Stedman Bailey

Extra Points: Chiefs, Packers, Bailey, Raiders

Some assorted notes from around the NFL:

  • The Chiefs worked out safety Sharrod Neasman on Wednesday, as Charean Williams of PFT writes. Neasman was with Atlanta for the last two years but was non-tendered this offseason. The 26-year-old appeared in eleven games last season and played mostly on special teams.
  • In an attempt to get younger, the Packers may look to “revamp” the right side of their offensive line, writes ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. Jahri Evans could decide to retire, and Green Bay may be wary of keeping Bryan Bulaga and his $7.9MM cap hit, especially after a pair of ACL reconstructions. As Demovsky points out, the team could hand one of those spots to 25-year-old Justin McCray, but they could look for upgrades on their other options, including Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy.
  • Stedman Bailey sat down with Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne in a must-read interview. The former Rams wideout discussed his recovery after being shot in the head back in 2015, and he also talked about this attempt at a NFL comeback. “The attitude I have, I would think teams would want me around other guys and help motivate them,” Bailey said. “I can look at guys now and say: ‘Listen, man. The s–t’s not hard. I’ve been shot before. Let’s go out here and go get it.’ Motivation to where people say: ‘You know what, he’s f–king right. What can’t I do?'”
  • The Raiders were already looking at punter options before releasing Marquette King. Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets that special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia “privately worked out” Texas punter Michael Dickson and Alabama punter JK Scott.

Extra Points: Lions, Ebron, Ravens, Bailey

The Lions met with tight end Eric Ebron on Thursday to discuss his future, Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Team officials let him know that they are are open to dealing him and didn’t not guarantee that he’ll be back with the team for 2018.

Ebron, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has had an up-and-down career in Detroit. On the plus side, he had less issues with dropped passes in 2017 than in years past.

There’s reason to believe that Ebron, who doesn’t turn 25 until April, can grow from here. Over the last two seasons, he has averaged 57 catches for 642 yards and it’s possible that a change of scenery can help him reach the next level.

Here’s more from around the NFL on a busy Friday:

Stedman Bailey Wants To Play Again

Former Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey is hoping to return to the NFL, as Grant Traylor of The Herald Dispatch writes. Many assumed that Bailey’s playing days were over after he survived two gunshots to the head in 2015, but he says his confidence never wavered. 

[RELATED: Tre Mason Looking To Make NFL Return]

I never had a doubt in my mind that I’d be able to play again,” Bailey said. “It kind of hurt with reports from doctors that I may not be able to walk or I may have trouble speaking again. Me, just being a positive person that I am, I just waved those reports off like, ‘OK, we’ll see.’ I set it in my mind to show them differently. “That incident happened in November 2015 and, five months later, I was on the field running routes and feeling good.”

Bailey has discussed a comeback in the past, but he is even more optimistic now that he has had a surgery to insert a plate into his skull. He believes that plate will allow him to absorb the impact of major hits since it is stronger than skull bone.

Bailey spent three seasons in the NFL with his best campaign coming in 2014. In that season, Bailey hauled in 30 catches for 435 yards and one touchdown.

Bailey, a former West Virginia star, took part in Marshall’s pro day on Wednesday and reportedly looked strong. There’s no word on whether he has picked up interest from NFL teams yet, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Sproles, Patriots, Browns, Snee

Darren Sproles may now be reconsidering retirement. The 13th-year passing-down back said in December that this season was likely going to be his last, but on Monday, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Eagles running back wasn’t quite ready to go that far. “We’re going to see,” Sproles said about retirement (via Zach Berman of Philly.com), adding “right after we make the playoffs, come back and ask me.” Sproles totaled the most carries of his career last year with 94, and he caught 52 passes. The 965 yards were the diminutive runner’s third-most in his career. Philadelphia drafted 2016 Division I-FBS rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round and signed LeGarrette Blount, but the team is likely to cut Ryan Mathews. Berman notes Sproles is still expected to play a big role for the Eagles this season, which is the last year of his contract.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Vance Walker is expected to be medically cleared by next week and ready for training camp after tearing an ACL during his most recent camp experience, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Walker remains a free agent, but a cleaner bill of health should bring back interest in the 30-year-old interior defender. His last healthy season involved a role as a rotational defensive end on 2015’s Super Bowl champion Broncos defense.
  • Former All-Pro guard Chris Snee will be working with his father-in-law again, with the Jaguars hiring the ex-Giants guard as an area scout, Neil Stratton of Inside the League reports (on Twitter). Snee was Tom Coughlin‘s first Giants draft pick that actually played for the team, with Philip Rivers being the then-coach’s first selection in New York, and the four-time Pro Bowler played 10 years with the Giants. The 35-year-old Snee’s been out of the league since 2014 but will work with the Jags, who hired Coughlin as their executive VP of football operations in January.
  • Desmond Bryant returned to the practice field for the Browns last week after missing the 2016 season with a torn pectoral muscle sustained away from the team’s facilities. Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes the veteran defensive lineman, who also played for Hue Jackson on the 2011 Raiders, will stay at defensive end in Gregg Williams‘ 4-3 after playing end in the Browns’ 3-4 looks previously. The 2017 Browns are in position to have Bryant and Myles Garrett at end, joining 2016 Day 2 picks Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib.
  • Stedman Bailey will undergo an upcoming procedure he believes can increase his chances of returning to football, the former wide receiver told TMZ. The website does not specify what type of procedure the former Rams wideout will undergo, but the 26-year-old Bailey said if it doctors tell him after it’s over that he shouldn’t play football again he will move on in a quest to return to the sport. Sustaining two gunshot wounds to the head in December of 2015 ended Bailey’s Rams run. Bailey returned to his alma mater, West Virginia, as a student assistant in 2016. The Rams officially waived Bailey in April.
  • Bill Belichick will have both of his sons coaching under him this season. The Patriots coach’s youngest son, Brian Belichick, is set to rise from scouting assistant to coaching assistant, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter). A 2016 college graduate, Brian Belichick will join older brother — the Patriots’ second-year safeties coach — on the sideline in an as-of-yet unspecified capacity.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/10/17

The latest minor moves from around the NFL:

  • Broncos linebacker Todd Davis has signed his restricted free agent tender, reports Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link). The Broncos applied a second-rounder tender to Davis, meaning it would have been quite costly for anyone to sign him away from Denver. The 24-year-old Davis set career highs in starts (15) and tackles (97) last season, when his performance ranked a decent 43rd among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.
  • Patriots offensive lineman Cameron Fleming has signed his RFA tender, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Pats applied an original-round tender last month to Fleming, who was a fourth-round pick in 2014. Fleming has started in 14 of 35 appearances in three seasons, and is coming off his first 16-game campaign.
  • The Rams are keeping defensive end Ethan Westbrooks, who signed his original-round RFA tender, relays Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. Westbrooks, undrafted in 2014, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence last month, but the Sacramento County District Attorney chose not to file charges. Los Angeles is also retaining exclusive rights free agents Matt Longacre (DE) and Louis Trinca-Pasat (DT). Meanwhile, the team has officially waived wide receiver Stedman Bailey, whose career likely ended when he survived two gunshot wounds to the head in 2015.
  • Nose tackle Mike Purcell and linebacker Carl Bradford have signed their ERFA tenders with the 49ers, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Purcell, the more experienced of the two, logged career-best totals in appearances (15), starts (five) and tackles (26) in 2016.
  • The Raiders have waived defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry, according to James Palmer of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cherry signed with the 49ers last spring as an undrafted free agent from Arizona State. After the 49ers cut him prior to the season, he caught on with Oakland’s practice squad.
  • The Falcons have signed former University of Georgia track and field athlete Garrett Scantling, who will try and make the team as a receiver (Instagram link). Scantling has not played football since his senior year of high school. However, he performed well when partaking in Jacksonville University’s pro day last month.
  • LSU’s Cyril Grayson, who also has a background in track, has signed with the Seahawks, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The seven-time All-American hasn’t played football since 2011, but he did run a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at LSU’s pro day last week, writes Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Manziel, Edelman, Bailey, Lions

The prospect of his NFL career currently exists as a sore conversation topic for Johnny Manziel. The 23-year-old former Browns quarterback, according to Kent Babb of the Washington Post, orders the subject changed when his playing career or the NFL comes up during discussions with his friends.

Many of Manziel’s friends do not know if he wants to play football again. One of Manziel’s close confidants told Babb in May that he did not expect the former Heisman Trophy-winning passer to attempt a comeback. Recent indications pointed to Manziel reconsidering a comeback in 2017. A substance abuse-induced suspension will shelve the free agent for four games in 2016, but the Texas A&M product seemed a long shot to land with a team even before the league handed down that ban.

Manziel, though, sent a statement to the Washington Post indicating he’s still interested in playing football despite his myriad legal troubles and various concerns emerging about his well-being.

I’m actually doing well. I have good friends around me supporting what I do and I try to support them in what they want to do,” the statement read. “I’m not saying I’m never drinking again, but for now just mostly being healthy. I’ve got a killer gym in my house and I can spend time working out. I’m interested in doing a lot of different things in my life — including football — but, right now, I’m just exploring options and waiting to see what the future holds.”

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Julian Edelman is unsure when he’ll be cleared to play, Chris Mason of the Boston Herald reports. The eighth-year Patriots wide receiver suffered a Jones fracture in his foot last season and underwent surgery during the spring, his second on that troublesome left foot. The 30-year-old slot staple missed seven games for the Pats last season and underwent the additional corrective procedure despite hauling in 17 passes for 153 yards in two playoff games.
  • It appears Stedman Bailey won’t be serving in a non-playing role with the Rams this season after he previously planned to function in that capacity. The former West Virginia standout returned to his alma mater and will work as a student assistant in Morgantown this season, according to an ESPN.com report. The 25-year-old receiver saw a drive-by shooting derail his NFL career and then observed the Rams waive him, as it still seems bleak he’ll play again. Bailey will re-enroll at school to complete his degree, although he’s not giving up on returning to the NFL. “Even though my playing career isn’t over yet, this gives me more time to heal so I can make a return,” Bailey said in a statement released by the university.
  • Beyond Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and fullback Michael Burton, the Lions will have a host of fringe ball-carriers competing for their final two running back jobs — assuming Detroit keeps four tailbacks. Ridley looks like the favorite to win the No. 3 job, which Tim Twenyman of DetroitLions.com categorizes as a change-of-pace back. Joining George Winn, Zach Zenner and rookie seventh-rounder Dwayne Washington, the 27-year-old Ridley played in nine games last year with the Jets but received just 36 carries.
  • Of course, the Lions’ backfield dynamic could change if they sign Arian Foster, who is set to visit Detroit this week.

West Rumors: Chargers, Miller, Bailey, Ward

The Chargers received the necessary 110,000+ votes to place their citizens’ initiative measure on the November ballot for the purposes of unlocking funds for a downtown stadium, Dan McSwain of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Most signature gathering efforts of this kind take six full months. We had just six weeks to complete our work,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said. “The fact that we were able to collect more than 110,000 signatures in that short period of time demonstrates tremendous support in our community for a new, combined stadium-convention center expansion downtown.”

The initiative calls for $650MM in funds from unspecified sources, which likely means money from the Chargers, fans, personal seat licenses and the NFL, per McSwain. But opponents of the initiative are formulating plans. Some are taking the stance of last year’s stadium task force that preferred to keep the Chargers at nearby Mission Valley as opposed to downtown.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsed that site last year prior to the Chargers’ Carson bid being rejected. But he hasn’t come out in favor of either site recently and distanced himself from the activist group that’s attempting to prevent the Chargers-supported downtown stadium from coming to fruition.

The next step in this process is the San Diego registrar’s office determining if 66,447 of those aforementioned signatures are valid.

Here’s the latest from teams whose statuses in their current cities are a bit more entrenched.

  • Although Von Miller‘s proposed six-year, $114.5MM deal would bring $58.5MM by Year 3 should the Broncos pick up his third-season option a few days after the 2018 league year begins, the All-Pro pass-rusher’s stance remains firm: he wants $60MM fully guaranteed at signing, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. This protects Miller in the same way Ndamukong Suh‘s $59.5MM in full guarantees did. Denver offered $38.5MM, with an additional $1.3MM in workout bonuses, to its franchise-tagged performer at signing. That falls well short of Suh’s total, although every NFL contract has done so, with Aaron Rodgers‘ failing to exceed $45MM in at-signing guarantees. The Broncos’ offer seems to follow the blueprint the Chiefs laid out with Justin Houston last summer, with the tagged edge defender receiving $32.5MM guaranteed up front, with the carrot of $52.5MM in the first three seasons if the Chiefs trigger his Year 3 option on the third day of the 2017 league year.
  • Some of these developments — like the Broncos leaking his turning down the offer — have been viewed as personal affronts for 27-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP, Renck writes. Look no further than Miller cropping GM John Elway out of an Instagram photo (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, on Twitter) that previously featured Miller, Elway DeMarcus Ware, Peyton Manning and Gary Kubiak at the White House. Renck suggests Miller remove himself from the proceedings to avoid further embitterment toward the franchise he will almost certainly still play for in 2016. The sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal before Miller is forced to play for $14.26MM this season.
  • Clearing waivers on Wednesday, Stedman Bailey has returned to the Rams in a non-playing role for now, being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. The would-be fourth-year wideout appreciates the organization keeping him around despite not being medically cleared to play after being shot twice in November. “I still get a chance to work out with the team and just pretty much sit around with all the meetings and learn what it’s like to be a coach. So, it’s kind of just looking at the game from a different angle, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Bailey said, via Andie Hagemann of NFL.com.
  • Jimmie Ward has transformed from strong safety to slot cornerback to someone with a strong chance of starting at corner to begin 2016. The former first-round safety earned the bulk of the first-team reps for the 49ers at corner opposite Tramaine Brock at minicamp, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports. Ward rated as a top-40 Pro Football Focus corner last season for his work in the slot. He of the infamous Iron Bowl field goal return in 2013, Chris Davis took most of the reps at slot corner at San Francisco’s minicamp.

Stedman Bailey Clears Waivers

WEDNESDAY, June 8: Bailey has officially cleared waivers and will revert to the team’s non-football injury list, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, June 7: The Rams have waived receiver Stedman Bailey with a non-football injury designation, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Bailey, of course, is still recovering after being shot in the head last fall, and Los Angeles would like to keep the 25-year-old in the organization in a non-playing capacity.Stedman Bailey (Vertical)

That will only happen in Bailey clears waivers, but given that his NFL career is unlikely to resume any time soon, he is likely to go through the waiver process unclaimed. Being waived with an NFI designation is similar to being waived with an injured designation, in that the club will keep the player if he isn’t claimed by another team. As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap explains, most players on the NFI list aren’t compensated, or are paid at a lesser rate, but it’s fair to assume that the Rams are taking care of Bailey.

Though Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has said that Bailey’s NFL career is likely finished, Bailey hasn’t been willing to accept that outcome, and has met with doctors as part of the “evaluation process” in recent months. Bailey, a former third-round pick, has been attending Los Angeles’ OTAs as a spectator, but with reports indicating that he wouldn’t be cleared for the 2016 season, it made sense for the Rams to open up his roster spot.

Los Angeles made a handful of other roster moves today, cutting defensive lineman Doug Worthington, linebacker Zach Hodges, and wide receiver Kain Colter, Wilson reports (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Jackson, Kaep, Gabbert, Rams

It sounds as though the Seahawks are still open to re-signing backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, but until that happens, undrafted free agent Trevone Boykin is acting as Seattle’s No. 2 signal-caller, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. As Condotta notes, Jackson didn’t ink a new deal with the Seahawks until mid-June of last year, so it “wouldn’t break precedent” for him to re-join the club this late in the offseason this time around. A report at the end of April indicated that general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll were still in talks with Jackson, whom I listed as a honorable mention in PFR’s list of the best remaining offensive free agents.

Here’s more out of the NFC West…

  • 49ers head coach Chip Kelly made a radio appearance on 95.7 The Game (audio link), touching on everything to the club’s selection of DeForest Buckner, the role of Bruce Miller, and the stress his offensive scheme will put on San Francisco’s defense. Perhaps of the most note, though, were Kelly’s comments on his quarterback room, which contains both Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert (thanks to Niners Nation for the transcript). “They have a similar skill set,” said Kelly. “They’re both 6’4″+. They both can really run, which will help keep plays alive. Obviously we’re not a quarterback-run offense, but if the quarterback can run, you can use a little of that to your advantage. And they both have extremely strong arms.”
  • Stedman Bailey isn’t likely to be cleared for the 2016 season after being shot in the head last fall, but he is attending Rams camp and working as a “de facto coach,” according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. Head coach Jeff Fisher said last year that Bailey’s NFL career was likely over, but the wide receiver hasn’t accepted that outcome, as he’s continued to meet with doctors while hoping to make a return. Per Wagoner, Los Angeles will likely move Bailey to the non-football injury list at some point (as they did last season), allowing Bailey to remain a part of the team while simultaneously clearing a roster spot.
  • Bailey won’t be a part of the Rams‘ receiving corps, but the club does like its group of undrafted wide receivers, as Wagoner writes in his latest mailbag. Nelson SpruceMarquez North, Paul McRoberts, and Duke Williams are four players that have been repeatedly mentioned to the ESPN scribe as standing out at camp, though there obviously won’t be room for all of them on the roster. Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, and fourth-round rookie Pharaoh Cooper figure to be locks for the club’s final 53.

NFC Notes: Washington, Cowboys, Falcons, Rams

With Alfred Morris having agreed to a deal with NFC East rival Dallas earlier this week, Washington is prepared to go forward with Matt Jones as its starting running back.

“That’s what we envision, yes,” said head coach Jay Gruden (link via Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Mid-Atlantic). “We like Matt. We think he’s a smart football player and he runs very, very hard. Now we just have to make sure the ball security is there [because] he can catch the ball out the backfield. He’s a very good solid football player that we have high hopes for.”

In his rookie year last season, Jones – a third-round pick from Florida – averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 144 attempts (compared to Morris’ 3.7 and 202, respectively) and totaled as many fumbles (four) as touchdowns. Washington is expected to add a complement to Jones in either free agency or the draft, according to Gruden, who said the team is interested in re-signing the still-available Pierre Thomas.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Even with Morris in the fold, the Cowboys have a less-than-ideal running back situation, opines Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN.com. The Cowboys will try a balanced attack to aid quarterback Tony Romo – who has gone 38-11 as a starter while throwing 30 times or fewer and 41-38 otherwise – but Taylor doesn’t expect a backfield trio of Morris, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar to fare particularly well. Thus, the team should use a second- or third-rounder on a running back and let the others compete for backup roles behind the rookie, Taylor believes.
  • The Falcons and free agent linebacker O’Brien Schofield are at “an impasse,” tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Schofield said earlier this month that he and the Falcons weren’t “seeing eye-to-eye on a contract,” and the club may have found a replacement for him Friday when it signed Courtney Upshaw. The Falcons have offered Schofield a deal, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, but the Upshaw signing could seal his fate in Atlanta. Schofield, 28, joined the Falcons last year and then made 30 tackles and two sacks in 16 appearances (11 starts) during the season. Upshaw has the greater track record of the pair, having started 29 more games (51 to 22) in two fewer seasons.
  • Remarkably, despite being shot in the head twice last November, the door hasn’t yet closed on Stedman Bailey‘s career. The Rams receiver “is currently in the evaluation process, seeking numerous opinions from neurologists and the like,” head coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday (link via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). “Just to see if he can not only play, but continue with a rigorous physical rehab program that will put him in position to play.” Bailey has continued to stay involved with the team, as Thomas writes, with Fisher adding, “He’s been in the building. We’ve seen him. He’s doing well. He seems like the same old Sted, and he’s very lucky as we’ve all noted to be alive.”
  • Washington is undecided about the future of receiver Andre Roberts, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington stands to save a solid amount if it cuts Roberts ($3MM before June 1, $4MM if he’s given a post-June 1 designation), but the team isn’t allowed to release him right now because he’s recovering from a torn meniscus. Roberts might not be ready until training camp, per Gruden. Even without his health taken into account, Roberts is probably Washington’s No. 4 wideout – which doesn’t seem to bode well for his chances to stay on the roster. The 28-year-old was productive from 2010-14, when he caught a combined 218 passes and 13 touchdowns for Arizona and Washington; he’s coming off a career-worst season, however, having hauled in a mere 11 catches in nine games. He also failed to find the end zone for the first time in his six-year NFL tenure.