Wallace Gilberry

Buccaneers To Sign DE Darryl Tapp

The Buccaneers have agreed to sign free agent defensive end Darryl Tapp, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).Darryl Tapp (vertical)

Tampa Bay is dealing with several injuries along its defensive line, the most severe of which may be to edge rusher Noah Spence, who left Sunday’s contest with a shoulder injury and will likely miss an extended period of time. Ryan Russell is also coming back from a shoulder issue, while veteran Robert Ayers is managing a knee injury (and was able to play in Week 7).

Tapp, 33, has already had multiple stints with the division rival Saints in 2017, but hasn’t actually played a down for New Orleans since last season. He’s been more or less a rotational defensive end since 2009 (with his best and most productive years coming as a starter for the Seahawks in 2007-08), and that’s likely the role he’ll play for the Buccaneers. Tapp, who has 162 career appearances under his belt, will play behind Ayers, William Gholston, and Will Clarke in Tampa.

This isn’t the first time the Bucs have sought to add help on the edge of their defensive line. Free agent pass rusher Lamarr Houston worked out for Tampa Bay earlier this month before signing with the Texans, while the Buccaneers auditioned defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Owa Odighizuwa alongside Tapp on Tuesday, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Tampa also looked at cornerbacks Josh Johnson, Deji Olatoye, and Raysean Pringle, plus defensive tackle Marquavius Lewis.

Bengals To Release Eric Winston, Wallace Gilberry

The Bengals are expected to release offensive lineman Eric Winston and defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Eric Winston

Cincinnati will go with a youth movement along its offensive line, both in the starting lineup and further down the depth chart. Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher are the club’s starting tackles, while youngsters such as Christian Westerman and J.J. Dielman should make the roster. Winston, the NFLPA president, appeared in all 16 games for the Bengals a season ago, but started only two contests.

Gilberry, meanwhile, originally signed with the Lions last year but found his way back to the Bengals at midseason. The 32-year-old ultimately played in five games for Cincinnati. Rookies Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis, plus trade acquisition Chris Smith, will take over backup edge rushing responsibilities in the Queen City.

Contract Details: Keenum, Gilberry, Escobar

The latest contract details, most of which come via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

  • Quarterback Case Keenum‘s one-year, $2MM pact with the Vikings features $750K in guarantees. There’s also a $250K signing bonus, $250K in incentives and $46,875 in per game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry‘s accord is worth $1.4MM, including a $300K signing bonus and a $100K workout bonus. He could make another $500K via sack incentives and $6,250 in per game active roster bonuses (Twitter link).
  • Running back Tim Hightower‘s one-year deal with the 49ers is worth $1.107MM, including $300K guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. He can earn an extra $400K in incentives for rushing yards.
  • Tight end Gavin Escobar‘s one-year Chiefs contract is a minimum salary benefit deal worth $855K, including $95K fully guaranteed. It also comes with an $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Lions linebacker Nick Bellore also inked a minimum salary benefit contract. Like Escobar, Bellore’s contract includes an $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bengals Re-Sign Wallace Gilberry

The Bengals are re-signing Wallace Gilberry, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Heading into today, we had Gilberry ranked as the 12th-best edge defender left in free agency"<strong

Gilberry joined the Lions prior to the 2016 season and was slated to be a situational pass rusher in Detroit. After four games, he was sidelined by an abdominal injury. Detroit subsequently placed him on IR before releasing him midway through the season. When he hit the open market, the Bengals brought him back to Cincinnati.

In his first Bengals stint from 2012-15, he started in 19 games for the team and recorded 16.5 sacks with Cincinnati. Last year, he appeared in five games for the Bengals and tacked on another 2.5 sacks. For his career, Gilberry has 34 sacks across nine NFL seasons.

All of the Bengals’ free agent defensive linemen from this offseason are now spoken for, in one fashion or another. Domata Peko left for the Broncos and Margus Hunt signed with the Colts, but Gilberry will stay thanks to today’s deal.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Bengals To Sign Wallace Gilberry

The Bengals have agreed to sign Wallace Gilberry, according to a source who spoke with Jim Owczarski of The Enquirer. The Bengals will have to make a corresponding move to carve out a spot for him on the 53-man roster. Wallace Gilberry (vertical)

Gilberry auditioned for the Bengals during their bye week workouts and made a good impression on coaches. Fullback Marcel Reece, defensive tackle Jordan Hill, and tight end Justice Cunningham also showed their stuff for the Bengals on Wednesday.

Gilberry joined the Lions this offseason and was being used as a situational pass rusher. After four games, he was sidelined by an abdominal injury. Detroit subsequently placed him on IR before releasing him on Oct. 11. Before that, the 31-year-old played for the Bengals from 2012-15, starting in 19 games for the team and recording 16.5 of his 35.5 career sacks with Cincinnati.

Bengals Work Out Reece, Gilberry, Others

Since hitting the free agent market, Marcel Reece has yet to find a taker to give him a second chance. But several teams have been interested, with the Bengals being the latest after working out the veteran fullback today, Doug Kyed of NESN.com tweets.

The Bengals worked out Reece, along with their former defensive end Wallace Gilberry, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and tight end Justice Cunningham, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (Twitter links).

Cut by the Raiders on the heels of his PED suspension ending in September, the eighth-year fullback worked out for the Patriots and Jets over the past five weeks but has not played this season. The 31-year-old Reece made the Pro Bowl from 2012-14 and was a consistent outlet option for Derek Carr and previous Raiders passers during his time in Oakland.

Cincinnati does not employ a traditional fullback presently but does house four tight ends.

Gilberry signed a one-year deal with the Lions this offseason but was cut last month. The 31-year-old pass-rusher played for the Bengals from 2012-15, starting in 19 games for the team and recording 16.5 of his 35.5 career sacks with Cincinnati. He’s played in four games this season, starting one.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/16

Tuesday is workout day in the NFL, and today was no different. Due to the sheer volume of today’s auditions, we’ll split up the reports by conference:



Minor NFL Transactions: 10/11/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Lions waived linebacker Steve Longa and released defensive end Wallace Gilberry from the reserve/injured list, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com tweets. Gilberry, 32 in December, has posted 31.5 career sacks.
  • The Giants have promoted linebacker Deontae Skinner from their practice squad, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). To open a roster spot, New York waived defensive tackle Montori Hughes.
  • In need of a roster opening after claiming cornerback Dwayne Gratz, the Rams have waived defensive lineman Morgan Cox, per Gary Myers of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Lions Claim Armonty Bryant

The Lions announced that they have claimed Armonty Bryant off waivers from the Browns. Cleveland waived the defensive end earlier this week. Armonty Bryant

Bryant, 26, is slated to return from suspension this week. The Browns gave everyone in the football world a mild surprise by waiving the defensive lineman just before he was eligible to play. Coach Hue Jackson has spoken at length about prioritizing character and it’s possible that Bryant’s off-the-field indiscretions led to his release.

Bryant was arrested in December 2015 when he was found with Adderall but without a prescription. To make room for Bryant, Detroit placed fellow defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry on injured reserve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.