Damien Wilson

Cowboys To Sign LB Damien Wilson

The Cowboys have already put together one reunion today, but the team is not done on that front. Linebacker Damien Wilson is set to head back to Dallas, the starting point of his NFL career.

[RELATED: Cowboys Moving Markquese Bell Back To Safety]

Wilson has agreed to terms with the Cowboys, ESPN’s Todd Archer reports. He will be in place on a one-year pact qualifying for the veteran salary benefit ($168K), Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News adds. The former Dallas fourth-rounder joined the team late in the regular season last year, though he did not see any game action. With the 2024 draft having come and gone, he will now try and carve out a roster spot on a Cowboys team which has made a few moves at the linebacker spot so far.

Dallas has drawn considerable criticism with respect to free agent additions this offseason, but one of the team’s few transactions has been a one-year deal with Eric Kendricks. The former Vikings and Chargers starter will be able to provide first-team snaps for the Cowboys and in doing so help offset the loss of Leighton Vander Esch. The latter was forced to retire this offseason as a result of his neck surgery.

The Cowboys have Damone Clark and Buddy Johnson in place as returnees at the linebacker spot. 2023 third-rounder DeMarvion Overshown missed his entire rookie campaign, but he faces high expectations entering the coming season. Dallas added further depth by selecting Notre Dame product Marist Liufau in the third round of this year’s draft.

Wilson, 30, began the 2023 season by serving a four-game suspension stemming from a personal conduct violation. He last played in 2022 with the Panthers, but his most productive campaign came one year earlier with the Jaguars. The Minnesota product racked up 106 tackles in 2021 while serving as a full-time starter (something which was also generally the case during his time with Chiefs). Wilson was a rotational defender in Dallas while playing out his rookie contract, and that will likely be the case again in 2024 if he makes the team’s opening roster.

Cowboys To Sign LB Damien Wilson

JANUARY 3: As is the case with Collins, Wilson’s visit has produced an agreement. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the latter has signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad, while David Moore of the Dallas Morning News adds Wilson and Collins will likely have their respective deals finalized tomorrow. Wilson will therefore be available for the team’s regular season finale as well as the playoffs.

JANUARY 2: In preparation for the postseason, the Cowboys are bringing in a pair of familiar faces. Offensive tackle La’el Collins is visiting Dallas today, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network report. The same is true of linebacker Damien Wilson, per ESPN’s Todd Archer.

Both players began their careers with the Cowboys. Collins logged 71 starts across six seasons in Dallas, most of which came at right tackle. In his debut season, however, he played at left guard, something which could be of signficant importance given the injury status of Tyler Smith. The latter has been dealing with a plantar fascia tear, so Collins could serve as veteran insurance along the interior.

The former UDFA could also step in at right tackle if called upon. His replacement, Terence Steele, has struggled in his second season as a starter at that position. A strong showing in 2022 earned Steele a five-year, $82.5MM deal this fall, but the Texas Tech product has seen his PFF evaluation regress to a mark of 50.6 this year. Collins (who visited the Bills last week) would provide experience along the edge if he were to return to Dallas.

Wilson, like Collins, has not played in 2023. The 30-year-old played for the Cowboys from 2015-18, and the expiration of his rookie contract led to a number of short-team deals with the Chiefs, Jaguars and Panthers. Halfway into a two-year contract with Carolina, Wilson was released. That cost-cutting move followed the second arrest of his career, and he has not been connected to an NFL gig until today.

That is due in part to the four-game suspension he served earlier in the campaign, but he is free to join any interested team in advance of the playoffs. In need of depth at the second level due to injuries at the linebacker position, the Cowboys would represent a logical landing spot for Wilson as he aims to see game time this year and help his free agent stock along the way.

Both players will undergo workouts in the near future. Should they be successful, the Cowboys would likely add them to the practice squad while returning to game shape. One or both could find themselves in position to make a contribution to Dallas in the playoffs should today’s audition produce an agreement.

Free Agent LB Damien Wilson Suspended Four Games

If Damien Wilson hopes to play in the NFL this season, he’ll have to wait until November to catch on with a team. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the free agent linebacker has been suspended for the next four weeks after violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Wilson was a part-time player in Dallas to begin his career, but he earned a starting role after joining the Chiefs in 2019. The linebacker ultimately spent two seasons in Kansas City, collecting 154 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 29 starts. Wilson also started all six of his playoff appearances, and he picked up 19 tackles during the team’s run to a Super Bowl LIV win.

He caught on with the Jaguars for the 2021 campaign and proceeded to have a career year, collecting 106 tackles and three sacks in 17 games. That performance earned him a two-year, $6.9MM contract from the Panthers last offseason. Wilson made headlines soon after signing with the team, getting arrested on an assault charge.

After starting five of the Panthers’ first seven games, Wilson only saw the field for four defensive snaps from Week 9 through the end of the season. The team moved on from the 30-year-old back in March, saving the organization more than $3MM in cap space. The veteran hasn’t had any reported visits during the offseason, and this suspension won’t help his chances of catching on with a team in 2023.

Panthers Release LB Damien Wilson

One year into a two-year contract, linebacker Damien Wilson has been released by the Panthers, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt. Wilson had been brought in to supplement a linebacking corps consisting of Shaq Thompson, Frankie Luvu, and Cory Littleton, but with Carolina transitioning to a 3-4 defense under a new coaching staff, Wilson doesn’t necessarily fit in the team’s plans going forward.

Wilson had made headlines soon after signing with the team last spring, getting arrested on an assault charge. Wilson’s ex-girlfriend, Ryan Sokolosky, had told the newspaper that Wilson showed up at her apartment drunk and threatened to kill her while holding a tire iron. Wilson then choked a friend of Sokolosky’s who was with her that night, according to Sokolosky. Wilson followed the two women into Sokolosky’s apartment, where the alleged choking occurred, before getting back into his car and attempting to run Sokolosky over with the vehicle.

While the incident likely didn’t help Wilson’s case, the Panthers are painting it as a cut-and-dry cap clearing move. Wilson had earned his two-year, $6.9MM contract after a career year in Jacksonville. After he failed to contribute at the same level in 2022, and Carolina made their plans to shift defensive schemes, the Panthers made the relatively simple decision to move on from Wilson, clearing approximately $3.6MM in cap space and leaving about $1.08MM in dead money. While getting released on its own is an unfortunate circumstance for Wilson, what hurts more is that he was due a $1MM roster bonus next week.

In a four-linebacker defense, pass rusher Brian Burns will likely move from defensive end to outside linebacker. Luvu can probably function as the opposite side’s outside linebacker after playing a third of his defensive snaps last season on the line. Thompson will man one inside linebacker position. Littleton, headed towards unrestricted free agency, would get the first chance at the other inside position if re-signed. Wilson would’ve been in line to start at that second inside position without Littleton, but even in last year’s 4-3 defense, Wilson had been losing snaps to rookie linebacker Brandon Smith, before first-year defender out of Penn State suffered a season-ending injury late in the year.

Wilson will head back to free agency, this time much less lauded than last year. Following the second arrest of his NFL career and a down year of play in Carolina, Wilson’s market value will be a bit depressed from what it was previously. He’s still the player who was second on the team in tackles for the Jaguars two seasons ago and should be able to find a franchise to take a chance on him this offseason.

Panthers LB Damien Wilson Arrested On Assault Charge

Recent Panthers free agent signing Damien Wilson was arrested last week on an assault charge. An ex-girlfriend of Wilson’s said the veteran linebacker “threatened to kill” her during an incident at her home in Frisco, Texas, Marcus Williams of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Frisco police charged Wilson with an assault with bodily injury of a family member. Wilson, 28, was also arrested for assault in 2017. No grand jury indictment came from that incident, however.

Wilson’s ex-girlfriend, Ryan Sokolosky, told the newspaper Wilson showed up at her apartment drunk and threatened to kill her while holding a tire iron. Wilson then choked a friend of Sokolosky’s who was with her that night, according to Sokolosky. Wilson followed the two women into Sokolosky’s apartment, where the alleged choking occurred, before getting back into his car and attempting to run Sokolosky over with the vehicle.

The seven-year NFL veteran smashed Sokolosky’s laptop and caused damage to her patio. The woman shared photos of the destroyed computer and patio damage with Frisco police, Williams notes, adding she obtained a protective order against Wilson. Wilson’s attorney denied the woman’s allegations.

The Panthers signed Wilson to a two-year, $6.9MM deal last month. Carolina is Wilson’s fourth NFL team, following stints in Dallas, Kansas City and Jacksonville. Wilson started in both Super Bowl LIV and Super Bowl LV for the Chiefs and was a 17-game starter with the Jaguars last season. This arrest could lead to a suspension for the former third-round pick, whose Panthers spot may be in jeopardy after this development.

Panthers Sign LB Damien Wilson

Following a career year in Jacksonville, Damien Wilson is heading elsewhere. The free agent linebacker is signing with the Panthers, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). Wilson is signing a two-year deal.

Wilson spent his first four seasons as a backup in Dallas, but he got a starting gig with the Chiefs in 2019. He ended up starting all 29 of his games through two seasons with the organization, and he added another six playoff starts (including three during the Chiefs’ run to a Super Bowl championship).

He caught on with the Jaguars last offseason, and he ended up having a career year for his new team. He started 17 games for Jacksonville, collecting a career-high 106 tackles to go along with three sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception.

The Panthers are adding a new player to the linebackers room, but the team has also focused on retaining their depth at the position. The organization previously re-signed Julian Stanford and Marquis Haynes.

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

Jaguars Sign LB Damien Wilson

After hosting Damien Wilson on a visit earlier this week, the Jaguars agreed to terms with the veteran linebacker on Friday. The team announced the signing.

Wilson spent the past two seasons as a starter with the Chiefs, working as a first-stringer for both of Kansas City’s two Super Bowl runs. Wilson will join a Jaguars team that houses three-down linebackers Myles Jack and Joe Schobert, adding some additional experience to defensive coordinator Joe Cullen‘s linebacking corps.

The Jags will be Wilson’s third team. He began his career as a part-time starter with the Cowboys, arriving in Dallas as a fourth-round pick in 2015. While Wilson made 22 starts in four Cowboys seasons, he logged 29 for the Chiefs over the past two. This agreement could push Wilson into Jacksonville’s starting lineup, but he likely will have to battle a few younger cogs to earn that spot alongside Jack and Schobert.

Wilson, 27, posted a career-high 81 tackles for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs in 2019. Pro Football Focus graded Wilson better in 2020, when he rated 44th among off-ball ‘backers. The six-year veteran wrapped his Chiefs career with a team-high 10 tackles (one for loss) in Super Bowl LV.

Jaguars Hosting LB Damien Wilson

A starter for each of the past two Super Bowl-qualifying Chiefs teams, Damien Wilson secured a free agency meeting Wednesday. The Jaguars brought in the veteran linebacker, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Formerly a Cowboys contributor, Wilson played an increased role for the past two Chiefs defenses. Kansas City used Wilson on 64% of its defensive snaps in 2019. Overall, Wilson started every game he played in two Chiefs seasons.

Wilson, 27, posted a career-high 81 tackles for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs in 2019. Pro Football Focus graded Wilson better in 2020, when he rated 44th among off-ball ‘backers. The Cowboys used the former fourth-round pick as a part-time starter from 2015-18 but allowed him to leave via free agency two years ago.

The Jaguars have two three-down linebackers already, with Myles Jack one of the last men standing from the team’s high-end defenses of the late 2010s and Joe Schobert agreeing to join the rebuilding team last year. But the team appears on the lookout for a third starter and/or depth at the position. The Jags ranked 31st in both total defense and points allowed last season.

Chiefs To Sign Damien Wilson

The Chiefs will sign former Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Dallas selected Wilson in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, but he has been used somewhat sparingly on the defensive side of the ball. He played in roughly 28% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2018, which is in line with his usage during the 2016-17 campaigns. He has had a much bigger role as a special teamer.

Wilson has started a total of 22 games in his career, though he has appeared in all 64 possible games since his rookie season. He will serve as a worthwhile piece of Kansas City’s linebacker rotation, especially since it is converting to a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (Wilson operated under a 4-3 with the Cowboys).

For his career, Wilson has 103 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.