With Butler being moved from the NFI list to injured reserve, he is out for the season. The former first-rounder signed a futures deal with New York in January, after spending the past campaign on and off the team’s practice squad. He made just one appearance for the Giants in 2022, and will be four years removed from his career-best six-sack season with the Panthers in 2019. Butler, 29, has started 19 of his 77 career regular season games.
Goldman is a nose tackle by trade. He served in that capacity for the Bears for six seasons, with a 2020 opt-out interrupting a successful tenure. The Bears gave Goldman a four-year, $42MM extension during the 2018 offseason, and he was part of a Vic Fangio-led defense that led the league while helping the team to a 12-4 record. Goldman, 29, has yet to play for the Falcons, but the team has given the veteran D-tackle multiple opportunities.
Ellis, 32, could be a contingency plan. The former Raiders draft choice has logged 117 career games, serving as a run-defending presence. After five seasons in Oakland, Ellis caught on with Baltimore during Don Martindale‘s time as DC. Ellis ended up following Martindale to New York last year, playing Giants games and starting four. Pro Football Focus assigned him a career-worst grade, but the former fourth-round pick has remained on the NFL radar.
After the Raiders gave him a three-year, $13.5MM deal in 2018, Ellis signed one-year deals from 2019-22. This agreement likely runs that streak of one-season pacts to five.
Weeks after making a trade request, Devin White showed for Buccaneers minicamp this week. This was the expected outcome, but the talented linebacker did not participate. Still, Todd Bowles did not refer to this as a hold-in measure. The second-year Tampa Bay HC said (via ESPN’s Jenna Laine) the team wanted to gauge White’s readiness, though it is unclear if the former top-five pick is dealing with a specific injury. Bowles said he expects White to be ready to go for training camp. Though, that could be when a hold-in effort takes place in earnest. White, who avoided nearly $100K in fines by reporting to minicamp, is tied to an $11.7MM fifth-year option salary. Although White wants top-five ILB money and has not yet seen the Bucs show interest in signing off on such an extension, team brass said multiple times this offseason no trade desire exists on the organization’s part.
Falcons defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham missed last season’s final seven games due a full MCL tear, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. After not participating in OTAs, the third-year defender was back on the field at minicamp. Like Hawkins, Graham might see the Falcons’ free agency moves affect his role. The team signed David Onyemata and Calais Campbell, and Eddie Goldman is attempting to return after a 2022 retirement call. Goldman, however, did not work with the team during minicamp.
Trevor Penning already underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury sustained in Week 18. While the Saints tackle is expected to be ready for training camp, NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan notes he is undergoing a second procedure Friday to remove hardware from the repaired foot. Penning started just one game as a rookie, seeing another injury — a torn foot ligament — delay his NFL debut by nearly three months. But the 2022 first-round pick is on track to be New Orleans’ Week 1 left tackle starter this year. James Hurst, the team’s primary blind-sider last season, shared first-team duties with third-year blocker Landon Young at minicamp.
After spending the past two seasons as a Saints staffer, Sterling Moore will not be with the team going forward. The Saints dismissed the former cornerback from their staff, NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill tweets. Moore worked as New Orleans’ assistant DBs coach last season. Moore, 33, started 12 games for the Saints in 2016 and played two seasons with the team. The Saints hired a new defensive coordinator this offseason — Joe Woods — but it is unclear if that move will directly lead to Moore’s summer exit.
The Saints made an addition to their scouting department recently, with InsidetheLeague.com’s Neil Stratton relaying (via Twitter) the team hired former Louisiana Tech staffer Ziad Qubti as their college scouting coordinator. This will be Qubti’s first NFL gig.
Eddie Goldman looks to be attempting a comeback. The longtime Bears nose tackle landed on the Falcons’ reserve/retired list shortly after signing with Atlanta last year, but he is now back on the team’s active roster.
The Falcons reinstated Goldman from the retired list Tuesday, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. Goldman signed a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with the Falcons last summer. But he had played three seasons on a lucrative Bears extension and exercised his right to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020.
It cannot be assumed Goldman, 29, will be part of the Falcons’ 53-man roster next season. But he is back on Atlanta’s 90-man offseason roster. The former second-round pick operated as the Bears’ starting nose tackle throughout Vic Fangio‘s time with the team and continued to do so following the acclaimed DC’s exit. Former Bears GM Ryan Pace, who made Goldman his second draft choice upon taking that job back in 2015, also remains in the Falcons’ front office.
Goldman started for a No. 1-ranked Bears defense in 2018. That unit, which featured accomplished veterans at most spots, helped snap an eight-season Bears playoff drought. More pivotal to Goldman’s path, the Bears took care of him shortly before that season commenced. Goldman signed a four-year, $42MM extension during the 2018 offseason. That deal came with $25MM guaranteed. Will he end up playing on the bottom-end deal the Falcons authorized last year?
Atlanta is transitioning to Ryan Nielsen‘s defense. The six-year Saints staffer has added ex-charge David Onyemata to his defensive tackle group. With Onyemata joining Grady Jarrett, there would not appear a path — barring injury — to Goldman starting inside. Nielsen has not committed fully to installing a 4-3 defense in Atlanta; Goldman played exclusively in 3-4 schemes in Chicago. But the team is inexperienced up front beyond these two veterans. Goldman has made 73 career starts.
For the first time since 2008, the Falcons will have a starting quarterback not named Matt Ryanwhen the upcoming season begins. The team added Marcus Mariotaas a short-term solution at the position, then drafted Desmond Ridderas a long-term option to succeed him.
The former has starting experience dating back to his time with the Titans, and will look to establish himself as a No. 1 again after two years as a backup with the Raiders. The latter, meanwhile, had an historic career at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to the CFP playoffs in 2021. Their lack of a track record at the NFL level made the Falcons a candidate to add a camp arm, but the team is investing fully in their top two passers.
As detailed by D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, training camp reps will be split between Mariota and Ridder, with Feleipe Franksprimarily focusing on his transition to TE. “When you look at it in terms of the quarterbacks for live periods of practice, there is not a lot [of] taxing amount of periods where the ball is being thrown,” said offensive coordinator Dave Ragonewhen speaking about a concentrated workload for the pair. With little expected of the team in 2022, dividing the reps only two ways is a sensible step for the Falcons as they search for a new franchise signal-caller.
Here are a few other notes from the Peach State, both from Ledbetter’s positional breakdowns:
The Falcons ranked 31st in the league in rushing last season, so their attempts at improving their ground game will be the subject of much attention this year. Cordarrelle Pattersonis set to return, after he totalled a career-best 1,166 scrimmage yards in 2021. He will not enter camp as the undisputed No. 1 back, however; RBs coach Mike Pitre said that there will be a “wide open” competition involving the veteran Swiss Army knife, free agent signing Damien Williams, and younger options like rookie Tyler Allgeierand Avery Williams, who is converting from cornerback. Head coach Arthur Smith did add, however, that the Falcons will “continue to try to enhance ” Patterson’s overall role in the offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle will be another positional battle to watch. Either Vincent Taylor0rAnthony Rushwill earn a starting spot alongside Grady Jarrett in the heart of the d-line. Eddie Goldmanwas the most experienced option for a first-team role until his unexpected retirement decision was confirmed earlier this week. Taylor and Rush have each bounced around to multiple teams in their careers, but will have an opportunity for significant snaps in their debut seasons with the Falcons, who ranked 27th against the run in 2021.
Less than two weeks ago, Eddie Goldman agreed to terms with the Falcons. But the veteran nose tackle has changed his mind. Goldman instead intends to walk away from the game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Goldman’s one-year Falcons deal was worth $1.3MM, and it came with just more than $1MM guaranteed. Goldman, who had previously spent his entire career with the Bears, will pass on a seventh NFL season to retire at 28. The Falcons have since confirmed Goldman’s intention (Twitter link).
This news comes days from the Falcons’ training camp report date for veterans. It also marks the second time in three years Goldman has made a late-summer decision not to play football. In 2020, the former second-round pick informed the Bears he was opting out due to COVID-19 concerns. Goldman returned to play one more season in Chicago, but the Bears’ new regime released him to start this offseason.
Goldman did well for himself as a pro, starting for a No. 1-ranked Bears defense in 2018. That unit, which featured accomplished veterans at most spots, helped snap an eight-season Bears playoff drought. More pivotal to Goldman’s path, the Bears took care of him shortly before that season commenced. Goldman signed a four-year, $42MM extension during the 2018 offseason. That deal came with $25MM guaranteed. While part of that contract tolled after his opt-out choice, the Florida State alum collected most of the money from that deal.
While Goldman later teamed with Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith on one of the league’s top front sevens, he beat all of those vets to Chicago by going in the 2015 second round. Pace misfired with his first pick as Bears GM (wideout Kevin White) but hit on Goldman, who started 73 of the 81 games he played with the Bears. Though known more for run defense, Goldman finished his career with 13 sacks. One of those was a safety, coming when Goldman sacked Jared Goff to give the Bears a second-half lead in a 2019 upset win in Los Angeles.
The Bears disbanded this decorated front seven, for the most part, this year. Mack, Hicks and Trevathan are also gone, and Robert Quinn skipped minicamp as he aimed to be traded. The Falcons still have Grady Jarrett, but their defensive line still invites questions. Atlanta is starting over on the edge, having drafted two Day 3 pass rushers after signing Lorenzo Carter. Inside, Atlanta used Anthony Rush as its first-string nose tackle during the offseason. The team also has former second-round pick Marlon Davidson (one start in two seasons) as an interior D-line cog.
One of a handful of Bears front-seven departures this offseason, Eddie Goldman found a new home Wednesday. The Falcons signed the veteran defensive tackle to a one-year contract. The team announced this transaction and the waiving of safety Brad Hawkins.
A six-year veteran, Goldman started for nearly his entire Chicago tenure. The Falcons brought in ex-Bears GM Ryan Pace this offseason, making this a reunion for Goldman. Pace was in his first months as Bears GM when the team drafted Goldman in the 2015 second round. The veteran executive authorized a four-year, $42MM Goldman extension three years later and may well be behind the Falcons giving him another opportunity.
The Bears released their longtime nose tackle in March. That move came during a stretch in which the team parted ways with front-seven veterans Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan. Goldman, 28, joins Hicks to have found a new home in free agency. Hicks signed with the Buccaneers last month.
While not on the Pro Bowl level like Mack and Hicks, Goldman contributed to the Bears fielding top-tier defenses — including 2018’s No. 1-ranked unit. Pro Football Focus ranked Goldman as a top-15 interior D-lineman in 2018 and had him as a top-40 player here in 2019. The accomplished run-stopper opted out of the 2020 season, and PFF graded him near the bottom at the position last season. With the Falcons, the Florida State alum should receive another chance at substantial playing time.
Atlanta will pair Goldman and longtime cornerstone Grady Jarrett, who signed an extension this offseason. The team also has some draft capital invested in its D-line, with ex-second-rounder Marlon Davidson going into his third season. Anthony Rush had slotted as Atlanta’s top nose tackle this offseason. Goldman (73 starts) figures to push the incumbent.
Eddie Goldman‘s first free agent visit will be in Baltimore. The veteran defensive lineman is expected to meet with the Ravens on Friday, reports Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (via Twitter).
The Bears cut Goldman last week after they couldn’t work out a trade for the veteran defensive lineman. Two years remained on Goldman’s $10.5MM-per-year deal, and cutting the veteran saved the Bears more than $6MM in cap space.
Goldman, 28, returned to the Bears after opting out of the 2020 season. He started 10 games, upping his total to 73 as a pro. The Bears gave him an extension worth $42MM in 2018, but because his contract tolled after he passed on the 2020 season, Goldman was signed through 2023.
The Ravens have revamped their defense a bit over the past week. After releasing cornerback Tavon Young last week, the team inked safety Marcus Williams to a whopping five-year, $70MM deal. Goldman would be another notable addition to new DC Mike Macdonald‘s defense.
This comes after the team made efforts to trade Goldman, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Two years remained on Goldman’s $10.5MM-per-year deal. The move will save the Bears just more than $6MM in cap space.
Goldman, 28, returned to the Bears after opting out of the 2020 season. He started 10 games, upping his total to 73 as a pro. Goldman was a part of each Vic Fangio Bears defense, starting all 16 games for the team’s No. 1-ranked unit in 2018, and retained his job after the acclaimed defensive coordinator’s exit. The Bears gave him an extension just before Week 1 of that season. Because his contract tolled after passing on the 2020 season, Goldman was signed through 2023. He should have an opportunity to catch on elsewhere soon.
Goldman and Trevathan, with the Bears since 2015 and ’16, respectively, are hitting the open market early. Akiem Hicks, with the team since 2016, is set for free agency next week. Khalil Mack, a four-year contributor after a 2018 blockbuster trade, hit the trade block and is headed to the Chargers. With Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles now in charge, Chicago’s defense will look considerably different in 2022.