Laquon Treadwell

Falcons Sign WR Laquon Treadwell

Laquon Treadwell will have a chance to prove himself with another team. After the former first-round pick underwhelmed for four seasons with the Vikings, he will join the Falcons. The team announced the move.

The 2016 first-round pick could not justify that draft status in Minnesota, being released and re-signed in 2019 and totaling just 65 receptions for 701 yards and two touchdowns during his four Vikings seasons. He did finish the ’19 slate with a 20.4-yard average but did so on just nine catches.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Ole Miss product topped out at 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash four years ago and never solidified the No. 3 receiver role behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. He will have an opportunity to fill in behind another talented wideout duo.

Atlanta will have the high-end Julio JonesCalvin Ridley tandem back for a third season together and saw Russell Gage eclipse 400 receiving yards last season. Treadwell will attempt to carve out a spot in the Falcons’ receiver group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Sign Laquon Treadwell

Laquon Treadwell has come back to where it all started. On Tuesday, the Vikings signed their former first-round pick to a new contract. 

The Vikings cut Treadwell in late August, bringing an unceremonious end to a run that started with tons of hype. The Vikings never got much out of Treadwell after selecting him with the No. 23 overall choice, but they’re willing to see what he can offer in the wake of Chad Beebe‘s injury.

Treadwell might not be destined for stardom, but he’s familiar enough with the Vikings’ offense to give them a reliable fourth receiver this weekend. Meanwhile, they’ll hope for the best with Beebe, who figures to be out for a while with torn ankle ligaments. Beebe serves as the Vikes’ No. 3 wide receiver and punt returner, so others will have to step up in his absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Work Out Laquon Treadwell

The Lions worked out former Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Treadwell also showed his stuff for the Bills earlier this week, but he’s still seeking a deal after being cut by the Vikings. 

Treadwell, 24, had lots of buzz coming out of Ole Miss. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much as a pro. Last year was Treadwell’s “best” as an NFL player – he finished out with 35 catches, 302 yards, and one touchdown. That averaged out to just 8.6 yards per catch, which isn’t a great look for a player who ran just a 40-yard-dash of just 4.63 seconds at the 2016 combine.

In a fun twist, the Vikings signed Josh Doctson shortly after dropping Treadwell. Doctson, another wide receiver from the 2016 class who has yet to make his mark, was selected one spot ahead of Treadwell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills To Meet With Laquon Treadwell

The Bills will meet with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and outside linebacker Noah Spence on Tuesday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Given their draft pedigrees, both could be intriguing low-risk pickups for Buffalo.

Treadwell is a former first-round pick of the Vikings who entered the NFL with lots of fanfare. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done a whole lot at the NFL level.

Spence, meanwhile, washed out of Ohio State’s program in college before transferring over to Eastern Kentucky University. He did well for the Ohio Valley Conference school, and parlayed that success into a second-round selection from the Bucs. He racked up 5.5 sacks as a rookie, but his sophomore season was largely lost to injury and he didn’t really produce in 12 games last year.

In addition to Treadwell and Spence, here are the other players that Buffalo has recently worked out, a list that includes a number of safeties (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle):

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 East Notes: McCown, Treadwell, Cowboys

The Eagles made a surprising decision to sign Josh McCown out of retirement on Saturday, and the fact that they gave McCown a $2MM guarantee suggests that he is a lock to make the roster. Indeed, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP reports that Philadelphia was trying to sign McCown even before presumptive QB2 Nate Sudfeld was sidelined with a wrist injury (Twitter link). Shorr-Parks notes in a separate tweet that HC Doug Pederson declined to say whether Sudfeld will remain the primary backup. Pederson said he will figure that out when Sudfeld heals.

Let’s round up a few more NFC East items:

  • Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell is on the trade block, and Matt Lombardo of NJ.com believes the Giants could make a play for him. Treadwell played under New York head coach Pat Shurmur when the latter served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, and Shurmur held the Ole Miss product in high regard not that long ago. Given the current state of the Giants’ WR depth chart, Lombardo suggests it would be reasonable for Big Blue to send a sixth- or seventh-round pick to Minnesota to see if a change of scenery can unlock some of Treadwell’s potential.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not want to meet QB Dak Prescott‘s asking price — said to be at least $35MM per year — but he confirmed that Prescott’s eventual contract will put him in the top tier of quarterbacks. Jones said, “[a] lot of people question whether Dak is one of those guys that need to be in the top tier. I’ve never questioned that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s in the top level of paid quarterbacks…Now, how do we make this all fit and what can we do to have the best team around him? That’s what we’re trying to work on” (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic).
  • Tony Pollard‘s performance in training camp and the preseason may be giving the Cowboys a little leverage in their contract talks with Ezekiel Elliott, and Jones said “Zeke who?” when asked if Pollard is becoming the team’s best negotiator with Elliott (Twitter link via Machota). Jones made it clear he was joking and said he believes Pollard will be an excellent complement to, and not a replacement for, Elliott (in case you missed it, we heard this morning that Elliott will not face criminal charges for the altercation between him and a security guard in May).
  • Despite spending the entire 2018 season out of football, Cowboys WR Devin Smith has a legitimate chance of cracking the team’s roster, as Machota tweets. Smith caught a TD pass in Dallas’ preseason contest on Saturday, and his play has been very strong over the past week. The former Jets second-rounder signed a reserve/futures deal with the Cowboys in January.

Vikings’ Laquon Treadwell On Trade Block

In three seasons, Laquon Treadwell has not come especially close to justifying his draft slot (No. 23 overall in 2016), and the Vikings predictably did not pick up the wideout’s fifth-year option in May. As training camp has progressed, Treadwell trade rumors persist.

Believed to be available during the draft, Treadwell is back on the trade block, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Specifically, the emergence of second-year UDFA Chad Beebe has prompted the Vikings to make Treadwell available.

Despite Beebe catching just four passes as a rookie, he and former Broncos backup Jordan Taylor were listed ahead of Treadwell on Minnesota’s initial 2019 depth chart. Although neither Taylor nor Beebe is a sure bet to produce, their depth chart placement is obviously concerning for Treadwell’s 2019 prospects. The former Ole Miss talent has not been able to overcome the slow 40-yard dash time (4.63 seconds) he posted at his pro day, joining receivers Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson as underwhelming out of the 2016 first round. Treadwell finished 2018 with a career-high 35 catches but posted only an 8.6-yard average.

Of Treadwell’s $1.8MM base salary, $1.15MM is guaranteed. The Vikings have both starters, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, now making at least $14MM per year — the first NFL team to have two receivers in this salary bracket. Finding cheap auxiliary help for the veteran-heavy team will continue to be a goal. They just unloaded a fifth-round pick for Kaare Vedvik and perhaps would like to recoup that in a Treadwell trade. The Vikings would likely accept a Day 3 choice for the contract-year receiver, Breer adds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Decline Treadwell’s Option

The Vikings are not expected to pick up the fifth-year option for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). The Vikings technically have until the Friday deadline to make the call, but barring a change in thinking, Treadwell will be on course for free agency after the 2019 season. 

The 2020 option for Treadwell would have called for a $10.162MM salary. Although it would have been guaranteed for injury only, it was a risk that the front office was unwilling to take. Treadwell, 24 in June, has done little to justify his selection at No. 23 overall in 2016. Last year, he had 35 catches for 302 yards and one touchdown, and that was his most productive season to date.

In fact, Treadwell profiles as a trade candidate after a series of costly mistakes in 2018. The Vikings probably won’t get much for him, but there are likely evaluators out there who feel that they can harness the talent he displayed just three years ago.

In 2016, Treadwell, was widely projected as a top-15 pick before a slow 40-yard dash time and other concerns about his game hurt his draft stock. Still, the Chiefs and other clubs were targeting him in the lower-third of the first round before the Vikings snatched him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Breer’s Latest: Jets, Broncos, Rudolph

Some assorted notes from SI.com’s Albert Breer leading up to tonight’s draft…

  • The Jets are beginning to gain some traction on a deal involving the third-overall pick. Breer mentions that the Redskins could be a match, with the team presumably eyeing a quarterback. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins could be an option, as could Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (if he isn’t taken with the first-overall pick). Breer notes that if the Jets remain in the top-10, they could opt for Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who one scout described as “the epitome of a [defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams player.”
  • Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is “rising continuously in draft meetings” among the Broncos front office. The team could be eyeing him with pick No. 10, or they could be preparing for a scenario where Lock falls towards the bottom of the first round.
  • After paying Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings could be looking to deal one of their other pricey veterans. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could be a trade candidate, and Breer writes that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots make a play for the pass-catcher. The writer mentions cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as well as wideout Laquon Treadwell as trade candidates.
  • Two players who are set to play on their fifth-year option are on the block. Breer writes that Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor and 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead “have been part of trade discussions.” On the flip side, Breer believes that it’s unlikely that the 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.
  • If Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat gets past the Redskins (No. 15), Panthers (No. 16), or Seahawks (No.21), Breer is unsure how far the defensive end could end up falling. Breer points to the Rams as a potential fit at the end of the first round. Reports indicated that Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition, although there were rumblings today that he may have been misdiagnosed.

Vikings Rumors: DeFilippo, O-Line, Barr

John DeFilippo played a big part in the Vikings‘ quarterback search. The new Minnesota offensive coordinator began studying film of the team’s three previous quarterbacks — Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum — on his first morning with the team in mid-February, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. This process of finding a potential long-term option in Kirk Cousins also included scouting of QBs that weren’t Cousins or the Vikings’ free agent trio, per Goessling, who adds QBs coach Kevin Stefanski was also involved in this process, along with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. DeFilippo and Cousins met at dinner the night before the new Minnesota starter signed his three-year, $84MM contract, per Goessling. Minnesota has not had a quarterback make it through three straight seasons as the primary starter since Daunte Culpepper in the early 2000s, and DeFilippo called the franchise’s signal-caller search as thorough as anything he’s been involved with in the NFL.

Here’s the latest from the Twin Cities:

  • Previously stationed at right tackle at Vikings OTAs, Mike Remmers took reps exclusively at right guard during one of the OTA sessions this week, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. Third-year UDFA Rashod Hill, in turn, lined up at right tackle. This was the Vikings’ arrangement at the end of last season. Remmers worked as the Panthers’ starting right tackle from 2014-16. Tom Compton, who worked as the primary right guard last week, alternated at left guard with Danny Isidora, per Krammer. Slotting Remmers at guard would give second-round pick Brian O’Neill an easier path to playing time, but it’s uncertain what Remmers’ primary position will be this season.
  • Anthony Barr reported to the Vikings this week and did so after taking out an insurance policy, Krammer notes. He missed the first week of Vikes OTAs while he ironed out this policy, which will cover him for injury while he’s still attached to his rookie deal. Barr remains hopeful he and the Vikings can come to terms before training camp. Minnesota agreed to extensions with Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph in a 10-day span just as camp began last year, and it would make sense Barr — one of the team’s big re-up candidates this year — would be the top priority for a pre-camp deal.
  • Despite being a first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell has 21 receptions (and no touchdowns) in two years. However, the Ole Miss product is not categorizing 2018 as a make-or-break year, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes. The Vikings cut Jarius Wright and have not re-signed Michael Floyd, potentially giving Treadwell a chance to move into the No. 3 wideout role. However, Minnesota’s Kendall Wright deal could impede that. Neverthless, it could be a stretch the Vikings pick up Treadwell’s fifth-year option in May of 2019 at this rate.