Jalen Mayfield

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/7/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ellefson came off IR just last week and did not play in the Vikings’ matchup against the Jets. A nagging groin injury will send the third-year tight end back to IR. Although the new IR rules allow for players to be activated twice from IR, Minnesota’s injury-return math may come into play by the time Ellefson’s second activation window opens (Week 18).

In Darden, Browns snagged the NFL’s punt-return yards leader. The 2021 Bucs fourth-rounder has not seen much action on offense, with Tampa Bay oozing experience at the receiver position. But he has been Tampa Bay’s primary punt returner. Darden has totaled 330 punt-return yards this season. A 2021 third-round pick, Schwartz sustained a concussion that has sent him to IR. Ragland has spent the past month on the Raiders’ taxi squad. The Browns are the former second-round pick’s fifth team in four seasons; the ex-Jets draftee was with the Chiefs, Lions and Giants from 2019-21. After losing Anthony Walker and Jacob Phillips earlier this year, the Browns moved Sione Takitaki to IR with an ACL tear this week.

A rotational cog for the Saints, Colts and Chiefs during his five-year career, Stallworth played only 14% of Kansas City’s defensive snaps this season. He committed a third-down roughing-the-passer penalty during a Bengals touchdown drive in Week 13. The Texans had already used one of their injury activations on Dwumfour; the 1-10-1 team has three remaining. Greenard, who led the 2021 Texans with eight sacks, has been on the shelf since going down with a calf injury in an October practice.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/1/22

Teams continue to tinker with their rosters after hundreds of players were cut earlier this week. We’ve tracked all of today’s minor moves below:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Falcons Place LB Deion Jones, CB Isaiah Oliver On IR

The Falcons removed Deion Jones from their active/PUP list last week, but the veteran linebacker will still miss the season’s first four games. Atlanta placed Jones on IR Thursday.

This turned out to be part of a bigger Atlanta IR shift. In addition to the Jones placement, the Falcons moved cornerback Isaiah Oliver, defensive lineman Marlon Davidson, offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield and tight end John FitzPatrick to IR. All are now ineligible through Week 4.

[RELATED: Falcons Claim T Chuma Edoga]

With one of the free roster spots, the Falcons brought back linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. The team had included the former Bears and Raiders defender among its Tuesday cuts. Atlanta also re-signed defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson and offensive lineman Colby Gossett.

Linked in trade rumors for months, Jones underwent shoulder surgery in May to quiet those. He did not return to practice until late August. The seventh-year defender is set to count for a Falcons-most $20MM against the 2022 cap. The team added Kwiatkoski, former Dean Pees Titans charge Rashaan Evans and second-rounder Troy Andersen at the position — one also housing third-year cog Mykal Walker — this offseason. That and the Falcons having moved on from most of their Super Bowl LI nucleus, as they attempt to rebuild, has naturally inserted Jones’ name into departure rumors.

It should not be completely ruled out Jones could be dealt by the Nov. 1 deadline, but Thursday’s transaction — continuing an injury hiatus into the season — further complicates that status.

Oliver went down with a season-ending knee injury in October of last year. Despite that, the former second-round pick re-signed with the Falcons on a one-year, $2.39MM deal. A 33-game Falcons starter, Oliver will have missed at least a year of football by the time he is able to return. Davidson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month. Mayfield lost his right guard job to journeyman Elijah Wilkinson during camp.

OL Rumors: Pipkins, Packers, Vikes, Falcons

Practically the only need the Chargers did not address this offseason was right tackle, where incumbent Storm Norton and backup Trey Pipkins waged a summer competition. It looks like there will be a change up front for the Bolts. Pipkins appears to have beaten out Norton for the gig, Daniel Popper of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The two are swapping roles, with Pipkins — a 2019 third-round pick — leaving his swing tackle post to try his luck as a starter again. Norton, who replaced Bryan Bulaga early last season and made 15 starts, worked with the second team throughout practice this week and saw time as the second-string left tackle as well. Pipkins, 25, has made 10 career starts. While the Chargers demoted him in 2021, they were impressed with his left- and right-side spot starts late in the season. The University of Sioux Falls product, who is going into a contract year, will work on a line full of free agency investments (Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler) and first-round picks (Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson).

Here is the latest from the O-line scene:

  • Staying on the right tackle topic, Elgton Jenkins is expected to settle in there when he returns, per Albert Breer of SI.com. A high-end Swiss Army knife for the Packers, Jenkins made the 2020 Pro Bowl at guard and began last season as David Bakhtiari‘s left tackle fill-in. An ACL tear sidelined Jenkins in November. Jenkins would stand to command more in earnings with a quality right tackle season, though staying on the field in 2022 will position him for a lucrative deal no matter where he lines up. The Packers removed both players from the active/PUP list this month but do not yet know if Jenkins and Bakhtiari — who have not played together since December 2020 — will be ready for Week 1, Matt LaFleur reiterated Sunday. When healthy, a Bakhtiari-Jenkins duo would be one of the league’s best tackle tandems.
  • The Vikings are on the verge of having five homegrown first- or second-round picks as O-line starters. Second-round rookie Ed Ingram is “trending” toward being the Vikes’ right guard starter, Kevin O’Connell said (via the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson). Although Minnesota signed Jesse Davis and Chris Reed as potential stopgaps, Ingram has impressed since moving to first-team duty during camp. Ingram worked with Minnesota’s first team in joint practices against San Francisco, with Davis — who had taken some days off to rest a surgically repaired knee — shifting to the second team, Tomasson adds. Ingram was also held out of the Vikings’ preseason finale Saturday, and while O’Connell stopped short of locking the LSU product into the lineup, that is the likely scenario. Ingram would join 2021 first-rounder Christian Darrisaw, 2020 second-rounder Ezra Cleveland, 2019 first-rounder Garrett Bradbury and 2018 second-rounder Brian O’Neill on a fully homegrown Vikings line.
  • Free agent pickup Elijah Wilkinson looks to have commandeered the Falcons‘ left guard spot, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who notes the former Broncos and Bears blocker looks set to play ahead of 2021 third-rounder Jalen Mayfield. The Michigan product struggled as a rookie, ranking as a bottom-10 Pro Football Focus guard. Mayfield did start 16 games, so a demotion is certainly notable for player who started one with the Bears last season. Wilkinson’s most relevant NFL work came in Denver, when he served as Ja’Wuan James‘ primary replacement from 2019-20. Mayfield may already be on Atlanta’s roster bubble, per Ledbetter.

Falcons Sign Five Draft Picks

The Falcons recently carved out some cap space via the Julio Jones trade, and they’re now starting to ink rookies to contracts. The team announced today that they’ve signed five draft picks to rookie deals: third-round offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield, fifth-round defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham, fifth-round linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji, fifth-round cornerback Avery Williams, and sixth-round wideout Frank Darby.

Mayfield, who was taken with the No. 68 pick, is naturally the most notable signing. The lineman appeared in 18 games through three seasons at Michigan, allowing only a pair of sacks. Mayfield put himself on the NFL map after helping guide the 2019 Michigan running game to more than 2,000 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns.

Ogundeji is an intriguing prospect following a productive career at Notre Dame. The defensive lineman saw time in 43 games for the Irish, compiling 13 sacks, six forced fumbles, and 17 tackles for loss. Meanwhile, while Williams had a solid stint at Boise State as a defensive back, he was prolific on special teams, and he could immediately find himself as one of the Falcons’ key returners next season.

Following the five signings, the Falcons have four draft picks who remain unsigned:

College Notes: Sanders, Onwuzurike, Mayfield

Deion Sanders has received his wish. After pushing for a head coaching job earlier this year, the Hall of Famer has been hired by Jackson State. Rashad Milligan of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com) that Sanders will be the next head coach of the Tigers.

Prime Time won a pair of Super Bowls, earned eight Pro Bowl appearances, and garnered six first-team All-Pro nods during his illustrious NFL career. However, as Florio notes, the 53-year-old hasn’t even served as an assistant coach (much less head coach) at the college or professional level. Sanders is currently coaching his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, at Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Jackson State fired John Hendrick back in August, with T.C. Taylor and Otis Riddley taking over interim head coaching duties. The school is sitting out the fall 2020 season, but they’re expected to participate in a spring league that begins in February.

More notes out of the college ranks:

  • Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike has opted out of the 2020 season and will declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 288-pound lineman earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors last season, and he’ll finish his Huskies career having compiled 95 tackles and seven sacks. Onwuzurike will likely be a top-five defensive tackle in the 2021 draft, and he’s currently projected to be a second-day selection.
  • Last month, it sounded like Michigan offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield was going to sit out the 2020 season and prepare for the draft. However, Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News reports that Mayfield will actually return to the Wolverines this season. Mayfield was projected to be a first-round pick in next year’s draft.
  • MSU has confirmed that defensive end Jacub Panasiuk has reversed course and will play this season (via Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News on Twitter). The six-foot-three, 245-pound lineman initially opted out of the season last month. In 38 games at MSU, Panasiuk has compiled 80 tackles and eight sacks. Thanks to the decision, Panasiuk could improve his current third-day draft stock.

Ohio State CB Shaun Wade Opts Back In; Latest On Other Big Ten Opt-Outs

With the Big Ten now on track to begin its season in late October, Ohio State will have one of its top players back. Standout cornerback Shaun Wade said during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter (via ESPN.com’s Field Yates, on Twitter) he changed his mind on opting out of the 2020 season. He is now set to play as a senior.

Set to follow the likes of Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley and Jeff Okudah as an Ohio State corner to hear his name called in the first round, Wade will do so after playing a fourth Buckeyes season. He ranks as the No. 7 player on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest 2021 big board.

Wade hired an agent but did not file any paperwork, according to ESPN.com. He is not the only one of the Big Ten opt-outs to reconsider. Ohio State offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, a potential first-round pick, also reversed course and opted back in (Twitter link).

First-round prospects Micah Parsons (linebacker, Penn State), Rondale Moore (wide receiver, Purdue), Jalen Mayfield (tackle, Michigan) and Rashod Bateman (wide receiver, Minnesota) opted out before Wade initially decided to pass on 2020. Not all are committed to skipping the season, though some still are.

Penn State coach James Franklin said the door is open for Parsons to play as a junior, according to PennLive.com, while Purdue HC Jeff Brohm intends to check on Moore’s status now that the conference timetable has changed. Bateman, however, does not plan to opt back in, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Golden Gophers standout wideout has asthma and cited health concerns as a reason he will skip the COVID-19-altered season to prepare for the draft. Despite playing just one full season with the Wolverines, Mayfield plans to stick with his decision to bypass his junior season, per the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan OL Jalen Mayfield Declares For Draft

The Big Ten’s decision to postpone its football season created ripple effects across the college football landscape. A possible spring season will make it difficult for 2021 draft-eligible prospects. A few such talents opted out of the season when the conference was still hoping to play this fall.

One such player will pass on a not-yet-certain spring slate. Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield announced he is declaring for the draft ahead of what was set to be his redshirt-sophomore season (Twitter link).

Mayfield rated as a first-round talent on Todd McShay’s first 2021 big board. But he will leave the Wolverines program after just one season of action. The former four-star prospect operated as Michigan’s starting right tackle as a freshman last season.

Mayfield joins fellow Big Ten Round 1 hopefuls Micah Parsons (Penn State), Rondale Moore (Purdue) and Rashod Bateman (Minnesota) in opting out of the in-limbo college football season.