September 15th, 2017 at 6:15pm CST by Connor J. Byrne
Friday’s minor moves from across the NFL…
The Jets will promote linebacker Freddie Bishop from their practice squad in advance of Sunday’s game against the Raiders, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Injuries will keep linebackers Bruce Carter and Edmond Robinson out of action, creating a need at the position. Bishop, undrafted back in 2013, made his NFL debut with the Jets last season and appeared in four games. He started three of those contests, totaling 152 defensive snaps and nine tackles.
The Cardinals have released linebacker Philip Wheeler, who has been in and out of the organization on multiple occasions since signing with Arizona in July. Wheeler garnered a ton of experience with the Colts, Raiders, Dolphins and Falcons from 2008-16 (133 games, 66 starts), but the 32-year-old hasn’t made much of a defensive impact in recent seasons.
Arizona is the sixth NFL team for the 32-year-old Wheeler, who entered the league as a third-round pick of the Colts back in 2008. Wheeler has since racked up 133 appearances and 66 starts, including 16 and four in those categories with the NFC-winning Falcons last season. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder amassed 27 tackles on 339 defensive snaps along the way, and after posting those modest totals, he didn’t generate any known offseason interest prior to signing with the Cardinals.
While a healthy Cards team should be fairly deep at linebacker, they’re in need of bodies there now with Deone Bucannon and Jarvis Jonesdealing with injuries. For the time being, Wheeler will provide some extra help at the position, though he’s clearly not a lock to crack their season-opening roster.
Let’s round up several of the latest details on contracts that have been agreed upon or signed within the last week or two….
Josh Hill, TE (Saints): Matched Bears’ offer sheet. Three years, $7.051MM. $2.5MM signing bonus. No-trade clause for 2016 and 2017. $100K annual Pro Bowl incentive. $200K in per-game roster bonuses for 2017 and 2018. $750K escalator for 2018 for receptions and yards (link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).
Wheeler, 31, began his career with the Colts after being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. He spent four years in Indianapolis, one in Oakland, and two in Miami before joining the Falcons for the 2015 campaign. Appearing in nine game for Atlanta (two starts), Wheeler recorded 29 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
Wheeler saw most of his 2015 playing time in the second half of the season, and may earn an increased role in 2016, but the Falcons have already ensured that linebacker Paul Worrilow received an RFA tender, and brought back Sean Weatherspoon in free agency, so we’ll have to wait and see how the defensive snaps shake out on Atlanta’s linebacking corps.
Will Robert Griffin III ultimately sign with the Browns after visiting Cleveland last week? According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Twitter), the prevailing feeling at the owners’ meetings in Boca Raton is that the Browns will indeed be able to get something done with RGIII. There’s no agreement in place yet, but Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com tweets that there’s a possibility of a deal by the end of the week.
As we wait to see if the two sides can strike a deal, let’s round up a few other items related to free agency, including another one on Griffin…
Asked about the possibility of pursuing RGIII, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged that it’s something his team may have to consider (video link via TheRams.com). However, it didn’t sound like there was much urgency on that front for Fisher and the Rams, who have plenty of confidence in Case Keenum as their starter.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confirmed this morning that his club remains in negotiations with free agent linebacker Philip Wheeler, who may end up returning, tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Asked today about the possibility of bringing back defensive end Greg Hardy, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said that Dallas is “focused on some other guys right now,” per Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Although there hasn’t been much movement on the Chad Greenway front so far, the veteran linebacker remains confident that he’ll be able to work out a new deal with the Vikings, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. While Greenway’s first choice is to remain in Minnesota, he did acknowledge that he has received some inquiries from other teams, but he’s not in a rush to make a decision.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he was “shocked” that both Chris Johnson and Jermaine Gresham accepted less money to re-sign in Arizona, adding that there was no special sales pitch for either player (Twitterlinks via Peter Schrager of FOX Sports).
The Browns are signing linebacker Jayson DiManche off the Chiefs‘ taxi squad, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. DiManche will take the roster spot previously filled by running back Shaun Draughn, who has been waived, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound DiManche has appeared in 28 regular-season games with one start, all with the Bengals. Draughn appeared in five games this season for Cleveland with two carries for 10 yards.
The Lions have claimed guard/tackle Michael Ola off waivers from the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets. Ola has yo-yo’d between the Chargers’ 53-man roster and the taxi squad all season long.