Daniel Sorensen

Saints Cut Roster Down To 53

New Orleans got a head start on the deadline for roster cuts this weekend with several moves, but the team found its way to the 53-man limit today. Here are the moves the Saints made today to get there:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/injured:

Placed on reserve/suspended by commissioner:

The big story of the day for New Orleans was the trade this morning that sent defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to Philadelphia. The defensive back had pushed for an extension, staging a hold-in effort early in camp, but ultimately found himself on his way to Pennsylvania, paving the way for the Saints to hold onto six safeties. Safety Daniel Sorensen is on the roster for his special teams contributions, but Justin Evans will really be given a chance to contribute at safety in the absence of Gardner-Johnson.

Despite seeing fellow defensive tackle Huggins head to injured reserve, rookie sixth-round pick Jackson was unable to hold onto a roster spot, being the only member of the Saints’ rookie draft class who failed to do so. The offseason addition of Kentavius Street was likely the determining factor that left Jackson off the 53-man roster.

The team did see an undrafted free agent make the final roster as offensive lineman Lewis Kidd worked his way out of Montana State to make the Saints’ initial 53. He’ll serve as a depth piece on an offensive line with quite a few injury questions.

A position group that definitely looks improved on paper is the receiving corps who gets back Michael Thomas and added first-round pick Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry in the offseason. These new targets will combine with the tight ends group, that includes swiss-army man Taysom Hill, as weapons for quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton.

Besides all the above, the team will look fairly similar in composition to last year’s. The running backs, special teams, defensive ends, and cornerbacks will look largely the same as the team heads into the 2022 NFL season. Where things could end up looking different is on the practice squad. After clearing waivers, many of the players above will have the opportunity to rejoin the Saints’ 16-man squad.

Saints, S Daniel Sorensen Agree To Deal

The Saints are adding some safety depth, luring Daniel Sorensen away from Kansas City. The career-long Chief agreed to terms with the Saints on Friday, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football tweets. The Saints have announced Sorensen’s one-year agreement.

Sorensen, 32, spent eight seasons with the Chiefs, working as a starter and frequently used utility player during Andy Reid‘s Missouri run. The Saints will add the former UDFA to a safety stable that includes Malcolm Jenkins and the recently signed Marcus Maye.

New Orleans lost Marcus Williams in free agency; Maye will be ticketed to replace him alongside Jenkins. Sorensen makes sense as a depth player and special-teamer, having made key contributions with the Chiefs and carved out a long career despite his anonymous NFL entrance. He has also drawn frequent scrutiny for his coverage work.

The BYU product notched eight interceptions from 2019-21, being a 21-game starter in that span. One of those went back for a game-sealing touchdown against the Broncos last season. Sorensen produced a pick-six in 2020 as well. But he allowed a whopping 132.7 passer rating when targeted in 2021, being a key part of the Chiefs’ early-season defensive struggles.

The Chiefs signed Justin Reid early in free agency, signaling their three-year Tyrann Mathieu partnership was likely over. They still have Juan Thornhill tied to his rookie contract as well. The Saints were connected to Mathieu, a Louisiana native, in free agency but their Maye agreement likely closed that door.

Chiefs To Start Juan Thornhill Over Daniel Sorensen

The Chiefs are making a change at the safety position. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, Kansas City is relegating Daniel Sorensen, who has started every game since Week 6 of last year (save for a meaningless Week 17 contest) to a reserve role.

Juan Thornhill will get the start alongside strong safety Tyrann Mathieu in Sorensen’s stead. Thornhill, a 2019 second-rounder, started every game of his rookie campaign, intercepting three passes and generally playing like a high-level defender. However, he suffered a torn ACL in the last game of the 2019 season, and though he played in all 16 contests last year (eight starts), he still struggled with his knee pain and could not replicate his earlier level of performance.

Sorensen, re-signed to a one-year, $2.4MM contract this offseason, has struggled mightily in 2021. He has been repeatedly beaten in coverage, is yielding a 153.8 passer rating when targeted by opposing QBs, and has also missed nine tackles. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, which weren’t particularly high on him in 2020 either, view him as the third-worst safety in the league among players with over 100 snaps.

The Chiefs have gotten off to a 2-3 start, and their porous defense has been the primary reason for that. KC currently ranks as the second-worst defense in terms of yards allowed, and while the Sorensen-Thornhill swap won’t be a cure-all, it is certainly a logical move to make.

Thornhill has played in just 142 snaps this year (compared to Sorensen’s 325), but he has been decidedly more effective in his limited action. Per PFF, the Virginia product ranks as a top-30 safety, which includes an above-average coverage mark. A return to his 2019 form could position him well for a possible extension in 2022.

Chiefs Re-Sign Daniel Sorensen

The Chiefs have re-signed safety Daniel Sorensen, per a club announcement. The two sides were said to be closing in on a one-year deal last week. On Monday morning, they made it all official. 

[RELATED: Chiefs Sign Reed]

Sorensen, one of the longest-tenured members of the team, was a key piece of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl runs. Since joining the team as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, the BYU product has appeared in 94 games with 32 starts. All in all, he has ten interceptions, 25 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and 3.5 sacks to his credit.

Sorensen spent four years as a reserve before cracking the starting lineup in 2017. This past year, he saw time in 15 games with eleven starts, racking up 91 tackles, five passes defended, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions (including one pick six). And, for the second straight year, the 31-year-old played on 100% of the snaps in the Super Bowl.

In other Chiefs news, Andy Reid & Co. inked ex-Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed over the weekend.

Chiefs Finalizing Deal With Daniel Sorensen

It looks like the Chiefs are going to be bringing back a key piece of their Super Bowl runs. Kansas City is “closing in on” finalizing a deal to re-sign safety Daniel Sorensen, a source told Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).

Teope reports that it’ll be a one-year deal. Sorensen is one of the longest-tenured members of the team, having been with the Chiefs since they signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2014. The BYU product became a nice diamond in the rough find for Andy Reid, and after a few years as a reserve he became a starter in 2017. He just wrapped up a four-year, $16MM deal that he signed that year.

This past season he played in 15 games and started 11, racking up 91 tackles, five passes defended, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions. He returned one of those for a touchdown. He played 100 percent of the defensive snaps in each of the past two Super Bowls. Sorensen turned 31 a few weeks ago.

The Chiefs have mostly focused on remaking their offensive line this season, but it appears their attention is shifting toward the defense now. They’re set to host defensive end Melvin Ingram, and will also have cornerback K’Waun Williams in for a visit on Tuesday.

Chiefs Activate S Daniel Sorensen

The Chiefs activated safety Daniel Sorensen from injured reserve, the team announced. To make room on the roster, the Chiefs waived linebacker Nate Orchard

The Chiefs have been waiting on safety help and Sorensen’s return should go a long way towards fortifying the secondary. Of course, the bigger upgrade will come when/if Eric Berry is able to make his return. There’s no definitive word yet, but the Chiefs are hopeful that Berry will be able to suit up for the final stretch of the season.

Sorensen started 14 games for the Chiefs last year, but was knocked off course this year by a tibial plateau fracture and MCL damage. Before that, the Chiefs were looking to Sorensen, a contributor on the past four Kansas City defenses and Berry’s replacement throughout last season, to take over as a starter for Ron Parker. A few weeks after the full scope of Sorensen’s injury was disclosed, Parker was brought back, but the Chiefs could still use the extra ammo in the secondary.

Upon his return, Sorensen could help Parker and Jordan Lucas at safety and also pitch in at linebacker in the wake of Terrance Smith‘s season-ending injury. With 56 games under his belt and experience at both spots, he could contribute in a variety of packages starting on Sunday against the Cardinals.

Chiefs Designate Daniel Sorensen For Return

The Chiefs are about to get some long-awaited help at safety. Daniel Sorensen returned to the practice field on Wednesday, paving the way for him to play in a couple of weeks. 

Sorensen started 14 games for the Chiefs last season, but was knocked off course this year by a tibial plateau fracture and MCL damage. Before that, the Chiefs were looking to Sorensen, a contributor on the past four Kansas City defenses and Berry’s replacement throughout last season, to take over as a starter for Ron Parker. A few weeks after the full scope of Sorensen’s injury was disclosed, Parker was brought back, but the Chiefs could still use the extra ammo in the secondary.

Upon his return, Sorensen could help Parker and Jordan Lucas at safety and also pitch in at linebacker in the wake of Terrance Smith‘s injury. With 56 games under his belt and experience at both spots, he could contribute in a variety of packages.

If he’s healthy enough, Sorensen’s first game back could come against the Browns on Nov. 4.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Denver Broncos

Placed on injured reserve:

Re-signed:

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Kansas City Chiefs

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Oakland Raiders

Claimed:

Cut:

Signed to practice squad:

* = suspended

Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen Suffered Tibial Plateau Fracture

A year after losing Eric Berry for the season in Week 1, the Chiefs will likely have to operate without another safety starter this season. Previously set to miss at least the first part of the regular season, it now appears Daniel Sorensen will be on the shelf longer.

Sorensen has no timetable for a return after undergoing surgery to repair a tibial plateau fracture, Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said (via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star, Twitter links). Sorensen also has MCL damage, per Pryor.

Although Sorensen has yet to be placed on IR, the Chiefs know firsthand the effects this injury can have. During a game against the Texans last season, the Chiefs saw J.J. Watt leave with a tibial plateau fracture. He was almost immediately ruled out for the season.

The Chiefs were looking to Sorensen, a contributor on the past four Kansas City defenses and Berry’s replacement throughout last season, to take over as a starter for Ron Parker. Kansas City released Parker in March. K.C. selected Texas A&M’s Armani Watts in the first round to bolster their safety situation in a defense-heavy draft for the team, but 2016 fourth-rounder Eric Murray may loom as the top replacement option. He played in almost 40 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps last season. The Chiefs also signed former Steeler Robert Golden this offseason.

If the Chiefs don’t view their internal options as ready for a full-time role, they could look to free agency. Eric Reid remains unsigned. So does Tyvon Branch, who used a 2015 season in Kansas City to rebuild his stock. Recent Chiefs cog Steven Terrell signed with the Titans on Friday. Former Chief Quintin Demps is also available, as is ex-Bronco T.J. Ward and longtime Steelers starter Mike Mitchell.

Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen To Miss Time

Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen will miss “the first part” of the regular season after he undergoes an impending knee surgery, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Herbie Teope of NFL.com (Twitter link) was the first to report that Sorensen was dealing with a knee injury, and specified Sorensen did not tear his ACL.

Sorensen had been set to replace Ron Parker in Kansas City’s base defense. Parker, who was released by the Chiefs this spring, had played in at least 95% of the club’s defensive snaps in each of the past four seasons. Sorensen was to take those snaps opposite All-Pro Eric Berry, who is returning from a 2017 campaign which was lost to an ACL tear.

With Sorensen sidelined, Eric Murray will likely step into the Chiefs’ starting lineup. Murray, a 2016 fourth-round pick, saw a 39.8% playtime percentage last season, defensing five passes and posting one sack in the process. A Minnesota product, Murray will be backed up by a combination of Robert Golden, rookie fourth-rounder Armani Watts, and Leon McQuay.

If the Chiefs want to add a free agent to their safety mix, Steven Terrell is perhaps the likeliest option. Terrell, 27, spent the majority of the 2017 season in Kansas City. While he played mostly on special teams, Terrell did see 79 snaps on defense. He’d presumably offer a familiarity with the Chiefs’ scheme, which could prove important with the regular season looming.

If they don’t consider Terrell, the Chiefs could take advantage of a slow-developing free agent safety market to find a veteran on the cheap. Eric Reid is the best defensive back without a contract, while other available safeties include Lardarius Webb, Darius Butler, Mike Mitchell, T.J. Ward, Quintin Demps, and Tyvon Branch, the latter of whom played in Kansas City in 2015.