Ross Cockrell

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/13/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves. While the Titans are moving some players off their reserve/COVID-19 list, other teams have placed players on their respective coronavirus lists.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Marlon Davidson; the rookie defensive lineman tested positive for the coronavirus, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Promoted: CB Tyler Hall

Buffalo Bills

  • Promoted: CB Dane Jackson, LB Andre Smith

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed off Browns’ practice squad: QB Garrett Gilbert 

Green Bay Packers

  • Placed on IR: TE Josiah Deguara, C Jake Hanson

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB Anthony Sherman; the 10th-year veteran did not test positive for the coronavirus, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promoted: S JuJu Hughes
  • Placed on IR: S Jordan Fuller

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: Hercules Mata’afa

New York Jets

  • Promoted: CB Lamar Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: DB Grayland Arnold, DE Casey Toohill

San Francisco 49ers

  • Claimed off waivers from Buccaneers: CB Parnell Motley

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Promoted: CB Ross Cockrell, LB Chapelle Russell

Tennessee Titans

  • Activated off reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Kamalei Correa, CB Kristian Fulton
  • Promoted: LB Darren Bates, WR Cody Hollister, CB Kareem Orr, OL David Quessenberry

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/23/20

Today’s practice squad adds and drops:

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Giants’ Deal With Ross Cockrell Falls Through

It appeared that the Giants had added a veteran CB several days ago, when it was reported that the club had signed Ross Cockrell. However, that deal subsequently fell through.

According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York believed it had agreed to terms with Cockrell before he came to the facility. Then, after the 29-year-old went through COVID-19 testing and his physical, he opted against signing the contract (Twitter link). Vacchiano reminds us that the Giants also believed they were in agreement with Cockrell on a new deal back in 2018, but Cockrell ultimately backed out of that agreement and signed with the Panthers.

The Bills selected the Duke product in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, and he appeared in seven games for Buffalo during his rookie year, mostly as a special teams contributor. He was released before final cutdowns in 2015 and hooked on with the Steelers shortly thereafter. He ultimately played in 31 games (23 starts) over two seasons in Pittsburgh, and he was traded to the Giants before the start of the 2017 campaign. Advanced metrics were generally fond of his work with the Steelers and the Giants, and it made sense that New York hoped to re-sign him in 2018.

Cockrell wound up not playing at all in 2018, as he suffered a broken leg during his first training camp with the Panthers. He ultimately appeared in 14 games (11 starts) for Carolina in 2019, and though he tied a career-high with 62 total tackles and tallied two interceptions, he was not as sharp in coverage as he had been in previous seasons.

Still, the Giants are exceedingly thin at cornerback behind free agent acquisition (and former Cockrell teammate) James Bradberry, so Cockrell may have had a real chance to re-establish himself as a starting-caliber corner with Big Blue. Instead, he is still looking for work.

For what it’s worth, head coach Joe Judge said adding a different veteran CB is not a priority, which suggests he’s comfortable with his in-house options (Twitter link via Dan Duggan of The Athletic).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/20

We’ll keep track of this weekend’s minor moves here:

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

Panthers’ Ross Cockrell Suffers Broken Leg

More bad news for the Panthers. After key offensive lineman Daryl Williams dislocated his knee and tore his MCL yesterday, they were struck with another serious injury to a player expected to have a big role. Cornerback Ross Cockrell broke his leg, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). There’s no timetable for Cockrell’s recovery just yet, but the injury will certainly cost him regular season games. 

Cockrell, 27 in August, was sent to the Giants in a September 2017 trade that netted the Steelers a conditional seventh-round draft pick. A former fourth-round pick, Cockrell went on to start nine games for Big Blue, collecting three interceptions and grading as the NFL’s No. 39 cornerback among 120 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. This offseason, the Panthers signed him to a two-year, $6.8MM contract.

In 2017, Cockrell finished first in Football Outsiders’ success rate, which measures cornerbacks on their ability to consistently stop opposing wideouts short of the sticks. In fact, Cockrell was one of only eight defenders who stopped a receiver short of a successful gain on over half their tackles a season ago, as FO’s Aaron Schatz tweeted earlier this year. The league has consistently undervalued him and his skillset, but the Panthers recognized his ability and were looking forward to what he could contribute this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers To Sign CB Ross Cockrell

The Panthers have signed cornerback Ross Cockrell to a two-year, $6.8MM contract, according to his agents at Reign Sports Management (Twitter link).

Cockrell, 26, was sent to the Giants in a September 2017 trade that netted the Steelers a conditional seventh-round draft pick. A former fourth-round pick, Cockrell went on to start nine games for Big Blue, collecting three interceptions and grading as the NFL’s No. 39 cornerback among 120 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

As I noted when evaluating the NFL’s best defensive free agents, Cockrell stood out as a potential bargain option. In 2017, Cockrell finished first in Football Outsiders’ success rate, which measures cornerbacks on their ability to consistently stop opposing wideouts short of the sticks. In fact, Cockrell was one of only eight defenders who stopped a receiver short of a successful gain on over half their tackles a season ago, as FO’s Aaron Schatz recently tweeted, but the league has consistently undervalued him and his skill-set.

Cockrell will now join a Panthers secondary that also includes corners James Bradberry, Captain Munnerlyn, and Kevon Seymour, among others. Carolina reached an agreement with free agent Bashaud Breeland last week only to void the deal following a failed physical, while Daryl Worley (trade), Teddy Williams (free agency), and Ladarius Gunter (non-tendered) are also missing from the Panthers’ defensive backfield.

[RELATED: Panthers Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Panthers, Steelers, Giants

The Panthers are for sale, and the price has reportedly risen to more than $2.5 billion, according to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. For reference, the last NFL team to change hands — the Bills — reportedly went for $1.1 billion. The excessive price tag has caused at least one potential bidder, sports apparel mogul Michael Rubin, to drop out of the running, per Soshnick. However, a new suitor has emerged, as Alan Kestenbaum, CEO of private equity firm Bedrock Industries, has expressed interest in the Panther franchise, per Rick Rothacker and Katherine Peralta of the Charlotte Observer.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Los Angeles district attorney does not plan to file vandalism charges against Bills wide receiver Zay Jones following a bizarre incident which was caught on video earlier this week, reports Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds insufficient evidence is available to press charges. Jones was arrested following a troubling entanglement in which he struggled with his brother — the Vikings’ Cayleb Jones — before kicking through a glass window. Buffalo selected Jones out of East Carolina in the second round of the 2017 draft. In his rookie campaign, Jones started 10 games and posted 27 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Several teams have been in contact with free agent running back Alfred Blue, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Steelers, presumably in the market for a veteran backup to Le’Veon Bell, are one of those clubs, but it doesn’t appear as though Blue will be signing with Pittsburgh. Blue, 26, hit his high-water mark in 2015 by rushing for 698 yards in nine starts for the Texans, but the addition of Lamar Miller has forced Houston to scale back Blue’s role since then. In 2017, Blue played on 21% of the Texans’ offensive snaps but managed only 3.7 yards per carry.
  • The Giants are still searching for cornerback help after cutting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie earlier this month, and they’re assessing the market for internal free agent Ross Cockrell, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Cockrell, whom New York acquired from Pittsburgh last September, started nine games for Big Blue in 2017. He finished first in Football Outsiders’ success rate, which measures cornerbacks on their ability to consistently stop opposing wideouts short of the sticks. Thus far, the Giants have agreed to terms with lower-tier defensive backs such as B.W. Webb, Teddy Williams, and Curtis Riley.
  • Although John Bowlen — son of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen — recently announced his intention to sell his minority stake in the club, he’s since agreed to sell a portion of his total ownership (which is roughly 30-35%) back to the team, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. John Bowlen’s decision to sell wouldn’t have necessarily affected day-to-day operations of the Broncos, as Pat Bowlen — who stepped down as principal owner in 2014 due to Alzheimer’s disease — would have still held the majority of the club and be entitled to designate one of his other children as his successor.