Jamil Merrell

Minor Moves: Monday Night

The latest minor moves..

  • The Bears signed wide receiver Ify Umodu, who was a tryout player at the team’s rookie minicamp in May, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Umodu takes the place of linebacker Jamil Merrell, who was placed on waivers. Umodu, an undrafted rookie free agent from Northern Arizona, had 47 catches for 692 yards and 5 touchdowns last season.
  • The Rams removed Bud Sasser from the non-football illness list, making him a free agent, as Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets. The sixth-round wide receiver was signed to a deal but waived just two days later to ensure that he would still receive his signing bonus despite his heart condition.
  • The Dolphins reached an injury settlement with Jake Knott, Wilson tweets.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

We’ll round up Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL right here, including transactions by teams still in the playoffs as well as clubs looking ahead to next year:


  • The Lions have signed TE Ifeanyi Momah to a 2015 reserve/future contract, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (on Twitter).


  • The Chiefs signed former Seahawks tailback Spencer Ware, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).
  • Jets quarterback Matt Simms reworked his contract today to avoid becoming an exclusive rights free agent in 2015, according to a team release. The club also added kicker Andrew Furney and running back Daryl Richardson on reserve/futures deals, in addition to the six players whose reserve contracts we heard about yesterday.
  • In addition to confirming reserve/futures contracts for Garrison Smith and Chris Martin, as was reported yesterday, the 49ers announced in a press release that they’ve signed running back Kendall Gaskins, tight end Xavier Grimble, wide receiver Lance Lewis. All five players finished the season on San Francisco’s practice squad.
  • Running back Terrance Cobb announced (via Twitter) that he has signed a futures deal with the Raiders. Cobb initially signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie in May, and was cut in the preseason.
  • The Bears may not have a head coach or GM, but they’re still adding players to their roster — Chicago signed defensive end Jamil Merrell to a reserve/futures contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).
  • Former Canisius College basketball player Chris Manhertz announced (via Instagram) that he has signed a contract with the Bills. According to Joe Buscaglia of WGR550 (via Twitter), the ex-hoopster projects as a tight end. The Bills have since confirmed the signing of Manhertz, and announced a deal for fullback Corey Knox as well.


  • Offensive tackle Justin Renfrow has been released from the Packers‘ practice squad, creating an opening on the unit, according to the team.
  • The Steelers have also made a change to their taxi squad, signing wide receiver Tim Benford and releasing cornerback Jordan Sullen, per Burt Lauten (via Twitter). The addition of Benford provides some insurance for the receiving corps, after the team cut wideout Justin Brown from its active roster today.
  • The Browns signed a pair of kickers, Travis Coons and Carey Spear, to reserve/futures contracts, the club announced today, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). The two kickers join seven other players who signed futures deals yesterday with Cleveland.
  • The Jaguars have signed offensive lineman Cody Booth, tight end Marcel Jensen, defensive back Peyton Thompson, and wide receiver Tony Washington to reserve/futures contracts, tweets Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. All four players spent time on the club’s practice squad this season.
  • The Saints signed five more players to reserve/futures deals, according to Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune, who lists running back Edwin Baker, kicker Dustin Hopkins, tight end Orson Charles, and offensive linemen Mike Brewster and Andrew Miller as the latest recepients. We learned yesterday that the club also signed wideout Willie Snead and fullback Toben Opurum to futures contracts.

Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are today’s minor moves, with the most recent transactions added to the top of the list:

Earlier updates:

  • The Patriots have promoted linebacker Darius Fleming off their practice squad, reports Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston (via Twitter).
  • The Bears signed veteran safety Anthony Walters to the active roster, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The team also brought defensive end Jamil Merrell onto its practice squad (via Twitter).
  • The Chargers have promoted offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles to their active roster, reports Michael Gehlken of the U-T San Diego. Sirles has spent most of the season on the team’s practice squad. The Chargers have announced that safety Adrian Phillips was released in a corresponding move that would open up space on the roster for the utility lineman.
  • For the second time this month, the Panthers have waived running back Chris Ogbonnaya, the team announced (via Twitter). Defensive tackle Micanor Regis has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot. Ogbonnaya was waived in early November, but he rejoined the squad only two days later. The 28-year-old has compiled 50 yards on 14 carries this season, but he hasn’t played since the team’s loss to the Saints in late October.

Bears Sign Dylan Gandy

The Bears have signed veteran offensive lineman Dylan Gandy to a one-year deal, the team announced on Twitter. The team also waived rookie defensive end Jamil Merrell. We heard last week that the team was trying out some offensive lineman, and Kyle Long‘s absence from camp may have convinced the team to add some depth.

The nine-year veteran has bounced around since being selected by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. He won a Super Bowl with Indianapolis in 2007, played for the Broncos and Raiders in 2008 and was with the Lions for the past five season. The 32-year-old has played in 120 career games with 19 starts. He’s appeared in at least 15 games each season since joining the Lions in 2009.

Gandy has played center and both guard positions during his career, but his impact with the Lions came on special teams. Gandy was one of seven players on last year’s squad (excluding the kicker and punter) to have a positive special teams rating, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).

Merrell was signed by the Bears in June after lasting a week on the Titans’ roster in May.


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.