Lavelle Hawkins

NFC Notes: Hester, Sproles, Graham, Bears

Devin Hester was one of many Falcons to reach the end zone last night, scoring on a record-setting punt return and a running play. However, it’s his role as a wide receiver that has him more happy with the Falcons than he was in his last few seasons with the Bears.

“I wasn’t happy the last three or four years in Chicago because things wasn’t going the way I expect,” Hester said yesterday, according to Adam Hoge of WGN Radio (Twitter link). “I would always have a great camp, have all the receivers saying and coaches saying I had the best camp of all the receivers. And once the season start off, I’m not there.”

As Ed Werder of tweets, there were a few teams eyeing Hester in free agency that felt the veteran wasn’t worth the $10MM contract he signed with Atlanta, but it’s looking like a good investment for the Falcons so far. Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • So far, the deal that saw Darren Sproles land with Philadelphia in exchange for a fifth-round pick looks like a steal for the Eagles, and the veteran running back is happy with his situation. As he told reporters on Thursday, including Tim McManus of, Sproles wasn’t initially informed of his impending release by the Saints, but when it turned out that the Eagles were one of a handful of teams interested in trading for him, he told his agent to “make that happen.” Per Sproles, five teams explored acquiring him, and the Eagles were one of the three with serious interest.
  • Within the same piece, McManus takes a look at the unusual case of Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham, who has a chance to make $2.5MM in not likely to be earned incentives, but will need to see a few more snaps to have a chance at that money.
  • The Bears worked out a long list of free agents this week, and Jeff Dickerson of passes along the names in a pair of tweets: Blake Annen (TE), Derek Cox (CB), Brandon Ghee (CB), Mike Harris (CB), Lavelle Hawkins (WR), Kendall James (CB), Derrick Martin (S), David Paulson (TE), Brad Sorensen (QB), Jordan Sullen (CB), Asa Watson (TE), Damian Williams (WR), and Kyle Williams (WR).
  • Linebacker Jamar Chaney tried out for the Saints this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). We heard yesterday that New Orleans also took a look at veteran linebacker Pat Angerer.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

We’ll keep tabs on Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the NFL in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Bills have placed linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on injured reserve with a torn patella tendon, ending his season, tweets’s Mike Rodak. Because Sylvester had four years of NFL experience, he didn’t have to pass through waivers before being put on the team’s IR list.
  • The Raiders have waived-injured safety Jeremy Deering, replacing him on the roster with kicker Kevin Goessling, according to Scott Bair of (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • After reporting earlier today that Eric Kettani worked out for the Jaguars, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post now says the team is signing the fullback, so his audition must have gone well. Kettani was cut by the Chiefs earlier this year. Wilson adds in a tweet that tight end Fendi Onobun, who will miss the season with a torn quad, has been waived-injured.
  • The Broncos have waived-injured defensive end Greg Latta, according to Wilson (via Twitter). The Purdue product was one of more than a dozen undrafted free agents signed by Denver immediately following the draft.
  • The Buccaneers have reduced their receiving corps by one, cutting ex-Titan Lavelle Hawkins today, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
  • On the heels of acquiring Kenjon Barner from the Panthers, the Eagles have cut rookie running back David Fluellen, the team announced today (Twitter link). A roster move wasn’t necessary to make room for Barner, so Philadelphia now has one opening on its roster.
  • Punter Blake Clingan has been cut by the Redskins, a source tells Tom Schad of the Washington Times (Twitter link). That leaves Robert Malone as the only punter on the club’s roster.

South Notes: Bucs, Draft Visits, Jaguars

We’ve already checked in on a pair of AFC South teams this morning, with posts on the Titans and Jaguars, but there are a few more items related to teams in that division and its NFC counterpart, so let’s dive right in….

  • As Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times details, wide receiver Mike Williams is determined to prove that the Buccaneers made a mistake by trading him to the Bills, and claims that not all of the stories about his off-field incidents are actually true.
  • The torn ACL suffered by Clemson offensive lineman Brandon Thomas occurred during a private workout with the Saints, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • According to Wilson (Twitter links), Lavelle Hawkins and Major Wright both received minimum salaries from the Buccaneers, though Hawkins didn’t get a signing bonus, while Wright got one worth $65K.
  • Ball State cornerback Jeff Garrett will work out for the Colts on April 16, tweets Wilson.
  • We rounded up reports this morning of several notable prospects who are visiting the Jaguars, but we didn’t quite get them all. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets that the team is also hosting BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt while Ed Werder of says (via Twitter) Blake Bortles is due to visit on Thursday.

NFC Notes: Bell, Wilson, Vaughn

Cardinals safety Yeremiah Bell is likely to retire despite the team offering him a one-year contract, reports Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 in Phoenix (via Twitter). A Dolphins sixth-round pick in 2004, Bell, 36, spent eight years in Miami before joining the Jets in 2012 and the Cardinals in 2013. He played all 16 games in each of the last six seasons, starting all but one contest. Pro Football Talk provides additional perspective on a remarkable career which began when Bell decided to walk on at Eastern Kentucky.

Bell’s retirement would leave the Cardinals with Tyrann Mathieu at free safety and Tony Jefferson or Rashad Johnson at strong safety. However, the secondary has struggled to handle tight ends in coverage, and it would not be a surprise if the team added a bigger, more athletic, more physical safety in the draft.

In other NFC news and notes…

  • David Wilson would be an ideal No. 2 back for the Giants, but he’s coming off career-threatening neck surgery and his availability is unknown, writes Ralph Vacchiano in the New York Daily News.
  • Meanwhile, the Giants still have questions at three of five spots on their offensive line, in the opinion of’s Dan Graziano.
  • Losing starting center Brian De La Puente to the Bears didn’t surprise the Saints, as they seemingly chose to go another direction, writes’s Mike Triplett, who details De La Puente’s replacement options.
  • The Lions have agreed to a one-year deal with cornerback Cassius Vaughn, reports Aaron Wilson of National Football Post (via Twitter). Vaughn, 26, played all 16 games (four starts) last season for the Colts, recording 30 tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions and a forced fumble.
  • Oregon running back/receiver/returner De’Anthony Thomas (otherwise known as “Black Mamba”) will visit the Bears tomorrow, per Ross Jones of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Thomas displayed speed, quickness and playmaking ability in Oregon’s prolific spread attack, but concerns about his size, durability and work ethic could push him into the middle rounds. Thomas’ skill set seems to fit with the Bears, who are in need of a speedy compliment to their large receivers, as well as a replacement for Devin Hester.

Bucs Notes: Wright, Hawkins, Bridgewater

The Buccaneers made it official with Major Wright and Lavelle Hawkins, tweeting the signings here and here. Last week, Luke Adams detailed Wright’s poor performance in Chicago, but the Bucs are hoping for a rebound from the 25-year-old safety who reunites with head coach Lovie Smith.

Other Bucs bits:

  • After trading away Mike Williams, the team has to address the receiver position in the draft because, “They have Vincent Jackson and almost nothing else,” says’s Pat Yasinskas.
  • Yasinskas also relays news that kicker Connor Barth, who missed last season because of a torn Achilles tendon, has been cleared medically.
  • Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is visiting the Bucs today, according to Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz is also visiting, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Fiedorowicz will head to the Jets next.

NFC Notes: Lions, Hawkins, Cooks

The Lions hosted Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Washington State safety Deone Bucannon, and Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan this week.

Lewan could be in the mix for the team in the first round.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC:

  • The Lions first-round pick could change drastically depending on how many quarterbacks are selected in the nine picks ahead of them, writes Justin Rogers of Rogers notes that the ideal scenario would find four quarterbacks selected in before the Lions are called to the podium, but two or three would be more realistic.
  • The Buccaneers are finalizing their deal with wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, reports Mark Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The deal has already been agreed to in principle, but some specifics are being hammered out.
  • Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks has been busy, meeting with the Jets earlier this week. Cooks will also meet with the Seahawks, Panthers, and Patriots, according to Bryan Fischer of

NFC Notes: Jackson, Hawkins, Coleman, Giants, Panthers

Former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson claims the team never specified why he was cut. “I was sitting there waiting for the reason why, but that’s basically all I can (recall) from the conversation,” Jackson told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. “. … I got off the phone. I was like, ‘Are you sure? That’s it?’ We hung up. That was it.” 

While the Eagles haven’t addressed the issue directly, more details of Jackson’s behavior have emerged thanks to Joseph Santoliquito of CBS Philly.

In other news and notes from around the NFC. . .

  • Receiver Lavelle Hawkins worked out for the Buccanneers, according to Aaron Wilson of National Football Post. Hawkins, who was cut by the Patriots last year, played for Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford at Cal.
  • Wilson also reports that former Eagles safety Kurt Coleman worked out for the Colts.
  • The Bears are not actively seeking to replace second-year right tackle Jordan Mills, writes’s Michael C. Wright in a mailbag piece. Says Wright: “…the Bears are fairly happy with Mills, and expect him to improve in his second year. Mills to me has a very bright future in the NFL, and has the right attitude in terms of doing what it takes day in and day out to be a pro.”
  • The Packers’ biggest defensive weakness is a lack of speed at inside linebacker, writes’s Rob Demovsky, who suggests Alabama’s C.J. Mosley for the 21st pick.
  • The Panthers could very well draft two receivers and two offensive tackles, speculates’s David Newton, who also says the “Double Trouble” running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart should remain intact for two more seasons.
  • The Giants earned a B-minus grade in free agency in the eyes of’s Jordan Raanan, who recaps and reviews the team’s signings.

Buccaneers Expected To Sign Lavelle Hawkins

The Buccaneers are expected to finalize a contract agreement with free agent receiver Lavelle Hawkins, according to Adam Caplan of (via Twitter). Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune reported earlier today that Tampa Bay was taking “a look” at Hawkins, though no agreement was in place at that point.

Hawkins, 27, grabbed 47 balls for the Titans in 2011, but typically hasn’t played a large role on offense during stints in Tennessee and San Diego. The former fourth-round pick is capable of returning kicks and can contribute on special teams as well.

The Bucs are in the market for receivers after agreeing to trade Mike Williams to the Bills earlier today. Assuming the club signs Hawkins, he of course won’t be expected to fill Williams’ role, but he’ll help provide depth at the position.

NFC South Notes: Bucs, Godfrey, Draft Visits

The Buccaneers, who agreed today to send Mike Williams to the Bills, talked to all 31 teams about a trade, but only had two clubs interested in a deal, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. As was the case with DeSean Jackson, potential off-field issues likely dissuaded many teams from getting involved, but unlike Jackson, Williams’ 2014 cap hit was extremely affordable, allowing the Bucs to get something for their diminished asset.

Here’s more on the Bucs and their division rivals in the NFC South:

  • The Buccaneers will be in the market for receiving help now that Williams is gone, and the club has already started considering options, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, who tweets that the team took a look at longtime Titans receiver Lavelle Hawkins. Hawkins, who last played for the Chargers, had 47 receptions for Tennessee in 2011.
  • With Thomas DeCoud visiting the Panthers, there are question marks about Charles Godfrey’s future with the team, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer details. Godfrey’s cap number jumps to $7.1MM in 2014, and he’s returning from an Achilles injury that sidelined him for most of last season.
  • The Panthers and Saints will be hosting USC wideout Marqise Lee for pre-draft visits, according to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter).
  • Alabama-Birmingham offensive tackle Kaycee Ike will have a private workout with the Falcons on April 15, reports Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.