Jacob Hollister

Trade Rumors: Thomas, Njoku, Watt, Jets

Saints head coach Sean Payton has said his team has no interest in trading star receiver Michael Thomas, though Thomas’ camp was recently said to be looking for potential deals. There has been no movement towards a Thomas trade, and whether that’s because New Orleans has no interest in dealing him or because the club has not received an offer it likes, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Thomas will stay put.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more rumors on players who could be on the move:

  • The Browns don’t want to trade tight end David Njoku, but Njoku has renewed his request to be dealt, and Rapoport says Cleveland has been fielding calls on the former first-rounder. It may take at least a fourth-round pick to get a deal done, but with Austin Hooper set to return and with the emergence of rookie Harrison Bryant, the Browns may elect to move Njoku.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the Texans are at the center of the trade market, with one executive saying Houston could move as many as five players if it wants to. Rapoport expects the Packersinterest in Will Fuller — which dates back to the summer — to ramp up, but it will likely take a high pick to convince the Texans to move Fuller. Fellow WR Kenny Stills has also drawn some interest, though rival clubs see the contracts for Stills and Randall Cobb as prohibitive. DE J.J. Watt may be receptive to a trade, but considering his contract and age, other teams probably don’t value him like the Texans do.
  • The Jets have received calls on LB Avery Williamson, OTs George Fant and Chuma Edoga, and CB Quincy Wilson, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says the Steelers — who recently lost Devin Bush for the season — could be in the market for Williamson, and Edoga also seems like a good bet to be dealt since he does not look like a fit with the current regime.
  • La Canfora says teams have also called the Jets about WR Breshad Perriman and TE Chris Herndon, though Breer notes that safety Marcus Maye has not drawn much interest.
  • Rapoport names Dolphins RB Jordan Howard and Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister as two other players who could be moved. And though the Bengals are shopping disgruntled wideout John Ross, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com says there hasn’t been interest in Ross (Twitter link).

Seahawks Place Second-Round Tender On TE Jacob Hollister

Despite having one of the deepest tight end corps in the NFL, the Seahawks won’t let Jacob Hollister walk for nothing. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that Seattle is placing a second-round tender on the tight end.

If any team signs Hollister to an offer sheet and the Seahawks decline to match, they’d get that team’s second-round pick in return. That could actually be an option in Seattle, where the team has already added veteran Greg Olsen this offseason. They’re also rostering Will Dissly, who hauled in four touchdowns last season before succumbing to injury.

As for Hollister, the 26-year-old joined the Seahawks last offseason after spending two years with the Patriots. He ended up having a breakout season, hauling in 41 receptions for 349 yards and three touchdowns.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/19

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted from practice squad: CB Nik Needham
  • Waived: S Doug Middleton

Minnesota Vikings

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Cameron Smith
  • Waived: WR Davion Davis

New York Giants 

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West 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 Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. 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 NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Get Down To 53 Players

The Seahawks have made their roster cuts. Perhaps most notably, they cut quarterback Geno Smith. Since they already waived Paxton Lynch last night and also waived J.T. Barrett, they currently have no passers on the roster behind Russell Wilson. It’s possible the team is just maneuvering the roster and planning on re-signing Smith. If not, they’ll be adding a veteran in the coming days.

The Seahawks had a crowded running backs room, and J.D. McKissic and Bo Scarbrough ended up as the odd-men out. A lot of people were expecting Jaron Brown to start the year as the team’s number two receiver while D.K. Metcalf recovers from his knee injury, but he didn’t even end up making the initial 53. Brown was set to make $2.75MM, so maybe he’ll be brought back after the regular season starts when his contract won’t be guaranteed.

Here’s the full list of moves:

Released:

FB Nick Bellore

WR Jaron Brown

QB Geno Smith

CB Jamar Taylor

Waived:

QB J.T. Barrett

 RB J.D. McKissic

RB Bo Scarbrough

CB Simeon Thomas

RB Xavier Turner

Waived/injured:

CB Jeremy Boykins

G Phil Haynes

Injured reserve:

Jacob Hollister Primed For Big Role With Seahawks?

Back in April, the Seahawks traded a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for tight end Jacob Hollister, and that low-key trade may end up paying major dividends for Seattle.

As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been very impressed by Hollister thus far. Schottenheimer has lauded Hollister’s speed and even compared his route-running abilities to Seattle wideout Tyler Lockett. New England once thought highly of Hollister and envisioned a significant role for him at one point, but his brief career has been marred by injuries, so the Pats were willing to let him go for minimal compensation.

Reiss also believes that the Patriots thought Hollister, who signed with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2017, had plateaued in their system. But even though New England’s own tight end situation is a little murky after Rob Gronkowski‘s retirement, Seattle’s TE depth chart looks even more thin.

The Seahawks did not select a tight end in April’s draft, and the only tight ends with any meaningful experience on the roster are Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett, neither of whom are exactly world beaters. So if Hollister can remain healthy and can continue to impress Seattle’s coaching staff, he could be primed for a big role in 2019.

The 25-year-old has eight catches for 95 yards in his pro career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Trade Jacob Hollister To Seahawks

The Patriots have agreed to trade third-year tight end Jacob Hollister to the Seahawks pending a physical, league sources tell Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Patriots will receive a 2020 conditional seventh-round pick in return. 

The Seahawks had four tight ends on their 90-man roster, plus incoming undrafted free agent Justin Johnson. But, with Will Dissly coming off a knee injury, the Seahawks felt the need for some reinforcement.

Enter Hollister, who has just eight catches to his credit across two injury-filled seasons in New England. The Seahawks aren’t necessarily expecting a ton out of Hollister, but could provide valuable depth support if he manages to stay healthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Place TE Jacob Hollister On IR

In advance of their playoff opener, the Patriots placed one of their backup tight ends on injured reserve. Jacob Hollister‘s season will end early, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter).

The Patriots are promoting tight end Stephen Anderson from their practice squad to take Hollister’s place. Anderson played two seasons with the Texans, starting five games for last season’s Houston edition.

A hamstring injury has bothered Hollister for much of this season. The lingering problem cost him five games, including Weeks 1 and 17, while a chest injury also hindered Hollister this year. Anderson has not played in 2018.

New England has Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen and now Anderson comprising its tight end group. Their non-Gronk tight end contingent has combined for seven receptions this year, with Hollister hauling in four of those.

Extra Points: Gordon, Pats, Lee, Giants, Lions

In a development that’s sure to prompt thousands of early phone alarms Sunday morning, Melvin Gordon has been downgraded to questionable. The Chargers‘ top threat is now a true game-time decision to play against the Titans in London, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Considering this is an 8:30am CT game, this will obviously test the commitment of Gordon’s North American-based fantasy owners while putting the Bolts down one of their best players. Gordon was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, but as ESPN’s Eric Williams notes (on Twitter), wasn’t listed on the injury report until Saturday. A hamstring malady places Gordon’s availability for Week 7 in question. The Chargers took precautions against a Gordon absence by promoting Detrez Newsome from their practice squad. Since finishing his first two NFL seasons on IR, Gordon has played in 22 straight games and emerged as one of the league’s best backs.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • The Cowboys will have the services of Sean Lee on Sunday against the Redskins. Lee is not on Dallas’ injury report for its game against Washington. He missed the past three games because of a hamstring strain, opening the door for first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch to log plenty of playing time. Vander Esch responded and enters Week 7 as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall linebacker. Lee, Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith will split time in Dallas’ nickel package, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes.
  • A disastrous Giants start will result in more changes to their maligned offensive line. Big Blue will bench free agent guard pickup Patrick Omameh and move center John Greco to guard on Monday night, Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Former Chargers starting center Spencer Pulley will move into the role of Giants first-string snapper, Duggan adds. Omameh suffered a knee injury in practice this week, but Duggan notes this decision was made prior to that occurring. PFF slots the former Jaguars starter as its No. 67 guard (out of 73 full-time players at this position). He’s signed to a three-year, $15MM deal. Pulley, who started all 16 games for the Chargers last season, landed in New York via post-preseason waiver claim. Pulley will join Greco and right tackle Chad Wheeler as replacement starters for this year’s Giants front.
  • Despite logging three limited practices this week, Ziggy Ansah will not return for the Lions on Sunday. Detroit declared its top pass rusher out for a fifth straight game. The franchise-tagged defensive end said (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press) like he felt like he could play, but the Lions will continue to soldier on without him. He’s been trying to surmount a shoulder injury since exiting in Week 1 because of it.
  • T.J. Lang, however, will return to the Lions’ lineup. The veteran guard missed two games because of a concussion and sought medical advice from several doctors, per Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. While Lang’s return will be a welcome sight for Lions fans, Meinke does not expect Detroit to keep him around in 2019. The final year of Lang’s Lions deal comes with an $11.7MM cap hit. It would save the Lions $9MM if they cut Lang, for whom they authorized a $9.5MM-AAV deal in 2017.
  • Rob Gronkowski is almost certainly going to miss the Patriots-Bears game, with ankle and back trouble keeping the all-world tight end home after his team departed for Chicago. But the Patriots will also be without backup Jacob Hollister, the team announced. This leaves Dwayne Allen as the only healthy tight end available. The former Colt has one catch this season. The Pats still haven’t declared Gronk out, which would make for an interesting sequence of events were he to play without boarding the team plane.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Brady, Jets, Dunlap

Bill Musgrave, who was elevated to Broncos‘ offensive coordinator once Mike McCoy was dismissed after Week 10 of the 2017 campaign, could not effectuate many wholesale changes to the offense midseason. But as Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Musgrave is installing an almost completely different offense this year. “Yeah, it’s pretty much all different,” Musgrave said.

Denver ranked 27th in the league in scoring last season, and everyone from the front office down believed that McCoy’s complex system was a big reason for that, although the team’s offense has been in a funk since the second half of the 2014 season. However, the Broncos hope that Case Keenum will bring much-needed stability to the quarterback position, and that Musgrave’s more streamlined offense — which was developed along with GM John Elway, head coach Vance Joseph, and personnel advisor Gary Kubiak — will lead to improved results in 2018.

Now let’s take look at a few other AFC notes and rumors:

  • Although Tom Brady has not announced when he will return to the Patriots, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, just like owner Robert Kraft, expects him to be present for the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. Brady’s backups, Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling, have gotten increased work in Brady’s absence, and it remains unclear as to how Brady will be received by head coach Bill Belichick when he returns. While Brady will likely not have much trouble making up for lost time, his absence has created plenty of buzz in the NFL world, and it is not helping the already palpable tension between him and his coach.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Patriots second-year TE Jacob Hollister, who made the team as a UDFA last year, has added some noticeable weight and strength and has looked good in OTAs. Hollister will compete for No. 3 TE reps with free agent signee Troy Niklas, who comes with a better draft pedigree but who has not done much in his first few professional seasons.
  • Jets CEO Christopher Johnson‘s pro-player stance on the national anthem issue will likely not be a major factor when it comes to luring free agents, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says it is suggestive of a player-friendly environment, which could be a selling point if a player has narrowed his choice to a couple of teams. In the same piece, Cimini notes that the team is rededicating itself to a physical and prominent running game, which free agent signee Isaiah Crowell will lead, and that Quincy Enunwa still expects to be ready for the start of training camp.
  • Steelers‘ 2018 second-round choice James Washington is the presumptive favorite to assume the team’s No. 3 WR job following the draft-day trade of Martavis Bryant. But as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes, Justin Hunter — a former second-round pick of the Titans whose star never rose like some expected — has been getting a few first-team reps during this year’s OTAs, and he is making the most of them. Hunter, like Bryant, is a lanky deep threat capable of making plays downfield, and he hopes to become a consistent target for Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are entering the final year of their respective contracts, and as Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes, the Bengals clearly want to keep Atkins around long-term. Whether or not they want to keep Dunlap could hinge not only on the performance of the young defensive lineman already on the roster, but on next year’s crop of rookies. 2019 is already being labeled “the year of the defensive lineman,” and if the 2019 crop of collegiate prospects lives up to its billing, Cincinnati could be perfectly content to let Dunlap walk. We learned yesterday that Dunlap would end his short-lived holdout and report to the team.
  • In the same piece linked above, Dehner names Bengals‘ 2018 fifth-round choice Darius Phillips as the late-round pick who has stood out the most thus far. Phillips has been deployed as a slot corner in spring practices and has looked sharp and instinctive. He also has been getting a shot at punt returner, as he is reportedly electric with the ball in his hands.