John Ross

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Waived from reserve/retired list: WR John Ross

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Ross signed a reserve/futures deal with the Chiefs in January but retired before training camp. The Combine 40-yard dash record holder now intends to resume his career, according to’s Mike Garafolo. Ross, who turned 28 today, has not played in a regular-season game since 2021 with the Giants.

A Raiders spring signee, Shelley did not make Las Vegas’ 53-man roster. The Rams picked him up before the season and have used him mostly on special teams. Shelley, who Bears and Vikings prior to this two-team 2023, has logged 76 defensive snaps this season. But the veteran cornerback has been on the field for 65% of Los Angeles’ special teams plays.

WR John Ross Retires

John Ross delivered a memorable performance at the Combine, but his pro career is coming to an end after an inability to translate his skillset to the NFL. The former top-1o was placed on the reserved/retired list by the Chiefs on Wednesday, per the wire.

The 27-year-old entered the league with substantial expectations after he ran a record-setting 4.22 second 40-yard dash at the Combine in 2017. His speed helped make him the ninth overall selection in that year’s draft, with the Bengals selecting him ahead of a group of other prospects headlined by Patrick Mahomes. Ross was the third and final receiver taken in that year’s first round (behind Corey Davis and Mike Williams).

Ross battled injuries through much of his Cincinnati tenure, and he played only 27 games with the Bengals. The Washington alum’s best season came in 2019, when he recorded 506 yards and three touchdowns despite only getting into eight games. The rest of his Bengals stint saw him haul in only 23 catches for 227 yards in 19 games across three campaigns, although he did score a career-high seven touchdowns in 2018.

Following a 2020 season where he was limited to only three games thanks in part to a foot injury, Ross hit free agency. He ended up catching on with the Giants on a one-year deal, catching 11 passes in 10 games for his new squad.

After not getting into a game during the 2022 season, Ross signed a futures contract with the Chiefs back in January. He was set to compete for a roster spot before his sudden decision to retire.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Chiefs Sign WR John Ross To Reserve Deal

The Chiefs have shown a penchant for adding low-floor, high-ceiling wideouts in recent years, and the team made a deal adding to that list on Monday. Kansas City has signed John Ross to a reserve/futures deal, per ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link).

Ross entered the league with plenty of hype, of course, given his demonstrated ability as a deep threat in college and speed showcased at the Draft Combine. That led to the Bengals selecting him ninth overall in 2017, but he struggled with injuries in Cincinnati and failed to establish himself as a consistent target when healthy. His best campaign came in 2019, when he recorded 506 yards and three touchdowns.

A logical change-of-scenery candidate, the Washington product spent the 2021 season with the Giants. There, he made 11 catches for 224 yards and one score. His 20.4 yards per reception average (albeit in a limited volume) showcased his potential value as a complementary piece in a vertical offense in particular. This past August, it was reported that Ross was generating interest on the open market, but a lingering knee injury likely hurt his value.

The Chiefs could represent the necessary environment for the 27-year-old find a long-term home, or at least one where he could compete for a roster spot in the offseason. Kansas City has not shied away in years past from taking fliers on the likes of Josh Gordon, Justyn Ross and, most recently, former Giants first-rounder Kadarius Toney to help their WR room. The unit saw plenty of turnover this past offseason, and JuJu Smith-Schuster Mecole Hardman are pending free agents. Ross could prove to be a low-risk, high-reward addition down the road for the AFC West champions.

NFL Workouts: Ross, Austin, Butler

Despite adding star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back to the active roster and acquiring former Panthers wide out Robbie Anderson for a pair of draft picks, the Cardinals worked out another receiver yesterday in John Ross, according to Field Yates of ESPN. While many viewed Anderson as a replacement for the lost production of draft day acquisition Marquise Brown, who faces a potential multi-week absence, the speedy Ross would be a better match, in terms of skill set, to team up with diminutive wide outs Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch to replace Brown’s ability.

A former top ten draft pick for the Bengals in 2017, Ross is widely considered not to have lived up to his draft stock. After missing the majority of his rookie season with knee and shoulder issues, Ross was still able to salvage some bright spots in his second and third seasons, reaching career highs for touchdowns with seven in 2018 and receiving yards with 506 in 2019. Despite showing some promise, injuries continued to drag the young wide out down. Over the final two years of his contract, Ross missed 21 games, leading him towards free agency. He signed with the Giants last year and appeared in 10 games, catching 11 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown.

Here are a couple of other workouts reported around the league, starting with Brown’s former home in Baltimore:

  • After losing second-year wide receiver Rashod Bateman to injury for the past two weeks, the Ravens were looking to add some receiving depth recently, as well. This desire resulted in the practice squad addition of veteran DeSean Jackson, but, according to Yates, Baltimore auditioned another veteran wide out in Tavon Austin. The former long-time Ram has spent the last four seasons since leaving Los Angeles with three other teams. Austin has seen quite a down-sized role since his heyday as a starter with the Rams, but showed a big-play ability in Dallas, averaging 15.1 yards per reception as a Cowboy three seasons ago. With Jackson now on the practice squad, Austin will likely have to keep searching for his fifth NFL squad.
  • The Seahawks worked out a former first round pick in defensive tackle Vernon Butler yesterday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Butler waited until the final year of his rookie contract with the Panthers to play up to his draft stock, racking up 6.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, 32 tackles, and three forced fumbles, which all still stand as career highs by quite a bit. Butler signed a two-year contract with the Bills after leaving Carolina but failed to match the production from his best year with the Panthers. He’s available after failing to make the Raiders’ final 53-man roster and looks to add some depth to a minorly banged up Seahawks defensive line.

FA WR John Ross Generating Interest

It sounds as if free agent wide receiver John Ross will find a new employer soon. The No. 9 overall pick of the Bengals in the 2017 draft, Ross spent the 2021 campaign with the Giants and is still recovering from a knee injury that he sustained towards the end of the season.

As such, Ross will begin meeting with teams around the start of the regular season next month, per Jeremy Fowler of (via Twitter). He is expected to be fully healthy by that time, and a number of teams have remained in “consistent contact” with the Washington product.

Injuries have been the prevailing theme of Ross’ career. He possesses blinding speed, but due to various ailments and his inability to impress then-head coach Marvin Lewis, Ross played in just one game in his rookie year in Cincinnati. Though he started 10 games in 2018, he managed only 21 catches for 210 yards, and after a hot start to 2019, he missed another eight games due to injury.

The Bengals made the easy call to decline Ross’ fifth-year option in May 2020, and in his final season in the Queen City, Ross was a healthy scratch for a number of games and requested a trade as a result of his diminished role. Cincy could not find any takers, and Ross eventually landed on IR with a foot injury.

He signed with the Giants in March 2021, and he once again missed time for health reasons. A hamstring malady kept him out of the first few games of the season, and the above-mentioned knee trouble sidelined him towards the end of the year. Still, clubs apparently remain tantalized by his speed and big-play ability, which will buy the 26-year-old another opportunity.

Ross has indeed shown flashes of his potential. In 2019, he caught 28 balls for 506 yards — good for a 18.1 yards-per-reception rate — and in his first and only season with Big Blue, he tallied 11 catches for 224 yards, which represents a career-best 20.4 YPR average. His 43.4% career catch percentage is quite low, but that is largely a function of the routes he is asked to run. If he can ever stay healthy for a full season, his abilities as a bonafide home run threat would be a welcome addition to any number of WR rooms.

Although Fowler did not specify which clubs have expressed interest, the Colts, Cowboys, Packers, and Ravens are just a few of the teams that could still use receiving help.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Giants Activate WR John Ross From IR

The Giants will be relying fully on offseason acquisitions at wide receiver Sunday, having ruled out both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. One of their outside hires will make his season debut in Week 4.

John Ross is off the Giants’ IR list, moving onto the team’s active roster after the mandatory three weeks. The Giants placed Ross on IR with a hamstring injury, one he suffered early in training camp. After extensive rehab, Ross will have a chance to begin his second-chance effort.

Ross will join Kenny Golladay, first-round pick Kadarius Toney and late-summer waiver claim Collin Johnson as the Giants’ top receivers against the Saints. Shepard and Slayton are on the shelf due to hamstring injuries sustained in Week 3.

Despite Ross not coming particularly close to justifying the top-10 investment the Bengals made, the Giants gave him $2.25MM this offseason. They signed Ross before coming to terms with Golladay, and the team later drafted Toney. Ross still holds the Combine’s 40-yard dash record time — 4.22 seconds — but he did not pan out in Cincinnati and has run into frequent injury trouble during his career.

Ross did show promise in 2019, averaging 63.3 yards per game over an eight-game sample, but that was the only season in which he cleared 250 yards.

Giants Place WR John Ross On IR

John Ross is heading to the IR. The Giants placed the wide receiver on injured reserve today, keeping their offseason acquisition sidelined through at least the first three weeks of the season.

Ross is well known for being the ninth overall pick in 2017, as well as his legendary NFL Combine 40-time of 4.22. Things didn’t go as planned with the Bengals, as his four years in Cincinnati were an abject disaster. He struggled with injuries, playing in three, 13, eight, and three games during his four seasons there. He finished his run with 51 catches for 733 yards and ten touchdowns, a pitiful sum for a top ten pick.

The 25-year-old inked a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Giants this offseason. He was sidelined throughout August with a hamstring injury, and that ailment will keep him on the shelf through September. Ross likely would have slotted in as the team’s fourth receiver behind Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton.

The Giants made a long list of moves today, including additions to their practice squad. See all of their transactions here.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These CowboysEaglesGiants and Washington moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Dallas Cowboys

Signed to practice squad:

New York Giants

Placed on IR:




Signed to practice squad:

Philadelphia Eagles

Signed to practice squad:

Washington Football Team

Placed on IR:


Signed to practice squad:

Giants To Sign John Ross

The Giants were rumored to be looking for another receiver this offseason, and now they’ve found one. New York has agreed to terms on a deal with receiver John Ross, a source told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

It’s a one-year, $2.5MM deal that includes $1MM in guaranteed money, Garafolo reports. The move isn’t necessarily the big splash many Giants fans have been waiting for, but it’s a nice low-risk flyer with significant upside. Ross is well known for being the ninth overall pick in 2017, as well as his legendary NFL Combine 40-time of 4.22.

Things didn’t go as planned with the Bengals nearly immediately, and his four years in Cincinnati were an abject disaster. He struggled with injuries, playing in three, 13, eight, and three games during his four seasons there. He finished his run with 51 catches for 733 yards and ten touchdowns, a pitiful sum for a top ten pick.

Needless to say, the team didn’t exercise his fifth-year option and returning to Cincy was never in the cards. He’s obviously got game-breaking speed, and showed plenty of flashes during the 2019 season when he had 506 yards in only eight games, so the potential is there.

After releasing Golden Tate the Giants don’t have much at all at receiver beyond Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, as Ross has a realistic path to some playing time in 2021. Keep an eye on this one.