The Baltimore Ravens waived cornerback Jaylen Hill and linebacker Bam Bradley with failed physical designations on Tuesday.
Both Hill and Bradley missed the entirety of the 2018 season due to injuries.
Hill played in six games as an undrafted rookie in 2017 before tearing his ACL and MCL in Week Sixteen. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list for the start of the 2018 season. He returned to practice midseason but was not activated to the 53-man roster after suffering a setback. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh indicated Hill may need hip surgery, per Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun.
Bradley sustained a torn ACL in Week Two of the 2017 season and missed the remainder of the season.. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp last summer and was never activated during the season.
The San Francisco 49ers announced on Tuesday they have hired Dustin Little as their new head athletic trainer.
Little comes to the 49ers from the Denver Broncos, where he spent the last five seasons serving in various roles. He was the team’s assistant athletic trainer/physical therapist (2014-15), director of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer/DPT (2016-17) and director of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer (2018).
“We are excited to add Dustin to our health and performance team and believe he is a tremendous fit for our group,” G.M. John Lynch said in a statement. “A wide net was cast for this search, and we simply kept coming back to him. Our due diligence and a great recommendation from the Broncos organization, which is highly regarded for the care of its players, made us extremely confident in bringing Dustin aboard.”
The 49ers fired their head strength and conditioning coach, Ray Wright, after last season and brought on Ben Peterson to serve in a sports science role overseeing the department. Little’s addition is the latest change to the strength and conditioning, and trainings staffs of the team.
Raiders G.M. Mike Mayock has signed a player he wouldn’t have drafted.
Seven years ago, Mayock — then the pre-eminent draft analyst — had low regard for then-Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
“I put his tape on with absolutely zero preconceived notions,” Mayock said in a conference call with the media in the days before the 2012 draft. “I watched three tapes and really didn’t like him as a football player. . . . I think he’s a non-draftable kid. For me, he’s a free agent.”
Mayock was right; no one drafted Burfict. But the Bengals signed him, and Burfict became a solid-but-troubled player, with multiple suspensions and massive fines for playing the game on the wrong side of the line.
Now, Mayock and Burfict will be on the same side of the field. Given that (as Mayock has acknowledged) coach Jon Gruden runs the show in Oakland, it’s fair to wonder whether the move came with Mayock’s blessing, or against his advice.
Regardless, Burfict is a Raider. And the Raiders are the no-brainer choice to be the subject of this year’s edition of Hard Knocks.
Free agent safety Maurice Alexander has a visit scheduled with the Buffalo Bills, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The five-year veteran spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks. Alexander appeared in just nine games and was exclusively a contributor on special teams, where he recorded all 10 of his tackles last season for Seattle. All 133 snaps he played last season came on special teams units.
Alexander spent his first four seasons with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams. He started 23 of the 41 games he appeared in for the Rams over that span, including all 14 games played in 2016. He recorded 50 tackles with two interceptions and a sack that season as a starter at safety.
After completing a visit with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, former Chicago Bears linebacker Aaron Lynch is set to visit the Indianapolis Colts next, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The Colts will be the third team this week Lynch has visited after stops in Seattle and with the Oakland Raiders.
Lynch, 26, was with the Bears last season after four seasons in San Francisco. He appeared in 13 games with three starts last season and made 16 tackles with three sacks and an interception.
Despite having the most cap space of any team in the NFL, the Colts have been quiet through the first wave of free agency. A new contract for cornerback Pierre Desir and a one-year deal for wide receiver Devin Funchess are the only deals of significance the team has invested in over the past week.
The Texans have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract with A.J. McCarron, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
McCarron, 28, becomes Deshaun Watson‘s backup. The Texans will not bring back Brandon Weeden, who is a free agent.
McCarron spent last season in Oakland after the Bills traded him to the Raiders for a fifth-round choice. The Raiders cut him last week.
The Bengals made him a fifth-round draft pick in 2014, and he played four seasons in Cincinnati as Andy Dalton‘s backup.
McCarron has appeared in 13 games with three starts, going 2-1. He has six touchdowns and two interceptions.
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 Tuesday. “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.