Marcus Williams (CB)

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/10/17

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Promoted to active roster: WR Ed Eagan

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Jets Activate WR Jalin Marshall

The Jets have activated wide receiver Jalin Marshall from suspension, the club announced today. In a related move, New York has waived cornerback Marcus Williams.Jalin Marshall (Vertical)

Marshall, who was banned four games for PED use, entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016. While he didn’t contribute much on offense (14 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns), Marshall served as the Jets’ primary returner during his rookie campaign. He averaged 25.9 yards per kick return and 5.6 yards per punt return last season, and will likely continue in that role upon his return.

Williams, meanwhile, started 15 games during his first three seasons in New York but hasn’t started a contest in 2017. While he graded as the NFL’s No. 67 corner among 110 qualifiers last year, Pro Football Focus has assigned him poor marks this season. The Jets were reportedly shopping Williams earlier this year, and presumably did so before cutting him today, but couldn’t find any takers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Have Shopped CB Marcus Williams

The Jets have gauged trade interest in cornerback Marcus Williams recently, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), who adds New York has “been selling” all offseason.Marcus Williams (vertical)

[RELATED: Jets Shopping Matt Forte]

Given that Gang Green is set to embark on a full-scale rebuild, the concept of dealing Williams doesn’t come as a complete surprise given that he’s entering the final year of his contract. A restricted free agent, Williams is scheduled to earn $2.746MM in 2017, although none of that total is guaranteed. That’s a reasonable figure for a 26-year-old defensive back who appeared in 13 games and played on 457 defensive snaps a season ago. Pro Football Focus assigned Williams middling grades, ranking him as the No. 67 corner among 110 qualifiers.

Williams isn’t projected to start for the Jets next season, as Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne hold that honor. Instead, Williams — if not traded — will serve as a valuable backup and special teams player. In 2016, Williams played on roughly 20% of New York’s special teams snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/13/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Jets have re-signed restricted free agent corner Marcus Williams, as Williams has now inked his second-round RFA tender, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New York tendered two restricted free agents — Williams and center Wesley Johnson — at the second-round level, and both have now signed their tenders, which will pay $2.746MM for the 2017 campaign. Williams, 26, has appeared in 34 games (15 starts) for Gang Green since joining the club in 2014.
  • The Texans have waived linebacker Gerald Rivers, the club announced today. Rivers, 26, has bounced around the league since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013, spending time with six different clubs in that time. He’s appeared in three career games, but those all came during his rookie campaign. Rivers spent the entire 2016 season on injured reserve, and had inked a reserve deal with Houston in January.
  • Four players signed their exclusive rights tenders today, meaning they’ll return to their clubs on a minimum salary:

Jets To Give Marcus Williams Second-Round RFA Tender

The Jets have already cleared numerous names off their books this offseason and may be in line for similar transactions going forward, but the team plans to retain one of its key defensive pieces for 2017. Marcus Williams is expected to receive a second-round RFA tender, Darryl Slater of NJ.com reports.

Although the league hasn’t released precise tender values just yet, the second-round figure is expected to come in around $2.81MM. Williams has become a UDFA success story for the Jets, being a steady contributor in a secondary that hasn’t seen its big expenditures live up to their contracts. He stands to be a UFA come 2018 if no extension is reached this year.

The Jets have used Williams as a backup for the most part during the past two seasons, and in a secondary that made splash signings in 2015 (Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine), the former low-profile addition could outlast each of them in New York. If the Jets cut Skrine, Williams on his second-round tender price will enter free agency as the Jets’ highest-paid cornerback.

Williams has played in 13 games in each of the past two seasons and started seven games in that span. The 2014 UDFA missed time in 2016 because of a high ankle sprain. Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 72 full-time corner last season, two spots behind Revis. Williams led the Jets with six interceptions in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Marcus Williams To Miss Several Games

More bad news for the Jets. After falling to 3-6 with a loss to the division rival Dolphins, Gang Green has learned that they will be without one of their top defensive backs for a while. Marcus Williams is expected to miss several games with a high-ankle sprain, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Marcus Williams (vertical)

Williams has been a bright spot for the Jets during a down season. Through nine games, he leads the team with two interceptions to go along with six passes defensed, 29 total tackles, and one forced fumble. Pro Football Focus has Williams ranked as the 50th best cornerback in the league out of 117 qualified players, but the Jets view him as a more valuable piece than that. Williams has been on the field for 405 snaps this year, the most of any Jet besides starters Darrelle Revis and Buster Skrine.

In other Jets news, Ryan Fitzpatrick has suffered a minor knee injury and that could open the door for a quarterback change.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Jets, Dolphins, Chiefs, Broncos

On the heels of his six-interception 2015 campaign, third-year cornerback Marcus Williams could be the Jets’ most underrated player, opines Brian Costello of the New York Post. The former undrafted free agent from North Dakota State and ex-Texans practice squad member showed off impressive ball-hawking prowess last season despite serving as a fourth corner and playing just 27 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps, and he’ll spend the next couple months battling Buster Skrine for a starting job opposite Darrelle Revis. As a contract-year player, Williams stands to earn a significant raise over his $600K salary by next offseason if he proves capable of filling a bigger role – whether as a starter or slot corner – in 2016.

Elsewhere in the AFC…

  • There’s a chance Dallas Thomas will beat out first-round pick Laremy Tunsil as the Dolphins’ starting left guard, which would be a nightmare for the team’s fans, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Thomas – whom Pro Football Focus ranked as the league’s second-worst guard among 81 qualifiers last season – seems to be ahead of Tunsil in the pecking order after the rookie struggled in minicamp, per Jackson. Tunsil, the 13th overall pick, was a dominant left tackle at Ole Miss and acknowledged that it’s not easy to learn a new position and playbook.
  • Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 draft, sees himself “on a steady incline” after transitioning back to the left side midway through last season, he told BJ Kissel of the team’s website. Fisher, whose pro career hasn’t lived up to his draft status, added that his impressive performance against the J.J. Watt-led Texans in the Chiefs’ 30-0 wild-card round victory “almost seemed like a little bit of a turning point in my career.” Having picked up Fisher’s $11.902 fifth-year option for 2017 in early May, the Chiefs are also clearly encouraged by the progress he made last season. That option is guaranteed for injury only, though, so if Fisher stays healthy and fares poorly this year, Kansas City will have the opportunity to reverse course.
  • Broncos general manager John Elway‘s competitiveness could be a roadblock in the way of a Von Miller deal, according to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. Kiszla wonders if the Hall of Fame quarterback can put aside his hatred of losing to reach a compromise with Miller, the franchise-tagged linebacker who’s fighting with the Broncos over the lack of guaranteed money in their six-year, $114.5MM offer. The two sides have until July 15 to reach an agreement; if that doesn’t happen, the reigning Super Bowl MVP’s only choices would be to sign the $14MM-plus franchise tender or continue sitting out.

Workout Updates: 10/20/15

Today’s workouts and visits from around the NFL..

Earlier today:

  • The Panthers are working out tight end/fullback James Casey today, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Saints tried out defensive backs Akeem Davis and Robert McClain, wide receiver T.J. Graham, guard David Arkin, and center Ryan Seymour, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Seymour was ultimately signed to New Orleans’ practice squad.
  • The Jets worked out cornerback Jeremy Harris on Monday, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams are both uncertain for this week, so Gang Green is likely looking at Harris as possible insurance.
  • The Vikings worked out former Ravens defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi on Tuesday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers worked out former Ravens quarterback Bryn Renner according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Broncos are working out former Titans linebacker J.R. Tavai, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Titans will try out ex-Ravens fullback Kiero Small, Wilson tweets.
  • The Ravens tried out a trio of defensive backs: Jonte Green, Sheldon Price, and Cornelius Brown, Wilson tweets.
  • The Chiefs tried out defensive back Trovon Reed, Wilson tweets.
  • The Steelers worked out tackle James Brewer, Wilson tweets.
  • Former Seahawks wide receiver Douglas McNeil is working out for the Panthers today, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (link).
  • The Broncos working out tight end Matt LaCosse today, according to a source who spoke with Wilson (link).

AFC East Notes: Wayne, Jets, Bills

There was a mixed reaction among league executives to reports that veteran wideout Reggie Wayne visited the Patriots, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

“He’ll be in great shape – always takes car of himself,” said one AFC executive. “Tremendous pro and teammate. Health has been issue past two years. Great hands and routes. Did not have a lot left in his legs last year and struggled. Will struggle vs press – very savvy vs zone. New England has history of getting some production out of players like him.”

“Possession guy with hands and savviness but loss of speed and explosiveness evident,” said another AFC exec. “Maybe as a role player, but don’t see him as a starter solution.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC East…

  • Colts coach Chuck Pagano was thrilled that Wayne may get an opportunity to play this season. “I think that’s great for Reg,” Pagano said (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells on Twitter). “Happy they’re looking at him and there’s an opportunity.”
  • While John Idzik‘s tenure with the Jets has certainly been scrutinized, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes that he may have found a pair of diamonds in the rough. Cornerback Marcus Williams and wideout Quincy Enunwa were both under-the-radar pickups by the former general manager, and the players are set to contribute in 2015.
  • Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has continued to complain about his contract situation, and Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News has some of the player’s comments following last night’s game. “They’re making it hard,” said Dareus, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. “And it’s just really making me unhappy. I feel like they don’t really want me here…We’re still waiting. I feel like they don’t want me here as bad as I want to be here, as bad as the fans and my team wants me here. I feel like they’re saying, ‘Whatever. You come a dime a dozen.’”

Minor Moves: Tuesday

While we’re tracking today’s practice squad signings and cuts in one post, and we’ve made note of more significant transactions in their own posts, we’ll use this space to round up the day’s minor moves relating to teams’ 53-man rosters:

  • The Giants are signing cornerback Mike Harris off of the Lions’ practice squad to their active roster, reports Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter). As Twentyman notes, Detroit didn’t have space on its active roster to promote Harris.
  • The Seahawks have opened up a pair of roster spots by cutting wide receiver Phil Bates and tight end Brett Brackett, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • One defender has replaced another in Houston, where the Texans have signed linebacker Zac Diles and released cornerback Elbert Mack, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • According to Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter), cornerback Marcus Williams has been promoted to the Jets‘ active roster from their practice squad, replacing A.J. Edds, whose release is discussed below.

Earlier updates:

  • The Raiders have waived linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, the team announced today (via Twitter). The move leaves an open spot on Oakland’s 53-man roster, which the team has yet to fill.
  • The Rams have confirmed they’ve placed tackle Jake Long on injured reserve, making room for linebacker Korey Toomer, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The signing of Toomer is noted below.
  • Defensive end Greg Latta has been cut from the Broncos‘ injured reserve list, tweets Aaron Wilson.
  • The Saints placed wide receiver Joe Morgan on the reserve/suspended list today, re-signing tight end Tom Crabtree to replace him on the 53-man roster, tweets Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. As Triplett notes, head coach Sean Payton didn’t specify the reason for Morgan’s suspension, but it’s the latest obstacle for a player who looks increasingly unlikely to stick in New Orleans beyond this season.
  • The Bills have put safety Kenny Ladler on injured reserve with an arm injury, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Ladler signed with the team in May as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt, started the season on the practice squad, and had been promoted to the active roster earlier this month.
  • Linebacker Korey Toomer has been promoted from the Rams‘ practice squad to their active roster, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). It’s not clear yet what the corresponding move is, but Jake Long and Brian Quick are both expected to be placed on injured reserve any day now.
  • Over at The National Football Post, Wilson has the details on another roster move, writing that the Jets have cut linebacker A.J. Edds. Primarily a special teams contributor, Edds had also been serving at a backup at all three linebacker spots.