Luke Willson

Seahawks To Sign Luke Willson

Luke Willson is heading back to Seattle. The Seahawks have agreed to reunite with their former tight end, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Seahawks Trade Vannett To Steelers]

Willson spent the first five years of his career with the Seahawks before moving on to the Lions in 2018. in Detorit, he saw time in 14 games and notched 13 catches for 87 yards. Then, in March, he hooked on with the Raiders, but was unable to make their final cut to a 53-man roster. After working out for the Saints and Cardinals this month, Willson is going back to where it all started.

Willson takes the place of tight end Nick Vannett, who was traded to the Steelers on Tuesday night in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round choice. With Willson back in the fold, the Seahawks now a second tight end on the active roster to support starter Will Dissly.

The Seahawks will look to advance to 3-1 in Week 4 as they take on the Cardinals in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Audition Alfred Morris

David Johnson suffered a wrist injury in the Cardinals’ Week 2 loss, and although the standout running back returned to action, the Cards are gathering some intel for a possible in-case-of-emergency scenario.

Arizona worked out Alfred Morris, Thomas Rawls and Zach Zenner on Tuesday, ESPN.com’s Field Yates and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer report (Twitter links). The team also auditioned tight end Luke Willson.

Morris reunited with the Cowboys, but Ezekiel Elliott‘s holdout coming to an end prompted them to part ways with the veteran back. Morris, 30, played 12 games with the 49ers last season. Rawls last held a notable role with the 2016 Seahawks; he’s since bounced around. Zenner averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season and re-signed with the Lions in March. However, he did not make their 53-man roster.

Kliff Kingsbury‘s Cardinals have lapped the field in terms of 10 personnel usage — four wideouts, one running back — and have not used tight ends Charles Clay or Maxx Williams much. But the team auditioned Willson, Thomas Duarte and Jason Vander Laan anyway. Willson played 14 games for the 2018 Lions but did not make the Raiders’ roster this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/3/19

Here are today’s workout updates, all courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) unless otherwise noted. The Saints had several recognizable players in for workouts.

Arizona Cardinals (Twitter link via veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer)

Carolina Panthers (Twitter link via Balzer)

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Brandon Hitner

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins (Twitter link via Balzer)

Raiders Sign Luke Willson

The Raiders are making another move. Jon Gruden’s squad is signing tight end Luke Willson, the team announced in a release. 

Willson visited with the team earlier today, and they apparently liked what they saw. The Raiders just lost Jared Cook to the Saints, so they had a big need at tight end. Willson comes to Oakland from the Lions, after having a disappointing 2018 season in Detroit. He had spent the previous five years of his career with the Seahawks. Willson had been a solid if not spectacular option behind Jimmy Graham in Seattle, and landed a one-year, $2.5MM deal from the Lions last offseason.

Even though Detroit had very little at tight end after Eric Ebron left in free agency, Willson didn’t have much of a role on offense. He ended up catching just 13 passes for 87 scoreless yards. The Rice product was originally drafted in the fifth round back in 2013. His best season receiving-wise came in 2014, when he had 362 yards and three touchdowns.

Willson’s true impact has usually been as a blocker. He’s received solid marks from Pro Football Focus, grading out as their No. 17 ranked run-blocking tight end last season. The Raiders have been active in the second wave of free agency, signing linebacker Brandon Marshall and running back Isaiah Crowell yesterday, and now adding Willson today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Meet With Luke Willson

The Raiders will meet with tight end Luke Willson on Friday, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (on Twitter). The former Lions and Seahawks receiver could help the Raiders replace Jared Cook, who left in free agency to sign with the Saints. 

Willson, 29, hooked on with the Lions last year on a one-year, $2.5MM deal. Unfortunately, the contract was not the platform to free agent riches that he envisioned. Willson finished out with just 13 catches for 87 yards and no touchdowns, a dropoff from his already modest offensive numbers.

Blocking is Willson’s true calling card and he placed as the league’s No. 17 ranked run-blocking tight end last season, according to Pro Football Focus. All in all, he had 424 snaps on offense and 124 on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Burnett, Bodine, Williams

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts around the NFL:

AFC

NFC

Lions Sign TE Luke Willson

The Lions are signing former Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth $2.5MM with some upside potential in his deal. Willson will receive $1.5MM guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of SiriusXM.

Willson also visited the Panthers and Jaguars before agreeing to sign with Detroit. It’s not clear if he had viable offers from Carolina or Jacksonville, but in any case, the Lions will probably give him a better chance to showcase his talents. With the Panthers, Willson would have been playing behind Greg Olsen. And it’s possible that the Jaguars would have passed on Niles Paul had they signed Willson, but he probably still would have been playing alongside Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

The Lions had a clear need for a tight end after cutting Eric Ebron and watching Darren Fells sign with the Browns. The Lions missed out on Trey Burtonbut they have added a promising (and cheaper) option in Willson..

Willson failed to top 200 yards receiving in either of the past two seasons, but he graded out as the league’s No. 26 run-blocking tight end among 69 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

The Lions’ tight end depth chart is comprised of Willson, Michael RobertsHakeem Valles, and Brandon Barnes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Host TE Luke Willson

The Lions have completed a free agent visit with tight end Luke Willson, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).

Detroit has released Eric Ebron and witnessed Darren Fells sign with the Browns over the past week, so the club is clearly in need of a new tight end. The Lions were reportedly interested in Trey Burton before he signed with the division-rival Bears, while they also met with veteran Brent Celek after he was released by the Eagles.

Willson has been busy in his own right, as the former Seahawk has been hosted by the Jaguars and Panthers this week. The 28-year-old has never been much of an offensive force, but his usage took a serious hit when Seattle acquired fellow tight end Jimmy Graham in 2015. Willson failed to top 200 yards receiving in either of the past two seasons, but he did grade as the league’s No. 26 run-blocking tight end among 69 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

At present, the Lions’ tight end depth chart is comprised of Michael Roberts, Hakeem Valles, and Brandon Barnes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Host TE Luke Willson

The Jaguars will meet with free agent tight end Luke Willson on Friday, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). Despite signing both Niles Paul and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the team is still interested in adding another player at the position. After all, “they love tight ends,” a source told Garafolo.

The 2013 fifth-round pick had spent his entire career with the Seahawks, earning himself a Super Bowl championship along the way. The 28-year-old wrapped up the 2017 season having hauled in 15 receptions for 153 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked Willson 43rd among 71 tight end candidates, but the site was fond of his run-blocking skills.

We learned earlier this week that Willson was set to visit with the Panthers.

TE Luke Willson To Visit Panthers

Luke Willson‘s tenure with the Seahawks may be over. The free agent tight end is set to visit with the Panthers this evening, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter).

The 2013 fifth-round pick has spent his entire career with Seattle, earning himself a Super Bowl championship along the way. The 28-year-old finished the 2017 campaign having hauled in 15 receptions for 153 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked Willson 43rd among 71 tight end candidates, but the site was fond of his run-blocking skills.

The Panthers and Seahawks could effectively be swapping tight ends, as Ed Dickson is set to meet with Seattle tonight. If he joins the Panthers, Willson would presumably slide into a backup role behind Greg Olsen. Meanwhile, after having lost Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks are currently rostering only a pair of tight ends in Nick Vannett and Tyrone Swoopes.