Sammie Coates

Extra Points: JPP, Schaub, Garoppolo

Placing the estimated $16.955MM franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul wouldn’t be ideal for the Giants, but they’ll have no other choice if they can’t reach a deal with the pass rusher by March 1, writes Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. While tagging Pierre-Paul would take a major bite out of the Giants’ cap room, it would keep an integral piece of their defense from hitting the open market and enable the team to continue working to re-sign him. That would be the Giants’ plan, per Vacchiano, who notes that the club would regard the tag as a placeholder in Pierre-Paul’s case. The Giants are currently pushing to re-sign JPP and will have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement if they make him their franchise player.

More from around the NFL:

  • Falcons backup quarterback Matt Schaub, a pending free agent, is a candidate to serve as a stopgap starter in San Francisco next season. Regardless of whether it comes with the 49ers, the soon-to-be 36-year-old will go into free agency seeking a starting opportunity, he told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Although Schaub is a two-time Pro Bowler with three 20-touchdown pass seasons on his resume, he hasn’t been particularly effective since 2012 and has spent the past three years as a reserve with three different teams. In 10 starts dating back to 2013, Schaub has tossed seven interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns. Clearly, then, there’s nothing in Schaub’s recent history to suggest he’d perform well as a starter in 2017.
  • With five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady not looking to retire anytime soon, an offseason trade of Patriots No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo seems like a lock, observes Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. The Bears and Browns – two teams that have extensive histories of trading with the Pats – stand out as the best fits, opines Hannable. The two have drawn connections to Garoppolo in recent weeks, and Hannable points out that each club has the necessary draft capital to acquire Garoppolo. The Browns, for instance, have five of the draft’s top 65 picks. The Bears aren’t quite that rich with selections, though they do possess three of the first 67 choices.
  • Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates announced Monday on Twitter that he underwent surgery on his pelvis. In theory, because the Steelers didn’t disclose the ailment on injury reports during the season, they could face NFL discipline, notes Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Pittsburgh is already under league investigation for not listing running back Le’Veon Bell‘s groin issue on playoff injury reports, though it seems unlikely the league will punish the team. After all, the Seahawks got off scot-free despite withholding information on Richard Sherman‘s ailing MCL in 2016. Further, Coates’ injury didn’t affect his participation in practice during the season, a source told Fowler.

AFC Notes: A. Jones, Bryant, Simms, Jaguars

Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones is now seeking the opinion of another foot and ankle specialist to determine his course of action and how long he might be sidelined, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (via Facebook). The Colts previously sent Jones to a specialist who informed him that he would not have to go on IR. Now, he’s looking for a second opinion on the matter. Here’s more from the AFC..

  • The Steelers have known about wide receiver Martavis Bryant‘s possible four-game suspension for some time and it even impacted their approach in May’s draft, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Coach Mike Tomlin said that the news pushed Pittsburgh to use a third-round draft choice on Sammie Coates.
  • Bills coach Rex Ryan says the “odds are probably stacked against” quarterback Matt Simms making the 53-man roster but he will “never say never,” Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Many have speculated that Simms could bump Matt Cassel from the Bills’ roster, but that sounds like something of a longshot at this time.
  • Jaguars owner Shad Khan anticipates a long-term extension to the team’s London deal, keeping the partnership going until roughly 2030, Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union tweets. O’Halloran (link) expects that announcement to come in October when the Jaguars have their scheduled game in England.

Draft Signings: Steelers, Cardinals, Bills

The latest draft signings from rounds 3-7..

  • The Steelers announced (on Twitter) that they have signed their third-round draft pick, wide receiver Sammie Coates. With the Auburn product in the fold, Pittsburgh has now signed seven of eight draft picks.
  • The Cardinals signed third-round running back David Johnson and seventh-round tight end Gerald Christian, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com tweets. Only first-round tackle D.J. Humphries remains unsigned.
  • The Bills signed sixth-round linebacker Tony Steward, Wilson tweets. Now, top pick Ronald Darby stands as the last one unsigned.
  • The Browns announced that they have signed fourth-round wide receiver Vince Mayle and seventh-round linebacker Hayes Pullard, as Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald writes. Running back Duke Johnson, picked in the third round, and safety Ibraheim Campbell, taken in the fourth round, are the only Browns picks unsigned.
  • The Jaguars announced that they have signed fifth-round pick Rashad Greene. The FSU product was widely projected as a second-to-third round pick and the Jags are hoping that they got themselves a steal.

AFC Links: Dolphins, Robinson, Steelers

A quest to bring another receiver to Miami to join Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry will conclude soon, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The two receiving prospects at the top of the Dolphins‘ list for their No. 14 selection are DeVante Parker and Breshad Perriman, the Nos. 8 and 20 overall talents available in the draft, according to Scouts Inc.

Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong serves as an option for the Fins in a trade-down scenario, notes Jackson, with Sammie Coates (Auburn), Phillip Dorsett (Miami) and Devin Smith (Ohio State) potentially there if the team addresses another need in Round 1. The Dolphins brought in each of the latter trio for visits.

Smith averaged 28.2 yards per reception last season, while Mel Kiper rates Dorsett as one of the class’ safest bets. Jackson also places Dorial Green-Beckham among this contingent who could be on the board for Miami at No. 47, with Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reporting the Dolphins have “fallen in love” with the boom-or-bust prospect. It’s unlikely the elite-tools prospect falls that far. Our Rob DiRe lists DGB among first-round possibilities in his recent look at the 2015 class’ wideouts.

The Dolphins have worked out late-round hopefuls R.J. Harris and Harold Spears (New Hampshire), and Zach D’Orazio (Akron), per Jackson.

Elsewhere in the AFC as the week winds down …

  • The Steelers‘ depth chart suggests they need cornerback help following Ike Taylor‘s retirement — their third defensive starter to leave the league in two months behind Jason Worilds and Troy Polamalu — but their recent history dictates they may gamble on a late-round prospect, writes Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Kiper has Pittsburgh taking Wake Forest corner Kevin Johnson at No. 22 (subscription required), but the team hasn’t expended its top pick on a corner since Chad Scott in 1997 and hasn’t used a second-rounder at the position since Bryant McFadden in 2005. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, whose team currently employs Cortez Allen and William Gay atop its figurative offseason depth chart at corner, attributed this drought to the team’s usual draft slot in the late first round coming after the top corners are usually off the board. “In Pittsburgh’s case, for years they didn’t have really good corners,” NFL.com’s Charley Casserly told Adamski. “That defense was won with the front seven.”
  • A running back need persists in Jacksonville after Toby Gerhart‘s three-year pact last spring sputtered from the start, but the Jaguars still have the somewhat surprising contributions from Denard Robinson to evaluate from last year, offers Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Robinson’s work from Week 7 until he broke his foot in December — 582 rushing yards — helped elevate the Jags’ weak rushing attacks the past few years to a passable level: 21st in total ground gains last season.
  • Four-decade NFL coaching veteran Chris Palmer will not have a role in coaching the Bills‘ quarterbacks this year, writes Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, with new offensive coordinator Greg Roman and QBs coach David Lee handling that. Palmer, 65, whose title is senior offensive assistant, will help coach the wideouts and tight ends this offseason after following Roman from San Francisco to Buffalo.

North Notes: Bears, Perriman, Draft, Peterson

As the Bears search for Brandon Marshall‘s replacement at receiver, they’ve brought in one of the top draft prospects at the position for a visit, meeting with UCF receiver Breshad Perriman today, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Perriman, who posted a 4.25 40-time at his Pro Day, is fighting with Louisville’s Davante Parker to be the third receiver chosen behind Amari Cooper and Kevin White.

Let’s take a look at more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The Steelers met with three prospects today, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter), who says the club visited with Texas A&M tight end Cameron Clear, West Virginia guard Quinton Spain, and Auburn receiver Sammie Coates.
  • Having already brought in UAB return specialist J.J. Nelson for a visit, the Lions met with another special teamer/receiver — Utah’s Kaelin Clay — today, writes Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
  • Though Adrian Peterson was in Minneapolis over the weekend, he did not meet with any Vikings officials, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
  • Rob Housler‘s one-year, $1.76MM deal with the Browns contains $750K guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.
  • Washington defensive end Andrew Hudson just wrapped a predraft visit with the Browns, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link), and he’ll meet with the Buccaneers next.

Draft Visits: Titans, Jags, Steelers, 49ers

Having hosted receiver Kevin White for a visit already, the Titans are scheduled to meet with Alabama wideout Amari Cooper next week, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (via Twitter). While the two players are considered the top two prospects at their position, it would still be a surprise to see either player go as high as No. 2 to Tennessee, so perhaps the team is doing due diligence in case it trades down. Of course, I’d argue that the Titans have multiple positions that are bigger holes than wide receiver, but there’s no harm in exploring every potential option.

Here are more updates on upcoming draft visits, as well as some that have already happened:

  • Another top-five team keeping its options open is Jacksonville, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the Jaguars have hosted Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Georgia’s Todd Gurley for pre-draft visits. Third overall is almost certainly too high to draft a running back, so the Jags could be doing their homework in case they make a draft-day trade.
  • Rapoport also passes along an update on wide receiver DeVante Parker, tweeting that the former Louisville Cardinal has visits with the Jets, Titans, and Bears on his schedule. Parker has also visited the Jaguars and is meeting with the Vikings today.
  • Virginia edge rusher Eli Harold, Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson, Utah defensive end Nate Orchard, and Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah all visited the Steelers today, tweets Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • Speaking of Harold, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), the Virginia product has visited or worked out for 14 teams, including the Bears, Jaguars, Saints, and Jets.
  • The 49ers and Steelers will host Auburn receiver Sammie Coates for visits next week, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Coates has also visited the Browns and, as previously reported, the Dolphins.
  • Per Wilson (via Twitter), USC tight end Randall Telfer has visited the Eagles, will visit the Patriots, and has a private meeting lined up with the Falcons.
  • Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports (via Twitter) that that Sacramento State wide receiver DeAndre Carter worked out for the Cardinals this week, and will attend local pro days for the Raiders and 49ers next week.

Dolphins Notes: Thomas, Draft, Trusnik

Dolphins safety and special-teamer Michael Thomas met with coaches and formally signed his contract tender with the team this morning, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). There was no doubt that Thomas would be back, since he was an exclusive rights free agent and couldn’t negotiate with other teams, but he’s now officially under contract, and the club expects “big things” from him in 2015, says Beasley.

Here’s more on the Dolphins, courtesy of Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

  • A team source tells Jackson that Auburn receiver Sammie Coates and USC wideout George Farmer are among the prospects being flown in to meet with Dolphins coaches and executives this month. Miami acquired Kenny Stills in a trade with the Saints last month, but Stills alone won’t replace Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and Brandon Gibson, so the team remains in the market for receiving help.
  • Clemson outside linebacker Vic Beasley doesn’t look like a good bet to fall to the No. 14 pick, but the Dolphins have scheduled a visit with him anyway, says Jackson.
  • Miami’s Phillip Dorsett and Florida State’s Rashad Greene are among the receivers the Dolphins have invited to audition for them on their local day on April 10. According to Jackson, FSU tight end Nick O’Leary won’t be in attendance that day due to a scheduling conflict, but he’ll meet with team execs and coaches on April 9 instead.
  • Louisville cornerback Charles Gaines and Minnesota safety Cedric Thompson are among the defensive backs slated to visit the Dolphins, per Jackson. The club also intends to audition Miami middle linebacker Denzel Perryman, and sent linebackers coach Mark Duffner to Clemson to work out potential second-round pick Stephone Anthony.
  • According to Jackson, the Dolphins didn’t show any interest in retaining linebacker and special-teamer Jason Trusnik, who signed yesterday with the Panthers.

Draft Notes: Mariota, Rams, Bengals, Ravens

The 2015 Senior Bowl will take place later this afternoon, and we should catch a glimpse of some future NFL stars. Let’s take a look at some notes regarding these prospects, including information about this year’s Heisman winner…

  • Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has chosen Alan Zucker of Excel Sports for all off-field representation, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal.
  • The Rams are keeping an eye on East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden, writes Jim Thomas of the St.Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Bengals haven’t drafted a bona fide left tackle in the first round since Levi Jones in 2002. That may change this year, as Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com believes the team could pursue the position early in the draft. The writer focuses on LSU’s La’el Collins as a potential target.
  • The Ravens are fond of their young receivers, including Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Michael Campanaro. Despite this, the organization is still doing their research on a number of wideout prospects, and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun writes that the organization met with Auburn receiver Sammie Coates earlier this week.
  • Wilson writes that the Ravens also met with Ohio State wideout Devin Smith. “It went really well,” Smith said. “They showed a lot of interest. They liked the things I did on the football field.”

Draft Notes: Perryman, Dolphins, Lions

The Senior Bowl means plenty of draft speculation and talk of the Dolphins tapping local star Denzel Perryman has been a hot topic in recent days. However, drafting Perryman is going to require a long and thoughtful debate in Miami, as Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald writes. While GM Dennis Hickey doesn’t often mind drafting players that do not meet prototypical size and speed requirements (see: Jarvis Landry), assistant GM Eric Stokes does not feel the same way. Perryman, unfortunately, does not have the size one would usually want in a middle linebacker. More draft news..

  • Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin could wind up as the next coach of the Falcons, but he’s not neglecting his duties in Detroit, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. Austin booked interviews with Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton, Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant, Miami (Ohio) cornerback Quinten Rollins, and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty last night.
  • East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy said he a great meeting with the Ravens at the Senior Bowl, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • Penn State linebacker Mike Hull and defensive end Deion Barnes have each met with the Eagles at the Senior Bowl, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (on Twitter). Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith and USC cornerback Josh Shaw have also met with the Eagles (link).
  • The Giants met with wide receivers Sammie Coates and Devin Smith, according to Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter).

Draft Updates: Saturday

With the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft approaching quickly, here are a few updates on seniors who have signed with agents and are eligible for the Draft, and underclassmen who have declared early.

For a list of all early entrants so far, please check our list here.

  • USC junior receiver Nelson Agholor has decided to go pro, and will enter the 2015 NFL Draft, reports Jordan Moore of USCTrojans.com“These past three years at USC have been a blessing, along with a lot of my life. I am very grateful to have had the coaches and staff members of this prestigious university in my life,” said Agholor. “Because of these men and women, I feel prepared to follow my dreams into the NFL. Thank you to the Trojan Family for allowing me to become one of your own.”
  • Boise State senior wideout Matt Miller has signed with the NOVO Agency, and will be eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft, reports Liz Mullen or the Sports Business Journal (via Twitter). He will be represented by Jeff Sperbeck.
  • University of Washington senior nose tackle Danny Shelton also signed with NOVO, according to Mullen (via Twitter). He will be represented by Haig Abnous and Sperbeck.
  • Two Auburn players, junior receiver Sammie Coates and senior running back Cameron Artis-Payne, both signed with Michael Perrett of Element Sports, reports Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Coates had previously declared for the draft.
  • University of Maryland junior receiver Stefon Diggs has declared for the draft, reports Matt Zenith of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).