A fourth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2011, Prosinski spent 2015 and 2016 with the Bears. He saw action on 174 defensive snaps last season, operating mostly as a reserve. After a quiet couple of weeks on the open market this past offseason, Prosinski re-upped with the Bears on a one-year deal. Unfortunately, injuries kept him from the field. After tryouts with the Falcons, 49ers, and Bills, Prosinski has found his way back to Chicago.
On Twitter, the Bears indicated that they have “waived Jones and signed him to the practice squad.” However, per NFL rules, the Bears cannot re-sign Jones until he has cleared the waiver wire. If Jones does indeed clear waivers in the next 24 hours, you can expect to see him on the Bears’ taxi squad.
The addition of Prosinski could be a sign that safety Adrian Amos will miss time.
Today’s workout updates:
- WR Lucky Whitehead; LBs Tyrell Adams, Brooks Ellis, Otha Peters; CBs Makinton Dorleant; S Will Blackmon (link via Balzer)
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
- WR Dominique Young (link via Wilson)
Interestingly, the 49ers also worked out ex-Packer edge defender Jayrone Elliott, per Balzer. Jones left the Packers in free agency, but Elliott became expendable after the Packers agreed to a deal with 49ers castoff Ahmad Brooks. Green Bay’s also using ex-San Francisco defensive lineman Quinton Dial as a rotational piece this season.
Elliott was Jones’ teammate for three seasons with the Packers, but he couldn’t stick as a second-unit pass rusher before being traded to the Cowboys. Dallas subsequently waived the fourth-year player later last month, and Elliott worked out for the Saints, Seahawks and Jets before voyaging to the Bay Area for his latest audition.
The 49ers also worked out tight ends Cole Wick and Standish Dobard, along with cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olumu. Additionally, Balzer reports (on Twitter) safeties Antone Exum, Chris Prosinski and Deron Washington worked out for the Niners.
- TE Evan Baylis
Los Angeles Chargers
- LB Josh Mauga
Los Angeles Rams
- TE Evan Baylis
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Today’s minor moves:
- Released from IR: S Chris Prosinski
- Released from IR: DB Tramain Jacobs
Los Angeles Chargers
- Waived: LB Nick Dzubnar
Los Angeles Rams
- Released from IR: WR Nelson Spruce
New England Patriots
- Released from IR: DE Corey Vereen
New Orleans Saints
- Signed: T Bryce Harris
New York Giants
New York Jets
- Placed on IR: DE Alex McCalister, S Tre Sullivan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bears took time to announce their 53-man roster, but they got it done before the deadline. Here’s how:
Officially Placed On IR:
- LB Jonathan Anderson
- WR Daniel Braverman
- DL Rashaad Coward
- WR Titus Davis
- WR Tanner Gentry
- OL Brandon Greene
- DB DeAndre Houston-Carson
- WR Alton Howard
- LB Isaiah Irving
- DB Harold Jones-Quartey
- OL Dieugot Joseph
- OL Mitchell Kirsch
- OL Will Poehls
- TE MyCole Pruitt
- DB Rashaad Reynolds
- OL Cyril Richardson
- RB Josh Rounds
- FB Freddie Stevenson
- LB John Timu
- QB Connor Shaw
The Bears will keep one of their top special-teamers in Chicago, reaching an agreement to re-sign safety Chris Prosinski, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. They also kept defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.
Prosinski’s deal is for one year, the team announced. The Bears signed Prosinski to a one-year contract last March.
A former Jaguars fourth-round pick in 2011, Prosinski has played the past two seasons with the Bears. He saw action on 174 defensive snaps last season, operating as a backup mostly. Prosinski will rejoin a Bears secondary that now houses Quintin Demps and will assuredly be used on most of Chicago’s specialty units again.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old safety made 18 tackles last season. He made one start in 2016 and five in ’15. Prosinski resided in Dallas Robinson’s top 15 available safeties. He did not generate any interest, at least publicly, from other teams in his latest UFA foray.
Wilson caught on with the Bears after a nomadic season that saw him become part of several NFL transactions. The former Packers starter bounced around to several spots before landing in Chicago midway through the 2016 campaign. Wilson will turn 30 next week and should he make the Bears’ 53-man roster, this will be his eighth NFL season. Although, he had issues sticking on teams’ active rosters last season.
The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.
Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.
Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.
We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.
Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:
- Dwight Freeney
Elvis Dumervil Chris Long
- Mario Williams
- Paul Kruger
- Trent Cole
- Erik Walden
- Jason Jones
Darryl Tapp Devin Taylor
- Eugene Sims
- Howard Jones
- Sam Acho
The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.
Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).
Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.
Interior defensive line:
Johnathan Hankins Dontari Poe
- Jared Odrick
- Vance Walker
- Sen’Derrick Marks
- Roy Miller
Al Woods Tony McDaniel
- Cullen Jenkins
Frostee Rucker Cam Thomas John Jenkins
- Tyson Jackson
Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.
The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.
The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.
The Dolphins haven’t been linked to cornerback Leon Hall since the league year opened, despite the fact that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph coached Hall in Cincinnati. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald explains that Hall’s asking price has precluded the Dolphins from getting involved so far, but if that price tag eventually comes down, the veteran corner should see his market heat up, and Miami could get involved.
Here are a few more free agency updates from around the NFL:
- The Broncos have reached out and expressed interest in bringing back free agent running back Ronnie Hillman, writes Mike Klis of 9NEWS. However, according to Klis, Denver is one of a few teams showing interest, and Hillman’s other suitors have more cap room than the Broncos.
- The Bills continue to weigh their options on defense, bringing in a pair of defensive free agents for visits today. The club announced (via Twitter) that linebacker Zach Brown and defensive back Corey White arrived at One Bills Drive on Monday morning to meet with the team. Brown, who started 33 games for the Titans over the last four years and had 77 tackles in 2015, is one of the more intriguing free agents still available.
- Tim Lelito, who received a low-end RFA tender from the Saints, garnered some interest from the Cowboys but opted not to sign an offer sheet with Dallas and sounds prepared to return to New Orleans for 2016, as Lyons Yellin of WWL outlines. Lelito technically remains a free agent until he formally signs his one-year, $1.671MM RFA tender.
- Veteran guard Chris Chester, who underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, likely won’t be ready to go until sometime in June, which is why he remains unsigned, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). The free agent lineman, who spent last season in Atlanta, has a decent chance to start somewhere once he eventually gets healthy and signs.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune provides the details on a handful of recently-signed Bears contracts, reporting that offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, linebacker Sam Acho, wide receiver Deonte Thompson, and safety Chris Prosinski all received one-year, minimum salary benefit deals, with $80K signing bonuses.