Davis Webb

Jets Promote QB Davis Webb

With Sam Darnold doubtful for tomorrow’s contest against the Bills, the Jets are added a reinforcement. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that New York is planning on promoting quarterback Davis Webb from the practice squad.

The Jets followed through with the move. Webb is back on a New York active roster. Gang Green placed tight end Neal Sterling on IR to make room for Webb, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello (on Twitter).

Darnold is currently dealing with a foot sprain that was already expected to sideline him for this weekend’s game. The Jets have a Week 11 bye, but there isn’t a lot of optimism that the rookie quarterback will be back in time for the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Patriots. In that case, Darnold could end up being sidelined until the beginning of December. Barring some unexpected signing, the Jets will surely roll with veteran Josh McCown as their starter until Darnold is healthy.

Webb certainly has the draft pedigree to earn some snaps, but he hasn’t been able to put it together as a professional. The 2017 third-rounder didn’t end up seeing the field as a rookie for the Giants, although there were rumblings that he was going to eventually replace Eli Manning. However, plans changed when the Giants fired both head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.

While Webb seemed to have the support of interim coach Steve Spagnuolo, he was seemingly on the outside looking in when the team hired Pat Shurmur. The Giants ended up waiving Webb at the end of the preseason, and he subsequently caught on with the Jets practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Colts, Luck, Ravens, Jackson, Jets, Webb

During Andrew Luck’s extended time away from the game, both he and the Colts organization always publicly projected confidence that he would return to the field at 100 percent sooner rather than later. But privately, Luck doubted himself and feared he would never play football again he revealed in a recent interview with Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star.

It’s a great piece that is well worth a read, with plenty of previously untold insights into Luck’s time away from football, his recovery, and his mental state. The Colts signal caller is healthy for now, ready to lead his team against the Bengals in Week 1. It’s been a long road, but Luck is finally back. It’ll be a treat for all fans of the NFL to get to start seeing Luck on Sundays again.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Lamar Jackson showed the potential to be a dynamic playmaker during the preseason, but he’s a long way from starting. Robert Griffin III will open the season as Joe Flacco’s backup, with Jackson starting the year as the number three according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Ravens coach John Harbaugh had previously said he planned on using Jackson and Flacco on the field together, so it’s unclear if the Ravens will keep three quarterbacks active on game days.
  • Speaking of the Colts, offensive linemen “Mark Glowinski and Denzelle Good both took paycuts over cutdown weekend” reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Netowrk (Twitter link). The moves created $1.7MM in cap space for the Colts, and the players can make up the money they lost through incentives Pelissero notes.
  • After Davis Webb was stunningly released by the Giants at final cuts, he signed with the Jets‘ practice squad. Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com detailed Webb’s reaction to his release, he was shocked and hurt, and the moments after. A number of teams made offers to Webb, and there’s a strong possibility Webb will be promoted to the Jets’ 53-man roster in the coming weeks if he does what’s asked of him a source told Dunleavy. It’s a good situation for both sides, and the Jets may have just found their long-term backup for Sam Darnold.

 

Davis Webb Signs To Jets Practice Squad

Davis Webb is staying in New York, as he will be signing to the Jets’ practice squad the team announced via Twitter.

Webb, a 2017 third round pick of the Giants, was surprisingly let go during roster cuts on Saturday. While he’ll only be on the Jets’ practice squad, he’ll make the full salary that he would’ve on the active 53-man roster according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). That type of arrangement is an increasingly popular one in the NFL, used to lure top free agents to teams’ practice squads.

Webb was a high draft pick, but had no ties to the current Giants front office or coaching staff, so the decision was made to let him go. The Jets are a good landing spot for Webb, and the signing makes sense for both sides. After the Teddy Bridgewater trade, the Jets were left with only 39-year-old Josh McCown behind new starter Sam Darnold.

McCown won’t be with the team longterm, and Webb could definitely develop into the backup of the future to Darnold. It’s a low-risk move for the Jets, and Webb surely had a host of practice squad opportunities to choose from. Once hailed as a possible successor to Eli Manning, the 87th pick of last year’s draft ended his Giants career without ever attempting a regular season pass.

To make room on the practice squad, the Jets released former Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC 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 Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, and Redskins 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 NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Dallas Cowboys

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

New York Giants

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Philadelphia Eagles

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Washington Redskins

Practice squad:

Giants Waive Davis Webb

In a surprising move, the Giants have waived QB Davis Webb, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). We learned earlier today that the Giants were open to trading either Webb or rookie signal-caller Kyle Lauletta, but it did not seem likely that either player would be waived. Instead, if the Giants could not find any trade partners, it appeared more plausible that the team would part ways with 30-year-old Alex Tanney.

But GM Dave Gettleman decided to cut ties with Webb, a 2017 third-round choice who played fairly well throughout the preseason and who at one point appeared to have a big lead over Lauletta for the backup QB job. Of course, Webb was selected by the Giants’ prior regime, so Gettleman & Co. did not have any attachment to him.

Raanan adds in a separate tweet that New York did discuss trading Webb to the Raiders before Oakland acquired A.J. McCarron to be its backup signal-caller. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for Webb, though he is not likely to be without work for long given his draft pedigree and the league-wide need for competent QBs.

Giants Open To Trading Kyle Lauletta or Davis Webb

The Giants still have four quarterbacks after trimming their roster to 53 players yesterday, but the team will obviously not go into Week 1 with four signal-callers. As Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com reports, Big Blue is open to dealing either Davis Webb or Kyle Lauletta.

The Giants selected Webb in the third round of the 2017 draft, but new head coach Pat Shurmur and new GM Dave Gettleman do not have any ties to the California product. They do have ties to Lauletta, who was selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft, so it would certainly be surprising if they chose to trade the former Richmond QB.

Nonetheless, it was Lauletta, and not Webb, who played in the team’s final preseason game, so the Giants could have been preserving Webb as a trade chip, they could have been showcasing Lauletta to bolster his trade value, or both. If New York is able to find a taker for either young QB, 30-year-old Alex Tanney would likely remain as the team’s No. 3 QB, as Shurmur prefers to keep three quarterbacks on his roster.

Of course the Giants could elect to keep both Webb and Lauletta and continue to groom them for the future while cutting Tanney in favor of a player at a position of need like cornerback or defensive line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Donald, Giants, Cash, Lions

The Aaron Donald saga may finally be nearing a conclusion. Rams GM Les Snead indicated earlier this week that team and player were progressing towards a new deal, and head coach Sean McVay echoed those sentiments last night. Per Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic (Twitter link), McVay said, “there’s increased dialogue. There’s more…we feel positive about the direction that these things are going. I think there’s a level of urgency that’s being displayed from us.” That probably sounds like music to the ears of Rams fans, who have legitimate championship dreams this season.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few more notes from the NFC:

  • Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets that Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta is getting reps with the second team today, which is the first time Dunleavy can recall that happening. 2017 third-rounder Davis Webb was said to have a big lead on Lauletta for Big Blue’s backup job coming out of minicamp, but this could be a sign that Lauletta, a 2018 fourth-round pick, is closing the gap. Webb, of course, was selected by New York’s prior regime, while Lauletta has the benefit of being chosen by the team’s new crop of decision-makers.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that Cardinals LB Jeremy Cash sustained a knee injury during last night’s preseason game that is believed to be season-ending. That is a tough blow for the Duke product, who has bounced around a few different teams since entering the league but who had a real chance of cracking Arizona’s 53-man roster this season. The Cardinals claimed him off waivers in March.
  • Good news for 49ers fans, as right guard Joshua Garnett has returned to practice after missing two weeks to deal with his right knee issue, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that Garnett’s primary competitor for San Francisco’s right guard job, Jonathan Cooper, is also on hand, so perhaps the competition can finally begin in earnest. This comes just a week after a report that the 49ers were growing increasingly concerned about Garnett’s knee problems.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press offers his take on the prospects of a few different Lions after the team’s first preseason game several nights ago. He says it is only a matter of time before rookie Kerryon Johnson becomes Detroit’s starting tailback, though Ameer Abdullah also looked good and was the first man up on kick and punt returns. Birkett adds that Jake Rudock‘s rough night, combined with Matt Cassel‘s ties to head coach Matt Patricia, have increased Cassel’s chances of opening the season as the club’s backup QB.
  • The Bears signed running back/return specialist Knile Davis earlier today.

Giants Notes: Beckham, Webb, Hill, Riley

The next several weeks could be crucial in the Giants/Odell Beckham Jr. relationship. The superstar wideout said he intends to show up to camp on time, but this may not be a full-on pledge. Instead, it could be contingent on how extension talks — currently not going well — proceed. In an expansive piece attempting to gauge this situation, ESPN.com’s Bill Barnwell writes the presence of Dave Gettleman could make a significant difference in this process.

Famously known as a hard-line negotiator, alienating Steve Smith and rescinding Josh Norman‘s franchise tag in Carolina, Gettleman has repeatedly said he wants the Giants to be geared around their ground game more than they have been in the past. He authorized the highest running back draft pick since Reggie Bush and could have four new starting offensive linemen come Week 1. Barnwell suggests the Giants could use this season to see how Saquon Barkley impacts their offense rather than authorizing a wide receiver-record contract for Beckham before the season. This strategy certainly wouldn’t go over well with Beckham, and it could run the risk of a lengthy holdout, but the Giants would also have the franchise tag as a short-term option in 2019.

Here’s the latest on Big Blue coming out of minicamp.

  • After minicamp, Davis Webb has a big lead on Kyle Lauletta for the backup job, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. This would mark the 2017 third-rounder’s first time as the backup, with Geno Smith having held that job last season (save for Big Blue’s rough PR week in early December). However, Lauletta has impressed new OC Mike Shula. “He has a nice calmness about him,” Shula said of the rookie fourth-rounder. “If things don’t go exactly how they are drawn out on the board, his mind works pretty fast, so far, and he finds the next guy, gets through his progressions. He has a good feel for anticipation and touch, so I think he’s off to a good start.”
  • While Barkley and second-round pick Will Hernandez have moved into the Giants’ starting lineup, third-round pick B.J. Hill may be ready to join them. The rookie lined up alongside Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson in the Giants’ new 3-4 scheme at minicamp, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic (subscription required). The Giants don’t have a surefire competitor that would deprive the N.C. State-developed rookie of a viable path to a Week 1 start, so this will be an interesting situation once training camp begins.
  • Another surprise starter could come in New York’s secondary. The Giants are preparing to give Eli Apple another chance at cornerback opposite Janoris Jenkins and aren’t as talented at this spot as they were with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also in the picture last season, but Duggan writes Landon Collins could have an interesting sidekick as well. Low-level UFA addition (and converted corner) Curtis Riley has a legitimate shot to start alongside Collins, per Duggan, after working extensively with the first unit in the offseason. Darian Thompson and Michael Thomas are among the others vying for that job with Riley, who played 11 games (no starts) with the Titans the past two seasons after entering the league as a UDFA in 2016.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Wentz

Following the Cowboys’ decision to move on from Dez Bryant, the offense was left with only two wideouts from last year’s roster: Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. The team did an admirable job of adding Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson via free agency, Tavon Austin via trade, and Michael Gallup via the draft, but none of their options profile as a top-tier wideout.

While the team’s depth chart may be lacking, quarterback Dak Prescott believes the Cowboys’ offense will be just fine.

“I don’t know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver,” Prescott said (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “It’s about getting the ball out, spreading the ball around, keeping the defense on its toes.”

Of course, while Prescott is confident in his ability to lead the unheralded offense, he understands that there’s still work to be done.

“I mean the only thing you can do is just get out there with routes on air, things like that,” Prescott said. “We did a bunch together. Me and these young guys have been here before we even started OTAs, getting that timing down so we can get in OTAs and have good feel for each other and now with the defense in front of us, grow off of that and grow from what we’ve already accomplished. That’s the best thing I can do.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of the NFC…

  • After having seen several Giants practices, Matt Lombardo of NJ.com opines that 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb has been the team’s most impressive signal-caller. However, the writer emphasizes that there isn’t a quarterback controversy, noting that the team’s offseason moves indicate that the front office wants to make a playoff push with Eli Manning. Still, since the Giants weren’t sold on any of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, Webb has been doing a nice job of making his case to be Manning’s heir apparent.
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com takes an early look at the Eagles projected depth chart. The writer’s opinion of the offensive tackle position is of particular note, as Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are currently slotted in as starters. However, Shorr-Parks wonders if Halapoulivaati Vaitai could take over as the starter for Peters if the veteran doesn’t recover from his major knee surgery. The writer also notes that there will be a battle between Josh Sweat and Steven Means for third-string defensive end reps. If Means earns a spot on the active roster, the Eagles could choose to stash the first-year Sweat on the injured reserve.
  • Carson Wentz participated in the Eagles OTAs this week, and reports indicated that he looked good as recovered from an ACL and LCL tear. Still, while there should be optimism around Wentz’s progress, Dr. David J. Chao of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that it’s too early to “anoint his full return for the season opener.” While the quarterback is on track, he still has plenty of steps to complete until he’s back to full mobility. Wentz will have to focus on running and cutting before he’s ready for regular season action.

East Notes: Eagles, Gronk, Clayborn

Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com does not believe that there will be any tension between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles this year, but he does say that Foles is universally loved in the Eagles‘ locker room. Given that, and given that Foles led the club to its first Super Bowl victory in the wake of Wentz’s ACL tear last season, Shorr-Parks suggests that there is at least a small part of Wentz that feels the need to “re-prove himself” to his team. Shorr-Parks wonders if that desire will impact how quickly Wentz returns to the field and how he interacts with his veteran backup this year.

Let’s round up a few more east notes, starting with several additional items out of Philadelphia:

  • In the same piece linked above, Shorr-Parks says “it appears obvious” that the Eagles do not plan on paying DE Brandon Graham until next offseason at the earliest. Graham will be eligible for free agency at that point, but he is still seeking a long-term extension from Philadelphia prior to that, and Shorr-Parks’ suggestion is somewhat surprising in light of the fact that the Eagles were said to be working on a new contract for Graham in November (and in light of Graham’s on-field performance).
  • In two separate pieces, Shorr-Parks breaks down the Eagles’ current roster into long shots, locks, bubble players, and wildcards, and he also takes a look at some of the biggest names still remaining on the free agent market and whether Philadelphia could be interested in some of those players. He thinks the Eagles could be in play for some of the top available DBs — like Kenny Vaccaro and Bashaud Breeland — but does not see a fit for top WR Dez Bryant or LB Brian Cushing (though he thinks a reunion with Jeremy Maclin should not be ruled out).
  • Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com evaluates the Giants‘ top positional battles going into OTAs, and he believes the fight for the backup QB job is the most intriguing. Second-year pro Davis Webb has a stronger arm than rookie Kyle Lauletta, but Lauletta receives high marks for his intelligence and accuracy, plus he was drafted by Big Blue’s new regime. Whoever wins the job will be the favorite to ultimately succeed Eli Manning.
  • It is unclear whether Rob Gronkowski will report to the Patriots for Phase 3 of the team’s offseason program, which begins tomorrow, though Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Gronk is still putting in plenty of time at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, which he says has him feeling good from a conditioning perspective. Phase 3 will be the last chance for Gronkowski and Tom Brady — who is also yet to attend OTAs — to get some multiple-week football work in with the majority of their teammates before training camp. Brady has frequently touted the importance of Phase 3, so it would be notable if he does not attend.
  • Adrian Clayborn, the Patriots‘ top free agent acquisition this offseason, tweaked his quad during recent workouts, per Reiss. Clayborn could be limited for Phase 3 of OTAs, but he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.