Month: April 2024

Commanders Trade DE Chase Young To 49ers

The Commanders indeed made Chase Young available following the Montez Sweat trade, and they will send him to one of the NFC favorites. The 49ers are acquiring the former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reports.

This marks San Francisco’s third high-profile defensive line addition this year. The team gave Javon Hargrave a big-ticket deal in March, and the Broncos sent over Randy Gregory a few weeks ago. After two sluggish defensive outings, the 49ers are not stopping there. Barely an hour before the trade deadline, Young will follow Sweat out of Washington.

[RELATED: 49ers Pursuing Bears CB Jaylon Johnson]

Young will fetch the Commanders a 2024 third-round pick from the 49ers,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. It will come from the 49ers’ endless supply of NFL-awarded compensatory picks — for seeing minority staffers hired as HC or GM elsewhere — according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Bears sent the Commanders a second-rounder for Sweat earlier today.

This will reunite Young with former Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa and add to one of the most star-studded defensive lines in recent NFL history. The 49ers also have veteran defensive tackle Arik Armstead in place. The prospect of a Bosa-Armstead-Hargrave-Young D-line is imminent, which stands to bolster a team coming off two upset losses.

For the Commanders, this constitutes a rebuilding step. Although the 3-5 team has not made Jonathan Allen available and will keep the veteran defensive tackle alongside the recently extended Daron Payne, its prized D-end duo is gone in a day. The Commanders did not pick up Young’s fifth-year option in May, putting both he and Sweat in contract years. While it would have been logical for a coach on the hot seat to push to keep both players, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reports ownership played a major role in these trades being completed.

Others in the Commanders’ building wanted the team to retain the young defensive ends, Russini adds, but ownership looks to have led the way here. It was assumed either Sweat or Young would be franchise-tagged in 2024, but Washington has instead cleared the decks for Day 2 draft capital. Considering where Young was as a rookie, this represents an underwhelming return. But the former No. 2 overall pick missed half of the 2021 season and almost all of 2022 due to the ACL tear and patellar tendon rupture he suffered in November 2021. It has taken him a while to rebuild his value, and the former Heisman finalist will finish out his attempt to do so in San Francisco.

Through seven games (six starts) this season, Young has five sacks and nine QB hits. The talented edge rusher has shown much better form compared to the previous two seasons. On that note, Young was believed to be uninterested in extension talks this year. It will be interesting to see if this bet on himself will carry over to the Bay Area, as the 49ers likely will want him as more than a rental. San Francisco will have the option of franchise-tagging Young in 2024. With Brock Purdy‘s rookie contract in place, the 49ers may attempt to do what the Commanders would not: have four D-linemen signed to big-ticket contracts.

While the 49ers will be giving up a third-round pick, the team had two selections in Round 3 of next year’s draft already. Having continually seen their minority assistant coaches and front office staffers earn HC or GM jobs elsewhere, the 49ers have collected a handful of third-round picks under the revised Rooney Rule. They have two more coming in 2024, via the Titans’ hiring of Ran Carthon as GM and Texans hiring DeMeco Ryans as HC. This stream of third-round picks goes through 2025, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

San Francisco is also expected to pick up a compensatory third-rounder in exchange for the Broncos signing Mike McGlinchey to a top-five right tackle contract. The team could add another third-round comp pick if Young leaves, but it would seem the 49ers would prefer this not be a true rental add.

49ers D-line coach Kris Kocurek has been credited with leading emergences of various Bosa sidekicks — from Arden Key to Samson Ebukam to Charles Omenihu. The well-regarded position coach will work with a higher-end talent in Young, with Gregory now in place as more of a rental. Despite Gregory’s Broncos-built deal running through 2026, none of the money on that $14MM-AAV pact is guaranteed beyond 2023. The 49ers are also paying Gregory the veteran minimum, with the Broncos responsible for the rest.

John Lynch had said the 49ers planned to roll over most of their NFL-leading cap-space number to 2024. Young will only be attached to a $1MM base salary through season’s end. The 49ers will retain much of their cap space, though a chunk would need to go to Young — via an extension or tag.

As the 49ers will attempt to use this acquisition to bounce back from their two disappointing defensive showings, the Commanders will see their second Eagles defeat this year key what could be an awkward transition. Rivera is squarely on a hot seat, having not produced a winning record yet in Washington. This would be the second time the former NFC champion HC would be fired by a new owner, with that happening in David Tepper‘s second season (2019). Sweat and Young’s exits will certainly weaken the Commanders, even with ex-seventh-rounder Casey Toohill having four sacks as a backup.

The Commanders have never made five picks in the first three rounds of a draft previously (h/t ESPN’s Field Yates), with the George Allen era and Robert Griffin III trades headlining past hurdles on this front. In Harris’ first months as owner, the team will have this opportunity. Of course, it will risk seeing Sweat and Young play their best years in other NFC cities.

Bears Acquire DE Montez Sweat From Commanders

Montez Sweat‘s time in the nation’s capital has come to an end. The contract-year edge rusher has been dealt from the Commanders to the Bears in exchange for a second-round pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Sweat’s name has frequently been mentioned in trade talk, with the expectation he would be more likely to be moved than fellow Washington defensive end Chase Young. A third-round pick was known to be on the table for the former, but reports indicated the Commanders were angling for a second-rounder. With that in hand, Sweat is now headed to the Windy City. As a previous report indicated and SI’s Albert Breer confirms, the Bears were also involved in “extensive” talks for Young.

The Falcons were named as a team to watch for Sweat in particular. Atlanta was indeed in on the 27-year-old, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones confirms. Interest in Sweat helped drive up the Commanders’ asking price, which to no surprise has come in higher than that of the third-round compensatory pick Washington would have been in line to receive had he departed in free agency.

The Commanders already have defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on the books with hefty financial commitments. Since the team elected to decline Young’s fifth-year option, the former Defensive Rookie of the Year is set to see his rookie contract expire at the end of the season. Young is content to wait until that point to negotiate what will be a sizeable raise on his second pact. Schefter confirms the challenge of keeping both Young and Sweat under contract beyond 2023 played a role in the decision to pull off today’s trade.

It will be interesting to see how Young (who has remained healthy in 2023 and registered five sacks) performs without Sweat lining up opposite him. The latter has also had a strong season with 6.5 sacks, and he will look to translate that production to a Bears team desperately in need of a long-term boost in the pass rush department. Sweat – who is PFF’s third-highest rated run defender amongst edge rushers (and 56th in terms of pass rush grade) – is attached to his $11.5MM fifth-year option in 2023, and he too will be due a lucrative extension at some point in the near future.

Chicago is set to once again have considerable cap space this offseason (a league-leading $110MM entering today), as was the case in 2023. General manager Ryan Poles was active in a number of areas during free agency, but the main edge rush addition was a one-year deal given to nomadic sack artist Yannick Ngakoue. The 28-year-old received $10.5MM in a bid to give the Bears a consistent presence on third downs and help his chances of securing a multi-year commitment in the spring. Things have not gone according to plan so far, however, with Ngakoue registering just a pair of sacks in eight games.

Sweat will provide a starting presence for the Bears, who sit at the bottom of the league with just 10 sacks on the year. The Mississippi State alum has managed between five and nine in that regard in every season so far, and a strong showing to close out the year will help his bargaining power regarding extension talks with Chicago at the end of the year (unless, of course, an extension will have already been worked out by that point).

The Commanders are clearly adopting a seller’s stance given today’s move, but a recent report suggested a fire sale should not be expected. Sweat may therefore be the only notable name to depart Washington, but the Bears will remain a team to watch over the coming hours given the newfound uncertainty surrounding cornerback Jaylon Johnson‘s future in Chicago.

2023 NFL Trades

The 2023 NFL trading period is now over. Dozens of trades — some in the roster-reshaping mold, others executed for depth purposes — ended up coming to pass. Since the NFL moved its trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8 in 2012, trades have gradually become a more important part of the league’s roster builds.

An argument can be made the NFL should move its deadline deeper into the season, as the MLB, NBA and NHL deadlines come after the midpoint. The NFL moving to a 17-game/18-week slate in 2021, after 43 years at 16 games, also factors into this line of thinking. For now, the league will still force its buyers and sellers to assess their teams fully by Week 8.

To gauge the value of the moves teams have made, here are the trades completed across the league in 2023. (Note: only trades involving veteran players, as opposed to draft-weekend deals only involving picks, are listed here.)

January 31

The Saints chose defensive tackle Bryan Bresee at No. 29 overall

March 9

March 10

  • Bears send Panthers No. 1 overall pick in exchange for No. 9, No. 61, a 2024 first-rounder and 2025 second

The Panthers chose Bryce Young first overall; the Bears traded down from No. 9 to No. 19, drafting tackle Darnell Wright. Trading up from No. 61 to No. 56, Chicago chose cornerback Tyrique Stevenson.

March 12

The Rams selected outside linebacker Byron Young at No. 77 overall

March 13

New England selected defensive back Isaiah Bolden at No. 245

March 14

Houston used the No. 230 pick in a package to trade up for center Juice Scruggs in Round 2; Tampa Bay packaged No. 179 to move up for guard Cody Mauch in Round 2

At No. 100, the Raiders drafted wide receiver Tre Tucker

The Colts selected running back Evan Hull at No. 176

March 20

The Texans used No. 161 to trade up for wide receiver Tank Dell

March 22

The Jets included No. 42 in the picks package sent to the Packers for Aaron Rodgers; the Browns chose wide receiver Cedric Tillman at No. 74

March 25

April 11

The Lions packaged No. 159 to move up for defensive back Brian Branch in Round 2

April 18

The Rams agreed to pay $5MM of Robinson’s 2023 salary. At No. 234, the Rams chose cornerback Jason Taylor II; at 251, the Steelers selected offensive lineman Spencer Anderson.

April 24

  • Packers send QB Aaron Rodgers, Nos. 15, 170 to Jets for Nos. 13, 42, 207, conditional 2024 second-round pick

Rodgers needed to play 65% of the Jets’ 2023 offensive snaps for the 2024 pick to become a first-rounder; his Week 1 Achilles tear will prevent that from happening. At No. 13, the Packers chose pass rusher Lukas Van Ness; at 15, the Jets took defensive end Will McDonald. At Nos. 42 and 207, Green Bay respectively chose tight end Luke Musgrave and kicker Anders Carlson. The Jets moved down from No. 170, picking up an additional seventh-round pick. 

April 29

At No. 219, the Lions chose wide receiver Antoine Green; at 249, the Eagles selected defensive tackle Moro Ojomo

The Saints chose wide receiver A.T. Perry at No. 195; the Broncos selected center Alex Forsyth at 257

May 12

May 25

July 19

  • Jets move WR Denzel Mims, 2025 seventh-round pick to Lions for conditional 2025 sixth-rounder

Mims needed to make the Lions’ 53-man roster for the pick to convey. With the Lions cutting Mims with an injury settlement in August, the Jets will not end up receiving a pick in this trade.

August 24

August 25

August 27

August 28

August 29

September 20

Akers must tally more than 500 yards from scrimmage to meet the conditional requirement

October 4

October 6

The Broncos agreed to pay all but the prorated veteran minimum of Gregory’s 2023 base salary

October 10

October 18

October 23

October 30

Giants agreed to pay all but the prorated veteran minimum on Williams’ remaining $10MM in base salary

Street must play in at least six games as a Falcon to meet the conditional requirement

October 31

AFC Trade Rumors: Patriots, Broncos, Renfrow

The Patriots fielded lots of calls for trade offers during today’s trade deadline, but two of the bigger names on their roster reportedly received no interest. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, teams called New England to take the temperature on pass rusher Josh Uche, safety Kyle Dugger, and tackle Michael Onwenu, while quarterback Mac Jones and veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott didn’t receive any nibbles.

Uche, Dugger, and Onwenu are all facing contract-years, so they all held a decent chance of being dealt. Uche was reportedly the most likely, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. After a couple quiet years to start his career, Uche burst onto the scene in 2022, combining with Matt Judon for half of the team’s 54 sacks last year. Mike Dugar of The Athletic reports that the Seahawks held serious interest in Uche “with talks going pretty deep,” but ultimately, landed Leonard Williams from New York instead. With Seattle filling their defensive line need with Williams, Uche will remain in New England.

As will, Jones and Elliott. It’s unclear how serious the Patriots were, if at all, about seeking trade partners for the two offensive contributors. The team will face a fifth-round option decision for Jones before next year, while Elliott will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC, starting out West:

  • It was a similar scene up in Mile High, where the Broncos decided not to move any of their potential trade assets due to a lack of serious interest. While the team reportedly did receive offers on players like receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, they didn’t gauge the offers as good enough to move on, per Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. Mike Klis of 9NEWS relayed that the team is “confident in its group of players.” While it seemed the team may be willing to dive into a rebuild, beating a sick Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs may have convinced them otherwise.
  • Remaining in the West, the Raiders were unable to find a buyer for wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, to little surprise. Las Vegas gave Renfrow a big-money extension after his Pro Bowl season and has diminished his role severely ever since. So far this year, Renfrow has been on the field for over half of the Raiders’ offensive snaps in only three games. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the remaining guaranteed money in Renfrow’s contract prevented any teams from fully following through on their interest in the veteran receiver. With Renfrow staying put and the many sources shooting down reports of wide receiver Davante Adams wanting out of Vegas, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders stood pat at the trade deadline.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/31/23

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad transactions in the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/23

Here are the NFL’s minor moves for today:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed off Bears’ practice squad: DT Travis Bell
  • Placed on IR: DT Grady Jarrett (story)

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kareem, who was just activated off of injured reserve, is being waived to make room for defensive end Montez Sweat, acquired by trade this morning. The Bears also announced a practice squad release, indicating a possible return for Kareem on that unit. The Colts are expected to do the same with Boettger.

O’Connor will lose his active roster spot to make room for quarterback John Wolford, whom Tampa Bay officially promoted today in order to ward off interest parties such as the Rams and Vikings, both of whom are experiencing injury issues at quarterback.

Texans Place Two On IR, Poach Practice Squad Replacements

The Texans were forced to make a pair of acquisitions today when two offensive contributors found their way to the injured reserve list today. With the news that they would place starting center Jarrett Patterson and tight end Teagan Quitoriano on IR, Houston also announced the additions of safety DeAndre Houston-Carson and tight end Eric Saubert.

Thanks to some other injuries along the offensive line, Patterson had assumed a starting role at center. The sixth-round rookie had started all seven games for the Texans thus far, but his new ankle injury will force him to miss at least four games. With second-round rookie Juice Scruggs, trade acquisition Kendrick Green, and Patterson all on IR, Michael Deiter stands to step up in their place.

Quitoriano had also cracked the starting lineup this season, making five starts. With a reputation more as a blocker, the second-year tight end’s absence could combine with Patterson’s to affect the run game. Saubert has had a similar reputation over his seven years in the NFL. He’s spent the first half of this season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, being signed off of it to join the Texans. Dalton Schultz has handled most receiving duties in Houston at tight end. With Brevin Jordan dealing with foot injuries, bringing in Saubert became necessary for depth.

Houston-Carson rejoins the Texans, with whom he spent a couple of weeks on the practice squad to start the year before getting released. The veteran safety spent the first seven years of his career in Chicago as a depth piece and special teamer, making nine starts in his final two years. He appeared in two games for Houston off the practice squad before being released and signing with Baltimore. Baltimore had him active for their past two games with Marcus Williams absent due to injury. He, like Saubert, has been signed off the Ravens’ practice squad to rejoin the Texans.

With Patterson and Quitoriano out, the Texans will have to work a little harder to open some lanes and protect rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Adding Saubert should help with the tight end depth, while Houston-Carson brings a familiar face back into the secondary.

Jets Remain Confident In 2023 Aaron Rodgers Return

Zach Wilson has helped lead the Jets to three straight wins, giving the team reason for optimism they could remain in the postseason hunt later in the year. As a result, the door remains open to Aaron Rodgers returning this season.

Many personnel within the organization are confident Rodgers can rehab in time to play again before the end of the campaign, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes. While no one – including the 39-year-old himself – has made a definitive statement on the topic, it is clear all parties are still intent on his Achilles rehab reaching the point where he able to suit up again relatively soon. During his latest Pat McAfee Show appearance, Rodgers said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini) he can now walk without issue but still has a long way to go in his recovery process.

“Obviously, I’m not going to put words in Aaron’s mouth,” general manager Joe Douglas said in a media appearance on Tuesday. “We’re obviously excited to see him progress through his rehab. Look, we’re taking everything day by day… I’m not a doctor, so I can’t go into the specifics of the rehab, but yeah, we’re expecting Aaron to be back” (video link via SNY).

Douglas clarified that he anticipates Rodgers will simply be back with the organization on a full-time, in-person basis rather than on the field. Still, the latter scenario is believed to be in play, as has been the case for some time now. Rodgers underwent a relatively new procedure aimed at dramatically shortening the recovery time, and his progress to date has been encouraging. Any in-season return would only be reasonable if the Jets were to be in contention, of course, something which seemed highly unlikely during Wilson’s first few games under center.

After New York made it clear a starting-caliber replacement would not be brought in, the former second overall pick has seen his performances stabilize to a degree. Wilson posted a passer rating of 105.2 in the Jets’ primetime loss to the Chiefs, and that figure has landed in the mid-70s each week since. While his 58.3% completion percentage and 5:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio certainly leave plenty to be desired, the team’s stout defense could keep them in the running for a wild-card berth in the AFC.

If that turns out to be the case, serious attention will no doubt continue to be paid to Rodgers’ ongoing rehab process. For the time being, though, there is notable optimism all around that a once-surprising comeback is still very much in play.

Jets, OL Rodger Saffold Agree To Deal

The Jets stood pat on the trade front ahead of today’s deadline, but the team has nevertheless made an addition. New York has signed veteran offensive lineman Rodger Saffold to the practice squad with plans to quickly elevate him to the active roster, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Saffold will provide a wealth of experience at the guard spot for the Jets. The 35-year-old has 176 games and 173 starts to his name, including a nine-year stint with the Rams. That was followed by three seasons with the Titans, a stretch which ended with his release with one year remaining on his $44MM pact. He last played with the Bills in 2022. This move will reunite him with offensive line coach Keith Carter who worked with Saffold in Tennessee.

The Jets have suffered a number of injuries on offense, and the team’s O-line has been shorthanded as a result. Former first-rounder Alijah Vera-Tucker – who had been given serious consideration for a full-time right tackle spot but has primarily played at both left and right guard – is out for the year due to an Achilles tear. Connor McGovern and Wes Schweitzer have both also landed on IR. Saffold will have the chance to fill in along the interior, though he has also seen time at left tackle during his career.

Suiting up for 16 games in Buffalo last season, Saffold earned a second straight Pro Bowl nod in 2022 despite a precipitous drop in his PFF evaluations. He earned a career-high mark of 80.7 in 2017, but has taken a step back in that department every year since. At a minimum, Saffold will be able to work as a depth option at a number of spots as the 4-3 Jets look to continue their recent success with Zach Wilson at the helm on offense.

New York entered the day with just under $8MM in cap space. Rather than using that figure on trading for O-line help, Saffold will fit the bill on what will no doubt be a low-cost addition. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Jets use him on gamedays and in what capacity.

Bears Not Expected To Trade CB Jaylon Johnson

On a day when the Bears have made one major addition, they do not appear poised to subtract significantly from their roster. Chicago is expected to retain cornerback Jaylon Johnson, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

[RELATED: Bears Acquire Montez Sweat From Commanders]

Johnson’s already-murky future with the Bears saw a notable development earlier today when he was given permission to seek a trade. To no surprise, interest in the 24-year-old picked up with the 49ers and Bills among the team conducting trade talks on a potential Johnson swap. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes that the Bears put a high price on Johnson, which has no doubt limited how willing contenders have been to acquire him.

The former second-rounder is in a contract year, and his financial status is at the heart of the uncertainty surrounding his tenure in the Windy City. Johnson recently indicated that talks on an extension were set to pick up, but no serious ground appears to have been gained in that regard. Any acquiring team would have needed to hand out a lucrative new pact upon his arrival, or used the franchise tag on him. The latter move would carry a cost of roughly $19.5MM in 2024. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports no in-season extension talks will be held in the wake of a trade not materializing.

Johnson and his camp may very well have used the past few hours to gauge his market with respect to his value on a second contract. No serious suitors emerging could be a sign he is not viewed as being worth a CB1-level investment, though the depth in which a potential trade was discussed is not currently known. On that point, the Bills made an “aggressive attempt” for the Utah alum, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz. For the time being, Johnson – who has remained an anchor of the Bears’ secondary and recorded a pair of interceptions and four pass deflections this year – can continue his fourth season in Chicago knowing he will close out the campaign there ahead of what will no doubt be an interesting offseason in his case.