NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Winston feels pressure to attend draft

on

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said Tuesday that he wants to watch the 2015 NFL Draft with his family but is getting pressure to attend the event in Chicago.

Winston, regarded as the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick by NFLDraftScout.com, said he specifically is concerned about not being with his grandmother, who has type-2 diabetes and is prohibited from traveling.

Winston did not elaborate on where pressure was coming from to attend the draft. Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league would appreciate his decision either way, noting there is no mandate to be in Chicago for the first round on April 30.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith, who has acknowledged that Winston was the leader in the clubhouse to be the No. 1 overall pick, was one of several coaches and dozens of NFL personnel on hand in Tallahassee on Tuesday, when Winston’s 102-throw scripted passing session served as the main event for Florida State’s campus workout.

NFLDraftScout.com analyst Rob Rang said Winston did enough to seal up the top spot.

—The Baltimore Ravens signed quarterback Matt Schaub to a one-year contract on Tuesday to back up starter Joe Flacco.

No financial terms of the contract were announced, but it was reported to be worth $3 million. Schaub returned to the West Coast after meeting with the Ravens.

Schaub spent last season with the Oakland Raiders as a backup behind rookie Derek Carr. The 33-year-old Schaub gives the Ravens a veteran behind Flacco. The only other quarterbacks on the Baltimore roster are inexperienced Keith Wenning and Bryn Renner.

Schaub struggled with elbow tendinitis last season with the Raiders and completed only 5 of 10 passes for 57 yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns. He spent the previous seven seasons as the starter for the Houston Texans and was with the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006.

—New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was called to testify in the murder trial of former tight end Aaron Hernandez in Fall River, Mass., on Tuesday morning.

Kraft took the stand and apologized for a head cold. He said Hernandez denied any involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd and told the team he was at a club at the time.

Kraft said two days after the murder, when Hernandez came to the team facility, the 25-year-old “hugged and kissed me and thanked me for my concern.” Kraft said that was a usual greeting with Hernandez.

—Former New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley visited the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.

Ridley missed the final 10 games of the regular season and the Patriots’ run to the Super Bowl with a torn ACL. A third-round pick in 2011, Ridley shared the workload with the Patriots with Shane Vereen, who signed in free agent with the New York Giants earlier in March. Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards in 2012 and was in and out of coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse because of ball-security issues.

—Unrestricted free agent linebacker Jason Trusnik signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday.

The eight-year NFL veteran spent the previous four seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Last year, he started five of 16 games and had 39 tackles, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

The Indianapolis Colts signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Vincent Brown on Tuesday.

Terms of the contract were not announced by the team. Brown joins the Colts after playing 37 career games with the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. He has 72 receptions for 919 yards and three touchdowns, including 12 catches for 118 yards in seven games with the Raiders last year.

—The Chicago Bears signed former Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

Rodgers, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 by the Falcons, played in 65 games for Atlanta and rushed for 1,116 yards on 305 carries. He also had 155 receptions for 1,104 yards and a combined 10 touchdowns rushing and receiving. Rodgers could be used a potential third-down back behind starting running back Matt Forte.

Rodgers, 25, also returned kicks for the Falcons, averaging 24.0 yards on 49 attempts.

—The Green Bay Packers re-signed defensive tackles Letroy Guion and B.J. Raji on Tuesday.

The team did not disclose terms of their contracts, but NFL.com reported that Guion signed a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million. Guion was arrested recently on felony charges that include possession of 357 grams of marijuana and possession of a firearm. He entered a no-contest plea in the case and paid a $5,000 fine.

Last season, Guion started all 16 regular-season games and two playoff games for the Packers. He had a career-best 62 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks during the regular season and added 12 tackles and a half-sack in the postseason.

Raji sat out the 2014 season after he was injured during the preseason. The No. 9 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Raji played 14 or more games in his first five seasons in the league. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection has 227 career tackles and 10 1/2 sacks.

—The Oakland Raiders terminated the contract of defensive lineman Antonio Smith on Tuesday.

The move cleared $4 million in salary cap space for the Raiders, who signed Smith as an unrestricted free agent last year from the Houston Texans.

Smith started all 16 games for the Raiders last season and had 20 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. But the team chose not to re-sign him after adding defensive lineman Dan Williams and re-signing C.J. Wilson in free agency. According to a Houston Chronicle report, Smith could end up returning to Houston, where he played in 79 regular-season games for the Texans from 2009 to 2013.

—The San Francisco 49ers re-signed linebacker Desmond Bishop to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

Bishop signed with the 49ers in December and played in two games after linebacker Chris Borland went down with an ankle injury. The team is looking to fill the holes left by the sudden offseason retirements of Patrick Willis and Borland.

—The San Diego Chargers signed guard Michael Huey and waived center Jeff Baca and nose tackle Chas Alecxih on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 317-pound Huey signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of Texas. Baca was brought in as a depth player last season and was active for two games while Alecxih did not see any regular-season action in 2014.

—Bruce Arians added a familiar quarterback to the roster on Tuesday, bringing in former Indianapolis Colts backup Chandler Harnish to the Arizona Cardinals.

Harnish will compete for a roster spot against long odds.

Carson Palmer is back from a torn ACL to be the starting quarterback and Drew Stanton remains under contract. Stanton and Harnish were teammates with the Colts, where Arians served as their offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2012. Logan Thomas, drafted in the fourth round in 2014, is the No. 3 quarterback.


About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business