Duron Harmon

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/22/23

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Although the Rams look to be expecting Kyren Williams to be activated for Week 12, they will keep Henderson around as insurance. The Rams turned to their former third-round pick immediately after injuries moved Williams and Ronnie Rivers off the roster. Despite waiving Henderson in November 2022, the Rams plugged him back in. While Royce Freeman‘s per-carry numbers (4.3) outshine Henderson’s (2.4), the latter scored two touchdowns during his latest run in Sean McVay‘s system. While the Rams waived Henderson again Tuesday, Freeman remains on Los Angeles’ active roster.

Harmon will join team No. 3 this season. The former Patriots Super Bowl winner, a Raider in 2022, began the season with the Ravens. The Bears signed Harmon off Baltimore’s practice squad last month. Harmon, 32, would represent a veteran safety presence for a Browns team that just lost Rodney McLeod for the season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/8/23

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks

Cory Littleton is back in Houston. The linebacker already got into six games with the Texans this season, mostly playing on special teams. After getting cut in late October, he caught on with the Saints practice squad and quickly earned a promotion on Sunday. This time around, Littleton should be sticking in Houston, at least temporarily. The Texans are required to keep the LB on their active roster for at least three weeks.

The veteran had a productive stint with the Rams to begin his career. He spent four years in Los Angeles, including a two-year stint between 2018 and 2019 where he averaged 129 tackles per season.

Bears To Sign S Duron Harmon Off Ravens’ Practice Squad

Duron Harmon joined the Ravens’ practice squad in a bid to find playing time in 2023. Rather than doing so in Baltimore, however, he is set to see the field in Chicago.

The Bears are expected to sign Harmon to their active roster, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The team had an open roster spot, so no corresponding move will be required. Harmon will give Chicago a needed depth option in the secondary, a unit which has been hit hard by injuries early in the season.

Safety Eddie Jackson was among the many defensive backs who missed the Bears’ Week 4 loss, and his availability for the team’s upcoming Thursday night game is in question. The same is true for cornerback Jaylon Johnson, whose absence on Sunday compounded that of Kyler Gordon and Josh Blackwell, both of whom are on injured reserve. The Bears signed former Viking Joejuan Williams last week to help their thin CB room.

Harmon could have seen time on the Ravens’ active roster (at least as a gameday elevation for a limited time) given Baltimore’s own injury troubles on the back end. Starting safety Marcus Williams suffered a pectoral injury in Week 1, and he has not seen the field since then. The 2022 free agent addition has elected to forego surgery, though, meaning he avoided an IR stint and is on track to return at some point in the campaign.

In Williams’ absence, special teamer Daryl Worley – who has seen time on and off Baltimore’s practice squad – was added to the Ravens’ active roster last month. The former Raiders starter suffered an injury in Week 4, however, which could leave Baltimore without much in the way of depth behind Kyle Hamilton and Geno Stone for the time being. It will be interesting to see if they make a taxi squad addition in Harmon’s absence.

The latter is best known for his tenure with the Patriots, a seven-year stretch which saw him win three Super Bowls. He has since had one-year stints with the Lions, Falcons and Raiders, logging over 1,000 snaps in each season. Harmon will likely have a path to immediate playing time in Chicago if he is able to suit up in time for the Bears’ next attempt to secure their first win of the campaign.

Ravens Sign DB Daryl Worley To Active Roster, S Duron Harmon To Practice Squad

With Marcus Williams suffering a pectoral injury during the Ravens’ season opener, the team has added some reinforcement to their secondary. The Ravens announced that they signed defensive back Daryl Worley to the active roster and safety Duron Harmon to the practice squad.

Worley has been with the Ravens since the end of the 2021 campaign. After getting into eight games with Baltimore in 2022, the veteran re-signed with the organization this offseason. He was cut prior to roster deadline day but quickly caught on with Baltimore’s practice squad. Worley was promoted to the active roster for Sunday’s season opener.

The former third-round pick has seen time in 79 games (55 starts). He started 15 games with the Raiders as recently as 2019. His ability to play both cornerback and safety made him a natural choice for the 53-man roster.

Harmon won three Super Bowls during his seven-year stint with the Patriots. He’s bounced around a bit since leaving New England, spending time with the Lions, Falcons, and Raiders over the past three seasons. He served as a full-time starter at each of those stops, including a 2022 campaign where he started 16 games for the Raiders.

He finished last season with a career-high 86 tackles to go along with five passes defended and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus graded him as an above-average safety (especially in coverage), but the veteran remained unsigned up to this point.

Williams is set to be out for “a while,” according to John Harbaugh (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). The coach also said that the safety could go under the knife, although that route is still to be determined by team doctors.

Raiders S Johnathan Abram Not Guaranteed To Start

In 2019, the Oakland Raiders used a first-round pick acquired by trading wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cowboys to draft Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. Since being selected at No. 27 overall, Abram has been a starter in the Raiders’ secondary, whenever he’s healthy. That presumed role as a starter may be in jeopardy, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed. 

Abram has plenty of talent to offer the Raiders’ defense, but one reason that he may get relegated from his starting duties is that he can’t seem to keep that talent on the field. Injuries have bitten Abram early and often during his time in the NFL. After competing in his first NFL game, it was reported that Abram would be out for the remainder of his rookie season with a torn rotator cuff and labrum. Abram missed three games in the 2020 NFL season (one due to COVID-19) and ended the 2021 season on injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery, forcing him to miss the team’s final three regular season games and their first playoff game since the 2016 season.

When he has been on the field, Abram has developed into a gifted safety in the box. While that’s all good and well, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s defense usually requires safeties to play in multiple roles. Abram does have three interceptions and 11 passes defensed over three years, but he has yet to show the versatility required of him to consistently cover deep zones. So far Abram hasn’t been able to show he isn’t a liability in coverage. Last year, Abram led all safeties, being targeted 68 times and allowing 54 receptions, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Another factor that hurts Abram’s chance to remain at the top of the depth chart is the offseason signing of veteran safety Duron Harmon. The former long-time Patriot has spent the past two seasons in Detroit and Atlanta. Despite leaving New England at 29-years-old, Harmon broke out in his new cities, going from a part-time starter to starting every game for the Lions and Falcons. Harmon has more ability in coverage than Abram, recording at least one interception in every season and maxing out at 4 interceptions in a season twice. Since earning a starting role, he’s also increased his play on ball carriers, more than doubling his average tackles per season as a starter. He also has some familiarity with Graham from the three seasons they spent together in New England.

Last year’s rookie, Trevon Moehrig, will likely man one starting spot while Harmon pushes Abram for the other. According to PFF, Moehrig rated 25th among all NFL safeties. Harmon, at 68th, just edged out Abram, 75th, in the positional rankings.

The good news for Abram, is that he’s shown improvement every year he’s played in the NFL. He will continue to be targeted by NFL quarterbacks until he proves he can keep the ball out of receivers’ hands. Fortunately, he’s impressed his coaching staff so far this offseason, but whether that means they can count on him to not be a liability in the secondary this year has yet to be seen.

Raiders Sign S Duron Harmon

Since taking over in their roles with the Raiders, Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler have had a habit of recruiting former Patriots players to Las Vegas. We can add another player to the list, as the Raiders announced that they’ve signed veteran safety Duron Harmon. It’s a one-year deal, according to agent Andy Simms (on Twitter).

The 2013 third-round pick spent the first seven seasons of his career in New England, starting 29 of his 111 games. While Harmon usually had to settle for a backup role on defense, he still collected 17 interceptions during his time with the organization. The safety also earned three Super Bowl rings, seeing time in 17 playoff games (including a championship-winning 2016 postseason where he started all three games for the Patriots).

In 2020, Harmon was paired with a seventh-round pick and shipped to the Seahawks for a fifth-round pick. The veteran started all 16 games that year, collecting a career-high 73 tackles. He signed a one-year pact with the Falcons last offseason, and he started all 17 games for his new squad, finishing with 67 tackles, five passes defended, and two interceptions.

By our count, Harmon is the sixth former Patriots player to head to Las Vegas to join the GM/HC tandem. The safety joins a growing list that already includes defensive end Chandler Jones, running back/special teamer Brandon Bolden, fullback Jakob Johnson, quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and tight end Jacob Hollister. The Raiders also had interest in signing Stephon Gilmore, who won Defensive Player of the Year with the Patriots in 2019.

Contract Details: Smith, Falcons, Texans

Here are the details from some of the league’s most recently agreed-upon contracts:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Falcons): One year, $3MM. The decorated kick returner’s contract includes a $1.7MM base salary and $1.3MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • DeMarcus Walker, DL (Texans): One year, $1.5MM. The ex-Broncos D-lineman will receive $500K guaranteed and can earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Walker’s deal will count $1.45MM against the Texans’ cap.
  • Jaleel Johnson, DL (Texans): One year, $1.3MM. Johnson will see $300K of his $1MM base salary guaranteed, Wilson tweets. A $350K incentive also exists within this deal.
  • Roderick Johnson, T (Texans): One year, $1.15MM. Johnson will receive $350K guaranteed. He will be attached to a $920K base salary and can collect $130K in per-game roster bonuses, Wilson tweets.
  • Aldon Smith, DE (Seahawks): One year, $1.13MM. Smith agreed to a deal that includes a nonguaranteed $990K base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. He will collect a $137K signing bonus, with the contract counting at $988K on Seattle’s cap sheet.
  • Lane Taylor, G (Texans): One year, $1.13MM. Taylor will collect a $138K signing bonus and count $988K toward Houston’s cap, Wilson tweets.
  • Duron Harmon, S (Falcons): One year, $1.1MM. Harmon will receive $363K guaranteed, per Rothstein. He will count $988K against Atlanta’s cap.

Falcons Sign Duron Harmon

The Falcons have officially signed safety Duron Harmon to a one-year deal, per a club announcement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. In related news, the Falcons also confirmed their signing of veteran wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson

[RELATED: Falcons To Sign Cordarrelle Patterson]

Harmon, 30, spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Patriots, providing reliable play with near-perfect attendance. Last year, old friend Matt Patricia brought him to Detroit in an exchange of late-round picks. Harmon went on to start in all 16 of the Falcons’ games, tallying 73 tackles, two interceptions, and five passes defensed along the way. Last year, Harmon earned a base salary of $3.5MM – this time around, he’ll likely earn less with the Falcons.

Harmon may not be an All-Pro, but he is a durable defender who can give the Falcons some badly needed depth at safety. Unless the Falcons score an impact rookie in the draft, he may be tapped to start at free safety opposite of Erik Harris.

For his career, the Rutgers product has 248 tackles, two tackles for loss, 19 interceptions, and 33 passes defensed to his credit. He’s also a three-time Super Bowl champion (including Super Bowl LI).

Patriots Trade Duron Harmon To Lions

The Patriots have traded defensive back Duron Harmon to the Lions, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This will be another Patriots pick-swap deal, with Harmon and a seventh-round pick (No. 235 overall) going to Detroit in exchange for a fifth-rounder (No. 172), NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets.

Harmon has history with head coach Matt Patricia, who previously served as the commander of the Patriots’ defense. Patricia has made it a point to bring in familiar faces from New England over the years and Harmon is just the latest to come through the pipeline.

The 29-year-old has spent all seven of his NFL seasons with the Patriots with near-perfect attendance. Last year, the Pats put him in the starting lineup for eight games and he finished out with 22 stops, two interceptions, and five passes defensed.

Harmon has one year to go on his deal and is set to earn a base salary of $3.5MM in 2020. After that, he’ll be on course for unrestricted free agency.

Earlier today, the Lions tapped another ex-Patriot in defensive tackle Danny Shelton. And, on Monday, they made an even bigger ex-Pats splash by agreeing to terms with linebacker Jamie Collins.

AFC Notes: Clowney, Darnold, Patriots

The Texans are hoping to work out a long-term extension with star LB/DE Jadeveon Clowney this offseason, and the former No. 1 overall selection has expressed his desire to remain in Houston, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Clowney, a two-time Pro Bowler, said, “I want to be [in Houston] forever. It would be great, something I always dreamed of. I don’t want to leave this team. I’ve been here since the beginning. I want to stay here. I want to finish my career here, so I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully, they lock me in.”

As Wilson notes, a new contract for Clowney could make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league, a mantle currently held by Denver’s Von Miller and his six-year, $114MM ($70MM guaranteed) deal. The Texans would like to get something done prior to the season, or even prior to training camp.

Now for more notes and rumors from around the AFC:

  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union offers his thoughts on a number of Jaguars-related items. For instance, he believes that, the longer Jacksonville is without a No. 2 QB, the likelier it is that the team uses a fairly high draft pick on a signal-caller. He also says the Jags need another versatile TE to continue running their grind-it-out offense, and he wonders if the fact that the team put a second-round tender on Corey Grant — which Grant signed several days ago — means that Grant will have a bigger role in the offense in 2018.
  • We already heard that top QB prospect Sam Darnold looked very good at USC’s recent pro day, and per Albert Breer of SI.com, Darnold himself said he is “trying to go to Cleveland” (meaning, of course, that he wants to be the No. 1 overall selection). Indeed, one AFC executive who attended the pro day told Breer, “Everyone out there today saw the Browns’ franchise quarterback.” Breer adds that post-combine buzz has pointed towards a Darnold-Cleveland marriage.
  • The Bengals may appear to be out of the running for the top safeties still on the free agent market — players like Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid — but Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer believes that the club is still monitoring those and other players to see if their price drops enough to make a move.
  • Patriots safety Duron Harmon, who was denied entry into Costa Rica after attempting to bring marijuana into the country — and who was briefly detained before being sent back to the United States — issued an apology for his actions via Instagram. Harmon is not expected to be released, though he could be entered into the league’s drug program and face a suspension from the league or the team. It is unclear at this point if he will face any criminal charges.
  • Now that the Patriots have lost Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com looks at the battle for the Patriots’ starting left tackle position. The newly-resigned LaAdrian Waddle could be a factor, as could 2017 third-rounder Antonio Garcia. Garcia missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lung, and while he has been cleared to play, he has lost a lot of weight and has a lot of ground to make up. Reiss says 2017 UDFA Cole Croston is an ascending player and could be a realistic candidate for the LT job.