Jesse James

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/21/23

Tuesday’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Released: DB Cameron McCutcheon

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/8/23

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints Officially Set 53-Man Roster

The Saints welcomed back some old faces and said goodbye to others on their way towards setting their initial 53-man roster. Here are the moves the team made in their efforts to select the team they will open the season with:



The veteran tight end James will have to continue his recent tour of the NFL. He, Holtz, and Krull fell victim to the reunion of New Orleans and former All-Pro Jimmy Graham.

On defense, Smith failed to make the roster after starting 11 games for the Giants last year. Roby is another player who was initially expected to contribute, but will have to pack up his locker.

With the emergence of rookie third-round pick Kendre Miller and the eventual return of Alvin Kamara, keeping Williams in the running backs room just wasn’t worth the roster spot.

On special teams, the third-year punter Gillikin lost the punting battle with undrafted rookie signee out of Miami (FL) Lou Hedley. The viral, jacked, tatted-up, Australian, 30-year-old rookie punter makes his first NFL roster as part of the Saints’ new-look special teams group.

Saints Sign TE Jesse James

For the third straight year, Jesse James has found a new team. The Saints announced on Wednesday that they have signed the veteran tight end.

James’ longest and most productive stint came with the Steelers to begin his career. His four-year tenure in Pittsburgh saw him start 36 of 56 games, and record a personal-best 423 receiving yards in 2018. He has bounced around the league since then, however, spending two years in Detroit followed by one in Chicago.

The 28-year-old inked a one-year deal with the Browns last year, as he aimed to rebuild his value in a depth role. James wound playing only 18 offensive snaps across two games in Cleveland, however, before a biceps injury ended his season. He will now look to find more playing time and better luck on the health front in New Orleans.

James will join a Saints TE room which includes returnee Juwan Johnson and Swiss Army Knife Taysom Hill. New Orleans traded away Adam Trautman during the draft, but they have since signed Foster Moreau in an encouraging sign with respect to his recent cancer diagnosis. James will thus have plenty of competition for playing time in 2023, a season in which the team’s expectations on offense have been raised given the addition of quarterback Derek Carr.

In addition to James, the Saints announced that they have signed fullback Jake Bargas. The former UDFA entered the league with the Vikings, making one appearance with them in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He spent much of the the past campaign on the Dolphins’ practice squad. To make room for those additions, kicker Alex Quevedo has been waived, leaving the Saints with two players (Wil Lutz and Blake Grupe) at that position.

Browns Place DE Chase Winovich, TE Jesse James On IR

The Browns placed two players on IR today. Tight end Jesse James and defensive end Chase Winovich landed on injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). This will knock the duo out for at least the next four games.

It sounds like both players suffered injuries during Cleveland’s loss to the Jets on Sunday. According to Kevin Stefanski, Winovich suffered a hamstring injury and James suffered a biceps injury.

Winovich was acquired from the Patriots this offseason for linebacker Mack Brown. The former third-round pick barely made the roster out of the preseason, and he didn’t see the field for any defensive snaps during Week 1. He got more run this past weekend, appearing in 37 percent of his team’s defensive snaps. He finished that game with a tackle and two QB hits.

James made a name for himself in Pittsburgh, hauling in 120 receptions in 56 games. He had a two-year stint in Detroit before spending the 2021 campaign with the Bears. He started nine of his 14 games last season, hauling in seven receptions. The Browns signed the veteran before the start of the regular season, and he saw a handful of snaps through the first two weeks while serving as the third tight end behind David Njoku and Harrison Bryant. One of Miller Forristall or Zaire Mitchell-Paden could be promoted from the practice squad to replace James.

Browns To Sign TE Jesse James

The Browns have already made one major financial commitment at the tight end position, but they entered today lacking depth on the 53-man roster. They have added a veteran, signing Jesse James to a one-year deal (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler). 

A fifth-round pick of the Steelers in 2015, James’ most productive years came in Pittsburgh. Between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he totaled 73 catches, 795 yards and five touchdowns. That led him to the Lions in free agency, though his two seasons in the Motor City yielded little in the way of production. Only halfway through his four-year, $22.6MM contract, he was released.

The Penn State alum spent last season in Chicago. Despite starting nine of 14 games, however, he made just seven catches, as he took on a lesser offensive role and transitioned more into a blocker than a pass-catcher. Facing stiff competition for targets in the form of Cole Kmet, it came as little surprise that the Bears were uninterested in a reunion.

A return to the AFC North was in the cards, after James worked out for the Browns last week. He will help in the blocking department, allowing David Njoku to focus on his play as a pass-catcher. Expectations are higher than ever for the latter, after he signed a four-year, $56.75MM deal in May. The only other tight end on the 53-man roster prior to this signing was 2020 fourth-rounder Harrison Bryant.

James won’t see much in the way of targets behind Njoku and Bryant, but head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s affinity for multi-tight end sets could lead to an increase in playing time compared to last year.

AFC Workouts: Raiders, James, Clement

Las Vegas seems to be trying to fill in a few gaps all over the roster. Over the past two days, the Raiders have kicked the tires on an offensive lineman, a pair of linebackers, and a couple of defensive backs.

On Thursday, Las Vegas took a look at former Colts’ draft pick Joe Haeg, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Haeg started 14 games for Indianapolis as a rookie after being selected in the fifth round in 2015. Haeg suffered an ankle injury in 2018 that landed him on injured reserve, and he never quite came back to his former status as a starter. He spent two separate seasons as a backup lineman for the Buccaneers and Steelers before Pittsburgh released him to make room for offensive lineman Jesse Davis, whom they acquired in a trade on cut-day. Haeg is visiting multiple teams, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, so no deal is currently imminent.

The Raiders also brought in two high former draft picks to audition for linebacker roster spots, trying out Alec Ogletree and Reggie Ragland, according to Field Yates of ESPN. Despite creeping up on 31-years-old, Ogletree has been a serviceable starter for every team he’s played on over the years, except for the Jets who released him early into the 2020 season. Since being drafted by the Chiefs in 2016, Ragland has been a spot starter for Kansas City, Detroit, and New York. He has a working relationship with Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who held the same position with the Giants last year.

Graham looked at another familiar face when the Raiders auditioned defensive back Jarren Williams, who spent the last two seasons with the Giants as a reserve cornerback. Las Vegas also took a look at cornerback T.J. Carrie who was a seventh-round pick for the team in 2014. Carrie looks to return to the organization after two stints as a rotational cornerback with the Browns and Colts.

Here’s a look at a couple of other workouts from around the league, starting with a tight end visiting a division rival of his former team:

  • The Browns worked out tight end Jesse James yesterday, according to Yates. James spent his rookie deal as the main tight end in Pittsburgh. Since then, he’s spent time in the NFC North with the Lions and Bears. After releasing Austin Hooper back in March, Cleveland hold only David Njoku and Harrison Bryant on the 53-man roster. James holds some receiving ability, but has taken a role lately as more of a blocker, something the Browns could use more of in the tight end room.
  • The day after roster cuts, the Jaguars brought in running back Corey Clement for a work out, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The team ended up claiming JaMycal Hasty off the waiver wire from the 49ers, filling their fourth running back roster spot, so Clement will have to keep searching for his next NFL job.

Bears To Sign Jesse James

The Bears have agreed to sign Jesse James to a one-year deal. The tight end (Twitter link via’s Mike Garafolo). It’s likely a low-cost, one-year deal for the veteran, allowing Chicago to evaluate him in camp with little risk. 

James was released by the Lions earlier this year, just halfway through his four-year, $22.6MM pact he signed back in 2019. Starting out as a fifth-round pick of the Steelers back in 2015, he flashed some potential in Pittsburgh, including a 423-yard campaign in 2018. Between 2016-2018, James managed 112 grabs for 1,113 yards and eight touchdowns.

That potential earned him the big contract from the Lions, but the Penn State product disappointed there. In 32 games (18 starts) over two years, James hauled in just 30 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

Outside of some reported interest from the Bills back in April, we haven’t heard much about James this offseason. Now, he’ll look to join a TE group that includes Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, and fellow newcomers J.P. Holtz and Jake Butt.

Bills Interested In Jesse James

The top tight ends have all found their new homes, but there are still some (relatively) big names left for the second wave. One of those is Jesse James, who is apparently on the radar of an AFC contender.

The Bills are interested in James, sources told Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork. Those same sources did caution that “they are not close to a contract.” James was released by the Lions last month just halfway through the four-year, $22.6MM pact he signed with Detroit back in 2019. James started his career as a fifth-round pick of the Steelers back in 2015. He flashed some potential in Pittsburgh, including with a 423-yard campaign in 2018.

That potential earned him the big contract from the Lions, but the Penn State product disappointed there. In 32 games (18 starts) over the past two years in Detroit, James has hauled in 30 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills didn’t get a ton of production from the position in 2020 despite having a dynamic passing game overall, so it’s not too surprising they’re looking to add to the group.

2019 third-rounder Dawson Knox led the Bills’ tight ends with only 288 yards last season. Pauline writes that it could be a situation where Buffalo or another team looking for help there signs James on “Day 3 of the draft if they can’t come away with a tight end in Rounds 2-4.”

Buffalo already has a great receiving group highlighted by Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley, so tight end is the natural spot to bolster as they look to take the next step in 2021.

Lions Release TE Jesse James

Jesse James‘ two-year stint in Detroit has come to an end. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Lions have released the veteran tight end. The move will save the team more than $6MM over the next two years.

The tight end initially joined the Lions on a four-year, $22.6MM deal back in 2019, but he hasn’t come close to matching the (limited) production he displayed during his time with the Steelers. In 32 games (18 starts) over the past two years, James has hauled in 30 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns. The 26-year-old had cap hits of $6.4MM in 2021 and $7.1MM in 2022, and the Lions will be left with dead cap hits of $4.2MM in 2021 and $5.7MM in 2022.

The 2015 fifth-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with Pittsburgh, starting 36 totals games. His best season came in 2018 when he hauled in 30 receptions for 423 yards and two scores.

T.J. Hockenson obviously sits atop the Lions tight ends depth chart, but the team will surely be looking for some reinforcement behind him. Hunter Bryant is the only other tight end under contract for the 2021 campaign.