Jermaine Cunningham

Brandon Spikes, Other FAs Suspended

Veteran linebacker Brandon Spikes has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season, according to Field Yates of (Twitter link). This news won’t hurt a particular team, since Spikes is currently a free agent, having been cut by the Patriots earlier in the year.

Spikes is serving a year of probation after pleading guilty in a hit-and-run crash. Police determined that the 28-year-old was speeding and driving negligently when he crashed his Maybach sedan into an SUV back in June. After the crash, Spikes fled the scene, a crime which calls for up to two years in jail. However, the free agent linebacker was able to avoid prison time due to the minor nature of the injuries to the three people in the crash.

Spikes wasn’t the only free agent who received a suspension from the NFL. The following players have also been suspended, according to Yates (Twitter link):

  • G Rodney Austin (six weeks)
  • LB Jermaine Cunningham (six weeks)
  • RB Jonathan Dwyer (three weeks)
  • WR Mike Williams (three weeks)

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are the NFL’s minor transactions for Tuesday, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Bears waived linebacker Conor O’Neill to make room for the addition of Greg Herd, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Browns reached an injury settlement with James Oboh, Wilson tweets.
  • The Broncos waived defensive end Hall Davis with a left squad designation, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Denver signed Davis to a reserve/futures contract in February.
  • The Vikings waived Lestar Jean from injured reserve, tweets Wilson. The wideout has ten career receptions for 186 yards and one touchdown.
  • Running back Kendall Hunter will spend the season on the 49ers’ injured reserve list after he cleared waivers on Tuesday, writes Matt Maiocco of
  • The Dolphins announced that they have signed kicker Danny Hrapmann and waived linebacker Ryan Rau, tweets Adam Caplan of Hrapmann was one of at least three kickers Miami auditioned recently.
  • The Bears added wide receiver Greg Herd today, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Chicago must make a corresponding roster move for Herd, who had short stints with the Cowboys and Seahawks after entering the NFL in 2013.

Earlier updates:

  • The Colts agreed to sign former Eagles outside linebacker Phillip Hunt, a source tells Adam Caplan of (on Twitter). To make room for Hunt, the Colts dropped wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, who signed with the club just two days ago.
  • The Browns announced that they have signed tight end Martell Webb, linebacker Keith Pough, and wide receiver Tim Smith, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Originally signed by Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Webb has spent time on the practice squads of the Jets (2011), Bucs (2011), Colts (2012), Titans (2012), and Lions (2013).
  • The Browns waived defensive back Darwin Cook, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Twitter).
  • The Titans will sign Lanier Coleman, a defensive lineman who has spent time with the Jets and Packers, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Tennessee has a full 90-man roster, so the team will need to cut someone to make it official.
  • The Saints have signed former second-round tight end Richard Quinn, according to Field Yates of (via Twitter). In a separate tweet, Mike Triplett of adds a few more Saints moves courtesy of Yates: New Orleans also signed wideout Tobais Palmer, waiving receiver Steve Hull (injured designation), defensive tackle Tyrone Ezell, and linebacker Marcus Thompson.
  • As first reported by NFL Draft Diamonds, the Browns have reached a deal to sign tight end Kyle Auffray, writes Mike Wilkering of Pro Football Talk. Cleveland entered the day with four open roster spots, so there’s plenty of room for Auffray, who spent some time with the Patriots in the spring.
  • The Buccaneers completed a series of roster moves today, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed defensive ends Ryne Giddins and James Ruffin, and waived-injured linebacker Jeremy Grable and safety Mycal Swaim.
  • The Steelers are set to sign wide receiver James Shaw, who previously played for the Arena League’s Pittsburgh Power, tweets Ian Rapoport of Pittsburgh has a full 90-man roster, so the club will need to make a corresponding roster move to make room for the latest signee.
  • Jermaine Cunningham, who tore his Achilles tendon during training camp, has been waived-injured by the Jets, who signed offensive lineman Bruce Campbell to fill Cunningham’s roster spot, per Rich Cimini of ESPN New York (Twitter link). Campbell attended the team’s minicamp back in June on a tryout basis.
  • Armed with an open spot on their 90-man roster, the Broncos have signed former Browns defensive end Brian Sanford, as Mike Klis of the Denver Post details. Sanford, who turns 27 next month, has been active for 13 career regular-season contests for Cleveland and Oakland.
  • The Seahawks have waived-injured safety Dion Bailey and signed defensive back Trey Wolfe to replace him, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

AFC East Notes: Decker, Easley, Odrick, Bills

Jets wideout Eric Decker is focused on contributing to his new team and is hoping to establish himself as a bona fide number-one receiver. That may be tough without Peyton Manning throwing to him, but the 27-year-old wants to prove that his success shouldn’t be completely attributed to the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

From Year One to Year Five now, I’ve gotten better at my craft,” Decker told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I’ve become a better receiver. I’m not going to make assumptions because assuming doesn’t really do anything. In this league, you’re only as good as your last play. That’s what people remember. Numbers and statistics come and go away. And then you start over.”

Teammate Sheldon Richardson certainly envisions Decker as a premier wide receiver.

“People want to knock him for the Super Bowl or hate on him a little bit,” Richardson said, “but truth be told, that whole offense disappeared, even Peyton Manning.

But I see a No. 1 receiver in him.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  •’s Rich Cimini confirms that Jets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham has torn his ACL and is expected to miss the regular season.
  • Cimini also explores whether the Jets would benefit from playing both Geno Smith and Michael Vick at quarterback. He acknowledges that having the players platoon could throw Smith off of his rhythm, but he also notes that a weapon like Vick shouldn’t be warming the bench.
  • Patriots first-round pick Dominique Easley still hasn’t been cleared to practice and will not travel with the team to Richmond, sources tell The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe. The defensive tackle, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, is at least a week away from returning to practice.
  • Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan will be suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season, but that hasn’t prevented the player from making an impact. In fact,’s James Walker says the former first-rounder has been one of the team’s best defensive players in training camp. “He’s anxious to continue to develop,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “He knows he’s got a lot of work. He’s been getting a lot of work here. We’ll continue to try to get a lot of players in the preseason games knowing that we’re going to miss him for a bit, but we envision his role is going to be extensive when he comes back and we know he’s going to be a great player for us.”
  • Entering the final year of his contract, Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick admitted that a future deal is certainly on his mind. However, he’s trying his best to focus on just football. “There’s no time where it’s (a season) not a big deal,” Odrick said (via David J. Neal of the Miami Herald). “But in terms of my situation with me being five years in, it would be a mistake if I didn’t stay focused on my duties as a football player and what I have to do physically and mentally every day. I try to focus on that more than anything else.”
  • The Bills are crowded at wide receiver, but’s Gregg Rosenthal tweets that Marcus Easley “should be a lock” considering his contributions on special teams.

East Links: Revis, Jets, Brown

As the Bills and Giants prepare to kick off the preseason in tonight’s Hall of Fame game, let’s take a look at some links from some of their fellow teams in the league’s east divisions:

  • It will be difficult for Dolphins‘ running back Daniel Thomas to stay on Miami’s roster, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Thomas is, of course, behind Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno on the team’s depth chart, but he has also lost his biggest advocate in former GM Jeff Ireland and Mike Gillislee has been more active in training camp.
  • Rich Cimini of writes that the Jets received a $1.75MM salary cap credit this season as a result of an injury grievance settlement with former nose tackle Sione Po’uha. The team would have had a great deal of salary cap room even without the settlement, but now they have about $21MM of cap space.
  • In the same piece, Cimini notes that the recent deals for 2011 first-round selections Tyson Smith and Patrick Peterson will not hurry the Jets in extension talks with their own 2011 first-rounder, Muhammad Wilkerson. A new deal for the big defensive lineman may not happen until next year.
  • Ian Rapoport of tweets that Jets‘ LB Jermaine Cunningham, who the team hoped would provide pass-rush help in 2014, is believed to have torn his ACL, thus ending his season.
  • The freshly-inked extensions for Tyson Smith and Patrick Peterson have proven to be useful fodder for beat writers from around the league. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that those new deals have set the bar for key members of the Patriots‘ roster like Nate Solder and Darrelle Revis. Although Revis is technically under contract for the next two seasons, no one expects New England to pick up his $12.5MM option bonus for 2015, which would saddle the club with a $25MM cap hit. As such, Revis–assuming he stays healthy and productive–will be eyeing Peterson’s deal (as well as those recently signed by Richard Sherman and Joe Haden) as a benchmark for a new contract of his own. However, he will turn 30 next July and has a torn ACL in his past, so a “pay-as-you-go” deal like that signed by Sherman may be a more fitting option. Solder, meanwhile, is under contract for a more reasonable $7.44MM in 2015, so while an extension for him is not a top priority just yet, Smith’s new contract may guide negotiations if and when extension talks commence.
  • Giants kicker Josh Brown knows that his spot on the team’s roster is far from guaranteed, writes Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. His competition with Brandon McManus, who is 12 years his junior, begins in earnest tonight.
  • John Keim of examines the Redskins roster battle at inside linebacker.

Jets Notes: Dowling, Sudfeld, Cunningham

It’s always more intriguing when a released player ends up with a division rival. Can the new team untap the talents that the old team couldn’t? Will he be that much more motivated, potentially facing his old team twice a year?

The already potent Jets/Patriots rivalry got even more compelling when three former Pats — cornerback Ras-I Dowling, tight end Zach Sudfeld and outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham — signed with Gang Green this offseason. Dowling and Cunningham were both second-round picks originally by New England, but’s Rich Cimini says the undrafted Sudfeld has the best shot of making the 53-man roster based on the team’s lack of depth at the position.

  • Cimini envisions four running backs on the roster — including fullback Tommy Bohanon — with Daryl Richardson and Mike Goodson on the outside looking in.
  • Signing a veteran offensive lineman for insurance would be a sound move for the team, per Cimini, who notes that none of the backups have any meaningful professional experience.
  • Don’t be surprised if Stephen Hill emerges as the Jets’ No. 2 wide receiver opposite Eric Deckerwrites Cimini. Hill has struggled making the transition to professional from collegiate after a nice career at Georgia Tech, and he’s battling savvy veteran David Nelson for the coveted starting spot.
  • Neither Cunningham nor Dowling found success with the Patriots, but Jets‘ head coach Rex Ryan is not concerned with his rival’s opinion of those players, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Rob DiRe contributed to this post.