Steve Maneri

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

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Patriots Rumors: Trades, Deflategate, Workouts

As the Nov. 3 trade deadline nears, the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin examines some veterans floundering teams should be looking to deal.

Mentioning Steve Smith, Haloti Ngata, Anquan Boldin and Chad Henne among those who would generate value, Volin focused on some players who’d further strengthen the Patriots.

Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith‘s in a contract year and one of several of the team’s defensive stalwarts, such as Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry, under that circumstance.

Volin insists the Pats should “do whatever they can” to acquire Smith from Kansas City, pointing to the former Dolphin’s talent, the Pats’ penchant for coaxing strong play out of players deemed character risks and the Chiefs saving $2.25MM by moving Smith early. The 28-year-old corner missed three games this season due to a DUI-induced suspension.

The Buccaneers would also make a convenient trading partner for the Pats, and Volin notes Logan Mankins — who the team traded away for since-jettisoned Tim Wright last year — has only $3.5MM remaining on his deal for the rest of this season and would help repair the team’s injury-plagued offensive front.

Here are some more items from New England:

  • The NFL hired former United States solicitor general Paul Clement to aid in its appeal of Judge Richard Berman’s Deflategate ruling, and it indicates an enhanced effort to win the latest saga that’s pitted the league against the NFLPA, Volin writes. Per the New York Times, Clement will be a likely supreme court nominee if a republican wins the White House in 2016, so it represents another expensive example of the lengths both sides will go to win this case. “Stripped of all of the surrounding stuff, this case is still about the commissioner’s authority, not about deflated footballs. It certainly explains why they called in the heavy artillery,” Suffolk University law professor and arbitrator Mark Greenbaum told Volin.
  • The Patriots worked out tight ends Bear Pascoe and Steve Maneri, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The duo has a combined 10 years of experience, with Pascoe, a 29-year-old blocking tight end/fullback, having started 34 games for the Giants and Falcons from 2009-14. The 27-year-old Maneri’s started 10 games since 2011 and made a single-game appearance for the Patriots last season.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Patriots, James, Jackson

The JetsPatriots rivalry may have hit a new high (or perhaps, low) as Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that NFL officials swept New York’s locker room and questioned three New England employees during Sunday’s game — all at the behest of the Jets. A source tells Howe that the Jets were concerned that Gillette Stadium’s operations and radio frequencies were not up to par (for the record, the Jets have denied making any such requests).

Nevertheless, per Howe, the three Pats employees were interrogated throughout the third quarter, forced to hand over their phones and radios, and required to submit to a photograph. According to Howe, the Patriots were informed that none of the checks revealed anything improper, and that the club had done nothing wrong.

Let’s take a look at more out the AFC East, including fallout from last night’s contest…

  • The Dolphins‘ offensive line took a hit on Thursday night when Ja’Wuan James left the game with a toe injury, and it appears the team will have to get by without its starting right tackle for a few games. Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link) hears from a source that James is expected to miss four to six weeks.
  • During Thursday night’s game, Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link) noted that the Patriots are coming “dangerously close” to running out of offensive lineman, and wondered if that could be a position they target before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
  • One Patriots offensive lineman who did go down in last night’s game — guard Tre’ Jackson — should be able to return at some point in the near future, as a source tells Howe in a separate piece that the MRI on Jackson’s left knee came back negative. He’s considered day-to-day, and though he does have 10 days to get healthy, Jackson’s history of knee issues is a concern, as Mike Reiss of details.
  • The Patriots, always on the lookout for useful tight ends, brought in veteran free agents Steve Maneri and Bear Pascoe for workouts this week, tweets Mike Reiss of Per Reiss, the team is keeping its emergency lists fresh, so it doesn’t sound like either tight end will be signed by New England anytime soon.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/25/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Dolphins announced (via Twitter) that they have placed safety Louis Delmas on the Reserve/Injured list.
  • The Patriots announced that they have released fullback Eric Kettani. Kettani, 28, originally signed with New England as a rookie free agent out of Navy in 2009 and after spending time on the Reserve Military list, he went to training camp with the Patriots in 2011 and spent part of the 2011 and 2012 seasons on the team’s practice squad. Kettani also spent time on the practice squad with Washington (2012), Kansas City (2013) and Jacksonville (2014).
  • The Cowboys cut Will Smith from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Jets signed linebacker Bryan Johnson and waived tight end Steve Maneri, Brian Costello of The Post tweets.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Chiefs signed offensive lineman Tavon Rooks, agent Richard Kopelman tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter).
  • The 49ers signed center/guard Ben Gottschalk to a two-year deal while signing kicker Corey Acosta and wide receiver Mario Hull to three year deals, Wilson tweets. To help make room, Darius Davis has been waived (link).
  • The Chargers have signed undrafted rookie offensive tackle Forrestal Hickman, according to a league source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Hickman, who stands at 6’8″ and 315 pounds, tried out for the Chargers during their rookie minicamp. The Missouri Science and Tech product was an all-conference selection last season.
  • The 49ers released tackle/guard Chris Martin, according to agent Brett Tessler (on Twitter). Martin finished last season on San Francisco’s practice squad, but the agent says that the team simply had too many similar guys already on the roster.
  • The Jets announced that they have waived/injured tight end Zach Sudfeld, who suffered a torn ACL, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. In his stead, the Jets have inked tight end Steve Maneri.
  • The Seahawks waived/injured defensive end Ryan Robinson, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter). Condotta assumes that the Seahawks are hoping that he’ll pass through waivers, allowing them to stash him on IR.
  • The Packers have waived rookie guard Marcus Reed, according to Rob Demovsky of (on Twitter). Reed was signed as a UDFA last month. Green Bay currently has 89 players on the roster.
  • The Seahawks signed wide receiver Kasen Williams, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).

Minor Moves: Tuesday

The NFL’s waiver period for 2015 officially opened this week after the Super Bowl, which means we should see an uptick in transactions over the next few weeks, even before free agency opens on March 10. Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the league:

  • The Colts announced today that they have agreed to terms with guard Ben Heenan. Heenan, 6’4″, 316 pounds, spent the last three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL. In 2014, he started all 21 games for the Roughriders, released Heenan from his CFL deal this week to allow him to pursue NFL opportunities. Heenan had offers from five NFL teams, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • The Bills have claimed wide receiver Justin Brown off waivers from the Steelers, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). The Steelers waived Brown back in December to make room for the addition of Ben Tate. Brown, a sixth-round choice in 2013, caught 12 passes for 94 yards during his time in Pittsburgh.
  • While Brown didn’t clear waivers, several other players who were cut since the end of the regular season made it through, tweets Wilson. Safety Jakar Hamilton (Cowboys), offensive lineman Darren Keyton (Lions), and tight end Steve Maneri (Patriots) all went unclaimed.
  • After signing a reserve/futures contract with the Lions at the end of the regular season, tight end Ifeanyi Momah was cut today by the team due to a failure to disclose a physical condition, tweets Michael Rothstein of Momah spent time on the Lions’ and Browns’ practice squads in 2014.
  • The Saints formally terminated the contract of linebacker Cheta Ozougwu today, says Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune (Twitter links). Ozougwu spent the entire 2014 season on New Orleans’ reserve-PUP list.
  • Fullback Greg Jones, who announced his retirement last month, has officially been moved to the reserve/retired list by the Jaguars, per Wilson (via Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Patriots Promote Joe Vellano To Active Roster

The Patriots have promoted defensive lineman Joe Vellano from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in anticipation of the AFC Championship game against the Colts on Sunday, reports Shalise Manza-Young of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The team has released tight end Steve Maneri in order to make room for Vellano.

Vellano is in his second season with the Patriots, having been active in all 16 games last season and starting eight games, mostly replacing Vince Wilfork who was on injured reserve for most of 2013. However, the Maryland product has spent most of this year on the practice squad, only appearing in five games and starting in one.

Maneri is in his fifth NFL season, playing for five different franchises since originally being signed by the Texans in 2010. He was originally an offensive tackle, but became a tight end upon signing with the Chiefs during the 2012 offseason.

This was his second stint with the Patriots. Maneri has played sparingly, only catching six passes in his career, and only appearing in more than six games in a season once. His 2012 season with the Chiefs was his most successful, as he appeared in 13 games and started eight times.

AFC East Notes: Ryan, Philbin, Patriots

As one of the AFC East’s most explosive offensive playmakers returns to active duty, let’s take a look at what else is happening around the division….

  • Sources tell Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) that current Jets coach Rex Ryan is viewed as a natural fit for the Falcons’ head coaching job, if the team decides to part ways with Mike Smith. Atlanta needs to upgrade its defense, and Ryan interviewed with the club in 2008.
  • Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is on the hot seat in Miami, but Cole (Twitter link) points to one potential roadblock to the team making a change — owner Stephen Ross likes and respects Philbin a lot, and would like to establish continuity for the franchise. If the Dolphins take care of business in their final two home games against the Vikings and Jets, it seems possible that Philbin will get another year in Miami, though that’s just my speculation.
  • By playing in his 15th game for the Patriots this Sunday, cornerback Darrelle Revis will earn the remained of his $500K roster bonus, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
  • Mike Reiss of also has a Patriots-related contract note, tweeting that tight end Steve Maneri‘s deal with the club is just a one-year contract through 2014. Reiss views the signing as insurance for the postseason at an important position.

Pats Place Dominique Easley On IR

12:39pm: The Patriots have signed tight end Steve Maneri using the roster spot vacated by Easley, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).

11:20am: Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley will see his rookie season come to an early end, according to Ian Rapoport of, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is placing Easley on the injured reserve list.

Easley, 22, underwent ACL surgery before the 2014 draft, which may have caused him to slip a little further down the board than he otherwise would have. New England snagged him at the end of the first round, and while the rookie appeared in 11 games this season, he dealt with nagging knee issues throughout the year. The Pats told Easley last week to begin preparing for the 2015 campaign, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

When Easley officially lands on IR, the Pats will either open up a spot on their 53-man roster, or announce a corresponding move to immediately fill that opening.

AFC Notes: Irsay, Titans, Chiefs, Wright

The Broncos and Patriots were widely regarded before the season as the frontrunners to come out of the AFC this season, and while both teams are off to decent starts, it’s the 4-1 Chargers that currently sit atop the conference. Not only has Philip Rivers led San Diego to a league-best record, but the team’s +70 point differential is the NFL’s best by a wide margin — the Broncos and Pats have a combined +45 margin between them.

As we look forward to see if the Chargers can continue their winning ways against the 0-4 Raiders this weekend, let’s round up a few notes from around the AFC….

  • Colts owner Jim Irsay will be back working – and presumably tweeting – later this week, according to Adam Schefter of, who reports (via Twitter) that Irsay’s six-game suspension ends tomorrow, following the team’s appearance on Thursday Night Football.
  • The Titans took a look at a handful of tight ends this week, working out Richard Gordon, Matthew Mulligan, Steve Maneri, and Jeron Mastrud, according to Adam Caplan of (via Twitter). Caplan adds that the club also auditioned quarterback Ricky Stanzi.
  • The Chiefs had several players in for workouts this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), who lists the following free agents as having tried out for Kansas City: Tight ends Brandon Barden and Michael Flacco, linebackers Brandon Copeland and Carlos Fields, wideout Jamar Howard, and long snappers Jorgen Hus and Tyler Ott.
  • Tight end Tim Wright, who was acquired by the Patriots via trade prior to the regular season, is starting to get comfortable within New England’s offensive system, as Howard Ulman of The Associated Press writes.