Kingsley Jonathan

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Buffalo Bills

Houston Texans

  • Signed: CB BoPete Keyes
  • Released: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

  • Signed: OL Hunter Thedford

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/15/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

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 BearsLions, Packers and Vikings moves are noted below.

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

Chicago Bears

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Released from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Signed:

Waived: 

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Waived:

Bears Claim OL Alex Leatherwood

After a woeful Raiders tenure, Alex Leatherwood will have a second chance via the NFL’s waiver system. The Bears put in a claim for the former first-round pick, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Raiders bailed on Leatherwood after one season, marking a shocking freefall for last year’s No. 17 overall pick. The Bears, however, have also run into extensive O-line uncertainty. The rebuilding team will take a chance on the former Alabama prospect. Leatherwood’s signing bonus is the Raiders’ responsibility, leaving considerable dead money on Las Vegas’ cap sheet. But the Bears are now responsible for $5.9MM in Leatherwood salary.

Chicago, which changed up its roster considerably as it transitioned to a new GM-HC pairing this offseason, made five more waiver claims Wednesday. Defensive tackle Armon Watts, defensive back Josh Blackwell, defensive end Kingsley Jonathan, linebacker Sterling Weatherford and tight end Trevon Wesco will be en route to the Windy City as well, Yates tweets. The Bears’ six waiver claims are a league-high total this year.

This marks quite a haul for Chicago, which added former starters from Las Vegas and Minnesota. Watts started nine games for the Vikings last season, replacing the injured Michael Pierce, but the team changed defensive schemes this offseason and made a trade for former Texans second-round defensive tackle Ross Blacklock on Tuesday. That led Watts off the roster. But he will be back in a 4-3 scheme under Matt Eberflus, whose team cleared some D-tackle space by releasing Mario Edwards on Tuesday.

Viewed as a reach in last year’s first round, Leatherwood did not justify his draft slot when deployed at right tackle or right guard for the Raiders last season. The staff that drafted Leatherwood quickly moved him off right tackle, but Pro Football Focus rated him as one of the league’s worst guards. Despite the Raiders facing a few questions on their offensive line and losing Brandon Parker for the season, their new regime cut bait after trying Leatherwood at tackle again in training camp.

The Bears are expected to start fifth-round rookie Braxton Jones at left tackle, and they have 2021 fifth-rounder Larry Borom on the right side. Riley Reiff, who signed with the team shortly before camp, is also in the tackle picture. The team moved 2021 second-rounder Teven Jenkins from tackle to guard late this offseason, and while Jenkins appeared in trade rumors, he is on the roster and may well start the season at the new position. Leatherwood, his early-career struggles notwithstanding, may now also be a factor at that spot.

Bills Set 53-Man Roster

After waiving six players yesterday, the Bills cut 18 more players today to get themselves down to the 53-man roster limit:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Placed on reserve/suspended:

We heard about some of Buffalo’s bigger moves earlier today, including the release of O.J. Howard and Duke Johnson. Greg Mancz is one of the most experienced players to get cut, with the veteran having appeared in 63 games across seven NFL seasons. His positional versatility was expected to land him a roster spot as a backup offensive lineman, but the team ultimately opted for a younger option. Mancz certainly didn’t help his case when he missed the preseason finale while recovering from a foot injury suffered during practice.

Tanner Gentry and Alec Anderson are both candidates to return to Buffalo via the practice squad. Gentry has bounced on and off the Bills roster over the previous two seasons without getting into a game. Anderson started 10 games at UCLA last year before landing with the Bills as an undrafted rookie.

Matt Barkley has spent the past four seasons in Buffalo. He got into eight games with the Bills between 2018 and 2020, completing 53 of his 97 pass attempts for 788 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions. He was demoted to QB3 in 2021 following the acquisition of Mitchell Trubisky, and Barkley didn’t end up seeing the field last year. He was eyeing a similar role in 2022 with Case Keenum now serving as Josh Allen‘s primary backup.

Bills Add 11 Undrafted Free Agents

May 15: The Bills have added 10th and 11th players to their UDFA list, signing Marshall offensive lineman Will Ulmer, as Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus tweets, and defensive lineman C.J. Brewer from Coastal Carolina, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com.

Ulmer started a school-record 57 games for the Thundering Herd, and his run-blocking prowess and mean streak have been praised by scouts. As one might expect for a UDFA, however, his technique is said to be quite raw at this point.

Brewer was a five-year contributor for the Chanticleers, utilizing the fifth year of eligibility granted due to COVID-19. In his last three years, Brewer contributed a combined 14.0 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss, impressive numbers for a player who lines up mostly on the interior of the line.

Both players were able to secure their new roster spots after successful tryouts at the Bills’ rookie minicamp.

May 14: The 2022 undrafted free agent class’ reveal is nearly complete. The Bills became the latest team to unveil their UDFA contingent:

Once viewed as a potential early- or mid-round draftee, Wydermeyer fell to the UDFA level despite forgoing his senior season with the Aggies. The 6-foot-3 tight end caught 40 passes for a career-high 515 yards and four touchdowns as a junior and was a regular in the SEC program’s offense in each of his three College Station seasons — each ending in second-team All-SEC acclaim.

Fuller spent time as Wydermeyer’s teammate, transferring to Tulsa after four seasons with Texas A&M. Kerstetter started at four O-line positions (all but left tackle), while Anderson spent most of his Bruins career at right tackle. Owen started all 52 career games at Northwest Missouri State, one of Division II’s top programs. Blackshear spent three seasons at Rutgers and two at Virginia Tech; he led the Hokies in rushing (757 yards, six touchdowns) last season.