Sammie Coates

Chiefs Cut WR Sammie Coates

Sammie Coates‘ stint with the Chiefs didn’t last very long. Kansas City is releasing the receiver, a source told Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The Chiefs signed Coates back in February, and he only lasted a few months with his latest team. Coates entered the league as a third round pick of the Steelers back in 2015, and he initially showed some promise in Pittsburgh. In 2016 he started five games, and racked up 435 yards and two touchdowns.

He then got injured and was subsequently buried in Pittsburgh’s deep wide receiver group, so he was traded to the Browns just before the start of the 2017 season. He appeared in 12 games and started one in Cleveland, but ended up catching just six passes for 70 yards in Cleveland’s winless year.

After being released last March he latched on with Houston, and spent most of 2018 with the Texans. He caught only one pass last year, and the fact that he couldn’t stick on a 90-man roster through May isn’t a great sign for his NFL future. His phone won’t be ringing off the hook.

 

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Chiefs Sign EJ Manuel, Sammie Coates

The Chiefs have signed quarterback EJ Manuel and wide receiver Sammie Coates, according to a team announcement. They also inked receiver Davon Grayson and defensive back Dontae Johnson

Manuel, 29 in March, has not suited up since his 2017 season with the Raiders. Before that, the former first-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the Bills. All in all, Manuel has a career 6-12 record, a 58.1% completion percentage, and 20 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. The Florida State product has not lived up to his draft billing so far, but he’ll look to impress in Kansas City and stick as a backup to star Patrick Mahomes.

Coates, 26 in March, made some noise with the Steelers as a youngster but has not done a whole lot over the last two years. He had six catches for 70 yards with the Browns in 2017 and had just one catch for 12 yards in his run with the Texans last year. Coates auditioned for the Colts and Cowboys towards the end of the 2018 season, but did not sign with either club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 1/3/19

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter):

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • WR Jordan Williams-Lambert

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Extra Points: CBA, Cowboys, Coates, Dez Bryant, Broncos Ownership

Many current and former players, as well as some team owners, have spoken out about the NFL’s Marijuana policy and called it archaic. After years of players facing lengthy suspension for using the substance, it appears change could finally be on the way. The league hopes to get rid of the ban on players smoking Marijuana, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, but there is a catch.

Florio reports that the league doesn’t just want to change the policy on their own, but they instead want to “dangle” potential changes in the next collective bargaining agreement to secure “a concession from the union in exchange for softening a policy that badly needs to be softened.” The next CBA negotiations are expected to be highly contentious, and there have been rumors another lockout could be on the way, so it’s not surprising the league wants every bit of leverage they can get.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We heard earlier today that the Cowboys were working out receiver Sammie Coates, but don’t expect Dallas to sign him. The team isn’t going to sign the former Steeler and Brown, and were just “taking a look” at the wideout, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Forth-Worth Star Telegram (Twitter link). Coates was once a pretty productive and highly thought of receiver for Pittsburgh, but has had trouble staying in the league the past couple of seasons. Still only 25, the Auburn product will likely resurface somewhere soon.
  • Dez Bryant suffered a devastating Achilles injury just after finally signing with the Saints, but the 30-year-old plans to keep playing. “I have to. I got business and I got ball. I can’t end like this”, Bryant told a Dallas radio station, per Jon Machota of Dallas News (Twitter link). Bryant might not be ready for the start of the 2019 season, but should be able to find a home on a one-year prove it deal.
  • We’ve heard a lot about the Broncos’ ownership situation over the last few months, and now finally owner Pat Bowlen’s wife Annabel is speaking out. Annabel filed a motion and joined the ongoing legal saga, and filed her motion in support of the trust her husband set up to run the team, according to Kevin Vaughan of Denver 9 News. Pat’s brother Bill is currently suing, trying to get the trust dissolved and to seize control of the team.
  • The Giants worked out defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Boateng is a Canadian who has played very well in the CFL the past couple of years. This time of year it’s common to see CFL players get workouts for consideration for next season, as they aren’t eligible to be signed until after the season is over. Boateng has gotten workouts with the Chargers and Jets recently, so NFL scouts clearly see some potential there.

Cowboys Work Out WR Sammie Coates

The Cowboys are kicking the tires on wide receiver Sammie Coates, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Coates was cut loose by the Texans earlier this week and was not claimed on waivers, making him a free agent. 

Coates had one catch for 12 yards this year and mostly played on special teams for Houston. That’s likely to be his role in Dallas, if signed, though he could have an opportunity to do more since Tavon Austin is still working his way back from a groin strain.

Coates’ best season to date came in 2016 with the Steelers when he had 21 catches for 435 yards and two scores. In 2017, however, he had just six catches for 70 yards and zero touchdowns for Cleveland and his production dipped even further this year. Coates’ 37 snaps this year marked a career low.

The 8-6 Cowboys have a 94% chance of winning the NFC East, according to FiveThirtyEight. If they win at least one of their final two games, they’ll clinch the division and a playoff berth.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Release WR Sammie Coates

Texans wide receiver Sammie Coates has been released, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). came to Houston after being waived by the Browns in March, but he was hardly used in 2018. 

Coates’ best season to date came in 2016 with the Steelers when he had 21 catches for 435 yards and two scores. In 2017, however, he had just six catches for 70 yards and zero touchdowns for Cleveland. His production dipped even further this year with the Texans as he had just one catch for 12 yards.

Coates’ 37 snaps this year marked a career low and the former third-round pick is undoubtedly frustrated with how things have gone over the last couple of years. Still, he handled his exit from Houston with class.

Thank you Houston!!,” Coates wrote on social media. “Good Luck to y’all guys!

Coates will hit the waiver wire, making him and his contract available to the league’s other 31 teams. If he is not claimed within 24 hours, he will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Texans, meanwhile, will work to clinch the division without Coates on the depth chart. They have two games left against the Eagles and Jaguars, and they’ll sew up the AFC South with a win in either contest. The Texans can also clinch the division this week even if they fall to Philly if the Titans and Colts both lose their respective games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Claim WR Sammie Coates

The Texans have claimed wide receiver Sammie Coates off waivers from the Browns, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Because Coates is not a vested veteran, he hit the waiver wire instead of unrestricted free agency. 

[RELATED: Texans Depth Chart, Via Roster Resource]

With a 4-12 record, the Texans are fourth in the league’s waiver wire order, behind only the Browns, Giants, and Colts. It’s not immediately clear if any other teams attempted to claim Coates, but the Texans had the advantage over 27 other clubs.

Coates had just six catches for 70 yards with no touchdowns last year for Cleveland. His best season to date came in 2016 with the Steelers when he had 21 catches for 435 yards and two scores.

The Texans currently have Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, and Bruce Ellington as their top receivers after star DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans have nine receivers under contract in total, but there is certainly a chance for him to stick and make the final cut.

While Coates prepares to battle for a spot with the Texans, former Steelers teammate Markus Wheaton is on the market and meeting with the Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Release WR Sammie Coates

The Browns have released wide receiver Sammie Coates, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Coates has personally confirmed the news with a thank you to the Browns organization on Twitter

Coates arrived in Cleveland last September via a trade with the rival Steelers. That deal saw the Browns send a 2018 sixth-round selection to Pittsburgh with a 2019 seventh-round pick going back to the Browns.

Coates, a former third-round pick himself, didn’t do a whole lot for the Browns. He had six catches for 70 yards with no touchdowns, a step back from his 21 catches for 435 yards and two scores in the previous season.

Many had expected Coates to be a bigger part of the offense with the Browns. He was buried, to some degree, by the Steelers’ other talented receivers. In Cleveland, he had a chance to be third on the depth chart behind offseason addition Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman. Britt disappointed and Coleman was limited due to injury, but Coates was still not a major factor for them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Trade Sammie Coates To Browns

Joe Haden won’t be the only AFC North player to see his old team when the Steelers and Browns convene in Cleveland come Week 1. Sammie Coates will be a part of the Browns in that contest after the Steelers traded him to Cleveland on Saturday, the team announced.

The Steelers shipped the wide receiver to the Browns in exchange for a 2018 sixth-round selection. Cleveland will also receive Pittsburgh’s 2019 seventh-round pick.

Coates was jockeying for position among a crowded Pittsburgh receiving corps, one that again has the services of Martavis Bryant. He, second-rounder JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eli Rogers comprise the Steelers’ top Antonio Brown complements.

Coates will see his tenure in western Pennsylvania conclude early after two underwhelming seasons.

The 6-foot-2 deep threat mostly observed as a rookie behind a Brown-, Bryant-, and Markus Wheaton-fronted Steelers receiving attack. But last season with Bryant suspended and Wheaton mostly sidelined, Bryant played in 14 games and started five. However, after a midseason spurt of productivity, the former Auburn talent struggled due partially to a broken finger. The 24-year-old Coates finished his Steelers run with just 22 receptions.

He figures to receive a better chance to play in Cleveland. The Browns have an opening behind Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman. Their five-wideout draft class of 2016 hasn’t produced a surefire second contributor behind Coleman, so Coates figures to compete with the Browns’ incumbents for work off the bench.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Bridgewater, Steelers, Ravens

Mike Zimmer shed some light on Teddy Bridgewater‘s progress recently, revealing (via Jay Glazer of Fox Sports; Twitter link) there is a “possibility” the fourth-year quarterback returns for the Vikings this season. Zimmer reiterates Bridgewater has not been able to practice yet, further pointing to an uncertain future for the former starting quarterback.

CBA language is murky regarding what could happen if Bridgewater begins the season the Reserve/PUP list, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noting this, as written, would cause the passer’s contract to toll and keep him on the Vikings in 2018 as part of his rookie deal. While this subject has been broached a few times this offseason, Florio adds that this contract rule as applied would suggest Bridgewater would need to miss the entire season for his deal to be carried over onto Minnesota’s 2018 books. So, the former Louisville star returning from the PUP list this season could be pivotal for his career, even if Sam Bradford has a firm grip on the starting job.

This could be a drawn-out process for Bridgewater and the Vikings without a near-future resolution, but it’s definitely a worthwhile subplot to their season. Here’s the latest in relevant North-divisions subplots.

  • Several backups complemented Antonio Brown for the Steelers in the AFC championship game last season as injuries and unavailability mounted, and they’re almost all on the roster bubble now. Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey are not locks to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Coates, Heyward-Bey, Justin Hunter, Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers are fighting for the final two spots — behind Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster, per Fittipaldo. The Steelers started Ayers, Hamilton and Heyward-Bey at least once apiece in their three-game playoff sojourn last season, but now that they are deeper, won’t need some of these players to return. Coates not being given a third year would be notable for the 2015 third-round pick, who’s been inconsistent, but the remainder of these players mostly saw action due to higher-level performers’ unavailability in 2016.
  • The Ravens aren’t as deep as their rivals at wideout, and injuries have limited the competition behind locks Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun writes. Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore and Chris Matthews and rookie UDFA Quincy Adeboyejo lead the competition for the final spots, per Zreibec. This would stand to put Griff Whalen and Keenan Reynolds on the outside looking in. Zreibec calls the recently re-signed Campanaro close to a roster lock but assigns slipping stock to Moore. Adeboyejo may see a knee injury dash his hopes at making the team.
  • Bengals DC Paul Guenther discussed the prospect of acquiring defensive end Chris Smith with player personnel director Duke Tobin, expressing support for a move that eventually came April 11 via trade from the Jaguars, Paul Dehner Jr. of cincinnati.com reports. Smith participated in only 311 defensive plays in three Jacksonville seasons, and did not suit up in 10 games last season, but looks to have made a good case for more playing time in Cincinnati, Dehner Jr. writes.
  • Kyle Long not set to play in the Bears‘ third preseason game — and likely not Chicago’s fourth exhibition tilt — makes the guard’s Week 1 status uncertain, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. The Bears are being cautious with their top guard after he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in November 2016.