Moritz Boehringer

Complete 2019 NFL International Pathway Program

Moritz Boehringer is back in the NFL. The German tight end, who became the first European player ever to be drafted without playing American college football back in 2016, has been allocated to the Bengals as part of the league’s international pathway program, per Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com.

Boehringer’s assignment to the Bengals completes this year’s program. Each season, teams in two divisions get a roster exemption to develop a player from another country. The player can be the 91st man on offseason rosters, and can be an 11th player on practice squads during the regular season. Boehringer was drafted by the Vikings, but spent his rookie season on the practice squad without ever appearing in a game. He came into the league as a receiver, but has since transitioned to tight end. He was with the Bengals as part of this program last year, and will be back in Cincy in 2019.

Here’s a list of the rest of the players selected to participate:

Baltimore Ravens

  • FB Christopher Ezeala

Buffalo Bills

  • RB Christian Wade

Cleveland Browns 

  • DB Tigie Sankoh

Miami Dolphins

  • DT Durval Neto

New England Patriots

  • TE/FB Jakob Johnson

New York Jets

  • RB/WR/KR Valentine Holmes

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • TE Christian Scotland-Williamson

The AFC North participated last year, but this year the AFC East is taking the place of the NFC South. Notably, Efe Obada was a participant in the program with the Panthers last year, and he went on to make Carolina’s 53-man roster last season. He was re-signed this offseason.

Each of the players assigned to the AFC North were with those teams last year. Scotland-Williamson is a former rugby player, while Boehringer, Sankoh, and Ezeala all played American football overseas before making the leap.

All of the AFC East players are new to the program. Given the Patriots’ track record of finding hidden gems, Johnson will likely end up leading the league in receiving yards at some point. Johnson was signed from the German football league. Neto was playing football in Brazil before being added to the Dolphins. Wade and Holmes are both former prominent rugby players.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s workout update notes:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Lions Work Out WR Moritz Boehringer

The Lions worked out wide receiver Moritz Boehringer on Wednesday, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The German wide receiver was released last week by the Vikings in advance of the 53-man deadline. Moritz Boehringer vertical

Last year, Boehringer became the NFL’s first player to ever be drafted directly from Europe when Minnesota selected him in the fourth round. He was one of the year’s most polarizing talents as some scouts raved about his athleticism and others were adamant that he would not be able to hack it in the NFL. This year, the Vikings elected to keep 2017 fifth-round pick Rodney Adams and seventh-round pick Stacy Coley over the German import.

The Lions presently have five receivers on the 53-man roster in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, T.J. Jones, Kenny Golladay, and Jared Abbrederis. They also have wide receivers Jace Billingsley and Noel Thomas on the practice squad plus Pittsburgh product Dontez Ford on the p-squad IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings’ Roster Stands At 53

The Vikings have trimmed their roster down to 53 by making the following moves:

Placed on IR:

Placed On NFI:

  • QB Taylor Heinicke

Moore, who turns 26 next week, appeared in eight games for the Pats in 2014 after being taken with a sixth-round pick. In 2015, he found his way to Minnesota where he appeared in one regular season contest.

Boehringer, a native of Germany, became the first international player to go straight from a European league to the NFL when the Vikings chose him in the sixth round. He ultimately failed to earn a roster spot, though he could land on the Vikings’ practice squad, per Rapoport.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/3/16

The Vikings officially announced the signing of sixth-round pick Moritz Boehringer last night to a four-year pact worth about $2.49MM, including a $150K signing bonus. Boehringer, the NFL’s first player to ever be drafted directly from Europe, has become the first player from the 2016 class to sign.

The Vikings signed Boehringer quickly because he needs to apply for a P-1 visa — in order to be approved, an applicant must show proof that he is gainfully employed in the United States, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. After putting pen to paper, the German wide receiver now has himself a job in the U.S.

Here are the rest of the latest minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Chiefs released veteran safety Jimmy Wilson, as ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher writes. Wilson, 29, appeared in 13 games with San Diego last season before the team released him in December. Roughly one month ago, he hooked on with KC, but that stint was short lived. Since entering the league as a seventh-rounder in 2011, Wilson has played in 73 regular-season games, logged 28 starts, and amassed five interceptions.
  • The Eagles continue to cut players to create room for additional undrafted free agents, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve cut fullback Ryan Mueller, linebacker Brandon Hepburn, and running back Ross Scheuerman.
  • The Colts have waived Nigerian-born outside linebacker Eze Obiora, according to a press release from the team. Obiora, who signed a contract with the club following the 2015 season, has yet to make his NFL debut.
  • The Ravens formally announced a pair of minor roster moves today, tweeting that they’ve waived guard Leon Brown and withdrawn their ERFA tender to tight end Konrad Reuland. That makes Reuland an unrestricted free agent, free to join any team.
  • The Chiefs have waived linebacker Cameron Gordon, who was initially signed to a reserve/futures contract in January, tweets agent Brent Tessler.
  • The Saints brought back long snapper Chris Highland, as Wilson tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Freeman’s Latest: Aguayo, Boehringer, Higbee

The Buccaneers didn’t just draft kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the draft — they traded up to get him, sacrificing a third- and fourth-round pick to acquire the 59th overall selection from the Chiefs. Not everyone around the league was on board with the move, as one general manager told Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that Tampa’s choice of Aguayo was “the dumbest pick in the history of the draft.”

While we ponder that bit of hyperbole, let’s take a look at the highlights from the rest of Freeman’s column…

  • Another pick that has garnered mixed reviews is the Vikings‘ selection of German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer in the sixth round, according to Freeman, who writes that one scout described the German league as “not even Division-III football.” The Boehringer pick, per Freeman, is quite divisive, as it seems league personnel are either strongly in favor or strongly against.
  • Even after enduring the Greg Hardy saga, the Panthers used a third-round pick on cornerback Daryl Worley, who faced a battery charge in 2014. As Freeman details, both Panthers GM Dave Gettleman and Worley himself were prepared to answer questions about the incident, and Carolina feels comfortable that its done enough research on the pick.
  • One NFC scout tells Freeman that the best value pick in the draft might’ve Oklahoma defensive end Charles Tapper, whom the Cowboys scooped up at the top of the third round. Some clubs were scared off by Tapper having the sickle cell trait, a condition that many teams consider minor.
  • On the other hand, another scout called new Rams tight end Tyler Higbee — who was charged with second-degree assault before the draft — one of the riskier picks in the draft. “He is a major partier,” said the scout, per Freeman. “That was his big problem, despite the arrests. He has a lot of maturing to do, and I’m not sure he can mature fast enough.”

Draft Rumors: Glennon, Vikings, Colts, Giants

Jason Licht said the Buccaneers did not engage in any trade discussions involving quarterback Mike Glennon, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter), who added Licht and Dirk Koetter are “happy to have him.”

Jameis Winston‘s backup has not played since 2014 and was speculated as a trade target for quarterback-needy teams, joining Nick Foles, A.J. McCarron and the now-released Brian Hoyer in that regard. A 2013 third-round pick, Glennon is entering his contract year and as of now would net the Bucs a low-round compensatory selection if he departs in free agency.

The 26-year-old owns a 5-13 record during his starts as a rookie and then in 2014, completing 58.8% of his passes and throwing 29 touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions before receding into a practice-only player once the Bucs drafted Winston.

Here’s the latest from Day 3 of the draft, beginning with a bit of history.

  • German League standout Moritz Boehringer informed the Vikings he’d sign with the team as a free agent after the draft, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but those assurances evidently weren’t enough for the Vikings, who took the wide receiver project in the sixth round. A Vikings fan since he saw some Adrian Peterson YouTube videos in 2011, the 6-foot-4, 229-pound Boehringer is responsible for a landmark draft moment: he’s the first foreign-born player selected who didn’t attend a North American college (Twitter links courtesy of Tommason).
  • The Giants are going to add between 12 and 15 undrafted free agents, which is a slightly heightened figure from recent years, NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan tweets.
  • We heard earlier the Steelers were trying to move into the fifth round in order to select potentially a running back or quarterback, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets, but balked when the players they targeted were no longer on the board.
  • The Colts had some issues on their offensive front last year but did not necessarily intend to devote half of their initial six picks during the draft to the line, Jim Irsay told media (including Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com). Ryan Kelly and Le’Raven Clark went to Indianapolis in the first and third rounds, respectively, with the team adding Carson Wentz‘s top blocker at North Dakota State in guard Joe Haeg in the fifth.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Saints, Seahawks, Hayden

The 49ers were one of several teams who talked with the Panthers about a possible trade for Josh Norman before his franchise tag was rescinded, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets. However, the talks didn’t get far. It’s worth noting that Norman would have had to either sign his franchise tag or agree to a long-term deal in order to make such a trade possible. The 49ers were one of many clubs to be connected to Norman when he became an unrestricted free agent last week but they ultimately did not land him.

Let’s round up a few more items from across the NFC…

  • Before the Titans sent the No. 1 overall pick to Los Angeles, the Saints had discussions about moving up to No. 1 for a quarterback, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It’s not clear whether New Orleans actually engaged in talks with the Titans, or simply discussed the idea internally, but Rapoport wonders if the team will target Paxton Lynch in the first round.
  • Free agent defensive tackle Nick Hayden visited the Seahawks on Monday, according to Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. Hayden has started 60 career NFL games, including 47 over the last three seasons in Dallas, making him one of the more experienced interior defenders still available on the open market.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) adds the Saints to the list of clubs that have worked out Cal running back Daniel Lasco in the weeks leading up to the draft. Lasco, whose stock is believed to be on the rise, worked out for at least five other teams besides New Orleans.
  • German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer expects to be selected in the draft this week, but if he isn’t picked, the Vikings would be a leading candidate to sign him as an undrafted free agent, as he tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).
  • The Buccaneers will bring in offensive lineman Nate Chandler and Brandon Mosley as tryout players for their three-day minicamp this week, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Chandler can play both tackle and guard.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Higbee, Boehringer, Miller

Western Kentucky tight end Tyler Higbee plead not guilty to charges stemming from his alleged altercation on Sunday, as Peter Schrager of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Higbee, considered to be one of the top tight ends in this year’s class, contends that the other man involved in the skirmish put his hands on his girlfriend, prompting Higbee to intervene. The other participant in the fight has been booked five times since 2014.

As Schrager notes, Higbee’s court date is on May 5th, days after the draft on April 28th-30th. Prior to the incident, teams were viewing Higbee as a Day 2 or Day 3 player, so they’ll be interested to hear his side of the story.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft news:

  • German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer had team visits with the Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings last week, as Andy Fenelon of NFL.com writes. On Monday and Tuesday, he met with the Rams, on Wednesday he’ll visit the Seahawks, and next week he’ll visit the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers. Boehringer started turning heads in the NFL last month and one scout estimated in March that he could go in the fourth round. Based on the number of teams interested in him, one has to wonder if Boehringer could go even earlier.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller said 10 clubs ventured to Columbus to work him out, and while a few have had do drills in the slot (where’s expected to play in the NFL), many had him work outside. The Titans, Bengals, and Ravens are just three of the teams known to have interest in Miller.
  • Like Miller, Michigan State defensive tackle Joel Heath also appeared on SiriusXM (Twitter link), and also discussed his specific NFL position, saying he’d be willing to move to the offensive line if that helped his pro prospects.
  • Washington, on the lookout for possible pass rushing help, is hosting Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence for a pre-draft visit today, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Vikings met with McNeese State running back Derrick Milton last week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, who adds that Milton impressed Minnesota at their regional combine. Milton began his collegiate career at Mississippi State before transferring prior to the 2014 season.
  • Florida defensive end Alex McCalister met with the Eagles, as McAlister himself reported on Twitter. McCalister posted 12.5 sacks for the Gators over the past two seasons.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.