DeAndre Carter

AFC Notes: Raiders, Pats, Jets, Bengals

As we inch closer to the start of the regular season, the Raiders‘ eventual 53-man roster is starting to come into focus. Two players in particular appear to be securing their positions for the team’s lineup come Week 1, according to Tashan Reed of The Athletic.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter has definitely taken advantage of his opportunities throughout camp this preseason. In the team’s second preseason game, Carter started in the slot in place of Hunter Renfrow, who sat out for the game. He didn’t put up notable stats from the position, but he really shined in a special teams role. He had a strong opening kick return and was inches away from a punt return for a touchdown, as well. The coaches’ faith in him to start in place of Renfrow combined with his return ability has virtually cemented his spot on the roster, according to Reed.

Another player on the rise is veteran guard Greg Van Roten, who seems to have surpassed Alex Bars for the starting job at right guard. Van Roten started the team’s most recent preseason game at right guard for a single series before being replaced by Bars, signifying the changing of the guard, pun not intended. Bars, who started most of last season for the team at right guard, may be in danger of failing to make the 53-man roster if he keeps sliding down the depth chart.

Here are a few more roster rumors from around the league as the preseason begins its close:

  • The Patriots have struggled as of late with drafting wide receivers. They’re looking to buck that trend this season. In a room that was originally looking weak when the team missed out on free agent De’Andre Hopkins, New England is newly flushed with possibilities. The team lacks elite top end talent, but behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker, the Patriots have a surprising number of options. Kendrick Bourne has seemingly secured a role as the team’s third wideout with a great camp, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, and behind Bourne, rookie sixth-round picks Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte have made strong cases for roster spots themselves with impressive camps. Even undrafted rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham has reportedly shown enough versatility and promise on offense and special teams to make a case for a roster spot.
  • With the recent acquisition of free agent Dalvin Cook, the Jets top-two running backs are clear as day, but in the process, the extra body has made things a bit crowded in the position room. Brian Costello of the New York Post believes that rookie fifth-round pick Israel Abanikanda is likely safe, leading to a battle for the likely last roster spot between Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight. Seemingly, Carter is safe. He’s got more starting experience on the team than Knight and didn’t suit up for the Jets’ most recent preseason game, a likely indication that the coaches have seen what they need to see. Knight played last week and fumbled. He’s had good moments throughout training camp, but his future may lie on the practice squad this season.
  • The Bengals have a clear TE1 and a likely TE2 coming into the end of the preseason in Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Sample, but there’s a chance that TE3 isn’t on the roster, according to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. Last season’s TE3 Mitchell Wilcox has a decent shot at a roster spot, as does the undersized Tanner Hudson, who has impressed with some nice hands throughout camp. Devin Asiasi, Nick Bowers, and Christian Trahan remain as options, as well, but don’t have the strongest chances at a roster spot. Dehner predicts that Cincinnati may take to the open market after cut day, aiming to pull in any of several experienced tight ends that may find themselves on the roster bubble.

Raiders To Add WR DeAndre Carter

DeAndre Carter‘s Raiders visit will end up producing an agreement. Going very John Facenda as he prepares to join a new team, the veteran wide receiver/return man confirmed he will move from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (Twitter link).

This is a one-year deal worth up to $2.38MM, The Score’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Carter visited the Raiders last week and will join multiple depth-level additions among Las Vegas’ receiving corps.

Jakobi Meyers signed with the Raiders on starter-level terms — three years, $33MM; $16MM fully guaranteed — but the team also re-signed Keelan Cole, added ex-Josh McDaniels charge Phillip Dorsett and agreed to terms with Steven Sims. Carter, who played with Sims in Washington, will provide more competition for roster spots behind the Meyers-Davante AdamsHunter Renfrow starter trio.

The Raiders will be Carter’s sixth NFL team. The career return specialist showed he can contribute in the passing game. Keenan Allen‘s hamstring injury moved Carter into a regular role on the Chargers’ offense, and the 5-foot-8 performer established new career-high marks for receptions (46) and receiving yards (538). The former Eagles, Texans and Bears contributor will turn 30 next month.

A handful of teams have used Carter on both kick and punt returns. The Division I-FCS product notched a kick-return score with Washington in 2021 and served as Los Angeles’ full-time returner last season. His 11.7 yards per punt return ranked second in the NFL in 2022. Ameer Abdullah served as the Raiders’ kick returner in 2022; he re-signed with the team earlier this month. Cole and Renfrow split punt-return duties during McDaniels’ first season; Carter should be expected to take over.

NFL Workout Notes: Giants, Campbell, Edwards, Neal, Carter, Fluker

As the initial surge of free agency has died down a bit, there are still several assets available on the market. The Giants have been fairly active in free agency and have had quite a few free agents visit for evaluations.

After allowing starting center Jon Feliciano to depart for San Francisco in free agency, the team decided to kick the tires on center J.C. Hassenauer, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN. The former Steeler has some starting experience and would add some depth and competition behind Ben Bredeson.

The team also decided to check out a potential depth piece for the secondary in former Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minnesota. Boyd was able to provide some defensive depth as a seventh-round draft pick out of Texas for the Vikings, but his true value in Minnesota came on special teams, an added benefit that should help him find a roster spot moving forward.

If you thought the Giants had enough receivers, they clearly don’t agree as they reportedly hosted former Raiders and Falcons wideout Bryan Edwards, according to Jordan Schultz of theScore. Edwards barely played last year after getting traded to Atlanta and signing to the Chiefs’ practice squad, but he gets a chance to compete for serious snaps in New York. The Giants have a bevy of wide receivers but lack any sure-handed starters. The team returns Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, and Collin Johson but has added Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and Jeff Smith in free agency. It looks like a collection of strong No. 3 and 4 receivers that lacks the talent of a strong No. 1 or 2. This provides Edwards a window to perform well and earn playing time.

Lastly, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, the team hosted linebacker Justin Hollins, who started five games for the Rams last year. Hollins would be another potential depth piece for the Giants’ defense.

Here are a few other workout rumors from around the league:

  • After getting released by the Ravens for cap purposes, the former “Mayor of Sacksonville” could be poised for a return to the Jaguars. According to Demetrius Harvey of the Florida Times-Union, defensive lineman Calais Campbell visited his former team this past week. After an earlier visit with the Falcons, the veteran also has future visits planned with the Bills and Jets, according to Tiffany Blackmon of 92.9 The Game.
  • The Seahawks may be looking to replace some defensive line depth after losing defensive end L.J. Collier to free agency. Seattle hosted veteran defensive end Mario Edwards earlier this week, according to Yates. Edwards is looking to join potentially his sixth franchise since entering the league. He started seven games for the Titans last year.
  • After losing safety Marcus Epps to free agency, the Eagles continue to look at safety options. Philadelphia hosted safety Keanu Neal earlier this week, according to Yates. Unfortunately for Neal, the team signed former Steelers first-round pick Terrell Edmunds yesterday, adding him to the addition of Justin Evans. Neal has experience playing linebacker, though, which may afford him an additional chance to make a roster as free agency continues.
  • While the wide receiver waters have been fairly stagnant, former Chargers wideout DeAndre Carter‘s market is starting to heat up. After a career year, the 29-year-old visited the Raiders yesterday, according to Schultz. The Raiders have added Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, and Steven Sims after losing Mack Hollins. Carter would likely be competing for WR3 snaps behind Davante Adams and Meyers.
  • Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who last appeared in an NFL game in 2020 with the Ravens, is seeking a return to the NFL. Fluker spent 2021 on three different teams’ practice squads, but after getting released from the Jaguars’ on New Year’s Eve 2021, he has remained a free agent for over a year. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Fluker worked out at Alabama’s pro day this year with top prospects Bryce Young and Will Anderson. The workout drew some attention from NFL teams and could help Fluker make it back to the league.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/8/22

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

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

  • Signed: OT Roy Mbaeteka

WR DeAndre Carter Visits Bears, To Meet With Chargers

DeAndre Carter played four games with the Bears in 2020. Despite the team not re-signing the wide receiver/return specialist in free agency last year, a new Chicago regime is interested.

The Bears brought Carter in for a visit Monday, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus tweets. Carter spent the past season with Washington, working as a return man and a part-time starter. The Bears are not the only team interested in the former UDFA. The Chargers are bringing him in as well, with’s Aaron Wilson indicating (via Twitter) that meeting is set for Tuesday.

A Sacramento State alum, Carter is best known as a pro for being a returner. The 5-foot-8 talent spent last season as Washington’s primary kick and punt returner; Carter returned a kickoff for a 101-yard touchdown against Atlanta in Week 4. He returned both kicks and punts for the Texans and Eagles previously. The Bears’ previous regime used Carter sparsely; he returned four punts for Chicago in 2020. Last season, Carter caught a career-high 24 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears initially picked up Carter as a midseason waiver claim.

Chicago signed both Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown, retooling their receiving corps following Allen Robinson‘s departure. The Bolts extended Mike Williams and have Josh Palmer and Jalen Guyton as auxiliary cogs behind Williams and Keenan Allen. Their return man to end last season, Andre Roberts, is a free agent. The Bears cut former All-Pro returner Tarik Cohen last month.

Washington Signs WR/KR DeAndre Carter

Washington is making an interesting special teams addition. The team has signed receiver/returner DeAndre Carter, they announced on Thursday.

Carter entered the league as an UDFA in 2015 originally with the Ravens, but he didn’t see a regular season NFL field until 2018. After grinding for a few years on the practice squads of teams like the Raiders, Patriots, and 49ers, he finally broke through with the Eagles. He played in seven games for Philly before being waived and claimed by Houston, where he made more of an impact.

In seven games for the Texans that year, he caught 20 passes for 195 yards, while also serving as their kick and punt returner. In 2019 he appeared in all 16 games for them, catching 11 passes for 162 yards while once again serving as the kick and punt returner.

He served the same role for the first nine games of 2020 before getting cut and claimed by the Bears. He played the final month of the season in Chicago returning punts. He’s never returned a kick to the house, but has done some damage. Washington doesn’t have any clear better options currently on the roster, so he’ll presumably slot in as the primary returner for 2021.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/22/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

COVID-19 Closes Bears’ Facility

4:11pm: Return man DeAndre Carter tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). He is now on their reserve/COVID-19 list. It appears this was responsible for the team shutting down its facility. The Bears claimed Carter off waivers from the Texans last month. He has played in two games with the team, including Sunday’s loss to the Lions.

9:55am: The Bears have closed their team facility for the day, per a club announcement. They’ll be WFH all day Thursday as they gear up for Sunday’s game against the Texans.

This morning we were notified that we had a positive COVID-19 test,” the team said in a statement. “As a result, the club has elected to pause all in-person football activities today and close Halas Hall. Instead, all meetings will be conducted virtually. The individual who tested positive has been contacted and has already begun self-isolation. We are working with the NFL medical experts to identify close contacts and follow the league’s guidance. The health and safety of our team, players and staff are the highest priority.”

The Bears did not identify the positive player or staffer, though practice squad wide receiver Thomas Ives was recently placed on the reserve list. He was reported to have tested positive for the virus, and two other p-squadders — defensive lineman LaCale London and linebacker Manti Te’o — have also hit the list.

Every NFL team has had to suspend practice at one point or another in 2020. For the Bears, it’s the second time that they’ve had to scrap a Thursday session. For now, their game against the Texans is slated to go on as scheduled.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/20

We’ll put all of today’s minor moves here:

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans 

Fortunately it looks like all these COVID-19 list placements were due to contacts and not positive tests, meaning the Chiefs will likely have both of their starting tackles available on Sunday assuming they don’t test positive between now and then.