Xavier Su'a-Filo

Bengals Sign Xavier Su’a-Filo

The Bengals have agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $10MM with guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, according to Ben Baby of ESPN. Filo has spent the previous two seasons with the Cowboys. Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that he is expected to replace John Miller at right guard.

In 2014, the Texans selected Su’a-Filo with the first pick in the second round of the draft out of UCLA with the hope he would become a long-term option at guard. While he served as the team’s starter at left guard from 2015-2017, Su’a-Filo never seemed to reach the upper echelon of players at his position.

Following his tenure in Houston, Dallas signed him to a two-year contract where he served as a rotational guard, starting 12 of the 19 games he appeared in. The Bengals have been uncommonly aggressive this free-agency cycle and it appears they added another player they plan to slot into their starting lineup.

Cowboys Make Four Roster Moves

As Dallas’ disappointing season winds down, they made a few roster moves Tuesday. The team has placed linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and guard Xavier Su’a-Filo on injured reserve, while signing linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong and offensive tackle Wyatt Miller to the active roster to take their places.

We heard yesterday that Vander Esch would undergo season-ending neck surgery, so this move was just a formality for him. Su’a-Filo had been starting at guard for the past month, meaning the Cowboys will be making an offensive line change for their Week 17 date with the Redskins. Dallas can still sneak into the playoffs as the NFC East champ, but they’ll need the Eagles to lose to the Giants for that to happen. Su’a-Filo was the 33rd overall pick of the 2014 draft by the Texans. He started for a while in Houston, but was mostly a disappointment.

He came to the Cowboys early on last season on a two-year deal, and ended up starting eight games. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this spring. Armstrong is a journeyman who has bounced around the league a lot over the past handful of years, appearing in five games for the Saints earlier this season. Miller is a rookie UDFA from UCF who had been on the Bengals’ practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Notes: Irving, Gregory, Su’a-Filo

Suspended defensive tackle David Irving is back in the Cowboys’ facility, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Irving was banned four games under the NFL’s substance abuse policy, so he’s allowed to be with the club for workouts and meetings, but not practices. Conversely, Irving wasn’t granted any access with Dallas when he was suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy in 2017. After posting seven sacks in only eight games last season, Irving wasn’t present for Cowboys training camp as he dealt with personal issues. He’s scheduled to return to the field in Week 5 when the Cowboys face the Texans on the road.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pushed back on recent reports that defensive end Randy Gregory could be facing yet another substance abuse suspension, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “I don’t think these reports have any substance at all, if you really want to know the truth about it,” Jones said Tuesday. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that Gregory had suffered a relapse in August and could be banned from the league again, but the NFL has yet to make any formal announcement to that effect. Gregory, of course, has missed 30 of the Cowboys’ past 32 regular season games, including the entire 2017 season, as a result of his violations.
  • Guard Xavier Su’a-Filo‘s deal with the Cowboys is actually a two-year pact and contains a $50K signing bonus, tweets Archer. The fact that Dallas gave Su’a-Filo a multi-year deal could be an indication the club is relatively high on the former second-round pick, and may believe he can factor into its 2019 plans. Su’a-Filo likely received league minimum base salaries, but his contract won’t be classified as a minimum salary benefit deal given that it covers multiple years. Now 27 years old, Su’a-Filo gives the Cowboys a bit of interior offensive line depth as they wait for center Travis Frederick to return.
  • Speaking of Frederick, he reportedly continues to experience numbness in both arms as he deals with the effects of Guillain Barre syndrome, and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to get back on the field.

Cowboys Sign G Xavier Su’a-Filo

The Cowboys have agreed to sign free agent guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, according to his agents at Schwartz and Feinsod (Twitter link).

Su’a-Filo, 27, worked out for Dallas last week, so the Cowboys know what they’re getting in the former second-round pick. The UCLA product started 40 games for the Texans from 2015-17, but Houston made little effort to re-sign him this offseason. Su’a-Filo landed a one-year deal with the Titans in March, but didn’t survive final cutdowns.

The Cowboys are currently without starting center Travis Frederick as he deals with the effects of Guillain Barre syndrome, and while Su’a-Filo hasn’t played center in his NFL career, he will give Dallas more depth along the interior offensive line. Other reserve lineman on the Cowboys’ roster include Cameron Fleming, Kadeem Edwards, and Adam Redmond.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Notes: Jones, Lawrence, Gathers

As he enters his mid-seventies, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is slowly handing over control of the franchise to his son, Stephen Jones, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. The younger Jones is currently Dallas’ executive vice president, CEO, and director of player personnel, so he’s more than prepared to take on a larger role. Stephen Jones takes a more conservative financial stance than his father, per Moore, which could indicate the Cowboys will have their cap in better order when he eventually takes over. Notably, Stephen pushed the Cowboys to eschew drafting Johnny Manziel in 2014, and lobbied instead to select guard Zack Martin, a win for the club.

  • Free agent guard Xavier Su’a-Filo worked out for the Cowboys on Thursday, tweets Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. A former second-round pick Su’a-Filo spent four years with the Texans before inking a deal with the Titans earlier this year. He didn’t make it through final roster cuts, which is perhaps unsurprising given that he finished as a bottom-three guard in 2017, per Pro Football Focus. Dallas, though, needs depth along the interior of its offensive line given injuries to Zack Martin and Travis Frederick, so Su’a-Filo could be an option for the club.
  • Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is paying attention to the recent extensions signed by fellow defenders Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack, and said his free agent price is rising correspondingly, per Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lawrence will earn $17.143MM under the franchise tender in 2018, but has already said he’s not open to playing on the tag in 2019 (not that he’ll have much of a choice if the Cowboys opt to deploy it again). Now that both Donald and Mack have crossed the $22MM/year threshold, the sky is the limit for Lawrence, who will aim to build on an excellent 2018 campaign that included 14.5 sacks.
  • Further details have emerged regarding tight end Rico Gathers‘ recent arrest for marijuana, as Kate Hairopaulos of the Dallas Morning News details. Gathers was arrested after he and a female companion were discovered smoking in Central Park in Frisco, Texas, and police found 0.078 ounces of marijuana on the former collegiate basketball player. Gathers’ arrest became public on Saturday just prior to roster cutdowns, but Dallas decided to keep him around nevertheless. He could potentially serve a brief league-imposed suspension down the line.

Titans Sign Xavier Su’a-Filo

The Titans announced they have signed free agent offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo. Sua’-Filo spent the previous four years of his NFL career with the Texans. 

[RELATED: Titans Extend GM Jon Robinson’s Contract]

Over the last two seasons, the 27-year-old has started in 31 of 32 regular seasons games for Houston. The advanced metrics have never been high on him, however, as Pro Football Focus has routinely rated him as one of the league’s lesser guards. In 2017, he was PFF’s third-worst qualified guard and ranked ahead of only Ethan Pocic (Seahawks) and Jeremy Vujnovich (Colts).

The Titans also built their offensive line depth this week by signing former Bucs lineman Kevin Pamphile. Josh Kline, Quinton Spain, Su’a-Filo, and Pamphile will all jockey for time, though Kline and Spain are the presumptive starters at guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Sign Second-Rounder Xavier Su’a-Filo

1:23pm: Su’a-Filo’s deal includes $3.96MM in guaranteed money, out of a $5.55MM total, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

12:29pm: The Texans have officially signed second-round offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo to his rookie contract, tweets ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan. Because he was the first selection of the second round, Su’a-Filo won’t have a fifth-year team option on his four-year rookie deal.

As the 33rd overall pick, Su’a-Filo will still make out nicely in the agreement, earning a signing bonus of about $2.358MM, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap. The 23-year-old out of UCLA figures to compete for a starting job on the Texans’ offensive line in camp this summer.

By securing Su’a-Filo, the Texans have now ensured that their entire 2014 draft class is under contract, making Houston the 24th team to sign all of its picks. You can follow all the signings using our tracker.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins

Although Chip Kelly has had nothing but good things to say about Johnny Manziel publicly, it seems clear that the Eagles never really thought about taking him with the 22nd pick, writes Sheil Kapadia of Philadelphia Magazine. “I love him,” Kelly said. “I think he’s a dynamic quarterback. I also think we have a very, very good quarterback situation – not only with Nick [Foles], but you add Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley – we think quarterback is a strength for us right now. We felt like the pass-rusher who we had rated higher was the guy we were gonna take.”

  • “Best player available” is used ad nauseam during the draft. However, it’s the Eagles‘ philosophy and they’re adamant about it, as evidenced by the quotes from GM Howie Roseman and elly in a column by Philadelphia Daily News writer Paul Domowitch following the (surprise) selection of Marcus Smith.
  • And then there’s the Cowboys, who did not stick to their board, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer (via Twitter). When the Cowboys lost out on their top three draft targets last night — all defensive players — they opted for a relatively safe choice in offensive lineman Zack Martin even though they had Manziel graded higher.
  • Consequently, rounds two and three have become more important for the Cowboys, says Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. After fielding a historically bad defense in 2013 and losing DeMarcus Ware, the team has plenty of holes to fill, especially on the defensive line. George mentions four defensive lineman who could be on the team’s radar tonight: Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence, Missouri’s Kony Ealy, Oregon State’s Scott Crichton and Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan, all of whom made predraft visits to Dallas.
  • The Giants‘ selection of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 12 puts them on track to fix their broken offense, writes Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. The LSU star caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Giants wide receiver Reuben Randle, who played with Beckham at LSU, described him as a “DeSean Jackson type,” writes Ebenezer Samuel of the Daily News.
  • The Redskins were not part of Thursday night’s festivities, but they’re up at No. 34 tonight, and USA Today’s Steven Ruiz takes a look at their options. Most speculation centers around the team selecting an offensive lineman, perhaps Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandijo, Virginia’s Morgan Moses or UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Links: Rams, Cowboys, Eagles, Draft

Rumors continue to swirl linking the Rams to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is skeptical that there’s any weight to those rumblings. According to Thomas, most sources he has spoken to are saying variations of the same thing — no one around the league believes St. Louis will actually select Manziel, and the Rams are attempting to drum up trade interest for the pick.

We only have two more days until we know for sure what to believe on draft night. In the meantime, let’s check out a few NFC items….

  • The Cowboys would remove a player who failed his drug test from their draft board, but the team won’t do so with Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who remains a potential target for the club, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com.
  • Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link) keeps hearing that there will be a cornerback run in the middle of the first round and that the Eagles may be in a position to draft a wide receiver with their 22nd overall pick.
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo, one of the top guards among this year’s draft class, had workouts with the Rams and Falcons, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds that the UCLA lineman also visited the Broncos.
  • The Cardinals worked out Virginia Tech wide receiver D.J. Coles, writes Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. According to Wilson, Coles has also drawn interest from a handful of AFC teams, including the Texans, Broncos, and Raiders.

AFC East Notes: Bills, Patriots, Draft

In recent weeks, there has been speculation that if the Texans intend to trade down in the draft, Buffalo may be a potential partner, and Bills GM Doug Whaley certainly sounds like a man who would like a shot at standout defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

“If you’re gonna miss, I’d rather take a chance on a guy that’s 6’5″, 270, that runs a 4.5,” Whaley said of the South Carolina star, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550. “Now think about this, you have Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jadeveon Clowney. I mean, that’s gonna strike fear in a lot of offenses. And if they go max protect, you can’t double everybody, and if you do you’ve gotta put eight in the box. And then that helps our DBs and everybody involved. Is he gonna be a cornerstone? You never want to say absolutely, because there have been big misses before. But if I’m gonna miss, I’m gonna miss on a guy like that.

The Bills pick at No. 9, so if they decide to seriously engage in talks with the Texans for the first overall pick, the price figures to be high. Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • Draft analyst Todd McShay sees USC’s Xavier Su’a-Filo as the Patriots‘ only solid option if they want to boost their interior offensive line at No. 29, writes Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. McShay believes that there is a very significant dropoff at the guard position after the former Trojan, so the Pats will have to pounce if that’s their objective.
  • Wisconsin running back James White visited and worked out for the Patriots, and also worked out for the Dolphins, and Browns, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. The former Badger previously worked out for the Bears. White rushed for 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns during his first season for the Badgers and gained 1,444 yards last season while working in tandem with running back Melvin Gordon. Together, they combined for 3,052 rushing yards to set a single-season record.
  • The Patriots are looking at Missouri running back Henry Josey, wide receiver Marcus Lucas, and tight end/fullback Eric Waters in a private workout today, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Vanderbilt offensive tackle Wesley Johnson also had a private workout with the Patriots today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.