Thurston Armbrister

Lions Sign DT Caraun Reid

The Lions have signed free agent defensive tackle Caraun Reid and waived linebacker Thurston Armbrister, the club announced today.Caraun Reid (Vertical)

Detroit is attempting to fortify its front four after placing veteran interior defender Haloti Ngata on injured reserve earlier today. While the Lions rank eighth in overall defensive DVOA, much of that success is due to the team’s secondary. Detroit’s defensive line, meanwhile, has received middling marks, as it ranks 17th in adjusted line yards and 18th in adjusted sack rate.

Reid isn’t the only new addition to the Lions’ front, as the club also agreed to sign former Packers defender Datone Jones this week. Before inking Reid and Jones to bolster its line, the Lions worked out defensive tackles Brandin Bryant and Joey Ivie, tweets veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer. Former Bears interior lineman Will Sutton also auditioned for Detroit.

Reid, 25, will now enter his second stint in the Motor City — he appeared in 26 games for the Lions from 2014-15, and made 12 starts in that latter season. Detroit waived him last September, and while he landed with the Chargers, Reid tore his ACL after only seven contests. The Lions have been running a multi-player rotation at defensive tackle, as Ngata, A’Shawn Robinson, Akeem Spence, and Jeremiah Ledbetter have all played on at least 40% of the team’s snaps this season. Reid will likely factor into that group as a reserve on the inside.

Like Reid, Armbrister has also enjoyed separate runs with the Lions. The 28-year-old saw action in 14 games for Detroit a season ago, but has since spent time on the Lions’ practice squad. He was promoted for the club’s prior two games, but was inactive for both contests. It shouldn’t be a surprise if Armbrister winds up back of Detroit’s taxi squad if he clears waivers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/30/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Cardinals officially placed Mike Iupati on IR, sidelining the guard for at least eight weeks, and they filled his spot by promoting offensive lineman Vinston Painter from the practice squad. A 2013 draft pick, Painter’s bounced around. He saw action as a backup/special-teamer for the 2014 Browns and 2016 Redskins. The Cardinals added the swing lineman to their practice squad earlier this season.
  • Linebacker Thurston Armbrister will move from the Lions‘ practice squad back to their 53-man roster, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Detroit placed offensive lineman Zac Kerin on IR. Kerin joins Joe Dahl among Lions offensive linemen to be IR-bound this week. The Lions also placed tackle Corey Robinson on IR earlier this season. A third-year veteran, Armbrister played in 14 games — starting two — for the Lions last season after seeing action in all 16 games for the 2015 Jaguars.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Lions Set 53-Man Roster

The Lions have met the NFL’s 53-man maximum requirement by making the following transactions:

Traded:

Released:

Waived:

Suspended:

Placed on non-football injury list:

Placed physically unable to perform list:

NFC Notes: Floyd, Cousins, Lions

The Vikings have backed wide receiver Michael Floyd since he violated his probation by testing positive for alcohol last month, after which he insisted that he unknowingly ingested it when drinking kombucha tea. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer spoke about Floyd’s situation Thursday, telling Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press: “Do I believe it? I don’t know how much tea he drank. I have no clue. I don’t have any doubt why there’d be skepticism, but he told me that he wasn’t (drinking). That it was legit.” Zimmer buys Floyd’s story, but he did issue the wideout a warning when the two spoke on the phone after his failed alcohol test. “I said, ‘If I find out you’re lying to me, I’m going to cut you,’ ” revealed Zimmer, whose team will go without Floyd early in the season because of a forthcoming suspension.

A bit more from the NFC:

  • Both the Redskins and Kirk Cousins are reportedly OK with the quarterback playing 2017 under the franchise tag, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if the club will nonetheless make him a last-ditch offer by Monday’s deadline. The expectation is that Cousins will need at least $52MM in guarantees in order to sign a long-term pact, though Florio suggests that something between that figure and the $40MM the Raiders gave Derek Carr could get Cousins to bite. If Cousins says no, the Redskins could leak the details of the offer and make him “seem greedy and selfish,” writes Florio.
  • Thurston Armbrister is among Lions linebackers with an on-the-bubble status entering training camp, writes Tim Twentyman of the team’s website. Armbrister wasn’t much of a factor on defense in 2016, his first season as a Lion, as the ex-Jaguar only played 63 snaps and made nine tackles in 14 appearances. However, he was one of Detroit’s key special teamers, racking up the fourth-most snaps (260) for a unit that Football Outsiders ranked as the sixth best in the NFL.
  • Earlier Thursday, PFR reviewed the offseasons of two NFC teams, the Giants and Eagles.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Jaguars Cut Josh Evans, Others

7:57pm: Jacksonville has also released safety Josh Evans, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Evans played a significant role during his three years with the Jaguars, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. All told, he appeared in 47 of a possible 48 regular-season games and tallied 36 starts, with at least 11 coming in each individual campaign. Evans, 25, amassed 201 tackles – including a career-high 90 in 2014 – with the Jags. For his performance last season, he ranked just 77th among Pro Football Focus’ 89 qualified safeties.

4:50pm: The Jaguars’ quest to get to 53 has bumped Ryan Davis from the roster. The pass-rushing specialist took to Twitter on Friday to announce that the Jaguars have let him go.

I got love for Duval, but my time here is done, catch ya later,” he wrote.

Davis was considered something of a lock to make the Jags’ roster this year after he was hit with the second-round tender worth $2.55MM. After spending past years at defensive end, the Jags were hopeful that he could successfully transition to linebacker. Davis, who has registered 11 career sacks with 10 in the last two years, was expected to back up Dan Skuta on the strong side.

Here are cuts made by the Jags so far today:

AFC Mailbags: Dolphins, Ravens, Jags, Colts

It’s Saturday, and that means ESPN.com’s NFL writers are opening their mailbags and answering questions from readers. Let’s start off with notes from the AFC…

  • James Walker believes Dolphins coach Joe Philbin‘s job could be in jeopardy if his team doesn’t succeed this season. The team spent money to improve their roster during the offseason, and the writer believes owner Stephen Ross won’t have much patience for another subpar season.
  • The Ravens certainly have the money to add another veteran to their squad, and Jamison Hensley thinks that’s a realistic possibility. The team will likely depend on their young players to compete for jobs, but the team could pursue an established player if any of those young players struggle. The writer points to wideout James Jones, running back Pierre Thomas, tight end Jermaine Gresham, defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora and defensive tackle Kevin Williams as the top available free agents.
  • When asked which undrafted rookies could make the Jaguars 53-man roster, Michael DiRocco focuses on the team’s group of young linebackers (Thurston ArmbristerMatt Robinson and Todd Thomas). The writer cites the lack of depth at that position, nothing that one of the rookies could contribute as a backup linebacker/special teamer.
  • If the Colts decide to keep four running backs, Mike Wells says the final spot will likely be between Vick Ballard and Zurlon Tipton. Frank Gore and Boom Herron have their spots locked down, and Wells believes sixth-round pick Josh Robinson has a good chance of sticking.
  • When it comes to the Colts‘ wideouts, Wells says Griff Whalen is likely the odd man out. The team seemingly has six receivers ahead of Whalen on the depth chart, so Wells believes it’s a “long shot” for the former undrafted free agent to make the roster.

Jaguars, Nine UDFAs Agree To Terms

The Jaguars have agreed to sign nine undrafted free agents, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (multiple Twitter links):

  • Thurston Armbrister, LB, Miami ($12,500 bonus, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun)
  • Eric Crume, DT, Syracuse ($2,500 bonus, per Wilson)
  • Corey Grant, RB, Auburn ($5K bonus, per Wilson; $15K of base salary guaranteed, per Wilson)
  • Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn
  • Connor Hamlett, TE, Oregon State
  • Chris Reed, G, Minnesota-Mankato
  • Todd Thomas. LB, Pittsburgh
  • Matt Robinson, LB, Maryland
  • Jake Waters, QB, Kansas State