Roosevelt Nix

North Notes: Packers, Lions, Ansah, Steelers

Now that the Packers seemingly have their backfield set for the foreseeable future, they could consider moving Ty Montgomery back to wide receiver, opines Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Montgomery moved to running back late in the 2016 campaign, and entered last season as Green Bay’s starter. However, as some had predicted, Montgomery wasn’t able to hold up as a full-time runner, and managed only 71 carries on the season. The Packers drafted three running backs in 2017, and two of them — Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones — gave early indications that they can become the foundation of a solid rushing attack. Green Bay’s wide receiving corps is less stable, however, as Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb could conceivably be asked to accept a pay cut or be released. Montgomery, then, would give the club another option at wideout as he enters his contract season. A third-round selection in the 2015 draft, Montgomery is now eligible for an extension and is projected to hit the open market in 2018.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The Lions should use the franchise tag on pending free agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, argues Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Although the franchise tender for defensive ends is extremely expensive (at a projected $17.5MM cost, the DE tag is second only to the quarterback tender), it would give Detroit several options regarding Ansah’s long-term future. Not only would the tag allow the Lions to see if Ansah can double-down on his 12-sack 2017 campaign, but the club would get an additional season to gauge the production of fellow defensive ends Kerry Hyder and Anthony Zettel. Additionally, a franchise tag doesn’t mean Detroit can’t reach an extension with Ansah — if he’s tagged, Ansah will have until July to hammer out a long-term deal with the Lions. NFL teams can begin deploying the franchise tender on February 20, and have until March 6 to formally utilize the tag.
  • Though he had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason, Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix inked a four-year extension last week, the details of which salary cap guru Ian Whetstone has now provided (via Twitter). All told, Nix’s new deal is worth $6.975MM and contains $1.5MM guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus). His 2018 cap charge will be $1.437MM, which is roughly $500K cheaper than the lowest RFA tender. So while Nix will receive a slightly reduced base salary next season, he’s picking up guarantees that otherwise wouldn’t have been available.
  • In case you missed it, the Bengals are expected to prioritize extensions for defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap this offseason. Both defenders are entering the final year of their respective contracts.

Steelers Sign FB Roosevelt Nix To Extension

Roosevelt Nix is staying in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. The Steelers announced that they have signed the fullback to a four-year extension. The deal will keep the 25-year-old with the organization through Roosevelt Nixthe 2021 season.

Following four seasons as a linebacker at Kent State, Nix joined the Falcons after going undrafted during the 2014 draft. He didn’t catch on as a fullback, and he ultimately landed with the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators. He eventually signed with the Steelers in 2015, and he’s proceeded to appear in 41 games (nine starts) since that time.

Nix earned a Pro Bowl birth this past season after playing a major role in Le’Veon Bell‘s productive campaign. Nix finished the season with zero rushing yards on three carries, and he added a pair of receptions for six yards and one touchdown. Nix also compiled 10 special teams tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers To Re-Sign Roosevelt Nix

Exclusive rights free agent Roosevelt Nix is re-signing with the Steelers, his agent, Bill Parise, told Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com. Nix will ink a one-year deal worth $615K – a mild increase over the $525K he made in 2016.

Roosevelt Nix

Nix, 24, originally signed with the Falcons as an undrafted linebacker in 2014. The ex-Kent State Golden Flash switched to fullback in an effort to make the team, but it didn’t work. Nix then spent some of the 2014 season in the Arena Football League before catching on as a fullback in Pittsburgh in 2015.

Nix has only received four touches – all receptions – in two years as a Steeler, though he has appeared in 25 regular-season games and amassed five starts. He was in on 9.2 percent of the Steelers’ offensive snaps and 38.2 percent of their special teams plays in 2016. If Nix makes the team again next season, indications are he’ll continue to block for star running back Le’Veon Bell – albeit on a limited basis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/19/16

Here are today’s minor NFL moves, with a focus on reserve/futures contracts:

  • The Colts have signed defensive lineman Ricky Lumpkin to a reserve/futures deal, according to Wilson (Twitter link). Lumpkin, who has NFL experience with both the Cardinals and Raiders, worked out for Indianapolis in mid-December.

Earlier updates:

  • The Steelers confirmed 10 reserve/futures signings today, including a pair – defensive end Caushaud Lyons and safety Ray Vinopal – that weren’t on Monday’s transactions report. Pittsburgh also extended the contracts of offensive lineman Chris Hubbard and fullback Roosevelt Nix. Both players, who had been eligible for exclusive rights free agency this winter, got one-year deals.
  • The Jets have now signed 17 players to reserve/futures contracts, announcing today in a press release that offensive lineman Sean Hickey and running back Dominique Williams are the latest recipients.
  • The Dolphins have signed quarterback Zac Dysert and tight end Dominique Jones to reserve/futures deals, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Both players spent time with the Broncos as recently as 2014, when new Miami head coach Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator in Denver.
  • The Packers and Seahawks each signed a player who finished the season on the team’s practice squad injured reserve list, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, respectively (Twitter links). Green Bay signed defensive end B.J. McBryde, while Seattle signed offensive lineman Terry Poole. Both contracts are reserve/futures deals.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/15

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Patriots announced that they have released running back Joey Iosefa. Iosefa lasted only two weeks on the club’s active roster. He saw 14 carries against the Titans in Week 15 and ran for only 51 yards. His spot has ostensibly been usurped by the recently-added Steven Jackson.
  • The Giants announced that they have placed 2014 fifth-rounder Devon Kennard on injured reserve. Kennard, who also missed four games last season, has 58 tackles to his credit for Big Blue.
  • The Steelers placed fullback Roosevelt Nix on injured reserve, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The Steelers also announced that they have promoted linebacker L.J. Fort to the active roster.
  • The Bills placed Marcus Easley on IR, as Wilson tweets. Back in March of 2015, the special teamer inked a four-year pact worth $7MM with the Bills. A sizable chunk of that money – $2.2MM – was guaranteed.
  • Texans cornerback Charles James will be placed on injured reserve after suffering a season-ending foot injury, Wilson tweets.
  • The Chargers announced that they have claimed tight end Asante Cleveland off waivers from the Patriots.

Minor Moves: Friday

Here are Friday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, including a new deal for a would-be exclusive right free agent, a few reserve/futures signings, and a practice squad change….

  • Washington has signed fullback Jordan Campbell to a reserve/futures contract, tweets Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com. Campbell spent some time on the Chiefs’ practice squad earlier in the season and worked out for Washington last month.

Earlier updates:

  • The Bengals have re-signed tight end Kevin Brock to a new contract, the team announced today (via Twitter). Brock, who joined the team in September after injuries to Tyler Eifert and Alex Smith, had been on track to become an exclusive rights free agent.
  • Since being eliminated from the postseason, the Steelers have been adding to their offseason roster, inking seven players to reserve/futures contracts on Monday and signing a couple more yesterday. Pittsburgh continued to bring players aboard today, per PR man Burt Lauten, who tweets that the team has signed linebacker Terence Garvin, wide receiver Brelan Chancellor, defensive end Matt Conrath, safety Alden Darby, tight end Michael Egnew, and linebacker Roosevelt Nix.
  • The 49ers are re-signing linebacker Shayne Skov, who finished the season on the team’s practice squad, to a reserve/futures deal, a source tells Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). The team has now locked up everyone who finished the season on the taxi squad.
  • The Lions signed defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo to a futures contract today, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. When it appeared last week that Detroit might be without Ndamukong Suh for Sunday’s playoff game, the team brought Cudjo in for a workout.
  • The Seahawks made a small change to their taxi squad today, re-signing defensive tackle Jimmy Staten and releasing linebacker Mike Zimmer, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). As Condotta points out in a second tweet, Seattle had signed Zimmer and cut Staten just yesterday, so the club is frequently shuffling the two players on and off the unit at this point.

Morning Notes: Tryouts, Browns, Ravens

As the Steelers and Lions prepare for their playoff contests this weekend, both organizations looked to solidify their depth, as the teams brought in players for workouts. Let’s see who was brought in for a tryout…

  • With star running back Le’Veon Bell out for this evening’s playoff matchup against the Ravens, the Steelers worked out back Roosevelt Nix, according to Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). The team also worked out defensive backs Alden Darby, Isaiah Lewis and Ian Wild.
  • The Lions had a pair of free agents come in for workouts, according to Wilson (via Twitter): offensive tackle Ben Heenan and defensive back Delvin Breaux.
  • The Dolphins‘ season may be over, but that doesn’t mean they’re not being active on the free agent front. According to Wilson (on Twitter), the team brought in guard Stetson Burnett for a workout.
  • The Browns have lifted the suspensions of receiver Josh Gordon and cornerback Justin Gilbert, tweets Wilson.
  • Wilson estimates that the Ravens could have about $5.785MM in cap space this offseason. That amount includes about $1.4MM that was subtracted following Ray Rice‘s filing of a grievance against the organization.

Falcons Sign Tyrell Johnson

The Falcons have added some depth at the safety position by signing Tyrell Johnson, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Johnson is the latest in a group of veteran safeties who have found new homes this week, joining Jim Leonhard (Browns) and Steve Gregory (Chiefs). To clear a roster spot, Atlanta released fullback Roosevelt Nix, an undrafted free agent out of Kent State.

Johnson, 29, was a second-round draft choice by the Vikings in 2008, and started 27 games with the team. Per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), he was effective as the Minnesota’s starter at strong safety during his first two seasons in the NFL. Since 2010, however, the former Arkansas State Indian has dealt with degraded play and injuries. Johnson spent time with both the Dolphins and the Lions over the past two years, but took the field for only four games (with Detroit in 2012).

The Falcons’ secondary was stretched a bit thin after Dwight Lowery, the projected starter at free safety, suffered a concussion on Friday. Lowery also missed time last season with a concussion, so the injury is concerning; in the above tweet, McClure even notes that Lowery’s season could be “in doubt.” Strong safety is in the hands of William Moore, but a competition at FS in now likely, with third-rounder Dezmen Southward, who is dealing with a minor knee injury, a candidate for increased playing time.

Falcons Sign 20 Undrafted Free Agents

The Falcons are the latest team to make their undrafted free agent class official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed 20 new rookies to contracts. Here’s the complete list:

  • Geraldo Boldewijn, WR, Boise State
  • Brenden Daley, LB, Hawaii
  • Nosa Eguae, DE, Auburn
  • Devonta Glover-Wright, CB, Utah State
  • Maurice Hagens, FB, Miami (FL)
  • Julian Jones, WR, Arkansas State
  • Freddie Martino, WR, North Greenville
  • Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell
  • Walker May, OLB, Vanderbilt
  • Kimario McFadden, S, South Carolina State
  • Roosevelt Nix, FB, Kent State ($15K bonus, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Jacob Pedersen, TE, Wisconsin
  • Bernard Reedy, WR, Toledo
  • Donte Rumph, DT, Kentucky
  • Jacques Smith, OLB, Tennessee
  • Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse
  • James Stone, C, Tennessee
  • Tramaine Thompson, WR, Kansas State
  • Brian Wozniak, TE, Wisconsin
  • Matt Yoklic, P, Pittsburgh