Stephen Houston

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Cutler, Jets, Bills

If Jay Cutler didn’t return to the NFL in order to sign with the Dolphins, Miami would have considered Robert Griffin III and Christian Ponder, reports Peter King of TheMMQB.com. Of course, RG3 and Ponder were far from the only options on the table for the Dolphins, as Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, Brock Osweiler, Blaine Gabbert, and Teddy Bridgewater were all at least discussed internally. Griffin has been linked to the Seahawks, Chargers, and Ravens this offseason, while Seattle was also interested in Ponder at one point. At least one league executive believes the Dolphins had better options available under center, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

Here’s more from Miami and the rest of the AFC East:

  • Cutler will essentially earn $10MM in guaranteed money under the terms of his Dolphins contract, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). As previously reported, Cutler will take home a $5MM base salary and a $5MM roster bonus, but that bonus is due this August 9 (this Wednesday). Additionally, Cutler can earn another $3MM in incentives: $1MM if he plays 75% of Miami’s offensive snaps and the club is in the top-10 in touchdowns; $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and the Dolphins earn a postseason berth; and another $1MM if he plays 75% of snaps and Miami wins a playoff game.
  • “No concerns” were raised about Cutler’s shoulder in his pre-signing physical, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). For what it’s worth, Cutler says he was cleared in March. Meanwhile, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase says the Dolphins have a “plan” for how they’ll manage Cutler’s preseason repetitions. “We’re going to have to be smart with that because I’m sure (Cutler) wasn’t out in the backyard throwing 100 balls a day,” Gase said, per Pelissero (Twitter link).
  • While the Jets won the rights to wide receiver Bruce Ellington last week, the Bills, Texans, and Chiefs all put in waiver claims for the former 49ers draft choice, tweets Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. Ellington, of course, didn’t last long in New York, as the Jets waived him with an injury designation just one day after acquiring him. That means any of the other clubs that attempted claims on Ellington should have an another opportunity to acquire him, either through the waiver process or after New York potentially cuts Ellington from injured reserve.
  • Free agent running back Stephen Houston worked out for the Jets last week, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Houston, originally an undrafted free agent out of Indiana, has never played in a NFL game despite bouncing between several rosters since entering the league in 2014. Most recently, Houston spent time on Baltimore’s practice squad, but was waived by the Ravens in May. The Jets, who already boast Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Brandon Wilds, and others at running back, also auditioned Shaquille Cooper last week.

Ravens’ Terrance West Signs RFA Tender

It took two months, but Ravens running back Terrance West has signed his restricted free agent tender, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).

Terrance West

[RELATED: Should Ravens Sign LeGarrette Blount?]

The Ravens gave West an original-round tender, meaning any club that attempted to sign him would have had to surrender a fairly high pick for the 2014 third-rounder. Between that and West’s unspectacular production to this point (3.9 yards per carry on 426 attempts), it’s unsurprising that no one courted him when he was on the RFA market.

Formerly with the Browns and Titans, West is coming off his first full year in Baltimore, where he paced the team’s ball carriers in attempts (193), yards (774) and touchdowns (five) in 2016. The 26-year-old also totaled 34 catches for 236 yards and another score. With Kenneth Dixon set to serve a four-game suspension to open the season, West should again function as the Ravens’ top rushing option at the outset of 2017.

Along with locking up West for another year, the Ravens are keeping cornerback Sheldon Price, who signed his exclusive rights tender. Meanwhile, the team cut three players – running back Stephen Houston and 2017 undrafted free agents Zach Terrell (quarterback, Western Michigan) and Omarius Bryant (defensive end, Western Kentucky) – according to Zrebiec.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/7/17

Here are today’s minor moves:

  • The Raiders saw enough from two tryout defenders over the weekend to extend offers. Former Tennessee defensive lineman LaTroy Lewis and ex-Wagner College linebacker Najee Harris will sign with the team, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (Twitter links). Both agreed to three-year deals, although they will obviously have uphill battles due to the circumstances of their respective signings. Lewis played both defensive end and tackle with the Volunteers.
  • The Jets announced that they’ve signed tryout offensive linemen Benjamin Braden and Chris Bordelon. In order to create roster space, New York has waived offensive lineman Donald Hawkins and long snapper Zach Triner. Braden appeared in 38 games during his career at Michigan, while Bordelon was a 12-game starter for Nicholls State in 2016. Hawkins, meanwhile, played in seven contests for Carolina last season, but finished out the year with Gang Green.

Earlier updates:

  • The Ravens have released RB Stephen Houston, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • The Panthers signed their entire draft class several days ago, and now they are working on filling out their 90-man roster. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk reports, Carolina has signed LB Kyle Kragen (whose father, Greg Kragen, was a member of the Panthers’ 1995 expansion team), LB Alex Bazzie, and DT Gabriel Mass.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Read more

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/6/2016

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: RB Stephen Houston

Clevleand Browns

  • Signed: S Justin Currie

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: WR Bernard Reedy

Tennessee Titans

Practice Squad Updates: 11/1/16

Here are today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Diego Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North 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 Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers 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 North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens Get Roster To 53

The Ravens have announced the moves that take their roster to 53:

Placed On IR:

Lewis-Moore, the Ravens’ sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013, had a tough beginning to his professional career, landing on IR in each of his first two seasons with the club. He finally made cracked the 53-man roster last year, appearing in five games for the Ravens. Baltimore has always liked his upside as a pass rusher, but he found himself squeezed out of a deep defensive line group this season.

Cutting Brooks was a bit of a surprise, as the former third-rounder was playing well early in the preseason. There was some optimism that Brooks would be able to leapfrog former first-rounder Matt Elam on the depth chart, but the 25-year-old was unable to carve out a role during his two years (plus preseason) on the team.

Zach Links contributed to this post

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/3/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • Tackle Matt Pierson signed with the Texans, and the team cut cornerback Cleveland Wallace to make room, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links).
  • The Bengals announced that they have signed cornerback Corey Tindal. The Marshall product initially joined the Bengals as a UDFA in May. Tindal should give the Bengals some extra depth in practice as they deal with injuries to their other corners.
  • The Saints announced that they have added UDFAs safety Jamal Golden and guard Jordan Walsh. In a corresponding move, the Saints waived defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil and waived/injured wide receiver Kyle Prater and safety Alden Darby.
  • The Ravens have signed running back Stephen Houston, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Ravens released punter Michael Palardy, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Jets waived defensive back Kendall James, who had been on the PUP list, with an injury designation, as Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets. They signed running back Terry Williams to replace him.
  • The Steelers signed tight end Jake Phillips and cornerback Kevin White, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). To make room, the Steelers waived/injured tight end Mandel Dixon and wide receiver Shakim Phillips.
  • Former South Carolina defensive lineman Gerald Dixon Jr. is signing with the Cowboys, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • The Dolphins have waived wide receiver Tyler Murphy, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Redskins announced the signing of free agent offensive lineman Isaiah Williams, Mike Jones of The Washington Post tweets.
  • The Bears are expected to sign veteran fullback Darrel Young, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Young is an experienced blocker in the zone scheme and also plays special teams.
  • Wide receiver Ryan Spadola has reverted to the Lions‘ IR after going unclaimed on waivers, as Justin Rogers of The Detroit News tweets.

East Notes: Rolle, Giants, Thompkins, Eagles

Giants safety Antrel Rolle is slated to hit the open market after this season but he’s not going to make a lot of noise about it right now, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets. “I’ve never been a guy to speak about contracts. I’ll let my play do the campaigning for me,” said Rolle. More out of the East divisions..

  • Patriots coach Bill Belichick says that he hoped to re-sign wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins to the practice squad, writes Phil Perry of CSNNE.com. “It’s always tough to release a player, especially one like KT who works extremely hard and is really a dedicated athlete and certainly had a lot of good moments of performance for us,” Belichick said. “We have other players at that position that also work hard that are talented. In the end, we had to . . . in order to get a guy on the roster, we had to take a guy off. It’s just getting down to that decision. It’s a hard decision to make, you know?
  • Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis has no plans to make a change at cornerback, writes Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. The play of starting corners Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher has many Eagles fans wishing they would go out-of-house for an upgrade after the team’s ugly near-collapse at home against the Rams on Sunday.
  • Former LSU product Spencer Ware was among the running backs auditioning for the Giants today, writes Jordan Raanan of The Star-Ledger. Terrance Cobb and Stephen Houston also worked out for Big Blue. With Rashad Jennings banged up and Michael Cox promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster, the Giants could have a spot for another tailback.