Ras-I Dowling

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/16/16

Today’s minor moves:

Earlier Updates:

  • The Broncos have signed linebacker Dekoda Watson to a one-year deal, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets. Watson appeared in three games for the Patriots last year as he was yo-yo’d on and off of the team’s roster.
  • Eagles guard/tackle Matt Tobin has signed a two-year deal with the team, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Tobin was previously set to play out this year on his one-year restricted free agent tender. Now, his new deal will lower his base salary for this season.
  • Washington waived linebacker Reggie Northrup, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Interestingly, Northrup is represented by rapper Lil Wayne.
  • More Washington signings via the team’s website: tackle Al Bond, guard Nila Kasitati, linebacker Mike Wakefield and running back Kelsey Young. Guard Dominick Jackson was waived.
  • The Seahawks have waived/injured linebacker Christian French and signed fellow linebacker Khairi Fortt to take his place on the 90-man roster, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Bengals are set to sign former University of Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata, as Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News tweets. To make room, rookie quarterback Matt Johnson has been waived.
  • The Browns signed defensive back Eric Patterson, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The 23-year-old entered the NFL last year as a UDFA with New England. The Ball State product appeared in two games for Indianapolis and one with St. Louis.
  • The Bears announced they have signed Donovan Williams, an offensive lineman from Louisiana-Lafayette (Twitter link via Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune). The Bears have also released center Dan Buchholz, wide receiver/tight end Marcus Lucas, and wide receiver Nathan Palmer (link).
  • The Bears waived defensive end Bruce Gaston, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. Demovsky suggests that Gaston, who made Green Bay’s opening day roster last season, could get another look from the Packers.
  • The Chargers have signed former Arizona State guard Vi Teofilo to a three-year deal, a source tells Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. The 6’3″, 205-pound lineman will look to compete for a practice squad spot. The Chargers waived guard Sebastian Johansson, an undrafted rookie guard from Marshall, in a corresponding move. They also waived-injured linebacker Brock Hekking.
  • The Saints waived safety Michael Caputo and quarterback Griffin Neal after this weekend’s rookie minicamp, Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets. According to Wilson (on Twitter), the team has also cut receiver Shane Wynn.
  • In a related move, the Saints inked linebacker Tony Steward (Twitter link via Woodbery). Steward played at Clemson and was a fifth-round pick of Buffalo in 2015.
  • The Saints signed Jake Lampman, Wilson tweets. The Ferris State product caught 52 passes for 731 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Panthers Cut Brandon Boykin

The Panthers have released cornerback Brandon Boykin, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Boykin signed with Carolina in March and received an $80K signing bonus for his two months of employment. As a vested veteran, Boykin is not subject to waivers and is free to sign with any team.Brandon Boykin

Boykin, 25, was one of the more intriguing cornerbacks to linger on the free agent market in late March. After a visit to Carolina, the two sides shook hands on a low-guarantee, one-year deal. Two months later, he’s once again a free agent.

In 2015, Boykin joined the Steelers, having been sent to Pittsburgh by the Eagles in a trade for a fifth-round pick. However, Boykin played primarily on special teams until the final few weeks of the season — he logged 252 of his 274 regular-season defensive snaps in the Steelers’ last five games.

Despite not seeing significant playing time in Pittsburgh, Boykin ranked as a top-40 cornerback in 2015 (out of 111 qualified players), per Pro Football Focus. The Georgia product has always shown flashes of upside, particularly in his six-interception 2013 campaign, but has never really gotten the opportunity to be a full-time player — he has just seven career starts. He’ll now look elsewhere for his chance to shine.

While Boykin didn’t earn a spot on PFR’s top 50 free agent list, we placed him sixth among free agent cornerbacks when we broke down 2016’s top defensive free agents, placing him ahead of veterans like Leon Hall and Patrick Robinson due to his relative youth and upside.

In addition to Boykin, the Panthers have also waived cornerback Ras-I Dowling and wide receiver Jenson Stoshak , as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. In related news, the team has inked the following tryout players (per David Newton of ESPN.com): tight end Braxton Deaver, running back Jalen Simmons, wide receiver Miles Shuler, offensive tackle Jordan Rigsbee, linebacker Jared Barber, and cornerback Shaquille Richardson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign Eight To Futures Contracts

Having concluded their season on Sunday, the Panthers have begun to sign players to their 90-man offseason roster, inking eight players to reserve/futures contracts on Tuesday. The team’s official website has the complete list of signees, all of whom finished the season on Carolina’s practice squad:Panthers Helmet (Featured)

With eight of the 10 Panthers practice squad players re-signing with the team, only defensive end Wes Horton and linebacker Nate Askew didn’t get new deals. It’s possible that Carolina didn’t offer either player a futures contract, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if Horton, at least, wanted to explore other opportunities.

An undrafted rookie in 2013, Horton made 15 starts for the Panthers last season in place of suspended teammate Greg Hardy. Following a rookie campaign that saw him compile eight tackles and two sacks, the former USC standout finished 2014 with 26 tackles and three sacks. However, he returned to a bench role in 2015, then was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, before ultimately being cut from the 53-man roster in December. He signed with Carolina’s practice squad at the start of the postseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/23/15

Here are Monday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

  • Signed: S Ronald Martin (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post)

San Diego Chargers

  • Signed: TE Sean McGrath (Twitter link via Eric Williams of ESPN.com)

San Francisco 49ers


Workout Notes: 9/23/15

Teams around the NFL are bringing in players for workouts, surveying the free agent landscape for possible practice squad additions or 53-man roster players, either for the near future or down the road. Here are a few of the latest auditions from across the league, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (all links go to Twitter):



Raiders Down To 75-Man Limit

The Raiders announced a ton of moves on Tuesday to get down to the 75-man roster maximum. Some of the moves, like the release of running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, were previously announced. The full list is below:


  • Steven Clark, P
  • Rob Daniel, CB
  • Cody Fajardo, QB
  • Josh Jarper, WR
  • Lamar Mady, G
  • Trent Richardson, RB
  • Kenbrell Thompkins, WR
  • Milton Williams III, WR


  • James Dockery, CB
  • Ras-I Dowling, CB
  • Trindon Holliday, WR/RS


  • Jimmy Hall, S

Placed on IR:

  •  Menelik Watson, OT

Holliday, 29, was a dynamic return man for Denver in 2012 and 2013, bringing back a total of four kicks and punts for touchdowns over the course of those two regular seasons. As a member of the Broncos in the 2012 postseason, Holliday became the first player to return a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same playoff game. The Broncos decided not to tender a contract to Holliday when he was eligible for restricted free agency a year ago, leading to a 2014 campaign in which the former sixth-round pick bounced around from team to team and battled injuries along the way. Holliday had stints with the Giants, Buccaneers, and 49ers in 2014, and was ultimately cut by San Francisco in April. In June, he landed with Oakland, but his time there has ended as well.


Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are Saturday’s minor moves, with the most recent transactions added to the top of the list:

  • The Packers have placed backup linebacker Jamari Lattimore on the injured reserve, tweets Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo. The team will promote safety Chris Banjo from the practice squad to take the open roster space (also via Garafolo).
  • The Dolphins have promoted defensive back T.J. Heath, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. The former Jacksonville State standout previously spent time with the Jaguars, Bengals, Bills and Browns.
  • The Seahawks have released cornerback Kennard Cox from their practice squad, tweets The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta. Taking his place will be linebacker Allen Bradford, who was cut from the team’s active roster earlier this week.

Earlier updates:

Raiders Announce Full Practice Squad

The Raiders were one of just a handful of NFL teams that didn’t make any announcements regarding their practice squad yesterday, but the team issued a press release today to formally confirm the previously-reported names on the squad, and to announce the other additions. Here’s the full list of players that will make up Oakland’s initial practice squad:

  • George Atkinson III, RB
  • Denico Autry, DE
  • Ras-I Dowling, CB
  • Bojay Filimoeatu, LB (previously reported)
  • Spencer Hadley, LB
  • Dan Kistler, T
  • Ricky Lumpkin, DT (previously reported)
  • Lamar Mady, G (previously reported)
  • Seth Roberts, WR
  • Scott Simonson, TE (previously reported)

Jets Release Six Players

The Jets have released the following six players, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link):

Dowling performed well for the Jets in camp, but, like the rest of the team’s corners, he struggled with injury and had difficulty staying on the field. With these cuts, the Jets have trimmed their roster to 75 players well in advance of Tuesday’s deadline.

Jets Notes: Secondary, Smith, Coples

After the terrible performance put on by the Jets’ secondary in last night’s preseason game against the Bengals, the Internet has seen a veritable explosion from the team’s beat writers as they attempt to describe Saturday’s debacle. Let’s have a look at some of those articles and a couple of other Jets’ links:

  • Bob Glauber of Newsday describes the struggles of Antonio Allen and Kyle Wilson on Saturday and wonders if GM John Idzik will try to sign or trade for a corner. Glauber notes that Idzik prefers to promote from within, but given that Ras-I Dowling suffered a groin injury against the Bengals–thereby joining Dimitri Patterson, Dee Milliner, and Dexter McDougle on the club’s rapidly expanding list of injured corners–he might not have a choice.
  • Despite head coach Rex Ryan‘s attempts to publicly brush aside his secondary’s performance with characteristic humor and machismo, Steve Serby of the New York Post writes that the Jets are facing disaster if they do not make a roster move.
  • Gary Myers of the New York Daily News goes into more detail regarding the play of Antonio Allen, a safety who lined up at corner against A.J. Green on Saturday, a highly daunting task. Allen predictably struggled, but Myers believes he has the potential to be a solid corner and that the Jets may have to be patient with his transition, as the market for free agent corners is pretty bare.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com describes how the Jets’ young and out-of-position unit made Andy Dalton look like a superstar and notes that the team’s failure to adequately address the secondary in the offseason has evolved from a troublesome issue to a glaring one. Cimini adds that, when Ryan was asked if the team would try to acquire a veteran corner, Ryan replied, “I don’t think [73-year-old Hall of Fame corner] Willie Brown is out there.”
  • Cimini has been pretty busy last night and this morning. In a separate piece, he writes that Geno Smith was not great against the Bengals, but he was at least adequate, and it is now just a matter of time before Ryan officially declares him the starting quarterback.
  • Cimini wonders (via Twitter) if the team is trying to send a message to Quinton Coples. Coples played only 15 snaps last night, while Jason Babin played 31 snaps.