Tae Davis

More Minor NFL Transactions: 10/30/19

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Claimed off waivers (Giants): LB Tae Davis

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: CB Tevaughn Campbell

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFC Notes: Newton, Cardinals, Giants

The Panthers got off to a hot start last year, racing out to a 6-2 record. They appeared destined for a playoff berth, and then Cam Newton‘s shoulder fell apart. Within a couple of weeks Newton could barely get the ball downfield, and the Panthers collapsed. They shut Newton down with a couple of weeks left, and ended up losing seven of their last eight games. Newton had another surgery on his shoulder this offseason, and obviously his recovery will determine how Carolina does in 2019. To help avoid further issues on his troublesome shoulder, Newton changed his throwing motion, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Florio doesn’t sound too high on the changes, writing that it’s a “funky new throwing motion, which has Cam pulling the ball over the top of his shoulder, almost pressing it up against his head.” Florio also questions if it’ll last, wondering if “Newton will instinctively revert to his old ways” once bullets start flying in the regular season. This upcoming season is a huge one for the Panthers, as Ron Rivera will be on the hot seat if they don’t make it back to the playoffs. Newton is on the wrong side of 30 now, and needs to prove his shoulder isn’t going to turn into an Andrew Luck situation. Hopefully he’s back to full strength when training camp opens next month.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Recently, we heard that the Cardinals were likely to cut former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche. Former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry tweeted that the Cardinals could save $1.522MM if they cut him before the fifth day of training camp when he’s due a roster bonus, but he also noted that it’s more likely to be $961K in cap savings if Nkemdiche qualifies for the CBA’s injury protection. In a separate tweet, Corry explains that “since there’s remaining time on Robert Nkemdichie’s contract & he was injured last season where he may not be able to play this season, he has a potential injury protection claim for 50% of his 2019 base salary.” Nkemdiche tore his ACL toward the end of last season, and is unlikely to be able to pass a physical by the start of training camp. The 29th overall pick of the 2016 draft is also likely facing a suspension from the league for his arrest earlier this month.
  • Linebacker Tae Davis was an undrafted rookie last year, but he ended up playing a meaningful role for the Giants. This year, that role might get even larger. Davis “spent plenty of time in the spring working with the first team,” and will be competing with B.J. Goodson for a starting spot in training camp, per Paul Schwartz of the NY Post. Scwhartz notes that Goodson started 13 games last year, but he thinks he’s vulnerable. Davis showed well in limited action, and the unheralded Chattanooga product seems to be impressing the coaching staff. Further helping his cause is the fact that Goodson was a draft pick of the previous power structure in New York that has since been swept out.
  • In case you missed it, Redskins owner Dan Snyder will apparently be involved in the decision on whether or not to start Dwayne Haskins.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Giants

With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.

In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.

Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:

  • The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
  • Colt McCoy‘s final surgery total from the fractured fibula he suffered late last season: three. The veteran Redskins quarterback is expected to be cleared for training camp, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes McCoy indeed underwent three procedures since December — the most recent coming in April. McCoy’s knowledge of Jay Gruden‘s offense will help him in Washington’s QB battle and possibly as a mentor type once Dwayne Haskins inevitably takes over this season.
  • Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
  • Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.

Giants Sign 11 UDFAs

The Giants have formally signed eleven undrafted free agents:

Chandler received a $35K bonus to sign with the Giants, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Chandler gave Temple solid production throughout his four-year tenure and offers the kind of toughness that GM Dave Gettleman appreciates. He’s definitely undersized at 5’11”, but his higher-than-average bonus indicates that there were at least a few NFL GMs eager to see what he can do in camp.

Howell was a part of Missouri’s impressive 2016 offensive line, which finished first nationally in tackles for loss allowed (2.92 per game), the lowest for any team since at least 2005.