Tim Patrick

Broncos Place Bryce Callahan On IR

It’s now official. The Broncos placed cornerback Bryce Callahan on IR, per a press release from the team. To take his place on the roster, the club will activate wide receiver Tim Patrick from IR. 

The Broncos gave Callahan a three-year, $21MM deal with $10MM guaranteed. The former Bears slot standout, unfortunately, has yet to play a down in Denver. This comes after last season’s letdown – he ended the 2018 campaign on Chicago’s IR with a broken foot. This year, he aggravated that injury in training camp.

Callahan was one of three high-profile Broncos free agent additions, joining Kareem Jackson and Ja’Wuan James. While Jackson has delivered in his first full season as a safety, James has missed most of this season. Two out of three ain’t bad, but one out of three is….pretty bad.

The Broncos are 3-6 with nearly no chance of seeing the playoffs this year. On the plus side – they managed to beat the Browns in their last time out and they’ll be ticketed for a high first-round draft pick, provided that they don’t mess things up by winning too much the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Designated To Return: Broncos, Lions, Titans

With roughly half of the 2019 campaign in the books, NFL clubs have started to exercise their right to return players from injured reserve. Each team is allowed to bring two players back from IR, but said players must have been retained on their respective club’s initial 53-man roster. Once an IR player returns to practice, his club will have three weeks to decide whether to activate him to their 53-man roster; if he’s not activated, the player will remain on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Here are three players who have been designated to return from IR this week:

  • Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick has returned to practice and has been designated to return, as Mike Klis of 9News tweets. A 2017 undrafted free agent, Patrick suffered a broken hand in Week 1 of the 2019 campaign but is now ready for action. Patrick broke out in the final month of last season, posting 19 receptions for 242 yards during the last quarter of the campaign. When he returns to game action, Patrick could see a significant role in a now Emmanuel Sanders-less receiving corps.
  • The Lions have designated defensive end Austin Bryant to return from IR, and he practiced Wednesday, the club announced today. Bryant was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, so he’s yet to play an NFL snap. During his final two seasons at Clemson, Bryant posted 17 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss. If activated, Bryant could help a Detroit defensive line that currently ranks bottom-seven in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders.
  • Defensive back Josh Kalu has been designated to return from IR by the Titans, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (Twitter link). An undrafted free agent out of Nebraska in 2018, Kalu spent most of last year on Tennessee’s practice squad before being promoted in December. He played in five games and saw action on 48 special teams snaps.

Broncos Notes: Sanders, Harris, Patrick

A year after trading the other half of their Super Bowl 50 starting receiver tandem, the Broncos dealt Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers. The interest in Sanders had escalated to the point five teams were in on him, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic notes (subscription required). John Elway hinted at a Sanders-related event occurring between the Titans and Chiefs games, with Jhabvala adding it didn’t sit well with the GM. Sanders also wanted to be traded, per Jhabvala, and expressed that desire in a meeting with Elway and Vic Fangio last week.

This Broncos return — third- and fourth-round picks — is considerably better than the one they fetched for Demaryius Thomas, whom the Texans acquired for a fourth-rounder last October. Sanders had grown into Denver’s top wideout last season and rehabbed an Achilles tear to the point he was a key factor in this Broncos offense. But over the past three games, the 32-year-old took a backseat to Courtland Sutton and had caught just seven passes for 69 yards. The Broncos now have seven picks in the first four rounds of the 2020 draft.

Here is the latest from the Broncos, who may not be done selling.

  • Interest has naturally developed for Chris Harris, but the teams that were interested added other corners in recent days, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Texans pursued Harris but instead acquired Gareon Conley from the Raiders for a third-rounder, pointing to the Broncos setting a higher asking price for their four-time Pro Bowler. With Wade Phillips running the Rams’ defense, it’s likely they were interested in reuniting Harris and Aqib Talib. They bet bigger on Jalen Ramsey instead. Harris will obviously be a name to watch before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
  • The contract-year corner is expected to test the market next year, after he and the Broncos could not come to terms on an extension this offseason. But Harris said he has not approached Elway about a deal now and still wants to finish his career with the Broncos, per Jhabvala (Twitter links). The Broncos do not have an obvious replacement for Harris like they did with Sanders (DaeSean Hamilton), so a trade there would stand to limit the 2019 team more.
  • An interesting piece of the Broncos’ IR equation will take shape as a result of the Sanders trade. Elway said Tim Patrick will be one of the team’s IR-return players. Patrick, an auxiliary wideout for last season’s Denver team, cannot return until Week 11. With Drew Lock having returned to practice, this points to the Broncos’ two spots being spoken for. That would leave Theo Riddick and Jake Butt in line to miss the season. The Broncos signed Riddick for one year and $2.5MM.
  • Being without safety starter Will Parks, the Broncos auditioned veterans Marcus Gilchrist and Kentrell Brice, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Gilchrist spent last season with the Raiders and was a Charger from 2011-14. Brice started 10 games for the Packers last season and spent time with the Buccaneers earlier this year. Denver also worked out defensive linemen DeShawn Williams and Joel Heath.

Drew Lock To Return To Broncos Practice

Despite Joe Flacco enduring a rough Thursday night against the Chiefs, the Broncos as of now do not have a viable alternative at quarterback. Their depth chart, however, could return to full strength soon.

Drew Lock will practice next week, Vic Fangio said (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter). The second-round rookie has been out since midway through Denver’s preseason slate with a sprained right thumb. He can come off IR in Week 9.

Interestingly, two other players on the Broncos’ IR list — Theo Riddick and wideout Tim Patrick — will join Lock in returning to practice. IR rules stipulate the Broncos can only activate one of them, so either Riddick or Patrick will end up on season-ending IR soon.

Flacco lost his Ravens job to a rookie last season, with Lamar Jackson usurping him while the longtime Baltimore starter was out with injury. Flacco fared poorly in the Broncos’ latest nationally televised spot, pointing to another benching at some point in this season’s second half.

It would stand to reason the 2-5 Broncos will want to give Lock time down the stretch. While the University of Missouri product did not have a strong preseason, the Broncos’ worst start in two decades points them toward evaluation mode. Determining if Lock is a realistic future starter will be key for a team that could still consider taking another quarterback in the 2020 draft.

Since Patrick landed on IR after the Broncos’ Week 1 game, he cannot return to action until Week 9. Patrick showed some promise as a rookie, catching 23 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown. This season’s Broncos offense has not featured much in the passing game beyond Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders, with DaeSean Hamilton playing a more limited role.

Riddick chose the Broncos over interest from the Saints and other teams but went down during Denver’s preseason slate. A shoulder fracture shelved Riddick, but the longtime Lions passing-down back will have a chance to begin his age-28 season soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: TE Dax Raymond

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: OL Kyle Kalis

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted from practice squad: S Rolan Milligan
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Ahmad Thomas

New York Giants

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Alex Wesley

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC West Notes: Abram, James, Brown

Raiders first-round pick Jonathan Abram will seek a second opinion on his shoulder, Josina Anderson of ESPN tweets. The rookie apparently injured his shoulder on Monday night against the Broncos but continuing playing, showing no signs of injury during the game. Now, after undergoing exams, it appears Abram could land on injured reserve.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • RT Ja’Wuan James will miss some time with the knee injury he suffered but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) reports that it is not season-ending. James joined the Broncos this offseason.
  • Coach Vic Fangio spoke about the Broncos difficulty in facing Chicago’s pass-rush this week, as Troy Rench of ABC7 in Denver relays (Twitter link). “We’ll give [our tackles] some help but there’s going to be times like in any game where they are going to have to stand up and block without any help,” the coach said.
  • Broncos WR Tim Patrick suffered a clean break in his hand, Mike Klis of 9News Denver (Twitter link). Patrick’s timetable is 6-to-8 weeks and Denver is considering whether to place him on IR.
  • Agent Drew Rosenhaus said there was no collusion with regard to Antonio Brown‘s exit from the Raiders. “There was no fix,” Rosenhaus said (h/t Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports). “We did try to make it work with the Raiders.”

Broncos DL Shelby Harris Signs RFA Tender

Broncos restricted free agent defensive lineman Shelby Harris has signed his second-round tender, the team announced. Harris will now collect $3.095MM for the 2019 campaign before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency next year.

A seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2014, Harris bounced around the league, spending time with the Jets and Cowboys before signing a futures deal with the Broncos in 2017. That low-risk move has paid off in a big way for Denver, as Harris has appeared in all 32 possible games over the past two years, seeing action on more than 35% of the Broncos’ defensive snaps in each season. He could see a further increase in playing time this year, as the club is expected to make him its starting nose tackle.

Harris, 27, posted seven sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 15 tackles for loss from 2017-18, and he graded as the NFL’s No. 8 interior defender last year, per Pro Football Focus.

The Broncos also announced that the following exclusive rights free agents have signed their ERFA tenders:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/7/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/1/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Baltimore Ravens

  • QB Josh Woodrum
  • RB John Crockett
  • FB Ricky Ortiz
  • OT Steven Moore

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • LB Carl Bradford
  • K Jon Brown
  • LB Connor Harris
  • OT Javarius Leamon
  • OG Oni Omoile
  • TE Scott Orndoff
  • CB Sojourn Shelton
  • SS Robenson Therezie
  • WR Kermit Whitfield

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • TE Mo Alie-Cox
  • WR Dres Anderson
  • DT Johnathan Calvin
  • WR Kolby Listenbee
  • LB Arthur Miley
  • LB Josh Perry
  • QB Phillip Walker
  • G Isaiah Williams

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

 

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/15/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Washington Redskins