Shelley Smith

Bears Cut Several Players

The Bears dropped a number of players today in their quest to get down to a 53-man roster. Here are the cuts that we know of so far. All links to go to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter), unless otherwise noted.




  • LB Danny Mason (link)

Mason suffered a knee sprain in last night’s preseason game. Daniels hooked on with the Bears in late July, making them his fifth NFL franchise since San Francisco picked him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. The former South Florida quarterback has spent time at both QB and receiver in the pros. In his eight appearances (six with Seattle, two with Houston) last year, he lined up at wideout and on special teams.

Bears To Sign Khaled Holmes, Shelley Smith

Injuries and retirements have changed the Bears’ outlook up front, and the team continued to address the situation by signing free agents Shelley Smith and Khaled Holmes, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter).

Chicago cut offensive linemen Donovan Williams and Dan Buchholz to make room for the veteran pair, per Campbell.

A fourth-round Colts pick in 2013, Holmes started seven games with Indianapolis last season. But the Colts cut Holmes in May after the first-round selection of Ryan Kelly. Holmes played in 17 games during his three-year stay with the team, starting nine.

The fourth-year blocker figures to compete with free agent signing Ted Larsen and former UDFA Cornelius Edison for a job with the Bears, whose center landscape changed after starter Hroniss Grasu‘s ACL tear last weekend.

Smith did not play in the NFL in 2015 despite signing for two years and $5.65MM with the Broncos last March. A former Rams and Dolphins cog who started 11 games from 2012-14, Smith did not make the Broncos out of training camp, being supplanted at left guard quickly. Denver eventually signed Evan Mathis, and Smith did not catch on elsewhere.

The former sixth-round pick is entering what would be his age-29 season and will attempt to stick with a Bears team that lost Manny Ramirez and Nate Chandler to retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Workout Notes: Bills, Boykin, Little

Here are Wednesday’s workouts from around the NFL. All links go to the Twitter feed of The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless noted otherwise:

Dolphins Place Koa Misi, Chris McCain On IR

A pair of Dolphins linebackers will see their seasons come to an early end, with the team announcing today (via Twitter) that it has placed Koa Misi and Chris McCain on the injured reserve list. To get the roster back up to the 53-man limit, the Dolphins have signed linebacker James-Michael Johnson, center/guard Jacques McClendon, and guard Shelley Smith (Twitter link).

Misi, who turns 29 next month, is the more notable of the two Miami linebackers headed to IR, having started 13 games for the team this year. The Utah product has been with the club since being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, starting 70 games and playing in a total of 81 contests during that stretch. Misi remains under contract with the Dolphins for two more seasons.

McCain, meanwhile, has contributed a little on both defense and special teams, recording a sack and a forced fumble for the Dolphins this season.

The new additions will help provide depth not only at linebacker, but on the offensive line, where the team has injuries mounting as well. Veteran stalwarts Mike Pouncey and Branden Albert both left Sunday’s loss to the Chargers with injuries.

Workout Notes: 12/16/15

It’s been a busy last couple of days around the NFL, with teams still looking to fill up their squads for the rest of the season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted a whole bunch of workout notes this afternoon, which we’ve compiled for you below…

Arizona Cardinals

  • CB Mitchell White (link)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Read more

AFC West Links: Raiders, Broncos, Hardy

Raiders safety Charles Woodson is excited about what the team was able to do in free agency, despite the lack of one huge signing, writes Jerry McDonald of

“There’s no question that Suh would have been huge. He would have been huge. He would have been a great addition to the team,” said Woodson. “But at the same time, if you don’t get a Suh, you can get three or four other players to make up for it. And what that does is build depth. So you bring in guys that are possibly starters, that will compete for a starting job, and then we’ve still got money to get three or four other guys. Then you’ve got the draft coming up. So you have the potential to build the team the way you want to. Just because you didn’t get the one guy, we’ll have the opportunity to build this team the right way and that’s what Reggie’s looking at.”‘

  • Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is looking at free agency in the same light as Woodson, and is happy with what they were able to do, according to McDonald“Every year you go after a lot of guys, and you don’t get them all,” McKenzie said. “Our intent was to go out hard and heavy after each one of these guys, and we were able to land a whole bunch of guys we really liked.”
  • The Broncos were big spenders in free agency last offseason, but were more reserved this year as they lost Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, and Rahim Moore. Head coach Gary Kubiak stressed the importance of being able to sustain success by replacing veterans with younger players, writes Mike Klis of the Denver Post“I think you have to understand that’s going to happen with your football team,” Kubiak said. “You can’t keep everybody that you’d like to. Being able to replace guys is part of it. And right now our biggest challenge is that we have to improve a lot of the younger players.”
  • One free agent the Broncos were able to bring in was offensive lineman Shelley Smith, who played college ball at Colorado State University. Smith was specifically excited to play for Kubiak, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post“We have a lot of friends and family here, a lot of support. And it was very appealing. I think he is a heck of a coach, and some of his staff obviously followed him,” Smith said Saturday. “Obviously the scheme has proven to be a very good system and I think it fits my capabilities well.”
  • Kevin Acee of the U-T San Diego asked a few Chargers’ players if they would be receptive to bringing in Greg Hardy despite his legal troubles. He feels the locker room would approve of the signing (via Twitter). However, he warns them that they will lose their right to judge the next player who gets himself into an ugly situation if they do take him in (via Twitter).

Broncos To Sign Shelley Smith

The Broncos have agreed to a deal with free agent guard Shelley Smith. It’s a two-year pact worth $5.65MM, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Miami released the 27-year-old Smith on Tuesday, but he wasn’t on the market for long. The four-year veteran appeared in 11 games for the Dolphins last season and started three. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him 54th out of 78 qualifying guards for his 2014 performance.

Smith, who has made 40 appearances and 13 starts as a member of three different organizations during his career, will join a Denver team that lost starting left guard Orlando Franklin to the Chargers via free agency earlier this week. According to Mike Kils of the Denver Post (via Twitter), Smith will compete with Ben Garland for the spot Franklin vacated.

FA Rumors: J. Johnson, Parker, Falcons, 49ers

Free agent safety Jeron Johnson is generating some interest around the league, and will pay a visit to Washington, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Johnson, a Boise State product, never saw any real significant playing time on defense for a Seahawks team that featured Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, but he was a solid backup and excelled on special teams.

Let’s round up a few more Friday free agent news items and rumors from around the NFL….

  • The Bears would like to sign safety Ron Parker, but he left Chicago last night without a deal, a source confirms to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, who tweets that the former Chief appears to be in no rush to sign.
  • Having already met with the Seahawks and Broncos, Shelley Smith will make his next visit to Atlanta to meet with the Falcons, a source tells Vaughn McClure of (Twitter link). The free agent offensive lineman is scheduled to arrive tonight and have his official visit tomorrow.
  • The 49ers saw one of their free agent cornerbacks, Chris Culliver, find a deal in Washington today, but according to Matt Maiocco of, they’ve spoken to another – Chris Cook – about returning (Twitter link). Still, Maiocco’s source says there have been no recent conversations between the two sides.
  • Free agent center Stefen Wisniewski remains in Seattle for now, but a visit to the Rams is “very possible,” tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In addition to visiting the Seahawks, Wisniewski also met with the Bucs earlier this week.
  • Offensive lineman Erik Pears, who visited the 49ers this week, is also receiving interest from the Jets and Broncos, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Pears started all 16 games for the Bills at right guard last season.
  • The Chargers are continuing to eye the free agent market in search of upgrades at wide receiver, after having lost Eddie Royal to Chicago, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Former Giants guard John Jerry is making a free agent visit to Tennessee today to meet with the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (via Twitter). Having waited out the first wave of free agency, the Titans have been very active today, locking up Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, Ryan Succop, and Karl Klug to new contracts.

Thursday Roundup: Weddle, Peterson, Harvin

The Chargers still have over $21MM in cap space, and could look to spend that money to add to the team this offseason. Meanwhile, star safety Eric Weddle is coming into the last year of his contract and is unsure of his future with the team, writes Eric D. Williams of

“I think I’ve earned [a new deal],” Weddle said. “But it has to work both ways. They have to want it, too. And if they don’t, then we will play it out and I’ll be a free agent next year “I want to be here, but I understand the situation and what they want to do. If I’m a part of it — great. If not, then I plan on making this season a memorable one and we’ll see what happens from there.”

  • The Vikings are focused on keeping Adrian Peterson, not trading him, writes Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune. But Vensel’s colleague at the Star Tribune, Michael Rand, believes the stars are aligning for the Cowboys to make a trade for Peterson.
  • Percy Harvin has finished his visit with the Bills, and he is mulling other possible visits, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). La Canfora adds that the Harvin situation could begin to wrap itself up as early as this weekend.
  • Brian Orakpo is in Tennessee on a visit and is planning to meet with the Cardinals next. However, he might not make it to Arizona if the Titans can get a deal in place before he leaves tonight, writes John Keim of (via Twitter).
  • Shelley Smith has left Seattle without a deal and will now visit the Broncos, tweets Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
  • Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star looks ahead to the rest of the Colts‘ offseason, noting that the team has already made its big splashes with the additions of Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, and Frank Gore. However, Holder expects Indianapolis to perhaps add a safety like Louis Delmas or Kendrick Lewis and/or an offensive lineman in the second wave of free agency, when better bargains can be had. The Colts currently have around $15-16MM in available cap space.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke does not appear especially concerned about losing last year’s starting cornerbacks Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox should those two players sign elsewhere in free agency. As Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News writes, Baalke is confident that the team has capable internal options to fill the void.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Mariota, Richardson, Culliver

The Jets have scheduled a pre-draft visit with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter). Mariota says he’ll be meeting with the Bucs, Eagles and Titans at his pro day, Rich Cimini of (on Twitter) adds. Mariota’s pro day performance was underwhelming, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean tweets, though as we saw last year with Teddy Bridgewater, we shouldn’t necessarily put a ton of stock into that. More from around the NFL..

  • After being officially waived by the Colts earlier, Trent Richardson gave an explanation for why it didn’t work out in Indianapolis, according to Mike Wells of ESPN (via Twitter). “Me and the GM didn’t see eye to eye,” said Richardson. “My next step, I’ll be the starter. Indy didn’t fit me.” The embattled halfback also confirmed that he was continually fined by the organization for being overweight (via Twitter). Richardson had told head coach Chuck Pagano he would have flown himself to New England for the AFC Championship game, but was told he would inactive regardless (via Twitter).
  • Long snapper James Winchester joined the Chiefs despite three other teams competing to sign him, writes Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The Chiefs now have three long snappers on the roster.
  • Washington is bringing in cornerback Chris Culliver for a visit, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). However, La Canfora warns that a return to the 49ers for Culliver should not be ruled out, and that his value is rising with fewer top cornerbacks left on the market (via Twitter).
  • While both Shelley Smith and Stefen Wisniewski visited with the Seahawks, neither offensive lineman is expected to sign today, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers have not closed the door on bringing Stevie Johnson back, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). San Francisco released Johnson earlier this week after signing Torrey Smith, but it sounds like they might consider bringing him back at a cheaper rate.