Ryan Allen

Falcons Place Matt Bosher Back On IR

Shortly after the Falcons brought Matt Bosher off IR, the veteran punter will return to the team’s injured list. Bosher re-injured his groin and is back on IR.

The Falcons used one of their two IR-DTR slots on their ninth-year punter late last week but will not have the chance to redeploy him on fourth downs Sunday. Atlanta re-signed Ryan Allen, its punter in the past four games.

Bosher returned to Falcons practice on Nov. 20 but will have to wait until 2020 to return to game action. His Falcons contract — signed way back in 2014 — expires after this season. The 32-year-old specialist has been Atlanta’s punter since 2011.

One of the key Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, Allen has only punted since November of this season. The Patriots drafted Jake Bailey in Round 5 and released Allen this summer.

Chris Lindstrom represents the other Falcons IR-DTR player. The rookie lineman is still on track to return this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Activate Matt Bosher, Cut Ryan Allen

The Falcons made a couple of roster moves on Black Friday. The team announced they’ve waived punter Ryan Allen and linebacker Jermaine Grace. They’re activating punter Matt Bosher off injured reserve, who had been designated as one of their return players.

Bosher was the punter to start the season, but went down with a groin injury after just a few games. Bosher has been Atlanta’s punter since 2011, so it’s not surprising that the former sixth-round pick had his job waiting for him when he got healthy. The Falcons have used four different punters this season, and hopefully the cycling through can stop now. Allen had been the Patriots’ punter for six seasons up until he was cut this past August in favor of rookie Jake Bailey.

Allen latched on with Atlanta just a few weeks ago, after Matt Wile and Kasey Redfern had previously filled in. Grace entered the league as an UDFA back in 2017, and has already spent time with four different teams. Grace had played only a handful of defensive snaps, but had been a key special teamer all year, playing almost 70 percent of special teams snaps. Grace missed the block on Taysom Hill‘s punt block during last night’s loss to the Saints, which apparently sealed his fate.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons To Sign P Ryan Allen

Having not punted since his strong Super Bowl LIII performance, Ryan Allen will receive an opportunity with the Falcons. The veteran agreed to terms on a deal with Atlanta on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Allen will become fifth Falcons punter this season. The last-place NFC South team will exit its bye week with new personnel at kicker and punter, with Younghoe Koo having replaced Matt Bryant recently as well.

The Patriots released Allen after he lost a punting battle with rookie Jake Bailey. Allen will become the Falcons’ fifth punter this season, following Matt Bosher, Matt Wile, Sam Irwin-Hill and Kasey Redfern. Bosher had been the Falcons’ punter for most of this decade. He’s currently on IR. Irwin-Hill did not see game action for the Falcons, but Bosher Wile and Redfern each punted in at least two games.

A UDFA out of Louisiana Tech, Allen spent six seasons with the Patriots. Allen averaged 45.1 yards per punt last season and will now play in some dome games as he attempts to retain another NFL gig. He joins Koo as a recent Patriots to make the move to Georgia.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/7/19

We’ve got another big batch of workouts, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter).

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Texans could be looking for specialist help, as they worked out a pair of punters and a longsnapper. Boddy-Calhoun, who worked out for the Vikings, is probably the biggest name on this list. He started at least seven games for the Browns each of the past three seasons, but was released by Houston at final cuts.

Texans Work Out Ryan Allen, Matt Wile

The Patriots and Vikings went in different directions at punter, with the defending Super Bowl champions drafting one and Minnesota signing Britton Colquitt after waivers. That left Ryan Allen and Matt Wile looking for work. Both veterans worked out for the Texans this week, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.

Houston, as of now, is going into a second season with Trevor Daniel as its punter. The Texans went with Daniel, a 2018 UDFA out of Tennessee, as their punter over all-time great Shane Lechler. Daniel ranked 29th in yards per punt last season (43.2).

Allen (16th in 2018 yards per punt, 45.1) spent six years as New England’s punter, his last game proving to be arguably his most important — a five-punt Super Bowl LIII assignment. Three of Allen’s Super Bowl boots landed inside the Rams’ 10-yard line. However, the Pats went with fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey (and a cheaper salary).

Wile was the Vikings’ punter for 16 games last season; he finished 14th in 2018 yards per punt (45.2). It was his first full-time NFL gig. While the Vikings traded for possible dual-threat specialist Kaare Vedvik, they cut him but added Colquitt a day after Wile initially won the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots To Release P Ryan Allen

The Patriots are switching punters. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the team will be releasing veteran Ryan Allen. The news was first reported by Jim McBride of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). This makes rookie Jake Bailey the team’s new starting punter.

Allen joined New England as a 2013 undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, and he proceeded to play in every game for the Patriots during his six-year stint. The 29-year-old won three Super Bowls during his time with New England, including a Super Bowl LIII performance where he placed three of his five punts inside the 20.

Despite his standout performance during the Super Bowl, Allen inked a modest one-year extension with New England this past offseason. The veteran reportedly turned down multiyear offers, as he was looking to boost his value in time for next offseason. Allen will now have to find that one-year, prove-it deal elsewhere.

The team will now turn to Bailey, a fifth-round pick out of Stanford. The 22-year-old has garnered a pair of punt attempts this preseason, averaging 49.5-yards per punt. For comparison’s sake, Allen averaged 43.8 yards on his five punts. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, this will be the first time in Bill Belichick’s 20 seasons with New England where he’s opted for a righty punter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Lee, Allen, Fins

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets, who set a league spending record by doling out $137MM in total guarantees in free agency thus far, are very interested in trading down from their No. 3 overall pick to accumulate more draft capital. Despite its high-spending ways, New York still has a number of holes to fill, and with his QB of the future already in tow, GM Mike Maccagnan — who is under a ton of pressure this year — may look to add picks so that he can address those holes in the draft. After all, the Jets have only six picks in the draft at present, the third-fewest in the league.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • In the same piece linked above, Cimini writes that the Jets will look to shop linebacker Darron Lee during the draft. Lee is expendable now that C.J. Mosley is in the fold, and even if New York does not find any takers, Cimini does not think the club will cut Lee immediately. He suggests that the Jets could hold on to Lee in the hopes that another team suddenly finds itself in need of a young LB with a first-round pedigree, and he points out that New York was able to deal another disappointing first-round pick, Calvin Pyror, in a June trade several years ago.
  • The Patriots recently re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the club actually had a multiyear offer on the table. Allen, though, preferred the shorter option because he did not like the money he was being offered on the open market, and he wanted a chance to increase his worth on a prove-it deal. Reiss says, however, that New England could be more inclined to bring in competition for Allen, just as it did last season.
  • Reiss observes that cornerback Jason McCourty, who recently signed a two-year, $10MM pact to remain with the Patriots, did receive interest from several other clubs. McCourty had made it clear that he wanted to return to New England, so while he appreciated the opportunity to hit the open market at the start of free agency for the first time in his career, he is happy with how things turned out.
  • New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has, predictably, refuted the talk that his team is tanking in 2019, and he would not concede that the club is embarking on a multiyear rebuild, either. As Grant Gordon of NFL.com writes, Flores told the NFL Network’s Judy Battista, “I think every team’s rebuilding. That’s this league. Every team rebuilds every year because no team is the same every year. I can tell you, we’re going to go try, gonna go out there and try to win every game. I think the foundation is there, and we’ll just, you know, like every other team we’re building.”

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Patriots To Re-Sign P Ryan Allen

Punter Ryan Allen and the Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, a source tells Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Allen, presumably, will earn a step up from his $1.3MM salary from last year. 

There was little doubt that the Patriots wanted to keep Allen, but a recent change in representation may have gummed up the works. Last week, Allen changed agents (Twitter link), so it may have taken additional time for the Pats to hammer out a deal with his new rep, Chris Gittings of OneWest Sports.

Allen has been the Patriots’ punter since 2013. Head coach Bill Belichick places a great deal of emphasis on special teams work and Allen showed the value of quality punting with some spectacular kicks in the Super Bowl. February’s Super Bowl win, by the way, marked Allen’s third ring with the Pats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Kraft, Flowers, Tate

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely not face many legal repercussions from his prostitution charges, according to a Florida criminal defense attorney (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Kraft will probably be required to pay a several hundred dollar fine and attend counseling of some sort, at which point the charges may be dropped.

But the consequences from an NFL standpoint are likely to be much more severe. Volin believes commissioner Roger Goodell should “come down hard on Kraft” and impose at least a six-game suspension and a hefty fine (the maximum fine is $500K). Kraft is obviously one of the most prominent and powerful owners in the league, but he may be relieved of some of his duties (he is a part of five major ownership committees). He was supposed to guide the league through a potential 2021 lockout and lead negotiations with television networks when those contracts expire in 2022, but that is all in question now.

Volin still believes Kraft will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his induction will now be delayed, and the 77-year-old may not be around to enjoy his enshrinement when it does happen (Volin says Kraft was likely to get the HOF nod in a year or two). And, while Kraft will almost certainly not be forced to sell the club or hand it off to his son, Jonathan, this incident will be a permanent blot on his reputation.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few on-field notes from Foxborough:

  • Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers will be a hot commodity if he hits the open market, but Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says locking him up to a long-term deal is high on New England’s list of priorities. The Pats are unlikely to use the franchise tag on Flowers, and they are unlikely to keep him if it takes an Olivier Vernon-esque deal to do so (five years, $85MM). However, McBride believes Flowers will ultimately return to New England on a multi-year contract, even if he tests the free agent market first.
  • In the same piece linked above, McBride looks at the other Patriots eligible for free agency and their chances of returning to the club. For instance, he believes specialists Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen will certainly be back, while Eric Rowe and Danny Shelton are more likely to find homes elsewhere.
  • Assuming the Patriots don’t trade out of the first round, Doug Kyed of NESN.com sees tight ends Noah Fant (Iowa) and Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama) and DB Taylor Rapp (Washington) as potential fits.
  • Golden Tate would be a good fit in the Patriots’ offense, but Kyed does not believe the Pats will be willing to meet Tate’s asking price.
  • Brothers Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty have announced that they will continue their careers in 2019 after some retirement speculation prior to the Super Bowl. Devin is still under contract with the Patriots, but Jason is eligible for free agency.