Saints' Austin Johnson: Signs with Saints
The New Orleans Saints signed Austin Johnson on Wednesday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Johnson has jumped between the Saints' 53-man roster and practice squad over the past three seasons, but in 17 appearances between 2014 and 2015, he totaled 12 carries for 31 yards and seven receptions (on 10 targets) for 45 yards. At the outset of the offseason, he'll be measuring himself against fellow fullback Toben Opurum.
Bengals' Andy Dalton: Hasn't started throwing
Andy Dalton (thumb) has yet to begin throwing, Geoff Hobson of the Cincinnati Bengals ' official site reports. "Not throwing yet because we are being very conservative with it," Dalton said this week. "I feel like I can throw but no reason to push anything right now. I have plenty of time now to get 100 percent."
The Bengals were knocked out on wild-card weekend, so it appears that Dalton may not have made an appearance in the postseason, even if his side reached the Super Bowl. Either way, he expects to attend a quarterback camp at USC in the coming months, while he'll have an opportunity to take part in Cincinnati's offseason program as early as April 18.
Jon Beason: Announces retirement
With word coming down earlier Wednesday that the Giants intended to release the veteran linebacker, Beason instead opted to announce his retirement. Beason had his career hampered by foot and knee injuries and as a 31-year-old linebacker, he hadn't played a full season since 2010 and only played double-digit games once in his final five seasons. He finishes his career with 526 total tackles, three forced fumbles, and 10 interceptions.
William Beatty: Released by Giants
Beatty was released by the Giants on Wednesday, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports.
The Giants have parted with a pair of offensive linemen Wednesday, with guard Geoff Schwartz also becoming a cap casualty. Beatty, who would have been due $4.2 million for the upcoming season if he wasn't released, missed all of 2015 due to a torn pectoral he suffered in the offseason. His release fully demonstrates the organization's faith in 2015 first rounder Ereck Flowers to anchor the left tackle spot.
Giants' Jon Beason: Released by Giants
The Giants parted ways with a pair of veterans Wednesday, releasing Beason and guard Geoff Schwartz. According to Graziano, the moves were cap-influenced, noting that Beason's release saves the team $6 million in cap space. The 31-year-old linebacker appeared in just nine games over the past two years and finished the 2015 campaign on IR due to an ankle injury.
Broncos' T.J. Ward: Nabs pick, recovers key fumble
T.J. Ward recorded seven tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass defensed in the Denver Broncos ' Super Bowl 50 win over the Panthers.
If not for Von Miller doing his best Lawrence Taylor impression, Ward would have had a pretty strong case for Super Bowl 50's MVP. In addition to thwarting a Carolina drive into Broncos' territory with a pick and scooping up Miller's second strip sack to all but put the game away, Ward helped keep Greg Olsen in check to the tune of 41 yards. Sure, Ward almost gave the ball back to Carolina after fumbling his interception, but history will remember him as a key cog in Denver's "No Fly Zone" and a force in Denver's dominant defensive victory.
Broncos' DeMarcus Ware: Records two sacks in Super Bowl 50
DeMarcus Ware collected five tackles and two sacks in Sunday's Super Bowl 50 victory over Carolina.
Ware ended any hopes of a big play to end Carolina's first half by nailing Cam Newton for a sack. Nearly an entire half later, Carolina was down two scores and in hurry-up mode. On 2nd and 10 Newton spun out, avoided Malik Jackson and found himself smothered by Ware for a 14-yard loss. Ware waited 11 years to make his first big playoff push and didn't disappoint. When Denver drafted Shane Ray in the first round and watched Shaq Barrett impress while Ware's back hampered him during the season, the veteran looked like a potential cap casualty. With 5.5 sacks in his final five games, however, Ware has changed the conversation.
Broncos' Darian Stewart: Forces a fumble in Super Bowl 50
Darian Stewart recorded three tackles a sack, a forced fumble and defended two passes in the Denver Broncos ' Super Bowl 50 win over the Panthers.
Mike Tolbert was a 250-pound unstoppable force rumbling down the field for an 11 yard gain in the second quarter. He then met an immovable object in Stewart, who dislodged the ball from the fullback. Stewart signed a modest one-year deal to come to Denver in the offseason and serve as the fourth part of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone." He responded with his best statistical season since 2011. Unless Stewart is willing to take a team-friendly deal, it is hard to imagine Denver being able to properly reward him for his efforts.
Broncos' Malik Jackson: Scores first touchdown of Super Bowl 50
Malik Jackson recorded five tackles, one tackle for a loss, one quarterback hit, a fumble recovery and a touchdown in Denver's Super Bowl 50 victory over Carolina.
Jackson pounced on Von Miller's first strip sack of Cam Newton, giving Denver a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The team never looked back. Jackson didn't record a sack in the playoffs, and managed a modest five during the season, but established himself as a disruptive interior force. The Denver Broncos locked up Jackson's other half, Derek Wolfe, and have Von Miller's contract to worry about, likely making Jackson one of the better free agent defensive linemen.
Broncos' Andre Caldwell: Totals 22 yards in Super Bowl 50
Andre Caldwell caught his lone target in Sunday's victory over the Panthers for 22 yards.
Caldwell's sideline catch came on the Denver Broncos ' opening drive and helped set up a field goal lead that they never relinquished. Caldwell caught just 10 passes in 14 games in 2015, but recorded a reception in each of Denver's three playoff matchups. They may be his last as a Bronco. With Cody Latimer already on the books for 2016 and younger options to retain in free agency including Bennie Fowler and Jordan Norwood, Caldwell may be the odd man out.
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