Holton Hill

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/20

We’ve got a long list of all the minor transactions from the last day or so:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: DL Ron’Dell Carter
  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team

Vikings Place CB Mike Hughes On IR

The Vikings will enter their Aaron Rodgers rematch decimated at cornerback. They placed Mike Hughes on IR Friday, and ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin reports the neck injury Hughes sustained in Week 6 has the rest of his season in doubt.

Neck trouble would be an automatic concern regardless of circumstances, but Hughes has a history with neck issues. He landed on IR before Minnesota’s playoff slate last season, and a belated report indicated the former first-round pick suffered broken vertebra in his neck. Hughes recovered in time for this season, but Friday’s report is certainly troubling for his NFL future.

Hughes has not been able to stay healthy as a pro. An ACL tear ended his 2018 rookie season after six games. He played 14 last season but has missed time this year. With 2018 first-round picks being the first to have fully guaranteed fifth-year options, it now appears a certainty the Vikings will pass on Hughes’ come May.

The Vikings did, however, make Hughes a key piece of their cornerback puzzle this offseason. They let Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander defect to the Bengals, doing so after cutting former No. 1 corner Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota drafted corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler in Rounds 1 and 3, respectively, this year.

Dantzler, however, resides on the Vikings’ reserve/COVID-19 list. He will miss Sunday’s Packers tilt, leaving Gladney as the only healthy corner from the Vikes’ regular rotation. Holton Hill is also out with a foot injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Activate Holton Hill, Cut Cameron Smith

Holton Hill is finally back. The Vikings activated the young cornerback after he finished serving his suspensions and waived linebacker Cameron Smith in a corresponding roster move, according to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune (Twitter link).

Back in April, Hill was slapped with a four-game ban for a PED violation. A few months later he was suspended again, this time for a substance abuse violation, which earned him another four games. Hill made the team as an undrafted rookie last year and ended up playing a key role, appearing in all 16 games and starting three. A Texas product, Hill had been slated for a lot of playing time in 2019. Still only 22, Hill could provide a huge boost to a Vikings defense that quietly hasn’t been as good as in years past.

Goessling writes that Hill could make his season-debut Sunday against the Chiefs, but that doesn’t sound definite. Smith is a rookie who was released at final cuts and then signed to the practice squad before being promoted a couple weeks ago. A USC product, he was a fifth-round pick in April’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings’ Holton Hill Suspended (Again)

Vikings cornerback Holton Hill has been suspended, once again. This time around, it’s a four-game ban for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets

Hill, 22, made the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Texas and wound up appearing in all 16 games for the Vikings last year, including three starts. He finished out with 36 tackles in total and made his first career interception in the Vikings’ October romp over the Jets.

This year, he was slated for a significant role in the secondary, but a pair of four-game bans will keep him sidelined until the midway point of the season. In April, the Vikings learned that they would be without Hill for a quarter of the season thanks to a PED policy violation.

The team will not be releasing a statement, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Suspends Vikings CB Holton Hill

Vikings cornerback Holton Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the league announced. It’s unfortunate news for the Vikings as Mike Hughes is still working his way back from an ACL tear. 

Hill, 22, made the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Texas and wound up appearing in all 16 games for the Vikings last year, including three starts. He finished out with 36 tackles in total and made his first career interception in the Vikings’ October romp over the Jets.

The Vikings recently picked up a couple of defensive backs displaced by the collapse of the AAF, so they’ll at least be covered on the depth chart. Still, losing Hill is less than ideal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Panthers, Penny, Impact Rooks

With their first-round pick, the Panthers ended up selecting Maryland wideout D.J. Moore. However, General Manager Marty Hurney told SiriusXM’s Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn that his team was considering several players with the pick, including Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley.

“Basically what we did, coming into the draft, we had a group of about five guys that we would be very happy with at 24 and we got our pick and three of those guys were there and it was a hard decision between Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore,” Hurney said. “I think that the difference to us is, and we think they’re both excellent wide receivers, is just D.J. Moore gives us a little different skill set than we had.”

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the league…

  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller touched on a number of topics during his post-draft review. Notably, the reporter noted that the most surprising first-round selection was San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, who was taken by the Seahawks with the 27th pick. Miller notes that opposing teams didn’t value Penny as highly, and the reporter said the highest team grade (outside of Seattle) rated the running back as a second-rounder.
  • Miller reports that several players failed drug tests, causing them to fall in the draft or go undrafted. This grouping included cornerback Holton Hill, offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, and wideout Antonio Callaway.
  • ESPN’s Mel Kiper looked at several late-round rookies who could immediately make an impact with their new squad. Offensively, Kiper pointed to Patriots wideout Braxton Berrios, Colts running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines, and Steelers “Swiss Army knife” Jaylen Samuels. Defensively, Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Eagles pass rusher Josh Sweat, Rams linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo led Kiper’s list.

Vikings Sign 17 Undrafted Free Agents

The Vikings have agreed to terms with 17 undrafted free agents. Here’s the complete rundown:

Hill received $75K guaranteed in the form of a $15K signing bonus and $60K in base salary, which is the most money received by UDFA since Mike Zimmer became the team’s head coach in 2014, writes Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune.

Robertson received $50K guaranteed with his deal, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The wide receiver caught 76 passes for 1,106 yards for Southern Mississippi last season.

Wieneke, a native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, said this week that he is ecstatic about the opportunity to play for the Vikings.

It’s the best feeling in the world,’’ said Wieneke (via Tomasson). “I get to stay with the team I grew up loving and I get to stay in Minnesota. It can’t be anything better than this.’’

Dooley received $41K in guaranteed money with an $11K signing bonus and $30K in base salary.

Hill may be the most intriguing prospect of the bunch. The cornerback was suspended by Texas for the last month of the season for reasons that are still unknown. In terms of talent, he was regarded as a draftable player.

Meanwhile, running backs Thomas and Boone and fullback/running back Pettway have a reach chance at making the roster after the Vikings declined to select a running back over the weekend. After the departure of Jerick McKinnon, there are no other running backs to support Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.