Travis Rudolph

Giants To Sign Travis Rudolph, Tavarres King

The Giants not only fell to 0-5 with a defeat against the Chargers on Sunday, but witnessed four of their top wide receivers suffer injuries of varying severity. With a lack of options on offense, New York will promote wideout Travis Rudolph from its practice squad and re-sign wide receiver Tavarres King, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Ed Eagan (Vertical)

Rudolph and King likely won’t be the only additions the Giants make in the coming days, as the club simply is bereft of wide receiver talent at the moment. Odell Beckham Jr. and Dwayne Harris are both out for the season after suffering a fractured ankle and a broken foot, respectively. Sterling Shepard has a sprained ankle and will miss several weeks, while Brandon Marshall also has an ankle sprain and an undetermined timetable, tweets Rapoport.

New York doesn’t have the benefit of turning to an established run game — the club ranks 31st in rushing DVOA — so adding more pass-catchers may be Big Blue’s best option. Ed Eagan and Marquis Bundy are on the Giants’ practice squad and could conceivably be promoted alongside Rudolph, while a free agent addition could also make sense. Marquess Wilson, Dorial Green-Beckham, Steve Johnson, Vincent Jackson, and old friend Victor Cruz are among the top options available on the open market.

Rudolph, for his part, went undrafted out of Florida State earlier this year and has spent the first five weeks of the season on New York’s practice squad. In his final campaign as a Seminole, Rudolph posted 56 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. In a predraft profile, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com called Rudolph a “solid route runner” with good hands but noted his lack of short-area quickness.

King, meanwhile, spent 2-14-16 with the Giants and caught a touchdown pass in the club’s playoff loss to the Packers earlier this year. All told, he’s managed only four receptions over the course of his career. King was released by the Giants last month and had subsequently auditioned for the Patriots, Bills, and Jets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/5/17

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: CB Tony McRae, C Matt Skura

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: LB Eric Lee
  • Released: S B.T. Sanders, CB Marcus Sayles

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: FB Alex Armah

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

  • Signed: LB LaTroy Lewis

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: CB Raysean Pringle

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: TE Johnny Mundt, CB Kevin Peterson
  • Released: OL Michael Dunn, DL Louis Trinca-Pasat

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: CB Kenneth Durden

Giants Down To 53

The Giants are all kosher. Here’s the full rundown of their cuts and moves to get to 53:

Cut:

Placed on IR:

Extra Points: Elflein, Giants, Browns

The Vikings selected Ohio State center Pat Elflein in the third round of this year’s draft as part of the team’s offseason push to revamp its offensive line (Elflein’s selection marked the first time since 2012 that Minnesota used a pick in the top three rounds on an offensive lineman). Elflein has an excellent pedigree and certainly has the talent to become a top center in the league, but as Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune writes, Nick Easton served as the starting center during the later spring practices this year, including the three-day minicamp. However, Vensel says Elflein will get his chance in training camp, and he will need to make an early impact if the Vikings’ O-line is to become a strength this season.

Now for more notes from around the league:

  • D.J. Fluker has been lining up exclusively at right guard this offseason for the Giants, but James Kratch of NJ.com does not see any chance that the former Charger will unseat John Jerry at the position. There is always the possibility that Fluker moves back to right tackle, where he played during his first two seasons with the Bolts, but Kratch says Big Blue is very optimistic about Bobby Hart and will give him every opportunity to earn the right tackle job. In fact, Kratch does not foresee a true competition shaping up at right tackle this summer, and there is a good chance the Giants simply cut Fluker and save $1.5MM in the process.
  • In the same piece, Kratch says he does not expect the Giants to add a veteran cornerback at this point, and he also observes that, as much as everyone is rooting for UDFA Travis Rudolph because of his personal story, it’s going to be difficult for him to crack a loaded WR corps. Rudolph, Roger Lewis, and Darius Powe will likely be competing for, at most, one receiver spot, and that’s only if New York elects to keep six wideouts.
  • The Jaguars have spent over $800MM on free agents since 2011, but they only have 22 wins to show for it, as Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders writes. One of the problems, according to Cummings, is that all of that spending and the turnover it engenders creates uncertain leadership, and even leadership voids, in the locker room. This year, Jacksonville parted ways with a number of defensive veterans, and Roy Miller, who was a part of that purge, believes the departure of those players could mean that the Jags will once again be lacking leadership. Indeed, defense was not the team’s problem last year, and Cumming seems to think there may be something to Miller’s admittedly biased theory.
  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Browns head coach Hue Jackson would like to name a starting QB prior to the August 10 preseason opener, but that he may need to see some live action first, especially now that rookie DeShone Kizer has narrowed the gap between himself and Cody Kessler.
  • Tight end Phazahn Odom and linebacker Matt Galambos were the only two prospects to receive a contract from the Steelers after Pittsburgh’s tryout camp in May, and while their odds of cracking the roster may be slim, Jerry DiPaola of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review makes the case for Odom. After all, the Steelers’ TE depth chart is pretty thin after the team cut Ladarius Green earlier this year, and while Jesse James will serve as the starter, his backups, Xavier Grimble and David Johnson, are hardly world-beaters. As such, the door might be open just a hair for Odom, who is an intimidating physical presence at 6-8, 251 pounds, but who is still a bit raw.

NFC Rumors: Falcons, Freeman, Seahawks

Here’s a look at the NFC:

  • The Falcons are confident that a deal is close for Devonta Freeman, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) says that it will be a hard deal to do. For starters, Freeman is one of the league’s most explosive running backs and he is only 25 years old, so he can command a whooper of a contract. But, if Le’Veon Bell re-sets the market in July with the Steelers before Freeman signs, it may get even tougher for Atlanta to get a deal done.
  • Austin Davis will receive a $30K bonus if he is on the Seahawks‘ roster for the first game of the regular season, a league source tells Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The quarterback’s one-year deal is worth $855K overall with $50K guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. It’s a minimum salary benefit deal, meaning the cap charge for 2017 is just $695K. Davis was signed earlier this summer to duke it out with Trevone Boykin for the role of Russell Wilson‘s primary backup.
  • The Giants historically have gotten big performances out of undrafted free agents like Victor Cruz, Mark Herzlich, Romeo Okwara, and Will Tye, so James Kratch of NJ.com surveyed the current roster to find the next diamonds in the rough. Cornerback DaShaun Amos, he opines, is the most likely UDFA to make the final cut this year. The Giants presently have two cornerbacks spots up in the air and Valentino Blake is the only one in the fringe group with real NFL experience, so Amos seems to have a good chance. Linebacker Calvin Munson, tackle Chad Wheeler, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, and cornerback Nigel Tribune round out Kratch’s top five Big Blue UDFAs.

Giants Sign Three Picks, 14 UDFAs

The Giants have signed three draft picks, second-round defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama; previously reported), third-round quarterback Davis Webb (California) and fifth-round defensive end Avery Moss (Youngstown State), per a team announcement. Additionally, the club has added 14 undrafted free agents, all of whom are listed below: