The Bengals both designated Prince for return from IR and activated him Monday. This marks the second time this year the defending AFC champions have used one of their injury activations on a player only to waive him a day later. This first happened with Kareem, who then moved to the Bengals’ practice squad ahead of this Colts poaching. A former Dolphins sixth-rounder, Prince played in 15 Bengals games last season and started four. He has not played this year. It will be somewhat interesting if the Bengals keep Prince via a P-squad agreement, provided no waiver claims emerge.
Eifler, Rhattigan and Shudak have three weeks from Tuesday to be activated. The Seahawks, Titans and Commanders had seen their number of activation-eligible players pile up in recent weeks. Each of these teams have five injury activations remaining.
The Titans waived Week 11 kicker fill-in Josh Lamboon Monday. Primary Tennessee kicker Randy Bullock missed the game but is not on IR. Bullock suffered a calf injury during pregame warmups in Week 10. Shudak, a rookie UDFA out of Iowa who has spent the season on the Titans’ reserve/PUP list, would stand to represent insurance this week.
The Broncos thinned their running backs room by choice earlier today, but they will be even more shorthanded at the position unintentionally for the short-term future. Chase Edmondsis dealing with a high ankle sprain, and will miss at least “a few weeks,” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
The 26-year-old had a career-year in 2021, operating in a timeshare with James Connerin Arizona. He racked up 592 yards on the ground (at a average of 5.1 yards per carry), adding 311 yards through the air. That earned him a two-year, $12.6MM deal with the Dolphins in free agency. Miami made a number of moves aimed at improving their ground game relative to the previous season.
Edmonds played a small role in that feat, however; the former fourth-rounder received just 42 carries with the Dolphins, producing 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He found himself on the move at the start of the month when he was included in the package Miami sent to Denver for edge rusher Bradley Chubb. That left him in another crowded backfield for the back half of the season.
The Broncos have made several moves in the wake of Javonte Williams‘ ACL tear. With the promising young back sidelined for the remainder of the season, veteran backup Melvin Gordonwas expected to take over the lead role. His fumbling issues have continued, however, leading to today’s decision to move on from him. That could have resulted in a larger workload for Edmonds, but he is now facing a relatively lengthy absence.
In light of today’s news, the Broncos will likely turn to Latavius Murrayas their No. 1 tailback this week against the Panthers. He signed to Denver’s active roster from New Orleans’ taxi squad, and has carved out a significant role since making his Broncos debut in Week 6. Fellow veteran Marlon Mack– who arrived in October after a brief stay on the 49ers’ practice squad – will likely serve as the backup, with Devine Ozigborepresenting a potential elevation before gameday.
To help create cap space as they acquired Bradley Chubb‘s fifth-year option salary (initially), the Dolphins included Chase Edmonds‘ two-year, $12MM deal in their Tuesday trade with the Broncos. Edmonds joins a Denver backfield already housing veterans in Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray. Gordon’s up-and-down Broncos tenure has now included a demotion, effectively, with Murray playing a big role since being signed off the Saints’ practice squad. Fumbles have continued to plague Gordon in 2022, leading to the reduced workload despite a starting role. Broncos GM George Paton said the Edmonds trade would not affect Gordon’s starter status, calling the former Cardinals change-of-pace back “another piece to the puzzle.” It will be interesting to see how the Broncos proceed once Mike Boone is ready to return from IR. The team has five injury activations remaining this season.
Midway through his eighth season, Gordon (75 carries, 263 yards, four fumbles) is on pace for career lows in totes and rushing yards. Edmonds is on Denver’s 2022 cap sheet at just more than $1.1MM; that number spikes to a nonguaranteed $5.7MM in 2023. Gordon and Murray are both on expiring contracts. Here is the latest from the AFC West:
The other player coming to the AFC West via pre-deadline trade, Kadarius Toney is expected to make his debut for the Chiefs on Sunday night. Andy Reid pointed to Toney being in uniform against the Titans, via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope (on Twitter). Toney has not played since Week 2. After he battled myriad injuries as a rookie, the former Giants first-round pick encountered issues with both hamstrings this season. The mercurial speedster, who has missed 12 career games, will attempt to stay healthy as he joins a Chiefs team that has started to see steady production from its post-Tyreek Hill receiving corps.
Shifting to the Chargers‘ receiving corps, Keenan Allen is aiming to avoid a lost season. The Chargers have ruled out their five-time Pro Bowl target due to the hamstring injury he suffered back in Week 1. Allen experienced a setback earlier this season but returned on a limited snap count in Week 7, but the 10th-year veteran said (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry) he exited the Bolts’ bye week feeling worse than he had before. Allen added that he was not 100% when he played in Week 7 and would not return again until he was full-go. After posting four 1,100-plus-yard seasons over the past five years, Allen has seen his absence hurt Los Angeles’ passing attack — one likely also impacted by the rib injury Justin Herbert suffered earlier this year. Mike Williams is also navigating an extended injury absence due to a high ankle sprain.
The hits keep coming for the Chargers. They will be without former first-round defensive lineman Jerry Tillery this week. Brandon Staley said the rotational D-tackle suffered a back injury weightlifting this week. Despite not starting and the Bolts not picking up his fifth-year option, Tillery has played 43% of the team’s defensive snaps this season.
Barely 90 minutes before the trade deadline, the Broncos have decided to accept a Bradley Chubb trade offer. They are sending the fifth-year pass rusher to the Dolphins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
Denver will receive the 2023 first-round pick Miami obtained from San Francisco, along with a 2024 fourth-rounder and running back Chase Edmonds. The Dolphins will receive Chubb and a 2025 fifth, Schefter tweets. The Broncos needed to make a decision: accept an offer including a first-round pick or attempt to extend Chubb in 2023. Second-year GM George Paton took the first-rounder-fronted package. The teams have announced the deal.
This marks the second time in two years the Broncos have traded a cornerstone edge rusher at the deadline. Chubb, 26, will join 2021 trade chip Von Miller in the AFC East. Miami has made some moves to fortify its pass rush this year, re-signing Emmanuel Ogbah and adding Melvin Ingram and Trey Flowers in free agency. Despite these moves, the Dolphins have tallied only 15 sacks this season. No player has more than three. Chubb will head to Miami after registering 5.5 sacks in his final Broncos season.
Denver’s latest seller trade wraps a swiftly developing saga. At this point last week, Chubb was expected to bring in a Miller-like haul (second- and third-round picks). But the Broncos discussed Chubb with more than 10 teams; a first-rounder was reported to be on the table since Sunday morning. The Jets and Dolphins were linked as being willing to send the Broncos a first-rounder, but while New York was believed to have backed off, Miami will pay up for the contract-year pass rusher. It is unclear if another team offered a first, but it is unsurprising the Broncos parted with Chubb for such compensation.
The Dolphins are now expected to work out a long-term deal with Chubb, Schefter tweets. Such a contract will cost north of $20MM per year. But the Dolphins are in a better position to pay Chubb his market value compared to the Broncos, who now have an expensive quarterback on their payroll.
Ogbah is signed to a $16.35MM-per-year deal, while first-rounder Jaelan Phillips (team-high three sacks) is attached to a rookie contract through 2024. The Dolphins ponied up record-setting receiver dough for Tyreek Hill, and they are set to pay Chubb as well. These accords will complement Tua Tagovailoa‘s rookie contract. With Tua not an open-and-shut 2023 extension candidate like Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert yet, the Dolphins can slow-play it with the 2020 No. 5 overall pick. Tagovailoa can be kept on his rookie deal through 2024, via the fifth-year option.
Sitting in a tie for second place in the AFC East with the Jets, the Dolphins (5-3) will be armed with a former Pro Bowl pass rusher. The Broncos chose Chubb fifth overall in 2018, and while the Nos. 6 and 7 picks from that draft became top-tier players (Quenton Nelson, Josh Allen), the North Carolina State-produced pass rusher still developed into an upper-echelon edge defender in Denver. Chubb registered 12 sacks as a rookie and bounced back from a 2019 ACL tear with a 2020 Pro Bowl berth. Chubb underwent two ankle surgeries in 2021, leading to a zero-sack season, but has rebounded again to help the Broncos form a top-five defense despite Vic Fangio‘s exit.
The pre-deadline deal closes the Broncos’ book on a decent what-if chapter in their modern history. The team’s John Elway-led regime drafted Chubb to pair with Miller, but after 2018, the two rarely ended up playing together. Chubb went down early in 2019; Miller missed all of the 2020 season. Chubb was lost early in the 2021 campaign; by the time he returned, the Broncos had traded Miller to the Rams. Denver has retooled on the edge in 2022, and each of its current cogs are Paton-era investments.
Denver signed Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70MM deal, moved Baron Browning from inside linebacker to the edge and drafted Nik Bonitto in Round 2 this year. All three have shown flashes, but both Gregory and Browning are out with injuries presently. While Tuesday’s trade depletes Denver’s 2022 edge corps, the team is 3-5 and pounced on a rare opportunity to land a first-round pick for a somewhat injury-prone player.
After losing its first- and second-round 2023 picks in the Russell Wilson trade, Denver has replenished its draft cupboard to some degree. The Dolphins have also been active with first-round selections under GM Chris Grier. They collected this 2023 draft choice from the 49ers in 2021’s Trey Lance deal, moved up to draft Jaylen Waddle that year and sent the Chiefs a 2022 first-rounder for Hill. While the Chubb move gives the Broncos a first-round pick next year, the Dolphins are now without one. The NFL stripped Miami of its original 2023 first-round pick, in the Tom Brady–Sean Paytontampering scandal, and the last of the selections obtained for Lance is now sacrificed for Chubb. The Dolphins are betting big Hill and Chubb can lead them to their first playoff win in 22 years.
Edmonds signed a two-year, $12.1MM deal this offseason but has seen ex-Mike McDaniel 49ers charge Raheem Mostert overtake him in Miami’s backfield. This season, Edmonds has 216 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. He has not surpassed 10 carries in a game since Week 1. Edmonds, 26, showed more while playing alongside Kenyan Drake and James Conner, respectively, in Arizona. A fourth-round pick out of Fordham, Edmonds topped 800 scrimmage yards in 2020 and ’21. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season, but the Cardinals turned to Conner as their primary back and re-signed him this offseason.
The fifth-year back is tied to a $2MM 2022 base salary and a nonguaranteed $5.7MM 2023 salary. The Broncos could look to pair Edmonds with Javonte Williams next year, with current backfield cogs Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray unlikely to be with the team in 2023. For now, Edmonds will join the veterans who have been sharing the backfield since Williams’ ACL tear.
Minutes after it was announced they were keeping their top pass rusher, the Dolphins also added to their rushing attack. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team has reached an agreement on a two-year, $12.6MM deal with Chase Edmonds (Twitter link). The contract includes $6.1MM in guaranteed money.
Edmonds, who will be 26 at the start of the 2022 season, was part of a highly effective tandem in Arizona. Paired with James Conner, he posted 592 rushing yards at a clip of 5.1 per carry, scoring two touchdowns. He also added 311 receiving yards, making 2021 a career year.
The effectiveness of the Conner-Edmonds duo led the Cardinals to express their desire to keep both in the fold. However, the former fourth rounder will now be suiting up for a different team for the first time in his NFL career.
Edmonds will represent a significant upgrade over the incumbent RBs in Miami. Myles Gaskinaveraged an underwhelming 3.5 yards per carry in 2021, which cost him his spot as the No.1 back and forced the team to add Duke Johnsonmidseason. The latter performed much better, posting 330 yards on the ground in five games with the Dolphins. Still, Edmonds will add an efficient piece to Miami’s ground game, which ranked 30th in the league at just over 92 yards per game last year.
Regardless of how the Cardinals handle quarterback Kyler Murray‘s contract situation, they have big decisions to make at a number of other positions. One of those is running back, where the possibility exists for both James Connerand Chase Edmondsto leave in free agency. If he has his way, though, general manager Steve Keim would bring back the pair.
When speaking to the media, Keim said “it’s no secret, having James and Chase, in a perfect world, we’d want them both back”. He was quick to add, however, that “it’s a business and we’ll see what happens”. Conner has indicated a willingness to stay with the Cardinals, something that the team should make a high priority, given his success last year.
After getting a second chance to be a starter, the former Steeler put up 752 yards on the ground, along with 375 yards in the passing game. More notably, he scored 18 total touchdowns, ranking him second in the league behind only Jonathan Taylor. That makes him the likelier tailback to be given a new deal, one which would probably be worth more than the $1.75MM he played for in 2021.
As for Edmonds, he posted a career-high 903 scrimmage yards in 2021, despite missing five games. Injuries limited the amount of time both he and Conner were available simultaneously, but the tandem would have plenty of potential if both were to be re-signed. With Eno Benjaminon the roster, though, the Cardinals may already have Edmonds’ successor in place.
Ultimately, Keim reiterated his desire to keep the known commodities at the position, adding “I understand that analytically, it tells you that the best backs come as a whole in rounds three through six, but at the same time, when you have one that is a difference-maker or you think is special or brings something to the table like leadership and toughness, it’s hard to put a price on those guys”.
With everything starting to appear copacetic between the Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray, the team’s owner, Michael Bidwill, addressed the 24-year-old’s future in Arizona, as reported by Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. As Murray heads into the fourth year of his rookie contract, Bidwill discussed the possibility for an extension.
“The window has just opened for a contract extension. Certainly he’s part of our long-term plan,” Bidwill said of Murray. “Most of the big ones are done further down the road, I think Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen were done in the summer time. Others were done in the summer time. So we’ve got time, but they’re complicated.”
In respect to the turmoil surrounding the quarterback, Bidwill claimed he and Murray have had “good conversations non-stop.”
Other Cardinals headed to free agency include running back Chase Edmonds, wide receiver Christian Kirk, veteran wideout A.J. Green, and tight end Maxx Williams. While the Cardinals’ owner is looking forward to finding a way to keep Murray long-term, he and his front office have some work to do in the meantime.
The third-round Pennsylvania-native spent his first four NFL seasons rushing for the in-state Steelers. His best season came his sophomore year when he had 1,470 yards from scrimmage along with 13 total touchdowns in only 13 games. His time in Pittsburgh saw him miss at least two games each season, missing six games in 2019.
While Conner still missed two games this year, the 18-week season allowed him to play in a career-high 15 games. He totaled 1,127 yards from scrimmage and finished third overall in the league in total touchdowns with 18, behind only Austin Ekeler (20) and Jonathan Taylor (20).
Arizona will see back up running back Chase Edmonds hit free agency, as well, after playing out the last year of his rookie contract. This leaves second-year back Eno Benjamin, out of nearby Arizona State, as the only running back remaining on the roster.
With the cupboard starting to run bare, the Cardinals most likely will be interested in bringing Conner back. Conner has expressed interest in seeing what free agency has to offer, and knowing the Cardinals are in need should leave him in a favorable bargaining position.
This development starts Edmonds’ 21-day IR-return window. The fourth-year veteran has not played since Week 9, when he suffered a high ankle sprain. His return would continue a positive trend for the Cardinals, who have largely not let high-profile injury issues slow them.
Despite James Conner enjoying one of the better bounce-back seasons of any player this year, Edmonds started the Cards’ first nine games. Acquired a year before Kliff Kingsbury‘s arrival, the former fourth-round pick is in his first season as a starter. The Cards let Kenyan Drake walk in free agency, giving the keys to Edmonds (with a healthy assist from Conner).
Edmonds, who is on track to be a free agent in 2022, has totaled 641 scrimmage yards this season. He topped out with a 120-yard rushing performance against the Rams in October. The Cardinals’ rematch with the Rams looms Monday, and Edmonds has a chance to be in uniform for that game.