Jonathan Williams

Practice Squad Updates: 10/2/18

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

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/28/18

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

Tennessee Titans

Saints Release OL Jermon Bushrod

Jermon Bushrod‘s no longer on the Saints’ roster, and three running backs again are. The Saints released the veteran offensive lineman and promoted Jonathan Williams from their practice squad, Nick Underhill of The Advocate and Mike Triplett of ESPN.com report (Twitter link).

A Pro Bowler with the Saints in 2011 and 2012, Bushrod spent the past five seasons with the Bears and Dolphins. He re-signed with the Saints on a one-year deal. However, the 34-year-old blocker missed two practices this week due to non-injury reasons, per Underhill.

It’s possible the Saints could bring back Bushrod, but for now, the 12th-year veteran is unattached. The Saints re-signed Michael Ola and Josh LeRibeus this week, though, perhaps signalling they’re OK with younger players working as second-stringers up front. Bushrod started 10 games for the Dolphins last season and has 122 career starts.

Affiliated with the Saints since midway through last season, Williams will join Alvin Kamara and Mike Gillislee as New Orleans’ Week 1 backs. Williams has not played in a game since doing so as a rookie for the 2016 Bills. The Saints signed Gillislee earlier this week after sorting through a few Mark Ingram-replacement options this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Atlanta Falcons

Practice squad:

Carolina Panthers

Placed on injured reserve:

Signed:

Practice squad:

New Orleans Saints

Signed to practice squad:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints Announce Roster Moves

The Saints have made the following transactions as they move their roster to 53 players:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Released:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on suspended list:

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Jones, 49ers

Jerry Jones will not forced out as the owner of the Cowboys, the owner of one team and others familiar with the situation tell Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

I don’t know where this is coming from about stripping him of his franchise,” the anonymous owner said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s not going to happen.”

Two others with knowledge of the NFL’s inner workings told Maske the same thing. However, the aforementioned owner did note that Jones could be subject to a fine if he files a lawsuit. He also would face the prospect of paying attorney fees for both sides. That could be in reference to a “prevailing party” clause which stipulates that the losing side picks up everyone’s bill.

Here’s a look at the NFC:

  • The 49ers say there’s no rush to get newly-acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the field. “We know what we like about Jimmy Garoppolo. And that’s only been strengthened by the time that’s he’s been here,” GM John Lynch said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “We’re just going to let these things play out. That’s in Kyle’s hands. People have had all these ideas about why we got Jimmy. We got Jimmy because we think he has big-time ability at the quarterback position. And we believe so much – to get where we need to get – you have to have a franchise quarterback. We think he’s got that ability. Whether that happens, when that happens, we’ll see. But we certainly like his future with the 49ers. … They’re going to work hard during this week to get him up to speed. But right now, we don’t need him. C.J. [Beathard] just played a great game and his teammates really believe in him. We think it’s nothing but a good situation.”
  • To incentivize running back Jonathan Williams to sign to their active roster, the Saints gave him a $50K signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Recently, Williams left the Broncos’ practice squad to join up with the Saints on a two-year deal. He also turned down a similar opportunity with the Falcons. It’s also worth mentioning that the second year of his deal also includes a $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).
  • This week, the Redskins were forced to place running back Rob Kelley on IR.

NFC Notes: Panthers, Cards, Lions, Falcons

Although rookie wideout Curtis Samuel is done for the season after suffering an ankle injury, the Panthers have not made contact with old friend Corey Brown, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Brown has enjoyed two separate stints with the Bills this season, but he’s yet to actually see the field. The 25-year-old spent the 2014-16 campaigns in Carolina, averaging 26 receptions, 340 yards, and two touchdowns during that time. However, Person suggested on Monday that the Panthers will fill their wide receiver vacancy from within.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters has a high ankle sprain and will be sidelined for “awhile,” head coach Bruce Arians told reporters, including Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). High ankle sprains are typically four-to-six weeks injuries, which means Peters will be a candidate for injured reserve, especially since Arizona isn’t in the playoff hunt. Peters, 29, has played the second-most snaps among Cardinals defensive lineman this season, so his absence will certainly be felt. Backups Robert Nkemdiche, Rodney Gunter, Olsen Pierre, and Xavier Williams could now be line for more action.
  • The Lions are now paying practice squad tight end Hakeem Valles at the active roster rate ($32K per week), reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That’s because the Cardinals recently attempted to poach Valles when they lost fellow tight end Ifeanyi Momah for the remainder of the season, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Valles, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Monmouth in 2016, spent the 2016 campaign with Arizona, appearing in 11 games (one start) for the club). Detroit, meanwhile, currently has three tight ends on its 53-man roster: Eric Ebron, Darren Fells, and Michael Roberts.
  • Before he decided to sign with the Saints, running back Jonathan Williams was also offered a contract by the Falcons, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton told reporters, including Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune (Twitter link). Williams had been earning $30K weekly (nearly an active roster rate) while on the Broncos’ practice squad, but he jumped at the chance to be placed on the Saints’ 53-man squad. Atlanta needed another running back while Devonta Freeman deals with a concussion, and it ultimately signed Terrence Magee of the Browns’ taxi squad.
  • New Saints special teams assistant Mike Westhoff wasn’t looking to get back into coaching, but New Orleans presented him with an appealing opportunity. “I don’t want to regret something I didn’t try,” he told Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Westhoff added his new role isn’t a long-term gig, and he’ll only coach for this season. The Saints have struggled on special teams for the past two-plus years, a track record that forced the club to hire a new ST coach (Brad Banta) this offseason. However, New Orleans ranks 27th in special teams DVOA through 10 weeks.

Saints Sign RB Jonathan Williams

The Saints are signing running back Jonathan Williams to a two-year deal off the Broncos’ practice squad, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Williams will take the place of Daniel Lasco, who has been ruled out for the year with a bulging disc.Jonathan Williams (vertical)

[RELATED: Saints RB Daniel Lasco Done For Year]

Williams was expected to serve as LeSean McCoy‘s top backup in Buffalo this year. Instead, the Bills made him a surprise cut in early September. He had a fair amount of buzz coming out of Arkansas in 2016, but the new regime in Buffalo might have been upset about some of his off-the-field behavior.

Soon after he was cut, the Broncos made Williams an abnormally high offer to join the practice squad, allowing them to beat out at least three other teams for his services. Williams did not get called up to the Broncos’ varsity team this year, but he may get his chance to see the field with New Orleans.

Williams will likely slot in as the Saints’ No. 4 running back behind Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Trey Edmunds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Outbid Three Teams To Sign Jonathan Williams

The Broncos will pay Jonathan Williams a massive practice squad salary, but they had to outbid at least three teams for the right to add the running back to that unit.

Williams joined the Broncos on a $510K salary — $30K weekly, well north of the practice squad minimum — but Mike Klis of 9News reports (on Twitter) the Chiefs, Jets and Vikings also pursued Williams for their respective practice squads.

The Bills cut Williams after the preseason and will supplement LeSean McCoy with a new cadre of backs after also allowing Mike Gillislee to depart as an RFA. No team claimed Williams, a 2016 fifth-round pick, on waivers.

The Chiefs made for an understandable fit after the loss of Spencer Ware, an event that caused the team to explore trades, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. Instead Kansas City entered its season opener with just two running backs — Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick Westafter cutting C.J. Spiller. Kansas City added rookie back Devine Redding to its taxi squad.

Minnesota employs Jerick McKinnon as its third-stringer and re-signed Bronson Hill to its practice squad. Behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell, the Jets have sixth-round rookie Elijah McGuire. Running back/return man Marcus Murphy now resides on Gang Green’s practice squad.

Williams will sit as the Broncos’ fifth running back — behind C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, Devontae Booker and rookie De’Angelo Henderson — but do so on a team that’s seen each of its top three backs suffer major injuries within the past year. Booker is currently recovering from a wrist injury.

Broncos Add Jonathan Williams To P-Squad

The Broncos have signed running back Jonathan Williams to the practice squad, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’s receiving a sizable salary that equals out to $510K over the course of the season, which indicates that there was a healthy market for him after the Bills cut him loose. The minimum practice squad salary is just over $7K per week. Jonathan Williams (vertical)

Early on this offseason, Williams seemed poised to step into Mike Gillislee‘s role as LeSean McCoy‘s top backup. He lost ground in that competition, however, and the Bills decided to cut him loose rather than pay out the full value of his contract. The Broncos and 30 other teams declined to pick him up off of waivers, thereby picking up his deal and giving him a roster spot, but multiple teams wanted him on the taxi squad. The Broncos won out over the competition.

The Broncos will roll into the season with C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, Jamaal Charles, and De’Angelo Henderson at running back. Booker’s status is up in the air to start the season, so there’s already a potential roster opening for Williams if that injury lingers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.