Jaguars re-sign TE James O’Shaughnessy

The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed fifth-year veteran TE James O’Shaughnessy, the club announced today.

“I knew once I came to Duval a couple years ago that this is the place I wanted to be,” O’Shaughnessy said. “From the team environment, to the people I work with every day, they just made it fun for me to come to work.

“Going through this whole process and seeing where I could possibly go, at end of the day if I had the opportunity to play with the Jags again I wanted to. I am fortunate that they have given me this opportunity. I want to thank everyone that is a part of this organization from Coach Coughlin, Coach Marrone, Mr. Khan, Dave Caldwell and all of my other coaches. I am very happy to be back in Duval.”

O’Shaughnessy has appeared in 53 career games with 16 starts since entering the league as a fifth-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015. Following a two-year stint with the Chiefs, he was traded to the New England Patriots during the 2017 NFL Draft. O’Shaughnessy was waived by New England during final roster reductions on Sept. 2, 2017 and was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville.

He has spent the last two seasons on Jacksonville’s active roster, appearing in 30 games with 10 starts, and catching 38 passes for 363 yards (9.6 rec. avg.) and one TD. For his career, he has caught 46 passes for 449 yards (9.8 rec. avg.) and one TD.

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Vikings sign G Josh Kline

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with G Josh Kline, the team announced on Wednesday.

According to ESPN.COM’s Courtney Cronin, it’s a three-year deal worth $15.75 million.

Kline joins Minnesota for his seventh NFL season in 2019. The Mason, Ohio, native originally signed with the New England Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 3, 2013, and most recently spent the 2016-2018 seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Kline has started 64 of his 79 career regular season game appearances, including an active streak of 46 consecutive starts at right guard, the longest active streak in the NFL among all guards.

Prior to being claimed off waivers by Tennessee on September 8, 2016, Kline spent three seasons with New England from 2013-15, appearing in 33 regular season games with 18 starts. The Kent State alum has also appeared in six career playoff games, starting five, and was a member of the New England team that won Super Bowl XLIX after the 2014 season.

 

Ex-Brown Kevin Zeitler: ‘It’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland’

Cleveland is rocking right now. They seem to have their quarterback of the future in Baker Mayfield, and not only does Mayfield have Jarvis Landry to throw to but he also has Odell Beckham Jr., who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants last week.

There has not been this much excitement in Cleveland since LeBron James won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, and If all goes as planned, maybe Cleveland could celebrate another title soon.

One of the players sent to New York in the trade for Odell Beckham, G Kevin Zeitler, believes that fun has just begun in Cleveland.

“You look at what they have done these last couple of weeks; it’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland,” Zeitler said on a conference call on Monday. “I think the guys there are going to have a very good time this next year. Like I said, there’s nothing I can do about it. They traded, and the Giants wanted me. I’m excited to be here, and we are going to do everything we can to get the same amount of buzz in New York.”

Zeitler, who spent two seasons in Cleveland after signing a five-year, $60 million contract with the Browns in 2017, endured so much losing in Cleveland, including 0-16 in 2017, so you have to feel for Zeitler, but football is a business, and in business, things happen.

 

 

Giants’ Jabrill Peppers is excited to be home

Jabrill Peppers is going home. Peppers, who is from East Orange, New Jersey, was acquired by the Giants along with guard Kevin Zeitler, and draft picks from the Browns, in the deal that sent Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to Cleveland.

The 23-year-old Peppers has an opportunity to play in front of his friends and family with the New York Giants, and New York is hoping that he can replace the departed Landon Collins, who recently signed with the Redskins.

On Monday, Peppers took part in a media conference call.

Here is what he had to say:

Q: What was your reaction to the trade?

Peppers: “I was excited. (I) get a chance to play football and do it in front of the home state. It was definitely an exhilarating feeling.”

Q: With losing a player like Landon Collins, what do you think about the expectations that will come with filling that void?

Peppers: “I’m just excited to play football again. Excited to go to the Giants and be one of the best players I can be. I hold myself to a high level and I intend to play at that level.”

Q: Have you had any conversations about how the Giants will be using you in their defense and have you been asking around about James Bettcher and his scheme?

Peppers: “No, no real conversations I’ve had but I’ve been looking at YouTube videos of when he was in Arizona. I’m just anxious to learn the scheme and see how I’m going to be used.”

Q: From where you’re at as a player, how would you give a scouting report on Jabrill Peppers, the player that the Giants are getting?

Peppers: “They’re getting a hard worker. A guy that’s going to do whatever it takes to win. Me personally, I feel as though I haven’t even showed a third of what I can really do. So, I’m anxious just to get there and have a fresh beginning, and immerse myself in the culture and tradition, learn the schemes and be the best player I can be.”

Q: You mentioned coming home, what was it like being the top recruit coming out of high school around this area? What was that time of your life like?

Peppers:: “It wasn’t about being the top recruit, it was just more about the talent level that I was playing against. I was in a very competitive league and it brought the best out of me each and every game. I think that prepared me for the big games at the college level, and even at the NFL level, because some stadiums are smaller than it is at the collegiate level. Just being in that atmosphere, I definitely think that was the biggest factor.”

Q: What’s your family’s reaction been to this homecoming?

Peppers:: “They’re excited, they’re excited. It’s a much easier commute than Cleveland, Ohio. So, that works out.”

Q: Were you surprised when you got the call from the Browns that you’re being traded to the Giants?

Peppers:: “It’s a business, so nothing really can surprise you. It’s just more of a blessing in disguise and I feel as though God doesn’t make mistakes. If this is the path he wants me to walk down on, I’m going to embrace it. It was more of an exciting, exhilarating feeling. Just a new road to go down, and I’m excited to go down it.”

Q: Is there a part of your personality where you can raise your level of play if certain pressure is put on you?

Peppers: “Again, I’m just going there to be the best football player I can be. I hold myself to a high level and I attend to play at that level. That’s about as best as I can give to you.”

Q: Have you talked to Antoine Bethea? Seems like you two are going to be tied together there in the secondary.

Peppers: “I’ve talked to him briefly. He’s a hell of a player and I have fine knowledge of him. He’s a veteran guy who’s made a lot of plays on the ball, made a lot of tackles, he’s played in the system before, so I’m eager to pick his brain and play alongside of him and roam that secondary back there.”

Q: You obviously know Saquon Barkley. I don’t know the depth of your relationship, but have you spoken to Saquon at all? What’s that going to be like being his teammate after both being marquee players in the same conference in college?

Peppers: “It’s going to be a phenomenal thing. Just competing against him in practice every day. After playing against him for most of my career at Michigan, he’s a hell of a player. (I) haven’t really had an extensive conversation with him. All he said was, ‘Let’s get to work,’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That’s kind of where we’re at right now. April 15 is right around the corner. We’re just all finishing up putting the final touches on the offseason training, and eager to come back and get to work.”

Eagles, Andrew Sendejo agree on one-year deal

The Philadelphia Eagles and S Andrew Sendejo have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.

A nine-year NFL veteran, Sendejo has played in 99 career games (including playoffs) and has totaled 432 tackles, seven interceptions and 31 passes defensed.

Sendejo entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 and joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2011. He went on to play eight seasons in Minnesota and had a breakout season in 2013. That year, Sendejo started 10 games at safety and set a career high in tackles (104), while also adding 13 tackles on special teams.

After being named the Vikings Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014, Sendejo earned a full-time starting role in 2015, opening 13 games at safety and registering 100 tackles, one interception and six passes defensed. Dating back to 2015, Sendejo has started every game in which he has played and has recorded 308 tackles, six interceptions, 26 passes defensed and three fumble recoveries.

Vikings re-sign RB Ameer Abdullah

The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed RB Ameer Abdullah, the team announced today.  The Homewood, Alabama, native was originally drafted by Detroit in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft (54th overall) before being claimed via waivers by the Vikings in Week 10 of the 2018 NFL season.

In 2018, Abdullah served as Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the last seven games of the regular season, finishing with 258 yards on 10 kick returns with a long of 33 yards.

Throughout his career, Abdullah has played in 42 career games with 22 starts, notching six rushing and three receiving touchdowns. The Nebraska graduate finished fifth in the NFL and second among rookies in 2015 with 1,857 all-purpose yards (597 rushing, 183 receiving and 1,077 kickoff) in his debut season.

Ex-Eagle Golden Tate: ‘Philadelphia is a fantastic sports town’

After trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, the New York Giants needed a replacement, and on Thursday they got their guy. The Giants agreed to terms with former Eagles WR Golden Tate, and according to ESPN, it’s a four-year deal worth $37.5 million, that includes $23 million fully guaranteed.

While Tate is not Beckham, he is a solid replacement. Last year, Tate, 30, played seven games for the Lions before being traded to the Eagles, with whom he played another eight games, plus two in the playoffs. He totaled 74 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns. Tate’s highlight in Philly was catching a fourth-down, two-yard pass from Nick Foles for the game-winning touchdown in an NFC Wild Card Game in Chicago.

Although Tate played in only eight games with the Eagles, he really enjoyed his time in Philly and appreciated the Philly fans.

“It was a great experience,” Tate said on Friday. “I really didn’t have too much time to take it all in, because I had to hit the ground running, because it was mid-season — trying to learn the city, how to get to work,  where my position room was, the quarterback situation, obviously the offense, the coaches. All that I had to learn very, very quickly, but I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed. Philadelphia is a fantastic sports town and just a great city overall. I’ll forever be grateful for my time there, and I’ll never forget it, but excited to be here in the Big Apple.”

Philly has a great fan base, and Tate got just a little taste of how passionate they can be. Now, he will be wearing Giant blue, which means he becomes the enemy.

 

 

Foles: ‘I think the greatest year of football I had was St. Louis (2015) because I lost the joy of football’

After the 2015 NFL season, newly signed Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles was pretty much done with football. Foles, who was traded by the Eagles to the Rams after the 2014 season, was ready to walk away from the game after he struggled mightily in St. Louis, but he changed his mind and slowly rebuilt his career.

In 2016, Foles reunited with Andy Reid in Kansas City, the man who drafted Foles in 2012 when Reid was in Philadelphia. Foles would be the backup to Alex Smith in 2016.

Then, in 2017, the Eagles came calling, and Foles would sign a two-year deal to backup Carson Wentz. Unfortunately for Wentz, his season would end after tearing his ACL in Week 14 against the Rams. Foles started the final three games of the 2017 regular season and all three postseason games for the Eagles. He completed 77 of 106 passes (72.6 comp. pct.) for 971 yards and six TDs in the postseason, registering a 100-plus passer rating in all three games. Foles threw for 373 yards and three TDs and added a 1-yard TD reception in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, earning Super Bowl LII MVP honors.

Last season, the Eagles went 4-1 in Foles’ five regular season starts, including three straight victories to conclude the season and earn a spot in the postseason.

Now, Foles is moving on. The 30-year-old quarterback has signed a four-year deal with the Jaguars, and according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the contract is worth $88 million.

As tumultuous as the 2015 season was for Foles, he believes it made him a better person.

“I think through all the ups and downs, I just sort of figured out who I am,” Foles said at a press conference on Thursday. “I think a lot of times, especially in the NFL, you sort of lose your identity or this [football] just becomes who you are and deep down there is something more inside of you than that.

“I think the greatest year of football I had was St. Louis (2015) because I lost the joy of football and I was going to step away. Without that season, I wouldn’t be the player I am today or the person I am. That’s through the trials of life. I have talked about the trials and the ups and downs and it’s all come down to that I’m not afraid to speak on what’s really going on in my life or my heart and how to overcome it.

“I’m not afraid to speak that way with my teammates, so they know. Because the more transparent and real I can be, it’s important. When I step on the field, I want my teammates to know that this is who I am. I’m not this way on the field, and then I leave the stadium, or I leave the facility, and I’m one way. This is who I am as a person. It’s those ups and downs through football and through life that have made me equipped to handle this. Again, this is a new challenge for me. This is something that I look forward to because it is a challenge. It takes faith.”

Foles has a great story. It’s the stuff that makes great movies. In 2019, he will be expected to perform at a high level in Jacksonville, but if what we saw in the past is any indication, Foles will handle the pressure just fine.

Giants’ Bethea on NY’s recent moves: ‘I know some Giants fans might not like it, but it’s just a part of the business’

The New York Giants have overhauled their roster this offseason. Gone are three of the team’s best players in 2018: Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Olivier Vernon. Some might say this team is rebuilding, but according to the newest Giant, safety Antoine Bethea, who signed with the team after two seasons in Arizona, the Giants are not rebuilding.

“No, it’s not a rebuilding team,” Bethea said at a press conference today. “At the end of the day, we have to go out and play on Sundays. Regardless of the names you have on paper, you still have to go out there and perform. You get a good nucleus, some good guys that can work together. Obviously, the league year just started. I know upstairs, they’re doing what they need to do to build a great team. As players, our job is to come out there and put our best performance, our best foot forward and put the best product we can put on the field.”

Obviously, after the moves the Giants have made thus far in the offseason, many Giants fans are unhappy, but the 13-year-old veteran knows that the business of football can be very tricky.

“I’ve been in this league a long time, and I’ve seen things go on,” Bethea said. “It’s just a part of the business. I know some Giants fans might not like it, but it’s just a part of the business, and we have to keep going.”

It should be interesting to see what the 2019 Giants look like when the season starts. On paper, it seems like a rebuild. However, we’ll have to see the other moves this team makes in the offseason to get a definite answer on whether the Giants are looking to win now or later.

Jaguars re-sign G A.J. Cann

The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed four-year veteran G A.J. Cann, the club announced today.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a three-year deal worth just over $15 million.

Cann, 6-3, 315, was originally drafted by Jacksonville in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft and has appeared in 61 games with 59 starts. He emerged as a starter in Week 4 during his rookie season and has started at least 13 games each of his four seasons in the NFL. In 2018, Cann started 15 games, only missing the team’s Week 2 victory over New England.

A native of Bamberg, S.C., Cann attended the University of South Carolina and was the highest Gamecocks player drafted in Jaguars history.