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The Browns are set to part ways with a recent mainstay in their RB corps.
PFT has confirmed Ogbonnaya’s departure.
A fifth-year pro, the 28-year-old Ogbonnaya has appeared in 42 regular season games since joining Cleveland in 2011, rushing for 604 yards on 130 carries (4.6 yards per rush) and catching 95 passes for 695 yards and two TDs (7.3 yards per catch). Ogbonnaya (6-0, 225) has played fullback and tailback and can contribute in the passing game, all of which could help him garner interest elsewhere.
On Friday, the NFL announced the nine-game suspension that has been imposed on 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, for multiple violations of the personal-conduct policy and substance-abuse policy. On Saturday, the NFLPA issued a statement on Smith’s behalf.
“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the entire 49ers organization and 49ers fans for not being able to contribute on the field for the next several weeks,” Smith said. “Over the last year, I have learned a lot and I’m working hard to grow from my experiences. I want to thank my family and friends, my teammates, my union and the 49ers for supporting me during this process. I will be at work daily to participate in all permitted work activities, and to support my teammates, just as they have supported me.”
Smith largely has stayed out of trouble since his September 2013 DUI incident, but for that whole fake bomb threat thing at LAX. He’ll need to stay out of trouble going forward, or he’ll get suspended again — possibly even longer than nine games.
Speaking of nine games, we (or at least I) continue to believe that, with good behavior and given that Smith apparently waived his appeal rights under both policies, he possibly will be reinstated in fewer than nine games, if he can stay out of trouble and otherwise do what is expected of him.
It’ll be much easier for Smith to do that, given that he’s permitted to be around the team. The outcome remains confusing, since if he’d been suspended only under the personal-conduct policy, he would have been frozen out. Again, the apparent waiver of his appeal rights may have had something to do with that decision.
The Packers are looking likely to enter the season with just one backup for Aaron Rodgers.
The club isn’t expected to keep both Scott Tolzien or Matt Flynn on the 53-player roster, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reported Saturday. In short, the Packers are likely to decide between Flynn and Tolzien.
The 26-year-old Tolzien would be subject to waivers. He has practice squad eligibility. Flynn, 29, would be free to immediately sign elsewhere if released.
Tolzien had a strong preseason, completing 38-of-56 passes for 477 yards and three TDs with no interceptions. However, Flynn has risen to the occasion in relief of Rodgers throughout his career. What’s more, Flynn outplayed Tolzien in the 2013 regular season.
In all, both quarterbacks could very well end up on NFL rosters this season. But both won’t be on Green Bay’s 53-player roster, it appears.
The Panthers’ offensive line has gone several changes in the offseason due to retirement. On Saturday, the Panthers opted to make a change via termination of employment.
Per a league source, guard Chris Scott has been released.
In 2013, his first year with the team, Scott appeared in 10 regular-season games, with eight starts. Rookie Trai Turner is expected to start at right guard for the Panthers in 2014.
Scott has four years of service, so he’ll instantly become a free agent.
The Browns didn’t do nearly enough to fix the wide receiver position this offseason, knowing Josh Gordon would be suspended.
But it seemed that bringing in Nate Burleson was a wise move, to lend some ballast to a young group.
But the Browns apparently thought they didn’t need him, as Burleson was cut this morning, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
An early surprise on 53 day comes from the land of 9,947 more lakes than that.
The Vikings have parted ways with veteran defensive lineman Fred Evans, per a league source.
Evans has served as a key member of the team’s defensive tackle rotation since 2007. In 2013, he appeared in 14 games with three starts.
His departure should be regarded as good news in one respect. If Linval Joseph wasn’t expected to be ready to return from getting shot in the leg after a preseason game, Evans probably wouldn’t have been cut.
The Giants’ march to 53 includes a veteran defensive lineman who possibly is reaching the end of an intriguing road in professional football.
Per a league source, veteran defensive lineman Israel Idonije has been cut by the Giants.
He played at the University of Manitoba and wasn’t invited to the Scouting Combine. So he showed up on his own, handing out tapes of his performances from a brown paper bag.
It didn’t work on draft day, but Idonije got an initial shot with the Browns before finding a nine-year home with the Bears. Following the 2012 season, Idonije signed with the Lions for 2013. He then re-joined the Bears earlier this year, but he was cut in June.
Idonije landed with the Giants in early August, but the Giants have moved on. Idonije instantly becomes a free agent, able to sign with any team. If he has the same relentlessness that earned him a spot in the NFL in the first place, Idonije may not be done yet.
Washington has reportedly made a decision in its kicker competition.
In other Washington personnel news, undrafted rookie tailback Silas Redd is set to make the 53-player roster, Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington reported. The former USC and Penn State running back led Washington in rushing yards (157) and carries (34) in the preseason.
While Washington will keep Redd, it will be releasing second-year tailback Chris Thompson, Lake Lewis Jr. of SportsJourney.com reported. A Florida State product, Thompson was a fifth-round pick in 2013.
The Giants are working (slowly, painfully) on a new offense.
And they’re only going to keep two quarterbacks to run it.
The Ravens are reportedly releasing a veteran interior lineman with quite a bit of recent starting experience.
The club is parting ways with offensive guard A.Q. Shipley, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported Saturday. A nine-game starter for Baltimore a season ago, the 28-year-old Shipley could appeal to clubs looking for veteran line help.
Jensen and Wenning have practice squad eligibility should they clear waivers. So would rookie tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint, who is also being waived by the Ravens, according to the Sun.
Some call it cutdown day, referring to the fact that up to 22 players from each team will be bounced by 4:00 p.m. ET. But why not celebrate the guys who made it?
So, at least for now (as in, until I press “publish” on this post), I’ll call it “53 day.” Welcome to it.
We’ll be keeping up as best we can with the dizzying array of roster moves. Here’s how it will work.
The latest breaking news that flows into PFT headquarters will be posted on our Twitter page. We’ll post the information here immediately thereafter, and we’ll eventually (hopefully sooner than later) add the information to the official PFT roster tracker.
One last point — before any of the bubble players pops the bubbly, keep in mind that the aftershock from the flood of available players will prompt more roster moves and potentially claim the spot of a player who had made it.
Flacco, the younger brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, will be released by the Chargers, per a league source. Mike, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in May, had put together a solid preseason. He lost out in a numbers game.
“This is a great place to learn how to play tight end,” Flacco recently said, via ESPN.com. “Unfortunately, there’s some good tight ends in front of me on the depth chart. But between the coaching and guys in front of you to watch, it’s a great place to learn.”
The 27-year-old rookie will now hit the waiver wire, and maybe another team with serious needs at tight end about which I just wrote a few minutes ago (scroll or look down) will be interested.
It’s still unclear who’ll emerge as the top tight end for the Giants this year. It’s becoming more clear who won’t.
Kellen Davis is the latest to be release, joining Dickensian antagonist Xavier Grimble as former Giants tight ends. Davis had three catches for 12 yards in five preseason games. He previously has played for the Bears from 2008 through 2012 before winning a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks in 2013.
Presumably, G.M. Jerry Reese and company will be watching the wire today for potential upgrades at the position, given that the three remaining players have scant NFL experience.
Running back Dion Lewis emerged from Pitt in 2011, joining another former Pitt tailback (LeSean McCoy) on the roster of the Steelers. But for Lewis, a fifth-round draft pick, the NFL thing hasn’t gone nearly as well.
Traded for the Browns for linebacker Emmanuel Acho after two seasons, 24 regular-season games, and 171 total rushing yards, Lewis broke a leg last summer, missing all of 2013. He returned to the team determined to make a dent in the depth chart.
Per a league source, it didn’t happen. Lewis has been cut by the Browns.
He’s got fewer than four years of service, so he’ll hit the waiver wire before becoming a free agent.
The Texans have decided to rely on their defensive-line depth elsewhere. Per a league source, Mathews has been released.
Mathews appeared in 16 regular-season games each of the last two years, with six starts. Because he has four years of service, Mathews instantly becomes a free agent.
PFT also has confirmed that the Texans have released linebacker Chris McAllister. Undrafted out of Baylor, McAllister joined the Texans in May. He’ll first be exposed to waivers, and then he’ll be eligible to sign with any team or practice squad.