Luke Willson

TE Luke Willson Announces Retirement

Luke Willson worked out for the Seahawks on Monday and signed to rejoin the team Tuesday. The Seahawks released him a day later, and the veteran tight end has subsequently announced his retirement.

Willson will wrap his career after eight seasons. He revealed Wednesday, via Twitter, he dealt with a heart issue this offseason — a severe pericardial effusion, which is a fluid buildup around the heart — that required a lengthy hospital stay. After one day back with the Seahawks, the 31-year-old veteran reversed course and called it quits. The Seahawks released Willson after he informed the team of his retirement plans Tuesday night, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.

A fifth-round Seahawks pick in 2013, Willson played in 96 games (counting playoffs) for the team. While not known as a pure receiving tight end, Willson caught 11 TD passes during his first Seattle stint. The Rice alum added a playoff touchdown as well, scoring from 25 yards out in the Seahawks’ divisional-round win over the Panthers in 2014. Willson totaled four catches for 68 yards in that 31-17 Seattle win. A week later, Willson’s two-point conversion grab helped the Seahawks erase a 16-point second-half deficit against the Packers en route to Super Bowl XLIX.

The Seahawks are currently down Colby Parkinson, who suffered a foot fracture for the second straight year, but have Gerald Everett and holdover Will Dissly at the position. Willson was to provide depth, a role he played in 2019 and at the end of last season.

Willson caught on with the Lions in 2018 and joined the Raiders in 2019, receiving some Hard Knocks screen time. After the Raiders released him, he wound up back with the Seahawks. After a Ravens deal in 2020 also led to a release, he ended up playing his final games as a member of the Seahawks last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Sign Luke Willson, Release Pierre Desir

The John Reid trade did not mark the only cornerback transaction for the Seahawks on Tuesday afternoon. They are releasing Pierre Desir, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Desir’s surprising release will clear a roster spot for Luke Willson, whom Rapoport adds will return to the Seahawks. Willson, 31, made a return visit to Seattle on Monday. The veteran tight end has twice headed elsewhere, but he will once again return to the Pacific Northwest and aim to contribute as a role player.

The Seahawks originally drafted Willson in the 2013 fifth round. He signed with the Lions in 2018 and spent time with the Raiders in the summer of 2019, earning some Hard Knocks screen time with the latter, but ended up back in Seattle for the ’19 season. After a short stint with the Ravens last year, Willson re-signed with the Seahawks in December. They will now add him to a group that is again dealing with a notable injury.

Colby Parkinson is rehabbing from a second foot fracture. Willson will team with Will Dissly and free agency addition Gerald Everett, though the veteran should not be expected to play a big part in Seattle’s passing game. Willson has not surpassed 200 receiving yards in a season since 2016.

Desir’s departure is somewhat strange for a team that is not exactly oozing high-end cornerback talent. Though, it does continue a trend for the soon-to-be 31-year-old defender. The Colts cut Desir in March 2020, and the Jets ended up cutting him during the season.

Desir, who caught on with the Ravens last year, has been with five teams — including two Seahawks stints, the previous one coming from 2016-17 — but has enjoyed quality stretches. He worked as a full-time starter in 2018 and ’19 with the Colts, who extended him in 2019. The former Division II standout will look for a new home ahead of what would be his eighth NFL season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Luke Willson To Visit Seahawks

Luke Willson could be headed back to Seattle once again. The veteran tight end will visit the Seahawks later this week, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The Rice product, originally drafted by the Seahawks in the fifth-round in 2013, has already had three separate stints with the team. He spent his first five pro seasons with the team before signing with Detroit in 2018. After a season with the Lions he was with the Raiders for a bit, then cut and scooped back up by the Seahawks. Seattle cut him in November of 2020, he then signed with the Ravens, and was cut by Baltimore about a month later.

That led him back to the Seahawks one final time, and he finished the year on the roster. This is the first we’ve heard of the 31-year-old this offseason. Willson’s most productive season as a receiver came in 2014, when he had 22 catches for 362 yards and three touchdowns.

He’s been more of a blocker in recent years, and if he signs once again he likely won’t be counted on to play too big of a role on offense. Seattle currently has ex-Ram Gerald Everett and Will Dissly atop the depth chart at tight end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/6/21

We’ll keep track of the latest minor moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/30/20

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: DB Sojourn Shelton
  • Placed on practice squad IR: OL Badara Traore

Cleveland Browns

  • Activated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Ryan Switzer

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Activated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Terry Godwin

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: DL Eric Banks

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: DE Tyshun Render

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

  • Activated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Cody Hollister

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Ravens Promote 10 From Practice Squad

Ravens warmups featured Robert Griffin III taking snaps from Trystan Colon-Castillo, who will play his first NFL game. But Baltimore promoted a host of reinforcements that will provide depth at other positions.

The Ravens elevated 10 players from their practice squad ahead of Tuesday’s game, filling out a roster decimated by the coronavirus and the NFL’s virus protocols.

Using the COVID-19 replacement designation, the Ravens elevated linebacker Aaron Adeoye, defensive tackle Aaron Crawford, tight end Sean Culkin, quarterback Tyler Huntley, long snapper Nick Moore, offensive lineman R.J. Prince, defensive end Chauncey Rivers, tight end Eric Tomlinson, running back Ty’son Williams and tight end Luke Willson. They also added safety Geno Stone to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

This extensive batch of pregame moves will supply the Ravens with a third-string quarterback and running back depth. Lamar Jackson is one of 17 players still on Baltimore’s reserve/COVID list, forcing today’s visiting team to promote nearly its entire practice squad. The team activated Trace McSorley from the virus list Tuesday, and Huntley — a rookie UDFA — will play behind he and RG3. Williams will slide in behind Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, with Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins ruled out.

But the Ravens’ point-of-care coronavirus tests came back negative Wednesday. After three postponements and 10 straight days of Ravens positive tests, the NFL’s first Wednesday game in eight years (and second in the past 60 seasons) is a go.

Ravens Promote Dez Bryant, Luke Willson

The Ravens will give Dez Bryant another opportunity. After not activating the veteran wide receiver last week, Baltimore will promote him ahead of Sunday’s game against Tennessee, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Bryant did not see much action (two offensive snaps) in his Ravens debut — Week 9 against the Colts — but any playing time marked a major step for the former Pro Bowler. Bryant missed all of the 2018 and ’19 seasons.

Having Bryant active gives the Ravens another option in the passing game. Baltimore has not come especially close to matching its 2019 offensive dominance, having lost multiple All-Pro O-linemen from that record-setting unit. This season, Lamar Jackson ranks 18th in QBR and has struggled to connect with his top targets. Baltimore’s passing attack ranks 31st in the NFL.

While the now-32-year-old Bryant should not be expected to show his Cowboys form, he does have three 1,000-yard seasons and two more 800-plus-yard campaigns on his resume. He will join Willie Snead as veteran targets available for Jackson on Sunday.

The Ravens are also promoting tight end Luke Willson and tackle Will Holden from their practice squad. Willson’s promotion comes shortly after the Ravens lost blocking tight end Nick Boyle for the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Jake Carlock

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Cut: OT O’Shea Dugas

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers