Tony Brooks-James

Steelers To Sign WR Deon Cain Off Colts’ Practice Squad

Prior to Thursday night’s ugly conclusion in Cleveland, the Steelers lost multiple wide receivers to injuries. They will respond by adding wideout Deon Cain from the Colts’ practice squad, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson — Pittsburgh’s Nos. 1-2 wideouts this season — suffered concussions during the Week 11 loss to the Browns. The Steelers will add Cain, whom the Colts recently viewed as a player who could be a reliable target.

The Colts cut Cain last week but were able to pass him through waivers and onto their practice squad. They opted not to promote him again and will see him head to Pittsburgh. Indianapolis drafted Cain in the sixth round out of Clemson in 2018 and were pleased with his early development, but an ACL tear during his initial training camp threw that development off course. This season, Cain could not gain a foothold in Indianapolis’ depleted receiving corps, catching just four passes for 52 yards in seven games.

Down James Conner again, the Steelers also signed running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. off the Bears’ practice squad. Chicago drafted White in the seventh round this year. They will make room for these additions with cuts of edge defender Jayrone Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers To Waive Donte Moncrief

After a strong offseason, Donte Moncrief quickly lost his job as the Steelers’ No. 2 wide receiver. Weeks after his demotion, Moncrief will now be on the waiver wire.

The Steelers will part ways with the veteran wideout, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Although Moncrief is a vested vet, all players cut after the trade deadline head to waivers. Running back Tony Brooks-James will take Moncrief’s roster spot.

Moncrief signed a two-year, $9MM deal in March and was then believed to be Pittsburgh’s top supporting-caster in its post-Antonio Brown receiving corps. The signing did not work out. The former third-round pick dropped several passes in his first two games as a Steeler, with a drop against the Seahawks in Week 2 leading to a demotion.

Rookie Diontae Johnson has since stepped into the Steelers’ No. 2 receiver role, with second-year player James Washington filling in alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster as well. This release will tag the Steelers with a seven-figure dead-money hit, but it obviously pales in comparison to the cap penalty the Brown trade brought.

This move stands to benefit the Steelers’ 2020 draft haul as well, with Moncrief’s departure set to balance out the franchise’s compensatory formula. Similar to the Ravens’ release of Justin Bethel, the Steelers’ Moncrief decision will give the Steelers a comp pick next year. Only in this case, Pittsburgh is expected to gain a third-rounder from the Jets’ Le’Veon Bell signing. Moncrief needed to be on the Steelers’ roster for 10 games to cost the team that compensatory slot. This stands to help a Steelers team that traded its 2020 third-rounder to the Broncos in the Devin Bush deal.

Saturday’s transaction marks another setback for a once-promising wideout. Moncrief, 26, showed flashes early in his Colts run, hauling in 13 touchdowns between the 2015-16 seasons. He also finished with 668 receiving yards last season, despite catching passes from Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler. As a Steeler, Moncrief caught four passes for 18 yards.

Brooks-James will help patch up a Steelers running back corps that is without Benny Snell and is expected to be without starter James Conner. The latter is doubtful to face the Colts on Sunday due to a shoulder injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/15/19

A look at the latest NFL practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/19

The latest on the workout circuit:

Cleveland Browns 

Houston Texans:

Minnesota Vikings

Bunch of former Washington players making the rounds as Harris, Alexander, and Marshall are all ex-Redskins. Harris is probably the “biggest name” on this list, and this is his second NFC North visit in recent weeks as he worked out for the Lions at the beginning of the month. Last year with the ‘Skins, Harris had 28 catches for 304 yards. The Cal product reportedly had a solid camp with New England this offseason, but he was waived with an injury settlement after suffering a foot injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/19

Here are today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/2/19

We’ll keep track of Monday’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers 

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Falcons Reach 53 Man Limit

The Falcons reached the 53-man limit by dropping a total of 35 players and placing quarterback Matt Simms on injured reserve. Along the way, the Falcons also cut some notable veterans.

Here’s the full rundown of the team’s cuts, including some previously reported moves:

S Parker Baldwin
LB Yurik Bethune
WR Christian Blake
RB Tony Brooks-James
LB Richie Brown (Waived/injured)
CB Taveze Calhoun (Waived/injured)
LB Bruce Carter (Released)
DT Stefan Charles (Released)
S Chris Cooper
LB Tre Crawford
TE Thomas Duarte
QB Danny Etling
OL Adam Gettis (Released)
TE Alex Gray (Waived/injured)
WR Devin Gray
WR Marcus Green
OL Sean Harlow
DE Austin Larkin
S Ronald Martin (Released)
LB Chase Middleton
DE Durrant Miles
C Chandler Miller
CB Jalen Myrick
CB Ryan Neal
DE Chris Odom
TE Logan Paulsen (Released)
LB Del’Shawn Phillips (Waived/injury settlement)
OT Jaelin Robinson
CB Jayson Stanley (Waived/injury settlement)
K Giorgio Tavecchio
DT Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
K Blair Walsh (Released)
OL John Wetzel (Released)
WR C.J. Worton
DT Justin Zimmer

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/11/19

Today’s minor moves will be posted here:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: RB Tony Brooks-James (Oregon)
  • Waived/injured: RB Jeremy Langford

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: S Josh Moon (Georgia Southern), OL Jordan Agasiva (Utah)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: WR Spencer Schnell (Illinois State), DE David Kenney, OL Riley Mayfield (North Texas)

With the exception of Kenney, all players signed were undrafted rookies who were inked to deals after participating in their respective teams’ rookie minicamps. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweeted a cool story about Schnell, who’s late father Dave briefly played for the Bills. Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets that Schnell was impressive during minicamp, and that he’ll “get a look” returning kicks in addition to his receiving work.

Langford initially looked promising after entering the league as a fourth round pick of the Bears back in 2015. He opened the 2016 season as Chicago’s starting running back, but he’s struggled with injuries and turned into a journeyman ever since. Drafted only a few years ago, the Falcons were already the fifth stop of his career. He only appeared in one game for the Falcons last year, rushing nine times for 25 yards.