Rod Smith

NFL Workout Updates: 11/18/19

Today’s updates from the workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Titans Waive RB Rod Smith

Rod Smith‘s stint with the Titans has come to an end. Jim Wyatt of the team’s website reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived the veteran running back. The Titans promoted offensive lineman Daniel Munyer from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

The 2015 undrafted free agent out of Ohio State quickly found a home in Dallas, as he spent three-plus years with the Cowboys. Smith saw some extended work during Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension in 2017. Playing behind Alfred Morris, Smith ran for 232 yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. He also added 19 catches for 202 yards and one score.

However, with Zeke back in the fold for the 2018 campaign, Smith didn’t see nearly as many opportunities on offense. The running back finished the campaign with 187 total yards, although he did finish with a career-high nine special teams tackles.

Smith signed with the Giants this offseason, but after landing on injured reserve in late August, he was released with an injury settlement. The 27-year-old caught on with the Titans in early October, appearing in three games with his new squad.

Munyer, 27, has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of Colorado in 2015. The lineman appeared in a career-high 14 games for the Cardinals last season. He’s spent most of the season on the Titans practice squad.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/19

Here are today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Giants Cut Kyle Lauletta; Reach 53

The Giants waived quarterback Kyle Lauletta as a part of their moves to reach the 53-man roster limit. The move leaves Alex Tanney as the No. 3 QB behind starter Eli Manning and first-round pick Daniel Jones.

Between an October arrest and a poor professional debut, Lauletta dug himself into a bit of a hole. Although the 2018 fourth-round pick is just 24 and had enough upside to merit a mid-round selection, the 31-year-old Tanney edged him out in practice. This, perhaps, isn’t a huge surprise after the G-Men signed him to a two-year, $2.1MM contract with $775K guaranteed.

Besides Lauletta, here’s how the Giants got to the limit.

Released:

Waived/injured:

Waived off the commissioner’s exempt list:

Placed on IR:

Giants To Place RB Rod Smith On IR

One of Saquon Barkley‘s backups will head to IR. The Giants signed Rod Smith as a free agent but will place the longtime Cowboy on IR with a adductor injury, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets.

Smith joined holdovers Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins as candidates to back up Barkley. Now, Big Blue may be in the market for a waiver claim. Or two of Jerry Reese’s draft picks will stick around and reprise their roles as Barkley’s understudies, with the three-down dynamo not coming off the field especially often.

The Giants will place Smith on season-ending IR, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, who adds Perkins will make the team after missing all of last season (Twitter link). Had Big Blue carried Smith over to its 53-man roster, he would have been eligible for IR-return status later this season. Now, he’ll be shelved for 2019.

Smith averaged just 2.9 yards per carry, on 44 totes, last season. However, he was more productive in 2017, averaging 4.2 yards per handoff for a Cowboys team that lost Ezekiel Elliott to suspension midsseason.

Giants Sign RB Rod Smith

Rod Smith landed another gig backing up a Pro Bowl running back. The Giants signed the former Cowboys backup on Wednesday.

Set to transition from playing behind Ezekiel Elliott to appearing on a Saquon Barkley-fronted depth chart, Smith will change teams for the second time in his career. The former Ohio State running back began his NFL career as a Seahawk before becoming a steady backup in Dallas.

The Giants still have Jerry Reese-era draft picks Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins behind Barkley. They cut Jonathan Stewart earlier this offseason. In being a Dave Gettleman signing, Smith should challenge to become Barkley’s primary backup.

The Bengals worked out Smith last month. No known Smith audition commenced with the Giants. The 27-year-old former UDFA backed up Elliott last season, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. But in a more crowded Cowboys backfield in 2017, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound back averaged 4.2 yards per tote and scored four touchdowns. Smith also showed some outlet ability, hauling in 19 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown that season.

Barkley received 261 carries as a rookie, becoming the third first-year player in NFL history to exceed 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Gallman received 51 carries (averaging 3.5 yards per handoff), however, so some work exists behind the Giants’ three-down Pro Bowler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Work Out RB Rod Smith

One of Ezekiel Elliott‘s backups the past two seasons, Rod Smith received an opportunity to potentially catch on elsewhere.

The Bengals worked out Smith recently, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). This is the first Smith-related news of the offseason.

A former Seahawks UDFA whom the Cowboys relied upon during Elliott’s 2017 suspension, Smith totaled 434 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage during his first year as a Cowboys contributor. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry that season. However, Smith — older brother of Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith — posted just a 2.9-yard average on 44 2018 carries.

Cincinnati has not added to its backfield this offseason, but the team is fairly well-stocked with Giovani Bernard backing up Joe Mixon. Though, little depth exists behind the Bengals’ top duo. 2018 UDFA Quinton Flowers resides as the only other running back on Cincinnati’s roster.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/16/17

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/16

Thursday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Bengals have waived cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, as Jim Owczarski of The Enquirer tweets. Lewis-Harris was in his fifth year with Cincinnati, which signed him as an undrafted free agent from Chattanooga in 2012. The 27-year-old logged 26 appearances with the Bengals, including seven this season. He also racked up his first career interception in a Week 4 win over Miami this year and participated in 31.7 percent of the Bengals’ special teams snaps over their first eight games.
  • The Cowboys have cut fullback Rod Smith, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The former Ohio State Buckeye signed with the Seahawks last year as an undrafted free agent and appeared in one game with the club before it waived him. The Cowboys then claimed Smith, who suited up for 11 of their games last season and their first seven of 2016. Smith rarely touched the ball, but he did take the field for 40.2 percent of the Cowboys’ special teams snaps to begin the year.

East Notes: Jets, Fins, Jones, Cowboys, Cousins

Until Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets can come to terms, Geno Smith is the most experienced quarterback on the roster. But Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News doesn’t view Mike Maccagnan‘s repeated endorsements of the underwhelming 2013 second-rounder as comments to be taken at face value.

While the Jets and Fitzpatrick play hardball, other executives around the league are wondering what exactly the team is planning at quarterback. Should Fitzpatrick sign to play a second season in New York, Maccagnan has tossed around the idea of carrying four quarterbacks, with Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty residing in the developmental wing of the meeting room.

The Jets as an organization have discussed using the 2000 Patriots as a model for the four-QB setup. The Pats that year housed starter Drew Bledsoe, veteran backup John Friesz and developmental prospects Tom Brady and Michael Bishop. Hackenberg or Petty would theoretically be cast as Brady in the Jets’ scenario.

One NFL executive told Mehta the Jets considering carrying four passers “doesn’t make sense.” Smith and Petty would seemingly be jostling for a roster spot if the Jets were planning to employ the usual three. Mehta writes the Patriots’ thinking in 2000 was an aberration and merely hanging onto an extra signal-caller one season — at the expense of a key backup elsewhere — doesn’t equate to a franchise passer emerging from the group.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions on rookie minicamp Saturday.

  • New Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph guesses Cameron Wake will be ready to play come Week 1, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Wake is recovering from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and entering his age-34 season. The four-time Pro Bowler registered seven sacks in seven games last season before going down with the Achilles injury in October.
  • Identifying second-rounder Xavien Howard as a “six-foot guy with 5-10 corner movement skills,” Joseph said the rookie corner will vie for a Dolphins starting job with Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett, per Salguero.
  • Rex Ryan categorized Cardale Jones as a player with “a long way to go,” per an Associated Press report. “He’s got the physical gifts you look for, there’s no question about that,” Ryan said of the former Ohio State starter. “But you also notice that he’s just going through everything like, it’s spinning right now. He’s throwing behind guys. He doesn’t know where he’s going right now with it.” The Bills have Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel venturing into their contract seasons in 2016, leaving the franchise’s future unsettled. Jones was considered a potential first-round pick thanks to the tools he showed as a sophomore in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but being benched as a junior damaged his stock and relegated him into the fourth round.
  • The Cowboys are relocating Keith Smith and Rod Smith to fullback from their respective linebacker and running back positions to provide the them a better chance at making the 53-man roster, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Dallas’ fullback from 2013-15, Tyler Clutts remains a free agent. Keith Smith has played in 15 games the past two seasons as mostly a special teams cog, and Rod Smith joined the Cowboys last season after the Seahawks cut him.
  • Washington may be somewhat reluctant to invest long-term, franchise quarterback-level money in Kirk Cousins after he’d shown to be a proficient passer in just one season. But given the team’s recent deals for 2015 breakout players Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com notes Cousins’ career arc doesn’t differentiate itself much from the now-extremely well-compensated cornerback and tight end. Cousins is currently attached to the $19.953MM non-exclusive franchise tag, which he’s signed.