NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms the Patriots' acquisition of Tim Wright has nothing to do with Rob Gronkowski's health.
Gronk is a 6-foot-6, 265-pound in-line tight end. Wright is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound college wide receiver. They're completely different players who will play totally different roles. Most signs continue to point to Gronkowski being ready for Week 1, but there are no guarantees. For Gronk drafters, we suggest grabbing Heath Miller or Garrett Graham late as early-season insurance.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport called Tim Wright the Patriots' "new [Aaron] Hernandez."
That's how we also see it. Many figured the Patriots' acquisition of Wright on Tuesday was a sign Rob Gronkowski's path back to the field was going to be halted. That couldn't be further from the truth. Wright is a former college receiver, while Gronkowski is a do-it-all in-line tight end. They're completely different players. While we need to tap the brakes on Wright becoming a top-three fantasy tight end like Hernandez, the Patriots clearly like Wright. It'll take him time to learn the offense, but he may be their future at "move" tight end. He's a back-end TE2.
Wes Welker (concussion) has been cleared to travel with the Broncos to their preseason finale, but he has yet to be cleared to play.
Welker is making his way through the league's protocol at a rapid pace. He's already exercising, but can't yet take on contact in practice. Welker has 11 days to gain clearance for the Broncos' Week 1 opener two Sundays from now.
Cowboys waived WR Tim Benford.
Benford spent all of 2012 and 2013 on the Cowboys' practice squad. He caught just 4-of-7 targets for 34 yards this preseason. Benford also dropped a pass. He might be in line for another tour on the practice squad.
Titans signed DE Jurrell Casey to a four-year, $36 million extension through 2018.
It includes $20.5 million guaranteed and makes Casey the highest-paid player on the Titans' roster. $9 million annually is a lot of dough to shell out. Casey is now the second-highest-paid 3-4 end in football in terms of annual average behind Calais Campbell's $11 million. Casey had a career year in 2013, racking up 10.5 sacks and 55 tackles. That was as a penetrating one-gap defensive tackle in a 4-3. For the sake of the Titans, we hope new DC Ray Horton will allow Casey to push the pocket instead of playing two-gap.
Free agent K Garrett Hartley worked out for the Titans on Wednesday.
The Titans seem poised to sign a new kicker. Hartley joined experienced veterans Jay Feely and Rian Lindell at the Titans workout.
ESPN Texans reporter Tania Ganguli believes S Shiloh Keo's roster spot is in danger.
Keo started 11 games at free safety for the Texans last season, registering 63 tackles and six pass breakups. He's appeared in 42 career games since being a 2011 fifth-round pick. The Texans upgraded their safety position in free agency, signing Chris Clemons and Kendrick Lewis to team with D.J. Swearinger.
Cowboys claimed DB Jemea Thomas off waivers from the Patriots.
Thomas was the 206th overall pick in May's draft. Coach Bill Belichick called Thomas a four-down player when the Patriots drafted him. He was expected to contribute heavily on special teams. Thomas can play safety and corner.