Phil Bates

Workout Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Raiders, Bucs

With 53-man rosters set, teams around the NFL will start to frequently bring in players for workouts and auditions, keeping up-to-date on which free agents are out there, in case injury replacements or practice squad fill-ins are required.

Here are a few of the latest updates on teams working out players, or bringing them in for visits:

  • The Bills, who are exploring other possible options at kicker after an underwhelming preseason from Dan Carpenter, worked out Alex Henery, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). Henery’s last game in the NFL, the one that cost him his job, came last October, when he missed three field goals for the Lions against Buffalo.
  • Before they signed linebacker Adrian Hubbard, the Dolphins worked out Hubbard and several other players, according to Wilson (Twitter link). The players who earned an audition with Miami included former Raiders safety Jonathan Dowling, ex-Cardinals linebacker Glenn Carson, former Bengals linebacker Nico Johnson, ex-Cowboys cornerback Robert Steeples, and former Eagles safety Chris Prosinski.
  • The Raiders brought in a number of players for workouts, with a focus on wide receivers, quarterbacks, and defensive backs. According to Wilson (Twitter links), wideouts Phil Bates, John Harris, DeAndre Carter, and T.J. Graham, quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Phillip Sims, and defensive backs Tommie Campbell, Phillip Thomas, B.W. Webb, and Ty Zimmerman auditioned for the club. Offensive lineman Dillon Farrell also had a tryout with Oakland.
  • Offensive lineman Austin Reiter, a 2015 seventh-rounder waived by Washington over the weekend, is working out for the Buccaneers this morning, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
  • After being waived by the Chargers last week, wide receiver Titus Davis paid a visit to the Lions, tweets Wilson.

Cowboys Cut Phil Bates, 4 Others

The Cowboys are on their way to a 75-man roster. As Todd Archer of tweets, Dallas has dropped five players:

  • Phil Bates, WR
  • Tom Hornsey, P
  • Robert Steeples, CB
  • Casey Kreiter, LS
  • Carlif Taylor, DT

The Cowboys signed Bates less than two weeks ago. The 25-year-old (26 in September) was a longtime Seahawks practice squad player and also spent some time with the Browns. Seattle thought highly of Bates, making him one of just a few NFL taxi squad players to earn more than the minimum.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/20/15

Today’s minor moves, signings, and other transactions..

  • The Cowboys signed wide receivers Phil Bates and Edmond Gates as well as linebacker Dakorey Johnson, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. To make room, Dallas waived Lache Seastrunk, Reggie Dunn, Deontay Greenberry, and Brandon Smith (link).
  • The Bills have reached an injury settlement with tight end Clay Burton, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News tweets.
  • The Broncos announced that they were awarded tight end Jake Murphy off waivers from the Bengals on Thursday. To make room, they placed nose tackle Marvin Austin Jr. on injured reserve. The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Murphy, a Utah product, spent half of last year on the Bengals’ practice squad after playing for Oakland last summer. Murphy’s father is Dale Murphy, the two-time National League MVP (1982-83) with the Braves who eventually concluded his career with the Colorado Rockies. His older brother, Shawn, was with the Broncos during the 2011 preseason as an offensive lineman.

Browns Sign Nine, Waive Four

The Browns have signed sixth-round cornerback Charles Gaines and eight players who tried out for them at their recent rookie camp, reports ESPN’s Pat McManamon (via Twitter). The list of tryout signings comes courtesy of Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link):

  • E.J. Bibbs, tight end, Iowa
  • Paul Browning, wide receiver, Colorado State-Pueblo
  • Landon Feichter, defensive back, Purdue
  • Kevin Haplea, tight end, Florida State
  • Darius Jennings, wide receiver, Virginia
  • Luke Lundy, running back, Ottawa
  • Rodman Noel, linebacker, North Carolina State
  • Brandon Stephens, defensive back, Miami (Ohio)

To make room for their newest players, the Browns cut kicker Garrett Hartley, wideout Phil Bates, cornerback Varmah Sonie, and defensive end Christian Tupou, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

Browns Suspend Josh Gordon

11:05pm: It’s still up in the air if Gordon will lose his accrued season for 2014, which would push his unrestricted free agency back a year, tweets Mark Kay Cabot of, adding that talks are ongoing between the two sides. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the team did suspend Gordon without pay, which would put his 2014 accrued season in jeopardy.

Still, as Florio points out, the language in the CBA doesn’t specify that time spent on a reserve/suspended list doesn’t count toward an accrued season. As such, Gordon could have two potential avenues to fight the delay of his free agency — he could appeal the suspension, and hope it’s overturned by an arbitrator. If that route is unsuccessful, there could be a legal battle over the interpretation of the CBA’s definition of an accrued season, which states that “a player shall receive one Accrued Season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games.”

Florio suggests that in Gordon’s case, the NFLPA could argue that the Browns wideout “should have been on” full pay status in Week 17, particularly since the reserve/suspended isn’t mentioned in the CBA’s list of examples for instances that don’t count toward an accrued season (which includes time spent on the commissioner’s exempt list, practice squad, or PUP list due to a non-football injury).

1:25pm: The Browns have suspended star receiver Josh Gordon for their Week 17 matchup with the Ravens, reports Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 (via Twitter). Gordon was suspended for violation of team rules for reportedly missing a walkthrough practice on Friday, writes Tony Grossi of (via Twitter). Grossi also writes that a late-night night club incident may have also been a contributing factor.

While Gordon has been placed on the reserved/suspended list, the team has signed receiver Phil Bates off the practice squad to fill his roster spot, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter).

Gordon has gained a reputation for being late for meetings, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). La Canfora writes that Gordon’s “maturity, decision-making, and associates remain a concern for the team.”

La Canfora also notes that the team had a trade in place to send the embattled wideout to the 49ers last offseason, but ownership refused to go through with the deal (via Twitter). He writes that the team will regret not making the trade when it was on the table. The Browns would not be able to get much for him now, but some pundits – such as such as Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (via Twitter) – would still be surprised to see Gordon return to the team in 2015.

Gordon will only have played five games in 2014 due to the suspension, after missing the first ten games due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). By only playing five games, Gordon will not get credit for an accrued season toward his free agency, reports Albert Breer of (via Twitter). Gordon has played two NFL seasons, and would need four accrued seasons to become an unrestricted free agent. Missing this Sunday’s game will cost him credit for his third season, and could potentially make his 2016 free agency restricted, writes Breer (via Twitter).

The team will have to decided whether the punishment is a paid or unpaid suspension. If the suspension is paid, he will be credited for his sixth game and third season. If not, he will not accrue his third season toward free agency, reports Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).

There is a belief that Browns’ management was motivated to push back Gordon’s free agency by a year, and that was a reason for the suspension, according to Wilson (via Twitter). The decision to suspend him and keep him at five games is considered a prudent business decision by the organization, in an attempt to delay his unrestricted free agency (via Twitter).

Gordon is expected to fight the suspension in order to regain his accrued year toward free agency, writes Cole (via Twitter).

Practice Squad Updates: Thursday

We’ll track today’s practice squad signings and cuts, in this space. Here’s the latest:

  • According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link), the Seahawks‘ practice squad is full again at 10 players after the team signed tight end Brett Brackett and wide receiver Chris Matthews, cutting tight end Rashaun Allen to make room.
  • The Patriots have formally confirmed the signing of offensive lineman Chris Barker to their practice squad, a move which was reported yesterday. To make room for Barker, New England has cut defensive lineman Ben Bass.

Earlier updates:

  • The Browns have signed former Seahawks wideout Phil Bates to their practice squad, cutting defensive back Marcus Cromartie to make room, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN in Seattle first reported yesterday (via Twitter) that Bates, who was cut this week by Seattle, had cleared waivers and was headed to Cleveland.
  • After waiving him earlier this week to sign veteran safety Charles Godfrey, the Falcons have re-signed safety Sean Baker to their practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. Baker, who was on Atlanta’s taxi squad for nearly all of September, takes the spot vacated by safety Kimario McFadden, who has been cut.

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 (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 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 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 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.

Seahawks Place Derrick Coleman On IR

The Seahawks announced that they have placed fullback Derrick Coleman on season-ending injured reserve, tweets Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. Taking his place on the 53-man roster will be wide receiver Phil Bates, who has been promoted from the practice squad.

The news is unfortunate, but not unexpected, after it was learned that Coleman suffered a broken foot during warmups on Sunday. Coleman, who celebrated his 24th birthday last week, has been with Seattle since 2012. He’s used mostly to block, but he does have 10 receptions for 91 yards to his credit, along with two rushing attempts.

Bates, 25, has been yo-yo’d quite a bit by the Seahawks this season between being waived and shuttled back and forth from the taxi squad. Still, he has been compensated pretty well for his troubles. Bates saw his weekly practice squad salary bumped from $6,300 to $7,300 per week in late September and he’s one of just a few NFL players to make more than the minimum on the practice squad.

While Bates will get the spot on the active roster, L.J. Fort may get an opportunity at some point soon. Fort has spent his career at linebacker but Seattle signed him to the practice squad this week, apparently with the intention of using him as a fullback. For his part, he said that he is enjoying the challenge and is adapting quickly.

AFC North Notes: Rice, Browns, Thompson

When Terrell Suggs lifted himself off of Cam Newton on the final play of the Panthers’ first drive last Sunday, he thought sack-less streak was over. However, the Ravens linebacker learned later that he only got credited for a half sack, sharing it with fellow outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. “I’m definitely fighting the NFL on that,” Suggs said laughing, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. “I’m definitely sending [the tape] in.” More from the AFC North..

  • The NFLPA announced that former United States District Judge Barbara S. Jones has been appointed by commissioner Roger Goodell to hear and decide the appeal filed on behalf of Ravens running back Ray Rice. “We are grateful to Judge Jones for taking on this role,” said commissioner Goodell. “She will have our full cooperation as she hears and decides this appeal.”
  • It’s too early to say that Browns first-year defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil is “under fire,” but his side of the ball has underperformed through three games this season, writes Tony Grossi of Reporters asked O’Neil about a number of the Browns’ issues today, from Joe Haden‘s early struggles to whether Barkevious Mingo has fallen short of his expectations as a pass rusher.
  • Wideout Deonte Thompson is currently earning a weekly salary of $17K on the Ravens‘ practice squad, well above the standard rate of $6.3K, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. As Brian McIntyre notes (Twitter links), several other practice squad players are also earning above the minimum rate, including Browns guard Ryan Seymour ($10K), Vikings fullback Zach Line ($10K), Seahawks receiver Phil Bates ($7.3K), and 49ers cornerback Leon McFadden ($6.5K).

West Notes: Raiders, Gruden, Harbaugh, Cards

After today’s press conference announcing Tony Sparano as the Raiders‘ new interim coach, owner Mark Davis stuck around for an informal Q&A with reporters, including Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News. When asked if GM Reggie McKenzie will hire the next coach, Davis responded, “Well, we’ll see. We might’ve already hired him.” Meanwhile, Davis dodged questions about McKenzie’s own job security. Here’s more from the AFC and NFC West..

  • Davis has tried to lure Jon Gruden back to the Raiders in the past, tweets Jason La Canfora of The owner has previously offered significant money and power within the organization but it wasn’t enough to reel him in.
  • Amidst speculation that some 49ers players don’t want to play for coach Jim Harbaugh, offensive lineman Jonathan Martin offered up his support, writes Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “He’s the best coach I’ve ever been around,” said Martin, who also played for Harbaugh at Stanford. “Even though he might be cheesy at times with slogans and sayings, his enthusiasm rubs off on players and his record speaks for itself.”
  • After being released from the Cardinals‘ practice squad, running back Chris Rainey signed with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, according to Adam Caplan of (on Twitter).
  • Last week, the Seahawks bumped wide receiver Phil Bates‘ practice squad salary from $6,300 to $7,300 per week, according to Brian McIntyre (on Twitter).