Darrel Williams

Saints Officially Set 53-Man Roster

The Saints welcomed back some old faces and said goodbye to others on their way towards setting their initial 53-man roster. Here are the moves the team made in their efforts to select the team they will open the season with:



The veteran tight end James will have to continue his recent tour of the NFL. He, Holtz, and Krull fell victim to the reunion of New Orleans and former All-Pro Jimmy Graham.

On defense, Smith failed to make the roster after starting 11 games for the Giants last year. Roby is another player who was initially expected to contribute, but will have to pack up his locker.

With the emergence of rookie third-round pick Kendre Miller and the eventual return of Alvin Kamara, keeping Williams in the running backs room just wasn’t worth the roster spot.

On special teams, the third-year punter Gillikin lost the punting battle with undrafted rookie signee out of Miami (FL) Lou Hedley. The viral, jacked, tatted-up, Australian, 30-year-old rookie punter makes his first NFL roster as part of the Saints’ new-look special teams group.

Saints To Sign RB Darrel Williams

5:00pm: The Saints have signed Williams, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football (Twitter link). Williams should have a pass-catching role early in the season in particular as he looks to put together a healthy campaign and in doing so, boost his free agent value. He will also provide insurance against Miller’s injury lasting longer than expected.

12:05pm: With the running back position in flux at the moment, the Saints are eyeing a depth addition. Darrel Williams is set to work out with New Orleans today, per Jordan Schultz of the Score (Twitter link).

Williams spent his first four campaigns in Kansas City, finding himself behind a number of different contributors on the depth chart over that span. In 2021, however, he saw a surge in playing time and recorded the only seven starts of his career. The 28-year-old parlayed that into a notable uptick in production with 558 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, coupled with another 452 yards and two scores through the air.

The former UDFA signed with the Cardinals last year to serve as James Conner‘s pass-catching backup. Williams was limited to just six games, however, and he received only 21 carries in Arizona. With a number of other backs still on the open market, it comes as no surprise that he has not been able to land a deal despite training camps and the preseason being well underway.

New Orleans is expected to pursue help at the position, though, as Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com tweets. Williams, a Marrero, Louisiana native and LSU alum, could provide depth in a backfield which will be without Alvin Kamara for the first three weeks of the season due to suspension and which lost Eno Benjamin for the year to an Achilles tear. The Saints appeared poised to sign Kareem Hunt last week, but his visit did not result in a deal being signed.

With Kamara temporarily out of the picture, much of the Saints’ backfield responsibilities will fall to free agent signing Jamaal Williams and third-round rookie Kendre Miller. The latter suffered an injury scare during the team’s preseason win on Sunday, threatening to thin out the roster further at the RB spot. Testing confirmed Miller suffered a knee sprain, but surgery will not be required and recovering in time for Week 1 is still in play at this point (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network).

Even if Miller is able to suit up at the start of the season, a vacancy exists which Williams could fill if his visit convinces the Saints to add him. As the Hunt workout demonstrated, New Orleans is not prepared to make a sizable commitment in terms of guaranteed money for a depth addition to the backfield. It will be interesting to see if Williams’ case produces a different result than Hunt’s.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/2/22

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cardinals Activate QB Colt McCoy From IR

OCTOBER 16: Arizona has not, in fact, cut McSorley, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (via Twitter). Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network adds that the team made the announcement in error and subsequently deleted it (Twitter link). So at least for the time being, the Cards have three QBs on their active roster in Murray, McCoy, and McSorley.

OCTOBER 15: The Cardinals’ preferred backup quarterback will be available for the first time this season. The team activated Colt McCoy from IR and released quarterback Trace McSorley.

McCoy battled multiple issues in the weeks leading up to the season, dealing with arm soreness during training camp before suffering a strained calf. The Cardinals brought McCoy over from the Giants last year, and that move went a long way toward snapping Arizona’s playoff drought.

Initially signed to a one-year deal in 2021, McCoy reupped with the Cards on a two-year, $7.5MM accord this offseason. The Cardinals gave the 13th-year veteran $6MM fully guaranteed, doing well to entrench McCoy as Kyler Murray‘s top backup. McSorley impressed during the preseason and has held that gig through five games, but he is not part of Arizona’s roster for the time being. It should expected, however, that the Cardinals will circle back to McSorley via a practice squad spot next week.

McCoy, 36, started three games with the Cards last season, which included McCoy-led wins over the 49ers and Seahawks. The former Browns draftee spent much of his career in Washington and was with the Giants in 2020. He completed 74.7% of his passes in those Murray fill-in starts last season. Both of McCoy’s victories as a 2021 starter came without DeAndre Hopkins, who was out due to injury for much of last season.

The Cards also promoted running back Corey Clement to their 53-man roster. Signed to Arizona’s practice squad this week, Clement will be needed to help a decimated backfield. James Conner, Darrel Williams and Jonathan Ward. Williams suffered an MCL sprain, while Conner may be sidelined for multiple games due to a rib injury.

The Cardinals also released linebacker Devon Kennard, though they have made that move before this year. Kennard, a Phoenix native, returned to the team after being released ahead of the August 30 roster cutdown. Kennard, 31, did start last week’s game and could be brought back soon. As a vested veteran, the ninth-year linebacker will bypass waivers next week. Wide receiver Javon Wims is also now on Arizona’s active roster.

Cardinals, RB Darrel Williams Agree To Deal

The Cardinals re-signed James Conner but let Chase Edmonds walk in free agency. They are bringing in another change-of-pace option in the backfield.

Former Chiefs running back Darrel Williams agreed to terms with the Cardinals, according to multiple reports. He will bring considerable experience to a backfield that lacks it behind Conner. Williams visited the Cards in early April, and the team circled back to the longtime Chief.

A four-year Chiefs contributor, Williams made the first seven starts of his career in 2021. After beginning his career behind the likes of Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy, Darrel Williams saw extended run during Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s IR stay last season. Williams eclipsed his three-year career rushing yardage total last season, amassing 558 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. The former UDFA added 47 catches for 452 yards and two more TDs — one of which a deep grab in tight coverage against the Raiders — through the air.

While Williams does not have eye-popping numbers, the low carry total he compiled in Kansas City stands to work in his favor. He took just 237 handoffs in four Chiefs seasons. Edwards-Helaire was back by the Chiefs’ postseason, which unfolded with Williams seeing just one carry. Williams, 27, was also not a prolific ballhandler in college. He finished with 321 totes in four LSU seasons, playing alongside Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice.

Edmonds, who signed with the Dolphins, operated as Arizona’s off-the-bench option behind Kenyan Drake in 2020 and Conner last season. The Cards have 2021 seventh-round pick Eno Benjamin and rookie sixth-rounder Keaontay Ingram (USC) as their younger backups to Conner, who has a long history of injuries. The team also added UDFA backs T.J. Pledger (Utah) and Ronnie Rivers (Fresno State).

Darrel Williams Visits Cardinals

With room on the roster for another running back, the Cardinals are exploring one of the top remaining free agent options at the position. Arizona hosted Darrel Williams on a visit, per ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). 

Williams, who will turn 27 later this month, had been with the Chiefs for the past four seasons. His role was relatively minor in the first three of those years, but he had a breakout campaign in 2021. Playing nearly half of the team’s offensive snaps (by far a career high), he turned 144 carries into 558 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He added 47 catches for 452 yards and another two scores in the passing game.

Given that production, it didn’t come as a surprise that Williams was going to test the open market. With other free agent priorities and a difficult cap situation (at least, before trading away Tyreek Hill), Kansas City didn’t have much of a chance to retain him at the kind of rate he will likely be seeking.

Still in need of a tailback to split time with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs added Ronald Jones last month. With Williams’ old position now filled, the LSU alum still has any number of potential destinations. Arizona would be a logical one, since the Cardinals lost Chase Edmonds to the Dolphins in free agency. Williams could step into a high-end backup role behind James Conner, who had a resurgent season in 2021.

The Cardinals currently rank near the bottom of the league in terms of cap space. Between that, and the fact that some would point to WR as a more glaring need in the absence of Christian Kirk, Williams could still look elsewhere. If he does end up in the desert, though, he would provide productive depth for the team’s offense.

Darrel Williams To Test Free Agency

Darrel Williams had a breakout season with the Chiefs in 2021, but he may be headed elsewhere this week. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the two sides haven’t been able to reach a new deal. 

Williams, who will be 27 by the start of next season, took a step forwards in terms of production in each of his first three years in Kansas City. His fourth with the team saw him receive 144 carries – by far a career-high – as he split duties with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. His performance likely earned him a fair-sized second contract.

Williams posted 558 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in 2021. He added 47 catches for 452 yards and another two scores in the passing game, showing his value in both aspects of the team’s offense. His 1,010 scrimmage yards had the Chiefs interested in keeping the former UDFA in the fold, but the team is already projected to be over the cap by roughly $6.25MM with other pending free agents, including Tyrann Mathieu, left to be re-signed.

On the open market, Williams will join a free agent RB class including the likes of Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon and Raheem Mostert. Given the timing of his breakout year, he should be able to comfortably eclipse the $3.3MM he’s made so far in his career. If he does depart, Kansas City would be left with Edwards-Helaire and Brenden Knox as the only tailbacks under contract through the 2021 season.

Chiefs Place Darrel Williams On IR

The Chiefs placed running back Darrel Williams on injured reserve, per a club announcement. Williams has been hobbling since suffering a hamstring injury against the Raiders last week and team doctors told him that he would be unable to play for the rest of the year. 

Earlier this week, the Chiefs brought back old friend Spencer Ware, so they should be set in the backfield. Ware figures to see time down the stretch, particularly as Damien Williams battles through his rib injury.

Williams’ season ends with 141 yards off of 41 carries and three touchdowns, plus 15 grabs for 167 yards and a score through the air.

In a related move, the Chiefs promoted defensive back Alex Brown from the practice squad.

Chiefs Sign 14 UDFAs

The Chiefs announced the signing of 14 undrafted free agents:

Williams ended up receiving one of the bigger deals among undrafted free agents, signing for $30K, including a $15K bonus and $15K base (via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter). The running back had a breakout campaign at LSU in 2017, compiling 820 yards and nine touchdowns on 145 carries.

Among the prospects who attended smaller schools, Wade was considered one of the top cornerback prospects. Following a season where he collected six interceptions, the defensive back will be in the running for a roster spot. The same could be said of the 6-foot-3, 337-pound Liner, who adds some much-needed size to Kansas City’s defensive line.