Xavier Nixon

Minor Moves: Thursday

Today’s minor moves..

Minor Moves: Friday

The Browns released offensive lineman Paul McQuistan earlier today, a notable transaction because the move leaves Cleveland with some dead money on its cap for the 2015 season. However, the following transactions aren’t quite as noteworthy, involving players who didn’t see the field much – or at all – in 2014, or players who won’t be receiving any guarantees on their new contracts. Here are today’s minor moves:

  • The Falcons have signed former Seahawks linebacker Allen Bradford, the team announced today in a press release. Bradford has been well-traveled since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2011, spending time with the Buccaneers, Browns, Giants, and Jaguars, in addition to playing under new Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn in Seattle. However, the 26-year-old has only appeared in 13 career regular season contests.
  • Per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have signed free agent defensive tackle Davon Coleman, who spent some time with the club during the 2014 season after signing as an undrafted free agent last spring. Machota adds that Dallas has also locked up one of its exclusive rights free agents, re-signing linebacker Cameron Lawrence. Both players figure to receive minimum-salary contracts.
  • According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Cowboys made one more transaction today, waiving linebacker DeVonte Holloman with a failed physical designation. Holloman had been on the injured reserve list all season.
  • Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon has been claimed off waivers by Washington, according to Caplan (via Twitter). Nixon, cut this week by the Colts, spent some time with Washington before heading to Indianapolis in 2013.
  • The Falcons officially removed defensive lineman Peria Jerry from the reserve/left squad list today, tweets Caplan. This was a procedural move, since Jerry announced his retirement back in July.

Colts Cut LaRon Landry, Two Others

The Colts have begun clearing cap room in anticipation of next month’s free agent period, announcing today that they’ve cut three players. According to a press release, the club has released veteran safety LaRon Landry, and waived linebacker Andrew Jackson and tackle Xavier Nixon.

Landry, a former sixth overall pick, signed a four-year deal with the Colts in 2013, which guaranteed him $11MM in his first season. However, his two seasons in Indianapolis were marred by injuries, underwhelming play, and a PED suspension which cost him four games this past year. With the 30-year-old’s cap number set to jump to $5.75MM in 2015, it makes sense that the Colts would decide to move on from Landry. The move will create $2.25MM in cap savings, reducing his cap hit to $3.5MM in dead money.

Meanwhile, Jackson, a sixth-round pick in 2014, contributed sparingly in 2014, primarily on special teams. He was arrested for careless driving and suspicion of DUI last month, which presumably prompted his release. As for Nixon, he saw limited playing time in 2014, and wasn’t effective when he played — 65 of his 99 offensive snaps for the season came in Week 16 against Dallas, and Pro Football Focus gave him a -7.8 grade for the game (subscription required).

Because Landry is a vested veteran, he’ll become a free agent immediately, and will be able to sign with any team right away, rather than having to wait until March 10. Jackson and Nixon will also be able to hit the open market early, but they’ll have to pass through waivers first.

Colts Activate Landry, Nixon; Cut Three

The Colts have announced a series of roster moves today, making changes to both their 53-man roster and practice squad. Per a team release, here are Tuesday’s transactions out of Indianapolis:



Signed to practice squad:

  • WR Eric Thomas

Cut from practice squad:

  • WR Chandler Jones

Landry, who served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, opened the season as a starter in the Colts’ secondary, but Sergio Brown has played well in his absence, so it will be interesting to see how the team divides the playing time with Landry back on the active roster. It’s worth noting that the team could have activated Landry for Week 9’s contest, but chose to take full advantage of a roster exemption, delaying the decision until it absolutely had to be made.

As for Nixon, he was placed on IR with the designation to return prior to Week 1 due to a knee injury. He figures to take over the swing tackle role held by Meredith, and shouldn’t see frequent action unless someone in front of him gets hurt.

PUP, IR-DTR Players Soon Eligible To Practice

Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the 49ers and Rams, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many of those clubs may be welcoming some players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the injured reserve list with the designation to return prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to practice.

Of course, just because those players are able to return to the practice field doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player on the PUP list could theoretically return for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest. If the player doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, he’ll revert to season-ending injured reserve.

Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform list who can begin practicing as soon as next week:

Players who began the season on the PUP list didn’t participate in any preseason practices, but that’s not the case for players on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.

That means that players who were placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing next week. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after – for instance – Week 2 will have to wait another two weeks to return to practice.

Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as next week:

Colts Sign Jamon Meredith

The Colts have made a series of roster moves this evening, including signing offensive lineman Jamon Meredith, as Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun notes (Twitter links). Indianapolis cut Tyler Hoover from practice squad and Deji Karim was removed from injured reserve with an injury settlement. Meanwhile, the Colts have added tackle Reid Fragel to the practice squad while placing Xavier Nixon on injured reserve-designated to return.

Meredith signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers for $2.7MM, with $350K in guaranteed money and up to $750K available in playing time incentives. However, Tampa Bay made the decision to let him go late last week as a part of their effort to get down to a 53-man roster. It was somewhat surprising given Meredith’s contract and his role in practice. The tackle/guard had been seeing some reps with the first-team offense, which intimated to outsiders that he could be a big part of the Bucs’ O-Line. That was not meant to be, but he’ll now try and make a mark with the Colts.

Extra Points: Herman, Finnegan, Boone, Colts

Over at ESPN.com, Jim Trotter has published an interesting piece on why teams are inclined to pay big bucks to lock up non-elite quarterbacks.

“Teams are just afraid to say, ‘Let’s start again, because we literally do not have a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl with the quarterback that we have,’” one club president told Trotter. “They’d rather have an average to above-average quarterback than wait to get a great quarterback. I think it’s more than fair to say that the fear of the unknown is greater than the fear of the known.”

Let’s check in on a few more odds and ends from around the NFL….

  • Giants offensive lineman Eric Herman has been suspended for four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. The NFLPA released a statement on behalf of Herman explaining the positive test.
  • Cornerback Cortland Finnegan tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that he considered a pitch from the Falcons this offseason before ultimately reaching an agreement with the Dolphins (Twitter link).
  • In the wake of the 49ers‘ first preseason contest, it doesn’t sound as if there has been any movement on contract talks with holdout guard Alex Boone, tweets Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.
  • As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details, former Colts running back Chris Rainey doesn’t seem to believe he should have been cut by Indianapolis for breaking team rules, and took to Twitter to vent last night. Rainey, a free agent, has since deleted the tweets.
  • The Colts’ offensive line is thinning out, with both Khaled Holmes and rookie Ulrick John suffering injuries this week. According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter), the team believes Holmes may have sprained his left ankle, which would sideline him for a few weeks. As for John, Stephen Holder of the Star reports (via Twitter) that his ankle might be broken. Meanwhile, Xavier Nixon tweeted today that he’s set to undergo surgery, presumably on the knee that his been bothering him.

Colts Notes: Fullback, Whalen, Nixon

Following the Colts minicamp, coach Chuck Pagano realized how much talent he has on his squad. Pagano relayed the message to his team:

“It will be really, really difficult to get to 53 this year,” said Pagano (via Mike Chappell of IndyStar.com). “The final cutdown is going to be difficult.”

Chappell decided to give the coach a hand and give his crack at the roster. Here are some of the more interesting notes, along with two bonus tweets from the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder…

  • At fullback, Chappell chose Mario Harvey over Stanley Havili. Harvey, a former linebacker, is switching to the offensive side of the ball. Havili has 218 career all-purpose yards.
  • The writer took LaVon Brazill and Da’Rick Rogers at wide receiver, but notes that Griff Whalen could beat out the duo.
  • For the final tight end spot, Chappell sided with Jack Doyle over Weslye Saunders, but adds that the team could very well carry four at the position.
  • Chappell envisions a year on the practice squad for seventh-round pick Ulrick John.
  • Jeris Pendleton earned Chappell’s final spot on the defensive line, but the writer warns that the job could be Brandon McKinney‘s if the veteran has regained form following his two knee injuries.
  • Holder tweets that former undrafted offensive tackle Xavier Nixon “is a keeper.” The 23-year-old made his NFL debut last season.
  • Holder also tweets that rookie wideout Donte Moncrief has looked good and is making coaches excited.