Lawrence Wilson

Cowboys Notes: S. Jackson, Tryouts, Dez

Notable free agent running backs like Ray Rice and Chris Johnson have been linked to the Cowboys in recent weeks, but it appears those rumors are coming from the players’ side rather than from the team, as executive VP Stephen Jones said yesterday that the club has no plans to add a veteran back.

That didn’t stop another veteran free agent, Steven Jackson, from publicly lobbying the team for an opportunity though. As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details, Jackson made use of Photoshop and Twitter in trying to get the Cowboys’ attention.

It’s no surprise that Dallas looks like a desirable destination for free agent running backs, considering the team has one of the league’s best offensive lines and no clear-cut candidate to carry the workload now that DeMarco Murray is an Eagle. But for now at least, it appears the Cowboys want to get a good look at the backs on their roster in training camp before they make any changes at the position.

Here’s more out of Dallas:

  • With Keith Rivers having retired and Rolando McClain not available for the start of the season, the Cowboys are perusing the free agent market for linebackers. According to Todd Archer of (via Twitter), the club is bringing in Keith Smith, Lawrence Wilson, and Ashlee Palmer for workouts. Tight end Gator Hoskins is also auditioning for Dallas, notes Archer.
  • Dez Bryant‘s new $70MM contract isn’t going to change the way he plays, as Archer writes in a piece for “It’s no pressure. That deal don’t make me,” Bryant said. “I play this game because I love this game. I don’t give a damn about none of that. It’s not going to change the way I play. It’s not going to change the way I act.”
  • Over two weeks ago, we heard that Greg Hardy would make a decision “any time now” on whether or not to take the NFL to court over his suspension. Based on how quiet it’s been on the Hardy front, it seems increasingly likely that the defensive end will simply accept his four-game ban, and Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg thinks the team would be in favor of that decision (link via Dallas Morning News).

South Notes: Panthers, Griffin, Titans, Bucs

Plenty of Panthers players were caught off guard by the team’s release of veteran defensive back Charles Godfrey, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, who says words like “shocking” and “surprising” were used to describe the move.

“With a guy of his stature who’s been here for as long as he had, and all of a sudden you wake up and he’s not here, it’s definitely got to be a shock. It’s shocking to me,” said fellow defensive back Roman Harper. “But it’s a job. We’ve got to take it seriously and understand that nobody’s job is safe from top to bottom. They’ll always fire you before you get them fired. That’s just what I’ve always been taught.”

As the Panthers’ defense adjusts to life without Godfrey and one of the newest additions to the free agent market looks for work, let’s check out a few more items from around the NFL’s two South divisions….

  • We heard yesterday that the Titans had been entertaining trade discussions involving wide receiver Nate Washington, and it sounds like he’s not the only veteran the team is mulling moving. In addition to confirming the Washington report, Terry McCormick of says he has heard defensive back Michael Griffin may be on the block as well (Twitter link). The Titans, who announced last night that Zach Mettenberger will start at quarterback this weekend, seem to be “embracing” a rebuild, notes McCormick.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) adds several new names to the list of players to audition for the Panthers this week. According to Wilson, the club took a look at cornerbacks Trevin Wade, Robert Steeples, Ellis Lankster, and Josh Victorian, as well as offensive linemen Ryan Miller and Matt Patchan.
  • Besides the players they signed to their 53-man roster or practice squad, the Buccaneers also worked out linebackers Erin Henderson and Lawrence Wilson this week, tweets Wilson. Per Adam Caplan of (via Twitter), Henderson had a tryout with the Titans too.
  • Cornerback Deveron Carr auditioned for the Jaguars this week, according to Wilson (via Twitter).

Rams Waive Michael Sam, Down To 53

The Rams made history in May when they used a seventh-round pick on Michael Sam and became the first NFL team to draft an openly gay player. However, for now at least, St. Louis won’t become the first NFL team to carry an openly gay player on its 53-man roster. According to Adam Schefter of (via Twitter), Sam has been cut by the Rams.

Sam had a solid preseason for the Rams, including a sack of Johnny Manziel in the team’s game against the Browns. But competition for a roster spot on the Rams’ defensive line – one of the best in football – was fierce, and Sam became one of the last roster casualties before this afternoon’s deadline. As Schefter notes, the Missouri alum would be a strong practice squad candidate for the Rams or another club, if he clears waivers.

In addition to waiving Sam, the Rams have also removed the following players from their roster:

Minor Moves: Saints, Rams, Browns, Bills

The NFL’s transactions wire is picking up as we approach the end of July, with notable players like Joel Dreessen and Larry English involved in roster moves today. Several teams have finalized a series of more under-the-radar moves as well, which we’ll round up right here:

  • The Buccaneers have signed linebacker Jeremy Grable and offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter). To help make room for the duo, the Bucs released cornerback D.J. Moore.
  • Former Ravens linebacker Adrian Hamilton has signed with the Chargers, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter).
  • The Saints have signed nose tackle Tyrone Ezell and linebacker Marcus Thompson, clearing roster spots for the new additions by cutting nose tackle Moses McCray and waiving outside linebacker Cheta Ozougwu with a failed physical designation. The team has the details on its newest signees in a press release.
  • The Rams completed a series of roster moves today, signing four players – linebacker Pat Schiller, linebacker Lawrence Wilson, offensive tackle D.J. Morrell, and offensive tackle R.J. Dill – and cutting four others — offensive lineman Abasi Salimu, wideout Dionte Spencer, linebacker Caleb McSurdy, and linebacker Tavarius Wilson (Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of
  • A day after being cut by the Chargers, center Nick McDonald has been claimed off waivers by the Browns, tweets Brian McIntyre. Cleveland had an opening on its 90-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary to make room for the offensive lineman.
  • One linebacker has been swapped for another in Buffalo, where the Bills signed Western Kentucky product Xavius Boyd to a contract after having waived-injured Darrin Kitchens, who is dealing with a lower body injury (Twitter links via Mike Rodak of
  • The Texans have waived fullback Brad Smelley and defensive end Tim Jackson, and also signed tight end Chris Coyle, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). As’s Adam Caplan tweets, Jackson received the “failure to disclose physical condition” designation when he was cut.
  • That “failure to disclose physical condition” designation is rarely used, but linebacker Billy Boyko also received it when he was waived by the Panthers, according to Caplan (Twitter link).
  • Caplan also tweets that former Broncos safety Eric Hagg has officially been placed on the team’s reserve/retired list. We heard yesterday that Hagg had decided to retire.

Minor Moves: Chiefs, Raiders, Bears

Tonight’s minor moves..

  • The Chiefs have signed former Troy quarterback and wide receiver Deon Anthony and former Richmond cornerback Justin Rogers, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). To make room, Kansas City waived defensive tackle Risean Broussard.
  • The Raiders announced the signing of third-round offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, tweets Paul Gutierrez of With Jackson in the fold, the Raiders have now signed all of their 2014 draft picks, as shown in PFR’s running list of draft pick signings.
  • To make room for the newly-signed Jimmy Clausen, the Bears waived linebacker Lawrence Wilson, tweets Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. The former UConn standout has spent time with the Bears and Panthers practice squads but has yet to see the field in the regular season.