Bradley Pinion

Falcons, P Bradley Pinion Agree To Deal

Not long after his Buccaneers release, Bradley Pinion found a new home. The veteran punter is signing with the Falcons, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). It’s a one-year agreement.

A seven-year veteran specialist, Pinion spent the past three seasons with the Bucs. Pinion played through a torn hip labrum last season, but after passing a physical on the way out of Tampa, he should be in line to take over as the next Falcons punter.

Pinion, 28, has been a punter and his team’s primary kickoff man throughout his career. The 49ers used him in these capacities from 2015-18, and the Bucs deployed Pinion as their kickoff man during his stay as well. As for punting, Pinion reached his top average in the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning season. The Clemson alum averaged 45.2 yards per boot that year. The hip trouble likely contributed to Pinion’s average dropping to a career-low 42.5 in 2021.

The Falcons used three punters last season and they have not featured any consistency at this specialty spot since injuries ended Matt Bosher‘s run during the 2019 season. Veterans Dustin Colquitt and Thomas Morstead joined Cameron Nizialek in working as Atlanta’s primary punter throughout the 2021 campaign. None of those three are on Atlanta’s 2022 roster.

The Falcons have Dom Maggio and rookie UDFA Seth Vernon on their 90-man offseason squad. Neither has punted in an NFL regular-season game.

Buccaneers To Release P Bradley Pinion

The Buccaneers will not continue their punting competition into training camp. They are releasing veteran Bradley Pinion, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

Tampa Bay drafted Jake Camarda in the fourth round, pointing to Pinion having a true competitor for his post. The team declared that battle over early. Chosen 133rd overall, Camarda went off the board three spots after the Ravens made Jordan Stout this year’s first punter drafted.

This move will not cost the Bucs anything in dead money, with the guarantees on Pinion’s through-2022 contract having been paid. The Bucs will save around $2MM with this release.

A seven-year veteran, Pinion signed a four-year deal worth $11MM to join the Bucs in 2019. He had previously been the 49ers’ punter, working in that role from 2015-18. The Clemson alum averaged 45.2 yards per punt during the Bucs’ 2020 Super Bowl LV-winning season, but that figure dropped by nearly three yards last year.

The former fifth-round pick missed only two games during his three-year Tampa Bay stay, but injuries did factor into his tenure. Pinion played through a torn hip labrum last season, but Garafolo notes he passed a physical Tuesday. This should lead to some interest in the 28-year-old specialist ahead of training camp.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/31/21

Here are the New Year’s Eve additions and subtractions from teams’ reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from practice squad virus list: T Drew Himmelman, LB Barrington Wade

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Bucs Place Donovan Smith On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Buccaneers have placed starting LT Donovan Smith on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team announcement. As a result, Smith will miss Tampa’s matchup with the Falcons on Sunday.

The 27-year-old blocker released a statement saying that he had close contact with a family member who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Per league protocols, Smith must self-quarantine for at least five days.

Smith has never been a world-beater, but even an average blindside protector is a valuable commodity in the NFL, as evidenced by the three-year, $41.25MM contract Smith signed with the Bucs in 2019. He has been entrenched as the Bucs’ starting LT since Tampa selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft, and this Sunday’s contest will be just the second missed game of his career.

2020 has actually been a solid year for him relative to his usual performance, at least if you believe the advanced metrics. Pro Football Focus thinks favorably of both his run-blocking and pass-blocking this season and considers him the 39th-best tackle in the league out of 80 qualified players. Josh Wells will likely get the start in Smith’s absence.

There is some good news to pass along, however. Specialists Bradley PinionRyan Succop, and Zach Triner, who all found themselves on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, have been activated. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, one of those three players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, and the other two were placed on the list as close contacts. However, it appears that the positive test was a false one.

In order to guard against the possibility of losing their primary punter, kicker, and long snapper, the Bucs brought in free agent P Dustin Colquitt, K Brett Maher, and LS Garrison Sanborn for visits, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets. It doesn’t sound like there is a need to sign those players now, but Tampa may be keeping them on speed dial just in case.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/15/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: S Derwin James; James remains on IR

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Waived: CB Brandon Williams

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC South Notes: Payton, Brees, Quinn

The extension that Saints head coach Sean Payton signed last month is a whopper. Payton was making $9MM per year under his previous contract, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the offensive guru will now be pulling down around $13MM per season. That deal is one of the largest among coaches of North American professional sports, and it obviously will put an end to speculation concerning Payton’s long-term future in the Big Easy.

Now for more from the NFC South, starting with the other face of the Saints:

  • Drew Brees is throwing a football again, as shown on a video that the Saints star posted on Instagram. Brees managed to avoid a trip to the IR, and last week we learned that he is making progress in his recovery from thumb surgery. New Orleans is 2-0 with Brees’ backup, Teddy Bridgewater, at the helm, and the club will try to make that 3-0 against Tampa Bay this afternoon. Previous reports suggested that Brees could return for the club’s November 10 matchup with the Falcons.
  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says an Atlanta loss to the Texans today could expedite Quinn’s ouster. After all, a loss would drop the team to 1-4, and with difficult games against the Rams and Seahawks following the Falcons’ matchup with the Cardinals next week, Atlanta could be looking at a 2-6 record after the first half of the season. Atlanta has three former head coaches on its staff — offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, tight ends coach Mike Mularkey, and receivers coach Raheem Morris — and owner Arthur Blank may be thinking about putting one of them in charge to finish out the season if Quinn can’t right the ship immediately.
  • Greg Auman of The Athletic observes that the Buccaneers could be in line for a third-round compensatory pick to offset the loss of Kwon Alexander in free agency and a fourth-rounder to offset the loss of Adam Humphries. As it currently stands, Tampa Bay signed enough outside free agents to negate those compensatory picks, but given that some of those free agents are underperforming (or barely playing), the Bucs could cut them loose prior to Week 9 to put themselves back on track for the compensatory selections. That means that Deone Bucannon, Breshad Perriman, and Bradley Pinion could all be in danger of being cut.

West Notes: Raiders, 49ers, Seahawks

After signing several lower-key free agents last year, the Raiders operated aggressively in March. After adding Antonio Brown, the team signed Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner, Tyrell Williams, Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict. All are in line to start. But the Raiders’ most deficient area was not fully addressed until the draft. Mike Mayock did not view this year’s class of edge rushers as good fits for the Raiders, who then took three defensive ends in the draft. This perhaps affected the Raiders’ ability to sign UDFA defensive ends.

We didn’t think that free agency was going to be the answer for that,” Mayock said (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair) of addressing the team’s need for edge help. “I thought we did a really nice job here over the weekend to the extent that we couldn’t even sign any (undrafted) free agent defensive ends because they saw we drafted three. They’re all staying away from us.”

Most thought the Raiders reached at No. 4 to draft Clelin Ferrell, whom one league executive said (via Mike Sando of ESPN.com, ESPN+ link) was slower than an NFL quarterback of average speed. The Raiders also drafted Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby in the fourth round and Prairie View A&M’s Quinton Bell in the seventh. While the Raiders did sign Benson Mayowa in free agency, they may still need assistance at this position after their 2018 pass rush recorded the fewest sacks (13) of any NFL team in 10 seasons.

Here is the latest from the West divisions, continuing with a possible Raiders need area:

  • Jon Gruden said Kolton Miller will stay at left tackle, with Trent Brown lining up on the right side and Brandon Parker now a swing player. Gabe Jackson will remain at right guard, but after the Raiders traded All-Pro Kelechi Osemele for a Day 3 pick, the team has a hole at left guard. Gruden said (via Bair) the team will still monitor outside help at that spot. As of now, 2018 waiver claim Denzelle Good is stationed with the first unit there. While Good made 20 starts with the Colts from 2015-17, the free agent market — which includes Andy Levitre, Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack and Shawn Lauvao, among others — may be able to produce a better starter.
  • The 49ers will proceed cautiously with Nick Bosa. Despite the No. 2 overall pick participating fully at the Combine, the 49ers held him out of team drills at rookie minicamp this week. After Bosa missed most of his junior season at Ohio State due to a core muscle injury, the 49ers plan work him in slowly, a team official told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • The first punter went off the board in the fourth round this year, with the 49ers making Mitch Wishnowsky being the highest-drafted punter since the Jaguars took Bryan Anger in the 2012 third round. However, the 49ers did not expect to need a punter, per Maiocco, who notes they viewed 2015 fifth-round pick Bradley Pinion as a player likely to be re-signed. Instead, the Buccaneers swooped in and landed the free agent specialist on a four-year, $11MM deal.
  • It looks like the Seahawks‘ search for backup-quarterback candidates may continue. Paxton Lynch resides on Seattle’s roster, but considering his career thus far, it’s no lock the former first-rounder will be Russell Wilson‘s primary backup. The three players who took part in the Seahawks’ rookie camp this weekend — UDFA Taryn Christion (South Dakota State) and tryout arms Troy Williams (Utah) and Michael O’Connor (University of British Columbia) — did not fare well. “I thought the quarterbacks had a hard time,” Pete Carroll said (via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson, on Twitter). “I thought they struggled with the system and play-calling.”

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts:

Buccaneers Sign Bradley Pinion, Release Bryan Anger

The Buccaneers will release punter Bryan Anger, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Anger was the fourth highest-paid punter in the league and was due $3MM in 2019. There was no guaranteed money left on the five-year extension he signed at the end of 2016, so Tampa Bay will shave the full $3MM from its cap.

Tampa Bay will replace Anger with Bradley Pinion, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Pinion spent the first four years of his career with the 49ers after being selected by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.

Both Pinion and Anger were near the bottom of the league in terms of net yards per punt in 2018. Pinion was marginally more effective in pinning opponents inside their 20, but not demonstrably so. Neither player has received a Pro Bowl nod in their careers.