Brandon Harris

Dolphins Release Brandon Harris, Waive 10 Others

The Dolphins have pared their roster down to 78 players today, moving closer to the first-cut deadline of 75. They waived 10 players (Twitter link) and released cornerback Brandon Harris, who has sufficient service time to avoid waivers.

A former Texans second-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2011, Harris has played in 42 games but has yet to start one. His service time runs from 2011-14, with the ex-Hurricane seeing action for three years in Houston and one, 2014, in Tennessee. A torn ACL sustained last summer while employed by the Titans stalled Harris’ career, one that saw him land with the Dolphins late last month.

Miami’s Chris Culliver signing pushed Harris further on the bubble, and he’ll now attempt to find a new home.

Hazel landed with the Dolphins as a sixth-rounder in 2014 and played in five games last season, starting one. This leaves seven wideouts still on the Fins’ roster, with Griff Whalen and UDFA Rashawn Scott potentially battling for a roster spot.

DiSalvo lost the long-snapping battle to longtime Dolphin John Denney, and Koehn couldn’t beat out Andrew Franks for the kicker job.

Painter was a Broncos sixth-rounder in 2013 who’s played in three games — all with the Browns in 2014.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Dolphins

It wasn’t a huge surprise when the Patriots dealt star defender Chandler Jones to the Cardinals this offseason. After all, the organization has multiple defenders who are impending free agents, so it was unlikely to retain the entire core. Furthermore (as Jones previously pointed out), New England doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to re-signing their own guys.

Appearing on Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, president Jonathan Kraft addressed the circumstances that surrounded the Jones trade (via’s Mike Reiss):

“We’ll end up being pretty close to the [salary] cap this year, I’m sure. Whatever money we don’t use, we roll over,” Kraft said. “We use every cap dollar that we can have, but there are just different strategies for how you deploy it. Chandler is a great football player and it will be fun to see him that opening day [Sept. 11]. And Chandler did wonderful things in the community here too; he’s a good man.”

“Obviously, when you have great football players, given the constraints of the salary cap, you want to try to keep all of them. You keep as many as you possibly can, and in some cases you have to make difficult decisions,” Kraft added. “Chandler Jones is a great football player and was an important part of the Patriots for the last [four] years. But you have to look at everything and weigh the amount of capital you’re going to have available and what all your choices are, and how deep your team is at certain positions, and what the value can be for somebody else, and how you can take that value and use it for your own team.

“That’s a good example where we tried to do something that allowed us, looking forward, to take all the assets associated with the team and end up with the best possible scenario in terms of what you could actually have on the club.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the AFC East…

  • Kraft also admitted that the Jones trade was partly motivated by future transactions. “If Chandler is going to be an unrestricted free agent … you know what, he’s going to get paid on the open market — and you look down on your roster and see who else is coming [up to free agency], and you see the type of depth you have at certain positions — if there wasn’t the salary cap, you might make different decisions,” he said.
  • Linebacker Julian Stanford is an under-the-radar player making a case to make the Jets‘ 53-man roster, Rich Cimini of tweets. A third-year free agent from New York’s Wagner College, Stanford tied teammate Rontez Miles for the most special-teams snaps in Thursday night’s preseason opener (17) and has impressed in practice. For a full view of the Jets’ depth chart, check out their page on Roster Resource.
  • Dolphins rookie safety Jordan Lucas is likely headed to the practice squad, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Assuming Chris Culliver starts the season on the PUP, the final defensive back spot could come down to Chimdi Chekwa or Brandon Harris. “Harris is a veteran guy that knows how to play,” said defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. “There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a great kid, hard worker and he knows how to play with leverage.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/16

Today’s minor moves from around the league:

  • The Vikings announced that they have waived cornerback Keith Baxter and linebacker Jason Whittingham. Baxter, for his part, had recently been in the hospital, according to Ben Goessling of (Twitter link).
  • Just one day after signing him, the Cowboys have waived linebacker Darius Eubanks, tweets Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • The Rams have waived wide receiver Deon Long, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link), who notes that Long was added to the club’s practice squad late last season.

Earlier updates:

Titans Sign Fernando Velasco

The Titans have added some veteran depth to their offensive line, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed free agent center Fernando Velasco to a contract. To make room on the roster, the Titans placed cornerback Brandon Harris, who tore his ACL last week, on injured reserve.

While the Titans list Velasco as a center, he spent most of last season at guard for the Panthers, playing 407 overall offensive snaps. The 30-year-old wasn’t a core piece of Carolina’s offensive line, but he was a useful part-time player, appearing in multiple games at both right guard and left guard, and not allowing a quarterback sack all year.

In Tennessee, Velasco may challenge for playing time at center, where Brian Schwenke is the favorite to start. Schenke, a 2013 fourth-round pick, has started 20 games at the position for the Titans over the last two seasons, but has ranked among the bottom 10 players at the position in each of those years, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He and backup center Andy Gallik are also both dealing with hamstring injuries, so Velasco may ultimately just provide offseason depth.

Terms of the agreement aren’t yet known, but I’d anticipate a minimum salary pact for Velasco, who won’t be guaranteed a regular season roster spot. As for Harris, he had been playing out the final year of his contract with the Titans, so he appears likely to spend the season on IR, then become a free agent next winter.

Extra Points: Winston, Liuget, Harris

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is high on rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, as Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida writes. However, he says the real test of his abilities is yet to come. “He’s a first-overall pick. Of course you see the talent,” McCoy said of Winston. “You’ve got to give it some time, guys. Everything is real basic right now. Until we put on pads and I can actually chase him, then I’ll tell you how good he is.

  • There has been a lot of positive momentum in the Chargers‘ efforts to sign defensive end Corey Liuget to a contract extension, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets. The two sides are getting closer, according to a source that spoke with Gehlken.
  • Titans cornerback Brandon Harris suffered a torn ACL during today’s practice, according to a source that spoke with Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean (on Twitter). Harris, who signed a one-year deal with the Titans during the offseason, now faces a lengthy rehab process. The 25-year-old earned 112 defensive snaps for the Titans in 2014, recording 11 tackles and three passes defended. He was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2011 draft and although he wasn’t expected to play a starring role this year, he was being counted upon for depth at the cornerback position.
  • Falcons coach Dan Quinn supported the team’s quick decision to release linebacker Prince Shembo, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Naturally, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who went through the Michael Vick federal dog fighting investigation of 2007, was involved in the decision to release Shembo.
  • The Ravens were glad to snag cornerback Tray Walker in the fourth round of this year’s draft, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun writes. The Ravens knew that the Texas Southern product was drawing widespread interest, so they were over the moon to get him at No. 136. “He’s a guy that we had targeted,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “We really hoped to get him in the draft. He’s a guy that we wanted to get in the mid-rounds. We were looking to try to draft him, and we were able to do it.
  • The Dolphins should be happy that they got Ryan Tannehill‘s deal done before Cam Newton‘s new pact with the Panthers, Joel Corry of tweets. The total money given to Tannehill may not have changed, but the contract security likely would have been different.
  • The Chargers and mayor Kevin Faulconer met to discuss the possibility of a new stadium on Tuesday, as Eric D. Williams of writes. “Today we and our negotiating team met with Chargers chairman Dean Spanos and his adviser Mark Fabiani for more than an hour,” Faulconer’s spokesperson Craig Gustafson said in a prepared statement. “It was a productive discussion on a variety of issues, and both parties agreed to meet again within the next several days.”

Titans Re-Sign Brandon Harris

The Titans have brought back cornerback Brandon Harris, re-signing him to a one-year contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Harris, who turned 25 in January, was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2011 draft. After spending three years in Houston as a special teams player and an occasional contributor on defense, Harris was waived by the Texans during last August’s preseason roster cuts. The Titans claimed the former Miami Hurricane off waivers, and he spent the 2014 season in Tennessee. Harris earned 112 defensive snaps for the club, recording 11 tackles and three passes defended.

With Perrish Cox joining Jason McCourty, Coty Sensabaugh, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson on the Titans’ cornerback depth chart for the 2015 season, Harris is unlikely to earn much more playing time than he did in 2014. Assuming he makes the team, he’ll likely provide depth in the secondary, and play on special teams.

Sunday Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Claimed off waivers: Mickey Shuler, TE (via Ryan O’Halloran on Twitter)
  • Cut: Marcel Jensen, TE (via Aaron Wilson on Twitter)
  • Signed to practice squad (officially announced): Cody Booth, T; DeAndre Coleman, DT; Henry Josey, RB (via Adam Caplan on Twitter); Craig Loston, S; Stephen Morris, QB; Kerry Taylor, WR; Tony Washington, WR; Marcus Whitfield, LB. The team has also added cornerback Peyton Thompson, reports Michael DiRocco (via Twitter), although the team has not officially announced the signing.

Tennessee Titans:

Texans Release Eight Players

The Texans have released tight end Zach Potter, according to Dave Zangaro of (on Twitter). Earlier today, Houston released wide receiver Travis Labhartkicker Chris Boswellfullback Toben Opurum, and former USC safety Jawanza Starling. Here’s your running list of the players released in Houston today: