Taylor Heinicke

Panthers Claim QB Taylor Heinicke

The Panthers picked up quarterback Taylor Heinicke off waivers. The QB was cut by the Texans on Friday. 

Heinicke, 25, threw his only NFL pass to date in a 34-6 loss to the Steelers last year. The Old Dominion product hasn’t made much noise over the last three years with the Vikings, Patriots, or Texans, but he’ll look to stick on the Panthers’ roster as a backup to Cam Newton.

For now, Newton, Garrett Gilbert, and Heinicke are the only three QBs on Carolina’s roster. At the owner’s meetings, coach Ron Rivera indicated that veteran Derek Anderson could still be re-signed to serve as Newton’s primary backup.

We’re looking for a guy that can eventually be the No. 2 guy for a long time,” Rivera said “We’re looking for that next guy, not necessarily to replace Derek but to come in and be ready to eventually replace him.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Claim TE Matt Lengel

The Texans have been awarded tight end Matt Lengel off of waivers from the Browns. In order to make room, the team cut quarterback Taylor Heinicke

Lengel was one of seven players dropped by Cleveland on Thursday, along with tight end Gavin Escobar, linebacker Max Bullough, defensive back C.J. Smith, wide receivers Bug Howard and Larry Pinkard, and running back Kelvin Taylor. Smith also found a new home on Friday after being claimed by the Broncos.

Lengel, 27, first entered the league as a UDFA with the Bengals in 2015. In 2016, he hooked on with the Patriots where he caught his only NFL touchdown to date. Last year, he was waived/injured by the Pats and found his way to the Browns practice squad. He earned a promotion midway through the year and saw time in a December loss to the Bears.

There’s an opportunity for Lengel to make the Texans’ final cut. He joins a TE group that presently includes Stephen Anderson, Ryan Malleck, MyCole Pruitt, Ryan Malleck, and Jevoni Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/14/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/29/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: RB Darius Victor

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Read more

NFL Workout Updates: 11/14/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • T Laurence Gibson (link)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

  • TEs Brandon Barnes, Gabe Holmes (link)

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • LSs Ryan DiSalvo, Andrew East, Drew Ferris (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/10/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

East Notes: Dolphins, Giants, Patriots, Eagles

The Dolphins still haven’t offered contract year wide receiver Jarvis Landry a new deal, but 24-year-old slot weapon isn’t worried about the lack of negotiations. “The number I may want may not be the number the team is willing to give me,” Landry told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “It’s about finding that negotiating price that works for both parties. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten offers. But when the process starts, I want nothing less than what I deserve.” Landry ackowledged he would accept the franchise tag in 2018, although Miami is unlikely to extend an offer — even over one year — of $15MM+ for a slot receiver.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Head coach Ben McAdoo intends to retain control of the Giants‘ offensive play-calling, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Of course, that report was filed before New York fell to 0-3 with a loss to the Eagles today, but Big Blue’s offense played well in the second half, as Eli Manning completed three touchdown passes (two to Odell Beckham Jr. and one to Sterling Shepard). However, the Giants coaching staff is “turning up the temperature” on the New York players, and that intensity only figures to increase now that the club remained winless today.
  • Veteran linebacker David Harris had played all of three defensive snaps heading into today’s game, and that’s largely due to the Patriots‘ defensive formations, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. New England used mostly nickel and dime looks against the Chiefs and Saints in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, and given that Harris is behind Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts on the defensive depth chart, he didn’t see much action. That could conceivably change if the Patriots use more base looks, but Harris is mostly a run-stopper at this point in his career.
  • The Patriots signed former Vikings quarterback Taylor Heinicke to their practice squad last week, a sign that New England wants to develop him for the long haul, as Reiss details in a separate piece. New England didn’t have a quarterback on its practice squad in either 2014 or 2015, so the addition of Heinicke likely speaks about the prospect himself, per Reiss. From Heinicke’s point of view, the opportunity to learn under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady was “too enticing to pass up,” a source tells Reiss.
  • As part of the 2016 trade that sent cornerback Eric Rowe to New England, the Eagles will see their fourth-round return upgraded to a third-round pick if Rowe plays in 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps in 2017. Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice examines where that deal stands, and whether the possibility of acquiring a third-rounder lessened the pain of sending a 2018 third-round pick to Buffalo for fellow corner Ronald Darby earlier this year.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/22/17

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints