Devontae Booker

NFL Workouts: 7/29/22

Here’s a list of minor players who visited or worked out for an NFL team today:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Commanders

Howard had recently also worked out for the Saints, along with Bo Scarbrough, according to Nick Underhill at New Orleans Football Network. Howard has bounced between Philadelphia and Miami with limited success since averaging 1,123 rushing yards per season and totaling 24 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Bears. Injuries and limited productivity have really hurt Howard’s success over the past three years.

Giants Work Out RB Devontae Booker

Although the new Giants regime made Devontae Booker one of a few notable cap casualties this offseason, they have circled back to Saquon Barkley‘s former backup.

Booker worked out for the Giants on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The Giants have not made major tweaks to their running back room since releasing Booker in March, only signing ex-Brian Daboll Bills charge Matt Breida as a possible backup.

Booker, 30, has not been connected to any other teams since being cut, but he has established himself as one of the league’s better backup backs. He has collected some decent (for a reserve running back) dough since leaving Denver. Most of that came from the Giants, who signed him to a two-year, $6MM deal in 2021.

Although Phillip Lindsay‘s quick emergence kept Booker on the bench to close out his Broncos contract, the former fourth-round pick caught on with both the Raiders and Giants. He played extensively for each team, totaling 1,016 rushing yards over the past two years. Booker filled in for Barkley during the latter’s latest injury hiatus, leading the 2021 Giants with 593 yards (4.1 per carry) and adding 40 receptions.

Another Giants pact would almost certainly not match the money Booker received during Dave Gettleman‘s GM regime, but the team’s backfield would not exactly be thrown off by bringing Booker back at a lower rate. The Giants have seen their starter run into extensive injury trouble over the past three seasons, and although Barkley has gone through his smoothest offseason in three years, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year probably needs to be backstopped with a proven insurance option.

Giants Cut Devontae Booker

The Giants have made their second cost-cutting move of the day. Running back Devontae Booker has been cut, as reported by Dan Duggan of The Athletic (Twitter link).

[Related: Giants To Release Kyle Rudolph]

The move will leave $1MM in dead money, while creating $2.125MM in cap space. In addition to the earlier release of Kyle Rudolph, that brings the total savings general manager Joe Schoen has now manufactured to $7.125MM. Neither of these cuts are seen as much of a surprise, and more are expected to be made, given the Giants’ cap situation.

Booker, 29, signed a two-year deal with New York last March. Thought to simply be veteran depth behind Saquon Barkley, the two put up identical rushing yards (593), and Booker actually outperformed the latter in terms of yards per carry (4.1 to 3.7). He added 268 receiving yards, scoring three combined touchdowns. Still, that level of production could likely be replaced either by a bounce-back season from Barkley, or another, cheaper addition in free agency or the draft.

A six year veteran with previous stops in Denver and Las Vegas, Booker will now look for a new home. Just like last year, he would represent a proven, experienced presence at tailback for any number of teams in need of depth at the position. As for the Giants, meanwhile, they have a long way to go to get cap compliant, so stay tuned for further moves.

Giants, RB Devontae Booker Agree To Deal

The Giants will bring in a veteran backup to supplement Saquon Barkley. They agreed to terms with Devontae Booker on Monday night, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.

A former Broncos draftee, Booker spent last season with the Raiders and enjoyed a productive season spelling Josh Jacobs. Booker agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $6MM, Fowler notes. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the deal includes $2MM guaranteed.

This marks an upgrade for Booker, who could only fetch a one-year deal worth barely league-minimum money last year. After receiving just two carries in 16 games with the 2019 Broncos, Booker took 93 handoffs and rushed for 423 yards and three touchdowns with the Raiders last season. While the former fourth-round pick worked as Denver’s primary back down the stretch in 2016, replacing an injured C.J. Anderson, he has mostly been a backup as a pro.

Barkley continues to work his way back from the ACL tear he suffered in Week 2. The star back is progressing on course and should be ready for Big Blue’s training camp. The Giants have used a few players as Barkley complementary help over his three-year career, and backfield depth became critical last season. Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris and Devonta Freeman handled the ball-carrying duties after Barkley’s injury. None are under contract with the team for 2021, putting Booker in position to hold New York’s RB2 role.

Raiders To Release RB Jeremy Hill

Less than a week after agreeing to terms with Jeremy Hill, the Raiders are moving on. They are releasing the former Bengals starting running back, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets.

Hill has not played in a game since Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Raiders’ running back room will return to its previous setup. This move also comes shortly after the team removed offseason addition Devontae Booker from its reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Raiders’ backfield depth chart consists of Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Rod Smith and Booker. Hill may well have been insurance in case Booker was sidelined for an extensive period. As a vested veteran, Hill will not have to pass through waivers.

A former Bengals second-round pick, Hill signed with the Patriots after an injury-marred 2017 season. He suffered an ACL tear in Week 1 of the 2018 slate and was out of football last season.

While Hill is still just 27, he is running out of chances. The LSU product worked out for the Lions and Titans last season but went unsigned. Hill amassed 29 touchdowns in his first three seasons and eclipsed 1,100 rushing yards as a rookie. He has not, however, cleared 4.0 yards per carry since his 2014 debut campaign.

Raiders Expected To Sign Jeremy Hill

3:49pm: This deal looks like it will come together. The Raiders indeed plan to sign Hill, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, though an agreement will be contingent on the former second-round pick passing a physical and a COVID-19 test.

3:40pm: The Raiders are looking to add to their running back group. They are hosting Jeremy Hill on a visit Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Hill, who has not played since the 2018 season, last popped up on the radar when he visited the Titans in November 2019. Under the current pandemic-reshaped landscape, teams are only allowed to bring in players for visits if they are seriously considering signing them. Hill may have a chance to continue his career in Las Vegas.

The former Bengals and Patriots running back would join a Raiders group that houses Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Rod Smith and Devontae Booker. The latter, however, resides on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID-19 list. The Raiders placed Booker, a 2020 addition, on the list Thursday.

Still just 27, Hill is attempting to come back after suffering another serious injury. He suffered an ACL tear in Week 1 of the 2018 season. His 2017 season in Cincinnati ended in an IR stay due to an ankle malady.

The LSU product rushed for a career-high 1,124 yards as a rookie in 2014 and scored a career-best 12 touchdowns in 2015. He rushed for nine TDs in 2016. Since, Hill has not delivered much in the way of notable work. He played in only seven 2017 games, after Joe Mixon‘s Cincinnati arrival, and has not averaged more than four yards per carry in a season since his rookie year. But the Raiders are planning to offer the veteran another chance despite a near-two-year hiatus.

Contract Details: Jets, Charlton, Gipson

Some assorted contract details to pass along:

  • Tashaun Gipson, S (Bears): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $550K in guaranteed money. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • Johnathan Joseph, CB (Titans): One year. Deal is worth $2MM, including $1.5MM guaranteed. Additional $500K in “reachable incentives” and another $750K in standard incentives. Contract worth a maximum of $3.25MM. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Twitter and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • Frank Gore, RB (Jets): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $200K guaranteed. Cap charge of $750K. Via Pelissero on Twitter and ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter.
  • Jordan Jenkins, LB (Jets): One-year. Deal is worth $3.75MM. $3.25MM in guaranteed money, including $1.75MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. $500K in roster bonuses, $250K in “likely to be earned” incentives. Via Cimini on Twitter.
  • Taco Charlton, DE (Chiefs): One year. Deal is worth $825K. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • Devontae Booker, RB (Raiders): Signed. One year deal worth veteran salary benefit ($887.5K cap charge). Includes $50K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.

Raiders To Sign Devontae Booker

The Raiders have agreed to sign Devontae Booker, according to Sean Cunningham of ABC 10 (Twitter link). On Thursday morning, the deal was also confirmed by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

Booker, formerly of the Broncos, will look to stick as a backup to Josh Jacobs. The Raiders also have third-round rookie Lynn Bowden on hand, so there are no more than two spots up for grabs on their RB depth chart. Jalen Richard and Rod Smith are also vying for their spots.

Booker was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2016 draft and went on to have an inconsistent run with the Broncos. As a rookie, he started in six games and finished out with 31 catches and 877 all-purpose yards. After that, he continued to play a role on passing downs, but his workload fluctuated over time and his carries dwindled. Last year, Booker suited up for all 16 games, but finished out with just two totes and six catches.By comparison, he had 105 catches and 289 carries from 2016-2018.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Broncos, Raiders

Everyone has known for a while now that when Patrick Mahomes signs his first contract extension, it’s going to involve some eye-popping numbers. The Chiefs are expected to pursue an extension sometime after the draft, and there has been a lot of chatter about Mahomes becoming the first player to eclipse $40MM in annual salary. While he wouldn’t get into specifics about negotiations, Mahomes made it clear in a recent interview with Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports that he’s in Kansas City for the long haul. “I want to make sure I do it the smart way and do it the right way, and so I don’t know exactly which way that is, yet. I know that my people and the Chiefs’ people will talk about it, and will do it at the right time and for the betterment for the team. But I’m excited to be a Kansas City Chief for a very long time, and I know that’s going to be handled the right way because of the people the Kansas City Chiefs have in their organization,” he explained.

There has been some speculation the Chiefs will try to get him on somewhat of a team-friendly deal in order to spread their cap resources around, similarly to what the Patriots have done with Tom Brady. Mahomes is going to get paid big-time either way, but he did seem to indicate that keeping their core together is a priority for him. “Whichever way possible, we’re going to do it and we’re gonna try to keep as many people on this team as we possibly can that won the Super Bowl this year so we can run it back again next year,” he said.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Speaking of the Chiefs, they made a couple of assistant coaching moves today. Quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka has been given the additional title of passing game coordinator, and the team hired Andy Hill as a special teams assistant. The Eagles were interested in Kafka for their offensive coordinator vacancy, but Kansas City was ultimately able to retain him. All the way back in October we heard that Kafka was well-respected in the league and considered by some to be a future head coach. The former backup quarterback is the latest in a long line of Andy Reid assistants to get buzz.
  • The Broncos have a crowded backfield, but it’s about to get a little thinner. Both Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick will be allowed to walk in free agency, sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Booker was drafted by Denver in the fourth-round back in 2016, and had an up and down career with the team. He was the team’s starter for some of his rookie season, and he often played a big role on passing downs. At the same time, he was often relegated to the bench for extended stretches. 27 now, it’ll be interesting to see how his market develops. Riddick is another passing-downs specialist who signed with Denver this past summer after a productive six-year run with the Lions. He ended up missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, although Klis notes that he is healthy now and has been medically cleared. He’s 28 now, and will likely have a tough time finding much guaranteed money coming off the injury.
  • The Raiders are believed to be interested in signing linebacker Nick Vigil, sources told Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Radio and Insidethebirds.com. Vigil, an impending free agent, spent the first four years of his career with the Bengals. He started all 16 games for Cincy this past season, racking up 111 tackles and five passes defended. Vigil will likely be seeking a decent-sized contract, and he should have a relatively strong market. Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther coached Vigil in Cincinnati, so there’s a lot of familiarity between the two sides.

West Notes: Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers

The Broncos have fallen quite a ways from their Super Bowl 50 win about two years ago. The team’s biggest question mark is obviously at quarterback, but there are a number of questions that John Elway and company will have to answer over the course of the offseason, explains Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Jhabvala mentions that the Broncos wide receiver position could really change over the next few months depending on how the front office approaches some of the playmakers that could enter free agency. The big name she mentions is Demaryius Thomas who could test the open market should Denver decline his $4MM option. He’s controllable for non-guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, but the team could save some money or re-negotiate a new contract before a decision has to be made about that option. In addition to Thomas, Cody Latimer is an unrestricted free agent, Bennie Fowler is a restricted free agent and Emmanuel Sanders is a controllable veteran that could hit the trade block if the team rather invest in Thomas long-term.

Jhabvala also focuses on veteran cornerback Aqib Talib. She notes how he’ll turn 32 in February and is set to make $11MM in 2018. Although, the Broncos would only be responsible for $1MM if he were to be released. With Chris Harris and Bradley Roby under contract as well, it’s unlikely the team would hold onto all three for next season.

The article finally keys in on Denver’s starting running back, C.J. Anderson. Anderson is paid well for his position as he’ll make $4.4MM next season. However, his last two years of his original four-year deal that he signed in 2016 are non-guaranteed, so there is definitely significant money to be saved should the team move onto the likes of Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson or potentially a another running back that they draft in April.

Here’s more from the NFL’s West divisions:

  • Denver has to deal with an off-the-field problem at receiver as well. Their 2017 third-round draft pick, Carlos Henderson, was arrested this afternoon for possession of marijuana, per Brad Cesak of NBC6News (Twitter link). The 23-year-old was placed on the injured reserve with a thumb injury in the preseason, but could face league discipline for his most recent incident. This would be his first offense, but it’s not encouraging for a Broncos team potentially looking for steady contributors on that side of the ball.
  • The news that Pete Carroll would be replacing Darrell Bevell with Brian Schottenheimer as Seattle’s next offensive coordinator was met with some skepticism across the football world. However, Seahawks backup quarterback Austin Davis thinks that the change will bring some positivity to the team’s offense in 2018, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Schottenheimer coached Davis for three seasons while the two were in St. Louis. “We were very creative in St. Louis,” Davis told 710 ESPN Seattle. “We threw a lot of things at the defense, whether it was drop-back, whether it was play-action, whether it was quarterback movement, we had it all. And we were a really good screen team. If there was one thing I could pick out from last year, we couldn’t run screens.” The Seahawks offense was carried by Russell Wilson last season and is in need of a new identity as the team looks to get back into the postseason.
  • 49ers promising rookie linebacker Reuben Foster recently got in trouble with the law for having possession of marijuana, which is likely to effect his paycheck in the years to come. The 2017 first-round pick had about $2.5MM in guaranteed money from 2018-2020, but that will probably be voided because of specific wording in his contract, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Corry explained that Foster had a clause in his contract that if he were to be fined for a violation of the NFL’s drug policy, that money would lose its guaranteed status. The former Alabama defender fell down the draft board a bit last year because of some personality issues, and his immaturity has now clearly cost him in terms of his wallet.
  • Current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some extra cash after the Patriots beat the Titans to advance to the AFC Championship, according to Corry in another tweet. Corry reports that Garoppolo received an extra $51k in playoff money for the victory because he was with New England for at least eight games this past regular season.