Stefan Charles

49ers Work Out Seven Defenders

The 49ers hosted a few established defensive linemen on Wednesday, working out free agents Ahtyba Rubin, Jaye Howard, Kendall Langford and Tony McDaniel, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). They also tried out defensive tackle Stefan Charles and a pair of defensive backs – Devonte Johnson and Josh Thornton – per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Ahtyba Rubin

Rubin, perhaps the most notable of the bunch, spent the previous two years in the 49ers’ divisio – the NFC West – with Seattle. The Seahawks, who play the 49ers this week, released Rubin at the outset of the month, and his only known interest prior to his meeting with San Francisco came from the Bills. The 31-year-old DT started in all 32 appearances with the Seahawks, registering 75 tackles and three sacks, and previously started in 75 of 99 games as a Brown from 2008-14. Kyle Shanahan, the Niners’ rookie head coach, was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator during Rubin’s last season there.

Howard, 28, worked out for the Lions this week before his visit to San Francisco. The former Chief has been on the hunt for a job since the Bears released him Sept. 2. Howard didn’t play a down in Chicago, which signed him in May after the Chiefs released him, and is coming off an injury-played 2016. After Howard posted back-to-back 16-game seasons and combined for 24 starts from 2014-15, a hip ailment limited him to eight and five in those categories last year.

Like Rubin and Howard, Langford and McDaniel earned summer releases from their previous employers. The Colts cut Langford with a failed physical designation in August, indicating that the 31-year-old hadn’t recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2016 campaign in October. He was, however, the picture of durability from 2008-15 with the Dolphins, Rams and Colts, appearing in eight straight 16-game seasons. Langford’s also just two years removed from a career-high seven-sack showing.

McDaniel, whom the Saints released at the beginning of the month, is an 11-year veteran who spent three of the previous four years in Seattle. The 295-pounder is familar with first-year 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who worked on the Seahawks’ staff during one of McDaniel’s seasons with them (2013). McDaniel started a personal-best 15 games that season and notched 53 tackles (a career mark) and two sacks.

It’s unclear if the 49ers will sign any of these players, but doing so would perhaps improve a defensive line that didn’t generate much pressure during their 23-3 loss to the Panthers in Week 1. The 49ers hit Panthers quarterback Cam Newton just twice and failed to register a sack in Saleh’s debut atop their defense. They did, however, hold Carolina to a measly 3.1 yards per rush on 38 attempts.

Workout Notes: Patriots, Jets, Bills

The Patriots auditioned some players of note this week, including linebacker Akeem Ayers, quarterback Thad Lewis, and wide receiver Jeremy Ross (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com).

Ayers has some history with New England after playing on their 2014 Super Bowl championship team. Last year, Ayers appeared in all 16 games for Indianapolis and recorded two sacks.

Linebackers Nicholas Grigsby and Antwione Williams also showed their stuff for the Pats.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s other workouts from around the NFL:

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, and Titans are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars To Sign Stefan Charles

The Jaguars are expected to sign free agent defensive lineman Stefan Charles, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.<a rel=

Charles, 28, spent the 2016 campaign with the Lions after starting his career with the Bills, with whom he played from 2013-15. Last year, Charles acted as a rotational option on Detroit’s front four, managing to get in 235 defensive snaps in 12 games. He posted 12 tackles in that span, and also played on 17 special teams snaps. His best season came in 2014 when he compiled 23 tackles and three sacks in 16 games.

In Jacksonville, Charles will reunite with Doug Marrone, who coached Charles during the 2013-14 seasons in Buffalo. The Jaguars have already landed one elite option — Calais Campbell — to add to an impressive defensive line that also includes Malik Jackson, Dante Fowler Jr., Roy Miller, and Yannick Ngakoue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Sign CB Crezdon Butler

The Lions announced that they have re-signed cornerback Crezdon Butler. To make room, defensive tackle Stefan Charles has been placed on IR. Crezdon Butler (vertical)

The signing of Butler could be a sign that Darius Slay will not be able to go in Week 17. Slay has been dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of action in Week 16 against the Cowboys. This week, they hope to have him in uniform as they take on the Packers in a game that will decide the NFC North championship.

Butler had two separate stints with Detroit last year but he has yet to appear in an NFL game in 2016. Over the years, he has seen action with the Steelers, Cardinals, Bills, Redskins, Chargers, Bucs, and Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Bills, Taylor, Wendell, Branch

The Bills came into the 2016 offseason as one of the NFL’s most cap-strapped teams, and while the team was able to retain its top two free agents – offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito – that lack of cap flexibility resulted in some key losses.

In speaking to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press about defensive lineman Stefan Charles and to Tom Curran of CSNNE.com about wide receiver Chris Hogan, Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley repeated a similar refrain, suggesting that the Bills “can’t pay everybody.” The team non-tendered Charles, who was eligible for restricted free agency, allowing him to sign with the Lions as an unrestricted free agent. As for Hogan, he got an RFA tender from Buffalo, but it was a low-end tender, allowing the Patriots to sign him to an offer sheet that Whaley and the Bills couldn’t match.

“It was (difficult to let him go),” the Bills GM said of Hogan. “He’s done a great job, not only on the field as a third and fourth wide receiver (and) special teams, (but also) what he’s brought to the community. He’s a great asset to the Patriots. We’re sorry we’re gonna lose him. And add the fact that we’re gonna have to deal with him with the other end of that being (Tom) Brady, it’s a tough matchup because he’s a talented person.”

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • It appears increasingly likely that Tyrod Taylor will enter the 2016 season without a contract extension in hand, says Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. According to one of Carucci’s sources, there has been little – if any – progress in contract talks between the Bills and their starting quarterback. The team is more focused on locking up cornerback Stephon Gilmore before the start of the 2016 campaign.
  • Veteran offensive lineman Ryan Wendell remains in a holding pattern when it comes to his free agency, agent Frank Bauer tells Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Wendell’s 2015 season ended after just two games due to a knee injury, and even if and when he returns to full health, it’s not clear whether there will be a spot on the Patriots‘ 2016 roster for him.
  • Defensive end Andre Branch is looking forward to a “new beginning” in Miami that will see him become part of a Dolphins‘ defensive line featuring players like Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams, and Cameron Wake. As James Walker of ESPN.com details, Branch is expected to fill the hole vacated by Derrick Shelby, who signed with the Falcons.

Lions Sign Stefan Charles

The Lions are signing defensive tackle Stefan Charles, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The team has since confirmed the move (Twitter link).

Charles, 28 in June, appeared in 13 games for the Bills last season, collecting 13 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. However, he was non-tendered by Buffalo earlier this month. For his career, Charles has appeared in 37 games across three years.

As Charles signs elsewhere, the Bills could lose a restricted free agent in wide receiver Chris Hogan.

RFA Tender Decisions: 3/9/16

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted free agents. We’ll round up those decisions here:

Tendered

Non-Tendered

RFA Tender Signings & Decisions: 3/7/16

When teams assign first- or second-round tenders to their restricted free agents, or when those RFAs accept the tender, we’ll devote full news stories to those moves. For news concerning everyone else getting the lower tenders, we’ll round it up in the space below, with the latest updates added to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • Fullback James Develin announced that he is returning to the Patriots on a one-year deal, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. The Patriots did not plan to tender Develin an offer at $1.6MM, so the two sides worked out a reduced one-year pact (link).
  • Defensive tackle Stefan Charles will not be tendered an offer by the Bills, per John Kryk of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Defensive tackle Corbin Bryant, wide receiver Chris Hogan, and tackle Jordan Mills were tendered offers, however. There could be some teams interested in Hogan, Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News tweets, and that low tender might not ward of interested clubs.
  • Washington has tendered a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Duke Ihenacho, a source tells John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Fullback Jorvorskie Lane will not be getting a tender from the Buccaneers, Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • The Panthers will not tender defensive end Frank Alexander an offer or re-sign him, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (on Twitter). Alexander must sit out until November thanks to his third drug suspension.

Extra Points: Manziel, Onobun, Wright

Let’s round up some links from around the league on this Monday evening, wherein the players and the officials in the BrownsRedskins preseason tilt have conspired to transform the Twitterverse into an alternately bemused and enraged cacophony:

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com offers his first entry in what will be a three-part series examining how Super Bowl champions work within the confines of the salary cap to build a winner. Part I examines the percentage of the cap that different champions spent on their highest-priced player. Interestingly enough, the teams who invested most heavily in one player had the most success in the three-year period immediately following their Super Bowl victory.
  • The Ravens might need some out-of-house reinforcements depending on the severity of Jimmy Smith‘s chest injury and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun looks at some of the names out there on the open market. Some of the more recognizable names are Asante Samuel, Chris Houston, Corey Webster, Dunta Robinson, and Quentin Jammer. However, as we learned yesterday, there is a reason most of those players are still on the market. GM Ozzie Newsome has never been one to make moves out of desperation, and if the injuries to Smith, Lardarius Webb, and/or Asa Jackson are more dire than initially thought, the Ravens are probably more likely to trade for a corner or sign someone who will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is less-than-thrilled with tight end Tim Wright‘s play and Pat Yasinkas of ESPN.com writes that he needs to show improvement quickly if he doesn’t want his spot on the roster to be in danger. “He hasn’t played as well as Tim should be playing,” Smith said. “He’s dropped some balls. If you watched practice, he’s dropped balls. But he’s a big part of what we want to do with the two-receiver, two-tight-end set. Tim hasn’t blocked as well inside. Once you’re that H-back and you don’t block, now they say you’re just another receiver and teams start going nickel. If they do that at least you have to be a good pass catcher. Tim’s a good player. He just hasn’t played as well as he needs to lately.”
  • Jaguars tight end Fendi Onobun has been diagnoses with a torn quad and will require surgery, which means he’s done for the year, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes that Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus did not take part in team drills on Monday, and the Bills used a combination of Landon Cohen, Corbin Bryant, and Stefan Charles in his stead. Although Buffalo could keep all three of those players as depth behind Dareus and Kyle Williams, they could choose to keep just two and release the third.
  • If the Cowboys tabbed Johnny Manziel, as a newly-released book says owner Jerry Jones nearly made happen, the Browns‘ rookie quarterback would be Teddy Bridgewater, tweets Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.
  • In Jim Dent’s new book “Manziel Mania,” the author wrote that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wrote Johnny Manziel’s name on the draft card for the No. 16 pick only to have his son, Stephen Jones, literally yank the card out of his hand. As great as that story is, it’s simply untrue, a source tells Sean Lester of the Dallas Morning News. As Lester notes, given that the actual draft card is delivered in New York and Jerry and Stephen Jones supervised the draft from the team’s Valley Ranch war room, it seems unlikely the episode occurred as Dent described.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.