Artie Burns

Seahawks Sign CB Artie Burns To Active Roster

Artie Burns is joining Seattle’s active roster. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Seahawks have signed the cornerback from their practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Burns struggled to live up to his first-round pedigree during his four seasons with the Steelers, starting only 32 of his 58 appearances. His fifth-year option was naturally declined, and the cornerback caught on with the Bears before the 2020 campaign. Unfortunately, a torn ACL knocked him out for the entire season, and he started six of his 11 games for Chicago during his comeback campaign in 2021.

He spent most of last year in Seattle, getting into three games. He re-signed with the organization this past offseason, and after getting cut during roster deadline day, he caught on with the practice squad. He’s already been promoted for both of Seattle’s two games this season, with the veteran appearing in 33 defensive snaps.

Riq Woolen suffered a chest injury during Sunday’s win over the Lions, potentially leaving the team with a depleted CB corps. Fortunately, Pete Carroll indicated that Burns’ promotion to the full-time roster wasn’t related to Woolen’s injury.

“He’s still sore; he’s sore today,” Carroll said of Woolen (via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times). “We’re just one day at a time. There’s nothing that we need to do other than treat him, and then we see if he can make it back. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

If Woolen is forced to miss time, Burns would be re-joining a depth chart that also features Tre Brown, Coby Bryant, Michael Jackson, Kyu Blu Kelly, and Devon Witherspoon.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/23

Today’s callups and adjustments heading into Week 2:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/23

We have our first flood of pregame transactions of the season today as teams across the league with games tomorrow utilize their two permitted practice squad elevations:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Brevin Allen

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Promoted from practice squad: RB Myles Gaskin, OLB Benton Whitley

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 8/31/23

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: WR Kaden Davis, OL Marquis Hayes

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

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 49ersCardinalsRams and Seahawks moves are noted below.

Arizona Cardinals

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers

Placed on IR:

Signed: 

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad: 

Seahawks Rookie CB Devon Witherspoon Competing For Starting Role

The Seahawks return two starting cornerbacks next year in Michael Jackson and Tariq Woolen, as well as Coby Bryant, who started six games as the team’s primary nickel cornerback last year. Still, Seattle decided to draft Illinois’s Devon Witherspoon as the draft’s first cornerback off the board at No. 5 overall. Despite his high draft pedigree, Witherspoon will have to compete with the incumbent starters to establish his role as a rookie.

The team is currently running Witherspoon in the slot with two former college teammates out of Miami (FL) in Jackson and Artie Burns on the outside, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Burns is simply filling in for a currently injured Woolen, while Bryant has reportedly been sidelined lately, allowing Witherspoon more time in the slot early.

There are some early ideas out of workouts concerning how the depth chart might shape up. Henderson posits that the team may work with Witherspoon starting on the outside across from a healthy Woolen in base packages. When the defense needs to add an extra defensive back, Witherspoon will shift inside to the slot with Jackson replacing him on the outside.

His spot in the starting lineup isn’t guaranteed, though, as Henderson reports that Jackson is have a strong spring with regular dominant outings in 7-on-7. Jackson was a surprise for the Seahawks’ defense last year, starting every game despite only having appeared in four games in his first three seasons of NFL play before that. Playing alongside the rookies in what was perhaps the league’s least-experienced cornerbacks group, Jackson was third on the team with 75 total tackles, adding an interception, 12 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. If he continues to impress throughout the summer, it’s not out of the question that he may retain a starting role.

In that case, Witherspoon will likely start games at nickelback and rotate in when needed on the outside. In situations when a slot corner is needed while Witherspoon is outside, Seattle can go back to Bryant or even turn to safety Julian Love, who has experience working in the slot, as well. He hasn’t been working at the position much lately, though, as the team has opted to keep Love working at safety, in case Jamal Adams‘s return to the field takes longer than anticipated, but Love does have the requisite experience.

So for now, the depth chart appears to have Woolen and Witherspoon as the top outside options with Jackson and Burns behind them, though Jackson has a chance to retain his starting spot by continuing to impress. At the slot, Witherspoon should be the first option, moving out of his outside position, with Bryant and, potentially, Love behind him. The most experienced members of the position room, Burns and Love, are contributing as depth pieces in what is expected to continue being one of the youngest cornerbacks rooms in the league.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/22/23

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: TE Joel Wilson

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Max Pircher

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Emanuel Wilson
  • Waived: K Parker White

Houston Texans

  • Released: DB Darius Joiner

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Max Pircher will be joining the Lions via the league’s International Pathways Program. The team originally signed Austalian tight end Patrick Murtagh, who had to back out of his deal due to a medical issue, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Pircher played football in Austria and participated on Italy’s National Team before a stint on the Rams’ practice squad in 2021.

Tae Crowder became a popular name after he compiled 130 tackles in 17 starts for the Giants in 2021. He found himself sliding down the depth chart in 2022 before ultimately getting waived. He landed back on New York’s practice squad before being signed by the Steelers, where he didn’t get into a game while sitting on their active roster.

NFC West Rumors: Bosa, McGlinchey, Hawks

It continues to look like the 49ers will wait until 2023 to extend Nick Bosa. The fourth-year defensive end became extension-eligible in January, but unlike 2019 draft classmate Deebo Samuel, Bosa has a fifth-year option for 2023. The 49ers would prefer to wait here, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, and Bosa has not pressed the issue regarding a 2022 extension. This comes after John Lynch said next year will likely be the window for a Bosa deal, despite the expected $24MM windfall the 49ers are expected to receive when they move Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract off their payroll — via trade or release — by Week 1. This will not be a DeForest Buckner situation, however. Lynch said this week Bosa will be a long-term 49er.

What I do know, as long as we’re here, Nick Bosa is going to be a part of the Niners and he’s going to get paid handsomely to do so,” Lynch said. “His time is coming, and when it does, he’ll get what he deserves because man, what a special player.”

Bosa will be expected to bridge the gap between Aaron Donald ($31.7MM per year) and the field, with the prospect the NFL has at least two $30MM-AAV defenders by Week 1 2023 looking likely. Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • One of Bosa’s top practice opponents will not be on the field for a bit. The 49ers will hold Mike McGlinchey out of practice for at least this week, Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch). McGlinchey, who missed the second half of last season due to a torn quad, experienced knee pain after an eight-snap preseason opener and underwent a PRP procedure. The fifth-year right tackle does not have a timetable for return, making this a must-monitor situation. The 49ers’ offensive line is already set to look considerably different. Alex Mack retired, Laken Tomlinson signed with the Jets and McGlinchey’s 2021 backup — Tom Compton — is now a Bronco. Colton McKivitz, who spent most of 2021 on San Francisco’s practice squad, resides as McGlinchey’s current understudy.
  • Drew Lock missed the Seahawks‘ second preseason game Thursday and remains away from the team. Pete Carroll said the QB trade acquisition is “really sick” with COVID-19, which the team announced he contracted Tuesday. After a solid start (minus a late-game fumble) in Seattle’s preseason opener, Lock is losing ground to Geno Smith by missing time. Smith remains in the lead for the Seahawks’ QB1 post, Eric Williams of Fox Sports writes. This seems like a situation in which both players will start games for the 2022 Seahawks, but Smith remains in pole position to get the Week 1 call.
  • After the 49ers cut Darqueze Dennard, they look set to give their slot cornerback job to rookie Samuel Womack, Branch notes. The fifth-round pick, who had been viewed as behind Dennard in this competition earlier in camp, intercepted two passes in the 49ers’ preseason opener. Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley are expected to be San Francisco’s outside corners.
  • The Seahawks traded one of their slot options, Ugo Amadi, to the Eagles for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. They may well call on a rookie to man the post as well. Coby Bryant is looking like he will play in the nickel role, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. The Seahawks have not used presumptive outside starters Sidney Jones or Artie Burns during the preseason. Seattle chose Bryant in the fourth round and Tariq Woolen in the fifth; the latter worked as an outside corner in the team’s second preseason tilt Thursday.

Latest On Seahawks’ CBs Room

The cornerback position group in Seattle is one of the more intriguing in the NFL this year. The Seahawks look to put together a formidable group of corners with last year’s trade acquisition, a veteran attempting a comeback, and two mid-round rookies. 

With D.J. Reed leaving for the Jets, Tre Flowers to the Bengals, and Bless Austin in Denver, the Seahawks return only three cornerbacks who started games in 2021 for the team: Sidney Jones, Tre Brown, and John Reid. To fill out the roster, Seattle brought in Artie Burns as a free agent and drafted Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant and Texas-San Antonio’s Tariq Woolen in back-to-back rounds.

Jones was a second-round pick out of Washington back in 2017 for Philadelphia. He only appeared in one game of his rookie season due to an Achilles injury, but received a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Eagles. A nagging hamstring injury kept him from consistently contributing during his sophomore season, but he was able to start four games that year for Philadelphia. An injury to starter Ronald Darby gave Jones an opportunity in Year 3, but another hamstring injury sidelined him and Jones was cut just prior to the 2020 season having only started eight games for the Eagles.

Jones signed with Jacksonville and started six games for the Jaguars, but, once again, injuries held him out of multiple games. The Jaguars extended his contract in March 2021 just to trade Jones five month later to the Seahawks. In Seattle, Jones finally found himself healthy, appearing in all but one game and starting 11. Jones is currently taking some time off the field after sustaining a concussion in practice, but he is is expected to return to a starting role in 2022.

Burns is the other cornerback running with the ones this offseason. Burns is a former first-round pick that many in Pittsburgh will regard as a bit of a disappointment. Burns started his career in Pittsburgh as the No. 3 cornerback behind William Gay and Ross Cockrell. He eventually replaced fellow rookie Sean Davis as the starting nickelback and, in his first career start, picked off Joe Flacco for the Steelers’ first interception by a defensive back that season. Burns was a full-time starter in his second season before losing playing time to Davis, Coty Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton, and Cameron Sutton over the next two years. Pittsburgh declined Burns’ fifth-year option and allowed him to walk in free agency.

Burns signed with the Bears but was carted off the practice field with a torn ACL weeks before the season started. He re-signed with the Bears and, after getting small morsels of special teams snaps in the team’s first 10 games, Burns started six of Chicago’s final seven games last season. Following the dismantling of the Bears’ coaching staff after the 2021 season, Burns followed former Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai to Seattle, where Desai would take the role of associate head coach/defensive assistant. Seattle seemed to notice how Burns was progressing in Desai’s defense and decided that bringing him in could certainly benefit the Seahawks secondary.

“We still feel like he is an ascending player and, sure enough, he has familiarity with the scheme from being in Chicago last year,” defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “You’ve seen that benefit pay off since he has been here. He has great command, helps out the young guys.”

Although Jones and Burns will slot in as the starters going into the season, Burns’ influence on “the young guys” is crucial as first- and second-year players fill out the depth chart just behind them. Brown is entering his second season out of Oklahoma. Brown’s rookie season saw two separate stints on injured reserve, but he started three of the five games he appeared in. Add to the roster the two rookies, Bryant and Woolen. Bryant was a playmaker for the Bearcats en route to winning last year’s Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in college football. Woolen made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback while with the Roadrunners. He put together a productive college career but really shot up draft boards with a 4.26 40-yard dash time and a 42-inch vertical at the NFL Combine. All three will play significant roles in the Seahawks secondary, along with veteran free agent addition Justin Coleman.

Rounding out the current roster is Reid, former Cowboys’ fifth-round pick Mike Jackson, and undrafted rookies Elijah Jones and Josh Valentine-Turner. With a top six of Jones, Burns, Brown, Bryant, Woolen, and Coleman, it’s going to be a tough run for Reid, Jackson, Jones, or Valentine-Turner to make the final roster. After spending last year with the Seahawks, Reid may be in the best position to push Coleman for a spot, but Coleman has seniority and experience over Reid.

An injury-riddled Washington native returning as starter, a fallen star from Miami looking for a resurgence, and a host of young go-getters with everything to prove, this secondary is a bit of an island of misfit toys. The Seahawks may need some minor miracles on offense to put them in playoff contention, though, which means it’s the perfect time to experiment with some interesting projects, like they are at cornerback, to see what they can make work.

NFC West Notes: Hawks, Davis-Price, Rams

Not big on making big cornerback investments, with Richard Sherman‘s 2014 extension the exception, the Seahawks have some questions at the position ahead of training camp. A year after the team let Shaquill Griffin walk in free agency, 2021 starter D.J. Reed joined the Jets in March. The Seahawks did not use a first- or second-day draft pick at corner and, while they brought back Justin Coleman in the slot, have some uncertainty in how they will replace Reed. One option will be Artie Burns, the former Steelers first-round pick who signed a one-year, $2MM deal. Burns, 27, lined up opposite Sidney Jones with Seattle’s first-team defense at minicamp, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Burns, who worked as a late-season starter with the Bears last season, has not been looked upon as a primary starter since the Steelers benched him in 2018. A pair of fourth-round picks — second-year cover man Tre Brown and rookie Coby Bryant — loom as options as well. Brown did not participate in minicamp, due to the knee injury that ended his rookie slate. After nearly four years after his Steelers starter run wrapped, Burns has a chance to carve out a key role with his third team.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers Tyrion Davis-Price third-round pick was somewhat surprising, but bolstering a backfield featuring other notable assets may be a two-fold solution. While the 49ers have starter Elijah Mitchell, backup Jeff Wilson and 2021 third-rounder Trey Sermon, Albert Breer of SI.com notes the selection of the LSU running back choice doubled as an “olive branch” of sorts to Deebo Samuel. Kyle Shanahan using Samuel as a between-the-tackles back last season is believed to be one of the gripes the disgruntled wide receiver had when he made his trade request in April. Davis-Price joining the backfield will provide more insurance so that Samuel — his 6.2 yards-per-carry figure notwithstanding — will not be needed for such a role in 2022. The 49ers continue to work toward a Samuel extension.
  • The Rams‘ big-ticket extensions for Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp will create a bit of cap room in 2022. The defending Super Bowl champions are gaining $3.63MM in space, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, with Donald tied to a $24MM cap number and Kupp tethered to a $17.8MM figure. Los Angeles’ Donald and Kupp deals occurred two days apart. Donald is now the game’s highest-paid non-quarterback, while Kupp’s new pact checks in at $26.7MM per year — fourth among wideouts — and carries a receiver-high $75MM guaranteed.
  • Shifting back to the Seahawks, they set to return their 2021 guard duo — Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis — but their oldest O-lineman will be returning from offseason knee surgery, per Condotta. Jackson, 30, missed OTAs and the Seahawks’ minicamp because of the procedure. The former Raiders starter is going into his ninth season. Because of the new contract the Seahawks gave Jackson last year, he is set to count $9MM toward their 2022 cap. Jackson only missed one game in his first Seahawks season.
  • Staying on the Seahawks’ O-line, the team will feature a right tackle competition in camp. Rookie Abraham Lucas will vie for the job against second-year blockers Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe, Condotta adds. A former UDFA, Curhan started five games last season. Forsythe, who has mostly worked as a left tackle during his short career, played just 14 offensive snaps as a rookie. Second-year Seattle OC Shane Waldron said he does not have an issue starting two rookies at tackle; No. 9 overall pick Charles Cross is set to succeed Duane Brown on the left side.