Andrew Vorhees

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/19/23

The roster updates following the opening of camp for rookies continued today:

Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

 

The news on Vorhees is no surprise. The lineman’s rookie year will operate as a redshirt season as he continues to work his way back from the torn ACL he suffered at the NFL Combine.

Wharton is also making his way back from a torn ACL. The rotation lineman suffered the season-ending injury in Week 5 of last season. He’s been working out with the team, but Wharton is not yet ready to be a full participant in practice.

Reid has started at least one game for each of the three teams for which he’s played in his three seasons of play. He’ll now look to find his seventh NFL team going into his fourth season.

Four In Running For Ravens’ LG Job?

The Ravens will return four starters from last year’s offensive line in right tackle Morgan Moses, right guard Kevin Zeitler, center Tyler Linderbaum, and left tackle Ronnie Stanley. After allowing last season’s starting left guard, Ben Powers, to depart for Denver in free agency, Baltimore has an open spot available on the starting offensive line.

The Ravens are fairly confident in their options to replace Powers. The favorites for the job are utility lineman Patrick Mekari, guards Ben Cleveland and John Simpson, and tackle Daniel Faalele. The team did draft two linemen in Oregon’s Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and USC’s Andrew Vorhees, but Aumavae-Laulu is considered a developmental prospect who can play all over the line, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, while Vorhees’s recent injuries will require him to miss most, if not all, of his rookie season. They also recently added former Bears center Sam Mustipher, but Mustipher is expected to act as an experienced backup center behind Linderbaum.

Mekari and Faalele may be too valuable in their current roles to force into a starting guard spot, even if they would be strong contributors at the position. Mekari has excelled in recent years as a sort of sixth-man for the Ravens’ offensive line. The former undrafted free agent out of Cal has started games at every position on the line for Baltimore usually as an injury replacement. He has the talent to start for many teams, but Baltimore paid him in 2021 to stay and be one of the league’s most talented backups. Faalele on the other hand has the perfect frame to develop into a top tackle. At 6-foot-8, 380 pounds, Faalele could surely be a force on the interior offensive line, but the Ravens want to keep that length on the outside and will likely continue developing him as a tackle.

The battle likely boils down to Cleveland and Simpson. Cleveland was drafted in the third round two years ago with the expectation that he would develop into a starting guard. He lost the battle last year to Powers, but at 6-foot-6, 357 pounds, Cleveland could be an imposing physical presence on the left side of the line. He’s had five starts over his first two years in the league and dealt with a knee injury his rookie year.

Simpson was a late-season addition to the Ravens’ practice squad last year who was signed to a futures contract at the end of the season. He found his way to Baltimore after being waived by the Raiders but is only a year removed from his role as a full-time starting left guard for Las Vegas.

No battles will be won in May, but the Ravens are well set up to use this summer to determine who will be starting in between Linderbaum and Stanley in Week 1 vs. Houston.

Ravens To Sign OL Sam Mustipher

MAY 15: Mustipher’s visit has resulted in a one-year deal, as confirmed by Zrebiec (on Twitter). This homecoming will give Mustipher the chance to solidify himself as the Ravens’ backup center behind Linderbaum, and in doing so, allow Mekari to be used at least primarily as a swing tackle. Aside from the competition at left guard, the Ravens’ offensive line is now essentially in place for 2023.

MAY 10: The Bears declined to extend an RFA tender to Sam Mustipher in March, sending the four-year veteran to unrestricted free agency. The two-season starter has remained unattached beyond the compensatory deadline.

One team that traditionally shows regular interest in post-draft free agents — which do not count against the following year’s compensatory formula — has Mustipher on its radar. The Ravens brought in the former Bears starting center for a recent visit, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Mustipher, 26, joins fellow Maryland native Adrian Amos as being on Baltimore’s grid.

[RELATED: Ravens Not Ruling Out Marcus Peters Return]

Chicago had planned for ex-Green Bay starter Lucas Patrick to replace Mustipher at center last season, but Patrick dealt with multiple injuries and only managed five starts. This kept the door open for Mustipher, a Notre Dame product. The 332-pound snapper started 33 games over the past two years, not missing a contest during this run. Pro Football Focus graded Mustipher poorly in 2021 but viewed him as a middle-of-the-pack starter among centers last season, one in which the Bears led the NFL in rushing.

The Ravens have lost multiple interior O-linemen this offseason, seeing Ben Powers join the Broncos hours into the legal tampering period and backup Trystan Colon-Castillo sign with the Jets. The team drafted two late-round O-linemen — Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu (Round 6) and Andrew Vorhees (Round 7) — but a veteran interior presence would make sense. Vorhees, who suffered a torn ACL at the Combine, is unlikely to play this season. Veteran Patrick Mekari remains on the roster, but the versatile player also serves as Baltimore’s backup tackle. The loser of the Ben ClevelandJohn Simpson left guard competition would also represent interior depth, but the Ravens appear on the lookout for a Tyler Linderbaum backup.

The Bears seem to have closed the door on a Mustipher return. After signing four-year Titans starter Nate Davis, Chicago has moved Cody Whitehair back to center and is planning a competition between he and Patrick for the job.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/4/23

After the Panthers got the ball rolling yesterday, a number of teams started signing draft picks to their rookie contracts today. We’ve compiled all of the four-year, later-round signings below:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks