Joe Kruger

Lions Notes: Hardy, Austin, Kruger

The Lions are a possible fit for free agent defensive end Greg HardyRobert Klemko of The MMQB writes. The Lions, he writes, probably feel like they’re one or two pieces away from winning their division and they could conceivably be willing to deal with the headaches of signing the former Pro Bowler. Recently, PFR’s Dallas Robinson identified the Lions and seven other teams as potential landing spots for the troubled free agent.

Here’s more out of Detroit:

  • Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was a popular name in different head coaching searches this offseason, but he feels that only two of his four interviews were “legitimate” (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). When asked if he felt that his other two interviews were only done to satisfy the Rooney Role, Austin told Birkett (Twitter link) that he could take his comments however he wanted to. As shown in PFR’s 2016 Head Coaching Tracker, Austin interviewed with the Browns, Dolphins, Giants, and Eagles. Since the Browns hired a black coach in Hue Jackson, Austin presumably isn’t accusing Cleveland of interviewing him to fulfill the minority candidate requirement.
  • The Lions brought in Joe Kruger for a workout earlier this week, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Kruger was drafted by Philadelphia as a defensive end in 2013 but Detroit auditioned him as a tight end.
  • On Wednesday, we learned that Detroit will not be signing linebacker Mike Neal, despite having met with him in March.

AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Jets, Texans

Some assorted notes from around the AFC…

  • Wideout Dwayne Bowe has yet to take the field after having joined the Browns this offseason, but the veteran is confident that he’s ready to make an impact. “People in this building know in practice from watching every day the plays I make, and I’m just waiting for it to be called in the game,” Bowe told Nate Ulrich of “I’m getting back to where I need to get, and it’s going to happen. Just have patience.”
  • The Browns worked out a handful of players yesterday, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The attendees included defensive tackle Davon Coleman, offensive linemen Reese Dismukes, Vince Kowalski, Ron Patrick and Aundrey Walker, and defensive ends Joe Kruger and Julius Warmsley.
  • Former USF wideout Andre Davis told Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 The Team that he has a workout with the Ravens this week. The receiver spent this past preseason with the Bills.
  • Jets linebacker Demario Davis was fined $8,681 for his hit on running back Darren Sproles last weekend, reports Dom Cosentino of
  • A pair of Texans linebackers were fined for their actions during last weekend’s game against the Buccaneers, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle: John Simon ($17,363) and Akeem Dent ($8,681).

Steelers Reduce Roster To 75 Players

The Steelers added one player to their roster today, acquiring Josh Scobee in a trade with the Jaguars, but most of the day’s transactions for the team involve removing players onto reserve lists, or cutting them from the team entirely.

Here are the rest of the moves completed today by Pittsburgh in order to get the roster down to 75 players, according to the club’s transactions log:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

  • T Mike Adams

Placed on injured reserve:

  • CB Senquez Golson
  • K Garrett Hartley


  • TE Cameron Clear
  • DE Niko Davis
  • TE Ray Hamilton


  • G Miles Dieffenbach
  • WR Kenzel Doe
  • WR C.J. Goodwin
  • RB Braylon Heard
  • DE Joe Kruger
  • DT Joe Okafor
  • OL Collin Rahrig
  • CB Jordan Sullen
  • T Kevin Whimpey
  • S Ian Wild

Steelers Sign Seven To Futures Contracts

Like the Bengals and the Cardinals, the Steelers didn’t waste any time following their elimination from the playoffs to move forward on 2015 business, confirming today that they’ve signed seven practice squad players to reserve/futures contracts for 2015. Here’s the list of players locked up by Pittsburgh so far, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link):

The Steelers finished the season with a full 10-man practice squad, but so far wide receiver Tim Benford, running back LaDarius Perkins, and offensive lineman Ronald Patrick remain unsigned.

Practice Squad Updates: Monday

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here..

  • The Chiefs have placed Darin Drakeford on the practice squad-injured list, tweets Aaron Wilson. The linebacker was originally cut by the Falcons in August, and he signed with Kansas City in October.
  • The Colts have re-signed wideout Griff Whalen to their practice squad, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. The 24-year-old was waived this past weekend to make room for Zurlon Tipton.

Earlier updates:

  • The Packers have signed offensive tackle Justin Renfrow to their practice squad, tweets ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. To make room, they released guard Rishaw Johnson, who was signed to the practice squad last week. Renfrow, a former standout for the Miami Hurricanes, briefly spent time with the Cardinals.
  • The Chiefs are planning to sign defensive lineman Nick Williams off of the Steelers’ practice squad, a source told Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Kansas City has their eye on the 2013 seventh rounder all year, Rapoport adds. Williams, 24, spent last year on injured reserve. He’s now the second defensive lineman to be plucked from the Steelers’ practice squad this month. The Cardinals signed defensive end Josh Mauro off of the Steelers’ taxi squad two weeks ago.
  • To fill the space left by Williams’ departure, the Steelers have signed defensive end Joe Kruger to their practice squad, tweets Adam Caplan of

Workout Notes: Thursday

The Panthers, still somehow right in the thick of things in the NFC South race, took advantage of their bye week to bring in a number of players for auditions yesterday. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Carolina worked out the following players: Austin Pettis (WR), Uzoma Nwachukwu (WR), Zach Bauman (RB), Toben Opurum (RB), Brad Sorensen (QB), M.D. Jennings (DB), Kimario McFadden (DB), Anthony Walters (DB), and Lou Young (DB). Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun adds one more name to the list, tweeting that wide receiver Michael Preston also visited the team.

Wilson has details on several more tryouts for free agent players this week, so let’s round up his updates (all links go to Twitter):

Packers Waive Derek Sherrod

Fresh off their bye week, the Packers have made a slew of roster moves, with the most notable transaction being the waiving of tackle Derek Sherrod, who was the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft (Twitter link via Brian McIntyre). To replace him on the roster, Green Bay has activated center J.C. Tretter from the injured reserve/designated to return list, per Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). The club also tweaked its practice squad, signing running back Rajion Neal and linebacker Joe Thomas while cutting tight end Ike Ariguzo and defensive end Joe Kruger, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter).

The Packers’ decision to cut Sherrod ends an unceremonious run in Green Bay for the Mississippi State product, who despite his draft pedigree, started only one game during his stint with the team. He represents a rare miss by general manager Ted Thompson — as’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter), Sherrod joins Justin Harrell as the only Thompson first-round picks no longer on the Packers’ roster. Sherrod’s most notable performance, infamously, came during the NFL opener earlier this year, when he was routinely beaten by various Seahawks defenders on his way to registering a -6.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Still only 25, Sherrod should be able to latch on somewhere else; because he isn’t a vested veteran, he will have to clear waivers before becoming a free agent. The Packers, meanwhile, will need to find another swing tackle, as there isn’t another OT on the roster outside of starters David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. The club does have rookie tackle Jeremy Vujnovich on its practice squad, so perhaps we’ll see him be promoted if the Packers decide they need more depth along their line.

Tretter, 23, was slated to take over as Green Bay’s starting center following the offseason departure of veteran Evan Dietrich-Smith. After injuring his knee during training camp, however, the team placed the 2013 fourth-rounder on IR-DTR. His replacement in the lineup, Corey Linsley, is playing extremely well, as evidenced by his rating as the league’s third-best center per PFF, so it’s fair to wonder if Tretter will be relegated to a reserve role. As Silverstein suggests (via Twitter), Tretter is a candidate to act as a backup tackle, so perhaps his versatility would serve him well in a bench position.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

With practices resuming following the weekend’s games, and teams having a better of idea of how serious its players’ injuries are, Tuesdays are often a busy day for practice squad transactions, as clubs replenish their rosters and swap in players at potential positions of need. As such, we expect to update this post plenty of times throughout the day, with the latest news of practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL. Here’s the latest:

  • Defensive tackle Joe Vellano, who was waived by the Patriots on Monday, has agreed to stay with New England on its practice squad, tweets Mike Reiss of Vellano is the beneficiary of the new practice squad rules that allow a second-year player to be eligible despite playing in 16 games in 2013.
  • Defensive back Chandler Fenner and wide receiver Julian Talley, both waived by the Giants yesterday, have been re-signed to the practice squad, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • The Eagles re-signed linebacker Brandon Hepburn to their practice squad, according to Geoff Mosher of (via Twitter).
  • The Packers signed Joe Kruger, the brother of Paul Kruger, to their practice squad, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Former Ravens defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i has been added to the Browns’ taxi squad, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • As noted below, cornerback Mike Harris has signed with the Lions‘ practice squad, replacing fellow defensive back Josh Victorian, tweets Tim Twentyman of
  • The Jets have released cornerback LeQuan Lewis from their practice squad, signing another cornerback – Dashaun Phillips – in his place, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • One wide receiver has replaced another on the Cowboys‘ practice squad, tweets Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as Tim Benford has been cut and LaRon Byrd has been signed.
  • The Rams are down to nine players on their practice squad, having cut wide receiver Justin Veltung today, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).
  • The Lions have signed defensive back Mike Harris to their taxi squad, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Detroit had a full 10-man unit, so a corresponding cut will be necessary to finalize the move.
  • Offensive tackle Ryan Miller has been cut from the Broncos‘ practice squad, reports Mike Klis of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
  • The Browns have cut long snapper Charley Hughlett from their practice squad, per agent Brett Tessler (via Twitter). Hughlett was brought in to provide competition for the team’s regular long snapper, Christian Yount, but Cleveland has opted to continue on with Yount.
  • The 49ers have swapped one offensive lineman for another on their practice squad, cutting tackle John Fullington in order to bring aboard guard Andrew Tiller, according to the club.
  • Guard William Campbell and defensive tackle Jeremy Towns are the newest members of the Bills‘ practice squad, replacing fullback Lonnie Pryor and tight end Jamie Childers, according to Mike Rodak of (via Twitter).
  • Three days after cutting him from their active roster, the Jaguars have re-signed tight end Mickey Shuler to their practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. To make room on the squad, wide receiver Kerry Taylor has been cut.
  • Last week’s promotion of quarterback Chandler Harnish to the active roster suggested the Vikings were more confident in him than McLeod Bethel-Thompson in an emergency scenario, and the team’s moves today reflected that as well. The Vikes announced in a press release that Bethel-Thompson has been let go from the practice squad, with Harnish, wideout Donte Foster, and defensive back Pierre Warren joining the unit.
  • To keep tabs on all 32 practice squad rosters, be sure to check out our complete list.

Chargers Begin Cutdown To 53 Players

The Chargers may not ultimately finalize their 53-man roster until tomorrow, but their move to 53 players to 75 is already underway. Listed below are the players released so far by San Diego, with any additional cuts added to the list throughout the day as they’re reported:

Minor Moves: Monday