Kelvin Joseph

DB Notes: Lions, Joseph, Oliver, Cardinals

A scary scene transpired during the Lions‘ Week 5 matchup with the Patriots. An ambulance transported Saivion Smith off the field, and the Lions defensive back said he feared paralysis following a collision with Patriots running back Damien Harris. Smith left the game after the next play, after falling to the turf after a routine tackle attempt on Hunter Henry. The backup DB, however, said (via the Detroit Free Press’ Jeff Seidel) he made a failed attempt to return to the stadium from the ambulance and regained arm and leg movement at the hospital. The neck injury he suffered ended up requiring spinal fusion surgery.

Smith received full Lions clearance in April, re-signing with the team that month. The 25-year-old cover man’s deal is worth $940K and contains no guaranteed money, giving the Lions — who overhauled their secondary this offseason — flexibility to move on free of charge. The Lions moved Smith to safety last season, but he offers versatility. With the Lions adding two other DBs with extensive backgrounds at both safety and corner — C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Brian Branch — Smith stands to compete for a backup role.

Here is the latest news from NFL secondaries:

  • After years of shuttling Jimmie Ward between safety and the nickel role, the 49ers let the veteran defender walk (to the Texans) this offseason. They will use free agency addition Isaiah Oliver to replace Ward in the slot, per new DC Steve Wilks. “When [another Ward deal] didn’t happen, we wanted to make sure that we sort of got the best nickel in free agency, and that’s what we went out and did,” Wilks said, via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows (subscription required). “So I’m excited about Oliver. He’s long; he’s physical, can tackle, can cover. He’s going to be a good blitzer for us, everything that we do within this defense.” A former second-round pick, Oliver spent the past five seasons with the Falcons. The 210-pound defender is ticketed to work alongside outside corners Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir.
  • Kelvin Joseph may be in the Cowboys‘ nickel plans. After acquiring Stephon Gilmore via trade, the Cowboys are trying Joseph in the slot at OTAs, Jon Machota of The Athletic notes. The former second-round pick has worked as an outside corner over his first two seasons, though he has only played 330 career defensive snaps. The Cowboys lost both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown to season-ending injuries last year. While Lewis remains on the roster, Brown, a longtime slot player, is unsigned.
  • Third-round Cardinals cornerback Garrett Williams received slightly more than the rookie-scale minimum to sign, per’s Howard Balzer, who notes the bumps come in Years 2-4 of his contract (Twitter link). This year’s No. 72 overall pick will earn between $1MM and $1.5MM from 2024-26. Third-rounders’ four-year deals are only partially guaranteed. Williams, a Syracuse alum, received a $1.1MM guarantee.
  • The Panthers brought back safety Sam Franklin earlier this offseason, tendering him as an RFA. But the fourth-year defender agreed to sign for slightly less than the low-end tender price. Rather than signing for $2.627MM (the tender number), Franklin is back in Carolina on a one-year, $2.51MM deal, Balzer adds (on Twitter). The Panthers gave the 27-year-old DB a $1.5MM signing bonus, which is spread through 2027 via void years. Franklin has been a core special-teamer in Carolina while working as a defensive backup.

Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis Out For Remainder Of Preseason

The Cowboys are dealing with a number of injuries in their receiving corps right now, but another position group will be shorthanded for at least a few weeks. Slot corner Jourdan Lewis suffered a hamstring injury in practice earlier this week, per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News

As a result of the injury, Lewis will miss the remainder of training camp and the Cowboys’ two remaining preseason games. His timetable beyond that point is unclear; head coach Mike McCarthy said that more will be known only after he begins the rehab process. McCarthy did add, however, that “the immediate goal is to get him [back] for Week 1.’

Lewis, 26, has regained the role he had as a rookie in 2017 over the past two years, with snap percentages in the 70s. He had a career-year last campaign with three interceptions, 11 pass deflections and 61 total tackles – further proving the three-year extension he signed last March to be worthwhile. Missing any significant time in the regular season would, of course, be a major blow to the Cowboys’ secondary, which played a large role in the team’s surprising success on defense last season.

As Watkins notes, Dallas has a few options to replace Lewis in the short-term. Outside corner Anthony Brown could move inside, which would elevate Kelvin Joseph (who last month was cleared of all wrongdoing in association with a shooting investigation) to a starting position on the perimeter. Alternatively, the Cowboys could turn to fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland in the slot, which would leave Brown and Trevon Diggs on the outside.

The Cowboys’ two remaining preseason games could shed light on their plan to fill in for Lewis if doing so proves necessary in September. In the meantime, the progress he makes with respect to recovery will be worth watching.

Cowboys CB Kelvin Joseph Will Not Face Criminal Charges

July 31: Joseph has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in relation to the March shooting, as Gehlken reports. Though he could still face a suspension if the NFL determines that he violated its personal conduct policy, Joseph will be able to focus on carving out a substantial role in the Cowboys’ secondary with a clear head.

April 16: Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph was a passenger in a vehicle from which shots were fired that killed a man last month in Dallas, according to his attorney. Joseph’s attorney, Barry Sorrels, said his client did not shoot, via Michael Gehlken and Kelli Smith of the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas police arrested two in connection with the shooting that killed Cameron Ray, 20, early on the morning of March 18, Aria Jones of the Dallas Morning News reports. The Cowboys encouraged Joseph to meet with police, according to’s Todd Archer. That meeting occurred Friday, and the NFL is reviewing this situation.

A 2021 second-round pick, Joseph started two games for the Cowboys last season. The 21-year-old defender has not been arrested. Surveillance video revealed an altercation between two groups of friends, respectively including Joseph and Ray, last month. Shots were soon fired from an SUV as Ray and others walked to their vehicle, according to Dallas PD. Ray died in a Dallas-area hospital.

Dallas PD asked for assistance in identifying the six men involved in the disturbance, according to Gehlken and Smith. This led to Joseph being identified. Sorrels said Joseph was unarmed.

The Cowboys drafted Joseph 44th overall despite the cornerback prospect having played just 15 college games — at LSU and Kentucky — in 2018 and ’20. During an injury-marred rookie season, Joseph played 164 defensive snaps.

Cowboys Activate CB Kelvin Joseph From IR

One of the Cowboys’ top 2021 draft picks is set to be in uniform for the first time Sunday night. Dallas activated second-round rookie Kelvin Joseph on Saturday.

Joseph had spent the first seven weeks on IR, having suffered a hamstring injury during the preseason. Chosen in Round 2 a year after the Cowboys took Trevon Diggs in the second round, Joseph represents a key long-term investment for the Cowboys’ secondary.

Although he became the 44th overall pick this year, Joseph played just 15 college games and is still 20 years old. The high-end prospect transferred from LSU to Kentucky, playing for the Tigers in 2018 and the Wildcats in 2020. He intercepted four passes with Kentucky last year and landed on the Day 2 draft radar.

The Cowboys have used Diggs and Anthony Brown as their starting corners this season. Pro Football Focus grades Brown 10th overall among corners, well above Diggs despite the latter’s NFL-leading seven interceptions. Adding Joseph to the mix stands to help the NFC East-leading squad.

Dallas also elevated defensive tackle Justin Hamilton from its practice squad but did not activate Michael Gallup from IR. Gallup has returned to practice, but the team’s talented No. 3 receiver will be sidelined for at least one more week. Gallup suffered a calf injury in Week 1.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/13/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Cowboys Place DT Neville Gallimore, CB Kelvin Joseph On IR

Two young Cowboys contributors will miss at least the team’s September portion of the season. Both defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph will begin their seasons on IR.

Gallimore is recovering from a dislocated elbow, while Joseph suffered a groin injury during Dallas’ preseason finale last week. While each is expected to return this season, neither can do so before Week 4. Gallimore’s timeline lines up with that return date.

The Cowboys made Joseph one of their top additions this offseason, one in which numerous resources went to a defensive repair effort. Dallas selected Joseph 44th overall. The 20-year-old defender who played at LSU and Kentucky was unlikely to begin the season in the Cowboys’ starting lineup, but this represents a setback to start his pro career.

Dallas also placed tackle Josh Ball, wide receiver Malik Turner and tight end Sean McKeon on IR. This batch of moves will free up roster spots for a few players coming off the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. CeeDee Lamb, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins are coming off the coronavirus list Thursday.

Cowboys Sign Round 2 CB Kelvin Joseph

For the second straight year, the Cowboys selected a cornerback in the second round. They came to terms with that draftee, Kelvin Joseph, on his rookie contract Thursday, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

Joseph will be locked in through the 2024 season. The Kentucky product should be expected to contribute early on a retooled Cowboys defense, which now has Dan Quinn at the controls. The Cowboys went defense with their first six picks, which is understandable after the unit’s woeful 2020 showing.

Dallas gave up a franchise-record 473 points, which eclipsed the franchise’s previous high of 436 (in 2010). They ranked 28th in scoring and 23rd in total defense. The team let Byron Jones walk in free agency last year and opted against re-signing Chidobe Awuzie in March; Awuzie is now with the Bengals. The Cowboys did bring back Jourdan Lewis, however, and will pair Joseph with 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs. Third-rounder Nahshon Wright joins Joseph as a Day 2 arrival who will attempt to carve out an early role in Dallas.

Joseph transferred from LSU to Kentucky, playing one season with the Wildcats. He made it count, intercepting four passes and taking one back for a touchdown. The 5-foot-11 defender only played 15 games in his college career, however. After playing in six for LSU as a true freshman in 2018, he transferred and sat out 2019.

Three Cowboy draft picks remain unsigned. All were chosen in the third round, which annually produces longer negotiations due to murkier CBA language regarding rookie contracts.