Kris Durham

Raiders’ Roster Takes Shape

Despite surpassing Trent Richardson on the depth chart, Michael Dyer couldn’t complete his ascent into regular-season action with the Raiders.

Instead, Oakland rejiggered its depth chart by bringing Taiwan Jones, a former running back, back to his original spot from corner, where he played previously. Jones now occupies the third-string spot behind Latavius Murray and Roy Helu, as the Raiders announced the waiving of Dyer and others in order to dice their roster down to 53.

In addition to severing ties with Christian Ponder, Oakland released Kris Durham and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.

Here are the rest of Oakland’s cut-day casualties:

  • George Atkinson III, RB
  • Mitch Bell, G
  • Spencer Hadley, LB
  • Shelby Harris, DE
  • Dan Kistler, T
  • Brian Leonhardt, TE
  • Ricky Lumpkin, DT
  • Tevin McDonald, CB
  • Anthony Morris, T (Waived/injured)
  • Leon Orr, DT
  • Brandian Ross, S (IR)
  • Josh Shirley, LB
  • Georgio Tavecchio, K
  • Max Valles, DE
  • Gary Wilkins, DE
  • Devon Wylie, WR

Raiders To Sign Kris Durham

The Raiders are expected to sign wide receiver Kris Durham, according to a league source who spoke wtih Adam Caplan of (on Twitter). Durham was with the Titans in 2014.

Recently, the free agent wide receiver worked out for the Saints, but it sounds like he’ll be joining up with Oakland instead. The Cowboys also got a look at Durham last month. The four-year veteran has played for the Seahawks, Lions, and Titans during his career, hauling in 55 passes and three touchdowns.

The 27-year-old finished 2013 with career-highs in receptions (38) and yards (490). He also led all of the Lions offensive skill players in snaps, even topping All-Pro Calvin Johnson.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Armstead, Briggs, Saints

Here’s a look at the latest regarding a pair of NFC teams:

  • The 49ers are hoping their roster is so deep that first-round defensive end Arik Armstead doesn’t start contributing on the field until 2016, according to of Paul Gutierrez Armstead might have to make his mark this year, though, as the 49ers’ defensive line took a big hit with the recent retirement of Justin Smith. Veteran Darnell Dockett is expected to be San Francisco’s No. 1 right end, which could leave the left side open for Armstead, Gutierrez notes.
  • Smith’s retirement freed up cap room for the 49ers, but Gutierrez doesn’t necessarily think they’ll use it this year. The team could sign free agent linebacker Lance Briggs, whom it has expressed interest in, but Gutierrez doesn’t expect it to happen unless Briggs comes cheap. Moreover, the Niners have 13 players entering contract years – Aldon Smith, Alex Boone, Anquan Boldin, and Vernon Davis among them – so they have to watch out for the long term.
  • Quarterback Ryan Griffin‘s roster spot with the Saints is in jeopardy after they used a third-round pick on Garrett Grayson. Nonetheless, Mike Triplett of believes Griffin still has a chance to beat out Luke McCown as one of the team’s top three QBs. The winner of the Griffin-McCown battle will likely be the No. 2 behind Drew Brees, leaving Grayson to develop as a No. 3, while the Saints are expected to be cut the loser.
  • Free agent wide receiver Kris Durham told Sirius XM NFL Radio that he worked out for the Saints, writes Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. It was reported earlier this week that Durham worked out for the Cowboys. The four-year veteran has played for the Seahawks, Lions, and Titans during his career, hauling in 55 passes and three touchdowns.

East Notes: Richardson, Dareus, Cowboys

When PFR’s Zach Links passed along word earlier this week that Sheldon Richardson was absent from the Jets‘ practices, he noted that the defensive lineman probably wasn’t seeking a new contract, since he’s not even eligible to negotiate a new deal until after the season. That still appears to the case, and Richardson took to Twitter today to respond to critics, writing that he has “a life outside of football” and simply wanted to spend a little more time with his family.

Here’s more from across the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • While Richardson isn’t eligible for a new contract with the Jets, his fellow defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is, and the addition of Leonard Williams in the draft has made that situation murky. Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap takes a closer look at Wilkerson’s contract, concluding that the standout defender would probably be able to earn a bigger contract outside of New York, and may end up being the odd man out with the Jets.
  • Marcell Dareus of the Bills is another AFC East defensive lineman seeking a contract extension, and Ian Rapoport of tweets that Buffalo still wants to lock up Dareus to a long-term deal, preferably before training camp gets underway. Rapoport echoes something I wrote yesterday, suggesting that Dareus’ one-game suspension won’t have an adverse effect on extension talks.
  • We heard yesterday that the Cowboys worked out a number of free agent running backs, including Ben Tate, Felix Jones, and Daniel Thomas. According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the club also auditioned wide receivers B.J. Cunningham, Kris Durham, and Tommy Streeter.

Minor Moves: Monday Evening

Our first round-up of today’s minor transactions around the NFL was starting to get a little unwieldy, so we’ll recap the rest of the afternoon and evening minor moves right here. Here’s the latest:

  • The Titans won’t tender either receiver Kris Durham or linebacker Kaelin Burnett, making both free agents, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
  • The Ravens have tendered ERFA cornerback Rashaan Melvin at $585K, per Wilson (Twitter link). Melvin started two games for Baltimore near the end of the season.
  • The Ravens also have extended an exclusive rights tender worth $435K to long snapper Patrick Scales, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Scales was originally signed in December, becoming Baltimore’s third snapper of the season. The man he replaced, Kevin McDermott, didn’t get an RFA tender, tweets Wilson.

Earlier updates:

  • Rather than tendering restricted free agent linebacker Mike Morgan, the Seahawks have simply signed him to a one-year contract, per Condotta (via Twitter).
  • Updating a previous note, the Seahawks actually have tendered receiver Ricardo Lockette, and have offered a contract to ERFA defensive back DeShawn Shead, as well, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links).
  • The Jets have tendered offers to two RFAs — defensive tackle Damon Harrison received a second-round tender worth $2.356MM, while safety Jaiquawn Jarrett received the lowest tender.
  • With Ryan Mallett returning to the fold and a deal with Brian Hoyer moving closer to completion, the Texans started clearing out a crowded quarterback position today by cutting Thad Lewis, tweets Field Yates of Somewhat ironically, Lewis was initially added to Houston’s roster back in November to replace Mallett, who landed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.
  • The Ravens extended an RFA tender to safety Will Hill at the low-end level, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The $1.542MM offer ensures that Baltimore maintains the right of first refusal if Hill signs an offer sheet with another club. The Ravens also tendered ERFA defensive end Steven Means, locking him up for 2015, tweets Wilson.
  • The Seahawks have elected not to tender contracts to wide receiver Bryan Walters and offensive lineman Stephen Schilling, says Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links). All three players could still re-sign with Seattle, but they’ll be unrestricted free agents and can negotiate with other teams too.
  • Punter Marquette King, safety Brandian Ross, and safety Larry Asante all received low-end RFA tenders from the Raiders, writes Scott Bair of Defensive back Chimdi Chekwa and running back Kory Sheets weren’t tendered, and will become UFAs tomorrow.

Sunday Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Claimed off waivers: Mickey Shuler, TE (via Ryan O’Halloran on Twitter)
  • Cut: Marcel Jensen, TE (via Aaron Wilson on Twitter)
  • Signed to practice squad (officially announced): Cody Booth, T; DeAndre Coleman, DT; Henry Josey, RB (via Adam Caplan on Twitter); Craig Loston, S; Stephen Morris, QB; Kerry Taylor, WR; Tony Washington, WR; Marcus Whitfield, LB. The team has also added cornerback Peyton Thompson, reports Michael DiRocco (via Twitter), although the team has not officially announced the signing.

Tennessee Titans:

Lions Release Leshoure, Roster To 53

2:50pm: The Lions have announced their remaining cuts, per Tim Twentyman of In addition to the players listed below, the following players have been let go:

1:45pm: The Lions have let go of one of Matthew Stafford‘s favorite targets, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports (via Twitter) that the team has released wideout Kris Durham.

The 26-year-old finished 2013 with career-highs in receptions (38) and yards (490). He also led all of the Lions offensive skill players in snaps, even topping All-Pro Calvin Johnson.

The Lions weren’t done there, as they released an additional six players:

11:40am: The Lions’ starting running back from 2012 is no longer on the roster, as the team informed Mikel Leshoure today that he’s being waived as the 53-man cutdown deadline nears, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. While the move leaves a little dead money on Detroit’s cap, the team avoids having to pay the running back his non-guaranteed base salary for 2014.

Leshoure wasn’t the only veteran among the Lions’ cuts today. Here’s the complete running list:

NFC Notes: Austin, Wilson, Conte

Tavon Austin did not provide the degree of immediate impact the Rams were hoping for when they chose him eighth overall last year. In an AP story, Austin was bluntly honest about why he didn’t play as fast as he’s capable: he struggled with the complexities of his first NFL playbook. “I didn’t really know what was going on,” Austin said. “Everything looked like Spanish and sounded like Spanish to me.”

Here’s some NFC links:

NFC Links: Panthers, Bucs, Lions, Packers

We’ve taken a look at rumors from the NFC West and NFC East this afternoon. Now let’s focus on some links from the North and South divisions…

NFC Mailbags: Redskins, Rams, Panthers, Lions

It’s Saturday, and that means a fresh batch of mailbags from’s NFL writers. Let’s take a look at some from around the NFC…

  • Trent Murphy was certainly a fallback option for Brian Orakpo, but that doesn’t mean Orakpo won’t re-sign with the Redskins, says John Keim. He adds that the smart move would be to keep both players.
  • Ramswriter Nick Wagoner thinks the team will carry three quarterbacks, including Garrett Gilbert. He cautions that the rookie is not a lock to make the roster.
  • The money that the Rams would gain from cutting Austin Pettis could be enticing, Wagoner says. Stedman Bailey‘s suspension might mean that Pettis is sticking around, though.
  • Wagoner thinks the team will bring in a veteran linebacker, similar to what the team did last season with Will Witherspoon.
  • The Panthers will definitely be adding players as they’re cut from other teams, writes David Newton. The writer says General Manager Dave Gettleman is “saving money under the salary cap for a rainy day.”
  • The Lions could potentially keep six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, says Michael Rothstein. He lists Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate as locks and believes Jeremy Ross will find a spot. He says one of Kris DurhamKevin Ogletree and Naaman Roosevelt will make the roster, as well as one of T.J. Jones and Ryan Broyles. His wild card for the sixth spot would be Corey Fuller.
  • Rothstein doesn’t think the Lions should make a move right now for Asante Samuel. He adds that they could make a move for a cornerback eventually, especially if Chris Houston can’t return.
  • Dwayne Harris‘ job is safe with the Cowboys, opines Todd Archer. Besides being a solid wideout, his skills on special teams make him a lock.