Both roster additions were made in anticipation of tonight’s game between the Packers and Titans. Board has got into one game for the Titans this season, returning four punts. Hamilton has seen time in two games this season after getting into six contests for Green Bay in 2021.
Johnson suffered a hamstring injury during Tennessee’s Week 10 win against the Packers. The 27-year-old has appeared in eight games this season, collecting five tackles.
The Titans claimed a player off waivers and acquired a player via trade today. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), the Titans have claimed defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr.off waivers from the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports (on Twitter) that the Titans have acquired safety Tyree Gillespie from the Raiders.
The Chiefs traded a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick to acquire Johnson back in May, but they ended up dumping the defensive back yesterday (while also, presumably, retaining their draft pick). The former second-round pick had spent the first three seasons of his career in Houston, but he found himself in and out of the starting lineup. He started only 19 of his 44 games during his time with the Texans, collecting 172 tackles.
This past season, Johnson started seven of his 14 games while collecting 55 tackles and three interceptions. While he played mostly cornerback to begin his career, Pro Football Focus graded him as a safety in 2021…and they graded him as the worst player at the position. However, he did show some promise in his rush defense score.
Meanwhile, Gillespie was acquired from Las Vegas for a late-round conditional draft pick, according to Wilson (on Twitter). The safety was selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft but barely saw the field as a rookie. He ended up getting into 11 games, collecting eight tackles while primarily appearing on special teams.
Lonnie Johnson Jr.had a brief tenure with the Texans, and his stint with the Chiefs has now ended before his first regular season contest in Kansas City. Per a team announcement, the corner is among the players being waived by the Chiefs as rosters are cut to 85.
Johnson, 26, was a second-round pick of the Texans in 2019. He struggled as a rookie, surrendering four touchdowns and a passer rating over 111 in coverage. Despite starting fewer games (five) in his second season with the team, he logged a higher snap percentage. The 2020 season saw improvement in terms of coverage, and his highest career PFF grade, 65.5.
His playing time dropped again last season, though. The Kentucky alum recorded the first three interceptions of his NFL career, but was unable to secure a full-time starting spot and was again rated very poorly by PFF. This offseason, Houston traded him to Kansas City for a conditional seventh-round pick, a disappointing end to his time there.
The CB room has seen plenty of changes this spring for the Chiefs. The team used three draft picks on the position, including No. 21 on Trent McDuffie. They parted ways withDeandre Bakerlast week, another young corner who has struggled to find his footing in the NFL. That move, coupled with today’s, speaks to the Chiefs’ commitment to their homegrown players on the backend.
In addition to Johnson, Kansas City is waiving receivers Omar Bayless and Gary Jennings, along with offensive tackle Evin Ksiezarczyk. They will now look to find a new NFL home as rosters continue to be trimmed in the build-up to the season.
Lonnie Johnson Jr.‘s stint in Houston has come to an end. According to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus (on Twitter), the Texans have traded the cornerback to the Chiefs. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), the Texans will receive a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick.
Johnson was a 2019 second-round pick by the Texans, but he failed to establish himself as a starter during his three years in Houston. The defensive back ultimately saw time in 44 games (19 starts) for the Texans, collecting 172 tackles. He seemed to take a step forward in 2021, as the 26-year-old finished with 55 tackles, three interceptions, and six passes defended.
The Texans weren’t done making moves today. Per Kyed (on Twitter), the Texans signed defensive Rasheem Green and waived/injured running back Scottie Phillips. Green, a 2018 fourth-round pick, spent his first four professional seasons with the Seahawks, including a 2021 campaign where he finished with a career-high 6.5 sacks in 17 games (16 starts). Phillips spent two years in Houston, collecting 38 yards from scrimmage.
The Texans have also added defensive end Mario Addison, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston (on Twitter). Addison is inking a two-year deal, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). Following a long stint with the Panthers that saw him collect 55 sacks in 111 games, Addison spent the past two seasons with the Bills, where he added another 12 sacks in 32 games. The lineman played under current Texans defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire in Buffalo.
Finally, the Texans picked up the fifth-year option on offensive lineman Tytus Howard (per Rapoport on Twitter). Howard has started all 37 of his appearances in the NFL, but he’s missed 12 total games through his first three seasons. Howard has shown plenty of versatility during his NFL career, spending time at both tackle and guard.
November 18th, 2021 at 11:23am CST by Sam Robinson
The Bengals and Jessie Bates did not agree on an extension ahead of his contract year, and the veteran defender expressed frustration a deal did not commence. Bates previously hoped he would land a contract that kept him in Cincinnati long-term. With his future up in the air, the former second-round pick admitted he let his contract talks cloud his on-field performance to start the season.
“So caught on to proving the wrong people right and the main thing I should be focusing on is proving the right people right as far as my coaches, my teammates, my family and not worry about all of the other stuff,” Bates said, via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I know that’s going to work out; I know what type of player I am; that stuff’s going to work out regardless.”
Pro Football Focus ranked Bates as its No. 1 safety in 2020; through nine games this season, the Wake Forest product slots in at No. 75 at the position. He has allowed a 79% completion rate when targeted — well north of the 54% mark of last season. While Bates should still be expected to generate considerable interest in free agency, should no extension agreement or franchise tag come to pass before that point, this season’s second half suddenly becomes pivotal for his long-term prospects.
Here is the latest from the AFC:
Courtland Sutton joined Bates as a 2018 second-rounder, and the ex-SMU standout also joins him in being uncertain about his long-term status with his NFL team. Sutton has played in all 10 Broncos games this season, after tearing an ACL last September. The 6-foot-4 target is on pace for his second 1,000-yard season, but his production has been somewhat inconsistent — particularly in games when Jerry Jeudy has been active. The Broncos also have Tim Patrick going through a quality contract year, creating a decision. The franchise tag may be in play for Sutton in March, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post writes. This year’s tag figure came in at nearly $16MM for wideouts, during the pandemic-affected offseason. New GM George Paton called Sutton one of the team’s core players this offseason. The Broncos have used the tag frequently and have a long track record in extending those players — though, Justin Simmons played on the tag in 2020 before his re-up earlier this year.
After trying Lonnie Johnson at safety over the past two seasons, the Texans are changing the young defender’s position again. They are moving Johnson back to cornerback, David Culley said (via Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson). Houston drafted Johnson in the 2019 second round as a corner but tried him at safety over the past two seasons. The pivot resulted in Johnson being benched at that spot. The Texans also shopped Johnson ahead of the deadline. The team has vets Desmond King and Terrance Mitchell stationed as its outside starters, but in a rebuilding year, Johnson — who entered the draft with a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time despite a 213-pound frame — figures to see an opportunity to rebound at the position.
The Dolphins have shuffled their offensive line on a few occasions this year, tinkering with just about every starter’s role. The highest-profile move came recently, when the team moved 2020 first-round pick Austin Jackson from left tackle to left guard. While that could be a temporary fix, Brian Flores said (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson) the team likes the USC product at guard. Second-round rookie Liam Eichenberg is currently Miami’s left tackle.
Through eight games, Lindsay has 41 carries for 105 yards and four rushing touchdowns, plus three grabs for 37 yards and one receiving TD. He’s been far less efficient than usual, though that can’t be pinned squarely on his shoulders given the Texans’ myriad of issues. In his first three years with the Broncos, Lindsay averaged 4.8 yards per tote with quality pass-catching in 2018 and 2019.
Akins, a former third-round pick, is in his walk year. He enjoyed a breakout year in 2019 with 36 grabs for 418 yards and followed that up with 37/403/1 in 2020. He’s roughly on pace for the same type of year with 19 catches and 177 yards at the midway point. Now, he might be on the verge of spending the second half with a contender.
Texans pass rusher Shaq Lawson and defensive back Lonnie Johnson are being “heavily discussed in league circles as trade candidates,” according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). Both players have started in the past, but neither is currently projected to be first-string for the Texans.
Lawson came to Houston earlier this year in the deal that sent inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney to Miami. He turned in a solid, if unspectacular, 2020 campaign with the Dolphins. Previous to that, Lawson recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks for the Bills in 2019. For his career, Sack-a-Shaq has 20.5 sacks across five pro seasons. For now, the Texans have him under club control for another two seasons, thanks to the three-year, $30MM he inked with the ‘Fins last spring.
The Texans selected Johnson, a Kentucky product, in the second round of the 2019 draft. He’s got all the physical tools one could want in a corner or a safety. At 6-2, 213 pounds, he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the Combine. He’s shown flashes of potential with the Texans over the last two years, but he hasn’t quite put it all together yet as a pro.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden knows what he’s getting – or what he’s potentially getting – in tight end Tyler Eifert. Gruden was Eifert’s OC for his rookie year in Cincinnati and watched him flash serious promise. From 2014-2018, Gruden watched from afar as Eifert struggled to stay healthy. Now, they’re reunited in Jacksonville, and Eifert believes big things are in store.
“We get along great,” Eifert said (via John Reid of the Florida Times-Union). “I had a good understanding of the offense he runs. Just having that familiarity with the offense is nice. There’s some new stuff in here. But just being familiar with it and having a general idea of what’s going on makes it a lot easier to learn.”
Last year, Eifert caught 43 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns for a sagging Bengals team. More importantly, he was on the field for all 16 games. This year, he’ll try to keep the streak going.
Here’s more from the AFC South:
There’s been lots of talk about a potential extension for Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, but he’s not the only player on the team with a re-up to consider. Stephen Holder of The Athletic ran down Indy’s top candidates, a list that includes center Ryan Kelly, linebacker Darius Leonard, running back Marlon Mack, safety Malik Hooker, and linebacker Anthony Walker. Hooker, of course, is unlikely to sign a new deal before the season starts – the Colts declined his fifth-year option earlier this month, a move that puzzled many and put him on course for free agency following the 2020 season.
At 6’2″ and 213 pounds, Lonnie Johnson Jr. seems like a natural for the safety position. However, Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver plans to keep him at cornerback, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. “We got to get his confidence right, and I don’t think he lacks in that area,” Weaver said on a Zoom call. “That rookie year for a corner is difficult. I think he’s going to come in now with more knowledge not only of the system, but DB play in general. And I expect him to take a jump here in year two.” Johnson was inconsistent during the regular season, but he did get a good deal of starting experience. And, as Wilson notes, he made a key deflection on Travis Kelce to help the Texans upset the Chiefs in October (KC, of course, got their revenge in January). Johnson staying at CB, in theory, could improve the chances of Eric Reidjoining his brother in the Texans’ secondary.
The Titans are said to have some degree of interest in Jadeveon Clowney, but former Texans colleague and current Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel says he hasn’t talked to him.