Dede Westbrook

Vikings To Sign Dede Westbrook

We heard yesterday that free agent receiver Dede Westbrook would be visiting the Seahawks on Sunday. It sounds like that visit has been scrapped. Westbrook will instead be signing a one-year deal with the Vikings on Sunday, a source told veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (Twitter link).

Westbrook worked out for Minnesota earlier today, and apparently that workout went well. It was reported yesterday that Seattle, the 49ers, and the Bengals were all still on his radar, but the Vikings edged them all out. There’s a connection here, as Vikings receivers coach Keenan McCardell was Westbrook’s position coach in Jacksonville.

A fourth-round pick in 2017, Westbrook spent the first four years of his pro career with the Jaguars. In 2018 and 2019, he had at least 63 catches, 660 yards, and three touchdowns both season. Last year he only played in two games before tearing an ACL in October, finishing with just one catch for four yards.

We don’t have the financial terms yet, but coming off that injury he likely had to settle for something pretty cheap. It certainly took a while for his market to heat up.

The Oklahoma product has also shown plenty of potential as a returner. The Vikings of course have Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, but not a ton else at receiver beyond them, so this is a decent depth signing. Westbrook says he’s fully recovered from the ACL tear, responding “most definitely” when Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked if he’d be ready to roll for the start of training camp on Wednesday (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dede Westbrook Schedules Seahawks Visit; Vikings, 49ers, Bengals Still On Radar

Dede Westbrook is in Minnesota for a Vikings visit Saturday, but he is still considering interest from other teams. If the Vikings are unable to sign Westbrook, he will pay a visit to the Seahawks, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Westbrook plans to visit the Seahawks on Sunday, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets.

The former Heisman finalist and Jaguars starter said the 49ers and Bengals are also in the mix; both teams expressed interest in Westbrook earlier this offseason. While both teams and Seattle appear to be on Westbrook’s radar, the Vikings have an edge and appear to be the favorites.

In addition to a need alongside Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, the Vikes employ ex-Jaguars receivers coach Keenan McCardell. The former Jags Pro Bowler and recent Vikings hire coached Westbrook in each of his four Jacksonville seasons and convinced the veteran wideout to visit the Vikings before the Seahawks, Tomasson adds (via Twitter). Seattle initially appeared first on Westbrook’s travel itinerary, but the Vikings now have the first crack at signing him.

I was kind of set on Seattle and he was like ‘Darn you’re not even going to come out and give me a chance? I coached you the past four years and you’re just going to fly out to Seattle and not give Minnesota a shot?’” Westbrook said of a conversation with McCardell (via Tomasson, on Twitter). “... I love everything about the Vikings. I like their offensive scheme; I like the things that they’re doing as far as gidget-gadgets that they have going on. … Just their whole offensive scheme and I think I can fit in perfectly.” 

Westbrook, 27, is coming off an ACL tear. That certainly slowed his market. He intimated that if the Vikings and/or Seahawks do not land him, workouts with the Bengals and 49ers may follow.

The Vikings’ need for a No. 3 wide receiver appears clearer than the Seahawks’. They drafted D’Wayne Eskridge with their top pick (and only pick on the draft’s first two days). The 49ers, however, have a void behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Cincinnati features no such vacancy, with its Ja’Marr ChaseTee HigginsTyler Boyd trio essentially locked in. Auden Tate remains on the team as well. The Bengals did lose A.J. Green and John Ross this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Audition Dede Westbrook

The Vikings are working out former Jacksonville wide receiver Dede Westbrook on Saturday (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). If all goes well, Westbrook could reunite with former Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.

Westbrook has two other teams interested in his services, but RapSheet hears that the Vikings are his preferred destination. It’s been just nine months since Westbrook suffered his torn ACL but Westbrook appears to be ready for training camp.

Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to build on those marks in 2020, but he was limited to only a pair of games thanks to the torn ACL and an unrelated early-season injury. We heard earlier this year that the wideout was drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Vikings, 49ers, Bengals. The wide receiver was also being recruited by Chiefs players, but it’s not clear if he got into serious talks with the front office.

A healthy Westbrook could give the Vikings’ opposition fits this year. Kirk Cousins is already armed with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen at wide receiver — not to mention weapons like Dalvin Cook, Irv Smith, and Tyler Conklin.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dede Westbrook Talked With 49ers

Add another team to the list of Dede Westbrook suitors. Josina Anderson reports (via Twitter) that the free agent wideout had “preliminary communication” with the 49ers.

It’s been just about seven months since Westbrook suffered his torn ACL, and Anderson notes that the player is expecting to be fully cleared by the eight-month mark. That means Westbrook should be good to go for the beginning of training camp.

Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to build on those marks in 2020, but he was limited to only a pair of games thanks to the torn ACL and an unrelated early-season injury. We heard earlier this month that the wideout was drawing interest from multiple teams, and we later learned that the Bengals and Vikings were among his potential suitors. The wide receiver was also being recruited by Chiefs players.

The 49ers have used plenty of draft capital on wideouts in recent years, and former first-rounder Brandon Aiyuk and former second-rounder Deebo Samuel are expected to lead the depth chart. Westbrook would likely have to compete with the likes of Mohamed Sanu, Richie James, and Jalen Hurd for backup reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals, Vikings Interested In Dede Westbrook

The Bengals and Vikings have had conversations with Dede Westbrook (Twitter link via Josina Anderson). The wide receiver is also being recruited by Chiefs players, Anderson hears, though the front office’s interest level is unclear.

Westbrook went down in late October against the Chargers on an ill-fated kick return. Soon after he was carted off of the field, doctors confirmed that his year was through. The Oklahoma product is now more than six months removed from his ACL tear and plans to be ready before training camp in August.

Before all of that, Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to build on that last year — instead, he played in just two games between the ACL tear and a separate early season injury.

Westbrook would make sense for the Bengals,. Even after selecting Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5 overall, the departures of A.J. Green, John Ross, and Alex Erickson have left them fairly thin at wide receiver. Meanwhile, the Vikings would give him a great opportunity to bounce back, particularly given the presence of Keenan McCardell, his old WR coach in Jacksonville.

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Dede Westbrook Drawing Interest

Former Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook has received interest from “several teams,” ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler hears (Twitter link). Now more than six months removed from his ACL tear, Westbrook hopes to be ready for training camp in August. 

The Oklahoma product went down in late October against the Chargers on an ill-fated kick return. Soon after he was carted off of the field, doctors confirmed that his year was through. Before that, Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to get back into the offensive mix last year — instead, he played in just two games between the ACL tear and an early season injury.

Westbrook could be a logical fit for the Lions, who did not draft a wide receiver until the fourth round. In addition to USC product Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions have Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Kalif Raymond, Damion Ratley, Geronimo Allison, Jonathan Adams, Tom Kennedy, and Victor Bolden in their WR group.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 10/26/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Torn ACL For Jaguars’ Dede Westbrook?

The Jaguars believe that wide receiver Dede Westbrook tore his ACL in Sunday night’s loss to the Chargers, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Westbrook will know for sure on Monday morning after an MRI scan. 

Of course, a torn ACL would sideline Westbrook for the season. The Jaguars are hoping for something less severe, though it was an ugly scene, and Westbrook was in rough shape after he was carted off of the field. The injury occurred during a kickoff return towards the end of the third quarter, capping his day after four kickoff returns (with one lost fumble) and three punt returns.

The Oklahoma product had already missed time this year, playing in just two games to date. Previously, he recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. Westbrook was hoping to get back into the offensive mix this year — instead, it sounds like he’ll have to direct his attention towards 2021.

After the 39-29 loss to the Chargers, the Jaguars are down to 1-6 on the year. After their bye, they’ll look for win No. 2 against the Texans in Houston.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Promote WR Michael Walker

The Jaguars needed some reinforcement at receiver, so they’ve turned to their practice squad. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco reports that the team has promoted wideout Michael Walker. The Jaguars cut linebacker Joe Giles-Harris to make room on the active roster.

Walker, a 23-year-old rookie out of Boston College, will likely slide to the back of the depth chart. More notably, his addition to the roster is an indication that Dede Westbrook might not be ready to go for tomorrow’s London showdown against the Texans. The 25-year-old suffered a shoulder and neck injury during the Jaguars’ Week 8 victory over the Jets.

The Jaguars placed wideout Marqise Lee on the injured reserve earlier this week. If Westbrook is unable to play, Gardner Minshew will be eyeing a limited receivers corps led by DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and Keelan Cole.

Giles-Harris joined the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Duke this past offseason. He was added to the practice squad following the preseason, and he was promoted to the active roster in late October. There’s a good chance the 22-year-old lands back on the practice squad.

Extra Points: Broncos, Talib, Jaguars, Lee

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wants to finish his career with the Broncos, but he also knows that a return might not be in the cards.

If I wasn’t [returning], it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world,” Talib said on Denver’s Altitude 950 (transcription via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You have three corners making big money and that’s rare to have. I had conversations with our staff during our exit meetings and stuff, so it’s kind of up in the air. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still here. Just put it like this: I had good conversations with [head coach] Vance [Joseph], with [defensive coordinator] Joe Woods. I mean, things change. But there’s a chance I will be back.”

Talib, 31, has two years left on the five-year deal he signed with the Broncos in 2014. He’s slated to carry a cap hit of $12MM in 2018, but the team can release him and carry just $1MM in dead money. If Talib wants to stay in Denver, he’ll probably have to take a pay cut to make it happen. The Broncos can’t afford to squander any of their cap room, particularly with Bradley Roby’s salary increasing from ~$1MM to $8.5MM next season.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee did not practice on Wednesday and may not practice this week. However, the belief is that he will be able to take the field against the Bills this weekend, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lee had the most receptions of any Jags receiver this year (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). If Lee cannot go, Jacksonville will have to lean a bit more heavily on Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole.
  • Meanwhile, Titans running back DeMarco Murray has been ruled out of Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Chiefs (Twitter link via Rapoport). As a result, Derrick Henry will see a larger share of carries.
  • The Giants‘ interview with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is scheduled for Friday, Rapoport tweets.
  • The Cardinals will have their interview with Patricia on Saturday, Rapoport hears. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is set to interview on the same day.
  • The Lions will get to talk with Patricia over the weekend, according to Rapoport.