David Harris LB NE (9) 2 days ago7 Comments
Harris is signing a two-year deal with the Patriots, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.
Released in early June as part of the Jets' offseason purge, the 33-year-old Harris will stay in the AFC East and help his former team's chief rival fill a major need next to Dont'a Hightower in the linebacking corps. Harris had at least 75 tackles in each of his 10 seasons with the Jets, falling shy of the century mark last season (95 in 15 games) for the first time since 2011. His days as a valuable IDP likely are a thing of the past, but he should help the New England run defense while also providing an occasional pass-rushing threat (35.5 career sacks).
LeGarrette Blount RB PHI (10) 2 days ago
The Eagles hope Blount's presence will help them achieve balance on offense, ESPN.com's Tim McManus reports.
The 2016 Eagles had a rookie quarterback from a non-FBS school, an above-average defense and a poor group of pass catchers -- a trio that typically would beg for a run-heavy approach. Of course, the backfield wasn't all that much better than the receiving group, which led to a middle-of-the-pack ranking in pass-play percentage (16th, 59.4). The team's transactions during the free agency period and draft hinted at the possibility of a pass percentage above 60.0 in 2017, but the mid-May addition of Blount on a one-year, $1.25 million contract suggests the Eagles do still aspire toward some degree of balance. While he presumably won't have the opportunity to match last season's 299 carries, Blount projects as the primary early down runner and top goal-line option in what should be an improved offense. Once Ryan Mathews (neck) is released, Blount will be the team's only running back heavier than 210 pounds with any significant NFL experience.
Alfred Blue RB HOU (7) 2 days ago
The Texans expect rookie third-round selection D'Onta Foreman to challenge Blue for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, ESPN.com's Sarah Barshop reports.
Blue served as Lamar Miller's top backup last season, taking 100 carries for 420 yards and a touchdown but adding only 12 catches for 40 yards on 16 targets. It was only a matter of time before the Texans sought an upgrade, as Blue doesn't offer much in the passing game and isn't particularly explosive (career 3.6 YPC). Foreman only caught seven passes last season at The University of Texas, but he rushed for over 2,000 yards at a clip of 6.3 per carry, and then ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at 233 pounds at the Combine. Blue could fall all the way off the roster if he doesn't beat out Foreman for the No. 2 job, as the Texans presumably want to keep at least one running back besides Miller that can stay on the field for passing downs. Akeem Hunt, 2016 fourth-rounder Tyler Ervin and undrafted rookie Dare Ogunbowale are in the mix to earn roster spots.
Jeremy Maclin WR BAL (10) 2 days ago
Maclin said he played through a torn groin last season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
The severity of the groin injury helps explain Maclin's slow finish to last season, though he only averaged 4.3 catches for 54 yards per game even before suffering the injury in the first quarter of a Week 9 contest against Jacksonville. He sat out Weeks 10-13 and averaged only 3.2 catches for 38 yards in Kansas City's final five games (including playoffs). The poor finish, in combination with Tyreek Hill's emergence, led the cap-strapped Chiefs to release Maclin after just two seasons of a five-year contract. The Ravens jumped on the opportunity to reunite Maclin with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who previously worked with the 29-year-old wideout in Philadelphia from 2009 to 2012. Maclin should draw a steady diet of targets while manning the slot in three-wide formations, and he also figures to get plenty of snaps even when the team only has two receivers on the field. Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman all project for key roles, as the Ravens no longer have Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken and TE Dennis Pitta -- a trio that combined for 185 catches and 272 targets last season.
Vince Mayle WR BAL (10) 3 days ago
Mayle has been moved to tight end, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.
The former Cleveland Brown was picked up by the Ravens on waivers toward the end of last season and will now try to crack the roster at a new position. Physically, Mayle's better suited at tight end at the NFL level after running a 4.67 40-yard dash at the combine, but he's still undersized and has shown a penchant for drops in the past. He'll need to make waves during training camp in order to latch on with the practice squad considering the amount of money the Ravens have tied up in their tight end group.
Keenan Reynolds WR BAL (10) 3 days ago
Reynolds remains a long shot to make the Ravens' 53-man roster, but he showed major improvements both as a returner and as a receiver during minicamp, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.
The former Navy quarterback struggled to pick up on the nuances of his new positions last summer, but Zrebiec notes that he looked faster, smoother, and more confident overall last week. He showed improved hands in the passing game and had a more natural feel in the return game as well. With Baltimore's recent addition of Jeremy Maclin, an already crowded receiving group got even more jam packed. With that, Reynolds will likely need to shine on special teams in order to break camp with the active roster.
Chris Moore WR BAL (10) 3 days ago1 Comment
Moore is closing in on locking up the No. 4 receiver spot in the Ravens' offense, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports. "We have a lot of confidence in Chris Moore to be our fourth wideout and let the competition begin with the fifth and sixth wideout," said owner Steve Bisciotti on a recent conference call.
Bisciotti's vote of confidence shows that the Ravens will give Moore every opportunity to step into a much bigger role this season even with the addition of Jeremy Maclin to the mix. What's interesting here is that Bisciotti mentioned Moore ahead of Michael Campanaro, who had generated considerably more buzz that the University of Cincinnati product earlier in the offseason. Moore (6-1, 200) does have a significant size advantage over the diminutive Campanaro, and Campanaro's lengthy injury history appears to be wearing thin on the Ravens' coaching staff. A healthy and productive camp from Campanaro could vault him over Moore to be the team's No. 4, but Moore certainly has the edge heading into training camp.
Kentrell Brice DB GB (8) 3 days ago
Brice could be in for a larger role on defense in 2017, Mike Spofford of the Packers' official site reports.
In limited opportunities last season, Brice proved to be one of the heaviest hitters on Green Bay's defense, a notion he'll look to make more well-known in Year 2. "I just try to set the tone, to let opposing offenses know that someone's on the field that likes to hit," the 22-year-old said. Brice is growing on the field physically and verbally, as the safety has taken on more of a voice in the secondary. "Be loud, be commanding and be assertive," safeties coach Darren Perry preached. "We ask all those guys to do that. ...But he's improving, and we're going to keep asking him to be more of a vocal leader for us." With Micah Hyde's departure this offseason, the Packers are left with a void at safety that will have to be filled by a youngster, and Brice believes he's the man for the job. "Someone has to step up," he said. "We'll all compete in camp, and it's going to take our game to another level. Someone will step up."
SUSJustin Gilbert DB FA 3 days ago
Gilbert was suspended for the entire 2017 season on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The former first-rounder was originally suspended for the first four games of the season, but he'll now be sidelined for the entire year. That doesn't bode well for Gilbert's chances of finding a new NFL home, as the cornerback was released by the Steelers this offseason. In all likelihood, if Gilbert does get another opportunity on an NFL roster, it probably won't come until next season.
SUSKhyri Thornton DL DET (7) 3 days ago
Thornton has been suspended for the first six games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.
Thornton will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 16, which happens to be the beginning of the Lions' bye week. The reserve defensive lineman took 307 snaps on defense last season, racking up 19 tackles and one sack through 13 contests. With Thornton sidelined, the Lions may opt to bring in another defensive tackle to bolster the depth chart behind starters Haloti Ngata and A'Shawn Robinson. Thornton is allowed to take part in offseason practices and preseason games.