Packers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/28/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted: QB Reid Sinnett

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on IR: G Sua Opeta

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Packers To Meet With Tavon Austin

The Packers will work out Tavon Austin, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The former Rams and Cowboys wide receiver has yet to see live action this year. 

Austin, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, joined the 49ers over the summer and was said to be playing well in training camp. Then, when a knee injury forced him to IR, he was cut loose. Austin has never come close to justifying his draft status, but his speed and versatility continues to intrigue coaches around the league. In theory, Austin could feature as a receiver, rusher, and returner for the Packers.

Of course, health has been Austin’s biggest stumbling block as a pro. Over seven injury-laden years in the NFL, Austin has notched 215 receptions while averaging just 9.3 yards per catch. For what it’s worth, he did average more than 15 yards per grab over the last two seasons with the Cowboys, but that was in a super small sample size of 21 receptions.

The Austin audition comes after Darrius Shepherd fumbled on a kickoff return against the Colts. With over 200 career kick and punt returns on his resume, a special teams role could be Austin’s quickest path to getting back on the field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/25/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Football Team

Packers Showed Interest In Snacks Harrison

  • Prior to being signed to the Seahawks active roster, it sounds like defensive tackle Damon Harrison was generating some interest from around the league. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that both the Packers and Ravens tried to sign “Snacks.” Since Seattle could no longer elevate the veteran, they decided to protect him and offered a spot on their active roster. Harrison, a former All-Pro nose tackle, hooked on with Seattle’s practice squad in October. After taking some time to get back into playing shape, Snacks is ready to be a contributor on clear running downs.

Latest On Packers, Corey Linsley

When the Packers gave left tackle David Bakhtiari a record-setting extension last week, GM Brian Gutekunst said that he would like to extend another of his pending free agents, as Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes. But there are a handful of key players on expiring contracts, and though the structure of Bakhtiari’s deal could help facilitate another sizable extension, it’s unclear if Green Bay will be able to pull that off.

After all, the salary cap is expected to drop considerably in 2021, and players like RB Aaron Jones, RB Jamaal Williams, CB Kevin King, and C Corey Linsley will all be eligible for unrestricted free agency. The Packers and Jones have been discussing a new deal for some time, but nothing has come together just yet, and there have been no reports concerning extensions for Williams, King, or Linsley.

Given King’s injury history and Williams’ status as the Packers’ RB2, it would seem like Linsley would be either the team’s top priority for an extension, or else the second priority behind Jones. He is arguably the best center in football, and while he has yet to make a Pro Bowl in his career, that could certainly change this year.

The 29-year-old has a strong case to top the center market, which would mean a contract paying him around $13MM per season. Thus far, however, it doesn’t sound like any progress has been made on that front.

“I’ve had a wonderful experience, and if it continues, that’s awesome,” Linsley said. “If it doesn’t, that’s the nature of the game. There’s 31 other teams out there, so hopefully it’ll happen here or happen somewhere else. I don’t know. How I’m looking at it is, I’m just playing ball.” 

Linsley and his family make their full-time home in Green Bay, and his wife, Anna, has already begun to wonder about what a move to another city will look like, as Wilde writes. While it might be too early to order a moving van, it is certainly possible that Linsley will be suiting up for a different club in 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/20

Here is Saturday’s usual flood of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/17/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Packers Extend David Bakhtiari

The Packers made a major move before their Week 10 date with the Jaguars. Green Bay locked up left tackle David Bakhtiari with a four-year extension, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (Twitter link). He had previously been set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

The deal is worth up to $105.5MM in new money, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. The base value is $23MM per year, Rapoport adds, which makes him the new highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Widely considered one of the best tackles in the league, Bakhtiari made his return on Sunday from a chest injury that cost him a few games. This is certainly a nice welcome-back gift.

A fourth-round pick back in 2013, he turned into a steal for Green Bay. The Colorado product became a full-time starter as a rookie, and he’s been protecting Aaron Rodgers‘ blindside ever since. He’s been pretty durable, starting all 16 games in five of his seven full seasons and never missing more than four in one year.

An All-Pro in each of the past four seasons, Bakhtiari only turned 29 in September. As such, he should still be in the prime of his career when this new pact expires. Laremy Tunsil became the highest-paid offensive lineman and first to eclipse $20MM annually back in March, and now Bakhtiari has blown past those numbers.

He’s pretty much in quarterback-money territory now. Rapoport later posted a follow-up tweet saying he’ll get a whopping $30MM signing bonus, with $62.8MM coming his way before the end of the 2022 campaign. Since 2017 Bakhtiari is first in the league in pass block win rate among tackles, according to a tweet from Seth Walder of ESPN.com.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Activate Christian Kirksey From IR

Christian Kirksey will be back in uniform on Sunday. The Packers are activating the veteran linebacker from IR after a lengthy stay without one of their starters.

Green Bay parked the former Cleveland standout on IR because of a September shoulder injury. The offseason addition has been out since Week 3. His return will stand to help a Packers defense that has struggled this season.

After a strong start to his career led to the Browns signing off on an eight-figure-per-year extension, Kirksey has not shown he can stay healthy consistently in recent years. He missed 23 games during his final two Browns seasons and became a 2020 cap casualty. Kirksey still received considerable interest as a street free agent this offseason and signed a two-year, $13MM deal with the Packers. Green Bay guaranteed Kirksey $4MM but can drop him after 2020 and save $6MM, making the second half of this season key for the seventh-year vet.

The Packers also promoted wide receiver Juwann Winfree from their practice squad. The team did not activate Allen Lazard from IR, despite their No. 2 wideout making the trip to San Francisco in Week 9. In order for Lazard to return this season, he must be activated ahead of the Packers’ Week 11 game. The Packers are also elevating cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Stanford Samuels and safety Henry Black.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers’ John Lovett Done For Year

Packers fullback John Lovett will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a bad break for the special teams regular, who has now ended both of his pro seasons on injured reserve. 

Lovett played quarterback at Princeton before signing with the Chiefs last year as an undrafted free agent. With the Packers, he’s seen time at fullback, tight end, and running back, but he’ll mostly be missed in the third facet of the game. Rookie Josiah Deguara — who was initially set for those H-back snaps — is also out with a torn ACL, so the Packers will have to look elsewhere for help. That could mean new work for Jace Sternberger, or a step up for a practice squader like Dax Raymond or Dominique Dafney.

The Packers, sans Lovett, will look to advance to 7-2 this weekend when they take on the Jaguars at Lambeau Field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.