D.J. Reed

NFC West Rumors: Fitzgerald, Gould, Reed

Speculating about Larry Fitzgerald‘s future has become something of a holiday tradition over the past few seasons. The surefire Hall-of-Famer did say earlier this year that if the Cardinals were to win Super Bowl LV, he would ride off into the sunset, but Arizona’s hopes for its first Lombardi Trophy suffered a major blow in an upset loss to the 49ers last night.

So will Fitz be back in 2021? As Rachel Gossen of ArizonaSports.com writes, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he believes Fitzgerald could play for another four seasons, but Fitzgerald himself was noncommittal.

“I haven’t really given it much thought to be honest with you,” he said. Though Fitzgerald did add that it will be nice to have fans back in the stands when it’s safe, Kingsbury downplayed the notion that Fitzgerald would return just to receive a proper sendoff from the Cardinals’ faithful.

As we wait to see whether one of the best receivers in NFL history will call it a career, and as the Cards focus on keeping their fading playoff hopes alive, let’s round up a few more notes from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers have a big decision to make on kicker Robbie Gould this week. Per the four-year extension Gould signed in 2019, San Francisco has until January 2 to pick up an option that would guarantee $2.25MM of Gould’s $4.5MM 2021 salary. Gould had hit 90.5% of his field goal attempts heading into last night’s matchup with Arizona, but he missed two FGA’s and a PAT in a 20-12 win that could have been more decisive. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the performance will not impact the team’s decision on Gould’s contract. “You got to look at the body of work, and Robbie has been unbelievable,” Shanahan said (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Claimed off waivers from the division-rival 49ers in August, Seahawks CB D.J. Reed has been a great find for Seattle. In eight games (six starts), Reed has lined up both in the slot and outside the numbers and has accumulated 49 tackles, two interceptions, and six passes defensed while yielding a modest 77.9 passer rating as the nearest defender (via NFL Next Gen stats). Though the 5-9 Reed does not fit the mold of the big-bodied specimens that Seattle generally prefers at the outside corner positions, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com thinks his presence could make the club more amenable to moving on from contract-year players Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin. Reed will be entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2021.
  • As Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic points out, the Rams would be about $26MM over the 2021 salary cap if the cap is decreased to $175MM as many expect. So while the club can certainly restructure the contracts of players like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to create space, it will also have tough decisions to make on pending free agents. Rodrigue posits that, if DC Brandon Staley gets hired as a head coach, he may try to bring safety John Johnson and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with him, though Los Angeles will doubtlessly prioritize re-ups with both players. Meanwhile, Rodrigue sees players like WR Josh Reynolds and TE Gerald Everett signing elsewhere this offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/20

Here is the league’s avalanche of Halloween minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/5/20

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

  • Claimed off waivers (from 49ers): DB D.J. Reed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

49ers’ D.J. Reed Out For Season

D.J. Reed won’t have to wrestle his opt out decision between now and Thursday. Unfortunately, his torn pectoral muscle has made the call for him. The Niners have waived Reed with a non-football injury designation, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). Assuming Reed clears waivers, which he is almost certain to do, he will revert to San Francisco’s reserve/NFI list and will miss the season.

[RELATED: 49ers To Sign Jordan Reed]

Reed, 23, has appeared in 31 games for the Niners over the last two seasons. His playing time dipped in 2019, but, at minimum, he was set to serve as a versatile reserve in the secondary and a valuable special teams player.

Kwon Alexander suffered a torn pectoral muscle last year and miraculously returned to practice two months later. That’s not the typical timetable, of course, so it’s not a surprise to hear that Reed is done for the season. 49ers GM John Lynch considered keeping Reed on the roster, but it wasn’t feasible for the team to tie up a spot for several months.

By parking Reed for the year, the Niners will clear a roster spot for tight end Jordan Reed, who agreed to join the club on Monday. As Maiocco reports, the club also waived CB Chris Edwards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ DB D.J. Reed Suffers Torn Pec

The injuries keep mounting for the 49ers. Defensive back D.J. Reed suffered a torn pectoral during a recent workout, per Matt Maiocco of NBS Sports Bay Area. Reed subsequently confirmed the injury via Twitter.

Reed, 23, was selected by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. In his rookie campaign, he played in a little more than 1/3 of the team’s defensive snaps and was also a regular special teams contributor. He tallied 41 tackles and a sack and returned 11 kickoffs for 332 yards, including a 90-yarder.

His playing time took a nosedive in 2019, however. He ended up appearing in just 12% of the Niners’ defensive snaps, and he did not get any kick return opportunities. Still, the team values his ST abilities and his versatility, which allows him to line up outside the numbers, in the slot, and at safety. Plus, since Richie James is also dealing with an injury, Reed may have gotten another shot at return duties.

The timeframe for Reed’s return is not yet known, though it’s worth noting that San Francisco LB Kwon Alexander also suffered a torn pec last year. He sustained the injury on October 31 and returned to practice two months later. He was back in action for the club’s postseason run, which began on January 11.

In addition to the Reed and James injuries, the 49ers are planning to be without top wide receiver Deebo Samuel for a bit. Samuel broke his foot last month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Harris, 49ers, Chiefs, Raiders

Shortly after agreeing to a redone 2019 contract, Chris Harris announced intentions to bet on himself in advance of a 2020 free agency venture. The decorated Broncos cornerback bypassed free agency in 2015, signing a five-year extension, but is targeting top cornerback money next year. As for the chances of the Broncos being the team that authorizes such a deal, the soon-to-be 30-year-old defender said that would be the goal.

I’m definitely giving them a shot. Definitely,” Harris said, via NFL.com, of the prospect of re-signing with the Broncos after this season. “The situation could always be salvaged and worked out. So, I’ll go do my thing, and then at the end of the year, whatever, I’ll definitely give them a fair chance, for sure.

I’ve always said I want to retire here and that’s always been my mentality here. So, if I got to go show them in 16 games that I want to retire here, then I’m going to go do.”

When the Broncos and Harris discussed his deal this offseason, both sides preferred a long-term extension. But the parties were so far apart they shifted to this rare pay-raise agreement. The Broncos are projected to hold $50MM-plus in 2020 cap space, and while Harris would stand to profile as their most talented free agent-to-be, it appears this situation can be tabled for several months.

Here is the latest coming out of the West divisions:

  • After converting college safety Tarvarius Moore to cornerback his rookie year, the 49ers recently moved him back. Jimmie Ward‘s broken collarbone prompted this change, with The Athletic’s Matt Barrows noting (subscription required) Moore was stationed at corner as recently as last week. DC Robert Saleh praised Moore’s versatility. Fellow 2018 safety draftee D.J. Reed is also recovering from offseason surgery, so Moore’s latest position switch might not be permanent.
  • Given a starting role by two teams thus far in his career, Carlos Hyde is again set to work as a backup. The Chiefs plan to use Damien Williams as their starter over the former 49ers and Browns first-stringer, OC Eric Bieniemy said (via 610 Sports’ Brandon Kiley, on Twitter). Summoned into action because of Kareem Hunt‘s midseason exit and a Spencer Ware injury, Williams averaged 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season and scored four playoff touchdowns. Coming into his surprise promotion, Williams averaged 3.6 yards per tote in four seasons as a Dolphins backup. A year after signing a three-year, $15.25MM deal with the Browns, Hyde is attached to a one-year, $1.5MM Chiefs pact.
  • Trent Brown did not voice a preference to play left or right tackle, and the 6-foot-8, 380-pound Raiders blocker said moving back to right tackle will be less of a transition than sliding to the left side with the Patriots last year. The Raiders moved Brown because they prefer Kolton Miller on the left side, OC Greg Olson said. “Certainly, we had a chance to study Trent before when he was in San Francisco. We’ve seen him on both sides,” Olson said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We’ve had a chance to have Kolton, obviously, on the left side, so that’s where we’ve started this spring.”

49ers’ Weston Richburg, D.J. Reed Undergo Surgery

49ers center Weston Richburg and cornerback D.J. Reed both recently underwent surgery, leaving their availability for the start of training camp in question, San Francisco announced today. Richburg’s operation addressed an ongoing knee issue, while Reed went under the knife to correct a shoulder injury.

Richburg inked a five-year, $47.5MM contract with the 49ers last offseason, and proceeded to play in 15 games despite dealing with his knee injury. His production wasn’t great, as Pro Football Focus assigned Richburg the lowest grade (51.9) of his five-year career, but it’s fair to assume his health questions factored into his reduced level of play.

Although Richburg could return for training camp, knee injuries can often last longer than initially expected. The 49ers don’t have a ton of depth along the interior of their offensive line, so they could potentially be in trouble if Richburg is forced to miss any regular season action. Erik Magnuson would presumably take over at center, but San Francisco could look to free agency and/or the draft to shore up their line in case Richburg isn’t ready for the 2019 campaign.

Reed, a fifth-round pick last year, appeared in 15 games (two starts) for the Niners. At 5’9″, 188 pounds, he’s mostly suited for the slot, and that’s where he primarily played in 2018. All told, Reed saw action on roughly a third of San Francisco’s defensive snaps and 43.2% of the club’s special teams plays.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Rumors: Rams, 49ers, Thomas

Despite the Rams‘ dominance through four games, they haven’t deployed much in the way of name talent at linebacker. They traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and shipped Robert Quinn to the Dolphins. Los Angeles is in line to have its top current ‘backer back in Week 5, however. Sean McVay expects Barron to make his season debut against the Seahawks after missing the first four games due to a lingering Achilles injury that caused him to miss all of Los Angeles’ offseason program.

We’ve kind of got a plan in place where we’re anticipating him being able to go. And that’s subject to change based on how he responds. But he’s feeling good up to this point,” McVay said, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com. “We’re hopeful to be able to get him back and if that’s the case we’ll be excited to get Mark out there.”

Barron started 44 games for the Rams the past four seasons and is in the third season of a five-year, $45MM contract. The Rams have started Cory Littleton and Ramik Wilson at inside linebacker this season.

Here’s the latest from this division, one that features a clear-cut favorite at the quarter pole.

  • Although McVay said earlier this week Greg Zuerlein had a chance to return Sunday, that probably remains at least a week away. The second-year Rams coach said the signing of Cairo Santos likely indicates Zuerlein is still a bit way from resuming his season. He’s been sidelined since Week 2 warmups after sustaining a groin injury.
  • Richard Sherman‘s per-game bonus-laden contract makes it critical he stay on the field as much as possible, and the veteran cornerback has a chance to play this week. The 49ers defender participated in a limited practice on Thursday and would be in line to start upon returning. However, not much else is known about the 49ers’ corner situation, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward and Greg Mabin could continue a rotation on the outside, Robert Saleh said, adding this is a product of Mabin’s progress rather than the coaching staff having issues with Ward or Witherspoon’s play.
  • Don’t look for D.J. Reed to usurp the rehabbing Adrian Colbert. Kyle Shanahan confirmed, via Maiocco, the original San Francisco free safety starter will get his job back once he returns from a hip contusion. Shanahan would be “surprised” if Colbert isn’t ready to return this week. The second-year player did not start last week but got in two full practices this week.
  • The Seahawks could franchise Earl Thomas for $12.48MM, but the three-time All-Pro could well hit the market. If he’s not franchised, it’s incredibly hard to envision Thomas back with the Seahawks. And if he is, another long holdout almost certainly commences. Despite having a broken leg end his season, Thomas may see a robust market come March, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports citing big deals given to Allen Robinson (coming off an ACL tear) and Matt Kalil (off a hip injury) as why Thomas can be expected to be a coveted commodity. Thomas has already surmounted a significant leg injury; he returned from that season-ending malady to be a 2017 Pro Bowler. He should have immense incentive to get cleared by the time free agency opens.

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.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/11/2018

Here are the rest of Friday’s draft-pick signings:

  • In addition to signing Marcus Davenport, the Saints also inked Florida State offensive tackle Rick Leonard (Round 4, pick 127), Wisconsin safety Natrell Jamerson (Round 5, pick 164), Boston College cornerback Karmin Moore (Round 6, pick 189), Louisiana Tech running back Boston Scott (Round 6, pick 201), and LSU center Will Clapp (Round 7, pick 245), The Advocate’s Nick Underhill tweets.
  • The Cardinals continued to ink their draft picks to deals, signing Fordham running back Chase Edmonds (Round 4, pick 134), cornerback Christian Campbell (Round 6, pick 182), and offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (Round 7, pick 254).
  • The Giants followed suit, signing UTEP guard Will Hernandez (Round 2, pick 34), Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter (Round 3, pick 66) and Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta (Round 4, pick 108).
  • The Panthers also inked cornerback Rashaan Gaulden (Round 3, pick 85) and linebacker Andre Smith (Round 7, pick 234).
  • The Bills added another signing in Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson (Round 4, pick 121).
  • The Bengals were also busy, tabbing cornerback Davontae Harris (Round 5, pick 151), defensive end Andrew Brown (Round 5, pick 158), quarterback Logan Woodside (Round 7, pick 249) and guard Rod Taylor (Round 7, pick 252).
  • The 49ers signed their fifth pick so far in the offseason, inking Kansas State defensive back D.J. Reed (Round 5, pick 142).
  • The Patriots added a slew of draft picks to the ranks, signing linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (Round 5, pick 143), linebacker Christian Sam (Round 6, pick 178), wide receiver Braxton Berrios (Round 6, pick 210), quarterback Danny Etling (Round 7, pick 219), cornerback Keiron Crossen (Round 7, pick 243), and tight end Ryan Izzo (Round 7, pick 250).