Mario Edwards Jr.

Seahawks Likely To Pursue D-Line Help

The Seahawks have made offseason defensive line changeovers a regular occurrence during the 2020s, but they went through their best effort this year. Up front in Seattle’s 3-4 defense, three free agents may well be called upon to start — on a defense that features 2022 signee (and 2023 extension recipient) Uchenna Nwosu as its edge-rushing anchor.

Seattle made Dre’Mont Jones the centerpiece of its free agency plan, giving the ex-Denver starter a three-year, $51MM deal. Jones is naturally taking up residence with the first-stringers. Two lower-cost additions join him tup front at this point in camp. The returning Jarran Reed and Mario Edwards are in place as Seattle’s other starters during camp work, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes.

Despite Reed and the Seahawks completing an unexpected divorce in 2021, the sides remained on relatively good terms. After seasons with the Chiefs and Packers, Reed agreed to return on a two-year, $9MM deal. Edwards, who spent last season with the Titans, signed for just above the veteran minimum (one year, $1.32MM) shortly after the draft. Nevertheless, the former Raiders second-rounder has opened as a defensive end opposite Jones in DC Clint Hurtt‘s 3-4 scheme.

The Seahawks sought Edwards for his run defense, and Condotta adds the team has been intrigued by the ninth-year vet’s ability against ground attacks. The Seahawks ranked 30th against the run last season. Pro Football Focus has not viewed Edwards, 29, as the steadiest run defender in recent years. But the advanced metrics site placed him among the top 25 edge players against the run in 2022. Edwards has seen extensive time on the interior as well over the course of his career.

Reed, 30, operated more as inside pass rusher during his first go-round with the Seahawks, a period that saw the former second-round pick parlay a 10.5-sack 2018 season — in the team’s 4-3 alignment of the era — into a two-year, $23MM deal. The Seahawks, however, are stationing Reed at nose tackle, per Condotta. This would mark a considerable shift from the imposing Al Woods manning the post. But Reed and Jones are in line to be the team’s two D-tackles when the Seahawks shift into sub-packages. As the sub-base ratios keep skewing toward the former, Reed may not end up spending too much time as a true nose tackle.

The Seahawks do not have much experience behind their top three, however, with Bryan Mone on the team’s active/PUP list. Mone suffered an ACL tear in December and is a candidate to start the season on the reserve/PUP list, which requires at least a four-game absence. The Seahawks should be expected to look for more veteran help on their D-line before the season starts, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com adds. Condotta views a search for outside help as likely as well.

Notable D-linemen on the market include Ndamukong Suh, Akiem Hicks, Michael Brockers and Matt Ioannidis. The Seahawks did use fourth- and fifth-round picks on D-linemen (Cameron Young and Mike Morris), but after a surprising playoff berth last season, the team can further fortify its front with one of these vets or via a younger, lower-profile addition.

Seahawks To Add DL Mario Edwards

Mario Edwards will have an opportunity to carve out a role for a sixth NFL team. The Seahawks are signing the veteran defensive lineman, Jeremy Fowler and Brady Henderson of ESPN.com report (on Twitter).

The former second-round pick agreed to a one-year deal Thursday. After time with the Raiders, Giants, Saints, Bears and Titans, Edwards will make his way to Seattle to join a revamped defensive line. Although Edwards did not finish out his rookie contract with the Raiders, the 2015 No. 35 overall pick has managed to remain a rotational D-lineman well after his Oakland departure.

After the Bears cut bait on a three-year, $11.7MM deal in 2022, Edwards started seven games for the Titans. The 29-year-old defender registered three sacks during his one-season Tennessee stint. He notched six in two years with the Bears. Pro Football Focus graded Edwards barely inside the top 100 at his position last season but viewed the 280-pound D-lineman as a plus run defender. Edwards has spent the past three seasons in 3-4 defensive schemes.

The Florida State alum has spent his career as a rotational presence, but his 464 defensive snaps last season marked his most since 2017. The Titans have now lost Edwards and DeMarcus Walker — a Bears signee — from their 2022 defensive line. For his career, Edwards has made 32 starts, though only eight of those have come over the past five seasons, and tallied 19.5 sacks.

Seattle has again made many changes to its defensive front. Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Poona Ford and L.J. Collier are off the roster. The team has added Dre’Mont Jones and brought back Jarran Reed up front. The Seahawks also drafted two Day 3 D-linemen (Cameron Young, Mike Morris) to provide some depth. Edwards stands to assist the rising NFC West team in that department.

NFL Workout Notes: Giants, Campbell, Edwards, Neal, Carter, Fluker

As the initial surge of free agency has died down a bit, there are still several assets available on the market. The Giants have been fairly active in free agency and have had quite a few free agents visit for evaluations.

After allowing starting center Jon Feliciano to depart for San Francisco in free agency, the team decided to kick the tires on center J.C. Hassenauer, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN. The former Steeler has some starting experience and would add some depth and competition behind Ben Bredeson.

The team also decided to check out a potential depth piece for the secondary in former Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minnesota. Boyd was able to provide some defensive depth as a seventh-round draft pick out of Texas for the Vikings, but his true value in Minnesota came on special teams, an added benefit that should help him find a roster spot moving forward.

If you thought the Giants had enough receivers, they clearly don’t agree as they reportedly hosted former Raiders and Falcons wideout Bryan Edwards, according to Jordan Schultz of theScore. Edwards barely played last year after getting traded to Atlanta and signing to the Chiefs’ practice squad, but he gets a chance to compete for serious snaps in New York. The Giants have a bevy of wide receivers but lack any sure-handed starters. The team returns Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, and Collin Johson but has added Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and Jeff Smith in free agency. It looks like a collection of strong No. 3 and 4 receivers that lacks the talent of a strong No. 1 or 2. This provides Edwards a window to perform well and earn playing time.

Lastly, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, the team hosted linebacker Justin Hollins, who started five games for the Rams last year. Hollins would be another potential depth piece for the Giants’ defense.

Here are a few other workout rumors from around the league:

  • After getting released by the Ravens for cap purposes, the former “Mayor of Sacksonville” could be poised for a return to the Jaguars. According to Demetrius Harvey of the Florida Times-Union, defensive lineman Calais Campbell visited his former team this past week. After an earlier visit with the Falcons, the veteran also has future visits planned with the Bills and Jets, according to Tiffany Blackmon of 92.9 The Game.
  • The Seahawks may be looking to replace some defensive line depth after losing defensive end L.J. Collier to free agency. Seattle hosted veteran defensive end Mario Edwards earlier this week, according to Yates. Edwards is looking to join potentially his sixth franchise since entering the league. He started seven games for the Titans last year.
  • After losing safety Marcus Epps to free agency, the Eagles continue to look at safety options. Philadelphia hosted safety Keanu Neal earlier this week, according to Yates. Unfortunately for Neal, the team signed former Steelers first-round pick Terrell Edmunds yesterday, adding him to the addition of Justin Evans. Neal has experience playing linebacker, though, which may afford him an additional chance to make a roster as free agency continues.
  • While the wide receiver waters have been fairly stagnant, former Chargers wideout DeAndre Carter‘s market is starting to heat up. After a career year, the 29-year-old visited the Raiders yesterday, according to Schultz. The Raiders have added Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, and Steven Sims after losing Mack Hollins. Carter would likely be competing for WR3 snaps behind Davante Adams and Meyers.
  • Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who last appeared in an NFL game in 2020 with the Ravens, is seeking a return to the NFL. Fluker spent 2021 on three different teams’ practice squads, but after getting released from the Jaguars’ on New Year’s Eve 2021, he has remained a free agent for over a year. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Fluker worked out at Alabama’s pro day this year with top prospects Bryce Young and Will Anderson. The workout drew some attention from NFL teams and could help Fluker make it back to the league.

Titans Sign DL Mario Edwards Jr. Off Jaguars Practice Squad

The Titans have snagged a veteran defensive lineman off a division rival’s practice squad. The team announced that they’ve signed Mario Edwards Jr. off the Jaguars’ practice squad and on to their 53-man roster. To make room, the Titans waived linebacker Derrek Tuszka.

Edwards has never lived up to his second-round billing, but the defensive lineman has still seen time in 86 games across seven professional seasons. The veteran spent the previous two seasons with the Bears, collecting six sacks despite only starting one of his 27 appearances. He was released by Chicago at the end of the preseason and subsequently joined Jacksonville’s practice squad.

The 28-year-old won’t knock Jeffery Simmons out of the starting defensive tackle spot, but he’ll provide some additional pass-rushing prowess along the defensive line. His ability to play defensive end could also help him see some defensive snaps.

Tuszka was claimed off waivers from the Steelers in early September, and after being inactive through the first two weeks, he earned a start on Sunday with Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi sidelined.

Jaguars Re-Sign DL Adam Gotsis, Add DL Mario Edwards To P-Squad

The Jaguars released DL Adam Gotsis during final cutdowns, but the veteran defender will be returning to Duval. Per a team announcement, Jacksonville is re-signing Gotsis to its active roster.

Considering how thin the club is along its defensive line, retaining Gotsis is certainly a logical move to make. A second-round pick of the Broncos in 2016, the Georgia Tech product saw 25 starts over the 2017-18 campaigns. During that time, he averaged 39.5 tackles and 2.5 sacks per season while earning solid overall grades from Pro Football Focus.

Things began to go south in 2019, as Gotsis struggled to adjust to the scheme implemented by Vic Fangio, who had been hired as Denver’s head coach earlier that year. Gotsis was also battling knee trouble at the time, trouble that ultimately necessitated surgery. He has spent each of the past two seasons with the Jaguars, and it looks as if he is in line to have another significant role on the Jags’ defense after appearing in 52% of the team’s snaps in 2020 and 43% in 2021. He will operate behind starters Roy Robertson-Harris and Folorunso Fatukasi.

In addition to bringing Gotsis back into the fold, the Jags have supplemented their practice squad with some veteran D-line help. According to the same announcement, Mario Edwards — who was released by the Bears last week — has agreed to join Jacksonville’s taxi group. The former Raiders second-round pick had settled into a rotational role in the Windy City over the past two seasons, but he joins most of Chicago’s front-seven vets of recent years in being jettisoned by a new-look front office.

Edwards, 28, recorded six sacks during his two-year Bears tenure, logging 26% and 27% defensive snap rates during that span. However, he did miss time due to injury during this year’s training camp.

WR Jaylon Moore has also been added to the p-squad. Moore signed with the Ravens as a UDFA in 2020, and he spent each of the last two years on Baltimore’s practice squad. He obviously intrigued the team enough to stick around, but he never earned a look during a regular season contest. The Ravens waived him several weeks ago, and he was claimed by the Giants. Big Blue sent him to the waiver wire again, only to add him to the practice squad before waiving him a second time.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com first reported that Edwards and the Jaguars had agreed to terms (Twitter link).

Bears Reduce Roster To 53 Players

The Bears trimmed their roster to the NFL’s mandatory 53-man limit today:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Michael Schofield III is an experienced starter with more than 100 NFL games under his belt, but it was immediately clear that he was competing for a roster spot when he inked a deal worth only $1.12MM. He ultimately lost out on a starting gig in Chicago to Teven Jenkins, who was mentioned as a trade candidate only yesterday.

Sam Kamara got into eight games with Chicago in 2021 while mostly appearing on special teams. Nsimba Webster got into six games with the Bears last year, returning four punts for 13 yards. Both of these young players are candidates to return to Chicago’s practice squad to start the 2022 campaign.

Nathan Peterman is also expected to land back on the Bears’ practice squad, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After tossing three touchdowns vs. 12 interceptions in two seasons with Buffalo, Peterman spent the past three years with the Raiders, getting into only a pair of games. Justin Fields and Trevor Siemian are the only two QBs on the Bears active roster, so Peterman will see a promotion if either of those two are sidelined.

Bears To Release DL Mario Edwards

Another veteran Bears defender will be moved off the roster this year. The team is releasing Mario Edwards, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

The former Raiders second-round pick had settled into a rotational role with the Bears over the past two seasons, but he joins most of Chicago’s front-seven vets of recent years in being jettisoned by a new-look Bears front office.

Khalil Mack (trade), Akiem Hicks (free agency), Eddie Goldman (released, later retired), Danny Trevathan (released) and Bilal Nichols (free agency) have departed from the Bears’ front seven this offseason. Although Roquan Smith is back at practice and tied to a fifth-year option salary, he is not exactly on good terms with the team.

As for Edwards, he re-signed with the then-Ryan Pace-overseen Bears in 2021. After adding Edwards initially in 2020, the Bears gave him a three-year, $11.55MM second contract. The deal included void years, which will not leave much in the way of cap savings associated with Tuesday’s release. As a vested veteran, Edwards will pass straight to free agency.

Edwards, 28, recorded six sacks during his two-year Bears tenure. The Florida State alum logged 26% and 27% defensive snap rates during that time. He missed time during training camp due to injury this year, however.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/23/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Bears Re-Sign Mario Edwards

The Bears will re-sign defensive lineman Mario Edwards, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was first to report. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com added that it will be a three-year contract for the 2015 second-rounder, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting that the deal is worth $11.55MM (Twitter links). Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the deal includes $5.5MM in guaranteed money.

It’s unclear how much of that is guaranteed, but it represents a nice payday for Edwards, who bounced around the league for a couple of years before finding some stability in Chicago in 2020. Though he played in just under a quarter of the Bears’ defensive snaps last season, he managed a career-best four sacks and graded out as the third-best interior defender in the league, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics.

The limited snap count and the inherent uncertainty in PFF’s metrics suggest that Edwards’ stellar overall grade of 90.1 might skew a little high, but the Bears clearly feel confident that he can continue to be a productive rotational piece if nothing else. That is despite the fact that Edwards will be suspended for the first two games of the 2021 season due to a PED violation.

The deal comes one day after the Bears finalized a series of restructures to get under the 2021 salary cap of $182.5MM.

Bears DL Mario Edwards Suspended Two Games

Mario Edwards will be looking for a new home this spring, but the veteran defensive lineman won’t be able to suit up for the beginning of 2021. Edwards has been suspended for the first two games of next season, a source told Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s for a PED violation. It certainly won’t help Edwards, who’s set to be a free agent, find a decent contract. He played a good amount for the Bears this season, notching around 25 percent of the defensive snaps in a rotational role across 15 games. He finished the year with 17 tackles, six for a loss, and four sacks to go with one pass defended.

The Florida State product was drafted 35th overall by the Raiders in 2015, but never lived up to his draft status. He didn’t standout as a rookie, then missed almost the entire 2016 season due to injury. He started 14 games for the Raiders in 2017, but was waived before the 2018 campaign.

After spending one year with the Giants, he signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Saints in March of 2019, and had three sacks with them in a similar rotational role. Cut back in September, he was picked up just a few days later by Chicago. Still only 26 (for another week), he should get picked up by somebody this offseason despite the looming suspension.