Thomas Rawls

NFL Workout Updates: 11/12/18

Here are today’s tryouts:

Buffalo Bills:

Carolina Panthers:

Cleveland Browns:

  • T Chris Durant; DB John Franklin III, CB Josh Thornton

Green Bay Packers:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

  • G David Bright; LB Kennan Gilchrist; S Terrell Williams

New York Jets:

 

 

Colts Work Out Junior Galette, Thomas Rawls

Junior Galette‘s spent the first six games of the season as a free agent, publicly lamenting his misstep in spurning a Redskins offer earlier this offseason.

The Colts are taking a look at the veteran edge defender, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter), while also examining Thomas Rawls.

Galette previously auditioned for the Rams, but the edge rusher-thin juggernaut opted not to sign him over the summer. He missed all of the 2015 and ’16 seasons because of preseason injuries but returned last year to play in 16 games for Washington. The 30-year-old defender best known for delivering back-to-back 10-plus-sack seasons with the Saints — in 2013-14 — registered three sacks last season.

The Colts have received some unexpected pass-rushing contributions this season. Linebacker Darius Leonard and suddenly rejuvenated defensive end Margus Hunt each have four sacks for Indianapolis, with young journeyman Jihad Ward registering three. Jabaal Sheard also has three sacks for the Colts. However, Indianapolis was without both Hunt and Denico Autry (two sacks) on Sunday.

Rawls played in one game this season, with the Bengals, but has not been able to re-establish his career away from Seattle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/18

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

Chicago Bears

  • P Brock Miller (link)

Houston Texans

  • OT Dieugot Joseph (link)

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • OT Corey Robinson; RB Thomas Rawls (link)

New England Patriots

  • DE Will Clarke; QB Connor Cook; LB Kasim Edebali; WR Devin Ross; TE Shane Wimann (link)

Tennessee Titans

  • LS’s Andrew East, Taybor Pepper (link)

Overall, nothing too noteworthy. The Patriots interestingly continue to work out quarterbacks, bringing in former Raiders third-rounder Connor Cook for a tryout. New England has Bryan Hoyer firmly entrenched behind Tom Brady, but also recently worked out Landry Jones.

Meanwhile, the Titans seem set to bring in a new long snapper, as the team also worked out veteran Jon Condo today.

Bengals Waive RB Thomas Rawls

The Bengals have waived running back Thomas Rawls, according to a team announcement. Rawls signed with the Bengals on Sept. 19 but lasted less than a month with the club. 

Although Rawls was on the Bengals’ roster for multiple weeks, he was only on the active roster for their Week 5 win over the Dolphins. He did not touch the football in that game or record an official statistic.

Rawls spent the offseason with the Jets and many believed that he would wind up as active participant in their running back committee. However, he was bounced during the club’s final cuts. Rawls had 830 yards as a Seahawks rookie in 2015, but hasn’t done much since then.

The release of Rawls is a good indication that backup Giovani Bernard is nearing his return from a sprained MCL. Bernard is expected to miss Sunday’s showdown with the Steelers, but a return on Oct. 21 against the Chiefs remains possible.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sign RB Thomas Rawls

The Bengals have signed running back Thomas Rawls, according to a club announcement. To make room, fellow running back Tra Carson has been waived/injured. 

Rawls spent the offseason with the Jets and many believed that he would emerge as an active participant in their running back committee. However, he was bounced during the club’s final cuts, and placed back on the free agent pile. Rawls flashed as a rookie with the Seahawks, amassing 830 yards in 2015. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much in the last two years, so he’s looking to prove himself all over again.

Rawls will provide the Bengals with depth at running back while Joe Mixon heals up from a knee issue. In the interim, Giovani Bernard is expected to serve as the lead back with fourth-round pick Mark Walton as his primary understudy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

Prior to the Browns waiving kicker Zane Gonzalez, Hue Jackson did not know the second-year specialist was dealing with a groin injury. The third-year Browns HC (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) said he knew “nothing about an injury whatsoever” and that no one from the Browns’ medical department told him Gonzalez was hurt, which could set up for an interesting situation as Cleveland pivots to another kicker. It hasn’t been reported that Gonzalez was waived with an injury designation, and Florio posits an injury grievance from Gonzalez could be in the cards. Gonzalez’s groin malady required an MRI, but he still attempted a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds Sunday. This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light, given Gonzalez’s struggles on Sunday — ones that led directly to Cleveland’s 21-18 loss.

Shifting from a player the Browns just cut to one they opted not to draft, here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Sam Darnold did his best to not offer much regarding his draft-night mindset, but he did say he expected the Browns to take him at No. 1 due to the amount of time John Dorsey and Co. spent with him leading into the draft, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. The Browns spent time with all four of the top quarterback prospects before narrowing their decision to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. “We spent time with (Darnold) and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”
  • The Ravens are not counting on having C.J. Mosley available for their Week 3 game against the Broncos, David Ginsburg of the Associated Press notes. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a bruised left knee in Baltimore’s loss in Cincinnati. Rookie Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were called to action in place of Mosley, who’s only missed two games (both in 2016) in his career. A fourth-round pick, Young looks like the Sunday starter, per Ginsburg.
  • Broncos rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay sits third among the league’s rushing leaders going into Week 3’s Baltimore trip, and Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets the Colorado product narrowed his post-draft choices to the Broncos and Ravens. Lindsay (178 rushing yards on 6.1 per carry) is part of a two-rookie backfield in Denver. The Ravens opted to retain their status quo at running back, with Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen back.
  • Allen is now on IR, though the Ravens would’ve preferred to keep both he and cornerback Maurice Canady on their active roster rather than shelve them for at least two months, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Neither’s injury is a season-ending setback, and Dixon is a candidate to return from IR later in the season.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s agent, Adisa Bakari, attended the Steelers‘ season-opening tie in Cleveland, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes the vibe between he and Steelers brass wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Bakari also represents Tyrod Taylor. Nothing on the Bell front’s transpired in several days, and Pittsburgh’s bracing for a long absence.
  • Mike Tomlin expressed frustration with punter Jordan Berry, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter), and he may be on the verge of losing his job. The Steelers brought in free agent punters Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel for workouts today, Kaboly tweets. Berry’s been Pittsburgh’s punter since 2015, and the Steelers signed him to an extension in February.
  • With Joe Mixon out for a bit, the Bengals brought in a host of running backs for Tuesday workouts. Thomas Rawls, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Troymaine Pope and Matthew Dayes trekked to Cincinnati for auditions, Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan tweets.

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.

AFC East Notes: Pats, Decker, Bills, Fins, Jets

The Patriots signed veteran wideout Eric Decker to a one-year deal last week, but New England actually had its eyes on Decker as early as the 2010 draft, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com explains. Decker was “squarely in [the Patriots’] sights” at pick No. 90 in that draft, but the Minnesota product ended up going off the board three picks earlier to the Broncos, who at that time were lead by now-New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. After recording 54 receptions for 563 yards a season ago, Decker has effectively replaced Jordan Matthews as the Patriots’ slot receiver, at least until Julian Edelman returns from suspension. Decker received only $75K in guaranteed money, however, so he’s far from a roster lock in New England.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Bills receiver Zay Jones has been activated off the active/non-football injury list, but was wearing a red contact jersey during his first day back at practice, tweets Joe Buscaglia of WKBW. Jones underwent knee surgery in May and missed Buffalo’s offseason program, but the club has expressed hope that Jones — who was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft — will be ready for the regular season. After an offseason which included not only an operation but a bizarre arrest, the Bills have been adamant that Jones won’t be handed a starting spot. Buffalo’s wideout depth chart is among the worst in the league, though, so it will be surprising if Jones isn’t lining up opposite Kelvin Benjamin as the Bills’ No. 2 pass-catcher.
  • After being traded from the Saints to the Dolphins last season, linebacker Stephone Anthony appears set to open the 2018 campaign as a starting outside linebacker, Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald writes. Anthony has disappointed in four NFL seasons after being chosen as a first-round pick, and the Dolphins subsequently declined his fifth-year option for the 2019 season. That would have paid Anthony nearly $10MM next year, but as Fernandez details, Miami could conceivably extend Anthony if he succeeds this season.
  • Veteran Thomas Rawls is now a legitimate candidate for the Jets‘ third running back job after Elijah McGuire suffered a broken foot, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. McGuire is expected to be sidelined for three-to-six weeks, so Rawls is now competing with Trenton Cannon and George Atkinson for the right to play behind Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. Rawls, of course, was a revelation in limited duty during the 2015 season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry on 147 rushes. In the years since, however, Rawls has been beset by injuries, and wasn’t tendered as a Seahawks restricted free agent earlier this year.
  • The Jets recently expanded their analytics department by hiring former scout Brian Shields as a senior manager of football research, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. That’s a new role within the New York front office, per Cimini, who indicates general manager Mike Maccagnan is becoming more open to the use of analytics in the NFL.

Extra Points: Broncos, Joseph, Jets, Rawls, Bears, Trubisky

ESPN’s group of AFC West reporters recently took a look at who was on the hottest seat in the division, among coaches, players, and executives. Although Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie‘s name came up a couple of times, the consensus seemed to be that Broncos coach Vance Joseph was the one most likely to be fired should he falter to early on this season.

Recently, our Zach Links asked readers which coach would be the first to be fired in 2018, and Joseph was a popular selection in the poll. Joseph was very nearly fired by John Elway after just one year following a disappointing 5-11 season in 2017, but his job was ultimately spared at the last minute. If new free agent acquisition Case Keenum doesn’t get things turned around in a hurry, there could be an early coaching change in Denver.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • In the Jets‘ suddenly crowded running backs room, Thomas Rawls is the “longest shot to make the roster”, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. Isaiah Crowell is a lock to make the team, and Slater thinks Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, and Trenton Cannon are all in better position than Rawls.
  • Bears guard Kyle Long says the team has “taken the training wheels off” for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and that he’s finally “going to be able to do some things creatively and get to showcase his skills”, according to Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun Times (Twitter link). Former Bears coach John Fox was often criticized for being overly conservative with Trubisky, and it sounds like Trubisky will finally get to let loose in 2018.
  • In case you missed it, yesterday we took a look at the latest from the AFC East, with notes on the Patriots, Dolphins, and Jets.

Jets Sign RB Thomas Rawls

The Jets announced the signing of running back Thomas Rawls. Terms of the deal are not yet known, but it’s likely an inexpensive one-year pact. 

Rawls first entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015 with the Seahawks. He broke out in his first NFL season when Marshawn Lynch was sidelined with an abdomen injury. In his first start, 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.

If Rawls can return to his old form, he could serve as a complementary piece behind new addition Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.