Senquez Golson

Bucs Sign Senquez Golson To P-Squad

The Buccaneers announced that they signed former Steelers second-round draft pick Senquez Golson to the practice squad. Senquez Golson (vertical)

Despite entering the league in 2015, Golson has yet to see live action in the NFL. As a rookie, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. The following year, a Lisfrancc injury knocked him out of action. This past summer, he suffered a hamstring injury, leading the Steelers to release him before the 53-man deadline in early September. Golson has had some bad luck, but the good news is that he has not been held back by one particularly injury. If he can stay healthy, he could prove to be a valuable addition to the Bucs’ main roster at some point this year.

Martino, 26, has been cycled through the Buccaneers’ roster for the past two years. After spending most of his first two seasons with the Falcons and Eagles practice squads, Martino found his way to the Buccaneers in May of 2016. Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter was Martino’s offensive coordinator in Atlanta, so the connection helped him find work. Last year, he appeared in 13 games for the Bucs and had eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Work Out Senquez Golson

Tampa Bay worked out 2015 second-round cornerback Senquez Golson and 2016 seventh-round defensive end Alex McCalister, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Senquez Golson (vertical)

Golson, who has yet to step on the field in his first three seasons, was released from the Steelers before the start of the 2017 season. He suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of practice in pads at training camp and had to be carted off the field. In an unfortunate trend, the cornerback also was injured and had to be carted off the field on the first day of padded practice in 2016 with a Lisfranc injury. That came on the heels of missing his rookie campaign with a shoulder injury.

After registering 10 interceptions in 2014 and 16 during his three-year stay at Ole Miss, Golson entered the NFL Draft with significant upside and impressed Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake. “What I measure defensive backs on is how tough they are. They have to check that box for me. I suspect he’ll do that,”  Lake said after the pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Roster Now At 53

The Steelers have reduced their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Cut:

Waived/injured:

AFC Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Bills

Free agent running back Ryan Mathews may be a fit for the Ravens, but signing him would require the club to overlook his ball security issues, observes Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Mathews has fumbled a league-high 20 times since 2010, notes Hensley, who adds that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh cut the playing time of Ray Rice, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Javorius Allen in recent years after each had problems in that department. “You play the best players, and at running back, the best players don’t fumble,” Harbaugh said in 2015. While Mathews has his flaws, including injury concerns, he has nonetheless averaged a lofty 4.4 yards per carry on nearly 1,200 career attempts. A Ravens team that tied for 20th in YPC last year (4.0) and won’t have the injured Kenneth Dixon in 2017 could use the type of per-carry production Matthews’ brings to the table.

More from the AFC:

  • The Steelers invested a second-round pick in Senquez Golson in 2015, but the cornerback’s lack of availability could bring an end to his time with the team, according to defensive coordinator Keith Butler (via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette). “If he can’t stay on the field we can’t keep him,” said Butler. “That’s just the fact of the matter. That’s not threat or anything like that. That’s just the fact of the matter. It’s just the way it is for all of them.” Injuries prevented Golson from playing a down in either of his first two seasons, and a hamstring issue has kept him out for almost all of training camp this year.
  • Jets wide receiver/return man Lucky Whitehead will undergo surgery on his broken foot, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Wednesday (via Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press). While it’s unclear exactly how much time Whitehead will miss, he’ll be on the shelf for a while. Bowles said that Whitehead “could potentially” play this year, per Waszak. The late-July waiver claim from the Cowboys had been in line to begin the season as Gang Green’s top returner. With would-be replacement Jalin Marshall out the first quarter of the season because of a suspension, the Jets could turn to one of Frankie Hammond, Romar Morris, Chris Harper or Marcus Murphy, Waszak suggests.
  • Fifth-round rookie Nathan Peterman has passed T.J. Yates on the Bills’ depth chart at quarterback, leading Mike Rodak of ESPN.com to argue that the team should release the veteran. The Bills would only have the untested Peterman behind starter Tyrod Taylor at that point, but as Rodak writes, the loss of Taylor for an extended period would kill their already slim hopes of contending anyhow. Further, cutting Yates would allow Buffalo to keep another player at a position of need, and it’s possible the team would be able to re-sign him at a later date if an emergency were to arise under center. Yates nearly went without an employer last season until the Dolphins signed him in mid-December, after all, though he did suffer an ACL tear late in the previous year.

North Notes: Golson, Browns, Lions

In the past few drafts, the Steelers have made a concerted effort to bolster their defensive backfield, an area that has been something of a weakness in the second half of the Ben Roethlisberger era. The team selected a cornerback on the first or second day of the last three drafts (Cam Sutton in 2017, Artie Burns in 2016, and Senquez Golson in 2015), and safety Sean Davis was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft. Pittsburgh’s secondary was improved last season, but after it was gashed by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, the Steelers’ coaching staff plans to implement more man coverage in 2017, as Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Dulac says the team is confident that Sutton and Burns can handle those concepts, but the staff is openly pessimistic about Golson, who has not played in a preseason or regular-season game in his two years in the league due to injuries. Golson, who is at least healthy enough to practice at the moment, seems to be on the verge of losing his roster spot altogether, and he may need to prove his worth on special teams just to make the club.

Now for more from the North:

  • Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman sit squarely atop the Browns‘ wide receiver depth chart, but the No. 3 job is wide open, and there are a number of second-years players who could fill that role. However, Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com says the team hopes Ricardo Louis, last year’s fourth-round selection, can be the guy. Though Louis appeared in all 16 games for the club last season, he caught just 18 passes for 205 yards, but given the big-play potential he flashed at Auburn, Cleveland will give him every opportunity to earn a key role this summer.
  • Speaking of Coleman, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says he will be eased into the grind of training camp, and he may not be a full-go from the first day of camp. The same is true of 2017 No. 1 overall selection Myles Garrett, who suffered a left lateral foot sprain in minicamp.
  • Lions safety Miles Killebrew, a fourth-round selection in 2016, was a fixture in the team’s dime package last season, but as Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes, Killebrew could be in for a much bigger role in 2017. The Southern Utah product is currently listed as the third safety on the depth chart behind Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson, but Meinke believes Killebrew could push Wilson for the starting strong safety job with a solid training camp. As we learned yesterday, the Lions and Quin are discussing a new contract.
  • Jake Rudock lost the Lions‘ backup quarterback competition to Dan Orlovsky last season because of Orlovsky’s experience and knowledge of the team’s offense, but now Rudock himself is the player with the experience advantage. As Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com writes, Rudock’s grasp of OC Jim Bob Cooter’s scheme is miles ahead of rookie Brad Kaaya‘s, thereby making Rudock almost a lock for the backup job.

Steelers Notes: Brown, Bell, Timmons, Jones

The Steelers have a number of to-do items on their offseason docket, and today general manager Kevin Colbert addressed the media with a focus on what Pittsburgh plans on doing over the next few months. Let’s take a look at the highlights from Colbert’s press conference, courtesy of Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

  • Stating that he wants both wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell to remain Steelers for life, Colbert said the club has opened extension talks with Brown, the only player with whom Pittsburgh has discussed a new deal, according to Dulac. Brown is signed through 2017 with a cap charge of roughly $13.6MM, while Bell is an unrestricted free agent but will likely be retained via the franchise tag. Colbert specifically called reaching a new contract with Brown an offseason “priority,” although a recent report indicated that talks between the two sides will move slowly.
  • Re-signing veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons could also be in the cards for the Steelers, but negotiations with Timmons won’t be as cut-and-dry as talks with Brown and Bell. “Would you like to have him stay? Absolutely,” Colbert said. “Does it all fit? We can make it work, but at what cost? He’s never been a free agent. I’d like to see him finish his career here and he would too.” Timmons, 30, has spent a decade in Pittsburgh, and is coming off a 78-tackle, 2.5-sack season.
  • The Steelers aren’t counting on former second-round cornerback Senquez Golson, who has missed his first two seasons in the NFL with injury, for anything more than potential depth. “I’m a little more apprehensive,” said Colbert. “Just from sitting out two years, where you haven’t played at all, it’s not real easy to just step out there and catch up.” As such, Colbert said Pittsburgh could consider selecting a cornerback in this year’s draft.
  • Because Golson is a question mark, the Steelers could be open to re-signing cornerback Justin Gilbert, who was released last week, tweets Dulac. Gilbert has become a massive draft bust since being selected eighth overall in 2014, and played only 11 defensive snaps last season. He’s still just 25 years old, however, and would make for an interesting (if uninspiring) depth peice.
  • Despite reports of a possible retirement, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return in 2017, and the Steelers hope to re-sign backup signal-caller Landry Jones, as well, as Dulac writes. “We’d like to have Landry stay in the mix,” Colbert said. “Will we add a guy? Absolutely. When? It’s hard to say. Sooner or later we will have to address that.” If Pittsburgh doesn’t view Jones as the long-term replacement for Roethlisberger, the club could look to draft a QB at some point.

Steelers Place Golson, Harris On IR

Senquez Golson‘s Steelers debut might have to wait until 2017, depending on what happens with the team’s injury situation this season.

Pittsburgh placed the second-year cornerback on IR, where he will join backup tackle Ryan Harris, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). A preseason foot injury sidelined Golson, but the Steelers previously kept him on their active roster. The 2015 second-round pick spent the entirety of last season on IR.

This move isn’t entirely unexpected since Golson underwent foot surgery in early August, with the procedure’s rehab timeline hovering around four months. He missed all of last season due to an August shoulder operation. The Steelers can bring Golson back later in the year, but Golson has to miss at least eight weeks’ worth of games and six weeks’ worth of practices, per the tweaked IR rules.

Harris was injured against the Chiefs while starting for the ailing Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. He’d been the swing man behind Gilbert and Alejandro Villanueva this season after signing for two years and $3.9MM this offseason. The 31-year-old Harris began 2015 as the Broncos’ starting right tackle before injuries elsewhere relocated him to the left side, where he started the final 15 games for the Super Bowl champions.

Harris’ injury leaves Chris Hubbard as the Steelers’ starting right tackle Sunday against the Jets. Maurkice Pouncey took reps at right tackle this week despite having never played there in a game.

The Steelers replaced Harris and Golson on their roster with offensive lineman Matt Feiler and cornerback Al-Haj Shabazz, via practice squad promotions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Senquez Golson Undergoes Surgery

AUGUST 8: Golson underwent surgery today and is expected to miss four months, tweets Dulac.

AUGUST 2, 7:47pm: The timeline on Golson is closer to four months, according to Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and if Goldon requires surgery, he’ll likely miss the entire season.

11:21am: Bad news for the Steelers as cornerback Senquez Golson has a lisfranc injury which could sideline him for 12 weeks, according to Ian Rapoport and Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (on Twitter). Golson is now a candidate to be placed on IR-DTR, according to Rapoport.Senquez Golson (vertical)

[RELATED – Impact Rookies: Pittsburgh Steelers]

Golson, a 2015 second-round pick, missed all of last season after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery last August. This time around, the injury doesn’t appear to be as severe, but it is still troubling for the Ole Miss product who has yet to see time in an NFL game. The injury could also prompt Pittsburgh to take a look at available cornerbacks on the open market. Behind projected starters William Gay and first-round pick Artie Burns, the Steelers also have Ross Cockrell, 2015 fourth-round pick Doran Grant, Montell Garner, and Al-Hajj Shabazz on the cornerback depth chart. Antonio Cromartie and Leon Hall are among the cornerbacks still available at this stage of the offseason.

Golson was selected with the No. 56 overall pick in last year’s draft. The 5’9″ athlete started 33 of his 49 games in college and recorded 136 tackles and 16 interceptions. His 16 picks led all NCAA active defensive players and tied for third most in school history. Golson led the SEC with ten interceptions in 2014, second-most in the NCAA, and tied an Ole Miss single-season record.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Kalil, Bears, T-Rich, Golson

The Vikings have not received the return they’d hoped after investing their highest first-round pick since 1985 on Matt Kalil, but the team kept him for just more than $11MM on a fifth-year option. The former No. 4 overall selection hopes to reward the team this season and wants to finish his career in the Twin Cities, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes.

Despite an inconsistent career, Kalil is set to out-earn every left tackle in football this season on his $11.09MM fifth-year salary. Tomasson writes that an extension for the 27-year-old blocker could happen, as could a re-signing after the season. Kalil owns one more Pro Bowl nod than Eric Fisher, 2013’s No. 1 overall pick who just inked a four-year, $48MM extension with the Chiefs despite middling production to date, and has started all 65 of the Vikings’ games the past four years. So, that kind of agreement could conceivably be in Kalil’s future if he can elevate his game this season.

The Vikings signed Andre Smith this offseason but saw Phil Loadholt retire. They do not have a long-term tackle option at this point. Last month, PFR’s Dallas Robinson checked in on the Vikings’ offensive front.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions, beginning with one of the Vikings’ top rivals.

  • Willie Young‘s extension with the Bears is worth $13.55MM and runs through the 2018 season, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times reports (on Twitter). That includes $9MM in guaranteed money, per Jahns. Young will make $5.85MM in 2016, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). That total includes a $2.7MM signing bonus, a $2.3MM roster bonus and an $800K base salary. Young will hold cap figures of $4.1MM in 2017 and $5.4MM in ’18, according to Jahns. The Bears will owe Young a $2.2MM roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2017 league year, Biggs tweets. The steady pass-rusher is due a $1MM roster bonus in ’18, per Biggs (via Twitter), and includes incentives for sacks — thresholds that aren’t likely to be crossed, according to Jahns (Twitter link).
  • Bears cornerback Brandon Boykin is dealing with a pectoral injury that might be “problematic,” and that is expected to prompt Chicago to sign a cornerback soon, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • The Ravens released Trent Richardson because they needed a wide receiver to practice, Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. They believe he’s talented and his return is possibility, Werder adds. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters, including Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter) that both he and GM Ozzie Newsome spoke to Richardson about getting healthy and possibly coming back to the team.
  • Mike Tomlin confirmed Senquez Golson has a Lisfranc injury and that surgery is a likely course of action, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets. Golson could land on IR-DTR, but the Steelers may reserve that spot for another player since the second-year cornerback will be out up to four months. The 2015 second-rounder has yet to play in a regular-season game after missing his entire rookie slate. As Roster Resource shows, 2016 first- and second-rounders Artie Burns and Sean Davis represent the top depth behind William Gay at a position the Steelers invested in heavily this offseason.
  • Wide receiver Alonzo Russell and interior lineman Alex Redmond represent two of the top choices to continue the Bengals‘ run of UDFAs making the 53-man roster, Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes. The 6-foot-4 Russell was a four-year contributor at Toledo, recording 3,076 yards and 24 receiving TDs from 2012-15. A UCLA product, Redmond will be competing with the likes of fifth-round rookie Christian Westerman and 2013 seventh-rounder T.J. Johnson for a spot as a backup interior blocker.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Steelers Reduce Roster To 75 Players

The Steelers added one player to their roster today, acquiring Josh Scobee in a trade with the Jaguars, but most of the day’s transactions for the team involve removing players onto reserve lists, or cutting them from the team entirely.

Here are the rest of the moves completed today by Pittsburgh in order to get the roster down to 75 players, according to the club’s transactions log:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

  • T Mike Adams

Placed on injured reserve:

  • CB Senquez Golson
  • K Garrett Hartley

Waived/injured:

  • TE Cameron Clear
  • DE Niko Davis
  • TE Ray Hamilton

Cut:

  • G Miles Dieffenbach
  • WR Kenzel Doe
  • WR C.J. Goodwin
  • RB Braylon Heard
  • DE Joe Kruger
  • DT Joe Okafor
  • OL Collin Rahrig
  • CB Jordan Sullen
  • T Kevin Whimpey
  • S Ian Wild