- CBs David Amerson; Demetri Goodson; Tony Lippett; Herb Waters; OL Jeremiah Sirles; Matt Tobin; DT Garrison Smith
New Orleans Saints
The Bills are clearly looking for help in their secondary with the recent retirement of Vontae Davis. Amerson and Lippett are both pretty big names with plenty of starting experience, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of them sign. Bausby was an offseason star with the Eagles, but ultimately didn’t survive final cuts.
Free agent offensive tackle Matt Tobin is scheduled to work out for the Bills, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Tobin, a vested veteran, was released by the 49ers earlier this week, making him a free agent.
Tobin spent much of the offseason and training camp with the Patriots, and as Reiss notes, he would be a logical fit for New England given their injuries at tackle. However, their AFC East rivals could pounce first.
The Bills are in need of help across the board after getting drummed by the Ravens in their opener and falling to the Chargers on Sunday. Buffalo’s pass protection could use some help in particular, and Tobin could be of use in that area.
Tobin, 30, boasts 57 games of pro experience with the Eagles and Seahawks, but he was inactive for each of the 49ers’ first two games.
Foster never actually suffered any legal consequences as the result of several off-field incidents during the offseason, but the NFL still suspended him two games for violating the league’s conduct and substance abuse policies. The 31st overall pick in the 2017 draft, Foster was outstanding in his 10-game rookie season, posting 59 tackles in total. He should slide back in as San Francisco’s weak side linebacker while veteran Malcolm Smith moves to the strong side.
Tobin, 30, boasts 57 games of pro experience with the Eagles and Seahawks, but he’d been inactive for each of the 49ers’ first two games. He signed with the Patriots this offseason but was released during final cutdowns, and signed with the 49ers two days later.
There have been plenty of transactions across the league today. While the big names all garnered headlines of their own, there were tons of more under-the-radar signings and cuts as well. Here are all the additional moves from the NFC so far today:
- Waived: WR Trevor Bates
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Patriots are the latest team to move to 53 players by making the following transactions:
Placed on injured reserve:
- DL John Atkins
- P Corey Bojorquez
- RB Brandon Bolden
- OL Luke Bowanko
- OL Cole Croston
- QB Danny Etling
- RB Kenneth Farrow
- OL James Ferentz
- LB Marquis Flowers
- RB Mike Gillislee
- DL Trent Harris
- CB Cyrus Jones
- OL Jason King
- LB Harvey Langi
- DL Eric Lee
- WR K.J. Maye
- WR Riley McCarron
- DB A.J. Moore
- FB Henry Poggi
- OL Brian Schwenke
- OL Matt Tobin
- DB Damarius Travis
- TE Will Tye
- DL Vincent Valentine
- RB Ralph Webb
- CB Jomal Wiltz
New England kept only three true wide receivers on its initial roster, meaning the club will almost surely be searching for more options on the waiver wire.
The free agency defection of Danny Amendola, the trade of Brandin Cooks, the releases of Kenny Britt and Jordan Matthews, and potentially the advancing age of a now-32-year-old Julian Edelman leave the Patriots somewhat vulnerable at wide receiver. Might the NFL’s most trade-happy team consider one to bolster perhaps Tom Brady‘s final receiving corps? Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests (via NBC Sports Boston) one that would be quite the blockbuster, even if it could be a tad of a reach.
Describing “a weird sense coming out of Denver as it relates to Demaryius Thomas,” Florio posits a Thomas-to-the-Patriots trade. While prefacing this with the fact that said weird sense might not end up being meaningful regarding Thomas’ Broncos status, Florio points out Patriots OC Josh McDaniels drafted Thomas in 2010 and the Pats suddenly need receivers more than the Broncos appear to. That said, the 30-year-old wideout is one of the best players in Broncos history, and John Elway trading a key player to the Patriots may not be realistic. The Broncos have liked what they’ve seen from Courtland Sutton and fourth-rounder DaeSean Hamilton this preseason, and Denver cut the cord on Super Bowl starter T.J. Ward to save money after the 2017 preseason. But the Broncos picked up Thomas’ 2018 option — he’s attached to an $8.5MM base salary and $12MM cap number — and have struggled for years to develop receiving depth. Thomas is, however, due a non-guaranteed $14MM next season, the final year of his contract. So, he very well could be entering the last season of his Broncos tenure.
Here’s the latest out of New England:
- The Broncos don’t have a clear pipeline to the Patriots, but the Bob Quinn-run Lions do. And Mike Reiss of ESPN.com suggests a possible Golden Tate-to-New England transaction between Belichick and one of his former lieutenants. Reiss posits a deal involving contract-year defensive tackle Malcom Brown and linebacker Elandon Roberts but estimates the Lions probably wouldn’t part with Tate, even though he’s in a contract year and no substantial extension discussions have occurred. Tate, 30, is set to earn $7MM in base salary this season.
- While his twin brother’s been one of the NFL’s top safeties for a while, Jason McCourty‘s worked as a cornerback. However, the offseason trade acquisition began practicing at safety this week and lined up there in Friday night’s preseason game, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston notes. Bill Belichick said (via NESN.com) McCourty’s safety reps were about gauging possibilities rather than a permanent move. McCourty also saw time at corner Friday night. New England houses Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung at safety and less experience at corner after Malcolm Butler‘s departure, but it appears Belichick will determine his newer McCourty’s versatility.
- Isaiah Wynn‘s injury creates a void for the Patriots at swing tackle for the time being, and 2018 UFA addition Matt Tobin saw time as Trent Brown‘s backup at left tackle. The former Eagles cog may find a way onto New England’s 53-man roster because of Wynn’s season-ending injury, per Perry. The Pats have LaAdrian Waddle as a swing tackle, but with Tobin having extensive guard experience, he might bring sufficient value as a bench option at multiple spots.
Tobin spent 2017 as a backup left and right tackle with Seattle after being acquired from the Eagles in the offseason. He appeared in 15 games in 2017, and has played in 57, including 21 starts, in five NFL seasons.
Tobin adds depth to a Patriots offensive line that lost longtime tackle Nate Solder to the Giants earlier in free agency.
When Colin Kaepernick‘s choice to work out in Houston this week raised some eyebrows in the football world. We now know why he was in town. Texans owner Bob McNair was deposed on Friday in Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit against the NFL and Kaepernick sat in on the deposition, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
Kaepernick, who was ranked as one of my ten best available quarterbacks before the start of free agency, has yet to receive any bites from teams as he continues his legal proceedings against the NFL.
Here’s more from the AFC:
- The Titans are after Ndamukong Suh and that could lead to a shakeup on the defensive line, as veteran NFL reporter Paul Kuharsky notes (on Twitter). The nose tackle is set to carry a $5MM base salary in 2018 and $2.5MM of that sum becomes fully guaranteed on Sunday. Williams would not only be redundant in the event of Suh signing – he’d also be taking of cap space that may need to be allocated for the former Dolphin.
- Free agent offensive tackle Matt Tobin met with the Patriots on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
- The Broncos are working on re-signing free agent offensive lineman Billy Turner, sources tell Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter).
The Eagles and Seahawks have completed a trade. The Seahawks will acquire tackle Matt Tobin and a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2018 fifth-round pick.
Tobin, 27, saw significant playing time for the Eagles in 2014 and 2015. Last year, he appeared in 12 games before he landed on IR in December. The 6’6″ lineman was on the field for 101 offensive snaps last year (35 passing, 65 running) and earned a substandard 49.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
Presumably, the former UDFA has healed up from last year’s knee injury, so he might be able to push Rees Odhiambo for the starting job vacated by George Fant‘s season-ending injury. If he falls short in that battle, Tobin’s versatility will work in his favor with experience at both tackle and guard.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.