Kendall Wright

Cardinals Work Out WR Kendall Wright

The Cardinals worked out Kendall Wright and other (as yet unidentified) free agent receivers this week, but don’t plan to sign any of the pass-catchers, head coach Steve Wilks told reporters, including Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link).

Wright inked a one-year, $1MM deal with the Vikings this spring that contained $400K guaranteed, but he was cut loose earlier this month. Scheduled to be Minnesota’s slot receiver between Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Wright was beaten out by former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell for a starting spot. Given his lack of special teams prowess, Wright didn’t hold much appeal as a reserve for Minnesota.

Wright’s fit with the Cardinals also could have been suspect, as he’s played primarily in the slot throughout this career. In Arizona, that role is held by future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. A former first-round pick, Wright spent five years with the Titans before landing with the Bears in 2017. The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal passing attack, Wright posted a team-leading 59 receptions and 614 yards in his only season with Chicago.

Since being cut by the Vikings, Wright has auditioned for the Patriots, Redskins, and Jaguars.

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Jaguars Work Out Wright, Jones, Sims

While the Redskins saw enough from Breshad Perriman and Michael Floyd‘s workouts Monday to sign them, Kendall Wright‘s Washington audition did not produce an offer. He has another opportunity a day later.

The Jaguars worked out the veteran slot receiver on Tuesday, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM radio tweets. Wright, Landry Jones and Charles Sims were in Jacksonville today auditioning, per Caplan.

Wright could not make the Vikings’ 53-man roster but is coming off a 614-yard season — his most in a single campaign since the 2014 slate — with the Bears last year. The Jags are still sorting out their receiver hierarchy post-Marqise Lee, but the group produced in a Week 2 win over the Patriots.

Jones also had a Monday workout, with the Cowboys, but he remains a free agent. The Steelers severed ties with their longtime backup quarterback just prior to the regular season. Jones spent five years in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars traded for Cody Kessler this offseason; he and Blake Bortles are the only two passers on Jacksonville’s roster.

A former Buccaneers passing-down back, Sims got an earlier start on the 2018 workout circuit than Wright or Jones, already auditioning for the Texans and Patriots. The Jags have four running backs on their active roster, having added Brandon Wilds late last week because of Leonard Fournette‘s hamstring trouble.

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Redskins Work Out Paxton Lynch, WRs

While Breshad Perriman‘s Monday workout was enough to land him a Redskins contract, the team brought in several notable free agents for visits as it begins Week 3 preparations.

Paxton Lynch‘s workout tour continued with a trip to Washington, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets Kendall Wright and Michael Floyd were also part of the contingent to audition for the Redskins.

The Redskins mark the fourth team Lynch has auditioned for, following the Bills, Lions and Eagles. Washington is carrying just two quarterbacks — Alex Smith and Colt McCoy — on its active roster and doesn’t have any on its practice squad. Lynch still has P-squad eligibility. The 24-year-old quarterback could not come close to justifying his draft status in Denver, but other teams continue to kick the tires on the once-highly regarded prospect.

Wright and Floyd saw the Vikings and Saints, respectively, deem them preseason cuts. While it’s been a bit since Floyd had a steady gig, Wright led the Bears in receiving last season. Washington signed Perriman on Monday afternoon, making him its latest wideout addition this season.

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Patriots Work Out WR Kendall Wright

The Patriots hosted wide receiver Kendall Wright and a host of other free agents for workouts on Wednesday, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England currently only has four wide receivers on its roster (excluding special-teamer Matthew Slater), and the club is counting on Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and the recently-claimed Chad Hansen to shoulder the load until Julian Edelman returns from suspension in Week 5. In addition to Hansen, the Patriots claimed former Seahawks pass-catcher Amara Darboh off waivers on Sunday, but waived him with an injury designation on Tuesday.

Wright inked a one-year, $1MM deal with the Vikings this spring that contained $400K guaranteed, but he was cut loose on Sunday. Scheduled to be Minnesota’s slot receiver between Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Wright was beaten out by former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell for a starting spot. Given his lack of special teams prowess, Wright didn’t hold much appeal as a reserve for Minnesota.

That Wright doesn’t play special teams (he has only four career ST snaps) could present a problem for his chances to earn a Patriots roster spot, as well, but New England’s dire need for receiving weapons could trump Wright’s weakness on teams. A former first-round pick, Wright spent five years with the Titans before landing with the Bears in 2017. The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal passing attack, Wright posted a team-leading 59 receptions and 614 yards in his only season with Chicago.

Here’s the full list of free agents that were on hand for New England today, per Reiss:

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Vikings Trim Roster To 53

The Vikings have announced all of their cuts, getting their roster down to 53. Here are the moves:

Waived:

Placed on Reserve/Retired:

Placed on Reserve/Suspended:

Activated from Physically Unable to Perform:

Vikings To Release WR Kendall Wright

The Vikings plan to release wide receiver Kendall Wright, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as it had looked like Wright was safe. 

A first round pick back in 2012, Wright spent the first five years of his career with the Titans. He then spent 2017 with the Bears before signing a one-year deal with Minnesota back in March. Pelissero notes the team signed him “as an option in the slot”, but that recent first round pick Laquon Treadwell‘s “strong preseason” helped push him off the roster.

Wright ended up the “odd man out” in the Vikings’ receiving corp, but has proven to be a steady, if uninspiring, receiving option and should be able to land somewhere when the dust settles. Last year he caught 59 passes for 614 yards and one touchdown, ending the season as the leading receiver in Chicago.

The best year of Wright’s career came back in 2013, when he caught 94 balls for 1,079 yards and two touchdowns. He also visited the Chiefs before signing with the Vikings, and will be one of the most high profile receivers left on the market once rosters are set.

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Extra Points: Pats, Browns, Bucs, Vikings

Patriots edge rusher Harvey Langi is expected to miss at least four weeks after suffering an internal laceration caused by a hit during practice, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link). While the issue certainly seems serious, a source tells Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) that the injury is relatively minor, and Langi is simply being sidelined for “precautionary reasons.” This isn’t the first time Langi has been hurt by a freak injury, as he and his wife were involved in a serious car crash last October that ultimately landed him on the non-football injury list. An undrafted free agent out of BYU in 2017, Langi was a hot commodity as a UDFA and was reportedly impressing in camp. While this latest health issue may not affect him for the long-term, Langi will lose valuable reps as the preseason continues.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • After being cited for marijuana possession over the weekend, Browns receiver Antonio Callaway intends to fight the charge by arguing the drugs weren’t his, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Cleveland management wasn’t made aware of Callaway’s arrest until media reports surfaced, and the club made it clear to Callaway that his actions were unacceptable, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes. However, general manager John Dorsey believes Callaway did not actually smoke marijuana on the night he was cited, and indicated the Browns have a “low tolerance” policy — in contrast to a “zero tolerance” approach — for minor transgressions. Callaway, a fourth-round rookie out of Florida, is already impressing in his first NFL action tonight as Cleveland faces the Giants.
  • The Buccaneers view second-year wideout Chris Godwin as a starter, writes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Head coach Dirk Koetter says Tampa Bay essentially has four starting receivers, pointing to Godwin, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries as players deserving of playing time. How exactly snaps will shake out once the regular season gets underway is unclear, but Jackson or Humphries, the latter of whom is a slot-only weapon, could be demoted to create space for Godwin. While playing roughly 40% of the the Buccaneers’ snaps in 2017, Godwin managed 34 catches and 525 yards.
  • While Godwin looks to be in line for an expanded role, the same can’t be said for Vikings free agent acquisition Kendall Wright. Because Wright, who signed a one-year deal with Minnesota after spending the 2017 season in Chicago, doesn’t play special teams, he’s shaping up as a weekly inactive, tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Wright, 28, posted 58 receptions in a poor Bears passing offense a year ago, and had been expected to see time as the Vikings’ slot receiver. Instead, other options such as Laquon Treadwell, Tavarres King, or Brandon Zylstra may see more action.

Latest On Terrance Williams Situation

The bizarre twist in the Terrance Williams car-crash saga involved Kendall Wright after the Cowboys wide receiver said the new Vikings pass-catcher was, in fact, the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Williams and Wright were teammates at Baylor together and had spent time together earlier on the night of the accident. But both Williams’ attorney, Chip Lewis, and Vikings GM Rick Spielman deny it was Wright who was behind the wheel.

I have spoken directly with Kendall and his agent and both have assured me there is no truth to the matter,” Spielman said, via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Police arrested Williams, whose statement indicated he was the driver of the vehicle, for leaving the scene of an accident and for public intoxication. Williams told police he’d gotten a call from Wright informing him of the Lamborghini crash, but police were suspicious of this claim since Williams subsequently admitted his phone was still in the car at that point. Williams’ public statement of the events of that sequence did not include Wright.

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Latest On Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

The recent incident involving Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams continues to get more and more bizarre as the story unfolds. First, Williams was arrested this past Saturday and charged with public intoxication and leaving the scene of an accident. What’s undisputed is that Williams’ Lamborghini crashed and he was detained while riding an electric scooter near the scene.

Williams then released a statement the day after accepting responsibility for the accident, saying that a car slammed on its brakes in front of him and he swerved to avoid it, but denied he was intoxicated. A wrinkle was thrown into the case when police released a video this morning of Williams the night of the accident contradicting his initial public account. Williams is shown telling officers that it wasn’t him who was driving the car that night, and that it was actually his friend and fellow wide receiver Kendall Wright of the Vikings.

The officers didn’t buy Williams’ claim that he wasn’t even in the car that night, as his phone was inside the vehicle. They arrested him, but the details about Wright’s alleged involvement stayed under wraps until today.

Williams’ lawyer then clarified earlier today once the video blew up online that Wright was not involved after all (Twitter link via Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George). Vikings general manager Rick Spielman then followed up and said the Vikings were standing by Wright and that Wright and his agent both assured him there was no truth to Williams’ accusation (Twitter link via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin).

Williams was already in a good amount of trouble, but his puzzling and now apparently false explanation that it was Wright who crashed his car could make matters even worse. He could be looking at a possible suspension from the league.

Working as the Cowboys’ number two receiver the past few years, Williams was theoretically in line for an increased workload after the release of Dez Bryant. The Cowboys signed Allen Hurns in free agency, but Williams was thought to have the inside track at being the team’s number one receiving option. It’s unclear if this arrest or possible suspension will change the Cowboys’ plans.

Last season, Williams caught 53 passes for 568 yards. He caught zero touchdowns for the first time in his career. Whatever happens, it’s a headache that the Cowboys absolutely don’t need in the midst of an already tumultuous offseason.

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Contract Details: Browns, Janis, Wright

Here’s a look at the details of some recent free agent deals:

  • The Browns got former Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis on a one-year, $1.25MM deal with no guaranteed money, Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets. He’ll have to make the 53-man roster to earn any cash, but the deal does include a $100K workout bonus. If he sticks, the contract will call for a $1.25MM cap number.
  • Wide receiver Kendall Wright’s deal with the Vikings is worth $1MM with $400K guaranteed, Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune tweets. The pack includes an $800K base salary, $100K signing bonus, and a $100K workout bonus.
  • Tight end Bucky Hodges’ contract with the Jets is a two-year deal worth $1.075MM, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. The pact includes a $25K roster bonus if he is on the 53-man roster in Week 1.