Derek Dimke

Jaguars Sign Five, Waive Four

The Jaguars have signed five players who tried out at their rookie camp this past weekend, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link). The team agreed to deals with defensive end Nordly Capi, defensive tackle Richard Ash, returner Kasey Closs, free safety Desmond Cooper, and offensive lineman Jack Rummels.

To make room for their five new additions, the Jags waived tight end Marcel Jensen, safety Jeremy Deering, kicker Derek Dimke, and wide receiver Tommy Streeter, reports ESPN’s Michael DiRocco (via Twitter).

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll keep tabs on Monday’s minor transactions from around the NFL in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Rams have signed to two players to reserve/futures deal, adding tight end Brad Smelley and punter Michael Palardy, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link).
  • The Giants have added a veteran to their offseason roster by singing linebacker Victor Butler to a reserve/futures deal, according to Field Yates of (via Twitter). Butler, 27, played for the Cowboys from 2009-12, but has bounced around in recent years, spending time with the Saints, Cardinals, and Colts in the past two seasons.

Earlier updates:

  • In addition to formally announcing the signing of DeMarcus Van Dyke (noted below), the Vikings also tweeted out word of their signings of defensive end Leon Mackey and defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby.
  • The Jaguars announced three signings today, two of which had been previously reported. The new one is kicker Derek Dimke, who inked a reserve/futures contract with the team, per John Oehser of (via Twitter).
  • Washington also confirmed a handful of signings that had already been reported, and added one more to the list. According to the club (via Twitter), former Abilene Christian wideout Braylon Bell has signed a futures deal.
  • Tight end Dorin Dickerson has signed a reserve/futures contract with the Titans, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. The team removed Dickerson from their IR list back in August with a settlement, but worked him out again in November.
  • The Vikings have signed cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke to a one-year futures contract, a league source tells Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Van Dyke was placed on injured reserve by the Chiefs at the end of the 2014 preseason, and was later released with an injury settlement.
  • The Buccaneers have added three players to their list of reserve/futures signings for 2015, according to Scott Smith of (Twitter link). The most notable player in the trio is safety M.D. Jennings, who spent his first three seasons with the Packers before being signed and cut by the Bears in 2014. Tampa Bay also signed tight end Taylor Sloat and punter Chase Tenpenny, whose agreement was previously reported.
  • Having previously signed nine of their 10 practice squad players to reserve/futures contracts for the 2015 season, the Eagles made it a clean sweep today, announcing that linebacker Brandon Hepburn had inked a deal of his own (Twitter link).

Saints Work Out Three Kickers

The Saints were busy yesterday, waiving wide receiver Joe Morgan and demoting safety Kenny Vaccaro. Their efforts to turn around the season continued today, as the team worked out a trio of kickers: Garrett Hartley (via Adam Schefter), Zach Hocker (via Ramon Antonio Vargas) and Derek Dimke (via Mike Triplett). The team ultimately decided to stick with incumbent Shayne Graham, but Triplett notes that the situation could easily change.

Graham has been solid for the Saints this season, successfully converting 18 of his 20 field goal attempts and 37 of his 38 extra point opportunities. However, the 12-year veteran is not rated favorably by Pro Football Focus’ advanced statistics (subscription required), as he ranks 42nd among 52 candidates. The 37-year-old was a model of consistency during his tenure with the Bengals, but he’s on pace to make 16 appearances for only the second time since 2009.

Hartley, who played for the Saints from 2008-2013, was replaced by Graham late last season. The 28-year-old, who won a Super Bowl as New Orleans’ kicker, converted 22 of his 30 field goal attempts in 2013. Hocker, a seventh-round pick in this past year’s draft, was cut by Washington during the team’s final roster cuts. Dimke, an undrafted free agent in 2012, spent time with the Saints during the preseason.

While Graham has been consistent kicking field goals of less than 50 yards (he’s connected on 64 of 69 chances since 2010), his longer attempts have been more erratic (five of 10 over that same span). Meanwhile, the three other kickers have converted 13 of their 17 attempts since 2010 (including college), perhaps indicating that the organization is seeking someone they could rely on from further out.

AFC Links: Jaguars, Jets, Patriots, Browns

Let’s round up some news from the AFC…

  • The Jaguars worked out a trio of kickers today, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). Jay Feely, Alex Henery, and Derek Dimke all tried out for Jacksonville, which is likely updating its emergency list of kickers as incumbent Josh Scobee deals with a quadriceps injury.
  • Yates also notes that the Jets worked out linebacker Steve Beauharnais, who spent 2013 with the Patriots. Beauharnais, a Rutgers product, had a workout with the Giants on Tuesday.
  • In his latest piece for, Adam Schefter points out that while Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell have eerily similar statistics since both entered the league in 2010, Tate was guaranteed $10.5MM by the Lions over the offseason, while LaFell’s contract with the Patriots guarantees him just $3MM. While the pair’s traditional numbers are comparable, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) strongly favored Tate, grading him as the 18th-best receiver in 2013 — LaFell, meanwhile, was ranked at No. 94 among WRs.
  • Without Josh Gordon in the fold, the Browns’ receiver corps seems to lack not only talent, but size — as Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer writes, the Browns’ average receiver stands 5’11”, 191.4 pounds. But general manager Ray Farmer isn’t second-guessing his decision to not add more WR depth, or to release veterans like Nate Burleson or Anthony Armstrong. “There’s no reason to waver,” Farmer said. “Talent is talent. I think that question everyone wants to know is ‘How come I don’t know him? How come I’ve never heard of that guy?’ I can’t answer that question. I don’t know the answer to it. I know that our scouts do a really good job of hitting the streets and figuring out who’s who on which roster and when we can pick up a guy and who’s out there to make our team better.”

AFC Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jags, Spiller

With Ryan Mallett no longer in the Patriots‘ plans, the Texans were able to acquire Tom Brady‘s former backup last weekend on the cheap, parting ways with just a sixth- or seventh-round pick, depending on how much playing time Mallett sees in Houston. According to Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790 in Houston though, Mallett wasn’t the only signal-caller the Texans explored trading for. Zierlein tweets that Houston also targeted Matt Barkley of the Eagles before landing Mallett.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos‘ contract talks with receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas aren’t dead but they’re not active either, writes Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Demaryius Thomas‘ agent Todd France probably wants to see a resolution to Dez Bryant‘s contract talks before striking a deal. Meanwhile, the Broncos have exchanged proposals with Orange Julius’ agent Frank Bauer but those talks appear to have stalled.
  • The Jaguars worked out kickers Derek Dimke and Alex Henery and even though they liked what they saw, they sent them home now that Josh Scobee is recovering from his groin injury, tweets Adam Schefter of
  • Bills running back C.J. Spiller, who could hit the open market this offseason, is signing on with agent Chad Speck, according to Jason La Canfora of (on Twitter).
  • When Tom Brady and the Patriots part ways, former Pats center and CSNNE analyst Dan Koppen says it will be Bill Belichick‘s call, not Brady’s. “As long as Bill is here, he will make those decisions,” said Koppen. “If Tom is not carrying his weight or he’s in a decline Bill’s going to bring him in the office and have a little speech. “Maybe he gets a hug at the end, but I guarantee it’s going to be, ‘Tom, we’re going to release you. Thanks for coming. We appreciate everything You’ve done, but I’ve got to do what’s best for the football team.'”
  • In his latest piece for, Albert Breer examines the quarterback situations for the Jaguars, Chiefs, Raiders, and Bills, including a look at the rookies in Jacksonville and Oakland, as well as Kansas City’s investment in Alex Smith.
  • People around the league believe that Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has plenty of good football ahead of him, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “Steve’s getting up there in age, but he hasn’t changed his tenacity and physicality,” said former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, an NBC analyst. “He’s still able to impose his will. When you talk about his style of play, pairing up with the Baltimore Ravens, the two go hand in hand. He brings that toughness to the offense they haven’t had since Anquan Boldin was playing for them.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Saints Cut Shayne Graham, Others

5:30pm: The Saints have been busy this afternoon, notably letting go of veterans Champ Bailey and Robert Meachem. The team officially announced their moves via a press release, and the team’s transactions that were not previously reported are below:


  • Matt Armstrong, C
  • Todd Davis, ILB
  • Derek Dimke, K
  • Nic Jacobs, TE
  • Tavon Rooks, OT
  • Pierre Warren, S


2:00pm: The Saints began the process of cutting their roster down to 53 players yesterday when they released fullback Greg Jones, and the team has made plenty more moves today. Here’s the list of players no longer on New Orleans’ active roster:

Saints Notes: Roster Moves, Goodwin, Griffin

There are a few Saints-related items to pass along this evening:

Roster Moves

  • The team has released LB Victor Butler, tweets Kristian Garic of WWL 870am., thereby saving $1.5MM in cap space. Mike Triplett of was trying to confirm the release as of the time of this post.
  • The Saints have informed OL Manase Foketi that he will be waived, tweets Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune.

Other notes

  • Woodbery writes that the team’s kicking competition between Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke has not been decided, and head coach Sean Payton said that the battle will go down to the wire.
  • In a separate piece, Woodbery breaks down how the new practice squad rules affect different members of the Saints’ roster.
  • Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune believes the Saints’ center battle is over and that Jonathan Goodwin has earned the starting job over Tim Lelito.
  • In the same piece, Holder writes that it is “increasingly evident” that the Saints will open the season with three quarterbacks. Even though Ryan Griffin has outperformed Luke McCown, the team does not appear ready to part with McCown, who has worked with the first-team offense in every preseason game thus far. Payton said that Griffin will see “plenty of action” in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Ravens.