Terrance West

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Big Ben, Ravens

Following yesterday’s five-interception against the Jaguars, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger offered a concise report of his performance. “Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger told Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Roethlisberger could have been hoping for levity after a brutal loss, the comments do call into question just how much longer Roethlisberger will play, especially given that he’s contemplated retirement on multiple occasions. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the idea of forfeiting bonus money could have swayed Roethlisberger into continuing his career in 2017, but that concept will continue in the next few years. If Roethlisberger hangs up it after this season, for example, he’d owe the Steelers $12.4MM in bonus money (of course, Pittsburgh isn’t obligated to collect that total).

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Ravens running back Terrance West is expected to miss time after suffering a calf injury on Sunday, but he won’t facing a lengthy absence, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). West, 26, had been splitting carries with Javorius Allen and Alex Collins, and had managed 39 rushes for 138 yards and two touchdowns this season. With West sidelined, Allen figures to see even more work (he toted the ball 21 times on Sunday) while Collins could also see increased usage. But Baltimore may need to add a running back, as Allen and Collins are the only healthy runners on the roster. Practice squader John Crockett is a candidate for promotion.
  • Tyler Boyd will also be out for a few weeks, as the Bengals receiver sprained his MCL in Week 5, tweets Rapoport. Boyd, who is facing a possible legal situation and was mysteriously a healthy scratch in Week 2, has been almost completely phased out of Cincinnati’s offense this season. The former second-round pick has been targeted only nine times, and managed just six receptions for 43 yards.
  • The Ravens will be without yet another offensive lineman for the next several weeks, as guard Matt Skura suffered a sprained MCL and will miss two-to-four games, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Skura, who has started three games for the Ravens this season, will likely give way to rookie Jermaine Eluemunor at right guard. Baltimore has already lost front five players Marshal Yanda, Alex Lewis, and Nico Siragusa to injury.
  • Free agent safeties Harold Jones-Quartey and Malik Smith, plus offensive tackles Korren Kirven and Victor Salako, worked out for the Browns, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Of that foursome, only Jones-Quartey has NFL experience, as the 24-year-old started 12 games for the Bears in 2016.

Ravens’ Terrance West Signs RFA Tender

It took two months, but Ravens running back Terrance West has signed his restricted free agent tender, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).

Terrance West

[RELATED: Should Ravens Sign LeGarrette Blount?]

The Ravens gave West an original-round tender, meaning any club that attempted to sign him would have had to surrender a fairly high pick for the 2014 third-rounder. Between that and West’s unspectacular production to this point (3.9 yards per carry on 426 attempts), it’s unsurprising that no one courted him when he was on the RFA market.

Formerly with the Browns and Titans, West is coming off his first full year in Baltimore, where he paced the team’s ball carriers in attempts (193), yards (774) and touchdowns (five) in 2016. The 26-year-old also totaled 34 catches for 236 yards and another score. With Kenneth Dixon set to serve a four-game suspension to open the season, West should again function as the Ravens’ top rushing option at the outset of 2017.

Along with locking up West for another year, the Ravens are keeping cornerback Sheldon Price, who signed his exclusive rights tender. Meanwhile, the team cut three players – running back Stephen Houston and 2017 undrafted free agents Zach Terrell (quarterback, Western Michigan) and Omarius Bryant (defensive end, Western Kentucky) – according to Zrebiec.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/7/17

Unrestricted free agent news will obviously dominate the day, but several clubs also had to make decisions on whether to offer tenders to restricted and exclusive rights free agents. All RFA tenders listed are original round/right of first refusal (worth $1.797MM), and all links go to Twitter:

RFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

ERFAs:

Tendered:

Non-Tendered:

Browns Notes: RG3, McCown, Thomas, West

While Robert Griffin III‘s shoulder injury serves as a significant detriment to his hopes at resurrecting his once-promising career, some with the Browns don’t view it as too damaging to their current team. With Hue Jackson focused on reprogramming Griffin into an above-average quarterback, some Browns staffers view the injury as something that can help the franchise move on and begin assessing its future at the position, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com report.

Browns sources told the veteran reporters third-round pick Cody Kessler is “not close” to being ready to debut, and expectations for the USC product aren’t particularly high. So, as 37-year-old Josh McCown prepares to return to the starting lineup, the team will continue to scout for its future. Should Kessler make a start this season, he’ll be the franchise’s 26th starting quarterback since its 1999 rebirth. That total leads the league.

Interestingly, the new regime’s last such scouting job revealed a dislike for two of the league’s hot-starting passers, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott, while Cleveland’s new decision-makers liked Griffin, Kessler and Jared Goff, per Schefter and Mortensen.

Here’s more from Cleveland as its football team prepares to play the old Browns in Week 2.

  • McCown offered a reasonable plea, per Schefter and Mortensen, against the notion the Browns should tank for 2017 this season. The veteran quarterback and second-year Brown believed the team owed it to veterans like Joe Thomas to make a legitimate effort to compete in 2016.
  • Thomas, meanwhile, did not push the Browns to trade him to the Broncos last season due to the loyalty they showed him since making him the No. 3 overall pick in 2007, the ESPN duo reports. The six-time All-Pro’s name could well resurface on the trade block this season if the Browns perform as they’re expected to, especially since so few veterans are going to play for them this season.
  • Speaking of trades, former Browns running back Terrance West asked the team to be traded before last season, West said on the BmoreOpinionated podcast (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). The Browns’ previous regime did end up trading West to the Titans, although it’s not known if it came as a result of the running back’s request. The current Ravens ball-carrier believes he’d still be with the Browns if he hadn’t asked to be dealt. “I think if I didn’t call for a trade, I would be still in Cleveland right now,” West said. “I was the leading rusher that year. I was the leading rusher in that preseason. I called for a trade. I didn’t think that was home for me.” West, though, saw the Titans cut him after he made only 16 rushing attempts last season. Ulrich writes attitude problems and shaky practice habits marred the former third-round pick’s time in Cleveland. He’s set to play a bigger role this season, as evidenced by the Ravens giving him 14 touches in Week 1. West rushed for 673 yards as a rookie to lead the Browns as a rookie in 2014, ahead of current starter Isaiah Crowell‘s 607.
  • While Jackson’s initial effort in northeast Ohio isn’t expected to go well, the first-year coach made some bold proclamations about the franchise’s future.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Weddle

Safety Eric Weddle spurned other teams’ offers to sign a four-year, $26MM with the Ravens during the winter. One of the clubs that had interest in Weddle was the hated AFC North rival Steelers, and the three-time Pro Bowl defender revealed today that he and Ben Roethlisberger talked throughout the free agent process (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “Hopefully I get a lot of wins and interceptions against him,” said Weddle. “And maybe sprinkle in a few touchdowns.”

More on the two standouts’ teams:

  • Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell shot down a Twitter rumor that he failed a drug test, telling reporters, including Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I haven’t missed any drug tests, failed any drug tests. I am fine.” Bell, of course, sat out three regular-season games in 2015 for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He also missed seven more contests because of a torn MCL. Bell passed along a positive update on his knee today, per Kaboly (Twitter links). Now entering a contract year, Bell – arguably the league’s premier RB – will try to bounce back from a tumultuous 2015.
  • Steelers guard David DeCastro says his reps have talked a “little bit” with the team about contract negotiations, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. With one year left to go on his contract, DeCastro figures to be a priority for Pittsburgh to address, along with Bell.
  • Once looked at as a potential starter for the Ravens, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro finds himself in the same boat as Terrance West and Trent Richardson, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes. Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and fourth-round rookie Kenneth Dixon have their roster spots locked down, but Taliaferro, West, and Hall of Fame hopeful Richardson may be competing for just one spot. Taliaferro, 24, suffered a foot injury in October that wound up ending his season prematurely. In 2015, Taliaferro logged only 13 carries for 47 yards and one score. He also caught all five of his targets for a total of 29 yards.
  • Earlier this evening, we learned the Ravens are shopping left tackle Eugene Monroe. Further, they worked out fellow veteran O-lineman Todd Herremans.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/6/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Ravens announced that running back Terrance West has signed his exclusive rights tender, as Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com tweets. West, 25, was the Browns’ leading rusher in his rookie season, accumulating 673 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, on 171 carries. However, the 2014 third-round pick was sent to the Titans prior to the 2015 season, and he didn’t have much of a role in Tennessee. The Ravens scooped him up in November and quickly promoted him from the taxi squad to the varsity team.
  • The Buccaneers announced that ERFA linebacker Jeremiah George has inked his qualifying offer. George was claimed off waivers from Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2015 season and mostly appeared on special teams for the Bucs. Between the two teams, George has appeared in 21 regular season games total.
  • The Ravens announced (on Twitter) that wide receiver Daniel Brown has signed his exclusive rights tender.
  • Seantavius Jones, a wide receiver who never actually played or practiced with the Eagles, has been released with a non-football injury, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets.
  • Texans linebacker John Simon has signed his restricted free agent tender, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/16

Here are Tuesday’s minor tender decisions from around the NFL on potential restricted and exclusive-rights free agents:

  • The Texans have assigned the low tender to both cornerback A.J. Bouye and linebacker John Simon, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). Both players will earn a $1.671MM non-guaranteed base salary next year.

Earlier updates:

  • The Buccaneers have assigned the low-end tender to RFA wide receiver Russell Shepard, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Shepard, 25, hasn’t been a major part of the offense since joining the team in 2013, catching just seven total passes, but he has been a key contributor on special teams.
  • The Texans will not tender an offer to running back Jonathan Grimes, nor will they re-sign him to a lesser deal, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Ravens have begun extending contract tenders to their ERFAs, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (all Twitter links), who reports that wide receiver Daniel Brown, running back Terrance West, and cornerback Sheldon Price all received offers from the team. Cornerback Jumal Rolle — another ERFA — also received a tender, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • The Packers have issued a tender to safety Chris Banjo, who was an exclusive rights free agent, Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press Gazette tweets.

Justin Forsett Breaks Right Arm

3:58pm: Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that Forsett broke two bones in his right arm and will miss the remainder of the season, tweets Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun.

1:07pm: Ravens running back Justin Forsett suffered a broken right arm in the first quarter of today’s matchup with the Rams, according to a tweet from the team’s official website. This represents yet another major blow for Baltimore as it limps through a lost season. Handicapped by season-ending injuries to players like Steve Smith, Sr., Terrell Suggs, and Breshad Perriman, in addition to a slew of less recognizable but similarly important contributors, the Ravens have managed to stay close in virtually every game they have played this season, but their 2-7 record suggests how miserable 2015 has been for a club that had playoff aspirations when the season began.

Forsett, a former journeyman who turned a one-year minimum deal with the Ravens in 2014 into a spectacular Pro Bowl campaign and a three-year extension this offseason, has not enjoyed the same type of success in 2015 that he did a year ago, though he still managed a respectable 4.2 yards per carry average and represented something of a receiving threat out of the backfield. His season is likely over, and rookie Buck Allen will see an increased workload in his absence. The newly-signed Terrance West, a Baltimore native who attended college at nearby Towson University, could also see an opportunity with his hometown club.

Ravens Promote Terrance West; Zuttah To IR

After spending a week on the Ravens’ practice squad, running back Terrance West has received a promotion to the team’s 53-man roster, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). West will take the roster spot vacated by center Jeremy Zuttah, who is heading to the injured reserve list with a torn pectoral, ending his season.

West, 24, was the Browns’ leading rusher in his rookie season last year, accumulating 673 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, on 171 carries. However, the 2014 third-round pick was sent to the Titans prior to the 2015 season, and he didn’t have much of a role in Tennessee. Having fallen behind Antonio Andrews and Bishop Sankey on the depth chart, with David Cobb on the way back as well, West had just 50 yards on 16 carries for the Titans this season.

West went unclaimed on waivers when he was cut by Tennessee earlier this month, but drew interest from around the league, and eventually decided to sign with his hometown Ravens. The Baltimore native and former Towson standout will join a backfield that currently features Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, and Raheem Mostert.

As for Zuttah, the veteran lineman hadn’t missed a start since the 2011 season, but he’ll be sidelined for the rest of the year with that pectoral injury. John Urschel will step into the starting center role for Baltimore.

Ravens Sign Terrance West To Practice Squad

The Ravens have added a local running back to their practice squad, announcing today in a press release that Baltimore native and former Towson standout Terrance West has joined the club. The club cut defensive end Nordly Capi from its practice squad to clear room for West, who first broke word of his signing via his Instagram account.

West, 24, was the Browns’ leading rusher in his rookie season last year, accumulating 673 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, on 171 carries. However, the 2014 third-round pick was sent to the Titans prior to the 2015 season, and he didn’t have much of a role in Tennessee. Having fallen behind Antonio Andrews and Bishop Sankey on the depth chart, West had just 50 yards on 16 carries for the Titans this season.

West went unclaimed on waivers this week after being cut by Tennessee on Saturday, but drew interest from around the league. According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football post (Twitter link), West had several offers from other NFL teams before he decided to head to Baltimore. As Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter), there was an “obvious allure” for West in joining his hometown team.

Javorius Allen and Raheem Mostert are currently backing up Justin Forsett in the Ravens’ backfield on the active roster, so if any of those players were to go down with an injury, West would be a candidate for a promotion.