Justin Murray

Cardinals Move G J.R. Sweezy To IR

Previously ruled out for the Cardinals’ Monday night game, J.R. Sweezy will miss a chunk of their season. The Cards placed the starting guard on IR. Both Sweezy and Arizona defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence landed on IR Saturday.

The former Seahawks starter suffered an elbow injury that will sideline him for at least three games. Lawrence is dealing with a calf malady. Sweezy rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 54 guard through five games this season.

Since missing the entire 2016 season and being a Buccaneers cut, Sweezy has been a dependable lineman. The Seahawks brought him back and used him as a starter throughout their 2018 playoff season, and Sweezy has started 21 straight games since signing with the Cardinals in 2019. The Cards have, however, dealt with extensive injuries up front in recent years. This marks a key setback for this year’s more successful squad.

Despite the Cards employing veteran Max Garcia, third-year blocker Justin Murray will replace Sweezy in Arizona’s starting lineup. Murray started 12 games at right tackle last season. Murray was already seeing time at guard in a rotation with Sweezy and Justin Pugh. He has played 19% of Arizona’s offensive snaps this season.

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Cardinals Sign Justin Murray To Extension

The Cardinals have signed Justin Murray to a two-year contract extension, per a club announcement. The offensive lineman can earn up to $9MM over the course of deal, which will keep him under contract through the 2022 season.

As OverTheCap.com details, the extension is worth $5.5MM in new money. That includes a $1MM signing bonus, a $1.75MM salary in 2021, and a $2.25MM salary in 2022. The 2021-22 seasons also include up to $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. So presumably the $3.5MM difference between the $5.5MM new money value and the $9MM maximum are comprised of other incentives.

Murray, a Cincinnati product, has bounced around quite a bit since he first entered the league with the Broncos in 2016. After stops with the Broncos, Buccaneers, Saints, Bengals, and Raiders, he landed with the Cardinals in 2019 and was quickly thrust into the starting lineup. Murray started in 12 of his 14 games with Arizona, where he has found a real NFL home. Thanks in part to Murray, the Cardinals averaged over five yards per carry in 2019.

The Cardinals re-upped Murray on his low-cost exclusive rights free agent tender earlier this year, and they’ve rewarded him with a fresh deal midway through the 2020 season. No longer serving as the Cardinals’ starting right tackle, Murray now backstops Kelvin Beachum at RT while also supporting J.R. Sweezy at right guard.

This week, the Cardinals will look to advance to 3-1 when they face the Panthers in Carolina.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Move T Jordan Mills To IR

The winless Cardinals will see another starting right tackle head to IR. After Arizona placed would-be right-edge starter Marcus Gilbert on IR, the team moved Jordan Mills off the 53-man roster because of injury.

A knee injury will send Mills to IR as well. Mills made it through limited practices this week, pointing to the recent addition being a possible IR-return candidate after two months. But he had not fared well in his 81 snaps this season. Justin Murray, a waiver claim Mills replaced in the Cards’ starting lineup in Week 3, will reclaim the right tackle job, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com.

Mills signed with the Dolphins this offseason but did not make the rebuilding team’s roster. He then caught on with the Cardinals just before the season on a one-year, $1.25MM deal. The Cards have struggled up front for a few years now, with injuries continuing to ransack this franchise’s first-string blockers. Mills started each game of the previous three Bills seasons but was not brought back for Buffalo’s 2019 campaign.

The Cardinals replaced Mills on their active roster with tight end Darrell Daniels, a practice squad player who has bounced on an off Arizona’s roster this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West 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 Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. 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 West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Raiders Get Down To 53 Players

The Raiders have made their slew of cuts. They placed defensive tackle Justin Ellis on injured reserve, meaning he’ll miss the entire season. After starting 14 games in 2017, Oakland signed Ellis to a three-year, $15MM extension. Injuries limited him to just six games last season, so he’ll have barely played through the first two years of that extension.

Former Rams defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks also got the boot. He started nine games for Los Angeles in 2017 and racked up four sacks. Last year he had a smaller role, although he did appear in all 16 games for the Rams. ‘Hard Knocks’ star Keelan Doss unfortunately failed to make the roster. He’s an undrafted rookie receiver from UC Davis. Additionally Keith Smith, who served as the team’s fullback last season, was released.

Waived:

WR Marcell Ateman
DE Quinton Bell
RB James Butler
LB Jason Cabinda
LB Te’von Coney
G Lester Cotton Sr.
WR Keelan Doss
LB Koa Farmer
WR Rico Gafford
WR Keon Hatcher
G/T Denver Kirkland
CB Dylan Mabin
T Justin Murray
CB Nick Nelson
WR De’Mornay Pierson-El
T Tyler Roemer
DT Anthony Rush

Released:

FB Keith Smith
DE Ethan Westbrooks
LB Kyle Wilber

Waived/injured:

TE Paul Butler

Placed on season-ending injured reserve:

DT Justin Ellis

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Brant Weiss (Alliance of American Football)

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC West 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 Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders 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 AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Denver Broncos

Placed on injured reserve:

Re-signed:

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Kansas City Chiefs

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Oakland Raiders

Claimed:

Cut:

Signed to practice squad:

* = suspended

Bengals Trim Roster To 53

For the time being at least, Michael Johnson will not be part of the Bengals’ 53-man roster. The longtime starting defensive end does not appear among Cincinnati’s regular-season contingent, signalling a changing of the guard opposite Carlos Dunlap.

While Johnson could well return, with Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. tweeting this is a possibility because of the team trying to protect as many young players from the waiver wire as possible, he’s again off the roster. Johnson spent a year with the Buccaneers in 2014 but returned to Cincinnati a year later.

He’s been a Bengals starter in five of the past six seasons, but third-round selections of Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson last year — along with 2018 third-rounder Sam Hubbard — made the 31-year-old talent a less important commodity. Johnson registered five sacks last season and has 44 in his career.

As for the rest of the Bengals’ cuts, here are the other players who aren’t on the 53-man roster.

Released as vested veterans:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The placement of Barkley on IR and the waiving of Woodside leaves Jeff Driskel as the Bengals’ only Andy Dalton backup. It would be logical if the Bengals examined the waiver wire this weekend for a possible signal-caller addition.

Bengals Place Andre Smith On IR

The Bengals have placed tackle Andre Smith on injured reserve. In related moves, the Bengals signed fellow tackle Justin Murray off the Saints practice squad. They also signed linebacker Connor Harris to the taxi squad. Andre Smith

Smith, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with Cincinnati after being selected No. 6 overall in the 2009 draft, reunited with the Bengals in the offseason. He signed a one-year deal with the notion that he would be the team’s starting right guard. He lost that competition to Trey Hopkins, but a spot opened up at right tackle when Jake Fisher was shut down for the year with a heart condition.

Even at his native tackle position, Smith didn’t really deliver. Pro Football Focus rates him as just the No. 64 tackle in the league out of 85 qualified players. Smith hasn’t earned a quality score from PFF since 2014, a sign that he has declined in recent years.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in January. He’s lost a step or three, but his experience and versatility could allow him to find work in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.