Rod Smith

Raiders Make Flurry Of Roster Moves

Oakland is coming off three straight lopsided defeats, and in the wake of the embarrassments Jon Gruden is reshuffling his roster. The Raiders are waiving veteran defensive players D.J. Swearinger, Preston Brown, and Terrell McClain while signing running back Rod Smith, the team announced today.

They also placed rookie tight end Foster Moreau on injured reserve, which was expected. Oakland has given up at least 40 points in back to back weeks, and Gruden made it clear he isn’t happy with the defensive effort. Brown, an inside linebacker, had been with the Bengals for most of this season and was starting for them before he was scooped up by the Raiders prior to this week’s loss to the Titans. Brown started almost every game for the Bills from 2014-17, but he lasted only one game with Oakland. McClain started the season with Kansas City before latching on with the Raiders for the last few games.

Swearinger was picked up by Oakland after the Cardinals cut him earlier this season, and he started three of his four games with the Raiders including their most recent loss to Tennessee. He’ll get a shot elsewhere in 2020 if not sooner. Smith is a former Cowboys backup running back, and his signing could indicate that workhorse back Josh Jacobs won’t be ready to return this week.

The shakeup comes as the Raiders’ playoff hopes have been all but dashed. Just a few weeks ago they were looking good at 6-4, but they collapsed in epic fashion. Gruden promised there would be changes following their most recent loss, and he delivered by sending almost all of their recently added guys packing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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