Israel Idonije

NFC West Notes: Harbaugh, Cards, Seahawks

Within his latest 10-Point Stance column for Bleacher Report, Mike Freeman includes an item on 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, writing that there’s “definitely a chill” between Harbaugh and a significant number of players on San Francisco’s roster. Freeman didn’t go so far as it say Harbaugh has lost the team or even that there’s a rift, but suggests that many players are somewhat worn out by Harbaugh’s approach.

“We listen to him, we respect him as a man, we all want to win. But he drives us crazy,” one player told Freeman. “Right now, we’re all on autopilot.”

Considering extension talks between Harbaugh and the Niners were postponed until after the season, the situation will be one worth watching, amidst increasing speculation that this will be the coach’s last year in San Francisco. Here’s more from out of the NFC West:

  • With Carson Palmer‘s health steadily improving, the Cardinals aren’t currently exploring any outside options at quarterback, reports Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter).
  • Defensive ends Everette Brown, Israel Idonije, and Chidera Uzo-Diribe worked out for the Cardinals this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). While John Abraham is working his way back to the field, the team is likely exploring ways to bolster its pass rush.
  • The Seahawks also auditioned a handful of players, according to Wilson, who tweets that tight ends Orson Charles and Weslye Saunders, as well as linebackers Todd Davis, Troy Davis, and Martez Wilson all worked out for the club.
  • Former Bears cornerback Demontre Hurst tried out for the 49ers this week, tweets Wilson.

Extra Points: Jets, Bush, Idonije, Hill

The Jets‘ erratic play is sending mixed signals, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post. Gang Green looked great in the first 20 minutes against the Packers and produced more than 400 yards of offense against the Raiders in their opener. However, they blew an 18-point lead against Green Bay and their mistakes allowed the Raiders to stay in the game for longer than they should have. Here’s more from around the league..

Giants Cut Curtis Painter, 10 Others

1:10pm: Since the initial post, the Giants have made additional moves, including placing wideout Mario Manningham on injured reserve.


  • Adam Gress (OL) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Jordan Stanton (DE) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Kendall Gaskins (RB) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Thomas Gordon (DB) (via Jordan Raanan on Twitter)

Placed on injured reserve:

9:00am: The Giants have started to trim their team down to 53 players, and one of the first roster victims is quarterback Curtis Painter. According to Jordan Raanan of (via Twitter), the team has decided to carry only two quarterbacks heading into the regular season. We’ll keep track of all the Giants’ cuts here:

East Notes: Eagles, Revis, Idonije, McCoy

While most teams around the NFL are shuffling players in and out at the back of their rosters, the Eagles have stood pat all summer, as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer points out. According to Berman, Philadelphia’s last roster move came on May 19, which is the longest any NFL club has gone without signing or cut this year. Besides being relatively healthy in camp so far, the Eagles also like the 90 players currently on their roster, according to GM Howie Roseman.

“We’re trying to upgrade, we’re trying to get better at every spot,” Roseman said. “We’re trying to have the best possible 90-man, the best possible 61, the best possible 53 when there’s opportunities to do it. But at the same time, to change for change’s sake doesn’t make a lot of sense, either. It’s not the right message.”

Let’s check in on a few other notes from out of the NFC East and AFC East….

  • While there may be mutual interest between Darrelle Revis and the Patriots in a contract extension, no actual negotiations have occurred yet, a source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Nonetheless, Howe takes a closer look at what a longer-term agreement with the cornerback might look like, if the Pats try to lock him up.
  • Israel Idonije‘s new one-year deal with the Giants is a minimum salary benefit contract, according to’s Adam Caplan, who adds (via Twitter) that the veteran defensive end can earn a $25K bonus if he makes the 53-man roster to start the season.
  • Eagles running back LeSean McCoy ranks as one of the league’s most indispensable non-quarterbacks, accroding to Field Yates of (Insider link).
  • Ryan Tannehill‘s play has been up and down so far in training camp, but in his latest look at the Dolphins, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points to a couple positive signs from the quarterback.

Giants Sign Israel Idonije

The Giants have made a handful of roster moves, with the most notable of the bunch being the signing of veteran defensive lineman Israel Idonije, per Dan Graziano of According to Graziano, the team also signed tight end Jerome Cunningham and waived defensive end Kendrick Adams (Twitter links). Only one cut was necessary, since David Wilson‘s roster spot had been opened up yesterday.

Idonije, a 6’7″ defensive tackle, has spent nine of his ten career seasons playing for the Bears, save for a one-year tour with the Lions in 2013. Idonije has 149 games of NFL experience to his credit, including 50 starts for Chicago. His best season came in 2010 when he lined up at left defensive end for the Bears and racked up eight sacks and 33 tackles. The 33-year-old signed with the Bears earlier in the offseason but was released by the team in June. He figures to compete for a roster spot in New York.

Bears Sign Jamil Merrell, Conor O’Neill

The Bears have signed former Rutgers defensive lineman Jamil Merrell who was in on a tryout during minicamp, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The Bears will also sign Wisconsin linebacker Conor O’Neill to a contract, Biggs tweets. To make room for the duo, the Bears released defensive lineman Israel Idonije and quarterback Jerrod Johnson (link).

The release of Idonije, 33, is probably the most notable of all the moves. The 6’7″ defensive tackle has spent nine of his ten career seasons playing for the Bears, save for a one-year tour with the Lions last season. Idonije has 149 games of NFL experience to his credit, including 50 starts for Chicago. His best season came in 2010 when he lined up at left defensive end for the Bears and racked up eight sacks and 33 tackles.

Johnson, 25, was fighting for a spot on the depth chart to backup starter Jay Cutler. His odds got a little bit tougher, however, when the club signed Jimmy Clausen earlier this month.

Bears Agree To Sign Israel Idonije

3:32pm: Idonije’s one-year contract will be worth $955K, the minimum salary, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

12:15pm: After spending a year with the Lions, defensive lineman Israel Idonije is returning to Chicago. Pro Football Talk reports that the Bears have agree to terms with Idonije, who spent his first nine NFL seasons in Chicago. It’ll be a one-year deal, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter).

Idonije, didn’t see the field as much for the Lions in 2013 as he had in his previous few seasons with the Bears, appearing in just 347 defensive snaps. From 2010 to 2012, the veteran played defensive end and tackle for Chicago, recording 20.5 total sacks and pressuring the quarterback at least 45 times each season, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats (subscription required). At age 33, Idonije likely won’t see that much playing time during his second stint with the Bears, but he could be an effective part-timer for the club.

The Bears have been active in the defensive linemen market this offseason, having already added Willie Young and Lamarr Houston to help make up for the loss of Julius Peppers.

NFC Rumors: Idonije, Clark, Penn, Spencer

Defensive lineman Israel Idonije spent the first nine years of his NFL career with the Bears before joining the Lions as a free agent a year ago. Now back on the market, Idonije appears to be considering a reunion with his old team. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the veteran will be visiting with the Bears tomorrow, while’s Michael C. Wright adds (via Twitter) that Idonije will be taking a physical in Chicago, and the club hopes to lock him up. While we wait for further developments on that front, let’s check in on a few other items from around the NFC:

  • Free agent safety Ryan Clark tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today that his agent continues to negotiate with the Redskins and that he has also received interest from the Ravens and Jets.
  • As of earlier this afternoon, free agent tackle Donald Penn was still in Washington, with the Redskins still working to sign him, says Ross Jones of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Free agent defensive lineman Anthony Spencer left his meeting with the Giants today without reaching a deal with the team, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
  • The Lions hosted safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for a pre-draft visit today, tweets Tim Twentyman of Considered one of the top two safeties in this year’s draft class, Clinton-Dix could be a candidate for Detroit at No. 10.
  • The NFLPA will elect a new president to replace Domonique Foxworth on Wednesday, and Ben Watson of the Saints is a name to watch, tweets Albert Breer.

Lions Rumors: Suh, FAs, Bell, Pettigrew

Already this morning, we’ve passed along word that the Lions signed safety Isa Abdul-Quddus to a contract for 2014. Martin Mayhew offered several more tidbits of note during a conversation with reporters this morning though, so let’s dive right in and round up the highlights from the Detroit general manager….

  • While Ndamukong Suh has yet to officially decide on a new agent, the Lions still expect to get a contract extension done with their standout defensive lineman sometime around March 11, when the new league year begins, according to Mayhew (Twitter links via Tim Twentyman of and Chris McCosky of the Detroit News).
  • With an extension likely for Suh, Mayhew says he hasn’t considered alternative scenarios, such as a trade, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Mayhew told reporters, including’s Michael Rothstein (Twitter links), that the Lions don’t expect to bring back several prospective free agents: Safety John Wendling, defensive end Israel Idonije, kicker David Akers, linebacker Rocky McIntosh, and offensive lineman Dylan Gandy.
  • Although those players won’t be back with the Lions, the club has interest in retaining a couple of its free-agents-to-be. Mayhew indicated that Detroit is interested in a long-term deal for running back Joique Bell, who will be tendered and return to the Lions no matter what (Twitter link via Rothstein).
  • The Lions also want to re-sign tight end Brandon Pettigrew, and will talk to his agent at the combine, tweets Twentyman. Birkett adds (via Twitter) that Mayhew didn’t rule out the possibility of using the franchise tag on Pettigrew.