Former Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke was one of four players released by the New York Giants on Wednesday.
Lewerke spent most of last season on the practice squad and was active as the backup quarterback for the season finale. His departure leaves Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor and Davis Webb as the quarterbacks.
Brian Lewerke picks up 20 yards on the ground | giants vs. Brown’s Highlights
Lewerke finished his Michigan State career ranked first in school history in total offense with 9,548 yards (8,293 passing, 1,255 rushing).
In 41 career games, including 38 starts (22-16 record), he ranked third among Spartan QBs in career starts (38) and wins (22) and completed 57.7 percent of his passes (721-of-1249) for 8,293 yards, 47 touchdowns and 32 interceptions in his career
On Wednesday, the Giants added four defensive players to their roster, including three who have previously worked with members of the coaching staff.
The Giants announced the signings of end Jalyn Holmes, safety Henry Black and cornerbacks Maurice Canady and Khalil Dorsey.
Canada and Dorsey previously played for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale in Baltimore. Holmes was with defensive line coach Andre Patterson at Minnesota.
In corresponding moves, the Giants terminated the contract of linebacker Trent Harris and waived Lewerke and defensive end Raymond Johnson III. Defensive back Jordan Mosley was waived/injured.
Jets sign ex Buckeye Wilson
The New York Jets signed wide receiver Garrett Wilson to a four-year, $20.55 million deal Wednesday, the last of the team’s three first-round draft picks to get under contract.
Wilson was the No. 10 overall pick last month out of Ohio State. He’s expected to be an immediate contributor as a rookie, giving second-year quarterback Zach Wilson a speedy vertical threat in what should be an improved offense.
The fully guaranteed deal for Garrett Wilson includes a $12.1 million signing bonus, according to SNY.
Cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the No. 4 overall pick from Detroit, signed his four-year, $38.7 million deal on May 7. Defensive end Jermaine Johnson, the 26th pick, signed a four-year, $13.1 million contract Monday.
Garrett Wilson had 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns for Ohio State, establishing himself as one of college football’s top wide receivers. He was the second wide receiver drafted last month, two spots after Atlanta selected USC’s Drake London.
With the Jets, Wilson joins a receiving corps that includes wideouts Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and Denzel Mims, and tight ends CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin and third-round pick Jeremy Ruckert. New York finished near the bottom of the league in several key categories, but the addition of Wilson could be a huge boost.
Coaching diversity workshop
Mike Pettine has just begun working with the Minnesota Vikings, the assistant head coach on a staff busy implementing a fresh culture and installing new schemes under the direction of first-time head coach Kevin O’Connell.
The full plate didn’t stop Pettine from spearheading a pilot project designed for minorities seeking to enter the NFL coaching pipeline to further their development and increase their opportunities.
“The world is turning so fast I just felt it was too important to not try to get this up and running,” Pettine said Wednesday, as the Vikings announced the launch of a coaching diversity workshop at team headquarters.
They’re hosting 12 coaching prospects – almost entirely from the college ranks – for a three-day conference that includes job shadowing, mock interviewing and a general immersion into the operation of an NFL team.
The idea came to Pettine about three years ago, while he was defensive coordinator with Green Bay. The pandemic followed and then he was out of a job with the Packers before he got things going.
Pettine was frequently concerned about the issue of getting minorities hired in positions of leadership. It’s an issue that has long bedeviled a league with a Black-majority player pool. He turned his focus to the entry-level, quality control positions that can be effective resume-builders for future head coaches.
The NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, a program that’s been in place for 30-plus years, often goes to position coaches and coordinators from college teams.
“This is going to take time,” Pettine said. “I might be sitting on a beach somewhere drinking a margarita, being proud of the candidates from this class that make it, and hopefully future classes. I just think it’s something that’s more of a grassroots type of thing that will grow over time.”
Pettine said the Vikings had to turn away dozens of candidates. Here is the list of participants:
► Imarjaye Albury, who was an assistant defensive line coach for the Vikings the last two seasons after two years as a graduate assistant with Arkansas.
► Reggie Bain, a graduate assistant with Miami.
► Mark Cala, an offensive quality control and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas.
► Cortez Carter, a senior analyst at Florida State.
► Chili Davis, the special teams coordinator at Florida A&M.
► Kenji Jackson, a defensive quality control coach at Arkansas.
► Courtney Love, the director of player development at Kentucky.
► Jeremy Modkins, the cornerbacks coach at TCU and the younger brother of current Vikings running backs coach Curtis Modkins.
► Jordan Reid, a graduate assistant at Wake Forest.
► Ahmad Smith, a South Carolina defensive analyst.
► Roseanna Smith, the director of football operations and running backs coach at Division III Oberlin College. She is the only woman in the group.
► Earnest Thomas III, a defensive analyst at Tennessee.
“You’re just building relationships,” Pettine said. “There’s no promise of anything at the end of this, but I just think our exposure to them and making them better, you get a sense that somebody has the aptitude to excel at what we would ask them to do.”