Shane Ray

NFL Workouts: Giants, Bears, Titans, Grant

With NFL rookie minicamps coming to a close, we can take a look at some of the notable names that were invited for veteran tryouts during the rookies’ introduction to the NFL. The Giants were one of the teams with multiple veteran free agents in attendance, as noted by Pat Leonard of NY Daily News.

Two outside linebackers were auditioned this week in New York. Myjai Sanders worked out with the team after playing sparingly in seven games for the Texans last year. A former third-round pick for the Cardinals, Sanders had three sacks as a rookie but, after falling down the depth chart, found himself being auctioned off as a trade candidate before ultimately getting waived.

The other was Shaka Toney, a former seventh-round pick for the Commanders who was waived just before the draft. He’s only played major snaps in one game over his two years, his lone start out of 26 games played, but totes 1.5 sacks on his record.

The third veteran in attendance was wide receiver Jared Bernhardt.

Here are a few other notable minicamp auditions that took place around the league:

  • The Bears also hosted three veterans, even eventually signing tight end Tommy Sweeney. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports that cornerback Parry Nickerson and wide receiver Freddie Swain were the other two veterans in attendance this week. Nickerson entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 for the Jets. Since then, he’s bounced around with one season each at in Jacksonville, Green Bay, Minnesota, and, most recently, Miami. Swain had a decent start to his career after two seasons in Seattle but didn’t play in 2023 after appearing in only four games in 2022 between time in Miami and Denver.
  • The Titans were another team to host multiple notable veteran names, namely cornerback William Jackson III and pass rusher Shane Ray, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 and Turron Davenport of ESPN. After playing out a rookie contract in Cincinnati, Jackson earned a three-year, $40.5MM contract with the Commanders but requested a trade that landed him with the Steelers a year in a half into the deal, though he never got to play for them. He hasn’t appeared in a game since Week 5 of 2022. Ray’s absence from the NFL has been even longer. A first-round pick for the Broncos in 2015, Ray hasn’t played in the league since 2018. He joined the Bills last offseason, reuniting with his former Denver teammate Von Miller, but he was cut before the regular season.
  • After attending the Eagles’ rookie minicamp, wide receiver and return specialist Jakeem Grant also worked out for the Saints at their rookie minicamp, per Mike Triplett of NewOrleans.Football. Grant hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2021 season as he’s rehabilitated a torn Achilles and a ruptured patella tendon, but the last time he played, he earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.
  • Lastly, the Dolphins hosted pass rusher Aaron Lynch for a tryout, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Lynch showed promise after tallying 12.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the 49ers but never managed more than three in a season over the next five years. He hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/25/23

Here are today’s minor moves heading into the final weekend of preseason games this year:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: C Cohl Cabral

Baltimore Ravens

  • Waived from IR with injury settlement: WR Shemar Bridges

Buffalo Bills

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: DE Shane Ray

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ray’s unlikely return to the NFL will have to wait a bit longer, it seems. Having not appeared in an NFL regular season game since 2018, Ray’s opportunity in Buffalo has come to an end. His bid to play alongside former Broncos teammate Von Miller will fall short due to injury.

Zentner is likely a short-term signing for Houston, who lost punter Cameron Johnston to a tweaked calf. Johnston shouldn’t need long to get back to the field, but Zentner will be asked to fill in for the team’s preseason game against the Saints this weekend.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/21/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: LB Marvin Pierre
  • Placed on IR: TE Tyler Davis

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: WR Juwan Green
  • Waived/injured: WR Kekoa Crawford
  • Released from IR: DB Anthony Witherstone

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: QB James Blackman
  • Waived/injured: CB Tino Ellis

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

  • Released from IR: OL Scott Lashley

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: TE Sal Cannella

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Brian Hill comes to San Francisco with 48 career games under his belt. He had a career year for the Falcons back in 2020, compiling 664 yards from scrimmage in 16 games. The RB has bounced around the NFL a bit since, spending time with the Titans, Browns, and 49ers (two stints). Following stints in the CFL and XFL, the 27-year-old will now add some depth to a San Francisco running backs room that already includes Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price, and Jeremy McNichols.

Trevon Coley started 29 games for the Browns through his first two seasons in the NFL, but he’s struggled to stay on the field since. The defensive lineman got into seven games for the Colts in 2019 and (most recently) six games for the Cardinals in 2020. In total, the 29-year-old has 100 career tackles and 3.5 sacks on his resume.

Adrian Colbert won’t play for the Bears in 2023 after being placed on IR, although there’s a chance he’s cut loose and allowed to play for another squad. The veteran safety has played in 41 career games, starting 22. He’s been limited to only 14 games since the 2020 campaign, including a two-game stint with the Bears in 2022.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/14/23

Today’s minor moves to wrap up the weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: CB LJ Davis

Ray is making a long-awaited return to the NFL. When he finished out his rookie contract with the Broncos after the 2018 season and failed to make the Ravens roster for the next year, Ray was away from professional football for about a year and a half. After a long hiatus, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. The Bills will give Ray a chance to return to the NFL, reuniting him with Von Miller from their days in Denver.

Ray saw early success in Denver, racking up 12.0 sacks in his first two years. But after earning a starting job in 2017, Ray suffered a season-ending wrist injury after only eight games. In 2018, another wrist surgery would force him to miss five more games. His injury problems did not leave him in Canada, as a torn bicep would force him to miss the Argonauts’ Grey Cup victory. He’ll hope to stay healthy in his NFL return.

Chiefs Sign Justin Watson, Audition Shane Ray

Despite his first-round pedigree, Shane Ray has not played in a regular-season game since his Broncos rookie contract expired after the 2018 season. The Chiefs are checking on the former Broncos edge rusher, however.

Ray worked out for the Chiefs on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The former University of Missouri pass rusher is a Kansas City native. The Chiefs also met with former Buccaneers wide receiver Justin Watson and tight end Josh Pederson, the son of new Jaguars HC Doug Pederson. Watson has since signed with the Chiefs, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Toronto Argonauts signed Ray last year, and he played five games with the CFL team. Ray, 28, worked as a starter opposite Von Miller in 15 games from 2016-17. Both Ray and Shaquil Barrett were rotational backups on Denver’s dominant Super Bowl-winning defense in 2015, but the duo’s paths diverged in the years that followed. Beyond Ray’s eight-sack 2016, he could not come especially close to justifying Denver’s 2015 first-round investment.

A fifth-round Bucs pick in 2018, Watson caught two touchdown passes during the 2019 season but did not see the field much during the franchise’s Tom Brady seasons. He suited up for 11 games during the 2020 season, playing in the NFC championship game that Antonio Brown missed, but only played in one this season.

Shane Ray Signs With Toronto Argonauts

Former Broncos first-round pick Shane Ray will resurface in Canada. The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts signed the veteran pass rusher Saturday.

Ray has not played in a regular-season NFL game since his Broncos rookie contract expired in 2018. The Ravens signed Ray after the 2019 draft but ended up releasing him prior to the regular season, leading the Mizzou product to the in-season workout circuit. None of those auditions produced a contract.

The Broncos traded up for Ray in 2015, and he saw action for Denver’s dominant defense that season. Ray and Shaquil Barrett served as rotational rushers for the Broncos’ Super Bowl champion team, and the duo remained key Von Miller sidekicks through the 2018 season.

Ray notched eight sacks and 21 QB hits in 2016, a season in which DeMarcus Ware missed extensive time, and registered 14 sacks in four NFL slates. Barrett, however, has substantially improved his NFL standing since becoming a free agent in 2019. Ray, 27, could not find a similar launching pad but will attempt to do so in Toronto.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the CFL to cancel its 2020 season. The league is scheduled to resume play in June.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/27/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit on Wednesday:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington

NFL Workout Updates: 10/22/19

Here is Tuesday’s summary from the workout circuit:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Colts Work Out Shane Ray, Andre Branch

After placing Kemoko Turay on IR, the Colts are looking for defensive line help. They worked out veterans Shane Ray, Andre Branch and Eddie Vanderdoes, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Ray has worked out for the Cardinals, Jets and Bears since the Ravens released him after their preseason slate. The former Broncos first-rounder has not caught on with any team since that Baltimore departure.

Branch landed briefly with the Cardinals this offseason but was cut. The Raiders, who worked out Branch this season, recently waived Vanderdoes. A 2017 third-round pick, Vanderdoes has not played since the 2017 season.

Ray spent four seasons with the Broncos, while Branch has played seven seasons — four with the Jaguars, three with the Dolphins. The latter’s commitment to a 2019 rebuild resulted in the veteran’s release.

Behind starters Justin Houston and Jabaal Sheard, the Colts have rookie Ben Banogu and Al-Quadin Muhammad. The latter is a third-year player who landed in Indianapolis last year via waiver claim. Turay suffered an injury during the Colts’ most recent game, an upset win over the Chiefs.

NFL Workout Notes: 10/8/19

Here are today’s workout updates. There are a number of notable names on this list, so pay attention!

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins