The 49ers have reduced their roster count to 75 players in advance of tomorrow’s deadline, announcing a series of transactions today in a press release.
The club placed offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore on the reserve/PUP list and receiver DeAndreSmelter on the reserve/NFI list, meaning both players will be sidelined for at least six weeks. Additionally, wideout Dres Anderson and linebacker Desmond Bishop were placed on injured reserve, which will end their respective seasons, barring an eventual injury settlement.
1:44pm: The 49ers have officially confirmed Smith’s release. The team issued the following statement:
“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”
1:33pm:Aldon Smith‘s latest off-field incident will be his last as a member of the 49ers. According to Jim Trotter of ESPN (via Twitter), the Niners have decided to release Smith following his arrest in Santa Clara late Thursday night. Per Mike Loyko (Twitter link), Trotter said on ESPN that the team made the decision after Smith met with GM Trent Baalke and refused to accept responsibility.
Smith, 25, was arrested by Santa Clara police on hit and run, DUI, and vandalism charges, though when he was released from jail this morning, the outside linebacker disputed the fact that he had been driving under the influence. The incident is the latest in a series of off-field run-ins for Smith, who has had DUI arrests in the past, and missed nearly half the 49ers’ games over the last two seasons after entering a rehabilitation facility in 2013 and serving a nine-game suspension in 2014.
When he’s healthy and on the field, Smith can be one of the league’s most effective pass rushers, as he exhibited during his first two years in the NFL. As a part-time player in his rookie season, Smith recorded 14 sacks, and he piled up another 19.5 as a starter in 2012, en route to a spot on the All-Pro first team. However, his off-field issues have limited his production since then.
Baalke spoke earlier this week about wanting to lock up Smith beyond the 2015 season, but a new deal for the linebacker would have been contingent on him staying out of trouble. The Niners protected themselves in the offseason by renegotiating Smith’s contract to convert most of his base salary into per-game roster bonuses and incentives. Now that he has been cut, the former seventh overall pick won’t have a chance to earn that bonus money.
By releasing Smith, the 49ers will create in the neighborhood of $3MM in cap room, leaving just $1.6MM in dead money on their cap. Had the team not reworked the linebacker’s deal, he would’ve been on San Francisco’s books for a guaranteed $9.754MM, so the club’s foresight paid off.
The 49ers’ defense has already taken several hits this offseason, making Smith’s absence the latest blow to an increasingly depleted unit. The team saw cornerbacks Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox depart in free agency, while defensive end Justin Smith and linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland all decided to retire.
With Smith no longer in the mix, Ahmad Brooks, Aaron Lynch, and third-round rookie Eli Harold will be leaned on more heavily in San Francisco. The club also signed free agent linebacker Steve Beauharnais, who recently worked out for both the Niners and the Colts, to take Smith’s spot on the 90-man roster, tweets John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game. However, Beauharnais is more of an inside linebacker, and may not crack the team’s Week 1 roster.
As for Smith, after missing nine games last season due to a suspension, he’s now under review for further discipline from the NFL, a league source confirms to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). We recently saw Junior Galette, another talented pass rusher with off-field red flags, catch on with a new team shortly after being released by his old team, but Smith may not find a new job as quickly, as one general manager tells Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report (Twitterlinks).
“For now, not touching him,” the GM said in a text message to Freeman. “No one will for the moment. Every team will wait and see … We won’t see Aldon Smith in an NFL uniform until next season.”
It’s been an eventful year for cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who received a raise for 2015 and won a Super Bowl with the Patriots within the first few weeks of the year. However, since then, he’s been cut twice, by the Pats and Cardinals, negating that non-guaranteed raise that he earned back in January. Currently, Dennard is a free agent, and Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that he’s working out for the Saints today.
Dennard missed 10 regular season contests in 2014, as he was plagued throughout the season by shoulder and hamstring issues. In New Orleans, he could help provide depth for a secondary that’s banged up early in training camp — cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Delvin Breaux were among the players absent from the team’s walkthrough on Wednesday.
Here’s more from around the NFL’s two South divisions:
Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David will likely be keeping a close eye on the financial terms for DeAndre Levy‘s new extension with the Lions, since David figures to surpass Levy’s deal. According to Anderson (via Twitter), the Bucs and David were “still not close” to working out a new contract as of Wednesday morning.
Pierre Thomas and the Texans could revisit a deal, even though there’s no pact at this time, writes Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Wilson, who says Houston offered Thomas a minimum-salary contract, indicates that the two sides will likely remain in touch, since the former Saint was “clearly” the Texans’ preferred choice of the backs that auditioned for the team.
Former Patriots and Rutgers linebacker Steve Beauharnais worked out for the Colts on Wednesday, a source tells Wilson (Twitter link). The 25-year-old saw a little regular season action with Washington in 2014.
With training camps going on throughout the NFL landscape, players are beginning to stand out and injuries are starting to shift depth charts already. Here are a few veterans who could be looking at new roles or new contracts as the season draws near:
The 49ers worked out linebacker Steve Beauharnais yesterday, per John Middlekauf of 95.7 The Game (via Twitter). Beauharnais was on Washington’s active roster last season after being selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.
Coming off a torn ACL, Darnell Dockett wasn’t seen much during the beginning of the 49ers training camp. Coach Jim Tomsula said that the reason he wasn’t in there was because he might not factor into the base defense early on with all the double teams he’ll be facing, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We’re not going to have him in there doing that,” Tomsula said. “I don’t want him in there. . . He’ll be doing more of the nickel stuff, the sub stuff. You’ll see that stuff.” That could mean more work for Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, and Glenn Dorsey.
James Ihedigbo, who skipped the Lions‘ early spring workouts due to frustration over his current deal, declined to talk about his contract on Sunday, simply saying that it is not time to negotiate once the season starts (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press).
Jimmy Graham was the biggest name traded this offseason, but it is easy to forget that Max Unger was moved in that deal as well. He is currently getting accustomed to being the starting center for the Saints, and readying himself for the season in New Orleans, writes Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com. “Regardless of the reason I’m here, I’m being asked to do a job that I’ve been doing for a while,” said Unger. “I just get on the field and do it, keeping the things that I’ve been doing to get this point in my career.”
Following the conclusion of this weekend’s draft, Washington has made significant changes to its roster, announcing today (via Twitter) that the club has waived or released 13 players. The players who were waived by Washington will have to go unclaimed before becoming free agents, while the veterans who were released will be able to seek new jobs immediately.
Here’s the full list of players cut by GM Scot McCloughan and his team:
Washington hasn’t had great safety play this season, but it will likely suffer another hit now that the team has placed Brandon Meriweather on injured reserve, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter).
The team has signed linebacker Steve Beauharnais off the practice squad and added him to the 53-man roster, according to Zac Boyer of the Washington Times (via Twitter).
Meriweather will miss the last two games of the season with a sprained toe, although he has been trying to push through the injury for the past three weeks. Even still, he has tried to participate in drills but could barely jog due to the injury, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post (via Twitter).
We’ve already got one ongoing post designed to track today’s minor 53-man roster moves from around the league, but we’ll use this space to keep tabs on Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts. Here’s the latest:
The Saints added guard Andrew Miller to the taxi squad while releasing offensive tackle DeMarcus Love and defensive tackle Garrison Smith, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
The Panthers cut running back Tauren Poole from their taxi squad yet again and replaced him by re-signing Micanor Regis, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
A source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) that the Chiefs have cut tight end Adam Schiltz, creating a second open spot on the Kansas City practice squad.
Earlier today, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported (via Twitter) that the Texans were working out quarterback Seth Lobato, but the club ended up signing another quarterback to its taxi squad. Ricky Stanzi is the signal-caller that landed with the Texans, tweets Wilson.
The Jets have signed former Marshall linebacker Mario Harvey to their practice squad, according to the team (Twitter link).
After cutting him over the weekend, Washington has re-signed linebacker Steve Beauharnais to the club’s practice squad, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The team also added defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui to the unit, cutting linebacker Justin Jackson to accommodate the move (Twitter link).
Having lost Zach Mettenberger and Jake Locker to injuries, the Titans added quarterback Jordan Palmer to their active roster yesterday, and have added another signal-caller to their practice squad today for emergency purposes. Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean tweets that QB Alex Tanney has signed with Tennessee’s taxi squad.
Former Wake Forest defensive lineman Zach Thompson is signing to the Ravens‘ practice squad, taking one of the two open spots on the unit, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
The 49ers have brought back a player who was part of the club’s practice squad earlier this season, announcing today in a press release that they’ve re-added tight end Xavier Grimble.
There’s a chance that we could see a starting quarterback change in Washington for Week 15, depending on Colt McCoy‘s health, and the club is also making plenty of changes at the back of its 53-man roster. Washington announced (via Twitter) a series of roster and practice squad transactions today, and we’ve got the breakdown right here:
November 24th, 2014 at 3:04pm CST by Zachary Links
Washington announced that it has placed linebacker Adam Hayward on IR, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Taking his place on the active roster will be fellow linebacker Steve Beauharnais.
Hayward, 30, came to Washington on a three-year, $3MM deal this offseason. The deal includes just $300K guaranteed. Hayward spent his entire career with the Buccaneers before testing the market this offseason and joining up with Washington.
Beauharnais, 24, was signed to Washington’s practice squad in October. The former Pats seventh round pick saw a bit of time in two games for New England last season. Beauharnais worked out for a number of teams this season before landing in Washington with audition stops in Oakland, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, and many more.
The Bears re-signed defensive end David Bass to their practice squad, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). Bass was dropped yesterday to make room for cornerback Al Louis-Jean‘s promotion.
A day after cutting tight end Phillip Supernaw to claim Ryan Taylor off waivers, the Ravens have re-signed Supernaw to their practice squad, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Baltimore will have to cut a player from its squad in order to make the move official.
Linebacker Marshall McFadden has taken the 10th and final spot on the Rams‘ practice squad, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).
The Chargers have signed former Lions cornerback Aaron Hester to their practice squad, tweets Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Safety Adrian Phillips has also joined the unit, replacing injured running back D.J. Adams, says Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
In addition to confirming the signing of defensive lineman Joe Vellano to their practice squad, which was reported yesterday, the Patriots have also announced the addition of offensive lineman Chris Martin and the release of fellow offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann.
While the Broncos expect to be fine on Sunday with the running backs on their current 53-man roster, the team has added Jeremy Stewart to its practice squad “just in case,” tweets Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
The Buccaneers have replaced tight end Taylor Sloat on their practice squad with wideout Eric Page, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (via Twitter).
Using the 10th and final opening on their taxi squad, the Bengals have added interior offensive lineman Jeff Baca, head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters today (Twitter link via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com).
The Redskins signed linebacker Steve Beauharnais to their practice squad today, according to the club (via Twitter). That leaves one spot still open on the unit.
Tight end Jacob Maxwell has been let go from the Dolphins‘ practice squad, according to Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, who tweets that running back Orleans Darkwa will fill the newly-opened spot.
The Lions have swapped out one defensive lineman for another, with Derrick Hopkins replacing Xavier Proctor, who has been placed on the practice squad IR (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).