Michael Williams

Patriots Release TE Michael Williams

The Patriots announced that they have released tight end Michael Williams. Williams missed all of last season with a torn ACL. "<strong

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Before his lost season, Williams saw time in 15 games for the Pats as a blocking tight end. He also had three catches for 26 yards in those games and started nine contests in that campaign.

Williams first entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the Lions. At one point, the Lions planned to use him as an offensive lineman, but he reverted back to his old position when he was traded to New England. We don’t know where he’ll wind up next, but we presume that he’ll be at TE.

In other Patriots news, the team applied a little-used tender to keep LeGarrette Blount under some degree of team control. Before that measure, at least two teams were giving real thought to signing the running back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/8/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • Shiloh Keo will re-sign with a team for the second straight offseason. This year, the Saints made a move to re-up the safety, Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets. A former Texans draft pick, Keo caught on with the eventual 2015 Super Bowl champion Broncos late that season and re-signed in Denver in the subsequent offseason. The Broncos cut Keo while he was serving a two-game suspension for a personal conduct violation, leading to the Saints adding him. The 29-year-old defender played in 10 games for the Broncos and Saints in 2016 and recovered three fumbles while failing to record a tackle.
  • The Patriots are planning to re-sign tight end Michael Williams, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tweets. Williams saw action for the 2015 Patriots but missed their latest Super Bowl season because of a torn ACL.
  • The Bills did not offer an RFA tender to punter Colton Schmidt but instead reached an agreement to re-sign him, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. Rodak estimates Schmidt will be brought back at a lower cost instead of at the RFA low-round tender rate of nearly $2MM. A fourth-year player, Schmidt made $600K last season.
  • Another Bills transaction involves the team parting ways with a long-tenured wide receiver. Buffalo cut Marcus Easley, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets. Affiliated with the Bills since they drafted him in the fourth round in 2010, Easley missed the entire 2016 season after suffering a severe knee injury late in the 2015 campaign. He spent several seasons as one of Buffalo’s top special-teamers. Buffalo announced the move as a post-June 1 release.
  • The Chargers have agreed to a four-year, $4.41MM extension with long snapper Mike Windt, tweets Michael Gehlken. Windt, who has appeared in 100 games with the Chargers, received a $600K signing bonus.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/13/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • Cornerbacks Isaiah Frey and Dax Swanson signed with the Cowboys, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Both players tried out for Dallas last week and apparently made a good impression.
  • The Bills have signed offensive lineman Chris Martin to a one-year contract, according to agent Brett Tessler (Twitter link). Martin, 26, has been a member of seven NFL teams and spent time on the Bills’ practice squad last season.
  • After being waived by the Cowboys, cornerback Terrance Mitchell will latch on with the other NFL club in Texas, as the Texans have claimed him off waivers, reports Mark Berman of FOX26 (Twitter link).
  • The Lions waived wide receiver Austin Willis and signed defensive back Keith Lewis today, as Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • The Chargers cut safety Matt Daniels from injured reserve, per Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). the two sides presumably reached an injury settlement.
  • The Chiefs have signed former Akron defensive back Bryce Cheek (Akron) while the Rams have inked former San Diego State long snapper Jeff Overbaugh (San Diego State), Howard Balzer of USA Today Sports tweets.
  • Tight end Michael Williams (Patriots), cornerback Brandon McGee (Cowboys), and receiver Corey Washington (Lions) all reverted to injured reserve after clearing waivers, according to Balzer (Twitter link).

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/10/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Lions have waived wide receiver Corey Washington with an injury designation, reports ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Washington, who caught five passes with the Giants in 2014, spent last season on the Lions’ practice squad.
  • The Patriots have waived/injured tight end Michael Williams, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link). Williams, who suffered a torn ACL on Wednesday, will revert to IR if he clears waivers.
  • The Chiefs (Twitter link) announced that they have signed defensive back Bryce Cheek and waived safety Peni Vea.
  • The Cowboys announced that they have waived cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who had one of their two interceptions by cornerbacks last season. The move is slightly surprising because Jason Garrett spoke highly of Mitchell earlier in the offseason, ESPN.com’s Todd Archer observes (Twitter link).
  • The Cowboys also waived cornerback Brandon McGee with an injury designation.

Patriots TE Michael Williams Suffers Torn ACL

Patriots tight end Michael Williams tore his left ACL at Wednesday’s practice and likely will be placed on injured reserve, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe tweets.Michael Williams Patriots (vertical)

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Williams, an Alabama product, first came into the league as a 2013 seventh-round choice of the Lions. Unfortunately, he’s no stranger to a lot season as he suffered a hand injury early on in Detroit and was forced to sit out his rookie year. When he returned in 2014, the Lions made the surprising decision to switch him over to offensive tackle. In August of 2015, the Lions shipped Williams to New England and the Pats decided to move him back to tight end.

In his appearances last season, the Patriots also lined Williams up in the backfield and at wide receiver. In total, Williams saw time in 15 regular season games and made nine starts. He was targeted six times and recorded three receptions for 26 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

James Develin Suffers Broken Leg

Patriots fullback James Develin suffered a broken right tibia during the Patriots’ preseason win over the Panthers on Friday evening, reports ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter). The injury was described as a “clean break,” and the hope is that the 27-year-old can recover in six to eight weeks.

Reiss wonders if the Patriots could place Develin on the short-term injured reserve, which would be an indication that the team is confident Develin could be ready to go in two months. That might be the most logical option, as the team doesn’t have another fullback on their roster.

The Patriots let go of Eric Kettani earlier this week, but Reiss is doubtful that he would have made the roster even with Develin’s injury. Another option would be to keep four tight ends, with the coaching staff attempting to convert either Michael Hoomanawanui or Michael Williams into a fullback.

Develin went undrafted out of Brown in 2010, and he hung around with the Bengals organization until 2011. Since then, he’s been with New England, where he’s made 33 appearances over three seasons. The fullback has compiled 15 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven attempts, and he’s also caught 10 passes for 105 yards.

ProFootballFocus’s advanced metrics (subscription required) were relatively fond of Develin’s performance last season, ranking him fourth among 23 fullback candidates.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Steelers, Pouncey, Vick

It’s not immediately clear whether Micahel Williams, acquired by the Patriots in a Tuesday trade, will be playing tight end or tackle, Phil Perry of CSNNE.com. Williams came on to the practice field wearing a No. 74 jersey but later changed into No. 85 and could be seen working out with the tight end group. The 6’6″ athlete first came into the NFL as a tight end but was moved to tackle by the Lions in 2014 after their selection of Eric Ebron. Here’s more from the AFC..

  • Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says center Maurkice Pouncey, who fractured his left fibula Sunday against the Packers, has a chance to return this season, as Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. However, he did not offer a timetable on when that might be. Pouncey has told teammates he would like to play this season and it sounds like he’s a candidate for the IR-DTR list.
  • Michael Vick‘s one-year contract with the Steelers calls for a base salary of $970K, the veteran’s minimum, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The deal has no injury split and zero guaranteed money.
  • Bills receiver Chris Hogan has had an up-and-down summer and is battling a knee injury, but he doesn’t believe his roster spot is in jeopardy, as he tells Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News. A handful of Bills wideouts, including Deonte Thompson and Andre Davis, have had strong preseasons, which could make for a difficult decision or two in Buffalo.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Lions, Saints

The Giants were the NFL’s most-injured team in 2013 and 2014, and the club has already had 22 players sidelined by injury this summer, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, who suggests Tom Coughlin‘s job could ultimately be in jeopardy if the team’s health issues lead to another underwhelming season.

One key Giants player who missed most of last season due to injury is currently on the shelf this year as well, and Coughlin acknowledges that he’s starting to worry about Victor Cruz‘s availability for Week 1. The receiver is battling a calf issue.

“I’m concerned, yeah, I am” Coughlin said, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “But I would like to see him get out there, and be able to stay out there. That’s what our real intent is. As soon as that can be done, that’s possible, then that’s what will happen.”

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Following Orlando Scandrick‘s season-ending ACL injury, the Cowboys are in the market for cornerbacks, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Per Cole, the team isn’t necessarily looking for a starter, but would like to add depth to an increasingly thin position.
  • Before trading him to the Patriots, the Lions actually heard from four teams that were interested in offensive tackle Michael Williamstweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. As Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com observes, the Williams deal continues a trend for GM Martin Mayhew, who has acquired late-round draft compensation for a handful of players within the last few months.
  • The Saints will have some decisions to make when it comes to their defensive line, and Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune examines some of the players who are on the roster bubble and who could hit waivers next week.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Patriots Acquire OT Michael Williams From Lions

5:16pm: It’s a seventh-round pick going from New England to Detroit, Yates tweets.

4:38pm: The Lions will receive a draft pick in return, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

4:29pm: The Patriots have traded for Lions tackle Michael Williams, a source tells Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Pats initially tried to sign Williams off of Detroit’s taxi squad last year but were unable to.

Williams, 25 in September, initially came into the league as a tight end before being converted to tackle. While at Alabama, Williams hauled in a total of 51 catches for 503 yards and seven touchdowns. After a Senior Bowl selection put him on the NFL radar, the Lions used their seventh-round pick on him in the 2013 draft. A hand injury sidelined Williams during his rookie season and after Eric Ebron was taken in 2014, the Lions decided to change Williams’ position. The 6’6″, 316 pound athlete has yet to see the field in a regular season game.

Lions Sign 12 Players To Futures Deals

4:37pm: Twentyman (Twitter link) adds Williams, whose pending deal was noted below, to the list of Lions signees, bringing the total to 12.

3:31pm: The Lions became the latest team to announce a series of reserve/futures signings for 2015 today, confirming that they’ve inked 11 players to new deals. Here’s the complete list of signees, via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter links):

Of the 11 players signed today by the Lions, eight finished the season on the team’s practice squad, with Boggs, Cave, and Hyder representing the new additions. Cornerback Trevin Wade and offensive tackle Michael Williams have yet to officially sign new deals, though Williams is expected to re-sign soon, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (via Twitter).