Jesse Williams

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/8/16

It’s been a day of huge news around the NFL, with top free agents like Malik Jackson and Kelechi Osemele reaching contract agreements. We don’t want to let some of the smaller deals from around the league slip through the cracks though, so let’s round up Tuesday’s minor transactions….

  • The Panthers have agreed to terms with Joe Webb on a new two-year contract, according to his agency, SportsTrust Advisors (Twitter link). Webb provides Carolina with a third quarterback on its depth chart, and can be utilized as a versatile, all-purpose weapon elsewhere on offense and special teams.
  • The 49ers have re-signed linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, extending him through the 2016 season before he reaches free agency, the team announced today. San Francisco claimed Armstrong off waivers from the Raiders in 2015 after the linebacker and special-teamer made headlines for illegally taunting a police dog before a game against the Steelers.
  • The Colts announced today that they’ve signed undrafted free agent long snapper Forrest Hill, in what probably qualifies as the exact opposite of a “splash.” Nonetheless, Hill could be given an opportunity to compete for the job this summer in Indianapolis against incumbent LS Matt Overton.
  • Jaguars tight end Nic Jacobs has signed the one-year ERFA tender he received last week, the club announced today in a press release.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle A.J. Francis has also received his ERFA tender, per Dov Kleiman of RantSports (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks waived defensive tackle Jesse Williams, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports (on Twitter).

West Notes: Chargers, Kaepernick, Manning

Those familiar with the proposal put on the table in Houston earlier this month for a Rams/Chargers partnership tell Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times that it makes more sense for the second team – the Chargers – to be a tenant instead of a co-owner for the Rams’ stadium project. As such, if the Chargers end up moving to Los Angeles, it will probably be as Stan Kroenke‘s tenant.

As Farmer and Fenno explain, the proposal that surfaced in Houston has remained relatively unchanged for the last two and a half weeks, so the current situation is viewed as “less of a back-and-forth negotiation than a choice confronting the Chargers.”

As we wait to find out what the Chargers decide, let’s check in on some items from around the NFL’s West divisions…

  • Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, 49ers CEO Jed York pointed to the team’s salary cap room as one reason why it’s viable for Colin Kaepernick to remain in San Francisco in 2016. “This is a fresh start for everybody,” York said, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “Colin needs to get back healthy, be ready to come in and compete, and we’ll see where it goes.”
  • Joel Corry of examines Peyton Manning‘s options if the future Hall-of-Famer decides to continue his career in 2016. Corry believes the Rams look like a logical suitor for Manning if the Broncos decided they didn’t want to keep him.
  • Chip Kelly has added another assistant to his coaching staff, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the 49ers have hired Colts safeties coach Roy Anderson as their defensive backs coach.
  • Former Bears assistant Skip Peete is joining the Rams as the team’s new running backs coach, a source tells Thayer Evans of Peete has previously served as the RBs coach in Oakland, Dallas, and Chicago.
  • After undergoing surgery for Papillary Type 2 last spring, Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams, who spent the 2015 season on the non-football illness list, tweets that he has been cleared to return to action. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times provides some details on Williams, who is eligible for exclusive rights free agency.

PUP, NFI Players Soon Eligible To Practice

Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the Giants and Eagles, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many clubs could be welcoming injured players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to the practice field.

Of course, just because those players are able to return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player currently on the PUP list could return to the field for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest.

The rules for NFI players are similar to those for PUP players. If a player on either reserve list doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, his 2015 season will officially be over.

Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list who can begin practicing as soon as this Tuesday:

And here are the players currently on their teams’ non-football injury or illness lists, who are also eligible to begin practicing this Tuesday:

  • Arizona Cardinals: WR Damond Powell
  • Buffalo Bills: CB Leodis McKelvin
  • Cincinnati Bengals: T Cedric Ogbuehi
  • Cleveland Browns: DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE Randall Telfer, RB Glenn Winston
  • Dallas Cowboys: LB Mark Nzeocha
  • Houston Texans: T David Quessenberry
  • Kansas City Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray
  • San Francisco 49ers: WR DeAndre Smelter
  • Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams

In addition to monitoring players on the PUP and NFI lists, it’s worth keeping an eye on players who have been placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this IR-DTR spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.

That means that a player who was placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing on Tuesday, though he won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 9. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after Week 1 will have to wait until next Tuesday – October 27 – to return to practice, while other IR-DTR players will have to wait until November to practice.

Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as Tuesday:

Seahawks Confirm McCray Trade, Set Roster

The Seahawks have confirmed one of their two recently-reported acquisitions, announcing that they’ve traded for safety Kelcie McCray, sending a fifth-round draft pick to the Chiefs in the swap, as we heard earlier. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter), the deal for McCray is a public sign of what the team has privately told Kam Chancellor: Seattle isn’t willing to negotiate with him.

We’re still awaiting official word on Seattle’s reported agreement with running back Fred Jackson, so an additional cut will be required when that move is finalized. For now though, the Seahawks are down to 53 players. Via a team release, here’s how they got there:


  • CB Will Blackmon
  • TE Anthony McCoy


  • LB Tyrell Adams
  • TE Rashaun Allen
  • QB R.J. Archer
  • DE Obum Gwacham
  • S Keenan Lambert
  • S Ronald Martin
  • DT T.Y. McGill
  • CB Douglas McNeil
  • OL Keavon Milton
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • OL Will Pericak
  • LB Eric Pinkins
  • OL Terry Poole
  • LB Alex Singleton
  • WR Kevin Smith
  • RB Rod Smith
  • DE Julius Warmsley
  • WR Kasen Williams

Placed on injured reserve:

  • CB Mohammed Seisay
  • RB Robert Turbin

Placed on reserve/non-football illness list:

  • DT Jesse Williams

NFC Notes: Rams, Garcia, Lions, Walsh

Former NFL signal-caller Jeff Garcia interviewed for the Rams‘ quarterbacks coach job earlier in the offseason, but the position ultimately went to Chris Weinke. Still, the club apparently liked what it saw from Garcia. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter), the Rams have added Garcia to their coaching staff as an offensive assistant for the coming season.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Lance Moore received a $40K signing bonus from the Lions and will get another $40K bonus if he’s on the team’s roster in Week 1, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. As Birkett observes, the modest guaranteed money on the minimum salary deal hardly assures the veteran wideout of a regular season roster spot. Birkett also provides contract details for defensive lineman Corey Wootton ($150K guaranteed) and second-round running back Ameer Abdullah ($2.29MM guaranteed).
  • Asked about a possible contract extension to keep him in Minnesota beyond the 2015 season, kicker Blair Walsh expressed optimism, but cautioned that he and the Vikings haven’t had serious talks yet. “We have to make sure we’re on the same page and the numbers match up,” Walsh told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on SiriusXM NFL Radio (TwitLonger link). “That’s for management and my agent to discuss. I’ll be ready to talk about it when they are.”
  • The Cowboys are happy to have cornerback Orlando Scandrick back at their offseason workouts, as Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram details. Scandrick and the team continue to discuss the possibility of a new contract that would increase his salary for 2015.
  • Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams was diagnosed with papillary type 2 cancer and will undergo kidney surgery, the team announced this week.

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Teams around the NFL have been busy today, making minor roster additions and subtractions as they continue to survey the remaining free agent landscape and prepare for this month’s draft. Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from across the league:

  • According to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have signed defensive end Efe Obada, who played last year with the London Warriors in England.
  • Meanwhile, a former Cowboys defender, Caesar Rayford, announced today on Facebook that he has signed a new contract with the Vikings.
  • The Jets have re-signed backup tackle Ben Ijalana, the team announced today in a press release. During his two seasons in New York, Ijalana has been inactive on game days more often than not.

Earlier updates:

  • Seahawks fullback and defensive lineman Will Tukuafu posted an Instagram photo today that showed him signing a new contract with the Seahawks, and the NFL’s official transactions wire confirms the deal, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Per Condotta (via Twitter), Seattle’s new deal with defensive lineman Jesse Williams, who was cut earlier in the offseason for procedural reasons, also showed up on the transactions wire.
  • Cornerback and special-teamer Sherrick McManis has returned to the Bears on a one-year deal, according to the club (Twitter link). Although he played just 46 defensive snaps for Chicago in 2014, McManis was a key contributor on kick and punt coverage, recording 11 special teams tackles.
  • The Steelers have re-signed defensive lineman Clifton Geathers to a one-year contract, the team announced today in a press release. Geathers, 27, joined the Steelers in December of last year after the club placed Brett Keisel on injured reserve, but didn’t see any game action.
  • Agent Mike McCartney published a tweet this afternoon congratulating his client Mike Kafka on the quarterback’s new deal with the Vikings. A participant in last month’s veterans combine, Kafka spent time in 2014 on the Buccaneers’ practice squad and active roster.
  • Running back Dan “Boom” Herron has officially signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Colts, ensuring that he’ll be back with the team in 2015. The move was a formality, since Herron couldn’t negotiate with other clubs.
  • The Panthers have waived guard Derek Dennis and linebacker Horace Miller, two players who signed futures contracts with the team at season’s end, the club announced today (via Twitter).

NFC Notes: Bennett, Lions, Rams, Jennings

Speaking to reporters in Arizona today, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said that defensive end Michael Bennett hasn’t requested a trade and is happy in Seattle, tweets Terry Blount of

A report last week indicated that Bennett wanted a new contract, and perhaps a trade to Dan Quinn‘s Falcons, but even if that’s the case, it doesn’t look like the Seahawks have any plans to move him. For what it’s worth, Schneider appeared to dodge the issue of whether the defensive end wants his contract reworked, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Schneider also confirmed that defensive lineman Jesse Williams will be re-added to the Seahawks’ roster soon, indicating that Williams was only waived as a procedural transaction (Twitter link via Condotta).

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Lions GM Martin Mayhew confirmed today to reporters, including Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News (Twitter link), that his team is in talks with free agent guard Rob Sims about a new deal.
  • The Rams are keeping their eye on free agent offensive linemen like Joe Barksdale, Stefen Wisniewski, and Justin Blalock, but the club isn’t expected to sign any of those players this week, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • While the Cowboys aren’t likely to make any other noteworthy free agent investments, Todd Archer of suggests the club could go bargain shopping, identifying offensive tackle, safety, and return man as three potential areas of need.
  • Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took responsibility for the organization’s decision to not re-sign embattled defensive end Greg Hardy. “Whose call would you think that would be?” Richardson asked’s David Newton. When asked about the owner’s logic, Richardson replied that the Panthers “do the right things.”
  • When wideout Greg Jennings left the Packers for the Vikings in 2013, the veteran displayed some animosity towards the organization. However, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson made it clear that those kinds of comments wouldn’t dissuade his team from pursuing the 31-year-old. “We’re not that sensitive about things like that,” Thompson said (via Jason Wilde of “Players are players. Players say things. Sometimes we make mistakes [too].”

FA Notes: Newman, Johnson, Clay, Lowery

As Peter King of The observes in his latest column, spending big in free agency often doesn’t translate to wins in the next season or two. As such, this year’s spenders – such as the Jets, Eagles, Dolphins, and Jaguars – should be wary about how much of an on-field impact their signings will have in 2015. A team like the Ravens, on the other hand, has enjoyed great success by consistently letting big free agents leave for other teams, then collecting compensatory picks for those players and replenishing the roster with young talent.

Here are a few more free agent updates:

  • Veteran cornerback Terence Newman will turn 37 in September, but he intends to continue his playing career. Per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), Newman visited the Vikings yesterday, and is headed to New England today to meet with the Patriots.
  • When Michael Johnson‘s new four-year contract with the Bengals was initially reported, figures of $20MM and $24MM were cited as the overall value of the deal. Rapoport offers some clarity on that front, tweeting that the $20MM base value increases to $24MM if Johnson records 10 or more sacks during the 2015 season.
  • Rex Ryan has been the “driving force” behind the Bills‘ pursuit of tight end Charles Clay, a source tells Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. Having become familiar with the Dolphins tight end over the last few years of AFC East divisional games, Ryan badly wants Clay in Buffalo, and the Bills continue to prepare an offer sheet for Miami’s transition player.
  • Safety Dwight Lowery admits that the Falcons haven’t shown much interest in re-signing him, and says he hasn’t spoken to new head coach Dan Quinn, as Vaughn McClure of writes. Atlanta is still without a starting free safety, so it’s possible the team will circle back to Lowery at some point.
  • Referring to an article in Australia’s Courier-Mail, former Seahawks defensive lineman Jesse Williams suggested in a tweet that he didn’t actually speak to the outlet. The Courier-Mail piece indicated that Williams himself said he expected to re-sign with Seattle, so it’s not clear whether or not a new deal with the club is actually in the works.
  • Earlier today, I listed a few of the top free agents still on the board at each position.

West Notes: J. Williams, DGB, Gordon, Hawks

Despite being waived by the Seahawks less than two weeks ago, defensive tackle Jesse Williams is expected to re-sign with Seattle soon, as he tells Tom Boswell of the Courier-Mail. The 24-year-old Williams has spent the duration of his two-year NFL career on injured reserve with knee issues, but he says multiple surgeries have corrected the issue. The Alabama product became the first Australian to win a Super Bowl ring when the Seahawks won the championship in 2014.

Here’s more from Seattle and rest of the NFL’s West divisions…

  • Before they acquired Jimmy Graham last week, the Seahawks were “digging into” Oklahoma receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Green-Beckham carries quite a bit of off-the-field baggage, but Seattle could be looking to add a downfield threat via the draft, leading Robinson to wonder if the club could take a chance on DGB if he falls to the second round.
  • In other draft news, the Cardinals are meeting with Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon today, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. Arizona has been linked to Adrian Peterson, but as Getlin notes, Gordon would present a younger and cheaper alternative at the position.
  • Though he didn’t outwardly express it during a press conference earlier today, it’s clear Chargers owner Dean Spanos is skeptical about keeping the team in San Diego, writes Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who adds that it should be clear by the start of the season whether the Chargers will be able to stay in SD.

Seahawks Release Zach Miller

5:06pm: In addition to releasing Miller, the Seahawks announced (via Twitter) that they waived offensive tackle Garrett Scott and defensive tackle Jesse Williams, and signed defensive end Greg Scruggs.

4:54pm: The Seahawks have released tight end Zach Miller, according to Field Yates of (on Twitter). It’s been a busy day for the Seahawks, who also reached agreement with star running back Marshawn Lynch on a new deal earlier today.

Miller signed a $34MM contract with the Seahawks in August of 2011 and he renegotiated his deal roughly one year ago to remain on the team. He agreed to a $3MM pay cut in 2014 and a $2MM pay cut in 2015, but that apparently wasn’t enough to keep his spot in Seattle. Miller would have been a $4MM cap hit in 2015 and, as Terry Blount of (on Twitter) notes, dropping him helps offset the difference in Lynch’s bump from $7MM to $11MM next season.

Miller, a former Pro Bowler, was with the Seahawks since 2011, catching 102 balls over that span and serving as the club’s top tight end. His 2014 campaign officially ended in November when he was placed on injured reserve, but he was out of action ever since undergoing an ankle procedure following the team’s Week 3 game.

It’s possible that the release of Miller could be the start of something bigger in Seattle. On Friday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentioned the Seahawks as a dark horse candidate for free agent Broncos tight end Julius Thomas.