JoJo Ward

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/20/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: WR Damon Hazelton
  • Waived: CB Dominique Martin

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Browns Release DL Damion Square, Sign WR JoJo Ward

Three months after catching on with the Browns, Damion Square is back in free agency. The Browns released the veteran defensive lineman Thursday, doing so to clear a spot for the signing of wide receiver JoJo Ward.

Square came to Cleveland after six-plus seasons in Southern California. The Chargers kept the backup/occasional starter around from 2014-20, re-signing him in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Los Angeles’ new coaching staff did not bring him back for an eighth season.

Square, 32, entered the NFL as an Eagles UDFA before bouncing to the Chiefs and Chargers. He started 24 games for the Bolts, recording 6.5 sacks and logging a 51% defensive snap rate for a 12-4 Charger squad in 2018. The Browns were busy on their D-line this offseason, adding the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley and Malik Jackson. They also have defensive tackle Andrew Billings back from a 2020 opt-out.

Ward was productive at Hawaii, serving as one of Cole McDonald‘s top targets. In two seasons at the Mountain West program, the 5-foot-9 wide receiver totaled 1,999 receiving yards and 20 touchdown catches. A 2020 UDFA whom the Cardinals cut earlier this week, Ward has yet to play an NFL snap. He spent last season on Arizona’s practice squad and signed a reserve/futures deal with the team in January.

A practice squad opportunity may be Ward’s best hope in Cleveland. He will join a Browns receiving corps that does not feature many open spots, with the likes of Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, KhaDarel Hodge and third-round pick Anthony Schwartz in place behind starters Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Cut RB Ito Smith, 3 Others

As teams are required to cut their rosters down to 85 players by tomorrow, more guys are getting shown the door. Veteran running back Ito Smith was one of the latest casualties as the Cardinals announced his release on Monday.

Arizona also cut receivers Aleva Hifo and JoJo Ward, and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo. Smith was released by the Falcons back in April, and only latched on with the Cardinals last week. He had previously worked out for the Giants. The 2018 fourth-round pick spent his first four professional seasons in Atlanta, and operated as their lead back for stretches during the 2018 and 2020 seasons.

As a rookie he got his most extensive run, carrying the ball 90 times for 315 yards and four touchdowns, adding 27 receptions for another 152 yards. This past season he rushed 63 times for 268 yards and one touchdown, with 17 catches for 75 yards. Hifo and Ward are both 2020 UDFAs, from BYU and Hawaii respectively.

Kilgo is a 2015 sixth-round pick of the Broncos who is notable for winning back to back rings in Super Bowl 50 and then LI with the Broncos and Patriots. He also just signed in the desert last week.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/6/21

We’ll keep track of the latest reserve/futures deals here:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers