Alex McGough

WR Rumors: Chiefs, OBJ, Giants, Packers

Rashee Rice faces eight felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run incident earlier this year; the second-year Chiefs wideout has since been accused of punching a photographer in the face at a nightclub. On top of that, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes teams were aware a previous incident — while Rice was at SMU — ahead of last year’s draft. Believing former SMU basketball player Kendric Davis was seeing his girlfriend, Rice and others attended a Mustangs basketball game. Rice or a member of his party, per intel gathered during the pre-draft process, fired multiple bullets into Davis’ car, which was empty at the time. The Chiefs, who have displayed a rather high tolerance for off-field issues, chose Rice 55th overall in 2023 and saw him fare well during the team’s Super Bowl LVIII-winning season.

The incident at SMU did not produce a police report, Florio adds, but it would factor into any potential punishment Rice receives under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Chiefs are bracing for a suspension. While Rice is facing the eight felony charges, he is still viewed as a key part of Kansas City’s offense. The promising wideout attended the first phase of Kansas City’s offseason program virtually.

Here is the latest from the wideout landscape:

  • The Chiefs joined the Cardinals, Titans and Cowboys in meeting with Zay Jones last week. While the recent Jaguars cut ended up signing with the Cardinals, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler adds he was also interested in joining the Chiefs. Jones landed a one-year deal worth up to 4.25MM. Rice’s issues are likely spurring the Chiefs on the receiver front, as they have already signed Marquise Brown and traded up in Round 1 for Xavier Worthy. A Rice suspension is not a lock to commence during the 2024 season, but it certainly could. It appears the Chiefs are preparing a contingency plan, though the free agent market is obviously thin at this point.
  • One of the other receivers recently taken off the market, Odell Beckham Jr. joined Jones in signing a one-year deal. The Dolphins closed a lengthy back-and-forth with the veteran target, giving him a $3MM deal. But OBJ could see that figure more than double through incentives. The Dolphins must finish as a top-20 offense to trigger any Beckham escalator, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, but the yardage totals are achievable. Beckham would earn $400K for reaching 566 yards (his 2023 Ravens total), another $800K for 650 and an additional $1MM for 800 yards. Just 36 receptions would produce a $400K payment, with 45 and 55 catches respectively representing the $800K and $1MM triggers on the catch front. Payments of $400K and $450K are respectively in place for four and six touchdowns.
  • Brian Daboll said (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) the team’s Allen Robinson addition does not have any bearing on the situation with Darius Slayton. The team’s leading receiver in four of the past five seasons, Slayton is staying away from Giants voluntary offseason work in pursuit of an adjusted contract. Slayton’s two-year, $12MM deal does include a fully guaranteed salary ($2.6MM) this year, but the sixth-year pass catcher is aiming for more. Robinson, who is coming off three consecutive down seasons, received the veteran minimum (with just $25K guaranteed) to sign.
  • Alex McGough spent all of last season on the Packers‘ practice squad, re-emerging in the NFL after winning USFL MVP honors in 2023. The Packers are giving the veteran reserve QB an unusual assignment this year. They have moved McGough to receiver, Matt LaFleur said recently (via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams). McGough worked as a receiver during practice at points last season. The Packers are team No. 5 for the 2018 Seahawks draftee. Green Bay used McGough as its third QB last season. It appears Tulane’s Michael Pratt, a seventh-round pick, has a decent shot to be the passer behind Jordan Love and Sean Clifford this season.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

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 BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Packers Place CB Eric Stokes On PUP, Set 53-Man Roster

The Packers will roll into the 2023 campaign without cornerback Eric Stokes, who was placed on PUP today. The organization made additional moves to get to the 53-man roster limit:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Placed on IR:

Waived/injured:

Stokes continues to rehab from foot and knee injuries that limited him to only nine games in 2022. His placement on PUP means he’ll have to sit out at least the first four games before being eligible for activation. The 2021 first-round pick has started 23 of his 25 appearances for the Packers, collecting 81 tackles, 14 passes defended, and one interception.

Meanwhile, Moore won’t be eligible to play for the Packers in 2023 after getting placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Moore joined the Packers this offseason after spending the first five seasons of his career with the 49ers. He sat out the entire 2021 campaign but otherwise appeared in 61 games across four healthy seasons with San Francisco, collecting 108 tackles.

Packers Sign QB Alex McGough

8:25pm: The Packers have officially signed the quarterback, according to Wilson (on Twitter).

12:30pm: Initially a 2018 Seahawks draftee, Alex McGough was unable to see any game action during his first NFL go-round. But after a successful run in the USFL, he will have another chance.

McGough worked out for the Packers on Tuesday, and Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 notes the NFC North team intends to add him to its 90-man roster (Twitter links). The 6-foot-3 quarterback had drawn interest from a number of teams, but the Packers will give him another NFL opportunity.

Spending two seasons in the rebooted USFL, McGough used Year 2 to assemble a decent launching pad back to the NFL. The Florida International product earned USFL MVP honors and led the Birmingham Stallions to the league championship. McGough finished the season with 20 touchdown passes and five interceptions to go with 2,105 passing yards and a 67.4% completion rate. Displaying some versatility, McGough added 403 rushing yards and five TDs.

McGough, 27, spent time with the Seahawks, Jaguars and Texans from 2018-21, enjoying multiple stints with Seattle. None of these opportunities led to game action, though the veteran arm has joined a Packers team that lost considerable experience at quarterback.

Following their Aaron Rodgers trade, the Packers did not add a veteran backup. Fifth-round rookie Sean Clifford (Penn State) resides as the top name on the Pack’s depth chart behind Jordan Love. Danny Etling, a UDFA who joined McGough in entering the NFL in 2018, is the third QB on Green Bay’s roster.

USFL QBs Alex McGough, De’Andre Johnson Drawing NFL Interest

A pair of USFL quarterbacks are drawing significant interest around the NFL. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 (via Twitter), Alex McGough has “multiple upcoming NFL workouts” and has “drawn interest from roughly a third of the league.” Meanwhile, De’Andre Johnson is also drawing interest from teams, including the Browns and Texans, per Wilson (on Twitter).

McGough was a 2018 seventh-round pick by the Seahawks, but he spent the majority of his rookie campaign on the practice squad. The FIU product later had stints with the Jaguars and Texans before returning to Seattle in late 2020.

The quarterback was later the sixth-overall pick in the 2022 USFL Draft. He didn’t play a whole lot during his first season in the league, but his 2023 campaign clearly helped put him back on the NFL radar. McGough won the league’s MVP and guided his Birmingham Stallions to the league championship, completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 2,105 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He added another 403 yards and five scores on the ground.

Johnson’s collegiate career saw him join East Mississippi’s “Last Chance U” after getting dismissed from Florida State. He later moved on to Texas Southern before going undrafted in 2020. Since then, he spent time in The Spring League before joining the USFL for the 2022 campaign. Through two season in the league, the quarterback has thrown for only 1,712 yards, but he’s added 671 rushing yards (to go along with six rushing touchdowns).

Considering the dual-threat nature of these two players, there’s a chance they’re drawing NFL interest for positions other than quarterback. The Browns don’t seem to have a major need for a quarterback; behind Deshaun Watson, they have a grouping that includes veteran Joshua Dobbs, rookie fifth-round pick Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and former third-round pick Kellen Mond. The same goes for the Falcons, who seem to have a set depth chart in Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke, and Logan Woodside.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 4pm ET/3pm CT Tuesday to reach the 80-man roster limit.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts 

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Jonathan Hubbard
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: Sam Renner

Tennessee Titans

QB Notes: Goff, Rams, Lions, Fields, Hawks

Had John Wolford made it through the Rams‘ wild-card win over the Seahawks healthy, Sean McVay was prepared to start him over Jared Goff against the Packers (assuming the Rams would have won in Round 1 with their backup), Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. Wolford suffered a first-quarter neck injury that brought Goff back into action. McVay decided shortly after the Rams’ Week 17 game that Wolford would start over Goff in Seattle, despite not yet gauging Goff’s progress after thumb surgery. Considering the disparity between Goff and Wolford’s contracts and the nature of their arrivals — the former a No. 1 overall pick and the latter a UDFA who played in the Alliance of American Football — the gap between them narrowing to this degree is striking.

McVay and Goff’s relationship deteriorated over the course of the 2020 season, and the Los Angeles HC openly pondered if the Rams could return to a Super Bowl with Goff at the controls, Thiry adds. While Matthew Stafford will provide the Rams with a considerable upgrade in arm strength, Thiry notes McVay’s issues with Goff did not stem from his arm talent. But Goff’s inconsistency resulted in him dropping from 10th in QBR in 2018 to 22nd in ’19 and 23rd last season. The former No. 1 overall pick will receive a fresh start in Detroit.

Here is the latest from the quarterback world:

  • A month away from the draft, teams are not in agreement on Justin Fields‘ stock, according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt. The Ohio State passer may well be a top-five pick, and Brandt has him ranked seventh in this class. But some teams have placed the two-year Buckeyes starter well below that level, the Hall of Fame scout adds (Twitter links). In Brandt’s view, the 49ers likely did not trade up to No. 3 overall to select Fields. Trey Lance and Mac Jones loom as the other high-end quarterback prospects expected to be available for the 49ers.
  • The 2021 third-round draft choice the Rams are sending the Lions in the Goff-Stafford trade landed at No. 101 overall, according to the NFL transaction wire. The Rams will retain their original third-round pick (88th overall) and also still hold the No. 103 pick, obtained from the league after the Lions hired former Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes as GM.
  • A man has accused Seahawks quarterback Alex McGough of punching him in the face on St. Patrick’s Day, TMZ reports. McGough, 25, allegedly punched Anthony Albino at a bar last week in a dispute related to McGough’s girlfriend. Albino intends to press charges, according to TMZ. The Seahawks drafted McGough in the 2018 seventh round, but he has bounced around the league. Seattle reacquired McGough in December of last year.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/11/21

A long list of reserve/futures contracts to pass along:

Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/9/20

We’ll keep track of the latest practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons 

  • Signed: CB Chris Williamson

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals

The RavensSteelers rematch is no longer a guarantee to follow the customary Lions and Cowboys contests on Thanksgiving. With the Ravens having five coronavirus positives among players and the Steelers at four, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes that more cases will result in the NFL moving the game off the Thanksgiving schedule (Twitter link). It is not known how many more positive tests between these franchises would cause the NFL to move the game, but given its time slot and the fact the league has resisted postponing games since Week 7 would make this a game difficult to move. However, this situation may be close to producing a postponement. In addition to five Ravens players having tested positive, Mark Maske of the Washington Post notes five Ravens staffers also have in recent days (Twitter links). Both the Ravens and Steelers encountered virus issues earlier this month but played their respective games as scheduled.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • The Ravens are working to determine if these are connected or isolated incidents part of a spread in the Baltimore community, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The team remains on track to leave for Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
  • More COVID-19 issues have hit the Bengals‘ coaching staff. Defensive line coach Nick Eason tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the team to go through contact tracing, Pelissero notes (on Twitter). This followed multiple games of Cincinnati coaches being sidelined. Cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson, wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell and safeties coach Robert Livingston missed the Bengals’ Week 11 game due to COVID protocols; linebackers coach Al Golden and senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner did not coach during the team’s Week 10 game. Considering the volume here, this is a situation to monitor ahead of Week 12.
  • As of now, the Bengals’ Joe Burrow-less quarterback plan consists of Ryan Finley as the starter and recent practice squad cog Brandon Allen backing him up. But the team is scrambling for depth. The Bengals worked out ex-Browns QB Kevin Hogan and Alex McGough on Tuesday. Hogan was last with the Broncos from 2018-19. He failed to make Denver’s 53-man roster in ’19, when the team used Allen as its backup. The Bengals should be expected to sign a quarterback to their practice squad.