Kevin King

Packers To Re-Sign Kevin King

The Packers are bringing back Kevin King (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The cornerback will return on a one-year deal worth $6MM. 

The Packers nabbed King in the second-round of the 2017 draft due to concerns about his health. If not for injuries, King would have been a top-32 choice, so the Packers saw the Washington product as a strong value. Though he’s flashed serious ability at times, Packers fans haven’t been wild about his coverage on the whole. King has shown a knack for clutch interceptions in the past, but the memory of his NFC Championship Game performance is still fresh.

King, who hauled in five interceptions in 2019, will return in 2021 to pair with lead corner Jaire Alexander.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Promote CB Tramon Williams

Tramon Williams may soon be set for a historic NFL feat: suiting up for playoff games with two different teams in the same season. The Packers elevated the cornerback from their practice squad Saturday.

Green Bay signed the 14th-year cornerback earlier this week, making this Williams’ third stint with his original NFL team. But he played just last week in the Ravens-Bills divisional-round game, logging 12 defensive snaps with Baltimore.

The Ravens, however, waived Williams soon after their Round 2 loss. Since no one claimed him, the 37-year-old defender would be eligible to play in Sunday’s Packers-Buccaneers game. Since Tuesday, Williams has been waived, made a Packers visit, signed with the Packers and now will rise from the practice squad to the active roster via the COVID-19 replacement route.

If Williams plays Sunday, it will be his fifth NFC championship game as a Packer. Among current Packers, only he and kicker Mason Crosby saw action in the frigid 2007 NFC title game against the Giants. Williams playing Sunday would make him the first player ever to do suit up for two different teams in the same playoffs, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Williams’ status may be tied to Kevin King‘s availability. King is battling a back injury that flared up Friday, though Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes the young corner is feeling better after that issue (Twitter link). King fully participated in Green Bay’s Wednesday and Thursday practices but did not work out Friday.

The NFL loosening restrictions on players changing teams amid the pandemic would allow Williams to complete this postseason double dip. The league previously required players who changed teams to go through six days’ worth of coronavirus tests before practicing with their new teams. That timetable would not have allowed Williams to play in the NFC championship game. But the league since made a change to allow players who were already being regularly tested to change teams and suit up without navigating the near-weeklong waiting period.

A Packers UDFA in 2007, Williams began his career with eight Green Bay seasons. After leaving for Cleveland in free agency in 2015, he made his way back to Wisconsin in 2018. Williams spending the 2018 and ’19 seasons with the Packers certainly played a key role in his return. Overall, he has spent four seasons playing in current Packer DC and ex-Browns HC Mike Pettine‘s system since 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Place CB Kevin King On IR

The Packers have placed cornerback Kevin King on IR, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Running back Tra Carson has also been ruled out for the remainder of the year. 

King, a second-year pro, has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury. Ultimately, the injury was too serious to overcome and, frankly, it wasn’t worth risking a more serious issue at this stage of the season. The Packers are 4-7-1 and, naturally, are more concerned with the former second-round pick’s long-term health.

Both of King’s pro seasons have ended prematurely. Last year, King appeared in nine games and made five starts before he was shut down in December.

King was the Packers’ first pick in the 2017 draft after Green Bay moved down from No. 29 in a swap for the No. 33 selection (King) and a fourth-round choice. There were other big names available, but the Packers were happy to expand their draft stockpile and land the Washington product after he posted a 4.43 second 40-yard-dash, a 39.5-inch vertical leap, and the best times of any cornerback in both the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Gronk, Mack, Pack, Eagles

A third Rob Gronkowski injury absence appears to be in the cards. The Patriots will not deploy their All-Pro tight end to play Sunday against the Titans, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. While Gronkowski is traveling with the team to Nashville, per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter), he’s expected to be held out. Gronk missed games against the Bears and Packers but played in Buffalo on the Monday night in between those tilts. He’s been dealing with back and ankle trouble. While the Patriots have been able to win without their top pass-catcher, these repeated absences are obviously a concern for the future Hall of Famer’s availability for New England’s stretch run and potentially his post-2018 NFL future. It’s likely the Pats are attempting to rest Gronk now to hopefully see him healthy for key late-season games and the playoffs, but that can’t be considered a lock given his extensive injury history. Gronkowski hitting his incentive targets may now be unrealistic as well.

Here’s the latest from the Week 10 injury front.

  • Better news for the Bears. They’re in line to have both Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson back on Sunday when they face the Lions, per the Associated Press. Mack is no longer on the injury report after missing the past two Chicago games because of an ankle malady. His defensive player of the year chances took a hit because of this hiatus and Aaron Donald continuing another all-world season but Mack figures to still be in the running and can help a team attempting reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
  • The Lions‘ Robinson coverage options will be limited. Darius Slay is out for Week 10, joining guard T.J. Lang in that regard. Slay’s played in each of Detroit’s previous eight games and hasn’t missed time since 2016 but is battling a knee injury. A neck ailment will sideline Lang, who also missed time because of a concussion this season.
  • A tough injury night against the Patriots will have after-effects for the Packers. Kevin King will not play Sunday against the Dolphins because of a hamstring injury. Bashaud Breeland, whom ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky notes appeared to impress the Packers in his Green Bay debut, figures to see more time.
  • Both Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills are going to miss Sunday night’s Eagles-Cowboys game, but Corey Graham will return after missing four games, per Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). After claiming Cre’Von LeBlanc off waivers earlier this week, surely due to injuries affecting the aforementioned duo, the Eagles have seven corners on their roster.
  • Taco Charlton and Connor Williams aren’t playing for the Cowboys on Sunday. Xavier Su’a-Filo appears to be the choice to replace Williams at left guard for Dallas, per executive VP Stephen Jones (Twitter link). A full-time Texans starter the past two seasons, Su’a-Filo has not played this season. Williams is down with a knee injury.

Packers Shut Down Kevin King For Season

The Packers placed cornerback Kevin King on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury. To take his place, they have activated defensive back Demetri Goodson from the PUP list.

Kevin King (vertical)

King, a second-round pick, was the Packers’ first pick in the 2017 draft after Green Bay moved down from No. 29 in a swap for the No. 33 selection (King) and a fourth-round choice. There were other big names on the board late in the first round, but the Packers were happy to expand their draft stockpile and land the Washington product. King only had so-so hype heading into the draft process, but he quickly turned heads with a 4.43 second 40-yard-dash, a 39.5-inch vertical leap, and the best times of any cornerback in both the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle.

As a rookie, King appeared in nine games and made five starts for the Packers. Unfortunately, he was sidelined last week and team doctors have determined that he needs additional time to recover.

The advanced metrics haven’t been wowed with King’s play (he ranks 109 out of 115 qualified CBs, per Pro Football Focus) but his presence will be missed in Green Bay. Without King, the Packers will have to rely on two 2017 undrafted free agents, one 2016 UDFA, and a former sixth-round pick (Goodson) to support starters Davon House and Damarious Randall.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Rumors: Packers, Cobb, Jordy, Browns

MRI results show that wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder) and defensive lineman Mike Daniels (hamstring) did not suffer major injuries in the Packers‘ loss to the Falcons on Sunday night, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Both are considered day-to-day, and should be available for Green Bay’s Week 3 game against the Bengals. There’s no official word to the severity of wideout Jordy Nelson‘s quad issue, but the Packers don’t believe the injury is serious, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The Browns will likely place receiver Corey Coleman on injured reserve on Tuesday, tweets Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald. Coleman, who broke his hand for the second time in as many seasons, will likely need six-to-eight weeks to recover, so he’ll likely be one of Cleveland’s two IR/designated to return players. That would allow Coleman to return to practice in six weeks and see the field in eight. The Browns will lean on Rashard Higgins, Kasen Williams, and Kenny Britt in Coleman’s absence.
  • Second-round cornerback Kevin King will continue to see his role grow after a solid performance for the Packers on Sunday, as head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, including Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “If anything, he’s earned the right to potentially play more,” said McCarthy. “Smooth, confident athlete. I like the progression that Kevin’s made.” King, a Washington product, saw his snap percentage leap from 12% in Week 1 to 79% in Week 2, and is now Pro Football Focus‘ No. 19 ranked corner through two weeks.
  • General manager Ted Thompson has shown a recent willingness to add external free agents as he revamps the Packers‘ roster, writes Demovsky in a full piece. Veteran such as Martellus Bennett, Ahmad Brooks, and Davon House have all joined the club this offseason as part of a detour from a Green Bay strategy that typically involves mostly homegrown players. “It’s the realization that they needed to get better,” one NFL executive said of the Packers, noting that Thompson may be more open to input from his front office subordinates.

Packers Sign Top Pick CB Kevin King

The Packers have signed rookie cornerback Kevin King (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). Green Bay traded down from the No. 29 selection and acquired picks at No. 33 and No. 108. King, taken with the first pick in the second round, is their top draft pick in the 2017 class. Kevin King (vertical)

As a senior, King totaled 44 tackles (including 3.5 tackles for a loss) and two interceptions. At 6’3″, King offers great height for the cornerback position and he boosted his stock in his final year on campus by having his first ever slate of perfect attendance. Some evaluators worry that he doesn’t have enough speed to be a standout CB, but Green Bay’s front office clearly disagrees.

With ten draft picks in this year’s class, the Packers have even more work to do in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Teams Interested In Packers’ No. 33 Pick

Teams are already interested in the Packers’ No. 33 overall pick, the first selection of the second round, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Those clubs include the Chargers (No. 38), Jets (No. 39) and Buccaneers (No. 50), reports Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Both the Chargers and Jets are attempting to move up for Cal quarterback Davis Webb, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Meanwhile, if the Packers keep the pick, they’ll select either Florida State running back Dalvin Cook or Washington cornerback Kevin King, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Here’s a look at some of the other notable names that remain on the board as we head into Day 2:

Extra Points: Redskins, Allen, Steelers

The Redskins are high on Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Redskins currently own the No. 17 pick in the draft, so they’ll likely need to move up to get him. Then again, Allen might not make it out of the top five.

Here’s more news before the draft gets underway:

  • Washington defensive backs Kevin King and Budda Baker are on the Steelers‘ “radar”, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Pittsburgh has used early picks on secondary help over the past few seasons, as Artie Burns, Sean Davis, and Senquez Golson have all been added to the defensive backfield since 2015. Golson, however, hasn’t been able to get on the field due to injuries, and the Steelers could use more help in the back end. King would give the club a physical corner to play outside, while Baker can play deep safety and the slot.
  • Some folks in the Dolphins organization are really high on linebacker Haason Reddick, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald hears. His fans in Miami believe that he can be a great weakside linebacker right off of the bat and they like his explosive pass rush skills.
  • An official from one team tells Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) that Gareon Conley will go in the first round.
  • Colts defensive lineman David Parry will avoid jail time after reaching a plea agreement this week, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star writes. Originally, he was facing felony charges stemming from a February arrest in Arizona. It remains to be seen whether he’ll face team or league punishment.

Cole’s Latest: Panthers, Rivera, Watson, King

If the Panthers don’t earn a postseason berth in 2017, head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman could be on the hot seat, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Carolina, of course, finished the 2016 campaign with a 6-10 record after losing only regular season game and securing a Super Bowl appearance the year prior. Both Rivera and Gettleman are now facing extra pressure, says Cole, which would be one reason the Panthers handed defensive tackle Kawann Short an extension earlier this week, as the club may have wanted to ensure Short was present for offseason activities.

Here’s more from around the league, all courtesy of Cole:

  • Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson displayed a “CEO presence” in predraft meetings with NFL team, and his intangibles are highly impressive to personnel executives, reports Cole (video link), who adds Watson is considered the best leader among the top QB prospects. Listed at 6’2″, 220 pounds, Watson’s size does have some scouts concerned, as they aren’t sure he’ll be able to withstand the pounding of an NFL campaign. For what it’s worth, I sent Watson to Kansas City in PFR’s first 2017 mock draft.
  • Some NFL decision-makers believe Washington cornerback Kevin King is the most overrated player in the 2017 draft, per Cole (video link). King is an impressive physical specimen, especially for a defensive back, as he stands at 6’3″ and 200 pounds. But evaluators don’t believe King’s performance on the field matches his stature. While King has been creeping into the first round of mock drafts — specifically as a possible Seahawks target — one scout said he grades King as no better than a seventh-round choice.
  • As Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported earlier this week, the 49ers and Jets are among the clubs most eager to trade down at the top of the draft, but any such deals could come with a relatively cheap price attached, according to Cole (video link). Outside of Texas A&M edge defender Myles Garrett, the draft doesn’t contain multiple “overwhelming” players, per Cole, while the supply of clubs looking to trade down doesn’t equal the demand of teams hoping to move up.
  • One prospect that could lead to draft-day discussions is Stanford pass rusher Solomon Thomas, whom most NFL clubs consider the “clear” No. 2 player in this year’s class, reports Cole (video link). If the cost of trading up does remain low, several teams might consider moving up the board in order to land Thomas, as such a maneuver would be viewed as an “extraordinary bargain.”