Shane Vereen

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

49ers Work Out Five Running Backs

With Matt Breida unlikely to suit up for Monday’s game against the Packers, the 49ers auditioned several running backs today. Veteran NFL reports Howard Balzer reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out Matthew Dayes, Andre Ellington, Jeremy McNichols (as was reported yesterday), Shane Vereen, and Charcandrick West. The 49ers ended up adding Dayes to their practice squad.

While Breida was able to avoid a high ankle sprain, he’ll likely miss Monday’s contest. With Jerick McKinnon already out for the season, this leaves the 49ers with a pair of healthy running backs: Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the team could end up promoting Jeff Wilson from the practice squad for some extra depth, or maybe they’ll look outside the organization for reinforcement.

Breida has stepped up during McKinnon’s absence, compiling 369 rushing yards and one touchdown on 49 carries. His 7.5 yards per attempt is currently the best mark in the NFL, and he’s yet to commit a fumble this season. On the flip side, Morris and Mostert have been underwhelming, combining for 3.5 yards per carry.

The team may be willing to ride it out with Morris as their starting running back, especially since the majority of the auditionees have served as third-down backs throughout their careers. Vereen was the most productive in 2017, as he hauled in 44 receptions for 253 yards (he also had another 164 rushing yards on 45 carries). West finished last season with 27 receptions in 13 games with the Chiefs, while Ellington had 39 receptions during his stints with the Cardinals and Texans.

Saints To Place Shane Vereen On IR

Both of the veteran running backs the Saints added to potentially fill the void created by Mark Ingram‘s four-game suspension will not factor into the equation while he’s out.

The Saints will place Shane Vereen on IR, Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets. Vereen and Terrance West signed with New Orleans earlier this offseason but will see the team go with younger backs while Ingram’s sidelined.

It’s unclear what Vereen’s injury is, but he won’t be playing for the Saints this season. An injury settlement is possible, but did not receive much interest on the market this year after his Giants contract expired. The Saints were the only team to whom the former Patriots and Giants passing-down back was connected this year.

Vereen, 29, totaled a career-best 1,076 yards from scrimmage for the 2015 Giants but did not factor in nearly as often to Big Blue’s offense in his subsequent two seasons in New York. Behind Alvin Kamara, the Saints have Trey Edmunds, former Bills draft choice Jonathan Williams and rookie sixth-rounder Boston Scott as of Friday afternoon.

Saints To Sign Shane Vereen

The Saints are signing former Patriots and Giants running back Shane Vereen, a source tells Mike Garafolo of (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not yet known, but its likely a one-year deal worth something close to the veteran’s minimum. 

Vereen, 29, made a name for himself with the Patriots and really came into his own from 2012-2014. In 2015, he hooked on with the Giants and was quietly productive. In his first season with the G-Men, Vereen averaged 4.3 yards per carry and caught 59 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, his ’16 season was derailed by injuries and he wasn’t all that productive last year as the Giants lost their best receivers and opposing defenses stacked the box. He had 44 grabs last season, but he averaged a career-low 5.8 yards per catch.

Vereen won’t be tasked with playing as a No. 1 running back with the Saints, but he could be a difference maker in small doses. Alvin Kamara will serve as New Orleans’ top rusher and Vereen might be able to start the year as their top pass-catching RB while Mark Ingram serves his four-game suspension.

In addition to Kamara, Ingram, and Vereen, the Saints also have running backs Trey EdmundsJonathan Williams, and sixth-round pick Boston Scott under contract.

Poll: Best Free Agent RB Remaining?

Even as June winds down, there are a surprising number of quality running backs still available on the open market. The current free agent crop of backfield options includes some notable names, such as: 

Charles, Hightower, Vereen, and Murray were all on the Saints’ radar recently as they canvassed the free agent market for running back support. Ultimately, they signed Terrance West to help fill in during Mark Ingram‘s four-game suspension, leaving the other vets in limbo. While Charles, Hightower, and Vereen all showed their stuff for coach Sean Payton, Murray declined his invite, preferring not to participate in a giant cattle call.

When considering only past accomplishments, the names of Peterson, Charles, and Murray obviously stand out. But, unfortunately, father time is cruel to NFL running backs and these players are on the back nines of their careers, to put it mildly. Out of this trio, Murray has the best 2017 to show teams. Even though his job as the Titans’ top rusher was usurped by Derrick Henry, he had 39 catches for 266 yards and occasionally showed the powerful rushing that made him a force to be reckoned with in Dallas. Charles, he of several 1,000-yard seasons, had only 296 rushing yards in total and found himself at the bottom of Denver’s depth chart to close out the season. Peterson, meanwhile, forced his way out of New Orleans due to a lack of playing time and had only two performances of note in his run with the Cardinals.

Lacy signed with the Seahawks last year and hoped to put concerns about his health and conditioning to rest. Unfortunately, those questions persist after he averaged just 2.6 yards per carry in nine games. Lacy was a bulldozer in his early days with the Packers, but his last season of note came in 2015 when he averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Even then, ball security was a problem as he fumbled the ball four times.

Darkwa is back on the NFL radar after doctors cleared him to workout. Darkwa won’t win this poll on name value, but unlike everyone else on this list, he’s coming off of the best season of his career.The 26-year-old (did we mention that he’s also the youngest running back here?) ran for 751 yards off of 171 carries, good for a strong 4.4 yards per carry average. It was an ugly year for the Giants on the whole, but Darkwa excelled on a personal level.

Vereen, another ex-Giant, can’t say the same for his 2017 season. However, his second act with the Giants has been respectable on the whole. Acting as a secondary ball carrier, he has averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the last three seasons. He also showed that he can still be a worthwhile pass catcher out of the backfield with 44 grabs for 253 yards last season, though he averaged a career-low 5.8 yards per catch.

Last but not least is Morris, though you can be forgiven for forgetting about this three-time 1,000-yard rusher. Morris was a force to be reckoned with from 2012-2014, but he has been riding the pine for the Cowboys over the last two years. What you might not realize is that Morris was tremendous in a small sample last year as Ezekiel Elliott‘s early-season backup and later-season fill-in. Morris averaged 4.76 yards per carry off of 115 attempts, which makes one wonder why we haven’t heard his name mentioned in recent months.

Out of the running backs listed here, which player do you feel can contribute the most in 2018? Click below to cast your vote and defend your choice in the comments section.

Saints’ Terrance West Signing Not Certain?

The Saints’ search for an Alvin Kamara sidekick during Mark Ingram‘s suspension has operated in high gear this week, with several running backs contacted for workouts. But the one they’ve reportedly agreed to sign — Terrance West — may not be New Orleans-bound just yet.

West’s deal is not finalized, Mike Triplett of and The Advocate’s Nick Underhill report (Twitter links). While Triplett notes a deal could come to fruition, it hasn’t yet despite a report of the sides reaching an agreement emerging Wednesday afternoon.

Additionally, Triplett reports Shane Vereen worked out for the Saints on Wednesday. He joins West, Jamaal Charles and Tim Hightower among UFA backs to audition for New Orleans. DeMarco Murray declined to be a part of this process.

Charles also could be a candidate for the Saints, assuming their West accord doesn’t come to fruition. The two-time All-Pro enjoyed a good workout, Herbie Teope of tweets, and the injury-prone runner passed his physical. Teope adds a signing didn’t make sense for either side but could be revisited down the road. This would be Charles’ 11th season, should he land with a team.

This is the first known workout Vereen’s participated in since his Giants contract expired after the 2017 season. Vereen’s skill set is somewhat similar to Kamara’s; he’s functioned as a passing-down back in New England and New York. But nevertheless, the 29-year-old has seven years’ experience. However, he only posted 417 yards from scrimmage last season and missed 11 games in 2016.

Giants’ Shane Vereen Takes Pay Cut

Giants running back Shane Vereen has agreed to restructure his contract, reports Jordan Raanan of Previously scheduled to earn a $3.15MM base salary next season, Vereen will now collect $2.15MM, though he could get back the lost $1MM (and make another $250K) in incentives. Regardless, the move will save the Giants $843,750 in cap space.

Shane Vereen (Vertical)

The 2017 campaign will be the third with the Giants for Vereen, a pass-catching back who signed with Big Blue before the 2015 season and hauled in 59 receptions that year. Vereen, to whom New York paid a $500K roster bonus earlier this month, missed the majority of last season after tearing a triceps muscle on two separate occasions. In five games, he put up 252 total yards (158 rushing, 94 receiving) and a touchdown. As of now, the 28-year-old is the most established member of a largely unproven backfield which also includes Paul Perkins.

Vereen is the second Giant to restructure his contract this week, joining wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris.The extra spending space could help Big Blue re-sign defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, posits Raanan. Hankins, who surprisingly hasn’t encountered a robust market, ranks as PFR’s best unsigned interior D-lineman.

Giants To Retain RB Shane Vereen

Shane Vereen appears set to return to the Giants in 2017. New York will pay the running back’s $500K roster bonus by the Monday deadline, a source familiar with the the team’s thinking tells Kimberly Jones of NFL Network (on Twitter). Shane Vereen (Vertical)

Vereen joined up with the G-Men before the 2015 season and caught 59 passes in his first year with the team. Unfortunately, he missed the majority of last season after tearing a triceps muscle on two separate occasions. All in all, he had 33 carries for 158 yards and one score plus 11 catches for 94 yards across five games. The Giants know what the 28-year-old is capable of when healthy, so they will retain him for 2017.

After dropping Rashad Jennings in February, the Giants are left with Paul Perkins, Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, and George Winn at running back. Perkins has promise, but the Giants seem likely to add running back help either in the second wave of free agency or in the draft. Vereen won’t be the workhorse of the group, but he should be used plenty as a pass-catching specialist.

Giants Place Shane Vereen, Ryan Nassib On IR

The Giants announced that they have officially placed Shane Vereen on IR. Quarterback Ryan Nassib is also being shut down with an elbow injury. To take their place on the roster, the Giants signed linebacker Ishaq Williams off their practice squad, as well as running back George Winn.

Shane Vereen (vertical)

On Monday, head coach Ben McAdoo indicated that Vereen’s season was likely over. It’s an unfortunate break for the veteran as he only just came back from his initial triceps injury in Week 14. The 27-year-old’s season is finished after playing in just five games. He had 33 carries for 158 yards and one touchdown. He also added 11 catches for 94 yards. He’s under contract for one more year with the Giants for nearly $5MM against the cap.

Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, Nassib hasn’t made a single start for the Giants. He’s slated to hit free agency after the season and it will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for him, if the Giants allow him to test the waters in March. Nassib has received praise from Giants coaches for his work in practice, but we only have preseason games and the occasional regular season cameo to evaluate him on.

With Nassib sidelined, Josh Johnson becomes Eli Manning’s primary backup.

Giants RB Shane Vereen Re-Injures Triceps

Giants running back Shane Vereen has re-injured his triceps and is now likely done for the remainder of the 2016 season, tweets Art Stapleton of the Record. Head coach Ben McAdoo has since confirmed the report at a press conference today."<strong

[RELATED: New York Giants Depth Chart]

Vereen missed nine games earlier this season after originally suffering the triceps injury, and had just come off injured reserve in time for New York’s Week 14 contest against the Cowboys. The Giants had been slowly working Vereen back into the offense, and he had only contributed two rush attempts and three receptions during the club’s two most recent games. Vereen, 27, is signed through the 2017 campaign, and is scheduled to count nearly $5MM on New York’s salary cap next year.

Given that Vereen was sidelined for the majority of the Giants’ season, Big Blue shouldn’t have any trouble finishing out its season — which is extremely likely to end with a postseason appearance — without him. Rashad Jennings will continue to act as the team’s lead back, while Paul Perkins and Bobby Rainey chip in on part-time duty. Russell Hansbrough, currently on the Giants’ practice squad, is a candidate for promotion once Vereen is officially placed on injured reserve.