Jim Turner

Extra Points: Texans, Bills, Haskins, Bengals

Brandin Cooks has been traded three times during his seven-year career, and the Texans wideout is hoping he isn’t included in any more deals.

“[A]s far as a team thinking they could trade me for draft capital, I would caution them to think twice, because quite frankly, I’m not going to accept any more trades,” Cooks told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “And so, for me, if you want me off your team, you’ve just got to let me walk and choose my destination.”

While Cooks isn’t anxious to uproot his family, he also wants to stay in Houston so he can continue receiving passes from quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“I would love to continue to grow with Deshaun and have that commitment, however that looks,” Cooks said. “I don’t get into that. I’ll leave that to my agent and the team, but playing with a guy like that — who wouldn’t want to play with a quarterback like Deshaun?”

Cooks still has three years remaining on his contract, and he’ll have a manageable $12MM cap hit in 2021. However, he doesn’t have any guaranteed money left on the deal, adding a bit of uncertainty to his future. For what it’s worth, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the organization has yet to talk contract with the wideout, but “it’s a conversation expected to take place in the offseason” once the team officially hires their GM and head coach.

Some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Speaking of, we learned earlier today that the Texans were set to hire Patriots executive Nick Caserio as their new GM, and it apparently took a giant offer to get him to Houston. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Houston gave Caserio a six-year contract that will make him one of the three-highest paid general managers in the NFL. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the deal is worth “at least” $6MM annually.
  • The Bills are scheduled to audition quarterback Chad Kelly, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). There’s an obvious connection here, as the 26-year-old is the nephew of legendary Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. Yates suggests that the audition could result in a “possible reserve/future” deal. The final pick of the 2017 draft, the younger Kelly has spent time with the Broncos and Colts during his career, getting into a single game.
  • After going unclaimed on waivers last week, former Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins and agent David Mulugheta mutually agreed to part ways. The former first-rounded has since found new representation, as ESPN’s Jenna Laine reports (via Twitter) that Haskins has hired Goal Line Football.
  • Following a 2020 season where the organization finished with only four wins, the Bengals have moved on from three assistants, according to ESPN’s Ben Baby (via Twitter). Jim Turner, Nick Eason, and Gerald Chatman will not return in 2021. However, Baby notes that the Bengals defense showed flashes this past season, meaning Eason and Chatman could end up landing new gigs relatively quickly.

Bengals Notes: Taylor, Turner, Casey, Martin

New Bengals head coach Zac Taylor will call his own offensive plays, as he told reporters at his introductory press conference on Tuesday (Twitter link via Richard Skinner of WKRC-TV). Taylor was hired on the strength of his offensive acumen, so it’s no surprise that he’ll direct Cincinnati’s offense, leaving new offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to serve in a game-planning role. Taylor, for what it’s worth, doesn’t boast much play-calling experience: he led the Dolphins’ offense for a half-season in 2015, and coordinated the University of Cincinnati’s offense the following year. Under former coordinator Bill Lazor, the Bengals’ offense ranked 17th in scoring, 19th in DVOA, and 26th in yardage in 2018.

Here’s more from the Queen City:

  • Taylor will hire Texas A&M offensive line coach Jim Turner for the same role, reports Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Turner has worked with Taylor at three different stops, so there’s obvious familiarity between the two. He’d be replacing Frank Pollack, with whom the Bengals parted ways despite his excellent efforts in 2018. Turner, notably, was Miami’s offensive line coach during the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito bullying scandal, and was eventually fired in 2014 after an independent report indicated he participated in harassment of players. He was also suspended by Texas A&M in 2016 after using sexually-charged presentation slides during a women’s football clinic.
  • Former Texans tight end and current University of Houston tight ends coach James Casey will join the Bengals in the same role, while Ben Martin — who had recently been hired as an assistant offensive line coach at Brown — will take over as Cincinnati’s assistant OL coach, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Casey is only 34 years old, and was still playing as recently as 2015. He joined Houston as an offensive assistant in 2016 and became tight ends coach the following year. Martin, meanwhile, worked at Texas A&M with Taylor.
  • Among the Bengals coaches who are expected to be retained under Taylor are Alex Van Pelt (quarterbacks), Dan Pitcher (assistant quarterbacks), Bob Bicknell (wide receivers), Robert Livingston (secondary), Daronte Jones (secondary), and Brayden Coombs (assistant secondary), per Dehner. Coombs, notably, was thought to be a candidate for the Packers’ special teams coordinator position, but he’ll instead remain in Cincinnati.

Raiders Notes: Gannon, Fraley, Marynowitz

Rich Gannon will not be the next Raiders’ quarterbacks coach, as he explained to 95.7 The Game (Twitter link via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area). Gannon, now a commentator with CBS Sports, apparently had some level of interest in the position, but “came to his senses” on a flight to Oakland, realizing he couldn’t put in the required time commitment. Gannon, of course, has a long relationship with new Oakland head coach Jon Gruden, as he served as Gruden’s starting quarterback with the Raiders from 1999-2001. The 2002 MVP, Gannon lost to Gruden’s Buccaneers in that year’s Super Bowl. Without Gannon in tow, Oakland may simply choose not to hire a QBs coach, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Here’s more from Oakland:

  • The Raiders are hiring an offensive line coach to replace Mike Tice, and the club has no shortage of candidates. Incumbent Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin — who is also in the running for the Bengals OL job — has interviewed with Oakland. Meanwhile, former Eagles lineman Hank Fraley, former Dolphins coach Jim Turner, and longtime NFL stalwarts Hal Hunter and Frank Smith are also contenders for the position, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Cowboys running backs Gary Brown is interviewing for the same role with the Raiders today, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Gruden had been expected to target Brown ever since he was linked to the Oakland job, but Dallas reportedly isn’t giving him up without a fight. Whether or not Brown decides to defect to the Bay Area could depend on the content of today’s meeting. Brown, who enjoyed a nine-year career as an NFL running back, first entered the coaching ranks with Cleveland in 2009.
  • Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley is interviewing to become the Raiders’ new secondary coach, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Ansley has never coached at the NFL level, but he does offer vast collegiate experience at stops such as Kentucky and Tennessee. Recent reports have indicated Ansley will be Colorado State’s next defensive coordinator, but he could hypothetically pass up that opportunity in order to join the NFL.
  • The Raiders are speaking to Alabama associate athletic director for football Ed Marynowitz about a role in their personnel department, reports Michael Lombardi of the Ringer (Twitter link). Marynowitz previously worked under Chip Kelly in the Eagles’ front office, but was fired along with Kelly in 2015.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Grossman, Bills

In the wake of the locker-room altercation that left Geno Smith with a broken jaw, the Jets are in the preliminary stages of adding another quarterback to their roster, tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

It makes sense that the team would want to add another veteran to the mix while Smith is out, since Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the only signal-caller on the roster with NFL experience — rookies Bryce Petty and Jake Heaps are also on the Jets’ roster, but Heaps is likely just a camp arm and a potential practice squad candidate, while the club would probably rather not have Petty see regular-season action this year.

One potential target for the Jets may be Rex Grossman, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network, who tweets that the team reached out to the veteran free agent. However, Grossman is dealing with an injury he suffered during his training, and would need a few weeks to get ready, so the Jets figure to consider other options as well.

As we wait to see which direction the Jets go, here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Jonathan Martin, the offensive tackle at the center of the Dolphins‘ bullying scandal in 2013, explained in a since-deleted tweet that he decided to retire from the NFL because “in the end, football was just a job, albeit a fun and well-paying one.” Alluding to the health concerns inherent in being an NFL player, Martin added that “being in a wheelchair at 50 isn’t worth any amount of money,” per Bill Voth of the Black and Blue Review. As Voth observes, another Martin tweet in which the former lineman compliments his Panthers and 49ers teammates, without mentioning his Dolphins teammates, serves as a reminder that Martin’s time in Miami didn’t exactly go smoothly.
  • Jim Turner, the offensive line coach who was dismissed by the Dolphins after Ted Wells published his report on the 2013 bullying scandal, filed a lawsuit against Wells and his law firm, but didn’t name the Dolphins or the NFL as defendants, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
  • Former Clemson cornerback Garry Peters is working out for the Bills, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Peters signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent earlier this offseason, but was cut at the end of July by Carolina.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Brady, Patriots

Former Dolphins offensive coach Jim Turner is filing a defamation lawsuit in Florida against Ted Wells for his findings in his February 2014 report on the Dolphins bullying scandal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes. Turner, who thinks his reputation and career have been unfairly affected, believes that Wells’ report on the Dolphins negatively and perhaps permanently altered his ability to land another NFL coaching job. The Dolphins were plagued by the scandal in 2013 which centered on the relationship between offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. Here’s more out of the AFC East..

  • Some of those connected to the Tom Brady case tell Mark Maske of the Washington Post that they’re skeptical that Wednesday’s settlement conference in federal court in New York will move the NFL and the NFLPA significantly closer to a compromise and resolve their dispute over Brady’s punishment. “I don’t see much willingness to move toward a middle ground,” one of those people said. Another person familiar with the case expressed similar sentiments, saying: “You never say never, I guess. [But] I don’t expect it.
  • By cutting Chris White and trading Matt Wells, the door is open wider for Rutgers product Jonathan Freeny to make the Patriots, Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald tweets.
  • Since the start of the Deflategate investigation, there was a lot of questioning of Ted Wells’ standing as an independent investigator. However, if you ask Tom E. Curran of CSNNE, that’s ultimately a moot point.

Extra Points: Benton, Dolphins, Amendola

The Dolphins have promoted John Benton to offensive line coach and named Jack Bicknell Jr. the team’s assistant offensive line coach, the team announced today.

Benton was originally hired by the Dolphins on January 29. He replaces Jim Turner, who was fired earlier this month for his involvement in the Richie IncognitoJonathan Martin bullying scandal.

Bicknell spent the 2013 season as the Steelers‘ offensive line coach. Before that, he had NFL stops with the Chiefs and Giants, and 24 seasons coaching at the collegiate level.

Here are some more bits and pieces from a relatively slow Saturday night…

AFC Notes: Martin, Bonuses, Colts, Kolb

In the wake of the publication of the Ted Wells report, Jonathan Martin’s agent Kenny Zuckerman reiterated to several reporters today, including ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link), that his client fully intends to continue his NFL career in 2014. Jim Harbaugh, Martin’s former coach at Stanford, believes that the offensive tackle should fare better in another team’s locker room, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee details. Meanwhile, Mike Garafalo of FOX Sports tweets that Martin’s camp will meet with the Dolphins as soon as next week at the scouting combine.

Richie Incognito‘s lawyer has publicly suggested that the Wells report is “replete with errors,” while Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald hears from a Dolphins source that offensive line coach Jim Turner is almost certainly done in Miami (Twitter link). There may still be more twists and turns coming in this story, but for now we’ll focus on a few other non-Dolphins items around the AFC:

  • While it won’t affect teams’ salary cap figures, plenty of clubs are set to pay out deferred bonus money this weekend. The Patriots will pay Tom Brady $5MM of his signing bonus, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com. Brian McIntyre reports (via Twitter) that the Chiefs and Dolphins will also pay out bonus money on Saturday, including $6MM to Tamba Hali and $5MM to Dwayne Bowe for Kansas City.
  • With Trent Richardson and Vick Ballard set to return to the Colts’ backfield, it wouldn’t be surprising to see prospective free agent Donald Brown land elsewhere, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.
  • A history of concussions has placed Kevin Kolb‘s NFL future in doubt, and Bills coach Doug Marrone told WGR 550 today that he still isn’t sure if Kolb is planning to return to the team. ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak has the details. With a $1MM roster bonus owed to the quarterback next month, the Bills may end up releasing Kolb or restructuring his deal.
  • Within his latest look around the NFL, Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei revisits the Browns‘ front office situation, providing details about Ray Farmer‘s GM candidacy with the Dolphins, Cleveland’s head coaching search, and Joe Banner‘s future job prospects.
  • The Titans should try to re-sign cornerback Alterraun Verner, safety Bernard Pollard, and defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, but should be content to let wide receiver Kenny Britt and a few other free agents walk, suggests Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.