John Wolford

Buccaneers To Re-Sign QB John Wolford; Team To Add OL Sua Opeta

Amid an offseason that has featured nearly the level of roster retention their 2021 blueprint brought, the Buccaneers will keep a lower-profile player. GM Jason Licht confirmed the team is re-signing QB John Wolford.

The Bucs are also re-signing O-lineman Justin Skule and bringing in ex-Eagles swingman Sua Opeta, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine and’s Curtis Allen. Both the O-linemen will be attached to one-year contracts, with Laine adding Wolford is also rejoining the team on a one-year agreement.

One season remains on Kyle Trask‘s rookie contract, with Wolford, 28, back in place to be the team’s third-string quarterback. The Rams showed interest in bringing Wolford back to Los Angeles, following Matthew Stafford‘s thumb injury last year, as did ex-Rams OC Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota. But Wolford preferred to stay in Tampa; the Bucs then promoted him to the active roster.

The 2024 campaign will be Wolford’s sixth NFL season. The former Alliance of American Football arm may be an even better with the Bucs in 2024, with ex-Rams OC Liam Coen stepping in as the play-caller.

The Bucs already signed Ben Bredeson, a 16-game Giants starter last season. Opeta spent the past four seasons with the Eagles and started six games in 2023. The former UDFA has experience at both guard and tackle, giving him an onramp to a swing role. The Bucs, however, have not re-signed Matt Feiler; Aaron Stinnie, a longtime backup who started 11 games last season, has committed to the Giants. Skule played in 17 games as a backup last season.

Rams To Waive QB Brett Rypien

Following the news of the Carson Wentz agreement, the Rams will spend their bye week with just two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. With Wentz coming in, Brett Rypien will be jettisoned.

The Rams are waiving Rypien, per’s Tom Pelissero. The former Broncos backup received the call against the Packers in relief of Matthew Stafford. After a 20-3 Rams loss that featured a poor Rypien performance, the team will have Stafford and Wentz as the QBs on its roster.

After four seasons in Denver, Rypien signed with Los Angeles shortly after the draft. The team had him in mind as a placeholder while Stetson Bennett developed. The 26-year-old rookie, however, landed on the reserve/non-football illness list in September. This left Rypien as the top Stafford backup. With Stafford again needing to miss time due to injury, the Rams were without another option. The Wentz deal will cover them going forward.

Rypien, 27, will be waived despite being a vested veteran. With the trade deadline having passed, all cut players are subject to waivers. Considering the QB trouble around the league, it will be interesting to see if someone picks up the former UDFA. But Rypien struggled in Green Bay, completing 46% of his passes while throwing an interception and fumbling twice. With Bennett out of the picture presently and the team cutting Dresser Winn from its practice squad, a spot could be open for Rypien — should he pass through waivers.

Considering Stafford’s recent injury history and Wentz being new to the team, it should be expected the Rams will carry a practice squad QB. Rypien has made four career starts, replacing Stafford, Russell Wilson and Drew Lock. He posted a 60.2% completion rate last season, throwing two TD passes and four interceptions. The nephew of Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien, Brett saw the Broncos give Jarrett Stidham a two-year, $10MM deal to replace him. The Rams have now ended Wentz’s near-eight-month free agency stay to do the same.

After Stafford gave the Rams 21 starts (counting the four postseason outings) in 2021, the Rams have started five QBs over the past two seasons. They turned to John Wolford, Bryce Perkins and Baker Mayfield amid Stafford’s injury-plagued 2022. Stafford made it through eight games this season and is expected to be ready for Week 11, but Wentz would now be in line to run that number to six should the starter need to miss more time.

The Rams attempted to reacquire Wolford by signing him off the Buccaneers’ practice squad last week, but the Florida native cited a desire to stay in Tampa, via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud. Although Wolford would not have had a choice had the Bucs not agreed to bump him up to their 53-man roster, the team did, cutting off a QB avenue for the Rams.

In addition to the QB transactions today, the Rams waived running back Myles Gaskin. The former Dolphins and Vikings back played in one game for the Rams, who reconfigured their backfield after the Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers injuries. Both must miss at least two more games. Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman have operated as L.A.’s primary backs since those IR moves came to pass.

Rams, Vikings Showed Interest In John Wolford; Bucs To Promote QB

OCTOBER 31: The Buccaneers will follow through with their protection measure. Wolford will be signed to the Bucs’ 53-man roster, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Bucs will now carry three quarterbacks on their active roster. This comes after both the Rams and Vikings showed interest in poaching Wolford off the practice squad, per Russini. Kevin O’Connell coached Wolford for two seasons in Los Angeles. Despite multiple potential opportunities to join another team’s 53, Wolford will make the jump in Tampa.

OCTOBER 30, 7:25pm: It sounds like the Rams will have to look elsewhere for QB depth. According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, Wolford informed the Rams that he prefers to stay in Tampa Bay. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport adds that the quarterback is expected to stick with the Buccaneers and be added to the active roster.

6:25pm: John Wolford is set to return to Los Angeles. The longtime Rams backup left for a Buccaneers deal this offseason, but the Rams have seen Matthew Stafford run into another injury. They will take action via an outside hire.

The Rams intend to sign Wolford off the Bucs’ practice squad, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. Wolford did not make Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster, with Kyle Trask in place behind starter Baker Mayfield. Wolford has spent the season on the Bucs’ P-squad, but the latest Stafford injury issue will prompt the Rams to close a deal on a reunion.

Because the Rams are signing Wolford off Tampa Bay’s taxi squad, he must remain on L.A.’s active roster for at least three weeks. That will be a familiar place for Wolford, who resided as the backup to Stafford and Jared Goff during a four-year L.A. stay. The Rams replaced Wolford with ex-Broncos backup Brett Rypien this offseason. Rookie Stetson Bennett is not in the picture presently, residing on the Rams’ reserve/NFI list.

Rypien replaced Stafford after he suffered a thumb injury against the Cowboys. The 15th-year QB is battling a UCL sprain in his throwing thumb, and this upcoming transaction casts some doubt the starter’s availability for Week 9. Stafford missed eight games last season. Coming into 2022, however, the former Lions mainstay had only missed time in one of the previous 11 seasons (due to a 2019 back injury). With IR not off the table for Stafford, the Rams are once again scrambling at the game’s premier position.

Goff brought more durability than Stafford has, leaving Wolford on the bench for much of his first two seasons in California. Signed initially after a stint in the short-lived Alliance of American Football in 2019, Wolford did end up playing a key role for the 2020 Rams. A Goff thumb injury sidelined him for the Rams’ 2020 season finale, and Sean McVay turned to Wolford in for Week 17 and then the wild-card round. A Wolford neck injury knocked him out of that Rams-Seahawks tilt, leading an injured Goff back into action. The Rams included Goff in the Stafford trade weeks later.

Wolford, 28, has made five career starts. Three of those came in relief of Stafford last season. Last year, the Wake Forest product was not especially productive. The start he is credited with winning included scant usage, with the Rams inserting Mayfield — with the team for all of two days at that point — into the lineup and seeing the waiver claim lead an improbable game-winning drive to beat the Raiders. Wolford did not factor into the Mayfeld-Trask Tampa competition, but he may have another opportunity soon — depending on how the Rams navigate the Stafford situation.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 8/31/23

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: WR Kaden Davis, OL Marquis Hayes

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC South

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 BuccaneersFalconsPanthers and Saints moves are noted below.

Atlanta Falcons




  • OL Josh Miles

Signed to practice squad: 

Carolina Panthers



Signed to practice squad:

New Orleans Saints



Signed to practice squad:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers



Signed to practice squad:

Buccaneers To Release QB John Wolford

Not long after sorting out the top of their quarterback depth chart, the Buccaneers are moving on from the third member of their crop at the position. The team is releasing John Wolford, as noted by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Tampa Bay held a competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask for much of the offseason, with the former ultimately winning out. Each member of the pair has received praise for their performances in training camp and the preseason, though, and no other roster spots will be deemed necessary at the position. Stroud adds that the Bucs will be interested, however, in bringing in a signal-caller on their practice squad.

Wolford’s opportunity to earn a spot in Tampa Bay came to an abrupt end during the team’s second preseason contest when he suffered a neck injury. While the ailment was likely not a factor in the Buccaneers’ decision to commit to Mayfield and Trask, it could have an effect on the interest shown in Wolford by other interested teams around the league.

The 27-year-old spent the first three years of his career with the Rams, serving as a depth option across that span. He made three of his four career starts last season, though, and did enough in that audition period to draw interest from Tampa Bay in free agency. Wolford signed for the veteran minimum, so his roster security was always going to be in doubt as roster cutdowns commenced.

Now, the Wake Forest product will likely seek out a backup opportunity with a new team, or at least a third-string role amongst the squads committed to carrying three QBs on their active roster. Tampa Bay could retain him via the practice squad but if the team decides against that, they will be in the market for another depth option at the position.

Also amongst the players the Bucs are cutting loose is edge rusher Jose Ramirez, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That move is notable, since the Eastern Michigan product is a sixth-round rookie. Teams will have the option to claim him off waivers, but if he clears, he will presumably find a spot on the team’s taxi squad.

Latest On Buccaneers’ QB Competition

AUGUST 20: It appears that this competition will indeed come down to the final preseason game. Mayfield did not dress for the Bucs’ second preseason contest last night, a victory over the Jets, and ESPN’s Jenna Laine understandably took that to mean that Mayfield was on the verge of being named the Week 1 starter (Twitter link). However, head coach Todd Bowles revealed after his club’s 13-6 victory that he expects both Mayfield and Trask to play in Tampa Bay’s preseason finale against the Ravens next week (Twitter link via Greg Auman of FOX Sports).

The third quarterback on the depth chart, John Wolford, suffered a neck injury during the second half of the Jets game and was carted off the field, as Laine detailed. Fortunately, Wolford has feeling in his extermities, and Bowles indicated that all will be well with the former Rams signal-caller.

Further underscoring the as-yet-unsettled status of the club’s QB1 comeptition, Bowles said that he was prepared to send Mayfield into the game in relief of Wolford. Bowles only called upon Trask because he was already warmed up after having played the entire first half (Twitter link via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times).

AUGUST 16: With Anthony Richardson having won the starting job for the Colts, the quarterback competition in Tampa Bay is the lone remaining one around the league where the winner cannot at least be comfortably assumed. Plenty is yet to be determined regarding where Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask emerge in the pecking order.

At the onset of training camp, the Buccaneers split first-team reps between the pair, something which came as little surprise. Mayfield came to Tampa Bay on a one-year, $4MM deal looking to avoid the disastrous end to his Panthers tenure from last season. The former No. 1 pick faces serious questions about his ability to retain a starting role in the NFL, and this Buccaneers opportunity may be his last if it does not go well. Trask, meanwhile, entered the league with relatively high expectations as a second-round pick, but he has yet to receive a starting opportunity.

Mayfield has long been considered the favorite to win the Week 1 starting gig, but his tenure in that role may not be permanent if things remain close between he and Trask. Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda reports that Tampa is willing to quickly install Trask as the No. 1 in the event Mayfield is tapped as the starter early but struggles to begin the season.

A final decision has not yet been made, and that will likely remain the case until after the team’s three preseason contests have been played. Mayfield outperformed Trask in the Buccaneers’ Friday loss to the Steelers, but Pauline notes the latter’s arm strength and his general lack of turnovers in camp could give him the edge to win the Week 1 start. The Florida product has expressed confidence about his readiness for the role despite having just nine regular season attempts to his name.

Regardless of who wins the job, Tampa Bay will be shorthanded in the receiving corps with Russell Gage out for the season. Fellow wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will be leaned on heavily by whomever starts the campaign under center, but it remains to be seen who that will be and how long of a leash they will be given.

Buccaneers Sign QB John Wolford

MAY 15: Wolford will earn $1.01MM on this deal, the minimum for players who have been in the league for three years (Twitter link via Greg Auman of Fox Sports). That likely caps his potential at QB3 in Tampa Bay, but it will be interesting to monitor how willing the team is to carry three quarterbacks on their roster given the competition between Mayfield and Trask for the starting job.

MAY 9: Tampa Bay has added further to their post-Tom Brady quarterback room. The team announced on Tuesday that they have signed John Wolford.

The 27-year-old originally joined the Jets as a UDFA in 2018, but his only game action to date has come with the Rams. Wolford has appeared in seven games for Los Angeles across the past three years, making his debut in a must-win regular season finale in 2020 which resulted in a victory.

He played only in relief the following campaign behind Matthew Stafford, but made three starts in relief of the veteran in 2022. Wolford totaled 390 yards during that stretch, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions while compiling a passer rating of 64.6. The Wake Forest product was not given a qualifying offer this offseason, opening the door to a departure in free agency.

After the Rams elected to add a rookie passer – Stetson Bennett in the fourth round of the draft – signs pointed to Wolford needing to look elsewhere for his next opportunity. It will come in Tampa Bay, where he will compete with a familiar face in the form of Baker Mayfield for playing time.

The latter’s Rams debut came in relief of Wolford days after he was claimed off waivers from the Panthers. Mayfield parlayed his Los Angeles audition into a one-year deal with the Buccaneers, which many feel will represent his final chance to establish himself as an NFL starter. Mayfield already had competition for the No. 1 spot due to the presence of 2021 second-rounder Kyle Trask, who is expected to get a look at starting duties at least during training camp. Now, Wolford will join that pair as the Buccaneers try to establish a pecking order in their rebuilt QB room.

Matthew Stafford Placed On IR; Rams To Start John Wolford

DECEMBER 3: Casting further doubt on Stafford’s 2022 return, the Rams announced on Saturday that their starter has been placed on IR. That will leave him sidelined until at least Week 17, by which point the defending champions will likely have been eliminated from postseason contention. With the open roster spot, the Rams have activated rookie linebacker Daniel Hardy from IR.

DECEMBER 2: Matthew Stafford is out of concussion protocol, but the Super Bowl-winning quarterback is not returning to the Rams’ lineup just yet. After Sean McVay said earlier this week it was unlikely Stafford played in Week 13, the Rams are sticking to those guns.

Stafford will sit for a second straight week and third time in four games. Rather than Bryce Perkins, who started in Week 12 against the Chiefs, the Rams will go with John Wolford against the Seahawks. Neck pain and leg numbness led Stafford into the protocol for the second time this season.

Rams caution with Stafford does not surprise. The sides agreed to a four-year, $160MM extension this offseason, and a shell of an offensive line has contributed to the defending Super Bowl champions’ slide. The Rams are 3-8 and making a run at finishing with the worst record by a defending Super Bowl champion — in a non-strike season — in NFL history. The prospect of Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp being shut down for the season remains in play.

Stafford, 34, has taken almost as many sacks in nine games this season (29) as he did during 17 games last year (30). A Rams line that has seen first- and second-stringers go down, with injuries ransacking the unit at every position save for right tackle, has contributed to a few of the team’s problems. L.A. ranks 31st in rushing yards, and were Stafford to come back, he would also be without his two highest-profile receivers. It does not look like Kupp will return from ankle surgery this season, and Allen Robinson‘s disappointing Rams debut is already over due to a foot injury.

Thus, a backup-laden offense will be in the hands of a backup quarterback. It is uncertain if it will stay that way through January, but Wolford is back in the mix for now. A one-time unlikely playoff starter, Wolford has two career regular-season starts. The Rams lost his 2022 start — in Week 10 against the Cardinals — but saw their longtime backup suffer a neck injury as well, leading to Perkins. A 2020 UDFA, Perkins finished with 100 passing yards and two interceptions in the Rams’ loss in Kansas City.

Coming into this season, Stafford had only missed time in one of his previous 12 campaigns. A back injury shut him down in 2019. The former No. 1 overall pick has played through numerous issues during his career, but the Rams have him in limbo for the time being.

RFA/ERFA Tender Signings: 4/19/22

Here’s a look at the latest tender signings from around the NFL: