Howard, 28, was released by the Bears during final cutdowns after having a signed a one-year pact in May. A longtime Chief, Howard only suited up eight times and made five starts last year, as a hip injury ended his season in November. During his limited action in 2016, Howard added 23 tackles and a sack, and ranked 55th in performance among Pro Football Focus‘ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.
Detroit needs all the help it can get in the front seven, as the club’s defensive line has been decimated by injuries and suspensions. Kerry Hyder and Jordan Hill have both been placed on injured reserve, while Armonty Bryant and Khyri Thornton won’t return until Weeks 4 and 6, respectively, after being hit with league-imposed bans.
Quarterback is a less-pressing need for the Lions, as Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock comprise the team’s top two options under center. Seventh-round pick Brad Kaaya was lost via waivers earlier this month, and Detroit doesn’t currently have a signal-caller on its practice squad. Grayson, a former third-round selection of the Saints, has never attempted an NFL pass.
New England only has two quarterbacks on its roster after trading third-stringer Jacoby Brissett for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett last week, so the club is likely searching for depth. Of course, the Patriots’ top two signal-callers are Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, so while they don’t need an immediate arm, the team is simply keeping its options open.
All three of Barkley (49ers), McGloin (Eagles), and Fales (Dolphins) were released by their respective clubs during final cutdowns. Barkley and McGloin are far more experienced than Fales, as both have started at least six career games and attempted at least 250 passes. Fales, on the other hand, has tossed only five passes in his career, all of which came in 2016 with the Bears.
December 9th, 2016 at 7:14pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The NFL announced that Browns rookie wide receiver Jordan Payton has been suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy. Given that Cleveland won’t be appearing in the postseason, Payton’s first NFL campaign is now officially over.
Payton, 23, was selected in the fifth round of out UCLA this spring as one of the Browns’ league-leading 14 draft picks. Cleveland selected four wide receivers in this year’s draft (five including Seth Devalve, a collegiate WR who has since been converted to tight end), and Payton has been the least effective thus far. While Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, and Rashard Higgins have all contributed something, Payton had managed just three yards and one reception in four games.
As a mid-round rookie, Payton is earning minimum salaries for the duration of his contract, but he’ll still forfeit about $105K in base salary and roughly $15K in prorated bonus money as a result of the four-game ban.