Randy Bullock

AFC Notes: Revis, Thomas, Booker, Bullock

Darrelle Revis is back in the NFL after signing with the Chiefs yesterday. Now we’re learning a little more about what his new contract looks like. The 32-year-old cornerback’s deal is for two seasons and has team incentives that could up the overall value of the agreement, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport adds that Revis will receive an extra $1.75 MM if he plays in an AFC title game and an additional $1.75 MM if Kansas City wins the Super Bowl. The Jets would not be on the hook for that extra cash. It remains to be seen how effective the former All-Pro will be in his return, but he does add depth to a secondary that’s allowing the fifth most yards through the air so far this season.

  • In order to make room for Revis on the active roster, the Chiefs have waived defensive tackle Cam Thomas, reports Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. The 30-year-old defensive lineman had only played in game this season after appearing in all 16 games from 2013-2015. Releasing Thomas leaves the team without a backup nose tackle as the only backup defensive lineman on the roster are Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Jarvis Jenkins.
  • The Broncos offense has not produced this season, but the running game may change in a shift to running back Devontae Booker according to their new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, reports Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post. “Book’ has really been playing some good football,” interim offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Wednesday. “I think Book deserves more touches. Obviously, we’ll see how the game goes.” Kosmider notes that the second-year back’s workload has been increasing in the past few weeks. Booker missed the first three games of the season recovering from an injury to his wrist. He carried the ball a season-high 14 times this past Sunday. He hadn’t passed single-digit carries this entire year until the team’s game versus the Bengals in Week 11.
  • Bengals kicker Randy Bullock has missed two extra points in two weeks, which has head coach Marvin Lewis publicly noting his weak grip on the kicking job. Lewis was open about Bullock’s struggles when talking to the media yesterday, including Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com. “It does affect our patience level,” and later clarifying that “We’re committed to Randy for this week.” However, despite the fact that the team is sticking with Bullock in Week 12, it should be noted that the 27-year-old has only made about 81% of his field goal attempts in his career.

Extra Points: Anthem, Raiders, Bengals, Jets

Discussion about who stands and who sits for the national anthem could come to an end next season if the owners have their way, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske hears. Maske reports that some NFL owners think there is a “strong possibility” they could enact a change to the league’s policy next season that could keep players off the field during the playing of the national anthem.

Maske quoted one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations saying, “I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen.” He continued with the source, who said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”

The thought this action could quell attention from the league’s anthem issues is a naive one. Players in favor of demonstrating their right to protest are sure to feel disrespected, while having no one standing for the flag is certain to draw ire from a wide range of fans. Whatever the decision, the NFL isn’t likely to escape the spotlight anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Raiders  head coach Jack Del Rio issued a statement on Wednesday stating “nobody should feel comfortable” following the team’s firing of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., NBC Sports’ Scott Blair reports. Del Rio continued, saying, “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.” After starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations, the Raiders are holding out hope for a second-half revival to contend for a wildcard spot.
  • Former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey sat down with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his Know Them From Adam Podcast to give his first interview since being fired in June. In the interview, which the Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff recapped, Dorsey didn’t address his departure much outside of saying he’s had better days. He did claim he wanted to make a return to football, however. “I know I can do my job with the best with my peers in the National Football League,” Dorsey said. “I’m very proud of being able to help an organization re-establish their winning ways, and I think that’s important.”
  • When asked if the team was committed to kicker Randy Bullock for the remainder of the season, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said they were committed to him “for the week.,” ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reports. Bullock has connected on 8-of-10 field goals on the season but has missed an extra point in each of his last two games.
  • It’s getting close to time for the Jets to see what they have in Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. Though Josh McCown has played well, Mehta claims it is time to call the kids up from “Triple-A” to see what they can do.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/17

A roundup of today’s minor transactions:

  • The Cardinals signed cornerback Jarell Carter and waived/injured linebacker Alani Fua (knee) and cornerback Ronald Zamort (knee). Zamort appeared to be ahead of Brandon Williams on the Cardinals’ depth chart at the time of his season-ending ACL tear.
  • The Bengals waived kicker Jonathan Brown, which means the team’s kicking competition is down to Jake Elliott and Randy Bullock. To fill his roster spot, the Bengals signed safety Cedric Thompson.
  • The Colts claimed former Denver tight end Henry Krieger-Coble on waivers. To make room, the Colts waived tight end Colin Jeter.
  • The Eagles signed cornerback Tay Glover-Wright to a one-year contract, per a club announcement. Glover-Wright is an undrafted free agent with Utah State with just two games of NFL experience on his resume.
  • Wide receiver K.J. Maye, who played in college at Minnesota, has been signed to the Patriots‘ 90-man roster.
  • The 49ers announced that they’ve claimed wide receiver Tim Patrick off waivers from Baltimore and waived/injured fellow wideout B.J. Johnson.
  • The Chiefs have signed free agent wide receivers Corey Washington and Rob Wheelwright, and waived wide receiver Antwan Goodley and tight end Emanuel Byrd.
  • The Saints have signed former South Carolina linebacker Jonathan Walton, tweets Nick Underhill of the Advocate.

Extra Points: 49ers, Gruden, OBJ

Kyle Shanahan is widely expected to become the 49ers‘ next head coach, and now some are beginning to wonder how he will go about filling out his staff. As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes, it is unlikely that Shanahan will be able to bring many of his Atlanta assistants with him given that most of those assistants are under contract with the Falcons or are loyal to Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. However, Barrows posits that Shanahan could bring current Atlanta quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur to the Bay Area and install him as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. LaFleur — who would also be a candidate to replace Shanahan as the Falcons’ OC — has worked with Shanahan for eight seasons in Atlanta, Washington, and Houston.

Barrows’ sources also suggest that Bears’ assistant special-teams coach Richard Hightower could become the 49ers’ special teams coordinator. Hightower worked under Shanahan in 2014 as an offensive quality control coach for the Browns.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes from around the league as we anxiously await next week’s Super Bowl:

  • Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com does not believe that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is on the hot seat, as some have speculated. Tandler is unsure if Gruden could survive a 6-10 or worse showing in 2017, but he does not believe it’s playoffs or bust for Gruden, who will be entering his fourth year as Washington’s head coach.
  • There is no rush for the Giants to pursue an extension for Odell Beckham, Jr., as James Kratch of NJ.com writes. Between his current rookie deal, the fifth-year option, and the franchise tag, OBJ is locked into the Giants’ roster until at least 2021, so while his future with the team is certainly not in question, New York can afford to wait while they work through their concerns with Beckham.
  • Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, one of the top three quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class, will not participate in the Senior Bowl despite the Browns‘ specifically requesting that he do so. Although the Browns were reportedly not planning to use their No. 1 overall selection on Watson, Mary Kat Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests that Watson’s decision not only denied him the chance to change the team’s mind in that regard, it may make it tougher for Cleveland to select him with their No. 12 overall choice.
  • Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin sat down with Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer to discuss a number of issues, including the 2017 draft and backup quarterback A.J. McCarron. Tobin also mentioned that, although the club re-signed kicker Randy Bullock, Bullock will have an open competition with rookie kickers and/or veteran free agents.
  • David Culley, who worked as Andy Reid‘s wide receivers coach with the Eagles and Chiefs, agreed to become the Bills‘ new quarterbacks coach last week. Per Reid, the 60-year-old Culley still harbors aspirations of becoming a head coach, so he did not want to block his longtime assistant from moving up the coaching ladder (article via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star).
  • The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020, but commissioner Roger Goodell and team owners owners have expressed an interest in extending the CBA, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes. However, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says that the union will not agree to an extension without renegotiation of certain key issues, though he did not specify what those issues are.

Bengals Re-Sign Randy Bullock

The Bengals have re-signed kicker Randy Bullock, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Details of the deal are not yet available.

Randy Bullock

The 27-year-old Bullock was a member of three teams, including the Giants and Steelers, in 2016. He didn’t join Cincinnati until mid-December, when the club released Mike Nugent and claimed Bullock off waivers from AFC North rival Pittsburgh. Bullock then converted 5 of 6 field goal attempts and connected on all six of his extra points in three games with the Bengals, who were impressed enough to bring him back. However, Bullock isn’t guaranteed to end up as the team’s solution at kicker in 2017.

Bullock, who entered the NFL as Houston’s fifth-round pick in 2012, has seen regular-season action with five teams. Along the way, he has nailed 83 of 102 field goals – good for an 81.4 percent success rate. Since the league increased the distance of the PAT in 2015, Bullock has gone 31 of 35 (89 percent) on extra points.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Cousins, Jets, Steelers, Bengals

The Jets’ decision to hire Todd Bowles as their head coach instead of Dan Quinn in 2015 may have cost them a chance to acquire then-backup quarterback Kirk Cousins from the Redskins, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Quinn’s offensive coordinator in Atlanta, Kyle Shanahan, would have come with him to New York but would not have wanted to work with Geno Smith, sources told Mehta. Shanahan would have pushed to acquire Cousins, whom he knew from their time together in Washington in 2012. A big Cousins fan, Shanahan was reportedly “integral” in the Redskins’ drafting of the ex-Michigan State signal-caller. Along with Shanahan, Quinn would have brought former Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik with him to work in the Jets’ front office. Dominik is close with Redskins president Bruce Allen, and their friendship could have further helped lead the way to a Cousins trade, writes Mehta.

As we ponder what could have been, here’s more from New York and a few other AFC cities:

  • While Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is considering retirement, it will be a surprise if the 13th-year man doesn’t return in 2017, sources told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In the seemingly likely event Roethlisberger does come back for his age-35 season, the Steelers should still give serious thought to using a high-round pick on a potential successor, opines Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
  • The Jets’ previously reported interest in Saints wide receivers coach John Morton has already led to an interview. The two sides met Tuesday, and Morton remains in the running for the job, reports Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.
  • It appeared the NFL had lifted running back Karlos Williams‘ 10-game suspension when the Steelers brought him back on a reserve/futures deal Monday, but that’s not the case. Williams still has one game remaining on the substance abuse-related ban the league handed him in November, tweets Fowler. He’ll be eligible to take the field again in Week 2 of next season.
  • The belief is that the Bengals are talking to pending free agent kicker Randy Bullock about a new contract, writes Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. Re-signing Bullock wouldn’t stop the Bengals from searching for other options at the position, notes Hobson. The 27-year-old Bullock didn’t join the Bengals until mid-December, when they claimed him off waivers from division-rival Pittsburgh after releasing Mike Nugent. Bullock, who was a member of three teams in 2016 (the Giants were the other), connected on 5 of 6 field goal tries and all six extra points in three games with Cincinnati.
  • The Broncos made a minor change to their Vance Joseph-led staff Tuesday, promoting special teams quality control coach Chris Gould to assistant special teams coach. They’re also set to retain Klint Kubiak, the son of previous Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, as their offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Bengals Cut Mike Nugent, Claim Randy Bullock

The Bengals are making a change at kicker. The team announced that Mike Nugent has been dropped in favor of free agent Randy Bullock, whom Cincinnati claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh.Mike Nugent (Vertical)

The NFL extended the distance of the extra point this year and Nugent hasn’t adapted well. On Sunday, Nugent missed his sixth XP of the season and also went 1-of-2 on field goal tries. For the year, he has made 23 of his 29 attempts, which is more or less in line with his career field goal percentage. Still, the PAT issue was maddening for Cincinnati and they’re moving on to another veteran. Nugent leaves the Bengals as the team’s third-leading scorer of all-time.

Bullock now gets a three-game audition for the Bengals, or perhaps another team that would be interested in him for 2017. Bullock, 26, was the Giants’ kicker during their season opener as Josh Brown served his one-game suspension. Recently, he served as the Steelers’ place kicker while Chris Boswell was out of action.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/12/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Former Hard Knocks favorite Charles James has made his way to the Colts‘ 53-man roster after the team signed him, per Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com (on Twitter), in the wake of placing three players — including starters Jack Mewhort and Clayton Geathers — on IR. James played in 12 games for the Texans this season, making 12 tackles. The team waived James last week after re-signing him as an exclusive-rights free agent in March.
  • The Falcons waived offensive lineman Kevin Graf, who had spent the season vacillating between the practice squad and Atlanta’s 53-man roster.
  • The Eagles plan to sign RB Byron Marshall to their 53 man roster from the practice squad this week, NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks reports (on Twitter). Marshall’s signing fills out Philly’s roster after the team made a host of moves today, including moving Wendell Smallwood to IR and signing Dwayne Gratz. Marshall will fill in behind Ryan Mathews and Kenjon Barner for now, with Darren Sproles residing in concussion protocol.
  • The Steelers promoted wide receiver Demarcus Ayers to the 53-man roster, as Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette tweets. To make room, kicker Randy Bullock has been cut. Ayers was a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.
  • The Titans have promoted defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad to the 53-man roster and waived running back David Fluellen, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com reports. Abdesmad caught on with Tennessee in May as a UDFA.

Steelers Sign Randy Bullock

Steelers kicker Chris Boswell was listed as questionable on the team’s latest injury report, so the team has signed another kicker as insurance. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (via Twitter) that the Steelers have signed veteran kicker Randy Bullock. To make room on the roster, the team has released cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz (via Bouchette).

Randy BullockBullock, 26, was the Giants’ kicker during their season opener as Josh Brown served his one-game suspension. The former fifth-rounder made two of his three extra point attempts, and he was subsequently waived by the team in mid-September. Since then, Bullock has gotten auditions with both the Bengals and Vikings. In three-plus seasons in the NFL, Bullock has connected on 80.6-percent of his field goal attempts and nearly 96-percent of his extra point attempts. Bullock has also been productive on kickoffs, averaging 65.9-yards per kick during his career.

Boswell, 25, had a breakout season in 2015, connecting on 90.6-percent of his field goals. However, that number has dropped this season, as the kicker has only connected on 75-percent of his field goal attempts. Boswell is currently recovering from an abdominal injury, according to Bouchette.

Shabazz, an undrafted rookie out of West Chester in 2015, has bounced between the Steelers’ active roster and practice squad this season. In five career games, the cornerback has collected one tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Audition Kickers

The Vikings are set to audition a group of kickers on Tuesday, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter). The workout will include Kai Forbath, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Randy Bullock is also likely to be a part of that group, but it’s not clear who else will be participating. In total, there should be four or five kickers in attendance, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).Randy Bullock (vertical)

On Sunday, Blair Walsh missed an extra point attempt and had a field goal blocked as the Vikings lost to the Lions 22-16. This year, Walsh is just 12-16 on field goal attempts, though it should be noted that three of those misses came from more than 40 yards away.

Bullock was part of a group of kickers that worked out for the Bengals recently, along with Zach Hocker and Forbath. As of right now, the Bengals have not made a change at kicker and are forging ahead with Mike Nugent. Bullock served as the Giants’ kicker in the season opener while Josh Brown served his (initial) one-game suspension.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.