Keelan Cole

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/14/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/6/22

Here are today’s practice squad moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Raiders Trim Roster To 53 Players

The Raiders have been busy today, trading former second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen to the Cardinals for a conditional seventh-round pick. The Raiders have since completed their 53-man roster, cutting a number of players:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Keelan Cole started 11 of his 15 games for the Jets last season, finishing with 28 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown. He was expected to serve as an end-of-the-depth-chart option at wide receiver (and in the return game), but he ultimately lost out on the gig to Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner. Wideout Dillon Stoner and Isaiah Zuber were also candidates for the fourth or fifth receiver gig, but they were cut.

Matthias Farley saw time in all 17 games for the Titans last season, finishing with 16 tackles. He has extensive special teams experience, but the Raiders ended up pivoting to younger options to round out their roster, Darius Phillips was also a candidate to contribute on special teams following a 2021 campaign where he returned 25 punts for the Bengals.

Austin Walter had a career-high 28 touches for the Jets last offseason, but he wasn’t able to crack the Raiders roster even with the release of Kenyan Drake. The Raiders RB room is still plenty crowded, with Josh Jacobs, rookie fourth-round pick Zamir White, special teams ace Brandon Bolden, rookie seventh-round pick Brittain Brown, and veteran Ameer Abdullah all earning roster spots.

Raiders Rumors: Offensive Line, WRs, Jacobs

We recently wrote about the unlikelihood that any rookies will be starting for the Raiders to start the 2022 NFL season. The player we gave the best odds of earning a starting role is maybe even better set up for taking the job than we thought, according to Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed at The Athletic. The two reported that, besides left tackle Kolton Miller and right guard Denzelle Good, the other three offensive line jobs are up for grabs.

We had given Andre James the assumption of starting at center after a successful season at the position last year. We also didn’t grant Good an automatic spot as he is recovering from a torn ACL that held him out for all but 18 snaps of last season. But Tafur and Reed assert that rookie third-round pick Dylan Parham “could push John Simpson at left guard and (James) at center.”

They also believe that Alex Leatherwood doesn’t quite have the right tackle job in the bag. He’s being pushed by Brandon Parker, who started 13 games at the position last year, while Leatherwood occupied a guard spot.

Here are a few more rumors from Sin City:

  • The addition of star wide receiver Davante Adams provides an obvious No. 1 weapon for quarterback Derek Carr. Carr will have Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller to target in the slot and at tight end, respectively, but who will be out wide opposite Adams? That role will be a battle between free agent additions Mack Hollins, Keelan Cole, and Demarcus Robinson. According to Tafur and Reed, the former Dolphins wide receiver, Hollins, should be considered the favorite. Though he hasn’t quite shown the necessary production (his best season came last year with 14 catches for 223 yards and 4 touchdowns), Hollins has a large, 6’4″ frame and speed that can make him an effective weapon while defenses focus on Adams, Waller, and Renfrow. Cole has shown more consistent production during tenures in Jacksonville and New York, as has Robinson in Kansas City, but neither quite has the physical tools that Hollins displays. If Hollins can take the next step and make the most of his abilities, Cole and Robinson can be strong assets off the bench behind a starting three of Adams, Renfrow, and Hollins.
  • Las Vegas didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on running back Josh Jacobs rookie contract this offseason as a result of some of the injury trouble he’s experienced in the NFL. In total, Jacobs has only missed six games throughout his three years of play, but his struggle to stay healthy has limited him in many other games. Due to health, Tafur and Reed see this as Jacobs’ last year on the team. Their opinion is also backed by the draft addition of Georgia running back Zamir White, once considered the top recruit at his position in high school. While the team won’t put too much on White as a rookie, The Athletic guesses that the Raiders will utilize a running back by committee approach. Vegas will lean on Jacobs to lead, as the most talented, while attempting to bring White along and up to NFL-speed. Career third-down back Brandon Bolden and backup Kenyan Drake will continue their usual roles as the Raiders allegedly groom White to start.

Raiders, WR Keelan Cole Agree To Deal

The Raiders are adding another prospective Davante Adams complementary piece. Former Jaguars and Jets wideout Keelan Cole will head to Las Vegas on a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Cole will join Adams, Demarcus Robinson and Mack Hollins as Raider receiver additions this offseason. The team still rosters Bryan Edwards, who is going into his third season. Hunter Renfrow is entrenched as Vegas’ slot player. The Raiders did not draft a wideout last month.

A Division II success story, Cole caught on with the Jaguars out of Kentucky Wesleyan in 2017. With Allen Robinson going down early that season, Cole led the Jags with 748 yards as a rookie — for a team that made a surprise venture to the AFC championship game. Cole, 29, has only missed two games throughout his career — both coming last season.

The Jets gave Cole a one-year deal worth $5.5MM last year. Given the timing of this pact, it is unlikely Cole’s Raiders agreement surpasses that price. Cole caught 28 passes for 449 yards and a touchdown with the Jets. He scored a career-high five touchdowns in his Jaguars contract year in 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/21

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Designated for return: G D’Ante Smith, CB Trae Waynes

Denver Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/30/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

  • Waived/Injured: DL Da’Shawn Hand

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

  • Signed (off Bills practice squad): QB Jake Fromm

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jets To Sign WR Keelan Cole

The Jets are adding another pass-catcher. New York is signing former Jaguar Keelan Cole to a one-year deal, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The pact is worth $5.5MM, Schefter writes. It’s a nice payday for a player who went undrafted out of D2 school Kentucky Wesleyan. The move comes just a few days after the Jets gave a big contract to Corey Davis as they look to upgrade last year’s underwhelming receiving group. With Davis, Jamison Crowder, second-year player Denzel Mims and now Cole, the Jets will have a respectable corp in 2021.

Cole signed with Jacksonville as an UDFA in 2017, and turned into a nice diamond in the rough find. He came out of nowhere as a rookie to play in all 16 games and rack up 748 yards. He never eclipsed that total again as other Jags young players moved up the depth chart, but he’s coming off a solid 2020 season.

In 16 games and five starts, he turned 55 receptions into 642 yards and five touchdowns. Not bad for a player the Jets will be counting on to be a third or fourth option. Cole has never missed a game during his pro career, and the Jags thought highly enough of him to give him a second-round tender last offseason as a RFA. He’ll turn 28 next month.

Jaguars Use Second-Round Tender On Keelan Cole

The Jaguars have applied the second-round tender to wide receiver Keelan Cole, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Cole was set for restricted free agency and the Jaguars hope that the tender level will ward off suitors.

In his three pro seasons with the Jaguars, Cole has hauled in 104 catches for 1,600 yards and seven touchdowns. Teams will have interest in him, of course, but they’ll also have to think long and hard about the total price tag. If a team signs Cole to an offer sheet and the Jaguars do not match it, they’ll have to cough up a second-round pick. Given the abundance of quality receivers in this year’s draft, it seems likely that those clubs would take a pass.

Cole signed with the Jags as an undrafted free agent back in 2017. He played his college ball at a tiny D2 school Kentucky Wesleyan, and has turned into a nice success story. He only made $645K last year as part of his rookie UDFA deal, so this will be a pretty nice pay-bump for him as the second-round tender is slated to clock in at a little over $3.1MM for 2020.

The tender is somewhat surprising considering Cole’s production has actually declined a bit each year. He had 748 yards as a rookie, 491 as a sophomore, and 361 this past year. His role did increase down the stretch this past season, but he still figures to be behind at least DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, and Chris Conley on the depth chart next year.

Extra Points: Broncos, Talib, Jaguars, Lee

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wants to finish his career with the Broncos, but he also knows that a return might not be in the cards.

If I wasn’t [returning], it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world,” Talib said on Denver’s Altitude 950 (transcription via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You have three corners making big money and that’s rare to have. I had conversations with our staff during our exit meetings and stuff, so it’s kind of up in the air. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still here. Just put it like this: I had good conversations with [head coach] Vance [Joseph], with [defensive coordinator] Joe Woods. I mean, things change. But there’s a chance I will be back.”

Talib, 31, has two years left on the five-year deal he signed with the Broncos in 2014. He’s slated to carry a cap hit of $12MM in 2018, but the team can release him and carry just $1MM in dead money. If Talib wants to stay in Denver, he’ll probably have to take a pay cut to make it happen. The Broncos can’t afford to squander any of their cap room, particularly with Bradley Roby’s salary increasing from ~$1MM to $8.5MM next season.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee did not practice on Wednesday and may not practice this week. However, the belief is that he will be able to take the field against the Bills this weekend, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lee had the most receptions of any Jags receiver this year (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). If Lee cannot go, Jacksonville will have to lean a bit more heavily on Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole.
  • Meanwhile, Titans running back DeMarco Murray has been ruled out of Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Chiefs (Twitter link via Rapoport). As a result, Derrick Henry will see a larger share of carries.
  • The Giants‘ interview with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is scheduled for Friday, Rapoport tweets.
  • The Cardinals will have their interview with Patricia on Saturday, Rapoport hears. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is set to interview on the same day.
  • The Lions will get to talk with Patricia over the weekend, according to Rapoport.