Benito Jones

NFC North Notes: Packers, Lions, Hockenson

Rashan Gary is all set to debut in Week 1, completing his recovery from the ACL tear that ended his 2022 season in November. But the Packers will begin their top pass rusher on a pitch count to start the season, Matt LaFleur confirmed (via Packers Wire’s Zach Kruse). This could open the door for early-season Lukas Van Ness development. The Packers still roster Preston Smith, who is going into his fifth season with the team, and Van Ness contributed as an inside and outside rusher at Iowa. The team has versatile linebacker Justin Hollins and 2022 fifth-rounder Kingsley Enagbare, who became a primary starter after Gary went down last season, as options while Gary ramps up to a full workload.

Additionally on the Green Bay injury front, David Bakhtiari, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are viewed as game-time decisions for Sunday’s opener against the Bears. Bakhtiari, who has seen knee trouble sidetrack his career to a degree over the past two-plus years, is listed on the injury report with more knee trouble. He expects to play, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein tweets. Both starting receivers are battling hamstring maladies and have not practiced this week. Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • As for tonight’s game, the Lions ruled out cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. Although Detroit activated Moseley off its active/PUP list before roster-cutdown day, the free agency addition underwent a second knee procedure this summer and was viewed as a long shot to start the year on time. Moseley is finishing up a recovery from an October 2022 ACL tear.
  • Isaiah Buggs started 13 games at nose tackle for last season’s Lions edition, but the veteran was informed in advance he would be a healthy scratch tonight, the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers notes. The Lions gave Buggs a two-year, $4.5MM deal in March but gave more snaps to rookie Brodric Martin and Benito Jones during camp. Buggs believes his lack of offseason attendance affected the team’s decision, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The former Steelers contributor said his wife giving birth led to him staying away during OTAs. Jones and Alim McNeill are expected to start in Kansas City, Birkett adds.
  • Going into free agency, the Bears did extensive work on Dre’Mont Jones, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes. Although the Bears carried plenty of cap space into free agency, they chose to stand down on Jones and spend for the likes of Tremaine Edmunds, Nate Davis, T.J. Edwards and DeMarcus Walker. The team later addressed its D-tackle needs in the draft, choosing three — Zacch Pickens (Round 2), Gervon Dexter (Round 3) and Travis Bell (Round 7) — on Day 2. This duo should be expected to play bigger roles down the line, but in Week 1, Justin Jones and Andrew Billings are slated to start. A four-year Broncos regular, Jones ended up with the Seahawks on a three-year, $51MM deal.
  • T.J. Hockenson‘s four-year, $66MM Vikings extension comes with $29.29MM fully guaranteed, according to OverTheCap. That number checks in fourth among tight ends — behind Kyle Pitts‘ rookie deal and the extensions for Mark Andrews and George Kittle. Hockenson’s 2024 base salary is fully guaranteed. His $10.9MM 2025 base salary is guaranteed for injury at signing, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who notes that number shifts to a full guarantee a year early (March 2024). The Vikings did not use the year-out guarantee structure for Hockenson’s 2026 setup, giving them more flexibility. Hockenson has $2.3MM of his 2026 base ($15.4MM) guaranteed for injury; it does not shift to a full guarantee until March 2026, giving the Vikings additional flexibility. Hockenson’s cap number will climb from $5MM this year to $14.1MM in 2024, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/13/23

Today’s tender decisions from around the NFL:

RFAs

Tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Did not tender:

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 BearsLions, Packers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Chicago Bears

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Released from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Signed:

Waived: 

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Waived:

Dolphins Move Down To 53

A few hours ahead of the 3pm CT deadline, the Dolphins slashed their roster to 53 players. Here are the roster moves Miami made to comply with the NFL’s 53-man maximum:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The team also waived wideouts Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden and moved Byron Jones to the reserve/PUP list, after making a handful of roster moves Monday. Sony Michel is also off the team’s roster.

Miami’s batch of Tuesday moves leave both Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed on the team’s 53-man roster. Both were viewed as cut candidates after the additions of Michel, Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. But Mostert has been one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players over the past two seasons. It makes sense the Dolphins’ staff is carrying four backs.

Kindley’s exit is also notable. The Dolphins used the 2020 fourth-round pick as a 13-game starter during his rookie season. Last year, however, the team kept the Georgia product mostly on the bench. Kindley made two starts in 2021. Since Kindley’s arrival, the Dolphins have used a second-round pick on Liam Eichenberg and signed Connor Williams. Robert Hunt remains in place as the team’s right guard. Still, with O-linemen in demand at this time of year, it will be interesting to see if a team claims him. Two years remain on Kindley’s rookie contract.

Dolphins Set Initial 53-Man Roster

The Dolphins have joined the club of teams to officially get down to 53 players on cutdown day. Here’s the list of of players from Miami that will be looking for new homes in the coming days:

Placed on season-ending IR:

Released:

Waived:

There are some reasonably big names on this list, including LeBlanc and Harvey-Clemons among the vested veterans getting outright released. LeBlanc played a sizable role in the Eagles’ secondary last season, and started nine games for the Bears as a rookie back in 2016. Harvey-Clemons was a decent-sized part of Washington’s defense in 2018, but his role was reduced in 2019 before he opted out of the 2020 seasons.

You’ll likely recognize some of the waiver cuts as well, including Griffin. The brother of star cornerback Shaquill Griffin, the linebacker was attempting to make the team after a few years with the Seahawks. Laird started four games for the Dolphins in 2019 and received 62 carries that year, but he was mainly a special teams guy last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/2/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/13/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills 

  • Placed on IR: LB Del’Shawn Phillips

Carolina Panthers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/20

Here is the league’s avalanche of Halloween minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans