Vinnie Sunseri

Latest On Patriots’ Offensive Coordinator Duties

With former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels departing to take the head coaching gig in Las Vegas, the Patriots will be faced with the task of finding a new play-caller on offense. Well, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, since the role has not yet been filled, it appears that head coach Bill Belichick, offensive assistant Joe Judge, and former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are all currently sharing the duties of the role

That list of names may be bit surprising. Patricia is currently on staff as a senior football advisor, after a rough tenure in his first head coaching job in Detroit. While Patricia is know for his time in New England as a defensive coach, he began with the Patriots as an offensive assistant and, subsequently, assistant offensive line coach. Many believe that, in his return, he will work mainly with the team’s offensive line, once again.

Judge is another branch of the Belichick-coaching tree that has returned after a less-than-stellar stint as the Giants’ head coach. Judge worked with the Patriots’ special teams unit during his first tenure with the team, adding wide receivers to his docket in his final year before going to New York. Listed on the Patriots’ website as an offensive assistant, it’s presumed that Judge will be working directly with Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, and the other quarterbacks.

Finally, the Hoody, himself. Belichick has never officially held play-calling duties. While it’s generally accepted that he’s always had an influence on the Patriots’ offense, McDaniels was always granted free-reign to call plays. Belichick hasn’t even coached with a focus solely on offense since he was the Lions’ receivers coach back in 1977. Besides that role in Detroit, as an assistant, Belichick has always coached defense and special teams. To his credit, though, in Belichick’s first head coaching job in Cleveland, he was heavily credited for his role in the offensive play-calling, though he claimed it was a group effort.

Besides the three named in Reiss’s article, tight ends/fullbacks coach Nick Caley is expected to take on increased responsibility. Troy Brown is in place to coach the wide receivers and kick returners. Ivan Fears and Vinnie Sunseri both share the oversight of the running backs. And Billy Yates holds the position of assistant offensive line coach.

This whole article may end up being a moot point if Belichick and company bring in an offensive coordinator ready to utilize the Patriots’ existing system and call plays in it. For now, though, the role is seemingly vacant, with Belichick taking a village approach to handle the duties.

49ers Reduce Roster To 71

The 49ers parted with 15 players on Friday to bring their roster to 71, per a team announcement.


Released outright (vested veterans who are not subject to waivers):

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/22/16

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

  • The Bengals announced that they have formally cleared defensive tackle Brandon Thompson – previously on the PUP list – to return to practice. They now have an open spot on the roster. Thompson has spent four-plus seasons in Cincinnati, appearing in 39 games.
  • The Falcons announced the signing of punter Matt Wile to the 53-man roster. The deal could be a sign that Matt Bosher‘s hamstring will cause him to miss games. Before coming to Atlanta, Wile had contracts with Carolina and Dallas. He was a kicker at Michigan and a hopeful NFL kicker, but he’ll be punting for the Falcons.
  • The Jets signed wide receiver Jeremy Ross and waived linebacker Taiwan Jones. This marks the third time that the Jets have signed Ross in 2016. If the speedy wideout takes over return duties, the Jets could look to utilize C.J. Spiller in the running game.
  • The Lions announced that they have waived wide receiver Corey Fuller. The 2013 sixth-round pick had 18 catches for 288 yards over two-plus seasons in Detroit.
  • The Chargers have promoted cornerback Trovon Reed from the practice squad, the team announced. The former Auburn standout has yet to make an NFL appearance. The defensive back will be taking the roster spot of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who was placed on the injured reserve today.
  • The 49ers have promoted safety Vinnie Sunseri from the practice squad, reports Matt Maiocco of (via Twitter). The former Alabama star last played in the NFL with the Saints in 2014. The 25-year-old will be taking the roster spot previously held by Eric Reid, who was placed on the injured reserve today.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Practice Squad Updates: 11/1/16

Here are today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Diego Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/24/16

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: OL Arturo Uzdavinis (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

New York Jets

  • Signed: DL Brandin Bryant

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/6/16

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: QB Aaron Murray, QB Zac Dysert (team announcement)

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: WR Nick Williams (Twitter link via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), DL Joe Vellano (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of
  • Cut: DT Joey Mbu (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: QB David Fales (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of, G Jarell Broxton (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun)

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: LB Carlos Fields, DB Damian Parms (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: T Carter Bykowski (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press)
  • Cut: CB Tre Roberson

New England Patriots

New York Jets

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: OL Takoby Cofield

Tennessee Titans:

  • Signed: WR Tre McBride (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of
  • Cut: WR Ben Roberts

Patriots Cut Aaron Dobson, Move To 53

The Patriots have announced the cuts that bring them down to 53, including the waiving of Aaron Dobson.

Dobson, 25, is a former second-round pick, but he hasn’t done much since joining New England in 2013. In three seasons with the club, the Marshall product has only posted 53 receptions for less than 700 yards. Most of that production came during his rookie season, as Dobson has put up only 16 catches during the past two years. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Dobson was set to earn about $872K in base salary.

Here’s the list of Patriots cuts so far today:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Sign Vinnie Sunseri

The Patriots have added a bit of depth to their secondary, as they’ve agreed to sign former Saints defensive back Vinnie Sunseri, the club announced today. New England also confirmed the previously-reported signing of rookie free agent offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson.Vinnie Sunseri (Vertical)

[RELATED: New England Patriots depth chart]

Sunseri, 24, was a fifth-round pick out of Alabama in the 2014 draft, but he’s ended each of his first two NFL campaigns on the injured reserve list. As such, he doesn’t have much in the way of experience, as he has just nine career games under his belt (and all of that action came during his rookie season). Sunseri hasn’t been a defensive contributor — he’s seen only 11 defensive snaps in the NFL — but he did prove his worth on special teams, as he played on 37% of New Orleans’ ST snaps in 2014.

Special teams is the likely area of focus for Sunseri in New England, as well, as the club is well-stocked at the safety position, where Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards, and Nate Ebner make up the top of the depth chart. The Patriots are typically excellent on special teams, having ranked among the top-five in ST DVOA in every season since 2011. Sunseri worked out for the Pats back in May, so the club did get an up-close look at what he can do.

New England’s signing of Kerbyson had been reported on Friday. The former Tennessee Volunteer went undrafted earlier this year, but started all 13 games at left tackle during his senior season, during which he was named second-team All SEC.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Forte, Hackenberg, Pats

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker says that Gang Green will have a leg up in the AFC East if Tom Brady is suspended for four games. However, they’re going to need a lot more to happen in order to have a realistic chance of toppling the Patriots, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. "<strong

For one, offseason acquisition Matt Forte must break the “curse of 30” and show that he can still produce at the running back position. Forte had a relatively down season in 2015, missing three games with injury and failing to top 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since 2011. However, he still managed almost 1,300 yards from scrimmage after catching 44 passes out of the backfield for nearly 400 yards.

Fellow newcomer Ryan Clady, who has played in only 18 regular games over the past three years, also must find a way to stay on the field. Clady joins a Jets offensive line that was somewhat inconsistent in 2015, though they ranked No. 3 in pass protection per Football Outsiders’ metrics.

Oh, and one other thing: the Jets absolutely need to bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mehta writes. It is certainly hard to argue with that point.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • Jets director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger says the team has “high hopes” for Christian Hackenberg, though that doesn’t mean that that Bryce Petty has slipped in the eyes of team brass. “Personally, our opinion is you don’t draft on what your roster is,” he said, according to Rich Cimini of “We like to fill our needs in free agency and draft the best available. In regard to Bryce, that’s not really a slight at Bryce anymore than drafting a linebacker [Darron Lee] is a slight at David Harris in that regard.”
  • Former New Orleans safety Vinnie Sunseri worked out for the Patriots last week, according to Adam Caplan of (via Twitter). Caplan adds that Sunseri’s recovery from ACL surgery is going well. The veteran is now nine months removed from going under the knife. Things haven’t been easy for Sunseri since coming into the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2014. In his rookie year, he missed a good portion of the season with a broken arm. Then, prior to the 2015 season, he suffered an ACL tear which sidelined him for the entire campaign.
  • Earlier this week, we learned that Laremy Tunsil‘s draft day slide may have had something to do with a nagging ankle injury. The Dolphins were able to take the Ole Miss product at No. 13 overall and many had attributed his tumble solely to the now infamous leaked video.
  • Like our Jets/Forte jersey swap? Follow PFR on Instagram for more.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/25/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Buccaneers have signed running back Storm Johnson to a two-year contract, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The former Miami, UCF, and Jags tailback is now slated to compete for the backup running back job this fall in Tampa. The former seventh-round pick had some hype behind him in Jacksonville but never broke out in the way that coaches and fantasy owners hoped he would.
  • The Browns announced that they have signed wide receiver Saalim Hakim, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets. Hakim participated in voluntary minicamp last week with Cleveland on a tryout basis and apparently made a strong impression on team brass. Hakim originally entered the league as a UDFA with Dallas in 2012.
  • The Saints have released second-year defensive end Tavaris Barnes, a league source tells Evan Woodbery of The Times Picayune (on Twitter). Barnes, a Clemson product, appeared in 12 games for New Orleans in 2015.
  • The Saints have also waived safety Vinnie Sunseri, as Woodbery tweets.
  • The Lions have signed punter Kyle Christy, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Interestingly, Birkett tweets that Christy could serve to save the legs of Sam Martin and possibly Matt Prater in camp. Reading between the lines, it does not sound like Christy has a great chance of actually hooking on in Detroit.
  • The Packers have waived defensive end Ray Drew, as Rob Demovsky of writes. Drew, a street free agent signed in March, lasted only one week into the team’s offseason workout program. Drew spent part of the 2015 season on Cleveland’s taxi squad.