Ameer Abdullah

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/21

The customary Saturday minor moves avalanche:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Vikings Promote QB Sean Mannion

Although the Vikings featured different passers during their training camp competition at backup quarterback, their 2021 plan will likely end up being the same as it was in the past two seasons. They are promoting Sean Mannion to their active roster, Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson tweets.

Kirk Cousins‘ backup in 2019 and ’20, Mannion was linked to the Vikings early in the offseason but ended up signing with the Seahawks. After Seattle released the veteran last week, Minnesota circled back for a reunion. Despite Mannion’s reunion coming via the practice squad, the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson notes the team’s plan all along was for Mannion to be Cousins’ top backup to start the season (Twitter link).

The Vikings drafted Kellen Mond in Round 3 and pitted him against Jake Browning for the QB2 job during camp. Mond obviously made Minnesota’s 53-man roster, as a possible Cousins heir apparent. After two years on the Vikings’ practice squad, Browning is now with the Bengals on a P-squad deal.

A seventh-year veteran, Mannion has managed to remain a viable backup despite having never made a start in a game of consequence. The Rams used him as a reserve for four seasons, and the Oregon State alum only started in a 2017 Week 17 game in which Sean McVay sat his starters. Mannion’s lone Vikings start, in Week 17 of the 2019 season, came under similar circumstances. But he is set to provide veteran insurance behind Cousins to start the season.

Minnesota also bumped Ameer Abdullah up to its active roster, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. While the former second-round pick did not work out as a running back solution with the Lions, he has established himself as a key Vikings backup and special-teamer. Abdullah played in each Vikings game over the past two seasons. This will be his fourth season in Minnesota.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Cut Everson Griffen, Get Down To 53

Everson Griffen‘s reunion with the Vikings has already come to an end. The veteran defensive end was among the team’s cuts today.

Griffen spent his entire career with the Vikings up until 2020. Splitting time between the Cowboys and Lions, Griffen finished out with six sacks in total. Meanwhile, no Vikings edge rusher finished with more than five. His ten-year run with the Vikes saw four Pro Bowl appearances and 74.5 total sacks.

Running back Ameer Abdullah was among the other players to earn their walking papers today. The veteran spent the past two-plus seasons with the Vikings, collecting 313 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 55 carries.

The Vikings made the following moves to get down to 53 players:

Released

Waived

Waived/Injured

Contract Details: Rhodes, Johnson, Abdullah, Roberts, Moreau

Let’s catch up on the latest batch of financial terms from recent free agent deals:

  • Colts CB Xavier Rhodes: One-year, $4.77MM. $3.75MM fully guaranteed salary, $1.02MM in per game active roster bonuses. $1.75MM in additional playing time, interception, and Pro Bowl incentives, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). This was originally reported as a one-year, $6.5MM pact, but it looks like that’ll only be the case if he hits those incentives.
  • Titans CB Kevin Johnson: One-year, $2.25MM. $2MM guaranteed, with a $1MM salary and $1MM signing bonus. $250K in per game active roster bonuses, via Wilson on Twitter. We didn’t have any word on compensation initially, and it turns out Tennessee got the former first-rounder for a pretty reasonable price.
  • Vikings RB Ameer Abdullah: One-year, $990K. Non-guaranteed. Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter. Terms of the deal weren’t previously reported, but the Vikings got the former second-rounder back for a non-guaranteed vet minimum contract.
  • Dolphins LB Elandon Roberts: One-year, $1.995MM. $1.345MM salary, $650K signing bonus, plus $750K in incentives available, via Field Yates of ESPN on Twitter. We also didn’t have any terms for Roberts, and he ended up getting some decent money to return to Miami.
  • Falcons CB Fabian Moreau: One-year, $1.127MM. $987.5K guaranteed. $137.5K signing bonus, $990K salary ($850K guaranteed), via Wilson on Twitter. Finishing things up with one more cornerback we were missing terms on. Moreau, a part-time starter for Washington the past few years, got just above the minimum, although it’s almost entirely guaranteed at least.

Vikings To Re-Sign Ameer Abdullah

The Vikings have agreed to a new deal with Ameer Abdullah (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Terms of the deal are not yet known,

Abdullah had lots of hype coming out of Nebraska in 2015. The Lions’ second-round pick was reasonably productive as a rookie, averaging 4.2 yards per carry plus added 25 catches for 183 yards. His follow-up season was mostly lost to injury and he was unable to reassert himself in 2017, as he averaged just 3.3 yards per tote. In 2018, he found his way to the rival Vikings as a backup RB.

Abdullah, 28 in June, has only seen 31 carries across two-years-and-change in Minnesota. Still, he’s suited up for every possible game across the last two years with much of his time spent on special teams. He also serves as the Vikes’ main kick returner with a career average of 26.4 yards per attempt. This year, he may see more time behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison now that Mike Boone is out of the picture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Contract Details: Lions, Seahawks, Vikings, Jets, Broncos

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL deals:

  • Tony McRae, CB (Lions): One year, $1MM. $200K guaranteed. $100K signing bonus (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News).
  • Phillip Dorsett, WR (Seahawks): One year, $1.048MM. $138K guaranteed. Qualifies as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Ameer Abdullah, RB (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune).
  • Anthony Zettel, DE (Vikings): One year, $910K. $45K signing bonus. $45K roster bonus. Qualifiers as veteran minimum salary benefit deal (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press).
  • Joseph Jones, LB (Broncos): One year, $825K. No guaranteed money (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News).
  • Bennett Jackson, DB (Jets): One year, $725K. $100K guaranteed. $50K signing bonus (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com).

Vikings Re-Sign RB Ameer Abdullah

The Vikings re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah, according to a team announcement. Abdullah himself indicated it is a one-year pact, as Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Abdullah didn’t see any carries during his Minnesota tenure last year, but the Vikings are curious to see what he can do moving forward.

The Vikings claimed Abdullah, a 2015 second-round pick, off waivers from the Lions in November. He appeared in seven games and returned ten kicks for an average of 25.8 yards per try.

Coming out of Nebraska, Abdullah had a good deal of hype around him. He was reasonably productive as a rookie, averaging 4.2 yards per carry out of the Lions’ backfield, and added 25 catches for 183 yards. His follow-up season was mostly lost to injury and he was unable to reassert himself in 2017, as he averaged just 3.3 yards per tote.

Abdullah will work to secure a spot on the Vikings’ depth chart behind standout Dalvin Cook.

Vikings Claim RB Ameer Abdullah

The Vikings claimed former Lions running back Ameer Abdullah off waivers, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The move gives the former second-round pick a shot at a fresh start and even an opportunity for revenge when the Vikings face the Lions in Week 16. 

Abdullah entered the league with tons of hype in 2015, but injuries prevented him from doing much of anything after his rookie season. With the Lions this year, Abdullah was mostly inactive behind rookie star Kerryon JohnsonLeGarrette Blount, and pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick.

Technically speaking, Abdullah ranks no higher than third on the Vikings’ depth chart behind Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray, but Cook’s hamstring issues could reappear at any time. Cook looked strong in Week 9 as he rattled off a 70-yard run, but one wrong step could jeopardize his season. The Vikings also have UDFAs Michael Boone and Roc Thomas on the 53-man roster, but one of those players will probably be forced out to make room for the Nebraska product.

The Vikings own the 12th best record in the NFL, meaning more than half of the league passed on the opportunity to add Abdullah. Still, it’s a low-risk move for Minnesota since Abdullah’s contract will expire at the end of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Who Will Claim RB Ameer Abdullah?

The Lions finally cut ties with running back Ameer Abdullah earlier today, ending a three-plus-year run that included numerous rumors of trades that never came to fruition. Abdullah hasn’t accrued four NFL seasons, so he’ll hit the waiver wire (and would have done so anyway given that every NFL player who is cut after the trade deadline goes on waivers).

Abdullah hasn’t had much pro success since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2015. He’s topped 150 carries just twice, failing to top 4.2 yards per carry in either of those seasons. This year, Detroit has stopped using Abdullah altogether, as he’s only appeared in three games and made one rushing attempt. But for clubs in need of running back/returner help, Abdullah could make for a worthwhile add, especially given that he’s only due ~$413K for the remainder of the 2018 campaign.

So what teams could be interested in making a waiver claim on Abdullah? Let’s run through the options:

New England Patriots

The Patriots are always on the hunt for interesting players, but Abdullah may have made more sense for New England a few weeks ago when fellow running back Sony Michel initially went down with injury. James White has filled in admirably, but Abdullah could have given the Pats another option in their backfield. However, Michel is now likely to return for New England’s Sunday night contest against the Titans (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com), so there may not be room for another runner on the Patriots’ roster. Abdullah’s prowess on kick and punt returns would also be nullified in New England, as the Patriots already boast arguably the league’s best returner in Cordarrelle Patterson.

Philadelphia Eagles

After reportedly being in the hunt to acquire a running back via trade at the deadline, the Eagles instead opted to pursue wide receiver help by picking up pass-catcher Golden Tate from the Lions. But the Philadelphia roster could still use another runner after losing Jay Ajayi for the season, so Abdullah could be a candidate to land with the Eagles. If the Eagles did claim Abdullah, however, they’d likely be forced to waive promising undrafted free agent Josh Adams, something I’m not sure they’d consider doing in order to make room for Abdullah.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are all set at running back with James Conner, and if Le’Veon Bell returns before his deadline next week, Abdullah clearly won’t be in consideration for Pittsburgh. But the Steelers have dangerously little depth behind Conner, as the club has only journeyman Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels behind its workhorse. Abdullah could add another dimension to the Steelers’ backfield in the event Conner went down, and — in the more immediate future — give Pittsburgh a boost on kick returns, where they currently rank 31st in Football Outsiders’ special teams metrics.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While the Buccaneers are barely on the fringes of contention (just a six percent chance to earn a postseason berth, per FiveThirtyEight.com), they need to do something about their running game. Deploying a combination of Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, and rookie Ronald Jones (who is now injured), Tampa Bay ranks 24th in rushing DVOA, 29th in yards per carry, and 30th in yards per game. Given the success of their Air Raid passing offense, the Buccaneers don’t necessarily need to be effective running the ball, but adding Abdullah couldn’t hurt.

Tennessee Titans

There’s no hiding the fact that Dion Lewis is no the Titans’ No. 1 running back. As Adam Levitan of Fantasy Labs pointed out on Twitter today, Lewis’ snap count has increased from 32 to 45 to 59 over the past three games, while Henry has seen his snap count dwindle from 12 to 24 to 14 over the same stretch. Chris Mortensen of ESPN even reported earlier this week that Tennessee attempted to trade Henry prior to last week’s deadline but couldn’t find a taker. It seems unlikely the Titans will simply cut Henry, but if they do, they’ll need another back on their roster, and Abdullah could fit the bill.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins don’t need anyone to usurp Adrian Peterson, but they could use another pass-catching back given that Chris Thompson just can’t seem to stay healthy. Thompson, who’s managed to play a full 16-games slate just once during his six-year career, has been dealing with rib and knee injuries all season, and missed Sunday’s contest against the Saints. If Washington doesn’t think it can rely on Thompson to stay on the field, Abdullah could make for an advisable addition.

So what do you think? Will one of these teams — or a club not listed here — claim Abdullah? Or will he pass through waivers and become a free agent? Vote below, and leave your thoughts in the comment section! (Link for app users).

Lions Release RB Ameer Abdullah

The Lions are signing free agent wide receiver Bruce Ellington, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. To make room, the Lions will waive running back Ameer Abdullah

Abdullah entered the league with lots of hype as a second-round pick in 2015, but injuries prevented him from doing much of anything after his rookie season. This year, Abdullah has been mostly inactive behind rookie star Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, and pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick. Rapoport notes that the Lions had trade talks about the Nebraska product before the deadline, but the team was unable to find a deal. Now, he’ll have an opportunity to start fresh somewhere else.

Ellington spent most of the 2018 season on Houston’s injured reserve as he dealt with a hamstring injury, but the 27-year-old was recently cleared by doctors to play. While it was once assumed that the Texans would activate the receiver, their acquisition of Demaryius Thomas (and quick recovery of KekeCoutee) changed things. Ellington ultimately got released off of IR late last month.

The 2014 fourth-round pick signed with Houston back in 2017, and finished that campaign with 29 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He was underwhelming through Houston’s first three games in 2018, as he only hauled in eight receptions for 92 yards and one score. But, Ellington can contribute on special teams for Detroit and could carve out a role for himself at receiver in the wake of the Golden Tate trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.