Steve Weatherford

Jets Release Steve Weatherford

Less than a week after signing him, the Jets have released veteran punter Steve Weatherford, the team announced today (via Twitter). As a vested veteran, Weatherford will immediately become a free agent without having to pass through waivers.

Weatherford, 32, signed with the Jets on Saturday to replace injured punter Ryan Quigley, and had an up-and-down performance against the Patriots on Sunday, averaging 40.3 yards on four punts. It was a return to New York for Weatherford, who spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the Jets’ punter, before playing four seasons for the Giants.

While it’s possible that Weatherford was released due to his play on Sunday, the move is more likely an indication that Quigley will be ready to return to action in Week 8 for the Jets.

AFC Notes: Steelers, Browns, Jets, Pats

Some news and notes from around the AFC:

  • While Ben Roethlisberger might be healthy enough to play Sunday, he’s set to be inactive and the Steelers will start Landry Jones at quarterback. The decision to keep Roethlisberger off the field for another week was influenced by both a desire to steer him clear of the Chiefs’ pass rush (specifically Justin Houston and Tamba Hali) and Pittsburgh’s need to have him as healthy as possible for a Week 8 showdown with AFC North-leading Cincinnati, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder (via Twitter).
  • The Browns’ defense has been a colossal disappointment this season (31st in yards per game, 24th in points), but there is disagreement from within as to why, Bud Shaw of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Some members of the defense have questioned the scheme, while coordinator Jim O’Neil has pointed to a lack of execution on the field. Whatever the problem is, things could get worse Sunday against Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley who is averaging a stellar 5.7 yards per carry and looks primed to bludgeon Cleveland’s last-ranked ground defense.
  • Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan was known for hyping up games against AFC East rival New England during his time in New York. His successor, Todd Bowles, has a calmer outlook as his 4-1 club looks to seize first place in the division from the 5-0 Pats on Sunday. “We’re going to take the same approach we’ve been taking,” Bowles said, according to Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. “You don’t get up or down for one game because it means you haven’t been playing hard in the first place.”
  • The Patriots’ cornerback stable has spent a great deal of time in flux going back to the offseason: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington – all of whom played key roles last year – are gone, two replacements were cut during the summer, and another (Tarell Brown) landed on season-ending injured reserve earlier this month. Luckily for the Pats, the emergence of Logan Ryan in a starting role opposite No. 1 corner Malcolm Butler has helped their secondary avoid any serious turmoil, writes Mike Petraglia of WEEI.
  • The Jets were so hard up for a replacement for injured punter Ryan Quigley that they didn’t even work out Steve Weatherford before signing him Saturday, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

Jets Sign Steve Weatherford

2:20pm: The Jets announced the move (on Twitter) and also waived/injured safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. The 26-year-old’s played in 34 games with the Jets the past three seasons, including four this year as a backup. He previously played with the Eagles after arriving in Philadelphia as a second-round pick in 2011.

A Jets free agent acquisition in 2013 who re-signed as a restricted free agent this offseason on a one-year tender worth $1.54MM, Jarrett backed up 2015 signee Marcus Gilchrist at free safety before suffering a knee injury.

11:08am: With Ryan Quigley struggling through a shin injury, the Jets are expected to sign veteran punter Steve Weatherford, reports’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). It’s uncertain if the move is temporary, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News wonders (via Twitter) if Weatherford will only stick around for this weekend’s game against the Patriots.

Weatherford had spent the previous four seasons with the Giants, appearing in all 64 games. The veteran and his $2MM salary were let go by the Giants at the end of the preseason. Prior to his tenure with the G-Men, the 32-year-old spent a couple seasons with the Jets, as well as time with the Jaguars, Chiefs and Saints. Weatherford has averaged 44.5 yards per punt throughout his career.

Quigley joined the Jets in 2013 following a one-season stint with the Bears. The Boston College product has compiled 172 punts over his two-plus seasons with the Jets, averaging 45.3 yards per punt.

North Notes: Perriman, Browns, Bears

Rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman has yet to make his regular season debut for the Ravens, and it sounds like that probably won’t be happening anytime soon. According to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), Perriman re-injured his PCL over the weekend, and underwent arthroscopic surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews. Perriman will now be sidelined indefinitely, says Rapoport.

While there were a handful of exciting young receivers selected in the first round of this year’s draft, many of them have yet to make an impact on the field — Perriman and Kevin White are battling significant injuries, and DeVante Parker, Phillip Dorsett, and Nelson Agholor have combined for just 13 overall receptions through three weeks. Among this year’s first-round wideouts, only Amari Cooper, who has 20 catches for 290 yards, is off to a fast start.

Here’s more from out of the league’s two North divisions:

  • The Browns are bringing aboard former Falcons and Texans offensive line coach Paul Dunn, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that Dunn is expected to replace Andy Moeller as the club’s main offensive line coach. Per Mary Kay Cabot of (Twitter link), head coach Mike Pettine stressed that George DeLeone is acting as the Browns’ OL coach for now, so we’ll have to see how the roles play out.
  • Having signed a two-year extension with the Browns, quarterback Austin Davis views the new contract as a sign of the team’s trust in him, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal details. Ulrich also notes that the base salaries on Davis’ deal are $1.35MM for 2016 and $1.7MM for 2017.
  • As first reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), the Bears brought in punters for a tryout today, with Pat O’Donnell having missed Wednesday’s practice. Punters Spencer Lanning and Steve Weatherford, along with long snapper Patrick Scales, participated in the workout, tweets Jeff Dickerson of
  • After the Bears jettisoned multiple defensive players this week, a number of veterans on the team may be wondering if they’re next, writes Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. One player who spoke to Finley, tight end Martellus Bennett, acknowledged that the possibility of being traded or cut is always present, and it’s just part of the business. Earlier today, I asked whether we’ll continue to see Chicago make more moves in advance of the trade deadline.

Giants Cut Steve Weatherford

10:35am: According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), the Giants are discussing acquiring punter Brad Wing in a deal with the Steelers, though nothing is finalized yet.

10:20am: The Giants appear to be on the lookout for a new punter, as Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reports (via Twitter) that the club has parted ways with veteran Steve Weatherford. New York also cut Robert Malone earlier this week, so the latest move leaves the team without a punter on its roster.

Weatherford, who turns 33 in December, spent the first five years of his NFL career with a handful of different teams before finding a more permanent home with the Giants in 2011. The Illinois product has been the team’s punter for each of the last four seasons, ranking 25th out of the league’s 32 qualified players at the position in 2015, per Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required).

Earlier in the week, head coach Tom Coughlin strongly hinted that outside help would likely be brought in to challenge Weatherford for the Giants’ punting job this year.

“Well, there’s a game to go, and it’s going to be a competitive thing,” Coughlin said. “Not necessarily with the guys that are here. That goes for any position. Any position. People have to understand that. You’re not competing just against the guys here, you’re competing against the waiver wire.”

Giants Waive Robert Malone, Others

The Giants made a score of moves at the 3pm CT deadline for 75-man rosters. The Giants’ cuts include Brandon Mosley, Eric Herman, Robert Malone, and Jordan Stanton, as Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger tweets. The Giants also released running back Akeem Hunt, offensive lineman Michael Bamiro, wide receiver Juron Criner, fullback Justin Halley, offensive lineman Derrick Johnson, defensive tackle Jummy Staten, and tight end Will Tye, as James Kratch of NJ Advance Media tweets.

Bennett Jackson and Josh Gordy have also been placed on season-ending IR, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets.

The release of Malone means that Steve Weatherford has won the battle for the punter job. Safety Nat Berhe is noticeably absent from the IR list and that means his status for 2015 is still up in the air.

NFC Notes: Long, Newton, 49ers, Giants

As if the Rams‘ season wasn’t already off to a bad enough start, with the team coming off a blowout loss at home and struggling to find a healthy and competent quarterback, the club received more bad news today. Per head coach Jeff Fisher, defensive end Chris Long will have surgery this week and will miss at least “a few” games (Twitter link).

Long left Sunday’s contest against the Vikings with an ankle injury, and according to Adam Schefter of (Twitter link), the veteran pass rusher could miss the next eight to 10 weeks. That would seem to make him a candidate for the IR list with the designation to return, and according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams will indeed use that spot for Long (Twitter link). That would make him eligible to return to practice after six weeks and to game action after eight weeks.

As we wait to see what can go wrong next in St. Louis, let’s round up a few other Wednesday items from around the NFC….

  • According to Cam Newton, the Panthers have yet to approach him about a contract extension, which isn’t his focus right now anyway, tweets Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. There was some speculation this week that the decision to restructure Charles Johnson‘s contract could mean the club would explore an extension for Newton sooner rather than later.
  • After cutting LaMichael James, the 49ers don’t intend to add a third running back to their roster this week, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, passing along a comment from coach Jim Harbaugh. It looks like San Francisco will head into Sunday’s contest with the Bears with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde as its only active halfbacks.
  • Giants punter Steve Weatherford won’t require surgery, but he does have torn ligaments in his left ankle after being hit during a kick on Monday night, writes Conor Orr of It’s not clear if Weatherford will be forced to miss the team’s Week 2 game, but according Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter), the Giants have reached out to the agents for some free agent punters to put them on “standby,” just in case.
  • Joel Corry of takes a look at some huge contract extensions signed within the last year and determines how soon teams could reasonably get away from them, if necessary. Among the deals examined by Corry: Colin Kaepernick‘s with the 49ers, Jay Cutler‘s with the Bears, and Jimmy Graham‘s with the Saints.

Contract Details: Weatherford, Snee, Shields

Giants punter Steve Weatherford accepted a pay cut to reduce his $2.025MM base salary for 2014, and Tom Pelissero of USA Today says (via Twitter) it was a $950K cut. However, Weatherford can make some of that money back, as he now has $350K available through incentives, rather than an initial $50K. Here are a few more details on contracts recently signed or restructured around the league:

  • Weatherford’s new deal includes $1.1MM in compensation for 2014 with $150K in new guarantees, tweets Jason La Canfora of His cap number is $1.9MM.
  • Chris Snee’s restructured deal with the Giants isn’t quite what was initially reported, according to Pelissero, who says the new contract features a $2MM base, $500K in per-game roster bonuses, and a $50K roster bonus (Twitter link).
  • Pelissero has the specifics on Sam Shields’ four-year deal with the Packers, which includes a $2.5MM roster bonus next March (Twitter links).
  • Darrin Walls avoided restricted free agency by re-signing with the Jets last week, and his two-year deal is worth $1.9MM, including a $350K roster bonus, tweets Rich Cimini of
  • The new two-year deal for Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan includes a $400K signing bonus, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).