David Long

Giants Sign CB David Long

After four years in a fairly consistent, part-time starting role with the Rams, David Long struggled to find consistency in 2023. He’ll hope for less changes of scenery in 2024 after signing with the Giants today.

After playing out his rookie contract as a third-round pick out of Michigan, Long signed a deal to join the Raiders at the opening of free agency last year. He started one of eight game appearances for Las Vegas before getting waived by the team in early November. He was claimed by Carolina, where he started one more game in three appearances before getting waived by the Panthers. He was claimed one more time last year by the Packers but was waived just prior to the playoffs. After clearing waivers, the Green Bay signed Long to its practice squad, elevating him for the team’s victory over the Cowboys.

After a delayed start to his rookie year in Los Angeles, Long started 10 games in 52 appearances. After playing minimally in his first two seasons, Long established himself on the Rams defense as a key defender in the rotation of defensive backs. He logged 77 total tackles, an interception, and seven passes defensed for the team that drafted him.

In New York, Long will come in to add some depth to the secondary. With Adoree’ Jackson departing in free agency, the Giants return Deonte Banks and Cor’Dale Flott as starters. The team also brought in Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips in last week’s draft. Phillips and Long should be two of the team’s top options to step into a third cornerback role.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/13/24

Today’s transactions and callups for the Saturday night and Sunday games:

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

The three-game limit for practice squad players to be elevated under a single contract is reset in the playoffs, allowing players who weren’t able to be activated anymore by the end of the year to return in the coming weeks.

Packers starting cornerback Jaire Alexander injured his ankle this week in practice, leading to his current questionable status. Long will be elevated to provide some depth in the off chance that Alexander is unable to go versus the Cowboys.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/12/24

A couple of practice squad updates before the weekend:

Green Bay Packers

The Packers sub out one of this season’s journeymen for another. Long, who has played in at least three games for three different teams this year, returns to Chicago on a p-squad deal after being waived to make room for some injured reserve activations. Drake, who was on his third team of the season in Green Bay, as well, will head to free agency with only two rush attempts on the year.

Packers Activate Two Rookies Off IR, Place S Rudy Ford On IR

The Packers have made a series of transactions ahead of their fateful Week 18 matchup against the division rival Bears. Green Bay opted to bring in some rookie reinforcements, activating tight end Luke Musgrave and running back Emanuel Wilson off injured reserve, while placing safety Rudy Ford on IR. The additional roster spot for the activations will come from the team waiving cornerback David Long. Lastly, wide receiver Grant DuBose will be elevated from the practice squad as a standard gameday callup.

Musgrave, the Packers’ second-round selection out of Oregon State, still leads Packers tight ends in receiving despite having missed the past six games. In his absence, fellow rookie, and third-round pick, Tucker Kraft has successfully picked up his production. Now, with the season on the line, having both available provides quarterback Jordan Love with two strong targets at tight end.

Wilson, an undrafted rookie out of Fort Valley State, was forced into a bigger role than expected this year after injuries in the running backs room. Aaron Jones has returned to the field in a big way in recent weeks, but with backup AJ Dillon out, Wilson could once again be stepping into a bigger role, should he play.

Ford earned a bit of a bigger role in 2023 after reeling in three interceptions during his first year in Green Bay. In nine starts this year, Ford leads the team with two interceptions. The Packers had developed a nice rotation to work Ford and the other starting safeties, Jonathan Owens and Darnell Savage, on the field. With Ford out for the remainder of the season, Green Bay may have to dedicate Owens and Savage a bit more to their safety positions and rely on linebackers to fill the role of that missing rotation.

Long was claimed off waivers from the Panthers a month ago and has yet to take a defensive snap for the Packers, solely appearing on special teams. This is the first gameday elevation for DuBose. The seventh-round rookie out of Charlotte may have a chance to make his NFL debut tomorrow.

Packers Add RB Kenyan Drake, Claim CB David Long

Enjoying a busy 2023 without seeing much game action, Kenyan Drake has secured an opportunity with a fourth NFL team this year. The Packers are signing Drake, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. Drake posting a Packers logo provided a good indication he has found yet another gig this season.

After being one of the Ravens’ fill-ins during the second season to feature J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards injury trouble, Drake has since bounced from Indianapolis to Baltimore (once again) to Cleveland and now to Green Bay. This is a practice squad agreement. Drake will replace James Robinson on Green Bay’s taxi squad.

Drake, 29, joined the Colts during a training camp overshadowed by Jonathan Taylor‘s absence but did not end up on Indianapolis’ 53-man roster. After losing Dobbins in Week 1, the Ravens brought Drake back. His 2023 season (two games) came in a Ravens uniform. Drake’s Browns stint did not include game action.

In addition to the Drake move, the Packers will become the second team this season to prevent David Long from hitting free agency. Accompanying Drake as a 2023 nomad, the veteran cornerback will join a third team this year. Initially a Raiders free agency addition, Long received his walking papers last month. The Panthers scooped Long up on waivers, reuniting him with former Rams secondary coach Ejiro Evero. After the Panthers cut bait, Long will once again land in a familiar scheme. Packers DC Joe Barry spent four seasons on Sean McVay‘s staff, two of them overlapping with Long.

Long, 25, joins a Packers team that has played without Jaire Alexander for stretches and has seen Eric Stokes land on multiple injury lists. The 2021 first-rounder is again on his way back, but the Packers have not yet activated him from IR. The Pack also traded starter Rasul Douglas to the Bills on deadline day. A regular for the Super Bowl-winning Rams edition two seasons ago, Long has played in 11 games this season. He made one start apiece in Las Vegas and Charlotte, but both teams waived him. Long spent four seasons in Los Angeles, starting 10 games. He played 516 defensive snaps in 2021, when the Rams still employed both Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams.

As for Drake, he finished last season with 482 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Drake has two 800-plus-yard rushing seasons, with his most productive work coming in Arizona. The former transition tag recipient now profiles as a backup option, but the Packers have been without Aaron Jones for much of this season. After a hamstring injury shelved Green Bay’s starter early this year, he sustained an MCL sprain in November. Jones has missed five games this year. During his most recent absence, AJ Dillon and Patrick Taylor have operated as the Pack’s primary backs.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/23

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Designated to return from IR: LB Malik Hamm

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

  • Claimed off waivers (from Panthers): DB David Long

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Promoted: TE Josh Pederson

New York Giants

While the Giants haven’t activated Tyrod Taylor, the veteran QB is expected to be back on the active roster next Monday. In preparation, the team has moved on from Matt Barkley, who has been serving as the backup to Tommy DeVito since Daniel Jones went down with an injury. Barkley hasn’t seen the field for a regular season game since 2020, when he got into five games with the Bills.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/1/23

The first minor transactions of December:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Long gets waived from the Panthers’ roster just a week after starting for them against the Titans. Long, who was claimed off of waivers about a month ago, has not been a regular starter in Carolina but was forced into action due to the injury absences of C.J. Henderson and Jaycee Horn. With both players nearing their return, and the recent waiver claim of Shaquill Griffin, the Panthers decided to bring up Strachan instead holding onto Long. The big-bodied receiver had one catch for 45 yards as a practice squad callup earlier this year.

Woods has received a six-game suspension for an incident that took place this summer in which he violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Woods has already missed the entire season up until now on the reserve/non-football injury list after tearing his Achilles tendon back in April. While the Browns hoped for the possibility of a late-season return, this newest development guarantees that Woods will miss the entire 2023-24 season.

Panthers Claim CB David Long

The Panthers will take a flier on a cornerback that will bring considerable system familiarity to the team. A day after the Raiders waived David Long, the veteran cover man will land with the Panthers.

Long will have a good knowledge of Ejiro Evero‘s defensive system, with the fifth-year defender having overlapped with the first-year Carolina DC in Los Angeles for three years. Ejiro resided as a Rams assistant during much of Long’s rookie-contract stay with the Rams. New Panthers secondary coach Jonathan Cooley also overlapped with Long in Los Angeles.

Although unable to earn regular playing time with the Raiders, Long should have some allies in Charlotte. Ejiro spent five years on Sean McVay‘s staff and finished out that run as the team’s DBs coach during its Super Bowl-winning 2021 campaign. Evero spent the previous four years as the Rams’ safeties coach. Long started five games, including one playoff contest, during that memorable season. So far in 2023, however, Long has made one start.

The Raiders moved on from 2022 starters Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett this offseason, starting over with a handful of flier-type additions. Long became one of those, signing a one-year, $1.5MM deal that included $625K guaranteed. But the Raiders went with fourth-round rookie Jakorian Bennett over Long as a starter. A former third-round Rams draftee back in 2019, Long played only 24% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps this season. The Raiders have also made significant changes this week, firing Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. That will likely lead to more personnel adjustments as well.

With the Rams letting Darious Williams walk in free agency in 2022, they looked set to give more playing time to Long and Robert Rochell. But neither could carve out consistent roles as L.A. starters. Long started four games in 2022. The Michigan alum did, however, intercept a Kyler Murray pass and return it three yards for a touchdown in the Rams’ 2021 wild-card romp. Long also started in Super Bowl LVI, playing 82% of the Rams’ defensive snaps in the game.

Carolina dangled veteran Donte Jackson in trades but did not unload anyone at this week’s deadline. The team remains without Jaycee Horn, who is on IR with a significant hamstring injury sustained in Week 1. Jackson, C.J. Henderson and ex-Evero Rams charge Troy Hill are in place as Carolina’s starters for the time being.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/2/23

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed to active roster: OT Leroy Watson

Detroit Lions

  • Signed to active roster: LB Trevor Nowaske
  • Waived: RB Devine Ozigbo

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

Tennessee Titans

With the trade deadline behind us, all veterans are now subject to waivers, meaning some of the players cut today could land on new teams without even hitting free agency. David Long is probably the most intriguing of the bunch, with the cornerback having started 11 of his 60 appearances through five seasons in the NFL. The 25-year-old started one of his eight appearances for the Raiders this season, compiling 12 tackles.

Kevon Seymour is another potential target for those who need some help in the secondary or on special teams. After bouncing around the NFL to begin his career, Seymour found a home in Baltimore in recent years, seeing time in 30 games (two starts) across two-plus seasons with the organization. The former sixth-round pick has mostly played special teams over the past year-plus, collecting six total tackles.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Samuel

Although their interest in Dalvin Cook appeared to cool early in the long-running sweepstakes, the Broncos did keep tabs on the high-profile free agent. The team continued to look into Cook, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com said during a Rich Eisen Show appearance (video link). Cook has since signed a one-year, $7MM Jets deal. While Pelissero adds the Broncos may look to add another back to a group headlined by Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine, the team is sorting through some options behind the veterans. Second-year back Tyler Badie, rookie UDFA Jaleel McLaughlin and ex-Sean Payton Saints charge Tony Jones Jr.¬†are vying for Denver’s RB3 job presently.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Raiders took a few fliers at cornerback in free agency, signing Duke Shelley and David Long and reuniting with Brandon Facyson. None of the trio looks likely to start. Instead, fourth-round pick Jakorian Bennett looks to have leapfrogged them. Shelley and Long have fallen out of the mix to start, per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashaun Reed, who project Bennett to start alongside Marcus Peters and Nate Hobbs (subscription required). Both Long and Facyson have missed time due to injury in camp. The Raiders chose Bennett 104th overall, which would make a Week 1 starting assignment notable. But the Silver and Black, who let Rock Ya-Sin walk (to replace Peters in Baltimore), came into the offseason with major questions at corner.
  • Despite a three-interception wild-card performance, third-year Chargers corner Asante Samuel Jr. faced the prospect of being a backup to start this season. Ja’Sir Taylor, a sixth-round 2022 draftee, has competed with the multiyear starter for the slot job. But Samuel looks to have surged ahead, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper. If J.C. Jackson completes his recovery from a torn patellar tendon in time, the Chargers are preparing to roll out a Jackson-Samuel-Michael Davis cornerback look. If Jackson needs more time, the Bolts would likely go with a Davis-Samuel-Taylor trio.
  • The Bolts are fairly set at receiver, with Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis‘ Fort Worth-to-Los Angeles treks giving the team five locks at the position. In addition to the TCU alums, Josh Palmer has made strides in his third training camp. This looked to put Jalen Guyton and John Hightower to a battle for the final spot, Popper adds. But both players are dealing with injuries. After a strong start to camp, Hightower — a 2020 Eagles draftee who has not caught a pass since his rookie year — suffered an injury and has not practiced in a week. Guyton, who suffered an ACL tear in Week 3 of last season, remains on the Bolts’ active/PUP list. Stashing the deep threat on the reserve/PUP list to start the season is looking likely, per Popper.
  • K’Waun Williams is expected to be the Broncos‘ slot corner for a second season, but an ankle injury has sidelined him for over a week. The veteran slot defender sought a second opinion on the injury recently, per 9News’ Mike Klis, who notes surgery is not on the docket at this point. A rest-and-rehab operation will be utilized to have Williams ready for Week 1, though this becomes a situation to monitor for a Broncos team that remains without third-round corner Riley Moss. Essang Bassey filled in for Williams as the top nickel in Denver’s preseason opener.
  • Davis Webb resides in the strange position of being a 28-year-old quarterbacks coach tasked with helping a decorated 34-year-old passer bounce back. But Russell Wilson‘s position coach has been on the coaching radar for a bit now, despite only retiring this year. After the Bills wanted him to be their QBs coach last year, Sean McDermott, Brian Daboll and Eli Manning endorsed Webb to Payton, Jori Epstein of Yahoo.com notes. Webb “blew away” Broncos brass in his interview, per GM George Paton. His final season — as a Giants third-stringer — involved scouting and coaching, Epstein adds, making this an easier transition than it would appear.