Ra'Zahn Howard

Texans Cut Ra’Zahn Howard, Others

The Texans are working to get down to a 75-man roster and Ra’Zahn Howard won’t be a part of it. The Texans released the rookie today, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).

The Texans have also informed wide receiver Josh Lenz that he’s not in their future plans (Twitter link). Same goes for tackle Matt Pierson, linebacker Carlos Thompson, tackle Arturo Uzdavinis, and linebacker Ryan Langford, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 (on Twitter). Ra'Zahn Howard (Vertical)

Howard went undrafted in this year’s supplemental draft, making him a free agent. Shortly after the draft ended with zero players selected, the Texans signed Howard to a deal which included a signing bonus.

Howard, who stands 6’3″ and 310 pounds, was suspended for academic reasons in January and initially planned on transferring from Purdue to another school. However, he changed his mind and opted to go pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/20/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Lions signed defensive end/outside linebacker Quanterus Smith, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Smith inked a reserve/futures deal with Jacksonville in January but was waived by the team last month. The Western Kentucky product saw time in 15 games for the Broncos in 2014.
  • The Bengals have waived cornerback Corey Tindal, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Tindal, who joined the Bengals as a UDFA, was the victim of an armed robbery earlier this month. With Tindal out of the picture, the Bengals currently have an open spot on their 90-man roster.
  • The Bears have waived quarterback Dalyn Williams, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. With Williams out of the picture, the Bears are now down to four quarterbacks, as shown on their Roster Resource page.
  • The Packers have reached the 90-man roster limit by signing cornerback Warren Gatewood of Alcorn State, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Texans have waived/injured cornerback Richard Leonard, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Houston need to open a roster spot for defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard, the supplemental draft entry whom the club officially signed today.

Texans To Sign Ra’Zahn Howard

The Texans are signing former Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Howard went undrafted in today’s supplemental draft, making him a free agent.

Howard’s deal includes a signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter), which implies that at least one other team had interest in the Purdue product besides the Texans. Howard is currently tipping the scales at 317 pounds but hopes to report to training camp at 310 pounds.

Many viewed Howard as the strongest player out of this bunch and early projections had him going somewhere between rounds five and seven. However, Howard apparently flopped in a recent workout for NFL teams, prompting one GM to label him as “undraftable.” Apparently, 31 other GMs agreed, but Rick Smith did see him as deserving of a 90-man roster spot.

Howard, who stands 6’3″ and 310 pounds, was suspended for academic reasons in January and had actually announced last month that he would transfer from Purdue. However, he changed his mind about attending another school, choosing instead to make a run at the NFL. Howard appeared in 24 games across three years for the Boilermakers, posting 47 tackles and three sacks.

Supplemental Draft Ends, No Players Chosen

Well, that was fast. The 2016 Supplemental Draft has come and gone without a single player chosen, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Ra'Zahn Howard (Vertical)This year’s Supplemental Draft kicked off at 12 p.m. CT but all teams passed when called upon in all rounds of the draft. All of the players who were eligible for the draft are now unrestricted free agents and free to sign with any team.

Last month, Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard became the first player to declare for the Supplemental Draft. Soon after, Virginia Tech long snapper Eddie D’Antuono, Sam Houston State running back Jalen Overstreet, Concordia College defensive end Cameron Walton, Ole Miss cornerback Tee Shepard, and Canadian wide receiver Rashaun Simonise also entered their names for consideration.

Many viewed Howard as the strongest player out of this bunch and early projections had him going somewhere between rounds five and seven. However, Howard apparently flopped in a recent workout for NFL teams, prompting one GM to label him as “undraftable.” Meanwhile, Overstreet received some good news this week when he had his felony credit card abuse charges dropped, but his cleared up legal status still did not entice any teams to pull the trigger on selecting him. Simonise reportedly had six teams in attendance for his pro day, but it’s not immediately clear if any of those teams are interested in giving him a roster spot.

The supplemental draft allows clubs to select players who, for one reason or another, were unable to enter the standard draft. If a team selects a player in the supplementary draft, it will lose its corresponding pick in the following year’s standard draft. For example, if a club were to select a player in the fourth round of the supplemental, it will lose its 2017 fourth-rounder as a result.

Most players who enter the Supplemental Draft are not selected, enabling them to sign with any NFL team. In fact, this marks the third straight year in which supplemental draft day came and went without any selections. Some of the most recent players to be picked have been Isaiah Battle (Rams, 2015), Terrelle Pryor (Raiders, 2011) by the Raiders, and Josh Gordon (Browns, 2012).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Charges Dropped For Jalen Overstreet

One of the prospects in this week’s Supplemental Draft received a bit of good news this week. Texas authorities have dropped the felony credit card abuse charges against Sam Houston State running back Jalen Overstreet, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Jalen Overstreet (vertical)

[RELATED: Six NFL Teams Meet With Supplemental Draft Prospect Rashaun Simonise]

Overstreet, who began his career at the University of Texas before being dismissed in July 2014, was indicted by a Walker County grand jury in May. If convicted, Overstreet could have faced up to two years in state prison. Beyond the alleged credit card scam, Overstreet has had other off-the-field incidents, including a marijuana possession charge and an alleged theft of an iPad. Last season, Overstreet ran for 821 yards and seven touchdowns for his FCS school.

While Overstreet’s stock may be helped by today’s development, another Supplemental Draft prospect may have hurt his stock at a recent audition. Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard was unimpressive in his June 8th workout for NFL teams, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears. One GM told Cole that Howard appeared to be out of shape and is therefore “undraftable.” This news is somewhat surprising as NFL GMs who spoke to Cole just one week ago expected Howard to perhaps be the only player selected in Friday’s draft. Before his poor showing, Cole was hearing that Howard could have gone somewhere between the fifth and seventh-round.

The supplemental draft allows clubs to select players who, for one reason or another, were unable to enter the standard draft. If a team selects a player in the supplementary draft, it will lose its corresponding pick in the following year’s standard draft. For example, if a club were to select a player in the fourth round of the supplemental, it will lose its 2017 fourth-rounder as a result. Most players who enter the Supplemental Draft are not selected, enabling them to sign with any NFL team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cole’s Latest: Bolts, Von, Supplemental Draft

The California State Supreme Court’s decision last week to review a lower court’s ruling that stated merely a simple majority was necessary to approve a downtown San Diego stadium measure rather than the traditional two-thirds majority dealt a blow to the Chargers‘ aspirations in their city. Enough so that the franchise is once again considering Los Angeles, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report notes (video link).

With the team not expecting a two-thirds majority to approve public funds to be put toward a new Chargers downtown stadium, they are reconsidering the league’s Los Angeles offer. But they’re not immediately keen on sharing a stadium with the Rams in Inglewood. Rather, the Chargers are revisiting the City of Industry site — a 600-acre locale eventually discarded in favor of the Inglewood and Carson projects during the three-pronged Los Angeles pursuit — due to its Eastern Los Angeles County location (22 miles from downtown L.A.) being viewed within the organization as a better way to attract fans from Orange County and the Inland Empire region of L.A., Cole reports.

The Chargers do not believe their downtown San Diego stadium measure can pass at a 66.6% requirement and do not want to continue playing at the Mission Valley site that’s been their home since initially moving from Los Angeles in 1961. They reached a deal in principle to join the Rams in Inglewood but used that as leverage against San Diego earlier this year. Those prospects are fleeting right now, however, bringing the dormant Chargers-to-L.A. talk back to the forefront.

Here’s more from Cole, beginning with the latest coming out of Denver.

  • The Broncos could soon present Von Miller with a new offer, Cole hears (video link), after they reached out to him last week. But if that offer does not contain $60MM in guaranteed money, Miller will reportedly not sign. Denver has until July 15 to reach a deal with Miller and hopes to avoid the prospect of the All-Pro linebacker sitting out the season. Although such a prospect seems extreme considering how much Miller would stand to lose by doing so, Cole notes that is still his position if the sides cannot agree on terms.
  • NFL GMs who spoke to Cole (video link) expect Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard to be selected in the supplemental draft, which is set for July 14. However, two GMs who discussed these prospects with Cole do not anticipate any of the other five players whose names are in the supplemental pool to be taken. Howard, though, is expected to be chosen between the fifth and seventh round, with the drafting team forfeiting that pick in the 2017 draft by doing so.

Extra Points: NFL-NBA, Supp. Draft, Spillman

Several NFL players took to social media Friday to post incredulous reactions to the big money thrown around at the outset of NBA free agency, as ESPN.com highlights. Among those who weighed in were Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams and Lions tight end Eric Ebron. One of Sanders’ teammates, safety, T.J. Ward, had perhaps the strongest and most controversial response, referring to the money NFLers are making as “peanuts” compared to NBA and Major League Baseball players. As a result, ESPN’s Jim Trotter (Twitter link) expects the dollars bandied about in the NBA to come up when union meetings with NFL players take place at training camp. The system in the NFL favors the owners, meaning the players don’t have the ability to institute real change, Trotter notes (Twitter link).

To keep up with all the latest from the NBA, bookmark Hoops Rumors and follow HR on Twitter.

Back to the NFL…

  • In addition to Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard – who declared for the July 14 supplemental draft last week – the league has given eligibility to Cameron Walton (Concordia College), running back Jalen Overstreet (Sam Houston State), defensive back Tee Shepard (Mississippi), wide receiver Rashaun Simonise (Canada) and long snapper Eddie D’Antuono (Virginia Tech), reports The Associated Press. Given that he’s almost completely deaf, Shepard’s story is the most interesting of the group, and the defender insisted when he left the Ole Miss program last October that his hearing problems have never served as an impediment on the field. Mississippi’s coaches disagreed, though, according to a frustrated Shepard. If an NFL team selects any of these players, it’ll have to surrender a corresponding pick in the 2017 draft. That means a player who goes in, say, the fourth round of the supplemental draft would cost his new team a fourth-rounder in next spring’s draft.
  • Returning to the basketball-football connection, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson has shifted his focus to becoming an NFL wideout, writes ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia. The 32-year-old previously tried out for the Seahawks as a defensive back, and head coach Pete Carroll suggested that Robinson take a shot at receiver. The former dunk champion is now working with trainer Dwayne Frampton, whose other clients include Odell Beckham Jr. and DeSean Jackson.
  • One year after his arrest, former NFL cornerback C.J. Spillman has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault, reports FOX 4 News in Texas (via Twitter). Spillman, 30, played with the Chargers, 49ers and Cowboys from 2009-14.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Ra’Zahn Howard To Enter Supplemental Draft

Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard will enter the 2016 supplemental draft, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who also reports that Howard will hold a pro day in New Jersey on July 8. While no exact date has been set for this years’ supplemental draft, the event has taken place on the second Thursday of July in past years, so July 14 looks like an option.Ra'Zahn Howard (Vertical)

Howard, who stands 6’3″ and 310 pounds, was suspended for academic reasons in January and had actually announced last month that he would transfer from Purdue, according to Gold and Black. Clearly, he’s changed his mind about attending another school, and he’ll now attempt to make it in the NFL after appearing in 24 games — posting 47 tackles and three sacks — during three years in West Lafayette. According to Hammer and Nails, SB Nation’s Purdue blog, Howard was massive defensive tackle who essentially “took up space” in the middle of the Boilermakers’ line.

The supplemental draft allows clubs to select players who for some reason were unable to enter the standard draft; academic trouble or disciplinary issues are often – but not always – key factors. If a team selects a player in the supplementary draft, it will lose its corresponding pick in the following year’s standard draft. For example, if a club were to select a player in the fourth round of the supplemental, it will lose its 2017 fourth-rounder as a result.

Most players who enter the supplemental draft ultimately go undrafted, allowing them to become free agents and sign with any team. That has been the case over the last two years, as supplemental draft day came and went without any selections. The last two players to be picked were Isaiah Battle (Rams, 2015), Terrelle Pryor (Raiders, 2011) by the Raiders, and Josh Gordon (Browns, 2012).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.