The Giants are not certain to have Wan’Dale Robinson available in Week 1. The 2022 second-round pick just came off the team’s active/PUP list, a sign the team believes he can return at some point during the season’s first four weeks. Beasley did not make the Giants’ 53-man roster but resided as a possible P-squad elevation option as Robinson protection. This moves nixes that path, as Beasley cannot play until Week 5.
Morrow has gone from potential Eagles starting linebacker to a player who did not make the defending NFC champions’ active roster. But the team still has the former Raiders and Bears starter in its plans. Morrow, who had signed a one-year deal worth the league minimum this offseason, is now positioned as a depth piece who could be elevated ahead of Week 1. Teams can use two P-squad elevations each week, in addition to standard promotions — which require corresponding roster moves — ahead of the Saturday-afternoon deadline.
Better known as the player chosen with the second-round pick obtained for DeAndre Hopkins, Blacklock moved from Houston to Minnesota via trade in August 2022. But he did not make the Vikings’ 53-man roster this year. The fourth-year D-lineman will be a depth option for the Jaguars.
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 49ers, Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks moves are noted below.
The Broncos get an important piece back today in Purcell. The veteran defensive tackle found a strong role last year on in the Denver rotation. After passing his physical today, Purcell may be able to get his sea legs back in the team’s last preseason game, but they may choose to rest him following his return from a minor knee injury.
It’s bit of a surprise to see Johnson get cut loose in Philadelphia. The 26-year-old lineman had recently been promoted to second-team left tackle. With the Eagles’ preseason finale tomorrow, he was likely set to get a strong share of snaps. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the team could bring back soon, only cutting him temporarily to fix something to do with his paperwork.
The Seahawks were able to clear out some space in their running backs room this offseason as they allowed Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer to depart for Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively, in free agency. Tony Jones signed with the Broncos and fellow practice squad running backs Godwin Igwebuike and Wayne Gallman both still sit on the free agent market after their contracts with the team expired, leaving only Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas on the roster leading up to the draft.
Seattle drafted two rookies to join Walker and Dallas and now face yet another season in which they may be rostering four or more running backs. In fact, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times is fairly sure that four backs will be retained on the 53-man roster with the likely question being who takes that fourth spot.
Walker, who finished second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting with an impressive debut outing, is certain to return as the team’s lead back. After amassing 1,050 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 11 starts, Walker will be looking to take the next step in his sophomore season.
Dallas returns for the final year of his rookie contract. He’s never gotten to display much as a backup running back, usually splitting touches with Homer and Penny, not to mention Chris Carson, Alex Collins, and Carlos Hyde in previous years, but this may be the year that Dallas gets to breakout out as a true primary backup behind Walker. Even if the two rookies prevent him from establishing a role as RB2, Dallas’s roster spot should be safe. Over his three years in Seattle, Dallas has been a dedicated special teams contributor and a reliable returner of both punts and kickoffs.
The Seahawks used a second-round selection, their fourth pick in the first two rounds, to select Zach Charbonnet out of UCLA. Charbonnet projects as the most likely option to unseat Dallas as the second back behind Walker. After a strong freshman season at Michigan that saw him rush for 726 yards and 11 touchdowns, Charbonnet lost carries as a sophomore to Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, leading to a transfer to the west coast. Charbonnet responded to losing his job in Ann Arbor by dominating the Pac-12, rushing for 2,496 yards and 27 touchdowns over two seasons with the Bruins. He brings a bit more size to the position than Walker or Dallas yet still provides a surprising agility to go along with great vision and reliable pass-catching.
Kenny McIntosh was the team’s final draft pick of 2023 in the seventh round. As a senior at Georgia last year, McIntosh finally got an opportunity to perform as the lead back after the NFL departures of James Cook and Zamir White. McIntosh delivered with 829 rushing yards for 10 touchdowns, but he truly thrived as a receiving back, catching 43 passes for 505 yards and two more touchdowns in 2022. Walker, Dallas, and Charbonnet all have some pass-catching ability, but McIntosh’s specialty in the area may be enough to secure him a roster spot as a rookie. McIntosh has similar size to Charbonnet and has more experience as a committee back with a receiving role from his time with the Bulldogs.
The only other back on the roster, after the team waived undrafted rookieChris Smith this week, is Bryant Koback, a previously undrafted running back who spent last season on the Vikings’ practice squad. Koback put up ridiculous numbers at Toledo, rushing for 4,026 yards and 45 touchdowns over his career as a Rocket. That total could’ve been even higher if Koback hadn’t been limited to six games in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. While Koback has a strong college resume, Condotta is under the impression that it will take a lot in order for him to unseat McIntosh as the fourth running back on the roster.
Therein lies the plan for Seattle in 2023. Walker should continue as the team’s lead back with either Dallas or Charbonnet taking over key backup duties. Dallas can also compete for pass-catching duties with the other rookie, McIntosh. And, unless Charbonnet and McIntosh make Dallas completely superfluous with strong special teams contributions of their own, Dallas should continue to be a core special teamer for the Seahawks. All this while Koback gives his best audition to prove he deserves a chance in the regular season.
Bowden will now be searching for the fourth team of his young NFL career. The former third-round pick was traded to Miami before his rookie season began. In South Beach, he recorded 243 yards from scrimmage with 28 receptions and nine rush attempts. After missing his sophomore season on injured reserve, Bowden was waived just before last season and signed to the Patriots practice squad.
The Vikings were apparently eager to add a pair of defenders. According to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter), McCloud will earn $250K in guaranteed money, including a $225K base salary. The Miami Hurricanes standout finished his collegiate career with 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, increasing his career numbers to 22.5 TFLs and 10 sacks.
Per PFF’s Doug Kyed on Twitter, the Vikings also gave Vilain $227K in guaranteed money. The linebacker had a breakout campaign after transferring from Michigan to Wake Forest, finishing the 2021 season with eight sacks and nine tackles for loss.