Damontae Kazee

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/21/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed off Rams practice squad: DE Benton Whitley

Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Kazee was suspended three games for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse. After signing with the Steelers this offseason, he landed on injured reserve after the preseason. Per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor (on Twitter), Kazee will be allowed to serve his suspension while he’s on IR.

Hopkins was also suspended three games for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse.

Steelers Move WR Calvin Austin, S Damontae Kazee To IR

One of the two rookie wideouts the Steelers drafted this year will not start the season on time. Calvin Austin III joins safety Damontae Kazee in being moved to IR ahead of Week 1.

Because Pittsburgh carried both through to IR following Tuesday’s roster cut, each can return after four games. The NFL both increased the IR-return timetable from three games to four this season and, after unlimited IR comebacks could ensue in 2020 and 2021, limited players coming off IR to eight this year.

With Austin and Kazee shifting off the roster for the first four weeks, the Steelers re-signed linebacker Marcus Allen and offensive lineman Trent Scott. Allen has been with the team since 2018, while Scott — a Panthers spot starter over the past two seasons — initially caught on with Pittsburgh in May.

After flashing this offseason, Austin sustained a foot injury that has forced him to miss time. The Steelers took the Memphis in the fourth round (138th overall), doing so just before the Ravens planned to select him. The Austin pick came two rounds after Pittsburgh selected George Pickens. Pittsburgh’s second-rounder is expected to join Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool as the team’s top receivers. The Steelers, as they are wont to do, reloaded in the draft at the position — after letting JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington walk in free agency.

The Steelers had prepared to place Kazee on IR since his injury in their preseason finale. A 15-game Cowboys starter last season, Kazee is expected to miss extensive time due to a wrist injury. The Steelers placed safety Karl Joseph on IR before the season, but because they waited until after setting their roster to shift Kazee to the injured list, the latter is eligible to return during the year.

Steelers To Place S Damontae Kazee On IR

Damontae Kazee signed with the Steelers shortly after the draft, coming to Pittsburgh after making 15 starts with the Cowboys last season. He will not match that total in 2022.

The Steelers plan to place Kazee on IR, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. A wrist injury led to Kazee’s exit from Sunday’s preseason finale, and Dulac adds the veteran defensive back will need surgery.

It is unclear if the surgery will knock Kazee out for the entire season, but he will not be on the Steelers’ 53-man roster. The only way Kazee could play in 2022 is if the Steelers released him from IR via an injury settlement. Kazee, 29, signed a one-year, $1.19MM deal with just $153K guaranteed in May.

The former Falcons and Cowboys starter was expected to be a Steelers backup, playing behind Minkah Fitzpatrick and the recently re-signed Terrell Edmunds. The Steelers have run into some trouble during the preseason regarding safety health; Karl Joseph landed on IR early last week.

Kazee, who led the league with seven interceptions in 2018, picked off two passes in 17 games last season. He also forced two fumbles, giving him seven over his five-year career. While special-teamer Miles Killebrew re-signed on a two-year deal in March, it would not surprise if the Steelers — after losing two veterans at the position — added a safety this week.

Steelers Sign S Damontae Kazee

The Steelers have signed free agent safety Damontae Kazee to a one-year deal, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (via Twitter). After re-signing Karl Joseph in March and reuniting with Terrell Edmunds at the end of April, it would seem that Pittsburgh’s safety contingent, led by two-time First Team All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick, is largely set.

Kazee brings plenty of starting experience to the table, with 49 starts in 69 regular season appearances. After four seasons with the Falcons, who made him a fifth-round draft choice in 2017, Kazee signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys last offseason. The San Diego State product appeared in nearly 80% of Dallas’ defensive snaps in 2021, recording 52 tackles, two forced fumbles, and a pair of interceptions.

Pro Football Focus assigned him a middling overall grade of 60.9, but given his experience and playmaking upside — 12 career picks, including a league-best seven in 2018 — he can be a useful part of the Steelers’ DB rotation. He also offers some positional versatility, as he is capable of playing corner as well as safety.

Kazee, who will turn 29 in June, also visited with the Seahawks in April. Given that Seattle’s safety depth chart is topped by Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, Kazee perhaps saw a better opportunity in Pittsburgh, despite the presence of Fitzpatrick.

The Steelers had been linked to free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu, but the transactions the club has made at the safety position in recent weeks suggest that Mathieu will be looking elsewhere for his next home. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, may be exploring a monster extension for Fitzpatrick, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Seahawks Host S Damontae Kazee

On the lookout for additions in the secondary, the Seahawks are hosting one of the top safeties still on the market today. Damontae Kazee is visiting Seattle, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). 

Kazee, 28, began his career with the Falcons in 2017. After a quiet rookie season, he established himself as a starter in his second year. The 2018 campaign saw him record a league-leading seven interceptions, along with 10 pass breakups and 82 tackles. His tenure with the Falcons ended with an Achilles tear in 2020, however.

Last offseason, the former fifth-rounder signed with the Cowboys. He started 15 of 17 contests in Dallas, making 52 tackles and notching a pair of interceptions. His 60.9 PFF grade is notably less than the one he earned in his career-best 2018 season, but is more in line with his normal ratings.

If he were to sign in Seattle, Kazee would face stiff competition for a starting role. The Seahawks have Jamal Adams under contract until 2026, and re-signed Quandre Diggs earlier this offseason. That pair constitutes an experienced (not to mention expensive) tandem, but the team lacks established depth behind them. Last month, Kazee was named as an option for the Steelers, who have yet to fill their vacancy at the position.

Latest On Steelers’ Safety Search

The 2021 offseason has seen the Steelers make number of changes, most notably at the quarterback position. Another area of the roster which has become a priority, though, is safety. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports, the team has a number of options at the position. 

Fowler notes the connection some have made between the Steelers and the top remaining option at safety, Tyrann Mathieu. Given his pedigree and versatility – not to mention the unusually-large amount of financial flexibility Pittsburgh has this offseason – a deal between the two sides would make a good deal of sense. However, Fowler cautions that he is unsure how “real” that connection actually is.

That could lead the Steelers to a familiar face at the position. Fowler states that “a reunion is not off the table” between the team and Terrell Edmunds. The 25-year-old started 60 of his 64 games with Pittsburgh, racking up 340 tackles and five interceptions. With fellow safety Minkah Fitzpatrick only under contract for one more year, bringing back Edmunds on a short-term deal would at least provide continuity at the position for 2022.

Lastly, Fowler names Damontae Kazee as another noteworthy option. The 28-year-old spent last season in Dallas after four in Atlanta. For his career, he has totalled 12 interceptions (including a league-leading seven in 2018) and 7 pass deflections. Fowler reports that the Steelers “have him on their radar”.

Pittsburgh currently has just under $16MM in cap space; fitting in any of the three players named above should be relatively straightforward, then. Whether the team decides to add one of them, or go in another direction, could go a long way to helping their defense rebound from an overall disappointing performance in 2021.

Cowboys S Damontae Kazee Arrested Tuesday Morning

Damontae Kazee was arrested Tuesday morning near Dallas and was charged with driving while under the influence, reports Michael Gehlken of the Dallas News.

Kazee was pulled over shortly before 3:00 a.m. in a suburb of Dallas. The 28-year-old admitted to drinking and failed a field sobriety test. He posted bond and was released from jail this afternoon.

A Cowboys spokesperson declined comment, per Gehlken. The arrest would fall under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, which could lead to punishment for the veteran safety. The Cowboys are off this week, so we might not get an immediate resolution.

The former fifth-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Falcons, starting 34 games. He was limited to only four games in 2020 before suffering an Achilles injury, and he had to settle for a one-year deal with Dallas this past offseason. The move reunited him with his former head coach (and current defensive coordinator) Dan Quinn, and Kazee has clearly earned the trust of his coaching staff. He’s started all six games this season, collecting 17 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/21

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on IR: WR Aaron Parker

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: LB Asmar Bial

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: DT Chris Okoye, OL Tyree St. Louis

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: RB Brian Hill

Washington Football Team

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: OT Rick Leonard

Cowboys Place DT Neville Gallimore, CB Kelvin Joseph On IR

Two young Cowboys contributors will miss at least the team’s September portion of the season. Both defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph will begin their seasons on IR.

Gallimore is recovering from a dislocated elbow, while Joseph suffered a groin injury during Dallas’ preseason finale last week. While each is expected to return this season, neither can do so before Week 4. Gallimore’s timeline lines up with that return date.

The Cowboys made Joseph one of their top additions this offseason, one in which numerous resources went to a defensive repair effort. Dallas selected Joseph 44th overall. The 20-year-old defender who played at LSU and Kentucky was unlikely to begin the season in the Cowboys’ starting lineup, but this represents a setback to start his pro career.

Dallas also placed tackle Josh Ball, wide receiver Malik Turner and tight end Sean McKeon on IR. This batch of moves will free up roster spots for a few players coming off the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. CeeDee Lamb, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins are coming off the coronavirus list Thursday.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/25/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals 

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Nate Hall

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: LB Nate Evans
  • Waived: DL Frederick Smith Jr.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Waived: LS Steven Wirtel

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Marvin Hall

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans