Uche Nwaneri

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Falcons, Hardy

Earlier today, we checked in on a few updates out of the NFC East. Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the conference’s other divisions and round up the latest news and rumors from around the NFC South….

  • With Mike Tolbert on IR-DTR, DeAngelo Williams unlikely to return in Week 5, and Jonathan Stewart also banged up, the Panthers intend to take a look at veteran free agents this week, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer details. “We’re going to have to look at some guys from the outside. And we’ll see,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “Without Jonathan available last week and potentially not available this week we need to have an insurance policy just in case so we’re going to have to take a look.”
  • Falcons offensive lineman Joe Hawley is undergoing an MRI today to determine the severity of his knee injury, but the team doesn’t feel as if it will be a season-ender, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Still, with Hawley expected to be sidelined for at least the near future, Atlanta will work out free agent lineman Uche Nwaneri this week, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), Greg Hardy is being advised to try to move his court date back and sit out the entire 2014 season rather than resolving his case in November and potentially returning for the home stretch. Cole explains that underperforming or risking injury in the final few weeks could diminish Hardy’s value significantly heading into free agency, though considering he’s likely facing a lengthy suspension once his domestic violence case is resolved, the Panthers defensive end figures to see his stock sliding either way.
  • Buccaneers rookie wideout Mike Evans is expected to be sidelined for two or three weeks with a groin strain, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap wonders (via Twitter) if the Saints will consider firing or demoting defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after how his unit has performed in September.

Cowboys Make Cuts, Reduce Roster To 53

Only two Cowboys’ cuts surfaced yesterday, and the team added Lavar Edwards in a trade with the Titans earlier today, meaning 21 players had to be removed from the team’s active roster today. Among those roster casualties were a few notable names, including veteran guard Uche Nwaneri and running backs Phillip Tanner and Ryan Williams. Here’s the complete list of Cowboys roster moves, via a press release:




Placed on reserve-suspended list:

NFC Notes: Lipford, Nwaneri, Tate, Packers

Former UNC linebacker Darius Lipford, who went undrafted in last week’s supplemental draft, will work out for the 49ers this week, tweets Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. So far, four teams have expressed interest in bringing Lipford in for a visit since he has the most upside of the four players not selected in the supplemental draft, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter).

Let’s round up a few more items from across the NFC….

  • Caplan also passes along contract details for new Cowboys offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri, who signed a minimum salary benefit contract which includes a $65K signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today examines the players who may hold out when training camps begin and discusses what teams may have to do to ensure those players are in the fold. The list of potential holdouts includes a handful of NFC West players — Vernon Davis and Alex Boone of the 49ers and Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks.
  • In an interview with ESPN’s First Take today, Lions wide receiver Golden Tate softened earlier comments and explained that his decision to leave the Seahawks was driven by more than money. “If you have an opportunity to earn way more money in another city, you’ll leave in a second. Every single person in the world would have done what I did,” Tate said, according to MLive.com’s Gillian Van Stratt.
  • Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com looks at the Packers‘ backup quarterback battle. The incumbent Scott Tolzien is going up against the once-heralded Matt Flynn for the No. 2 role and some have wondered what might happen if both perform well during training camp. The Packers could, in theory, roll with three QBs, but they haven’t done that since 2008 and doing so would come at the expense of depth elsewhere on the field.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Free Agent Notes: Roby, Nwaneri, Colledge

Here are a handful of free agent notes from around the NFL. We’ll continue to update this post throughout the night as more news rolls in…

  • The Falcons have signed veteran wide receiver Courtney Roby, reports Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). The 31-year-old’s best season came as a rookie in 2005, when he caught 21 passes for 289 yards with the Titans. Roby appeared in 57 games with Saints from 2009-2012, where he returned 75 kicks for 1,939 yards and served as the team’s special team’s captain.
  • The Cowboys have officially announced the signing of veteran guard Uche Nwaneri, who was reported to be heading to Dallas earlier this week. To make room on the roster, the team placed guard Tyronne Green on the reserved/injured list.
  • Offensive lineman Daryn Colledge is planning on visiting the Dolphins, reports Jason Cole of the National Football Post (via Twitter). The team is seeking a center after losing starter Mike Pouncey, who underwent hip surgery earlier this week. Colledge, a former second-round pick, spent five years with the Packers prior to joining the Cardinals.

Cowboys To Sign Uche Nwaneri

2:16pm: Nwaneri confirmed on his Instagram account that he has reached an agreement to join the Cowboys.

10:56am: After more than three and a half months on the free agent market, offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri is expected to sign a contract with the Cowboys, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Terms of the agreement aren’t yet known.

Nwaneri, 30, had been a longtime starter on the interior of the Jaguars’ offensive line, appearing in 104 contests (92 starts) for the team since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in 2007. However, the Purdue alum became a cap casualty this March, and was cut by Jacksonville a week before free agency began. Although he visited the Bengals and Titans this spring, Nwaneri had yet to find a new NFL home until now.

While Nwaneri isn’t one of the league’s elite guards, he ranked a respectable 34th among 81 qualified players in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), and recorded an overall PFF grade of +18.0 over the last five seasons. For the Cowboys, the Dallas native will compete for a roster spot and playing time on an offensive line that already looks very strong heading into the 2014 season, led by young standouts Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, as well as ’14 first-rounder Zack Martin.

Titans Notes: Nwaneri, Olsen, FAs, Carr

Let’s take a quick look at a few updates relating to 2013’s AFC South runner-up…

FA Rumors: Vikings, 49ers, DRC, Cowboys

Vikings GM Rick Spielman spoke to reporters on a conference call today, and indicated that his team is “not by any means finished” in free agency, and will continue to be aggressive in exploring potential upgrades (Twitter links via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). According to Spielman, the Vikings still have interest in free agents Charlie Johnson and Kevin Williams, and have spoken to Williams’ agent recently (Twitter links via Tomasson).

Here are plenty more afternoon free agent rumors from around the NFL:

  • After meeting with the Chiefs today, Emmanuel Sanders‘ next visit will be with the 49ers, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The free agent wide receiver, who has also visited the Jaguars and Buccaneers this week, will be staying in Kansas City overnight, so the Chiefs still have a chance to lock him up before he reaches San Francisco, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com gets the sense that Julian Edelman‘s visit with the 49ers is more a feeling out process for both sides than an indication anything is imminent (Twitter link).
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is heading to New York tonight to meet with the Jets, reports Schefter (via Twitter).
  • The Seahawks have expressed interest in bringing back wide receiver Sidney Rice, who was released by the club earlier in the offseason, writes Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times.
  • In addition to having some interest in Julius Peppers, as we heard earlier, the Cowboys are keeping an eye on Jared Allen and would be interested if his price falls, writes Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • Free agent tight ends Jermichael Finley and Ed Dickson don’t appear to be in the Giants‘ plans for now, says Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (via Twitter).
  • Free agent guard Daryn Colledge met with the Rams today, and is now off to meet with the Raiders, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Bengals have confirmed that two offensive linemen, Vlad Ducasse and Uche Nwaneri, both visited the team today, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

AFC North Rumors: Gerhart, Nwaneri, Sanders

Three teams are showing interest in free agent running back Toby Gerhart, including the Browns, a source tells Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Niners and Jaguars are also in the mix. The latest from the AFC North..

  • Uche Nwaneri is visiting the Bengals this Thursday, reports Tania Ganguli os ESPN.com (via Twitter). Nwaneri was released by the Jaguars earlier this week.
  • The Ravens really like Emmanuel Sanders, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). They have not reached out to him yet, but would love to steal him away from their division rivals if the price is right.
  • The Steelers want to bring back Jerricho Cotchery, writes Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter). The team has reached out to the veteran wide receiver, but no deal has been struck yet.

Rob DiRe contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Johnson, Amendola, Lankster, Nwaneri

Titans running back Chris Johnson took to Twitter to provide an update on his contract situation. According to Johnson, his agent met with the Titans yesterday, but talks remain at a standstill as the running back continues to play the waiting game. Tennessee is believed to have interest in retaining Johnson, but not at his current $10MM cap figure. Here are a few more AFC notes:

  • The Patriots can’t designate Danny Amendola as a post-June 1 cut in 2014, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network (Twitter links). The Pats have to carry the wide receiver on the roster into the ’14 league year to make him a June 1 cut and if they do that, his ’14 base is guaranteed.
  • The Jets announced that they have agreed to deals with reserve cornerbacks Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls. Lankster, 26, has seen time in 30 combined games for Gang Green over the last two years.
  • In an interesting piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Seifert outlines why many members of this year’s free agent class – including Broncos standout Eric Decker – may be better off re-signing with their current teams before next week.
  • Two or three teams are already in on former Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. The Jags released their longtime starting guard yesterday to create $3.706MM in cap savings for the team. Nwaneri ranked 34th among 81 qualified guards in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, and had an overall grade of +18.0 over the last five seasons.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Jaguars Release Uche Nwaneri

The Jaguars have released longtime starting guard Uche Nwaneri, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (via Twitter). Nwaneri had a cap number of $5.895MM for 2014, which will be reduced to $2.189MM in dead money, creating $3.706MM in cap savings for the team.

Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union writes that the Jaguars made the move for performance reasons, which makes sense given the huge chunk of cap space already available to the team. Still, while Nwaneri wasn’t one of the league’s top guards, he ranked a respectable 34th among 81 qualified players in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, and had an overall grade of +18.0 over the last five seasons.

Nwaneri had been under contract through the 2015 season, and was owed a roster bonus worth $1MM for 2014. Rather than playing out his deal and collecting that bonus money, he’ll immediately hit the open market, where he’ll be competing for jobs with players like Geoff Schwartz, Travelle Wharton, Jon Asamoah, and Zane Beadles. I examined the free agent market for guards in a piece yesterday.

As for the Jaguars, they’re now in the market for starters at right guard, left guard, and center this offseason.