Mike Harris (CB)

FA Rumors: Nelson, Falcons, Giants, Conte

The latest free agent rumors as Wednesday draws closer:

  • The Falcons have expressed interest in Bengals safety Reggie Nelson, according to a source who spoke with Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Nelson hauled in a league-leading eight interceptions last season.
  • The Giants have expressed interest in Vikings free agent guard Mike Harris, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). Harris is currently mulling a two-year, $3.5MM offer from Minnesota.
  • Buccaneers safety Chris Conte is drawing interest from multiple teams, per Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Bucs want him back, but he’ll explore the market before making a commitment.
  • The Texans are holding discussions with cornerback A.J. Bouye about a potential new contract, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. The Texans can retain Bouye with a low tender of $1.671MM, but it sounds like they might work out a one-year deal at a lower rate instead. The 24-year-old entered the league in 2013 as a UDFA out of UCF.
  • Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter) believes that free agent tight end Rob Housler will ultimately wind up back with the Bears.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, and Washington are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Dallas Cowboys

  • Acquired via trade:
    • RB Christine Michael, from Seahawks (link)
  • Cut:
  • Signed to practice squad:

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Claimed off waivers:
    • QB Stephen Morris (link)
  • Signed to practice squad (via press release)

    • T Brett Boyko (Twitter link via Adam Caplan)
    • G Malcolm Bunche
    • CB Randall Evans (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson)
    • WR Freddie Martino
    • DE Brian Mihalik
    • RB Raheem Mostert (Twitter link via Brett Tessler)
    • TE Chris Pantale
    • WR Quron Pratt
    • S Ed Reynolds (Twitter link via Caplan)
    • LB Deontae Skinner (Twitter link via Tony Pauline)


Giants Place Jon Beason On IR

WEDNESDAY, 4:17pm: The Giants have officially placed Beason on injured reserve, announcing the signing of cornerback Mike Harris to take his spot on the roster. Harris’ signing had been previously reported.

MONDAY, 11:16am: Giants linebacker Jon Beason needs surgery on his toe and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Dan Graziano of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). The former first-round pick met with a specialist in North Carolina last week and, apparently, the prognosis was not good.

Beason missed most of the offseason thanks to an injury on the same foot. Beason suffered a sesamoid fracture in his right foot, as well as a ligament tear, back in July. Beason represented himself in free agency this offseason and did a pretty solid job on the deal that brought him back to the Giants. Beason got a three-year deal that carries a base value of $16.8MM, with a $4.4MM signing bonus and $6MM in overall guaranteed money.

Pro Football Focus’ metrics ranked Beason 47th out of 55 qualified inside linebackers last season, in large part due to poor grades in pass coverage. However, the ex-Panther piled up 93 tackles and an interception in just 12 games with the Giants. In four games this season, Beason registered 11 tackles.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

While we’re tracking today’s practice squad signings and cuts in one post, and we’ve made note of more significant transactions in their own posts, we’ll use this space to round up the day’s minor moves relating to teams’ 53-man rosters:

  • The Giants are signing cornerback Mike Harris off of the Lions’ practice squad to their active roster, reports Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter). As Twentyman notes, Detroit didn’t have space on its active roster to promote Harris.
  • The Seahawks have opened up a pair of roster spots by cutting wide receiver Phil Bates and tight end Brett Brackett, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • One defender has replaced another in Houston, where the Texans have signed linebacker Zac Diles and released cornerback Elbert Mack, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • According to Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter), cornerback Marcus Williams has been promoted to the Jets‘ active roster from their practice squad, replacing A.J. Edds, whose release is discussed below.

Earlier updates:

  • The Raiders have waived linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, the team announced today (via Twitter). The move leaves an open spot on Oakland’s 53-man roster, which the team has yet to fill.
  • The Rams have confirmed they’ve placed tackle Jake Long on injured reserve, making room for linebacker Korey Toomer, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The signing of Toomer is noted below.
  • Defensive end Greg Latta has been cut from the Broncos‘ injured reserve list, tweets Aaron Wilson.
  • The Saints placed wide receiver Joe Morgan on the reserve/suspended list today, re-signing tight end Tom Crabtree to replace him on the 53-man roster, tweets Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. As Triplett notes, head coach Sean Payton didn’t specify the reason for Morgan’s suspension, but it’s the latest obstacle for a player who looks increasingly unlikely to stick in New Orleans beyond this season.
  • The Bills have put safety Kenny Ladler on injured reserve with an arm injury, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Ladler signed with the team in May as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt, started the season on the practice squad, and had been promoted to the active roster earlier this month.
  • Linebacker Korey Toomer has been promoted from the Rams‘ practice squad to their active roster, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). It’s not clear yet what the corresponding move is, but Jake Long and Brian Quick are both expected to be placed on injured reserve any day now.
  • Over at The National Football Post, Wilson has the details on another roster move, writing that the Jets have cut linebacker A.J. Edds. Primarily a special teams contributor, Edds had also been serving at a backup at all three linebacker spots.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

With practices resuming following the weekend’s games, and teams having a better of idea of how serious its players’ injuries are, Tuesdays are often a busy day for practice squad transactions, as clubs replenish their rosters and swap in players at potential positions of need. As such, we expect to update this post plenty of times throughout the day, with the latest news of practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL. Here’s the latest:

  • Defensive tackle Joe Vellano, who was waived by the Patriots on Monday, has agreed to stay with New England on its practice squad, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. Vellano is the beneficiary of the new practice squad rules that allow a second-year player to be eligible despite playing in 16 games in 2013.
  • Defensive back Chandler Fenner and wide receiver Julian Talley, both waived by the Giants yesterday, have been re-signed to the practice squad, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
  • The Eagles re-signed linebacker Brandon Hepburn to their practice squad, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).
  • The Packers signed Joe Kruger, the brother of Paul Kruger, to their practice squad, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Former Ravens defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i has been added to the Browns’ taxi squad, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • As noted below, cornerback Mike Harris has signed with the Lions‘ practice squad, replacing fellow defensive back Josh Victorian, tweets Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • The Jets have released cornerback LeQuan Lewis from their practice squad, signing another cornerback – Dashaun Phillips – in his place, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • One wide receiver has replaced another on the Cowboys‘ practice squad, tweets Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as Tim Benford has been cut and LaRon Byrd has been signed.
  • The Rams are down to nine players on their practice squad, having cut wide receiver Justin Veltung today, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).
  • The Lions have signed defensive back Mike Harris to their taxi squad, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Detroit had a full 10-man unit, so a corresponding cut will be necessary to finalize the move.
  • Offensive tackle Ryan Miller has been cut from the Broncos‘ practice squad, reports Mike Klis of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
  • The Browns have cut long snapper Charley Hughlett from their practice squad, per agent Brett Tessler (via Twitter). Hughlett was brought in to provide competition for the team’s regular long snapper, Christian Yount, but Cleveland has opted to continue on with Yount.
  • The 49ers have swapped one offensive lineman for another on their practice squad, cutting tackle John Fullington in order to bring aboard guard Andrew Tiller, according to the club.
  • Guard William Campbell and defensive tackle Jeremy Towns are the newest members of the Bills‘ practice squad, replacing fullback Lonnie Pryor and tight end Jamie Childers, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • Three days after cutting him from their active roster, the Jaguars have re-signed tight end Mickey Shuler to their practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. To make room on the squad, wide receiver Kerry Taylor has been cut.
  • Last week’s promotion of quarterback Chandler Harnish to the active roster suggested the Vikings were more confident in him than McLeod Bethel-Thompson in an emergency scenario, and the team’s moves today reflected that as well. The Vikes announced in a press release that Bethel-Thompson has been let go from the practice squad, with Harnish, wideout Donte Foster, and defensive back Pierre Warren joining the unit.
  • To keep tabs on all 32 practice squad rosters, be sure to check out our complete list.

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 ESPN.com 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 PhillyMag.com, 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 ESPNChicago.com 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.

FA Workouts: Kickers, Seahawks, Chiefs, Bills

A pair of veteran kickers, David Akers and Rob Bironas, have been working out together in Tennessee and hope to continue their NFL careers this season, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While there are no openings at the position around the league for now, it’s probably just a matter of time until a kicker gets hurt or loses his job after missing a few field goals, and Akers and Bironas look like two of the most reliable options available. I expect we’ll see them on NFL rosters at some point this season.

Here’s more on free agents looking for new teams:

  • On the lookout for some help at cornerback after placing Jeremy Lane on injured reserve, the Seahawks worked out Mike Harris and Keith Lewis today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
  • The Chiefs will also be looking for some reinforcements on defense after seeing two key players go down with major Achilles injuries on Sunday. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets that defensive end Jerel Worthy, who was recently cut by the Patriots, was among the players auditioning for Kansas City today.
  • Defensive end James Davidson, a UTEP alum who was in camp with the Bengals, is working out for the Bills today, according to Caplan (via Twitter).
  • Caplan also provides an update (via Twitter) on ex-Eagles wideout Arrelious Benn, who isn’t trying out for any teams yet, but received a six-week injury settlement from Philadelphia and hopes to be ready to return to action even earlier than that.

Jaguars Cut 14 Players

2:26pm: The Jags have also waived WR Lamaar Thomas and RB Terrance Cobb, bringing their roster count to 76, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

MONDAY, 9:08am: The Jaguars have also waived/injured CB Deion Belue, per O’Halloran (on Twitter). Jacksonville’s roster count now sits at 78.

SUNDAY, 3:21PM: In anticipation of roster cutdowns, the Jaguars waived 11 players, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union:

Harris, a former seventh-rounder, started seven games over the past two years. As O’Halloran writes, just five of former general manager Gene Smith’s 26 draft picks still remain on the roster after this most recent purge. Jacksonville still needs to make four more cuts before Tuesday’s deadline.

Jaguars Notes: Watson, Gerhart, Evans

There’s a chance that one of the Jaguars new additions, linebacker Dekoda Watson, could begin next week’s training camp on the team’s physically unable to perform list. According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the former seventh-round pick underwent hernia surgery in late June, but he is expected back for the start of the regular season.

The Jaguars inked the 26-year-old to a three-year deal in March. Watson spent his first four NFL season with the Buccaneers, where he compiled 106 tackles and three sacks. O’Halloran adds that second-year player LaRoy Reynolds took the first-team reps during minicamp and will likely do the same during training camp.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Jacksonville…

  • NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling believes Toby Gerhart could lead the NFL in carries next season, the reporter said on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast.
  • “Not participating in organized team activities and minicamp because of foot surgery certainly hurt” the chances for defensive back Josh Evans, says ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco. If Evans can start to show consistency, DiRocco believes he could unseat Winston Guy.
  • DiRocco believes the team’s biggest position battle heading into training camp is between right guards Jacques McClendon and Brandon Linder. Considering the interior offensive line’s struggles in 2013, production from right guard will be key if the Jaguars hope to have a successful season.
  • The competition for the the team’s final two receiver spots should be interesting, DiRocco writes. Mike Brown and Kerry Taylor make DiRocco’s projected roster, but the writer warns that Tandon Doss, Allen Hurns and Chad Bumphis are also in play.
  • When looking at the team’s defensive backs, DiRocco thinks the Jaguars will have to choose between Jeremy Harris or Mike Harris for the final cornerback spot. At safety, the writer snubs Chris Prosinski.

Extra Points: Thomas, Jaguars, Sanders

Cornerback Terrell Thomas played 16 games for the Giants in 2013, proving that his torn ACL was long behind him. However, the 29-year-old has yet to find a team for next season and he’s blaming it in on his past injury.

Thomas took to SiriusXM NFL Radio and told hosts Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi his thoughts on front offices’ hesitation to sign him (hat tip to ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio):

“I understand that,” Thomas said, “but I played in 18 games last year, and I’ve still got tread left on these tires.

This NFL game is not loyal. It’s a part of business. I understand it and I respect it. As a veteran, I’m a plug-in starter. I don’t need to go through OTAs, through minicamps to get reps… I can go in and play right now. So I’ll be ready whenever my number’s called, whenever the right team picks me. All I need is one team to love me. All I need is one team to give me an opportunity. My play speaks for itself.”

Following the Lions release of Chris Houston on Friday, Florio guesses that Thomas’ next destination will be Detroit.

Let’s see what else is going on around the NFL…

  • The Jaguars do have some aging veterans on the roster, but ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco doesn’t envision any of them being on the roster bubble. Nonetheless, he mentions that defensive ends Jason Babin and Tyson Alualu and defensive backs Mike Harris and Chris Prosinski will be pushed by young players.
  • DiRocco would also be “very surprised” if wide receiver Ace Sanders didn’t make the Jaguars roster. Coming off a 50-catch season, Sanders would only stand to lose his roster spot if he continues to be “average” as a punt returner.
  • Ben Volin of The Boston Globe takes a quick look at some holdout candidates, mentioning Texans wideout Andre Johnson, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone.