Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Garoppolo and Trey Lancewill be the 49ers’ first- and second-string QBs, with the order depending on how quickly the Division I-FCS product progresses, while Rosen and Sudfeld vie for the third-string position. But the 49ers should be expected, per The Athletic’s David Lombardi, to keep all four quarterbacks this season (subscription required). That should be the aim, at least.
The loser of the Rosen-Sudfeld competition should be expected to land on San Francisco’s practice squad, Lombardi adds, rather than the team jettisoning this lower-profile battle’s runner-up for good. This would require no team claiming the QB3 competition’s loser on waivers, however. Both have practice squad experience, with Sudfeld beginning his Eagles tenure on their taxi squad and Rosen plummeting to that level — with thet Buccaneers — after active-roster stints with the Cardinals and Dolphins.
Both players are set to make less than $1MM this season, with Rosen tied to a non-guaranteed $850K salary and Sudfeld set to make $990K. The 49ers guaranteed Sudfeld $252K. Neither player is signed beyond 2021. While Sudfeld resurfaced as a controversial contributor in Philadelphia’s Week 17 game last season, Rosen has not taken a snap since Week 9 of the 2019 season. The 49ers signed the ex-UCLA top prospect off the Bucs’ practice squad late last year.
With Garoppolo likely set to depart San Francisco after the 2021 season, this year’s Rosen-Sudfeld competition could determine the team’s 2022 Lance backup. The 49ers let former third-round pick C.J. Beathard walk in free agency and non-tendered RFA Nick Mullens. Garoppolo’s previous backups are now in Jacksonville and Philly, respectively.
Rosen spending the 2021 season under Kyle Shanahan would be interesting, given the low-quality situations the former No. 10 overall pick enjoyed in Arizona and Miami. Still just 24, Rosen profiles as an interesting developmental player — despite shaky in-game work to date. Sudfeld, 27, has a lower ceiling at this point, though he did serve as Nick Foles‘ backup during the 2017 and ’18 playoffs.
While Aaron Rodgersis content to go year-to-year with the Packers, who have declined to restructure his contract to create cap space this offseason, the reigning MVP has made no secret of the fact he is gunning for the job Alex Trebek held for 36 years. The first week of the Jeopardy! episodes Rodgers previously taped wrapped Friday, and although the show’s run of guest hosts will continue after next week’s shows, the 37-year-old quarterback wants to become Trebek’s successor. With Jeopardy! filming five episodes per day two days a week — on Mondays and Tuesdays — Rodgers believes he can become the show’s next full-time host without retiring from the NFL.
“I don’t think I’d need to give up football to do it. They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay. That gives me, eh, 178 days to do “Jeopardy!” So I feel like I could fit 46 into that 178 and make it work,” Rodgers said, via The Ringer’s Claire McNear. “It would be a dream job for sure, and I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job. That’s how I went into it. I want an opportunity to be in the mix.”
Jeopardy! films in Los Angeles, so it may create some issues if the show — in the event Rodgers landed the gig — filmed episodes during training camp, the regular season or the playoffs. Just ahead of his most recent contract agreement, in 2018, Rodgers said he would love to play until at least age 40. Four hosts, including Jeopardy! mainstay Ken Jennings, preceded Rodgers this year. Five more will take their turns after Rodgers’, creating a crowded mix to succeed Trebek, who died in November 2020. Shifting back to strictly NFL matters, here is the latest from the quarterback world:
Among QBs in his age range, Ben Roethlisberger stands alone. The other two 2004 first-round QBs — Eli Manning and Philip Rivers — retired. So did Drew Brees. Tom Brady relocated, and the Packers drafted Rodgers’ would-be heir apparent inJordan Love. The Steelers, however, are still Roethlisberger-dependent. They will not trade up from No. 24 to draft a quarterback, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (subscription required), who notes that it would not be too surprising if Roethlisberger ended up staying on for his age-40 season in 2022 while the organization figures out its long-awaited plan.
Washington looms as a team that appears interested in trading up for a quarterback, but the team may have company. The Broncos and Patriots loom as other candidates to move up the board for a passer, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video link). A trade-up maneuver would not cost the Broncos (No. 9) what the Patriots (No. 15) would have to pay. New England is usually big on trading back and accumulating picks, but the franchise zagged by splurging in free agency this offseason. And its QB situation is considerably different from what it was when Bill Belichick trade-downs were commonplace. Both teams would benefit from the run of quarterbacks pushing non-QB prospects down the board, but neither appears to have a viable long-term answer. The Broncos are planning to add to their Drew Lock-centered QB room and discussed Matthew Stafford and Sam Darnold. But Lock may remain unchallenged going into the draft.
Nate Sudfeld‘s 49erscontract is a one-year deal worth $990K, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The former Eagles third-stringer will receive $252K guaranteed, and $138K is available via incentives.
Nate Sudfeld finished out his Eagles contract in interesting fashion, seeing late-game action in Week 17. The veteran backup will vie for a roster spot elsewhere in 2021.
The 49ers signed Sudfeld on Wednesday, the team announced. A former Washington sixth-round pick, Sudfeld spent the past four seasons in Philadelphia. It’s a one-year deal.
With Carson Wentz unavailable for the 2017 and 2018 postseasons, the Eagles had Sudfeld slotted behind then-starter Nick Foles in each of those years. Sudfeld’s most notable NFL work came in January, when Doug Pederson surprised the football-following world by subbing in his backup late in a game that featured playoff ramifications (though not for the Eagles). Sudfeld fared poorly, helping Washington win the NFC East, and his exit will leave Jalen Hurts alone from Philly’s previous QB room. The Eagles have now moved on from Wentz and Sudfeld, whom they re-signed last year, this offseason.
The Indiana product, who will follow assistant Rich Scangarello from Philly to San Francisco, will head to a 49ers team in transition. The 49ers are set to draft a quarterback at No. 3 overall and are still planning to employJimmy Garoppolo in 2021. They have, however, seen four-year backup C.J. Beathard depart, and Nick Mullens is a free agent.
After the first night of the draft, the 49ers’ quarterback depth chart — which also houses Josh Johnson — will be quite crowded. Sudfeld may point Mullens elsewhere. The 2018 and 2020 spot starter is recovering from elbow surgery this offseason. Josh Rosen, though, is also under contract with the 49ers. While Rosen is eligible to be on San Francisco’s practice squad next season, the Sudfeld signing proves somewhat interesting for the former top-10 pick.
The Eagles’ surprising second-round selection, Jalen Hurts, is making his professional debut today. After being inactive last week, Hurts is active for today’s bout against the Rams and will serve as the backup to QB Carson Wentz. Fellow signal-caller Nate Sudfeld, meanwhile, finds himself on the inactive list.
As Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP observes, the fact that Hurts was activated the week after Wentz turned in a poor performance and is facing even more public scrutiny than usual is interesting (Twitter link). However, it will likely take at least a few weeks of disappointing play from Wentz to generate any sort of quarterback controversy. Head coach Doug Pederson said after this year’s draft that the club would use Hurts in the same way that the Saints have used Taysom Hill— as a gadget player who can provide a jolt to the offense — so look for Hurts to get his feet wet in that role before anything more dramatic happens.
After their lackluster offensive showing in their Week 1 loss to Washington, the Eagles could certainly use a jolt. But Pederson also said that he sees Hurts as a quarterback first, so it will be interesting to see if he remains Wentz’s QB2 moving forward. It wasn’t too ago that Sudfeld was seen as a potential starting signal-caller, but he missed all of the 2019 season with a wrist injury, and his stock has fallen considerably. Philadelphia re-signed Sudfeld this offseason, but the club hopes that Hurts will become, if nothing else, a capable backup.
Hurts was a good player for Alabama from 2016-18, but he was otherworldly after transferring to Oklahoma last season. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and had 32 TD passes against just eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 TDs, so he clearly has enough talent to make a difference in special packages.
September 6th, 2020 at 3:39pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Well this is an unusual arrangement we didn’t see coming. The Eagles are signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown to their practice squad, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Thanks to a new COVID-19 exception veterans will be able to serve on practice squads, making this possible. As Schefter notes, he’ll easily be the oldest practice squad player in NFL history. Making the situation even more unique, McCown won’t even be reporting to the team. Instead McCown will continue to live in Texas, earn a $12K weekly salary, and serve as Philly’s emergency quarterback remotely.
McCown’s lovable journeyman career has taken him all over the football world, so it feels right for him to blaze this unheard of trail. We had heard back in January the Eagles were talking about adding him to the coaching staff, and this is the next best thing.
After originally announcing his retirement in June of last year, he signed with Philly last August after they had a couple of injuries. After serving as Carson Wentz‘s backup and not starting a game he was suddenly thrown into the spotlight when Wentz went down in the Eagles’ first round playoff game against Seattle.
The Eagles have Nate Sudfeld and Jalen Hurts behind Wentz now, but in these uncertain times it can’t hurt to have too much insurance. McCown has turned into a fan favorite over the course of his career that started in 2002 with the Cardinals, and this is a nice feather in his cap.
While no Day 3 pick would be expected to compete for the team’s starting job, held by Carson Wentz, his extensive injury history makes questions about the team’s backup a particular concern for the defending NFC East champs. Of course, Philly may be less focused on replacing Lauletta and Sudfeld and more so targeting a raw prospect who can develop next season on the team’s practice squad.
The 26-year old Sudfeld is entering his fourth NFL season but has only thrown 25 career passes. Just a 6th round pick out of Indiana in 2016, Sudfeld at one time, developed a decent reputation with some speculating he could be a starter elsewhere down the road. In fact, the Eagles applied a restricted-free agent tender on him just last offseason. However, this year as an unrestricted free agent his market was not quite as lively and he returned on a one-year, $2MM deal.
Lauletta was selected in the 4th round by the Giants in 2018, but general manager Dave Gettleman and co. waived him after just one season on the roster. The Eagles signed him to their practice squad last season, but their long-term vision for his role remains unknown. With such little proven talent behind the oft injured Wentz it makes sense that the team is looking at bringing in some competition.
Deals are coming in quickly, so we’ve compiled some important contract details below:
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers: two years. Deal is worth $25MM, and could be worth up to $26MM ($12.5MM/season, up to $1MM in incentives). Via The Athletic’s Greg Auman on Twitter.
DE Stephen Weatherly, Panthers: two years, $12.5MM. Deal includes $6.25MM guaranteed, $4MM signing bonus. Annual per-game active roster bonus up to $100K, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
DE ArikArmstead, 49ers: five-year, $85MM extension. Includes voidable sixth year, allowing team to lower cap number. $6MM cap number in first year, $12.5MM in second year, $20MM+ in 2022 through 2024. All via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter.
QB NateSudfeld, Eagles: re-signed. One-year, $2MM deal, including $500K guaranteed. Another $1MM in incentives. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
TE BlakeJarwin, Cowboys: three years, $24.25MM. Includes $4MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $2.25MM (2020), $3.5MM (2021), $4.5MM (2022), $5.5MM (2023). From 2021 through 2023, there are active roster bonuses totaling $750K and escalators maxing out at $750K per season. Via ESPN’s Todd Archer on Twitter.