August 30th, 2016 at 12:19pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Saints have parted ways with veteran defender Matt Shaughnessy after a short stay on the roster, as the club has released the DE/LB, tweets Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Shaughnessy had just signed with New Orleans earlier this month.
Shaughnessy, 29, didn’t appear in the NFL last season after spending the first six years of his career with the Raiders and Cardinals. In 75 career games (48 starts), Shaughnessy has picked up 144 tackles, 18.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles. The Saints got an up-close look at the veteran edge defender, having auditioned him in both May and June.
The Saints will add a veteran defender to their front seven as training camp gets underway, as the club has agreed to terms LB/DE Matt Shaughnessy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Terms of the deal haven’t been announced, but it’s likely for the veteran’s minimum.
New Orleans has signed a number of experienced options to aid a defense that ranked among the worst in league history in 2016, having inked deals with James Laurinaitis, Craig Robertson, Nick Fairley, and Nathan Stupar over the offseason. And more recently, the Saints have agreed to terms with veterans such as Roman Harper, Darryl Tapp, C.J. Wilson, and — on offense — Hakeem Nicks. Given New Orleans’ tight cap situation, the team is somewhat forced to rely on low-cost additions (specifically, minimum salary benefit deals) to augment their roster.
Shaughnessy, 29, didn’t appear in the NFL last season after spending the first six years of his career with the Raiders and Cardinals. In 75 career games (48 starts), Shaughnessy has picked up 144 tackles, 18.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles. The Saints have already gotten an up-close look at the veteran edge defender, having auditioned him in both May and June.
In other Saints news, the team worked out free agent cornerback Kevin White today, reports Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. White, an undrafted free agent in 2015, signed with the Falcons last summer but didn’t make Atlanta’s final roster.
THURSDAY: 11:12am: Meachem is back out on the field today and continuing to audition for the Saints, Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets.
WEDNESDAY, 3:54pm: Meachem didn’t practice today because of a foot injury, writes Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com. He remains in the running for a contract.
12:02pm: There’s no sign of Meachem at Saints practice, but the other tryout guys are back today, Christopher Dabe of The Times-Picayune tweets. That could be an indication that Meachem is not in the team’s plans, but we’ll have to wait for further developments.
Meachem previously worked out in April for the Saints, and if he signs with them, it would be his third tenure with the club. New Orleans used its first-round pick (27th overall) in 2007 on Meachem, who went on to catch 141 passes and 23 touchdowns there before signing with the Chargers in 2012. After an uninspiring season in San Diego, Meachem rejoined the Saints, picked up just 23 receptions and two scores in 26 games from 2013-14, and hasn’t played since. The Saints aren’t exactly loaded at wideout beyond Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and second-rounder Michael Thomas, however, so it seems the soon-to-be 32-year-old Meachem will have a legitimate chance to crack the roster if the team signs him.
Tapp, meanwhile, is a 10-year veteran who spent the previous two campaigns in Detroit and appeared in all 32 of its regular-season games – mostly as a reserve. Tapp logged only one start with the Lions and recorded 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Two of those sacks and a pair of forced fumbles came in 2015 for Tapp, whom Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked 78th out of 110 qualifying edge defenders – placing him ahead of Saints reserve DE Kasim Edebali (91st) but behind Obum Gwacham (58th). Tapp graded out well against the run, which – like everything else – was a major problem for the Saints’ porous defense last season.
Shaughnessy, like Meachem, has drawn past interest from the Saints, who auditioned him in October and last month. He also worked out for Arizona prior to its playoff game against Green Bay in January, but the Cardinals didn’t sign him. Shaughnessy played with the Cardinals from 2013-14 before sitting out last season. In 75 career games (48 starts), the 29-year-old has accumulated 18.5 sacks – a personal-best seven of which came with the Raiders in 2010.
Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Saturday afternoon…
The Falcons won’t be signing veteran cornerback Leon Hall, according to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. The 31-year-old auditioned for Atlanta last week, and considering coach DanQuinn’s comments regarding the player’s injury history, McClure presumes that Hall didn’t check out medically.
Despite suggesting that every team deserves an ‘A’ for their draft efforts, Falcons owner ArthurBlank was particularly happy with his team’s haul. “You think from our perspective, I would give our coach and general manager Thomas (Dimitroff) a grade A because I know that every single position they drafted very specifically for exactly what the coach wanted and the coaching needs in terms of defense or in terms of the offense,” Blank told Doug Roberson of AJC.com. “Hopefully, that will play out in a successful way over the next couple of years.”
Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz isn’t anticipating any issues with teammate Sam Bradford. “I think the relationship with him, and really, the other quarterbacks in the room, I think it’ll be great,” Wentz told Les Bowen of Philly.com.“I think it’ll be a really competitive atmosphere. Hopefully, we’ll all learn together and grow together and really push each other, and ultimately (that will) lead to benefiting the team and winning a lot of ballgames.” An April report suggested that Bradford wanted out of Philly.
It’s been more than a month since free agent safety Donte Whitnerpaid a visit to the Rams, but Whitner continues to be “in play” for L.A., tweets Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News. Since the veteran safety was cut by Cleveland, there was no need for any team to wait until after May 12 to sign Whitner — he wouldn’t have counted toward the compensatory draft pick formula either way.
A report earlier this week indicated that the 49ers have not made an effort to re-sign wide receiver Anquan Boldin. However, general manager Trent Baalke said today that the door isn’t closed on a possible reunion between the two sides (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today). While Baalke likes his team’s young receiving talent, the Niners are still exploring all their options.
On Thursday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that the Eagles received verbal commitments from Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, with both quarterbacks agreeing to accept offset language in their rookie contracts if they were drafted at No. 2 by Philadelphia. Today, Florio followed up on that story by writing that the NFL has no comment on the subject — it’s not clear whether the Eagles violated negotiating rules, or whether the league plans to do anything about it.
Veteran free agent outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy will work out for the Saints this weekend, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Shaughnessy, a third-round pick in 2009, has appeared in 75 total NFL contests for Oakland and Arizona, but missed the entire 2015 campaign due to injury.
Reports continue to link the Raiders to Las Vegas, but Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn’t yet entirely sold on the idea. “I think whether or not there are enough people in Las Vegas to support a team is a question,” Blank told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “I haven’t seen the data on that to support it or not support it. It’s certainly a dynamic market. It’s a growth market. It’s got tremendous tourism, a lot of convention business. So it’s certainly a consideration.”
The Cardinals worked out a pair of veteran linebackers in advance of their playoff opener against the Packers this weekend. Both Jason Babin and Matt Shaughnessy received tryouts from Arizona, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).
Both players could be eligible to suit up for the Cardinals this weekend if the Cardinals decide to sign them. Babin has been out of the NFL since the Ravens cut him in mid-October. Shaughnessy, meanwhile, was dropped by Arizona on September 4th and did not sign after that.
Shaughnessy, 29, appeared in all 16 games for Arizona in 2013, including 12 starts. In that season, he tallied 3.0 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble. In 2014, he appeared in only 8 total games (7 starts) thanks to a mid-season injury. Still, Shaughnessy was important enough to the Cardinals in ’14 that they put him on IR-DTR so that he could be activated later in the year.
Babin, signed by the Ravens following the season-ending injury to Terrell Suggs, was inactive for his first two games with Baltimore, and barely saw the field in his next two games, committing multiple penalties when he did play. Despite his 64.5 career sacks, the 35-year-old clearly wasn’t a big part of the Ravens’ plans going forward, leading to his October release.
We’ve passed along a few of the more notable updates from the last few days on workouts and free agent visits, including the Giants trying out wide receivers like Terrelle Pryor and the Cowboys bringing in running back LaMike James. However, there are plenty more tryout updates from this week to round up, and we’ve got them all below. All links point to the Twitter account of Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, unless otherwise indicated.
September 4th, 2015 at 12:26pm CST by Zachary Links
The Cardinals have cut defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, according to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The cut is rather surprising since the Cardinals already paid him a $500K bonus this offseason. By releasing him, however, they’ll save $1.45MM in salary.
Shaughnessy, who turns 29 later this month, appeared in all 16 games for Arizona in 2013, including 12 starts. In that season, he tallied 3.0 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble. Last season, he appeared in only 8 total games (7 starts) thanks to a mid-season injury. Still, Shaughnessy was important enough to the team that they put him on IR-DTR in October so that he could be activated later in the year.
Shaughnessy’s best year statistically came in 2010 when he racked up 56 total tackles and 7.0 sacks for the Raiders.
Just a week and a half after signing him to a contract, the Cardinals have waived veteran running back Michael Bush, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link). Bush’s release is one of a handful of moves made today by the Cards, who also parted ways with tight end Matthew Mulligan, activated linebacker Matt Shaughnessy from IR-DTR, and promoted running back Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad.
Arizona’s decision to cut Bush is a curious one, since Andre Ellington‘s hip pointer seemed as if it would open the door for the former Bear to get some touches. Instead, the Cards have seemingly decided they prefer Williams, the running back the club initially waived to make room for Bush. With Ellington unable to go this weekend, Williams could get mixed into the backfield rotation along with Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice.
As Urban adds in a tweet, the fact that Bush has been released doesn’t necessarily preclude his eventual return. It may just be a case of the team not being confident that he was picking up the offense quickly enough, or concerned that he wasn’t yet in ideal football shape. Assuming Bush goes unclaimed on waivers, he’ll revert to unrestricted free agency, and Arizona could always re-sign him.
As for the team’s other pair of roster moves, Mulligan’s release clears the way for Shaughnessy, who was placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return after Arizona’s Week 5 game, due to a knee injury. The former third-round pick had been starting for the Cards prior to the injury, though it’s not clear if he’ll immediately take on the same workload he had before.
The series of roster moves leaves the Cards with a full 53-man roster and one opening on their practice squad.