R.J. Webb

East Rumors: Ansah, Bills, Scherff, Cowboys

The Bills do not appear ready to concede they are losing the Ziggy Ansah race. It is unclear what terms have been exchanged between Ansah and the teams pursuing him, but Brandon Beane does not believe the Seahawks are the favorites to land the defensive end.

We’re still in talks with him and his agent,” Beane said during an interview with 1270 The Fan (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, on Twitter). “Everything has been very good. All I’ll say about reports (regarding Seattle is emerging as favorite) is I don’t buy into that garbage, especially when I consider where some of the sourcing comes from.”

While the Seahawks have a more immediate need for edge rushers, the Bills recently declined perpetual trade candidate Shaq Lawson‘s fifth-year option and have Jerry Hughes in a contract year. Ansah visited the Bills in March, but the rehabbing lineman was not expected to sign until at least April. It appears the finish line is near for the soon-to-be 30-year-old sack artist’s decision.

Here is the latest news coming out of the Eastern divisions:

  • A torn pectoral muscle ended Brandon Scherff‘s fourth season, but there do not appear to be any complications in his return. Scherff expects to be ready for Redskins training camp. The fifth-year guard said (via Redskins.com) he was at around 90 percent when the Redskins started their offseason program late last month. In February, we heard Washington and its top guard began discussing an extension. But nothing has emerged on that front since. Scherff is entering his fifth-year option season.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Cowboys have a host of extension candidates. While Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper have emerged as the clubhouse leaders to be signed first, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones included Ezekiel Elliott in that conversation. Jones called Elliott “every bit as important,” per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). It still looks like Elliott, under contract through 2020, will take a backseat to Cooper and Prescott for the time being. The Cowboys have a history of overworking running backs as their rookie deals wind down, as DeMarco Murray‘s final Dallas season showed, but Jones is saying the right things regarding the team wanting Elliott in the fold long-term.
  • Jones also mentioned Jaylon Smith, La’el Collins and Byron Jones as players the team would like to address. “I feel very good that we’re going to strategically work through getting guys like Dak and Amari and Zeke done. And I think we can still do others,” Jones said (via Machota, on Twitter). Each is going into a contract year, with Collins having already signed two NFL deals despite entering the league at the same time as Cooper and Jones. But it will be difficult for the Cowboys to retain all three members of this section of their extension queue, given how much Prescott, Cooper and Elliott will cost.
  • The Bills reshuffled their scouting department recently. Former Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, in his fourth year in Buffalo, is now a senior national scout with the Bills. Buffalo also hired A.J. Highsmith and Mike Szabo as area scouts. A.J. Highsmith, a 49ers staffer over the past five years, is the son of Browns executive Alonzo Highsmith. The Bills also announced Asil Mulbah received a promotion, becoming a pro scout, and that R.J. Webb is now on board as a scouting assistant.

Minor Moves: Packers, Panthers, Lions, 49ers

Here are today’s minor transactions, our post for rounding up cuts of little-used players, under-the-radar signings, and contract restructures. Any additional moves will be included at the top of the list throughout the afternoon and evening….

  • Wide receiver Sederrik Cunningham has been waived by the Packers, says Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette (via Twitter). As Hodkiewicz notes, Cunningham missed last season after injuring his wrist on the first day of training camp.
  • The Panthers have cut wide receiver R.J. Webb, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Webb spent last season on injured reserve after being signed by Carolina as an undrafted free agent.
  • Defensive end Kourtnei Brown has been claimed off waivers by the Lions, tweets Wilson. Brown, who has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game, had been cut by the Bills yesterday.

Earlier updates:

  • CFL standout Alex Hall has signed with the Panthers, according to the team’s Twitter account. Hall, a former Giant and Brown who played his college ball at St. Augustine’s in Raleigh, racked up 16 sacks last season for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The pass rusher visited the Titans earlier this week.
  • The 49ers have waived wide receiver Brandon Carswell, the club announced today in a press release. Carswell signed with the Niners last June, but suffered a torn ACL during his first practice with the team, and subsequently spent the season on injured reserve.