Aug. 12: Hilton has been removed from the active/NFI list and is ready to go, according to a team announcement. To make room, the club activated WR Malik Henryfrom the reserve/COVID-19 list and waived him.
Aug. 10: Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton says he is almost healed from a hamstring injury and days away from being able to return to the field. Hilton also told reporters that there hasn’t been much momentum in his contract talks as he enters his walk year (Twitter link via Stephen Holder of The Athletic).
As it stands, Hilton has one year to go on his deal, which carries a $14.5MM cap hit. An extension would give Hilton extra security on what he says will be his last NFL contract, regardless of length. Still, teams have been reluctant to fork over guaranteed dollars, and Hilton’s age complicates matters further. As it stands, his deal ranks 16th among wide receivers in per-year average.
Hilton has performed as one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats when healthy – from 2013 through 2018, he’s averaged 16 yards per grab. Last year, his calf limited him to just ten games, leaving him with a final stat line of 45 catches, 501 yards, and five touchdowns. This year, he’ll look to get back to his old form as he builds a rapport with new quarterback Philip Rivers. He may have a stronger case for a new deal next year if he can reprise his 2018 showing. In that season, Hilton finished out with 76 catches for 1,270 yards and six TDs.
Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.
Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.
Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The 49ers got down to the 53-man roster maximum by releasing 24 players in total on Saturday, including former first-round pick Joshua Garnett.
The Niners used the No. 28 pick to select Garnett in 2016, but they never saw much from him at the pro level. The Stanford product started in eleven of his 15 games as a rookie, but even then, his performance was underwhelming – Garnett racked up penalties and didn’t excel in run blocking or pass blocking. Garnett then missed all of 2017 after undergoing knee surgery and only saw action as a reserve in seven games last year. At a rate of $10.35MM, it made little sense to keep Garnett for 2020, especially since the option would have been guaranteed for injury.
This year, Garnett is said to be healthy, but that ensured little in terms of performance, so he’s out. The Niners will save $1.7MM against $1.2MM in dead money.
Jordan Matthews was said to have had a strong camp, but the 27-year-old wide receiver wasn’t able to stick in SF. He inked a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Niners in March, but he’ll exit with just his $300K signing bonus in hand.
Aside from Garnett and Matthews, here’s the rest of the Niners’ cuts:
Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2016, prior to a back injury that ended up costing him the job, Speight finished his career in Los Angeles and appeared in seven games for the 2018 Bruins. He threw just six touchdown passes in his lone UCLA campaign. He will become the fourth quarterback on the 49ers’ roster.
Garcia-Williams stands 6-foot-7 and is coming off a breakout year, when he recorded 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He will compete for time along the edge for a San Francisco team suddenly much stronger at that spot. Givens profiles as an interior defender, a spot where the 49ers have been deep for years due to their continued first-round investments.
The 49ers guaranteed $25K of Mayfield’s base salary, along with a $10K signing bonus, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Mayfield comprised part of the 49ers’ pre-draft visitor list. Despite Henry totaling fewer than 400 yards at Division II West Georgia last year, the 49ers are guaranteeing him $90K, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required).