Trent Richardson

Extra Points: Gates, Chargers, Manziel, Richardson, AAF, Anthem

Chargers GM Tom Telesco acknowledged ongoing talks with TE Antonio Gates’ representation Thursday, but no deal” tweets Eric D. Williams of ESPN. Telesco also added that he believes Gates “can still be effective in the Chargers’ offense.” The Chargers looked set to move on earlier this offseason, but then Hunter Henry was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The team immediately expressed interest in bringing back Gates, but things have been slow moving ever since.

It’s unclear what is holding up contract talks, but it’s not a huge deal for a player who’s been around as long as Gates has to miss some of training camp. Perhaps he just wants to wait as long as possible and put little wear on his body before returning right before the regular season. Gates has said he has no intention of retiring, and it’s extremely unlikely he signs with any other team than the Chargers. A deal should get done at some point, and it would be a surprise if it isn’t announced soon. The future Hall of Fame inductee turned 38 in June.

Here’s more from around the football universe:

  • The Montreal Alouettes had been targeting Johnny Manziel for a while before they finally ended up trading for him, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. The Alouettes had tried to acquire Manziel’s rights before he even signed with the CFL, but were rebuffed.
  • Former number three overall pick Trent Richardson will sign with the Birmingham team in the newly created AAF, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com. Richardson flamed out with the Browns and then Colts, and will be looking to revive his football career in the upstart league.
  • The league and NFLPA have been talking and negotiating about the anthem policy since before the July 4th holiday, a source told Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer disagrees with the league’s course of action, arguing the new “policy was a poor way to try to move the focus back to football.”

Trent Richardson Signs With CFL Team

The CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed running back Trent Richardson, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. The former first-round pick has not played in an NFL game since 2014. Trent Richardson (vertical)

Last summer, Richardson vowed to turn over a new leaf and embark on an unprecedented comeback path that would end with his induction in the Hall of Fame. Those plans hit a snag when Richardson was released by the Ravens in August and arrested in February of this year.

The CFL’s league office reportedly blocked teams from pursuing Greg Hardy due to his history of domestic violence. They have not gotten in the way of the Roughriders signing Richardson, though the allegations against him were also ugly. Richardson’s victim was found with scratches and bruises on her face when Alabama cops responded to a 911 call. Apparently, the pair started arguing in an Alabama Walmart before things turned physical in their hotel room.

Richardson, the former No. 3 pick in the 2012 draft, has never done much at the NFL level. He appeared in 46 games for the Browns and Colts and averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RB Trent Richardson Arrested

Trent Richardson‘s latent dream of reaching the Hall of Fame has hit another roadblock. The running back was arrested Thursday night in Alabama on a domestic violence charge, as Carol Robinson of AL.com writes. Trent Richardson (vertical)

Upon responding to a 911 call from a hotel, police found Richardson and an adult female in a loud, heated argument. After interviewing both parties, cops ascertained that the dispute began at a local Walmart and eventually turned physical. The female involved had scratches and bruises on her face.

Richardson, 26, was “cooperative” and “arrested without incident,” according to police, but he potentially faces a world of legal trouble, not to mention sanctions from the NFL. Even if he avoids legal/league punishment, he has tipped his risk/reward ratio so far that it’s hard to imagine any team going near him this year. Although he was the No. 3 pick in the 2012 draft, he has never produced at the NFL level. He appeared in 46 games for the Browns and Colts, but he has not seen NFL action since 2014.

Last summer, Richardson was in camp with the Ravens before undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Months after his release, he had a fruitless audition with the Chiefs. Today’s unfortunate news is the first we’ve heard from Richardson since November.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/1/16

Tuesday is workout day in the NFL, and today was no different. Due to the sheer volume of today’s auditions, we’ll split up the reports by conference:

AFC

NFC

North Notes: Kalil, Bears, T-Rich, Golson

The Vikings have not received the return they’d hoped after investing their highest first-round pick since 1985 on Matt Kalil, but the team kept him for just more than $11MM on a fifth-year option. The former No. 4 overall selection hopes to reward the team this season and wants to finish his career in the Twin Cities, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes.

Despite an inconsistent career, Kalil is set to out-earn every left tackle in football this season on his $11.09MM fifth-year salary. Tomasson writes that an extension for the 27-year-old blocker could happen, as could a re-signing after the season. Kalil owns one more Pro Bowl nod than Eric Fisher, 2013’s No. 1 overall pick who just inked a four-year, $48MM extension with the Chiefs despite middling production to date, and has started all 65 of the Vikings’ games the past four years. So, that kind of agreement could conceivably be in Kalil’s future if he can elevate his game this season.

The Vikings signed Andre Smith this offseason but saw Phil Loadholt retire. They do not have a long-term tackle option at this point. Last month, PFR’s Dallas Robinson checked in on the Vikings’ offensive front.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions, beginning with one of the Vikings’ top rivals.

  • Willie Young‘s extension with the Bears is worth $13.55MM and runs through the 2018 season, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times reports (on Twitter). That includes $9MM in guaranteed money, per Jahns. Young will make $5.85MM in 2016, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). That total includes a $2.7MM signing bonus, a $2.3MM roster bonus and an $800K base salary. Young will hold cap figures of $4.1MM in 2017 and $5.4MM in ’18, according to Jahns. The Bears will owe Young a $2.2MM roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2017 league year, Biggs tweets. The steady pass-rusher is due a $1MM roster bonus in ’18, per Biggs (via Twitter), and includes incentives for sacks — thresholds that aren’t likely to be crossed, according to Jahns (Twitter link).
  • Bears cornerback Brandon Boykin is dealing with a pectoral injury that might be “problematic,” and that is expected to prompt Chicago to sign a cornerback soon, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • The Ravens released Trent Richardson because they needed a wide receiver to practice, Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. They believe he’s talented and his return is possibility, Werder adds. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters, including Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter) that both he and GM Ozzie Newsome spoke to Richardson about getting healthy and possibly coming back to the team.
  • Mike Tomlin confirmed Senquez Golson has a Lisfranc injury and that surgery is a likely course of action, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets. Golson could land on IR-DTR, but the Steelers may reserve that spot for another player since the second-year cornerback will be out up to four months. The 2015 second-rounder has yet to play in a regular-season game after missing his entire rookie slate. As Roster Resource shows, 2016 first- and second-rounders Artie Burns and Sean Davis represent the top depth behind William Gay at a position the Steelers invested in heavily this offseason.
  • Wide receiver Alonzo Russell and interior lineman Alex Redmond represent two of the top choices to continue the Bengals‘ run of UDFAs making the 53-man roster, Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes. The 6-foot-4 Russell was a four-year contributor at Toledo, recording 3,076 yards and 24 receiving TDs from 2012-15. A UCLA product, Redmond will be competing with the likes of fifth-round rookie Christian Westerman and 2013 seventh-rounder T.J. Johnson for a spot as a backup interior blocker.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Ravens Release Trent Richardson

The Ravens waived running back Trent Richardson, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweetsTrent Richardson (vertical)

[RELATED: No Deal For Ravens, Jake Long]

Richardson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair an existing condition, putting him on the shelf at a time when he was fighting for a spot on the Ravens‘ roster. Richardson, who just turned 26, agreed to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum earlier this offseason, joining a Baltimore running back corps that already included Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and rookie Kenneth Dixon, as shown on Roster Resource. Richardson may be given an injury settlement along with his release.

In an interview in June, Richardson vowed to end his NFL story by “putting on a yellow jacket” at a Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

People wrote him off, he came back and did some amazing things. He always had the pedigree. He just had to get back to the guy that we know,” Richardson said, narrating his own hypothetical 30 for 3o.

T-Rich, the former No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 draft, has a career average of just 3.3 yards per carry, and it remains to be seen whether he will be given another shot in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Bengals, Pouncey

The Ravens‘ decision to cut Eugene Monroe had nothing to do with his position on medical marijuana and was simply a football determination, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters, including Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com (Twitter link). Clearly, that statement has generated a few doubting looks around the NFL, especially because Baltimore made mention of Monroe’s pro-marijuana stance in their press release announcing the move. However, reports did indicate that the Ravens wanted to wait until Monroe was cleared from a health standpoint before releasing him, and that clearance was apparently received this week. Baltimore’s offensive line will feature two new starters in 2016, with rookie Ronnie Stanley taking over at left tackle while John Urschel mans left guard.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Running back Trent Richardson will require arthroscopic knee surgery to repair an existing condition and will miss “some time,” according to Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links), who adds that although the injury isn’t considered severe, it certainly won’t help Richardson’s case as he aims to earn a spot on the Ravens‘ roster. Richardson, who is still only 25 years old, agreed to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum earlier this offseason, joining a Baltimore running back corps that already includes Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and rookie Kenneth Dixon. Depending on how long he is sidelined, it’s entirely possible that Richardson won’t ever get a real shot at making the club, and he’s a candidate to be released with an injury settlement.
  • The Bengals have been quite proactive this offseason in terms of extensions, locking up both safety Shawn Williams and running back Giovani Bernard to long-term deals. This isn’t a new phenomenon for the club, leading Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer to examine which Bengal might be the next to land a multi-year pact. Veterans like Andrew Whitworth and Dre Kirkpatrick are unlikely to sign deals — at least before season starts — simply because Cincinnati has so much leverage, having invested draft picks at tackle and cornerback over the past several seasons, leading H-back Ryan Hewitt as perhaps the most plausible candidate to ink an extension. Tight end Tyler Eifert, notably, was left off the list, though he is dealing with an injury, and is controlled through the 2017 season via the fifth-year option.
  • Maurkice Pouncey didn’t play a single snap for the Steelers after breaking his fibula during the club’s third preseason game, but the injury was much more severe than many originally thought. Pouncey underwent six surgical procedures and a skin graft during the course of the 2015 campaign, the veteran center tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, explaining how he went from injured reserve/designated to return to missing the entire season. “It was scary,” Pouncey said. “I don’t want that on my worst enemy.” Pouncey is expected to be fully ready for the season, though Fowler notes that the Pittsburgh staff is pressuring him to take days off out of an abundance of caution.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Weddle

Safety Eric Weddle spurned other teams’ offers to sign a four-year, $26MM with the Ravens during the winter. One of the clubs that had interest in Weddle was the hated AFC North rival Steelers, and the three-time Pro Bowl defender revealed today that he and Ben Roethlisberger talked throughout the free agent process (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “Hopefully I get a lot of wins and interceptions against him,” said Weddle. “And maybe sprinkle in a few touchdowns.”

More on the two standouts’ teams:

  • Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell shot down a Twitter rumor that he failed a drug test, telling reporters, including Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I haven’t missed any drug tests, failed any drug tests. I am fine.” Bell, of course, sat out three regular-season games in 2015 for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He also missed seven more contests because of a torn MCL. Bell passed along a positive update on his knee today, per Kaboly (Twitter links). Now entering a contract year, Bell – arguably the league’s premier RB – will try to bounce back from a tumultuous 2015.
  • Steelers guard David DeCastro says his reps have talked a “little bit” with the team about contract negotiations, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. With one year left to go on his contract, DeCastro figures to be a priority for Pittsburgh to address, along with Bell.
  • Once looked at as a potential starter for the Ravens, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro finds himself in the same boat as Terrance West and Trent Richardson, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun writes. Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and fourth-round rookie Kenneth Dixon have their roster spots locked down, but Taliaferro, West, and Hall of Fame hopeful Richardson may be competing for just one spot. Taliaferro, 24, suffered a foot injury in October that wound up ending his season prematurely. In 2015, Taliaferro logged only 13 carries for 47 yards and one score. He also caught all five of his targets for a total of 29 yards.
  • Earlier this evening, we learned the Ravens are shopping left tackle Eugene Monroe. Further, they worked out fellow veteran O-lineman Todd Herremans.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: T-Rich, Manziel, Dolphins

Trent Richardson may be down to his last chance to continue his NFL career, and he may be firmly on the Ravens‘ roster bubble, but one still has to give him credit for dreaming big. In an interview with Comcast SportsNet, Richardson said he would end his NFL story by “Putting on a yellow jacket. People wrote him off, he came back and did some amazing things. He always had the pedigree. He just had to get back to the guy that we know” (link via Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com). T-Rich, the former No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 draft, has a career average of just 3.3 yards per carry, and he has struggled with injuries and weight throughout the course of his once-promising career. Just 25, Richardson realizes there will probably not be another opportunity for him if he fails to make Baltimore’s roster, but as he fights to carve out a place for himself on the Ravens–who are well-stocked at the running back position–a little self-confidence can’t hurt.

Now for a few more links from the AFC:

  • Johnny Manziel‘s attorney, Jim Darnell, says his client is preparing as though he will play in the NFL in 2016, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Per Fowler, Darnell concedes that a return to the league in 2017 is more realistic, but it would take a confluence of positive outcomes for even that to happen. Manziel’s pending assault charge, for which he has a status hearing on June 24, would have to be resolved in his favor, he would have to weather whatever punishments the league levies upon him, and he would have to find a team willing to gamble on him and his fledgling football abilities.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the NFL has not yet contacted Dolphins rookie left tackle Laremy Tunsil about the now-infamous bong video that precipitated Tunsil’s fall in April’s draft. As Florio notes, however, the league could come calling any day.
  • The top of the Dolphins‘ wide receiver depth chart is largely settled, but there is some intrigue among a few of the less-heralded players on the roster, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Barring injury, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Leonte Carroo will be the club’s top four wideouts, but rookie Jakeem Grant, despite being a raw route-runner, has flashed in OTAs, and players like Griff Whalen and Matt Hazel also have their supporters among the Dolphins’ coaching staff.
  • New Jets left tackle Ryan Clady still has a chip on his shoulder as a result of the unceremonious end to his tenure with the Broncos several months ago, and he is determined to prove he is still the same player he was during his peak years in Denver, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida-Times Union takes a look at six returning Jaguars who could be on the roster bubble, a list headlined by Tyson Alualu and Dwayne Gratz.

Extra Points: Richardson, Jets, Titans, Lions

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • The Ravens signed running back Trent Richardson in mid-April, but the former first-round pick missed the first week of OTAs with a hamstring injury. Coach John Harbaugh attributes the injury to a lack of conditioning. “Trent just needs to get healthy,” Harbaugh told Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “I think the workload and the amount of work it takes to be a world-class conditioned athlete is something that he’s working on right now. That’s what he needs to understand, and that’s where he needs to get himself.”
  • In an attempt to clear more cap space, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini tweets that the Jets could consider cutting kicker Nick Folk. Of course, that assumes that rookie kicker Ross Martin has done enough to displace the veteran.
  • The Titans have the top spot in the waiver wire, and Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com suggests that the team could looking to add another receiver. With eight wideouts on the current roster, Wyatt believes the coaching staff will likely take a look at their own guys before making any moves.
  • With Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron struggling through injuries, the Lions could be on the lookout for another tight end. ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein says veteran Owen Daniels could be an option, although he’d have to be content with serving a limited role.