D.J. Foster

Contract Details: Zuerlein, Bills, Cardinals

Here are the latest details from the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/25/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins


Cardinals Place D.J. Foster On IR

D.J. Foster‘s season could be over. At minimum, he’ll be out for the next eight weeks. 

[RELATED: Dolphins Trade Drake To Cardinals]

On Monday, the Cardinals placed the running back on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. The move comes on the heels of their Monday morning trade for running back Kenyan Drake, so they’re already adequately prepared for Foster’s absence.

Foster, of course, isn’t the only injured Cardinals RB. Chase Edmonds just went down with a hamstring injury of his own and star David Johnson is dealing with an ankle injury. This all amounts to Drake, fresh off the plane from Miami, being penciled in as the main ball-carrier for Thursday night’s game against the 49ers. He’ll be backed by the Cardinals’ revamped group, featuring Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris.

Foster, who has primarily contributed on special teams, returned eight kickoffs for 184 yards in the first six games of the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/8/19

Today’s minor moves from another busy day of action across the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: K Jonathan Brown

Seattle Seahawks

Cardinals RB D.J. Foster Suffers Torn ACL

Cardinals running back D.J. Foster is done for the year. On Monday morning, doctors diagnosed Foster with a torn ACL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Foster came to the Cardinals last September after he was signed off of the Patriots’ practice squad. He didn’t play a whole lot in Arizona, but he was quietly impressing this offseason with his versatility.

The Cardinals were facing some tough choices at running back, but the injury clarifies their depth chart somewhat ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Fourth-round pick Chase EdmondsT.J. Logan, and Elijhaa Penny are still fighting for jobs behind David Johnson, but it’s possible that the Cardinals will keep all three on the initial 53-man roster. Although the Cardinals have other running backs on hand, Foster’s special teams skills will be missed.

Foster had 59 receptions for 584 yards as a senior at ASU and the Cardinals were hoping to see some of that pass-catching acumen in 2018. Last year, Foster had 17 catches for 133 yards in seven games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals To Sign RB D.J. Foster

The Cardinals need a running back and an ASU alum is on his way to help. Arizona has signed D.J. Foster off of the Patriots’ practice squad, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsD.J. Foster (vertical)

On Monday morning, the Cardinals learned that star David Johnson has suffered a dislocated wrist. Right now, the Cards are operating under the assumption that he’ll be out of action for approximately 12 weeks, meaning that he won’t be back on the field until December in a best-case scenario.

Foster missed the Patriots’ initial 53-man cut this year which wasn’t a huge surprise given their depth at the position. He signed on with the practice squad that same weekend, but it didn’t take long for another club to pry him loose.

Foster appeared in three games for New England last year. He totaled 24 yards off of seven attempts and also added one reception for two yards. His pass-catching ability may be his best quality – he had 59 receptions for 584 yards as a senior at ASU.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets 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 AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Patriots Reach 53-Man Max

The Patriots made a massive amount of cuts on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit. Most of the cuts were expected, but there were a few surprises in the bunch.



Karras was widely projected to be the team’s top backup on the interior line, so his release comes as a surprise. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Pats in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and played in all 16 regular season games last year. He also appeared in all three playoff games as a reserve.

O’Shaughnessy, acquired via trade in April, was competing for the third tight end spot. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has played in 23 NFL games with six starts.

Patriots Place Rob Gronkowski On IR

No miraculous late-January or Super Bowl LI return for Rob Gronkowski will be in the cards this season. The Patriots placed their superstar tight end on IR, ending his seventh NFL season, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

New England moved running back D.J. Foster back to the active roster, per Yates (Twitter link). The team already used its IR-return slot on third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

This doesn’t come as a shock after the joint statement released by the Patriots and the tight end’s family pointed to the 27-year-old perennial All-Pro being shelved for the season after back surgery. Gronkowski aggravated his perpetual back issue against the Jets last weekend, and the consequences give the Patriots a higher degree of difficulty in their hopes at a second Super Bowl title in three years.

It’s been another injury-marred season for Gronkowski, who has missed time due to hamstring, chest and now back maladies. Gronk played in eight games this season but only saw extensive action in six of those contests. He’ll wind up missing eight games in 2016, upping his career total of game-day absences to 24. The three-time All-Pro had missed just two games combined over the past two seasons.

Gronkowski will finish with the highest yards-per-reception figure of his career to date, having posted a 21.6 number here — a small sample size, obviously, but one that’s 5.3 higher than his previous career-best mark of 16.3 during 2015. This will also be just the second season the league’s consensus top tight end will finish with fewer than 10 touchdowns. He scored three times this season.

The Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI with an ailing Gronkowski, who sprained his ankle in that year’s AFC championship game, but fell short the following two years after a broken forearm and tears of his ACL and MCL either limited or removed Gronk in the following two seasons’ AFC playoff brackets. His health the past two seasons helped New England to its fourth Super Bowl title, in 2014, or brought the team to the precipice of a title defense. Gronkowski’s dominant finish in the most recent AFC championship game nearly forced overtime in a narrow loss to the Broncos.

Tom Brady‘s numbers decline sharply without Gronkowski available. With Gronkowski since his 2010 arrival, Brady’s completed 65 percent of his passes and boasts a 103.5 quarterback rating. In the 17 games in that span Brady’s played without his potential Hall of Fame tight end his completion percentage drops to 57 percent, with his rating plummeting to 84.4. So, this could shake up the AFC playoff picture. Of course, New England employs a better backup tight end than it did previously, which should soften the blow.

Martellus Bennett will now have a prime chance to score a big free agency payday in ascending to the Patriots’ No. 1 tight end role. New England did not have a similar answer in previous years when Gronk went down.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Gronk, Cannon, Foster, FAs

Rob Gronkowski opting against a holdout during the summer continued to limit the historically great tight end’s earning potential, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe views that decision as costly for the again-injured All-Pro. Gronkowski was coming off two dominant seasons this summer but continued to play on a team-friendly deal signed in 2012, one that will pay him $4.25MM in base salary in 2017.

The 27-year-old dynamo has now seen another significant injury sideline him, shooting down his leverage with the Patriots on a deal that still contains three years — the final two featuring $19MM in nonguaranteed money. Gronk making $14MM in 2016-17 is not only incredibly pedestrian for his fellow tight ends, Volin argues his salary should have been closer to top-end receivers’ than those at a position at which he’s been viewed as the No. 1 talent for the past five years.

Now, 2017 looms as a pivotal year in Gronkowski’s New England timeline, with another comeback perhaps necessary to induce the Pats to keep him in 2018-19 during the nonguaranteed years. Volin also gathers from the joint statement released by the Patriots and Gronkowski’s family the team believed he could return this season but the Gronkowskis want to preserve the seventh-year player’s long-term value.

Here’s more from the perpetual AFC East champions.

  • Marcus Cannon will almost certainly be the Patriots’ right tackle in 2017 and 2018, but the full guarantees on the breakout player’s recent extension stop in 2019. The Patriots will have until the third day of the ’19 league year, per Volin, to determine whether or not they want to pay Cannon any more money. Through the end of the ’18 season, Cannon’s deal will pay out a minimum of $16.03MM and a maximum of $17.4MM. Set to turn 29 before next season, Cannon will carry cap numbers of $3.4MM and $6.05MM in 2017-18, with 2019’s figure ballooning to $7.55MM, which should still be a reasonable value as the salary cap continues to rise.
  • The Patriots’ roster didn’t seem to need another running back now that Dion Lewis is a game-day regular again, but moving D.J. Foster back to the practice squad did not result the usual financial ramifications for the backup. The UDFA will still make $26,470 this week as opposed to the practice squad minimum of $6,900 per week, Volin notes (on Twitter). New England re-signed Foster to its taxi squad earlier this week after claiming Darius Kilgo on waivers from Denver last weekend.
  • Dont’a Hightower should be considered a candidate for the franchise tag, even if the middle linebacker hasn’t shown himself to be tremendously durable, missing eight games in 2014-15, Michael Giardi of CSNNE.com writes. The linebacker franchise tag crept over $14MM this offseason, with pass-rushing OLBs being categorized the same as traditional-type ‘backers, but Giardi notes the Pats tagging Hightower would likely be a stopgap measure while the sides work something out. After all, the team essentially prioritized him after trading potential UFAs Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins.
  • There’s a rare win for the players. Alan Branch prevailed in his appeal of a four-game substance-abuse suspension.