Joe Mays was released by the Broncos on Tuesday (USA Today Sports Images)
NFL training camps throughout the league will be in full swing this week and a sure sign of that was how busy the NFL transaction wire was on Tuesday.
The big news of the day was the Buffalo Bills releasing veteran defensive end Mark Anderson after just one season of a four-year, $19.5 million contract. Anderson was not the only big ticket veteran defender to have his contract terminated on Tuesday.
The Denver Broncos announced the release of middle linebacker Joe Mays, who last season was signed to a three-year, $12 million extension that included $4.5 million in guaranteed money. Mays won't leave empty-handed as a source with knowledge of Mays' contract confirmed that $500,000 of the veteran's $4 million base salary was fully guaranteed. Still, the Broncos will save $3.5 million in cash and cap space this season.
Another big transaction was the Cleveland Browns announcing a four-year contract extension with guard John Greco, who started a career-high 10 games in 2012 and had been entering the final season of a two-year extension.
"John is a solid, all-around teammate, on and off the field," Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said of Greco. "He was given an opportunity to play last year and really showed well. He’s respected in the locker room for his approach, consistency and team-first attitude."
The Indianapolis Colts announced that running back Ahmad Bradshaw had been placed on the "Active/Physically Unable to Perform" list, which should not come as a surprise. Bradshaw has battled injuries throughout his career and impacted his ability to find an NFL home this offseason. Bradshaw remained on the market throughout free agent was not signed by the Colts until June 12.
Being placed on PUP does not necessarily indicate a lengthy absence, either. New England Patriots tight end Jake Ballard is coming off a horrific knee injury that cost him the entire 2012 season. Ballard was placed on the PUP list on Monday, but Field Yates of ESPN Boston reports that Ballard passed his conditioning test and was removed from PUP on Tuesday.
Veteran NFL kicker Billy Cundiff, a Pro Bowler in 2010, was signed by the New York Jets where he'll compete with incumbent Nick Folk for a roster spot. The Jets are the 12th stamps on Cundiff's NFL passport. Signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of football powerhouse Drake, Cundiff has also had stints with the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
More picks from the 2013 NFL draft inked their rookie contracts on Tuesday. The Houston Texans officially signed second-round safety D.J. Swearinger and third-round offensive tackle Brennan Williams, while the Oakland Raiders signed fourth-round quarterback Tyler Wilson. These signings mean that only 17 players from the 2013 draft are unsigned and the Texans became the 21st team to sign all of their draft picks to contracts.
In other NFL transaction news:
In addition to the Greco extension, the Cleveland Browns added wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt on Tuesday. Another wide receiver, Tim Toone, was placed on waivers by the Atlanta Falcons.
The Green Bay Packers waived rookie quarterback Matt Brown with a "non-football injury" designation, a move that leaves the team with three quarterbacks on the roster. Reps are limited, so it's possible that the Packers will not add a quarterback, but it's worth noting that Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Aaron Rodgers, cleared waivers after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.
Defensive backs were swapped out on the New Orleans Saints roster. The team signed former Cowboys draft choice Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and waived Ryan Steed.
In addition to the Cundiff signing, the Jets added long-snapper Patrick Scales and offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts and waived kicker Brett Maher, offensive tackle Mark Popek and wide receiver Thomas Mayo, who was "waived/injured" and will be placed on injured reserve once he clears waivers.
The Oakland Raiders used the ominous "failure to disclose physical condition" designation when they waived cornerback Coye Francies. The club also waived linebacker/emergency long-snapper Travis Goethel.
In the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals waived tight end Kyle Auffray, running back William Powell and wide receiver Michael Rios and signed former Notre Dame wideout Robby Toma. The St. Louis Rams waived rookie safety Cannon Smith and signed wide receiver Demetrius Fields and safety Rashard Hall. The Seattle Seahawks addressed the lack of depth at their tight end position by signing Michael Palmer, who spent the previous three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Rookie safety Ray Polk was waived to make room for Palmer on the Seahawks' 90-man roster. One day after the 49ers trade with the Buccaneers for Eric Wright was voided, the club re-signed undrafted rookie corneback Lowell Rose to a three-year contract.
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