Brandon Taylor

AFC Notes: Raiders, Broncos, Colts, Titans

When Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen was still on the board at No. 4 in the NFL Draft, the Raiders seemed like a solid landing spot after the team finished with just 13 sacks in 2018. Oakland, however, never viewed the pass rusher in play, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur writes.

“I heard that the Raiders weren’t that impressed. I reported pretty early on he wasn’t in play for them at No. 4. I would never question a player’s toughness but there were concerns that he got pushed around a little on some plays at Kentucky and he may not have had enough dog in him for Gruden and Guenther’s liking.”

Oakland, of course, decided to go another way with the pick, surprising many when they tabbed Clemson’s defensive end Clelin Ferrell. Allen, the reigning Bednarik and Nagurski Award winner projected by many to go as high as No. 3, fell a little further and wound up with Jacksonville at No. 7.

While Allen joins a loaded defense in the Jaguars, Ferrell will be looking to fill the void left by All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack, who recorded just a half-sack fewer than the entire Oakland squad in 2018.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos and Chris Harris have made progress on a potential short-term deal. Though they could give Harris another year, one possibility is to just increase his salary this season with money, not incentives, and let him leave in free agency and the end of the year, ABC 7’s Troy Renck tweets. Harris, of course, is entering the final year of his deal and, in April, requested to either get a new deal or be traded.
  • Colts wide receiver Deon Cain is expected to be a full-go for training camp, the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer tweets. A sixth-round selection in 2018, Cain tore his ACL in the preseason opener and was sidelined for the entire season. Cain generated plenty of buzz before the injury and could add another weapon to an already steady Indy attack.
  • Back to the Raiders, the team has added several noted scouts to its organization, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes. Among those to make the trek to the Bay Area include the Patriots’ Dujuan Daniels, the Eagles’ Dwayne Joseph, and the Cowboys’ Walt Juliff and Jim Abrams.
  • The Titans also made some staff changes, Paul Kuharsky tweets. Brandon Taylor moved from national scout to pro scout, Mike Boni was elevated from college scout to national scout, and Casey Callahan moved from pro scout to college scout. He also notes that scouting coordinator Tosi Kazeem no long appears to be with the franchise.

Workout Notes: 49ers, Bills, Saints, Eagles

As usual, NFL teams are keeping a close eye on the free agent market, bringing in players for visits and tryouts as they prepare contingency plans in the event that they need to replace injured players or add depth. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has the details on several of the latest workouts and auditions from around the league, so let’s round up the highlights (all links go to Twitter)….

Extra Points: Peterson, Gurley, Bills, Gordon

The Jets drafted strong safety Calvin Pryor so that he could make his presence felt near the line of scrimmage, but coverage problems have altered those plans this season. Unfortunately, head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t seem to think that he’ll be able to give Pryor those opportunities the rest of the way in 2014. “With the way our roster is now, you have to make adjustments,” Ryan said, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Tonight’s look around the NFL..

  • As the Vikings wait on the Adrian Peterson ruling, the Vikings believe the climate is changing with sponsors getting back on board, tweets Ian Rapoport of When Peterson is given clearance to return, the team believes that the public will be more welcoming and ready for him (link).
  • Todd Gurley‘s season ending injury could serve as a lesson to future college superstars, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The star Georgia tailback has reportedly torn his ACL and Florio wonders if future draft prospects might sit out of college football prior to being eligible rather than risk a serious injury like his.
  • Prior to signing Bacarri Rambo, the Bills also tried out former Chargers safety Brandon Taylor, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Browns are trying to temper expectations in advance of Josh Gordon‘s return, writes’s Pat McManamon. “We all know what Josh is capable of but let’s not put all this pressure on him to be the savior,” quarterback Brian Hoyer said.

New York Notes: Workouts, Coughlin, Harvin

Cornerback Derek Cox was among the free agents to work out for the Giants today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link), but Cox was far from the only veteran in for an audition. Per Jordan Raanan of, the Giants looked at 13 players in total. Here’s the full list, along with a few other notes on the NFL’s two New York teams:

  • The full list of players who tried out for the Giants today, in addition to Cox, via Raanan: Defensive backs Jalil Brown, Kanorris Davis, Thomas Gordon, Robert Steeples, Brandon Taylor, and Josh Victorian; quarterback Dominique Davis; wideouts Lee Doss and Chris Matthews; defensive tackle Clifton Geathers; linebacker Uani Unga, and tight end Evan Wilson.
  • As the Giants stumble toward the finish line in another disappointing season, head coach Tom Coughlin should make this his last year, announcing his retirement at season’s end before the team has a chance to ask him to “retire,” argues Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. Of course, we’ve seen Coughlin’s Giants squads make surprising late-season runs before, but it’s unlikely that this year’s team gets back into playoff contention.
  • Many players wouldn’t be happy making the move from the defending champions to a 2-8 club, but wideout Percy Harvin is “at peace” with the Jets, as he tells Danny Knobler of
  • After watching Mark Sanchez light up the Panthers in Philadelphia last night, Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post writes that the only way the Sanchez saga could get stranger is if he somehow made his way back to the Jets. Of course, as Hubbuch points out, the Jets figure to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, and Sanchez will be eligible for free agency. A reunion seems awfully unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
  • George Willis of the New York Post outlines a handful of reasons why the Jets shouldn’t tank in the hopes of landing the No. 1 pick and quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Workout Notes: Bengals, Saints, Lions, Bucs

As teams around the league assess themselves during the early part of the week, we’ll learn about the latest tryouts as clubs try to remake the back ends of their rosters. We’ll keep track of today’s audition notes here:

Earlier updates:

  • The Bengals worked out tight end Michael Egnew, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). Egnew, a third-round pick in 2012, has spent time with the Dolphins, Lions, and Jaguars. Cincinnati also brought in defensive back Josh Victorian, who was dropped from the Lions’ practice squad in early October, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • With fullback Austin Johnson nursing a knee injury, the Saints auditioned fellow FBs Michael Zordich and Ray Agnew, per Caplan (on Twitter). New Orleans also tried out ex-Washington safety Bacarri Rambo, who started three games last season, tweets Caplan. Wilson passes along a few more names (on Twitter), noting that the club brought in defensive backs Malcolm Bronson, Stan McKay, and Brandon Taylor, and running back Toben Opurum.
  • The Lions worked out cornerbacks Trevin Wade and Robert Steeples, says Wilson (Twitter link). The duo worked out for the Panthers a few weeks ago.
  • The Buccaneers auditioned linebacker Jeremy Grable, per Wilson (via Twitter). Grable was on Tampa Bay’s roster over the summer.
  • Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt is one of 15 players whom Washington is trying out today, according to John Keim of (on Twitter). We should learn the names of the other participants shortly.

Extra Points: Green-Ellis, Rice, Bengals, Bucs

A few NFL teams are starting to see their backfields thin out a little as the season progresses, whether due to suspensions (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson) or injuries (Mark Ingram, Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, and others). While most of those clubs have relied on in-house replacements so far, veteran free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis has received some inquiries from teams, reports Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter).

According to La Canfora (via Twitter), the former Bengal, who is coming off a preseason hip injury, continues to rehab and work toward full health. When he’s ready to play, Green-Ellis should be able to find a job, since there are plenty of potential suitors monitoring him now.

Here are a few more Wednesday odds and ends from around the NFL:

West Notes: Broncos, Quinn, Chiefs, 49ers

Although there was some speculation that the Broncos may face a penalty for potential violations of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement by Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the league won’t levy any punishment on the club, says Jeff Legwold of Manning and Gase both visited the University of Alabama in April, and taking a campus visit together would’ve violated the terms of the CBA, but it was determined that the two men took their trips separately.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the NFL’s two West divisions….

  • Now that J.J. Watt has agreed to a lucrative new contract extension, Rams defensive end Robert Quinn will be among the next high-profile defenders to keep an eye on. According to Albert Breer of NFL Network, when he spoke to Quinn about his contract situation last week, the standout pass rusher said he didn’t want to let it become a distraction and planned to stay in his lane for now. “When the opportunity approaches, I’ll take advantage of it,” Quinn said.
  • Former third-round pick Brandon Taylor, who was cut by the Chargers back in June, visited the division-rival Chiefs on Monday, according to Adam Caplan of (Twitter link).
  • According to Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who agreed to a contract extension with the team over the weekend, getting a long-term deal done with Kansas City was always the goal — it was just a matter of finding a figure that he felt was fair and that didn’t compromise the club’s flexibility too much. B.J. Kissel of has the quotes from Smith.
  • The 49ers worked out a few free agents this week, including fullback J.C. Copeland and defensive backs Rod Sweeting and Chibuikem Okoro, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Chargers Waive Brandon Taylor

The Chargers have waived former third-round pick Brandon Taylor, the team announced today in a press release. The 73rd overall selection out of LSU in 2012, Taylor couldn’t stay healthy during his two seasons in San Diego, appearing in just four regular-season contests for the club.

“We’d like to thank Brandon for his work and contributions to the Chargers the last three years, and wish him the best as he continues his career,” said GM Tom Telesco in a statement.

Taylor, 24, tore his ACL in December of 2012, and was activated from the Chargers’ PUP list in August, but didn’t play a snap all year, and underwent another procedure on his knee at season’s end. Given his injury problems, Taylor will likely go unclaimed on waivers, but if he’s healthy enough to take the field next month, the safety could draw interest on the open market as teams prepare for training camp.

The Chargers now have an opening on their 90-man roster, so it will likely just be a matter of time before we hear about a corresponding move to fill that spot. While the team won’t necessarily sign anyone immediately, it’s worth noting that free agent cornerback Brandon Flowers was in town for a visit yesterday and is expected to make a decision on his next destination within the next few days.