Taylor Bertolet

AFC East Notes: Jets, Gase, Bills

The Jets have been widely planned for their lack of improvement at the cornerback position, but head coach Adam Gase doesn’t agree with the critics and doesn’t feel the need to upgrade before the season starts (via PFT).

I guess I don’t look at it like that,” Gase said. “I look at it as Trumaine [Johnson] is down right now, this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys. Like somebody has a chance to step up and make a name for themselves. Somebody has a chance to get in with that first defense, go against our wide receivers, go against our offense and Sam [Darnold] and those guys and see if a guy can play at that high level. I mean it’s a great opportunity.”

To recap: Johnson is week-to-week with a hamstring injury, and so is undrafted rookie Kyron Brown. At present, Darryl Roberts, Arthur Maulet, and Brian Poole represent the Jets’ three best healthy cornerbacks. Gase might not view it as a thin unit, but this week, safety Jamal Adams was moved to volunteer himself to play CB.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • More roster insight Gase – The Jets do not plan to add a second kicker to compete with Taylor Bertolet, who was signed this week after Chandler Catanzaro retired (via the NY Daily News).
  • Before the Bills signed defensive end Sam Acho, they also worked out former Saints second-round outside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Kikaha, the 44th overall selection in the 2015 draft, has been beset by injuries and ineffectiveness throughout his career. After playing on 62% of the Saints’ snaps during his rookie campaign, Kikaha missed the 2016 season with a torn ACL (the third of his football career) and subsequently saw action on only 209 defensive snaps the following year. New Orleans shopped Kikaha ahead of the 2017 trade deadline, and waived him during final cutdowns. Last year, he worked out for a number of clubs, but did not land a deal.
  • The Dolphins have inquired on Redskins tackle Trent Williams.

Jets K Chandler Catanzaro Retires

Jets K Chandler Catanzaro, 28, has retired, according to a team announcement. To take his place on the roster, the club has signed K Taylor Bertolet.

Catanzaro’s job was clearly in jeopardy after he missed a pair of extra points in the Jets’ preseason opener. It was reported yesterday that New York would be bringing in kickers Blair Walsh and Chris Blewitt for tryouts, and the Jets are said to still be interested in Ravens’ kicker Kaare Vedvik, who also caught their eye last summer.

In addition to his difficulties in the first preseason game, Catanzaro had apparently struggled in camp as well. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall and elected to leave the game on his terms rather than being cut.

Catanzaro, a Clemson product, signed with the Cardinals as a UDFA in 2014 and won Arizona’s kicking competition that year. His first two seasons in the league were quite promising, as he nailed 87.9% of his kicks in his rookie campaign and 90.3% in 2015. But his success rate dipped to 75% in 2016, and he signed with the Jets in March 2017. He experienced something of a bounceback in his first stint with Gang Green, converting 83.3% of his kicks and all of his PATs, and he signed a three-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason. Tampa Bay released him after he missed two field goals in a loss to the Redskins last November — he ultimately made just 73.3% of his kicks with the Bucs — and he caught on with the Panthers for the last few games of the season.

The Jets saw Jason Myers turn in a Pro Bowl effort last year, but they lost Myers to free agency in March and hoped that Catanzaro would be an adequate replacement. Obviously, that did not turn out to be the case, though as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets, the Jets could at least recoup Catanzaro’s $500K signing bonus if they so choose.

Bertolet was with the Jets last summer and performed well, but he has no regular season experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Waive K Taylor Bertolet

The Broncos have ended their kicking competition, while starting a new battle at punter. On Tuesday, the Broncos waived kicker Taylor Bertolet and signed punter Justin Vogel

This effectively means that Brandon McManus will be the Broncos’ starting kicker this year. A cursory look at McManus’ stats shows a so-so 80% field goal conversion rate last year, but all five of his misses came from 50 yards or more. Within reasonable range, McManus was a perfect 18-18 and nailed all of his extra point tries.

Vogel, meanwhile, will duke it out with Colby Wadman for the punting gig. Wadman, a rising NFL sophomore, averaged 44.7 yards per punt in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/29/19

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns 

  • Waived: C Kyle Friend

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Waived: C Tejan Koroma

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: OL Jeremiah Kolone

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Colts To Work Out Kickers

Kai Forbath, Cairo Santos, and Taylor Bertolet are among the kickers working out for the Colts on Tuesday, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). One of these players may wind up filling in for Adam Vinatieri as he recovers from a groin issue.

Vinatieri’s status for Sunday’s game is murky, so the Colts want to have a kicker at the ready in case he is unable to suit up. After Vinatieri missed two extra point tries against the Bills – something he hadn’t done before in his 23-year career – the Colts probably don’t want to trot him out there if he’s still hurt.

We just know he felt a little something on the first PAT, so we are just going to see how the week progresses,” head coach Frank Reich said this week (via Michael Marot of The Associated Press). “We’re going to bring in some kickers, just so you guys know, but we are not going to make any decisions until later.”

Forbath and Santos offer extensive NFL experience, while the 25-year-old Bertolet is still waiting for his first kick in a real NFL game.

Jets Cut Thomas Rawls, Charcandick West

The Jets have become the latest team to move to 53 players, and did so by making the following transactions:

Waived:

Released:

Placed on suspended list:

Placed on PUP:

Rawls, 25, first entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015 with the Seahawks and broke out immediately when Marshawn Lynch was sidelined with an abdomen injury. In his very first start for Seattle, Rawls amassed 104 yards off of 16 carries and later turned in a 209-yard game. Things trailed off after that, however. He missed significant time in 2016 with a fractured fibula and became an afterthought in 2017. Rawls initially seemed to have a good chance at making the Jets’ roster in 2018, but he was unable to find a place behind top RBs Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.

West was also fighting for a supporting RB job, and his limited highlight reel with the Chiefs suggested that he had a puncher’s chance to make the roster. West missed most of KC’s camp this year with a concussion and hooked on with the Jets a little over one week ago. Crowell also missed time with a concussion and reserve Elijah McGuire was dealing with a broken foot, but West still couldn’t make enough of an impression on coaches in such a short period of time.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/7/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Baltimore Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: C Tejan Koroma

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/21/17

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Rams Make Several Roster Moves, Down To 75

The Rams are down to the 75-man roster limit. Here’s the full slate of transactions made by Los Angeles, per a club announcement.

Waived:

  • K Taylor Bertolet
  • TE Benson Browne
  • DB Michael Caputo
  • LB Zach Colvin
  • C/G Brian Folkerts
  • LB Darreon Herring
  • S Jordan Lomax
  • LS Jeff Overbaugh
  • WR David Richards
  • TE Jake Stoneburner
  • OT Jordan Swindle
  • QB Dylan Thompson

Waived/Injured:

  • FB Zach Laskey
  • WR Marquez North

If Laskey and North clear waivers, they’ll revert to the Rams’ IR list.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter links) first reported most of these moves.

Rams Sign 19 Undrafted Free Agents

After including a handful of their 2016 draft picks in the trade package that allowed them to move up to No. 1 to snag California quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams only drafted six players last week, with all of them but Goff coming off the board on Day 3. However, Los Angeles has supplemented its draft class by adding 19 undrafted free agents to its roster.

Here’s the complete list of new Rams from Myles Simmons of TheRams.com: