October 18th, 2016 at 7:36pm CST by Connor J. Byrne
Free agent receiver Aaron Dobson visited the Colts on Tuesday, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). Dobson has worked out for several teams and had multiple stints with the Lions since the Patriots cut him Sept. 3. The three-year veteran has 53 receptions and four touchdowns in 24 games (13 starts).
The Colts also worked out running back David Cobb (Twitter link). The former Titan has tried out for a bevy of clubs since Tennessee cut him in August. Cobb briefly caught on with the Steelers, who waived him from their practice squad last week.
Along with Dobson and Cobb, receiver Marcus Leak, tight ends Alex Bayer and Darion Griswold, and linebackers Trevor Reilly and James Vaughters tried out with the Colts, tweets Howard Balzer of USA Today.
More workouts from the AFC (courtesy of Caplan, unless otherwise noted):
In addition to defensive end Kendall Reyes, whom they signed, the Chiefs tried out fellow DE Lynden Trail on Tuesday, according to Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link). Joining them were linebackers Deion Barnes, Randell Johnson, and Kyle Kragen.
Veteran offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds worked out for the Ravens on Tuesday (Twitter link). Reynolds has been on the radar of a few teams since Los Angeles released him prior to Week 1. The 29-year-old has 42 appearances and 23 starts on his resume.
The Patriots tried out out two offensive tackles – Ryan Mack and Pearce Slater – as well as defensive end Jordan Williams, reports Doug Kyed of NESN (via Twitter).
Along with linebacker Quentin Gaus and tight end Steven Scheu, both of whom joined their practice squad, the Broncos worked out linebackers Lenny Jones, J.R. Tavai and Kyrie Wilson; defensive ends Deonte Gibson, Ian Seau and Josh Shirley; and safety Elijah Shumate (Twitterlinks via Balzer).
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien denied a recent report that tension had emerged between himself and quarterback Brock Osweiler, calling it the “biggest non-story of the year,” according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “Anybody that’s been around me knows that I really only know one way to go about it,” O’Brien said. “That’s to work very hard and to do it in a very intense environment. I think that’s the type of players we have. So when you’re coaching football and playing football, and you’re in a competitive environment where everyone is pulling the same rope and everybody is trying to do their very best to win the game, things are going to happen.”
Here’s more from around the NFL:
After leaving last night’s game against Houston, an MRI revealed that Colts tight end Dwayne Allen has a sprained ankle and is now week-to-week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). As Rapoport notes, that designation likely means that Allen is set to be sidelined for at least some time. Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope will hold down the fort at tight end until Allen can return.
When the 49ers restructured Colin Kaepernick‘s deal, they got rid of the embattled quarterback’s injury guarantees so that he could return to the field without the club worrying about being tied to him for the long haul. The Dolphins and Cardinals should think similarly about their quarterbacks, opines Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, as both Ryan Tannehill and Carson Palmer have hefty injury guarantees for the 2017 campaign.
Linebacker J.R. Tavai is working out for the Broncos today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Tavai, 23, spent several months on the Titans’ practice squad last season, and even made it onto the active roster for a few weeks. However, the 2015 UDFA was waived during final cutdowns earlier this year.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t clear on the future of offensive lineman Isame Faciane, who is facing three misdemeanors after being arrested for DUI earlier this month, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. For what it’s worth, Zimmer did say that Faciane’s arrest “was not very bright.” Faciane has been a member of the Vikings’ practice squad since 2014.
September 2nd, 2016 at 4:00pm CST by Zachary Links
4:00pm: The Titans have made more cuts this afternoon, including another big name. Running back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster has been let go. McCluster averaged 4.5 yards per carry last season in Tennessee and averaged 8.4 yards per reception, but the Titans saw a better use for his roster spot. McCluster already pocketed a $350k roster bonus earlier this year, but the Titans will save $2.275MM in cash by cutting him.
Here is the full, updated list of Titans cuts so far:
11:07am: The Titans have jettisoned a pair of notable players from the old front office regime. Wide receiver Justin Hunter and running back Bishop Sankey have both been cut, as Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com reports (Twitterlinks).
Hunter, an exceptionally talented receiver, was drafted 34th overall in 2013. Since then, the Titans have been frustrated with Hunter and there have been rumblings that his work ethic was not up to par. Days ago, the Titans shipped out another talented wide receiver with perceived motivation problems when they traded Dorial Green-Beckham to the Eagles.
“It is still going to be hard (to make the team) because we have a lot of talented receivers in the group. We are fighting for spots, and you have to keep up and progress at the same time,” said the 25-year-old Hunter last month, acknowledging that his spot on the roster was not guaranteed.
Hunter has an uninspiring 68 receptions and eight touchdowns in 35 career games (13 starts). While Hunter has averaged an impressive 16.8 yards per catch, that number dropped to a career-worst 12.0 on 22 grabs last season. The 2015 campaign was a short one for Hunter, who only appeared in nine games as a result of a mid-November fractured ankle.
Sankey was once viewed as the Titans’ best running back and was expected to break out as a rookie in 2014. Sankey, 24 later this month, appeared in all 16 games for the Titans as a rookie but amassed only 569 yards off of 152 carries. Last season, Sankey’s role was reduced even further has he had only 47 rushing attempts for 193 yards in 13 games.
The surprising cuts didn’t stop there. The Titans are going to waive guard Jeremiah Poutasi, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Poutasi was an early third-round pick of the Titans last year.
Here are Saturday’s minor moves from around the league.
Sixth-round rookie Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball will move to IR, and the team signed defensive tackle Leon Orr to replace him, CSNBayArea.com reports. Ball started two games for the Raiders. Orr signed in Oakland as a rookie UDFA in May.
In a corresponding transaction with Eugene Monroebeing placed on IR, the Ravens added quarterback Bryn Renner to their active roster, Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com tweets. Renner represents insurance in case Matt Schaub, who is questionable with a chest injury, sits out Sunday and forces backup Jimmy Clausen into the lineup.
The Patriots signed linebacker Eric Martin from their practice squad and to fill that spot on the 10-man unit added running back Trey Williams, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss tweets. Reiss notes Martin’s addition could be a reaction to the Eagles’ blocked punt in their upset win over the Patriots in Week 13. Martin worked out for the Texans last week.
To fill Damontre Moore‘s roster spot after the defensive end’s Giants tenure concluded Friday, the team claimed defensive end Stansly Maponga off the Falcons‘ practice squad, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). A Falcons fifth-round pick in 2013, Maponga played in 12 games in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons but hasn’t suited up for a game this year. The 24-year-old TCU alum recovered two fumbles last season.
The Titans signed linebacker J.R. Tavai off their practice squad and placed fellow backer Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil on IR to make room on the roster, Jim Wyatt of Titansonline.com reports (via Twitter). Cudjoe-Virgil suffered a torn patellar tendon in practice on Thursday.
The 49ers elevated tight end Brian Leonhardt to their active roster, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. The 25-year-old’s spent his NFL career in the Bay Area, playing in 12 games for the Raiders in 2014 after residing in Oakland in 2013 as well. A Division II product, Leonhardt has not seen any game action in San Francisco this season.
The Ravens re-signed rookie safety Nick Perry to their practice squad, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). An Alabama product, Perry hasn’t played in a game this season.
December 11th, 2015 at 9:54pm CST by Dallas Robinson
While none of this year’s crop of collegiate quarterbacks are projected to be as successful as Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, NFL personnel men do see four QBs — Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, Cal’s Jared Goff, Michigan State’s Connor Cook, and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz — as being worthy of a first-round pick, according to Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com.
Elsewhere in draft-land, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net reports that Penn State signal-caller Christian Hackenberg, once projected as potential first-rounder himself, is likely to enter the draft, and will probably announce as such in the near future. Two other collegiate players — Boise State edge rusher Kamalei Correa and Stanford tight end Austin Hooper — are intent on entering the draft, as well, says Pauline.
Free agent corner Cary Williams, who visited with the Titans yesterday, is still drawing the attention of the club, tweets Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. Tennessee management will reportedly make a decision on whether or not to sign Williams at some point early next week. Williams, who was cut by the Seahawks on Monday, has also garnered interest from the Rams.
In other Tennessee news, Titans linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil suffered torn patellar tendon in practice on Thursday and will require surgery, meaning he’ll miss the rest of the season, reports McCormick (Twitter link). Practice squad ‘backer J.R. Tavai is a candidate to be promoted to the active roster, adds McCormick.
Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin believes Blaine Gabbert can be the 49ers‘ quarterback of the future, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Gabbert has led San Francisco to a 2-2 record in his four starts, averaging 240 yards per game while throwing five touchdowns and three interceptions. For what it’s worth, he’s only signed through next season, with a 2016 cap charge of $2.25MM.
Peyton Manning has $4MM riding on whether or not he gets to start in the playoffs — as Mike Klis of 9 News writes, Manning could earn $2MM for winning the AFC Championship Game, and another $2MM for winning the Super Bowl. Manning must start those games, adds Klis, meaning he can’t earn the bonuses by coming on in relief. At this point, though, it’s hard to see how the Broncos can turn back to Manning given how Brock Osweiler has played.
As the possibility of losing the Raiders again continues to loom over the city, Oakland is continuing to formulate solutions on a path to a new stadium.
Mayor Libby Schaaf has initiated a process of bringing to light yet another stadium proposal with the goal of having it ready to present in the next couple of weeks, per Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle, who write this operation’s plan is to present this proposal to a special league committee — rather than the owners — by December.
Despite bringing in a consulting firm, Schaaf faces an uphill battle in procuring a land deal that will please the parties involved. The Raiders’ believing they should not have to pay for that part of the process is not sitting well with the city or Alameda County, Matier and Ross note.
The Bay Area scribes, however, hear that Oakland has the trump card in this standoff: the fact that Raiders owner Mark Davis does not have the votes to move and is lagging behind the Rams and Chargers, the latter once agreeing on a significant partnership for a Carson, Calif.-based stadium, in the Los Angeles sweepstakes.
The league desires a wealthier owner that will make an L.A. return profitable, per the Chronicle’s investigative-reporting tandem, and Davis doesn’t match up. He’s in the process of taking on a partner to help aid this potential relocation financially.
Let’s look at some additional AFC items.
Ryan Mallett remains eligible to collect $1.47MM from the Texans in termination pay, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. The Texans are carrying this figure on their 2015 payroll after extracting themselves from the two-year, $7.01MM contract they signed Mallett to in March. The reeling signal-caller can file for his remaining 10 game checks, each totaling $147K+, but the Texans are not on the hook for any money in 2016.
The Colts kicked the tires on former free agent acquisition and starting guard Donald Thomas today, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Thomas played two games for Indianapolis in 2013 before suffering a season-ending injury. The former Patriots lineman sustained another in 2014, and the Colts cut his comeback short when they released him before the season.
The Jets worked out former Chiefs center and sixth-round pick Eric Kush on Friday, Wilson reports (on Twitter). Current Kansas City center Mitch Morse beat out Kush for the position this summer.
The Browns brought in defensive tackles Joe Vellano, Terry Williams and Toby Johnson for workouts this week, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
J.R. Tavai worked out for the Titans this week, Wilson tweets. The rookie outside linebacker who the Titans cut just before the season also tried out for the Packers earlier this week.
The Giants are working out a handful of kickers today, including Kyle Brindza, Zach Hocker, CoreyAcosta, and Tom Obarski, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Josh Brown has been a little inconsistent on kickoffs, putting one out of bounds on Sunday, but it’s hard to imagine the team making a change, considering he’s perfect on field goals and has missed just one extra point. As Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets, the Giants are likely just kicking the tires on free agents.
Let’s round up a few more workout updates from around the NFL…
Defensive linemen Jerel Worthy, Derrick Lott, Glenn Foster, and Davon Coleman worked out for the Dolphins today, says Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link). Worthy and Foster are the most notable names of the group, having each logged a full season’s worth of regular season contests with the Packers and Saints, respectively.
Lott was also among the players who tried out recently for the Chiefs, per Wilson (Twitterlinks). Running back Gus Johnson, defensive end Lawrence Okoye, and linebacker Alex Singleton also got a look from Kansas City.
Offensive lineman BenGottschalk, who spent time in the summer on the Niners’ roster, auditioned for the Buccaneers today, tweets Wilson.
Former USC outside linebacker J.R. Tavai had a tryout with the Packers today, according to Wilson (via Twitter). Tavai signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent in May, but was cut by the team prior to the regular season.
The Cardinals auditioned cornerback Keith Lewis, who was cut by the Jets back in August, tweets Wilson.
On the heels of Jason Myers missing his third PAT of the season, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley noted that Myers’ kickoffs were also a little short, and mentioned the possibility of bringing in kickers for workouts, per Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com. According to Bradley, GM Dave Caldwell will make that call.