Roger Lewis

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/10/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 9/25/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • C Dillon Day, T Gerhard de Beer, T Christian DiLauro, DT David Parry (link)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Christian DiLauro (link)

Tennessee Titans

West Rumors: Chiefs, Hawks, Rams, Tryouts

With Patrick Mahomes being arguably the NFL MVP through two weeks, the Chiefs are exiting a tough two-game stretch — road assignments against the Chargers and Steelers — at 2-0. They’ve done this without their defensive centerpiece. Eric Berry‘s been bothered by a nagging heel injury and hasn’t practice since early August. However, the three-time All-Pro safety is improving in his recovery and may be ready to practice this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The cancer survivor was already trying to surmount his second severe NFL injury, having also missed most of the 2011 season prior to tearing his Achilles’ tendon in Week 1 of last year, and is important for a Chiefs defense that’s struggled in shootout wins.

Here’s the latest out of the Wests entering the Seahawks-Bears Monday tilt.

  • Mychal Kendricks will play plenty in his Seahawks debut Monday night, John Schneider said (Twitter link via Stacy Jo Rost of ESPN 710). Austin Calitro will be Seattle’s middle linebacker in place of the injured Bobby Wagner, Schneider said, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times expects Kendricks to primarily play on the weak side (Twitter link). He’s working with the starters in warmups, per Condotta (on Twitter). Kendricks is facing an NFL suspension for his insider trading charge but is appealing and is thus allowed to play tonight.
  • Rams practice squad center Aaron Neary‘s run into trouble. He was arrested Sunday for suspicion of DUI and hit and run charges, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports. Neary’s blood-alcohol level of .17 was more than twice the legal limit, and Thiry adds he was booked into the Ventura County Jail. Neary came to the Rams recently, after being waived by the Browns to create roster space for Anthony Zettel. He spent most of last season on the Rams’ practice squad, playing in one 2017 game, but may have trouble keeping that spot.
  • Clive Walford ventured to Kansas City for a Chiefs workout on Monday, Rapoport tweets. The former Raiders tight end was a Jets cut this summer. After being a regular in Oakland’s passing game in 2015-16, the one-time third-round pick only caught nine passes for 80 yards last season.
  • The Raiders‘ affinity for 30-somethings this offseason should be well known, and Jon Gruden said the team would have signed Clinton McDonald in March had a medical issue not intervened, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). McDonald signed with the Broncos, but they reworked his contract because of an injury. He’s now with the Raiders, having made his Raider debut in Denver.
  • Joe Callahan was among a contingent that worked out for the Raiders on Monday, Gehlken tweets. The now-well-traveled backup quarterback was most recently with the Eagles during the preseason. Quarterback Kyle Allen, tight end Billy Brown, running back Orleans Darkwa, wide receivers Roger Lewis and Hunter Sharp also auditioned for the Silver and Black, per NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter). The Colts, Jets, Bills, Patriots (twice) and Redskins have brought in Darkwa for workouts this year.
  • Former Broncos backup inside linebacker Zaire Anderson will work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Anderson spent three years with the Broncos — 2015-17, being on Denver’s practice squad during its Super Bowl season — before being a post-preseason cut. Also working out for the Cardinals: linebacker Nigel Harris, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).

Lions Work Out CB David Amerson

The Lions auditioned a host of free agents including cornerback David Amerson last week, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter links).

Amerson inked a one-year deal with the Chiefs after being cut by the Raiders, but he essentially played himself out of a roster spot on a club that needed all the help it could get in the secondary. The 26-year-old defensive back made 42 starts with Washington and Oakland from 2014-16, but injuries and ineffectiveness have limited his production since that time.

Detroit currently has five cornerbacks on its roster in Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Teez Tabor, Jamal Agnew, and Dee Virgin, while safety Quandre Diggs also moonlights as a slot corner. Amerson could give the Lions more depth in the back end, but he hasn’t historically contributed on special teams, a problem for a reserve player.

Here’s the full list of players Detroit worked out, per Balzer:

NFL Workout Updates: 9/5/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Minnesota Vikings

Philadelphia Eagles

Giants Lock In 53-Man Roster

The Giants will head into the 2018 season without one of their longest-tenured players and one of their 2017 starting safeties, with both Mark Herzlich and Darian Thompson failing to make the team.

A 2017 fifth-round pick, edge defender Avery Moss missed out as well. As did Roger Lewis, a wideout who became needed when the Giants became decimated at receiver last season.

The Giants also released recently signed cornerback Leonard Johnson, who was trying to make a fifth NFL franchise’s 53-man roster. The former Buccaneer, Patriot, Panther and Bill started seven games with Buffalo last season.

Here’s the full list of Giants cuts:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation

Placed on IR:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

  • DL R.J. McIntosh

Suspended:

NFC Rumors: Freeman, Giants, Eagles, Vikings

The Falcons are set to begin training camp this week, but Thomas Dimitroff said he’ll be focused on working out a contract with running back Devonta Freeman. The general manager told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure that he’d like to have a deal finalized by Thursday at the latest (Twitter link).

We’ve heard reports throughout the offseason that the two sides would ultimately agree on a new deal, with owner Arthur Blank recently stating that an extension was coming “fairly soon.” Meanwhile, while Freeman is obviously seeking a new contract, he’s more than willing to wait for a deal that is reflective of his talent. Over the past two years, the running back has collected at least 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns per season, and he’s averaged 63 receptions during that same span.

Last week, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wondered if the extension delay could be attributed to uneasy negotiations. Earlier today, former agent Joel Corry tweeted that Freeman’s camp should “insist” that the recently-rejected contract offer to Le’Veon Bell “reflects the top” of the running back market.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis is no longer facing charge of operating a vehicle while impaired, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Of course, the 23-year-old could still face punishment from the NFL even though he is legally in the clear. Last year, Lewis appeared in 13 games for the G-Men and finished with seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
  • It sounds like Eagles fifth round pick Shelton Gibson may be a longshot to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster. The wide receiver is “by no means where he wants to be or where we want him to be,” said head coach Doug Pederson (Twitter link via Brandon Lee Gowton of SB Nation).
  • Meanwhile, Pederson discussed the Eagles‘ decision to move on from receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was waived earlier this month. “With the additions of some of the young guys picked up this spring, we just felt like it was in his interest and our best interest to let him find another suitor and keep developing our younger guys in that role,” Pederson said (via Zach Berman of Philly.com). The former second-round pick was traded to the Eagles last offseason, and he finished his lone season in Philly with 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns.
  • With Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon ahead of him on the Vikings‘ depth chart, C.J. Ham knows that playing fullback gives him the best chance at making the 53-man roster, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune writes. Although he is still listed as a running back, the Vikings have been transitioning him to fullback since the middle of OTAs. The Vikings are unsure as to whether they’ll carry a true fullback or if they’ll just rely on reserve tight ends to do some lead blocking. “That’s part of the [evaluation]; Do we keep a fullback on the roster or do we add more tight ends,” said head coach Mike Zimmer. “That should all shake out here in this preseason. If a guy is going to play say 10 plays a game, he’s also got to be really good on special teams to make the squad.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Giants WR Roger Lewis Arrested For OVI

Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis was arrested on Sunday and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, the Reynoldsburg, Ohio Police Department confirmed (via James Kratch of NJ Advance Media on Twitter). TMZ Sports first reported the arrest yesterday. Neither the player nor the Giants have commented, and Lewis will presumably face potential discipline from the NFL.

Roger LewisLewis was reportedly pulled over when officers observed him speeding in a vehicle with “overly tinted windows.” The officers noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and they observed that the 23-year-old appeared to be impaired. The wideout “was released from jail on his own recognizance,” according to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com.

The 2016 undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green appeared in 13 games (one start) for New York last season, hauling in seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis also collected five tackles on special teams.

Lewis was competing with Dwayne Harris and Tavarres King for snaps behind Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: L. Williams, Giants, Zumwalt

Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams was one of the more impressive rookies in the league in 2015, and with a full professional season under his belt, he says he is ready to take his game to the next level. Said Williams, “I know the playbook now, so I don’t have to think as much when I’m out there, I can just play. It’s less pressure now that I’m not a rookie anymore, and I don’t have to have that tag or label on me. It’s just been more comfortable overall this year” (article via Kaylee Pofahl of The New York Post).

After racking up 63 tackles and three sacks last season, Williams indicated that he has put a special emphasis on his pass rush during offseason workouts in an effort to become a more complete player. As Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com writes, Williams and defensive line cohort Sheldon Richardson are two big reasons why New York has not made more of an effort to sign Muhammad Wilkerson to a long-term deal.

Now let’s take a look at some more links from around the league:

  • Mark Herzlich, despite being a former undrafted free agent who is neither a star nor a starter, has defied the odds and has played five seasons in the NFL, all with the Giants, with season number six right around the corner. He is by all accounts a good person whose battle with cancer has been inspirational and, thus far, successful, but his on-field contributions have been fairly limited. However, even though one of Herzlich’s biggest fans in former head coach Tom Coughlin is gone, he still has plenty of supporters, including team president and co-owner John Mara. As Paul Schwartz of The New York Post writes, Herzlich has simply made himself exceedingly popular both on and off the field, and therefore difficult to cut. There is something to be said for positive influences in a locker room, and Herzlich’s contributions in that regard have allowed him to carve out a surprising NFL career.
  • Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis, who signed with the club as a UDFA this year, was charged with two counts of raping a girl, with whom he had prior sexual relations, when he was 18. He ultimately was acquitted of one of the charges and pleaded down another for an admission he lied to police during the investigation, and he now has the opportunity to live out his NFL dream, despite not hearing his name called on draft weekend. He has draft-worthy ability, but teams likely shied away from him as a result of the not-too-distant criminal charges, as Matt Schneldman of The New York Post writes. As a UDFA on a team loaded with wide receiver talent, Lewis has a major uphill battle to make Big Blue’s roster, but at this point he is playing with house money and is simply grateful for the chance to play and to further remove himself from his troubled past. He has shown flashes in offseason workouts and could get a chance with another club if he is unable to land a spot with the Giants.
  • Jordan Zumwalt, the Steelers‘ sixth-round pick in 2014, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons on injured reserve with a hip injury, and the hip surgery that ended his 2015 campaign before it started took over five hours to complete and included a brutal recovery/rehabilitation period. Now hopefully healthy, Zumwalt has been working exclusively at inside linebacker in offseason workouts, as Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, and he still has a chance to make the club in that role as the Steelers seek to replace Sean Spence and Terence Garvin. The odds, however, remain stacked against him.
  • Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune looks at five veteran Buccaneers who could be on the roster bubble, a list headlined by tight end Brandon Myers and right tackle Gosder Cherilus.

Giants Sign Eli Apple, Other Draftees, 14 UDFAs

It’s been a busy morning for the Giants as their rookie minicamp opens. The team announced today that it has signed four draft picks, including first-round cornerback Eli Apple, along with 14 undrafted free agents.Eli Apple

In addition to locking up Apple, the Giants have signed second-round wide receiver Sterling Shepard, fifth-round running back Paul Perkins, and sixth-round tight end Jerell Adams. Only the team’s third- and fourth-round picks – safety Darian Thompson and linebacker B.J. Goodson – remain unsigned.

Apple’s four-year rookie contract will feature a fifth-year option for 2020, and is worth $15.152MM in total, including a $9.22MM signing bonus. The other rookie deals are far more modest, including Shepard’s, which has a total value of $5.945MM, with a $2.523MM signing bonus.

Here’s the complete list of 14 undrafted free agents that have joined the Giants: