Sio Moore

NFL Workout Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s workout updates, with nearly all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Texans To Cut LB Sio Moore

The Texans are releasing linebacker Sio Moore, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).Sio Moore (vertical)

Moore, 27, has four years and 47 games worth of NFL experience under his belt. 2016 was an especially nomadic campaign for Moore, as he spent time with three clubs — the Colts, Cardinals, and Chiefs — while posting 60 tackles and grading as the league’s No. 40 linebacker in nine games, per Pro Football Focus.

Moore dealt with a hamstring injury after being signed by the Texans in June, per Wilson, which likely led to his release. Houston will go forward with Whitney MercilusBrian CushingBenardrick McKinney, and rookie Zach Cunningham at linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 49ers, Buckner, Texans, Moore

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner played more than 1,000 snaps during his rookie campaign with the 49ers last year, a figure that new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh calls “criminal,” as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. Not only will San Francisco be transitioning to a 4-3 front in 2017, but the club will look to run a rotation along the defensive line in an effort to keep individual players fresh. 2015 first-round pick Arik Armstead should see his snaps increase during the upcoming season, while the additions of No. 3 overall selection Solomon Thomas and free agent signees Earl Mitchell and Elvis Dumervil will also give the 49ers more options up front. San Francisco ranked 20th in adjusted sack rate and 29th in adjusted line yards.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Texans recently added a pair of depth veterans in offensive tackle Breno Giacomini and linebacker Sio Moore, but neither player will take up much cap room in 2017, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). Giacomini, who’s expected to help fill in at right tackle for the injured Derek Newton, will receive a $750K signing bonus, a non-guaranteed base salary of $1MM, and can earn up to $1MM in gameday active roster bonuses. Moore, meanwhile, will come even cheaper, as he’s on a minimum salary benefit deal. As such, he can earn $775K while only counting for $615K on the Texans’ cap.
  • While running back contracts are on the fiscal decline, deals for backs are increasingly reliant on incentive-based pay, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com explains. Recent pacts for veterans such as Latavius Murray, Marshawn Lynch, and Adrian Peterson all contain some sort of performance-based money, whether through bonuses or escalators. Those clauses can often artificially inflate the value of contracts — in the case of Peterson, for example, more than 50% of his deal’s maximum value comes in the form of incentives.
  • While it’s a strategy that could be viewed as dangerous to the integrity of the game or a smart tactic in order to rebuild, “tanking” has afflicted the NFL in the past few seasons in the forms of the Browns and (certainly in 2017) the Jets. If the league wants to force teams to be competitive, it could institute an NBA-esque lottery system for the draft, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk opines. By giving each of the 20 non-playoff teams the same chance to earn the No. 1 overall pick, the NFL could dissuade clubs from failing to put forth a full effort.

Texans To Sign LB Sio Moore

The Texans have agreed to sign linebacker Sio Moore and wide receiver Dres Anderson, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link)."<strong

Houston waived linebacker Max Bullough and wideout Keith Mumphery earlier today, so the club has now made a two-for-two replacement transaction. Moore is the more notable addition, as the 27-year-old has four years and 47 games worth of NFL experience under his belt. 2016 was an especially nomadic campaign for Moore, as he spent time with three clubs — the Colts, Cardinals, and Chiefs — while posting 60 tackles and grading as the league’s No. 40 linebacker in nine games, per Pro Football Focus.

While the Texans have a solid starting linebacker crew of Whitney Mercilus, Brian Cushing, Benardrick McKinney, and rookie Zach Cunningham, Moore will be able to offer the club depth. He’s familiar with playing in a 3-4 scheme, as all three clubs that employed him a season ago run that front, and he’s capable of playing both inside and outside ‘backer.

Anderson, meanwhile, is a Utah product who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Though he’s been a member of both the 49ers and Bears (he was waived by Chicago last month), Anderson is yet to appear in an NFL game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Defense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Dwight Freeney
  2. Elvis Dumervil
  3. Chris Long
  4. Mario Williams
  5. Connor Barwin
  6. Paul Kruger
  7. Trent Cole
  8. Erik Walden
  9. Jason Jones
  10. Darryl Tapp
  11. Devin Taylor
  12. Eugene Sims
  13. Howard Jones
  14. Wallace Gilberry
  15. Sam Acho

The pass rushing market has been completely depleted during the first week of free agency, as 14 of our original top 15 edge players have now been franchised, signed, or, in the case of DeMarcus Ware, retired. As such, a 37-year-old with 15 NFL seasons under his belt is now the best pass rusher on the market. Dwight Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. Capable of playing in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, Freeney can still help out a club on the cheap.Dwight Freeney (Vertical)

Three players on this list — Elvis Dumervil, Connor Barwin, and Eugene Sims — were released by their respective clubs last week, meaning they won’t count against the compensatory formula if and when they’re signed. Dumervil, now 33, was hampered by injuries last season but still earned strong pass-rushing marks from Pro Football Focus. Barwin, meanwhile, wasn’t a good fit in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 defense, but he should flourish if he signs with a team running a 3-4 look. So far, he’s met with the Bengals (who use a 4-3) and Rams (3-4).

Chris Long has already indicated he won’t be returning to the Patriots, indicating he wants to join a roster where he’ll earn more playing time. Erik Walden, too, won’t re-sign with his 2016 club (the Colts), but he has taken a visit with the division rival Titans. Further down the list, Howard Jones has also met with at least one club, as he was hosted by the Jets on Tuesday. Jones, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL, but did post five sacks in five starts last season.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Johnathan Hankins
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Jared Odrick
  4. Vance Walker
  5. Sen’Derrick Marks
  6. Ricky Jean-Francois
  7. Roy Miller
  8. Al Woods
  9. Tony McDaniel
  10. Cullen Jenkins
  11. Frostee Rucker
  12. Cam Thomas
  13. John Jenkins
  14. Tyson Jackson
  15. Tyson Alualu

Although top-flight players such as Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have already been signed, the crop of interior defenders remains strong at the top. The buzz around Johnathan Hankins has been virtually non-existent, as the only club that’s been even tangentially linked to the 25-year-old is the Redskins. He’s one of the youngest free agents on the market, and therefore is probably looking for a massive payday. But the lack of interest around Hankins may be an indication that he’s simply asking for too much money.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

The same issue could be surrounding Dontari Poe, although he’s not wanting for meetings around the league. He’s visited with the Colts, Falcons, Jaguars, and Dolphins, while the 49ers and Raiders also reportedly have some level of interest. Clubs may have concerns about Poe’s lingering back issues, and he might have to accept a one-year deal in order to prove he’s healthy and willing to provide full effort.

The remaining defensive interior players are mostly over-30 veterans, with names such as Tony McDaniel, Cullen Jenkins, Frostee Rucker, and Tyson Jackson still looking for new deals. While most of these guys can still play, they may have to wait awhile — possibly into the summer — before signing on with their next club. Jared Odrick (Patriots) and Vance Walker (Bears) have both taken visits, but the most intriguing lineman here may be Sen’Derrick Marks, who offers a good amount of pass rush from the interior.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Cardinals Sign Sio Moore

The Cardinals announced (via Twitter) that they have signed linebacker Sio Moore. In a related move, the team cut fellow linebacker Joplo Bartu with an injury settlement (hamstring).

Sio Moore (vertical)Moore, a 2013 third-round pick, will be joining his third team of the season. The linebacker started the season with the Colts, compiling 30 tackles in four games. However, Moore was waived in early October. The 26-year-old soon caught on with the Chiefs, but he was released in early November without making a single appearance with the squad. The three-year veteran also got an audition with the Lions in early November.

The defender showed plenty of promise during his first two seasons in the league, as he averaged 70 tackles and nearly four sacks with the Raiders. Moore’s tenure with Oakland ended when he was traded to the Colts for a sixth-round pick. Moore will be joining a Cardinals linebacker corps that already features Alex Okafor, Kareem Martin, and Zaviar Gooden in reserve roles.

Bartu, 27, played seven games for the Cardinals this season. He hasn’t made a significant NFL contribution since 2014, when he collected 82 tackles in 14 starts for the Falcons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Work Out Sam Barrington, Sio Moore

The Lions tried out free agent linebackers Sam Barrington and Sio Moore, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Those two have been on the market since the Chiefs cut them Monday.

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Before joining the Chiefs via waivers prior to Week 1, Barrington spent the first three seasons of his career with the Packers – one of the Lions’ NFC North rivals. Barrington suited up for 14 games and made seven starts in 2014, but he combined for just eight appearances in his other two seasons in Green Bay. Only one of those appearances came last year for Barrington, who suffered a major foot injury in Week 1. He ended up logging two appearances with the Chiefs before they parted with him.

Moore lasted less than a month in Kansas City, which signed him shortly after the Colts waived him Oct. 4. Moore only saw action in one of the Chiefs’ games, and he didn’t record a statistic in KC after beginning the year with 30 tackles in Indianapolis. The 26-year-old’s best seasons were his first two in the NFL – 2013 and ’14 – as he combined for 26 appearances (22 starts), 140 tackles, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles with the Raiders. Oakland, which used a third-round pick on Moore, then traded him to Indy for a sixth-rounder prior to last season and the Liberia-born defender hasn’t had much success since.

It’s currently unclear if the Lions are interested in signing either Barrington or Moore. The DeAndre Levy-less club made other changes to its linebacker group late last month in re-signing Josh Bynes and trading Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Cut Sio Moore

Sio Moore‘s tenure in Kansas City has ended without him playing a single game. According to Terez A. Sio Moore (vertical)Paylor of the The Kansas City Star (via Twitter), the Chiefs have waived the veteran linebacker. Moore originally signed with the organization in early October.

It hasn’t been the easiest year for the 26-year-old. Moore was arrested in late January for reckless driving, and he played only four games for the Colts this season before getting cut. The former third-rounder played in 16 games for the Colts between 2015 and 2016, collecting 43 tackles. Prior to his tenure in Indianapolis, Moore was a consistent contributor to the Raiders defense. In two seasons with the team, Moore averaged 70 tackles, nearly four sacks, and one forced fumble per season.

Moore was serving as the team’s fourth inside linebacker, playing behind Ramik Wilson, Derrick Johnson, and D.J. Alexander. Earlier today, the team released linebacker Sam Barrington and promoted linebacker Terrance Smith from the practice squad.