O’Leary spent last season with the Jaguars and Dolphins. Initially a 2015 fifth-round pick, O’Leary spent three seasons with the Bills. He topped out with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns on the 2017 Bills but spent the 2018 season on Adam Gase‘s final Dolphins squad.
While O’Leary is not a prolific receiver, he will certainly not be asked to do that much in Las Vegas given the Waller-Witten tandem’s presence. O’Leary graded as the NFL’s best tight end in a somewhat obscure skill last year, however. He rated as significantly ahead of the next-closest player in pass protection among tight ends. He played 320 snaps with Miami and Jacksonville in 2019.
The Jaguars have signed veteran tight end Nick O’Leary, as his agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced (Twitter link). O’Leary was cut by the Dolphins at the end of October.
Jacksonville hasn’t had much luck with its TE group this year, as both James O’Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim have landed on IR. Though he played in only five games for the Jags, O’Shaughnessy still leads the club’s tight ends in receptions (14), receiving yards (153), and touchdowns (two).
Third-round rookie Josh Oliver got the first start of his career in Sunday’s loss to the Colts, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, Oliver suffered small fractures in his back during the game and could miss the remainder of the season. Plus, Seth DeValve sat out the Indianapolis game due to an oblique injury, leaving Ben Koyack as the only healthy TE on the roster prior to the O’Leary signing.
O’Leary, 27, was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2015 draft. He spent the first three seasons of his career with Buffalo, including a 2017 campaign where he hauled in a career-high 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills cut him at the end of the 2018 preseason and he caught on with the Dolphins’ practice squad before being promoted to Miami’s 53-man roster. The Dolphins liked him enough to sign him to a one-year extension last December, but an ill-timed drop in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Steelers this year led to his ouster from South Beach.
In his career, O’Leary has played in 54 games (21 starts) and has 44 catches for 596 yards and three TDs.
Howard is headed to injured reserve after suffering a knee injury on Monday night, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The good news: it’s not an ACL or MCL tear, but the Dolphins are choosing to exercise caution with the young star.
The Dolphins inked Howard to a five-year, $72.25MM extension in May, so they’re keeping their eyes on the prize. Of course, this year’s prize is the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Beyond that, the Dolphins view Howard as a major franchise cornerstone.
In related news, the Dolphins have released tight end Nick O’Leary, hours after his ill-time drop led to a Monday night loss against the Steelers. His release leaves the ‘Fins with Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe as the team’s only TEs.
Tight end Nick O’Leary is sticking with Miami for at least one more season. SportsTrust Advisory announced (via Twitter) that their client has signed an extension with the Dolphins. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that it’s one-year deal worth $1.5MM ($500K guaranteed).
The 2015 sixth-round pick out of Florida State spent the first three seasons of his career with the Bills, including a 2017 campaign where he hauled in a career-high 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns. The 26-year-old was released by Buffalo at the end of the preseason, and he subsequently caught on with Miami’s practice squad.
O’Leary was promoted to the Dolphins’ active roster in early October. He’s appeared in seven games (four starts) with Miami, hauling in seven receptions for 77 yards and one score.
Thanks to the extension, the Dolphins now have three tight ends signed for 2019: O’Leary, second-round rookie Mike Gesicki, and fourth-round rookie Durham Smythe. A.J. DerbyandMarQueis Gray (who is on the injured reserve with an Achilles injury) are set to become free agents.
Running back Marcus Murphy continues to improve his chances of making the Bills’ 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round had a brief cameo with Buffalo last season, but he had showed some intriguing flashes during his tenure with the Saints. His talents have been on display during the preseason, as he’s compiled 74 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries (he’s also hauled in four catches).
“I just want to make a play,” Murphy told Branson Wright of Cleveland.com. “Whenever an opportunity is given, I just want to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being a running back, punt returner or kick returner. I just want to be a playmaker whenever I get the chance.”
“I appreciate the coaching staff giving me an opportunity. I want to show them that they can trust me to make a play and show that I’m able to execute whenever they need me to.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Buffalo…
While Skurski is willing to hand Murphy a roster spot, he wonders if tight end Nick O’Leary is on the roster bubble. While the 25-year-old did finish last night’s preseason win over the Browns with a team-leading four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown, he didn’t end up taking the field until the second half. If the former sixth-rounder has any hopes of making the Bills, he’ll have to beat out Jason Croom, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee for backup reps behind Charles Clay. O’Leary finished last season with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (five starts).
Quarterback A.J. McCarron suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during last night’s preseason game. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the signal-caller will end up missing “several weeks,” but a definitive timetable hasn’t been set. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mike Rodak isn’t ready to hand the starting quarterback gig to first-rounder Josh Allen. The reporter notes (on Twitter) that head coach Sean McDermott has a high opinion of backup Nathan Peterman, and McCarron’s injury shouldn’t force the coach to “stray from his “calculated” plan about Allen.” Rodak believes the two healthy quarterbacks will split reps during next weekend’s game against the Bengals, although he also wonders if the team may end up adding another quarterback to the roster.
Defensive lineman Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury during last night’s game, but Rapoport tweets that the Pro Bowler’s ACL wasn’t injured. If the MRI confirms that prognosis, the 35-year-old “could return this season.” That still sounds like a rather grim outlook for the defensive tackle, but the MRI will likely provide specific details on the severity of the injury. The five-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire 12-year career with Buffalo, and he finished last season with 41 tackles and three sacks. If he is indeed forced to miss time, the Bills will likely turn to Harrison Phillips or Adolphus Washington for a bigger role.