Dontrell Hilliard

Patriots Work Out Four Running Backs

With James White sidelined indefinitely, the Patriots are eyeing some free agent running backs. The team worked out Ito Smith, Ryquell Armstead, Dontrell Hilliard, and Artavis Pierce today, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Patriots’ James White Out Indefinitely]

Smith has the most experience among the four, seeing time in 35 games in three seasons with the Falcons. This included a 2020 campaign where he finished with 343 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. The 26-year-old caught on with the Vikings this offseason but was let go before the regular season.

Armstead got into 16 games as a rookie with the Jaguars in 2019, finishing with 252 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He sat out the 2020 season while dealing with issues from COVID-19, and after getting claimed by the Giants in May, he was waived by his new team in June. Pierce, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Oregon State, saw time in five games with the Bears last season, rushing for 34 yards and one touchdown on six carries. Hilliard, 26, saw time in 30 games for the Browns in two-plus seasons with the organization.

White suffered a hip injury during Sunday’s loss to the Saints, and the veteran will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. The team is already rostering four other RBs in Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, and special teamer Brandon Bolden.

The Patriots didn’t only audition running backs today. The team also took a look at defensive backs D.J. Daniel and Stephen Denmark and wideout Anthony Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Work Out RB Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson is wrapping a two-visit work week. The former Browns and Texans passing-down back worked out for the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Johnson visited the 49ers on Monday.

While widespread uncertainty has gripped San Francisco’s backfield, the 49ers went in another direction. Carolina, however, will be without Christian McCaffrey for weeks due to the hamstring injury the All-Pro suffered Thursday night. Johnson could seemingly have an opportunity for a 3-0 team that now lacks a proven receiving back.

The Panthers have rookie Chuba Hubbard and former Broncos contributor Royce Freeman. The former did catch 20-plus passes in his first two seasons at Oklahoma State, but the Canadian back did drop a pass at the goal line Thursday. Freeman did not factor into the Broncos’ passing game much during his three Denver seasons.

Johnson has excelled in this role, eclipsing 400 receiving yards in his first five NFL seasons. The Jaguars cut the former third-round pick from their practice squad last week, and while the veteran resided in free agency for months after his February Texans release, multiple teams have kicked the tires on him recently.

The 28-year-old back signed a Browns extension in 2018 but saw the team’s subsequent Kareem Hunt addition lead him out of Cleveland. Johnson missed five games last season but was productive for the Texans in 2019, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and totaling 820 scrimmage yards.

Additionally, Carolina auditioned running backs Ito Smith, Dontrell Hilliard and B.J. Emmons, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Hilliard, also primarily a passing-game option, joined Johnson on the 2018 Browns. Hilliard also played in two games for the Texans last season. Three teams — the Falcons, Cardinals and Vikings — cut Smith this offseason. Smith played three seasons with the Falcons, primarily functioning as a backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/19/21

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

Arizona Cardinals

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DL Jordan Phillips; Phillips tested positive for the coronavirus

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DL Deyon Sizer

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/17/21

Tuesday afternoon marked the deadline for teams to cut down from 90 to 85 players. We’ll keep track of those cuts and the day’s other minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Jeff Badet

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/21

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

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived: OL Bryce Hargrove, LB George Obinna
  • Reverted to IR: WR J’Mon Moore

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Waived: OL Gage Cervenka, DB Dionte Ruffin, WR Jester Weah

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived: WR Reece Horn, WR Riley Lees

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Waived: K Austin MacGinnis, LB Derrick Moncrief, T Ryan Pope, OLB Max Roberts, DL George Silvanic
  • Released from IR: DB Dayan Lake

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived/injured: K Riley Patterson, WR Blake Proehl

New York Giants

  • Signed: QB Brian Lewerke
  • Waived/injured: QB Clayton Thorson
  • Placed on IR: LB TJ Brunson, OL Kyle Murphy, S Joshua Kalu

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/22/21

We’ve got a few minor moves to pass along from today:

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

San Francisco 49ers

Hilliard, Zylstra, and Kirkwood were all set to be restricted free agents before getting these one-year extensions, and they now won’t need to be tendered offers. Cracraft was an exclusive rights free agent so there wasn’t much of a question about his future. Hilliard did pretty well for himself to get $1.25MM with $200K guaranteed, considering he only appeared in two games for Houston without receiving a carry or reception.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/21/20

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

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Promoted from practice squad: OL Danny Isidora
  • Waived: TE Kevin Rader

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/15/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: S Derwin James; James remains on IR

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Waived: CB Brandon Williams

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/14/20

We’ll keep track of the latest minor moves here:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/30/20

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

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks