Johnny Townsend

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/20

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

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Jake Carlock

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Cut: OT O’Shea Dugas

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Ravens Cut Roster To 53

The Ravens became the latest team to get down to 53, cutting a slew of players on Saturday via a team announcement. With the moves, Baltimore ended a 16-year streak of keeping at least one undrafted rookie on the roster, another sign of the impact COVID-19 and the reduced offseason had on roster decisions.

Here are the 23 guys who were let go:

Barner played a somewhat prominent role on a couple of Eagles teams and won Super Bowl LII with the team. Since leaving Philly he’s bounced between New England, Carolina, and Atlanta. Ehinger started a game at guard for Baltimore last year, but couldn’t crack the roster this time around.

Richards was a full-time starter with the Falcons in 2018, and appeared in nine games with Baltimore last year, scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery. Townsend was the Raiders’ punter in 2018, and just signed with the Ravens a couple of weeks ago. He probably never had too good a chance of beating out Sam Koch, who has been with the Ravens since 2006. Huntley had a very solid college career at Utah, but wasn’t viewed by too many as a legitimate pro passer.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/25/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: WR Alex Wesley
  • Released: WR Trevor Davis
  • Waived/injured: TE Darion Clark

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 8/24/20

Here are Monday’s notable workouts:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ravens Work Out TE Jordan Leggett

The Ravens hosted tight end Jordan Leggett on a visit, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Leggett has been on the workout trail in recent weeks, but has yet to sign with a club.

[RELATED: Ravens Release Earl Thomas]

The Patriots auditioned Leggett earlier this month as they explore reinforcements for their inexperienced tight end group. The Ravens might not be as desperate for help at the position, but they could use a strong No. 3 TE behind Nick Boyle and Mark Andrews. Hayden Hurst, who once seemed set for a larger role in Baltimore, was shipped out to the Falcons in March.

The Ravens are still shy of the 80-man roster max, giving them the chance to add a couple more players between now and the final cutdown deadline. As Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes, the Ravens are also taking a look at wide receivers Siaosi Mariner and DeAndrew White, plus punter Johnny Townsend.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Cut Kyle Lauletta; Reach 53

The Giants waived quarterback Kyle Lauletta as a part of their moves to reach the 53-man roster limit. The move leaves Alex Tanney as the No. 3 QB behind starter Eli Manning and first-round pick Daniel Jones.

Between an October arrest and a poor professional debut, Lauletta dug himself into a bit of a hole. Although the 2018 fourth-round pick is just 24 and had enough upside to merit a mid-round selection, the 31-year-old Tanney edged him out in practice. This, perhaps, isn’t a huge surprise after the G-Men signed him to a two-year, $2.1MM contract with $775K guaranteed.

Besides Lauletta, here’s how the Giants got to the limit.

Released:

Waived/injured:

Waived off the commissioner’s exempt list:

Placed on IR:

Patriots Notes: Edelman, Hoyer, Punter

Over the past 10 years, there have only been two occasions where the Patriots have carried three quarterbacks. With Tom Brady and rookie fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham being locks to make the team, Brian Hoyer understandably finds himself on the roster bubble.

“You can’t really worry about that. My approach is to just be the best I can be, and I think that will be good enough,” Hoyer told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “It’s not something I’m really concerned with. If anything, I’m trying to push the guy ahead of me, and I love being in that room with him. We have such a healthy competition on a daily basis, and I know that’s made me that much better since I’ve come back.”

After spending the first three years of his career with the Patriots, Hoyer returned to New England following the Jimmy Garoppolo trade in 2017. Reiss notes that the 33-year-old has been “very sharp” over the past few weeks, which could end up validating his spot on the roster.

Let’s check out some more notes out of New England…

  • Patriots wideout Julian Edelman has passed his physical and been removed from the non-football injury list, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The veteran suffered a thumb injury in late-July that ultimately sidelined him for about three weeks. It’s been a busy few days for the Pats’ wide receiver corps. Embattled wideout Josh Gordon was reinstated from suspension on Friday, and he was subsequently placed on the team’s active/NFI list. To make room on the roster, the organization moved on from Dontrelle Inman.
  • The Patriots are set to release veteran punter Ryan Allen, but it sounds like they might not be ready to hand over the keys to rookie Jake Bailey. Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets that the Patriots made a claim for punter Johnny Townsend, who was waived by the Raiders last week. The Giants ended up claiming the 2018 fifth-rounder.
  • While the Patriots tight end depth chart is still a question mark, Nick Underhill of The Athletic writes that the team’s offense is trending upwards. Last week, the team was running out the likes of Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olszewski with their first-team offense. Several days later, the team’s depth chart has been revamped. It goes beyond the return of Edelman and Gordon, as the team has potentially found some worthy targets in undrafted wideout Jakobi Meyers and third-round running back Damien Harris. Add that pair to Phillip Dorsett and first-rounder N’Keal Harry (as well as running backs James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead), and there’s plenty of reason for optimism in New England.

Giants Claim P Johnny Townsend

3:52pm: The Giants, as expected, waived Anderson to return to a two-punter setup, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets.

3:30pm: For the time being, the Giants are set to carry three punters on their 90-man roster. That could soon change. Waived on Tuesday after losing the Raiders’ punting competition, Johnny Townsend is now a Giant after the team claimed him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The Giants sit sixth in the waiver order and used their position to change their punter competition. Townsend joins incumbent Riley Dixon and rookie UDFA Ryan Anderson as Giants punters. Anderson’s run as a Giant could be over soon after Wednesday afternoon’s transaction.

A 2018 fifth-round pick, Townsend lost his previous job to Raiders rookie UDFA A.J. Cole. The Giants obtained Dixon in a 2018 trade with the Broncos, and his 41.8 net yards per punt ranked seventh in the league last season. Anderson, a Rutgers alum, joined the Giants shortly after the draft.

Dixon’s 45.4 gross yards per punt was 12th in the league; Townsend’s 43.2-yard per-boot figure ranked 32nd. But the Giants will still give the former Florida Gator a look. Dixon has one season remaining on his rookie contract; Townsend has three.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders End Punting Competition

The Raiders’ punter competition is over. On Tuesday, the Raiders waived Johnny Townsend, which effectively anoints undrafted rookie A.J. Cole as the team’s punter moving forward. 

The Raiders used a fifth-round pick to select Townsend last year, but he didn’t do much in his rookie season or training camp this summer. Cole, meanwhile, managed to put two punts inside the 20 against the Rams on Saturday. Quickly, Cole earned a fan in head coach Jon Gruden.

[Cole] put on an orbital display the other day against the Rams [in joint practices last week],” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Saturday night (via Scott Bair of NBC Sports). “We haven’t seen kicks like that since [Shane] Lechler was here or [Marquette] King. He has a live leg and it looks like he can directional punt and hold, so Townsend has his hands full.”

In related moves, cornerback Hamp Cheevers was waived. Meanwhile, the club signed defensive backs Makinton Dorleant and Joshua Holsey.

Latest On Raiders ST Competitions

The Raiders have Daniel Carlson locked in as their starting kicker, but the coaching staff has some tough decisions to make elsewhere on special teams. As Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, the organization currently has competitions at both punter and long snapper.

The punter competition is between Johnny Townsend and rookie A.J. Cole. The 24-year-old Townsend is the incumbent after appearing in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2018. However, the Florida product struggled at times during his rookie campaign, and he ranked 30th in the NFL with a 38.3-yard net average. The Raiders ended up adding Cole as an undrafted free agent, but Gehlken notes that Townsend is still the favorite for the position.

“He’s really done a great job working on his hang time,” said special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. “That’s improved tremendously (over) the course of the year. Now, we’ve given up a little bit of direction to get his hang time where he’d like it to be, and hopefully we can get both — the hang and the direction — going into training camp.”

Meanwhile, veteran Andrew DePaola is the favorite at long snapper, although the 31-year-old missed the majority of last season with a torn ACL. The Raiders signed Trent Sieg to fill in, and the rookie ended up appearing in 15 games last year. While DePaola wasn’t able to get on the field with a rookie punter and rookie kicker, the veteran was still instrumental in their development.

“If we had any questions, we’d always ask him because he’s been through it a little more than we have,” Carlson said. “It was just huge for us last season to have that resource. It’s good to have him back and healthy and competing now again.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.