Jason Pinkston

Workout Notes: 2/9/16

NFL’s 2016 free agent period doesn’t officially open until March 9th, but players who didn’t finish the season on a roster – or who have since been cut – are free to work out with teams and sign contracts right away. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle has several updates on those free agents who are visiting and/or auditioning for NFL teams, so let’s round up the latest:

  • Before he agreed to sign a reserve/futures contract with Washington, former Steelers first-round defensive lineman Ziggy Hood tried out for the Raiders. Oakland also brought in former Fresno State edge defender Tristan Okpalaugo for a visit (Twitter links).
  • Veteran defensive back Jeromy Miles and ex-Broncos tight end Dan Light recently auditioned for the Chiefs (Twitter link). Miles, who has appeared in 67 career regular-season games for the Bengals and Ravens, was cut last September by the Giants, while Light lost his practice squad spot in Denver following the team’s AFC Championship win over New England.
  • The Bengals recently worked out – but did not sign – offensive tackle Sean Donnelly, safety Zach Elias, running back Alonzo Harris, running back Storm Johnson and wide receiver Rico Richardson (Twitter link). Those players were part of a larger group of eight, with the remaining three players earning contracts.
  • Former Cowboys defensive tackle Ken Bishop, a seventh-round pick in 2014, worked out for the Buccaneers (Twitter link).
  • Former Pitt offensive guard Jason Pinkston recently visited the Steelers (link). The Steelers also recently worked out linebacker Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, wide receiver Issac Blakeney, long snapper Matt Dooley, defensive back Montell Garner, offensive guard Cole Manhart, wide receiver Tobais Palmer, cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, and defensive tackle Josh Watson (Twitter links).

NFL Workouts/Visits: 1/8/16

As teams look ahead to formulating their offseason rosters, they’ve begun to bring in free agents for both workouts and visits. Let’s look at the latest:


Chargers (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

  • Freddie Bishop, DL
  • Euclid Cummings, DE
  • Cleyon Laing, DL

Chiefs (Twitter link via Wilson)

Jaguars (Twitter link via Wilson)

Ravens (Twitter link via Wilson)

Steelers (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Freddie Bishop, DL
  • Dexter McCoil, LB
  • Eric Rogers, WR
  • Dustin Vaughan, QB

Washington (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Cleyon Laing, DL
  • Eric Rogers, WR


Cardinals (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Toby Johnson, DT (prior to signing with Vikings’ practice squad)

Chiefs (Twitter links via Wilson)

Giants (Twitter link via Wilson)

Steelers (Twitter link via Wilson)

Browns Cut Jason Pinkston; Retirement Likely

3:40pm: The Browns have confirmed that they’ve waived Pinkston, and also cut three other players, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). Wide receiver Chandler Jones and tight end James Oboh will have to pass through waivers, while veteran linebacker Edgar Jones has been released and will immediately become a free agent.

3:11pm: Browns offensive lineman Jason Pinkston appears likely to retire due to ongoing health issues, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Facebook link). After having spent the last week and a half battling blood clots in his lungs, Pinkston reached a settlement with the team today and will be waived, says Schefter.

“More than likely I’ll have to retire,” Pinkston said in a text message to Schefter. “The Browns were great working with me and I would love to thank GM Ray Farmer and owner Jimmy Haslam for my opportunity here in Cleveland. It’s been an honor to be apart of the organization and city.”

Pinkston, a fifth-round pick in 2011, played 25 games in his three seasons with the Browns, starting 24 of those contests, including all 16 in his rookie season. He was limited to just nine games in the last two years due to a variety of health issues, including a high ankle sprain, a concussion, and a previous battle with blood clots.

Once Cleveland officially parts ways with Pinkston, the team will have an open spot on its 90-man roster to add another player.

North Notes: Rice, Pinkston, Suh, Steelers

In an unsurprising decision, Ravens running back Ray Rice has elected not to challenge his two-game suspension and fine, allowing the three-day window to pass without an appeal, as Jamison Hensley details at ESPN.com. Given the reaction to Rice’s two-game ban, which was widely considered a light penalty by Roger Goodell and the NFL, it makes sense that the Ravens and the running back would accept the punishment without a fight.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The Browns issued a statement today along with the reps for Jason Pinkston announcing that the offensive lineman has not been medically cleared for football activities, which helps to explain why he has been absent from training camp thus far (link via Ohio.com).
  • Although contract extension talks for Ndamukong Suh have dragged on longer than expected, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell remains confident that the two sides will reach an agreement, according to Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said today that his club is open to the idea of extending its four starters whose contracts will expire after the 2014 season, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Steelers are only paying about $5.68MM this year to their top three cornerbacks, and the performances from those players could go a long way to determining what sort of season the team has, writes Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • With tight end guru Norv Turner now running the offense, the Vikings expect a big year for Kyle Rudolph, which is why the team decided to lock him up to a long-term extension now, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com explains.

AFC Links: Browns, Ravens, Titans, Broncos

Fourth-year guard Jason Pinkston has been absent from Browns training camp, and no one in the organization will say why. The 26-year-old played sparingly in 2013 but was expected to stick around for at least one more season. The guard was set to make about $1.4MM in 2014, but based on the quotes from those in the organization, money doesn’t seem to be the issue.

Pinkston’s unavailable to practice and, due to his circumstances, I cannot comment on it any further,” coach Mike Pettine said, per NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala (via NFL.com’s Mark Sessler). “I want to give you more, but just given the circumstances, I can’t. That’s where we are with Jason.”

General manager Ray Farmer didn’t add much: 

“I think coach addressed it the best way we could … right now there’s really no comment from our prospective, and when there is time to make a comment then that comment will be made.” 

Finally, Pinkston weighed in on Twitter

I can assure you I’m in no legal trouble & retiring hasn’t came up. As far as my situation I’ll leave it to them to explain.”

While we try to figure out what’s going on in Cleveland, let’s take a look at some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Former San Jose State cornerback Brandon Driver tried out for the Ravens on Sunday, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. The workout went well, but Driver was not immediately signed to a deal.
  • A year ago on Sunday, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta fractured and dislocated his right hip in practice. After a year of recovery, the veteran believes he’s back to 100 percent. I feel good,” Pitta said (via Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun). “I’m out here not thinking about it. It’s not giving me an issue at all. I feel 100 percent. I’m encouraged with where I’m at.”
  • Titans safety Daimion Stafford made the majority of his impact as a rookie on special teams, but Terry McCormick 247Sports.com writes that the player will now be looking to make an impact on defense. “I just try to build every day. That’s our big message,” Stafford said. “That’s what I’m looking to do every day. I’m always trying to get better, whether it’s on special teams or moving up into a bigger role on defense.”
  • Kyle Rudolph‘s new deal with the Vikings will likely affect the negotiations between the Broncos and tight end Julius Thomas, tweets Joel Corry of The National Football Post.