Josh Wells is on track to spend another season in Florida. The Buccaneers are re-signing the veteran offensive lineman, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets.
The former Jaguars tackle agreed to stay with the Bucs on a one-year deal, with Auman adding the agreement will be worth the veteran minimum. Wells will sign for $990K; $500K of this low-end pact is guaranteed (Twitter link via Auman).
Wells has served as a swing tackle during his two seasons in Tampa. He played that role for the Bucs’ Super Bowl champion team, starting one game and playing in 15. Wells, 30, has operated in this capacity for most of his career. The former UDFA topped out at five starts, doing so with the 2018 Jaguars, but has opened with the Bucs’ first-stringers three times in two seasons.
The Buccaneers have placed starting LT Donovan Smithon the reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team announcement. As a result, Smith will miss Tampa’s matchup with the Falcons on Sunday.
The 27-year-old blocker released a statement saying that he had close contact with a family member who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Per league protocols, Smith must self-quarantine for at least five days.
Smith has never been a world-beater, but even an average blindside protector is a valuable commodity in the NFL, as evidenced by the three-year, $41.25MM contract Smith signed with the Bucs in 2019. He has been entrenched as the Bucs’ starting LT since Tampa selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft, and this Sunday’s contest will be just the second missed game of his career.
2020 has actually been a solid year for him relative to his usual performance, at least if you believe the advanced metrics. Pro Football Focus thinks favorably of both his run-blocking and pass-blocking this season and considers him the 39th-best tackle in the league out of 80 qualified players. Josh Wells will likely get the start in Smith’s absence.
In order to guard against the possibility of losing their primary punter, kicker, and long snapper, the Bucs brought in free agent P Dustin Colquitt, K Brett Maher, and LS Garrison Sanbornfor visits, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets. It doesn’t sound like there is a need to sign those players now, but Tampa may be keeping them on speed dial just in case.
Wells is returning to Tampa Bay on a one-year deal, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Wells spent the 2019 campaign with the Bucs, starting two of his 13 games. He previously spent five seasons with the Jaguars, appearing in 39 games (nine starts).
Murphy had a solid run with the Bills back in 2018, rushing for 250 yards on 52 carries. After getting cut by Buffalo prior to the 2019 regular season, Murphy didn’t find a deal until inking a futures contract with the Panthers in December.
McNichols, a 2017 fifth-round pick, has four career carries. He’s spent time with seven organizations during his career.
A 10-game starter for the 2018 Buccaneers, Justin Evans will not have a chance to play in that many games this season. The Bucs are placing their former second-round pick on IR, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter).
The Bucs will sign offensive lineman Josh Wells to take Evans’ place on the 53-man roster. Wells worked out for the team last week.
This will mark at least 15 consecutive games Evans will have missed. A foot injury shelved him midway through last season, and IR rules stipulate the safety will not be eligible to return this year until Week 10. Evans is dealing with a nagging Achilles injury. Tampa Bay started Darian Stewart and Jordan Whitehead against San Francisco on Sunday.
A Texas A&M product, Evans landed with the Bucs as the No. 50 overall pick in 2017. He has started 19 of the 24 games in which he’s played. Under Bruce Arians this year, however, the Bucs selected safety Mike Edwards in Round 3.
Working mostly at tackle, Wells has played in 39 games — all with the Jaguars — since coming into the league as a UDFA in 2014. The 28-year-old blocker started five games for the 2018 Jags.
The Texans could be looking for specialist help, as they worked out a pair of punters and a longsnapper. Boddy-Calhoun, who worked out for the Vikings, is probably the biggest name on this list. He started at least seven games for the Browns each of the past three seasons, but was released by Houston at final cuts.
Although Tom Brady continuing to play at a high level into his early 40s has allowed the Patriots to table their need to identify a long-term successor for many years, their recent extension/2019 pay raise brings this issue back to the forefront. The Pats, however, are pleased with their latest quarterback draft pick. Fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham has “blown away expectations” this offseason, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required), adding that he is ahead of where Jimmy Garoppolo was at this point during his first NFL summer. Stidham has taken first-team reps in camp and moved the Patriots to move Danny Etling to wide receiver. He finished 14-for-24 for 179 yards and a touchdown in New England’s preseason opener Thursday. While the Auburn alum does not profile as a classic Brady successor type, the Patriots certainly appear encouraged by their developmental prospect.
As we wind down preseason Week 1, here is the latest from the AFC:
A.J. Cann has served as the Jaguars‘ starting right guard since his rookie season in 2015. He is not a lock to reprise his role in 2019. Cann is battling converted tackle Will Richardson for the spot, with Doug Marrone indicating (via Hays Carlyon of 1010 XL, on Twitter) Brandon Thomas is also in the mix here. A 2018 fourth-rounder, Richardson looks like the favorite to win this job thus far, Carlyon adds (via Twitter). Richardson has yet to play an NFL down; he hit IR in October of his rookie year. Thomas has hung around for six NFL summers, with the 2014 third-round 49ers pick having never played in a regular-season game. He’s bounced on and off the Jaguars’ roster and practice squad since 2017. Cann has three years remaining on a contract he signed in 2018.
With Cam Robinson potentially set to have a delayed start to the season, Marrone said the Jaguars are considering free agent additions Cedric Ogbuehi and Leonard Wester at left tackle. Longtime Jags backup Josh Wells is vying for that temp job as well. Second-round rookie Jawaan Taylor is set to start at right tackle.
Had Antonio Callaway not received a four-game suspension, the second-year Browns wideout might not have been able to go in Week 1 anyway. Callaway suffered a high ankle sprain in Cleveland’s preseason opener, per Freddie Kitchens (via ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich, on Twitter). The Browns will now be without two of their 2018 pass catchers, with Duke Johnson having been traded and Callaway out until at least October. Fortunately, they acquired Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason.
Chargers tight end Andrew Vollert suffered ACL damage in the team’s preseason opener, and Anthony Lynn said (via ESPN.com’s Eric Williams, on Twitter) the second-year UDFA will miss the season. The Bolts signed Vollert in May.
December 14th, 2018 at 2:48pm CST by Zachary Links
The Jaguars will waive safety Barry Church, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). In related moves, the Jags also waived tight end Niles Paul from the NFI list and activated offensive lineman Josh Wells from injured reserve.
Church, 30, joined the Jaguars prior to the 2017 offseason on a four-year, $21.6MM deal. His guarantees have already been paid out, so the move will have no impact on the Jaguars’ 2019 cap. Church’s release will free up $6.25MM in 2019 and its expected that there will be more cap-clearing cuts in the coming months.
The veteran was a healthy scratch last week, but the move to release him before the end of the season is a tad surprising. In any case, Church will hit the waiver wire, giving teams 24 hours to claim him.
In theory, a team could be on board with paying him game checks of $368K for the rest of the year before releasing him from his deal in the offseason. However, the more likely scenario is that Church will go unclaimed and then sign with a contender for the rest of the way.
In eleven games this year (all starts), Church has tallied 38 tackles, one sack, and one interception. However, he has been generally poor in coverage and ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 79 safety out of 83 qualified players. He was far sharper in 2016, his final year with the Cowboys, and 2017, his first with the Jags.