Asante Cleveland

Patriots 'did a lot of work' in scouting new TE Asante Cleveland

Tight end Asante Cleveland, who was acquired in a trade from the 49ers on Tuesday for offensive lineman Jordan Devey, practiced with the club for the first time and wore No. 44. Bill Belichick said Cleveland adds depth at a position that has been thinned by injury. "We did a lot of work on him out of college from Miami," he said. "We didn’t really want to give up Devey, but you’ve got to give up something to get something. I think hopefully both guys will be able to help both teams in positions of need."

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Follow-up thoughts on Patriots' trade for Asante Cleveland

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few follow-up thoughts on Tuesday's trade in which the New England Patriots acquired tight end Asante Cleveland in exchange for guard/tackle Jordan Devey:

1. With Scott Chandler still not 100 percent ready for action, converted defensive end Jake Bequette sidelined with injury, and No. 1 man Rob Gronkowski potentially being held out of preseason action as a precaution, the Patriots obviously felt they needed another experienced player who could boost their tight end depth and help them get through the preseason. Cleveland, with six career games played as a rookie in 2014, becomes the second most experienced/healthy tight end on the roster, behind Michael Hoomanawanui. The other tight ends are undrafted rookies Logan Stokes (LSU) and Jimmay Mundine (Kansas).

2. Chandler, the free-agent signing from Buffalo, was working on a second practice field this morning and doesn't seem too far from a return. So I don't think this move had much to do with him from a longer-range perspective as it is getting through the next two weeks.

3. Cleveland has practice squad eligibility, so even if he doesn't make the Patriots' 53-man roster (he's a longer shot right now), he could still be part of the 63-man snapshot in early September. We know how the Patriots like developing tight ends.

4. The 49ers entered training camp with nine tight ends and media observers in San Francisco questioned Cleveland's chances to make the final 53-man roster. So the 49ers had depth to spare, and if Devey makes their roster, they will have essentially traded a player who likely wasn't going to be part of their plans for one that could be.

5. Cleveland didn't register a stat in six games last season, with his primary contributions coming on special teams.

6. Devey was a bubble player on my first Patriots 53-man roster projection (he just missed the cut), and I wonder if the early play of undrafted rookie David Andrews gave the club more confidence in thinning depth by trading Devey.

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49ers deal tight end Asante Cleveland to Patriots for offensive lineman

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' impressive collection of tight ends has been reduced by one.

The team on Tuesday dealt Asante Cleveland, who played at Christian Brothers High School before the University of Miami, to the New England Patriots, a league source confirmed. In return the 49ers obtained offensive lineman Jordan Devey, who played both right and left guard for the Super Bowl champions last year. Devey appeared in seven games, starting four. ESPN first reported that he was heading to San Francisco.

The 49ers are trying to find a good combination at right guard and center. However, they also lack depth at tackle. Devey, 27, has experience there having played tackle and guard at the University of Memphis. He originally was signed by the Ravens in 2013 and spent time on the Patriots practice squad that season. He is listed at 6-6, 320 pounds.

The scouting service Pro Football Focus said Devey was responsible for one sack, three quarterback hits and nine hurries last season, and they gave him a rating on minus-19.

The 49ers signed Cleveland as an undrafted free agent last season. He spent the first half of 2014 on the practice squad before being added to the active roster when injuries to Vance McDonald and Derek Carrier created an opening. The Patriots were one of the teams interested in signing Cleveland after last year's draft.

The 49ers have an abundance of tight ends while other teams have seen injuries at the position. The 49ers have talked, for instance, with Washington where tight ends Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul sustained season-ending injuries.

San Francisco's top player at the position, Vernon Davis, was held out of Saturday's preseason game. McDonald and draft pick Blake Bell started the game with Garrett Celek -- who caught the team's only touchdown -- also entering in the first quarter. Carrier, Xavier Grimble and seventh-round draft pick Busta Anderson round out the position.

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49ers waive Asante Cleveland

Fooch's Update: The 49ers just announced TE Asante Cleveland was waived, and QB Josh Johnson was re-signed. That would seem to bode well for Davis and/or McDonald's return.

The San Francisco 49ers locker room was open to the media Tuesday morning, and it gave the media a chance to see how Vernon Davis might be progressing in his return from an ankle injury. The team will not issue their first practice report until Wednesday, but early returns are positive.

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Asante Cleveland promoted to help injury-plagued TE corps

Injuries to tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald prompted the 49ers on Saturday to promote Asante Cleveland from the practice squad.

No. 3 quarterback Josh Johnson was released in a corresponding roster move, leaving the 49ers with only Blaine Gabbert to back up Colin Kaepernick, who appeared on the injury report this week with a back issue.

Cleveland (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) was among the 49ers’ final cuts after training camp. Undrafted out of the University of Miami, Cleveland had three catches for 22 yards in the preseason, including a 14-yard touchdown reception in the exhibition finale at Houston (on a pass from Johnson).

Davis (ankle) and McDonald (knee) are listed as questionable, leaving Derek Carrier as the only healthy tight end, though snapper Kyle Nelson and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs are emergency options.

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Latest proCane Cuts & Signings

It was one of the busiest NFL proCane roster cut weekends of all-time. See below all the action.

WR LaRon Byrd was cut by the Dallas Cowboys who signed him this offseason, but was quickly picked up by the Cleveland Browns and placed on their active roster.

DB Brandon Harris was cut by the Texans, who drafted him out of Miami 3 years ago, but was also quickly picked up and added to the Titans active roster.

Practice Squad Signings: Stephen Morris: Jags, Tommy Streeter: Dolphins, Chase Ford: Vikings, Erik Swoope: Colts, Brandon Washington: Rams, Harland Gunn: Falcons, Micanor Regis: Panthers, Asante Cleveland: 49ers.

Cuts: Maurice Hagens: Falcons, Eric Winston: Seahawks, Richard Gordon: Chiefs, Tyler Horn: Titans, Jared Wheeler: Bills.

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49ers Do Asante Cleveland Wrong, This Is Brutal

UPDATE: Asante Cleveland was eventually signed to the 49ers practice squad.

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Two More NFL proCanes Sign As Free Agents

David Gilbert and Luther Robinson – signed NFL contracts Monday.

Gilbert signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans where he will play outside linebacker, which is moving to a “hybrid” 3-4 defense. Gilbert had tried out for the Titans last week, as did AJ Highsmith who was not signed.

Luther Robinson signed a rookie deal with the Green Bay Packers, where he is listed as a defensive end.

Here is the full list of NFL proCane Rookies and where they have signed.

RG Brandon Linder: drafted 3rd round, 93rd overall by Jacksonville
P Pat O’Donnell: drafted 6th round, 191st overall by Chicago
OT Seantrel Henderson: drafted 7th round, 237th overall by Buffalo
QB Stephen Morris: signed with Jacksonville
WR Allen Hurns: signed with Jacksonville
Basketball player Erik Swoope: signed with Indianapolis to play TE
TE Asante Cleveland: signed with San Francisco
OG/C Jared Wheeler: signed with Carolina
FB Maurice Hagens: signed with Atlanta
DT Justin Renfrow: signed with Arizona
LB Jimmy Gaines: signed with Buffalo
S A.J. Highsmith: had Tennessee tryout, but was not signed, will workout with San Francisco
S Kacy Rodgers II: will try out with Kansas City this weekend
LB Tyrone Cornelius: will try out with Washington this weekend
DT Curtis Porter: signed with Oakland
DE Shayon Green: signed with Miami

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Asante Cleveland was coveted free agent

Matt Barrows is reporting UDFA tight end Asante Cleveland was coveted by a few teams. We break down some of the details, and find some scouting reports.

The San Francisco 49ers announced their undrafted free agent signings Monday evening, and the 49ers appeared to win out a modest battle for the services of tight end Asante Cleveland. According to Matt Barrows, the Miami (FL) product was sought after by the 49ers, Eagles and Patriots. Our man Jason Hurley is reporting the 49ers ended up paying him an $8,000 signing bonus. UDFA contracts are usually for the league minimum, and generally are three year contracts instead of the normal four year version for drafted players.

There is not a ton of information about Cleveland, in large part because he was used almost exclusively as a blocker. Over the course of his college career, Cleveland had 14 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown. The folks at Draft Insider offered up a scouting report, in which they described him as a wait-and-see type of prospect. They said his strengths included having good size, solid blocking skills, and generally moving well on the field. However, he lacks much speed, and without seeing what he’s done as a pass catcher, he’s looking mostly like no more than a third tight end for now.

The Palm Beach Post had similar comments:

Tight end Asante Cleveland wasn’t given the chance to showcase his pass-catching skills at UM – his only touchdown grab came in his final college game, the 2013 regular-season finale at Pitt – but was an effective blocker in double-tight end sets. He’s 6-5, 260 and could be a solid depth tight end on an NFL roster.

The 49ers head into the bulk of their offseason workout program with five tight ends on the roster. Cleveland joins Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier. Davis and McDonald are not going anywhere, but there will be plenty of competition for that third tight end role behind that.

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Asante Cleveland joins 49ers as undrafted free agent

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers on Monday signed seven players bypassed in the NFL draft over the weekend, including Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov and Southern Illinois quarterback Kory Faulkner.

Another player they agreed to terms with is Asante Cleveland, who played at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento and the University of Miami.

The Eagles and Patriots also wanted to sign Cleveland, but the 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end chose the 49ers because he thought he had a shot to become the team’s No. 3 tight end. He’ll have to beat out Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier, both of whom also went undrafted in recent years.

Cleveland was used mostly as a blocker as a senior last season and caught only three passes. He was featured more in the passing game as a freshman under previous coach Randy Shannon, however, and he turned heads in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January by catching a 27-yard pass over his shoulder for a touchdown.

Cleveland said he spoke briefly with Eric Mangini, the 49ers’ new tight ends coach, on Saturday, and Mangini told him to be ready to work hard when he arrives in Santa Clara. Cleveland said he hopes the 49ers are impressed by his blocking.

“I think I definitely have that down pat, or at least I’ll come in with some skills,” Cleveland said.

To make room on the 90-man roster, the 49ers released three players, including linebacker Darius Fleming, a fifth-round pick in 2012. Fleming tore an ACL in each of the last two seasons and never played a snap for the 49ers. Only two players from that year’s draft class – second-round pick LaMichael James, a running back, and fourth-round selection Joe Looney, a guard – remain with the team.

The other two players let go are cornerback Dax Swanson and wide receiver DeMarco Sampson.

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3 NFL proCanes Drafted, 11 Sign Free Agent Contracts

Three NFL proCanes were drafted this past weekend during the NFL Draft, while 11 other proCanes signed Free Agent Contracts.

3rd Round, 93rd pick overall: Brandon Linder, Jacksonville Jaguars.
6th Round, 191st pick overall: Pat O’Donnell, Chicago Bears
7th Round, 237th pick overall: Seantrel Henderson, Buffalo Bills

Free Agent Signings:

Stephen Morris, Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Hagens, Atlanta Falcons
Jared Wheeler, Carolina Panthers
Justin Renfrow, Arizona Cardinals
Shayon Green, Miami Dolphins
Jimmy Gaines, Buffalo Bills
AJ Highsmith, San Francisco 49ers
Curtis Porter, Oakland Raiders
Asante Cleveland, San Francisco 49ers
Erik Swoope, Indianapolis Colts

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