Throughout the offseason, John Dorsey insisted he wanted Duke Johnson on the 2019 Browns. But the Texans‘ decision to offer what will likely become a third-round pick — assuming Johnson plays at least 10 games this season — was clearly a proposal the Browns could not refuse. The consensus around the NFL placed the passing-down back’s value at being worth a fifth-rounder in a trade, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The Browns getting a likely Day 2 pick is, then, quite the haul. That said, the Texans needed help behind Lamar Miller and now have a running back under contract through 2021.
The GM-less Texans had Bill O’Brien running point on this trade. The sixth-year HC spoke with Dorsey and pulled the trigger, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). With O’Brien clearly having a say in the Jadeveon Clowney process, and the team opting not to hire a GM this year, it is not surprising the post-Brian Gaine Texans have him operating in a key personnel capacity. This marks another notable trade between these franchises, who made 2017 swaps in deals that sent Brock Osweiler (and a second-round pick) to Cleveland and Deshaun Watson to Houston. But the parties who negotiated those deals, GMs Sashi Brown and Rick Smith, are out of the picture.
Here is the latest from the South divisions:
Jalen Ramseyis under Jaguars control through the 2020 season, thanks to the fifth-year option the team exercised this spring. But the contract-seeking cornerback has not exactly been pleased with the franchise as of late, considering his 2018 team-imposed suspension and the high-end corner still attached to his rookie contract. When asked by Titans tackle Taylor Lewan and former Titans linebacker Will Compton (during the duo’s “Bussin’ with the Boys podcast, via the Florida Times-Union) about where he would like to play if he left Jacksonville, Ramsey responded by saying he would like to go to the Titans or the Raiders. Ramsey is a Nashville-area native and said he would be attracted to Las Vegas. The standout corner, set to play for $3.6MM this season, continues to stir the pot.
After going down in a Buccaneers practice this week, Vita Vea will get a knee MRI on Friday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets. The Bucs hope their second-year nose tackle suffered an LCL sprain, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Vea missed three games due to injury as a rookie.
With Mark Ingram out due to suspension to start last season, the Saints played Alvin Kamara on 82% of their snaps. The rest of the way in 2018: Kamara played 61% of New Orleans’ offensive plays. Sean Payton prefers the latter work rate, despite Ingram’s defection to Baltimore, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com notes. “Look, is one player taking exactly Mark Ingram’s reps? I can’t tell you that right now,” Payton said. “And yet I think there’s that presumption that Alvin’s going to get more. And I think our pitch count and how we’ve played and utilized him has been really good.” Kamara received 201 touches in 2017 and 275 last season; he cleared 1,500 scrimmage yards in each. Latavius Murray will be his backfield mate this season. The Saints also added Jacquizz Rodgers recently.
The Bucs worked out rookie UDFA defensive lineman Shane Bowman on Thursday morning, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets. The Jaguars waived Bowman earlier this summer.
The Jaguars have agreed to sign free agent defensive tackle Datone Jones, according to his agents at DEC Management (Twitter link). In a corresponding move, Jacksonville has waived defensive end Shane Bowman, per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The club has since confirmed the transaction.
Jones, 28, was selected by the Packers with the 26th overall pick of the 2013 draft, but he’s never been able to put it all together at the NFL level. In four seasons with Green Bay, Jones appeared in 60 games, but made only seven starts and never topped 600 snaps in any individual campaign. Jones posted just nine total sacks with the Packers, who subsequently declined his fifth-year option and allowed him to hit free agency in 2017.
After reaching the open market, Jones signed a one-year deal with the Vikings, but didn’t make Minnesota’s final roster. He bounced around the NFL, spending time with the Lions and 49ers before landing with the Cowboys midway through the 2017 season. Jones played Dallas’ season opener last year, but a hamstring injury ended his season in early September.
The Jaguars have become the third NFL team — joining the Steelers and Chargers — to announced their crop of undrafted free agent signings following the conclusion of the 2019 draft. Jacksonville agreed to terms with the following 21 UDFAs:
Saivion Smith, in particular, is an interesting addition for the Jaguars, as he’d been mentioned as a possible third-round pick earlier this year. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com pegged Smith as a Round 4 or 5 selection, noting the Alabama product’s ability as a press-man corner but cautioning that he must improve his consistency. Simth could compete for snaps behind incumbent Jacksonville corners Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and D.J. Hayden.