Stephone Anthony

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/23/19

Here are today’s minor transactions:

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed: DL Jonathan Harris (from Bears)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texas

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Saints Sign RB Zach Zenner

The Saints have signed running back Zach Zenner, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’ll serve as insurance in case Alvin Kamara‘s ankle keeps him from seeing the field this week. 

To make room, the Saints have dropped linebacker Stephone Anthony, their one-time first-round pick who returned this season. It’s possible that Anthony will return in the not-too-distant future, but for now, the Saints need the firepower in the backfield.

Zenner spent time with quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi while in Detroit, so it might not take him long to get acclimated in New Orleans. It’s also possible the Saints won’t need much from him on Sunday against the Cardinals if Kamara is able to suit up.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints To Sign Stephone Anthony

The Saints are set to sign linebacker Stephone Anthony, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He’ll take the roster spot of fellow ‘backer Kaden Elliss, who has been placed on injured reserve, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com tweets.

Anthony was a first-round pick of the Saints in 2015, but he didn’t live up to expectations. During the 2017 season, the club shipped him off to the Dolphins, who declined his fifth-year option and allowed him to walk after the 2018 season. This offseason, he signed deals with the Falcons and Jets, who both released him in August.

He hadn’t received any known interest since then, but luckily for him his former team suffered a rash of injuries at linebacker. As Rapoport pointed out in his tweet, Anthony is also reuniting with special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, who was his special teams coordinator during his time in Miami.

Ellis is dealing with a knee injury, and starting linebacker Alex Anzalone had already been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Ellis is a seventh-round rookie for Idaho who had only been a depth piece prior to his injury. Anthony started all 16 games as a rookie in 2015, but he started only three the next year and never made a start in Miami as he played mostly on special teams.

Jets Reach 53-Man Max

The Jets did more than just cut a 2019 third-round pick on Saturday, making nearly 40 moves to reach the Week 1 roster limit. Here’s the complete rundown of cut players:

Another spot was freed up when the Jets placed corner Austin Bless on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Jets To Sign Stephone Anthony

The Jets are signing linebacker Stephone Anthony, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Anthony was cut by the Falcons on Saturday.

New York has been seeking a replacement for Avery Williamson, who tore his ACL last week. The club signed Albert McClellan on Saturday, and Anthony gives them a higher-upside option.

Anthony, whom the Saints selected in the first round of the 2015 draft, showed some promise with a 112-tackle rookie campaign. He started all 16 games that year for a bottom-tier New Orleans defense, but the team moved him from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker in 2016, and he regressed considerably. The Saints dealt him to the Dolphins in 2017, but the change of scenery didn’t do much for him. Anthony had just seven tackles across 16 appearances last year, and the Dolphins declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent this offseason.

The Falcons signed him at the end of July, but he did not last a full month on Atlanta’s roster. With the Jets, Anthony will have a chance to compete for playing time alongside free agent acquisition C.J. Mosley, and he will also reunite with Adam Gase, his head coach for two years in Miami, and Joe Vitt, the Saints’ LB coach during Anthony’s first two years in the league.

The Jets cut safety Santos Ramirez in a corresponding move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Release LB Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony‘s return trip to the NFC South proved short. The Falcons announced the former first-round pick’s release on Saturday, his departure making room on the 90-man roster for cornerback Jalen Myrick.

Atlanta added Anthony at the outset of its training camp, but he will now venture back to free agency. This continues a lengthy swoon for 2015’s No. 31 overall selection.

The former Saints draft choice spent one season as a starter and recorded the NFL’s first two-point conversion return, during a 112-tackle 2015 season. But that year was spent on a bottom-tier New Orleans defense, and the Saints opted against keeping him as a starter for long in 2016. Following the 2017 trade to Miami, Anthony still could not gain much of a foothold. Although, he did play in all 16 Dolphins games last season.

A former Jaguars backup in 2017, and a Georgia native, Myrick bounced on and off the Vikings’ practice squad last season. Minnesota waived the former seventh-round pick in April.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons To Sign Stephone Anthony

The Falcons have agreed to sign linebacker Stephone Anthony, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The former Saints first-round pick profiles as a depth option and special teams player for Atlanta.

Anthony seemed to have a great deal of promise when he entered the league in 2015, but he’s been unable to make good on that potential thus far. After starting in all 16 games as a rookie, he was moved from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker with poor results. The Dolphins acquired him for a fifth-round pick in 2017, but the change of scenery didn’t do much for him. Anthony had just seven tackles across 16 appearances last year and the Dolphins declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent this offseason.

In other Falcons news, the club is optimistic about a new deal for Julio Jones.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Host Josh Bynes, Stephone Anthony

Linebackers Josh Bynes and Stephone Anthony are visiting the Bills today, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Both players profile as high-upside, yet low-risk, depth options. 

The Cardinals released Bynes in March to save just $667K against $1.87MM in dead money. That was a sharp turn from the previous year, when Bynes was being played ahead of both Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick.

Anthony seemed to have a great deal of promise when he entered the league as a first-round pick of the Saints in 2015. But, after starting in all 16 games as a rookie, he was moved from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker with poor results. The Dolphins acquired him for a fifth-round pick in 2017, but the change of scenery didn’t do much for him. Anthony had just seven tackles across 16 appearances last year and the Dolphins declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Bolts, Washington

Paxton Lynch joins the likes of Ameer Abdullah, Breshad Perriman, Stephone Anthony and Mike Gillislee on a roster bubble, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter), and the Broncos may choose to cut ties with their disappointing 2016 first-rounder. Lynch would prefer to stay in Denver, Mike Klis of 9News tweets, despite his rocky tenure there to date. A fresh start might be best for the former Memphis prodigy, but the Broncos may elect to keep him as their No. 3 quarterback. Chad Kelly‘s performance in Denver’s Thursday-night finale could determine Lynch’s fate, with Troy Renck of Denver7 writing that a strong showing from the 2017 seventh-rounder may convince the Broncos he’s ready to be Case Keenum‘s regular-season backup rather than forcing the Broncos to acquire a veteran to serve in that role. That would seemingly free up a roster spot for Lynch as the third-stringer. It would cost the Broncos $4.9MM to cut Lynch. They already absorbed a $5.5MM dead-money hit upon releasing Menelik Watson.

Here’s the latest from the AFC West, shifting to another quarterback battle.

  • The Chargers are likely to keep just two quarterbacks, which makes sense given Philip Rivers‘ historic durability. Los Angeles’ starter has taken first-string snaps in every game since succeeding Drew Brees in 2006. As a result, Yates adds that either Cardale Jones or Geno Smith is a cut candidate. The Bolts, though, aren’t certain which one will be given his walking papers. Smith is a vested veteran and would head into free agency if released, while Jones would be subject to waivers. Neither is attached to a contract worth more than $1MM.
  • Su’a Cravens will make his Broncos debut Thursday night after missing most of August due to a knee injury, Renck notes. The former Redskins safety/linebacker has a clearer path to the Broncos’ roster, despite missing most of training camp, due to Jamal Carter‘s season-ending injury.
  • With UDFA Phillip Lindsay almost certainly having earned his way onto the team as Denver’s No. 3 running back, De’Angelo Henderson has drawn trade interest. Former Broncos tackle Tyler Polumbus, writing for The Athletic (subscription required) believes that would be the best scenario for the second-year player, noting that Denver will likely keep four backs — Devontae Booker, Royce Freeman, Lindsay and fullback Andy Janovich — on its 53-man roster. This would leave both Henderson, who likely wouldn’t pass through waivers, and seventh-round rookie David Williams, who might, off the team.
  • Although he returned a punt for a touchdown in the preseason, Isaiah McKenzie probably won’t make the Broncos, per Polumbus. The diminutive return man has fumbled several kicks in his short Broncos stay, losing another one during preseason play. Lindsay and the recent addition of Adam Jones look to have forced the second-year player off the roster.
  • The Raiders will likely waive DeAndre Washington and allow recent camp pickup Chris Warren to take his place, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com notes. Washington recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is an IR candidate, per Gutierrez, who has the Raiders keeping four running backs — Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and Warren. Washington and Richard served as backups for Lynch and Latavius Murray the past two years. Washington averaged 5.4 yards per carry as a rookie but struggled last season (2.7 YPC).

Dolphins Rumors: Fales, Osweiler, DBs, LBs

David Fales completed just 1 of 6 passes in the Dolphins’ second preseason game, and although Brock Osweiler is the bigger name, the team’s internal preference is believed to be for the incumbent to back up Ryan Tannehill, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. As for Bryce Petty, he’s still behind both aforementioned backups, Jackson adds. Osweiler signed for the league minimum, making the Dolphins’ 2018 quarterback depth chart much cheaper than last year’s setup of Tannehill, Jay Cutler and Matt Moore — which represented more than $30MM against the 2017 team’s cap. A former sixth-round Bears pick in 2014, Fales has 48 career pass attempts — 43 of those coming last season with Miami.

Here’s the latest out of south Florida.

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick is primarily working as a slot defender for the Dolphins, Roy Cummings of FloridaFootballInsiders.com passes along. The first-round pick out of Alabama was billed as a versatile performer entering the draft, with safety or cornerback potential. It looks like, for now, the Dolphins are taking advantage of that. Previous slot bastion Bobby McCain has moved to the outside, and that looks to have been done to give Fitzpatrick a role. Prior to the move, the Dolphins didn’t have a place for Fitzpatrick, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. Fitzpatrick, though, also played sparingly as a pure safety in Miami’s initial two preseason games.
  • Mike Hull may begin the season on IR, Jackson notes. The Dolphins would carry their fourth-year veteran linebacker onto the 53-man roster before placing him on IR, which would allow him to return during the season once he recovers from the sprained MCL he sustained earlier this month. Hull started three games last season. Raekwon McMillan is Miami’s middle linebacker starter.
  • Second-year UDFA Chase Allen looks to have a job as a Dolphins backup linebacker, but former Saints first-round pick Stephone Anthony may not. Jackson writes the 2015 first-rounder’s put together a poor preseason that has him on the bubble. Anthony played in eight Dolphins games upon being traded to Miami last year. He played 130 defensive snaps but did not stand out. However, with Hull out, the Dolphins need bodies to fill out their linebacking corps. UFA addition Terence Garvin isn’t a lock to survive cutdown weekend, either, Jackson adds.