Nathan Williams

Saints Sign RB Jonathan Williams

The Saints are signing running back Jonathan Williams to a two-year deal off the Broncos’ practice squad, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Williams will take the place of Daniel Lasco, who has been ruled out for the year with a bulging disc.Jonathan Williams (vertical)

[RELATED: Saints RB Daniel Lasco Done For Year]

Williams was expected to serve as LeSean McCoy‘s top backup in Buffalo this year. Instead, the Bills made him a surprise cut in early September. He had a fair amount of buzz coming out of Arkansas in 2016, but the new regime in Buffalo might have been upset about some of his off-the-field behavior.

Soon after he was cut, the Broncos made Williams an abnormally high offer to join the practice squad, allowing them to beat out at least three other teams for his services. Williams did not get called up to the Broncos’ varsity team this year, but he may get his chance to see the field with New Orleans.

Williams will likely slot in as the Saints’ No. 4 running back behind Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Trey Edmunds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets 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 AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

AFC Rumors: Steelers, Patriots, Easley, Texans

The Steelers have used the majority of their pre-draft visits within the last week, and announced several more today. As Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes, the following players were in Pittsburgh today to meet with the club: Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones, West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, Virginia Tech linebacker Dadi Nicolas, Colorado cornerback Ken Crawley, Maryland safety Sean Davis, and Boston College safety Justin Simmons.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams is visiting with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium today, sources tell Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter). The Pats previously met with the tailback at the combine. Williams, 22, missed the 2015 regular season after undergoing foot surgery. In 2014, he racked up 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground despite splitting carries.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Dominique Easley has hired agents Drew Rosenhaus and Michael Katz of Rosenhaus Sports for representation, as Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. Easley, 23, has been plagued by injuries since being selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. In December of last season, he was placed on IR with a leg injury. In his injury-shortened sophomore year, Easley totaled 15 tackles and two sacks as a part-time player.
  • Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant is visiting the Texans, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. The wide receiver/kick returner has also worked out for the Dolphins, Colts, and Jets. Grant returned four kicks for touchdowns over the course of his collegiate career with the Red Raiders and caught 90 passes for 1,268 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Bills Sign Landon Cohen, Naaman Roosevelt

The Bills have done some roster shuffling early in training camp, announcing today that they’ve signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen and wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt. To make room on the roster for the new additions, the club has cut wideout Ramses Barden and linebacker Nathan Williams.

Of the four players, Cohen is perhaps the most notable, having been active for 14 contests in 2013 — 12 for Chicago and two more for the Cowboys. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Cohen posted a grade of -16.4, though most of that was a result of poor run defense — he rated as a slightly above average pass rusher, with nine total quarterback pressures. He figures to compete for a roster spot this summer.

Roosevelt, meanwhile, was waived by the Lions last week and returns to Buffalo, where he played his college ball and where he played with the Bills in 2010 and 2011. He’ll replace Barden, a longtime New York Giant, who didn’t play last season after grabbing 14 receptions in 2012.