Taylor Thompson

Extra Points: Titans, Trent Williams, Cowboys

The NFL Players Association recently filed an injury grievance on behalf of former Titans tight end Taylor Thompson, according to a league source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan. Thompson, who was officially waived June 19th, is expected to have knee surgery in the near future, but he was not released with an injury designation at the time of the transaction.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Washington‘s new deal with Trent Williams resets the market for left tackles, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Williams’ deal is similar to the contract Joe Thomas signed with the Browns in some respects, like the $42MM value of the first three years of the deal. However, in years four and five, Williams could earn a good deal more than Thomas or Tyron Smith of the Cowboys. The biggest difference of all, of course, is the guarantee structure, which amounts to $30MM in total.
  • Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said there could be a lot of action from the team after final cuts, as Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram tweets. Jones added that running back will be a position of interest for the organization.
  • The Raiders are very likely on the look out for a kick returner on the waiver wire, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.

AFC Notes: Gipson, Jennings, Titans

Tashaun Gipson, the last of this year’s restricted free agents to sign his contract for the 2015 season, wasn’t pleased about receiving a second-round tender instead of a first-round tender, but he’s happy to play on the one-year deal if he and the Browns don’t reach a longer-term arrangement, writes Matthew Florjancic of WKYC. However, while he says he’s “perfectly fine” with his current contract, he’s also looking ahead to the possibility of a larger payday in free agency, as he suggests to Florjancic.

“At the end of the day, my rookie contract was less than this tender. So on the bright side about it, I’m going to make more money than I’ve ever made, so I can’t complain about that,” Gipson said. “But, yeah, absolutely, I would say, ‘Hey, man. You see the way that guys are getting paid. The safety position, it’s changing drastically. The top five guys are all getting paid $9MM+.’ That type of stuff, it entices you and it says, ‘Hey, man. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.'”

Florjancic passes along a handful of comments from Gipson, who continues to say that he’d like to stay in Cleveland, if possible. But it sounds as if the young safety won’t necessarily be accepting a hometown discount to remain with the Browns. Gipson, 24, pointed to former Browns defensive backs like T.J. Ward and Buster Skrine, suggesting that he recognizes the business side of the game can often result in players changing teams.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Greg Jennings made several visits and took his time deciding where to sign when he became a free agent earlier this offseason, but a phone conversation with Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum eventually convinced the veteran wideout to head to Miami, says Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
  • Tight end Taylor Thompson was cut last week by the Titans without any sort of injury designation, but Thompson claims that he requires knee surgery due to a lingering issue from last season. As Adam Caplan of ESPN.com writes, the NFLPA is looking into Thompson’s release, and the difference of opinions between player and team.
  • Josh McCown is already displaying the attributes that drew the Browns to him this offseason, Pat McManamon of ESPN.com writes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Titans waived tight end Taylor Thompson, tweets the Tennesseean’s Jim Wyatt. Thompson, whom the Titans chose in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, has 11 career catches. It was reported earlier this week that the Titans were primed to fine Thompson for showing up late to mandatory minicamp. He has also been dealing with knee issues.
  • The Patriots cut tight end Logan Stokes, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Stokes signed with the Pats last week as an undrafted free agent out of LSU.
  • The Chiefs signed cornerback Kenneth Penny and waived both guard Melvin Meggs and cornerback De’Vante Bausby, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • The Bills signed free agent tight end Matthew Mulligan and released defensive back Merrill Noel, according to the Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Mulligan, who has 16 career receptions, played under current Bills coach Rex Ryan as a member of the Jets from 2009-11.
  • The Falcons signed veteran wide receiver Carlton Mitchell and waived fellow wideout Shane Wynn, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mitchell, a sixth-round pick in 2010, last saw action in 2011, when he caught three passes for the Browns. Wynn signed with Atlanta last month as an undrafted free agent out of Indiana.
  • The Lions waived Bill Bentley after minicamp practice on Thursday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). The cornerback was attempting to return from a torn ACL. Bentley played some nickel for Detroit over the last three years.
  • The Packers released cornerback Travis Manning, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press Gazette (on Twitter). Taking Manning’s place on the roster will be tight end Harold Spears, who was waived by the Saints earlier this week, according to Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune (on Twitter). Green Bay still has 89 players on the roster after today’s moves.

Extra Points: Sam, Foles, Thompson, FXFL

Conspiracy theories have emerged about Michael Sam and why he requested permission last Friday to leave the his CFL team’s training camp for personal reasons. There are still no concrete answers as to why the NFL’s first openly gay drafted player made that call, Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette writes.

In a separate piece, Zurkowsky notes that the latest theory is that Sam sensed that he wouldn’t make the Montreal Alouettes’ roster and – seeing the writing on the wall – left to save face for himself and the club. While GM Jim Popp says the door remains open for Sam’s return, another source within the organization said that’s unlikely to happen. The Alouettes officially moved the former Rams draftee to the suspended list, according to the CFL (on Twitter).

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the football world:

  • Following up on yesterday’s report about extension talks between Nick Foles and the Rams, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com tweets that the quarterback loves being in St. Louis, but will let agent David Dunn handle negotiations. As Wagoner adds in a second tweet, the Rams are talking to a few potential 2016 free agents about new contracts, so it doesn’t sound like they’re focused exclusively on Foles.
  • Taylor Thompson‘s 2015 season is off to an ominous start. According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the Titans tight end is facing a fine for arriving late to the team’s mandatory minicamp, and is still having issues with the knee he injured last season, raising concerns about his NFL future.
  • Former Wake Forest wideout Matt James was trying out for the Saints today at the club’s minicamp, a source tells Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune (Twitter link).
  • The FXFL is getting ready to get its 2015 season underway, but Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter) hears from a source that multiple players are still owed money from last season. The FXFL had its first season in 2014, beginning in October. Since then, several players from the upstart league have found their way to the NFL.
  • Bill Williamson of ESPN.com wonders if the Raiders could be in the mix for two players released by their respective teams today, running back Shonn Greene and safety Taylor Mays.
  • Former Cowboys running back Tashard Choice is at the team’s minicamp today, but it’s in a coaching capacity, not as a player, as Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com explains (via Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves that affect teams’ 53-man rosters around the league:

  • In a reversal of a pair of roster moves made earlier this week, the Panthers have re-signed running back Chris Ogbonnaya using the roster spot created when the team cut De’Andre Presley yesterday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Carolina had previously activated Presley and waived Ogbonnaya, so the club’s motives here aren’t entirely clear.
  • Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, cut yesterday by the 49ers, has been claimed off waivers by the division-rival Seahawks, according to his agent Wesley Spencer (Twitter link). Since Seattle didn’t have an open spot on the roster, the team placed defensive end Greg Scruggs on the injured reserve list in order to accommodate the addition of Dobbs, tweets Brian McIntyre.

Earlier updates:

  • One depleted secondary has added a piece from another, as the Giants announced today in a press release that they’ve claimed cornerback Chykie Brown off waivers from the Ravens. To make room on the roster for Brown, who lost his job in Baltimore after Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdowns against the Ravens on Sunday, the Giants placed Prince Amukamara on injured reserve — as we learned yesterday, the cornerback is out for the year with a torn biceps.
  • The Titans have replaced one tight end with another on their 53-man roster, bringing back Brett Brackett and placing the injured Taylor Thompson on IR, according to a team release. Thompson suffered his knee injury in Week 3 and had been unable to get healthy, while Brackett had been on the Seahawks’ practice squad before signing to Tennessee’s active roster.

Titans Notes: Lewan, Hunter, Thompson

Titans rookie first-rounder Taylor Lewan remains unsigned, but that didn’t prevent the team from training him at both left and right tackle, writes John Glennon in the Tennessean.

Here’s a few more Titans tidbits provided by offensive coordinator Jason Michael, who did an interview for the team website:

  • Talented but raw second-year receiver Justin Hunter has shown flashes of playmaking, and “the sky’s the limit” for him, but the staff needs to continue pushing him.
  • Veteran Shonn Greene (injury) and rookie Bishop Sankey (academic requirements) missed most of the team’s offseason, opening the door for Dexter McCluster to learn the system.
  • Another player who must make strides is Taylor Thompson, whose transition from college defensive end to NFL tight end has not gone smoothly. Michael did not call out Thompson, but did stop short of praising him, saying, “He’s still young to the position, with changing from defensive end, and I know we’ve talked about those things and at some point, he’s got to put that behind him and move forward and be a tight end…”
  • However, unlike Hunter, a 2013 second-rounder who scored four touchdowns and averaged nearly 20 yards per catch as a rookie, Thompson enters his third pro season with just nine catches to his credit. In a recent Daily News Journal article, Thompson admitted to enduring growing pains and a steep learning curve. Additionally, first-year position coach Mike Mularkey said his first impression of Thompson is that he’s raw and inexperienced. Thompson, whom the Titans traded up for in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, has two years remaining on his rookie contract, but the team is hoping for signs of development. He’s expected to be the team’s No. 3 tight end, but at 6-6 and nearly 270 pounds with sub-4.6 speed and natural catching ability, Thompson has breakout potential if the light comes on.