Former Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, who drafted Phillips in 2015, works for the Bills now, so he is familiar with the former second-round pick’s potential. At 6’6″ and 341 pounds, Phillips has the size to disrupt quarterbacks and stuff opposing running backs. He hasn’t really blossomed at the pro level, but a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered.
Phillips’ most productive season came in 2016 when he had 23 tackles, three pass breakups, an interception, and a half sack. Over the last three seasons and change, the defensive tackle has 5.5 sacks to his credit.
With two games on the remaining schedule against the Dolphins (12/2 and 12/30), Phillips will have the opportunity to exact revenge on his former team. Phillips won’t be a starter for the Bills, but he should be in the rotation behind first-stringers Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei.
In a bit of a surprising move, the Bills have released a veteran wideout. The team announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve cut receiver Jeremy Kerley. The team will promote defensive tackle Robert Thomas from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.
ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweets that the decision was attributed to a “numbers game.” The Bills wanted one more defensive tackle to pair with the trio of Kyle Williams, Star Lotulelei, and rookie third-rounder Harrison Phillips. Despite Thomas’ promotion, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets that coach Sean McDermott‘s rotation on the defensive line will remain the same for tomorrow’s matchup against the Chargers.
Still, even with the team’s need for a defensive tackle, it’s a bit surprising that Kerley was the odd man out. The 29-year-old provided the Bills with some much-needed experience at receiver, and their depth was already a bit questionable. Buscaglia believes the top three receivers for tomorrow’s game will be Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, and Robert Foster, although the team could also turn to veteran Andre Holmes or rookie Ray-Ray McCloud.
After spending the 2016 campaign with the 49ers, Kerley signed with the Jets last season, returning to the organization where he had spent the first five years of his career. Kerley ended up seeing the field for eight games, hauling in 22 receptions for 217 yards and one score. He was suspended for a PED violation in November, and he was released by the organization following his reinstatement. He signed a one-year deal with the Bills back in April, and he hauled in a pair of catches for seven yards during the team’s season-opener.
Thomas, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Arkansas, has bounced around the NFL during his four-plus seasons in the league, spending time with the Redskins, Seahawks, Patriots, Dolphins, Panthers, and Giants. He has 24 career regular season games under his belt, and he appeared in a career-high 15 games for the Giants last season. He ended up finishing the 2017 campaign with 16 tackles.
The Giants will head into the 2018 season without one of their longest-tenured players and one of their 2017 starting safeties, with both Mark Herzlich and Darian Thompson failing to make the team.
A 2017 fifth-round pick, edge defender Avery Moss missed out as well. As did Roger Lewis, a wideout who became needed when the Giants became decimated at receiver last season.
The Giants also released recently signed cornerback Leonard Johnson, who was trying to make a fifth NFL franchise’s 53-man roster. The former Buccaneer, Patriot, Panther and Bill started seven games with Buffalo last season.
February 14th, 2017 at 6:22pm CST by Connor J. Byrne
Tuesday’s minor moves:
The Giants have re-signed a pair of exclusive rights free agents – tight end Matt LaCosse and defensive tackle Robert Thomas – via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). LaCosse didn’t play at all last season because of a knee injury, while action for Thomas was scarce. The lineman took the field for just 68 defensive snaps in his eight appearances, during which he picked up five tackles and a sack.
The Steelers have added six free agents on reserve/futures deals – cornerback Devonte Johnson, linebackers Akil Blount and Jason Fanaika, offensive linemen Kyle Friend and Mike Matthews, and running back Trey Williams – per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Blount is the son of Steelers legend and Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount. Matthews’ father is one of Blount’s fellow Canton enshrinees, longtime Oilers/Titans offensive tackle Bruce Matthews.
September 5th, 2016 at 9:10am CST by Dallas Robinson
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 Redskins are noted below.
Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. 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 (all links go to Twitter unless noted otherwise):
Garrett, a wide receiver out of Tulsa, went undrafted, but he believes that he is the best at his position in the 2016 class.
“I say that all the time,” Garrett told David Newton of ESPN.com earlier this year. “That’s just how I feel. I had the best numbers out of any of the receivers. My numbers don’t lie. “That’s why I felt like I was the best wide receiver.”
Last year, Garrett racked up a nation-leading 1,588 receiving yards off of 96 catches.