Duron Carter

AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans

On the heels of a disastrous 2015 season, Mike Wells of ESPN.com isn’t so sure that Colts general manager Ryan Grigson will be his usual aggressive self when it comes to signing veteran free agents this winter. As Wells observes, Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, and Todd Herremans were among last year’s additions who didn’t live up to expectations for Indianapolis in ’15.

Let’s round up a few more items from out of the AFC South…

  • Based on a comment made today by Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it sounds like Atlanta kept defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel from the Jaguars. Jacksonville interviewed Manuel for their defensive coordinator position and if the team had been prepared to offer him that job, I find it hard to believe the Falcons would have stood in his way — if the Jags wanted to hire him in a lesser role though, it makes sense that Atlanta would have pushed to hang onto him.
  • Armed with a ton of cap space this winter, the Jaguars should enter the free agent period ready to spend on players to complement their young core, with the goal of competing right away, writes Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap. Fitzgerald points to the offensive line and the secondary as a couple key areas for Jacksonville to focus on as the team considers possible upgrades.
  • The Titans formally announced their latest coaching staff hires today, confirming the previously-reported addition of Russ Grimm as the club’s new offensive line coach. In addition to Grimm, Tennessee hired Deshea Townsend as its secondary coach and Steve Jackson as an assistant secondary coach.
  • After spending the 2015 campaign on the Colts‘ practice squad, wide receiver Duron Carter is officially headed back to the CFL for 2016, the Montreal Alouettes announced today in a press release.

Extra Points: Bills, Thomas, Carter

Some assorted notes from around the NFL (and one tidbit from the CFL)…

  • The Bills hiring of Kathryn Smith wasn’t made to steal headlines. As Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes, the team added Smith because they believed she’d help improve the squad. “I hired Kathryn because I believe she’s going to do a tremendous job,” said coach Rex Ryan. “The reason that I think she’s going to do a tremendous job is it starts with everything else. Just like with any profession, you’ve got to have a work ethic, you’ve got to have a passion for it…And I just like the way she is. She’s really all about the team – how she can help and all that. Regardless of the job we’ve asked her to do, she’s done a tremendous job in that and exceeded, I think, what we thought she would do.”
  • Before Ryan hired Ed Reed as the Bills assistant defensive backs coach, the head coach had brought the future Hall of Famer to the Jets. Ryan noticed the way Reed interacted with the younger players, an indication that the safety would make an excellent coach. “And from Day One he walked in, he was trying to make players better,” Ryan told Carucci. “And they knew it and they followed him. I mean, it was the Pied Piper. They just followed him. He took them to film after (practice). His thing was about the preparation after you leave the practice field. We played a lot better. He did a tremendous job.”
  • If Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas wants a trade, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer believes the organization should grant his request. However, the writer notes that the team could use the nine-time Pro Bowler, so they should do everything in their power to convince him to stay.
  • If Duron Carter decides to return to the Canadien Football League, he’ll sign a deal to remain with the Alouettes, reports Gary Lawless of TSN (via Twitter). Carter, the son of Hall of Famer Cris, briefly spent time on the Colts practice squad this season.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC 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 for the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, and Titans are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am 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 AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Claimed off waivers:
  • Cut:
  • Signed to practice squad (via press release)

    • OLB Daniel Adongo
    • G David Arkin
    • WR Quan Bray
    • WR Duron Carter
    • T Ulrick John
    • S Dewey McDonald
    • ILB Josh McNary
    • CB Eric Patterson
    • DT Jeris Pendleton
    • TE Erik Swoope

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed to practice squad (via press release):

    • DL Richard Ash
    • TE Ben Koyack
    • S Craig Loston
    • OL Chris Reed
    • WR Neal Sterling
    • LB Todd Thomas
    • DB Peyton Thompson
    • WR Tony Washington

Tennessee Titans

  • Claimed off waivers:
  • Acquired via trade:
    • RB Terrance West, from Browns (link)
  • Cut:
    • TE Chase Coffman (link)
    • LB Jonathan Massaquoi (link)
    • LB Justin Staples (link)
  • Signed to practice squad (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt):

    • S Josh Aubrey
    • RB David Fluellen
    • G Josue Matias
    • WR Tre McBride
    • G Will Poehls
    • WR Rico Richardson
    • TE Tevin Westbrook

AFC Notes: D. Carter, Browns, Sanders

Although today may not spark the same frenzy of activity and excitement that have come to signify the first day of free agency, it is still a critical date on the NFL calendar. The claiming period for players waived during final roster cuts ends at 11:00am central time today. After that, teams may establish a practice squad of 10 players. After 3:00pm central time, teams are permitted to place one player on the injured reserve list with the designation to return.

As we wait for all of today’s transactions to trickle (or flood) in, let’s take a quick swing around the AFC:

  • Duron Carter, who set the CFL afire in 2014 and became the subject of many late winter rumors, was waived by the Colts during final roster cuts yesterday. However, Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star says the team would like to sign the promising wideout to its practice squad if he clears waivers. But given the intense amount of interest in Carter just a few months ago, the chances that he goes unclaimed seem fairly slim.
  • Although Browns head coach Mike Pettine said his team won’t make a great number of moves today, Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon Journal says one position Cleveland will certainly be looking to bolster is the offensive line. The Browns have only six offensive lineman on their 53-man roster at the moment.
  • Emmanuel Sanders will serve as the Broncos‘ primary punt returner this season, writes Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. Head coach Gary Kubiak wants to get his explosive wideout, who had one punt return for 11 yards last season, as many touches as possible. Sanders returned 16 punts for a 10.9-yard average from 2010-12 as a member of the Steelers.
  • Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will be ready for next week’s season owner, per Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle. Head coach Bill O’Brien, though, would not comment as to whether Clowney would start or how many snaps he would see.

Colts Cut Duron Carter, Finalize Roster

The Colts have reached the mandated 53-man roster today, making a handful of interesting moves along the way. One notable bubble player, running back Vick Ballard, remains on the roster, but plenty of other notable players have been let go, including wide receiver Duron Carter.

Here’s the full list of transactions out of Indianapolis, per a team release:


  • G David Arkin
  • WR Vincent Brown


  • OLB Daniel Adongo
  • QB Bryan Bennett
  • WR Quan Bray
  • WR Duron Carter
  • CB Chance Casey
  • NT Josh Chapman
  • ILB Carlos Fields
  • DT Montori Hughes
  • T Ulrick John
  • OLB Cam Johnson
  • S Dewey McDonald
  • TE Sean McGrath
  • ILB Henoc Muamba
  • G Kitt O’Brien
  • CB Eric Patterson
  • DT Kelcy Quarles
  • TE Erik Swoope
  • CB Raymon Taylor
  • RB Zurlon Tipton

Placed on injured reserve:

  • DT Arthur Jones
  • ILB Junior Sylvestre

The Colts required 23 roster moves to get from 75 to 53 in order to accommodate one addition — linebacker Sio Moore, who was acquired in a Friday trade with the Raiders.

AFC Notes: Wilfork, Manning, Colts, Texans

At least one recent report has suggested that Vince Wilfork may decide to go out on top and call it a career after the Patriots‘ latest Super Bowl win. However, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, retirement isn’t in Wilfork’s plans, at least for now.

“There’s no way in the world this is my last season,” Wilfork said. “I doubt if this is my last one. I still have a lot of football in me.”

Wilfork certainly seemed to have plenty left in the tank in 2014, as he logged 818 defensive snaps, which was 300+ more than the next-closest Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones (511). But whether or not Wilfork’s career will continue in New England remains to be seen. The defensive lineman’s cap number jumps to nearly $9MM for 2015, and there’s plenty of non-guaranteed money left on the deal, so the Pats will likely attempt to restructure the contract. If the two sides can’t work something out, Wilfork might be a candidate to be released this winter.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Peyton Manning has yet to announce whether or not he’ll return to the Broncos for another season, but recent reports have suggested he’ll likely be back, and teammate Von Miller is confident the veteran signal-caller will stick around, as Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post details.
  • Although wide receiver Duron Carter was the subject of plenty of fan interest and speculation as he visited potential suitors last month, the deal he signed with the Colts is a modest one. Per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), $25K of Carter’s first-year salary is guaranteed, but he didn’t receive a signing bonus. Indianapolis’ other CFL signee, offensive lineman Ben Heenan, actually received more guaranteed money ($35K) than Carter, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Colts announced several changes to their coaching staff today, hiring Jim Hostler as their wide receivers coach for 2015 and moving a handful of assistants into new roles. According to the club, former running backs coach David Walker will be the only assistant not returning.
  • Addressing his team’s quarterback situation, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien suggested that “it will probably be a competition” for the starting job next season, writes Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com. While Ryan Fitzpatrick remains under contract with the club, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett are both eligible for free agency, so Houston could be in the market for a QB next month, or during the draft.

Colts, Duron Carter Agree To Deal

FEBRUARY 2, 5:40pm: The deal is finally official, as the Colts have announced the Carter signing via a press release.

JANUARY 27, 5:20pm: The Colts and Carter have agreed to terms, but official confirmation is not expected to come until February, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).

4:47pm: The Colts are closing in on an agreement with CFL wideout Duron Carter, the son of Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). While he typically wouldn’t be allowed to sign with an NFL team until his contract with the Montreal Alouettes expires on February 10, Carter’s agreement with the team allows for his release if he agrees to terms with an NFL club, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.

Carter, who turns 24 in March, put up 1,030 yards and seven TDs on 75 catches in 2014 for the Alouettes. He has been a hot commodity so far this offseason, having met with – and worked out for – a number of teams over the last few weeks, including the Vikings, Browns, Panthers, Chiefs, and others. While Indianapolis was reported over the weekend to be the frontrunner for the young wideout, Minnesota was also viewed as a strong contender for Carter, particularly given his father’s history with the club.

Off-field issues and baggage plagued Carter earlier in his career, as he bounced between multiple schools, including Ohio State and Alabama, before going undrafted in 2013. Having produced consecutive solid seasons in Montreal, Carter has seen his stock rise, and while his new NFL deal likely won’t pay more than the minimum base salary, he should be in line for one of this year’s biggest signing bonuses among reserve/futures signees.

Assuming Carter does finalize a deal with the Colts, he should every opportunity to earn a spot on the 2015 roster, particularly with the futures of Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks still up in the air — both players are eligible for unrestricted free agency this winter. If neither Wayne nor Nicks return to Indianapolis, Carter would join T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief as part of a young, intriguing receiving corps for signal-caller Andrew Luck.

According to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Carter had effectively made his choice last week, though negotiations were ongoing this week with more than one team. Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities had indicated yesterday that resolution on Carter’s situation was expected to come at some point this week.

NFC Notes: Glennon, Rams, Eagles, Fewell

Assuming the Buccaneers intend to draft a quarterback in April with the first overall pick, that should make Mike Glennon expendable, and this spring could be an ideal time to move him in a trade, writes Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. As Cummings points out, the free agent market for QBs is weak, and there are few viable rookie options besides Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. For teams looking to add a potential starting quarterback, Glennon may actually be one of the best options available, and should only cost a mid-round pick.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Former Buffalo offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has a second interview lined up with the Rams for their offensive coordinator position this week, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Per La Canfora, the Bills would like to bring back Hackett, who is also drawing interest from Washington and the Jaguars as a potential quarterbacks coach.
  • In addition to considering Chris Polian for their front office opening, the Eagles have Dolphins scout Chris Grier and internal candidate Ed Marynowitz at or near the top of their list of targets, reports Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. One source tells Mosher that he believes Grier is coming in to interview for a second time with Chip Kelly.
  • Ex-Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has an offer from the 49ers to become their defensive backs coach, says John Keim of ESPN.com (via Twitter). However, before he makes a decision on that offer, Fewell is speaking to Washington about a similar role on Jay Gruden‘s staff, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.
  • CFL receiver Duron Carter is expected to make a decision on his NFL team this week, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities, who tweets that the Vikings and a couple other teams remain well-positioned — one of those other suitors is certainly the Colts, who were reported on the weekend to be the frontrunners. Carter can’t officially sign an NFL contract until February 10 unless the Montreal Alouettes release him from his CFL deal.
  • Speaking to reporters in Arizona, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said it was “very tough” to pass up a free agent offer last year from the Bears, who offered him “way more money.” Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times has the quotes and the details.
  • Locking up linebacker Lavonte David to a long-term deal, perhaps in the neighborhood of $7MM annually, should be a priority for the Buccaneers this season, writes Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

Colts Favorites To Land Duron Carter

The Colts “appear to have the edge” in landing highly-coveted CFL star Duron Carter, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. PFR”s Luke Adams pointed out on Friday that Carter was down to two finalists and posited that the Browns had fallen out of contention. Holder confirms that speculation, writing that the Vikings are the “other team to watch” in the Carter sweepstakes but making no mention of Cleveland whatsoever.

Carter’s story has been well-documented, and Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report published a detailed piece several days ago describing Carter’s fall from burgeoning star at Ohio State to a player that no NFL club wanted even as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Since then, however, Carter has resurrected his career after excelling with the Montreal Alouettes in back-to-back seasons, displaying the type of athleticism and natural ability that can make an NFL executive’s mouth water.

Since the end of the CFL season, Carter has been auditioning for a number of NFL clubs, finally concluding his workouts last week. It was not long ago that the Vikings were considered the favorite to sign Carter, but it was later revealed that Minnesota was not the top bidder for Carter’s services, and now Indianapolis appears to have taken the lead. The Colts, of course, have been in the mix all along, and we learned back in November that the imminent departure of Reggie Wayne, combined with GM Ryan Grigson‘s willingness to take chances, Grigson’s connections with the CFL, and Indianapolis’ history of gambling on players with “baggage” suggested that Carter may soon be playing his home games in Lucas Oil Stadium.

One thing that has rarely been discussed in the myriad articles discussing where Carter might land and what he might bring to the table is the type of deal he might command. As Holder points out, financial details will of course play a role in Carter’s decision, but it is unclear what those details might be. Holder does note that Carter, who amassed 1,939 receiving yards during his two years in Montreal, does have personal relationships with current Colts Jonathan Newsome and Trent Richardson, but Minnesota also holds the attraction of being the place where Carter’s father, Cris, resurrected his own career and became a Hall-0f-Famer.

Per a CFL-NFL agreement, Carter cannot sign with an NFL club until February 10, but when he is eligible to sign, the smart money appears to be on the Colts.

Browns Notes: Manziel, Hoyer, Carter

Addressing the Browns’ decision to release offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan from his contract, head coach Mike Pettine suggested that Shanahan wanted to move on, and the team didn’t want the situation to drag out.

“It’s just very hard to win in the NFL (even) when everybody’s into it and they truly want to be there,” Pettine said. “And again if you have somebody that just doesn’t want to be there, I know it’s easy to say, ‘Hey he’s under contract, hold him to it,’ (but then) there’s a dark cloud over your coaching offices and I’ve been a part of that.”

According to Pettine, there was some discussion about trying to get compensation for Shanahan, who had two years left on his contract, but the head coach didn’t want to “get into that legal stuff.”

Here’s more on the Browns:

  • Initial reports suggested that Shanahan may have had an issue with the team’s commitment to Johnny Manziel, but Pettine dismissed the notion that the former OC wanted out because of Cleveland’s quarterback situation: “I think a lot of people are just putting that out there as a possible reason where he looked at it and said, ‘Hey, the QB situation’s not great and this is one of the reasons I want to get out of here.’ I won’t get into details, but in his reasoning to me that was not a part of it.”
  • While Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has often been cited as a catalyst for the Manziel pick, Haslam didn’t exactly rave about the young quarterback this week, suggesting that selecting a QB in the first round of this year’s draft is on the table. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal has the details and quotes.
  • Jeremy Fowler and Pat McManamon of ESPN.com spoke to nearly 20 Browns sources to try to determine what went wrong during Manziel’s first NFL season, and found a handful of worrisome patterns both on and off the field.
  • The Browns’ chief contract negotiator, Sashi Brown, reached out to Brian Hoyer‘s agent Joe Linta a week ago to re-open communications between the two sides, according to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. Grossi writes that while it may have seemed at one point like a foregone conclusion that Hoyer would be moving on, “that tide is turning” and the veteran could re-sign.
  • Hoyer is scheduled to sit down with Pettine, GM Ray Farmer, and new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the next week or two, and what he hears in those meetings may determine whether or not he instructs Linta to pursue a possible extension with the club. Linta on his client: “Brian would love to stay — if the situation were good for all parties. He’s looking forward to meeting those guys over the next couple of weeks.”
  • CFL receiver Duron Carter, who was previously said to be in talks with the Browns, Colts, and Vikings, is now down to two finalists, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s not clear which clubs are the finalists, but the Colts and Vikings have been cited as frontrunners throughout the process, so it’s possible Cleveland is no longer in the mix — that’s just my speculation though.