Jerry Rice Jr.

Extra Points: Dez, Cruz, Jets, Browns

The NFC East-leading Cowboys are optimistic that injured receiver Dez Bryant will return after their Week 6 bye, chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday. Bryant had surgery Sept. 14 to repair a fractured bone in his right foot that he suffered in Dallas’ Week 1 win over the Giants. There’s been plenty of speculation since regarding the amount of time the two-time Pro Bowler could miss.

“We really feel like it’s a very fair goal to think that Dez will be back after the bye,” said Jones, per Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News.

If Jones is right, Bryant will only miss three more games – matchups against the Falcons, Saints and Patriots. His return, whenever it comes, will be a boon to a team that’s also without star quarterback Tony Romo for an extended period of time.

More on Dallas and the rest of the NFL:

  • In addition to Bryant, Jones also expect Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory to return after the bye week (link via Machota). The rookie second-round pick suffered a high ankle sprain in the opener.
  • Giants receiver Victor Cruz is expected to make his season debut Oct. 4 in Buffalo, head coach Tom Coughlin said Friday (link via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). Cruz, who is currently working his way back from a strained calf, missed most of last season with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
  • With veteran receiver Eric Decker questionable for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, the Jets could turn to rookie second-rounder Devin Smith. The ex-Ohio State standout missed nearly all of training camp and then the entire preseason and first two games of the regular season with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Smith still isn’t 100 percent. Thus, whether he debuts Sunday depends on the status of Decker – who hasn’t practiced this week because of a sprained knee – according to head coach Todd Bowles (link via the New York Daily News’ Daniel Popper).
  • As was reported earlier Friday night, the Browns tried out free agent receiver Jerry Rice Jr. this week. The latest development is that they have no plans to sign him, reports Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer (via Twitter). Rice will instead join Montreal of the Canadian Football League.

AFC Notes: Geno, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, Broncos

Geno Smith‘s prospects when it comes to turning into a viable starting quarterback in the NFL ostensibly aren’t good, but one of his Jets teammates – receiver Brandon Marshall – thinks the 24-year-old has a bright future.

“But like I said from the beginning — and I’ll stand by this — Geno is going to have a monster year, but unfortunately he’s not in it right now,” Marshall said Friday on SiriusXM Radio, according to Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin. “But he’ll get his shot. He’s still young and he has a long career ahead of him.”

Smith was supposed to be the Jets’ starter this year, but ex-teammate IK Enemkpali broke Smith’s jaw with a punch in August. Since then, Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken the reins and helped lead the Jets to a 2-0 start. As a result, Fitzpatrick has earned a vote of confidence from head coach Todd Bowles. Even without Fitzpatrick to take into consideration, the fact is that Smith hasn’t played well during his career. The 2013 second-round pick’s completion percentage sits in the high-50s and he’s thrown 25 touchdowns against 34 interceptions in 30 games.

Other news and notes from the AFC:

  • Oakland city and stadium officials have restarted exploratory talks on a new stadium with the Raiders, ESPN’s Bill Williamson reports. The Raiders have set a deadline for Oakland to figure out a new stadium plan by year’s end. If no progress is made, the Raiders – whose lease expires at the end of the season – could relocate to Carson, Calif.
  • The Browns had two first-round picks in the 2014 draft. They came out of the round with cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel. Gilbert’s career has been an abject disaster thus far, and Manziel’s hasn’t been a whole lot better. The Browns’ Sunday opponent is the Raiders, whose first two picks in 2014 were star linebacker Khalil Mack and blossoming QB Derek Carr. With that in mind, Tom Reed of took a look at what could have been for the Browns.
  • In other Browns news, they tried out free agent receiver Jerry Rice Jr. this week, tweets Pro Football Talk. The son of the greatest wideout ever went undrafted out of UNLV in 2014 and has spent time with Washington and Baltimore.
  • Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who won an offseason battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has regained his spot as a starter in the team’s base defense, coordinator Bob Sutton said (link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star). This comes on the heels of the three-time Pro Bowler playing 71 of 73 snaps in the Chiefs’ Week 2 loss to Denver. Berry’s increase in playing time means a decrease for Hussein Abdullah, who played 37 percent of snaps in Week 2 compared to 86 in Week 1.
  • The Broncos’ defense has allowed the fewest yards per game and the seventh-fewest points per game this year. Their players and coaches believe third-year tackle Sylvester Williams has played a key role in their success. “It’s exciting to start to see him develop into the type of player that we all know that he can be,” linebacker Von Miller said, according to Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post. “He’ll have a heck of a year. He’s truly a hard worker,” added defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. “He’s got talent, but a lot of guys have talent and they don’t work how he does.”

Washington Cuts 13 Players

Following the conclusion of this weekend’s draft, Washington has made significant changes to its roster, announcing today (via Twitter) that the club has waived or released 13 players. The players who were waived by Washington will have to go unclaimed before becoming free agents, while the veterans who were released will be able to seek new jobs immediately.

Here’s the full list of players cut by GM Scot McCloughan and his team:



Minor Moves: Sunday

We’ll round up the day’s minor transactions from around the NFL right here, with additional moves listed at the top of the page throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Redskins have filled the roster spot previously held by Jerry Rice Jr. with defensive end Jeremy Towns, tweets Mike Jones of The Washington Post. Towns is an undrafted rookie out of Samford.

Earlier Updates:

  • The Redskins have waived injured wideout Jerry Rice Jr.tweets Zac Boyer of The Washington Times. The player tore the labrum in his left shoulder and will be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers.
  • The Colts have signed undrafted wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardsontweets Ian Rapoport of The embattled rookie attended three colleges and was charged with armed robbery.
  • The Colts have also cut wide receiver Greg Moore and waived cornerback Brandon Burtontweets Aaron Wilson of The National Football Post.
  • To make room for Brock Jensen, the Dolphins have waived wide receiver Rantavious Wooten, reports the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley (via Twitter).
  • Five players cleared waivers and will be placed on their respective team’s injured reserve (via Aaron Wilson’s Twitter): Cowboys offensive lineman Darius MorrisJaguars wideout Damian Copeland, linebacker John Lotulelei and defensive tackle Jordan Miller and Jets safety Brandon Hardin.
  • The Texans have claimed center Sam Longo from the Dolphinstweets Brian McIntyre. To make room on the roster, the team waived offensive lineman Brice Schwab.
  • Jaguars wideout Damian Copeland, linebacker John Lotulelei and defensive tackle Jordan Miller have all cleared waivers and will go on the team’s injured reserve, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • The Chiefs have made a series of roster moves, signing defensive lineman Jairus Campbell and waiving fullback James Baker and cornerback David Van Dyketweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • The Patriots have re-signed linebacker James Morris, according to Pat Harty of the Iowa Press-Citizen (h/t: Christopher Price of Morris, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa, was waived by New England in May with a failed physical designation, but is apparently healthy now.
  • The Dolphins re-signed quarterback Brock Jensen on Saturday night, just four days after cutting him, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Fellow signal-callers Matt Moore and Pat Devlin are both hurt at the moment, so Miami needed additional depth at the position as they prepare for Friday’s preseason opener. If Moore is healthy, he will of course serve as the team’s primary backup in 2014, and his injured shoulder is currently not a major concern for the club.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Redskins Sign Jerry Rice Jr.

3:06pm: A source confirms to John Keim of (Twitter link) that the Redskins have indeed signed Rice. To make room on the roster, the club has waived undrafted rookie cornerback Blake Sailors.

2:40pm: The Redskins appear to have reached an agreement to sign wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr., according to the undrafted rookie himself (hat tip to Rich Tandler of The son of the legendary 49ers wideout published a photo of his new contract on his Instagram account today, with a message suggesting he will join the Redskins for training camp.

This is an amazing day and I’m excited to get back to work to help the Redskins get back to the promised land,” Rice wrote on Instagram. “They gave me an opportunity and best believe they will get 110% out of me!

After not being selected in May’s draft, Rice auditioned for the Ravens and 49ers at their respective minicamps, but didn’t earn a contract from either team. Rice, who turns 23 next month, played his college ball at UNLV and UCLA.

When Washington makes the signing of Rice official, the team will have to cut a player from its roster, since there are currently no openings available.

49ers Notes: Harbaugh, Thomas, James

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News had a pretty interesting Q&A session with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh today concerning troubled linebacker Aldon Smith. The whole article is worth a read, but one highlight came when Kawakami asked, “What’s your standard [for player behavior]? Is it ten felony counts the standard? Do you have a standard?” Harbaugh responded, “I know you probably worked really hard on asking that question. Probably stared in the mirror and thought about just the way you could [ask] that.” The 49ers find themselves in a strange position with the All-Pro standout and Harbaugh is seeking to make things work with him while maintaining a positive locker room atmosphere. More out of SF..

  • The 49ers have signed third-round offensive lineman Brandon Thomas to his four-year rookie contract, the club announced today in a press release. Thomas, the last of the third round’s compensatory picks, tore his ACL during a predraft workout with the Saints and isn’t expected to contribute this season, but if his recovery goes well, he could ultimately be a steal for San Francisco.
  • Running back LaMichael James, who is less-than-happy with his role in San Francisco, joined the team this week, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. James forfeited a $50K workout bonus by staying in his home state of Texas for the start of the 49ers’ offseason program in April. James would welcome a trade and the club was said to be shopping him earlier this offseason, though GM Trent Baalke issued a denial soon after. As it stands, the Oregon product could be behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and possibly Marcus Lattimore on the depth chart.
  • San Francisco is one of a handful of teams conducting their rookie minicamps this week, and the team has formally announced its full roster for the camp. The list features 15 non-roster players auditioning in the hopes of earning contracts, including wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Bowanko, Broncos, Rice Jr.

Here are an assortment of moves on this Monday afternoon…

Extra Points: Mathieu, Strozier, Ravens

Cardinals GM Steve Keim says that he has not ruled out a Week 1 return for injured defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, according to Brent Sobleski of USA Today. After having an impactful start to his rookie campaign last season, Mathieu tore both his ACL and LCL in his left knee in a Week 14 matchup against the Rams. Lets look at a few other news bits from around the league:

  • In a mailbag post, John Clayton of ESPN wrote that rookie wide receivers were impressive around the league during rookie mini-camps. He noted that Sammy Watkins of the Bills and John Brown of the Cardinals shined particularly brightly.
  • The Ravens gave UDFA Jerry Rice Jr. good feedback following his workout with the team, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Although the UNLV product was not offered a deal, he is on the Ravens’ emergency list should they look further for additional receiving options.
  • The Ravens also are impressed with former North Carolina tackle James Hurst. Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times, points out that Hurst, who plays left tackle, would join the likes of Justin Tucker and Priest Holmes if he were to catch on as a major contributor with the Ravens as an UDFA.
  • Former BYU standout receiver Cody Hoffman is hoping to catch on with the Redskins, according to Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.

AFC North Notes: Bridgewater, Steelers, Ravens

Let’s round up the latest out of the AFC North….

  • Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show today, new Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater revealed that he knew he could land with the Browns during last week’s draft, but told his agent “that’s not the place I wanted to be.” Andrew Krammer of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities has the details and quotes from Bridgewater.
  • Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review conducted a Q&A with Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, discussing the team’s draft preparation, its first-round pick (Ryan Shazier), and the apparent focus on adding speed to the roster.
  • One of a handful of undrafted free agents who reportedly agreed to terms with a team and then didn’t land with that club, Texas Tech linebacker Terrance Bullitt saw a shoulder issue scuttle his deal with the Ravens, which would have included a $5.5K signing bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • UNLV wideout Jerry Rice Jr., the son of the Hall of Fame receiver, wasn’t among the RavensUDFA signings, but he’ll participate in the club’s rookie minicamp in the hopes of earning a contract, a source tells Wilson.