D.J. Smith

Browns To Sign Zac Diles

The Browns will sign linebacker Zac Diles, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Diles was cut loose by the Texans last week.

Diles, 29, was once a regular starter for the Texans but has bounced around a bit in recent years with stints in Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and finally Houston again. The Texans welcomed Diles back upon multiple injuries to their stable of linebackers but they bid him farewell today as there is no longer a need at the position. Diles has seen action in a combined nine game across the last 3 seasons.

The Browns have also added defensive end Scott Solomon to their practice squad and re-signed defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel (link). Solomon, who recently turned 26, played in 6 games for the Bucs this season and recorded seven tackles with one sack. McDaniel, 25, was released from Cleveland’s practice squad just a week ago. To make room, D.J. Smith has been let go. Smith, 25, was just added to the taxi squad last week, so it was a rather short stay for him. The former sixth-round pick has seen NFL action for the Packers, Texans, Panthers, and Browns over the last four years.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

As usual, plenty of practice squad players are on the move again this week, being signed, cut, or promoted as teams prepare for Week 11 games. Here are Wednesday’s latest practice squad additions and subtractions:

  • Per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Twitter), linebacker D.J. Smith has joined the Browns‘ practice squad, replacing fellow linebacker Allen Bradford, who was signed by the Seahawks’ active roster today.
  • A day after being cut by the Jaguars, cornerback Peyton Thompson has cleared waivers and re-signed with the team’s practice squad, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • The Ravens have replaced tight end Phillip Supernaw, who signed with the Chiefs earlier this week, with tight end Konrad Reuland, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • The Seahawks have added fullback Stanley Havili to their practice squad, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • After promoting linebacker Max Bullough to their active roster, the Texans got their practice squad back up to the maximum 10 players by signing former Central Florida tackle Chris Martin, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • The Buccaneers have filled the two openings on their practice squad by signing linebacker Jeremy Grable and offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren, both of whom have previously been with the team, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com.
  • Another club with two openings on its taxi squad has also filled them — the Bears announced today (via Twitter) that wide receiver B.J. Cunningham and guard Antoine McClain have signed with the team.
  • The Cardinals have swapped out an offensive player for a defender, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, who tweets that the team has signed cornerback Darren Woodard to its practice squad to replace running back Zach Bauman.
  • After seeing tight end Rashaun Allen signed off their practice squad by the Seahawks, the Vikings have filled the newly-created vacancy by re-adding tight end Ryan Otten, per Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

West Notes: Sutton, Chiefs, Rams

Let’s check in on a few Wednesday links from around the NFL’s two West divisions….

  • Jets head coach Rex Ryan told reporters, including Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter), that he hopes Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton gets a head coaching job, but added, “I hope it’s not mine.”
  • The Chiefs took a look at a handful of free agent defenders this week, says Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange (via Twitter). Per Balzer, linebackers Brandon Denmark, Kevin Reddick, D.J. Smith, and Uani Unga, as well as defensive end Tim Fugger, all worked out for the club.
  • The Rams brought in offensive tackles Mitchell Van Dyk and Jason Weaver for tryouts this week, according to Balzer (via Twitter).
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Louis Riddick examines several extension candidates who should be in line for big contracts soon, either from their own teams or in free agency. Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas tops the list, with Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson among the other players earning mentions.
  • Earlier tonight, I asked if the Seahawks and 49ers, who entered the year as favorites to come out of the NFC, will even earn playoff spots this season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Panthers Sign Robert Lester, Cut D.J. Smith

The Panthers have made changes today to both their 53-man roster and their practice squad, the team announced in a press release. According to the club, safety Robert Lester has been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster, linebacker D.J. Smith has been waived from the roster, and guard Chris Scott has been signed to the taxi squad.

Lester, 26, appeared in 12 contests for the Panthers a year ago, starting four of those games. He played reasonably well when he saw the field, contributing three interceptions and recovering a fumble, but so far this season he had been relegated to the practice squad.

Scott, Lester’s replacement on the practice squad, is also a familiar face in Carolina, having started eight games for the club last season. He was cut in August this year when the Panthers trimmed their roster down to 53 players.

As Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com notes in the team’s press release, the Panthers have relied heavily on their nickel package lately, often playing five defensive backs and two linebackers. As such, adding Lester, who can also contribute on special teams, at the expensive of a linebacker makes some sense, regardless of Carolina’s injury situation.

Panthers Place Mike Tolbert On IR-DTR

The Panthers have placed running back Mike Tolbert on the injured reserve list with the designation to return, the team announced today (Twitter link). As we heard yesterday, Tolbert suffered a hairline fracture and bone bruise in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, and now won’t be eligible to return to game action for eight weeks.

Linebacker D.J. Smith will take Tolbert’s spot on the 53-man roster, according to the team. Smith, who worked out for the Patriots a few days ago, was with the Panthers in camp and started the season on the club’s practice squad. As Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer notes (via Twitter), the fact that Carolina signed Smith instead of a running back suggests there’s some concern about the status of linebacker Thomas Davis.

While the Panthers didn’t replace Tolbert with a running back for now, the team may have to make another move to shore up the backfield before this weekend. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are also banged up, which prompted the team to promote Darrin Reaves to the 53-man roster this past weekend. The Panthers have another back on the practice squad, in Lache Seastrunk, so he could be a candidate for promotion depending on the health of Williams and Stewart.

AFC Notes: Ravens, Jets, Pats, Chargers

A year ago, the Patriots began the 2013 season by winning their first four games, the Broncos came out of the gates by winning six consecutive contests, and the Chiefs started 9-0 before being dealt their first loss. In 2014, however, we’re through just three weeks and only one AFC team remains unbeaten.

The 3-0 Bengals have the conference’s best point differential by far at +47, and with a bye week coming up, their loss column will remain unblemished for at least one more week. Starting in Week 5 though, the Bengals will play games against the Patriots, Panthers, Colts, and Ravens, meaning there’s a good chance their winning streak will be halted well before they have the opportunity to match last year’s Chiefs’ start.

As we look forward to seeing how long the Bengals can continue their winning ways, let’s round up a few items from around the AFC….

Late Week Workouts: Patriots, Cardinals

The Patriots worked out four players on Friday, reports Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com.

They are likely only looking at these players as practice squad candidates, but the team has made a habit of bringing in these players each week.

The team worked out former Falcons’ receiver and special teamer Kevin Cone, former Buccaneers’ defensive end Steven Means, undrafted free agent running back Rajion Neal, and linebacker D.J. Smith. Smith, a former Packer, also spent time with the Texans and Panthers.

The Cardinals also brought in a semi-big name in the recently released offensive tackle Cameron Bradfield, according to Yates (via Twitter). Bradfield started the first two games of this season for the Jaguars, but struggled mightily to protect Chad Henne. The team gave up ten sacks to the Redskins’ defense this past Sunday.

None of these players were signed as of Friday evening.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are the latest minor transactions from around the NFL:


  • The Browns have cut offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann with a failed physical designation, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). That clears a roster spot for Vinston Painter, whose signing was noted below.
  • The following players have been removed from their teams’ respective IR lists with injury settlements, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (all Twitter links): Ryan McKee (Chiefs), Larry Asante (Raiders), Greg Jenkins (Raiders), and Eric Ward (Titans). C.J. Davis (Seahawks) has also been removed from IR with a settlement, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.


  • The Jets have signed linebacker Jeremiah George and wideout Quincy Enunwa to their practice squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). New York selected the duo in the fifth and sixth rounds of this year’s draft, respectively.


  • The Panthers have signed former Jets wideout Stephen Hill to their practice squad, cutting linebacker D.J. Smith, the team announced today (Twitter link). According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Redskins will also interested in bringing Hill in for a workout, but Carolina offered him a deal.
  • The Cardinals have added wideout Kevin Cone, defensive tackle Christian Tupou, and running back Dominique Williams to their practice squad, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (via Twitter).
  • Tight end Jerome Cunningham has signed with the Giants‘ practice squad, according to agent Howard Shatsky (via Twitter).
  • The Chargers filled their practice squad by adding running back Marion Grice, who cleared waivers after being cut yesterday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Cowboys have also filled their 10-man squad, adding offensive lineman John Wetzel and defensive back Jemea Thomas, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Presumably, one of the 10 players on the unit will be cut tomorrow if the team intends to bring Michael Sam aboard.
  • A.J. Jefferson of the Seahawks and Justice Cunningham of the Rams have both been removed from injured reserve lists with settlements, according to Caplan and Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter links).


  • According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post (via Twitter), the Browns are signing offensive lineman Vinston Painter off the Broncos‘ practice squad, which will open up a spot on the 10-man unit for long snapper Kevin McDermott, whose signing was noted below. Cleveland will need to make a corresponding roster move to clear room for Painter.
  • The Redskins made a series of changes to their practice squad today, signing offensive lineman Braxston Cave and linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat. Linebacker Chaz Sutton and offensive lineman Tevita Stevens were cut.
  • Offensive lineman Matt Patchan has been removed from the Buccaneers‘ injured reserve list with a settlement, says Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (via Twitter).


  • A number of teams have filled their 10-man practice squads by adding a player. The Jaguars signed tight end Marcel Jensen, per John Oehser of Jaguars.com (via Twitter); the Bills signed tight end D.J. Tialavea, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com; the Bengals signed wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com (via Twitter); and the Browns officially announced the signing of fullback Kiero Small, which had been previously reported by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • A pair of clubs also swapped in one player for another on their practice squads. The Dolphins signed defensive end Gerald Rivers and dropped defensive end D’Aundre Reed, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). And the Vikings signed offensive lineman Austin Wentworth to their squad to replace cornerback Kendall James, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • The Broncos are also making an addition to their practice squad, in long snapper Kevin McDermott, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post (via Twitter). But Denver already had a full 10-man unit, so we’ll have to wait to hear about the corresponding move.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) provide the respective details for Ray McDonald‘s contract restructure with the 49ers and Glover Quin‘s reworked deal with the Lions.
  • The Buccaneers intend to open up a roster spot by placing running back Charles Sims on their injured reserve list with the designation to return, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Teams can begin to use that IR spot as of 3:00pm central time today.
  • Cornerback Bobby Felder has been removed from the Bills‘ injured reserve list after reaching a settlement with the team, tweets Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550.

Sunday Transactions: NFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC 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 NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Atlanta Falcons:

Carolina Panthers:

New Orleans Saints:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Panthers Cut 14, Roster Sits At 53

The Panthers have made the necessary roster moves in order to be in compliance of the NFL’s 53-man roster limit:



Waived with injury settlement: