Tiquan Underwood

AFC East Notes: Pats, Gordon, Chung, Fins

Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon could return to the field by training camp, although that’s far from a certainty, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Gordon was banned indefinitely from the NFL in December after violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy and is still in a rehabilitation facility. While it’s unclear when Gordon will leave rehab, it could be in the near future, at which point he plans to train in Florida. New England is supporting Gordon and paying for his treatment, so a return to the club is certainly possible. From a contractual standpoint, Gordon will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • After suffering a broken forearm in the Super Bowl, Patriots defensive back Patrick Chung will undergo corrective surgery on Thursday, a source tells Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link). Chung will have another operation in roughly three weeks to fix a shoulder issue, per Howe. That latter surgery will likely keep Chung out of organized team activities, although he’s expected to be ready for training camp. The 31-year-old Chung appeared in 15 games for New England last year, playing on roughly 85% of the club’s defensive snaps. Pro Football Focus graded Chung — who’s under contract through 2020 — as the NFL’s No. 30 safety.
  • Josh McDaniels received a new contract from the Patriots after spurning the Colts last offseason, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports McDaniels is being paid roughly $4MM per year. While coordinator and head coach salaries are often difficult to unearth, it’s hard to imagine any other coordinator in the NFL is collecting $4MM annually. After turning down the Colts in 2018, McDaniels has reportedly become even more selective regarding his head coaching prospects. This year, he only took one interview (with the Packers) and rejected a request from the Bengals.
  • As part of a contract extension he signed last summer, Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain had $3.018MM of his $5.475MM 2019 base salary fully guaranteed this week, tweets Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. McCain, 25, inked a four-year deal in July that guaranteed him nearly $10MM. With an average annual value of $6.75MM, McCain is one of the NFL’s highest-paid slot corners.
  • Former NFL wide receiver Tiquan Underwood is joining the Dolphins‘ staff as an offensive quality control coach, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The ex-Rutgers speedster spent time with the Patriots in 2011 and 2012, which is where he first met new Miami coaches Brian Flores and Chad O’Shea.

NFC South Notes: Winston, Underwood, Wilson

No one from the Buccaneers, the NFL, or any other NFL team has reached out to Jameis Winston‘s rape accuser for background information, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Given the climate of the NFL in the wake of the scandals surrounding Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Greg Hardy, Cole expected teams to reach out to the alleged victim. Winston, meanwhile, could still face civil action from that accuser and a second accuser could come forward with a civil suit and/or testify for the first alleged victim in her case.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC South:

  • Former Buccaneers receiver Tiquan Underwood signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The speedy wide receiver also previously spent time with the Patriots and Jaguars.
  • In today’s mailbag, Katherine Terrell of the The Times-Picayune writes that she isn’t so sure that the Saints‘ locker room leadership situation has really improved this offseason. The Saints didn’t necessarily ship out “problem children” and they also lost the likes of Pierre Thomas and Curtis Lofton.
  • The Saints signed former Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson to a one-year deal earlier this week, and it will pay him $825,000, writes Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). The contract includes an $80,000 signing bonus.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Dolphins, James

The Jets were busy working out a number of players today, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter). Rex Ryan & Co. auditioned linebackers Pat Angerer and Desmond Bishop, wide receivers Tiquan Underwood and David Gettis, and quarterback Pat Devlin. Here’s more out of the AFC East…

  • The Dolphins worked out former 49ers running back LaMichael James, a league source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). James was unhappy with his situation in San Francisco, asked for his release, and secured it earlier this month. Miami, obviously, could use some help at RB. The former Oregon star wasn’t signed after the workout but it’s still a possibility and the sides have discussed a deal, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • Former Mizzou tight end Eric Waters also worked out for the Dolphins today, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch (on Twitter). The 6’5″, 245 pound tight end was cut loose by the Steelers in advance of their cutdown to a 75-man roster.
  • The Dolphins may not benefit from the new drug policy, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Safety Reshad Jones and defensive end Dion Jordan are both suspended, but multiple sources say the new rules won’t get Jordan’s suspension revoked. The same sources were not in agreement whether Jones would be returned to the Dolphins’ active roster.

Minor Moves: Sunday

Here are Sunday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Falcons have placed G Mike Johnson and LB Marquis Spruill on their injured reserve list, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure (Twitter links).
  • The Bears have cut return man Darius Reynaud, tweets Wilson. Reynaud was signed by Chicago on August 18.
  • CB Vernon Kearney has been cut by the Chiefs, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter).

Earlier Updates:

Extra Points: Lions, Saints, Panthers, Redskins

Let’s take a look at some leftover notes on this Saturday evening…

  • Even though the Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew and drafted Eric Ebron, incumbent tight end Joseph Fauria is confident there will be enough targets and snaps to go around. We’re all going to complement each other,” Fauria said (via Justin Rogers of MLive.com). “There’s a bunch of pieces to the pie. Maybe one week one guy will have a big game with a lot of catches, and the next weekend, it will be a different guy. It’s an interesting situation in this offense and it will be awesome to see how it plays out.”
  • 56 of the 90 players on the Saints roster are between 23 and 27-years-old, and Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com writes that the team is full of breakout candidates.
  • Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer suggests that the Panthers pursue a free-agent wide receiver instead of sticking with Tiquan Underwood or Marvin McNutt.
  • Redskins president Bruce Allen noted some differences under new coach Jay Gruden. “It’s a different style,” Allen said (via John Keim of ESPN.com). “Each coach and each team takes on the personality of its coach and Jay has been very involved with the guys. His evening meetings really set the tone for the next day’s work.”

NFC South Notes: Underwood, McCown, Cooks

After losing several key contributors from their 2013 receiving corps, the Panthers made Kelvin Benjamin their first-round pick and signed veterans Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery. But, as ESPN.com’s David Newton writes (within a preview of the NFC South), there’s one promising Carolina pass-catcher who isn’t garnering much attention: 27-year-old Tiquan Underwood. A seventh-round pick of the Jaguars, Underwood spent last year with the Buccaneers, catching 24 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns, but ranked as just the 87th-best receiver in the league according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Newton believes that Underwood will act as the Panthers’ deep threat, a role that Ted Ginn Jr. played last season.

  • The Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown this offseason, and at least one Tampa Bay player is pleased with McCown’s play so far. “…Don’t take anything from Glennon; he’s just only in his second year,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas told WEPN-FM in New York (link via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com). “But McCown looks like he’s played a couple of years in this game. It’s a strong comparison, but he reminds me of Drew (Brees), not just the way he throws the ball, but his approach to the game. The first one in, last one out. You know, he’s always around. He’s very (communicative), very personable. And you can tell he’s a born leader.”
  • Presuming that Carl Nicks fails to get healthy, the Buccaneers will be looking for two starting offensive guards, writes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times in a piece examining Tampa Bay’s position battles. Jamon Meredith and rookie Kadeem Edwards have the early edge, but experienced veteran Oniel Cousins is also an option.
  • Eric Dellaratta of PewterReport.com examines the running back rotation in Tampa Bay, noting that he believes the Buccaneers will end up keeping Doug Martin, rookie Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, and Jeff Demps (who offers value in the return game).
  • Earlier today, we passed along Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated’s positive assessment of Brandin Cooks; Knox Bardeen of Bleacher Report concurs, noting that the Saints rookie will help New Orleans overcome the loss of Darren Sproles.
  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com thinks the Falcons need to rely on Matt Ryan and the passing game in order to rebound from last year’s abysmal season. However, the Falcons ranked a decent 11th in terms of passing DVOA (per Football Outsiders), but ranked 21st in rushing DVOA, so perhaps an improvement in the running game would be the better way to ameliorate Atlanta’s woes.

Extra Points: Tannehill, Burnett, Panthers

Here are some assorted NFL notes on this Saturday evening…

NFC South Notes: Panthers WRs, Saints TEs

Chalk this up as one of the more amazing tidbits with respect to NFL team’s rosters, as written by The Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person: none of the 11 wide receivers on the Panthers roster this spring caught a pass for the team last season.

The Panthers went wide receiver in the first round of the draft, selecting 6-foot-5, 240-pound Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State No. 28 overall. He’ll be looking to replace departed receiver Steve Smith, as will fellow young wideouts Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt, who have been rotating through the first-, second- and third-team offenses in organized team activities.

“One thing we’re trying to make sure is everybody’s getting a lot of reps right now,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Because when we get to training camp, we want to make sure everybody’s up to speed. We’ve made an emphasis that we’re rotating a lot of players, as much as possible. Wide receiver’s one of those positions.” 

As Person notes in his column, both King and McNutt have impressive collegiate résumés, starring at Georgia and Iowa, respectively. They’ll be competing for the starting receiver spots with Benjamin and three free-agent acquisitions: Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood and Jason Avant.

Check out more from the NFC South in the links below…

  • De’Andre Presley was the answer from Rivera when asked if a player has distinguished himself after Wednesday’s OTA, writes The Observer’s Tom Sorensen. Presley, a quarterback in college at Appalachian State, switched to cornerback upon signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent, and is now trying to make the Panthers roster at wide receiver.
  • The Panthers went defensive tackle back-to-back in the 2013 NFL Draft with the selections of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in the first and second rounds, respectively, but Short is still in a fight for a starting position, writes Jonathan Jones of The Observer.
  • Six tight ends combine for 20 years of experience on the Panthers roster, and Rivera loves the versatility they bring, ESPN.com’s David Newton reports.
  • While there is no replacing the immense talent of Jimmy Graham, Saints tight ends Ben Watson and Josh Hill are doing what is asked of them at OTAs, including everything Graham would be doing, per The Times-Picayune’s Christopher Dabe.
  • First-round pick receiver Brandin Cooks will be back for the final week of Saints OTAs, believes ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett.
  • Despite suffering two concussions in his rookie season, Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said he won’t slow down nor change his reckless ways, Triplett writes.
  • With a defensive-heavy draft, notes ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, the Falcons surely made defensive coordinator Mike Nolan a happy man. Nolan touched on each of the seven defensive players drafted, including a glowing review of Dez Southward, the former Wisconsin safety whom Atlanta selected in the third round: “He’s got really good size and is fast. He’s an intelligent guy. He doesn’t have as much football in his background as other guys because he played late in high school. But he’ll listen, as opposed to somebody that didn’t learn much and then they think that they have all the answers.”

Contract Details: Vick, Campbell, Jenkins

The one-year deal Michael Vick inked with the Jets is worth a guaranteed $4MM, including a $2MM signing bonus and $2MM guaranteed base salary, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The contract was originally reported as a $5MM pact, so perhaps there are incentives related to playing time or performance.

Here are several more contract details from around the NFL:

Panthers Sign Tiquan Underwood

1:32pm: The Panthers have officially announced their deal with Underwood (Twitter link).

11:34am: It’s a two-year deal for Underwood, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

11:18am: A day after signing Jerricho Cotchery, the Panthers are set to add another free agent wide receiver to their roster. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports (via Twitter) that Carolina has agreed to terms on a new contract with Tiquan Underwood.

Underwood, who had stints with the Jaguars and Patriots early in his NFL career, spent the last two seasons in Tampa Bay, catching a total of 52 balls for 865 yards and six touchdowns over the course of 2012 and 2013. With Cotchery under contract as more of a possession receiver, Underwood looks like he’ll assume the role of the Panthers’ top deep threat.

So far this offseason, Carolina has released Steve Smith and seen Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon LaFell, and Domenik Hixon sign with other teams, which left Marvin McNutt and Tavarres King atop the depth chart before the signings of Cotchery and Underwood. Last night, we heard that the Panthers were also taking a look at free agent receivers Kevin Cone, Lestar Jean, and C.J. Akins.