Greg Van Roten

Seahawks To Meet With G Greg Van Roten

Losing Damien Lewis to the Panthers, the Seahawks have placed guard as a priority. A few veteran starters remain available. One of them is heading to Seattle for a visit.

The Seahawks are meeting with Greg Van Roten today, Brady Henderson of tweets. While the team has been connected to potential interest in Laken Tomlinson and Cody Whitehair, Van Roten joins this duo in having extensive starting experience. Despite joining the Raiders in late May last year, he worked as a 17-game starter last year in Las Vegas.

Representing the only notable Raiders O-line addition last year, Van Roten commandeered the starting right guard job and played there throughout the season. The veteran offered Las Vegas some stability, logging 1,024 snaps at the position in 2023. Lauding Van Roten’s pass-blocking work, Pro Football Focus rated the journeyman guard seventh at the position last season. That certainly brought good value for the Raiders, who had him on a one-year, $1.6MM deal.

Last year’s Raiders work ran Van Roten’s start count to 71. Prior to his Nevada stay, the former UDFA spent time with the Packers, Panthers, Jets and Bills. Not all of these seasons brought regular starter work, but a few of them did. The Panthers and Jets used Van Roten as a frequent starter from 2018-21. The Bills deployed the veteran primarily as a backup in 2022, but the Raiders demoted Alex Bars ahead of last season and stuck with Van Roten throughout.

Turning 34 earlier this offseason, Van Roten is on the older side and certainly would profile as a rental for the Seahawks. But the team passed on paying Lewis, who signed a four-year Panthers deal worth $52MM, and have not re-signed right guard starter Phil Haynes. The team may need to turn to a stopgap blocker in Ryan Grubb‘s first year as OC, and Van Roten profiles as one of the top names available on this year’s market.

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 Eyeing Thayer Munford For RT Job

After receiving some surprising returns up front last season, the Raiders largely stood pat this year. Only Greg Van Roten arrived as a notable free agent along the offensive line. No draft choices were allocated to the position.

The Raiders do, however, look to be strongly considering an internal shakeup. Thayer Munford has taken most of the team’s first-string right tackle reps during training camp, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore notes the Raiders are confident the 2022 seventh-round pick is ready for a bigger role.

Jermaine Eluemunor primarily manned that position last season, and the veteran resides as one of many ex-Patriots on Josh McDaniels‘ roster. Eluemunor has extensive guard experience as well, having played there for the Raiders in 2021. A potential move back inside has been on the Raiders’ radar for a bit now, and the team has a potential opening there. Incumbent Alex Bars, who rated as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst guards in 2022, has been taking most of the first-team reps during camp, per Bonsignore. Van Roten, whom the Raiders signed after the draft, has not seen many first-team cameos.

The Raiders re-signed Eluemunor to a one-year, $3MM deal in March. He has started 20 games since coming to Las Vegas, including all 17 last season. The seventh-year veteran, who played for McDaniels in New England from 2019-20, could serve as a swingman as well. This would give the Raiders some proven depth, as Eluemunor has started 31 career games, provided Munford is truly ready to move into the starting lineup.

Pro Football Focus viewed Eluemunor’s work fondly last season, rating him 21st among tackles; the advanced metrics site slotted Munford 52nd. But the team was high on the Day 3 pick’s progress before his rookie year. Munford played 370 offensive snaps as a rookie. Munford saw time at right tackle, left tackle and left guard at Ohio State, a program that has certainly seen its share of O-linemen make their way into the NFL in recent years. Enough improvement between Year 1 and Year 2 looks like it would trigger a lineup change in Vegas.

After rotating O-linemen during camp last year, the Raiders are sticking with their front five in this year’s camp. Munford and Bars have joined Kolton Miller, Dylan Parham and Andre James on the first-unit line. PFF ranked the Raiders’ line 10th last season, as it helped Josh Jacobs win the rushing title. Observing how they construct the right side of this year’s O-line, as the injury-prone Jimmy Garoppolo is now in place at quarterback, will be a storyline worth following in Vegas. A Bars-Munford right side would be light on experience, but Eluemunor and Van Roten also provide experienced depth — in the event the former Buckeyes blocker seizes the RT job.

Raiders Sign G Greg Van Roten

The Raiders have made their first addition of the offseason along the interior of their offensive line. The team announced on Friday that they have signed veteran guard Greg Van Roten.

Las Vegas will represent Van Roten’s fifth career team, after he spent time with the Packers, Panthers, Jets and Bills. Overall, his 93 appearances in the NFL have included 54 career starts, and he has seen at least some first-team work in every season since 2017. He saw time at center in 2022 with Buffalo, but the majority of his time has been spent at either left or right guard.

The 33-year-old had a run of 23 starts in two seasons with the Jets, but was released last offseason. That led him to sign with the Bills in June, where he served in a backup capacity aside from four starts at center. His time there resulted in a career-worst PFF grade of 57.6, a notable drop from his consistent (if unspectacular) ratings for much of the rest of his career. Usage at guard could help lead to a return to form with the Raiders.

Van Roten represents an expected addition for the Raiders, a team which had only re-signed in-house linemen to date. They also elected not to use any draft capital at the position, despite the unit’s inconsistent play last season. Prior to today, right guard Alex Bars was set to face competition from Jermaine Eluemunor and Netane Muti for playing time at the RG spot; all three signed new deals with Vegas this offseason.

Now, however, Van Roten could compete for a starting role, given Bars’ struggles in 2022. Having that pair atop the depth chart in one order or another could also give the team more depth at right tackle, particularly if Eluemunor were to primarily play on the outside. If Van Roten were to be able to earn the starting job, he could line himself up for another, more lucrative deal next offseason on the open market.

AFC Roster Rumors: Van Roten, Jefferson, Scharping, Reed

As the calendar year ticks away the days, NFL teams are having to start thinking about the difficult decisions they will have to make to eventually get their rosters down to 53 players to start the season. While the teams still have almost two months to make all the necessary cuts, many veterans are entering training camp on roster bubbles.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the players who may find themselves looking for a new team by the time the season begins:

  • The Bills brought in free agent offensive guard Greg Van Roten to solidify their depth on the interior of the offensive line. The 32-year-old veteran has starting experience with the last two clubs he’s spent time with, the Panthers and Jets, but he may not even make it to the final 53-man roster in Buffalo, according to Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN. As the Bills figure out just who will receive their coveted roster spots, the final spot will likely become a battle between Van Roten, Greg Mancz, whose experience at center could give him an edge, and rookie sixth-round pick Luke Tenuta.
  • The Ravens are overloaded with talent at the safety position. With free agent addition Marcus Williams, first-round pick Kyle Hamilton, and incumbent starters from last year Chuck Clark and Brandon Stephens all crowding the depth chart, veteran Tony Jefferson may find himself on the outside looking in, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. Jefferson was released by Baltimore two offseasons ago, following a season mostly lost to a torn ACL, but was brought back last year after starting safety DeShon Elliott went down with a season-ending injury and Baltimore needed another veteran presence in their defensive backfield. Unfortunately, with the influx of new talent combined with the presence of last year’s starters, the Ravens may find that rostering Jefferson is not crucial to their depth at the position.
  • After trading cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. to the Chiefs this offseason, the Texans‘ 2019 draft class is down to two remaining players: first-round tackle Tytus Howard and second-round guard Max Scharping. While Howard has established himself as a starter on the line, Scharping is not a lock for the 53-man roster, according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN. Scharping stepped up as a starter during his rookie season but could not manage to hold onto the spot in his second year. The 2021 season saw Scharping struggle enough that his roster spot is now in question.
  • Over the past three seasons, pass rusher Malik Reed has been a lifesaver for Denver as the Broncos saw stars Von Miller and Bradley Chubb each miss time over the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. Some roster moves by the Broncos, though, seem to be pointing toward some roster danger for Reed, according to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. Free agent Randy Gregory was brought in on a $70MM contract, Denver drafted rookie Nik Bonitto in the second round this year, and the Broncos moved Baron Browning to outside linebacker after he played his entire rookie season on the inside. That trio will all be under contract until at least 2025, while Reed is in a contract year. This doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the former undrafted free agent, who has done a lot to earn his spot. But, with only one roster spot likely to be available at the position, Reed will potentially be duking it out with 2021 seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper for the final OLB roster spot.

Bills Sign G Greg Van Roten

The Jets opted not to retain Greg Van Roten this offseason, releasing the veteran guard despite his 23-start run with the team. The Bills are giving the 10-year blocker a landing spot.

Van Roten agreed to a deal with Buffalo on Monday. This will continue to crowd the Bills’ O-line with veterans. They have also signed Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry this offseason.

Although the Jets bailed on Van Roten’s contract shortly after the draft, Robert Saleh said the team was open to bringing him back. The Jets believed Van Roten had the potential to start for other teams. After they had signed Laken Tomlinson to pair with Alijah Vera-Tucker, the 32-year-old blocker was not in line to keep starting for the Jets. A northward trek to a superior team should represent a better opportunity for Van Roten to stay a starter. If that does not end up taking place, the Bills still have a strong depth piece in a player who has 50 starts to his credit.

Pro Football Focus viewed Van Roten as a midlevel guard last season and deemed his 2021 work slightly superior to what he offered in 2020. Van Roten came to the Jets after a three-year run with the Panthers, the final two as a starter. He began his career with the Packers, catching on with Green Bay as a UDFA in 2012. While Van Roten does have a Panthers past, his stay did not overlap with ex-Panthers exec-turned-Bills GM Brandon Beane.

Saffold’s career-long run as a starter puts him in position to claim one of Buffalo’s first-string guard gigs, despite this being his age-34 season. The team also retained Ryan Bates by matching a Bears RFA offer sheet, giving the young guard some momentum to build on the six-start season he finished. Buffalo has Ike Boettger (17 starts from 2020-21) and former second-round pick Cody Ford under contract as well.

AFC Rumors: Jaguars, Williams, Van Roten, Leonard, Browns, Griffin III

After the Jaguars fired former head coach Urban Meyer, it became public that Jacksonville had no intentions of paying Meyer the remaining money on his contract, as he was being fired for cause. There was speculation at the time that the parties may follow existing precedents and negotiate a settlement in order to avoid a legal situation.

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation informed the columnist that, to date, the two sides have been unable to strike a settlement agreement.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC, starting with a rumor out of South Beach:

  • The Dolphins should have plenty of options for their offensive line configuration, but it most likely hinges on what they do with interior offensive lineman Connor Williams. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami isn’t quite sure what to do with Williams, working him at center and left guard over the past three weeks. The good news, is that it gives them plenty of options. With Terron Armstead solidified at left tackle and Robert Hunt solidly at right guard, Williams could fit at either position. If you put Williams at left guard, the team would likely have Michael Deiter start at center and leave Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson to compete for the starting right tackle job. If you start Williams at center, Eichenberg can slide in to the left guard job and Jackson can man the right tackle position.
  • The Jets recently released guard Greg Van Roten. According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, head coach Robert Saleh claimed that they released Van Roten because they believe he has the potential to start for other teams in the league. His release is meant to allow him to find those teams that would provide him a starting opportunity. Saleh was quoted saying they’d “love to have him back,” if he fails to find such opportunities.
  • Colts linebacker Darius Leonard had ankle surgery in June last year before the season. The surgery helped him to get healthy for the season, where he played every game but one and was named a first-team All-Pro for the third time in his career. While the ankle is still ailing him, Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star reported that Leonard says the ankle is better now than it was at this point last year. This is an encouraging sign for Leonard and a scary message for the other teams in the AFC South. Leonard has been named to an All-Pro team every year of his career while being nagged by his ankle ailment. A healthy Leonard is a dangerous weapon for opposing teams to have to game-plan against.
  • With the return of free agent wide receiver Jarvis Landry seeming less and less likely, Mary Kay Cabot of believes the Browns will be able to push a bit harder now for free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney to return. Cabot points out that drafting UAB pass rusher Alex Wright makes the need to sign Clowney a little less urgent, but also mentions that fellow pass rusher Myles Garrett wants Clowney back, which could help his case. Cabot claims that, if the two parties can’t agree to a new deal, Cleveland will consider former Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes instead.
  • We’ve all seen Rich Eisen of NFL Network run the 40-yard dash for charity. Well, this year, former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, currently an analyst for ESPN, participated and reportedly was clocked at 4.48 seconds. Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that on Eisen’s show, Griffin made the claim that some teams took notice of his impressive run and reached out to him. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any teams have offered to bring him back to the NFL, but Griffin has publicly stated his desire to return to football in the past, even claiming that his contract with ESPN would allow him to sign with an NFL team if the opportunity presents itself. Griffin last spent time in the league as Lamar Jackson‘s back up on the Ravens. He filled in multiple times leading many to wonder if he still had the ability to lead an NFL offense based on his brief appearances.

Jets Release G Greg Van Roten

After claiming Nate Herbig off waivers from the Eagles, the Jets jettisoned one of their experienced blockers and saved some money. They cut Greg Van Roten on Friday.

Van Roten’s release represents the Jets’ corresponding move for the waiver claim; the veteran starter will head straight to free agency. Van Roten, 32, had started 23 games for the Jets over the past two seasons but was no longer in line to be a first-stringer, with the team having signed Laken Tomlinson in free agency.

While this release saves the Jets $3.5MM, it cuts into their newly solid depth on their interior offensive line. Herbig and Dan Feeney represent the team’s top interior backup options. Van Roten, however, arrived prior to Robert Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur‘s arrivals. Tomlinson is set to team with 2021 first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker, with Connor McGovern still under contract at center.

The Jets signed Van Roten during the same offseason they landed McGovern, giving the ex-Panther blocker a three-year deal worth $10.5MM. He was set to earn a nonguaranteed $3MM this season. A New York native who emerged as a UDFA out of Penn, Van Roten has made 50 career starts — all since 2018. Pro Football Focus rated Van Roten as a middling guard last season; he figures to have a shot elsewhere at some point before the season.

AFC East Rumors: Watson, Mariota, Allen

Add veteran NFL reporter Tyler Dunne of to the list of writers who have heard that Texans QB Deshaun Watson is not budging on his desire to be traded, and that he continues to ignore every call from Houston brass. Of course, Watson has a no-trade clause that he could use to help dictate where he goes — assuming the Texans give in and deal him, which they have insisted they are not going to do — and we recently heard that the 49ers and Broncos are on his destination list.

Dunne’s source indicates that the Dolphins — who have been considered one of the frontrunners for Watson since trade speculation started to swirl — and the Niners are Watson’s top two preferred clubs. In Dunne’s view, a trade to Miami makes too much sense to not happen, and he believes the ‘Fins and Texans could line up on a deal that sends Watson to South Beach in exchange for the No. 3 and No. 18 overall picks in this year’s draft along with Miami’s 2022 first-rounder.

Now for more rumors from the AFC East:

  • Recent reports have indicated that Raiders QB Marcus Mariota is generating legitimate trade interest, and Mike Reiss of believes the Patriots could be in the mix. New England obviously needs a quarterback, and Mariota is attached to a reasonable $10.6MM salary for 2021 and would not cost much to acquire in terms of draft capital. Although he could demand a raise if he is being acquired to serve as a starter, his current salary would not preclude the Pats from continuing to explore other options, like Jimmy Garoppolo — if the the 49ers land a different QB and release Garoppolo — or a collegiate passer.
  • Reiss does not expect the Patriots to make a deal with the division-rival Jets for Gang Green QB Sam Darnold, though what the Jets do with Darnold could certainly have a major impact on New England (for instance, if New York trades Darnold to San Francisco, Garoppolo could become available).
  • The Jets have among the most cap space in the league at just shy of $70MM, and they can easily create even more flexibility, thereby giving them a huge advantage in what could be a buyer’s market given the decreased salary cap. Connor Hughes of The Athletic believes New York will release DE Henry Anderson, which jibes with a report from December. That move will save the club $8.2MM in cap space, and Hughes suggests that guards Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis might be goners as well (their releases would save $3.4MM and $5.1MM, respectively).
  • Meanwhile the Jets don’t have too many of their own free agents that must be retained. Hughes expects safety Marcus Maye to be re-signed, and he also says OL Pat Elflein — who played well in 2020 after being claimed off waivers from the Vikings — is a logical candidate to return, especially if the team moves on from Van Roten and/or Lewis.
  • Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News does not foresee the Bills laying out major free agent dollars this offseason. Instead, he expects the club to use the majority of its cash on an extension for QB Josh Allen, which means that the Bills will likely allow LB Matt Milano to test the open market — contrary to GM Brandon Beane‘s assertion that a franchise tag could be in play — and will not be in the running for a top pass rusher like Shaquil Barrett or Bud Dupree.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: G Blake Hance
  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Karl Joseph
  • Promoted: G Cordell Iwuagwu, LB Montrel Meander, T Alex Taylor

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted: DB John Brannon

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team