on their respective team’s injured reserve (via Aaron Wilson’s Twitter): Cowboys offensive lineman Darius MorrisJaguars wideout Damian Copeland, linebacker John Lotulelei and defensive tackle Jordan Miller and Jets safety Brandon Hardin.
  • The Texans have claimed center Sam Longo from the Dolphinstweets Brian McIntyre. To make room on the roster, the team waived offensive lineman Brice Schwab.
  • Jaguars wideout Damian Copeland, linebacker John Lotulelei and defensive tackle Jordan Miller have all cleared waivers and will go on the team’s injured reserve, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • The Chiefs have made a series of roster moves, signing defensive lineman Jairus Campbell and waiving fullback James Baker and cornerback David Van Dyketweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • The Patriots have re-signed linebacker James Morris, according to Pat Harty of the Iowa Press-Citizen (h/t: Christopher Price of Morris, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa, was waived by New England in May with a failed physical designation, but is apparently healthy now.
  • The Dolphins re-signed quarterback Brock Jensen on Saturday night, just four days after cutting him, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Fellow signal-callers Matt Moore and Pat Devlin are both hurt at the moment, so Miami needed additional depth at the position as they prepare for Friday’s preseason opener. If Moore is healthy, he will of course serve as the team’s primary backup in 2014, and his injured shoulder is currently not a major concern for the club.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Friday

We’ve already posted one roundup of today’s minor moves, but there are even more transactions, so we’ll start a new list here. Any new updates will appear atop the post.

  • The Cowboys signed defensive end Adewale Ojomo, and because of their earlier addition of Kenneth Boatright, were forced to make two roster moves. As such, Dallas cut guard Darius Morris and receiver L’Damian Washington (Twitter link via Bryan Broaddus of
  • The Jets have released safety Brandon Hardin, tweets Brian Costello of the New York Post. Hardin was the Bears’ third-round pick in 2012.
  • The Steelers waived running back Alvester Alexander and signed fellow RB Jawan Jamison, per Pittsburgh’s PR man Burt Lauten (via Twitter). Jamison was a 2013 Redskins seventh-rounder, but was waived by Washington in March.

Jeffery Buoying Emery’s First Draft

Bears GM Phil Emery has been on the job two and a half years, and with a series of bold moves, has positioned the Bears as a legitimate Super Bowl contender entering the 2014 season. That’s noteworthy status given the fact Emery’s first draft class (2012) has been fruitless with the exception of rising star Alshon Jeffery.

Buried in an article about the Bears’ kick coverage units, CSN Chicago’s John Mullin notes that 2012 19th overall selection Shea McClellin, a disappointment through two NFL seasons, has been used on special teams this offseason. Unable to hold up against the run, the Bears have converted him from defensive end to linebacker, where he’s competing with John Bostic for the starting job on the strong side. Position changes and special-teams impact are things typically associated with rookies, not third-year pros, especially ones drafted as highly as McClellin. His backward career trajectory doesn’t bode well for his future in Chicago.

If McClellin can’t find a way to make an impact this season, he’ll be stamped with the bust label, which prompts a more macroscopic concern. Emery, whose background is rooted in scouting, was hired to replace Jerry Angelo, whose first-round failures still resonate with Bears fans who cringe at the memories of names such as Rex Grossman, Michael Haynes, Cedric Benson, Chris Williams and Gabe Carimi. Emery is supposed to reverse that debilitating trend, but aside from Jeffery in the second round, his 2012 draft class has failed to live up to expectations:

  • First round: McClellin – “Earned” -30.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2013, and has just 6.5 sacks in 28 career games.
  • Second round: Jeffery – Made the Pro Bowl in his second year, a breakout season in which he totaled 89 catches for 1,421 yards and 7 touchdowns, teaming with Brandon Marshall to form one of the most dominant receiving duos in the league.
  • Third round – Brandon Hardin: Arrived an injured player and departed an injured player, never playing a game for the Bears.
  • Fourth round – Evan Rodriguez: Considered a reach because of character concerns, Rodriguez was released after his rookie season (and two off-season arrests).
  • Sixth round – Isaiah Frey: Has yet to make a significant contribution and faces a training camp battle to stick as the team’s fifth cornerback.
  • Seventh round – Greg McCoy – Cut at the end of 2012 training camp.

In McClellin’s case, the Bears might have misevaluated his utility, as many draft scouts projected the Boise State pass rusher as a 3-4 rush rush linebacker. Nolan Nawrocki’s 2012 Draft Preview graded McClellin as a mid-round talent with tweener traits, strength deficiency and an inability to defend the run: “Functional, character football player who plays better than he tests and could warrant consideration as a stand-up, upfield 3-4 rush ‘backer. Versatility and dependability increase comfort level and could drive up draft status.”

Nawrocki’s assessment proved accurate, as McClellin ascended all the way to the 19th pick, where Emery pounced on him with 3-4 teams such as the Patriots (who took Chandler Jones 21st), Texans (who took Whitney Mercilus 26th) and Packers (who took Nick Perry 28th) lurking in subsequent picks. McClellin’s versatility was key to the selection, with the thinking at the time being if he doesn’t pan out as a defensive end, he could be a starter-caliber linebacker, be it as Brian Urlacher‘s long-term replacement in the middle, or on the outside. The time is now for McClellin to reward Emery’s confidence before Chicago’s all-too-familiar first-round failure worries are stirred up.