Darrin Walls

NFL Workout Updates: 10/11/16

We’ll keep track of the day’s auditions here:

  • The Buccaneers will work out defensive end Chris McCain on Wednesday, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). McCain, who was traded from Miami to New Orleans during the offseason before ultimately being waived, has appeared in 19 games over the past two seasons.
  • After being released by the Redskins last week, veteran defensive end Kendall Reyes landed a workout with the Texans, who are still trying to replace J.J. Watt, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Houston also tried out defensive lineman Lars Koht, per Kaplan.
  • The Dolphins worked out cornerbacks Darrin Walls and Blidi Wreh-Wilson before signing Chimdi Chekwa, tweets Caplan, who adds that Miami also auditioned offensive tackle David Foucault. The Dolphins also worked out linebacker Trevor Reilly, according to Howard Balzer (Twitter link).
  • Former Buffalo outside linebacker Randell Johnson is visiting the Jets today, as Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. New York also worked out tight end Mitchell Henry, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks worked out defensive end Malliciah Goodman on Monday, reports Rand Getlin (on Twitter). Goodman played for Atlanta in his first three NFL seasons. Seattle also took a look at tight end Alex Bayer, defensive end Josh Boyd, cornerback Trae Elston, safety Jordan Lomax, and visited with safety Elijah Shumate, per Balzer (Twitter link).
  • The Panthers auditioned offensive tackles Michael Bowie and Pearce Slater, as well as cornerbacks Randall Evans, Tyler Patmon, and Kevin Short, tweets Balzer. Cleveland placed Bowie on the retired list earlier this year, but he’s apparently had a change of heart.
  • Offensive tackle Pierce Burton worked out for the Colts today, according to Balzer (Twitter link).

Saints Audition Rueben Randle, Others

The Saints auditioned a small army’s worth of players today. Among the notable players to work out for New Orleans were wide receivers Rueben Randle, Greg Little, and Andre Caldwell (Twitter links via Nick Underhill of The Advocate). Rueben Randle

Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes, long snapper Aaron Brewer, long snapper Andrew East, long snapper Thomas Gafford, offensive tackle Bryce Harris, tight end Nic Jacobs, tight end Jake Stoneburner, guard/center Mike Liedtke, cornerback Sterling Moore, cornerback Darrin Walls, cornerback B.W. Webb, and wide receiver Nate Washington also auditioned for the Saints. Liedtke’s visit “went well” and “there’s a good chance something may happen soon,” according to agent Brett Tessler (Twitter link).

Randle, 25, joined the Eagles this offseason after averaging 56 receptions, 782 yards, and six touchdowns over the past three seasons with the Giants. However, he was cut loose before the 75-man deadline. Randle is known to be a talented receiver but there were serious questions about his work ethic while he was in East Rutherford.

Caldwell, 31, appeared in 14 games for the Broncos last season, catching 10 passes (22 targets) for 72 yards. While he wasn’t one of the primary targets in Denver, he did also have two touchdowns on the year. In the spring he signed on with Detroit and before he was cut by the Lions in August, it was said that he suffered a “season-ending” hand injury. It seems that Caldwell’s injury might not be as bad as once feared.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Trim Roster To 53

The Lions have released offensive lineman Brandon Thomas, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. Thomas came to Detroit in the Jeremy Kerley trade earlier this weekBrandon Thomas (vertical)

Thomas, a former third-round pick, has never taken a snap in the NFL. He missed his entire rookie season in 2014 while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in college, and didn’t appear in a game during his sophomore campaign. Thomas wasn’t need in the Bay Area given that Anthony Davis has come out of retirement and shifted to guard and he apparently wasn’t wanted in Detroit either.

Thomas obviously wasn’t the Lions’ only victim of cut day. Cuts include:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Hill, Anger, Washington, Wheeler

Let’s round up several of the latest details on contracts that have been agreed upon or signed within the last week or two….

  • Josh Hill, TE (Saints): Matched Bears’ offer sheet. Three years, $7.051MM. $2.5MM signing bonus. No-trade clause for 2016 and 2017. $100K annual Pro Bowl incentive. $200K in per-game roster bonuses for 2017 and 2018. $750K escalator for 2018 for receptions and yards (link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).
  • Bryan Anger, P (Buccaneers): One year, $1.75MM. $750K roster bonus (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Jeremy Kerley, WR (Lions): One-year, $760K base salary. $50K signing bonus. $40K workout bonus. $300K possible through incentives (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).
  • Darrin Walls, CB (Lions): One-year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus guaranteed. Rest of deal non-guaranteed (Twitter link via Birkett).
  • Nate Washington, WR (Patriots): One year, minimum salary benefit. $478K split salary. $60K signing bonus. $20K workout bonus (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe).
  • Philip Wheeler, LB (Falcons): One year, minimum salary benefit (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com).

Lions Sign CB Darrin Walls

The Lions have signed former Jets cornerback Darrin Walls to a contract, the team announced today on its website. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but a minimum-salary pact seems likely.

Walls, 27, made his NFL debut for the Falcons in 2011, but has spent most of his five-year career with the Jets, appearing in 49 games for New York since 2012. The Notre Dame alum was a starter in 2014, recording 40 tackles on the year to go along with 11 passes defended and a pair of interceptions.

However, after the Jets splurged on cornerbacks like Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine in free agency a year ago, Walls returned a backup and special teams role. In 2015, he saw just 120 defensive snaps and didn’t start a game for Gang Green.

In Detroit, Walls will join a group of cornerbacks that includes Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, and Quandre Diggs, among others. With Rashean Mathis having announced his retirement and Josh Wilson eligible for free agency, the Lions had been in the market for some depth at the position.

East Notes: Carr, Brady, Blount, Jets

Brandon Carr will miss time after breaking a bone in his right hand during practice, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. The highly paid Cowboys cornerback will have surgery Monday in Dallas.

Although Jason Garrett didn’t want to speculate on a timetable, Moore doesn’t anticipate the ailment will keep him out out of Week 1.

We don’t think it’s serious. It’s a similar injury to what DeMarco Murray had last year when he played in the game, four or five days later,” Garrett told media from Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, Calif.

Murray did not miss any games when he broke his hand last December, though the Cowboys were gunning for an NFC East title as the running back aimed toward a rushing crown. So Carr’s recovery probably won’t be as expedited.

Here are some more notes from the Eastern divisions.

  • LeGarrette Blount sustained an MCL sprain and will undergo surgery, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe. Since Blount’s regular season doesn’t start until Week 2 due to a suspension, the Patriots‘ top rusher is expected to be ready for his mid-September debut.
  • With the Patriots juggling their starting backfield frequently, Blount’s injury does open up time for its younger, slimmer ball-carriers. The returning starter still has the leg up in the competition, but after failing a conditioning test due to showing up for camp out of shape and now suffering an injury, Blount could be challenged for the spot, Ben Volin of the Globe writes. The player Blount replaced last year due to an alarm clock-related absence, Jonas Gray, could push Blount while he’s out, per Volin. James White remains the favorite to take on the Shane Vereen passing-down role, but free agent acquisition Travaris Cadet has outshined each of the backs in camp, Volin writes.
  • Volin also notes that Article 46, the now-controversial inclusion that continued to grant the commissioner disciplinary powers, now on full display in Deflategate, will replace player safety as the primary debate point in the next CBA negotiations in 2021.
  • With Antonio Allen now jettisoned after his Achilles’ tendon injury, the Jets are going to give cornerback Darrin Walls some work at safety, reports Dom Cosentino of NJ.com. Supplanted at corner by Gang Green’s splurge at the position this offseason, Walls join Jaiquawn Jarrett and Rontez Miles as back-line backups to gain some reps in case of another blow to the Jets’ secondary.

Jets Notes: Ryan, Berry, Walls

While the Giants enjoy their three game win streak, things are decidedly less cheery for the Meadowlands’ other team. Here’s the latest on Gang Green..

  • Jets coach Rex Ryan says he expects to get fired if he can’t turn his team’s season around, writes ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. “You’re right, if that’s the case and we don’t get this thing on the right track, I don’t think for a minute I’ll be here,” Ryan said on ESPN New York. “I know I won’t, but I believe this team will right itself and we’ll find a way.” The Jets have a 1-4 record as they get set to take on the Broncos and Patriots.
  • Gang Green worked out an old friend in cornerback Aaron Berry, Cimini tweets. That could be a sign that Darrin Walls‘ knee is in worse shape than previously believed.
  • The Jets, who are in desperate need of help in their secondary, worked out three defensive backs, according to Cimini (via Twitter). Malcolm Bronson, Jordan Sullen, and Rod Sweeting were all brought in for auditions. Meanwhile, linebacker Mario Harvey visited with the team.

Contract Details: Weatherford, Snee, Shields

Giants punter Steve Weatherford accepted a pay cut to reduce his $2.025MM base salary for 2014, and Tom Pelissero of USA Today says (via Twitter) it was a $950K cut. However, Weatherford can make some of that money back, as he now has $350K available through incentives, rather than an initial $50K. Here are a few more details on contracts recently signed or restructured around the league:

  • Weatherford’s new deal includes $1.1MM in compensation for 2014 with $150K in new guarantees, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSports.com. His cap number is $1.9MM.
  • Chris Snee’s restructured deal with the Giants isn’t quite what was initially reported, according to Pelissero, who says the new contract features a $2MM base, $500K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $50K roster bonus (Twitter link).
  • Pelissero has the specifics on Sam Shields’ four-year deal with the Packers, which includes a $2.5MM roster bonus next March (Twitter links).
  • Darrin Walls avoided restricted free agency by re-signing with the Jets last week, and his two-year deal is worth $1.9MM, including a $350K roster bonus, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The new two-year deal for Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan includes a $400K signing bonus, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

Contract Updates: Jets, Bills, Ratliff, Titans

Restricted free agent cornerback Darrin Walls agreed to a new deal with the Jets last night, and agent Jordan Woy tweets that it’s a two-year contract. Ellis Lankster, who also agreed on a new deal with the Jets, will be on a two-year, $1.63MM contract, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Lankster’s pact appears to be worth slightly more than the minimum.

With free agency looming and several players having already signed new contracts or reworked old ones, we have plenty more contract and cap updates to pass along, so let’s dive right in….

  • The Bills extended contract tenders to all four of their exclusive rights free agents, and cornerback Brandon Smith has accepted his, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR550 (Twitter links). With Smith set to return to the team on a one-year, minimum-salary deal, offensive guard Antoine McClain, fullback Frank Summers, and wide receiver Chris Hogan will also be back in Buffalo if and when they sign their tenders.
  • Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has the details on Jeremiah Ratliff‘s new two-year contract with the Bears. It’s worth a total of $4MM, with $600K guaranteed.
  • The cap figures on Troy Polamalu‘s new three-year contract with the Steelers are $6.387MM (2014), $8.25MM (2015), and $8MM (2016), with respective base salaries of $1.5MM, $6MM, and $5.75MM, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • The Browns have extended a contract tender to inside linebacker Craig Robertson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Robertson, who was an exclusive rights free agent, will be in line for a minimum salary of $570K for 2014.
  • New one-year deals for running backs Jackie Battle (Titans) and Bobby Rainey (Bucs) are both worth the minimum, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean and Tom Pelissero of USA Today, respectively (Twitter links). Battle’s minimum salary ($855K) is a little more substantial than Rainey’s ($570K) due to his extra years of service time.
  • Wyatt also shares (via Twitter) a few more specifics on Bernard Pollard‘s two-year deal with the Titans, which has base salaries of $1.65MM in 2014 and $3.1MM in 2015.

AFC Notes: Johnson, Amendola, Lankster, Nwaneri

Titans running back Chris Johnson took to Twitter to provide an update on his contract situation. According to Johnson, his agent met with the Titans yesterday, but talks remain at a standstill as the running back continues to play the waiting game. Tennessee is believed to have interest in retaining Johnson, but not at his current $10MM cap figure. Here are a few more AFC notes:

  • The Patriots can’t designate Danny Amendola as a post-June 1 cut in 2014, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network (Twitter links). The Pats have to carry the wide receiver on the roster into the ’14 league year to make him a June 1 cut and if they do that, his ’14 base is guaranteed.
  • The Jets announced that they have agreed to deals with reserve cornerbacks Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls. Lankster, 26, has seen time in 30 combined games for Gang Green over the last two years.
  • In an interesting piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Seifert outlines why many members of this year’s free agent class – including Broncos standout Eric Decker – may be better off re-signing with their current teams before next week.
  • Two or three teams are already in on former Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. The Jags released their longtime starting guard yesterday to create $3.706MM in cap savings for the team. Nwaneri ranked 34th among 81 qualified guards in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, and had an overall grade of +18.0 over the last five seasons.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.