It was unknown during the week if Averett would be able to return in time for Vegas’ Week 7 contest, as he was designated to return just three days ago. The 27-year-old suffered a broken thumb in the season opener, essentially delaying his debut with the team for one month.
A fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, Averett took on a larger workload with each passing season in Baltimore. His first year as a full-time starter was 2022, as he filled in for the injured Marcus Peters. Logging 808 snaps – by far a career-high – the Alabama alum notched 54 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defensed. That earned him a one-year, $4MM contract in free agency.
Especially with fellow corner Nate Hobbs being sidelined for at least one month, Averett will immediately step into a large role in the Raiders’ secondary. He is likely to start opposite Rock Ya-Sin, another notable addition from the offseason, one in which the team made several moves at the position. A continuation of his 2022 form from Averett would be a welcomed sight, as Vegas currently ranks 23rd in passing yards allowed per game (256).
AlbertWilson, meanwhile, has been waived; he signed earlier this month, but initially joined the practice squad in doing so and had yet to make an appearance for the Raiders. The veteran suffered the same fate in the offseason with the Vikings, so he will now look to find a third home in 2022 following his three-year Dolphins stint. The team also confirmed on Saturday that undrafted wideout DJ Turnerhas been activated from IR; he played exclusively on special teams in his debut during Week 1 and will once again add depth to the Raiders’ WR corps.
Several weeks after his Vikings release, Albert Wilson has secured a deal elsewhere. The Raiders reached an agreement with the veteran wide receiver Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It is a practice squad deal, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets.
The Vikings signed Wilson midway through the offseason but did not see enough from the seven-year veteran to reserve a 53-man roster spot for him. The 5-foot-9 pass catcher will attempt to catch on as a backup in Las Vegas.
The Raiders will be Wilson’s fourth team. He broke through as a supporting-caster for the Alex Smith-era Chiefs and parlayed that production into a nice free agency payday with the Dolphins, who gave him a three-year, $24MM deal in 2018. That contract was set to expire after the 2020 season, but when Wilson opted out of that campaign due to COVID-19 concerns, the deal tolled to 2021. Miami did not opt to bring Wilson back this year, leading him to Minnesota.
Wilson, 30, topped 450 receiving yards in two of his Chiefs seasons, and he scored four touchdowns during Ryan Tannehill‘s final Dolphins slate (2018). Wilson reached that total despite missing nine games that season, however, and did not produce much after coming back from his opt-out year. The Georgia State alum caught 25 passes for 213 yards in 2021.
Teams have until Tuesday to trim their rosters from 85 to 80 players. The Vikings included veteran wide receiver Albert Wilson in their second wave of cuts.
Minnesota added Wilson in late May, signing the former Kansas City and Miami pass catcher as a possible depth option. Nearly three months later, the partnership appears complete. The Vikings also waived defensive lineman Jullian Taylor with an injury designation.
Wilson, 30, returned to football in 2021 after making the decision to opt out in 2020. Working as a Dolphins part-time starter, the former UDFA caught 25 passes for a career-low 213 yards. More productive during his run with the pre-Patrick Mahomes-era Chiefs and in his early Dolphins years, after signing a three-year deal worth $24MM with Miami in 2018, Wilson has logged seven seasons as an NFL wideout.
Because Wilson is a vested veteran, he will bypass waivers and move back into free agency. Despite coming into the league in 2018, Taylor does not have sufficient service time. He will revert to the Vikings’ IR (in a transaction that could well preceded an injury settlement) if unclaimed. A former seventh-round 49ers pick, Taylor has not played since the 2019 season.
Another free agent wideout has found a new home. The Vikings are signing Albert Wilsonto a one-year deal, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press adds (via Twitter) that the contract is worth the veteran minimum of $1.12MM.
Wilson, who will be 30 when the season begins, started his career with the Chiefs in 2014. His last season in Kansas City was his best, as he posted 554 yards and three touchdowns on 42 receptions. A notable contributor on the team’s offense (especially in 2015 and 2017), he started 26 of 55 contests there, which earned him a sizeable deal on the open market.
The Georgia State alum signed a three-year, $24MM contract with the Dolphins in 2018. He ended up playing roughly half of the team’s offensive snaps during his first two years in Miami, however; while he did make a career-high 43 catches in 2019, he failed to match the yardage totals from his best campaigns in Kansas City. Wilson did finish out his contract (one year later than originally intended, as he opted out in 2020) despite uncertainty that he would remain on the roster heading into last season. Playing 14 games, he had his worst statistical output since his rookie year.
In Minnesota, Wilson will join a WR room which is headlined by Justin Jeffersonand Adam Thielen. The team also has K.J. Osborn, who went from zero targets as a rookie to 50 receptions and seven touchdowns last season. Wilson will likely slot in behind him for rotational snaps, rounding out a depth chart also featuring recent Day 3 selections Ihmir Smith-Marsetteand Jalen Nailor. Taking a (presumably) healthy tight end Irv Smith Jr.into account, the Vikings already featured sufficient pass-catching options, but this addition will provide them with an experienced role player capable of contributing on offense.
The much-discussed Deshaun Watson trade between the Dolphins and Texans never came to fruition, in part because Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted Watson to settle the 22 civil suits that have been brought against him. As Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes, Ross also wanted to speak with Watson directly and requested permission to do so, but because there was no chance that Watson’s legal situation would be resolved by the November 2 trade deadline, there was no point in having a conversation just yet.
However, if Houston and Miami reopen talks this offseason, it seems that a sit-down between Ross and Watson will be necessary before a deal can be struck.
Now for more from the AFC East, starting with another item out of South Beach:
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wonders if the Dolphins will consider parting ways with WR DeVante Parker this offseason. Though Parker has been effective when he has been on the field in 2021, he is now on IR and has played in just five games this year. Plus, the ‘Fins could save $6.2MM by making him a post-June 1 cut, though that would leave the club with even more work to do to address the receiving corps, as Will Fuller and Albert Wilson are not expected to be back. Jackson does believe Mack Hollins will be retained.
Jets QB Mike White, who led the club to a surprising win over the Bengals in Week 8 and who was playing well in New York’s Week 9 loss to the Colts before he was forced out with an early injury, is hugely popular in the Gang Green locker room, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. White’s journey and attitude have earned the respect of his teammates and have energized the building, and as Cimini writes in a separate piece, the 2018 fifth-rounder may have already made himself a nice chunk of change. He is playing the 2021 season on a one-year, $850K contract, but he will become a restricted free agent at season’s end. He should at least be in line for an original-round tender of $2.4MM, and he could force the Jets to tender him at the second-round level, which would net him $3.9MM.
It certainly didn’t create many headlines, but the Patriots plucked LB Calvin Munson off the Dolphins‘ practice squad several weeks ago. The 26-year-old has only seen action on special teams with his new club, but New England clearly thinks highly of him. Per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Pats gave Munson a contract that runs though 2022 and that included a bit of a pay bump. A number of the Patriots’ off-ball linebackers are slated for free agency at the end of the year, so Munson could have a shot at more significant playing time next season.
Patriots DL Byron Cowart opened the season on the reserve/PUP list. Though he returned to practice in October, the 21-day window for activating him off the PUP list has expired, as veteran NFL writer Aaron Wilson tweets. As such, Cowart, who started 14 games last year, will be forced to miss the entire 2021 campaign.