Sam Acho

Bills Reach 53-Man Max

The Bills dropped a host of players on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit, but they also carved out spots by other means. Fifth-round linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) and running back Senorise Perry (quad) were placed on IR while undrafted linebacker Tyrell Dodson was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

Here’s the full list of cut players in Buffalo:

DE Sam Acho
TE Nate Becker
WR Victor Bolden Jr.
TE Kyle Carter
S Kurt Coleman
WR Nick Easley
DE Jeff Holland
QB Tyree Jackson
OT Jarron Jones
LB Deon Lacey
CB Cam Lewis
CB Ryan Lewis
OL Eric Magnuson
WR Ray-Ray McCloud
RB LeSean McCoy
K Chase McLaughlin
CB Captain Munnerlyn
RB Marcus Murphy
DT Kyle Peko
WR Cam Phillips
CB Lafayette Pitts
OL Demetrius Rhaney
CB Denzel Rice
WR David Sills
TE Keith Towbridge
RB Christian Wade
S Abraham Wallace
DT L.T. Walton
WR Duke Williams
DE Eddie Yarbrough
DT Roderick Young

Bills Cut CB Captain Munnerlyn

Captain Munnerlyn‘s stint with the Bills only lasted several weeks. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran cornerback has been released.

With Buffalo eyeing some reinforcement in their secondary, the team brought in Munnerlyn in early August. The cornerback was familiar with head coach Sean McDermott’s defense, making him a logical fill-in for injured cornerback E.J. Gaines. Instead, it sounds like the organization decided to opt for younger options at the position.

A consistent starter between Carolina and Minnesota from 2011-14, Munnerlyn has taken on a backup role in recent campaigns. In 2018, he appeared in all 16 games, starting five, and registered one interception and nine passes defensed. In his 10-year career, Munnerlyn has logged 12 interceptions, five of which he has returned for scores.

Munnerlyn isn’t the only veteran defender to lose his job. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic tweets that veteran defensive end Sam Acho has also been cut. The 30-year-old joined the team earlier this month. Acho spent the past four years in Chicago, including a 2018 campaign where he was limited to only four games.

The Bills also let go of two intriguing offensive players: running back Marcus Murphy (via Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic on Twitter) and quarterback Tyree Jackson.

Bills Sign DE Sam Acho, Release OG Vlad Ducasse

The Bills have signed defensive end Sam Acho and have released guard Vlad Ducasse, the team announced. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic observes that Ducasse was running with the third-stringers when all of Buffalo’s O-linemen were healthy, so he was clearly not going to make the team (Twitter link). As a veteran and former starter, the club likely wanted to give him a chance to catch on elsewhere.

Indeed, Ducasse started 21 games for the Bills over the past two seasons, but he did not fare particularly well in either campaign. Buffalo made the O-line a primary focus this offseason, and the former second-round pick of the Jets slid down the depth chart as a result. Although he has never been a top performer, another club will likely bring him in to serve as experienced depth.

Acho, meanwhile, missed most of 2018 with a pectoral injury. In 2017, he started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps, posting 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed. Last year, he had just two tackles across four games.

After recording seven sacks in his rookie campaign in Arizona in 2011, Acho has never been able to replicate that success. He will attempt to make the Bills as a situational pass rusher after Buffalo traded Eli Harold earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Release Sam Acho

The Bears have released linebacker Sam Acho, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The move was expected after Acho missed the bulk of 2018 with a pectoral injury. 

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Without Acho, the Bears will have to search for quality linebacker depth and special teams help elsewhere. They’ll also have to replace his locker room presence – Acho was a respected leader in the Bears’ locker room and the 30-year-old (31 in September) provided the club with veteran leadership.

In 2017, Acho started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps. In that time, he posted 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed. Last year, he had just two tackles across his four games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Sam Acho Done For Season

Bears linebacker Sam Acho is done for the season after tearing his pectoral muscle, coach Matt Nagy announced. The Bears will soon place Acho on injured reserve in order to free up a roster spot. 

Acho, who celebrated his 30th birthday just before the start of the season, was not starting this year, but he was involved in the Bears’ outside linebacker rotation behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. The injury means that the Bears will be featuring fourth-round rookie Joel Iyiegbuniwe and former 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch more frequently, though the Bears will obviously look to keep Mack and Floyd on the field for as many plays as possible.

Last season, Acho started 12 games and played on 60% of the Bears’ defensive snaps. In that time, he posted 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: 3/25/18

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Extra Points: Jets, McKinnon, Cardinals, Mathieu, Eagles, Foles, Acho, Bears

The latest from around the NFL:

  • Running back Jerick McKinnon nearly joined Teddy Bridgewater with the Jets, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). Ultimately, the 49ers came back with a big offer. The Jets pivoted at that point and instead signed running back Isaiah Crowell.
  • The Cardinals were willing to go to about $9MM/year with Tyrann Mathieu before he was cut, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. Other teams believe that he is now looking to top that figure. He may or may not get that kind of coin given his past injuries and a down 2017.
  • The Cardinals called the Eagles about acquiring Nick Foles this week, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). However, this took place right around the time of the Sam Bradford signing. With Bradford in the fold at a hefty salary, it’s unlikely that the Cards will go back to that well. Meanwhile, the Eagles seem intent on keeping the Super Bowl MVP.
  • Before re-signing with the Bears, linebacker Sam Acho also had interest from the Seahawks, Texans, and Rams (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson).

Bears To Re-Sign LB Sam Acho

The Bears have agreed to re-sign linebacker Sam Acho to a two-year deal, as his brother (and former NFL player) Emmanuel Acho first reported (Twitter link). The news was later confirmed by Acho’s agents at SportsTrust Advisors (Twitter link).

Acho has typically spent his NFL tenure as a rotational edge rusher and special teams player, and but he garnered the most playing time of his career in 2017. Last year, Acho’s third in Chicago, he started 12 games and played on 60% of the clubs’ defensive snaps. In that time, he posted 27 tackles, three sacks, and one pass defensed.

The 29-year-old Acho played on a minimum salary benefit deal in 2017, but that won’t be the case during the upcoming campaign as such pacts cannot exceed one year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Shopping LBs Sam Acho, Dan Skuta

The Bears have made linebackers Sam Acho and Dan Skuta available for trade, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).Sam Acho

[RELATED: Bears Release Victor Cruz]

Chicago has a slight surplus at outside linebacker, as Leonard Floyd and Willie Young are the club’s projected starters while veteran Pernell McPhee recovers from a knee injury. Lamarr Houston is also around, and given his and McPhee’s lengthy injury history, it’s surprising the Bears don’t want to keep Acho and/or Skuta as insurance.

It’s not as if the Bears can hope to reap much in the way of draft compensation for either player — both Acho and Houston were freely available on the open market earlier this year, and both landed only minimum salary benefit contracts with Chicago. Both will be at least 29 years old by next, and neither has been a full-time starter in some time.

Given that the Bears are shopping Acho and Skuta, both figure to be in severe danger of being released by Saturday if Chicago can’t drum up a trade market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Mixon, Eagles, Lions, Stafford

Thanks to his off-field transgressions, Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon‘s draft stock is reportedly dropping, but the Eagles are among those who have him on their board, writes Jeff McLane of Philly.com. Owner Jeffrey Lurie has given team brass his blessing to consider drafting Mixon, two sources confirmed to McLane. Notably, two of the Eagles’ key decision-makers, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and VP of player personnel Joe Douglas, spoke highly of Mixon’s abilities on Thursday. “There’s not much he can’t do,” Roseman said. “He’s incredible with the ball in his hands, you can split him out, he’s got really good hands [as a receiver], he can pass-protect, he can make people miss.” Douglas added that “a lot of people think that he is one of the top backs in this draft,” but he noted that “most teams” are considering Mixon’s character issues.

More on Philadelphia and a pair of its NFC foes:

  • Speculatively, Mixon could be a possibility for the Eagles beginning in Round 2. Before debating whether to take him, they’ll have to make a decision in the opening round, where they’re slated to pick 14th. The club has come up with “probably about seven or eight scenarios” for that spot, according to Douglas, and Roseman expects to end up with a star-caliber player with that selection. “One thing I know — when we make a pick at 14, with the way our board looks right now, we’re going to all be high-fiving then, and very excited about that pick,” declared Roseman (via Les Bowen of Philly.com).
  • Entering a contract year, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford could become the highest-paid player in the NFL by next offseason, though Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press argues that he’s not worth it. While Monarrez expects the Lions to cave to Stafford’s demands, he opines that the signal-caller’s age (30 next February) and zero playoff wins are among the reasons the team would be better off letting him test the market than become the league’s richest player in Detroit.
  • Speaking of the Lions, general manager Bob Quinn addressed the strengths of this year’s draft Thursday, saying it’s particularly deep at running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety and tight end (Twitter link via Tim Twentyman of the team website).
  • Linebacker Sam Acho‘s one-year deal with the Bears is worth $855K, including $130K fully guaranteed, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

Zach Links contributed to this post.