Nick Vannett

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/11/21

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/21/21

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints To Sign TE Nick Vannett

It didn’t take long for Nick Vannett to find a new home. The free agent tight end is signing with the Saints, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). Vannett got a three-year deal from New Orleans.

The 28-year-old tight end spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Seahawks, including a 2018 campaign where he put up some of the best offensive numbers of his career. That season, Vannett finished with 29 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

He was traded to the Steelers during the 2019 season, and he signed a two-year deal with the Broncos last offseason. Over the past two years, Vannett has mostly served as a blocking tight end, and he finished this past year with 95 yards from scrimmage and one score. Denver moved on from the veteran yesterday, saving the team $2.68MM against the salary cap with $875K left in dead money.

The Saints tight ends room will look different in 2021. The team released Jared Cook earlier this month, and they saw Josh Hill join his former positions coach (and current Lions head coach), Dan Campbell. 2020 third-rounder Adam Trautman is currently atop the team’s depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Cut Nick Vannett

The Broncos have released tight end Nick Vannett, as Mike Klis of KUSA tweets. The move will save the Broncos $2.68MM against the salary cap with $875K left in dead money. 

Vannett recorded 14 receptions for 95 yards with a touchdown across 15 games last year. He was deployed mainly as a blocking TE, as has been the case for most of his career. He was involved in the Seahawks’ passing offense for a time, however. In 2018, Vannett turned 43 targets into 29 catches for 269 yards.

Vannett will now look for work elsewhere as he enters his sixth NFL season. Meanwhile, the Broncos will look to replace his blocking via free agency or the draft. Currently, their tight end depth chart is headlined by Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam, who are used more as pass-catchers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos To Sign TE Nick Vannett

The Broncos will add another player to their skill-position corps. They are signing former Seahawks and Steelers tight end Nick Vannett, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Vannett and the Broncos agreed on a two-year deal, per Rapoport. The pact is worth $5.7MM, Mike Klis of 9News tweets, with $2.5MM guaranteed.

Statistically, Vannett’s best season came in 2018, when he caught 29 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He, however, graded as Pro Football Focus’ third-worst 2019 tight end and has not thus far justified the Seahawks’ Day 2 draft investment. His primary skill being blocking, however, figures to help in what will be an interesting tight end competition in Denver.

The former third-round pick will join 2019 first-rounder Noah Fant, sixth-year Bronco Jeff Heuerman and Jake Butt among Denver’s tight ends. Vannett’s contract figures to give him an edge over Butt and 2018 fifth-rounder Troy Fumagalli.

Butt has now suffered three ACL tears and has not played since early in the 2018 season. Beyond Fant, the Broncos look set to hold a crowded competition whenever they reconvene for workouts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers To Acquire TE Nick Vannett From Seahawks

Vance McDonald‘s injury has prompted the Steelers to act quickly. Pittsburgh has agreed to acquire tight end Nick Vannett from Seattle, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Steelers will send a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Seahawks for Vannett, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. That pick came from Jacksonville in this month’s Joshua Dobbs trade, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, so the Steelers effectively traded Dobbs for Vannett.

This marks the second straight week the Steelers have made a trade, this lower-profile move coming after Pittsburgh sent its 2020 first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

A former third-round pick out of Ohio State, Vannett is in a contract year. He caught 29 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns with Seattle in 2018, which was by far his most productive statistical year. Vannett, 26, has four catches for 38 yards this season. He will join a Steelers roster that houses McDonald, blocking tight end Xavier Grimble and rookie fifth-round pick Zach Gentry.

McDonald is battling a sprained shoulder, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He was spotted with the shoulder in a sling Tuesday, though RapSheet adds this is not expected to sideline Pittsburgh’s starter for long. But it’s clear the Steelers are serious about having an experienced tight end to pair with Grimble, and thus adding more help for Mason Rudolph, while McDonald is out.

Interestingly, this leaves the Seahawks with one tight end on their active roster, Will Dissly. While the second-year player has flashed in limited work, he missed 12 games as a rookie due to a severe knee injury. Seattle will certainly address this new roster need in the coming days.

The Steelers have now dealt their 2020 first-, third- and fifth-round picks, while the Seahawks have extra ’20 selections in the second and fifth rounds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks, Germain Ifedi Agree To Terms

The Seahawks have reached agreements with two more draft picks, most notably striking a deal with first-round offensive lineman Germain Ifedi, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Caplan also reports that the team has agreed to terms with third-round tight end Nick Vannett.Germain Ifedi

Seattle locked up a pair of Day 2 picks earlier this week, agreeing to deals with second-round defensive tackle Jarran Reed and third-round offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo. After securing those four players, the Seahawks still have to sign six more players from this year’s 10-man draft class, but none of those contracts should be particularly difficult to negotiate.

Ifedi, who was selected with the 31st overall pick after the Seahawks traded down from No. 26, figures to compete for a spot on Seattle’s offensive line immediately, either at guard or right tackle. Because the Patriots didn’t have a first-round pick this year, the former Texas A&M tackle represented the final pick of the 31-player first round, and will therefore be the last 2016 draftee eligible for a fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

According to Over the Cap’s data, Ifedi’s four-year rookie deal should be worth about $8.265MM, with a $4.211MM signing bonus. The value of his fifth-year option for 2020 won’t be determined until 2019, when the Seahawks will have to make a decision on whether to exercise or decline it.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens

After trading down a few weeks ago, could the Dolphins trade back up? Miami will consider moving up from No. 13 in order to grab either Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott or UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, multiple sources tell Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Moving up from No. 13 to the top ten can be pricey, but top exec Mike Tannenbaum has said that he would be open to such a move for the right player.

Here’s are the latest NFL Draft rumors out of the AFC:

  • The Steelers, currently slated to pick 25th overall in this year’s draft, are unlikely to trade up, but moving down remains on the table, general manager Kevin Colbert said today (Twitter link via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
  • In the wake of the two major trades at the top of the draft, there’s a chance that Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil will still be on the board at No. 6 for the Ravens. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun explores that scenario, examining whether it would make sense for the club to pass up a top defensive prospect to fortify the left tackle spot.
  • The Chargers are expected to select a tight end at some point during this week’s draft — it’s just a matter of when. We heard last week that the team is considering Ohio State’s Nick Vannett, and Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune takes a closer look at the young tight end as a potential target for the Bolts.
  • Clemson linebacker B.J. Goodson met with 15 teams in total, via either a pre-draft visit or private workout, and the Texans were one of those teams, writes Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Dolphins and Jets are among the teams that have shown interest in University of Minnesota cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), who suggests that Boddy-Calhoun will likely either be a day three pick or an undrafted free agent.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Nkemdiche, Fins, Spence, CBs

Perhaps the most polarizing player in 2016’s prospect pool, Robert Nkemdiche drew the tag of the defensive lineman most likely to be a bust among scouts surveyed by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Although one scout referred to the former Ole Miss standout as a “flash player … with disaster written all over him,” in a statement relating to the former No. 1 overall recruit’s on-field abilities, it’s an old-school sentiment among scouts and executives that has decision-makers concerned.

Of the scouts interviewed, 11 of the 18 singled out Nkemdiche as the biggest bust candidate and some offered the lineman’s wider range of interests and his background as reasons why football won’t matter as much to him. Nkemdiche’s mother is a diplomat who often works in Nigeria and his father works as a cardiologist.

He’s like a lot of kids from this generation. He’s grown up in some privilege, and that family is involved with so many different endeavors. You’re not going to get rid of that,” a scout told McGinn. “He doesn’t just think football, football, football 24/7. That’s not always the most attractive guy from a football standpoint. Coaches like them a little bit better if it’s football 24/7.”

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • Among the scouts surveyed in the Journal Sentinel piece, they were more bullish on the overall crop of defensive linemen than the pass-rushers in the draft. “It’s a tremendous draft for defensive linemen,” an NFC executive told McGinn. “But it’s probably average for pass-rushers.” Among the scouts’ preferences for certain schemes, Joey Bosa ranked as the best defensive end in a 4-3, with DeForest Buckner earning that tag for 3-4 ends. Jarran Reed ranked as the anonymous scout coalition’s best projected 4-3 tackle, and Kenny Clark topped the list for who’d thrive most as a 3-4 nose.
  • The Dolphins have spent a lot of time with Nkemdiche through the draft process, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami holds the No. 13 pick, which is higher than Nkemdiche’s been slated to go by most outlets during the pre-draft process.
  • Maryland defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson also recently met with Dolphins DC Vance Joseph, while Arizona guard/tackle Lene Maiava, former BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett are also potential Fins targets, Jackson reports. Dolphins coaches have observed Koufasi and Vannett’s workouts.
  • Former LSU TE/OL Dillon Gordon has hired Rosenhaus Sports for representation, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter links). Gordon was recently denied an injury hardship waiver that would have allowed him to return to the collegiate ranks, meaning he’ll instead head to the NFL draft.
  • Interest in the Chargers‘ No. 3 overall pick has dissipated considerably after the Eagles made the move to acquire the Browns’ No. 2 overall selection, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.
  • Noah Spence‘s trajectory points up as draft week nears, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. Spence seems to have a wide variance between his landing spots. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay project the Eastern Kentucky pass-rusher to go off the board midway through the second round, yet several mock drafts have put the former Ohio State performer as a first-round pick.
  • Josh Norman signing a cornerback-record $75MM deal will have other top-tier corners seeking raises, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Citing Chris Harris‘ assessment that left Norman out of the Broncos corner’s top five at the position for consistency reasons, Florio notes that if other notable corners view themselves as superior to Norman they’ll want this kind of money.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this report

Draft Rumors: Treadwell, Ragland, Correa, Jets

The Jets have been eyeing linebackers Reggie Ragland (Alabama) and Kamalei Correa (Boise State) in recent days, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Ragland, specifically, would act as a future replacement for veteran David Harris, but he could be in play as high as pick No. 13 to the Dolphins. However, Washington and the Packers are seen as the most likely landing spots for Ragland, per Pauline.

Let’s take a look at some more draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline…

  • The Giants have been linked to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, but Pauline speculates that New York could trade down from the No. 10 pick before selecting him. The Titans (pick No. 15) would make for an ideal trade partner, and they could move up with their sights set on offensive tackle Jack Conklin.
  • Conklin is a popular name in the top half of Round 1, as Pauline reports that the Browns are interested in the Michigan State product with the eighth pick. Conklin would act as a replacement for Mitchell Schwartz, who departed via free agency, at right tackle.
  • The Panthers lost Josh Norman after rescinding his franchise tag, but they have their eye on another corner in the draft, as Pauline says Carolina could select Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller at the end of the third round. Miller had a private workout with the Panthers earlier this month.
  • Some general managers think Ohio State’s Nick Vannett is the only true three-down tight end available in the draft, which could help his stock. The Chargers and Falcons will consider taking Vannett in Round 2 or 3, per Pauline.