J.D. McKissic

Commanders Release RB J.D. McKissic

J.D. McKissic was one of a few players to back out of an agreement during the 2022 free agent period. He pivoted to the Commanders as a result of that decision, but his time in the nation’s capital has come to an end. Washington announced on Tuesday that they have released the veteran running back.

The 29-year-old initially had a deal in place to head to Buffalo, but he backed out of it to remain with the Commanders. That set him up for another season operating as the team’s primary pass-catcher out of the backfield, one which already featured Antonio Gibson. McKissic’s season ended up being cut short by a neck injury, however, making this release a distinct possibility.

By cutting the former UDFA – who had one year remaining on his contract – immediately, the Commanders would see $1.23MM in cap savings, while creating a dead money charge of $2MM. Designating him as a post-June 1 cut would make more sense from a financial perspective, as their savings would increase to $2.73MM against just $500K in dead money.

McKissic saw only 22 carries in eight games this season, though he added 27 catches for 173 scoreless yards. Rookie Brian Robinson Jr. took on a considerable role upon being medically cleared to play in 2022, which helped clarify the Commanders’ pecking order in the backfield. Robinson, along with Gibson and veteran Jonathan Williams remain under contract for next season.

After three seasons spent in the nation’s capital, McKissic will now search for a new home. The former Seahawk and Lion is joined by a number of free agent running backs, something which is, coupled with his age and injury, likely to hurt his value. His efficiency in the passing game when healthy, however, should allow him to land a depth opportunity in a new backfield.

Commanders RB J.D. McKissic To Miss Rest Of Season

J.D. McKissic‘s season has come to an end. The Commanders are placing the running back on injured reserve with a neck injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The injury is expected to sideline the veteran for the rest of the 2022 season.

McKissic has missed Washington’s past two games with the neck issue. While it didn’t initially sound like the injury would be a season-ender, Rapoport notes that the injury will require a few months of rehab. On the bright side, it sounds like McKissic should be good to go for the 2023 campaign.

The running back found a home in Washington over the past two-plus seasons. 2020 was a career year for McKissic, as the pass-catching back finished with 954 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Thanks in part to injuries, he didn’t get nearly as many touches in 2021, but he still managed to finish his second season in Washington with 609 yards from scrimmage and four scores.

This past offseason, the free agent RB committed to a two-year, $7MM contract with the Bills before reneging on the deal and re-signing with the Commanders. With the RB room getting a bit more crowded, McKissic had a smaller role in his eight contests, compiling 268 yards from scrimmage on 49 touches.

Brian Robinson has turned into Washington’s preferred option on the ground, with the rookie collecting a career-high 26 carries in Week 10. As a result, Antonio Gibson has inherited McKissic’s pass-catching gig and has flourished. Gibson is already zeroing in on career-highs in receiving stats, as the 24-year-old has hauled in 34 catches in 10 games.

Commanders Activate RB Brian Robinson To 53-Man Roster

Brian Robinson is in line to make his NFL debut tomorrow. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (on Twitter) that the Commanders have activated the rookie running back from the non-football injury list. Robinson returned to practice earlier this week.

The third-round rookie suffered multiple gunshot wounds in an attempted carjacking at the end of August. The gunshots hit his hip and knee, though there was no serious damage to his ligaments, tendons, or bones, leading to optimism that Robinson would be back this season. The RB quickly provided some optimism when he was seen doing footwork and agility drills in the middle of September. His stay on PUP ended up being a short one, and after opening his practice window earlier this week, Washington will now welcome the rook to the 53-man roster.

Robinson was impressive through the spring and in training camp, leading some to wonder if he could be in line for first-team reps. The rookie saw a significant workload early on in the preseason, and he joined many of the team’s bona fide starters on the sideline for the team’s preseason finale.

It will be interesting to see how much work Robinson gets in a crowded backfield that also features Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. After topping 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons, Gibson has earned the start in each of Washington’s first four games this year. After hitting 130 yards from scrimmage in Week 1, Gibson has been limited to only 144 offensive yards over the past three weeks. He snap count has also continued to drop, leading some to wonder if he could be eyeing a reduced role with Robinson back in the lineup. McKissic, meanwhile, continues to serve in his standard pass-catching role, hauling in 17 catches through the first four weeks.

“You’ve got a good group of backs that rotate through and you try to find the matchups that you can exploit,” Commanders coach Ron Rivera said recently (via ESPN’s John Keim).

Robinson had a successful career at Alabama, including a breakout 2021 campaign where he finished with 1,343 rushing yards and 296 receiving yards. Thanks to his performance, he ended up being the sixth RB off the draft board when he was selected by Washington in the third round (No. 98) of this year’s draft.

Contract Details: Koo, Armstrong, Whitehead, McKissic, Seahawks, Gladney

Here are the details from the latest agreed-upon contracts around the league:

  • Younghoe Koo, K (Falcons): Five years, $24.25MM. Koo received a $6.25MM signing bonus and will earn a fully guaranteed $1.75MM 2022 base salary, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. The final three years of Koo’s deal are nonguaranteed; none of Koo’s cap hits exceed $6MM.
  • Jordan Whitehead, S (Jets): Two years, $14.5MM. The Jets fully guaranteed Whitehead $7MM and, according to OverTheCap.com, the veteran safety’s cap hits will be $4.2MM and $10.2MM.
  • Austin Johnson, DL (Chargers): Two years, $14MM. Initially reported as having a max value of $14MM, Johnson’s deal carries a base value of that amount. It comes with $10.6MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets.
  • Dorance Armstrong, DE (Cowboys): Two years, $12MM. The Cowboys fully guaranteed Armstrong $6MM, and Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets his 2022 cap figure checks in at $3.38MM. The deal also features a $1MM sack incentive.
  • Quinton Jefferson, DL (Seahawks): Two years, $9.5MM. The Seahawks guaranteed Jefferson $5.2MM to return. This includes a $1.2MM 2022 base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • J.D. McKissic, RB (Commanders): Two years, $7MM. Enticing him to renege on a Bills agreement, the Commanders guaranteed McKissic $3.6MM. The deal includes $1.5MM in performance incentives for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.
  • Jeff Gladney, CB (Cardinals): Two years, $6.5MM. The former first-round pick will receive $4MM guaranteed, SI.com’s Howard Balzer tweets. In addition to his $2MM signing bonus, the Cards guaranteed Gladney’s 2022 base salary ($1.5MM) and $500K of his 2023 base ($2.5MM). Gladney will count just $2.5MM against Arizona’s cap this year.
  • Rashaad Penny, RB (Seahawks): One year, $5.75MM. To keep Penny, the Seahawks guaranteed him $5.07MM. Penny will carry a $5.51MM cap number, Henderson tweets. Incentives for rushing yards, receiving yards and touchdowns could take the deal to $6.5MM.

J.D. McKissic Returning To Washington?

J.D. McKissic is changing course. After agreeing to join the Bills, he is instead re-signing with the Commanders for the same price (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). 

The 28-year-old was reported to be be signing with the Bills earlier this week, on a two-year, $7MM deal. The contract also includes $1MM in incentives. As Schefter notes, the Commanders didn’t need to eclipse that figure – simply match it, as it turns out – to convince him to stay in the nation’s capital.

A former UDFA, McKissic started his career in Seattle, where he registered one start in three years. He then played in Detroit for one campaign, totalling 438 scrimmage yards. He has found much more success in his two seasons in Washington, though.

In 27 games in Landover, McKissic has started 10 of those contests. He’s totalled 133 carries for 577 yards and three touchdowns. In the passing game, he’s added 123 receptions for 986 yards and another four majors. That versatility has made him a valuable piece of Washington’s offense, paired with lead back Antonio Gibson.

Schefter adds that the Commanders initially didn’t offer McKissic a new deal (Twitter link). It was only after the agreement between him and the Bills that the team expressed an interest in retaining him. McKissic’s preference was clearly to stay put, however, and it now appears that he will do just that.

Bills To Sign J.D. McKissic

The Bills are set to sign J.D. McKissic (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). Once finalized on Wednesday, it’ll be a two-year, $7MM deal for the former Washington running back. 

McKissic can also earn an extra $1MM in incentives, according to Schefter, which would boost the total value to $8MM. That’s a solid haul for the 28-year-old (29 in August), considering the ups and downs of his early career.

McKissic enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, when he compiled 187 rushing yards and one touchdown on 46 carries for the Seahawks. He also added another 34 receptions for 266 yards and two scores for good measure. After that, he lost much of his 2018 to injury.

The former undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State has rebounded well in recent years. After a productive 2019 with the Lions, he’s posted averages over 4.3 yards per carry in two D.C. seasons. Now, he’ll look to bring more of the same to the AFC East.

Washington Places RB J.D. McKissic On IR

The Washington Football Team placed back up running back J.D. McKissic on their IR this afternoon. This puts an end to a long healthy streak for McKissic who hasn’t missed extended time since 2018.

Antonio Gibson has performed as the bell cow this season with McKissic coming on to give him a breather every now and then. McKissic has carried the ball 48 times for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s shown his usual prowess as a receiving back catching 43 passes from the backfield for 397 yards and 2 touchdowns. The sixth-year veteran actually has more receiving yards and touchdowns over his career than rushing.

With McKissic out, the Football Team will have to lean on the rookie out of Buffalo, Jaret Patterson, and practice squad running back Jonathan Williams. Patterson has seen a bit of run in his first year carrying the ball 37 times for 135 yards, while Williams has only appeared in 2 games so far this year, including tonight’s contest against the Eagles.

Washington will be counting on the three backs as a win tonight would put Washington in the 7th seed spot for a contentious NFC.

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/21/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawk

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Washington K Joey Slye To Miss Time

Washington kicker Joey Slye will be out for at least three weeks, according to head coach Ron Rivera (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). It’s not yet official, but Slye will “more than likely” land on the injured reserve list given the timeframe for recovery.

Slye injured his left leg last night while chasing down Seahawks defensive lineman Rasheem Green. As Green took his blocked XP back for two points, Slye slipped, fell, and had to be taken out of the game. After that, Washington had punter Tress Way handle kickoffs, but they opted against going for any field goals.

Slye signed with D.C. in November 9th to serve as their third kicker of the season. Since then, he’s nailed all six of his field goals while going 5-of-6 on extra point tries (he can thank Green for the lone blemish). Slye may be able to return by Week 17 but, in the interim, Washington will have to evaluate outside options.

On the plus side, running back J.D. McKissic is “all good” after his neck injury, according to agent Doug Hendrickson (on Twitter). They’ll hope for similar news on center/guard Wes Schweitzer, who was forced out of last night’s game with an ankle injury.

Redskins Sign RB J.D. McKissic

J.D. McKissic is heading to Washington. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Redskins are signing the running back. It’ll be a two-year deal for McKissic.

After getting cut by the Seahawks at the end of last preseason, McKissic was quickly claimed by the Lions. The 26-year-old ended up appearing in a career-high 16 games for Detroit, rushing for 205 yards on 38 carries. He also added another 34 receptions for 233 yards and one touchdown.

Other than a brief stint with the Falcons, McKissic had spent much of his first three NFL seasons in Seattle. He got into three playoff games during his stint with the Seahawks.