The Saints have had some injuries on the defensive line recently, so it makes sense why they’d bring in this group. With this large of an amount of players brought in, they will likely be signing someone soon. The Buccaneers are clearly evaluating their kicking options after Chandler Catanzaro has struggled to start the year. He made a game-winning 59-yard field goal in overtime last week, but missed an extra point and a 40-yarder at the end of regulation before that. Both Ficken and Santos have kicked for the Rams this season.
The Bills have made a switch in their defensive line rotation, signing Tyrunn Walker and cutting JohnHughes, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Hughes suffered a groin injury in the team’s first preseason game on Thursday, which triggered his release.
Interestingly, Buffalo was also considering Walker when it signed Hughes in June, but it preferred Hughes at the time because he is more of a “space eater” than Walker. Both men have primarily served as backups in their respective careers, though Walker was more productive than Hughes in 2017. The 28-year-old Walker finished with 22 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended in 16 games (four starts) for the Rams last year, while Hughes played just eight games (no starts) for the Saints and compiled 10 tackles. He tore his bicep late in the season and landed on injured reserve as a result.
Walker, who has also suited up for the Saints and Lions in his career, auditioned for the Jets earlier this offseason, and New Orleans also considered bringing him back into the fold. He experienced a major legal scare last June when he was accused of rape, but he was later cleared by a grand jury.
JohnHughes has found a home. The Bills announced (via Twitter) that they have signed the veteran defensive tackle to a one-year deal.
The 30-year-old has managed to put together a six-year career despite serving as mostly a backup. The 2012 third-round pick spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the Browns, including a rookie season where he collected three sacks. However, he was released by the organization in 2016, less than two years after inking a four-year, $14.4MM extension.
He split the rest of that campaign with the Patriots and Buccaneers before signing with the Saints last year. In eight games last season, the six-foot-two, 320-pound lineman compiled 10 tackles. He tore his bicep late in the season, landing him on the injured reserve.
Either way, it sounds like the Bills were in the market for more depth at the position. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the organization also considered free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker. The 28-year-old was more production last season, finishing with 22 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended in 16 games (four starts) for the Rams. However, the organization ultimately decided on Hughes, who Rapoport describes as “more of a space eater.”
It is the 12-year lineman’s second stint with the Saints in 2017. McDaniel appeared in all four preseason games with the team before being released at the start of the season. He then signed with San Francisco and appeared in four games, making five tackles, before being released on November 13.
The Saints will mark the sixth team McDaniel has suited up for since entering the league in 2006 as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee. After stays with Jacksonville and Miami, McDaniel enjoyed his breakout campaigns with Seattle in 2013 and 2014, winning a Super Bowl during that stretch. He made a stop in Tampa Bay, another round in Seattle before ending up with the Niners and Saints in 2017.
Hughes will now enter his second stint with New Orleans this year, as he originally signed with the club in early August. The 29-year-old lasted fewer than three weeks on the Saints’ roster, however, and was released during final cutdowns. Hughes worked out for the Jaguars last month but didn’t land a contract, and auditioned for New Orleans again on Tuesday before inking a new deal.
A third-round pick in the 2012 draft, Hughes has never been a full-time starter during his five-year NFL career, but does offer 58 games worth of experience. The Browns released Hughes last September despite having just signed him to an extension 18 months earlier, and he eventually caught on with the Buccaneers to close out the season. In five games, Hughes managed five tackles while playing on 5.8% of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps.