Greg Van Roten

AFC East Rumors: Watson, Mariota, Allen

Add veteran NFL reporter Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com to the list of writers who have heard that Texans QB Deshaun Watson is not budging on his desire to be traded, and that he continues to ignore every call from Houston brass. Of course, Watson has a no-trade clause that he could use to help dictate where he goes — assuming the Texans give in and deal him, which they have insisted they are not going to do — and we recently heard that the 49ers and Broncos are on his destination list.

Dunne’s source indicates that the Dolphins — who have been considered one of the frontrunners for Watson since trade speculation started to swirl — and the Niners are Watson’s top two preferred clubs. In Dunne’s view, a trade to Miami makes too much sense to not happen, and he believes the ‘Fins and Texans could line up on a deal that sends Watson to South Beach in exchange for the No. 3 and No. 18 overall picks in this year’s draft along with Miami’s 2022 first-rounder.

Now for more rumors from the AFC East:

  • Recent reports have indicated that Raiders QB Marcus Mariota is generating legitimate trade interest, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots could be in the mix. New England obviously needs a quarterback, and Mariota is attached to a reasonable $10.6MM salary for 2021 and would not cost much to acquire in terms of draft capital. Although he could demand a raise if he is being acquired to serve as a starter, his current salary would not preclude the Pats from continuing to explore other options, like Jimmy Garoppolo — if the the 49ers land a different QB and release Garoppolo — or a collegiate passer.
  • Reiss does not expect the Patriots to make a deal with the division-rival Jets for Gang Green QB Sam Darnold, though what the Jets do with Darnold could certainly have a major impact on New England (for instance, if New York trades Darnold to San Francisco, Garoppolo could become available).
  • The Jets have among the most cap space in the league at just shy of $70MM, and they can easily create even more flexibility, thereby giving them a huge advantage in what could be a buyer’s market given the decreased salary cap. Connor Hughes of The Athletic believes New York will release DE Henry Anderson, which jibes with a report from December. That move will save the club $8.2MM in cap space, and Hughes suggests that guards Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis might be goners as well (their releases would save $3.4MM and $5.1MM, respectively).
  • Meanwhile the Jets don’t have too many of their own free agents that must be retained. Hughes expects safety Marcus Maye to be re-signed, and he also says OL Pat Elflein — who played well in 2020 after being claimed off waivers from the Vikings — is a logical candidate to return, especially if the team moves on from Van Roten and/or Lewis.
  • Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News does not foresee the Bills laying out major free agent dollars this offseason. Instead, he expects the club to use the majority of its cash on an extension for QB Josh Allen, which means that the Bills will likely allow LB Matt Milano to test the open market — contrary to GM Brandon Beane‘s assertion that a franchise tag could be in play — and will not be in the running for a top pass rusher like Shaquil Barrett or Bud Dupree.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: G Blake Hance
  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Karl Joseph
  • Promoted: G Cordell Iwuagwu, LB Montrel Meander, T Alex Taylor

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted: DB John Brannon

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/12/20

Here is Saturday’s usual barrage of minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Jachai Polite; Polite tested positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Twitter)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tua, Fitz, Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick is “really excited” to have Tua Tagovailoa in the Dolphins‘ locker room, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. He gushed about the Alabama product in a chat with former Bills teammate Eric Woods, though he’s not quite ready to pass the torch as the team’s starting quarterback.

I also want to be out there playing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I also want to be on the field. And that’s why I’m still doing it, because I still enjoy playing the gameHopefully some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are from him watching me play. But if it’s the other way around, I’m going to do my best to help him succeed in the best way he can.”

Ultimately, the Dolphins will do what’s best for business, but Fitzpatrick may have a leg up on the rookie, thanks to his relationship with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Chan and I have worked together for three years … He’s the guy who has given me the longest leash in my career in terms of being able to do things,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I trust him completely, and he has ultimate trust in me as well. This will be a little bit different in that if I’m out there playing there’s going to be a little bit longer leash because of the history we have together.”

Here’s more from the AFC East:

Contract Details: Anderson, Pennel, Alexander

A handful of contract details to pass along:

Jets To Sign Greg Van Roten

The Jets continue to bolster their offensive line. New York has agreed to terms with guard Greg Van Roten, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s a three-year deal for Van Roten according to a tweet from Connor Hughes of The Athletic, who notes that New York has had their eye on him since before free agency opened. We heard a handful of days ago that the Jets had turned their attention to Van Roten and other second-tier interior linemen after whiffing on their attempt to sign Graham Glasgow, and now they’ve got their guy.

Van Roten was one of the top linemen left on the market, and the available pool just got that much thinner for teams still looking for O-line help. Van Roten has had an unusual path to prominence, as he entered the league as an UDFA back in 2012 but didn’t start a game until 2018. He then became a full-time starter for the Panthers the past two seasons, earning reasonably strong marks from Pro Football Focus.

The Jets have been remaking their unit, and they signed Connor McGovern to a big deal to be their center earlier this week. Jets beat writers seem to expect Van Roten to start at right guard with Alex Lewis at left. This could mean the end of the line for guard Brian Winters in New York, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. The Jets could save a little over $7MM by cutting him. They also signed new left tackle George Fant in free agency, so this offensive line is going to look completely different in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Targeting Interior Linemen Stefen Wisniewski, Greg Van Roten

The Jets have swung and missed on a handful of top free agents already, forcing them to shift their attention to some of their backup plans. They were reportedly in on guard Graham Glasgow, before he signed a big deal with the Broncos.

New York still needs help on the offensive line, and they’re now targeting a couple of lower-profile options along the interior. The Jets have “turned their attention” to guard/center Stefen Wisniewski and guard Greg Van Roten, sources told Connor Hughes of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Jets were also interested in guard Joe Thuney, before the Patriots shockingly franchise-tagged him this morning.

Both Wisniewski and Van Roten are longtime veterans with a lot of starting experience. Neither are elite players by any means, but they’re both respectable options. Wisniewski was a full-time starter with the Raiders and Jaguars his first five years in the league, then became a top reserve with the Eagles and started at least six games in each of his three years in Philly. He spent last year with the Chiefs and only started twice, his first season with less than six starts.

Van Roten entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but didn’t start a game until 2018 when he unexpectedly became Carolina’s starter at left guard and started all 16 games. He started all 11 that he appeared in this past year. As Hughes points out, he’s done quite well in pass protection.

AFC East Rumors: Jets, Bell, Butler, Norman

The Jets are widely expected to be active in free agency, and now that a new CBA has been approved, they can increase their ability to spend by designating Trumaine Johnson as a post-June 1 cut. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com takes a look at the players that Gang Green is expected to target, and unsurprisingly, some of this year’s most prolific O-lineman, edge rushers, and cornerbacks are on the list.

But what are the Jets’ fallback plans if they can’t land their top targets? Connor Hughes of The Athletic has heard that the team could pursue Eagles OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and if the Jets miss out on guards like Graham Glasgow and Joe Thuney, Hughes says they have looked into Panthers guard Greg Van Roten.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets would like to retain WR Robby Anderson, but if his price tag gets too high, both Hughes and Cimini believe Breshad Perriman would be a target. Perriman offers field-stretching ability and had a strong finish to the 2019 season with the Bucs.
  • Jets RB Le’Veon Bell receives a $2MM roster bonus today. As Cimini points out, that bonus makes it a little less likely that Bell is traded, though that never seemed like a realistic proposition to begin with.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots are prepared to move on from WR Phillip Dorsett, though it’s a different story for Adam Butler. The fourth-year DT recently switched agents, and Reiss says extension talks could be on tap. Butler, a former UDFA, recorded six sacks last season.
  • The details are in on Josh Norman‘s new contract with the Bills, courtesy of Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Twitter), The deal was originally reported as a one-year, $6MM pact that could increase to $8MM with incentives, but Norman has a number of workout and roster milestones to hit before he collects the full $6MM. His salary is just $2.8MM, $1.5MM of which is guaranteed.

Panthers Sign Stacy McGee and Woodrow Hamilton

The Panthers made a flurry of roster moves on Wednesday morning. Carolina officially moved defensive tackle Dontari Poe and guard Greg Van Roten to the injured reserve and signed defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Woodrow Hamilton, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.

The move to injured reserve was expected for Poe after it was reported earlier this week that he had to undergo surgery for a torn quad. Van Roten, however, left Sunday’s game against the Saints with a toe injury and the severity was not yet known. Now, both are officially out for the season.

McGee is the more well-known of the two new additions. A six-year veteran, McGee played the first four seasons of his career with the Raiders where he served as a swingman, playing nearly every position along the defensive line. After his tenure in Oakland, Washington signed him to a two-year contract that spanned the 2017-18 seasons. Over his career, McGee has appeared in 75 games (29 starts), recorded 116 tackles, and 4 sacks.

Hamilton has bounced between a number of NFL organizations and has appeared in two games since turning pro in 2016. While he does not come with McGee’s resume, he also signed a futures/reserve contract with the Panthers in December of 2018 and was with the organization until final roster cuts on August 30th. His familiarity should help him quickly integrate himself into the rotation.