Darren Waller

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

Practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Signed:

Practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed:

Cut:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Practice squad:

* = international player
** = practice squad exception

Ravens Reveal Final Cuts

Two prominent 2015 Ravens draft picks were informed they won’t be on this season’s initial 53-man roster. Breshad Perriman and defensive lineman Carl Davis, a third-round draft choice three years ago, did not make the cut.

Davis started nine games for Baltimore last season but has just 30 career tackles. He missed the entire 2016 season.

The Ravens will also cut guard Nico Siragusa, a 2017 fourth-rounder who saw an injury end his rookie season before it started. Recently coming off suspension, tight end Darren Waller also won’t be part of the Ravens’ season-opening roster.

Here is the full list of Baltimore’s cuts, the first group including the players who will head to the waiver wire:

Released:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Ravens TE Darren Waller Reinstated

Ravens tight end Darren Waller has been reinstated after serving a yearlong suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In order to bring him back on the roster, the Ravens have waived/injured wide receiver Jaelon Acklin

Waller, 26 in September, served a four-game substance abuse ban in 2016, so his second violation of the substance abuse policy last year resulted in a one year suspension. The tight end was forced to sit out the entire year and lost out on $615K in salary.

In 2016, Waller had ten catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns. His offensive output was minimal, but he appeared on nearly half of Baltimore’s special teams snaps.

This year, he faced an uphill battle to make the roster. The Ravens drafted two tight ends in Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, meaning that Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and Vince Mayle are competing for one or maybe two spots. For what it’s worth, it appears that the Ravens will at least give Waller an opportunity to play catchup and make the final cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens TE Darren Waller Suspended At Least One Year

Ravens tight end Darren Waller has been suspended for at least one year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Baltimore announced today.Darren Waller

Waller previously served a four-game substance abuse ban in 2016, meaning that he’s now run afoul of the league’s drug mandate for a second time. Waller, 24, played in 12 games for the Ravens last year (including three starts), racking up 10 receptions and 85 yards for two touchdowns. While his offensive output was minimal, Waller appeared on nearly half of Baltimore’s special teams snaps a year ago. He’d been set to earn $615K in 2017.

Already down one tight end following the release of Dennis Pitta, the Ravens will now more heavily rely on internal options such as Ben Watson (who is recovering from a torn Achilles at age-36), Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore, and Nick Boyle. As Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes (Twitter link), Waller was still in the developmental stage of his career, but was the most “physically gifted” tight end on the club, so his absence will be felt.

If the Ravens look to the free agent market for a new tight end, options could include Gary Barnidge, Ladaraius Green, Jacob Tamme, and Larry Donnell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Activate Darren Waller

As expected, the Ravens have activated tight end Darren Waller, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). The second-year pro will be taking the roster spot of tight end Maxx Williams, who was placed on injured reserve yesterday.

Darren WallerThe 24-year-old sat out the first month of the season after having been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. A sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2015, Waller hauled in a pair of catches for 18 yards as a rookie. After appearing in six games (one start) last season, some questioned whether the Georgia Tech product would even make the team’s 53-man roster in 2016. The suspension apparently bought Waller some extra time, and injuries may allow him to stay on the roster for the rest of the season. As Zrebiec notes, Waller should also contribute on a struggling special teams unit.

Waller originally violated the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The tight end was also suspended twice at Georgia Tech after testing positive for marijuana. The tight end recently opened up about his substance abuse issues with Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com.

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

As Roster Resource shows, the Ravens now have three tight ends on the depth chart behind starter Dennis Pitta: Crockett Gillmore, Daniel Brown, and Waller.

Ravens Place Maxx Williams On IR

The Ravens announced that they have placed tight end Maxx Williams on injured reserve. Williams has been dealing with a knee injury that will likely require surgery. Maxx Williams (vertical)

Under the new IR rules, players can return to action after eight weeks on the list. However, this is probably a season-ender for Williams since its sounds like he is going under the knife. The team has yet to make a corresponding move, but they could activate tight end Darren Waller to the 53-man roster, according to the team website. Waller is set to return from a four-game suspension this week. The team also recently brought up tight end Daniel Brown, so they may not opt for another player at that position.

Williams’ knee injury was manageable until he aggravated it in Sunday’s contest against the Raiders. A second-round pick in 2015, Williams set franchise rookie tight end records last year with 32 receptions for 268 yards and one touchdown. Now, Baltimore will have to wait until next year to see him on the field again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

14 Players Returning From Suspension

Fourteen players will return from four-game suspensions this week, according to Howard Balzer (Twitter links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The most high-profile returnee, of course, is quarterback Tom Brady, who will re-join the 3-1 Patriots on Sunday against the Browns.

The following players have completed their suspensions:

The club that employs each player will receive a short roster exemption that ends the day following the team’s Week 5 game. that means the 49ers’ exemption for Lynch ends Friday, the Panthers’ exemption for Scott ends next Tuesday, and the rest end next Monday.

Sterup, meanwhile, was on the Chiefs’ practice squad when he was banned, but he hasn’t completed the PED reinstatement requirements, according to Balzer. So although he can sign with a new club, Sterup can’t practice or play until he’s approved by the league.

Darren Waller Suspended Four Games

Ravens tight end/wide receiver Darren Waller has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, reports ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley (via Twitter). NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport clarifies (via Twitter) than Waller violated the league’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Hensley notes that the 23-year-old will be eligible to return on October 3rd, and he can continue to participate in preseason practices and games.

The Georgia Tech product joined the Ravens as a sixth-round pick in 2015, and he ended up catching a pair of passes for 17 yards. The 6-foot-6 wideout played six games (one start) last season before landing on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes that Waller may have had difficulties even making this season’s roster. Zrebiec also tweets that Waller was suspended twice at Georgia tech for testing positive for marijuana.

Waller is the second Ravens player to be suspended this offseason, as tight end Nick Boyle was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/15

With Week 8’s slate of games around the corner, NFL teams are getting their rosters ready for their upcoming contests. Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the league:

  • The Texans cut Mike McFarland from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Wilson tweets.
  • A day after being cut by the Colts, safety and special-teamer Dewey McDonald has been claimed off waivers by the Patriots, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, adding that New England will need to open a roster spot to make it official.

Earlier updates:

  • The Ravens have placed rookie receiver Darren Waller on injured reserve, ending his season, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Offensive tackle De’Ondre Wesley has been promoted to the active roster to give the team some depth, as Eugene Monroe battles a shoulder injury.
  • The Jets have also made a move to provide insurance for a banged-up offensive lineman, elevating Wesley Johnson to their active roster, according to the team (Twitter link). Veteran center Nick Mangold suffered a neck injury against the Patriots, though he may not have to miss much – if any – time.
  • As expected, the Buccaneers – who will be without Louis Murphy for the rest of the season and Vincent Jackson in the short term – have promoted wide receiver Adam Humphries from their practice squad, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
  • The Jaguars have signed linebacker Hayes Pullard from off the Browns’ practice squad, waiving linebacker James-Michael Johnson to clear a space on their roster, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com (Twitter link).
  • Having been cut from the 53-man roster on Saturday, wide receiver T.J. Graham re-signed with the Saints today, per Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune. Graham takes the roster spot that opened up when New Orleans waived cornerback Sammy Seamster.

Draft Pick Signings: Thursday

Over the course of the next few weeks, as the league’s 32 teams lock up their draft picks, we’ll dedicate individual posts to first- and second-round picks reaching agreements with their respective clubs. Already today, for instance, we’ve passed along word of Trae Waynes signing with the Vikings and Nelson Agholor reaching a deal with the Eagles.

However, given the lack of drama involved in rookie contract negotiations under the new CBA, news on players who were selected in the third round or later will be relegated to round-up posts. Here are Thursday’s mid- to late-round picks who signed their deals, with any additional updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

4:52pm:

  • In addition to confirming the signing of Deon Simon (noted below), the Jets also announced the signings of third-round outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and fourth-round quarterback Bryce Petty, per a team release.
  • The Vikings are gradually agreeing to terms with nearly their entire draft class over the course of the day. Chris Tomasson (Twitter links) has updates on two more, reporting that fifth-round tight end MyCole Pruitt, fifth-round wideout Stefon Diggs, and seventh-round offensive lineman Austin Shepherd have all reached deals with the club.
  • The Ravens have signed fifth-round guard Robert Myers and sixth-round wide receiver Darren Waller, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).
  • The Seahawks have signed fifth-round cornerback Tye Smith, tweets Terry Blount of ESPN.com.

3:50pm:

  • The Vikings have officially added three more draftees to the roster, agreeing to terms with sixth-round defensive lineman B.J. Dubose and seventh-round linebacker Edmond Robinson, according to reports from Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). In addition to those late-rounders, fourth-round offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings has signed his deal, tweets agent Mike McCartney.
  • Sixth-round lineman Kristjan Sokoli has signed his four-year rookie deal with the Seahawks, tweets agent Brett Tessler. A defensive lineman at Buffalo, Sokoli will be moving over to the offensive line in Seattle.
  • Jets seventh-round defensive tackle Deon Simon and Patriots seventh-round defensive end Xzavier Dickson have signed their rookie deals, according to tweets from their respective agencies. Simon will get a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $73K, while Dickson’s bonus will be worth about $53K.

2:43pm:

  • Sixth-round offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson has agreed to terms with the Vikings and will officially sign when he arrives at the team’s facility, tweets Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Thompson is the second Vikes draftee to reach a deal with the club.
  • Another Packers draftee has agreed to terms with the team, per Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Post-Gazette, who tweets that the club has struck a deal with sixth-rounder fullback Aaron Ripkowski. Ripkowski was the first of three players selected by the Packers in the sixth round, and is also the first one to reach an agreement with the team.
  • The Browns have signed sixth-round tight end Randall Telfer, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Telfer will receive a signing bonus of just under $118K.

1:48pm:

  • The Packers have agreed to terms on four-year rookie contracts with fifth-round quarterback Brett Hundley and fourth-round linebacker Jake Ryan, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). Green Bay is expected to lock up most or all of the rest of its late-round picks by the end of the day, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • The Ravens have agreed to contract terms with fourth-round defensive back Tray Walker, reports Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link). The final player selected in the fourth round, as a supplemental pick, Walker will count for about $521K against the cap in 2015.
  • Seventh-round center Austin Reiter has agreed to terms on his rookie contract with Washington, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. Reiter will receive a signing bonus worth just under $75K.