Kurt Benkert

A.J. McCarron, Mike Glennon Among QBs At 49ers Workout; Kurt Benkert Lands Deal

4:51pm: It will be Benkert landing the gig after this audition, Garafolo tweets. it is a practice squad deal. The former Falcons and Packers reserve has been in the NFL since 2018, after arriving as a UDFA out of Virginia. Benkert, 27, has appeared in just one game — with the 2021 Packers — and does not have a regular-season pass on his resume yet. Benkert played under Kyle Shanahan Falcons OC successor Steve Sarkisian and spent a year in Matt LaFleur‘s West Coast offense.

3:59pm: Trey Lance‘s injury reopens the door for Jimmy Garoppolo, but it also leaves the 49ers vulnerable. Garoppolo has battled a host of injuries since coming to San Francisco, and the team is looking into reserve options.

Chief among them is A.J. McCarron, who was one of five quarterbacks at a Tuesday 49ers workout, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Mike Glennon, Garrett Gilbert, Kevin Hogan and Kurt Benkert also trekked to the Bay Area for this audition. This year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, is the only other QB on San Francisco’s 53-man roster.

The Falcons did not re-sign McCarron, whose 2021 deal did not lead to any game action. A summer 2021 ACL tear sidelined the former Bengals backup, but the veteran arm expressed interest in returning to the league this year. The Browns worked out McCarron in July but went with Josh Rosen instead.

Now 32, McCarron has been with four teams — Raiders and Texans stints came in between his Cincinnati and Atlanta stays — over an eight-year career. His only notable game action came back in 2015, when Andy Dalton‘s late-season injury sent the Alabama alum into action. McCarron had the Bengals on the precipice of a wild-card win over the Steelers; late-game penalties helped down Cincinnati that night. Since that four-start season, McCarron has made just one additional start — with the 2019 Texans — but has continued to generate interest.

Glennon, 32, spent last season with the Giants but has bounced around the league since his Buccaneers stay ended in 2016. Glennon struggled during his Daniel Jones relief cameos, going 0-4 as a starter and completing 54% of his passes at 4.7 yards per throw. The former Bucs third-round pick also lost his five 2020 starts, helping the Jaguars secure Trevor Lawrence draft real estate. The 6-foot-7 veteran has been with five teams — the Bears, Cardinals, Raiders, Jags and Giants — since his rookie contract expired.

Garoppolo only resumed throwing recently, but he came in to relieve Lance in Week 2. Lance’s season-ending ankle break puts Garoppolo’s health history back under the microscope. The sixth-year 49er missed 13 starts in 2018, 10 in 2020 and two last season. Calf, thumb and shoulder injuries impacted Garoppolo last year, leading to two 2022 surgeries. Lance no longer being present as a backup option, as was the case in 2021, raises the stakes involved with this 49ers search for a veteran arm.

WR Dazz Newsome Auditions For Titans, Schedules Patriots Workout

The Bears’ new regime cut the cord on wide receiver Dazz Newsome quickly, waiving the former sixth-round pick before his second season. Unclaimed on waivers, Newsome has generated interest as a free agency addition.

Newsome was part of a Titans workout Friday, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus tweets, and is slated to audition for the Patriots on Sunday. While the North Carolina alum would make for an interesting flier, he will soon be competing with dozens of receivers in a similar position. Teams are required to cut down from 80 to 53 by 3pm CT Tuesday.

A four-year Tar Heels contributor, Newsome joined Javonte Williams, Michael Carter and Dyami Brown in a strong nucleus surrounding Sam Howell. Despite both Newsome and Brown surpassing 1,000 yards in 2019, with Brown at 1,034 and Newsome at 1,018, Washington took the latter in Round 3 last year. Newsome fell to pick 221.

Newsome primarily worked as a punt returner for the Bears last season, one that began after he suffered a broken collarbone in the offseason, but only played in three games. Newsome also spent time on the Bears’ practice squad. With P-squads still at 16 for the 2022 season, Newsome figures to have another opportunity soon.

The Patriots are down their second-round pick, wideout Tyquan Thornton, for an extended stretch because of a collarbone injury. Even with Thornton almost certain to begin the season on IR, the Pats still have a host of veterans — Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and DeVante Parker — in line to be regulars.

The Titans have Robert Woods atop their depth chart and have seen nice early returns from fifth-round rookie Kyle Phillips. Treylon Burks has not been as quick to assimilate, but the first-round pick obviously remains a key part of the team’s future. Spot starter Nick Westbrook-Ikhine also remains in the picture for Tennessee, which made Jets wideout Vyncint Smith, ex-Panthers cornerback Troy Pride, 2021 Broncos fifth-round corner Jamar Johnson and quarterback Kurt Benkert part of Friday’s workout, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/17/22

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Benkert spent the 2021 season with the Packers, after three years with the Falcons. He was signed just over one year ago to provide insurance with the future of Aaron Rodgers in doubt, and Jordan Love as the only other signal-caller on the roster. He made one regular season appearance, but with Rodgers now signed to an extension and Love still under contract for at least two more years, the team is less in need of the 26-year-old this year.

Hilliard’s ban comes as a result of PED usage (Twitter link via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). The former UDFA tweeted an explanation, stating that he mistakenly took the wrong prescription medication, and that he will not appeal the suspension. The Ohio State alum played in two games with the Giants last season, logging 15 special teams snaps. This news will weaken what was already, as Schwartz notes, his tenuous grip on a 53-man roster spot.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/25/22

Here are Tuesday’s reserve/futures deals:

Arizona Cardinals

  • P Nolan Cooney

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

  • DB D’Angelo Ross

New England Patriots 

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/7/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Packers Cut Blake Bortles From Practice Squad

Well, that didn’t last long. On Monday, the Packers released quarterback Blake Bortles from the practice squad. In a related move, they’ve reinstated fellow QB Kurt Benkert from the taxi squad’s COVID-19 list. 

Bortles signed with the Packers on November 3, just after Aaron Rodgers‘ COVID-19 positive. Brought in to provide an extra layer of insurance behind Jordan Love, he’ll leave after just a handful of scrimmages.

Bortles, once groomed to be the future franchise face of the Jaguars, hasn’t seen live action since his three-game 2019 season. Last year, he spent some time with the Broncos, but didn’t make it into a game.

Bortles, 29, owns a 24-49 regular season record as a starter. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever get an opportunity to make another start. He may, however, find another practice squad opportunity elsewhere.

To date, his 2017 campaign stands as his best. That year, he was under center for the Jaguars’ run to the AFC title game and subsequent loss to the Patriots.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/15/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/2/21

We’ll keep track of today’s taxi squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

  • Released: CB Rojesterman Farris

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

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 BearsLionsPackers 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:

Signed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Released/Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Signed:

Claimed:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Packers Cut 26 Players

The Packers cut their roster down to 52 players today, providing the organization with some extra flexibility over the next few days. The team announced the following transactions:

Waived

Released

Placed on Reserve/PUP

Placed on Reserve/Suspended