Joel Ross

Bears Cut 10, Including FB Darrel Young

The Bears have trimmed their roster to 80 by cutting 10 players, the club announced today. Chicago will need need to waive or release five more players before Tuesday’s cutdown deadline.

The Bears cut the following 10 players:

Young, 29, is the most experienced of the bunch, as he’s appeared in 90 games during his six-year career (all with the Redskins). Young was just signed earlier this month, but it appears that 2015 UDFA Paul Lasike has won Chicago’s fullback job.

Bears Place Brandon Boykin On IR

8:58pm: The Bears signed cornerback Joel Ross to take Boykin’s place on the roster, the team announced (on Twitter). Ross spent time with the Cowboys and Buccaneers in 2015-16 after coming into the league as a UDFA from Appalachian State last year.

8:04pm: Boykin indeed tore a pectoral muscle, Jeremy Fowler of reports (on Twitter). He may have to write 2016 off after his initial free agency foray resulted in an action-packed year for the wrong reasons.

7:58pm: Both Brandon Boykin and the Bears have enjoyed a turbulent summer, and the sides’ patterns continued after Boykin’s latest team placed him on IR, Adam Caplan of reports (on Twitter).

Boykin signed with the Bears just last Wednesday after being connected to many teams — and catching on with the Panthers before being released after the draft — this offseason. But we heard earlier today the well-traveled cornerback was dealing with a problematic pectoral injury that was going to induce Chicago to sign another corner. That problem appeared to be quite troublesome for the Bears, who chose to end Boykin’s chances of playing for them this season.

The 26-year-old corner also visited the Falcons and Cowboys, and was rumored to be dealing with a severe hip injury. But the Bears agreed to sign him, making them Boykin’s fourth employer in the past year. The Eagles traded him to the Steelers just before last season. Respected by the analytics community, Boykin did not see much time in Pittsburgh despite being a quality slot stopper in Philadelphia. And the 2016 offseason has been by far his least stable in the NFL.

Injuries, though, haven’t been a problem for Boykin during the season. He’s played all 64 regular-season contests for his Pennsylvania-stationed teams the past four years and played a key role for the Steelers in the playoffs last season despite only making one start during the regular season.

The 5-foot-9 corner made 21 tackles but graded out well in the opinion of Pro Football Focus. Boykin’s best season came in 2014, when he intercepted six passes and amassed 136 return yards.

The Bears have now lost another potential contributor they’d signed this offseason. Chicago already saw recently signed offensive linemen Manny Ramirez and Nate Chandler retire.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/27/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Eagles announced that they have waived linebacker Travis Long. The 25-year-old tore his right ACL in college and suffered two left ACL tears in the NFL They’ve also signed receiver David Watford, bringing them to capacity on the 90-man roster, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.
  • The Broncos have waived running back Cyrus Gray to make room for newly signed receiver Marlon Brown, per Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • The Bengals signed former Nebraska defensive end Jack Gangwish to his first rookie deal, as Coley Harvey of tweets. The Bengals now have 87 players on the roster.
  • The Buccaneers have cut cornerback Joel Ross, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). They’ve also been awarded corner Daniel Davie off waivers from the Colts, per Wilson.
  • The Vikings announced the signings of tackle Sean Hickey and linebacker Jason Whittingham.
  • The Patriots signed blocking tight end Bear Pascoe and guard Jon Halapio, Adam Caplan of tweets.
  • The Redskins announced the signing of two receivers: Utah’s Kendal Thompson and Virginia’s T.J. Thorpe. With Thompson and Thorpe now in the mix, the Redskins are currently up to 13 wide receivers on the roster
  • The Ravens have waived-injured cornerback Jumal Rolle and linebacker Cavellis Luckett, tweets Wilson. They’ve also signed receiver Dobson Collins, per Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link).

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/4/16

Now that the 2015 regular season is in the books, teams can begin signing players to reserve/futures contracts, adding those players to their 90-man offseason rosters. Generally, these players finished the season on a team’s practice squad, though some were free agents at season’s end.

Here are today’s reserve/futures deals:

Atlanta Falcons signed four players (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of

Baltimore Ravens signed seven players (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun):

  • Brennen Beyer, LB
  • Leon Brown, G
  • Nordly Capi, DE
  • Blaine Clausell, T
  • Chuck Jacobs, WR
  • Nick Perry, S
  • Harold Spears, TE

Buffalo Bills signed seven players (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of

Chicago Bears signed nine players (Twitter link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune):

Cleveland Browns signed six players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Dallas Cowboys signed eight players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Denver Broncos signed four players (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9NEWS)

Detroit Lions signed five players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Jacksonville Jaguars signed nine players (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union):

Miami Dolphins signed one player (link)

  • Tyler Davis, WR

New Orleans Saints signed five players (link via Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune):

New York Giants signed six players (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle)

Philadelphia Eagles signed seven players (Twitter link via team):

San Diego Chargers signed six players (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego)

Seattle Seahawks signed three players (Twitter link via Wilson)

  • Andrew East, LS
  • Ronnie Shields, TE
  • Phillip Sims, QB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed nine players (link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times):

  • Josh Allen, G
  • Andre Davis, WR
  • Antoine Everett, G
  • Ben Gottschalk, C
  • Gerod Holliman, S
  • Martin Ifedi, DE
  • Derrick Lott, DT
  • C.J. Roberts, CB
  • Joel Ross, CB

Tennessee Titans signed five players (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of

  • David Fluellen, RB
  • Kevin Greene, TE
  • Nick Harwell, WR
  • Josue Matias, G
  • Will Poehls, T

Washington signs three players (link via team):

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/30/15

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: DE/OLB Xzavier Dickson (Twitter link via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: G Leon Brown (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun)

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Diego Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: DT Justin Hamilton (Twitter link via The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: S Gerod Holliman, CB C.J. Roberts, CB Joel Ross (press release via team)

NFC North Notes: Wallace, Lions, Megatron

Mike Wallace knows that his hefty contract could make this a one-and-done season with the Vikings, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes. Wallace is making $9.9MM this year and due to earn $11.5MM in 2016, but next year’s salary is not guaranteed. Meanwhile, Minnesota is pretty stacked at wide receiver, a stable that includes rookie Stefon Diggs.

I’m not stupid. I’m a pretty smart guy. I understand everything,” Wallace said. “When you go to look at that, that’s a lot of money to leave out there that you want to get, but you have to make plays to get those numbers up. We’ll see.

So far, Wallace has just 27 receptions for 296 yards. At that pace, his 54 catches would be fewest since his rookie year, and 592 yards would be a career-low. Diggs, meanwhile, has 28 catches for 461 yards despite being inactive for the first three of Minnesota’s eight games.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Lions interim GM Sheldon White was non-committal when asked about the futures of Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. Stafford, 27, has struggled for most of the season and the Lions can get out from his deal this offseason with just an $11MM cap hit. Johnson, 30, is one of the most talented receivers in the game, but at his age he’s likely not worth the ~$16MM salary he’s due to make next year, a rate that comes with a whopping $24MM cap hit.
  • Contrary to published reports, two people familiar with the situation told Larry Lage of The Associated Press that the Lions have not hired a firm to assist them with their search for new executives.
  • In a separate piece, Birkett wonders if ex-Lions GM Martin Mayhew could get another chance to be a GM elsewhere. For what it’s worth, former Lions senior personnel executive Shack Harris feels that Mayhew should get another shot.
  • Per Rob Demovsky of (via Twitter), the Packers tried out several defensive players today, including cornerbacks Donald Celiscar and Joel Ross, linebacker Derrick Mathews, and defensive end B.J. McBryde.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Von, Texans, Browns, Pats

Broncos linebacker Von Miller is a rarity – a star from the 2011 draft class who hasn’t yet signed a mega-extension, writes Mike Klis of 9News.

Miller, who went second overall, has piled up 49 sacks in 56 regular-season games, three Pro Bowl bids and a pair of All-Pro selections. While he’s had to watch as fellow draft class members Cam Newton, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green and J.J. Watt have signed huge deals, Miller isn’t concerned.

“I’d like to think that the way I handle stuff, I handle stuff a whole lot different than a normal guy would. I’m good,” he said.

The Broncos are currently maxed out on their 2015 payroll and won’t be able to extend Miller until next offseason, according to Klis, so Miller will have to wait a little longer for his colossal payday. In the meantime, Miller’s in a contract year and will look to build on last season’s 14-sack output.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Texans won’t be particularly adventurous with their two-point conversion usage this year, head coach Bill O’Brien told Jeff Adams of the Houston Chronicle. “As far as going for two, we probably don’t think much about it much until the fourth quarter unless it’s something that an oddity comes up during the game and we feel like we have to do that.”
  • Browns head coach Mike Pettine is confident that recently released Terrelle Pryor will turn into a quality NFL receiver, but the timing wasn’t right in Cleveland. “The fact is that [Pryor] wasn’t [healthy] and that he was not prepared at this point to be a viable productive member,” Pettine said, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’m not saying that he never will be. I’m very confident that he will be knowing his work ethic. Knowing his skill set, he will be. Like I said, it’s timing and it’s circumstances.”
  • The Patriots worked out a linebacker, Darius Eubanks, and two defensive backs, Tay Glover-Wright and Joel Ross, on Friday (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of

Cowboys Cut A.J. Jenkins, Down To 53 Players

The Cowboys have announced their Saturday roster moves, paring down from 75 players to 53 in preparation for the regular season. One of the players waived today by the Cowboys was former first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins, who signed with the team earlier in the offseason. With failed stops in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Dallas now under his belt, Jenkins’ NFL opportunities are likely running out.

Here are the players removed from Dallas’ active roster today, per a team release:


  • QB Dustin Vaughan
  • QB Jameill Showers
  • RB Gus Johnson
  • RB Ben Malena
  • FB Ray Agnew
  • WR Clyde Gates
  • WR Nick Harwell
  • WR A.J. Jenkins
  • T Laurence Gibson
  • T John Wetzel
  • C Shane McDermott
  • C Ronald Patrick
  • DE Ben Gardner
  • DE Efe Obada
  • LB Donnie Baggs
  • LB Dakorey Johnson
  • CB Joel Ross
  • S Tim Scott


  • LB Ka’Lial Glaud
  • CB Rod Sweeting


  • DE Greg Hardy
  • LB Rolando McClain

Meanwhile, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram weighs in on rumors from earlier in the day that linked running back Jonas Gray to the Cowboys. According to Williams (via Twitter), the Cowboys didn’t have interest in trading for Gray, but could be interested now that he has been cut by the Pats. The young back will become a free agent tomorrow unless he’s claimed on waivers or signs to a practice squad.

Cowboys Add 14 UDFAs

The Cowboys’ ballyhooed acquisition of La’el Collins will overshadow the remainder of the team’s undrafted free agent contingent. But 14 additional players joined the would-be first-rounder in signing with the Cowboys, per’s Todd Archer.

  • Synjyn Days, RB, Georgia Tech
  • George Farmer, WR, USC ($55K of contract guaranteed; $15K signing bonus; $40K guaranteed base salary, according to the USA Today’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter)
  • Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor
  • Deontay Greenberry, WR, Houston
  • Ray Hamilton, TE, Iowa
  • Nick Harwell, WR, Kansas
  • Shane McDermott, C, Miami ($5K signing bonus, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun)
  • Daniel Quave, OT, Louisiana-Lafayette ($1.500 guaranteed signing bonus, per Wilson on Twitter)
  • Joel Ross, CB, Appalachian State
  • Tim Scott, S, North Carolina
  • Jameill Showers, QB, UTEP
  • Jason Wilson, CB, Central Michigan
  • Ray Vinopal, S, Pittsburgh ($2K signing bonus, tweets Wilson)
  • Lucky Whitehead, WR, Florida Atlantic