Kyle Sloter

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/3/19

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad decisions:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: C Brad Lundblade

Cincinnati Bengals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC North Notes: Lions, Jackson, Vikings, Fields, Vedvik, Packers, Goodson

The Lions might not be done stockpiling quarterbacks. At cutdown day, they had amassed five on the 90-man roster. They cut Tom Savage and Luis Perez to get them down to three, but are now apparently looking for additional options. Detroit will work out Tyree Jackson on Monday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). The Bills waived Jackson this weekend. As of right now the Lions have journeyman Josh Johnson and undrafted rookie David Blough, who they just traded for, on the roster behind Matthew Stafford.

The Lions also scheduled a Kyle Sloter workout, but the recently waived Vikings passer ended up signing with the Cardinals’ practice squad. Sloter drew interest from several teams, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Jackson left the University of Buffalo a year early, then went undrafted. He’s widely regarded as having impressive physical tools, but still being far too raw to play anytime soon.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings made a minor trade with the Chiefs for cornerback Mark Fields over the weekend, and now we have the details. The 2021 seventh-round pick Minnesota sent is conditional, a source told Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). Gooessling writes that it’s “based on Fields being on the Vikings’ roster for an agreed-upon number of games,” and that if Fields isn’t on the roster long Minnesota won’t have to give up anything. Fields was an undrafted rookie from Clemson who the Vikings reportedly had interest in right after the draft.
  • Speaking of Vikings trades, Minnesota caught some flak for trading a fifth-round pick for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik and then cutting him a few weeks later. Vedvik struggled during the preseason, and Minnesota opted to stick with Dan Bailey as their kicker. The Jets ended up claiming Vedvik off waivers, but Minnesota apparently wanted him back. The Vikings had offered him a spot on the practice squad and he was likely going to accept before New York claimed him, Tomasson tweets.
  • We also now have terms on the B.J. Goodson trade. The Giants initially announced they intended to release the inside linebacker, but then traded him to the Packers earlier this morning. The deal was done in exchange for the teams agreeing to swap conditional 2020 seventh-round picks, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Balzer notes that Green Bay sent a pick they had previously acquired from Baltimore in the deal. Goodson was a fourth-round pick of the Giants’ back in 2016, who started 13 games for them last year.

Cardinals Add QB Kyle Sloter

Kyle Sloter, a preseason standout of the last few years, wasn’t out of work for long. The quarterback has agreed to join the Cardinals’ practice squad, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Sloter has since confirmed the move on social media.

The Vikings dropped Sloter and elected to go with just two quarterbacks in starter Kirk Cousins and backup Sean Mannion. Meanwhile, they added an additional layer of backup by adding UDFA Jake Browning to the practice squad.

Sloter’s latest preseason heroics came in the Vikings’ 20-9 win over the Cardinals, so the team saw what he’s capable of first hand. In the fourth quarter, alone the QB connected on six of his seven passes and threw for 102 yards and a TD.

The Cardinals weren’t the only team to show interest in Sloter – six teams called, Tomasson hears, including the Lions. Sloter will work to impress Arizona brass as he looks to make his first career regular season appearance.

Vikings Announce Cuts To Make 53

The Vikings have trimmed their roster down to 53 players. Notably, the team waived kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik, who they just traded a fifth-round pick for a few weeks ago. They also sent packing quarterback Kyle Sloter, who has starred in the preseason the past couple of years and earned a lot of fans. Finally, the team cut their losses with first-round bust Laquon Treadwell. Minnesota drafted the former Ole Miss receiver 23rd overall back in 2016, and he never topped 200 yards with the team.

Here’s the full list of moves:

Waived:

DE Ade Aruna (Injured)

WR Jeff Badet

FB Khari Blasingame

QB Jake Browning

LB Reshard Cliett

T Aviante Collins

DT Curtis Cothran

WR Davion Davis

LB Devante Downs

C Cornelius Edison

RB De’Angelo Henderson

TE Cole Hikutini

WR Alexander Hollins

CB Craig James

DE Stacy Keely

C John Keenoy

LB Greer Martini

CB Nate Meadors

WR Dillon Mitchell

T Storm Norton

DT Tito Odenigbo

DE Anree Saint-Amour

DE Karter Schult

QB Kyle Sloter

LB Cameron Smith

S Derron Smith

CB Duke Thomas

WR Laquon Treadwell

P/K Kaare Vedvik

T Nate Wozniak

S Isaiah Wharton (Injured)

WR Brandon Zylstra

Placed on Reserve/PUP:

TE David Morgan

Placed on Reserve/NFI:

DE Tashawn Bower

NFC Rumors: Cowboys, Thomas, Vikes, Rams

Robert Quinn‘s initial Cowboys preseason slate will be nullified because of an injury he suffered at practice Tuesday. The trade acquisition will undergo surgery in Dallas after breaking his left hand, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). Quinn’s fracture, however, may not shelve him for any regular-season time. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones expects the ninth-year defensive end to be ready by the time the Cowboys face the Giants in Week 1. So, the Cowboys’ August lineup graphics will not feature either of the team’s projected D-end starters, with DeMarcus Lawrence also out for the preseason slate.

Moving first (perhaps predictably) to the Cowboys’ glut of extension candidates, here is the latest from around the NFC:

  • Jones said earlier today the Cowboys are offering deals that would, at the moment, make Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper among the five highest-paid players at their respective positions. That represents a low bar for Elliott, but Jones revealed one Cowboys stance: that Le’Veon Bell‘s Jets deal slightly lowered the running back market compared to where it was when Todd Gurley signed his lucrative pact. As for the status of Dallas’ deals, Jones does not expect them to be done during the team’s training camp stay in Oxnard, Calif. “To set all expectations, I’d be floored if anything got done before we got (back) to Dallas, with any of the three,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic (on Twitter). “I’m not concerned. I don’t feel any momentum. I don’t see anything happening.” The Cowboys will be in Oxnard until August 15.
  • Solomon Thomas has not lived up to his lofty draft status thus far, but the 49ers will try and capitalize on the former No. 2 overall pick’s interior-rushing talent. With Dee Ford and Nick Bosa now on the edge, Thomas has been rotating with defensive tackles DeForest Buckner at Arik Armstead, Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Thomas saw the majority of his 644 49ers snaps last season on the edge. The Stanford product has just four sacks in two seasons.
  • Going into their preseason slate, the Vikings have leaned toward Sean Mannion being Kirk Cousins‘ primary backup. That is not surprising, given Mannion’s status as the Rams’ QB2 recently. Mannion and 2017 UDFA Kyle Sloter were rotating No. 2 reps recently, but Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out Sloter is now rotating with rookie UDFA Jake Browning with Minnesota’s third-team offense. Both backups are playing for league-minimum money.
  • Rams rookie linebacker Justin Lawler underwent foot surgery Tuesday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. The Rams drafted Lawler in the seventh round out of SMU. He profiles as a full-season IR candidate. Teams must carry players through to the 53-man roster for them to be eligible for IR-return status during the season.

Vikings To Meet With QB Sean Mannion

After seeing their 2018 backup sign with the Jets, the Vikings have a need behind Kirk Cousins. They will explore a replacement option this week.

The Vikings are planning to meet with Sean Mannion at some point this week, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Mannion was viewed as a possible Trevor Siemian contingency plan. Siemian signed with the Jets last week.

Mannion has only thrown 53 career passes, having backed up Jared Goff the past two seasons. Blake Bortles will now assume that position. A 26-year-old Oregon State product, Mannion spent four years with the Rams after arriving as a third-round pick in 2015. Mannion’s most significant audition came in Week 17 of the 2017 season, when Sean McVay rested his starters. His then-backup quarterback completed 20 of 34 passes for 169 yards. No other teams have been linked to Mannion thus far in free agency.

While Minnesota wants to add a veteran to work as Cousins’ backup, Mike Zimmer did not rule out 2017 UDFA Kyle Sloter or a to-be-determined rookie filling that role, per Tomasson. Sloter, a Broncos UDFA the Vikings added on waivers in 2017, has yet to throw an NFL pass. Siemian also threw zero passes as a Viking. Cousins took all the snaps for the Vikings last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Activate Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater will be activated to the Vikings’ 53-man roster, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweets. Meanwhile, the team is discussing whether Sam Bradford will be placed on injured reserve. Teddy Bridgewater (vertical)

Moving Bradford to IR could be the Vikings best option given the way that Case Keenum has played in his absence. The Vikings also know that they will probably lose preseason standout Kyle Sloter if they try to sneak him through waivers and on to the practice squad.

Keenum is expected to remain the starter for the time being with Bridgewater as a backup. If Keenum falters against the Redskins on Sunday, the Vikings could have another QB dilemma on their hands.

In 2016, Bradford set the NFL record for completion percentage in a season at 71.6%. This year, however, he has been dealing with serious knee troubles and has appeared in only two games. Bradford opened up the season by completing 27 of 32 passes against the Saints for three touchdowns and no interceptions, but he did not return to action until Week 5 against the Bears. After getting re-injured midway through that game, we have not seen Bradford take the field since.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Avril, Redskins, Panthers, Sloter

After being placed on injured reserve earlier this week, there were whispers that Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril could decide to hang up his cleats. While the player subsequently denied those reports, coach Pete Carroll addressed the rumors earlier today.

“We have to wait and see on that,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “That’s really up to the docs and Cliff and all that kind of stuff, and I’m one-thousand percent supportive of whatever we need to do here to help him, and so that’s why we’re taking our time. The IR thing gives him six weeks at least to figure whatever else we can figure out. But he’s not sure what’s best for him right now and he’s trying to find that out. We’re giving him hopefully a good sense and a comfort that we’re going to support it all the way throughout and figure out what’s best and all that.” 

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Redskins placed rookie defense end Jonathan Allen on the injured reserve earlier today, but ESPN.com’s John Keim reports that the team is hoping he’ll be back before the end of the season. Coach Jay Gruden said the team’s prognosis changed after the player underwent surgery on Wednesday night. “We got better news after the surgery that it wouldn’t be as lengthy as they typically are,” Gruden said. “That’s good news. But we still have to rehab it. He’s a big man and sometimes bigger guys take a little bit longer. We’ll wait and see. Hopefully we see him again, but it’s up to the rehab.”
  • While it was initially believed that Kurt Coleman could miss up to a month, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that the Panthers safety could return this weekend after missing only a pair of games. Coleman suffered a sprained knee ligament earlier this month in a win over the Patriots. Meanwhile, linebacker Luke Kuechly made more progress towards passing the concussion protocol, as the Pro Bowler was seen riding a stationary bike earlier today.
  • Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is confident that he’ll return this season, and the team may be forced to make a difficult roster decision. With the team currently rostering Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, third-stringer Kyle Sloter appears to be the odd man out. Of course, the undrafted rookie isn’t worried about future transactions, as he’s confident he’ll find a job elsewhere. “I’m not really too concerned day in and day out with my NFL future,’’ Sloter told Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com. “I think that I’ll have a job.” The reporter also tweets that the organization could look to pass Sloter through waivers with hopes that he’ll land on their practice squad.

NFC North Notes: Vikings, Long, Bears

The Vikings outbid multiple suitors to sign Kyle Sloter to their practice squad, and the move ended up seeing the former college wide receiver promoted to the active roster in advance of Week 2. In addition to the Broncos, the Vikings presented a better offer than the Redskins or Bills in order to land Sloter, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports. A wide receiver at Southern Miss before a transfer to Division I-FCS Northern Colorado put him loosely on the quarterback radar come UDFA signing time, Sloter played extensively for the Broncos during the preseason. John Elway hoped the Broncos could pass him through waivers to Denver’s practice squad, but the GM preferred more experience to start the season. This led to the Broncos’ decision to reunite with Brock Osweiler for the time being.

Sloter’s active-roster contract won’t pay him much more than his practice squad agreement, since the latter deal is on the higher end of such accords, and the pact is nonguaranteed, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. He did not receive a signing bonus.

Despite the insurance addition, Sam Bradford is still expected to start against the Steelers. Case Keenum resides as his backup. Here’s more from the NFC North.

  • The Bears will be without Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long for a second straight game to start the season. The team announced Long did not travel to Tampa Bay for the Bears’ Week 2 game. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune notes (on Twitter) the Bears are hoping Long returns in Week 3. Long has not played since November of last season. A right ankle injury ended Long’s season, and the subsequent recovery process has now reached the 10-month mark. Prior to Long’s ankle injury, he’d missed one game out of a possible 56. Tom Compton started at left guard last week against the Falcons.
  • Michael Floyd‘s activation after a four-game suspension could make for an interesting roster decision, with Tomasson noting (Twitter link) the Vikings would prefer to keep wideout Rodney Adams on the roster. A rookie fifth-round pick out of South Florida would seemingly be vying with a player of a similar profile to stay on the roster after Floyd returns. Seventh-round rookie Stacy Coley, out of Miami, serves as Minnesota’s other other newcomer wideout. Coley, though, played in Minnesota’s Week 1 game while Adams was a healthy scratch. Jarius Wright and 2016 first-rounder Laquon Treadwell are the second-stringers.
  • The Vikings’ preference for Jayron Kearse and Anthony Harris led to Antone Exum being the odd man out when it came time to clear a spot for Sloter, Tomasson tweets.
  • Second-round Lions pick Teez Tabor is making progress, but the former Florida cornerback might not be in line to see much action for a while.
  • A 15-game starter for the Packers last season, Ladarius Gunter is now employed by another team. The Panthers claimed the third-year UDFA on waivers.

Extra Points: Peterson, Jets, Sloter

Saints running back Adrian Peterson downplayed his frustration with playing time following his team’s season-opening loss to the Vikings. Despite video clips showing the veteran yelling at head coach Sean Payton, Peterson was clear that the entire situation was blown out of proportion.

“It was definitely overdramatized,” Peterson told Joel Erickson of The New Orleans Advocate. “Of course, with the heat of the game, me being back in Minnesota and things like that, just catching that look – that intense look on my face, like I had – I actually got some laughs out of some of the memes that were made.”

Peterson finished the contest having played only nine snaps, and his 18 rushing yards was his lowest total since the 2015 season. While he acknowledged some frustrations with his lack of use, he believes the situation will inevitably sort itself out.

“I didn’t sign up for nine snaps, though, but unfortunately that’s the way the game played out,” Peterson said. “In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting. You know, me and Mark [Ingram] played in the last preseason game, AK [Alvin Kamara] didn’t even play that game. So with all three of us being out there, I knew it would take a game or so to kind of get adjusted.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia lead Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko’s list of the top-10 head coaching candidates. Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is third on the list, while Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo round out the top-five.
  • When asked if Jets ownership would still trust general manager Mike Maccagnan to draft a quarterback, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini acknowledges that it’d be “unconventional” to let the executive go after only three seasons. However, the writer also notes that Maccagnan still needs to be evaluated for his ability to draft signal-callers, especially after the selection of Christian Hackenberg. Ultimately, Cimini is willing to give the general manager until the end of the season, as there’s still time for Hackenberg (and teammate Bryce Petty) to show improvements. However, if the quarterbacks aren’t developing, then there’s some obvious cause for concern.
  • The Vikings promoted Kyle Sloter to their active roster earlier today, but Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press observes (via Twitter) that the quarterback won’t be earning a huge pay raise. Sloter was already making more than your standard practice squad player, so his salary will “only” be boosted from $20K per week to a bit more than $27K per week.