Marcel Dabo

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/9/23

18 teams had their seasons come to an end yesterday, and their front offices have already turned the page to the 2023 NFL seaon. This started today, as a number of players were signed to reserve/futures contracts, which allows organizations to retain (routinely) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. Here are today’s reserve/futures contracts:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • WR Ty Fryfogle

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Washington Commanders

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC South

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 ColtsJaguars, Texans and Titans moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Houston Texans

Claimed:

Released:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Indianapolis Colts

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Claimed:

Released:

Signed to practice squad:

  • QB E.J. Perry

Tennessee Titans

Signed:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Colts Cut Roster Down To 53

Indianapolis has made a couple headline moves, but, most notably, succeeded in trimming their roster down to 53 players today. Here are the moves that helped them get down to the limit today:

Activated from active/physically unable to perform:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The biggest stories of the day for the Colts come in the linebacking corps. In addition to adding star linebacker Leonard off the PUP, Indianapolis acquired second-year player Grant Stuard in a trade with Tampa Bay today. Stuard was primarily a special teamer with the Buccaneers last year, playing in every game as a rookie. He’ll go from one stacked linebacker room to another, likely backing up Leonard upon his arrival.

The Colts have quite an interesting rookie class. A sixth-round defensive tackle, Brooks is the only drafted rookie not to make the final roster besides sixth-round tight end Andrew Ogletree who will start his NFL career on injured reserve. None of this is spectacular, though. The interesting part is that Indianapolis will roster four undrafted rookies to start the 2022 NFL season.

Former SMU safety Trevor Denbow finds his way onto the initial 53 after leading the NFL this preseason with five special teams tackles. Cornerback Dallis Flowers can also thank his special teams value as his athleticism was supplemented by a 53-yard kickoff return to help him make the team out of Pitt State. Former Cornhusker JoJo Domann joins Leonard and Stuard in the linebackers room. And the French-Fries offensive line combination stays alive as Wesley French makes the final roster out of Western Michigan.

There were a number of other players who have special teams’ ability to thank for their roster spot in addition to Denbow and Flowers. Running back Deon Jackson played on all punt/kick return/coverage units for the Colts last year, earning him a tightly contested roster spot over Lindsay and Williams. Cornerback Tony Brown was the team’s highest-graded special teams player in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, and safety Rodney Thomas II played the third-most special teams snaps on the team.

Finally, the biggest performer of the Colts’ preseason was likely quarterback Sam Ehlinger whose stellar preseason led Indianapolis to roster three quarterbacks going into the season. The former-Longhorn’s impressive preseason play helped him earn a spot on the initial roster despite the Colts already rostering starter Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks in Nick Foles.

The Colts will have the opportunity tomorrow to announce any moves to form their 16-man practice squad. Players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the team.

Colts Announce UDFA Class

The Colts announced on Friday that they have added a 22-man class of undrafted free agents. Here is the full list of their signings:

The name on that list with the largest financial commitment from the team is Van Demark. He is receiving $175K in guaranteed money, per PFF’s Doug Kyed (Twitter link). At six-foot-seven and 304 pounds, he has NFL-caliber size, and will have a chance to round out the team’s tackle depth chart, which has seen a number of changes this offseason, including the selection of Bernhard Raimann and the recent signing of veteran Dennis Kelly.

Another notable name is Coan. The former Golden Domer is getting a base salary which includes $55K in guaranteed money, along with a $5K signing bonus, as detailed (on Twitter) by Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. A transfer from Wisconsin this past season, Coan put up new career highs in passing yards (3,150) and touchdowns (27 total) at Notre Dame. He will try to unseat at least one of Sam Ehlinger or James Morgan at the bottom of the Colts’ QB depth chart.

AFC South Teams Add Players Via International Player Pathway Program

This year was the AFC South’s turn to participate in the International Player Pathway program, which allows teams to carry an additional international player on their practice squads. This year’s players include (via the NFL on Twitter):

  • Colts: DB Marcel Dabo, Germany
  • Texans: DL Adedayo Odeleye, Nigeria/UK
  • Titans: TE Thomas Odukoya, Netherlands
  • Jaguars: DB Ayo Oyelola, UK

Per the league’s website, the “program aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.”

These players will sit on their respective team’s roster until the end of training camp, at which time the teams will be granted “an international player practice squad exemption.” Assuming these players land on the practice squad, they’ll be ineligible to be activated during the 2022 campaign.

Patricipants in last year’s program included tight end Bernhard Seikovits (Cardinals), offensive lineman Alfredo Gutierrez (49ers), offensive lineman Max Pircher (Rams), and linebacker Aaron Donkor (Seahawks).