John Conner

Workout Notes: Saints, Seahawks, Jaguars

Today’s workouts from around the NFL..

  • The Jets worked out defensive end Lawrence Okoye, Rich Cimini of tweets. Okoye, a former University of Kentucky discus hurler, had previous stops with the 49ers and Cardinals.

Earlier updates:

Bills Release 16 Players, Waive Meeks

5:04pm: In addition to their moves earlier today, the Bills have waived safety Jonathan Meeks, ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweets. The Bills attempted to trade Meeks, per Rodak, but were unable to find any takers. Rodak writes that Meeks is a candidate to end up on the Bills’ practice squad if he goes unclaimed on waivers. According to Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, the Bills tried – and failed – to trade a receiver in order to keep Meeks on their 53-man roster (Twitter link).

1:07pm: The Bills announced that they have cut 16 players, including defensive end IK Enemkpali, as a part of their effort to get down to a 53-man roster. The full list of transactions is below:


  • OL William Campbell
  • FB John Conner
  • WR Andre Davis
  • DE IK Enemkpali
  • DT Andre Fluellen
  • LB Quentin Groves
  • RB Bronson Hill
  • OL Darryl Johnson
  • OL Alex Kupper
  • DE B.J. Larsen
  • WR Dezmin Lewis
  • CB Merrill Noel
  • WR Tobais Palmer
  • G Cyril Richardson
  • QB Matt Simms (as reported earlier today)
  • RB Cierre Wood

Reserve/NFI List:

  • CB Leodis McKelvin


  • WR Deonte Thompson

Enemkpali is now (and perhaps, forever) best known as the player who punched Jets quarterback Geno Smith, causing him a broken jaw and many weeks on the sidelines. Immediately after the incident, the Jets waived the linebacker/defensive end and old pal Rex Ryan wasted little time in claiming him. Enemkpali only saw the field sparingly in his rookie season, playing 40 defensive snaps and contributing a little on special teams as well.

Groves, 31, appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Titans last season, including three starts. The linebacker, a former second round pick by the Jaguars, has bounced around a bit over the years and despite signing with Buffalo in August, he’ll be looking for a new NFL home once again in 2015.

Fluellen, 30, spent nearly all of his career with the Lions since being drafted by the team in the third round back in 2008. However, he has never played a significant role in Detroit, acting as a part-time contributor over the course of 77 career games (75 with Detroit). In 2014, Fluellen recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery in 183 defensive snaps. In June, he hooked on with Buffalo, but his stay in Western New York was brief.


Bills Sign John Conner

After hosting him today for a free visit, the Bills have signed former Jets fullback John Conner to a contract, the team announced in a press release. To make room on the 90-man roster for Conner, Buffalo has waived fullback Corey Knox.

Conner, who turns 28 next month, has had multiple stints with the Jets under Rex Ryan, having been drafted by the franchise back in 2010. Most recently, the veteran appeared in 12 games for the Jets in 2014, carrying the ball six times and catching a pair of passes – including one for a touchdown – but serving primarily as a blocking back.

In Buffalo, there’s certainly no guarantee that Conner will earn a spot on the Bills’ 53-man roster, since the team already signed Jerome Felton to a multiyear contract back in March. However, a report from Draft Diamonds earlier today suggested that the Bills and Ryan, fond as they are of “The Terminator”‘s blocking ability, would like to add him as a complement to Felton, utilizing him in big-back sets and on special teams.

Still, if the Bills ultimately decide there isn’t room for Conner on their regular season roster, it shouldn’t be hard to move on — Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) reports that the fullback’s contract is for one year at the minimum salary. I expect the deal will include only a small portion of guaranteed money, if there’s any guarantee at all.

Free Agent Notes: Arrington, Conner, Davis

It’s not clear if the Browns or Falcons put in a waiver claim for D.J. Swearinger, but both clubs had interest in landing the former Texans safety before he was claimed by the Buccaneers yesterday, Adam Schefter of tweets. One team that did put in a claim was the Jets, a source tells Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). None of those clubs could get to Swearinger, however, as Tampa Bay had the No. 1 waiver priority and used it.

While Swearinger didn’t make it to the open market, we have a few updates on players who are currently free agents, or who recently signed contracts with new teams:

  • As the Ravens explore the possibility of adding a cornerback, recently released ex-Patriot Kyle Arrington is “clearly” their top target, writes Jamison Hensley of Jordan Raanan of (Twitter link) agrees that the Ravens are in the mix for Arrington, adding that the Panthers are another team to watch.
  • Having already signed Jerome Felton this offseason, the Bills shouldn’t necessarily be in the market for another fullback, but the team is hosting John Conner for a visit today, according to a report from Draft Diamonds. Conner has had multiple stints with the Jets under Rex Ryan, who is fond of his blocking ability and would consider adding “The Terminator” to the roster as a complement to Felton.
  • Tight end Fred Davis, who was a free agent – and serving a suspension – for over a year before signing with the Patriots this week, received a $20K workout bonus and $60K in per-game roster bonuses on his one-year, minimum salary deal, tweets Field Yates of Davis’ contract doesn’t include any guaranteed money.
  • As NFL communications rep Randall Liu notes (on Twitter), unrestricted free agents who didn’t receive contract tenders from their former clubs are now free to sign with new teams without having an impact on that team’s compensatory draft pick formula. The NFL moved up this cutoff date from June 1 to May 12 this year, allowing unsigned players a better opportunity to find new homes earlier in the spring.

New York Notes: Umenyiora, Giants, Jets

No one is immune from a bad fantasy beat, including NFL players themselves. This week, Giants tight end Larry Donnell opted to bench himself in favor of Vernon Davis, as Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record writes. If Donnell had enough confidence in himself, he would have been the beneficiary of his career-best performance that included seven catches for 54 yards and three touchdowns and he wouldn’t have lost by 15 points. They say you should always start your studs, but there are always exceptions. And besides, Donnell himself is looking like a stud performer himself. Here’s more from exit 16W..

  • Falcons veteran Osi Umenyiora wouldn’t come right out and say it, but it sounds like he misses being with the Giants, Tom Rock of Newsday writes. “I think I did what was best for me and the Giants did what was best for them,” he said. “That’s pretty much the only way I can answer that. Do I wish I was still there? Who knows what would have happened if I was still there? Nobody knows, so I can’t look back at that with regret and I’m sure they don’t look back at it with regret either.”
  • Jets coach Rex Ryan clarified a comment made earlier in the week and explained that any decision to bench a player mid-game would be his to make, writes Jane McManus of Ryan’s previous comments indicated that an in-game change like, say, benching Geno Smith for free agent pickup Michael Vick, would take the input of GM John Idzik.
  • Rich Cimini of (on Twitter) has the goods on the Jets‘ most recent signings. Wide receivers T.J. Graham and Chris Owusu got identical two-year, $1.23MM contracts with no money guaranteed. Fullback John Conner‘s one-year deal is worth $730K and is also non-guaranteed.

Jets Sign John Conner

12:48pm: The Jets have officially confirmed the signing of Conner, announcing in a press release that Bohanon has been placed on injured reserve.

11:00am: The Jets have signed free agent fullback John Conner, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that it’s a one-year deal for the former fifth-round pick.

Conner, 27, started his career with the Jets, appearing in 35 total games over parts of three seasons before joining the Bengals and eventually the Giants. Conner played 13 contests, including seven starts, for the Giants a year ago, but was cut by the team when rosters were trimmed from 75 players to 53 last month.

Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon suffered a fractured clavicle during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Lions, prompting New York to bring in Conner for a visit yesterday. While Bohanon improbably played the second half on Sunday after sustaining the injury, he likely won’t be playing again anytime soon. I’d expect him to be placed on injured reserve as the corresponding move for the addition of Conner, though the Jets have yet to officially announce anything.

AFC Notes: Tate, Dwyer, Harbaugh, Conner

New England is on the road tonight against the Chiefs but there are plenty of Patriots fans in attendance tonight. Erik Frenz of caught up with some of them before kickoff and while they were enthusiastic at that point, they’re probably a bit down in the dumps now. Here’s tonight’s look around the AFC..

  • Lions wide receiver Golden Tate matched a career-high with eight catches for 116 yards against the Jets and Gang Green probably wishes he was on their side of the affair. As Tate told reporters, including Birkett, that nearly happened. “Excited to be a part of this,” Tate said. “I‘m glad that Detroit decided to take a chance. Funny thing is that the Jets had a chance to get me also. They were deciding between me and Eric Decker and they went with Decker, a heck of a player also. But thankful for the opportunity to be here and help contribute, help win games and bring that championship mentality.” More from the AFC..
  • Michigan may be interested in him, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh isn’t likely to reciprocate, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. There are a number of reasons why Harbaugh wouldn’t want to chase the job, according to a source, including his friendship with current Michigan coach Brady Hoke. Harbaugh said as much earlier today, as Jamison Hensley of tweets.
  • Fullback John Conner visited the Jets today, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). Conner, who has appeared in 35 games for the Jets, was with the Giants during preseason. With fullback Tommy Bohanon hurt, Conner could have an opportunity to return to the Meadowlands.

Giants Cut Curtis Painter, 10 Others

1:10pm: Since the initial post, the Giants have made additional moves, including placing wideout Mario Manningham on injured reserve.


  • Adam Gress (OL) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Jordan Stanton (DE) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Kendall Gaskins (RB) (via Vacchiano on Twitter)
  • Thomas Gordon (DB) (via Jordan Raanan on Twitter)

Placed on injured reserve:

9:00am: The Giants have started to trim their team down to 53 players, and one of the first roster victims is quarterback Curtis Painter. According to Jordan Raanan of (via Twitter), the team has decided to carry only two quarterbacks heading into the regular season. We’ll keep track of all the Giants’ cuts here: