Chidobe Awuzie

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/13/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Activated from PUP list: DT Trysten Hill
  • Promoted: K Lirim Hajrullahu

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals 

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: K Lirim Hajrullahu

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Bengals To Sign Chidobe Awuzie

The Bengals have agreed to sign Chidobe Awuzie to a three-year deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). Awuzie missed half of the Cowboys’ season due to injury, but the Bengals believe in his potential.

This agreement is worth $21.75MM over three years, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). By virtue of Pro Bowl-based incentives, it can max out at $22.5MM.

Awuzie finished 2020 with 38 stops, five passes defensed, and one interception. All in all, he has 213 tackles, four interceptions, 37 pass deflections, and two forced fumbles across four pro seasons. He’s been a consistent starter for the Cowboys, though fans have been mostly lukewarm on him since he was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft.

Awuzie isn’t great in man-to-man coverage, but he’s much stronger in zone coverage. Utilized properly, he could be a solid contributor, though he definitely won’t be able to replace the production of William Jackson. Jackson, who has started at least 13 games in each of the past three seasons, is a free agent and could score a top-of-the-market deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/10/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB A.J. Dillon; Dillon had been on the Packers’ virus list since testing positive Nov. 2

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promoted: K Austin MacGinnis

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cowboys Activate Sean Lee, Joe Looney

Ben DiNucci will have more help up front than he did upon being thrust into action last week. In addition to Zack Martin returning from concussion protocol, Joe Looney is back on the Cowboys’ active roster.

The Cowboys activated Looney and Sean Lee from IR Saturday, though ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes rookie Tyler Biadasz is expected to make another start at center. Looney has missed the past three games because of an MCL injury.

Dallas used Looney as its full-time starter in 2018, when Travis Frederick missed the season, and re-signed him this offseason after Frederick retired. Looney started the team’s first four games before his knee injury. He went down on the first play of the Cowboys’ Week 4 loss to the Browns. Pro Football Focus grades his 2020 work better than Biadasz’s thus far, with the latter ranking near the bottom of the advanced metrics site’s center hierarchy.

Lee will make his 2020 debut. The Cowboys placed the veteran linebacker on IR prior to the season starting, carrying him onto their 53-man roster so they could activate him at some point. Lee underwent pelvis surgery, forcing his latest injury-induced absence. The Cowboys re-signed Lee on a one-year, $4.5MM deal this offseason. This will be as healthy as Dallas’ linebackers have been all season, with Leighton Vander Esch also now back after missing early-season games.

The Cowboys also promoted cornerback Saivion Smith from their practice squad. Smith will help a cornerback corps that will be without Chidobe Awuzie. The Cowboys enter Week 8 ranking 30th in defensive DVOA. They jettisoned three veterans — Everson Griffen, Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley — this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Ertz, Giants, Cowboys

Zach Ertz‘s high ankle sprain may well have prevented a big trade. Prior to Ertz’s injury, the Eagles were willing to part with the eighth-year tight end before the Nov. 3 deadline, multiple NFL executives informed ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (video link). The Eagles view Dallas Goedert as a long-term cornerstone, a position Ertz previously held in Philly, and the older of the team’s two prominent tight ends became embroiled in a contract dispute with the team during camp. Ertz sought a deal in the George KittleTravis Kelce neighborhood ($14MM-plus per year) and openly questioned whether the Eagles wanted him around. Ertz’s current contract — a four-year, $42MM pact — expires after the 2021 season. He will be on IR beyond the trade deadline.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Although Joe Judge was interestingly noncommittal about Andrew Thomas‘ status earlier this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the No. 4 overall pick is in good standing with the Giants and will start at left tackle Thursday night. The Giants used third-round rookie Matt Peart as their left tackle starter against Washington, making the change because Thomas violated a team rule. Thomas played just 22 snaps in Big Blue’s win. Through six games, Pro Football Focus slots Thomas 61st among tackles — behind three tackles that were taken after him in this year’s first round.
  • The Eagles will continue to incorporate Jalen Hurts into their offense. Doug Pederson said this week using Hurts in a Wildcat-type capacity is something the Eagles are “definitely going to continue to explore each week,” via Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP. The second-round rookie has played 19 snaps this season, including a career-high seven last week. Hurts has completed one pass but is averaging 7.0 yards per carry on seven attempts.
  • It is quite possible the Washington Football Team‘s mascot-less existence will continue into 2021. “There’s a pretty good chance we will be the Washington Football Team next season,” team president Jason Wright said (via John Keim of ESPN.com). The franchise made the change in mid-July.
  • Key defensive personnel could return for the Cowboys this week. Sean Lee and Chidobe Awuzie returned to practice and could be activated ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Both players went on IR after Week 1. Lee’s return from a sports hernia issue would follow Leighton Vander Esch into Dallas’ lineup, giving the embattled defense its full set of first-string linebackers. Awuzie is attempting to come back from a hamstring malady.
  • The Giants worked out a familiar player Thursday. They brought former first-round pick Corey Coleman back for an audition/checkup. The Giants re-signed Coleman in March but cut him ahead of the regular season. Coleman tore an ACL during the team’s 2019 training camp and has not played since.

Cowboys Place CB Chidobe Awuzie On IR

Chidobe Awuzie‘s hamstring injury will lead to an IR placement. The Cowboys will shelve one of their starting cornerbacks for at least three games.

One the key players in Dallas’ post-Byron Jones puzzle, Awuzie has played 86% of the team’s defensive snaps this season. He went down late in the Cowboys’ 40-39 win over the Falcons.

The Cowboys are down both Awuzie and slot cornerback Anthony Brown (also on IR) against a Seahawks offense that has been one of the league’s most explosive this season. Russell Wilson leads the league in touchdown passes (nine) and in passer rating through two games.

Dallas promoted cornerbacks Saivion Smith and Deante Burton from its practice squad, while also elevating tackle Eric Smith to its active roster. Awuzie cannot return to action until Week 6. He joins Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, La’el Collins and Blake Jarwin as starters on the Cowboys’ IR list.

This is a key year for Awuzie, who joins Jourdan Lewis in being on track for free agency in 2021. A 2017 second-round pick, Awuzie has started 38 games in his career. The Cowboys were active this offseason in attempting to replace Jones, drafting Trevon Diggs in Round 2 and signing Daryl Worley. The team also brought back Brandon Carr just before the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys’ Chidobe Awuzie To Miss Time

Cowboys starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie will miss multiple games with a hamstring injury, per a club announcement. Awuzie has not been placed on injured reserve, but that would be the logical move if he’s sidelined for three or more games.

[RELATED: Jared Veldheer Turns Down Cowboys, Retires]

Awuzie went down late in the Cowboys’ win over the Falcons, adding another name to the team’s already lengthy injury list. Already, the Cowboys have cornerback Anthony Brown and linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee on IR. Brown hit the IR list just as fellow corner Jourdan Lewis returned to action and Awuzie’s absence marks yet another hit to the secondary.

In the interim, the Cowboys will likely turn to recent call-up Brandon Carr for support at corner. Ideally, the Cowboys wanted the veteran at safety, where he backed Darian Thompson and Daryl Worley.

On the plus side, rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs returned to the practice field after missing some time with a shoulder injury. They’ll need the Alabama product more than ever given the Cowboys’ injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.