Samson Satele

Injury Updates: Gronk, Pouncey, Carrington

In the wake of the Patriots‘ first loss last night, initial reports indicated that Rob Gronkowski‘s knee injury may not be as serious as it initially looked, and recent reports have continued to suggest as much. According to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), the New England tight end is unlikely to miss more than one game, and perhaps won’t even miss any time. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets that the club’s initial diagnosis is a “relatively minor non-ACL sprain.”

Still, the results of Gronkowski’s MRI aren’t in yet, so the Patriots won’t breathe easy until they get confirmation of their initial diagnosis. For now though, it looks like the club may have avoided a worst-case scenario for the star tight end, since his reaction to the hit on his knee had most of us expecting a season-ending injury.

Let’s round up a few more injury updates from across the NFL….

  • Another AFC East injury not as serious as initially feared? Mike Pouncey‘s foot ailment, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Rapoport tweets that the Dolphins center has a minor foot sprain, and that it’s not believed to be a Lisfranc injury. Still, the Dolphins are expected to search for help at center, per Salguero, who tweets that Samson Satele “should probably pick up the phone.”
  • The Bills didn’t get good news on defensive end Alex Carrington, who tore his quad tendon and is undergoing season-ending surgery today, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). It’s the latest blow to a Buffalo defensive line that was already missing Kyle Williams – who is out for the year – and Mario Williams on Sunday.
  • Rapoport also provides an update on Ben Roethlisberger, tweeting that, while the Steelers quarterback placed himself in the concussion protocol, he may not have suffered a concussion on Sunday, and could be cleared for Week 13.
  • 49ers tight end Garrett Celek is out indefinitely due to a high ankle sprain, writes Matt Maiocco of Celek, who has caught 19 balls for the team this year, went down with the injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

49ers Host Pierre Thomas For Tryout

Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas worked out for the 49ers on Monday, according to a source who spoke with’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Thomas was released by the Saints in early March and has been without an NFL home ever since.

When the Saints parted ways with Darren Sproles last March, the team re-committed to Thomas, signing him to a two-year, $4MM extension that spanned the 2015 and 2016 seasons. However, Thomas didn’t wind up playing out any part of that new deal. By cutting him, the Saints created $1.735MM in cap savings for 2015, carrying $800K in dead money on their books.

Thomas, 30, saw his 2014 campaign derailed by injuries and by an increasing workload for Mark Ingram, who received many of the carries that would have gone to Thomas in past years. Before he finished the season on injured reserve, Thomas ran for 222 yards on 45 attempts, both career-low totals. He did remain fairly involved in the passing game, however, grabbing 45 balls out of the backfield.

Thomas reportedly had a strong workout for the Texans back in August, though rumors of a deal there turned out to be false. Last month, it was reported that Thomas was seeking a salary around $1.3MM or $1.4MM, though I would imagine that his demands have come down since then. Thomas auditioned for the Chiefs last week in the wake of Jamaal Charles‘ injury, but there was no deal between him and KC.

The 49ers also worked out center Samson Satele, according to Mike Florio of PFT (Twitter link). Satele, 31 in November, spent the 2014 season with the Dolphins, starting all 16 games for the team. The eight-year veteran, who has also spent time with the Raiders and the Colts, has started 114 of his 118 career regular season contests, and we heard back in March that he was looking for a team that would give him an opportunity to compete for a starting center job. In August, he visited the Seahawks but he did not sign.

Samson Satele Expected To Visit Seahawks

After hosting Evan Mathis over the weekend, the Seahawks are expected to bring in another veteran offensive lineman looking for work. According to Adam Caplan of (via Twitter), free agent center Samson Satele is expected to visit the Seahawks today.

Satele, 30, spent the 2014 season with the Dolphins, starting all 16 games for the team. The eight-year veteran, who has also spent time with the Raiders and the Colts, has started 114 of his 118 career regular season contests, and we heard back in March that he was looking for a team that would give him an opportunity to compete for a starting center job.

There haven’t been many rumors surrounding Satele since that March report, but it’s not surprising that the Seahawks would want to kick the tires on him. Having traded away Max Unger in an offseason deal, Seattle doesn’t have a clear-cut starter at center, where Drew Nowak is believed to have the lead over Lemuel Jeanpierre. Nowak has never started an NFL game, while Jeanpierre has 11 starts to his name, so adding some veteran depth could make sense.

FA Notes: Connolly, Gresham, Ellis, Barksdale

After passing along several updates on free agency this morning, we’re back this afternoon with another round-up. Here’s the latest on a handful of players still on the market:

  • The Patriots would like to re-sign Dan Connolly, but the veteran offensive lineman is also receiving interest from the Seahawks and Bears as a center, and from the Dolphins and Buccaneers as a guard, tweets Ian Rapoport of The 32-year-old has been a mainstay in New England for the last few years, but had a down year in 2014, placing among the bottom 10 guards in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
  • Tight end Jermaine Gresham is meeting with a doctor tomorrow to determine the severity of a back injury, and could be headed for surgery later this week, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). Greshman still expects to be ready for training camp, but that’s a giant red flag for potential suitors, and explains why he remains unsigned. Teams in need of a tight end – such as the Bills, Raiders, and Browns – figure to monitor Gresham’s situation, tweets Rapoport.
  • Free agent defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis could potentially make the move from one New York team to another. According to Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter), the former Jet is visiting the Giants today.
  • The Titans have maintained interest in Joe Barksdale, arguably the top tackle left on the market, says Adam Caplan of (via Twitter). Since hitting free agency last week, Barksdale has frequently been linked to the Titans and the Rams, who are still interested in re-signing him.
  • Veteran free agent Samson Satele is looking for a team that will give him the opportunity to compete for a starting center job, tweets Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Dolphins Rumors: Clay, Odrick, Harris, WRs

Barry Jackson’s Wednesday Buzz column for the Miami Herald is chock full of notable Dolphins-related tidbits, so let’s dive right in and see what kind of free agent rumors Jackson has for us today….

  • Negotiations between the Dolphins and tight end Charles Clay are active and the team is cautiously optimistic that something will get done. There’s no certainty at this point, but Miami would like to keep its Clay/Dion Sims TE duo intact.
  • The Dolphins intend to make an offer to free-agent-to-be Jared Odrick, and have told him as much. However, the team has confided in people that the defensive tackle may command more than what the club is willing to pay — a contract worth $7MM+ per year isn’t out of reach for Odrick.
  • Miami wants to add a starting linebacker, and David Harris of the Jets figures to be a prime target. New Dolphins president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum drafted Harris back in 2007 when he was the Jets’ general manager. If Harris ultimately ends up out of the Dolphins’ price range, Mason Foster of the Buccaneers may be Plan B, per Jackson.
  • The Dolphins would like to re-sign prospective free agent defensive backs Louis Delmas and Jimmy Wilson, as well as tackle Jason Fox.
  • While the fate of specific players like Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline still hasn’t been made clear, the Dolphins have told people that there will be some turnover at the wide receiver position, according to Jackson.
  • Although Miami would like to bring back Samson Satele, he will likely find a better opportunity elsewhere now that the club is moving Mike Pouncey back to center.

AFC East Links: Ryan, Marrone, Gilmore

Jets‘ head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat following a 1-6 record start to the season. In some minds, he is already as good as fired with his team facing another year missing the postseason. While his future with the Jets is bleak, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News writes that he expects Ryan to be a top candidate for teams looking for a head coach this January.

Myers lists a few teams where Ryan could fit in well, including the Falcons, Dolphins, and 49ers. He also warns that Ryan should avoid the Raiders, Bills, and Giants if those jobs open up. Myers also lists the Cowboys as a fit, but it would be hard to imagine them making a change at head coach without an epic collapse in the last ten games of the season.

Here are some other notes from around the AFC East:

  • One big distraction the Bills have had to deal with is the unhappiness amongst its players over recent weeks. Head coach Doug Marrone has addressed many of these issues, but Vic Carucci of believes the coach needs to squash these trade talks. He writes that it doesn’t matter whether C.J. Spiller or Mike Williams are unhappy with playing time, both players need to join the rest of the team in preparing for a winnable game against the Vikings on Sunday.
  • The Bills have had a lot of faith in former first-round pick Stephon Gilmore, but the cornerback has also taken a lot of heat for mistakes he has made early in this season, writes Joe Buscaglia of Defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson preaches that Gilmore needs to improve his consistency in order to reach his potential. “If you want to be a shutdown corner in this league, you’ve got to play technique and you gotta play your guy,” said Henderson. “That’s how we talk about it in my room. I don’t beat around the bush. I tell them straight that if you want to be a shutdown corner, you take your man out of it by working technique and making sure you get yours covered.”
  • Dolphins‘ star offensive lineman Mike Pouncey was a top flight center before making the transition to guard this season. The move went smoothly, but he might be back to center sooner rather than later with Samson Satele dealing with a hamstring injury, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Dolphins Sign Samson Satele

TUESDAY, 10:33am: Yates has the details on Satele’s one-year contract with the Dolphins, which has a base salary of $1.25MM, with $250K guaranteed (Twitter link). The deal also features up to $750K in per-game active roster bonuses, meaning the center could earn up to $2MM.

SATURDAY, 6:30pm: The Dolphins have signed offensive lineman Samson Satele, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The center was released by the Colts in March after spending two seasons with the club. The 29-year-old was originally drafted by the Dolphins in the second-round of the 2007 draft. He spent his first two seasons in Miami before being shipped to the Raiders in 2009.

We had heard last week that the Dolphins were keeping an eye on the seven-year veteran, but it sounded like the team was going to rely on younger players to replace injured Pro-Bowler Mike Pouncey. The team apparently wasn’t completely satisfied with the options (including Sam Brenner, Shelley Smith and Nate Garner) and decided to add the former second-rounder.

Satale has been relatively durable since he entered the league. He’s started 98 of 102 career games, including 13 starts for last year’s Colts team. While he has the ability to stay on the field, he hasn’t provided much production. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), he has been a below-average lineman for much of his career (excluding a solid 2011 campaign).

AFC East Notes: Bills, Pats, Satele, Salas

While Jon Bon Jovi may have been trying to endear himself – and his group of bidders – to Western New York by writing in the Buffalo News over the weekend that he wanted to see the Bills succeed in Buffalo, that letter appears to have violated the non-disclosure agreement he signed with the franchise, says Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. In fact, by speaking publicly about their bids, both Bon Jovi and Donald Trump may be in violation of that agreement, leaving Terry Pegula as the only bidder who hasn’t breached it. As Graham writes, “ramifications for confidentiality breaches are not spelled out within the document,” but it’s still an ominous start for Bon Jovi and Trump as they pursue a purchase of the Bills.

Here’s more from around the AFC East, including another note on the Bills’ sale:

  • New York senator Charles Schumer remains optimistic about keeping the Bills in Buffalo, as Denise Jewell Gee of the Buffalo News details. However, Schumer added, “Words are nice, but they are not sufficient. We need an iron-clad commitment for whoever buys the team to keep the Bills in Buffalo.”
  • The Patriots were one of at least four teams to place a claim on former Seahawks tackle Michael Bowie when Seattle tried to sneak him through waivers and onto injured reserve, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Pats, of course, made a similar move last month, claiming rookie running back Tyler Gaffney when the Panthers tried to move him to their IR. Per Florio, the Saints and Cowboys also submitted claims for Bowie, who was ultimately awarded to the Browns.
  • Veteran center Samson Satele, who last played for the Dolphins during the 2008 season, is happy to have come “full circle” after signing with Miami this weekend, as he tells James Walker of
  • Greg Salas‘ path to a roster spot with the Jets got a little more difficult after the team addressed the position in free agency this offseason by signing Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford. But as Dennis Waszack Jr. of The Associated Press writes, Salas has been making a case this summer that the Jets ought to keep him around for the regular season.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Satele, Jackson

With all of the Patriots additions to their defensive back core, it’s certainly going to be tough for a player like Dax Swanson to make the final roster. However, the player has already faced plenty of adversity in his life, including switching colleges and going undrafted in 2013. Swanson uses all of these experiences as motivation (via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal)…

“Yes, it motivates me a lot,” Swanson said. “Expecting to get drafted, still happy to have this opportunity and still got to where I needed to be, that was one of my goals. Me being me, I expect the best of myself. Not being drafted was very disappointing, but I had an injury and that’s kind of what happened. I just use that as motivation. It doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finished. That’s my mentality.”

Swanson faced more adversity in July, when his father Henry died after suffering a stroke. The death adds fuel to the player’s fire, and he hopes that the memory of his father will guide him towards his ultimate goal.

“Yeah, it definitely does. It motivates me more,” Swanson said. “I just want him to know he’s in my heart and my thoughts all the time. He loved for me to have this opportunity and is excited for me to be in the NFL. I just want to make him proud, even though he’s no longer here. He’ll know I’m doing the best for him.”

While Swanson will have to compete with former Pro-Bowlers Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner for playing time, he’s certainly overcome tougher battles in his life.

“I’ve faced all sorts of adversity,” Swanson said. “Being on different teams, injuries — it just made me more mentally tough and hungrier to come out here and perform well and do my job, on the field and off the field.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC East…

East Notes: Bryant, Lawrence, Fins, Bradham

The big news out of the NFL’s two East divisions today relates to Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith, who reached an agreement with the club on a $98MM extension that will keep him under contract through 2023. We have a few other East notes to round up though, including an item on how Smith’s new deal could affect one of his teammates. Let’s dive in….

  • Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link) believes that, after extending Smith, it would be “nearly impossible” for the Cowboys make a big long-term commitment to Dez Bryant now. The signing bonus on Smith’s contract isn’t massive, so I think the Cowboys would still have the flexibility to get something done this year if they really wanted to. Still, Rapoport adds that there hasn’t been much progress between the two sides, and that Bryant may benefit from playing out the season without a new deal.
  • 34th overall pick Demarcus Lawrence suffered a fractured foot in practice this week and is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. That’s a significant blow for the Cowboys, who liked Lawrence enough that they traded their third-round selection in May’s draft to move up and snag the young edge defender.
  • Free agent center Samson Satele remains on the Dolphins’ radar, and the team still may return to him at some point, but the team continues to hope its internal options can handle the position in Mike Pouncey’s absence, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham has been suspended for the first game of the regular season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Considering it’s just a one-game suspension, it’s likely for Bradham’s 2013 arrest for marijuana possession, rather than a failed test, Garafolo notes.