Today’s minor moves:
- Waived: P Sean Smith
- Signed: LB Brandon Bell, OL Tyler Catalina
- Placed on injured reserve: LB Jonathan Celestin, G Norman Price
- Claimed off waivers: S Montrel Meander
- Placed on injured reserve: WR D.J. Montgomery
- Waived/injured: LB Aaron Wallace
New York Giants
- Waived: WR Da’Mari Scott
San Francisco 49ers
- Signed: OL Andrew Lauderdale, S Tyree Robinson
- Waived: OL Christian DiLauro, WR Shawn Poindexter, RB Brandon Wilds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the night.
- Signed: P Sean Smith
- Waived: WR Emanuel Hall
- Waived: T Kent Perkins
Green Bay Packers
- Waived/failed physical: CB Derrick Jones
Los Angeles Chargers
- Waived: LB Josh Corcoran
New York Giants
- Signed: TE Jake Powell
- Placed on IR: WR Amba Etta-Tawo
- Waived: DE Alex Jenkins
- Waived/injured: TE Isaiah Searight
New York Jets
- Waived: TE Nick Truesdell
- Released from IR: TE Tyrone Swoopes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Waived: DE Dare Odeyingbo
Antonio Brown was a victim of one of linebacker Vontaze Burfict‘s many dirty hits, going down with a concussion after Burfict arguably head-hunted the former Steelers wideout in the 2015 playoffs. But now that Brown and Burfict are now teammates on the Raiders, the ex-Bengals linebacker isn’t worried about getting along. “It’s all positive, man,” Burfict said, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal. “He’s a great player. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. Honestly, I’m just going to approach him like I do all my other teammates, introduce myself, all that good stuff. There’s nothing negative over here. We’re all on the same team.” Burfict, 28, inked a one-year deal with Oakland on Tuesday just one day after being released by Cincinnati.
Here’s more from the AFC West:
- In addition to visiting with safeties George Iloka and Curtis Riley on Wednesday, the Raiders are also hosting free agent cornerback Tyler Patmon, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Patmon, 28, appeared in 49 total games over the past four years while spending time with the Cowboys, Dolphins, and Jaguars, but only started four of those contests. Last season, Patmon played in 12 games for the Jaguars, seeing roughly 30% playing time on both defense and special teams. Oakland is signed ex-Detroit cornerback Nevin Lawson earlier tonight to play alongside projected starters Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley.
- The Chiefs met with tight end Neal Sterling on Tuesday, reports Howard Balzer (Twitter link). If signed, Sterling would compete with the likes of Alex Ellis and Deon Yelder to replace Demetrius Harris — who recently signed with the Browns — as Kansas City’s No. 2 tight end behind Travis Kelce. A seventh-round pick of the Jaguars in 2015, Sterling played for the Jets in each of the past two seasons. He managed six catches in five games last year before going down with a season-ending concussion.
- Former Raiders/Chiefs corner Sean Smith has been reinstated by the NFL, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Smith was suspended indefinitely in November 2018 after being charged with felony assault. He spent part of last year in prison, but was released over the summer. Now entering his age-32 campaign, Smith’s play had already begun to deteriorate even before his ban, meaning he’s unlikely to ever return to the NFL.
The 31-year-old corner spent part of this year in prison but was released over the summer. An assault incident led to a one-year prison sentence, and Smith served less than half of that. Smith will be eligible to petition for reinstatement following Super Bowl LIII, per Schefter, though that’s obviously not a lock given what’s transpired.
The felony assault charge stemmed from a July 4, 2017 incident. Smith allegedly beat his sister’s boyfriend and stomped on his head. This came barely a year after the Raiders signed him to a four-year deal.
A former Dolphins, Chiefs and Raiders defender, Smith has been available since his release, but, predictably, no one signed him. The Raiders released Smith this offseason. He will turn 32 before the start of the 2019 season.
Prior to the prison stay, though, the 6-foot-3 boundary corner did start 123 games from 2009-17. Last season marked just the second year of Smith’s nine-season career he wasn’t a full-time starter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Former Raiders cornerback Sean Smith is slated to be released from jail in September, according to TMZ. Smith has served less than half of his year-long sentence, but he is on track to be let go next month due to good behavior and overcrowding in the facility.
Smith was sentenced to one year in jail plus five years probation after pleading guilty to felony assault. The incident took place last summer, when a dispute between the cornerback and his sister’s boyfriend turned violent. The victim suffered several major injuries in the attack, and Smith was subsequently released by the Raiders.
Smith lost out on the money he was owed on his four-year, $40MM deal, and it stands to reason that he may attempt an NFL return in order to make up for the lost cash. If that’s the case, he’ll almost certainly have to serve a suspension first, and it could be lengthy given the nature of his situation.
The veteran graded out as just the No. 73 cornerback among 121 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. He’s picked off two passes in each of the last three seasons, but had a career-low four pass defenses last year while appearing in 14 games, starting eight.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
It gets worse for Smith. The 30-year-old is expected to plead guilty to a felony count of assault with great bodily injury and be sentenced to one year in jail and three years of probation, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter) stemming from an incident on July 4, 2017, in Pasadena Calif.
Smith would have counted for $8.25MM against Oakland’s cap, making this move something of a no-brainer even prior to the announcement that he’d plead guilty to the felony assault charges.
The veteran graded out as just the No. 73 cornerback among 121 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. He’s picked off two passes in each of the last three seasons but had a career-low four pass defenses last year while appearing in 14 games, starting eight.
Smith was a seventh-round pick of the Dolphins in 2009 and signed a four-year, $40MM deal with the Raiders prior to 2016 after spending three seasons with the Chiefs. The Raiders cut cornerback David Amerson a year after signing him to a four-year, $35MM deal. Fellow cornerback T.J. Carrie, who started 15 games for the Raiders last year and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the league’s No. 22 cornerback, is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Carrie, who grew up in the Bay Area, has expressed interest in returning to Oakland. The team also has Gareon Conley, Dexter McDonald, Antonio Hamilton, Shaquille Richardson, Darius Hillary and Tevin Mitchel on the roster at cornerback. The Raiders also hold the No. 10 overall pick in the upcoming draft, with cornerback certainly among their top targets.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Having been introduced as the Raiders’ new head coach earlier today, Jon Gruden says that interviews for assistant coaches will begin on Wednesday morning, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Twitter link). Gruden, who already has three coordinators in place, kept certain NFL coaches on “red alert” in regards to when he’d re-enter the league, per Gehlken. Oakland has agreed to terms with Greg Olson (offensive coordinator), Paul Guenther (defensive coordinator), and Rich Bisaccia (special teams coordinator) to join Gruden’s initial staff.
Here’s more from the Bay Area, with a focus on other coaches that Gruden could soon lure to Oakland:
- Former Bengals staffer David Lippincott will follow Guenther and join the Raiders as the club’s next linebackers coach, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirier and Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter links). Lippincott had worked for the Bengals for a decade, beginning as a quality control coach before becoming Cincinnati’s assistant linebackers coach/quality control. He’ll offer familiarity with Guenther’s scheme, and attempt to renovate a unit that was arguably among the league’s worst in 2017.
- Virginia State head coach Reggie Barlow is being considered for the Raiders’ wide receivers coach job, tweets Marvez. Barlow, 45, spent three seasons playing under Gruden, both with Oakland and Tampa Bay. Primarily a return man during his playing career, Barlow also served as the head coach at Alabama State from 2007-14. All told, Barlow has posted an impressive 68-45 during his collegiate career, including a 10-1 mark last season. He interviewed for the Browns’ wide receivers coach job in 2015.
- Raiders cornerback Sean Smith was officially arraigned on felony assault and battery charges related to a July 4 incident, Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Smith, 30, almost certainly won’t be a member of Oakland’s roster next year, and the assault allegations are only part of the story. Smith graded as the No. 73 cornerback among 121 qualifiers (per Pro Football Focus), and is due $8.5MM in 2017. The Raiders can clear that entire total from their books by cutting ties with Smith in the coming months.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday there is enough evidence to take Raiders cornerback Sean Smith to trial for the alleged incident that occurred on July 4 involving Smith and his sister’s then-boyfriend, Nathan Feeno of the Los Angeles Times reports. The preliminary hearing featured two witnesses saying a man identified as Smith “stomped” the head of Christopher Woods in an incident on a street corner in Pasadena, Calif. Woods underwent surgery to repair five facial fractures, he said while in court. Both of his eyes were damaged, and Woods said he tore an ACL in the alleged beating. The 30-year-old Smith will be arraigned on Jan. 3. If convicted on this assault charge, Smith faces seven years in prison.
Here’s the latest from the Western divisions, moving to some Seahawks news.
- The final year of Earl Thomas‘ second Seahawks contract is 2018, and the safety made some interesting comments about his future on Wednesday. The eighth-year defensive back and last vestige of the Legion of Boom at the moment responded to a question about his thoughts on a long-term Seahawks future. “I know whoever gets me, I’m balling,” Thomas said, via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. “That’s it. And I know I’m hot. So it is what it is.” Thomas signed his initial Seahawks extension in advance of his first contract year. Any subsequent re-up would almost certainly have to surpass Eric Berry‘s $13MM-AAV deal. Thomas and Berry are the only active safeties with three first-team All-Pro distinctions on their resumes.
- Sheldon Richardson has now been reported to be interested in a Jets reunion, but the Seahawks defensive lineman (predictably) won’t rule out his current team, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. While he said he’d be interested in staying in Seattle, Richardson said he’s not aware of any talks that have occurred between his agent and the Seahawks. The fifth-year lineman added that talks could be going on unbeknownst to him and that he informed his agent he wanted to focus on this season. “We’ll see where the chips fall,” Richardson said.
- After waiving guard Mark Glowinski on Saturday, the Seahawks were hoping to bring him back, offensive line coach Tom Cable said (via Condotta, on Twitter). But the Colts swooped in with a waiver claim. Glowinski started 21 games for the Seahawks — including all 18 of their 2016 contests — since arriving as a fourth-round pick in 2015.
- The 49ers did not have Leonard Fournette as a top-three player in this past draft, leading to the Solomon Thomas selection. Kyle Shanahan attempted to douse any rumors he’s against taking running backs with a high pick, saying certain backs are worthy of that draft slot. However, the first-year coach’s comments may be interpreted as having an emphasis on making the correct evaluation of a later-round back rather than investing a Round 1 choice on one. “It’s been proven that you can get guys (running backs) later,” Shanahan said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “But that by no means makes it that I’m going to say we’re never going to draft a running back high. … A big-time running back, whether it’s Fournette; whether it’s Adrian Peterson, who was a top-10 pick; whether it was Terrell Davis in the sixth round; whether it’s David Johnson, I think was a third-rounder; Le’Veon Bell, I think was a second-rounder. All those guys are worth top-five picks, but they were all found in different places.” The 49ers are currently in position to hold the No. 4 pick, and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley could put the team to a decision.
Dont’a Hightower is expected to return to action for the Patriots on Sunday after missing each of the club’s past two games with a knee sprain, a source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. New England, notably, ranks dead last in the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, and defensive DVOA. With the Patriots’ defense clearly missing its leader, Hightower’s return can’t come too soon. As Howe writes, New England had been using Hightower as an edge defender, but several defensive mistakes could lead the Pats to shift Hightower back to his natural off-ball linebacker position. Elandon Roberts, and possibly Kyle Van Noy, will likely see his snaps reduced as a result of Hightower’s return.
Here’s more from the AFC:
- While Hightower will be back on the field in New England, the same can’t be said for Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Bengals, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, hasn’t played a regular season down this year as he deals with a high ankle sprain. Browns head coach Hue Jackson has hinted on multiple occasions that Garrett is “close” to returning, but the Texas A&M product will have to wait until at least Week 5 to make his NFL debut. Without Garrett in tow, Cleveland ranks just 23rd in adjusted sack rate.
- Raiders cornerback Sean Smith pleaded not guilty on charges of assault and battery stemming from an alleged July altercation, as Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes. The details of the incident are rather sordid, but Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio indicated the club would stand behind Smith until the legal process runs its course. On the field, Smith is no longer starting just one year after agreeing to a four-year, $38MM free agent contract. Thus far, he’s played only a quarter of the Raiders’ defensive snaps, fourth among Oakland corners.
- Punter Brandon Fields has announced his retirement from the NFL following a nine-year career, his agent announced on Twitter. Fields, 33, last played for the Saints in 2015, but is most well-known for his eight-season run with the Dolphins from 2007-14. The former seventh-round pick appeared in 130 career games and maintained a yards per punt average of 46.7.