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 Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Chuma Edoga did not clear waivers, nor did he make it too far down the priority list. The Falcons submitted a successful claim for the former third-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The Jets cut bait on the fourth-year tackle on Tuesday, in trimming their roster to 53. Edoga was drafted just prior to GM Joe Douglas taking over in New York and was unable to carve out a steady role there.
The Jets moved on from a plan of Edoga competing for a starting job early, signing George Fant in 2020 and then drafting Mekhi Becton in that year’s first round. Despite Becton going down with a severe injury this summer, the Jets signed Duane Brown. He and Fant are now in place as Gang Green’s tackles. Edoga, who started 12 games from 2019-20, will have a chance to vie for a steady Falcons gig.
This news also comes after a report indicated the Cowboys were interested in trading for Edoga. While the East-division teams were unable to work out a deal, the Falcons’ claim prevents the Cowboys from bringing in the USC alum. Atlanta resides ahead of Dallas on this year’s priority list. The Cowboys are facing the prospect of Tyron Smith missing a few months due to suffering the same injury Becton did — an avulsion fracture — late during training camp.
New York has done a good job with their rookie class with every drafted rookie making the final 53. The Jets even were able to find spots on the roster for two of the six undrafted free agents they signed. Running back Zonovan Knight and safety Tony Adams will start the season on the roster after going undrafted out of NC State and Illinois, respectively.
The Jets will enter the season with three quarterbacks on the roster as second-year quarterback Zach Wilson will be backed up by veterans Joe Flacco and Mike White.
Lawrence Cager returned this offseason to the team that signed him after going undrafted out of Georgia in 2020. After spending two seasons attempting to make rosters as a wide receiver, the 6-foot-5 Cager bulked up in an attempt to transition to tight end. It appears that the position change is working so far as Cager will start the season on an active roster for the first time in his career.
New York will have a chance to make moves necessary to form their 16-man practice squad tomorrow. Any players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the Jets.
Chuma Edoga‘s time in New York has indeed come to an end. The Jets are set to release the young offensive tackle, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
As Rapoport notes, the Jets explored trading the former third-rounder before being left with no choice but to move on from him via waivers. The Cowboys explored a swap which would have sent him to Dallas, but the deal fell through.
Edoga, 25, started every game he appeared in as a rookie. His playing time dropped considerably in 2020, however. His PFF rating took a step forward nonetheless, but the arrival of Morgan Mosesleft him relegated to a backup role. After playing just 99 snaps last season, it was widely assumed that Edoga would not be back with the Jets in 2022.
While the Cowboys were unable to secure Edoga before the rest of the league had the opportunity to sign him, they now have the chance to add him via that avenue. Dallas, of course, is in need of a Tyron Smithreplacement, and have been reported as actively looking for an addition to at least supplement their inexperienced internal options.
With one year remaining on his rookie contract, Edoga would have headed to free agency with underwhelming prospects had he remained buried on the depth chart in New York. That may remain the same in his next location, but he could find himself with a better opportunity to re-acquire a starting gig elsewhere.
3:51pm: Wilson tweets that the deal is now not expected to be finalized, leaving Edoga in the Big Apple for at least the time being.
3:09pm: The left tackle position has been the source of plenty of speculation in recent days for the Cowboys. In a move aimed at adding some insurance, the Cowboys are “attempting to trade for” Chuma Edogaof the Jets (Twitter link via Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson).
Edoga was a third-round pick of the Jets in 2019. He started all eight of his appearances as a rookie, occupying the right tackle spot. He struggled in both the pass and run game, however, leading to a PFF grade of just 49.5. The following season, the USC alum was rated much better with respect to run blocking, but still failed to live up to his draft stock and expectations.
With veteran Morgan Mosesbeing signed during free agency last offseason, Edoga’s hold on a roster spot was brought into question. With Moses and George Fantstarting full-time at tackle, the 25-year-old was limited to just 99 snaps in 2021. That led to other moves being made by the team which further threatened his New York future.
The Jets selected Max Mitchellin the fourth round of this year’s draft, in addition to retaining Conor McDermott.Their presence left Edoga once again being named a candidate to finish his rookie contract elsewhere. Indeed, as ESPN’s Rich Cimini tweets, the six-foot-three, 308-pounder was “on borrowed time.” A move of this kind being completed would point to Mitchell being promoted to the swing tackle role.
For Dallas, that particular designation currently belongs to 2021 fourth-rounder Josh Ball. His name was included among the Cowboys’ internal options to replace Tyron Smithon the blindside, as he will be sidelined until December at the earliest. Edoga could at least compete with Ball as well as rookies Tyler Smithand Matt Waletzko for playing time as a stop-gap option.
In the wake of the Smith injury, Dallas was, to no surprise, named a candidate to be active on the free agent market in search of replacements. A trade was, on the other hand, reported last week to be an avenue the team was not exploring. Given Edoga’s cap hit of just $1.2MM, the Cowboys would still have plenty of space to accommodate another, more substantial addition if they were to deem it necessary. If a deal for Edoga goes through, though, he could have the opportunity to generate a better free agent market for himself given the change of scenery.
James White did not make it into last season’s October docket, suffering a hip injury in Week 3. That issue did not deter the Patriots from giving the veteran passing-down back a fourth contract — two years, $5MM — this offseason, but it very well might keep White off the field until October of this year. The ninth-year veteran has not been fully cleared, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com envisions the Patriots being cautious to start the season by using the reserve/PUP list in this case. New England has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson back as its primary backfield cogs, and the team doubled up on runners in the draft (Pierre Strong in Round 4 and Kevin Harris in Round 6). White, 30, going over a year without playing would be somewhat concerning, but he is the team’s longest-tenured offensive player and still should be on track to play a significant role in its second Mac Jones-conducted attack.
Here is the latest from the AFC East:
Upon nontendering fullback Jakob Johnson as an RFA this offseason, the Patriots informed him of a potential stylistic shift. Johnson said recently (via Reiss) the Pats told him they were changing course at the fullback position, indicating it was not in the 2022 plan. Johnson spent three seasons with the Patriots, who had rostered James Develin from 2012-19. Although many teams do not have a fullback on their rosters, the Pats — who have not yet sorted out their play-calling situation post-Josh McDaniels — going without one would be notable.
The Bills have been active in bolstering their offensive line group with veterans, signing Rodger Saffold, fellow 2021 Titans starter David Quessenberry and ex-Jet cog Greg Van Roten. Of those three, only Saffold is expected to start. Buffalo’s starting O-line is set ahead of training camp, Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN.com notes. Saffold, 34, is in line to be the team’s left guard, with Ryan Bates at right guard and 2021 third-rounder Spencer Brown back at right tackle. This trio represents three new starters, compared to the Bills’ Week 1 configuration last year. Ike Boettger, who suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in December, could begin the year on the PUP list. Boettger started a career-high 10 games last season. Van Roten not being considered for a spot would be interesting, considering he has 50 starts over the past four seasons. He and Quessenberry, however, would represent improved depth for the AFC East champions’ O-line.
The Jets are nearing a deal with free agent OT Morgan Moses, and assuming the two sides ultimately agree to terms, fellow tackle Chuma Edoga could be looking for a new employer. Per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, Edoga’s place on New York’s roster is tenuous, and a Moses signing might force him off the squad entirely.
Edoga was part of former GM Mike Maccagnan‘s final draft class in 2019, so the current regime has no real attachment to him. The USC product was named the Jets’ starting right tackle a few weeks into his rookie campaign, and he ultimately started eight games before succumbing to a season-ending MCL injury. New York then added George Fant in free agency last year and selected Mekhi Becton with the No. 11 overall pick of the 2020 draft, so Edoga only saw action on the offensive side of the ball in six games in 2020, including four starts (he lined up exclusively as a special-teamer over the last four weeks of the season).
Pro Football Focus gave him a 61.3 overall grade for his 2020 performance, which would have been near the bottom of the league if he had enough snaps to qualify. So, all things considered, it’s not terribly surprising to learn that he is on the roster bubble. Moses and Becton would represent a solid tackle tandem in support of rookie QB Zach Wilson, and Fant looks a lot better as a swing tackle than he does as a starting option.
However, Edoga was a third-round draft choice not too long ago, and he was generating some interest at last year’s trade deadline. If he is cut, there will be at least a few clubs interested in acquiring him.
With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more rumors on players who could be on the move:
The Browns don’t want to trade tight end David Njoku, but Njoku has renewed his request to be dealt, and Rapoport says Cleveland has been fielding calls on the former first-rounder. It may take at least a fourth-round pick to get a deal done, but with Austin Hooper set to return and with the emergence of rookie Harrison Bryant, the Browns may elect to move Njoku.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the Texans are at the center of the trade market, with one executive saying Houston could move as many as five players if it wants to. Rapoport expects the Packers‘ interest in Will Fuller — which dates back to the summer — to ramp up, but it will likely take a high pick to convince the Texans to move Fuller. Fellow WR Kenny Stills has also drawn some interest, though rival clubs see the contracts for Stills and Randall Cobb as prohibitive. DE J.J. Watt may be receptive to a trade, but considering his contract and age, other teams probably don’t value him like the Texans do.