Thad Lewis

Coaching Notes: Kitchens, 49ers, Bucs

Freddie Kitchens will see his role expand in New York. The Giants are promoting the former Browns HC from tight ends coach to senior offensive assistant, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Earlier this month, we heard the Giants may be eyeing more responsibility for Kitchens. Derek Dooley, who received interest from other teams, will take over as the Giants’ tight ends coach, Raanan adds. Previously the Mizzou offensive coordinator, Dooley joined Joe Judge‘s staff last year. The Giants used Kitchens as their interim play-caller while Jason Garrett battled COVID-19 last season and will lean on him more in 2021.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • To replace Antwaan Randle El on their coaching staff, the Buccaneers will also turn to a recently retired quarterback. Thad Lewis will rise from intern to offensive assistant on Bruce Arians‘ staff, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Randle El left to become the Lions’ wide receivers coach. Lewis bounced around the NFL for nearly eight years; he was most recently with the Ravens in 2017.
  • A day after hiring Jay Valai as cornerbacks coach, the Eagles will lose him. Alabama will instead hire Valai, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg (on Twitter). Announced as one of the Eagles’ hires earlier this week, Valai will join former Texans HC Bill O’Brien at Alabama. Valai will replace Karl Scott as the Crimson Tide’s cornerbacks coach. Scott joined the Vikings’ staff this week.
  • Hired recently after a one-year stint as Lions DC, Cory Undlin will serve as the 49ers‘ secondary coach and defensive passing-game specialist. Fellow former DC James Bettcher will be a senior defensive assistant and the team’s run-game overseer on that side of the ball. The 49ers are promoting Darryl Tapp to assistant defensive line coach and hiring former wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and Klay Kubiak as quality control assistants. Klay is one of Gary Kubiak‘s sons. Even after Gary’s retirement, there are still three Kubiaks in the NFL — Klay and brothers Klint (the new Vikings OC) and Klein (a Cowboys scout). Hankerson also has a history with Kyle Shanahan, having played with Washington from 2011-13.
  • The Bengals hired Justin Hill as running backs coach. Hill will come to Cincinnati from the college ranks, having spent the past six seasons as Tulsa’s running backs coach. This will be his first NFL job. The Bengals are also promoting former NFL wideout Troy Walters to receivers coach. Walters served as Cincy’s assistant wideouts coach last season, working under Bob Bicknell.
  • Robert Saleh made an interesting hire recently. The new Jets HC added Steve Scarnecchia as his chief of staff, per Brian Costello of the New York Daily News. The son of longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Steve spent the past six years as the Falcons’ assistant to the head coach. Steve Scarnecchia was part of both the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, working in the team’s video department from 2001-04, and was the Broncos staffer whose filming of a 49ers walkthrough in 2010 led to Josh McDaniels‘ firing in Denver. The younger Scarnecchia will accompany new Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich in moving from Atlanta to New York.

Workout Notes: Patriots, Jets, Bills

The Patriots auditioned some players of note this week, including linebacker Akeem Ayers, quarterback Thad Lewis, and wide receiver Jeremy Ross (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com).

Ayers has some history with New England after playing on their 2014 Super Bowl championship team. Last year, Ayers appeared in all 16 games for Indianapolis and recorded two sacks.

Linebackers Nicholas Grigsby and Antwione Williams also showed their stuff for the Pats.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s other workouts from around the NFL:

Ravens Cut Jeremy Zuttah

The Ravens have released offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro has also that he’s been waived (Twitter link).Jeremy Zuttah (Vertical)

Zuttah, 31, has had an eventful offseason, as Baltimore originally dealt him to the 49ers earlier this year. Unable to stick on the roster in San Francisco, Zuttah re-signed with the Ravens last month after the club suffered a multitude of injuries along the offensive line. The Colts were previously interested in Zuttah, who started all 16 games a season ago, so Indianapolis could potentially circle back to Zuttah now that’s available again.

Lewis and Dixon, meanwhile, were never expected to play large parts for the Ravens in 2016. With Joe Flacco on the mend, Baltimore will roll with Ryan Mallett as their No. 2 quarterback. Taliaferro wasn’t able to crack the roster despite the Ravens having lost fellow back Kenneth Dixon for the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Sign QB Thad Lewis

The Ravens announced that they have signed free agent quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. To make room, fellow QB Dustin Vaughan has been shown the door. Thad Lewis (vertical)

Vaughan was hoping to make the cut as a third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and primary backup Ryan Mallett. But, given Flacco’s back injury and Mallett’s struggles in practice, the Ravens are taking an especially look at their reserves. Vaughan apparently didn’t do enough to practice to assert his spot, prompting the team to look elsewhere.

Lewis, 32, signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last year, but a torn ACL ended his season before it could begin. The good news is that Lewis was medically cleared in May and he was able to hit the workout circuit starting in late July. An audition for the Rams did not yield a deal, but the Ravens apparently believe that he is 100% healthy and ready to contribute. It seems likely that the Ravens will allow Lewis to compete with Mallett for the QB2 role, though it could be challenging for him with only a few weeks to go before the start of the season.

The signing of Lewis may not sit well with those around football who were hoping the Ravens would sign Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is coming off of a decent season in which he spearheaded a less-than-decent offense. Lewis, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the field since 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Audition Two Quarterbacks

The Rams aren’t just looking at defensive line help today. Los Angeles is also auditioning quarterbacks Sean Renfree and Thad Lewis, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsThad Lewis (vertical)

[RELATED: Rams Host Sean Lissemore On Visit]

The Rams recently inked veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky to potentially serve as a third quarterback behind Jared Goff and Sean Mannion. It’s possible that Orlovsky, who turns 34 next month, hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in practice.

Lewis was medically cleared in late May, but this marks his first known visit since getting the green light from doctors. The 32-year-old was supposed to serve as a backup for the 49ers last season, but an injury took him out of action before the season opener. Lewis hasn’t seen the field since the 2013 season, which was Lewis’ best campaign to date. That year, Lewis started five games for Buffalo and completed 59.2% of his passes for 1,092 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Renfree inked a reserve/futures deal with the Bucs in January but he was dropped in May when the team signed Ryan Fitzpatrick. His only NFL action came in 2015, when he completed three of seven passes for 11 yards and one interception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent QB Thad Lewis Medically Cleared

Free agent quarterback Thad Lewis has been medically cleared as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered last August, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who suggests Lewis will generate interest on the open market.Thad Lewis (vertical)

Lewis, 32, signed a one-year deal to serve as a backup for the 49ers last year, but went down before he ever took the field during a regular season contest. A career reserve, Lewis has spent time with seven different NFL clubs since entering the league in 2010. He hasn’t seen action since the 2013 campaign, which was Lewis’ most productive season to date. That year, Lewis started five games for the Bills and completed 59.2% of his passes for 1,092 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Now that he’s been medically authorized to play, Lewis joins a free agent quarterback market that also includes the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Zach Mettenberger, Dan Orlovsky, Austin Davis, and others.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers QB Thad Lewis Out For Season

49ers quarterback Thaddeus Lewis suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Thad Lewis (vertical)

[RELATED: Colin Kaepernick Unlikely To Start]

Lewis was forced to exit from the Niners’ preseason opener on Sunday night with a leg injury, but the severity of the issue was not immediately apparent. Before his night ended prematurely, Lewis completed 12-of-21 passes for 97 yards against the Texans.

In March, Lewis inked a one-year, $760K minimum salary benefit deal with SF. Although the deal included $25K in playing-time incentives and a $428K split salary, it doesn’t appear that the pact called for much in the way of guarantees.

Lewis, 28, was on the Eagles’ roster when Chip Kelly was their head coach last season and the two reunited in San Francisco this spring. Lewis has appeared in seven NFL games, though none since 2014, making six starts with five touchdowns against four interceptions.

With Lewis out of the equation, the Niners are left with Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, and Jeff Driskel at quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Harrison, Benjamin, Massie

Here are some of the latest details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All Twitter links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

NFC:

  • Damon Harrison, DT (Giants): Five years, $46.25MM. $24MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Bobby Massie, T (Bears): Three years, $18MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter links).
  • Thad Lewis, QB (49ers): One year, $760K. Minimum salary benefit. $25K playing-time incentive. $428K split salary (Twitter link).

AFC:

  • Travis Benjamin, WR (Chargers): Four years, $24MM. $13MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $2.75MM salary for 2016 and $4.25MM salary for 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Antonio Gates, TE (Chargers): Two years, $11MM. $6MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Ramon Humber, LB (Patriots): One year, $885K. Minimum salary benefit. $25K signing bonus. $30K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald).

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/9/16

Not every move on free agency’s first day is a big splash. Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Dolphins have signed offensive tackle Sam Young to a one-year, $760K deal, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Young, a six-year veteran, is coming off his first 16-game season. He has made nine starts over the last two years, giving him 16 for his career.
  • Although the Rams did not tender offensive lineman Brian Folkerts, they re-signed him, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. A 26-year-old center/guard hybrid, Folkerts spent 2015 in St. Louis and 2013-14 with the Panthers.
  • The 49ers have signed quarterback Thaddeus Lewis to a one-year deal, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. Lewis, 28, was on the Eagles’ roster when Chip Kelly was their head coach last season. The two are now reunited in San Francisco. Lewis has appeared in seven NFL games, though none since 2014, made six starts, and tossed five touchdowns against four interceptions.
  • The Rams have re-signed safety Cody Davis to a two-year deal, according to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore (Twitter link). Davis joined the team as an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech in 2013 and has since appeared in 43 games (zero starts).
  • The Bears have re-signed running back Jacquizz Rodgers and offensive tackle Nick Becton to one-year contracts, per their Twitter account. Rodgers totaled 41 yards on 14 carries for Chicago last season. He spent 2014 in Atlanta, with which he rushed for over 1,100 yards and five touchdowns. Becton appeared in five games for the Bears last season. His only other appearance came in 2013 with the Chargers.

Eagles To Sign Thad Lewis, Cut Stephen Morris

The Eagles have signed quarterback Thad Lewis while dropping Stephen Morris, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).

Lewis signed a one-year deal with the Browns in March but was released in September. The 30-year-old didn’t make an appearance with the Texans in 2014, but he did start five games for the Bills in 2013, leading the team to a 2-3 record in that span. Undrafted out of Duke in 2010, Lewis has bounced around the league, spending time with the Rams and Lions in addition to Cleveland and Houston.

Morris, an undrafted quarterback out of Miami, spent time on the Jaguars’ practice squad in 2014. The Eagles claimed him off waivers from the Jaguars earlier this month to replace Tim Tebow, but he didn’t last long in Philly.