Tarell Basham

Jets Claim DE Tarell Basham

Former Colts⁠ ⁠defensive end Tarell Basham was claimed off waivers by the Jets, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter)⁠. Basham, a 2017 third-round pick, will have an opportunity to turn his career around in a new setting. 

Basham suited up for 15 games in 2017, but made zero starts. He recorded two sacks and forced a fumble as a rookie, but only made seven tackles overall. This year, he played in just one of Indianapolis’ four games, so his release was surprising, but not altogether shocking.

The Colts probably wanted to sneak Basham through waivers and on to their practice squad, but that was an unlikely outcome given Basham’s pedigree. In his four years at the University of Ohio, Basham registered 27 sacks and was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

The Jets’ pass rush could certainly use a talent infusion, so Basham has a fairly easy path to the field if he performs well in practice. The Jets are currently starting Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson at defensive end with Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland at the outside linebacker spots after placing Josh Martin on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Activate RB Robert Turbin

The Colts have activated running back Robert Turbin in advance of Thursday night’s game against the Patriots, the team announced. In related moves, linebacker Skai Moore and cornerback Lenzy Pipkins were promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and defensive ends Tarell Basham and Al-Quadin Muhammad were waived. 

Turbin, initially, was in line for a significant role in the Colts’ backfield this year. Those plans were derailed this summer when he was hit with a four-game suspension for performance enhancing substances.

The veteran returns to a backfield that is headlined by Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, but he offers fresh legs on a short week for the Colts. It would not be surprising to see Turbin involved in the Colts rushing attack in his first game back.

For his career, Turbin has 1,344 yards and nine scores off of 351 carries. He also has 85 catches for 685 yards and three scores. Those totals were put on hold in Week 6 of last season when he suffered a season-ending elbow injury, but Bobby Turbo will now have an opportunity to reassert himself.

Basham’s departure comes fairly early for a third-round pick. Chosen on Day 2 of the 2017 draft, Basham has played in just one of Indianapolis’ four games this season. He suited up for 15 in 2017 but didn’t start any of those games. He recorded two sacks and forced a fumble as a rookie but only made seven tackles.

The Colts now have 2018 second-rounder Kemoko Turay as their only backup defensive end. Though, Jihad Ward was drafted to play end as a Raider. Still, it should be expected the Colts will make a move to add depth at this spot after waiving two of their backups.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Brady, Jones, Colts

Tom Brady finally addressed his wife’s comments about his possible undisclosed concussions, doing so in an interview on ESPN’s “E:60.” Gisele Bundchen said her 39-year-old husband suffered a concussion last season and multiple others the Patriots didn’t disclose in previous years. Brady did not deny this during his interview but was vague in his response.

She’s there every day. I mean, we go to bed, you know, in the same bed every night. So I think she’s, you know, she knows when I’m sore,” Brady said (via CBSSports.com). “She knows when I’m tired. She knows, you know, when I get hit. I mean, we drive home together. But she also knows how well, you know, I take care of myself. She’s a very concerned wife and very loving.”

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio provided a translation from this answer that Brady has sustained concussions that were not reported. Nothing has come out yet regarding the Patriots’ knowledge of these concussions, so the team would not be in a position to be punished for concealing such injuries. Brady’s agent, Don Yee, said the quarterback wasn’t diagnosed with a concussion during the 2016 season. This doesn’t deny that he suffered one, however. The NFL in May said there was no record of Brady suffering a concussion last season.

Here’s the latest coming out of New England and other NFL cities.

  • Brady continued to insist he wants to play until he’s in his mid-40s. He added a “health-permitting”-type caveat when the subject was broached during his latest interview. “My mid-40s, I’ve always said, so naturally that’s 45, but football is a contact sport,” Brady said. “I don’t think you can take anything for granted in football, things happen. It’s just part of the sport. I would love to be able to continue playing at that level. As long as I keep playing well and committed to it, I’ll keep doing it. I know I got a lot left in me.” Brady, who will turn 40 next month, is signed through the 2019 season. The Patriots will have a big decision to make regarding how they approach Jimmy Garoppolo‘s situation come 2018, and Brady’s 2017 performance figures to have a major say in they handle the quandary.
  • News emerged about Matt Jones changing agents Sunday. Drew Rosenhaus now represents the Redskins running back. Previous agent Hadley Engelhard lobbied the Redskins to trade or release him, and Jones did not show for Washington’s OTA sessions. He skipped the workouts on the advice of Engelhard, according to Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, who wonders if the agent switch will have an impact on Jones’ standing with the Redskins. Washington deactivated Jones midseason after persistent fumbling trouble and added Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in the fourth round. Jones did report to minicamp, but his status in Washington’s backfield hierarchy is murky.
  • Chuck Pagano and Colts DC Ted Monachino are encouraged by what they’ve seen from third-round pass rusher Tarell Basham, Kevin Bowen of Colts.com notes. Pagano said it will be “exciting” to watch the former Ohio Bobcats defensive end develop, while Monachino said a safe prediction can be made Basham will do “several things well.” Bowen writes Basham will likely be shuttled to outside linebacker in Indianapolis’ 3-4 look. Recently retired edge dynamo Robert Mathis has helped Basham (9.0 sacks as a senior last season) with that transition this offseason. The Colts added edge players Jabaal Sheard, John Simon and Barkevious Mingo in free agency, moving to younger cogs after Mathis retired. Trent Cole and Erik Walden remain unsigned after their Colts contracts expired.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/19/17

The latest draft picks to sign their first NFL contracts:

  • The Colts have signed third-round defensive end Tarell Basham, the 80th overall pick, meaning all eight members of their draft class are now under contract. Basham starred the previous four years at Ohio, where he amassed 38.5 tackles and 27 sacks, and could help upgrade a Colts pass rush that finished a mediocre 19th in sacks last season.
  • The Bears have locked up second-round tight end Adam Shaheen, leaving first-round quarterback Mitch Trubisky as the only member of their five-pick class who hasn’t signed yet. Shaheen – formerly with Ashland – is one of three Bears picks who attended a small school, and plucking players from relatively anonymous institutions has led to criticism of general manager Ryan Pace. But Shaheen is a “special talent,” according to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com.
  • A day after inking their top two picks to contracts, the Bills have signed their third selection, second-round offensive lineman Dion Dawkins (No. 63 overall). The former Temple Owl should be a factor on the right side of the Bills’ offensive line in 2017, perhaps as a Day 1 starter at tackle, after the team traded up to land him. The Bills’ veteran options at right tackle, Jordan Mills, Cyrus Kouandjio and Seantrel Henderson, have failed to impress on the field. Further, both Kouandjio and Henderson have dealt with off-field issues. Henderson will miss the first five games of the year on account of a suspension.
  • Former North Carolina State safety Josh Jones has signed his deal with the Packers. Jones, the 61st pick, was one of two second-rounders for Green Bay in this year’s draft. The higher selection of the two, ex-Washington cornerback Kevin King (No. 33 overall), signed last week. Jones, who wrapped up his college career in 2016 with a 109-tackle, three-interception season, joins a safety corps that also includes Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett. With Burnett scheduled to become a free agent next offseason, Jones could be the Packers’ long-term answer at strong safety.
  • Seahawks third-rounder Nazair Jones, the 102nd pick, is now under contract. The former North Carolina defensive tackle, more of a run-stopping factor than a pass rusher, produced 22 tackles for loss and five sacks in three seasons with the Tar Heels. Jones is one of two interior D-linemen the Seahawks used a high pick on, as he followed second-rounder Malik McDowell.
  • The Cardinals have signed fourth-round guard Dorian Johnson, the 115th pick. Johnson was a dominant guard at Pittsburgh, starting in 39 straight games and capping off his Panthers career in 2016 with first-team All-America honors. Arizona already has an established starter at Johnson’s college position, left guard, in Mike Iupati, but it’s not nearly as well off on the right. As of now, 2016 fifth-rounder Cole Toner is penciled in as the starter.
  • One of Johnson’s college teammates at Pitt, offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, officially became a member of the Giants on Friday. The 200th overall pick started at left tackle in each of his four years at Pitt, where he earned a first-team all-ACC nod last season. Bisnowaty is likely to end up on the right side in the pros, per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who notes that he has the ceiling of a low-end starter.

Falcons, 49ers Looking To Trade Up

The Falcons and 49ers are looking to trade up, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The 49ers, unsuccessfully, tried to pry the No. 21 pick from the Lions just moments ago. If the Falcons go pass rusher, the names to remember are Taco Charlton, Tarell Basham, or Jordan Willis, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com tweets.

With 22 picks in the books, other notable names remain on the board including Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, FSU running back Dalvin Cook, UCLA linebacker Takkarist McKinley, and embattled Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.

Inside linebacker is a need for the Niners, so they could potentially be looking to move up for Foster. McKinley would be a good fit for Atlanta as they seek a pass rusher that isn’t among the three listed by Pauline.

Cowboys Meet With 21 NFL Draft Prospects

The Cowboys have now used more than two-thirds of their 30 allotted predraft visits, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), and Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News have provided the list of prospects with whom Dallas has met:

The Cowboys’ visits with Michigan DE Taco Charlton, UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley, UConn S Obi Melifonwu, UCLA CB Fabian Moreau, and Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt had all been previously reported.