Joe Callahan

West Rumors: Chiefs, Hawks, Rams, Tryouts

With Patrick Mahomes being arguably the NFL MVP through two weeks, the Chiefs are exiting a tough two-game stretch — road assignments against the Chargers and Steelers — at 2-0. They’ve done this without their defensive centerpiece. Eric Berry‘s been bothered by a nagging heel injury and hasn’t practice since early August. However, the three-time All-Pro safety is improving in his recovery and may be ready to practice this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The cancer survivor was already trying to surmount his second severe NFL injury, having also missed most of the 2011 season prior to tearing his Achilles’ tendon in Week 1 of last year, and is important for a Chiefs defense that’s struggled in shootout wins.

Here’s the latest out of the Wests entering the Seahawks-Bears Monday tilt.

  • Mychal Kendricks will play plenty in his Seahawks debut Monday night, John Schneider said (Twitter link via Stacy Jo Rost of ESPN 710). Austin Calitro will be Seattle’s middle linebacker in place of the injured Bobby Wagner, Schneider said, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times expects Kendricks to primarily play on the weak side (Twitter link). He’s working with the starters in warmups, per Condotta (on Twitter). Kendricks is facing an NFL suspension for his insider trading charge but is appealing and is thus allowed to play tonight.
  • Rams practice squad center Aaron Neary‘s run into trouble. He was arrested Sunday for suspicion of DUI and hit and run charges, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports. Neary’s blood-alcohol level of .17 was more than twice the legal limit, and Thiry adds he was booked into the Ventura County Jail. Neary came to the Rams recently, after being waived by the Browns to create roster space for Anthony Zettel. He spent most of last season on the Rams’ practice squad, playing in one 2017 game, but may have trouble keeping that spot.
  • Clive Walford ventured to Kansas City for a Chiefs workout on Monday, Rapoport tweets. The former Raiders tight end was a Jets cut this summer. After being a regular in Oakland’s passing game in 2015-16, the one-time third-round pick only caught nine passes for 80 yards last season.
  • The Raiders‘ affinity for 30-somethings this offseason should be well known, and Jon Gruden said the team would have signed Clinton McDonald in March had a medical issue not intervened, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). McDonald signed with the Broncos, but they reworked his contract because of an injury. He’s now with the Raiders, having made his Raider debut in Denver.
  • Joe Callahan was among a contingent that worked out for the Raiders on Monday, Gehlken tweets. The now-well-traveled backup quarterback was most recently with the Eagles during the preseason. Quarterback Kyle Allen, tight end Billy Brown, running back Orleans Darkwa, wide receivers Roger Lewis and Hunter Sharp also auditioned for the Silver and Black, per NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter). The Colts, Jets, Bills, Patriots (twice) and Redskins have brought in Darkwa for workouts this year.
  • Former Broncos backup inside linebacker Zaire Anderson will work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Anderson spent three years with the Broncos — 2015-17, being on Denver’s practice squad during its Super Bowl season — before being a post-preseason cut. Also working out for the Cardinals: linebacker Nigel Harris, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).

Eagles Cut Down To 53

The Eagles’ receiving corps became a bit younger on Saturday. Two veterans brought in as possible depth pieces — Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken — were informed they will be released.

So was potential secondary cog De’Vante Bausby and rookie UDFA running back Josh Adams, given one of this year’s largest guarantees among the undrafted contingent. Philadelphia also placed safety Chris Maragos on its Reserve/PUP list, shelving him for at least six weeks.

Here are the players the Eagles will not be including on their initial 2018 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list

Eagles Release QB Christian Hackenberg

The Eagles have released Christian Hackenberg, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com (Twitter links). The former Jets draft bust hooked on with the Eagles in August, but faced long odds of making the team. Fellow quarterback Joe Callahan has also been cut, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Eagles still have some level of uncertainty at quarterback between Carson Wentz‘s ACL recovery and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles‘ minor neck injury. Still, one of those two QBs should be ready for the opener and the Eagles remain high on third-stringer Nate Sudfeld. Callahan drew solid reviews this summer, but the numbers crunch was ultimately too much for him to overcome.

The Jets selected Hackenberg with the 51st overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he never saw the field during two regular season campaigns. New York traded the 23-year-old to the Raiders in May, but he lasted less than month on Oakland’s roster. He met with the Patriots and other clubs had interest, so Hackenberg could be a practice squad candidate for another team.

The Eagles have also released tight end Gannon Sinclair as they work their way down to a 53-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign QB Joe Callahan

Joe Callahan has found a new job. The quarterback signed a two-year deal with the Eagles today. The 24-year-old was waived by the Packers last week.

The 2016 undrafted free agent out of Wesley has bounced around the league over the past two seasons, spending time with the Saints, Browns, and Packers (two stints). With Aaron Rodgers injured, Callahan went on to make his NFL debut this past season, completing five of his seven attempts for 11 yards.

The signal-caller was predictably a lot more productive during his collegiate career, highlighted by a senior season when he completed 58.4-percent of his passes for 3,599 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.

While Callahan inked a two-year deal with Philly, he might not necessarily be a lock to make the roster. He’ll presumably compete with Nate Sudfeld to be the Eagles’ third-string quarterback behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign WR Markus Wheaton

On Wednesday, the Eagles announced the signing of veteran wide receiver Markus Wheaton to a one-year deal. The Eagles will also add quarterback Joe Callahan, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Wheaton signed a two-year, $11MM deal with the Bears last year that included $5MM guaranteed. Unfortunately, he was one of several busts in that Bears free agent class. In March, Chicago cut the former Steelers draft pick.

Wheaton, 27, has registered just 51 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons. However, he had more than 40 receptions for the Steelers in both 2014 and 2015. With the Eagles, he’ll fight to be one of five or six wide receivers out of a group that is currently in the double digits. The WR depth chart is headlined by star Alshon Jeffery as well as Nelson Agholor and free agent addition Mike Wallace. Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, Bryce Treggs, and Marquess Wilson are also among those under contract.

Callahan, meanwhile, went unclaimed after being waived by the Packers on Monday. There could be an opportunity for him to stick as the No. 3 QB behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles and he should see reps in the preseason as Wentz’s availability is expected to be limited.

Before signing Callahan, the Eagles also considered Ohio State product J.T. Barrett, according to Garafolo. Barrett instead chose to sign with the Saints this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Waive QB Joe Callahan

Joe Callahan‘s bounced on and off the Packers’ 53-man roster the past two seasons, but he fell victim to a post-draft roster squeeze this year.

The Packers waived the third-year quarterback on Monday. They are now down to three passers on their offseason roster: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer. Callahan served as Green Bay’s third quarterback over the past two seasons, continuing to vacillate between 53-man roster cog and practice squad occupant.

The Division III product was Hundley’s backup last season and played in one game, but his path back to that spot is more complex now that Kizer’s in the picture. It’s possible the Packers could reacquire Callahan as they’ve done in the past, but for now, he’s on the waiver wire.

As a rookie, Callahan saw the Packers, Saints and Browns waive him. He ended up back in Green Bay and remained there for the rest of the 2016 season and throughout last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/13/18

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive-rights free agent tender decisions, with the list being updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

RFAs

Tendered at original round level ($1.907MM):

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

Packers To Re-Sign QB Joe Callahan

The Packers’ active-roster quarterback contingent will stand at three soon. Joe Callahan will return two days after being waived to make room for Aaron Rodgers, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.

Callahan has yet to throw an NFL pass and went unclaimed on waivers, but the Division III product is in his second year with the team and served as Brett Hundley‘s backup while Rodgers recovered.

Considering what transpired on Sunday, the Callahan transaction could be a sign the Packers aren’t going to risk further injury to their franchise player in the two final regular-season games. The Packers lost to the Panthers to drop to 7-7 and would be eliminated from playoff contention if the Falcons defeat the Buccaneers on Monday night. Mike McCarthy didn’t confirm a protective route was in the franchise’s plans just yet, however.

Demovsky, though, notes the Packers view Callahan as a developmental prospect. He remains in the team’s plans despite being waived over the weekend.

Green Bay also worked out two other quarterbacks on Monday, per Demovsky, who notes Matt McGloin and Garrett Fugate auditioned for the team. McGloin has worked out for several teams this season and spent time with two, the Eagles and Texans. Both cut him. A Kansas City, Kan., native, Fugate is a rookie out of Division II Central Missouri.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Activate Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers absolutely will return to action on Sunday against the Panthers. The Packers moved their starting quarterback onto their 53-man roster on Saturday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

To make room, the Packers slashed their quarterback contingent back to two by cutting Joe Callahan. A second-year passer, Callahan resided on Green Bay’s taxi squad before Rodgers’ injury made him the primary backup to Brett Hundley.

Rodgers spent the eight weeks on IR, the NFL-mandated minimum, and earlier this week announced he was medically cleared. The Packers probably aren’t in position to make this move without their overtime victories against the Buccaneers and Browns. The Panthers are likely to see a different version of the Packers, a team picked by some to advance to Super Bowl LII before the season.

Green Bay sits one game behind the No. 6 wild-card spot in a crowded NFC race. And winning out won’t be easy. Although, it would have been next to impossible without Rodgers’ return. The Packers follow their trip to Charlotte with a home game against the Vikings and a trip to Detroit.

The Packers cutting Callahan indicates a degree of confidence in Rodgers’ health. Callahan will have to pass through waivers to make it back to Green Bay’s practice squad, if that is the move the franchise is trying to make. The Division III product has yet to take an NFL snap.

Rodgers was leading the NFL with his 13 touchdown passes at the time he went down early in Week 6. The two-time MVP led the Packers from 4-6 to the NFC championship game last season. He’ll have a chance to potentially do that again, only this year the team will not be gunning for an NFC North title and instead will need wild-card help to reach the postseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.