The Cardinals are swapping out receivers. Brandon Smith spent a few years on the Cowboys practice squad before joining the XFL this past February. He ended up catching eight passes for 118 yards and one touchdown in four games with the D.C. Defenders. Auden Tate, meanwhile, spent four years with the Bengals before spending much of last season of the Eagles practice squad. He has 12 catches in 35 career games.
Justus Tavai was cut by the Patriots last week, but the brother of Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai is back on the roster. That will come at the expense of Tae Hayes‘ roster spot. The cornerback spent much of last season on New England’s practice squad, getting into a pair of games with the big-league team.
Breon Borders has been hit with a two-game suspension, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). It’s uncertain what warranted the ban. Borders has seen time in 32 career games (six starts), compiling 42 tackles and one interception. He spent most of the 2022 campaign on the Bears practice squad, getting into one game with the big-league club.
Banogu is a local product for Dallas, even playing for the nearby Horned Frogs in Fort Worth for college. While at TCU, Banogu totaled 8.5 sacks in each season while racking up a combined 34.5 tackles for loss. His ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage factored into the Colts selecting him in the second round in 2019. After a disappointing first three seasons, we considered him a likely release candidate, but he was able to finish out his rookie contract and hit free agency instead.
The biggest storyline of the day for the Giants was the injury to Johnson, but they have been busy at other positions as well. Hand was a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2020, making 23 appearances during his time there. He primarily played on special teams, but registered an interception and three pass breakups as a rookie. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Minnesota was interested in re-signing him had he cleared waivers.
The release of Akins is somewhat surprising, given the Giants’ question marks at the tight end position. The former Texans third-rounder signed just before the draft, where New York added Daniel Bellingerin the fourth round. The latter had a brief stint on the PUP list at the start of training camp, but, if healthy, could be the favorite to take on Evan Engram‘s vacated starting spot.
Tuesday marked the day teams were forced to cut down from 85 to 80 players. Here are the moves teams made made to reach the new maximum. Players who land on the reserve/PUP or reserve/NFI list must miss at least the first four regular-season games.
In addition to signing Harrison, the Falcons added defensive lineman Jalen Dalton. To make room on their 90-man offseason roster, the Falcons released running back Jeremy McNichols and waived wide receiver Austin Trammell.
Although Harrison has been in the NFL since 2014, he has not played in a regular-season game in three years. The former Colts and Jets starting center has spent the past two years bouncing on and off the Giants’ practice squad. Harrison, 30, caught on with the Giants in 2020 but did not play in a game for the team. The former UDFA has started 42 regular-season, including 10 as a rookie for a Colts team that ventured to the AFC championship game and 10 in 2019 with the Jets.
The Falcons signed McNichols earlier this offseason. The rebuilding NFC South squad does not feature much in the way of high-level investments in the backfield, but it did use a fifth-round pick on BYU’s Tyler Allgeier and sign Damien Williams earlier this offseason. Also re-signed, Cordarrelle Patterson is expected to begin the season as the team’s starter.
McNichols, 26, played in 30 Titans games over the past two seasons. He received a look to be the team’s primary Derrick Henry replacement last season, but that role ended up going primarily to D’Onta Foreman.
A former Bears UDFA in 2019, Dalton has not played in a regular-season game. He joined Harrison at this week’s tryout. Trammell, who caught on with the Falcons as a 2021 UDFA, played in two games for the team last season.
The Falcons are eyeing an experienced lineman. The team worked out center Jonotthan Harrison yesterday, according to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).
Harrison went undrafted out of Florida in 2014, but he immediately found himself in the Colts lineup. He started 10 of his 15 appearances as a rookie, and he ultimately saw time in 44 games (23 starts) across three seasons with the organization. He got into 40 games (19 starts) with the Jets between the 2017 and 2019 seasons.
The 30-year-old hasn’t made an NFL appearance since that 2019 campaign. He was released by the Jets prior to the 2020 season, and he spent the majority of that year on the Bills practice squad. He spent the beginning of the 2021 campaign on the Giants practice squad before an Achilles injury landed him on IR.
Another notable player who worked out for Atlanta was defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs. The 2019 sixth-round pick spent the first three seasons of his career with the Steelers, seeing time in 29 games. 2021 was his most productive season as a professional, as he started six of his 10 appearances while collecting 17 tackles.
Harrison and Buggs joined a list of tryout players that also included linebacker Dakota Allen, offensive lineman AdamCoon, defensive lineman JalenDalton, and wideout Emeka Emezie.
The Saints restructured the contracts of defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Tanoh Kpassagnon, creating $12.45MM in cap room (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). Meanwhile, the Saints have also re-signed a pair of would-be ERFAs in defensive end Carl Granderson and defensive tackle Jalen Dalton.
That’ll help the Saints tamp down their payroll, but they still have lots of work to do. Heading into today, the Saints were projected to be $45.2MM over the salary cap, so they still have a franchise quarterback’s worth of dollars to carve out.
Jordan still has two to go on his deal, thanks to the three-year, $52.5MM add-on he signed in 2019. Jordan has spent his entire career in New Orleans, turning in near-perfect attendance and 175 total starts. This past year, Jordan notched his fifth-straight Pro Bowl nod with 12.5 sacks, 59 tackles, six passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.
Kpassagnon, meanwhile, notched four sacks in eight games (five starts) last year. The 6’7″, 289-pound edge rusher still has one year to go on his deal — his contract will remain largely unchanged via the simple restructure.