Johnny Holton

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.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/11/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Buffalo Bills

  • Released: OL Gerhard de Beer

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Lucas Gravelle
  • Released: DL Cameron Mavlveaux

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Lions Work Out CB David Amerson

The Lions auditioned a host of free agents including cornerback David Amerson last week, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter links).

Amerson inked a one-year deal with the Chiefs after being cut by the Raiders, but he essentially played himself out of a roster spot on a club that needed all the help it could get in the secondary. The 26-year-old defensive back made 42 starts with Washington and Oakland from 2014-16, but injuries and ineffectiveness have limited his production since that time.

Detroit currently has five cornerbacks on its roster in Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Teez Tabor, Jamal Agnew, and Dee Virgin, while safety Quandre Diggs also moonlights as a slot corner. Amerson could give the Lions more depth in the back end, but he hasn’t historically contributed on special teams, a problem for a reserve player.

Here’s the full list of players Detroit worked out, per Balzer:

Minor AFC Transactions: 9/3/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves from the AFC:

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Raiders Sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents

The Raiders announced that they have signed a baker’s dozen of undrafted free agents. The group, of course, is made up of mostly unheralded prospects, but there are a few notable names in the bunch, including Duke wide receiver Max McCaffrey. McCaffrey, the son of former Denver wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, posted a 4.46 second 40-yard dash at his pro day last month.

Here’s the full list of Oakland’s UDFAs:

  • WR K.J. Brent (Wake Forest)
  • C Ross Burbank (Virginia)
  • LB/DE James Cowser (Southern Utah)
  • DB Kenneth Durden (Youngstown State)
  • DB Antonio Hamilton (South Carolina State)
  • WR Johnny Holton (Cincinnati)
  • DL Drew Iddings (South Dakota)
  • DT Darius Latham (Indiana)
  • WR Max McCaffrey (Duke)
  • DB Tony McRae (North Carolina A&T)
  • TE Ryan O’Malley (Pennsylvania)
  • G Oni Omoile (Iowa State)
  • LB Kyrie Wilson (Fresno State) ($5K bonus, per Aaron Wilson)