The Cardinals and Patrick Peterson appear to be moving forward together, despite the All-Pro cornerback’s trade request. A key part of Peterson reaffirming his commitment to the franchise was a 30-minute meeting with team president Michael Bidwill, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). The parties discussed ways the Cardinals could improve, with Bidwill assuring Peterson the franchise is committing to winning, per Schefter.
“I think we definitely have a clear understanding and I have two years left under my contract, so I’m here,” Peterson said, via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter), who adds the cornerback didn’t exactly exude much happiness during his remarks Wednesday, which could be understandable given the state of the Cardinals (Twitter link).
Peterson also responded to a question about why he wanted to be traded by saying (via Weinfuss, on Twitter), “You see the record.” He’s signed through the 2020 season but has little guaranteed money left on an extension he agreed to in 2014.
Here’s the latest out of the West divisions:
- The Broncos do not plan to sign a backup quarterback in the near future. While Mike Klis of 9News notes the team likely will add another signal-caller to either the active roster or practice squad, expect that player to now work behind previous No. 3 passer Kevin Hogan. “Kevin is the backup right now,” Vance Joseph said. “We’ll see as time progresses here. Kevin is fine. Kevin has played in games. He’s a smart guy; he’s picked it up quick and we have full confidence in Kevin.” Hogan is a career 59 percent passer who started one game and saw action in eight with the Browns from 2016-17. The Redskins waived him before the season began, and the Broncos’ subsequent claim led to Paxton Lynch‘s departure.
- Addressing the trade that sent Amari Cooper to the Cowboys, Jon Gruden said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken, on Twitter) this was more about acquiring a valuable draft pick than the Raiders being dissatisfied with the wide receiver. Reggie McKenzie said Monday that Dallas offering a first-rounder was a proposal he could not pass on.
- Both K.J. Wright and Ed Dickson are expected to make their season debuts for the Seahawks on Sunday, Pete Carroll said (via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson). An arthroscopic knee surgery and a setback kept Wright out for this long. Dickson’s spent time on the NFI list because of a quad injury. The Seahawks signed Dickson to a three-year, $10.7MM deal this offseason.
- The Seahawks placed safety T.J. Green on their exempt list, and Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter) Green simply didn’t want to play football anymore. The former second-round pick out of Clemson hadn’t seen action with the Seahawks. He’d started 11 games prior to the Colts cutting him two months ago.
- Citing Gruden’s inconsistent draft history with the Buccaneers, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry wonders how well the Raiders coach will fare in rebuilding this team that now has three 2019 first-round picks. Gruden assumed full Bucs control during the 2003 season, and only one of his draft choices (2006 first-rounder Davin Joseph) made a Pro Bowl as a Buccaneer (although, 2008 first-rounder Aqib Talib made several after leaving Tampa Bay). Both Michael Clayton and Cadillac Williams started strong before failing to match their rookie seasons’ excellence, with Corry adding Gruden’s draft work in Tampa Bay does not measure up to McKenzie’s high-end 2014 haul of Khalil Mack, Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson.
Today’s minor moves:
- Waived: DT Justin Zimmer
- Waived: CB Dee Virgin
- Waived: RB Jeremy McNichols
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
- Waived from injured reserve: LB Carlos Thompson
- Signed off Titans’ practice squad: OL Ian Silberman
- Promoted from practice squad: DT Treyvon Hester
- Waived: DT Bruce Hector
- Waived from injured reserve: OT Toby Weathersby
Green Bay Packers
New York Jets
- DEs Jared Crick, Anthony Lanier; G Jamil Douglas; FB Jalston Fowler; CB Sterling Moore; WRs Brandon Reilly, DeAngelo Yancey
oday’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:
New Orleans Saints
The Colts are at the 53-man roster max after making a bundle of transactions, including the release of offensive tackle Austin Howard.
The Colts invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he was medically cleared until late July and struggled in camp and during the preseason. The Colts dangled him in trade talks this week, but there were no takers for him.
Despite his issues this summer, Howard had a solid 2017 with the Ravens and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle. If healthy, he could draw interest from other teams.
Here’s a look at the rest of the Colts’ moves:
- TE Mo Alie-Cox
- K Mike Badgley
- CB Juante Baldwin
- DT Brandon Banks
- C Deyshawn Bond
- G Nick Callender
- LB Brandon Chubb
- CB Lashard Durr
- WR Reece Fountain
- WR Cobi Hamilton
- WR Steve Ishmael
- WR Seantavius Jones
- DT Tomasi Laulile
- DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches
- CB Henre’ Toliver
- G Jeremy Vujnovich
- QB Phillip Walker
- CB D.J. White
- WR Kasen Williams
Last year, Bond ascended to the starting center job when Ryan Kelly broke his foot late in training camp. Unfortunately, a torn quad landed him on IR in October. This year, he’ll be looking for work elsewhere.
Alie-Cox was a former basketball player looking to transition to tight end. Although Antonio Gates and others have successfully made the jump, Alie-Cox has yet to find similar success.
In addition to the aforementioned moves, the Colts also waived the following players with an injury designation. If they clear waivers, then they revert to the Colts’ Injured Reserve list:
A former second-round pick who’s made 11 starts in his two NFL seasons, T.J. Green posted on social media the Colts are cutting him.
Chuck Pagano pushed hard for Ryan Grigson to draft Green in 2016, per Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Green suffered a hamstring injury and will be waived with an injury designation, per Stephen Holder of The Athletic (via Twitter), adding an injury settlement may be in the cards if Green goes unclaimed on waivers.
Behind Malik Hooker and Matthias Farley, Indianapolis employs Clayton Geathers, former trade acquisition Ronald Martin and 2018 free agent addition Robinson Therezie. Green started seven games last season and made 42 tackles.
The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?
To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.
Now, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the Indianapolis Colts’ draft class:
One can argue that head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson are like oil and vinegar, as they just don’t seem to mix. Now, with both having their jobs on the line, they hope they can find the right ingredients for the team’s salad before both are tossed by ownership. Grigson does not have a great track record to survive another draft disaster, but outside of his first two choices in the 2016 draft, the other six selections will have a fight on their hands to secure roster spots.
Since taking over as general manager in January 2012, Grigson has overseen the draft with less than stellar results. Not counting his cache in 2016, he’s drafted 26 players from the 2012-15 phases. Based on his current roster, seven of those choices have earned starting jobs for the Colts. Four others precariously hang on to reserve roles, while eighteen others are no longer with the team, including a slew of them no longer in the league. Now, Grigson hopes he can stem the tide from those draft day disasters that also include 2013 first round selection Bjoern Werner.
Grigson’s first-ever draft selection was a no-brainer, taking franchise quarterback Andrew Luck with the top pick in 2012. However, Luck has been constantly harassed in the pocket while playing behind what is unanimously considered the worst offensive line in pro football last year. To protect their quarterback, the team pulled out a page from Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown’s mantra for building a team – start with a franchise-type center and build your line around him.
First Round – Ryan Kelly, C (Alabama, No. 18)
Luck looked like the Titanic – a total wreck – just seven games into the 2015 season. That was all the games the franchise QB would appear in, as five others tried their hand at quarterback after Luck was lost for the rest of the season. The former Stanford product produced his worst pro season ever, as he completed just 55.3% of his passes and had almost as many interceptions (12) as touchdown tosses (15).
The offensive line allowed 35 sacks last year. Luck was hit an incredible 121 times after getting rid of the ball and the running corps remained dormant, averaging 3.6 yards per attempt while reaching the end zone just six times. On top of it, those ball carriers coughed up the sphere nineteen times, resulting in eleven recoveries by the opposition.
Something needed to change in the trenches – enter Ryan Kelly, perhaps the “toughest hombre” to play in the pivot since the heydays of the Bears’ Olin Kreutz. With multiple national title rings on his fingers, Kelly brings that instant nastiness to the line that has been missing since Jeff Saturday was snapping the ball to Peyton Manning.
In the Colts’ zone blocking scheme, the center needs to be athletic enough to work down the line, along with having the agility to block in the second level. Against 3-4 defensive alignments, they are also required to have that strong anchor, in order to stall the two-gap charge from the nose guards. In most cases, size does not matter –intelligence, strength and balance are more important. Field smarts are needed to immediately identify the defense’s pressure packages.
Strength is needed, in order to stall the bull rush and help in widening the rush lanes. Quick feet and fluid retreat skills are required, as it is often the center that has to drop back and protect the pocket in passing situations. A long reach, firm anchor and great balance are important for the center, as he is usually asked to work in combination with his guards getting out in front on traps and pulls. These are all the traits that Kelly brings to the table, giving the team an immediate upgrade from former starter, Khaled Holmes.
Kelly might also have some “new friends” on the offensive line, as third round pick, Le’Raven Clark, will serve as an understudy behind Anthony Castonzo at left tackle. Five round choice, Joseph Haeg, shifts to right tackle, where he could mount a challenge for Denzelle Good’s precarious hold on the starting job. Toss in seventh round center/guard Austin Blythe for good measure, as there are no other back-ups to Kelly at center on the roster.
Today’s minor moves:
- The Colts announced that they’ve signed second-round safety T.J. Green. Green, a Clemson product, was selected 57th overall in last month’s draft, and while he played safety in college, there’s been some chatter that he could be moved to corner in the NFL.
- The Vikings have signed defensive tackle Travis Raciti and waived running back Brandon Ross, Matt Vensel of the Star-Tribune tweets. Raciti spent his first NFL season in Philadelphia on the club’s practice squad. The former San Jose State Spartan played in 49 games (45 starts) as a defensive tackle and twice earned all-conference honors.
- The Eagles have signed defensive tackle Derrick Lott and released punter Ryan Quigley, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. With Quigley out of the picture, it would appear that Donnie Jones has won the team’s punter job. Lott was on Tampa Bay’s taxi squad in 2015 and will try to make the cut in Philly.
- The Saints have waived long-snapper Chris Highland, who joined the team for his second stint earlier this month (Twitter link via Evan Woodbery of The Times Picayune).
- Panthers tight end Jake McGee has reverted to injured reserve after being waived-injured, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. McGee began his career at Virginia but, thanks to graduate transfer rules, was able to finish up at Florida. In what would have been his first year at UF, he broke his left leg and spent the year rehabbing instead of playing. Last year, McGee caught 41 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns.