Dominique Franks

Audition Notes: Tuesday

Wide receiver Luke Tasker, the son former Bills receiver Steve Tasker, worked out for the Packers, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). The younger Tasker, also a wide receiver, currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. We’ll keep track of today’s workouts and visits here..

AFC East Notes: Ryan, Tannehill, Goodwin

Rex Ryan‘s days are numbered as the head coach of the Jets and Ian O’Connor of wants to give him some advice on what to do next. Rather than go for a defensive coordinator’s job, he suggests that Ryan should go to TV and present himself as someone who can talk authoritatively about offense. And, when those head coaching offers come rolling in, O’Connor says that he should wait for a team with an established winning quarterback. More from the AFC East..

  • The Dolphins have to decide on Ryan Tannehill‘s fifth-year option this spring and it won’t be an easy call, writes Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. Miami can skirt the hefty $15MM cap hit with a long-term deal, but they have to figure out first if he deserves one. Statistically, in 2014, he has graded out as a top-15 quarterback and coach Joe Philbin has been full of praise for the young signal caller.
  • Mike Rodak of wonders what’s next for Marquise Goodwin after the Bills claimed Marcus Thigpen, a return specialist, off waivers. Goodwin has struggled to emerge with the team since being drafted in the third round last season. On Monday night against the Jets, Goodwin was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.
  • The Dolphins worked out cornerbacks Dominique Franks and Marc Anthony and linebacker Jake Knott, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter).
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson needs to replace John Idzik with a competent GM, opines Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta outlines some of Idzik’s biggest gaffes and says that the team needs to address its issues at quarterback, cornerback, wide receiver, outside linebacker, and on the offensive line.

Workout Notes: 49ers, Bills, Saints, Eagles

As usual, NFL teams are keeping a close eye on the free agent market, bringing in players for visits and tryouts as they prepare contingency plans in the event that they need to replace injured players or add depth. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has the details on several of the latest workouts and auditions from around the league, so let’s round up the highlights (all links go to Twitter)….

Ravens Waive Franks, Claim Danny Gorrer

4:47pm: The Ravens have claimed cornerback Danny Gorrer off waivers from the Lions to replace Franks, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

4:45pm: The Ravens continue to shake up a secondary that allowed six passing touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers on Sunday night. After announcing earlier today that they’ve cut cornerback Chykie Brown, the Ravens have now parted ways with a second veteran cornerback, Dominique Franks, per a team release.

Franks, who turned 27 last month, spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Falcons, contributing on defense, in kick and punt coverage, and occasionally returning punts as well. In four games with the Ravens this year, Franks logged 203 defensive snaps, and performed reasonably well until Sunday night, when he was scorched by Roethlisberger along with the rest of the Baltimore secondary.

The move leaves the Ravens with an open spot on their 53-man roster. That opening figures to be filled by a cornerback, since, as Jamison Hensley of observes (via Twitter), Lardarius Webb is now the one healthy corner with NFL experience on the roster.

AFC North Notes: Smith, Brown, Allen, Browns

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot sprain) will be out “at least a few weeks,” writes the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, who points to Nov. 24 against the Saints or the following week against the Chargers as possible return dates for Smith. When asked about adding a free-agent cornerback, head coach John Harbaugh said, “We don’t have to. If we can find the right guy, we’ll do that. They are scarce.” Instead, for now, the Ravens will turn to Dominique Franks to replace Smith. The team also has Chykie Brown, who has been inactive the last two games.

In other AFC North news…

  • Despite the Ravens stating publicly they don’t intend to go outside the current roster for cornerback help, Wilson tweets the team inquired about Tony Carter of the Broncos prior to the trade deadline.
  • The Steelers are another AFC North team with cornerback issues because Cortez Allen, who signed a five-year, $25MM deal before the season, has not only lost his starting job, but is in danger of being inactive, writes Ray Fittipaldo in the Post-Gazette. Head coach Mike Tomlin insists he remains confident in Allen’s abilities, but says the cornerback is leaving too many plays on the field: “[Allen] has to finish opportunities that he’s not getting done. Oftentimes, he is in position because he does a great job getting in position, but position is just an element of it. You have to finish.”
  • Fittipaldo also notes the Steelers expect to have right tackle Marcus Gilbert back in the starting lineup. He sat out last week with a concussion.
  • Steelers receiver Antonio Brown leads the NFL in receptions and targets, ranks second in receiving yards, is fourth in receiving touchdowns and paces all receivers with a 13.1 grade from Pro Football Focus. In Brown’s case, the stats don’t lie, says Tomlin, who boasted (via the team’s website) that the fifth-year playmaker is performing at an elite level. “He’s one of the best in the world at what he does,” said Tomlin at his weekly news conference. “(Antonio) is physically and mentally on top of his game, and when you have somebody who’s playing like that, you step into a stadium and he’s a known issue but still he performs. We say similar things about guys like J.J. Watt. We knew what he was capable of when we were getting ready to play the Houston Texans, but it still doesn’t stop the storm from coming. Antonio is playing at that type of a level from a wide receiver standpoint, a J.J. Watt discussion kind of a level.”
  • The Browns rank last in the NFL in punt returns, which prompted ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi to wonder if Josh Cribbs might get a phone call. However, head coach Mike Pettine quashed any speculation by saying, “Josh’s name hasn’t come up.”

Ravens Re-Sign Dominique Franks

WEDNESDAY, 9:25am: The Ravens have formally confirmed in a press release that they’ve re-signed Franks and placed Jackson on IR with the designation to return.

TUESDAY, 1:30pm: In search of cornerback depth, the Ravens will re-sign veteran free agent Dominique Franks, a league source tells Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Franks was signed this summer by Baltimore, but was let go in the preseason when clubs cut their rosters down to 53 players from 75.

The Ravens had been on the lookout for help in the secondary after Asa Jackson suffered a foot injury on Sunday. Jackson is expected to formally be placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return this week, meaning the team wouldn’t have to cut a player to make room for Franks on the 53-man roster.

Franks, who turns 27 tomorrow, spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Falcons, contributing on defense, in kick and punt coverage, and occasionally returning punts as well. I wouldn’t expect him to see significant action in Baltimore, but he’ll provide insurance at corner in the event of further injuries to the team’s regulars.

NFC North Notes: Peterson, Bears, Lions

It was a good weekend for the Packers, who blew out the Vikings last Thursday, then got to watch the division-rival Lions and Bears lose their respective games on Sunday. After a sluggish start to the season, the Packers now sit in a tie for first place atop the NFC North, with a chance to extend their winning streak this weekend in Miami. Here are a few Tuesday updates from around the division:

  • Adrian Peterson will be arraigned tomorrow, and a spokesperson for the Vikings running back says he’ll plead not guilty to child abuse, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. That means a trial is likely, and the process could “take a while,” says Cole.
  • Jason La Canfora of also doesn’t expect Peterson’s case to be resolved anytime soon, as he hears from the DA’s office in Montgomery County, Texas that they don’t anticipate a trial date being set tomorrow (Twitter link). Assistant DA Phil Grant has expressed to La Canfora multiple times that it could be at least six months before Peterson’s case goes to trial, which would rule out the possibility of a return to the field in 2014 (Twitter link).
  • We heard earlier today that kick returner Trindon Holliday isn’t drawing any interest from the Panthers, but at least one NFC North team is taking a look at him. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports (via Twitter) that Holliday worked out for the Bears today — Chicago has had trouble finding a consistent and reliable option in the return game so far this season.
  • Wilson also provides another tidbit from out of the NFC North, tweeting that Dominique Franks was scheduled to work out for the Lions before he agreed to re-sign with the Ravens. Detroit is also taking a look at cornerbacks like Ellis Lankster and Curtis Marsh today, as we noted earlier.

South Notes: Titans, Watt, Jags, Bucs

Let’s round up a few Wednesday items from out of the NFL’s two South divisions….

Ravens Cut Derek Cox, Dominique Franks

3:56pm: The Ravens have announced their last few moves, which are as follows:


Placed on reserve-PUP list:

Placed on reserve-suspended list:

1:15pm: The Ravens have waived two more players:

9:37am: After letting go of offensive lineman Reggie Stephens yesterday, the Ravens have cut two more offensive lineman this morning. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports (via Twitter) that lineman A.Q. Shipley has been released while’s Aditi Kinkhabwala tweets that Ryan Jensen has been released. Below is a running list of the team’s moves:

Ravens Notes: Extensions, Ross, Franks, Rice

When the Ravens signed five players to their roster at the end of last week’s minicamp, most of the new additions were veterans, or at least players who have spent some time with an NFL club for a season or two. That’s not the case for Nick DiMarco, an undrafted rookie who was cut by the Jets shortly after being signed by the team in May. The William Penn product has joined the Ravens in search of a regular-season roster spot, and while it may be an uphill battle, he tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun that he intends to do everything he can to impress his coaches.

Here’s more on the Ravens, from Wilson’s Sun colleague, Jeff Zrebiec:

  • While there’s not much going on around the NFL for the next month, it would be a good time for the Ravens to address potential contract extensions for wideout Torrey Smith and defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, says Zrebiec. Smith is entering the final season of his rookie deal, while Ngata has two years left on his pact.
  • After signing veterans Chris Canty and Marcus Spears and using a third-round pick on Brandon Williams in 2013, the Ravens didn’t see much improvement on their defensive line last season, so the team was forced to address the position again this year. However, Zrebiec thinks it could be a much-improved group in 2014, given the promise already being shown by draftees Timmy Jernigan and Brent Urban.
  • Zrebiec views recent signees Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks as insurance policies for Baltimore, and expects the team to give Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson every opportunity to earn the No. 3 cornerback job. Ross and Franks may ultimately end up competing for a single roster spot.
  • Although there’s no timetable for the NFL to make its announcement on a Ray Rice suspension, commissioner Roger Goodell likely won’t want to prolong it, assuming he has all the information he needs. As such, we could get the news on Rice very soon.