Vontaze Burfict has new teammates, having signed a one-year contract worth up to $5 million with the Raiders. One of those new teammates is former nemesis Antonio Brown.
The linebacker stresses new teammate and former nemesis.
“We’re on the same team,” Burfict said Tuesday night, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s one goal. It’s all positive, man. He’s a great player. . . .I’m going to approach him just like I do all my other teammates. There’s nothing negative here. We’re on the same team. We’re trying to win a championship here.”
Brown and Burfict have a history, having played each other for years in the AFC North.
In the 2015 postseason, Burfict knocked out Brown with an illegal hit to the head. The league later suspended him three games, one of several suspensions Burfict has served in his career.
The league also fined Burfict for a hit to Brown’s head last season.
“I’m not a dirty player,” Burfict said. “I play a physical position. I can’t go out there patty-cake. If I play soft, I’m not doing my job.”
In 2017, JuJu Smith-Schuster had an illegal hit on Burfict that caused Burfict to leave the field on a cart. Brown yelled, “Karma!” while reporters were interviewing Smith-Schuster afterward.
Burfict reunites with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who already has reminded Burfict he can’t hit Brown in practice the way he did in games.
“It’s all fun and games,” Burfict said. “We’re on the same team. . . .We might be the closest friends on the team. Just got to go along with it. I can’t wait to meet him.”
Linebacker Clay Matthews already has changed his profile picture on Twitter, showing him in a Rams uniform with the familiar No. 52.
Matthews reached agreement on a two-year deal with the Rams, via multiple reports.
Matthews, a USC product, lives near the Rams’ training facility.
The Packers’ signings of free agent linebackers Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith signaled the end of Matthews’ days in Green Bay.
Matthews, 32, spent 10 seasons with the Packers, making 494 tackles and 83.5 sacks.
He played in all 16 games last season, recording a career-low 3.5 sacks.
Vontaze Burfict wasn’t out of work long.
Burfict was released by the Bengals on Monday, but he was on his way to Oakland to visit with the Raiders on Monday and that meeting was all it took for him to land another job. The Raiders announced that Burfict has signed with the team on Tuesday night.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Burfict has signed a one-year contract worth up to $5 million if he reaches incentives.
The move reunites Burfict with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who was the Bengals’ linebackers coach during Burfict’s first two NFL seasons and Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator from 2014 to 2017.
It also makes him teammates with wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was on the receiving end of a shot to the head from Burfict late in a January 2016 playoff game. The hit made Burfict a villain in Pittsburgh and helped set the stage for Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster to lay out Burfict with a block in a 2017 game.
The prospect of seeing Brown and Burfict hash things out may make the Raiders appealing to Hard Knocks producers this summer.
The Vikings are in need of a No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that the Vikings have interest in Sean Mannion with their backup from last season, Trevor Siemian, scheduled to meet with the Jets on Wednesday.
Mannion is an unrestricted free agent and won’t return to the Rams, who signed Blake Bortles this week.
Mannion, who turns 27 next month, has played 10 games with one start in his career. He did not earn much confidence from the Rams with his 2018 preseason performance, completing 52.2 percent of his passes for 168 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in three games.
The Rams made him a third-round pick in 2015.
The Vikings dealt a fifth-round pick to the Broncos last March for Siemian, who didn’t play a single down in 2018.
Minnesota reportedly wants him back, but the Vikings are cap-strapped, and Siemian has interest from a few places, according to Garafolo.
Siemian started 24 of 25 games players over a two-year stretch as a starter for Denver. He completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 5,686 yards with 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
Johnny Manziel hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015, the last of two failed seasons in Cleveland. The former Heisman Trophy winner, though, hasn’t given up on a return to the NFL one day.
First, though, Manziel will have to prove himself in the Alliance of American Football.
Manziel, 26, held his introductory press conference Tuesday after signing with the Memphis Express over the weekend.
“My confidence level is high,” Manziel said, via the Associated Press. “I believe I still have a unique skill set and still have the ability to play at any level anywhere.”
Off-the-field issues helped derail his NFL career after only 15 appearances, including eight starts, and the Canadian Football League terminated his contract after eight starts for failure to fulfill terms of his agreement.
He gets what might be a final chance in Memphis.
“I’ve done a lot of soul searching and a lot of looking at myself in the mirror and coming to the realization that when I’m on a football field and on a team, my life is substantially better,” Manziel said.
Memphis, the worst team in the league, has played three quarterbacks this season. An ineffective Christian Hackenberg was benched for Zach Mettenberger, who injured his ankle Saturday and was replaced by Brandon Silvers.
“In my eyes and in my mind, I believe I’m here for a reason,” Manziel said. “This is a great fit for me.”
Safety Clayton Geathers left Dallas after a Monday visit and headed to Tampa, where he met with the Buccaneers on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Geathers, 26, spent four seasons in Indianapolis after the Colts made him a fourth-round pick.
He played 41 games with 24 starts for the Colts, making 183 tackles, nine pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Geathers does not have an interception.
Geathers started 12 games for the Colts last year and was a team captain. He dealt with a neck issue and a concussion.
The 49ers signed punter Justin Vogel, the team announced Tuesday.
San Francisco finds itself in need of a punter after losing Bradley Pinion, who signed with the Buccaneers last week.
Vogel originally entered the NFL in 2017, signing with the Packers as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie and punted 71 times for a 44.4 average with a 41.6 net average.
Vogel, 25, was a Pro Bowl alternate for that season.
The Packers, though, waived Vogel last May 4, and the Browns claimed him off waivers.
Cleveland waived him out of the preseason, and Vogel was out of the league last season.
The Chargers signed receiver Geremy Davis on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s official transactions wire.
Davis played 74 snaps on offense and 173 on special teams last season. He did not make a catch.
He has not made a catch since 2015 when he was with the Giants. For his career, he has two catches for 21 yards.
Davis has spent the past 2 1/2 seasons with the Chargers. He has played in 29 career games.
Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn has ended his visit to the Cowboys, and nothing appears imminent with any team.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Media said it could “take a few days or more to settle.”
The Cowboys and Saints both are interested in acquiring a pass rusher the Dolphins are trying to trade.
Miami is willing to consider paying part of Quinn’s salary to facilitate a deal, which is what it did to deal Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins also could be willing to take a 2020 draft pick instead of a 2019 choice.
Quinn is due to earn $11.8 million in the final year of his contract.
Quinn, 28, made 6.5 sacks in 16 games last season, his first in Miami, and has 69 in his eight-year career. He has not had a double-digit sack season since 2014 when he made his second Pro Bowl.
He had 19.5 in 2013 when he earned his only All-Pro honor.
The Lions have been aggressive since the outset of free agency, and now they’ve made another aggressive move, becoming the first team to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet.
Detroit signed Rams restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet, according to multiple reports.
Restricted free agents usually don’t garner a lot of attention in free agency, but the Lions apparently think Brown is a player who can be productive in their offense. The Rams will have five days to either match the Lions’ offer and keep Brown, or decline to match the offer and let him go to Detroit.
Brown entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie and the Rams tendered him only at the original-round level, so the Lions would not have to give any compensation to the Rams if the Rams don’t match the Lions’ offer.
Last year Brown had 43 carries for 212 yards before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 12.
The Cowboys have added another target for Dak Prescott.
Veteran receiver Randall Cobb has agreed to a one-year deal with Dallas, Jay Glazer reports.
Cobb could be a replacement for receiver Cole Beasley, who departed in free agency.
The 28-year-old Cobb struggled through a difficult season last year, missing seven games and catching just 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns. He joins a Cowboys team where Amari Cooper will be the undisputed No. 1 receiver with a full offseason in the Cowboys’ offense, and Jason Witten is coming back as well. It could be a good situation for Cobb to have a bounce-back season.
The Cowboys hosted safety Eric Berry on his first visit with a team since being released by the Chiefs last week, but it appears that the meeting did not end with an agreement on a contract for the 2019 season.
Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports that Berry is headed to the airport after wrapping up his visit with the team. Paylor adds that Berry is expected to schedule more visits in the near future.
The Cowboys were linked to Earl Thomas over the last couple of years, but reports this offseason were that they weren’t going to be willing to spend what it would take to sign him. Those were proven correct when Thomas signed with the Ravens and the Cowboys have passed on making big splashes with any free agent so far this offseason.
Berry might prove to be a better fit for what they hope to spend, but it seems other teams will get a chance to make their pitches before any decisions are made.
After being cut loose by the Lions, Nevin Lawson is looking for a new home.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the free agent cornerback is visiting the Raiders on Wednesday.
The former fourth-rounder from Utah State started 14 games for the Lions last year and 45 the last three seasons, but they let him go for cap space so they could sign Justin Coleman.
Raiders free agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin is visiting the Lions, giving this a chance to be a circle-of-life transaction.
The Raiders have been busy lining up visits this week, bringing in linebacker Vontaze Burfict as they attempt to restock on defense.
Guarantees have far less cachet than they one did.
Fifth years after Joe Namath made the ultimate sports promise, no-downside vows of success show up anywhere and everywhere. The latest comes from a team that currently is pegged for the basement of the AFC West.
Mike Klis of 9News.com asked tight end Jeff Heuerman whether the Broncos are a playoff team. Said Heuerman: “Yes. Write it down. Yes.”
The sports books regard the Broncos as the longest shot to win the division (+1200, according to Caesers Palace), and an ultra long shot to win the Super Bowl. That’s for good reason; for the first time since 1971-72, the Broncos have had consecutive losing seasons. Also, their odds to win the Super Bowl actually went down after they traded for quarterback Joe Flacco.
That said, crazier things have happened — and every year there’s a worst-to-first team or two. But plenty of things would have to fall Denver’s way to get them into the 2019 playoffs, especially when competing in an AFC field that keeps getting stronger and stronger.
Washington has signed free agent offensive guard Zac Kerin, the team announced Tuesday.
He appeared in two games for Washington last season after signing with the team in Week 15.
Kerin, 27, has played 16 career regular-season games. He entered the NFL after signing with the Vikings as a college free agent in 2014.
Kerin played collegiately at Toledo.
Washington also made official the signing of receiver Brian Quick.