Cole Hikutini

Extra Points: Practice Squad Salaries, Anthem, Vikings, Browns

The standard practice squad salary is $7,600 a week, but players in high demand around the league often get much more than that, sometimes approaching what their salary would’ve been if they had made the 53-man roster.

Seahawks seventh round quarterback Alex McGough didn’t make the team after Seattle traded for Brett Hundley, but he’ll be making $28K a week according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Although the Broncos wanted De’Angelo Henderson back on their practice squad after cutting him, the Jets offered him $30K a week to steal him away according to Mike Klis of 9News. Lastly, the Vikings paid offered $20K per week to poach tight end Cole Hikutini from the 49ers according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • “Moderate NFL owners are interested in a potential agreement” to waive discipline for players who protest the anthem if the players union will officially endorse standing for the anthem according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post. It’s unclear how close any such agreement might be, but it’s an interesting development.
  • Speaking of the Vikings, the team worked out a slew of players today, with wide receivers Breshad Perriman, Aldrick Robinson and Teo Redding, and offensive linemen Hroniss Grasu, Wesley Johnson, and Bryan Witzmann all coming in for workouts according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN (Twitter link). Minnesota has dealt with a ton of offensive line injuries, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add one of these guys.
  • The Browns finally ended the mystery of who would replace Joe Thomas at left tackle today when they announced it would be undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison protecting Tyrod Taylor’s blindside per Nate Ulrich of the Akron-Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Harrison was always a talented player, but went undrafted because of off-the-field concerns.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/3/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: DE Christian LaCouture

Chicago Bears

Signed:

Cleveland Browns

Signed:

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Signed:

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Signed:

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: OL Zack Golditch

Seattle Seahawks

Signed:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Signed:

Tennessee Titans

49ers Cut 21 Players, Reach 53-Man Max

The 49ers have reached the 53-man roster maximum after releasing 21 players on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the full rundown:

The following players have been released:

In addition to those cuts, the Niners also have a few extra spots on their initial 53-man roster thanks to suspensions for wide receiver Victor Bolden and linebacker Reuben Foster. They’ll also be without defensive lineman Kentavius Street as he sits on the NFI list.

49ers Notes: Rookies, Pettis, Tight End, Garnett

49ers second-round wideout Dante Pettis has an opportunity to contribute right away. Thanks to injuries to Trent Taylor and Marquise Goodwin, the Washington product received plenty of practice reps during OTAs, spending time in the slot and on the outside. While the rookie probably won’t be starting by the time the regular season comes around, the coaching staff is still confident he’ll play a role next season.

“It’s just nice when you have guys who can do different things that you aren’t handcuffed in a game,” head coach Kyle Shanahan told Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. “Similar to how Aldrick Robinson has been for us. He’s fast enough to do some of that stuff, but he also can do the things that other guys do, which just allows you to overcome. If we could dress 15 receivers every game, none of that stuff would matter. But it’s what you get up on game day and how to get through a game.”

As of right now, Pettis is competing with Robinson, Victor Bolden, and Kendrick Bourne to be the team’s fourth wideout.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of San Francisco…

  • Moore has notes about some of the team’s other draft picks and their progress during OTAs. The writer observed that third-rounder Fred Warner was starting at one of the team’s two inside linebacker spots, while fifth-round defensive back D.J. Reed should be the team’s backup safety. Moore was predictably impressed by first-round offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, noting that he was a seamless fit on the offensive line and in the locker room.
  • In his 49ers mailbag, Barrows lists quarterback, offensive tackle, and cornerback as the “most vulnerable” positions. The writer also notes that a Goodwin injury would leave the team with a big hole, as his speed his valuable on offense and (potentially) in the return game.
  • While George Kittle and Garrett Celek will likely see the bulk of the 49ers snaps at tight end, Barrows believes the team will still end up keeping three players at the position. Tight ends coach Jon Embree previously implied that Cole Hikutini was the team’s definitive third tight end, but the 49ers are also rostering Cole Wick and Malcolm Johnson.
  • When asked who his pick would be for a “surprise cut,” Barrows points to offensive guard Joshua Garnett. The 2016 first-round pick started 11 of his 15 games as a rookie, but he missed all of last season after undergoing knee surgery. While the 24-year-old will have to come back from his injury, he’ll also have to hold off a pair of offseason acquisitions in Michael Person and Jonathan Cooper.

49ers WR Trent Taylor Suffers Broken Rib

49ers rookie wideout Trent Taylor may not finish his first NFL season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed earlier today that the receiver broke a rib on a non-contact play, although the team is hoping he’ll see the field again this year (via Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee on Twitter). Meanwhile, the team is preparing to place three players on the injured reserve (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle on Twitter), including safety Jaquiski Tartt, tight end Cole Hikutini and offensive tackle Garry Gilliam. We heard yesterday that Tartt was likely done for the season.

Trent TaylorTaylor, who was selected in the fifth round of this past year’s draft, has gradually climbed the 49ers depth chart throughout the season. The rookie had appeared in all nine games, hauling in 24 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown. The Louisiana Tech product had also returned 17 punts for 167 yards. The team signed wideout Louis Murphy earlier today for some reinforcement at the position, as they were previously rostering only four healthy wideouts in Marquise GoodwinAldrick RobinsonKendrick Bourne, and Victor Bolden.

While Hikutini and Gilliam are headed to the IR, there is some optimism, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that the players injured their MCLs instead of their ACLs. Gilliam joined the 49ers this past summer following three seasons with the Seahawks, and he proceeded to appear in eight games (one start) for his new team. The team could theoretically be in the hunt for another tackle, as their reserve options (which include Zane BeadlesErik Magnuson, and Darrell Williams Jr.) mostly have experience at offensive guard. Hikutini, an undrafted rookie out of Louisville, saw the field for four games this season, hauling in a pair of passes for 15 yards. The team will presumably look for some depth behind George Kittle and Garrett Celek.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jack Mewhort‘s IR trip prompted the Colts to look outside the organization for help. They signed guard Isaiah Williams off the Chiefs‘ practice squad. Williams failed to make the Redskins’ roster out of camp in each of the past two summers but caught on with the Chiefs earlier this season. He’s yet to play in a regular-season game.
  • Chris Conley‘s nationally televised Achilles’ tendon rupture sent the third-year wide receiver to IR, and the Chiefs replaced him on the roster with practice squad wideout Marcus Kemp. The Chiefs signed Kemp as a UDFA out of Hawaii in May and stashed him on their practice squad after the preseason.
  • The Raiders will bring their 2016 third-round pick back to the active roster, re-signing linebacker Shilique Calhoun and placing cornerback Antonio Hamilton on IR, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Hamilton underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The second-year player played in four games this season for the Raiders, primarily as a special-teamer. Calhoun played in 10 Oakland games last season but landed on the team’s practice squad to start this campaign.
  • The 49ers promoted tight end Cole Hikutini to their active roster from the practice squad. A rookie UDFA out of Louisville, Hikutini’s resided in San Francisco’s practice squad since the preseason concluded. Hikutini will take NaVorro Bowman‘s roster spot.
  • The Texans cut safety Marcus Cromartie and replaced him with practice squad safety Kurtis Drummond, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. Cromartie played the past three seasons as 49ers depth piece. Although Drummond played in four Houston games this season, the team cut him to make room for waiver claim Ben Heeney last week.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

49ers Slash Roster To 53

The 49ers completed their wave of cuts and have reduced their roster to the regular-season limit. Here are the final cuts that moved the 49ers down to 53 players.

Released:

Waived:

Extra Points: Vikes, Lions, Jets, Cards

Thanks to the brutal knee injury he suffered last summer, there’s no guarantee Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play football again. Nevertheless, head coach Mike Zimmer spoke encouragingly about Bridgewater’s future Friday, telling Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he’s optimistic the 24-year-old will be a Viking for the long haul (Twitter link). While Bridgewater is technically entering a contract year (the Vikings declined his fifth-year option for 2018 earlier this week), he won’t necessarily be a free agent next offseason. If Bridgewater starts the season on the physically unable to prepare list, he’d miss at least six games, causing his contract to toll, reports Mike Florio of the Pro Football Talk. Thus, Bridgewater would remain a Viking in 2018 for the same salary he’ll make this year ($1.354MM).

More from around the league:

  • The odds of the Lions re-signing free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin continue to decrease, writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. The two sides haven’t had contact in over a month, notes Meinke, who points out that recent developments suggest Boldin won’t return to Detroit for a second year. The Lions used a third-round pick on wideout Kenny Golladay in last week’s draft, for one, and then gave away Boldin’s No. 80 to fourth-round tight end Michael Roberts. (Theoretically, Boldin could get that number back in a negotiation with Roberts, but Meinke regards it as a sign that the Lions are going in another direction.)
  • The Jets released safety Marcus Gilchrist on Thursday, but they aren’t ruling out re-signing him “once he heals” from his knee injury, head coach Todd Bowles said Friday (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). The six-year veteran tore his patellar tendon last season, which limited him to 13 games and forced him to injured reserve in mid-December. Gilchrist has started in all of his appearances dating back to 2013, but it seems doubtful that streak would continue if he were to return to the Jets. Gang Green, after all, used its first- and second-round picks in the draft on safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
  • Before signing with the 49ers, notable undrafted free agent tight end Cole Hikutini drew interest from the Saints, Lions, Patriots, and Texans, tweets Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Hikutini, a Louisville product, was a favorite of many draftniks — Rob Rang of CBSSports.com, for instance, graded Hikutini as a fifth- or sixth-round selection. Ultimately, Hikutini landed a $20K guarantee from San Francisco.
  • The possibility of free agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert signing with the Cardinals “remains alive,” tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Gabbert has an important fan in Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, per Somers.

Zach Links and Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

49ers Sign Five Draft Picks, 16 UDFAs

The 49ers are making quick work of their 2017 draft class, as the club announced today that they’ve signed defensive back Adrian Colbert, defensive lineman D.J. Jones, tight end George Kittle, defensive lineman Pita Taumoepenu, and wide receiver Trent Taylor to rookie contracts. San Francisco also confirmed the previously-reported signing of fourth-round running back Joe Williams.

Additionally, the 49ers have announced the signing of 16 undrafted college free agents: