September 11th, 2021 at 2:07pm CST by Sam Robinson
It looks like Damion Square will be set for a ninth NFL season. The veteran defensive lineman caught on with the Bears earlier this week, via a practice squad deal, but will be on Chicago’s active roster Sunday night.
The Bears are promoting Square from their taxi squad, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman will not make the trip to Los Angeles, having been ruled out for Week 1 with a knee injury, putting Square in position to be a depth piece for his new team.
The Saints released Square on roster cutdown day. A week later, the Bears brought the former Charger in for a workout and added him to their 16-man practice squad. While Square is not a lock to dress against the Rams, Goldman’s injury and the Bears’ thin defensive line depth chart would seemingly ensure the ninth-year vet plays. Chicago has three backup D-linemen on its roster — Square, Angelo Blackson and seventh-round rookie Khyiris Tonga— but one of them will need to start for Goldman.
Square, 32, played six seasons with the Chargers and started 24 games — including 11 during the Bolts’ 2018 playoff season. He played 252 defensive snaps with Los Angeles last season, tallying a sack two QB hits. The Bears are Square’s third team this year. The Browns signed him in May but cut him in mid-August, leading the Saints to take a flier. But Square’s ninth season will begin with Chicago.
Additionally, the Bears are elevating linebacker Josh Woods from their practice squad. The 2020 CBA allows teams to bump up two players from P-squads on game days and dress 48 instead of 46.
We had previously heard about a number of these transactions, which you can find here (including full stories on Thomas, Siemian, and Freeman).
Among the notable additions to the list of cut players is veteran wideout Chris Hogan, who delayed a professional lacrosse career to return to the NFL. The two-time Super Bowl champ signed with the Saints back in July. Kevin White is another notable name to earn his walking papers. The former seventh-overall pick has been unable to hold a steady gig since leaving the Bears in 2019. He got into three games for New Orleans last season but mostly appeared on special teams.
The Saints have signed nose tackle Damion Square, per the league wire. To make room, they’ve released fullback Sutton Smith.
Square spent 2014-20 with the Chargers, re-upping with the team in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. He started 24 games for the Bolts in total and enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2018 — 6.5 sacks on a 51% defensive snap rate. However, Los Angeles’ new coaching staff did not bring him back for an eighth season.
Square hooked on with the Browns earlier this year, only to get released earlier this month. The Browns didn’t necessarily need him, after adding the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley and Malik Jackson. They also have defensive tackle Andrew Billings back from his 2020 opt-out.
The 32-year-old will now try to make an impression on the Saints with just days to go before the final cut to 53.
Three months after catching on with the Browns, Damion Square is back in free agency. The Browns released the veteran defensive lineman Thursday, doing so to clear a spot for the signing of wide receiver JoJo Ward.
Square came to Cleveland after six-plus seasons in Southern California. The Chargers kept the backup/occasional starter around from 2014-20, re-signing him in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Los Angeles’ new coaching staff did not bring him back for an eighth season.
Square, 32, entered the NFL as an Eagles UDFA before bouncing to the Chiefs and Chargers. He started 24 games for the Bolts, recording 6.5 sacks and logging a 51% defensive snap rate for a 12-4 Charger squad in 2018. The Browns were busy on their D-line this offseason, adding the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley and Malik Jackson. They also have defensive tackle Andrew Billings back from a 2020 opt-out.
Ward was productive at Hawaii, serving as one ofCole McDonald‘s top targets. In two seasons at the Mountain West program, the 5-foot-9 wide receiver totaled 1,999 receiving yards and 20 touchdown catches. A 2020 UDFA whom the Cardinals cut earlier this week, Ward has yet to play an NFL snap. He spent last season on Arizona’s practice squad and signed a reserve/futures deal with the team in January.
The Browns could use the interior support after shedding Sheldon Richardson earlier this year. Square, a nine-year vet, spent the past seven seasons with the Chargers, appearing in 81 games (24 starts). He’s served mostly as a rotational piece for the Bolts and he hasn’t missed a game in four years. During his time in San Diego and L.A., he’s picked up 6.5 sacks, thanks in part to seeing snaps at defensive end in 2018.
Of course, he’ll have to prove himself over the summer in order to stick on the roster this fall. Given Wilson’s $192K guarantee, the Florida State product may have a leg up on Square and others vying for a place on the depth chart.
Square first entered the league in 2013 as a UDFA with the Eagles and hooked on with the Bolts in 2014. That’s where he’s been ever since, seeing playing time as a rotational lineman and occasionally as a starter. In his six years with San Diego/Los Angeles (really five years, since he didn’t take the field in Year One), Square has started in 23 of his 75 games. He’s also picked up 5.5 sacks along the way, thanks in part to some snaps at defensive end in ’18.
Last year, Square finished out with 27 tackles, perfect attendance, and four starts. He was on the field for 402 snaps, good for third among Chargers interior linemen. This year, he’ll back up Linval Joseph, who joined the squad on a two-year, $17MM deal in March.
The COVID-19 pandemic will make rookies’ transitions more difficult, and quarterbacks will face a tough learning curve. As a result, Tyrod Taylor is expected to open the season as the Chargers‘ starting quarterback, Daniel Popper of The Athletic writes (subscription required). That arrangement may continue for a while. No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert will likely sit at least eight games, Popper predicts, noting that the Bolts are preaching patience with their first Round 1 quarterback pick in 16 years. Anthony Lynn said in early April that Taylor was the Bolts’ starter “for now.” Taylor is undoubtedly a bridge quarterback again, but this bridge may be longer than the one the Browns used to get to Baker Mayfield two years ago.
Let’s look at the latest from the Chiefs’ three challengers in the AFC West:
Defensive lineman Damion Square and the Chargers have expressed mutual interest about another contract, Popper notes. The Bolts originally picked up Square in 2014 and re-signed him in 2017 and ’19. The former UDFA would provide a veteran presence on a defensive line housing Pro Bowlers Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Linval Joseph up front but little experience behind them. Square, now 31, has seen time at defensive tackle and D-end with the Bolts. He started 11 games for the 2018 Chargers, registering three sacks that season.
The Broncos did not add a left tackle in the draft or free agency, planning instead to hold a Garett Bolles-vs.-Elijah Wilkinson competition for the job. The latter will be coming off surgery. Wilkinson underwent an ankle procedure in May, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic notes. Wilkinson, who filled in for Ja’Wuan James as Denver’s starting right tackle for almost all of last season, suffered a high ankle sprain in December. The ailment did not heal properly, postponing the fourth-year player’s recovery. Wilkinson, who signed his second-round RFA tender in April, still hopes to be ready for training camp.
Despite the coronavirus altering the construction of the Raiders‘ Allegiant Stadium, the team is eyeing July 31 as a completion date for the Las Vegas-based domed stadium’s “substantial construction,” Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. At least 16 workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and Akers adds the near-$2 billion project moved from two shifts to three to allow for social distancing.
The Chargers have re-signed defensive tackle Damion Squareon a one-year deal, according to a team announcement. Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.
Square, 30, has spent most of the past five seasons with the Chargers, appearing in 49 games with the club since 2014. An undrafted free agent who began his pro tenure with stints in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Square set a career-high in starts (11), tackles (31), and sacks (three) in 2018.
A better run-stuffer than a pass-rusher, Square played on roughly half of Los Angeles’ snaps a year ago but graded as a bottom-three interior defender, per Pro Football Focus. Over the course of four-plus years with the Bolts, Square has 5.5 sacks to his credit.