Sharpe has bounced in recent years, and the 49ers will be his second team in 2022. The 27-year-old initially signed with the Bears in May, but did not see the field in Chicago. He will provide depth for a San Francisco team which has had fellow veteran Willie Sneadsee time on and off the taxi squad.
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 Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
After agreeing to return to Seattle this offseason, Coleman worked as the team’s starting nickel during the preseason. The veteran slot’s second Seattle stint may not be through, despite being released. Pete Carroll pointed to Coleman being brought back. Roster moves after trims to 53 frequently result in vested vets returning; Coleman certainly appears in the team’s plans.
Coleman, who played for the Seahawks in 2017-18, returned to the Pacific Northwest on a one-year deal with just $153K guaranteed. He has been expected to man the slot alongside starters Sidney Jones and Artie Burns. Jones, however, has run into more injury trouble. The former Washington Huskies standout did not play in the Seahawks’ preseason slate, and Carroll confirmed the team’s top corner is still dealing with the effects of a concussion sustained Aug. 3. The team has not ruled out Jones playing in its opener, but a short-term IR stint may also be on tap.
A former first-round talent who suffered a pre-draft injury that dropped him to Round 2 in 2017, Jones found his footing again after being traded to Seattle in 2021. He started 11 games for the Seahawks, who then lost a starting corner in free agency for the second straight offseason (D.J. Reed, Jets). In addition to Jones, Carroll said cornerback John Reid is dealing with an injury. After aggravating a groin injury in the Seahawks’ preseason finale, the third-year defender may also be a short-term IR candidate
While Coleman was in Detroit and Miami, Blair spent some time at nickel. But the former second-round pick saw knee injuries end his past two seasons. He was unable to gain traction as a safety during camp, with Condotta adding the Seahawks had stopped using him in the slot. The Seahawks kept rookie UDFA Joey Blountas a fifth safety instead. The Seahawks listed Arcega-Whiteside, obtained in a trade for DB Ugo Amadi this month, as a receiver. The Eagles had tried the disappointing draftee at tight end this offseason.
Seattle made headlines in early March when they agreed to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos in exchange for multiple draft picks, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant. After losing their starter of the last ten years, the Seahawks are going through the motions now of determining who will be taking snaps from under center when the season starts this fall.
Through Phase II of their offseason program, returning Seahawk Geno Smithhas been taking the first snaps in drills, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Breer still expects Lock to emerge as the starter, in time, once he’s had the opportunity to make up ground as a newcomer to Seattle’s system.
The 31-year-old Smith returned to starting duties this past season for the first time since 2017 and for the first time in multiple games in a season since his sophomore year with the Jets all the way back in 2014. Smith signed with Seattle in 2019, spending two years as Wilson’s backup while only making an appearance in one game. Last season, though, saw Smith relieve Wilson when the latter suffered a finger injury in a Week 5 loss to the Rams.
Smith finished the game for Wilson and, when Wilson was put on injured reserve, Smith started the next three games for the Seahawks. Smith performed admirably in Wilson’s stead, completing 68.4% of his passes for 702 yards while tossing 5 touchdowns to 1 interception. He also added 42 yards and a touchdown on the ground in 9 carries. Even though the team went 1-2 with Smith as a starter, he kept the Seahawks competitive, not only proving that he still has some gas in the tank but showing some of the best football of his career to date.
Lock was a second-round pick for the Broncos back in 2019, a backup option to then-newly acquired starting quarterback Joe Flacco. Lock suffered a preseason thumb injury that landed him on injured reserve, returning to practice in mid-November. Flacco suffered a neck injury that would require surgery and after three games of Brandon Allen, Denver turned to their rookie coming off injured reserve.
Lock took the NFL-world by storm, winning four of the Broncos last five games of the season. In that stretch Lock completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, throwing 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Lock took on full-time starting duties in his sophomore season. His completion percentage dropped to 57.34% on the year and his interceptions caught up to his touchdowns as his touchdown-interception ratio read 16-15. In his 13 starts, the Bronco went just 4-9. Last season saw Lock lose the quarterback competition to Teddy Bridgewater. Lock appeared in injury relief in two games before a concussion to Bridgewater in Week 14 handed Lock the keys to the offense for the rest of the season. The Broncos would lose all three of Lock’s starts, in which he would show more of the same from his full season as a starter.
Breer sees Lock emerging as the starting quarterback because of reports from 2019 that general manager John Schneider “really liked Lock coming out” of college, adding that the inclusion of Lock in the trade deal was similar to Jared Goff‘s inclusion in the Matthew Stafford-trade Detroit made last year. Breer also points out that Lock’s offensive coordinator during the best stretch of his young career during that rookie season was Rich Scangarello, who ran a very similar offense to Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
Behind Smith and Lock is the young Jacob Eason who failed to impress in very limited action with the Colts last year. The job will fall on the shoulders of either Smith or Lock, with Seahawks-fans likely hoping that Lock, the younger of the two, will establish himself as their future at the position.
Jacob Eason has found his next job. After getting waived yesterday by the Colts, the quarterback has been claimed by the Seahawks, reports ESPN’s Brady Henderson (via Twitter).
The Seahawks have been sniffing around for some reinforcement at quarterback following Russell Wilson‘s placement on IR. Geno Smith will continue to sit atop the depth chart, and Eason will temporarily serve as his backup. Seattle is also rostering Jake Luton and Danny Etling on their practice squad.
Eason found himself on the outside looking in during his time in Indy. He was already the third-stringer QB behind Carson Wentz and Brett Hundley, and the team decided to move on from the 2020 fourth-round pick after activating 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger from IR.
Eason had a breakout college campaign in 2019, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns, and eight interceptions after transferring from Georgia to Washington. He made his NFL debut in Week 2, completing two of his five pass attempts for 25. He also tossed an interception.
7:45pm: As Holder reports, Wentz was at practice today with no protection on his foot and no obvious limp. Reich called Wentz’s outlook “very encouraging,” and regardless of how the Ehlinger/Eason battle plays out, it doesn’t sound like either young passer will be holding the reins too long.
12:32pm: The Colts have thus far opted against acquiring a veteran to run their offense while Carson Wentz rehabs, and the team will begin giving rookie Sam Ehlingera longer look to fill the post.
Ehlinger has worked his way into the mix here, with Frank Reich indicating Tuesday (via The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, on Twitter) the sixth-round pick has looked good enough in practice to split first-team reps with Jacob Eason. Eason will start the Colts’ first preseason game, but Reich adds (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells, on Twitter) the second-year QB and Ehlinger will split starter reps in the team’s joint practices against the Panthers on Thursday and Friday.
While Ehlinger has outplayed Eason during Colts camp, this does mark a bit of a change from the team’s view of its current quarterback situation. Reich said last week Eason would remain in the driver’s seat for the role, despite Ehlinger impressing early. Now, the two appear to be in a true competition.
A four-year starter at Texas, Ehlinger was the 10th quarterback off the board this year. The No. 218 overall pick does bring considerably more game work than Eason, who transferred from Georgia to Washington but declared for the draft after one season as the Huskies’ starter. Ehlinger threw 1,476 passes with the Longhorns. Eason, Georgia’s primary starter in 2016, attempted 782 in college. The latter, however, was viewed slightly better through an NFL lens and became a 2020 fourth-round pick. Eason has yet to take a snap in a game, with the COVID-19 pandemic nixing last year’s preseason slate and Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett ahead of him on Indy’s 2020 depth chart.
This year’s Colts QB hierarchy may involve Wentz in the not-too-distant future. Initially given a vague five- to 12-week timetable to recover from foot surgery, Wentz will be re-evaluated in two weeks, per Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who adds the Colts are expecting him to return on the front end of this timetable (video link). As of now, the team envisions its preferred starter to be back early in the season.
The Colts could stash Wentz on IR to start the year, carrying him onto their 53-man roster and parking him on the injured list for at least three weeks. However, Wentz hitting the front end of his rehab timetable would likely induce the Colts to keep him on their active roster and play this week-to-week.