While Marlon Brown won’t be as likely to make the Bears’ 53-man roster as the franchise’s other offseason additions at this spot, he reached an agreement to compete for a spot.
The Bears signed the former Ravens supporting-cast wideout on Thursday, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Brown has not played in an NFL game since the 2015 season. Brown worked out for the Bears on Tuesday.
Brown joins Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Bennie Fowler as newcomer Bears wideouts. Still just 26, the 6-foot-5 receiver was out of football last season, last being affiliated with the Broncos during their 2017 training camp. Brown’s best season came in 2013, when he caught 49 passes for 524 yards and seven touchdowns. The Georgia product has not gotten into the end zone since his rookie season.
After losing RFA Cameron Meredith to the Saints, the Bears’ wide receiver group will look almost entirely new this season. Josh Bellamy and Kevin White remain on the roster, but the latter can’t exactly be counted on given his extensive injury past. Beyond Bellamy, 2017 UDFA Tanner Gentry s three catches last season were the most among the remaining receivers still on the Bears’ roster.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson met with the Bengals on Monday, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. While the Bengals haven’t attempted to upgrade on incumbent signal-caller Andy Dalton in recent years, Jackson could potentially be available when the club picks at No. 21 in the first round. But as Dehner notes, Cincinnati might also be planning for other outcomes, such as a Jackson draft-day fall or a trade with another team. It’s conceivably the Bengals simply want to appear interested in quarterback prospects in an effort to goad a club into moving up. Currently, Cincinnati has free agent Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel behind Dalton on its depth chart.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:
The Lions have hosted Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Detroit has added several interior defensive lineman so far this offseason, but the team has yet to address its pass-rushing need. Landry could help in that regard, but there’s no guarantee he’ll still be on the board at pick No. 20. For what it’s worth, Landry played under now-Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni at BC. Landry, who posted 48 sacks during his collegiate career, would not only give Detroit immediate help on the edge, but allow the Lions to hedge against a potential 2019 loss of franchise-tagged defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
Darqueze Dennard finally lived up to his first-round billing in 2017, and the Bengals are now open to extending his contract, as Dehner writes in a separate piece. Under contract for one more season thanks to his fifth-year option, Dennard will earn $8.526MM in 2018 before hitting free agency next spring. The No. 24 overall selection in the 2014 draft, Dennard played 899 defensive snaps a season ago (nearly triple his previous career-high) and graded as the NFL’s 30th-best corner, per Pro Football Focus. Cincinnati is already heavily extended at cornerback, as it re-signed Dre Kirkpatrick and draft William Jackson III in 2016, but the club has always been willing to pay for secondary help.
The Bears will work out veteran defensive back Tharold Simon at their minicamp this week, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Simon, 27, didn’t see the field last season after inking a futures deal with the Redskins, as he was cut in May. A subsequent tryout with the Saints didn’t result in a contract, and Simon never generated any other known interest. However, Simon was a key contributor for the Seahawks in 2014, and as Bigg notes, has the type of size 6’2″, 200 pounds) that Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio covets. Wide receiver Marlon Brown and linebacker Ryan Delaire, each of whom boasts NFL experience, are also auditioning for the Bears, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).
To fill Kenny Vaccaro‘s roster spot made available by the safety dropping his appeal of a suspension this week, the Saints promoted center Jack Allen from their practice squad, Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com reports. The Saints initially signed Allen as a UDFA this May out of Michigan State. Max Unger, who has played in all 28 games in New Orleans since being acquired in the Jimmy Graham deal, is questionable with a foot injury.
Brandon Marshall‘s hamstring injury and impending Week 14 absence induced the Broncos to make depth arrangements at linebacker, and the defending Super Bowl champions did so by adding Quentin Gause off the practice squad, Mike Klis of 9News reports. To make room, the Broncos placed recently re-signed wide receiver Marlon Brown on IR. An undrafted rookie who spent time with the Eagles and Patriots, Gause landed on Denver’s practice squad in mid-October. A back injury caused the Broncos to cut Brown in August, and since re-signing the former Ravens target in November, the team did not deploy Brown in a game.
The Bills promoted outside linebacker Bryson Albright from the practice squad, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW reports (on Twitter). A UDFA from Miami (Ohio) University, Albright has spent the season on Buffalo’s taxi squad and has yet to play in an NFL game.
The Broncos reached a multiyear agreement with Marlon Brown on Monday, per NFL.com’s James Palmer (on Twitter), with the former Ravens wide receiver becoming the Broncos’ seventh on their roster. It’s a two-year deal, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 (on Twitter).
The Broncos cut Brown during training camp. However, as the Denver Post’s Cameron Wolfe tweets, the 6-foot-5 target likely would have made the team had a back injury not intervened. Wolfe adds Brown is likely to contribute if he can stay healthy, possibly in red zone situations given his size.
Brown played three seasons with the Ravens after arriving in Baltimore as a UDFA in 2013. He played under Gary Kubiak in 2014 during the current Broncos coach’s one-year stay in Maryland. The 25-year-old receiver has 87 career receptions for 849 yards and seven touchdowns. Brown hasn’t played in a game this season, with the Broncos’ August cut being his most recent NFL transaction.
Brown will join an Denver auxiliary wideout corps that has not seen one of its members stand out much over the past two seasons, with Jordan Norwood, Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer and Jordan Taylor representing the current supplementary cast. Norwood leads this group with 203 receiving yards this season.
Nixon saw his first NFL action in the Broncos’ loss to the Raiders during a game in which Aqib Talib and Kayvon Webster did not play.
Marlon Brown‘s time in Denver did not last long. On Thursday morning, the Broncos waived Brown to make room for former Colorado State offensive lineman Sam Carlson, as Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post tweets.
Brown suffered a back injury during camp a few days ago, according to Wolfe, and the team ostensibly did not want to wait for him to heal up. The former Ravens wide receiver signed on with the Broncos roughly one week ago, but did not get a chance to even hang up his coat. With Brown out of the picture, the Broncos still have ten wide receivers on the 90-man roster. Receivers including Bralon Addison, Jordan Taylor, and DeVier Posey are fighting for a roster spot, as shown on Roster Resource. The Broncos’ receiving group is headlined by Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders with support from Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, and Jordan Norwood.
Brown, who turned 25 in April, spent the last three seasons in Baltimore, though he saw his role in the offense decline since making his debut in 2013. In his rookie season, the Georgia product caught 49 balls for 524 yards and seven touchdowns. He has failed to reach the end zone since then, and recorded just 14 receptions and 112 yards in 2015.
While Brown contributed occasionally on special teams, wasn’t a key piece of that unit in Baltimore last year. When taking into account his reduced role on offense, it was no surprise that the team opted not to extend him an RFA tender earlier this offseason. The Ravens re-signed Brown to a lesser salary in mid-March, but dropped him from the roster in May.