Shane Ray

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

Jets Work Out Shane Ray, Nate Orchard

In their quest to bolster their pass rush, the Jets worked out a pair of recognizable edge defenders today. Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Gang Green brought in Shane Ray and Nate Orchard for visits (Twitter link).

Interestingly, both players worked out for the Bears last Tuesday, but obviously neither signed with Chicago. Ray, a former first-round pick of the Broncos, was among the Ravens’ final cuts before the regular season got underway. After posting 12 sacks in his first two seasons, Ray missed large portions of the next two years due to injury and is looking to show that he can still be an effective QB hunter.

Orchard, meanwhile, looked as if he would make the Dolphins’ roster after a strong preseason, but Miami surprisingly cut him prior to the first game of the 2019 campaign. He also worked out for the Lions after the Dolphins sent him packing.

In addition to Ray and Orchard, the Jets took a look at defensive ends Jamal DavisKasim Edebali, and Markus Jones, as well as OLB Chuck Harris.

Bears Work Out Shane Ray, Noah Spence

The Bears worked out edge defenders Shane RayNoah Spence, Nate Orchard and Dekoda Watson on Tuesday, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

A former first-round pick of the Broncos back in 2015, Ray was among the Ravens’ final cuts this past summer after signing a $1.2MM deal with $200K guaranteed shortly after this past May’s compensatory deadline. After having 12 sacks in his first two seasons, Ray missed large portions of the next two seasons due to injury and was looking forward to having a bounce back campaign in 2019.

Spence, a former second-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2016, most recently worked out with the Redskins after not making the Buccaneers’ 53-man roster. Orchard, who was recently released by the Dolphins, and Watson, who was among the Broncos’ final cuts, are both looking to continue their careers after bouncing around to a number of teams over the past couple of years.

Behind starters Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd, the Bears feature Aaron Lynch and former UDFA Isaiah Irving. Tuesday’s workout contingent each boasts at least three years of NFL experience.

Ravens Release Shane Ray

The Ravens have released linebacker Shane Ray, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Ravens added Ray shortly after May’s compensatory deadline and gave him a $1.2MM deal with $200K guaranteed, but he won’t fly with them in September.

The Ravens had a glut of edge rushers, even after losing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith in the offseason. The numbers crunch, ultimately, pushed Ray out.

Ray posted 12 sacks in his first two NFL seasons, but injuries have held him back ever since. In the last two years, he’s had just two sacks across 29 games.

Shane Ray On Ravens’ Roster Bubble?

Brought in along with Pernell McPhee after the draft, Shane Ray does not have a comfortable path to the Ravens’ 53-man roster. The former first-round pick is squarely on Baltimore’s bubble.

Ray is behind five other Raven edge defenders at present, with Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic noting (subscription required) the four-year Broncos cog will need a strong preseason to make the team.

The fifth-year pass rusher has flashed in practice, but Zreibec notes McPhee is ahead of him among the veteran contingent. So are 2017 second- and third-round picks Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams With the Ravens unlikely to keep six edge defenders, Ray has his work cut out for him entering the team’s preseason slate.

The Ravens added Ray shortly after May’s compensatory deadline and gave him a $1.2MM deal with $200K guaranteed. But vying with McPhee and recent Ravens Day 2 picks, with Matt Judon and rookie Jaylon Ferguson locks to make the team, made this an uncertain proposition from the start.

While he was a rotational presence on Denver’s Super Bowl champion team and registered eight sacks in 2016, Ray has not lived up to his first-round billing yet. He finished his Broncos tenure on a shaky note, being a healthy scratch at the conclusion of last season.