Here’s a look at some of the notable workouts from around the league this week:
After six years with the Raiders, running back Jalen Richard is searching for a new home. This week saw the 28-year-old workout with the Lions and Steelers, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network and Field Yates of ESPN. Richard has seen his production drop off drastically over the past two seasons, but has shown potential as a backup in the past topping out at 607 rushing yards in a season.
The Steelers weren’t only looking at Richard, according to Yates. He reported that Pittsburgh also worked out former Giants running back Wayne Gallman. Gallman spent last season with the Falcons and Vikings after recording a 682-yard rushing season in New York, but couldn’t find a role with either team. The Steelers look to be trying to find some depth to compete behind starter Najee Harris.
Another veteran searching for a new home, cornerback T.J. Carrie worked out with the Saints today, according to Yates. Carrie has found a strong role as a rotation cornerback over the years with the Raiders, Browns, and Colts. The Saints have a lot of youth at the top of their depth chart with second-year player Paulson Adebo and rookie Alontae Taylor favored to start opposite Marshon Lattimore. Perhaps the Saints are looking to add more veteran depth the room.
The 49ers ended up signingWillie Snead today, but his workout today featured another veteran wide receiver, according to Yates. Former Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook was apparently in competition with Snead for a roster spot that ended up going to Snead. Westbrook’s numbers have suffered greatly since tearing his ACL early in 2020. He’ll likely keep auditioning with teams in hopes of working his way back.
It sounds like Dede Westbrook will find his next gig sooner than later. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (on Twitter), Westbrook is currently weighing a “few offers.”
After spending the 2021 season in Minnesota, the Vikings invited Westbrook back for a second campaign. The receiver decided to remain unsigned as he pursued other opportunities, but it’s been more than a month since he declined the Vikings deal. At the time, it was assumed the 28-year-old didn’t want to fight for snaps with recent Day 3 selections like Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Jalen Nailor. At this point, considering his recent (lack of) production and the fact he’s unsigned in July, there’s a good chance that Westbrook will have to fight for a roster spot no matter where he lands.
At one point, Westbrook looked the part of a reliable pass-catcher during his stint with the Jaguars. The former fourth-round pick averaged 66 receptions, 688 receiving yards, and four touchdowns between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. However, he found himself buried on the depth chart in 2020 before an ACL injury ended his season prematurely. Westbrook had to settle for a one-year deal from the Vikings last offseason, and he finished the season with 10 receptions and 68 yards in 15 games. The veteran did see a role on special teams, collecting 183 yards on his 22 punt returns (8.3 yards per attempt).
The Vikings liked Wsstbrook enough to have him back, but it’s uncertain if they’d still have interest in the receiver. The Vikings have since signed Albert Wilson to compete for a role, although the veteran’s deal is non-guaranteed, so he wouldn’t necessarily prevent the organization from adding Westbrook. As mentioned, Westbrook would likely be competing for a spot as the fourth receiver behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn.
The Vikings auditioned wide receiver Dede Westbrook earlier this week, and the club was prepared to sign him following his showcase. Per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter), Minnesota extended an offer to Westbrook, but the 28-year-old wideout did not immediately accept it, as he wanted to consider his other options.
As such, the Vikings pivoted to Albert Wilson, who worked out for the club alongside Westbrook and who signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for $1.12MM (the veteran minimum). Wilson now slots in behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn on Minnesota’s WR depth chart, and he will attempt to rejuvenate a career that has stalled since he signed a notable free agent contract with the Dolphins during the 2018 offseason.
At the time of Westbrook’s workout with the Vikings, it was reported that he did indeed have interest from other teams, though it is unclear who those teams are. It is understandable that he did not pounce at the opportunity to fight for snaps as Minnesota’s WR4 with recent Day 3 selections like Ihmir Smith-Marsetteand Jalen Nailor, but at this point, he may have to settle for a similar opportunity elsewhere and hope that a strong training camp/preseason showing earns him a larger role.
A fourth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2017, Westbrook earned a significant target share across the 2018-19 seasons. He was targeted 101 times and caught 66 passes in both of those campaigns, and while his yards-per-reception rate of 10.4 over that time was nothing special, he appeared to be emerging as something of a reliable pass-catcher who could perhaps become more than that in a more productive offense. He was also a dynamic punt returner in 2018, taking back 19 punts for 266 yards (14.0 yards per return) and a score.
In 2020, the final year of his rookie contract, he slipped down the Jacksonville depth chart and appeared in just two games. That season was also cut short by a Week 7 ACL tear, and he settled for a modest one-year contract with the Vikings last July. He did generate a fair amount of open market interest during the second and third waves of free agency last offseason, but in his first year in Minnesota, he caught just 10 passes for 68 yards. As the Vikes’ primary punt returner, his 8.3 yards-per-return rate was solid enough, but obviously a far cry from his best work with the Jags.
Despite his recent underwhelming history, he is young enough and has enough of a track record to land a new gig. It sounds as if that will be happening at some point within the next few weeks.
Dede Westbrook waited until days before training camp to sign in 2021. That made sense, considering the former Heisman Trophy finalist was coming off an ACL tear. The veteran wide receiver has gone deep into this year’s offseason without a deal as well.
The Vikings’ new regime will take a look at one of the previous staff’s additions, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noting (via Twitter) Westbrook is working out with the team Tuesday. The former Jaguars draftee signed with the Vikings last year but operated patiently before doing so. A quick reunion could be in the cards soon.
The Bengals, 49ers and Seahawks showed interest in the Oklahoma product last year. Westbrook met with the Vikings first and scrapped plans for a Seahawks visit, signing a deal with Minnesota. That contract — a one-year, $1.1MM pact — did not end up leading to a prominent role for Westbrook, who worked as a backup and caught 10 passes for 68 yards. He also operated as the team’s primary punt returner. The now-Kevin O’Connell-led Vikes will determine if the 6-foot wideout is a fit.
While Rapoport adds other teams have shown interest, Westbrook’s market is not likely to produce a contract much more lucrative than his previous deal. Given the 28-year-old wideout’s recent history — a two-game 2020 and a 10-catch 2021 — he stands to face a crucial career stretch. He does have a history of decent production, however, combining for 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns from 2018-19 — on 66 receptions in each season. Westbrook led the 2018 Jacksonville outfit in receiving. The former seventh-round pick should also be in better form this coming season, being more than a year removed from the severe knee injury.
Westbrook’s most notable contributions came as a Sooners senior, when he broke through on a Baker Mayfield-piloted offense for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns. Mayfield and Westbrook ate into each other’s vote shares that year, finishing behind Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, respectively, in the Heisman balloting.
Minnesota struggled for years to find a reliable No. 3 wideout. The team, however, received promising work from 2020 draftee K.J. Osborn, who totaled 50 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Westbrook returning to the Vikings would likely mean being positioned behind Osborn and regulars Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
We heard yesterday that free agent receiver Dede Westbrook would be visiting the Seahawks on Sunday. It sounds like that visit has been scrapped. Westbrook will instead be signing a one-year deal with the Vikings on Sunday, a source told veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (Twitter link).
Westbrook worked out for Minnesota earlier today, and apparently that workout went well. It was reported yesterday that Seattle, the 49ers, and the Bengals were all still on his radar, but the Vikings edged them all out. There’s a connection here, as Vikings receivers coach Keenan McCardell was Westbrook’s position coach in Jacksonville.
A fourth-round pick in 2017, Westbrook spent the first four years of his pro career with the Jaguars. In 2018 and 2019, he had at least 63 catches, 660 yards, and three touchdowns both season. Last year he only played in two games before tearing an ACL in October, finishing with just one catch for four yards.
We don’t have the financial terms yet, but coming off that injury he likely had to settle for something pretty cheap. It certainly took a while for his market to heat up.
The Oklahoma product has also shown plenty of potential as a returner. The Vikings of course have Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, but not a ton else at receiver beyond them, so this is a decent depth signing. Westbrook says he’s fully recovered from the ACL tear, responding “most definitely” when Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked if he’d be ready to roll for the start of training camp on Wednesday (Twitter link).
Dede Westbrook is in Minnesota for a Vikings visit Saturday, but he is still considering interest from other teams. If the Vikings are unable to sign Westbrook, he will pay a visit to the Seahawks, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Westbrook plans to visit the Seahawks on Sunday, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets.
The former Heisman finalist and Jaguars starter said the 49ers and Bengals are also in the mix; both teams expressed interest in Westbrook earlier this offseason. While both teams and Seattle appear to be on Westbrook’s radar, the Vikings have an edge and appear to be the favorites.
In addition to a need alongside Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, the Vikes employ ex-Jaguars receivers coach Keenan McCardell. The former Jags Pro Bowler and recent Vikings hire coached Westbrook in each of his four Jacksonville seasons and convinced the veteran wideout to visit the Vikings before the Seahawks, Tomasson adds (via Twitter). Seattle initially appeared first on Westbrook’s travel itinerary, but the Vikings now have the first crack at signing him.
“I was kind of set on Seattle and he was like ‘Darn you’re not even going to come out and give me a chance? I coached you the past four years and you’re just going to fly out to Seattle and not give Minnesota a shot?’” Westbrook said of a conversation with McCardell (via Tomasson, onTwitter). “... I love everything about the Vikings. I like their offensive scheme; I like the things that they’re doing as far as gidget-gadgets that they have going on. … Just their whole offensive scheme and I think I can fit in perfectly.”
Westbrook, 27, is coming off an ACL tear. That certainly slowed his market. He intimated that if the Vikings and/or Seahawks do not land him, workouts with the Bengals and 49ers may follow.
The Vikings are working out former Jacksonville wide receiver Dede Westbrook on Saturday (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). If all goes well, Westbrook could reunite with former Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Westbrook has two other teams interested in his services, but RapSheet hears that the Vikings are his preferred destination. It’s been just nine months since Westbrook suffered his torn ACL but Westbrook appears to be ready for training camp.
Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to build on those marks in 2020, but he was limited to only a pair of games thanks to the torn ACL and an unrelated early-season injury. We heard earlier this year that the wideout was drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Vikings, 49ers, Bengals. The wide receiver was also being recruited by Chiefs players, but it’s not clear if he got into serious talks with the front office.
Add another team to the list of Dede Westbrook suitors. Josina Anderson reports (via Twitter) that the free agent wideout had “preliminary communication” with the 49ers.
It’s been just about seven months since Westbrook suffered his torn ACL, and Anderson notes that the player is expecting to be fully cleared by the eight-month mark. That means Westbrook should be good to go for the beginning of training camp.
Westbrook recorded 66 grabs in both 2018 and 2019 for an average of 699 yards and four touchdowns per slate. He was hoping to build on those marks in 2020, but he was limited to only a pair of games thanks to the torn ACL and an unrelated early-season injury. We heard earlier this month that the wideout was drawing interest from multiple teams, and we later learned that the Bengals and Vikings were among his potential suitors. The wide receiver was also being recruited by Chiefs players.
The 49ers have used plenty of draft capital on wideouts in recent years, and former first-rounder Brandon Aiyuk and former second-rounder Deebo Samuel are expected to lead the depth chart. Westbrook would likely have to compete with the likes of Mohamed Sanu, Richie James, and Jalen Hurd for backup reps.