Leonard Wester agreed to a Jaguars deal in April but did not end up playing this season. The veteran tackle will have a chance to return to action in 2020. The 49ers signed him to a reserve/futures deal Tuesday.
A Division II success story out of Missouri Western, Wester caught on with the Buccaneers and played three years with the franchise in a mostly reserve capacity. The 6-foot-6 blocker started one game in 2018 and appeared in 27 from 2016-18 with the franchise.
The Jaguars cut the 27-year-old lineman after the preseason’s conclusion, doing so after the Bucs non-tendered him as a restricted free agent. Wester played a career-high 116 snaps in 2018; he caught a touchdown pass in 2017.
Although Tom Brady continuing to play at a high level into his early 40s has allowed the Patriots to table their need to identify a long-term successor for many years, their recent extension/2019 pay raise brings this issue back to the forefront. The Pats, however, are pleased with their latest quarterback draft pick. Fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham has “blown away expectations” this offseason, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required), adding that he is ahead of where Jimmy Garoppolo was at this point during his first NFL summer. Stidham has taken first-team reps in camp and moved the Patriots to move Danny Etling to wide receiver. He finished 14-for-24 for 179 yards and a touchdown in New England’s preseason opener Thursday. While the Auburn alum does not profile as a classic Brady successor type, the Patriots certainly appear encouraged by their developmental prospect.
As we wind down preseason Week 1, here is the latest from the AFC:
A.J. Cann has served as the Jaguars‘ starting right guard since his rookie season in 2015. He is not a lock to reprise his role in 2019. Cann is battling converted tackle Will Richardson for the spot, with Doug Marrone indicating (via Hays Carlyon of 1010 XL, on Twitter) Brandon Thomas is also in the mix here. A 2018 fourth-rounder, Richardson looks like the favorite to win this job thus far, Carlyon adds (via Twitter). Richardson has yet to play an NFL down; he hit IR in October of his rookie year. Thomas has hung around for six NFL summers, with the 2014 third-round 49ers pick having never played in a regular-season game. He’s bounced on and off the Jaguars’ roster and practice squad since 2017. Cann has three years remaining on a contract he signed in 2018.
With Cam Robinson potentially set to have a delayed start to the season, Marrone said the Jaguars are considering free agent additions Cedric Ogbuehi and Leonard Wester at left tackle. Longtime Jags backup Josh Wells is vying for that temp job as well. Second-round rookie Jawaan Taylor is set to start at right tackle.
Had Antonio Callaway not received a four-game suspension, the second-year Browns wideout might not have been able to go in Week 1 anyway. Callaway suffered a high ankle sprain in Cleveland’s preseason opener, per Freddie Kitchens (via ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich, on Twitter). The Browns will now be without two of their 2018 pass catchers, with Duke Johnson having been traded and Callaway out until at least October. Fortunately, they acquired Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason.
Chargers tight end Andrew Vollert suffered ACL damage in the team’s preseason opener, and Anthony Lynn said (via ESPN.com’s Eric Williams, on Twitter) the second-year UDFA will miss the season. The Bolts signed Vollert in May.
The Jaguars have signed free agent offensive lineman Leonard Wester, the club announced today.
Wester spent the past three seasons with the Buccaneers before being non-tendered as a restricted free agent, and he’ll reunite with former Tampa Bay offensive line coach George Warhop, who now holds the same title in Jacksonville. While the Jaguars are set at left tackle with Cam Robinson, the club has a wide open slot on the right side following the release of Jermey Parnell, so Wester could compete for a starting job.
Wester, 26, went undrafted out of Missouri Western State in 2016. He’s appeared in 27 NFL games (all with the Buccaneers), but hasn’t been asked to play much of a significant role, as he’s made only one start during his career. In 2018, Wester played 116 offensive snaps, which marked a career-high, but Pro Football Focus assigned him a poor grade of 46.6 for his performance.
Before signing with the Jaguars, Wester also worked out for the Lions, Chiefs, and Falcons, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitterlinks).
The Buccaneers’ rookie free agent class is a large one, with 19 undrafted players agreeing to terms with Tampa Bay, according to a team release. Here’s the full list of undrafted free agents who have agreed to sign with the Bucs:
The Falcons are on the lookout for an upgrade at right guard, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. Last year’s starter, Chris Chester, would like to return to Atlanta, so he could be one option. Other than that, the Falcons have Mike Person, but they’re not terribly high on him. Atlanta could find their right guard solution in the draft and multiple sources tell McClure that they like UCLA offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch as an interior lineman. The Bruins right tackle recently worked out for Atlanta brass and made a solid impression. Benenoch, a likely later-round pick, has drawn attention for teams because of his ability to play four of the five spots on the offensive line.
Ohio State safety Vonn Bell told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that all of his visits and workouts are in the books. In addition to previously reported teams, Bell noted that he has visited the Buccaneers.
Cal wide receiver Darius Powe looked sharp in a recent workout for the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Next up for Powe is a Saturday workout with the Cowboys.
Missouri Western offensive tackle Leonard Wester worked out for the Cardinals on Wednesday, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
Stanford guard Joshua Garnett says that he has only visited the Bears thus far, though he has had many private workouts, as Eric Branch as the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Garnett could wind up as a second-round pick.
Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland is scheduled to visit the Falcons on Sunday and Monday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes.