Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
As Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic points out, cutting Lewis came as a bit of a surprise considering the Bills’ lack of depth at cornerback. However, the reporter believes that today’s move is an indication that the team isn’t concerned about injuries to Levi Wallace, Dane Jackson and Taron Johnson. Lewis, a 2019 undrafted free agent, finished last season with seven tackles in five games (two starts). If he passes through waivers, he’ll likely end up on Buffalo’s practice squad.
September 7th, 2020 at 9:50am CST by Zachary Links
Andre Roberts wasn’t out of work for long. On Monday morning, the Bills re-signed the veteran wide receiver, along with safety Dean Marlowe. In related moves, the Bills have placed guard Jon Feliciano and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins on injured reserve.
Roberts averaged 8.0 yards per punt return and 26.6 yards per kickoff return for the Bills last year. His release came as a surprise, especially since he was coming off of his second career Pro Bowl nod. As it turns out, the Bills weren’t actually discarding the capable and experienced return man/receiver.
Instead, the Bills appear to have made a wink-and-nod arrangement with Roberts to take advantage of the league’s modified IR rules. By waiting until today to place Feliciano and Hodgins on IR, the Bills will leave the door open to bringing them back after just three weeks. Had they made the move over the weekend, both players would have been subject to the usual eight weeks of non-activity before being eligible to return.
Roberts, 30, hasn’t been a significant offensive contributor to any team since 2014, but his return skills are unquestioned. In 2018, his last season with the Jets, Roberts led the NFL in yards per return on punts and total yardage on kickoffs, scoring a touchdown in each capacity.
As Tua Tagovailoa continues to rehab from a hip injury, the quarterback is uncertain whether he’ll enter the NFL Draft or stay at Alabama for another season. In a conversation with Cecil Hurt of TideSports.com (and passed along by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com on Twitter), Tagovailoa said he’ll continue to discuss his future with his parents in anticipation of the January 20th deadline to declare for the draft.
“There is a risk and a reward if I stay and a risk and a reward if I go,” Tagovailoa said. “The risk if I stay is obviously ‘Do I get hurt again?’ The reward is that I could come back and have another good year like my sophomore year and elevate myself back to the very top of the (NFL) draft.
“If I leave, I think the risk is a little higher. That risk would be how far do I drop in the draft. To me, it’s 50-50 between going in the first round and possibly going in the second round. If I go somewhere from first (overall) to around 24th, the money will be set. But let’s say — and I am just picking a number — that I go to the 31st pick. That would be about 9 million dollars. That’s a lot of money, an amount of money I’ve never had before, but it’s not high first-round money and you can never make that money up. They say you can (make it up) on your next contract but money lost is money lost to me.
“Those are the deciding factors. If my parents tell me that they think I should leave, that is obviously going to be a factor. But so far, they’ve told me that it’s my decision.”
The quarterback doesn’t have a timetable for his return from injury. Even with the ailment, we recently heard that Tagovailoa would still be a first-round pick in the 2020 draft.
Let’s check out some more draft notes:
TCU wideout Jalen Reagor announced on Twitter that he’s entering the 2020 draft. Following a 1,000-yard campaign in 2018, Reagor finished 2019 with 43 catches for 611 yards and five touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound receiver is listed as the sixth-best player at his position by CBS Sports.
Maryland RB Anthony McFarland Jr. has declared for the 2020 draft. The former redshirt sophomore still had two years of eligibility. McFarland finished his season having compiled 614 rushing yards and eight scores on 114 carries. He added another 17 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown.
Missouri will be losing a trio of contributors, as defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, and offensive lineman Trystan Colon-Castillo all declared for the 2020 draft. Okwuegbunam is easily Missouri’s top-rated prospect, with the tight end ranking third at his position, per CBS Sports.
Oregon State receiver Isaiah Hodgins will enter the NFL Draft, the player announced on social media (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). The son of former NFL player James Hodgins, the Beavers wideout finished this past season with 86 receptions for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns. Considering the receiver depth in the upcoming draft, Hodgins will be hard pressed to be an early-round pick.
Colorado wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. is entering the draft, the team announced on Twitter. “Laviska Shenault represented our relentless culture and was one of the most dynamic, dominant and versatile players that I have ever coached,” said head coach Mel Tucker. Shenault had 1,775 yards and 10 touchdowns between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.