Josh Bynes‘ NFL career will not extend to a 13th season. The veteran linebacker revealed on Friday that he has retired as a member of the Ravens, the team with which he spent much of his career.
Bynes entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, finding his first regular opportunity with Baltimore. He established himself as a rotational member of the team’s defense and a key special teams contributor in 2012, something which became evident in the postseason. Bynes made the final tackle in Super Bowl XLVII, a play which earned him his lone championship and helped put him on the radar of other teams.
The Auburn alum spent three seasons with Detroit from 2014-16, starting 19 of his 38 games in the Motor City. He then joined the Cardinals on the most lucrative pact of his career (three years, $5.58MM). Bynes served as a full-time starter in his second and final Arizona season before returning to the Ravens in 2019. His play his second Baltimore stint earned him a deal with the Bengals for the following season, during which he posted a career-high 99 tackles.
That campaign was followed by another return to the Ravens, where Bynes earned 19 combined starts across the 2021 and ’22 seasons. In all, he racked up 582 tackles, 8.5 sacks and five interceptions in 138 career games (82 starts). Now 34, Bynes will hang up his cleats with roughly $9.4MM in career earnings. As he turns his attention to the next chapter of his life, he indicated (via Ryan Mink of the Ravens’ team website) coaching could very well be in his future.
“The thing I’m most proud of is perseverance,” Bynes said when reflecting on his career. “I’ve been released, cut. I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough, not fast enough to play in the league, wouldn’t be in the league long at all even if I had the opportunity to play. I can show my peers that regardless of what anybody says, you can do anything. You just go out there and prove it every single day. I feel like I proved that for my entire 12 years.”
A 2021 third-round pick, Rice started 10 games over his first two seasons. Although the Titans cut Zach Cunningham and let David Long sign with the Dolphins, they brought in Azeez Al-Shaair and have used second-year UDFA Jack Gibbens as starters this season. Rice has been strictly a backup, and a post-transaction tweet suggested the young defender was not too broken up about this Tennessee cut.
Hyder joined the Texans earlier this season. The 49ers had waived the rotational pass rusher after trading for Randy Gregory. Reuniting with DeMeco Ryans, Hyder spent much of his Texans stay on their practice squad. The team used the defensive end in two games this season, giving him 40 defensive snaps as a backup. Hyder would be eligible to return to Houston’s P-squad if he clears waivers.
While the Giants haven’t activated Tyrod Taylor, the veteran QB is expected to be back on the active roster next Monday. In preparation, the team has moved on from Matt Barkley, who has been serving as the backup to Tommy DeVito since Daniel Jones went down with an injury. Barkley hasn’t seen the field for a regular season game since 2020, when he got into five games with the Bills.
The Chiefs have ruled out running back Jerick McKinnon for tomorrow’s game against the Packers, necessitating some extra depth at the position. The team will turn to Prince, an undrafted free agent who has spent the entire season on Kansas City’s practice squad. Prince had a breakout season at Tulsa in 2022, finishing with 813 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.
Winfrey, a 2022 fourth-round pick, was cut by the Browns last July after being investigated for pulling a gun on a woman. He joined the Jets practice squad in early November and will finally earn his first promotion of the season. Winfrey got into 13 games for Cleveland last year, collecting 22 tackles and 0.5 sacks.
At age 36, Irvin will be making his debut for a sixth NFL team. The veteran pass rusher signed with Detroit midway through November and will finally have a chance to extend his streak of regular season appearances to 12 straight years. The only absence on the Lions’ front-seven will be linebacker Alex Anzalone, so Detroit may be looking to stand Irvin up to help the team’s depth at linebacker.
With Week 13 underway, the picture at the top of the NFL draft board continues to become clearer. Plenty is yet to be determined with respect to the top of the order, however.
The Panthers’ ongoing struggles led to Frank Reich‘s firing, but the Bears own Carolina’s top pick this year due to the 2023 swap which landed Bryce Youngvia the No. 1 selection. Chicago being able to have the top pick once again – coupled with their own selection landing in the top-10 – would make the Bears a team to watch closely come April. The race for the top two or three slots (and, as such, the ability to draft QBs Caleb Williamsand Drake Maye, along with wideout Marvin Harrison Jr.) will also be a key late-season storyline for the Cardinals and Patriots.
The Commanders have lost three straight games, overshadowing a promising season from first-year starter Sam Howell. After deciding to move on from defensive ends Chase Youngand Montez Sweatat the trade deadline, the team’s defense has continued to struggle. DC Jack Del Rio is out as a result, and head coach Ron Rivera‘s position is not believed to be on strong footing. A top-five pick could make the job in Washington more attractive presuming a opening arises this offseason.
For non-playoff teams, the draft order will be determined by the inverted 2024 standings — plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule — with playoff squads being slotted by their postseason outcome and regular-season record. Here is an updated look at the current draft order:
November 30th, 2023 at 10:00pm CST by Sam Robinson
Entering Thursday on the Cardinals’ injured reserve, Zach Ertz will see his three-season tenure with the team come to a surprising end. The veteran tight end asked for his release, and CBS Sports’ J.J. Watt reports the Cardinals will grant the request.
A two-year Ertz Cardinals teammate, Watt indicates the 11th-year pass catcher hopes to sign with a contender. The Cardinals had given Ertz a three-year, $31.65MM deal in 2022, but the Steve Keim regime authorized that pact. GM Monti Ossenfort will sign off on a separation. The Cardinals have since announced the move.
Although Ertz is a vested veteran, the trade deadline passing mandates he must clear waivers before becoming a free agent. Though, given his quad injury and $8.8MM salary, he would stand to have a decent chance of reaching free agency once again. Ertz, 33, has missed the past five games due to the quad issue. The Cardinals designated guard Elijah Wilkinsonfor return this week, but Ertz remained on IR. It is unclear if he is ready to return, but now that he is off Arizona’s IR, teams will be able to check on this matter.
A team considering an Ertz claim would be responsible for just more than $2.5MM in remaining base salary. Teams can certainly afford this claim, and Ertz’s productive past should at least prompt some to consider it. Ertz is due a $7.96MM base salary in 2024, but that amount is nonguaranteed. But the accomplished tight end has missed significant time in each of the past two seasons.
The Cardinals will be hit with a few million in dead money, but the team has shifted to a rebuilding direction since hiring Ossenfort. In exchange for this release, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds Ertz agreed to give up a game check. He earns more than $517K per game.
Since re-signing Ertz, the Cardinals chose Trey McBride in the 2022 second round. The Colorado State product has shown improvement during his stretch of full-time usage, which came about because of Ertz’s October injury. McBride has 48 receptions for 521 yards. Since moving to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals have struggled for decades to find tight end production. Illustrating this, McBride — who has only started seven games this season — is 53 yards from breaking the franchise’s Arizona-years record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end.
Ertz holds that modest mark presently, but it came during an abbreviated 2021 season — one that saw the Eagles send the former Pro Bowler to the Cardinals. Ertz rolled to 574 yards in 11 Cards games that year, helping the NFC West franchise snap a playoff drought. The Cardinals sent the Eagles a fifth-round pick and cornerback Tay Gowan for Ertz in October 2021, and the partnership paid off for both parties for a bit. But Ertz suffered a season-ending knee injury last year, missing a messy stretch run that ended with Kyler Murray tearing an ACL and the Keim-Kliff Kingsbury duo dismissed. In seven games this season, Ertz totaled just 187 yards (a career-low 6.9 per catch).
While Ertz recovered in time for Week 1, the Cardinals had made major changes during his rehab odyssey. Watt retired, and veterans Zach Allen, Byron Murphy and Markus Golden ventured elsewhere this offseason. After trying to trade DeAndre Hopkins for weeks, the Cardinals moved on via release in May. James Conner and Marquise Brown remain as veteran skill-position presences under Jonathan Gannon, but the Cards are in a clear rebuild mode.
Prior to being traded two years ago, Ertz had angled for an Eagles raise. The Eagles balked and then extended Dallas Goedert. Ertz ended up getting his money in Arizona and has signed two lucrative deals over the course of his career. Ertz made the Pro Bowl from 2017-19, eclipsing 800 yards in five straight seasons (2015-19) and topping out with a 1,163-yard 2018 showing.
The Ravens would seemingly profile as an interested party, having lost Mark Andrews to what is likely a season-ending ankle injury. The Broncos have placed Greg Dulcich on IR four times over his first two seasons; they have not designated their top receiving TE for return yet. The Dolphins did not re-sign Mike Gesicki this offseason. A Stanford product, Ertz also grew up in the Bay Area. The 49ers’ George Kittle employment notwithstanding, they lead the NFL in cap space.
As far as familiarity goes, Doug Pederson coached Ertz from 2016-20, while Shane Steichen was the Eagles’ OC during the tight end’s partial 2021 season in Philly. Though, Pederson’s Jaguars are well situated at tight end after the Evan Engram extension. Would a return to the Eagles make sense? Goedert is on his way back from his forearm fracture, but he has missed time in each of the past two years. The Eagles do not have a viable backup, either.
After missing the Cardinals’ last six games on injured reserve, Wilkinson is now on track to return to his starting left guard post this season. Arizona has used a mixture of Trystan Colon and Carter O’Donnell to fill the spot in the interim.
King found his way to the Texans’ practice squad after being waived by the Steelers and was elevated to game action last week. After starting 25 games for Houston in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, King will be a welcome addition back to the active roster.
Hardee has missed six games with a hamstring injury. The Pro Bowl special teamer returned to practice today alongside quarterbackAaron Rodgers and Schweitzer. Schweitzer was one of several offensive linemen in New York who sustained injuries earlier this year, but after missing the four games required of an IR stint, Schweitzer is working to return, as well.
Following the addition of Michael Carter and the return of Emari Demercado, the Cardinals didn’t have any room for Keaontay Ingram. The 2022 sixth-round pick got into 20 games across one-plus seasons in Arizona, collecting 181 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. If the running back passes through waivers, there’s a chance he lands on the Cardinals practice squad.
Charlie Heck is back on the Texans active roster after missing the first two-plus months of the season. The offensive lineman was recovering from a back injury that “involved sciatica that went down to his foot,” per Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston. The former fourth-round pick will look to carve out a role after starting 17 of his 35 NFL appearances through his first three seasons in the NFL.