Mike Davis (WR)

AFC Notes: Brady, Patriots, Hunter, Texans

Earlier today, a mammoth 457-page transcript of Tom Brady‘s testimony was released. As Jimmy Golen of The Associated Press writes, the Patriots quarterback denied under oath to Roger Goodell that he tampered with footballs before the AFC title game. Meanwhile, investigator Ted Wells apparently never warned the Brady he would be punished if he didn’t turn over his cellphone. Brady denied discussing air level with the ballboys or even thinking about how inflated the footballs were when he selected them. He also said he’s never asked anyone from the Patriots to tamper with footballs. While we wait to see how that all shakes out, here’s more out of the AFC..

  • The transcript also contains confirmation that the Ravens tipped off the Colts on the Patriots‘ alleged doctoring of footballs, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • The NFLPA filed its counterclaim and amended answer in federal court in Manhattan today, as Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. As a part of the counterclaim, the union brought forth the Brady appeal transcript, which led it it becoming public.
  • Titans receiver Justin Hunter is facing a felonious assault charge following a bar fight last month, but his attorney is confident that the case will “end will” for Hunter, as John Glennon of The Tennessean writes. “I can tell you I’m confident that Justin didn’t do what he’s been charged with and that I have significant concerns about the credibility of the accuser,” attorney Toby Vick said. The NFL is also looking into the incident, and will likely wait for resolution in court before deciding on possible discipline for the wideout.
  • Former University of Texas wide receiver Mike Davis recently worked out for the Chiefs and has also worked out for the Panthers, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link).
  • Arian Foster‘s groin issue isn’t the only bad injury news the Texans received today. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), sixth-round rookie OLB Reshard Cliett went down with a knee injury in the club’s first practice, and is expected to be sidelined for the year.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

49ers Sign Nine Draft Picks

The 49ers announced they have signed nine of their ten draft picks. That group includes second round safety Jaquiski Tartt but does not include first round defensive end Arik Armstead.

Tartt, third-round linebacker Eli Harold, third-round tight end Blake Bell, third-round running back Mike Davis, fourth-round wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, fifth-round punter Bradley Pinion, sixth-round lineman Ian Silberman, seventh-round lineman Trent Brown, and seventh-round tight end Rory Anderson.

Tartt, 23, played in 44 games and totaled 277 tackles, six interceptions, 20 passes defensed and 6.5 tackles for loss in his career. The Samford product was named American Football Coaches Association FCS All-America team and Second-Team AP All-America in his senior season.

Workout Updates: Wednesday

Although NFL teams have been working out players all season, most of this week’s auditions will be conducted with an eye on the future, since clubs will soon be able to start signing players to reserve/futures deals for the 2015 season. Listed below are the most recently reported workouts from around the league, with all links pointed to Aaron Wilson’s Twitter account, unless otherwise indicated…

  • Prior to signing long snapper Charley Hughlett, the Browns auditioned several other long snappers, taking a look at Dax Dellenbach, Brandon Hartson, and Luke Ingram. The club also worked out defensive tackle Torell Troup.
  • While the Raiders elected to sign linebacker Justin Jackson to their practice squad yesterday, the team also tried out fellow linebacker Terrance Bullitt. Bullitt reached an agreement as an undrafted free agent with the Ravens in May, but it fell through due to a shoulder issue.
  • The Vikings brought in defensive end Leon Mackey and linebacker Justin Anderson for tryouts this week — the latter ended up signing to Minnesota’s practice squad.
  • A pair of running backs and a pair of defensive backs worked out for the Falcons this week. Atlanta opted to sign RB Ronnie Wingo and DB Brandan Bishop to its taxi squad, passing on RB Michael Ford and DB Malcolm Branson.
  • In addition to working out for the Jaguars this week, defensive end Shawn Lemon auditioned for the Colts.
  • Undrafted free agent center Jared Wheeler tried out for the Buccaneers, along with kicker Travis Coons, wide receiver Derrick Johnson, defensive back Shelton Johnson, and offensive linemen Adrian Battles, Stetson Burnett, Brett Van Sloten, and Brett Jones.
  • The Seahawks auditioned wide receivers Lamont Bryant, Mike Davis, Jeremy Gallon, and Douglas McNeil, along with ex-Ravens outside linebacker Michael McAdoo, per Wilson. Adam Caplan of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that Seattle also looked at quarterback Brett Smith, who was waived by the Buccaneers in May.
  • Caplan also passes along word of one more workout, tweeting that former seventh-round kicker Zach Hocker tried out for the 49ers.

Workout Notes: Tuesday

Earlier today, the Giants looked at an eye-popping 15 players, including Felix Jones, Jonathan Baldwin, Terrelle Pryor, and Tony Moeaki. Here’s a look at other notable auditions from around the league..

  • The Colts worked out defensive back Chance Casey, wide receiver Mike Davis, quarterback Pat Devlin, and wide receiver Tramaine Thompson, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Mike Wells on Twitter). Running back Jeff Demps and Konrad Reuland were also part of the workout and earned spots on the Colts’ practice squad.
  • The Seahawks looked at free agent linebacker Paris Lenon, according to Yates (on Twitter). Lenon, 37 next month, has 12 years of NFL experience under his belt. Remarkably, he has missed a grand total of three regular season games during that span.
  • Before signing running back Phillip Tanner earlier today, the Bills also auditioned Evan Royster, Yates tweets. Royster was with the Redskins from 2011-2013. The Bills also auditioned wide receiver Kenny Shaw and quarterback Brad Sorensen today, according to Yates (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com on Twitter).
  • The Packers auditioned four players today, according to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky (on Twitter): wide receiver Jace Davis (Northern Colorado), running back David Fluellen (Toledo), guard Andrew Miller (Virginia Tech), and cornerback David Van Dyke (Tennessee State).

East Auditions: Bills, Pats, Jets, Eagles

While not every NFL team is making adjustments to its 53-man roster this week, many clubs are at least auditioning free agents to get a sense of which players might be worth revisiting later in the season, as injuries begin to take their toll. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has passed along word of several of those auditions, via Twitter, so let’s take a look at which free agents are working out for teams in the NFL’s two East divisions….

Raiders Release Seven Players

The Raiders have released seven players, reports Steve Corkan of the Contra Costa Times (via Twitter). Those players are as follows:

The team will have to make further cuts to bring the roster down to 75 players by Tuesday.

Raiders Sign 12 Undrafted Free Agents

SUNDAY, 9:36pm: The Raiders have brought in another undrafted free agent, Utah State LB Bojay Filimoeatu, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).

FRIDAY, 12:54pm: The Raiders have become the last of the 32 NFL teams to formally announce their rookie free agent signings, revealing in a press release that they’ve added 11 undrafted players to the roster. Here’s the list of the newest Raiders:

  • George Atkinson III, RB, Notre Dame
  • D.J. Coles, WR, Virginia Tech
  • Mike Davis, WR, Texas
  • Carlos Fields, LB, Winston-Salem State
  • Noel Grigsby, WR, San Jose State
  • Dan Kistler, OT, Montana ($12.5K bonus, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Erle Ladson, OT, Delaware
  • Jake Murphy, TE, Utah
  • Seth Roberts, WR, West Alabama
  • Scott Simonson, TE, Assumption
  • Karl Williams, FB, Utah

Combine Updates: Sam, Bridgewater, Browns

Last year, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o‘s media session at the Scouting Combine drew the biggest crowds. Before that, it was Florida’s Tim Tebow who stole the show.

Today was Missouri defensive end Michael Sam‘s turn to face the horde of reporters, his first public speaking appearance since coming out February 9. He impressed, as expected, according to Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star.

Sam tried to downplay his sexuality and steer things back to football. “I wish you guys would just say, ‘Michael Sam, how’s football going?'” he said. “I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.” 

When pushed about an environment like the Dolphins‘ locker room and the Richie Incognito bullying scandal, Sam said he was “not afraid” and that he could handle himself.

In the end, Sam just wants the opportunity to make a roster and rush the passer. “If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback,” he said. “And this league is a passing league, so I like to (see) myself as a good pass rusher. … I can jump back in coverage as well. But my specialty is rushing the passer.”

Other notes from Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine…

  • Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater proclaimed himself the best quarterback in the draft, per Jim Corbett of USA TODAY.
  • Bridgewater won’t throw during Sunday’s quarterback drills, but he will throw at his pro day, which takes place on March 17.
  • Tania Ganguli covers the Texans for ESPN, and said Bridgewater “projected an air of sincerity and likability throughout his combine news conference.” She expects Bridgewater to fare well when he sits down with Houston coach Bill O’Brien, owner of the 2014 No. 1 overall pick.
  • The potential pairing of Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins with Browns second-year stud Josh Gordon has Cleveland scribes buzzing, especially after Watkins mentioned it himself. “I think Josh Gordon is probably one of the top receivers in the NFL,” Watkins said, according to ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon. “He led receivers this year with 1,700 yards. I’d kind of take the pressure off of him with being double-covered or them flipping coverage to his side. It’d be a nightmare for (defenses) to match up.”
  • McManamon wrote a separate piece yesterday discussing the virtues of a possible pairing, using the successful duo of the Falcons’ Julio Jones and Roddy White as an example.
  • Texas wide receiver Mike Davis has a minor right foot injury and was not cleared to take part in Sunday’s on-field drills, tweets NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.