Derek Dennis

Workout Notes: Eagles, Seahawks, Bears

Tuesday is typically the big day for player auditions, but plenty of workouts went down on Monday as well. Here’s the rundown, with all links going to’s Adam Caplan on Twitter, unless noted otherwise:

  • The Chiefs worked out a number of notable veteran linebackers on Monday.
  • Guard Dallas Thomas worked out for the Eagles (link). Thomas, a third-round pick by Miami in 2013, started 26 games during his four-year career with Miami. He was cut earlier this year and has been unable to find work despite auditions with Detroit, Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Chicago.
  • The Seahawks worked out linebackers Ron Thompson and Junior Sylvestre (link). Sylvestre was in camp with the Colts the past two years and was on IR last year.
  • The Raiders worked out quarterback Keith Wenning, wide receiver Rodney Smith, and linebacker Beniquez Brown (link).
  • The Bears worked out fullback Malcolm Johnson (link). He was drafted in the sixth-round of the 2015 draft by Cleveland.
  • The Bears also auditioned six other players, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Of those six, five of them were wide receivers and five of them played this past season in the CFL. The group was headlined by Derel Walker, the CFL’s most outstanding rookie in 2015 and a two-time All-Star. The 25-year-old finished second in the CFL this season with 1,589 yards. The group also included CFL standout wide receivers like Greg Ellingson, Kenny Shaw, and Diontae Spencer. Guard Derek Dennis, who spent this past season with the Calgary Stampeders, showed his stuff, as well as indoor league receiver Orlandus Harris. As Biggs notes, the Bears haven’t had a lot of success with CFL imports in recent years.

West Notes: Foles, Gates, Chargers, Chiefs

At this point, Jason La Canfora of (Twitter links) is much more bullish on Bobby Wagner reaching a new deal with the Seahawks than Russell Wilson doing the same. The linebacker is seeking a deal in the range of $10MM per season and Seattle’s evaluation of him likely isn’t far off from that. Wagner, who will turn 25 near the end of this month,graded out as fifth out of 60 qualified inside linebackers according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Earlier this month, the two sides began talks on a new deal. Here’s more from the AFC and NFC West..

  • Rams coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged that the club has engaged in contract discussions with quarterback Nick Foles, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today Sports (on Twitter). Earlier today, Nick Wagoner of reported that the quarterback loves being in St. Louis, but he’ll let agent David Dunn handle negotiations. The Rams are also talking to a few other potential 2016 free agents about new contracts, so it doesn’t sound like they’re focused exclusively on Foles.
  • Antonio Gates, the Chargers‘ all-time leader in catches, receiving yardage, and touchdowns, isn’t thinking about retirement after this season, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes. “As you get older, people say things,” Gates said. “They make speculations about where you’re going, about how much you have in the tank. To me, it’s all about how I feel as a person, how my body feels physically and mentally. As of right now, I feel great physically. I’m in a great place mentally. So, we’ll see how it goes. I have no expectations for how long I’ll play or if this is my last year. Right now, my main focus is just being around the guys … and working to bring a championship here to San Diego.”
  • Kealoha Pilares (WR, Hawaii), Kenneth Penny (CB, UNLV), and Derek Dennis (G, Temple) were at Kansas City’s minicamp today to try out for the Chiefs, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Teams around the NFL have been busy today, making minor roster additions and subtractions as they continue to survey the remaining free agent landscape and prepare for this month’s draft. Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from across the league:

  • According to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have signed defensive end Efe Obada, who played last year with the London Warriors in England.
  • Meanwhile, a former Cowboys defender, Caesar Rayford, announced today on Facebook that he has signed a new contract with the Vikings.
  • The Jets have re-signed backup tackle Ben Ijalana, the team announced today in a press release. During his two seasons in New York, Ijalana has been inactive on game days more often than not.

Earlier updates:

  • Seahawks fullback and defensive lineman Will Tukuafu posted an Instagram photo today that showed him signing a new contract with the Seahawks, and the NFL’s official transactions wire confirms the deal, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Per Condotta (via Twitter), Seattle’s new deal with defensive lineman Jesse Williams, who was cut earlier in the offseason for procedural reasons, also showed up on the transactions wire.
  • Cornerback and special-teamer Sherrick McManis has returned to the Bears on a one-year deal, according to the club (Twitter link). Although he played just 46 defensive snaps for Chicago in 2014, McManis was a key contributor on kick and punt coverage, recording 11 special teams tackles.
  • The Steelers have re-signed defensive lineman Clifton Geathers to a one-year contract, the team announced today in a press release. Geathers, 27, joined the Steelers in December of last year after the club placed Brett Keisel on injured reserve, but didn’t see any game action.
  • Agent Mike McCartney published a tweet this afternoon congratulating his client Mike Kafka on the quarterback’s new deal with the Vikings. A participant in last month’s veterans combine, Kafka spent time in 2014 on the Buccaneers’ practice squad and active roster.
  • Running back Dan “Boom” Herron has officially signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Colts, ensuring that he’ll be back with the team in 2015. The move was a formality, since Herron couldn’t negotiate with other clubs.
  • The Panthers have waived guard Derek Dennis and linebacker Horace Miller, two players who signed futures contracts with the team at season’s end, the club announced today (via Twitter).

Panthers Sign Nine To Futures Contracts

With their season now officially over, the Panthers have begun to take care of 2015 business by signing the majority of their practice squad to reserve/futures contracts. Per a team release, nine of the 10 players that finished the season on Carolina’s taxi squad have now been locked up to new deals. And according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter), wide receiver Stephen Hill, the one player who hasn’t signed, is expected to do so tomorrow.

Here’s the list of players the Panthers signed today:

The Panthers previously signed guard Tyronne Green and tight end Mike McNeill to reserve/futures deals.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

We’ll track many of Wednesday’s practice squad updates right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Browns signed offensive lineman Ryan Seymour to the practice squad and released fellow offensive lineman James Brown from the practice squad to make room, according to Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal (on Twitter).
  • The Eagles have filled the final opening on their practice squad by signing wideout Cobi Hamilton, the team announced today (Twitter link). Hamilton was selected by the Bengals in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, but was cut by the team before this season.
  • Cornerback Onterio McCalebb and tight end Ryan Otten have joined the Bengals‘ practice squad, filling out the final two spots on the unit, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • The Panthers have brought back offensive lineman Derek Dennis for their practice squad, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Dennis was a roster casualty when Carolina trimmed its roster down to 53 players at the end of the preseason.

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: