Johnny Holton

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/7/19

Here are today’s minor moves on the eve of regular season openers:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/2/19

We’ll keep track of Monday’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers 

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Steelers Cut Eli Rogers; Reach 53

The Steelers got down to the 53-man max by releasing wide receiver Eli Rogers and a host of other players. Among other notables released 2019 draft picks Sutton Smith (linebacker, sixth round) and Derwin Grey (offensive lineman, seventh round), as well as Marcus Allen, a fifth-round defensive back from the 2018 class.

Rogers came out of nowhere and had a breakout season in 2016, catching 48 passes for 594 yards and three touchdowns in just 13 games. It was a promising debut, but he took a pretty big step backwards the next season when he had just 149 yards and 18 catches. Then in the playoffs, he suffered a torn ACL. The ACL took a long time to recover from, and Rogers didn’t end up making it back until Week 15 of last year.

The rest of the rundown is below.

Offensive players released:

Defensive players released:

Special teams cuts:

More Minor NFL Transactions: 5/13/19

Here’s the latest round of minor moves from around the NFL (for this morning’s minor moves, click here):

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Claimed off waivers: DB Mike Tyson (from Texans)

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Eagles Waive WR Johnny Holton

Signed to a reserve/futures contract after last season, Johnny Holton did not quite make it to Eagles OTAs.

The Eagles waived the former UDFA wide receiver on Wednesday. Holton spent his first three NFL seasons with the Raiders, contributing on special teams and, in 2017, when the team went to four- and five-receiver sets.

Philadelphia used one of its five draft choices on a wideout, third-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and have a host of other receivers jockeying for position behind Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor. Braxton Miller, Mack Hollins and possible AAF-buoyed rebound candidate Charles Johnson comprise part of Philly’s mix for the final receiver spots.

Holton, 27, had his best season with the ’17 Raiders, averaging 24.2 yards per catch and scoring three touchdowns. He played in just one game in 2018.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/28/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: TE Nick Keizer

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/26/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Raiders Promote Johnny Holton

The Raiders are set to promote Johnny Holton from the practice squad, according to Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal (on Twitter). Holton is likely to see time as a special teams gunner, though he may also serve as depth in the secondary.

Holton played wide receiver at the University of Cincinnati and in his 31 games as a member of the Raiders from 2016-2017. But, when he missed the team’s final cut to 53 this year, the club asked him to join the practice squad as a defensive back. He admits that there’s an adjustment, but he’s not completely out of his depth.

Not really, because I knew the receiver splits,” Holton said in September when asked if anything has surprised him about the new position. “So, wherever they’re lining up at, I pretty much know what kind of route they’re about to run, and things like that by being a receiver myself. So being at DB, I can just read their splits and kind of just tell what route they’re [going to] run.”

All in all, Holton has embraced the change and he’s excited to make his first career play on defense.

It’ll be a pretty cool moment,” he said. “I know the guys in the locker room will love to see that, and joke about that, and things like that.”

Holton’s first play on D may come on Sunday if he’s active against the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Bolts, Holton, Henderson

Beginning their second year in Los Angeles, the Chargers are in an interesting spot. They have perhaps as talented a roster as they’ve possessed since their late-2000s run of AFC West titles but play in a soccer stadium and carry likely the NFL’s smallest fan base. The NFL gave Dean Spanos the option of leaving San Diego for L.A. in 2016, and he exercised it once the Bolts’ bid to secure public funding for a downtown stadium failed. But some owners were disappointed Spanos took the league up on the San Diego exit strategy, author Mark Leibovich writes in his new book, “Big Game: The NFL In Dangerous Times” (via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Some of the owners were displeased with the efforts he put forth to land a new stadium deal in San Diego, Leibovich writes, adding this contingent of power brokers were “miffed” the Chargers owner turned the situation into “a towering embarrassment.”

This is an interesting stance considering the NFL gave the Chargers L.A. dibs before the Raiders, but now that the Bolts moved, they don’t appear to be thriving in their new market. That could have been expected given their lack of history in Los Angeles compared to the Rams or Raiders. Krasovic adds some around the league wonder if Spanos will sell the Chargers a few years into their stay at Stan Kroenke‘s Inglewood stadium in believing the franchise’s value will have peaked by then.

Here’s the latest from the AFC West:

  • Joey Bosa‘s official diagnosis is a bone bruise on his left foot, Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets. The Chargers defensive end is not expected to need surgery, with rest and rehab being the current plan to get the stalwart pass rusher back on the field. He’s not expected to play against the Bills on Sunday, and Anthony Lynn wouldn’t be surprised if he missed more games.
  • Another day, another interesting move from Jon Gruden. The Raiders recently brought back wide receiver Johnny Holton, a backup who played in 31 games for Jack Del Rio‘s final two Oakland teams, but they’re going to try him as a cornerback, OC Greg Olson said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken, on Twitter). These type of moves are rare but not unprecedented. That said, Holton — currently on the Raiders’ practice squad — has never played cornerback at any level, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (via Twitter). A UDFA out of Cincinnati, Holton caught nine passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns last season.
  • The Broncos cut ties with Carlos Henderson, potentially for good, by removing him from their practice squad on Thursday. Vance Joseph said (via Troy Renck of Denver7, on Twitter) this was strictly a football decision and wasn’t related to the 2017 third-round pick’s suspension or his absence from training camp. Only four Broncos 2017 draftees — Garett Bolles, DeMarcus Walker, Jake Butt and Chad Kelly — remain on the active roster. Two others (cornerback Brendan Langley and return man Isaiah McKenzie) are on the practice squad. Henderson has to play in a regular-season game.