Gerald Hodges

Cardinals Notes: Rosen, Golden, LBs, Smith

With the Cardinals‘ prospects for a playoff berth looking as bleak as they have in a September since before Carson Palmer arrived, noise around the team beginning the Josh Rosen era has obviously increased. Arizona’s Sam Bradford-led attack did not cross midfield until the fourth quarter against the Rams, and the Cards have just six points this season — the fewest of any team through two games since the 2006 Buccaneers. However, don’t count on a Rosen in-game promotion if Arizona’s struggles continue against the Bears on Sunday. While Steve Keim said (via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic) the first-round pick “has got to be ready,” he would prefer Steve Wilks give him a full week of first-string reps rather than throw him into the fire. As for Wilks, he does see the UCLA product making strides. Rosen was billed as the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft yet will be the last to see action of his first-round peers.

Number one, I think the guy is progressing,” Wilks said during an interview with Sirius XM’s Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. “He does a great job each and every week trying to prepare himself. He does get some reps with the ones each and every week, so from that standpoint, it’s good. And then he does an excellent job just as far as running the show team as well, so his operation each week is with the ones as well as on the show team. Prep has been good.

“When the time is right, we’ll definitely get him in there.”

Here’s the latest out of the desert:

  • Markus Golden and Jermaine Gresham appear on track to make their 2018 debuts. Both players progressed to full practices this week for the first time this year, per McManaman. Golden’s been out since Week 4 of last season because of an ACL tear. Gresham hasn’t played since Week 17, when the tight end ruptured an Achilles’ tendon. Both began camp on the PUP list. This will be Gresham’s age-30 season, and it’s even more critical for Golden. The edge rusher is set to begin a contract year, so showing he’s recovered from the severe knee injury will be paramount for his stock. Golden finished with 12.5 sacks in 2016. Both players are listed as questionable for Sunday.
  • The Cardinals’ new 4-3 defense has looked more like a 4-2-5 look thus far, and that’s resulted in Haason Reddick seeing sparse action in his second season. The 2017 first-rounder’s played only 17 snaps thus far. The Cards’ 2014 first-rounder, Deone Bucannon, was benched against the Rams, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic notes. Bucannon’s been a full-time starter at either safety or linebacker since his rookie year. Bucannon is also in a contract year. Josh Bynes leads Cardinals linebackers with 141 snaps, and Pro Football Focus tabbed him as the No. 10 overall ‘backer through two games. Bucannon sits 70th on that list, mostly due to Week 1 struggles. Nomad defender Gerald Hodges replaced Bucannon in Week 2.
  • Andre Smith remains out for Arizona because of an elbow injury, meaning John Wetzel will start again for the Cards in Week 3, McManaman notes. Considering Khalil Mack frequently lines up opposite right tackles, this poses another problem for a Cards team that’s experienced many thus far this season.

Cardinals Sign LB Gerald Hodges

The Cardinals have signed free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Arizona likely lost fellow linebacker Jeremy Cash for the year on Saturday night, as his knee injury is believed to be season-ending. Cash wasn’t viewed as a starter for the Cardinals, but was expected to play a key role as a reserve and special-teamer, so Hodges, who worked out for Arizona in late July, will likely take over in both capacities.

Hodges, 27, could prove to be even more valuable than a generic backup, as he has plenty of experience (65 appearances, 25 starts) under his belt. A fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, Hodges entered the NFL with the Vikings before being traded to the 49ers midway through the 2015 season.

The 2016 campaign was one of Hodges’ finest — Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s No. 21 linebacker — but he garnered scant interest on the open market. He landed with the Saints in October and played mostly special teams snaps down the stretch.

Hodges is capable of playing all three linebacker positions, so he’ll add depth behind starters Haason Reddick, Deone Bucannon, and Josh Bynes. Bynes, for his part, is slated to start at middle linebacker, but he’s been primarily a special-teamer during his career and made just one start in 2017. Hodges, therefore, could conceivably earn more snaps in the middle if Bynes struggles early in the 2018 season.

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Cardinals Work Out Gerald Hodges

Linebacker Gerald Hodges will work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Cardinals’ interest level is not immediately clear, but they are looking for veteran help. 

Hodges joined the Saints in 2017 following the team’s Week 5 bye week. He became a key cog on special teams, but he appeared in only 13 snaps on defense and eleven of those came in a blowout win over the Bills in Week 10. The Saints were the third team Hodges had played with since entering the league in 2013, following stints with Minnesota and San Francisco. In February, he was released by New Orleans.

The veteran didn’t do a whole lot last year, but he has proven that he can be a capable contributor. In 2016, he racked up 83 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions in 15 games with the 49ers. In that season, he graded out as the league’s No. 21 ranked linebacker, per the metrics at Pro Football Focus.

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Saints Release LB Gerald Hodges, Claim OT John Theus

The Saints made a pair of moves on Tuesday, releasing veteran linebacker Gerald Hodges to clear way for offensive lineman John Theus, who the team claimed following his release from the Panthers on Monday.

Hodges joined the team in 2017 following its Week 5 bye week and became a key cog on special teams. He appeared in only 13 snaps on defense, however, 11 of those coming in a blowout victory over Buffalo in Week 10. The Saints were the third team Hodges had played with since entering the league in 2013, following stints with Minnesota and San Francisco.

A fifth-round selection in 2016 out of Georgia, Theus appeared in four games and made one start with the 49ers as a rookie before joining the Panthers in 2017. He did not appear in a game with the Panthers before going on injured reserve in December.

Saints To Sign LB Gerald Hodges

The Saints are signing linebacker Gerald Hodges, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Hodges worked out for the Saints earlier this month and he finally got the call he was waiting for today. Gerald Hodges (Vertical)

After putting Alex Anzalone on injured reserve, the Saints were looking a little thin at linebacker. The addition of Hodges, who racked up 83 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions in 15 games with the 49ers in 2016, should help in that regard. He also graded out as the league’s No. 21 linebacker, per the metrics at Pro Football Focus.

Hodges was set to spend the season with the Bills but wound up as a surprise cut in early September. The 26-year-old had to watch the first five weeks of the season from his couch, but the good news is that he should receive a healthy amount of playing time in New Orleans.

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Saints Audition Gerald Hodges

The Saints worked out linebacker Gerald Hodges, according to a source who spoke with Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). There’s no word yet on how the audition went or whether a deal is imminent. Gerald Hodges (vertical)

The Bills signed Hodges this offseason after losing Zach Brown and Lerentee McCray, so he appeared to be in line for a starting job or, at the very least, significant playing time. Instead, he was a surprise cut on Sept. 3.

This appears to be Hodges’ first known audition since being let go by Buffalo. In his previous round of free agency, the Chiefs, Seahawks, Jets, Giants, Patriots, Jaguars, and Colts also showed interest in him.

In 2016, Hodges played on roughly half of the 49ers’ defensive snaps last year while grading out as the league’s No. 21 linebacker, per the numbers at Pro Football Focus. In those 15 games, the 26-year-old tallied 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also was on the field for 73 special teams snaps.

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Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC 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 BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets 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 East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Bills Cut LB Gerald Hodges

The Bills have released linebacker Gerald Hodges, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Hodges was widely expected to make the Bills’ roster.

Buffalo signed Hodges in May after meeting with the Chiefs, Seahawks, Jets, Giants, Patriots, Jaguars, and Colts in free agency. Hodges thought that the departures of of Zach Brown and Lerentee McCray would allow him to see significant playing time and perhaps even start at outside linebacker. Instead, he’s out of work heading into Week 1.

He played on approximately half of the 49ers’ defensive snaps last year while grading out as the league’s No. 21 linebacker, according to Pro Football Focus. In his 15 games, the 26-year-old racked up 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also was on the field for 73 special teams snaps.

Bills Sign LB Gerald Hodges

Bills coach Sean McDermott announced that the team is has signed linebacker Gerald Hodges (Twitter link via Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News). To make room, the Bills cut cornerback Charles Gaines.Gerald Hodges (vertical)

Hodges only visited with two clubs — the Chiefs and Seahawks — during the first month of free agency. Recently, however, he has embarked on a tour that saw him meet with the Jets, Giants, Patriots, Jaguars, and Colts. However, it was his meeting with the Bills that has fostered a deal.

Hodges played on approximately half of the 49ers’ defensive snaps last year while grading out as the league’s No. 21 linebacker, according to Pro Football Focus. In his 15 games, the 26-year-old racked up 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also was on the field for 73 special teams snaps.

The Bills’ linebacker group has already gone through some changes this year after the departures of Zach Brown and Lerentee McCray in free agency. The Bills project to start Reggie Ragland and Lorenzo Alexander at the OLB spots with Preston Brown in the middle, but the group behind them is looking a little thin. Ramon Humber and rookies Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo figure to primarily pitch in as reserve OLBs, leaving them without a proven depth option for MLB. That’s where Hodges might come in handy for Buffalo.

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Giants Hosting LB Gerald Hodges

Free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges‘ free agent tour will continue, as he’s scheduled to meet with the Giants today, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).Gerald Hodges (Vertical)

Hodges, 26, only visited with two clubs — the Chiefs and Seahawks — during the first month of free agency, as his market seemed to be extremely limited. The demand for the four-year pro has certainly picked up, however, as Hodges has been linked to the Jets, Bills, Patriots, Jaguars, and Colts over the past two weeks.

Hodges started 12 games in 2016, playing on roughly half of San Francisco’s defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 21 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. In 15 total games, Hodges racked up 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also chipped in on special teams (73 snaps).

The Giants didn’t make many additions to their linebacking unit this offseason, as their only moves at the position involved re-signing veteran Keenan Robinson and bringing undrafted free agent Calvin Munson out of San Diego State. The rest of Big Blue’s ‘backer depth chart is comprised of Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Mark Herzlich, and B.J. Goodson.

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