Darius Hillary

Raiders Officially Sign LB Derrick Johnson

It’s officially official. On Monday, the Raiders announced the signing of Derrick Johnson. As previously reported, it’s a one-year deal for Oakland and the former Chiefs linebacker.

The Chiefs announced earlier this offseason that they would not be re-signing the 13-year NFL veteran. The market was slow to develop for Johnson and although he had interest from other clubs, the Raiders were the only team to bring him in for a visit. Over the weekend, Johnson explained that his continued passion for the game prompted Jon Gruden to offer him a contract.

I still have a fire burning. I can still play at a high level, and I want to prove that.” Johnson said. “That [response] made [Gruden’s] eyeballs jump, because he’s got a lot to prove, too. There was an environment in the room that was very contagious. I knew a deal would happen after I left..I’m one of Gruden’s favorite players — he’s always had a soft spot for me. He’s always said that over the years.”

In a league that is getting increasingly younger, the Raiders have more players over the age of 29 than any other in the NFL. Like many of this year’s free agent additions in Oakland, Johnson is out to prove that he still has quality football left in the tank. He’ll celebrate his 35th birthday in November.

To make room for Johnson, the Raiders waived cornerback Darius Hillary. Hillary joined Oakland on a futures deal in January.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • WR Jake Kumerow
  • WR Colby Pearson
  • TE Robert Tonyan
  • LS Zach Triner
  • WR DeAngelo Yancey

Read more

Browns Promote CB C.J. Smith

The Browns have swapped one young defensive back for another. ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team has promoted cornerback C.J. Smith from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the Browns have waived cornerback Darius Hillary (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com on Twitter).

C.J. Smith (vertical)Smith, a 2016 undrafted rookie out of North Dakota State, played in 10 games for the Eagles last season, compiling a single tackle. Prior to the current campaign, he was waived by Philly and quickly caught on with their practice squad, but he was released soon after. He subsequently caught on with Cleveland’s practice squad, where he’s spent the entire season. The 24-year-old will presumably slot in at the bottom of the Browns’ cornerback depth chart behind Jason McCourty, Jamar Taylor, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and Mike Jordan.

Hillary has bounced between the Browns active roster and practice squad over the past two seasons. The Wisconsin product only appeared in a single game this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/8/17

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/5/17

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: CB Tony McRae, C Matt Skura

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: LB Eric Lee
  • Released: S B.T. Sanders, CB Marcus Sayles

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: FB Alex Armah

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

  • Signed: LB LaTroy Lewis

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: CB Raysean Pringle

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: TE Johnny Mundt, CB Kevin Peterson
  • Released: OL Michael Dunn, DL Louis Trinca-Pasat

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: CB Kenneth Durden

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North 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 Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers 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 North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/2/17

Here are today’s reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Read more

Practice Squad Updates: 10/26/16

Here are today’s practice squad moves.

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: CB Jacoby Glenn

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: C Jacob Flores

New England Patriots

  • Cut: G Chase Farris

New York Jets

San Diego Chargers

  • Signed: CB Trovon Reed

Seattle Seahawks

Browns Make Handful Of Moves

The Browns have claimed quarterback Joe Callahan off waivers from the Saints and center Gabe Ikard off waivers from the Bills, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. To make room for those two, the Browns have waived fullback Malcolm Johnson and defensive back Darius Hillary.

Joe Callahan

Callahan, an undrafted rookie from Division III Wesley, will now join his third team this month. The Packers previously cut Callahan on Oct. 13, paving the way for the Saints to add him for what amounted to a short-lived stint in New Orleans. The way things have gone under center this year for Cleveland, he could end up on the field at some point.

Injuries have forced the Browns to shuffle through five quarterbacks, the latest being fifth-round rookie Kevin Hogan. He debuted in the Browns’ 31-17 loss to the Bengals on Sunday after fellow rookie Cody Kessler departed with a concussion. Kessler is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol, meaning it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play against the Jets on Sunday. Josh McCown, who has missed most of the season with a broken collarbone, could return this week. However, if he and Kessler are out, Hogan and Callahan would be the Browns’ top two signal-callers.

Johnson, whom the Browns chose in the sixth round of last year’s draft, was active for their first seven games this season and picked up one start. He also notched five receptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Promote DB Darius Hillary

The Browns signed defensive back Darius Hillary to the active roster from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team cut defensive lineman Gabe WrightDarius Hillary (vertical)

Hillary was in a tight battle for the Bengals’ final cornerback spot this offseason but just missed the cut. Although he was dropped from the roster in early September, he eventually found his way to the Browns’ practice squad. Fun fact: Hillary’s father, Ira, played with the Bengals as a wide receiver.

Hillary will now join safety Ed Reynolds and cornerbacks Tramon Williams, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and Marcus Burley as the Browns’ reserve secondary players. The Browns are starting Joe Haden and Jamar Taylor at cornerback with Derrick Kindred at free safety and Ibraheim Campbell at strong safety.

Wright has appeared in three games this season, recording two tackles and one pass defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.