Luke Schoonmaker

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/7/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: OL LaColby Tucker
  • Activated from active/PUP list: DL Calais Campbell
  • Waived: DL Matthew Gotel

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Placed on IR: DT Devonnsha Maxwell

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: OL Trevor Reid

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: LB Jordan Ferguson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Streveler is currently dealing with an injury, ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweets. The Jets used Streveler as their top backup QB to close last season, inserting him into a Week 16 game ahead of Joe Flacco. Streveler stuck around via reserve/futures contract in January. But the Jets have since traded for Aaron Rodgers and signed Tim Boyle, marking a new era at quarterback. With Zach Wilson still around, the team does not appear to have any room — potentially even on the practice squad — for Streveler, who has played for the Jets and Cardinals in a three-year NFL career.

Apke has been with Washington since being chosen in the 2018 fourth round. He re-signed with the team in 2022 and stayed via reserve/futures contract in January. A shoulder injury, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, will move Apke to IR, which will end his chances of playing a sixth season with the Commanders this year. Kalu started five games for the Titans last season, playing 494 defensive snaps. Over his first three seasons, Kalu had never cleared the 100-snap barrier on defense.

Schoonmaker suffered a foot injury, a plantar fascia tear, during his final year at Michigan. The Cowboys’ top post-Dalton Schultz tight end investment will aim to make a push for a regular role to begin the season.

The Dolphins made Blackman part of their UDFA class this year. The former Florida State starter spent six years in college, finishing up with Arkansas State. The Dolphins swapped out Teddy Bridgewater for Mike White this offseason, but Skylar Thompson has made a push to be Tua Tagovailoa‘s backup. Regardless of that competition’s outcome, Blackman’s ceiling appeared to be practice squad QB in Miami. But the Dolphins may be looking into outside help for that developmental role — provided the team plans on stashing a fourth passer on its taxi squad.

Injury Notes: Zylstra, Cowboys, Giants, Kancey

Shane Zylstra will likely miss the upcoming season thanks to a knee injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Lions tight end suffered a “serious and significant” knee injury that will keep him off the field for six months.

Rapoport notes that Zylstra is set to undergo more tests “but there isn’t a lot of optimism.” As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets, the tight end suffered the injury while taking a “low shot” during a red zone drill.

Zylstra emerged as one of Jared Goff‘s favorite red zone targets in 2022. The tight end finished the season with only 11 catches for 60 yards, but four of those receptions were touchdowns. The Minnesota State product had another three catches during his rookie campaign.

Fortunately for Detroit, the team has some depth at tight end. The organization used a second-round pick on Sam LaPorta, and the rookie is expected to slide right into the starting lineup. The team is also rostering the likes of Brock Wright, James Mitchell, and Derrick Deese.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • A bruised toe has kept Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs off the practice field, Mike McCarthy told reporters (via Jon Machota of The Athletic on Twitter). The injury isn’t serious, and it sounds like the coaching staff is simply playing it safe with the star defender. Elsewhere in Dallas, tight end Luke Schoonmaker revealed that he’s dealing with a partial tear of his plantar fascia (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News on Twitter). The rookie said the injury is more challenging to deal with than a complete tear, but the player is still hopeful he’ll be able to return to the practice field in a week or two.
  • It sounds like Giants backup offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer is set to miss a significant chunk of the upcoming season, if not the entire campaign. Coach Brian Daboll told reporters that Hassenauer injured his triceps and will require surgery (via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News on Twitter). The lineman is expected to be sidelined “long term.” Second-round rookie John Michael Schmitz is expected to lead the depth chart, but Hassenauer’s injury could open opportunities for Jack Anderson and Shane Lemieux.
  • There was a scare at Buccaneers practice today when first-round defensive tackle Calijah Kancey was carted off the field with a leg injury. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that an MRI showed nothing serious, but the Buccaneers may still take it easy on the rookie so he’s ready to go for the start of the season. Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers organization had been thrilled with Kancey’s preparation for his first professional season. “He’s adapting to the scheme mentally, and then he was adding his physical part to it,” coach Todd Bowles said (via Laine). “He’s putting it together quicker than normal rookies do. So hopefully it’s not that bad and he can get back.”
  • Texans fullback Troy Hairston was carted off the field today with an undisclosed injury, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston (via Twitter). The former edge rusher went undrafted out of Central Michigan last year but caught on with the Texans. He changed positions to fullback and beat out Andy Janovich for the starting gig, resulting in Hairston getting into 16 games for the Texans last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/25/23

With a number of teams preparing for the start of training camp, a long list of players were placed on inactive lists today. We’ve compiled all of those and today’s other minor moves below:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Free Agents

Isaiah Wilson hasn’t had an NFL gig since he was released by the Giants in January of 2022. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the free agent lineman was slapped with a three-game suspension, but it’s uncertain what led to the temporary ban. Wilson was a first-round pick by the Titans in 2020 but got into only one game with Tennessee before getting shipped off to Miami. He was waived by Miami after showing up late to his team physical, and his practice squad stint with New York only lasted one season.

Max Garcia is an experienced addition to the Saints OL room, with the veteran having most recently started seven of his 12 appearances with the Cardinals in 2022. The 31-year-old has 59 games of starting experience, although Pro Football Focus was iffy on his production last year (63rd among 77 qualifying offensive guards).

Following a three-year stint in Cleveland, Terrance Mitchell has spent the past two seasons bouncing around the NFL. He got into 14 games (13 starts) for the Texans in 2021, finishing with 60 tackles and 10 passes defended. He spent the 2022 season with the Titans, finishing with 39 tackles in 11 games (five starts). 49ers fifth-round pick Darrell Luter Jr. is set to miss some time with a knee injury, providing Mitchell with an opportunity during training camp.

Cowboys Rumors: Davis, Ferguson, Tolbert

The Cowboys have a number of depth chart battles to deal with heading into the 2023 season, including a left guard starting role that we touched on earlier this month. Another battle they’re currently dealing with, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic, is the backup running back gig.

Tony Pollard returns as the obvious starter at running back in Dallas. He’ll finally get a chance to take on a lion’s share of the teams carries after spending the first four years of his career splitting touches with Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys are now tasked with figuring out who will be the primary backup taking snaps behind Pollard.

One of the favorites for the job is second year back Malik Davis. As an undrafted rookie out of Florida, Davis appeared in 12 games last season, carrying the ball 38 times for 161 yards and a touchdown and catching six passes for 63 yards. He was the only running back not named Pollard or Elliott to contribute to the Cowboys’ offense last year, giving him the advantage of experience in Dallas’s system.

In order to earn the role, Davis will have to fight off offseason additions Ronald Jones and Deuce Vaughn. Jones is the most experienced of the three after winning Super Bowl rings with both the Buccaneers and the Chiefs. He has plenty of experience in both of his previous situations dealing with the demands of a backup running back, as well. Jones brings the experience of adapting to a new system from last year but still will need to catch up to Davis’s current familiarity with the team. Vaughn is coming off two stellar seasons at Kansas State and brings a different element to the game with his style and stature. He will have to quickly adjust to the NFL-level of play, though, in order to sneak past Davis and Jones on the depth chart.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of Texas:

  • With Dalton Schultz now in Houston, the Cowboys will also have to figure out who takes the first snaps at tight end. They’re likely to utilize a number of tight ends in different situations, but right now, second year tight end Jake Ferguson is the favorite to start, according to Machota. The former fourth-round pick started eight games as a rookie and has the most experience playing in the Cowboys’ system. This year’s second-round rookie Luke Schoonmaker is sure to push Ferguson for playing time at some point, but currently, he’s still dealing with a plantar fascia issue that’s kept him from pushing for the top of the depth chart.
  • After a disappointing rookie season for last year’s third-round receiver Jalen Tolbert that saw him only appear in eight games and make two catches for 12 yards, the Cowboys are hoping for much more in Year 2. The team reportedly had enough confidence in the South Alabama product that they considered drafting him in the second round last year, according to Machota. Tolbert will have every opportunity to win the WR4 job in Dallas.

Cowboys Rumors: LG, Elliott, Turpin

The Cowboys fielded a revolving door at left guard last year and, for now, it looks like it may continue revolving through the summer. According to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, Dallas is looking into multiple possibilities to replace Connor McGovern, who departed for Buffalo in free agency back in March.

The favorite to man the newly open starting spot is Tyler Smith, who manned the position at times last season when he wasn’t at left tackle. With Tyron Smith back to healthy, Tyler can shift inside for good this season. The younger Smith embraced the opportunity to work at guard recently, asserting that being elite at both positions will ultimately help the team the most.

The Cowboys haven’t limited the versatility training to Smith. Gehlken reports that multiple other linemen have received time at both guard and tackle this offseason. Matt Farniok, who has worked mostly at interior line positions so far in Dallas, has been working outside. Chuma Edoga has worked at right tackle and left guard, as well. Even second-year lineman Matt Waletzko was approached by offensive line coach Mike Solari to work at guard for the first time in his life.

As of right now, it looks to be a starting lineup of Tyron Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard, and Terence Steele at right tackle. With Steele still coming back from a late season-ending ACL and MCL tear, many in the building would like to see Tyler Smith continue to develop at tackle. In the meantime, it seems that Dallas is keeping its options open for both positions.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of Arlington:

  • Rookie second-round tight end out of Michigan Luke Schoonmaker has been dealing with a plantar fascia issue, reportedly wearing a walking boot on his right foot last week. According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Schoonmaker was out of the boot this week but was still limited to just sideline work. The injury isn’t considered serious, as he’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones continues to leave the door open for a reunion with veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to Machota. His son, and team CEO, Stephen Jones says that the team is looking into adding a bigger back. They signed fullback Hunter Luepke undrafted out of North Dakota State and signed the stout Ronald Jones in free agency, but Elliott could always find his way back to Dallas despite both parties continuing to explore their options.
  • Lastly, another report from Machota claims confidence that wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpin should find a spot on the Cowboys’ eventual 53-man roster. While rookie running back Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis got some opportunities to handle return duties in recent weeks, Turpin is a much more explosive and proven option. It also doesn’t hurt that Turpin has been getting some serious run with the second-team wide receiver group.

Cowboys Sign Mazi Smith, Rest Of Draft Class To Rookie Deals

With their rookie minicamp set to begin tomorrow, the Cowboys have signed their entire draft class. The team announced that they’ve officially inked all eight of their draft picks to rookie contracts, including first-round defensive tackle Mazi Smith.

While many assumed the Cowboys would use their first-round pick on a tight end, they ended up pivoting to the defensive side of the ball. Smith was a worthy pick; the Michigan product finished his 2022 campaign with 48 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a half-sack en route to All-Big Ten honors.

There were some questions surrounding his consistency heading into the draft, but his size and speed made him a surefire first- or second-round pick. Fortunately for Dallas, they won’t need Smith to be a contributor right away. He’ll find himself in the mix with Johnathan Hankins and Osa Odighizuwa on the DT depth chart, but he could also earn some playing time at defensive end.

We heard earlier today that the Cowboys inked second-round tight end Luke Schoonmaker to his rookie deal. The rest of the team’s draft class includes:

Cowboys Sign Round 2 TE Luke Schoonmaker

The Cowboys became the first team this year to sign a second-round pick to his four-year rookie deal. Luke Schoonmaker agreed to terms with Dallas on Thursday, according to his agent (on Twitter).

A Michigan tight end, Schoonmaker lasted until the No. 58 overall pick. The second round featured a run on tight ends, with three — Sam LaPorta (Lions), Michael Mayer (Raiders) and Luke Musgrave (Packers) — going off the board from Nos. 34-42. The Jaguars also chose Brenton Strange, at No. 61, to wrap a five-tight end second round.

[RELATED: Team-By-Team 2023 NFL Draft Results]

ESPN’s Scouts Inc. viewed Schoonmaker as this year’s No. 71 overall prospect, slotting him as the class’ eighth-best tight end. The Cowboys thought more of the Big Ten prospect. The 6-foot-5 pass catcher totaled just 19 career catches before his senior season. In 2022, he caught 35 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns.

Dallas has coaxed production from a surprising tight end source in the recent past, seeing Dalton Schultz become a key Dak Prescott target despite arriving as a fourth-round pick five years ago. The Cowboys plugged in Schultz as their top tight end following Blake Jarwin‘s injury troubles and franchise-tagged the former in 2022. The sides could not agree on terms ahead of last July’s deadline, leading Schultz to the Texans on a surprisingly low-cost deal (one year, $6.25MM).

Although Cowboys-Mayer connections formed ahead of the draft, the team passed on the Notre Dame tight end and left him on the board for the Raiders at No. 35. Mayer graded as this draft’s second-ranked tight end, per Scouts Inc., but the Cowboys chose a Schoonmaker Wolverines teammate — defensive tackle Mazi Smithat No. 26 overall. Schoonmaker joins second-year players Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot — each of whom played at least 300 offensive snaps as rookies — as the Cowboys’ top tight ends.

NFC Draft Rumors: Bucs, Commanders, 49ers, Seahawks

Every year, pundits and analysts debate the value of drafting a running back in first round. The Buccaneers are the latest to enter into this forum as they are reportedly considering doing just that, according to Buccaneers staff writer/reporter Brianna Dix.

The player in question for Tampa Bay is Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson is far and away the consensus top running back on the board. In three years with the Longhorns, Robinson totaled 3,410 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. While not his main mode of attack, he can hurt in the passing game as well, as evidenced by his 60 catches for 805 yards and eight touchdowns over his collegiate career.

No running backs were taken in the first round of last year’s draft, with Breece Hall being the first off the board in the second round, but two years ago, we saw two running backs taken on Day 1. Despite durability being a main cause of concern for rookie rushers, Najee Harris rewarded the Steelers with a league-leading 381 touches and a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie. Travis Etienne unfortunately had to sit out his rookie season, but his debut season with the Jaguars in 2022 was nearly as impressive as Harris’s rookie year, despite only starting 12 games.

Beyond last year, we’ve seen the Chiefs move past Clyde Edwards-Helaire in favor seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco. We’ve seen a first-team All-Pro honor for Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas. We’ve seen the rollercoasters of Saquon Barkley and Sony Michel‘s careers, as well as the disappointment of Rashaad Penny‘s. The debate continues on into 2023. There has certainly been both hits and misses with first-round running backs, but where will Robinson fall in that storyline?

Here are a few other draft rumors from around the NFC:

  • The Commanders have made it clear that they believe in second-year quarterback Sam Howell to take over the starting job in 2023, leading many to believe that taking a passer on Day 1 is off the table. According to ESPN’s John Keim, though, if a strong prospect like Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is still available in the second or third round, Washington may not be able to pass them up. For the first round, though, it appears that the team has done their homework on the 2023 NFL Draft’s batch of offensive linemen. Jordan Reid, also of ESPN, specifically mentions Ohio State tackle Dawand Jones as a name that has been linked to the Commanders.
  • The 49ers received a healthy amount of compensatory draft picks, including three third round picks. It’s a good thing, too, because without them, San Francisco’s first 2023 draft pick wouldn’t come until late in the fifth round. Surprisingly, despite needs at both offensive line and defensive back, Matt Miller of ESPN is hearing that the 49ers have done more work studying tight ends that any other team in the league. The team has lauded the depth of this year’s draft class, and Miller notes that this is a historically great tight end class. He mentions Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker, South Dakota’s Tucker Kraft, and Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz as potential options for San Francisco at the end of Day 2 who could end up working with George Kittle in the tight end room.
  • The Seahawks can go in a couple of different directions in the first round with both the No. 5 and 20 picks. They may keep their eyes on the available quarterbacks, if they fall in love with any, to sit for a year or so behind Geno Smith and Drew Lock. What Miller really sees them doing is taking advantage of a potential early run of quarterbacks to nab one of the draft’s top defensive linemen like Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia’s Jalen Carter. If they don’t like any of their options at defensive line either, Miller reports that Seattle is reportedly in love with Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon.